The Day After! (also called “I survived!”)

Last night was the ‘big event’ for the Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Baby shower donations and the ladies (once again) knocked my socks off! We had a grand total of 133 items! The breakdown: 17 blankets, 47 baby hats, 18 toddler headbands, 24 bibs, 1 sweater & pants, 2 sweater/hat/mittens sets, 2 baby sacks, 19 pr. booties and one (very adorable) knit zebra!  Each year things ‘shake out’ differently – for the most part, we usually have a LOT of blankets and then other items; not this year! I’ve decided I’m going to just stick to headbands & blankets. Here are a few of the photos:

One of our ladies is an expert knitter & she loves to create these hats & booties – there’s a pumpkin set, an eggplant set, a strawberry set & 2 (pink & blue sets) with pea pods attached to the hats. She was having fun this year doing the red/white/blue Star hats.

                Another lady sewed baby bibs using flannel & terry cloth! There’s 14 of them!

                                        my headbands

The VERY adorable zebra is upper left corner (I tried my best to photo him but he’s FLOPPY. She’s another expert knitter & created the sweater sets all ‘out of her head’! WOW!

                    Three of my blankets (not very good lighting)

(There’s a total of 15 photos, so I only included some) I was so proud of all my ladies – there were even a few donated items from OTHER knitters who knew of our project but aren’t in the group!

===============

Spiced Zucchini Bars

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 C. raisins
2 C. zucchini, grated
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) container cream cheese
frosting

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 15 X 10″ jelly roll
pan. In bowl combine flour, baking
soda, salt & cinnamon. In another
bowl whisk eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla &
lemon juice. Gradually add flour
mixture to egg mixture – fold in
remaining ingredients (except
frosting). Pour into prepared pan
& bake 25-35 minutes until lightly
golden. Cool completely then
spread with frosting. Cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.typepad.com)
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Honey Soy Chicken Breasts
(a few hours marinade or overnight)

1/4 C. honey
1/3 c. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T. finely grated fresh ginger root
4 large chicken breasts, skinless
but not boneless

Stir together all ingredients (EXCEPT
chicken) & pour into a large ziplock
bag. Add chicken & marinate in fridge
a few hours or over night.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place marinated chicken on a foil-
lined cookie sheet & bake, uncovered,
about 45 minutes until chicken is
fully cooked (using a meat thermometer,
internal temp. of chicken should be 170
& 180 degrees F.). DO NOT throw away
the marinade. While chicken is cooking,
simmer it in a saucepan over low heat
& brush on chicken about every 10
minutes as it cooks. Serves 4

(recipe: rockrecipes.com)
———————————-

Grandma’s Sunday Roast

3 C. beef broth
2-3 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of
excess fat
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 lb. red or yellow potatoes, cut
into large chunks
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb. baby carrots
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cornstarch + 2 T. cold water

Press all seasonings (salt/onion powder/
garlic powder/rosemary/paprika) onto all
sides of roast. Pour beef broth into crockpot;
add roast. (You can brown the roast before-
hand – brown each side in 1 T. heated oil
in a skillet for 3 minutes per side).
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Remove lid & add veggies; drizzle with
Worc. sauce – cover & cook 4 hours more
on Low.
Remove lid; scoop meat & veggies onto
large platter & loosely tent with foil.
In small bowl stir cornstarch & cold water
until smooth – stir mixture into juices in
crockpot. Turn heat to High & let thicken;
stirring. (You can also thicken the gravy on
the stove in a pot if you desire).
Serve roast with veggies & gravy.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
——————————–

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) box tri-colored rotini (or any
color)
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
1 (5.75 oz) can sliced green olives
6 oz. fresh broccoli, chopped
6 oz. fresh cauliflower, chopped
1/4 C. sunflower seeds
1/4 C. (Hormel) real bacon pieces
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. milk

In medium bowl mix Ranch dressing mix,
sour cream, mayonnaise, milk – whisk
together; cover & let thicken 30 minutes.
Cook pasta; drain & rinse in cold water –
pour into a large bowl. Add olives, broccoli,
cauliflower, sunflower seeds & bacon to
noodles – pour ranch dressing over & toss
to fully coat. Chill 1 hour for flavors to
blend then sprinkle more bacon pieces
on top before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: persniketyplates.com)
———————————-

Last Minute Green Beans

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place drained green beans in medium
saucepot; add onion, tomatoes with
juice, salt/pepper -stir. Bring to slight
boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to Low. Cover & simmer 10-15
minutes.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
———————————–

Bacon/Cucumber/Tomato Salad

6 slices bacon
3 C. large cut chopped cucumber
3 C. large cut chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon until crisp; drain on
paper towels – chop when cool
enough to handle, reserve a pinch
for garnish.
Toss cucumber & tomatoes together –
season with salt. Mix together
mayonnaise & seasonings; add to
tomatoes & gently toss. Add remaining
bacon to salad – gently toss, taste &
adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving
bowl & garnish with a sprinkle of
Creole or Cajun seasoning & reserved
bacon. Serve immediately or refrigerate
1 hour to chill. Serves about 4

NOTE:
Old Fashioned Cracker Salad:

Prepare salad as above omitting
cucumber & adding 1/2 C. chopped
Vidalia onion or 2 large green onions,
sliced. Double mayonnaise amount –
stir in 1 sleeve saltine crackers, coarsely
broken. Mix well, adding additional
mayonnaise if needed to moisten.
Serve immediately or (if refrigerating)
wait to add crackers until just before
serving. Also good with one boiled/
chopped egg added.

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)
———————————-
Grilled Steak/Potato & Mushroom Kabobs

1 lb. steak cut into 1″ chunks
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

In a rimmed baking pan add steak chunks &
mushrooms. In a medium bowl whisk oil,
vinegar, garlic, salt/pepper, rosemary &
oregano -pour over steak & mushrooms
in pan. Cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours
=
Meanwhile, boil potatoes in large pot of
salted water until just tender, about 8-10
minutes – drain & cool slightly. Thread
marinated steak chunks, mushrooms &
potatoes, alternating, onto skewers.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill kabobs
10-12 minutes, turning once, until meat is
cooked to desired doneness. Re-season with
salt/pepper & serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: letsdishrecipes.com)
——————————–

Easy Copycat Thin Mint Cookies

1 C. chocolate (dark, semi-sweet or coating/
confectionery wafers)
3/4 tsp. mint extract
15-18 Ritz crackers

Place a layer of waxed paper on a cookie
sheet.
Melt chocolate of your choice (in micro-
wave or in a saucepan). Add mint extract
to melted chocolate (this might cause
the chocolate to thicken up a bit, depending
on what type of chocolate you use). Dip
crackers in chocolate (poster says she drops
the cracker into the chocolate & flip it around
using a fork – remove carefully using two forks –
Let excess chocolate drip off & place on
prepared waxed paper. Cool & store cookies
in fridge. These cookies are best eaten straight
from the fridge. Makes 15-18 cookies

(recipe: craftcookingmama.com)

=====================

Our weather has been pretty nice – not too hot;
today it’s hovering around 72 degrees F. & sunny.
Looks like we’ll be having highs from 78 to 82 for
the rest of the week – I LIKE that!

Not much else new; working on another baby blanket
(I know . . . . what ELSE do I knit, right?).

I’m not sure if the ‘other’ grandma is back from their
cabin but (so far) I haven’t been asked to babysit this
week – I’m GOOD with that; can always use the break!
I’ve already texted that the only days I’m free next week
are Wednesday (If needed, otherwise it’s my Library Knit
group 10-12 & my special needs group 6:15-9) and Friday!
We’ll see what shakes out . . .

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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I’m Back! Whew!

It’s been a bit ‘rough’ – yesterday I babysat, starting at 6:15 a.m – really didn’t know the ‘end time’ so brought the ‘usual’ – my knitting & a book to read. Grandson was really good; his Mom came home at 4:45 – that’s about 10 1/2 hours and I was more than ready to go home! (THANK HEAVENS it wasn’t KNIT NIGHT!). Her parents are still Up North awaiting the finishing of their house here getting done (old carpeting ripped up & new wood floors for 5 rooms put down). I guess it’s being done by a ‘friend’ so it’s kind of a NOT A RUSH job – sigh. I love my baby grandson but I LOVE only babysitting for 4-5 hours ONE day a week! Guess I was spoiled, huh? Managed to finish another baby blanket & started a new one in shades of pink/white/tan (I ripped out that one today at the Knit Library group -pattern was just too fussy & too easy to make a mistake with – better to knit something I LIKE than something that will cause constant problems, right?).

===========

(realizing we’re fast approaching the end of the SUMMER recipes thought I’d try to fit them in NOW!)

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag
Makes 4 servings

Base Ice Cream:
2 C. whole milk
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 T. vanilla
10 C. ice
8 T. rock salt

Base:
Stir milk, sugar & vanilla in
medium bowl; pour 1/2 C.
of mixture into a sandwich-
sized ziplock bag.

(add flavors here – see below)

Tightly seal bag – place that bag in
another sandwich-sized ziplock
bag & tightly seal – repeat with
remaining batter & desired
flavors.

Place ice & salt in a 4 qt. food
storage container with lid. Place
filled bags in container & secure
the lid. Shake container until
mixture is frozen & resembles
ice cream, about 5 minutes. Remove
bags with ice cream in them from
outer bag & snip a large piece off
one corner of each bag – pipe the
ice cream into small bowls.

Flavors:
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream:
add 1 T. mini semisweet chocolate
chips

Chocolate Ice Cream:
add 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

Strawberry Ice Cream:
Add 1 T. chopped fresh strawberries
(from about 2 strawberries)

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————————–

Bacony Pasta Salad

12 oz. pasta
8 slices thin bacon
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. whole milk
4 T. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
dash sugar (optional)
10 oz. grape tomatoes (yellow &
red) halved lengthwise
1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, cut into
small cubes
3 green onions, thinly sliced
ground black pepper
24 whole basil leaves, sliced
very thin

Cook pasta accordg to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse in cold water until cool.
Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces & saute
in large skillet until slightly crisp – remove
to a paper towel-lined plate.

Dressing:
In small bowl mix mayonnaise, milk,
vinegar, salt & sugar.

Stir together pasta, dressing, tomatoes,
bacon, Cheddar & green onions in large
bowl; adjust salt/pepper to your taste.
Stir in basil at end. Serves 8

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————————–
Grilled Steak, Potato & Mushroom
Kabobs

1 lb. steak
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Cut steak into 1-inch chunks & add to a
rimmed baking pan along with mushrooms.
In medium bowl whisk oil, vinegar, garlic,
salt/pepper/rosemary & oregano  – pour
over steak & mushrooms. Cover &
refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water
until just tender, about 8-10 minutes; drain
& cool slightly. Thread marinated steak &
mushrooms, along with potatoes, onto
skewers. Grill kabobs 10-12 minutes, turning
once until meat is cooked to desired tender-
ness. Re-season with salt/pepper & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: letsdishrecipes.com)
———————————-

Grilled Salmon in Foil Pack

1 red onion, halved lengthwise &
very thinly sliced
1 lemon, very thinly sliced (seeds
removed)
1 clove garlic, sliced
kosher salt
black pepper
1 (1 1/2 lb) piece center-cut
skinless salmon fillet
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
melted
1 T. dried Italian seasoning

Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
In a small bowl toss onion, lemon &
garlic with a generous pinch each of
salt/pepper – spread in center of a
24 inch long piece of heavy-duty foil.
Place salmon on top of mixture, drizzle
with butter & sprinkle top with Italian
seasoning & a generous amount of
salt/pepper. Bring the 2 long sides of
foil together & fold over twice to seal.
Bring ends of foil in and crimp to seal,
leaving a bit of room for steam to
circulate inside. Place packet on grill &
cook 10-15 minutes. Being careful of the
steam, open packet & check the salmon;
it should be mostly opaque with a
slightly rosy center. Transfer packet to a
cutting board & set aside about 5
minutes. Cut salmon into 4 equal
portions & transfer to 4 plates. Evenly
spoon onions/lemons & collected juices
over each salmon piece. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
———————————–

Crockpot BBQ Beer Roast

3 lb. beef roast
1/4 C. your favorite BBQ seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (12 oz) can beer (or non-alcoholic beer)

Rub your BBQ seasoning all over toast
along with salt/pepper – place roast in
crockpot. Gently pour beer over roast;
sprinkle a little more seasoning on roast.
Cover & cook on Low 10-12 hours.
Serves 6

NOTE: Poster noted you could cook this on
High but she wouldn’t recommend it – if you
cook it on high the meat might not come
out as tender as if it were cooked ‘low & slow’.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
——————————

Beef Zucchini Enchiladas

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
kosher salt/black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 C. red enchilada sauce, divided
4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

sour cream
fresh chopped cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large skillet over medium
heat, heat oil. Add onion & cook until soft,
about 5 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 more
minute. Add ground beef; cook, breaking
up meat with a wooden spoon, until no
longer pink, about 6 minutes; drain fat.
Return skillet to stove; add 1 C. enchilada
sauce, chili powder & cumin – season with
salt/pepper & simmer 5 minutes. On a
cutting board, using  a Y-shaped vegetable
peeler, make thin slices of zucchini. Lay
out 3 slices, slightly overlapping & place a
spoonful of beef mixture on top – roll up
& place in baking dish – repeat with
remaining zucchini & filling. Spoon
remaining 1/2 C. enchiladas sauce over
zucchini & sprinkle top with both cheeses.
Bake 20 minutes until cheese is melty.
Garnish with sour cream & cilantro before
serving, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————
Baked Tomatoes & Zucchini w/Cheddar
Parmesan Topping

2 T. olive oil
2 C. Vidalia onion, diced large
1 1/2 T. fresh minced garlic
4 T. butter
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs, divided
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded/
divided (poster used Cracker Barrel)
2 lb. fresh zucchini, trimmed/cut into quarter-
inch thick circles
1 1/2 lb. fresh garden tomatoes, sliced into
quarter-inch thick circles (poster used Big Beef
& Early Girls)
1/4 C. fresh chopped basil (do not chop until
needed in recipes – it will turn black if chopped
too soon)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium saute pan heat oil on
medium heat; once hot, add onions &
saute 3 minutes. Add garlic, butter &
oregano – cook another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat; mix in salt/pepper,
1 C. Panko, 1 C. Parmesan & 1 C.
Cheddar cheese – set aside.
Spray a 9 X 9″ or 8 X 10″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in
remaining 1/2 C. Panko into pan (this
helps absorb the liquid that the tomatoes
& zucchini give off during baking). Layer
zucchini slices over each other in rows to
cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle remaining
1/2 C. Parmesan over top. Layer tomatoes
over zucchini & Parmesan in same manner.
Cover tops of tomatoes with remaining 1 C.
shredded Cheddar cheese.
Chop BASIL. Mix reserved topping & basil
together then spread over top of tomatoes,
etc. in pan. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes.
Depending on your oven, dish  might take
more or less than 35 minutes – if getting
too brown, cover with foil.
To test for doneness, poke center with a
fork to gauge doneness of zucchini on bottom
layer – it should be tender & the top browned.
Let stand 10 minutes then cut into 8 (or more)
portions & serve.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
————————–

Peach Mousse

1 1/2 C. ripe peaches, peeled/pitted &
mashed
2 C. powdered sugar
1 C. milk
2 1/2 C. whipping cream, whipped

garnish: chopped peaches & mint sprigs

In bowl mix peaches, powdered sugar &
milk. fold in whipped cream & freeze
1 hour or until firm. Garnish with
chopped peaches & mint sprigs.
Serves 10

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.typepad.com)
====================

Our weather is still typical Summer – in the 80’s &
sometimes 90’s – & MUGGY/HUMID! I’m just very
grateful we have air conditioning – going from the
car to a building is really an adventure into how your
body adjusts to changing temperatures!

Not much going on right now – next Tues. is the
collection date for all the knitted/crocheted items
for the Detroit Veterans’ Hospital’s Baby Shower &
I’m SO VERY pleased with my ladies & all they are
creating! Two ladies that have been with my group
for many years (and are expert knitters) are going to
donate this year and I’m THRILLED! This year, for the
first time, one of my ladies made flannel (sewn) baby
bibs 19 of them – with snaps! We’ve never had bibs
donated before!(Yes, we take non-knit/crocheted items,
too). This is going to be a very nice collection and I’m
so proud of the ladies!

Hope all of you are in good health & enjoying the
tail-end of our summer weather. (Spring is my favorite
time/season but I really miss the sunshine when we
finally drop into Fall. Fall colors are nice but I know
that cold weather is coming – living in Michigan with
the cold temps & snow – I like Spring/Summer best!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Beautiful Summer Day!

Today is one of those PERFECT Summer days – 76 degrees F., slight breeze – NO humidity! (we’ve had plenty of really HUMID days here lately). SO nice to just enjoy a great-weather day!  Got some errands done: finished folding/mailing the next issue of my special needs group’s newsletter, ran to the bank, drug store & grocery store – dinner will be a really big meatloaf & baked potatoes (my husband’s favorite food).

Spent some time yesterday organizing the beginning donations for the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital’s Baby Shower coming up in September; the lady who heads the Women Vets department will be joining my group Sept. 11th to pick up all the items. I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday evening when two ladies who have been members of my group for a good many years mentioned that THEY were both knitting items for this event! (In all the years past, they never have – I was SO happy! They are both expert knitters so I can’t wait to see their wares – one is making a sweater & the other is knitting bibs!). Also spent a little time selecting the baby blankets I’ll donate to Crisis Pregnancy Mobile Unit – I do that once a year. The lady in charge of that project works & lives at least an hour away so we both meet half-way in a church parking lot to give the blankets. Right now I’m ONLY working on finishing ONE blue/white/mint green baby blanket – seems strange – ONLY ONE PROJECT but I really want to finish this soon – there are two baby showers coming in the next 3 weeks; I have a cream-colored blanket for a couple from our church who will be adopting an infant sometime close to Christmas (but the church shower is in 1 week). I’ve found a really nice pattern for the ‘next’ baby blanket project but haven’t started it yet – this one will probably be best done in a solid color yarn to be able to appreciate the pattern (it’s 11-rows, so we’ll see . . . I usually only do 4-6 row patterns – easier to memorize).

=============

Apple Slab Pie

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
as directed on box
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
9 C. thinly sliced/peeled apples
(9 medium apples)
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Remove crusts from pouches; unroll &
stack crusts one on top of the other on a
lightly floured surface. Roll to 17″ X 12″
rectangle. Press crust into a 15″ X 10 X 1″
pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra pastry
crust under, even with edges of pan – crimp
edges. In a large bowl mix sugar, flour,
cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & lemon juice –
stir in apples to coat – spoon mixture into
crust-lined pan. Bake 33-38 minutes or
until crust is golden brown & filling is
bubbling. Cool on a rack 45 minutes.

In a bowl mix powdered sugar & milk until
well blended – drizzle over top of pie. Allow
glaze to set before serving, about 30 minutes.

(recipe: tastyrecipes – Facebook)
———————————

Crockpot Root Beer Baked Beans

2 (28 oz, ea) cans pork & beans
1 small white onion, diced
2 T. mustard
2 T. molasses
1 C. root beer
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
8 slices bacon, sliced/cooked/drained

Place all ingredients except bacon in crockpot –
stir. Sprinkle bacon over top of beans. Cover &
cook on Low 5 hours without opening the lid
during cooking time.
Stir & serve. Serves 10

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
————————————–

Grilled Chicken/Zucchini Wraps

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4-6 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″
thick slices
olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing, divided
8 (10 inch) whole-grain flour tortillas
8 lettuce leaves

garnish: shredded Cheddar cheese

Brush chicken & zucchini with olive oil;
sprinkle with salt/pepper & grill over
medium-high heat 5 minutes. Turn
chicken over & add zucchini to grill.
Grill 5 minutes longer until chicken
juices run clear & zucchini is tender.
Slice chicken into strips & set aside.

For each wrap:
Spread 1 T. salad dressing on a tortilla;
top with a lettuce leaf, 1/2 C. chicken
& 3-4 slices zucchini; sprinkle with
cheese & roll up – secure with toothpicks
if needed. Makes 8 wraps

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
——————————-

Taco Tomatoes

4 tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning mix
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2/3 C. shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 C. shredded lettuce
1/2 C. sour cream

In medium skillet over medium heat,
heat oil. Add onion & cook about 5
minutes until tender; add ground beef &
taco seasoning, breaking up meat with
a spoon. Season with salt/pepper & cook
until beef is no longer pink, about 6
minutes; drain fat. Place tomatoes stem-
sides down – cut into 6 wedges – DO NOT
cut all the way through (you will be stuffing
them) – carefully spread open the wedges.
Divide taco meat evenly among tomatoes;
top with cheese, lettuce & sour cream –
serve. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.cooking)
—————————

Mexican Pizza for One

1/2 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
2-3 T. taco seasoning
1/4 – 1/2 C. refried beans
1/4 – 1/2 C. salsa
1/4 – 1/2 C. shredded Taco-blend
cheese
2 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Your choice of toppings:
chopped tomatoes, sliced green
onions, sliced olives, etc.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a flat rimmed baking sheet
with foil – lightly spray with nonstick
cooking spray. Brown meat in a skillet
until no longer pink; drain. Add taco
seasoning & combine well. Lay one
tortilla on baking sheet – spread top
with beans, then meat; cover with
another tortilla. Bake 10  minutes.
Remove from oven & spread top of
tortilla with salsa, then cheese & any
other desired toppings. Bake an
additional 5-10 minutes until cheese
is fully melted.

(recipe: yummly.com)
—————————

Chili Cornbread Salad

1 (8.5 oz) pkg. cornbread/muffin mix
(like Jiffy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
undrained
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
pinch rubbed sage
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
(dry)
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pinto beans, drained/
rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn,
drained
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 C. chopped green onions
10 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8″ X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare cornbread batter accordg. to
pkg. directions. Stir in chilies, cumin,
oregano & sage – spread into prepared
pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

In small bowl combine mayo, sour cream &
dressing mix. Crumble half the cooled corn-
bread into a 9″ X 13″ baking dish. Layer with
half of beans, mayo. mixture, corn, tomatoes,
green pepper, onions, bacon & cheese – repeat
layers (dish will be VERY full). Cover & refrigerate
2 hours. Makes 15 servings

NOTE: You can save time by using a prepared
cornbread. You can also add diced jalapeno
pepper, if desired.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————————
Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 C. finely chopped cucumber,
peeled/seeded
1/2 C. finely chopped/seeded tomato
1/4 C. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/chopped
4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

baked tortilla chips – “SCOOPS”

In small bowl combine first 7
ingredients. In another bowl combine
sour cram, lemon & lime juices, cumin
& seasoned salt – pour over cucumber
mixture & toss gently to coat. Serve
immediately with chips. Makes 2 1/2 C.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

————-

Banana Split Fluff Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box instant banana pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. mini marshmallows
1/2 C. finely chopped walnuts plus 2 T.
for garnish
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,
halved

Stir together pudding mix & pineapple
until dissolved & thickened. Fold in
Cool Whip; gently stir in marshmallows,
nuts, choc. chips, bananas & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Makes about 8 C. salad

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)


Hope you are all in good health and getting
ready to enjoy the holiday weekend. We
don’t have any special plans for the weekend;
I have to babysit tomorrow – am REALLY hoping
the hours get shortened (for now, I’m supposed
to start at 6:30 A.M.! Ugh! and usually get off
around 4:30 – 6 p.m. LOoooooong DAY!). I did
hear that the other grandparents ‘should’ be
returning from up North next week – YAY!
(They are staying at their cabin because they’re
having the carpets removed & wood flooring
put down plus having their house power washed –
guess there were some complications in the
flooring installation -sure hope it goes smoothly
so I can get back to my ‘old’ schedule of ONE
day a week sitting and for “NORMAL” amounts
of time, say 5-6 hours not 10+  . . . we’ll see.

Hugs;

Pammie

it’s FINALLY Saturday – YAY!

It has been a VERY busy/crazy week for me; yesterday ‘looked’ like it was going to be an easy babysitting (I thought: 11:30 a.m. to around 4 p.m.) – BOY, WAS I WRONG! Turns out my son (the Executive Chef) had a 250-person banquet/event that night which kinda turned out to be the ‘banquet from hell’. I kept wondering when he would be home (so I could go home); he had asked my husband to drive our 12-yr old grandson from home to his football practice (about 20 minutes away) because he wouldn’t be able to get there in time . . . that should have been a ‘sign’ for me, but I didn’t see it. Long story short: I ended up babysitting from 11:30 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. and I was exhausted! I woke up the baby after he had slept 2 hours, thinking he probably wouldn’t go to sleep later on in the evening and be up all night – almost right on that one – he was bouncing off the walls when his dad got home at almost 10 p.m. (Oh well – not MY problem! I’m DONE!!!). Next week I’m babysitting Tues & Friday but, I’m told, they won’t be LONG days – we’ll see, sure hope so! You wouldn’t think watching a 1 1/2 yr old all day long would be tiring, but for starters listening to Nick, Jr. TV for hours on end is mind-numbing (YES, I ‘could’ change the channel); just glad I’m done & today is my OFF DAY!!! (Still in my jammies at 1:10 p.m.!)

============

Mango Float Dessert
(8 hours or overnight)

2 C. heavy cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. graham cracker
crumbs
3 ripe mangoes, diced

Combine cream, sweetened
con’d milk & vanilla in large
bowl – beat using elec. mixer
until it doubles in volume,
about 4 minutes. Spread a
scant 2 C. of cream into a
8 X 8″ baking dish; cover with
1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs &
one third of the mangoes. Continue
layering for a total of 9 layers,
ending with mango. Chill at least
8 hours or overnight. Serves 16

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————–

Shrimp Salad

1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 T. minced dill
romaine lettuce – for serving

Dressing:
1/2 C. mayonnaise
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet toss shrimp
with olive oil – season with salt/pepper.
Bake until shrimp are completely opaque-
5-7 minutes. In large bowl whisk mayo,
lemon juice & zest, Dijon mustard – season
with salt/pepper. Add cooked shrimp, red
onion, celery & dill to the bowl & toss to
combine. Serve on bread or over lettuce
leaves. Serves 2

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————

Pork Chops w/Peach Sauce

1/3 C. peach jam
2 T. ketchup
1 T. plus 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. cold, unsalted butter cut into
small pieces
12 oz. green beans, trimmed
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg white
vegetable oil, for frying
4 1/2 inch thick pork loin chops,
about 1 lb, trimmed

In large skillet over medium-high
heat cook jam, ketchup, 1 T. Worc.
sauce & 3 T. water, whisking, until
thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in
vinegar, then butter – a few pieces
at a time; whisk in a few T. water if
sauce is too thick. Remove from
heat & cover. Place green beans in
a microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle
with water & season with salt/pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap, pierce the
plastic wrap & microwave until tender,
8-10 minutes. Whisk 1 C. flour, baking
powder, 1/2 C. water, egg white, &
remaining 1 tsp. Worch. sauce in a bowl;
add a few more T. water if needed. Place
remaining 1/2 C. flour in a shallow dish
(like a pie plate). Heat 1/4 inch vegetable
oil in a large skillet over medium-high
heat until it reaches 375 degrees F.
on a deep-fry thermometer. Dredge
chops in the flour, then dip in the
batter – fry until golden, 3-4 minutes
per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve
with peach sauce & green beans.
Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
———————————–

Pea ‘n Peanut Salad

2 1/2 C. frozen peas (about 10 oz,)
thawed
1 C. dry roasted peanuts
1 C. chopped celery
6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. prepared Zesty Italian
Salad dressing

In large bowl combine first 5 ingredients.
In small bowl mix mayo & salad dressing;
stir into salad. Refrigerate, covered,
until serving. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————–

Cheesy Bacon Zucchini Bread

4 strips bacon
1 C. Half & Half
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 lb. zucchini (about 1 medium
zucchini)
1 1/4 C. flour
1 C. fine corn meal
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. dried basil flakes
1/2 C. NY sharp white Cheddar cheese,
shredded (poster uses Cracker Barrel
brand)
1/2 C. sharp Provolone cheese, chopped
into 4 slices
2 eggs
1/4 C. melted butter (4 T.)
1/2 C. chopped scallions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour a loaf pan. Cook bacon
to crisp; drain & crumble or chops.
In a bowl mix Half & Half & lemon juice;
set aside. Shred zucchini on large holes
of a box grater-place shredded zucchini
on a clean dish towel & wring out as
much of the water as you can. You should
be left with about 1 C.  In large bowl combine
flour, corn meal, brown sugar, garlic powder,
salt, baking powder, baking soda & basil.
Add in both cheeses & toss to coat. Add in
shredded zucchini & toss, stirring with a
spoon to coat. In a separate bowl, add
Half & Half mixture with eggs – beat to
combine then add into flour mixture &
stir to combine. Stir in bacon & scallions.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake on
center oven rack 45-50 minutes until
golden brown on top & a toothpick
inserted into center of loaf comes out
clean. (the bread will be moist so
the toothpick will be wet but should
show no signs of raw batter).
Serve warm with butter or cool to
room temperature. Wrap & store
in fridge. Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
———————————–
Zucchini & Tomato Casserole

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced*
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
2 C. cheese, shredded (poster uses
a combination of Cheddar & Parmesan)
1 1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley flakes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl mix all spices, salt/pepper.
Spray a 9″ X 9″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Layer chopped onion, zucchini,
tomato, cheese & bread crumbs – sprinkle
with spice mixture – continue layers, ending
with cheese & bread crumbs. Bake 45-50
minutes.

*You can also use yellow squash instead

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
———————————

Crockpot Cheese Spinach

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed/well
squeezed/drained
2 C. (16 oz) cottage cheese
1 1/2 C. cubed Velveeta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt

Spray insides of 3 qt. crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine all ingredients –
pour into sprayed crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 1 hour. Reduce heat to
Low; cook 4-5 hours longer until
a knife inserted into center comes
out clean. Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Chopped Feta Salad

8 C. chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 English cucumber, peeled/diced
into large chunks
1/3 C. feta cheese, crumbled
1/8 of a small red onion, sliced
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T. fresh chopped dill
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients together & serve
immediately. Serves 4

NOTE: You can also add:
-sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
-pitted olives (like Kalamata or Catelvetrano)
-canned chickpeas
-(change out red wine vinegar for fresh lemon
juice
-turn it into a main dish by adding grilled/diced
chicken or shrimp

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
———————————–

Blackberry Buckle

3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter or margarine,
softened
2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 C. flour
2/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. fresh blackberries
(can used canned)

Topping:
1/2 c. butter or margarine (1 stick),
cut into pieces
1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
using elec. mixer, cream butter, sugar
& eggs. Add rest of ingredients except
blackberries & mix well; spread in
bottom of prepared dish. Mix
topping ingredients together in a
bowl (except the butter) – sprinkle
topping over blackberries & spread
butter pieces on top. Bake 40-45
minutes until top is brown.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

====================

I have got to say: I have a GREAT husband! On
August 18th my computer/email for some
reason decided to no longer recognize my
password! Great – NOW what do I do? I went
to my alternate email site (Internet Explorer)
and changed the password  & was then able
to retrieve my emails THERE – but NOT on my
original site through Thunderbird – sigh. I
‘think’ I might have mentioned it to my husband
who might have been busy at the time but just
kept plodding away through Internet Explorer –
don’t like their email set up! Finally today I asked
him, again, if he could check it out and it took him
a good half hour to finally get our AT&T connection
to recognize my newly-changed password – UGH!
(Honestly don’t know what I would have done if
he weren’t available! – I’d probably STILL be plugging
away on Internet Explorer and complaining all the
way!)

Our weather has taken a bit of a turn to RAIN – not
bad, just light but now our days are NOT sunny
so I’m trying to adjust to not seeing bright sunshine
when I wake up. Just looking at the forecast for the
coming week – mostly 70/80’s and chance of thunder-
storms. Tuesday is ‘mostly sunny’ but then more
thunderstorms – sigh. Oh well, life can’t ALL be sunshine,
right? The trick is adjusting your attitude to ‘try’ to be
‘sunny’ even during the gloomy times!

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Wednesday – mid week!

Here we are at Wednesday already – Wow, this week is flying by! I’ve spent the past two days babysitting my 1 1/2 yr. old grandson for 8-10 hours a day…let me tell you: I love my grandson but it’s MIND-NUMBING! He’s into a new phase where he’s showing anger (lovely, right?) if you tell him stop he raises his fist and starts yelling baby-gibberish at you. This is NOT the grandma to do that with – I just glare at him, say: “No! STOP!” . . . it’s taken a few times but now if he starts getting anywhere near that all I have to do is glare and he sort of walks away with his eyes on the floor. I don’t want a baby tyrant on my hands and this is Week #2 of my babysitting more because the other grandparents are out of town (I’m sorry, but they are much more tolerant of his ‘cute’ little ways than I am – I raised three boys and helped raise 14 foster babies so I know who’s in charge . . . and it’s NOT a One Year OLD!) I’m also babysitting Friday but get to come in at 12:30 instead of much earlier so hoping that helps. I thought I was almost done with this ‘multi-day’ babysitting when I asked “How’s your parents doing?” and found out they are at their cabin NOT because they just wanted to get away but because they are having new wood floors put in and their house power-washed. When she checked on the progress yesterday, it appears the company has only ripped out the old carpet – no new floors yet . . . Oh BROTHER; can’t imagine my ‘sitting’ schedule next week – sigh. The good thing is: I have been solid on making sure I get MY days off for both knit groups & my special needs group – we’ll see how that goes next week –

=========

Fudgy Cocoa Zucchini Brownies

3/4 C. canola oil
1 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/3 C. unsweetened baking
cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. shredded zucchini (excess
moisture squeezed out)
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
6 T. butter, softened
2 2/3 C. powdered
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1/4 to 1/3 C. milk or heavy cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil or parchment paper – lightly
spray with nonstick cooking spray. In
medium bowl add oil, eggs, vanilla &
sugar – using elec. mixer, beat 2 minutes.
In another bowl combine flour, cocoa
powder & baking soda – add wet
mixture to flour mixture & mix well.
Stir zucchini shreds into batter until
thoroughly incorporated. Add in mini
choc. chips. Spread batter in prepared
pan. Bake 20-25 minutes – allow brownies
to cool before frosting.

Frosting;
Using elec. mixer, cream butter & add in
powdered sugar until light & fluffy. Beat
in cocoa powder; add in milk/cream &
beat together until smooth. Frost brownies.

NOTE: You can add up to 2 C. of zucchini.
You can also double the recipes & use a
jelly roll pan for a large crowd.

(recipe: thebaking chocolatess.com)
—————————–

Broccoli/Cheese Cornbread

1 C. corn meal + 1 T.
1/3 C. flour
1 stick butter
2 tsp. honey
4 large eggs
1 (12 oz) pkg. ricotta, cottage
cheese (or sour cream)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne (to taste)
1 C. broccoli florets, steamed &
chopped
2 C. shredded cheese*
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 12 X 12″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. Mix all
bread ingredients (except Cheddar
cheese) in a large bowl & pour into
prepared pan. Bake 35-45 minutes
until a wooden toothpick inserted
into center of bread comes out clean.

*POSTER cuts bread into pieces &
sprinkles Cheddar cheese on top
while still warm.

(recipe: whatscookinitalianstylecousine.com)
————————–

Foil Pack Artichoke & Chicken Dinner

3 C. instant white rice, uncooked
3 C. warm water
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts,
(1 1/2 lb, 1/2 inch thick)
1 (13 3/4 oz) can artichoke hearts,
drained/quartered
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C. Zesty Italian Salad dressing
1/4 C. (Classico) Traditional Basil
Pesto sauce & spread

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix rice & water in a bowl & spoon
onto centers of 6 large sheets of
heavy-duty foil. Top with chicken,
artichokes & tomatoes – drizzle
with combined dressing & pesto.
Bring up foil sides; double-fold
top & both ends to seal each
packet, leaving room for steam
inside. Place in a 15 X 10 X 1″ pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is
done (165 degrees F.). Remove from
oven; let stand 5 minutes then cut
slits in foil to release steam before
opening. Serves 6

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
————————–
Bacon-Cheddar Chicken & Potatoes

1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
6 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin/
visible fat removed
4 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5) cut
into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple Cheddar
cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken in a shallow dish & pour
salad dressing over it – refrigerate
30 minutes to marinate.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet over
medium heat until crisp; remove
bacon from skillet, reserving 1 T.
drippings in skillet; drain bacon
on paper towels. Add potatoes &
onion to skillet & cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Remove from
heat; crumble bacon & add to potato
mixture, mixing lightly. Spoon into
9 X 13″ baking dish. Remove chicken
from marinade (discard marinade/
salad dressing). Place chicken in dish
over potato mixture. Bake 55 minutes –
1 hour until potatoes are tender &
chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees F.).
Top with cheese & parsley – serve.
Serves 6

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
———————————

Melon Salad w/Basil Dressing

6 C. cantaloupe, chopped
6 C. watermelon, chopped

Dressing:
2 C. fresh sweet basil
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. honey
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
dash Tabasco sauce

Garnish:
1 C. feta cheese
fresh chopped basil leaves

In food processor pour vegetable
oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic
vinegar, honey, salt/pepper – blend
until thick & creamy. Add basil & blend
until it is in very small pieces. Taste &
adjust seasonings to your taste. Pour
dressing over melon & toss to cover
melon all over. Chill salad.
Right before serving, toss with Feta
cheese crumbles.

(recipe: mizhelenscountrycottage.com)
—————————————

Crockpot Magic Bars

1 1/3 C. crushed graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. baking morsels/chips (your choice –
poster used 1 part chocolate chips/
1 part white chips & 1 part butterscotch)

In a bowl mix crushed graham cracker
crumbs & melted butter – press mixture
into bottom of crockpot. Pour milk
over top of crust. Layer chips.
Cover & cook on High 1-2 hours until
set & edges are golden. Cool completely
& cut into bars. Bars are done when
you slide a spatula along the edge &
they easily pull away from edge.

NOTE: Let bars cool completely before
cutting – do not cut bars when hot.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

======================

Our weather has been all over the place lately –
from the 70’s to the 90’s – yesterday started
out nice & warm followed by a huge torrent
of rain. It was so loud you could hear it inside
the house so I opened the sliding screen door
for the baby to be able to see & hear it – he
was fascinated (it rained really heavy for
almost 15 minutes straight and then the
sun came out & it was sunny for the rest
of the day!).

Gas prices were steady at $2.89/9 so
I filled up a few days ago – today same
place: $2.79/9…sigh.

I’ll be glad when this babysitting schedule
changes back to me sitting one day a week
for around 4-5 hours; it’s hard to believe
how exhausting it is to do nothing but
read/knit/watch him play (or wrestle
with him), change diapers & monitor his
eating. (I suppose if I were at home instead
of his house I could do other things but our
house is no longer ‘baby proofed’ so this
works out better. (Sorry for the complaining-
getting off my soapbox now . . . )

Hugs;

Pammie

and . . . it’s PICNIC day! YAY!

Today is my Sunday School Class picnic – (I’ll admit – I ‘caved’) I’m bringing Gordon Food Service Red Skin Potato Salad (it’s really good & much easier than making it myself!) and chocolate frosted brownies. It’s a nice day for a picnic – upper 70’s & sunny. My SS teacher lives on some very nice property – lots of land, trees and a pond (which they have a paddle boat on!). Lots to do (besides chatting) – they have all kinds of lawn games out, nice log 2-person swings and more food than you could hold! Always a GREAT time!

Don’t know if I mentioned in last post but I’m starting another baby blanket but this time it’s crocheted Granny squares – I have enough leftover yarns from other blankets to make a 3-color blanket: white, lime green & a variegated blue/lime green/white yarn – should be nice when it’s done. I babysat for youngest grandson yesterday from 6 a.m. – around 4:50 so got 7 squares crocheted (finished product will have 35 squares). Long day but relatively OK until he got sick – try cleaning up after a baby that’s walking around (doing what you do when you have a very upset stomach) – wipe, clean – try to grab the kid & clean him up . . . not a fun project. He had a slight fever & cried for 15 minutes straight – finally wore down & napped. I found some Gatorade in the fridge (diluted some in a bottle) and that seemed to help him- poor little guy. (His dad says he’s doing fine today – typical little kids: bounce back quickly – which is a GOOD thing!)

============

Mandarin Orange Salad

1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 medium/large cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl mix Cool Whip & dry pudding
mix. Add undrained pineapple & both cans
mandarin oranges (use as many oranges as
you like – save a few for decoration on top
of salad). Refrigerate until it thickens again –
a few hours before you need to serve it.
Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————–

Crockpot Fiesta Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops
1 (15 oz) can chili beans with
chili sauce
1 1/2 C. salsa of your choice
1 C. corn
green chilies, to taste
=
3-4 C. cooked rice

Layer all ingredients in crockpot
(except rice). Cover & cook on Low
5 hours (or High 2 1/2 hours). Serve
over cooked rice. Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
——————————–

3-Bean Baked Beans

1/2 lb. ground beef
5 strips bacon, diced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
1/4 C. BBQ sauce
2 T. molasses
2 T. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pork & beans,
undrained
1 (16 oz) can butter beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 1/2 qt. baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook & crumble beef
with bacon & onion over medium heat
until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir
in sugars, ketchup, BBQ sauce, molasses,
mustard, chili powder & salt until blended;
stir in beans. Pour beans into prepared
dish. Bake, covered, until beans reach
desired thickness, about 1 hour.
Serves 12 (3/4 C. each)

Freezer option:
Freeze cooled bean mixture in
freezer containers.
To use: partially thaw in fridge
overnight. Heat in saucepan,
stirring occasionally & adding
a little water, if needed.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————–

Tomatoes with Buttermilk
Vinaigrette

3/4 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. minced fresh tarragon
1/4 C. white wine vinegar
3 T. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 C. minced fresh chives

In small bowl whisk first 8 ingredients
until blended – refrigerate, covered,
until serving.
Just before serving – arrange cut tomatoes
on a platter; drizzle with vinaigrette &
sprinkle top with chives.
Makes 12 servings (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–

Cool Ranch Zucchini Chips

2 zucchini, sliced very thin into coins
using a mandolin, if you have one
1 T. olive oil
1 T. ranch seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 225 degrees F.
Spray a large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Pat sliced
zucchini with paper towels to draw
out excess moisture. In small pie
plate mix ranch seasoning, oregano,
salt & pepper. In large bowltoss
zucchini with oil then toss in seasoning
plate to coat – place coated ‘coins’ in
a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
Bake about 1 hour 20 minutes, until
crispy – checking after 1 hour. Let cool
to room temperature before serving.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

2 bags Spring Mix lettuce, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lime
1 bag corn chips
4 chicken breasts
1/2 C. BBQ sauce of your choice

Dressing:
1 1/2 C. ranch dressing
3/4 C. BBQ sauce (poster uses
Sweet Baby Ray’s)
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray and place
chicken in dish. Pour BBQ sauce
over chicken & bake 25-30 minutes.
When it has cooled, chop into 1″
pieces. Place chopped lettuce, cilantro
& green onion in large bowl. Add corn,
beans, chopped red pepper, chicken,
chips, cheese & squirt lime juice over
top. Toss ingredients well.
Mix dressing ingredients & serve on
the side. Serves 15

NOTE: You can reduce the size of the
salad: When measuring ingredients for
the dressing include 2 parts Ranch &
1 part BBQ sauce.

If you are taking this to a Potluck:
Don’t add chicken, chips, cheese or
lime until just before serving (it will
get all soggy).

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
————————————–

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
(fresh or frozen)
1 packet taco seasoning mix
16 oz. salsa (your choice)
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 small limes

Taco shells or tortillas, for serving

Additional toppings:
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced avocado
shredded cheese (of your choice)
sour cream
sliced black (or green) olives

Place chicken breasts in bottom of
crockpot; sprinkle dry taco seasoning
mix over top then cover with salsa,
lime juice & cilantro. Cover & cook
4 hours on High (or 6-7 hours on Low).
Remove chicken from crockpot to
separate bowl & shred using 2 forks.
Moisten chicken with small amounts of
juice left over from crockpot until you
get the amount of moisture you like.
(poster used about 1/2 – 3/4 C.)
Serve with taco shells or tortillas and
any of suggested toppings above.
Serves 8

(recipe: yummly.com)
——————————–

Cherry Cheesecake Lush

1 C. vanilla wafer crumbs
1 C. finely chopped pecans
1 C. butter, melted
1 (18 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
1 (23 oz) pkg. cheesecake flavored
pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine vanilla
wafer crumbs, nuts & melted
butter. Press mixture into 9 X 13″
baking dish & bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & cool.
In separate bowl combine cream
cheese, powdered sugar & 1 1/2 C.
Cool Whip; mix until smooth &
spread evenly over cooled crust.
Combine cheesecake pudding mix,
milk & 1 1/2 C. Cool Whip – mix until
smooth & spread evenly over cream
cheese layer in pan. Top with pie filling,
remaining Cool Whip & 1/2 C.
chopped nuts.

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)

======================

On the babysitting front: I was concerned about
the next 2 weeks schedule, as the baby’s Mom
is in management training & has been needing
me at 6 a.m. (usually a 10-12 hour day). Her
parents will be going out of town for the next
2 weeks (they are the MAIN caregivers/babysitters
of the baby) so the thought of MANY 10-12 hr.
days was kind of stressing me out a bit. For
next week I only have to babysit two days: Thurs/
Friday starting at ONE p.m.! YAY! I can DO that!
Not sure of the following week’s schedule, but HEY –
I’m THRILLED for the two days next week! It might
not sound like much watching a 1 1/2 yr old while
he plays but it gets tedious (no, I’m not complaining)
and by the time it’s almost over I’m READY to go
home! He’s a great baby, loves to play and sometimes
climb up on me to wrestle (which is lots of fun) but
my ‘baby’ days are behind me and I don’t have the
amount of energy I WISH I had – but life goes on-
right?

Hope you’re enjoying these last Summer days –
hard to believe we’re almost to the MIDDLE
of AUGUST already!

Hugs;

Pammie

and a new week begins!

The day started out bright & sunny (supposed to get in the mid 90’s – sigh…thank heavens for Air Conditioning!). Got a text that I’m babysitting Friday starting at 6 a.m. (again) – oh well, I CHOSE that day, so it’s ok… then came the next announcement that her parents are going out of town for 2 weeks (they babysit the grandbaby every OTHER day I don’t!) – looks like I’m going to be super busy AND tired for the next 2 weeks – we’ll see how that goes!

Made the ‘executive decision’ today to rip out the baby blanket I showed you the photo of last post – I KNEW there was something wrong with that pattern but just couldn’t remember exactly what – well, the @@@ hit the fan when I went back to the next colored set of pattern – no matter WHAT I did, it just didn’t come out on the right side so I ditched it; there’s no reason to continue working on a project that’s nothing but trouble – life’s too short to be aggravated like that. (Am happily working on the ‘other’ new pattern I found – it’s a V pattern (little holes running up the blanket that make V shapes – easy pattern; it was originally a bookmark pattern I found on a Vintage Knits site – works for me!) – this one is in shades of blue, mint green & white.

=============

Sheet Pan Cream Puff

1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. flour
4 large eggs

Filling:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 C. cold milk
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
pudding mix

Topping:
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large saucepan over medium heat
bring water, butter & salt to a boil.
Add flour all at once & stir until a
smooth ball forms; continue beating
until smooth & shiny. Remove from
heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs,
one-at-a-time, beating well after each
addition. Pour into prepared pan &
bake 28-30 minutes until puffed &
golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Filling:
In large bowl beat cream cheese, milk
& pudding mixes until smooth – spread
over crust. Refrigerate 20 minutes then
top with Cool Whip, spreading evenly.
Store in fridge – just before serving
drizzle with chocolate syrup.
Serves 15

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————-

Green Bean/Tomato/Onion
& Basil Summer Salad

1 lb thin French-style green beans
(or fresh garden green beans) trimmed &
cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 small sweet onion, cut into
thin slivers
2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
generous amount of thinly-sliced
fresh basil (poster used about 1/3 C.)
salt/fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Dressing:
3 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Start water boiling in a vegetable
steamer or pot with a steaming rack.
When water starts to boil, steam beans
5 minutes then drain & immediately
place them in a bowl of ice water (some
beans are tougher than others – test
one for doneness after 5 minutes to
see what you think). Let beans cool
in ice water about 1 minute then
drain immediately into a colander
placed in the sink.
In a bowl whisk olive oil, lemon juice,
garlic, oregano & salt to make dressing.
Wash fresh basil leaves & dry then cut
into thin strips. Remove drained beans
from colander into a bowl large enough
to toss ingredients together. Add cherry
tomatoes & onions – toss together. Toss
with desired amount of dressing then
gently mix in sliced basil. Season with
salt/pepper & serve. Serves 4-6

NOTE: Poster says salad is best when it’s
freshly made but is still good after being
in fridge overnight

(recipe: kalynskitchen.com)
———————————

Crockpot Easy Green Beans & Potatoes
with Bacon

8 strips bacon, chopped
1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans,
trimmed/cut into 2″ pieces (about
4 C.)
4 medium potatoes, peeled/cut
into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, halved/sliced
1/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large skillet cook bacon over medium
heat until crisp, stirring occasionally.
Remove to paper towels using slotted
spoon – drain grease, reserving 1 T.
Cover & refrigerate bacon until serving.
In 5 qt crockpot, combine remaining
ingredients; stir in reserved 1 T. bacon
drippings. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours until potatoes are tender –
stir in bacon, heat through.
Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————-

Beefy Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 C. shredded Cheddar or Mexican-
blend cheese
4 C. shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced

tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl beat cream cheese,
sour cream & mayonnaise until
smooth; spread on a 12 – 14″
pizza pan or serving dish. Refrigerate
1 hour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, brown
beef; drain. Add taco seasoning mix,
tomatoe sauce & cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
Cool completely then spread over cream
cheese layer. Refrigerate.

Just before serving:
Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes,
onion & green pepper. Serve with chips.
Makes 16-20 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–

Sweet ‘n Spicy Bacon-wrapped Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs*
8 slices bacon
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper
1/2 C. brown sugar
chopped parsley, optional garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a bowl combine chili powder, paprika
& garlic powder. Roll each chicken piece
in these spices & wrap in a strip of bacon
(secure with toothpicks, if desired).
Place wrapped pieces in a 10 inch skillet
or 9 X 13″ baking dish – sprinkle tops
with brown sugar.
Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken
reads 165 degrees F. on a meat
thermometer & is no longer pink inside.
(Poster broils top of chicken 1-2 minutes
to crisp the bacon before serving.)
Serves 4

*Poster says you can also use chicken
tenders – she likes the thighs because
you can wrap bacon completely
around chicken.

(recipe: therecipecritic.com)
———————————

Make – ahead Hearty 6-Layer Salad

1 1/2 C. uncooked small pasta shells
1 T. vegetable oil
3 C. shredded lettuce
3 large hard-boiled large eggs, sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken breast
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed

Dressing:
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
2 green onions, chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Toppings;
1 C. shredded Colby or Monterey Jack
cheese
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse under cold water. Drizzle
with oil & toss to coat. Place lettuce in
a 2 1/2 qt. glass serving bowl; top with
pasta & eggs. Sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Layer with chicken & peas.
In small bowl mix dressing ingredients
until blended; spread over top.
Refrigerate, covered, several hours or
overnight. Serves 12

Suggestions:
-You can also use other
salad greens like baby spinach or
arugula.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————-

Garlic Parmesan Rice

4 T. salted butter, divided
1 T. olive oil
1 C. Jasmine rice, rinsed/drained
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 3/4 C. water
1 C. milk, divided
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt/pepper, to taste

Add 2 T. butter & olive oil to a
pan over medium heat. Add rice,
garlic salt & parsley – toast rice
until just lightly browned. Add in
water & 1/2 C. milk – bring to boil
then reduce heat & simmer, covered,
about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
until rice is tender & most of liquid
is absorbed. Stir in remaining 2 T.
butter, 1/2 C. milk & Parmesan cheese.
Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
——————————–

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

1 box white or yellow cake mix
(ingredients to make cake: egg
whites, oil, water)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
temp.
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (13.5 oz) pkg. premade strawberry
glaze (usually sold by fresh strawberries)
3 C. fresh strawberries, tops cut off/
sliced

Prepare cake accordg to pkg. directions
for 9 X 13″. Allow cake to cool. In a bowl
combine cream cheese & powdered sugar
until smooth; stir in Cool Whip & combine
well – smooth over cooled cake. In a bowl
combine strawberry glaze with sliced
fresh strawberries & spread on top of
Cool Whip – smooth out. Refrigerate until
ready to serve.

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

=====================

Still trying to wrap my brain around exactly
WHAT 2 dishes I’m bringing to our Sunday
School class picnic this coming Saturday!
(You’d think, with all the great recipes at
my disposal, I’d be able to choose 2 really
quick, right? . . . sigh

Dinner tonight is a roast chicken, carrots &
red potatoes – easy, very little fuss & yummy.

Hope your day is turning out JUST like you
wanted!

Hugs;

Pammie

Fun Day!

Today was a great day to hold an ice cream social – temps in the mid-70’s, sunny and a slight breeze. Five ladies joined me to knit & crochet (plus another of our members who is a spinner) Here are a few photos:

Chris & Karen

                             Liz & Sally

                                                  Tracey & Katie

Along with all the fun, we were also given a ‘special treat’ – some of the gentlemen from the Big Chief Chorus were strolling around and the gave us a 3-song serenade!

About half-way through the day I hear “HI, PAM!” – I look up and it’s my husband’s cousin & family – that was a surprise!

   It’s always fun to see family where you don’t expect them!

===============

Raspberry/Marshmallow Fluff Salad

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. mini marshmallows
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (32 oz) tub vanilla yogurt
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries

In large bowl mix yogurt & dry pudding mix;
stir until completely mixed together. Fold
in Cool Whip & raspberries (raspberries will
soften when the salad sets). Add marsh-
mallows & mix in. Cover & refrigerate
30 minutes. Fold salad with a large spoon
several times after removing from fridge
so that raspberry juice will spread through
the salad.  Serves 15

(recipe: sugar-n-spicegals.com)
———————————–

Ham Salad

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1/4 C. sliced green onions
2 T. minced fresh chives
1 T. honey
2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
5 C. fully cooked/diced ham or turkey
1/3 C. chopped pecans & almonds,
toasted
(slider buns, split – optional)

Mix first 8 ingredients – stir in ham.
Refrigerate, covered, until serving.
Stir in nuts before serving. If desired,
serve on buns. Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————-
Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp &
Vegetable Skillet

about 1 1/2 lb. shrimp, medium size
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1 medium zucchini, cut into cubes
1 C. assorted bell peppers (red/green/
yellow)
1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley or cilantro – garnish

In hot pan add butter & a little cooking oil.
Add cleaned shrimp – cook 4-5 minutes until
shrimp turn pink in color. Add minced garlic
& cook 1 more minute. Add cumin & chili
flakes, mix well. Add zucchini & peppers –
mix & cook 3-4 minutes. Add lemon juice &
chopped parsley – toss quickly & turn off heat.
Serve as is, or on top of cooked rice.
Serves 4

(recipe: theflavoursofkithen.com)
———————————-

Crockpot Lasagna Casserole
(low carb)

1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1-2 lb. sausage, browned/drained
4 oz. canned/sliced mushrooms
(optional)
16 slices chicken breast (thin deli
slices)
12 slices mozzarella cheese
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

In a bowl combine marinara, sausage &
mushrooms. Spoon several spoonfuls
of this mixture into bottom of crockpot
& spread in a very thin layer. Add 8 slices
chicken evenly & top with 6 slices
mozzarella. Add half meat sauce & evenly
dollop dots of half of the ricotta cheese.
Repeat layers beginning with chicken slices,
mozz. slices, meat sauce & ricotta. Top
with mozzarella. Cover & cook on Low 2-3
hours until cheese is melted & casserole
is heated through. Serves 8

For best results: Let casserole cool at least
an hour to make it more sliceable. Placing
it, overnight, in the fridge after cooking will
produce even better slices – just slice &
reheat in microwave.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————————-
Layered Salad for a Crowd

1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. whole milk
2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. seasoning blend
1 bunch romaine lettuce, torn
2 medium carrots, grated
1 C. chopped red onion
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled

Dressing:
In small bowl whisk mayonnaise, milk,
dill & seasoning blend.

Salad:
In a 4 qt. clear glass serving bowl, layer
romaine, carrots, onion & cucumber (DO
NOT TOSS). Pour dressing over top; sprinkle
with peas, cheese & bacon. Cover &
refrigerate until serving. Serves 20

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Grilled Vegetable Medley

2 bulbs garlic (*leave bulbs whole)
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 red onion
2 small sweet red bell peppers
2 small sweet orange bell peppers
10 stalks asparagus
olive oil
salt/pepper
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Peel garlic* – you want each clove
whole. Rough chop all vegetables.
Heat grill to medium-high heat
(until a thermometer reaches
350 degrees F. or so) – turn temp.
down to Low.
Line grill with a long piece of foil –
turn edges of foil up a bit (as a lip)
to catch all the juices. Drizzle olive
oil on foil & carefully pour vegetables
over foil – drizzle them with more
olive oil & sprinkle with more salt/pepper
on top. Cover grill & cook about 10
minutes, stirring occasionally. When
vegetables are cooked through (onions
should be translucent & garlic should
have a golden brown color) use a
metal spatula to scoop veggies off
of tin foil & into a large bowl.
Squeeze 1 T. lemon juice (about half
of 1 lemon) onto veggies. Sprinkle
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese over
top & stir well. Taste & adjust salt/
pepper if needed. Serves 4-6

NOTE: If you are worried about having
garlic breath-when garlic grills away
& gets caramelized on outside, it becomes
very mild & delicious.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
———————————–

Crockpot Raspberry Almond
Coffee Cake

Cake:
3 C. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 C. cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
2 pints fresh raspberries
4 oz. toasted, sliced almonds

Icing:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Butter bottom & insides of crockpot. In
large bowl mix flour, sugar, cubed butter,
baking soda & baking powder. Using elec.
mixer on slow setting, mix until butter is
cut into dry ingredients & resembles coarse
crumbs. Mix in eggs, one-at-a-time. Add yogurt,
applesauce, vanilla & almond – mix until it
resembles a stiff batter. Using a rubber spatula,
scoop half of batter into prepared crockpot &
spread as evenly as possible. Sprinkle fresh
raspberries evenly over dough. Spread
remaining dough on top of berries, being
careful not to smash the berries too much.
Sprinkle almonds over top of mixture. Place
a single layer of paper towels between the
lid & crockpot. Cover & cook on High 2-3
hours until a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out clean. Remove lid & lift
stoneware insert from heating element &
place cake (in insert) on a wire cooling rack –
allow to cool completely.
Once cake is completely cooled, mix icing
ingredients in small bowl & drizzle icing
over cake before serving.
Serves 12

NOTE: If fresh raspberries are not in season,
you can use frozen berries or even raspberry
jam instead

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
====================

Great day – lots of fun AND I hardly coughed at
all (husband thinks it’s because I was outside
all day in the fresh air). I’m hoping it means I’m
finally getting over this ‘creeping crud’ I have!

Have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Wednesday!

Today is Day #3 of my being on antibiotics and (I hesitate to say) I think I ‘might’ be feeling a little better! Went to my library knit group, paid our summer taxes & a quick trip to the dollar store – that’s more than I’ve done in a good THREE PLUS weeks! Yes, I’m still coughing some but am feeling a little more energy – YAY!

Our weather is really nice – in the 70’s & sunny; hoping that continues this Saturday for the Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social – yes, I’m still planning on going. It’s 12 – 5 p.m. so we’ll see; there are now 5 (maybe 6) ladies interested in joining me for knitting/crochet under the sycamore tree (along with my friend who will be spinning wool) – sounds exciting!

==============

No-Bake Blackberry Yogurt Pie

1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
2 T. cold water
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 (6 oz, ea) containers blackberry
yogurt
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

additional Cool Whip for topping,
optional
1 C. fresh blackberries – garnish

In a saucepan add water & lemon juice;
sprinkle gelatin on top. Heat on Low
until gelatin is dissolved – let cool
about 5 minutes. In a bowl, beat
cream cheese until smooth. Add in
yogurt & then add gelatin mixture –
beat until combined – fold in Cool
Whip & spoon evenly into pie crust.
If desired, top with additional Cool
Whip & garnish with fresh blackberries.
Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
—————————–

Mexican Three Bean Salad

1 can each:
(15 oz) cannellini beans, drained/rinsed
(15 oz) black beans . . ”     ”
(15 oz) kidney beans . . ”  ”
1 C. frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1/2 C. poblano peppers, finely diced
1/2 C. red bell pepper, finely diced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing:
1/4 C. olive oil
3 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. sugar
pinch salt
pinch black pepper

Place drained/rinsed beans, corn,
onion, peppers, parsley & cilantro in
a large bowl. Mix all dressing ingredients
in a small bowl & whisk well – pour over
bean mixture & toss to coat. Chill until
ready to serve. Serves 6-8

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
—————————–

Fried Pork Chops & Gravy

5-6 center-cut pork chops (about 3 lb)
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3-4 T. oil for frying (or bacon drippings)
2 1/2 C. water
1/2 C. milk
=
Recipe makes chops & gravy –
you can serve with cooked
mashed potatoes, rice, noodles,
etc. to serve 5-6 people
=
Heat oil in large skillet.
Place flour in a shallow pan (like a
pie plate) – whisk in black pepper, salt &
garlic powder. Dredge chops in flour until
fully coated on both sides & brown chops
on both sides. Turn down heat, cover skillet
& cook about 15 minutes until chops are
thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan &
place on a plate – cover to keep chops warm.
Add enough flour to skillet to make a paste
(you can use the flour from dredging & might
need a bit more) Cook & stir until flour is
browned; add water & milk & bring to a boil.
Cook to desired thickness for gravy. (Makes
about 2 1/2 C. gravy) Serve over chops &
cooked rice, mashed potatoes or noodles.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Catalina Chicken Thighs

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
3/4 C. Catalina salad dressing
1 C. pineapple chunks
1/4 C. juice from pineapple chunks

2 C. cooked rice

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot;
pour dressing on top. Top with pineapple
chunks & pour pineapple juice on top.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours or
High 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Serve over a bed
of cooked rice – ladle sauce over top.
Serves 3-4

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
——————————–

BBQ Chicken Dinner Packets
(Grill recipe or oven)

1/2 C. BBQ sauce
2 c. thinly sliced small red-skinned
potatoes (4-6)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(5 oz, ea)
1 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place
four 18 X 12″ pieces of heavy foil on the
counter – spray each with nonstick cooking
spray.
For Each Packet:
spread a generous tsp. BBQ sauce in center
of foil; place 1/2 C. potatoes in single layer
over sauce – spoon another tsp. sauce over
potatoes. Top potatoes with chicken. Spoon
1 tsp. sauce over each breast & top each
with 1/4th of bell pepper, onion & black
pepper. Bring up short sides of foil & double
fold top – double fold both ends to seal each
packet, leaving space for steam to gather.
Place packets on grill; cover grill & cook
15-20 minutes until chicken is no longer
pink in centers (165 degrees F.) and potatoes
are tender. Carefully open packets – sprinkle
1/4 of cheese on top of each breast. Close
foil & allow to stand 2 minutes until cheese
melts. Serves 4

Oven method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare packets as directed above &
place packets on a shallow pan. Bake
20 minutes until chicken is no longer
pink in center & potatoes are tender.

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
————————————–
Roasted Blue Cheese Potato Salad

1 yellow onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
3 lb. baby red potatoes
3/4 C. diced celery
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray bottom of a baking sheet
generously with nonstick cooking
spray. Evenly spread out onion slices
& potatoes on sheet. Bake 20-25
minutes until potatoes are browned
& tender. Chill immediately.
Dice chilled onions & place in a large
bowl with chilled potatoes, celery,
mayo, blue cheese, basil, salt/pepper –
mix until combined. Serve chilled.
Serves 10

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
——————————

Crockpot Chili Dogs

6 Oscar Mayer Selects uncured
Angus Bun-length Beef franks
1 (15 oz) can chili with beans
6 hot dog buns
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped onions

Place hot dogs in crockpot; top
with chili. Cover & cook on High
1 hour until heated through.
Turn temperature to Low until
ready to serve. Fill buns with
hot dogs; top with chili, cheese
& onions. Serves 6

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
——————————-

Raspberry Lemonade No-bake Pie

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) can frozen raspberry (or any
flavor) lemonade, thawed
1 T. lemon juice (only if you want it
more tart)
4 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 (9 oz) prepared graham cracker pie
crust

Garnish:
whipped cream (or Cool Whip,
thawed)
fresh raspberries

In large bowl mix condensed milk,
Cool Whip, lemonade, lemon juice
(if using), & food coloring. Pour into
(baked/cooled) pie crust & smooth
out top. Freeze 4 hours.

A few minutes before serving:

Garnish with above suggested
garnishes & serve. Serves 8

(recipe: whoneedsacape.com)

=====================

Not much else new around here – husband is
still coughing but isn’t going to the doctor until
next Thursday – we’ll see how that goes.

Babysat my 1 yr old grandson yesterday –
he’s learning new things almost every day
now. As I was getting ready to leave I
pulled my keys out of my purse, looked
over and he’s waving at me like he’s the
Queen of England and saying: “Bye!,
Bye!” I got my son’s attention and said:
“Have you ever seen him do this before?”
Of course, the answer was: “No!” Too
funny – he stood at the door the entire
time I was backing my van out of their
driveway, waving & grinning (of course
I had my window down & was waving at
him, too). Growing up SOoooooo fast!

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

Finally – a day to relax!

It’s been a rather crazy week here – today I’m labeling: “Ping Pong Day!” Lots of emails/texts/phone calls – call a friend, have to email that friend, then text same person – crazy stuff! One person I know had an antique sewing machine & wanted to know if I wanted it (No, BUT . . . I have a friend who collects them so let me give her the information) – that resulted in lots of emails/texts/phone calls . . . sigh (and that was only ONE of the many various situations today! Crazy!

Babysat my youngest grandson yesterday and, once again, managed to screw up their TV (it was too loud, couldn’t find the remote so finally pushed the button on the side of the flat screen – that shut it off but then I couldn’t turn it back on!) Finally located the remote for the sound but that only operates the sound, so we were still without TV. I substituted (as any good Grandma would) by asking “Alexa – play classical music” – that worked out great, the baby loved ‘conducting’ the music with his little green plastic pot, using that as a conductor’s wand!

(blurry photo but you get the idea!)

It was a very long day, as his Mom had to work early hours and his Dad got stuck in a traffic jam – I was there from 8:10 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. – then had to rush home, change my top & drive to my special needs group – WHEW! I slept REALLY well last night! (Good thing today is a ‘do nothing special’ day – right?)

===============

Browned Butter/Cinnamon Rice
Krispie Treats

5 T. butter
10 C. mini marshmallows, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 C. crispy rice cereal (ex: Rice Krispies
or brand equivalent)

Topping:
Line a 9 X 9″ baking pan with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray. In
large saucepan melt butter over medium
heat. Cook butter until it is toasty brown
color. Once butter has a nutty-aroma, lower
heat & add 8 C. mini marshmallows to pan.
Stir frequently until marshmallows have
completely melted and are smooth. Remove
from heat & stir in cinnamon & vanilla. Stir
in cereal – stir to coat. Stir in remaining
2 C. marshmallows – do not mix completely –
you don’t want them to melt into cereal mix.
Press cereal mixture evenly into prepared
pan. In a small bowl mix ground cinnamon &
sugar for a topping – spread on top of cereal
mixture & press down lightly. Refrigerate
at least an hour before cutting & serving.
Makes 12 large bars

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
————————————

Bacon-Tomato Linguine

kosher salt
1 (12 oz) pkg. linguine
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 C. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/3 C. grated Parmesan or
Pecorino-Romano cheese (plus
more for topping)
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. fresh basil, torn

Add kosher salt to large pot of water –
bring to a boil; add pasta & cook as
directed on label. Reserve 1 1/4 C.
cooking water – drain pasta. Cook
bacon in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high until crisp, about 5
minutes. Add tomatoes & shallot –
cook about 5 minutes until tomatoes
start to burst. Pour off all but 2 T.
drippings from skillet. Whisk eggs,
cheese, lemon zest & 1 tsp. pepper
in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in
1 C. reserved cooking water. Reduce
heat to medium-low; add pasta &
toss well. Slowly pour in egg mixture,
tossing, to make a creamy sauce – about
1 minute. Season with salt then add
remaining 1/4 C. cooking water as
needed to loosen. Stir in basil & top
each serving with more cheese &
season with pepper. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————-

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded/chopped
(about 1-2 inch chunks – as well as red
bell pepper)
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb)
cut into 1 inch chunks
3-4 T. olive oil
=
Cooked white rice to serve 6-8
=

Sauce:
1 C. pineapple juice
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 420 degrees F.
Pour as much of the juice from
pineapple into a large glass
measuring cup. Place chicken,
veggies & pineapple chunks in a
large bowl. Drizzle 3-4 T. olive oil
into bowl & toss to coat. Sprinkle
chicken & veggies with garlic salt &
lemon pepper – stir to combine. Line
2 large baking sheets with foil & spread
mixture evenly over sheets. Bake
20 minutes until chicken is cooked
through & veggies are crisp-tender.

(while pans are roasting, prepare sauce)

Sauce:
In a large bowl pour pineapple juice*,
water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce,
chicken bull granules, sugar/brown sugar,
cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger & lemon
pepper – whisk to combine making sure
cornstarch is completely dissolved – pour
liquid into a saucepan & bring to boil over
medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Allow to boil 2 minutes.
When chicken has cooked through & veggies
are crisp-tender, pour 1/3 of sauce over top
of each pan (leaving about 1/3 of it in saucepan
to drizzle over each individual serving). Stir
sauce into chicken & veggies to coat completely.
Bake an additional 10 minutes until sauce
bubbles up a bit & becomes sticky. Serve in
individual bowls with cooked white rice &
additional sauce poured over top.
Serves 6-8

*You should have about 1 C. juice – if you
aren’t quite there, add a bit of water to bring
measurement to a full cup

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.com)
—————————————-

Crockpot Root Beer Pulled Pork
Sliders

2 lb. pork shoulder or pork butt
1 bottle root beer of your choice
1 C. BBQ sauce of your choice
12 slider buns

Place pork in crockpot (you can add
a little salt/pepper, to taste) & pour
the bottle of root beer on top of meat.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours minimal.

Remove pork from crockpot into a large
mixing bowl & using 2 forks, shred meat.
Add 1 C. BBQ sauce to meat & mix well.
Toast slider buns (if you like) & assemble
the sandwiches. Makes 12 sliders

NOTE: You can top these with a slaw if you
like.

(recipe: myrecipemagic.com)
—————————–

Skillet-toasted Corn Salad

1/3 C. + 1 T. olive oil, divided
1/3 C. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked/
kernels cut off
4 red, yellow and/or green bell
peppers, seeded/coarsely chopped
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 head romaine lettuce, cut cross-
wise into 1-inch pieces.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, conbine
1/3 C. oil, lemon juice, sauces, garlic,
salt/pepper – cover & shake well.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet
over medium-high heat. Add corn &
saute 5 minutes until corn is tender &
golden, stirring often. Remove from
heat; keep warm. Combine corn,
peppers & cheese in a large bowl; pour
olive oil  mixture over top & toss lightly
to coat. Serve over lettuce.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
———————————–

Pimento/Cream Cheese
Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos, well drained
3 green onions, chopped
2 T. finely chopped/seeded jalapeno
peppers

Mix all ingredients until blended.
Makes 16 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Winning Apricot Bars

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 C. sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 (10 to 12 oz) jar apricot preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar until
light & fluffy. Beat in egg & vanilla. In a
small bowl, whisk flour & baking powder;
gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing
well. Fold in coconut & walnuts.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray & press two-thirds of dough
into bottom of pan. Spread dough with
preserves; crumble remaining dough over
preserves. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

====================

Spent most of yesterday (besides babysitting)
working on the blue baby blanket – it’s a little
over half done now (Yay!).

Dinner tonight is Enchiladas – we’re down to
one serving of Zucchini Casserole, so it’s time
to cook again. I try to make recipes that will
feed us for more than one meal. Since our
middle son moved back home (and he’s an
‘eating machine’) foods rotate through the
fridge at a faster rate than before – that’s
OK, just keeps me on my toes making sure
there’s leftovers when he gets home from
work (Yes, he can cook but leftovers are
always appreciated).

Hoping you’re having a nice, RELAXING day!

Hugs;

Pammie