Today’s a “PRAISE THE LORD!” Day!!!


Today was my ‘lots of shopping’ day – went to four stores, last one was Kroger’s. Finished my shopping, pushed my cart to the car and went to get my car key out of my jacket – not there. Searched and searched – came up NO KEY! Panic-y, I called my husband (who has the spare) and he drove it to me. In the meantime (before he got to me) I went inside and left my name & phone # with the service desk – just in case someone might drop it off. Went home, unpacked the groceries (about 1/2 hour) and got a phone call from Kroger’s: someone dropped off my key! PRAISE THE LORD! I know, in my heart, that the Lord is faithful ALL THE TIME, even when I’m not. During the panic, I sort of did a quick prayer, but that was all. SO grateful that HE is faithful, even when I’m not. Those little programmable key fobs run $125+ to replace, so believe me, I’m truly grateful to get mine back! So much for BIG EXCITEMENT today, eh?

During my running around I realized that it’s ‘now or never’ to get Easter basket goodies, even though my youngest is 19 now – the boys still expect an Easter basket (even the Grandson). Had fun looking through all sorts of candies; found a little light up chick (goofy little rubbery-plastic thing that, when you bang it, does a ‘light show’ in it’s tummy) and a “Cars” coloring/maze book for the grandson. Yes, he’s now 7 1/2 but he still likes the little goodies. Knowing that this kid will get candy from FIVE different sources (us, other grandparents, his dad, his mom & great grandma) made me be rather ‘selective’ on what he gets. For him, more ‘toys’ than candy. Found (at Kroger’s) three really BIG marshmallow Peeps – oldest son loves them. Also, after moving a magazine display that sort of blocked the rest of the candy aisle, found bags of BLACK jelly beans (another oldest son treat). Got the LAST bag of SPICED jelly beans at Walgreen’s – YAY (for husband). This time around, I didn’t get anything for me – I really don’t need it.


Hard-boiled eggs IN THE OVEN!

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place eggs in a muffin tray so
that they don’t move around.
Cook 25-30 minutes.
(Poster mentions she saw this tip
on Facebook: “They’re supposed
to be tastier & are easier to peel.”


Carrot/Broccoli Gratin

2 C. baby carrots, cut in half
4 C. small broccoli florets
10 Ritz crackers, crushed
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
2 oz (1/4 of a 8 oz pkg) cream
cheese, cubed
Bring 3 C. water to boil in large
saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add carrots; simmer on medium-low
8 minutes. Add broccoli, simmer 3
minutes or until vegetables are crisp-
tender. Mix cracker crumbs, Parmesan
& butter until blended. Microwave
Velveeta & cream cheese in 2-Cup
microwaveable measuring cup on
High 1 minute; stir. Microwave 30
seconds or until Velveeta & cream
cheese are completely melted &
mixture is well blended when
stirred. Drain vegetables; place in
serving bowl. Top with cheese sauce;
sprinkle with crumb mixture.
Serves 8, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Quick Peach Cobbler

1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. self-rising flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. milk
1 (28 oz) can sliced peaches
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 9″ baking
pan; melt in preheated oven. Mix
flour, sugar & milk in bowl until
smooth. Pour peaches (with juice)
in bowl; add almond extract; mix.
Pour peaches mixture over melted
butter in 9 x 9 pan. Spoon batter
on top of peaches without mixing.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake
45-60 minutes until bubbling & top
is lightly browned.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe

Bubbles & Squeek*

1 medium head cabbage, chopped
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 C. ham, cubed
2 T. butter
3 C. potatoes (baked & cubed)
1/2 tsp. paprika (or more, to taste)
salt & pepper
Cook cabbage in a very small amount of
water in a saucepan; just enough to cook
until tender. In a skillet, fry bacon & onions
until onions are translucent. Add ham &
continue cooking until well heated. Add
butter, seasonings, cabbage & potatoes to
mixture & stir. Cook, without stirring, until
slightly browned on bottom, then flip
(like hash browns) & brown on other side.

*the name comes from the sound it
makes while cooking.


Classic Glazed Ham

8 lb. precooked ham (or 5 lb. canned ham)
whole cloves
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. maple syrup
2 T. mustard
1 T. corn starch
1 can (1 lb, 4 oz) unsweetened crushed
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut rind off ham (if present). Score top
surface of ham in a criss-cross pattern;
stud with cloves. Place fat side up on a
rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake,
approx. 15 per pound, or follow wrapper
directions. Combine sugar, syrup & mustard.
Using 3/4 C. glaze, baste ham every 10 minutes
during last 30-45 minutes of baking. Stir
cornstarch into remaining glaze in saucepan.
Add pineapple with juice; simmer, stirring
constantly, until sauce thickens. Serve with


Grandma’s Dinner Rolls

2 round T. yeast
1 1/2 C. warm water
1 C. warm milk
1/2 C. sugar (2/3 C. if you want
sweet rolls)
6 T. shortening
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
7-8 C. flour
Beat first 7 ingredients until
smooth. Using elec. mixer with a
dough hook, add flour one-cup
at a time until dough forms a ball,
cleaning off edge of bowl. Knead
5 minutes (or 10 minutes by hand).
Let rise until double. Punch down
dough & let rise until double again.*
Punch down again & divide into 3
parts. Roll out each part & form into
rolls. Using a pizza cutter, cut into
fourths, then each fourth into thirds -
making 12 pie-shapes. Roll each one
up staring at wide end. Place on a
cookie sheet & let rise briefly. Watch
carefully as rolls will rise very quickly
now after 2 risings. Bake at 350 degrees
F. for 17-20 minutes until lightly

*To make this easier, leave dough in the
mixing bowl with dough hook, covered
with a damp towel. When it has risen
double, turn on the machine briefly to
gently punch down the dough. Cover
again with towel & allow to rise again.


Pineapple – Cherry Topped Cake

1 (18.25 oz) pkg. white cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
& squeezed dry
1/2 C. chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 C. chopped nuts
Preheat oven as directed on cake mix box.
Combine white cake mix, vanilla pudding
mix & milk. Pour into greased 9 inch pans.
Bake 20 minutes. In a bowl, combine
softened cream cheese & Cool Whip; mix
until smooth, then spread over cooled
cake. Top with crushed pineapple,
chopped cherries & chopped nuts.
Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Peach Salsa Chicken

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 (18 oz) jar peach preserves (Smuckers)
1 (16 oz) jar medium chunky salsa (Pace)
Place chicken in crockpot, cover & cook on
High 3 hours. Drain juices from crockpot.
Mix together salsa & preserves; pour over
chicken; cover & cook on High 30 minutes

(recipe:the frugal

Chilimac & Cheese

8 oz. dry elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 (15 oz) can chili with NO beans
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into cubes
Cook macaroni accordg to pkg. directions,
omitting salt; drain & return to pan. Add
chili, drained tomatoes & Velveeta; cook
over medium heat 5 minutes until Velveeta
melts, stirring occasionally. Serves 6 (1 C. each).


Skillet Texas Hash

4 Idaho potatoes, peeled & diced
1″ chunks
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
2 chipotle peppers, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tsp. creole seasoning (or
seasoning salt)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
(sour cream – served on side)
In medium pot add diced potatoes;
cover with cold water & boil 5 minutes;
drain – set aside. In medium skillet add
1 T. olive oil; heat over medium heat. Add
bacon & cook until crispy; drain bacon &
set aside. Reserve 2 T. bacon grease & add
white onion, jalapenos, chipotle peppers &
saute 5 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute.
Add breakfast sausage & cook until browned,
about 7 minutes. Add potatoes & all spices; mix
well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat
broiler. Add bacon & 1/2 of the green onions into
potato mixture; top with cheese & place under
broiler 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove
from oven & sprinkle with remaining green onions.
Serve with sour cream on side. Serves 4


Lemon-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

8 C. halved, trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts*
1/4 C. Greek-style plain yogurt
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water 8-10
minutes or until crisp-tender. Mix remaining
ingredients in large bowl. Drain Brussels sprouts
& add to dressing mixture. Toss to coat. Makes
4 servings 1 1/4 C. each

*can substitute small broccoli florets for Brussels

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Old-Fashioned Funeral Pie

2 C. raisins
1 C. water
1 C. orange juice
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 pinch salt
1 T. cider vinegar
3 T. unsalted butter
2 pie crusts; store bought or hand made
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place raisins, water & orange juice in a
saucepan; heat over medium heat 5
minutes. Combine sugars, cornstarch, spices &
salt in a bowl, mixing completely; add mixture
to heating raisins. Cook & stir until mixture starts
to bubble. Add vinegar, walnuts & butter; heat
until butter is melted. Remove from burner &
cool until just warm. Pour mixture into prepared
pie shell; top with second pastry crust. Bake 25
minutes or until golden brown. Cool before


Gas prices, today: $3.79/9 – going up (as expected)

The sun’s out bright & shiny – 60 degrees F. and I’m super happy! Just having sunshine makes me SO HAPPY! I know they’ve done studies on how sunlight effects people’s moods-I know it sure does mine!

Hope you’re having a GREAT DAY! Remember to smile a little, relax a little and do something nice for yourself or someone else!

Big Hugs;


Hump Day – Yeah!


Sorry – just couldn’t resist (I LOVE that camel/Hump Day commercial!) In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the link:

Today I woke up to bright sunshine and 35 degrees F. – yes, there’s still some snow outside/on the roof, but for the most part, it’s gone. Had to clean off my car last night to go to Knit/Crochet night – was surprised to find out just how heavy & wet it was (AND it was not packing snow!). Knit Night went great – I took in that huge bag of yarn and the box of many needles/etc. and was super happy to go home with NOTHING! There’s always someone in the group that waits until the last minute, just before packing up to go home, who says: “What are you going to do with that?” (the last of the yarns/etc.) Makes me happy to gladly say: “I’m hoping I can get rid of it!” and then they say: “Well, I can take it if you don’t want it.” YAY!  One of our rather new ladies told me a few weeks ago that she would only be in the group for a short time; apparently she & her husband are sort of like vagabonds – they travel all over. Next meeting will be her last, BUT she told me last night that she’s going to stop in Kalamazoo at her storage place and pick up all her yarns and GIVE THEM TO THE GROUP! Wow – talk about Wind Fall of yarn for us! (Yes, granted – none of us REALLY NEED yarn, but it’s always nice to know that you can get FREE yarn – for whatever you might want to make. One lady brought in a baby afghan she made out of the free yarns from 2 weeks ago, intending to give it to the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower in September (that our group sponsors). Very nice! I guess it sort of goes with the old expression: “What goes around, comes around.” If you do good deeds, they eventually come back to bless you. (and we are certainly blessed!)

Spent some time going through the three grocery store ads, checking for the Easter dinner supplies. Was pleasantly surprised to notice that I already HAVE most of what we will be needing – just need a few things like the ham, dinner rolls, fresh veggies for the veggie plate and ingredients for the dessert – nice! Ours will be a kind of small celebration, just our immediate family & grandson= 6 people; not hard to cook for a small group.



Crustless Bacon & Cheese Quiche

5 green onions, chopped/divided
1 tomato, chopped/divided
12 slices bacon
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
12 eggs
1/3 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. onions & tomatoes. Cook
bacon in large skillet until crisp; remove
bacon from pan, reserving 1 T. drippings
in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Add mushrooms to pan; cook & stir 2
minutes or until tender; remove from
heat. Crumble bacon & add to skillet
with remaining onions & tomatoes;
mix well. Beat eggs & sour cream with
whisk until well blended. Pour into
greased 9 X 13 pan; top with bacon
mixture & cheeses. Bake 30 minutes
or until center is set. Top with reserved
onions & tomatoes. Let stand 5 minutes
before cutting to serve. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Raspberry-kissed Coconut Bars

12 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
(about 1 C.)
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
3 oz. white chocolate, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 C. red raspberry preserves
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs & butter; press
into bottom of 8 or 9″ square pan.
Melt 2 oz chocolate as directed on
pkg. Beat cream cheese, sugar &
vanilla in large bowl with mixer
until well blended. Add melted
chocolate; mix well. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing on Low speed
after each just until blended; pour
over crust. Bake 25-28 minutes or
until center is almost set. Cool 5
minutes; spread with preserves.
Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle
over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake
completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Serves 9

(recipe:Kraft foods)

Bacon Appetizer Crescents

1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except dinner
rolls. Separate each can of dough
into 8 triangles; cut each triangle
lengthwise in half. Spread each
dough triangle with 1 generous
teaspoon cream cheese mixture.
Roll up, starting at short side of
triangle. Place, point-sides down.
on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes
or until golden brown. Serve warm
Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crisp-topped Carrot/Broccoli Bake

4 C. broccoli florets
1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled & cut
diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
(about 4 C.)
2/3 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. milk
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Italian Five
Cheese blend
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook vegetables in boiling water in
medium saucepan 3 minutes or until
crisp-tender; drain. Place in 9 X 13
pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Whisk Mir. Whip, flour & garlic powder
in same saucepan until blended.
Gradually stir in milk; cook on medium
heat 3-5 minutes or until sauce comes
to a boil & is thickened, stirring frequently.
Stir in Parm. cheese; pour over vegetables.
Top with shredded cheese. Prepare
stuffing as directed on pkg; spoon over
cheese. Bake 35 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 8, 3/4 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Deviled Eggs with Shrimp

1 dozen hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
1 T. chopped fresh chives
24 cooked, cleaned small shrimp
4 cucumber slices, each cut into
6 wedges
Cut cooked eggs lengthwise in half.
Remove yolks, place yolks in medium
bowl. Add mayonnaise; beat with
mixer until blended. Add mustard,
lemon zest & chives; mix well. Spoon
or pipe egg mixture into centers of
egg whites. Top with shrimp &
cucumber wedges. Serves 24

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crispy Garlic/Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 pkg. phyllo dough (defrosted)
1-2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder, to taste
spray butter (melted butter)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
You will need to work as quickly as
possible to keep dough from drying out.
Rinse asparagus, dry well. Cut bottom ends
off, discard ends. Lay phyllo dough flat on
work space; spray completely with butter
spray. Lay 3-4 pieces of asparagus on far
right side of dough with 1/3 stalk over the
top edge. Sprinkle with Parm cheese then
fold bottom of 2-3 pieces dough up over the
asparagus (like tucking into bed) then from
right to left roll it all the way to make a bundle.
Spray outside totally with butter spray & lay
on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat,
using all asparagus & dough. Sprinkle all with
garlic powder, then sprinkle cheese on top of
bundles. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden


Crockpot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

2 (20 oz, ea) bags refrigerated hash brown
2 C. sour cream
1 can cream of potato soup
1 T. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. diced onions
1 T. butter
Over medium-high heat, saute onions in
1 T. butter until translucent & soft, about
3-5 minutes. In large mixing bowl, mix
together hash brown potatoes, shredded
cheese, sour cream, seasoning, salt &
pepper, & soup; stir until well combined.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray, then place mixture in
crockpot. Cook, on Low, 5-6 hours
Serves 8-10


Bev’s Orange Chicken

1 C. orange juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 (1 oz) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
8 chicken thighs
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir together orange juice
soy sauce, onion soup mix & garlic powder;
set aside. Rinse chicken & pat dry. Place chicken
thighs in 9 X 13 baking pan. Pour orange juice
mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour 30
minutes, basting every half hour. If using
boneless chicken, reduce cooking time to
1 hour. Serves 8


Chicken Tortilla Spinach Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chili peppers
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/2 C. milk
2 1/2 C. boneless cooked chicken
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped (1 C.)
(salt & pepper, to taste)
1 1/2 C. Cheddar or Mexican-blend
cheese, shredded
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach – thawed,
& water squeezed out
8 (6 or 7 inch) corn tortillas, cut into
bite-sized pieces
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, add chicken soup, sour cream,
chopped chilies, milk, green pepper, tomato,
corn tortillas, salt & pepper, 1 C. cheese &
chopped chicken. Mix together & pour HALF
of mixture into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with
nonstick spray. Layer spinach over top, add
remaining chicken soup mixture. Bake 45-50
minutes. Remove from oven, top with
remaining cheese, return to oven & bake until
cheese melts and casserole is bubbly. Serves
approximately 8.


Mexican Stuffed Peppers

2 (14.5 oz ea) cans no salt added diced
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 large bell peppers
8 oz. ground beef
1/2 c. converted brown rice
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. raisins
chopped parsley (garnish)
In medium bowl, combine tomatoes
(with juice), vinegar, cumin, cinnamon &
salt; stir to mix. Pour 1 1/3 C. sauce mixture
into crockpot. Finely chop the 1/2 bell pepper;
slice off the top 1/2″ of the remaining peppers.
Seed the peppers;reserve the tops. In a large
bowl, using your hands, combine beef, rice,
onion, raisins, chopped pepper & remaining
sauce mixture. Spoon mixture into the peppers &
replace the tops. Place into crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or until peppers are tender
& meat is no longer pink. Serve topped with the
cooking sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serves 4


Cheesy Stuffed Shells

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 (16 oz) tub cottage cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed & well-drained
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine spaghetti sauce & tomatoes;
spread half on bottom of greased 9 X 13
baking dish. Mix cottage cheese, spinach,
1/2 C. mozzarella, Parmesan & seasoning;
spoon into cooked pasta shells; place
shells over sauce in prepared pan, top
with remaining sauce & cover. Bake 25
minutes or until heated through. Top
with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake,
uncovered, 2 minutes or until cheese
melts. Serves 5

NOTE: Recipe can be made ahead: assemble
according to directions. Refrigerate up to
24 hours. When ready to serve, bake, covered
in 400 degree oven 35 minutes or until
heated through.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Raspberry Jello Salad

1 (29 oz) can pears
1 C. pear juice
1 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) box raspberry jello
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
Open can of pears.
Pour 1 C. pear juice into large
glass measuring cup (discard remaining
juice). Pour 1 C. hot water over top of
pear juice; microwave 2 minutes or until
it starts to boil. Pour jello mix into hot
water/juice mixture & stir until all jello
dissolves. Refrigerate or freeze to let it
cool down. (do not let it set up, just
cool). Pour pears into blender & add
softened cream cheese; blend together.
Add lukewarm jello mixture into blender.
Add 12 oz. container Cool Whip & blend
until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9 X 13
pan; refrigerate 3 hours or until set up.



I threw in a few non-Easter dinner recipes, just in case you might need

something for the days BEFORE Easter! I was cruising my pantry to

decided just what we need to eat BEFORE Sunday – came up with

Salmon patties, Manwich ‘burgers’, and maybe a pork roast. Now that

middle son is not living here, the groceries are less (not complaining)

so we don’t go through food as quickly. Last night I made Ravioli and

with only three of us eating it, it was enough for 2 dinners (that is, of

course UNLESS middle son stops over today – then that ratio could

definitely change!)

How are your gas prices? Ours are still hovering at $3.74/9 for the cheapest – a bit high, but I’m guessing they went up, knowing people will be traveling this weekend – sigh.

Hope you have a GREAT DAY! Hope it’s sunny where you are!

Enjoy your day;


Look what I woke up to!



Typical Michigan!

Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees F, today it’s 24 and you see what’s all around! The good thing is: the ground was still warm from yesterday, so all the driveways & roads are CLEAR! I think it’s funny seeing my Spring wreath (in the car photo above) covered in snow. Oh well – we who have lived here for many years knew it was a probability – I’m guessing about 2-3 inches, total. I’ve read on Facebook that this was the all-time snowiest winter in Michigan – ever! (I remember my son mentioning that if we got any more snow this year it would make the record – and here we go! Yay . . . oh, goodie…  Saw this next picture on Facebook and thought it fit:


My oldest son came over today to say that we (in Michigan) DID break the all-time record for snowiest winter EVER! I guess they measure ‘snow fall’ from June to June and came up with this):


Wow – that’s a LOT of SNOW!

Other than the snow, not much new around here. Guess it’s time to share more holiday recipes, right?


Butter Rolls

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 7 X 11 baking dish. In a large
bowl, mix flour & salt. Using a pastry
cutter, cut in cold butter to make
coarse crumbs; add 1/2 C. water & stir.
Use your hands to press dough
together. Place dough in refrigerator
10 minutes to make it easier to work with.
Generously sprinkle your work surface with
flour. Roll dough out into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly over dough.
Sprinkle with 1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon. Roll
up dough, jelly-roll style. Cut into 12 even
slices & place in prepared dish. In a small
saucepan, heat milk & remaining sugar just
until it begins to boil. Remove from heat;
stir in vanilla. Pour this mixture all over the
rolls. Bake until browned, 30-40 minutes.
Makes 12 rolls.

Spring Vegetables Au Gratin

1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/2″
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
dash black pepper
5 C. assorted fresh vegetables (baby
carrots, trimmed green beans, pearl
onions, red pepper strips, trimmed
sugar snap peas)
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine Velveeta, milk & seasonings in
large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High 6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes; set
aside. Combine vegetables in 11″ X 7″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Add Velveeta
mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle top with bread
crumbs. Bake 40 minutes or until vegetables are
crisp-tender. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Roasted Red Pepper/Basil Puffs

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 C.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
& chopped
1 t. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried, crushed
1/2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 C. toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
Sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 24 muffin cups. Heat oil in
10 inch skillet over medium-high heat; add
onion & garlic; cook until onion is tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in peppers & basil;
cook 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat;
stir in cheese & pine nuts. Unfold 1 pastry
sheet onto lightly floured surface. Roll sheet
into a 9 X 12″ rectangle; cut into 12 (3″) squares.
Repeat with remaining sheet, making 24 sheets
in all. Spoon about 1 1/2 T. pepper mixture into
center of each square. Brush edges of squares
with egg. Fold corners to the center over the
filling, twist tightly to seal and fan out the
corners. Place filled puffs into muffin pan. Brush
puffs with egg. Bake 20 minutes or until the puffs
are golden brown. Let cool in pans on wire rack
10 minutes. Makes 24


Blender Souffle

8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into
cubes (or use shredded)
1 tsp. salt
10 slices bread, buttered & cubed
4 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in blender;
blend on High speed until thoroughly
mixed. Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt.
casserole dish. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apricot (or Peach) Crumble Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. margarine
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (10 oz) jar apricot or peach preserves
2 C. flaked coconut
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. margarine, melted
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cream cheese, margarine &
gran. sugar, mixing at medium speed with
elec. mixer until well blended. Gradually
add milk, mixing well after each addition.
Blend in eggs & vanilla; add combined dry
ingredients to cream cheese mixture; mix
well. Pour half of batter into greased &
floured 9 X 13 pan. Dot with preserves.
Cover with remaining batter. Bake 35-40
minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean.
Combine coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon &
margarine; mix well & spread onto cake. Broil
3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 16

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Macaroni Salad
(Paula Dean)

2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup black pepper

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 4-6

Grilled Herb Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh savory
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Combine asparagus, olive oil, pepper, salt,
thyme, and savory in a resealable bag; shake until
well-coated; let the asparagus sit in the spice
bag for 10 to 15 minutes while heating up the
grill.Heat grill to medium; lay the asparagus in
a single layer across the grates; cook, turning often,
until desired tenderness (10 to 15 minutes on
direct heat). Remove from grill and immediately
top with Parmesan. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before
eating because it will be awfully hot.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes

6 large potatoes, sliced
1 small onion, diced
8 slices bacon, uncooked – diced
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 1/2 oz) can cream of chicken soup
Place half of sliced potatoes in bottom of
crockpot. Top with half onions/cheese/bacon.
Repeat layers in order, top with soup. Cook
on Low 8-10 hours.

(recipe: Ron & Jean – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spinach & Ricotta Dumplings

kosher salt
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
6 T. flour (plus more for rolling)
2 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 C. prepared marinara sauce
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
crusty bread, for serving
Bring large, wide pot of salted water to
a simmer. Put spinach in a large bowl &
separate it with your hands. Add ricotta,
3/4 C. Parmesan, flour, eggs, 3/4 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper & nutmeg. Mix using a
fork to form a slightly sticky dough. Spread
some flour on a plate. Scoop out heaping
tablespoons of spinach-ricotta mixture &
roll into about 24 loose balls, using floured
hands. Gently roll balls in the flour. Bring
marinara sauce to a simmer in a large
skillet over medium heat; whisk in butter.
Gently lower the dumplings into simmering
water & cook until they rise to the surface and
are firm, about 5 minutes. Remove dumplings
using a slotted spoon, letting water drain off,
& add to marinara sauce. Gently toss to coat,
then transfer to plates. Sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan. Serve with bread. Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients;
mix well. Spray miniature muffin tin with
non-stick cooking spray; fill each 3/4 full*.
Bake approx 18 minutes.

NOTE: Generously spray your pan with
cooking spray with flour. Once they come out
of the oven let them cool for one minute then
flip them out onto a cooling rack. If they cool
in the pan they’ll have to be chiseled out.
*Also don’t fill the pan to the very top, they
will overflow if you do.

(recipe: Facebook)

Shrimp Butter

4 (8 oz, ea) cans tiny shrimp
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 tsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 green onions, chopped
dash garlic powder
dash salt & black pepper, to taste
Drain & rinse shrimp; combine all
ingredients. Mix well. Serve with
crackers. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

(recipe: Rhonda G. Marys Recipe

Parmesan Crusted Potatoes

3 small-medium baking potatoes,
halved lengthwise
2 1/2 T. olive oil
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
few grinds of pepper mill
chives, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Coat bottom of 9 X 9 baking dish with
olive oil; evenly distribute grated
Parmesan over oil, then sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Place potato halves, cut
sides down, on top of cheese mixture.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are
very tender when pierced with tip of a
knife. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Remove to platter, top with chopped

(recipe: Facebook)

Lemon Bliss BROWNIES

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. flour
2 eggs, large
2 T. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt

For the tart lemon glaze:
4 T. lemon juice
8 tsp. lemon zest
1 rounded cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Grease an inch baking dish with butter;set aside.
Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.In bowl of an
electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment,
beat flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest,
and lemon juice until combined; pour into flour mixture
and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins; should turn
golden around the edges. Allow to cool completely before
glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will dry. Filter the
powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
Spread 1/2 the glaze over the brownies with a rubber
spatula and let glaze set.Spread 1/2 the glaze over the
bars, and let it set (not harden like most). Cut into bars
and serve.

(recipe: facebook)

Comfort Breakfast Bake

5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
16 oz refrigerated breakfast biscuits
4 green onions
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
cooked center cut bacon or cooked sausage
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix eggs & milk in a large bowl. Cut each biscuit into
fours and add it to the bowl. Do this before cooking
the bacon or cut up the scallions; it gives the biscuits
some time to really soak in the eggs. Cut up scallions,
shred cheese, cook and break up bacon or sausage, then
add everything to the bowl. Mix it all up and pour into
pan. Bake 25 minutes (make sure it isn’t runny)

(recipe from Rocking Lion)


Granted, these are not ALL Easter-type recipes, but I still have a large batch to go through, so am hoping to be able to post Easter-type recipes all week – we’ll see.

Tonight is Knit/Crochet night with my ladies and I’m hauling in the big garbage bag of free yarn and the shoe box full of various needles – sure hope it all disappears! I was able to give some away Sunday evening after church to a friend who knits baby hats for me. I told her: “Take what you want-it doesn’t have to be baby yarn – just grab what you like!” She only took a very small amount – sigh. Like I said before, what doesn’t go at the group goes to the Senior Center – hopefully they can either USE the stuff, or put it in their Spring Rummage Sale (remembering we still have another HUGE batch of ‘stuff’ coming from my friend’s son).

Today is also TAX DAY – hope you came out ‘on top’ -

Big hugs;



Published in: on April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am  Comments (1)  

Early Morning Excitement


Early this morning we were wondering why traffic was all lined up outside our house with a flashing police car blocking the road. It appears that during the night with some pretty strong winds, a HUGE tree in the park across the road was blown down. (Husband took the photo) – the man in blue is a policeman. They had our entire street blocked until they could get chain saws in to cut  it up into smaller pieces, thus clearing the road. Mind you – I live on a MAJOR 5-lane highway, so blocking the entire street was pretty big news.

Weather-wise, it’s been GREAT! A little grey, but who’s complaining when it’s 70+ degrees out there!? We got some sporatic rain but it didn’t stay – definitely NO COAT weather! (At least for today – they’re predicting 2 inches of SNOW for tonight and temps dropping to the low 30′s! YIKES!) I spent a little time walking around the back yard just to see what’s in bloom. So far the Aconite is up (bright yellow ground cover), the crocus’s are done & gone, some Star-of-Bethlehem are up (little purple flowers in the shape of a star) – that’s about all I could see. My forsythia bushes are either totally dead or just not ready to bloom yet. They’re old – we planted them (if I remember) the first year we lived here, that’s about 35 years ago.

Gas Prices – YIKES! Today our local Clark station has posted $3.84/9 for their cheapest gas! AWFUL! How are YOUR prices?

Worked on the Art Project a little last night – just did a temporary trial taping of all the walls to see if they would stay together/line up/etc. Not bad – I was happy. This morning I got up and decided to do the final taping/gluing of the walls. One wall that is covered in glitter ended up puckering a bit due to all the glue, so I put that on the back of the building. (the teacher really stressed pay attention to the FRONT of the building) – she really didn’t even mention sides or back, so I’m not going to stress. I was super happy with the way the roof finally went together. Got a quick idea for enforcing the inside of the roof to the 2 walls it will be attached to – AND IT WORKED! YAY! (It’s the little things – right?). Found a good ‘tree’ from a small bush outside, still have to form it, place glue on the branches, crumple up green tissue paper and put it on the branches, then form clay for the base, place the ‘tree’ in it, glue it in and finally glue that to the entire project base. That leaves, to do: design & make the railings for 2nd & 3rd floors, son to design & make the ‘sand garden’, attach/glue/tape the entire building together floor-by-floor then adhere that to the base, fit the sign into the base & glue it, place the tiny ‘lantern’s on the first floor and we should be done! Son needs to take in ‘something’ to show he’s still working on the project tomorrow – it’s still 1 week/1 day until the final project is to be brought in. I gave him a container of sand, plastic spoon & fork, Elmer’s glue and some foam board to practice making/shaping the sand garden. He also wants to do the railings, so we’ll see where that goes. Husband couldn’t locate the ‘model train grass’, so I ended up painting the base to look like grass – looks good. (if I do say so myself).

How are your Easter dinner plans coming? I’m looking at spiral ham prices in the local fliers – I have 4 stores to chose from. Husband wants the ‘traditional’ dinner: Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, fresh veg, tray & some dessert. I’m going to try the Watergate Salad as a extra side and ‘might’ try the Mandarin Orange Cake – we’ll see. We’ll be eating late – grandson will be with his Mom’s family until around 6:30, so we get him after that (dinner will probably be at 7 – yes, I know that’s late, but we’re pretty used to late holiday dinners).


Watergate Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in
juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. (Jello) pistachio
instant pudding mix
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 8, about 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mandarin Orange Cake

1 box butter golden cake mix
1/2 C. oil
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl of stand mixer (or large mixing
bowl) pour cake mix, oil & eggs. Pour
mandarin oranges into a large measuring
cup.  (reserve 8-9 orange slices to decorate
top of cake). You will need 15 ounces, total,
juice & oranges. Pour oranges & juice into
mixer & mix, on Low, 30 seconds. Scrape
bottom of bowl using rubber spatula & mix
on medium speed 2 minutes or until batter
is well combined & a bit glossy. Spray two
9 inch round cake pans with nonstick
cooking spray. (flour pans, also – or use a
nonstick spray with flour in it). NOTE:
You can also cut out two round pieces of
either parchment paper or waxed paper to
insert into bottoms of pans – helps the cake
come out easily. Pour batter into pans. Bake
30 minutes or until golden brown on top a
wooden toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Remove pans from oven & let rest
5 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack & let
them cool completely.
Place 12 oz. thawed Cool Whip in large mixing
bowl; pour in dry vanilla pudding over top of
Cool Whip. Add crushed pineapple (juice included)
& mix all ingredients together with a wooden
spoon. Place a dollop of frosting into middle of
a serving/cake plate. Center one cake layer onto
plate. Add about 1 C. frosting & spread out evenly.
Gently place second layer of cake on top & pile
rest of frosting on cake; spread out evenly. Frost
sides with remaining frosting then decorate top
with reserved orange slices. Refrigerate if not
serving immediately. Serves 12

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage ‘Steaks’

1 (2 lb) green cabbage, cut into 1″ slices
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2-3 large garlic cloves, smashed
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Pull outer leaves off cabbage; cut cabbage
from top to bottom into 1″ thick slices. Rub
both sides with smashed garlic. Using a pastry brush, evenly spread olive oil over both sides of slices. Sprinkle each side with kosher salt & pepper. Roast on middle rack of oven 30 minutes. Carefully flip ‘steaks’ & roast an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown & crispy. Serve hot.

(recipe: Facebook)

Roasted New Potatoes

2 lb. new red potatoes, halved lengthwise
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine potatoes, bacon & dressing;
spread on rimmed baking sheet. Bake
45 minutes or until potatoes are tender &
crisp around edges, stirring after 25 minutes.
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice & garlic until
blended. Spoon cooked potatoes onto a
platter; top with mayonnaise mixture,
cheese & parsley. Makes 8 servings (2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Beef & Peppers

2 lb. round steak
2 green peppers, sliced thin
2 T. dried minced onions,
or 1/2 onion chopped
1 C. beef broth
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Cut steak into serving-sized pieces.
(If desired, you can brown meat in a little
hot oil before adding to crockpot). Place
pepper rings in bottom of crockpot, reserving
a few to place on top of meat, if desired.
Arrange meat on peppers, carefull to not
stack one piece directly on top of another.
Mix all other ingredients & pour over meat 7
peppers. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours,
or High 4 hours.

(recipe: Cheryl-slowcooker digest)

Baked Vegetable Omelet

1 1/3 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 C. chopped broccoli (or 1 8oz pkg. frozen,
chopped broccoli, thawed & drained)
3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (2 C.)
2 2/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer Mont. Jack cheese, broccoli, tomatoes &
Cheddar in ungreased 8 X 8 square baking dish.
Beat milk, flour, salt & eggs until smooth; pour
over cheese. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or
until egg mixture is set. Let stand 10 minutes
before cutting. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mama’s Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. yellow mustard
6 slices bacon, cooked
crisp & crumbled
1 small onion, minced fine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
Boil eggs, cool & peel. Split eggs
lengthwise & put yolks in a large
separate bowl. Place whites on
serving dish & set aside. Mash
egg yolks with a fork in a large
bowl. Add onions & bacon to egg
yolks; stir well. Add wet & dry
ingredients to egg mixture & mix
well. (taste & adjust salt).
Filling whites:
You can either (A): spoon mixture
directly into egg whites, or (B)
Place egg mixture into zip lock bag;
snip off tip of bag & pipe mixture
into egg whites. Once filled,
refrigerate 30 minutes before


Reese’s Cheesecake Brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix (& ingredients
to make)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (12 oz) pkg. Reese’s Pieces (candy)
1 (12 oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips
3 T. whipping cream
12 large Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare brownie batter accordg to pkg. directions;
pour batter in 8 X 8 baking pan sprayed with non-
stick cooking spray; set aside. In large bowl, beat
softened cream cheese until light & fluffy. Add
sweetened cond. milk & peanut butter; beat until
smooth. Stir in bag of Reese’s Pieces. Spoon mixture
over brownie batter evenly. Bake 40 minutes or until
cheesecake layer is set & edges are golden brown. Let
cool 30 minutes then refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place milk chocolate chips & whipping cream in large
microwaveable bowl. Microwave on High 1 minute,
checking & stirring so as not to over cook. Heat until
melted & smooth. Pour & spread mixture evenly over
top of brownie/cheesecake. Sprinkle the 12 large
Reese’s Peanut Butter cups over top. Store, covered,
in refrigerator.

(recipe: Sally)

Crockpot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole2 (20 oz, ea) bags refrigerated hash brown
2 C. sour cream
1 can cream of potato soup
1 T. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. diced onions
1 T. butter
Over medium-high heat, saute onions in
1 T. butter until translucent & soft, about
3-5 minutes. In large mixing bowl, mix
together hash brown potatoes, shredded
cheese, sour cream, seasoning, salt &
pepper, & soup; stir until well combined.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray, then place mixture in
crockpot. Cook, on Low, 5-6 hours
Serves 8-10


Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained/chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chopped, drained oil-packed sun-dried
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. tightly packed fresh basil, chopped/divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine chicken, artichokes, 1 C. mozzarella,
Parmesan & tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk
& garlic powder with elec. mixer until well blended;
stir in 2 T. basil. Mix half with chicken mixture.
Spread half of remaining cream cheese mixture
onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Cover with 3 noodles &
1/3 chicken mixture; repeat layers of noodles &
chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles,
cream cheese mixture & mozzarella; cover with foil.
Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle
with remaining basil. Let stand 5 minutes before
cutting to serve.

(recipe: Facebook)

Bacon/Pea, Macaroni & Cheese Salad

8 oz. penne or macaroni pasta
8 oz frozen peas
4 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
& cooked crisp-tender
1/2 C. plain yogurt
dash hot sauce
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded (or other
melt-friendly cheese, not Cheddar)
salt & pepper
Cook pasta in salted water accordg. to pkg.
directions, until al dente. Add peas to pasta
water in the last minute of cooking time.
Reserve 1 C. pasta water before draining peas &
pasta. Return past/peas to pot. Add 1/4 C. pasta
water (it MUST be hot), yogurt, few dashes hot
sauce, and 1/3 grated cheeses; stir until cheeses
melt. Stir in remaining cheese, one small
handful at a time, to prevent clumping. Add
additional pasta water, if necessary, to thin & melt
cheese sauce; season with salt & pepper. Add
bacon, mix well & serve. Makes 4 servings.


Crockpot Cherry Dump Cake

2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
(1/2 C. chopped nuts, Optional)
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Pour pie filling into crockpot.
Combine dry cake mix & butter until
crumbly; sprinkle over pie filing.
Sprinkle nuts over top, if using. Cook
on Low 4 hours or High 2 hours.
(NOTE: can be served with ice cream)


Not much else new around here for the moment; still knitting baby hats & chemo caps and occasionally working on the one baby afghan. I like the pattern for the afghan, I just don’t like the tediousness of the thing – that might sound weird, but it’s a 2-row pattern, first row is constant counting, second row is just purling. When I knit my mind tends to wander and I kind of forget to remember to count – lots of ripping out stitches and going back to the beginning of that row – sigh. (Guess that just proves I’m only human, right? hehehe)

Enjoy your day – hopefully there will be NO SNOW in your future!



Almost There!


Yesterday and today I’ve had some extra time to devote to working on the last Art Project; the 3D building made out of foam board. I can finally say we’re ALMOST DONE! All the walls are finished/windows made, doors on, roof made (that was a total fluke that worked really well!) – almost all done! We still need to construct the railings around the second & third floors, find/locate the ‘train grass’ somewhere in the basement, assemble the building, somehow get it anchored down to the foam board base, put in the ‘tree’, the sign for the hotel and ‘Japanese Sand Garden’. Dear Son (for whatever reason) thought it would be a really great idea to build a Japanese Sand Garden on the base; if you’re not familiar, I’ll try to explain using a photo:


They can vary greatly, but basically they are areas of ‘sculpted’ sand with some rocks. The decorating of the sand is unique to the builder – any design works. Son thought it would be a very good idea to see if we can do a small one – we’ll see. I’m thinking Elmer’s glue painted onto the surface, quickly ‘combed’ with a plastic fork, then sprinkled with real sand; add some small rocks afterwards – we’ll see how it comes out. I’m planning on a ‘practice’ board, first – just in case it doesn’t work. Sort of like the project today – since the teacher wants it to look Los Vegas style, we decided to cover the second floor in glitter (we had very fine green mixed with gold, but when we tried it, it just didn’t look right – ended up using just gold.) On the ‘Roof Goof” – I had cut out and fully lined (traced scalloped lines on roof to resemble tiles) a piece of cardboard, then painted the underside black. Son wanted the curved Japanese roof, so I thought the underside should be black, since that would show when curled. Little to my knowledge, the cardboard itself began to curl! When I gently painted the top side of the roof (with the tiles) I was able to mold the damp card board into just what we wanted – curved edges! YAY! I’m not exactly sure how ‘fine’ of a job the entire project will be when put together, but for amateurs, I think it will look just fine (she said, ‘fingers crossed’.) It’s not due to hand in for another week (April 22, last day of class). Son did almost all the foam board cutting and some design ideas, but this one is mostly me – not taking any credit, just saying: when you see it you know who to blame for any errors!  It’s been a ‘crazy ride’ working this all out, but I’m happy it’s finally in it’s finishing stages.

Not much else new around here EXCEPT OUR WEATHER! Yesterday was really nice, sunny & clear and in the low 60′s BUT TODAY – we got almost to 70!!! I had some quick grocery shopping to do and was pleasantly pleased to be able to go out without a coat or jacket! I even drove with the windows down! We opened the house windows and aired the house out – that’s always SO nice to do once Spring gets here. (I must admit, I’ve heard rumors of possible SNOW next week: just looked on the weather channel for our area and it shows: Monday night Rain/Snow likely, low 26 degrees F., Tuesday chance Rain/Show High 36F, low 24! UGH! Going up in the week, it doesn’t look like we’ll get much higher than 36 degrees by next Sunday! UGH! NOT GOOD!

Have you been getting ready for Easter & Easter dinner? I’ve decided to make the Watergate Salad I featured a few posts ago – it’s easy and should be liked (maybe if I eliminate the nuts); it’s a light, fluffy Cool Whip based dessert with pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, miniature marshmallows – we’ll see how it goes. Not sure yet about dessert – might ask oldest son (the chef) to bring/make dessert.

Had grandson almost all day Friday – no school/their Spring break. Funny, used to be (in days past) it was EASTER break and took place closer to EASTER! Goofy. We’re not sure, yet, if he has school Good Friday (I get him on Fridays). He & I had fun painting – I was working on ‘the project’ and I gave him paper & paints to ‘create’. He drew then painted a picture of a house, garage, car,  & sun and had fun doing it. I’m thinking about becoming the “Craft Grandma” for him. He has 5 people, altogether who watch over him: His Dad (my son), His Mom & her boyfriend, His other Grandparents, his Great Grandmother (his Mom’s side) and us. Most of the others like to keep him busy with sports or activities, Gr Grandma likes to take him to the Dollar Store – I’m the only one that doesn’t try to ‘keep him busy’ – I’d rather let him just BE A KID! He’s only 7 1/2 so I figure, for him, our house is more like ‘down time’ – Legos, building blocks, coloring/painting/mazes, reading books, etc. Now that I’m sure he likes crafts, I’m thinking of taking him to Michael’s and see what kind of kids projects we can ‘get into.’ Last year I bought him several wooden small birdhouses and we painted them together – might do that again this year, as some of mine got a little weather-worn last year sitting on the outside window sill.


Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (8 oz)Crushed Pineapple in 
100% Pineapple Juice, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, zucchini,
oil, pineapple and vanilla. Combine dry
ingredients; stir into egg mixture just
until moistened. Fold in nuts and raisins
if desired. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in.
loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2 loaves.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Dorito Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped
two cans red kidney beans, rinsed &

a handfull of scallions, chopped
about 1-2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. crushed Doritos
one can corn/black bean mix (optional)
Catalina salad dressing
Mix all ingredients together tossed with
Catalina salad dressing.

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 C. diced mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 T. tomato paste
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. white cooking wine
1/2 tsp. salt (or, to taste)
1/8 tsp. black pepper (or, to taste)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 T. corn starch
3 T. cold water
Cooked pasta or rice, for serving
Place onion, pepper & garlic in bottom of crockpot; place chicken pieces on top. Combine tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, chicken broth,
wine, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf – pour over chicken. Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 7-8 hours or until chicken is done.If cooking on Low – turn heat setting to High,remove chicken pieces. Combine corn starch & cold water; whisk into liquids. Heat on High about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve over cooked pasta or rice.


Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham

1 (7 lb) ham
2 C. pineapple juice
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup
Unwrap ham & place in crockpot. Rub
ham with brown sugar on all sides.
Pour pineapple juice & maple syrup
over ham. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours. About an hour before serving,
pour juices over top of ham. Remove
ham to cutting board; let rest 10
minutes before carving.

Bacon-Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled & peeled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
Slice hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.
Remove yolks & place yolks in a bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork; add mayonnaise,vinegar, ground mustard & sugar & stir until well combined. Mix in jalapenos & bacon; blend well. Place mixture into a large ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in bottom corner of bag (to use as a pastry bag). Fill each egg white ‘hole’ with mixturethen sprinkle tops with paprika. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 24.


I’m sorry – not exactly sure just what my server is doing, but it keeps making the recipes really HUGE/GIANT – totally illegible. Will have to submit more recipes in another post as this one just isn’t working – sigh.

Have a GREAT day!



Happy Wednesday!


Finally our gutters are being installed – YAY! It’s a nice, clear Spring day – 52 degrees right now, perfect for working outside.

I waited for son to get home last night to find out what the Art Design teacher thought of our project so far; it seems we are doing just fine and, in comparison to others in the class, again it’s “Pull out all the stops – anything goes!” One student is CARVING their building out of florists foam, one is making a very futuristic building, another a pet store with a molded-in-clay Gecko on the roof – seems like we’re doing about what the instructions said. I need not worry about a few details (like: Is it OK to make the sign with the logo and name of the business FREE STANDING? The directions said it was to be placed ON the building – oh well – seems like it’s “DO WHAT YOU WANT!” so I’m going for it! I was so excited over the news that we’re on the right track that I couldn’t get my mind to shut off. Son got home around 11:45 p.m. and I was still wide awake at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. and somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m. I must have fallen asleep – only to be awakened by husband at 8 with the comment: “Remember the roofers are coming today – probably around 9″ – sigh, I was now fully awake. It’s now 3:30 p.m. and I’m loggy, lethargic but can’t seem to get tired enough to actually fall asleep for a little nap. Tonight is my special needs group’s Music/Birthday night which is usually a very action-packed, fun-filled night of singing (me playing the piano), passing out birthday cupcakes to the entire group and then clean up and home. Sure hope I hold out!


Applesauce Bread

1/2 C. softened butter
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, blend butter, egg &
sugar. Add flour, baking soda, spices &
salt. After it starts forming a crumbly
dough, pour in applesauce; mix together.
Spray two small loaf pans with nonstick
spray. Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake
40 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)


Mom’s Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 C. Italian breadcrumbs (or more, as needed)
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 T. onion flakes (dried, minced onion)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. black pepper
2 jars Heinz Home Style Savory beef grave
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. dried parsley
1 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl
along with 1/2 C. beef gravy. Add more
breadcrumbs as needed for right consistency.
Shape meatballs into small-medium size; set
aside. In large skillet, heat olive oil & butter. Brown
meatballs on all sides over medium heat. Once
browned, remove & drain. Do not wash or clean
skillet. Add remaining beef gravy to skillet making
sure to scrape & stir in the pieces left on bottom.
Add meatballs to skillet; cover & simmer on Low
heat 40 minutes.
Meatballs may be served over cooked rice or
buttered noodles.

Homemade Gravy:
(In case you wanted to make your own)

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
2 C. beef broth

Melt butter in saucepan, then add flour.
Whisk about 1 minute until flour is
‘cooked’. Slowly add beef broth & whisk
often, about 8-10 minutes. Whisking is
the key to lumpless gravy.

(recipe: Facebook)

Fried Rice

3 C. cooked white rice
3 T. sesame oil
1 c. frozen peas & carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 C. soy sauce
chopped green onions
On medium-high heat, heat oil in
large skillet or wok. Add peas/carrots,
onion & garlic; fry until tender. Lower
heat to medium-low; push mixture off
to one side of skillet, then pour beaten
eggs on other side; stir fry until scrambled.
Add rice & soy sauce & green onion; blend
all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.

Note: Can also add shrimp or chicken

(recipe: Facebook)

Bacon-wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed
Chicken Breasts
(makes one – double or triple, if desired)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 T. cream cheese
1 T. green onion, chopped
2 slices bacon, partially cooked
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pound out chicken breast to about 1/4″ thick.
Mix together cream cheese & onions; spread
mixture over 1 side of chicken breast. Roll up
to conceal cream cheese. Wrap partially cooked
bacon slice around breast and secure with tooth
pick. Place on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes,
then broil about 5 minutes to crisp-up the bacon.

(recipe: Facebook)

Brussel Sprouts Gratin

2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
kosher salt
1 lb. Brussel sprouts, outer leaves & stems
pinch of red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 c. grated white Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. breadcrumbs
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick spray.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil; add
Brussels sprouts; cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
Drain & coarsely chop. Transfer to prepared dish;
toss with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, to
taste – spread out evenly on bottom of dish. Pour
cream on top, sprinkle with cheese & breadcrumbs;
dot with butter pieces. Bake until bubbly & golden
brown, about 15 minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: Food Network)


Mexican Eggs

1 (7-8 inch) tortilla
2 eggs
1 T. chopped green onion
1 T. chopped tomato
1 T. chopped green chili
1/4 C. shredded cheese (Cheddar,
MonterreyJack, etc.)
salt & sour cream, for garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat tortilla until warm (20-30 seconds in
microwave). Scramble eggs. Place warm
tortilla on ungreased cookie sheet; top with
eggs, onions, tomatoes, chilies & cheese. Bake
5-10 minutes until very warm & cheese has
melted. Top with salsa & sour cream.
Serves 1

(recipe: Richard – Marys Recipe Exchange)


Ham & Cabbage Soup

2 C. ham, diced or shredded
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 C. chicken broth (or ham broth*)
2 lb. head cabbage, cored & roughly diced
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
In large saucepan or small stockpot, warm
oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook
stirring occasionally until translucent, about
5 minutes. Add carrots, celery & garlic; cook,
stirring occasionally, until carrots & celery are
crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add ham, broth,
cabbage & bay leaves; bring to boil over high
heat. Reduce to simmer, cover & cook until
cabbage is tender, 15-20 minutes. Add salt &
pepper, to taste. Remove bay leaves before
serving. Serves 10-12

How to make Ham Broth:
Combine 2 smoked ham hocks, 1
carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion,
quartered, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp.
whole peppercorns & 4 qts. water
in large stockpot. Bring to boil over
Low heat; reduce to a very gentle
simmer, cover & cook until meat falls
off ham hocks, 3-4 hours. Strain the
broth; add salt & pepper to taste. Makes
about 3 quarts



Triple Chocolate Fantasy Fudge

2 lb. white almond bark, broken into pieces
1 (4 oz) bar sweetened chocolate, broken into

1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
3 C.coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
Place bark, sweetened chocolate & chocolate
chips in 2-4 qt. crockpot. Cover; cook on High
1 hour – DO NOT STIR. Turn heat to Low &
continue cooking 1 hour, stirring every 15
minutes; stir in nuts. Drop mixture by tablespoons
onto baking sheet covered with waxed paper; let
cool. Cut into pieces & store in tightly covered

*use high-quality chocolate candy bar

(recipe: Sunbeam Products, Inc.)


Double Banana Pudding Cake

1 (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
(about 3) divided
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter as directed on pkg; stir in
1/2 C. bananas & nuts. Pour into 9 X 13 baking
pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Beat pudding
mixes, milk & water in medium bowl with whisk
2 minutes; stir in remaining bananas. Pour over
batter in pan; place on baking sheet. Bake 55
minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes
(sauce will thicken slightly as it cools). Sprinkle top
with sugar & serve warm. Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hope you’re having a good week – enjoy the Spring weather!



Another Spring Day – YAY!


It’s been a bit breezy but sunny – I can’t complain! One still needs a light sweater or jacket during the day; right now it’s 59 degrees at almost 5 p.m. – that’s pretty GOOD for here! (she said – remembering that there STILL could be snow before or on Easter! Good old Michigan – gotta love it!)

I noticed while out today that our local gas prices have climbed a LOT! A few days ago I got gas (the cheapest) at $3.59/9 and was happy – today, same station was $3.79/9!!! WOW! Wonder if they’re raising it for those traveling during Easter? Just a thought.

Lots of yummy-sounding recipes lately – here ya go:


Black Forest Cupcakes

*Whipped Icing:

2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. milk
pinch cream of tartar
2 C. heavy whipping cream


2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. cocoa
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling (with
extra cherries)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 24 paper cupcake liners in
cupcake pans; set aside. Sift
together & combine dry ingredients
for cake, including sugar, in large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil & vanilla; beat until
well blended. Pour or scoop evenly into
liners, filling 2/3 rds full. Bake 17-21 minutes
or until toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire


In large mixing bowl, combine powdered
sugar, milk, tartar; mix well. Cover &
refrigerate for at least one hour.

When cupcakes are cool & icing is ready,
use an apple corer (or small spoon) and
make a hole for filling. Reserve 24 cherries
out of pie filling, then place pie filling
into holes. Remove icing from refrigerator;
mix in whipping cream on medium-high
speed until cream forms stiff peaks. Top
each cupcake with whipped icing & reserved
cherries. Cupcakes should be kept
refrigerated. Remove from fridge 15-30
minutes before serving. Makes 24 cupcakes.



Sour Cream/Bacon Potato Salad

4 oz olive oil
2 oz. bacon drippings
2 oz. cider vinegar
your choice of herbs (basil, rosemary,
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

4 lb. small red potatoes
4 large eggs, hard boiled (separate
yolks from whites-chop whites)
8 oz bacon, cooked & crumbled (be
sure to reserve some bacon drippings)
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream*
3 T. Dijon mustard
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped green onion & crumbled
bacon (optional)
To make marinade:
Combine bacon fat, olive oil, vinegar,
herbs & garlic salt in small food processor,
shaker jar or bowl & combine well. Season
with pepper to taste

To Make salad:
Clean but do not peel potatoes; cut into 1″
cubes. Place in a large pot with salted water;
bring to a boil – boil 7-10 minutes, testing
potatoes to see if they are done. (they should
be firm but easily penetrated with a fork).
Remove from heat; drain & place back into pot.
Add marinade & stir gently to cover all potatoes.
Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour. Mash egg yolks
finely with a fork in a medium bowl. Prepare
dressing by combining yolks with mayonnaise,
sour cream & mustard. Mix with a whisk &
season with salt & pepper. Add dressing, chopped
egg whites, bacon & green onion to potatoes – mix
gently. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt & pepper,
if necessary. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Best if made ahead & refrigerated overnight.
Garnish before serving with green onion & bacon bits.
Serves 6-8

*You can substitute plain Greek yogurt, if needed


Crockpot Lemonade Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade, thawed
1 T. vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
*4 C. rice, cooked
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken on bottom of crockpot.
In a bowl, mix all other ingredients (except
rice) then pour over chicken. Cook on Low
6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours. Add salt &
pepper when serving.
*Do not cook rice in crockpot; wait until
chicken is nearly done, then cook on stovetop
or in rice cooker.  Serves 4

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Side-Dish Parsley Potatoes

1-2 medium potatoes per serving (thin-
skinned or peeled)
1 T. butter, per serving
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, per serving
zest of one lemon, grated (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste
If using thin-skinned (ie: new, red, Yukon
Gold) potatoes, leave skin on. If using
thicker skinned potatoes (ie: Russet), peel
them. Cut potatoes into 3/4″ dice; place in
microwave-safe dish, add water to about
1 inch deep. Cover & microwave until potatoes
are almost done. Time varies depending on
amount of potatoes & strength of microwave
oven, but takes about 10 minutes for 2 large
servings. Melt butter in large skillet over
medium heat; saute onions in butter, stirring
occasionally to promote even cooking. When
potatoes are soft, must of the water will have
been absorbed. Using a slotted spoon, add
potatoes to skillet with onions, leaving as much
water behind as possible. Let potatoes saute
about 2 minutes to brown slightly on one side.
Finely chop parsley (and zest the lemon, if using).
Add these to skillet; toss to mix thoroughly. Heat
about 2 minutes. Taste & season with salt &

3 Ingredient Party Dip

1 (16 oz) pkg. pork sausage (your
choice of how hot)
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes,undrained
Brown sausage in nonstick skillet,
breaking up into crumbles, drain.
In medium saucepan, heat tomatoes &
cream cheese over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. Heat until cream cheese is
completely melted. Add browned sausage
to mixture; stir to combine. (If you like a
slightly looser dip, add a few drops of milk
to mixture & stir.)
Serve with tortilla chips, corn chips, crackers,
fresh cut vegetables.

Crockpot Version:
After browning sausage, add all ingredients
in small crockpot over Low heat until cream
cheese melts, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.


Bacon, Jalapeno Popper Quiche

9 inch frozen pie crust (thawed 10 minutes)

1/2 C. cream cheese, room temp.
2 jalapenos, diced (deseed for less heat)
1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds (topping)
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
1/2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. Half & Half
5 large eggs
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(optional: sour cream)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prick thawed crust all over the bottom &
sides using a fork to make tiny holes; bake
10 minutes. Remove crust & lower oven
temp. to 350 degrees F. While crust is hot,
spread cream cheese all over bottom as
evenly as possible. Sprinkle diced jalapenos
over cream cheese (save jalapeno rounds
for topping). Place cream & Half & Half in a
small pot over medium heat 5 minutes
until tiny bubbles appear around edges.
Scald: bring it to just under boiling point
until very hot, but not boiling. Beat eggs
in a bowl; add hot cream mixture to eggs,
whisking constantly to combine. Add paprika,
salt & bacon; mix well & pour into prepared
crust. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven,
arrange sliced jalapeno rounds on top. Sprinkle
top with cheese & bake until cheese has
melted & turned golden brown, about 15-20
minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
(optional: serve with sour cream on side)


Easy Sausage & Tortellini Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage links
1 medium sweet onion, diced fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
3 C. fresh baby spinach
salt & pepper
Heat oil over medium-high heat in Dutch
oven. Add sausages & cook, turning
occasionally, until browned all over, about
10 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel lined
plate; pour off all but 1 T. fat from pot. Add
onion & cook over medium heat until
softened, about 5 minutes, scraping up any
browned bits. Add garlic & cook about 30
seconds. Stir in broth & seasonings, bring to
boil. Slice sausage 1/2 inch thick; add to pot.
Stir in tortellini & simmer gently until pasta
is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in spinach &
cook just until wilted. Season with a little
salt & pepper, to taste. Serves 4

(recipe: very
Smothered Cabbage

1 head cabbage, shredded
1 pkg. bacon, sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 T. seasoning salt
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1/2 T. black pepper
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
olive oil
hot sauce (optional)
In large skillet, heat about 2 T. olive oil
over medium heat; add bacon & fry until
crispy. Remove bacon & drain on paper
towels. Add bell pepper, onion & celery
to bacon grease; saute about 5 minutes.
Add garlic; cook 1 minute more; add spices
& mix well. Add cabbage to pan; mix well.
Cook cabbage mixture about 10 minutes
then add chicken broth. Allow cabbage to
cook 10 minutes more. Crumble cooked
bacon. Add vinegar; add crumbled bacon
& cook 5 more minutes. Serves 4
Serve with hot sauce on the side.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

1 stick (1/2 C.) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 quarts whole strawberries, capped/washed
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces
plain Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream for
serving, (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & pour into 9 X 13 pan. In small
bowl, mix egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder
& salt; pour directly over butter in baking dish-
DO NOT stir. Add strawberries, arranging in a
single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream
cheese pieces over strawberries. Bake 45 minutes
until top is golden brown & edges are bubbling.
(crust rises up around fruit, fruit will be peeking
out of top). Serve hot with choice of topping.


Just got the call that our gutter company will be coming out tomorrow – YAY! We’ve been waiting almost all winter for them; got a call a few weeks ago but they cancelled due to upcoming bad weather (which actually didn’t come!). It will be nice to have that big project finally done – new roof and gutters!

I think I mentioned in the last post about receiving a huge bag of yarn from a friend at church who works at a nursing home (at least 75 skeins plus tons of knitting needles and a few crochet hooks). In among all the yarns were about 8 skeins of this really thick, fluffy yarn – it’s mainly used for baby items. I’m NOT a fan of thick yarns, but this was just calling me: “Hey, you! Come and see what you can make with me!” . . . so I did. I know, from past experience, this is NOT the yarn you would knit with, so I dragged out my biggest crochet hook (size K) and attempted to crochet a baby blanket – just your standard triple crochet, nothing fancy. After about 3 1/2 rows I decided to just give it up! I DO NOT like using this yarn (even if it’s FREE) and it tends to get caught up in itself a LOT! Very frustrating but I’m sure there will be one of my knit group ladies who will be super thrilled to get it, so I’m not worried it will go to waste. Ah, the goofy things I get myself into sometimes! I don’t know WHY I sometimes think I really need THREE projects going at once (actually, if I think about it, I DO have 3 going now: baby blanket, baby hats and chemo caps!) Yep, I’m crazy.

On the son’s Art Design 3D building project: Boy, I really don’t know WHERE my brain was at when I began comping up this project. The directions said the ENTIRE building was to be 10″ (or a little bigger) tall and 5″ or a little bigger wide. I had it in my head that ONE FLOOR was 10 inches! We had all the foam board cut out and I worked on the front wall with door & windows (and was rather proud of myself, if I must say so). Made the windows out of tracing paper (to resemble Shoji screen windows, like they had in ancient Japan) and found a sheet of dollhouse flooring paper (from my dollhouse building project of 30+ years ago) and used that for the front door. Showed it to my son and he promptly said: “Mom, that looks like it’s built for a GI Joe doll! That building will be too small for a hotel – no room for beds, people, etc.” AND HE WAS RIGHT! Oh boy – back to the drawing board, for sure! Let’s just say: I’m an artist, NOT an architect – I don’t think in that scale. It drove me nuts; I took a good hour break playing video games just to get my mind off the fact that we now had NOTHING to show the teacher for our 1 week efforts! I went back at it and now the building will be a little over 10″ (maybe 10 1/2″ tall and 6 ” wide, 3 floors. One of the main problems I was having with the building design son chose was: I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to construct the roof! Finally, after going back to sites on Japanese temples, I found one that had a roof sort of like our modern American houses (the kind that look like an inverted open book). THAT is how this building’s roof will look AND it will allow for us to put the Logo on the area of the peak – YAY! Son didn’t seem too convinced of my efforts and I just decided to WALK AWAY! He woke me up this morning asking: “Mom – just what am I supposed to show the teacher today?” I said: Take your sketch book and explain our problems. He hasn’t come home yet so I really don’t know what she thought – but at this point: I REALLY DON’T CARE! I’m doing the best I can – if son gets a good grade, fine – if not – not my problem. At one point I actually told him if he didn’t like it he could build it himself! (I’m getting feisty in my old age!) He/we still have 2 weeks until it’s due – we’ll see how it goes. This is crazy, for me – going from a scale I can actually DO something with, to a scale that’s so tiny there’s very little room for creativity, except in the basic building itself. I’m still not even sure HOW we’re going to be able to put the Logo on and have it look like something! Ah well – that’s for another day. To give you a Bible verse for that one (one I fall back on, regularly): Matthew 6:34: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  (basically it means don’t spend time worry about the future – each day has it’s own problems)

Husband & I had a pleasant afternoon yesterday – we went out to Office Max for some office supplies then stopped at Red Lobster for a nice lunch courtesy of our grandson’s Mom – she gave us a gift certificate for Christmas. We both enjoyed sharing tempura battered calamari & veggies (sliced red peppers & broccoli) with a ranch dressing. We both chose their Bar Harbor salad: With fresh Romaine, sun-dried berries and honey-roasted pecans with a blueberry-balsamic vinaigrette. Crumbled blue cheese & grilled shrimp on top – REALLY YUMMY! Between feasting on their cheesy biscuits, the appetizer AND the salad – I had enough to bring home for dinner (for me – husband ate all his!). It’s nice to get out and enjoy every once in awhile!

That’s about it for today – hope you have a GREAT DAY!!!



Here we go AGAIN!

Today is the beginning of ‘The Search’ for ideas for the LAST Art Design project. As I mentioned in the last blog entry, son wants a Japanese-style Tea House/Hotel idea – let’s just say, upon my reflections (and MUCH research via ‘the net’) this is NOT an easy task! For starters, tea houses are very plain. This project is an ALL-OUT type, the bigger/grander/more glorious, the better. When I was looking on line he spotted an image and said: “Yes! Like THAT!”


Remember, we’re supposed to CONSTRUCT this out of foam board and any other materials we can use to make the building like we’d want.  It’s supposed to be 10 inches (or bigger). (I just attempted to copy & paste an image which is more to my liking/creativity but it wouldn’t take it.) Son is all for having lots of curving roof lines (UGH!) We CAN use other materials – perhaps if we made the main part of the building in foam board, and did the roof in cardboard – that might work  – you can bend/curve cardboard – we’ll see. So far, in my research we went from designing a Japanese Bath House (they, too, are very plain) to a Japanese Tea House to, now, a hotel. (I do remember the original assignment was to make a business OR a hotel). Anyway, we’re back to the CREATING mode, for the LAST time! (who knows? I might just miss this!)

Today is Friday – Grandson day, later; right now it’s a balmy 36 degrees, rainy & grey/gloomy out. I was thinking of doing a few errands, but the gloomy weather really drags my energies down – we’ll see.


Shortcut Carrot Cake

1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix*
3 large carrots, shredded (about 2 C.)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice,
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter as directed on pkg;
stir in carrots, pineapple & 3/4 C. nuts.
Pour into two (9 inch) square pans sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 25-30 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
Invert onto wire racks; gently remove pans.
Cool cakes completely.
Beat cream cheese & sugar in large bowl
until blended; whisk in Cool Whip. Stack
cakes on plate; spreading frosting between
layers and on top & sides. Sprinkle top with
remaining chopped nuts.

*You can substitute a yellow cake mix
plus 2 tsp. ground cinnamon for the
spice cake mix.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Swiss Cheese, Ham & Asparagus Bake

1 1/2 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
2 C. cubed, cooked ham
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 2″ lengths
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1/2 C. milk
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add hot water to stuffing mix in saucepan
until just moistened; let stand 5 minutes.
Combine ham, asparagus, soup & milk in a
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray; sprinkle top with cheese then cover
with stuffing mix. Bake 30 minutes or until
heated through. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: Kraft

Sweet Salsa Chicken

1 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. diced onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. water
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 C. salsa or picante sauce (your choice
of how hot, or not)
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. quick cooking tapioca
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Combine tomato paste, diced onion, garlic &
water in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave
4-5 minutes, stirring every minute (onions should
be soft). Transfer to crockpot. Place chicken, salsa,
brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tapioca & Worcest.
in crockpot; stir gently to combine. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours; break up chicken with a fork, into
large pieces. Cover & cook an additional hour to
coat individual pieces in sauce.
Serve alone, shredded on tortillas, or over rice/noodles/
cooked potatoes. Serves 4-6

(recipe: 365 days of

Sour Cream Biscuits

3 C. flour
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. cold, unsalted butter
1 1/4 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder & salt; cut
in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks).
Mix together next 4 ingredients; add to dry
ingredients & stir gently until dough comes
together. Do NOT knead the dough. Turn out
dough onto a lightly floured surface & roll
or pat down to 1/2 – 3/4″ thickness. Cut out
biscuits; place on a sheet pan lined with
parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake
10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 4-6

Stuffed French Toast

2 pkgs. (3 oz, ea) cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 loaf Challah or other egg bread (about 1 1/4 lb)
12 slices crisp-cooked bacon

Egg Mixture:
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
1 T. butter
confectioners sugar, for serving
maple syrup, for serving
Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
Stir together cream cheese, sugar &
cinnamon in small bowl. Slice ends
off loaf of bread; cut loaf into six
1 1/2 to 2 inch thick slices. Lay slices,
flat side down, on work surface. Slice
pocket into side of each slice, without
tearing through other sides, bottom or
top of bread. Spread a scant 2 T. cream
cheese mixture into each bread pocket.
Gently fill each pocket with 2 slices bacon
(or crumble and divide evenly). Whisk
together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon,
nutmet & allspice in a large bowl. Dip
stuffed slices into egg mixture, until both
sides are moistened; do not let bread
slices soak. Melt butter in large skillet
or on a griddle. Add bread slices; cook
over medium to medium-high heat 3-5
minutes per side or until browned. Keep
slices warm on sheet pan in 200 degree
oven, until all slices are done. Serve topped
with confectioners sugar & maple syrup,
if desired.  Serves 6

(recipe: Family Circle magazine)
Tilapia with Corn & Tomatoes

2 C. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) Fire-roasted
diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp dried dill weed, divided
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. frozen tilapia fillets (4 oz ea),
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine corn, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 tsp
dill & 1/4 tsp. salt in medium bowl.
For each packet, lay two 10 X 12″ sheets of
regular aluminum foil on top of each other.
Place about 3/4 C. corn mixture in center,
spreading slightly. Spray nonstick spray on
both sides of each fillet. Sprinkle with
remaining 1/2 tsp. dill, remaining 1/2 tsp.
salt & pepper. Place fillets on corn mixture.
Bring up short sides of each foil packet &
double fold top. Double fold both ends
to seal each packet, leaving space for steam
to gather. Place packets on baking sheet,
bake 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily
with fork (145 degrees F.) Carefully open
ends of packets to allow steam to escape
before fully opening. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.


Roasted Asparagus

20 fresh asparagus spears (about 3/4 lb)
4 tsp. cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Trim, wash & dry asparagus; spread
asparagus in single layer in baking
pan with shallow sides & drizzle with
oil. Sprinkle garlic & salt on top. Bake
6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender, shaking
pan to turn spears once.
Serves 4 (5 spears each)



1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts whole strawberries, capped and washed
4 ounces cream cheese, cut in small pieces
vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter and pour into a
9×13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix
together the egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder
and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking
dish, but do not stir Add the strawberries, arranging
in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream
cheese pieces over strawberries. Place in preheated
oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden
brown and edges are bubbling. (Crust rises up and
around the fruit, but fruit will still peek out of top.)
Serve hot out of the oven with choice of topping,
if desired. Makes 10 servings

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken Nacho Bake

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. thick salsa
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 C. crushed tortilla chips
1/2 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken on foil-covered baking
sheet. Cut 3 slits in top of each breast
with sharp knife. Top with salsa, sour
cream & crushed chips. Bake 30 minutes
or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
topping with cheese after 20 minutes.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Sweet Spiced Nuts

1 T. egg white
2 C. pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Mix egg white & nuts until nuts
are well coated & sticky. Mix
sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over
nuts, coating well. Spread onto
ungreased cookie sheet. Bake
20 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


I’m going to close for now, my computer is
acting VERY slow (and there’s no one on
the other computer – that usually is the
reason mine is slow, husband is usually
playing a computer game or downloading
something on his – our computers are
linked together).

Enjoy your day!




Thoughts on a Thursday


Hello, on a grey and rainy day! It’s now 34 degrees F. and raining – hope it stays that way and doesn’t continue on to what our weather forecast predicted: snow. We’ve had MORE than enough snow – the crocus are blooming, birds are singing – it’s time for SPRING!

Started looking up ideas for the last Art Design project. This time they are to build (using foam board) a 3D building 10″ tall, 5″ wide and themed. Son has decided we are building a Japanese Tea House-themed hotel (they can either do a store or a hotel). Let me tell you – LOTS of time just trying to research what would be a (somewhat) easy construction of said building using FOAM BOARD! NOT an easy task! I draw/create using pictures/photos in front of me – not good at pulling ideas out of my head. They are to begin by deciding on a name and LOGO for said building/business. (we haven’t exactly got that down yet). I mentioned to son that I could look up the Japanese characters for TEA and HOUSE; found both plus HOME and GOOD LUCK. (my thinking: perhaps work in the name, like Good Luck Tea House?) We’ll see – I’ve taken Calligraphy before so doing the characters using dip calligraphy pens shouldn’t be a problem. I’m almost excited about this project, as it’s somewhat like dollhouse designing (done that, too). I love working in miniature, so we’ll wee where this goes (and how much son allows me to be creative!). I’m also thinking a tiny stone pathway up to the building – we CAN do exterior design/landscaping, if we wish – she said: “BE CREATIVE! ANYTHING GOES! PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!” (Oh, I can DO that!!!).

Had some fun today pulling out some of the small batch of yarn I picked up from the Yarn Swap Tuesday. This time it’s a coffee-color, a cream-color, and a bright yellow. I was calling it a boy’s hat but son said: “Actually, it’s non-gender” . . . UGH! (I don’t think like that but THIS generation DOES!). See what YOU think!


brown hat – donated yarn/pink hat-hot pink border donated

(Just me having fun ‘creating’ with FREE yarn!)

Yesterday was a busy and disorganized day, but managed to make it through it well. LOTS of phone calls – I called the son of my knitting friend who died and he told me he wants to donate ALL of her knitting supplies PLUS boxes of other craft stuff to the group. I told him we’d be honored to receive it; he’ll get in touch with me in about 3-4 weeks. I stopped by the funeral home just to pay my respects and meet her son. Got a phone call from a friend at church asking if I would like a large garbage bag full of about 75 skeins of yarn? (You KNOW my response!) She seemed a bit surprised, but I told her my ladies view free yarn like anyone else would chocolate or candy – them GLOM on it! I know that whatever yarn does not get taken, plus whatever craft items my friend’s son will donate can be dropped of at our local Senior Center and they will be happy to make good use of it – or put it in their Rummage Sale later this year. It won’t go to waste, for sure. (Yes, I’m excited to see what’s coming – as if I needed MORE yarn or needles/etc. but it’s fun to LOOK!)


Amish Banana Cake

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. mashed ripe bananas
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
3 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter & sugar; beat in eggs &
vanilla. Blend in mashed bananas. Dissolve
baking soda into buttermilk; set aside.
In separate bowl, sift together baking powder,
flour & salt. Blend dry ingredients into
banana-egg mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Beat well. Pour into a 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake
35-40 minutes.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 large green peppers, seeded & chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 C. multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Mix tomatoes & tomato paste in crockpot
until blended; stir in vegetables. Cut meat
into 8 pieces; pound to 1/2-inch thickness.
Sprinkle with oregano & add to crockpot.
Press meat into sauce with back of spoon.
Cover & cook on Low 4-4 1/2 hours or
High 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.
Transfer meat to plate, reserving sauce in
crockpot. Cover meat to keep warm. Mix
cornstarch & water until well blended; add
to sauce & stir. Cook, covered, on High
6-8 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta,
spoon onto serving plates. Top with meat,
sauce & cheeses. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground sausage or beef
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. thyme
1 T. brown sugar
4 C. chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans diced stewed
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
7 lasagna noodles, broken up
into large chunks
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1-2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
In large soup pot place meat, onion,
bell pepper & garlic; cook over medium-
high heat until meat is browned & onions
are translucent. (drain grease). Add thyme,
brown sugar, stewed tomatoes, tomato
sauce, Italian seasoning, salt & chicken
broth; bring to boil over medium-high
heat. When boiling, reduce heat & simmer
20 minutes. Add noodles to pot; simmer until
noodles are tender (about 10 min.) Add
Parmesan cheese to pot; allow to melt.
Remove pot from stove, serve soup with
grated mozzarella cheese on top.
Serves 8

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables

4 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 lb. asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1" lengths
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. raw shrimp (26-30 per lb), peeled &
1 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
Heat 2 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high heat; add peppers, asparagus,
lemon zest & 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until just beginning to soften,
about 6 minutes. Tranfer vegs to a bowl;
cover to keep warm. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil
& garlic to pan & cook, stirring until fragrant,
about 30 sec.; add shrimp & cook, stirring,
1 minute. Whisk broth & cornstarch in small
bowl until smooth & add to pan along with
remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until 
sauce has thickened slightly & shrimp are
pink & just cooked through, about 2 minutes
more. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice &
parsley. Serve shrimp & sauce over vegetables.
Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Buckeye Dessert Dip
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/8 C. milk
1 C. confectioners sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) pkg. mini chocolate chips
graham cracker sticks, for dipping
Cream together cream cheese, peanut
butter & milk until smooth. Add conf.
sugar; blend until smooth. Fold in Cool
Whip & chips; refrigerate 2 hours before

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
 2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
 1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
 1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
 2 T. slivered almonds*
 2 T. raisins
 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
 12 medium jalapeno peppers
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Heat dressing in medium saucepan over
 medium-high heat. Add meat, tomatoes,
 almonds & raisins; cook 3-5 minutes or until
 heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove
 from heat; drain excess liquid; stir in 1/4 C.
 cheese, set aside. Cut each pepper in half
 lengthwise; remove & discard seeds. Place
 peppers on foil-covered baking sheet. Fill
 each half with about 1 T. meat mixture. Bake
 10 minutes; sprinkle tops with remaining
 cheese. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes or 
 until cheese is melted. Serve warm. Makes
 12 servings.
 *can substitute chopped pecans or walnuts
 Can be made ahead of time; cover & refrigerate
 up to 12 hours. When ready to serve, uncover
 & bake as directed.
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Braised Tomato Spareribs
 2 lb. pork spareribs, cut into single-rib
 or bite-sized portions
 2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes, 
 1/4 C. sun dried tomato Vinaigrette
 dressing (Kraft)*
 1 T. soy sauce
 1 tsp. garlic powder
 Place ribs in crockpot; add tomatoes,
 dressing, soy sauce & garlic powder;
 cover with lid. Cook on Low 6-8 hours
 or High 4 hours. Skim & discard fat from
 top of sauce before serving. Serves 4
 *can substitute balsamic vinaigrette
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Pasta with Asparagus & Mushrooms
 1 box rotini pasta
 6 T. olive oil
 4 garlic cloves, minced
 1/3  of an onion, thinly sliced
 1 bunch asparagus, stems cut & ends trimmed
 8 oz. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
 2 thyme leaves
 4 parsley stems, minced
 2 T. balsamic vinegar
 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
 Place 2 T. olive oil in small skillet; saute
 half of garlic & onions over medium heat.
 Add asparagus; season with salt & pepper.
 Cook until al dente. Cook pasta accordg
 to pkg. directions. Place 2 T. olive oil in
 another large skillet; saute the rest of the onions
 3 minutes; then rest of garlic. Add mushrooms.
 herbs, vinegar, salt & pepper. Drain pasta &
 combine both preparations plus 2 T. olive oil.
 Toss to combine. Serve immediately with cheese
 on the side. Serves 6
 (recipe: Barilla)
Mandarin Cheesecake Dessert
 2 boxes cheesecake instant pudding & pie
 filling mix (and milk to make pudding)
 1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
 1 pkg. fudge stripe cookies 
 Prepare pudding according to pkg. directions.
 After pudding sets up in refrigerator place a
 layer of cookies in bottom of a round or square
 pan; pour half of the pudding over cookies & 
 top with oranges; repeat. 
Today's gloomy/rainy weather is perfect for snuggling 
up with a good book - I've got about 3 more library
books ready to go (1 sorta girly/knitting type novels &
2 murder/mysteries). There's always MORE baby
hats to knit, so I won't be bored this day.

Rainy, sunny, windy or just perfect, try to ENJOY




It’s going to be a GOOD Day!


The CROCUS are in bloom! YAY!

If you didn’t know by now, Spring is my all-time FAVORITE time of year – I love watching for the first shoots of the crocus and hyacinth to pop out of the ground, look for the first robins, hear bird songs again – love it all! It’s a little chilly right now (37 degrees F.) but a wee bit sunny, too, which lifts my spirits.

Had a good time at last night’s Knit/Crochet & Yarn Swap night – I took a  large bag filled with mostly worsted weight yarns and several knit bags (I have WAY too many of those!) and came home with new yarns; about 1/3 of the amount of yarns taken – the ones I brought home were baby or sport weight yarns and little bits & pieces, just perfect for baby hats! Most knitters don’t want little bits of yarn – they want the whole skeins to make projects like gloves, scarves, cowls, sweaters, etc. I love the little bits as they are just what I use when making the baby hats. I came away with some really bright yellow (YAY!), a really nice, rich warm cocoa brown and another really nice cream (those will make some really nice looking boy baby hats), some pretty medium pinks, some nice blues and a few skeins of sage green – I’m happy! This was our second Yarn Swap and I truly think we had a lot more yarn THIS time than the first! This idea is a ‘keeper’ – we’ll probably do it again in 3-4, or maybe 6 months (giving them enough time to accumulate more that they don’t need or want!).

With the fun of the evening we were also saddened to learn that one of our ladies (age 70) had passed away 2 days ago. One of the managers of Panera came over with a written message for me from her son; he had called to let the group know AND to say that he wanted to donate all of her knitting materials to us – how kind. When I saw the obituary in last night’s paper, it states that there will be a family time from 5-7 p.m. tonight (no service or funeral), so I’m going to go right at 5 to have enough time to also be able to pick up the one guy who rides with me to special needs group. She will be missed – she only came sporadically but I got to know her a little and really enjoyed her quirky sense of humor. She first came telling me she used to knit many, many years ago and was afraid she wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it. She brought an afghan she’s started long ago (very complicated pattern and it was HUGE!). I’m NOT a knitting teacher, but by looking over her pattern and finally grasping the ‘gist’ of it, I was able to get her back on track. (She kept losing her place in the pattern then having to rip out row after row – and these were really LONG rows!). I told her about ‘stitch counters’ (little circles of plastic that you put on your needle to mark spots in the row) – she had a ton of them in her bag, so we got started breaking her row patterns down to small groups of the same stitches. I was so proud of her (and I think she was proud of herself, too) that after that she was able to sail along knitting happily, having regained her sense of self worth as well as her sense of her ability to knit! Yes, she will be missed greatly.


Mocha Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. plus 1 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
2 T. plus 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules,
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips,
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder,
cinnamon & salt in large bowl. In small bowl,
stir milk & 2 T. coffee granules until coffee is
dissolved. Add butter, egg & vanilla; mix well.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in 3/4 C. chocolate chips. Fill greased or
paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake 17-20
minutes for regular muffins or 13-15 minutes for
mini muffins. Cool 5 minutes before removing
from pans to wire racks.
In food processor or blender, combine cream
cheese & remaining vanilla, coffee granules &
mini chocolate chips. Cover & process until well
blended. Refrigerate spread until serving time.
Serve spread on the side. Makes 16 regular or 36
mini muffins.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Beef & Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Ro*Tel
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen Tater Tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, diced
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
Brown beef & onions in skillet; add
Ro*Tel.  Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Pour beef &
onion mixture on bottom of crockpot.
Mix in chicken soup. Pour tater tots
over top & cook 2-3 hours on Low.
One half hour before serving, add
shredded cheese, cover & let cheese


Balsamic Glazed Carrots

1 (2 lb.) pkg. baby carrots
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lay out carrots evenly on a large
cookie sheet; drizzle olive oil over
carrots, then stir them around so
that they all get a bit of oil on them.
Sprinkle tops with salt & pepper. Roast
in oven 25 minutes, or until fork tender.
In a small bowl mix balsamic vinegar &
brown sugar; drizzle over carrots &
return to oven 5 minutes. Adjust
salt & pepper to your liking.
Serves 6-8


Skillet Lasagna

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 lb Italian sausage
2 eggs
1 1/4 C. cottage cheese
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 C. Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 jars (24 oz, ea) Prego spaghetti sauce
1 (9 oz) pkg. Oven Ready lasagna noodles
2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sausage, garlic & onion; cook until sausage is
browned & onion/garlic are tender; drain grease.
In medium bowl whisk 2 eggs; add cottage cheese,
Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan & salt/pepper;
stir to combine. Pour 1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce &
stewed tomatoes into skillet; stir. Pour 2/3 of sauce
into a separate container; set aside (leaving 1/3 of
sauce in skillet). Layer half of lasagna noodles over
sauce in skillet, break  a few pieces, if needed. Cover
noodles with half cottage cheese mixture; pour 1/3
of reserved sauce over cheese mixture then layer
rest of noodles over top. Add rest of cottage cheese
mixture and rest of sauce. Bring mixture to simmer
over medium-high heat then cover & let simmer about
15 minutes or until noodles are tender & cheese
mixture is melted. (Make sure to not cook at too high
a temperature – you don’t want the bottom to burn).
Turn on oven broiler, uncover skillet & sprinkle 2 C.
mozzarella cheese & 1/2 C. Parm. cheese on top. (Make
sure your skillet is “OVEN SAFE” – if it is not, cover it
with the lid & let cheese melt on stove top. (IF it is
oven safe, place under broiler until cheese broils -
3-4 minutes. remove from pan and let set a few
minutes. Serves 10


Watergate Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in
juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. (Jello) pistachio
instant pudding mix
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 8, about 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Shrimp Scampi

1/3 C. margarine
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 lb. medium (31/35 count)
shrimp, peeled & deveined
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place margarine in 8 x 8 baking
dish & melt in oven. Add onion,
pimientos, garlic, lemon juice &
dill; stir together. Add shrimp;
toss to coat. Bake, uncovered,
15 minutes or just until shrimp
turn pink. Serves 4, about 8
shrimp each)

Serving note: serve with cooked
linguine, if desired. Cook pasta
while shrimp bakes.


Apple Pork Tenderloin Recipe

2 lb. pork tenderloin
8-10 medium to large potatoes,
peeled & cubed
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
4 T. flour (for gravy – optional)
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place potatoes & potatoes in bottom
of crockpot; place tenderloin on top. Add
pie filling on top. Cover & cook on High
5-6 hours. Place contents of crockpot into
large bowl. If you want gravy, add flour
to liquid juices at bottom of crockpot;
whisk flour well until blended & serve
with tenderloin & veggies.


Warm Canadian Bacon Bites

1 (3.5 oz) pkg. (Hormel) Pizza-style Canadian
bacon, chopped
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried basil
2 (12 oz,ea) pkg. refrigerated buttermilk
flaky biscuits
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine Canadian bacon,
cheese, tomato, onion, mayonnaise & basil.
Cut each biscuit in half. Place biscuit halves
into greased muffin cups, pressing gently to
fit cups. Spoon 1 T. filling into each cup.
Bake 20-25 minutes; serve warm.
Makes 40 appetizers.

(recipe: Hormel foods)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Eclair Cake

18 chocolate graham crackers

1 (3.5 oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 C. milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
16 Reese’s Peanut butter cups
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 T. unsalted butter
1 T. corn syrup
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
In large mixing bowl, beat pudding mix with
milk until there are no lumps. Beat in peanut
butter until smooth; fold in Cool Whip, set
In 9″ square baking pan, layer 6 grahams; top
with half of pudding mix. Top with 6 more crackers
& all peanut butter cups. Top with remaining
pudding mixture; finish by topping with remaining
6 graham crackers.
Heat unsweetened chocolate with butter & corn
syrup on medium heat in small saucepan; whisk
until smooth. Remove from heat & whisk in powdered
sugar & milk. Frost top of graham cracker layer &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serves 8



I was just going through my files and realized I have a TON of great recipes for you. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more frequently just to be able to share these – some would be perfect for Easter dinner. Right now I’m not in the “Easter Dinner” mode – I’m finding every year I almost dread the cooking simply because very early that morning I will be in our church kitchen helping with the 8:45 a.m. Easter Breakfast, quickly followed by me running to the choir room to briefly practice, then go out & sing for the Easter Service, with the choir. After the church service, I’m certainly NOT thinking about what to cook that evening! Yes, I know that some grocery stores offer all-cooked dinners to pick up, not sure if I’m ready for that yet. We’ll see, as time goes on, what transpires at my house. Have YOU started planning/shopping for that yet? I’m sure it will be a small dinner here, just my family & grandson, total: 6 people, so dinner shouldn’t be that difficult. I ‘might’ ask oldest son, the chef, if he’ll prepare his super-tasty cauliflower casserole – we’ll see. Just spotted the dessert I posted above: “Watergate Salad” – might make that one for a side dessert. To quote a family statement from my past: “All things in due time.”

Have a great day – hope you’re area is starting to look more Spring-like every day!

Big hugs;



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