Cookies & Candy!

Well, we survived the big snow storm yesterday by staying inside, nice & warm. Our snow plow guy, for some reason, never came so our driveway is still pretty impassable. We have a short driveway with a ‘slight’ slope – just enough to make attempting to drive UP it with lots of snow/ice an almost impossible task (not counting we live on a MAIN highway – 45 mph. in front of our driveway) so starting around 4:30 p.m. there is traffic backed up in front of the driveway. I talked with our plow man yesterday around 8 a.m. and he voiced his concerns about having enough room to get a ‘running start’ up the drive with all the traffic – said he’d probably come twice during the day…oh, well…not sure what happened. Since neither my husband nor I have anywhere to go today, that’s OK but I’m hoping he makes it today. Oldest son texted me last night asking if the plow guy came because (if he didn’t) son was going to come over after work and shovel us out. I gently declined the offer because when this text happened it was already 7:30 p.m. and son was STILL at work – he starts work at 4:30 A.M.! As sweet an offer as that was, I didn’t think he needed to do all that – we’re good. (I’m also kind of guessing that might have been a ‘veiled’ question as to when I might babysit again, but we’ll leave that be for now (it’s been a week, today, since I’ve babysat).

LOTS of cookie & candy recipes – will attempt to cram in as many as I can today:

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

 Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 C. powdered sugar plus 2 T.
3 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
12 oz. white chocolate candy coating
sprinkles, for decorating

Line a cookie sheet with parchment
or waxed paper. In large bowl combine
1 C. powdred sugar, butter & peanut
butter, stir until completely mixed &
smooth. Sprinkle remaining powdered
sugar on a clean work surface & form
dough into a log-shape, 12 inches long.
Cut into inch pieces & roll each in your
hands to make smooth balls – place on
prepared sheet & chill 30 minutes.

In medium microwaveable bowl melt
candy coating in 30-second intervals,
stirring until completely smooth. Dip
balls in candy coating then return to
sheet – add sprinkles, if desired while
coating is still wet. Refrigerate until
ready to serve. Makes 24

(recipe: recipelion.com)
——————————–
Grandma’s Millionaire Fudge

3 (12 oz, ea) bags semi-sweet chocolate
chips
2 (7 oz, ea) jars marshmallow creme
4 1/2 C. sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 to 1 1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Place a long row of waxed (or parchment)
paper on counter. In large bowl, using elec.
mixer add semi-sweet choc. chips & marsh-
mallow creme.
In a heavy, large saucepan add sugar & milk;
bring to boil – boil 6 minutes, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & pour over
chips/marshmallow mixture, beating
on medium speed until mixture is creamy &
smooth – be sure to not over beat. Add nuts
& fold in. The mixture will set as it cools.
Using a small ice cream scoop or two table
spoons, scoop fudge & lay  in small mounds
on prepared paper. Cool completely before
moving to a container.

NOTE: The fudge can be poured out in a buttered
sheet pan if you are not able to scoop all the
fudge before it hardens.

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————
Old Fashioned Divinity (candy)

3 C. sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. maraschino cherries – drained/
patted dry
white sprinkles (optional)

Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In 2 qt. heavy pot combine sugar,
corn syrup, water & salt – cook over Low
heat, stirring, until sugar fully dissolves.
Increase heat to High & cook until it
reaches 260 degrees F (Hard ball stage)
DO NOT STIR. While sugar mixture is
cooking place egg whites in a very clean &
dry bowl of stand mixer. When sugar
mixture reaches about 230 degrees F.
start to beat egg whites until stiff peaks
form. VERY CAREFULLY pour hot sugar
mixture in a steady stream over egg
whites while mixer is running at HIGH
speed. Add vanilla & continue to beat
5-10 minutes until mixture is stiff
enough to shape & is no longer shiny.
Stir in cherries, if desired.
Using a small ice cream scoop or a
tablespoon, drop mounds onto parch-
ment paper – top with sprinkles, if
using. Let rest at room temperature
until set. Makes 36

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————
Amish Molasses Cookies

3/4 C. shortening
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 C. molasses
2 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

granulated sugar – for
rolling

In large bowl cream shortening &
brown sugar. Stir in egg & molasses,
mix well; fold in dry ingredients &
stir to combine. Cover & chill until
firm, 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Place some granulated sugar in a
pie plate. Roll dougn into small
balls then roll in gran. sugar to
coat – place on prepared sheet.
Bake 9-10 minutes. Leave on
sheet 1 minute until set.

(recipe: amish365.com)
——————————

Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

3/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 T. water
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. peanut butter chips plus
about 1/3 C. more – garnish
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
plus about 1/3 C. more – garnish
3/4 C. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray – or use paper liners.
In large microwave-safe bowl combine
sugar, butter & water; microwave on
High 1 minute until butter melts. Stir
in 3/4 C. semi-sweet choc. chips until
melted. Stir in egg & vanilla. Add flour
& baking soda, stir until blended – allow
to cool to room temp. Stir in 1/2 C. each
peanut butter/choc. chips. Spoon batter
by heaping tablespoonfuls into cups.
Bake 13-15 minutes until top is set & a
toothpick inserted into center comes out
slightly wet. Place pan on wire rack. Centers
of brownies will fall upon cooling – if not;
tap centers with back of a teaspoon to make
a hole. Place peanut butter in small micro-
wave safe bowl. Microwave on High 45
seconds, then stir. While brownies are still
hot, spoon about a tablespoon of peanut
butter into center of each brownie. Top
with semi-sweet & peanut butter chips.
Cool completely in pan. Makes 12 cups.

(recipe: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)
—————————————
Lemon Sugar Cookies

1/3 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. gran. sugar
2 eggs
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
zest from 1 lemon
3 1/2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
small pinch fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. white sparkling sugar (or
you can use granulated)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment
paper. Using elec. mixer, cream butter
& sugar until light & fluffy, about 2
minutes on High. Add eggs & mix to
combine. Add lemon juice, extract &
zest – mix again. In separate bowl combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg &
salt – whisk until well combined. Add
flour mixture to butter mixture & mix until
combined. Place white sparkling sugar in
a flat plate or pie tin.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out dough
& form in a ball in your hands – roll each ball
in sparkling sugar, coating well then place on
cookie sheets, 2 inches apart (about 12-15
per pan). Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven
but leave cookies on sheets – carefully press
down on each cookie using a flat-bottomed
glass so that cookies flatten a bit & outer
edges crackle a bit. Bake 2 additional minutes.
Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.
Makes approx. 40 cookies

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
———————————-
3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

1 (14 oz) pkg. sweetened coconut
flakes (or 5 1/3 C.)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk

Toppers (optional):
whole almonds, maraschino
cherries (cut in half), chocolate
chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine coconut, vanilla &
cond. milk. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. Using either an ice
cream scoop or your hands, make into
balls & flatten on sheet.* Bake 10-12
minutes until edges are browned.
Remove from baking sheet IMMEDIATELY
& allow to cool. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

*Poster forms dough by squeezing it in
her hands then flattens (using her finger)
on the sheet.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
—————————–
Pepper ‘n Spice Dark Chocolate
Cookies
  (overnight recipe)

1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 C. flour
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
pinch ground mace
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. pink peppercorns
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted
butter, softened
3/4 C. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla

granulated sugar – garnish
spice grinder or clean elec. coffee
grinder
mortar & pestle
2 (11 X 17″) baking sheets
=
Using elec. spice grinder, grind black
peppercorns & cinnamon stick to
medium-fine powder. Sift ground
spices, flour, cocoa powder, baking
powder, allspice, salt, ginger, mace &
cayenne onto a piece of parchment
or waxed paper.
Using a mortar & pestle, (or flat side
of a knife, crush pink peppercorns;
place in bowl of elec. mixer & add
butter & brown sugar. Beat until
creamy & smooth, scraping down
sides of bowl – beat in egg & vanilla.
Add spice/flour mixture to butter
mixture & mix on Low speed until
just combined. Transfer dough to a
piece of plastic wrap & roll into a
1 1/2 inch diameter log. Wrap well &
refrigerate overnight.
=
Position oven racks in top & bottom
thirds of oven
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
or nonstick liners.
Using a thin-blade knife, slice cookies
into 1 1/4 inch coins & place on sheets
1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle each cookie
with pinch of gran. sugar. Bake, about
8 minutes, turning sheets from back to
front & switching between top rack &
bottom rack halfway through baking
time until cookies are just firm to touch.
Allow to cool on sheets 5 minutes to
firm up, then use a spatula to transfer
to wire racks to cool completely. Store in
airtight container up to 1 week.

NOTE: refrigerating dough overnight
helps keep dough’s crumbly texture
after baking.

(recipe: cookstr.com)
—————————————–
Chocolate-covered Caramels

1 C. butter
2 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch sea salt
1 c. chocolate candy melts
(optional: additional melted white
chocolate for decorating/drizzling)

Line a 9 X 9″ pan with foil & spray
lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Place
butter in large microwave-safe bowl;
cover with a paper towel & microwave
on half power until completely melted.
Add brown sugar, corn syrup & sweetnd
cond. milk – stir to combine. Microwave
on High 4 minutes. Remove, stir & heat
4 minutes (you should be up to 12 minutes
total heating time). Microwave for 2 more
minutes & stir; stir in vanilla & sea salt then
pour into prepared pan. Allow to cool
completely at room temp (OR) for a quick
trick, place pan in fridge to speed up cooling
process – about 3 hours cooling – until firm.

Lift foil from pan & lay on flat surface. Using
a sharp knife, cut into squares. In medium
microwave-safe bowl melt candy melts on
half power 2 minutes & stir until smooth.
Return to microwave at half power in
20-second increments if needed until
completely smooth when stirred.

Lay out several sheets of waxed or parchment
paper on counter.

Place a square of caramel on a fork then dip
in melted chocolate – use fork to turn it over
a few times to make sure it’s completely
coated then use fork to life (do not stab)
the caramel from the chocolate. Tap fork on
side of bowl a few times to shake off any
excess chocolate, then transfer to paper
to cool completely – repeat with remaining
caramels. (To speed up cooling you can
line a dinner plate with foil & place dipped
caramels on foil then place in freezer 2-3
minutes).
Optional: Use melted white chocolate to
decorate/drizzle on cooled caramels. Store
at room temp. in airtight container up to
5 days. Makes 36

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
=======================

There will be more cookie/candy recipes
coming, I’m sure. I wrote out a list of
what things needed doing ‘soon’: bake
4 loaves of breads (neighbors & a church
friend), at least 1 batch cookies (for our
mail lady)and figure out just what
desserts I’ll be making for Christmas
dinner. I see SO MANY recipes each day,
it’s hard to choose!

No, I still haven’t done any more decorating;
I did put up a few small things: Christmas
red candles & holders on the china cabinet
and a few more snowmen in the dining
room but as to dragging down all the boxes,
tree & wreath – not quite yet. I’m getting a
little stronger/better each day – it will get
done – eventually. I’m done with the gift
buying so only need to buy a few stocking
stuffers for the sons and a few candy
goodies to add to a few presents (no,
they are not wrapped yet) but that, too,
will come – in time.

Stay SAFE, warm and remember to take
little time to rest/relax – it can be a very
stressful time of year. Remember to take
out a little time to remember the
reason for the season.

Hugs;

Pammie

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Can you say: SNOW DAY?

All the best laid plans, etc. – our county is getting 5-8 inches of the white stuff today/tonight…that means my big (150+ people) special needs group Christmas party is officially canceled. Yep – I’ve done all the texting/calling to let everyone know so now it’s just sit back & enjoy the time home. As to the food for all: fortunately, the pasta wasn’t cooked yet, the spaghetti sauce not prepared, the lady buying the salad didn’t buy it, all the tons of cookies already baked by the church’s youth group have been frozen – that leaves the garlic bread (frozen) and any goodies the leaders were going to bake & bring (like my two 9 X 13″ pans of frosted brownies – now in my freezer.). We are officially re-scheduling the party for mid-January simply because the church calendar is totally booked through the end of December! It’s OK – I’m just happy to be able to STAY HOME warm & safe!!! (I took advantage of the clear weather around 9:15 a.m. and did a quick trip to the grocery store for more toilet paper & Kleenex – the two things we really needed.) Found a nice little pork roast which is now in my crockpot; dinner will be roast, baked potatoes & tossed salad! YUM!

==========

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 C. cranberry sauce
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

(1 tsp. orange zest*)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tins with muffin liners
then spray with nonstick cooking
spray. In large bowl combine flour,
baking soda, baking powder & salt.
In separate medium bowl beat eggs;
add cranberry sauce, honey, apple-
sauce, oil & vanilla – mix until well
combined. Divide batter evenly
among muffin cups (cups will be
nearly full). Bake 17-20 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into
center of muffin comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.

NOTE: If your cranberry sauce is very
liquidy or runny, you may want to
increase the amount of flour by
3-4 T.

*If your cranberry sauce does not
have orange zest in it – poster
would suggest adding 1 tsp.
to batter with wet ingredients.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
—————————————

Butternut Squash au Gratin

1 butternut squash
4 slices bacon
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise (discard
seeds & pulp). Cut each half cross-wise
into thin slices, remove peels. Place
squash slices in large saucepan; add
enough water to cover & bring to boil
on High heat. Reduce heat to simmer
on medium-low 8-10 minutes until
squash is tender. Cook bacon in a
skillet until crisp, stirring occasionally.
Remove from skillet to paper towel;
reserve 1 T. drippings – add onions &
cook, stirring, 5 minutes until crisp-
tender. Stir in flour & pepper – cook
& stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in
broth; cook & stir 2-3  minutes until
thickened. Remove from heat & stir
in 1 C. cheese. Drain squash & arrange
half in a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.
Cover with half the sauce & repeat
layers, topping with bacon & remaining
cheese. Bake 25-30  minutes until
mixture is heated through & cheese
is melted. Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Cranberry-Nut Stuffing

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2  (of 12 oz bag) cubed herb
seasoned stuffing
1/2 (of 14 oz bag) herb seasoned
stuffing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
saucepan melt butter over
medium-high heat. Add onions
& celery – cook 6-8 minutes until
tender. Add cranberries, nuts,
broth & both stuffings – gently
stir until well combined – spoon
into prepared dish. Cover & bake
30 minutes. Uncover & bake
15 minutes more until heated
through. Serves 6

NOTE: Poster says: “We like to
use a combination of cubed &
regular stuffins so that we get
a chunkier texture.”

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Christmas Flank Steak
(overnight GRILL recipe)

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. chopped fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1;2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (1 1/2 – 2 lb.) beef flank steak

In large ziplock plastic bag, combine
all ingredients except steak. Shake to
mix well. Score steak on both sides
by making diagonal cuts 1 1/2 inches
apart. Place steak in bag, seal &
marinate in fridge at least 4 hours
or overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Heat grill to medium-high heat
Remove steak (discard marinade). Grill
steak 4-5 minutes on each side, until
center is cooked to medium. Slice
steak on an angle across the grain &
serve. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-

Tuscan White Bean Chicken Soup
(crockpot)

2 (15 oz., ea) cans cannellini beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, reserve
juices
1 (32 oz) box chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 C. carrots, diced
1 1/2 C. celery, diced
1 C. yellow onion, diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated – optional
garnish

Place chicken, carrots, celery, onion &
garlic in crockpot. Add cannelini beans &
diced tomatoes (with juices); pour in
chicken broth. Season generously with
salt/pepper then add bay leaves,
rosemary sprig, oregano, thyme, basil &
red pepper flakes. Stir well then cover &
cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours
until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Using
2 forks, remove chicken to a plate &
shred – return chicken to pot & stir.
Serve hot, garnished with Parmesan
cheese, if desired. Serves 8

Optional: Place all ingredients (uncooked)
into a large resealable plastic gallon-sized
bag; squeeze out all remaining air & freeze
for up to 6 months before cooking.

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

3-Ingredient Ranch Chicken
(crockpot)

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts
1 C. chicken broth
1 dry pkt. spicy Ranch salad dressing mix
salt/pepper, to taste

Trim chicken breasts & sprinkle both
sides with salt/pepper. Place chicken
broth in pot; sprinkle half of packet
ranch mix onto one side of chicken
& place (seasoned side up) in crockpot.
Sprinkle remaining dry mix on top;
cover & cook on High 3 1/2 – 5 hours.
Serves 4

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

Lemon Glacier Bars

1 (16.5 oz) box lemon cake mix
2 large eggs, divided
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cake mix,
1 egg & oil; using elec. mixer
beat at medium speed until
crumbly (reserve 1 C. mixture
for topping). Press remaining
mixture into bottom of ungreased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 12
minutes until lightly brown.
Beat cream cheese at medium
speed until creamy; add sugar,
remaining egg & lemon juice,
beating just until smooth. Pour
cream cheese mixture over baked
crust; sprinkle with reserved
cake mixture. Bake, uncovered,
20-22 minutes until lightly
browned. Let cool slightly; cover
& chill. Cut into bars before serving.
Makes 15 bars

(recipe: mrfood.com)
===================

 

Husband & I are slowly getting better;

I’m not coughing as much as I was a

few days ago. Still VERY glad to get

the news I don’t have to go out in

that weather!

 

Hope YOU are warm, safe & in good

health!

Hugs;

Pammie

You WON!

For Christmas this year I chose a very ‘Techy” gift for my older (11 yrs) grandson; it’s called a 3D Doodler pen. What’s that, you ask? It’s a ‘pen’ which extrudes hot plastic in a thin stream which can be used to draw 3Dimensional objects! (I’ll admit, I saw a commercial on TV featurning it). I ordered the starter kit on Amazon. About a week or so ago one of the many craft sites I subscribe to had a contest to win a 3D pen so, every few days, I’d submit an entry. Today I got an email – I won one! (Yes, that makes TWO of those he’ll get for Christmas, but HOW COOL IS THAT!? This photo kind of gives you an idea of it: (the Soyee, I think, is demonstrating some child’s name on a ‘flag’)

Kids (and adults) can draw objects in 3Dimensions! (I’m thinking I’ll have to go to Amazon & order another ‘plastic sticks’ filler packet, as I’m not sure how many come in the kit – I can see them being used at a fast rate in the beginning, just trying to get the skill down.

==========

 

Cranberry Coffee Cake

1 stick butter or margarine (8 T., or
1/2 C., softened)
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract (could use
vanilla)
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 (14 oz) can whole berry
cranberry sauce
1 C. chopped nuts: pecans or
walnuts

Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk

Whisk together & drizzle over
fully baked/cooled cake.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer & large bowl
cream together butter, sugar, eggs
& almond extract. In separate bowl
whisk flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt & cinnamon; combine
dry ingredients into butter mixture.
Add sour cream & buttermilk, mix
until smooth. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread half batter in bottom of pan.
Spread half of cranberry sauce over
batter & swirl into batter using a
knife; sprinkle on top half the nuts &
repeat. Bake 40-50 minutes until
center tests done. Drizzle on glaze
when cake has cooled.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————-
Ice Cube Chocolates

2 1/2 C. dark or milk chocolate chips
2 T. coconut oil

assorted fillings: peanut butter, shredded
coconut, nuts, caramels, chocolate-coated
candy, mini-marshmallows, etc.

Lightly spray two plastic ice cube trays
with nonstick cooking spray. In medium
microwave-safe bowl, combine choc.
chips & oil – microwave 60-90 seconds
until chips are melted, stirring occasionally.
Pour chocolate into trays, filling each cube
about one-third full. Place trays in freezer
2 minutes; remove & tilt to make sure
chocolate coats all sides of each cube.
Place trays back in freezer 2 minutes until
chocolate has thickened slightly. Tilt again
to make sure chocolate coats all sides of
cubes with a thicker coat of chocolate –
place back in freezer 2 more minutes until
set.

Fill each chocolate shell with about 1 tsp.
of your desired filling. Cover filling with melted
chocolate & tap ice cube trays on counter
to level chocolate; pour more melted
chocolate over top. Place trays in freezer
1 hour until hardened. Remove from freezer
& let stand 5 minutes. Unmold chocolates
by lightly twisting trays.

NOTE: To ‘fancy’ them up a bit, drizzle tops
with white chocolate & decorate each piece
with holiday sugar decorations.
Makes 20

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————-
Christmas Beef Roast
Bacon-wrapped Tenderloin
w/balsamic glaze
(crockpot)

3-4 lb. beef tenderloin, 10 inches
long (the thick end of a whole
tenderloin)*
12 strips thick pepper bacon
1 small onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3/4 C. beef stock
1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. sugar
1 T. flour
salt/pepper

*Ask for butcher to cut a whole
tenderloin in half so you can purchase
the thick end (OR) buy a Butt Beef
Tenderloin
Salt & pepper the tenderloing thoroughly;
lay bacon strips out on a clean surface,
touching each other so they create a
rectangular sheet of bacon. Lay tenderl.
across bacon & carefully wrap bacon ends
over the top. Secure bacon strips by
“sewing” toothpicks through the ends.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat &
place tender, toothpick-sides down, in skillet.
Brown bacon on all sides, turning as needed,
10 minutes.** Place tenderl. in crockpot &
pour pan drippings over top. Place sliced
onion, garlic cloves & rosemary sprigs
around it. Insert an oven-safe thermometer
in thickest part of meat; cover & cook on
Low 2-4 hours, when thermometer reaches
130 degrees F. (depending on weight &
thickness.)
Once temp. reaches 100 degrees F.,  mix
flour & sugar in medium bowl – whisk in
balsamic vinegar & mustard until there
are no clumps. Whisk in beef stock &
pour around meat; cover & continue
cooking until you reach 130 degrees F.

At 130 degrees F., remove meat & cover
with foil for at least 10 minutes. (Temp.
will continue to rise to 135 degrees F. as
it rests.) If needed, allow balsamic glaze
to continue simmering until thick.

To serve:
Remove toothpicks & slice into thin
rounds; top with balsamic glaze.
Serves 8

**This can be done ahead of time & the
seared meat can be refrigerated for
1-2 days, if needed.

(recipe: aspicyperspective.com)
————————————
Crockpot Turtles Candy 

4 C. pecans, chopped
2 lb. almond bark
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. chocolate baking bar
2 (12 oz, ea). pkgs. Rolo candies,
unwrapped*
candy sprinkles – optional

Place pecans, almond bark. choc.
chips & choc. baking bar in crockpot
set on Low. Cover & heat 1 1/2 – 2 hours
until melted. Uncover & stir until evenly
combined. Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper (or silicone mats). Lay
Rolos candies on paper, 2 inches apart.
Using a small cookie scoop**, scoop choc.
mixture, a little at a time, on each Rolo –
repeat until all Rolos are covered. Top
each candy with sprinkles, if desired.
Allow candy to cool until hardened.
Makes about 96

*If you want more caramel in each
bite, you can substitute caramels
in place of Rolos.

**If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you
can use a heaping Tablespoon/measuring
spoon.

(recipe; realhousemoms.com)
——————————————

Holiday Deviled Eggs

9 eggs
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 T. sweet relish, drained (optional)
1/4 tsp. paprika (for dusting)

Place eggs in large saucepan & add
just enough water to cover. Bring to
boil over medium-high heat; remove
pan from heat, cover & let stand
20 minutes. Drain off water & run
cold water over eggs. Add some
ice cubes to pan & allow to cool
5-10 minutes.

Peel eggs, slice in half lengthwise &
remove yolks to a bowl. Arrange egg
white halves on a serving platter.
To yolk bowl add mayonnaise, mustard,
salt/pepper & relish – mix well. Fill egg
white halves with mixture & sprinkle
tops with paprika. Cover lightly with
plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready
to serve . Makes 18

(recipe; mrfood.com)
————————————
Loaded Potato Cocktail Bites

3 1/2 C. frozen shredded potatoes,
thawed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. ready-to-serve bacon pieces

1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 24 mini muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine potatoes, egg, four,
salt/pepper – mix well. Add cheese
& bacon, mix until combined. Place
about a tablespoon of mixture in each
muffin cup & press down gently
(cups should be filled to the top).
Bake 18-20 minutes until crispy
brown. Let cool slightly (about 2
minutes) then run a knife around
edges & remove to a platter. Top
with sour cream & chives; serve
immediately. Makes 24

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-
Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Balls

1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen mac & cheese,
thawed
1 egg
1 T. water
1 c. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil

LIne a baking sheet with waxed
paper.
Using a small ice cream scoop or
teaspoon, shape mac & cheese
into 1-inch balls & place on prepared
sheet. Freeze 2 hours or until firm.

In a shallow dish beat egg & water. In
another shallow dish combine bread
crumbs, garlic powder & pepper. In
a deep saucepan over medium heat,
heat oil until hot. Dip frozen balls
into egg wash then roll in bread
crumbs. In small batches, fry balls
3-5 minutes until golden brown &
center is hot. Drain on a paper
towel-lined plate. Serve immediately.
Makes 22

NOTE: Keep remaining mac & cheese
balls frozen until ready to fry.

– If you have leftover mac & cheese, you
can use that instead of the frozen, just
make sure it’s chilled before rolling into
balls.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
===================

Overnight we’ve had about 2 inches of snow; the
roads are clear but the temperatures are LOW –
that reads: VERY COLD! Right now it’s 16 degrees F.
with a wind chill making it feel like -2 degrees F.
SOooooooo glad I don’t have to go out today/tonight!
The ‘not so nice thing’? Tomorrow night is the BIG
Christmas dinner/program for my special needs kids
and we’re supposed to get another 2 inches of snow
and wind chill making it feel like -5 degrees F. I know
that they’re planning on feeding 150 people so I’m
really hoping/praying the people still come with
those conditions. (otherwise I predict we’ll be taking
home LOTS of leftovers!).

Husband & I feel ‘about the same’ – not great,
not totally sick. He’s on antibiotics & I’m now on
Claritin…bad thing about Claritin? It can take several
DAYS before you start feeling results! GREAT…sigh.
The doctor said if I don’t start feeling better by
Wednesday, call him & he’ll order something else.
We’ll see – still sneezing, stuffed up which means
when Pammie’s sick – she’s CRANKY! Not good!
I did manage to get the Jan/Feb. newsletter done
yesterday for the group & it’s mailed to the church
office – hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the copies
tomorrow night and get them mailed out in the
next week or so – that’s one thing off my mind!
Christmas decorations? Nope, not yet – they’ll
come – hopefully, when I feel better. To husband
& I it’s NO BIGGIE! (don’t fret, it’s OK)

STAY HEALTHY!

Hugs;

Pammie

Playing ‘Hookey”

Since I’m still sneezing alot & all stuffed up, husband & I are ‘playing Hookey’ home from church. Got lots of sleep last night, even went back to bed after I woke up at 5:43 a.m. and slept until 10:20 a.m.!

LOTS of recipes – all over the place, which ones to post first?

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

Crockpot Hot Cocoa

1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. heavy cream
6 C. whole milk

mini marshmallows – garnish

Combine all ingredients except
marshmallows in crockpot; stir
to combine. Cook until everything
is melted, stirring occasionally –
2 hours on Low. Ten minutes
before serving, add marshmallows
& let them get melty. Garnish
cups with more marshmallows
when serving, if desired. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

(this one sounded SO good – just had to add:)

Garlic Roasted Shrimp w/Spinach
Artichoke Pasta

Shrimp:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Spinach Artichoke Pasta:
1 (12 oz) pkg. Farfalle pasta
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8.5 oz) can artichoke hearts,
chopped
8 C. fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
=
Shrimp:
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil; in a bowl
toss shrimp, olive oil, salt/pepper &
garlic powder – spread in an even
layer on sheet. Roast 8-10 minutes
until shrimp are cooked through;
remove to a plate.

Pasta:
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
Add onions & cook 2-3 minutes; stir in
garlic & cook 1-2 minutes longer. Add
artichokes & spinach (this might seem
like a lot, but it will cook way down).
Season with salt/pepper. Once spinach
has cooked down, stir in Parm. cheese.
Add cooked pasta to a large serving bowl;
toss with spinach mixture & top with
shrimp. Serves 4-6

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
———————————

Jalapeno Cheese Grits Casserole

3 C. quick cooking grits, uncooked
1/2 C. melted butter, cooled
1/2 C. whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook grits accordg. to pkg. directions.
In a bowl, combine grits, butter, cream
& salt. In a separate bowl, combine
remaining ingredients (except onions);
mix well. Combine the 2 mixtures; stir
together. Pour mixture into prepared
dish & bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes
until bubbly. Top with onions & serve.
Serves 8

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

Cranberry Onion Cheese Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) pkg. blue cheese, crumbled
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T. butter
1 medium sweet onion, quartered &
thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar

In bowl beat cream & blue cheeses;
stir in Cheddar cheese – spread onto
a serving platter; cover & refrigerate.
Melt butter over medium-high heat in
large non-stick skillet. Add onion & cook
3-4 minutes until tender. Add sugar,
reduce heat to medium-low; cook approx.
10 minutes until onions are soft & golden.
In same skillet combine cranberries, remaining
sugar & water; cook over medium heat approx.
5 minutes until cranberries pop open & mixture
thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar &
onions; let mixture cool slightly.

To serve:
Bring cheese spread to room temp; spoon
cranberry mixture over cheese spread.
Serve with crackers, crostini or bagel chips

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

Homemade Swedish Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 large egg
1/4 C. milk
1/3 C. fine dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. minced onions (or fresh)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground all spice

Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 C. milk
2 C. cooked pasta, egg noodles
or rice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with foil
& spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine all ingredients
(except sauce) & mix well using your
hands. Shape into about 30 (1 inch)
balls. Arrange balls on baking sheet
& bake 20-25 minutes until cooked
through. Remove from oven & pat
dry with paper towels (helps the sauce
to stick better).
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Stir in flour, bouillon & pepper.
Gradually add milk, whisking constantly
as you pour. Bring to boil then reduce
heat to simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer
6-7 minutes until sauce has significantly
thickened. Add meatballs to skillet,
cooking until heated through. Serve
on top of cooked pasta, egg noodles or
rice. Serves 4

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

(Crockpot) Christmas Pork Roast

4 potatoes, peeled/cut into
quarters
1 (3 lb) boneless center-cut
pork loin roast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (14 oz) can whole berry
cranberry sauce
1 C. apricot nectar
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. coarsely chopped dried
apricots
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Place potatoes in 3 1/2 qt.
(or larger) crockpot. Place
pork roast over potatoes &
lightly sprinkle with salt/pepper.
In large bowl combine remaining
ingredients; mix well & pour over
roast. Cover & cook on High 3 to
3 1/2 hours (or Low 6-6 1/2 hours).
Remove roast to cutting board &
slice. Serve with potatoes & sauce.
Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————–

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
with bacon

1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt/ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Clean & trim Brussels sprouts, cutting
away any very large heads in half
through the core. (It’s fine if some of
outer leaves fall off – just bake those
along with rest of sprouts). Place
Brussels sprouts on large sheet pan in
single layer. Sprinkle with salt/pepper &
evenly sprinkle bacon pieces over top.
Roast in oven 20-30 minutes, turning
halfway through cooking time, until
golden & lightly caramelized. Serve
immediately. Serves 4-6

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

Overnight Apple French Toast

1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. butter
2 T. light corn syrup
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
sliced 1/4″ thick
3 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
9 slices day-old French bread
1 C. applesauce
1 (10 oz) jar apple jelly
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Combine brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup in a small saucepan;
cook over low heat until thick.
Pour into an ungreased 9 X 13″
baking pan. Arrange apple slices
on top of syrup. Beat eggs, milk
& vanilla in a bowl. Dip French
bread in egg mixture & arrange
over apple slices. Cover&
refrigerate overnight.

Remove from fridge 1/2 hour before
baking & uncover.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 35-40 minutes until top of bread
is browned. Combine remaining
ingredients in a saucepan & cook over
medium heat until jelly is melted. Serve
French toast with apple slices on top &
spoon warm sauce over the apples.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)


Grandma’s Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 C. light brown sugar
4 C. old-fashioned oats (not
quick cooking)
2 C. butter/shortening – melted
1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl stir flour, salt, baking soda,
brown sugar & oatmeal. Slowly
add butter/shortening & mix
well; press half of mixture into
prepared pan. Spread cranberry
sauce over mixture & smooth.
Cover with remaining oatmeal
mixture & pat down evenly.
Bake 50-60 minutes; allow to
cool completely.

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

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

Hope you are all in good health and
beginning to enjoy the Christmas season.
We now have about an inch of snow on
the ground and the forecast for this week
is not looking like FUN: HIGH temperatures
for the week in the LOW 20’s! UGH! Oh well,
it doesn’t show any snow, just cold & windy.
Hey, I grew up in Michigan so I  ‘should’ be
used to it, right? (NOT – I dread it every year!).

Stay healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

More Holiday Recipes!

Today our temperatures are in the low 30’s with a light dusting of snow on the ground (supposed to get more later…sigh). I’m still feeling stuffy & ‘not my best’, am trying to decide if going to church tomorrow is a good idea (I hate to miss).

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

Lots of appetizers & dips!

Shrimp & Crab Dip

8 imitation crab sticks
1 1/2 C. cooked shrimp
1/2 C. onion,chopped
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. black olives
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. mayonnaise

Place crab, shrimp, onion, celery &
black olives in food processor &
process until smooth. In a bowl
mix crab mixture, Cheddar cheese &
mayonnaise until combined. Chill
2 hours. Serve with crackers

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)
——————————-
Hot Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. Bob Evans zesty hot roll
sausage
5 green onions, chopped/divided
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnsie
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (2 oz) jar chopped pimientos,
drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 1 quart baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet over medium heat
brown & crumble sausage until no
longer pink; drain & remove from
heat. Add all remaining ingredients
except 1 green onion & mix. Pour
mixture into prepared dish. Bake
20-25 minutes until bubbly. Garnish
with remaining chopped green
onion. Keep warm.
Serve with Melba toast, sesame or
wheat crackers.
Refrigerate leftovers. (Can be reheated
for later serving.

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

Fried Ravioli (appetizer)

1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
10-14 store-bought fresh ravioli (NOT
frozen) – poster used Jumbo Four
Cheese)
2 eggs, room temp.
1/3 C. milk
oil for frying

Marinara sauce, for dipping (optional)

In shallow bowl combine bread crumbs,
Ital. seasoning & salt. Whisk eggs &
milk in another bowl. Dip raviolis in
egg mixture, then into bread crumbs
to coat. Repeat a second time so they
are double-coated – place them on
a wire rack.  You can either deep-fry
or pan fry raviolis. Heat oil to 350-
375 degrees F.
Raviolis take about 3 minutes to
cook; flip over about halfway through
to make sure they are cooked evenly.
Once golden, remove to a paper towel-
lined plate. They will puff up slightly
when cooked. Serve warm or room temp.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
——————————-
Warm Spinach Feta Cheese Dip

2 T. olive oil
7 C. fresh spinach (7 C.
fresh spinach=1 C. frozen,
thawed)
If you use thawed, you don’t
need to saute it
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 oz. cream cheese
1 C. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 C. plain Greek yogurt

Dippers:
rolls, chunks of baguettes,
crackers, pretzels

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large oven-safe skillet heat oil;
add spinach & saute until soft*.
Add garlic & saute 1-2 more minutes.
Turn off heat. In large bowl using electric
mixer, combine cream cheese,
crumbled Feta & Greek yogurt-
stir in sauteed spinach/garlic &
pour all back into skillet. Bake 15-20
minutes in oven until heated through.
Serve with dippers. Serves 6-8

(recipe can be doubled – you can
use frozen spinach, thawed & excess
water squeezed out.

*If you can’t fit all the spinach in
the skillet, half it & wait until it shrinks
enough to add the rest.

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
————————–

Bacon-Asparagus Dippers

8 slices bacon, sliced in half
lengthwise
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
fresh ground black pepper

Caesar salad dressing for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet
with parchment paper & top with
a cooling rack. Carefully wrap
each asparagus spear with a
piece of bacon in a spiral; repeat
with rest of bacon/asparagus &
season with pepper. Place on
rack & bake 28-30 minutes until
bacon is crispy. Serve with Caesar
salad dressing for dipping.
Makes 16 spears

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

Jalapeno Popper stuffed Mushrooms

20 button mushrooms, stems removed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 slices bacon, cooked/chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
ground black pepper

chopped chives – garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cream
cheese, Cheddar, bacon, jalapeno
& garlic – season with salt/pepper.
Stuff mushroom tops with mixture
& transfer to a baking dish or sheet.
Bake 25 minutes until mushrooms
are cooked & mixture warmed through.
Garnish with chopped chives & serve.
Serves 20

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese

Fresh fruits for dippers:
orange slices/wedges, strawberries,
chunks of banana, etc.

In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
blend both ingredients until smooth.
Chill, if desired. Serve with any fresh
fruits.

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

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced
tomatoes & green chilies,
drained – liquid reserved
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (6 oz) bag corn tortilla chips
1 C. shredded, cooked rotisserie
chicken
1 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey
Jack cheese blend (4 oz)
1/4 C. sliced green onions
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives,
drained

Optional toppings:
sour cream
guacamole
sliced jalapenos

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Reserve 1/2 C. drained tomatoes.
Stir together remaining tomatoes &
reserved liquid with refried beans
in medium bowl. Arrange chips on
large baking sheet. Top with bean/
tomato mixture & shredded
chicken – sprinkle top with cheese.
Bake 5 minutes until cheese melts.
Top with reserved tomatoes, green
onions & olives. Garnish with
optional toppings & serve
immediately. Serves 6

NOTE: You can replace the
chicken with cooked ground
beef

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Chicken/Enchilada/Queso Dip

3 (8 oz, ea) blocks cream cheese
2 C. rotisserie chicken breast
(or 2 poached breasts, shredded)
1 can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 C. salsa verde
1 T. chopped green onions
1 plum tomato, diced

tortilla or corn chips, for dipping

Combine all ingredients (except
chips) in crockpot – reserving some
chopped tomato  for garnish. Cover
& cook on Low 1 1/2 hours until
all is melted. Stir & cover with
reserved tomatoes. Serve with
chips. Serves 10

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-
Crockpot Easy Mexican Party Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. Mexican-style shredded 4-cheese,
divided (Kraft)
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 (optional)

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream & 3/4 C.
shredded cheese until blended – spread
on bottom of crockpot. Top with beans,
then salsa. Cover & cook on Low 3-4
hours. Top with onions, cilantro &
remaining cheese.
Makes 40 (2 T. ea) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
———————————-
Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
2 T. A1 steak sauce
2 lb. frozen meatballs
8 oz sour cream (1 C.)
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In crockpot mix soup with beef
broth, onion soup mix & A1 – stir
well. Add in frozen meatballs; cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. Stir in sour cream. Cook
egg noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Mix cooked noodles
into meatball mixture & serve. Serves 6

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

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

Still working on the ‘lovey’ for my special
needs friend – I’m just over half done – YAY!
(Monday husband & I go to the doctors,
so he said we can stop at JoAnn’s, if I need,
to pick up more yarn for this project).

Hope you are enjoying your day – STAY
HEALTHY – if you can!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Every year I procrastinate when it comes
to putting up Christmas decorations and this
year is no different. As a child I loved getting
to do that – as an adult, not so much. So far
we have 3 snowmen (statues) ‘up’, that’s it
(and those I got down last week!).

and so it begins – the winter sniffles…

Woke up yesterday with my head all stuffed up, now I sound like a man with a very deep voice – sigh. I don’t really ‘feel’ sick, just head’s all stuffed up (that will really go great this Sunday for choir, eh?). Oh well, it could be worse (AND I AM going to see the doctor Monday about the vein thing, so it’s all good).

Weather is getting more ‘wintery’ – woke up to 22 ‘balmy’ degrees, a light dusting of snow on the ground & sunny. It’s supposed to warm up a bit (am planning on going shopping a little later when it’s a bit warmer – I hope). According to our local weather report we’re due for 1-3 inches of snow in the next 2 days so I want to get most of my shopping done before then. Low temperatures for the next week or so, in the 20’s with highs of 30’s (oh, joy) – time to get out my HEAVY winter coat!

Lots of recipes, all sorts – some for holidays/parties, some just everyday – here ya go:

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

Peppermint Bark Fudge

Chocolate Layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

White layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Topping:
15 mini peppermint candy canes,
crushed

Line a 11″ X 7″ glass baking dish
with parchment paper. In heavy-
bottomed saucepan pour 1 can
sweetn’d/cond. milk, choc. chips &
1 tsp. peppermint extract – heat over
Low heat. Stir often – when choc. is
fully melted & well incorporated *(about
5-8 minutes),remove from heat & pour
into prepared dish. Clean the saucepan:
prepare White Layer the same as first.
When chocolate is fully melted, pour
over first layer in dish. Sprinkle crushed
candy canes over top, evenly. Allow to
set up at least 1 hour (you can refrigerate
to speed up the process). Slice into squares.
Serves 24

*If you notice chocolate is heating too
much & getting thick & crumbly, turn
heat down.

(recipe: eazypeazymealz.com)
———————————–
Cheesy Mac & Cheese

1 1/2 C. elbow macaroni, cooked/drained
accordg. to pkg. directions
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. sour cream
4 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. Velveeta cheese (OR) 8 oz, cut
into pieces – if you don’t like Velveeta,
just add 3 C. Cheddar instead of 2)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
To cooked/drained macaroni add butter
& cheese – mix well. Beat egg, milk, sour
cream, pepper/salt together with a wire
whisk & add to mac & cheese. Spray a
casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray
& pour mixture into dish. Cover dish with
foil & bake 50-60  minutes. Serves 6

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

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. salsa (your choice)

8 oz. corn tortilla chips
1/2 C. cheese, shredded
(your choice)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan;
add garlic & onion – cook until
onion is translucent. Stir in
remaining ingredients (except
chips & cheese). Simmer 20
minutes. Pour into bowls &
top with chips & cheese.
Serves 4

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

Crockpot Ham

7-9 1/2 lb. ham
juice from a 20 oz. can of
pinapple rings
1 C. brown sugar

Place ham in crockpot; pour
juice over ham & pack brown
sugar over ham. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
—————————-
Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes
butter – to taste
brown sugar – to taste
cinnamon – to taste

Pierce each potato with a fork
several times & place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours.
Split potatoes & mash insides with
a fork. Top with butter, brown sugar
& cinnamon, to taste. Serves 6

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

Beer Cheese Dip
(overnight recipe)

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4  of a red onion, finely diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 C. beer (any beer works)
1/2 C. chopped bacon, cooked
hot sauce, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Suggested dippers: pretzels

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl; refrigerate over night for best
results.

(recipe: recipelion.com)
—————————-

Baked Mozzarella/Marinara Dip

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (32 oz) bottle marinara sauce
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh basil, chopped very fine
pinch red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper

1 crusty baguette, sliced/toasted
for dipping

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Heat oil in medium oven-proof
skillet over medium heat. Add
garlic & saute until golden, 3-5
minutes. Add marinara sauce; stir
in basil, red pepper flakes, salt/
pepper – bring to simmer then
remove from heat. Add mozzarella
to center of dish & transfer to oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is
melty. Sprinkle pepper over cheese
& garnish skillet with more chopped
basil. Serve warm with toasted
baguette pieces. Serves 12

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-
Butterscotch Almond Toffee

2 C. (1 lb) butter
2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. slivered almonds
3/4 C. butterscotch chips
3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. shortening, divided

Line a 15 X 10″ (jelly roll size)baking pan
with foil & lightly spray with nonstick cooking
spray. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine
butter, sugar & salt – melt over medium-high
heat, stirring until sugar is completely
dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to side
of pan & continue cooking/stirring until it
reaches 290 degrees F. Stir in vanilla & slivered
almonds; pour into prepared pan. Tap the pan
to spread toffee evenly. Place pan on a rack to
cool. In small bowl combine butterscotch chips
& half of shortening. Combine choc. chips &
remaining shortening in separate microwave-safe
bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring
in between, until chips are fully melted & smooth.
Using a spatula, spread butterscotch & choc. on
top of cooled toffee. Refrigerate at least 30
minutes to set the chocolate. Break into pieces &
serve. Serves 24

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
========================

After going on several crochet sites I was
able to locate the one ‘fancy/hole’ stitch
and master it. Worked on my ‘lovey’ blanket
for my special needs friend last night and am
about half-way done! Took awhile to get my
bearings on just exactly how I wanted to
design this (his Mom said do whatever I want,
she’s just happy I’m giving it a try!). Since I’m
not a crocheter per se (more a knitter who
knows basic crochet stitches) it’s a good effort;
perhaps in the hands of a real crocheter it would
look more professional, but for what it’s intended,
it will work.

Hope you’re having a good day!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Doing the “Happy Dance”!

Yesterday was my yearly visit to my OB/GYN and another GREAT report – so far it’s NO CANCER from my Radiologist and ALL CLEAR from my GYN so I’m DOING THE HAPPY DANCE!  Thank You, Lord for another year of good health!

Tuesday evening was my knit/crochet group’s Movie night and 6 ladies showed up (not a big group but it was OK); we had a great dinner and watched the first few episodes of “Downton Abbey” (great series AND I’ve just learned they will be making a DOWNTON ABBEY MOVIE next year! YAY!

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

Apple Pie Bars

Bottom crust:

1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 T. sugar
1/2 C. shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 egg yolks, beaten
4 T. water

Filling:
8 apples, peeled/cored/cut
into thin wedges
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 T. butter

Topping:
1 C. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 10 X 15″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine flour,
sugar, salt & baking powder.
Cut in shortening until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. In
small bowl mix egg yolks &
water together then mix into
flour mixture until it forms a
ball. Roll out on floured surface
to make a rectangle and press
into bottom of prepared pan.
Combine apples, lemon juice,
2 T. flour, sugar & cinnamon in
large bowl – pour apple mixture
onto crust in dish. Dot apples
with 2 T. butter. In medium bowl
combine 1 C. flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon,
2/3 C. brown sugar. Cut in butter
until crumbly – sprinkle over apples.
Bake 60 minutes until topping is
golden brown.

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)
——————————-

Spiced Orzo with Spinach

1 (8 oz) pkg. orzo (rice)
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
pinch cayenne (optional)
6 oz. baby spinach leaves-
washed but not dried
4 T. chopped cilantro or parsley
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Bring large pan of salted water to boil.
Add orzo & cook until tender, per pkg.
directions. Heat oil in large saucepan
over medium heat. Add onion & cook,
stirring often, about 3 minutes until
softened. Stir in garlic, coriander, cumin
& cayenne (if using) cook 1 more minute.
Stir spinach into saucepan. Cook, stirring
often, 3 minutes, just until wilted. Drain
orzo well, shaking off any excess water.
Add orzo to spinach & mix well. Stir in
cilantro & season with salt/pepper. Transfer
to a serving bowl & serve hot or cooled.
Serves 6

NOTE: Dish can be prepared & refrigerated
up to 1 day & served cold. If mixture is too
solid, toss with more olive oil.

(recipe: cookstr.com)
————————————

Three Cheese Campfire Potatoes

3 large potatoes, peeled/ cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 C. bacon pieces (usually in a

jar or bag near salad dressing)

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
==
In a double thick heavy-duty foil
(about 18 in. square),

slice up butter. Add chopped potatoes,
onion, salt, and pepper.Fold foil around
potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill,
covered, over medium heat for 15-18
minutes on each side or until potatoes
are tender. Carefully open foil. Sprinkle
bacon & cheeses over potato mixture.
Grill 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese
is melted. Open foil carefully to allow
steam to escape.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Taste of Home mag)
————————————

Buttermilk Slaw

1 1/2 C. Miracle Whip
1 C. cultured buttermilk*
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
10 C. coarsely shredded red or
green cabbage

Whisk together Miracle Whip, buttermilk,
sugar, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce & salt.
Add cabbage – mix well. Cover & refrigerate
for at least 2 hours or overnight if you like a
more tender slaw. Adjust seasonings, toss
well & serve.

*You can also make butter milk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in a 1 Cup
measuring cup. Pour milk into measuring
cup until it reaches the 1 C. mark. Stir
mixture and let stand 5 minutes; mix well
and use as buttermilk.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
————————————–
3-Ingredient Chicken & Gravy
(crockpot)

4-6 boneless skinless chicken
thighs (frozen is OK)
1 packet onion soup mix (dry)
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup

Cooked rice, noodles or
mashed potatoes for 4

Place chicken in bottom of
crockpot & sprinkle soup mix
on top. Spoon mushroom soup
over chicken. Cover & cook on
Low 4-6 hours. Remove lid,
shred chicken then serve over
cooked rice, noodles or mashed
potatoes. Serves 4

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

Bacon-wrapped Egg Muffins

12 strips bacon, cut in half
9 large eggs
1/2 C. whole milk
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 T. chopped chives

(using a 12-cup muffin tin)
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray insides tins with
nonstick cooking spray. Mold
2 slices of bacon around insides
of each muffin tin to form a
ring. In large bowl whisk eggs &
milk until completely combined.
Fold in Ro*Tel, cheese, salt/pepper
& evenly pour into muffin tins. Bake
35-40 minutes until top of eggs are
brown & bacon is cooked through.
Serve hot & garnish with chopped
chives. Makes 12

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
——————————–

Jalapeno Corn Bread Pudding

5 eggs
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 C. sour cream
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
2 C. frozen whole kernel corn
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/diced
2 T. molasses
3 T. green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk eggs, melted
butter, sour cream, baking powder &
salt. Mix in flour & cornmeal then
fold in corn kernels & diced jalapeno
until combined. Spray the inside of a
10″ cast iron skillet with nonstick
cooking spray. Pour batter into skillet
& bake 30-35  minutes until it becomes
firm in the center.

While cornbread is baking, add softened
butter & molasses to medium bowl &
whisk together.

Once cornbread is done cooking, evenly
spread molasses/butter over top & garnish
with sliced green onions. Serve warm
Serves 12

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
——————————–

Buttery Chocolate/Caramel
Crunch Bars

2 C. flour
1 3/4 C. quick cooking oats
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter, melted

1 1/2 C. semi sweet chocolate
chunks
1 c. milk chocolate chips

1 (14 oz) pkg. caramels,
unwrapped
1/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil then spray with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine flour,
oats, brown sugar & baking soda;
stir in butter until well mixed. Press
half of mixture into prepared pan;
top with chocolate. Place milk &
caramels in a large microwave-
safe bowl & microwave at 70%
powder until smooth (about 3-4
minutes) stirring as needed until
fully melted. Pour mixture over
chocolate & crust. Sprinkle
remaining oat mixture over top
gently pressing to stick. Bake
20-25 minutes. Cool completely
before cutting.

NOTE: store in air tight container
to keep fresh.

(recipe: recipepatch.com)

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

Our weather is still holding at “Great Fall
Weather” – in the 70’s during the day,
drops to the 60’s in the evening, sunny
with a slight breeze and lots of colorful
fall leaves on the trees & ground.

Hope you are having a GREAT week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Monday Musings –

Kinda gloomy/misty day here – low 70’s & cloudy. Went for my yearly cancer check up & I’m clear (All clear for another year – YAY!)

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

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

3/4 C. butter
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter

Spray 9 X 9″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. Melt
butter in large saucepan over
medium heat; stir in brown
sugar & vanilla. Mix in oats &
cook over Low heat 2-3 minutes
until ingredients are well blended.
Press 3/4ths of mixture into bottom
of prepared pan; reserve rest
for topping. Melt choc. chips
& peanut butter in small heavy
saucepan over Low heat, stirring
frequently until smooth. Pour
choc. mixture over crust in pan
& spread evenly using a knife or
back of a spoon. Crumble remaining
oat mixture over chocolate layer,
pressing in gently. Cover & refrigerate
2-3 hours or overnight. Bring to
room temperature before cutting
into bars.

NOTE: another poster recommended
using bittersweet chocolate & chunky
peanut butter –

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
——————————————

Zucchini/Tomato Bake

1 lb. zucchini (about 3
medium) chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes,
halved
2 cloves garlic minced
olive oil, for drizzling
kosher salt
black pepper
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. torn fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine zucchini,
tomatoes, garlic & a drizzle of
olive oil. Season with salt/pepper
& toss to coat. Transfer mixture
to a small baking dish then
sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 33-35 minutes until golden.
Garnish with basil & serve.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Bowtie Pasta
Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
(can also use fresh)
1 (16 oz) pkg. bowtie pasta, cooked
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

In large skillet brown ground beef,
onion & garlic; place in crockpot &
add sauce, tomatoes & seasonings.
Stir, cover & cook 6-7 hours on Low.
Add last 4 ingredients during last
half hour of cooking time & turn
heat to High. Add fresh spinach,
pasta, Parmesan cheese & 1 C.
mozzarella cheese – mix well.
Add last 1/2 C. mozzarella to
melt on top before serving.

(recipe: omgtastyrecipes.com)
———————————

Copycat Bacon & Ranch Potato Salad

6-8 medium red potatoes
1 T. kosher salt
2 eggs, hard-boiled/chopped
6 strips bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/2 C. sour cream
1 T. dry ranch dressing mix (poster
used Hidden Valley)
1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
salt, to taste

Place potatoes & salt in large pot
of water & bring to boil – cook until
potatoes can be pierced with a fork
easily (do not overcook or they will
be mushy). Drain & set aside to cool.
In medium bowl add sour cream &
dry ranch dressing mix – mix well.
Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
Add potatoes, eggs & ranch dressing
to sour cream mixture. Add salt &
taste and more salad dressing until
salad is moistened to your liking.
Toss well, cover & refrigerate at least
2 hours to let flavors blend together.
Right before serving, add cooked,
crumbled bacon, mixing well. Serve
cold or at room temperature.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: thefarmgirlrecipes.blogspot.com)
—————————————
(copycat) Applebee’s Smothered
Steak Skillet
  (grill or stovetop)

Potatoes:
1 head garlic
1 T. olive oil
2 lb. potatoes (Yukon Gold or New
Road)
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. cream
3 T. butter
salt/pepper, to taste

Onions & Mushrooms:
1 large yellow onion
8 oz. white button or cremini
mushrooms
2 T. butter
salt/black pepper, to taste

Steak:
1 T. olive oil
2 1/2 lb. sirloin steak, 1 inch thick
8 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut garlic crosswise & lay on a
piece of foil – drizzle cut edges
with olive oil & wrap tightly in
foil. Bake 30 minutes (reserve
oil in foil & squeeze head of
garlic to produce the softened
cloves.) Mash with salt/pepper.
(can be done ahead).

Cut potatoes into 1 inch pieces &
place in large pot. Cover with water
& bring to boil. Lower heat to medium
& cook 20-25 minutes until potatoes
are soft when tested with tines of a
fork. Drain well & place into large
bowl. Using elec. mixer, mash potatoes
slowly, adding milk, cream, butter then
olive/garlic mixture – until fluffy &
smooth. Cover & keep warm until ready
to serve.

While potatoes are boiling place olive
oil in medium non-stick skillet over
medium low & cook onions until
slightly softened, stirring frequently,
15 minutes. Add mushrooms & raise
heat to medium, stirring frequently
for another 10 minutes. Keep warm
until ready to serve.

Cut steak into 4 serving-sized pieces.
Rub steaks with olive oil on all surfaces.
Heat an outside grill or stovetop grill
pan & grill steaks 4 minutes per side
for medium rare/or longer, as desired.
After first 4 minutes turn steaks & top
each steak with mozzarella slices; the
cheese will melt as steak finishes
cooking. Serve steaks with potatoes &
top with some of onion/mushroom
mixture. Serves 4

(recipe: allfreecopycatrecipes.com)
———————————-
Roasted Summer Vegetables


3 zucchini
3 yellow squash
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1/2 T. black pepper
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Peel all vegetables & slice into
1/4″ thick slices. Drizzle olive
oil in large sheet pan & arrange
veggies on top. Sprinkle tops with
salt/pepper. Bake 30 minutes.
Serves 6

NOTE: You can make this dish
‘fancy’ by arranging sliced veggies
in a casserole dish (slices vertical)
and alternate each veggie OR you
can just do them in the sheet pan.

IF you prefer a softer texture, cook
them 5-7 minutes longer.

(recipe: bakersroyale.com.)
———————————

Crazy Crust Pie

1 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter or margarine,
softened
3/4 C. milk
1 egg
1 (21 oz) can fruit pie filling
(apple, cherry, peach, blueberry,
etc.)
sugar or cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking
powder, salt, butter, milk & egg;
beat well. Spray a 9″ pie plate
with nonstick spray & pour batter
into plate. Pour pie filling into
center of batter to 1 inch of edge.
Sprinkle with sugar  (if using apple
or peach, sprinkle with cinnamon
sugar). Do not stir. Bake 35-40
minutes until brown & dough is
done. Serves 6

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)

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

Not much going on around here;
feeling kinda lazy – might just go
‘attempt’ a nap.

Hugs;

Pammie

and now it’s Saturday!

Today was supposed to be a trip to a family (husband’s side) reunion but, actually, neither he nor I really wanted to go so we opted to stay home. (This is the same side of the family we just saw a few weeks ago at a family funeral, so it’s not like we haven’t ‘touched base’ lately.) As we get older, both my husband & I are getting ‘set in our ways’ – we’re much happier in our little ‘cave/home’ and don’t like to venture out much (him, much more than me). I enjoy the random quick trips to the grocery/drug stores, library, WalMart, etc. but he would rather just stay home – I’m glad he goes to church on Sundays – gets him out of the house!

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

Crockpot Cream Soda Poke Cake
(using removable crock)

1 box white cake mix & ingredients
to prepare it – prepare cake batter*
1 (12 oz) bottle Cream Soda (or Big Red)
small pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small box instant vanilla pudding

Lightly spray insides of 6-qt. crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. *Pour prepared
cake batter into crockpot. Place 3-4 paper
towels under lid; cover & cook on High
1-2 hours. Test if done using a wooden
toothpick inserted in center – if it comes
out clean, cake is done. Remove crock from
base & let cake cool.
When cake has cooled, poke holes in cake
using a toothpick. Mix together cream soda
(or Big Red) with powdered strawberry
Jell-O – evenly pour over cake. In a different
bowl, mix Cool Whip & dry pudding mix –
spread over top of cake evenly.

NOTE: You can serve immediately (Poster
says she thinks it’s best chilled first).

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

Grilled Pork & Peach Kabobs

2 peaches, halved/pitted &
cut into 6 wedges
1 sweet onion cut into 6
wedges
1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut
into 18-20 cubes
6 skewers (if wood, soak in
wate
r)
3/4 C. honey barbecue sauce
(optional: cooked brown rice)

Heat grill to medium heat.
Cut peach & onion wedges in
half crosswise. Thread peach,
onion & pork pieces alternately
onto soaked skewers, leaving
some space in between for
even grilling. Grill skewers
15 minutes, turning occasionally,
until pork juices run clear. Brush
with bbq sauce during last 5
minutes. Serve with cooked rice,
if desired. Serves 6

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

Shrimp & Pasta with a
Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

3 C. elbow macaroni
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled/
deveined
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt/black pepper,
to taste

Tomato Basil Cream Sauce:
1/4 C. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. flour
1 c. vegetable broth (or more,
as needed)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 C. heavy cream (or more,
as needed)
1/3 C. julienned sun-dried
tomatoes in olive oil, drained
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan
cheese
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
3 C. fresh baby spinach, roughly
chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large pot boiling salted, water
cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain well. Place
shrimp on prepared baking
sheet; add olive oil, salt/pepper
& gently toss to combine. Bake
just until pink & cooked through,
6-8 minutes.
Sauce:
Melt butter in large skillet
over medium heat; add garlic &
cook, stirring frequently, until
fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Whisk in flour until lightly
browned, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in vegetable
broth & basil; cook, whisking
constantly until incorporated
about 1-2 minutes. Stir in
heavy cream, tomatoes &
Parmesan until slightly thickened,
about 1-2 minutes. If mixture
is too thick, add more heavy
cream, as needed. Season
with salt/pepper. Stir in
spinach until it begins to wilt,
about 2 minutes. Stir in pasta &
shrimp – gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately.

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

Hillbilly Baked Beans
(Crockpot & Oven methods)

Crockpot:

1/2 lb. ground chuck
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 C. BBQ sauce
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (15.5 oz) can butter beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (16 oz) can pork & beans,
not drained
1/2 C. cooked, crumbled bacon

In 5 qt. crockpot combine all
ingredients; stir well. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low
6 hours. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

Oven:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour ingredients into 3 qt.
casserole dish. Cover & cook
1 1/2 hours or until hot &
bubbly.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————–

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken
Breast (one pan meal)

4 boneless skinless chicken
breasts
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
8 slices bacon
1 lb. small new potatoes, halved
(can also use regular sized cut into
1 inch pieces)
2 medium zucchini, quartered
lengthwise & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Optional garnish: chopped parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil & spray
with nonstick cooking spray. Using
a small sharp knife, cut a slit lengthwise
across each breast to create a deep
pocket. In small bowl mix cream cheese,
Cheddar, mozzarella, parsley & garlic
powder – season with salt/pepper.
Spoon  mixture evenly into pockets;
use toothpicks to seal pockets shut.
Season tops of breasts with salt/pepper
then wrap 2 slices bacon around each
breast. Place on sheet pan; scatter
potatoes around chicken & spray potatoes
with nonstick spray – season with salt/
pepper. Bake 20 minutes Remove from
oven & add zucchini; season zucchini
with salt/pepper, to taste. Return to
oven & bake an additional 20 minutes;
place under broiler an additional 3-5
minutes until bacon is browned & crispy.
Serve immediately with chopped parsley,
if using. Serves 4

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
————————————

Stuffed Corn Bake

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 (6 oz) pkg. chicken-flavored
stuffing mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place all ingredients
in large bowl; mix well. Pour
mixture into prepared dish &
bake 30 minutes. Allow dish
to cool about 5 minutes before
serving.

(recipe: mostlyhomemademom.com)
————————————

Crockpot Chicken & Zucchini

3 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts
2 T. minced garlic
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 tsp. onion powder
2 whole zucchini, sliced
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
(can also use Swiss, Cheddar or
mozzarella – shredded)

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix all spices, spaghetti
sauce, onions, garlic & sliced
zucchini. Place chicken in
crockpot & pour veggies/sauce
over chicken. Spread chopped
green onions over mixture. Cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
5 hours. Once chicken is cooked,
cover with chosen cheese; cover
& let stand a few minutes to
allow cheese to melt. Serves 8

NOTE: can be served ‘as is’ or
over cooked pasta or noodles.

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

Homemade Tomatillo Salsa

8 oz. fresh tomatillos, stemmed/
husks removed
2 fresh serrano peppers
1 small onion, minced
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
1/4 C. water

Roast tomatillos & peppers until
blackened on both sides under
the broiler. Peel peppers & remove
stems/seeds/membranes (as desired)
Puree tomatillos & peppers in food
processor or blender. Stir mixture
with water, onion, cilantro & salt.
Serves 4-6

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

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches
(recipe serves 1 but can
easily be doubled, etc.)

1 fresh peach
1 tsp. unsalted butter, divided
2-4 tsp. brown sugar, divided
sprinkling of ground cinnamon,
to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Halve peach(s) & remove pit;
place in a baking dish, skin
side down. Place 1/2 tsp.
butter in hollow of each peach,
top each with 1-2 tsp. brown
sugar & sprinkle top with
cinnamon. Bake until peachs
are tender, about 30 minutes.
Serve warm.

(recipe: thekitchenismy
playground.com)

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

Nice, quiet day so far; spent time yesterday
organizing my yarns (again) – my knit group
ladies & I were chatting about our yarn
‘stashes’ and I mentioned the size of mine –
the replies were: “Only THAT much?” I
said: “I have so much yarn that I will NEVER
be able to knit/crochet it all up before I die.”
They were not  the least surprised – most
described yarn stashes that were MUCH
larger than mine – oh well, to each their
own, right? It’s like Rockefeller(?) said
when asked how much money he needed
to feel like he had enough: “Just a little bit
more.” (I understand his thinking when it
comes to yarns!). I’ve started & ripped out
2 projects lately; have decided to just stick
to the two baby blankets I’m almost finished
with (one is due before September for Detroit
Vets and the other is ‘on hold’ – a friend is
expecting in February & I’m keeping this one
for if she has a boy – it’s blue.) Don’t know if
I mentioned that one of my knit group ladies
stopped by last Tuesday and brought a huge
laundry basket full of yarns – she’s moving &
thought we might like it (says she’ll bring more
before she moves up North). YES, it was
tempting – I took several skeins of thicker,
fuzzy yarns to make a scarf for this winter
for the homeless collection (they’re white
with flecks of light blue, pink – girlie colors).
When I’m faced with all that FREE yarn my
mind goes into OVER-DRIVE- I start thinking
I could make SCARVES out of some of this!
(Mind you, I don’t like knitting with thick
yarns but the temptation is there when you
see the free yarns!) I also grabbed a fall
colors thick, sorta twisted yarn (3 balls)
for another scarf. Am thinking of taking
a break from baby blankets after these
last 2 are done and doing scarves – they
go a little quicker – we’ll see.

Hope your day is going great so far!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Just to clarify my latest health update-
ALL of my blood tests came back NORMAL!
I’m fine/healthy – nothing like a little scare
to change things up a bit, eh?

A little bit of this ‘n that . . .

Today is another of those ‘lots of things going on’ days – example: just got off the phone with our local newspaper’s Delivery department. I’m usually not one to complain but sometimes ya just gotta! Felt bad calling in AGAIN but this makes 5 times in 2 weeks they’ve screwed up our newspaper delivery! I’ve called it in, they say “We’ll send you out a copy of the missed paper TOMORROW!” OK!!! Never comes – finally today was kind of the ‘last straw’ – Yes, I got a ‘paper’ – this one was the Community News section TWICE – also all the ‘ads’ for various stores – no REAL PAPER; no front page or sports section – just 2 copies of the Community News & lots of goofy ad/flyers! UGH! Spoke to a very nice gentleman who gave me $$$ credit for 5 missed papers, looked over my account AND said he’s submitting it to the District Manager to request I get a NEW carrier! YAY! FINALLY vindication! We’ll see how this goes. We’ve been receiving this paper since the 1970’s so I’m no newbie.

On another GREAT NEWS note: I have a HUGE PRAISE THE LORD! report. I have to see my general doctor every 3 months (due to being a previous cancer patient). Three months ago they took blood & the report came back with high red blood cells; Dr. said “Drink lots of water & we’ll check it again in 3 months, it could be a fluke in the test.” Went, again, last Thurs. – they drew blood (I get the results via email) – this time it showed high/elevated WHITE blood cell counts! This got me worried because the doctor mentioned that I might have to go back to the cancer doctor – sometimes after receiving radiation, the body will go a little wacky and the bone marrow starts OVER-producing red blood cells. The mention of going back to the cancer center kind of freaked me out – it’s been 5 1/2 YEARS since I’ve been cancer-free s0 you can understand my worry. (YES, I prayed about this BIG TIME!). My doctor said: “When you get the test results email, call the office & leave a message to have me review your labs.” I did that – Friday, Monday, Tuesday – only to hear he’s on vacation until NEXT FRIDAY! UGH! Today I got a call from another doctor covering his patients and she reviewed the labs & said EVERYTHING IS NORMAL! (I said: “But what about those 3 HIGHs in the white blood cells part?”) She said that was .1 % elevated – no big deal – could be caused by allergies. YAY! What a relief!!! For a few days now I’ve had thoughts of what it was like when I went through the cancer treatments – not a pleasant thing – makes you start to REALLY realize just how precious EVERY DAY is – especially with your family. TREASURE your families – make sure they KNOW you love and care for them – we only have THIS TIME to do that, tomorrow is not a given thing.

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

Lemon-Blueberry Cake

1 (18 oz.) box vanilla cake mix
plus ingredients to prepare cake
juice & zest of 1 1/2 lemons,
divided plus more zest for garnish
1 3/4 C. fresh blueberries, divided
3 T. flour

Frosting:
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 to 3 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch kosher salt
2 thin slices lemon, for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray three 9 inch cake pans
with nonstick cooking spray &
line with parchment paper. Prepare
cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions;
stir in juice & zest of 1 lemon. In
small bowl toss 1 C. blueberries &
flour until completely coated (to
keep blueberries from sticking).
Gently fold blueberries into batter.
Divide batter evenly among pans
& bake 18-20 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Let cake cool in
pans 10 minutes then invert onto
wire rack & cool completely.

Frosting:

In large bowl using elec. mixer
beat butter & 2 1/2 C. powdered
sugar. Add remaining lemon juice
& zest & heavy cream – beat until
combined then beat in vanilla &
salt. (add remaining 1/2 C.
powdered sugar if desired for
texture & flavor).
Place a dab of frosting on a cake
plate (to keep cake in place). Place
one cake layer on plate & top with
frosting – repeat with next 2 layers –
frost sides of cake. Garnish top
with remaining blueberries, lemon
slices & zest. Serves 8-10

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————–

Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken
&  Summer Veggies

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless
chicken cutlets, sliced thin
3 T. pesto
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
juice from 1/2 lime
2 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
kosher salt
1 lb. (bunch) asparagus, ends
removed
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4″
thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded/sliced
into strips
olive oil cooking spray

Marinate chicken with pesto, garlic,
red pepper flakes, lime juice &
1/2 tsp. salt at least 1 hour or
overnight. Mix oil, balsamic vinegar,
honey & 1/4 tsp. salt in small bowl.

Heat grill to medium-high heat – make
sure grates are clean & well-oiled to
prevent sticking.

Place veggies on 1 large grill tray or
2 smaller trays (or cook in batches).
spray with olive oil cooking spray,
season with salt/pepper & cook-
turning constantly until edges are
browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Remove from grill. Cook chicken
4-5 minutes on each side until
grill marks appear & chicken is
cooked through. Transfer to
platter with veggies & pour
balsamic dressing over all.
Serves 6

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

Greek Hummus-stuffed Mini
Peppers
(appetizers)

12 assorted mini sweet peppers
(orange, red, yellow)
1/2 C. plain hummus
1/4 C. crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 C. chopped cucumbers
2 tsp. chopped chives

Cut off tops of peppers; remove
& discard seeds. Combine
remaining ingredients in a bowl
& stuff ingredients into peppers.
Serve. Makes 4 servings

(recipe: Kraft.com)
———————————-
Capellini Caprese (salad)

1/2 lb. capellini pasta, uncooked
1/2 C. (Kraft) Tuscan Italian salad
dressing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 C. halved grape tomatoes
1 C. shredded mozzarella
1/3 C. fresh basil, thinly sliced

Cook pasta as directed on pkg,
omitting salt. Heat salad dressing
in large nonstick skillet on medium-
high heat. Add onions & garlic; cook
& stir 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook
5 minutes until heated through,
stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; add
to tomato mixture & mix lightly. Sprinkle
with cheese & basil – serve.
Serves 4 (1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft.com)
——————————-

(Grill) Foil-Pan Grilled Sea Food
& Rice

3/4 C. (Kraft) sun-dried Tomato
vinaigrette salad dressing
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/2 C. long-grain white rice,
uncooked
1 C. loosely packed fresh
parsley
3 cloves garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1 lb. cod fillets, cut into
1-inch chunks
1 lb. uncooked deveined/
peeled medium shrimp
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat grill to medium heat.
Combine salad dressing & onions
in deep 9 X 13″ disposable foil
pan; place on grill grate. Cook &
stir 4 minutes until onions are
crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, broth
& rice – bring to boil. Cover pan with
foil; reduce heat to Low. Close grill
lid & grill 20 minutes until almost
all liquid is absorbed, stirring every
5 minutes. In food processor, place
parsley, garlic & lemon zest – pulse
until just blended. Add cod to rice
mixture & cook 5 minutes. Stir in
shrimp – cook 4-6 minutes until cod
flakes easily with fork, shrimp turn
pink & rice is tender. Remove from
grill – stir in parsley mixture & top
with cheese. Serve warm.
Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft.com)
———————————–

3-ingredient S’Mores Cookie
Bites

6 graham cracker sheets*
6 large marshmallows
12 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Heat broiler & place oven rack
on lowest level

Break graham cracker sheets in
half; cut each half into a circle
using a 2 to 2 1/2 inch round
metal cookie cutter. Using
clean scissors, cut each
marshmallow into 2 halves.
Place graham circles in center
of large baking sheet, about
1/2 inch apart. Centering them
on the sheet allows even broiling.
Top each circle with a marshmallow,
cut sides down. Place under broiler
& watch very closely – toast until
golden, rotating pan. Once golden
immediately remove from oven
& gently press one Hershey’s
Kiss into center of each toasted
marshmallow. Serve warm.
Makes 12

*Poster says you can also substitute
Saltines or Ritz crackers for grahams.

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

Mini Zucchini Pizza appetizers

1 large zucchini (about 11 oz),
cut into 1/4 inch slices/rounds
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/3 C. pizza sauce
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella
cheese
1/2 C. miniature pepperoni slices
minced fresh basil

Preheat broiler. Spray a baking
sheet with nonstick cooking spray
& arrange zucchini rounds in single
layer on sheet. Broil 3-4 inches
from heat just until crisp-tender,
1-2 minutes per side. Sprinkle
tops with salt/pepper & top with
sauce, cheese & pepperoni. Broil
until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle tops with basil & serve.
Makes about 24 rounds.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–
Easy Homemade (no churn)
Ice Cream

2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
food coloring, if desired
1 C. fresh raspberries, pureed or
mashed
1 T. vanilla

Combine sweetened cond. milk &
vanilla in large bowl; stir in pureed
fruit & food coloring (if using). In
another bowl using an elec. mixer
on medium-high speed, whip heavy
cream until stiff peaks form. (Do
NOT use Cool Whip). Fold whipped
cream into berry/milk mixture &
pour into a 9 X 5″ loaf pan or 2 qt.
freezer container. Cover & freeze
4-6 hours until firm.
Serves 6

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)

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

In light of all that’s been happening
health-scare wise, today I called two
of my close lady friends (we’ve all
known each other since High School
and all go to the same church) and
got together a “Ladies Out” lunch
date next week. We’ve been saying
we need to do this again but never
quite got it organized – well, now
that’s in the works! I need to realize
TIME/LIFE IS SHORT – SEIZE THE DAY!
or, in Latin: Carpe diem:


A shortened version of the original Latin phrase
Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero”
meaning “seize the day, trusting as little as
possible in the future
.”

Our weather is back in the high 70’s,
sunny & breezy; time to take my
knitting outside!

Hope you are enjoying this lovely
summer weather – it won’t be around
for much longer (unless it stays
warm through September – I wish!)

Hugs;

Pammie