Another GRAY day – sigh

It’s been a BLEAK – COLD – GRAY week; temps not exceeding 30 degrees F. Sure doesn’t inspire one to get up & DO things! I shouldn’t complain – for the first time in almost 2 weeks I’m feeling a little better – I could actually SMELL the coffee my husband brewed this morning! My head is not quite as stuffed up and I don’t feel quite as lethargic so guess I’m GETTING BETTER – YAY! I’ve spoken to several friends who all reported about the same symptoms that I exhibited: extremely stuffed up sinus’, lethargic (a few nights ago I got an extremely bad headache – I haven’t had a migraine in years and this one was all at the back of my head & neck – SO GLAD that went away!). This is a form of the flu – not Covid – I had my flu shot/Covid shots & booster . . . guess I should be grateful that’s all the ‘sick’ I got (3 of my close friends all ended up in the hospital with Covid AFTER having all their shots). We have my 4 yr old grandson all day today (first time in over a week – his Mom had Covid, she goes back to work today). Ah the fun of life, eh?

Ran into several recipes today that all sounded like they would go together very nicely for a kind of ‘fancy’ dinner – see what you think:

Garlic Butter Steak & Mushrooms

4 T. unsalted butter, divided
2 T. olive oil, divided
2 small yellow onions, peeled/
cut into rings
8 oz. button mushrooms, cut into
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. rump steak, cut into
strips (or any preferred cut of steak)
2 cloves garlic, peeled/minced
In large skillet over medium-high heat
heat 1 T. oil & 1 t. butter; add onions &
mushrooms – cook 3-4 minutes, continuously
stirring to get it brown & liquid in mushrooms
to dissolve (do not leave unattended). Add
herbs & salt – stir & cook 1 more minute on
medium – remove from skillet to a bowl.

In same skillet heat up remaining oil & 1 T.
butter – turn heat to High.

Cook steak strips in batches 1-3 minutes on
each side until browned & almost cooked
through – remove from pan(do not overcook
the meat or it can get tough & chewy). Depending
on how thick you cut the steak the strips can be
done very fast.

Wipe out pan with a paper towel & add remaining
2 T. butter; add garlic & cook on medium-low
1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms,
onions & steak back into skillet & stir. Serve hot.
Serves 4

Garlic Ranch Potato Wedges

4 large Russet potatoes cut into
1 T. olive oil
2 T. Ranch dressing mix (dry mix-
1 packet)
2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled/minced
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Place potato wedges in a large bowl &
drizzle olive oil on top. Add ranch
seasoning & toss to coat, making sure
all potatoes have an even coating.
Place potatoes on a rimmed baking
sheet, skin sides down.
Bake 25 minutes until fork-tender.

In a small pot (or microwave bowl)
melt butter & add minced garlic-
stir to combine.

When potatoes come out of oven,
brush with garlic butter & serve warm.
Serves 4

Mixed Greens/Pears/Goat
Cheese/Dried Cranberries &
Spiced Pecans Salad

1 (5 oz) bag mixed baby greens
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled/
cut into thin slices (core & seeds
3/4 C. dried cranberries
1/3 C. very thinly sliced red onion
(your choice of salad dressing –
like balsamic vinaigrette)
3/4 C. spiced pecans (recipe below)
3/4 C. crumbled goat cheese (blue
cheese can be substituted)
Place salad greens in a large bowl.
Add pear slices, cranberries & sliced
red onion to bowl – toss with your
favorite salad dressing to lightly
coat everything in bowl. Sprinkle
spiced pecans (recipe below) & goat
cheese on top of salad & serve
immediately. Serves 4-6

Spiced Pecans

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 C. water
4 C. whole pecan halves (approx.
1 lb.)
1/4 C. sugar
canola oil
In a small bowl mix cinnamon, cayenne,
cumin & salt – mix to combine.

In large saucepan over High heat, bring
6 C. water to a boil. Add pecans & bring
back to boil – cook 1 minute. Drain &
rinse under running hot water (drain
completely & blot with paper towels
dry-as much as possible).

Pour drained/dried nuts in a large bowl;
sprinkle with sugar & toss to coat nuts
completely with sugar.

Line a sheet tray with parchment or
waxed paper. Place a small to medium
colander over a medium bowl.
Have 2 small spiders/strainers or slotted
spoons standing by.

In a deep-sided skillet or saucepan heat about
1 inch of canola oil to 350 degrees F (it’s
recommended you have a candy thermometer
to make sure the oil is at the correct
temperature – too hot will burn the nuts/too
cool will not cook the nuts quickly enough &
they won’t have a crisp texture).

Once oil is at 350 degrees F.  Using a slotted
spoon (or other suggested items above)
carefully add about half of the nuts to the oil
(be careful as the wet nuts being added to hot
oil will spatter).  The oil temperature will drop
so keep the heat on High to bring back heat to
350 degrees while frying. Fry 3 minutes – stirring
often. Do NOT fry past 3 minutes or they will
burn & taste bitter.

Using 2 slotted spoons/spiders/strainers –
remove nuts from oil & place in the colander
over the bowl to drain. Sprinkle with half of
the salt/spice mixture & keep tossing so they
don’t stick together as they cool. Transfer to
prepared sheet to cool completely.

Make sure oil is back to 350 degrees F. &
hasn’t risen PAST that temperature. (If so –
remove from burner to cool back to 350
degrees F.  Repeat process with remaining

Store cooled nuts in a tightly covered container
Makes 4 Cups


(the next recipes are my regular posting)

Crockpot Farmer’s Pie

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery
soup, undiluted
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 C. chicken broth (optional)
1 (14.5 oz) can green beans,
1 C. frozen corn kernels
2 C. turkey or chicken, cut into
bite-sized pieces
3 C. cooked, mashed potatoes
1 C. shredded cheese (your
In a bowl mix soup & poultry
seasoning. Place dry stuffing mix in
crockpot & pour soup mixture on
top. Layer meat on top of soup;
layer green beans & corn. Top with
mashed potatoes. Cover & cook on
Low 3-4 hours. Top with cheese 5-10
minutes before serving.
Serves 6


Broccoli Rice Puff (casserole)

3 1/4 C. cooked rice (about 1 C. uncooked)16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
16 oz. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 C. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt/divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper/divided
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg/divided
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 C. milk
1 c. grated Gouda cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. shallow baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine cooked rice &
In a skillet, saute mushrooms, onion &
garlic in oil over medium heat until onion
is tender-crisp. Add salt/pepper, nutmeg –
stir into rice/broccoli mixture – mix well.
Spoon into prepared dish.

In a bowl beat egg yolks with milk; add
cheese.  In another bowl beat egg whites
until stiff but not dry – fold into yolk
mixture & spread over rice evenly.
Bake 15-20 minutes until mixture is hot &
bubbly & top is lightly browned. Check
for doneness (recipe was a little ‘iffy’ about
cooking times: 15-20 minutes or 30 minutes,
depending on whether you will be putting
mixture into individual baking dishes – 2/3rd
Cup mixture for each).
Serves 8


Copycat Wendy’s Chili

2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
3 tsp. ground cumin
3 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (15 oz, ea) cans kidney beans, undrained
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pinto beans, undrained
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 T. butter
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
Cheddar cheese, shredded
chopped green onions
In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil.
Add onion, pepper & celery – cook 5 minutes
until soft. Add gr. beef – cook until no longer
pink, about 5 minutes – drain. Add chili powder,
cumin, & garlic powder – season liberally with
salt/pepper. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes,
beans & 1 C. water – bring to boil, then reduce
heat to Low. Simmer about 40 minutes until liquid
has reduced slightly. Add butter – stir until melted.
Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with Cheddar &
green onions. Serves 6


Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. real maple syrup
1/2 C. melted butter
1/4 C. heavy whipping cream
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. sour cream


1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. melted butter
1 T. maple syrup


1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. maple syrup
2-3 T. heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder
& baking soda, brown sugar & walnuts.

In another bowl mix beaten eggs, syrup,
butter, whipping cream & sour cream.

Stir wet ingredients into dry – pour into
prepared baking pan.

In a bowl mix all topping ingredients &
sprinkle over top of cake.

Bake 30-35 minutes until cake tests done.
Let cake cool completely.

Mix together glaze ingredients & drizzle
over top of cake. NOTE: You may have to
add a little more whipping cream to powdered
sugar to get it to a pourable consistency.


Hope you’re having a good day – try to stay WARM & HEALTHY!



PS: We’ve been fortunate to NOT have any snow lately – just the really cold temps. (example: today our temp is 28 degrees F. but with the wind chill it feels like 11 degrees F.)

Published in: on January 14, 2022 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Slowly getting better . . .

It’s a beautiful COLD winter day here in Michigan – the thermometer is sitting at 9 degrees and sunny/clear. We are slowly getting well – the guys are getting better, I’m not so stuffed up – still tired but OK. I tried a recipe last night that I found – Creamy Beef Taco Soup – it was good; made enough for 2 nights dinners. I added Del Fratelli Mexican diced tomatoes (with jalapenos) which made it ZIPPY! It’s great for cutting through that gunky throat you get when you’re sick. Been drinking LOTS of Red Rose tea – black. That brings back a memory of many years ago visiting my relatives in Canada. One of my aunts asked me if I drink tea and I said “Sure!” She asked what I put in it – I said: “Nothing – just hot tea!” I think that warmed her little Canadian heart that a relative from AMERICA would drink her tea PROPERLY!

Easy Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

1 box white, yellow or chocolate cake mix
4 large eggs
1 C. sour cream (can substitute plain
Greek yogurt)
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 C. chocolate chips (mini or regular)
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 12-C. Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray.

In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat cake
mix, eggs, sour cream (yogurt), veg. oil,
sugar & vanilla. Fold in choc. chips &
pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of cake comes out

Remove from oven & cool completely
in pan on a wire rack.

Run a small spatula around edges to loosen
the cake then flip cake out onto a plate.
Serve plain (or top with chocolage ganache,
powdered sugar or frosting).
Serves 12


Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Bacon

3 T. butter
1 1/2 C. chopped yellow onion (about
1 medium)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
2 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 T.)
2 T. flour
4 C. unsalted chicken stock
1 (12 oz) russet potato, peeled/diced
1 lb. fresh cauliflower florets (from 1
medium head)
pinch cayenne pepper
4 thick-cut bacon slices (about 6 oz),
2 T. minced fresh chives
In a large Dutch oven melt butter over
medium heat. Add onion, thyme, salt &
garlic – cover & cook, stirring occasionally,
10-12 minutes until onion is very soft &
slightly caramelized. Add flour -cook,
stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add stock &
potato – increase heat to High.
Cover & bring to boil. Add cauliflower &
reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered,
about 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Transfer mixture to a blender. Add cayenne.
Secure lid on blender & remove center piece
from lid to allow steam to escape.
Place a clean towel over opening & process
until smooth, about 1 minute.
Ladle soup into 4 bowls & top with bacon &
chives. Serves 4


Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms

4 thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts*
3 T. olive oil
8 oz. baby bella crimini mushrooms, sliced in
half (regular white mushrooms can be used)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. chicken stock
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 small bay leaf
1/4 tsp. thyme
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. butter
Cooked pasta or rice to serve 4
Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.
Mix salt & pepper – sprinkle on chicken. Add
olive oil to skillet – when it shimmers, add
chicken. Brown chicken well on one side
then remove to a plate.
In same pan, add mushrooms – sear over
high heat, stirring often. Add chicken stock,
balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, thyme & garlic –
stir to combine. Place chicken, unbrowned
side down, in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat to Low. Cover & simmer 10 minutes.

Remove cooked chicken to a plate-keep warm.
Remove garlic & bay leaf – discard both. Place
butter in pan & stir until melted. Turn burner
heat to medium-high & reduce sauce by 50%,
about 5-7 minutes. Return chicken to pan to
heat through. Serve over cooked pasta or rice
to serve 4.

*If you have regular boneless skinless chicken
breasts, you can cut them in half like you are
going to butterfly them but cut all the way
through, then pound them down to 1/4 inch


Crockpot Polish Sausage/Cabbage Soup

1 1/2 lb. smoked Polish sausage links, halved
lengthwise & cut into bite-sized pieces
4 C. chicken broth
4 C. chopped cabbage
2 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled/shredded
2 T. caraway seed, crushed
salt/black pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in crockpot – stir
gently until well combined.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 8


Spinach-stuffed Shells

1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells,

1 large egg
1 (16 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino
cheese, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/squeezed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg (plus more for
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional) plus more
for serving
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 clove garlic, grated


2 T. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
3 C. marinara sauce
1 tsp. granulated sugar
Cook pasta shells accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente, 6-7 minutes. Drain immediately
& shake dry completely.

In large bowl stir egg, ricotta, 1 1/4 C. mozzarella,
1/2 C. Parmesan, spinach, thyme, nutmeg, pepper,
red pepper flakes, lemon zest (if using), salt & garlic
until smooth. Refrigerate until ready for use

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Add garlic – cook about 3 minutes, stirring
occasionally until lightly golden. Add nutmeg; stir
until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce
& sugar – stir until combined. Transfer 2 C. marinara
to another bowl. Spread remaining 1 C. marinara
evenly across skillet.

Fill pasta shells with 1 T. ricotta mixture for each shell –
place in skillet. Spoon remaining sauce on top & top
with remaining 1/2 C. mozzarella & 2 T. Parmesan.

Bake, covered loosely with foil, 30 minutes until cheese
is melted. Remove foil; bake until cheese begins to
turn golden, about 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining
Parmesan, nutmeg & herbs before serving, if desired.
Serves 6


Chewy Snickerdoodle Bars

1 C. unsalted butter, melted
2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, room temp.
2 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt

2 T. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
parchment paper.

In large bowl mix melted butter,
sugar, vanilla & milk – mix until
well combined. Mix in eggs, one-
at-a-time until well incorporated.

In separate large bowl mix flour,
baking powder, cream of tartar & salt;
whisk dry ingredients. Add wet
ingredients to dry & mix until well
combined – pour batter into prepared

In a small bowl mix topping ingredients &
sprinkle over batter.

Bake 25-28 minutes.
Remove from oven & let cool to room
temperature before cutting into bars.

Rocky Mountain Snowdrops
(no bake cookies)

2 lb. white chocolate
1 C. smooth peanut butter
3 C. miniature marshmallows
3 C. rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1 C. unsalted peanuts
Line several baking sheets with
waxed paper.

In a large (3 qt) casserole or microwave-
safe dish, place white chocolate. Micro-
wave on full power 3 minutes, stirring
after each minute, until chocolate is
melted. Stir in peanut butter – micro-wave
30 seconds to 1 minute more, stirring
after 30 seconds, until combination is
blended & smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine marshmallows,
cereal & peanuts. Pour white choc. mixture
over dry ingredients & using a wooden spoon,
mix dough together until dry ingredients are
completely coated. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls
onto prepared sheets. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes
until set. Remove cookies from pan.

Store cookies in an airtight container in fridge,
placing waxed paper between layers.
Makes 60-70 cookies


Hope you are WARM, HEALTHY and able to enjoy these chilly winter days. The sun shining on the snow is a beautiful sight.



Published in: on January 11, 2022 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to “Sick Central”

This past week has been a lesson in ENDURANCE for me. Four people live in my house and 3 of us are sick to various degrees. Husband (probably because he stays in his “Man Cave” almost all the time) is just fine – not sick. Youngest son is sick (not Covid); Middle son is the sickest/longest – not C. and me? I have a COLD. I’ve been praying, asking that I not get any more ill just so I can keep up the constant WATER/SOUP/TEA deliveries. I made a huge vat of turkey/veg/noodle soup 2 days ago & that went VERY quickly with an immediate request for more of the same (good thing I HAD extra ingredients to do just that). Personally, I’m not a soup person, but I’m glad they like my soup; there’s enough for dinner tonight and then I have no idea what I’ll be making for other dinners – sigh.

It’s been three weeks since we’ve been to church and I really MISS it. (we have live-streaming, so I can see/hear the sermon but it’s just not the same). Oldest son’s girlfriend (mother of our 4 yr old grandson) has C now so she’s home with him while son attempts to remain isolated as much as possible and still go to work. We watched 4 yr old Weds. & he was sick here (think I already wrote about that) – it’s been a rather difficult SICK week so far – sure hoping it gets better soon! I’m just glad I didn’t get any sicker!

Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


 1 C. flour
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed
3 T. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter, melted

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg

1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling

Coffee Cake:

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. cold butter, unsalted, cut
into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan
with nonstick cooking spray & line
bottom with parchment paper. (NOTE:
when using a springform pan, place
a rimmed baking sheet underneath
covered in foil, just in case your pan leaks).


In a large bowl whisk flour, sugars, salt &
cinnamon. Add melted butter – stir together.
(mixture should look like wet sand & should
have lots of big chunks – do not smooth out.)
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cream Cheese Filling:

In a bowl using elec. mixer, beat cream
cheese until smooth. Add sugar & egg –
mix until combined.

Coffee Cake:

In a large bowl combine flour & sugar. Add
small chunks of butter & cut butter in using
a pastry cutter, 2 forks or a food processor
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add
baking soda & baking powder, salt – mix in

In another bowl whisk yogurt/sour cream, egg &
vanilla until well blended. Gently stir into flour
mixture until incorporated (dough will be thick).

Spread batter in bottom of prepared pan – spread
so that the sides of the pan are about a 1/2 inch
higher than center. Pour cream cheese mixture into
center, spreading it out – try not to go past ‘border’.
Add pie filling on top of cream cheese filling. Take a
knife & swirl through mixture 8-10 times. Sprinkle
topping on dough.

Bake 60-65 minutes (for 8 inch), 50-55 minutes
(for 9 inch) pan until a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out mostly clean.

NOTE: If topping starts browning too much, tent
the top with foil.

Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes before
serving. Store leftovers in fridge.
Serves 12


Mushroom/Spinach Scrambled Eggs
(1 serving)
1/2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. chopped onions
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. fresh baby spinach
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp. water
1/8 tsp. each: kosher salt/black pepper
2 T. grated cheese (Gruyere, Cheddar)

In small bowl whisk eggs, egg white, 1 T. water,
salt & pepper until blended.

In medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium
heat. Add onions – cook 3-4 minutes. Add mush-
rooms – cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes until tender.
Add spinach – cook/stir until wilted. Add egg
mixture – cook & stir just until eggs are thickened
& no liquid egg remains. Sprinkle cheese on top &
serve. Serves 1


Lentil & Ham Soup

6 T. unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 turnips, peeled/cut into
1-inch cubes
1 red onion, chopped
2 T. flour
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 boneless ham steak (about 3/4 lb)
cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 (15.5 oz, ea) cans lentils (do not drain)
1/2 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt/black pepper
In large pot over medium heat melt
3 T. butter. Add celery, carrots, turnips &
onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
Add flour & thyme –  cook, stirring, until
flour is incorporated (about 2 minutes).
Stir in 4 C. hot water until smooth. Add
ham & lentils (with their liquid). Increase
heat to medium-high – bring just to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low so soup is
gently simmering. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until soup thickens slightly & lentils are
creamy, about 7 minutes.

Melt remaining 3 T. butter in a large skillet
over medium heat. Add baguette cubes;
sprinkle with parsley & season with salt/
pepper. Cook, stirring, until lightly toasted,
about 7 minutes. Serve soup topped with
croutons. Serves 4


Sweet Potato & Apple Casserole

3 C. cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
2 apples (cored/peeled/sliced)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 C. Half & Half creamer
2 T. butter
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon
& ginger – mix well. Add sweet potatoes to
baking dish & spread evenly. Top with sliced
apples & pour Half & Half on top of apples.
Sprinkle top with brown sugar & top with
dots of butter.
Bake 25-30 minutes until apples are tender
& mixture is bubbly.
Serves 8


Crockpot Poor Man’s Steak & Gravy

2 1/2 lb. pork steak
1 oz pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/3 C. water
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
Place pork steaks in 4 qt. crockpot.

In a bowl mix dry soup mix, water & soup
until well blended – pour over pork steaks.

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


Creamy Tortellini Sausage Skillet

1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage (mild)
1 C. chicken broth
1 (15 oz) jar Buitoni Alfredo sauce
1 (20 oz) pkg. Buitoni Three Cheese tortellini
3 C. fresh Kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Roll sausage into 1/2 inch balls.
In a large skillet with fitted lid, heat oil over
medium-high heat. Sear sausage ball on all sides
until browned. (note: sausage may not be cooked
all the way through at this point, but will finish
cooking with pasta.)

Pour broth into skillet & scrape up any browned
bits from bottom of pan. Add Alfredo sauce &
tortellini – stir to combine & bring to a simmer.
Cover & cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes until
pasta is plump & tender. Add Kale & stir until it
wilts slightly & is mixed through, about 2 minutes.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Serves 8


Brownie Goody Bars

1 (18 oz) box brownie mix,
prepared & cooled completely
3 T. water
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 C. prepared vanilla frosting (from
16 oz. tub)
1/2 C. salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 C. crispy rice cereal
2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips (8 oz)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. (325 for
a dark or nonstick pan)
Spray bottom only of a 9-inch square baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray (for easier
cutting – line the pan with foil then spray
foil on bottom of pan only).

Spread top of baked/cooled brownies
with frosting & sprinkle top with
peanuts. Refrigerate while
making cereal mixture.

In a medium bowl add 2 C. rice cereal.
In a microwaveable measuring cup or bowl
microwave peanut butter & chocolate chips
1 minute 30 seconds. Add additional time
in 20-second intervals until chocolate has
melted & mixture can easily stirred together.
Pour over cereal in bowl, stirring until evenly
coated – spread over frosted brownies. (poster
noted using a rubber spatula & making small,
short strokes made it easier to spread the

Refrigerate 1 hour (or) until set, before cutting.
Cut bars into 6 rows by 4 columns. Store tightly
covered at room temperature or in fridge.
Makes 24


Here’s hoping all of you are HEALTHY!



Published in: on January 9, 2022 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s a ‘balmy’ 7 degrees here – gray/chilly/NOT WARM! Today is another day to STAY INSIDE & KNIT! Yesterday was one of those ‘get things done’ days – quick trip to library to return “The Best of James Herriott” (BIG, THICK book all about the author of “All Creatures Great and Small” and many more titles). Checked out another book about the author written by his son – lots of great light reading full of laughs & things to contemplate – what I need right now.

Yesterday we ‘sat’ our 4 yr old grandson; I picked him up from pre-school around 3. He hadn’t been here 20 minutes before he totally ‘lost his lunch’ – mild fever (101.4) not good. Our middle son has about the same thing – not the “C” word, probaby a flu. (Grandson’s symptoms are the same as he had just before Christmas so I’m guessing right after he finished the Amoxicillin, it kicked right back up). Trying to be ‘nurse’ to 2 people at the same time kept me really tired by bedtime but I couldn’t get to sleep until after 3:30 a.m. so I’m dragging today. Son feels a little better, haven’t heard about grandson yet. This has definitely been a very rough 1-2 years (especially the last year). Hope you are all in good health – take your vitamins, wear your masks, drink LOTS of water & try to stay safe.

Almond Banana Bread

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. almond extract


2 T. flour
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1/4 C. sliced almonds
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl using elec. mixer,
mix butter, sugar, eggs & bananas.
Add rest of bread ingredients – mix
well & pour into prepared pan.

In another bowl mix topping
ingredients & pour over top of
Bake 60  minutes.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes then
cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf

NOTE: Topping is optional


Chicken Alfredo Soup

1/3 C. diced sweet onion
2 T. butter
2 (14 oz, ea) cans chicken broth (3 1/2 C.)
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. uncooked small shells pasta (or similar
type pasta)
1/2 C. diced cooked chicken
1 T. cornstarch

Grated Parmesan cheese – for garnish

Alfredo Sauce:

3 T. butter
1 1/2 – 2 T. flour
2 C. whole milk
4 oz. cream cheese
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt/black pepper, to taste

In a saucepan over medium-low heat,
melt butter. Whisk in flour. Gradually
add milk, whisking to combine as you go.
Once all milk has been added & it’s hot
(not boiling), add cream cheese & whisk
to combine. Heat sauce back up before
adding Parm. cheese. Simmer sauce until
all cheese is melted & well mixed.


In a medium saucepan over medium heat
add butter & onion – cook 5 minutes until
onions are translucent & soft. Set aside 1/4 C.
chicken broth.
Add rest of chicken broth, peas & pasta to
saucepan. Increase heat to medium-high –
bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer
& cook 10 minutes. Add sauce & chicken –
cook an additional 10 minutes.

In a small bowl or cup, mix reserved 1/4 C. broth
with cornstarch until smooth – stir into soup.
Serve soup topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: add salt, garlic powder & pepper to taste.
If soup is too thick, thin with 1/4 C. water or
chicken broth. Serves 6


Crockpot Pork Chops & Peppers

4 bone-in pork loin chops
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
3 medium bell peppers, seeded/
thinly sliced
1 C. BBQ sauce
kosher salt/ black pepper, to taste

fresh chopped parsley – optional
garnish for serving
Arrange chops in crockpot; top with
onion, peppers, BBQ sauce & salt/
Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours
untl pork is tender.
Top with parsley when serving, if
Serves 4


Broccoli-Spinach Soup
(this soup comes out a lovely
bright green color!)
2 T. plus 2 3/4 tsp. kosher salt/
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. fresh broccoli florets,
divided (about 8 C.)
1 lb. fresh baby spinach (about 16 C.)
2 C. unsalted chicken stock
1/4 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 C. Half & Half cream
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
4 oz. French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
1 T. fresh lemon juice (from 1 small lemon)
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

In a large soup pot bring 4 qts. water & 2
T. salt to a boil over high heat. Place 7 C.
broccoli into water (reserving 1 C.) – cook
3 minutes. Add spinach, pushing down to
submerge in water. Cook 1 minutes until
broccoli is tender & spinach is wilted.
Remove 1 C. cooking liquid & set aside.
Drain spinach/broccoli into a collander, discarding
remaining liquid. Run cold water over veggies,
draining well until cool, 2-3 minutes.

Place cooked veggies, the 1 C. reserved water,
stock & parsley in a blender – & blend until
smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to soup
pot. Stir in Half & Half, 2 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp.

In a bowl (or zip lock bag) toss bread, Parm.
cheese & 3 T. olive oil until coated. Place
in a single layer on one side of a rimmed
baking sheet. Toss reserved 1 C. broccoli
with remaining 1 T. oil & 1/4 tsp. each: salt &
pepper. Place in a single layer on OTHER side
of baking sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes until broccoli is tender & bread
is toasted.

Gently re-heat soup over medium heat until
steaming, 4-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
Ladle soup into bowls & top with roasted
broccoli & croutons.
Serves 4


Ham & Potato Hash

3 T. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded/finely
2 medium potatoes, peeled/cut in half
1 C. finely diced cooked ham
1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried, crumbled thyme
Place cut potatoes in a saucepan of
simmering water until not quite done but
still firm, about 10 minutes. Rinse in cold
water to stop cooking. Drain & dice into
1/2 inch thick pieces.

In a large skillet* over medium-low to
medium heat, melt butter. Add onion –
cook about 4 minutes until softened. Add
chopped pepper – cook 2 minutes. Add
remaining ingredients & mix well. Cook
hash until well browned, about 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Serves 6

*Hash will brown better in a cast iron skillet
(than a stick-free pan)


Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

4 T. (1/2 stick) butter
4 C. fresh cubed butternut squash
3/4 C. chopped onion
2 apples, peeled/cored/cut into 1″ chunks
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. Half & Half cream
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt
butter & saute squash, onion & apple
8-10 minutes until squash is tender.

In a small bowl mix cinnamon, nutmeg,
salt & pepper – add spice mix to soup pot
& stir to combine. Add broth to soup pot.
Turn heat to high – bring to a boil. Cover &
reduce heat to Low – simmer 30 minutes.

Carefully pour mixture into a blender in
batches & puree until smooth. Place back
in soup pot & stir in Half & Half – heat
5 minutes until heated through.
Makes 6 cups


Crockpot 3-Bean Vegetarian Chili

1 3/4 C. organic vegetable broth
1 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. seeded/chopped jalapeno pepper
(2 peppers)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 oz, ea) cans no salt added black
beans, drained/rinsed
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
1 (15 oz) can no salt added pinto beans,
1 (15 oz) can no salt added kidney beans,
1/2 C. reduced-fat sour cream
2 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
with jalapeno peppers (about 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
Combine first 12 ingredients in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours.
Serve soup topped with sour cream,
cheese & cilantro.
Serves 8


Almond Joy Cake


1 box chocolate cake mix

NOTE: Poster also substituted
milk for water in the box recipe &
added 1 tsp. almond extract plus
1/2 C. chopped almonds


1 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. granulated sugar
26-30 large marshmallows
1 (14 oz) pkg. shredded coconut


1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 stick (8 T.) butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped almonds
————Prepare & bake cake mix in a
9 X 13″ baking dish accordg. to
pkg. directions.

In a saucepan combine evap. milk,
gran. sugar & marshmallows – cook
over medium heat just until the
marshmallows are melted (do not
bring to a boil – stir to keep from burning).

Once melted (about 6-7 minutes) remove &
stir in coconut – mix well then spread over
hot cake.


In a saucepot add evap. milk, butter & sugar –
bring to a boil. Remove from heat & stir in
chocolate chips until melted. Stir in almonds &
spread over coconut filling on cake.

Refrigerate any leftovers




Published in: on January 6, 2022 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Woke up this morning to a ‘balmy’ 7 degrees F. Crisp snow on the ground (about 2 inches) but clear & sunny. Good thing I don’t have anywhere to go today! I predict knitting & reading in my future for the day! (Beef Stroganoff for dinner tonight).

Cherry Coconut ‘Magic’ Bars

1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained,
quartered or halved & patted dry
1 1/2 C. sweetened flaked coconut
1 C. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 13″ baking dish – place
in oven & let butter melt while oven preheating.
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter &
drizzle condensed milk evenly over crumbs.
Sprinkle remaining ingredients over top,
alternating nuts/coconut/choc. chips/cherries,
repeat making sure to distribute evenly. Press
mixture down firmly with a fork.
Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Store leftovers in an air tight container.
Makes 30


Crockpot Pork Loin w/Gravy

1 1/2 lb. pork loin
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (dry mix) packet pork roast gravy mix
1/2 C. water
Place pork in crockpot – spoon soup over
meat. Sprinkle dry gravy mix on top &
pour water over everything.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours.
Remove loin from crockpot & place in a
serving dish. Stir up gravy in crockpot &
pour over pork loin.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: pork loin in not a super tender
cut of meat – cooking it Low helps with
the tenderizing.

Recipe can be doubled or tripled –
you will need to adjust cooking time &
use a larger crockpot (than 2.5 qt).


Spinach Artichoke Pull-Apart Bread

1 loaf sourdough bread (or any round or
oval crusty bread)
1/2 C. artichoke hearts, drained (usually in
a can or jar)
1/2 C. frozen spinach, thawed/squeezed dry
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. cream cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt/black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using a sharp bread knife, cut loaf into
strips at a diagonal angle, making sure
not to cut all the way through the bread
(you’re making a cross-hatch pattern on top
of the bread). Cut diagonal strips going in
opposite direction, making sure not to cut
all the way to the bottom of the loaf.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl,
reserving about 1/4th of the cheeses.

Stuff mixture into the crevices, trying to
add as much into the bread as possible
(you may have some leftover dip – you
can serve this on the side with the bread
after it’s baked)

Top bread with reserved cheeses, making
sure to get some in the crevices as well.

Wrap loaf in foil & bake 10 minutes.
Remove foil  & bake 10-15 minutes longer
until cheese is melted & bubbly.

Remove from oven & allow to cool slightly
before serving. Serves 6


Apple Maple Pork Chops

1 lb. pork chops
2 T. flour
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 crisp apples (like Pink Lady,
Fuji or Honeycrisp), chopped
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. brandy
1 C. heavy cream
kosher salt/black pepper,
to taste
Pat chops dry using paper towels –
season liberally with salt/black pepper.

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high

Place flour in a pie plate – dredge chops
in flour, shaking off excess. Add chops to skillet &
cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned &
cooked through (internal temperature should read
145 degrees F. on a food thermometer). Remove
chops to a plate & cover loosely with foil.

Lower skillet heat to medium & add butter to pan.
Once melted, add shallot, apples & garlic – cook
briefly 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in
Dijon mustard then slowly pour in maple syrup,
then brandy. Let liquid reduce, scraping up any
browned bits from bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.
Add heavy cream & stir to combine. Increase heat
to medium-high – cook until sauce has thickened,
about 5 minutes more.
Reduce heat, adjust seasoning as needed & nestle
chops back in skillet to bring back up to temperature.
Serves 4


Old World Peasant Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled/cut in half – thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 C. chicken broth
2 (15.8 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
not drained
1 lb. kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. fresh spinach
In a large soup pot heat oil over medium-
high heat. Saute onion, carrot & celery 6-8
minutes until tender. Add remaining
ingredients (except spinach) & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to Low – simmer 20 minutes.
Stir in spinach & serve. Serves 5


Lemon-Batter Fish

1 1/2 C. flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 C. water
2/3 C. lemon juice, divided
2 lb. Perch or Walleye fillets,
cut into serving-sized pieces
oil for frying
lemon wedges, optional
In a bowl combine 1 C. flour, baking
powder, salt & sugar.

In another bowl combine egg, water &
1/3 C. lemon juice – stir into dry ingredients
until smooth.

Place remaining lemon juice & remaining
flour in separate shallow bowls (or pie plates).
Dip fillets in lemon juice, then flour, then coat
with egg mixture.

In large skillet heat 1 inch oil over medium-high
heat.* Fry fillets until golden brown & fish flakes
easily with a fork, 2-3 minutes on each side.
Drain on paper towels.
If desired, serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 6

*NOTE: If is important that you pre-heat your
cooking oil to proper temperature before adding
fish. If the oil is not hot enough, the battered
fish will sit in the oil too long & absorb excess
oil, causing the fish to become soggy. For best
results, slowly heat oil until a deep-fry or candy
thermometer reads 350 degrees F. to 375 degrees F.


Orange Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, whisked
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. vegetable oil
3 T. orange juice
zest from 1 orange
*see below
Orange Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
1-2 T. orange juice
orange zest, if desired
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with
paper liners – spray liners with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar,
baking powder & salt – stir until
combined. Add eggs, oil, milk, orange
juice & zest – stir just until combined.
Using a large cookie scoop (or 1/4 C.
measuring cup) scoop batter into
prepared tin. Bake 15-20 minutes
until golden brown along edges.
Let stand in pan a few minutes
then remove to a wire rack to
cool completely.

In a bowl whisk powdered sugar,
orange juice & zest – drizzle over
top of muffins. Makes 12 muffins.

Storage: Place muffins in an airtight
container or bag & store at room
temp. up to 2 days.

To Freeze:  Wrap muffins in plastic
wrap or foil – place in a freezer bag.
Store in freezer up to 2 months.
To Thaw: place muffin in microwave
for 15-30 seconds.

*To enhance orange flavor,
use 1 tsp. orange extract to batter.


Hope you are able to stay warm & safe AND HEALTHY!



Published in: on January 3, 2022 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  


Hope you had a great evening – we had our ‘usual/quiet’ celebration: snackies around midnight (this year it was shrimp & cocktail sauce, baked taquitos & baked jalapeno poppers – yummy.

Was just going through the multitudes of recipes & thought I’d just post some that might help with your cooking this week. Enjoy!

Pecan Pie Brownies

1 box brownie mix (for 9 X 13″ pan) plus
ingredients to make

Pecan Pie Filling:
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
4 eggs
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to brownie pkg. directions
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare brownies accordg. to pkg. directions &
pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

In a saucepan whisk sugar, corn syrup, eggs,
butter & vanilla; heat over medium-high heat
& cook, stirring constantly; about 15 minutes.
Filling should coat the back of a spoon if thickened
enough. Stir in pecans & cook 2-3 minutes until
mixture resembles runny oatmeal.

When brownies have finished cooking, remove
from oven & pour filling over top – spread to
cover completely.

Place back in oven & bake 25-30 minutes longer
until filling only jiggles slightly in middle when
you move the pan.
Let cool to room temperature before cutting.

(recipe: Maria Jeanie – FB)

Smoked Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 large onion, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded/chopped
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 C. chicken broth
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with chiles
3 T. ground cumin
1 1/2 T. New Mexico chile powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
5 C. rotisserie chicken (from 2 rot. chickens)
tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, avocado slices,
lime slices, crumbled queso fresco
In Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add
oil & saute onion & jalapeno pepper 5-6
minutes. Add garlic – saute 1-2 minutes. Stir in
broth & next 8 ingredients (to end of recipe,
not including toppings). Bring to a boil; reduce
heat & simmer 40 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in chicken. Let stand
10 minutes before serving. Serve with desired
toppings. Serves 8-10


Easy Baked Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
small onion, chopped
1 pkt. dry taco seasoning mix
1 can refried beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup,
1/2 C. sour cream
1 pkg. large flour tortillas
2 1/2 C. shredded Mexican-blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet cook gr. beef & onion
until beef is no longer pink; drain. Add
taco seasoning & refried beans – heat
through. In a separate bowl, blend
soup with sour cream & spread half
in bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Add 1 layer of 3 tortillas on top of
the soup mixture (you will need to
cut or tear tortillas & overlap them).
Spread a layer of gr. beef/onions on
top with about 1 C. cheese – repeat
layers & top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 6


Baked Reuben Casserole

6 slices rye bread (any style) cubed
2 T. butter, melted
2 c. sauerkraut WELL DRAINED (do
not rinse)
1/2 lb. cooked corned beef, shredded
or chopped*
1 1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 C. whole milk, room temp.
3 large eggs, room temp.
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
1 1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard (or Creole)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning, to
taste (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Batter or spray with nonstick cooking
spray a 11 X 7″ casserole dish. Add cubed
bread & drizzle with melted butter – toss &
add sauerkraut, corned beef & 1/2 C. cheese –
toss again.
In separate bowl whisk milk, eggs, dressing,
mustard, pepper & creole/Cajun seasoning (if
using) – pour over casserole & top with 1/2 C.
remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 35-45 minutes until a knife
inserted into center of casserole comes out
clean. Top with remaining cheese & bake 3-4
minutes long until cheese melts. Let stand 10
minutes before cutting into squares.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: do not add salt as corned beef & sauerkraut
are already salty.
If you prefer a less strong sauerkraut flavor,
drain and rinse it before using.

*you can substitute baked ham, pastrami or cooked,
crumbled bacon for corned beef


Roasted Corn & Potato Chowder

2 C. fresh corn kernels, shaved from
2 ears of corn
10-12 baby gold potatoes, cut into quarters
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 strips bacon, sliced into small pieces
1/4 C. flour
3 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 C. heavy cream
4 oz. diced green chiles, drained

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl add corn, potato, oil, salt/pepper –
toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed
baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes, stirring half-way
through cooking time, until corn & potatoes are lightly

In large pot over medium-high heat, add bacon & cook
2 minutes until grease is rendered but bacon is still
soft. Add onion – saute 5 minutes. Whisk in flour – cook
2 minutes until thickened. Gradually whisk in chicken
broth; stir in heavy cream & green chiles. Add roasted
corn & potato – stir to combine. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
Season with salt & pepper. Serves 6


Spicy Black-eyed Pea Soup
(overnight or quick recipe)
1 (16 oz) pkg. dried black-eyed peas
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped carrots (or 1 C.
chopped bell pepper – can mix)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 lb. smoked sausage OR 1 lb.
andouille sausage OR 1 lb.
kielbasa, cut into chunks
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. cajun spices
1 (49 oz) large can chicken broth
cayenne pepper sauce or Tabasco,
to taste

Sort dried peas & soak in plenty of
water overnight. *See below for quick

Before cooking, drain water & rinse
peas. Place all ingredients in crockpot
& cook on Low 8-10 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove bay leaves
before serving. Serve with additional
tabasco sauce, if desired. Serves 8-12

*Quick method:
Place peas in a soup pot, cover with
water & boil for 3 minutes. Remove
from heat & proceed with making


Cheesecake Fluff

1 can cherry pie filling
1 large can crushed pineapple
with juice
1 small can flake coconut
chopped nuts: pecans or walnuts
1/2 pkg. miniature marshmallows
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Mix all ingredients in large bowl;
refrigerate at least an hour.



Looking at our weather forecast for the next 2 days – it isn’t pretty. 3-4 inches of snow/freezing rain. Not sure just yet if we’ll be going to church tomorrow (our Sunday School teacher lives about an hour away & called yesterday to tell us that they are expecting 8 inches in their area so it’s pretty likely they won’t be there tomorrow!) Ah, the fun of winter in Michigan! (One small GOOD thing: all of our snow has disappeared from the ground in the last few days! At least it’s not MORE snow piling up on old snow!).

Been working on a project (don’t remember if I ever mentioned it: a friend called me a few months ago – a neighbor of hers died & she left a box of partially finished CROCHETED blankets. Long story shorter: I took them, several ladies in my group took a few & I have had about 5 here. I finished all but 2 so that’s what I’ve decided to focus on for the next little while. (I guess the neighbor liked to START the blankets but then didn’t really want to FINISH them so each is around 3 1/2 feet square/Granny Square simple pattern.) My problem was finding worsted weight yarns in my stash that would go with her choice of colors. (I don’t usually work with worsted weight – for those of you who are not into yarns, it’s the regular weight – I usually use sport or baby weights). Anyway I’m working on a navy blue centered/white bordered in stripes & just started with a baby blue, then it will be baby blue & white stripes until I deem it big enough. Last one is a really soft (different type/weight of yarn) soft yellow & medium green – not exactly sure WHERE I’m going with that one – not really sure where to find a yarn like those – I think those are a type that’s been discontinued many years ago. ) Oh well – I’ll figure it out!

Try to stay healthy & safe!



PS: Rejoicing that 3 of my close friends are now OUT OF THE HOSPITAL after having covid & were on oxygen/blood thinners, etc. PRAISE THE LORD! HE IS GREAT ALWAYS!

Published in: on January 1, 2022 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

More last-minute recipes

Blueberry Pie Bites

1 tube crescent roll dough
1/2 of a (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling
(or apple, cherry or your favorite flavor
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-2 T. lemon juice
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 muffin tin cups with nonstick
cooking spray.

Unroll/separate dough. Place 1 triangle
in each cup & fill with 1 T. pie filling (you
can load them up if you want). Fold 2
shorter ends together on top & pull
longer end over those.

Bake 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.

In a small bowl whisk powdered sugar &
lemon juice (adding 1 T. at a time) until

Transfer cooled bites to a wire rack & drizzle
tops with glaze mixture.


Butter Toffee Pretzels

1 (16 oz) bag mini pretzel twists
1 C. lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 bag Heath toffee bits (candy)
Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
Spread a large sheet of waxed
paper on a work surface.
Lightly spray a large roasting pan with
nonstick cooking spray (poster uses a
disposable one) Add pretzels to pan.

In medium saucepan add brown sugar,
cubed butter & corn syrup – bring to a
boil over medium heat – boil 5 minutes,
stirring constantly. Remove from heat;
whisk in vanilla & baking soda (the toffee
will bubble violently – this is normal).

Pour hot toffee mixture over pretzels;
sprinkle half the bag of toffee bit over
the pretzel mixture – toss to coat evenly
in toffee mixture & toffee bits.

Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to
ensure the hot toffee mixture evenly
coats the pretzels. Once baked, spread
mixture onto waxed paper & immediately
sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Allow
pretzels to set & harden, about 1 hour,
before breaking into smaller clusters.
Makes 10 cups

Pretzels will last about 1 week if stored
properly in an airtight container at room

(recipe: thedomesticrebel)

Peanut Butter Dip

2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/3 C. sugar
Apple slices/graham crackers – for dipping
In large bowl whisk milk, sour cream & pudding
mix until smooth. Add peanut butter & sugar –
stir until well blended. Cover & chill until ready
to serve.
Makes about 3 1/2 C. of dip.
NOTE: If dip is too thick, add a little milk (1 T.
at a time) & whip to your desired consistency.


Caramelized Onion-Apple Bites

3 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. yellow onions, thinly sliced
about 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Granny Smith (or other tart) apples, peeled/
cored/thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted just before use
3 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
1 T. minced fresh thyme leaves
In large frying pan melt butter over medium-
high heat – add onions & salt; cook, stirring
occasionally, about 5 minutes until onions
are soft. Add apples, stir to coat. Reduce heat
to medium; cook, stirring often, about 30
minutes until onions are medium brown. Stir in
pepper & salt, to taste. Cool 10 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unwrap puff pastry – cut sheet into 16 squares.
Cut those squares diagonally to make 32 triangles.
Arrange them, not touching, on a baking sheet.

Place a spoonful of cooled onion/apple mixture on
each triangle – top with a sprinkle of shredded
cheese & minced thyme. Bake until puffed & golden,
15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 32


Crab Rangoon Cheese Ball

1 lb. fresh lump crab meat, drained/
picked over
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 (8 oz), pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 T.)
1/2 C. chopped scallions (about 10)
2 T. sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. toasted white sesame seeds
1/3 C. black sesame seeds
Wonton chips
In large bowl mix crab meat, mascarpone,
cream cheese, garlic, scallions, chili sauce &
salt until combined. In a small bowl stir white &
black sesame seeds – spread in an even layer on
a large plate. Gently shape crab mixture into a
ball & carefully roll in sesame seeds until covered;
place on a serving plate & chill, uncovered, about
30 minutes until set. Serve with wonton chips.
Serves 16


Garlicky Shrimp Dip

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. medium shrimp, (thawed if frozen),
3 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt/ black pepper
1 oz (from an 8 oz pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
juice & zest of 1 lemon
2 T. fresh chopped parsley (plus more for
Pita chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.
Add shrimp & garlic – season with salt/pepper.
Cook 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink. Let
cool slightly then coarsely chop.

In large bowl mix cream cheese, mayo, mozzarella,
Parmesan, lemon juice & zest, parsley & chopped
shrimp – season with salt & pepper. Transfer mix
to a small baking dish.
Bake 25 minutes until golden & bubbly.
Garnish top with parsley; serve with pita chips.
Serves 8


Garlicky Shrimp Cocktail

1 lb. raw tail-on shrimp, cleaned/deveined
2 T. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
kosher salt/ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
Marinara sauce, warmed, for dipping
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment

In large bowl mix all ingredients (except
marinara sauce). Place shrimp on baking
sheet & bake 8-10 minutes until golden &
cooked through. Serve with warmed
Serves 6


Cake Mix Turtle Cookie Bars

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. milk
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
1 (12 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl combine cake mix, butter &
milk – stir until well blended. Spread half
of mixture in prepared pan.

Bake 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate
chips & half of pecans on baked crust.
Drizzle with caramel topping. Drop spoonfuls
of remaining batter over top & sprinkle with
any remaining pecans.
Bake 18-20 minutes
Cool completely in pan before slicing & serving.
Serves 24


Hope you’re having a good day!



Published in: on December 30, 2021 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, it’s been hectic (to put it mildly). I was able to attend Knit/Crochet at Panera last night & the Library Knit group this morning so things are beginning to feel more ‘back in the old schedule’. We babysit our grandson Friday 11 – ? (really hoping his Dad decides to close his restaurant EARLY!) It’s not like we have a huge celebration – just a very quiet one. I picked up a shrimp ring today and a few other little ‘munchies’ for Friday.

I don’t remember if I even posted since Christmas Eve – I was so worn out the day after that I just slept – missed church (which is a rarity) but was just too pooped. Today we FINALLY finished off ALL of the leftovers (last to go was a pumpkin/gingersnap dessert – really rich & tasty) – I needed the space in the fridge!

Gingersnap Banana Bread

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 C. mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 large)
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. crushed gingersnaps*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray.

In medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda,
cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt.

In a large bowl using elec. mixer, cream
butter & brown sugar until well combined;
scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs,
one-at-a-time – mix well. Add mashed bananas,
sour cream & vanilla – mix until well combined,
scraping down bowl as needed.

Add half of flour mixture & stir in at Low speed.
Add remaining flour & mix until well incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle
half of the gingersnaps on batter in pan then add
remaining batter to pan & top with remaining
gingersnaps, gently pressing them into batter.

Bake 70-80 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. NOTE: when
bread has baked for 30 minutes, add a foil tent
on top to reduce browning. Makes 1 loaf

*Poster noted that she used the harder cracker-
style gingersnaps. If you use the soft style the
texture of the bread will be slightly different.


Spinach Balls (appetizer)

20 oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/squeezed dry
2 C. breadcrumbs
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 large eggs
1 C. White Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl mix spinach, breadcrumbs,
Parmesan, butter, green onions, eggs,
Cheddar, salt/pepper & garlic. Form
into balls & place on prepared sheet.
(using a small ice cream scoop, poster
got about 36 balls)

Bake 20-25 minutes until balls are
golden brown & cooked through.

Spinach Artichoke Baked Brie

1 (10 oz) box frozen leaf spinach,
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 T. mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/4 C. canned artichoke hearts (about 2),
drained well & coarsely chopped
1/4 C. whole milk mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
kosher salt/black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a
17.3 oz box), thawed
1 (16 oz) wheel brie cheese
crackers, crustini for serving
Place thawed spinach in a clean kitchen
towel over a bowl or the sink – twist
towel to squeeze out all the moisture –
coarsely chop.

In a large bowl place cream cheese, mayo,
sour cream & garlic – mix vigorously until
combined & smooth. (can use elec. mixer)
Add spinach to cream cheese mixture,
breaking it up as you add it. Add artichokes,
mozz. & Parm. cheese, mixing to combine.
Season with salt/black pepper then
refrigerate until ready to use.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl whisk egg with a splash
of water. Roll out puff pastry to 13 X 12″
wide rectangle. Cut a 1 inch wide strip of
dough off shorter end to create a 12 X 12″
square. Transfer square to prepared baking
sheet. Place brie wheel in center of dough;
top with chilled spinach/artichoke mixture.
Fold puff pastry up & over brie, brushing
edges with a little egg wash & pinching
to seal. Brush entire exterior of pastry
with egg wash.
Return to refrigerator to chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake pastry about 40 minutes until
golden brown & cooked through.
Let stand 15 minutes then serve
warm with dippers.
Serves 10-12

Bread Bowl Dip

1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 T. dried dill
2 T. dried parsley flakes
2 T. dried minced onion
1 (2.25 oz) jar sliced dried beef, chopped
(about 3/4 C.)
2 (1 lb., ea) round pumpernickel bread loaves
In medium bowl mix all ingredients (except
breads). Cover & refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Slice top off 1 loaf of bread & hollow out
(to make a shell). Pour dip into shell.
Cut up second loaf & top of first one into
1-inch chunks for dipping.
Makes 3 1/2 C. dip


Bacon Pinwheels

1 T. butter
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
3 T. apricot preserves 1 (8 oz) tube crescent roll dough (sheets preferred)
15 slices cooked bacon
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a skillet heat butter over medium heat – add onion
& cook 3-5 minutes until tender. Reduce heat & add
preserves – cook until melted.

Unroll crescent dough & roll into a 15 X 9″ rectangle.
(if using the perforated dough, seal seams & perforations).
Cut into 15 one-inch strips. Place 1 strip of bacon on each
strip & roll up, jelly-roll style, from the short end; place
on prepared sheet, seam sides down. Spoon apricot
mixture over each pieces.
Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 15

Garlic & Onion Cheddar Cheese Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (needs
to be soft enough to stir)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
3 green onions, diced
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 C. chopped pecans
In a bowl mix garlic salt, onions & Cheddar
cheese – mix in softened cream cheese until
combined. Refrigerate until cream cheese
gets hard.

Place chopped nuts on a sheet of plastic
wrap & scoop the hardened cheese on top.
Roll cream cheese into the shape of a ball
using the plastic wrap – roll so that pecans
cover the ball on the outside.
Serve immediately or refrigerate 1 hour.
Serve with your choice of dippers.
Serves 16

Pepperoni Cheese Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 oz. pepperoni, chopped into small
15 round butter crackers, chopped
1/8 C. grated Parmesan cheese
In small bowl combine softened cream
cheese, mozz. cheese, pepperoni, garlic
salt, Ital. seasoning – mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate & allow to harden slightly.
Mix crushed crackers & Parm. cheese
together then pour them onto a sheet
of plastic wrap. Place cheese mixture
on top & roll (using plastic wrap) into the
shape of a ball – making sure cracker
mixture covers the ball.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until
ready to serve. Serve with your
favorite dippers.
Serves 9


Crockpot Cheesy Ham Hashbrowns

3 C. ham, cubed (you can use more
or less – your choice)
1/4 C. butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. sour cream
1 (30 oz) bag frozen country-style shredded
hashbrown potatoes, thawed
salt/black pepper, to taste
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt
butter. Add onions – saute until translucent.
Remove pan from heat & stir in sour cream.

In a large bowl mix thawed hashbrowns,
cubed ham & 2 C. shredded cheese – add
salt & pepper to taste. Pour butter mixture
over hashbrowns & gently mix until thoroughly
combined. Spread mixture in bottom of
crockpot & sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

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

Crockpot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

3 lb. pork tenderloin
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Place tenderloin in 6 qt crockpot.
In a bowl whisk balsamic vinegar, brown
sugar, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, salt/pepper &
pour over pork in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours (or High 3 to 3 1/2 hrs).
Remove tenderloin from crockpot & slice.
Brush or drizzle tenderloin with sauce from crockpot.
Serves 6


S’Mores Bars

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1 stick butter
1 1/2 C. mini marshmallows
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Place butter in a saucepan, melt &
add graham crumbs – mix well &
spread on prepared sheet. Sprinkle
1 C. marshmallows on top & bake 7-10
minutes until marshmallows are slightly

In a small saucepan, melt choc. chips,
reserving a few to sprinkle on top.

When graham crust is done cooking,
spread melted choc. chips on top. Sprinkle
remaining 1/2 C. marshmallows on top &
drizzle remaining chocolate over top.
Freeze bars 1 hour to harden.
Break into pieces & serve.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container.


Nutella Puppy Chow

9 C. Rice Chex cereal
1 1/4 C. Nutella
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar
In a large bowl place Chex cereal.
(make sure bowl can handle heat)

In a medium microwave oven-safe bowl
melt Nutella, choc. chips & butter on
30-second intervals, stirring between
each one until smooth. Stir in vanilla
then pour over cereal & stir to coat.
Transfer cereal to a large ziplock bag. Add
powdered sugar & shake to coat.
Spread puppy chow out on a baking sheet
& allow to cool. Serves 12

NOTE: You can use other Chex cereals –
try to avoid using the flavored kind.

Recipe can easily be doubled.

We had a bit of snow a few days ago (about an inch on the ground now) – temperatures in the 30’s but clear.



Published in: on December 29, 2021 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  


Published in: on December 25, 2021 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Eve!

Crazy morning start but good, none the less. My closest friend is in the hospital with Covid & blood clots on her lungs (went by ambulance 2 days ago). She texted me today & is breathing a little better (THANK THE LORD!). Oldest son finally went to a clinic – he has an ear infection & is on Amoxicillin so he’s feeling much better – yay! (“THINK” we’re doing Christmas dinner, but still not sure). Rushed to grocery store to buy Romaine lettuce for Greek salad (in case we ARE doing dinner) – got there really early, 8:15 so I’m happily back home. Babysitting grandson 11 a.m. – ? (son said he’s closing the restaurant EARLY tonight – sure hope so, for HIS sake!).

Managed to bake the Gingersnap cookies for my husband AND the Russian Tea Cakes for oldest son, yesterday. I was a bit ‘tuckered out’ after, but happy I got that done. Today is baking the family tradition: “Happy Birthday, Jesus” chocolate cake (I’ve featured this one in past posts). Am thinking of making the other dessert today, too – it’s the Pumpkin Gingersnap dessert I was ‘going’ to make at Thanksgiving (then family decided it was OK just to have cheesecake). Still have a few presents to wrap, stockings to stuff (just before I go to bed).

I still have more recipes you might be able to use:

Christmas Dirt Cake

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Golden Oreo cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (16 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
2 (3.3 oz ) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 C. milk
Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes
Christmas sprinkles
Crush Oreos in a food processor or blender.
Place 2/3rds of them in bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish.

Using an elec. mixer, in a large bowl mix
cream cheese & butter until smooth – mix
in powdered sugar & all of Cool Whip.

In another bowl whisk milk & pudding mixes –
fold into cream cheese mixture & pour
over Oreos in dish. Top with remaining
crushed Oreos & remaining Cool Whip.
Cover & refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours
before serving.

Serving suggestion:
Stand up Little Debbie Christmas trees
on top of cake & sprinkle top with
Christmas sprinkles before serving.
Serves 12


Praline-Pecan French Toast
(chill time before baking 8 hours)
1 (16 oz) loaf French Bread
1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 C. butter, melted
2 T. maple syrup
3/4 C. chopped pecans
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
2 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

Cut bread into 10 (1-inch thick) slices – reserve
remaining bread for another use

In a bowl mix brown sugar, butter & maple
syrup – pour into prepared pan – sprinkle
with chopped pecans.

In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, gran. sugar &
cinnamon. Arrange bread slices over nuts; pour
egg mixture over bread. Cover & chill 8 hours.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake bread 35-37 minutes until golden brown.
Serve immediately. Serves 8-10

Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole
(chill time before baking 8 hours)
1 (16-18 oz) loaf Challah bread, cut into
1/2 inch thick slices
8 large eggs
2 1/2 c. refrigerated eggnog
1 1/2 C. whole milk
3 T. granulated sugar
2 T. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg, divided
1 tsp. cinnamon, divided
3 T. brown sugar (or turbinado)
3/4 C. pure maple syrup
2 T. (1 oz) bourbon

Powdered sugar – for dusting
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Place bread slices slightly
overlapping, in dish.

In a bowl whisk eggs, eggnog, milk, gran.
sugar, brown sugar, salt, 1 tsp. vanilla,
1 tsp. nutmeg & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon – pour
over bread to fully coat.
Cover & refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Uncover bread mixture.
In a small bowl mix brown/turbinado sugar &
remaining 1/2 tsp. nutmeg & cinnamon. Sprinkle
over bread mixture.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden brown.
Let stand at room temp. 10 minutes

In a small saucepan, cook maple syrup, bourbon
& remaining 1/4 tsp. vanilla over Low heat,
stirring often, until warmed through, about
2 minutes.

Dust top of casserole with powdered sugar.
Serve with maple syrup-bourbon sauce.
Serves 8
(serving size: 1 C. casserole & about 2 T. sauce)


Crispy-Topped Creamed Spinach

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well drained/squeezed
1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive & Onion
cream cheese spread
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple-Cheddar
cheese with a touch of Philadelphia, divided
24 round butter crackers, crushed (about 1 C.),
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 2-qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix first 4 ingredients until
blended; stir in 3/4 C. cheese & 1/2 C.
cracker crumbs.
Spoon  mixture into prepared dish – top
with remaining cracker crumbs & cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes until heated through.
Serves 12

Cheesy Vegetable Au Gratin

1 lb. carrots (about 8), peeled/diagonally
cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed, cut
into 3-inch lengths
3 T. butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
(can substitute your favorite cheese)
1 (5 oz) pkg. baby kale, (about 6 C.)
6 round butter crackers, coarsely crushed
2 T. shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.

In large pan of boiling water, cook
carrots 4 minutes, adding asparagus
for last 2 minutes, drain.  Rinse
vegetables under cold water; drain well.

In Dutch oven or large deep skillet, melt
2 T. butter over medium heat. Add garlic –
cook/stir 1 minute. Add flour – cook/stir
1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk & bring
to boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook,
stirring, until thickened. Add Pepper Jack
cheese – cook 1-2 minutes until melted,
stirring constantly. Remove from heat &
add kale & cooked vegetables – stir until
evenly coated with sauce. Spoon into
prepared baking dish.

Melt remaining butter & toss with cracker
crumbs & Parm. cheese -sprinkle over top.
Bake 20 minutes until heated through.
Serves 10

Cheesy Loaded Mashed Potatoes

4 C. hot cooked mashed potatoes
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
6 slices cooked center-cut bacon,
crumbled (can use bacon bits)
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple Cheddar
cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Serves 10


Oven-roasted Parmesan Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lemon
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Trim bottoms of asparagus.
Line a cookie sheet with foil & lay
asparagus on sheet in an even layer.
Drizzle olive oil over top & sprinkle
garlic salt on asparagus.

Bake 8-10 minutes until asparagus darkens
slightly & is tender. DO NOT overcook. It
should still be crisp – it will continue to cook
as it sits.

Cut lemon in half & squeeze juice over
asparagus. Top with Parmesan cheese &
Serves 4

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight
container for up to 5 days


Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar

2 lb. carrots, peeled, ends cut off
4 T. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. & 1/2 tsp. butter, melted
1/2 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut carrots in half, then in half again.
(cut thicker ends in half again so they
are similar in width.)
In a bowl mix brown sugar, butter, garlic,
oil, salt/pepper & carrots – until carrots
are well coated. Spread carrots out on
prepared baking sheet.

Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven,
toss then roast an additional 10 minutes
until you can easily put a fork through them.
Place in a serving bowl (or platter) & toss
carrots in the glaze from the pan, scraping
up all the glaze from the pan – mix it in.
Sprinkle top with parsley, if desired.
Serve warm
Serves 5

NOTE: You can half, double or triple recipe


Million Dollar Dip

1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry Ranch Salad dressing &
seasoning mix
3 oz. bacon – cooked/crumbled (about 3-
5 slices)
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
parsley – optional garnish
assorted chips
cut veggies
In large bowl combine sour cream, Ranch mix,
bacon & Cheddar cheese – mix thoroughly.
Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serve with dippers
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 3 cups

Can be made 1 day ahead – keep covered &
refrigerated until serving. Use within 3-5 days.


Cranberry Bliss Bars
(Starbucks copycat)

Blondie Layer:

3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. dried cranberries
6 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely


8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. powdered sugar, (sifted)
6 oz. white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

Blondie Layer:

In microwave bowl melt butter 1 minute;
stir in brown sugar – scrape butter/sugar into
a large bowl & let cool to room temp.
Using an elec. mixer, beat in eggs & vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking powder,
salt & cinnamon. Gradually add dry mixture to
butter mixture. Stir in cranberries & chopped
chocolate (batter will be thick).

Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake 18-21 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean (do not over bake).
Cool completely on a wire rack.


In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat cream
cheese & powdered sugar until well blended.
Gradually add half of melted white choc. –
beat until blended. Frost the Blondie layer &
sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle top with
remaining melted white choc.
Cut into 30 bars (square or triangle-shaped).
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE: Poster suggested you might like adding
1 T. grated orange zest to frosting.


Crockpot Asiago Cheese Dip

1 C. chicken broth (or water)
4 oz. dried tomatoes (NOT oil packed)
2 (16 oz, ea) tubs sour cream
1 1/2 C. finely shredded Asiago cheese (6 oz)
1 1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 of an 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, cut up
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms (or 1 oz. re-hydrated
dried mushrooms like porcini, shiitake, chanterells or
1 C. thinly sliced green onions
thinly sliced green onions (garnish)

baguette-style French bread slices topped with
finely shredded Asiago cheese, toasted
In a small saucepan bring broth/water to a boil;
remove from heat. Add dried tomatoes. Cover &
let stand 5 minutes. Drain (discard liquid). Chop
tomatoes (you should have about 1 1/4 C.)

In a 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockpot, combine sour cream,
1 1/2 C. Asiago cheese, mayo, cream cheese, mush-
rooms & 1 C. green onions – stir in chopped tomatoes.

Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours (or High 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
Stir well before serving. Sprinkle top with additional
green onions & serve with suggested dippers.
Makes 7 cups.

*To re-hydrate mushrooms:
Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Add
enough boiling water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes.
Drain, squeezing out any excess liquid. Coarsely


Hope your holiday plans are coming together nicely;



Published in: on December 24, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment