After almost 2 weeks of suggesting/hinting/worrying – middle son agreed to see the doctor! Doctor’s office didn’t have any openings so I ‘winged it’ and took him to Urgent Care (Yes, he went!). Turns out he has Bronchitis and his lungs are clear (amazing!). A prescription for codeine cough syrup and one for a steroid to clear up his body and he’s good to go! FINALLY! Husband & I were worried but what can you do when they’re adults?

Stopped at our local area church rummage sale (they have 2 every year, Spring & Fall). I mentioned to son: “Remember when you guys were little and I’d come home with big boxes full of stuff?” Lately their ‘stock’ of available ‘stuff’ has greatly reduced. I checked out their larger ladies clothes (heard someone who works there mentioning they had 3 different ‘estates’ items) – the clothes smelled really odd/funny – I passed on that whole section. Checked out the jewelry – WAAAAAAAAY down on that stuff, kitchen/linens, etc – nothing. Ended up coming out less $2.50: 3 paperback books & a knitted baby blanket in very good shape (Feather & Fan pattern) – that one will go to Crisis Pregnancy center. Oh well – I didn’t really NEED anything, anyway – it’s just fun to shop.


Pepperoni Pizza Twists

1 lb. pizza dough, room temp.
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese
(or more, if you like)
3 T. olive oil
4 oz. pepperoni*
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

marinara sauce
Ranch salad dressing

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Roll pizza dough into a rectangle on
a lightly floured surface. Combine
garlic powder, parsley, Parm. cheese &
red pepper flakes in small bowl; sprinkle
about half onto dough. Sprinkle Mozz.
cheese on one half of the dough & top
with pepperoni. Fold side of dough without
the pepperoni over onto other side,
covering the filling. Use a sharp knife or pizza
cutter to cut dough into thin strips. You will
get about 12 strips out of 1 lb. dough. Twist
strips a few times & press down on ends
to keep them closed. Brush tops of strips
with olive oil & sprinkle with seasoning
blend; repeat oil/seasoning on other side.
Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Serve
with marinara or ranch dressing.

*If using full-sized pepperoni, cut into
quarters, if using mini pepperoni, leave


Lemon Monkey Bread

12 (frozen) dinner rolls, thawed
but still cold
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Cut rolls in half & place in greased
9 X 13″ pan; drizzle tops with melted
butter. Mix lemon zest & sugar
together in small bowl; sprinkle
half of mixture over tops of rolls;
cover & let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture
on top of rolls & bake 20-25 minutes;
remove from pan. Combine glaze
ingredients & drizzle over rolls while
still warm.


Bacon/Ranch Chicken Bake

3-4 chicken breasts
6-8 T. ranch dressing
6-8 slices bacon
4 oz. Cheddar cheese (or Colby-
Jack) shredded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in a baking dish. Spread
1-2 T. ranch dressing on each breast.
Slice bacon to fit chicken breast &
layer on top of ranch dressing. Bake
25-35 minutes until chicken is no
longer pink. Top with cheese & return
to oven 3-5 minutes until cheese is
melted. Serves 4

suggestion: serve with rice or cooked


Crockpot Pulled Brisket Sandwiches
(Don’t let the number of ingredients
scare you – the sauce is what makes
this dish) – from poster

1 (4-5 lb) fresh beef brisket*
1 1/2 C. water
1/2 C. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 C. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

12 kaiser rolls, split

Cut brisket in half & place in 5 Qt.
crockpot. In small bowl combine
water, Worc. sauce, vinegar, garlic,
bouillon, chili powder, mustard,
cayenne & garlic salt. Divide mixture:
place 1/2 C. in a bowl, cover &
refrigerate for sauce – pour remaining
mixture over brisket. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours until meat is
tender. Remove beef, cool slightly.
Skim fat from cooking juices. Shred
meat using 2 forks; return to cooker,
heat through. In small saucepan combine
ketchup, brown sugar, butter, hot sauce &
reserved sauce mixture. Bring to boil; reduce
heat & simmer, uncovered, 2-3 minutes to
allow flavors to blend. Using a slotted
spoon, place beef on rolls; drizzle with
sauce. Serves 12

*This is a fresh beef brisket, not corned beef


Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
(about 3 medium)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash salt

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar
until light & fluffy. Beat in eggs,
bananas & vanilla. Combine flour,
baking soda & salt; stir into
creamed mixture just until blended.
Pour into greased 15″ X 10″ X 1″ baking
pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack.
In small bowl beat cream cheese &
butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar
& vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars.
Makes 3 dozen.


Grilled Nachos

8 oz. tortilla chips
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Mexican style
shredded 4 cheese with a touch of
1/2 C. finely chopped red onions
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C. sour cream

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Double-fold edges of large sheet heavy-
duty foil to make rimmed 12 X 10″ tray.
Spread chips on bottom of tray; cover
with cheese, onions & peppers & place
on center of grill. Turn off heat directly
below tray; cover grill with lid. Grill 5
minutes until cheese is melted. Top
with tomatoes & serve with sour cream.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Tomato/Basil Soup

1 medium onion, diced
3 T. olive oil
1/3 C. flour
1 T. dried basil (or 1/4 C. fresh, chopped)
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. *caramelized tomato paste
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
4 C. chicken broth (or water + 4 tsp
chicken bouillon granules)
1 T. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 C. heavy cream, warmed
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh Italian
salt/pepper, to taste

grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese

Add diced onion, olive oil, flour, basil &
oregano to microwave-safe bowl; stir &
microwave 5 minutes, stirring every 90
seconds); transfer to crockpot. Add
tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, broth,
honey & salt; stir. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours (or High 3-4). Remove lid,
turn heat to High; stir in warmed
cream & parsley, salt/pepper to taste.
Cook 10 minutes on High without lid.
Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

*caramelized tomato paste:
Heat 1 T. olive oil in skillet; add 1
(6 oz) can tomato paste, stir
frequently & cook until deep crimson
color (will reduce by approx. 1/4th).
Freeze extra tomato paste in 1 T.
increments for use later. This method
greatly boosts the tomato flavor.



Managed to get quite a bit of knitting
done on the one variegated yarn baby
afghan (I’d say I’m a little over 3/4ths

Gas prices have dropped down 10 cents
a gallon to $2.39/9 again (YAY).

Son noticed they’re building a Checkers
fast food
place really near us – YAY! Checkers
is also Rallys and we used to really LOVE
Rallys Big Bufford burgers & their fries; husband
loves Rally’s Olive Burgers (they have a huge
pile of sliced GREEN olives on them) – yep –
they’re an ‘acquired’ taste. We don’t eat
a lot of ‘fast food’ but it’s nice to know
that they will be close for ‘those times’.
Right now the closest one is about 20
minutes away.

It’s a very nice day: 70 degrees, sunny
with a light breeze – definitely a NO
SWEATER/JACKET day! YAY – I’m sure
there won’t be many more of them
soon; it IS Fall, after all. (Just looked
at our weather: 80% chance of showers
tonight – there goes the ‘nice’ day).

Hope you’re able to enjoy your day –
even if it’s only a small part of the
entire day – EMBRACE IT!




A Tuesday kind of day

Happy October!

It’s almost 60 degrees F., grey & drizzling – typical “Fall” here in Michigan. Got up early to finish reading a book I started yesterday: “Kill Alex Cross” by James Patterson – good read; will definitely get the next in that grouping: “Merry Christmas, Alex Cross” – it (hopefully) finishes up with one bad lady – we’ll see.  Went for a quick trip to the drug store (to pick up something that ‘hopefully’ breaks up middle son’s chest congestion-yep, he’s the one that refuses to see a doctor – sigh). I had just read, a bit earlier, on Facebook that Pineapple juice is supposed to be really good for that, so stopped at the grocery store,too – we’ll see.

Tonight, I’m thinking, is a great night for my ‘first of the chilly/cold weather chili’. I really hate to admit it’s time to put away the summer recipes and start with the heavier fare – SUMMER, I miss you already!


Crockpot No-Bake Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
(do not use margarine or tub
versions- only real butter)
1/2 C. milk
1 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. baking cocoa
3 C. old fashioned oats (do not use
quick or steel-cut oats)
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

In large bowl mix sugar, powdered
sugar, cocoa – then add butter &
milk; mix until fully combined. (it
should be a thinner consistency than
brownie batter). Pour mixture into
4 qt. crockpot (if using larger crockpot
cooking times may reduce-significantly).
Pour oats on top of mixture – do not
mix. Place peanut butter in middle on
top of oats – do not mix. Cover & cook
on High 1 hour 15 minutes until cocoa
mixture reaches a rolling boil. Stir well &
use a cookie scoop to place 2 dozen
cookies on lined cookie sheets. Allow
cookies to set for a few hours then store
in a sealed container. Makes 2 dozen


Crockpot Sweet Garlic Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. vinegar (apple cider)
1/4 C. lemon/lime soda
2-3 T. minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. corn starch
2 T. water
red pepper flakes (optional)

Cooked rice or noodles

Spay insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place chicken
(frozen, thawed or fresh) inside
crockpot. Mix together brown
sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy
sauce & pepper; pour over
chicken. Cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 4 hours.
Remove chicken from crockpot &
pour remaining sauce into saucepan.
Cook on High; mix together corn
starch & water; add to pan & mix
well. Let sauce come to a boil; boil
2-3 minutes until it starts to thicken
& turns into a glaze. Remove from
heat & let set 1-2 minutes (it will
continue to thicken as it cools
Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top
if desired. Can be served over cooked
rice or noodles.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

One-Pot Goulash

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. elbow macaroni
2 C. beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

In large saucepan over high heat
brown ground beef with onion 6-8
minutes, stirring frequently. Drain &
stir in remaining ingredients; bring to
a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover &
simmer 7-8 minutes until macaroni is
tender. Serve immediately. Serves 4
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top when


Crockpot Spanish Rice

1 C. long cooking rice (long grain),
1 C. water
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (14.75 oz) can (Red Gold) diced
tomatoes with lime juice & cilantro

Combine all ingredients (except tomatoes)
in greased crockpot; mix well. Add tomatoes
over rice. Cover & cook on Low 1-3 hours.


Ham Bone & White Bean Soup

4 C. water
1 (32 oz) container chicken stock
1 ham bone
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 C. diced ham
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans,
drained & rinsed (white beans)
1/4 C. orzo
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary

Place water, stock, ham bone, onion,
celery & bay leaves in large saucepan
or Dutch oven. Bring to boil over
medium heat; reduce heat to Low.
Cover & simmer 1 hour. Remove
ham bone; skim off excess fat. Stir in
ham, beans, pasta (orzo), Italian
seasonings & rosemary. Cook 5-10
minutes until pasta is tender. Remove
bay leaves before serving. Serves 8


Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
(oven or grill)

3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cups black beans
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6-10 bell peppers (size of peppers
will determine how much filling
you use. You can refrigerate any
2 cups mozzarella cheese

extra cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Slice tops off peppers, score insides, removing all
seeds. Mix quinoa with corn, beans, onion &
tomatoes until well mixed. Add seasonings &
stir until mixed; mix in cheese. Stuff each pepper
with mixture, packing tightly. Place in greased
casserole dish. Bake 40 minutes. Add extra
cheese before serving.

Prepare as directed; place casserole dish in/on
grill. Cook on High with lid closed 10 minutes.


Chocolate/Peanut Butter Dream Bars

1 (16 oz0 pkg. peanut butter sandwich
cookies, divided
4 T. butter (1/2 stick) melted
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/divided
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. milk chocolate & peanut butter
chips OR 1/4 C. milk chocolate chips &
1/4 C. peanut butter chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In blender or food processor finely crush
24 of the cookies. In medium bowl mix
together melted butter & crushed cookies
until well moistened; press into ungreased
8″ X 8″ baking dish – bake 10 minutes.
Allow crust to cool completely before
proceeding. Mix pudding mix with 1 1/2 C.
milk in small bowl. In another bowl beat
cream cheese, powdered sugar & peanut
butter together; fold in 1 C. Cool Whip &
mix until well blended. Spread chocolate
pudding over cooled crust. Place dollops
of cream cheese mixture over pudding
layer & using a spatula, gently spread to
completely cover. Spread remaining Cool
Whip over cream cheese. Refrigerate 2
In a plastic bag, break up the remaining
8 cookies & sprinkle on top of dessert
along with chocolate/peanut butter
chips before serving.



Hope your day is ‘dry’ and filled with



Having one of ‘those’ days, so far . . .


Today I went grocery shopping – at Walgreen’s & Meijers. (Yes – remember I’ve told you, you can get some good deals at drug stores). When I left my car in the Meijer parking lot (for some reason) I decided that I needed to lock my car via the key fob (I always hit the lock button on my door). Let’s just say I was in Meijers a good 1 – 1 1/2 hours; came out to my car and the side door was open! (I’d accidentally hit the ‘open sliding door’ button. Of course, my first thought was: did anyone steal anything? (Husband’s electric tire pump was in there, in plain sight!) Praise the LORD-everything was as I left it! Remember my telling you the saga of the credit card where I  ordered some stupid diet pills on line and then nearly screwed up my bank account? Well . . . STILL waiting for my new credit card and good old Meijers doesn’t want to use my other credit card (card denied) . . . sigh. I just used it at Walgreens!  I felt bad for the several people standing in line behind me WAITING – ended up writing a check – again. Weird – Meijers will take my check (on the SAME account) but won’t take the card connected to it! Go Figure!)

Got home, husband helped me unload the groceries. He handed me a rather light-weight bag which I sort of ‘gingerly’ plopped on the kitchen counter – NOT a good idea: it had a dozen eggs in it! Let’s just say I had a scrambled egg for my lunch . . .


Pumpking Delight Dessert

Layer 1:
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 C. flour

Layer 2:
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Layer 3:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small pkgs. vanilla instant pudding
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Layer 4:
1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)
1/4 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer 1:
Mix flour, butter & nuts; press onto
bottom of 9 X 9 pan & bake 15 minutes.
Cool WELL.

Layer 2:
Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar &
1 C. Cool Whip; pour over cooled crust.

Layer 3:
Mix milk, pudding mix, pumpkin puree,
pumpkin spice & 1 C. Cool Whip until
smooth; spread over cream cheese layer.

Layer 4:
Spread 1 C. Cool Whip on top & sprinkle
chopped nuts.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.


Sloppy Joe Nachos

1 (13 oz) bag tortilla chips
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (3 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 C. water
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. Cheddar-Jack cheese, shredded

Optional toppings:
sliced green onions
chopped tomatoes
finely shredded lettuce
hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
hamburger, onions & bell pepper until
meat is brown & cooked through;
drain. Reduce heat to low, stir in
tomato sauce & paste & water; stir.
Stir in brown sugar, chili powder, garlic
powder, Wors. sauce, vinegar & red
pepper flakes – stir until all ingredients
are combined & mixture is hot, remove
from heat. Place a layer of tortilla chips
in bottom of an oven-safe pan. Place
several scoops of meat mixture over top
then sprinkle some of the cheese on top;
repeat layers. Bake, about 5 minutes,
until cheese is hot & melted. Remove
from oven & top with desired optional
toppings. Serves 4-6


Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole

2 C. cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. olive oil
2 large green peppers, diced
1/2 C. frozen diced onion (or fresh)
1 (29 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 (14 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
2 (14 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn,
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef in large stock pot;
drain & remove meat from pan. Heat oil
in pan on medium-high heat; add green
peppers & onion – saute 5-10 minutes until
softened, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes,
sauce, corn, garlic powder, salt/pepper &
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer 5
minutes. Stir in rice & ground beef. Pour
into a 9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with shredded cheese &
bake 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Nacho Cheese Soup

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts*
(can use frozen)
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. salsa
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 C. Nacho cheese sauce
1 tsp. cumin
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (4 oz) can black or pinto beans,
drained & rinsed
1/2 C. pickled banana peppers (or
pickled jalapenos if you like spicy)

Optional toppings:
fresh cilantro
tortilla chips
grated cheese
sour cream
lime wedges
sliced avocados
jalapeno peppers
sliced black olives

Add chicken, broth, salsa, tomatoes,
lime juice, garlic, nacho cheese sauce,
cumin, green chiles, black beans &
peppers to crockpot – stir. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours or High 2-3
hours. Remove chicken from crockpot
& cut into bite-sized pieces (or shred)-
add back to crockpot & stir. Serve
with desired toppings. Serves 4-6

*You could substitute 1 lb. ground
beef or ground turkey in place of


Caramel Apple Muffins

2 1/4 C. flour, divided
2/3 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. diced, peeled apples
1 tsp. lemon juice
zest of one lemon
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. heavy cream
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine 2 C. flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt in large bowl; make
a well in the center. Mix yogurt, oil,
eggs, lemon juice & zest; add to dry
ingredients & stir until blended. In
small bowl mix apples, brown sugar,
cinnamon & vanilla. Fold apples into
batter. Using a large cookie scoop,
fill greased muffin tin 2/3 rds. full.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove muffins from pan & let cool
on wire rack.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium
heat; add brown sugar & heavy cream.
Stir until sugar has dissolved & mixture
combines. Remove from heat & whisk
in powdered sugar until creamy &
smooth. Allow caramel glaze to cool
slightly. Dip muffin tops into glaze &
place on baking rack to set. Makes 12.


Cauliflower & Tomato Salad

1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) Fire-Roasted
diced tomatoes
2 C. fresh cauliflower florets
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chick peas),
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion
3 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf)
1 T. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Drain tomatoes & reserve 1/4 C. liquid;
discard remaining liquid. Combine drained
tomatoes, cauliflower, beans & onion in
large bowl. In second bowl, whisk
together reserved liquid, oil, parsley, vinegar,
garlic salt & pepper; pour dressing mixture
over vegetables & toss to coat. Serves 6



(won’t melt at room temperature
like regular whipped cream)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 C. heavy cream

Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla
extract and almond extract in a large
mixing bowl or the bowl of your mixer.
Once all in the bowl, mix on medium
speed until smooth.While mixture is
still whipping, slowly pour in heavy
cream. Stop & scrape bottom of bowl
a few times while you continue
whipping until the cream can hold
a stiff peak. Makes 5 Cups

(recipe: Facebook)


The weather and the gas prices are un-changing
at the moment (guess that’s a good thing??)

Hope you’re having a good day – think I’m just
going to go have a ‘sit/rest’ in my favorite



I Survived the Night! Whew!


Western-style Gym Night with my

Special Needs Group!

Those in the picture are most of the people who helped out last night; it was a good turnout – I’m guessing about 80 people came. We had at least 3 new group homes and 3-4 students with their parents. The food was great: sloppy joes, green beans, chips, cookies/cupcakes/cake – too much! The lady who planned this whole thing planned for 150 people – needless to say there was TONS of leftover food (I have NO idea what she did with it all – that was HER ‘baby’). To introduce you to our regular (Board Members) group who are in charge of Friends Group:

Back row, standing: me (in hideous shirt – will talk about that later); blond lady peaking out Jackie;  next to her peaking out Cheryl; standing with cowboy had: Lois (our leader) and the big, tall guy is Pastor Dave. Those sitting in front of us were helpers for the night. Great turn-out; to put it mildly I’M EXHAUSTED TODAY! The event was from 6 – 9 p.m. (about an hour too long, in my opinion). We ate first then everyone went to the gym to dance & chat; I just had fun walking around talking to the new people and watching our kids dance – they had a ball! (My hideous shirt: given to me by a good friend a good 12+ years ago – it’s 2 sizes too big. On the front (in glaring/gaudy glitter) are 2 huge cowboy boots, 2 horseshoes and at the bottom (in glitter, of course) some barbed wire. It’s been in the back of my closet ever since she ‘gifted’ me with it – I AM NOT a glitter/cowboy type person! She also gave me a light blue top (not quite as gaudy) in glitter, etc. with a big carousel horse on it (I wore that in 2000 for my oldest son’s graduation party – haven’t worn it since). The shirt fit with the theme (think I was the most glittery/gaudy person there!).


Crockpot Honey Pork & Apples

1 (3-4 lb. pork tenderloin
2 large Granny Smith apples, sliced
1/2 C. honey
2 T. cinnamon

Slice slits in tenderloin; place 1-2
apple slices per slit. Place 3/4 of
remaining slices in bottom of
crockpot. Drizzle 1/2 the honey over
slices; place pork roast over apples-
sprinkle cinnamon over everything.
Place remaining slices on top &
drizzle with remaining honey. Cover
& cook on Low 8 hours. Remove loin
from crockpot & slice; serve with
apples on top. Serves 6


Pumpkin Bars w/Cream Cheese

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 9″ pan with parchment
paper & spray lightly with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour, sugar,
ginger, baking soda, baking powder,
salt, cloves & cinnamon – create a
well in center of dry ingredients.
In bowl of stand mixer combine eggs,
vanilla, oil & pumpkin, beating at
Medium speed until light & fluffy;
stir gently, just to combine – pour
into prepraed pan & bake 30-35
minutes until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Place
on wire rack, cool completely.

Combine cream cheese & butter in
medium bowl using elec. mixer, until
smooth. Add sugar; mix on Low speed
until combined. Stir in vanilla – mix
again. (you may need a little milk to
make it spreadable if your butter wasn’t
soft enough). Spread frosting evenly
on top of cake; cut into bars.


Oven-Baked Chicken Risotto

2 C. chicken broth
2 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 C. uncooked arborio rice
1/2 C. dry white wine
1/2 C. fresh or frozen peas (thawed)
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 C. cooked/cubed pancetta (or
crumbled bacon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large Dutch oven or oven-proof
pot, heat butter & oil over medium-
high heat; saute onion until softened
6-7 minutes. Season with salt/pepper,
add garlic & cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in
arborio rice & cook 2 more minutes
until toasted but not burned. Mix in
white wine & cook until almost
evaporated; pour in chicken stock &
bring to boil. Place pot in oven &
bake 20-25 minutes until liquid is
mostly evaporated. Stir in chicken,
peas, pancetta (or bacon) & Parm.
cheese; mix together. Taste & adjust
seasoning, if needed. Serve hot.
Serves 6


Crockpot Creamy Hash Browns

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen cubed hash
brown potatoes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of potato
soup, undiluted
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Colby-Jack
1 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) carton spreadable chive &
onion cream cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray; place potatoes inside. In large
bowl combine soup, cheese, sour cream,
pepper/salt – pour over potatoes & mix
well. Cover & cook on Low 3 1/2 – 4 hours or
until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream
cheese. Serves 12-14


Spicy Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 C. shredded, cooked chicken
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
12 rinsed cooked lasagna noodles

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 3 ingredients; combine
1/2 C. with chicken, 1 C. mozz.
cheese, Parmesan cheese & eggs;
spread 1/4 C. onto each noodle &
roll up. Pour 1/2 C. of remaining
sauce into bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan. Top with lasagna rolls,
seam-sides down. Cover with
remaining sauce & mozzarella. Bake
25 minutes until heated through.
Serves 6

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Grilled Chicken/Summer Veggie Skillet

1 T. oil
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 1/4 C. water
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 C. (Kraft) finely shredded Italian
5-cheese blend
2 green onions, sliced

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high
heat. Add peppers, cook 7 minutes stirring
occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute.
Add rice, water & barbecue sauce, stir &
bring to boil. Top with chicken, tomatoes &
cheese. Cover & simmer on medium-low
heat 10 minutes until rice is tender & cheese
is melted. Top with onions before serving.
Serves 4

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

4 C. marshmallows
3 T. butter
1/8 C. pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 C. rice krispie cereal
pinch of salt

Line a brownie pan with waxed
paper or nonstick spray.
Melt butter & marshmallows in
nonstick pan over low/medium heat.
When melted, turn off heat & add
pumpkin, salt, vanilla & pumpkin pie
spice. Stir in rice cereal & press in
prepared pan. Let set 15-20 minutes.

NOTE: they might be a little more
gooey than regular rice krispy treats
due to the pumpkin.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)


I have but one goal today: REST! Am
going to put a frozen pork roast in
the crockpot with a can of cranberry
sauce – that, plus some sort of potatoes/
pasta, will be dinner tonight.

Am working on 2 knit baby blankets-
one is all white, the other multi-baby
colors yarn. Both are about 1/4th
done at this time.

Finished reading 2 good books by
Catherine Coulter: “The Lost Key”
and “Power Play”. This is one of the
authors I really like: she deals in
murder/mystery as worked out by
the FBI (and, occasionally Scotland

Our weather is slowly going towards
typical “Fall” – low 50’s, cloudy/gloomy
& chilly/windy. Not looking forward
to winter, but guess we’ll just have to
‘like’ Fall while it’s here (at least it’s
not SNOW!)

Have a great weekend!



Shopping around


Yesterday I went shopping at Meijers and, among other things, bought 2 pairs of jeans for middle son. Middle son is built ‘slight’ – I bought 30/32 jeans – they’re WAAAY too long! Took them back today – I got a quick lesson in the way men’s jeans are sized . . . son is a 30/28 or so…they don’t sell them that way ON THE SHELVES. I found a 29 length and was super happy until I looked at the waist: 38! Went to KMart, same thing – ended up going on line to see what I could find. It seems I can find (in a decent price, mind you) a 30/29 which will have to do! As to the ‘decent price’ thing: if I really WANTED to I could purchase mens jeans for $209.00 each – Crazy, right? Decent, to me, is in the $20 -40.00 range, per pair.

Also had to get gas today and had another shock: gas here has gone up FIFTEEN cents more per gallon. About 3 days ago it was $2.41/9 now it’s $2.56/9, oh well – live & learn, eh? (should have got it the other day). Today I just put $25 cash in – hopefully enough to get me by until a drop in prices??? Hopefully . . .


Sticky BBQ Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 small shallot, chopped
1/3 C. plain breadcrumbs
salt/pepper, to taste

1 C. bbq sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all meatball ingredients in large
bowl & shape into small meatballs.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over
medium-high heat & add some oil.
Cook meatballs until browned on
outside & entirely cooked through.
Once meatballs are cooked, mix all
sauce ingredients. Add meatballs
& sauce to crockpot & cook, on
Low, 3-4 hours. Serves 30


Spaghetti Squash Boats w/Sausage

2 spaghetti squash (ripe)
1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground sausage*
1 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes
w/green chilies
1/4 C. Half & Half
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded/
2 T. thin-sliced basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop
out seeds. Place cut-side-down, on
a baking sheet which has been lightly
sprayed with nonstick spray. Do NOT
pierce with fork. Bake 45 minutes
until tender. Drizzle olive oil in large
skillet & saute onion & garlic 2 minutes.
Add sausage & cook until lightly browned.
Drain, if necessary. Add broth, tomatoes,
Half & Half, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper
bring to boil then cover & simmer on Low
-medium heat until spaghetti squash is
ready. Remove squash from oven &
scrape out all strands of spaghetti using
a fork & add to skillet along with 1/4 C.
cheese. Toss until cheese is melted &
squash is fully coated with sauce. Transfer
squash mixture into squash shells; top
with remaining cheese. Place back in
oven 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted
& squash is heated through. Top with
basil & serve. Serves 4

*You can use your own choice of what
type/kind of sausage – poster used
spicy ground turkey sausage.


Doughnut Muffins

3/4 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
2 large 3eggs
1 1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/3 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter &
sugars until light & fluffy. Add eggs,
one-a-time, beating well after each
addition. Gradually beat in milk &
vanilla. In another bowl whisk flour,
baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
& baking soda; add to creamed mixture,
stir just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes before removing from
pan to wire rack.
Combine sugar & cinnamon. Dip tops
of warm muffins in butter then into
cinnamon mixture. Makes 1 dozen.


John Wayne Casserole

2 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 (1.25 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
4 oz. sour cream
4 oz. mayonnaise
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded/
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 C. Bisquick mix
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 (4 oz) can sliced jalapeno
peppers, drained

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
After cooking meat & draining, add
dry taco seasoning mix & water
(amount accordg. to pkg. directions)
In bowl combine sour cream, mayo,
4 oz. Cheddar cheese & half onions.
Stir Bisquick mix & water in a bowl
to form a ‘soft dough’ (directions
on Bisquick box). Pat dough on bottom
& 1/2 inch up sides of a 9 X 13″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Saute
remaining onions & bell peppers in
pan until slightly tender. On top of
Bisquick mix, evenly distribute, in order:
ground beef, tomato slices, green
peppers/onions, jalapeno peppers,
sour cream mixture & remaining
shredded cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes
until edges of dough are lightly browned.

(recipe: Facebook: Mike Suddaby)

Salsa Crockpot Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 C. salsa
salt/pepper, to taste

(NOTE: you can also add drained
beans – your choice, and corn,

Place chicken breasts in crockpot;
cover with salsa & toss until coated.
Cook on High 4 hours or Low 6-8
hours until chicken shreds easily with
a fork. Shred chicken in crockpot &
toss with remaining salsa until well-
mixed. Serve immediately.


Rustic Nut Bars

1 T. plus 3/4 C. cold butter, divided
2 1/3 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 C. honey
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, cubed
2 T. heavy whipping cream
1 C. chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 C. salted cashews
1 C. pistachios
1 C. salted roasted almonds

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking pan with foil,
letting ends extend over sides by
1 inch; grease foil with 1 T. butter.
In large bowl whisk flour, sugar,
baking powder & salt; cut in
remaining butter until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in
egg until blended (mixture will be
dry). Press firmly onto bottom
of prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes
until edges are golden brown; cool on
wire rack. In large, heavy saucepan
combine honey, brown sugar & salt;
bring to boil over medium heat,
stirring frequently to dissolve sugar.
Boil 2 minutes, without stirring. Stir
in butter & cream; return to boil. Cook
& stir 1 minute until smooth – remove
from heat & stir in nuts. Spread over
crust. Bake 15-20 minutes until topping
is bubbly. Cool completely in pan on a
wire rack. Lifting with foil, remove from
pan. Discard foil & cut into bars. Makes
about 3 dozen.

NOTE: To toast nuts:
Heat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake nuts in a shallow pan 5-10
minutes or cook in a skillet over
low heat until lightly browned,
stirring occasionally.


Crockpot Steak Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef sirloin tip roast,
cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. canola oil
1 oz. pkg. dry onion soup mix
4 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 C. uncooked wide egg noodles

Mix flour, salt/pepper in large ziplock
bag; add beef cubes. Seal bag & toss
until beef is well coated. In large, deep
skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat
& add beef. Saute until brown, about
6 minutes then place in crockpot.
Sprinkle dry soup  mix evenly over beef.
In a bowl whisk broth, tomato paste &
Worc. sauce – pour over beef. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours until beef is tender.
Add noodles – cover & cook 30 more
minutes until noodles are tender.
Serves 6


Layered Mexican Spread/Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. fresh salsa
1 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese
1/2 C. coarsely chopped avocados

Spread cream cheese on bottom of a
pie plate. Top with remaining ingredients.
Makes 16 (2 T. each) servings

NOTE: other topping options:
1/2 C. sliced black olives
1 can (rinsed/drained) black beans
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
2 sliced green onions

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Our weather is still beautiful but the
temps are dropping – it’s around 57
out there now, sunny & breezy. I went
out with just a light blouse on and
wished I’d worn a sweater over it –
live & learn!

Today was a nice, relaxed day – all
the guys were home for a change!
Since that rarely happens anymore,
I made pancakes & eggs for them –
when they were young that was a
staple Saturday breakfast if no one
was going anywhere. While I was out
jeans shopping husband informed
me that our oldest son stopped by
on his new motorcycle! I missed
seeing him but noticed later that
there was a set of keys on the
dining room table that didn’t look
familiar. After perusing the various
‘store cards’ attached to the ring
I realized they were his (apparently
he doesn’t have his cycle keys on
the same ring!) I texted him & he’s
stopping by later – so WIN/WIN
situation – I get to see the WHOLE
family today! YAY! (I’m guessing,
by the time right now) that we’ll
probably also see our grandson
(guessing oldest is picking him
up at school right about now).
I will FINALLY get to show him
the 5 puzzles I bought a good
3-4 weeks ago for he & I to
work on!

Hope your day is working out
well – or at least the way you
planned/hoped it would!



Patience & Gullibility


Today is turning out to be one of “THOSE” days – went to the bank to clear up a ‘mess’ (will speak on that in a minute) and found that they were short on people, especially the Bank Managers – sigh. I sat down in a chair with three other people and waited; apparently the bank people thought I was with that ‘group’ and just ignored me. I just kept saying (in my head) remember-Patience is a Virtue! Finally that ‘group’ got taken care of, leaving 3 chairs vacant. In comes a little old lady who starts telling me all about her checks and the bank’s mistake (sigh). Wait, wait . . . Manager becomes FREE and I get up – little old lady does an End Run and cuts me off! (sigh – add in more “Patience is a Virture”). Her problem was pretty easy to solve so I think it will only take a few minutes . . . totally forgot that MOST older people are LONELY and just want to TALK! A good 20 minutes later she FINALLY leaves, bringing me to the subject of Gullibility. I know we all have ‘weak’ moments – those times when you do something that (at any other time) you wouldn’t. Insert me about 3 weeks ago: sitting in front of computer looking at Facebook and happen upon a blurb for a weight loss product: Only $4.99 for a TRIAL SIZED Bottle! (Garcinia Cambogia) – GULLIBLE me hits OK! and charges it to my credit card ($4.99) . . . you can see where this is going, right? They sent me the bottle in a plain white box – no paperwork, no return address. (I don’ know exactly why, but that flagged a ‘somethings not quite right here’ thought and I never opened the bottle). Time went by and yesterday I was going over my checking account just to compare my spending to what the bank has and THERE IT WAS: $89.74 charged to my card from that company! YIKES! Of course, I freaked. Today went to the bank to clear it up; fortunately I know the bank manager (for many years) so she knew I wasn’t making this up. Turns out there was another lady a few weeks before me who did the same exact thing! She said that when they went to the web site (IN VERY TINY PRINT) was a ‘disclaimer’ something about you are agreeing to a 3 month membership – cost $89.74 per month! CRAZY! It took the manager a good 25 minutes on the phone trying to get that company (which kept hanging up – it was all recordings and they said they would forward you on IF YOU HIT #1 WHICH WOULD CHARGE YOU ANOTHER $1.99! CRAZY! She finally called my banks Fraud department and they were able to dispute this charge (I get my $$ back, but had to cancel that card – fine with me.)NOTE HERE: the company that did this is listed as PURITYGARCINIA)   YAY, all’s well . . . you’d think!

Episode #2: I leave the bank to go grocery shopping at Meijers. I should mention I have another ’emergency’ credit card which I hardly EVER use. I told the bank manager I’d be using that one until my new regular debit card comes in the mail. Get up to the check out (another LOOOONG wait – remember: “Patience is a Virtue!”). Get all the groceries bagged and use the card – cashier says: “I’m sorry, but that card has been denied.” WHAT? I try it again, this time hitting Debit instead of credit – same thing! I tell her “Believe me – there’s  money in the account!” Finally I end up writing a check for said amount. Cashier tells me: “This happens ALL THE TIME with customers of that bank.” LOVELY – right? You guessed it – another trip back to the bank to see just what’s going on. Get same manager (YAY) and she calls it in – the problem is that since I very rarely USE this card, the bank’s alert system guessed that my card had been stolen so it blocked the transaction. She had to call in to the main branch and get it opened up again. Lesson to me: USE the darned card every so often so this doesn’t happen again!

Two lessons here: #1: ‘PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE” (don’t lose your cool) and #2: Try to listen to that little voice in your head that says: “Don’t DO THIS!” when you’re about to do something that you KNOW might be questionable (like charging your credit card on a site you know nothing about!) I KNOW BETTER! SOoooo grateful the bank was able to clear this up for me. WHEW!  After that I stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee and a pumpkin donut – I really felt I’d earned them this time!


Breakfast “Lasagna”

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked
8 eggs, scrambled
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 sausage links, cooked/cut in half
6 strips bacon, cooked
3 C. spinach

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange 3 noodles
lengthwise in prepared dish. Layer
half of eggs, half sausage, one C.
each cheese, half of spinach; repeat
layer. Top with layer of noodles &
bacon; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses (make sure to cover
noodles completely with cheese).
Bake 15-20 minutes; serve warm.

(recipe: “The Food in My Beard” =

Caramel Apple Crisp Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
12 T. butter, melted*
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 C. peeled/cored, finely chopped
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 1/4 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin pan with
nonstick BUTTER spray. Melt butter
in small pan. In medium bowl mix
graham cracker crumbs, powdered
sugar & butter using a spoon. Slowly
add butter, mix well & evenly
distribute to 24 mini muffin cups;
press mixture on bottom & up
sides to make a ‘crumb cup’. Bake
5 minutes; let cool completely.

Change oven temp. to 375 degrees F.
Mix apples, sugar, brown sugar, flour,
cinnamon & nutmeg together & pour
into an oven-safe baking dish. Bake
15 minutes until apples are slightly

Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees F.

Scoop a teaspoon of apple
mix & place on top of graham cracker
crust cups (keeping crust in muffin
pan). Sprinkle any extra graham cracker
crumbs on top of apples; bake 5 minutes.
Let cool completely. Use a knife to loosen
from pan; place on serving plate & drizzle
caramel topping on each. Makes 24
mini cups.

*You may want to start by using 1/2 C.
butter; melt butter & add slowly to crumbs,
a little at a time making sure it’s not too wet.
You can always add more. You want a soft
dough that sticks together slightly when you
try to form a ball, not a wet dough.


Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip

3/4 C. (Kraft) 3-cheese shredded
cheese, divided
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled,
2 green onions, finely chopped,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. cheese/bacon/
onions for garnish.
Mix remaining ingredients until
blended & spread onto 9 inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 15 minutes until hot
& bubbly around edges. Garnish
with reserved ingredients.
Makes 12 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Skinny Pumpkin Bars

2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. applesauce
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, mashed
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 1/3 C. flour

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon,
baking soda, baking powder & salt. In large
bowl cream butter & sugars together. Add
applesauce & mix well. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating with each addition. Add
egg whites & pumpkin, mix well. Alternate
dry ingredients with water & wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips & pour into cookie
sheet. Bake 27-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cut
into bars.


One-Pan Lemon Chicken Bake

4 chicken breasts, boneless
2 T. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3 T. garlic chopped
zest & juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. olive oil
1/3 C. white wine
lemon pepper seasoning

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour olive oil into small saucepan over
medium/low heat. Add garlic & cook 1
minute. Add white wine, zest of 2 lemons,
lemon juice, oregano, thyme, & salt. Pour
mixture into a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pat chicken
dry & place in pan. Brush tops of chicken with
olive oil & sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper
seasoning. Cut lemon into wedges & tuck among
the chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes until chicken is
no longer pink. If chicken isn’t browned enough,
place under broiler for 2 minutes. Serves 4


Crockpot Party Beans

1 1/2 C. ketchup
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8. tsp. pepper
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans- drained/
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern beans,
1 (14 oz) can lima beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can black eyed peas, drained/

Combine all ingredients (except beans &
peas) in crockpot; mix well. Add beans &
peas, mix well. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours. Remove bay leaves before
serving. Serves 12-14


4-Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 C. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cake mix, oil & eggs. Pour
sugar in small bowl. Take 1 T. dough,
form a ball & roll in sugar. Place
balls on ungreased cookie sheet
1 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes. Let
cool completely. Makes about
30 cookies.

Note: can use any flavor cake mix;
another poster said they put 1/4 C.
sugar in a ziplock sandwich bag &
added 2 drops food coloring to sugar,
then placed balls in sugar & shook.



Our weather, today, has taken a turn to
more “Fall-like” – it’s 65 degrees F., gray
& lightly raining.

Gas prices are staying at $2.41/9 – I’m
still at a little under half tank, so really
hoping they’ll drop soon – we’ll see . . .

Tonight is Knit Night with my group and,
after the day I’ve had so far, I really think
I DESERVE a night out with the girls! Finished
the Diagonal Box stitch baby blanket (for
Crisis Prenancy Center) and am about 1/4th
done with the other knit blanket. Bought
2 big skeins of baby/sport weight yarns at
Meijers today: one white and one white/
blue twist – we’ll see what comes of those.


Diagonal Box Stitch (crochet)

Hope YOU’RE having a good day – I intend
to just keep plugging away and reciting my
little ‘mantra’ PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE in my
head – keeps me from getting upset/angry/
etc. Life’s too short to let all those little
irritations get to ya, right?



Yep, Fall is coming –


at least that’s what I’m told!

Today our weather is a balmy 71 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze – can’t beat that! To top that off, I don’t have choir practice tonight so I’m going to make homemade pizza – yay! I buy my large pizza crusts (frozen) at Gordon Food Service – in the past they sold them 2 to a pkg, now they’re 3 to a pkg. – which is actually one more than I need BUT – I’ve learned not to re-freeze them, they get crumbly or soggy so looks like tonight we’re having three pizzas!

I noticed gas prices are creeping up a little – $2.41/9 today; I still have a half tank so I’m going to play ‘gas roulette’ and hope they go down before I need more – we’ll see.


Once again I need to state that these are NOT MY recipes – you can see the recipe references at the bottom  of each recipe


Crockpot Pumpkin-Apple-
Cinnamon Cake

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 eggs
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling

chopped pecans, to taste
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip

Mix butter, brown sugar together
using elec. mixer on Low; once
well blended, add pumpkin &
eggs – beat until smooth. In another
bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking
soda, cinnamon & salt – add dry
ingredients to wet, mixing slowly-
beat approx. 2 minutes. Spray
crockpot with nonstick spray. Spread
pie filling in bottom of crockpot,
evenly. Pour cake batter on top &
sprinkle with nuts. Cover & cook on
High 1 1/2 hours (cake is done when
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out dry).
Serve with Cool Whip.
Serves 8


Oven Baked Pork Chops

3 large or 4 small pork chops (bone-in
or boneless)
3 C. water
2 1/2 T. salt
1/3 C. oil
3 large potatoes
2 small or 1 large eggplant*
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, sliced into rounds
4 garlic cloves, sliced
salt/pepper, paprika, dry thyme
1/2 C. beer (or water)

Place chops in a shallow bowl; boil 1
C. water- add 2 1/2 T. salt & stir to
dissolve. Add 2 remaining C. cold
water & pour on chops to cover.
Refrigerate 30 minutes

Cut eggplant into rounds, sprinkle with
salt & leave in a colander 30 minutes.
Wash & squeeze out liquid.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place oil in 11 1/2 X 7″ baking dish &
place in oven until oil is hot. Remove
chops from brine, pat dry with paper
towels, sprinkle with salt/pepper, &
paprika. Lay chops in hot baking dish.
Sear chops until both sides are golden,
about 3 minutes per side. Peel & cut
potatoes & other veggies into large
chunks & place in a large bowl with
eggplant, onion & garlic. Season with
salt/pepper, paprika & dry thyme. Place
vegs in baking dish; add beer & stir. Cover
with foil & bake 1 hour. Uncover & check
meat & potatoes for doneness. Place chops
on top of veggies & return
to oven. Bake,
uncovered, 10 more minutes. Serves 3-4

NOTE: You can substitute eggplant for red/
green bell peppers or sweet potatoes, broccoli,


Pepperoni Pizza Dip

4 C. (16 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 C. (16 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (6 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) cans sliced ripe olives,
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. pepperoni slices, quartered
1 T. dried minced onion

assorted crackers, for dipping

In 3 qt. crockpot combine cheeses,
mayo, mushrooms, olives, pepperoni &
onion. Cover & cook on Low 1 1/2 hours;
stir. Cover & cook 1 hour longer until
heated through. Makes 5 Cups.


Old Fashioned Tuna Macaroni Salad

1/2 lb. elbow or shell macaroni
1 C. mayonnaise (more or less)
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and
Old bay, to taste
1-2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in oil,
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed

Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & place in serving
bowl. Immediately add mayonnaise
& toss to coat well. Mix in egg,
celery & seasonings. Add tuna &
peas; gently fold in, add extra
mayonnaise if needed for desired
moisture. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

*can substitute cooked, chopped

NOTE: Optional add-ins:
chopped sweet onion/purple or
green onion
chopped sweet or dill pickles or
relish, chow-chow
black or green pitted olives,sliced
sweet bell pepper, chopped
pimentos chopped
chopped or shredded carrots
shredded cheese
1-2 T. creamy salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
juice from 1-2 wedges fresh lemon
splash of pickle juice or cider vinegar
chopped fresh parsley/dill


Zucchini Oven Omelet

2 C. chopped zucchini
1/4 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C. oil
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. light cream
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 10 inch ovenproof skillet, saute
zucchini & pepper in oil until tender,
about 3 minutes. Combine eggs, Parm
cheese, cream, butter, salt/pepper &
pour over vegetable mixture. Cook &
stir gently 3 minutes until eggs are set
on bottom. Top with cheese & bake
5-7 minutes until eggs are set & cheese
is melted. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

German Chocolate Brownies

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely
3/4 C. unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 C. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. flour

1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
4 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted/cooled
1/2 C. flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium saucepan, cook chocolate &
butter over Low heat until chocolate has
melted, 6-8 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes
then whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla & salt.
Gradually add in flour, stir until just
combined. Line a 8 or 9″ square baking
dish with parchment paper or line with
foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour in
batter & smooth with spatula. Bake
30-35 minutes; set on wire rack to cool.
In large saucepan combine evap. milk,
sugar, egg yolk & butter; cook over Low
heat, stirring constantly, until thickened,
about 5-7  minutes. Remove from heat &
add vanilla, pecans & coconut. Spread
topping over brownies while still warm.
To serve, gently remove brownies from
pan & cut as desired.
Serves 10-12


I’m still working on both baby afghans – the
crocheted (Diagonal Box Stitch) one is almost
finished (it’s a little smaller than I wanted,
but I have trouble with that pattern
determining just when to start decreasing!).
Found another knit pattern I want to try
as soon as one of these blankets is done
(Yep – Obsessive/Compulsive – that’s me!)

The guys in my house are slowly getting
better; I noticed, yesterday, there’s not
so much coughing going on (YAY!) Even
son who wouldn’t go to the doctor is
doing better! (I’m still feeling just fine,
thank you!)

Hope this turns out to be a GREAT
day for you;



Up to my eyeballs in PAPERWORK!


Last night was my special group weekly meeting and Music/Birthday Night. For some reason 3 of the ‘birthday’ people were NOT on my September list! Today is my ‘fix all the paperwork/add or subtract information, etc.’ day – yipee. Our group is also having a pretty big event Oct. 2nd – a few times a year the church we meet at wants to throw a party/event for us, which is really nice. They pay for everything and, in most cases, make all the arrangements, order food, schedule a DJ, etc. This year the task of making a flyer got handed to me AND the responsibility of making sure ALL of our students get a flyer (no big deal, right?). Last night we had 14 people (and, or group homes) that didn’t attend so today I’m rooting through paperwork trying to MAKE SURE no one gets left out of receiving a flyer, as the event is NEXT FRIDAY! (For some reason my ‘partner in crime’ (our leader) and I both thought we had about 2 more weeks – NOPE! Oh well – it will all get done and probably be a great evening. The theme chosen by the lady in charge is “Western” – I’m told we’re having sloppy joes and whatever goes with them. She’s hired a DJ so our kids can dance (that’s one thing they really LOVE!). I’m also told there will be other activities – beats me! My only job is to ‘show up’ – help if I feel like it, but basically I’m just there in an ‘administrative’ position – works for me!


Maraschino Cherry Bundt Cake

1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 C. oil
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tsp. almond extract
1 C. marschino cherries, coarsely

2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2-3 T. milk
5-7 marschino cherries, halved

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Generously grease a Bundt pan with butter
& dust with flour; place Bundt pan on a
rimmed baking sheet.
Combine all cake ingredients excpet
cherries; beat on Low 30 seconds then
increase speed to medium-high & beat
3 minutes until well combined; fold in
chopped cherries. * Pour batter into
prepared pan & tap gently to level batter.
Bake 45-55 minutes until lightly golden &
bounces back when touched. Remove
baking sheet from oven & transfer cake to
wire rack to cool 10-15 minutes. Cake will
relax & pull away from sides of pan; invert
cake pan & turn cake out onto a wire rack
to cool completely.

Combine melted butter, 2 T. milk & powdered
sugar. Add almond extract & beat until silky.
Lift some glaze with a spoon & tilt it to spill
some back into bowl. Glaze should drop in
thick ribbons but not ‘plop’ out of spoon. If
too thick, add a small amount of remaining
milk until you reach desired consistency.
Place waxed paper on counter beneath
wire rack; drop large spoonfuls of glaze onto
top of cake, working your way around until
all glaze is gone & dripping down sides of
cake. Decorate top of cake with cherry
halves. Allow glaze to set before cutting;
discard waxed paper.

*To keep cake from streaking pink, fold
cherries in gently and only a few stirs,
don’t overwork batter.


Crockpot Salisbury Steak

1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 cans golden mushroom soup

Mix beef, eggs & onion mix  in bowl.
Slather 1 can soup on bottom of crockpot.
Form meat into 4-6 patties & place on
top of soup. Slather remaining soup on
top of patties. Cook, covered, on High
2-3 hours or until meat is cooked through.
Serves 4-6


Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

4 bananas
1 C. pumpkin puree
1/3 C. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Blend together, pour into a
dish & freeze.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken Divan

1 large head broccoli, chopped
4-5 C. cooked chicken breast,
1 can cream of chicken soup.
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. butter crackers (like Ritz),
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
In large saucepan bring 4 C. salted
water to full rolling boil; add chopped
broccoli. Cook 3 minutes then transfer
to a colander to drain. In medium bowl
stir soup, mayo, lemon juice & thyme
until well combined. Add diced chicken &
broccoli; stir to coat. Season mixture with
salt/pepper & transfer to baking dish.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top then
cracker crumbs. Drizzle melted butter on
top & bake 25-30 minutes until top is
golden & casserole is heated through.
Serves 8


Cheesy Taco Cups

1 1/2 tsp. chili oil (found in Asian aisle)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 T. taco seasoning mix
3/4 C. canned black beans, drained/rinsed
16 wonton wrappers (found in produce
5 T. plus 1 tsp. salsa con queso dip
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. Mexican cheese blend (shredded)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray 8 muffin tin ‘cups’ with
nonstick spray. Heat chili oil in saute pan
or large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add ground beef & taco seasoning.
Brown beef, add black beans & continue
cooking, stirring occasionally a few
minutes, until warm. Push a wonton
wrapper into each muffin tin cups. Spoon
a teaspoonful of queso dip in each &
spread across bottom. Spoon some of
meat/bean mixture into each cup (using
about half the total mixture) then split
the salsa among the cups. Sprinkle about
half shredded Mexican cheese evenly
over top & press another wonton wrapper
on top. Repeat layering with remaining
ingredients. Bake 18-20 minutes until
golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before
removing from muffin tin. Makes 8


Creamed Peas & Potatoes

1 lb. small new potatoes
1 1/2 C. fresh shelled peas
1 T. minced onion
1 T. butter or margarine
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 C. milk

Peel potatoes & cut larger
potatoes in half (can leave skins
on, if desired); place in a saucepan,
cover with water & bring to boil. Boil
10 minutes, do not overcook. When
potatoes are done, drain off water.
Boil peas & drain. In a saucepan, add
onion & butter – cook until onion is
tender but hasn’t browned yet. Add
flour, salt & pepper; stir until mixed
then add in milk & stir into flour
mixture until all ingredients are well
blended. Continue stirring & cook until
mixture has thickened & begins to bubble;
cook 1 more minute. Add potatoes & peas
to cream sauce; stir until well distributed
& thoroughly heated. Season to taste &
serve hot.

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Fall Dip

1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
mix (dry- don’t prepare pudding)
1 small can pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Dippers: cut fresh fruit, or graham
crackers, or vanilla wafers

Mix all ingredients together. Serve
with graham crackers, cut fresh fruit
or vanila wafers.

(recipe: Facebook)

Zucchini-Onion Pie

3 eggs
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. canola oil
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 C. sliced zucchini
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 small onion, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk first 7 ingredients.
Stir in zucchini, Bisquick & onion; pour
into greased 9″ deep-dish pie plate.
Bake 25-35 minutes until lightly
browned. Makes 6 servings.


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter/
Banana Mousse

1 T. peanut butter
2 T. whipped cream
1 banana

Toppings: ice cream caramel sauce/
chocolate sauce (optional)

In bowl place peanut butter & whipped
cream; mix. Cut banana into slices. In
another bowl place half the banana,
half peanut butter mousse; repeat with
rest of banana & mousse. Chill 1 hour.
Top with toppings, if desired. Serves 1.


Tuesday Night was MOVIE night
for my knit group & the ladies chose
“Italian” for the food theme; if you
remember I brought “Stuffed Zucchini”
as an appetizer. Surprise/Surprise! The
ladies loved it AND my family loved
it! The batch I made ended up with
a good 2 1/2 C. extra ‘filling’ which
I just mixed with the remaining
spaghetti sauce and some of the
cheese topping – we ate the last of
it today on scrambled eggs – REALLY
TASTY! Here’s my recipe:

Pam’s Stuffed Zucchini

5 medium zucchini
3/4 C. chopped onion
1 T. chopped garlic
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 lb. mild pork sausage*
1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (32 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1+ C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash zucchini. Cut zucchini, lengthwise
in half. Scoop out centers into a bowl,
leaving 1/8″ shell. Spray a large baking
pan with nonstick spray. (my pan is larger than
9 X 13″). Place zucchini shells in pan. Heat a large
skillet on stove to medium-high heat & cook
sausage. Drain most of grease, add chopped
onions, garlic, tomatoes and the scooped
out zucchini. Cook & stir 3-5 minutes until
onions are crisp-tender. Drain liquid &
spoon mixture into zucchini shells. Top
shells with spaghetti sauce (I had about
1/4 jar leftover). Cover pan with foil &
bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with
cheeses & bake an additional 5-10
minutes until cheese is melted. Remove
from oven & drain any liquids in pan.
Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into
smaller pieces – or leave whole and serve
as a main course.

*you can also substitute Italian sausage
for the pork sausage

Serves, as an appetizer, about 10 people;
as a main course (2 halves each) serves
5 people.

When I made this recipe I ended up with
about 2 1/2 C. of extra filling so I mixed
the rest of the spaghetti sauce in and more
shredded mozz. & Parm. cheese. This mixture
could be poured over cooked pasta, with
scrambled eggs or put on a flour tortilla.

Our weather continues to be AMAZING!
It’s 82 degrees & sunny right now at
almost 5 p.m.! I’ll take that ANY DAY!

In our house right now I’m the only one
(out of three others) who is healthy!
Husband went to doctor today and is
now on antibiotics for upper respiratory
infection (Bronchitis), Youngest also went
and his is the tale-end of some allergy
thing. Middle son did NOT go to doctor
(he thinks they’re evil and refuses – sigh)
and he’s hacking/chocking all over the
place. So far (knock on wood) I’m doing
just fine – whew!

Guess I’d better close this Epic novel
and go retrieve the stuff from the dryer,

Enjoy your day!



Absolutely GORGEOUS Day!


75 degrees F. outside, sunny with slight breeze – just PERFECT weather! The Black-eyed Susans are in bloom in my yard – sure are sunny/happy flowers! Just got back from a quick trip to the library, fruit stand, Krogers and Tim Hortons (treated husband & I to a pumpkin donut – besides our ‘usual’ coffees) – YUM! Tonight is the Knit/MOVIE night and I had to stop for the fixin’s for the Stuffed Zucchini. I ended up going on line and perusing about 5 different recipes to combine some & come up with own twist on it. The original recipe I had called for cooked/crumbled bacon but the rest called for Pork Sausage – I switched – pork sausage is MUCH MORE flavorful, in my opinion. We’ll see how it all turns out tonight – so far there’s only 6 ladies & me – small but should be fun!

Got a bit bored with all the crochet so I grabbed more baby/variegated yarn and started another knit afghan using one of my old favorite patterns: Cluster Rib. Really easy pattern – you work Rows 1 – 4 once, then just repeat Rows 3 & 4 over & over – simple! I will eventually finish both afghans – sometimes I just need the variety of two projects at once – Yep, it’s the old “Type A” personality thing – gotta always DO MORE! (I’m crazy – I know it!)


This is the crocheted X-pattern baby afghan (& hat) It does tend to ‘cup’ on the squares – putting it on the wooden picnic table helps it lay flat)


Hot Apple Pie DIP

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 apple, chopped/divided
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, sugar & spice
in medium bowl until blended;
stir in half the apples. Spread
mixture on bottom of shallow
baking dish; top with remaining
apples, Cheddar cheese & nuts.
Bake 10-12 minutes until heated
through. Makes 16 (2 T. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Squash

1 (2 lb) butternut squash
1 C. water
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1 T. chopped chives
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
6 Ritz (type) crackers, crushed,
about 1/4 C.
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut squash lengthwise in half; scoop
out seeds. Add water to 9 X 13 pan;
place squash cut sides down, in pan &
cover. Bake 40 minutes until squash
is tender when pierced with a knife.
Cool 10 minutes then transfer squash
to cutting board; drain liquid from pan.
Scoop out squash into medium bowl
leaving 1/4 ” thick shell. Add cheese,
sour cream, chives & paprika to
squash flesh & mix well. Spoon into
shells. Mix cracker crumbs with butter
& sprinkle over squash; return to
baking dish & bake 22-24 minutes
until heated through.
Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken
breasts (1 lb)
1/2 C. sliced onions
2 red cooking apples, sliced
1/2 C. maple pancake syrup
1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken in large ovenproof
skillet sprayed with nonstick spray
on medium-high heat 3 minutes on
each side (or until evenly browned).
Remove from heat & top with onions,
surround with apples. Mix syrup &
dressing – pour over chicken. Bake
20-25 minutes until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Drizzle with syrup
mixture from bottom of skillet.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Pineapple/Coconut/Zucchini Bread

2 C. grated zucchini (packed – DRAINED)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (7 oz) pkg. flaked coconut
3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. vegetable oil
3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick spray.
Combine eggs, oil & sugar, beat well.
Add zucchini then mix all dry ingredients
together & fold into zucchini mixture.
Mix in vanilla; blend in pineapple, coconut
& nuts & pour into prepared pans.
Bake 1 hour – check using toothpick inserted
into center of loaves – poster said her loaves
took 75 minutes).
Cool 10 minutes before remove from pans
& moving to wire racks to cool.
Makes 2 loaves

(recipe: Pat J.)

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

4 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 C. water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter
2 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated carrots (or diced)
1 C. diced celery

Combine broth, water, carrots,
chicken, celery & rice (along with
seasoning packet) in large crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6 hours or on
High 4 hours. Remove chicken & shred
using 2 forks; add back to crockpot. In
a small bowl combine salt/pepper &
flour. In medium saucepan over medium
heat melt butter. Stir in flour mixture
by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in
Half & Half, a little at a time, until fully
incorporated & smooth. Stir cream
mixture into crockpot & let cook on Low
15 more minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-style
potatoes, thawed
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans Cheddar cheese soup
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk
2 (2.8 oz, ea) cans French fried onions,

Mix all ingredients except onions in
a bowl. Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Spread half of mixture
evenly across bottom of crockpot & cover
with half of fried onions. Spread
remaining mixture on top of onions &
top with remaining onions (reserve a
few to sprinkle on just before serving).
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours, stirring
occasionally. Sprinkle top with a few
reserved onions & serve. Serves 8-10


Chocolate Peanut Drops

4 oz German sweet chocolate, chopped
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
4 (10-12 oz, ea) pkgs. white baking chips
2 (16 oz, ea) jars lightly salted dry roasted

In 6 qt crockpot layer ingredients in order
listed – DO NOT STIR. Cover & cook on Low
1 1/2 hours; stir to combine. (If chocolate
is not melted, cover & cook 15 minutes
longer; stir – repeat in 15 minute increments
until chocolate is melted) Drop mixture by
rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Let stand until set. Store in airtight container
at room temperature. Makes about 11 dozen.

Chocolate Peanut Bark:
Cook chocolate mixture as directed; spread
into two 15″ X 10″ X 1″ waxed paper-lined
baking pans. Refrigerate 30 minutes until firm.
Cut into bite-sized pieces.



Hope that you are able to enjoy this
really nice/beautiful/gorgeous day
(that’s also hoping YOUR weather
is as nice as mine today). It’s the
perfect day for a walk, a picnic,
playing catch/tossing a football,

Life is short – remember to ENJOY it!



PS: and remember to tell the ones you
love that they really are important to
you, too!

Beautiful Day!


Our weather is still ‘summer-like’ – it’s around 72 degrees F. now and sunny – I can take that!

I made it to Grandson’s football game yesterday (Husband was still not feeling well enough to go) – I actually FOUND the place ON MY OWN! (I know that sounds funny, but I can get lost in a paper bag!) I was a little late, but not bad. Funny thing – got there and didn’t know the NAME of his team! (He’s played flag football all summer and I knew THAT team, but not the ‘regular’ football team name – sigh). I stood on the sidelines and watched the coaches for awhile – none of them (on that side) looked like my son so I went over to the other side and did the same thing  – this time I spotted my son (after a bit of looking, of course). They played HARD – grandson got knocked down TWICE and stayed down for a few minutes – first time other team jammed his elbow (son is a coach and said he was surprised the other kid didn’t get thrown out of the game for that ‘illegal’ move); second time he got the wind knocked out of him pretty badly. I guess that’s the ‘breaks’ for them playing ‘regular’ football – of course you KNOW I’ve expressed my concerns on this: I don’t think NINE YEAR OLDS should be playing that rough! Call me old fashioned, but their bones are not ready for those really hard hits! The first game this year one of their players got his leg broken! (saw him on the sidelines in his uniform, cast & crutches). His team lost 12 to something like 30+. Since this was also supposed to be their ‘homecoming’ game, they had LITTLE GIRL cheerleaders – not fond of that idea, either! Making them look like made-up grown up girls – not cool in my book:  let them be YOUNG – they’ll grow up soon enough! (I’ll get off my soapbox now and walk away now )


Creamy Tomato/Cucumber Salad

1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley/basil/
dill (optional)
2 medium cucumbers, halved length-
wise & sliced
1 C. sliced sweet or purple onion
1 large tomato, chopped into large

In medium bowl whisk mayonnaise,
sour cream, vinegar, salt/pepper &
hers. Add cucumber, onion & tomato
(with it’s juices) – toss well. Cover &
refrigerate 2 hours. Makes about 4


Garden Vegetable Skillet w/Shrimp

1 lb. (51-70 count) peeled/deveined
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (or seasoning
salt, to taste)
1/2 tsp. Old Bay (optional)
1/4 C. cooking oil, divided
2 C diced, unpeeled red potatoes
2 C. green beans (fresh-trimmed/cut)
1 1/2 C. halved, quartered & sliced
Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion)
1 C. sliced mixed sweet bell pepper (red,
yellow, orange and/or green)
1 large yellow summer squash (halved,
lengthwise & sliced)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
& sliced
1 T. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. chopped, mixed fresh herbs
(rosemary, basil, parsley, sage)
1/2 C. sliced grape tomatoes or
chopped fresh tomato
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Thaw shrimp (if frozen) drain & pat dry.
Season with Cajun seasoning & Old Bay;
let rest. Heat 1 T. oil over medium heat in
large skillet. Cook shrimp, in batches,
stirring frequently, 3 minutes, adding
oil as needed; remove & set aside.
Add another T. oil & potatoes; cook
2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add bell
pepper & onion, cook & stir 3 more
minutes. Add more oil if needed &
remaining vegetables (except tomatoes)
& herbs. Cook, gently stirring, 8-10
minutes until vegetables are tender.
Move veggies to side of skillet, add
more oil, tomatoes & shrimp. Toss
gently until shrimp is warmed.Taste
& adjust seasonings, add red pepper
flakes, if using. Serves 4-6

NOTE: Can also be prepared with raw
sausage, ground beef, cubed chicken
breast, leftover meatballs, or chopped
smoked andouille or mild sausage
– all cooked thoroughly. You can also
add cooked pasta or other veggies
such as carrots, broccoli, mushrooms,
eggplant, cauliflower, okra, butter beans,
southern peas, sweet potatoes OR
frozen vegetables. Can also top with
shredded cheese of your choice.


Peach Crunch Dump Cake

1 (24.5 oz) jar sliced peaches in
light syrup
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 C.) cut into
16 pieces
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 9 X 13 greased pan layer
ingredients in order as appears
above. Bake 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold/with or without
ice cream.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe

Autumn Apple Pork Roast

1 (4 lb) pork loin roast
salt/pepper, to taste
6 apples, cored/quartered
1/4 C. apple juice or cider
3 T. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger

Place roast, fat side up, in oven-
safe pan – rub with salt/pepper. Broil
to remove excess fat – drain. Place
apples in bottom of crockpot &
place roast on top. Mix remaining
ingredients & pour over top. Cover
& cook on Low 8 hours. Serves 6-8


Bacon-Cheeseburger Dip

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green chilies
1 (6 oz) pkg. real bacon bits,
1 tsp. dried parsley

assorted dippers: cut fresh veggies,
corn chips, corn chip “scoops”

Brown ground meet; drain & place in
large skillet. Over Low heat, stir in
cheeses, tomatoes & juices, bacon
bits (reserving 2 T. for garnish). Cook,
stirring frequently, until heated
through & well blended. Pour into
a 2 qt. crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir in parsley & sprinkle remaining
bacon bits on top just before serving.
Serves 6-8


German-style Fried Potatoes
(overnight recipe)

1 1/2 lb. small potatoes, boiled in skins/
peeled  then refrigerated overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 thin slices bacon, cut into small cubes
2-3 T. olive oil & butter (50/50 mix)
salt/black pepper, to taste

Slice cold potatoes into thin 1/8″ slices.
Add 1 T. oil to large frying pan & heat. Fry
onions until soft then add bacon. Continue
frying until bacon & onions are lightly
browned; remove from pan using slotted
spoon. Add remaining oil/butter to pan
& fry potato slices over Low/Medium heat,
turning occasionally. Brown lightly on one
side before turning until potatoes are
almost done. Return onion/bacon mixture
to pan, season with salt/pepper & continue
frying at Medium heat until all is nicely
browned. Serves 4


Tropical Crisp

2 (20 oz, ea) cans chunk pineapple
drained (or 2 1/2 C. chunked fresh)
3/4 C. finely crushed Ritz or similar
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter, divided

Pour half of pineapple into crockpot;
cover with half cracker crumbs & half
brown sugar. Dot with half the butter.
Layer with rest of pineapple, cracker
crumbs, brown sugar & butter. Cover &
cook on Low 2 hours. Serve warm.
Serves 4

Note; Great with ice cream


Today is my ‘stay in my jammies’ day! The
past week was pretty busy and, although
I ‘should’ go shopping & take my books
back to the library, I’m going to play
hookey! (it’s 10 cents a book late fee-
30 cents won’t break me). Tomorrow is
our Knit/Crochet Movie night and I’m
going to make Stuffed Zucchini – (think
I posted the recipe in a earlier blog) – sounded
pretty easy – since our ‘food theme’ this time
is “Italian” I’m calling them appetizers –
cutting the zucchini halves into smaller
pieces. Looks like we’re having around 10
people; food so far: Lasagna, Pizza casserole,
salad, garlic bread, and a dessert (maybe
two – depends on whether another lady
can come). Am planning on stopping by
our local Fruit/Veg. stand on the way to
the library and checking out their
tomatoes & zucchini – stopped there early
this year and their tomatoes were huge
but pretty pricey. Husband is hinting at
BLT’s so think that’s what’s for dinner

Hope you’re enjoying this ‘last of the
Summer-like’ weather – remember to
do something nice for YOURSELF!
Take a nap, read a book, take a walk,
get an ice cream, buy yourself a little
treat (candy bar – favorite hot drink-
whatever). Life is short – eat dessert




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