Of Veterans, Vireos and Variety

Today, as you know, is Memorial Day – that space in time when we stop to remember and give thanks to all those who have served, are serving or have given their lives in service of our great country. No matter how long or short, their service is remembered for, without it, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we, as Americans are afforded. Freedom is NOT free – it costs and I am grateful for their service this day.

This morning my middle son went outside, then quickly came back in to tell me to quietly go look on our porch. There, sitting in our child/car seat was a bird – specifically, a Vireo. This is a small, finch-sized bird with beautiful yellow-green coloring  and bright RED eyes! (actually, this kind is called a Red Eyed Vireo). Why he was on our porch, I have no idea-we have an open area where he probably flew in; my husband gently coaxed him into a bucket and took him outside (we’re not exactly sure if he could fly, he didn’t appear to have a lot of strength). I don’t recall ever seeing one of this particular bird before, but it was nice to see it upclose – sure hope he pulls through.

  As to the ‘variety’, that title goes to my ‘creative’ chicken salad concocting. These past few days have been a smorgasborg of foods for our family, ranging from grilled chicken breasts, tacos and BLT’s. Nice foods to have in your fridge as leftovers BUT . . . they need to be used up, too. That brings me to my ‘variety’ – got up today saying to myself: “What are we going to eat for dinner?” I had 3 large cooked chicken breasts, some leftover chopped green pepper  & onion (tacos), some celery (just hangin’ in the chiller drawer, needed to be used) and came up with the idea of chicken salad. Well, upon viewing the contents of our Miracle Whip jar and knowing there might be more BLT’s in the very near future, I came up with the idea to ‘modify’ it some. Mixed about a cup of sour cream with about 1 1/2 C. of Miracle Whip, then mixed in about 3 T. Kraft horseradish sauce (for zip), some salt, pepper, garlic powder and minced dill and stirred it all up. Cooked up a 1 lb. box of macaroni and threw it all together – it’s now chillin’ in the fridge for later. (I must admit – it’s pretty tasty!) Also made a small batch of brownies – I very rarely make up sweets for the guys, so I thought perhaps it being a holiday, I’d go for it. Dinner will be a smorgasborg of leftovers. You could have: a BLT, some coleslaw (made that a few days ago), some chicken salad, or tacos! Kinda strange foods to go together, but around here, with 3 guys – it works!

The temperatures are climbing, sun’s out brightly (87 degrees F.) and youngest should just about be finishing up our local Township parade. He’s carrying the high school band banner (it’s what he’s done for 3 years now and loves it). Afterwards the color guard group are going to one of the member’s houses to swim in their lake for the afternoon – typical TEEN-type summer activity (and sounds like fun to me, too). The rest of us are just ‘chillin’ – I’m going to work on ‘the green baby blanket’ again and maybe put in a little more time on the embroidery. A lady from my church gave me two chemo caps she knit using my pattern – that brings the total donated caps to 61 now. (sort of reminds me of when I was doing the Ghana Project afghans – somehow you just get ‘into’ keeping count, sort of a little ‘personal goal’ thing.)

For those of you who might still be looking for recipe inspirations, here you go:


 Pepper Slaw



6 C. shredded cabbage

2 C. red or green peppers,

thinly sliced

1 1/2 C. thin sliced celery

1 C. onion, thinly sliced

1 C. shredded carrots

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp. celery seed

2 T. sugar

3 T. cider vinegar

1 T. dry mustard

Toss vegetables together in large

mixing bowl. Combine remaining

ingredients; pour over vegetables-

toss to mix. Refrigerate several

hours or overnight to blend flavors.

Serves 10-12

Comment from poster:

“This recipe can be taken to

outings and not worry about

keeping it cool; it even

gets better as it sits”

(recipe: Shirley-justapinch.com)


Grilled Pita Breads
4 pita breads
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
2 T. olive oil
1/3 C. coarsely crumbled feta 
2/3 C. coarsely chopped mushrooms
1 T. fresh oregano

Place large piece of foil on
grill rack. Crush rosemary into
the oil. Place pitas on foil, 
brush liberally with rosemary
oil, top with cheese, mushrooms
& oregano. Grill on low heat with
cover down until cheese melts. Cut 
into sections, like pizza.

(recipe: carolsrecipes77-
Marys Recipe Exchange)
BLT Pasta Salad
8 oz. dry penne pasta, uncooked
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (6 oz) pkg. refrigerated
diced oven roasted chicken
10 slices fully cooked bacon,
heated & chopped
2 C. baby spinach leaves,
coarsely chopped

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. 
directions; drain & rinse under
cold water until cool. Stir
together drained tomatoes, 
mayonnaise & garlic salt in
large bowl. Add pasta, chicken
& bacon; toss to combine. Add
spinach & gently toss. Serve
Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)
Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes
1 T. cooking oil
4 small zucchini, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed
tomatoes, undrained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add zucchini;
cook 7 minutes or until tender,
stirring occasionally. Add 
undrained tomatoes, salt &
pepper. Break up tomatoes with
spoon; cook 2 minutes more
or until hot. 
Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)
Pan Roasted Corn
1 T. cooking oil
1 (16 oz) frozen whole
kernel corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oil in large non-stick
skillet over medium-high
heat. Add corn, cook 10-12
minutes or until corn starts
to brown, stirring occasionally.
Stir in chili powder, salt &
Serves 4 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)
Bacon Stuffed Eggs
12 large eggs
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared horseradish
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
(chopped chives - garnish,
if desired)

Place eggs in a large saucepan,
add water to depth of 3 inches.
Bring to boil, cover & remove
from heat. Let stand 15 minutes.
Drain & fill saucepan with cold
water & ice. Tap each egg firmly
on the counter until cracks form
all over the shell. Peel under
cold running water. Slice eggs
in half lengthwise; carefully
remove yolks. Mash yolks with 
mayonnaise in bowl; add bacon
& next 5 ingredients; stir
well. Spoon yolk mixture into
egg whites. Garnish, if
desired. Makes 24 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 05/10/12)
Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Freeze
26 Oreo cookies, crushed
(2 crushed Oreos - set aside)
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip
ice cream
1 small jar fudge topping
1 container Cool Whip

Mix 26 cookies & butter together;
pat into 9 x 13 pan. Spread
ice cream onto cookie mixture.
Spread top with fudge topping,
then Cool Whip. Sprinkle the
2 crushed oreo's on top of
Cool Whip. Freeze 2 hours.
Serves 8

(recipe: Victoria-justapinch.com)
Tuscan Vegetable Potato Salad
2 lb. small new potatoes, 
quartered (about 6 C.)
1/4 C. water
1/2 lb. green beans, cut into
2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. carrots, diagonally
1 small red onion, cut into
1 C. Italian dressing

Place potatoes & water in 
3 quart microwavable casserole
dish; cover. Microwave on High
10 minutes. Add remaining vegetables,
microwave 10-12 minutes or until
vegetables are tender; drain. Toss
vegetables & dressing. Refrigerate
several hours or overnight.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Orange BBQ Chicken & Grilled
1/2 C. (Kraft) barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 T. fresh orange juice
4 small boneless skinless chicken
breast halves (1 lb.)
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half
1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise in
1 red pepper, cut into quarters
1/4 C. zesty Italian dressing

Heat grill to medium heat.
Mix bbq sauce, zest & orange juice
until well blended. Grill chicken
6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes.
Brush with half of sauce. Add
vegetables to grill; cook chicken
& vegetables 9-12 minutes or until 
chicken is done (165 degrees F.) 
and vegetables are crisp-tender, 
turning occasionally & brushing
chicken with remaining sauce &
vegetables with dressing.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Creamy Mediterranean Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 (7 oz) jar roasted red
peppers, drained & chopped
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta
1/2 C. chopped kalamata olives
(about 40)
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Spread cream cheese onto bottom
of a pie plate. Combine remaining
ingredients; spoon over cream 
cheese. Serve with crackers.
Makes 3 C. or 24 (2 T.) servings

*substitute Greek vinaigrette dressing,
if desired

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Grilled Curry Chicken Breasts
w/Spinach Rice
1 C. white rice
2 1/2 C. baby spinach
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves
2 T. canola oil
1 tsp. curry powder

Preheat grill. Cook rice accordg
to pkg. directions; fluff with a
fork. Stir in spinach, 1/2 tsp. 
salt, pepper & cumin. Cook until
warm. Coat chicken on both sides
with oil. Mix curry powder & 1/2 tsp
salt in a small bowl; rib into 
chicken. Grill chicken over medium
with lid closed for 10 minutes,
turning once, or until cooked
through. Serve with rice. Serves 4

(recipe: newspaper flyer)

Enjoy your holiday and give thanks for
our freedoms.





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