a day to RELAX and catch up!

Sometimes in life you just NEED a ‘down’ day to re-group/gain your strength and your wits – that would be today for me! It’s been a pretty busy week so far with babysitting, grocery shopping, knit group, special needs group, etc. SOOOoo glad to have a FREE/Down day finally! Started out the day finishing up another pair of baby booties (have 13 pairs done for next delivery). One of the ladies in my Panera knit group has now started volunteering at the location where they do all the sewing of the baby gowns; she got to meet the woman who started the project of making & clothing infants who have died. My friend said they were very grateful for our group’s baby booties – that’s always good to hear that something you’re doing makes a small difference somewhere. (She also said that she would be willing to deliver our booties when she goes to volunteer sew – that would save some $$$ on shipping! YAY – another blessing!).

===========

Hershey Bar Cake

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 (3 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
3 large eggs
1/3 to 1/2 C. oil (depending on cake
mix brand)
1 1/4 C. water (depending on cake mix
brand)

Frosting:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 scant C. granulated sugar
1 scant C. powdered sugar
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. chopped pecans (or other nuts)
1 giant Hershey bar – grated (not regular
size)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray & flour two 8″ cake pans. In large
bowl combine dry cake mix, vanilla pudding
mix, eggs & oil/water according to cake mix
directions – beat until smooth & pour into
prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes – remove
& cool layers.

Frosting:
Using an electric mixer, in medium bowl
beat cream cheese & granulated sugar
20 minutes. Add powdered sugar & beat
just until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip, nuts
& grated Hershey bar. Frost cake.

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

Crockpot Easy Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 large yellow onion, cut into large wedges
4 medium potatoes, peeled/cut into quarters
1 lb. baby carrots
3 C. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole bay leaf
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 lb. corned beef brisket
(with spice pkt) cut brisket in half to
fit crockpot, if needed
1 head fresh cabbage, cut into wedges (2-3 lb)

In 5-7 qt. crockpot place onion, potatoes &
carrots. In small bowl combine water, garlic,
bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper & contents of
spice packet – pour over vegetables in crockpot.
Place brisket on top, then cabbage. Cover &
cook on Low 8-9 hours until meat & vegetables
are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)


(Copycat) Chicken Gnocchi Soup
(Olive Garden)

4 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 C. finely diced oion
1/2 C. finely diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. flour
1 quart Half & Half
28 oz. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
1 C. carrots, finely shredded
1 C. spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1 C. cooked, diced chicken breast
1 (16 oz.) pkg. ready-to-use gnocchi

In large saucepan over medium heat
melt butter into oil. Add onion, celery &
garlic – cook, stirring occasionally, until
onion becomes translucent. Whisk in flour &
cook 1 minute. Whisk in Half & Half – simmer
until thickened. Whisk in chicken broth & simmer
until thickened again. Stir in salt, thyme, parsley
& nutmeg (if using), carrots, spinach, chicken &
gnocchi. Simmer until soup is heated through.
Before serving, season with additional salt,
if needed. Serves 8

(recipe: copykat.com)
——————————

Garlic Butter Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken
5 cloves garlic, minced/divided
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese (more for
garnish)
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil
4 T. butter
juice of half lemon
1 lb. (spaghetti noodles) recipe
calls for 1 lb. “zoodles” – see *

In large bowl mix ground chicken, 2 garlic
cloves, egg, Parm. parsley & red pepper
flakes – season with salt/pepper then form
into Tablespoon-sized meatballs. In large
skillet over medium heat heat oil & cook
meatballs until golden on all sides & cooked
through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate &
wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Melt
butter in skillet & add remaining garlic –
cook 1 minute. Add ‘zoodles’ to skillet &
toss in garlic butter then squeeze in lemon
juice. Add meatballs back to skillet &
heat just until warmed through. Garnish
with Parmesan & serve. Serves 4

*Zoodles:  spiral cut zucchini to form
noodles.  (I am going out on a limb here
and saying you could probably substitute
cooked spaghetti noodles)

(recipe: delish.com)
————————–

Tuscan Portobellow Stew

2 large Portobellow mushrooms,
coarsely chopped
1  medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
1/2 C. white wine or vegetable
broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
2 C. chopped fresh kale
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
drained, rinsed

In large skillet saute mushrooms,
onion & garlic in oil until tender.
Add wine (or broth) & bring to boil.
Cook until liquid is reduced by half;
stir in tomatoes, kale & seasonings.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
Cover & simmer 8-10 minutes. Add
beans & heat through. Discard bay
leaf & serve. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Cheeseburger Cauliflower

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
salt – to taste
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In large skillet over medium heat
brown beef; drain. In separate
saucepan place cauliflower in pan
& cover with water; cook over medium
heat until tender, about 15 minutes.
If using frozen – prepare accordg. to
pkg. directions. Drain well & add to
beef along with seasonings & cheese.
Cook until heated through & cheese
is melted. Serves 4-6

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

Balsamic Brown sugar-glazed Carrots

1 (2 lb) pkg. baby carrots
1 T. olive oil
salt/pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lay out carrots evenly on a large
rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle
1 T. olive oil over carrots & stir
so all are coated in oil. Sprinkle
with salt/pepper & stir. Cook
about 25 minutes until fork-tender.
In a small bowl mix 1 T. balsamic
vinegar with 1 T. brown sugar –
drizzle over top of hot carrots &
stir mixture into carrots. Place
pan back in oven 5 minutes. (The
vinegar mixture will turn glossy).
Taste & adjust seasoning (salt/pepper)
to your liking. Serves 6-8

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

Cheesecake Fluff

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. sugar*
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

In large bowl place cream cheese,
sugar & Cool Whip – using elec.
mixer, beat until fully blended &
creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add in
all pie filling & stir by hand until fully
blended. Place in a serving dish;
refrigerate, covered, until ready to
serve. Makes 5 Cups.

*recipe calls for 1/2 C. Splenda or granulated
sweetener of your choice

(recipe: southernplate.com)

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

Our weather has been pretty cold lately, but
mostly clear – few snow flurries but nothing
big (YAY!). I’ve heard a lot of people complaining
about how cold it’s been but my theory still goes:
You can ALWAYS drive/walk in cold: you don’t
get your car stuck in it, or slip & fall because of
it – so it’s tolerable! (in case you might be
wondering: ‘cold’ lately has been in the ‘teens’ –
right now it’s 19 degrees F. with a wind chill
making it feel like 8 degrees F. – that’s CHILLY!).
I don’t mind the cold so much unless it’s really
WINDY – then it’s a bit hard to deal with BUT
SPRING’S COMING SOON! (Here in Michigan
that’s usually a ‘false hope’ – looks like warm
weather but then we usually get one last BIG
snow storm – we’ll see . . .

Hope you are all in good health, warm &
enjoying this Thursday.

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Gas prices are staying at $2.49/9 lately – YAY!

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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

Obligations

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

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

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

 

Iced Pumpkin Bars

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

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

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

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

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

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crockpot Lentil Stew

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

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

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

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Beef/Cheese

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

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

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

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

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

Mama’s Banana/Pecan French Toast

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

Beautiful but chilly day!

Today is bright & sunny, but only 12 degrees F. with a slight breeze which makes you feel colder than you actually are. Been ‘out & about’ all morning (grocery shopping, getting gas and attending another knit group) – don’t remember if I mentioned that I joined another knit group which meets in our local library Weds. mornings 10-12 p.m. Lovely group (and growing) with lots to offer: patterns/ideas/tips, etc. Today another member of my knit group joined us and then ended up teaching all of us there the “Russian Join” which is a method of joining two yarn ends so that you don’t have a big knot in your project – very handy! Two of the library ladies joined my group last night, so I can easily see that this ‘attending two knit groups’ will be beneficial to lots of ladies! Also learned yesterday that our pastor’s wife is expecting a BOY in mid May, so the mint green afghan will go to her (almost done with it – a few more rows then a border & I’m done!)

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

Caramel Pecan French Toast
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
2 T. light corn syrup
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
12 slices Italian-style (or any
thick) bread
6 eggs
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. (1/4 stick) butter
1 T. light corn syrup

In small saucepan over medium
heat, cook brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup until thickened, stirring
constantly. Pour sauce into a 9 X 13″
baking dish & sprinkle with 1/2 C.
chopped pecans. Place 6 slices
bread in dish & sprinkle with
remaining pecans – cover with
remaining bread slices. In a blender,
combine eggs, milk, vanilla & cinnamon-
pour evenly over bread. Cover &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake French toast 40-45 minutes
until egg mixture is firm & golden
brown. In a small saucepan combine
Caramel Sauce ingredients; cook over
Low heat until thickened, stirring
constantly. Serve with French toast.
Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
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Baked Chicken ChimiChangas

2 1/2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
breast
1 C. salsa
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1 C. Half & Half
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a skillet
simmer chicken, salsa, onion, cumin &
oregano until heated through & most
of liquid has evaporated. Place 1/2
cup mixture down middle of each
tortilla; top with 2 T. cheese. Fold
sides & ends over filling & roll up.
Place, seam sides down, in prepared
dish. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes
until lightly browned. In a saucepan,
heat broth, bouillon & pepper until
bouillon is dissolved. Combine flour
& cream until smooth; stir into broth.
Bring to boil; cook & stir 2 minutes
until thickened. Stir in chilies & heat
through.
To serve:
Cut chimichangas in half; spoon sauce
over top. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Crockpot Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/2 – 2 lb. beef chuck roast or
stew meat, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. frozen corn
1/3 C. Guinness beer
3 T. tomato paste
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. corn starch
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1 tsp. beef granules
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
===========
5 C. mashed potatoes (prepared)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In nonstick skillet cook onions 5-6
minutes until soft; place in crockpot.
Add beef & all remaining ingredients
(except mashed potatoes & cheese) in
crockpot – season with salt/pepper &
stir well. Wipe down insides of crockpot
with a paper towel then spread mashed
potatoes over top of beef mixture to the
sides of crockpot to seal ingredients. Place
a long piece of paper towel over opening
of crockpot & cover with lid (to absort
steam). Cook on High 4-5 hours or Low
8-10 hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle cheese over
top of potatoes & cover with lid 5 minutes
to melt cheese. Serve hot. Serves 8

(recipe: aspicyperspective.com)
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Winter Rice

2 T. butter or margarine
2 C. chopped onion
1 C. long-grain or whole-grain
rice, uncooked
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. white pepper

In large skillet over medium heat,
melt butter; saute onion 5 minutes.
Add rice & continue to saute 7-10
minutes until rice begins to brown.
Stir in remaining ingredients & reduce
heat to Low; cover & simmer 20-25
minutes until rice is tender & mixture
is creamy. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
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20-Minute Sesame Chicken &
Broccoli
(underlined items you might
not have on hand)

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into strips
1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into
florets
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water

Cooked white or brown rice
to serve 4

In medium bowl whisk soy sauce,
rice vinegar, sesame oil, oyster
sauce & cornstarch. Add oil to
large wok or skillet over high heat.
Add chicken & cook until golden
brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add
broccoli, green onions, ginger &
garlic – cook 3 minutes, stirring
frequently. Pour Soy Sauce mixture
on top of ingredients in wok/skillet
& stir. Add water & stir until mixture
has thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
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Crockpot Clam Chowder

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
3 (6.5 oz, ea) cans clams, not drained
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled/diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. cornstarch

In large skillet on medium-high, cook
bacon until crisp-remove from pan.*
Add to crockpot:half bacon, clams, onion,
potatoes, celery, garlic, water, salt/pepper
& thyme – stir. Cover & cook on Low 7
hours (refrigerate remaining bacon until
ready to serve with soup). In a measuring
cup add Half & Half with cornstarch &
whisk to combine. Add mixture to crockpot
& stir. Cook on High 30 minutes. Serve
with remaining bacon sprinkled over top.**
Serves 8

*Poster sometimes cooks potatoes & onion
in bacon grease before adding to crockpot.

**You might want to heat the bacon slightly
before sprinkling it on top since it will be
cold from fridge.

(recipe: dinnerthendessert.com)
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Lemon Blossoms
(mini cupcakes)

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 oz. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil

Glaze;
4 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
3 T. vegetable oil
3 T. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray miniature muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine cake mix, dry pudding
mix, eggs & oil – blend well using
elec. mixer until smooth, about 2
minutes (batter will be thick). Pour a
small amount of batter into tins,
filling half full*. Bake 12 minutes.**
Turn out baked muffins onto a tea
towel.
Glaze:
Prepare while cupcakes bake. In large
bowl combine powdered sugar, lemon
juice, zest, oil & 3 T. water – mix with
a spoon until smooth. Using your
fingers, dip each into glaze while
still warm, covering as much of each
cake as possible (OR spoon glaze over
warm cakes, turning to completely
coat). Place on wire rack with
waxed paper underneath to catch
any drips. Let glaze set thoroughly,
about 1 hour, before storing in
containers with tight-fitting lids.

*Poster said a small cookie scoop
works well for making them uniform
size

**IF you make a large batch, be sure
to reverse muffin tins mid-way through
baking times to insure uniform baking.
Poster notes they come out of tins
better if you cook them a little past the
golden brown stage, making the cakes
more firm.

(recipe: cookandbliss.com)

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

The past few days have been a bit of a scramble –
babysat yesterday 10:15 – 5:15 (over my usual
time; son got stuck on the expressway in bumper-
to-bumper traffic), then Knit Night. Also – amidst
the many things going on, youngest son moved
back in. He went for a job interview earlier today,
really hoping this works – he needs a good, steady
job.

Tonight is my Special Needs group – first time we’ve
been able to meet since the FIRST week in December!
Our weather has just not been cooperating! I have a
HUGE pile of things to drag with me tonight (the
Christmas presents for the various leaders & lots of
other ‘stuff’) – one good thing: WE don’t have to teach
tonight! Once a month we have a visiting missionary
come & teach our group so we, the leaders, can have
a Business Meeting. (because of all the delayed events,
we’re also cramming our Birthday Night into tonight –
crazy/busy but the kids will love it!).

Hope you are able to stay healthy and warm –
Spring is (eventually) coming! Hang in there!

Hugs;

Pammie

Success!

After much work, frustration, experimentation, etc. my husband FIXED MY SEWING MACHINE! He went back over the video from the other day, took more parts apart and discovered there was a tiny black thread wrapped around behind the bobbin holder (inside) – which is what was locking the entire machine up! Total time (approx.) he spent working on it: around 3 1/2 – 4 hours – cost: FABULOUSLY FREE! I’m happy with my very old machine – it goes forward & backward, making me happy! YAY!

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Lemon Sticky Buns w/Cream
Cheese Glaze

1 (3 oz) box Lemon Jell-O
(1 lemon) 1 T. juice & 2 tsp. zest,
divided
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls, divided
1/4 C. butter, melted/divided
2 oz (1/4 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In bowl combine dry Jello, lemon
zest & 1/2 C. powdered sugar.
Unroll 1 tube crescent dough onto
work surface; firmly press perforations
& seams to form 12 X 4″ rectangle. Brush
with half the butter then sprinkle with
half Jello mixture. Roll up, starting at
one short end; cut into 6 slices. Arrange
slices, cut-sides up, in prepared pan –
repeat with remaining dough, butter &
Jello mixture. Bake 30 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese, lemon juice & remaining
powdered sugar until blended. Drizzle
glaze over warm rolls. Serves 12

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
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Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

salt/black pepper
1 lb. corkscrew or cavatappi pasta
olive oil
1 lb. skinless chicken breast
1 T. unsalted butter
8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 T. flour
1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
plus  more for serving
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 C. baby arugula, roughly chopped

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 C.
pasta water – return pasta to pot. In
large skillet over medium-high heat, heat
1 tsp. olive oil. Season chicken with
salt/black pepper & sear chicken until
golden & no longer pink, about 8
minutes per side. Transfer to plate &
let rest, then cut into cubes. Return
skillet to medium-high heat & melt
butter. Cook mushrooms until golden,
5 minutes then add garlic & onions &
cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes.
Add Half & Half, broth, Parm., oregano,
1 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. pepper. Bring to
boil, reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes.
Fold cooked pasta into sauce with chicken &
it’s juices, & arugula. If sauce is too thick,
add pasta water until you reach desired
consistency. Top with more shredded
Parmesan & serve. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
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Crockpot Cinnamon/Sugar Butternut
Squash

1 (3-4 lb) butternut squash
1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
dash salt

Peel squash; cut into squares &
discard seeds. Place squash in crockpot.
Cut butter into slices & place all over
cut squash. In small bowl mix together
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
& salt – sprinkle mixture over squash &
butter. Cover & cook on High 3 hours
without opening lid during cooking time.
Serves 8

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
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Crispy Fried Onion Casserole

3 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 (16 oz) container French onion
chip dip
1 (10.5 oz) can mushroom soup
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. French fried onions, lightly
crushed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine Fr. onion dip,
soup & sour cream in large bowl; fold
in shredded chicken & cheese. Pour
mixture into prepared pan. Bake 25
minutes until golden brown & bubbly.
Top with fried onions; return to oven
5-10 minutes. Remove from oven &
let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
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Crockpot Broccoli Beef

2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced &
cut into 2″ strips
5 C. fresh broccoli cut into florets
1 1/2 C. beef broth
2/3 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. peanut oil
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes,
(optional)
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper,
to taste

(I would recommend serving this
over cooked rice)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Add steak strips, beef broth, soy
sauce, brown sugar, garlic, peanut oil &
red pepper flakes (if using). Cover & cook
on High 2 hours until steak is cooked
through but still tender (or Low 4-5 hours).
After 2 hours cooking, whisk cornstarch &
water in small bowl then stir into beef
mixture. Stir in broccoli & cover. Continue
cooking 20-25 minutes until broccoli is
fork-tender. Spoon beef & broccoli into
bowls – serve hot. Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
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Chili Cheese Enchiladas


4 C. your favorite chili, heated to hot
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 shakes your favorite hot sauce
6 (8 inch, each) flour tortillas
2 C. shredded PepperJack cheese

Optional Toppings:
diced tomatoes, shredded
lettuce, chopped cilantro,
sliced black olives, minced
red onions, sour cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In medium sauce pan over medium
heat, melt butter & add flour. Cook
3 minutes, stirring often. Add cold
milk one-third at a time, mixing each
third in before adding next. Mixture
will start out thick then thin down
as you add remaining milk. Add Cheddar,
salt/pepper & hot sauce – stir. Add more
milk if too thick. Ladle a little sauce into
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish. Lay out
6 tortillas on your counter; divide
chili between them, filling one at a time.
Fold in each side & place, seam sides down,
in pan – repeat for remaining 5. Pour
remaining sauce over tops of each &
cover with PepperJack cheese. Bake,
uncovered, 30 minutes then finish under
broiler to brown tops. Serve with
optional toppings, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: yummly.com)
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Vegetable Chowder

3 C. diced/peeled potatoes
2 1/2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. grated carrots
2 celery stalks, diced
4 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
3 C. water
3/4 C. butter, cubed
3/4 C. flour
4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. cubed fully-cooked ham
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In Dutch oven combine potatoes,
broccoli, onion, carrots, celery,
bouillon & water; simmer 20 minutes
until vegetables are tender. In large
saucepan melt butter & stir in flour.
Cook & stir over medium heat 2 minutes.
Whisk in milk, salt/pepper – bring to boil.
Cook & stir 2 minutes until thickened –
add to vegetable mixture with the ham.
Simmer 10 minutes until heated through.
Stir in cheese just until melted.
Serves 12 (3 quarts)

(Recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Chicken-fried Steak & Creamy Gravy
(not a ‘diet’ meal)

5 lb. top or bottom round (beef), sliced
1/2 inch thick
3 C. milk
salt/ground black pepper
5 C. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
2 C. heavy cream

In shallow dish place 2 C. milk &
steak slices for 1 hour. Drain &
dry using paper towels. Season
meat using salt/pepper & sprinkle
lightly with 2 T. flour. Pound meat
to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat
tenderizer or mallet. In a shallow
bowl, combine eggs & remaining 1
C. milk; lightly dip meat into egg
mixture. Dredge meat in remaining
flour, reserving 2 T. – dredge twice
more, shaking away any excess. In
large cast iron skillet, pour 1 inch of
oil. Heat oil until hot & fry steak in
batches until golden brown on each
side.

NOTE: Oil will have to be changed
out at least once for this amount of
meat.

Continue frying until all floured
meat is cooked. When cooked, pour
off all but 1 T. oil. Remove skillet
from heat, stir in 2 T. flour & mix
into oil. Return to Low heat; add
cream & bring to a simmer,
stirring constantly & scraping up
the browned bits that cling to bottom
of pan, until cream gravy thickens.
Season to taste with salt/pepper &
serve hot with gravy on top.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: cookstr.com)
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Peanut Butter Whip Brownies

1 box of your favorite brownie mix &
ingredients to prepare
1 C. peanut butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. M & M’s candies

Prepare brownies per pkg. directions – bake
& cool.
Prepare topping:
Beat softened cream cheese in mixer bowl
until light & fluffy. Add peanut butter &
beat until combined. Slowly add powdered
sugar & beat. Once incorporated, fold in
Cool Whip  & beat about 30 seconds.
Spread topping on cooled brownies in
even layer the sprinkle top with M & M’s.

(recipe: kleinworthco.com)
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Our weather today is totally CRAZY! It’s
47 degrees, sunny with fluffy little clouds
in the sky and the wind is 53 MPH! Trees
are swaying madly, sounds VERY loud out
there – (if the sky were dark I’d really be
worried/tornado weather) but it’s clear.
I have special needs group tonight &
bad weather does not bode well with
them – wonder how many people will
show up. It’s also Music/Birthday night-
if the power goes out you can pretty
well expect I’m going to be pounding
out songs on the piano for them to
sing to take their minds off the
situation!

Hope your weather is being ‘good’
to you today!

Hugs;

Pammie