Monday Mutterings


Hope it’s warm & cozy where you are – it’s rainy, grey and CHILLY here! (Well, maybe I should say I’m chilly – dressed in a sweatshirt today, if that gives you any clues!) Our weather reports it’s 47 degrees out – that’s still CHILLY to me! Reading the forecast for the week, it said we’re supposed to get close to 70 degrees by mid-week – YAY, Oh YAY! (if it happens!).

Things around here are slow at the moment, but I’ve learned – with 2 sons at home, be GRATEFUL for the peace – it will quickly change! Started chemo cap #54 this morning, still working on the scarf but I found out that my friend, the recipient of the scarf won’t be having her actual graduation party until July, so I can take a little ‘ease’ in the finishing of it. (yay-sigh).

On looking over the incoming recipes, there are some ‘interesting’ offerings – check them out:


Baked Breakfast Cups

6 eggs
6 tsp. heavy cream
6 tsp. chopped chives
4 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
6 tsp. hot pepper cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 6-cup muffin pan with cooking
spray. Add 1 egg, bacon crumbled &
1 tsp. each of cheese, chives & cream to each muffin cup. Bake 10-15 minutes
or until eggs are set to your liking.
Makes 6 ‘cups’.

(recipe: P. allen smith-RDJ

Chili Casserole 
1 small onion, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 T. vegetable oil 
2 (10.5 oz) cans chili w/o 
1 (16 oz) jar salsa 
2 large eggs 
1 (24 oz) container cream- 
style cottage cheese, drained 
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded sharp 
Cheddar cheese, divided 
12 egg roll wrappers 

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. 
Saute onion & garlic in hot oil 
in large skillet over medium- 
high heat until tender. Stir in 
chili & salsa; cook until 
thoroughly heated. Spoon half 
of mixture into lightly greased 
9 x 13 baking dish. Stir together 
eggs, cottage cheese & 1 C. 
Cheddar cheese. Spoon about 
1/4 C. mixture evenly on 1 
side of each egg roll wrapper; 
roll up. Place, seam side down, 
in baking dish. Spoon remaining 
chili  mixture evenly over top, 
spreading to completely cover 
wrappers. Bake, covered, 45 
minutes. Uncover & sprinkle top 
with remaining cheese; bake 
5 minutes more or until cheese 
is melted. Let stand 5 minutes 
before serving. Serves 6. 

(recipe: RDJ 04/28/12) 
Garden Spanish Rice

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 (14 oz, ea) cans stewed tomatoes,
not drained
2 C. water
1 1/4 C. long-grain rice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch

In a soup pot, brown ground beef &
onion over medium-high heat 4-5
minutes, stirring frequently. 
Drain; add remaining ingredients,
except zucchini; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; cover & simmer
10 minutes. Add zucchini; continue
cooking 10 minutes longer, or until
rice is tender.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Soft Spice Biscotti

1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. packed dark brown
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/3 C. vegetable oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. water
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
 2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 9 ingredients
in a large bowl; beat at low
speed of mixer 1 minute. Combine
flour & baking powder; gradually
add flour mixture to sugar
mixture, beating until well-
blended (dough will be soft).
Turn dough onto a lightly 
floured surface; shape dough
into 3 (6 x 4 inch) rectangles.
Place rectangles onto a baking
sheet sprayed with nonstick
spray. Flatt to 3/4 inch 
thickness and bake 25 minutes.
Remove from baking sheets;
cool 10 minutes on wire rack.
Cut each rectangle diagonally
into (3/4 inch) slices. Makes
2 dozen cookies.

(recipe: DDJ-04/23/12)
Cheese Ravioli & Sausage

1 lb. Italian sausage without
casings, browned & drained
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated
cheese ravioli
1 (24-28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style
diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, 
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Combine sausage, spaghetti
sauce & tomatoes in crockpot;
mix well. Cook, covered, 7 hours
on low. Mix in ravioli, cover &
cook 30 minutes. Turn off cooker,
top with cheese & cover. Let 
stand 5-10 minutes or until
cheese is melted; serve.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe
Ginger-Nut Apple Betty w/warm
Eggnog Custard

2 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 medium apples (about 2 lb.)
peeled, cored & sliced
12 ginger snaps
2/3 C. quick-cooking oats
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1/4 C. butter or margarine,
1 (4 serving) pkg. vanilla
instant pudding mix
2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix sugar, flour & cinnamon in
large bowl until well blended.
Add apples; toss to evenly coat.
Place in bottom of crockpot.
Place gingersnaps in food
processor or blender, cover &
process until finely crushed;
pour into medium bowl. Add
oats, pecans & butter; mix 
well. Sprinkle over apples &
cover with lid.
Cook on High 2-3 hours or until 
heated through.
Empty dry pudding mix into medium
heatproof bowl; set aside. Bring
milk just to boil on medium-high
heat. Gradually add to pudding 
mix, beating with wire whisk
until well blended. Stir in
nutmeg & spoon over individual
servings of dessert. 
Serves 8

Add dried or fresh cranberries
to apple mixture before cooking,
adjust sugar to taste.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

1 C. uncooked rice 
2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1/2" strips
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into
thin strips
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus* cut
diagonally into 1" pieces
1/2 C. bottled stir fry sauce

Cook rice accordg to pkg. directions;
keep hot. Heat oil in wok or large
skillet over medium-high until hot. Stir-
fry chicken 3-4 minutes or until chicken
is no longer pink in center. Stir in
bell peppers & asparagus; reduce heat
to medium; cover & cook 2 minutes or
until vegetables are crisp-tender, 
stirring once or twice; stir in 
sauce. Serve immediately with rice.
Serves 4.

*for stir-frying asparagus, select
thin stalks and cut them on the
diagonal; they will cook more
(recipe: Moms2Moms)

Saw previews for what looks like a GREAT
'chick flick' movie coming out soon:
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".
It's got some GREAT actors:
Dame Judith Dench, Maggie Smith, and
Bill Nighy. Premise: Brish retirees
travel to India to take up residence
in what they believe is a newly restored
hotel. Less luxurious than it's advertise-
ments, the Marigold Hotel, nevertheless,
slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways."
Sounds like a winner to me! (and, a Knit/Movie
night winner, too -when I can rent it.) I
absolutely LOVE Maggie Smith - ever since I
saw her in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"
(quite a racy film for it's time). I'm 
sure, now, she's remembered in Harry Potter
movies, but she's been in quite a few
other 'greats'. I also loved her in the
2010 TV series: "Downton Abbey"; hope
they will be coming out with new additions
to that series soon!

Enjoy your day;


Published in: on April 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Grillin’ & Chillin’

Well, it’s a ‘balmy’ 40 degrees out today and a little overcast (read that: gray!). Ran into several really tasty sounding recipes for your grill and thought you might like to either use them or just read them over and dream of warmer days!

It’s a slow, quiet day here – the boys are both home and playing Super Mario ??? on the Wii; it’s a (either) you v/s the computer or you v/s another player game – lots of bash ’em & smash em (think it’s Super Mario Brothers Smash something); they love it! It’s good to see them playing and laughing together (they don’t always get along well). Perhaps it’s because they’re both ‘young adults’? (23 & 17). No particular plans for the day, which is nice. I’ll probably get back to knitting (a) the chemo hats (b) the blue lacy scarf and (c) more dishcloths; don’t really feel in the mood for reading lately (not sure why). Not sure what’s for dinner, either – I really sound flaky today, don’t I!?


Juicy Grilled Parmesan Chicken

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (about 1 1/4 lb.)

Combine mayonnaise with cheese in
medium bowl; reserve 1/4 Cup.
Grill chicken, turning once &
brushing frequently with mayonnaise
mixture during last 15 minutes, until
chicken is almost cooked, about 10
minutes. Top chicken with reserved
mayonnaise mixture. Grill, covered,
until chicken is thoroughly cooked
and topping is golden, about 2 minutes.
(chicken is done when internal
temperature reaches 165ºF.)
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Kroger)

Apricot-Glazed Chicken 

1/4 C. soy sauce 
2 T. vegetable oil 
2 T. cider vinegar 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 T. fresh ginger, minced & 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. black pepper 
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
2/3 C. apricot jam 
4 bone-in chicken breast pieces 

Whisk together soy sauce, vegetable 
oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt,  
red pepper & apricot jam to make  
marinade. Place chicken in resealable 
plastic bag; pour marinade over 
chicken. Place in refrigerator for 
at least one hour. Remove chicken 
from marinade. Grill chicken 6 minutes 
per side, basting with leftover 
marinade until chicken reaches an  
internal temperature of 165ºF. 
Serves 4 

(recipe: Kroger) 
Grilled Avocado 
2 ripe avocados 
5-6 fresh basil leaves 
juice of 1/2 lemon 
coarse salt 
4 thick slices bakery sour 
dough bread 

Preheat grill to 375 degrees F. 
Cut avocados in half; remove pits. 
Place halves, cut side down, directly 
on grill or on a vegetable-grilling 
rack. Cook 8-10 minutes, until it it 
slightly charred, then transfer to a  
plate to let cool. Spoon grilled 
avocado out of peel into a medium 
bowl; mash with a fork until chunky. 
Slice basil leaves into thin ribbons; 
add to mashed avocado along with lemon 
juice and salt, to taste. Stir well 
to combine & serve with slices of 
grilled or toasted sour dough bread. 
Serves 4. 

(recipe: Kroger)

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese 
olive oil 
3 firm but ripe peaches, pitted & 
2 T. sugar 
2 T. brandy (optional) 
1 T. fresh lemon juice 
1/2 C. mascarpone cheese, room 
1/4 tsp. vanilla 

Lightly brush the grill with oil. 
Grill peaches 2-3 minutes per side, 
moving only to flip them to create 
nice grill marks. Meanwhile, stir 
together sugar, brandy & lemon  
juice in medium bowl; set aside. 
When peaches are ready, remove to  
a shallow baking dish. Top them with  
brandy mixture; toss to coat. Set 
aside for 15 minutes to marinate, 
tossing occasionally. Stir together 
mascarpone & vanilla in small bowl. 
Divide grilled peaches equally to 
6 plates. Serve with a dollop of 
mascarpone mixture. Serves 6 

(recipe: Kroger)
Grilled Zuccini with Parmesan 
2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb) 
4 oz. Parmesan cheese (or grated) 
1 T. olive oil 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. ground pepper 
juice of 1/2 lemon 

Preheat grill to medium (375 degrees 
F.). Wash & dry zucchini; trim ends 
off at a diagonal. Slice crosswise, 
on the diagonal, about 1/2 -3/4 
inch thick. Using a vegetable peeler, 
shave wide ribbons from the block of 
Parmesan cheese to measure 1/3 C.; 
set aside. In medium bowl, gently toss 
zucchini with olive oil, salt & pepper 
to coat. Place zucchini slices directly 
on preheated grill rack. Grill 10-12 
minutes, turning once after about 6 
minutes.It should be lightly charred 
and cooked through, but still firm. 
Remove from grill to serving plate. 
Squeeze lemon juice over slices, then 
top with Parmesan ribbons. Serve warm. 
Serves 4 

(recipe: Kroger) 
Grilled Molasses Pork Tenderloin 
2 C. molasses 
1/2 C. soy sauce 
1/4 C. olive oil 
3 T. fresh ginger, grated 
2 T. garlic, minced 
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 C. lemon juice 
2 onions, cut into 1/4 in. slices 
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2-2 lb. ea) 

Place all ingredients in a resealable 
plastic bag;  marinate for at least 
one hour. Remove & grill tenderloins & 
onions. Grill for approx. 10-12 minutes 
each side. If you'd like to serve the 
marinade as a dipping sauce, cook it on 
the stovetop over medium-high heat 10 
minutes or until thickened. Serves 4-6 

(recipe: Kroger) 
Grilled Red Skin Potatoes w/Garlic 
2 T. olive oil 
1 1/2 lb. redskin potatoes* 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 
(coarse salt) 

Preheat grill to medium (375 degrees F.). 
Tear off a sheet of foil about 24 inches 
long; rub a bit of olive oil on foil, or 
spray lightly with nonstick spray. Wash 
potatoes; cut into 3/4 inch chunks. In 
medium bowl, toss potatoes, olive oil, 
garlic, salt & pepper. Transfer potatoes 
to foil sheet; fold long edges together 
and crimp to seal, then seal short 
edges by folding up to make a rectangular 
packet. Place packet on preheated grill; 
cook without turning, 25 minutes. Remove 
foil packet to a plate; carefully open 
(watch out for steam). Season potatoes 
with a sprinkle of coarse salt before 
serving. Serves 4. 

*can substitute Yukon Gold or purple) 

(recipe: Kroger) 
(these are not grilled but sounded great)
Butterflied Chicken, Beans
& Corn Salad

6 slices bacon, chopped
8 small boneless skinless
chicken breast halves (2 lb.)
1/2 C. zesty Italian dressing
3 T. fresh lime juice
1 (15.5 oz) can light red
kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas 
(garbanzo beans) drained
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn,
1 small onion, cut length-
wise then crosswise into
thin slices
1 small jalapeno pepper,
thinly sliced
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, chopped & divided
1 (5 oz) pkg. spring lettuce

Cook & stir bacon in large 
skillet on medium heat until
crisp. Remove bacon;drain on
paper towels.Drain & wipe out
skillet. Add 4 chicken breast
halves to skillet; cook 2 
minutes, turning once.Cover &
cook 5 minutes or until done.
Remove from skillet; set 
aside. Repeat with remaining
chicken. Mix dressing & lime
juice. Combine beans, corn,
onions, jalapeno, cilantro,
bacon & half the avocados in
large bowl. Add 1/2 C. dressing
mixture; toss to coat. Toss
lettuce with remaining dressing
mixture. Top with chicken, bean
mixture & remaining avocados.
Serves 8.

Note: you can substitute 2
cans kidney beans or chickpeas
instead of using 1 can each.
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Peanut-Mango Coleslaw

3/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. zesty Italian dressing
1 (14 oz) pkg. coleslaw
blend (cabbage slaw mix)*
1 fresh mango, chopped**
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
1/4 C. dry roasted peanuts

Mix mayo & dressing in large
bowl; add next 4 ingredients;
mix lightly. Refrigerate 1 
hour, then top with nuts before
serving. Serves 6, 1 C. each.

* can substitute 3 C. shredded
green cabbage & 2 C. shredded
red cabbage for coleslaw blend.

**How to cut a mango:
Cut each mango in half, just
clearing the long flat seed.
Score the flesh into squares
of desired size, being careful
to cut up to, but not through,
the skin. Press the skin so the
cut fruit pops outward, then
cut the cubes from the skin
to remove.
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Granny Smith Coffeecake

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar, divided
1/3 C. butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. milk
4 C. Granny Smith apples,
pared, cored & sliced
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cream cheese, 1 C.
sugar, butter, eggs & almond
extract; mix well. Combine
1 3/4 C. flour, baking powder,
baking soda & salt; blend into
cream cheese mixture alternately
with milk. Pour into greased &
floured 9 x 13 baking pan. In
shallow dish, mix together 2 T.
flour, 1/2 C. sugar & cinnamon.
Dip apples in lemon juice; toss 
in flour mixture in shallow
dish. Arrange apple slices on
top of batter. Bake 50-60 
minutes or until a wooden
toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool slightly,
serve warm.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe
Just in case you've never explored YouTube,
I just went on there to watch a video about how
to knit using beads. This is the technique where
you actually knit the beads right along with the
project you're knitting, instead of having to sew
them on later. YouTube has all sorts of videos on all 
sorts of subjects - I love looking up videos to help
me understand things I don't get!

Hope you're having a nice, warm &
enjoyable day!

Hospitals, Hash Browns, Hats & Naps

Today is one of those ‘really odd’ days where things just don’t go the way your average days go. Let’s start with around 7:15 a.m. and me noticing youngest wasn’t up and off to school. Upon checking with him, he mentioned (again) he was having chest pains. This same thing has happened on & off over a period of 3 weeks; don’t get me wrong (it sounds like I never did anything) – this is the son who wants to solve EVERYTHING himself. The last time this happened I was in the middle of calling our family doctor when he said: “The pain is gone, never mind.” Great . . . I told him that if this happened again, no matter when – we’re going to the doctors OR the ER. Well, it’s been about a week since the last ‘episode’ so I told him – get up and get dressed, we’re going to the ER. If you’re in so much pain, the regular doctor will just tell us to go there, anyway, so let’s get this done. After about 1 1/2 hours in the ER, an EKG and a chest x-ray, it seems it has nothing to do with his heart (which was my big concern). He hasCostochondritis,which is an inflamation of the cartilidge in between the ribs and the breast bone. It’s in the same area as the heart, hence my guess on his problem. The solution is hot packs and extra strength Motrin, visit your regular doctor for a follow-up in 3-5 days. BIG SIGH of relief! SO glad to hear it’s nothing life-threatening! We’re not exactly sure just what caused this and why it comes and goes; he mostly has the pain in the early morning; I’m guessing he might have pulled or irritated that area when he was still in Color Guard, because they did so much upper body muscle usage flipping/ tossing, catching rifles, swords and flags (and the flags are NOT light weight!).

While we were there I put my nimble fingers to good use and started another chemo cap (that makes #53); that one is still on the needles but I’m now done with the three hats I want to send to my son’s friend’s sister in the military (as soon as they get me her address!). Here they are (nicely modeled by my friend Mary’s ‘head’):

That’s one white, lime green and varigated purples (on the left), a lavender & white (middle) and a light blue with brown & blue border (right). Still working on the scarf and am about half done; lots to still knit on that one. Started another dishcloth for the historical society today, too.

After the hospital and taking son back to school, I stoppeat Tim Horton’s for takeout coffee for my husband and I (I’m a regular customer at their drive-through). When I drove up to pay the young man at the window said: “We made too many doughnuts today, would you like a free dozen doughnuts?” (Yes, Sir!) That was a very nice treat to bring home to my husband: actually it turned out to be 16 frosted (some chocolate w/choc. frosting, some that looked like Boston Cream Pie filled and 2 that reminded me of Halloween as they were orange sprinkles!). Yum! Tuesday night as my knit group was ready to wind down for the night at Panera Bread, one of their counter people came to our table with trays of their (very TASTY!) cinnamon coffee cake. She apologised that there wasn’t enough to give us each a slice, so she also brought an entire coffee cake, extra! This one is one of their 3-flavor kinds: it’s divided up into apple, cherry and cream cheese sections. After everyone took some, there was still some leftover. Since I’m the one with kids at home, guess who got to bring home about 6 slices of the 3-flavor kind! Nice, tasty surprises twice in one week – who can complain about that!?

Still more updating: Last night was my special needs group and our regular teacher had a big complication: she only has one car and her daughter had a very important meeting to attend (that couldn’t be changed), so she gave up her car. Next on the ‘teaching’ list is our President – and that would work, except: she & her family are down South on vacation! That leaves ‘you know who’ – I’m NOT a teacher; I tell everyone I make a GREAT helper/assistant but NOT a teacher. Oh well, that said: we had a great time playing Bible Tic Tac Toe, boys v/s the girls. I ask Bible questions and each side gets a chance to answer. If your ‘side’ doesn’t get the answer right, it reverts to the other side for them to take a chance. We were down some in attendence but, for the first time that I remember, the BOYS won 2 to 1! They were thrilled. (I should say: we have mostly girls in the group). I just LOVE my group – they give such unique answers sometimes. I bet you didn’t know that when Mary & Joseph were going to Bethlehem, Joseph walked and Mary rode on a _______. Answers given: a camel, next answer: an elephant! Gotta love ’em! So cute!

Today is Thursday which means Babysit Grandson day. I had to pick him up from school at 3:45 and he was full of energy (they’d just finished last recess and he was ‘bursting at the seams’!). Got home, had a little snack and some apple juice, watched a little “Spongebob” and then . . .

One very tired little boy crashed on the couch

This has been a rather goofy so day, dinner was “Potatoes O’Brian”: Ore Ida Hash browns with green & red peppers & chopped onions in them, fresh sliced mushrooms, hamburger and then sharp Cheddar cheese melted over the top.

Since this is a rather long post already, I’m going to post recipes on the next blog entry. Hope you had a great day; for me, I’m going to sit down & put my feet up – I think I’ve earned it!



Windy, Windy Weather!

I’ve heard “April showers bring May flowers” but what do WINDY, WINDY days bring? Frustrated people, I’m guessing! Went grocery shopping yesterday and really battled the cart in the parking lot – it wanted to sail away into another person’s car! Today it isn’t much different, still windy but sunny and 49 degrees again; definitely sweater or jacket weather. Had to do a quick trip to buy more legal-sized envelopes; I’m working on my special needs group’s newsletters for May/June; printingup 57 copies (2 sheets each, double sided printing). At least I’m ahead of the game – they’re not exactly ‘due’ until the beginning of next month but my ‘kids’ like to get them early (evidence of that – I’m already getting phone calls “Is the newsletter ready yet?” – bless their hearts).

Still working on chemo caps for my son’s friends sister – stopped at JoAnn’s yesterday and bought a really REALLY soft yarn made of 25% Rayon made from BAMBOO! (bet ya didn’t know they made yarn from bamboo – did ya? They also make yarn from CORN!). This yarn is 75% acrylic, 25% Rayon (from bamboo) – it’s a really pretty shade of lavender. My son’s friend said his sister likes purple – this was the only one I could find that was soft, very thin yarn and purple, but it will make a very nice hat. I made a 1 inch wide white rim, then the lavender. After looking at it awhile I remembered I had ‘just enough’ of the varigated purple sock yarn to crochet a one-row edge – it looks nice. When he gets me the address I’ll have three hats to mail her. Still plugging away at the scarf – I unwound it today and it’s about half-done (I wind up the finished part into a roll so it’s easier to work with while knitting). Tonight is Knit Night and, so far, there are 12 people signed up to come – that’s great! Our roster varies week-to-week, sometimes we’ll have a large group (like 17), other weeks we’re down to 7 people! Oh well – I’m happy with whomever shows up!

Cancer-drug wise, it’s sorta kickin’ my butt – nausea and really stiff, achy hip & knee joints. They warned me this would be a possibility – so, once again, Doan’s Back Pills are my friend. Why BACK pills, you ask? Because they seem to do the trick and buffer the pain. My doctor said they contain a large amount of aspirin plus the buffer – I don’t really care as long as it helps. I chatted with my choir director’s wife (she’s been on this drug for a year now) and she said that the achy joints will sort of travel: one week it will be your knees, the next it’s your shoulder joints, etc. (she didn’t have the nausea). This morning my husband warmed up some leftover spaghetti and I had to QUICKLY go shopping – the smell was driving me nuts! It’s that ‘not enough to make you actually barf, but enough that you kind of feel like it might be a possibility’ thing. (I know – and WHY did you need to know that? Sorry). Oh well, as I said to the Pharmacist today: being nauseous is better than the alternative – I’d MUCH rather be ALIVE than the other side of the dirt!

Moving right along – (“nothing to see here – keep moving” – grin), we have RECIPES! I can definitely tell it’s getting on warmer weather, recipe-wise; people are submitting more ‘summer type’ recipes. Hope it’s warm where YOU are and you can try out some summer-type recipes! (It’s still too chilly here for that, but we know it’s coming-hopefully soon!)


Cranberry Fluff

4 C. fresh or frozen cranberries

3 C. miniature marshmallows

3/4 C. sugar

2 C. diced unpeeled tart apples

1/2 c. halved green grapes

1/2 C. chopped nuts

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. whipping cream, whipped

Place cranberries in food

processor or blender, cover &

process until finely chopped.

Transfer to a bowl; add sugar

& marshmallows. Cover &

refrigerate 4 hours or over-

night. Just before serving, stir

in apples, grapes, nuts & salt.

Fold in whipped cream. Makes

10 servings.

(recipe ramblinjodieRDJ



Feta Dill Spread

8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. fresh dill, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in
a medium bowl; blending
well. Cover & refrigerate
until ready to serve.

(Goes well with wheat thins,
plain toasted pita chips or
melba toasts)

(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ
Fruit Tea

1/2 C. plain instant tea
2 C. sugar
1 C. white grape juice
1 gallon water
dry instant lemonade, 
filled up to 2 quart line
of lemonade container

Stir dry ingredients 
(instant tea, instant
lemonade, sugar) together
in a pitcher. Do this
before you add any
liquids. Next, add 
white grape juice; stir
well. Add one gallon
water to mixture. 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Chicken Mixture:

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pcs
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Baking Mixture:

1/2 C. Bisquick mix
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 regular-sized muffin
cups with nonstick spray. In
10 inch skillet, heat oil over
medium-high heat. Cook chicken
in oil 5-7 minutes, stirring
occasionally until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Add
onion & chicken broth; heat to
simmering. Add frozen vegetables
& seasonings; heat until hot,
stirring occasionally until
almost all liquid is absorbed.
Cool 5 minutes; stir in
cheese. In medium bowl, stir
baking mixture ingredients with
whisk or fork until blended.
Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking
mixture into each muffin cup.
Top with about 1/4 C. chicken
mixture; spoon 1 T. baking
mixture onto chicken mixture
in each muffin cup. Bake
25-30 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean. Cool 5 
minutes. With thin knife,
loosen sides of pies from
pan; remove from pan &
place top sides up on 
cooling rack; cool
10 minutes longer,serve.
Makes 6 servings, 2 pies

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe
Meat-Lover's Pizza Casserole

1 lb. uncooked ziti or other
tubular pasta
1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pizza sauce
8 slices bacon, crisp cooked,
1/2 (3.5 oz) pkg sliced pepperoni
2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 qt. casserole with non-
stick spray. Cook & drain
pasta as directed on pkg using
minimum cook time; return to 
saucepan. In 12 inch skillet, 
cook & stir sausage, onion, 
bell pepper & garlic over medium-
high heat, about 7 minutes or
until sausage is no longer pink
& onion is softened. Stir in
pizza sauce, bacon & pepperoni.
Pour mixture over cooked pasta;
stir. Spoon half pasta mixture
(about 4 C.) into casserole. 
Sprinkle with 1 C. cheese; spoon
remaining pasta mixture on top.
Bake 30 minutes; top with 
remaining 1 C. cheese, bake
5-10 minutes longer or until
hot & cheese is melted.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Easy "Cream Puffs"

1 sheet frozen puff pastry,
1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla
instant pudding
1 C. cold milk
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 square Baker's semi-
sweet chocolate

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Unfold pastry on lightly
floured surface; roll into
10 inch square. Cut into 9
circles with 3 inch cookie
cutter. Place, 2 inches
apart, on baking sheet. 
Bake 10 minutes; remove
to wire rack, cool completely.
Beat pudding mix & milk in
medium bowl with whisk 2 
minutes. Stir in Cool
Whip; refrigerate 15
minutes. Melt chocolate
as directed on pkg.
Split pastry rounds,
fill with pudding, 
drizzle tops with 
melted chocolate.
Makes 9 servings.

(recipe: kraftfoods)
Quick 'N Easy Fruit Dessert

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
1 can peach pie filling
1 pkg. frozen strawberries,thawed;
either sweetened or unsweetened)
2 bananas, slice, coat with
lemon juice to keep from turning

Mix pie filling, pineapple chunks,
thawed strawberries & sliced 
bananas. Serve as is or topped
with a spoonful of Cool Whip.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Shrimp & Jack Quesadilla
(serves 2)

1 tsp oil
1/4 lb. uncooked medium
shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
2  (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 Pepper Jack cheese slices
1/4 C. fresh salsa
1/2 avocado, sliced

Heat grill. Heat oil in small
skillet on medium heat. Add
shrimp & red pepper; cook &
stir 3-4 minutes or until 
shrimp are pink. Top 1 
tortilla with 1 slice cheese,
shrimp, salsa & avocado;
cover with remaining cheese
slice & tortilla. Grill 4 
minutes or until golden 
brown. Cut into wedges.
SErves 2
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Saucy Chicken & Asparagus

1 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus
spears, halved
4 boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
If desired, partially cook
asparagus; drain. Place
asparagus in a greased 9
inch square baking dish. In 
skillet over medium heat, brown
chicken in oil on both sides;
season with salt & pepper.
Arrange chicken over asparagus.
In a bowl, mix soup, mayonnaise,
lemon juice & curry powder; pour
over chicken. Cover & bake
40 minutes or until chicken
is tender & juices run clear.
Sprinkle top with cheese; let
stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 4.
(recipe: Moms2Moms)
Old Maid Cake
(love the name!)

1 C. flour
1/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking sodea
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 C. molasses
2 T. stick margarine, melted
2 T. stick margarine
1/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar
3 T. chopped walnuts
2 medium pears (1 lb.)
cinnamon sticks (optional)
pear slices (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 8 ingredients in
a bowl; stir well. Combine
buttermilk, egg, molasses & 
2 T. melted margarine in a 
bowl; stir well. Add to flour
mixture, stirring until
smooth. Melt 2 T. margarine
in a 9 inch cast-iron skillet.
Stir in 1/3 C. brown sugar; cook
over medium heat 1 minute. Remove
from heat; sprinkle with walnuts.
Peel & core pears. Cut each in
half lengthwise. Cut each half into
thin slices, cutting to, but not
through, stem end. Fan pear halves;
place, core sides up, on top of
brown sugar mixture in skillet.
Pour batter over pears; bake 35
minutes or until a wooden tooth-
pick inserted in center comes out
clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes
on wire rack. Loosen cake from 
sides of pan using a narrow metal
spatula. Invert onto a cake plate.
Garnish with cinnamon sticks &
pear slices, if desired. Serves 8.
(recipe: DDJ 04/11/12)

So, how are things around your neck
of the woods? Weather treating you OK?
Hope so! Remember to enjoy your day!


Sleepy Saturday – (yawn)

For a change around here it’s quiet AND there’s really nothing ‘scheduled’ to do today-YAY! (Of course, that doesn’t pre-suppose that I haven’t already done a bunch of things, either – grin). Managed to remember to write out and mail several house bills that aren’t on the ‘pay on line’ program, knit 24 rows on the blue scarf (that’s about all I can handle on that pattern at a time – it’s too ‘fussy’ – needs constant attention to details), knit another inch or more on the second chemo cap, cleaned up the kitchen sink dishes, loaded the dishwasher, started a load of clothes, updated the blog recipe list – think that’s about all for now. It’s one of those days that looks like it’s warm outside, even the sounds you hear make you think that: someone close mowing their lawn – BUT – those sites & sounds are deceiving – it’s only 40 degrees! I’m wearing a sweater & slippers – just a bit chilly! Yesterday I managed to sit outside and knit for around an hour – the thermometer said it was almost 79 degrees (but I didn’t believe that); it was cloudy and getting more windy by the minute – looking like rain. A little later we did get rain, just not a big storm as they were predicting.  I think dinner is going to be pork steaks & baked potatoes (& some sort of vegetable). Lately my boys are so busy they’re rarely here for dinner, which makes ‘cooking’ dinner difficult when it’s only for 2 people (Yes, I know quite a few people cook for only 2 but I’m not quite ‘there’ yet – we’re still FOUR, but it varies per day!).


Pepperoni Squares

2 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 C. flour
6 oz. pepperoni, chopped 4 oz. grated Swiss cheese
1 1/2 C. grated sharp
Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together
with a fork. Place in a
9 x 13 baking pan. Bake,
uncovered, 30 minutes. Cut
into squares & serve warm.

(recipe: Joann-RDJ 4/20/12)

Almost Lasagna
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef,
chicken, sausage or tofu
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 lb Ricotta cheese (or cottage
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C. diced zucchini, or match-
stick carrots, etc.
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat; drain well. Stir
together eggs, ricotta, grated
Parmesan, salt & pepper. Mix
cooked meat, macaroni, sauce &
veggies; add ricotta mixture-
blend well. Spray 9 x 13 
baking dish with nonstick
spray. Spread half of
macaroni mixture evenly
over bottom of pan. Top 
with a cup of mozzarella
then sprinkle with Parmesan.
Add remaining macaroni
mixture; top with 
remaining cheeses, cover
with foil. Bake 20 minutes,
uncover, bake another 10-
20 minutes or until cheese
on top is lightly browned &
Serves 6

(recipe: Lisa -
Strawberry Charlotte
1 jelly roll (homemade or
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry
Jello mix
1 C. hot water
1 C. miniature marshmallows
10 oz. frozen strawberries
(fresh, for garnish, if you 
have them)
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 egg whites
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. heavy whipping cream,
1 C. pecans, coarsely 

Cut jelly roll into 1/2 inch
slices. Arrange slices over 
bottom & around sides of an
oiled 2 1/2 quart mixing
bowl. Dissolve Jello in hot
water; add marshmallows &
partially defrosted straw-
berries, stirring until
marshmallows dissolve. Add
lemon juice & chill until
partially congealed; beat
until fluffy. Beat egg whites
until soft peaks form; gradually
beat in sugar. Fol into Jello
mixture; blend in whipped
cream & nuts. Pile mixture
lightly into jelly roll-
lined bowl. Chill until
firm. Unmold, garnish &
serve. Feeds 8-10

(recipe: Kathleen)


Bacon-wrapped Stuffing Balls
2/3 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. butter
1 box stuffing mix
1/4 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 large egg, beaten
12 slices (or more) bacon

In small skillet, saute onion
& celery in butter until tender.
In large bowl, combine stuffing
mix & remaining seasonings; toss
to mix evenly. Add onion mixture
and egg; toss lightly to coat
bread mixture. Roll mixture into
1 1/4 inch balls. Wrap a bacon
slice around each ball & secure
with a toothpick. Repeat with
remaining ingredients. In 
large skillet, cook bacon
roll-ups on all sides over
medium heat for 18 minutes 
or until bacon is crisp and a
meat thermometer inserted
into stuffing reads at least
160 degrees F. Drain on 
paper towels. Makes 12 or

These can also be made ahead,
cooked, cooled then frozen.

Easy Jello Tiramisu
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla
instant pudding
2 C. cold milk
3/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed
8 soft ladyfingers
1 square Bakers Semi-
sweet chocolate, finely

Beat pudding mix & milk
in medium bowl with whisk
2 minutes; stir in Cool
Whip. Place 1 ladyfinger
in each of 4 dessert dishes,
cover with half each of 
pudding mixture and grated
chocolate. Repeat layers.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Serves 4.

(recipe: kraftfoods)
Mushroom "Bruschetta: Chicken Skillet
1 .b mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 C. balsamic dressing
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
4 small boneless skinless chicken
breast halves
1/2 C. shredded Italian Three
cheese blend cheese (Kraft)
1 T. coarsely chopped fresh chives

Cook mushrooms & onions in large
nonstick skillet on medium-high
heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add dressing, garlic & thyme; cook
5-7 minutes or until mushrooms are
tender, stirring frequently. Transfer
to bowl, cover to keep warm. Add
chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes
on each side or until done. Top
chicken with mushrooms & cheese; 
cover. Cook 2-4 minutes or until
cheese is melted; sprinkle top
with chives. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraftfoods)
Orange Blossom Balls
1 (12 oz) box vanilla wafers,
1 (6 oz) can orange juice
concentrate, thawed, undiluted
1 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. finely chopped nuts
1 pkg. flaked, sweetened

Crush vanilla wafers very fine;
mix with sugar. Add undiluted
juice & nuts; mix well. Shape
into small balls; roll in 
coconut. Store in airtight
container in refrigerator.


Hope you are able to have a nice,
relaxing day today, as well. Take
a little time to enjoy doing 
somethine YOU like (even if it's only 
sitting down and putting your feet
up for a few minutes - RELAX!
Close your eyes and breathe
deeply - enjoy that few minutes
of calm!)


Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s Friday! (Boy, did this week go by FAST!)

Hello, Everyone!

How’s your week been? Sometimes it seems like the week drags, but for no apparent reason, this Friday sort of snuck up on me! Babysat my grandson yesterday and he’s always a source of amusement. He asked me what was for dinner and, knowing the leftovers we had in the fridge would not please him, I offered: a hot dog, a hamburger or sloppy joes. His answer: peanut butter & jelly, without the jelly. Oh, and cut it into triangles, please. What 5 year old chooses that? Oh well, knowing he only will eat half of a sandwich anyway, I dutifully spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread, folded it over, then cut it into 3 ‘triangular-shaped pieces’ – I felt happy I’d done my grandmotherly duty. Placed the sandwich before him and he said: “I have two triangles and a half of a circle” (the top edge of the bread made a half circle – what a kid). Then, as he was eating it, he informed me I’d put too much peanut butter on one of the triangles; my answer to him? “Just eat it!” (he did). I never know what he’s going to come out with.

On another note, his father informed me that his close friend’s sister was just diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer; she’s just starting chemo. He asked if I had any of ‘those hats you knit’ around (I’d already dropped off the ones I had to the cancer center). He said her hair is starting to come out (she’s in California, so his information is via his friend’s cell). I told him I’d get right on it knitting her some caps, and would he please see if he can find out what her favorite color is. (He told me she’s in the military and when she told them of the diagnosis, they said she can have THREE MONTHS off for treatment – what, are they NUTS? Three months is just BEGINNING to cover the time she’ll need to go through this, especially if she’s Stage FOUR!) First it’s surgery, then chemo then radiation – we’re talking a good 8 months for all of it, not counting the time she’ll need just to recover her strength. I finished the first hat this morning and am starting another a little later today. I told him to get her address so I can write to her; I’ve mentioned to you before that I fully feel like the Lord allowed me to get this cancer so that I can be an encourager to others going through it. I was SO BLESSED to only have Stage 1 and a quick recovery – others are not so lucky.


Cheddar & Mushroom Breakfast Squares

2 tsp. butter

2 C. sliced white button mushrooms

1/2 C. sliced green onion, including

green tops

6 slices country-style bread, cubed &


2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,


2 C. milk

8 eggs (or 2 C. egg substitute)

1 tsp. red or green hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with non-

stick spray; set aside. In medium skillet

over medium heat melt butter & add mushrooms.

Cook mushrooms 5 minutes or until softened &

brown at edges; stir in green onions; set aside.

Place half of bread cubes in prepared baking

dish. Spread half of mushroom mixture & half of

cheese over bread crumbs. Layer remaining bread

cubes & mushroom mixture; set aside.

In large bowl, beat milk, eggs, pepper sauce &

salt, until well blended. Pour milk mixture over

bread cubes; top with remaining cheese. Cover with

foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil; bake an

additional 15 minutes or until top is puffed up

and cheese is browned at edges. Let cool 5 minutes

then cut into squares.

(recipe: Spartan foods)


Fudge Cake

1 stick butter, softened
1 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 C. self-rising flour
1 (16 oz) can Hershey chocolate

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream sugar & butter, add eggs;
beat well. Add flour & can of
chocolate; mix well. Pour batter
into 9 x 13 pan & bake 30


1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/4 stick butter
1 T. cocoa
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix & boil all icing ingredients
except vanilla, for 1 1/2 minutes; 
remove from heat. Add vanilla,
beat a few minutes. Pour icing
over cake while both are still 
(recipe: Dot-DDJ-02/17/12)
Chicken Quesadillas

1 lb. skinless, boneless
chicken breast, diced
1 (1.27 oz) pkg. dry fajita  
seasoning mix
1 T. vegetable oil
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
10 (10 in) flour tortillas
1 (8 oz) pkg. Cheddar cheese,
1 T. bacon bits
1 (8 oz) pkg. Monterey Jack
cheese, shredded

Preheat broiler
Grease a baking sheet. Toss
chicken with fajita seasoning,
then spread on baking sheet.
Place under broiler & cook until
chicken pieces are no longer pink
in center, about 5 minutes. 
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large saucepan
over medium heat; stir in peppers,
onion & chicken. Cook & stir
until vegetables have softened,
about 10  minutes. Layer half of
each tortilla with chicken/veg
mixture, then sprinkle with bacon
bits & cheeses. Fol tortillas in 
half & place on a baking sheet. 
Bake until cheese have melted,
about 10 minutes.
(recipe: Pilgrim's Pride
Slowcooker Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
1 inch cubes
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned
& halved
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
1 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles,
2 t. chopped parsley

Place meat, mushrooms, onions &
garlic in crockpot. Add broth, paprika
& salt. Cover; cook on Low 7-8 hours
or High 5 hours. Mix sour cream,
flour & mustard; stir into ingred-
ients in crockpot until well 
blended. Cook, covered, on Low
15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook
noodles according to pkg. directions.
Drain noodles; place in large
serving bowl; pour meat mixture
over noodles & mix lightly.
Sprinkle top with parsley.
Serves 8.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cousin Marilyn's Bread Pudding

20 pieces bread/hamburger buns or
dinner rolls
8 C. milk
4 T. butter
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt


3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 Degrees F.
In 9 x 13  baking dish with
at least 2 inch deep sides,
tear up bread/rolls into
pieces; set aside. In 2
quart saucepan, add milk,
2 C. sugar, cinnamon & salt.
Heat mixture to just scald,
stirring to dissolve sugar;
remove from heat. Slightly
beat eggs in medium bowl; add
1 C. hot mixture to eggs while
constantly stirring. Immediately
stir egg mixture into milk
mixture, stirring constantly
so that eggs do not cook. Add
1 tsp. vanilla; stir. Pour hot
mixture over bread. Press the 
bread down lightly to be sure
all bread is coated. Allow
to sit 5 minutes.
Fold all mixture using hands
to insure all liquid is absorbed.
In a small bowl, mix 3/4 C. sugar &
2 tsp. cinnamon; sprinkle evenly
over top of bread mixture. Bake
1 hour or until knife inserted
2 inches from center comes out
with a light coating. This is a
custard base, so the knife will
not come out completely clean.
Serve hot or cold.
(can serve 'as is', or with a
rum sauce, ice cream or whipped
Chickpeas with Tomatoes & Rice

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 T. vegetable oil
2 C. tomatoes, crushed
2 C. garbanzo beans, cooked
2 C. brown rice, cooked
salt & pepper, to taste

Saute onion & garlic in oil;
add tomatoes, simmer 15 
minutes, uncovered. Add 
beans, rice, salt, pepper 
& seasonings; simmer
10  minutes.
(recipe: Moms2Moms)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

1 (6 oz) Graham Cracker Pie crust
1 (14 oz) can chocolate sweetened
condensed milk (NOT evap. milk)
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip,
thawed (3 1/2 C.)

In large bowl, combine sweetened
chocolate condensed milk & 
peanut butter; mix well. Fold in
Cool Whip; spoon into crust.
Freeze 6 hours.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe

Our weather is still on the chilly side,
the thermometer says 69 degrees, but you
would still do yourself a favor and wear
a light sweater to feel comfortable. Had
a few quick errands to do this morning
and was glad to have remembered the 
sweater; it's sunny but a bit breezy.
It's so nice to see all the blooming
trees, bushes & flowers (even if my
daffodils are starting to fade, they
still look cheery to me!).

Enjoy your day;



I have the BEST FRIENDS!

Today was ‘errand’ day for me and, as I was ‘out and about’ my husband called me on my cell to tell me I’d missed a visit from my dear friend Mary (“Momma”) and her daughter, Cindy. (see the right side panel for “Mommascorner” blog and her husband’s blog: Jay’s Jammin’). She lives about an hour away from us and was stopping by for a quick visit before continuing on her way to see her oldest son. I’m sad I missed their quick visit; she’s recovering from having her shoulder joint replaced and it’s quite a ‘feat’ for her to be ‘out & about’, let alone to stop by to see me – I’m honored. Not only that – she brought me presents (she always brings presents); this time one of them was a bit ‘unconventional’ but I fully understand: a foam ladies head (to use to display the knit chemo caps!). We had the discussion, many months ago, that I needed a ‘head’ to display them and she just happened to have several – the question was: should she mail it? NO! How thoughtful of her to have still remembered that conversation; now, I just have to knit another chemo cap to display the head! (I took a brief hiatus from knitting them after reaching #50, will start up again very soon!). Her other gifts? Two lovely jars of jelly/jam that she & her husband lovingly canned together. They’re what you’d call Canning Fools! I give them all my admiration at their gumption/fortitude/etc. as they both love doing it and can TONS of jams, jellies, fruit toppings, chutneys – you name it, they’ve tried it! From Spring to very late fall they are ‘at it’, going to fruit stands & markets, gleaning the best (0r even discards) to make up in jars – TO GIVE AWAY! Yes, you read that right: they love to give them away to doctors, nurses, receptionists, anyone who helps them or just needs cheering up. You can’t ASK for BETTER FRIENDS!  Just for the record: THANK YOU, MARY & JAY (and Cindy Catherine…grin)!!! Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

In my running around today I stopped at the library to find some more mystery/murder-mystery books. This time I’m trying Sue Grafton; for those of you who might be familiar with her writings, she writes mysteries using the alphabet: I’m starting with A is for Alibi. (I know I’ve read at least one of her books, just don’t remember which ‘letter’!). I’ll let ya know my ‘take’ on her writing.

Today there are two small pork roasts in my crockpot; topping them is apricot jam. I know that might sound strange, but I’ve learned that pork roast goes really good with some sort of sweet ‘cooking’ ingredient. Normally I would use cranberry jelly, but it seems we’re out of that so I had to substitute. Apricot is one of my all time favorite flavors (and one of the two jellies my friend, Mary, brought is apricot!). Not sure just yet what will be the ‘goes with’ starch; lately I’ve been having a craving for mac & cheese, so that just might be ‘it’ for tonight! (That’s one of those foods that doesn’t hang around the fridge as a ‘leftover’ – the boys will wipe it out, hot OR cold!


Chocolate Walnut Gooey

Butter Cake


1 (18.25 oz) box fudge or plain

choc. cake mix, super moist,

MAKE SURE it’s not 15 oz)

1 stick butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

2 large eggs

1 C. finely chopped walnuts

1 C. semisweet chocolate

chips (6 oz)



1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese,

room temp.

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3 3/4 C. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees; place

rack in center of oven. Mix cake

mix, melted butter, 2 eggs &

1 tsp. vanilla, stir on low

with elec. mixer, 1 minute.

Finish mixing with wooden

spoon (dough will be stiff);

shape into a ball. Place ball

in 9 x 13 pan, pat down, making

crust, also working dough up sides

of pan. Sprinklechocolate chips &

chopped nuts on dough evenly.

Mix cream cheese until fluffy.

Add vanilla & eggs, beat with

elec. mixer 1 minute on low,

scrape bowl, beat 1 minute on

medium until smooth. Add 3

3/4 C. confectioners sugar;

beat 1 minute on medium

until well mixed. Scrape

down sides of bowl. Pour

filling onto

chocolate cake mixture,

cover evenly. Spread filling

so that it covers entire

pan to sides of crust. Bake

40 minutes, until sides pull

away from pan and center

jiggles slightly & starts

turning a light carmel color.

Cool on wire rack. When almost

cooled, cut into bars. Should

make about 20 bars.

(can serve with a scoop of

vanilla ice cream)



Special Pasta Salad
1 lb. vermicelli, uncooked
1/4 lb. pasta shells, uncooked
1/4 lb. rotini pasta, uncooked
1/3 C. Romano cheese, grated
1/2 C. green pepper, diced
1/4 C. red onion, diced
1/4 C. fresh tomato, seeded &
1/4 C. carrot, thinly sliced or
diced (optional)
1/4 C. sliced black olives,


1 (12 oz) bottle Italian salad
1 C. mayonnaise (do not substitute)
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1 T. sugar
1/4 C. dried parsley flakes
1 T. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 T. black pepper (use
less if freshly ground)
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Break vermicelli in half before
boiling. Boil pastas accordg to
pkg directions (they have different
times so prepare accordingly.)
Mix all dressing ingredients in a
very large bowl. Drain pasta & 
rinse in cold water to stop
cooking. Toss veggies in dressing
then add pasta; toss to evenly
coat everything. Chill & serve.
Serves 15-20.

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Dip
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
6 strips bacon, cut into 
1 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
4 oz. cream cheese, room
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise (do not
use salad dressing)
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella 
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
1 T. worcestershire sauce
2 T. ketchup

Toppings (optional)

shredded lettuce
diced roma tomatoes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook ground beef; drain &
set aside. Cook bacon in pan
until crispy, about 6-10 
minutes, set aside; drain
all but 1 T. of grease.
Add onion to pan, saute
until tender, about 
5-7 minutes. Add garlic;
saute until fragrant,
about 1 minute. Mix
ground beef, bacon, onions &
garlic, cream cheese,sour
cream, mayonnaise,
both cheeses, worcestershire
sauce & ketchup; pour into 
a baking dish. Bake until top 
starts turning a light golden
brown and sides are bubbling,
about 20-30 minutes. Top with
toppings, if desired.
Serves 4

Oven-dried Apple Slices
(like the ones made with a 
dehydrator, but this uses 
your oven!)

2 C. water
juice from 2 lemons (or
1/4 C. bottled)
5-6 small apples

Preheat oven to lowest 
temperature. If your
oven won't go below
200 degrees F., don't
try this method. Add
lemon juice to water
in a shallow dish. Core & 
slice apples into rings or
slices; slice about 1/8th
inch if you want thin
apple 'chips'. Slice 
about 1/4 inch for thicker,
chewier slices. As you 
slice, place apples into
the water/lemon juice. 
Place apple slices, in a 
single layer, on cooling
racks that have been placed
on baking trays. (no need to 
dry or drain them, just
shake off excess liquid & 
place them on the tray. Place
in oven and leave them for the
next 7-8 hours, prop oven door
open a couple inches, to let
moisture excape. When apples
have reached desired dryness,
turn off oven and leave for
another 30-60 minutes. Remove,
cool & store in airtight
container. Serves 4-6

Beef & Black Bean Stew
2 lb. ground beef
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large can tomatoes,chopped
1 C. picante sauce
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to 
1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
& drained
1 bunch green onions with 3" tops,
thinly sliced
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

In large skillet, brown ground
beef with garlic & onion; drain
and transfer to crockpot. Add
tomatoes, picante sauce, cumin,
salt & pepper, corn & black
beans. Cook on Low 6-8 hours 
or High 3-4 hours. Add green 
onions & cilantro during last
hour of cooking. Serves 6-8

Serving suggestions:
Top with 
grated cheese, guacamole,
sour cream, tortilla chips
or cornbread.

(recipe: carolsrecipes77-
Marys Recipe Exchange)
Lemon Whippersnappers

1 (18.25 oz) lemon cake mix
1 large egg
zest & juice from 1 lemon*
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
(about) 3/4 C. powdered sugar

*TIP: heat lemon in microwave
about 10 seconds, gives more

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine dry
cake mix, egg, lemon juice &
zest; mixture will be crumbly.
Fold in Cool Whip until well
combined. Batter will be sticky;
cover & refrigerate 1 hour. Scoop
batter by spoonfuls; roll in
powdered sugar. Place on cookie
sheet; Bake 9-10 minutes or
until lightly browned. If you 
use teaspoonsful to measure
the dough, you'll get about
40 cookies.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys REcipe
Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa

1/3 C. zesty Italian dressing
1/2 C. fresh cilantro, divided
1 jalapeno pepper, finely
chopped, divided
4 C. fresh strawberries, 
finely chopped
1 navel orange, sectioned
& chopped
1/4 C. finely chopped

Blend dressing, 1/4 C. cilantro
& half the pepper in blender
until smooth. Chop remaining
cilantro; place in medium
bowl. Add fruit, onions,
remaining pepper & dressing
mixture; mix lightly.
Makes 4 Cups

Serving suggestion:
Spoon over an 8 oz block
of cream cheese; serve with
crackers or tortilla chips.
(also can be spooned over hot
cooked fish, pork or
(recipe: Kraft foods)
How is your weather lately? Ours is the
typical Michigan "Spring"- really nice
one day, rainy & cold the next. Today
is very deceiving-looking; it 'looks' 
like it would be in the 70's, but it's
only 54! It's sunny & breezy, but you
still need a jacket or sweater - oh well,
hot weather is just around the corner,
right? How are your gas prices lately?
After my rejoicing over $3.77 a gallon
a few weeks ago, it's creeping back up
there again. I was 'happy' (sigh) to
pay $3.89 today; that sounds almost
sad, doesn't it!? Wondering what
this summer will bring to the gas
prices - bad part? We'll still keep
paying whatever it takes to get our
vehicles going. Oh well - such is

Enjoy your day!


The Tax Man Cometh!

Not sure about you, but for me – this year – my mind is just all out of whack! I’ve grown used to our tax guy ‘electronically’ filing our taxes. Due to my husband’s retirement and our consequent shifting of monies, we had to do it the ‘old’ way this year and mail them in. My dear husband kept saying: “We need to sign those papers! We need to sign those papers!” For some reason, it just didn’t ‘register’ in my old brain – I kept thinking I had no problem when it came to time . . . until today! He mentioned, vehemently, that we needed to get them in the mail and then proceeded to get out the pen, stamps, address labels and ‘get it done’. Only when I’d signed my lines and he promptly drove them to the post office did it FINALLY occur to me that they HAD to be there today – TODAY! Duh!?! A friend just called me and, as we were chatting, she mentioned that it was said on the news yesterday that they are NOT going to keep the post offices open until midnight tonight because they’d already given us an extra 2 days – oh boy. Middle son is at work and his tax papers are sitting on the dining room table awaiting his signiture. It is now 5:08 p.m. and he will have to get home on time tonight, sign them and drive them to the Post Office box before midnight. Ah, the rush of adrenalin.

Our weather ‘looks’ nice and warm, which is a bit deceiving, as it’s only around 58 degrees. Yes, it’s sunny with a slight breeze, but I’m sitting here in a sweater and chilly! (turned the house heat up a bit). I learned, on Sunday, that a very nice young lady who sits next to me in choir will be graduating in a week (she’s homeschooled). I wanted to do something nice for her and, knowing I have this really pretty medium blue, light weight yarn, I started knitting her a scarf (you know – the kind young girls wear in the summer that look so chic!?) I have about a foot done on it now; it’s the same pattern I knit my friend for Christmas (hers was a heavier yarn, in gold). I really don’t think I’ll be able to complete the whole thing before she graduates, but at least I’m getting there and I don’t think she’ll mind if it’s late.

Last week my blog entry was “Thursday the Plumber Cometh!” Well, today it should be TUESDAY the plumber cometh – again! Husband noted that the hot water tap in the kitchen didn’t put out the same amount of water pressure that the cold tap did and mentioned it to the plumbers. They said it’s probably a clogged filter in our Dishmaster, and showed him where the filter was. He tried to get it off but it wouldn’t budge, so he called them. They came out today and, in about 7 minutes, had the whole thing fixed – we’ve got Niagra Falls for hot water now! YAY! I asked my husband if they charged us and he said they said they’ll ‘check with their boss’ – interesting!

More lovely recipes for you to peruse:


 Peanut Butter Truffles


2 C. whipping cream

2 lb. white chocolate, melted

2 C. peanut butter

1 lb. dark bittersweet


crushed peanuts, for


Scald cream in a small

saucepan; remove from

heat & chill. Combine

white chocolate & peanut

butter in a mixing bowl;

blend together. Add

chilled whipping cream &

continue blending at high

speed until smooth. Pour

mixture in a bowl &

refrigerate 24 hours.

Using a melon baller, form

into balls. Place balls on

a sheet pan; refrigerate

until firm. Melt the

dark chocolate over

a double boiler; gently

dip each ball into the

melted chocolate to

fully coat each ball.

Roll balls in crushed


(tip: to dip the balls,

spear each ball with

a toothpick, then dip)

Keep balls refrigerated.

Makes about 60 balls.



Meatless Lasagna

3 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
with basil, oregano & garlic,
1 (4 oz) can chopped green 
3 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
4 6" corn tortillas, divided
1 1/2 C. shredded Mexican
cheese blend, divided
6 T. sour cream

In a bowl, combine corn, beans,
tomatoes, green chilies, onions,
oregano & cumin. Grease 5 Qt.
crockpot; place 2 tortillas
in bottom of pot; spread
with half of bean  mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese; repeat
layers. Cook on High 2 hours
or until heated through. Let
stand 5 minutes, garnish
with sour cream. Serves 6.

(recipe: Ron & Jean, Slowcooker
Spinach Casserole
1 box frozen chopped spinach
5 oz. cream cheese
3 oz. hot pepper cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French fried onion rings
1 roll Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare spinach accordg to 
box directions; drain. Heat
both cheeses & soup in small 
pot until cheeses melt. Add
spinach & fried onions; mix
and pour into a greased
9 x 13 baking pan. Melt
butter & add enough crushed
crackers to soak up the 
butter. Sprinkle the 
buttered crumbs over top.
Bake 25-30 minutes.
(recipe: RDJ 04/13/12)

Chicken & Cheddar Croquettes

3 C. cooked chicken, finely
chopped or shredded
2 C. dry breadcrumbs, Italian-
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 C. white onion, finely
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, finely
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
(chicken broth-optional, for

In small skillet, saute chopped
onion & garlic in small amount of
olive oil until soft; set aside.
In large bowl, combine chicken,
breadcrumbs, cheese & eggs; mix
well. Test mixture to be sure it
can be shaped into patties. If it
seems dry, add another egg or a
bit of chicken broth. Add parsley,
onions, garlic, lemon zest, salt &
pepper to bowl; mix together well.
Heat 2 T. olive oil on medium heat
in large skillet. Form mixture into
small patties or balls; fry until
golden brown. Remove & drain on
paper towels. Serves 6

TIP: You can also bake these:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place croquettes on a baking
sheet; bake 30 minutes. 

**TIP: You can make your own
Italian breadcrumbs using a
combination of basil, oregano,
garlic powder, onion powder &
Parmesan cheese.
Corn, Pepper & Black Bean Salad
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes with
green chilies, drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 C. cilantro, finely chopped


1/2 C. canola oil
1 tsp. chili powder
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all salad ingredients in
medium bowl. In separate small
bowl, combine all dressing
ingredients with a whisk. Pour 
dressing over salad mixture,
gently tossing with a large
spoon. Season with additional
salt & pepper, to taste.
Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 6

NOTE: Dressing can also be
made to marinate chicken or
shrimp - double recipe

Peaches 'n Cream Cups
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
4 large fresh peaches,
halved & pitted*

Beat cream cheese, sugar &
vanilla in large bowl with
mixer until well blended.
Gently stir in Cool Whip.
Scoop pulp out of peach
halves, being very careful
to maintain shape. Leave
1/8 inch thick 'skin wall'.
Chop peach pulp, add to 
cream cheese mixture, mix
well. Scoop into peach
shells. Serves 8.

*If large peaches are not
available, use 12 medium
or 16 small peaches.

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
Slowcooker Potatoes & Ham

6 slices ham 1/4 in thick
7 medium potatoes, peeled &
thinly sliced
1 C. chopped onion
salt & pepper, to taste
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom 

Place half of ham, potatoes &
onions in bottom of slowcooker;
sprinkle with salt & pepper, then
add half of cheese. Repeat in
layers; spread undiluted soup
evenly over top; sprinkle with
paprika. Cover & cook on
Low 8 hours or High 4 hours.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Hopefully all of your taxes are done,
mailed or filed, etc. Dinner tonight
is Pierogies & Sausages (a big favorite
here). Enjoy your day;


ps: Keep forgetting to mention: I watched 3/4ths
of a movie the other evening (came in a little
after the beginning). The movie was "The Blind
Side." My youngest watched it last year and
kept telling me: "Mom, you've got to watch
this - it's a really good movie!" He wasn't
kidding - it's heartwarming, touching AND
a tear-jerker, but most of all, it's a 
TRUE story, which always makes it better.
I'd highly recommend that one. (it stars
Sandra Bullock).


Slow Saturday

Hello, Everyone!

It’s a sleepy, slow day today; 49 degrees, grey and rainy. Just looked at the forecast for the next three days: light rain or rain & partly cloudy – oh well, sounds like book-reading/knitting weather to me! Still plugging away at knitting dishcloths for the historical society; hopefully this will greatly reduce my stash of cotton yarns (I really don’t like working with them). Some of the cloths came out smaller than usual and I’m thinking of purchasing some nice bar soaps, wrapping 2 cloths together with yarn and making it a package deal. There are some new bar soaps at Kroger (can’t remember the manufacturer, but it’s a major one); they have 3 bars for something like $2.99 in interesting scents like Peach or Mango – we’ll see if I go with that idea. I just thought it might encourage the sale of the cloths some (at least the small ones).

Not much going on the next week or so; last night I couldn’t think of what to have for dinner so we had bacon, eggs & pancakes! Every once in awhile I like to have breakfast for dinner – the guys really liked the idea. More yummy recipes for you; please remember these are NOT my recipes, they are ones I’ve gleaned from other recipe sites (sites are noted at bottom of recipe).


Mozzarella Chicken

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 can tomato soup
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning or
dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 C. cooked corkscrew pasta,
(cook without salt)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in 2 quart
shallow baking dish. Mix
soup, Italian seasonings &
garlic; spoon over chicken.
Bake 20 minutes or until
done. Sprinkle cheese over
chicken, serve over or
(recipe: Sandy-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Sweet Corn Salad

8-10 fresh corn on cob (can
use frozen)
zest & juice of 2 large limes
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, whites & about
2" of greens, finely chopped
2 Serrano chilies, seeded &
1/2 C. finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. sea salt
ground white pepper, to taste

In pot of boiling water, cook
fresh corn until tender-crisp,
about 5 minutes. Immerse corn
in ice water to cool, then
drain & cut kernels off cobs.
Gently stir remaining ingredients
into corn; taste for seasoning-
if more zest or salt is needed,
add it. Refrigerate salad for 
at least 2 hours to allow
flavors to meld.
(recipe: Nonna-RDJ-04-13-12)
Chocolate Upside-Down Cake
3/4 C. sugar
3 T. cocoa
1/2 C. chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. butter, melted
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients; mix
thoroughly. Pour into 9 inch
square pan. 


1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. cocoa
dash salt
1 1/2 C. hot water

Mix sugar, cocoa & salt;
sprinkle over batter. Pour
hot water over batter. 
Bake 20 minutes. Makes
4 servings.
(Suggestion: serve with
whipped cream)
(recipe: Susan-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Crustless Bacon & Cheese Quiche
5 green onions, chopped/divided
1 tomato, chopped/divided
12 slices bacon
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
12 eggs
1/3 C. sour cream
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. milk
shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. EACH onions & tomatoes.
Cook bacon in large skillet until
crisp; remove from skillet, 
reserving 1 T. drippings in 
skillet. Drain bacon on paper
towels. Add mushrooms to skillet
(in drippings); cook & stir 2
minutes or until tender; remove
from heat. Crumble bacon & add
to skillet along with remaining
onions & tomatoes; mix well.
Beat eggs & sour cream with 
whisk until well blended; pour
into greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
Top eggs with bacon mixture &
cheeses. Bake 30 minutes or
until center is set. Top with
reserved onions & tomatoes.
Let stand 5 minutes before
cutting to serve. 
Serves 12

Prepare as directed, stirring
in 1 thinly sliced zucchini
along with mushrooms

Substitute 2 C. shredded
Colby & Monterey Jack
cheeses for cheddar &
Shortbread Pie Crust
1 C. butter
1/2 C. confectioners sugar
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In large bowl, cream butter &
confectioners sugar until light
& fluffy. Stir together flour &
baking powder; blend into butter
mixture; pat into a 9 inch pie
plate. Bake 12-15 minutes or
until edges are lightly browned.
(recipe: thekingschild-DDJ-
Slowcooker Swiss Steak
1/4 C. zesty Italian dressing
1 lb.boneless beef chuck steak,
cut into 4 pieces
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 C. beef broth
1 green pepper, chopped
2 C. hot mashed potatoes
1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Heat salad dressing in large
nonstick skillet on medium-high
heat. Coat meat with flour, shake
off excess flour. Add meat to 
skillet; cook 2-3 minutes on
each side or until evenly 
browned on both sides; remove
from heat. Combine tomatoe
paste, tomatoes & broth in
crockpot. Add meat & peppers,
cover & cook on Low 8-10 
hours or High 3-4 hours.
Serve over mashed potatoes;
top with shredded cheese.
Serves 4
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Caramel Apple Cakes (on a stick!)

1 2/3 C. flour
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. applesauce
1/4 C. sour cream
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. toasted walnuts,
12 popsicle sticks, or 
stick skewers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tins with
paper liners.
Combine flour, sugar, spices,
soda & salt in a mixing bowl.
Stir in applesauce, sour cream,
oil & lemon juice. Pour batter
into lined tins; bake 20 
minutes. Let cool completely
on a wire rack.

Caramel Glaze:
20 caramel candys
1 T. milk

Melt caramels & milk
in saucepan on medium-
high heat, watching to
not burn it. Remove 
from heat and spread
glaze over tops of cakes.
Insert sticks/skewers
upright into centers 
then garnish tops with
chopped nuts.
Makes 12
Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
rinsed & drained
2 C. frozen corn
2 (8 oz, ea) chicken breasts
3/4 C. shredded cheese (garnish)
1/2 C. chopped onion
3 C. chicken broth
1-2 tsp. chipotle chili in adobo
sauce (to taste)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 C. scallions, chopped (garnish)
sour cream (garnish)

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-
low heat; add onion & garlic, saute
3-4 minutes, until soft. Slowly
add chicken broth, tomato sauce &
chipotle adobo sauce; bring to boil.
Add cilantro; remove from heat - pour
into crockpot.
Add drained beans, diced tomatoes,
corn,cumin, oregano; stir. Add 
chicken breasts; cover & cook on
Low 4-6 hours (will take longer if
chicken is frozen).
Remove chicken & shred using forks;
add chicken back to soup. Adjust 
salt & cumin to taste. Serve in
bowls with sour cream, cheese, 
scallions and cilantro as toppers.
Serves 6.
Just got a visit from our tax guy and we're
pleasantly surprised that we're getting a
refund! This is our first year of filing
after my husband retired and we really 
weren't sure about the whole thing; 
nice surprise! I guess there are
rainy day blessings!
Stay dry and enjoy your day!

Lookin’ for an apron

One of those necessities in life for one who spends time in the kitchen is an apron. Now, I’m sure if you polled various women (and some men) you would find there are many different opinions on what kind/type/style of apron serves them best. Working the church’s Easter breakfast had me getting out my trusty old apron – this is a 15+ year old bib apron made (I’m guessing) out of oilcloth. I bought it at a T.J. Maxx store on a whim – it was on sale and I chose the ‘least ugly’ of the bunch. It’s served me well all these years but is still (in my humble opinion) ugly! It has retro fruit for it’s design and, over the years, the oilcloth has cracked in places allowing some change in the original background color (cream) – to put it mildly – it’s time to replace it. I remember, probably about 5 years ago, going on line and finding all sorts of aprons somewhat like my original but, at the time, money was tight and I just couldn’t justify spending the extra money on it, so I didn’t. I well remember, at that time, there were all sorts of really CUTE designs for the oilcloth-like bib aprons – well, as I discovered yesterday, times have changed. There aren’t that many CUTE oilcloth BIB aprons out there! Oh, if I wanted a chef/green grocer/waitress/seafood salesman utility apron, they’re in great abundance – but a CUTE bib apron – not so much so. I finally located a company called Jesse Steele that features all sorts of really cute aprons – and some are oilcloth, to boot! Now I have several designs to chose from!

So, there you see some of the cute choices! I’m thinking of going with the first one which has little cupcakes with cherries on top. (If you might be interested in this site, they feature oven mits, short aprons, and the like, here’s the site name:

—————————–Now – on to the recipes!————–

Crunchy Tuna/Almond Salad

3/4 C. light mayonnaise
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 1 (13 oz) can solid white
tuna in water, drained &
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 (10oz) pkg. mixed salad
1/4 C. slivered almonds,
1/2 C. chow mein noodles

Stir together first 5
ingredients in large bowl
until well blended. Add tuna
and next 4 ingredients; toss gently to coat. Serve mixture
over greens. Sprinkle top
of servings with almonds &
chow mein noodles. Makes
4 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 04/12/12)

Horseshoe Cookies
1 C. butter or margarine
1 C. shortening
4 C. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 C. finely chopped almonds
1 T. vanilla
(granulated sugar for coating)

Preheat oven 400 Degrees F.
Combine all ingredients (except
sugar for coating); knead
thoroughly. Form into horseshoe
shapes & place on ungreased
cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes
Roll in sugar.
(recipe: Susan- Marys Recipe
Italian Sausage Burgers 
(on grill) 

3/4 lb. Italian sausage 
3/4 lb. ground beef 
1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Italian 
Five Cheese with a touch of 
Philadelphia, divided 
1 egg 
6 hamburger buns 
2 T. thinly sliced fresh basil 
2 T. balsamic salad dressing 
6 romaine lettuce leaves 
1 large tomato, cut into 6 slices 

Heat grill to medium heat. Mix 
sausage, beef, 3/4 C. cheese & 
egg; shape into 6 (1/2 in thick) 
patties. Grill 5-6 minutes on 
each side or until done. Toast 
cut sides of buns on grill 1 
minute. Combine remaining 
cheese, basil & dressing. Fill 
buns with lettuce, tomato, 
burgers & cheese mixture. 
Makes 6 burgers. 
(recipe: Kraftrecipes) 

Slowcooker Black Eyed Peas

1 lb. black-eyed peas, rinsed
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained
1 C. water
1 (7 oz) pkg. (Oscar Mayer
Carving Board) slow cooked ham
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
6 C. hot cooked long-grain
white rice

Place peas in large saucepan.
Add enough water to cover by
3 inches. Bring to boil; simmer
on medium-low heat 2 minutes;
remove from heat. Let stand,
covered, 1 hour.
Cook & stir carrots, onions
& bacon in skillet on medium
heat 8 minutes or until onions
are crisp-tender. Bring broth,
tomatoes & water to boil in
saucepan. Drain peas; place
in crockpot. Add cooked 
vegetables, broth mixture,
ham & cumin; stir. Cover &
cook on Low 5-6 hours or 
High 2 1/2 -3 hours. 
Serve with rice.
Serves 12
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Garlic, Spinach & Feta Fondue
1 T. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. dry white wine* 
2 (8 oz., ea) (Kraft)shredded
Triple Cheddar Cheese with a 
touch of Philadelphia
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 C. cream cheese spread
1 1/2 C. fresh spinach, finely

Melt butter in medium saucepan
on medium heat. Add garlic, cook
2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in wine; bring just to a
simmer. Toss shredded cheese with
cornstarch. Add, 1/2 cup at a time,
to wine mixture; cook 1 minute after
each addition or until cheese is
completely melted, stirring
constantly. Stir in cream cheese
spread; cook & stir 2 minutes
or until melted. Add spinach,
cook 2 minutes or until heated
through, stirring constantly.
Serve in fondue pot or small
slow cooker.

*can substitute chicken broth 
for wine
Makes 3 Cups or 24 2 T. servings
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Fluffer-Nutter Bites
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. honey
1 C. nonfat dry milk
36 mini marshmallows
1 C. chopped peanuts

In medium bowl, combine peanut
butter, honey & dry milk. Stir
until well combined & resembles
cookie dough. Take 1/2 T. dough
and wrap around each mini-
marshmallow, creating a ball
with a marshmallow center. Roll
each ball in crushed peanuts to
coat. Makes 36 bites.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Cheesy Bacon Fries
16 oz. frozen french fries
10 slices bacon, fried crisp &
cut up small
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. green onion, sliced small

Preheat broiler.
Cook fries according to pkg. 
directions; place in oven-proof
dish. Sprinkle top with bacon,
cheese & onions then place 4-6
inches under preheated broiler 
for 1-2 minutes until cheese
melts. Serves 4.
That's it on the recipe scene for today;
had my 4 month cancer check up today and
it seems I'd doing GREAT! Next check-up
is in August. He said he's predicting I'm
going to pull through all of this with
flying colors - that's always a good thing
to hear. 
It's a balmy 58 degrees, sunny with a 
slight breeze - very nice Spring day!
Hope you're having a good day - ENJOY!
Pammie (the Domestic Diva!)