Slowly getting it done!

Almost every year I find myself more and more NOT in the Christmas spirit; don’t really have a good reason why, I just feel like I really don’t want to do decorations, baking, shopping, etc. (Blame it on old age, I guess . . . I’m 71 1/2). Today I had a chat with another friend who’s older than me by ‘some’ years and she, too, feels that way but . . . after our chat I found myself saying: “Do I REALLY want to have THAT attitude?” That got me up & off my comfy chair and climbing the stairs in search of all the decorations. After some work I’m happy to say the house looks much more Christmasy! I’m debating putting up the tree on top of the baby grand piano (lots of work) but we’ll still have the other fiber-optic tree in the dining room if I ‘opt-out’. After my hips decided I’d had more than enough climbing stairs I finally quit for the time being – there’s always another day and I made it BEFORE Christmas! (one year I got to almost 3 days from Christmas – that was really pushing it).’

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White Chocolate/Caramel Fudge

3 C. white chocolate chips (can also
use semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. caramel sauce – room temp.

Line a baking tray with parchment
paper.
In a medium glass bowl combine choc.
chips, milk & butter. Microwave 90 seconds.
Stir & heat another 15 seconds. Stir & heat
an additional 15 seconds (only if needed).
There will still be a few pieces of unmelted
chocolate). Add vanilla & nuts – stir to combine.
Scoop onto prepared tray & spread with a
spatula to approximately 1 inch thickness.
Drizzle top with caramel sauce & lightly
swirl caramel into fudge using a knife or the
end of the spatula. Chill until ready to serve.
Slice into 1-inch squares & store in an air-
tight container, refrigerated, for up to a week.

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)
——————————

Chicken Balsamico

1 T. olive oil
1 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken
breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. water
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup
1 C. diced plum tomatoes (OR)
1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dired tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced, pitted kalamata olives
(optional)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
4 C. hot, cooked orzo pasta

In large skillet heat oil over medium-
high heat. Season chicken as desired &
cook in skillet 10 minutes until well
browned on both sides – remove from
pan. Stir garlic, vinegar & water into
skillet – cook & stir 1 minute. Stir in
undiluted soup, tomatoes, olives (if using)
& oregano – heat to a boil. Return chicken
to skillet – reduce heat to Low & cook 5
minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Season to taste & sprinkle with cheese.
Serve chicken & sauce with cooked orzo.
Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)
——————-

Lasagna Dip

6 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
oil for deep-fat frying

Dip:
1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 C. whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 C. spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook lasagna noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Cut cooked noodles
into 2 inch pieces & prick each piece
several times with a fork. In a small
bowl mix Parm. cheese, Italian seasoning
& garlic powder. Place several paper
towels on a plate or wire rack.Heat oil
to 375 degrees F. using an elec. skillet or
deep fryer. Fry noodles in batches 1-2
minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on paper towels & immediately
sprinkle with cheese mixture.
Dip:
In large skillet cook sausage over medium
heat 4-6 minutes until no longer pink,
breaking into fine crumbles; drain. Stir in
ricotta, spaghetti sauce, garlic & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
5 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring
occasionally. Transfer to a 1-qt. microwave-
safe dish. Sprinkle top with Italian cheese &
microwave, covered, on High 45-60 seconds
until cheese is melted. Serve with lasagna
chips. Makes 3 cups & 36 ‘chips’

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

Family-style Meatballs
(using no bread or fillers)

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T. Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped (or)
1 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 egg
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper
2 T. oil
Sauce:
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (20 oz) can tomato puree
1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)
2-3 T. fresh basil, chopped
10 oz. water
salt/pepper, to taste
====
Cooked pasta to serve 6
====
For Meatballs:
In large bowl mix all ingredients
except oil – shape into 24  even-
sized balls & chill at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in large heavy skillet & add
meatballs. Brown over medium-high
heat on all sides (you might have to
do this in batches – don’t crowd the pan).
Remove browned meatballs & keep warm.

For Sauce:
In same skillet add onion & garlic; cook
over medium heat until they begin to get
tender. Lower heat & cover pan, allowing
onions to cook completely. Stir in tomato
puree, hot sauce & salt/pepper. Gently
boil over medium-low heat about 10
minutes so sauce reduces about 25%.
Add meatballs to skillet & half the fresh
basil – cover & simmer 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add remaining
basil to garnish.

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice
Serves 6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
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Spanish-style Creamy Garlic Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 (6 oz) pkg. Oscar Mayer Smoked ham,
coarsely chopped
12 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth

In large saucepan heat oil on medium-high
heat. Add ham & garlic, cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic is golden brown, stirring constantly.
Add paprika & cumin; cook & stir 1 minute or
just until seasonings are toasted. Stir in cream
cheese; cook & stir 1-2 minutes until cream
cheese is melted & mixture is well blended.
Add broth; stir – bring to boil; simmer on
medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring
frequently. Serves 8

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)
——————————

Crockpot Amazing Mac & Cheese

1 (18 oz) box elbow macaroni (uncooked)
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
9 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 1/2 C. milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
salt/pepper, to taste

Pour all ingredients in crockpot; stir.
Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 hours (stir
after 2 hours – if it’s too thick, add a little
milk, stir & continue cooking 30 minutes.

(recipe: simplemost.com)
———————-

Sausage Cheese Squares
(appetizers)

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg. frozen fully cooked
breakfast sausage links, thawed/cut
into 1/2″ slices
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 large eggs
3/4 C. milk
2 T. chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Unroll crescent dough & place in an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish – press
onto bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to form
a crust. Top with sausage slices & cheese.
Beat eggs in a bowl; add remaining
ingredients – mix & carefully pour over
cheese/sausages in pan. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cut into 12 squares.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Super Easy Lemon Butter Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 T. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
10 drops yellow food coloring
3/4 C. powdered sugar

In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In large bowl using an
elec. mixer, beat butter & cream cheese
with sugar until light & fluffy (about 2
minutes). Beat in eggs, lemon zest &
juice, vanilla & food coloring. Beat in
dry ingredients until just combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate
until firm, at least 2 hours & up to over-
night.
===
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Place some powdered sugar
in a shallow plate or pie tin.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls then roll
in powdered sugar. Let stand 2 minutes
until sugar is absorbed then re-roll in
powdered sugar (do not shake off excess).
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on
prepared sheet & bake 18-20 minutes
until cookies crackle on top & are set but
still slightly soft in center. Transfer to a
coolin rack & cool completely.
Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: delish.com)

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

Going through the recipes that come into my emails
there are a LOT of cookie and appetizer recipes – am
thinking of doing a blog for each one, just so I can
share them all with you!
===========
DISCLAIMER:
Every once in awhile I need to state that the recipes
I feature on my blog are NOT my own – at the bottom
of each recipe is the site where I found it.
============

Our weather has been very cold but still CLEAR –
just a dusting of snow on the ground – YAY! Schedule-
wise, my days are pretty booked up for the next 2
weeks – sometimes that can make me feel a ‘tad’
anxious, but I’m doing well – my de-stresser is
knitting & crochet (of course – you knew that!).

It also seems to be a season of prayer for friends;
one of our church members just died Saturday –
he was 54 and five months ago got leukemia.
Another friend is awaiting test results for possible
cancer while yet another is having her thyroid
removed next week because of cancer. This is a
time, for those of us who put our trust and faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ, to draw nearer to the Lord,
pray more for others and let them know how much
they mean to you. Life is short and death is final – please
remember to let those you love and care for know
how much they mean to you.

Love and hugs;

Pammie

It’s been a quiet week . . .

Our weather has been GREAT (for me, at least) – it’s been in the 40’s, clear (a little rain) and NO SNOW! YAY! Managed to get a tiny bit of Christmas shopping done yesterday – like years past, I’m just ‘not feelin’ it. The older I get the more I would be content with just one small tree & no extra decorations (guess that’s because I’m the one doing all the dragging down, setting up, etc. of all the ‘stuff’). Anyway, am TRYING to ‘get in the mood’. I had originally planned on knitting some cotton spa cloths for several people but that kind of went by the wayside. Working on the 2 baby blankets & started another crocheted granny square one.

Like many people in our ‘older’ years, we once again needed to go over our Medicaid details with our provider. I’m sure you’ve all heard the commercials about making sure you sign up BEFORE Dec. 7th! (trying to make this a short story). We got our call Weds. evening – both my husband & I wanted to adjust our plans a bit. We got a very helpful, nice young lady; both of us were on house phones so she could speak to us. Almost done with husband’s plan and her computer screen froze. She promised to call us back quickly. No call – that evening, entire next day – finally we get a call at about 11:15 pm – yes, it was her. It seems that not only HER screen but the entire program locked up! To sum it up, we spent the next 45 minutes frantically rushing through all of both plans – my husband & I both on a house phone and on our own computers – CRAZY! She was very patient and kept asking if the final details reached our computers – NO. At the last minutes she had to do a phone/verbal confirmation for my plan but we got it done – YAY! Today I just now turned on my computer (about 6:30 p.m.) and 12 confirmation emails arrived! TOO funny! Well, at least NOW both my husband & I are covered with plans that work better for us AND save us a little $$$.

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Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Cake:
1 box vanilla or white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake (eggs, oil, water)

Filling:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. melted, salted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. cinnamon

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened/room temp.
1/3 C. butter, softened/room temp
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. heavy cream or milk
=
Cake:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions &
pour into prepared dish. Bake accordg.
to directions. After baking, allow to cool.
Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke
holes (in about 1-inch intervals) into top
of cooled cake.

Filling:
In small bowl whisk sweetnd cond. milk,
melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon.
Pour filling into holes in cake & spread it
out using a butter knife or back of a spoon.

Frosting:
In medium bowl, mix cream cheese & butter
using an elec. mixer. Slowly mix in powdered
sugar, vanilla & milk (or heavy cream); mix
until smooth – spread onto cake. Sprinkle some
cinnamon sugar on top of frosting then
refrigerate cake 1 hour to allow cakes filling
to set. Serves 9

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

Warm, Layered Black Bean Dip

2 (15 oz., ea.) cans black beans, drained/
rinsed
1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder (or just regular
chili powder)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3 poblano peppers roasted – (see note below)
1/3 C. cilantro leaves, packed
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. corn, drained
1/3 C. diced tomato
4 oz. queso cheese, shredded/divided
=
Suggested dippers:
Corn chips, bruschetta, tortillas
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat
beans. Add chili powder, cumin, salt/pepper –
combine well. When beans have warmed, mash
them. Add 1/4 C. (or more) of the shredded
cheese – mix well. If needed, add some of the
bean juice for a smooth consistency. Using a
food processor, place cilantro, peppers & 1 T.
olive oil – process until smooth; spread
mixture in bottom of an oven-safe dish.
Spread cilantro/pepper mixture over bean
mixture. Add tomato & corn then remaining
cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese
melts & begins to brown. Serve with dippers.
Serves 4

NOTE:  peppers – if not roasting peppers, make
sure you seed them before using – unless you
want it spicy.

(recipe: yummly.com)
——————————

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled,
reserve 2-3 T. bacon grease
3 Russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2 – 3/4″ pieces – about
6 C. worth)
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place reserved bacon grease on a sheet
pan. Place potatoes on pan & toss with
tongs to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with
salt/pepper & spread potatoes out in
single layer. Bake 20  minutes; stir well &
bake an additional 20 minutes. Stir again,
making sure none of potatoes are sticking
to the tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir again & sprinkle generously
with shredded cheese & crumbled bacon.
Return tray to oven & bake 2-3 minutes until
cheese has melted. Top with sliced green
onions just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)
———————————

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 C. onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, oregano, garlic
2 C. green peppers (and/or red peppers)
chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 C. cooked rice*

Brown beef & onions in skillet over
medium heat; drain & place in crockpot.
Add tomatoes (& juice) and rest of
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8

*poster adds the rice before cooking;
some people like to add it at the end of
cooking.

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

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) pkg. no-cook lasagna noodles
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. 4% cottage cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato
paste, salt & oregano. Spread 1/4th
of this mixture into ungreased crockpot.
Arrange 1/3 of noodles over sauce, breaking
to fit if necessary. Combine cheeses; spoon
1/3 of mixture over noodles – repeat layers
twice & top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until noodles
are tender. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————

Chili Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. tomato juice
1/2 C. water
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 C. canned or frozen corn
1/2 C sliced ripe olives
1 C. shredded Cheddar or Monterey
Jack cheese
thinly sliced green onions (optional)

In large skillet over medium heat cook
beef, onion, pepper & garlic until meat
is no longer pink; drain. Add next 7
ingredients; simmer, covered, until
rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in corn & olives; cover & cook 5
minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook,
covered, until cheese is melted, about
5 minutes. If desired, top with green
onions. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————–

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated crescent
roll dough, divided
2 lemons, zested/juiced/divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter, melted
3 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil*
& spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press
1 tube dough into bottom of prepared
pan, stretching to the edges. In a bowl mix
the zest of 1 1/2 lemons & juice from 2 lemons.
Using an elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
1/2 C. sugar into lemon zest mixture until
smooth & creamy – spread over crescent
roll dough layer. Unroll 2nd can of dough &
layer over cream cheese mixture, gently
stretching dough to edges. Brush melted
butter over dough layer. In a bowl mix
remaining lemon zest & 3 T. sugar – sprinkle
over butter. Bake about 30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Allow to cool about
20 minutes. Lift dessert from baking dish
using foil & transfer to a cutting board.
Cut into squares, leaving on foil. Return
dessert to baking dish & refrigerate until
chilled, at least 1 hour. Makes 24

*Allow foil to drap over edges of pan,
making foil ‘handles’

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
——————————

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
dash salt
1 to 1 1/2 C. shelled raw peanuts
(can use regular or pecans)
1 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a baking sheet generously
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
3-qt. microwaveable bowl combine
sugar, corn syrup & salt; stir in nuts.
Microwave on High 9-10 minutes
until light brown (be sure to watch-
microwaves vary).
Stir twice while cooking (very hot –
be very careful not to get burned)
Stir in remaining ingredients – mixture
should be light & foamy. Quickly spread
as thin as possible onto prepared baking
sheet. Let cool & break into pieces.
Makes about 1 lb. brittle

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

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

Our ‘midwest’ weather is about to change &
get MUCH colder by Weds it’s supposed to be
a HIGH of 22! (good thing is – we might get a
little rain but it says 30% chance of snow
Weds – here in Michigan, that’s nothing!).

Hope you are all staying healthy & warm;

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

a little late but I’m still around!

Thanksgiving went well – husband just informed me we are now down to “just turkey” – his ‘afternoon snack’ just wiped out the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and wild rice stuffing! Looks like there will be turkey pot pie in the very near future at our house!

Hope you all had a great holiday; I’m still not quite into the ‘holiday’ spirit – I’m not a big fan of decorating so have to kind of push myself into the ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme. I’ve managed to order 2 Christmas presents – pretty pathetic, eh? I also ordered (through Groupon) a 4-person pass for my oldest son & his family to visit one of our local ‘treasures’: the Christmas Walk at Meadowbrook Hall/Estate in Rochester, Michigan. This is a gorgeous estate which originally belonged to the Dodge (as in motor car) family and the local florists decorate most of the house and estate with beautiful scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. When my sons were younger we did the tour of the estate and it is well worth it. (also found a DVD of some Gilbert & Sullivan operas my husband loves and doesn’t have) – that’s it . . . I’m just not overflowing with gift ideas this year! How about you?

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

Cranberry Apple Crisp

3 C. chopped, peeled tart apples
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour

Topping:
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine apples,
cranberries, sugar & flour & pour
into prepared dish. In another bowl
mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle over top of apple mixture. Bake
50-55 minutes until fruit is tender.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a sided baking
pan. (recipe did not give size but
photos look like a loaf pan or a
8 X 8″)
In a saucepan bring sugar & milk to
a boil stirring constantly (do not turn
heat on High) Once it comes to a
full rolling boil, boil 2 1/2 minutes then remove
from heat. Stir in peanut butter & vanilla
& pour into prepared pan. Let chill.

(recipe: facebook)
——————————-

Crockpot English Pub Split
Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone
1 1/3 C. dried green split peas,
rinsed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 C. water
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 T. prepared English mustard
1/2 C. 2% milk
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place ham bone in 4 qt. crockpot. Add
peas, celery, carrot & onion. Combine
water, beer & mustard; pour over veggies.
Cover & cook on High 5-6 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove ham bone from
soup. Cool soup slightly, trim any fat &
remove meat from bone (discard fat & bone).
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces & return to
crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If
desired, top with minced parsley.
Serves 8 (makes 2 qts)

NOTE: For a less chunky soup, puree in batches
in a blender or food processor.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 (3 lb) sugar pumpkin, halved/seeded &
quartered
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 T. butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 C. vegetable or chicken broth,
plus more, if needed
1 T. fresh grated ginger
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, plus more
for garnish
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt

Garnishes:
chopped chives
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Place pumpkin
& thyme on sheet & drizzle with olive
oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper-
gently toss to combine & arrange in a
single layer. Roast 60-65 minutes, stirring
halfway through until pumpkin is fork-
tender. Cool then remove peel. In a large
stockpot or Dutch oven heat butter over
medium heat. Add shallots & cook, stirring
occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, broth & sage. Season with 3/4 tsp.
salt & black pepper to taste. Bring to boil
then remove from heat. Puree using an
immersion blender (or regular blender,
in batches being very careful) until
smooth. Add yogurt & blend again.
Pour into 4 bowls & serve immediately
with chives plus more yogurt, pepitas,
chives & ground nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soup can be frozen: Omit yogurt &
garnishes until ready to serve. Portion
cooled soup into ziplock freezer bags &
lay bags flat in single layer in freezer. Transfer
soup bags to refrigerator the night before
reheating then reheat over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Add yogurt & garnishes & serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————–

Sky-high Brunch Bake
(note: using 9-inch springform
pan & substitute)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry (2 sheets) thawed
6 eggs, beaten/divided (note:
reserve 1 T. eggs for later)
1 C. ricotta cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen,
chopped spinach, thawed/
well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped red bell peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray springform pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheets &
roll out 1 sheet to an 11 inch square.
Roll out remaining sheet to a 12 inch
square & use to line the bottom & sides
of pan. In large bowl mix all eggs (minus
reserved 1 T. egg) with ricotta, hot sauce
& spinach. Layer half each: bacon, Cheddar,
ricotta mixture & peppers in crust – repeat
layers. Cover with remaining pastry sheet;
fold under edges then tuck inside pan. Brush
pastry with reserved egg & cut steam hole
slits in top crust. Bake 45-55 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen crust
before removing rim. Serves 12

NOTE: can be baked ahead & refrigerated for
several hours or overnight. When ready to serve,
bake, uncovered in 350 degrees F. oven 30-40
minutes until heated through.

If you don’t have a springform pan:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Can be baked in a greased 9 X 13″ pan
instead. Roll out bottom & top pastry
sheets to fit dish. Line dish with foil withthen
ends of foil extending over sides of dish.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let
stand 10 minutes then use foil ‘handles’
to life from dish before cutting to serve

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

Sausage Dip

1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 1/2 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded/chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. sour cream

Tortilla chips, for dipping
=
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add
next 8 ingredients & cook until veggies
are tender. Reduce heat to Low; add
cream cheese & sour cream – cook &
stir until cheese is melted & well
blended (do not boil). Serve warm with
tortilla chips. Makes 48 servings (6 C.)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Twice-baked Potato Casserole

6 medium russet potatoes
4 T. butter, softened (more for pan)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 slices cooked/crumbled bacon
5 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes then place directly on oven
rack – bake until soft & easily pierced,
1 hour to 1 hr, 15 minutes depending on size.
Remove from oven & let cool slightly. Slice
warm potatoes in half & remove flesh using
a spoon – place flesh in large bowl (discard
skin). Mash flesh & butter, cream cheese, sour
cream & milk – stir to combine until butter &
cream cheese is melted. Fold in 2 C. Cheddar,
3/4 ths of bacon, 3/4ths of green onion &
garlic powder – season with salt/pepper. Brush
a medium baking dish with butter & scoop
potato mixture into dish. Smooth top & sprinkle
remaining 3/4 C. Cheddar on top. Bake about
20 minutes until cheese is melty. Turn oven to
BROIL. Broil about 2 minutes until golden.
Let cool 10 minutes then top with remaining
bacon & green onions. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————-

(You could probably substitute turkey!)

Orange Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 large carrots, cut up small
1 onion, chopped small
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
6 stalks celery, cut up small
salt/pepper, to taste

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 T. corn starch
1 C. chicken broth

Suggested serving:
Cooked rice to serve 6
====
Heat a large skillet & add 1 T. oil.
In small bowl combine flour & 1/4
tsp. salt – dredge chicken pieces in
mixture until well covered. When oil
is hot, gently place chicken pieces in
skillet & cook until golden all over (about
10 minutes). Remove from pan & place
on a plate. Add 1 more T. oil to hot skillet
& cook veggies over medium-high heat
until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan add all sauce
ingredients – whisk until well combined &
bring to boil-it should thicken up. When
veggies are cooked add thickened sauce &
chicken to pan – stir well & serve.
Serve over cooked rice – serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
———————-

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture:
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
dash salt

Frosting Glaze:
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners
(recipe makes 15 muffins) & spray
liners with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix (from muffin batter):
flour, baking powder, salt & sugar – stir
with a fork. In large glass measuring cup
melt 3 T. butter; add 1 C. milk & stir to
combine. Add 1 egg & whisk into mixture-
pour into dry ingredients & stir but not
completely. Do not over mix.

Cinnamon mixture:
Melt butter in small bowl; add brown
sugar, cinnamon & dash salt – stir to combine.
Fold half of cinn. mixture into batter & stir
just until no streaks of flour. Fill muffin
cups a little more than half full. Sprinkle
remaining cinnamon mixture over top of
each muffin. Bake 12-15 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Allow muffins to rest
in tin 5 minutes then transfer to a wire
rack to cool. (glaze will go on warm muffins)

Glaze:
In small bowl combine melted butter,
maple syrup, vanilla, milk, powdered
sugar & salt – whisk until smooth & glossy.
Drizzle over warm muffins.
Makes 15 muffins

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

About 2 weeks ago I was getting a bit bored with
just working on the two baby blankets and came
up with the idea of crocheting some of my various
baby yarns into a granny-square baby afghan. I
found a crochet pattern which made a slightly
different granny square than I was used to, so I
went with that. It went very quickly so that I’m
considering making another one! It was fun
and the supplies didn’t take up a lot of room in
my knit bag. Here’s the blanket:

We’ve been lucky recently with our weather – after our 8 1/2 inches of snow about 2 weeks ago, it’s all melted and now it’s just cold and wet (raining – but it’s not turning into the white stuff – YAY!) Our forecast calls for highs in the 30’s all week and some rain so I really don’t mind that at all. You can walk & drive in rain!

Hope you are all in good health;

Hugs;

Pammie

and still MORE Recipes!

and now we’re into the HOLIDAY week! Are you ready? I have my grocery shopping list arranged now – not sure just yet whether to go shopping today or tomorrow but it will get done. TONS of great-sounding recipes coming in so I wanted to share while you still have time to shop!

===========

Pumpkin Cake w/Caramel Cider Sauce

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg
3/4 C. cooking oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs

Sauce:
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2/3 C. apple cider
2 T. heavy cream
1 T. butter
salt, to taste
=
Optional additional topping:
Vanilla ice cream
=
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a large
bowl using elec. mixer, combine
flour, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Add oil, pumpkin & eggs – mix until
blended & pour into prepared dish.
Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely
& top with sauce before serving.

Sauce:
In a saucepan whisk brown sugar &
cornstarch. Add cider & stir in cream,
butter & salt. Cook over medium-high
heat, whisking constantly, until large
bubbles form around edge of saucepan,
about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to Low &
allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Pour
sauce over top of cake (OR) you can top
each cake slice with a scoop of vanilla
ice cream & drizzle sauce over ice
cream. Serves 8-10

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
————————–
Charleston Cheese Dip
(cheese & bacon)

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
dash cayenne pepper
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
=
Dippers:
Corn chips
Bagel chips
Crackers
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix mayo, cream
cheese, Cheddar & Mont. Jack cheeses,
green onions & cayenne pepper. Transfer
mixture to a shallow baking dish. Top with
crushed crackers & bake 15 minutes until
heated through. Remove pan from oven &
top with bacon. Serve immediately with
corn chips, bagel chips or crackers for
dipping.

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
————————-

Cheesy Mushroom Crescent Roll
Appetizer

1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette salad
dressing
1 lb. small fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1/3 C. shredded Italian Mozzarella/
Parmesan cheese blend (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large skillet heat salad dressing
over medium heat. Add vegetables &
cook, stirring, 5-7 minutes until
liquid is cooked off. Cool. Unroll
cresc. dough on a baking sheet &
firmly press perforations & seams
together to form a 12 X 18″ rectangle.
Top with vegetable mixture to within
1/2 inch of edges; sprinkle with cheese.
Roll up, starting on one long side. Bake
25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cut
into 8 slices to serve.
Makes 8 appetizers

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

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 C. chopped dried apricots
1 tsp. grated orange zest

Assorted crackers, for serving
=
In large bowl beat cream cheese, cranberries,
apricots & orange zest until blended. Chill
until serving – serve with crackers.
Makes 1 1/2 C.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————-

Crockpot Turkey Breast

1 bone-in turkey breast (5-7 lb),
fully thawed
1 stick (1/2 C) butter, melted
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 T. Italian seasoning
kosher salt, to taste
=
Place thawed turkey breast in
crockpot.* Pour melted butter
over & sprinkle with salt, then
sprinkle other seasonings over.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours.

*Make sure you buy a turkey breast
that will fit in your crockpot. Poster
said the largest she’s been able to fit
in a 6 qt. crockpot is 7 lbs.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
———————-

Crockpot Hash Brown Casserole
(and OVEN version)

1 (26-32 oz) bag frozen hash browns,
thawed or frozen
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
salt/pepper, to taste (about 1/4 tsp. ea)

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl add hash browns, sour cream,
soup, onion, shredded cheese & melted
butter – mix to combine & spoon into
crockpot. Sprinkle salt/pepper on top.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until
done. Casserole should be crispy on
sides & bubbly throughout. Serves 8
=
Oven Version:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare recipe
as above & place in prepared dish.
Bake 45-50 minutes. Let cool & serve

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
—————————

Skillet Fried Cinnamon Apples

4 T. butter
5-6 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious
apples, peeled/cored/sliced semi-thick
splash of fresh lemon juice
1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large cast iron skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Add sliced apples & splash
of lemon juice – saute apples 2-3 minutes.
In small bowl blend both sugars, cinnamon &
cornstarch – sprinkle over apples, stir to combine,
making sure all apples are fully coated. Add water
& vanilla – stir to combine. Lower heat to Medium-
Low & continue to saute 10-12 minutes until
the cinnamon syrup has thickened & apples are
fork-tender. Remove from heat & serve warm.
Makes 2-3 Cups

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

Easy Cranberry Fluff

1 C. fresh cranberries, rinsed/drained
1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks
2 C. miniature marshmallows
2 C. shredded coconut
1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Place fresh cranberries & pineapple chunks
in a food processor or blender  & pulse
together. Refrigerate 2 hours.
In a large bowl combine refrig. mixture with
marshmallows, coconut, pineapple tidbits
& pecans – fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serves 10

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

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

Our weather has really been cooperating lately-
in the 40’s & clear; yes, there are ‘some’ piles of
snow here & there (usually from being plowed into
piles) but for the most part it’s SNOWLESS! YAY!
We actually have a predicted High of 53 on Weds.!
Some rain & clouds but you can walk & drive in
that!

Hope you are all staying warm & in good health.
Remember to not over stress yourself while attempting
to get all the arrangements/cooking/etc. done for the
holiday.

Hugs;

Pammie

and how are YOU doing?

It’s been a busy week so far – my husband & I attended a retired Telephone Operators luncheon yesterday and I saw someone I haven’t seen in over 35 years! We had a nice chat with old friends then stopped at Crossroads Pregnancy Center to deliver the three baby blankets I featured in the last post – it’s always nice to have someone really appreciate my efforts – they were thrilled. I told them I would be back in about 3 months with more.

I stopped at Kroger after my library knit group today and they are in FULL SWING with all the Thanksgiving food stuffs. Honestly, I’m not at all ready for this holiday – just don’t seem to be in ‘the mood’ but that doesn’t count, right? The day WILL go on and I WILL cook food & bring it to my oldest son’s house for that day. I’m getting LOTS of holiday recipes coming in so I knew I had to post soon.

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

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

2 2/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/4 C. butter, softened/divided
2 C. sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. whole milk

Frosting:
1 C. butter, softened
8 to 8 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 9″ round baking
pans.
Place pecans & 1/4 C. butter in a separate
baking pan & bake 10-15 minutes until toasted,
stirring frequently.
In large bowl cream sugar & remaining until
light & fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well
after each addition; stir in vanilla. Combine
flour, baking powder & salt; add to creamed
mixture alternately with milk, beating well
after each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 C. toasted
pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pans & bake
25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool
completely.
=
Frosting:
In a large bowl cream butter & powdered sugar;
add milk & vanilla – beat until smooth. Stir in
remaining toasted pecans. Spread frosting
between layers & on top & sides of cake.
Serves 16

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

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

6 C. cubed day-old French bread
(bite-sized cubes)
3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Salad:
4 C. peeled/cubed butternut
squash (1 1/2″ cubes)
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
6 C. fresh argula or fresh baby
spinach
6 T. sherry vinegar
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 C. salted, roasted almonds
6 T. crumbed goat cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss bread cubes with oil, chili
powder & salt – spread evenly on
ungreased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet.
Bake about 5 minutes until golden
brown. Transfer to a large bowl & cool.

Spray another 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
In another large bowl combine squash &
mushrooms. Add 2 T. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt &
1/4 tsp. pepper – toss to coat. Transfer
to sprayed sheet & toast until tender,
20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add arugula & squash mixture to toasted
bread. In small bowl whisk vinegar, shallots
& remaining oil, salt/pepper – drizzle over
salad; toss gently to combine. Top with
almonds & goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Roasted Honey Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 C. honey
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ rimmed baking
sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Place
potatoes in large bowl. In another
bowl whisk honey, oil, salt, cinnamon
& pepper – add to potatoes; toss to coat.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet & roast
45-50 minutes until tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Fresh Ginger Carrot Salad

2 (8 oz, ea) cans unsweetened crushed
pineapple, undrained
3 1/2 C. shredded carrots
1 C. raisins
3/4 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnut
1 1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot.

Drain crushed pineapple, reserving
3 T. juice. In bowl combine pineapple,
carrots, raisins, coconut & walnuts. In
another bowl combine yogurt, ginger &
reserved pineapple juice – pour over
carrot mixture & toss gently to coat.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Crockpot Holiday Ham

7 lb. cooked, bone-in ham (or spiral
cooked ham)
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. maple syrup

Place ham in large crockpot, flat
side down. Rub brown sugar all
over sides of ham then drizzle
with juice & syrup. Cover & cook
on Low 4-6 hours. Serves 12

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

Crockpot Sausage Dressing/Stuffing

7 C. seasoned stuffing cubes or croutons
1 medium tart apple, chopped
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 T. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook & crumble sausage
with onion & celery over medium-high
heat until sausage is no longer pink.,
4-5 minutes; drain. In large bowl combine
first 5 ingedients then mix with stuffing.
Stir in broth & butter – place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours until
apple is tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Bacon Cheese Ring
(appetizer dip)

3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 (16 oz) jar strawberry preserves
1/4 C. pecan pieces

Butter crackers, for dipping
=
In large bowl mix shredded cheeses.
Add gr. onions & bacon bits – mix in
softened cream cheese & mayo. Be
sure not to make mixture too creamy or
it may not hold it’s form.

Spray a serving plate with nonstick cooking
spray. Sprinkle edges with pecan pieces –
place cheese mixture in center into a
ball-shape. Top with strawberry preserves.
Serve with butter crackers. Serves 12

NOTE: another tester used Pepper Jack
instead of mozzarella

(recipe: cdkitchen.com)
—————————

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh cranberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

Crust:
3 oz. gingersnap crumbs (from 12
gingersnap cookies)
1 oz. pecans, crushed
1 1/2 T. light butter, melted

Cheesecake:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (6 oz) tub plain Greek yogurt
2 egg whites
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven
Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with waxed
paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on
all sides.

Sauce:
In small saucepan combine cranberries,
sugar, water & orange zest. Cook until
cranberries begin to burst & mixture
turns soupy, 6-7 minutes. Remove from
heat; allow to cool.

Crust:
In small bowl combine gingersnap
crumbs, crushed pecans & light butter.
Stir to  moisten crumbs then pour into
prepared baking pan. Spread in an even
layer, using bottom of a drinking glass
to help ensure the crust is even.

Cheesecake:
In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Add yogurt, egg whites,
lemon juice & flour, mixing until just
combined. Pour mixture into pan over
crust & smooth with a spatula. Add
cooled cranberry mixture to a food
processor – puree until smooth (if
mixture is too thick, add 1/2 T. water).
Use a spoon to drop sauce over cheesecake
then swirl sauce with a butter knife.
Bake 25 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temp. & refrigerate
several hours to get well chilled. Once
chilled, cut into squares. Serves 9

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

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

Because I had fun crocheting the last baby blanket AND
because I have so many small balls/skeins of baby yarn
I decided to try a (new to me) FLOWER granny square
& make a blanket out of leftover yarn. It’s going well
but because the squares are only 4 inches I will need
48 to complete the blanket (and then crochet an edge
around it). With that project, now I’m up to 3 baby
blankets and the baby booties – keeps me busy & out
of trouble!

Hope you are well and into the Fall/Thanksgiving
preparations. Weather-wise we have been blessed
with slightly warmer temperatures which have VERY
NICELY melted a LOT of the 8 1/2 inches of snow we
got last week. Roads & sidewalks are clear, driving is
great – walking is great and I’m happy! I don’t mind
a bit chilly – it’s the icy/mounded snow I worry about.

Stay warm & healthy;

Hugs;

Pammie

and HEeeeeeere’s Winter – full blast!

Yes, I live in Michigan and yes, we get the cold weather BUT – in mid-November? NO! I can remember Thanksgiving celebrations many years ago when we would get a light dusting of snow but 4-6 INCHES 2 weeks BEFORE Thanksgiving? NO!!! Yes, I read in our local paper a few days ago that we ‘might’ get an Arctic blast but really – 4-6 INCHES? It started during the night and is still coming down. I remembered to call a snow plow removal guy this morning to get signed up – that much snow will definitely bury our driveway. I don’t have anywhere to go today but my sons might. Ah, the fun . . . sigh.

Managed to start another baby blanket using the Star Stitch (same stitch was in one of the blanket photos from the last post.) It’s an easy stitch and, this time, I just decided to go with white and a blues/white variegated yarn, in stripes – looks nice so far (and this pattern goes rather quickly).

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

Pumpkin Spiced Snickerdoodles

1 3/4 C. (white whole wheat) flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
3 T. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 2 baking sheets with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl combine flour, baking soda &
cream of tartar, stirring with a whisk.
In large bowl combine 1 C. sugar & butter;
using elec. mixer on medium speed, beat
until well blended. Add honey, vanilla &
egg – beat well. Gradually add flour
mixture to sugar mixture; beating
until just combined. Cover & chill
10 minutes.
In medium bowl combine 3 T. sugar with
pumpkin pie spice, stirring with a whisk
to combine. With moist hands, shape
dough into 42 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls
in sugar/pumpkin mixture & place
2 inches apart on baking sheets. Slightly
flatten with a fork.
Bake 5-7 minutes (cookies will be
slightly soft). Cool on sheets 2 minutes
then remove from pans & cool completely
in wire racks. Makes 42 cookies

(recipe: skinny taste.com)
————————–

Crockpot Turkey Breast w/Gravy

1 1/2 T. unsalted butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled/chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled/crushed
1/3 C. flour
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. water
1/4 C. dry white wine (can use water)
2 T. fresh sage
2 bay leaves
1 (5 lb) turkey breast, bone in/skin on
(removed later), trimmed of fat
salt/pepper

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high
heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot,
celery & garlic – cook 8-10  minutes until
onion is soft. Stir in flour; cook until
golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in
1 C. broth & scrape up any browned bits
on bottom of pan – smooth out any lumps
& pour into crockpot. Add remaining
broth, water, wine, sage & bay leaves to
crockpot. Season turkey with salt/pepper &
place skin-side-up in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 5-7 hours (until turkey reaches
165 degrees F. with an instant-read
thermometer). Transfer turkey to a cutting
board & tent loosely with foil – let it rest
20 minutes. Let liquid in crockpot set 5
minutes then remove the fat from surface
using a large spoon. Strain liquid into saucepan;
discard celery & bay leaves. Simmer until
thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with
salt/pepper, to taste. Discard skin & carve
turkey – serve with gravy. Serves 10

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
————————–

Easy Garlic/Cheddar Biscuits

2 T. butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 C. Bisquick baking mix
3.5 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
2/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper. In small frying pan melt butter;
add half garlic & saute on Low heat
1 minute. Remove from heat; add
parsley. In large bowl combine Bisquick
mix, Chedd. cheese & remaining garlic.
Stir in milk & mix (do not over mix).
Drop batter by heaping Tablespoons
onto prepared sheet. Bake 10 minutes.
Brush or drizzle tops with melted
butter. Bake 5 more minutes until
lightly browned on bottoms.
Makes 14 servings

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
—————————-
Brussels Sprouts Gratin

16 oz. brussels sprouts, trimmed of
outer leaves/sliced in half
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 T. butter
1/3 C. chopped shallots
2 T. flour
3/4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. grated Gruyere cheese, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 12″ gratin or casserole
dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add
brussels sprouts & season with salt/
pepper. Spray more cooking spray
over sprouts & place in lower third
of oven. Bake 15 minutes, toss &
bake an additional 10 minutes.
MEANWHILE =
Heat a medium nonstick pan over
medium heat. Add butter & melt; add
shallots – cook until softened, 4-5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over shallots  & whisk 1-2
minutes (making a roux). Add milk & stir
with a wooden spoon until roux is
incorporated into milk. Cook over medium-
low heat 4 minutes, stirring until sauce thickens.
Add fresh thyme, Parm. & half grated Gruyere
into sauce – stir until cheese melts & is
incorporated into sauce. Pour over brussels
sprouts & top with remaining cheese. Bake
15 minutes until top is lightly browned &
bubbly. Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
—————————-

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 T. unsalted butter
1 large white onion, chopped
3 C. vegetable broth
1 lb. peeled baby carrots
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1/4 C. sour cream
kosher salt
white pepper, to taste

Optional garnish:
2 T. fresh micro greens or chives
=
In large pot or Dutch oven melt
butter over medium heat; add
onions & cook, stirring often,
until onions are soft, 5-6 minutes.
Add broth, carrots & ginger – cover &
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer
until carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
Add sour cream (using an immersion
blender or, in batches, in regular blender);
carefully blend until smooth. Bring soup back
to boil; adjust salt & pepper to taste. Ladle
into 4 bowls, garnish with a little more sour
cream & fresh chives, if desired.
Makes 5 Cups

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————————

Paprika Chicken Thighs w/Rice

6-8 chicken thighs (bone in/skin on)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch cayenne
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1/2 C. chopped sweet green or
red peppers
2 C. chopped baby spinach
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. instant white rice
=
Optional garnish: chopped
green onions
=
In large skillet heat butter & olive
oil. In a shallow pan (like a pie plate)
combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic
powder & cayenne. Roll each chicken
thigh in mixture & brown in skillet on
both sides until skin is cooked & blackened.
Remove thighs from skillet. Add green onion
& peppers to skillet & cook. Add baby spinach &
pour in broth & heavy cream – stir & bring to a
low boil. Add rice & simmer 3-4 minutes. Add
chicken back to skillet. Cover & simmer about
15 minutes. Remove from heat & let stand
5-10 minutes before serving so rice will soak
up liquid. Garnish with chopped green onions,
if desired. Serves 6-8

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

Crockpot Autumn Apple-Pecan Dressing

4 C. soft bread crumbs
1 C. saltine crackers, crushed
1 1/2 C. apples: peeled/cored/chopped
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. onion, chopped
1 C. celery, chopped
2/3 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried sage

Combine bread crumbs, cracker
crumbs, apples, pecans, onion &
celery in bottom of crockpot. In
a small bowl mix remaining ingredients
until well blended. Pour into crockpot &
toss to coat. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours until dressing is puffed & golden
around edges. Serves 12

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)


Skinny Apple Cobbler

Apple filling:
2 1/2 lbs. Gala apples, peeled/cored/
sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2 C. honey
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch salt
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. water

Topping:
1/4 C. white whole wheat flour
1/4 C. flour
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. chilled whipped butter
1/3 C. buttermilk
1 T. canola oil
1 tsp. light brown sugar, unpacked

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 6 (8 oz) ramekins with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large, heavy pot combine all
apple filling ingredients – simmer
on Low heat 25 minutes, gently
stirring occasionally until apples
are soft. Divide into prepared
ramekins.
In medium bowl whisk flours,
gran. sugar, baking powder, baking
soda & salt. Cut in chilled butter
(MUST be cold), using a pastry
cutter (or 2 knives) until pebble-
sized pieces are formed. In small
bowl combine buttermilk & oil –
mix well. Add to dry mixture & mix
until just moistened, careful not to
over-mix. Spoon batter over apples
in ramekins. Sprinkle tops with
brown sugar & bake 30  minutes until
apples are bubbling & topping is
golden. Let stand 8-10 minutes before
serving. Makes 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

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

Tomorrow night is my knit/crochet group
at Panera. As I posted on Facebook – ‘come
if you’re feeling ‘adventurous’! The weather
report says that it’s supposed to be clear by
tomorrow (no more snow) but I’m not really
sure I trust that report. Right now it’s a ‘balmy’
27 degrees F.; supposed to be a High of 25
tomorrow & no new snow expected until
Wednesday night and that’s just a ‘chance’ of
snow showers – we’ll see.

Glad I got out all my winter clothes – went
from short sleeved tops & jumped straight
into heavy sweatshirts! Oh well – that’s life,
right? Gotta ‘roll with the punches’, or so
they say.

Stay warm & healthy;

Hugs;

Pammie

A little drive in the country

Today I ‘attempted’ to deliver the three baby blankets to my new charity: Crossroads Center in Auburn Hills, MI. It’s about a 20 minute drive – beautiful day, I found it without much trouble EXCEPT the one thing I forgot to do: check their hours! Yep – closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday! Oh well – it was a nice little drive in the ‘country’. Here are the blankets:

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

Some really tasty-sounding recipes are coming in so I wanted to share.

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

Magic Pumpkin Layer Cake

1 box yellow or white cake mix
(plus ingredients to make cake)
1 (30 oz) can pumpkin pie filling mix
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 (3.5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Optional topping/decoration:
mini cinnamon chips
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Prepare cake mix accordg.
to pkg. directions & pour into prepared
pan.
In a bowl mix pumpkin pie mix, eggs,
evap. milk & 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice –
stir well & pour slowly onto cake batter
over entire cake. Bake 50-60 minutes.
(Cake will look a bit darker than what you’re
used to – that’s OK). Cool cake completely
(at least a couple hours)

Once cake is cooled, prepare topping:
Topping:
In a bowl combine instant pudding mix with
1 tsp. pumpkie pie spice; pour in cold milk &
whisk until pudding  begins to thicken. Gently
fold in Cool Whip & spread over cooled cake.
(sprinkle optional topping on top)
Serves 12

NOTE: You can serve this immediately but
poster recommends refrigerating at least
1 hour before serving.

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

Chicken & Summer Squash
(crockpot)

3 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of
chicken soup
4 small summer squash, sliced
(poster used yellow squash)
16 oz. sour cream
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. butter, room temp.
1 C. bread crumbs
dried parsley, optional garnish
paprika, optional garnish

hot cooked rice or pasta to
serve 8

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place chicken
breasts in bottom of crockpot. In
large bowl mix soup, sour cream,
onion, cheese, garlic salt, pepper
& butter. Fold in sliced squash &
mix well to coat – pour over
chicken. Sprinkle bread crumbs on
top. Cover & cook on Low 8 hours
or High 4-5 hours. (chicken should
be fully cooked when it reaches
165 degrees F. using a thermometer).
Serve over hot cooked rice or pasta
& garnish with dried parsley and/or
paprika. Serves 8

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

Crustless Spinach, Onion, Feta Quiche

1 medium onion, diced
6 oz. baby spinach
3 large eggs*
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/3 C. milk
1/2 C. feta cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray (using nonstick
cooking spray) a 10 inch quiche/
tart pan (or pie plate). In medium
skillet cook onion with a bit of
vegetable oil (or cooking spray)
over medium-high heat until
translucent & tender. Add spinach
& cook until spinach wilts. Set
aside to cool for a few minutes.
In large bowl whisk eggs, flour &
baking powder. Whisk in milk then
stir in spinach mixture – pour into
prepared dish & top with feta cheese.
Bake 25 minutes until center is set
& outside edge is golden brown. Let
stand 5 minutes then slice & serve.
Serves 6

*NOTE: original recipe called for
2 eggs & 1/2 C. Egg Beaters (liquid
substitute)

(recipe: myskinnypoints.com)
———————————

Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Casserole

1 (12.4 oz) can refrigerated
cinnamon roll dough
1/2 C. whipping cream
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
(sugar icing – optional, often
included in dough container)

Remove dough from can; cut
each piece into quarters. In large
bowl combine whipping cream,
eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon
& nutmeg; whisk until smooth.
Place three-fourths of quartered
pieces in bottom of 4-quart crockpot.
Pour cream mixture on top & layer
remaining pieces on top. Cover &
cook on High 1 hour 45 minutes. If
your dough came with icing, drizzle
over warm casserole before serving.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: For a more festive flavor: omit
nutmeg & mix zest of 1 clementine
orange with 1 T. granulated sugar –
sprinkle over top of casserole instead
of using icing.

(recipe: cooktopcove.com)
————————————

Eggplant & Tomato Sauce (or
can be used on pasta)

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2
inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 (28 oz) can plum tomatoes, do
not drain)
salt/black pepper, to taste
chopped basil or parsley – optional
garnish

Heat oil in large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat. When hot, saute
garlic in oil. Add eggplant & cook
about 3 minutes, until it begins to
soften. Coarsely chop the tomatoes &
add to skillet along with juices. Season
with salt/pepper & simmer, uncovered,
15-20 minutes. Add chopped herbs,
if using & serve over your favorite
(cooked) pasta. Serves 4 (3/4 C. sauce
each)

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

Bacon/Cheddar/Beer Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. beer
3/4 C. bacon bits
1 C. cooked yellow corn
3 T. diced jalapenos
1/3 C. salsa
=
green onion, sliced
limes – optional, for serving
cilantro – optional, for serving
=
In a large saucepan add cream
cheese, Cheddar cheese, sour cream &
beer over medium heat. Heat, stirring
regularly, until fully melted & smooth.
Add bacon bits, corn, jalapenos & salsa –
stir until well combined. Remove from
heat & pour into a serving bowl. Garnish
with green onions, limes, cilantro &
any other additional garnishes. Serve
warm.

(recipe: yummly.com)
—————————-
Peanut Butter French Toast

2 T. butter
4 slices white bread
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
2 T. grape jelly
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. milk

(optional garnish: powdered sugar)
=
In a nonstick skillet over medium
heat melt butter.
Make 2 sandwiches with bread,
peanut butter & jelly. In a bowl
whisk eggs & milk. Dip each sandwich
into egg mixture & place in hot pan.
Cook sandwiches on each side (about
2-3 minutes per side) until golden.
Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Serves 2

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

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

Our weather has definitely kicked in to high
gear – it was 33 degrees F. when I got up today
and now it’s a ‘balmy’ 34! Light dusting of snow
on the ground but a beautiful clear blue sky so
even if it’s cold, it’s nice. (meaning: can be
tolerated with warm clothes/jacket/gloves).

This ‘no-babysitting’ week has felt strange (don’t
get me wrong – I’m not complaining, just commenting).
I was supposed to go out to lunch with a friend on Monday
but she cancelled. Tuesday was a kind of non-day – just
grocery shopping. Wed. Knit Group & special needs
group, yesterday – nada . . . just made my family’s
favorite dinner: Meat & Potato Pie (it’s basically just
a meatloaf in a 9 X 13″ pan frosted with mashed
potatoes then topped with Cheddar cheese – put it
under the broiler to melt the cheese – they love it.
Today – not much planned, either! Sure feels weird
with NO PLANNED things to do! I’m kind of tossing
around making another baby blanket with either
6 or 7″ squares using up a lot of baby yarns – we’ll
see. Problem with that is: the yarns are various
‘weights’ – some are baby weight, some are worsted
but that’s a problem for me to figure out, right?

Hope you’re having a GREAT day! Remember to
look outside & enjoy a little of God’s creations!

Hugs;

Pammie

FINALLY – we have a garbage service!

 

We live in a Township – our township officials recently decided to go to ONE company to handle ALL of our township. They held a bid – 3 companies entered, one was chosen. (Our old company was not chosen and decided to get really nasty with it’s customers: they sent us all notices that come the end of October we would have to find a new service – no exceptions). Great . . . to make this short I have spent the past THREE WEEKS attempting to contact the new company – by phone, on line, & by emails – CRAZY POOR service! By phone you get a recording, on line you get to the page where you sign up & the page FREEZES! by email they sent me an immediate reply saying they would call me – nothing . . . nothing for THREE WEEKS! Today husband & I went at it again and FINALLY got through – our first day will be this Friday. UGH! Before this new change it was not unusual for FIVE DIFFERENT COMPANIES to drive their trucks through the neighborhood behind me – EVERY DAY! Talk about wrecking the roads! We’ll see where this goes.

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

(I have to preface the following recipe – one of my friends in our Sunday School class made this recently & it’s REALLY TASTY!)

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 box cake mix (yellow, white or spice)
1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 C. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl combine
pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, gran. sugar &
milk. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, cloves & pour
into prepared pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix
evenly over top then sprinkle pecans over
dry cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over all.
Bake 50-60 minutes until edges are lightly
browned. Allow to cool.
Serves 12

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
———————————-

Cheesy 1-Pan Zucchini Taco Skillet

2 zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 C. corn (fresh, frozen or canned)-
drain if using canned
1 C. black beans, drained/rinsed
1 lb. gr. beef (or turkey)
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. plain tomato or
enchilada sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. grated cheese (poster used Cheddar &
Pepper Jack, combined)
=
Additional optional toppings:
chopped green onion
diced tomatoes
chopped or sliced jalapeno peppers
sour cream
Greek yogurt
fresh cilantro
salsa
guacamole
crushed tortilla chips
pico de gallo
======
Heat a 9/10 or 11 inch cast iron skillet to
medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive
oil in bottom. Brown meat until cooked &
not pink; drain & crumble. Season with
cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika,
salt/pepper. Add tom/ench. sauce & mix
well. Transfer to a bowl & keep warm.
Add 1 tsp. oil to skillet & heat. Add
onion & saute 3-4 minutes until edges are
golden. Add corn & cook until tender (this
will take longer if fresh/frozen). Add zucchini
& continue cooking 3-4 minutes until softened
but al dente. Reduce heat to Low & top with
taco meat & black beans; sprinkle with 1 C.
cheese (or more, if desired). Cover until cheese
melts. Spoon into bowls & top with optional
toppings, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: peasandcrayons.com)
————————————

Potato Leek Soup

1 C. Vidalia onions, chopped
5 C. leeks, chopped (white only)
& cleaned of sand
1 C. celery, chopped
1/2 C. celery leaves, chopped
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. yellow potatoes (like Yukon
Gold) peeled/diced
1 lb. Russet potatoes, peeled/diced
2 qts. chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp. sea salt (depending on how
salty your broth is)
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 C. heavy cream

chopped chives – garnish
=
In a 4-5 qt. stock pot melt butter
over medium heat; add onions, leeks,
celery & leaves – saute 10 minutes
until soft. Add garlic – cook 2 more
minutes. Add both potatoes & stock;
increase heat. Tie bay leavs & fresh
thyme together with butcher’s twine;
add to pot along with salt/pepper. Bring
to boil then lower to simmer – simmer
15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Remove thyme/bay leaves – discard.
Puree soup (in small batches) in a blender
(or use an immersion blender). Stir in
cream & taste to adjust salt/pepper, if
needed. Serve topped with chopped
fresh chives. Serves 10

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

Crockpot Beef & Noodles

1 (2 lb) beef chuck roast
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of mushroom
with roasted garlic soup
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles

sour cream – garnish

Place roast, soups & dry soup mix in
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 5 hours
or 7-8 hours on Low. Shred beef. Cook
egg noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & add to roast & gravy. Serve with
sour cream. Serves 6-8

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

5-Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice

1 1/2 C. corn (frozen or fresh)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
3 C. whole grain brown rice (or
Minute Ready to Serve Rice or
other quick-cooking rice)
1 T. chili powder
1 C. salsa (jarred or homemade)

Optional garnish: fresh cilantro
and/or diced avocado
=
Preheat large skillet over medium heat.
Add corn & black beans – cook until
corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Add
rice & chili powder, stir to combine.
Cook, stirring constantly, about 3
minutes. Stir in salsa & cook until
everything is combined & warmed
through, about 2 minutes. Remove from
heat & let cool 5-10 minutes then garnish
with optional garnish & serve.
Makes 6 (1 C. each) servings

Can be used as a main entre, or with tacos,
enchiladas or fajitas or as a vegetarian
burrito filling

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

Make-ahead Biscuits & Gravy
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles.
Remove sausage using slotted soon,
discard grease but reserve 1/4 C. in
skillet. Stir in flour until blended &
cook, stirring, until golden brown,
1-2 minutes – do not burn. Gradually
whisk in milk & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Cook & stir until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage, pepper,
paprika & chili powder – pour into
prepared dish & cool completely.
In large bowl mix Bisquick, sour cream
& melted butter until moistened. Turn
onto a lightly floured surface & knead
gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough into
a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut using a floured
2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter & place biscuits
over gravy. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove dish from fridge while oven heats.
Bake, uncovered, until gravy is heated
through & biscuits are golden: 22 -25
minutes. Serves 10

Freezer Option:
After biscuits/gravy are read to place
in fridge, cover & freeze. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30
minutes before baking & bake as directed
above, increasing time as needed until
gravy is heated through & biscuits are
golden brown.

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

Stovetop Rice Pudding

1 1/2 C. cooked rice
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 to 1/3 C. granulated sugar (to taste)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large gg, beaten
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/3 C. golden raisins
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a pan combine rice, 1 C. milk,
sugar & salt – cook over medium
heat until thick & creamy, 10-15
minutes. Beat egg into remaining
1/2 C. milk & slowly add to rice
mixture, stirring constantly. Add
cinnamon, nutmeg & raisins; cook
over medium heat about 5 minutes
longer, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat & stir in butter & vanilla.
Spoon into dessert cups or ramekins.
May be served hot, at room temp.
or chilled.
Serves about 4

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)

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

This week is shaping up nicely – just found out I
have the ENTIRE week off babysitting! One of my
friends asked me last week if she’d taken me out
for my birthday lunch (my birthday was in June).
I actually didn’t remember so we’re going out
tomorrow! YAY! It’s always nice to have a little
‘extra perk’ you didn’t expect.

Our weather is now in the 40’s & 50’s – typical
Fall here in Michigan. Evenings are dipping down
into the 30’s (with some 20’s – UGH!). Weds.
looks like it’s a 30% chance of rain/snow changing
to showers with a high of 42; oh well, it’s going to
be getting really cold pretty soon, so guess 42 isn’t
so bad, right?

Hope you are all in good health and enjoying the
last of the gorgeous fall leaves falling. Think I’ll
drag out my winter clothes today & pack away
‘Summer’ – it’s about time!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

and now . . . a new Month!

Along with the change of months came our first SNOW! Yes, it’s Michigan (land of the “You never KNOW when you’re going to get SNOW!). Woke up yesterday with a light dusting and temperatures in the 30’s – Brrrrrrrr! Babysat at 8:30 a.m. so had to scrape off car windshield for the first time this season – sigh. Today it’s on & off – gloomy then sunny, slight wind & 45 degrees F. Looking at the forecast for later on today – 60% chance of snowfall & rain – oh, goodie…

With all the babysitting yesterday (8:30 – 6 something p.m.) I got a lot of knitting done! Still working on my special needs girl’s scarf (about 3/4ths done), about the same amount done on a crocheted baby blanket and working on the new blanket with the new (super favorite) yarn.

Also wanted to add a Halloween photo from my oldest son & his family (minus older grandson):

 Nothing like characters from Toy Story 2!

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

Crockpot Pumpkin/Cinnamon Roll
Casserole

1 (21 oz) can pumpkin
2 tubes refrigerated cinnamon rolls
(12 oz, ea) Reserve icing
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut cinnamon
rolls into fourths – place a single layer
on bottom of crockpot (reserve icing).
Spoon pumpkin over top then sprinkle
top with pumpkin pie spice. Continue
layering rolls then spice).
Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 – 3 hours until
sides are golden brown & rolls are set. Drizzle
icing over top & serve warm.
Serves 8-10

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

Panera Autumn Squash Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled/seeded &
cut into 1″ cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled/chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
4 C. vegetable broth
1 C. apple juice
1 C. water
1/2 C. pumpkin puree
2 T. cream cheese, softened
heavy cream – optional

Topping:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp. chili powder
kosher salt

Soup:
In large pot over medium heat heat oil.
Add squash, carrots & shallots – season
with salt/pepper. Cook, stirring occasionaly,
until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, br. sugar, ginger & curry powder –
cook until vegetables are beginning to caramlize,
about 2 more minutes. Pour in broth, apple
juice & water – bring to boil then reduce to a
simmer – cook until vegetables are soft, about
10 minutes.
In small bowl whisk together pumpkin puree &
cream cheese until well mixed – pour into pot
& stir to combine. Using an immersion blender,
puree soup until smooth (Can use a regular
blender, in batches, being very careful of hot
soup). Season with salt/pepper – stir in desired
amount of heavy cream, if using.

Topping:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On a medium baking sheet toss pumpkin seeds
with oil & chili powder – season with salt. Bake,
shaking pan halfway through baking time, until
seeds are crunchy & golden, about 10 minutes.
Let cool completely.

Serve soup topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————–

Chicken, Spinach & Artichoke Taquitos
(appetizer)

1 1/2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp.
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/drained/squeezed dry
1 tsp. chili powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste
18 small corn tortillas
2 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

olive oil – for brushing
salsa – for dipping
sour cream – for serving
=
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl combine
chicken, cream cheese, artichokees,
spinach & chili powder – season with
salt/pepper. Place tortillas on a micro-
wave safe plate & cover with a damp
paper towel. Microwave 30 seconds,
or until warm & pliable. Spread about
1/4 C. filling on one end of tortilla then
sprinkle a little cheese next to filling.
Roll up tightly & place, seam sides down,
on baking sheet – repeat with remaining
filling, cheese & tortillas.
Brush taquitos with oil & bake until
crispy & golden, flipping halfway
through cooking time 15-20 minutes.
Serve with salsa & sour cream for dipping.
Makes 18 taquitos

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Crispy Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

4 C. baby red potatoes, skins on,
cut into 1″ cubes
3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese,
divided

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a baking pan with parchment
paper. In large bowl combine chopped
potatoes with oil, garlic salt, sea salt,
pepper, paprika & 2 T. Parm. cheese –
mix well to ensure each potato is
evenly coated – transfer mixture to
prepared baking sheet, moving
potatoes around until they are one
even layer. Bake 15 minutes. Remove
from oven & mix. Bake another 25-
30 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes
until potatoes are soft in middles but
crispy on outsides. Remove from oven &
sprinkle last 2 T. Parm. cheese on before
serving. Makes about 8 servings.

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————

Dump & Bake Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (22 oz) jar Alfredo sauce (about 2 1/2 C.)
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. white wine (or substitute with an
additional 1 C. chicken broth)
1 (16 oz) pkg. uncooked rotini pasta
1 C. grated Swiss cheese, divided
1 C. cooked, diced chicken
1 C. cooked, diced ham
1/4 C. breadcrumbs combined with:
1 T. melted butter
optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl whisk
Alfredo sauce, chicken broth & wine
until completely smooth. Stir in uncooked
pasta, 1/2 C. cheese, chicken & ham. Cover
tightly with foil & bake 40 minutes.
Remove dish from oven & stir – check pasta
to make sure it’s al dente (firm but just about
finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover
dish & return to oven until it’s al dente.
Once pasta is al dente & sauce has thickened,
sprinkle remaining 1/2 C. cheese on top &
sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs. Bake,
uncovered, 5 more minutes until cheese is
melted & breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serves 6-8

(recipe: theseasonedmom.com)
——————————

Caramel Apple Dump Cake
Oven & Crockpot recipe

1 box yellow cake mix
2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1/2 C. caramel sauce or topping
2 sticks butter, melted, or sliced

OVEN:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spoon both cans of pie filling into
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish &
spread evenly. Pour caramel evenly
over top; sprinkle dry cake mix
evenly over top. Place thinly sliced
pats of butter evenly on top (or
drizzle melted butter on top).
Bake 50-60 minutes.
Serves 12

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
===
Crockpot:
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer ingredients
the same as above. Cover, placing a layer
of paper towels between edges of crockpot
top & lid (not touching cake) to catch any
water droplets that may form on lid).
Cook on High 2 hours (or) Low 4 hours
Serves 12

(recipe: soulfullymade.com)
===================

Hope things are going well for you and you’re
in GOOD health! Now is the time to get out
the warmer clothes, cocoa mix and warm
slippers.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Saturday already!

Well, you KNOW when Fall is officially here when you wake up to FROST outside! It was supposed to get down to 35 degrees F. last night – not sure if it did, but it must have been cold! (I dread when we get into the 30’s because it usually means, here in Michigan, that SNOW is very close).

It’s been a busy eventful week (too much to go into details) but I was so busy I couldn’t even babysit – no free days! Went to a funeral home for an acquaintance yesterday, had 2 doctor visits (both for well check ups – I’m doing great!). Dinner tonight will be chili – it’s getting cold, time to warm up the insides!

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

Apple Cider Donut Cake

1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 C. flour
1 C. apple cider

Topping:
1 T. granulated sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl mix
melted butter & sugar; add rest
of ingredients & using elec, mixer,
mix until fully blended. (mixture
will be runny until all mixed).
Pour evenly into prepared pan &
bake 35-38 minutes. Cool 10
minutes then remove from pan.
Mix topping ingredients together &
sprinkle on top of warm cake.

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

Tuscan Chicken Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 russet potato, peeled/diced
6 C. chicken stock
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 T. oregano
2 bay leaves
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 1/2 C. chicken cooked/chopped
salt, to taste

In large pot heat oil; add onions, carrots, celery &
garlic – saute 5 minutes until just beginning to
soften. Stir in potatoes, chicken stock, diced
tomatoes, oregano & bay leaves. Simmer over
Low heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir
in kidney beans & chicken; continue to simmer
about 15 more minutes until chicken & beans
are heated through. Adjust salt, as needed.
Serves 4-6

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

Chili:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
=
Cornbread:
2 boxes Jiffy Mix cornbread muffin mix
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. sour cream
4 T. butter, melted
2 large eggs

Topping:
sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a large pot over medium heat, heat
oil. Add onion – cook 5 minutes; stir in
garlic & cook 1 minute more. Add tomato
paste, stirring to combine. Add gr. beef &
cook until no longer pink; drain. Add chili
powder, cumin & oregano – season with
salt/pepper to taste. Add kidney beans &
crushed tomatoes – bring to boil then reduce
heat & simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile – make cornbread:
In medium bowl stir corn muffin mix, corn,
sour cream melted butter & eggs until
combined. Pour chili mixture into a
9 X 13″ baking dish & top with cornbread
batter – spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center of
cornbread comes out clean. Serve with
suggested toppings. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Sweet Dijon Chicken

12 chicken thighs, boneless*
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
=
(to serve with)
1 bundle fresh asparagus
6 C. cooked white rice

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot-
season with salt/pepper. In small bowl
stir maple syrup & Dijon mustard – pour
over chicken. Cover & cook on Low 8
hours or until tender.
When chicken is cooked, place on a
foil lined cookie sheet. Trim asparagus &
place on sheet. Spoon mustard/maple
mixture over chicken & asparagus.
Broil 10 minutes until chicken browns &
asparagus is tender. Serve over rice.
Serves 6

*You can substitute chicken breasts
for thighs

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————-

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

3 T. olive oil
1/4 lb. prosciutto, diced into 1″
pieces
1 C. onions, diced
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
3 T. fresh sage, chopped
*2 1/2 lb. skin-on yellow or red
(or mixed) potatoes, diced 1/2″
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. gr. black pepper
1/2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not
pie filling)
4 T. butter
3 T. maple syrup
2 T. milk/cream/sour cream (whatever
you have)

In large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
Once hot, add prosciutto – cook few minutes
on both sides to crisp -remove to paper towels;
chop into smaller pieces.
Keep fat in skillet hot & add onions & garlic –
cook 2 minutes. Add sage, potatoes, salt/pepper
& water. Cover & bring to a simmer. Lower heat
to medium-low & cook 15 minutes until tender.
Check to make sure water has not all evaporated-
add a little more if needed. Remove from heat &
use a potato masher – mash potatoes coarsely.
(there should be some chunks). Add pumpkin,
butter, maple syrup & dairy – heat over medium
heat until hot. Taste & adjust seasonings. Remove
to a serving bowl & sprinkle with cooked prosciutto.
Serves 8

* If you want a smoother, creamier dish-choose
Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
——————————

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 lb), cut
into bite-sized florets
3 T. olive oil
1/2 C. fresh garlic cloves (more or
less – to taste)
salt/gr. black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Trim garlic cloves & cut into half or
thirds (if they’re especially large)
In medium bowl toss broccoli with
olive oil, garlic, salt & bl. pepper –
spread broccoli & garlic on a baking
sheet in single layer. Roast about
20 minutes until broccoli is bright
green & edges are starting to brown
slightly. Do not let garlic get too
brown or it will start to taste bitter.
Serve hot. serves 4

(recipe: Foodnetwork)
———————————

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 box (regular size) yellow cake mix
1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
2 to 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 large egg
2 T. canola oil

Frosting:
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
3-4 T. orange juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick
cooking spray. In medium bowl mix
dry cake mix, oats & pie spice. In
another bowl beat pumpkin, egg &
oil – stir into dry ingredients just until
moistened. Drop by 2 T. onto sheets &
flatten with back of a spoon. Bake 18-20
minutes until edges are golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.
Frosting:
In medium bowl combine powdered
sugar, orange zest & enough orange
juice to achieve desired consistency.
Spread over cooled cookies.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
==============

Hope you’re in good health & enjoying this

Fall weather!

 

Hugs;

Pammie