It’s Finally Friday!


The weather today is supposed to get into the 90’s – a few minutes ago my car thermometer said 87. . . just glad I have air conditioning in the house AND car!  Decided to do a bit of a trip to stop at three stores all in the same shopping ‘center’ (don’t know what people call them now days – where you have shops all together but not in an enclosed place, like a mall). I needed to hit Office Depot/Office Max as I had a $10.00 off coupon for printing ink (really don’t ‘need’ the ink until next month but didn’t want to lose the discount), stopped at JoAnn’s to check out their baby yarns – again 50% off coupon was my inspiration (bought one big skein) then off to Walmart for a few things. I don’t go to these places that often (about every 3-4 months, maybe) and then I try to coordinate what I need at each one. My very close friend’s birthday is this coming Thursday (she’s also the head of my special needs group) – she’s like me: has everything she could ‘want’ – so what to get her? I ended up finding one of those semi-circular neck pillows – she can ALWAYS use a rest and a large lavender candle – soothing smell – think she’ll like them.

Still on my new diet – in almost 2 weeks I’ve lost 7.2 lb. and am not starving. Happy with the results so far (don’t like the taste of the drink stuff but sometimes ya gotta forfeit something to get what you want, right?). I ended up mixing the powder with room-temp. cranberry juice and just gulping it – works. I would LOVE to maybe see 145 lbs (right now I’m at 179.2) – we’ll see how/where this goes.

Talked husband into going out to lunch yesterday – both the boys were gone, so we stopped at Village Place near us. I ordered a Greek Chicken Wrap and it was GREAT! In fact, I liked their dressing so much I just called to ask the name, hoping I could buy it. Turns out they make it IN HOUSE…sigh. She did say I could buy it by the cup if I wanted . . . that’s a little weird – I suppose if I really liked it that much, I would do that, but for now I’ll pass.) This wrap had big hunks of chicken, sliced beets, chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes & lettuce & feta cheese all wrapped up in a wheat wrap – SUPER YUM! It was so big I took half home for my dinner!


Peaches ‘n Cream Bars

1 (8 oz) pkg. refrigerated crescent
roll dough, seamless
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. almon
1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. cold butter
1/2 C. chopped walnuts/almonds
or pecans

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll dough & press into lightly
greased 9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake
5 minutes & cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, sugar & almond
until smooth; smooth over baked
crust & spoon peach filling over
cream cheese on crust. Whisk
flour & brown sugar then cut in
cold butter to form a grainy crumb.
(it helps to use your fingers in this
process) Toss in nuts & sprinkle over
peach filling. Bake 25 minutes until
edges are brown. Cool on wire rack
before cutting. Serve warm.


Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad

1 C. Ranch salad dressing
2 T. taco seasoning mix

3 C. chicken, cooked, cooled/diced
4 C. Romaine lettuce, chopped (about
1 head)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded/diced
1 C. whole corn kernels, fresh or frozen
4-5 green onions, sliced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese or Pepper
Jack, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1 C. tortilla chips, crushed

Garnishes (optional):
diced jalapeno peppers
toasted pumpkin seeds
diced avocado or jicama

In small bowl stir together
dressing ingredients; chill until ready
to use.
In large bowl toss salad ingredients
together; add dressing, a little at a
time, then to until lightly coated.
Season with salt/pepper, to taste &
garnish with toppings, if desired.
Serve immediately. Serves 8


Taco Skillet Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
1 T. taco seasoning mix
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chilies
1 C. shredded Mexican cheese
chopped scallions – garnish

In large skillet over meidum-high
heat cook beef until golden, 6-8
minutes; drain. Season with taco
seasoning & salt, stir to combine.
Add canned tomatoes, black beans,
green chilies & stir to combine. Cover
top with cheese & let melt then
garnish with scallions & serve.
Serves 4

Mini (Eggplant)  Pizza Bites

2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2″
olive oil
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mini pepperoni, sliced
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely sliced fresh basil

Preheat grill to medium-high; brush
both sides of each eggplant slice with
olive oil & season with salt/pepper.
Grill until tender & slightly charred on
both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Top each round with mozzarella & mini
pepperoni. Keep eggplant on grill to allow
cheese to melt, about 30 seconds more.
Remove from grill, top with Parmesan &
basil- serve. Makes 6 servings


Baked Tomatoes

2 large tomatoes cut in half,
4 T. olive oil
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/8 C. grated Parmesan
cheese per tomato half

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place tomato halves in 9 X 9″
baking dish, cut sides up. Spread
1 T. olive oil on each half, sprinkle
with pinch salt & black pepper on
each half. Cover each half with
1/8 C. grated Parmesan cheese
& bake 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings,
1 half each


Orzo/Grape & Pistachio Salad

1 lb. orzo pasta
2 C. red grapes, cut in half
2 C. pistachios (shelled/
1 c. chopped basil
1/3 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. walnut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

Toast Pistachios:
Place 1 C. pistachios in saucepan
with walnut oil – warm oil & nuts,
being careful not to boil. Saute
garlic in a little olive oil.
Prepare orzo accordg. to pkg. directions.
When orzo has been drained, mix in
enough pistachio/walnut mixture to
coat pasta. Add lemon juice, to taste;
mix in sauteed garlic. Add grapes &
half of basil. Chill several hours or
Before serving, add rest of basil, salt/
pepper, to taste & rest of pistachios.
Serves 6


Grilled Vegetable Salad

1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. molasses*
1/2 lb. carrot, scraped
1 red pepper, seeded, cut into
large chunks
1 yellow pepper, seeded, cut into
large chunks
2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
2 yellow squash, cut into large
1 large onion, chopped

Combine first 7 ingredients in large
ziplock bag. Add vegetables to bag,
seal & toss to coat. Let stand 30
minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain
vegetables, reserving liquid. Salt &
pepper vegetables to taste then
arrange in grill basket. Cook, covered
with grill lid, 15-20 minutes. Return
cooked veggies to reserved liquid &
toss gently. Serve immediately or
refrigerate overnight. Serves 4-6

*can substitute dark Karo syrup


Spiced Zucchini Bars

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 C. raisins
2 C. grated zucchini
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) container cream cheese

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In bowl combine flour, baking soda,
salt & cinnamon. In another bowl
whisk eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla & lemon
juice. Gradually add flour mixture to
egg mixture; fold in remaining ingredients
except frosting & pour into greased &
floured 15 X 10 X” jelly roll pan. Bake
25-35 minutes until lightly golden. Cool
then spread with frosting. Cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars.



There’s a pork roast & carrots in the
crockpot (with a pkt. of dry onion
soup mix on top). I have several
packages of baby fingerling potatoes
in the freezer, so that’s ‘what’s for
dinner’ here.

Working on the white/greens baby
blanket; I was originally thinking of
bringing it to the Ice Cream Social,
but have sort of re-thought that:
baby blanket on lap, outside, in
middle of summer when the temps
‘might’ be in the 80/90’s – not a
pleasant thought. Am now thinking
little baby headbands & baby hats –
much lighter!

It’s been rather quiet around here
the past 2 days – oldest son texted
me at 5:59 a.m. that grandson was
going up North with his mom, so we
were off the hook watching him
Thurs/Friday – can you hear me sighing
Ahhhhhhhhh! hehehe

Hope your day turns out nicely-
remember if you’re in a hot climate,



PS: Gas Prices here are down to $2.29/9!

Relaxing day – so far…

a perfect day

So far, nothing particular planned for this day (except knit night later on). Everyone is ‘home’ right now, all on their various electronic devices/games (including me) so the house is relatively quiet (except for when one of the son’s makes a sudden outburst of disgust at something in their game – sigh). Had grandson all day yesterday and am a bit tired from wrestling with him – will continue to do that until either (a) I’m too old/feeble or (b) he no longer wants to – he’s 10 but still loves playing with me, so that’s good. I could see he was getting bored so we took a quick trip to the library to drop off my books (ran into 4 friends there – that was nice – 3 of them knew him); stopped at Gordon Foods for a few things and dropped off a tiny baby package of 3 baby headbands for the manager there who just had a baby girl early this month (said manager was middle son’s boss when son worked there), then back home – at least it took up ‘some’ time; we get him again Thursday but he’s now started Football practice at 6 p.m. so I know that his dad will be here around 5 to pick him up each day. Middle son & grandson went across the street to the woods to try to catch Pokemon – they had fun doing that. Have you heard about this new game: “Pokemon GO!” – I posted a photo a few posts back of grandson & middle son doing that – for the most part it’s a harmless game that gets people out DOING something – it depends on just how involved you want to be – you ‘could’ travel to other cities/states if so inclined but, for the most part, I’m hearing the local teens/young adults are just going around to local areas.


Macaroon Ice Cream Torte

30 chocolate or plain macaroon
cookies, crumbled
1 quart coffee ice cream, softened
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
1 C. milk chocolate toffee bits or 4
(1.4 oz, ea) Heath candy bars, coarsely
hot fudge ice cream topping

Sprinkle one third cookie crumbs into an
ungreased 9 inch springform pan. Layer
with 2 C. coffee ice cream, another third
cookies, 2 C. chocolate ice cream & 1/2 C.
toffee bits; repeat layers. Freeze, covered,
until firm. Remove torte from freezer 10
minutes before slicing. Serve with hot
fudge topping drizzled over. Makes 16

May be frozen up to 2 months.


Creamy BLT Pasta Salad

1 lb. rotini or farfalle pasta
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 C. fresh baby spinach, roughly
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 C. plain Greek yogurt
2/3 C. milk
3 T. white or wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. sriracha sauce (Optional-
can use or serve on the side)

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl;
mix well using a fork until smooth.
Once pasta is cooked, drain & rinse with
cold water about 1 minute to cool; drain
well. Add pasta to serving bowl; add tomatoes,
spinach & cheese – stir well to combine. If
ready to serve, pour dressing over pasta salad
& stir to combine well – top with bacon &
serve. Serves 8-10

NOTE: If making ahead, store salad, dressing &
bacon separately & mix just before serving


Mexican Chicken Taco Skillet

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 lb. chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized
1 taco seasoning packet
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (11 oz) Mexicorn (corn & pepper blend,
3/4 C. long grain white rice
2 C. chicken broth
6 oz. shredded Colby Jack cheese
Nacho-cheese flavored Dorito chips

Taco Toppings:
Sour cream, sliced/chopped tomatoes,
diced avocado, shredded lettuce, sliced
black olives, cilantro, etc.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high
heat. Add onion & chicken – cook until
chicken is browned & onion is tender,
about 5 minutes. Stir in dry taco seasoning,
diced tomatoes (undrained), mexicorn,
white rice & chicken broth. Broil to boil,
reduce heat & simmer, covered, 20 minutes
until rice is cooked, stirring halfway. Top
with cheese & cover 2-3 minutes until cheese
melts. Remove from heat, top with Doritos &
any additional taco toppings & serve.
Serves 4-6


Layered Caesar, Shrimp & Pasta

1/4 C. creamy Caesar salad dressing
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (6 oz) pkg. torn mixed salad greens
2 C. medium pasta shells, cooked/
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
3/4 C. seasoned croutons
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 lb. frozen cooked/cleaned
medium shrimp, thawed
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix salad dressing, mayo & garlic
until blended. Place half salad greens
in 3 qt bowl; cover with layers of
pasta, tomatoes, remaining greens,
croutons, eggs, shrimp & cheese.
Cover & refrigerate salad & dressing
mixture 1 hour.
Add dressing mixture to salad just
before serving; mix lightly.
Serves 6 (2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Cheeseburger Dip

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
6 slices bacon
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. Cheddar & Monterrey
Jack cheese, shredded
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Chips, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, add oil & cook onions until
soft (4-5 minutes) add beef & cook
until no longer pink (6-8 minutes).
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate
to soak up grease. Wipe out skillet
& add bacon; cook over medium-high
heat until crispy, about 6 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate;
when cool, crumble & transfer to large
bowl. Add cooked hamburger & onions,
cream cheese, cheese, Worc. sauce & garlic
powder – season with salt/pepper. Transfer
mixture to a baking dish & bake until
warmed through & cheese is bubbly,
12-15 minutes. Serve with chips
Serves 6


Vegetable Zucchini Noodle Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 spears asparagus, trimmed/
4 (15 oz, ea) cans vegetable broth
1 1/2 C. frozen peas
juice of 2 lemons
1 C. freshly chopped spinach
1/4 C. freshly chopped basil
2 medium zucchini, cut into
salt/black pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese,
for serving

In large pot heat olive oil over
medium heat; add onion, garlic &
asparagus. Cook, stirring, 3-5
minutes until onion is translucent
& asparagus is tender. Add broth,
peas, lemon juice, spinach & basil.
Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini
noodles & cook 2 minutes more
so zucchini noodles can soften.
Season with salt/pepper, to taste.
Serve immediately & garnish with
Parm. cheese. Serves 6


Egg Roll in a Bowl

1 lb. ground pork
1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix (shredded
carrots & cabbage)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/3 C. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
green onions, sliced thin

cooked rice for 6-8

In small bowl combine garlic, soy
sauce & sesame oil. In large skillet
brown pork over medium-high heat;
add coleslaw mix & stir to combine.
Add sauce mixture to meat & veggies;
stir & cook 3-5 minutes until cabbage
has just begun to wilt but is still
crunchy. Serve over cooked rice, garnished
with green onion.


Salisbury Steak Casserole

1/2 batch Caramelized Onion
Mashed Potatoes
(recipe below)
1 (10.5 oz) can French onion soup
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup or cream of chicken
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
2 T. flour
1/4 C. ketchup
1/2 C. water
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. mustard powder
sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 (14.5 oz) can French cut green
beans, drained
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
chopped into 1″ pieces
2 large onions, chopped
6 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream

Place 2 T. butter & chopped onions
in large skillet over medium-low heat;
cook slowly, stirring occasionally until
golden in color & fragrant. Add quartered
potatoes to large pot of boiling salted
water; cover & turn heat to Low. Cook
about 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain
& add to large bowl with sour cream, onions
& rest of butter. Mash using potato masher
or elec. mixer until desired consistency.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
(if mashed potatoes are not already
prepared – prepare now.)
In deep skillet combine 1/3 can Fr.
onion soup, ground beef & pepper; cook
until meat is cooked through (drain any
grease). In small bowl combine remaining
Fr. onion soup, cream of mushroom soup,
dry onion soup mix & flour until well
combined & flour isn’t lumpy – add to
soup  mixture: ketchup, water, Worc.
sauce, mustard powder & mushrooms,
mix well. (if your skillet can go in the oven-
no plastic handles, you can layer all
ingredients in skillet & bake. If NOT:
spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & transfer meat mixture to pan.
Pour soup mixture over meat; dump &
spread drained Fr. green beans on top
then ‘frost’ top with mashed potatoes.
Bake 20 minutes & serve immediately.
Serves 5


Blueberry Angel Dessert

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 prepared angel food cake (8-10 oz),
cut into 1 inch cubes
2 (21 oz, ea) cans blueberry pie filling

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
powdered sugar until smooth; fold in
Cool Whip & cake cubes – spread evenly
into an ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish –
top with pie filling evenly. Refrigerate,
covered, at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 12.


While I was out yesterday I noticed that our
gas prices are still at $2.39/9 – YAY!

Weather-wise, we’re supposed to be getting
some really HOT stuff the next week or so,
into the 90’s some days – HOPE NOT! In a
little over a week and a half I’ll be ‘in costume’
for 6 hours, outside knitting – sure hope it
cools off a bit before then!

Hope you are able to keep cool and comfortable
wherever you are!



LOTS of Recipes for ya!


Our weather is STILL beautiful – in the 80’s & sunny with a slight breeze . . . perfect BEACH weather (if you’re so inclined – me, I’d rather just look at it out the window). Today is my ‘day off’ from grandson (we had him Monday, Tuesday & Friday and I’m ready for a break! Yesterday he arrived around 8:45 VERY tired; seems he had a sleep-over at his house with his friends and didn’t get much sleep. He ended up napping on our couch for almost 4 hours – then his Dad arrived to pick him up! (Yes, that made for a VERY easy day of ‘watching’ for us).

Getting in loads of great sounding recipes, so here ya go:


Amish Peanut Butter Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked/cooled

Peanut Butter Crumbles:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter

1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 C. whipped cream (or) 1 C. Cool Whip
2 C. whipped cream or 1 (8 oz) tub Cool
Whip, for topping

PB Crumbles:
Using elec. mixer, in medium bowl add
powdered sugar & peanut butter – mix
on medium speed until small PB crumbles
start to come together. If mixture is too
powdery, add a few drops water & larger
nuggets will form. Add half PB nuggets
to bottom of pie shell.

Using mixer, mix pudding, milk & peanut
butter together 2 minutes. Add in whipped
cream, making sure it’s already whipped
(or Cool Whip)-mix lightly. Pour pudding
into pie crust on top of peanut butter
crumbles & top with whipped cream.
Add half remaining peanut butter crumbles
to top whipped cream. Chill at least 1-2
hours to set up before cutting


Summer Veggie Quinoa Salad

1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
1 C. uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 C. frozen corn, cooked/cooled
1 medium cucumber, halved length-
wise & sliced
1 pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 C. diced smoked Gouda cheese,
(or Feta, if desired)
1/2 C. red onion, diced
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. seasoned rice vinegar
2 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. mayonnaise
salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper –
about 4 turns

Combine broth & quinoa in saucepan;
bring to boil, reduce heat to Low. Cover
& simmer 10-15 minutes. Remove from
heat & cool completely. (fluff with fork)
Refrigerate while making rest of salad.
In large bowl combine corn, cucumber,
tomatoes, cheese, red onion & parsley;
toss to gently combine. Add quinoa &
toss again.
In separate bowl whisk olive oil, both
vinegars & mayonnaise. Add salt/pepper
to taste & whisk to combine. Pour half
of dressing over salad & toss to combine.
Test for flavor: add more dressing if
desired. Chill at least 2 hours before


Crockpot Thick ‘n Tender Pork Chops

4 (1 3/4 inch thick) pork chops
2 T. vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 (16 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of mushroom
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
1/2 C. white wine (or water)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Pat chops dry using paper towels;
season with salt/pepper. Heat oil
in a skillet until it shimmers. Cook
chops in skillet 2-4 minutes per side,
until brown. Place chops in a single
layer in crockpot – top with sliced
onions & mushrooms. In small bowl
mix all other ingredients & evenly
pour over top. Cover & cook on Low
6-7 hours until pork is tender.
Serves 4


Ground Turkey/Sweet Potato Skillet

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 C. onions, diced
1/2 C. yellow bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 C. sweet potato, peeled/diced
pinch red chili flakes
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In cast iron skillet*, heat oil over medium-
high heat. Add turkey & garlic, cook 10
minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions
& pepper, cook until onions are golden
brown. Add sweet potato, chili pepper,
salt/pepper – cover skillet & cook until
tender, stirring occasionally. If necessary,
add a little more oil or a little bit of water
to cook the sweet potatoes. When potatoes
are tender, add shredded cheese & place
skillet in oven to melt cheese. When cheese
melts, remove from oven, garnish with
parsley & serve. Serves 4

*If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you
can use a regular skillet & cover handle
with foil before placing in oven.


Zucchini Onion Pie

3 eggs
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. 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 inch pie plate. Bake
25-35 minutes until lightly browned.
Serves 6


Olive Zucchini Spread

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
3 C. shredded zucchini
1 (7.5 oz) jar marinated artichoke
hearts, drained/finely chopped
1/4 C. pimiento-stuffed olives,
1 (4 1/4 oz) can chopped ripe olives
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 green onion, chopped

1 French bread baguette, sliced,
for dipping

In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients; beat until blended.
Transfer mixture to a serving bowl;
cover & chill at least 4 hours or
overnight. Serve with baguette
slices. Makes 6 cups.


Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding

1 loaf stale French bread, cut into
1 inch cubes
2 C. milk
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 3/4 C. sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-2 T. water
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Butter a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Combine
eggs, milk, cream, sugar, lemon zest &
juice and vanilla in large bowl – whisk
together until sugar is completely
dissolved & thoroughly mixed. Add
blueberries & stir until thoroughly
coated, then stir in cubed bread.
Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour mixture into prepared dish &
bake 55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
While pudding is baking, place
powdered sugar in a medium bowl
& whisk in lemon juice. Continue
whisking while stirring in water,
1-2 tsp. at a time until desired
glaze consistency is reached.
Remove pudding from oven & let
cool 5-10  minutes. Drizzle glaze
over pudding & serve warm.
Serves 10-12



Since today is my ‘free’ day am planning on adding
more rows to the new baby blanket. I’m happy with
the way it’s turning out – it’s a really simple ripple
pattern but every 6 rows I’ve added a strip of color.
The main color is white and, so far, we have a strip
of mint green and one of Federal Slate blue (leftover
from another baby blanket). Next will be a bit darker
green (sort of dark celery) then the middle strip will
be a variegated yarn which has all 3 colors in it! (and
repeat colors, backwards to finish off afghan). I have
a bit of mending/darning to do and that’s the total
extent of my off day!

Hope your day is going well;



Up and At ‘EM, EARLY!


Today, first thing – grandson coming at 8 a.m. which means I had to get up a little earlier than my normal (8:30 a.m.) – accomplished that. Next: middle son going for a job interview at oldest son’s hotel, interviewing for a Front Desk position! YAY! I’m SUPER excited and really praying this goes well – since his back injury doing garbage truck work he hasn’t been able to return to work (except they gave him 1 day working in the office) for almost 2 weeks now. Me, being the ‘trying my best to help’ Mom, I offered to iron his dress shirt & pants, polished his good shoes and reminded him that he had to print out his resume. Ah . . . resume! He keeps that information stored on his laptop in a ‘icloud’ – great, except I can’t access that without him! When he went in to do that (via my computer) we got ‘locked out’ with the ‘cloud’ saying that his ‘cloud’ was almost full and we couldn’t proceed unless he deleted some photos from his iphone! UGH! We’re talking about 45 minutes until he had to leave – FRUSTRATING! With some work he accomplished that task, I was able to do a really quick typing to update his current job onto the resume, print it and find one of those clear plastic ‘report paper’ folders to put it in. SUCCESS! As of right now he’s probably sitting in the interview – praying he does really well with it; he’s a GREAT people-person and this job would be a HUGE answer to prayer for him. He would be standing most of the time (but no heavy lifting!), learning their computer and all that the hotel industry entails but I really think he can do it if he just puts his mind to it. We all knew that the garbage truck job was NOT good for him – his scoliosis will never get any better and that garbage truck job could only make it worse. Now we wait . . .

Husband did me a GREAT favor this morning and got grandson interested in playing a battleship game on his computer. Basically (as far as I can fathom, anyway) you are a commander of a submarine and are out scouting other ships to bomb (guys love that sort of thing) – thank heavens! He’s been on that game all during my trying to get middle son ready for job interview – YAY! I’ve mentioned before that the one thing that happens with a 10-yr old grandson is: he gets BORED! We have him all day today and tomorrow so, hopefully, this will help with that.


Cheesecake-stuffed Strawberries

1 lb. large strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
graham cracker crumbs

Rinse strawberries & using a paring knife,
cut around top of strawberries, removing
the stem/leaves. Clean out inside of
berry so that you’re left with a little hole
in center of berry – do this with all the berries.
In a bowl beat cream cheese, powdered sugar
& vanilla until cream & evenly combined. Put
cream cheese mixture into a piping bag (OR)
a ziplock bag with one of the bottom corners
snipped off. Fill berry centers with mixture &
arrange in a single layer on a plate or serving
tray. Sprinkle generously with graham cracker
crumbs & serve.


Baked Squash Casserole

4 C. yellow squash (sliced)
1  medium purple onion, chopped
35 Ritz (or butter-flavored) crackers,
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. butter, melted
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly steam squash & onion in
a steamer basket about 5 minutes;
drain. In medium bowl combine
cracker crumbs & cheese. In large
bowl add drained squash/onion & gently
fold in half cracker/cheese mixture. In a
small bowl whisk egg & milk then add to
squash mixture. Add half of melted
butter to squash mixture; season with
salt/pepper. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & spread squash
mixture in dish. Top with remaining
crackers & pour remaining butter over
top. Bake 25 minutes until lightly brown.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Crockpot Honey-Chipotle Chicken Tacos

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. honey
1/4 c. chopped chipotle peppers in
adobo sauce
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
12 (6 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
1 avocado, pitted/peeled/sliced
1 C. sour cream
lime wedges, optional

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Combine sauce, honey & peppers
in crockpot, add chicken. Cover & cook
on Low 8 hours or High 4 hours. Transfer
chicken to cutting board; shred with 2
forks. Return chicken to crockpot,
stirring to combine with sauce. Place
about 1/4 C. chicken in each tortilla,
evenly divide & top with avocado &
sour cream. Serve with lime wedges,
if desired. Serves 6


Cheesy Pizza Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms,
7 oz. vermicelli pasta, cooked/
1/3 C. butter, melted
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
4 C. (16 oz) shredded mozzarella
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet cook beef, pepperoni,
onion & green pepper over medium
heat until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Stir in mushrooms. Combine
cooked vermicelli & butter in greased
9 X 13″ baking dish; toss to coat. Pour
1 C. tomato sauce over pasta; top with
half meat mixture. Combine cheeses &
sprinkle half over top. Sprinkle top with
oregano & basil & layer with remaining
meat/cheese mixtures. Pour remaining
tomato sauce over top & bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until bubbly. Serves 8-10


Parmesan-Garlic Grilled Corn

nonstick cooking spray
1/4 C. spread margarine
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 medium ears fresh sweet
corn, husks removed
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray cold grate of gas grill with
nonstick spray. Preheat grill to
medium heat. Combine margarine,
garlic salt & pepper in small bowl.
Grill corn 12-15 minutes until tender
& browned lightly, turning occasionally.
Remove corn from grill; brush with
margarine mixture, sprinkle entire
ear of corn with cheese. Serves 4


Rustic Garden Herb Biscuits

3 3/4 C. flour
6 T. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. snipped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 C. cold butter, cubed
3/4 C. shredded Monterrey
Jack cheese
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
1/4 C. chopped roasted sweet red

Rosemary Butter:
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. honey
1/2 clove garlic, minced
dash minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk first 11
ingredients together. Cut in
butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs; stir in cheese.
Add buttermilk & peppers; stir
just until moistened. Spray
muffin tins with nonstick spray.
Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls into
muffin cups. Bake 25-30 minutes
until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes
before removing from pan to wire
Rosemary Butter:
In small bowl mix ingredients
until blended. Serve warm
biscuits with rosemary butter.

Makes 12 biscuits & 1/4 C.
Rosemary butter


Crockpot Ribs w/Peppers & Onions

2 1/2 – 3 lb. country-style ribs
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 C. BBQ sauce
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. soy sauce
pinch red pepper flakes

Place pork, onion & peppers in
crockpot. In small bowl combine
Bbq sauce, Worc. sauce, soy sauce
& red pepper flakes, stir until smooth-
pour sauce over pork & veggies. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours without opening
lid during cooking time. Serves 5


Amish Pasta Salad

1 (16 oz) box medium shell pasta,
5 eggs, hard-boiled/chopped
1/2 C. sweet onion, chopped
1 (2 oz) jar pimentos, drained
1 C. chopped celery
1 c. chopped green pepper
3 T. sweet pickle relish, drained
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. yellow mustard
3 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. In large bowl mix pasta, eggs,
onion, pimentos, celery, green pepper &
relish. In another bowl mix garlic powder,
paprika, black pepper, celery seed, mayo,
sour cream, sugar, mustard & vinegar. Pour
mayo mixture over pasta & mix well. Chill
several hours or overnight. Makes 12 cups
and keeps well in fridge for several days.

NOTE: If salad gets dry after a day or so, add
more mayo. You could also add tune,
cooked/chopped chicken or cooked/chopped
ham to this recipe.


Strawberry Lemonade Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. fresh strawberries, pureed,
about 3/4 C. whole)
1 C. fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
(optional) powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large bowl cream
sugar & butter until light & fluffy. At Low
speed of elec. mixer, gradually beat in
flour & salt until mixture is crumbly; pour
into prepared pan & press into an even
layer. Bake 17 minutes until edges are
lightly browned. Combine lemon juice,
lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar &
eggs in food processor – pulse until smooth.
Add flour, baking powder & salt & combine
well. Once crust is done baking, gently pour
filling over crust & return to oven for 24-27
minutes until filling is set. Let cool
completely before cutting into 2 inch bars.
Cut with a damp knife for clean slices.

Dust top with powdered sugar. Store bars
in fridge, especially on a hot day. Makes
24 bars



Our weather is still in the 80’s; had a pretty good
thunderstorm last night (during my special needs
group – I played lively songs they could sing to
distract them from what was going on outside;
by the time we were ready to go home it had all
blown over – whew!). Looking at the forecast for
today & tomorrow, looks like we’re in for storms
both days – oh well, at least we will get the rain
we need!

Found a simple knit afghan pattern yesterday &
started on it – plain white with various colored
stripes (right now first stripe is mint green). As
you know, I like having an afghan to work on, so
this will fill the bill for now.  Since I’ve already
done about 7 afghans for the Detroit Vet’s
Baby Shower in September, I’m thinking the next
afghans will go to Crisis Pregnancy Center, since
I haven’t given them any in a good 6 months.
They give a blanket to any lady who’s expecting
and decides to KEEP her baby so, to me, it’s a
very worthy cause.

Not much else new – might have to do a quick
grocery shopping later, as I won’t have a chance
for the next few days and we need BREAD! We’ll
see – grandson HATES shopping, so might just
leave him with grandpa, playing the sub game.

Hope your day is looking up –




HE GOT THE JOB!!! He’s stressing a little because they said he could be in (a) Customer Service (b) Sales or (c) Front Desk. They told him that Front Desk is very stressful – they train you then you’re on your own. Customer Service or Sales he  might have to be ‘in’ the company awhile before getting that – but we’ll see… SO EXCITED for him! They will call him shortly and let him know when he starts with trainging.


A little bit of this & that . . .

Kaden on 7-11, free Seven-Eleven slurpee day (1)

Yesterday was 7/11, AND for anyone liking Seven/Eleven slurpees, it was FREE SMALL SLURPEE DAY at all 7/11 stores! Since grandson was here, he & I went to get them. They were not featuring my (newly found) favorite flavor: Peach Lemonade, so I got Vernors – YUCK! TOOOOO sweet! (husband gladly had it); grandson did his ‘usual’ and mixed 3 different flavors – ah, kids!

When we got back home he noticed this on our window:

Kaden on 7-11, free Seven-Eleven slurpee day (2)

Red Admiral butterfly! Took awhile from spotting to taking this photo – right after we saw him he closed his wings! Really beautiful sight!

Today is ‘grandson-free’ day so I’ve spent a good amount of time just reading a new book & relaxing. The weather is 86 degrees F. & overcast but I don’t have any plans for the day other than making Salmon Patties, Mac & Cheese for dinner.


Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Bars

1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix

2 C. semisweet chocolate chips,
2 C. sliced almonds, divided
3 1/2 C. shredded coconut
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 1/2 C. raspberry jam

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl stir melted butter & cake
mix; press into greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Sprinkle 1 1/2 C.
chocolate chips & 1 1/2 C. almonds.
Pour condensed milk evenly on top.
Sprinkle top with coconut. Carefully
spoon jam over top as evenly as
possible. Sprinkle with remaining
chocolate chips & almonds. Bake
25-30 minutes until edges are
lightly browned. Let cool before
slicing into bars. Store leftovers
in covered container in fridge.
Makes 24 servings


Cucumber Chip Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. fresh dill, chopped
1 C. cucumber, shredded/
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

crackers, chips or chopped veggies

In medium bowl combine cream
cheese, sour cream & mayo – add
lemon juice, cucumber, dill, salt/
pepper & stir thoroughly to combine.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled,
30-60 minutes. Serve cold with
crackers, chips or chopped veggies.
Serves 8

(recipe: 12

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

1 (16 oz) pkg. spiral pasta
3 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lb. provolone cheese, cubed
1/2 lb. salami, cubed
1/4 lb. sliced pepperoni, cut in half
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1″
1 (10 oz) can black olives, drained
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos, drained
1 (8 oz) bottle Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente – drain & rinse with cold
water. In large bowl combine pasta with
tomatoes,s cheese, salami, pepperoni,
green pepper, olives & pimentos. Pour
on salad dressing & toss to coat.


BLT Skillet

4 oz. uncooked linguine
4 strips bacon, cut into 1 1/2″
1 plum tomato, cut into 1″ pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. minced fresh parsley

Cook linguine accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large skillet cook
bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Remove to paper towels; drain –
reserving 1 tsp. drippings. In
drippings saute tomato & garlic
1-2 minutes until heated through.
Stir in bacon, lemon juice, salt/
pepper. Drain linguine & add to
skillet. Sprinkle with cheese &
parsley – toss to coat. Serves 2


Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

2 boneless breasts
1/4 C. (2 oz) cream cheese
few small slices Pepper Jack cheese
small handful fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese
olive oil
pepper & garlic salt, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place cream cheese, Pepper Jack
cheese & a little Parmesan in a
microwaveable bowl -microwave
30-40 seconds. Add spinach and a
little garlic salt/pepper – stir into
softened cheese mixture. Wash
chicken & cut a slit (horizontally)
into each breast – stuff with cheese
mixture. Lightly spray a baking sheet
with nonstick spray & place breasts
on sheet. Sprinkle chicken with
Parmesan, garlic salt & pepper –
drizzle olive oil over top & bake
30 minutes. Remove from oven,
add sliced tomatoes on top of
each & bake 10 more minutes.
Serves 2

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Ashleen’s Recipe (crockpot)

1 bag frozen hash browns
1 (16 oz) bag shredded cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 (16 oz) pkg ground breakfast sausage
chopped green onion, to taste
chopped green pepper, to taste
1 T. ground mustard
1 C. milk

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Add frozen hash
browns & green onion to pot.
Brown sausage in skillet on High;
drain & place on top of hash browns.
Add entire bag of cheese – mix. In a
separate bowl add eggs & whisk
(do not beat). Add mustard, salt/
pepper to eggs – mix in & pour in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours.


Coleslaw like KFC

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. milk
2 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1 head cabbage chopped fine
1 medium carrot, about 1/4 C.
2 T. minced onion

Combine all dressing ingredients in
large bowl & mix well. Combine
cabbage, carrots, onion & toss well.
Pour dressing over slaw & mix to coat
well. Cover & refrigerate at least
4 hours before serving to allow cabbage
to soak up dressing. (overnight is best)
Serves 10-12


Twisted Strawberry Shortcake

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 quart (4 C.) cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) prepared Angel Food Cake,
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. orange juice
3 C. sliced fresh strawberries
5 oz. white chocolate, grated

Beat pudding mixes with milk in large
bowl using whisk 2 minutes; gently
stir in Cool Whip. Place cake cubes in
large bowl; drizzle orange juice over
cake, then toss to coat. Place half
of cake cubes in deep glass serving
bowl; cover with layers of HALF of
each: pudding mixture, strawberries
& chocolate. Top with layers of
remaining cake cubes, pudding
mixture, strawberries & chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes
before serving. Store leftovers in
fridge. Makes 20 servings (1/2 C. each)


The past few days have found me attempting to find
a new (to me) baby blanket pattern – I’ve tested out
about three now and none are saying: “Hey! Make me!”
so I’m still looking. If I’m going to be knitting from 11 a.m.
to 5 p.m. at the Ice Cream Social, I’m thinking blanket for
starters and probably bringing along either baby hat or
baby headband materials, too – we’ll see. (I like to try to
plan ahead, if possible).

Hope your day is ‘looking up’!



Forgot to mention that the road in front of my
house is now almost totally blocked off with
lovely orange cones – they’re cutting out sections
of the edges of the road (nearest our driveway)
and replacing them with new cement. That’s not
a big problem (TODAY) since I really don’t have
anywhere special to go but it sure makes the
traffic in front of our house MUCH worse – can’t
wait to see what around 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (when
traffic is ‘usually’ backed up in front of our house)
happens – ugh. Oh well – such is life, right? What’s
that old expression? If you can’t fix it, why bother
complaining about it? (grin)

Craft Stuff

Totally forgot to post the finished baby blankets! First up is the knit ‘dish cloth pattern’ blanket (center 2 squares are crocheted)


Next is another simple pattern (I’ve done it before using different colors for the accent ‘ruffles’


Two of the baby headbands – more to come (headbands are knit/flowers crocheted)




Nice, QUIET Day!


It’s a SUNNY DAY! (I LOVE Susan Boynton’s illustrations!)

Yesterday found me picking wild blackberries with our grandson – it’s become a ‘tradition’ here, his Dad & Uncles all did it when they were young and now he’s carrying on the fun. We both got a few ‘pokes’ from the pickers but he was able to eat a large bowl of them with Cool Whip AND take home almost a quart, for later. There’s lots more berries out there and I’m sure we’ll be back picking when he comes on Monday. I had totally forgotten what a young boy going through a ‘Growth Spurt’ was like – MAN, that kid can EAT! He started out with a slice of bread/peanut butter & jelly – few minutes later asked for 2 slices of bread/butter/cinnamon & sugar. About half hour later a hot dog followed by some grapes – then 2 more slices bread/cinnamon & sugar. I kept asking him if he wanted more substantial food but he seemed happy with just bread/cinnamon! I know there was more food during the day, plus blackberries. His Dad said he’s totally outgrown all his long pants by a good 2-4 inches; I’m guessing he’s going to be pretty tall when fully grown, his dad is 6 ft something and his mom is around 5′ 7/8″.



Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Pretzel Crust:
2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. sugar

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Strawberry Topping:
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
1 T. corn starch
1 1/2 T. strawberry flavored Jell-O
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled &

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir crushed pretzels,
butter & sugar until combined. Spray
a 10 inch tart pan with nonstick spray
and press pretzel crust firmly into pan
using the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake 10 minutes & let cool completely.

Cheesecake Layer:
Beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & vanilla – beat until combined
then add Cool Whip & beat until medium
peaks form – spread into cooled crust.

Strawberry Topping:
In small saucepan combine sugar, water &
corn starch – bring to boil. Boil 2 minutes,
whisking constantly (mixture will thicken),
remove from heat. Add Jell-O & whisk
until combined. Arrange strawberries in
single layer all over cream cheese layer
then pour Jell-O mixture over, covering
each berry. Refrigerate until Jell-o is firm,
2 hours. Serves 8


Spicy BBQ Onions (Grill/Oven)

1 (18 oz) bottle BBQ sauce*
2 large yellow onions

Preheat grill to medium heat or
preheat oven 350 degrees F. Thinly
slice onions & place slices in large
bowl. Pour 1/2 bottle of bbq sauce
on onions & mix well. Place each onion
on a separate square of foil; wrap tightly
with foil. Place on grill or in oven for
20-30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Serves 4

*Poster used Kraft Thick ‘n Spicy


Skillet Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes (medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. coconut oil

Peel & cube potatoes; heat a skillet on
medium heat-add oil & potatoes. Cook &
stir frequently about 15 minutes until
tender – do not burn. Add garlic, salt,
cinnamon & parsley – stir repeatedly &
cook another 4 minutes. Stir often & try
not to burn the garlic.
These can also be OVEN ROASTED:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add all ingredients to a roasting pan;
bake 25-35 minutes (time varies according
to how big you cut the potatoes)
Serves 4


BBQ Bacon Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 1/2 – 2 pkgs. thick cut bacon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 T. onion powder (or 1/4 C.
finely chopped onion)
1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line large sheet pan with foil.
Place ground beef, pork sausage, eggs,
bread crumbs, garlic & onion powder
in a bowl – mix thoroughly & roll into
approx. 28 golf ball-sized balls. Make a
hole in center of ball & insert a pinch of
cheese; pinch ball shut & shape back into
a ball. Cut bacon strips in half & wrap a
half around each meatball; place balls on
prepared sheet, bacon seam side down.
Bake 20 minutes on center oven rack.*
At 20 minutes take pan out & drain fat;
brush on BBQ sauce & place back in oven
10 minutes – brush on more sauce. Drain
pan again, if needed. Brush on more sauce &
place back in oven 5 minutes. (If you’re not a
big fan of BBQ sauce, you can skip the third
brushing & just serve sauce on the side.)
Drain any remaining fat & serve.

*You can place meatballs on a wire rack in
the pan – this will keep the meatballs out of
the bacon grease.


Buffalo Chicken Pasta (crockpot)

1 lb. chicken breast, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. hot sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing (or blue cheese)
1 1/2 C. sour cream
3 C. penne pasta

Season chicken with salt/pepper &
place in crockpot. Stir soup, dressing,
hot sauce & pour into crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 4-6 hours (or High
2-3 hours). Stir in cheese & sour
cream. Boil pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & add to crockpot.
Stir well & serve


Chicken Breasts with Garlic &

3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cubed
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. oil
1 T. minced garlic
3 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 T. butter

Pat chicken dry with paper towels &
toss with flour, salt & pepper. Heat oil
in large skillet over high heat. Cook
chicken 3 1/2 minutes, turning
occasionally. Add garlic, parsley &
butter; saute 1 minutes & stir to
coat chicken with pan sauce. Serves 4


Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. long grain white rice
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 T. chopped cilantro

Combine rice, chicken broth, salt
& ground cumin in large saucepan
or skillet. Bring to boil over medium-
high heat. Cover & reduce heat to
medium-low; let simmer 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, keeping lid on.
Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
Remove lid & add lime juice, zest &
chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork
& serve warm. Serves 6


Summer Watermelon/Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. olive oil
3 T. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seeds

1 (5 oz) pkg. baby arugula
1 (2 lb) watermelon, or
roughly 6 C., cubed
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 (6 oz) pkg. feta cheese,
16 basil leaves

Place olive oil, balsamic vinegar,
mustard & honey in bowl of small
food processor; pulse a few times to
emulsify dressing. Add salt & poppy
seeds; stir with spoon & set aside.
Place arugula on a platter, cover with
cucumbers & watermelon; sprinkle
with feta. Slice basil leaves into ribbons &

toss evenly over salad. Drizzle with
dressing & serve. Serves 8



Still working on the knit scarves for military people;
I made two in black (in my opinion – very boring;
I tried using very plain stitches – their suggestion and
I’m not too thrilled with the outcome. I might make
one more before sending them – then I’ll be done with
this ‘extra’ charity project/idea. Found a really simple
knit baby blanket pattern on Facebook – am wanting to
give that a try soon. The ‘pick up’ date for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby shower is August 30th so I still have
time; have 3 of the baby headbands done and one
almost done (I’m thinking a total of 10 on this project).

Tomorrow is our first of two Sunday School picnics –
I finally decided what to make: baked chicken legs &
thighs. I know that might sound strange but last year
at the same picnic we had tons of salads & desserts
and one person brought grilled sausages – that was the
only meat (and they went super fast!). I got up early
today and did my usual ‘multi-stores’ shopping: to the
bank, drugstore, Gordon Foods (large bulk food type
place) then to a small grocery store near me. The
manager at the drugstore was very happy I saved a
total of $33.27 in coupons and store sales (me, too!).
They had 2-liter Mountain Dew for 99 cents! Tide was
on sale for $5.97 (liquid – usually it’s around $8-9 per
bottle) AND I had a Buy 2/1 free coupon, so that
helped. The small store near me had a lot of sales-
chicken legs & thighs 79 cents a lb. so I bought three
packages (not really sure if I can have the time to
COOK all that, but we’ll see – am planning on baking
them coated in Italian bread crumbs/garlic powder/
pepper 350 degrees F. 1 hour) – – – there’s a LOT of
chicken – we’ll see! Anyway – super happy to get a
lot of good bargains. Sunday is my turn to bring
Sunday School treats, so good old Gordon Foods
came to my rescue! They sell frozen, already-baked
mini muffins (5 different kinds in 1 pkg – I bought
2 of those), mini cinnamon buns – frozen (1 pkg)
and a pkg. of mini brownies – that should fill them
up! Our class is the 50’s & 60’s and there are, on
an average Sunday, about 45-55 people and they
all love treats with their coffee. I’m not worried –
any leftovers will quickly be consumed by my

Dinner tonight will be leftover enchiladas – I made
12 big ones yesterday; still 9 for dinner tonight. I
like making them because they’re quick, easy and
fill up the guys. (I’m guessing that right about now
one of you is going to comment: “What’s the recipe
for those?”)

Pam’s Enchiladas

1 1/2 – 2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Fajita seasoning pkt. (like
Taco seasoning – comes in a little
envelope, dry)
about 1 C. chopped onion
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refried beans
garlic powder
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded extra sharp
Cheddar cheese

sour cream/hot sauce for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large baking pan with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef in small skillet;
drain. Add dry Fajita seasoning packet &
water required on pkg. – cook & stir until a
thicker sauce has formed – take off heat.
Place 1 tortilla on a plate, spread about
1 1/2 – 2 T. refried beans down middle,
sprinkle some chopped onion on top,
a dash of garlic powder and about
2 T. seasoned meat. Roll up tortilla &
place seam-side down in pan – repeat
until you have used up all ingredients.
Pour enchilada sauce over top (I use
a small ladle, making sure sauce is on
all – even to the ends). Cover with foil
& bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven,
take off foil & sprinkle cheese on top.
Place pan under broiler until cheese
melts nicely. Serve with sour cream &
hot sauce on the side. Makes 12
You can make more or less of these; my
guys really like them so I make a big
batch. You can vary the size of the
tortillas as well. For my guys, 2 enchiladas
make up a serving (for me, 1).

Our gas prices are staying at $2.39/9 and
I’m happy. The weather has cooled down
a tiny bit – we were supposed to have a HUGE
thunderstorm last night but it was pretty mild
with a little thunder/lightening and some rain
(my petunias were all droopy from the rain –
they even looked like the rain washed all
their color off!).

Hope your day is going well;




Another Fun Day in July


   Our middle son took our grandson (10) out looking for “Pokemon” – (they are imaginary creatures in a tv series/game, etc. There is a new phone ‘app’ called “Pokemon Go!” which is sort of like geocaching where you enter in your area into your phone and then go ‘walking’ – it shows up on your phone where the ‘Pokemon” are located. Not sure just which Pokemon is in the above photo (since it’s imaginary, it only shows up on your phone) but grandson & son had a good time doing it!

Our wild black raspberries are at their peak now – going to let the grandson know in a little while; he LOVES picking & eating them (with sugar & Cool Whip on top, of course!)

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box cheesecake or white
chocolate pudding mix
1 (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
3 (6 oz, ea) tubs strawberry yogurt
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
3 bananas, sliced (slice just before
serving or they will turn brown)
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Place Cool Whip, pudding  mix &
yogurt in large bowl; whisk, cover
& refrigerate until just before
serving (at least 1 hour). When
ready to serve: slice strawberries &
bananas. Remove pudding mixture
from fridge & gently fold in fruit &
marshmallows (if using) – stir gently
to combine. Serve immediately.
Serves 8-10


Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells

30 large pasta shells
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cooked/shredded
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 C. freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Romano cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz) jar garlic alfredo sauce
fresh parsley – chopped, garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Prepare shells to al dente accordg.
to pkg. directions; drain & pat shells dry
with paper towels. In large bowl combine
Mozz, Parm & Romano cheeses. Remove 1/2
C. for topping. Add cottage cheese, egg,
pepper/salt & stir until combined. Add
chicken & stir until completely combined.
Spoon 1 C. alfredo sauce on bottom of
prepared pan. Stuff shells with chicken
mixture either using a spoon or small
scoop. Arrange shells in pan in single
layer; spoon remaining sauce over shells.
Sprinkle tops with reserved cheese. Bake
20 minutes until cheese is lightly browned &
bubbly. (garnish top with parsley, if desired)
Serves 6


Lemon-Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

1/2 C. frozen lemonade concentrate,
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 C. vegetable oil (do not us extra
1 T. poppy seeds

To the container of a blender add
lemonade concentrate and mustard;
pulse to blend. Add vegetable oil a
little at a time, slowly & in a steady
stream. (Takes about 60 seconds to
fully emulsify). Add poppy seeds &
pulse to combine. Refrigerate until
ready to use. Makes 1 Cup


Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

1 lb. chicken thighs
1 lb. early potatoes
juice & zest of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves garlic
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl mix lemon juice,
lemon zest, oregano, salt/pepper,
garlic & olive oil. Add chicken &
potatoes & toss to coat. Transfer
everything to a sheet pan with a
rim. Add chicken broth, cover with
foil & bake 20 minutes. Uncover &
continue baking at 390 degrees F.
for 25-35 minutes until chicken &
potatoes are done. (Optional:
place pan under broiler 3-5 minutes
until golden). Serves 2-3


Watermelon & Spinach Salad

1/4 C. white wine vinegar
1 T. grated lime peel
2 T. lime juice
2 T. canola oil
4 tsp.  minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper

4 C. fresh baby spinach or arugula
3 c. cubed/seedless watermelon
2 C. cubed cantaloupe
2 C. cubed English cucumber
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, chopped

In small bowl whisk dressing
ingredients together. Place all
salad ingredients in large bowl
& drizzle with dressing – toss to
coat & serve immediately.
Serves 8


TLC Barbecued Ribs
(oven and grill)

4-5 lb. pork baby back ribs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. ketchup
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 C. firmly packed  light
brown sugar
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. prepared yellow mustard

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Place ribs, meat side up, in
large roasting pan. In small bowl
combine garlic powder, paprika,
salt/pepper – sprinkle on ribs then
tightly cover with foil. Roast 2 1/2
In medium bowl combine remaining
ingredients;  mix well & set aside.
Preheat grill to high heat. Brush
ribs with sauce & cook on grill until
sauce begins to caramelize. Cut into
individual ribs & serve with
remaining sauce. Serves 3


Spinach Dip-stuffed Meatballs

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 C. cooked spinach
1 T. garlic powder
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 large egg
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. marinara sauce
1/2 lb. cooked fettuccine or
your favorite pasta

Mix cream cheese, spinach, garlic powder
& mozzarella until smooth. Mix ground
beef, ground pork, egg, parsley, bread-
crumbs, salt/pepper until evenly combined.
Take a golf ball-sized handful of the meat
mixture & press it flat in palm of your hand.
Place a spoonful of the spinach dip in center
of meat & fold edges over the dip, sealing
it & rolling it into a ball – repeat with
rest of mixtures. In a skillet over medium-
high heat, sear meatballs about 1 minute,
flip to cook all sides. Add marinara & stir;
cooking about 15 minutes until meatballs
are thoroughly cooked & sauce is thick.
Serve over cooked pasta. (Makes 15-18


5-Ingredient Pie Crust Cookies
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter, chilled
1/4 C. water
cinnamon & sugar mixture

Combine flour & salt in food processor.
Add butter in slices until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Add water,
1 T. at a time, until dough forms a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate 4
hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Roll dough onto floured surface as thin
as you can get it. Cut off rounded edges
so you’re left with a square. Cut dough
into thin slices (1/8-1/4″). Pinch three
slices together at one end, using a
dab of water to help seal ends. Braid
the 3 pieces together until you reach
end of strips. Using your sealed end as
a base, wrap entire braid around that
base. Tuck braid under the cookie &
gently press flat in your hand. Repeat
with rest of dough strips; arrange
cookies on greased cookie sheet. Brush
each cookie with melted butter, then
sprinkle with cinn/sugar mixture. Bake
10 minutes until cookies are just starting
to brown. If you prefer crunchy cookies,
cook a few minutes longer.



Our weather has been great – still
in the 80/low 90’s but sunny; if
you were doing a picnic or going
to the beach it would be perfect
weather for that (me? I stay inside
in my nice air conditioning & knit or
read – Yep – I’m officially a GRANDMA!)

I presented the idea of knitting/crocheting
at the other historical society’s Ice Cream
Social to my group – so far only 2 other
people wish to join me, but that could
change as the date (July 30th) gets
closer – we’ll see. After reading all the
many things you can go see/do there,
I’m anxious to check out their gift shop &
Curiosity Sale (pretty neat title – sure
sounds intriguing!).

Just started another charity knit (Yes, I
hear you – ANOTHER ONE???). This one
caught my eye on Facebook – I’m thinking
this will be a one-time-thing for me, but
it’s knitting scarves for our service people.
The ‘neat’ thing is: they are only 4 inches
wide and 36 inches long – I can do that in
a few hours! I’ve done one and am about
a little over half way done with the second.
They ask for blues/browns/olives/grays/
maroon & black (no red/white/blue) – these
scarves are for service people when they are
OFF duty, more as a “We’re thinking of you”
type of thing. If you think you might be
interested, here’s their website:

Our weather has been great – still
in the 80/low 90’s but sunny; if
you were doing a picnic or going
to the beach it would be perfect
weather for that (me? I stay inside
in my nice air conditioning & knit or
read – Yep – I’m officially a GRANDMA!)

I presented the idea of knitting/crocheting
at the other historical society’s Ice Cream
Social to my group – so far only 2 other
people wish to join me, but that could
change as the date (July 30th) gets
closer – we’ll see. After reading all the
many things you can go see/do there,
I’m anxious to check out their gift shop &
Curiosity Sale (pretty neat title – sure
sounds intriguing!).

Just started another charity knit (Yes, I
hear you – ANOTHER ONE???). This one
caught my eye on Facebook – I’m thinking
this will be a one-time-thing for me, but
it’s knitting scarves for our service people.
The ‘neat’ thing is: they are only 4 inches
wide and 36 inches long – I can do that in
a few hours! I’ve done one and am about
a little over half way done with the second.
They ask for blues/browns/olives/grays/
maroon & black (no red/white/blue) – these
scarves are for service people when they are
OFF duty, more as a “We’re thinking of you”
type of thing. If you think you might be
interested, here’s their website:


Not much else new – we have a Sunday School

picnic to attend Saturday – I have NO idea what
to prepare food-wise! (We’re pretty much tired
of baked beans/potato salad & cole slaw here).
I signed up under the Salad category – who knows?
I have TONS of recipes at my disposal, just can’t
seem to wrap my mind around which to make!

Hope you’re having a great week so far!




Enjoy our country’s Fourth of July!


Our country is now 240 years old!

Today is a very nice, sunny July day – temp. 75, High today 81 – great for a holiday! Do you have any special plans for the day? Here we’re just ‘hangin’ out & chillin’ – the boys are on the video games, husband is happily playing his 1940’s battleship game on his computer and I’m here writing to you. Am now working on the last plain white square for the pink & white baby blanket; if I feel like it today I’ll begin sewing them altogether then all that’s left is crocheting a border and that one is done. I’m thinking of taking a wee break from baby blankets and knitting some baby headbands (for the Detroit Vets baby shower) – they’re well received and quick to make.

Food-wise, we’ve still got enough leftovers for tonight’s dinner: country BBQ ribs, baked beans, red potato salad & coleslaw (MORE than enough of everything but the ribs – but these ribs are HUGE, so one is more than enough per person – even husband asked me where I got the dinosaur ribs!)


Summer Berry Icebox Cake

19 oz. graham crackers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
2 1/2 C. cold milk
1 (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries
2 oz. white chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese & dry pudding
mixes in large bowl using elec. mixer
until blended; gradually blend in
milk. Gently stir in Cool Whip,
reserving 1/2 C. Spread a thin layer
of Cool Whip in a 9 X 13″ pan just to
coat the bottom. Layer 5 graham
crackers across center of pan, then 2
more, breaking as needed to fit around
top & bottom edges. Spread a layer of
pudding mixture over crackers & top with
a layer of blueberries & sliced straw-
berries. Place graham crackers on top
of berries then pudding mixture, then
layer of berries again. Repeat graham/
pudding/berries 1 more time (3 times
total). Refrigerate at least 4 hours or
overnight until gram crackers have
softened completely. When ready to
serve, melt white chocolate chips in
a bowl as directed on pkg. & drizzle
over top of dessert. (You can use a
spoon to drizzle over tops of berries
or put in small zip-lock bag & snip
bottom corner of bag to use as a
easy piping bag. Serves 12-16


Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Grill & oven methods

2 C. cooked spiral pasta, drained/rinsed
1 medium zucchini sliced about 1/4″ thick
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4″
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 baby eggplant sliced into 1/4″ slices
2-3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
(Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing – below)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. (if using oven
350 degrees F.)

In large bowl toss vegetables with olive oil.

Oven roasting: line a large baking sheet with
parchment paper. Spread veggies in single
layer on pan; roast 30 minutes until veggies
begin to brown. Toss roasted veggies with
pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to

Grill:Place veggies in single layer on grill &
cook about 10 minutes, turning veggies half
way through cook time. Toss roasted veggies
& pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to
Serve either room temp. or chill 1 hour to
serve cold. Store leftovers in fridge.
Serves 4-6
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 C. frozen lemonade concentrate,
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 C. vegetable oil (do not use
extra virgin)
1 T. poppy seeds

Place lemonade concentrate & mustard
in blender; pulse to combine. Add oil
in a slow, steady stream & blend at highest
speed-takes about 60 seconds for mixture
to emulsify – pulse in poppy seeds.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 C.


Grilled BBQ Bacon-Chicken Skewers

15 bamboo skewers – 6 inches each
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 lb)
4 large green onions
1 (2.1 oz) pkg. refrigerated fully cooked
(15 pieces)
1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Soak skewers in water at least 30 minutes
to prevent burning. Cut each chicken
breast in half lengthwise, then cut
crosswise to make 10 (about 1″) pieces.
Cut onions in 2″ pieces (30 pieces total)
Cut bacon slices in half crosswise. Heat gas
or charcoal grill.
Push 1 skewer through end of 1 bacon
piece, then through middle of 1 chicken
piece & back through other end of bacon
piece. Add 2 onions pieces, then repeat
with another bacon & chicken piece. Place
on large tray or plate; repeat with remaining
ingredients. Place skewers on grill over medium
heat. Cover grill; cook 5 minutes. Turn skewers;
brush with half BBQ sauce. Cover, cook 5
minutes; turn – brush with remaining sauce.
Cover & cook 1 minute longer until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve with additional
BBQ sauce for dipping, if desired. Makes 15

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Watermelon/Cucumber/Feta Salad

6 C. seedless 1-inch watermelon cubes
1 C. sliced, quartered cucumber
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced &
1 C. crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)

2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves

In small bowl using wire whisk, mix
vinegar, oil, salt/pepper – stir in mint.
In large bowl combine watermelon,
cucumber, onion & 3/4 C. feta – Pour
dressing over mixture; toss gently to
combine. Sprinkle salad with remaining
feta. Garnish servings with additional
mint, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Smoky Baked Beans

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork & beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (16 oz) can butter beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (15.5 oz) can navy beans,
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
w/ green chilies, drained
1/2 C. hickory-smoke flavored
BBQ sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)

In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink; drain. Combine beans,
tomatoes & sausage mixture in crockpot.
In small bowl combine bbq sauce, ketchup,
brown sugar, mustard, steak seasoning &
liquid smoke (if using) – stir into bean
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours or
until heated through. Serves 16


Louisiana Shrimp Bake

1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled/
1/3 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. dry red wine
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place shrimp in single layer in
9 X 13″ baking dish coated with
nonstick spray. In small bowl
combine remaining ingredients;
mix well & pour over shrimp.
Bake, uncovered, 7-8 minutes
until shrimp turn pink. Serves 4

NOTE: Serve these with plenty of
crusty bread to sop up the rich,
buttery sauce


Layered Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 C. Ranch sour cream mayonnaise,
divided (recipe below)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1/2 can sweet corn, drained very well
1/2 C. chopped purple or green onion
plus more for garnish
8 oz. salsa
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3.8 0z) can sliced black olives, drained
very well
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, chopped
ripe avocado chunks (optional)
tortilla chips, for topping

Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef, canned chiles &
taco seasoning mix in skillet until beef is
brown & liquid from chilies has evaporated.
Refrigerate mixture until completely cold.
Place an even layer of mixture on bottom
of prepared pan. Top with double layer of
iceberg lettuce leaves (half of head), 1/2 C.
Ranch /sour cream mixture (smoothed into
an even layer) beans, corn, onion, another
double layer of lettuce (press down gently
after placing lettuece), other /12 C. Ranch/
mayo mixture, salsa, cheese, olives, bacon,
jalapenos, tomato and a little more onion.
Cover & refrigerate 12-24 hours before
slicing into pieces. Before serving, crush
tortilla chips over top & top with avocado
chunks, extra tomato chunks & your
favorite hot sauce. Serves 8-12

Ranch/Sour Cream/Mayonnaise

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
3-6 T. dry buttermilk ranch salad
dressing mix

Mix well & chill until ready to use.


Lemonade Squares

2 1/4 C. graham cracker crumbs*
1/2 C. melted unsalted butter
1/3 C. sugar

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant lemon
pudding mix
3/4 c. thawed/undiluted lemonade
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all crust ingredients in small
bowl & press into 9 X 9″ baking dish.
Bake 10-15 minutes until crust begins
to brown; remove from oven & cool
completely. In small bowl whisk
pudding mix & evap. milk 2 minutes;
let stand 2 minutes. Beat cream cheese
until light & fluffy. Gradually beat in
lemonade concentrate; stir in lemon
zest. Gradually beat in pudding
mixture, beating well then pour into
pan with cooled crust. Cover & chill
at least 4 hours – overnight is best.
Serves 9

*You may substitute a store- bought
graham cracker crust



With this being the holiday weekend I’ve been using
my time to get some things done that I’ve kind of
let go ‘by the wayside’ – like folding 3 baskets of
laundry, getting all the emergency papers together for my special needs group/
filing alphabetically & putting into a new notebook
(the old one was was bursting at the seams!) – still
have to go through each sheet & note who, in the
group, I STILL don’t have an emergency contact sheet
on (I do this every year – never seems to amaze me
that on some people we STILL don’t have a sheet!). I have a bowl with some really BLACK bananas that need making into banana bread some time today.
Tomorrow is Knit Night – I’m not anticipating many
attending since it’s been the holiday – we’ll see.

Hope you have a great holiday – enjoy the
fireworks if you get to see any (around here last
night it was like we were living IN the 1812 battle-
people were STILL lighting them off around 11:30/
midnight! (and I’m not talking the tiny ones – these
sounded like MORTARS!) Glad I don’t have any pets
that would be freaking at the sounds.



Here comes the Holiday WEEKEND!


This has been a CRAZY week! We had our grandson all day yesterday and then his Dad said: “See you in the morning!” (WHAT?) Turns out they forgot to tell us we get him every-other Friday, starting TODAY! Good thing I didn’t really have any plans – eh? Tomorrow is grandson’s 10th birthday party (he turned 10 on the 23rd) – they will be having a cook-out so I volunteered Broccoli Salad & Baked Beans (was ‘going’ to go grocery shopping after his Dad came to pick him up – but . . . his dad was late, so guess I’ll have to do that first thing in the morning, sigh). Middle son is still struggling with the Medicare insurance application – he’s been accepted but then we had to go on line to chose a company – crazy. (Son kept vacillating on which company – finally, after a good 2 hours, we got it done. He had stored his information on his laptop and we couldn’t transfer/print/email, or any other way that info from his laptop to my computer – took husband a good hour of fiddling around before we finally had a good attachment WITH the needed information…more SIGH!) Ah, yes – life can be fun IF you don’t let it get you down!


Peanut Butter Custard Blast

2 C. Oreo cookies, crushed
2 T. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 C. milk
6 egg yolks, beaten
1 C. creamy peanut butter

2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. powdered sugar
6 peanut butter cups, chopped
1/2 C. chopped salted peanuts
2 T. chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl combine cookie crumbs &
sugar; stir in butter. Press mixture onto
bottom of a greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Bake 8 minutes until set; cool on wire
In large saucepan combine sugar, corn-
starch, flour & salt; stir in milk until smooth.
Cook & stir over medium-high heat until
thickened & bubbly. Reduce heat, cook &
stir 2 minutes; remove from heat’ stir a small
amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return
all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to gentle
boil & cook, stirring 2 minutes. Remove from
heat; stir 1 C. into peanut butter until smooth.
Gently stir peanut butter into pan; pour over
crust. Cool to room temp; cover & refrigerate
at least 2 hours.
In large bowl beat cream until it begins to
thicken. Add powdered sugar; beat until stiff
peaks form. Spread over peanut butter mixture;
Sprinkle top with peanut butter cups & peanuts.
Drizzle top with chocolate syrup. Makes 15

To make ahead:
After peanut butter custard is poured over
crust, refrigerate overnight. Before serving, top
with sweetened whipped cream, peanuts, peanut
butter cups & chocolate drizzle.


Maple-Mustard Chicken Wings

1 T. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lb. chicken wings, separated into
drums & midsections
1/3 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
2 T. whole grain mustard
1 T. cider vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
vegetable oil – for oiling grill

Combine salt/pepper & cayenne in
large ziplock bag; add chicken & toss
until evenly coated. Refrigerate at
least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Heat grill to medium-high (about 375-
425 degrees F.) Place maple syrup, Dijon
mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar
& soy sauce on a small nonreactive bowl;
whisk to combine.
when grill is ready, use tongs to rub grate
with several layers of paper towels dipped
in vegetable oil. Place wings on grate in
single layer-not touching (if needed, cook
in batches). Cover grill & cook, flipping wings
occasionally with tongs until skin is opaque &
not longer raw-looking (about 10 minutes).
Brush all over with reserved maple/mustard
sauce & continue cooking, flipping & basting,
until wings are golden, no longer pink in
middle & skin is crisp, about 10-15 minutes
longer. Makes 6-8 servings

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Shoestring Potato Bake

4-5 large potatoes cut into thin french
fries enough to fill a 9 X 13″ glass baking
1 pint (2 C.) whipping cream
salt/pepper over the potatoes & cream
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Arrange potatoes in dish, cover
with cream on top; salt/pepper potatoes
very generously. Sprinkle at least 2 C.
grated Cheddar cheese on top; sprinkle
with parsley flakes. Spray a piece of foil
that’s a little bigger than the 9 X 13″
pan with nonstick spray & cover the
dish (spray side in). Poke top of foil with
a fork 2-3 times to allow steam to escape.
Place pan in middle of oven & bake 1 hour
15 minutes until potatoes are tender. During
last 15-20 minutes of baking time, lower
the oven rack one more step – this makes
the bottom of your potatoes brown &
crispy. Remove from oven, remove foil &


Crunchy Oven-Fried Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut up
3 C. flour
2 tsp. garlic pepper
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. paprika
1 C. buttermilk**
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. *
In baking pan whisk flour, garlic
pepper, sugar & paprika. In medium
bowl whisk buttermilk, eggs, baking
powder & baking soda until smooth.
Dip each piece of chicken in buttermilk
mixture, shake off excess then roll in
flour mixture. Dip (again) in buttermilk
& then flour mixture (that’s 2 dips each)
Place in baking pan & drizzle top with
olive oil – repeat with rest of chicken.
Bake 50-55 minutes until chicken is

*The trick to this chicken is placing the
cookie sheet IN the oven while it’s
heating – when you place the dipped
chicken on the pan you’ve got a hot
surface that ensures both sides of
the chicken are fried evenly.

**IF you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in
a 2-Cup measuring cup – fill rest of
cup to 1 C. measure with  milk. Stir &
let stand 5 minutes – now you have


Zucchini Fritters

1 1/2 lb. grated zucchini
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil
2 T. minced fresh dill

For Dipping: sour cream or
plain yogurt

Place grated zucchini in colander or
strainer over sink & add the 1 tsp.
salt – gently mix & let stand 10 minutes.
Drain zucchini with a cloth or paper towels.
In large bowl combine zucchini, flour, feta,
dill, garlic & egg – season with salt/pepper &
mix. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high
heat. Once oil is warm, scoop a tablespoon
of mixture into oil – flatten with back of a
spatula & cook until underside is golden
brown, about 2 minutes – flip & cook other
side (1-2 minutes). Serve with sour cream,
plain yogurt or plain. Makes 4 servings


Spinach Dip-stuffed French Bread

1 loaf French bread
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen spinach,
2 T. pesto
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, softened &
chopped into pieces
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. Monterey Jack cheese,
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice top portion of bread to create
a ‘bread boat’. Heat olive oil over
medium heat in skillet & saute onions
until soft; add red pepper & garlic;
saute 1 minute longer. Stir in spinach,
pesto, Worc. sauce, salt/pepper &
mayo. until well combined. Reduce
heat to low & stir in cream cheese
until melted. Once melted, stir in
sour cream, Parm. cheese, 1/2 C.
mozz. cheese & Monterrey Jack
until combined. Spoon dip into
bread ‘boat’ & top with remaining
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese. Place
on a baking tray & bake 25
minutes until cheese is melted &
bread is golden. Slice & serve.

(recipe: Tornadough Alli)

Crockpot Peach Cobbler

2 (21 oz, ea) cans peach pie filling
1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix, dry
1/2 C. COLD butter

Vanilla ice cream – on the side

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Dump pie filling on bottom – evenly
spread out.Pour cake mix over filling &
spread out. Slice cold butter into thin
squares & lay on top of dry cake mix. You
should be able to cover the entire top
with thinly sliced squares of butter.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours until top
is golden brown. Serve warm with
vanilla ice cream (optional)  Serves 8



After all the warm weather we FINALLY had
rain last night (how much, I’m not sure). I was
just glad to see the ground wet and my petunias
looking droopy (from the rain). The forecast for
the next few days is 79 – 82 degrees F. – good
summer weather, no too hot!

Gas prices in the area are still dropping – last I
checked 2 days ago they were at $2.39/9 – not
bad! That will help those who are traveling this

Other than my grandson’s birthday party, we don’t
have anything special planned for the weekend/
holiday. I bought a huge slab of ribs and will be
baking them and adding potato salad, baked
beans & cole slaw to the mix for Monday.

I finally finished one of the two baby blankets
(not the pink/white squares one) – will photo it
when I get a chance. Next I’ll be looking for a good
pattern for the various greens/white & teal blanket
I have the yarns for . . . been having fun (at least I
think it’s fun) looking at various sites, trying to
decide whether I want to knit or crochet the next
one. Getting pretty close to 50 baby hats for delivery;
will probably get those done next week (I try to take
25 Premie & 25 Newborn each time).

Enjoy your day/evening!




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