Monday Morning Musings –

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.  God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.  He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff–including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.  Then He carves you a new, smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.


It’s now 11 a.m. and I’m home from my 4th radiation treatment (31 to go); I thought it seemed quick today and they said “Yes! We didn’t need to take any xrays.” Interesting – I LIKE this quick visit! It’s chilly outside (47 degrees F.) and I’m slowly watching the changing of the seasons and noting what I’m seeing on my walk into the Cancer Center. Weeks ago I picked up a single pink rose petal on the sidewalk and kept it in my pocket just to remember the nice weather. Last week there was a tiny red maple leaf that took it’s place. Today the sidewalk was littered with small oak leaves – soon they will be replaced by snow – it’s Michigan and that’s a ‘given’ for us. I’m taking all of this a day at a time; I met a lady last week who has her treatments about the same time as mine; today I chose to start chatting with her. Her treatments are more intense than mine and I haven’t quite figured out how to approach discussing details but I’m sensing a pretty big amount of anger and doubt. With each sentence her voice is NOT hopeful and her words are curt; I’m trying my best to keep a positive outlook on my diagnosis and am VERY grateful that my cancer was found early. We both said we are doing the ‘day at a time’ approach but that gave me a small chance to quote one of my favorite Bible verses: “This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) I have learned, through this ordeal, that each day has special meaning – even if it seems like it’s just another dull day – it’s a day that the Lord gave me – how I chose to use it is my choice – whether I use it to do some good or squander it – it’s my choice. I’m CHOOSING to try to do good, keep a pleasant attitude and give GOD the glory for my life, EVERY DAY because my outlook could have been very grim, if the cancer was not found early. Either way – another verse comes to mind: “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). What does that mean? For me, it means that IF I live, I try to live my life as my Lord would want me to; if I die – I know where I’ll be going, as promised in the Bible – my life will be hid in Christ. What MORE could I ask? it’s a WIN=WIN situation! THEREFORE I CHOSE TO BE HAPPY THROUGH THIS WHOLE THING! Yes, I know – I’m preaching (it happens sometimes) but I’m preaching what I sincerely believe – my life is NOT my own – it belongs to the Lord – He made me, He sustains me, He is with me through this and will be with me to the end.

I turned in another two chemo caps today (no photos – they were plain hats – a dark green mans cap and a white with blue border womens hat); that makes 16 caps so far. Later on today I’m hoping to go to JoAnn’s to see if I can find some really soft white baby yarn and maybe locate a skein or two of Bernat’s Baby Jacquard yarn (usually only Michaels has that, but we’ll see). That’s the really cool yarn that makes it own designs when you knit it (the pink one makes various pink colors mixed with dark greens on a white background which looks like pink flowers on a white background. They make blues, purples, yellows, oranges but not all of them knit up looking like little flowers). (Just got back from a trip to JoAnns – apparently JoAnn’s own yarn brand “Sensations” now makes a baby self-patterning yarn called Baby Muffin, so I bought a skein of their yellow combinations – we’ll see how it works up.

Another sort of ‘spur of the moment trip’ found us at Sears buying a new microwave oven. Our old one is circa the 80’s – a really big GE. The original died probably a good 6-8 years ago and we found it’s ‘twin’ at a friend’s garage sale – for $10! That one has lasted us up until now – a great deal considering it’s circa the mid-1980’s! The new one is shorter (they ALL are, now) but will hold a large casserole dish (this one has the glass rotating plate at the bottom). Our old one had a wind-up metal rotating base my husband’s sister got us for Christmas (it still works!). I’m going to post our old micro on our local Freecycle – it still works, just takes a little longer to warm things up. (sort of like a Timex watch – takes a lickin’ and still keeps tickin’! – remember that sales pitch?)

Not much planned for this coming week (which is a good thing, sometimes!); more knitting, special needs group and that’s about it. Tonight I’m planning on making a household ‘staple’for dinner: “Meat & Potato Pie” (I’m SURE I’ve posted that recipe before). It’s basically a big meatloaf in a 9 x 13 pan, frosted with mashed potatoes which are topped with shredded Cheddar cheese – the guys love it and it’s good for 2 dinners, so that’s always helpful.

Anyway-speaking of food – here’s more recipes for ya!


Bratwurst Potato Skillet

3/4 C. oil
12 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/4″ slices
12 fully cooked bratwurst, cut into 1″ pieces
6 small onions, chopped
2 C. chopped green pepper
3/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. + 2 T. orange juice
1 T. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper

In heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-
high heat. Add potatoes; cover &
cook 10 minutes or until browned &
crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.Add
bratwurst, onion & green pepper; cook
and stir 5 minutes or until meat is
heated through and vegetables are
crisp-tender. Combine soy sauce,
orange juice, basil, salt & pepper; add
to skillet. Cook & stir 1-2 minutes longer
or until meat & vegetables are evenly
coated. Serves 12.
(recipe: Dot-RDJ 10/28/11)
Pumpkin Pancakes

1 C. flour
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 T. melted butter

Mix ingredients in order
given; cook as you would plain
(recipe: Lisa Mc – RDJ 10/28/11)
Corn Nuggets

oil for frying
2 eggs
1 C. mlk
2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 C. frozen whole kernel corn,
thawed & drained

Beat eggs, stir in remaining
ingredients. Drop from a
spoon into hot oil & fry
until brown. Drain on paper
towels and serve warm.
(recipe: Sue-RDJ 10/28/11)
Good Earth Casserole

1 C. chopped walnuts
3 T. oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
3 C. broccoli
1/2 C. water chestnuts, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated
Buttered bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat & stir walnuts in oil until
lightly browned. Remove from oil &
save. Add onions & mushrooms to
remaining oil; brown slightly. Add
broccoli;stir fry until tender crisp, about
8 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts &
garlic, remove from heat. Add walnuts,
soy sauce & sour cream. Stir lightly
to coat vegetables. Place in casserole
dish; sprinkle cheese evenly; top with
breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese melts,
about 20  minutes.
(recipe: minddoc-RDJ 10/28/11)
Pumpkin-Stuffed Chicken w/

Honey Sage Glaze

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

7 oz. canned pumpkin
2 T. cream cheese
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

3 T. butter
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 T. honey

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Carefully slice a pocket into thickest
part of each chicken breast. Season
with lemon juice, salt & pepper.
In a bowl, combine pumpkin, cream
cheese, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper;
mix well. In a pan over medium heat,
add butter & sage. When butter is melted,
stir in honey; remove from heat. Stuff
chicken breasts with pumpkin stuffing
and place in baking dish. Pour half of
honey-sage glaze over chicken breasts,
reserving remaining half. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove and baste with remaining glaze.
Place back in oven until chicken is fully cooked,
about 25 more minutes. Chicken is cooked
when it reaches 165 degrees F. Let rest out
of oven 5 minutes before slicing & serving.
(recipe:Kadija Bridgewater-McLeish- Perdue Co)
Pumpkin Coconut Oatmeal Bars

1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. flour
1 C. quick-cook oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs, beaten
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. shredded coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine crust ingredients in bowl
until evenly mixed. Press mix into
bottom of greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake
10 minutes. Combine all filling
ingredients; pour over warm
crust. Return to oven 45 minutes
or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean.
TIP: You can use parchment
paper in bottom of pan in
addition to greasing to help
release bars easily & prevent
crust from over browning.
(recipe: HomeMadeSimple)
Chocolate Chip Date Nut Cake

1 pkg chopped dates
1 C. boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 C. Crisco
1 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add boiling water to bowl with soda
and dates.  Let sit until cooled.
Cream together Crisco, sugar then
add egg and vanilla.  Mix together
flour and salt.  Alternate mixing in
dates and flour mixture to butter
mixture.  Sprinkle top with chocolate
chips and chopped walnuts.  Bake
30 minutes.
(recipe: DDJ – 09/30/11)

So that’s the ‘going’s on’ around here for the  moment;

hope you have a great day (and night, if you’re going

out Trick or Treating).



The Numbers They Are a Changing!

Pretty close to what the machine looks like I will be in for treatment,

except mine has a more molded bed, sort of like a lounge chair

Sorry I didn’t remember to POST this entry – it’s been sitting as a ‘draft’, so it’s now out of the original order of posts –

Today was Day #1 of visiting Radiation and there were some ‘interesting’ changes – apparently the Radiologist decided to change the total days of treatment from the (anticipated) 5-6 weeks to a total of 7 weeks! Why? He said that allows for the variances of holidays, or if I might chose to take some time off during the treatment – sure wasn’t wanting to hear SEVEN, instead of less, but ‘it IS what it IS!’ so we’ll do it.  Next came my ‘tattoos’ – after chatting with several friends who have already been this road, I’ve discovered those numbers change, too! A friend who had the same treatment 9 years ago has SEVEN little tiny ‘dots’ on her (tattoos), our choir director’s wife (the most recent one to go through this) has Three – all at her waistline! (she had total mastectomy on both breasts then reconstruction about 2 yrs ago.) When I went in today, they had said ‘probably 2’ so that’s what I was prepared for – NOPE! Got FOUR, three on the side of the radiation and another one on the left waistline – weird! They are very tiny black dots – you would mistake them for freckles, so that’s no big deal. Did they hurt? Only the first one which is directly in the center of what would be called my cleavage – that stung for quite a while – I’m guessing because there’s not a lot of fat to pad that area (whereas the other areas have more ‘padding’, which sort of dulled the feeling/sting). So, numbers? Seven: (weeks) instead of 5-6; tattoos: 4 instead of 2 . . . it’s all good. Oh! I don’t actually START radiation until Wednesday! The Radiologist said it takes him about a day to calculate all the numbers for my treatment.  Another ‘number’ which really shocked me was the total cost of JUST the radiation. I was chatting with the receptionist (who is also an insurance expert) and asking her if I’m going to have to pay (our usual) Co-pay for EVERY visit (normally $25 per visit). Figure that all out –  5 days a week for 7 weeks @ $25.00 each – that’s gonna run into some money! ($875.00) She looked it up on line and said the radiation treatment ALONE is $50,000 -THANK HEAVENS for INSURANCE! Oh-another thing – turns out they don’t ‘do/use’ the gel bed for breast patients – at least at this facility. I’ve heard from the other two ladies that already had radiation, that the facility they went to had the gel bed that they make a mold of your body shape with, then you have the same position each time. I also learned that Doan’s Back Pills and I will (once again) become great friends – the actual radiation machine ‘bed’ is hard, molded plastic and even with several wedge pillows, I was very uncomfortable in my lower back area (my back just doesn’t bend right). The assistant tried several various ‘pillows’, but I gave up and thought: Come Wednesday I’m taking a Doan’s before coming – that will relax those muscles enough to be tolerable.” We’ll see; it’s only 10-15 minutes for the actual treatment.

Anyway, it’s a gorgeous Fall day today; 57 degrees F., sunny skies and the most beautiful robin’s egg blue sky with big, fat fluffy clouds – a great day for taking a walk, so that’s just what I did! The radiology department weighs you with your SHOES ON – (not a good thing) so I decided to start my 7-week attempt to lose some of this weight BEFORE they put me on the ‘pill’ (Arimidex) for 5 years which WILL make me gain weight (another not a good thing!). If I can start walking each day (barring rainy weather – which we’re supposed to be getting for the rest of the week), that will help. We also have a walking ‘machine’ in the basement and I’m just going to have to put my mind to it and start the process – I’m not getting any slimmer and, with that pill, I DEFINATELY won’t be, so here goes.

Since I don’t have to start radiation ‘technically’ until Wednesday, that gives me Tuesday as a FREE day! Tonight my youngest has a choir concert (he has a short solo in one number and his own solo for another part), so that will be interesting. Tomorrow husband is taking the new van to the dealership for warrantee work and to possibly look at another used van. Our old one (my old 97 Grand Caravan) is really on it’s last legs; that’s the one that left me stranded numerous times earlier this year, leaks tons of water (after a rain) on the right front passenger’s feet and we’re just ready to have two vehicles we can count on for the next few years. My husband is thinking around 2007 or younger and another minivan (we love them and they work out very well for our family’s needs). It will be nice to know that when snow comes (and here in Michigan, it definitely COMES!) we’ll have vehicles that can handle it.

Took the four knitted chemo caps in today and delivered them; I’m currently working on two more: a solid dark green one for a man, and another women’s light blue brim and white top. Tomorrow night is my knit group and I’m looking forward to hanging out with ‘the ladies’ again. Wednesday is my special needs group and Friday night is their Harvest Party, so it’s going to be a very BUSY week!


Mound Bars

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. white sugar
1/2 C. melted butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. flaked coconut
1 (12 oz) pkg semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted
butter or margarine. Mix and pat into the bottom of
one 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. Combine
condensed milk and flaked coconut. Spread over crust
and bake 15 minutes. Spread melted chocolate chips
over the top. Let cool and cut into squares.
(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Zesty Chicken Corn Chowder

2 T.margarine
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into small pieces
1 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (10oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained
1 C. frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 C. water

Melt margarine in large saucepan or
Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add chicken & onion; cook 4-5 minutes
or until chicken is no longer pink and
onion is tender; stir frequently. Add
cumin; cook & stir 1 minute. Add
remaining ingredients; increase
heat to high, cover and bring to a
boil. Reduce heat to medium-low;
simmer 10 minutes. Serves 4.
(recipe: ReadySetEat site)
Southwestern Soup

non-stick cooking spray
3/4 lb. ground turkey
2 C. frozen Southwest mixed
vegetables (corn, black beans,
red peppers)
2 cans (8 oz ea.) tomato sauce
2 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can RoTel mild diced
tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix

Spray large saucepan with cooking
spray; heat over medium heat. Add
turkey, cook 5 minutes or until
no longer pink, stirring occasionally;
drain. Add vegetables; cook & stir
3 – 5 minutes or until tender. Add
remaining ingredients; simmer
10 minutes. Serves 4 (about 1 1/2 C. ea.)
(recipe: ReadySetEat site)
Spinach-Walnut Penne

2  C. vegetable broth
1  (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
with basil, garlic & oregano
2 C. penne pasta
2 T. margarine
1 (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1/3 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, undrained
tomatoes, pasta and margarine
in large skillet. Bring to boil over
high heat, stirring occasionally.
Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium
and cook 15 minutes (just until
pasta is tender) stirring occasionally.
Stir in spinach and cook 3-4 minutes
or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle
with walnuts and cheese just
before serving. Serves 4
(recipe: ReadySetEat site)

Buffalo Chicken Chili

nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 C. sliced celery
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained &
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunts Fire-Roasted
diced tomatoes with Garlic, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. red pepper sauce
1/3 C. crumbled blue cheese

Spray large saucepan or Dutch
oven with cooking spray; heat over
medium-high heat. Add chicken & celery;
cook 5-7 minutes or until chicken is no
longer pink; stirring occasionally. Stir in
beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato
sauce and pepper sauce; bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cook 10-15 minutes or until
chicken is tender & flavors are blended.
Top each serving with blue cheese; add
more pepper sauce if desired. Serves 6
(recipe: ReadySetEat site)

Cranberry-Pear Crumble Pie 60 Nilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 C.)
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. sugar
1/3 C. margarine, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 C. chopped cranberries
2 large fresh pears, sliced
1 (1 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 C. thawed Cool Whip

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix crumbs, brown sugar, sugar and
margarine until well blended. Reserve
1 C. crumb mixture; press remaining
on bottom and up sides of a 9 inch
pie plate. Beat cream cheese with  mixer
until creamy; carefully spread on bottom
of crust. Sprinkle with half reserved
crumb mixture. Combine fruit in large
bowl; add dry pudding mix and cinnamon;
toss to coat. Spoon into crust and top
with remaining crumb mixture. Bake
35 minutes or until fruit is tender
and crust is golden brown. Cool
completely. Serve topped with Cool Whip.
Serves 10
(recipe: Kraft
Enjoy your day!

Learning to Enjoy R & R!

Hello, Everyone!

Well, like all who have been laid up with an illness, I’m slowly learning that I absolutely MUST REST whenever I can. Thursday night I ended up going to bed early only because I was attacked by a huge bout of shivering! I couldn’t get warm, no matter what I did – slipper socks, heavy flannel nightgown, sweater and 2 heavy blankets – nothing helped! This lasted most of the night, waking me up at 1 a.m., 4 something, 6 something and finally woke up at 8:20 with no more shivering – YAY! Bad part of that was it left me really worn out – but no time to bemoan that because I had a 10 a.m. radiation treatment. The nurse told me to mention that to the Radiologist, just in case it might be a strange side effect, but he said no. Think I might had ‘dodged the bullet’ so to speak – heard from several friends that there’s a flu bug of sorts that is mostly shivering, fevers and stomach problems (so glad I didn’t get any more!). Friday night was my special needs group’s Harvest Party; still feeling worn out but HAD to go (our main leader is in Tenn. with her parents-her father is gravely ill). My middle son begged me to stay home – “You’re setting yourself up for something serious! Mom, you have CANCER!” You know me – stubborn, even to a fault, I guess. I went but told the other helpers that I would point out what needed to be done, let others lift anything heavy, help serve the food, then go home early – which I did. I’m glad I held to my own ideas; things got done and I wasn’t overly fatigued by it. Feeling a little better today, a little more ‘chipper’; youngest has his last Band Competition today very far away (thankfully they go by school bus!). He asked if I would make him French Toast for breakfast, being it’s very cold outside and they will be outside for the better part of the day (they don’t actually compete until 5:30 tonight, but have to be at school by 10:45 a.m.). I made him French Toast then middle son came home and looked hungry so I whipped up an omelet for him using some leftover Pork chops, fresh mushrooms, sliced onions and Cheddar Cheese; there was enough for me to have a small portion, too! (Big surprise – got on the new scales today and I’ve lost 2 lbs.!) YES, I’m trying to lose weight. When I’m done with the radiation, I’ll be starting ‘the pill’ – Arimidex – a estrogen-killing pill which I will be on for 5 years and the MAIN side effect is WEIGHT GAIN! UGH!!! So, I’m taking full advantage of this time to try to reduce my weight NOW, before seeing it go up again – not a good thing, in  my estimation. My choir director’s wife is on that pill now and said that she’s gained about 30 lbs since starting it – UGH!!!

Finished another two chemo caps. When walking past my Radiation doctor’s office yesterday his nurse called me in. “These are YOUR caps, right?” she said as she pulled out 3 of the 4 I’d donated.(yes) Apparently a patient saw them the other day and chose the one with the little flower border; the nurse said she just kept raving about how soft it was, how much she liked the flower border, how nicely it fit her head – (good!). The nurse said I now have a ‘Fan’! Good to hear, ’cause I’m planning on knitting them as many as I can while I’m there! Keeps me busy and helps someone else, too! OH! forgot to tell you – I won a pound of Caribou Coffee the other day! They had a little table in the lobby at the Cancer place so I filled in a form; Wednesday when I came in the receptionist said: “You won the free Coffee!!” (I’m one of those people who rarely win anything, so that was a nice surprise!). I don’t  brew coffee, but it will make a nice present for my friend who’s going through chemo (I’m making her up a little bag for Sunday – I love surprising people!). The receptionist said I can still enter their drawings – I thought once you won you’re done, but she said no – enter once every day – they draw once a week. Nice!


Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1 pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded,
cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound Granny Smith apples,
peeled, cored, and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon curry
4 cups warm chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a deep saucepan over
medium heat. Add pumpkin, apples,
onion, and curry. Cook and stir until
onion softens. Add salt and pepper
to taste. Add chicken broth and wine.
Turn heat to medium-high and bring
to boil. Turn heat down to low,
partially cover, and cook until
pumpkin is extremely soft (approx.
25-35 minutes). Remove soup from
heat and let it cool. Puree soup in a
food processor. To serve, reheat in
pan over medium-low heat until
heated throughout (but don’t boil),
stir in cream, and cook about 1
minute. Garnish with chives.
Meditteranean Sausage & Spinach Appetizers

1 pkg. (1 lb) Italian turkey sausage
1/2 C. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
& squeezed dry
1 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 green onions, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (2.1 oz) pkgs. mini fillo dough shells
15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove sausage from casing & place in
large, non-stick skillet over high heat.
Saute until cooked through, breaking
up sausage with wooden spoon. Stir in
spinach until hot; turn off heat & stir in
feta, green onion, oregano, salt &
pepper to taste. Set fillo cups on a
sheetpan; bake until crisp, about 4
minutes. Fill each cup with sausage
mixture and top with olive half.
Serve immediately.
(recipe: Perdue company)
Mustard Apricot Chicken

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
1 C. flour
1/2 T. cracked black pepper
1 1/2 C. apricot preserves
2 T. Sherry wine
1/4 C. water
2 T. dijon mustard
1 T. soy sauce

Salt & pepper both sides of each
chicken breast. Dredge in flour and
shake off excess flour. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
olive oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken
breasts. Spread out breasts as
much as possible; sear on both sides
until a golden crust has formed.
Remove from pan; place on bed
of paper towels. Add sherry to pan
to deglaze; reduce heat to medium-
low. Add apricot preserves, mustard,
soy sauce to pan; stir mixture until
smooth. Season to taste with salt &
pepper. Add chicken breasts to sauce
and simmer 5 minutes until chicken
reaches internal temperature of
170 degrees F.
(recipe: Perdue Co.)
Taco Soup (crockpot)

2 lb.ground beef
2 C. diced onions
2 (15 1/2-oz) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-oz) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-oz) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-oz) cans diced green chilies
1 (4.6-oz) can black olives, drained and
sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) pkg ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown ground beef and onions in a
large skillet; drain excess fat, then
transfer to a large slow cooker
or a stockpot. Add beans, corn,
tomatoes, green chilies,
black olives, green olives, taco
seasoning, and ranch
dressing mix, and cook on low
6-8 hours or simmer over
low heat for about 1 hour
in a pot on the stove. To serve,
place a few corn chips in each
bowl and ladle soup over them. T
op with sour cream, cheese, green
onions and jalapenos.
(Recipe: Ron – Slowcooker Digest)
Deep Dish Apple Crumb Pie

4 C. apples, sliced, peeled,
(a little thicker wedges than for pie)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. sifted  flour
1/3 C. orange juice
1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. butter
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. orange rind, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place apples in deep pie pan, add
orange juice.Mix together sugars,
orange rind, nutmeg, cinnamon,
salt and flour. Cut in butter. Spread
evenly over apples.Bake  1 hour.
Serve warm or cold with a
topping of ice cream.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Montgomery Cabbage Casserole

1 shredded head cabbage
1 chopped onion
6 T. butter
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. Velveeta or shredded Cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 C. bread crumbs

Boil cabbage in salt water until tender;
drain & set aside. Saute onion in 5 T.
butter until clear. Add soup, then
cheese until it melts. Stir in cabbage,
salt & pepper. Pour into 10 x 6
baking dish. Melt remaining
butter; add crumbs and cook
until lightly brown. Sprinkle
crumbs over cabbage. Bake
20-30 minutes. Serves 6-8.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin Pie Pudding (crockpot)

1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. baking mix (like Bisquick)
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
whipped topping (optional)
nutmeg (optional)

In large bowl, combine first 8
ingredients. Transfer to crock
sprayed with nonstick spray.
Cover and cook on LOW
6-7 hours. Serve in bowls
with whipped topping and
a sprinkle of nutmeg.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-ups

1 lb. lean ground beef
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cubed
1 (13.8 oz) pkg. refrigerated pizza crust

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground been with bacon & onions
in large skillet on medium-high heat;
drain. Return meat mixture to
skillet. Add Velveeta; cook 5 minutes
or until melted, stirring frequently.
Cool 10 minutes. Unroll dough
onto baking sheet sprayed with
nonstick spray. Press into 15 x 8
rectangle; top with meat mixture.
Roll up, starting at one long side.
Rearrange if necessary so roll is
seam-side down. Bake 20-25
minutes or until golden brown.
(recipe: Kraft


Our weather here is nice (for Fall); it’s in the mid-40’s now BUT

we’re also supposed to be getting thunder storms with lightening and

possible SNOW! Not a good thing to hear when you know your kid is

going to be performing in that kind of weather! Like he said, it’s better

to know this is their last band performance. Next week starts “Winter

Guard” but their practices & performances are inside in gyms, so at

least they’ll be warm.  Sad note: Friday was a Band/Color Guard

Demonstration at another local high school, the object was to

get 8th graders interested in Band/Color Guard for next year. The

Band and Color Guard did a performance, then broke up into their

groups: Wood Winds, Brass, Percussion, etc. with each student who

might be interested chatting with the various section people to

learn more about it. There were NO people interested in Color

Guard! The Color Guard members from my son’s school AND the

Color Guard from the school hosting the Demo just sort of hung

around with nothing to do. What does that mean? It means that

next year, for both schools, there will be just the kids who are now

Sophomores and Juniors who are currently in color guard, with no NEW

people. Hopefully Color Guard will gain more interest NEXT year!

That’s what’s happening around here these days. Do you have any

plans for Halloween? I’ve never been one who’s interested in that

particular holiday, so we will just be cozy at home (we live on a

MAJOR highway, so we never get any trick or treaters). Enjoy

your weekend!



(sorry about the goofy spacing above, the server’s doing it’s

THING again!)

Happy Sunday!

It’s a GORGEOUS Sunday today – 55 degrees, sun shining brightly and all around are lovely colors of reds, yellows, browns and green – leaves on the trees and on the ground, and some trees still green. I love seeing this kind of a Fall day – makes me think of apple cider, warm cinnamon donuts, crunchy apples and of course, nice warm soups and stews.

Tomorrow is Day #1 of 6 1/2 weeks of Radiation Therapy (to kill any errant cancer cells). Not exactly sure what all that will entail, but from bits & pieces of information from other friends who have already been down this road, I’m guessing I’m looking forward to two things: My first Tatoos and “the Gel table”! Tatoos, you ask? From all I’ve been told, they will be putting small blue/black marks on me to mark the margins for the radiation machine. One friend who had them done 9 years ago said her’s are permanent; reading one of the American Cancer Society booklets said they might be semi-permanent (as in the reminder in that part of the booklet not to scrub them or attempt to wash them off) – interesting – wonder which mine will be? (a friend in church today suggested my husband will have fun playing ‘connect the dots’!) As to “the Gel Table” – I’m told that there is a special table with gel on it that I will lay on in exactly the position I will be in for the treatments (knees slightly bent, right arm over my head, head tilted slightly upwards and towards the left). The gel will be used to make a permanent ‘form’ which will keep me in the same position each time I have a treatment. This ought to be interesting – wonder what they will do with all my hair? Maybe they have a shower cap to keep the gel from gumming my hair all up – who knows? Why, I will – tomorrow! Anyway – I’m still looking at all this the same as I did when it all started back in August – this is a SPEED BUMP in my life – I need to go through and over it, but it’s not the end of everything! Life goes on and I have a lot of living to do, people to help, a husband to enjoy his retirement with, children to raise and a grandson I need to experience more. I will attempt to go through this as best I can, with the Lord’s help! (yes, I’ll keep you informed – good days and bad). If there is one thing I’d like to impart on others, it’s LADIES – GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS DONE REGULARLY! THEY SAVED MY LIFE!!!
(My good friend, Mary, will be going in the hospital tomorrow for some well-needed, but extensive ‘women’s surgery’ to sort of ‘raise her innards and hold her insides together better’ – if you would please, pray for her surgery, recovery and the months of ‘rest’ she will be facing. Thanks!)


Thought for the Day: “That bump in the road you hit used to be a mountain but God got to it first and knocked it down for you.”


(now back to ‘normal’ and off my soap box) . . .


Ice Cream Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

(overnight recipe)
1 C. Vanilla ice cream
1 stick butter
1 C. brown sugar
1  1/2 C. white sugar
Rhode’s Self Rising Cinnamon Rolls
(or other brand)
Chopped Pecans (optional)
Non-Stick Cooking Spray
Spray  9×13 or a 10×15 pan with cooking
spray and place the frozen cinnamon rolls
in the pan. In saucepan over low heat combine
sugars, butter and ice cream until melted and
sugars are dissolved. pour mixture evenly over
rolls. At this point if you would like to add the
chopped pecans, do so. Cover tightly with plastic
wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm
place over night.

In the morning, remove plastic wrap,
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
After they cool just a little while, invert the rolls
into another pan the same size or on a platter, then
the sticky part will be on the top.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mom’s Butter Tarts

1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. golden corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. raisins
12 unbaked tart shells

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Beat butter until creamy.  Gradually
beat in sugar and corn syrup and mix
well.  Add egg and beat until light.
Stir in remaining ingredients and
spoon into tart shells.  Bake for
8 mins then reduce heat to 375F
and bake 15 mins more until
filling is set and pastry baked.
Makes 12 tarts.
You can omit raisins and
substitute toasted pecans.
(recipe: DDJ 9/16/11
Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp & Bacon

1 lb. uncooked fettuccine
2 bacon slices, uncooked
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 C. frozen green peas, thawed
1 C. shredded carrot
2 C. 2% reduced fat milk
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 C. (4 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

Cook pasta according to pkg directions,
omitting salt & fat. Drain well; keep warm.
Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high heat 6 minutes or until
crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving
1 T. drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set
aside. Add shrimp & garlic to pan; saute
over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add
peas & carrot; cook 2 minutes or just
until shrimp are done. Transfer shrimp
mixture to large bowl, keep warm.
Combine milk, flour, salt & pepper,
stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture
to pan; cook over medium heat 3 minutes
or until thickened and bubbly, stirring
constantly with a whisk. Remove pan
from heat; add cheese, stirring until
blended. Add milk mixture to shrimp
mixture; stir until combined. Add pasta
and 1/4 C. parsley, tossing gently to
coat. Transfer pasta mixture to platter
or divide evenly among each of 8
plates; sprinkle evenly with remaining
1/4 C. parsley and crumbled bacon.
Serve immediately; makes 8 servings.
(recipe: RDJ-10/19/11)
Creamy Dijon Chicken Salad

1/4 C. sour cream
2 T. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 tsp. each: red wine vinegar & poppy seeds
3 C. cooked chicken breast strips (about 1 lb.)
6 C. torn salad greens
1 C. halved cherry tomatoes
2 green onions, diagonally sliced
1/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted

Mix sour cream, mustard, vinegar &
poppy seed in medium bowl with wire
whisk until well blended; cover. Refrigerate
at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
Add chicken; toss to coat. Place 1 1/2 C.
salad greens & 1/4 C. tomatoes on each
of 4 salad plates; top evenly with chicken
salad. Sprinkle with onions & almonds.
(recipe: lovetocook-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Creamy Scalloped Potato Crockpot

2 lb. potatoes or 6 medium, thinly sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T. butter
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
4 slices American cheese
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Toss potato slices in water & cream of
tartar; drain. Put half of potatoes in
greased crockpot. Top with half of onion slices,
flour, salt & pepper. Add remaining
potatoes and onions; sprinkle rest of flour
on top. Add butter and undiluted soup.
Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or
HIGH 3-4 hours. Add cheese 30 minutes
before serving. (recipe may be doubled)
(recipe: lovetocook-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Caramel Corn

1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
9-11 C. popped corn
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine butter, corn syrup and brown
sugar in 2-Qt. microwavable bowl.
Microwave on High until mixture comes to
a full boil; stir. Microwave on High for 3 minutes
more. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; pour
mixture over popped popcorn in brown paper
bag; shake. Microwave bag on high for 30
seconds; shake. Tear open bag and pour
onto waxed paper.
(recipe: KS tabby-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

2 Med Onions — sliced thin
3 lb Chicken — cut up
2 c Garlic — minced
1 c Tomatoes — 16 oz
1 t Salt
1/4 ts Pepper
1 1/2 ts Dried oregano — crushed
1/2 ts Dried basil — crushed
1 Bay leaf
1/4 c Dry white wine
Cooked spaghetti

Place onions in slow cooker. On top of
onions place chicken pieces,garlic,
tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper,
herbs and wine. Cover pot; cook on low
6 to 8 hours, or high 3 to 4 hours. Serve
chicken with its sauce on spaghetti
which you have prepared.
(recipe: Deidre-Slowcooker Digest)

Fluffy Layered Orange Dessert

1 (1 oz) pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 C. cold milk
1 C. thawed Cool Whip
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 (3 oz) pkg. ladyfingers, split
1/4 C. orange juice, divided
2 navel oranges, chopped
1/3 C. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Beat pudding mix & milk in
medium bowl with whisk 2 minutes;
stir in Cool Whip and zest. Arrange
half the ladyfingers, rounded-sides
down, in an 8 or 9 inch square baking
dish; drizzle with 2 T. orange juice.
Cover with half pudding mixture;
repeat. Refrigerate 2 hours. Top
with oranges, nuts & nutmeg just before
Serves 6.
Note: Dessert can be stored in
refrigerator up to 2 days before
serving. Oranges can also be
chopped ahead of time; refrigerate
up to 2 hours before using as
Have a great day - enjoy whatever weather you might be
having now - read a good book, listen to some of your
favorite music, smell something you really enjoy (like
cinnamon rolls/vanilla/apples/burning leaves/your favorite
perfume - use your imagination! Relax a little - maybe
take a wee nap, or just put your feet up; enjoy some
thing you like to drink, like tea, coffee, cocoa or
indulge yourself in one of those 'iced coffee' drinks!
Above all - remember to smile - there are always those
around us who have life a little more difficult than
we do - remember to Count Your Blessings!



"I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1

Chemo Caps

These are the most recent projects; I finally settled on a pattern that works for Ladie’s Adult hats. I’ve been knitting these on smaller needles and thinner yarn (for those of you who do crafts: sport or baby weight yarns). Bernat Yarn Company makes a beautiful self-designing baby yarn called Bernat ‘Baby Jacquards’ which, when knit straight, makes patterns in the project without you having to design it yourself. The one I’m currently using has various shades of pink and then goes to a pink with white background and makes sort of muted pink flowers with green leaves! (the individually photo’d hat has that yarn as the bottom band). Next up is attempting to use that pattern and a bit thicker yarns to knit a man’s hat (adding on about 10 more stitches and knitting a longer ‘bottom to top’ total hat; we’ll see how that goes.

(sorry these didn’t come out very large, but I believe if you click on the individual photo it should enlarge itself)



Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 10:42 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Now that it’s Fall . . .

Creamy Scalloped Potato Crockpot
2 lb. potatoes or 6 medium, thinly sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T. butter
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
4 slices American cheese
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Toss potato slices in water & cream of
tartar; drain. Put half of potatoes in
greased crockpot. Top with half of onion slices,
flour, salt & pepper. Add remaining
potatoes and onions; sprinkle rest of flour
on top. Add butter and undiluted soup.
Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or
HIGH 3-4 hours. Add cheese 30 minutes
before serving. (recipe may be doubled)
(recipe: lovetocook-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin Donut Balls

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. oil
2 eggs
1 C. pumpkin
3 1/2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin in a large
bowl; beat well. Stir together flour, baking
powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & salt.
Add to sugar mixture alternately with
evaporated milk, beating well after each
addition; add vanilla. Heat some oil in
a pan or deep fryer. Drop tablespoons
of batter in oil for about 1 1/2 minutes
per side. Drain and roll in mixture of
cinnamon sugar or powdered
confectioners sugar.
(recipe: KS tabby – Marys Recipe Exchange)
Caramel Corn

1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
9-11 C. popped corn
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine butter, corn syrup and brown
sugar in 2-Qt. microwavable bowl.
Microwave on High until mixture comes to
a full boil; stir. Microwave on High for 3 minutes
more. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; pour
mixture over popped popcorn in brown paper
bag; shake. Microwave bag on high for 30
seconds; shake. Tear open bag and pour
onto waxed paper.
(recipe: KS tabby-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Frozen Halloween Dessert

20 cream sandwich cookies, crushed
1/3 C. butter or margarine, melted
2 Qt. orange sherbet, slightly softened
2 squares baking chocolate
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 C. pecans, chopped

In bowl, combine crushed cookies and
melted butter. Press into 9 X 13 baking
dish. Spread orange sherbet over
crumb layer; freeze until firm. In top
of a double boiler, combine baking
chocolate, sugar and evaporated
milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until
smooth; cool. Drizzle over sherbet and
sprinkle with chopped pecans. Keep
frozen until served. Makes 16 servings.
(recipe: KS tabby-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pfeifer Family Taco Pie

1 tube crescent rolls
1 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
2 C. sour cream
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 C. crushed taco chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown hamburger; drain fat. Add taco
mix & water; cook until most of moisture
has evaporated. Lay crescent rolls, sealing
the edges, on bottom and up sides of a
9 X 9 baking dish. Put 1 C. taco chips on
top of rolls; spread meat mixture, then
sour cream, then top with shredded
cheese. Bake 20 minutes. Put 1 C. taco
chips on top and bake another 5 minutes.
(recipe on Borden Sharp Cheddar cheese pkg)


Batter-up Beef Pie

Leftover beef stew or a can of beef stew
1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. sugar

Melt butter, put in crock pot. Mix all
but stew, pour on top of butter. Dump
stew on top. Do not stir. A cheesy dough
will bake up around the stew. Cook on
LOW for 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH
for 4 to 6 hours.
(recipe: Deidre – Slowcooker Digest)

Just when I thought I’d figured out the ‘secret’ to my blog server not taking my posts, it’s doing it again! I posted the recipes FIRST, thinking I’d by-pass the goofy errors it keeps making when it comes to recipes – guess that didn’t work! I can’t down-space the recipes to start writing above them! GO FIGURE! Oh well, since it’s getting towards Halloween and people like recipes for that time and cold weather, thought I’d post some that could be used for both. Enjoy!



ps: Our weather here in mid-Michigan is now staying in the 40’s during the day, raining and cold with blowing winds – Yuck! Nice if you like staying indoors and rooting through your closets for warmer clothes!

Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Of Kids and Crazy Days

Here we are on a wet & rainy Wednesday, sipping coffee and finally RELAXING! Yep – another two days of ‘The Crazies’ around here. Monday, from around 11 a.m. to around 8:30 p.m. (with a few minutes taken off for a bite to eat and bathroom break) my middle son (the one that had the car accident/kidney & bowel problems, etc. three weeks ago) and I went CAR SHOPPING! (oh yay, yipee – NOT!). I love how he conveniently DIDN’T tell me his ‘plan’ before we set off going to dealerships searching for a car he could afford (in the $10,000 range). We hit the local KIA dealer (he wanted a foreign car for it’s great gas mileage – sigh) – found one that was in his range (wrote that down in my notebook and off we went). After that it was our local Chrysler/Dodge dealership where he found a car VERY similar to his old one – he liked that one so much he put a $500 deposit on it. Now, you’d think by doing that he was finally ‘in the home stretch’ in buying his car, right? NOPE! Next stop: Toyota dealership. I was very pleasantly surprised there – the young man who assisted us was VERY eager to help (and NOT pushy!); we looked at and test drove several cars – of all the dealership people (and remember I HATE salespeople!) this young man was VERY good at what he did without alienating us by overkill. After writing down another ‘possible’ car, our last stop was the local Honda dealership. To shorten this story, he looked at several used cars then we had to go pick up youngest son at school and come back. On the return trip, ‘car buying’ son went off with the saleslady and the next thing I know they’re talking NEW CAR LEASING! (sure shocked me!) With much juggling of numbers and Dad as a co-signer, middle son is now the proud owner of a 2012 Honda Civic (in “Cool Metalic Mist” color – looks sort of white/silver – or as he described it: like the inside of a sea shell – it changes in different lighting).

It’s got all the d0-dads: an on board computer display (instead of your average speedometer), hook ups for your iPod, computer, cell phone, etc. but the MOST impressive thing of all is: their air bag system! When deployed, there are air bags all around the inside of the car – every window has it’s own air bag; basically you look like you’re inside a air mattress! The saleslady said she has a 2009 model and she doesn’t worry when her younger son drives the car because she said that Honda is very proud of their protection system. That’s something a Mom wants/needs to hear. He’s thrilled with the car and now he’s back ‘on his own’ and we get to schedule our OWN appointments and things to do. Feels a little strange after almost four weeks, but it’s now ‘time’ for our middle son to be back doing his own things now that he’s healthy and has his own wheels.

I also had a lovely experience yesterday going out to lunch with an old friend. We’ve known each other for a good 25 years and she mentioned at church that she would like to take me out to lunch before I start Radiation. We went to Bob Evans and ‘chatted’ for 2 1/2 hours! It was very nice; we shared experiences, prayed with each other and had a nice lunch – all in all, a very nice time.

I have more recipes to share; recently a reader wrote mentioning a particular recipe; I just wanted to repeat that these are NOT my own, personal recipes. I subscribe to about 5-6 recipe sites and glean the good-sounding ones to share with you. (I try to list the original poster and the site from whence I got the recipe at the bottom of the recipe). I can’t say that I’ve tried very many of them and am sorry if sometimes you don’t get the results you were hoping for when trying them but wanted to repeat that these are NOT my recipes. Some might ask: then, if you haven’t TRIED them and they are NOT yours, why post them? Simply because I thought someone else might find them useful and/or tasty. (just a little disclaimer here).


Jam Bars

3/4 C. butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1 1/2 C. jam (or 16 oz can
   peach pie filling,,cutting up
   peach slices)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan .
In a large bowl cream butter & sugar .
Add remaining ingredients ( except for jam ) & mix well .
Pat three fourths of the dough into bottom of pan .
Spread the jam over top of dough .
Crumble remaining dough over jam .
Bake 30 minutes; cool in pan then
cut into bars.
(recipe: Peg, Marys Recipe Exchange)
Mother's White Beans

3/4 C. chopped onion
1/3 C/ chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/3 C. (2 oz.) coarsely chopped cooked ham
2/3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans (small whites or
Chopped parsley

In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine onion, carrot,
garlic, cooked ham, and broth. Bring to a boil over
high heat. Cover and simmer over medium heat until
the carrot is soft to bite, about 10 minutes.
Stir in beans and simmer, covered, over low heat
until beans are hot, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with
parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Recipe du Jour 6/16/11)

Twice-Baked Ranch Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T.milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes
1/4 C.shredded Cheddar cheese

Scrub and pierce potatoes; place on a microwave-
safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for18-20
minutes or until tender, turning several times. Let
stand for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in small mixing
bowl, combine cream cheese and milk; beat in salad
dressing mix. Add mashed potatoes; mix well. Cut a
thin slice from the top of each potato; scoop out pulp,
leaving a thin shell. Add pulp to the cream cheese
mixture and mash. Spoon into potato shells. Top with
cheese. Place two potatoes on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2
minutes or until heated through. Place remaining
potatoes on a baking sheet. Freeze overnight or until
thoroughly frozen; transfer to a freezer bag. May be
frozen for up to 3 months. To use frozen potatoes:
Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave,
uncovered, at 50% power for 8-9 minutes or
until heated through.

Apple & Brown Sugar Corned Beef Brisket

4 C. apple juice
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. prepared mustard
2 (3 pound) corned beef briskets w/spice packets
20 small red potatoes, scrubbed
4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into 8 wedges
1 head cabbage, cored and cut into large chunks

Pour apple juice into large slow cooker, and mix in
brown sugar and mustard, stirring until brown sugar
has dissolved. Mix in contents of spice packets, and
lay briskets in apple juice mixture. Top with red potatoes,
carrots, onions, and cabbage chunks. Push all ingredients
into the liquid; cover and cook on High until corned beef
is very tender, 4 to 5 hours; or cook on Low for 8 to 10
hours. Slice meat thinly across the grain, and serve with
vegetables. (recipe: Slowcooker Digest 4101)


Blueberry Breakfast Bread

1 1/3 C.flour

3/4 C. quick cooking oats

1/3 C. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 C. milk

1/4 C. vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup blueberries, frozen


Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease or oil an eight inch

round baking pan. In large bowl, mix together dry

ingredients; do not overstir.(batter should be lumpy)

Fold blueberries into batter.Pour batter into pan and

bake approx. 20 minutes; batter should pull away

from sides of pan.Remove from oven and cool on

rack. Serve warm.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Not sure why, but the computer is doing ‘it’ again; I go to ‘paste’ the recipe and instead of pasting, it highlights all the above materials. I learned the hard way the other day that if I go ahead and try to paste with all the ‘above materials highlighted, it will totally erase it all with no way of getting any of it back! Frustrating! Well, let’s see what happens if I try to post more recipes below this: NOPE! Still doing it – sigh. Guess I’ll try to just put all my recipes on a separate list then do just one mass post of those recipes. Ya win some – ya lose some. Oh well, lots more recipes to come!

Enjoy your day (rainy or not); remember that EVERY day is precious and use it to it’s fullest!



Let’s Try This AGAIN! (recipes)

I gave up trying to post recipes on the last blog entry – ended up having to totally re-type all the recipes you will see below – but You’re Worth It! Here they are:

Ham & Beans

1 (16 oz) bag Great Northern beans
1/2 lb. diced, cooked extra lean ham
1 small onion, diced
1 large handful brown sugar
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
salt & pepper to taste
dash cayenne pepper
1 T. dried parsley

Rinse & sort beans in a large pot.
Add 8 C. cold water & let stand
overnight or at least 8 hours.
Drain and rinse beans. Return
beans to pot and add ham, onion,
brown sugar, bouillon, salt, pepper,
cayenne and parsley. Generously
cover with water. Bring to a boil;
reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to
2 hours until beans are tender.
Add more water if necessary during
cooking time. (re-season with salt,
pepper & brown sugar to taste)
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Really Good Soup

1 lb. navy beans, cooked
3 C. smoked ham, diced
2 cans Campbells Cheddar cheese soup
2 lb. potatoes, diced
1 large onion, chopped

Drain and reserve liquid from cooked
beans. Cook potatoes & onions together
just barely covered with water. When
beans, potatoes & onions are done,
combine with cheese soup and ham.
Add liquid from beans, to taste.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Three Cheese Corn Casserole

2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn
1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg corn muffin mix*
1/2 C. sour cream
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 (8 oz) pkg. “Kraft shredded Three-Cheese
with a Touch of Philadelphia”, divided
4 green onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended;
stir in 1/2 C. cheese. Pour into 2 Qt. casserole
dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 30
minutes. Meanwhile, combine remain-
ing cheese, onions & bacon. Bake 15
min. or until lightly browned. Serves 6

* Corn Meal Mix Substitute
3/4 C. cornmeal
3/4 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder

Mix together well.
Caramel Apple Dessert

45 Nilla wafers, finely crushed(about 1 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. margarine, melted
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 T. sugar
3 1/4 C. milk, divided
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
2 (1 oz, ea) pkg Jello Vanilla inst. pudding mix
1/2 C. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 green apple, chopped
1 red apple, chopped
1/4 C. peanuts, chopped

Mix Nilla wafer crumbs & margarine; press
on bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Beat cream
cheese, sugar, and 1/4 C. milk with mixer
until well blended. Stir in 1 C. Cool
Whip, spread over crust. Beat
pudding mixes & remaining milk
with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1/4 C. caramel
topping. Spoon over cream cheese
layer; top with remaining Cool
Whip. Refrigerate 8 hours or until
just before serving. Serves 16.
Sweet & Sour Cabbage with Apples

1 medium head red cabbage, cored & grated
2 large tart apples, peeled & grated
1 medium sweet onion, grated
1 1/2 C. water
1 C. cider vinegar
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. margarine
1 tsp. salt
6 whole peppercorns
2 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cold water

In a Dutch oven, toss cabbage, apples,
and onion. Add water, vinegar, sugar,
margarine & salt. Place peppercorns,
allspice, cloves & bay leaf on a double
thickness of cheesecloth; bring up
corners of cloth and tie with kitchen
string to form a bag; add to Dutch
oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat,
cover & simmer 1 1/4 hours. Discard
spice bag. In small bowl, combine
cornstarch & cold water until
smooth; stir into cabbage mixture.
Bring to a boil; cook & stir for
1-2 minutes or until thickened.
(recipe: Joan 1_Comfort Foods)
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

1 stalk broccoli, broken into small flowerettes
1 (8oz) pkg shredded Cheddar cheese
3 C. cooked brown rice
1 can cream of chicken soup(or other cream soup)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 C. water
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. In
medium sized pan, pour 1/2 C.
water & add broccoli & diced onions.
Simmer over medium heat until
broccoli is just slightly soft. Save
water. In a greased casserole dish,
add cooked rice, broccoli, onions
and their water along with cream of
chicken soup; mix well. May need to
add more water if mixture is
too thick. Add salt & pepper to
taste. Sprinkle shredded cheese
on top. Bake 20-25 min., or
until knife inserted in center
of dish comes out clean. Serves 4-6
(recipe: Joan 1_Comfort_Foods)

Have a great day, y’all!



Published in: on October 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm  Comments (2)  

Happy Saturday!

It’s a gorgeous FALL day out today – (typical Fall temperatures: 54 degrees mid-day), sunny and very windy; you can see all the pretty yellow and gold leaves blowing everywhere.

Last night I got a very pleasant surprise; yesterday was the last home football game for my youngest son’s high school and they did something they call the “Senior Walk”. I’ve never witnessed this but supposedly before the game starts they announce the names of each of the students who are Seniors this year, then they walk across the field with one or more of their parents. (small side line here: the plans for this were changed at the very last minute – before the change I couldn’t do it, after then change I ‘could have’ but son said ‘never mind’, he walked with two of his ‘girl-friends’ from Color Guard). When he arrived home later on in the evening, he knocked at our back door very loudly. I’m thinking: “Where is your house key?” and answered the door. When I opened it he was down on one knee with a bouquet of 3 pink & red roses, tied with a very pretty navy bow. He said: “These are for you from the Band Boosters – when they heard you have Breast Cancer they wanted to send you a gift in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.” Talk about surprised! What a nice gift.

Today the house is amazingly quiet; youngest is at a Band Competition in Livonia all day (12 p.m.-around 9 p.m.) and middle son is out with friends watching another friend compete for a belt in a karate-like competition. It’s just my husband and I – a very nice, refreshing change! While we two were eating dinner last night we got to talking about that very thing: the fact that sometime in the future it will be just ‘us’ – no kids! Strange thought – cooking much smaller meals, less ‘stuff’ to pick up on the floor (empty paper plates, dirty socks, empty cereal bowls with just a little bit of milk left in them, etc.). Youngest is graduating in June (hopefully!) and plans to move out then and go ‘find his place’ (my words). Middle son is now 22 and is still not financially stable enough to move out; right now he’s looking at purchasing another very much-needed car (since his last one was totaled in the accident about 4 weeks ago). This time he’s decided to look at low mileage cars, not so much the look or all the fancy ‘extras’ – so he’s looking at foreign cars. Now, to some people that might not mean a lot, but here in Michigan (Motor City Car Capital of the nation), buying foreign is very much frowned upon. (in his case, however, I fully understand his reasoning – as his job consists of driving special needs students, so a car that gets good mileage is a BIG requirement). We’ll see how this all turns out.

Working on Chemo Cap #14 today; finally have the pattern down – it’s very easy and should fit most women’s heads nicely. Perhaps I’ll go for knitting one for men soon; right now I’m enjoying using baby-weight yarns to get hats that are not only practical, but are also light weight and very soft. (Not exactly sure what yarns to use for men – perhaps a sock yarn might work? We’ll see – I see experimentation in my future!).

I had some really nice recipes all ready to post for you but my (fill in the blank) server is really acting STUPID! First it kept taking the first line of the recipe and putting it directly next to the recipe title; when I almost had that one solved, it decided that all of the 8 or so recipes needed to be totally UNDERLINED – every single stinking line! Made it totally impossible to read the recipe! UGH! Talk about frustrating!

For right now I’m going to just publish this entry and attempt to re-type the recipes on another format, then perhaps post them some time in the future.

Sorry – I had recipes for ya – Oh well – all things in due time, I always say!

Hope you’re having a great, relaxing Fall day.

Hugs; Pammie

(now it’s totally double spacing each line! UGH!!!@)

SUPER Excited!!!

Just got back from the visit to the kidney specialist for middle son – he’s OFF THE RENAL DIET!!! Yay – he can eat whatever he wants – and, what did he first want, you ask? A XL giant burrito from Taco Bell! (Believe me, we talked this all over with the doctor and he just kept saying: “Whatever he wants!” Amazing! Re-check in 3 months but his kidneys are healing! THANK YOU LORD!!!  I also took him on a walk through the garden by the cancer center; it was early morning and a bit chilly, but sunny – he noticed a spider web covered in dew which was illuminated by the sunshine – very cool.  I am ‘dancing on the ceiling with excitement’ today; a week ago this was a totally different scenario and I owe it all to the Lord and HIS healing powers (as well as many praying friends).  Just had to share this!

=============     RECIPES!  ===========

Most Delicious Pumpkin Bread
(very moist bread)

Mix and set aside:
2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 small box instant lemon pudding
1 small box instant butterscotch pudding
Chopped nuts, optional

Mix well until smooth:
15-oz. can solid pack pumpkin
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. oil
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Grease a small/mini loaf pan. 
(This recipe is just right for 16 
small loaves.) Mix dry ingredient mixture 
into wet ingredient mixture. Pour into 
pan(s)Bake for approximately 20-25 
(recipe: Sandy-Marys REcipe Exchange)
One-Pot Spicy Black Bean Chili 

1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
3 16-oz. cans black beans, 
    drained and rinsed
16 oz. pkg. frozen corn
14 1/2 oz. can tomatoes with chiles
1/2 C. water
1-1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
7 oz. can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1/4 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 C. reduced-fat sour cream
Optional:salsa, fresh cilantro sprigs 

In a medium saucepan, sauté onion and 
garlic in oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until 
onion softens and begins to brown. Add 
beans, corn, tomatoes, water and taco 
seasoning. Bring to a boil; reduce heat 
to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, 
stirring occasionally. Combine chiles 
in sauce and vinegar in a blender; 
process until puréed. Stir chile 
mixture and cilantro into chili, 
adding more taco seasoning if a 
spicier chili is preferred; heat 
through. Divide into soup bowls; 
top with dollops of sour cream. 
Garnish with salsa and a sprig of 
cilantro, if desired.4 servings. 
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Crockpot Vegetable Chicken Barley Stew
 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, cut into cubes
 1 medium size onion, chopped
 1 medium bag of frozen mixed vegetables
 1 1/2 C.  water
 1 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth
 2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes 
      with garlic, undrained 
 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
 2/3 C. uncooked barley
 Mix all ingredients in a large 
crockpot and cook on low heat for
 about 6 to 8 hours or until 
vegetables and barley are tender.
This recipe also works well when 
cooked on top of the stove in a
large soup pot.
NOTE:It really makes a lot! My 
crockpot is filled to the very top,
so plan on having lots of leftovers or 
share with your neighbor or freeze 
some for a really cold winter's night!
 (recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
 Cheesy Taco Corn on the Cob
 6 ears corn, cooked
 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
 1 lime, zested & juiced
 1 tsp taco seasoning
 1/2 block Mexican crumbling cheese, 
Combine mayo, lime zest, and juice 
in a small bowl. In a separate bowl 
(large enough to roll corn in) combine 
taco seasoning and cheese. Brush cooked 
corn with mayo mix. Roll in cheese
mix. Serve immediately.
 (recipe: Sandy-Mary's Recipe Exchange)
 Beefy Cornbread Casserole 
1 lb. ground beef * 
1 (15 oz)can red kidney beans, rinsed and 
1 (10.25 oz)can Campbell's® Beef Gravy 
1/2 C. barbeque sauce 
1 (8.5 oz) pkg corn muffin mix 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Cook beef in skillet until browned. Add 
beans, gravy and barbecue sauce. Pour 
into 2-quart shallow baking dish. 
Prepare corn muffin mix according to 
package directions. Drop by spoonfuls 
on top of beef mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes 
or until top is golden brown and mixture 
is bubbling.

*Or use 1 pound bulk pork sausage
(recipe: cookincrazyme/RDJ 9/02/11
Peanut Butter Banana Pie

1 C. vanilla wafer crumbs/about 30 cookies
2 T. butter or stick margarine melted & cooled
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

2/3 C. sugar
3 1/2 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 C. milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. sliced banana
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350F. 
CRUST: combine first 3 ingredients in 
bowl, tossing with a fork until moist. 
Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch
pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake 
12 minutes; cool crust on a wire rack.

FILLING: combine the sugar, cornstarch, 
and salt in a small heavy saucepan. 
Gradually add milk, stirring with 
whisk until well-blended.Cook over 
medium heat until mixture comes to a 
boil; cook for 1 minute, stirring with 
a whisk. Gradually add about 1/3 cup 
hot custard to beaten eggs, stirring 
constantly with a whisk. Return egg 
mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat 
until thick (for about 1 minute); stir 
constantly. Remove from heat, and stir 
in peanut butter and vanilla. Cool 
slightly.Arrange banana slices in 
bottom of prepared crust; spoon filling 
over bananas. Press plastic wrap onto the 
surface of filling; chill 4 hours. Remove 
plastic wrap. Spread whipped topping evenly 
over filling. Chill. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: DDJ 8/18/11)
It's a gorgeous Fall day today, sunny and a little
chilly (60 degrees F.); I am SO excited it's 
almost like the feeling you used to get as a
child when you woke up and realized it's your
Birthday! Full of happy, bubbling excitement!
After the rain comes the sunshine and oh, how
that has been greatly missed these past 2-3 weeks!

Hoping YOU have a wonderful, full-of-blessings day!

PS: Forgot to mention - a few nights ago I rented
(for 99 cents) the movie: "Babette's Feast" on our
On Demand Comcast cable; GREAT MOVIE (except it was
all in subtitles - it's a DANISH movie!) For 99 
cents it was well worth it; very gentle movie with
a great ending - I needed that!