Gray Blanket For Baby Boy

I have made a baby blanket for nearly every baby born into our family. At least one for each family. But this little fellow and his family almost didn't get one when he was born. I tried to tell myself that it was okay. But then I didn't want this new little cousin to wonder one day why I skipped him. (I know. I know. He probably wouldn't really care.)
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MCC Recycling Centre Thrifting

A sample of what we found

There is an end of the line thrift store in our area where you ignore the thrift store price because you pay by the pound - the MCC Recycling Centre.

There are bin everywhere and you need to take your time sorting through all of the things that did not sell at the regular MCC thrift stores.

Frames are gone images ready to be reused

There were bins upon bins of frames from which I a rescued two pieces of hand work that someone lovingly made and hung in their home.  I will use them as covers or art pieces in the journals that I make.

The two book will also be used in journals over the next year.


Vintage wedding dress


The head piece belongs to this wedding dress.  I will wash the dress and then pick apart the lace pieces again to use in journals or other sewing projects.

I also found three full balls of eye lash yarn, a piece of cross stitch cloth and a bag of lace all of which I will use in journals, or for Happy Mail.

yarns and lace

The price for all this goodness was $10.00 

What and where is your favourite thrift store?

Grandma Snyder
©twosnydergirls 2018

Chicken Salad, No Mayo

This is the last recipe from our knitters day at the lake. I didn't plan to be so long sharing, but other fun things popped up along the way. Better late than never.


I've enjoyed a few lovely "thank you" emails from the knitters who came to lunch at the lake. They did most of the work since everyone brought something to add to the table. It was fun for me to get the tables ready. We are lucky that the extra serving tables and beverage containers are stored just steps away from the porch. That makes it easy when I'm not having to haul them up from the basement or in from the barn. 


Because this was a ladies lunch, I bought flowers at the grocery store and cut the stems to put into some Mason jar cups that we had at the lake. That's a fancy as I got. But the flowers paired with bright napkins made a pretty table. 


Yes, we really did knit. It's fun to have a gathering of knitters because there is always a knitter with a problem. And there is always another knitter with a solution. That's how we've all learned to be better knitters.

I promised to share the recipes from our day. Here is another new one. (New to me, at least.) I made my usual chicken salad that we love, and then remembered that one knitter has a serious allergy to eggs—which means no mayonnaise for her. So I found a simple mayo-free recipe and whipped up a second batch of chicken salad so that she could have some. And everyone loved this one, too.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

This one was different from my standard but just as delicious! And I don't say that lightly. We Southerners are serious about our chicken salad. It didn't have the yogurt taste that I thought it might. I think the honey and the sweetness of the grapes balanced the tartness of the yogurt. And the almonds, celery and grapes gsve a nice mix of textures. I'll be making this one again for sure.

GREEK YOGURT CHICKEN SALAD

3 cups diced cooked chicken breast (about 3 medium boneless, skinless breasts)
1-1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
3 medium celery stalks, diced
3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Kosher salt*
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Put chicken, grapes, celery, green onions, and almonds in a large bowl. 
In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, honey, salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Pour dressing over chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate from 2 hours to overnight to let flavors blend.

Makes about 5-1/2 cups


I made this because it was egg free. But as I was mixing it, I realized that most of the ingredients are zero points on the new Weight Watchers plan. I plugged everything in to the recipe creator on Weight Watchers and if you use this recipe to serve five or six people, each serving has 2 Smart Points. For 8 servings from this recipe,  it's 1 Smart Point. That's kind of amazing.

Shortcut: I had a bag of toasted almond salad topping in my pantry. Just thinly sliced toasted almonds. No seasoning beyond salt. I used that instead of toasting slivered almonds. It was a good substitute. 


*If you use regular table salt, use less and then taste and adjust. Kosher salt measures differently than table salt (which fills a spoon more completely.) It's the shape of the salt grains that make the difference.





Dinner & TV

Quick Cheese & Herb Flatbread

It wasn't supposed to be a forever thing. It was just our entertainment at the "beach girls" getaway last winter. One friend brought her computer and hooked it to the TV in the house (after a couple of phone calls to her son for tech support) so that we could all watch A Place To Call Home*, an Australian television production, that the rest of us had not seen. She said she knew we'd enjoy it.

Oh, was she ever right. We watched a few episodes each day. And on the last morning—the day we were leaving—the ladies were up and dressed and ready to watch a little more. At SEVEN in the morning! It's the kind of show where it's hard to find a stopping place.

On the way home, someone asked, "How are we supposed to know how this ends up?" And that's how the Monday night "dinner and TV" was born. The friend who brought the computer didn't know she would have us at her house weekly (more or less.) But she does. She provides her house and the TV connection. The rest of us take turns bringing dinner. And we watch three or four episodes while we eat.

This week I took dinner. After all of the wonderful vacation food I'd enjoyed last week, I needed something a little more Weight Watchers friendly. I made chicken taco soup, which I've made many times. And I needed something to put with it.

I found a recipe in a new WW Soups & Stews recipe magazine. Violating one of the rules I live by—always try a recipe before you serve it to guests—I forged ahead. And in my typical fashion, I failed to read the part that said "dough at room temperature." But it all worked out in the end. I think it would have been easier and faster if I had pulled the dough out of the refrigerator an hour before I needed to make the recipe. Learn from me. Plan ahead.

But the recipe was delicious. I made two of the flatbreads. Sixteen pieces all together. I brought home four pieces last night. The five of us nearly finished it all. That tells me it's a good recipe. Here is how I did it.

QUICK CHEESE & HERB FLATBREAD

1 teaspoon olive oil
8 oz. fresh pizza dough (from the grocery store bakery) AT ROOM TEMP!
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use fingertips to spread oil over bottom of pan.
Pat or roll dough out into a rectangle just smaller than the pan. Place dough into pan, and with lightly oiled fingers, press dough to fit a 7x11-inch (or 9x9-inch pan,) going slightly up the sides. Sprinkle with rosemary, parsley, mozzarella and feta.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in pan a few minutes. Remove and cut into 8 slices. Serve warm, or cool completely.

MY NOTES:
~Because my dough was too cold, I couldn't stretch it out to fit the pan. It kept shrinking back. I didn't have time to wait longer, so I went with what I could do. Instead of a neat rectangle, I got a lovely rustic oval. It looked nice that way.
~The recipe called for more oil. I ended up wiping out a good bit with a paper towel. The oily pan made it even harder to get that dough to stretch to the sides of the pan. I don't think I'll ever use the whole tablespoon it called for. 
~The recipe says you can serve it warm or cooled completely. Because I was taking this from my farm to their farm 20 miles away, serving it cooled worked well. But I did taste it while it was warm. Of course warm was better! The crust was crispy. But room temp was totally acceptable. 

OH...and I forgot the important part if you are counting WW points. (Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.) Each slice is 4 SmartPoints.

And although I've posted this recipe before, I'm putting it here again because the soup and this bread was such a nice combination.



ZERO POINT CHICKEN TACO SOUP (Instant Pot) 
        ...recipe from SlapDashMom.com (check her site for other good recipes)

1 small onion, chopped
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15-oz) can light red kidney beans, drained
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
10-oz bag frozen corn
2 (10-oz) cans Rotel tomatoes (I used Mild)
1 packet taco seasoning (I used mild, low-sodium)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients into pot. Put lid on, close and set vent to "seal." Use manual button and set to 8 minutes. Let it "natural release" for at least 10 minutes. (Longer is fine.) Then release remaining pressure, if there is any. Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add shredded chicken back into soup. Serve. 

This is more like a chili than a true soup, but it's yummy. It's gluten-free. And it freezes beautifully. You can certainly cook this in something besides an Instant Pot. I used my IP last night and carried it to the dinner in the pot because the lid fastens securely and I could plug it in when I got there to keep it warm.


*We are into the 6th and final season of this show, A Place To Call Home. You can find it on Acorn TV, a subscription service which is also available through Amazon. It's on iTunes. And one of our local PBS stations is airing it now. According to Wikipedia, the show..."has been described as a "compelling melodrama about love and loss set against the social change of the 1950s"