Friday, December 12, 2014

Paying it Forward, Poinsettia, Spam.

I have never had an opportunity to do this, but today I was in the grocery store and the person in front of me couldn’t afford some 2014-12-11 10.54.47sliced meat they had in their cart, before the cashier could deduct it I said “add it to my bill”. It was not a big amount by the way, less than $1.50 and I am not trying to boast about this, it was so little, but later in the afternoon, an Avon customer who owed me $12.20 gave me $15 and said keep the rest. Less than 2 hours after I had paid for the meat. Just struck me as a good example of how pay it forward really works. I wasn’t even going to mention this at first until my customer “tipped” me. Isn’t it terrible people cannot afford something so inexpensive? She had some kind of one time payment card which didn’t cover everything.

We had just come back from bowling and I had to pick up a prescription then wanted a Poinsettia for our dining table which is why I was in the grocery store. Obviously they have a florist there. PoinsettiaWe always have a Poinsettia for our Christmas decorations on the dining table. I thought of choosing a pinkish one but Matt thought they looked washed out, neither one thing or the other, so red it was and red we got. Trouble is, I seem to be able to keep them alive for ever and end up chucking them out in late spring. I often think of an apartment several of us rented on the island of Malta when my parents lived there (they didn’t have room for all of us) and outside the bathroom window there was a huge Poinsettia bush in full flower. It was lovely to look at. Nice view for men in particular.

Saw this cartoon today on How to Geek and couldn’t resist sharing.

Everybody is so busy at this time of year that it seems a quick and easy meal for the family would be welcome.

"Classic" Skillet Lasagna

Kraft Kitchens
"Classic" Skillet Lasagna recipe 

We swapped out the lasagna noodles for bow-tie pasta to make this simple skillet version of an Italian favourite.
prep: 15 min
total: 30 min
6 servings

What You Need

3 cups  farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
1 lb.  Italian sausage
1 small  onion, chopped
2 cans  (14.5 oz. each) HUNT'S® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, undrained
1 can  (6 oz.) HUNT'S® Tomato Paste
1-1/2 cups  KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1 cup  POLLY-O Natural Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp.  water
1/4 tsp.  black pepper

Make It

COOK pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.
MEANWHILE, brown sausage in large skillet on medium heat; drain. Add onions; cook 3 min. or until tender, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese; mix well.
MIX ricotta, Parmesan, water and pepper. Drain pasta; add to skillet; mix well. Top with cheese mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover; cook on low heat 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.
Hunt's® is a registered trademark of ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Serving Suggestion
For added color and texture, serve with a mixed green salad tossed with your favourite KRAFT Lite Dressing.
Substitute mafalda or penne pasta for the farfalle (bow-tie pasta).
Have a great day


  1. Such a beautiful tree - lovely birds and birdhouses! I always like glass ornaments - I see those angels!! I'm torn between the Red or Pink poinsettia as well. My goddaughter suggested I set the table with my china that has red, pink and green motif - maybe.

    Paying it forward - Jo - you've done a wonderful thing!! It's not the size of the gift, you know - it's the temperature - and your heart is warm! We never know how we are a blessing to another. I am always blessed by your blog! (Lasagna tomorrow,smile)

    1. It doesn't have a theme which is popular these days, these are just ornaments accumulated over the years and most of which hold memories of one kind or another. I no longer have anything but my Corelle ware so no choice about what I use.

      Thanks. But it was the later "tip" which fascinated me.

  2. Hi Jo - thanks for the email re Paddington .. good to know.

    As Bob says .. the spam is too true .. and just sometimes not funny .. but such is life ...

    Paying it forward - great story .. cheers and enjoy that poinsettia .. we had one in South Africa, but I kill them here! Hilary

  3. You're welcome. I can't wait to see the movie myself.

    No spam isn't funny and there is such a lot of it. Luckily my ISP catches most of it.

    They seem to last forever for me.

  4. What a sweet story for the holidays! I think our good deeds do come back to bless us- sometimes they are just so small, we take them for granted. Love Avon. My mom always ordered it when I was a girl. Now I do Mary Kay though, because we don't have an Avon lady in our area. I know I can order online, but I like having someone I can call and say- hey out of eyeliner, hook me up!

    1. You can't do that with your Mary Kay person? Of course Avon is not just about makeup any more. Right now I have an Olaf pillow awaiting delivery, cutest thing ever.

  5. That skillet lasagna looks awesome. Have a lovely Friday.

    1. Hope it tastes as good as it looks. Will try it next week possibly.

  6. I always feel so sorry for poinsettias. As they are deadly to dogs I had a couple of fake ones but they didn't survive the move real well (they were cheap) so I tossed them. That was nice of you to pay it forward and then have it come back to you so fast. It only happened to me once when someone paid my bridge toll in CA so since I had my money out I paid for the person behind me.

    1. Are you sure about this, people believed they were poisonous for years but they aren't.

      There is someone going around paying off people's lay aways. Last one I heard of was to the tune of $60,000. Fantastic gift for some people.

    2. I just googled, they are only mildly toxic to dogs and cats.

  7. I'm glad you Googled that Jo. After seeing you've bought one I'm going to as well. Today. They look beautiful. Every year I mean to buy one and never do. My dogs don't munch on pot plants anyway. Oleander is the really poisonous plant.

    1. Yes they are big here Pinky we have one on our dining table every year. As for Oleander, I remember picking some in Spain going back into a bar where we were spending some time and the barkeep was going nuts trying to convey it was very poisonous eventually drawing a skull and crossbones and insisting we washed our hands in a mountain stream which ran through through the open air bar. It was kind of funny in retrospect.