Memorial Day


Today is Memorial Day which found me up early to do some quick shopping. Husband asked: “Are any stores open today?” Yes, I replied – only going to KMart to return something, the grocery store & drug store – guess that surprised him, as his parents little Mom & Pop party store closed for all holidays. Yesterday I was mulling over whether I wanted to struggle through making potato salad and decided NO- I’m making TACO SALAD! Dinner in one salad – great stuff! Made one ‘batch’, bought enough for a second batch; this wife knows: if I MAKE a double batch husband will pig out on it until it’s almost all gone (we’re talking 3 big bowls per sitting) – so, with only one batch hopefully he won’t kill it immediately! (We’ll see . . . ) It’s chilling in the basement fridge as I type – LOVE that stuff!


Pammie’s Taco Salad

2 lb. hamburger, browned &
drained of grease
1 (dry) packet taco seasoning mix
1 head lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 can black olives, drained &
2 cans red kidney beans – rinsed/
1 lb. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bottle Thousand Island salad dressing

1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, gently

After browning/draining hamburger,
mix in taco seasoning with 1/4 C.
water; stir & simmer until water
is absorbed. Place hamburger, all
chopped veggies, beans, olives,
cheese in very large bowl. Pour
salad dressing over all & mix well.
Refrigerate mixture at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, mix in crushed
Doritos & serve. (Makes 1 batch)

Peanut Butter Gooey Cookie Bars

1/2 C. butter, softened

3/4 C. peanut butter
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. flour
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ pan with foil or parchment
paper; spray with nonstick spray. Cream
butter, peanut butter & both sugars in
bowl of an elec. mixer fitted with paddle
attachment. Add egg, vanilla, milk, salt &
baking soda; mix until combined. Slowly
add flour & mix until dougn comes
together. Press 2/3 of dough into bottom
of pan (dough will be very sticky, so spray
your hands with nonstick spray first – it
will look like you don’t have enough dough,
but spread it into a thin layer.). Sprinkle
choc. chips over top; pour sweetened cond.
milk over chips. Try to give a 1/2 ” border
around edges where the milk does not
touch the edge of the pan – this prevents
bubbling edges. Spoon tablespoon drops
of remaining dough over top; spray your
hands again with nonstick spray & gently
flatten the dough with your fingers- it
won’t completely cover -you’ll still see
the filling. Bake 30-36 minutes until bars
begin to brown on top. Cool completely
before slicing. If you chill them first it will
be easier to cut them (BUT they taste
better gooey & warm).
Store in air tight container up to 3 days;
can be frozen in sealable containers or
ziplock bags between layers of paper
towels for up to one month.


Orange Julius

1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice
concentrate, thawed
1 C. whole milk
1 C. water
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
ice cubes
orange slices (garnish)

In large bowl mix orange juice
conc. & 1 C. water until smooth.
Transfer mixture to blender &
pulse 5 seconds to make sure it’s
thoroughly combined. Pour in
milk, sugar, vanilla & 6-8 ice
cubes. Pulse another 30-45
seconds until smooth & frothy.
Divide into 2-4 chilled glasses &
serve immediately. Garnish
with orange slices (optional).

Option: Leave orange concentrate
frozen & omit the ice cubes. You
can also substitute 2 C. orange
juice for the juice concentrate.


Million Dollar Pie

2 graham cracker pie crusts
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (10 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together; pour into
crusts. (garnish top with extra pecans,
if desired). Refrigerate 2 hours before
serving. Makes 2 pies

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Chive & Onion Hash Brown Potatoes

1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 (8 oz) container spreadable chive &
onion cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In Dutch oven, combine first 5 ingredients;
cook & stir over medium heat until blended.
Stir in potatoes. In greased 9 X 13″ pan, layer
one third of hash brown mixture & 2/3 C.
Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with 1 T. chives; repeat
layers. Top with remaining hash brown
mixture & cheese; dot with butter. Bake,
covered, 35 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 10-20
minutes longer or until edges begin to brown &
potatoes are heated through. Let stand 10
minutes before serving. Sprinkle with
remaining chives. Serves 12


Smoky Baked Beans

1 lb bullk spicy pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork & beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
1 (16 oz) can butter beans, rinsed
& drained
1 (15 1/2 oz) can navy beans, rinsed
& drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
& drained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
chiles, drained
1/2 C. hickory-smoked flavored BBQ
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. steak seasoning (A1)
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)

In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until cooked; drain.
In 5 qt, crockpot combine beans,
tomatoes & sausage mixture. 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 until heated through.
Serves 16


Hummus Chicken Salad

10-12 oz. chicken, cooked/shredded
1 C. plain hummus
1/2 C. sliced cucumber
1/2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. sliced black olives
2 T. freshly chopped chives

Combine all ingredients in large
bowl; mix well. Refrigerate left-
overs in airtight container.
Serves 6-8


Broccoli Cheese Tots

12 oz. fresh broccoli florets
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 C. finely chopped scallion
2/3 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
salt/pepper to taste

Cook broccoli florets by blanching in a
pot of boiling water 1 minute then
rinse under cold water & drain well;
dry on paper towel. Finely chop & set
aside 2 C.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients &
season with salt/pepper, to taste. Spoon
heaping tablespoons of mixture in your
hands & roll/form into small ovals. Place
on cookie sheet & bake 16-18 minutes,
turning halfway through cooking process,
until golden. Makes about 28 tots.


Beef-stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. marinara sauce (or spaghetti
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterrey Jack
cheese, divided
additional marinara or spaghetti sauce

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a
thin slice from bottom of each with a
sharp knife – to allow zucchini to sit flat.
Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shells.
Place shells in ungreased 3 qt. microwave-
safe dish. Cover & microwave on High 3
minutes until crisp-tender; drain & set
In large skillet cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink; drain. Remove from heat; stir in
marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs,
salt/pepper & 1/2 C. cheese. Spoon
about 1/4 C. mixture into each shell.
Microwave, uncovered, on High 4
minutes. Sprinkle tops with remaining
cheese. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer
until thermometer reads 160 degrees F
and zucchini are tender. Serve with
marinara/spaghetti sauce on side.
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: tasteof

Our weather is ‘typical’ of this time of year
for Michigan (but not the greatest for a
holiday) – overcast & lightly raining, inter-
mittantly & 74 degrees – not bad, just a
wee bit ‘wet’. Forecast for Tuesday night
is 70% thunderstorms (oh great – Knit

Since it’s a holiday, I don’t have anything
special planned – probably will work on
crocheting more granny squares, read
my book and (maybe) take a quick nap!

Hope you have a peaceful day;



Of Cabooses & Crochet –


Yep, another new one!

This is the color combinations I chose for the next baby afghan; the good thing is they are all (except the yellow, which is leftovers from last afghan) donated yarn! Started working on them last night and now have about 8 done – not exactly sure how many this ‘batch’ of yarn will make, but I’m planning on crocheting it all up and then seeing if I might need a few more squares. If I do, I might just go with all white ones, just to contrast. The lavender and white inside squares are really soft, almost terrycloth-like. I went on line last night trying to see if I could find any more of the fuzzy white & lavender – maybe if I went on Ebay, but I’m going to hold off and see how far this goes before ordering more (IF I can find any!). The fuzzy white is Herrschner’s Ultra Fleece  – they have BABY Ultra Fleece on line but I’m not exactly sure it’s the same thing, so I’m going to hold off, for now.

Grandson is here for the day; I love him dearly but, at a very ‘busy – almost nine’, he’s hard to keep amused. We played for awhile, he played on his phone games & my computer then I decided to take him somewhere I HOPED he’d never been – the location for my Log Cabin Days: the site of the Waterford Historical Society (aka: Fish Hatchery Park). All of the old buildings were locked up (I thought they would be) but we had a pleasant time walking around. There was a family of geese with about 8 cygnets all fluffy & downy; the river running through the property to look at, big ‘walking sticks’ to pick up and drag with us. My idea was: burn off some of the SUPER ENERGY. We stopped at a garage sale and he tried his best to convince me to buy a old bubble gum machine for him. One look and I told him it would run at least $30 – it was $55; answer to him: “NOPE!” Then he spotted a small table-top model for $5.oo – the pleading began but this grandma is no softy – still NO. Stopped at Walgreen’s for their cans of tuna on sale & milk (also on sale); he convinced me that getting a small container of sour mints was a good idea (much better than $55.00 or $5.oo, for sure!). Came home & he decided he wanted to read to me OUT LOUD (sigh). He’s a very good reader and went through almost one chapter of one of his DAD’S old “Box Car Children” books before he asked to take a ‘short break’ – within 5 minutes he was asleep! YAY! FRESH AIR TO THE RESCUE! (His other grandma is supposed to be picking him up in about an hour – we made it through the day!). Forgot to add: the title of this post was Cabooses & Crochet – at the park they have a large wooden train for kids to climb on/in – I took a photo of him sitting on top of the caboose using my CELL PHONE – I don’t know how to download that photo to my computer – UGH! Just imagine a really cute kid sitting on top of a wooden train and you’ll have the image I wanted to share!


Toffee Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake (regular size)
1 (17 oz) jar butterscotch – caramel
ice cream topping
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 Heath candy bars (1.4 oz ea),

In a greased 9 X 13 pan prepare
cake mix accordg to pkg directions;
cool on wire rack. Using the handle
of a wooden spoon, poke holes in
cake. Pour 3/4 C. caramel topping
into holes. Spoon remaining caramel
over cake. Top with Cool Whip & sprinkle
with chopped candy bars. Refrigerate
at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 15


Picnic Corn & Tomato Salad

1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunt’s) Fire-
roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
3 T. real bacon bits
2 T. ketchup
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium
bowl; stir to combine. Serves 6


Dilled Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. light Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 large cucumbers, halved length-
wise & sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt’s Petite Diced
tomatoes, drained
1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion
1/8 tsp. salt

Stir together yogurt, salad dressing &
dill in large bowl. Add all remaining
ingredients & stir gently to combine.
Serves 6


Beer Can BBQ Chicken

1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 (4 lb) whole chicken
1 (12 oz) can beer
12/ C. (Kraft) sweet honey
BBQ sauce

Heat grill for indirect grilling (light
one side of grill, leaving other side
unlit. Close lid; heat to 375 degrees F.)
Mix first 5 ingredients; rub on chicken.
Open beer can; discard (or drink) half
the can. Place can on work surface;
lower chicken over can, inserting can
into tail end of chicken. Stand chicken
on grate over unlit area, using legs to
help chicken stand upright. Cover (can
should remain in chicken on grill). Grill
1 hour; brush with 1/4 C. sauce. Grill,
uncovered, 15 minutes or until chicken
is done, checking for consistent grill
temperatures & brushing chicken
frequently with remaining sauce. Remove
from grill; cover chicken loosely with
foil. Let stand 10 minutes before
removing chicken from can & carving.
Discard any beer that remains in can.
Serves 4


Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, beaten
1 C. buttermilk*
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch cayenne powder
1 C. flour
1 C. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
3 C. oil

Mix egg, buttermilk, garlic powder
& cayenne; set aside. Place chicken in large
bowl or large ziplock bag. Pour buttermilk
mixture over chicken & seal tightly. Keep in
refrigerator 2-4 hours.

In shallow dish (for dredging) mix flour, bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese, salt, pepper & baking
powder. Remove chicken from fridge & shake
off excess buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken
in flour & prepare to fry.

Heat oil in large, deep & heavy skillet. When oil
is hot & shimmering, carefully place coated
chicken in hot oil & fry until golden brown &
juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.

*IF you do not have buttermilk:
In a 1 cup glass measuring cup, pour
1 T. white vinegar or lemon juice.
Pour milk into cup to bring milk level
to 1 C. Stir & let stand 5 minutes then
use as much as your recipe calls for

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Grilled Potato Rounds

1 T. oil
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced thyme
4 potatoes, sliced into rounds

Heat grill. In bowl, mash together
first 4 ingredients to create a paste.
Add potatoes to oil mixture & toss.
Grill until potatoes are tender; serve.
Makes 3 servings

(recipe: Russie-Marys’ Recipe Exchange)

Bean Salad

1 can kidney beans, rinsed/drained
1 C. diced celery
1 can yellow (wax) beans, drained
1 large onion, diced
1 can green beans, drained
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 can whole kernel corn, drained

2 C. cider vinegar
2 T. salad oil
2 C. sugar

Place all vegetables in large bowl.
Mix together dressing ingredients &
pour over – toss well. Refrigerate
overnight before serving.

(recipe: Mary Free- Mary’s Recipe

Lemonade Ice Box Pie

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 C. thawed lemonade concentrate
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
yellow food coloring (optional)
1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust

In large bowl beat cream cheese & cond.
milk until smooth. Beat in lemonade
concentrate; fold in Cool Whip & food
coloring (if desired) – pour into crust.
Cover & refrigerate until set. Makes 8


Don’t know about your area, but here GAS
PRICES are really jumping UP! A few days
ago they were at $2.64/9 – today that same
place was $2.79/9 – YIKES! My husband keeps
saying: “You worry about nothing – they’re
not at $4.00″ … sigh.

Not much else going on – got an email from
a lady who was in the knit group almost
when it began, then she moved to Florida
(or so I thought). Apparently she’s back
her but selling her house and has a
garbage bag of yarn for me – SUPER!
Yes, I know – I already have a ton of yarn,
but like women who collect shoes or
purses – you can never have too much!
The good thing, for me, is that I get first
pick and then can hand the rest down to
the group (and even THEN, if there’s
leftovers, I can take them to the Senior
Center for the kids at Children’s Village,
so it’s a Win/Win!).

Hope your holiday weekend plans are going
well (if you’re traveling); we’re doing the
‘usual’ – staying here. Not sure if I might come
up with a special dinner or not – we’ll see.

Stay healthy, enjoy the beauty of this Summer




Scattered thoughts on a Thursday



Not much going on – finished the yellow crocheted baby blanket today; haven’t quite solidified my pattern idea for the next blanket (am sort of hovering at a Granny Square one – yes, I know – that’s CROCHET and you HATE crochet!). Found lots of nice patterns knit & crochet, but want to use this donated yarn to it’s best potential. Most of the yarn is a sort of fuzzy baby yarn (skeins in white & lavender; have a few small skeins of a dark purple, a large skein of a kinky light pink, and some light mauve). Have a large ball of leftover yellow from other afghan; am thinking of making the squares like flowers: bright yellow center, then varying outer rings – we’ll see.

My special needs friend I drive each week brought me his afghan (the one I knit him about 1 1/2 years ago) – it seems he caught it on something and now it has a small hole. Washed & dried it first and a little later on today will go looking for the hole. Upon first sight I didn’t find one – we’ll see.

Our weather is still chilly, gray and yucky 56 degrees F. (could be worse: it could be raining – sigh). Gas prices are on the rise: now up to $2.69/9 – guess they’re upping them for the holiday weekend. My oldest son just told me that the price of eggs will be going up a LOT soon – I guess there’s a bird flu that’s killing commercial chickens, making egg prices go through the roof. He’s an Executive Chef and has been trying to order ahead on eggs, but his suppliers tell him that they are now limited on how many they can sell due to this new development.

Managed to make it through our Knit/Crochet Movie night Tuesday – we watched a movie we all voted on (not exactly knowing what it was about but the girl that brought it just got it from Netflix and said it was NEW!). The movie: “Still Alice” – Alex Baldwin & Julianne Moore – about a lady professor who slowly goes downhill with early-onset Alzeheimer’s – certainly NOT a happy/fluffy chick flick like we hoped! About half way through one of the ladies blurted out: “OK WHO brought this DEPRESSING MOVIE?” It was well done & acted, just not a easy-to-watch one, for sure.

At the movie night one of the ladies brought “Pineapple Fluff” – THIS is a dessert recipe you need to keep on hand! Don’t think there was ANY left later, we all glommed on it!

Pineapple Fluff Dessert

2 (3 1/2 oz, ea) pkgs. Instant pistachio
pudding mix
2 (12 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple

Mix pudding with pineapple & juices;
let set a few minutes then fold in
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Serves 10-12

NOTE: Can also add
2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. maraschino cherries, chopped
1 (1 lb) bag miniature marshmallows
(If adding marshmallows, refrigerate
at least 24 hours to let marshmallows



Hawaiian Pasta Salad

8 oz bow tie pasta
1/2 C. pineapple, cut into small cubes
(fresh or canned- drain if using canned,
but do not throw the juice – use for the
1/4 C. roasted red pepper, diced
2 C. diced ham
1 green onion, thinly sliced

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. honey barbecue sauce
1/2 C. pineapple juice

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions;
drain & cool under cold water (Pasta
must be cold). Mix all dressing
ingredients together. Combine all
ingredients in large bowl; gently
toss with dressing. Refrigerate
at least 1 hour before serving.


Chicken Taco Pie

1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can refried beans
2 C. salsa
3 C. chicken breast, cooked/chopped
1/2 C. sour cream
5 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3 1/2 C. Mexican-blend cheese (up to
4 C., shredded)
1 C. whole kernel corn

sour cream
shredded lettuce – garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix together chicken, chili powder,
garlic, salt & sour cream in bowl. Using
a 10″ springform (or cake pan) layer 2
tortillas. Spread 1/2 the can of beans
on top & sprinkle evenly with 1/4 C.
cheese. Layer another tortilla, top
with 3/4 C. salsa, 1/2 C. corn & 1 1/2
C. chicken. Repeat layers one more
time. Top with a tortilla, 1/3 C. salsa &
1 to 1 1/2 C. cheese. Cover with foil &
bake 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake
5 minutes more until all cheese has
melted. Top with shredded cheese &
sour cream. Cut into wedges to serve.
Serves 6


Creamy Carrots

1 1l2 lb. carrots, peeled, cut
diagonally into thin slices
1/2 C. vegetable broth
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 T. chopped fresh chives (or
chopped green onions)

In large skillet bring carrots & broth
to boil under medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer
8-10 minutes, covered, until carrots
are crisp-tender. Uncover & simmer,
8-10 minutes until most of broth is cooked
off & carrots are tender. Remove from heat
& add cream cheese; stir until melted then
sprinkle with chives. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes)

No-Bake Banana Split Pie

1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
1 (4 oz) carton Yoplait Pina Colada
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 ripe bananas

Topping suggestions:
hot fudge
maraschino cherries
your favorite ice cream toppings

Whip together yogurt, sugar & cream
cheese until fluffy. Fold Cool Whip into
cream cheese mixture & spoon into pie
crust. Mound sliced bananas on top then
top with your choice of toppings.

Captain’s Quick Cole Slaw

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) pkg. cabbage coleslaw

In large bowl whisk together all
ingredients except coleslaw mix;
mix until smooth & creamy. Add
coleslaw mix & toss until well-
coated. Cover & chill at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4


The Best Crockpot Pork Chops

4-6 pork chops without bone
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can mushrooms, drained/
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 potatoes, unpeeled/cut into cubes
1 onion, chopped

Combine soup, mushrooms, mustard,
water, salt, basil, salt/pepper. Add
potatoes & onion, stirring to coat. Place
pork chops on top of potato mixture.
Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours or High
4-5 hours.
To serve you can place potatoes on top of
pork chops or just top with gravy.


Summer Salad

2 C. finely chopped seeded/peeled cucumber
1/2 C. finely chopped/seeded tomato
1/4 C. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/chopped
4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl combine first 7 ingredients.
In another bowl combine sour cream,
lemon/lime juices, cumin & seasoned
salt; pour over cucumber mixture & toss
gently to coat. Serve immediately.

(recipe: Dana Smith-Facebook)

Shrimp Orzo with Feta

1 1/4 C. uncooked whole wheat
orzo pasta
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/4 lb. uncooked shrimp
(26-30 per lb), peeled/deveined
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo accordg to pkg. directions.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Add garlic; cook & stir 1 minute. Add
tomatoes & lemon juice; bring to boil.
Stir in shrimp – reduce heat, simmer,
uncovered, 4-5 minutes until shrimp
turn pink. Drain orzo & add to shrimp
mixture with cilantro & pepper – heat
through. Sprinkle with feta cheese when
serving. Serves 4.


Easy Fudge

1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Optional mix-ins:
chopped nuts
cranberries or currents
rice krispies
chili powder (if you like things a little spicy)

Line a 9″ square baking dish with aluminum
foil. In medium saucepan combine choc. chips &
cond. milk over Low heat; stir until chocolate
is melted & smooth. Once smooth, remove from
heat & stir in vanilla & salt. Pour into prepared
dish & refrigerate at least 2 hours. Using foil,
remove from pan & cut into pieces.



That’s the news from the home front today –
have no idea what’s for dinner tonight; I still
have about 12 hot dogs left over from the
Movie Night – who knew ladies don’t eat
2 hot dogs EACH? I didn’t! (But then there
were a lot of other really tasty things to
try: REALLY good potato salad, taco salad,
KFC coleslaw (the friend who brought this
said: “Why should I MAKE coleslaw when
Kentucky Fried Chicken makes such good
stuff?” Point taken!) and one of the ladies
only eats organic (I didn’t know this): she
brought organic Sweet Potatoes chips,
guacamole and some KILLER Mango
salsa! (she gets it at Sam’s club) – I was
totally STUFFED by the end of the night,
just sampling all the foods (AND I skipped
the chocolate brownies & a triple chocolate
Bundt cake!). Yes, we eat really well on
Movie Night!

Have a great day – try to enjoy yourself,
even a little!!!



Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 11:44 am  Comments (1)  

Whew! It’s a HOT one out there today!


Went out a little earlier to do a few errands and was surprised at the temperature: 87 ! Bright sun (NO BREEZE), a little cloudy – not the kind of day you want to spend in your car (but it WAS one of those days where I seemed to get stuck at red lights or just when the light turns green you hear a siren and here comes two fire trucks – you guessed it – gotta wait for the next green – sigh). One of my quick trips was to the hardware store to get a key cut – no problem. Finish my errands, get back home & hand husband the little bag with key and say: “Here’s your key!” He opens the bag and says: “Where?” No key! Have NO idea where it went; call store & they check – no key . . . drive back and get another one cut (free) – in the hot car – sigh. I decide that THIS TIME I deserve a little something for me, so I stopped at Tim Horton’s and got a Iced Cappuccino with caramel drizzle – now THAT cooled me off!

Dinner is in the crockpot: BBQ’d ribs; mac & cheese & cole slaw go with. Am going to try the Strawberry dessert I posted a few days ago (substituting blueberry pie filling) – was ‘going’ to make it the other day only to discover I didn’t have 8 oz. of cream cheese – sigh.

You know how, sometimes, life kicks ya in the boo-tay? Well, that’s me today. Our knit group is working out well on Facebook except that one of my members kind of took it on herself to ‘help’ me out by posting the Knit/Movie night on FB – I didn’t WANT it posted on a (PUBLIC) Facebook – friend who hosts the event has a basement that only holds about 15, plus her parking leaves a bit to be desired. UGH! Yes, I’m moderator of the group but because SHE posted the event, only SHE can erase it! Frustration! One good thing: she didn’t post the address/date/time – whew! I had a (new to the group, so far only on Facebook – has never come to a group meeting at Panera Bread) person get a bit ‘touchy’ with me about it – still sorting that one out. Double UGH! Yep, I deserved the iced cappoccino today!


 Peaches ‘n Cream Dessert
(overnight recipe)

1 (16 oz) pkg. pecan shortbread
cookies, crushed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1 (3 oz) pkg. peach Jell-O
2 T. cornstarch
1 (12 oz) can lemon-lime soda
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) Tub Cool Whip, thawed
6 C. fresh or frozen sliced peeled
peaches, thawed
1/3 C. unsweetened pineapple juice

In small bowl combine cookie crumbs &
butter; press onto bottom of ungreased
9 X 13 pan. In small saucepan, combine
sugar, Jell-O & cornstarch; stir in soda
until smooth – bring to boil & cook,
stirring, 5-7 minutes until slightly
thickened. Cool to room temp, stirring
In large bowl beat cream cheese & powdered
sugar until smooth; beat in Cool Whip until
blended & spread over crust. Combine
peaches & pineapple juice; arrange over
cream cheese layer. Pour Jell-O mixture over
top, cover & refrigerate overnight.
Makes 15 servings.


Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, cooked &
6 medium potatoes, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. finely shredded Cheddar

Mix all ingredients (except cheese)
in 6 qt. crockpot; stir well. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low 8 hours.
Uncover & sprinkle cheese over top;
cover & cook an additional 1 hour.
Serves 6-8


Meatball Sub Casserole

2 tubes Pillsbury refrigerated
crusty French loaf bread
1 (32 oz) bag frozen fully cooked
Italian meatballs, thawed
1 jar marinara sauce
2 T. garlic spread, divided
2 C. shredded mozzrella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
Remove bread loaf from tube & use a
sharp knife; slice down the middle
lengthwise (without cutting all the
way through). Open up bread & lay
flat on prepared pan. Press out to the
edges using your fingers-just get it to
the edges as best you can; if it doesn’t
stay or holes break apart in center, that’s
OK. Bake 20-25 minutes until bread begins
to slightly brown. Slice thawed meatballs
in half & place in large pot along with
marinara sauce; stir to cover meatballs with
sauce. Cover & heat over medium heat,
stirring occasionally 20 minutes while bread
is baking. Remove pan from oven; spread
1 T. garlic spread over top of bread. Spoon
meatballs & sauce over top of bread making
sure meatballs lie as flat as possible (even
into parts of pan that might not have bread
on it.) Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella
On greased flat cookie sheet lay the second
bread roll using the same process as the
first: slice roll down the center, etc to form
a 9 X 13 rectangle. (holes are OK). Carefully
take bread rectangle & lay over top of
cheese layer; using fingers, try to spread
to edges as best you can. Place pan back
in oven & bake 20-25 minutes until bread
begins to brown on top. Remove from oven
& spread remaining garlic spread over top.
Slice into 18 slices.


5 Ingredient Spinach/Parmesan Pasta

8 oz. uncooked pasta
3 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 C. packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper, to taste

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
cooking until al dente. Drain, reserving
1/2 C. of pasta water; set pasta aside.
Using same pot, melt butter over medium
heat; add garlic & cook 2-3 minutes. Add
pasta & spinach, gently tossing & cook
until spinach leaves are wilted. If pasta
starts to dry out, add some of reserved
pasta water (usually about 1/3 C.). Stir
in 1/4 C. Parm. cheese; toss until combined.
Season with salt/pepper, to taste.
Pour pasta into a large bowl, garnish with
additional Parmesan cheese & serve
immediately. Serves 4


Avocado Crab Dip

2 avocados, mashed
2 (6 oz, ea) cans crab meat
2-3 T. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
seasoning blend

Combine all ingredients in small
bowl; mix well. Taste – if you like
it extra spicy, add a bit more
seasoning. Cover & refrigerate
30 minutes; serve immediately.


Quinoa Biscuits with 2 Cheeses

3 eggs
2 C. cooked, cooled quinoa
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. minced green onions
2 tsp. minced thyme
2 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl whisk eggs until light. Stir
in remaining 8 ingredients until
combined. Shape 2 T. portions of
mixture into balls. Arrange on
greased baking sheet & bake
18 minutes or until done. Serve
warm. Makes 9 servings.

(recipe: Russie-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peanut Butter/Pretzel/
Choc. Chip Bars
(no bake)

1/4 C. unsalted butter
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. crispy rice cereal
3/4 C. chopped pretzels
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Cut out a 8″ X 8″ square of parchment
paper; place in bottom of 8″ X 8″ baking
pan. In large saucepan, add butter, brown
sugar, honey & peanut butter; heat over
medium-low heat, stirring occasionally,
until mixture starts to bubble. Cook 2
minutes while stirring; remove from
heat & stir in vanilla. Stir in oats, rice
cereal & pretzels; stir until well coated.
Pour into prepared pan, pressing mixture
evenly. Sprinkle mini choc. chips over top
& gently press into bars using your hands.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before
cutting. Makes 8-10 bars
NOTE: bars should be refrigerated; they
will keep up to one week.



I noticed today that gas prices have jumped more
probably in anticipation of the holiday weekend;
our local Clark (which I think is about the lowest)
was at $2.65/9 for regular (a week ago it was
$2.46/9). Oh well – not much choice there, eh?

I’m still plugging away at the yellow crocheted
baby blanket; I’m guessing another few days
and it will be done (then will have to do the
white crocheted border). Like other people,
I have sites I like to peruse; some people like
looking at shoes/purses or gardening stuff –
I like looking at knitting or crochet sites for
more easy/free patterns (as if I don’t have
enough already, right?) Ran into a few sites
yesterday that had some (new to me) sort
of easy stitch patterns – right now I’m sort
of trying to figure out exactly what stitch
to use for the NEXT baby blanket. I have
3 colors of yarn available: white, lavender
and a darker purple. Not sure if I want to
try a new crochet pattern (practiced the
shell pattern in crochet this morning),
or if I want to do something with knitting.
Ah, the ‘fun’! There is a new (to me) Face
book group called Pure Michigan Knitters –
I’m really enjoying getting to see posts
& conversations about my favorite
craft! The ladies are very friendly
and helpful, so that makes even the
very new knitter feel welcome.

Discovered yesterday via the Sunday
newspaper that the Alphabet murder/
mystery series I’ve been reading by
Sue Grafton is NOT complete! I thought
I’d just cruise through A to Z  (I’m on
“V is for Vengeance” right now) and
according to the article she’s still
writing Xlooks like I’ll be waiting
awhile for the next one, eh? Darn.

I’ll let ya go now and get back to
either perusing craft sites or
working on finishing the baby
afghan. OH! Forgot to tell you –
after the Yarn Swap the other
night there was still a pretty
big bag of miscellaneous yarns/
a few knit/crochet booklets and
some needles & hooks. I called
the Senior Center near me and
she told me to bring them in.
Turns out they have a big box in
their foyer for donations; the
donations go to the local
Children’s Village (for troubled
children) – they use the donations
to teach the kids to knit & crochet!
So happy to be ‘playing it forward’!

Enjoy your day!



Just cruisin’ along . . .


Kind of grey & rainy today, but the temp is at 65 so I can’t complain. Spent the early part of the day wandering around KMart for a few things (of the 3 I was looking for, only found 1, but that’s OK). Got a nice big BRIGHT RED geranium hanging basket for in front of the window with the tiny painted houses (I do that every year). Had to make a quick stop at the grocery because more people are signing up for next Tuesday’s Knit/Crochet MOVIE NIGHT! I’m a bit surprised, but in a good way; we usually average about 7-8 people – this time I’m at 11 and still have 3 more days of possibilities (our local grocery had Ballpark Bun-length hot dogs on sale, so that’s good). Do you ever feel like you’re just ‘marking time’ until something new comes along? I get that way sometimes. Today I took the time to finish the job of re-locating all the knit group’s photos to the new site – WHEW! Glad that’s done!

Yesterday I stopped at Kroger’s for a few things and hit a really great deal in their marked down meats: 2 packages of Butterball Turkey Tenderloin marinated in Dijon Mustard – each pkg. was $2.99! I cooked one for dinner & froze one; made potato pancakes & tossed salad to go with; there was even enough turkey left over for one more meal for 1 person! Today I picked up some pork ribs to cook in the crockpot, probably tomorrow. Have you ever cooked ribs in the crockpot? They come out Fall-Off-The-Bone! Just cut the ribs into 2-3 rib portions, plop them in the crockpot (layering with your favorite BBQ sauce – I like Sweet Baby Ray’s). Turn them on High 3-4 hours and they’re good to go! Speaking of food, guess I’d better post more recipes, eh?


(I’m going to try this recipe – don’t have strawberries but am going to substitute a can of blueberry pie filling)

Strawberry Angel Cake

1 box angel food cake mix;
prepared as directed on box &
baked in 9 X 13″ pan (cooled)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed

(reserve some sliced strawberries for

Remove insides of cake leaving a
bottom and sides (sort of like carving
out a box). Place ‘scooped insides’ in
a bowl;  add cream cheese, condensed
milk & 2 C. strawberries; blend well &
stir in 1 C. Cool Whip. Pour mixture
into cake ‘shell’, smooth out. Top with
remaining cream & garnish with sliced
strawberries. Let stand 1 hour before

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Leftover Ham Bone Soup

1 leftover ham bone
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled/diced
1 russet potato, peeled/diced
1 C. canned white kidney beans,
3/4 C. frozen corn kernels
3/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper,
to taste
1 1/2 C. leftover diced ham

Place ham bone in large stockpot or Dutch
oven; add enough water to cover bone
halfway, about 6-7 cups. Bring to boil,
reduce heat & simmer until very fragrant,
about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove &
discard hambone. Heat olive oil in large
stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add garlic, onion, carrots & potato; cook
stirring occasionally until onions have
become translucent, 2-3 minutes. STir in
ham stock, beans, corn, thyme & bay leaves;
season with salt & pepper to taste. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat & simmer until
potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Stir in ham until heated through, 1-2
minutes. Serves 6


Chicken Thighs with Shallots & Spinach

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
(about 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 C. white wine (or chicken broth)
1 (10 oz) pkg. fresh spinach
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sour cream

Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt &
pepper. In large skillet sprayed with
nonstick spray heat oil over medium
heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on
each side. Remove from pan & keep
warm. In same pan, cook & stir shallots
until tender. Add wine; bring to boil.
Cook until wine is reduced by half. Add
spinach & salt; cook & stir just until
spinach is wilted. Stir in sour cream,
serve with chicken. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: Recipe can be frozen: Before
adding sour cream, cool chicken &
spinach mixture. Freeze in freezer
containers. To use: partially thaw in
refrigerator overnight. Heat through
slowly in a covered skillet until a
thermometer inserted into chicken
reads 165 degrees F., stirring
occasionally. Stir in sour cream &


Garlic Honey Parmesan Carrots

1 lb. bag frozen Parisian carrots or
regular carrots
1 1/2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. honey

Pour carrots into skillet; add 1/3 C.
water – cover & steam 6-8 minutes;
drain. Return skillet to stove & add
butter, garlic, parsley, salt/pepper.
Saute over medium heat 4 minutes
until garlic is tender. Stir in honey
until combined.


Newer Ambrosia

1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in heavy
syrup, drained
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 C. shredded coconut
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
6 maraschino cherries, cut in half
crushed nuts for garnish (optional)

In large bowl combine all ingredients;
toss gently. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to
marry the flavors (overnight is better)
Sprinkle top with crushed nuts & serve.
Serves 8


Italian Beef


4 lb. beef rump roast, trimmed
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
dash Worcestershire sauce
dash soy sauce
1 pkt. Italian salad dressing mix (dry)

Place roast in crockpot. Combine remaining
ingredients in saucepan; cook over medium-
high heat until mixture comes to a full boil.
Remove from heat; pour over roast. Cook
all night on Low, or 6-8 hours on High.
About 1 1/2 hours before serving, flake meat
apart using 2 forks; continue cooking.

(recipe: Cheryl B-slowcooker digest)

Miss Hudson’s Banana Pudding

1 3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. flour
2 3/4 C. milk
4 egg yolks
2 T. vanilla
1 (11 oz) box vanilla wafers
3 ripe bananas, cut into 1/4″
thick slices (3 C.)

4 egg whites
1/4 C. sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Whisk together sugar & flour in
medium heavy saucepan; gradually
whisk in milk until blended. Cook
over medium heat, whisking
constantly, 5 minutes until thickened.
Whisk egg yolks until thick & pale.
Gradually whisk about 1/4 of hot milk
mixture into yolks; add yolk mixture
to remaining hot milk mixture, whisking
constantly. Pour into a clean saucepan;
cook over Low heat, whisking constantly,
5 minutes until thickened. Remove from
heat; stir in 2 T. vanilla.
Toss together vanilla wafers & bananas
slices in a 11″ X 7″ baking dish; top with
warm pudding.

Beat egg whites at High speed using elec.
mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar,
1 T. at a time, beating until stiff peaks
form & sugar dissolves (about 2-4 minutes).
Beat in vanilla with last tablespoon of sugar.
Spread meringue over warm pudding, sealing
to edges of dish. Bake 8 minutes until golden
brown. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
Serve warm. Serves 8



I noticed our gas prices have gone up again, from
$2.46/9 to $2.59/9 – ah, well – life goes on, eh?

Hope you’re having a good, relaxing day;



Great Night!


Last night was our Knit/Crochet & Yarn Swap night – we had 23 in attendance, some who haven’t come in a LONG time! I admit I’d been a little trepidacious about people bringing yarn, but I was VERY wrong! We had tons of yarn, needles/hooks, some books and a few other craft items; the ladies were happy and I ended up picking up enough white, lavender & dark purple yarn to make another baby blanket for the Detroit Vet’s Baby shower! There was enough ‘leftovers’ for me to have a large bag to take to our local Seniors center – they have a knit or crochet group there that might be able to use the yarn. My friend who’s expecting in June came & I was able to give her all the baby items I’d made for her. Finished the hedgehog, too, and when she saw it she said: “Everyone KNOWS I love hedgehogs!” (well – I didn’t but was SO glad I made it & she liked it.)


(sort of has a fox face here)


Husband said his nose is a little too long, but . . . oh, well – SHE liked it! Maybe if I make another one I could tweak it a little bit; as it was I ended up making the body longer – he was about 12 inches long.


Strawberry Icebox Cake

3 lb. strawberries, sliced
1 (14.4 oz) box Honey graham crackers
3 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

* Each Cool Whip layer uses one entire
(8 oz) tub (besides the first thin layer).
* Each strawberry layer uses about 1 lb.
of sliced strawberries

In a 9 X 13″ pan spread a thin layer of Cool
Whip just to coat the bottom. Lay 5 graham
crackers across the center of pan, then 2
more, breaking them as needed to fit around
the top & bottom edges. Spread a thick
layer of Cool Whip (just use remaining Cool
Whip from first step) over grahams & top with
a hearty layer of sliced strawberries. Place
graham crackers on top of strawberries, then
Cool Whip, then strawberries. Repeat layers
one more time (3 times total) – you should
reach the top of the pan. Finish with a layer
of sliced strawberries. Refrigerate at least
4 hours or overnight until graham crackers
have softened completely. Serve chilled.
serves 16-20


Honey BBQ Brisket

1 brisket (4-5 lbs)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 C. honey BBQ sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
salt & pepper, to taste

Sprinkle brisket with salt & pepper. Mix
onion & garlic powders, smoked paprika,
cumin & cayenne pepper in small bowl.
Dry rub both sides of brisket with mixture.
Stir together honey BBQ sauce & brown
sugar; pour half of mixture into bottom of
crockpot. Place seasoned brisket, fatty side
up, in crockpot. Cover brisket with remaining
sauce. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours or
until fork tender. Remove from crockpot &
let cool, then slice.
In small bowl combine cornstarch & water
until it’s completely smooth. Pour mixture
into bowl of sauce & stir to combine, then
pour on top of sliced meat. Place meat &
sauce back in crockpot for 30-60 minutes
to melt flavors.

(recipe: crockpotmoms)

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into bite-sized pieces (or 3 C. cooked)
salt/black pepper
1 C. corn
1 C. cooked brown or white rice
1 C. (packed) fresh chopped spinach
2 heaping Cups sharp Cheddar cheese,
4-5 bell peppers

2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can Ro*Tel diced green chiles &
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 C. sour cream, plus more for serving

Add 1 T. olive oil to large skillet over medium
heat; season chicken with salt/pepper & cook,
turning to brown on all sides. Remove to large
bowl & mix with rice, corn, spinach & 1 1/2 C.
cheese. In medium saucepan melt butter over
medium-low heat. Stir in flour & cook 2-3
minutes, stirring often. Whisk in chicken broth
& bring to simmer 3 more minutes, stirring
often. Turn heat to Low & mix in Ro*Tel; add
cream cheese & sour cream to a medium bowl;
add a ladle of hot broth to bowl & stir with a
spoon, then add another ladle of broth, stir then
add to sauce (this prevents curdling). Whisk
until it is completely combined; remove from
heat & allow to cool to lukewarm.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a large roasting pan with nonstick spray.
Wash peppers & cut off tops; remove seeds &
white centers; place in roasting pan. Season
sauce to taste with salt/pepper. Mix about 1
C. sauce into chicken mixture to start, adding
more if needed. You want it well coated but
not swimming in it. Spoon stuffing into peppers,
top with remaining cheese. Spoon or slowly
pour remaining sauce into bottom of pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes until peppers are tender. If
tops start to brown too much, cover with foil.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving. To serve,
spoon sauce onto a plate or dish then top with
a pepper & a dollop of sour cream. Serves 4


One Pan Mexican Quinoa

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 C. quinoa
1 C. vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
1 C. corn kernels
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
1 avocado, halved/seeded/peeled &
juice of 1 lime
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add garlic & jalapeno;
cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant,
about 1 minute. Stir in quinoa, vegetable
broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili
powder & cumin; season with salt/pepper.
Bring to boil, cover & reduce heat to
simmer. Simmer until quinoa is cooked
through, about 20 minutes. Stir in
avocado, lime juice & cilantro. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

Yellow Squash Casserole

2 lb. yellow squash (about 4 C.)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
(about 35)
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
steamer basket about 5 minutes;
drain & set aside. In medium bowl
combine cracker crumbs & cheese.
In large bowl add drained squash &
onion; gently fold in 1/2 cracker/
cheese mixture. In small bowl whisk
together egg & milk then add to
squash mixture. Add half of melted
butter to squash mixture; mix &
season with salt/pepper. Spread
mixture into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Top with remaining crackers &
pour remaining butter over dish.
Bake 25 minutes until lightly brown.

(recipe: Nancy Miller/Facebook)
Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aioli

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (14.5 oz) can (Red Gold) petite diced
tomatoes with chipotle, drained
1 (6 oz) box cornbread stuffing mix
1 C. boiling water
3 eggs, beaten
2 (6 oz, ea) cans crab meat, drained/flaked
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. olive oil

Combine mayonnaise & tomatoes to make
Chipotle Aioli – set aside.
Place stuffing mix in large bowl; add water &
stir to just moisten – let stand 5 minutes. Add
eggs, crab meat, salt/pepper to stuffing mix;
stir to combine – shape into 6 patties. Add oil
to skillet & heat over medium heat – add patties
& cook 5 minutes per side until lightly browned.
Serve with Chipotle Aioli on top of each cake.
Makes 6 cakes.

Amish Broccoli Bake

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (6 oz) box herbed stuffing mix
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter, melted/

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 3 qt casserole dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
combine soup, mayo, onion, salt/
pepper; mix well and gently stir
in broccoli. Place half broccoli in
dish; sprinkle with half the cheese
& half the stuffing mix.
Pour half the butter & half the
soup over stuffing; repeat layers
one more time. Bake 35-40 minutes
or until hot in center.
Serves 8


New York Crumb Cake

4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Crumb Topping:
1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted/cooled

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking dish. In
medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. In separate medium bowl
combine egg, milk, vegetable oil & vanilla;
fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients
using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Spread batter into prepared pan, smooth
out batter. In medium bowl combine
topping ingredients; crumble topping
over cake using your hands, leaving some
of the crumbs large. Bake 35-40 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Serves 15-18

Store covered & use within 2-3 days



Our weather is still holding at chilly temps, a
little rain & cloudy – not to worry Friday it’s
supposed to get up to 73 (BUT) also 60%
chance of showers likely – hey, it’s Spring!

Gas prices are still holding at $2.46/9 –
OK, but not great but what can ya do?

Tonight is my special needs group’s
Music/Birthday night so I’d better
conserve some energy for that. We
have a great time singing the various
Christian songs they know, having a
small devotion, prayer request time
and then it’s CELEBRATE! Each month
we have this for the kids whose
birthdays fall in that particular month
but EVERYBODY gets cupcakes, so they
love the evening. I’ve been with the
group now since Oct., 1993 and I never
tire of being with them and enjoying
their enthusiasm at life and their love
for the Lord – it doesn’t get any better
than this!

Enjoy your day!




Oh No! Save me from myself!


Well, friends – sometimes you have to admit some things are a bit over your head; tried pattern I showed you yesterday (mitered squares) – mine came out OK but it didn’t have the nice pronounced ridge down the middle like the photos – sigh; decided to scrap that idea. Of course, (if you know me at all) that didn’t stop me! Found myself today idly perusing (great site – TONS of ideas for all kinds of things: food, crafts, fashion, pets – just about anything you can imagine – and it’s all FREE!). Well . . . I started looking under knitting patterns and, as fate would have it, found several great ideas: a somewhat easier pattern for knitting Fortune Cookie baby booties (done that before but my directions are in French), a really cute pattern for knitting small GNOME baby toys


and a pattern for knitting a (baby toy) hedgehog! I have a good friend who’s expecting around the beginning of June so you see my drift. The hedgehog is really adorable and I want to try to tweak it up a bit by maybe making big loops on his back to resemble their quills – we’ll see. In their pattern the ears are cut out of felt (this would NOT be a good idea for a baby, so I would have to crochet ears & sew them on – not a problem).


Anyway – you can see my need for attempting this cute project; their hedgehog is really small (even the one on the left) so I might try one using their pattern and then see if I can enlarge it a bit – doesn’t seem to be too difficult – we’ll see.


Crockpot Turtle Upside Down Cake
(Made using a crockpot with a
removeable crock insert*)

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist German
chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 eggs
6 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (11 oz) pkg. caramel bits
1 tub Betty Crocker milk chocolate frosting
1/2 C. ice cream caramel sauce
1 C. pecan halves

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick spray.
Line inside of crockpot with foil overlapping
sides of crockpot to form ‘handles’, then spray
the foil. In large bowl beat cake mix, water,
oil, eggs, butter & 1/3 of can sweet’d/cond
milk on Low 30 seconds, then on medium
speed 2 minutes scraping bowl occasionally.
Pour half of cake batter into bottom of crock-
pot. Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 hours until
cake is just set.
In medium bowl combine caramel bits &
another 1/3 of can sweet’d/cond. milk.
Microwave 2-3 minutes, then stir to melt
caramel bits. Pour about 2/3 of mixture
on top of cake in crockpot, then pour
remaining cake batter on top. Cover & cook
on High another 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until
a toothpick inserted in the top cake comes
out mostly clean.
*Remove stoneware insert & transfer to a
cooling rack; cool cake 15 minutes in insert.
Carefully lift cake from insert using foil as
handles & place cake on cooling rack.
Carefully remove foil from sides of cake. Place
a serving plate upside-down on top of cake.
Carefully & quickly invert cake onto plate;
cool completely.
Frost top of cooled cake then drizzle caramel
sauce on top. Sprinkle top with pecans.


Frito Pie

2 lb. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 (12-14 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & chiles
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 T. ground cumin
2 T. chili powder (or more, to taste)
1 (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained/rinsed

1/4 C. corn meal
1/2 C. warm water

bag of Fritos corn chips
grated sharp Cheddar cheese
diced onion (optional)

Brown ground beef with garlic over medium-
high heat;drain grease. Add mixture to
crockpot with tomato sauce, Ro*Tel, salt,
oregano, cumin, chili powder & both beans.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4.
Just before serving stir & (if it needs thickening)
mix corn meal with warm water then add to
mixture; stir to combine & simmer 10-15
minutes longer.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover bottom of a 9 X 13″ dish with a single
layer of Fritos; top with chili from crockpot.
Sprinkle with diced onion (optional) then
Cheddar cheese. Arrange additional Fritos
around edge of dish & bake 15 minutes
until cheese is melted. Serves 8

Perfect Pea Salad

1 T. butter
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (15 oz) can peas, drained
3 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

In small saucepan melt butter over
medium-low heat. Add mayonnasie
& peas – toss lightly to coat & remove
from heat. Transfer to medium bowl;
add remaining ingredients & mix
well until combined. Cover & chill
at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 3

Aimee’s Quick Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breast
4 oz. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 dish. Spread
mustard evenly over chicken; pour
teriyaki sauce evenly over all. Sprinkle
top with bacon bits, then cover with
cheese. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Garlic Shrimp Tortellini Toss

1 (19 oz) pkg. frozen cheese
tortellini, thawed
1 1/2 C. peas
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare tortellini accordg to pkg.
directions. During last 5 minutes
of cooking time add peas; drain.
Heat oil over medium-high heat
in large skillet; add shrimp & cook
2 minutes. Add garlic to mixture &
cook another 2 minutes until shrimp
turn pink. Add tortellini mixture to
skillet & stir in seasonings; toss to
coat. Serves 4


Triple Onion Herb Dip

2 T. olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
3 green onions, white & green
parts chopped separately
1 tsp. chopped thyme
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 red onion, minced
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat a cast iron skillet; add oil, shallots,
green onion whites & thyme. Cook until
shallots are golden. Transfer mixture to
paper towels. In bowl, mix together cream
cheese & yogurt. Stir in cooked shallot
mixture, red onion & green onion greens.
Season with salt/pepper. Refrigerate until
ready to serve. Makes 2 C. /4 servings

(recipe: Russie-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Snickerdoodle Poppers

1 can Grands biscuits (or similar
style refrigerator biscuit)
1 box vanilla instant pudding
sugar & cinnamon mixture (for
rolling poppers in)

Prepare pudding mix as directed
on box; chill. Cut biscuits into 4
pieces; roll into a ball – do not roll
ball tight; you want the dough to
expand easily. Deep fry balls in hot
cooking oil; turn to evenly cook.
Place cooked dough on plate with
paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Break one ball open to see if inside
is cooked (Poster microwaved entire
plate 1 minute to ensure dough was
done in middle). Roll balls in sugar/
cinnamon mixture to coat evenly.
Use a cake decorating bag filled with
pudding & large tip – poke hole into
ball & fill with pudding.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Today we’re back to ‘regular’ weather for this
season: 51 degrees F., cloudy & windy (possible
high of 58 – not very warm!). We didn’t get the
thunderstorms yesterday, just light rain (better
for not beating up the flowers!).
I’m ‘chomping at the bit’ today, anxious to see
if we will gain any new people to the knit group
now that we’re on Facebook; also anxious to see
what the ladies bring in for the Yarn Swap (as IF
I need more yarn – but thinking if there is any
‘fun fur’ in black or brown, that might work for
the back of the hedgehog – we’ll see (it might
not be a good idea if it’s for a baby – wouldn’t
like a mouthful of ‘fun fur’!) I’m like a little kid
when it comes to excitement at something new –
want to get off here and attempt the hedgehog
(OR the little gnomes!).

Hope your day is going the way you’d like – take
a little break & treat yourself to something:
cup of cocoa/tea/coffee, read a chapter in a book,
close your eyes/put your feet up and take a 10
minute nap (and tell anyone that asks that
Grammypammie said it’s OK! – (just a thought-
don’t want to get you in trouble!).



Another beautiful day!


You all know how I kind of have a habit of ‘attempting/trying’ NEW THINGS? Well, the photo above is a blanket made of knit MITERED squares – I tried doing this a few years ago and did not succeed very well – YEP, gonna try it again. This time I’m going to make the squares small, using various baby & sport-weight yarns; object – make a baby blanket for the Detroit Vet’s Baby Shower using up my tons of scrap yarns! We’ll see how this proceeds. Also currently working on knitting up more baby headbands for the Baby Shower – another great ‘scrap yarn’ project.101_0072

(These are some of the baby headbands I did for last year’s baby shower)

I like doing these because it takes me about an hour, all totaled to make one and not very much yarn – quick/fun project! Still plugging away at the crocheted yellow “Diagonal Box Stitch” afghan – just started on the decrease part.

Lately I’m attempting another ‘new’ project – loading all the (TONS) of photos of my Knit group from 2007 to the present onto the new Facebook Groups page. Just finished wrapping up 2011 if that gives you any idea of the magnitude of this one. I quick copied the photos just before closing the site – attempting to make note of the dates/names/etc. of each one – this is NOT a fun thing to do but needs to be done. Am plugging away on this one, about an hour a day, so far. Tomorrow is the FIRST group meeting with (perhaps) new people who asked to join the group on Facebook. The old Meetup group (after I’d pared it down a LOT) numbered 90 – the new site is now UP to 38 people; I’d MUCH rather have people listed in my group who will actually SHOW UP for meetings! Most of the people listed on Meetup NEVER came to a meeting. When I first began paring down the member list I started at 138 people; from that I left people I knew and anyone who’d signed up in 2015 – that ended me up with 90. Anxious to see how many show up tomorrow. Oh! I also added a “Yarn Swap” to the mix to tomorrow – that’s when you bring in anything pertaining to knit/crochet that you no longer use/need and then take any item(s) you see that you might want! Yarn, needles/hooks/books/patterns – anything! What’s fun for me is sometimes people bring in little balls of yarn that they don’t want and usually no one else wants them, either! Score for me! Little balls of yarn can be used for baby hat brims, tiny crocheted flowers for the baby headbands – I FIND uses for them!

Started getting the details nailed down for Log Cabin Days (June 27/28); this is the first year my ladies will have a chance to SELL any items they have created. A few of the ladies participate in various craft shows throughout the year and they’re excited for this opportunity – no ‘vendor fees’ – just bring a table, sign and set up! (Of course, THEY are responsible for any monies/sales, etc.)


Pecan Cheesecake Squares

Shortbread Layer:
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans

Cheesecake layer:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Pecan Pie Layer:

3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/3 C. butter, melted/cooled slightly
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Shortbread layer:
In medium bowl combine flour & 3/4
C. brown sugar; using a pastry blender,
cut in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 C. pecans;
press mixture evenly into bottom of a
greased 9″ X 13″ pan. Bake 10
minutes, remove from oven & cool
slightly, about 10 minutes.

Cheesecake layer:
Place cream cheese in bowl of stand
mixer fitted with paddle attachment &
beat at medium speed until smooth.
Beat in sugar; add milk & vanilla-beat
until combined. Pour cream cheese
mixture over cooled shortbread layer.
Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven &
cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Pecan Pie layer:
In medium bowl combine remaining
3/4 C. brown sugar, corn syrup & melted
butter; gently stir in eggs, salt & 1/2 tsp.
vanilla. Stir in pecans; pour mixture over
cooled cheesecake layer. Bake 35-40
minutes until center is set & pecan pie
layer is a rich brown color.


Homemade Ranch Dressing
(entire bottle only 1.75 grams
fat & 255 calories)

1 C. Dannon oikos plain Greek yogurt
1 packet Hidden Valley ranch dressing
1/2 C. 1% milk

Whisk together, chill 1 hour before using.
Pour into mason jar & use.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

5-Ingredient Baked Tilappia

4 (6-8 oz, ea) tilapia fillets
fresh cracked black pepper
1 lime, finely grated zest & juice
2 T. butter

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large cast iron pan with
nonstick butter-flavored spray.
Rinse fish & pat dry; place in pan;
season each fillet with salt/pepper &
lime zest & juice. Add a pat of butter
to each fillet & cook in oven 8-12
minutes. Serves 4


Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb. fettuccine
1 T. olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pints cremini mushrooms, thinly
sliced, divided
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. milk
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Cook fettuccine accordg. to pkg. directions,
to al dente (6-8 minutes); drain.
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
Add onion & garlic, saute until onion is
translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms,
season with salt/pepper & cook, stirring
frequently, until mushrooms are very soft
& golden brown (10-12 minutes). Remove
about 1/3 of mushroom mixture & reserve.
Add milk & bring to simmer. Use an
immersion blender to puree the sauce until
smooth (or transfer to regular blender &
puree until smooth). Stir in Parmesan.
Add cooked pasta to pot & toss to coat with
To serve pasta, transfer portions to plates &
top with 1/4 C. reserved sauteed mushroom
mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6


Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

1 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
1 (6 oz) box wild rice with seasonings
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepared wild rice accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large bowl mix together
sour cream, soup, onion flakes, garlic
salt/pepper. Stir in chicken & wild
rice; place in 8 X 8″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 6


Baked Meatballs

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk
1 small onion, minced
1/2 C. rice (uncooked)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. fine bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk egg & milk
together. Mix in hamburger, rice,
salt/pepper, bread crumbs &
allspice. Shape mixture into 9
meatballs. Place in 2 qt casserole
dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Mix soup, water & Worc. sauce;
pour over meatballs. Bake
1 hour 25 minutes. Makes 9 meatballs.


Strawberry Patch Salad

1 (4 serving size) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 C. boiling water
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen sweetened straw-
berries in syrup, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. sour cream

In large bowl dissolve Jell-O in boiling
water; stir in strawberries & their
syrup, pineapple, banana & pecans until
well mixed. Spoon half mixture into a
8 X 8″ square baking dish. Chill 1 hour or
until set; reserve the remaining Jell-O
mixture at room temp. When chilled
Jell-0 is set, spread top with sour cream
then top with reserved Jell-O mixture.
Cover & chill at least 3 hours before
Serves 6


I had a lovely Mother’s Day – very quiet! No
phone calls at all (amazing!); even got a text
H. M. Day greeting from one of our helpers
in my special needs group. All three sons
had to work; middle son came over in the
afternoon bringing ‘leftovers’ from the
brunch he worked: about 7 Danish and
a box of smoked salmon slices! (I really
wasn’t sure if I’d like the salmon – I don’t
really care for any smoked foods, but this
was very smooth/tender and yummy!) It
was all I could do to NOT eat the entire
box at one time!  Husband asked me what
I wanted for lunch and I mentioned a local
chicken place with ‘to die for’ chicken, so
we brought home Chicken King broasted
chicken, broasted diced potatoes, coleslaw
and BBQ’d spareribs – a FEAST! He decided
that since we weren’t sure if the boys
would stop over, he doubled the order –
Got kissed on the top of the head by youngest
this morning with a “Happy Day AFTER
Mother’s Day, Mom!” – it doesn’t get any
better than this! I’ve never been one to
expect gifts for this day so it’s just nice to
have my kids wish me a good day.

That’s the ‘scoop’ from here, currently. It’s
76 degrees F, sunny & breezy with an 80%
chance of thunderstorms later this afternoon
& evening. I had the windows open for the
breeze, but had to close them due to it feeling
too humid – now husband has the air conditioning
on – oh well . . .




Just pluggin’ along –


Not much going on lately – still learning more about my cell phone; last night while texting middle son I discovered the Emoticons! He thought it was funny when I added a pig, cow & cat to the bottom of my text – I can see I’m going to have fun with those! I also learned how to send & receive calls (Yes, I hear you – WHAT? You didn’t know how to do THAT?) but it’s different on this phone! Yesterday I got done grocery shopping and, as is ‘the plan’, I phoned husband to alert him I’m on my way with groceries (this way, he unlocks the door, props open the porch door and is waiting to carry in the groceries for me – NICE MAN, EH?). I typed in the home # and then didn’t know how to make it actually RING! Figured it out, but it took me a few – same thing happened when oldest called me last night – the phone is making it’s ringing (or, in my case, Singing the Hallelujah Chorus!) and I’m punching on the big red ANSWER button on the screen – nothing. Kept at it; son must have hung up & re-dialed . . . sigh, I’m still punching away THEN I REMEMBER hearing the guy at the phone store say that on my type phone you have to press AND SWIPE to the right! UGH! Did that and it worked . . . sigh. All those ‘little things’ I need to learn . . . but I’m TENACIOUS (as I’ve been told by family & friends) so I just keep pluggin’ along until I get it! I learned how to delete old text messages, change phone #’s in my directory (or whatever they call it for a cell phone) – I’m getting it, slowly but surely.


Chewy Sugar Cookies

1 C. margarine
1 C. sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Beat margarine & sugar in large bowl
using elec. mixer until light & fluffy,
about 3 minutes. Beat in egg & vanilla
until blended. Beat in flour, baking
powder & salt. Shape dough into balls
& arrange 3 inches apart on ungreased
baking sheets. Press balls into 2 1/2″
circles. Bake 14 minutes until edges
are golden. Cool 2 minutes on wire
rack; remove from sheets & cool

(recipe: Country Crock)

Mediterranean Baked Spinach

1 lb. baby spinach leaves*
6 C. boiling water
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1 C. crumbled feta cheese with
basil & tomato, divided (Athenos

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place spinach in colander in sink;
pour boiling water over spinach;
cool. Mix cream cheese & eggs
in large bowl until blended.
Gradually stir in milk; stir in
1/2 C. feta. Squeeze excess
moisture from spinach; add spinach
to cream cheese mixture; mix well.
Spoon onto 9″ square baking dish &
top with remaining cheese; cover
with foil. Bake 50 minutes until center
is set, uncovering after 30 minutes.
Serves 10

*You can substitute 2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs.
frozen chopped spinach – thaw &
squeeze dry (omit using boiling water

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Crockpot Chicken/Stuffing Casserole

2 (6 oz, ea) boxes chicken-flavored
stuffing mix
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup,
1/2 C. milk
3 C. cooked & cubed chicken
8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

Prepare stuffing mix as directed
on boxes, using broth to replace
water. Spray insides of crockpot
& place stuffing in bottom. Stir in
one can of soup. In a bowl, mix milk,
chicken & other soup; pour over
stuffing. Sprinkle cheese on top &
cook on Low 4-6 hours. Serves 6


Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

8 oz. uncooked thick rice noodles
1/3 C. water
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. peanut butter
4 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1/2 ” strips
2 T. canola oil, divided
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 C. shredded carrot

Cook noodles accordg to pkg direcitons.
In small bowl combine water, soy sauce,
peanut butter, brown sugar, lemon juice,
garlic & pepper flakes; set aside.
In large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in
1 T. oil until no longer pink. Remove &
keep warm. Stir-fry broccoli & carrot in
remaining oil 4-6 minutes until vegetables
are crisp-tender. Stir sauce mixture; add
sauce & chicken to skillet. Return chicken
to skillet; drain noodles & toss with chicken
mixture. Makes 6 servings.


Perfect Peach Cobbler Dump Cake


1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter
1 1/2 C. sugar, divided
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches in juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter 9 X 13 baking dish (or two 8 X 8
baking dishes); set aside. Place butter in
medium microwave-save mixing bowl; heat
until melted. Add 1 C. sugar, flour, baking
powder, salt – whisk to combine. Add milk &
vanilla; whisk until combined. Pour batter
into prepared dish(s). Spoon peaches over
top of batter, placing them evenly around
pan. Reserve juice from can. Add 1/2 C. sugar,
cinnamon & nutmeg to juices; whisk to
combine; pour over peaches. Bake 55-50
minutes until golden brown. Serves 12


Easy Taco Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 C. salsa
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 C. crushed tortilla chips,
4 oz. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
4 oz. shredded Monterey
Jack cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook & stir ground beef in large
skillet over medium-high heat until
crumbly, evenly browned & no longer
pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain grease.
Stir salsa, onion, mayonnaise, chili
powder & cumin into beef; remove
from heat. Spread about half of
mixture onto bottom of a 2 Qt.
casserole dish. Spread half of chips in
layer on top of meat. Layer about
half of each cheese on top. Repeat
layers with remaining ingredients,
ending with Monterey Jack cheese.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes,
until cheese is melted.
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Mixed Greens Lasagna

3 T. olive oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 C. mixed greens (4 C. torn kale,
2 C. spinach, 2 C. arugula)
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/2 C. milk
1 T. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped thyme
1 T. chopped rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spay a large casserole dish with
nonstick spray.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in large saute pan; add
onion & cook until translucent, 4-5 inutes.
Add garlic & cook 1 minute more; add greens
in batches, allow it to cook down before
adding more. Cook until all greens have wilted,
6-7 minutes. In medium bowl mix ricotta with
milk, parsley, thyme, rosemary & red pepper
flakes to combine; season with salt/pepper.

Layer noodles in bottom of prepared pan;
top with 1/4 of ricotta mixture & gently
spread it evenly. Drizzle surface with 1 tsp.
olive oil, then sprinkle with salt/pepper. Top
with 1/4 spinach mixture; repeat with another
two sets of layers. Finish with a layer of noodles,
ricotta & a final drizzle of oil; top with mozz.
cheese. Bake 35-40 minutes until cheese is
bubbly & golden. Let cool & set 15-20
minutes before cutting. Serves 8

NOTE: Lasagna can be assembled up to
2 days ahead & stored in fridge before
baking as instructed.


Overnight Baked French Toast
(oven AND crockpot methods)

1 long loaf French bread
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 C. light brown sugar, packed
8 large eggs
1 C. heavy cream or whole milk
1 C. Half & Half
1 T. vanilla
pinch kosher salt
1/2 C. chopped pecans

warmed maple syrup
sifted powdered sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:
1 C. granulated sugar
2 heaping T. cinnamon

Mix together.
Slice French bread into thick slices
(about 1 to 1 1/2″ thick). Melt butter
& pour into bottom of 9 X 13″ baking
dish; sprinkle bottom of pan with half
of brown sugar and generously with
cinnamon sugar mixture. Lay one layer
of French bread slices on top. Whisk
eggs with cream, Half & Half, vanilla
& salt; drizzle half of egg mixture (about
2 C.) over & around bread layer. Sprinkle
top of bread with another half brown
sugar & cinn/sugar mixture. Add
remaining French bread slices in another
layer & press down in dish with palm
of your hand; drizzle remaining egg
mixture on top & around slices. Sprinkle
top very generously with more cinn/
sugar mixture. Scatter pecans over top &
cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Next morning:
Bring dish to room temperature while
preheating oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Uncover &
bake another 10 minutes until firmed
up & slightly crispy on top.
If you prefer with a lot more crunch,
bake uncovered 45 minutes total time.
Let rest 1-2 minutes then sift powdered
sugar on top. Cut into squares & drizzle
top with warmed syrup. Serve hot.
Serves 8-12
Crockpot Method:
Prepare mixture as directed. Spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Make 3 layers of bread &
filling/mixture. Cover & cook on
Low 6 1/2 – 7 hours. Finish with
powdered sugar & serve with
warmed syrup.


That’s about all from here – had to get
gas yesterday ($2.46/9) – looked at my
gas gauge and discovered I was a hairs-
breadth from EMPTY! That was a shock!

Our weather is still absolutely gorgeous-
woke up to 72 degrees & opened all the
windows – I LOVE hearing the birds sing;
I could hear a crow cawing and at one
point it sounded like he was laughing!
We’ve got robins & red-winged black
birds who sing all day long – LOVE IT!
My big rabbit is back in the blackberry
patch; every year we get one or two
rabbits – sometimes we can see them
in the winter, but not this last one. I
was beginning to worry a bit when I
didn’t see them at all but yesterday I
looked out and there, sunning him/her
self was a big full-grown rabbit – that
means we’ll have babies soon (love to
see them!).

Hope you are having a nice day – take a
little time for yourself (you KNOW I
bug you about that!) – read a book, go
sit in the sun a few minutes & soak up
those vitamins plus LISTEN! It’s just
nice to HEAR all the sounds of the
season! Maybe treat yourself to some-
thing you like: a cup of coffee/tea, a
chocolate bar, some nuts – something!
(I ‘impulse’ bought a bag of spiced
honey/garlic/mustard small flat pretzels
yesterday – love the spicy taste and I’m
not even a fan of pretzels!). DO SOME-
DESERVE IT! (Now that you’ve had your
“Grammypammie” lecture, I’ll step
off my soapbox and go knit!)



Slowly learning!


Day Two of new cell phone – slowly learning how to use it. Husband figured out how to download my favorite ringtone: Hallelujah Chorus – finally. For some weird reason that’s the only one that catches my attention if my cell rings while I’m out (I’ve tried others; they seem to fade into the background noise/music in stores and I just don’t realize it’s MY phone ringing!). Figured out how to change the ‘wallpaper’ on the opening screen, learning how to use the keyboard for texting (not as bad as I thought it would be) – sent a few texts to my son – getting there, slowly! (Last night I was ready to throw it against the wall just to see it smash, that’s how frustrated I was!)  By the way, thanks to all who sent comments yesterday – it’s good to know that there are others out there that dislike new technology as much as I do!


4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars

2 eggs
2 C. peanut butter
2 C. sugar
1 c. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix first 3 ingredients well; press into
a 9 X 13″ pan. Top with choc. chips.
Bake 17-20 minutes. Do not over bake.
Let cool & cut into bars.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Garlic Lemon Pasta & Shrimp

6 T. butter (or 4 T. olive oil & 2 T.
butter if you want to lighten the recipe)
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 C. white wine
2-3 T. fresh chopped parsley
(save a little for topping at end)
2 large (2-3 small) chopped fresh garlic
1 lb. fresh or frozen large peeled/deveined
shrimp thawed
3/4 lb thin spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine
2 T. chopped red onion
2 T. fresh grated Parmesan (& some for

Melt butter on Low-medium heat. Saute
lemon zest, garlic & onion a few minutes;
turn heat to High. Add wine & cook 5-10
minutes to burn off alcohol. Add Parm.
cheese; reduce heat to Low-medium.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions –
cook to al dente. Add shrimp to garlic
mixture when pasta is about half done
cooking. Add half of fresh parsley to
shrimp mixture; strain pasta.
When shrimp has turn from gray to pink
add pasta & toss until hot & all shrimp
are pink. Do not overcook shrimp; they
are at their peak as soon as they turn
pink. Top mixture with fresh parsley
& Parm. cheese – serve hot.


Bacon Ranch Fried Cabbage

1 head cabbage
1/2 lb. cooked bacon, chopped
1 white onion
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing
2 T. olive oil

After cooking bacon, set aside. Chop onion &
caramelize in olive oil in pan. Add chopped
cabbage to onions in pan; cover & let cook
down a bit. Add dry ranch dressing mix &
bacon-continue cooking to desired

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Fiesta Zucchini Salad

2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1/4 C. chopped red onion
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 C. Italian dressing
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large bowl combine zucchini,
celery, bell pepper, tomatoes,
corn, onion & basil; mix well. In
small bowl combine dressing, sugar,
salt/pepper; mix well – pour over
vegetable mixture & toss to coat
evenly. Serve OR cover & chill
until ready to serve. Serves 6


Marinated Greek Chicken

2 lb. chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) container plain Greek
2 T. olive oil
4 T. garlic powder
1 T. oregano
1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In bowl, mix yogurt & all
spices. Add chicken breasts
to a gallon-sized ziplock freezer
bag. Pour yogurt mixture over
chicken & seal bag. Mix chicken
& yogurt around then marinate
overnight in fridge. Empty
contents of bag into crockpot.
Cook, on Low, 4-6 hours.


Mexican Chicken Casserole

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. thick salsa
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tomato, chopped
2 (6 inch) tortillas
1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded Four cheese
divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook & stir chicken & cumin in nonstick skillet
sprayed with nonstick spray on medium heat
2 minutes. Add peppers; cook 2 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Stir in salsa, cook 2 minutes. Add
cream cheese, cook 2 minutes or until melted.
Stir in beans & tomatoes. Spread 1/3 of mixture
onto bottom of 8 inch square baking dish; cover
with 1 tortilla & half each of remaining chicken
mixture & shredded cheese. Top with remaining
tortilla & chicken mixture; cover. Bake 20 minutes
or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining
shredded cheese; bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or
until cheese is melted. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Caramel Butterscotch Crockpot Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box Duncan Hines Caramel
Cake mix
1 stick plus 2 T. butter
1/2 C. milk
1 c. butterscotch chips
1 3/4 C. boiling water
caramel ice cream sauce, for drizzling

Preheat crockpot by placing on Low 10-15
minutes before making cake. Reserve 1 C.
of cake mix; set aside. Melt stick of butter.
Place remaining cake mix in large bowl; pour
in melted butter & 1/2 C. milk; stir until most
of lumps are out and batter is thick & smooth;
pour batter into crockpot. Use a spoon or
spatula to spread evenly across bottom of
crockpot. Sprinkle butterscotch chips on top.
(optional: you can drizzle about 1/4 C. caramel
if you wish). Place 1 C. reserved cake mix in
medium shallow bowl; melt 2 T. butter in
microwave. Pour melted butter & boiling water
together; stir until well mixed. Pour this mixture
over rest of cake in crockpot. Cook cake 2 hours
until set in middle.
If it takes longer than 2 hours, you can turn up
heat to High for 30 minutes until middle is set,
then turn back down to warm.
Serve with ice cream & drizzle additional caramel
sauce over top.


Roasted Parmesan Zucchini Spears

4 medium zucchini
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise.
Line a baking sheet with foil & place
zucchini on sheet; drizzle with olive
oil. Sprinkle on grated Parm. and
any other spices you might like. Bake
12-15 minutes. Set oven to broil &
broil last 2 minutes until cheese is
more brown.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. chopped fresh strawberries
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cream butter & sugar together;
add egg – mix well. Sift flour,
baking powder & salt in small
bowl; add flour mixture & milk,
alternately, to butter mixture. Add
vanilla; gently stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake
20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins

(recipe: Homeofmyheart-Facebook)

Our weather is a bit cool (56) and cloudy,
supposed to rain on & off – that’s OK, it’s
Spring and the flowers & bushes need it.

Noticed yesterday our gas prices are back down a
bit: Sunday they were $2.59/9 and yesterday back
down to $2.49/9 – so that’s good.

Hope you’re having a nice day – remember to not
let the immediate troubles/problems take hold of
you – sort of like that old saying: “Don’t sweat the
small stuff . . . and it’s ALL small stuff!”




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