Friday – Finally!

I don’t know about you, but here it’s been a really crazy/rough week and I’m glad to see Friday FINALLY come! (Now, let’s hope this next couple days are relatively calm & quiet!).  I spent the past two days working on my special needs group’s newsletter (I put one out every 2 months). Sometimes this process goes together very smoothly . . . and sometimes it doesn’t. Wednesday I began the process of copying clipart pictures from my old 3 1/2 inch floppys to the newsletter; inserted the first floppy (number 3)  in my (about 5 month old) external floppy reader and copied two scrolls from disc to newsletter. Took out disc, inserted next one (number 6) and waited for contents of disc to appear on my screen – they did, except they were the contents of DISC 3, not disc 6! Took it out, tried again (repeat about 4-5 times here), then called in my husband (the general ‘all things computer’ fixer). He ‘did his thing’ and finally announced that he wasn’t sure just how, but the external reader had copied the info from disc 3 to disc 6 and the info that WAS on disc 6 was now G-O-N-E! Talk about frustrated! (to make a long story somewhat shorter) we tried to think of other ways to get some clipart onto the next issue which was due to be mailed ASAP! Copy to email? nope Copy to Publisher? nope Finally my very smart husband thought: “What if you brought up, on line, an older issue of the newsletter and tried to copy a clipart from that to the new newsletter?” BRILLIANT! It worked and 54 (2 sheet/double sided) copies went to the post office yesterday. YAY!  Just been a really crazy week; that was just one of the incidents and I’m too tired of thinking of all the others to even repeat them – sufficient to say: I’m glad it’s FRIDAY!

Oh! BIGGEST GREAT THING! I’m finally feeling MUCH stronger! YAY! I made cheese, onion & ham omelets for the guys for breakfast today then proceeded to take all the cheeses/bologna/ham/hot dogs, etc out of the cheese & meat drawer and wash it out. Now that might not sound like a big thing to you, but to me it was HUGE! I remember, a few weeks ago, noticing that the bottom of said drawer was really sticky and thinking it needed washing, but I didn’t have even the energy to do that simple task – today I almost didn’t even notice I was doing it! Thank you, LORD!!! Am getting caught up on the laundry, a lot of paperwork for the knitting & special needs groups (address lists, attendence lists, etc.) that have sort of slipped to the back while I was sick. It’s really a HUGE blessing to me that I can finally wake up, GET UP and not be in any pain or too tired to do almost anything! YAY!!!

Working on more of “John’s Afghan” squares; I counted yesterday (with my 5 yr old grandson’s help) 19 completed squares and one being knit – that only leaves 29 to go (if I make 49) or even less if I wimp out and do only 42. Not a big deal – I love looking through all my knit patterns and picking out various patterns to knit – when you’re only knitting a 7″ x 7″ square, they go rather quickly.  (although I must admit, last night I got kind of bored knitting this one pattern and switched to knitting another chemo cap – it sure seems different to go from knitting with size 10 needles & worsted weight yarns to using size 5 needles & sport-weight/baby weight yarns!

Well, friends – tomorrow night is ‘the big New Year’s Eve’ for most people. Are you going to attend any parties or give one, yourself? Any particular menu items you’re making to celebrate? Here it’s going to be quiet (at least I THINK it is); it’s been many, MANY years since we’ve done any NY eve celebrating. I plan on popping wrapped brie in the oven and having brie & crackers for a snack; maybe we’ll watch the ball drop – not a biggie here. Middle son has several parties to go to, youngest is planning on visiting his girlfriend at her house and watching a movie while doing a jigsaw puzzle; oldest has to work a party until around 11 p.m.  (we’ll have to go get youngest son around 12:30; not looking forward to driving the roads after midnight – too many people who’ve had too much alcohol). I guess you could say, that 5 yrs of working midnights as a telephone operator while at the phone company really changed my attitude about that particular holiday. You would not imagine how many people call the operator at midnight to wish her/him a Happy New Year! AND – most, if not all, of them are drunk – that gets old – fast. (just ask my friend Mary “Momma”, she was right there with me for those ‘memorable’ occasions!)

Anyway, I digress – recipes, you say? Here ya go!


Mexican Fiesta Bites

24 won ton wrappers
1 C. cooked, crumbled Italian
1/2 C. chunky salsa
3/4 C. Kraft Mexican-style
shredded Four Cheese with
a touch of Philadelphia
1/4 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 won ton wrapper in each
of 24 mini-muffin cups sprayed
with non-stick spray, with edges
of wrappers extending over tops
of cups. Bake 5 minutes. Combine
sausage & salsa. Spoon sausage
mixture into won ton wrappers,
bake 10 minutes or until filling
is heated through and edges of cups
are golden brown. Top with
cheese, bake 1-2 minutes longer
or until melted. Top with sour
cream and cilantro. Makes 24.
Spicy Mexican Cheese & Bean Dip

1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into 1/2
inch cubes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (11 oz) can corn with red & green
bell peppers, drained
1 C. hot chunky salsa

Combine all ingredients (except
crackers) in microwavable bowl.
Microwave, on High 5 min. or
until Velveeta is completely
melted, stirring after 3 minutes.
Serve with crackers
Spinach Phyllo Roll-Ups

1 egg, beaten
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well drained
1 C. crumbled Feta cheese
1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia
Garden Vegetable cream cheese
4 green onions, finely chopped
15 sheets frozen phyllo dough,
thawed (14 x 9 inches)
1/3 C. butter, melted

(You can either make this
recipe to serve or to freeze
for later)
Mix first 5 ingredients until
well-blended. Brush 1 phyllo
sheet lightly with butter; top
with 2 more phyllo sheets,
lightly brushing each layer
with butter. Place remaining
phyllo dough between sheets
of plastic wrap, set aside.
Spread 1/5th of spinach
mixture along one short
side of phyllo stack. Fold
in long sides of phyllo, roll up
from one short side to make
a log. Repeat with remaining
phyllo sheets & spinach mixture.
Brush with remaining butter.
Make small cuts in tops of
logs at 1-inch intervals.
Place in large freezer-weight
resealable plastic bag or
wrap tightly in plastic
wrap. Freeze up to 3

When ready to bake:
Remove desired number
of logs from freezer. Refrigerate,
tightly wrapped, several hours
or overnight until thawed.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unwrap, then place on baking
sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
Transfer to cutting board.
Use serrated knife to cut each
log into 6 slices.
Bacon Crescent Appetizers

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 cans (8 oz ea) refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together
(except roll dough). Separate
each can dough into 8 triangles;
cut each triangle lengthwise
in half. Spread each dough
triangle with 1 generous
Tablespoon cream cheese
mixture; roll up, starting
with short side of triangle.
Place, point-sides down, on
baking sheet. Bake 12-15
minutes or until golden
brown. Serve warm.
Makes 16
Barbecue-Bacon Party Spread

2 (8 oz, ea) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1 (2.1 oz) pkg. fully cooked bacon,
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Spread cream cheese on large
platter, drizzle with barbecue
sauce; top with all remaining
ingredients. Serve with crackers.
Cheddar Chowder

2 C. boiling water
2 C. peeled & chopped potatoes
1/2 C. peeled & chopped carrots
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. ham, cut into cubes
1/4 C. margarine
2 C. milk
1/4 C. flour
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large pan, combine water,
vegetables & ham; cover & simmer
10-20 minutes or until vegetables
are tender. In saucepan, melt margarine
and add flour, stir until bubbly.
Gradually add milk with wire whisk;
stir until thickened. Add cheese to
mixture and stir until melted.
Pour cheese mixture into vegetable
mixture and heat for 10 minutes.
(recipe: KS tabby-1_Comfort_Foods)

Meat from 1 whole chicken OR
canned chicken or parts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup green chili salsa
2 T. quick cooking tapioca
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. grated cheese
1 dozen corn tortillas
Black olives

Tear chicken into bite size pieces,
mix with soup, chili, salsa and tapioca.
Line bottom of crock pot with 3 corn
tortillas, torn into bite size pieces.
Add 1/3 of the chicken mixture.Sprinkle
with 1/3 of onion and 1/3 of grated cheese.
Repeat layers of tortillas topped with chicken
mixture, onions and cheese.Cover and cook
on low 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 hours.
Garnish with sliced black olives.
(recipe; Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Beef & Cheese Stuffed French Bread

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 can nacho cheese soup
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 loaf firm French bread

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef; drain. Cut off
just top of French bread & pull
out inside of loaf, making a shell.
While ground beef is still warm,
stir in taco seasoning, cheese soup
and bread crumbs (from insides of
French bread). Pour this mixture
into loaf shell and spread evenly.
Cover loaf with Cheddar cheese and
place top of loaf back on bread.
Wrap in foil, bake 20 minutes.
Take out; slice for individual
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Cajun Popcorn

1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. canola oil
3 Qts. popped popcorn

In small bowl, combine first 8
ingredients; set aside. In a
small saucepan, heat oil over
medium for 1 min.; add
seasonings. Cook & stir over
low heat 1 minute. Place popcorn
in a large bowl; add seasoning
mixture and toss to coat. Serve
immediately. Makes 3 quarts.
(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ 11/04/11 )
Crispy Peanut Squares

1 C. sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 C. crisp rice cereal squares
1 C. peanuts

Combine first 3 ingredients in a glass
bowl; microwave at HIGH 3 to 4 minutes
or until melted, stirring once. Stir in
vanilla.Fold in 6 cups cereal and peanuts.
Spread mixture into a lightly greased
13- x 9-inch pan. Cover and chill 1 hour
or until set; cut into small
squares. Makes 4 dozen squares.
(recipe: DDJ 9/15/11)
Easy-five Mexican Dip

1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tomato, chopped
tortilla chips

Combine first 4 ingredients
in medium microwaveable bowl.
Microwave on High 4 minutes or
until Velveeta & cream cheese are
melted and mixture is well blended,
stirring every 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes & serve with
tortilla chips.

*To make more spicy:
Add 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro and
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
to mixture before microwaving.
Holiday Sausage Stars

15 wanton wrappers, quartered
1 lb. ground sausage, browned/drained
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
1 1/4 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 C. chopped red pepper
8 oz bottle Ranch salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray mini muffin tins with non
stick spray. Place quartered wanton
wrappers in muffin tins, pushing
sides up to form a star shape.
Bake 5 minutes or until lightly
browned. Combine remaining
ingredients in mixing bowl; spoon
into baked wrappers & bake 5
minutes more. Serve warm.
Makes 5 dozen.
(recipe:  Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Green Chile Cheese Squares

1 stick butter or margarine
10 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped green chile
(canned is ok)
1 pint small curd cottage cheese
1 lb. shredded Cheddar & Monterrey
Jack cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Melt butter & cool, pour into
large bowl. Add eggs; beat
together slightly. Add in all
other ingredients; mix well.
Pour into buttered 9 x 13 pan.
Bake 15 minutes, then lower
heat to 350 and continue
baking for another 30

That was a LOAD of recipes, but knowing some of you might be

needing appetizer suggestions, I thought I’d just post all the ones

pertaining to parties and let you sort them out! (Looks like my

server is acting up again and making my sentence spacing the

way IT decides to do, not mine so I’ll wrap this up.

Have a very HAPPY (and SAFE!) NEW YEAR!          



Tuesday Tastings

Here it is, two days past Christmas already! (My brain is still on Monday – not sure why, but without all my ‘usual’ meetings, I’m kind of lost on my days!) Yesterday’s belated Christmas dinner was great – my oldest brought his ‘cheesy potatoes’ (he said he features them on his banquet menu, at his restaurant) were WONDERFUL! I’d never had them before – he puts 4 different cheeses in them then tops them with butter & panko bread crumbs; to say I ‘pigged out’ would be an understatement. For a diabetic, lots of carbs ( potatoes) is a no-no, but I just couldn’t resist! He even added a little bacon, which just put them over the top. Since we decided that our meal would be a bit scaled-down (because I over stressed myself on Thanksgiving dinner), this meal was a feast AND a treat. Everything came together just perfectly, the meal was casual – eat a little, chat a little – sit back & ‘digest’ a little, then go back to ‘snacking’ again. Great food, great time.

Here in Michigan, we had a GREEN Christmas – no snow. HOWEVER – – – today is another story! It’s the PERFECT temperature for snow: 32 degrees F. and we’ve had a constant downpour of the ‘powdered sugar’ snow – that really fine snow that looks so pretty. (my husband just informed me that we’re not supposed to get the really heavy snow until after 3 p.m. – it’s only 12:45 right now) The good thing is: it’s not sticking to the roads! YAY! (we read the weather report last night which said: snow conditions: 100%, so we weren’t surprised – now I just hope it doesn’t get the idea to keep doing this and getting heavy – THEN I might get upset some! (not that I have any earth-shattering things to do today). I’m beginning the preparations for the special needs group newsletter for Jan-Feb. We do the SAME things every month, pretty much, but our ‘kids’ get upset if they don’t have the calendar for that next 2 month segment, so I’ve got my work cut out for me for the next few days. (it’s a 4 page newsletter with lots of clip art).

Recipes, you say? Well, I didn’t get the recipe from my son for his potatoes (I rather thought, after hearing some of the ingredients, that it would be a bit pricey for me to make, so I’ll just be happy to enjoy them when HE makes them!). Lots of other yummy-sounding recipes in my emails, so here’s a few to whet your appetites (IF you have any appetites left after all the holiday feasting!)



3/4 C. cornmeal
1 1/2 C. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 lb. ground beef, browned,
1 envelope dry chili seasoning mix
1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Combine cornmeal, milk, and egg.
Stir in meat, chili seasoning mix,
tomatoes, and corn until well
blended.  Pour into crockpot;
cover & cook on High for 1 hour,
then on Low for 3 hours.
Sprinkle with cheese.  Cook another
5 minutes until cheese is melted
Makes 8 servings
Layered Blue Cheese Spread

3 pkg (8 oz ea) cream cheese,
softened, divided
1 C (4 oz) crumbled blue cheese
1/4 C plus 1 T. sour cream, divided
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 T. minced chives
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
Assorted breads or crackers

On a serving plate, spread two pkg.
cream cheese into an 8-in. circle. In a
small bowl, combine blue cheese,
1/4  C. sour cream, parsley, cilantro,
chives & pepper until blended. Spread
over cream cheese layer to within 1/2 in.
of edges. In a small bowl, beat remaining
cream cheese & sour cream until smooth.
Spread over blue cheese layer to within 1 in.
of the edges. Sprinkle with walnuts just
before serving. Serve with breads or crackers.
Yield: 4 cups.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Rum Balls

2-1/2 C. crushed vanilla wafers
(about 75 wafers)
1 C. ground pecans
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 T. plus 2 tsp. baking cocoa
1/4  C. rum
3 T. honey
2 T. water
Additional confectioners’ sugar and/or
crushed vanilla wafers

In large bowl, combine wafer crumbs,
pecans, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa.
Combine rum, honey and water; stir
into crumb mixture. Shape into 1-in. balls.
Roll in additional confectioners’ sugar
and/or wafer crumbs. Store in an airtight
container.Yield: 3-1/2 dozen
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Party Rye Spread

1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
8-oz. pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
16-oz. loaf sliced party rye bread

Combine all ingredients except
party rye. Place in a food processor
and process into a paste consistency.
Chill to combine flavors. To serve, warm
mixture slightly at room temperature to
spreading consistency. Spread on party
rye slices; arrange on an ungreased baking
sheet. Place under a heated broiler until
bacon is cooked and spread is golden,
about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Makes 4 dozen.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Raspberry-Peach Cobbler

2 1/2 C. sliced, fresh peaches (or use frozen)
2 C. fresh raspberries (or frozen)
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 C. Bisquick baking  mix
1/2 C. milk
3 t. butter, melted
2 T. sugar or packed brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter bottom & sides of
deep-dish pie plate. Mix peaches,
raspberries, 1/2 C. sugar, cornstarch
and nutmeg in large bowl. Let
stand 10 minutes; spoon into
pie plate. Stir remaining
ingredients in same bowl until
dough forms. Drop dough by
spoonsful onto fruit mixture.
Bake 37-45 minutes or until
fruit is bubbly & topping is
deep golden brown and baked
(recipe: KStabby- from
Betty Crocker Bisquick II
You don’t have to save this fruity
dessert for summer only.  Make it
with frozen sliced peaches and
raspberries, thawed and drained,
in any season.
Glazed Apple Cookies
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C. butter
1 1/3 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 C. milk
1 C. raisins
1 C. chopped, peeled apples
1 C. nuts


1 1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 T. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 T. milk

Preheat oven  375 degrees F.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt & spices;
set aside. In separate bowl, cream
butter and brown sugar; add egg.
Stir in dry ingredients. Add milk and
mix well. Stir in the raisins, apples and nuts.
Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes.
To make icing:
Combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla
and milk. Spread over cooled cookies.
Makes 5 dozen
(recipe: Joan-1_Comfort_Foods Digest)
Marinated Beef Brisket

5 to 6 lb lean beef brisket
3 oz liquid smoke
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion salt
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
16 oz BBQ sauce – NOT smoked

Pour liquid smoke over meat and
sprinkle with salts. Marinate
overnight in refrigerator.
The next day, place meat and all
liquid in slow cooker & add
Worcestershire sauce. Slow cook
on low for 8 to 10 hours,
stirring occasionally. Add BBQ
sauce midway through cooking.
Meat will fall apart easily when
stirred. (Use additional BBQ sauce
if desired).
(recipe: KStabby-1_Comfort_
Foods Digest)
Tiramisu Cookie Log

1 pt. whipping cream
sugar to taste
15-oz. pkg. chocolate chip
2 C. brewed espresso or strong
coffee, cooled
Garnish: mini semi-sweet
chocolate chips

Using an electric mixer on medium-high
speed, beat together whipping cream &
sugar until stiff; set aside. Quickly dip
2 cookies into cooled coffee. Using a dab of
whipped cream, sandwich cookies together
upright, creating a log. Repeat process
until desired length of log is reached.
When finished, cover log with remaining
whipped cream; garnish with mini
chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve, no
more than 3 to 4 hours. Serves about 10.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Simply Scrumptious Frittata

1 T. oil
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
& cooked
3/4 C. cooked ham, cubed
8 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large heavy oven-proof
skillet over medium heat.  Add onion
& green pepper; cook until tender.
Add garlic; cook one more minute.
Stir in potatoes and ham; cook until
heated through.  Reduce heat to medium-
low; add eggs, salt and pepper.  Cook 5
minutes or until eggs are firm on the
bottom. Top eggs with cheese. Bake
5 to 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4
(recipe: KStabby from “Gooseberry
Patch Quick & Easy Family
Favorites Cookbook”
, 1_Comfort_
Foods digest)
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.)
Spicy Pretzel Sticks

1 large bag pretzel sticks
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
3/4 C. vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Original blend
2 dashes tabasco sauce
1 tsp. green chile powder

In small bowl, combine vegetable oil
and all seasonings; whisk to combine
well, stirring continuously. Place pretzel
sticks into a 1 gallon zip lock plastic bag.
Pour seasoning mixture over top, seal
bag & gently turn to coat completely. Set
bag aside for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven 200ºF.
Pour pretzel mixture onto a baking sheet
and spread out. Place in oven; bake 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve.
Beefy Crescent Casserole

1 lb Ground  Hamburger
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 package  crescent dinner dolls
3 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese  grated

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown meat and drain. 
Mix with mushroom soup. 
Spread in  9x9 inch baking dish. 
Mix cheddar and cream cheese together. 
Pat out rolls on to  1/8 inch thick. 
Add equal amounts of cheese mixture on each triangle 
of dough. Roll up as crescent roll. place on top of 
meat mixture. Bake 30 minutes.
(recipe: Joan - Cream_Cheese_or_Sour_Cream)


good in tacos ,burritos, or nachos.

2 cups cooked shredded chicken
3 cups chicken broth
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked)
1/2 cup green or red pepper, chopped
1 can corn, drained

Mix all in pan. Bring to a boil. Cover. 
Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes or 
until water is absorbed (about 40-50
minutes for brown rice). Let stand
5 minutes; fluff
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Maybe it's me, but it sure seems like I have a 
ton of sweet recipes, and not very many savory
ones to offer - will try to correct that soon.
Yes, cookies/cakes/pastries are great, but 
usually after the holidays most people are 
'all sugared out'! Hope you're having a
ps: Am still working on "John's afghan" (my
special needs guy). Have around 12-15 squares
knit, but am going to try for around 42-49
squares: 7 X 7 (7 wide by 7 squares long - 
each square being 7 inches x 7 inches; that
'should' make a pretty good size for a
man that's around 5' 8/9' and a rather
hefty size. OH! Forgot to tell you - 
I'm starting to feel a little better
every day - more energy - FINALLY!
YAY! AND my legs don't feel like they
weight 2,000 lbs. each anymore! THANK

Christmas Day, 2011

Yes, they’re growing up! Here’s two photos of my ‘guys’, this year:

Eric (17), Ben (22) & Kris (28)

Kris’s family:  Kris, Kaden (5) & Kristen

We spent a rather quiet day; Kris & family came over around 2 and we all munched on a veggie tray, chips & dip, a wrapped brie & crackers, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake & varied slices of cheesecake.  Today is the actual dinner at 5; this year (because I was sick) we’re varying the menu a bit and making it simpler: baked ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, Kris’s cheesy Au Gratin potatoes, corn casserole, rolls and a spinach tossed salad (spinach, sliced red onions, croutons, craisins, slivered almonds and feta cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette/poppy seed dressing. Lots of food (a little lighter than usual, but that’s OK, too!).

I got to watch (parts – I fell asleep for a bit) of the Kung Fu Panda movie complete with video clip  inserts of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and other actors playing their parts. I love seeing the ‘live people’ being filmed while they’re doing their ‘voice over’ parts  – lots of fun. I find Jack Black a rather interesting character actor; he was excellent in the movie I watched last week (it was rather a ‘sleeper’, but I loved it): “The Holiday”. Great movie: Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Jude Law (cameo by Dustin Hoffman), Eli Wallach – as my guys would say: “It’s a ‘chick flick’ – but I really enjoyed it.

Hoping you all had a joyous holiday and are able to have a great day, today, too!



PS: Here in good old Michigan we had a ‘green’ Christmas-no snow and about 45 degrees; same today – lots of sun, 41 degrees F.

Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Christmas Eve

Hello, Everyone!

Hoping you are all ‘done’ with all of your preparations/plans/wrapping/baking/etc.; right now there’s a pumpkin pie in the oven (for tomorrow). Finished all the ‘stuff’ I needed to get done: lights & garland on mantle/manger on mantle; living room cleaned up, diningroom table cloth washed,  Happy Birthday, Jesus cake baked & frosted (tradition every year in our family). Only things left to do are wrap presents and stuff stockings – but that comes MUCH later when the boys are in bed. The trouble with that is – now that they are much older (17 & 22) their bedtime is sometimes later than mine! I’m feeling a little better each day, not as much coughing or fatigue – am hoping to be able to sing with the church choir in the morning, but we’ll see . . .

Recipes, you say? Even at this late hour? Why sure! Have more of those for you!


Chunks of Snow

1 lb. white chocolate bark 
coating, chopped
1 (3.5-oz) jar macadamia nuts
1 (6 oz) pkg sweetened dried 

Melt chocolate coating in a saucepan 
over low heat, stirring constantly. 
Remove from heat; stir in nuts and 
dried cranberries. Spread mixture 
onto a lightly greased baking sheet. 
Cool. Break into pieces. Makes 1 
1/2 lbs.
(recipe: DDJ-12/20/11)
Lemony Doodles (cookies)

1 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of one lemon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together shortening,
eggs & sugar until creamy.
In separate bowl, mix together
flour and all other dry
ingredients. Add dry ingredients
to creamed mixture. Add zest
of lemon and mix. (set aside
lemon for later use)

Lemon Sugar:

In small bowl mix granulated
sugar and a few drops lemon
juice; mix thoroughly.

Form dough into balls using
a generous teaspoonful. Roll
in lemon sugar to coat. Place
on ungreased cookie sheet
and bake 8-10 minutes,
watch carefully so they don't
Toffee Pecan Cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 box yellow cake mix
2 large eggs
1 T. water
1 pkg. heath toffee bits
1/2 C. pecans, chopped fine

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix butter, add cake mix, eggs
and water; mix well. Add toffee
bits and pecans to batter; mix
by hand. Spoon onto ungreased
cookie sheets and bake 10
minutes. Transfer to cooling
(recipe: Joyce -
Cherry S'mores 
1 plain milk chocolate candy bar (7 oz)
4 whole graham crackers
8 large marshmallows
1 cup cherry pie filling

Break or cut graham crackers in half. 
Divide chocolate into eight pieces; 
place a piece on each graham cracker 
half. Top with a marshmallow. 
Place two crackers at a time on a 
microwave-safe plate. Microwave on 
high for 10-15 seconds or until 
chocolate is melted and marshmallow is 
puffed. Top each with 1 tablespoon pie 
filling. Yield: 8 servings.
(recipe: cookincrazyme-DDJ 10/07/11)
Apple Pie Muffins

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
2 large apples, peeled, cored,
& coarsely chopped
1 stick of butter, room temp
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. dark brown sugar, 
packed, divided
1 large egg
1 C. plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 450.
Put chopped apples in a bowl & 
toss them with a bit of flour; 
set aside.Line muffin pan with 
paper liners and spray each liner 
with a nonstick spray.In medium-
sized bowl sift together flours, 
baking powder, baking soda, salt, 
and cinnamon; mix well and set 
aside.In separate bowl, with an 
electric mixer cream butter and 
sugar; add in 1/4 C. brown sugar
and beat until fluffy. Add in egg 
and mix well; stop once to scrape 
the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Slowly pour in yogurt and mix just 
until combined.Whisk in flour mixture 
and fold in apples.Divide batter evenly 
among muffin cups and sprinkle tops with 
rest of brown sugar.Bake 10 minutes, then
reduce heat to 400 and bake for an 
additional 8-10 minutes, or until a 
toothpick inserted into the center
of a muffin comes out clean.Cool muffins 
10 minutes in the muffin pan then turn 
them out onto a wire rack
to cool completely. (Makes 18 muffins)
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Sweet Mustard Chicken Bake

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast 
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Grease a shallow baking dish. In a 
small bowl, stir together honey, 
Dijon mustard, melted butter and 
pepper. Place chicken in greased
baking dish, and pour honey mustard 
sauce over it. Bake 45 minutes, 
basting frequently with the sauce, 
until chicken is firm and juices 
run clear.
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Loaded ‘Baked Potato’ Salad

2 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. buttermilk
2 T. chopped fresh chives
1/2 C.  shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 slices Bacon, cooked, crumbled

Cook potatoes in boiling water 20 min.
or until tender; drain & cool. Mix
mayo, buttermilk and chives in large
bowl; add potatoes & cheese and
toss lightly. Refrigerate 3 hours
Top with bacon just before serving.
Serves 8 (3/4 C. each)
(recipe: Kraft Foods)
Pan-Fried Onion Dip

2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise

Heat butter and oil in large
saute pan over medium heat. Add
onions, cayenne, salt & pepper;
saute 10 minutes. Reduce heat
to medium-low, cook, stirring
occasionally, 20 minutes more
until onions are browned &
caramelized. Let onions cool.
Place cream cheese, sour cream,
and mayonnaise in elec. mixer
bowl fitted with paddle attach-
ment; beat until smooth. Add
onions & mix well. Season to
taste; serve at room temp.
Makes 2 Cups.
(recipe: Ina Garten-Food network)
White Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. sugar
1/4 C. melted butter
4 (8 oz ea) pkgs cream cheese,
1 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 C. sour cream
4 squares Baker’s White baking
Chocolate, melted
4 eggs
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
16 miniature candy canes

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line 9 x 13 pan with foil,
extending ends of foil over
sides of pan. Mix graham
cracker crumbs, 3 T. sugar
& butter; press onto bottom
of pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, 1 C. sugar &
extract in large bowl with elec.
mixer until well blended. Add
sour cream & chocolate; mix
well. Add eggs, 1 at a time,
mixing on low speed after each
until just blended. Pour over
crust. Bake 40 minutes or
until center is almost set. Cool.
Refrigerate 4 hours. Use foil
edges to lift cheesecake from
pan before cutting to serve.
Top each piece with a dollap
of Cool Whip and a candy cane.
Makes 16 servings.
Cranberry Dump Chicken

2 T. butter, melted
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. cranberry juice
1/4 C. orange juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 lb. chicken pieces (4-6)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients in a large
baking dish, turn chicken to coat.
Bake until chicken juices run
clear (about 30-60 min.) depending
upon the chicken pieces used.
For Crock Pot:
Put chicken in bottom of crock;
pour remaining ingredients over
chicken. Cook on Low 6-8 hours,
or High 4-6 hours or until done.
For Freezing:
Place all ingredients into a
1-gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer. To thaw & cook:
take bag out of freezer the night
before, making sure the freezer
bag is completely sealed. Place
bag on shelf farthest from
freezer(works best if the bag
is laying flat).
(recipe: sue-RDJ 12/16/11)
Oven Scrambled Eggs

2 T. + 2 tsp. butter or margarine,
8 eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. + 1 T + 1 tsp. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour melted butter into a
glass 9 x 13 baking dish. In a
large bowl, whisk together
eggs & salt until well blended.
Gradually add milk, whisking.
Pour egg mixture into baking
dish; bake, uncovered, 10
minutes, then stir, and bake
an additional 10-15 minutes
or until eggs are set. Serve
immediately. Serves 4.
(recipe: Carden-RDJ 12/16/11)
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)
Graham Cracker Fudge

2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. graham crackers, finely crushed
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds,
1 tsp. butter

Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot water.
Add condensed milk and cook, stirring
constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5
minutes. Add vanilla, graham cracker crumbs
and 1 C. nuts; mix well. Butter an 8″ x 8″
baking pan; sprinkle half remaining nuts in
bottom of pan. Spread chocolate mixture into
pan, using a knife that has been dipped in
hot water. Press remaining nuts into top.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill
overnight. Cut into squares. Makes 16-
20 pieces.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Candied Nuts

2 1/2 – 3 C. nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. cinnamon (rounded)
1 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place a single layer of nuts on a
cookie sheet. Bake 5-10 minutes-
DO NOT BURN! While nuts are
warming, add sugar, water &
cinnamon into a lightly
sprayed thick bottomed 2 quart
or larger pan. Stir constantly to
a boil over medium high heat to
a soft ball stage (235 º on a candy
thermometer) Remove from heat.
Add vanilla & butter; stir. Add
warmed nuts & stir until all nuts
are coated. Pour onto a greased
(or sprayed) cookie sheet, spreading
out to a single layer; let cool. When
nuts are cool to the touch, separate them.
Cool completely. Re-separate and place
in an airtight glass container.
Makes 2 1/2 – 3 Cups nuts.

I must post here: please forgive me if any of these are

repeats – sometimes when typing, copying & pasting

recipes I think “Gee, that sounds familiar!” and then

don’t want to go back to other blog entries to see if,

indeed, I’ve posted the same recipe in two different

postings – so if it’s one you’ve seen before, just hit

the ‘delete’ and be done with it! I’m beginning to smell

the pumpkin pie, which tells me it’s time to go remove

the foil cover from the crust and bake another 15 min.


Wishing you all a very BLESSED CHRISTmas and a

wonderful time with friends & family;



ps: We DID have snow last night, but today the

temperature got up to 40 degrees F. and it all

melted. (for me, that was “YAY!”, for others

wishing for a WHITE Christmas, not so much


Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The Story of Two Frogs

Yesterday I received an unexpected gift in the mail from one of the couples in our Sunday School Class. When I opened it, I found what you see in the photo along with a story:


The Story of Two Frogs

There is a story about two frogs who fell into a can of cream, or so I’ve heard it told. The sides of the can were shiny and steep; the cream was deep and cold. “O what’s the use!” croaked Number 1, “Tis fate, no help’s around. Good-bye my friend! Good-bye cruel world” and weeping still, he drowned. But Number 2, of sterner stuff, dog-paddled in surprise, all the while he wiped his creamy face and dried his creamy eyes. “I’ll swim a while, at least,” he said, or so I’ve heard he said, “It really wouldn’t help the world if one more frog were dead.” An hour or two he kicked and swam, not once he stopped to mutter, but kicked and swam and swam, then hopped out on the butter! So, do not be discouraged with what life has thrown at you. Keep the FROG in mind and you will come through, too.

Fully Rely On God

Yes, fully rely on God and keep swimming; if you rely on Him and pray, you

too will come out on top one day!

Keep swimming, Pam!


Of course, when I finished reading the story, I was crying! It was just what I needed JUST when I needed to hear it! People tend to not want to admit when they’re struggling – and lately I’ve been struggling – not with the cancer diagnosis, but with the fact that I can’t DO things like I used to. I realize that it will take TIME to heal, but somehow my brain wants to just forget that part and MAKE my body respond like it used to – that doesn’t work and just ends up making me overly tired and frustrated, so you see why this story above was greatly needed right now!  I’m a stubborn person who has, for the most part, relied on myself throughout my life. Not that I don’t believe in the Lord and ask for his help. protection and guidance, but like most people I tend to plod along in my life thinking I’m in control and that’s right about when the Lord gently reminds me just who IS in control of my life.

For those of you who might need this little story, I hope it blesses you as much as it did me. (My friend also added that Chocolate helps everything – hence the box of Russell Stover candy by the frog!)

Enjoy your day, try to not OVER-think or stress about ‘stuff’ – what happens, happens – you will STILL have a good day and holiday! (It’s taking me time, but I’m learning to TAKE IT EASY!) We have one small fiber optic tree up, a lighted wreath in the window, stockings hung (but still need the garland & lights on the fireplace), the tree & lights are up – but still need the decorations, still need to put the manger scene on the mantle (after we get the lights & garland up). The manger scene is the very same one that my dear friend MARY gave me a good 30+ years ago and it still looks wonderful! IF we get to Christmas day and the tree still doesn’t have ornaments – so be it; that doesn’t take away from the true meaning of Christmas – how the Lord God Himself sent his Son from heaven to earth to take on the form of a human child. That same human child grew up to become not only the Son of God but the Savior of the world – Jesus Christ. He lived on earth, died on a cross for our sins, rose again to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. He IS coming again – soon. Do you believe this?  I knew this story as a child but only held the information in my head – it never traveled those inches down to my heart. It wasn’t until I heard, again, that Jesus Christ DIED to take AWAY MY SINS (both those I had done and all those I WILL do) – Why? Because He loves me and wants me to be with Him in heaven someday. And not just me – everyone: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believes on Him should NOT perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:15-17

I didn’t start out writing this blog today with the above message, but it all fits. Our lives are a GIFT from GOD; (sometimes I tend to forget that) we need to live our lives as best we can to give the glory back to God. Forgive me when I complain here about the cancer and struggles; I’m trying to get through this the best I can so that I CAN live my life to HIS GLORY. Why are we here? To love God and give HIM the glory for all He’s done in our lives. If you question that thought – just think – how many times in ONE DAY have you had big or little blessings happen to you? Unexpected blessings – not huge ones, sometimes just little ones – but blessings none the less. Finding something you lost (did that this morning!), someone you’ve been thinking about calls you – little blessings or big – God LOVES YOU!

Merry Christmas ( a little early) and blessings on all of you;



Sunday Stew and other things . . .

Once again I have lots of great-sounding recipes to share. I’m smelling the beef stew on the stove; finally feeling a little bit better after getting a cold Friday so I decided to cook. I love dinners that can go for more than one meal like chili, beef stew, potato soup, bean soup, white bean-chicken chili, etc. I’m still working on trying to come up with a complete menu for our Christmas dinner; still not totally convinced but at least I think the desserts will be ok – pumpkin pie (for my husband) and a many-layered chocolate pudding/Cool Whip, etc. dessert. I thought I’d posted it, but checking my last post, it’s not there so I’ll put it here, just in case . . .


Four Layer Dessert

1st layer:
1 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1 stick softened margarine

Press evenly into a 9 x 13 pan.

2nd layer:
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,
room temp.
1 C. Cool Whip

Mix together and spread over
first layer

3rd layer:
1 box inst. chocolate pudding
1 box inst. vanilla pudding
2 C. cold milk

Mix together and let thicken
before spreading over 2nd layer.

4th layer:
2 (16 oz) tubs Cool Whip
chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Spread 1 1/2 of the 2 tubs
Cool Whip over top of dessert.
Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
Chill 1 hour before serving.


Reese's Cake Mix Cookies

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 C. smooth peanut butter
2 eggs
1/3 C. water
1/4 C. oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together;
dough will be stiff. Drop by
teaspoonful onto greased
cookie sheets. Bake 10-12
minutes. Makes 2-3 dozen
Pecan Pistachio Sandies (cookies)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant pistachio pudding
1 egg
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Decorative green sugar (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Empty cake mix and dry pudding mix into
a large mixing bowl.Add egg, oil, vanilla,
and pecans. Roll mixture into small balls
and press flat on a cookie sheet.Sprinkle
decorative green sugar over pressed cookies.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until center of
cookie is set.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cherry Crumb Bars

1 pkg. white or yellow cake mix
(18 oz)
1-1/4 cup rolled quick oats,
1/2 cup margarine or butter,
softened, divided
1 egg
21 oz. can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 F.
Grease and flour a 13x9 pan.
Combine cake mix,6 T. butter &
1 cup rolled oats. Reserve 1 cup
crumbs for topping. To remaining
crumbs, add egg; mix well. Press
into pan.Pour cherry filling over crust;
spread to cover. In large bowl add
remaining 1/4 cup oats, 2 T. butter,
nuts and brown sugar.Mix well.
Sprinkle over cherries.
Bake 30-40 minutes.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

1 can LeSeur English peas, well drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1 small jar pimientos, well drained
2 TBS mayonnaise (or more)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled *
Combine all ingredients; stir lightly

NOTE from poster: "I don't always use
the bacon"
(recipe: budhatch-Recipe du Jour 6/3/11)

1-2 lbs. beef stew meat
8 carrots, sliced thin
6 potatoes, sliced thin
2 apples, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 Tablespoons minced onion
2 cups apple cider

Place carrots, potatoes, and
apples in crock pot.Add meat and
sprinkle with salt, thyme, and
onion. Pour cider over meat
and cover.Cook on low heat
10-12 hours. Thicken gravy.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Butterfinger Cream Pie 1 Oreo ready-made pie crust
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 C. whipping cream, whipped
1/4 C. chocolate syrup
Butterfinger bars, chopped
1 can Reddi-Whip (spray whipped cream)
(a few Butterfinger crumbs for topping)

Beat cream cheese & peanut butter until
smooth; beat in powdered sugar. Stir in
chopped Butterfinger bars. Fold in
whipped cream and pour into Oreo
crust. Refrigerate until firm (4
hours or overnight). Before
serving, drizzle chocolate syrup;
sprinkle Butterfinger crumbs on
top then add Reddi Whip around the
edge of the pie. Serves 8.
(recipe: Victoria-JustaPinch site)
Cornbread Casserole

 1 lb. ground beef
 1 green pepper, chopped
 1 pkg. dry chili mix
 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
 1 onion, chopped
 2 C. canned tomatoes
 1 can red kidney beans, drained
 1/2 C. water

 Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
 Brown hamburger, onions, and pepper.
 Add 2 cups tomatoes, salt and pepper to
 taste. Add package chili mix with 1/2 cup
 water. Add 1 can kidney beans; bring
 to boil then pour in casserole dish.
 Mix 1 package Jiffy cornbread mix as
 package calls for and spread evenly on
 top of casserole mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
 (recipe: Joan-1_Comfort_Foods_Digest)
Frozen Oreo 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)
Lemonade Nut Bread 
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together butter and 3/4
cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs
and lemon peel; beat well. Sift
together flour, baking powder and
salt. Add to creamed mixture
alternately with milk, beating until
smooth after each addition. Stir in
pecans. Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until done.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Combine lemon juice and 4 tablespoons
sugar; spoon over top. Remove from pan;
cool. Wrap; store overnight.
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
Raspberry Chicken with Thyme
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
8 fresh thyme sprigs plus
    1 teaspoon minced thyme
4 boneless chicken breast halves,
   with skin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 T.cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock or
   canned low-sodium broth

Press half raspberries through a fine
stainless steel strainer; reserve the
puree.Tuck one thyme sprig under skin of
each chicken breast, loosening skin as
little as possible; season chicken with
salt and pepper.In a large, heavy,
nonreactive skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon
butter in oil over high heat. When butter
stops foaming, add chicken, skin side down
and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to moderate
and cook until skin is nicely browned,
about 5 minutes longer. Turn chicken and
brown second side, about 6 minutes. Transfer
chicken to a plate and keep warm in a low
oven. Pour the fat from the skillet.
Add wine, vinegar, shallot and minced thyme
to skillet and boil over moderately high heat
for 2 minutes, stirring to deglaze the pan.
Add chicken stock and boil until reduced to
1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved
raspberry puree and cook until warmed
through. Remove from heat and whisk in
remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter.
Slice chicken breasts crosswise or leave
them whole. Transfer to warmed plates and
spoon sauce on top or alongside. Garnish with
remaining thyme sprigs and whole raspberries.
Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: RDJ-10/11/11)
Broccoli Spaghetti

 1 pound spaghetti
 1 large head broccoli (1/2 lb)
 1/4 cup olive oil
 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/2 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (2 cups)
 Freshly ground black pepper
 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

 Cook the spaghetti according to the label directions
 and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
 Meanwhile, cut off broccoli stalk, peel it, and thinly
 slice it crosswise. Cut remaining broccoli into small
 florets. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium
 heat. Add the garlic, broccoli, and half salt and cook
 until garlic is lightly browned and broccoli is
 fork-tender, 4-5 minutes. Add pasta,shredded
 chicken,  reserved pasta water, remaining 1/4 tsp.
 salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until heated
 through, about 3 minutes. Add red pepper flakes
 & toss well. Drizzle with  remaining oil
 before serving. Makes 4 servings.
 (recipe: RDJ 10/12/11)
I try to include both entrees, vegetable dishes 
and desserts,but lately it seems there are a LOT 
more desserts than other entries.
Hope you are having a good day - it's 35 degrees 
here in Michigan with a very light dusting of snow 
on the ground (YAY!) I've begun working on knitting 
squares for my special needs friend who gave me a bag 
of yarn someone had given him and said: "Pam, make me 
an afghan." Normally I might consider saying no, but 
it's one of the guys I drive each week, so you see 
where this is going. I've decided to make my 'old 
standard' 7" x 7" squares and then sew them together. 
This gave me the opportunity to drag out my flash
cards of varied knitting stitches and start knitting. 
The only problem with this whole 'idea' is - he only 
has red & green yarns and they're a WOOL blend! I tried 
talking him out of this idea because it might shrink 
if not washed properly, but he insisted. I'm not yet 
sure if there is enough yarn to complete this project,
but so far I've gotten 4 squares out of one 'skein' 
and there's still enough for maybe 2 more squares, 
so we'll see (there is more green yarn than red). 
It's going to be a 'project in the making' & we'll 
all be amazed when it's done considering even I don't 
know what it will look like until it's finished! 
Hoping this will be a "Happy Adventure" - we'll see!

Enjoy your day;



ps: Since I still have the cold, I decided to stay home from
church; no one likes hearing someone around them constantly
coughing. I'm feeling a little better than yesterday - YAY!

A Few Photos of My Special Needs Group Party

If you read my last post I mentioned our “Friends & Family Christmas Gathering” which occurred last night. Here are a few photos of the evening, taken by another of our special needs students.

This is only part of the group (I’m hidden behind the piano), before we began to sing. The group presented Lois, our main leader, and myself with lovely poinsettias.

myself, Andy, Lois (the main leader) and Sarah after presenting Lois & I with the poinsettias


It was a lovely night and the Lord was truly glorified in their singing.



Published in: on December 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

And There’s More to Come!

Yes, friends – lots more recipes! Thank heavens for wonderful recipe sites that provide the recipes I’ve been featuring here. Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas Gathering and we had a wonderful time. As in years past, we never know exactly how many people will show up; we had set up for 96 (12 tables, 8 chairs each) and I’d say we, easily, had 125 people. Praise the Lord we had enough food (with a little extra): chips & veggie dip, cherry tomatoes & sliced cucumbers, (really tasty) pinwheel sandwiches and croissant sandwiches from Costco (if you ever need some REALLY GOOD/TASTY sandwiches, check them out! They come in a big tray, already made up – not exactly sure of the price, but they are well-worth it!), and lots & lots of homemade cookies. The young teenage girls of the church spent their time last Wednesday night baking cookies for our group – what a blessing! While I was walking by the food table to see if we needed any more items ‘filled’ (like potato chips or dip) I happened to notice the cookie trays – there was ONE half of a gingerbread cookie left! I’m SURE those cookies were a HUGE hit! The evening progressed with food and fellowship followed by our program: our ‘students’ recited a verse they just learned: Psalm 138:5” They will sing of what the Lord has done because the Lord’s GLORY is GREAT!” sang 6 Christmas carols followed by our group’s all-time favorite hymn: Amazing Grace. You have not experienced the singing of this hymn until you have heard it sung by almost 50 special needs adults – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place! It is a truly humbling experience (and I’m blessed to play the piano while they’re singing so I get to see their faces AND hear them sing.) Every year I come home totally exhausted but also totally BLESSED by the whole experience. While I was working in the kitchen beforehand I heard someone call my name and looked up. There, in the doorway, was a young man in a wheelchair – I haven’t seen or heard from him in AT LEAST 8 years. He was sitting there beaming from ear-to-ear with his arms out, waiting for a hug – that truly blessed my night! I don’t know where he’s been all these missing years but it was SO great to get to see him, give him a hug and let him know just how much we’ve all missed him. Those are the true blessings of the season!

Today is the ‘first day of my new life’ – my first ‘day after radiation and treatment’! My husband mentioned earlier in the week that I’ll be able to sleep in, now that I don’t have to be to the cancer center every day Monday-Friday and sleep in I DID! (I really didn’t think I would, but finally woke up at 10 a.m.!) There’s still lots ‘to do’ – trips to the drug store, grocery store, library, etc. but I’m taking my time – NOW I can relax a little! YAY! Next up is a check up visit in 4 weeks, so I now have FOUR WEEKS to relax! VERY COOL!!! Still have a little Christmas shopping to do, but it’s mostly for stocking stuffers and maybe a little present for my boys (I’ve decided to ‘go easy on myself’ this year and give them each money – then they can buy the clothing THEY like). Yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out, but considering the way the past August-December has been in my life, I’m fully taking advantage of what my kids keep telling me: “MOM! Go EASY on YOURSELF! You’re your worst enemy! You keep thinking you need to DO EVERYTHING – RELAX, for a change – you had CANCER!” (as a well-known actress, Fran Dresher of “The Nanny” program said when she had cancer: “Cancer, Schmanser!”) LIFE GOES ON!!!

Speaking of that very thing – it appears that RECIPES GO ON, too! They just keep pouring into  my emails and I keep wanting to share them with you so, without further distractions – here they are!


Cranberry-Orange Trifle

Cranberry Sauce:
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1 1/4 C. fresh orange juice(about 6 oranges)
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water

1 3/4 C. milk, divided
1 large egg
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

(remaining ingredients):
4 large navel oranges (about 2 lb.)
36 ladyfingers 3 (3 oz) pkgs
1/2 C. Cool Whip (optional)
8 tsp. toasted sliced almonds

Cranberry Sauce:
Combine cranberry sauce ingred-
ients in medium saucepan; bring to
boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered,
30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Press cranberry mixture through a
sieve over a bowl, reserving
1 2/3 C. cranberry puree; discard
solids. Cover sauce & chill.

Combine 1/4 C. milk & egg in small
bowl, stir well with whisk. Place 1/3
C. sugar, cornstarch & salt in medium
saucepan; gradually add 1 1/2 C. milk,
stirring with a whisk until well-blended.
Bring to boil over medium heat; cook 1
minute, stirring mixture constantly.
Gradually stir about one-fourth hot
milk mixture into egg mixture; add to
remaining milk mixture, stirring
constantly. Cook over medium heat 3
minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour
into a bowl, cover surface of custard
with plastic wrap and chill.

Peel oranges, removing white pithy
part. Cut each orange in half lengthwise.
Cut each half crosswise into thin slices;
set aside.

Split ladyfingers; tear each half into thirds.
Line bottom of a 3 quart straight-sided
glass bowl or trifle bowl with half of
the ladyfingers. Spoon 1 C. custard over
ladyfingers. Spoon half of the cranberry
sauce over the custard. Arrange half of
the orange slices over the cranberry
sauce and around the inside edge of
the bowl. Repeat the procedure,
ending with orange slices. Cover and
chill 8 hours. Top each serving with
1 T. Cool Whip and 1 tsp. almonds.
Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: DDJ 12/14/11)
Pork Tenderloin w/ Dijon Cranberry Sauce

1/2 C. Dijon mustard
3 T. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground  black pepper
2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins, trimmed
1 T. olive oil

1 1/2 C. whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Combine first 3 ingredients in pork
list in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add
pork; seal & marinate in refrigerator
8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove pork from bag, discard marinade.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over
medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4
minutes, browning on all sides. Place
pan in oven; cook 15 minutes or until
thermometer registers 155º F. Remove
from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Cut
pork into 1/4 inch slices; keep warm.

To prepare sauce:
Combine cranberry sauce & remaining
ingredients in a small saucepan; cook over
medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly
heated, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce
with pork. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 12/14/11)
Savory 3-Cheese Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 slices smoked ham, finely chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. chopped red bell peppers
1 T. sliced green onions
1/4 tsp cayenne

Spread cream cheese onto bottom of
2 1/2 C. microwaveable dish. Sprinkle
with next 3 ingredients. Microwave on
High 1 minute or until heated through.
Top with remaining ingredients; serve
with crackers. Makes 1 1/4 C.
(10 servings, 2 T. each)
Zesty Hot Broccoli Dip

1 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli,
thawed, well drained
1 (2 oz) jar pimentos, drained
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
crackers-your choice

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients and
1/2 C. mozzarella. Spread into
1 quart baking dish or 9 inch
pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until heated through. Sprinkle
with remaining mozzarella; bake
5 minutes more or until
melted. Serve with crackers.
Makes 25 servings,
2 T. dip & 16 crackers each.

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.)

Apple Crisp French Toast

1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk
4 large eggs
2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Granny Smith apple (about 1/2 lb.)
About 1 T. lemon juice
About 2 T. butter or margarine
12 slices egg or white bread
   (about 1 lb. total)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vanilla-flavor nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granola

In 8- or 9-inch shallow pie pan,
whisk to blend milk, eggs, brown
sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.Rinse
apple, core, and cut into 1/8-inch-
thick slices. In a small bowl,
mix apple slices with lemon juice.
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan
over medium-high heat, melt 1
tablespoon butter. Dip 1 bread slice
at a time in milk mixture, turn over,
and transfer to frying pan without
crowding. Cook each batch, turning to
brown both sides, about 6 minutes total.
As done, set in a single layer on a 14-
by 17-inch baking sheet and keep warm
in a 200F oven. Add remaining butter
to frying pan as needed to cook
successive batches.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup
maple syrup with yogurt.Also, in a 1-cup
glass measure, mix remaining 1/3 cup maple
syrup and peanut butter. Heat in a microwave
oven at full power (100%) until warm,
about 30 seconds, stirring once or twice.
Place 2 slices of French toast on each plate.
Drain apple slices and lay fruit equally onto
toast; sprinkle with granola. Spoon maple-
yogurt and peanut butter sauces equally onto
portions. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 10/08/11)
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies 

1/3 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
1  C. flour
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/3 C butter
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
3 T milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T green candied cherries, divided
1 1/2 T red candied cherries, divided
2/3 C sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.Mix brown sugar
with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, flour and
walnuts. Stir in butter, using a fork
or pastry blender, until crumbly. Remove
and set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Place
remainder in baking pan & press down evenly.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until just starting to
 brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool
slightly.Using elec mixer, beat cream cheese
& 1/4 cup sugar. Add egg, lemon juice, 2 T.
 milk and vanilla. Combine well. Add half red &
 green cherries;stir until well distributed.
 Pour mixture into baked crust. Top with reserved
 crumbs. Bake 25 minutes until set & beginning to
 brown. Remove from oven; allow to cool completely.
 Meanwhile, stir together confectioners' sugar &
 1 T. milk. Spread over top of cooled
 cheesecake, and then sprinkle with remaining
red and green cherries.Refrigerate for at least
30 minutes and cut into pieces.
 (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie 

1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
1 C. light corn syrup
2/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. pecan halves
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can whipped cream

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place crust into 9 inch pie plate.
Crimp or flute edge, set aside.
Combine corn syrup, sugar, butter,
eggs and salt in medium bowl.
Beat at medium speed, scraping
bowl often until well blended.
Stir in pecans & 1/2 C. chocolate
chips. Pour mix into crust, cover
pie loosely with foil. Bake 30
minutes, remove foil and
continue baking for 10-15 minutes
more or until filling is set. Cool
and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Top with whipped cream and serve.
Pumpkin Corn Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups corn
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded,chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cans vegetable broth
1 can solid pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons lime juice

Sauté onion and pepper until tender.
Add corn, jalapeno, garlic, and
chili powder, sauté 2-3 minutes
longer. Stir in broth, pumpkin,
salt and pepper to taste. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat, cover and
simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in
lime juice and serve.
(recipe: Dot - RDJ 12/09/11)

Hope you are getting all your Christmas shopping, baking, decorating, etc. done in a timely manner that’s pleasing to you. Enjoy the day! Hugs; Pammie

Just Couldn’t Resist . . .

posting more great-sounding recipes! I must say, if I were a cook/baker this year (which I’m not due to the cancer-recovery thing) I would be sore-pressed to choose which recipes to make! There are lots of really tasty sounding desserts, appetizers and some yummy entrees as well. You look them over and see for yourself!


Beef & Cheese Stuffed French Bread

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 can nacho cheese soup
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 loaf firm French bread

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef; drain. Cut off
just top of French bread & pull
out inside of loaf, making a shell.
While ground beef is still warm,
stir in taco seasoning, cheese soup
and bread crumbs (from insides of
French bread). Pour this mixture
into loaf shell and spread evenly.
Cover loaf with Cheddar cheese and
place top of loaf back on bread.
Wrap in foil, bake 20 minutes.
Take out; slice for individual
(recipe: Sandy-Mary's Recipe Exchange)
Speedy Orange Chicken & Rice

1/2 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip,
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 C. orange juice
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. Minute Rice, uncooked
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 C. mandarin orange segments,
drained (as much as you like)
1/2 C. pineapple chunks, drained
(as much as you like)

Heat 2 T. mayonnaise in skillet on
medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook
stirring, 5 minutes or until no longer
pink; drain. Reduce heat to medium.
Mix remaining mayonnaise, orange
juice, and sugar, stirring to
combine. Add to skillet; add
rice & green pepper, bring to
a boil. Remove from heat; add
orange segments & pineapple as
desired. Let stand, covered,
5 minutes.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin-Pear Gingersnap Trifle

1 (1 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 C. cold milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided
30 ginger snaps, coarsely crushed
(about 2 Cups)
1 (15.25 oz) can pear slices in
juice, well drained

Beat pudding mix & milk in medium
bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in
pumpkin, spices & 1 C. Cool Whip.
Layer 1/3 of gingersnap crumbs
and half each pears and pudding
mixture in large serving bowl.
Repeat layers. Top with remaining
crumbs & Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 12, 1/2 C. each.
Red Pepper Hummus Dip

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 C. sauteed red peppers
1/4 C. tahini (sesame paste)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt & ground black pepper
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

Rinse & drain chickpeas. Place
drained chickpeas in blender;
add red peppers, tahini, lemon
juice, garlic & cumin. Process
until smooth. Season, to taste,
with salt & black pepper. Pour
into serving bowl & top with
Serve with toasted pita triangles,
or crackers.
Makes about 4-6 servings
Cranberry Crunch Bark 
1 pkg. vanilla bark or 1 lb. White
Melting Chocolate
3/4 C. almonds, coarsely chopped or
3/4 C. sweetened dried cranberries
2 C. Rice Krispy cereal

Melt white chocolate in microwave
being careful not to burn it. Add
most of cranberries, most of almonds,
and all of the cereal. Stir into
melted chocolate, then pour onto
a large piece of waxed paper.
Immediately sprinkle with
remaining nuts & cranberries, press
lightly into bark. Let stand
overnight or insert into freezer
for approx. 10 minutes. Break
apart into bite sized pieces.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Teriyaki-Glazed Bacon w/Water Chestnuts 

1 (2.1 oz) pkg. fully cooked bacon
1 (8 oz) can whole water chestnuts,
1/3 C. green pepper strips
2 T. teriyaki baste & glaze sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wrap bacon around water chestnuts &
pepper strips; secure with wooden
toothpicks. Place in shallow baking
dish; brush with glaze. Bake
10-12 minutes or until heated
through. Makes 8 servings.
Baked German Potato Salad 

What makes this German potato salad
so different is that it's sweet
instead of tangy.

12 medium red potatoes (about 3 lb)
8 bacon strips
2 medium onions, chopped
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup water, divided
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sweet pickle juice
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, cook potatoes until
just tender; drain. Peel and slice
into an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish;
set aside. In a skillet, cook bacon
until crisp; drain, reserving 2 T.
drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Saute onions in drippings until tender.
Stir in the brown sugar, 1/2 cup water,
vinegar, pickle juice, parsley, salt &
celery seed. Simmer, uncovered,
5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour
& remaining water until smooth; stir into
onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and
stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Pour over potatoes. Add bacon; gently stir
to coat. Bake, uncovered,30 minutes or
until heated through.Yield: 8-10 servings.
(recipe: tigger - Recipes du Jour 7/1/11
Chicken & Broccoli Skillet

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
2 C. broccoli florets
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped green pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes, Italian-
style, sliced
1 small can mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. oregano
3 T. better, divided
1 minced garlic clove
Italian seasonings, to taste
parsley flakes
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
undiluted (optional)

Melt 1 1/2 T. butter in large skillet.
Add broccoli, onion, pepper, oregano,
garlic & Italian seasonings. Cook &
stir 3-4 minutes or until vegetables
are crisp-tender. Add tomatoes,
mushrooms & soup. Cover & cook
1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Set aside vegetable mixture; keep
warm. Add remaining butter to
another skillet. Rinse chicken
pieces; pat dry, add to skillet.
Sprinkle with parsley; cook over
medium heat about 10 minutes
or until chicken is tender, no longer
pink inside & golden brown, turning
twice. Serve chicken pieces with
vegetable mixture spooned over top.
Serves 4.
(recipe: Just a
Chocolate Crackled Cookies 

1 1/4 C. firmly packed light
brown sugar
1 C. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 C. flour
6 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2/3 C. miniature semi-sweet
chocolate chips
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. powdered sugar
(granulated sugar for rolling)

Beat brown sugar, shortening &
vanilla in large bowl with elec.
mixer on medium until well-
blended. Add eggs; beat until
fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa,
salt & baking soda. Gradually add
to shortening mixture, beating at
medium speed until just blended.
Stir in chocolate chips. Cover
and chill 3 hours.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch
balls. Roll in granulated sugar,
then in powdered sugar to coat
completely. Place 2 inches
apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes
on sheets, remove to wire rack
to cool completely.
Makes 3 dozen.
Watergate Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice;
1 (3.4 0z) pkg Jello Pistachio flavored
instant pudding
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 8
Spinach & Bacon Pasta Toss

1 (16 oz.) pkg wide egg noodles
3/4 C. Italian dressing
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
(about 1 pint)
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach
leaves (4 Cups)
1 C. Mozzarella cheese, divided
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked,
drained & crumbled

Cook noodles according to pkg.
directions. Heat dressing in large
skillet on medium heat. Add chicken;
cook & stir 5-7 minutes or until
cooked through. Add tomatoes;
cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.
Drain noodles, reserving 1/2 C. cooking
water. Add noodles and reserved
water to chicken mixture in skillet.
Remove from heat; add spinach,
1/2 C. cheese & bacon, mix lightly.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C.
Serves 8, 1 1/2 C. each
Merry Cherry Dessert

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling,
1 1/2 C. boiling water
1 (6 oz) pkg. cherry Jello
1 1/2 C. cold water
4 C. angel food cake, cut into
2 (3.4 oz ea) vanilla instant
pudding mix
3 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
thawed, divided

Reserve 1/3 C. cherry pie filling
for garnish; set aside. Add boiling
water to Jello in large bowl; stir
at least 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Stir in cold water &
remaining pie filling. Refrigerate 45
minutes or until slightly thickened.
Place cake cubes in 3 quart serving
bowl; cover with Jello mixture.
Refrigerate 45 minutes or until Jello
layer is set but not firm. Beat
pudding mixes & milk in large bowl
with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in 2 C.
Cool Whip; spoon over Jello layer in
bowl. Refrigerate 2 hours or until
firm. Top with remaining Cool Whip and
reserved cherry pie filling.
Makes 18 servings, 2/3 C. each.
Things around here are going OK - I'm up to date
on the Christmas gifts for my special needs people,
other than that I'm still 'out in the cold' (it
might be a 'money' Christmas, as the boys are all
(or mostly) grown now and I have NO CLUE as to what
kinds of 'clothes' they want (one even suggested I
take the youngest son shopping with me so he could
pick out clothes for his older brother). That might
work EXCEPT youngest son is well-known for 'borrowing'
his older brothers clothes and not returning them (sigh).
For my Knit/Crochet group I've decided to make it easy
on me - in years past I've knit or made small gifts
for each of them; this year I've decided to take
advantage of Panera Bread (the place we meet every 2
weeks). They have a lovely bakery and this year are
offering 'order ahead' items. I'm going to order ahead
4 dozen mini-chocolate chip cookies, borrowing their
platters, spreading the cookies on the platters and
ringing them with wrapped chocolate candies. That way,
everyone can choose what they want to eat and I don't
have to over-stress myself at the last minute. (and also
I'm patronizing Panera; we're VERY grateful for their
support of our group and their friendly service.)
Stopped at our local 'dollar store' today and picked up
some nice gift bags (love their deals - very nice products
at very nice prices! Family Dollar, just in case
you might want to check them out!) Tomorrow is my LAST
radiation treatment - YAY! Yesterday the cancer treatment
center I go to offered a free 2 hour beauty-make over
seminar and I went. I'm normally NOT one
for attending these types of things (or, for
that matter, stopping at a nice up-scale store
that has a cosmetics counter and taking advantage
of their make-overs) - just NOT my style. Why, you
ask, did I go to this one? Well, I guess you could
say I was reeled in by their gentle persuading AND
they also said that we would each get a make up kit
valued at $150.oo!!! I had a great time; they had a
freshly made salsa & healthy crackers for snacks
(along with mini red velvet cupcakes, which I
didn't eat - trying to be somewhat good!). The
lady giving the seminar was also a cancer survivor
and there were four other ladies attending. It made
me sad to think of all the ladies that come in and
out of that building in a day and how very few
actually took advantage of their nice offer. I met
our other cancer 'ladies'; of all of them I am truly
blessed to be Stage 1 (the others were all Stage
3), and the only one to not have chemo-Praise the
Lord for that!) Three out of four had lost their
hair; the nice thing was-the American Cancer
Society also offers one free wig to each
person going through chemo - they had lots of
lovely wigs there and one of the ladies tried
on about 5; she took our 'group approval' of
a shoulder-length dark auburn wig and said
she had a wedding to attend next week - the
wig will look lovely on her (it really
did NOT look like a wig!) This event gave
me the opportunity to see what 'might'
have been my lot and how truly blessed
I am. Each of us DID get a very nice
bag with lots of free make up all donated
by name-brand companies. I've been doing
my own make up for many years and have
become rather set in my ways, but I was
pleasantly surprised-I now have a new
eyebrow pencil color and new liquid
lipstick & gloss! (oh, and blush, too!)
The kit was overflowing with 'neat' stuff:
a very nice makeup bag complete with 5
very nice brushes, a net 'scrubbie',
skin cleanser & moisturizer, of course
liquid make up/eye brown pencil,
eye shadow (I gave mine away - I don't wear
LAVENDER!), blush, some 'beads' that you
brush on which gives your skin a sort of
'glow' (neat!). There was also a container
of SPF 15 skin block (I need at least a 65,
so I gave that away, too), 2 bottles liquid
eyeliner (YAY! that's something I DO use!).
By the time the meeting ended we all looked
much younger and felt 'pampered'- very nice!
I came home and my youngest said: "You look
more 'bright' - your face looks sort of
glowing!" I thought that was nice because
he didn't even know where I'd been!

Tonight is youngest son's Christmas choir
concert; I've gone before but this time my
husband gets to attend, too. It's ALL choirs
and ALL bands/orchestras - lots of
kids, lots of parents & little kids.

That's what's happening around here
today. Hope you're starting to get
into the Christmas Spirit.



ps: It's clear, overcast and 42 degrees
F. with just a dusting of snow on the
ground - YAY! I even 'braved it' and
got my van washed today (had too much
mud splatter from driving down our
dirt road going to & from church).

Sunday Smatterings –

Hello, everyone! It’s now after 5 p.m. and I’m just getting around to writing you. Not much going on around here, only THREE more days of radiation and I’m done. I must admit, they warned me it would be rough going at the end, and they weren’t kidding. To describe the ‘fatigue’ the best way – my legs feel like they weigh 2,000 lbs each and I’m struggling to drag my body through each day BUT it will soon be OVER!!! YAY! My dear husband has pitched in and caught up the laundry, which was a BIG help. I made a batch of White Chicken Chili Soup (recipe is here in another post) yesterday so we can have that for more than one dinner. It’s funny, the first time I had it I wasn’t exactly sure I liked it, but it sort of grows on you – it’s almost become a ‘comfort’ food – easy to make, warms AND fills you up – great recipe!

Speaking of recipes, of course I have more for you-


Cookie Balls

1 lb. chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. vanilla-flavored candy coating,

In large mixing bowl, combine crushed
cookies & cream cheese to form a stiff
dough. Roll into balls; dip with a fork into
melted candy coating. Place balls on
waxed paper until set. Makes 36.
(recipe: lovetocook Marys Recipe Exchange)
Waldorf Coleslaw

3 C. shredded cabbage
3 C. diced Granny Smith apples
6 T. raisins
3 T. coarsely chopped walnuts
3 T. plain fat-free yogurt
2 T. fat-free mayonnaise
1 T. honey
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium
bowl. Combine yogurt & remaining
ingredients, stirring well with a
whisk. Pour over cabbage mixture,
toss well. Cover & chill 2 hours.
Makes 10 servings.
(recipe: chebree1-RDJ-12/09/11)
Creamy Almond Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. powdered sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. almond extract*

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 T. milk
1 tsp. almond extract*
sliced almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix & press crust ingredients into a
9 x 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Beat
cream cheese & sugar for filling
with an elec. mixer until smooth.
Add rest of filling ingredients and
beat until just mixed. Pour filling
mixture over crust; bake another
15 minutes. Combine all frosting
ingredients with a mixer. Frost bars
when they are cooled; top with sliced
almonds, if desired. Cut into 24
squares; serve immediately or
serve chilled. Store in refrigerator.

NOTE: * You could also use other
extract flavors, like lemon instead
of almond.
Ginger-Chicken Saute

1 1/2 C. water
1 C. quinoa, uncooked
2 tsp. oil, divided
4 small boneless, skinless chicken halves
1/4 C. Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing, divided
4 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 T. minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. loosely packed bok choy cabbage
(1/2 in. thick)

Bring water to boil in medium saucepan.
Add quinoa;cover & simmer on medium
-low 15 min or until liquid is absorbed.
Heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet on medium-
high heat. Add chicken; cook 5-7min. on each
side or until done (165F.) adding 2 T. dressing to
skillet for the last minute. Transfer chicken to
plate; top with reserved pan drippings. Cover
to keep warm. Add remaining oil, carrots,
ginger and garlic to skillet; cook 3-5 minutes or
until ginger & garlic are fragrant, but not browned,
stirring frequently. Stir in bok choy; cook 1-2 min. or
until bok choy starts to wilt. Add remaining
dressing; cook 2 min. or until carrots are crisp-
tender and liquid comes to boil; stirring
frequently.Spoon quinoa onto serving plates;
top with vegetables & chicken. Serves 4
(recipe: Kraft Foods)
Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 C. brown gravy
8 slices American cheese
4 C. mashed potatoes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown turkey and onions in large
skillet over medium-high heat;
stirring until meat crumbles & is
no longer pink; drain. Place turkey
mixture in greased 2 Qt. casserole
dish. Pour gravy over turkey; top
with cheese & mashed potatoes.
Bake 20 min. or until bubbly.
(recipe: KSTabby-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chicken Soup Au Gratin 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. onions, chopped
1/2 C. carrots, peeled & chopped
1/2 C. celery, chopped
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine chicken, water & salt in
saucepan over medium heat; simmer
until tender. Remove chicken, reserving
broth in saucepan; let cool, then dice
chicken and set aside.
Add vegetables to broth in pan; simmer
until tender. Stir in soup, milk and
pepper; add cheese and chicken. Heat
through, stirring until cheese melts.
(recipe: KSTabby-1_Comfort_Foods)
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)
Layered Caesar, Shrimp & Pasta Salad 
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Classic Caesar
1/4 cup Mayo with olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pkg. (6 oz.) torn mixed salad greens, divided
2 C. medium shell macaroni, cooked, drained
and cooled
1 large  tomato, coarsely chopped
3/4 C. seasoned croutons
2  hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1/2 lb. frozen cooked cleaned medium shrimp, thawed
1/4 C.  KRAFT shredded Parmesan cheeseLayer dressing, mayo and garlic. Layer half the
salad greens, macaroni & tomatoes in 3 Qt. bowl;
cover with layers of remaining greens, croutons,
eggs, shrimp & cheese. Refrigerate dressing
mixture and salad 1 hour. Add dressing
mixture to salad just before serving; mix
lightly. Serves 6 – 2 C. per person
This salad can be made ahead and refrigerated
up to 4 hours before tossing with dressing
* can substitute Light Ranch dressing for Caesar
(recipe: Kraft Foods)
Hot Corn Dip

1 (15 oz) can white corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can yellow corn, drained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes w/green
chile peppers, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,softened
and diced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
chopped fresh cilantro,
to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium baking dish, mix
together all ingredients. Bake
30  minutes, or until hot &
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Craft-wise, just finished knitting a hat for one of my special needs guys I drive each week (wasn’t sure what to give him for a present then he mentioned he lost his hat, so bingo – great present idea!) It’s a copy of the other red & white striped hat I posted a few posts ago. Still need to crochet a trellis-ribbon necklace for my friend who just finished chemo last week – she saw someone at church who was wearing one of the necklaces and said she really liked it, so another BINGO! moment for her present! This coming Wednesday is our special needs Friends & Family Christmas Gathering; just finished printing up, folding and sewing together with yarn 30 copies of our Christmas songs to put on the tables as decorations. We did this last year and the families & caregivers seemed to like it. It’s a wonderful evening for everyone: we serve a light supper – veggie trays & dips, sandwich wraps, chips and cookies which were baked by the church’s junior high school girls. Our ‘kids’ will recite a special verse, then sing 4 Christmas carols, then close the evening with our group’s favorite hymn: “Amazing Grace”. You haven’t lived until you hear almost 40 special needs students singing that hymn, they really put their hearts into it – lots of tears in the audience – it’s a great ending to a great night.

Hope you’re having a good day, it’s 34 degrees here and clear with some snow on the ground (not too much, just the right amount). Have you started driving around looking at Christmas lights in your neighborhoods? The other night I saw a (new to me) sight – a family had put out ON THEIR LAWN these little white lights that looked like little balls – the whole lawn was covered with them! Not hanging lights, but on the lawn/snow lights! You could see their house from quite a distance – very pretty effect! I saw something like that featured in a catalogue but those were individual balls which each had a switch to light them and were advertised to either sprinkle in your garden or wrap string around and hang from trees – the ones I saw the other night were very uniform in their placement, almost like they might be on a sort of net? (just tried to look up ‘outdoor fairy lights’ and learned that there are some now that are ‘solar’ – they absorb light during the day and give it off up to 8 hours, at night – interesting, none the less! )I love seeing something new when it comes to Christmas lights. I remember the first time I saw (what is now a ‘standard’) lights that cycled various colors and at various speeds – or those lights which are in clear plastic tubing you can wrap around stair railings (used outside).  Our house? Our house still has the ‘old’ electrical wiring and I wouldn’t DARE plug in outside lights for fear of blowing the whole house. (it was built in the 40’s).
Anyway, I’ve chatted enough to wear out your eyes, so I’ll close for now. Hope you are beginning to enjoy the Christmas Season!