Back to Life

It has been a while since my last post. I took a break from stamping, sort of. I usually have my Christmas cards out and being received Dec. 1st. This year the out of town cards were 2 weeks later than usual and the local cards were 3 weeks late. Some local friends may have received their card after Christmas *shudders*. Any stamping I did in December was because I was still making cards to mail off. I ended up mailing off around 124. There were still people on our list to mail a card to, but they will be getting a Valentine card instead.

I spent the last month enjoying family, the festivities of Christmas, reading, cooking/baking, digi scrapping, working on scout "stuff" with my son and his friends, and enjoying life in general.

I went through another spell of trying out recipes that I thought would be good or someone I knew would like. Some weren't so thrilling to my kids and one that was I didn't get a picture of. Guess I'll have to make it again soon so I can post it here.

Inside Out Stuffed Cabbage

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 can (11-1/2 ounces) spicy hot V8 juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 envelope beefy onion soup mix
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice
  • In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, squash and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cabbage, juice, water, soup mix and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in rice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

  • 6 large sweet peppers
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup canned red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tomatoes, corn, onion and beans. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese, olives, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon into peppers.
  • Combine spaghetti sauce and water; pour half into an oval 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the stuffed peppers. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Chocolate Chip Cookies on Steroids

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups each semisweet chocolate chips, HERSHEY®’S Milk Chocolate Baking Chips and vanilla or white chips
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Combine chips and nuts; stir into dough. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 9 dozen.
Chocolate Jubilees

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup HERSHEY®’S Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups (18 ounces) HERSHEY’®S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, optional
  • In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, oats, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Transfer to a larger bowl if necessary. Stir in chocolate chips, cherries and almonds if desired.
  • Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen.

This last one I tossed the recipe, but I had to show you that I made it. I have a friend who loves chocolate covered bacon. I'm not overly fond of bacon but I like it in a quiche, breakfast burrito, on green beans, etc. I tried this recipe for salty sweet fudge. It was a pound of chocolate, a pound of bacon and 2C of pecans, along with a couple of other ingredients. Aside from the fact that bacon and chocolate are odd, when you were eating, the chocolate would be gone and you were left with a mass of nuts and bacon in your mouth. I'll stick to other fudge recipes I have.

The only read worth mentioning here is actually one I re-read - The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Such an amazing story of one woman and what she did to help so many during WWII. The experiences she had in the concentration camps. She is an example in so many ways.

A week into the new year, I finally cleaned off my desk yesterday and I'm ready to get back to stamping and more reading. My list of books I want to read is so long and I keep adding more, which is a good thing.

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