Finally Done!

John’s Afghan

The last 5 Chemo Caps Done

I suppose I should start out this post with: Taa-Daah! I’m feeling extra happy that John’s afghan is FINALLY finished! When looking it over, I’m not exactly happy it didn’t come out exactly a perfect rectangle, but it will serve the purpose of keeping him warm, so I guess I’ll just have to accept that. In the photo the colors came out really garish – in reality the reds in the middle of the afghan are a bit more cherry/lipstick red, and the border is actually a darker red (in the photo it comes off as almost a purple-red – it’s not. Now it is long enough, heavy enough and wide enough to cover him and that’s all I cared about.  The chemo caps were knit a few weeks ago (pre-afghan) but I never got the photo transferred to a post, so decided to toss it in here. Next up on my knitting agenda? Another chemo cap and maybe a dishcloth – nothing big for awhile. Tonight’s Knit Night and I’m looking forward to the relaxation. Lately we’ve been picking up a new member each meeting and that’s good. In 2 weeks we’ll be having a Knit/Crochet MOVIE night-we haven’t done that since last winter so it’s overdue. The movie this time is “The Help” (I read the book – it’s really good) and the food theme is “Baked Potatoes” with everything on them (depending on what the ladies bring for toppers; I’m bringing the baked potatoes).

It’s a very nice day out – sunny and 47 degrees! My husband read the weather report for this week for us and it’s going to be lots of sun and warmer days – YAY!!! Just seeing the sun through my windows puts me in a great mood – how about you?

Well, I heard on the radio last night that this Sunday is the Super Bowl (can you tell I don’t keep up with sports?). That usually brings a nice big batch of recipes with lots of appetizers. Not sure if this current ‘batch’ of posted recipes will fit that bill, but you decide:


Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts,
drained, finely chopped
1 (10oz) pkg. frozen, chopped
spinach, thawed, drained
3/4 C. grated Parmesan
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients until well
blended. Spoon into 9X9 baking dish
or 9" pie plate.  Bake 20 minutes.
Serve hot with crackers or fresh
Bubble Up Enchiladas 

1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can refrigerator biscuits
1 1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat, drain. Mix in cans
enchilada and tomato sauces. Cut
refrigerator biscuits into fourths;
stir them into sauce. Grease a
casserole dish; pour meat/biscuit
mixture into dish. Bake 25 minutes.
Remove from oven; sprinkle cheese
on top; bake an additional 10 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Southern Banana Pudding 

1 tub Cool Whip
2 C. milk
1 box inst. pudding mix-
French Vanilla
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 box Nabisco Nilla wafers*
reserve about 6 wafers to
crush for garnish
3-4 ripe bananas

Slice bananas 1/4 in thick; place
in a bowl - set aside. Combine
Cool Whip, milk, Eagle Brand milk
and pudding in a large mixing
bowl; beat until smooth. Layer
banana slices & wafers in bottom
of a 9 X 13 baking pan. Pour
half pudding mixture over bananas
and wafers; repeat layers, ending
with a pudding layer. Sprinkle
crushed wafers over top; refrigerate
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe

Salsa Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves
4 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1 C. salsa
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. sour cream
chopped green onions (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts in a lightly
greased 9 X 13" baking pan;
sprinkle taco seasoning on both
sides of each chicken breast, then
pour salsa over all. Bake 25-35
minutes or, until chicken is
tender and juices run clear.
Sprinkle chicken evenly with
cheese; continue baking for an
additional 15 minutes or until
cheese is melted. Top with sour
cream and onions, if desired.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Shrimp & Spinach Pasta

1 lb. frozen, peeled & deveined
medium shrimp
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped
spinach, thawed
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 T. olive oil
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp. Greek seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg angel hair pasta, cooked
1/2 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese

Thaw shrimp according to pkg
directions. Drain spinach well,
pressing between paper towels;
set aside. Saute onion in hot oil
in a large skillet over medium-high
heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir
in tomatoes, broth and Greek
seasoning; bring to boil. Cook,
stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
Add shrimp, cook 2 minutes. Stir
in spinach; spoon over pasta. Sprinkle
with cheese and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: RDJ -01/10/12)
Layered Chicken & Mushroom Casserole

9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1/4 C. butter or margarine
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. instant chicken bouillon
3 C. milk
2 C. chicken, cooked & cubed
1/2 C. parsley, chopped
15 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cook lasagna noodles to desired
doneness; drain & rinse with hot
water. In large saucepan, melt
margarine; add mushrooms, garlic,
salt & lemon juice. Saute mushrooms
until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir
in flour and bouillon; blend well.
Add milk; cook over medium-
high heat until mixture thickens
and boils, stirring constantly. Stir
in chicken and 1/2 C. parsley.
To Assemble:
Spread about 1/2 C. sauce in
ungreased 9 x 13 baking pan. Layer
1/3 noodles, 1/3 ricotta, 1/3
mozzarella, 1/3 sauce, 1/3
Parmesan cheese - repeat layers
ending with Parmesan on top.
Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly.
Let stand 10-15 minutes before
serving. Serves 8
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Skillet Chili

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. tomato juice or canned
crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. uncooked rice
1 C. corn
1/2 C. sliced olives
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In large skillet over medium
heat, cook ground beef, onion,
pepper & garlic until meat is
done; drain. Add tomato juice
(or crushed tomatoes), kidney
beans, chili powder, oregano,
salt & rice. Cover & simmer
about 25 minutes or until
rice is tender. Stir in corn &
olives;cover & cook 5 minutes
longer. Sprinkle top with
cheese, cover & cook 5 minutes
more until cheese is melted.
Beet Pickled Eggs

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 1/2 C. cider vinegar
1 C. beet juice
8-10 whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
3-4 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
2 sprigs fresh dill

Pack peeled eggs in a clean
one-quart jar. Combine
remaining ingredients
(except dill) in a saucepan;
bring to a boil. Reduce
heat, simmer 3-5 minutes.
Pour hot mixture over eggs,
add dill and cover tightly.
Refrigerate for at least
2 days before serving.
Will keep for about 2
weeks in refrigerator.
Makes 1 dozen pickled
(recipe: MamaMaus-RDJ

Chile Relleno Casserole

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 C. bottled taco sauce
1/4 C. milk
4 eggs
1/4 C. flour
2 cups shredded jack cheese
2 (7 oz)cans whole green
chiles, seeded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook sausage until browned & crumbly,
about 20 minutes.  Add onion and
sauté until transparent, about 1-2
minutes; drain fat. Add taco sauce;
cook over medium heat until mixture
thickens, 2-3 minutes.Beat together
milk, eggs and flour; add cheese.
Layer chiles, pork mixture &
cheese-egg mixture in an 8-inch
square pan.Repeat layers, ending
with cheese-egg mixture.
Bake 45 minutes. Let stand 20
minutes before serving. Makes
6 servings
(recipe: Saluuu-GNR 01/13/12)

Take Along Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe
Swiss Chocolate cake mix
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi-sweet
chocolate chips
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/4 C. butter or marg, melted
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan.
Prepare cake mix according
to pkg. directions. Add
chocolate chips & marsh-
mallows to batter; stir in.
Pour into prepared pan; drizzle
melted butter over batter.
Sprinkle with brown sugar & top
with chopped nuts. Bake 45-
55 minutes or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out
clean. Serve warm or cool
completely in pan. Makes
12-16 servings.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
 Crockpot Tamale Pie

2 lb. ground beef, cooked
 & drained
 2 (28 0z ea) cans diced
 tomatoes, drained
 2 C. frozen whole kernel corn
 1 (2 1/2 oz) can sliced black
 olives, drained
 1 medium onion, diced
 1 (1.25 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
 1 (16 oz) pkg. cornbread mix (Jiffy)
 1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

 In large bowl, combine beef, diced
 tomatoes, corn, olives, onion &
 taco seasoning mix. Mix well,
 pour into 6 quart crockpot. Prepare
 cornbread mix according to pkg.
 directions; spoon over beef mixture.
 Sprinkle top with cheese. Cover &
 cook on High 3 hours or Low 6 hours.
 (recipe: Mr Food, via Victoria,
I'm sure there will be lots more 'sports/snack' food
recipes coming this week and I'll try to post them
for you before the 'big event'. Hoping you're having
a great day!



Cha-Ching! and other things . . .

Today found me driving to Kohl’s for the end-of-winter savings event and I made great use of it. A few weeks ago I managed to snap my 18 K gold 24 inch chain which I always wear  (put it over a turtle neck, then when I took it off, forgot it was there and – snap!). I’ve been searching for two weeks for a nice, plain gold 24 inch chain and thought I’d give Kohl’s a try; yes, they had them (buy 1-get 1 half off). I chatted with the sales lady and said that I really didn’t need the ‘ get 1 half off’, so she said she’d give me the chain for 1/2 off (YES!). Continued shopping – I had a $35 gift card plus $4.19 left over on another gift card PLUS a 20% off all purchases ‘just for today’s date’. I found a really nice black sweater (normally $75!), it was in the marked downs, and a pair of earrings (ones I’d almost bought last time I went there – decided today’s the day to buy them). When the sales lady got done ringing up all the purchases and using all the gift cards/extra coupon – she said: “That will be $60 put on your Kohl’s charge card.” Now, I’m usually the person who waits until they get home to check things over, but this Kohl’s is a good 1/2 hour drive and what she said just didn’t make sense, so I spoke up. Turns out – after much checking – she forgot to give me the necklace at 1/2 off, the sweater was not only on mark down but also on their ‘early bird special’ (I guess their computers weren’t registering all the items for the early bird thing’) AND the earrings were also early bird – grand total when we got all done ‘adjusting numbers’: I saved $127.85 (only charged $23.85!). Proceeded to KMart (needed a new ironing board cover) – sort of did the same thing there: I had seen a nice, warm grey hoodie at Kohl’s ON SALE for $49, marked down to $21 (for youngest son) but said to myself: “He’s SO fussy – if he doesn’t like it I’ll have to drive all the way back here -forget it”. Turns out KMart had the very same one – on sale PLUS a “Take 50% off any Fall/Winter wear” – got the hoodie for $7.99!!! Also picked up two nice women’s tops (normally $18.99) for $5 each! CHA-CHING! To quote a ’60’s expression: Feelin’ Groovy!”

Last night was my special need’s group’s Gym Night – we did something different: one of our Mom’s works at a senior citizen’s drop in group and she brought all the equipment for us to play Bingo – the kids LOVED it! We had small prizes for the winners and enough extra prizes so that everyone got at least one prize. With tons of sloppy joes, chips and cookies – it was a great evening (plus I ended up bringing home extra sloppy joe fixin’s so that I don’t have to make dinner tonight!).

When I got up this morning it was (and had been) snowing; it looked rather light but turns out it was packing snow. We have about 2 inches of heavy snow on the ground and it keeps coming down, lightly. The roads are all clear, so driving was not a problem (another YAY!).

Down to 4 more all red knit squares to complete John’s afghan ‘top & bottom’ border, then it’s sew them in and crochet a border around the whole afghan then I’m DONE!!!

On another ‘strange’ note- it seems my yahoo email account got hacked and lots of my friends have (and still are) receiving rather horrible emails supposedly sent from me. Not a fun thing; husband looked it over and thought he had cleared it all. This morning when I turned on my computer and got my emails there were at least 25 ‘failure notices’ from more emails that were NOT sent – thank heavens! I’m thinking of closing down that email account and starting over – who needs their reputations ruined over something like that!? (I’m grateful my friends KNOW that I would not be sending emails about multi-sex/gay/bisexual/ or money scheme things!) Just when you think life is getting a little easier – sigh.

Recipes, you say? Well, have lots of those to offer:


Delicious Chicken Casserole

1 C. cooked rice
2 C. diced cooked chicken, turkey
or ham
1 C. cream of chicken soup
1 C. diced celery
1 C. corn flakes
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 T. grated onion
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except
corn flakes. Place in 2 quart
casserole dish; sprinkle top
with corn flakes & bake 1 hour,
or until heated through.
(recipe: Peg, Marys Recipe Exchange)
Texas-Flavored Pork Chops

3/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
3 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 egg
1/4 C. milk
6 bone-in pork rib chops

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a shallow bowl, combine
bread crumbs, chili powder &
seasoned salt. In another shallow
bowl, combine egg & milk. Dip
chops in egg mixture, then coat
with crumbs. Transfer chops to
a 15″ x 10″ baking pan that
has been sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until meat thermometer reads
160º  Serves 6.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Apple Almond Coffee Cake

1 C. sugar
1 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
2 apples, peeled, cored & quartered
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar, flour, butter, baking
soda, almond extract & egg. Mix
until blended. Pat dough evenly into
bottom of a greased 9 X 13 pan. Thinly
slice apple quarters. Arrange apple slices
overlapping, in lengthwise rows on top
of cake batter. Sprinkle top with cinnamon
and a little sugar. Bake 25 minutes.

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. sliced almonds

Melt butter, remove from heat & add
sugar. Stir quickly to dissolve sugar. Stir
in egg; spoon mixture  over hot apple
. Sprinkle with almonds. Continue
baking for an additional 25 minutes until
edges begin to pull away from sides of pan.
Cut into squares & serve hot or at
room temperature.
(recipe: “Heavenly Delights” cookbook,
First Baptist Church of Bruce)
Chili Con Queso Dip

1 (14 1/2 oz) can no-salt added
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and
green chilies (RoTel)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,cubed
6 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 tsp. chili powder
2 T. minced fresh cilantro,(optional)
Baked tortilla chip scoops

Pour both cans tomatoes into a
colander over a small bowl; drain,
reserving 1/3 C. liquid. Discard
remaining liquid or save for another
use. In large skillet, saute onion in oil
until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute
longer. Stir in cream cheese until
melted. Add tomatoes, Velveeta,
chili powder & reserved liquid. Cook &
stir over low heat until cheese is
melted. Stir in cilantro if using).
Keep warm; serve with tortilla
chips. Makes 3 Cups.
(recipe: kaitsmimi RDJ 01/06/12)
Best Spinach Dip

1 (9-11 oz) pkg. frozen spinach
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt

Cook spinach according to
package directions; drain
thoroughly. Place all ingredients
in blender and process until
smooth. Chill several hours
before serving with vegetables or
For a milder dip:
Mix in a little cottage cheese
before serving.
Makes 1 2/3 cup
(recipe: lovetocook-
Marys Recipe Exchange)
Spiced Barbecue Chicken

1 (3 lb) broiler chicken, cut up
& skin removed
1 C. plain yogurt
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp.  coriander or
cumin seed
1/4 tsp. pepper
lime wedges (optional garnish)

Rinse chicken & pat dry. Mix
yogurt, buttermilk, garlic &
spices in a large pan. Add
chicken pieces & turn to coat.
Cover and let marinate 8-
24 hours in refrigerator.
To Grill:
Grill 5-6 inches above
medium hot coals 20-30
minutes on each side,
basting every 10  minutes.
To Broil:
Broil about 5 inches from
heat source 15-20 minutes
per side, basting every
10  minutes.
(recipe: lovetocook-
Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cheesy Mini-Quiches

12 slices bacon, crisp cooked &
6 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C. whole milk
1 1/2 C. refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded
Mexican cheese blend with
jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray 12 standard (2 1/2″)
muffin cups with nonstick spray. Place
equal amounts bacon into prepared
muffin cups. Beat eggs & milk in
medium bowl; add potatoes, parsly
and salt; mix well. Spoon mixture
evenly into muffin cups. Bake
15 minutes or until knife inserted
into centers comes out almost
clean. Sprinkle tops with cheese;
let stand 3 minutes or until
cheese melts. (Egg mixture will
continue cooking while standing.
Standing also allows for easier
removal from pan.)
To remove from pan, gently run
knife around outer edges and
lift out with a fork.
Makes 12
(recipe: Lynda –
Country Pork with Mushrooms

2 lb country-style ribs, boneless
1 can cream of mushrooms soup
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 tps salt
1 env. mushroom gravy mix
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
2 T. cold water blended with
1 heaping T. flour

Combine boneless ribs, soup, mushrooms,
salt, pepper, gravy, and paprika in crockpot.
Cover and cook on LOW setting for 7 to 9 hours.
Stir flour mixture into broth and cook on
HIGH heat setting an additional 15 minutes,
or until thickened.

I am VERY grateful to the Lord for my health lately; a

few days ago I called a lady I’d met during radiation

treatments – she’s a very lively older lady (I’m guessing

mid-70’s) with an equally lively husband. They had

emphasized me calling them to go out to lunch when

I’d finished my radiation (she was done about a week

earlier than me). I had kind of put off calling, at first

because I was just too tired, and then lately because

our family life’s been kind of crazy. When I called I

was almost sure I’d gotten the wrong number – you

just NEVER KNOW how fortunate you are – she had

gone back for her results and it turns out she has

more treatments – there’s cancer in her other side

now. It just floored me – what do you say? I told her

we’ll surely keep in touch; I was so shocked I didn’t

even write down exactly what she has to go through

next or when. A week or so ago I had to go for a

follow-up mammogram on the ‘fixed side’ and the

results came back yesterday that I’m clear of cancer

on that side – YAY! (I don’t go back for another

mammogram on the  other side until August). You

just NEVER KNOW how truly blessed you are until

you hear other people’s stories. There is always

someone worse off than you; I’m so very grateful

that the Lord has given me extra time/life – and

with that said, I will once again remind you:

Ladies – get your mammograms! It saved my

life! Also, remember to CHERISH your days/

friends/time here – find something EVERY day

to be grateful for, remembering that there are

others who would gladly trade you places (even

if you’re sick or depressed or needing money).

I know I might sound like I’m pounding a

big drum, but you get the idea – life is too short

to waste worrying/fretting/being angry/or

not forgiving someone – make the best of

EVERY day!

Big hugs;


Hello and Happy Saturday!

It’s a balmy 19 degrees F. here with sunshine; a far cry from last night when it was down to 7 and snowing. Thankfully, it only did about an inch of light, fluffy snow – made the roads slippery, but the sun is clearing that up as we speak. If we ‘have’ to have winter, I’d much rather it be with clear roads and little snow; I don’t really like the super cold weather, but it’s better than worrying about being able to drive 2 miles without sliding off the roads or hitting another car/person. (Sorry-I’ll stop ranting now . . . ).

Youngest son is off to another color guard competition today, middle son is with one of his clients; my husband and I are peacefully enjoying lovely hot cups of Tim Horton’s coffee (YUMMMM!) Love that stuff – just strong enough to really wake you up but mellow enough to not ‘slap you in the face’ when it’s doing it’s waking up bit. Finally finished the last knit square for John’s afghan and have sewn together the first two rows of a total of 7 rows. The actual sewn together squares measure 49″ x49″, so I’m thinking of checking out a (kind of close) ACO hardware store (I know – this sounds weird, but bear with me. . . ) to see if they have any of the (once upon a time advertized) big skeins of red & green mixed yarn. I saw it in a photo in one of their flyers a few weeks ago and stopped at the one close to us – they didn’t have the red/green mixed skeins – am going to stop after church tomorrow and see if the one out by our church carries them – hope so. I think it would really tie together the entire afghan if the border was red (solid) then the red/green mix, then another row of just red; we’ll see.

After almost a week of procrastinating about whether I was going to make Enchiladas or Lasagna for dinner, I finally ‘caved’ after going to the grocery store and made the White Bean Chicken Soup – it was really tasty (a bit more spicy than I usually make, but still good) – there’s a very tiny bowl leftover. Tonight is going to be THE LASAGNA – FINALLY! Speaking of food – here’s your recipes:


Easy Pierogi Casserole

9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 C. hot mashed potatoes
1/2 C. Philadelphia Chive & Onion
cream cheese spread
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (3 oz) pkg. Oscar Mayer real
bacon bits, divided
2 C. Kraft Triple Cheddar cheese
with a touch of Philadelphia, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees
Cook noodles according to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Combine potatoes, cream
cheese spread, onions, 1/2 C. bacon &
1 C. Cheddar. Spray 9 x 13 baking
dish with nonstick spray. Place 3 noodles
in dish, cover with 1/3 potato mixture.
Repeat layers twice; top with remaining
bacon & Cheddar, cover with foil.
Bake 30  minutes or until heated
through. Uncover, bake 3-5 minutes
or until cheese is lightly browned. Let
stand 10 minutes before cutting to
serve. Makes 12 servings.
Cheesy Cornbread Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 (15 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (8.5 oz) pkg. corn muffin  mix
1 pkg. Kraft Mexican Style Shredded
Four Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat with onions & peppers
in large skillet. Stir in next 4 ingredients;
cook & stir 3 minutes or until heated
through. Spoon into 9 x 13 baking dish.
Prepare muffin batter according to
pkg. directions; stir in cheese. Spread
over meat mixture. Bake 20 minutes
or until toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean. Cool slightly.
Makes 10 servings.
Crunchy Chicken Crescents

2 C. cooked, chopped chicken
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. herb seasoned stuffing crumbs
2 T. milk
1 t. chives, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. crescent rolls
(1 pkg. makes 4 rectangles)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, chicken, chives,
milk and salt in a bowl. Unroll
crescent rolls-4 rectangles. Make
sure dough is secure at perforations.
Place about 1/4 C. chicken mixture onto
center of each rectangle of dough.
Fold dough over filling and
pinch edges to seal. Dip each
roll into melted butter then
roll in stuffing crumbs. Bake
about 20 minutes.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Warm Winter Lemon Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
2 (4 servg, ea) pkg lemon-flavored
instant pudding & pie filling
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 t. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter according
to pkg. directions. Pour into
greased 9 x 13 pan, set aside.
Pour milk & water into large
bowl; add dry pudding mixes
and granulated sugar. Beat
with wire whisk 2 minutes or
until well blended. Pour over
batter. Place baking dish on
a baking sheet to catch any
sauce that might bubble over.
Bake 55 minutes-1 hour or
until toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean;
cool 20 minutes. Sauce will
thicken slightly as it cools.
Sprinkle top with powdered
sugar and spoon into serving
dishes; serve warm.
(recipe: chembree1-DDJ 12/16/11)
Saucepan Peanut Cookies

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
3/4 C. peanut butter
(crunchy or creamy)
2 C. Cheerios (honey nut
or regular)

Bring sugar & corn syrup to a
boil in saucepan; remove from
heat. Add peanut butter & stir
until well-blended. Add cereal
and mix carefully until coated.
Drop by teaspoons onto waxed
paper; let cool.
Crockpot Potato Soup

6 potatoes, peeled & cut
into bite-sized pieces*
2 small onions, chopped
1 carrot, pared & sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 tsp. chicken granules
(or base)
1 T. parsley flakes
5 C. water or chicken
broth/ stock
1/3 C. butter/margarine
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated
Optional garnishes: diced ham,
shredded cheese, sliced green

Place all ingredients, except milk,
into crockpot. Cover & cook on low
10-12 hours, or High 3-4 hours.
During last hour of cooking stir
in evap. milk. Before serving,
you can puree soup in a blender
or food processor, if desired.
Garnish with optional garnishes.

*Feeling lazy? Use a 2 lb. bag of
frozen cubed hash browns,
thawed, instead of the whole
potatoes. (recipe:Hope-justapinch.
Oriental Slaw

2 pkgs. Oriental flavor ramen
3 T. sesame seeds
1/4 C. margarine
1 C. sliced almonds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 lb. bag coleslaw mix


1/2 C. sugar
1 packet Oriental ramen
seasoning mix
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce

Brown crunched ramen
noodles and sesame seeds
in margarine along with one
packet ramen seasoning mix;
let cool. Blend coleslaw mix,
almonds, onions & browned
mixture. Mix dressing and add
to salad just before serving.
(recipe:concongirl-RDJ 12/30/11)


There you have it – weather report and nice, warm recipes to help you

stay warm inside! Enjoy your day –



Here Comes the Snow!

Woo-eee, it’s certainly WINTER around here today! Looked out the window and saw that we had a bit of snowfall last night – no big deal, thinking “I’m not going anywhere today until around 3:30 p.m., so I’m good” – WRONG! Sent two text messages to youngest son (in school) to remind him to turn in a form, then thought it funny he didn’t respond. Also noticed his two heavy winter coats were still on the chair, but sometimes he just decides to not wear outer garments – who knows why, (he’s too tall & large for me to argue with about it).  A few minutes later I was about to turn around in the living room and almost walked into his chest – hearing: “Were you guys NOT going to wake me up for school, or what?” (he sleeps upstairs, so we never noticed he ‘wasn’t’ at school – except for the above mentioned items). Guess who decided to get dressed & drive him? Me, of course.  By the time we got on our way it was snowing to beat the band – fine, sometimes a little heavier, but definitely SLIPPERY! People were driving 28 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, just to avoid slipping off the road. Dropped him off, stopped at the bank (the teller asked me WHY was I out in this weather?), then to the grocery store & drug store (might as well get the things done I needed, even with the snow). By the time I came out of the grocery store it had stopped snowing! YAY! (All the while I was in the grocery store I kept thinking: “Shop FASTER! It’s coming down in buckets!”) I’m home now, groceries unloaded and put away, a load of laundry in the washer and I’m here with you. Next time I have to go outside will be the above mentioned 3:30 to pick up son from school, then around 4-something we get our grandson for the evening.

I’ve been tossing around various ideas for dinner – a few nights ago I was going to make Enchiladas, but the guys decided they didn’t really want that. Then came my idea for Lasagna – nope on that one, too. (Let’s just say – I decided that if they really didn’t want me to cook – I wouldn’t!) Two days later I’ve decided to make a pot of the White Bean Chicken Chili (recipe is in another of my blogs). It’s not my recipe and, to me, it’s more like soup than chili (my chili you can stand a wooden spoon up in and it won’t fall – it’s that thick). Really easy recipe: white Northern or navy beans, can of black beans, some cooked chicken, some salsa, big can of chicken broth – you’re done. I buy the medium heat salsa for a kick, the already cooked Fajita strips from Gordon Foods (I guess Costco or Sam’s  Club carry them, too). I like the ease of putting it together and the flavor of it, altogether – real comfort food!

Let’s see – I’m down to 4 more knit (red) squares on John’s afghan, then just sewing it together and crocheting a border. I’m glad it’s getting towards the ‘finish line’ for this one; think next I’ll start knitting some dishcloths for the Historical Society for their summer Log Cabin Days event. The president of that group had a great idea to package the dishcloths in those clear plastic tubs/boxes you get little tomatoes in (or strawberries) – they look really cute, so I’m saving up the boxes (so far I have 2 – I’m not a really BIG cotton knitter, don’t really like the feel of knitting with it, but I’ve accumulated about 6-7 skeins/balls, so it’s time to get them out of here!)

Ah, food – here are some really yummy-sounding recipes (I was looking on-line last night and drooling – too late at night to start cooking but I was surely tempted!)


Easy Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) jar picante sauce,
medium spice
3/4 C. water
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
12-18 hard taco shells, broken up
2 C. (8 0z) mexican cheese blend or
shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 (8 0z) container sour cream

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook beef & onions until beef is
no longer pink;drain fat. Stir in
picante sauce & water, green chilies
& seasoning mix. Cook over low heat
5 minutes. In a 9 x 13 baking dish,
layer half broken taco shells on
bottom of dish. Cover with half meat
mixture, sprinkle with 1 C. cheese.
Repeat. Bake 25 minutes or until hot
& bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes then
top with green onions, chopped
tomatoes & sour cream. Add more broken
taco shells on top & serve.
Serves 6-8
Mexican Corn Dip

2 cans mexicorn, drained
12 oz. shredded mild Cheddar
1 C. mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
1 C. sour cream
1 can green chilies (small
can, chopped)
1 can whole jalapeno peppers
(small can, seeded & chopped)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
(tortilla chips – for dipping)

In large bowl, combine mayonnaise
& sour cream. Add rest of ingredients
except cheese, until well blended.
Fold in cheese until blended well.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and
refrigerate for approximately 2
hours before serving with tortilla
Turkey Rice Roasted Garlic Soup
(stove top OR crockpot)

2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
5 C. water
1 C. rice
1 1/2 C. carrots (canned or
fresh, cut up)
1 can green beans
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp. black pepper
10 cloves roasted garlic**
salt to taste
2 tsp. dried basil

Place all ingredients in
large pot & cook until
rice is done; about 1
hour on stove top or
4 hours in crockpot.

NOTE** Roasting Garlic
10 cloves garlic
2 tsp. oil
dash Italian seasoning

Mix all above ingredients
until coated. Bake in small
oven-safe dish 30 minutes
or until garlic is soft.

Comment: Ten cloves of garlic
might sound like a bit much,
but when you roast it, the
flavor really mellows.
(recipe: Kathryn-
Yummy Bars

2 large tubes Pillsbury
2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, soften cream
cheese. Add 1 C. sugar and
vanilla extract; mix well.
Open 1 tube crescents and
unroll (do NOT tear apart).
Place in bottom of a 9 x
13 baking pan. Spread softened
cream cheese mixture over
crescents. Place the other
roll of crescents on top
of cream cheese. Melt
butter & pour over crescents.
Mix 3/4 C. sugar and cinnamon
together; sprinkle on top and
bake 30 minutes. Let cool,
then cut into bars.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Turkey Stuffed Pasta Shells

12-16 uncooked dried jumbo pasta
1 T. butter or margarine
1/3 C. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/8 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/8 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 C. (8 0z) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce w/mushrooms

Cook shells according to pkg directions;
drain & set aside. Melt butter in 10
inch skillet; add onion & garlic-cook
over medium heat until tender (3-4
minutes). Add turkey & sausage; continue
cooking until meat is browned (8-12
minutes) drain. Add basil, oregano &
1 C. cheese. Spread 3/4 C. spaghetti
sauce on bottom of ungreased 9 x 13
baking dish. Stuff cooked shells with
meat mixture; place meat-side down
in prepared pan. Pour remaining sauce
over shells; sprinkle with remaining
cheese. Cover with foil and bake
20-25 minutes or until heated through.
Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining
1 C. cheese; continue baking,
uncovered, until cheese is melted
(4-6 minutes.) Serves 6.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Hashbrowns

1 (2 pound) bag frozen hash browns, thawed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 T. margarine, melted
1 lb. sour cream
8 oz Cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
Cornflakes, crushed
4 T. margarine, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, make single layers
of the following: Potatoes, onions, 6 T. melted
margarine, sour cream, Cheddar cheese & soup.
Sprinkle top with cornflakes. Drizzle 4 T.
margarine over top. Bake1 hour or until bubbly
and piping hot.
(recipe: Joan 1_Comfort_Foods)
Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

1 1/4 C. flour
1 C. sugar (divided)
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. butter, melted & cooled
2 eggs, divided
1 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract (divided)
1/3 C. chocolate chips
2 pkgs(3 oz, ea) cream cheese,room
1/4 C. slivered almonds

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease 12 muffin cups. In large bowl,
stir together flour, 3/4 C. sugar, cocoa
powder, baking soda & salt. In another
bowl, stir together buttermilk, oil,
melted butter, 1 egg (beaten) & 1 tsp.
vanilla. Make a well in the center of the
dry ingredients; add buttermilk
mixture and stir just to combine. Stir
in chocolate chips; spoon batter into
muffin cups.

In medium bowl, make topping:
Combine cream cheese, remaining
1/4 C. sugar, remaining egg (beaten) and
remaining 1/8 tsp. vanilla. Stir in
almonds. Spoon mixture over
chocolate batter in muffin cups.
Swirl slightly with knife.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center of
muffin comes out clean. Remove
from oven and cool 5 minutes,
then serve immediately. Makes
12 muffins.
recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Spinach Eggs with Bacon

1 slice bacon, cut into pieces
1/4 C. chopped onion
2 C. fresh spinach, chopped
3 eggs, whipped
2 T. Parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in a skillet until
soft. Add onions & cook until
onions are translucent. Rinse
spinach & add to skillet. Toss
until wilted. Pour in eggs;
stir until cooked. Sprinkle top
with Parmesan cheese. Serves 2.
(recipe: Cookincrazyme-RDJ

I almost forgot to mention – our knit group met at Panera Bread again this past Tuesday and this time, they were giving out samples of their breakfast quiches – Spinach & Ham or Spinach & Artichoke. I tried the Spin. & Artichoke one and it was totally YUMMY! Cheesy, creamy – nice flaky bottom crust – in fact, it was SO GOOD that I told the manager I wanted one to buy right then. The girl demoing them said: “We don’t sell them in the evening, these were just leftover and the manager said to use them as samples”. Sometimes it pays to be friendly with the manager – he heard me, said: “Just a minute” went in the back, returned and said: “I have 2 left – which one do you want – ham or artichoke?” I told the girl to charge me for it, as I’m sure she was thinking ‘free sample’, so I happily bought it ($3.69) and VERY HAPPILY ate it! If there had been more of that kind, I think I just might have been super temped to go buy another one – they were THAT good! They told me they only sell them until 10 a.m.; since I’m usually NOT at Panera during the day, that sort of didn’t help but I sure have developed a craving for them! Just sayin’ – they were WONDERFUL! (good thing I don’t work there-I’d weigh a whole lot more!)

Well, friends, that’s what’s happening around here – I’m guessing we got about 1 1/2 inches of snow this morning (I can hear the snow plows out clearing the roads right now). For Michigan at this time of year, that’s nothing unusual – the trick is to NOT have to go out in a snow (storm) – stay home, nice & warm, sipping something creamy (like cocoa) and reading a good book!

Enjoy your day;



Happy Saturday, Y’all!

Well, we’re back at Saturday again – not much to ‘report’ – we did get some snow, but only a brief dusting (so far) – YAY! The weather people were predicting something like 3-4 inches, so just getting a light powdered sugar coating was great for me – you can drive, walk, etc. and not worry about getting stuck or sliding off the road. It’s a ‘balmy’ 18 degrees F. outside.  Today the house is rather quiet (yay!) – youngest son is at an all-day winter guard competition some 3 hours away; it’s their first competition of the year (for Winter Guard). I guess I should explain – he belongs to two ‘guard’ groups: one is in the beginning of the school year up to Christmas (Color Guard) – they perform with the marching band. After Christmas he goes into Winter Guard – they are a separate performance group which only does competitions. His winter guard group this year has 16 people (14 girls, 2 guys) and their theme this time is “Summer Time” (with the old Summer Time music as their background, only rather jazzy). I haven’t, as yet, seen any of this year’s routine, but I’m sure after today’s competition there will be videos of the competition on YouTube.

Middle son is home playing a video game “Dark Souls” – guess it’s another first person action/fantasy game set sort of in medieval times – the boys love those themes where you have a ‘quest’ and have to slay dragons and other ‘nasties’ to get to your goal. Husband is on his computer playing his favorite: World of Warcraft. I just finished perusing Craftsy – it’s a new free site for people who love all things ‘crafty’ – where you can post your photos of things you created (there are some patterns, but most are not free). You can get some good project ideas by just looking at what other people have made. Worked on more of “John’s Afghan” squares last night – think there’s something like 13 left to make, then finish it off. Think my next project after that will be knitting some dishcloths for the Historical Society for their Log Cabin Days event in June; that gives me enough time to just leisurely knit them and not feel obligated to do a bunch in a hurry.

Recipes, you say? Well, there’s some pretty tasty-sounding winter ‘warm the cockles of your heart’ recipes here:


Mississippi Mud Brownies

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 C. shortening
1 large egg
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. caramel sauce
1 C. miniature marshmallows
3/4 C. pecans, chopped & toasted
3/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together first 5 ingredients in a
large bowl; cut in shortening until
crumbly. Stir in egg, 1/2 C. water and
vanilla. Spread mixture in lightly
greased 8 x 8 baking pan which
is lined with aluminum foil. Bake
35-38 minutes or until center is
set. Remove from oven; spread
with caramel sauce. Sprinkle top
with marshmallows & pecans;
bake 6-8 more minutes.  Microwave
chocolate chips in glass bowl on
Medium (50% power) 1 minute;
stir until smooth. Drizzle over
warm brownies. Cool & cut in
squares. Makes 16 brownies.
(recipe: DDJ 01/02/12)
Pinto Beans, Ham Hocks & Rice

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried pinto beans
2 (10 oz) smoked ham hocks
2 quarts water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 C. uncooked long-grain rice
1 large green bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, chopped
2 C. chopped cooked ham (optional)

Sort & wash beans; place beans in
a Dutch oven; add water 2 inches
above beans and soak 8 hours;
Bring beans & next 4 ingredients to
a boil in Dutch oven. Cover, reduce
heat and simmer, stirring occasionally,
2 1/2 hours or until beans are
tender. Stir in rice, bell pepper and
green onion. Cover & simmer 20 minutes
or until rice is tender. Remove ham
hocks and let cool. Remove & chop
meat, discarding skin & bones. Stir
in chopped meat from ham hocks and,
if desired, 2 C. chopped ham. Makes
6 servings.
(recipe: RDJ -01/02/12)
Baked Sesame Chicken Breasts

2 T. soy sauce
1/4 C. toasted sesame seeds
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place soy sauce in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
On a piece of wax paper, mix together
sesame seeds, flour, salt & pepper. Dip
chicken pieces in soy sauce to coat, then
dredge in sesame seed mixture. Arrange
in baking dish in a single layer, then drizzle
with melted butter.
Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes,
or until chicken is cooked through and
tender and juices run clear. Baste with
drippings once during cooking time.
Garnish with extra sesame seeds if
desired, and serve.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry w/Peanut Sauce

1/4 C. smooth peanut butter
1/3 C. orange juice
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. cooking oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed &
thinly sliced
1 small head Savoy cabbage,
thinly sliced
2-5 T. water
2 medium carrots, grated
1/4 C. chopped unsalted roasted
peanuts (optional)

Whisk peanut butter, orange juice,
soy sauce, vinegar & sugar in a medium
bowl until smooth. Heat 2 tsp. oil in
a wok or large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add garlic & cook, stirring
until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add steak
and cook, stirring, until browned and
barely pink in the middle, 2-4 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to
medium; swirl in the remaining
2 tsp. oil. Add cabbage & 2 T. water;
cook, stirring, until beginning to
wilt, 3-5 minutes. Add carrots (and
more water, if necessary to prevent
sticking & burning); cook, stirring,
until just tender, about 3 minutes
more. Return steak & any juices
to pan, then pour in peanut
sauce; toss to combine. Serve
sprinkled with peanuts, if using.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Slowcooker Cheesy Garlic Chicken

4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 envelope “Liptons Secrets Savory
Herb with Garlic” soup mix
1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
1 C. shredded mozzarella (about 4 oz)
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

In slowcooker, toss chicken with soup
mix. Top with tomato & cheese. Cook,
covered, on Low 8 -10 hours or High
4-6 hours, or until chicken is
thoroughly cooked. Thicken sauce, if
desired, and serve chicken with sauce.
(recipe: Lipton Recipe Secrets
Apple Chicken Quesadillas

2 medium tart apples, sliced & cut into
1 C. diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 C. fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
8  8″ flour tortillas

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except
tortillas, in large bowl. For each
quesadilla: place approx. 3/4 C.
filling inside tortilla; fold in half
& secure with a toothpick. Place on
a greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10
minutes, or until golden brown. Turn
over and bake 5-8 minutes longer.
Makes 8.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Creamy Chive Mashed Potatoes

5 medium potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 T. snipped chives
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 -1/2 C. buttermilk

Place potatoes in large saucepan;
cover with water, add 1 tsp. salt.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover &
cook 30 minutes or until tender –
drain. In a large mixing bowl,
mash potatoes until smooth. Add
cream cheese, butter, chives,
pepper & remaining salt. Gradually
beat in buttermilk. Makes 5 servings.
(recipe: ramblinjodie-RDJ 01/06/12)
Cherry Spice Bars

1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries
1 (18 1/4 oz) box spice cake mix
1/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 C. water
2 eggs

1 C. confectioners sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1-2 tsp. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Drain maraschino cherries;
discard juice (or save for another
use). Cut cherries in half.
Combine dry cake mix, melted
butter, brown sugar, water &
eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix
with a spoon or elec. mixer until
well combined & smooth. Stir
in maraschino cherries. Spread
batter into a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until top
springs back when lightly touched.
Let cook in pan on wire rack.

Combine confectioners sugar & lemon
juice;add enough milk to make a thick
glaze. Drizzle over cake. Allow glaze to
set. Cut into bars.
NOTE: Poster noted that she didn’t
use the glaze; bars were yummy
without it.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hope you’re having a great weekend; remember to take

some time for yourself – read a book, put your feet up,

listen to some music you like that relaxes you, have a

tiny ‘treat’ (like a Dove bar? or a Snickers bar?) – just

ENJOY your day!



PS: Grandson is much better – fever is gone (YAY!) Not fun being ‘older’ and experiencing,

once again, the feelings of watching a little guy be sick and hoping what you can do for him

is ‘enough’! Thank heavens for Children’s Tylenol!

Projects, Plants and Other “Stuff”

Today’s Tuesday and I’m feeling a little stronger every day – that’s a GREAT thing! Yesterday found me deciding to get rid of our old ‘House Bills Book’ and creating a new one, complete with folders, tabs, titles, etc.! Took about 1 1/2 hours, but I’m happy with the results – even made a page with all the information on each company – Tab: “Insurances” – then a list of each company, their address and phone number plus our policy numbers – just in case . . . Since my husband will soon be joining me in the “60’s” category (his birthday is Jan 23rd), I felt it would be helpful to have all that information in ONE PLACE. Took awhile to gather all the information on each separate one, but I’m happy with the results; now there, in one place, is all the information for Eye Care, Dental, Car Insurance, House Insurance, Medical, Life Insurance and Investments.

Today was another ‘burst of energy’ so I went through all my kitchen cupboards and refrigerators, tossing ‘old’ stuff or things I’ll probably never use (like that half package of Filo Dough from last New Years) – something tells me I won’t be having a sudden urge to make Tiropita (Greek Appetizer made with filo). After getting an idea of what we ‘have’ and what we ‘need’, I then made a detailed list for the grocery store, rested a little bit, then charged to Kroger’s. Happy with my purchases (I even passed up a sale on REALLY BIG turkeys at 69 cents a pound). As I was going down the pop isle I had a sudden thought: A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have felt THIS GOOD or been able to do the things I’ve done today – I would just have been too fatigued. Thank you, LORD for restoring my health and energy! (Even stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee for my husband & I – it’s a little ‘treat’ we both love).  Now our ‘larder’ is filled with things to make and eat soon, like Spaghetti & meatballs w/garlic bread; Pierogies & sausages; Enchiladas; a Pork Roast and other goodies. It also occurred to me – I’m cooking more. I know my guys ‘survived’ while I was sick but I really can’t say on ‘what’ – I’m guessing they’re also happy I’m feeling better!

Plants – today I had to relegate  (what was once) a fern to the garbage. I’m definitely NOT a plant person; this was a Mother’s Day gift from my grandson & his Mom. When I received it I hung it outside on a shepherd’s crook and it did great all summer! When the weather got colder, I brought it inside and ‘attempted’ to keep it going – let’s just say it didn’t have a very promising future. Just before Christmas I took the fern and it’s ‘friend’, a wandering Jew plant which was also a gift from a friend, stripped off all their old leaves & stems/branches (whatever you call them on a fern), gave them some plant food and a warning: “OK, it’s sink or swim for both of you – if you don’t start perking up soon it’s the garbage for you.” Today I gave the wandering Jew another warning – “You’re next – if you don’t start looking healthier – it’s ‘The Way of the Fern’ with you!” (I’m a stern taskmaster – these plants better just listen . . . or else!) The only other plants in my house are a Birdsnest Sansiveria (those short plants that are relatives of the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) and a miniature umbrella plant. Mine is a left-over from my mother-in-law’s funeral – that would be 1993. It was originally in a large round table planter and somehow, I’ve managed to keep it alive (not by MY ‘green thumb’, for sure!) I’ve learned, through the years, that both the Birdsnest and the Umbrella plant only like water once a week and then, sparingly. Look out any other plant given into my possession; one of my nicknames should be: “She Who Kills Most Plants”!

Still plugging along on John’s afghan squares – just a little over half done with them (aiming for a total of 49). I’m learning that if I find a simple pattern, I’ll knit around 2 green & 2 red squares in that pattern – saves me constantly looking up  more patterns and it goes quicker.

Last night I did something I rarely do – (at least since my cancer, anyway) I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. finishing a book. Haven’t read many books lately and decided to check up (on line, using our library’s site) on a favorite auther: Steve Berry. He writes mostly historical fiction with a murder-type twist. This one was a little slow in starting but quickly picked up the pace and had me enthralled. He wrote this one last year (2011): “The Jefferson Key” – I’d recommend it and all of his books, for that matter.

Ah yes, recipes . . . HERE THEY ARE!


Pork Tenderloin w/Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 C. orange juice
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
2 T. vegetable oil
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
** (see tip below)
Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. Place potatoes in pan; combine
orange juice & 1 tsp. oregano in small
bowl; pour over potatoes. Combine oil,
garlic, remaining 1 tsp. oregano, salt &
pepper in small bowl; stir together.
Coat pork with seasoned oil mixture;
place on top of potatoes. Cover pan
tightly with aluminum foil; bake
35 minutes. Increase oven temp.
to 425 degrees F. Remove foil,
bake uncovered 10-15 minutes
more or until pork is slightly pink
in center (160 degrees F.) and
potatoes are tender. Let pork
stand 5 minutes before slicing.

**(tip): Line baking pan with
aluminum foil and spray
foil with nonstick cooking
spray for easy clean up.
Jalapeno Macaroni & Ham Bake

2 pkg (7 1/4 oz ea) Kraft Mac &
cheese dinner
1 T. oil
15 slices deli honey ham, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped*
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, beaten
4 Kraft Big Slice Pepper Jack Cheese
Slice, coarsely chopped
18 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 3/4 C.)
1/2 C. fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare Kraft dinners in large saucepan
according to pkg. directions. Heat oil
in medium skillet on medium heat.
Add ham, onions, peppers & garlic;
cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add ham mixture to Dinners with eggs
& chopped cheese; mix lightly. Mix
cracker crumbs & parsley; stir half
into Dinner mixture. Spoon into 2
quart casserole dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with remaining
crumb mixture. Bake 35 minutes
or until center is set & casserole
is heated through. Serves 8.

* Substitute a Serrano chile or canned
chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for
jalapeno pepper.
Creamy Chicken, Bacon & Tomato Pasta

3 C. whole wheat farfalle (bow tie pasta), uncooked
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (14 1/2 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes,
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. water
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.
Cook chicken in large skillet on medium heat
5-6 min. or until done, stirring occasionally.
Add next 5 ingredients; mix well. Cook 3
minutes or until cream cheese is completely
melted and mixture is well blended, stirring
frequently. Drain pasta, place in large bowl.
Add sauce; mix lightly. Sprinkle with
grated Parmesan. Serves 4.
Mom’s Cherry Crunch

2 sticks butter
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix butter & sugar together well. Add
flour, baking soda, salt & oats; mix
well until crumbly. Press into a
greased 9 x 13 pan, reserving 1 C.
mixture. Spread pie filling over oat
mixture; sprinkle remaining
oat mixture over pie filling. Bake
20-25 minutes.
Crazy Crust Pizza

1 1/2 lb bulk sausage or ground beef
1 C flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2/3 C. milk
2 eggs
1/4  C. onion, chopped
4 oz mushrooms
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 425°.
Place oven rack at lowest position.
Lightly grease 12 inch pizza pan; sprinkle
with flour. In large skillet, brown sausage;
drain. Lightly spoon flour into measuring
cup; level off. In small bowl, combine flour,
Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, milk and eggs;
blend until smooth. Pour batter into prepared
pan, tilting pan so batter covers bottom.
Spoon meat mixture over batter; top with
onion and mushrooms. Bake on lowest oven
rack 25- 30 minutes or until pizza is deep golden
brown. Combine tomato sauce and oregano;
spoon over pizza. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Stuffed Strawberries
12 strawberries
3/4 C. milk choc. chips (can use semi-
3 oz. cream cheese
2 T. honey
1/4 tsp. almond extract
chopped almonds or nuts- optional

Halve strawberries length- wise,
core out center, leaving stem on.
Dry on paper towels. Melt chocolate
in microwave bowl until melted,
stirring regularly. Line a cookie
sheet with waxed paper. Holding
strawberry by stem, dip in bottom
in chocolate, leaving top half bare;
place on waxed paper. Beat
together cream cheese, honey &
almond extract. Spoon into pastry
bag, pipe into strawberry centers,
sprinkle on nuts (optional) Makes 24.

Creamy Biscuit Cups w/Bacon

2 (3 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1 large egg
1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 (12 oz) can refrigerated flaky biscuits
5 bacon slices, cooked & crumbled
and divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large muffin tin with nonstick
spray. In a bowl, beat first 3 ingredients
on medium speed until blended. Stir in
cheese & green onion. Separate biscuits
into 10 portions; pat each biscuit into a
5″ circle. Press each circle into bottom
and up sides of muffin tins. Sprinkle each
circle/cup with half the bacon. Spread
cream cheese mix evenly over bacon.
Bake 22 minutes or until set. Sprinkle
tops with remaining bacon, pressing
into filling. Serve warm. Makes 10.

There you have it – another entry, another day. Here in good old

Michigan it’s 40 degrees, clear and sunny – still no (the “S” word)

s-n-o-w… don’t say that too loud, I’m enjoying this January

without having to either use an umbrella or shovel – it’s great!

Have a GREAT day!!!



Thursday Happenings

Well, yesterday I taught my 5 yr old grandson how to play double twelve DOMINOES! I should start by saying that I saw a “Cars” (movie) set of children’s dominoes at the local drug store and bought it for him; we tried playing – it was too simple, too boring sooooooooo – Grandma brought out the ‘big kids set’! As you can see, he loved it; in fact, he beat me by ONE domino! (I thought I took the ‘winning’ photo, but guess not – this was about 3/4ths through the game. His dad told me that his kindergarten teacher has already had to bring out all the first grade work, as he’s finished all he’s supposed to learn in kindergarten! (He’s very much like his dad was at that age – 5 going on 45). I can see many exciting games of dominoes in our future.

Today found me going to Kohl’s with my husband. At Christmas he was disappointed at not being able to find anything he thought I would like clothing-wise, so I suggested we wait until after the holidays and then go shopping. Since he’s mostly been a home-body since his retirement last January, it wore him out a bit but we found two nice tops for me. I also dragged him to the local Salvation Army store (it’s about 20 min. away and I rarely go there). Our oldest son loves that store so we gave it a try. I like shopping for clothing, but I’m not much for having to go through racks & racks of clothing which is sorted by COLOR, then gradiently by size. I gave up after about a half-rack of all blue sweaters & blouses. Yes, they probably have good bargains, but I just didn’t have the fortitude to endure that kind of amusement – instead we tried out the new Sonic drive through eatery. My husband ordered us both double cheeseburgers & fries – turns out they make a VERY BIG double cheeseburger (I saved half for my breakfast tomorrow!); ditto on the fries. I’m attempting to start to lose a bit of weight gained from the holidays and am doing OK – slowly – had gotten up to around 184 and am now down to 178 – without exercise. I kind of mentioned to my husband (seeing that he was a bit undone with all the walking) if we might (once again – suggested before the holidays, too) attempt to join Planet Fitness? I got a kind of non-plused  response – we’ll see where this goes. (I’m, again, thinking ahead to the very near future when the doctors will put me on ‘the pill’- (Arimidex); it’s a extrogen preventative – I’ll be on it for 5 years and some of the side effects are a return to MENOPAUSE symptoms – mood swings, hot flashes, sort of a foggy mind, all those wonderful things you really don’t want – OH! AND WEIGHT GAIN! (now do you see where I’m going with the ‘trying to keep my weight down’ idea? We’ll see – it seems my husband was very informative about the cut off date for the ‘sale’ at Planet Fitness – until January 14th (I think) they have a special where it’s $10.00 to join and $10 a month, per person. I’m only interested in using the treadmill, so we’ll see . . .

Now that I’m feeling better, things are slowly getting done around here. I discovered the other day that our front door ‘sign’ needed painting and the window in the front door needed washing. (We don’t use our front door and it has a sign which reads: “Please use other door” and a small arrow.) Got all that done today after we got home and ate our huge lunch. Started another chemo cap, worked on a few ‘Grandma’s Favorite’pattern knit squares for John’s afghan and now I’m here with you. Makes me feel good to know that I’m slowly getting my energy back and getting other little projects finished which would have been just ignored a month ago. (Still have the Christmas stuff to put away – that’s on the docket for tomorrow – oh, goody . . . ).

Recipes, you say? Well, I have some of those, too!


Spinach-stuffed Pork Roast

1/4 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 T. vegetable oil
1 can chopped spinach, drained
1 C. soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
4 lb. boneless loin pork
roast, tied

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In a skillet, saute mushrooms & onion
in oil until tender. Stir in spinach, bread
crumbs , salt & pepper, garlic powder and
sage. Untie pork roast and separate the
loins. Spread stuffing mixture over one
loin to within 1 inch of the edges. Top
with the remaining loin; retie securely
with heavy string. Place in an ungreased
shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered,
2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer
reads 160-170 degrees F. Let stand for
15 minutes before slicing.
Asiago Hash Browns

1 (30 oz) pkg frozen hash
browns, thawed
1 1/2 C. grated Asiago cheese
1 med. onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
8 fl. oz. heavy cream
1/2 C. butter, melted
paprika to taste
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium casserole dish, mix
hash browns, Asiago cheese, onion,
sour cream, heavy cream & butter.
Bake 1 hour, until hash browns are
fully cooked and top is lightly browned.
Season w paprika, salt & pepper
Serves 8
Savory Skillet Lasagna

6 oz. dry corkscrew pasta, uncooked
3/4 lb. Italian pork sausage links,
casings removed
2 (14.5 oz) cans Hunt’s diced
tomatoes w/basil,garlic & oregano,
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions;
omitting salt. Cook sausage in large
nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat until crumbled & no longer
pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Add
undrained tomatoes & tomato paste;
mix well. Reduce heat to low; simmer
5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer sausage mixture to a medium
bowl; set aside. Drain pasta. Place
half of pasta in same skillet; top
with half each of sausage mixture &
cheese. Repeat all layers. Cover skillet;
place over medium heat; cook 5 minutes
or until all layers are hot & cheese
melts. Remove from heat & let stand
1 minute before serving.
Makes 6 (1 C.) servings.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

5 1/2 C. prepared mashed potatoes
1/4 C. milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
2 T. minced roasted garlic
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place first 7 ingredients in large
bowl. Beat with elec. mixer on medium
high until fairly smooth & creamy. Spoon
mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13
pan. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese &
bacon. Cover & bake 30 minutes
or until heated through.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Easy Stuffing-Egg Bake

1 tsp. oil
2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
6 eggs
1 C. milk
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stove Top stuffing
mix for chicken
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in medium skillet on medium-
high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes
or until tender, stirring occasionally. Beat
eggs, milk & mayonnaise in large bowl
with whisk until well blended; stir in
stuffing mix. Spoon into greased 9 inch
square baking dish; top with mushrooms,
tomatoes & onions. Bake 35 minutes.
Sprinkle top with cheese, bake 15 minutes
longer or until center is set and cheese
is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before
Chocolate Raspberry Heaven

12 oz cream cheese
1/3 C. sugar
1 C. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. raspberries

1 C. melted margarine
2 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. milk
1 C. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
3/4 C. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375F.
Grease a bundt or tube pan.
Cream cream cheese with sugar
and vanilla. Mix in chocolate
chips and set aside. Stir
together the flour, cocoa,
baking powder and salt.
Beat eggs, gradually beating in
sugar until mixture is thick and pale
yellow. Beat in melted margarine,
milk, water and vanilla. Gradually
beat in flour mixture. Spread half
batter into pan. Drop spoons of
cream cheese filling evenly over
batter. Sprinkle raspberries over top.
Cover with remaining batter.
Bake about 1 1/4 hours.
(recipe: Sue – DDJ 09/30/11)
Spicy Creamy Corn Chowder

1/4 C. sugar
4 C. fresh corn kernels (or undrained
  whole kernel)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 C. milk
1 C. chicken broth
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2C. diced onions
1 T. minced garlic
2 slices bacon, 1 inch pieces,
precooked: add bacon & drippings
2 T. ground black pepper

Place sugar, corn, cream cheese,
Mexican cheese, milk, chicken broth, celery
garlic,bacon & pepper in crockpot. Cook
on High 1 hour, then reduce to low and
cook an additional 2 1/2 hours.
(recipe: Lou-RDJ 10/07/11)
Tortilla Chili

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 (1.25 oz) pkgs. chili seasoning mix
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, do NOT drain
2 (15.25 oz) cans Mexican-style
corn, drained
2 C. water
2 C. broken tortilla chips
shredded Cheddar Cheese
sour cream

Heat a lightly oiled large skillet
over medium high heat; add chicken.
Cook & stir about 5 minutes until
lightly browned. Stir in remaining
ingredients except tortilla chips,
bring to boil. Reduce heat to low.
Cover & simmer 15 minutes, stirring
Mix in tortilla chips & serve
with shredded Cheddar cheese &
sour cream, if desired.
Serves 10
(recipe: KStabby 1_Comfort_
Foods digest)

Today has been a gorgeous day out – sunshine and FIFTY-TWO degrees!We wore Spring jackets to go shopping! Our middle son noticed, a few days ago, one of our two rabbits are still in the backyard! We have a lot of wild blackberry bushes growing and it seems he’s made his home amoung them. (Of course, we’re not sure if it’s a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ but I can identify it’s the one with the injured left back leg – I noticed him during the summer.) We had two rabbits which kind of hung around together and one had the bad back leg. He can still hop pretty good, but sort of drags that leg if he’s hopping slow. Middle son decided that it’s going to be his ‘project’ to help this rabbit get through the winter by leaving carrots out for the rabbit; we’ll see. Hope he doesn’t mind refrigerated carrots – but then, what do you get if you toss carrots outside when the normal temperatures for this time of year are in the 30’s?

Anyway, hope you’re having a nice day and remember to enjoy yourself doing something you like, whether it be reading a good book, drinking your favorite beverage (hot cocoa, tea, coffee, etc), having a quick nap, putting your feet up, etc.



Great Expectations and Catching Up

Here we are into the second day of the new year; where are you, at this time? Today found me doing a bit of catching up on lists I thought I’d typed, printed & stored (Knit Group/Special Needs Group), cutting coupons for this week’s shopping trip, clearing out the kitchen of accumulated mails (flyers/coupons/notes to myself, etc.). The kitchen looks much neater, my notebooks for both groups are now ‘up to date’ (YAY!), lists typed, printed, AND stored on Publisher (thought I’d done that a few weeks ago!). Tonight will be homemade Potato Soup – warm, fills the tummy and gets rid of the last of the 10 lb. of potatoes I bought for Christmas dinner and some of the ham, too!  My guys were commenting yesterday about how they can tell I’m feeling much better: I’m cooking  more! We had a whole chicken in the crockpot, noodles and veggies for dinner last night (with a little saved for another meal).

Recipes, you ask? Well, just ran into several different soup recipes I’d saved out for you – here they are:


Pork & Black Bean Soup

6 C. chicken broth
1 T. chopped canned chipotle peppers
in adobo, plus 2 T. adobo sauce
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed
kosher salt
GARNISH:sour cream, fresh salsa &
cilantro, if desired

In 5-6 qt. crockpot, whisk together
chicken broth, chipotles & adobo
sauce, & cumin; stir in beans, onion &
garlic. Add pork & cook on Low 7-8
hours or High 5-6 hours, covered,
until beans are tender and pork easily
pulls apart. Transfer pork to a bowl &
using a fork, break it into large pieces.
Using a blender, puree half the soup.
Stir pork back into soup; season with 1
tsp. salt. Serve with garnish.
Serves 6.
(recipe: Womans Day, Oct., 2011)
Smoky Split Pea Soup

1 lb. green split peas, rinsed
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2
inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2
inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 in
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 ham hocks (about 1/2 lb. total)
kosher salt & black pepper

In a 5-6 qt crockpot, combine split peas,
carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, onion,
thyme & 6 C. water. Add ham hocks;
cook on Low 7-8 hours, or High 4-5 hours,
covered until meat is tender and easily
pulls apart. Transfer ham hocks to a plate.
When cool enough to handle, shred meat
discarding skin & bones. Stir meat back
into soup along with 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp.
black pepper. Serves 6
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct., 2011
Gingery Carrot Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
kosher salt & black pepper
1 lb. carrots, thinly sliced
1  1-inch piece fresh ginger,
thinly sliced
2 pitas, split horizontally
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt or
sour cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Heat 1 T. oil in a large saucepan
over medium-high heat. Add onion,
season with 1/4 tsp. each salt &
pepper; cook, stirring, until
onion begins to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Add carrots, ginger & 4 C. water; bring
to a boil.Reduce heat & simmer until
vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Using a blender, puree vegetable
mixture. Brush cut sides of the pitas
with remaining 1 T. oil; sprinkle with
curry & 1/8 tsp. salt. Cut each pita
into wedges and place seasoned-side
up on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake
until golden brown and crisp, 8-10
minutes. Ladle soup into bowls;
top with yogurt and sprinkle with
pepper, if desired. Serve with the
pita crisps. Serves 4
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct, 2011)
Italian Pasta & Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
kosher salt & black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. farfallini (small bowtie pasta)
or other small pasta
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in
1/2 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-
high heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp. each
salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until  onion
begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add
garlic; cook, stirring for 1 minute (do not
let it brown). Add broth and pasta; bring
to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until
pasta is just tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in
beans and tomatoes; cook until heated
through, about 2 minutes. Remove from
heat and stir in parsley. Serve with the
Parmesan cheese. Serves 6
(recipe: Woman’s Day, Oct., 2011)
Turtle Cookie Cupcakes

1 pkg. Betty Crocker double choc.
chunk cookie mix
3 T. oil
1 T. water
1 egg
36 round milk chocolate-covered
chewy caramels, unwrapped
36 pecan halves
36 mini muffin cups (paper)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place miniature paper baking cups
in mini muffin tins. In large bowl, stir
cookie mix, oil, water & egg until
soft dough forms. Shape dough into
36 1 1/4 inch balls & place in cups.
If dough becomes sticky, dust
hands with flour. Bake 8-9 minutes
or until edges are set. Immediately
press one milk choc. caramel into
center of each cookie cup. Cool
two minutes; top with pecan
halves. Cool completely.
Remove from pan with narrow
Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

6 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
4 T. flour
4 T. butter
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large pot, saute chopped onions
in butter until soft but not browned.
In small bowl, combine flour, salt &
pepper. Stir flour mixture into onion
mixture; add milk & half & half.
Stir & cook over medium heat until
mixture begins to thicken (about 3 min.)
Turn off heat. Add 1 1/2 C. cheese to sauce;
stir until melted & smooth. Add sliced
potatoes & bacon, stir well to combine.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover
with foil & bake 35 minutes. Remove
foil, sprinkle reserved cheese over
top and return to oven; bake another
30 minutes or until potatoes are
soft, cheese is melted and edges
begin to brown. Let stand a few
minutes before serving to allow
sauce to thicken. Serves 6-8.
Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 green peppers, coarsley chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 C. cooked long-grain white rice
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Italian Five
Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia,

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Brown meat with peppers & garlic
in large skillet; drain. Stir in rice,
spaghetti sauce & 3/4 C. cheese.
Spoon into 2 quart casserole that
has been sprayed with nonstick
spray. Top with remaining cheese &
bake 25 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 7, 1 C. each
Turkey Enchilada Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced fresh oregano or
1 T. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oil
1 (29 oz) can red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In 5-6 qt. pan over high heat, stir
turkey, onion, garlic, oregano and
cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly
and no longer pink, about 4 min.
Stir in 1 C. enchilada sauce; add
salt to taste. Cut tortillas in
half. Arrange 1/4 of tortilla halves
evenly over bottom of a shallow
3 qt. casserole dish, overlapping
to fit. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese evenly
over tortillas, then top with 1/4 of
turkey mixture and 1/4 of remaining
enchilada sauce, spreading each
level. Repeat to make two more
layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey
mixture and sauce; top with
another layer of tortillas and
sauce, then cheese. Bake 18-20
minutes, until cheese is melted and
casserole is hot in center. Sprinkle
with chopped cilantro before
serving. Makes 10 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 10/02/11)


How has your weather been lately? Here in good old Michigan,

where it’s supposed to be cold this time of year, we’ve only

had a very light dusting of snow. I went out for a quick trip

to the store today and found the weather had gotten colder

(26 degrees) and was rather windy – even leaving a few

broken branches in the driveway (not big ones). We got

a bit of snow last night, but thankfully, not enough to

actual hinder any driving or walking (YAY!).

Hope you’re enjoying the beginning of what I really

HOPE will be a GREAT year for everyone.



Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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