Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegetable Pizza

A great appetizer!  Or - it could be a great healthy dinner!!

Vegetable Pizza
2 tubes crescent rolls
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2/3 C. Miracle Whip (or other mayo)
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion flakes
Toppings of choice

Spread the crescent rolls on a large jelly roll pan (I sprayed with Pam first) for the crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Cool.  Mix the cream cheese, mayo, and all seasonings together.  I use my hand electric beater to mix it well.  Next add your veggies to the top.  Make sure they are cut/diced fairly small.  I put these on our Vegetable Pizza in this order - broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, sometimes mushrooms, & shredded mozzarella cheese.  Top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several ours.  Cut in serving pieces - either serving it on the jelly roll pan or transferring it to a decorative dish.

You can use whatever toppings your family enjoys.  Other options could be carrots, onion, ham, cheddar cheese, hot pepper cheese, etc.

This recipe came from my cousin, Donna.  Many years ago our small family had several reunions - when my parents and the aunts and uncles were all living - I put together a family cookbook and asked everyone to send several recipes to me and I just typed as many as would fit on a page (according to category) and copied them in booklet form.  I use a lot of these recipes throughout the year!!  This recipe is one of those.

Here are the crescent rolls after baking -

This is the cream cheese mixture after being whipped with the mixer -
Spread the cream cheese mixture over all of the crescent rolls -

***I am starting to be on the alert for all green things for this upcoming holiday***  I'm afraid they might be many shades of green!!

Here is a pic of a little something from St. Patrick's Day past (2010) -

As the last of the "too much" Christmas holiday decor is making its way out of the house I am having to look at shelves and tables that are not decorated at all - even just for every day living.  And, Lucy is laying claim to just about anything she can.  Look at the little table with fresh covering waiting -- she thinks it makes a good resting place!!

I am linking to Craft-O-Maniac's Monday Link Party.  You can find the link party here.

I am also linking to Life In Grace's Christmas Cheer Appetizers.  Click here to see some delicious appetizer recipes!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Absolutely the best comfort food I have found!!  This is good in any weather -- but when it is cold and snowy it is absolutely delish!!

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken
4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 C. melted butter or margarine
salt & pepper to taste
2 packets dry ranch dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. chopped onion
Brush chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in crockpot and sprinkle 1 packet of the ranch dry mix over all.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.  Then, brown onion in 1/4 cup of juices from crockpot.  Add soup, second packet of ranch dry mix, cream cheese & chicken broth.  Cook until smooth.  Pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook another 45 minutes.  Serve with the sauce.

I always serve this with mashed potatoes, but it could be served also with pasta, rice or stuffing.  Goes great with a meal of salad and/or vegetable and rolls. 

Here it is in the crockpot at the start of the cooking time.

This is during the later part of the 6-7 hour cooking time -

This is after the sauce has been added -

Just delicious with mashed potatoes!!  We had this a few days ago and it absolutely warmed us up -- what with all the snow and ice we have!!

I live in northern Ohio - along Lake Erie.  We are near some islands and out there across the water (ice) is Put-in-Bay and you can see Perry's Monument which is an historic feature on the island.

Lucy just loves to have her picture taken.  Can you tell?????

I am linking to Foodie Friday at Design by Gollum.  You can see more recipes here.
FOODIE FRIDAY Click for details

Monday, February 21, 2011

Odds & Ends - February Style

I am hitting lots of brick walls this month.  Still putting Christmas away (who does that???) and now hoping that I may redeem myself with my St. Patrick's decorations.  Only time will tell with that!!

I thought that I might do an Odds & Ends post during the last week of each month.  Just letting you know what is my current obsession(s) or what is happening in my household.  Also, hoping that it will help to get me motivated!!!

Today we are having ice and snow.  We are lucky and our power has stayed on, but I think more ice might be coming and definitely more snow later this afternoon.  And, this past Thursday I didn't even wear a jacket - just kept a lightweight one in the car when I did my errands!  I couldn't get the front door open today due to the ice.  Here is a photo of the door from the inside (no ice inside - it was all on the outside of the door) -

This was what I wanted to photograph so I had to settle with taking it thru the window.  See the ice on the tree -

I am extremely obsessed with COUPONS right now. 

I had to sort them all first and figure how I was going to carry them around.  The rookie that I was had them in a legal-size envelope bundled by expiration month.  It took forever to find a coupon for something that wasn't on my list that I decided to buy.  I really didn't think that I wanted to get a big binder to take into the grocery store (at least not yet!!!), but I was able to find this that I thought fit my style -

I found it at WalMart for under $5 and it fit in my purse - at least the one I am using this week -- not sure about future purses, but I can always carry it in my hand separate from my purse.  Here it is after I spent all afternoon organizing my coupons -

Still not as efficient as the advance-level of couponers out there -- but OK for me at the beginning of the intermediate-level.  Here are a few gals that I check often - both their blogs and on Facebook -

Krazy Coupon Lady - you can reach her site here.  "Like" her on Facebook and you can just check your Facebook page for updates.  She was on the show Extreme Couponing, amongst some other shows.  She brings a real enthusiasm to coupons.

Also, love these that feature stores in my area -
Coupon Katarina - check it out here.
Coupon Katarina
Saving Money in Toledo - here.
Saving Money in Toledo
These are just a few of the coupon blogs that I check out almost daily.  Sometimes when the coupons are available online it is only for a very short time.  What I like about these sites is they tell you where the bargains are and to match them up with coupons that have recently been available.  I have 6 tubes of Colgate toothpaste that were free, 4 pkgs. of 80 count Gain fabric softener sheets that cost $.17 each box, and so on. 

Also, obsessed with these big pink velcro curlers -

I saw them on the blog Blooming on Bainbridge. Teresa sure does look 200 times better than I do!  My hair is very straight and I used them on freshly washed & dried hair and kept them in for several hours.  I was surprised that they held up and did not fall out.  Thanks, Teresa, for blogging about these velcro rollers because somehow I had missed out on them!

My hair had a nice flow to it as it doesn't take a curl really at all.  I also sprayed some hairspray on my hair after it was all rolled up.  Hoping to help it along.  If you see the pic a couple posts back of us gals with our "Lips on a Stick" -- that is how my hair came out -- at least how it looked at the end of the evening!!

Really looking forward to Real Housewives of Miami starting this week.  I love Bravo's Real Housewives series and have watched them all at one time or another.  I am not a fan of the big drama that sometimes happens, but I know that is what keeps these shows in the ratings.  The drama just got too much for me in the New York and Atlanta versions and I did not watch their latest seasons, but did kind of keep up on some reality sites.  I did not like the DC version at all, but love Beverly Hills, New Jersey and OC - in that order.  I'm hoping Miami does not disappoint!!

I am a great Believer in the "Making of Lists".  This goes with all the positive thinking/the Secret -- if it is written then you are focusing on it and working towards making it happen.  I don't ever finish all on my list, but usually make a pretty good dent.  My gal friends - the YaYa's - are working on a Bucket List.  Each of us are bringing 5 big things we'd like to do and 5 small things we want to do.  These have to be reasonable, of course.  There may be some things on here that others will not want to attempt at all, therefore, they won't make the cut.  I'm anxious to see what the others have on their list and I still have one more to add to mine.  I hope that there are a few things that we can do this year!  I'm debating about working on a "60 things before I'm 60" list - which is just 22 months away!!!!  If I do it -- I'm not sure I'll share it on the blog or not -- depends on what the 60 things are!!  (Not that they'd be embarrassing, but might seem kind of lame - we'll see!)

What a long post -- and I'm not even linking it to another blog!!!!  Now, I want to join Lucy for a nap!!  Is she really comfortable?  I don't think I would be!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Fresh Broccoli Salad

2 large bunches broccoli (flowerettes only)
1/4 C. raisins
1 small red onion, chopped fine
8 slices bacon, cooked and drained
1 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. vinegar

Cut up broccoli and place in cold water (flowerettes only).  Chop the small red onion up fine.  Cook and crush 8 slices of bacon.  Drain broccoli and mix together with raisins, bacon & onions.  Mix together the Miracle Whip, sugar and vinegar.  Add to salad and toss.  Refrigerate.

My daughter likes this so it doubles easily if you're sharing or making it for a party!  Enjoy!!!

If you've read more of my blog -- you have seen that Lucy loves boxes and bags.  Well, she also loves the totes that hold the holiday decorations.

I am linking to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.  You can see more recipes here.
FOODIE FRIDAY Click for details

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crockpot Steak Soup

Crockpot Steak Soup
3 C. water
3 small chopped onions
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 lb. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. pepper
10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1 lb. sirloin steak, cubed (I used lean beef stew meat)
2 to 4 T. beef bouillon granules
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour

Put all ingredients, except the butter and flour, in a crockpot.  Cook on low 8 to 10 hours.  Make a roux of butter and flour stirring until smooth.  Add to the soup to thicken.  Turn the crockpot to high and cook an additional 1 1/2 hours. 

Here it is in the crockpot cooking on low (before the roux) -

Now, cooking with the roux on high -

This steak soup is great comfort food.  Serve it with bread and it will warm you up!!

I have not been up to much here and still putting away Christmas and, therefore, did not get much of my Valentine's out.  I did do my tree, a banner (that I saw on a blog), put out my heart drinking glasses & mugs, and both doors had decorations.  A medium size tote did not get touched.  But, I will do better!!!

I did go out with my gal friends (we call ourselves the YaYa's!!) for dinner this weekend and I made us all Lips on a Stick that I saw on a few blogs.

Lucy & Ricky would rather be sleeping than helping motivate me to get the Christmas out and the house cleaned.  I'm afraid they motivated me the wrong way - if you know what I mean??

  “Come join Soup-a-Palooza with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers”.  You can see all the soup recipes here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ham & Noodle Roll-ups

Something a little different for dinner!

Ham & Noodle Roll-ups

1 pkg. sliced boiled ham (at least 8 slices- I use the whole pkg.)
1/2 pkg. thin egg noodles (about 1/4" wide)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pt. sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese

Cook egg noodles, then drain.  Place noodles on each ham slice and roll up.  Place in baking dish.  Mix soup and sour cream.  Pour over ham.  Top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Here is is all finished with some already gone!!

This is so good and super easy!  Leftovers heated in microwave are good for lunches, too!!

Finally, quiet time with Lucy and Ricky!  One of the few times where they are sleeping near each other!!  We are still having trouble distinguishing playing and fighting!!!!

I am linking to Tasty Tuesday at 33 Shades of Green.  Click here to see many more recipes!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Tulle Wreath

I enjoy making these tulle/netting wreaths for all the holidays.  Probably the longest part is getting your wire hanger in the shape you want.  I attempted to make a heart with the hanger.

I used 2 strips of white tulle to each red one.  (I thought that I had bought another spool of the red but apparently I did not.  The red one I had was already opened so I didn't know how long it would last and it came out just right using these proportions.)  I cut the tulle and put it on while watching a TV program.  That is the nice part of this type of project!

Click here to get to my previous post that has the tutorial and photos of the ones that I made for Christmas, Fall, and 4th of July.

I ventured out to get a photo of the wreath on the door with all the snow.

Here are more of the snow pics from Saturday.  We already had some snow but received quite a bit in just a few hours on Saturday afternoon.  Many of you have a lot more than we do -- and then there are those of you that have none!!!  I am ready to visit the places that have none!!!!!

Now, on the days when Lucy has been a bit naughty I get out the spray water bottle.  Sometimes she just squints her eyes at me and I don't do anything -- just the threat of it!!  But, she was chasing Ricky a lot one day (although in retrospect it may have been deserved but hard to tell yet!!) and I went chasing Lucy with the spray bottle.  She is sooooo smart that she thought she would hide from me -- too bad she isn't smaller!!!!

Can you see Lucy peeking out on the right side and her tail towards the left?  I was laughing so hard!!!!!  She hid between the vertical blinds and the sliding glass door - you know how much room that has!!  Like -- couldn't she find a better place??????

I am linking this to Boogieboard Cottage's Masterpiece Monday.  You can find more ideas here.
Boogieboard Cottage