and here we are at Thursday again!

Well, once again our ‘dear’ Michigan weather decided to surprise (or not) – yesterday the weather reported snow around 11 a.m. followed by freezing rain/drizzle/snow – crazy. I went to Library Knit 10-12 (nice, clear weather!); babysat 2 p.m. – around 4 (beginning to get a little drizzle). Lois decided to cancel the special needs group so I did all the calling for that (and was HAPPY to go home for the evening!). Dinner was Pierogies & sausages (family favorite) – not sure but I don’t think we really GOT the freezing rain thing! Today is nice & sunny AND CLEAR – roads/sidewalks, etc! YAY!

Today found my running around attempting to pick up birthday items for youngest grandson’s birthday party Sunday; went to Old Navy – now he has lots of t-shirts & shorts for summer (in a bigger size than he’s wearing now). Stopped in at Michael’s & picked up a pair of size 8 bamboo knitting needles for knitting bigger baby booties (I find it’s easier with the wood – yarn doesn’t slip as easily.

Speaking of booties: Tuesday was my knit group’s Yarn Swap and (once again) I scored with lots of baby sport-weight yarns. Ladies brought me more knit baby booties which means tomorrow I’m going to the Post Office to mail off FIFTY pairs of booties! WOW! I’m so happy my ladies are getting into this project – even crocheters are now asking for crochet patterns for booties!

===========

Easy Coconut Pie

1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
1/4 C. toasted coconut

Filling:
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 tsp. coconut extract
12 oz. cold evaporated milk –
straight from can – do not reconstitute
1 1/4 C. cold milk
1/2 C. shredded coconut
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl using elec. mixer beat
pudding mixes, extract & milks on
Low speed 2 minutes. Fold in Cool
Whip & 1/2 C. shredded coconut –
pour into pie crust & spread evenly.
Top with toasted coconut & chill
at least 3 hours. (You can freeze it
also- then it’s like ice cream)
Serves 8-12

(recipe: bakemidnite.com)
——————————–

Spinach Dip Crescent Bites
(appetizers)

2 T. butter
1 C. chopped green onion
(about 1 bunch white & green parts)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. chopped red bell pepper (1 large)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/well drained
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. chopped water chestnuts
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium
heat; add green onion, bell pepper &
garlic – saute 3-4 minutes. Add spinach
& cream cheese; stir & blend in cream
cheese until cheese is melted. Stir in
salt/pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper,
mayo, lemon juice, water chestnuts &
Parmesan. Remove from heat.
Unroll 1 tube crescent rolls & place on
a baking sheet. Using your fingers, gently
press seams to seal. Spread spinach
mixture evenly on rolls, leaving about
1/2 inch border along edges. Unroll
remaining tube of rolls & place on top
of spinach mixture. Press edges together
to seal – gently press seams together.
Bake 20-25 minutes until dough is golden
brown. Cut into small squares & serve
(NOTE: a pizza cutter works well for this).

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

Crockpot Brown Sugar Meatloaf

3 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 1/4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 C. milk
4 large eggs
2 pkts. dry onion soup mix
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Topping:
2 C. ketchup
1 C. brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Line crockpot with a crockpot liner or
spray insides with nonstick cooking spray.
Using your hands, in large bowl combine
ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs,
soup mix, salt/pepper & ginger. Place
mixture in bottom of crockpot & shape
into a loaf shape, keep it away from the
sides of the crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours (until meat thermometer
inserted into center of loaf reads 160
degrees F.) About 1/2 hour before
end of cooking time  in small bowl
mix ketchup, brown sugar & Worc.
sauce – evenly spread over top of loaf;
finish cooking. Carefully remove loaf
from crockpot by either pulling the
liner with meatloaf inside or use
2 spatulas to lift loaf up & out of
crockpot. Place on a serving platter.
Serves 10

Freezer Instructions: Mix meatloaf
together & place in a 1 gallon ziplock
freezer bag (or foodsaver bag) – flatten
as much as possible inside bag. In 1 qt.
freezer bag mix topping ingredients. Seal
& freeze with meatloaf – Place smaller
bag inside bag with meatloaf & seal
larger bag closed by hand (or seal using
Foodsaver). Label bag with date prepared,
name of recipe, ingredients & cooking
instructions. Lay bag flat in freezer & allow
to freeze for several hours; then you can
stand the bag upright if needed. Contents
of meal must be allowed to thaw completely.
Remove from freezer, place in fridge until
completely thawed (about 24 hours). Remove
topping bag & set on a plate in fridge until
needed. Follow remaining directions in
recipe.

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

Crockpot Chicken Alfredo Tortellini
Soup

1 C. diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 C. chicken broth
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″
pieces
4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (frozen is OK)
1/2 C. flour
2 C. Half & Half
1 (19 oz) pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
1 1/2 C. grated/shredded Parmesan
cheese
5 large kale leaves, washed & coarsely
chopped (discard stems)
salt/pepper, to taste

Add onion, garlic, chicken broth, carrots,
celery, salt/pepper & chicken to crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours (6 hours
for thawed chicken/8 hours for frozen).
Remove lid & use tongs to place chicken
on a cutting board – cut into pieces or
shred – add back to crockpot. Turn
heat to High – warm the Half & Half*.
Whisk flour, 1 T. at a time, into Half &
Half until smooth – pour into crockpot.
Stir & let soup thicken about 10 minutes.
Add in tortellini, Parmesan & kale.
Tortellini will cook in about 5-10 minutes.
Adjust salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 8-10

* Poster warms in a microwaveable
cup or bowl for 1 minute

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

Nacho ‘Taters’ (appetizers)

4 russet potatoes, about 1 lb.
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 C. enchilada sauce or taco sauce
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
3 green onions, chopped
3 jalapeno peppers (pickled or fresh),
sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Wash
potatoes well; dry. Coat each potato
in vegetable oil then prick skins a few
times with a fork. Place on prepared
baking sheet & bake 45 minutes to 1
hour until soft all the way through.
When potatoes are cooked, remove
from oven (leave OVEN on). Cut each
potato in half lengthwise down center
then once across – open potatoes &
mash insides slightly. Drizzle a few
tablespoons of enchilada sauce over each
potato then top with black beans, corn,
jalapenos & a handful of Cheddar cheese. Place
potatoes back in oven 3-5 minutes until
cheese melts. Remove from oven, drizzle
with more enchilada sauce & sprinkle
tops with sliced onions.
Serves 4

(recipe: budgetbytes.com)
——————————
Blackberry Cobbler

8 C. blackberries
3 T. sugar
3 T. flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)
4 T. butter, cut into small pieces
2 C. flour
3 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. shortening (like Crisco)
1/4 C. ice water
4 T. brown butter*
2 T. turbinado sugar (large, crystal
crunchy sugar – garnish)
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray or butter a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
In large bowl mix fruit & sugar, flour &
nutmeg. Gently mix to coat the fruit
& pour into prepared dish. Dot top with
butter pieces.
Using a food processor, mix flour, sugar,
salt & shortening. Add ice water & pulse
to crumb texture – sprinkle over fruit.

*Brown Butter:
Melt remaining 1/4 C. butter until it is a
nutty brown color. Drizzle over pastry
chunks (make sure you get all the little
brown ‘crumbs” out of the pan). Sprinkle
top with 2 T. crunchy sugar.
Bake 40 minutes until pastry is golden
brown & crispy & fruit is bubbling.

(recipe: 77kitchen.com)
=======================

Our gas prices have ‘danced around’ a bit lately:
one day they were up to $2.49/9 but happily
they’re back down to $2.39/9.

Not much else new around here; finished the
next issue of the special needs group’s newsletter
& will be mailing that out tomorrow along with
all the baby booties.

Hope you have a GREAT SUNNY Day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Happy Friday!

Today it’s a nice, clear (NO SNOW) day with sun – YAY! Temps in the High 20’s – for the rest of this AND next week. I realized today that I’ve been feeling like I’ve been put on hold – that feeling where something will happen. You don’t know when or what, but something’s coming. For me, that feeling is brought about by all the CRAZY Michigan weather! Snow/rain/freezing rain/drizzle, back to clear – CRAZY!

I babysat Tuesday and had to (karate) chop my car hood because it was covered in about an inch of snow which was then covered by a layer of ice – great fun. . . not. Oh well, that’s all melted now – roads are clear; walking is a bit of a challenge: some of the sidewalks are covered by a thin layer of ice from all the rain/melting ice, etc. Just gotta remember to walk “Like a Penguin” – have you seen those posts/suggestions stating that if we walk like a penguin (kind of hunched forward with feet pointed outwards and take small steps) we’re less likely to fall – looks goofy, but it works!

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

Chocolate Cobbler

1 C. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 C. sugar

2 T. plus 1/4 C. cocoa powder

1/2 C. milk

3 T. vegetable oil

1 C. packed brown sugar

1 3/4 C. hot water

Suggested ‘toppings’:

Ice cream and/or whipped cream

=

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In a bowl combine flour, salt, baking

powder, sugar & 2 T. cocoa. Stir in

milk & oil – pour into a 9-inch pie

dish, baking dish or round skillet.

Combine brown sugar & remaining

cocoa – sprinkle over batter. Pour

hot water over top (DO NOT STIR).

Bake 40-45 minutes. Let stand

20 minutes to set up. Top with

ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 4

(recipe: howsweeteats.com)


Crockpot Beef Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef, browned/drained
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (.25 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
8 oz. tomato sauce

Garnish:
Shredded Cheese
Sour cream

Place all ingredients (except garnish)
in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. Serve with shredded cheese &
sour cream. Serves 4-6

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

Greek Chicken Tacos

1 to 1 1/2 lb. chicken tenderloins or
breasts, cut into 4 strips each
1/4 C. olive oil
1 lemon
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
6 (6″) flour tortillas
1 C. chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 to 1 C. crumbled feta cheese

In a bowl mix olive oil, juice & zest
of 1 lemon, garlic & salt – stir.
Place chicken in a ziplock bag & pour
mixture over chicken. Seal bag &
shake to coat chicken – refrigerate
at least 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours).

In large nonstick skillet place 1 T. oil
over medium-high heat. Add chicken &
cook, turning at least once, until
browned on both sides (10-15 minutes).
In small bowl mix chopped parsley &
tomatoes. Remove chicken to a plate
when done. Fill flour tortillas with 2
tenderloins each & top with tomato
mixture & feta cheese. Serve immediately.
Makes about 6 tacos. Recipe can be
doubled. (reheat chicken if using as
leftovers)

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

Alfredo Shrimp Scamp Dump Dinner

4 T. butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 (12 oz) pkg. rotini pasta
1 lb. frozen peeled/deveined
medium shrimp
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. loosely packed fresh parsley,
chopped
1/2 C. heavy cream, warmed

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Spread dry rotini in an
even layer in bottom of prepared dish.
Scatter shrimp over top & dot with butter.
Pour broth over top & sprinkle with red
pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tsp.
salt/black pepper, to taste. Cover with foil
& bake about 25 minutes until pasta is
al dente.
In small bowl toss Parm. with parsley –
when pasta is done, stir in warm cream &
top with cheese mixture. Serves 4

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

Baked Chicken in Crescent Rolls for 2

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tube crescent rolls
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 C. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
divided
salt/pepper, to taste

Place chicken in a saucepan in
enough water to cover; add salt/
pepper to water & cook for 15
minutes (poach). Remove from
water; cool & cut into 4 pieces.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Divide crescent rolls & roll up
chicken in 4 rolls (you will not use
4 of the rolls, so you will have 4 left
over to cook for your bread). Place
chicken in prepared dish seam-sides
down. In small saucepan heat soup,
milk & 1/2 C. cheese until cheese is
melted – pour over chicken bundles
& sprinkle the other 1/2 C. cheese
on top. Bake 20 minutes until rolls
are golden brown. Serves 2

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

Bubble Up Pizza

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 (15 oz) jar pizza sauce
1 (12 oz) tube refrigerated Pillsbury
Grands Jr. biscuits
2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
sliced pepperoni

additional toppings (if desired):
chopped onion, chopped green
pepper, sliced olives
=
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Brown &
crumble sausage – drain. Cut each
biscuit into eighths. In a bowl combine
pizza sauce with cut-up biscuits &
cooked sausage – stir to combine. Spread
mixture evenly in prepared dish. Top with
shredded cheese & sliced pepperoni.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
biscuits are cooked through.
Serves 9

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)
————————————–
Oven Denver Omelet

8 large eggs
1/2 C. Half & Half cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. finely chopped fully cooked ham
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper
1/4 C. finely chopped onion

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch square baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl whisk eggs & cream.
Stir in cheese, ham, gr. pepper & onion –
pour into prepared pan. Bake 25
minutes until golden brown.
Serves 6

NOTE: Green pepper is typical in a
Denver omelet but red, yellow &
orange peppers are also good & add
lots of color.

This is an American-style omelet-
puffed & golden brown. If you prefer
yours more tender & less brown, bake
at a lower temperature (325) until a
thermometer reads 160 degrees F. &
eggs are set.

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

Crockpot Horseradish Cheese Spread

2 lb. box Velveeta cheese, cut into
cubes
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) jar cream horseradish
2 (4 oz, ea) jars diced pimentos, drained
dash hot sauce

Crackers – for dipping
=
In 4 qt. or larger crockpot place Velveeta
cubes, mayo, horseradish, pimentos & hot
sauce – stir. Cover & cook on High about an
hour 45 minutes, stirring about every 30
minutes. (NOTE: you can also heat this
on the stovetop in a saucepan, stirring
often). Spoon sauce into serving containers
with lids & refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Serve with crackers. Serves 25

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

Creamy Custard Cake

4 eggs, separated
3/4 C. sugar
1 stick (1/2 C.) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. flour
2 C. milk
———
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 8 inch square baking dish
with nonstick spray. In medium
bowl beat egg whites until stiff
peaks form. In large bowl combine
egg yolks & sugar – beat until
smooth. Add butter & vanilla, mix
well. Beat in flour then slowly add
milk until well combined. Slowly
fold in egg whites; do not over
mix – pour into dish. Bake 45-50
minutes until set in center & golden
brown on top. Let cool then sprinkle
top with powdered sugar. Serves 9

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

Tonight is my special needs group’s Valentines
Dance and I’m sure they’re all super excited;
due to the crazy weather, we haven’t had a
regular Weds. night group meeting for 3
weeks now – I’m sure I’m in for LOTS of super-
excited students!

I’m really proud of both of my knit groups –
they have been working on the baby booties
I mentioned in an earlier post. I was able to
mail out 25 sets about 1 1/2 weeks ago and
now we’re almost to that amount – again!
They are ALL wonderful, caring people who
really ‘step up’ when a need is presented;
it’s really nice to know they help when I
ask.

This coming Tuesday is a big PERK
for our group: we’re having our first
YARN SWAP of the year. At this event we bring
in any unwanted yarns/needles/hooks/books/
patterns and lay them out on a table. If there
are any yarns, etc. we see that we want, we
take them. When I organized the first one
years ago I was trying to figure out how to
‘regulate’ this: If I bring in one skein of yarn,
can I take one skein? One of my friends said:
“People are bringing in stuff they DON’T
want – they can take as much as they want –
we want to GET RID of it!” Smart idea! If
there’s any leftover yarns, etc. I will take them
to my Library Knit group – if, after that, there
are any leftover yarns, we donate them to
the local Children’s Village where they teach
young people to knit/crochet – so nothing
gets wasted! It’s a fun event – I’m excited
to see what people bring in! (Actually, I don’t
really ‘need’ any yarn but it’s always nice to
look! )

Hope you’re having a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Friday

Hello! The weather here in Michigan continues to baffle us – yesterday it was foggy, dreary, rainy which melted any snow on the ground. Last night we had high winds – today it’s lightly snowing, temp 17 degrees F. with a wind chill of -1 degree F.   go figure! I spent yesterday babysitting my grandson – turned out to be a good day (meaning he didn’t ‘challenge’ me – smart child!). Got 2 pairs of baby booties knit and some work done on the current baby blanket (nothing special, variegated yarn – another blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Center’s Mobile unit.)

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

(the site is still doing the teeny/tiny print so I’m typing each recipe which makes for double spaced lines – sorry)

Grandma’s Honey Muffins

2 C. flour

1/2  C. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg, room temp

1 C. 2% milk

1/4 C. butter, melted

1/4 C. honey

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Line 12 muffin cup tins with paper

liners or spray with nonstick cooking

spray. In large bowl combine flour,

sugar, baking powder & salt. In another

small bowl combine egg, milk, butter &

honey-stir into dry ingredients just until

moistened. Fill muffin cups 3/4ths full.

Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick

inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes before removing

from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Makes 12

 

Freezer Option:

Freeze cooled muffins in freezer

containers. To use: thaw to room

temp or, if desired, microwave each

muffin on High until heated through,

20-30 seconds.

 

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


(YAY – site is working again!)

Crockpot Lemonade Chicken

6 whole boneless skinless
chicken breasts
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate,
thawed
1 T. apple cider vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
=
Cooked rice or noodles to
serve 6-8
=
Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
In medium bowl combine remaining
ingredients & pour over chicken.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours (or
High 3-4 hours) until chicken is
cooked through. Serve over cooked
rice or noodles.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————–
Easy Sausage Quiche

1 (16 oz) pkg. pork sausage
4 green onions, sliced
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
2 C. Half & Half (or milk)
1 C. Bisquick baking mix

Suggested toppings:
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
chopped fresh parsley
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place sausage in a lightly greased
2 qt. round casserole dish*; top
with onions & cheese. In a bowl
beat eggs, Half & Half & Bisquick
using a wire whisk until well blended –
pour over cheese. Bake 45-50
minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes; cut into wedges.
Add toppings & serve. serves 4-6

NOTE: *you can substitute a 9 X 13″
baking dish for the 2 qt. round dish.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: www.jimmydean.com)


Ground Beef Stuffed Pepper Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. diced green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced red bell pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes
3/4 C. uncooked long grain white
rice
2 C. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby-Jack
cheese
1 T. fresh parsley – garnish

In large skillet over medium heat
brown ground beef, onion & garlic
until meat is fully cooked, crumbled
& no longer pink. Drain. Place skillet
back on heat & add bell peppers, diced
tomatoes, rice, beef broth, tomato
paste, Ital. seasoning, salt/pepper –
stir to combine & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to simmer – cover &
cook 18 minutes until rice is cooked
through. Fluff rice with a fork & top
with shredded cheese. Cover, &
let cheese melt over Low heat.
Garnish with parsley. Serves 4-6

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

Farmhouse Pork Chop & Stuffing
Casserole
(read ingredients first)

2-3 lb. 3/4″ pork chops
1 loaf bread, cubed/dried 12-24 hours
1 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 (soup can worth) milk
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Place a single layer of
2-3 lb. pork chops to dish. In large
skillet cook celery, onions & parsley
in butter; add bouillon cubes. Stir in
bread cubes. Add egg & 1/4 C. milk;
mix & spread over pork chops in dish.
In separate bowl mix both cans soup &
soup-can milk – pour evenly over top
of mixture. Bake 1 hour.
Pork chops should be a minimum of
145 degrees F.
in center using a meat
thermometer when done cooking.
The soup & stuffing mixture should be
set when casserole is done cooking.

(recipe: plowingthroughlife.com)


Spicy Potato Soup

1 lb. ground beef
4 C. cubed/peeled potatoes
(1/2 inch cube)
1 small onion, chopped
3 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
4 C. water
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

In Dutch oven brown ground beef
over medium heat until no longer
pink; drain. Add potatoes, onion &
tomato sauce – stir in water, salt/
pepper & hot pepper sauce & bring
to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer 1 hour
until potatoes are tender & soup has
thickened. Serves 8 (2 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

 Crockpot Mexican Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 C. uncooked quinoa
2 (10 oz, ea) cans red enchilada sauce
(mild or medium)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 C. corn kernels, frozen or canned
1 red bell pepper, cored/seeded/diced
1 green bell pepper, cored/seeded/diced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. Cheddar-Jack cheese, shredded

Optional Toppings:
Cilantro
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onions
chopped black olives
chopped avocado

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat;
add ground beef, onion & garlic. Season
generously with salt/pepper & taco
seasoning -cook until beef is browned &
no longer pink & onions are translucent.
Spray a 3-4 qt. crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray; add skillet contents to
crockpot & all other ingredients except
cheese & toppings. Stir well. Cover &
cook on Low 5-6 hours (or High 3-4 hours).
When quinoa is soft & liquid has been
absorbed, stir well & top with cheese.
Cover & cook an additional 10-15 minutes
until cheese melts. Top with optional
toppings, if desired. Serves 8 generously

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

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms for 2

20 oz. white whole mushrooms
1/3 C. whipped cream cheese
1 T. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. (frozen, chopped/thawed/pressed
dry) spinach
1 T. panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
Remove mushroom stems (reserve for
another use). Brush off any dirt from caps
using a damp paper towel. In a small bowl
mix cream cheese, Parm. cheese, salt &
spinach. Fill openings of mushroom caps
with mixture. Lightly sprinkle Panko bread-
crumbs on top & place caps on sheet. Bake
15 minutes (juices will begin to pool at bottom
of mushrooms & top will begin to lightly brown.)
Remove from oven & serve hot.
Serves 2  (serving size will vary based on size
of mushrooms – you can double or triple the
quanities for more servings.) Cream cheese
mixture can be made ahead.

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————

Cranberry/Pecan/Oatmeal Cookies

1 C. butter (2 sticks) softened

1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 C. uncooked oats

1 C. fresh cranberries, chopped

into small pieces

1 C. pecans, chopped

1 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl beat butter & sugars

until creamy. Mix in egg & vanilla –

beat until well combined. In another

bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon

& salt – add flour mixture to large bowl

& mix well. Stir in oatmeal then gently

stir in cranberries, pecans & choc. chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto

ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12

minutes until cookies start to brown

around edges. Remove to wire rack

to cool Makes 4 dozen.

(recipe: greatgrubdelicioustreats.com)

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

Hope you are having a good day; not much
planned for the day – sometimes it’s nice to
just have a relaxing/casual day where you
can just do what you want without obligations.
I’m thinking dinner will be Pierogies & Sausage –
easy, quick & a family favorite.

Lately I’ve been reading ‘out of my norm’ –
checked out 2 books that are both fact –
one is a kind of history of the Smithsonian
Institute:
“Dinosaurs in the Attic” : an excursion into
The American Museum of Natural History
====
and the other is
The Lost City of the Monkey God”
a book about a trek to Honduras in search
of a much talked about site: the
Lost City of the Monkey God.

Both books are written by one of my
favorite (fiction) writers: Douglas J. Preston
I kind of have to admit that both books are
rather ‘dry’, hence I find myself reading them
both – a little from one, then switch to the
other for awhile. I like reading factual books
as well as good fiction so we’ll see where
these go (and will I actually FINISH either
of them!???)

Stay warm (if you’re in a cold climate);

Hugs;

Pammie

Beginning to WARM UP! (Kinda)

Yesterday found me babysitting from 10:15 a.m – after 7 p.m. When I left my house it was -14 degrees F.! My poor car really struggled to get going in those temps. (Quick sidenote: Our new Governor of Michigan sent out texts to all cell phones asking that people drop their house heat to 68 degrees F. until Friday – I guess there was a fire at one of the gas plants which caused a loss of gas and, if people didn’t comply, there might be BROWN OUTS – scary stuff!). My son & his girlfriend complied – so that meant GRANDMA & GRANDSONS FROZE!!! I had on lots of layers but my ears, nose, fingers & toes were cold ALL DAY! We later learned that the gas drop was lifted – let me tell you BOY was I glad to get home last night! (My husband decided that the ‘text thing’ was all a bunch of malarkey so OUR house was warm.) Oh well – we survived!

Today was the first day this week I was actually able to GET OUT and do errands – YAY! Wednesday the news was telling people to stay inside because the temperatures were so cold AND the wind chills were really bad. (I wasn’t happy – didn’t go to Library Knit group OR special needs group). Tried to go to the library today but they were closed (probably due to temperatures – I didn’t get out of my car to read sign on the door – parking lot was totally empty).

Was happy to get ‘needed stuff’ at 2 drug stores, mailed 25 pairs of baby booties to the project I mentioned and grocery shopped. Dinner will be left over pork roast, carrots & potatoes which I threw in the crockpot yesterday before leaving to babysit. SO HAPPY I have a crockpot – it really helps sometimes!

LOTS of great soup & appetizer recipes coming in (for Super Bowl, I’m guessing). Some of the soup recipes I’m featuring today are for smaller amounts of people – found them on a nice site & thought NOT ALL of you feed 6-8 people, so maybe this was a good idea! ENJOY!

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

 Turtle Cheesecake Dip

30 (unwrapped) caramels
2 1/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Suggested dippers:
graham crackers
vanilla cookies
shortbread cookies
pretzels
=
In medium microwaveable bowl:
microwave caramels & 1/2 C. Cool Whip
on High 1 min 40 seconds, stirring after
1 minute. Stir until caramels are completely
melted & sauce is well blended. Cool
10 minutes. In small microwaveable bowl
microwave chocolate & 3/4 C. Cool Whip
1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir
until chocolate is completely y melted &
sauce is well blended. In another medium
bowl beat cream cheese using elec. mixer
until creamy. Add 2/3 C. caramel sauce –
beat until blended. Gently stir in remaining
1 C. Cool Whip. Spread cream cheese mixture
onto a serving plate. Drizzle top with chocolate
sauce & remaining caramel sauce. Sprinkle
top with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Makes 24 (2 T. each) servings.

(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
—————————————

Classic 30-Minute Chili

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 C. chopped yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 T. chili powder
4 T. diced green chilies (from a can)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
30 oz. beans, drained (poster uses 1 can ea:
kidney & pinto, drained/rinsed)
=
Toppings:

corn chips
sour cream
shredded cheese
chopped green onions
cilantro
chopped jalapenos

In large pot over medium heat add 1 T.
olive oil & beef; saute, breaking up meat
into small pieces until it’s browned &
almost cooked through; drain. Add onions
& garlic – cook 5 minutes until onions have
softened. Add chili powder, green chilies,
tomato sauce, diced tomatoes & beans –
stir & bring to a simmer. Add 1-2 C. water
(depending on how thin you want it).
Simmer 10-15 minutes, partially covered.
Taste & add salt/pepper or more chili
powder, according to your taste preferences.
Serve hot with desired toppings.
Serves 4

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
—————————————
Chicken & Corn Soup

2 C. (one 16 oz. can) chicken stock
1 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 cans cream-style corn
1 (12 oz) can evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 T. flour
1 C. cooked chicken (or 1 can cooked
chicken, drained)
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
salt/pepper, to taste

In large stock pot combine stock, onion &
celery – bring to boil. Lower heat, cover &
simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are
tender. Stir in remaining ingredients &
season with salt/pepper; mix well. Simmer
10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serves 6 (1 C. each)

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
——————————–
Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 T. butter
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
2 1/2 T. flour
2 C. whole milk
1 C. chicken/vegetable stock
1 large head broccoli, roughly
chopped
1 1/2 C. grated cheese
(additional milk & cheese may
be needed)
=
In large pot over medium heat melt
butter. Add onions & cook about
4 minutes. Stir in flour & cook 1-2
minutes. Pour in milk & broth; add
broccoli & season with a dash of salt/
pepper. Cover & reduce heat to Low.
Simmer on Low until broccoli is tender,
20-30 minutes. Puree soup in a blender,
in batches (or) use an immersion blender,
(or) use a potato masher. Stir in cheese &
allow to melt. Taste & adjust seasonings
if needed. Thin with additional milk to
desired consistency.  Makes 4-5 bowls.

NOTE: To make it a little heartier:
stir in some cooked, diced ham or
cooked, chopped chicken or turkey.
Serve with extra cheese & crackers

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
————————————
15 Minute White Chicken Chili

3 C. pre-cooked/shredded chicken
1 (32 oz) can chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained
2 tsp. cumin
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (your choice of
how hot)
8 oz. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. tortilla chips (pieces)

Optional Toppings:
sour cream
grated/shredded cheese
chopped green onions
corn
sliced avocado
lime

Place first 8 ingredients in a large pot;
bring to boil over High heat. Reduce heat
to medium & simmer 10 minutes. Add
chips & let thicken to desired consistency.
Serve with optional toppings.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
———————————

Baked Nachos (using crockpot)

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jar of your favorite salsa (16 oz)

tortilla chips
=
Toppings:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced olives
peeled/diced avocado
salsa
sour cream
cilantro
guacamole
=
Brown meat, black beans & onion in
a skillet. Combine meat mixture & rest
of ingredients in a crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 2-3 hours.

Turn oven broiler on
=
If you’re making this for a group:
use a baking sheet covered in parchment
paper – spray paper with a little nonstick
cooking spray. Place tortilla chips on sheet.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon meat mixture
over chips & add your choice of toppings.
Broil in oven until cheese is melted & bubbly.
Remove from oven & let stand 1 minute then
drizzle sour cream on top & guacamole, if
using.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
————————————–
Jalapeno Popper Egg Cups

12 strips bacon
8 large eggs
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 oz. cream cheese
4 medium jalapeno peppers: 3 chopped,
/seeded & 1 seeded/ sliced into rings)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In skillet par-cook bacon until semi crisp.
(save bacon grease in pan) In a bowl using
elec mixer, mix eggs, cream cheese, chopped
jalapeno, leftover bacon grease, garlic & onion
powders, salt/pepper. Spray wells of 12 muffin
cups with nonstick cooking spray then wrap bacon
slices inside each muffin tin (1 slice per cup)
Pour egg mixture into cups making sure you only
fill half-way to 2/3rds full (they will rise up a lot).
Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top of each cup then
top with a jalapeno slice. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Once baked, remove from oven & let cool.
Makes 12

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————–

Banana Pudding Fluff

1 (3.4 oz) box INSTANT vanilla or
banana pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. mini marshmallows
3 C. Vanilla Wafers, broken into
pieces
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 mashed banana

In large bowl whisk dry pudding
mix & milk – let stand 3 minutes
to set. Stir in Cool Whip, then
marshmallows, cookies, sliced &
mashed bananas.

(recipe: facebook)

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

Since I mentioned in my last post that I’d
finished several knitting projects, thought
I’d add the photos: first one is a LOOM-
KNIT
hat for my son’s friend. (It’s done
in black & a dark maroon – but the color
looks more magenta in the photo).
Second photo is the ‘shades of pinks’
baby blanket I knit to use up some
smaller bits of pink variegated yarns.

I think it’s funny how strange our weather
has been this past week (due to the Polar
Vortex, I’m told) from below zero with
SUPER COLD wind chills to a High of
49 degrees F. this coming Monday AND
rain! WEIRD!  Guess I can’t complain
too much – at least it isn’t TONS of SNOW!
The roads & our driveway are completely
clear-YAY!  (right now the National
Weather Service says my area is 12 degrees F.
with no wind chill so that’s OK – it didn’t seem
to stop many people from driving/shopping
when I was out earlier.

Stay warm, try to relax a little, maybe eat/drink
something you like (like a treat for you!) –
Have a GREAT DAY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

and now it’s SUPER COLD!

(saw this on Facebook – thought it was pretty creative!)

  Today is the day everyone is freaking out about – temperatures BELOW zero and wind chills that are dangerous. Roads are clear, it’s almost sunny out – I’M GOING TO THE LIBRARY TO KNIT! Spent all day babysitting my baby grandson yesterday; finished the ‘pinks’ baby blanket & knit 2 1/2 pairs of baby booties (finished the other bootie this morning). Found another ‘new to me’ knit pattern so will be starting another blanket, probably today.

On our snow plowing conundrum – it turned out to be a very long story: Our ‘regular’ guy retired & didn’t tell us; next guy who was recommended very abruptly said: “I’m SWAMPED!”. I ended up calling back our old guy for another recommendation so now we have someone for the ‘next’ big snow. My oldest son who drove 12+hours home after being away for the weekend suddenly showed up in our driveway with a snowblower & did our drive! I was super surprised (didn’t expect him home for at least another 3-4 hours!). He said they decided to leave early knowing the driving conditions would be bad; he borrowed the snowblower from the other grandparents: did his driveway, their driveway then ours – what a guy! My special needs group is officially canceled for tonight & all my people are called (got that done last night!). I’m thinking pork roast, carrots & potatoes in the crockpot for dinner – easy-peasy!

===========

Orange Coffee Rolls

1/4 C. warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast

1 3/4 C. sugar, divided
2 eggs
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter melted/divided
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 to 3 C. flour
1 C. flaked coconut, toasted/
divided
2 T. orange zest
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter
2 tsp. orange juice

Grease a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with butter, or spray
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine dry yeast into
warm water in a large bowl;
let stand 5 minutes. Add 1/4 C.
sugar, eggs, sour cream, 6 T.
melted butter & salt; beat
using elec. mixer on medium
speed until blended. Gradually
stir in enough flour to make a
soft dough. Turn dough out onto
a well-floured surface. Knead
dough until smooth & elastic,
about 5 minutes. Grease a
large bowl with butter; place
dough ball in bowl. Cover with
a towel & place in a warm place
(85 degrees), free from drafts,
1 1/2 hours or until dough doubles
in bulk. Punch dough down & divide
in half. Roll one portion dough into a
12-inch circle; brush with 1 T. melted
butter. In a small bowl combine 3/4 C.
sugar, 3/4 C. coconut & orange zest;
sprinkle half of mixture over dough.
Cut into 12 wedges; roll each wedge,
beginning at wide end & place in
prepared pan, point sides down –
repeat with remaining dough/butter/
coconut mixture. Cover & let rise in
a warm place, free from drafts, 45
minutes or until double in bulk.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake rolls 25-30 *minutes until golden.
*Cover with foil after 15 minutes to
prevent excess browning. While rolls
are baking: in a small saucepan combine
3/4 C. sugar, sour cream, butter & orange
juice. Over medium heat bring to boil.
Boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Let
cool slightly then spoon warm glaze over
warm rolls & sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. coconut. Makes 2 dozen.

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

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. ground beef (or sausage)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
4 C. water
1-2 lb. pkg. frozen pepper & onion
blend
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic
2 tsp. basil

4 C. riced, cooked – for serving
=
In large pot or Dutch oven, brown
beef over medium-high heat until
no longer pink. Drain. Add onion/
pepper blend & cook until peppers
are tender & onions are slightly
translucent. Stir in all other
ingredients (except rice) – bring to
boil over medium heat. Reduce
heat & simmer about 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in rice to
each bowl (or in the whole pot, if
desired) just before serving.

NOTE: Poster said “If you’re not going
to eat all of the soup at that serving,
she suggests stirring rice into each
individual bowl of soup rather than
the entire pot.

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

Crockpot Cube Steak

2 lb. cube steak
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup

Cooked rice or egg noodles to serve 6
=
Place cube steak in freezer for about
20 minutes to facilitate easier slicing.
Cut meat into 1-inch strips & place in
bottom of 5 qt or larger crockpot; pour
soup on top. Cover & cook on Low 4-6
hours. Serve over cooked white or brown
rice or cooked egg noodles.

NOTE: If you would like a thinner gravy,
add a little water to meat & soup (about
1/4 C.). Without adding water the meat
will release it’s own juices which will thin
out the gravy, also.

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

Amish Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 C. frozen, shredded hash
brown potatoes, thawed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 1/4 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook bacon & onion
over medium heat until bacon is
crisp; drain. In large bowl combine
remaining ingredients; stir in bacon
mixture & transfer to prepared pan.
Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes until
a knife inserted into center comes out
clean. Let stand 10 minutes before
cutting. Serves 12

NOTE: can be assembled a day ahead &
baked just before serving.

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

Honey/Lemon/Ginger Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
salt/pepper, to taste
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. honey
zest of 1 lemon
4 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
=
Cooked rice to serve 6
=
Heat a large skillet over medium-
high heat; add 1 T. olive oil & heat.
Add chicken chunks & sprinkle with
salt/pepper. Cook until browned on
all sides & no longer pink on the
inside – about 10 minutes. In a
medium saucepan, heat over medium-
high heat & add 1 T. olive oil – heat oil.
Add ginger & garlic, cook 2-3 minutes
being careful not to burn, until fragrant &
slightly golden brown. In large glass
measuring cup whisk lemon zest, lemon
juice, vinegar, honey, soy sauce & cornstarch;
make sure all is well combined. Pour sauce
over garlic & ginger -stir to combine & allow
to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once
at a boil, cook 2 minutes – sauce will thicken
& turn a bit darker. Pour sauce over cooked
chicken & stir, making sure all chicken is
coated in sauce. Serve immediately over
cooked rice. Serves 6

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

Tuscan Sausage & White Bean Soup

1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
1/4 C. flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage, cooked/
drained
1 (15.5 oz) can undrained cannellini
beans
salt/pepper, to taste

In medium saucepan melt butter; add
onion & garlic, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir
in flour – slowly add evap. milk & broth
while stirring constantly. Once mixture
comes to a complete boil, add sausage
& beans. Heat through, season with
salt/pepper. Serves 4

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

Reese’s Chocolate Butter Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box Devil’s Food cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg
12 peanut butter cups (full sized circle)
cut into sixths
4 snack-sized Butterfinger candy bars,
coarsely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. butter, melted
4 C. powdered sugar

Glaze:
1 C. milk chocolate chips
2 tsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Generously spray 9 X 13″ baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine dry cake
mix, melted butter & egg – mix
until combined. Cover bottom of
greased pan evenly with cake
mixture. Spread peanut butter cups &
butterfinger pieces over cake mixture.
Mix cream cheese, peanut butter, eggs
& vanilla until well blended then add
butter. Mix in powdered sugar until well
blended & spread over candy bar layer.
Bake 55 minutes – it will puff up in the
center & will drop a little after you remove
it from oven. Let cool
Mix Glaze ingredients in a microwave-safe
bowl & microwave until chips are melted.
Spread over cooled cake. Serves 30

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

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

Ok – right now (8:50 a.m.) the temp. is showing
-8 degrees F. with a wind chill of -31 degrees F.!
Now THAT’S cold! The really FUNNY thing is:
they’re predicting a high of near 45 degrees F.
for Sunday! WEIRD! (then rain & high near 48
for next Monday) Hey-I can take the cold – you
can walk & drive in it & not worry about falling
or getting your car stuck in it! Wonder how
many brave ladies will venture out today to
library Knit group!

Stay warm – our local newspaper’s headline
today is: “Stay warm – stay inside!”

Hugs;

Pammie



 

Here comes the S-N-O-W!

Here in Michigan we are awaiting a BIG snowstorm coming sometime today/night – 5 to 7 inches (YUCK). Yesterday found me attempting to contact our snowplow man to make sure we are still on his list of clients – to no avail; calls went to his answering machine which promptly told clients that the ‘box is full and not able to take any more messages.” UGH! Finally, out of frustration, I tried ONE MORE TIME this morning and got him right away. My ‘hunch’ was right – he’s retired! We are now going to try another man who was referred to us by a friend – sure hope this works out, don’t want to be snowed in. We live on a MAJOR highway (45 mph. in front of our house) and our driveway is sloped just enough to make it nigh onto impossible to get UP if there’s any snow on it! The county road crews come through plowing the road constantly which piles up HUGH amounts of snow/ice at the bottom of the drive – you would need a SHERMAN TANK to get over that once it freezes up, hence WHY we need the drive plowed! Husband & I (and the boys, at times) have shoveled that for many years but both husband & I are now of an age that we shouldn’t be doing that kind of work, so we called a plow guy. SURE HOPE this new guy comes through – I’m thinking I will probably be the one to babysit tomorrow morning. Son & his girlfriend went with other couples for a weekend together and are due back tonight (other grandparents babysat for 4 days so I’m pretty sure they won’t be babysitting tomorrow when our son & girlfriend have to go back to work). OH JOY – I get to ‘venture out’ – sure hope the drive gets cleared & the roads are good – we’ll see.

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

Sour Cream Banana Bars

Bars:
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed bananas
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4-5 T. Half & Half

Optional: add 1/2 C. chopped nuts
to batter of bars, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 10 X 15″ jelly roll pan.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, combine
sugar, sour cream, butter & eggs – mix on
Low speed, scraping bowl occasionally,
until combined. Add bananas & vanilla –
mix on Low about 30 seconds. Add flour,
salt & baking soda – mix on medium speed
about 1 minute, just until combined – pour
into prepared pan. Bake 18-22 minutes until
golden brown & a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool until just
slightly warm & frost with Brown Butter
Frosting. Serves 12

Frosting:
In small saucepan brown butter over medium
heat until golden brown in color & golden-
brown flecks appear, swirling pan frequently.
(butter will become a little foamy). Remove
from heat & pour into a large bowl, cool
slightly. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and
Half & Half – mix using elec. mixer until
smooth & spreadable

(recipe: 5boysbaker.com)
———————————

Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup

2 C. cooked/chopped roast beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (12 oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (42 oz) can tomato juice
1 1/2 C. coarse-chopped cabbage
1 large potato, peeled/chopped
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low 8 hours or
until potatoes are tender.
Serves 10

(recipe: farmwifecooks.com)
————————————-
Tex-Mex Bean Bake w/Cornbread
Topping

1 T. olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled/
finely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 small green pepper, coarsely
chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, coarsely
chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. frozen corn
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 C. vegetable broth
3 oz. cream cheese, softened

Topping:
1 (8.5 oz) box corn bread/muffin mix
(Jiffy)
1 large egg
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add sweet
potato, onion & peppers- cook &
stir 5-7 minutes until potato is
cooked halfway through. Stir in
beans, corn, chilies, salt & cumin;
heat through. Stir in broth & cream
cheese until blended – pour mixture
into prepared pan.
In large bowl combine corn bread mix,
egg, milk & pumpkin – spoon over
bean mixture in pan. Bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into topping portion comes out clean.
Serves 8

NOTE: this recipe can be made ahead a
day in advance. Prepare as directed,
omitting topping. Cover & refrigerate
overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes
before baking. Prepare topping & bake
as directed

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Stir-fry Garlic/Beef & Broccoli

1 lb. round steak, very thinly sliced*
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. medium sherry (optional)
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. olive oil (or other oil)
3/4 lb. broccoli, cut into small
florettes
1/4 C. chicken stock
4 green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
1 1/2 C. small mushrooms, sliced
2 T. soy sauce (or more, if desired)
salt/pepper
=
Cooked rice or noodles to serve 6
=
Place sliced steak in a bowl with sherry
(if using), soy sauce, cornstarch & a little
salt – stir & let rest 20 minutes.
Place 2 T. oil in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Add garlic & stir-fry 1-2 minutes. Add
mushrooms & stir-fry 2 minutes; remove &
keep warm. Place 2 T. oil in skillet & stir-fry
beef until nicely browned; remove & keep
warm. Add 1 T. oil to skillet & stir-fry green
onions 1 minute-remove & keep warm. Pour
chicken stock in skillet & heat to bubbling;
add broccoli. Cover & steam 3-4 minutes.
Remove lid & place all ingredients in
skillet; heat through but do not over cook.
Serves 6

*Steak is sliced easily if it is half-frozen
when you slice it

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

Scrambled Egg Muffins

12 eggs
1/2 C. milk
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 green onion, chopped
3-4 slices deli ham
4 fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking
spray. Crack eggs into large bowl; add
milk, salt/pepper/seasoned salt – whisk
vigorously with a fork. Sprinkle onion,
ham, mushrooms & cheese into muffin
tin bottoms & pour some of egg mixture
into each cup (just a little less than full=
helps if you use a large measuring cup)
Bake 30 minutes until they puffed up &
are a bit golden brown along the edges.
Allow to sit in pan about 5 minutes, then
serve. Makes 12

NOTE: They can be made ahead – cool
completely & store in ziplock bags in fridge.
Microwave to reheat.

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

Country Chicken ‘n Rice

1 (3 to 3 1/2 lb) chicken, cut into 8
pieces
6 C. water
2 (15 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 C. long or whole-grain rice,
rinsed

In large pot bring all ingredients
except rice to a boil over medium-
high heat. Cover & allow to boil
35 minutes. Add rice & cook 25-30
minutes until rice is tender, no pink
remains in chicken & chicken juices
run clear. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————-

Cake Mix Snickerdoodles

1 box white cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper. In mixing bowl beat dry cake
mix, egg & melted butter until fully
combined. In small bowl mix cinnamon
& sugar. Scoop batter & shape into
1 inch balls & roll balls in cinnamon/sugar
mixture – place on cookie sheet – repeat
with remaining dough. Bake 10-12 minutes
until edges are light brown. Let cookies
set on cookie sheet 5 minutes before
removing – cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 36-40 cookies

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
====================

Am currently working on finishing the ‘various
pinks’ blanket (almost done), the continuing
baby booties project and then – the other night
I got a text from oldest son asking if I would
mind making a (Loom-knit) hat for his friend.
I told son I haven’t made those in years (the
process makes my hands hurt so I kind of stopped
doing that) BUT – this is my son’s close friend so
I caved. Told him I hoped his friend didn’t mind
the colors I chose (only large skeins of ‘regular’
yarn I had at the moment): maroon & black.
Friend sent me a text with a photo of him holding
a post-it note saying “I love you, Pam!” so – being
the ‘softy’ that I am, of course I’m making him a
hat! (I’ve known him since they were teens – he
works for my son as an under chef, he’s a great
guy!). To take my mind off the ‘process’ of making
the hat I’ve been watching the cooking channel &
looming – it helps. I also told my son ‘no more
volunteering my hat making skills, please’.

Hope you are having a GREAT day! It’s the
beginning of a new week – let’s hope it turns
out to be a good one!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Here it is – Thursday

This has been a ‘What day is it today?’ kind of week so far; not used to babysitting regularly (I’ve been spoiled!) – babysat all day 10-7 Monday, 2-6:15 Tuesday then Knit Night,, Weds. was a FULL day (no babysitting but lots extra) and then there’s today: my OFF day – YAY! Our weather has been crazy – Tuesday early evening it began to rain & immediately FREEZE – that was my Panera knit night (I left an hour early). I texted my oldest son to tell him, again, how much I appreciate my automatic car starter (which, with the defrost on full) helped get the tons of ice off of my car windows! Weds. morning was my Library knit group – clear/but still a little slippery walking. Because we were supposed to have greatly dropping temperatures (along with a slight rain), my special needs group was canceled requiring me to make a ton of phone calls. Yesterday was also my husband’s 67th birthday. I should preface that with: “He HATES his birthday!” No celebration, barely able to slip in a few small presents and his favorite banana cake. Because it was such a crazy day yesterday (Library knit, grocery shopping, tons of phone calls) I totally forgot to check how much powdered sugar I had on hand . . . not enough. Husband was OK with my baking his cake today instead – it’s in the oven now. The recipe makes a very DENSE banana cake with a great cream cheese frosting but it’s labor-intensive (I only make it once a year and then I remember WHY! Use tons of bowls, recipe from scratch, etc.)-glad he appreciates the effort. Dinner is going to be my chili, so there’s a huge pot on the stove.

On the subject of the baby booties mentioned in the last text, I was super proud of my knit group(s) ladies – as of yesterday we have 15 pairs done and more coming. The lady who will be picking them up wrote that our efforts brought her to tears (guess she didn’t really expect us to jump in with both feet, eh?). I asked a few questions about colors/types of yarn used and was happy with all answers so I’ll be able to keep knitting them for quite awhile (1 pair, for me, takes 1 hour or a little less). I truly don’t mind knitting if I know there’s really a need.

LOTS of great recipes – just haven’t had the time to get to my computer to share some with you lately!  (I don’t believe it – my blog site is doing the teeny/tiny print again! UGH!!!) This only happens if I ‘copy & paste’ from my email site – will work on it. Best I can do for today is hand-type each recipe onto this site – at least that works (leaves double spacing between every line, but it’s better than nothing! OR so tiny you couldn’t read it unless you had a magnifying glass!)

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

 No-Bake Peanut Butter Haystacks

1 (11 oz) pkg. butterscotch chips

1 C. creamy peanut butter

1 (5 oz) can crispy chow mein noodles

1/2 C. salted peanuts (optional)

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In large pot

over medium-low heat, melt butterscotch chips &

peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from

heat & stir in chow mein noodles & peanuts (if using),

stirring quickly to coat. Working quickly, drop by

spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow to cool.

Serves 8-10

 

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)


Crockpot Potato Bean Soup

3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled/diced

32 oz. chicken broth

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

=

(Add at the end):

1/2 tsp. black pepper

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 lb. bacon, sliced/cooked/drained

To a 5 qt or larger crockpot, add

potatoes. Pour chicken broth over

potatoes, add garlic powder & stir.

Cover & cook on High 5 hours (or

Low 9 hours). When cooking time

is up, add cream cheese to potatoes

& broth. You can use an immersion

blender, or, in batches, pour soup

into a blender & blend until smooth

(OR) you can mash the soup using a

potato masher,) Poster says she

likes leaving some potato chunks.

Stir in pepper & coked bacon. Soup

will start to thicken if the lid is kept

off too long. To thin: add a little

water or more broth. Serves 8

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)


Taco Soup

1 T. canola oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 lb. ground beef

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained/

rinsed

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn

1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes

1 T. taco seasoning mix

1 1/2 C. water

Garnishes:

sour cream

sliced green onions


In large Dutch oven or pot over medium

heat, heat oil. Add onion & cook 5 minutes

until soft; add gr. beef & cook until no

longer pink – drain. Add beans, corn,

fire-roasted tomatoes, taco seasoning &

water. Cook until heated through.

Serve with optional garnishes.

Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)


Overnight/Make-ahead
or use right away:
Morning Egg Burritos

3 C. mini tater tots
8 eggs
1/4 C. sour cream
1/3 C. finely chopped green
peppers
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese

Place tater tots in single layer on
microwaveable plate. Microwave
on High 3 minutes. Whisk eggs &
sour cream until blended. In large
non-stick skillet over medium heat
cook peppers & onions 4-5 minutes
until crisp tender, stirring frequently.
Add egg mixture; mix well & cook
4 minutes until eggs are set, stirring
occasionally. remove from heat &
stir in tater tots. Spoon egg mixture
down centers to tortillas & top with
cheese. Fold in opposite sides of
tortilla then roll up, burrito-style.

Refrigerate overnight. (OR)
burritos can be served immediately
after assembling.
Makes 8
=
When ready to cook after refrigerating:
cook burritos in a nonstick skillet or grill
pan on medium-high heat 2-3 minutes on
each side until golden brown on both
sides.

Freezer option:
Prepare burritos as directed; wrap
individually in foil & freeze. When
ready to serve place 1 unwrapped
burrito on microwaveable plate &
microwave on High 2 to 2 1/2 minutes
until heated through. Repeat with
remaining burritos, if desired.

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

Easy Crispy-Baked Chicken Breasts

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(can use bone-in, also)
1/3 C. flour
1/3 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 C. milk
1/4 C. butter (or 4 T), melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a pie plate (or shallow dish) mix
flour, cornmeal, salt/pepper, chili
powder & dried basil. Place milk
in another shallow dish. Dip chicken
pieces in milk then into flour/cornmeal
mixture making sure to completely
coat the pieces – place in a baking dish
& drizzle melted butter over top. Bake
1 hour* or until chicken is done in center
(no longer pink). *Turn pieces about 15
minutes before they finish cooking.
Serves 3-4

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

Mozzarella-stuffed Chicken Parm.

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt/black pepper
1 C. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese/
divided
olive oil, for frying
2 C. marinara sauce
1/4 C. thinly sliced basil leaves
2 T. chopped parsley

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut a deep
slit into each chicken breast. Stuff pockets
with mozz., then press edges of chicken
together to seal. Season outsides with
salt/pepper. Place flour, eggs & Panko into
3 separate shallow bowls/pie plates (whip/
scramble eggs.) Into Panko crumbs whisk garlic
powder, dried oregano, 1/4 C. Parm. & 1/2 tsp.
salt. Dip stuffed chicken into flour, shaking off
excess. Dip into scrambled eggs, tossing to
coat. Dredge chicken in bread crumbs, making
sure chicken is evenly coated. In large (oven
proof) skillet over medium heat, heat a thin
layer of olive oil. Add chicken to skillet & cook
until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes
per side. Pour marinara around chicken &
scatter basil on top. Turn off heat then sprinkle
remaining Parm. on top of chicken. Transfer skillet
to oven & bake until chicken is cooked through,
about 20 minutes more. Garnish with parsley &
serve warm. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

Nutella Bread Pudding

3 croissants (preferably 1-2 days old)
3/4 C. Nutella
1/4 C. pecan halves
2 eggs
1 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar

powdered sugar-for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice each croissant in half length-
wise then cover one side with Nutella.
Place halves back together to make
sandwiches & cut into 2 inch pieces.
Place pieces & pecans to 10″ X 5″
loaf pan.

Custard:

Add eggs, cream, vanilla, salt & sugar
to medium bowl – whisk until combined.
Pour custard over sandwich pieces then
gently push down the bread so the custard
starts to absorb the liquid. Cover with foil
& bake 30  minutes then remove foil.
Continue to bake, uncovered, 10 minutes
until pudding is golden brown, has risen
slightly & liquid has been completely
absorbed. Let cool then sprinkle top
with powdered sugar. Serves 2

(recipe: steamykitchen.com)

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

Crazy as it sounds, after I had hand-typed
about 4 recipes onto the blog I decided to
give the old “Copy & Paste” another try –
worked like a charm! Go figure! Oh well,
at least that allows me to share more
recipes with you without a lot of extra
work typing!

Hope you are having a great day – remember
to drink lots of water (I tend to forget, myself),
get some rest & try to RELAX a little during
your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Friday

Woke up to a light DUSTING of snow on the ground – YAY! We ‘were’ supposed to be getting 3-6 inches between today & tomorrow, now they’ve changed it to 2 inches – hoping the ‘actual’ is even less! Today is clear and 26 degrees – at least I don’t have anywhere to go (that I know of, anyway!). Got my babysitting schedule for next week (gonna be rough) Monday 10:15 – around 7, Tuesday 2- 7ish (also my Knit NIGHT!), Friday 8:15 a.m. – 7ish. I already told my husband I’m going to be expecting a ‘order-in’ pizza for one of those nights, pretty sure I’m not going to feel like COOKING! I love my little grandson but 8+ hours of listening to Disney channel and Mickey Mouse’s squeeky voice can drive a sane lady slightly nuts! (I mute the TV when he’s sleeping!).

Yesterday I was asked to present a project to both of my knit groups; it’s a very worthy project but also heart-wrenching. We have been asked to knit/crochet baby booties for babies that have died. This is for a group called “Angels Above” Baby Gowns – they provide outfits for babies. It’s a very organized group – all they are asking from us is for booties and that I can do. I found a really easy pattern from another charity site and have started:

These are preemie sizes (the yarn bows are to keep the booties together, there are 6 booties in the photo).  I was surprised to learn that they need 100 sets per month! It’s very sad but also a very needed thing and I’m honored to be able to use my skills and yarns for this.

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

Lemony Lemon Brownies

Brownies:
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. flour
2 large eggs
2 T. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Tart Lemon Glaze:
4 T. lemon juice
8 tsp. lemon zest
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
butter. Zest & juice 2 lemons. In
bowl of elec. mixer fitted with
paddle attachment, beat flour,
gran. sugar, salt & softened
butter until combined. In
separate bowl whisk eggs, lemon
zest & lemon juice until combined –
pour into flour mixture & beat 2
minutes at medium speed until smooth
& creamy. Pour into prepared pan &
bake 23-25 minutes (it should turn
golden around edges). Allow to cool
completely before glazing. Do not
over bake or bars will dry.

Glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar with lemon
zest & juice – spread over cooled
brownies with a rubber spatula. Let
glaze set then cut into bars.

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

Winter Shepherd’s Pie

3 C. cubed/peeled butternut
squash (1 inch pieces)
1 large potato, peeled/cut
into 1 inch cubes (about 2 C.)
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 C. vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. plus 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
2 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
3/4 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. white wine (could substitute water)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 C. flour
2 C. frozen peas (about 8 oz)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 1/2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large saucepan place first 4
ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer, covered, 10-15
minutes until vegetables are tender.
Drain, reserving broth. Mash vegetables
until smooth, stirring in 1/2 tsp. salt &
1/4 tsp. pepper.
In two batches, cook turkey & onion in a
Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5-7
minutes until turkey is no longer pink,
breaking turkey into crumbles. Remove
from pan. In same pan, heat oil over medium-
high heat; saute mushrooms until tender,
7-9 minutes. Add garlic; cook & stir 1 minute.
Add wine, thyme & remaining salt/pepper –
bring to boil, stirring to remove browned bits
from pan. Cook until liquid is evaporated.
Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in
reserved broth. Bring to boil, cook & stir
until thickened. Stir in peas & turkey mixture;
heat through then pour into prepared pan.
Spread top evenly then top with mashed
vegetables. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes
until filling is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 8

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

Creamy Tomato/Sausage Soup

1 lb. ground pork
1/2 C. onion, diced (optional)
1 (23.5 oz) jar (no sugar added)
tomato sauce
1 T. roasted garlic Better than Bouillon*
8 oz. cream cheese
1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. dried basil
salt/pepper, to taste

In large soup pot or Dutch oven brown
sausage & onions (if using). When
completely cooked add tomato sauce,
cream cheese & ‘Better than Bouillon’
to pan – stir to combine & cook over
medium to medium-low heat until
cream cheese is melted. Add heavy
whipping cream & herbs to soup –
simmer until ready to serve. Serves 5

*Poster did not note any substitutes
for this product – I would guess you
could use boullion cubes or granules
as a substitute.

(recipe: beyerbeware.net)
————————————

Oven Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus spears
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice,
(optional)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove woody ends of asparagus.
Place spears on a rimmed baking
sheet & drizzle olive oil over top.
Sprinkle with garlic, salt/pepper &
mix, using your hands; arrange in
single layer. Bake 10-15 minutes
until just tender, depending on
thickness of stalks.
If desired, sprinkle with lemon juice
just before serving. Serves 4

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)
——————————

Layered Enchilada Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 C. thick/chunky salsa
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed
1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad
dressing (Kraft)
2 T. taco seasoning mix
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Mexican-
style Finely shredded Four Cheese

Optional toppings:
chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large skillet brown meat with
onions on medium-high; drain.
Stir in next 4 ingredients. Arrange
3 tortillas in a single layer in bottom
of a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Cover with
layers of (half of) meat mixture/
sour cream/cheese – repeat layers &
cover. Bake 40 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted. Uncover
after 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes
before cutting. Add optional toppings,
if desired, before serving. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead. Line 9 X 13″
baking dish with foil with ends of foil
extending over sides of dish. Assemble
recipe as directed. Cover with additional
foil & freeze (up to 3 months). When ready
to serve, bake (covered) 400 degrees F.
1 hour. Remove foil & bake an additional
15-20 minutes until casserole is heated
through & cheese is melted. Let stand 5
minutes before cutting. To decrease
baking time:
thaw frozen casserole in
fridge overnight then bake, uncovered,
45 minutes until casserole is heated
through & cheese is melted.

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

Beef Lentil Soup

1 lb lean ground beef
1 (46 oz) can tomato juice or
V-8 juice
4 C. water
1 C. dried lentils, rinsed
2 C. chopped cabbage
1 C. sliced carrots
1 C. sliced celery
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. diced green pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed

In large stockpot cook beef over
medium heat until no longer pink;
drain. Add tomato (V-8) juice, water,
lentils, cabbage, carrots, celery,
onion, green pepper, pepper, thyme,
& bay leaf. Bring to boil – reduce heat;
simmer, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours
until lentils & veggies are tender. Add
spinach & heat through. Remove bay
leaf & serve. Serves 6

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

Crockpot Chicken Thighs

1 T. olive oil
6 bone-in (or boneless) chicken
thighs
salt/black pepper – to taste
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/4 C. honey
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 oz. fresh minced ginger
2 T. Sriracha (hot sauce)
juice of 1 lime

cooked rice for 4
=
In large skillet over medium-high
heat heat oil. Season chicken thighs
with salt/pepper & sear until golden,
3 minutes per side – transfer to
crockpot. In small bowl whisk soy
sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, ginger,
Sriracha & lime juice – pour over
chicken & toss to coat. Cover &
cook on Low 6 hours (or high 2
hours) until no longer pink. Serve
over cooked rice. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Twinkie-like Bundt Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
(plus required ingredients to prepare
cake)
6 large egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
6 T. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. marshmallow creme
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. heavy cream

Grease & flour a 12-C. Bundt pan;
Mix cake accordg. to pkg. directions.
Fold egg whites into batter using a
spatula until fully combined. Pour
batter into prepared pan & bake
accordg. to pkg. directions – Cool
cake completely

In large bowl combine butter &
marshmallow creme – beat using
elec. mixer until smooth & well
combined. Add powdered sugar &
cream – beat until fluffy, about 3
minutes. Pour mixture into a piping
bag fitted with a long, thin round tip.*

Turn the cake over so it is Flat-SIDE
UP – make 12 evenly-spaced holes in
the bottom of the cake using a skewer,
pressing only halfway down into cake &
wiggling the skewer slightly to widen
the holds until they are each about
1 inch wide. Insert piping tip into each
of the holes & squeeze until marshmallow
mixture starts to ooze out the top of the
hole. When all holes are filled, turn cake
Flat-Side DOWN onto a serving plate.
Serve immediately or cover & refrigerate
up to 2 days. Serves 8-10

*You could also do this using a large
zip-lock bag. After filling bag & sealing,
snip a tip off bottom of bag & use this
as a piping bag to pipe filling into holes.

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

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

Hope you are having a GREAT day –
try to stay healthy (and warm).

Hugs;

Pammie

Mid-week!

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

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

LOTS of great soup/cold weather recipes coming in!

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

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

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

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

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

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

Crockpot Northern Beans & Ham

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

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

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

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

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

Sauteed Chicken w/Veggies

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

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

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

Best Taco Mini Meatloaves

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

Meatloaf Topping:

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

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

Quick ‘n Easy Ground Beef Stew

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

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

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

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
————————–

Crockpot Clam Chowder

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

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

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

3-Ingredient Peach Cobbler

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

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

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

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

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

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

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Entering into January

“Love is looking out for your friends”

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8

Here we are into the first full week of January – it’s gloomy & raining out but (YAY!) no snow! It seems almost strange to not have a bunch of ‘things that have to be done’ hanging over my head (not that I’m complaining, mind you!). Tonight is my Knit/Crochet group’s first ‘official’ meeting – I changed our day because I really didn’t think many would like to come out New Years Day (not that I was worried about the drinking factor – just didn’t think they’d want to ‘go out’). It probably threw a couple people off (we meet bi-weekly) -TURNS OUT WE HAD 20! but we’ll get ‘back in the swing of things’ very soon. I love meeting with ‘my ladies’ – no matter if there’s only a few or an entire ‘bunch’, it’s always a fun time of lots of laughter, tips/sharing with each other (almost the same with the Weds. morning Library group). It’s nice to be able to do something you love (knitting/creating with yarns) and share that with others who feel the same way. Just noticed today that I’m almost done with the ‘use up blue yarns’ blanket; didn’t really think I was that far along! (This is almost a copy of one I did in the Summer for a friend – same colors of yarns. It’s nice to be able to create a baby blanket using up smaller bits of yarn and still come out with something nice.)

(Going nuts here – computer is ‘doing it’s old thing again’- I copy & paste, it transfers to blog page in SUPER TINY print! UGH!

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

(Today: January 10th, Thursday – 2 days after above – it works again!) Spoke too soon; one recipe goes in fine, next one the title is good, recipe is in tiny print – UGH!)

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

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

2 T. butter
4 T. minced garlic
1 lb. boneless chicken tenders
6 T. brown sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

In skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.
Add garlic & cook 2 minutes to brown it.
Season chicken with salt/pepper & add to pan.
Cook chicken 3 minutes on each side or until
no longer pink in middle. Sprinkle brown sugar
on top & heat until melted completely.
Serves 4

NOTE: cooking time may vary depending on
size of chicken tenders

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

Chunky Chocolate Jam Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flake coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1 (12 oz) jar raspberry jam

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix flour, sugar &
baking powder until blended. Cut
in butter using pastry blender or
2 knives, until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add oats, coconut &
nuts – mix well. Press half mixture
onto bottom of prepared pan & sprinkle
with chopped chocolate. Top with jam
& remaining crumb mixture. Bake
25-30 minutes until ligthly browned.
Cool completely before cutting into
bars. Makes 32 servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
———————————–

Northwoods Pie (savory dish)

2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. maple bacon
2 (28 oz, ea) cans Bush’s Maple Cured Bacon
Baked beans
4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet brown ground beef & onion;
season with salt/pepper – drain excess
grease. In same pan, fry bacon until half-
way done (about 5 minutes on each side).
Season with salt/pepper & place cooked
bacon on paper towels to absorb excess
grease. In bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking pan
layer half the ground beef. Layer one can
baked beans on top. Next, layer 2 C. cheese &
half the partially cooked bacon. Continue
with same layers: ground beef, beans, cheese &
bacon. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes until
cheese is melted & dish is bubbly. Serves 12

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

Crockpot Turkey Sausage
Soup w/veggies

1 (19.5 oz) pkg Italian turkey
sausage links, casings removed
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
(or chick peas) drained/rinsed
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. cut fresh green beans,
cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered
lengthwise & sliced
1 large sweet red or green pepper,
chopped
8 green onions, chopped
4 C. chicken stock
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/3 C. minced fresh bacil

In large skillet over medium heat
cook sausage 8-10 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking up into crumbles.
Drain & transfer to crockpot. Add
tomatoes, beans, carrots, green beans,
zucchini, pepper & green onions, In
large bowl whisk stock, tomato paste &
seasoned salt – pour over veggies. Cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours until veggies
are tender. Just before serving, stir in
basil. Serves 10 (3 1/2 quarts)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Baked Chicken & Spinach Spaghetti

1 lb. uncooked spaghetti
4-5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
2 (15 oz, ea) jars Alfredo pasta sauce
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/4 C. sour cream
2 C. mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Cook
spaghetti until just tender, 6-8
minutes; drain & return to pot.
Stir spinach into warm spaghetti
followed by chicken & Alfredo
sauce – mix well. Spread half of
mixture into prepared pan. In
medium bowl stir ricotta, sour cream,
1 C. mozz cheese, egg, garlic, basil,
oregano, salt/pepper. Spread mixture
on top of mixture in pan & top with
remaining spaghetti – sprinkle top
with remaining mozz. cheese. Bake
20-25 minutes until golden & bubbly.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

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

Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. canola oil
4 small zucchini, sliced, about 4 C.
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
undrained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini & cook 7
minutes until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add undrained
tomatoes, salt/pepper to skillet;
break up tomatoes with a spoon &
cook 2 minutes until hot. Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
—————————–

Snickerdoodle Poppers

1 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. milk, room temp.
1/4 C. plain yogurt, room temp.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
3 T. butter, melted
vegetable oil, for frying

Coating:
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. cinnamon

Filling:
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 oz white chocolate

Combine 2/3 C. sugar & cinnamon –
set aside. In small bowl whisk flour,
baking powder & salt. In medium
bowl whisk milk, plain yogurt, sugar &
melted butter. Stir in dry ingredients &
mix just until combined.

In medium pot heat about 2 inches oil
to 350 degrees F.

Roll out about 1/2 T. dough into a ball
using your hands (roll gently) & place
ball into oil – fry until golden brown,
flipping when golden to cook evenly
on both sides. Work in small batches
because you have to work fast. Transfer
baked balls onto a paper towel-lined
plate to drain, then roll in cinnamon-
sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining
dough.
Prepare instant pudding mix & mix into
melted white chocolate. Transfer it
to a pastry bag with filling tip (or use
a zip lock bag with one corner trimmed).
Using a filling tip – poke poppers going
about halfway in, then squeeze in filling.
(If using ziplock bag, use a sharp/pointed
item like a chopstick to poke the holes,
then fill).
Makes 30

(recipe: omgchocolatedesserts.com)

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

It’s Thursday, my ‘day off’ – yesterday was
super busy/crazy – so glad I have today to
rest/relax/recoup! The weather is finally
Michigan/January: in the low 20’s, really
chilly/windy with light snow (nothing – yet-
to worry about, just a light dusting).

Gas prices JUMPED yesterday: I went to the
Library knit group & stopped to get gas just
before; price I paid was $1.94/9 – 2 hours
later that same place was registering: $2.09/9
that’s a FIFTEEN cents a gallon jump! (I had read
on Facebook that the prices would probably go
back up to the $3.00 range soon – guess they
were right!

Need to go for a small grocery shopping today –
low on the ‘staples’: bread & milk. Not sure yet
what’s for dinner – thinking Salmon patties &
homemade garlic mashed potatoes. We’ve gotten
in to a kind of ‘new thing’ around my house – at
Christmas I made a huge spinach/mixed greens
Greek-type salad (sliced tomatoes, sliced green
peppers, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, Feta
cheese & slivered almonds) – it was a HUGE hit
and so we’ve kind of carried that on since then.
I’m able to get these really big rectangular boxes
of mixed greens so I take half out & put them in
a zip lock bag for later then construct the salad
in that box. When it gets low, I just add more
greens & ingredients – works really well and ALL
of my family here have been hitting it, even
youngest son who NEVER eats veggies! Amazing!
I like it because it’s a quick fix if I’m hungry! (By
the way, still working on ‘the diet’ – lost 16 lbs.
and am down to 169 lbs – don’t remember WHEN
I was that low before! Diabetic numbers are good,
too.)

Anyway, now that the blog IS working I’d better
send this one out. Finished the “Use up the blue
yarns” blanket:

The colors didn’t photograph well – at the bottom there’s blue/green/white variegated yarn then a medium blue, then more variegated, etc. Oh well –

I just started another blanket in pinks (same idea/different pattern but with white lines dividing the colors)

Have a GREAT day – remember to REST & stay WARM!

Hugs;

Pammie