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)
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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)
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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)
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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).

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

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)
—————————

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)
————————–

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)
——————————

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)
————————————

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.

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

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)
——————————

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)
——————————-

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)
———————————

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)
————————————

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)
————————————-

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

It’s been ONE WEEK already!

Stopped over to visit with new grandson – he’s now officially one week old! I had knit him a little hat which I delivered today – turns out he’s more of a “Premie” head size right now – we put it on him with his Dad holding him

101_0432

While I was there middle son stopped by to get his first look at the baby; here he’s asking Kolt what he’s dreaming of

101_0434

It was a nice easy-going visit – oldest son (baby’s Daddy) keeps telling me I need to get over to visit them (“He misses you, Grandma!”) – it’s good for all of us and warms my heart so much!

===========

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Topping:
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. butter (do not use margarine
or imitation butter)
2 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

Cake:
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
1 T. vanilla
1/2 C. Greek yogurt
1/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 or 9″ springform pan with
nonstick spray or grease with
shortening. (poster also lines
bottom of pan with parchment
paper). Sprinkle 1/2 C. melted
butter in bottom of pan; evenly
sprinkle 1 C. brown sugar over butter.
Evenly spread blueberries on top.
In bowl, combine flour, baking
powder, baking soda & salt. In
another bowl of elec. mixer combine
oil & sugar on Low speed. Add
vanilla & eggs; blend. Slowly mix
in flour mixture, alternating with
Greek yogurt & milk. Spoon batter
into pan & smooth top. Bake
45-50 minutes. Test cake -insert
wooden toothpick into center –
cake is done when it comes out
clean (or with dry crumbs). Cool
cake on wire rack 5 minutes, then
run a thin knife tip around cake
edge & loosen springform ring.
Cake cake be stored in fridge
up to 5 days. Serves 10

(recipe: callmepmc.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Dijon Pork Chops & Potatoes

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 medium red potatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 boneless pork loin chops (about
1-inch thick)
1 T. oil

Thickening (if desired):
3 T. flour
1/4 C. water

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray.
In large bowl mix soup, broth, mustard,
garlic, thyme, salt/pepper. Stir in sliced
potatoes & onions & place in crockpot.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high
heat; brown chops well on both sides.
Place chops on top of potato mixture.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours or High
3-5 hours. If you want a thick sauce,
mix together thickening ingredients
listed above & stir until there are no
lumps. Turn crockpot to High, remove
chops & stir flour mixture into potatoes.
Place chops back in crockpot & cook on
High 15-20 minutes longer until sauce
is thick & fully cooked. Serves 6

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

Sheet Pan Scalloped Potatoes

1 T. unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
2 C. heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt
ground black pepper
2 1/4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes,
scrubbed – about 8
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Gruyere cheese
(4 1/2 oz.)

Special equipment:  18 X 13″ sheet pan

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Lightly grease pan with butter.
In small saucepan over medium heat
bring cream, garlic, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt
& 1/4 tsp. pepper to simmer then
turn off heat. Thinly slice potatoes using
a mandoline or vegetable slicer (about
1/8 inch thick slices) Arrange half of
potato slices in single, overlapping layer
on sheet pan; sprinkle tops evenly with
salt & half grated Parmesan. Top with
remaining potato slices & sprinkle with
salt. Drizzle hot cream mixture evenly
over potatoes. Cover pan with foil &
bake about 20 minutes until potatoes
are tender when pierced with a paring
knife. Carefully remove foil & sprinkle
tops with Gruyere & remaining Parmesan.
Cook, uncovered, until very brown &
crusty on top, rotating pan halfway
through cooking time (15-20 minutes more).
Serves 8-10

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

Swedish Meatball Soup

1 large egg
2 C. Half & Half, divided
1 C. soft bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 T. butter
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
3 C. water
1 lb. red potatoes, cubed
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas,
thawed

In large bowl beat egg; add
1/3 C. Half & Half, bread crumbs,
onion & 1 tsp. salt. Crumble
beef over mixture & mix well
then shape into 1/2 inch balls.
In Dutch oven, brown meatballs
in butter, in batches. Remove from
pan; drain fat. Add flour, bouillon,
pepper, garlic salt & remaining
salt to pan; stir until smooth.
Gradually stir in water; bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cook & stir 2 minutes
until thickened. Add potatoes &
meatballs. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 25 minutes until potatoes
are tender. Stir in peas & remaining
Half & Half; heat through.
Makes 8 servings (about 2 qts)

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

Quick Chicken Casserole

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 can cream of celery soup
1 pkg. French onion soup mix
2 onions, roughly chopped
water
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour dry rice into bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish – spread to edges Arrange
chicken breasts on top of rice. Mix the
2 soups together in a bowl with a little
water  – season to taste with salt/pepper
& pour over chicken/rice. Spread onions
on top & bake 1 hour.

(recipe: cooktopcove.com)
——————————

Honey Garlic Shrimp Skillet

1 lb. shrimp (skin off/tail on)

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

Combine sauce ingredients &
divide in half. Marinade shrimp
with half of sauce 15-30 minutes
(discard marinade). Over medium-
high heat in 10 inch skillet sear
shrimp in some oil – sear on both
sides in two batches until browned,
about 1 minute per side. Using
tongs, rub shrimp into caramelized
bits on bottom of pan. Serve hot
drizzled with remaining sauce.
Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
————————————-

Warm Caramel Apple Pudding Cake


2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled/
sliced thin
1 (2 layer) pkg. yellow cake mix, divided
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant pudding
mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk
1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping,
divided
1/4 C. water
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed/divided
1/2 C. dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with non-
stick spray. In large bowl place 1 T.
dry cake mix & toss apples in bowl
to coat. Prepare rest of cake mix as per
box directions; pour into dish; top with
coated apples. Beat dry pudding mixes,
milk, 3/4 C. caramel topping & water
using a whisk, 2 minutes; drizzle over
apples. Place baking dish on a baking
sheet & bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
until golden brown. Cool 20 minutes;
sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
Whisk remaining caramel topping &
Cool Whip until blended; spoon over
cake slices. Just before serving sprinkle
top of slices with nuts (if desired.)
Serves 16

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

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

Not much going on around here – gas
prices dropped a little (down to $2.39/9).
Weather is cold (in the 30’s) with light
dustings of snow but nothing big. Today
it’s sunny (but very chilly) out – kind of
fools you into thinking it’s warm – until
you actually GET OUT IN IT! At least
Spring is on the way – sometime soon!
Our backyard is covered in a small
yellow ground cover that blooms at
this time every year. (I used to think
it was called Aconite, but looking it
up – it’s not the same thing!)The funny
thing is: we never planted it – our neighbor
with connecting yard did, many years ago.
Each year it creeps a little more into our
yard – their yard is now almost totally
empty of it!

 

240_F_62348436_rptKpcACRSMbJULnY2hLtAUbE4LiXS5F

Am quickly finishing up the pink/white/
tan baby blanket – just crocheting a white
edging on it and it will be done! I brought
it to Knit Night Tuesday and today noticed
I had made a several-rows mistake – ripped
them out and decided “That’s It! I’m done!”
It was long enough so now it’s just get it
finished.

Hope your week has gone well – stay
healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

Yep, it’s Michigan!

12243076_10208800182751312_7098183096054005269_n

Yesterday evening, while driving to my special needs group, it was windy with a light rain. During the evening that changed – I drove home with 40 MPH. winds and SNOW! Getting up this morning, the ground is lightly covered in the white stuff and the temps. dropped from 50’s (early yesterday) to 25 degrees (with wind chill – feels like 15 degrees F). – typical MICHIGAN in the Spring! Ugh! Going over the weather report, it seems we’re also supposed to get 3 inches of the white stuff around 3 p.m. today – oh, joy – looks like that quick run to the store & drug store will have to take place NOW!

Gas prices have also jacked up – from $2.29/9 to $2.49/9 – that’s quite a jump!

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

Tornado Cake

Cake:
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) can fruit cocktail with syrup
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. brown sugar

Icing:
1 stick butter
1 C. shredded coconut
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk or Half & Half

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
spray & dust inside surfaces with flour
Mix sugar, eggs, fruit cocktail, baking
soda & flour; pour into prepared pan.
Combine brown sugar & nuts; sprinkle
over top. Bake 40 minutes.
Mix ingredients for icing & spread onto
cake while still hot.

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

Double Meltaway Steak

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter,
softened
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 strip steaks
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In medium bowl combine
butter, garlic, onion powder &
parsley; mix well. On a 12-inch
square of waxed paper, pour
butter mixture down center
of sheet & roll into a 1 inch
thick log. Wrap tightly &
refrigerate about 1 hour,
until firm.
Sprinkle each side of steaks
evenly with salt/pepper. Spray
a grill pan or heavy skillet with
nonstick spray & heat over
medium-high heat. Cook
steaks 6-8 minutes per side for
medium doneness or to desired
doneness. Remove butter ‘log’
from fridge; slice off a slice &
place on steaks – serve immediately.
Serves 2

The idea is: the butter seasons the
steaks & the tender meat melts in
your mouth –

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Chicken Parmesan Bites
(appetizer)

2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten with 1 T. water
2 C. flour
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
kosher salt/black pepper
oil – for frying
1 C. marinara sauce
1/4 lb. mozarella cheese cut into
1/2″ cubes
2 T. fresh chopped basil (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using 3 large bowls:
Bowl 1: whisk breadcrumbs, garlic
powder, paprika & Parm
Bowl 2: egg & water
Bowl 3: flour
Season chicken pieces with salt/
pepper – coat each piece of chicken
in flour (shake off excess) dip in
egg & coat in breadcrumb mixture;
set aside on a plate. In deep cast-
iron or heavy skillet warm 1″ oil
over medium-high heat. Add coated
chicken & cook until golden, 5-7
minutes, turning, drain on a paper
towel-lined plate. Arrange cooked
pieces in a baking dish in a single
layer. Add a small spoonful of
marinara over chicken & top with
a cube of mozzarella. Bake 3-5 minutes
until chicken is warmed through &
cheese is melty. Garnish with basil
& serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————-
Spicy Enchilada-Stuffed Shells

24 jumbo pasta shells, uncooked
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. Mexican chorizo sausage
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 C. thick salsa
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed/
rained
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded jalapeno
cheese, divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta shells accordg. to pkg.
directions, omitting salt. Cook
ground beef & chorizo in large
skillet on medium heat until
done, stirring frequently; drain.
Mix enchilada sauce & salsa until
blended & spread 1/2 C. mixture
on bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Add
1 C. remaining enchilada sauce
mixture to meat mixture in skillet;
stir in beans & 1 C. cheese. Drain
pasta shells & fill with meat mixture.
Place, filled sides up, in dish,
sprinkling top with remaining
cheese & drizzle remaining
enchilada sauce on top. Cover
with foil & bake 30 minutes until
heated through. Serves 8

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Crockpot Garlic Parmesan Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
thawed
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
12 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
(optional: 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon
juice/pinch salt)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in crockpot & cook
on High 3 hours or Low 6 hours, covered.
After 3 hours (on High or 6 on Low)
drain juices. In small bowl combine butter,
mayo, Parm cheese, garlic, oregano, basil
& salt – stir well & pour over chicken. Cover
& cook 30 minutes more or until done.
Serves 4

(recipe: thefrugalgirls.com)
———————————————

Mashed Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 lb),
peeled/cubed
1 C. evaporated milk
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
divided
1/2 C. sour cream
4-6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
(or 1/2 C. bacon bits)
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 or 9″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Boil
potatoes in large pot until
tender, about 20-30 minutes;
drain well. Return potatoes
to pot & add milk, sour cream,
salt/pepper & garlic powder –
beat/mash until smooth &
creamy. Fold in 1 C. Cheddar
cheese. Spread mixture evenly
in bottom of prepared dish &
bake 20 minutes. Remove from
oven & top with bacon & remaining
1 C. Cheddar cheese. Return to
oven & bake until cheese is
melted. Serves 6

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

Italian Sausage Kale Soup

1 (19 1/2 oz) pkg. Italian turkey
sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
8 C. chopped fresh kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
flakes, (optional)
1/2 C. white wine or chicken stock
3 1/4 C. (26 oz) chicken stock
1 (15 oz) can white kidney or
cannellini beans, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can no salt added
diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes (NOT
packed in oil), chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper

In 6 qt. stockpot, cook sausage &
onion over medium heat 6-8 minutes
until no longer pink, breaking meat
into crumbles. Remove to a bowl or
plate with slotted spoon. Add kale to
pot, cook & stir 2 minutes. Add garlic
(and, if desired – pepper flakes), cook
1 minute. Add wine, cook 2 minutes
longer. Stir in sausage mixture &
remaining ingredients. Bring to boil;
reduce heat to simmer. Cover &
cook 15-20 minutes until kale is tender.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

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

7 Minutes in Heaven Cake

1 box angel food cake mix
2 boxes instant chocolate
pudding mix (& ingredients
to make them)
4 C. heavy cream
1/4 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate shavings

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepared cake mix accordg. to
directions. Pour about two-
thirds of batter into UNgreased
9 X 13″ baking dish; bake until
slightly golden, about 25-30
minutes. Let cool.
When cake is cooled: poke big
holes in cake across entire surface
of cake using rounded end of a
wooden spoon. Combine pudding
mixes & milk* in medium bowl; whisk
until mixture just begins to thicken-
pour over surface of cane & spread
with a spatula making sure pudding
gets into all holes. Cover & refrigerate
2 hours.
Prepare whipped cream:
In large bowl combine heavy cream with
sugar & vanilla – beat until stiff peaks
form. Spread over top of cake & garnish
with chocolate shavings. Serves 10-12

*amount of milk required to prepare
the 2 boxes of pudding mix

(recipe: delish.com)

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

Lately this week I’ve been slightly amazed at
people – for example: Knit/Crochet night we
usually average around 15-19 people…this
week we had 7, including me! No particular
reason why for the absences (President’s
speech? It was lightly raining?). Last night,
for my special needs group – the weather was
really crappy – we fully expected a very small
crowd – we had 25 PLUS caregivers! Strange!
Guess ya just never know, right?

Not much else going on around here – I still
need to finish getting the upstairs ready for
#2 son to move up there; still have to finish
shredding old bills – don’t really feel the
‘urge’ to do either! Oh well – ‘eventually’,
(grin).

Hope you have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie

FINALLY!

pam-kolt-2-days-old-feb-27-2017

After waiting 2 days, I finally got to hold him! Days were hectic and I am not one to impose myself on others, but last night oldest son texted me the baby was up & active, did I want to come over & hold him? OF COURSE! Picture is a little blurry (son was trying to use my camera and the flash had been shut off, plus baby was fussing a bit – at first). I had a great time just chatting with his parents and holding him while he slept – for THREE hours! Both parents kept saying they’ve never seen him so relaxed – told them it’s the Grandma Touch. Many years ago, at another church nursery, I was always the person they gave the fussy babies to – don’t know what I did/do, but it seems to work. I had a great time!

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

Cappuccino Magic Cake

6 T. unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temp,
separated
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (more for serving)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk
5 tsp. instant expresso powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

powdered sugar, for dusting
whipped cream/Cool Whip,
for serving

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with a
12 X 8″ piece of parchment paper,
leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
Melt butter in small microwave-
safe bowl, about 1 minute. Brush
parchment paper with some of
butter; flip paper over & press
back into pan – brush other side
& sides of the pan with butter.
Whisk egg yolks & sugar
vigorously in large bowl until
pale, creamy & thick (1-2 minutes)
Pour in remaining butter & whisk
until incorporated. Add flour,
cinnamon & salt; mixing until
completely combined. Heat milk
in microwaveable bowl or
measuring cup until warm, 1
minute. Whisk espresso powder &
vanilla into milk until completely
dissolved. Slowly add milk mixture
to egg yolk mixture, whisking
constantly until well combined
(batter will be thin). Beat egg
whites & cream of tartar in another
bowl using elec. mixer on medium
speed until stiff peaks form, about
2 minutes. Scrape whites into yolk
mixture, gently breaking them up
a little with a whisk. Using a whisk,
gently stir & fold mixture a few times
to coat the whites with liquid while
keeping as much volume as possible
(batter will not totally come together).
Pour batter into prepared pan & gently
smooth top with a spatula. Bake until
top is browned & puffed & cake is
mostly set with a slight jiggle in the
center, about 1 hour. Let cake cool
completely in pan, about 2 hours.

To Serve:
Dust top of cake with some powdered
sugar & a little cinnamon. Run a small
spatula or thin knife around edges of
pan to loosen. Use parchment 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. Makes 9 servings.

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

Mongolian Shrimp & Broccoli

3 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 ginger, grated
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. shrimp without tails,
peeled/deveined
salt
1/3 C. cornstarch
canola oil
1 large head broccoli, cut into
florets

Cooked rice to serve 4

In small bowl combine soy sauce,
garlic, ginger, brown sugar & pepper.
In medium bowl season shrimp with
salt & mix with cornstarch until well
coated. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, add 1 T. oil & cook broccoli
until tender, 2 minutes. Add soy sauce
mixture & cook 1 minute. Add shrimp
& stir until cooked through & broccoli
is slightly charred. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————–
Skinny Texas Cheese Fries

4-5 medium Yukon Gold or Russet
potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic salt
salt
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 T. bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 T. green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Wash potatoes; slice into 1/2 inch
strips. Lay potato strips face down
in 2 piles; slice each pile into 1/2
inch strips. Place them in a bowl
& drizzle 2 T. olive oil over top.
In small bowl combine chili powder,
seasoned salt, paprika & garlic –
sprinkle seasoning over top of
potatoes & toss, using tongs,
making sure all slices get covered
with seasoning. Generously spray
2 large cookie sheets with nonstick
spray. Lay potatoes out evenly, making
sure none overlap. Bake 25 minutes.
Test with a fork to be sure they are
soft in centers. Remove from oven &
sprinkle tops with salt. Using a spatula,
place all fries into a deep 9 X 9″ casserole
dish (or deep dish pie plate). Sprinkle
with Cheddar cheese & bacon crumbles.
Place pan in oven & allow cheese to melt,
2-3 minutes. sprinkle top with chopped
cilantro & green onions & serve.
Serves 6

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

Crockpot Anything Goes Sausage Soup
(cooks for 9-10 hours)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
4 C. water
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed
Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
5 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 C. chopped cabbage
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 T. dried parsley flakes
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink;
drain & transfer to 6 qt. crockpot.
Stir in water & soups until blended.
Add vegetables, bouillon, parsley
& pepper. Cover & cook on Low
9-10 hours until vegetables are
tender. Stir in milk, cover & cook
30 minutes longer.
Serves 15 (4 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Homemade Guacamole

2 ripe Haas avocados
4 T. minced red onion
1 tsp. (or more) hot sauce
2 T. minced cilantro
1 tsp. lime juice
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
few grinds black pepper
1/2 of a ripe tomato, seeded/
skinned & diced

Crackers or chips, for dipping

Run a knife around outside of
avocados from top to bottom &
back to top. Cut down to it; using
a twisting motion, twist avocado
halves apart. Tap pit with the edge
of a knife so that knife partially
goes into pit – turn knife & pit will
come out. (be careful not to swing
too hard & hit your hand). Run a
soup spoon between avocado pulp
& skin – place pulp in a medium
bowl; mash slightly with a fork,
leaving large chunks.
Add all other ingredients (except
tomato); adjust seasoning as needed.
When ready to serve, sprinkle
diced tomato on top. Makes 2 Cups

NOTE: If, after preparing the guacamole,

when ready to serve, place the PIT in the

middle of the guacamole – it will keep it from

turning brown.


(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
—————————–

30 Minute Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
(uses rotisserie chicken & oven-proof
skillet)

1 (12 oz) pkg. bowtie pasta
2 T. butter
1 C. chicken broth
2 C. Half & Half
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. honey mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. sour cream
2 C. cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 C. deli ham, chopped (or leftover ham)
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 1/4 C. Italian Panko bread crumbs*

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions. Heat
butter in medium skillet over medium-high
heat. Add chicken broth, Half & Half & both
cans soup – whisk to combine. Add honey
mustard, onion powder & salt/pepper – stir
& bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow
to simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add chopped chicken, ham & sour cream to
skillet then drained/cooked pasta – stir together.
Lay slices of Swiss cheese on top of mixture then
sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Turn on broiler
Place under broiler & cook until golden brown –
just a few minutes; watch so you don’t burn it.
Remove from oven & allow to cool a little before
serving. Serves 6-8

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

Crockpot Mexican Beer Chicken

6-8 bone-in/skin on chicken thighs
1 bottle dark (Mexican) beer
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper

Mix all seasonings in a small bowl;
sprinkle each thigh with blend & place
in crockpot. Pour in beer*. Cover &
cook:
Frozen: 4-6 hours on High or 8-10 on Low
Thawed: 3-4 hours on High or 7-8 on low

*Poster said she pours the beer down the
side of the crockpot so as not to wash all
the seasonings off the chicken.

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

Sugar Cookie Apple Crisp

2 T. butter, melted/cooled
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
6 medium apples, peeled/
cored/chopped into bite-
sized chunks
1 (14 oz) pkg. refrigerated
sugar cookie dough, broken
into chunks
1/2 C. rolled oats

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ casserole or
deep-dish baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine butter, sugar, lemon
juice, cinnamon, allspice,
nutmeg & salt. Add apples &
toss to coat. Scrape sides of
bowl with spatula & transfer
to prepared dish. Using a food
processor (or blender), add
cookie dough & oats – pulse
several times until mixture
resembles coarse, wet sand.
Use your hands to sprinkle
mixture on top of apples.
Bake 20-25 minutes until
topping is lightly browned
& apples bubble. Let cool
slightly before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: food.com)
===================

Our weather has been a bit goofy – if you
read the weather reports we’re supposed to
be getting COLD weather, but each day it keeps
getting warmer (for example: woke up & it was
35 degrees F. – a few hours later it’s almost 55!)
I can definitely take this weather but having
grown up in good old Michigan, I KNOW we will
probably get some snow before or during Easter –
wouldn’t be the first time.

Nothing much new going on (except the baby, of
course) – gas prices keep fluctuating between
$2.19/9 and $2.29/9 – not sure just why but as
long as they stay in that range, we’re good.

Tonight is Knit/Crochet night – still working on
both baby blankets – slowly plodding along.

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

A little at a time

good-morning-friends

Each day, lately, I’ve attempted to make a ‘dent’ in the ‘world of the upstairs JUNK’! Today was another ‘go at it’ – we’re talking YEARS of accumulations. Today I actually ‘found’ more little kids reading books, about 6 BOXES of VCR movie tapes (oh, joy), MORE of my old High School Homeschool books (a friend from church wants them – we’re talking Geometry, Biology, Economics, etc.) and that was just today’s discoveries. By the time I’m done I’m hoping to make more room upstairs for when middle son moves up there. It will be a LOT neater/cleaner and a little more roomy – makes my little heart glad.

Along with the cleaning ‘fun’ I ran into more bags of old house bills/receipts, etc. which need to be shredded. I don’t know about you, but shredding is NOT one of my favorite pastimes – boring! I have 2008 & 2009 to do in the next few days. My basic complaint (besides it being boring) is that those little ‘shreds’ seem to jump out of the garbage bag and end up being trecked all over the house! UGH! Oh well – one more job tackled – hopefully.

===========

Crockpot Lemon Spoon Cake
(about 4 lemons total for recipe)

1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. lemon juice (plus 2 T. for glaze)
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. melted butter
3 eggs
1 T. lemon zest (packed)

Glaze:
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 C. powdered sugar

vanilla ice cream, if desired, for serving
cake with

In large bowl add cake mix, lemon juice,
water, melted butter, eggs & lemon zest;
mix with a spoon until combined. (Do not
over mix, some lumps are fine)
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.
Pour batter into crockpot & smooth out evenly.
Cover & cook on High 1 1/2/ – 2 hours. Check
after 1 1/2 hours by pressing center of cake with
your fingers – it should be firm). If you are not
ready to serve when cooking time is up, turn
crockpot to warm setting.

Mix glaze ingredients in small bowl with a spoon.
Scoop cake into bowls & drizzle some glaze over
each serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if
desired. Serves 8 or more

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

Easy Shrimp Scampi

2 T. olive oil
5 T. butter
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 lb. shrimp, (uncooked), peeled/
deveined
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. chopped parsley, divided
juice of 1 lemon

cooked rice or pasta for 4

Heat skillet over medium heat; add
oil & butter – heat until bubbly.
Add ground red pepper; stir constantly
30 seconds. Add shrimp, garlic, salt/
half of parsley; continue to stir 2
minutes. Add lemon juice & cook
1 more minute. Remove from heat &
garnish with remaining parsley. Serve
warm over cooked rice or pasta
Serves 4

(Recipe: yummly.com)
———————————

Sriracha Chicken & Brown Sugar
Bacon Bites

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Sriracha sauce
2 T. orange juice
6-8 slices bacon
6 T. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. black pepper

Cut chicken into 16-18 cubes &
place in large ziplock bag. Add
oil, Sriracha sauce & orange
juice. Zip up bag & turn to fully
coat chicken with marinade.
Refrigerate 1 hour, turning bag
every 20-30 minutes. (For spicier
bites, leave bag in fridge longer).
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut each slice of bacon into 3
pieces; remove chicken from
marinade & wrap a piece of bacon
around each chicken cube. Roll
cube in brown sugar & secure with
wooden toothpicks. Cover a baking
sheet with foil & spray foil with
nonstick spray – place cubes on sheet.
Sprinkle cubes with black pepper &
bake 30 minutes until bacon is crisp.
Turn pieces halfway through cooking
time. Serve warm. Serves 4

(recipe: perdue.com)
———————————–

Baked Rice with Sausage/Peppers

& Corn

1 lb. spicy or sweet Italian sausage (or
bratwurst)
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. Arborio rice
3 C. chicken broth
2 ears fresh corn, shucked/kernels cut off
(or) about 2 C. frozen corn, thawed)
1 tsp. Old Bay cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Pierce sausages all
over on all sides using the tip of a
knife (to prevent splitting/bursting).
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat; add sausages & cook,
turning often, until browned, about
5-6 minutes. Allow sausages to rest
a few minutes then cut into halves
or thirds – transfer to prepared
baking dish. Add to skillet onion,
garlic & red pepper – cook, stirring
frequently, until onion is softened,
about 2-3 minutes. Add rice; stir &
cook 1 minute, making sure all grains
get coated with oil from pan. Add
chicken broth, corn, Old Bay, salt/
pepper & bring to boil. Carefully
pour hot mixture over sausages in
baking dish. Cover tightly with foil
& bake until rice is tender & has
absorbed chicken broth, about
30-35 minutes. After baking, remove
from oven & let stand 5 minutes
before serving. Sprinkle top with
chopped cilantro.

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

Crockpot Honey Pork Roast

3-4 lb. pork loin roast
2 T. dried oregano
2 T. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T. garlic, minced
1/2 C. honey
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2/3 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray & place roast in
pot. In medium bowl combine
oregano,basil, pepper/salt/,
garlic, honey, soy sauce & Parm.
cheese – mix well & pour over
roast. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. Remove cooked roast
from crockpot, reserving liquid.
Shred meat. Add reserved cooking
liquid to a saucepan & bring to
a boil. Reduce heat & simmer until
reduced & thickened. Pour reduced
thickened sauce over meat & serve.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tiphero.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Cream Cheese Taco Dip

Dip:
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened/
cubed
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 oz. pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 lb. ground beef, browned/drained

corn or tortilla chips for dipping

Place all DIP ingredients in crockpot
(2-3 qt if you have one). Cover &
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours,
stirring frequently. Serve with dippers
Serves 10

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

Crockpot Zuppa Toscana
(Italian Potato/Sausage Soup)

6 slices bacon, cut, cooked &
drained
1 lb. mild sausage, browned/
drained
4 C. diced russet potatoes
1 C. diced white onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth

1 1/2 C. heavy cream
4 C. chopped kale

Add all ingredients to crockpot
except cream & kale. Cover &
cook on Low 7 hours. When done,
add heavy cream & kale; push
kale down into soup. Cover &
cook an additional 20 minutes.
Serves 8

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

Banana Sundae Dessert
(overnight recipe)

1 (12 oz) pkg. vanilla wafers, crushed
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
6 C. chocolate chip ice cream,
softened
4 large, firm bananas, sliced
2 (11 3/4 oz, ea) jars hot fudge ice
cream topping, divided
6 C. strawberry or cherry ice cream,
softened

Optional toppings:
whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
maraschino cherries
chopped walnuts
banana slices
colored sprinkles

In a bowl combine crushed wafers,
melted butter & sugar; press onto
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Freeze 15 minutes.
Spread choc. chip ice cream over
crust & layer with sliced bananas &
1 1/2 jars fudge topping (about 1 1/2
C.) Freeze, covered, at least 30 minutes.
Spread strawberry or cherry ice cream
over top & freeze, covered, 6 hours
or overnight.
Remove from freezer 10 minutes before
cutting. Warm remaining fudge topping &
drizzle over top. Serve with toppings.
Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

Yesterday we had a VERY pleasant surprise –
middle son & I ‘adventured’ to the Wonderful
World of calling MEDICAID! Son doesn’t make
a lot of $$$ and is too old to be on our
medical insurance. He managed to lose his
Medicaid/Michigan insurance card and since
he hasn’t seen the doctor in awhile, thought
his coverage had expired. After a 20 minute
(listen to the canned music) wait we got an
actual PERSON – lady was very nice and checked
his account. Turns out his file is STILL active &
she’s sending him a new card! YAY! This is the
son that has very bad scoliosis (severe curvature
of the spine) and lately it’s been really painful
for him. He wants to be able to see a specialist
to get x-rays or an MRI to see just what can be
done. Many years ago while he was in his teens
we went through that – the specialist said that
unless it got more severe, there was nothing he
could do – just live with it. If it got worse he could
have surgery to have rods put in his back (VERY
painful). It’s many years later and he’s really needing
some sort of treatment (he’s already been to several
chiropractors – a little relief, for a little while – expensive
as they are not covered on insurance). We’ll see where
this goes – hopefully to get him some relief!

Our weather is, once again, gorgeous! It’s in the high
50’s today – forecast is rain/thunderstorms Thurs-Sun,
so ‘oh, goody’ but I’ll take the sunshine TODAY! It
always makes me extra happy feeling when the sun
is shining!

Gas prices are still at $2.19/9 a gallon – I know I need
to stop & fill up within the next few days, as well as
make a stop at the library & grocery store but just
haven’t felt the URGE to do so. That will change soon
because I have my special needs group tonight & it’s a
25 minute drive, one-way, so that will burn up some
gas & perhaps inspire me to get off my gluteus maximus
(polite way to say rear end/derriere, etc.) and go do
those things!

Hope your day is filled with some SUNSHINE and
a rest or two – just for the heck of it!

Hugs;

Pammie

Not much going on –

In Mi will it rain or will it snow

Had a light dusting of the white stuff overnight – nothing to worry about, maybe 1/2 inch total?

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and even though it was Valentine’s Day, 15 ladies came out to enjoy crafting together. Fun, quiet evening, worked a little on new mint green baby blanket and a little on another baby hat – nothin’ special.

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

Crockpot Nutella Brownie Pudding

3 eggs
1 C. + 3 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C. Nutella

vanilla ice cream

Find an oven-safe casserole dish that
fits inside your crockpot – spray the
insides with nonstick spray. Fill bottom
of crockpot with about 2 inches of water.
In bowl beat eggs & sugar on medium
speed 5-7 minutes until very thick &
light yellow in color. Make sure to mix
for full 5 minutes (it’s essential for
texture of this dessert). Add vanilla,
cocoa, flour & salt – mix on Low speed
just until combined. With mixer on Low
speed, carefully add melted butter &
Nutella – mix just until combined, using
a spatula to scrape sides of bowl – pour
batter into prepared dish & place dish
in bottom of crockpot. (the water
should go about halfway up the sides
of the dish). Place 2 layers of thick
paper towels over the top of the
crockpot & secure them by placing
crockpot like on top. Cook on High
2-3 hours (at 2 hours it will be more
melty; at 3 hours it will still be moist
but totally cooked through – you
choose which you prefer). Unplug
crockpot & let stand 10 minutes.
Scoop mixture into serving bowls &
top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Makes 6 servings

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

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

2 T. canola oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. flour
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
3 green bell peppers, seeded/
chopped
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt/ground black pepper
8 oz. sliced Provolone cheese,
chopped, plus more for baguette

baguette, for serving

In large pot over medium heat, heat
1 T. oil. Add half the onion & cook
6 minutes; add garlic & cook 1 minute.
Add flour & whisk until golden, 2-3
minutes. Add broth & let simmer
15 minutes. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, heat remaining oil. Add steak,
onions & green peppers – cook, stirring
occasionally, until steak is cooked
through, 10-12 minutes. Stir in Worc.
sauce & season with salt/pepper. Add
cheese to soup & stir until melted. Add
steak mixture to soup & heat through,
3 minutes.
Heat broiler
Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls & top
with baguette slice each. Sprinkle
additional Provolone cheese on top
of slices & broil until cheese melts,
2-3 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————————
20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed
1 C. frozen corn
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
breasts
1 T. lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1 T. fresh chopped cilantro

Garnish suggestions:
sliced avocado
tortilla strips
chopped cilantro

Add oil to large saucepan-heat oil
& add onion – saute 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, cook 1 minute; pour in
chicken broth, enchilada sauce,
crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn,
cumin, paprika & pepper – bring to
simmer & cook 10  minutes. Stir in
cooked chicken & warm through.
Remove from heat, ad lime juice
& cilantro – serve immediately with
garnishes, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
————————–

Ranch/Mushroom Chicken Thighs

8 chicken thighs
1 1/2 T. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
2 T. olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing (wet)
2 T. chopped parsley

Season chicken evenly with dry
Ranch dressing mix. In large,
heavy-bottomed skillet heat oil
over high heat. Add chicken, skin
sides down, & cook until browned,
undisturbed, about 5 minutes. Flip
over & cook 3-4 minutes; remove
from pan. Turn heat to medium;
add mushrooms – saute until
slightly softened, 3-4 minutes.
If bottom of pan looks like it might
start to burn, stir in 1-2 T. water.
Add chicken back to pan & add
broth. Bring to boil, cover, turn
heat to Low & simmer 30 minutes.
Remove cover, stir in wet Ranch
dressing & simmer 5 minutes more
until chicken is fully cooked & liquid
has slightly reduced. Garnish with
parsley & serve. Serves 4-6

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

Skillet Pork Casserole

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. boneless pork chops*, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. uncooked white rice
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat. Saute pork with garlic & onions
until pork is browned & onions are
tender, 5-7 minutes. Add rice, Ital.
seasoning, frozen peas/carrots & broth.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer &
cover. Cook 18 minutes until rice is
tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour
cream & 1/2 of cheese until combined.
Top with remaining cheese; cover 2-3
minutes until cheese melts.
Option: place skillet under broiler 2
minutes to melt cheese. Serves 4-6

*you can substitute cut up chicken
for pork

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

Snickerdoodle Bars

1 stick butter (1/2 C.)
3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 inch square baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large microwave-
safe bowl melt butter 45-60 seconds; add
1/2 C. gran. sugar, brown sugar, egg &
vanilla, whisk until smooth. Stir in flour,
cream of tartar & salt – mix until
thoroughly combined – spoon batter
into baking dish. In small bowl mix
cinnamon & remaining 1/4 C. sugar –
sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake
20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Cool then
slice into bars. Makes 15

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Crockpot Mexican Party Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. Mexican-style shredded Four
cheese (Kraft), divided
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream & 3/4
C. shredded cheese until blended;
spread onto bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans & salsa.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Top with onions, cilantro & remaining
cheese.
Serves: 40 servings, 2 T. each

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
—————————–

Deconstructed Egg Rolls

1 bag coleslaw mix
1 lb. sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt
1/4 C. onion, diced

In large skillet brown sausage; drain
then mix in rest of ingredients. Cook,
covered, on medium heat 5 minutes.
Stir; adjust seasoning (salt/pepper)
& serve.

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

Apple/Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Cake Batter:
1 C. finely chopped pecans
3 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 C. canola oil
3/4 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. peeled/finely chopped apples,
about 1 1/2 lb.)

Caramel Pecan Frosting:

1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. butter
3 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. pecan halves (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Filling:
Beat first 3 ingredients on medium
speed using elec. mixer until blended &
smooth. Add egg, flour & vanilla; beat
just until blended.

Batter:
Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10
minutes until toasted & fragrant,
stirring halfway through. Stir 3 C. flour
& next 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir
in eggs & next 3 ingredients, stirring
just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in apples & pecans. Grease & flour
a 14-Cup Bundt pan then spoon 2/3 rds
of apple mixture into pan. Spoon cream
cheese filling over apple mixture, leaving
a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl
filling through apple mixture using a knife.
Spoon remaining apple mixture over filling.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until a
long wooden pick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack
15 minutes; remove from pan to rack &
cool completely (about 2 hours).

Frosting:
Bring 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/4 C. butter &
3 T. milk to boil in 2-qt. saucepan over
medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil
1 minute whisking constantly. Remove from
heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in
powdered sugar until smooth. Stir gently
3-5 minutes until mixture begins to cool &
thickens slightly. Pour immediately over
cooled cake & garnish top with pecans (while
frosting is still hot).

(recipe: jamhands.net)

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

Gas prices dropped a little – from $2.29/9
to $2.19/9 – that’s good.

Looking at the calendar I suddenly realized
that the end of the month is quickly creeping
up – that means I really need to hurry up and
get the next 2-month issue of my special needs
group newsletter composed! Sometimes it goes
together very smoothly – sometimes not …
this time I was in luck and it’s almost ready
to print! Now that we have totally changed
the old ‘system’ – the church we meet at has
graciously offered to print them for us (at a
savings of a good $70 or so), that means I
have to get them composed and ready to
print, then email via PDF file. They print &
staple them together for us (YAY!) which
just leaves me to fold them, address/stamp/
return address label – them then stuff the
envelopes & take them to the Post Office.
My ‘kids/students’ are not very understanding
when it comes to newsletter deliveries – they
expect they will ALWAYS be there when needed.
That means I’d BETTER get them done so they
get them in their mails by the first of March.
Too funny – I don’t mind; they are all so very
exacting in their thinking.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog,
not much going on right away. Youngest
announced yesterday that he’ll be able to
move out on Friday instead of the following
Tuesday – that’s fine. The only thing I need
to do is collapse the seats in my van so he
can put his single-bed mattress in & we can
transport to his new ‘room/place/digs’ (which
are about a block away on a very close side-
street). That will leave us with just ONE son
living with us – different!

Hope you have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie