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Another BREEZY/BALMY day of 12 degrees F. It’s sunny, so that helps a bit; for a change I don’t have to go anywhere – YAY! Our library knit group was gifted 6 garbage bags full of yarn; I went through it & picked out a partially finished Granny Square afghan that I can easily complete and another batch of lilac & a darker purple very soft yarns that should make up into a very nice women’s scarf. I brought home the ‘leftovers’ and just finished sorting them – will take them to the restaurant Saturday for those who didn’t get to go through them. (Leftovers will be given to another of our knitters who is excellent at finding homes for all our donated yarns).

This week was relatively ‘easy’ as far as babysitting: Monday 2-4 p.m., yesterday 2-6:15, so not bad. I’m hearing (not confirmed yet) next week will be Mon/Weds/Friday with Friday son getting out at 8 p.m. – we’ll see.

It’s nice to have another ‘nothing special’ day; I made Beef Stroganoff for dinner last night so it’s leftovers tonight – easy! Started on the partial Granny Square blanket; should have that one done in a day or so. About 3/4ths done with the dark green/black mens scarf so that should go quickly.


Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
crushed candy canes – as needed
pretzels, graham crackers, cookies

In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat cream cheese & butter until
smooth. Gradually add powdered
sugar – mixing on Low until combined.
Add cocoa powder, peppermint extract
& salt – mix until well incorporated.

Unroll a large sheet of plastic wrap &
place cream cheese mixture on wrap –
shape into a ball & wrap up.
Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Roll in crushed candy canes.
Serves 6-8


40-Minute Pork/Pepper & Rice Noodle Soup

2 T. olive oil
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems
removed, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots (about 4 oz), chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded/finely chopped
kosher salt/black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
(about 1 T.)
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white & green
parts separated
1 lb. ground pork
8 C. chicken broth
6 oz. flat rice noodles
1/4 head napa cabbage, thinly
sliced (about 3 C.)
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
Optional garnish:
toasted sesame seeds
In large heavy-bottom pot over medium-
high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add
mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, 1 tsp.
salt – few grinds black pepper. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until vegs are softened,
4-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger & scallion
whites – cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3
minutes. Add pork, 1 tsp. salt/few grinds
black pepper; cook, breaking up pork with
a spoon & stirring occasionally until no longer
pink, 5-6 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth – bring to boil. Add noodles &
cabbage; cook until noodles are tender & cooked
through & cabbage is tender but still holds a bit
of crunch, about 6 minutes. Stir in soy sauce & vinegar
to combine. Season with salt/black pepper.

Ladle into bowls & sprinkle with scallion greens.
If desired, top with optional garnishes.
Serves 6

NOTE: You can also substitute chicken, beef or
turkey for pork (or even tofu).
Rice noodles will expand as soup sits or refrigerated
so add more stock or water to thin it to consistency
you desire before reheating.


Cabbage Fried Rice

2 T. cooking oil
8 C. green cabbage, finely sliced
1 C. carrots, peeled/grated
1 C. onion, finely diced
2 T. unsalted butter
3 C. jasmine rice, cooked
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet
or wok over high heat. Add oil & toss
in cabbage, carrots & onions. Saute
until cabbage is wilted & starting to
turn a little brown, 7-10 minutes. Stir
constantly so they don’t scorch on
bottom of pan.

Lower heat to medium-low & add butter
& rice; stir to combine until butter is
melted, 4-5 minutes.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt/pepper to
vegetable mixture & stir until well combined,
about 5 minutes.
Serves 6


Crockpot Tamale Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 C. milk (2%)
3/4 C. cornmeal
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel
corn, drained
1 (2.5 oz) can sliced black
olives, drained
1 oz. pkg. chili seasoning mix
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.

In skillet over medium heat, cook
beef until no longer pink; drain.

In a bowl combine egg, milk & cornmeal;
stir until smooth. Add tomatoes with juice,
corn, olives, seasoning mix & seasoned
salt. Add cooked beef – stir well & pour
into crockpot.

Cover & cook on High 3 hours 45 minutes.
Sprinkle top with cheese.
Cover & cook 15 minutes longer until
cheese melts.
Serves 6


Cheesy Ranch Smashed Potatoes

2 lb. baby Yukon Potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. butter, melted
2 T. ranch seasoning mix
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
Ranch dressing – for topping
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a large pot & cover
with cold water by 1 inch. Add salt;
bring to boil. Let potatoes simmer
about 15 minutes until tender. Drain.

Once cool enough to touch, place
potatoes on prepared baking sheet &
arrange about 1 inch apart. Using a
large potato masher or large fork, press
down to smash each potato.

In a bowl mix melted butter & garlic –
brush mixture on each potato & sprinkle
tops with ranch seasoning mix , salt &

Bake 20 minutes until fairly crisp

Top each potato with a sprinkle of cheese –
bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Drizzle
tops with ranch dressing.
Serves 4


Baked Manicotti

12 manicotti noodles


6 T. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 T. dried parsley
2 (15 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
dash black pepper


1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 1/4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated & an
additional 1-2 T. for topping
1 egg
1 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Cook manicotti to al dente accordg.
to pkg. directions. (Prepare sauce
while noodles are cooking). Drain
noodles & place them on a large,
flat plate so they are not touching
each other.


In a large pot heat olive oil; saute
onion, garlic & parsley until garlic
is golden & onion is transparent. Add
tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt/
pepper – bring to a simmer. Simmer
uncovered 25-30 minutes until sauce
has thickened.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

(While sauce is cooking)
In large bowl combine ricotta cheese,
1 C. shred’d mozz, Parm, egg, parsley,
salt & pepper – stir until well combined.

Once sauce is done & thickened; pour
half onto bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking

Fill each manicotti shell with about 3 T.
cheese mixture – arrange them on top
of sauce in pan. Pour remaining sauce
over filled noodles.

Cover with foil & bake
40 minutes until bubbly.

Remove foil & sprinkle top with remaining
Parm. cheese & 1/4 C. mozzarella.
Return to oven 5 minutes for cheese to
Serves 6


Elaine’s Lady Cake

1 C. margarine
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla


1 C. sugar
1/4 C. baking cocoa
1/4 C. milk
1/4 C. margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray insides of a Bundt pan
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix margarine, sugar,
eggs. Add flour, cocoa, salt, baking
soda & mix well. Add 1 C. boiling
water & vanilla – mix well & pour
into prepared pan.
Bake approx. 1 hour.
Allow cake to cool.

In a saucepan add sugar, cocoa, milk, margarine:
boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool mixture
& add vanilla. Once mixture is smooth, quickly
frost cake.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
To a 1-cup measuring cup add 1 T. lemon juice
or vinegar. Add enough milk to cup to reach
1-cup mark – stir with a fork & let stand
5 minutes. Now you have “soured/buttermilk”

(recipe: a close friend)


Hope you’re enjoying a nice, warm, pleasant day!



Published in: on February 2, 2023 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

A VERY chilly Tuesday!

Woke up to a ‘balmy’ 5 degrees F.; sunny but VERY NIPPY! Husband & I braved it & did some grocery shopping – wasn’t too bad as long as you really hustled while loading the car!

Oldest son just started his new job yesterday (Ex. Chef at Cranbrook – exclusive mansion/science center/school, etc.) and I was VERY pleased to only babysit from 2 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. !!! AMAZING! Have to do the same thing tomorrow – it’s not so bad to look forward to when it’s only a few hours! His boss said he will probably only have 5 or so ‘late nights’ for the year – interesting – we’ll see.

Currently working on a few new knit projects; last Saturday one of our ladies brought in several ‘kits’ someone had dropped off – I took a box of Premier Yarn Company’s gradient hat kit (enough yarn for 2 hats) – I’m VERY impressed with their yarn – VERY SOFT!!! (the box didn’t have any instructions so I just ‘winged it’, using my regular adult hat pattern. I also took a ‘knit baby car seat cover’ kit (this one had instructions but I’m not going to knit that anyway). The pattern was very familiar so I decided to use the denim blue yarn to knit another baby blanket with the pattern I USE, will probably have to order 1-2 more balls of that yarn but it will be nice. Another knit lady friend of mine just called telling me someone dropped off another FIVE BAGS of yarn for our group; she’s bringing it to library tomorrow. Like I’ve said before: we RARELY ever need to buy yarn! Too funny! (I’m also knitting a very basic mens scarf: black & a dark/emerald green stripe – another ‘freebie yarn’ – I’m using this one to knit while watching TV – it’s that simple.

Orange Juice Bread

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. milk
zest from 1 lemon
zest from 1 orange


1 T. melted butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice
orange zest, if desired
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl cream butter & sugar;
add beaten eggs – mix well.

In another bowl mix flour, baking powder &
salt.  Add flour mixture to butter/sugar
mixture & mix until combined. Add orange
juice & milk, mixing just until combined. Stir
in lemon & orange zest – pour into prepared
loaf pan.

Bake 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center of loaf comes out clean. Let cool
in pan 15-20 minutes before removing from
pan & transferring to a wire rack to cool

In a small bowl mix, with a fork, melted butter,
powdered sugar, orange juice & a little more
orange zest until smooth. Add a little bit more
milk or orange juice if you want a runnier glaze.

When bread is cooled, drizzle glaze on top of
Serves 12

NOTE: this bread can be frozen – make sure
bread is completely cooled before wrapping
entire loaf in plastic wrap then wrap in foil or
place in a ziplock freezer bag.

To thaw: Leave in plastic wrap & set at room
temperature until completely thawed through.
Add glaze after thawing, right before serving.


Creamy Tuscan Chicken

3 (8 oz, ea) boneless skinless chicken
breasts ( 1 1/2 lb. total)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
5 T. flour, divided
6 T. olive oil, divided
1/4 lb. sliced prosciutto, diced into quarter-
inch pieces
8 oz. sweet onion, cut in half (top to bottom)
then cut into half-circle pieces along the grain
1 T. fresh garlic, minced fine
2 T. tomato paste
1 C. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil,
drained/discard oil – cut tomatoes into
quarter-inch pieces
1 tsp. dried oregano
large pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 C. white wine (such as chardonnay)
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken stock (or 1 1/2 C.
homemade chicken stock)
1/4 C. cream cheese
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. baby spinach
Cooked rice, pasta or mashed potatoes to
serve 6
Butterfly chicken breasts then cut in half,
yielding 6 pieces. Lay each piece on a
cutting board & sprinkle salt/pepper over
both sides – just a light coat.

Heat a large high-sided skillet over medium-
high heat – add 4 T. oil. Once hot, cook
chicken 1-2 minutes per side to lightly brown.
Remove to a plate. Cook chicken in batches
if your pan can’t hold all pieces without

Add remaining 2 T. oil – once hot, add prosciutto –
cook 2 minutes to slightly crispy. Reduce heat to
medium; add onions – cook 3 minutes. Add garlic
& cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, sun-dried
tomatoes, oregano & pepper flakes – cook, stirring,
2 minutes. Add 3 T. flour – stir to combine – cook
1 minute. Add wine to deglaze pan then add stock,
cream cheese & heavy cream – stir to combine.
Add Parm. cheese & baby spinach -cook until
spinach has wilted. Check sauce consistency: if it
is too thick: (before you add the chicken back in,
dilute with water, stock or cream) If it is too thin:
cook it down for a few minutes to thicken then
add chicken. AVOID over cooking the chicken.

Simmer over medium heat just until chicken is
cooked through, 2 minutes or less.

Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes.
Serves 6


Honey-glazed Salmon

4 (6 oz ea) portions skin-on
salmon fillets
1/4 C. honey
zest & juice of 1 lime
1 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, grated
2 salt
a few grinds black pepper
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Crimp edges of foil & spray foil with
nonstick cooking spray.*

Place salmon fillets, skin-sides
down, on sheet.

In a small bowl whisk honey, lime
zest & juice. Remove 2 T. of mixture
to another small bowl – set aside.
Brush remaining mixture on tops
of fillets.

In a medium bowl combine brown
sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt/
black pepper. Press mixture all over
the salmon (about 1 heaping teaspoon
on each portion).

Bake 10-12 minutes until glaze is
shiny & turning golden in some
spots & salmon is firm & flakes
easily when pressed. Drizzle
reserved honey-lime mixture on
top of salmon just before serving.
Serves 4

*If you are planning on eating the skin
of the salmon: spray the foil with nonstick
cooking spray.  If you are not, skip this step


Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(can use Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack or
1/3 C. finely diced jalapeno peppers,
seeds removed
1/2 C. cooked bacon pieces
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
9 egg roll wrappers *
(small bowl of water)
oil, for frying**
Ranch salad dressing, for dipping
Place a wire rack over a sheet tray.

In large bowl using elec. mixer, mix
cream cheese, Cheddar, jalapenos,
bacon, gr. onion, garlic & onion powders
& paprika, until smooth.

Place 1 egg roll wrapper on a clean
work surface with one pointy end
facing you. Add 3 T. filling to bottom
third of wrapper. Take the bottom of
the wrapper & roll it over the filling.
Push in the sides of the wrapper.
Dip your finger into water & moisten
edges of exposed wrapper. Bring
outside points of wrapper towards the
center & press the edges together to
seal. Continue to roll the egg roll
tightly to secure. Place roll on a sheet
tray & repeat with remaining wrappers &

In a deep skillet, add 3 inches of oil – heat
to 375 degrees F. Fry rolls 3-4 minutes
until golden on all sides. (you will need
to do this in batches – do not crowd the fryer).

Place cooked egg roll on a paper towel-lined
plate to absorb any excess oil then put on
the wire rack on sheet tray. Fry remaining rolls
& serve with ranch dressing, if desired.
Makes 9

*You can usually find egg roll wrappers in
the grocery store in the refrigerated produce

**Poster uses peanut oil for frying
Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.
They can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Potato Dumpling Soup

1 stick (1/2 C.) butter
2 potatoes, peeled/cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. water
5 C. chicken broth, divided
1 carrot, peeled/thinly sliced
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. cornstarch
In medium skillet over medium
heat, melt butter. Cook potatoes &
onion 10-15 minutes until tender.
Add milk & pepper – heat until hot.
Do not boil. Remove from heat.

In medium bowl combine flour, baking
powder, salt & water – mix well to form
a stiff dough ( you may need to use your
hands). Roll dough into a 1/2 inch rope
then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. (these will
be the dumplings)

In a soup pot over medium-high heata,
bring 4 1/2 C. chicken broth to a boil.
Add carrot & drop dough pieces into
the broth. Cover & reduce heat to Low –
cook 15-20 minutes until dumplings are
light & fluffy in the center.

In a small bowl whisk remaining 1/2 C.
broth & cornstarch until smooth. Add
potato mixture, cornstarch mixture &
parsley to soup pot & heat 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally until heated through.
Serves 6


Cheesy Zucchini Bake

1 (8 oz) tub refrigerated
crescent rolls
2 T. unsalted butter
1 C. (1 small) yellow onion, chopped
4 small zucchini, sliced/chopped
3 large eggs
3 T. milk
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. shredded Italian cheese blend
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.

Place 1 layer of crescent rolls in
bottom of baking dish.

In a pan, melt butter – saute onion &
zucchini until onion is translucent &
zucchini is just caramelized – pour
over top of rolls & cool slightly.

In a bowl whisk eggs with milk,
salt/pepper, oregano, basil, mustard &
garlic. Add cheese & stir to incorporate.
Pour over top of zucchini in baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
eggs have just set in middle.
Serves 6-8


Potato Chip Cookies

2 C. (4 sticks) butter, softened
1 C. sugar
3 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. coarsely crushed potato chips
Optional Melted chocolate drizzle –
see below under NOTE)
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Lightly spray cookie sheets with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl cream butter & sugar. Slowly
add flour & vanilla until well blended.
Stir in potato chips – mix well.

Scoop dough into small mounds & place
on prepared sheets.

Bake 20-22 minutes until light golden
brown around edges.
Let stand 5 minutes on sheets then
remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 4 dozen

NOTE: after baking/cooling you can
sprinkle tops of cookies with powdered
sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate.

Melted chocolate:
In small microwaveable bowl melt 1/2
C. semi-sweet chocolate chips & 1 tsp.
vegetable shortening 45-60 seconds
in microwave until melted & smooth
when stirred.



Hope you’re in an area where you’re warm & comfy!



Published in: on January 31, 2023 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hello, All! It’s been a busy & unusual week for me; babysat only 1 day (YAY!) I am allergic to a lot of metals and if I wear silver jewelry (or cheap earrings) my earlobs swell up & become red & itchy. I’ve had that on my right ear for almost 2 months & finally decided to get it checked out. Went to a local CVS Minute Clinic on Tuesday – Nurse Practitioner said: Not a problem! (I’m also allergic to many antibiotics) – she prescribed one I’ve never used, a Mycin. Took first dose & began feeling like I was coming down with a flu – not good. Skipped Knit Night & went to bed. Second & third doses, not doing any better (missed Weds. Library Knit). Finally I decided Weds. evening that I was NOT going to take this any more (something meant to make you feel better should NOT make you feel worse-right?) She also suggested putting hydrocortizone cream on the affected ear (at that point I had tried a good 7 different things to stop the swelling/itching). Long story short: ear is reducing in size, doesn’t itch, no more dry/scaly skin AND I feel MUCH better than when I started that drug. Message from this? BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT USING MEDICINES YOU MIGHT BE ALLERGIC TO! (This whole thing started a good 12-15 years ago when I had an allergic reaction to penicillin – had taken it lots of times in the past – at the very end of taking that last pill I ended up in the hospital for 7 days – really BAD reaction. The doctors said you can actually develop an allergy to something after you’ve been able to use it for a long time – the body develops a tolerance then doesn’t! Weird!

Butter Pecan Cake

1 1/4 C. butter, softened/divided
2 tsp. baking powder
2 2/3 C. chopped pecans
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. sugar
1 C. milk
4 eggs


8 to 8 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. butter, softened
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 9-inch round
baking pans.

In a baking pan place pecans &
1/4 C. butter – bake 20-25 minutes
until toasted, stirring frequently.

In a large bowl cream sugar & remaining
butter until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one-
at-a-time, beating well after each
addition. Stir in vanilla.

In another bowl combine flour, baking
powder & salt – add to creamed mixture
alternately with milk, beating well after
each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 C. toasted
pecans.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted near center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes before removing cakes
from pans – place on wire rack to cool


In a large bowl cream butter & powdered
sugar. Add milk & vanilla – beat until smooth.
Stir in remaining toasted pecans & spread
between layers and on top & sides of cake.
Serves 12-16

(recipe: Moms Daily Easy Recipes – FB)

Beer Cheese Dip

1 C. beer
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt/black pepper, to taste

Optional garnishs:
chopped green onions
cooked/crumbled bacon
In a saucepan over medium heat, add
beer, mustard, cayenne, chili powder,
salt/pepper – bring to a low boil.

Reduce heat & simmer 10 minutes. Stir
in heavy cream & cheese – simmer until
thickened. (adjust salt/pepper, if needed).

Allow to sit to thicken a bit before serving.
Garnish with optional garnishes.
Serves 6


Salmon Patties

1 T. canola oil
1 (15.5 oz) can salmon, drained/
1/4 C. whole wheat crackers,
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 T. lemon juice
2 green onions, sliced
1 egg
1 egg white, beaten

In a large bowl combine all
ingredients (except oil). Shape
into 6 patties.
Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over
medium heat & cook patties 4-5
minutes per side, until golden.
Serve with 1 T. cucumber sauce
(see below)
Serves 8

Cucumber Sauce:
1/3 C. peeled/chopped cucumber
3 T. plain Greek  yogurt
2 T. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
In a medium bowl combine all sauce
ingredients – refrigerate until ready
to serve.

*You can also use about 1/4-1/2 C.
dried bread crumbs


Oven-baked Pork Chops

2 T. butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. herb-seasoned dry bread
stuffing mix
4 pork chops, trimmed
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour butter into a 9 X 13″ baking

In a pie plate whisk egg, milk &
pepper. Place stuffing mix in another
pie plate.

Dip chops in egg mixture on both
sides then in stuffing mix (to coat
both sides) lay in prepared dish.

Bake 10 minutes.
Flip chops & bake until no longer pink
in center & juices run clear – about
another 10 minutes. (chops should
read 145 degrees F. internally)
Serves 4


Crockpot Creamy Chicken Taco Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 C. frozen corn
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 C. chicken broth
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 tsp. garlic salt
8 oz. cream cheese, diced into small
your favorite taco toppings like
chopped green pepper, chopped tomatoes,
chopped lettuce, sliced black olives, etc.

Place all ingredients (except cream cheese)
in 6 qt. crockpot.

Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours (or High 3-4

Remove chicken & shred with a fork – return
to crockpot. Stir in cream cheese.
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour (or on High for
30 minutes) to melt the cream cheese.
Top with your favorite taco toppings.
Serves 8

Refrigerate leftovers in an air tight container
for 5-7 days


Texas Roadhouse Seasoned

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 tsp. olive oil
2 C. uncooked long-grain white
rice, rinsed
2 yellow onions, finely diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
salt/to taste (if needed)
1/2 C. finely chopped parsley (garnish)
In a medium stockpot over medium heat,
melt butter & oil. Add rice & onion – cook
6 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce, garlic &
onion powders, white pepper, paprika,
cayenne & black peppers. Increase heat
to bring to a Low boil.

Reduce heat to Low or medium-low &
simmer 20 minutes, covered. If rice dries
out, add 1 T. water at a time until it’s
cooked through. Taste rice & add salt
(only if needed)
Remove from heat & top with parsley.
Serves 8-10


Lemon Pudding Cookies

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. softened butter
1 egg
1/3 C. sour cream
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. flour
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips
1 small box lemon pudding mix
zest from 1 lemon (about 2- 3 tsp.)
optional: 1 drop yellow food coloring
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl cream together sugar & butter.
Add egg & milk – mix well.

In a separate bowl combine sour cream,
pudding mix, salt & soda – mix well. Add
flour & sour cream to butter mixture –
mix until smooth. Mix in choc. chips. &
zest & 1 drop yellow food coloring, if

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto
prepared sheet.

Bake 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling
rack. Makes approx. 36 cookies



Knitting-wise I’ve finished all of my projects; I started a new baby blanket with a pattern I’ve done many times. Knit 4 hats for school kids & turned those in today. At our restaurant knit today one of my ladies brought several donated yarn kits – I took two. One is a variegated knit hat & the other is yarn for a baby blanket (I’ve done that pattern before, also) – nice to be able to begin something without having to think about ‘what’s next?’ for a change!

Weather-wise: it’s been hovering at 20 degrees F. we got about 6 inches of snow Weds. (been having ‘fun’ trying to locate a new person to come plow our driveway – turns out our old person sold his business & equipment last Fall & failed to tell us! UGH!) We’re supposed to get another 2+ inches tonight & maybe more Sunday/Sunday night. Ah, the ‘fun’ of living in Michigan!

Have a great day;



Published in: on January 28, 2023 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  


Just looked at our weather report for tomorrow (Library Knit day) – 100% chance of heavy snow – up to 4 inches . . . oh, goody. Might NOT be going to the library tomorrow – sigh.

Just made an executive decision on one of my knit projects (baby yellow/cables) I just ripped it out (had done about a foot, 140 stitches wide which is about 3 1/2 feet wide). Just too ‘fiddly’ – concentrating TOO MUCH on every stitch/row for 14 rows – not for me. When I thought of the total amount of time/effort to complete this it came to MONTHS . . . months of struggling? NO, not for me. Tried another, new to me, pattern for a men’s scarf: this one was (note ‘was’ not ‘is’) 3 different colors/very interesting stripes up the entire scarf. Not difficult but, once again, lots of ‘fiddly’ – counting stitches/rows – naw . . . not for me. I had talked, last week, to 2 of our relatively new crocheters about the Butterfly blanket I crocheted last year – while trying to find some photos of said blanket I ran into a photo of a blanket I knit years ago – simple pattern and I had just bought a big skein of variegated blue/white/tan baby yarn that would be perfect so THAT’S my next project! (Also knit 2 more hats for school kids in the past few days). I’m feeling that, right now, I want to just knit/crochet BASIC stuff, nothing fussy.

No-Bake Pistachio Pie

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 (6 oz.) pkgs. instant pistachio
pudding mixes
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust

Optional toppings:
Whipped Cream or Cool Whip
maraschino cherries
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese until smooth.

In medium bowl whisk pudding mixes
& milk until thick, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/4th of pudding to cream cheese &
beat until combined. Repeat adding 1/4th of
pudding mix at a time until it’s all incorporated.
Fold Cool Whip into cream cheese mixture &
pour into pie crust – spread evenly.

Chill in fridge at least 4 hours (or freeze for
cleaner slices when cut).

Decorate top of pie with swirls of whipped
cream or Cool Whip & place a maraschino
cherry on each swirl, if desired.
Serves 8


Baked Omelet

8 eggs
2 C. cooked/diced ham
1 C. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. minced/dried onion
2 C. frozen hash brown potatoes,
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl beat eggs, milk &
salt – stir in remaining ingredients &
pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes until
a knife inserted near center comes out
clean. Serves 4


Crockpot Farmer Soup

1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless/
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn,
drained (or 1 1//2 C. frozen)
1 (15 oz) can lima beans, drained/
rinsed (or 1 1/2 C. frozen)
1 C. frozen peas & pearl onions
1 T. fresh dill, snipped (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
Place all ingredients in 5 qt. crockpot;

Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until
chicken is no longer pink (cooked to
165 degrees F.)
Serves 12


Bacon-wrapped Scallops

2 lb. large sea scallops, patted dry
1 lb. bacon slices, cut in half crosswise
1/4 C. maple syrup
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. chopped parsley
Preheat broiler.

Spray a rimmed sheet pan with
nonstick cooking spray.

Wrap 1 slice of bacon around each
scallop & secure with a toothpick;
arrange scallops in a single layer on
baking sheet.

In small bowl mix maple syrup, soy sauce,
garlic powder, salt/pepper – brush half
the mixture over top of each scallop.

Broil 10-15 minutes until bacon is crisp &
scallops are cooked through.

Brush remaining sauce over scallops
halfway through cooking time. Sprinkle
tops with parsley & serve.
Serves 6


Beefy Taco Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup
1 C. salsa
1/2 C. milk
6 (6 to 8 inch) flour or corn
tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 2-qt baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large skillet
brown ground beef over medium-high
heat, stirring until crumbled; drain.
Stir in soup, salsa,  milk, tortillas &
1/2 C. cheese – spoon into prepared
dish. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes
(until hot). Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese & serve. Serves 4


Easy Crockpot Roast

2-3 lb. beef roast
1 oz. pkt. onion soup mix
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. water

Place roast in crockpot. In small bowl
mix together rest of ingredients & pour
over roast. Cover & cook on Low 8-10
hours. Serve roast with gravy from
bottom of crockpot.


Layered Ham & Cheese Biscuits

2 1/2 C. flour (plus more, for dusting)*
2 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1 C. buttermilk, plus more, for brushing
2 thin slices Black Forest ham, roughly
chopped (about 2 oz)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with
parchment paper.
Using a food processor, pulse flour, baking
powder, sugar & salt until combined. Add
butter & 1/2 C. Cheddar – pulse until mixture
looks like coarse meal with pea-sized bits of
butter remaining. Add buttermilk & pulse a
few times until dough just comes together.
Dust a work surface lightly with flour.
Turn out dough onto surface; then pat into
a 7 X 7″ square about 1 inch thick. Scatter half
the ham & 1/4 C. Cheddar onto half of dough; fold
other half of dough over like a book; gently pinch
edges to seal. Pat dough out again into a 7 X 7″
square. Scatter remaining ham & 1/4 C. cheese on
top & fold dough over (again) like a book. Press
once more into a 7 X 7″ square. Using a sharp knife,
cut dough into 12 even rectangular pieces & transfer
to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of each with
additional buttermilk.
Bake 18-20 minutes until biscuits are puffed & well
browned.  Makes 12

*when measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring
cup & level off excess. Scooping directly from bag
compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.


No-Bake Twinkie Cake

1 box Twinkies (see Note)
4 bananas, peeled/sliced
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
maraschino cherries
chopped nuts
Remove Twinkies from wrappers (you will
use about 7); place in a 9 X 13″ baking dish,
cream side up. Layer sliced bananas on top.
Spread crushed pineapple on top of bananas.

In a bowl combine instant pudding mix &
milk – whisk to combine & allow to thicken
slightly (3-5 minutes). Pour over pineapple &
spread out evenly. Spread Cool Whip over
pudding. Drain a few maraschino cherries
on a paper towel & place on top of cake.
Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.
Cover & refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Serves 12

NOTE: Instead of Twinkies, you can use sliced
pound cake or sponge cake for bottom layer.



Hope you’re enjoying a pleasant day!

Right now it’s 35 degrees F and VERY SUNNY! YAY!



Published in: on January 24, 2023 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Well, our weather finally changed – a bit. Just before leaving for church it started to snow – quite heavily. Good thing is: it stopped while we were in church (there’s maybe 1/2 inch on the ground, nothing to worry about!)

Had a great time with (one of) my knit groups: the ‘combined’ group that meets at a local restaurant on Saturdays – that group is growing, also! YAY! We had 11 and out of that number TWO were ladies who haven’t been back to the Panera group in YEARS! Was SUPER glad to see them and, I think, they were very glad they came back. Upon reflection, I think I’ve decided to rip out the yellow cable baby blanket I started (maybe have a foot done). It’s 12 rows for just a part of the pattern and I just can’t imagine me having the patience to finish it. (that happens with me sometimes – I start something then re-think it & dump that project). Started a hat for the Michigan Youth Assistance program – they take hats/scarves/mittens/gloves for kids in schools who don’t have them. Almost finished with the Granny Square blanket – just have to finish the crocheted border (am planning on taking that Tuesday night to finish at Panera).

Tomorrow is my husband’s 71st birthday and he’s asked for his favorite dinner: meatloaf ( he loves making sandwiches the next day) and a from-scratch banana layer cake. I make it every year; found the recipe on line a good 10+ years ago, it’s frosted with cream cheese frosting. To me it’s “ok” – VERY dense cake (you could use it for a door stop!) but he really loves it . . . definitely a ‘labor of love’.

Lemon Pudding Bundt Cake


1 (15.25 oz) box vanilla or lemon
cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) box instant lemon pudding
4 eggs
3/4 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. canola oil
1 tsp. lemon extract


2/3 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray and sprinkle with

In large bowl combine dry cake and
pudding mixes. Using elec, mixer on
Low speed,blend lemon juice, eggs,
canola oil & lemon extract until just
combined  – then, on Medium speed
for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared
Bundt pan.

Bake 45-60 minutes until a toothpick
inserted near center comes out clean.

Transfer to a cooling rack – let cool
10 minutes in pan the place a plate
on top of Bundt pan – invert pan with
plate & flip over (cake should slide out
onto plate).


In a saucepan over medium heat, add
sugar, lemon juice & butter – cook until
butter is melted. Once melted, cook
2 minutes – remove from heat & stir in
zest. Pour glaze over cake. Let cool to
set. Serves 16


Pizza-stuffed Shells

24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions
5 oz. mini pepperoni, divided
1 (16 oz) tub ricotta cheese
12 oz. shredded mozzarella/
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/black pepper – to taste
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3 C. pizza (or marinara) sauce
2 T. chopped parsley
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

Spread pizza (or marinara) sauce
evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

In a large bowl place half the pepperoni,
ricotta, mozzarella, Italian seasoning,
salt/ black pepper & Parm. cheese – stir
to combine.

Fill each cooked shell with ricotta
mixture & place in prepared pan (filling
sides up). Sprinkle remaining mozz.
cheese & pepperoni on top.

Bake 25 minutes until cheese has
melted & starting to brown. Sprinkle
tops with parsley, if desired.
Serves 6

Can be made ahead: Fill cooked shells
& place in pan as per directions. Cover &
refrigerate up to 8 hours. Uncover &
sprinkle with remaining mozz & pepperoni.
Bake 30-35 minutes until pasta is heated
through & cheese is melted.


Scandinavian Cabbage Soup

1/2 stick butter
3 C. chopped cabbage
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. sliced celery
1 (14.5 oz) can cream-style corn
1 C. frozen peas
2 C. milk
2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
In a large soup pot over medium-high
heat, melt butter. Saute cabbage, onion,
celery & carrots 8-10 minutes until
tender. Add corn, peas, milk, chicken
broth, thyme, garlic powder, salt/pepper –
simmer 15 minutes. Add cheese, stir until
melted. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

NOTE: to lighten up this soup: start with
olive oil instead of butter & use a reduce-
fat Cheddar cheese.


15-Minute Honey Pecan Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
1/2 C. flour
2 T. butter
1/4 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. honey
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
pinch red chili flakes
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
In large skillet over medium-high heat,
melt butter. Season chops liberally with
salt/pepper – dust both sides with flour.
Once oil is hot, add chops & sear, about
3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate &
keep warm.

Add chicken broth, honey, pecans. Wors.
sauce & chili flake to pan – simmer 2 minutes.
Add chops back to pan – spoon sauce over top.
Serves 4


Crockpot Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
(& spiced recipe at bottom)
8 oz. white chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 C. Half & Half cream
2 C. milk
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 C. peppermint mocha coffee creamer
1 tsp. peppermint extract
assorted candy canes (& some crushed)
whipped cream – for topping each glass
In a crockpot combine white chocolate, Half &
Half, milk, sweetnd cond. milk, marshmallow
creme, coffee creamer & peppermint extract.

Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours, stirring

Place a candy cane in a mug & pour white hot
chocolate over top. Top with whipped cream &
crushed candy canes.
Serves 8
Crockpot Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Same ingredients as above (not using
peppermint candy canes)


4 sticks cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (OR) 4 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (0R) 1 whole nutmeg
Place all ingredients in crockpot.
Cook on Low 2 1/2 – 3 1/2/ hours, stirring
Remove cinnamon sticks, pods & Nutmeg before
Serves 12


Baked Chicken Tacos

2 T. olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkt. dry taco seasoning mix
1 C. water
18 “Stand ‘N Stuff” taco shells (El Paso brand)
2 cans refried beans (regular size)
2 C. Mexican shredded cheese
(fresh cilantro, chopped)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.

In large skillet over medium-high
heat, heat oil. Add chicken to pan,
season with half of taco seasoning pkt.
Brown chicken on both sides; 4-5
minutes per side.
Mix remaining 1/2 pkg. of seasoning
with 1 C. water & add to pan – heat
to boil. Reduce heat to Low.
Cover & simmer 12-15 minutes.

Remove lid on pan; shred chicken &
continue to cook, uncovered, to boil
off excess liquid (2-3 minutes) then
remove from heat.

Place refried beans in a microwaveable
bowl & warm to make them easier to

Stand the taco shells up in the prepared
pan (poster got 10 in the pan). Place
about 2 T. refried beans in bottom of
each taco shell & top with shredded
chicken in each. Top with shredded

Bake 12-15 minutes
Top with cilantro, if desired.


Chocolate Caramel Peanut
Butter Poke Cake
(overnight recipe)
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
4-6 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, chopped


1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. corn syrup
4 T. butter
1/3 C. peanut butter
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl mix dry cake mix, water,
oil & eggs until combined – pour into
prepared pan. Bake accordg. to pkg.
directions for a 9 X 13″ pan.

(while cake is baking):

In a saucepan combine brown sugar,
milk, corn syrup & butter – cook, stirring,
over medium heat until sugar dissolves &
mixture is smooth. Remove from heat &
stir in peanut butter until melted & smooth.
Allow sauce to cool.

Cool cake approx. 30 minutes after
removing from oven. Using the end of a
wooden spoon, poke holes all over top of
cake about 1-2″ apart. Pour cooled peanut
butter sauce evenly over cake – cool

When cooled, spread Cool Whip on top
evenly & refrigerate overnight.
Before serving sprinkle chopped Reese’s
Peanut Butter cups on top.
Serves 16



Have a great day!



Published in: on January 22, 2023 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  


Finally arrived at FRIDAY! Babysat yesterday 10 a.m. – 9; yes, that’s a long time but THIS TIME it wasn’t so bad! The baby slept 2 hours in the swing (after my husband came over & fixed it – YAY!) I managed to sew together HALF of the 35 crocheted Granny Squares for another baby blanket, so there’s that!

Wednesday I tried something I’ve never tried before: RUTABAGA! (to preface this: one of my dear friends is from Scotland & she cooked a traditional “Robert Burns Meal” for the knit group: mashed potatoes, mashed rutabaga & haggis. (mind you, I’ve tried haggis before so I knew not to eat that BUT – I really liked the rutabaga so I went to the grocery store after knitting & bought 3. I remember her saying they’re like potatoes, so I prepared them like mashed potatoes (NOTE: BOY, are they HARD to cut!) We had pork tenderloin, tossed salad & mashed rutabaga for dinner & the family liked it! (I told them “Don’t hold your breath, not making that for quite awhile – too hard to cut!”) I asked my oldest son (the Ex. Chef) if he’d ever eated/cooked them. He said he serves them with a “Root Vegetable Medley” – peels, cuts into strips carrots, rutabaga, parsnips & beets; tosses them with olive oil, salt/pepper & rosemary & roasts them – sounds yummy!

Coffee Loaf Cake

1 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. softened butter
1 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp. instant coffee granules* dissolved
in 1 T. hot water
chopped nuts
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray

In a bowl using elec. mixer, cream
butter & sugar until a pale, light color.
Slowly add beaten eggs on Low-speed,
a bit at a time. (IF mixture starts to curdle
or split, add a spoonful of flour.) Keep
adding eggs & a bit of flour(from your total
1 3/4 C. flour required for recipe) until all
eggs are added. Keep mixing on Slow speed;
add coffee mixture, milk & rest of flour.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes.
Check doneness of loaf with a toothpick:
if toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
Cool & serve.
Makes 1 loaf

Store leftovers in an air tight container. You
can also freeze half or all of it: wrap in
parchment paper then place in a ziplock
bag. Defrost then serve.

*Can also use a finely ground espresso or
fresh brewed coffee – make it very strong
& drop milk quantity down to 1/2 C., using
1/4 C. very strong brewed coffee.


1-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta

1 (14 oz) pkg. farfalle pasta
1 T. olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
14 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 oz.) pkg. fresh spinach
salt/black pepper, to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. vegetable broth
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese (plus
more for serving)
1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (plus more
for serving – optional)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Cook pasta to al dente accordg. to
pkg directions – drain.

In large skillet heat 1 T. olive oil – add
onions & saute until slightly browned –
transfer to a plate.

In same skillet add mushrooms (add
more oil, if needed) – saute until browned;
place on plate with onions.

In same skillet cook spinach until just
wilted, about 2 minutes – adjust salt/

Transfer spinach from skillet to another
plate, draining excess water.

In same skillet (add more oil, if needed)
cook garlic about 30 seconds. Add broth
to deglaze skillet. Add heavy cream,
Parmesan, chili pepper flakes & Ital.
seasoning. Cook, stirring, until mixture
is combined & cream gets some color.
Add mushrooms, onions, spinach &
cooked pasta – toss to combine. Add
more Parm. & Italian seasoning, if
desired – stir to combine.
Serve sprinkled with red chili pepper
flakes & Parmesan. Serves 4


Best Meatloaf Ever

1 T. butter
1/4 C. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lb. extra-lean ground beef
3 slices bread, toasted/crumbled
7 buttery round crackers, crushed
(like Ritz)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 1/2 T. sour cream
1 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
1/4 C. milk (optional)
3 T. ketchup
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large skillet over medium heat,
melt butter – cook onion & garlic 1-2
minutes until onion is translucent – stir
frequently to prevent garlic from burning.
Turn off heat & season with salt/pepper.

In large bowl combine cooked onion/garlic
with beef, crumbled bread, crackers, egg,
sour cream, Wors. sauce & 1/2 can tomato
sauce.  Add milk, about 1 T. at-a-time, until
the consistency is moist but not saturated –
place in a loaf pan & shape.

Bake 40  minutes uncovered.

Increase oven temp. to 400 degrees F.
Continue baking about 15 minutes until
internal temp reaches 160 degrees F.

In a bowl combine remaining 1/2 can
tomato sauce & ketchup – pour over top
of meatloaf & bake another 10 minutes.
Serve warm.
Serves 12


Amish Sausage Balls

1 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 C. plain bread crumbs
1/4 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. ketchup
1/4 C. white vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. light brown sugar
Optional: These are traditionally served
over cooked rice or curly noodles. Can
also be served on toothpicks as an
In large bowl combine sausage, bread
crumbs, onion & egg – mix well & form into
1/2 inch balls.

In large skillet over medium-high heat,
heat oil. Brown balls 5 minutes, stirring

In medium bowl combine remaining ingredients;
mix well & pour over sausage balls.
Cover & reduce heat to Low; simmer 20-25
minutes until no longer pink in centers.
Serve immediately.
Makes 26-28 balls

NOTE: These can be made ahead of time;
prepare & cook.  Reheat on baking sheet
in 250 degrees F. oven.


Crockpot Pizza Soup

1 lb. pork sausage, browned/drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil/oregano & garlic
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (2.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded/chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 C. water
1 T. Italian seasoning

garnish: shredded mozzarella cheese
Place browned/drained pork sausage in
crockpot along with all other ingredients
(except garnish).

Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours.
Serve topped with mozz. cheese
Serves 6-8


Country Sausage Soup

2 T. olive oil
3/4 C. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. chicken broth
3 potatoes, peeled/cubed
1 sprig fresh rosemary, removed
from stem & chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (16 oz) pkg. smoked sausage,
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 C. chopped Salad Savoy (a cross
between kale & cabbage)
In a large soup pot over medium-high
heat, heat oil until hot. Saute onion &
garlic 3-5 minutes until tender. Add
chicken broth, potatoes, rosemary,
salt/pepper – bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to Low & simmer 10 minutes. Add
sausage & Salad Savoy – simmer 10
more minutes, until heated through.
Serves 4


Chocolate Craving Cake

1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 C. milk (whole)
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. boiling water (can
add coffee granules to enhance
chocolate flavor)

1 C. milk chocolate chips
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 X 8″ glass or ceramic
baking dish with parchment paper
& spray sides & bottom. If using
metal pan, heat oven to 325.
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder,
baking powder, baking soda & salt
in bowl using elec. mixer. Add egg,
milk, oil & vanilla – mix on Low until
incorporated. When fully mixed,
turn up speed to Medium & mix
2 minutes. Add boiling water & stir
gently – batter will be very thin. Pour
into prepared pan & bake 35-40
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 10
minutes in pan, continue cooling on
wire rack until room temperature.

In medium microwave-safe bowl, heat
chocolate chips at 50% power using
30-second increments, stirring after
each heating,until fully melted. Add
sour cream & vanilla – stir by hand until
well combined & fluffy. Spread over
cooled cake.



Our weather here in Michigan has been (in my opinion) EXCELLENT! Not too cold, (in the 30’s/40/s) NO SNOW on the ground, not windy (we did have a bit of rain yesterday & teeny-tiny “dandruff-sized’ flakes of snow BUT IT’S NOT STICKING! YAY! FYI: USUALLY in January/Feb/March we have TONS OF SNOW/ICE and cold nastiness – I’m reveling in the lack thereof! I suppose I should probably look at the forecast before I get too excited-right? ME & MY BIG MOUTH! 60% chance of snow tonight (less than an inch accumulation), Sunday snow before 1 p.m., about 1 inch possible. Oh well . . . I’ll revel in the little bit I DON’T have, right?

Am thinking of making fried smelt & mac & cheese for dinner (with a tossed salad); we haven’t had smelt in quite awhile and I don’t have anything ELSE pressing to do today so why not?

Enjoy your day;



Published in: on January 20, 2023 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hello! I’m excited! Tomorrow is the day our Library Knit Group is joined by another SEVEN people (from another knit group that also meets at our library). I’m excited because, having talked to several of them, it doesn’t sound like they have very much FUN in their group – they mostly meet to knit/crochet together . . . not much chat/sharing/pattern sharing, etc. OUR group, on the other hand, is a wild, ROWDY bunch that gets a lot done, helps each other, does charity work and in general LOVES meeting together (hopefully we may be able to change a few minds tomorrow – we’ll see!)

Pancake Mix Banana Bread

2 bananas
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. whole milk
3 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 C. pancake & baking mix (like Bisquik)
1/2 C. chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray.

In a food processor or blender place:
bananas, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla & eggs.
Pulse until uniform in color & texture –
pour into large bowl then add in baking
mix – stir until batter forms, then fold in
pecans. Pour batter into prepared baking

Bake 50-55 minutes until a knife inserted
into center of loaf comes out clean. Allow
to cool 1 hour before removing from pan &
slicing. Makes 10 slices


Marmalade Dijon Pork Chops

1 (12 oz) jar orange marmalade
1/4 C. orange juice
3 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 pork loin chops (1-2 lb, total)
2 T. vegetable oil
In medium bowl combine marmalade,
orange juice & mustard – mix well.

In a pie plate combine flour, salt/pepper –
mix well. Coat chops on both sides with

In large deep skillet over medium-high
heat, heat oil. Add chops & brown 3-4
minutes per side. Reduce heat to Low.
Pour marmalade sauce over top.
Cover & simmer 5 minutes. Uncover &
simmer 5-7 minutes until sauce is thickened
& chops are no longer pink. Serve with sauce
spooned over chops.
Serves 4


Better Baked Ziti

1 lb. ziti pasta
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
3 C. (12 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish (or 3 qt dish) with
nonstick cooking spray.

Cook ziti accordg. to pkg directions – until just
barely tender; drain & place in a large bowl.
Add ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 C. mozz. cheese, garlic,
salt & parsley – mix well. Spread half of the
spaghetti sauce over bottom of prepared dish &
spoon ziti mixture in dish. Cover with remaining
spag. sauce then sprinkle top with Parm. cheese.

Bake 25 minutes – top with remaining mozz.
cheese & bake 10 more minutes until heated
Serves 6


Crockpot French Onion Pot Roast

1 (2 lb) chuck roast
salt/black pepper – to taste
2 T. butter
1 T. oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced/divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. beef broth
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. celery seeds, crushed
1 T. sugar
2 T. cornstarch plus more, as needed
1/3 C. water, plus more, as needed
Pat down roast with paper towels –
season with salt/pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high
heat – add butter & oil. Once butter
has melted & oil starts to crackle, add
roast & sear, about 2-3 minutes per side;
transfer roast to a plate.

Add half the onions, garlic, beef broth, Wors.
sauce, vinegar, onion powder, thyme,
bay leaf, celery seeds, sugar & roast to
crockpot. Top roast with remaining half
of onions.

Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours until
roast is fall-apart tender. Transfer
meat to a plate, covering to keep warm.

In a small bowl combine cornstarch &
water – mix to make a slurry & add to
crockpot – stir. Allow mixture to cook
until thickened, 5-7 minutes. If sauce
still seems too thin, add more cornstarch
slurry (1 T. cornstarch to every 2 T. water)
at a time – cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove & discard bay leaf.

Return meat to crockpot & heat through.
Serves 5


Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Crustless Quiche

1 T. olive oil
1 C. chopped yellow onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs
3 egg whites
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 inch pie plate with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large skillet heat olive oil; add
onion & cook 2-3 minutes – remove
to a bowl.

Add mushrooms to skillet; cook 3-5
minutes – remove to bowl with onions.

Add drained spinach to skillet & cook
2-3 minutes – place in bowl with
onions – allow to cool.

Add feta cheese to bowl with cooled veggies;
toss & spread in bottom of prepared pie plate.

In large bowl beat eggs, egg whites, milk, salt/
pepper & oregano – pour on top of veggies in plate.

Bake 45 minutes

Remove from oven & allow to cool 5 minutes
before cutting into 6 slices


Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie


1 1/4 C. flour
8 T. butter, cold/cubed
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Apple Filling:

6 C. apple pie filling
3 T. corn starch

Streusel topping:

1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. oats
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. pecan halves
6 T. cold butter, cut into small
Optional toppers:

ice cream
caramel topping

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar &
salt – pulse a few times to mix. Add VERY COLD
butter – pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Add 2 T. ICE water – pulse a few times to work the
water in. Add another T. ICE water & pulse until
dough comes together as a ball. (NOTE: poster
always adds a third T. ice water – pulse until dough
forms a ball – if dough appears dry, add another 1T.
water-pulse to combine.

Roll dough out in a circle about 1/8″ thick &
12 inches in diameter. Fold dough into quarters &
place in a spring form pan. Gently unfold crust &
press into pan & up sides about 2 inches – crimp
the edges with a fork, if desired.
Place pan in freezer (or fridge) 30 minutes while
preparing filling & topping.

Drain about 1/2 C. of liquid from
apple pie filling into a large bowl.
Whisk liquid & cornstarch together
until smooth. Add rest of pie filling &
stir gently to combine.

Streusel Topping:

Place all topping ingredients in a food
processor – pulse until largest pieces
are the size of a pea or smaller.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Remove crust from freezer – lightly brush
the bottom & sides of the crust with the
beaten egg white. (prevents crust from
getting soggy). Gently pour in pie filling.
Bake 15 minutes

Remove from oven & carefully spread
streusel layer over top of filling.

Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake pie 25-30 minutes longer until
topping is golden brown. Let pie cool
completely before removing from
springform pan. Serves 8



Our weather today is gray & gloomy BUT it’s 43 degrees F. so, here/right now in Michigan/that’s considered WARM!!! I can’t complain – if the ground is clear (no snow/ice, etc) I’m HAPPY!

Tonight is my Panera Knit/Crochet group – I’m SO happy that BOTH of my knit/crochet groups are growing SO MUCH! (I’m only in charge of the Panera Group). My group has grown to about 15 or so on a Tuesday night and the Weds. Library Group has grown to about 19, then there’s my ‘mixed group’ which is a little of both groups that meet on Saturdays 12-2 p.m. at a local restaurant. That group varies per week – usually about 8 or so. I’m SO blessed to be with all of these women (and 1 guy!) – they all have talent (some brand new/some experts) and are so friendly, sharing their tips/patterns/yarns-needles-hooks, etc. We’ve blessed several charities over the years and also BEEN BLESSED with each other’s company. They are, collectively, a WONDERFUL group of people!



Published in: on January 17, 2023 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Good Morning! Hope you had a nice weekend – mine was pleasantly quiet & peaceful – YAY!

Peanut Butter Bread

1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. whole milk
3/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven 360 degrees F.
Spray insides of a loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray (or line it
with parchment paper).

In large bowl using elec. mixer,
beat peanut butter, milk, brown sugar
& eggs until smooth.  Add flour, baking
powder & salt – mix until just combined.
(be careful not to over mix once flour
is added – just mix until no visible lumps
remain). Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
(if bread starts to get too dark, cover with

Remove from oven & let cool before
removing from pan. Makes 12 slices


Creamy Ground Beef Orzo

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 T. tomato paste
1 C. orzo pasta
1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. chicken or beef broth
3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
In large pot or Dutch oven over medium-
high heat, cook ground beef – season
with salt/pepper, cook about 5 minutes
without stirring. Add onion – breaking up
beef as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add
garlic & Ital. seasoning – stir in tomato
paste. Let cook about 1 minute. Stir in
orzo, tomato sauce, broth & heavy cream –
bring to a low boil. Continue cooking until
orzo is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir often
while cooking – reduce heat if boiling too

Remove pot from heat, stir in Parm. & parsley
(if using).

Cover & let stand 5 minutes. Stir, season to
taste & serve.
Serves 4


Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

1 lb. lean gr. beef, cooked with chopped
4 C. brown rice, cooked (poster uses
brown Minute Rice)
1 medium onion, diced
1 C. sliced mushrooms (can use
1 1/2 C. ketchup (or to taste)
1 large head cabbage, chopped
3 (10 oz, ea) cans tomato soup (undiluted)

Optional Garnish:
sour cream
fresh or dried dill
Spray insides of crockpot with non-stick
cooking spray.

In large skillet brown gr. beef with chopped
onion over medium heat; add mushrooms &
cook until meat is browned & onions/mushrooms
are soft; drain.

In large bowl combine gr. beef mixture, cooked
rice & ketchup.

Remove core from cabbage & chop leaves into
bite-sized pieces. Place half of cabbage in
bottom of crockpot. Add half the rice/meat
mixture & top with 1 can tomato soup.
Add remaining layer of cabbage, remaining
rice/meat & 2 cans tomato soup- spread

Cover & cook on Low 8-9 hours until
cabbage is fork-tender (it may need a
little longer)

Serve garnished with sour cream & fresh
dill, if desired.
Serves 12


Meatballs & Gravy

1/2 lb. ground sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 slices bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


1 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 T. flour
3/4 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
1 tsp. parsley
Cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes
to serve 6
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a cast iron pan (or 9 X 13″ baking dish)
with a little olive oil or cooking spay.

In a bowl place bread pieces & pour milk
over it – allow to sit 5 minutes.

In a large bowl combine sausage, gr. beef,
wet bread, egg, onion powder, garlic powder,
Worc. sauce, oregano, paprika, salt/pepper –
mix well.

Using a large tablespoon or small ice cream
scoop, Scoop mixture into meatballs & place
them in prepared pan.
Bake 25 minutes.

In a small saucepan, stir flour into broth.
Cook over medium heat, whisking continually
until slightly thickened. Add sour cream &
mustard – bring to a low simmer, whisking until
smooth.  Add meatballs & cook 5 minutes. Top
with oregano & parsley.
Serve with cooked noodles, rice or mashed
potatoes to serve 6


Butter Pecan Cheesecake Biscuits

1 (16.3 oz) tube Pillsbury Grands
butter biscuits
2-3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 C. powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spray a cast iron skillet with
nonstick cooking spray. Separate
each biscuit to make 2 biscuits from
one – pat them down to make them a
little more flat. Cut an inch-sized
piece of cream cheese & place in biscuit
then sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar –
roll into a ball – place balls in skillet.

In a separate bowl combine melted
butter, brown sugar & pecans – mix well
& pour over biscuits in skillet. (if you have
any leftover cinnamon/sugar you can also
sprinkle that on top).

Bake 28-35 minutes until biscuits are done.
(poster notes she tested hers with a knife &
they were done at 28 minutes)


In a medium bowl add powdered sugar –
whisk in milk & vanilla until mixture is
smooth. (you can add more or less milk,
depending on the consistency you want).
Remove biscuits from oven & pour glaze
on top.
Serves 4


Chicken Green Bean Casserole
(made without canned soup)
1 (10.8 oz) bag cut green beans,
2 1/2 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
(optional-chopped parsley-garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook green beans accordg. to pkg.
directions then place in prepared
dish. In saucepot heat cream, water,
cream cheese, garlic powder, salt &
Parm. cheese over Low heat, stirring
until smooth. Pour 1 C. of this sauce
over green beans. Layer chicken over
green beans then pour rest of sauce
on top. Sprinkle top with mozz. cheese.
Bake 25 minutes until cheese is browned.
Serves 10

-Casserole can be topped with
any cheese desired. Chopped cooked
bacon or crushed pork rinds can be
used for a crispy topping.

-If using fresh green beans or uncut
frozen or canned, be sure to cut them
up into bite-sized pieces (makes it
much easier to eat)

-You can also use leftover turkey


Crockpot Pizza Soup

1 lb. pork sausage, browned/drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil/oregano & garlic
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (2.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded/chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 C. water
1 T. Italian seasoning

garnish: shredded mozzarella cheese
Place browned/drained pork sausage in
crockpot along with all other ingredients
(except garnish).

Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours.
Serve topped with mozz. cheese
Serves 6-8


Amish Sugar Cookies
soft, fluffy cookies –
melt in your mouth
1/2 C. butter, room temp
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla*
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parch-
ment paper.
In large bowl, using elec. mixer,
add butter, oil & sugars – beat until
smooth. Add egg & vanilla -beat
until combined. In another bowl
whisk flour, baking soda & cream
of tartar. Add flour mixture to
butter mixture – beat until combined.
Use a cookie scoop to portion dough
into 1 T. scoops onto prepared sheets,
spacing 2″ apart.
Bake 8 minutes until golden.
Remove from oven & cool on sheet
2 minutes before transferring to a
rack. Makes 42 cookies.

*Note: recipe calls for vanilla
paste or vanilla extract



Happy Monday!



Published in: on January 16, 2023 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

and we have arrived at FRIDAY!

Our weather is going through a ‘not typical’ Michigan January – so far. It’s cold out (maybe 21 degrees F.) with a very light dusting of snow, gray/cloudy but not the usual REALLY COLD/TONS OF SNOW thing – I’m grateful!

Babysat both my younger grandkids yesterday – their furnace went out AGAIN! Great fun trying to get it going again and/or warming the area a little with a bit of oven heat (not much/not for long). The good news is: their NEW FURNACE is coming MONDAY! Baby girl granddaughter just turned 5 months – she’s a lot of fun, always smiling. Her Momma tried her on baby food for the first time yesterday; here’s her picture: needless to say she LOVED baby sweet potatoes!

Cinnamon Doughnut Bread

1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. molasses


1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray.

In large bowl mix oil, butter &
sugar until well combined. Add
eggs & vanilla – mix until smooth.
Gently add in dry ingredients &
buttermilk until a smooth batter
has formed.

Place 1/2 C. batter in a small bowl;
stir in cinnamon & molasses.

Pour half the batter into bottom of
prepared loaf pan – spoon half
cinnamon batter in small dollops
over batter. Pour remaining plain
batter on top then top with remaining
cinnamon batter. Use a butter knife
to swirl the 2 batters together.

Bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of loaf comes out
clean. Let loaf cool 10 minutes before
removing from pan. Loaf should be
warm to the touch.

In a pie plate or shallow dish pour melted

In another pie plate stir sugar, brown sugar
& cinnamon.

Dip each side of the warm loaf into melted
butter. Spoon remaining butter over edges
to ensure loaf is totally coated in butter.

Place loaf in cinnamon/sugar mixture, one
side at a time, until fully coated. Slice into
pieces & serve warm or at room temperature.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Add 1/2 T. lemon juice or vinegar to a
1-cup measuring cup. Pour in milk to the
1/2 C. mark – stir with a fork & let stand
5 minutes – now you have ‘soured/buttermilk’.


Ultimate Scalloped Potatoes

2 lb. potatoes, unpeeled, thinly
salt/black pepper, for sprinkling
10 T. flour
10 T. grated Parmesan cheese
5 T. butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 C. Half & Half cream or milk
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ square baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange 1 layer of potatoes in dish;
sprinkle with salt/pepper, 2 T. flour,
2 T. Parm. & 1 T. butter pieces distributed
evenly. Repeat layers 4 more times.
Slowly pour Half & Half/milk evenly over

Bake 50-55 minutes until potatoes are
tender & top is golden brown.
Serve immediately
Serves 8

Southern Glazed Ham

3-5 lb. boneless oval ham
1/2 C. peach preserves
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. bourbon
3 T. apple juice
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Place ham in a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Bake 30 minutes.

In small saucepan over Low heat, combine
preserves, brown sugar, mustard, bourbon,
apple juice – heat until mixture is melted.

Remove ham from oven & brush with half
the glaze. Continue to cook ham 45 minutes,
until heated through. Slice ham & serve with
remaining glaze.
Serves 8


Crockpot Ham & Bean Soup
(using leftover ham)
1 T. unsalted butter
1 large white onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2-3 thyme sprigs
3 (15 oz) cans navy beans or cannellini, or
Great Northern beans, drained/rinsed
4 C. chicken or vegetable broth/stock
1 lb. cooked/cubed ham
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 bay leaf, optional
In medium saucepan heat butter & cook onion
5 minutes on medium-low heat; add to crockpot
along with carrots, garlic, beans, ham (plus ham
bone if you have one), thyme, smoked paprika, bay
leaf (if using) & chicken stock.

Cover & cook on Low 4 hours  (or High 2 hours)
Remove bay leaf & thyme sprigs before serving.
Serves 6


Honey-baked Chicken Breasts

2-4 boneless chicken breasts (can use
thighs or legs)
2 C. corn flakes, crushed
1/3 C. honey
salt/black pepper
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ or 9 X 9″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Place corn flakes in a ziplock bag – crush
as fine as you can get them; pour into
a pie plate.

In a shallow bowl place honey. Dip
chicken in honey, making sure it’s
fully coated then dip in cornflake crumbs-
place in prepared baking dish.

Bake until internal temperature of chicken
reaches 165 degrees F. on an instant-read
oven thermometer. Baking time will
depend on size of chicken breast you use.

Serves 4


Sour Cream Noodle Bake

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 C. diced onion
12 oz. marinara
12 oz. Alfredo sauce
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 lb. Rigatoni noodles
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In a skillet brown meat & onion over
medium heat until cooked/drain. Add
marinara & alfredo sauces & simmer
10 minutes until it starts to thicken.

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. In a bowl combine softened cream
cheese, sour cream, garlic & cooked noodles;
mix well. Place a layer  of noodles in prepared
dish. Add a layer of meat mixture then Parm.
& Cheddar cheeses – repeat layers.

Bake, covered in foil, 20 minutes. Remove
foil & cook another 5 minutes to brown the
top. Serves 6


Crockpot Caramel Apple Delight

1/2 C. apple juice
1 (7 oz) pkg. caramels, unwrapped
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
4-5 tart apples, peeled/cored/sliced
Place apple juice, caramels, vanilla &
cinnamon in crockpot. Add peanut
butter – mix well. Add apples.

Cover & cook on Low 5 hours. Stir
thoroughly, cover & cook on Low
1 more hour.
Serves 4-6



Hope you’re having a good day!

Stay healthy & warm;



Published in: on January 13, 2023 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s a ‘balmy’ 40 degrees F. out, a little overcast but not bad. (I guess we might get a little snow on Friday but, for now, it’s good). Last night was my Panera knit group & we had 19 people (1 new lady); today was the Library knit group and we had 20 (1 new lady) – the funny thing is: BOTH new people are named NANCY! I started a new project – pale yellow yarn, going to make another baby blanket. This time I decided to venture out and do CABLES (I don’t like knitting cables but do them occasionally). This blanket I’m kind of re-creating from another pattern; it’s coming out nicely BUT it’s 10 rows per pattern and I really need to concentrate on EVERY row (most of my other patterns I can just purl the back side – no problem). Oh well – it’s my choice – we’ll see how far I get on this one. Also working on another Granny Square blanket using baby yarns I had: this one is yellow center, baby pink, mint green, bordered in white – looks like a little flower.

Below is my 5 yr old Grandson with his “BUMBLEBEE SCARF” (he has it turned wrong-side out, but he’s really happy with it)

Fudge Cake

1 C. unsalted butter
4 (1 oz, ea) squares semisweet baking
chocolate, chopped fine
1 3/4 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 C. flour
dash kosher salt
1 C. chopped, toasted pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
(powdered sugar, for dusting)
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch square baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray. Line
bottom & sides of pan with parch-
ment paper, allowing 4-5 inches of
paper to extend over sides of pan.
Spray paper with cooking spray.

Place butter & chocolate in a large
microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High about 2 minute until completely
melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Add
gran. sugar – stir until well combined.
Cool 10 minutes.
Add eggs, one-at-a-time, stir until
blended after each addition. fold in flour &
salt – stir in chopped, toasted nuts & vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in
pan on wire rack 30  minutes.

Lift cake from pan using paper sides as handles.
Cool completely about 30 minutes.
Cut into squares & dust top with powdered
sugar before serving.
Serves 16


Pork Chops w/Mushroom Sauce

1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T. chopped onion
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. white wine (or chicken broth)
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. heavy whipping cream
2 boneless pork loin chops (6 oz, ea)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 large egg
2 T. water
3 T. flour
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
4 tsp. minced fresh basil
In large skillet saute mushrooms & onion
in 1 T. oil & butter until tender. Add garlic;
cook 1 minute – remove from heat. Add wine;
cook over medium heat until liquid is evaporated.
Add broth & cream – bring to boil. Reduce heat
& simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring
occasionally; keep warm.

Sprinkle chops with salt, paprika & pepper. In a
pie plate, whisk egg & water. Place flour & bread
crumbs in another pie plate. Dip pork into flour/
egg mixture then bread crumbs, coating each

In large skillet over medium heat, cook chops
in remaining oil until crisp & juices run clear,
4-5 minutes on each side. Stir basil into mushroom
sauce & serve over pork.
Serves 2


Quick/Easy Chicken Dumpling Soup

6 boneless chicken thighs
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of celery soup
2 (15 oz, ea) cans mixed vegetables, drained
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (12 oz) tube refrigerated biscuits (torn
into pieces during last few minutes of
cooking time)
Place chicken in a soup pot over high heat;
add water to cover chicken & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium & simmer 15-20
minutes until chicken juices run clear. Drain,
reserving 3 C. broth in pot. Remove chicken
& cool then shred & return to broth. Stir in
cans of soup & vegetables, salt/pepper. Add
biscuit pieces & simmer over medium heat
7-8 minutes until dumplings are done
Serves 6


Baked Spaghetti

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 green bell pepper, seeded/
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano or Italian
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti or pasta
sauce of your choice
1 (8 oz) pkg. spaghetti pasta
2 T. butter
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (24 oz) tub cottage cheese *can substitute
ricotta, if desired
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In a large skillet brown gr. beef, green
pepper & onion; drain. Add oregano, pepper/
salt, minced garlic & spaghetti sauce – stir to mix.
Cook spaghetti pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Place in prepared baking dish & toss with
2 T. butter & 1/2 C. Parm. cheese. Spread in bottom
of dish & cover with entire container of cottage
cheese. Spread hamburger mixture over cottage
cheese. Top with 1/2 C. Parm. cheese & 2 C.
mozzarella cheese.
Bake, covered with foil, 30 minutes.
Remove foil & bake 15 minutes more.
Serves about 10-12
Keeps great refrigerated for several days.
Great reheated on stove or microwave.
NOTE: You can also bake it then freeze
half for later.


Crockpot Chuck Wagon Stew

1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled/cubed
1 (28 oz) can barbecue baked beans
Place all ingredients (except beans) in
crockpot – stir well. Using a spoon,
evenly place beans on top of mixture.

Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours (or
4-5 hours on High)

Stir before serving.
Serves 6


Pizza Breakfast Skillet

1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen potato tot ‘crowns’
(little circles), slightly thawed
6 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 T. butter
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 slices pepperoni
Italian seasoning, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch cast iron skillet with
cooking spray.

Line bottom & sides of skillet with
potato ‘crowns’ (you don’t need the
entire bag – place rest in freezer for
use another time). Gently smash
potatoes with a spoon.
Bake 20 minutes.

In medium bowl whisk eggs, salt/pepper.

In medium skillet over medium heat, melt
butter. Add eggs & scramble until almost
firm. Remove cast iron skillet from oven &
top with Cheddar cheese. Spoon scrambled
eggs on top of cheese then sprinkle with
mozz. cheese. Top with pepperoni slices &
sprinkle with Ital. seasoning.
Place back in oven & bake 8-10 minutes
more until cheese is melted.
Serves 4


Pineapple-Orange Pretzel Squares

2 1/2 C. crushed pretzels
2 sticks butter, melted
1 C. plus 3 T. sugar, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
reserve juices
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl combine crushed pretzels,
butter & 3 T. sugar – press mixture
into bottom of prepared dish &
bake 10 minutes – let cool.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese & 1 C. sugar until smooth.
Fold in Cool Whip & spread mixture
evenly over pretzel crust. In medium
bowl combine pineapple with juice &
dry pudding mix until thoroughly combined.
Gently stir in oranges & spread over
cream cheese layer. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours until firm. Cut into squares.
Serves 12



Hope you’re having a good day!



Published in: on January 11, 2023 at 1:12 pm  Comments (1)