Very Quick Post

The next two days I will be babysitting my 2 1/2 mo. old grandson for 8 hours + so will not have time to blog; am attempting to throw together a quick one for you.

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Tropical Jell-O Pretzel Salad

Crust:
2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. sugar

Filling:
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
(do NOT drain)
1 (3 oz) box Coconut Cream pudding
mix
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed*

Topping:
1 (3 oz) box orange Jell-O
1 C. boiling water
3 (11 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine crushed
pretzels, sugar & melted butter in
pan – gently stir to combine &
spread around pan evenly. Bake
10 minutes & cool completely.
Pour entire can of crushed pineapple
(with juices) in a medium bowl;
sprinkle coconut pudding mix on top
& stir until completely incorporated.
Fold in Cool Whip & transfer to dish,
spreading on top of baked pretzels,
making sure to reach all edges.
Refrigerate while mixing Jell-O.
Combine 1 C. boiling water with
box of Jell-O; stir until completely
dissolved – let stand 10-15 minutes
until Jell-O cools slightly. Pour on top
of pineapple layer. Arrange mandarin
orange slices to cover entire surface.
Cover & refrigerate at least 3-4 hours
until completely cooled & set. Cut
into squares to serve & refrigerate
leftovers.

*You can substitute 2 C. whipped
cream in place of Cool Whip

(recipe: butterwithasideofbread.com)
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Easy Pork Chop Casserole

4 pork chops (or chicken breast
or thighs)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (can
also use cream of celery or chicken)
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 C. rice
2 C. water
1/2 C. frozen peas
1 C. broccoli pieces
paprika – to taste
seasoning salt – to taste
garlic powder – to taste
black pepper – to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix soups, water & rice in a small
bowl & pour into a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Add vegetables & mix to combine.
Place chops on top of mixture & season
with spices recommended then cover
with foil. Bake 60 minutes until chops
are cooked through. Remove foil &
return to oven to bake 15 minutes
more – just to brown top a bit.
Serves 4

(recipe: learningtheropesonerecipeatatime.)
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Hot Broccoli/Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 C. sour cream
1 envelope dry Italian
salad dressing mix
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed, well drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese, sour cream &
dry dressing mix in large bowl
using elec. mixer until well
blended. Add broccoli & 1 1/2
C. Cheddar, stir in gently. Spread
mixture into a 9 inch pie plate.
Bake 20 minutes then sprinkle
top with remaining Cheddar cheese.
Bake 5 minutes more until cheese
is melted. Serve with crackers for
dipping. (Makes 32 servings, 2 T.
each)

(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
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Saucy Foil-Pack BBQ Ribs
(grill)

3/4 C. BBQ sauce (your choice)
2 T. orange marmalade
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
4 lb. Pork baby back ribs

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Mix BBQ sauce, marmalade &
pepper sauce until blended. Place
half the ribs in single layer in
center of large sheet of heavy-duty
foil. Bring up long sides of foil;
double fold both short ends of
foil to seal, leaving top open.
Add 1/4 C. water (or 1 ice cube)
to packet through top opening.
Double fold top to seal packet,
leaving room for heat circulation
inside. Repeat with remaining
ribs. Grill 45 min – 1 hour until
ribs are done. Remove ribs from
foil packets; return ribs to grill;
brush with BBQ sauce mixture.
Grill 15 minutes, turning &
brushing occasionally with
remaining sauce. Serves 8

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
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Easy Baked Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 eggs beaten with 1/2 C.
milk
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Panko or regular bread-
crumbs
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. minced fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together in
large bowl. Form into golf ball-
sized meatballs & place on a
baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
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Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

2 large chicken breasts (or 4 small)
3 T. Italian seasoning
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
6 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. olive oil
3/4 C. bread crumbs
1-2 eggs (poster used 2 medium)
salt/pepper, to taste

Optional: angel hair pasta

Add 2 T. olive oil to bottom of crockpot.
In small bowl whisk eggs until beaten.
In medium bowl add bread crumbs, Parm.
cheese, pepper/salt – stir until combined.
Dredge chicken in egg mixture, then in
bread crumb mixture, coating both sides
of chicken – place chicken in crockpot. In
medium bowl stir tomato sauce, Ital.
seasoning, salt, sugar, gran. garlic & onion
powder – pour over chicken. Layer mozz.
cheese on top; add more cheese if you
want. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours
until chicken is done. Serve with cooked
pasta of your choice – garnish with more
cheese, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: adashofsanity.com)
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Puff Pastry Bacon Twists
(appetizers)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. (2 sheets) puff
pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 medium fresh jalapeno, seeded/
minced (2 T.)
1 heaping Cup Pepper Jack cheese,
shredded
12 strips bacon (3/4 lb)
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay 2 sheets pastry on cutting board
with long end running left to right
& brush lightly with beaten egg.
Sprinkle 1 T. minced jalapeno over
each sheet. Divided shredded cheese
between each sheet, covering the
surface right to edges. Using palm of
your hand, press cheese into pastry
so it holds in place. Take back side
of dough & fold over to meet the
edge closest to you & pinch the seam
closed. Pat top so the top & bottom
adhere to each other. Using a sharp
knife or pizza cutter, cut in half,
front to back then cut each half in half
then each quarter into thirds. You will
have 12 folded half inch strips – repeat
for second sheet. Line 2 sheet pans with
foil then place a baking rack on each.
Spray racks with nonstick spray. Twist
each piece of dough strips two full
turns & place back on board. Cut each
piece of bacon in half (long way) so
you have 24 long strips. Take each
pastry twist & wrap each with a long
strip of bacon – place back on board.
In small bowl mix brown sugar, coriander
& cumin – stir to combine then pour onto
a plate or platter. Roll each bacon wrapped
pastry in mixture & place 12 on each racked
sheet pan. Bake 25 minutes, rotate pan &
bake another 25 minutes. (Ovens vary
in heat so check for doneness at 40 & 45
minutes – poster’s took exactly 50 minutes)
Cool on rack & serve. Makes 24

(recipe: afamilfeast.com)
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Creamy Roasted Tomato/Bacon Dip
(uses oven & grill)

1 lb. bacon
1 C. diced onion
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans (Hunts) Fire
roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 (8 oz) tub softened whipped
cream cheese
1 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Romano cheese, grated
1 baguette
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook bacon until crisp – reserve
2 T. bacon fat (discard rest) Cut
cooked bacon into small pieces or
crumble by hand.
Reheat 2 T. bacon fat over medium-
high heat & add onions – cook 3
minutes then add garlic. Cook 1
more minute then add both cans
tomatoes (with juice) as well as
all spices. Stir once then place pan
in oven & roast 30 minutes, stirring
once halfway through cooking time.
Remove from oven & lower oven
heat to 375 degrees F.
While tomatoes are roasting, mix
cream cheese, Colby & Romano
cheeses in medium bowl – mix in
all but 1/4 C. crumbled bacon. Pour
roasted tomato mixture in a casserole
dish & spread cheese/bacon mixture
on top. (does not need to be spread
to edges) Bake 45 minutes uncovered.

While mixture is baking, slice baguette
in half then slice into half-inch slices.
Brush both sides with oil & grill on a
ribbed grill pan a few minutes on each
side. Remove dip from oven, sprinkle
top with rest of crumbled bacon &
serve with toasted baguette slices.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
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Crockpot Baked Beans

2 (28 oz, each) cans Bushs
original baked beans
1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
drained
7 slices bacon, cooked/sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
2 T. mustard
1 (1 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 T. hot sauce (optional)

Pour all ingredients into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours (Try
not to open lid during cooking time)
Serves 10+

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
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Spicy Caramel Frosted Brownies

1 C. butter, melted
2 1/4 C. sugar
1 1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
5 eggs
1 T. vanlla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 1/2 C. flour

Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large microwave-
safe bowl melt butter. Stir in sugar
until shiny; stir in cocoa powder,
salt & baking powder; combine
completely. Stir in eggs, one-at-a-
time, mixing well after each addition.
Add cinnamon & espresso powder
(if using). Slowly mix in flour,
stirring until smooth & completely
combined; pour into prepared pan.
Bake 28 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean and edges have set. Let cool
completely in pan.
Frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-
low heat. Stir in brown sugar & milk, stirring
to combine. Remove from heat. When
cool, stir in vanilla & chili powder. Whisk
in powdered sugar until fluffy & smooth –
spread over cooled brownies.

(recipe: lemonsforlulu.com)

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Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we had
16 lovely ladies – one of which was my good
friend Mary (Momma); she came at the behest
of another mutual friend and former co-worker
at the Telephone Company we both worked at
many years ago. It was great seeing those two
ladies be able to catch up on their lives. I guess,
if I had to give a reason why I started & run my
knit group, the fact that people can get together
& enjoy each other’s company while working on
a craft (knitting or crochet) they both like is the
basic reason. Meeting new friends, learning new
ideas/tips/techniques are also mixed up in there
somewhere, too. Our group now ranges in age
from Katie, age 10, to one of our older ladies (right
now I’m not exactly sure who tops that group) but
the top age is somewhere around 85 (might be
higher, I’m not sure).  It’s great to see all of them
happily chatting away while also working on
something they brought – makes it all worth it!

Our gas prices are ‘dancing’ again: were $2.59/9
then went to $2.53/9 (I filled up) – a little later that
same day they dropped to $2.49/9 – ugh…

Still fighting the “creeping crud” I have; broke down
& went to doctor’s Monday (constant coughing,
really raw throat,feels like it’s in my ears, fatigue,
tons of sleeping with really strange dreams) –
both doctors checked me out & said it’s not Strep
(which is why I went, since I do babysitting – didn’t
want to pass that on). Ended up saying they both
think it’s something seasonal –
take an antihistamine, use a throat spray, Ibuprofen
for pain (no it’s not in my ears) – SIGH! Basically – go
home – it will eventually go away…SIGH! Oh well,
I tried. Tried sucking on a Cepacol lozenge – YUCK!
Yes, it kind of numbed my throat but the taste was
not worth the effort. I babysit the next two days
so hoping I have the strength/energy for that –
we’ll see. It’s not as busy this week as last, so
that’s good.

Hoping you are in good health and able to
enjoy this time of year. Our weather is a bit
on & off between warm (in 70’s) then back
to 50/60’s & cloudy with some rain. I know
it will eventually even out – I’m just glad it’s
not really hot (as son’s house I babysit at
does NOT have air conditioning!).

Hugs;

Pammie

Crazy-busy but I survived!

2 days of 8-hours each day babysitting & I survived! He’s almost 3 months now & lots of fun – sure is getting chubby, but crawling should change that.

Like I mentioned, it’s been a really busy week, just got home from the Youth Pastor’s wife’s baby shower – along with the knit blanket, a hard-backed baby book & diapers I also included a hat, pair of 3-6 mo. booties, & 3 toddler headbands:

They received lots of great gifts (some very nice crocheted items, also!)

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Gas prices have stayed ‘up’ some this week: now at $2.59/9 (I only got 1/4 tank, hoping it will go down soon)

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Along with all the busy-ness & ‘fun’ I managed to pick up some sort of ‘bug’ – just leaves me feeling a bit tired, HUGE headache and sore throat, followed by coughing – fun…sigh. I’m taking the extra vitamins (AirBorne) & Zinc, hoping it will go away soon.

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Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Crust:
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted
butter, diced/room temp
1/3 C. granulated sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt

Filling:
2 C. freeze-dried strawberries
(from a 1.2 oz. bag)
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. flour
3/4 C. lemon juice (from
6-7 lemons)
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted
butter, melted

powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil, overlapping a 2″ overhang
on two sides. Spray foil with
nonstick spray.

Crust:
Combine flour, butter, sugar,
cornstarch & salt in food
processor; pulse until dough
comes together (about 1 minute).
Press dough evenly into pan
bottom & bake until crust is
golden at edges & pale golden
in center & firm – about 30
minutes. Remove from oven &
cool on wire rack. Reduce oven
temperature to 300 degree F.

Filling:
Place strawberries in clean
food processor bowl; pulse into
a powder. Whisk eggs, egg yolks,
sugar & flour in a medium bowl
until smooth. Whisk in lemon
juice, strawberry powder & melted
butter. Pour filling over warm crust
& return to oven. Bake until filling
is just set – 30-35 minutes. Cool
bars on wire rack 30 minutes. Use
the foil overhangs to lift bars from
pan & place on a baking sheet.
Refrigerate until firm, at least
1 hour. Peel foil from bars, trim
edges & cut into 24 bars. Dust
top with powdered sugar & serve.

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
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Waffle Crab Cakes

9 oz. lump crab meat, shell
pieces removed
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs, plain
1 large egg, beaten
1 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped chives
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/8 tsp. paprika
few dashes Tabasco sauce
(Optional)
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
(4 lemon wedges – garnish,
optional)

In large bowl combine Panko,
eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon, parsley,
lemon juice, Tabasco, salt/pepper –
mix well then fold in crab meat
carefully, being careful not to over
mix. Gently shape into round, flattened
patties using your hands, about 1/2 C.
each – makes 4 patties. Heat waffle
iron to High then spray with nonstick
cooking spray. Place one pattie in
center of iron, close gently & cook
until the edges are golden, about
2 1/2 – 3 minutes. Serve with lemon
wedges, if desired.  Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
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Turkey Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground turkey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro or
parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 large sweet red bell peppers,
washed
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. tomato sauce
1 1/2 C. cooked brown rice
6 T. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray nonstick cooking spray
in medium skillet & heat on medium.
Add onion, garlic & cilantro – saute
about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey,
salt, garlic powder, cumin & cook 4-5
minutes until meat is completely
cooked through. Add tomato sauce,
1/2 C. chicken broth – mix well &
simmer on Low 5 minutes. Combine
cooked rice & meat mixture. Cut
bell peppers in half lengthwise &
remove all seeds & membranes.
Spoon 2/3 C. meat mixture into
each pepper half & place in a 9 X 13″
baking dish. Top each with 1 T. cheese.
Pour remainder of chicken broth on
bottom of pan. Cover tightly with
foil & bake 45 minutes. Carefully
remove foil & serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
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Baked Chicken Parmesan

4 chicken breasts (about 8 oz,ea)
sliced in half to make 8
3/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter, melted (or olive oil)
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese
1 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet lightly
with nonstick spray. Combine
breadcrumbs & Parm. cheese in
a bowl. Lightly brush melted
butter on chicken then dip into
Parm. mixture & place on baking
sheet – repeat with rest of chicken.
Lightly spray a little more oil on top
of chicken & bake 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, spoon 1 T. sauce
over each piece of chicken & top
with 1 1/2 T. shredded mozz. cheese.
Bake 5 more minutes until cheese
is melted. Serves 8

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
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Crockpot Cheesy Scalloped
Potatoes with Ham & Corn

2 lb. yellow potatoes, thinly
sliced into quarter-inch rounds
salt/pepper
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. milk
8 oz. (2 C.) shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn,
drained
1 lb. cubed/cooked ham

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place sliced potatoes in bottom
of crockpot; lightly salt/pepper them.
In saucepan over medium heat melt
butter then stir in flour, salt/pepper.
Add milk all-at-once & cook, stirring
constantly, until mixture thickens
& bubbles. Remove from heat &
add 1 1/2 C. cheese; whisk until
smooth-pour mixture over potatoes.
Gently stir in corn & ham; coat
potatoes evenly with cheese sauce
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 8 hours
until potatoes are soft. Sprinkle
remaining cheese on top of casserole,
let cheese melt then serve. Serves 8

NOTE: Poster used a 3 quart crockpot

(recipe: 365daysofslowcooking.com)
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Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

1 lb. penne pasta
2 tsp. salt
1 C. Caesar salad dressing
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. lemon juice
6 C. Romaine lettuce,
finely chopped (about 1
head)
1 (10.5 oz) container grape
tomatoes
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese,
finely shredded
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. cooked chicken, diced or
shredded
salt, to taste

Bring large pot of water to boil; add
salt & pasta then stir to prevent
sticking. Return water to boil then
reduce heat to medium-low. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions until
tender but still slightly firm (al dente).
Drain then immediately rinse under
cold water to cool pasta & stop
cooking; drain completely. Using a
very large bowl, add Caesar salad
dressing, Worche. sauce, garlic powder
& lemon juice – stir to combine. Add
chopped Romaine, grape tomatoes,
Parm. cheese, pepper & drained
pasta – stir until ingredients are well
coated. Add diced/shredded chicken then
toss to distribute chicken evenly through
salad. Season with salt/pepper, if
desired. Serve immediately or cover &
chill until ready to serve. Serves 10

(recipe: everydaydishes.com)
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Strawberry Icebox Cake

3 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (14.4 oz) box Honey Graham
crackers
3 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip,
thawed

NOTE: Each layer uses about
1 lb. sliced strawberries and
one entire tub of Cool Whip
(besides the first thin layer)

Spread a thin layer of Cool Whip on
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan, just
to coat the bottom. Layer 5 graham
crackers across center of pan, then
2 more, breaking them as needed to
fit around the top & bottom edges.
Spread a thick layer of Cool Whip
(just use remaining Cool Whip from
first tub) over grahams & top with
a hearty layer of sliced strawberries.
Repeat layers a total of 3 times,
finishing with layer of strawberries.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or
overnight until graham crackers have
softened completely. Serve chilled.
Serves 16-20

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

German Pancakes w/Buttermilk
Syrup
(also called Dutch Babies)

Pancakes:
6 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. butter, melted

Syrup:
1 1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. buttermilk*
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. corn syrup (light)
1 T. baking soda
2 T. vanilla
(powdered sugar,
optional – for dusting)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine eggs, milk, flour & salt
in blender & process until smooth.
Pour melted butter into an ungreased
9 X 13″ baking dish; pour in batter.
Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes
until browning begins.

Syrup:
In medium saucepan combine sugar,
buttermilk, butter, corn syrup & baking
soda; bring to boil & continue boiling
7 minutes. (It may foam up & boil
over – don’t worry). Remove from
heat & stir in vanilla. Dust pancakes
with powdered sugar & serve
immediately with syrup.

*If you don’t have Buttermilk:
pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 1 C. measuring cup;
pour in milk to reach the 3/4 C.
mark. Stir with a fork & let stand
5 minutes – now you have buttermilk!

(recipe: highheelsandgrills.com)
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Cheese Puffs
(appetizer)

1/2 C. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 C. grated cheese
1 C. self-rising flour
3 diced strips bacon
1 small onion, diced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl mix egg & milk;
mix in rest of ingredients. Line
a baking tray with parchment
paper & drop large teaspoons
of mixture onto tray. Bake
25 minutes.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
———————-

Chocolate Chip Fruit Dip

1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub whipped cream cheese
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

sliced fruit, cookies, or crackers for dipping

In medium bowl combine yogurt, cream
cheese, brown sugar & vanilla – mix well.
Stir in choc. chips & serve immediately
(OR) refrigerate in air-tight container
2-3 hours. Refrigerate leftovers Serves 4-6

NOTE: chocolate chips will soften & melt
after about 1 day in fridge

(recipe: myfearlesskitchen.com)

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

Our weather this past week has been really
nice, in the 70’s most days (today it’s over-
cast & cloudy, so 62). Looking at the next
few days, looks like showers are in our
view & 60’s for temperatures. I still LOVE
seeing all the flowers & trees in bloom!

Hope you’re having a good week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Monday!

So cute I couldn’t resist: May 13th – “Dance like a Chicken Day”! (I love Sandra Boynton’s drawings!)

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – I hope those of you who are mothers or grandmothers had a very nice day. I babysat Friday and when my oldest son got home from work he asked if I would like to go out for brunch Saturday (to avoid the crowds Sunday) – I said Sure! I met him at the restaurant he’d picked, along with his girlfriend & our 2 1/2 mo. old grandson. While we were chatting he told me he’d also invited my other two sons  – I was super surprised! I told him I’d probably fall off my chair if they, indeed, came – to my surprise, THEY DID! Middle son brought his new girlfriend – we had a wonderful, fun time (husband chose not to attend – he hates what he calls ‘made up’ holidays – read that: anything other than Easter & Christmas – maybe Thanksgiving – says they’re all invented to bring in money to candy/card/& flower companies – ugh!). Yesterday I decided that I was going to do something for me: I made my favorite dessert (I had posted it in an earlier blog but realized yesterday that I might have left out the ‘where to use’ part of one ingredient, so I’ll re-post today.)

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

In my original posting I left out WHERE to use the cornstarch

Strawberry Heaven Dessert

1 angel food cake
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip,
thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced*
3 T. cornstarch
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. water


In medium saucepan combine 1/2 C. , sugar, cornstarch,
Jell-0, lemon juice & water. Cook over medium heat,
stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil & thickens;
set aside to cool slightly. When cooled, stir in sliced
strawberries. Tear angel food cake into 1 inch pieces
& toss in a bowl with 2 C. Cool Whip. Press mixture
into bottom of a CLEAR 9 X 13” baking dish
(so you can see the layers). Combine cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar & vanilla in bowl using elec. mixer; beat
until smooth then stir in remaining Cool Whip &
spread evenly over cake layer. Poor cooled strawberry
mixture over cream cheese layer & spread to
cover top evenly. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.
Serves 12

*You can substitute 1 (16 oz) bag frozen whole
strawberries, thawed & chopped, for fresh
strawberries

NOTE: I’m considering trying this using
blueberries & ‘Berry Blue’ Jell-O – you
could (I’m guessing also do this with
raspberries & raspberry-flavored Jell-O


Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skillet

1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
with tails on

Sauce:
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
4 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce

Combine sauce ingredients &
divide in half. Marinate shrimp
using half of sauce, 15-30 minutes
(discard marinade). In large skillet
over medium heat, sear shrimp in
some oil – sear on both sides in
2 batches until browned, about
1 minute per side. Using tongs, rub
shrimp in caramelized bits on
bottom of pan. Serve hot drizzled
with remaining sauce. Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.co)
———————————

Oven-baked Green Tomatoes

1 C. cornmeal
1 T. dried dill weed
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
5 medium green tomatoes,
thinly sliced

Pr3heat oven 325 degrees F.
Lightly spray a medium baking
sheet with nonstick spray. In
small bowl combine cornmeal,
dill, salt/pepper. Dip tomato
slices into mixture, coating
both sides & arrange in single
layer on prepared sheet. Bake
45 minutes until crisp & brown.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
———————-

Hamburger Steak, Onions & Gravy

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/4 C. bread crumbs
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. vegetable oil
1 C. thinly sliced onion
2 T. flour
1 C. beef broth
1 T. cooking sherry (or can
substitute water)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

In large bowl mix ground beef, egg,
bread crumbs, pepper/salt, onion
powder, garlic powder & Wors.
sauce; form into 8 balls & flatten
into patties. Heat oil in large skillet
over medium heat. Fry patties &
onion in oil until patties are browned,
about 4 minutes per side. Remove to
a plate & keep warm. Sprinkle flour
over onions & drippings in skillet;
stir in flour with a fork, scraping
bits of beef off bottom as you stir.
Gradually mix in beef broth & sherry;
season with seasoned salt. Simmer &
stir over medium-low heat about 5
minutes until gravy thickens. Turn heat
to Low, return patties to gravy, cover
& simmer another 15 minutes.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
———————————-

Crockpot Minnesota Pork
Chop Casserole

1 1/2 lb. pork chops
2 T. oil
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of
mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
1/2 C. minced onion
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 C. Minute brown rice
1/2 C. wild rice

In medium bowl mix soups, chicken
broth, mushrooms, onion, pepper,
thyme, garlic, Minute brown rice &
wild rice. Place a large skillet on the
stove over medium-high heat. When
skillet is hot add oil. When oil is hot
brown chops on both sides (don’t
have to fully cook, just brown). Spray
crockpot insides with nonstick spray &
add rice mixture. Lay browned chops
on top, cover & cook on High 3 1/2
hours. Serves 4

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

Asparagus ‘Fries’

1 bunch asparagus
cooking oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 C. flour*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut asparagus spears in half &
place in a deep bowl – sprinkle
with oil, salt/pepper, paprika
& syrup – mix to coat. Place flour
in another bowl and, one-by-one,
place asparagus spear halves in
bowl & toss to coat well. Cover
a baking sheet with parchment
paper & bake 20-25 minutes
until golden brown. Serve with
your favorite dip. Serves 4

*This recipe was vegetarian –
I substituted Almond meal for
flour when copying

(recipe: yummly.co)
———————————

Cherry Fluff

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
well drained
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 C. shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Combine Cool Whip, cond. milk,
pie filling & pineapple in large
bowl. Fold in marshmallows,
coconut & pecans. Refrigerate
1 hour before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteerecipe.com)
————————

Pesto, Pasta & Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes,
halved
12 oz. uncooked spiral pasta
3 C. cut fresh or frozen green beans
1 (6.5 oz) jar prepared pesto
1 C. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place potatoes in large saucepan, cover
with water & bring to boil. Reduce heat,
cook, uncovered, until tender, 8-10
minutes. Drain & transfer to large bowl.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
adding green beans during last 5 minutes
of cooking time. Drain, reserving 3/4 C.
pasta water; add to potatoes. Toss with
pesto, cheese & enough pasta water to
moisten. Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
with salted Chocolate ganache

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 (8 T.) stick unsalted butter,
melted
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate,
chopped into small pieces
1 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. flaky sea salt, (optional)

Spray bottom & sides of an 8 X 8″
baking dish with nonstick spray.
In large bowl combine powdered
sugar, graham cracker crumbs,
peanut butter, 1/8 tsp salt &
melted butter. Press mixture
into prepared baking dish.
Place chocolate & 1/8 tsp. salt
in a medium bowl. Heat cream in
a small saucepan until bubbles
start to form around edges. Pour
cream over chocolate; let sit
1 minute & then whisk until
completely melted & smooth.
Pour mixture over peanut butter
mixture in pan & refrigerate until
chocolate is cooled & set, at
least 45 minutes & up to overnight.
Sprinkle top evenly with flaky sea
salt (if using). Cut into squares to
serve. Serves 8

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

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

I’m learning to think of my weeks in
terms of when I’m babysitting (usually a
4-8 hour day); this week I’m ‘at my task’
Thursday & Friday – fill in ‘regular weekly
events: Weds. special needs group/monthly
special needs group Gym Night Friday. This
Saturday is the baby shower I’ve been waiting
for – Youth Pastor’s wife is expecting early in
June (it’s going to be a girl) so I’ve got the
pink/white & tan blanket, matching pair of
booties & 3 headbands done (I might knit a
pair of the ‘Fortune Cookie’ booties – maybe…
add to those some diapers & a baby hard-
cardboard book (a Sandra Boynton
book – really cute!). Husband wants to go
looking at riding lawn mowers tomorrow –
(oh, joy) – but he DID add that we could go
out to lunch at Outback Steak House after
so there’s some incentive!

I know it’s only Monday but here’s hoping
your week turns out just the way you want
it to!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Got a bit of a shock
yesterday when I noticed that
gas prices have JUMPED BIG
TIME: last Friday they were
$2.23/9…yesterday they were
$2.39/9…WOW, talk about
taking advantage of a holiday!

Nothin’ Special . . .

Today is my ‘in between’ day – in between baby sitting days. I’m learning that I’m looking forward to these days when I don’t have the entire day nailed down with ‘sitting’; don’t get me wrong – I love my new grandson, but there are times when it really gets tiring. The other day I sat from 9:45 – 5:10 p.m. and, unlike his ‘normal’ – this time he decided he didn’t need to SLEEP! All during that entire time I’d say he had a total of, maybe, 1 hour of sleep – drove me nuts! Get him asleep, put him down and (MAYBE, if I was lucky) he’d sleep – but that day, no more than 10-15 minutes before he was awake again! Awake is not a bad thing but it is if they’re cranky! Not sure just what he thought was going on, but he had one very TIRED Grandma by the end of that day! (That would have been Tuesday and THEN I had Knit/Crochet night!)…sigh…

The weather has gone back to (I would call it: Poopy) – 40’s/50’s & gloomy/gray, rainy. It IS supposed to get warmer for Mother’s Day, so that will be nice for all those people going out to eat. Today it’s around 48 degrees F. raining & gloomy. I’m thinking of going to the library & Meijers – just for something different. Have no idea what I’m making for dinner, either; I have the option of doing Ravioli, or homemade pizza. One thing that has changed over the past 2 weeks is: it’s just my husband & I eating meals! If I cook anything we end up having those same leftovers for DAYS! I made salmon patties & baked potatoes the other night and by the next day I didn’t even want to SMELL them! Weird, I know – food lately is not something I really want to eat OR smell (and NO, I’m not pregnant, for those funny friends of mine who might want to suggest that!).

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

Vanilla Cream Cheese Custard

2 1/2 C. whole milk, divided
6 large egg yolks
2/3 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 C. corn starch
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Optional garnish: fresh strawberries

In a medium bowl whisk 1/2 C. milk,
egg yolks, 1/3 C. sugar & corn starch;
whisk until well blended. In small
saucepan heat remaining 2 C. milk with
remaining 1/3 C. sugar & scraped
vanilla bean seeds with the pod. Heat
to simmer, then remove pod & discard.
While whisking, slowly drizzle hot milk
into the bowl with egg/sugar mixture,
making sure to whisk continually. Pour
entire custard mixture back into the pan
& heat just until it thickens, which should
be very quickly. Reduce heat to Low, add
softened cream cheese & beat with a
whisk while cooking – about 1 minute,
to form a thick creamy custard. Pour
mixture into a large serving bowl (or
individual dishes). Cover with plastic
wrap, pushing wrap down onto surface
of custard (this prevents a skin forming
on the top). Refrigerate completely
before serving. Top with fresh straw-
berries when serving, if desired.
Serves 8

Note; this can be prepared a day
ahead & kept refrigerated until
ready to serve

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

Creamy Pea Salad

1/2 yellow bell pepper,
finely chopped
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. dried basil
1 T. finely diced red onion
2 tsp. diced pimiento
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lb. shelled fresh peas (OR)
2 (16 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen tiny
peas, thawed

In large bowl combine all ingredients
except peas – mix well. Stir in peas
until completely coated with dressing.
Cover & refrigerate at least 3-4 hours;
serve at room temperature.
Makes 8 Cups – about 16 servings

(recipe: theseasonedmom.com)
——————————
Honey-Garlic Pork Chops
(grill)

1/2 C. ketchup
2 2/3 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 (4 oz, ea) 1inch thick pork chops

Preheat grill for medium heat &
lightly oil grate. Whisk ketchup,
honey, soy sauce & garlic in a
bowl to make glaze. Sear chops
on both sides on grill. Lightly brush
glaze on each side of chops as they
cook; grill until no longer pink in
center, about 7-9 minutes per side.
(an instant-read thermometer
inserted into center of chops should
read 145 degrees F.)

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
————————————
Crockpot Apple Balsamic Chicken

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 medium apple, chopped
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. butter
2 T. flour

Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice,
garlic powder, thyme, paprika, salt/
pepper. Place chicken in crockpot;
pour mixture on top. Add chopped
apples on top; cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot,
chop or shred, as desired. Remove
liquid from crockpot & strain through
a colander into a saucepan. Add butter
& flour & bring mixture to a boil. Cook
3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add chicken back into crockpot &
pour sauce over top. Coat chicken
with liquid & warm 10-15 minutes
before serving.

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

Baked Lemon/Garlic Tilapia

3-6 Tilapia filets
6-8 crushed/diced large cloves
garlic
2 1/2 T. butter
4 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. fresh or dried parsley
1 tsp. fresh or dried oregano
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In saucepan over Low heat, melt
butter; saute garlic 1 minute. Add
3 T. lemon juice, parsley, oregano,
salt/pepper – mix together & turn
off heat. Spray large baking dish
with nonstick spray. Pour 1 T.
lemon juice into dish, place fish
on top & season with herbs,
salt/pepper. Pour lemon mixture
over fish & sprinkle top with some
parsley. Bake until fish is cooked
through.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
—————————–

Stuffed French Bread

1 loaf French bread (unsliced)
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. finely chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 T. milk
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese
1/2 T. chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice French bread in half length-
wise – remove bread in center of
each half – reserve removed bread
to a large bowl & tear into small
chunks. In large skillet brown beef
& onion over medium heat; drain.
Add celery & garlic, cook a few minutes.
Pour in soup, Worc. sauce & milk;
season with salt/pepper – cook 5
minutes while stirring then remove
to large bowl. Place the 2 halves
of bread on a large baking sheet.
Pour meat mixture evenly in
center of ONE half of bread. Top
with cheese then cover with
second bread half.
Bake 10-15 minutes.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
————————————

Classic Lemon Bars

Crust:
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. plus 2 T. flour
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Filling:
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 T. lemon zest
1/2 C. lemon juice, fresh
squeezed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. flour

Topping:
powdered sugar
lemon slices (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Mix melted
butter, flour, powdered sugar
& salt together; press in an
even layer in bottom of prepared
pan. Bake 10 minutes.
In medium bowl mix eggs, sugar,
lemon zest, lemon juice, baking
powder, & flour together. Pour
mixture over cooled crust & bake
25 minutes until filling has set.
Allow to cool.
When cooled, sprinkle top with
powdered sugar & top each
bar (if desired) with a lemon
slice. Best eaten at room
temperature or cold.
Makes 9-12 bars

(recipe: alattefood.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Soup

2 large baking potatoes, peeled/
cut into chunks (about 3 1/2 C.)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen sweet corn
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled/ cut into chunks
(1 C.)
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast,
cut in half
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
(about 10 1/2 oz)
3 C. chicken broth

4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into strips
chopped fresh parsley – garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake tortilla strips on cookie sheet
10-15 minutes – set aside

Place potatoes, corn, celery, onion &
garlic in crockpot. Stir in salsa, cumin,
chili powder & pepper. Distribute
chicken evenly on top of veggies &
pour chicken broth over top. Cover
& cook on High 4 hours. Remove
chicken – shred into bite-sized pieces,
stir then return to crockpot. Cover &
cook 15-20 minutes longer until
vegetables are tender.
Serve topped with baked tortilla strips
& garnish with parsley.
Serves 6

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

Chicken Pasta Primavera Salad

2 C. cooked chicken, cut into chunks
8 oz. curly pasta
1/2 C. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced into rings
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small summer squash, sliced
into rounds
8 spears asparagus, cut into 2″
pieces
1/2 c. peas
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated garlic
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
grated fresh Parmesan – garnish

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain,
rinse with cold water & transfer to large
bowl. Drizzle 1 T. olive oil on pasta &
toss to coat. In large skillet heat 1 T.
olive oil over medium-high heat. Add
onion; cook until soft, about 2- 3 minutes.
Add carrot, summer squash & asparagus:
cook 1-2 minutes. Add peas & cook
1 more minute. Vegetables should be
just cooked & still crisp; season with
salt/pepper – remove from heat & let cool.
Whisk red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic,
basil & Parm. cheese until combined –
continue whisking & drizzle in remaining
5 T. olive oil. To serve, toss pasta with
cooked chicken, sauteed vegetables,
cherry tomatoes & Parmesan dressing
until well combined. Transfer to a
serving platter & garnish with grated
Parmesan cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: perdue.com)
————————————–
Boston Cream Pie Dessert
(2 hour or overnight recipe)

Crust:

2 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
10 T. unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate topping:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks or
chips
1/4 plus 2 T. heavy cream (or Half & Half)
1 1/2 T. gran. sugar
1 1/2 T. corn syrup

Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil or
parchment paper.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place graham crackers in food processor;
add sugar & process until combined.
Slowly drizzle melted butter in & process
until crust comes together. Press crust
into prepared pan & press down firmly.
Bake 7-8 minutes; cool completely.

Filling:

Place cream cheese in food processor;
process until creamy, 10-15 seconds.
Add vanilla, dry pudding mix & sugar –
process until well combined. Add Cool
Whip in 2 additions; process just until
combined, do not over mix. Scoop
filling into baked/cooled crust & spread
evenly – smoothing top. Refrigerate
2 hours to overnight.

Chocolate Topping:

Place chocolate in medium bowl. Place
cream, sugar & corn syrup in medium
saucepan & heat to just boiling; remove
from heat. Pour cream mixture over
chocolate (do not mix – let stand 5
minutes). Whisk mixture until smooth
then let cool to room temperature.
Pour mixture over filling OR top each
slice just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: crunchycreamysweet.com)

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

Let’s see – in our area gas prices are at a ‘nice’
place: $2.23/9 . . . I like that!

I’ve decided that for Mother’s Day I’m going to
make myself (and everyone else) a repeat of
the Strawberry Heaven dessert – I posted it
before (made with already prepared Angel
Food Cake, Cool Whip, cream cheese, Jello) –
they all liked it and I decided I would  ‘treat’
myself for a change – (grin).

Hope your days are coming together nicely for
you. Spring is all around – trees & flowers
blooming, birds singing – and we need the rain,
even though it makes for gloomy days – we
ALWAYS have SOMETHING to be grateful for!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Another NEW Month!

Have been kinda busy lately, sorry for lack of posting. Middle son finally moved out Friday – well, let’s just say KINDA moved out. His new place is an entire basement – one problem: no closet! His solution: leave his work suits at our house, drop by about an hour before work, shower & change into suit, grab a bite to eat then go to work (repeat after work). We got together & ordered a clothes rack for him, but won’t be here for 2-4 weeks! Oh well, at least we get to SEE him each day, check on how things are going, etc. I see, on Facebook, he’s asked his friends for any furniture they might want to donate to his cause. As he puts it: I own very little: a bed, large screen TV and one small 4 drawer dresser – he’s right; his older brother said he’s going to have to eventually section off that basement into seating areas, etc. Oh well, the ‘fun’ for him, begins!

===========

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Bars

Crust:
1 box white cake mix
1 egg
3/4 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. canola oil

Filling:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. chopped Reese’s peanut
butter cups (poster used mini’s)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, egg, canola oil &
peanut butter in large bowl (mix
using hands or a large spoon until
it makes a crumbly dough. Spray
9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray &
press 3/4 ths of mixture onto
bottom of pan; reserve 1/4
dough mixture. Pour entire can
of sweetened cond. milk over
pressed dough; sprinkle top with
nuts, peanut butter chips &
chopped Reese’s. Sprinkle reserved
dough over toppings (most of layer
should be covered.
Bake 20-25 minutes until edges
are golden brown. Cool at least
45 minutes before serving.
Serves 12

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)
———————————

Spinach Salad

1 (10 oz) bag spinach
3/4 C. craisins (dried cranberries)
3/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. dried minced onion
3/4 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 T. white wine vinegar
1/4 C. vegetable oil

Place spinach, craisins & almonds
in large bowl. Mix together dressing
ingredients & pour over salad –
toss well & serve

(had this at a party Sunday at church)
——————————–

Roasted Turkey Taco Spaghetti
Squash Boats

3 small spaghetti squash (24 oz, ea)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
1/2 C. water
1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 C. shredded Mexican blend
cheese

Pico de Gallo:
1 C. chopped tomato
1/4 C. chopped scallion
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with parchment
paper (or two sheets if they won’t
all fit on one). Cut squash in half
lengthwise & use a spoon to
scrape out seeds & soft yellow
strands (discard seeds & strands).
Spray inside of squash halves
with nonstick spray & lightly
sprinkle with salt/pepper. Place
squash face-down on prepared
sheets & bake 50 minutes until
flesh easily pierces with a fork.
Brown turkey in large skillet,
breaking it into smaller pieces
as it cooks. When no longer
pink, add dry seasoning & mix
well. Add onion, pepper, water &
tomato sauce. Cover & simmer on
Low 20 minutes. Combine ingredients
for Pico de Gallo in medium bowl;
refrigerate until ready to eat.
Once squash is cooked & cool enough
to handle, use a fork to scrape insides
so that squash ‘strands/spaghetti’
appear. Spoon a scant 1/2 C. meat into
each half & top with 2 T. cheese. Place
in oven & bake 5 minutes until cheese
melts. Remove, top with Pico de Gallo
& serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————————

Cola Burgers
(grill)

1 egg
1/2 C. cola, divided
1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
6 T. French salad dressing,
divided
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

(6 hamburger buns)

In a bowl mix egg, 1/4 C. cola,
cracker crumbs, 2 T. salad
dressing, cheese & salt – mix
until well combined then stir
in beef. Shape into 6 patties. Mix
together 1/4 C. cola & 4 T. salad
dressing. Grill burgers 3 minutes
per side then brush with cola
mixture. Grill 8-10 minutes longer
then serve. Makes 6

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
——————————-

Mama’s Chicken Rollups

2 large chicken breasts
1 can crescent rolls
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup
1/2 (soup can) of chicken broth
from cooking chicken*
1/2 (soup can) milk
1 T. flour
6 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
pinch salt & pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts in large
pot & cover with water; bring to
boil & cook on Medium heat
until no longer pink inside. Remove
chicken from pot & let cool enough
to handle – shred chicken. Add soup,
milk, flour, salt/pepper to broth* &
stir to combine. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray.
Unroll crescent rolls & separate into
triangles. Put a little cheese on dough
& a good heaping of chicken at large
end of triangle. Roll up & place in
prepared pan – continue with rest
of dough & filling. Pour broth
mixture around & on top of each
roll. Bake 25 minutes then top
with cheese – bake 5 minutes more.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving with soup mixture.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
——————————

Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapeno peppers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, halved width-
wise
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 T. chili seasoning mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10 X1″ baking
sheet with nonstick spray.
Using disposable or kitchen
rubber gloves when handling
cut peppers & seeds, the oils
can burn the skin. Avoid
touching your face.
Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise
& remove seeds. In small bowl
beat cheeses until blended & spoon
into pepper halves. Combine brown
sugar & chili seasoning; coat peppers
with mixture & place on sheet. Bake
18-20 minutes until bacon is firm.
Makes 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————-

Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 large (16 oz) skinless boneless
chicken breasts, cut into even
bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
6 T. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. Panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Place oil in one bowl, bread-
crumbs/Panko/Parm. cheese in a
pie plate. Season chicken with salt/
pepper; place in bowl with oil & mix
well so oil evenly coats all chicken.
Put a few chunks of chicken at a
time in breadcrumb mixture to coat,
then onto baking sheet. Lightly spray
tops of chicken pieces with nonstick
spray. Bake 8-10 minutes; turn pieces
over & bake another 4-5 minutes until
cooked through. Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
—————————————

Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins

3 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Topping:
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 12-count muffin pan with
nonstick spray or line with paper
liners. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In another bowl beat
sugar & cream cheese until combined;
add eggs, vanilla, milk & melted butter,
mix just until combined. Gradually add
flour mixture & beat just until combined.
(do not overmix) Scoop batter evenly
into prepared muffin pan.

Topping:
Mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle evenly over top of muffin batter
in cups. Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. Makes 12 muffins

(recipe: TableforSeven)

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

Our weather is typical Michigan Spring:
cold in mornings (40’s) followed by rain
and/or shine. This morning I had to go
out early and it was in the 40’s with
intermittent rain – now it’s clear and
74 degrees! Go figure! I’m not complaining-
gotta have the rain for the flowers.
Speaking of flowers there are lots of
tulips, lilacs and Lilly of the Valley in
bloom in my yard – I LOVE SPRING!

Am anxious that FINALLY we’re back to
garage sale weather! There is a rather
large church really near me that holds
an annual 3-day rummage sale – I go
every year. This year I’ll be specifically
looking for things for middle son AND
a high chair and baby walker for new
grandson. I’m glad that my back
problems are decreasing – will be
babysitting for a few hours Friday.
When I saw my doctor I mentioned
that I really wanted to get this back
problem under control since I will
be doing a lot of babysitting in the
very near future. We’ll see how it
goes.

Gas prices in our area: had to fill
up today and it was $2.39/9 – not
bad ($40.00 to totally fill up
my van – was on almost empty)

Almost forgot to post the
recent knitted blankets:
First up: the baby girl blanket
for Youth Pastor’s wife’s shower
(May 20th)

I really like this pattern: works up quickly and really looks fancy!

Next up: baby boy blanket (for no one in particular); this one looks good; it’s 7 rows – all is easy UNTIL row 6 when I have to use a very tiny crochet hook to get the reverse Knit 4 together done (this row/stitch is done using both MY way of knitting: Continental Combined AND the traditional English way of knitting for the reverse Knit 4 together (pattern requires knit 4 together through the back loops followed by knit 4 together through the front loops – English style). Believe me, I’ve contemplated ditching/ripping this one out but then thought: it’s ONLY one row, so just deal with it! Don’t know if I’ll do this pattern ever again, thought . . . sigh)

It’s supposed to look like Tassels: from the Barbara Walker patterns, called Lucina Shell pattern


Hope all is going well for you and
you are in good health.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Easter’s coming – SOON!

I looked out today and saw our daffodils are blooming – YAY! Also, all around the area, lots of forsythia are blooming brightly – I love seeing the bright yellow – so cheery!

This has been a rather busy/hectic week (and it’s only Wednesday!) Yesterday (Tuesday) found me babysitting my 6 week old grandson for the day. He’s just coming into something I had not heard of before: The SIX WEEK Growth spurt! (read that – wants to drink CONSTANTLY!) Let’s just say he really kept this grandma hopping – for the first 1 1/2 hours I did nothing but heat up bottles, feed him/change diaper & repeat. Kept thinking: Come on, kid – take a NAP! Finally, after much trying, he did and I got about a 2 hour break (finished reading my book). He’s becoming more aware of things around him so I put him under his crib mobile for awhile and he was fascinated watching it go around while hearing various tunes from it’s music box. (He actually seemed to fancy certain songs over others – kicking his feet and cooing at the mobile during those songs). His Momma went back to work last Friday and will soon have a set schedule – then I’ll be better able to adjust my schedule accordingly.

(that dark spot on his shirt isn’t wet – it’s just a reflection)

6 weeks old, 12 lbs (he’s gotten so long that 3 month pants are too short on him – his Mom & Dad are both tall, so he’s taking after them!)

After babysitting it was time for Knit/Crochet Night (let’s just say I was less energetic than usual) – we had 16 ladies and a new person who used to be one of my bosses when I worked at the Telephone Company over 34 years ago! Good evening!

Along with everything else comes Easter dinner preparations; THIS year we have a new ‘fluke’ – middle son’s new girlfriend is a Vegan – that means NO meats, no animal anything (not even eggs), and no dairy . . . that makes for some difficult menu planning, to say the least. In my little neighborhood we just got a small new Middle Eastern restaurant. I went over their menu selections & even called to ask questions (No, they won’t be open Easter BUT they’re open Saturday). I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to BUY 2 vegetarian dishes for her: Vegetarian Mujaddara (rice & lentils pilaf with caramelized onions) and a Falafel Plate (a deep-fried ball/doughnut or pattie made from ground chick peas, fava beans or both). My oldest son (the chef) is making ham & some other kind of meat and said he would prepare his version of a quinoa salad (very good). My thoughts are: she will have fresh veggies & the 2 veggie dishes – hopefully that will be enough.  I’m also bringing garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, some kind of sweet potatoes and some dessert(s) – the other grandma is doing all the appetizers (and, believe me, she does TONS!). I love all her choices (EXCEPT they are all containing cheeses or milk products, etc.). For a minute I really thought I had a great idea: make deviled eggs! Then it hit me: NO EGGS! UGH! I don’t know yet whether she’s vegan because of a medical condition OR just by choice – guess it really doesn’t matter except it makes a family dinner that much more difficult. (sorry – I’ll get off my soap box now . . .)

===========

No-Bake Crispy Peanut Butter Squares

1 C. smooth peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 C. corn flakes cereal
1 C. crispy rice cereal
8″ square baking pan, lightly greased

In saucepan over Low heat, stir peanut
butter, butter, brown sugar & corn
syrup until blended & smooth – remove
from heat & stir in vanilla & salt. In
large bowl mix cereals; add peanut
butter mixture & mix well. Press evenly
into prepared pan. Chill 6 hours until
firm; cut into squares. Makes 16 squares

(recipe: cookstr.com)
——————————–

Baked Ham in Cheese Crust

1 (5 lb) fully cooked ham
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. plain bread crumbs
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter, melted
2 T. dry mustard

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a roasting pan with nonstick
spray & place ham in pan. In large
bowl combine remaining ingredients;
mix well. Using your hands, form a
crust by patting pineapple mixture
over ham, completely covering top
& sides (except for cut side).
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours until ham is
heated through & crust is golden.
Slice & serve. Serves 10

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-
Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes &
Ham

3 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced, cooked ham
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup (undiluted)
3/4 C. water
1 T. chopped fresh chives
(optional)

Layer half of potato slices, onion,
ham & cheese. Sprinkle with salt
& pepper. Repeat layers with
remaining potatoes, onion, ham
& cheese. In small bowl stir soup
& water – spoon over potato
mixture. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours. Sprinkle with chives
before serving (if desired)
Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————–

Creamy Tortellini Skillet

2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. Half & Half
2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. minced onion
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen tortellini

In large skillet (which has a lid),
add garlic & cook for less than a
minute. Pour spaghetti sauce, Half
& Half & chicken broth in skillet &
stir to combine well. Add frozen
tortellini & mix well with sauce.
Increase heat to boil then reduce
to Low. Cover & cook 12-15 minutes.
Serves 6

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

Parmesan-crusted Cauliflower

1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 eggs
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into
bite-sized florets
1 C. vegetable oil

In medium bowl combine bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese, garlic powder,
salt & cayenne pepper – mix well.
In another medium bowl lightly beat
eggs. Dip cauliflower florets in egg,
then roll in bread crumbs until evenly
coated on all sides, pressing gently,
if needed. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, heat oil until hot. Fry cauliflower
1-2 minutes until golden brown, then turn
& fry 1-2 more minutes. Remove with
slotted spoon to paper towel-lined
plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-

Honey-Garlic Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix flour & paprika;
coat each chicken thigh in mixture &
place in greased or foil-lined dish.
Sprinkle each thigh with salt/pepper.
In separate bowl mix honey, soy sauce &
garlic; pour evenly over chicken – flip each
over to coat on both sides. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover &
continue baking 15 minutes. Serves 6

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

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes,
drained
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
4 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chopped carrot
1/2 c. green bell pepper, seeds
removed/chopped
1/4 C. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Garnish
cooked/crumbled bacon

Place cooked ground beef, tomatoes,
potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion,
celery & garlic in crockpot; pour
chicken stock over top. Season with
chili powder, salt/pepper & stir to
combine. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours until vegetables are
softened. In small bowl stir flour
into heavy cream until no chunks
remain then pour into crockpot.
Add Cheddar cheese & stir to
combine then cover & cook
another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Serves 8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————–

Easy Pineapple Casserole

2 (20 oz, ea) cans pineapple
chunks, drained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. flour
2 C. coarsely crushed butter-
flavored (like Ritz) crackers
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl combine pineapple, cheese,
sugar & flour; toss until evenly
coated & place in prepared pan.
In small bowl combine crushed
crackers & butter; mix well then
sprinkle on top of casserole.
Bake 30-35 minutes until heated
through & topping is golden.
Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Easy No-Bake Caramel Pie

1 (6 oz) bag Milky Way Bites (candy)
1 (16 oz) AND 1 (8 oz) tubs Cool Whip,
thawed
1 (14 oz) can Dulce de Leche (if you
can’t find this – you can make your own,
using one 14 oz. can sweetened
condensed milk -recipe follows
1 store-bought chocolate cookie
pie shell

Chop Milky Way Bites into small pieces;
reserve 1/4 C. Place 16 oz. Cool Whip
in a large bowl; fold in Dulce de Leche.
Fold in chopped Bites & pour into
pie shell. Top with 8 oz. Cool Whip &
sprinkle reserved chopped Bites on
top. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.
=========================

Weather-wise it’s been clear & nice, today
it’s in the 50’s with a slight breeze. (chance
of rain Easter Sunday).

Today was my “reward” for babysitting
yesterday – I took a friend out for her
birthday to Ruby Tuesday’s – I had a
nice chicken salad (enough to bring half
home for later!). Afterwards I wandered
over to the Salvation Army store and
bought a really nice/fancy/dress top:
black, short sleeves with silver sparkles
all over it. No, it’s not something I
would normally purchase but after
looking at it for awhile, decided it
would be the perfect thing to wear
with my long black skirt for a wedding
or other formal affair – price? $6.99!
SCORE! AND – to add to that, today
was their Seniors Day so I got an
extra 25% off my purchase! After
that I went to our local Kroger
Gas Station because I had 50 cents
off per gallon on their gas (due to
my shopping Kroger lately) – that
was another SCORE! Gas here is down
just a little to $2.43/9 a gallon so getting
50 cents off that per gallon was REALLY
nice!

I still have some grocery shopping to do,
hopefully Friday (I know – LOTS of people
will be in the stores then) but want to
avoid the REALLY BIG rush on Saturday.

Hope your Easter plans are coming
together nicely!

Hugs;

Pammie

Freebies by the side of the road!

Yesterday while driving home from evening church I spotted something along side the road at the end of someone’s driveway. Took me a bit of turning around before I was able to get to the driveway; as I got out of my car a gentleman who lived there asked if he could help me. I pointed to a rather nice baby changing table and he piped up and said: “It’s Free! You can have it!” I was thrilled! (mind you, here I am still dressed in my church clothes – fancy blouse & skirt, heels, etc.) He immediately says: “I can help you load it – here, let me give you a hand!” What a nice man! I told him that very soon we would be babysitting our grandson and that was the one thing I still needed. He said he thought that they might have picked up this very changing table, themselves, on the side of the road – how advantageous, right? I will need to find a pad for it and clean it up a bit (there was a bit of mud on the legs, since that driveway was a bit muddy – but mud never hurt anyone and I’ve got lots of cleaning supplies). YAY! I’m really thrilled! There are still only two items I’d like to purchase in the near future (for the baby): a walker and a high chair, neither of which I will be needing immediately. This week begins our baby’s Mom going back to work; I texted her a bit earlier asking if she has a schedule yet and she texted she will find out today. As she put it: “Our little guy is ready for  some ‘Grandma Pam’ time” Awwwwww – I’m ready! Her mother & I will be the babysitters while both parents are working which means I will be a bit more busy than my usual, but that’s OK.

Have you started planning your Easter meal yet? I haven’t heard from my oldest son as to what time OR what sides, so I’m still just waiting. Not sure, either, whether middle son & his new girlfriend will be joining us – she’s a Vegan (whole new learning experience for our family). I’m very happy for middle son – she’s very sweet and seems to really like our son. He’s a great guy but (as people would say) he’s a bit of a NERD – loves video games, Japanese Anime (cartoons) – he says he’s a lot like me (more emotional, caring, etc. than most guys are). We’ll see where all this goes.

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

No-Bake Banana Split Dessert

Crust:
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Fruit & Toppings:
3-4 bananas, sliced
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained well
16 oz. strawberries, hulled/sliced
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
chocolate syrup
maraschino cherries

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
mix graham cracker crumbs &
melted butter with a fork, stirring
until all of crumbs are evenly moistened.
Dump crumbs into prepared pan &
press into an even layer. Refrigerate
while preparing next layer.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese &
sugar using elec. mixer on medium
speed until light & fluffy, about 3
minutes. Using a rubber spatula,
fold in Cool Whip until thoroughly
combined. Spread mixture on top
of graham crust. Arrange banana
slices in single layer on top of cream
cheese filling, top with an even layer
of crushed pineapple, then an even
layer of sliced strawberries. Cover with
Cool Whip, smoothing the top. Sprinkle
top with chopped nuts then drizzle
with chocolate syrup & top with
maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for
at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serves 12-16 (depending on how large
the servings are)

Leftovers can be stored, covered,
in fridge for up to 4 days.

NOTE: You can substitute whipped
cream for the Cool Whip; if using
this – leftovers should only be kept
for up to 2 days, refrigerated as
fresh whipped cream will become
watery as it sits in fridge.

(recipe: browneyedbaker.com)
————————————

Fiesta Pinwheels
(appetizers)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. picante salsa
2 T. taco seasoning mix
dash of garlic powder
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped black
olives, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green
chilies
1 C. (4 oz) finely shredded
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. thinly sliced green onions
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
salsa, for dipping

In small bowl beat cream cheese,
sour cream, picante sauce, taco
seasoning & garlic powder until
smooth. Stir in olives, chilies,
cheese & onions – spread about
1/2 C. on each tortilla. Roll up,
jelly-roll style. Wrap in plastic
wrap & refrigerate 2 hours or
overnight. Slice into 1 inch pieces;
place on a platter & serve with
salsa. Makes about 5 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————
Warm Bacon Cheese Spread

1 round (1 lb) loaf sourdough
bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 1/2 C. (12 oz) sour cream
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/
crumbled*
1/2 C. chopped green onions

assorted crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut top fourth off top of bread
loaf; carefully hollow out the
bottom, leaving a 1 inch shell.
Cut the removed bread into
cubes & place in a ziplock bag
(to keep them from drying out).
In large bowl beat cream cheese
until fluffy. Add sour cream,
Cheddar cheese & Worc. sauce
until blended – stir in bacon &
onions then spoon into bread
shell. Wrap in heavy-duty foil
(about 24″ X 17″ ) & bake 1 hour
until heated through. Serve with
crackers & reserved bread crumbs.
Makes 4 Cups dip.

*You can make this a Seafood
Dip by changing out the bacon
for equal amounts lump crab,
cooked shrimp or a combination
of the two.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup
1 (10.5 oz) can cheese soup
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes or
diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts,
cut into 1 inch cubes
1 C. diced green pepper
1 C. diced onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (16 oz) bag Mexican-blend shredded
cheese, divided
10 corn tortillas, cut or torn into
quarters
3 C. crushed corn chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine soups & canned
tomatoes; mix well. In another
bowl combine chicken, garlic,
pepper, onion & spices – mix
well until all is evenly coated.
Place a layer of chicken mixture
in bottom of prepared pan
followed by a layer of soup
mixture. Add a layer of corn
tortillas followed by a layer
of shredded cheese – continue
until you run out of ingredients.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove from
oven & spread a layer of crushed
corn chips on top followed by a
layer of shredded cheese. Bake
10 more minutes. Allow to cool
slightly & serve.

(recipe: recipelion.com)
—————————–

Crockpot Ham Steaks & Pineapple
Rings

2 1/2 lb. ham, sliced into 1/2″ slices
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices –
reserve juice for sauce
1 (6 oz) can maraschino cherries,
drained
3 T. brown sugar (packed)
1 T. mustard
1 T. apple cider vinegar

Place ham slices, pineapple slices &
cherries in crockpot. In medium
bowl mix pineapple juice, brown
sugar, mustard & apple cider
vinegar – whisk until smooth &
pour over ham. Cover & cook on
Low 5 hours WITHOUT opening
lid during cooking time. Drizzle
sauce over each serving. Serves 8

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

Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained (liquid reserved)
1 1/4 C. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 T. cider vinegar
3 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into
chunks
2 T. vegetable oil
4-6 pork loin chops, 1 inch thick

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large saucepan combine reserved
pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar
& vinegar; cook 5 minutes until hot.
Add pineapple chunks, carrots &
green pepper; remove from heat. In
large skillet heat oil & add chops –
brown on both sides. In shallow
baking dish arrange chops. Spread
pineapple/vegetable mixture over
top. Cover with foil & bake 25-35
minutes until chops are done &
vegetables are crisp-tender. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Best Sweet Coleslaw

1 (16 oz.) bag coleslaw mix
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seeds

In medium bowl stir mayonnaise,
sugar, vinegar, salt & celery seeds
until well mixed. Mix in coleslaw
blend & stir until well coated.
Cover & refrigerate 1-2 hours
before serving.

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)
———————————-

Sweet Potato Casserole
w/ Brown Sugar topping

2 (29 oz, ea) cans cut sweet
potatoes, mashed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/3 C. evaporated milk
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. butter
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
mix mashed sweet potatoes,
1/2 C. butter, evap. milk, sugar,
vanilla & eggs. Spread mixture
evenly into prepared pan. In
small bowl combine brown
sugar & flour – cut in 1/3 C.
butter until mixture is crumbly,
then stir in pecans. Sprinkle
mixture evenly over top of
sweet potato mixture. Bake
25 minutes until golden brown.

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)
—————————-

Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake

Cake:
2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. shredded carrots *
(about 5-6 carrots)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained
1 C. chopped pecans, divided

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
whisk flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves &
nutmeg. In another bowl whisk oil,
brown sugar, gran. sugar, eggs &
vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into
dry & stir until combined. Fold in
grated carrots, crushed pineapple
& 1/2 C. pecans. Spread batter into
prepared pan & bake 40-50 minutes.
Cake is done when a wooden tooth-
pick inserted into center comes out
clean. (NOTE: if cake is browning too
quickly, loosely lay a piece of foil over
top to prevent from browning too
much). Remove cake from oven &
place on wire rack – cool completely.
(If you need to speed up the cooling
process, refrigerate cake after it has
cooled on cooling rack 45 minutes.)
Frosting:
In a bowl beat together butter & cream
cheese until creamy & combined. Add
powdered sugar, heavy cream & vanilla;
beat until combined & fluffy, about
1-2 minutes. Spread over cooled cake
& sprinkle remaining nuts on top.

Cake can be made ahead of time. Bake
the cake, cool on cooling rack 45
minutes; cover & leave in fridge up to
2 days before needed. Remove from
fridge, prepare frosting, frost cake &
serve.

*You can shred your own carrots
using a cheese grater – much cheaper
than buying shredded

(recipe: togetherasfamily.com)

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

Gas prices have dropped a teeny bit
from $2.59/9 to $2.53/9 . . . guess
that’s better than going up, right?

Our weather is now more ‘almost
Summer-like’, yesterday it got up
to 74 degrees & sunny – YAY! Today
is supposed to be high of 76 &
cloudy with 70% chance of rain
tonight. Rest of week is in the 50’s
but that’s better than the 30’s!

Hope you’re enjoying this Spring
weather in your area. Try to stay
healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

and we have snow – again . . .

Yesterday was cold & rainy followed by snow overnight – about an inch. Today the sun is out (it’s still windy) but the snow is mostly melted – Welcome to MICHIGAN! Went grocery shopping yesterday and discovered that Kroger now sells a salad mix: Dole Chopped Salad Kit Sunflower Crunch (like the one Gordon Foods used to sell) that has lettuce, sunflower seeds, raisins, bacon bits, etc. and a dressing packet – I bought one – we’ll see how it tastes (this one has kale in it, too – YUCK! I know it’s good for you – just don’t like the very stiff texture.)  Gas prices have shot up to $2.59/9 (from $2.29/9 a day ago – guess they’re getting ready for the holiday drivers).

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Crockpot Red Velvet Spoon
Brownies

3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
3/4 C. butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 1/2 C. flour
3 oz. red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

Icing:
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
pecan pieces (optional)

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Place choc. chips & 3/4 C. butter
in microwave safe bowl – melt
at 30 second intervals, stirring
in between.* Whisk in eggs & egg
whites, one at a time. Mix in flour,
food coloring, vanilla, baking cocoa,
salt & baking powder. Spoon
batter into crockpot & spread out
evenly. Place a few paper towels
across opening of crockpot to catch
any moisture that may drip on
batter & cover with lid. Cook on
Low 2 1/2-3 hours. If done, when
you insert a toothpick into center,
a few crumbs will stick to it when
it comes out.Remove lid & let cool
while preparing icing.**

Icing;
Beat cream cheese & butter until
mostly smooth; stir in powdered
sugar & salt, then mix in vanilla
completely.

To serve:
Place a dollop of brownie on a plate
with a dollop of icing on top & a
sprinkle of pecans, if using.

*If your microwave safe bowl isn’t
large enough, pour mixture into
a large bowl & stir in sugar.

**When you remove the lid it will
look great until it starts to cool – then
it will fall – it is perfect for spooning
out to serve.

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

Easy 1-Pan Beef Roast
with vegetables

1 (10 1/2 oz) can French Onion
soup
1/4 C. flour
1 oven bag
3 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck
roast
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 medium red potatoes cut
into quarters (about 3 C.)
3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch
pieces
2 C. baby cut carrots

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour soup (undiluted) & four into
bag; close bag & mix soup & flour
using hands until no lumps are seen.
Place bag in a roasting pan. Season
meat with salt/pepper & place beef,
potatoes, celery & carrots in bag.
Close with the oven bag tie. Cut
6 (1/2 inch each) slits in top of bag &
roast 1 hour minutes until beef
is fork-tender. Let stand 10 minutes
in bag before serving.  Serves 6

OVEN BAG: disposable oven-safe
bags that you can find in the foil &
wrap section of grocery stores

(recipe: campbells.com)
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Apricot/Ginger/Mustard-Glazed
Ham

1 fully cooked bone-in ham
(7-9 lb)
1/2 C. apricot halves, drained
1/2 C. stone-ground mustard
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place ham on a rack in a shallow
roasting pan. Using a sharp knife,
score surface of ham with 1/4″
deep cuts in a diamond pattern.
Cover & bake 1 3/4 – 2 1/4 hours
until a thermometer reads 130º.
Place remaining ingredients in
a food processor (or blender) &
process until blended. Remove
ham from oven & increase oven
heat to 425 degrees F. Spread
apricot mixture over ham & bake,
uncovered, 15-20 minutes longer
until a thermometer reads 140 degrees
F. If desired, increase oven to Broil –
broil 2-4 minutes until top is golden
brown. Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Crab Cakes

Cakes:
1/2 C. finely diced celery
1/4 c. sweet onion, finely
minced
1/4 C. fresh parsley,
finely minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 whole eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 C. crushed saltines
1 lb. pasteurized lump
crab meat, drained
1 lb. pasteurized jumbo lump or
petite jumbo lump crab meat,
drained
oil for frying (enough to make
1/2 inch of oil in skillet)

In large bowl mix celery, onion,
parsley, mustard, mayonnaise,
Worch. sauce, eggs, cayenne,
salt, Old Bay – mix to combine.
Add cracker crumbs & both
types crab; gently fold to
combine. Using an ice cream
scoop or half cup measure,
scoop out 12 cakes onto a
parchment or foil lined sheet
tray. Flatten each cake into a
3 1/2 inch round thick disc.
Refrigerate sheet at least 30
minutes to set.

Heat oil in large skillet to 350
degrees F.
Using 2 spatulas*, gently slide
each cake into the hot oil,
cooking in 2 batches, 6 per
batch. Cook about 4 minutes
to brown; after 3 minutes
lift to check underside for
color. Using both spatulas
again, gently flip cake onto
one spatula & flip over, sliding
into hot oil (uncooked side
down). Cook remaining 1
minute then remove to paper
towels. When oil is back up
to temperature, cook the
second batch. Makes 12
cakes.

*Using 2 spatulas helps
prevent oil spattering
when turned

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
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Grilled Cheese & Tomato Casserole

1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter,
melted
12 slices white bread
12 slices Cheddar cheese,
about 12 oz
6 slices Swiss cheese (about
3 oz)
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 C. mixed grape or cherry tomatoes,
halved (about 1 1/4 lb)
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. Half & Half
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 large eggs
1/4 C. fresh parsley leaves,
roughly chopped

Preheat broiler
Brush 9 X 13 baking pan
with some of melted butter
Lay 6 slices of bread on a baking
sheet in one even layer; brush
tops generously with butter.
Broil, rotating sheet as needed,
until bread is golden brown &
toasted, 2-4 minutes. Flip slices
(untoasted sides up). Put 2
slices Cheddar on 3 slices of
bread & 1 slice Swiss each on
remaining 3 breads. Return
to broiler & broil 1-2 minutes
until cheese is completely
melted. Press slices together
(each having both Cheddar &
Swiss) – repeat with remaining
bread & cheese slices & more
butter.
When cooled, trim crusts off
sandwiches & arrange in one
layer in prepared dish – sprinkle
Parmesan cheese over top.
Scatter the tomato halves on
the baking sheet & toss with 1/2
tsp. salt. Broil until they are very
soft & skins are wrinkled & browned
in spots, 4-5 minutes. Scatter
tomatoes over sandwiches.
Turn broiler to BAKE &
preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Whisk Half & Half, mayonnaise,
eggs, 1 tsp. salt & a few grinds
black pepper in a large bowl –
pour mixture over the tomatoes &
sandwiches (the liquid won’t
completely cover). Cover with foil
& bake until custard is mostly set,
about 30 minutes. Remove foil &
continue to bake until casserole is
hot & golden brown in spots, about
15 minutes more. Scatter parsley
on top & serve hot. Serves 6-8

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

Italian Sausage Egg Bake
(overnight recipe)

8 slices white bread, cubed
1 lb. Italian sausage links,
casings removed/sliced
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
9 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 C. milk
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
(optional)

Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & place bread
cubes in bottom. In large skillet
cook sausage over medium heat
until no longer pink; drain. Spoon
sausage over bread; sprinkle top
with cheeses. In large bowl whisk
eggs, milk & seasonings – pour
over casserole. Cover & refrigerate
overnight.

Remove casserole from fridge
30 minutes before baking
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered, 50-55
minutes until a knife inserted near
center comes out clean. Let stand
5 minutes before cutting.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Caramelized Vidalia Onion Dip

2 T. butter
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions,
thinly sliced
1 (8 oz ) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. mayonnaise

sweet potato chips – for dipping

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in large skillet over
medium heat; add onions & cook,
stirring often, 30-40 minutes until
onions are caramel colored. Combine
onions, cheese & mayonnaise, stirring
well. Spoon dip into a lightly greased
1 1/2 – 2 qt. baking dish & bake,
uncovered, 30 minutes until golden
brown & bubbly. Serve with sweet
potato chips (if desired). Makes 4 Cups

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
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Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

1 (16 oz) load day-old French bread
2 1/2 C. milk
1 C. Half & Half (whole milk or heavy
cream)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. granulated sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cube bread then place in large bowl.
In another bowl beat eggs, milk, half &
half, sugar, salt & vanilla – pour over
bread cubes & allow to sit 5-10 minutes.
In another small bowl combine, using
a fork, softened butter, brown sugar &
nuts (this will have the consistency of
wet sand). Spray an 8 X 8″ pan with
nonstick spray & pour half of bread
mixture into pan. Top with half of pecan
mixture. Spoon remaining bread mixture
over top & add remaining pecan
mixture – press down into pan slightly,
pan will be really full. Top with
remaining pecan mixture. Place pan
on a cookie sheet with a 1-inch edge
to catch any mixture that may boil
over. Bake 44-55 minutes. Center will
be slightly jiggly but will set when cooled.
Allow to cool 20-30 minutes before
serving so that slices will hold together.
It is a very thick pudding – poster cut
hers into 16 equal servings.

(recipe: callmepmc.com)

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

This is Spring Break week for our kids
in school; we had our 10 yr old grandson
all day Monday and we have him again
today. The good thing today was: I got
to spend a little time with the baby.
Monday baby & his Momma were both
sick with a cold; baby is now well (with
a tiny cough) and the other grandma
is going to be babysitting him today
while his Momma is going back to
work for the first time after his
delivery. New world for both of them
AND for all of us, too. Soon we’ll
have to work out a schedule as to
who has the baby what times/days
and then, also figure in when we
get our older grandson, also. Life
is getting a bit more fast-paced –
will I be ready for it!?

Middle son also announced that
he’s planning on moving out as
soon as he gets his tax refund –
back with his friend (15 minutes
away) where he used to live about
2-3 years ago. The friend is a great
guy and has a nice condo – our son
(this time) will be taking the
basement apartment (much bigger)
which will be nice for him. Bad
part? Moving the single bed
mattress & bed frame down the
stairs – I’ll leave that to them to
work out.

While grocery shopping yesterday
it dawned on me that I will soon
have to learn to cook for JUST TWO
PEOPLE! This will be the first time
in 34 years that it’s just my husband
& I! That will be a little different!
I bought ingredients to make
enchiladas, lasagna, beef stroganoff-
all of those I’m used to making for
6+ people. Guess I’ll have to attempt
to pare down my recipes, eh?

Not much else new around here,
hope you’re having a good week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Easter is coming – soon!

Looking at the calendar – Easter will be here very soon! For some of you it means new Easter outfits or Easter baskets – for me it means church, singing Easter songs and dinner with the family. Our oldest (the chef) was over last night and we were discussing IF we were doing a family dinner at his house this year. He said this will be the very FIRST time he’s ever had Easter off – every other restaurant/place he’s worked they’ve done an Easter brunch – at his hotel they are not doing that so he’s OFF! Not sure yet on time of dinner/who’s bringing what but now I need to hone my Easter ‘sides’ recipes. I’ve been gleaning some for you and I’m sure there will be more to come.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Bites

1 (16 oz) pkg. refrigerated sugar
cookies
2 egg whites, room temp.
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T. sugar
1 C. lemon curd, room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 24-count mini muffin
pan with nonstick spray. Break
apart cookie dough & place one
in each muffin cup. Bake 10-12
minutes until lightly brown. Remove
from oven & let cool 5 minutes.
Gently make a small indentation on
top of each cookie (you can use end
of a wooden spoon or your index
finger). Let cool while you beat egg
whites. In mixing bowl beat whites &
cream of tartar until foamy. Add in
sugar & continue beating on High
until soft peaks form & whites are
shiny white. Scoop about 1 T. of
lemon curd into cookie cups & top
each with beaten egg whites. Return
to oven & bake an additional 10
minutes until meringues are lightly
browned. Keep leftovers in
fridge. Makes 24

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
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Roasted Spring Vegetables

1 lb. thin carrots, peeled
8 oz. shallots, peeled/quartered
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. honey
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Halve, lengthwise, any carrots
1″ thick or thicker. Place carrots
& shallots in single layer in 15 X
10″ baking pan with sides – drizzle
1 T. of oil on them. Roast 10
minutes, shaking pan & turning
once. Add asparagus, drizzle with
remaining oil & roast 10 minutes
longer. Meanwhile, in small sauce-
pan, combine syrup, honey, vinegar,
butter & salt. Cook over medium
heat until it boils. Boil 2 minutes
then pour over roasted vegetables.
Sprinkle top with thyme.
Serves 8
Refrigerate any leftovers

(recipe: kroger.com)
———————————–

Holiday Brunch Casserole
(overnight recipe)

4 C. frozen shredded hash
brown potatoes, thawed
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked/
drained
1/2 lb. bacon strips, cooked/
crumbled
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
4 large eggs
3 C. milk
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine first
5 ingredients; stir in 1 C. cheese.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & place mixed
ingredients in pan. In another
bowl whisk eggs, milk, baking mix
& salt until blended; pour over
top. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese. Cover & refrigerate
overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove casserole from fridge
while oven heats. Bake, uncovered,
30-35 minutes until a knife inserted
near center comes out clean. Let
stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Maple-Peach Glazed Ham

1 fully-cooked bone-in ham
(7-9 lb)
2 C. peach preserves or orange
marmalade
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/3 C. orange juice
2 T. ground ancho chili
pepper, (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place ham on a rack in a
shallow roasting pan. Cover
& bake 1 3/4 – 2 1/4 hours until
a thermometer reads 130 degrees
F. In small saucepan mix preserves,
syrup, orange juice & chili pepper
(if using) until blended. Remove
3/4 C. mixture for glaze.
Remove ham from oven; brush
with some of glaze. Bake, uncovered,
15-20 minutes longer until a
thermometer reads 140 degrees F.,
brushing occasionally with remaining
glaze. Bring preserves mixture to a
boil over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. Cook & stir 1-2 minutes
until slightly thickened. Serves as
a sauce with ham. Makes 16 servings,
about 2 C. sauce)

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

Spinach/Raspberry Salad

1/3 C. slivered blanched almonds
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/3 C. vegetable oil
6 oz. ready-to-use baby
spinach leaves
2 green onions, sliced
5 T. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds
6 oz. fresh raspberries

In small nonstick skillet combine
almonds & 2 T. sugar – cook over
medium heat 3 minutes until
sugar melts & coats the almonds
and they are golden brown, stirring
frequently. Spread on waxed paper
to cool. In small bowl beat vinegar,
remaining 3 T. sugar, salt & mustard
using wire whisk until blended. Whisk
in oil until thick & well blended then
stir in poppy seeds. In large shallow
bowl toss spinach with dressing; top
with raspberries, green onions &
almonds. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6

(recipe: kroger.com)
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Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

1 1/2 C. flour
3 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plus 1 T. milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced plus
extra for serving
maple syrup, for topping

Sift together flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. In separate bowl
whisk sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla
& lemon zest. Add wet ingredients
to dry, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 T. butter in large skillet over
medium-low heat until it bubbles.
Ladle pancake batter into pan to make
3-4 pancakes – distribute a rounded
T. bananas on each pancake. Cook
2-3 minutes until bubbles appear on
top & underside is nicely browned.
Flip pancakes & cook 1 more minute
until browned. Place cooked pancakes
on a plate, cover to keep warm. Wipe
out pan using a paper towel, add more
butter & continue cooking pancakes
until all batter is used up. Serve with
sliced bananas & maple syrup on top.
Makes 12 pancakes

(recipe: Ina Garten – foodnetwork.com)
———————————-

Creamy Bacon/Pea Salad

1 lb. frozen peas
5 slices bacon, cooked/diced
1/4 red onion, diced
3 oz. Cheddar cheese, diced
1/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 T. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Place frozen peas in a colander &
place colander in a bowl. Run hot
water over them to thaw; drain
well. In a bowl mix sour cream,
onion, mayo, ranch dressing, lemon
juice, salt/pepper – mix well. Place
peas in a bowl & mix dressing into
peas. Fold half of bacon & all of
cheese into salad. Garnish top
with remaining bacon. Cover &
refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

(recipe: family freshmeals.com)
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Crockpot Ravioli Casserole

1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen cheese ravioli,
uncooked (do not need to thaw)
1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey/
chicken)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (6 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
(optional: chopped fresh basil – garnish)

In large skillet saute beef, onion, pepper &
garlic over medium-high heat until meat is
no longer pink. Season with salt/pepper &
drain any fat from skillet. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray & spread
1 C. marinara sauce in bottom. Top with half
of ravioli, half cooked meat & half mozzarella.
Add another layer remaining sauce, rest of
ravioli & rest of meat/mozzarella. Cover &
cook on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-5 hours.
Sprinkle with Parmesan & garnish with basil
before serving. Serves 8

(recipe: theseasonedmom.com)
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English Muffin Bread

2 T. cornmeal
butter
2 C. milk
1 C. hot water
6 C. flour, divided
2 T. yeast (active/dry)
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Coat bottom & sides of two
(8 X 4″) loaf pans with butter.
Sprinkle 1 T. cornmeal in each
pan & shake pan to coat sides
& bottom with cornmeal. Pour
1 C. hot water & 2 C. milk into a
glass measuring cup – microwave
2 minutes on High. In large mixing
bowl add 3 C. flour, 2 T. yeast, 1 T.
sugar, 2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. soda –
stir together using a fork. Pour
warm milk liquid into dry
ingredients. Using electric mixer
on Low 1 minute, then medium
1 more minute. Add additional
3 C. flour, one cup at a time, while
mixer is running on Low. Mix until
well combined, just 1-2 minutes.
Dough will be stiff, kind of like
thick cookie dough. Scoop dough
into prepared pans & press down
using your fingers. Place dough in
oven & allow dough to rise until it
has almost reached the tops of the
pans (should take about 10 minutes).
Turn oven heat to 400 degrees F.
Allow bread to bake for about
20 minutes until tops are golden
brown & bread sounds hollow when
top is tapped. (NOTE: the 20 minutes
cooking time includes the rising time)
Remove from oven & allow to cool
in pans 5 minutes then remove from
pans. Makes 2 loaves

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

Caramelized Brown Butter Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
room temp.
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In heavy skillet on Low heat, melt
butter until it begins to foam; stir
about 5 minutes until it turns golden
brown & smells nutty. Transfer to a
large heatproof bowl; allow to cool
in fridge until solid, about 30 minutes.
Once solid, remove from fridge & set
aside to bring back to room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack on lower middle section
of oven. Butter a nonstick 9 X 5″ loaf pan
& dust with powdered sugar. Beat browned
butter until it becomes creamy, then add
sugar & vanilla; continue beating 3-5 minutes
until well combined & creamed. Beat in
eggs, one at a time, making sure each is
thoroughly combine before adding the
next. In a separate bowl, combine flour,
salt & baking powder; slowly beat flour
mixture into creamed butter mixture until
well combined. Transfer batter to prepared
pan, smooth out top evenly & bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven, loosely cover
with foil then bake 20-25 minutes more.
Allow cake to cool in pan 10-15 minutes
then transfer, upside down, to a serving
platter. Serves 8-10

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

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

This week is Spring Break for our schools
which means my 10 yr. old grandson is
off, also. He spent the day here yesterday
and will be back Friday. We spent the day
watching ‘goofy’ kid shows, visiting our
local library and reading – he’s into Percy
Jackson books now and I’m really glad
he’s become a ‘reader’. My husband &
I both love to read and I’m SO glad my
grandson does, too-such a great way to
expand your vocabulary!

Along with reading I’ve been working
on getting more baby blankets done.
Finished the Diagonal Box Stitch
blanket:

I’m almost half done with another knit
multi-colored blanket; this one is more
of a ‘girl’s’ colors one. I just love the
challenge of figuring out a new pattern
and then executing it.

Gas prices: they seem to be holding
(for now) at $2.39/9 – wonder if
they’ll go up before the holiday?

Newest grandson & his Momma are
currently sick with a virus – I stopped
by their house yesterday to pick up
oldest grandson and they both were
being ‘cared for’ by her Mom. Baby is
a bit cranky due to being sick; Momma
is trying her hardest to get better as
she goes back to work Friday. This will
be a new job at a new restaurant/bar.
Their friend & former neighbor is
revamping a local place and attempting
to upscale it to a more family-friendly
place. She will be the head bartender
& in charge of wait staff so you can
see why she needs to be feeling much
better by then! With her Mother &
myself we can pretty much hold up
the baby/grandson watching job so
we’ll see how this all goes.

Hope things are going well for
you at the moment –

Hugs;

Pammie

Frustrating but it’s DONE! YAY!

Every year I dread getting all the forms/paperwork together to go have our taxes done. We have a GREAT tax guy (and great friend) and he does a great job – I just ALWAYS have the feeling, when gathering up all the papers, that I forgot something – does that ever happen to you? Yes, he can call me – yes, I can fax anything to him I might have missed, just don’t like feeling totally incompetent (part of my Type-A personality gotta have all the I’s dotted & T’s crossed). We’ll see tomorrow . . .

Monday was my Babysitting Night with newest grandson, from 5 p.m. to around midnight. He slept a good part of that time, gave me a run for my money when he got hiccups (had to remember what to do with a baby that small – gave him few sips from his bottle & he was good!). All in all, it was a good evening & his parents got to go out & enjoy themselves a little.

Not the best photo – believe me I TRIED!

He’s now 1 month old and gaining a little weight – great to snuggle with!

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

Berry Magic Cake

6 T. unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temp,
separated
3/4 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. strawberries, sliced 1/4″
thick
1 C. raspberries, halved
lengthwise
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

powdered sugar – dusting
Whipped Cream (or Cool
Whip – for serving)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Position oven rack in center of
oven. Line a 8 X 8″ square baking
pan with a 12 X 8″ piece of
parchment paper, leaving an
overhang on 2 sides. Melt butter
in small microwave-safe bowl
in microwave, 1 minute. Brush
parchment paper with some of
butter then flip it over & press
it back in pan. Brush the other
side of paper & sides of the pan
with butter. Whisk egg yolks &
sugar vigorously in large bowl
until pale, creamy & thick,
1-2 minutes. Pour in remaining
melted butter & whisk
until incorporated. Add salt
& all but 2 T. flour, mixing
until completely combined.
Heat milk in microwave-safe
bowl or measuring cup in
microwave until warm, about
1 minute. Slowly add milk &
vanilla to egg yolk mixture,
whisking constantly until well
combined (batter will be thin).
Toss berries with reserved 2
T. flour & gently stir into the
mixture. Beat egg whites & cream
of tartar in another bowl using
elec. mixer on medium speed
until stiff peaks form, 2  minutes.
Scrape whites into yolk mixture,
gently breaking them up a little
with a whisk. Using whisk, gently
stir & fold mixture a few times to
coat the whites with liquid while
keeping as much volume as
possible. Pour batter into pan &
gently smooth top with a rubber
spatula. Bake until top is browned &
puffed and cake is mostly set with a
slight jiggle in center, about 1 hour.
Let cake cool completely in pan,
about 2 hours.
To serve:
Dust top of cake lightly with powdered
sugar; run a spatula or thin knife around
edges of pan to loosen. Use the paper
overhang to lift cake from pan & place
on a cutting board. Cut cake into 9
squares & serve topped with whipped
cream (or Cool Whip).

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

Garlic Brown Sugar-Baked Chicken

8 pieces chicken, bone-in
1 large onion, sliced
4 T. butter
4 cloves garlic
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. In
large skillet over medium heat,
melt 2 T. butter. Season chicken
with salt/pepper & add to skillet.
Sear chicken pieces on both sides
until golden brown, 1-2 minutes
per side then place in prepared
dish along with onion slices. Melt
remaining butter in skillet & add
garlic; cook 1-2 minutes. Add brown
sugar, honey, oregano, thyme & basil;
stir to combine. Pour glaze over chicken
& onion. Bake 25-30 minutes. Once
chicken is fully cooked, remove from
oven & serve hot. Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes,
drained
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
4 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chopped carrot
1/2 c. green bell pepper, seeds
removed/chopped
1/4 C. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Garnish
cooked/crumbled bacon

Place cooked ground beef, tomatoes,
potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion,
celery & garlic in crockpot; pour
chicken stock over top. Season with
chili powder, salt/pepper & stir to
combine. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours until vegetables are
softened. In small bowl stir flour
into heavy cream until no chunks
remain then pour into crockpot.
Add Cheddar cheese & stir to
combine then cover & cook
another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Serves 8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
—————————————-

Bundt Pan Roast Chicken!

3 cloves garlic, whole
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, quartered
1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes,
quartered
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 large bunch fresh rosemary
olive oil
1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken,
neck/gizzard/heart/liver removed
1 lemon, sliced
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cover hole of Bundt pan with foil.
Place garlic, carrots, onion & potatoes
in Bundt pan; sprinkle with oil/salt/
pepper & toss to combine. Scatter
sprigs of thyme & rosemary on top
of vegetables. Pat chicken dry using
paper towels. Season inside of
cavity generously with salt/pepper,
then stuff with lemon halves, a few
sprigs of thyme & rosemary. Rub
oil all over skin of chicken then
season generously with salt/pepper.
Place chicken over hold in Bundt
pan so it’s standing up. Bake 45
minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes until
chicken is cooked through & skin
is golden brown. Let chicken rest
in pan at least 15 minutes before
removing & slicing. Serve with
roasted vegetables & juices from
pan. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

Sausage & Potato Skillet

1 1/2 lb. any potato (Russet, new red,
yellow, etc.)
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. Italian sweet sausage, cut into
thick slices on the bias
1 lb. onion, sliced into thick slices
2 large green peppers, cut into thick
strips
1/4 C. chicken or vegetable stock
3 T. butter
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika

In large skillet with tight fitting lid,
fill half full with water. Peel potatoes
(if using new red, no need to peel); cut
into wedges & place in water as you cut.
Bring to boil, lower to medium boil &
boil 5 minutes. (potatoes should still have
a good bite- they will be cooked again, later.)
Using a strainer, remove to a plate, discard
water. Wipe out the pan & add olive oil; heat
on medium high; add sausage & brown on
both sides. Reduce heat & continue to cook
& turn until cooked through – remove to bowl.
Add onions & peppers to skillet & cook 8-10
minutes until peppers just start to lose their
crunch. Add stock & stir to loosen any bits on
the bottom of the pan. Pour this mixture into
bowl with sausages. Add butter to pan, salt,
garlic powder, oregano & paprika. Place potatoes
in pan & toss lightly to coat both sides then
cook until potatoes are browned & cooked
through, turning occasionally to brown both
sides. Add sausage, peppers & onions back
to pan & stir lightly without breaking up the
potatoes. Serves 4-6

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

Crockpot Chocolate Espresso
Lava Cake

1 (regular size) chocolate fudge
cake mix
1 T. instant espresso powder
3 C. milk
1 (3.9 oz) instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 C. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate
chips
1 C. white baking chips

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
add espresso powder & then
prepare cake mix accordg. to
pkg. directions – pour into
crockpot. In small bowl whisk
milk & pudding mix 2 minutes.
Let stand 2 minutes until soft-
set then pour over batter. Cover
& cook on Low 3 to 3 1/2 hours
until a toothpick inserted in cake
portion comes out with moist
crumbs.
Sprinkle top with chocolate &
white baking chips. Turn off
crockpot, remove insert & let
stand, uncovered, 15-30 minutes
until chips are softened. Serve
warm. Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

Our weather is still Springy – in the 50’s &
sunny (supposed to be rainy for a few days);
got my errands done today so I’m good.

Last night was Knit Night and, for whatever
reason, we only had 7 people! Strange. We
also agreed that, with Easter coming, we’re
postponing the Knit/Crochet Movie night
until May – so much for ‘fun’, eh?

Gas prices are jumping again – was shocked
to see that they had gone from $2.29/9
to $2.46/9 in a few days – guess they need
the extra income for those traveling during
the holidays – right?

Anyway, hope you have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie