Mid-week!

Super cold here and supposed to get to below zero by Sunday – oh, joy . . . we’re supposed to be getting snow in the next few days but it doesn’t say ‘accumulation’ so I’m REALLY hoping it doesn’t stick! Went to Library Knit group this morning and there was a film of ice on the windshield – enough that it had to be scraped before I could drive. Oh well – it’s Michigan – what can I expect at this time of year, right?

Working on 2 baby blankets – one is a combination of pinks (like the ‘blues’ one I did & posted the photo) and the other is a new pattern (to me). I had purchased some very nice, soft dusty pink yarn and had done a good foot or more of another (new) pattern when I discovered I’d made a mistake about 2 inches down. Normally it wouldn’t be a big problem, but this time I did a Yarn-Over – which creates a HOLE (where one was NOT supposed to be!). I decided, instead of taking each stitch off of the needles, one-by-one, I would just remove the needles, unravel the yarn down to that row and resume – HA! WHAT FOLLY! This particular yarn being nice & soft AND SLIPPERY decided it had a mind of it’s own and unraveled ALL OVER THE PLACE – WAY PAST THE MISTAKE, etc! I tried, several times, to get all the stitches back on the needles before finally (in utter desperation) unraveling the entire thing and putting yarn & needles away (for several days). Finally found a different pattern and am (so far) happily creating – we’ll see where this goes! (I remember, many years ago, a knitter friend gifted me an entire bag of this same type of yarn, in at least 6 colors – she said she found it very frustrating because it was so slippery . . . guess I should have learned, right?)

LOTS of great soup/cold weather recipes coming in!

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

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Cookie Layer:
1 C. butter
2 eggs
2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 C. quick-cooking oats

Topping:
1 (12 oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped nuts (poster uses pecans)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl cream 1 C.
butter, brown sugar, eggs & vanilla. Add
flour, salt, soda & oats – mix well then
press into prepared pan. In another bowl
melt 2 T. butter & chocolate chips together.
Add sweeten’d/Cond’ milk, vanilla, salt &
nuts – mix until smooth. Pour mixture
over cookie layer & spread evenly over
top. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool then cut
into bars. Makes 20 bars

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

Crockpot Northern Beans & Ham

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried Northern beans
3-4 meaty ham hocks/shank or meaty
ham bone (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 small onion, diced
(1 pkg. Goya ham-flavored concentrate –
optional)
1 bay leaf
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/3 C. light brown sugar

Sort dry beans for any pebbles – rinse under
cold water. In a large bowl soak beans in water
for 3 hours*; drain & rinse beans.

Add rinsed beans, onion, salt/pepper, bay leaf
& ham shanks/hocks/ham – chopped into large
chunks, to crockpot. Add enough water (or water
& broth) to cover beans by 2 inches (about 6-8
cups) & add Goya ham concentrate, if using. Cover
& cook on High first hour; turn heat to Low & cook
an additional 4 hours (OR) until beans are tender
& a bit creamy. Remove ham shanks or hocks,
pull off all meat. Remove bay leaf & discard;
return meat to crockpot & add brown sugar – stir.
If there is a lot of juice in the beans you can remove
1 C. before adding brown sugar – all depends on how
thick or thin you want the beans to be.

*NOTE: Poster does not soak beans overnight
because she says they cook tender after 5
hours of cooking.

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
——————————

Sauteed Chicken w/Veggies

2-3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into bite-sizes cubes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. chicken broth
8 oz. spaghetti, broken into
small pieces (1 1/2 – 2 inches)
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
plus extra for garnish
2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. squash: zucchini, yellow, etc.,
peeled/cubed

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat. Add chicken, onion, carrots &
garlic – season with salt/pepper & cook
5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
chicken broth & broken spaghetti – stir
to combine & submerge noodles in
broth. Cover with tight-fitting lid,
reduce heat to Low & simmer 5 minutes.
Uncover; stir in Parm. cheese – add broccoli
& squash. If liquid has been absorbed add
a small amount of water or broth. Cover &
simmer 5 minutes until veggies have
reached desired tenderness. Uncover;
sprinkle with additional Parm. cheese &
serve immediately. Serves 6-8

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

Best Taco Mini Meatloaves

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 (12 oz) bag Doritos, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend
cheese
1 (16 oz) jar salsa

Meatloaf Topping:

8 oz. salsa
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place
all meatloaf ingredients in large bowl
& mix well then shape into mini loaves,
the desired size you want, using your
hands. Place loaves on prepared sheet.
Top with meat loaf toppings.
Bake about 30 minutes. (until internal
temperature is 160 degrees F.) (NOTE:
Poster make 7 mini loaves and they
took 30 minutes to bake.)

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

Quick ‘n Easy Ground Beef Stew

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. beef broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 medium unpeeled Yukon Gold/
Russet or red potatoes cut into
1/2 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into small
pieces (about 1 C.)
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Optional serving method:
Can serve ‘as is’ or over
cooked brown rice
=

In large skillet cook beef over
medium-high heat 5-7 minutes
stirring occasionally until thoroughly
cooked; drain. Stir in salt/pepper & flour.
Add mushrooms, cook 3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. In small bowl mix
broth, Worc. sauce, whipping cream &
mustard with a wire whisk – add to
beef mixture. Stir in potatoes, carrots &
zucchini. Reduce heat to Medium-low –
cover & cook 15 minutes until veggies
are tender & sauce is slightly thickened.
If sauce is too thin at end of cooking
time, increase heat to medium-high &
cook, uncovered, a few minutes until
liquid reduces & is slightly thickened.
Sprinkle top with parsley & serve.
Serves 4-5 (see optional serving method
above)

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
————————–

Crockpot Clam Chowder

1 yellow onion, diced
1 C. water
3 medium russet or yellow potatoes,
peeled/cut into cubes
2 (6.5 oz, ea) cans minced clams with
juice
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. cooked/crumbled bacon (poster
used a pkg. of real bacon bits)
3 ribs celery, cut into quarter-inch
pieces
2 C. milk
1 C. Half & Half
2 T. melted butter
1/2 C. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Add onion, water, potatoes,
clams with juice, corn, bacon &
celery to crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 4-6 hours. Place butter,
Half & Half, milk & flour in a
saucepan. Cook on Low & whisk
until it is thick & bubbly. Take
about 1/2 C. of liquid from crockpot
& mix into saucepan then add that
mixture to crockpot & stir. Salt/
pepper, to taste. Cover & cook on
Low an additional 30 minutes.
Makes 8 Cups of soup

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

3-Ingredient Peach Cobbler

1 large can peaches (or 2 smaller cans)
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish pour peaches
including juices. Sprinkle dry cake mix
over top & smooth. Evenly distribute
melted butter on top of cake mix.
Bake 30 minutes

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

1 Banana Peanut Butter Cookies
(small batch: makes 12)

1 C. rolled oats (or quick-cooking oats)
1 ripe banana
1/3 C. smooth peanut butter
1 T. honey
1/3 C. chocolate chips
1 egg
1/2 C. chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl combine all ingredients
with a spoon. Roll mixture into
walnut-sized balls & place on
prepared sheet; mash each
cookie out flat with your hand
or a spoon. Bake 12-15 minutes.
Makes 1 dozen cookies

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)

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

I’m planning on making a batch of
Bean Soup tomorrow – it’s a good
‘stick to your ribs’ meal for cold
weather.

Babysat my almost-2 yr old grandson
yesterday and he makes me laugh. My
throat was dry so I coughed – he said:
“Bless you!” so I said: “Thank you!”
then he said: “You’re welcome!” –
almost made me want to cough again
just to see if he’d repeat it! His Dad
said he can’t believe how much
personality is in such a little body –
he’s a riot – makes me laugh and
laughter keeps me young.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Decorations DOWN – YAY!

My husband helped me take the tree off the baby grand piano; my job was to de-construct it & put it all back in the box. This year I came up with a GREAT solution to the base coming off right during our lifting the tree – happens EVERY year! This year I used Gorilla tape & taped the base to the stand – YES-it worked! I was a bit surprised that the taking-down of all the decorations yesterday went much smoother and faster than putting them all up. All that remains is waiting for youngest son to wake up so I can put the tree & lights away (storage is in his room).

Other things that happened:  Middle son turned 30 yesterday.

(for some reason I did a horrible job of writing this time, but it’s his favorite: double chocolate brownies, so he didn’t care.

Finished the PEACH colored baby afghan for Crisis Pregnancy centers – in the photo it looks kind of pink; couldn’t seem to get the colors adjusted but you get the idea.

I found a circa-1940’s scarf pattern on line and decided it would make a great baby afghan pattern; funny thing is: it seems VERY familiar! It’s VERY close to a scarf/afghan pattern I learned many MANY years ago while working All Nights at the phone company! The pattern I found on line calls for 10 rows – I started on row 10 and really didn’t like how it broke up the flow of the pattern so I did my own ‘adjusting’ – now it ‘flows’ like the pattern above, no breaking up after so many rows! I found a really nice, soft ‘dusty rose’ colored yarn at Meijers so that will be my next ‘new’ project (still working on the ‘use up extra yarns’ afghan – about 3/4ths done with that one).

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

Crackerbarrel Fried Apples

2 C. apple juice, plus 1/2 C. apple juice
4 large Golden Delicious apples,
with peel on, cut into 1/2″ wedges
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple pie spice
4 T. sugar

In medium skillet combine 2 C.
apple juice & sliced apples – simmer
gently until apples are fork-tender
but not mushy, turning apples
frequently. Remove apples from juice
using a slotted spoon & place in an
oven-safe dish. In a blender combine
remaining 1/2 C. apple juice, cornstarch,
apple pie spice & sugar – blend a few
seconds until smooth. Whisk mixture
into hot apple juice in skillet & cook,
stirring constantly on medium-high
heat until it bubbles & becomes
thickened & smooth. Pour thickened
mixture over apples & serve.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
——————————
Crockpot French Onion Soup

3 large yellow onions, sliced thin
3 T. butter
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. garlic, minced
64.5 oz. beef broth (Six 10.75 oz, ea)
cans
1 whole bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
=
6 slices French bread, sliced
1 C. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
=
In medium skillet add butter, sliced
onions & brown sugar – saute until onions
become translucent & caramelized. To
a 4 qt. crockpot (or larger) add onions,
beef broth, garlic, bay leaf & thyme.
Cover & cook 4-5 hours on Low.

To serve:

Turn on oven broiler
Add soup to ovenproof bowls & top with
1-2 slices French bread; top with both
cheeses. Place bowls on a cookie sheet &
place under broiler 1-2 minutes until
cheeses are melted & bubbly. Serves 6

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

Cheesy Ham Bubble Bakes

1 (6 oz) pkg. (Oscar Mayer) smoked
ham, chopped
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can refrigerated buttermilk
biscuits (10 biscuits)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl combine ham & cheese.
Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces & add to
ham mixture – mix lightly then spoon
into muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes until
puffed up & golden brown. Cool 10
minutes before removing from pan.
Serve warm. Makes 8

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

Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict Toast Cups

6 English muffins, split
1 envelope hollandaise sauce mix
12 slices Canadian bacon, quartered
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T. olive oil
6 large eggs
1 T. butter

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin tin cups with
nonstick cooking spray.
Using a rolling pin, flatten muffin halves
& press into muffin cups. Bake until
lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Prepare hollandaise sauce accordg. to
pkg. directions; cool slightly. Sprinkle
bacon with black pepper. In large skillet
cook bacon in oil over medium heat until
partially cooked but not crisp. Remove
to paper towels to drain. Divide bacon
among muffin cups. Wipe skillet clean.

Whisk eggs & 1/2 C. cooled hollandaise
sauce until blended. In same skillet, heat
butter over medium heat. Pour egg mixture
into skillet; cook & stir until eggs are
thickened & no liquid egg remains. Divide
egg mixture among muffin cups & top
with remaining hollandaise sauce. Bake
8-10 minutes until heated through. Serve
warm. Makes 12

Overnight Option:
Refrigerate unbaked cups, covered,
overnight. Bake until golden brown,
10-12 minutes.

Freezer Option:
Cover & freeze unbaked cups in muffin
tin until firm. Transfer to an air-tight
container & return to freezer. To use,
bake cups in tin as directed, increasing
time to bake to 25-30 minutes. Cover
loosely with foil, if needed, to prevent
overbrowning.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————-
Ground Beef Barley Soup

2 qts. water
2 meaty beef soup bones
2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tsp.
beef bouillon granules)
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 C. medium pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled/
diced
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

In large Dutch oven bring water &
soup bones to a rapid boil; add
bouillon. Stir in ground beef in
small amounts – reduce heat.
Cover & simmer 1 1/2 hours until
meat comes off bones easily. Remove
bones. Strain broth; cool &
chill – skim off fat. Remove meat from
bones; dice & return to broth along
with remaining ingredients – bring to
a boil Reduce heat; cover & simmer
about 1 hour or until vegetables are
tender. Serves 10-12 (about 2 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Asian Chicken Thighs

5 tsp. olive oil
5 bone-in chicken thighs,
skins removed
1/3 C. water
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. orange juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
1 T. white vinegar
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. cold water
sliced green onions (garnish)

Cooked rice to serve 5

In large skillet heat oil over medium
heat; add chicken & cook 8-10
minutes per side until golden brown.
In small bowl whisk water, brown sugar,
orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar,
garlic, pepper flakes & 5-spice powder –
pour over chicken. Bring to boil, reduce
heat & simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes
until chicken is tender, turning chicken
occasionally. In small bowl mix cornstarch
& cold water until smooth – stir into pan &
bring to boil. Cook & stir 1 minute until
sauce is thickened. Sprinkle top with green
onions, if desired. Serve with cooked rice.
Serves 5

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————–

Toasted Almond/Coconut Cream
Poke Cake

1 (2 layer size) white cake mix (plus
all ingredients needed on box to make
cake
1 tsp. almond extract
1 box coconut cream instant pudding mix
(use directions for ‘pie filling’)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. toasted coconut
1/4 C. tasted sliced almonds

Prepare cake as per box directions but
add the 1 tsp. almond extract with
wet ingredients. Bake in a sprayed
9 X 13″ baking pan & bake as per
pkg. directions for that size pan.
When baked, remove from oven &
cool 15 minutes. Using the handle of
a wooden spoon, poke holes on top
of cake (about 6 holes across/10 holes
down) with holes about 1 inch apart.
Beat pudding mix & milk in small bowl
1 minute; pour over top of cake & press
mixture into holes. Cover & refrigerate
4 hours (the longer, the better). Frost
top of cake with Cool Whip before
serving & cover top with toasted
coconut & toasted almonds.
Serves 12

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

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

Woke up to a light dusting of frost – it’s all gone
and the sun is shining brightly! LOVE the sunshine!
It always seems to charge my energy and give me
more ‘get up and go’, if you know what I mean!
Tomorrow starts a new week – finally back to my
‘old’ schedule of knit groups, special needs group,
babysitting, church/choir – it’s been a nice, peaceful
time of rest but I’m ready to learn new choir songs,
meet with my knit ladies and get back to ‘my’ normal!

Hope things are going well with you, also!

Hugs;

Pammie

and now it’s SOUP weather!

Our weather has actually been COOPERATING! Very little snow (so far) – the temps are in the mid-30’s which is normal for Michigan in January. Again – I like this weather because I can drive/walk/get around without having to wear boots or worry about slipping (either walking or driving). Tomorrow is our middle son’s 30th birthday – my, how the time flies! I will be making him his ‘favorite’ birthday thing: double chocolate brownies with thick dark chocolate frosting.

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

Crockpot Raspberry/Chocolate
Lava Cake
NOTE:
recipe uses a 2 1/2 qt.
crockpot

1/2 C. butter, sliced
2 (1 oz, ea) squares unsweetened
baking chocolate
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. sugar
1/3 C. + 6 tsp. Seedless Raspberry
jam – divided
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Spray insides of a small crockpot*
with nonstick cooking spray.
In a saucepan over Low heat melt
butter & chocolate; remove from
heat & stir in sugar, 1/3 C. jam,
vanilla & eggs. Add flour & baking
powder – combine well- pour into
prepared crockpot. Dot top with
remaining teaspoons of jam evenly
across the cake. Cover & cook on
High 2-3 hours until cake is set (it
will be a spoonable consistency).
Serve warm with fresh raspberries &
ice cream or whipped cream.
Serves 6

(Optional toppings: fresh raspberries,
ice cream, whipped cream)

*2 1/2 quart crockpot

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

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

1 lb. ground turkey
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 yellow or white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, sliced into quarter-inch
pieces
1 large carrot, grated or sliced
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed/cut
into 1″ pieces
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
6 C. chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. ditalini pasta (or other pasta of
your choice)
2 T. chopped fresh basil

Parmesan cheese, for serving
=
In large pan over medium heat cook
gr. turkey, breaking up with a wooden
spoon. Add salt, basil & oregano, onions
& garlic – brown turkey about 5 minutes
then transfer to crockpot. Add celery, carrots,
beans, both tomatoes, chicken broth, both
beans. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.

NOTE:
If you will be eating all of the soup in one
day, you can add the dry pasta to crockpot
& cook on High until al dente – about 15-20
minutes.

If you will not be eating the entire batch of soup
& will have leftovers, cook pasta on stovetop
until al dente accordg. to pkg. directions – add
a little pasta to each individual bowl (this way
the pasta won’t get totally swollen & absorb
all the broth.
Stir in fresh basil – ladle into bowls & top each
serving with 1 T. shredded Parm. cheese.
Makes 16 Cups
(recipe can be halved)

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
————————————–
White Bean Chicken Chili

1 (48 oz) jar Great Northern beans
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cooked
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Monterey
Jack cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. jalapeno cheese, cubed

Place all ingredients in a large stockpot;
heat over Low heat until cheeses melt.
Stir in up to 1 C. water for desired
consistency; heat until warmed through.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
—————————————
Sausage/Spinach/Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil
8 links Italian sausage (casings removed)
9 oz. fresh spinach
2 (15 oz, ea) cans white beans, drained/
rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 baby carrots, chopped
3 cartons/quarts or 96 oz. chicken broth
1 lb. Cavatappi pasta
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste

grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

In large stockpot heat oil, brown sausage,
breaking up with a wooden spoon as it
cooks. When almost browned, add all
veggies, salt/pepper. Allow veggies to
soften & cook about 7 minutes, stirring
occasionally so nothing sticks. Add tomatoes,
beans, pasta & all chicken broth – stir
to mix well. Add fresh basil & a little more
salt/pepper – bring to a boil. Reduce heat
to Low & simmer about 7 minutes to cook
the pasta.
A few minutes before serving, add all spinach
to pot – stir as it wilts. Serve immediately,
topped with Parm. cheese.

NOTE: If you are making this ahead (or have
leftovers) keep some extra chicken broth on
hand to add as you reheat it, as the pasta will
continue to soak up the liquid the longer
it sits.

(recipe: flavorsbyfour.blogspot.com)
————————————–

Cheddar Cheese Soup

2 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
3 T. butter
4 scallions (include some of green
parts) chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
4 T. flour
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. heavy cream
3 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In large pot melt butter; add
scallions, onion & celery. Cook until
onion softens. Sift in flour, nutmeg
& pepper – cook 2-3 minutes. Gradually
stir in broth – bring to a boil & simmer
15 minutes. Cool mixture slightly; strain
into a bowl & return it to pan. Add the
Half & Half & cream – bring soup just to
a boil. Gradually add cheese, stirring to
melt each batch before adding more.
Return soup to a boil, stirring often.
Taste then add salt & Worc. sauce.
Serves 4

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
————————————
Cabbage & Beef Soup

1 lb. ground beef (lean)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
1/2 medium cabbage, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
3 1/2 C. water
4 tsp. beef bouillon granules
(minced parsley – optional garnish)

In Dutch oven or big pot cook beef
over medium heat until no longer
pink; drain. Stir in remaining
ingredients (except parsley) – bring
to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
1 hour. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serves 12 (3 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Lemon Pudding Bread

1 (18.25. oz) box white cake mix
2 small (4.3 oz, ea.) boxes instant
lemon pudding mix
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
8 oz. (1 C. ) sour cream
3/4 C. milk
6 T. lemon juice

Icing:
1 C. powdered sugar
3-5 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick
cooking spray & lightly flour each
pan. In large bowl using electric
mixer – mix dry cake mix,
pudding mixes, oil, eggs, milk, lemon
juice & sour cream – mix about 2 minutes
on Medium speed – pour batter into
prepared pans.
Bake 50 minutes until a wooden toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool
about 20 minutes in pans before removing
to a wire rack.

Icing:

In bowl combine powdered sugar & (start
with) 3 T. lemon juice – whisk together.
Add lemon juice until you get the
desired consistency that you desire.
Drizzle over cooled bread & let set.
Makes 2 loaves

(recipe: sugar-n-spicegals.com)

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

Hope you are having a good day and
are in good health.

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: I babysat today and now I’m ‘officially’
being called: “Gumma” (he’s almost 2)

 

Nice and quiet – strangely so…

Of all the Christmases I’ve lived through, this had to be the most ‘unusual/quiet’ one I’ve had. Middle son has moved to his girlfriend’s (plus he had to work 2-10 p.m.) so we didn’t see him at all. Youngest spent the entire day & night sleeping! Husband & I had fun in the kitchen cooking; he had the local radio station on so the house was full of ‘fun’ Christmas songs while we peeled & chopped potatoes for his Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Our original time for Christmas Dinner at oldest son’s was supposed to be 3 p.m. but he texted saying they were running late and would we mind if it was 4:30/5 p.m.? NOT AT ALL! Gave us more time! Dinner at their house was VERY small & quiet as well; her parents didn’t come (not exactly sure why – something about their new puppy couldn’t be left alone . . . that was the story at Thanksgiving also – I don’t know, just felt bad for oldest son’s girlfriend, as she would have liked to have her parents there also.) As it was it was his family (4) and husband & I (2) – let’s just say we had WAaaaaaay too much food! I made a huge spinach salad that would have fed at least 8; his Prime Rib was wonderful along with his grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Wine reduction – tons of food and (of course) we all over-ate! LOTS of leftovers for the next few days, for sure!

Lots more recipes to share – I guess I should insert here (as I do every few months) The recipes on my blog (for the most part) are NOT my recipes – at the end of the recipes is the site link for the originator of said recipe. The recipes I post are ones that sound really tasty to me and, hopefully, somewhat easy to put together, too.

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

Cookie Dough Fudge

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 C. mini chocolate chips,
divided
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 1/2 C. white chocolate, melted

Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray & line with
parchment paper. In large bowl using
elec. mixer, beat butter, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Add flour & salt; beat
until combined. Stir in 1 C. mini choc.
chips. In another large bowl mix sweeten’d
cond. milk & melted white chocolate – fold
into cookie dough mixture & pour into prepared
pan – top with remaining 1/4 C. mini choc. chips.
Refrigerate until fudge is firm – about 2 hours.
Remove from pan by lifting edges of parchment
paper then cut into squares. Makes about 15
squares.

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-
Crockpot Potato Cheese Soup
(4 ingredients!)

2 (28 oz, ea) bags frozen Potatoes O’Brien
(shredded/or diced potatoes w/ onions & peppers)
2 (32 oz, ea) boxes chicken broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cut into
chunks.

Place potatoes, broth cream cheese chunks
& soup in crockpot. Stir, cover & cook on High
2 hours (or Low 3 hours). Stir well before
serving. Serves 12-15 (generously)

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

Greek Feta Dip

12 oz. feta cheese
1 C. Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1/4 C. olive oil, plus more
for drizzling
juice & zest of 1 lemon
kosher salt
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. freshly chopped dill,
plus more for garnish
1/2 C. chopped cucumber
1/2 C. halved cherry tomatoes

Pita chips, for dipping

In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
feta cheese, Greek yogurt, cream cheese,
oil, lemon juice & zest until fluffy & combined.
Season with salt & red pepper flakes; stir in dill.
Transfer dip to a serving bowl & top with chopped
cucumber, tomatoes, dill & a drizzle of oil. Serve
with pita chips. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Bundt Cake Breakfast

1 C. cooked/diced ham
2 c. tater tots, still frozen
12 eggs, whisked
1 can (8) Pillsbury Grands biscuits,
diced – still raw dough
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix all ingredients
together & pour into prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes; remove from oven
& lay a serving plate on top of Bundt
pan. Invert pan so that breakfast is
now on the serving plate. Serve warm.

NOTE from poster: you can use any meats
or veggies; the key is not to add too much
bread – tater tots add just the right amount
of potatoes – they shred up & you would
think they were hash browns without making
it dense.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)


Chicken Pot Pie SOUP!

3 chicken breasts, cut into small
chunks
3 carrots, peeled/chopped into
chunks
3 medium potatoes, peeled/chopped
small chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
pinch salt/pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
3 1/2 C. chicken stock OR (3 1/2 C. water +
3 bouillon cubes)
3 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. minus 1 T. flour
1 1/4 C. milk
juice of 1 lemon
1 small bunch fresh thyme

In large pot add chicken, carrots,
potatoes, celery, salt/pepper,
thyme & stock – bring to boil &
allow to simmer 15 minutes –
turn off heat. When nearly cooked,
in another saucepan add butter &
onions – heat on medium heat – cook
5-6 minutes until soft. Add flour into
onions & stir to form a creamy paste,
cook, stirring, 1 minute then add a
ladle of stock from chicken broth
(try to get mostly stock, not chicken/
veggies). Whisk, adding stock, until
you have ladled out most of stock
from chicken pan (leaving chic &
veggies behind). Pour milk into sauce
mixture; heat through while stirring
with whisk. (Sauce should thicken slightly
as it’s heating). Once sauce is almost
boiling (do NOT let it boil); pour it back
into pan with chicken & veggies. Bring
heat to almost boiling & add in half of
lemon juice – stir & taste – add rest of
lemon juice if needed. Season with salt/
pepper & top with a sprig of fresh thyme
before serving. Serves 5-6

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

Cheesy Mushroom & Broccoli
Casserole

3 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 lb. Shiitake or Baby Bella
mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed/drained
2 C. shredded Cheddar-Monterey
Jack blend cheese
3 C. cooked rice
salt/pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Butter a 1 1/8 qt. oval casserole
dish. In large pot, melt 3 T. butter
& flour over medium heat until
golden in color, making a quick
roux. The roux should resemble
the color of peanut butter. Add
mushrooms, onion, garlic, garlic
powder, cayenne pepper, heavy
cream & chicken stock. Add
broccoli, 1 C. cheese & rice.
Season with salt/pepper, to
taste. Pour into prepared dish &
top with remaining cheese. Bake
until cheese is melted & golden,
about 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8

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

Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled/deveined
8 oz. spaghetti, uncooked (or any pasta
you desire)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 medium tomatoes, cored/seeded &
cut into 1″ pieces
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh basil
3 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
pinch red pepper flakes
salt/pepper, to taste

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Heat 1 T. oil in large, deep skillet.
Add shrimp & garlic – cook until shrimp
turns pink. Add tomatoes, basil, remaining
2 T. oil, pepper flakes, salt/pepper. Toss,
gently heating tomatoes but not cooking
them. Remove from heat & toss in cheese.
Serves 4

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

Chunky Monkey Brownies

2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 C.) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. banana (mashed with a fork-
about 1 medium)
10 oz. Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate
baking melts (or 12 oz. semi sweet
chocolate chips)
1/4 C. chocolate chips (for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In a bowl mix butter, eggs,
sugars, salt & vanilla using elec. mixer
until well mixed. Stir with a wooden spoon
to combine:flour, mashed banana & baking
melts/chips; spread into prepared pan &
smooth top evenly Sprinkle choc. chips
on top. Bake 30-40 minutes until lightly
golden brown & a toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean. Cool completely
in pan before cutting into bars.

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

Candied Pecans
(6 qt. or larger crockpot)

2 egg whites
1 T. vanilla
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 lb. whole pecans

In small bowl whisk egg whites &
vanilla until very frothy (may take
a minute or two). In medium bowl
add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt
stir until combined. Place pecans in
a large bowl; pour egg whites over &
stir until pecans are evenly coated. Pour
over sugar mixture & stir until pecans
are coated. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray – add nuts.
Cover & cook on Low for 3 hours,
stirring every 20 minutes. When cooking
time is done, pour nuts onto a baking
sheet lined with waxed or parchment
paper. Cool for 30 minutes before storing
or packaging in bags. Serves 20

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
================

Our weather, once again, is acting very
unlike Winter in Michigan (which I, personally,
am LOVING!) It snowed just a tad yesterday
(Christmas Day) and my oldest son was
ecstatic – he & his oldest son (12) LOVE to go
snowboarding in the winter – however –
the snow all melted! Today it got up to 45
degrees F.!!! YAY! (I’ve lived in good old
Michigan all my life so I KNOW this will
not be the end of snow for us – just hoping
we don’t really bad snowfalls (has happened
in years past) – will just have to wait & see.

Hope your holiday went very well and you
were able to enjoy time with friends/family,
some good food and great company.

Hugs;

Pammie

Aaaand we’re on the ‘Home Stretch’!

Went out bright & early today to FINISH UP the shopping! Our middle son will be turning 30 Jan. 4th and I noticed in an ad for our local store: Meijers, that they had out the movie: “The House with a Clock in it’s Walls” – saw the previews last month and thought he would really enjoy this one, so got it today (along with a big bag of pistachios for my husband’s Christmas stocking). I’ve been going over the ‘food list’ for Christmas dinner and realized I didn’t have any desserts – good old Meijers bakery is GREAT for that so I picked up a really big pumpkin pie and a smaller sliced/variety cheesecake (with flavors like Lemon/Lime, Raspberry Swirl) – that should do the trick.

Going by our local Clark gas station today: $2.09/9 a gallon for gas! WOW! I really don’t remember seeing it that low in many, many years!

I survived my special needs group’s Christmas party Wednesday evening. This is the very FIRST time I have ever finished out the night and my back/legs/feet/hips were good – no pain! When we did the Harvest Party I was almost crawling at the end of the night attempting to walk across the gym for the 1,000th time – I decided NOT THIS TIME! I measured my walking and only did the entire gym a few times – YES! Spent yesterday sitting in my recliner knitting & relaxing – that was really nice.

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

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Cake:
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. orange zest
6 T. orange juice, divided
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. white chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 C.  white chocolate chips,
3 T. orange juice
dash salt


Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan generously with
nonstick cooking spray & dust lightly
with flour (or use spray that also has
flour in it). In small bowl place flour,
baking powder & 1/4 tsp. salt – mix
to combine. In large bowl of stand
mixer add butter, brown & gran.
sugars – beat until fluffy, about 2
minutes. Add eggs – mix 1 minute.
Add orange zest, orange juice & vanilla;
mix until combined. Add dry flour bowl
ingredients to wet & beat 1 minute –
scrape down sides of bowl to ensure
all ingredients are well incorporated.
Add 1 C. white choc. chips & 1 1/2
C. fresh or frozen cranberries – mix
to incorporate then pour into prepared
pan – smooth top evenly. (batter will
be very thick).
Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into middle of cake comes out
clean. Remove from oven & allow to
cool in pan 10 minutes. Place a wire rack
over top of pan, invert pan so that cake
is now on wire rack. Allow cake to cool
completely before adding glaze.

Glaze:
In medium pan on stove: add 1 C. white
choc. chips, 3 T. orange juice & dash salt
– stir over medium-high heat until chocolate
has melted & is smooth – drizzle over cooled
cake. Serves 12

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

Crockpot Chocolate Fudge

10 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet
or milk chocolate)
1 (16 oz.) tub prepared cake frosting
=
Optional toppings:

crushed peppermint candies, chopped
nuts, candy sprinkles, dried fruit,
chopped candy bars
=
Scoop frosting into bottom of 3 qt. crockpot;
add choc. chips & stir to combine. Cover &
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours. While choc.
mixture is cooking, line a 8 X 8″ baking pan
with parchment or waxed paper, leaving
paper on each side overhanging. Once choc.
mixture is melted, stir well to make sure
all is well combine & all chips are melted.
Pour mixture into prepared pan & spread
to smooth top evenly. Sprinkle top with
crushed peppermint candies, sprinkles,
chopped nuts or topping of your choice
(optional), pressing topping lightly with
your hand to make sure it sticks to fudge.
Refrigerate 2-3 hours. Cut cooled fudge
using a sharp knife. Makes 16 squares

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————

Crockpot Green Beans w/Bacon

8 slices bacon, cut into small
pieces/cooked until crispy
2 lb. rinsed/trimmed fresh green
beans
1/2 C. yellow onion, diced/sauteed
with bacon until transparent.
1 potato, diced
1 1/2 C. chicken broth or stock
salt/pepper, to taste

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add green
beans, black pepper, bacon (& drippings)
to crockpot – stir to make sure all are
mixed well. Add diced potatoes & broth/
stock – salt/pepper – to taste*. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4
hours until beans reach your desired
level of tenderness. – adjust seasonings
to your liking & serve immediately.
Serves 8

*Poster says she frequently omits salt as
the bacon gives enough salty flavor.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————

Sausage Cheese Balls

3 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 lb. uncooked bulk pork
sausage
4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2
tsp. dried flakes)

Barbecue or chili sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease bottom & sides of a jelly
roll pan or shallow casserole dish. In
large bowl mix all ingredients except
sauces for dipping, mix using your hands
or a spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch
balls & place on pan. Bake 20-25 minutes
until brown. Immediately remove from pan.
Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Can be made ahead:
Cover & refrigerate unbaked balls up to
24 hours. Bake as directed. Cover & freeze
any unbaked balls up to 1 month. Preheat
oven 350 degrees.

Place frozen balls on ungreased cookie sheet
& bake 25-30 minutes until brown.

Place 6 frozen balls on a microwaveable plate;
loosely cover with waxed paper & microwave
on High 45 seconds to 1 minute until heated
through.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
—————————————–
Ham & Cheese Rollups

1 (8 oz) tube crescent roll dough
1/2 lb. deli sliced ham
2 T. Dijon mustard
8 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
4 T. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. chopped parsley
1 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. On a lightly
floured surface unroll dough &
separate the sheet into rectangles.
Pinch the perforations to seal. Spread
mustard onto each rectangle; top with
sliced ham & cheese. Starting with one
short side, roll up each rectangle, pinching
edges to seal. Cut each roll into 5-6 slices &
place, cut sides up, in baking pan.
In small bowl whisk melted butter, garlic powder
& parsley – brush over pinwheels then sprinkle
poppy seeds on top. Bake 12-15 minutes until
rolls are golden. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
Casserole

12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch
cubes (Italian bread works best)
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cut into
1-inch cubes
1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs, beaten
2 C. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. maple syrup
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 C. water
1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 T. butter

Lightly grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Arrange
half bread cubes in dish & top with cream
cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 C. blueberries over
cream cheese & top with remaining bread
cubes. In large bowl mix eggs,  milk, vanilla &
syrup – pour over bread cubes. Press the cubes
down a bit to ‘soak’ them in mixture. Cover
tightly & refrigerate overnight.

Remove bread cube mixture from fridge
30 minutes before baking.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover,
continue baking 25-30 minutes until center
is firm & surface is lightly browned. In medium
saucepan bring sugar, cornstarch & water to
a boil, stirring constantly – cook 3-4 minutes.
Mix in remaining 1 C. blueberries. Reduce heat
& simmer 10 minutes, until blueberries begin
to burst. Stir in butter & pour over baked
French toast. Serves 16

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

Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 T. butter
1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup,
undiluted
1 envelope Lipton beefy onion soup mix
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen fully-cooked Swedish
meatballs (OR) 1 (26 oz) pkg. frozen fully
cooked homestyle meatballs
2/3 C. sour cream
2 T. minced fresh parsley (or) 2 tsp dried

Hot cooked noodles or mashed potatoes
to serve 10 (Optional)

In large skillet heat butter over medium-high
heat. Saute mushrooms until tender, 4-5
minutes – place in crockpot. Stir in broth,
chicken soup & soup mix – stir in meatballs.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours, until flavors
blend. Stir in sour cream & Parsley. Cover &
cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Serve with cooked noodles or mashed
potatoes to serve 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Cream Cheese Mints

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
7-8 C. powdered sugar (start with 7,
reserve 1 C. for dipping later)
4-6 drops peppermint oil
(food coloring, if desired)

In large bowl place cream cheese, butter
& peppermint oil – using elec. mixer,
beat until fluffy. Add 7 C. powdered
sugar & beat again until dough is like
in consistency. It will seem stiff & dry at
first but after a minute or two it will
come together. (you can add coloring
at this point, if desired.) (If it’s too dry
to form balls after you’re done mixing,
add 1 T. milk & mix again.) Form into
small 1 inch balls & place on waxed paper.
Roll each ball in powdered sugar &
flatten slightly with your fingertip/
a fork/back of a spoon/bottom of a
glass or a tiny
seasonal pastry stamp. Allow mints
to dry a few hours before storing. If
they will be eaten in a day or two, you
can leave them out in an airtight
container – for longer storage, place
in fridge. Makes about 80 1-inch mints.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
==================

I’m thrilled our weather is still ‘good’ – today
it’s kind of misty/foggy & gloomy with temp.
at 38 degrees F. Looking at our weather
for the next week there are a few hints of
snow, but nothing showing any accumulation
so we can just hope it melts! (even Christmas
Day it says “chance of snow after 1 p.m., mostly
cloudy high near 34”. If we stay that way I’ll be
happy – Why, you ask? Because you can WALK,
DRIVE, TRAVEL
without worrying about slipping,
falling or getting into an accident when your car
slides on the roads!

Stay safe, warm and REMEMBER TO REST WHEN
YOU CAN!
If you ‘over-do’ it, you won’t have the
energy you need to get all your ‘stuff’ done! (that
is spoken from great experience in that area!).
I have babysitting at 1 p.m. today and have been
rejoicing in that TODAY is the only day I’ve had to
do that this week! YAY! (Don’t get me wrong – I
love my baby grandson but I also love my OWN
time) – at least I get a lot of knitting done when
sitting! (but then, I usually come home really
tired, so glad dinner is something simple:
steak & eggs – found 3 nice steaks on sale so
dinner will be easy!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Starting “The List”

As the days draw closer to Thanksgiving I’ve started thinking about Christmas gifts – not an easy task. I’ve been cruising Amazon & managed to order a few things but some of the people on my list are rather difficult to buy gifts for – they either HAVE everything they want OR they are so brand-specific it gets ‘muddy’ trying to come up with something they’ll like – WITHOUT RESORTING TO JUST GIVING A GIFT CARD! Know what I mean? Yes, I ‘could’ knit/crochet something but that, in itself, takes time. Am thinking about knitting more spa cloths for oldest son’s girlfriend (did that last year & she really liked them) but, again, TIME crunch! How are YOU doing on you list? Started yet? I noticed in my email “In” box that two gifts I ordered have arrived – YAY – it’s a start! Baby grandson is another one that’s hard to buy for: other grandma practically buys out the store when it comes to his gifts. I’m not one to compete with anyone, just want to get him something – am thinking of going clothes, simply because he has TOO MANY toys already! (He’s only 1 1/2 and she’s already bought him tons of toys for 4 & 5 year olds! His closet is FULL of toys he’s never even played with yet, not counting his room floor is covered with toys that were too old for him – like puzzles – the pieces are scattered everywhere – he’s TOO YOUNG! UGH! (Ah, the plight of a grandma . . . sigh).

Babysat yesterday for 9 long hours – managed to finish TWO baby blankets – YAY! Am looking at starting a new scarf with a pattern I haven’t done in a good 10 years+ – the pattern is either called: “Ball Band” or “Mosaic” – uses two yarns together to make what looks (to me) like bricks:

Not the best photo but you get the idea. I remember I was really struggling with how to knit this pattern when a good (expert knitter) friend said: “Here – it’s EASY – you just do this!” and she was right. Now remembering that 10+ years later resulted in me checking videos on YouTube but once I saw it done, it’s a snap! Think it would make a nice scarf pattern (although it takes awhile to knit – we’ll see).

LOTS OF HOLIDAY RECIPES!!! GOTTA SHARE!

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

Upside-down Cranberry Pecan
Cinnamon Rolls

1 (13.9 oz) tube Pillsbury cinnamon
rolls (with icing) any flavor (poster
liked the orange ones best)
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. light or dark brown sugar
1/4 C. chopped pecans
4 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl stir together brown
sugar & butter – spread in bottom of
a ungreased* 9″ cake pan – sprinkle
top with cranberries & pecans. Open
rolls & arrange in pan over cranberries/
nuts. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly
browned on top. Remove from oven &
turn upside-down onto a large serving
plate – do not remove pan. Let stand
5 minutes before removing pan. Place
cinnamon roll icing in a plastic bag &
knead until warm & pliable. Cut corner
off bag – drizzle over rolls.

*you don’t need to grease pan BUT it
does need to be nonstick

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

Turkey Meatloaf

3 C. chopped yellow onions
(2 large)
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
or (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C. chicken stock

1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
5 lb. ground turkey breast
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 C. ketchup

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In medium pan over medium-low
heat, cook onions, olive oil, salt/pepper &
thyme, about 15 minutes. Add Worc. sauce,
chicken stock & tomato paste – mix well &
allow to cool to room temp. In large bowl
combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs
& onion – mix well & shape into a rectangular
loaf on an ungreased sheet pan; spread ketchup
evenly over top. Bake 1 1/2 hours until internal
temp. reads 160 degrees F. & meatloaf is cooked
through (Placing a pan of hot water in oven
under the meatloaf will prevent the top from
cracking). Serve hot, at room temp. or cold in
a sandwich. Serves 8-10

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————-

Bacon-wrapped Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans
10-12 slices thick-cut bacon
(poster used regular bacon)
2 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Wash &
thoroughly dry beans then season
with salt/pepper. Bundle together
5-8 beans (depends on size of beans &
amount of beans you got for one lb.)
Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around
the center of the beans to hold them
together – lay them seam-sides down,
in baking dish – repeat with remaining
beans & bacon. Heat a small saucepan
over Low heat; add butter, brown
sugar & garlic – whisk until butter melts.
Using a pastry brush, brush mixture over
top of each bundle. Cover with foil &
bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake
10-15 minutes longer (NOTE: poster
said it took more like 25 minutes for her
to get the bacon somewhat crisp – she
still ended up putting them under the
broiler to crisp up the bacon).
Poster noted it made 10-12 bundles

NOTE: Poster noted that the beans are
cooking in bacon fat – next time she
plans on cooking them in a roasting pan
& using a wire rack so that the beans still
get the juices of the bacon but the majority
of the fats will drip down into pan.

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

3-Ingredient Cranberry Salad

2 (15 oz, ea) cans whole cranberries in
sauce
2 (14 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 C. chopped walnuts

Mix ingredients together – Makes
about 8 servings

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

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/
Honey & Cinnamon

4 sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into
1″ cubes
1/4 C. olive oil, plus more for
drizzling
1/4 C. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
salt/black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay sweet potatoes out in a single
layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle oil,
honey, cinnamon, salt/pepper over
potatoes. Roast 25-30 minutes until
tender. Remove from oven & transfer
to a serving platter. Drizzle with more
olive oil. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————–

Maple Crockpot Ham

4-6 lb. fully cooked bone-in ham
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Remove
ham from pkg & discard any flavoring
packet. Check end of bone for a
plastic cap (if present, discard). Using
a sharp knife, score skin & fat of ham
about 1/8 inch deep by making cuts
about every 2 inches all the way across
the ham (this allows flavor to more easily
penetrate into the ham while cooking) –
place ham in crockpot. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High (or 5-6 hours on Low)
until meat is tender in internal temp.
reaches 140 degrees F. Baste once with
juices in crockpot. (do not baste repeatedly
as removing the lid from the crockpot drops
the temperature & increases cooking time.)
Remove ham to a serving platter or cutting
board. Tent with foil to keep warm & allow
it to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
If desired, drizzle a tiny bit of warm maple
syrup over ham slices for an added touch
of maple.

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

Lovin’ Onions Casserole

1 T. butter
7 onions, coarsely chopped (about
7 C.)
1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
1 T. jarred jalapeno peppers, drained/
chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium-high heat, melt
butter – add onions & saute about
10 minutes until softened. In medium
bowl combine flour, salt/pepper. Add
1 C. of each cheese; mix well. Add
jalapeno peppers (if using) & cooked
onions – mix well & pour into prepared
dish. Combine remaining cheese &
sprinkle evenly over top. Bake 30
minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————-

Eggs Benedict Casserole
(1 hour or overnight)

1 (12 oz) pkg. English muffins,
cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (6 oz) pkg. Canadian bacon,
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. shredded Muenster
cheese
8 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (.9 oz) pkt. hollandaise sauce
mix, prepared accordg. to pkg.
directions
1 T. chopped chives

Spray a 3-quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
half the muffin pieces, half bacon
& half cheese in dish – repeat
layers one more time.
In medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt/
pepper – evenly pour over casserole &
cover with foil. Refrigerate at least
1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake casserole (foil covered) 30 minutes.
Remove foil & bake 20-25 minutes until
eggs are set. Warm hollandaise sauce in
small saucepan & drizzle over casserole.
Sprinkle top with chives & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust (homemade or
store-bought) chilled
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On floured surface roll out chilled
pie crust using a floured rolling pin.
Lightly flour the inside of a 9-inch
pie pan then transfer pie dough to
pie pan. Lightly flour inside of the
dough, fold over the edges &
refrigerate while you make the
filling.

Filling:
In medium saucepan melt sugar,
corn syrup & butter until sugar is
no longer grainy. Dissolve cornstarch
in water & whisk into sugar mixture.
Remove mixture from heat & stir in
vanilla & cinnamon. In medium bowl
whisk eggs then whisk 2-3 T. of sugar/
corn syrup mixture into the eggs. Whisk
egg mixture into remaining sugar/corn
syrup mixture. Spread pecans in bottom
of pie dough then pour filling mixture
over top. Bake 50-60 minutes, place a
piece of foil (or a pie shield) over top
after about 30 minutes to prevent the
crust from burning. Allow pie to cool
& set at room temp. at least 4 hours
before serving.

NOTE:
Store pie at room temp. 1-2 days or in
fridge up to 4 days. Baked & cooled
pecan pie can be wrapped tightly &
frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in
fridge overnight before serving.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

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

Weather-wise we’re doing pretty good –
temps in the mid-30’s/cloudy (gloomy) &
80% chance of snow (but only less than
1/2 inch possible). Rest of the week it’s mid-
30’s & tiny chance of snow Monday but the
week looks pretty clear (of snow) so that’s
a good thing for those who might be traveling.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is slowly getting whittled
down to (maybe) 7  – that means cooking smaller
amounts of side dishes (which is good). Still not
exactly sure ‘what’ side dishes but will probably
be the ‘same old/same old’ (Green Bean Casserole,
Wild Rice stuffing, Husband’s Garlic Mashed
potatoes and ??? desserts. It’s getting harder to
fathom all the carbs due to me trying my hardest
to lower my blood sugar levels AND/lose weight
(good thing: as of yesterday I’m down 10 lbs.) and
sugar #’s are good – now just have to keep it up.

Hope your Holiday plans (if you’ve started) are
going well. Stay WARM and safe – try to do something
today (even if it’s something little) for yourself:
Take a nap, read a book, have a cup of your favorite
hot beverage – SOMETHING!

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Winter is DEFINITELY here!

We’ve had snow now TWICE, each time around an inch – first time it melted right away but now? Nope. It’s a ‘balmy’ 25 degrees F. out there – got out my heavy winter jacket & also zipped my winter liner in my Sunday trench coat. Gloves & scarves out – I’m ready . . . I think.

New surprise – our local gas prices are down to $2.49/9! Can’t remember when I’ve seen anything below $2.59/9 so this is great (except when it hit $2.59/9 Sunday I filled up – so hope it stays that low for awhile!).

Went to my library knit group this morning and we were all chatting about how many Christmas gifts we’re creating. I thought I was good on that one (none!) but the other day I got to thinking about middle son’s new girlfriend (she’s not only naturally gorgeous but she’s got this ADORABLE personality – I loved her immediately!) – so guess who’s knitting a pair of oatmeal-colored cabled boot toppers now . . . hehehe. Still have the two red scarves to make red/white fringe for; still working on the two baby blankets and then I got the idea to knit another ‘quick’ scarf, so there’s that as well (good thing with that – it’s just a 1-skein wonder and I’m almost done with it – homeless/kids scarf). Yes, I know – I’m ‘nuts’ but I get bored just knitting one thing so I let my creativeness kind of wander a bit .

Went shopping at Meijer the other day SPECIFICALLY because they have (Meijer brand) young turkeys on sale for $. 37 a lb – got home after $100 – something purchases only to realize I totally forgot about the turkey! Good thing their sale is still on – got a 13.5 lb. turkey for $5.00! With my oldest (the chef) doing all holiday dinners at HIS house (and he buys the meats) this one will be perfect for just husband, middle son & me. I learned, last year from Oldest son’s girlfriend’s Mother, to prepared another dinner THE DAY AFTER for just us – that way we have lots of leftovers! WIN/WIN! I babysat my sweet 1 1/2 yr old grandson all day yesterday after they got back from a week’s vacation to Myrtlebeach S.C. Since he & his family are SO BUSY lately I tried to make a ‘bargain’ with him: Middle son works until 8 p.m., other grandparents won’t be able to come but for around an hour, our youngest won’t be coming – could we please SKIP the dinner this year & just focus on Christmas dinner? NOPE – he’s the chef & he’s COOKING! Oh well . . .

My sweet grandson 1 1/2 yrs old

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

Crockpot Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
4 large eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

In bowl mix pumpkin, evap. milk,
eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice & salt-
pour into bottom of crockpot & spread
evenly. Evenly sprinkle dry cake mix
on top. Pour melted butter evenly over
top of dry cake mix then sprinkle top
with chopped pecans (if using).
Cover & cook on High 2 hours.
Serves 10

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

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

3 sweet potatoes (medium, scrubbed
clean)
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Cut sweet potatoes in half then
cut each half into 4 equal sized
wedges. Arrange wedges on a
rimmed baking sheet & drizzle
with olive oil. Sprinkle with
salt, pepper & chili powder –
toss to coat well with oil &
seasonings. Roast about 25
minutes until potatoes are
browned, crispy on the outside
& fork-tender on the inside.
Remove from oven & serve.
Serves 6

(recipe: addapinch.com)
——————————–

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash (medium, about 1 lb)
1 T. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces,
room temp.
salt/pepper
2 tsp. dark brown sugar (or packed light)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven.
Cut squash in half lengthwise & scrape
out seeds (using a spoon). Cut a small
slice off the rounded side of each half
to help them lie flat. Using your fingers,
butter each half with 1 piece butter then
season generously with salt/pepper. Divide
sugar & remaining butter pieces evenly
among the 2 squash halves. Place halves,
cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake
45 minutes to 1 hour. Serves 2

(recipe: chowhound.com)
————————————-
Stuffing w/Sausage, Cranberries & Apple

8-10 C. bread, cubed*
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1 onion, diced
1 C. celery, chopped
1 1/2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 T. fresh sage, chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 C. dried cranberries
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 C. fresh parsley, chopped
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 C. turkey or chicken
stock (or broth)
8 T. butter, melted/divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cubed bread in large baking sheet
& bake 5-10 minutes until dried out. In
large skillet brown sausage – remove
from skillet, leaving 1 T. of grease in
skillet. Add onion, celery, rosemary,
sage, thyme, salt/pepper to skillet &
cook over medium heat, stirring
frequently, until onions are translucent.
Place dried bread crumbs in very large
bowl. Add sausage, onion/herb mixture
apple, cranberries, eggs, 2 C. stock/broth
& 4 T. melted butter – mix until combined.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Place stuffing mixture into
pan & press down lightly. Cover with foil
& bake 45 minutes. Remove stuffing from
oven & remove foil. Check consistency of
stuffing – add additional stock as needed &
drizzle with remaining 4 T. melted butter.
Return stuffing to oven, uncovered, &
continue baking 15-25 minutes until
stuffing is lightly browned on top. Top with
additional fresh herbs, if desired, & serve
immediately. Serves 12

*Suggested breads to use: Ciabatta, Sourdough,
French

(recipes: momontimeout.com)
———————————————

(I thought this one sounded interesting for a

savory side dish)

Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding

6 C. (1/2 inch diced) bread cubes
from a rustic country loaf, crusts
removed
2 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
2 oz. pancetta*, small dice
4 C. sliced leeks, white & light
green parts (4 leeks)
1 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms,
stems trimmed & 1/4″ sliced
1 T. chopped fresh taragon
1/4 C. medium or dry sherry
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1/3 C. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 extra large eggs
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 C. chicken stock
1 1/2 C. grated Gruyere cheese
(6 oz), divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread bread cubes on a sheet pan
& bake 15-20 minutes until lightly
browned. Heat oil & butter in a large
saute pan over medium heat. Add
pancetta & cook 5 minutes, until
starting to brown. Stir in leeks &
cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes
until leeks are tender. Stir in mush-
rooms, tarragon, sherry, 1 T. salt &
1 1/2 tsp. pepper – cook 10-12
minutes until  most of liquid evaporates
stirring occasionally. Turn off heat;
stir in parsley. In large bowl whisk eggs,
cream, chicken stock & 1 C. Gruyere.
Add bread cubes & mushroom mixture,
stirring well to combine. Allow to stand
at room temperature for 30 minutes to
allow bread to absorb the liquid. Stir
well & pour into a 2 1/2 to 3 qt. dish.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese &
bake 45-50 minutes until top is browned
& custard is set. Serve hot.
Serves 8-10

*Pancetta is an Italian bacon

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken

3 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 4)
1 (16 oz) jar salsa verde (mild)
1/2 C. water

Place chicken in crockpot; pour
salsa & water over top. Cover &
cook on Low 4 hours (thawed chicken)
to 8 hr. (frozen).
Remove lid; using tongs, move chicken
to a cutting board & shred then stir
back into crockpot. Serves 10

NOTE: Can be used in tacos, burritos,
quesadillas, over cooked rice, in salads
or plain.

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
———————————-
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 –
stir until completely mixed together.
Fold in Cool Whip & raspberries (Raspberries
will soften while salad sets). Add marsh-
mallows & mix together. Cover & refrigerate
30  minutes (this will allow the raspberries
to soften). Fold salad with a spoon several
times after removing from fridge – raspberry
juice will spread throughout the salad.
Serves 15

(recipe: sugar-n-spicegals.com)
====================

Am still working at lowering my blood sugar
levels before reporting back to the doctor in
mid-December. I’ve mostly been cutting out
lots of carbohydrates/sugars and substituting
LOTS of water and vegetables. I’ve gone from
185 to 176.4* and the last time I tested my
blood in the morning it was 101!!! I don’t
remember EVER having a morning number
that low! YAY!!! Really hoping that my total
A1C (that’s the total of your blood numbers
for 3 months) comes back lower – that’s my
whole goal. Yes, it will make the holidays
more difficult eating-wise, but if I just stick
to what I started I should be OK – we’ll see!

*I should add I haven’t been doing any
exercise – I KNOW that if I did, it would
be lower – just been too lazy.

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Obligations

Our weather is definitely gone to COLD! Last night was the first of several ‘obligations’ I have this week: oldest (12) grandson’s last football game. We haven’t attended any this year (husband is not into football and sitting on bleachers); last night I rode with oldest son, his girlfriend, the baby & my middle son. Let’s just say: I forgot to bring a cushion for the bleachers – my butt FROZE! It was REALLY windy and around 43 degrees – NOT FUN! They lost 6-0 but we went to Culver’s for dinner and finally warmed up. I’m not into football, either, so spent most of the time keeping the baby amused (and his hands warm).

Today and tomorrow are babysitting; Weds. Knit Library in a.m., babysitting during day & Friends group that evening. Friday is my special needs group’s Harvest Party – lots of fun but also LOTS of activities helping the kids with games, serving food, etc. Saturday evening is a yearly obligation to attend a fund raiser for a former telephone company employee – her son was in college and due to join the Olympic team in archery when he died of a brain tumor. Each year his family holds a fund raiser dinner (great food) and has lots of various items for auction/silent auction to raise money for the college Archery team. We like going because we get to see some of the people we used to work with (my husband & I both worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Co. back in the day). Something tells me I’ll be MORE than ready to rest come Saturday!

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

 

Iced Pumpkin Bars

4 large eggs
1 2/3 C. sugar
1 C. canola oil
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
2 C. flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking  powder
1 tsp. salt

Icing:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. cream or Half & Half

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil & pumpkin
until well blended. Combine flour,
cinnamon, baking powder, baking
soda & salt; gradually add to pumpkin
mixture – mix well. Pour into ungreased
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan. Bake 25-30
minutes until set. Cool completely.

Icing:
In small bowl beat cream cheese, powdered
sugar, butter & vanilla. Add enough cream to
achieve spreading consistency – spread over
bars. Cut into bars & store leftovers in fridge.
Makes 16 bars

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

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

1 lb. mild ground Italian sausage
2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) carton unsalted chicken
stock
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/3 C. cold water
1/3 C. cornstarch
2 C. shredded, smoked Cheddar cheese

In Dutch oven cook sausage, mushrooms &
onion over medium-high heat until sausage
is no longer pink & vegetables are tender,
8-10 minutes, breaking up sausage into
crumbles; drain grease. Add garlic; cook
1 minute. Add stock, pumpkin, sugar &
seasonings – bring to boil. Reduce heat –
cover & simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream.
In small bowl mix cornstarch & water until
smooth – stir into pot & bring to boil. Cook
& stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add
cheese – cook & stir until melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Spinach & Artichoke Chicken
Skillet

1/4 C. flour
salt/ground black pepper
4 (6 oz, ea) boneless skinless
chicken breasts
4 T. vegtable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into
chunks
1 C. Half & Half
1 (5 oz) pkg. baby spinach
(about 4 C.)
1 (14 oz) can artichoke
hearts drained/quartered

Cooked rice to serve 4
=
Whisk flour, 1 T. salt & few
grinds pepper in a pie plate or
shallow dish. Coat both sides of
chicken in seasoned flour & shake
off any excess. Heat 3 T. oil in large,
heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-
high heat. Add chicken & cook,
(undisturbed) about 4 minutes until
deeply golden, without turning. Remove
chicken to a plate; add remaining 1 T.
oil to skillet & cook onion about 5
minutes, stirring occasionally, until it
begins to soften. Add garlic & cook,
about 30 seconds, stirring. Add cream
cheese & stir until melted. Pour in
Half & Half – use a wooden spoon to
scrape up any brown bits from bottom
of skillet – season with salt/pepper. Add
chicken back to skillet, seared side up.
Reduce heat to medium; cover & cook,
turning chicken about half-way through
cooking time until fully cooked (12-14
minutes) and a thermometer inserted
into thickest part of chicken read 165
degrees F.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter;
add spinach to sauce in skillet; cover
& cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Stir in artichoke hearts & cook until
heated through, about 1 minute. Season
with salt/pepper – pour creamy sauce
over chicken & serve with cooked rice.
Serves 4

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

Crockpot Lentil Stew

1 yellow onion, diced
1 C. green or brown lentils
3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 T. tomato paste
1 large carrot, diced
(optional: 10 oz. beef smoked
sausage, sliced into quarter inch pieces)

Add all ingredients to crockpot – stir a bit.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours until lentils
are tender. Remove lid; add salt & pepper to
taste & serve. Serves 6

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

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Beef/Cheese

6 large green peppers
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz)

1/2 C. long grain rice (you can use
any rice, but it might affect cooking time)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut tops off green peppers – discard
seeds & membranes. Chop enough of
the tops to make 1/4 C. Cook whole
green peppers, uncovered in boiling
water about 5 minutes – invert to drain
well. Sprinkle insides of peppers lightly
with salt. In a skillet cook gr. beef, onion &
1/4 C. chopped pepper until meat is
browned & veggies are tender; drain.
Add drained tomatoes, salt, Worc. sauce
& dash of black pepper to mixture.
Cook rice according to pkg. directions –
cook until soft. Add rice to beef mixture.
Stir in cheese. Stuff pepper insides with
meat mixture & place in 10 X 6 X 2″ baking
dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. During last
5 minutes add any remaining cheese to top
of peppers. Serves 3

NOTE: You can also cut a small slice off
bottom of peppers to help them stand up.

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
—————————————

Mama’s Banana/Pecan French Toast

1/2 C. Half & Half or milk
4 eggs
pinch salt
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 thick slices egg or potato bread
2 bananas, sliced
1 C. chopped pecans

Maple syrup – for serving
=
Lay out a few large sheets of
waxed paper on the counter

In large, shallow bowl mix Half & Half,
eggs, salt, powdered sugar & vanilla –
mix well. Dip only one side of one
piece of bread into batter – place
dipped slice, batter side down, onto
waxed paper – layer the top of that
slice with bananas.
Dip a second slice of bread into batter
on both sides; place on top of banana
layer (making a sandwich). Place nuts
on a small plate. Remove ‘sandwich’
from waxed paper & place on top of
pecans, pressing down lightly to help
stick them into bread – flip sandwich
over & repeat.
Heat 1 T. of oil in small skillet over
medium-high heat. Place sandwich in
skillet & cook until lightly browned on
both sides – repeat with remaining
slices to make 2 more sandwiches.
Serve with maple syrup. Serves 3
(makes 3 sandwiches)

(recipe: www.southernplate.com)
===================

Hope that you are in good health; my days
are so mixed up I’m still thinking we’re in the
‘weekend’!

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

Happy Saturday!

Well, Fall is now here – it’s in the high 40’s & mid-50’s this coming weekend/week. Leaves are falling off the trees in droves and it was on the weather forecast last night for a frost – yep, cold times are coming soon.

Today is a ‘free’ day for me – that means I don’t have anything specific I have to do. That also means I usually FIND things to do, like run the dishwasher, mop floors, catch up a few rows (at least) on each knit project. Speaking of that, I’m about 4 inches from finishing the ‘pinks’ baby blanket (will post photo when I’m done), mid-way on a chocolate brown (homeless) scarf and started another baby blanket yesterday in pale shades of rose, white, chocolate ice cream brown (looks pretty, doesn’t sound so good when I describe it). Also decided to try a recipe I’ve wanted to try for years: Blackbean Quinoa Salad. The recipe is my friend, Laura’s – she used to make it regularly for our Knit/Crochet Movie Night. I really like it – it’s kind of addicting – makes you want more. (The one problem with quinoa – it fills you up quickly – if you drink lots of water with it you feel like you’ve just eaten an elephant!). Great STUFF! We’re having that with broiled salmon; my husband makes a grumpy face whenever I mention trying quinoa, so he’ll be having a baked potato (he doesn’t like to, as he calls it, “experiment” with his food.)

===========

Black Bean/Quinoa Salad

1 C. (dry) Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can whole kernel corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced

Dressing:
Equal parts:
olive oil
lemon juice
yellow mustard
salt & pepper

Start out with a few Tablespoons
of each & increase to 1/4 C. of each,
depending on how dry you like it

Cook quinoa in 2 C. water accordg.
to pkg. directions. Drain (or make sure
water has cooked out). Place in bowl
with remaining ingredients; pour
dressing over top & mix well.

Tastes best if refrigerated several hours.

(recipe: my friend Laura)


Pumpkin Pecan Baked Oatmeal

3 C. old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray. In
large bowl combine oats, baking
powder, pie spice & salt. In another
bowl combine brown sugar, milk,
pumpkin, vanilla & eggs – mix well.
Stir wet mixture into dry just enough
to get it moistened. Fold in pecans,
reserving 1 T. for top. Pour mixture
into prepared pan & sprinkle top
with reserved pecans. Bake 35-40
minutes until golden brown & set.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: southernbite.com)
————————————–
Beer Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. beer
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Beat cream cheese, dressing & beer
in medium bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Stir in cheese & onions;
refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. Makes 15 servings (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
——————————

Chicken/Zucchini/Tomato Bake

3 C. crusty rustic bread, cubed
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into 2″ pieces
3 medium zucchini, cut into 2″ cubes,
about 2 1/2 lb.
1 (10 oz) pkg. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 C. jarred piquante peppers, drained-
mild or hot
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh basil, coarsely chopped-
do not chop ahead

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place fresh bread cubes in a food
processor & pulse until bread is reduced
to a large crumb (it’s ok if there are a
few large pieces – don’t get the crumbs
too smal). Toss crumbs in a bowl with
1/4 C. olive oil, salt & pepper – lay out
on a sheet tray & bake about 20
minutes, flipping once during baking &
remove when pieces are slightly golden &
crispy. In large skillet heat 1 T. oil over high
heat; once oil is shimmering & starting to
smoke, add chicken pieces & sear on both
sides, about 3 minutes, total. (they will
still be raw in center). Place chicken in a
large bowl with zucchini, tomatoes, peppers,
garlic, basil, oregano, salt/pepper & Parm.
cheese – toss to combine. Pour mixture into
a 9 X 9″ casserole dish & bake, uncovered,
20 minutes. Remove pan, chop basil & top
casserole along with toasted bread crumbs.
Bake just until zucchini is cooked through,
about 5 more minutes. If zucchini still
needs more time, consider covering with
foil so bread crumbs don’t get too dark.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Zucchini & tomatoes will give up
liquid while baking. To serve, use a slotted
spoon & avoid serving the liquid.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
————————————

Cheesy Crockpot Ziti

2 (24 oz, ea) jars Ragu Six Cheese sauce
(or any sauce you like)
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz) container Greek Yogurt cream
cheese
Italian seasoning
1 (1 lb) box uncooked ziti (pasta)
shredded Parmesan cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray; turn heat
to High. In bowl mix Greek yogurt
cream cheese, ricotta cheese &
about 2 T. Italian seasoning (it will
be a bit lumpy). Spread 2 C. Ragu
sauce on bottom of crockpot then
place 1/3 of uncooked ziti on top.
Drizzle about 1/2 jar tomato sauce
on top of ziti. Dollop 1/3 of cheese
mixture over ziti & lightly spread.
Cover that layer with shredded
Parm. cheese – repeat this 2 more
times: layering pasta/sauce/cheese.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 – 3 hours
until pasta is done. Serves 8-10

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

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
(with Bacon & Pumpkin Seeds)

3 acorn squash
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled & left whole
3 sliced thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar

(Optional garnishes)
Parmesan cheese, shredded
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Slice each squash
length-wise end-to-end; scrape
seeds from each half, discard seeds.
Drizzle 1 T. oil over insides of squash
halves & season with salt/pepper.
Place each half, cut sides down, on
sheet. Wrap garlic in foil & place on
sheet with squash. Roast squash/garlic
1 hour until softened & beginning to
collapse (squash). Remove from oven &
allow to cool. When cool enough to handle,
scrape flesh from squash & place flesh in
large bowl with garlic cloves. Place a Dutch
oven or soup pot over medium-high heat &
add diced bacon – saute until crispy, about
5 minutes; remove from pan & place on
paper towels to drain. Spoon out extra fat,
leaving about 1 T. in pot. Return to heat; add
onion & cook 3 minutes until translucent. Add
broth, a little at a time, scraping up any brown
bits on bottom of pot. Add squash, garlic, ginger,
sage, cayenne & allspice – bring to boil then
simmer 5 minutes. Place soup in a blender, in
batches (or use an immersion blender) – be
careful of hot soup – it can blow the lid off a
blender if filled too full. Stir in cream, Wors.
sauce & vinegar- bring back to a simmer. Add
salt/pepper to taste & serve with your choice
of toppings. Makes 12 servings

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

Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Filling:
6 medium apples (Honey Crisp or Gala),
peeled/sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 small (1.5 oz) box raisins
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. honey

Topping:
1 C. quick oats
3 T. brown sugar ( not packed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 T. butter, melted

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine apples, raisins,
cinnamon, honey & lemon juice – sprinkle
with cornstarch & toss until fruit is coated.
Place in ungreased baking dish – cover with
foil & bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Mix topping ingredients & sprinkle over
fruit. Bake 1 hour until topping is golden
brown & fruit is tender. Serves 8

(recipe: www.skinnytaste.com)

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

Tomorrow I have Sunday School snack duty;
after church my SS class is going to have a
class dinner. Our teacher asked me to just
bring ‘something light’ as they are going to
have dinner & desserts later.  Yeah, right –
‘something light’? Not everyone in our
class goes to the dinner (my husband doesn’t
like to hang around after, so we don’t go plus
church gets out around 12, dinner around
12:15 – around 2 p.m. & I have to be back
for choir practice at 4:45 (about 20 minute
drive from our house to church). Choir
practice then evening church means I get
home around 7:20 p.m. – makes for a VERY
long day (easier to just skip the dinner). Anyway –
I digress – ended up buying a lemon Bundt cake,
a Red Velvet cake roll and some powdered
sugar doughnut holes – LIGHT? Guess not BUT
my thinking was: if you only had a small slice
of cake or a few doughnut holes, it wouldn’t be
THAT bad, right? Oh well – whatever is left
over will definitely be eaten at my house, so
no worries!

Hope you’re having a good day!

Hugs;

Pammie

GORGEOUS WEATHER!

Not exactly sure if this is “Indian Summer” or not, but yesterday, today and tomorrow are supposed to be very SUMMER-LIKE weather. Yesterday we got up to almost 80 degrees F. and today (at 12 noon) it’s already 78 with a high expected of 82! YAY! LOVE this weather! Babysat all day yesterday (10:30 – 5:30) and go again at 2 to probably around 6:20 (have Knit/Crochet Night tonight so really hoping to get off at around that time). Older grandson has football practice which gets off at 6 p.m. & his dad has to pick him up, hence the guessed time for me being done. The baby is getting into learning more words; he can say Cracker, Please, Thank You and more. Yesterday, totally out of the blue he said; “Hello, Momma!” exactly like an adult would including inflections! I was floored! Cracked me up! He’s now 19 months.

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

Pumpkin Cider Poke Cake

Cider Filling:

1/2 gallon fresh apple cider
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Cake:

(butter to grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish)
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (15 oz) can 100% pure pumpkin
1 C. canola oil
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 C. powdered sugar

NOTE:
Before you start the cake:
Pour 1/2 gallon cider into a 4 qt.
non-stick pot & bring to a boil –
boil until reduced to one cup –
about 45-50 minutes. It will be
thick & syrupy. Once reduced to
1 C., stir in butter, brown sugar,
vanilla, cinnamon & pumpkin pie
spice. Remove from heat.

While cider is cooking down:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In bowl
of stand mixer with whip attachment,
beat eggs until pale in color, 1-2
minutes. Add sugar & beat until light
in color, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla, pumpkin
& oil – beat until combined, scraping sides
& mixing again. In medium bowl, add flour,
baking powder, baking soda, salt,
cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice – hand
whisk to combine. With mixer running,
slowly add flour mixture – scrape bowl &
whisk one last time; pour mixture into
prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes*.
Just before cake comes out of oven, reheat
filling. Remove cake from oven & using
hand of a wooden spoon with skinny
handle, poke a few dozen holes in cake top
then pour over hot filling. (Most of filling
will seep into cake, some will sit on top).
Cool then refrigerate cake to cool
completely.

Once completely cooled, prepare frosting:

Place cream cheese & butter in bowl of
mixer with paddle attachment – beat to
incorporate. Mix in vanilla & salt. With
mixer running on Low, slowly add in
powdered sugar – scrape bowl & mix
again until completely creamy & smooth.
Spoon all of frosting onto cooled cake &
smooth with spatula. Cut into 12, 18 or
24 pieces. Cake can be served or
refrigerated until ready.

*The batter cooks up so moist that the
toothpick test doesn’t work. Cake needs
the entire 35 minutes cooking time,
rotating the pan half way through.

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

Crockpot Tuscan Tortellini Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern white
beans, drained/rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 T. Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (can be frozen)
1 C. Half & Half, warmed
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (18 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini
3 C. baby spinach

Place onion, garlic, broth, tomatoes,
beans, bay leaf, Italian seasoning,
salt/pepper & chicken to crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Remove lid & stir in warmed Half &
Half (so it doesn’t curdle). Remove
chicken from crockpot & shred or
cut into bite-sized pieces then add
back to pot. Stir in Parm. cheese,
tortellini & spinach. Cover & cook
on High about 20 minutes or until
tortellini are cooked through. Discard
bay leaf; taste & adjust seasonings
(salt/pepper) as needed.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
——————————-
Easy Sweet & Spicy Chicken

1 (20 oz) can unsweetened pineapple
chunks, undrained
1 1/3 C. orange marmalade
1 C. picante sauce
1 tsp. chili powder, divided
1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless
chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large green pepper, cut into
1″ pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. canola oil

Hot, cooked rice to serve 6
Minced, fresh cilantro – garnish

In a bowl combine pineapple, marmalade,
picante sauce & 1/2 tsp. chili powder.
Sprinkle remaining chili powder over
chicken. In large skillet saute chicken,
green pepper & onion in oil until chicken
juices run clear. Reduce heat; add pine-
apple mixture & cook until heated through,
2-3 minutes. Serve with cooked rice &
cilantro garnish, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————–
Pork with Squash & Apples

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (about
2 large cloves)
2 T. chopped fresh sage
2 (1 lb, ea) pork tenderloins,
trimmed
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cooking apples, peeled/cut into
1/2 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″
pieces
1 T. honey mustard
1 sprig fresh rosemary
5 T. unsalted butter, cut into
pieces

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place a long sheet of foil on counter.
Mix nutmeg, 1 tsp. garlic & the
sage in a bowl – rub mixture over
pork & season with salt/pepper.
Toss squash, apples, onion,
remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic, honey
mustard, salt/pepper to taste, in a bowl;
spread mixture onto foil sheet. Add
rosemary & 3 T. butter. Bring ends of foil
together & crimp to seal into a packet.
Place packet on a baking sheet.  Poke holes
in packet to release steam;  roast
on upper rack until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-
high heat. Add remaining 2 T. butter & brown
pork on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add 2 T.
water & scrape up any browned bits from pan.
Transfer skillet to lower oven rack & roast about
15 minutes, until thermometer reads 150 degrees F.
Transfer meat to a cutting board & let stand 5
minutes. Return skillet to medium heat; add 1/2
C. water, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer
2 minutes. Slice pork & drizzle with pan juices.
Serve with squash & apples. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————————
Sweet Potato/Beet Hash

1 large sweet potato, peeled/
cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 large fresh beet, peeled/cut
into 1/4″ dice
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt/black pepper
1 slice bacon, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, diced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Toss cut sweet potatoes &
beets with olive oil & season
with salt/pepper – place on baking
sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes until
vegetables are golden, stirring
every 10 minutes. In a medium
skillet over medium-low heat,
add bacon & cook until bacon is
crispy. Add onions & season with
salt – continue to cook until onions
start to caramelize & turn golden,
about 10 minutes. Add roasted
sweet potatoes & beets to pan;
stir to combine, cooking another
5 minutes. Taste & adjust seasoning,
if necessary & serve immediately.
Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————-

Garlicky Feta Dip

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. Greek plain yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh dill (or to taste)
1 T. lemon juice plus lemon zest to top
kosher salt/black pepper – to taste
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes,
(optional topping)
fresh herbs, to top
olive oil – for drizzling on top

pita chips, pretzels, bruschetta or crackers,
for dipping

In bowl of food processor or blender
combine feta, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic,
dill & lemon juice – season with kosher salt/
black pepper – blend until well combined.
Taste & adjust salt/pepper, to your taste.
When well combined, scoop into a bowl &
top with lemon zest, tomato, pinch crushed
red pepper flakes, fresh herbs & a very light
drizzle of olive oil. Chill 1 hour.
Serve cold. Serves 4-6

(recipe: hostthetoast.com)
——————————

Crockpot Cinnamon-Raisin
Bread Pudding

4 C. cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted &
cubed
2 eggs
3/4 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. milk, heated to boiling & cooled
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt

garnish – whipped cream

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & add
bread cubes. In a bowl, beat
eggs & sugar; whisk in remaining
ingredients (except garnish). Pour
over bread cubes, mixing well &
pressing down so bread will soak
up milk mixture. Cover & cook on
Low 6 hours. Spoon into individual
bowls & serve warm topped with
whipped cream. Serves 8

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

Hope you are able to enjoy the last vestiges
of our Summer weather – when the sun is
shining it lifts my spirit and makes me smile.

Hugs;

Pammie