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Sunday, January 24, 2016

On a "roll" with bread dough items

You can obviously tell it's winter in Minnesota because I am always thinking about fresh baked bread items-something to pack on the fat to keep me warm, I guess.  Today I got the urge to pull out the bread machine again and make up some of my "dinner roll" dough, but didn't want to make a tons of rolls because it will only be me, Dave and Joe for supper tonight and I like them best fresh, s decided to make some cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls with the batch so they get eaten quickly.  I have posted this recipe in the past, so won't repeat it.  it's great for caramel rolls or whatever flavor you want for the filling.  They are supposed to be a breakfast item for tomorrow, but I couldn't resist having one of them a few minutes ago while they were still warm and super soft.  (I tried to pick the smallest one though!)  yummy!  Here is a photo shoot of the finished products..I am thinking the guys will be happy tonight...I am roasting a chicken, having stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and homemade cranberry sauce to go with the dinner rolls..I have been craving that meal this week and whatever meat doesn't get eaten will be quesadillas tomorrow night-easy Monday night meal.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My niece was trying to find someone to crochet a mermaid afghan for my great niece, Olivia, about a month ago, so I put her in the lineup and started it after the holiday season.  It's been slow going, just like everything it seems lately that I work on, but tonight I should finally finish it.  We've been in the midst of a super cold spell in Minnesota-the temp was -20 and wind chill way colder this weekend, so I honkered in and worked on it.  The pattern was a free one I found online and I used Caron Simply Soft Party yarn (a silvery sparkly yarn) for the tail-I bought 4 skeins, but could have gotten away with 3 if I wanted to separate one of the skeins into 2 balls (you need to use double strands) and the same thing for the body which was Red Heart Unforgettable in Tidal.  I did make the child size.  It comes in toddler, child and adult size.  Here is a picture of it with about 5 inches left to go and I should be able to finish tonight so I can get it to her to use during the cold months while watching TV or reading or napping even.  I think it turned out pretty for her..she loves the colors of the sea.
I finished it finally!  Mailing it off to her with a little Mermaid letter I made for her.  I will post a picture when she sends one off with it.  I like the final product..too big to get a decent picture of it though, and of course the shells etc look more defined in life, but it is what it is...


Monday, January 11, 2016

One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

I am trying to be more conscious of my eating, probably just like the majority of people after Christmas, so have been making lighter things I can have for breakfast and for lunches at work and home.  Last night I made a yummy egg bake and today I made this one pan balsamic chicken and veggies.  You can substitute any veggies you want such as green beans, brussel sprouts, asparagus etc, but I used the asparagus and some matchstick carrots.  I might add some mushrooms next time to it too to bulk it up even more.  There is a similar recipe on, but I used this one from cooking classy..quick and easy cooking-my favorite kind lately!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Triple Chocolate Brownie Bars

Tomorrow I have to bring a treat for the January birthdays.  We are all assigned a month to bring in something (even if there is no birthdays that month) so we can just chill out together for a little while.  I happen to have two birthday girls this month.  One likes chocolate and is pretty open to any other flavor too, but the other one LOVES chocolate and is not fond of most other flavors in desserts, SO I decided to make these bars that I used to make often when my kids were growing up, and have made them a few times for grandkids.  I also picked up some raspberry crème gelato in case they want a scoop to go with their dessert to offset some of the chocolate.  I have gotten so I don't care a lot for chocolate things these last few months for some reason, so that's why I'm adding that!  I love fruity  flavors way more.  I am hopeful this will satisfy them for their chocolate birthday dessert. 

Here's the recipe..I actually double it and put it in a 9 x 13 pan because a 9 x 9 just doesn't work when people start eating them!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BARS (you can make them double chocolate (no frosting) and just dust them with powdered sugar too)

1/4 cup butter, softened to room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
2 eggs
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
(optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)-I omit because some people at larger gatherings aren't into nuts

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till fluffy; add syrup and continue creaming.  Beat in eggs and chocolate.  Add dry ingredients; stir into batter.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Spread in a greased (Pam sprayed) 9 x 9 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes.  Frost with any chocolate frosting (I usually make the one on the Hershey's cocoa can, but have used just canned frosting too if I am in a hurry or lazy that day.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Making of a Mermaid blanket/afghan for Olivia

My niece asked that someone make her daughter, my great niece, a Mermaid afghan.  They have been the rage lately and so I thought I'd tackle one for her.  She is a very girly girl, so I am using sparkly yarn for the fin section (what mermaid wouldn't want/have a few sparkles on her fins. the rest will be the colors of the sea for main tail.  As usual these days I am not the fastest at getting things done, but she doesn't know about it yet, so I do have ample time.  I have to make two fin sections to put together-they use it to put their feet in to keep toasty and I did manage to get one section done tonight, and will be starting on the other one in a minute while I watch TV.  I will post more pictures when it's done!