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More than words...

March 7, 2012
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

Living so far apart, I have to rely on photos in order to monitor the growth of some of our grandchildren. Recently, an envelope filled with pictures arrived from Buffalo, N.Y. The pictures of Eli showed a baby with chubby cheeks sitting up in a little chair. He has quite a smile and by the looks of him, his parents are keeping him well fed. He's growing up so quickly.

As I was looking at the photos, I saw one that captured our daughter, Lisa, with hubby, Andrew and baby Eli. In the background was a young man whom I didn't quite recognize. Could this handsome guy be our oldest grandson, Matt? I called my daughter and asked her. She said, "That's Matt." I told her that I couldn't believe how much he had changed. He's now sporting a short mustache and beard.

We also have a grandson living only twenty minutes away. We don't get to see Cody as often as we would like, but often enough so that I would certainly recognize him if I saw his picture.

I bet there are some other grandparents out there who find themselves in the same situation as we do. Since we don't have the internet (really!) or a "smart phone," we look forward to receiving photos in the mail. They're ready to display, put into an album, photo box, or into Grandma's brag book. I just wish we would receive photos more often. Grandparents can never have too many pictures.

Pairs well with almost any meal

SAUTEED CABBAGE

1 T. finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 T. veg. oil

5 cups chopped cabbage

1 T. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. pepper

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add cabbage. Cook and stir until crisp-tender, about 5 min. Reduce heat; add soy sauce, sugar and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 min. or until cabbage is tender.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Note: This is a very economical and flavorful side dish.

Great dish for Lent - or anytime

MEATLESS TACO SOUP

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with sweet onion, undrained

1 (15 oz) can pinto beans; drain off 1/4 cup of liquid

1 cup canned or frozen whole kernel corn

1 cup water

2 tsp. taco seasoning mix (or to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a 2-qt. saucepan. Bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 min.

If desired, serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese.

Note: I used a mild taco seasoning mix and garnished the soup with plain corn tortilla chips and some cheese.

For more zip, use a spicy taco seasoning mix.

Yield: 4 servings. My husband and I cleaned this up at one meal; we were hungry!

Shared by a tenant at Boulder Estates

JOAN'S PUMPKIN BARS

1 pkg. angel food cake mix (1-step)

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 cup water

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin pie spice; stir gently with spoon or whisk to blend. Add pumpkin and water. Beat with electric mixer (med. speed) for one minute. Pour batter into lightly greased (use cooking spray) 9x13-in. pyrex baking dish. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 min. Cool and frost. Delicious!

Note: A cream cheese frosting is Joan's choice for these bars.

Here's my version of ...

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup margarine, softened

1-3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, beating well.

Note: This was the perfect amount of frosting for the 9x13-in. pan. I topped the frosting with just a few chopped walnuts.

After making the cream cheese frosting, I was left with 4 ounces of cream cheese. A few days later I tried a new muffin recipe.

CREAM CHEESE APPLE MUFFINS

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups + 2 T. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup diced peeled apples

1/2 cup bran flakes

Topping:

1-1/2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; beat until smooth. Combine dry ingredients; stir into cream cheese mixture just until moistened. Fold in apples and bran flakes. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 (on center oven rack) for 20 to 25 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 min. before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 doz.

Note: these are moist and not too sweet.

Food for Thought: By the time most of us can really afford to have children, we are having grandchildren.

 
 

 

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