Paperwork – ah, how I DON’T like updating you!


I’m now working on the next issue of my special needs group’s next newsletter. Somehow, when I get deep into all the files I end up spotting an error or omission which needs clearing up – sigh. I am the ‘person in charge of all written information’ (ie: the Secretary) of our group, therefore I have LOTS of lists which need constant updating. There’s the Address List, the Group Homes list, the Workers/Volunteers list, and the Birthdays list; some of these tend to overlap – hence I have doubles of some information. Oh – there’s also the “Black Box” list (I have a black box which I carry to the group – it’s sort of like a mini-desk in which I have all the forms, paperwork, etc. I will need for that night), and the Green Book List: that is the ‘Stays on site” book which holds all of the students contact and medical information. Just when I think I’m all caught up – it NEVER FAILS: that very night when I deliver a new list (or two) we either get a new student and/or one of the group announces they’re moving or changed their phone # – sigh! RIGHT NOW – at this VERY MOMENT, I THINK I have it all sorted out – we’ll see come tonight’s group meeting! We now have 78 students (not all attend each week) – some live with their parents, some in group homes (we’re getting more group homes lately – that means, when we would usually get one new student, when it’s a group home we might get 4,5 or 6 new people all at once). We usually average about 31 students each week, probably about 8-10 caregivers and maybe 2-3 parents. That’s not counting Lois & I (who run the program), 3-4 adult helpers and (if we’re lucky) about 3 high school students. Occasionally we also get a very nice family (Mom & 3 children) from the church who drop by to help pass out snacks. When everyone ‘helping’ shows up, all runs very smoothly BUT, if like last week, we’re down to ONE helper, it becomes VERY hectic VERY quickly when it comes to snack time! Ah, well – the Lord never promised us an easy road, and I wouldn’t have it any other way – I LOVE helping in this group.

Our weather is getting more Fall-like every day – just a little cooler and the days a little shorter – NO! SAY IT ISN’T SO! I’m not ready for FALL!!! This has been a really ‘Spring-like” summer, with very few really hot (80 degrees plus) days; more RAIN than we usually get at this time of year – yes, I have to admit: the weather is getting stranger. From all I’ve heard & read lately, our area of the United States (MICHIGAN) is supposed to be getting a pretty cold/harsh winter – AGAIN! I really HOPE it isn’t as bad as last year; that was truly BRUTAL!


Jalapeno Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. minced jalapenos (or 1/2 can,
1 tube crescent rolls
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In small bowl, combine cream cheese &
jalapenos; mix well & set aside. Open
crescent rolls – do not separate. Separate
long way on the perforation, so that you
have two long sheets of crescent rolls
with 4 rolls each in them. Pinch remaining
perforations together on each of two
sheets to make 2 continuous sheets. Divide
cream cheese mixture & spread evenly over
both crescent sheets. Roll them up hot dog
style, from short end, to make a long cream
cheese/crescent roll, do for both crescents.
Cut each into 12-16 pieces, depending on
how big you want them to be. Place each one,
standing up, on cookie sheet & bake 11-13


Broccoli/Cheese-stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 slices American cheese
4 slices Swiss cheese
3/4 C. chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
1 egg
1 T. water
1/2 C. breadcrumbs or Panko
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
If chicken is thick, butterfly. Spray a
cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Layer
all 4 slices of American cheese on top of
each other & slice vertically into four
even rectangular cheese stacks. Take one
of the stacks & place in the center of a whole
slice of Swiss. Place some of the broccoli on
and around the Amer. cheese stack; wrap
the Swiss cheese around both, creating a
small packet. Place the cheese/broccoli
‘packet’ in center of a flattened chicken
breast, then wrap chicken around it,
securing the edges of the chicken together
with toothpicks. Repeat for remaining
chicken. Prepare 3 bowls for breading
process. Place flour in one; mix egg &
water together in another, and bread-
crumbs in the third. Dredge chicken in
flour, then egg then breadcrumbs before
placing, seam-side up on prepared sheet.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until chicken
reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F..
Do not forget to remove toothpicks
before serving. Serves 4

NOTE: You may not need to use the
entire 3/4 C. broccoli, it will depend on
how large the chicken breasts are. Don’t
worry about trying to stuff in more than
it can hold.


Texas Sheet Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. butter
8 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C. water
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 C. butter
4 heaping T. cocoa powder
6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
dash salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In stand mixer or large mixing bowl,
place 2 C. flour, 2 C. sugar, 1 tsp. baking
soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. salt;
toss together with a fork to combine.
In medium-sized saucepan, place 1 C.
butter, 8 T. cocoa & 1 C. water; heat,
allowing butter to melt & ingredients to
combine; pour over top of dry ingredients.
Beat mixtures until smooth; 1-2 minutes.
In medium measuring cup, pour 1/2 C.
buttermilk; add 2 eggs & 1 tsp. vanilla -
whisk together with a fork until egg is
well incorporated. Pour buttermilk
mixture into large mixing bowl; beat for
2-3 minutes to incorporate. Spray a large
sheet pan (12 X 17″) with nonstick spray
& pour batter in. Bake 20 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean.
Prepare Frosting:
Place 3/4 C. butter in medium saucepan;
add 4 heaping T. cocoa powder & 6 T.
milk; heat to allow butter to melt &
ingredients to combine, 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla & 3 1/2 C. powdered
sugar plus a dash of salt to melted
chocolate mixture. Beat together until
smooth then pour over top of warm
cake. Allow cake to sit 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 20


Hashbrown/Spinach & Tomato Pie

2 C. shredded hash brown potatoes,
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 T. olive oil
3 c. packed fresh spinach
1 C. grape tomatoes
4 eggs
1/4 C. milk
pinch nutmeg
salt & ground black pepper,
to taste
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9″ pie plate with nonstick
spray. Press down thawed potatoes
into plate, top with 1/2 C. cheese;
set aside. Heat olive oil in skillet;
add spinach & tomatoes; cook 3
minutes or until spinach is wilted,
stirring frequently. Remove from
heat & spread over potatoes. In
mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk,
nutmeg, salt/pepper; whisk until
thoroughly combined – pour over
spinach & tomatoes. Sprinkle
remaining cheese over pie. Bake
30-35 minutes or until top is
golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes
before cutting. Serves 4


Baked Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
4 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C. salsa
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. green onion, finely chopped
2 T. cilantro, finely chopped
1 T. lime juice
1 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
8-10 small flour tortillas
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare baking sheet lined with
foil & sprayed with nonstick spray;
set aside. Soften cream cheese in
microwave 15-20 seconds. In mixing
bowl, combine cream cheese, salsa,
cumin, chili powder, garlic powder,
lime juice & salt. Add chicken, Colby-
Jack cheese, green onions & cilantro;
stir until combined well. Add about
3 T. chicken mixture about 1 inch from
edge of tortilla. Roll it up; place seam-
side down on baking sheet; repeat with
rest of tortillas & ingredients. Place
them about 1 inch apart, not touching each
other on baking sheet Bake 15-20 minutes or
until tortillas are slightly browning around
edges. Serve with sour cream, Ranch
dressing or your favorite sauce.
Serves 8



Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

2 medium zucchini (peel or not),
thinly sliced
1/2 C. flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 C. Panco bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Dipping Sauce (optional)
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. sriracha (spicy red sauce
found in Asian section of
grocery store)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Line baking sheet with nonstick
foil; spray heavily with cooking
spray. Place flour & sliced zucchini
in large plastic ziplock bag; seal &
toss to coat zucchini. Place Panko
crumbs in small bowl & whisked
egg in another. Combine salt, black
pepper, garlic powder & chili powder
in a third bowl; whisk to mix well.
Dip flour-coated zucchini slices in
whisked egg & then in Panco crumbs.
Dip a second time in egg and then
in Panko again. Place all slices on
prepared baking sheet in a single
layer. Sprinkle half of seasoning
mixture over slices & spray them
with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
5-6 minutes until tops of slices begin
to brown. Remove from oven, carefully
flip over all slices, sprinkling with
remaining seasoning & return to oven.
Bake another 4-5 minutes until browned.
Remove & allow to cool slightly. Mix
ingredients for Dipping sauce & serve
with zucchini fries on side. Serves 4


Crockpot Hot German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes cut into
thick slices
1 large onion, chopped small
1/3 C. water
1/3 C. cider vinegar
2 T. flour
2 T. sugar (can use brown)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seed
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
or 1 T. bacon bits
Srpay crockpot with Butter non-
stick spray. Add potatoes & onions;
stir. Mix other ingredients (except
bacon) pour over potatoes & onions.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or
High 4 hours until potatoes are
cooked. Stir in bacon & serve.


Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 C. oil
1 1/2 C. milk
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. shredded zucchini
1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all wet ingredients together
in large bowl with whisk. Add
zucchini & mix well. Add all
dry ingredients in another bowl
with wooden spoon. Pour wet
ingredients into dry & stir until
well combined. Fold in chocolate
chips. Line muffin tins with paper
liners. Fill each cup a little more
than 2/3 rds full. Bake 17 minutes.
Makes 30 muffins.

Savory Parmesan Bites

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 red pepper, chopped*
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese & 3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
with elec. mixer until well blended. Separate
dough into 8 rectangles; seal seams. Spread
with cream cheese mixture; top with peppers
& parsley. Fold each rectangle lengthwise into
thirds to enclose filling; cut into 4 squares. Place,
seam-side down, on baking sheet. Top with
remaining Parmesan. Bake 13-15 minutes or until
golden brown. Makes 32 appetizers

*you can substitute 1 (12 oz) jar of roasted red
peppers; drain & chop.

NOTE: you can also add 1 can sliced
mushrooms and/or 1 (3 oz) pkg. pepperoni
slices, if desired
(recipe: Kraft foods)

Summer Veggie Stew

2 lb. eggplant, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 zucchini (about 8 oz ea), quartered
lengthwise & cut into 1″ pieces
2 red bell peppers, seeded & cut into
1/2″ pieces
2 onions, rough chopped
6 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. Herbs de Provence*
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. flour
salt & pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
Line 2 rimmed cookie sheets with
aluminum foil. In very large bowl
combine eggplant, zucchini, bell
pepper, onion, olive oil, sugar, garlic,
& Herbs de Provence; toss until
combined. Divide veggies evenly
between pans; spread in single
layer. Adjust oven rack 4 inches from
broiler element, heat broiler. Broil
1 sheet at a time, until veggies begin
to brown, about 10 min. Turn them
a few times during cooking process
to cook evenly. Transfer cooked veggies
to crockpot & add tomatoes. Stir flour,
2 1/2 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper into
veggies in crockpot. Cover & cook
until veggies are done, about 4 hours
on Low. Stir in balsamic vinegar, Parmesan
cheese & basil; season with additional
salt & pepper, if desired. Serves about 8,
1 C. serving, each.

*If you do not have Herbs de Provence,
you can substitute: 1 tsp. dried rosemary
and 1 tsp. dried thyme


Refrigerator Pickles

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1-2 teaspoons celery seed (I use 2)
1 teaspoon salt

3 cups sliced cucumber
3 small onions, thinly sliced

Place sliced cucumber and onions in a large
container or bowl. In a separate bowl, stir
vinegar, sugar, water and salt together until
dissolved. Add celery seed. Pour mixture
over cucumber and onions and refrigerate.
Keeps for 2-3 months.

(recipe: savoringtimeinthekitchen.

Fresh Fruit Salad

1 C. green seedless grapes
1 C. red seedless grapes
2 C. cantaloupe
2 C. honeydew melon
2 C. pineapple chunks (fresh)
3 C. watermelon
2 c. red apples
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C. sugar
1 oz. fresh mint, chopped
1 oz. fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. shaved coconut
whipped cream
Peel apples, cut into bite-sized
pieces; place in a bowl of water
with juice of lemon to keep from
browning-set aside. Cut all remaining
fruit into bite-sized pieces & place
in large bowl. Drain apples; combine
all cut fruit; add sugar, mint, basil,
vanilla & optional coconut; gently
Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve in
bowls topped with whipped cream.
Serves 10-20 (depending on size
of servings)


That’s what’s going around here lately;
yesterday I had my grandson for the entire
day – he was totally enthralled in a very old
computer game: “Rollercoaster Tycoon”. I used
to play it MANY years ago and thought he
might like it. Both his Mom & Dad said they
were trying to find a copy for him, as he’s
talked about it constantly. After he went
home I got on Ebay and (first try) was able
to put a bid in for all THREE of the copies
of that game: Rollercoaster Tycoon, Loopy
Landscapes and Corkscrew Follies! Now
that doesn’t mean (exactly) that I’ll win
the bidding, but I’m really hoping it goes
through – have to wait until Aug. 31st. to
find out but you can bet I’m going to be
aggressive on my bidding should anyone
else decide they might want it. (I know
that sounds pretty harsh, but so far
the bid is at $1.25 so I’ve got lots of
room to bargain.)




Published in: on August 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Got my Runnin’ shoes on!


It’s Monday and it’s also ‘lots of places to go’ day! Just got home from 7 various jaunts: Bank, Walgreen’s, Library, Fruit/Veg. stand, Gordon Foods, CVS and Huron Foods. I’m SO glad my dear husband has me call ahead – he lugs the groceries, etc. from the car to the house for me. Sometimes I think just doing that after all the running around is pretty exhausting (let alone putting away all the stuff, too!). I’m sitting here nice & comfy sipping a big, tall glass of ice water and feeling the antioxidants just coursing through my body. At Gordon Foods they had a really big box of fresh blueberries for $1.69 – been eating handfuls of them. Today was a sort of ‘wake up’ call: remember you need to eat HEALTHY! Got fresh strawberries, a cantauloupe, corn on the cob, some gorgeous tomatoes for BLT’s, some zucchini for Zucchini Casserole, the fixin’s for coleslaw (for some reason, this summer I’m craving coleslaw!). Got a nice big fryer chicken for the crockpot for around $6.00 – happy with all my ‘deals’ – coupons & all. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating: did you know that you can get some really great buys at DRUG STORES? I’m talking groceries! Got 2 jars of Jif creamy peanut butter for $4, a nice sized jar of honey-roasted peanuts for $1.99 – at WALGREEN’S! I’m a BIG fan of checking all the ‘in the mail’ fliers from CVS, Walgreens, KMart – they all have some pretty good GROCERY deals, if you just look! Walgreen’s is pretty good about selling canned salmon for a really great price – with coupon; I like it for making salmon patties.

My cousin wrote from Iowa yesterday that they were going through some really muggy days; I wrote him back that we were in the mid-70’s and breezy – no muggy . . . I spoke too soon. Today it’s 80, very sunny and VERY muggy (thank heavens for Air conditioning!).

Gas prices have stayed relatively good: yesterday my favorite place (Clark – little station – nothing fancy) had el cheapo (lowest grade) gas for $3.49/9 – today it’s down to $3.43/9 – that’s great!

They are still, periodically, working on our road but it’s not as bad (the only BAD thing is figuring out just WHEN they WILL be working on it). Saturday was a nightmare of constant clogged traffic in front of our house- they had narrowed down the usual 5-lanes to 2, right next to each other – no turn lane – lovely . . .When it’s like that it’s easier to go all the way around the block just to get in my driveway without  a big mess. This, too, shall pass . . .


Chocolate Eclair Cake


2 pkgs (1 oz, ea) Jello Cheesecake
pudding mix (sugar free)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
2 1/2 C. milk
12 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1 box graham crackers (14.4 oz)

1 tub sugar free chocolate frosting
Mix pudding mix with milk, using a whisk.
Beat about 2 minutes by hand. Fold in
crushed pineapple & Cool Whip, set
aside. Layer a 9 X 13 baking pan with
one layer of graham crackers. Top with
half pudding mix. Repeat layers with
grahams, remaining pudding & top
with one more layer grahams. Take
lid off frosting, remove metal cover &
place in microwave. Microwave about
45 seconds, until frosting is liquid and
pour over grahams – spread out evenly.
Cover &refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

NOTE: This recipe can be made using
sliced strawberries, or raspberries,
or blueberries. Use 1 pint hulled & sliced
strawberries. Place berries on after 1st
layer grahams & pudding mix & repeat
in that order for next layer.


Old Fashioned Potato Loaf

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 C. Half & Half
salt & pepper, to taste
5 medium cooked potatoes,
cooled & chopped
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
chopped green onion, to taste
1/2 C. (or more) shredded Cheddar
Melt butter in saucepan, gradually
stir in flour. Slowly add Half & Half,
stirring constantly simmering until
thickened; season with salt & pepper.
Gently add potatoes, parsley &
green onion to sauce; simmer 2
minutes longer. Pour mixture into
a well-oiled 9 X 13 pan; press down
firmly. Chill several hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
One half hour before serving time,
place loaf in oven-proof pan. Sprinkle
with cheese & bake 20-30 minutes
or until golden brown. Serves 6


Crockpot Asian-style Beef

4 green onions
2 T. oil
1 boneless beef chuck or blade
roast (2 1/2 lb), trimmed & cut
into 2″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
2 red bell peppers, coarsley
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. (Kraft) Asian Toasted
Sesame salad dressing
2 C. snow peas, cut diagonally
in half
1/2 C. cashews, chopped
cooked rice
Slice onions, keeping sliced
white bottoms & green tops
separate. Heat oil in large
skillet on medium-high heat.
Add meat; cook 5 minutes or
until evenly browned, stirring
occasionally & adding garlic for
last minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce,
bell peppers, crushed pepper &
white onion slices; pour into
crockpot, cover with lid. Cook
on Low 5-6 hours or High 3-4
hours. Mix cornstarch & dressing
until blended; pour into crockpot
along with snow peas & nuts;
stir to combine. Cook, uncovered,
10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Top with green onions slices when
serving. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Homemade Peach Cobbler

2 1/2 lb. ripe, juicy peaches (about
4 C., sliced)
3/4 C. sugar
4 drops almond extract
pinch cinnamon
2 T. butter
biscuit topping, recipe below
vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Peel peaches by dipping into boiling
water about 1 minute, then slip off
skins. Slice into wedges, discarding
pits. Place in shallow 6 C. baking
dish or casserole; sprinkle tops with
sugar & almond then dot with butter.
Cover with biscuit dough for top.

Biscuit Top:
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. butter or shortening
1/2 C. milk MINUS 1 T.
Whisk flour, salt & baking powder;
cut in shortening using a pastry
blender or two knives or your
fingertips. Stir in milk, all at once,
stirring with a fork until dough clings
together. Pat or roll out dough to
1/4″ thickness & place over peaches.
Trim edges, crimp or flute to seal.
Cut a hole in top center for steam.
Bake 425 degrees F. 15 minutes then
reduce to 325. Bake an additional
10-15 minutes or until peaches are
cooked & top is golden. Serve warm
with vanilla ice cream or whipped

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Crockpot Parmesan Ranch

2 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 oz. Ranch dressing mix
2 T. Parmesan cheese
(or more, if desired)
Place mushrooms in crockpot;
melt butter in a bowl & add
salad dressing mix. Mix well &
pour over mushrooms. Sprinkle
with about 2 tsp. Parmesan
cheese (or more). Cook on Low
4 hours.  Serves 4


Sausage & Cheese Crescent Squares
2 tubes refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 lb. pork sausage (hot or mild)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven 375 degres F.
Unroll one tube of rolls into 2
long rectangles; place in ungreased
9 X 13 baking dish. Press rolls
over bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to
form crust. Cook sausage over
medium heat in skillet, stirring
frequently until no longer pink.
Remove from skillet, discard grease.
Add to skillet cream cheese & cook
over Low heat until melted. Add
cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon
mixture evenly over crust in dish;
sprinkle top with cheese. Unroll
second tube of rolls onto a work
surface. Press rolls to form a 9 X 13
rectangle for top crust. Firmly press
perforations to seal then carefully
place over mixture in dish. Bake
21-26 minutes or until golden
brown. Let cool 15 minutes then
cut into small squares.


Chicken & Dumplings Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked/shredded
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
2 C. Bisquick
2 C. whole milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 tsp. chicken granules
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to  taste)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer #1:
In a 9 X 13 pan, melt butter. Spread
shredded chicken over butter; sprinkle
with pepper & sage; do not stir.
Layer #2:
In small bowl, mix milk & Bisquick;
slowly pour over chicken; do not stir.
Layer #3:
In medium bowl, whisk chicken broth,
chicken granules & soup; once
blended, slowly pour over Bisquick
layer; do not stir.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until top is
golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Southern Ambrosia

1 C. sweetened coconut
1 C. pecan pieces
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. Heavy cream
1 T. sugar
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained well
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained well
1/2 C. maraschino cherries,
drained well – stems removed
Place coconut in shallow pan with
pecan pieces & butter; toast until
coconut is light brown; cool
completely. Whip heavy cream &
sugar until it forms stiff peaks; fold
in yogurt, being careful to not break
down the cream too much. Gently
fold in marshmallows, oranges,
pineapple chunks & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours (overnight
is better) to let flavors mix.
Serve with more fresh whipped cream
& top with a cherry.

Grilled Corn Salad

3/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing,
1/4 C. yellow mustard*
4 ears corn on cob, husks &
silks removed
1/2 lb. fresh green beans,
trimmed/quartered & cooked
1 jicama, peeled, cut into 1/2′
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
Heat grill to Low heat.
Mix 1/4 c. salad dressing &
mustard in shallow dish until
blended. Add corn; turn to
evenly coat. Transfer corn to
grill, reserving dressing mixture
in dish. Grill corn 15-20 minutes
or until tender, turning &
occasionally brushing with
reserved dressing mixture; remove
corn from grill; cool. Cut corn from
cobs; place in large bowl. Add beans,
jicama, tomatoes, basil & remaining
dressing; mix lightly.
Makes 16 servings (1/2 C. each)
* For a flavor boost, substitute
Dijon mustard for yellow

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cucumber Dill Greek Salad

2 large cucumbers
1 T. Greek (plain) yogurt
1 T. sour cream
1 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
salt & ground black pepper,
to taste
Peel & finely slice cucumbers.
In salad bowl, mix yogurt with
sour cream, lemon juice, garlic &
dill; season with salt & pepper. Add
cucumber & toss until well
combined. Refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4

Quick Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. water
10 C. loosely packed torn romaine
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
Brown meat with onions in large
nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; drain. Add seasoning mix &
water; mix well & bring to boil.
Simmer on medium-low heat 3
minutes. Divide lettuce among
4 plates; top evenly with meat
mixture, tomatoes, cheese &
crushed chips; drizzle with
dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

1/2 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 T. cooking oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 4=1 lb.)
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray shallow baking dish with nonstick
spray. Combine bread crumbs, garlic salt &
lemon pepper in ziplock plastic bag. Combine
lemon juice & oil in another ziplock bag. Add
chicken to lemon juice bag; toss to coat. Place
each breast in bag with crumb mixture, toss
to coat. Place coated chicken in single layer in
prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs
over chicken, if desired. Spray tops of chicken
with nonstick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until chicken is no longer pink in center
(165 degrees F.) Serves 4


 Haven’t quite decided what to make for

dinner tonight; there’s either bratwurst

(cheese-stuffed for me & beer marinated

for husband), or Potatoes O’Brian

(hash brown potatoes with onions,

green & red peppers, sliced mushrooms,

ground beef & topped with shredded

extra sharp Cheddar cheese -sort of like a

casserole – YUMMY!) – those, so far, are my

2 choices. This week, fortunately, is not

(so far, anyway) AS busy as the past

2-3 have been. No knit group tomorrow,

just grandson all day. Wednes-day is

special needs group (that’s all – I hope),

Thurs. is grandson, again but not as

long, Friday is free – I HOPE )forgot

Radiologist appointment first thing).

Amidst all that ‘fun’ is getting together

the next issue of the special needs group

newsletter; if I’m not mistaken this will

be issue #76. That means I’ve been

doing this now since Sept., 2001 – as my

husband would say: “It keeps her on

her toes”!

That’s about ‘it’ on this weeks ‘hit parade'; finished
another chemo cap (that makes 3 this time) for
delivery this Friday. I try to take in a few each time I
have to go there for a check up. The GOOD THING,
this time, is the Radiologist said that if my latest
mammogram is clear (and it was), I start only
coming in once A YEAR! YAY! (There’s still the
Oncologist  – main cancer doctor, and I’m pretty
sure he won’t let me get off that easy (right now
it’s every 3 months, just like my main family
doctor – saw him last Friday – all’s good there!).
Ah, the ‘fun’ life of a cancer survivor – but the way
I look at it: IT COULD BE MUCH WORSE! Just going
in to hear ‘all’s well’ is no big deal!

I hope you have a GREAT day – filled with just
enough events to keep you busy, but not too busy,
and relaxing enough to keep you stress-free.

Big Hugs;



PS: Sorry about all the various font sizes – still don’t

know WHY my browser does that!

WHEW! One less – take a big, deep breath!


This has been one of ‘THOSE’ weeks – constant ‘stuff’ needing to be done. Just got off the phone with my grandson’s Mom – YAY (or WHEW!) apparently the ‘powers that be – those who care for him besides me’ somehow thought when I said I wanted to switch from Fridays to Thursdays, it meant NOW. (I meant when school starts). This week & next were supposed to be ‘watch grandson’ Tuesday, Thursday AND Friday – big stuff. I love him dearly but it really wears me out trying to keep him amused! For example, I knew we were going to get him around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday – what I didn’t know was- he wouldn’t be picked up until 5:35 p.m.! USUALLY it’s around 2:30 – so by 3 or so I was getting antsy – by 5, ready for a BIG NAP! Problem with that? Knit Night started at 6:30, I had to leave at 5:50 or so to battle the traffic AND the big thunderstorm. It all worked out – only 8 of us showed up – Panera was a virtual waste land – we had the whole place to ourselves! So, bottom line on grandson – I ‘only ‘ have him next Tues & Thur, not Friday and after that, only on Thursdays after 4 p.m. when I pick him up at the bus stop!

This has been THE craziest year for funerals, also. In the past three months I have been to, (or will be going to) a total of EIGHT funerals! Yesterday afternoon my sweet little old lady (with Alzheimers) that we drive to church had her husband’s memorial service. Being that it was also my special needs group night, I could only stay about an hour for visitation. While there I got a phone call from my ‘partner/other teacher’ for the group saying that she couldn’t come to teach because there had just been a death in HER family. First she outlined that I’d be fine as I’d have another lady as my helper; then she called back about 5 minutes later to tell me she’d forgot – the other lady would be in a teacher training meeting, so I’m on my own! CRAZY NIGHT! We played Bible Bingo and I enlisted the aid of our new helper (who is also a youth pastor at that church) – he’s about 6′ 7″, HUGE, gentle Giant of a man with a big, booming voice. All worked out very well – the kids loved it. As we’re setting up snacks; one of my helpers asks me if I’d heard anything about another friend – No, so she tells me he died Tuesday! Eight funerals in three months! That’s just CRAZY! They were all LOVELY, great people whom I will truly miss. While I’m saying my goodbyes to the family of my Alzheimers lady, a lady from the funeral home says my name. (OK – I thought, not sure if I heard right, but I turned to her) Turns out I was right: she’s the daughter of ANOTHER really dear friend whom I’d sort of lost contact with – who ALSO has Alzheimers now! IN FACT, to make it even stranger: SHE LIVES DIRECTLY ACROSS THE HALL FROM MY LITTLE OLD LADY IN THE SAME SENIOR CITIZENS CONDO! How weird is that?! I chatted with the daughter a bit, got her phone number and said I’d call soon to go see her Mom. As she said: “Maybe she’ll recognize you, maybe she won’t – BUT she’ll make a really good job of ‘faking it’ if she doesn’t! How funny! Ah, Life – sometimes ya just gotta roll with the punches and keep looking up – right?


Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. cooking oil
4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini & cook 7
minutes or until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,
salt & pepper; break up tomatoes with
spoon. Cook 2 minutes more or until
hot. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)


Crockpot Polynesian Chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

(about 1 1/2 lb),cut into 2″ cubes

1 red bell pepper, cored/seeded & sliced
into 1″ strips
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in natural juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/3 C. honey
2 T. cornstarch
(recommend using 4-7 qt crockpot)
Pour juice from pineapple into small bowl. Mix
soy sauce, garlic, ginger & honey into juice;
whisk to combine. Add cornstarch, stir until
combined. Place chicken in crockpot, add
pineapple chunks. Pour pineapple juice mixture
over chicken. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours. Add
bell peppers the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
Serve over a bed of cooked quinoa or brown rice.
Serves 6
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
California Baked Potatoes
3 (cold) baked potatoes, cut into spears
1/2 C. Catalina salad dressing
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. parsley flakes
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Toss potato spears with salad dressing;
place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle
with garlic & parsley. Bake 20 minutes
or until crispy. Serves 4
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Summer Salad w/Baby Greens

3 oz (about 4 C.) baby arugula &
baby spinach mix
5 oz. whole wheat or brown rice
1/3 C. sun dried tomatoes, sliced thin
2 T. capers, drained
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil
salt & fresh pepper, to taste
2 T. freshly shaved Parmigiano
Boil pasta in salted water accordg. to
pkg. directions; drain & rinse in cold
water. In large bowl, combine pasta,
baby greens, tomatoes, capers, olive
oil, vinegar, salt & pepper; toss well.
Just before serving top with freshly
shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
Serves 4



Dale’s “Can’t Stop

Eating it” Salad

2 heads iceburg lettuce, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow or white onion, chopped

1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 C. sour cream
1 T. sugar (or Splenda)
Parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper
4-5 slices bacon, fried crisp &
In large bowl top lettuce with
celery & onion. Mix mayonnaise
with vinegar & drop spoonfuls
over salad. Mix sour cream with
sugar & drop spoonfuls over

salad.Spread dressing evenly over
salad to cover; sprinkle Parmesan
cheese over dressing & grind
black pepper (to taste) over
cheese. Cover with plastic wrap.
When ready to serve,
sprinkle bacon over top
& toss well,to evenly coat
(recipe: Facebook)


Party Hamburger Dip

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes & chilies
1/2 onion, diced
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms,
Serve with: corn chips, tortilla
chips or crackers
In skillet, brown hamburger, onion
& mushrooms; drain. Add Velveeta
to crockpot; turn crockpot heat to
High & cook until cheese is melted.
Add other ingredients; stir & cook
about 30 minutes. Leave crockpot
on Low while serving.



Super Moist Zucchini/Chocolate/
Pecan Cake

1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. canola oil
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 C. flour
4 T. cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. buttermilk*
2 C. shredded zucchini

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl add 1/2 C. softened
butter, oil, sugar & eggs; mix well,
about 3 minutes. In medium bowl
add flour, cocoa, baking powder,
cinnamon, cloves & baking soda;
whisk until well blended. Pour
1/2 C. butter milk & vanilla into
large bowl; add dry ingredients &
mix until all is well combined. Add
shredded zucchini to batter & mix
until combined. Spray 9 X 13 pan
with nonstick spray; pour in batter
& spread to smooth.
Place nuts, brown sugar & choc.
chips in bowl; toss together &
sprinkle over top of batter.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Serves 12-15

*if you don’t have buttermilk,
pour 1/2 C. milk into 1 C. measuring
cup, add 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon
juice – stir & let set 5 minutes. Use
in place of buttermilk.

Poster says this cake is great the
next day warmed in the microwave.


Crispy Zucchini Fries

1 medium zucchini
1 egg
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
marinara sauce, for dipping,
if desired
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut ends off zucchini, slice in
half then slice each half into
1/2 inch strips. Separate strips
in two, lay face down & slice into
strips (like fries). Crack egg into
loaf pan; beat with fork until
frothy. Add 1/4 C. milk & whisk.
Pour panko crumbs into another
loaf pan; add seasonings & stir
to combine. Dip each zucchini
slice in egg, then in Panko mix.
Place strips on cookie sheet
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
20-30 minutes until golden brown
& crispy. Sprinkle with a bit more
salt when they come out of the
oven. Serve with marinara sauce,
if desired. Serves 4


Fluffy Strawberry Salad

1 (6 oz) box strawberry or
raspberry Jello
1 C. boiling water
1 C. crushed ice (or 1 C. cold
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
4 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (16 oz) container fresh
strawberries, cleaned & sliced.
Pour Jello into medium bowl; pour
in boiling water & stir 2  minutes
until dissolved. Pour ice or cold
water in bowl; mix well. If using
cold water, refrigerate until jello
is set up. If using ice, refrigerate
about 10 minutes. Jello should
be as thick as pudding. Pour
crushed pineapple & vanilla pudding
mix in large bowl; stir to combine.
Add marshmallows & Cool Whip;
stir with wooden spoon. Stir Jello
& pineapple mix together, mixing
well to combine. Add sliced berries
to bowl; stir to combine. Cover &
refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Can be made up to 24
hours in advance. Serves 15



Ooops – forgot to give you:

Peach Coffee Cake

1 (18 1/2 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. lemon extract, divided
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling, cut
into smaller pieces
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. butter, softened
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine dry cake mix,
eggs, 1/2 tsp. extract, walnuts & pie
filling; stir until well blended. Spread
in greased & floured 9 X 13 pan; set
aside. In separate bowl, mix sugar,
flour, butter & remaining extract with
a fork or pastry blender until crumbly;
sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 40-45
minutes, until center of cake springs
back when touched. Serves 12

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Vroom, Vroom – and so it begins!



On the third Saturday in August, more than 30000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles cruise down Woodward Avenue. (direct quote from the site)

Today begins the “Woodward Dream Cruise” – if you’re not from around here, you might not have heard of it BUT it’s a BIG deal here. People from all over the COUNTRY bring their old cars to ‘cruise’ up and down Woodward Avenue. This goes on all day for three days straight (technically, it’s  only supposed to be a one day thing, but believe me – it gets dragged out for the entire weekend.) Sometimes people begin early and just keep going until Monday or Tuesday. What this entails is: you drive your old car all over, stop at some of the cities that border Woodward, find a spot to park your old car, pop the hood and go looking at all the other cars parked there, shmooze with the ‘car’ people, then keep on doing this – for DAYS! If you’re into old cars, it’s “THE” place to be (not me). Since we live on a MAJOR Michigan road, all we have to do to see old cars is put up a few folding chairs on our front lawn and watch them drive by! Our neighbor is totally into this – he buys old cars during the year, fixes them up, drives them for the cruise then sells them at a profit – pretty neat idea, yes? The only down side to the whole thing – our driveway is VERY hard to get in or out of as there are, probably. at least three times as many cars on the road for this weekend and we’re about 7 minutes from the major road: Woodward Avenue! Stores and restaurants along Woodward make a big profit selling ‘parking spots’ OR just spots to sit in your chairs & watch! Yes, it’s THAT popular!  The other ‘down’ thing, for us, is: if you know old cars, you know a lot of them are really LOUD! We can hear them coming and believe me – they drive all day and WAY into the late night – they like to show off their cars! Sigh . . .

Woke up really early (for me: 7:30 a.m.) and started knitting baby hats – got three done today; I just seemed to be ‘in the mood’. Grandson came around 10:30 a.m. and played with Legos and a video game until he fell asleep on the couch (YES!). While he was here the person from the Water Company (Township) came to replace our water meter in the basement. It appears it wasn’t reading – who knows for how long we got FREE water??? Well, that’s done now – wonder if they’re planning on retro-billing us – sure hope not! Water guy left, grandson left so husband & I drove to a local hardware store to get a new heat thermostat (ours ‘died’ – only works periodically and usually NOT when you want it to). Also got another battery operated door bell – our old one ‘died’ too when we had to change the (el cheapo) battery that came with it – THREE months after we got it! Husband was only able to get it to work by using his finger to close the connection – without the cover on it. I can see trying to make a sign to put over the bell – please put your finger over both connections to use the bell – no, it won’t shock you. Sigh. Thought of returning it, but I got it on line and don’t have the receipt or original packaging. For what I paid (something like $15.00) it was really good – VERY loud and played something like 30 songs (I only wanted DING DONG, DING DONG – took a LONG time to go through all the songs to get to the one I wanted!) New doorbell is VERY soft (sigh) and only goes DING DONG – now I’m thinking of putting a sign over the button on this one saying “Press more than once, very light sounding bell” – you get the idea.

Since we were in & out of the hardware store in record time (like 14 minutes) we decided to go out to lunch – for THAI! YES! We happily came home with half of our orders and a spring roll each, for dinner. I’m stuffed and their food is not only nicely priced, but very tasty AND it’s like 2 minutes from our house! Bonus!

Drove youngest to work (at 4:30) and will await his calling around 9? for a pick up. The good thing is: he’s had 3 days off, so I got a reprieve from driving! Laundry all caught up, dishes, too – don’t have to cook dinner – what SHALL I do!? Probably read & knit – my favorites!


3-Ingredient Sweet Glazed Pork Chops

4-6 boneless pork chops
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
1 C. grape jelly
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chops in bottom. In a bowl
mix together chili sauce & jelly; pour on
top of pork chops. Cook on Low 6-8
hours or High 3-4 hours.
(NOTE: cook 8 hours if chops are frozen)


Bacon & Balsamic Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed*
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. halved yellow pepper strips
2 T. balsamic vinaigrette dressing**
10 slices bacon, cooked & cut into
1″ pieces
1/3 C. chopped red onions
Cook beans & water in large skillet
over medium-high heat 4 minutes
or until beans are crisp-tender &
water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Add peppers & dressing; cook & stir
2 minutes. Stir in bacon & onions; cook
2 minutes or until heated through,
stirring occasionally. Serves 8

* You can prepare using frozen
green beans & covering skillet while
cooking beans just until heated through.
Drain beans if necessary, then return to
skillet & continue as directed.

**Can also used red or orange pepper strips
and/or Italian salad dressing

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Sausage/Green Pepper Appetizers

2 C. (1 lb) sausage, cooked/crumbled
1 T. seasoned salt
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 C. buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
12 wonton wrappers
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 2 muffin tins; press one
wonton wrapper in each muffin cup.
Bake 5 minutes until lightly brown; remove
& let cool on cookie sheet. Brown sausage &
seasoned salt; drain grease & place in a bowl.
Add cheeses & ranch dressing; mix with a
rubber spatula. Fill each cooked wonton
with filling & place on cookie sheet. Bake
5 minutes until bubbly. Makes 12


Magic Cake
(cake makes 3 layers-one batter;
dense layer on bottom, custard-like
in middle, and fluffy sponge cake on

4 eggs, separated, room temp.
1 T. water
1/2 C. + 2 T. sugar
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 C. flour
2 C. milk, lukewarm
2 tsp. vanilla*
powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Mix egg whites until stiff. In
another bowl, beat egg yolks with
sugar, water & vanilla until light. Add
melted butter & continue beating for
1 more minute; add flour & mix well.
Add milk (must be lukewarm, otherwise
butter will harden); beat until well mixed.
Gently fold in beaten egg whites using a
spatula. Pour batter into a greased 8″ X
8″ pan (do not use springform because
batter is too liquid & pan could leak).
Bake 60 minutes or until golden. Cool
cake in pan at least 3 hours. Serve
sprinkled with powdered sugar on top.

*Do not forget to use vanilla; without it
cake might taste eggy. If you don’t want to
use vanilla, you can substitute 1 T. rum.


Summer Zucchini Salad

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)
1/2 C. sliced red onion
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T. cooking oil
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Toss all ingredients together in
medium bowl & serve. Serves 6
(about 2/3 C. each)


Pepperoni-Cheese Pasta Skillet

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 (16 oz) pkg. fusilli pasta (or
whatever pasta you choose)
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 3/4 C. milk
salt & pepper
2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 (7 oz) pkg. pepperoni
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
half pint grape tomatoes
Heat large skillet over medium-high
heat; add 1 T. oil to pan & add onion
& garlic. Add a dash of salt & oregano;
cook until onions are soft & translucent,
about 10 minutes. Bring a pot of water to
boil; cook pasta according to pkg. directions.
Add soup, 1 3/4 C. milk & 1 C. mozzarella
cheese to skillet; mix together. Chop all
but 15 pepperoni slices (save them out) and
add chopped pepperoni to skillet. Add salt &
pepper, to taste, stir to combine. Allow mixture
to heat through & become bubbly. Add drained
pasta to skillet; stir to incorporate. Layer the 15
pepperoni slices on top of skillet, sprinkle with
1 C. mozzarella & 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese. Turn
on oven broiler; place skillet in oven to allow
cheese to melt & get bubbly. Watch it closely &
make sure your skillet is made for the oven.*
Chop the tomatoes; add them on top of
melted cheese. Serves 7

*If your skillet is NOT made for the broiler, you
can place a lid on the skillet to melt the cheese.



3 cups of mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream (optional extra for serving)
1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease with butter 8 – 9 of the wells
of a nonstick muffin pan. In a medium mixing
bowl whisk the eggs then mix in the sour
cream. Stir in both cheeses and the chives.
Add potatoes and mix well. Spoon them into
the pan filling the cups to slightly below the
top. Bake 25- 35 minutes until they pull away
from the sides of the cup and are golden brown.
Remove from oven and let them cool 5 minutes
in pan. Serve with sour cream
if desired.

(recipe: Facebook)

Salisbury Steak

2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans French Onion soup
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. flour
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. water
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
In large bowl, mix ground beef with 1/3
C. soup, bread crumbs, egg, salt & pepper;
shape into 6 oval patties. Brown both sides
of patties in large skillet over medium heat;
pour off excess fat. In a bowl, blend flour &
remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup,
water, Worc. sauce & mustard powder; pour
over meat in skillet. Cover & cook at least
20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The longer
you let it simmer, the thicker the gravy

(recipe: Sea-

Creamed Dill Slaw

1 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 whole cabbage, cored & shredded
1 grated onion
1 grated carrot
1/2 C. chopped fresh dill
salt & pepper
Whisk together in a bowl: mayonnaise,
sour cream, Wors. sauce & red wine
vinegar. Stir in cabbage, onion, carrot &
fresh dill. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bratwurst & Potato Salad

6 bratwurst
1/4 C. bacon drippings or oil
2 lb. red skin potatoes, quartered &
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 C. olive oil
3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. German mustard (grainy)
black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. sugar (optional)
Cook bratwurst accordg to pkg.
directions; brown in pan in bacon
drippings or oil. When cooled, cut
into 1 inch pieces. Combine brat-
wurst, cooked potatoes & onions in
large bowl; set aside. Mix together
remaining ingredients; pour over
bratwurst mixture; toss to coat.
Refrigerate 7-8 hours or overnight.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Cinnamon Apple Pie

8 C. apples (peeled/cored & sliced)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 C. sugar
5 T. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix,
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Toppings: Whipped Cream/
Cool Whip, or vanilla ice cream!
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Toss apples, cinnamon & nutmeg
together in ziplock bag; place in crockpot.
Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar,
2 T. butter & 3/4 C. Bisquick; pour over
apples. In large bowl, combine brown sugar,
remaining 3/4 C. Bisquick & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon together; cut in 3 T. butter until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle
over apples & batter – DO NOT STIR. Cover &
cook on Low 6-7 hours (check at 6 hours).
Spoon into bowls, (top with whipped cream
or vanilla ice cream – you choose).



The weather is perfect for this weekend -
sunny, a slight breeze and 72 degrees! I
might just take my knitting outside to the
picnic table and enjoy the evening!

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!



Good Start to the Day!


Not being sure of what was ‘coming’ for today, I decided to get up early and get my running done. Hit the bank, gas station, hardware store, grocery and dollar store – YAY! ALL DONE! AND, all in about 2 hours – record time! Got home, put away the ‘stuff’ and am now relaxing a bit at the computer.

Last night was the Knit/Crochet Movie Night and the ladies chose an ‘oldie’ “Cheaper by the Dozen” with Clifton Web and Myrna Loy (that was a surprise!). We had all sorts of salads & desserts – didn’t feel like I was ‘cheating’ by eating lots of salad – good dinner, great company and I finally finished a chemo hat I’ve had in my car for months! (get to deliver that in a few weeks when I go for my check up to the Radiology Oncologist).

Lots more summer recipes for ya – we’re still struggling through way too many leftovers (youngest son doesn’t like leftovers and middle son hasn’t stopped by in awhile to ‘clean out our fridge’ – he’s my ‘eating machine’!) We’ve still got BLT leftovers, mac & cheese, potato salad, polish sausage & fried potatoes – lots of good eats! (I might hit the sausage & potatoes for lunch!)


Lemon Italian Chicken & Noodles

3 C. egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. lemon zest
4 small boneless, skinless chicken
breasts (1 lb)
3 C. fresh mushroom slices
1 C. red pepper strips
1 C. halved onion slices
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Cook noodles as directed on pkg,
omitting salt. Mix salad dressing &
lemon zest until blended. Heat 1/4
C dressing mixture in large nonstick
skillet over medium heat. Add chicken &
cook 7-8 minutes on each side or until
done. Remove from skillet; cover to
keep warm. Add vegetables &
remaining dressing mixture to skillet,
cook 5 minutes or until vegetables
are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Drain noodles, serve topped with
chicken, vegetable mixture & cheese.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Fiesta Ranch Dip

1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chiles, drain excess liquid
1 pkt. (Hidden Valley) fiesta Ranch
dip mix
16 oz. sour cream
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
Tostitos corn chips, for dipping
Mix all ingredients (except chips) in
medium bowl; chill 1 hour. Serve
with chips – great with cut veggies,

NOTE: You can also add:
1 can mexicorn or sweet corn (drained)
top with finely shredded Cheddar cheese,
shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and
sliced olives


Butter Cake Bars
(absolutely necessary to
cool completely before

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
2 C. powdered sugar
powdered sugar, garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8″ pan with parchment
paper. In bowl, mix cake mix, butter &
1 egg until a soft dough forms; press
into bottom of pan. Using a stand
mixer, combine cream cheese, 2 eggs,
sugar & vanilla until smooth; spread over
cake mix layer. Bake 45 minutes or until
edges are golden brown & center has
set to a soft consistency. Cool
COMPLETELY before slicing into bars.


Sweet & Sour Sesame Chicken

10 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken
breast, cut into nuggets
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. pancake syrup
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. ketchup
1/2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. sesame seeds
2 T. thinly sliced scallions
(red pepper flakes – optional)
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Place chicken nuggets in large
bowl; season with salt & pepper. Top
with egg, mix to coat. Place flour in
wide bowl; one at a time: shake nuggets
to remove excess egg & coat with flour.
Evenly lay on baking sheet & bake
10 minutes or until chicken is cooked

Combine broth with cornstarch in nonstick
skillet; whisk to dissolve. Set heat to medium-
low. Add syrup, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce,
sesame oil & garlic; mix well. Cook & stir
until thicken enough to coat a spoon 2-3
minutes. Remove from heat; add chicken &
toss to coat. Plate & sprinkle with sesame
seeds & scallions. (add red pepper flakes,
if desired.) Makes 2 servings

(recipe: allfoodrecipes)

Oven Roasted Corn on Cob with
Flavored Butters

8 ears fresh corn in husks
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place corn in husks directly on oven
rack; roast 40 minutes or until kernels
are tender. When corn is ready, remove
from oven, let cool slightly & peel down
husks to use as handles for eating.

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese optional
on corn.
BBQ Butter
2 T. oil
1/2 small chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. toasted cumin seeds
1 T. chili powder
1/2 C. water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter,
slightly softened
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt & fresh ground black pepper
Heat oil in medium saute pan over
High heat. Add onion; cook until
soft, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1
minute. Add paprika, cayenne, cumin &
chili powder; cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 C.
water; cook until mixture becomes thickened.
Let cool slightly. Season with salt & pepper.
Place mixture in bowl, cover & refrigerate
30 minutes. Bring to room temp before
Herb Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 C. chopped fresh herbs (basil/
chives or cilantro)
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
Mix ingredients until smooth;
refrigerate 30 minutes. Bring to
room temp. before serving.
Lime Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 small fresh lime
3 T. fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
Mix ingredients until smooth;
refrigerate 30 minutes. Bring to
room temp. before serving.

(recipe: allfoodrecipes)
Grilled Zucchini Lasagna

3 large zucchini (3 lb), trimmed
1/3 C. Italian salad dressing
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese,
1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, cooked/
Heat grill for indirect grilling: Light
one side of grill, leaving other side
unlit. Close lid; heat grill to 375
degrees F. Cut zucchini lengthwise into
1/2″ thick slices; place in large bowl.
Mix dressing & garlic; add zucchini &
mix lightly. Place zucchini on grate over
lit area. Grill 10-12 minutes or until
tender, turning occasionally. Mix egg,
ricotta, 1 C. shredded cheese & 2 T.
Parm. until blended. Combine spaghetti
sauce & sausage; spread 1/2 C. on bottom
of 8″ square foil pan sprayed with cooking
spray. Cover with layers of 1/3 zucchini,
half ricotta mixture & 1/2 C. sauce; repeat
layers. Top with remaining zucchini, sauce,
shred. cheese & Parm; cover with foil.
Cut small slit in foil to allow for steam.
Place on grate over unlit area. Grill 30
minutes or until heated through,
watching for consistent grill temperature.
Remove from grill, carefully uncover. Let
stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: kraftfoods)

BLT Macaroni Salad

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
4 C. tightly packed torn
romaine lettuce
2 C. elbow macaroni, cooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. bacon, cooked/
1 C. grape tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, sliced
Mix first 3 ingredients in large
bowl until blended; add
remaining ingredients; mix
lightly. Serves 12, about 3/4 C. each

NOTE: Can be made ahead of time.
Combine all ingredients except
lettuce & bacon. Refrigerate up to
3 hours. Stir in lettuce & bacon just
before serving.

(recipe: kraftfoods)

No-Bake Oreo Truffles

1 pkg. Double Stuff Oreos
4 oz. cream cheese*
dipping chocolate
Chop Oreos up finely in a
food processor; save some
for garnish & set aside.
Using hands or a spoon, mash
softened cream cheese & crushed
Oreos until well combined. Roll
into 1″ ball & place on waxed
paper covered cookie sheet;
place in freezer 15 minutes.
Melt chocolate according to
directions. Remove truffles
from freezer & dip in chocolate.
Garnish, right after dipping,
with reserved Oreo crumbs.
Let chocolate set, refrigerate.

*Poster said you may add up
to 8 oz., but she liked the
consistency best with 4 oz.


Sour Cream Cole Slaw

1 C. sour cream
2 T. sliced scallions
2 T. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 small head cabbage, shredded
Combine first 6 ingredients in
bowl; mix well. In large bowl
gently toss cabbage & sour cream
mixture. Cover & chill 1-2 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Beef ‘n Bean Ragout

1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
1″ cubes
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce with
onion & garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style stewed
1/2 (28 oz) pkg. frozen diced hash
brown potatoes with onions &
peppers (about 4 C.)
fresh oregano leaves (optional)
Stir together meat, beans, tomato
sauce, undrained tomatoes & hash
browns in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours or High 4-5 hours.
If desired, garnish each serving with
fresh oregano leaves. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Chicken ‘n Dumplings

The secret of this is not to stir anything.
That’s what makes your dumplings.
When you dish it out, you have your
dumplings on top.

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or
a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups Bisquick
2 cups whole milk
1 can cream of chicken soup (the herbed
cream of chicken soup
if you can find it)
3 teaspoons of chicken granules
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt or more to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Layer 1 – In 9 x 13 casserole dish, melt

1/2 stick of butter. Spread shredded chicken

over butter. Sprinkle black pepper
and dried sage over this layer. Do not stir.

Layer 2 – In small bowl, mix milk and

Bisquick. Slowly pour all over chicken.

Do not stir.

Layer 3 – In medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups
chicken broth, chicken granules and soup. Once
blended, slowly pour over the Bisquick layer.
Do not Stir.

Bake casserole for 30-40 minutes, or

until the top is golden brown

(recipe: Facebook)

Peaches ‘N Cream Pie

48 ‘Nilla wafers, finely crushed (about
1 1/2 C.)
1/3 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. boiling water
1 (3 oz) pkg. orange Jello
2 C. ice cubes*
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 fresh peaches, peeled & chopped
Mix wafer crumbs & butter; press onto
bottom & up sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
In medium bowl, add boiling water to
jello ; stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Add ice cubes; stir until jello
is slightly thickened. Remove any
unmelted ice. Add Cool Whip; stir until
blended; gently stir in peaches. Refrigerate
15 minutes or until jello mixture is thick
enough to mound; spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

*For best results, do NOT substitute
cold water for ice cubes

Substitute: You can substitute 1 C. coarsely
chopped fresh strawberries & strawberry
jello OR 1 (11 oz) drained can of mandarin oranges
and orange jello

(recipe: Kraft foods)

So far, my day is pretty ‘open’ – laundry is
caught up, dishes done, house bills paid;
I ‘might’ explore a new crochet pattern I
found – MAYBE – we’ll see. Tonight is my
special needs group and that’s always fun.

Enjoy your day – hope it’s as nice & sunny
as it is here, now: 70 degrees (not too cold,
not too hot!).



PS: Forgot to mention: youngest
son’s truck went to the scrap yard
yesterday and he was happy with
$352.00 (better than the other places
which were offering $200); now begins
his working & saving up for another


Having Fun!


What a riot! LOVE this photo!

Somehow, while browsing Facebook, I ended up on a photography site that had tons of photos, all arranged by themes: sunlight, organic, flawed, etc. This photo really cracks me up – he’s SO cute! Just gotta smile when seeing this – right?

It’s raining out right now and grey – sort of a gloomy Monday; temps are at 70 degrees F. Went to my yearly eye check up (the one where I make up my mind to do the cataract surgery – or not). After talking to my doctor, we agreed it isn’t critical at this point, so I settled for new glasses and surgery NEXT year! I’m not afraid of the surgery, it’s just that having spent $$$ this year on a new roof & gutters, I really didn’t want the extra expense EVEN IF my insurance covers most of it. There is also the fact that because my eyes are SO bad (without glasses) there would be a HUGE difference after getting one done – she even said he might decide to bump up the second surgery (usually it’s 2-3 weeks between eyes) to one week in between. We’re going into September soon and already my schedule has increased quite a bit, weekly. I would hate to have two surgeries and try to cram them into my already getting full schedule – better to wait another year and see what that brings. (Yes, I could live to regret it, but I’m good with my decision for now).

Youngest son decided to scrap his truck so we’re sort of in the middle of that – he’s trying to decide on the best company to go with (read that: the one that offers him the most $$$).

Saturday was my second church picnic and it was a lovely day for one – lots of people showed up and we have a very nice time. Along with the picnic, earlier in the day we received a phone call from the daughter of the little old lady we drive to church (she has Alzheimers) – her husband died Saturday. Sad situation – she still wanted to go to church (not a problem) but one daughter told me Saturday that it was OK for Pastor to announce the death from the pulpit – second daughter Sunday morning said it probably WASN’T a good idea as she sort of goes from reality to ‘drifting’ and could get really upset IF she realized what was going on. They took her to the hospital after he died (they weren’t able to make it in time) so she did see him, but she sort of slips in & out of reality. Pastor said when he called their condo the daughter gave her mom the phone. He said he really wasn’t sure what to say, so he said something like “We’re praying for you, so sorry to hear of _____’s passing” – she responded: “Oh, did he go somewhere?” so you get an idea of how things are. We went through church just fine, we’ll see how it goes. The family is trying to decide where Mom will be living, so we’ll see whether we’ll be driving her in the future. She’s a LOVELY lady; it grieves me to see her ‘slipping away’.


Cheesy Squash Casserole

1 T. vegetable oil

6 medium yellow summer squash,

thinly sliced

1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced

1 T. butter

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 C. sour cream

salt & pepper

1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine,

(recommend Ritz)


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease 2 qt casserole dish, set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.

Saute squash, onion & butter until soft;

transfer to a bowl & stir in Parmesan,

Cheddar & sour cream. Add salt & pepper

to taste. Pour mixture into prepared dish;

sprinkle cracker crumbs evenly over top.

Bake 20 minutes or until top is golden &


Serves 6-8



Baked BLT Dip

1 lb. bacon, cooked

1 C. mayonnaise

1 C. sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tomato, seeded/chopped

1/4 C. chopped green onions


additional green onions, cooked

bacon, tomato & lettuce, for garnish


corn chips, for dipping


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream & cream

cheese in a bowl until thoroughly

combined. Crumble bacon into

mixture & stir. Add Cheddar cheese,

green onions & tomato; mix well.

Pour mixture into a shallow dish

or pie pan; bake 20 minutes or

until bubbling. Garnish top with

extras listed above. Serve with

corn chips. Serves 20



Tuna Salad

2 C. pasta

1 C. mayonnaise

2 T. mustard

3-4 T. finely diced onion

1 tsp. garlic

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

1 can tuna


1 C. peas, frozen

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 C. chopped dill pickles

1/2 C. hard boiled egg, diced



Boil noodles until al dente; drain &

rinse in cold water. Mix together mayo,

mustard, onion, garlic/garlic salt, parsley,

onion powder, salt & pepper; stir until

combined. Mix cold, cooked noodles

& sauce together then add frozen peas,

cheese & pickles; stir gently & serve.



Easy Apple Pie Bread

1/2 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/3 C. buttermilk*

2 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 C. flour

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

1/2 tsp. salt

2 C. peeled, diced apples

3/4 C. pecans, chopped


Streusel Nut Topping:

1/4 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 T. flour

2 T. butter, softened

1/3 C. walnuts or pecans, chopped


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease bottom & sides of 9 X 5 X 3

loaf pan. (NOTE: If using a glass loaf

pan, reduce heat to 325)

In large bowl beat butter & sugars

together until combined; add

buttermilk & baking powder, beat

until combined. Add eggs & vanilla;

mix well. Add flour, apple pie spice &

salt; mix well. Toss apples & nuts in a bit

of flour before adding to batter (to prevent

them sinking to the bottom of pan). By

hand, stir in nuts & apples. Spoon batter

into prepared pan; spread evenly.

Prepare Streusel Topping:

In small bowl combine brown sugar,

cinnamon & flour. Using pastry blender

or fork, cut in butter until it resembles

coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts & sprinkle

over batter. Bake 60 minutes or until

wooden toothpick inserted near center

comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on

a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from

pan & cool completely. Wrap and store

overnight before slicing.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:

Place 3/4 tsp. lemon juice or white

vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Fill

cup with enough milk to make 1/3

cup total liquid. Stir and let mixture

stand 5  minutes.



Dad’s Greek Salad

6 T. olive oil

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. fresh chopped garlic

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. dried oregano or 1 tsp.

chopped fresh

1/2 tsp. dill weed or 1 tsp.

chopped fresh

salt & ground black pepper

3 large plum tomatoes, seeded &

coarsely chopped

3/4 cucumber, peeled/seeded &

coarsely chopped

1/2 red onion, peeled & chopped

1 bell pepper, seeded, coarsely


1/2 C. pitted black olives, coarsely


heaping 1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese


Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic,

vinegar, oregano & dill until blended.

Season to taste with salt & pepper*;

let stand at room temperature. Re-

whisk before using.

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion,

bell pepper & olives in a bowl. Toss with

dressing. Sprinkle cheese over top &

serve. Serves 6

*dressing can be prepared 3 hours ahead.

NOTE: to take some of the bite out of the

onions, after chopping, soak them in a little

vinegar or lemon juice.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Mediterranean Pork Chops &

Summer Salad

8 thin sliced center cut boneless

pork chops

1 small (6 oz) zucchini, ends trimmed


1 small (6 oz) yellow squash, ends

trimmed off

1 C. halved grape tomatoes

1 T. olive oil

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp. oregano

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1/4 C. pitted/sliced Kalamata


1/4 C. crumbled Feta cheese

fresh juice from 1/2 large lemon

1 tsp. grated lemon rind


Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Season chops with salt & pepper.

Julienne zucchini & yellow squash,

using a mandolin fitted with julienne

blade (or slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick

slices then cut slices lengthwise into

1/8″ thick strips.) Toss tomatoes with

1/2 T. olive oil, 1/8 tsp. salt, pepper &

oregano. Place tomatoes, cut side up,

on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with

nonstick spray. Roast 10 minutes. Add

sliced garlic & roast another 5 minutes

(this will prevent garlic from burning).

Transfer to large work bowl & set aside.

Reduce oven to 200 degrees F.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-

high heat, add remaining 1/2 T. olive oil &

zucchini with 1/8 tsp. salt; saute until tender,

about 5 minutes then add to bowl with

tomatoes & place in warm oven. Working

in two batches, spray skillet with cooking

spray & cook half of pork chops on medium-

high heat about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each

side then set aside on platter. Remove

veggies from oven & toss with olives, juice

of lemon & lemon rind. Serve veggies over

the pork chops & top with Feta cheese.

Serves 4



Snickers Fudge

First Layer:

1 C. milk chocolate chips

1/4 C. butterscotch chips

1/4 C. peanut butter

Second Layer:

4 T. butter

1 C. granulated sugar

1/4 C. evaporated milk

1 1/2 C. marshmallow creme

1/4 C. peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. chopped salted peanuts

Third Layer:

14 oz. pkg. caramel cubes

1/4 C. heavy cream

Fourth Layer:

1 C. milk chocolate chips

1/4 C. butterscotch chips

1/4 C. creamy peanut butter


First layer preparation:

Lightly spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with

nonstick spray. Over medium heat, melt

milk choc. chips, peanut butter & butter-

scotch chips in small saucepan. Stir

together until completely melted & smooth,

then pour into baking pan. Spread evenly

with spatula, then refrigerate until set.

Second Layer Preparation:

Melt butter over medium-high heat in sauce-

pan. Add sugar & evaporated milk; bring to boil.

Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from

heat & quickly mix in marshmallow creme, peanut

butter & vanilla. Add peanuts to mixture; spread

evenly over chocolate layer. Refrigerate until set.

Third Layer Preparation:

Melt caramels & heavy cream over low heat until

smooth. Pour over peanut mixture & refrigerate

until set.

Fourth Layer Preparation:

Repeat step one. Pour over caramel layer & refrigerate

for at least one hour

before cutting.

(recipe: Rebekah Lewis – Somewhere in



Finally finished the baby blanket (the

one that I’ve been griping about – great

pattern, just really gets tedious after

awhile.) Still working on the shawl -

since it’s not due until next June, I’m

taking my good old sweet time with

it.  Am sort of ‘considering’ a crocheted

baby blanket pattern – IF I DO make it,

it will be for NEXT year’s Detroit Veterans

Hospital baby shower, not this years.


This is the one I just finished

Tomorrow night is our Knit/Crochet

MOVIE night – usually we get around

8 people – this time I have 13 coming!

The theme this time is salads, so it looks

like we’re going to be munching on some

very interesting salads (and a few desserts):

Michigan salad (not sure what that is),

Quinoa salad (LOVE this!), Waldorf salad,

(me:) Red Potato Salad, Carrot salad – lots

of ‘good eats’!

Since my eyes are still somewhat dilated

from the eye check, think I’m going to go

relax in my recliner and ‘look at the inside

of my eyelids’ a bit!

Enjoy your day;




Saturday – Ah, Saturday . . .


Ah, yes – here we are at Saturday and the ‘lovely’ sounds of BEEP – BEEP – BEEP along with loud slamming noises fill my ears – yep, they’re working on the road AGAIN! It’s been about 7 weeks (just a guess) since they started this and I surely thought BY NOW they’d be done with the sections in front of our house, but alas, NO. Husband just looked out the window to see that they’d cut out a section of cement right in front of the house, but this time it’s the second lane – still, makes getting in & out of our driveway NO FUN! During the week they work in the night, but on Sat/Sunday they work all day – it will be nice when it’s done, but I sure wish they would be done SOON!

Weather is nice today but cool: it’s not 9 a.m. and only 60 degrees out. Around 4:30 today is the church picnic; we’re still hoping to go, but have the dilemma of youngest son’s transportation. His hours were changed to 5-8; that’s OK but the picnic starts at 4:30 and goes to around 9 – am thinking of asking him to walk home (not a short trek, but it would work) – we’ll see how this goes. I have 10 lb. of potato salad that I’m REALLY hoping to take to picnic – that’s a LOT of potato salad for just us to eat!

Gas Prices: I was in for a bit of a shock yesterday. The day before gas had been at $3.39/9 – I had 1/2 tank but then began thinking of all the extra driving, so decided to fill up. In ONE day it went from above price, to $3.59/9 – oh well – sigh.


Butter Cake Bars
(absolutely necessary to
cool completely before

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
2 C. powdered sugar
powdered sugar, garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8″ pan with parchment
paper. In bowl, mix cake mix, butter &
1 egg until a soft dough forms; press
into bottom of pan. Using a stand
mixer, combine cream cheese, 2 eggs,
sugar & vanilla until smooth; spread over
cake mix layer. Bake 45 minutes or until
edges are golden brown & center has
set to a soft consistency. Cool
COMPLETELY before slicing into bars.


Bacon & Corn Griddle Cakes

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1 T. sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 C. whole kernel corn
oil, for frying
1/2 C. bacon, chopped
In large bowl stir together flour,
baking powder, salt, paprika, &
sugar. Beat eggs into mixture; stir
milk a little at a time; stir well to
combine. (batter will be very thick)
Mix in corn. Heat skillet over medium
heat; add 2 T. oil, swirling pan to coat
surface evenly. Fry batter like pancakes,
using 1 T. batter per fritter. Cook 1-2
minutes per side until golden brown.
Serves 3-4


Potato Goulash with Sausage

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
thick slices
2 medium yellow onions, halved
lengthwise then sliced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 small russet potatoes, peeled &
sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
1 (14.5 oz) beef broth (about 1 3/4 C.)
Brown sausage in veg. oil over medium-high
heat in 12″ Dutch oven or heavy pot* until nicely
browned & crisp around edges. Remove sausage
from oil with slotted spoon; set aside. Add onions
& saute 5 minutes; add paprika, salt, garlic & pepper;
continue cooking 2 more minutes. Add potato slices
to onions & stir until potatoes are nicely coated with
onions & seasonings. Add beef broth; bring to slight
boil. Reduce heat to medium; continue simmering,
uncovered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(you might have to poke potatoes around for a bit,
to make sure they stay submerged or mostly
submerged in broth.)
Stir in sausage, reduce heat to low & continue
cooking, uncovered, until potatoes are tender;
stirring occasionally.

*It is important to use a pot close to 12 inches in
diameter to insure the broth will be deep enough
to cook the potatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)


Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

2 1/2 C. bread flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1/2 C. sour cream
1 1/4 C. milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar,
cream of tartar, salt, cayenne pepper &
garlic powder in large bowl, stir until
combined. Add softened butter & cut
into flour with pastry blender, two forks
or your hands (leave some lumps)
Add sour cream, Cheddar cheese, & milk;
stir until dry ingredients are moistened;
do not overmix.
Melt 1 stick butter & add 1 tsp. garlic powder
& salt. Place spoonfuls of dough mixture onto
a baking sheet with sides. Spoon 1/2 of melted
butter mixture over biscuits. Bake 18-20 minutes.
Remove when biscuits are golden brown. Spoon
rest of butter mixture over baked biscuits.
Makes 20-25 biscuits


Best Mexican Beef Casserole EVER!

1 lb. beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans rinsed/drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning  mix
8-12 corn tortillas
3/4 C. sour cream
2 cans Ro*Tel tomatoes w/green
chiles, drained
1/3 C. Mexican blend or Taco cheese,
sliced jalapeno peppers
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown hamburger & onions together,
10-12 minutes; drain. Add corn, beans,
tomatoes & taco seasoning mix; simmer
5 minutes. Spray a 2 qt, 8 X 12″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Place half of
tortillas in bottom of dish; spoon half of
beef mixture on top, cover with sour
cream. Layer last tortillas & beef mixture.
Bake 25 minutes; remove from oven & sprinkle
top with cheese & jalapenos. Cook 5 more
minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand
5 minutes before serving.
NOTE: Make sure all is well drained

(recipe: facebook)

Grilled Zucchini

5 zucchini
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
olive oil
salt & pepper
Wash zucchini, cut tops off. Slice into
three equal strips, lengthwise; place
in a gallon ziplock bag. Pour about
1/2 C. Italian dressing in bag; seal
bag tightly & shake to coat all
zucchini with dressing.

Preheat grill 400 degrees F.
(Marinate zucchini 10-15 minutes)
Spray grill with nonstick spray then
lay zucchini slices over grates. Close
lie & allow to get some nice grill
marks on them; flip over to other
side. Watch carefully, so they don’t
burn. Should take about 5 minutes
per side. Remove from grill into a
bowl. Drizzle slices with olive oil &
sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Serves 6-8


Strawberry Pretzel Jello

1 (6 oz) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
2 C. pretzels, crushed
1/4 C. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. sugar
1/2 – 3/4 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large  bowl
Jello with 2 C. boiling
water; stir until dissolved then set
aside to cool to room temp. In large
ziplock bag, crush pretzels using a
rolling pin. In small saucepan, melt
butter & add 1/4 C. sugar; stir to
combine. Pour crushed pretzels into
saucepan; mix together. Press pretzel
mixture into bottom of 9 X 13 pan;
bake 10 minutes. Remove & allow
to come to room temp. Add cream
cheese & 1 C. sugar to large bowl;
using elec. mixer, mix on Low until
fully combined. Stir in Cool Whip
with a spatula. Spread cream cheese
mixture over cooled pretzel crust
going all the way to the edges to
create a seal. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Slice strawberries; when crust is
cooled, evenly arrange sliced straw-
berries on top of cream cheese
layer. Pour Jello over strawberries &
refrigerate until set.


Fried Green Tomatoes

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. flour, divided
1/2 C. cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 medium-sized green tomatoes,
cut into 1/3 inch slices
vegetable oil
salt, to taste

Combine egg & buttermilk;
set aside. Combine 1/4 C. flour,
cornmeal, 1 tsp. salt & pepper in
a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge
tomato slices in remaining 1/4 C.
flour; dip in egg mixture, dredge
cornmeal mixture. Pour oil to a
depth of 1/4 -1/2 inch in large
cast iron skillet; heat to 375 degrees
F. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into
hot oil & cook 2 minutes on each
side or until golden. Drain on
paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle
hot tomatoes with salt.

(recipe: Facebook)

Mediterranean Salad

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes &
basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 (10 oz) pkg. mixed salad greens
3 T. chopped ripe olives
1/4 C. chopped green onions
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
Stir together undrained tomatoes &
vinegar in large bowl; add salad
greens – toss to combine. Divide
salad mixture evenly among 8 salad
plates & top each with olives, onions
& cheese. Serves 8


Mexican Party Wings

1 C. prepared Ranch salad dressing
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
1/2 C. flour
1 (1.25 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 tsp. oil
24 chicken drummettes (about 2 lb)
dried parsley flakes
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. In blender, combine salad dressing
& chilies; blend until smooth then spoon
into small serving bowl. Refrigerate while
preparing drummettes. In shallow dish,
combine flour & taco seasoning mix;
mix well. Add oil & stir with fork until
well combined. Coat drummettes with
flour mixture; coat drummettes AGAIN
to use all flour mixture then place on
prepared sheet. Bake 15 minutes; turn
drummettes & bake an additional 14-17
minutes or until chicken is fork-tender
& juices run clear. Sprinkle parsley on
salad dressing mixture & serve on the
side with warm drummettes. Makes
24 servings.

(recipe; Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Lemon Cream Pie

46 ‘Nilla wafers* (vanilla), finely
crushed (about 1 1/2 C.)
1/3 C. butter, melted
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. lemon flavored
instant pudding mix
3/4 C. AND 2 T. cold milk
zest & 1/4 C. juice from 2
lemons, divided
1 (8 oz ) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar, divided
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. water
1 egg yolk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix wafer crumbs & butter;
press onto bottom & up sides
of a 9″ pie plate. Bake 10 minutes;
cool. Beat pudding mix, 3/4 C. milk
& lemon zest in medium bowl with
whisk 2 minutes (pudding will be
thick). Stir in 1 1/2 C. Cool Whip;
spread on bottom of crust. Beat
cream cheese, remaining milk &
1/4 C. sugar in separate medium
bowl; stir in remaining Cool Whip &
spread over pudding layer. Mix
remaining sugar & cornstarch in
small saucepan. Stir in water &
lemon juice; cook on medium heat
10 minutes or until mixture is thickened
& just comes to a boil, stirring
frequently. Add small amount to
egg yolk in small bowl; stir until
well blended then gradually stir into
remaining lemon mixture in saucepan.
Cook 1 minute or until heated through,
stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Spread
lemon mixture over pie & refrigerate
4 hours before serving.

*can substitute 26 square shortbread
cookies for wafers

(recipe: Kraft foods)


That’s the ‘scoop’ for today – not
much in the works until we get the
plans for transportation/picnic
in place. Son is still trying to find a
scrap yard for his truck (THANK
HEAVENS he decided to NOT go
with the ‘friend who is a licensed
mechanic’ to fix the truck – too much
room for error!  Will probably work
on the knitting some (definitely, if
we’re going to the picnic – long ride).

Enjoy your day!



Quiet Wednesday – so far . . .


We had quite a rainstorm last night, but today it’s clear, sunny & a little warm:
74 degrees – not bad for August! Just got home from a few errands – library, Gordon Food Service, Belle Tire, the fruit/vegetable stand and lastly: Baskin Robbins for youngest son’s 20th birthday/ice cream cake (Peanut Butter Cup – no less!). If you remember the comic strip: “Sad Sack” – that’s sort of our youngest son’s dilemma lately. Belle Tire called last night on his truck: it seems son ‘accidentally’ put power steering fluid in the brake fluid (BAD THING!). Apparently if/when that happens it contaminates the brake lines – ALL PARTS MUST BE TAKEN OUT & REPLACED. (now, if you’re like me, you’re thinking: Why can’t they just flush the lines? – Apparently that’s not done, the guy explained that there is a multi-step process to this whole repair – sensors, etc. IF you miss even ONE part of the repair, the whole thing is ruined – trash it and start again. Oh, and the repair for this (NOT COUNTING LABOR) is $1,500.00! Husband & I were ready to just quit; son who owns said truck pipes up and says he has a friend who’s a certified mechanic who can do the job for half the cost, at his house. UGH! Right now we’re awaiting word from said ‘friend’ as to where to have the truck towed (Oh, joy – ANOTHER $75.00 towing fee!). I would get angry, but why bother? It’s his BIRTHDAY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! (Hence the ice cream cake). Yep, it’s a crazy world we live in around here . . .

Oh! Yesterday when husband & I went to vote we walked into the elementary school to discover we were the only voters at that time; there were 5 lovely older ladies there to help us. I looked down and noticed a skein of yarn & some knitting needles – not being one to be too shy when it comes to my ‘passion’ I piped up and asked: “Who’s the knitter?” Well, that started a whole discussion – apparently they ALL knit or crochet! I gave them all my business cards from my purse (one wanted more as she lives in a complex!) – they’re all excited to come to my group! Pretty neat, eh? Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we solidified plans for next Tuesday’s Knit/MOVIE night (salads & desserts) plus ironed out questions on “Do we ONLY have to knit/crochet BABY BLANKETS? Can we do hats, sweaters or booties?”  The answer is Yes – so now we will have all those above mentioned items along with blankets – YAY!


Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Shells

16 jumbo pasta shells*
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
4 C. (packed) fresh spinach leaves,
roughly chopped
1 (12 oz) pkg. ricotta cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
plus more for serving
1 large egg
1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/4 C. marinara sauce
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta al dente, accordg
to pkg. directions; drain & set
aside. Heat oliveoil in large skillet
over medium-high heat. When oil
begins to shimmer, add garlic; cook
until it begins to brown, about 1-2
minutes. Add spinach & cook, stirring
occasionally, until leaves begin to
wilt but are still bright green, 3-4
minutes. Spinach should be
reduced by half; remove from heat &
let cool.
In mixing bowl, stir together spinach,
ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg,
basil & salt/pepper until thoroughly
combined. Pour 1/2/ C. marinara sauce
in bottom of shallow 8 X 8″ dish. Stuff
each pasta shell with a generous amount
of spinach/cheese mixture & place in
baking dish. Cover shells with remaining
sauce & bake, (foil) covered, 25 minutes. Remove
cover (foil) & bake until top begins to brown &
sauce begins to bubble, another 10-15 minutes.
Serve dusting top with more Parmesan.
Serves 4

*cook a few extra shells in case
some break when filling

Easy Banana Pudding Poke Cake

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. sugar
1 small (3 1/2 oz) pkg instant
vanilla pudding mix
1 C. sour ceam
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 C. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla

1 large box instant banana
cream pudding mix
3 C. cold milk
1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar (or,
to taste)
1/2 tsp. vanilla


crushed nilla wafers
fresh, sliced bananas
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking
pan, or use baking spray. Place
flour, baking powder, baking
soda, sugar, vanilla pudding mix,
sour cream, eggs, oil & vanilla in
large bowl; mix 3-5 minutes. Pour
mixture into prepared pan; bake
35-40 minutes or until top is golden
brown & toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let cool
5-10 minutes, then poke holes all
over cake with handle of a wooden
spoon. Mix large box instant banana
pudding mix with milk 2-3 minutes
or until pudding mix is fully dissolved,
but pudding is still pourable. Pour all
over top of cake, making sure it gets
into all the holes. Chill cake until fully
cooled & pudding has set, 15-20
minutes. Whip heavy cream, powdered
sugar & vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread
on top of cake, garnish with crushed
cookies & sliced bananas. Serve immediately.
Serves 8-10

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe Tortillas

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 chipotle chili en adobo sauce,
 in can
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
 12 oz. beer
 2 T. ketchup
 1/2 C. cilantro, chopped/divided
 1 T. lime juice
 salt & pepper, to taste
 Large corn tortillas
 chopped lettuce
 chopped tomatoes
 corn kernels
 lemon slices -
 In large skillet over medium-low
 heat, cook meat until browned,
 about 10 minutes. Add onions &
 diced pepper; cook until soft, about
 5 minutes; add garlic-cook 30 seconds
 more. In a blender, put tomato sauce,
 chipotle chile, oregano, ground cumin,
 smoked paprika, allspice, Wors. sauce;
 mix well then pour into skillet with
 beer, ketchup & half of cilantro. Stir
 until well combined. Cook on medium-
 low uncovered 15 minutes then stir
 in remaining cilantro & lime juice. Adjust
 seasonings & add salt & pepper to
 Serve on warmed tortillas, garnished
 with your choice of garnishes.


Pepperoni/Cheese/Zucchini Bites

1 medium zucchini
 garlic salt
 3/4 C. spaghetti sauce
 2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
 1/2 (6 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
 Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
 Slice zucchini into 1/4" slices.
 Line a baking sheet with foil &
 spray with nonstick spray (you
 might need 2 pans). Place zucchini
 slices in pan in one layer & sprinkle
 lightly with garlic salt. Bake slices
 about 10 minutes until they are 
 fork tender. Remove from oven &
 spread about 1 T. spaghetti sauce 
 over top of each slice; top with 
 shredded mozzarella and 1-2
 slices pepperoni. Sprinkle each
 slice with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
 Turn oven to Broil. Broil slices
 until cheese is bubbly - watch
 closely, should take 2-3 minutes.
 Makes 7-8 servings.
Creamy Ranch, Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad
1 (16 oz) pkg. bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (16 oz) pkg. large shell pasta
1 1/2 lb. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. buttermilk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch salad dressing mix
salt & pepper
Boil pasta accordg to pkg directions. Place
in strainer; pour cold water over pasta until
it comes to room temperature; set aside. 
Place tomatoes & green onions in large bowl;
add cooled, cooked pasta. In small mixing bowl,
combine sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk &
dry ranch mix; stir well to combine, making sure
all ingredients are well incorporated. Add 
crumbled bacon to pasta mixture. Pour half of
dressing over pasta; stir well. Cover & 
refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Refrigerate remaining dressing as well. When
ready to serve, pour remaining dressing over
top; stir well, making sure all ingredients are
covered with dressing. Taste it - add sald & 
pepper, if needed.Makes 10 large servings

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)
Sorry - my browser/Server 
is having some major issues 
with spacing -all the words 
are coming out HUGE!
Have a great day;


Look who came to visit!


Baby bunny in front yard!

Lately I’ve been a bit concerned about our ‘bunny population’ – every year we have two rabbits who make their home in our ‘briar patch’ in the backyard (wild black raspberry bushes) and we usually see their offspring in mid summer. This year we saw the rabbits, but then we spotted a big, mangy UGLY cat lying on our picnic table and began to suspect where our rabbits went. Haven’t seen a rabbit in about 2 weeks – until today! Husband got back home from a quick doctor’s office (routine) visit, came in and said; “COME HERE – YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS!” Here was this BABY bunny – he was on the grass about 3 feet from my van – husband walked right by him and he didn’t move! I ran & got my camera,  still he didn’t move, only munched on clover! Either he was totally scared or ONE VERY BRAVE BABY BUNNY! It just made me super happy to see him – even IF he was in the front yard instead of the back (our front yard, remember, is on a MAJOR highway – not very safe for animals, for sure!).

Woke up to rain and a wee thunderstorm last night – temperatures are cooler today (64 degrees F.) and cloudy/grey – good for staying home & knitting or reading a book! (I’m working my way through another ‘quilter’ book by Jennifer Chiaverini (she writes the Elm Creek Quilts series); no, I’m NOT a quilter (all thumbs when it comes to sewing) but I really enjoy the way she weaves a story. Very much like the Debbie Macomber knitting series about Blossom Street – both are very enjoyable reads. The book I’m reading now is a compilation of the first 3 books in the series, so it’s not only very thick, but VERY HEAVY! Still, I’m partial to reading a BOOK (as opposite reading a tablet – just sayin’).


Watermelon/Mozzarella Salad

3 C. cold watermelon bite-sized
balls or cubes
1 C. bite-sized fresh part-skim
mozzarella balls or cubes
2 T. honey
2 1/2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T. freshly chopped mint leaves
pinch salt
pinch crushed red pepper
Place watermelon & mozzarella in a
serving bowl. In separate bowl, whisk
together honey, lemon juice, chopped
mint, salt & crushed red pepper. Pour
dressing over melon & cheese/toss to
combine & serve immediately.
Serves 4


Crockpot Taco Dip

2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 (13 oz, ea) cans chili
2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 pkgs. Taco seasoning mix
2 T. chili powder
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Brown ground beef & onions;
drain. Add to crockpot with
remaining ingredients. Cook,
on Low, 2 hours or until
Velveeta is melted.

(recipe: Crockpotladies)

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 pkg. Devils Food Cake mix
1 can cherry pie fruit filling
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

2 C. sugar
8 T. butter
1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 15 X 10″ jelly roll
pan. Mix cake mix, cherry pie filling,
almond & eggs together; pour into
pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean. Boil sugar, butter & milk
in a saucepan 1 minute then add
chocolate chips; stir until chips
are melted then spread on warm


Summer Cherry Chicken

2 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken (leg quarters)
2 C. whole cherries pitted & chopped
1/4 C. sugar
1 small onion, halved/sliced
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste
Place chicken in crockpot; sprinkle
with spices. In a bowl mix cherries,
onions & sugar; mix & pour over
chicken. Cook on Low 7-9 hours or
High 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours.


Three Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

6 zucchini ( 3 1/2 lb)
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
3 arbol chilies, stemmed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
3 C. hot, cooked long-grain brown rice
if desired, as side dish)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook zucchini in boiling water in
large saucepan 5-7 minutes or until
tender; drain, reserving 1 C. cooking
liquid; cool zucchini. Cut thin slice off
stem end of each zucchini; carefully
scoop out centers, leaving 1/4″ thick
shells. Chop removed zucchini; combine
with mozzarella & feta cheeses. Heat oil
in medium skillet over medium heat. Add
onions, chiles & garlic; cook & stir 3 minutes
or until onions are crisp-tender, remove
from heat. Add half onion mixture to
zucchini mixture; spoon into zucchini shells.
Place in greased 9 X 13 pan. Blend reserved
water, tomato sauce & remaining onion
mixture in blender until smooth; pour
over stuffed zucchini shells. Cover & bake
25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle tops with Parmesan & serve
with rice (if desired). Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crisp Refrigerator Pickles

1 C. white vinegar
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. water
1-2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
3 C. sliced cucumbers
3 small onions, thinly sliced
Place sliced cucumber & onions in a
large container or bowl*. In a separate
bowl, stir vinegar, sugar, water & salt
together until dissolved; add celery
seed. Pour mixture over cucumbers &
onions & refrigerate.
Makes about 6 Cups.
*in photo, mixture was put in a glass
canning jar.

Poster notes that they taste
best after 1-2 days in fridge. Keeps
for 2-3 months.


Grilled Asparagus

1/4 C. Balsamic vinaigrette
salad dressing
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears,
1 t. grated Parmesan cheese
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Pour dressing over asparagus in
shallow dish; turn to evenly
coat asparagus with dressing.
Remove asparagus, reserving
dressing in dish. Grill asparagus
5 minutes or until crisp-tender,
turning & brushing occasionally
with reserved dressing. Serve
topped with cheese. Serves 4

Note: Thicker spears are better
for roasting or grilling; the bigger
the spears, the longer they take to
cook & the more grilled or roasted
flavor they will have.

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Spaghetti Casserole

1 envelope onion soup mix
1 pkg. angel hair pasta
1 1/2 qt. boiling water
1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 T. parsley flakes
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large saucepan, combine onion
soup mix & spaghetti with water;
cook until pasta is tender, DO NOT
DRAIN. In large skillet, brown meat,
stir in tomato sauce & paste, parsley
& basil; add to spaghetti; heat through.
Place in casserole dish; top with cheese &
bake 20 minutes. Serves 6


Tortellini/Sausage Soup
1 lb mild bulk Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves,minced

1 cup water
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp basil
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
8 oz frozen tortellini
1 cup chopped onion
5 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 tsp oregano
1 medium green pepper, chopped
Brown sausage and drain grease. Place sausage,
onions, garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, carrots,
and tomato sauce in slow cooker. Cover; cook on
LOW for 6 hours. Add basil, oregano, zucchini,
green pepper, and tortellini to slow cooker.
Cover; cook for another hour on HIGH or until
tortellini are done. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)

Skinny Shrimp Salsa

16 oz. cooked/peeled shrimp, diced fine
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced fine
6 T. red onion, diced fine
3 T. jalapenos, diced fine (more or less,
to taste)
2 T. minced cilantro
juice of 2 limes (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Combine onion, tomatoes, salt &
lime juice in a large non-reactive bowl;
let stand 5 minutes; add remaining
ingredients; taste for salt & adjust as
needed.Refrigerate to let flavors
combine at least 1 hour before serving.
Serves 8


Cake Mix Apple Cobbler

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling
6 T. butter, melted
Place pie filling in bottom of crockot.
Spread cake mix over top then spoon
butter onto cake mix; DO not mix.
Cook on High 4 hours.
VERY GOOD with vanilla ice cream!



Lately it’s been nice & quiet around here, so I’ve been
catching up on knitting; still have the rest of the ‘big ball’
of yarn before the (pain in the neck) baby afghan is done.
I like the way it looks, it’s just that (and I chose this pattern!)
it’s ‘fussy’ – every other row is constant counting of each
stitch – by the time you’ve done the four-row pattern, you’re
ready to put it down for a LONG time! I’m determined to get
it done before the Vet’s Baby shower delivery (hoping that’s
Sept 16th – still awaiting a solid date). Worked on my shawl
some – since it’s just knit & purl, it goes quickly AND since it’s
not due until NEXT June, I’m taking my sweet time on it. Knit
another baby hat yesterday, just to keep ‘in the loop’. I’ve
been ‘thinking’ about crocheting another baby blanket before
September – but, mind you – just ‘thinking’ at this stage. Yes,
I know – I’m NUTS! Don’t know WHY I like challenging myself
to get something done with a very short deadline – guess I
just like the thrill of the chase! Maybe . . .

Last night youngest son came home extremely frustrated -
it seems his (old) truck’s brakes totally failed just as he
was coming up our driveway (foot to the floor, no brakes)
and he ‘gently’ drove into the fence – no big deal, no dent
to truck or fence. He/WE have been pouring $$$ into this
vehicle ever since he got it; he still owes us $ for previous
repairs – I was at a quandary, so asked husband. He said:
Let’s just get it done – call a tow truck in the morning and
take it to Belle Tire and get it checked out – he needs the
vehicle and I need the peace.” End of story – Ah, the ‘fun’
of parenthood – right? (I was thinking, last night, of how
many times we’ve been this ‘route’ with the other two
sons and their vehicles – too many times to count. Life -
sometimes it’s struggling to keep your head above water
and others it’s maintaining the ‘dog paddle’ – either way,
it’s got to be done! Son was lamenting that it seems that
he never ‘gets a break’ so I gave him the ‘Mama’ story
about how I VERY WELL remember being VERY broke at
his age – at that time, I remember as a treat to myself,
attempting to save up enough $ to be able to buy a
Burger King Whopper – that was ALL I could afford, as a
treat! Back then (1969) Kraft Macaroni & cheese was
19 CENTS a box and I lived on the stuff – IF I had enough
$, it was made with milk, if not – water (not very tasty, but
I survived.) I was living with my best friend in a small
apartment and IF we had a little extra $, we added a
cooked, cut up hotdog to the mix – that was “LIVING!”
BUT – moral of the story: I SURVIVED JUST FINE!

Today is VOTING DAY in our area; husband & I are
going in a few minutes. It’s mostly local issues, but
I really want to vote on maintaining our Police/Fire
Millage. The way I see it: those guys put their lives
on the line EVERY DAY for us – we need to support
them any way we can.

Have a GREAT DAY! Remember to smile a little,
maybe listen to some music that makes you happy,
or just go take a nap! YOU are IMPORTANT -
remember that!

Big Hugs;


Six Words -


Today found me visiting a specialist – to be specific: a skin specialist. I have, for about 3-4 months now, had a ‘bump’ on my top lip that was getting a bit bigger and, having been a cancer survivor – ANYTHING on your body that’s ‘not normal’ causes great alarm. At Knit Night last week one of my ladies shared that she was going in for surgery the next day for a VERY tiny little red line on her face – it was pre-cancerous. They ended up shaving it, 8 stitches later and she’s good. While she & I were talking I mentioned my bump and that it occasionally peels – she freaked: “Oh, peeling is THE WORST! Get your butt in to a doctor immediately!” Well, sometimes it’s good for you to ‘get a good scare’ because her freaking caused me to make the appointment the very next day. Now – for the six words I mentioned:


He froze it with liquid nitrogen, said it will shrink, dry up and eventually fall off – the underlying skin will be pink for about 3-6 weeks, but it’s ALL GOOD! I was so excited I cried; you have no idea all the things that went through my mind BEFORE the visit: more surgery/possible chemotherapy this time, hair loss, fatigue, etc.  Thank YOU, LORD – you saw my heart and answered my prayers; life goes on in a positive way!

For a mini-celebration I went to Tim Horton’s for coffee for husband & I and a 20 piece box of Tim Bit’s donut holes! (Hey a girl’s gotta celebrate the BIG & LITTLE things in life!)


Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
few drops vanilla (optional)
3 C. grated carrots
1/2 C. chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs; mix with oil, then sugar.
Combine dry ingredients then mix
wet ingredients into dry; mix well.
Add grated carrots & pecans; mix again.
Grease & flour three 8″ cake pans or
a 9″ tube pan. Pour batter into pan(s)
& bake 25-30 minutes (depending on
pan used) or until toothpick inserted
into center comes out nearly clean.
Frost with cream cheese frosting
(recipe below):

Cream Cheese frosting:

1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans
Combine butter & cream cheese until
smooth; stir in sugar, vanilla & pecans,
mix well then frost cake.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bubble Pizza

Canned biscuits
pizza toppings
pizza sauce
shredded cheeses of your choice
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray insides of a 8 X 8″ pan
with nonstick spray. Cut biscuits
into quarters & place in bottom
of pan. Top with toppings &
sauce; bake, uncovered, 20
minutes. Remove from oven &
sprinkle top with cheeses. Bake
an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle
top with oregano (if desired)
& let stand 5 minutes before


Summer Spaghetti Salad
(overnight recipe)
16 oz. spaghetti noodles
1 bottle zesty Italian salad dressing
(small bottle)
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
1/4 C. chopped onion (or less)
1 can chopped black olives, drained
1 pkg. dry Italian seasoning
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (or more)
6 oz. grilled chicken or ham, cut into
bite-sized pieces
Cook, drain & rinse spaghetti with cold
water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover &
refrigerate overnight.


Marinated Cucumbers, Onions, and Tomatoes

3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup oil

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving

(recipe: Facebook)
Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
1 T. olive oil
1 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cheese, bread crumbs,
pepper & garlic powder on a
plate. Rub chops with olive oil
and coat each chop with cheese
mixture (both sides). Press
mixture over chops to make sure
they are well coated. Line a pan
with foil & spray with nonstick
spray. Place chops on pan &
bake 40-45 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: Facebook)

Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water,
drained & flaked
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 C. chopped black olives
2 T. finely chopped red onions
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
zest & juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tomatoes
Starting at top of tomato, partially
cut each tomato into wedges, being
careful not to cut all the way through
to the bottom of the tomato. Combine
all ingredients (except tomatoes) in
a bowl; fill sliced tomatoes with tuna
mixture. Serves 4.

NOTE: Tuna mixture can be prepared
ahead of time; refrigerate up to 24
hours before spooning into slices

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Baked Zucchini Slices

1 zucchini
1 T. olive oil
sea salt
ground black pepper
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Cut zucchini into thin slices &
toss in olive oil, sea salt &
pepper; sprinkle with paprika &
bake 25-30 minutes.
*paprika not only flavors this,
but also boosts metabolism,
reduces appetite and lowers
blood pressure!

(recipe: Facebook)

Cornbread Taco Casserole

2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 C. chopped bell pepper
1 (15 oz) can crushed or diced
1 can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 C. water
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy cornbread mix
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef in skillet; add onions
& peppers & cook until onions are
translucent (drain grease). Add tomatoes
& kidney beans; mix well & pour into a
greased 9 X 13 dish. Mix cornbread according
to pkg. directions & pour cornbread batter
over meat mixture in prepared dish. Bake
20-25 minutes or until cornbread is golden

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter
Coconut Bites

1 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. unrefined coconut oil*
1 C. coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 1/4 C. dark or semi-sweet
chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
toasted coconut (for topping/optional)
Melt peanut butter, honey & coconut oil
in medium saucepan over medium-low
heat. Stir frequently as mixture melts. When
melted, remove from heat & stir in
remaining ingredients; stir until chocolate
has melted & ingredients are well
combined. Pour into 8 X 8 (or 9 X 13) pan.
Refrigerate until chocolate hardens, at
least 3-4 hours. Slice into 1″ – 2″ square
pieces. Store in refrigerator.

*Unrefined is important for the coconut


After the GREAT news today, I’ve been sort of

dancing woman

Our weather is really nice – 79 and sunny.
Grandson is here; first he played on my
computer (a game from school) then
decided he wanted to make a potholder
for his Mom (finished that in record time).
Next up: Play “Goofy Golf Machine” game -
(“Call me, Gramma, when you get it set up”);
I got it set up and he said: “First a nap” and
promptly crashed on the couch! Oh well-
I don’t mind – less time for me to worry I’m
not AMUSING him enough! (Yes, goofy as
it sounds, I DO worry about that!). It’s 1:40 p.m.
and his other grandma will be picking him up
in less than an hour – boy, THAT was an EASY

Enjoy your day – TREAT YOURSELF to something-
BIG or little; life is short (to quote my favorite
expression) Life is short – eat dessert first!




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