Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Something new and delicious!

I was perusing the web, looking for something yummy to make and I found it!! At the Betty Crocker website, I found the most delicious twist on brownies! I made them and Hubby dubbed them a keeper. I have to freeze some of them so that we don't eat the whole pan this week. Enjoy!!!

A.Marie, stop reading here. LOL!

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Craving chocolate and sweet peanut butter all wrapped up into one indulgent bar? Start with a no-fail brownie mix, then add layers of peanut butter and melted chocolate chips. Yum.

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 2 hours 30 min
Makes: 36 brownies

Brownie Base
1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup butter

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.)

2 In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3 In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base

4 In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude directions for 13x9-inch pan on brownie mix box.


Last night I went to my first Bunco game!

I was talking to my best girlfriend, yesterday, and she told me she could not go work out after work as she had to sub in her mother's Bunco game. I LOL'd that she would have to spend the evening with a bunch of old ladies. (I am so mean!)

About 30 minutes later, she called me back and said, "Mother said to tell you she needs you tonight. They had another player call out sick." OH NO!!! Mother guilt! Well, of course I had to say yes. Rhonda has been my best girl for almost 33 years, so her mom has been my other mom for the same length of time.

I must say, I didn't dread it as much as I thought I would. My "other mom" used to run a catering/floral business, SO the fact that she was hosting meant that there would be some incredible food. So, I went ahead and started salivating early in the day. I got there around 6:15, a little before everyone else, to see if I could help, but all was under control and I really started salivating when I smelled BBQ! Yummy!

People started arriving and, lo and behold, it was not a bunch of old ladies! Actually, 2 players were younger than Rhonda and me....way younger. LOL! So, we were in the middle age bracket. I had never played, but everyone was so nice and ready to teach newbies and I quickly got the hang of it. Especially after my first Bunco was swiped!!

I only had 2 Buncos and won 5 games, so had the lowest number of wins. BUT I ended up with the last Bunco, so got the hostess gift which was $30!! "Mom" had been telling us earlier that the only thing she didn't like about hosting was getting the gift since there were such varied tastes in the group, so she just started giving money. The perfect size and perfect color for everyone.

So, my first Bunco night was a lot of fun and quite profitable!! I said I would be happy to sub again if needed. Now, I am really tired today. LOL!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Having good doctors is a great thing!

There are some people that I work with, that have been going to the same doctors for years, yet, they cannot get in to see those doctors in an emergency. I don't get it!! One coworker's family will actually go to the emergency room IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEKDAY, because their doctors cannot get them in on short notice, even for critical issues.

This blows me away!! I have been going to my primary doctor for many years. Well, I actually haven't seen my DOCTOR in several years. LOL! I always see his physician's assistants and am perfectly happy with that. I have never had them tell me that they could not get me in for something critical.

Late Monday afternoon I felt like I might be coming down with a urinary tract infection. I ran by the store and got some cranberry juice and some AZO pills (urinary tract pain reliever.) It was after 5 and I didn't feel too bad, so I went home and drank some juice and took some pills.

That night, I knew that I had better see the doctor the next day. So, the next morning, I got to the doctor's office 15 minutes before it opened. When they unlocked the doors at 5 minutes later, I walked up the the desk, told the lady I didn't have an appointment, that I had a UTI and I didn't care who saw me. She looked at the screen and said, "Lettie can see you in 20 minutes." HA! How is that for an awesome medical practice?!

And lest anyone think this is some non-busy doctor, it is actually a practice with 3 or 4 doctors and at least double that in PAs and I don't even know how many nurses. And the waiting room is almost always packed.

I think I will keep this doctor!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't make this recipe!

Okay, you have been warned. I thought I would share one of my most successful recipes. But I am warning you, once you make this, you will probably have to make it forever. A friend gave me the recipe years ago and I made it for my family. The next year Hubby said, "Let's take it to Christmas dinner." Well, we did. Everyone loved it and insisted that it was all they wanted for Christmas the next year.

Over the years, my recipient list for this recipe has expanded. I gave a loaf to a guy at work one year and now, in August, he starts asking if I will be making it for Christmas! Last Christmas, I made 14 loaves and 2 bundts, just to give away. (This is not an "easy" recipe, but it isn't very difficult.)
Here it is......

Cranberry Almond Bread

1 stick butter or margarine, at room temp.
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp almond extract
¾ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. (I spray with Pam and do not flour.) This recipe can also be made in 2 loaf pans, or makes 2 dozen muffins.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, almond extract and sour cream. When all wet ingredients are blended, add in dry ingredients. When all is blended, add in cranberry sauce and mix together. (If using a hand mixer, blend in the cranberry sauce with a spoon, so as not to break up all the cranberries.) Batter will be thick. Pour into pan and smooth top.

Bake 50-60 minutes, or until cake is nicely browned on top and beginning to pull away from sides of pan. (You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick….when it comes out clean, the bread is done.) Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Voila!! A most delicious treat!

Now, the above is the official recipe. I usually just dump the ingredients in the order above into my Kitchenaid and let it do all the work. After all is mixed, I put i the cranberry sauce and mix on slowest speed until cranberry sauce is blended in. (But this recipe is easy enough to do without a Kitchenaid. I just have to make a LOT.)
For ultimate freshness, I wrap each loaf in plastic wrap, then in foil and freeze until needed. For gift giving, I take it out of the freezer and let thaw overnight, then put a nice label and a ribbon or bow.
Voila!! A most excellent gift!
Enjoy!! But if you end up having to make this for your entire county, remember, you WERE warned!! LOL!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My "Secret" Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

A.Marie asked for the recipe of the Teriyaki Chicken that I made on Sunday. So, here it is.

Frances' Teriyaki Chicken


Chicken pieces (I used chicken quarters and cut the legs from the thighs)

Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade (Or other bottled Teriyaki sauce would work)

1/2 large can pineapple chunks and juice

Spray the crockpot with Pam, place chicken pieces in crockpot, dump in marinade and pineapple. Cook on low for 7 - 8 hours.

How easy is THAT! I bet you thought I was going to give some detailed "from scratch" directions. Well, I could have made it from scratch, but I already had the Lawry's from a sale where I got it free and needed to use it.

I won't be embarrassed that it wasn't from scratch. It was easy and anyone can make it. And it was delicious!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some days I am so Martha!

Stewart that is. LOL! This weekend, I was SO busy!! I cannot wait until Hubby is out of the wheelchair. Update: he is doing very well and the dr is very please with how Hubby's feet are healing, but wants him to stay off of them for a while longer.

So I have to do EVERYTHING! Saturday, I went to the library to get some books and dvds...for FREE. LOL! Then, just for me, I went to Penney's and bought some new clothes. It was just time. I work in a corporate office and raggedy clothes just won't cut it. But everything was on sale and I had a coupon.

Then to the grocery store, where everything I bought was on sale and I had coupons for most of it. It was SO hot on Saturday, I was really glad to get home and stay in for the evening. We watched a DVD, and had beef stroganoff for dinner. (Oh, while relaxing, I washed all our bed linens and remade the bed. LOL!)

I intended to relax on Sunday, since I thought everything was done. Then I got a wild hair, pulled out my sewing machine and altered 4 pairs of pants that I have intended to do forever.

I also baked a loaf of raisin bread in the breadmaker. It is delish!

Then I baked 2 loaves of Cranberry Almond bread....made from scratch. It also is delish!

Made chicken teriyaki for dinner, with rice and cauliflower. Also delish!

Then, I watered all of Hubby's plants...with a 5 gallon bucket, since we are on the second floor and do not have a water hose.....

I was so tired from the weekend, that I was glad to go back to work and get some rest, today!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I won!!

Melissa over at The Sassy Saver had a giveaway of $423.65 in coupons and I WON!! How exciting!! Who DOESN'T like to get more coupons?! I was SO excited when I heard I won! I can't wait to get them in the mail and start clipping.

Check out Melissa's blog. She posts great deals, money saving ideas, gardening tips and SO much more.

Thanks again, Melissa!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Look what I made!

When I found out I was going to be a grandma, I took up crocheting again. (Learned from my mom years ago.) I made 3 afghans for each of my first two grandsons and 1 afghan for 3 great nieces. I also made scarves for everyone for Christmas a couple of years ago.

When we found out we were going to have our 3rd grandson, I made one afghan that Hubby took to Cali when he went. I just finished another one to mail to Wyatt and took a pic. Here it is:
Ain't it purty!

I cannot believe I forgot to share!

Our soldier, Chance, got home last week from his 12 month tour in Iraq!! He and his battallion got back to base last Wednesday. (So, he is not near us, but IS at his home.)
He was welcomed by his wife and 2-year-old son, his bio mom and my mother-in-law. Bob and I could not go, since it was right after his surgery, so MIL went to represent our side of the family.
There was a nice, though short, welcome home ceremony, but Chance was most excited to see his wife and baby.
We are so happy to have our baby boy back safe on US soil! (He celebrated his 20th birthday in Iraq) I prayed every night for his safe return and now I pray every night for the safe return of the rest of our soldiers.
We will be going to visit as soon as Bob is more mobile.
God bless our soldiers!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Someone has a Crush on ME!

Bloggy Crush

I was SO surprised to be added to Dawna's Bloggy Crush List! I am also honored.

I have some Bloggy Crushes of my own!

Bloggy Crushes, almost every blogger has them. If you can't log on to check your own blog, without checking certain other blogs for updates... If you feel a wave of sadness upon finding that they have posted nothing new recently... If you find yourself repeating their posts to other folks, who have no clue what the heck a "blog" even is, you have a bloggy crush!

My Bloggy Crush List

4 Hats and Frugal

A Kiss and A Peck

A Mom, Money, and More

Boondock Babble

Confessions of a Coupon Junkie

Cooking During Stolen Moments

Frugal and Fabulous

Frugal Dr. Mom

Granny Spice

JANE4girls $800 Annual Budget For A Family of 4

Lovely Las Vegas

My Money Mission

Queen of Fifty Cents

Thrifty mom in training

Together We Save

Tree Top Confessions

There are more, but these are the main crushes that I have today!

I couldn't help it....

My flat tire

Yesterday I had a flat tire on the 401. So I eased my car over to the shoulder of the road, carefully got out of the car and opened the trunk. I took out 2 cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of mycar facing oncoming traffic..

They look so lifelike you wouldn't believe! They are in trench coats, exposing their nude bodies and private parts to the approaching drivers.

I started to change my tire, and to my surprise, cars started slowing downlooking at my lifelike men. And of course, traffic started backing up. Everybody was tooting their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before the Windsor police pulled up behind me. He got out of his car and started walking towards me. I could tell he was not a happy camper!

"What's going on here?"

"My car has a flat tire," I said calmly.

"Well, what the hell are those obscene cardboard men doing here by theroad?"

I couldn't believe that he didn't know. So I told him, "Hello-o-o-o- o-o, those are my emergency flashers!"

(Okay, so this wasn't really my story...but I wish it were! LOL!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Something yummy...

I got a breadmaker about 6 months ago, after years of not wanting one. I love, love, love it! I sometimes to forget about it, then go in spurts making bread. This weekend I made something delish!

I found an idea on-line somewhere, but don't remember where, so cannot give credit where credit is due. But I took the basic homestyle white bread recipe from my breadmaker book and added 2 tablespoons of dried Italian Seasoning. It turned out wonderfully and is now our favorite bread. The first time I made it, I put the seasoning in when the add in beep sounded, but that didn't work so well as the herbs didn't really get disbursed throughout the bread. It was kind of swirled through and not that great.

I finally mastered it by putting the seasoning in the water when putting all the ingredients together. And I added my own touch by substituting olive oil for the butter called for in the recipe.

I made a loaf last night and it is scrumptious!! Hope someone else looking for something new gives it a try and likes it as well as we do!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hubby's feet....

Here is a pic of Hubby's feet. With the ever present wheelchair in the background. (Doesn't he have pretty knees? LOL!) He thought it was funny that I took this pic, but I told him I had to blog about him.

He has had many surgeries on his feet over the years, but hopefully this is the last one. We are not telling many people, but since no one that reads this knows his mom (who we are really keeping it from), this surgery removed his last 2 toes on his left foot. He has lost the rest over the years. (We say lost like he just can't find them. LOL!) He has had neuropathy in both feet for years, so the dr said it was inevitable that he would lose them.

On the other foot, the dr did some reshaping to remove and ulcer and a pressure point. And he did a procedure on both achilles tendons to improve how his foot hits the ground so he will not have pressure points that could ulcerate. There...that explained the surgery in not too graphic a manner.

Hubby has been getting around really well in wheelchair, even though our apartment is not wheelchair friendly. LOL! But we manage with what we have. We had a follow up visit with the doctor and he is very pleased with how well Hubby is following orders and how well his feet look. Yeah!! (I had asked the doctor is he would just come to our house, but he said he couldn't. Though he did introduce us to his newest resident as long time friends and one patient. So I guess he redeemed himself. LOL!)

One really great thing that has come out of all this is that Hubby finally decided he is ready to quit smoking, so he started taking Chantix this weekend. We are very fortunate that my insurance covers it 100%!

Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes from everyone! I have passed them along to Hubby and he is really touched that people he doesn't know are pulling for him. I told him that I only blog with the nicest people. (Though I didn't tell him about SonyaAnn's naughtiness! LOL!