Scrambled Week so far!


Have you ever had a week that seems to sort of self-arrange? You have (what you thought) was all things arranged on your calendar and then things start happening differently than you planned? Yep, that’s the kind of week I’m having. Tuesday was Knit/Crochet Movie night – I had 2 soups coming and (I thought) 2 salads – what I got was chili, coleslaw, 3 bean salad, ambrosia and a few other ‘weird things’ – it all worked out, but it sure was goofy! Nine people came, 2 went over to the other side of the room to talk during the movie, several went home, three of us were ‘going’ to watch the movie – one fell asleep immediately, one kept frowning during it, and 2 of us watched it (“Red” – great retired CIA spy flick with Bruce Willis, Helen Miran, Morgan Freeman, Ernest Borgnine & John Malcovitch – lots of action (I brought it – everyone else forgot to bring a movie!)

Attempting to finish up the next 2 months spcecial needs group’s newsletter (it’s printing as I write this); another ‘goofy stuff’ adventure attempting to get dates solidified for several events, and who’s bringing what for the Harvest Party – sigh.

Husband & I drove to the dealership this morning to take my van in for an oil change and to find out why I had a rather loud (intermittent) squeak which was coming from the back right tire area. Husband decided we’d both drive so that if they needed to keep my van, we had an extra vehicle instead of renting. When he got into his Jeep the light came on Low tire pressure – as he went to check that the Valve Stem broke off in his tire pressure hose! GREAT! We still both drove – they fixed my van (oil & replaced rear brakes $300) and kept HIS Jeep! Great – more driving back & forth in the next day or so. To add to the fun – our internet is still acting slow/goofy. Husband ended up ordering Uverse to be installed tomorrow which will, hopefully, give us better computer speed (and for his on-line gaming, too).

Been a crazy week – tomorrow is my special needs Harvest Party – that’s usually fun for my kids; we have lots of floor games for them to play, corn chips & warm cheese dip, frosted donuts, cider/pop – should be fun.

Oldest son started the new restaurant yesterday and asked if I would pick up grandson today (he was supposed to have Thurs. off on the new restaurant schedule, but he wants to work just to get a hang of the whole ‘running your own restaurant’ thing.)

How’s your gas prices lately? Ours were ‘just fine’ in my opinion – they WERE $3.09/9 – then yesterday they jumped to $3.18/9 IN ONE DAY! Great – oh well, I wouldn’t be happy unless I had something to complain about, right?


 Pan Roasted Butternut Squash & Apples

3 T. margarine
1 (12 oz) pkg. refrigerated butternut
squash pieces* (about 3 C.)
1 1/2 C. chopped Granny Smith apples,
about 1 large apple
1/2 C. apple juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
Melt marg. in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add squash & cook 5-7 minutes
or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Add apple, apple juice, cinnamon, ginger &
salt; stir to combine. Reduce heat; cover &
simmer 15 minutes or until squash is
tender. Serves 4 (about 1/2 C. each)

*Fresh butternut squash may be used in
place of refrigerated. Peel & cut squash
into pieces then follow recipe.


Chicken Tamale Casserole

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack
cheese, grated
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 lb. ground chicken, turkey or beef
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley,
to taste
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. Combine cheeses in small bowl.
In large bowl, stir 1/4 C. combined
cheeses, milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, corn,
muffin mix & green chiles; stir until
just combined; pour into prepared pan
& bake 15 minutes or until just set. While
baking, cook ground meat in skillet over
medium heat until completely cooked;
drain, if necessary & add salt & pepper.
Remove cornbread from oven & pierce
all over with a fork. Pour enchilada
sauce over corn bread & top with
chicken & remaining cheese. Return
to oven another 15 minutes. Sprinkle
top with cilantro or parsley. Serves 6


Easy Apple Cake

8 oz. applesauce (plus more for
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, room temp, beaten
1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice* (plus
more for sprinkling)
1 box yellow cake mix
8 T. unsalted butter, melted/cooled
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9″ square or round baking
pan; line with cross-hatched sheets of
parchment paper, greasing in between
papers; set aside. In medium bowl,
place applesauce, condensed milk, eggs,
sugar & apple pie spice; beat until well
combined. Add about 1/3 of dry cake
mix to mixture; mix to combine. Pour
mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle
rest of dry cake mix on top & smooth
carefully until cake mix covers the apple-
sauce layer evenly. Pour melted butter
evenly on top; sprinkle on a bit more
apple pie spice & scatter a few dollops
of applesauce on top of cake. Cover cake
with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove foil
bake about 10-12 more minutes, until
cake has begun to pull away slightly from
sides of pan and is set on top. Remove
from oven & let cool completely before
slicing into squares or wedges.

*To make your own Apple Pie Spice:
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice


Autumn Sausage Casserole

1 lb. sausage
1 large or 2 small apples, chopped
1/2 C. chopped carrots
3 C. cooked long-grain rice
1/2 C. raisins or craisins
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 T .brown sugar
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. chicken broth (or water)
Cook sausage in skillet on medium
heat until browned; drain & place
in crockpot with other ingredients.
Cover & cook on Low 5-7 hours or
High 3-4. Serves 4

Bell Pepper Dip

4 T. butter
4 T. white vinegar
4 T. granulated sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream
cheese, softened
1/2 large green bell pepper,
1/2 large yellow or red bell
pepper, chopped
Bring butter, vinegar & sugar to
a boil in a small saucepan. Beat
in cream cheese then fold in
chopped peppers. Mix well &
place in a serving bowl. Garnish
with a little chopped pepper on
top, if desired.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

1 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 C. chopped pecans, (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter,
cream cheese, sugar & vanilla. Add eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each
addition. In another bowl, combine flour,
baking powder & salt; slowly mix into wet
batter until combined; fold in cranberries
& nuts, if using. Fill greased or lined muffin
cups 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen

Savory Squash & Bean Side Dish

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 C. chopped onions
2 C. cubed 1″, peeled* butternut squash
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 C. shredded Colby & Monterey
Jack Cheeses (Kraft)
2 T. chopped parsley
Cook bacon & onions in large nonstick
skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes
or until bacon is crisp; stirring frequently.
Add squash & broth; bring to boil. Reduce
heat to medium-low & simmer 10 minutes
or until squash is tender. Add beans; stir &
cover. Cook 8-10 minutes or until heated
through. Stir in cheese & parsley just before
serving. Serves 8, 1/2 C. each.

*Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds with
a spoon. Use a vegetable peeler to remove
outer skin, then cut into cubes.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Caramelized Pumpkin Soup

2 small pumpkins, about 3 lb
2 C. vegetable broth
2 sweet red peppers
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. cinnamon
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil. Cut top off pumpkins & slice in
half; scoop out seeds & membranes.
Brush insides & outsides of halves
with 1 T. olive oil. Cut each half into 1
inch slices. Slice red pepper into 1/4″
slices. Add slices of pumpkin & pepper
to baking sheet & sprinkle with coarse
sea salt & black pepper. Roast pumpkin
& peppers on middle rack 30 minutes;
flipping half way through. Allow to cool
slightly; set peppers aside. Remove skin
from pumpkin & mash flesh; set aside.
In pan on medium-high heat, add 1/2 T.
olive oil & red pepper flakes. Cut onion
in 1/8″ slices & add to pan. Lower heat
to medium & cook onion 10 minutes
until caramelized. In large saucepan add
onion, peppers, pumpkin, vegetable
stock, 1 T. cayenne & cinnamon; blend
all ingredients using an immersion
blender (or, in batches, in a blender).
Heat soup through & simmer 5 minutes.
Add more vegetable stock for thinner
soup. Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
Serve soup & sprinkle with remaining
cayenne, if desired.


Pumpkin Bars w/Cream Cheese frosting


2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 C. pumpkin (1 15 oz can)
1 C. oil
2 C. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt


3/4 C. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
dash salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 2 C. sugar & 4 eggs in stand
mixer bowl; add pumpkin & cooking
oil – mix 2 minutes. In medium bowl,
combine flour, cinnamon, baking
powder, baking soda & salt; stir well
then add to pumpkin/oil mixture and
mix 2 minutes, scraping bottom of
bowl with spatula. Spray a large
jelly roll pan (or other shallow pan)
with nonstick spray and pour batter
into it, spreading evenly. Bake 30
minutes or until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
Place butter, cream cheese, milk, vanilla &
1/2 C. powdered sugar & salt in a bowl;
beat until smooth. Add a little more
milk if frosting is too stiff. When cake is
cooled completely, spoon frosting on
top and smooth out. Serves 24 (or more
if cut smaller)



Craft-wise still working on the coffee mug
covers – three more to go. As far as the
‘easy’ 4 stitch scarf pattern – I somehow
made a mistake; have ripped out probably
10 rows now and still can’t find it. Driving
me nuts! Took it with me to the dealership
today and did row – ripping; got totally
frustrated and put it in my bag & went
back to knitting the mug covers (at least
with those, I can spot a  mistake!) I find,
for me, anyway, that patterns with Yarn
Overs are my nemesis – if I make a mistake
with a Yarn Over in a row, I just can’t seem
to fix it!!! UGH!

Weather-wise, we’re doing good for this
time of year: right now it’s bright & sunny,
a little breeze and 55 degrees F. Originally
at the beginning of the week they were
saying we would have 30’s and rain for
most of the week – glad that changed! I
know that winter is just around the corner,
but so far the weather is OK by me.

Have a GREAT day/week!



Monday Mornin’


Here in Michigan we’re fully into Fall now – I love seeing all the beautiful colors of the leaves – maple leaves especially – they seem to turn such rich, bright colors! Yesterday was a bit of a shock for me; got ready for church and (for a change) I was ready before my husband so I went out to the car first. Shock: I had on a sleeveless silk blouse with a thin cardigan sweater over it – the temperature was a chilly 32 degrees F! YIKES! No time to run back in and grab my coat, so I was just glad my car heats up quickly – Brrrrrrr! Looking at the week’s forecast, it doesn’t look like we’re in for any higher than 46 for the week – Yep, Fall’s here.

Finished the man’s scarf last night (YAY!) It’s done in 3 colors (but photo doesn’t show them very well): cream, dark brown and a light cream on ends.


I’m pretty sure that’s ‘about it’ for the cabled knit ideas. After speaking with my friend (President Waterford Historical Society), am thinking of making up 4-5 coffee mug covers with mugs for their next Christmas sale; they’re quick and not expensive (for me) – they could be sold for $3-5 which would be a nice profit for them. (You know me – always coming up with another ‘project’). I still have the one white & blue scarf to finish for the other knit group/homeless shelter; am considering ending that idea – maybe knitting a scarf every once in awhile for them, but not on a constant, continuing basis. It sort of leaves me feeling like I’m on a rush order (not their pushing, just me feeling like I should DO MORE!). If I pare it down a bit, that would leave the baby hats, chemo caps, stuff for Historical society sales, and maybe a scarf here & there. (still have that gold shawl to finish for Log Cabin Days costume – after talking to several of my knit group members, they agreed that it might be too hot to wear in June, hence my lack of enthusiasm in finishing it.)


Crockpot Apple Bread

1 1/2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. milk
1 C. apple pie filling
1 egg
In bowl mix Bisquick, milk & egg.
Once blended completely, spoon
into apple pie filling & gently
combine. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Pour batter
into crockpot & carefully spread
out flat. Cook, on High 1 hour 15
minutes. (Check at 1 hour mark -
when you insert a fork into center
& it comes out clean, it’s cooked).
Cool & serve. (Once cooked, you
should be able to remove it onto
a plate; gently cut around edges
of cooked cake first) – OR just
spoon out of crockpot & serve.

Note: You could also substitute
other pie filling flavors with this


Creamy Peanut Pad Thai

8 oz. (1/2 of 16 oz pkg)
rice stick noodles, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into bite-sized
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. Catalina salad dressing,
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. water
2 T. soy sauce
1 C. fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, sliced
3 T. chopped dry roasted
Cook noodles accordg to pkg.
directions. Cook & stir chicken
& garlic in 2 T. salad dressing
in wok or large skillet on High
heat 5 minutes or until chicken
is done. Add egg; cook & stir
30 seconds or until egg is set.
Add peanut butter, remaining
dressing, water & soy sauce to
chicken in wok; mix well. Drain
noodles; add to wok & toss to
coat. Stir in sprouts & onions;
transfer to bowl & top with
nuts. Serves 4 (1 3/4 C. each)

NOTE: for meatless, substitute
cubed firm tofu for the chicken.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Jalapeno Lime Dip

3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream
1 T. lime juice
1/4 C. pickled jalapenos,
3 scallions (just white
parts) sliced thin
chips or veggies for dipping
Mix all ingredients together;
store in refrigerator until
serving. Serve with chips
or veggies.

(recipe: mandysrecipebox

Sausage/Potato Skillet

6 medium russet potatoes
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) pkg. sausage of
your choice, fully cooked
Slice each potato into long
strips; lay each potato half
cut side down, & slice into
strips, cut slices into bite-
sized pieces (cubes). Heat
large, deep skillet to medium-
high heat. Add butter & olive
oil; when butter has melted,
add cut potatoes to skillet.
Add salt, pepper, seasoned
salt & paprika & stir. Cook
potatoes until golden brown &
crispy. Slice sausage into 1/2″
rings. Heat another skillet to
medium-high heat. Add 1 T.
olive oil to pan & add sausage,
green pepper & onion. Cook
until tender & sausage is hot.
Pour sausage mixture into
potato mixture; stir & taste-
add more salt or pepper if
desired. Serves 6-7


Sloppy Joe Corn Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz) can Manwich
sloppy joe sauce
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin
1/3 C. milk
2 T. margarine, melted
1 egg
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8 or 9″ dish or 2 qt
casserole with non-stick spray.
Cook ground beef; drain then
add Manwich; heat until hot.
Spoon into baking dish. Stir
together corn muffin mix, milk,
melted marg. & egg in medium
bowl; spoon & spread over
hot beef mixture. (cornbread
mixture may not cover entirely.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden
brown & set. Serves 6


Crockpot Beef Fajitas

1 1/2 – 2 lb. flank steak, sliced thin
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/chopped
1 T. cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
Flour or corn tortillas
Optional toppings:
sliced green peppers, sliced onions,
guacamole, sour cream, shredded
cheeses, sliced tomatoes, shredded
All all ingredients to 6 qt. crockpot;
stir to mix spices. Cover & cook on
Love 8-9 hours. Serve on flour or
corn tortillas with choice of
toppings. Serves 4-6

(recipe: crockpotladies)

Pumpkin Bread w/Caramel Glaze

3 1/3 C. flour
3 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 C. water
Caramel Glaze:
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. whipping cream
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 5 X 9 X 3 loaf pans
with nonstick spray; set aside.
In large bowl combine pumpkin,
oil, eggs & water; mix in dry
ingredients until combined then
spoon into loaf pans. Bake 60-65
minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into centers comes out
clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove
from pans to wire rack.
Combine butter, sugars & cream in
saucepan; cook until sugar is
dissolved. Cool 20 minutes. Stir in
confectioners sugar & vanilla until
smooth; drizzle over baked loaves.


Mac & Cheese w/Butternut

Squash & Bacon

1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lb),
peeled & cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
3 C. bow tie pasta, uncooked
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. flour
2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. finely shredded (Kraft)
triple Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spread squash onto one side of parchment-
covered rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25-30
minutes or until tender, spreading bacon
onto other side of baking sheet after 10
minutes. Cook pasta accordg to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Heat oil in large skillet over
medium heat. Add garlic; cook & stir 1 minute.
Whisk in flour; cook & stir 1 minute. Gradually
whisk in milk; cook & stir 3-5 minutes or until
thickened. Add 1 1/4 C. shredded cheese &
3 T. Parmesan; cook & stir 1-2 minutes until
shredded cheese is melted; remove from heat.
Drain bacon on paper towels; drain pasta into
a colander. Add both to cheese sauce along
with squash & sage; mix well. Spoon into a
2 qt. greased casserole dish; top with
remaining cheeses & bake 20 minutes until
heated through. Serves 6 (about 1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Salmon Cream Cheese Spread

1 can salmon
1 T. lemon juice
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 tsp. salt
(garnish) chopped olives/sprigs of parsley
crackers, for serving
Drain liquid from can of salmon; remove
any bones or dark skin – discard. In bowl,
using an elec. mixer, mix together salmon,
lemon juice, cream cheese & salt until
creamy. Place mixture in a piping bag*;
refrigerate a few hours. At serving time,
pipe spread onto crackers, garnish with
olives & sprig of parsley.

*you can also place spread in a zip lock bag
& snip one corner of bag, using this as a
piping bag.


Hope you’re having a nice day; I have
grocery shopping in my future today for
ingredients for tomorrow night’s Knit/
Crochet Movie night (potato soup &
dinner rolls). So far we have a pretty
low count on people attending (4) -
hoping more ladies become interested
before tomorrow – more people=
more fun!



I’m Back – I think!


The reason I said “I think” is because since early yesterday morning we have been without phone AND internet service. At first I thought it was our entire area, but today I called our neighbor and her’s is good; went to the Historical Society’s ‘Christmas in October’ sale and ran into their president (who lives 2 streets over from me, same neighborhood) and her phones/internet are fine, too – Hmmmmmmmm, wonder what’s going on? I told my husband it’s probably our being ‘snarky’ to all the political (harassing) phone calls lately – AT&T took revenge on us! Anyway, today the internet is sketchy, but at least I’m able to send a few emails (when it’s up) and (hopefully) be able to post this entry before it crashes AGAIN! Bad part: I scheduled our Knit/Crochet group’s Movie Night for next Tuesday night and the ladies are supposed to email me with their acceptance/dish to bring – pretty bad if they can’t get me. I tried using my cell to phone our house number just to see what I got – it just kept ringing – sigh. The good side? It’s been REALLY quiet without all those dumb phone calls!

Got gas yesterday and thought I was really ‘doing’ something: $3.14/9 until today when I saw it dropped to $3.09/9! Not going to complain – if it keeps dropping, that’s a GOOD thing!

Our weather has been pretty good – in the 50’s, some sun, windy – typical October weather for Michigan.

Still keeping busy with the scarf knitting: about 3/4’ths done with the brown/cream man’s scarf, and 1/4 th done with the cream/medium blue one I started the other day. Knit a few baby hats, just so I don’t fall behind on those (NO, they don’t keep me on a quota – it’s all in my crazy head!). While chatting with the historical society president I asked her if she’d thought about what they want our group to knit/crochet for next year’s Log Cabin Days (because they have a very large TUB FULL of dishcloths from this summer, still not sold). She mentioned fingerless gloves, small pins then she directed me back to the other building to talk to the lady who’s in charge of their donated items. She’s also going to be thinking of something new for us; I told her potholders/dishcloths are good for my beginner knitters – she mentioned coasters (either knit/crocheted in a square or circle) – that might be a good idea for beginners. YOU KNOW ME: Of course, while knitting earlier, I’m thinking of doing some fingerless gloves and some coffee cup wraps (with cups) for their sale in December (as if I don’t already have enough to work on – right?). We’ll see – I love to knit but quickly get bored working on ONE project (hence the baby hats which take about 1 hour to knit), so maybe a few coffee covers & fingerless gloves will take up the ‘slack’ – ya think??? We’ll see. I have an easy pattern for the gloves (and also one with cables – but think I’ll put that one away – too fussy; I’ve done them for friends as gifts, but think I’ll stick to EASY on this one).


Cinnamon Quick Bread

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. buttermilk*
1/3 C. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

2 T. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter, softened
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 5″ loaf pan;
set aside. In large bowl combine all
‘bread’ ingredients; beat 3 minutes
on medium speed. In small bowl
combine all ‘streusel’ ingredients;
Pour bread batter into prepared
pan; sprinkle top with streusel
ingredients & swirl with a knife.
Bake 45-55 minutes


Best Ever Chinese Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
1/2 T. cornstarch
1 T. soy sauce
3 T. peanut oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb. snow pea pods, cut in half
1/2 C. cashews
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


6 T. soy sauce
3 T. white wine
1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. oil
Cooked white rice for 4-6 people
In large bowl combine chicken with
cornstarch & soy sauce; stir well & let
stand 5 minutes. Prepare sauce mix.
In large frying pan or wok over medium-
high heat, heat oil. Add chicken & quickly
stir-fry until done 2-3 minutes. Remove
chicken from pan; set aside on a plate.
Add sliced green pepper & mushrooms
to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add pea pods &
nuts; stir fry 2 more minutes; add ginger &
cayenne. Return chicken to pan with
vegetables; add sauce & stir. Cover skillet
& cook 5 minutes over medium heat.
Serve over cooked white rice. Serves 4-6


Old-Time German Cabbage Soup

4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
2 onions, sliced
1 turnip, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, cubed
1 head green cabbage, shredded
4 C. chicken stock or bouillon
2 C. water
6 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
Tie together parsley sprigs & bay leaf.
In a 6 qt saucepan or pot, combine all
ingredients except salt, pepper & cheese.
Simmer, partially covered, 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Discard parsley/bay leaf bundle; season
soup to taste. Pour into hot soup bowls &
garnish with cheese. Serves 6

Creamy Chicken Casserole

2 C. chopped, cooked chicken
2 C. cooked long-grain white
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup
1/3 C. mayonnaise
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 C. corn flakes
1 T. butter or margarine, melted
Preheat oven 350 degrees f.
Combine all ingredients except
corn flakes & butter. Spoon into
a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. In a bowl mix
cornflakes (gently) with melted
butter & top casserole. Bake
35-40 minutes until heated
through. Serves 6, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cheesy Beef & Broccoli

1 lb. ground beef, browned & drained
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans broccoli cheese soup,
8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (
or 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, your choice)
1 (16 oz) box pasta shells
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped broccoli,
16 oz. sour cream
2 C. milk
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients in crockpot;
mix well. Cover & cook on low 6 hours.
Pasta will be tender.

Mediterranean Pinwheels

1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 lb. cooked ham or prosciutto, thinly
1 C. crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. vegetable oil
6 T. chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick
spray. Separate dough into 4
rectangles, place on lightly floured
surface & firmly press perforations to
seal; press or roll each to for 8″ X 5″
rectangles. Arrange 1/4 of meat slices
evenly over each rectangle. In small
bowl combine cheese, pepper & oil; mix
well. Sprinkle mixture evenly over meat
on each rectangle, then sprinkle each
with chopped basil. Starting at short
side of rectangle, roll up; sealing long
edges. With serrate knife, cut each
roll into 5 slices. Place, cut side up, on
prepared cookie sheets. Bake 15-20
minutes or until golden brown. Remove
from sheets & serve warm.


 Healthy Cookies

3 mashed (ripe) bananas
1/3 C. applesauce
2 C. oats
1/4 C. milk (almond)
1/4 C. raisins or chopped nuts
1 C. chocolate chunks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 15-20 minutes; cool & eat!

(recipe: Facebook)

Pretzel Candy Fudge

2 C. mashed pretzels (sticks or
1 C. peanuts
2 T. peanut butter
12 oz. white chocolate morsels
10 oz. peanut butter morsels
Put mashed pretzels in an oven to
warm. Melt peanut butter & white
chocolate morsels together.*
When melted, mix in peanut butter,
peanuts & mashed pretzels. Spread
onto a well greased 8 X 8 baking pan
lined with parchment paper & sprayed
with nonstick spray. Allow fudge to
harden, about 2 hours. Cut into chunks.
Serves 8

*Poster melts this in microwaveable
bowl in microwave on 50% power
about 5 minutes, stirring at least once.


French Onion Soup with Bacon

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced &
separated into rings
2 (14.5 oz ea) cans beef broth
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
5 slices Italian bread, toasted
1 C. shredded (Kraft) Italian 5 cheese
with a touch of Philadelphia
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Cook & stir bacon in large saucepan on
medium heat until crisp; remove from
pan & drain on paper towels. Discard
all but 2 T. drippings from pan. Add
onions to pan, cook 20 minutes until
golden brown, stirring frequently. Add
broth, pepper & thyme; stir & simmer
15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in
bacon. Heat broiler. Ladle soup into
5 ovenproof bowls; top with remaining
ingredients. Broil, 4 inches from heat,
2-3 minutes until cheeses are melted &
golden brown. Serves 5

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Pumpkin Fluff Dip

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
Mix pumpkin, dry pudding mix &
spice in large bowl using whisk
until blended. Stir in Cool Whip &
refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 32
servings (2 T. each)

Note; Serve in hollowed-out small
fresh pumpkin

Serve with graham crackers, vanilla
wafers or gingersnap cookies

(recipe; Kraft foods)

Think I’ve covered all the ‘bases’ today;
hope you’re having a nice Fall Day.



Happy Monday!


Even though it’s lightly raining outside, I’m all ready for a GREAT day! Yesterday, being Sunday & church, I didn’t get much sleep so last night (after I fell asleep ‘watching tv’) I decided to go to bed early (for me). Early for me was 10 p.m. (I usually go around 1-1: 30 a.m.). That being said, I woke up FULLY at 4 a.m.! (I usually only require 6 hours sleep) – Great – 4 a.m., NOW WHAT!? Well I sat there for a good half hour before deciding to get up, go in the other room so as not to wake my husband, and knit or read. Did both for about an hour and then decided to get some coffee & toast with peanut butter & raspberry jelly. Having perused all of my regular ‘haunts’ on both my emails, Facebook and “Lumosity” (a brain strengthening site) I’m now UP with you, writing this blog entry! It’s 4 minutes after EIGHT and I’m ready to tackle the world! At noon I’m going out to lunch with my two friends from High School (we’re also in the same Sunday School class at church) – we try to get together about every 3-4 months; we’re all about the same age and mind set, so it’s a nice ‘girl’s time out’ for all of us.

Not much new going on; middle son stopped by after working his first shift with older brother in the kitchen; he did both prep work and dishwashing and came home beaming! He said he’s SO happy to be just working WITHOUT any paperwork to follow, fill out and file/fax in, that he’d do dishwashing every day, if asked! “Clock in, work, Clock out – GREAT!” (WE’RE just glad he’s back to WORKING!) Youngest son got through his double shift at the two pizza locations – now that he has a vehicle, they’re really using him to their advantage (and HIS paychecks)!

How are your gas prices lately? When driving home from church last night I noticed my favorite place (Clark) had their lowest gas at $3.21/9 . . .  WOW! Who would have guessed, earlier this year, that we’d get that low? (Don’t quote me, but I’m guessing it will go up closer to the holidays – hope not, but that’s what usually happens).


Cheesy Potato Soup

2 lb. red potatoes, peeled/cut into
2″ chunks
3/4 c. finely chopped carrots
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. whole milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Place potatoes, carrots, onion, broth &
salt in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6-7 hours. Stir in milk & pepper; cover &
cook on High 15 minutes; turn off crockpot.
Stir in cheese until melted. Serves 6

(note: if you have some leftover ham,
dice some up & add to soup)

No-Bake Raspberry Lemon Bars

2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs. fresh raspberries
(about 2 1/2 C., divided)
6 graham crackers, crushed (about 1 C.)
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (7 oz) jar Kraft Marshmallow Creme
1 T. lemon juice
Reserve 20 raspberries for garnish;
refrigerate until ready to use. Mix
graham crumbs & butter until well
blended; press onto bottom of
9″ square pan; refrigerate.
Beat cream cheese, marshmallow
creme & lemon juice with elec.
mixer until light & fluffy. Stir in
remaining raspberries & spread over
crust. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with
reserved raspberries just before
serving. Makes 20 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Cider-glazed Brussels

Sprouts w/ Bacon & Almonds

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 T. butter
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed &
3/4 C. apple cider*
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted**
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on
medium heat until crisp; remove form
skillet & drain on paper towels. Discard
all but 1 T. drippings. Add butter, onion
& Brussels sprouts to skillet; cook & stir
on medium-high heat 1-2 minutes until
sprouts are lightly browned. Mix in next
5 ingredients; pour over sprouts. Cook
5 minutes until liquid is evaporated &
sprouts are evenly glazed, stirring
occasionally; stir in bacon. Spoon sprouts
into a bowl & top with nuts. Serves 8,
2/3 C. each.

*can substitute apple juice
** Toasting nuts:
Place up to 1 C. nuts in a microwaveable
shallow dish. Microwave on High until
fragrant & crisp, stirring every 30 seconds

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin – Maple Dip

4 oz. room temp. cream cheese
1/2 C. canned pumpkin puree

1/4 C. Greek yogurt (plain)

3 T. maple syrup
2 T. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger
pinch salt


Place all ingredients in a food
processor &
process until smooth.
Makes 2 Cups

Serve with:
sliced fruits (apple, pear),graham
crackers or vanilla wafers.

(recipe: newspaper flyer)


Honey Jalapeno Cornbread


1 1/2 C. white or yellow cornmeal
3 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. shredded Monterey Jack,
Pepper Jack or sharp Cheddar cheese
1/8 C. chopped, pickled jalapenos
1 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 T. honey
1/2 C. cooking oil
2 large eggs
2/3 C. buttermilk*

1/4 C. butter, melted
2 T. honey
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Butter an 11 X 7 inch baking dish.
Combine dry ingredients; add
cheese, jalapenos, corn & honey.
Beat eggs in a bowl with oil &
add to batter. Add buttermilk &
gently fold until blended – do not
beat. Pour into prepared baking
dish. Bake 30 minutes untl top
is golden & a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Blend
honey & butter together & pour
over top of cornbread. Let stand
10 minutes before slicing.

*If you don’t have buttermilk,
pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 2 C. measuring cup. Add
enough milk to reach the 2/3 C.
measure (for the recipe). Stir &
let set 5 minutes – now you have

Sweet & Sour Pork

1 (2 lb) pork roast
1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. olive oil

1 1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. vinegar
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/3 C. ketchup
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. pineapple juice
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
(chopped green onions, optional)
cooked rice
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice pork roast into strips about
2″ thick. In a loaf pan or small bowl
combine 1/2 C. flour, salt, garlic
powder & pepper. In hot, deep skillet
heat 2 T. olive oil.
In separate loaf
pan whisk eggs until frothy. Dip each
pork strip into flour mixture, then egg
making sure both sides are covered.
Carefully place breaded pork strips in
hot oil, browning them on both sides.
When strips are browned, place in 9 X
13 pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Mix together sauce ingredients in a bowl
& whisk to combine; pour over pork
strips. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour.
Serve with rice & sprinkled with green
onions, if desired. Serves 6-8


 Pumpkin Spice Spoon Cake

1 stick butter (1/2 C)
1 C. milk
1 C. sugar
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 (28 oz) can pumpkin pie filling
(not just plain pumpkin)
Melt butter & pour in bottom of
crockpot. In bowl, combine
remaining ingredients except
pumpkin pie filling; pour into
crockpot. Spoon pumpkin pie
filling on top of batter – do not
mix. Cook on High 1 1/2 hours
or until top of cake is set.
(NOTE: you may want to put a
paper towel under the lid while
baking to catch steam)
Serves 6


Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 C. butter
1 large head cauliflower (2.5 lb)
3 C. water
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 C. warmed heavy cream
1/2 C. grated pepper jack cheese

crumbled, cooked bacon, chopped
green onions, croutons, grated Cheddar
Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat;
add onions & saute 5 minutes until trans-
lucent & soft; add to crockpot. Cut cauliflower
into florets; add to crockpot. Add water,
bouillon, salt & pepper to crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on High,
until cauliflower is very soft. Carefully pour
or ladle contents into a large blender (might
have to do this in batches). Puree until creamy
& smooth, then pour back into crockpot.
Add warmed cream to crockpot; stir in mustard
& cheeses until melted. Serve with desired
toppings. Serves 6

Harvest Pasta Bake

1 butternut squash (2 lb) peeled/
cut into 1″ cubes
1 onion, sliced lengthwise in half
& sliced crosswise
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. olive oil
3 1/2 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed & softened
1/4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Three Cheese
(Kraft), divided
1/4 C. croutons, crushed
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients in 9 X 13
pan. Bake 30-40 minutes or until
squash is tender. Cook pasta as
directed on pkg., omitting salt.
Drain pasta, return to pan. Add
cream cheese & milk; stir until cream
cheese is melted & sauce is well
blended. Add to squash mixture
with 1 C. shredded cheese; mix
lightly. Top with crouton crumbs &
remaining shredded cheese. Bake
20 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Craft-wise I finished the raspberry scarf (not happy –

it still curled on both sides); am still working on the

striped brown/cream mens scarf. You know me &

projects – I get ‘antsy’ when I see a new pattern –

Yep, it happened again! Found a REALLY REALLY

simple pattern that could either be used for a scarf

or a baby blanket: it’s ONE ROW, 4 stitches – over

& over! You knit 2 stitches at each side for a border,

then just keep repeating the 4 stitch pattern! How

easy can that be? I had one medium ball of a colonial

blue yarn and a ‘super saver’ skein of cream, so this

one is blue on the ends and cream in the middle –

I’m almost 1/4ths done already! Let me tell you,

after the raspberry & multi browns scarves, I’m

really READY for a simple pattern! (I have to

admit, sometimes my pride gets the best of me

and I decide to go a little ‘fancy’ on patterns;

that’s fine BUT the ‘fancy’ cable stitches tend

to really slow me down!) Now I’m happily

knitting this super-easy pattern and smiling!!!

I’ve kind of set my baby hats knitting to the

side for awhile; I’m sure I’ll pick them back

up soon; still have a chemo cap partly done

that I carry in the car for when I’m stuck

waiting – knit 2 rows yesterday when I

got to choir practice about 15 minutes early.

Our temperatures have been mostly in the

50’s, so you KNOW Fall is here. Rain or shine,

I’m excited about going out to lunch with my

‘girlies’. YOU remember to do something for

YOU every once in awhile – it helps lift your

spirits AND brings a smile to your face and

SMILING is a GOOD thing!



Learning more every day!


Here they are – my “Coffee Cup Wrap” Christmas presents! I asked each friend what their favorite color was, then knit accordingly. My husband laughed hysterically when he first saw them: “SWEATERS for coffee cups? What’s next – little pants & booties?” (He can be a pain at times).  I got the mugs at our dollar store, used scrap yarns – very inexpensive gift! I plan on purchasing Hershey’s kisses to fill the mugs with, then including a box of assorted teas for 3 of them, and a box of cocoa for the fourth. I might buy some ‘fancy’ little cookie boxes to go with them – we’ll see as it gets closer to the holidays. I’m happy with the way they came out – they were a fast/fun knit (and it gave me a chance to practice the ‘cable’ stitch).

Made a relatively inexpensive dinner last night: it’s a variation on Beef Stroganoff but made with turkey. Got a good deal on four turkey thighs, so I put them in the crockpot to cook all day, then removed & shredded them. Added the meat, fresh mushrooms, chopped onions, 2 cans turkey gravy, some Worcestershire sauce/pepper & garlic powder to a skillet & heated it up. I then added some sour cream and cream cheese, and a bit of horseradish (for zip). I would normally serve this over cooked egg noodles, but my husband asked for rice, so that’s what we had. It made enough for 6 (but for us, it will be 2-3 dinners).

I’m also learning my ‘limits’ in the computer/blog world. Our special needs group board voted to have a blog for the group and I was selected to create one, since I already have three. I went to my trusty – and there I was surprised/flabbergasted/and saddened as well. It appears that since I first created this blog and the others (some 7-8 years ago) they’ve changed their FREE blogs greatly. What I can do on this blog (change font sizes, use ‘bold’ and underline, cut & paste, etc. is NOT offered on their FREE blogs now. I was faced with a blank page (or I could create extra ‘pages’) – if I typed on it, the lines were double spaced (not like this page) and I couldn’t change it. I tried (in vane) to cut & paste various items to said page – no luck. After attempting this for two days, on & off, I handed the project off to another board member who said they might know someone who could not only create a blog for us, but also get us hooked up on Facebook and Twitter. (I could do Facebook – but one less responsibility is OK with me!) I must say – this experience sure made me feel like I need another course in how to write a blog! Goofy! It also made me appreciate THIS (and my other 2) blogs greatly – at least HERE I can CREATE!!! (I’m sure you could probably do all of the above IF you went with their various-rates blogs but I didn’t want to spend the group’s money.)


 Earthquake Cake

1 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped pecans
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 C. butter (or margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease bottom & sides of
9 X 13 pan. Layer coconut & pecans
on bottom. Prepare cake mix accordg.
to box directions & pour over nuts
& coconut. Combine cream cheese, butter,
vanilla & confectioners sugar; beat until
smooth then pour over cake mix.
Bake 40 minutes (or more) check to make
sure bottom is cooked using a toothpick;
it’s cooked if toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Sprinkle a handful of
chocolate chips on top of hot cake after
removing from oven.

(recipe: Facebook)

Monterey Chicken Pasta Bake

3 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1/4 C. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 C. flour
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
3 C. cooked chicken, chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Melt butter in large nonstick
skillet on medium heat. Add onions, cook &
stir 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Blend in
flour; cook & stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in
broth; cook 5 minutes or until thickened,
stirring constantly. Add 1 C. shredded cheese;
cook & stir 1 minute or until melted. Drain
pasta; add to ingredients in skillet along with
chicken & bacon; mix well. Transfer to a greased
9 X 13 baking dish; top with remaining shredded
cheese. Cover & bake 40 minutes. Last 10 minutes,
uncover & top with Parmesan. When done cooking,
top with tomatoes & cilantro. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Hash Browns

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash browns, thawed
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 C. chopped onion
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. shredded Colby cheese
5 1/3 tsp. butter, melted
salt & ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. crushed corn flakes (optional)
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix hash brown potatoes, sour cream,
onion, soup, cheese & melted butter in a
bowl; season with salt & pepper. Transfer
mixture to greased 9 X 13 baking dish; sprinkle
top with crushed corn flakes. Bake 1 hour, until

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys

Recipe Exchange)

Caramelized Onion & Apple
Cream Cheese Spread

3 T. butter or margarine, divided
2 C. chopped sweet onions (about
2 medium)
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 medium cooking apples, cored/
peeled & finely chopped (about 2 C)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz) tub whipped cream cheese
In large nonstick skillet melt 2 T. butter;
add onions. Cook, covered, over medium-
low heat 13-15  minutes or until onions
are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover;
cook & stir 3-5 minutes more until onions
turn light brown. Stir in brown sugar &
vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, 1-3 minutes
more until liquid evaporates. Remove from
skillet & set aside. Wipe out skillet with
paper towels. In same skillet melt remaining
1 T. butter; stir in apples & cinnamon. Cook,
stir over medium-low heat 5 minutes until
slightly softened. Remove from heat; cool
at least 30 minutes. In medium bowl stir
apple mixture & cream cheese. Stir in
onion mixture & spread on
crackers. Makes 22 servings

(recipe: Kellogg)


3 lb. chicken breasts (cooked & cut
into bite size pieces)
6 Italian sausage links
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 pound pasta: penne, macaroni, shells
1 large package pizza cheese
1 onion
2 large bell peppers – red & green, cut
into chunks
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut up chicken, onion, peppers and sausage.
Boil pasta and drain (don’t over cook) Mix pasta,
sausage, onion, peppers, chicken and sauce.
Put in a large deep dish. If it won’t all fit, make a
little side dish to freeze for lunch later. Top heavily
with cheese. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden
and bubbly

(recipe: Facebook)

Santa Fe Chicken Fajita Soup

1 (1.4 oz) pkg. Fajita seasoning mix
1/3 C. water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into thin strips
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 large red onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
8 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
Combine seasoning mix & water in
medium bowl. Add chicken; toss to evenly
coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cook garlic
& cilantro in large nonstick saucepan on
medium-high heat 1 minute. Stir in chicken
mixture, onions & peppers; cook 10 minutes or
until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Add
cream cheese, Velveeta & broth; mix well.
Cook on medium heat until cream cheese &
Velveeta are completely melted & soup is
heated through, stirring occasionally.
Makes 8 (1 C.) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apples Confit (dessert)

3 lb. firm cooking/baking apples:
Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Rome or
Golden Delicious
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Peel apples & slice 1/4 inch thick (you
should get about 9 Cups). Place apples
in crockpot; add sugar & cinnamon to
taste; toss to coat well. Cover & cook
until apples are very tender & almost
translucent, but not pureed, 2 to 2 1/2
hours on High, or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on
Low. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl &
let cool slightly. Cover & refrigerate until
chilled. Makes 8 (1/2 C.) servings


Baked Cabbage Wedges w/Bacon

1 head green cabbage
2 T. olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 (8-12 oz) pkg. bacon, uncooked, cut
into bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Remove outer (dirty) leaves of cabbage;
cut head into wedges (about 1″ thick).
Using a pastry brush or spray, coat cabbage
with olive oil over both sides of cabbage.
Sprinkle each side with sea salt & black pepper.
Roast on middle rack of oven 40 minutes. Remove
from oven, top cabbage with bacon pieces &
return to oven an additional 20 minutes until
bacon is cooked to your liking & edges of
cabbage are brown & crispy. Serve hot.

Puffed Up Pizza Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 C. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. flour
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef in large skillet over
medium heat; drain. Stir in tomato
sauce, onion, green pepper & water.
Add cornstarch, oregano, basil, sugar,
salt, garlic powder & celery salt; stir
to combine. Cover pan,reduce hat
to low & simmer 10 minutes.
In medium bowl combine milk, butter,
oil & eggs; beat on medium speed with
elec. mixer 1 minute. Add flour & beat
2 more minutes (batter will be thin)
Pour meat mixture into 9 X 13 baking
dish. Pour liquid batter over top; sprinkle
with mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses.
Bake about 30 minutes until puffed &
golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Foods Digest)

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

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


Went to a church rummage sale yesterday;
it’s just down the street from us and they
have one twice a year – I’ve been going
almost since we moved here 35 years
ago! Ended up getting three nice (looked
new) tops for next summer, a set of clothes
for my grandson (just to have around ‘in
case’ – jeans, shirt, underwear & socks),
one small skein of green yarn (for one
of the mugs 25 cents!) and a cute angel
pin for a friend who loves angels – am
going to stick it in her coffee mug!
Oh, and 6 white pillow cases – you can
never have enough white pillow cases!
(these were 2/$1.00 – can’t beat that!)
I remember years ago (when the boys
were younger) coming home with two
BOXES full of ‘stuff’ – lots of t-shirts,
some sweatshirts, books, toys, etc.
Times change, kids grow up.

How are your gas prices lately? Ours
are really good – $3.26/9 (and lower
in some places) – it’s good to see them
getting lower instead of higher!

Our weather has been just gorgeous
lately – perfect Fall temperatures (in
the 60’s), beautiful blue skies, white
fluffy clouds – (even thought this is
not my favorite time of year, it’s really
pretty to see ESPECIALLY since I live
in Michigan where we are blessed with
seeing all FOUR seasons!). Yesterday I
drove to pick up my grandson and went
around several lakes; nice, calm waters
and some swans just enjoying themselves,
lots of trees changing colors, bright green
(verdant) grass – I kept thanking the Lord
for creating such beauty for us to see.

Enjoy your day – maybe take a walk &
look for the changing of the season:
trees/bushes/leaves changing, look UP
and see the colors in the sky! I find if
I just spend a few minutes enjoying
the weather/day, it keeps me in a good
and THANKFUL mood!



Nice Beginning


Today started out very nicely; husband asked if I’d like to take a ride with him to Best Buy then out to brunch at IHOP – “WHY, CERTAINLY!” I replied. I couldn’t exactly make up my mind on which breakfast to choose, so I ended up with their Belgian Berries & Cream waffle, eggs & sausages – YUMMY! I was a little worried when it came to the table that it would be VERY sweet, but it was perfect – the waffle had a few blueberries and a few strawberries on top, with a very creamy ‘creme’ and sort of a ‘base’ of the liquid from the (what were probably frozen) strawberries – no sugar!)


We came home and I’ve been perusing the ‘easy knit scarf’ patterns on Ravelry (my favorite free knit/crochet site); I know – as IF I need more patterns! Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to yarn & patterns (AND projects) – just can’t seem to slate my thirst for MORE! Right now I’m still working on the 3 colored men’s scarf and the raspberry women’s scarf for the homeless shelter (plus a chemo cap in the car for the cancer center) and, of course the various baby hats for the hospital (OH – and then there’s also the light gold shawl I’m SUPPOSED to be knitting for myself for Log Cabin days this summer – somehow THIS project keeps getting pushed to the side). I KNOW I already probably have too many projects going, it’s just that I keep thinking about the homeless people who will need scarves this winter AND then I find more really neat patterns (already have 2 more sets of yarn set aside for 2 more scarves) – I’m incurably HOOKED on knitting! (AND I’m not ashamed of it!!!) Oh well, guess it could be worse -


Layered Pizza Dip

1/2 C. cream cheese spread
1/4 C. Miracle Whip
1/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 C. pizza sauce
16 slices pepperoni, cut into quarters
1/4 C. chopped green pepper
Mix cream cheese spread, Mir. Whip,
sour cream, 1/2 C. mozzarella & 2 T.
Parmesan until blended; spread onto
bottom of a microwaveable 9″ pie plate.
Cover with pizza sauce, remaining
cheeses, pepperoni & peppers. Microwave
on High 4-5 minutes or until dip is heated
through & mozzarella is melted.
Makes 16 (2 T. each) servings

NOTE: If you want to use an oven,
heat to 350 degrees F. Bake 15-20
minutes or until dip is heated through &
mozzarella is melted.

Serve with toasted baguette slices,
crackers or bread sticks

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

2 (48 oz) containers chicken broth
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
2 (15 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes w/
basil, garlic & oregano (or diced
tomatoes and you add your own)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (9 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen cheese
shredded mozzarella or Parmesan
cheese for garnish
Combine all ingredients except
tortellini in crockpot. Cook on High
2 hours. Prepare tortellini accordg.
to pkg. directions; add to soup. Garnish
bowls of soup with cheese. Serves 8

(Stovetop alternative:)

For stovetop: heat tomatoes, broth &
spinach in a pot to boil; add tortellini
directly to soup (no pre-boil) & cook
until tortellini is done.


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken
breasts (1 1/2 lb)
6 slices deli fresh smoked sliced ham
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 T. Dijon mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
directions. Place chicken in 9 X 13 pan
sprayed with nonstick spray; cover with
ham slices. Mix soup & mustard; spoon
over chicken & top with prepared
stuffing. Bake 25 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F.) Top with
cheese; bake 5 minutes or until cheese is
melted. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft food)
Tater Tot Bake
(Overnight – crockpot)

1 (30 oz) pkg. tater tots
6 oz. diced Canadian bacon
2 onions, chopped
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
12 eggs
1 C. milk
4 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
In greased 5 qt crockpot layer 1/3 rd of
tater tots, Can. bacon, onions & cheeses.
Repeat layers twice, ending with a layer
of cheeses. In large bowl, whisk remaining
ingredients & pour over ingredients in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 8


Butternut Squash Bake

3 butternut squash (approx 7 lb)
1 C. water
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 C. miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in half, remove seeds.
Place squash halves, cut sides down,
into a 15 X 10 X 1 inch pan. Add water&
bake 40 minutes until tender. Scoop
squash flesh into a medium-sized bowl;
mash well. Add cream cheese, sugar &
pepper; mix well. Spoon into a greased
3 qt. casserole dish. Heat oven broiler.
Top squash mixture with marshmallows;
broil 6 inches from heat, 1-2 minutes or
until golden brown. Serves 12 (about
2/3 C. each)

Can be made ahead: Prepare as above,
spoon into casserole dish but do not
cover with marshmallows. Refrigerate
up to 24 hours. When ready to serve,
bake, covered, 30 minutes or until
heated through. Top with marshmallows,
broil as directed.

NOTE: buy squash that are similar in size,
shape & weight to ensure even cooking.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Brownies

1 egg
1/4 C. instant potatoes
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. flour
3/4 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. chopped nuts
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together in bowl cinnamon,
salt, flour & baking powder; set
aside. Melt butter & add to sugar,
egg & pumpkin. Add flour mix,
then add potato flakes & nuts;
blend well. Pour into greased
9″ square pan. Bake 40 minutes.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe


How’s your weather lately? Today I was
pleasantly surprised: it’s cloudy, but NOT
raining – I can handle that! I am now
wearing my light Fall/Winter jacket -
it’s 56 F. out, but looking at the forecast
for tonight they’re 80% sure we’re going
to have showers (possible high of 60 degrees)
and low 45, so winter is a comin’).

I don’t have anything ‘extra’ planned for
this week (that I know of, anyway) so that’s
kind of nice – I predict much more knitting &
reading (still into the Elm Street Quilters
books; there’s probably about 6 more I
haven’t read, maybe more).

Gas prices are still staying at $3.26/9 which
I’m VERY happy about – both husband & I
topped off our tanks. I do a considerable
amount of driving each week, between
2 trips to church/40 miles  each Sunday,
going to special needs group, about 20 miles
and Knit group (that’s close – 7 minutes away).
Yes, I know – it would be much more if I worked,
but being retired, I still keep busy so having
low gas prices makes me really happy!

Enjoy your day – remember to take a little
time out for yourself: maybe grab a warm
beverage on your way home (some sort of
exotic coffee?), or a doughnut/taco/something
you usually don’t get. Take a little time to
ENJOY LIFE! I’d rather say, in the end, that I
had some FUN than regret never taking any
extra time to do something I like – wouldn’t



“The Day of the Keys”


You know, sometimes, how you will have a really GOOFY day? Well, I’m dubbing this the really stupid, goofy day. Earlier in the afternoon youngest son called home to ask if we would drive his extra set of car keys up to his work, as he’d locked his keys in his car. Sure – why not . . .

A little later on middle son went to go on a job fair at Krogers, then called home to say (you guessed it) he locked HIS keys in HIS car! Great – I’ll drive over & give you your extra set. No problem – I thought, until he reminded me – his extra set of keys was in his APARTMENT a good 20/25 minutes away. Great . . .sigh. Dad drove to Krogers, picked him up & drove him to the apartment – then called me. It seems his roommate was NOT HOME! I tried calling the roommate, only got his answering machine. They eventually drove home; middle son is spending the night and he & my husband will drive BACK over to the apartment after church (husband was going to skip church and do it in the morning – I said: Since son inconvenienced YOU, HE can wait until after church! So that’s what they’re doing).

See what I meant about it being “The Day of the Keys”???

Goofy, huh!


Published in: on October 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Man, Oh Man!!!


When my last blog said it’s getting colder, I had NO idea it would get REALLY cold REALLY quick! Today was my first meeting with the other Knit group; got dressed, drove to the bank drive-through only to discover I couldn’t find my checks & deposit slip! Had to pull through, stop – get out of the car- go to passenger side and look for them (they had slipped between my seat and the center console). In that brief few seconds out of the car I discovered it wasn’t JUST raining, it was HAILING! When I got into the car it was 41 degrees (promptly drove back home, changed from sandals & a light sweater to socks/winter shoes and my winter jacket!) The drive to Biggby coffee took about 12  minutes – during that time the temps dropped to 39! My husband said we ‘might’ get snow tonight – NO!! SAY IT ISN”T SO!!! It’s still raining lightly – we’ll see what this day brings.

Had an enjoyable time with the ‘new to me’ group – there were only two people, but we had a fun 2 hours together working on scarves to donate to the homeless shelter. I found out that they donate to FOUR shelters in the area and not everyone who belongs to their group comes to the meetings (some chose to knit & drop off) – they also have about 40+ lady inmates at a prison who knit for them! Interesting! I’m just happy doing the knitting & donating parts – gave them the cream colored mens scarf; am still finishing up the (curling) raspberry ladies scarf and am about 1/4 done with the next men’s scarf I started yesterday. This one is in 3 colors: the ends are the leftover cream yarn from the mens scarf, followed by (about) 4″ wide strips of medium beige and cocoa brown yarns (leftovers from my group’s last free yarn donations). This group only meets once a month for 2 hours, so I’ve got an entire month to finish these two scarves. (I must say – coffee-wise, Biggby was the worst coffee I’ve EVER drank, took 2 sips and left it on the table – guess I’m really partial to Tim Hortons!)


Pumpkin – Maple Dip

4 oz. room temp. cream cheese

1/2 C. canned pumpkin puree

1/4 C. Greek yogurt (plain)

3 T. maple syrup

2 T. peanut butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

pinch salt


Place all ingredients in a food processor &

process until smooth. Makes 2 Cups

Serve with: sliced fruits (apple, pear),

graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

(recipe: newspaper flyer)


Yummy Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into small
1 red onion, cut into large pieces &
separated into single pieces
1 whole garlic, peeled & minced
olive oil
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss together & roast in a single
layer 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook)

Jalapeno & Cheese Monkey Bread

1 (16.3 oz) can refrigerated biscuits,
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese,
3/4 C. drained pickled jalapeno nacho
3/4 C. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray. Dip 1/3 of biscuit pieces into
melted butter & place in pan. Top
with 1/2 C. cheese, 1/4 C. peppers &
1/4 tsp. each garlic powder & oregano;
repeat layers. Cover with remaining
dipped biscuit pieces, peppers &
seasonings. Bake 35 minutes. Top
with remaining cheese; bake 5-10
minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool
in pan 10 minutes; remove bread
from pan & serve warm. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Alfredo Ravioli Bake

2 T. butter
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves, cut into 1″ pieces
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (25-27.5 oz) pkg. frozen cheese-
filled ravioli
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
(1 C.)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
(2 C.)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 12″ skillet until
sizzling; add chicken pieces; cook
over medium-high heat until lightly
borwned, 4-6 minutes. Add mushrooms;
continue cooking until chicken is no longer
pink & mushrooms are tender, 4-6
minutes; do not drain. Spread 1/2 C.
alfredo sauce into greased 9 X 13 baking
dish. Arrange single layer of frozen
ravioli over sauce; drizzle 3/4 C. sauce
evenly over ravioli. Spread 1 1/2 C.
chicken & mushroom mixture, 1/2 C.
red pepper & 1 C. mozzarella; repeat
with remaining ingredients, except
remaining 1 C. mozzarella & Parm. cheeses.
Cover tightly with foil & bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses & bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes
or until cheeses are melted. Let stand
15 minutes before serving. Serves 8

Can be made ahead: Prepare as directed;
cover & refrigerate up to 24 hours. When
ready to bake, continue as directed above.
Increase first baking time to 1 hour.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

 Lasagna-stuffed Spaghetti Squash

5 lb. spaghetti squash (2 medium-sized)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. roughly chopped parsley
1 C. shredded mozzarella
chopped parsley, or basil, (garnish)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half & scoop out seeds.
Lay them, cut sides down, in a roasting
pan or other baking dish. Add about an
inch of water to the pan. Roast 45-60 minutes
until soft when poked with a for,. Transfer to
a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.

While squash is roasting, warm olive oil in
a high-sided skillet or saucepan over medium-
high heat. Stir in onions & cook until
translucent, 5-8 minutes. Stir in garlic & cook
until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add ground beef &
1 tsp. salt; cook until well-browned, 5-8
minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes & bring to
a simmer; continue simmering until squashes
are ready, 5-20 minutes. Taste sauce & add
more salt if necessary. Use a fork to shred the
insides of the squash, leaving about a half-inch
of squash meat in the shell. Mix shredded
squash into tomato sauce. In a separate bowl,
mix ricotta cheese, parsley & 1/2 tsp. salt.
Wipe out the roasting pan & arrange squash
shells inside, like bowls. Divide half of ricotta
mixture between the shells, using a spoon to
spread evenly over bottom of shells. Divide
half the tomato sauce between the shells,
spooning over top of ricotta. Top with
another layer of ricotta & sauce.* Bake 15
minutes; sprinkle mozzarella over top of
squashes & bake another 15-20 minutes until
cheese is bubbly & browned in spots. (for a
more golden top, place under the broiler
for 1-2 minutes) sprinkle parsley or basil over
tops & serve immediately. Leftovers will keep
for up to a week.

*At this point shells can be covered &
refrigerated up to 24 hours. Add an extra
10 minutes to cooking time.
Casserole Version (same recipe)

Instead of stuffing the squash shells, this
can be baked casserole-style in a 2 qt.
(8″ X 8″” baking dish). Layer 1/3 of
tomato sauce in dish, 1/2 the ricotta
mixture & 1/3 of sauce. Top with
remaining ricotta & sauce. Bake 15
minutes, sprinkle with mozzarella, bake
another 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

(recipe: the

Shrimp/Asparagus Stir Fry

1 lb. shrimp, peeled/de-veined
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. water
1 T. sugar
1 T. oyster sauce
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
1 green onion, chopped
Hot, cooked rice
In large bowl place shrimp, seasoning
with salt & pepper; set aside. In smaller
bowl, mix water with sugar, oyster sauce &
cornstarch; set aside. Heat wok or skillet
over high heat; stir fry oil, garlic, onion &
shrimp. Once shrimp become opaque &
pink, add asparagus. Stir in cornstarch
mixture & stir until sauce thickens. Remove
from heat & stir in green onions. Serve with
hot cooked rice. Serves 4


Simple Swiss Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 pkg. Herb Stuffing mix
1/4 C. butter, melted
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken breasts on bottom;
cover with slices of Swiss cheese. In small
bowl combine soup & milk; pour over
chicken & cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix
on top & drizzle melted butter over top.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours or High
2-3 hours. Serves 6


Cornbread Taco Casserole

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

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Lemon Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 C. powdered sugar

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. sugar
4 T. flour
6 T. lemon juice

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
2 T. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix crust ingredients with fork;
pat into a 9 X 13 pan which has been
greased & floured. Bake 15 minutes.
Mix filling together; after crust has baked
15 minutes, pour filling over crust &
continue baking 25 minutes. Cool bars
Make Frosting: Beat butter, powdered
sugar & milk for 6-8 minutes on High
speed with an elec. mixer, then add
2 T. cold water, one at a time. Beat
until smooth, then spread over
cooled bars.


Well, here’s to staying warm in your home
today – hope you have something nice &
warm to drink (like cocoa/coffee/tea) and
somewhere to snuggle up (maybe under a
nice toasty afghan) and enjoy reading a
book/knitting – crocheting or doing some
craft you enjoy. Baby, it’s COLD out there-



PS: Forgot to add: GAS PRICES in our area have dropped! Today the lowest priced gas at Clark was $3.26/9 a gallon – WOW! Right now, also, it’s almost 3 p.m. – rain stopped, it’s still windy but the temps have risen to 51 degrees F. – hey, it’s better than 40!

Gettin’ Cooler


This is the second scarf I’m knitting for the homeless shelter. I love the pattern, but should have added more border stitches, as it tends to curl at the sides. Oh well – I tried.

Today is the beginning of the colder weather, as forecast earlier in the week. We’re bracing for lots of days of rain (sigh). Right now it’s 60 (possible high of 74 – I’ll believe that when I see it – it’s chilly & windy out.)

Last night was my special needs group and, just like the Knit/Crochet group – we’re growing again! We had 32 kids last night – that’s a LOT! One of our adult helpers is on vacation and we didn’t have 3 of our teenage helpers, so it was a bit hectic; thank heavens we had an ‘easy to serve’ snack: juice boxes & bags of cheese crackers, provided by one of our parents. I guess we just don’t realize how much our ‘helpers’ take the load off of Lois & I until they’re not there! God is good, and we made it through the evening; now we’re planning the upcoming Harvest Party coming in 3 weeks. Just got a phone call from a new group home asking about our activities; last night another group home staff said they also know another group home interested in joining Friends Group. Yes, we’re definitely growing! (The ‘thing’ with group homes: when they come we don’t just increase by 1-2 people but by much bigger numbers! The phone call earlier today mentioned bringing 6 students and 2 staff – see what I mean?) That’s where my faith in the Lord comes in strong: I KNOW He WILL provide us with more help when we need it most. Our group’s been together since 1990 and I’ve seen Him work over and over through the years – He IS faithful!


Caramel Apple Cake

1 1/2 C. cooking oil
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 1/2 C. diced, peeled apples
1 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Icing:
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. Half & Half cream
1/4 C. butter, cubed
dash salt
1 C. confectioners sugar
chopped walnuts (topping)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine oil, sugars &
eggs until well blended. Combine
flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt &
nutmeg; gradually add to creamed
mixture until blended. Fold in apples,
walnuts & vanilla.
Pour into greased & floured 10 inch
tube pan (or Bundt pan). Bake 1 1/2
hours until a toothpick inserted near
center comes out clean. Cool in pan
10 minutes before removing to wire
rack to cool completely.
In small, heavy saucepan over medium-
low heat, cook & stir brown sugar,
Half & Half, butter & salt until sugar is
dissolved. Transfer to small bowl; cool
to room temperature. Beat in confect.
sugar until smooth; drizzle over cake.
Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts,
if desired. Makes 16 servings.


Honey-Sesame Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken
1 C. honey
12/ C. soy sauce
1/4 C. Hoisin sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. cold water
2 T. corn starch
chopped green onions
sesame seeds
Cooked rice
Cut chicken into bite-sized
pieces; place in bottom of
crockpot. In small bowl mix
honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce,
sesame oil & garlic; pour over
chicken. Cover & cook on Low
3-4 hours until chicken is cooked.
Pour liquid from chicken into a
medium saucepan; bring to a
simmer. Mix cold water & corn starch
in a small bowl or cup; pour into
simmering sauce. Cook 3-4 minutes
while stirring over medium heat
until sauce is thickened. Pour
sauce over chicken & serve
over rice, garnishing with
your choice of garnishes.
Serves 6

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled &
cut into 1″ cubes
3 C. water
1 bay leaf
3 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. butter
1/4 C. milk

Place potatoes in crockpot; add water,
bay leaf, garlic & salt. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours (or 4 hours on Low) or
until sweet potatoes are very soft.
Drain off all water (use a colander).
Add butter & milk; using a potato
masher, mash to desired consistency.
(can also use a hand elec. mixer)
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Serves 6


Cheesy Mushroom Broccoli

3 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 lb. shiitake or baby bella mushrooms,
1/4 C. onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped broccoli,
thawed & drained
2 C. shredded Cheddar-Monterey cheese blend
3 C. cooked rice
salt & pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray large casserole dish with nonstick spray. In large
pot, melt 3 T. butter & flour over medium heat until
golden brown in color (to make a roux). The roux should
resemble the color of peanut butter. Add mushrooms,
onion, garlic, garlic powder, cayenne, heavy cream &

chicken stock. Add broccoli, 1 C. cheese & rice. Season
with salt & pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into prepared
casserole dish & top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake
about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted & golden.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Food Network)

Party Cheese Bread

1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. Dijon mustard (or regular mustard)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 lb. round loaf sourdough bread
1 lb. Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese,
thinly sliced
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients;
set aside. Cut bread diagonally into 1 inch
slices to within 1/2 inch of bottom of loaf.
Repeat cuts in opposite direction. Arrange
cheese slices into cuts. Drizzle butter mixture
over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking
sheet & bake 15 minutes. Uncover & bake 10
minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Makes 8 servings.


Crab Meat & Brie Fondue

1/4 C. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. cubed Brie cheese
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. lump crab meat, shells removed &
meat flaked
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
Heat butter in large skillet over medium
heat. Add shallots & saute 1 minute or
until shallots are translucent. Add cream;
bring to simmer. Whisk Brie into cream
mixture. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in
crab meat; cook 3-5 minutes or until
mixture is slightly reduced. Pour into warm
fondue pot & keep warm over low heat.
Garnish with parsley. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Better Recipes)

Beef Noodle Casserole

2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimientos, drained
2 T. chopped jalapeno pepper*
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1 (8 oz) pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked
& drained
1 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, cook beef, onion & green
pepper over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink & vegetables are tender; drain.
Add next 9 ingredients; stir in noodles &
mushrooms. Transfer mixture to greased
9 X 13 baking dish; sprinkle top with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until heated
through. Makes 8-10 servings

*Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot
peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching
your face

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground beef or sausage, browned/
6.4 oz. box Hamburger Helper Lasagna
Dinner – divided
6 C. water
1 C. frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano
(optional: grated/shredded mozzarella
cheese or Ricotta cheese – topping)
Place cooked ground beef in crockpot.
Add lasagna mix (reserve noodles), water,
corn & undrained tomatoes. Cook on Low
6 hours. Stir in noodles & cook 20 minutes
longer. Serve with shredded cheese as
topping. Serves 6


Enjoy your Fall day!



Published in: on October 2, 2014 at 10:13 am  Comments (1)  
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Welcome to October!


How’s your weather lately? Beginning to look like Fall yet? Just looked at our forecast for the rest of the week and it’s NOT making me happy! Today – High of 57 (oh, goody) Tomorrow 54 & foggy- rest of week: RAIN and 30’s/40’s and maybe some 50’s – Fall is here. In Michigan we generally know that once we start getting rain, the temperatures are going to drop and it’s finally Fall. I guess we had a good ‘run’ of about 5 days of Indian Summer, so I have no room to complain.

Last night was Knit Night again and 2 more new people! Once again we were pretty well crammed in like sardines with a total of 23 people! We had to add 2 tables – I’m not complaining! We’re beginning to average 2-3 new people each meeting; talk about the room was “What are we doing to do if we keep growing?” (My thoughts: Hey, YOU GUYS wanted to come back to Panera! I had a nice BIG, ROOMY church meeting room for you a few years ago”) Oh well – no sour grapes here. In fact, the lady that helped me get that church was there last night (she rarely comes, so it was nice to see her again!). She asked me that same question and, again, emphasized that the church would still take us, if we wanted to move. I thanked her, but reminded her that when we moved we lost almost half the group, so I guess we’re just going to have to get ‘CREATIVE” at Panera. I brought in the two garbage bags of donated yarn last night and it went – fast! (I ended up taking more chunky yarn for another scarf for the homeless – sigh, just can’t pass up a good deal!) One of my members mentioned that her husband volunteers at that particular homeless shelter (the one that the other knit group makes hats/scarves/mittens & gloves for) and if we wanted, HE could take our finished items to that shelter (thereby eliminating our need for that other Knit group) – I told her I’ll think about it. Am still planning on attending the other knit group’s meeting this Saturday – to see what they’re planning, see how they organize their group, etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to get another view on things. I’m about 3/4 ths done with the ladies scarf for the shelter; not happy with it, though: it’s curling! I discussed that issue with several other knitters last night and we all came to the same conclusion: it’s the pattern – the stitches and the WAY they’re formed tend to pull the sides in. If I do this pattern again, I’m thinking of using more than just 2 border stitches on the edges; perhaps that will help. The ladies agreed: a homeless person would still like the scarf, whether it curls or not. The pattern and color are pretty, I’m a perfectionist – sigh.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded/chopped
1 1/2 T. ground cumin
1 1/2 T. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. salt
8 C. vegetable stock
1 (29 oz) can pure pumpkin puree
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. honey
Place large sauce pot over medium-high
heat. Add oil, onion, garlic & jalapenos;
saute 3-5 minutes until soft. Stir in cumin,
oregano & salt; saute another 2 minutes.
Add veg. stock, pumpkin puree & beans;
simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Add vinegar
& honey, simmer another 3-5 minutes. Using
a blender, puree the soup, in small batches
until smooth. Be very careful – open the lid
vent & place a towel over it to protect from
hot splashing liquids. Serves 8

Toasted Pumpkin Seed Topping:
1/2 C. pumpkin seeds
1 C. (French’s) french fried onions
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spread seeds & fried onions on a
baking sheet. Sprinkle with a dash
of cayenne & a little salt. Toast
3-4 minutes.
Serve soup warm, sprinkled with
toasted pumpkin & onion.


Universal or Crazy Dough

for Everything

1 C. milk, lukewarm
2 tsp. sugar
4 T. active dry yeast or 1 tsp. instant
6 2/3 C. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 whole eggs
In small bowl, combine milk with
sugar & yeast; let stand until yeast
activates (it will become foamy &
start expanding). Place yeast
mixture together with all other
ingredients in a bowl of your mixer
or food processor; mix well. You
should get soft dough, similar to
pizza dough. If dough is too dry, add
a little bit of milk or water; if it is too
soft, add a little bit of flour.
Dough can be used immediately. Shape
it into whatever shape you like; wait
about 15-20 minutes in warm kitchen
until it starts expanding, then pop in
hot oven.
Place Crazy Dough in a plastic bag, squeeze
the air out & close bag. You might want to
place it in another bag, a little later, because
the dough will continue to expand and the
first bag could burst. Keep refrigerated up
to 7 days, can be frozen, also. Makes about
4 lbs. dough; enough to make 5-6 pizzas; if
you don’t need that much dough, half the

Suggestions for use: pizza dough, focaccia,
panzerotti, dinner rolls/buns, scones, crescent


Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

5-6 potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 C. milk
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. tub sour cream
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large pot filled with
water to cover potatoes; bring to boil
over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer
20-25 minutes; drain well. Mash potatoes
until light & fluffy. In large bowl, beat all
other ingredients (except Cheddar cheese &
bacon) until smooth & creamy. Spoon into
lightly greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle top with
cheese & bacon. Cover & bake 30 minutes or
until heated through. Serves 10-12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Butternut Squash Soup w/Sausage

2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce w/basil/
garlic & oregano (Hunts)
2 C. water
1 (12 oz) pkg. refrigerated butternut
squash pieces*
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. bullk Italian sausage
1/2 C. dry ditalini pasta**, uncooked,
(looks like fat tubes)
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach leaves
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Add tomato sauce, water, squash &
garlic powder to crockpot; stir to combine.
Pinch sausage into bite-sized pieces & add
to crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 7 1/2
hours or High 3 1/2 hours. Stir in pasta &
spinach leaves; cover & cook on High
30 minutes more until pasta is tender.
Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. each)

*If refrigerated butternut squash is not
available, use 1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen
chopped butternut squash.

**Any small pasta: macaroni, orzo or
small shells may be used in place of


Baked Eggplant Parmesan

1/4 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large eggplant, peeled, if desired
1/4 C. margarine, melted
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce with
basil, garlic & oregano (Hunts)
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
spray; set aside. Combine bread
crumbs & Parmesan cheese in shallow
dish. Cut eggplant into 12 slices, about
1/2″ thick. Brush sides with melted
margarine then coat each side with
bread crumb mixture; place on
baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or
until tender, turning once. Top slices
evenly with mozzarella cheese.
Combine undrained tomatoes &
sauce in small saucepan; bring to
boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to medium-low & simmer 10
minutes or until slightly thickened.
Spoon tomato mixture evenly into
4 shallow bowls. Place 3 eggplant
slices in each bowl, over sauce.
Serves 4


Frito Corn Salad

2 cans yellow kernel corn,
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced &
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
& chopped
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
5 oz. chili-cheese flavored Frito
corn chips
Mix all ingredients together in
bowl (except corn chips). Add
chips to bowl just before
serving (chips will get soggy if
added too soon).

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

2 (12.4 oz, ea) cans Pillsbury
refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
4 eggs
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/4 C. maple syrup
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Separate both cans of dough
into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each
roll into 8 pieces; place pieces in pan.
In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in
cream, cinnamon & vanilla until
well blended; gently pour over roll
pieces in pan. Sprinkle tops with
nuts; drizzle with syrup. Bake 20-25
minutes or until golden brown. Cool
15 minutes. Remove covers from icing
& microwave 10-15 seconds or until
thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle icing
over top; if desired, spoon syrup over
individual servings.
Serves 12

Crockpot Chicken ‘n Dumplings

2 T. butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(or 6 skinless chicken thighs)
1 onion, finely diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 small pkgs. Grands Jr. biscuits
(10 biscuits)
Place chicken, butter, soup & onion in
greased crockpot; fill with enough
water to cover. Cover & cook 5-6 hours
on High. About 30 minutes before serving,
roll each biscuit piece in flour (to prevent
them from sticking together), then drop into
crockpot. Replace lid & cook remaining 30

(recipe: Facebook)

Hope you’re enjoying your day -
bundle up/wear a sweater if it’s cold/chilly
where you are!





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