Hot & Slow, but that’s OK

Yes, we’re finally into the hot days of Summer. It’s in the 90’s here with no rain, thank heavens we have air conditioning. Went outside yesterday to pick some of our black raspberries and discovered that with no rain – they’d all dried up into tiny hard balls. (So much for the three tubs of Cool Whip I’d purchased to eat them with!) While sitting at our picnic table I was able to observe a momma robin and her two fledglings – one hopped out of the weeds making squawking noises which brought momma to him with some tasty worms(?), then the second bird made his presence known doing the same thing (it was up on a branch). After this went on for a while I spotted a chipmunk dashing across the lawn. I thought it had gone on it’s way when it appeared about 3 feet from me, hopped up on the chair next to me with a hickory nut in it’s jaws, jumped down and dashed into a hole next to me! Interesting just sitting and watching nature.

It’s been rather slow around here (and that’s just fine!); youngest son is applying for a job at a local Burger King later this afternoon. Wednesday was my special needs group; my friend and our teacher/leader is in the hospital with pneumonia, so that left me teaching. I relied on my ‘old standard’: Bible Tic Tac Toe. The kids love it and it refreshes their memories of various lessons we’ve taught in the past. Our group is growing almost weekly; we’re now averagine between 32-35 people per week, not counting the various care givers who come with them – our room is packed! I’d give an estimate at around 50 people per week in the room.

Nothing much new – still working on the peach baby afghan (will have to buy another “Pound of Love” (think that’s what it’s called) skein to finish. Working on crocheting the white squares for the pink & white afghan. Discovered last night that one of the white skeins (from some donated yarn in my stash) will only make 8 squares, so will have to adjust the completed afghan to make it around 32 squares, but we’ll see – maybe I have some ‘stash’ yarn that will allow me to make more white squares (have 20 pink ones knitted now).

Because it’s been hot AND because my guys are in & out so frequently lately, dinners have been sporatic (or, to put it another way: my fridge has lots of various leftover dinners!) There’s spaghetti & meatballs, chicken Parmigiana, turkey & rice ‘stroganoff’ and, last night’s entry: Pork roast cooked with cranberry sauce. Think I’m going to turn the pork roast into BBQ’d pulled pork for tonight’s dinner. (oh, and there’s 3 big baked potatoes ready from the chicken Parmigiana dinner). My husband was saying last night that it won’t be too long and it will be me cooking for just 2 people (no, the boys aren’t moving out any time soon – think he was just doing some ‘wishful thinking’).


Double Chocolate Cheesecake


24 Oreo cookies finely

crushed (about 2 C.)

1/4 C. butter or margarine,


4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream

cheese, softened

1 C. sugar

2 T. flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 (8 squares) semi-sweet

chocolate, melted & cooled

4 eggs

1/2 C. blueberries (or your

choice of berries for garnish)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with

foil, with ends of foil extending

over sides. Mix cookie crumbs &

butter; press into bottom of pan;

bake 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour &

vanilla with mixer until blended.

Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs,

1 at a time, mixing on low speed

after each just until blended.

Pour over crust. Bake 45 minutes

or until center is almost set.

Cool completely; refrigerate 4

hours. Use foil handles to lift

cheesecake from pan before cutting.

Serve topped with blueberries.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Imperial Chicken

4 C. soft breadcrumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. paprika
1/2 C. dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
12 skinned, boned chicken
breast halves
1 C. butter or margarine, 

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 7 ingredients
in shallow dish. Dip chicken
in butter; dredge in crumb
mixture. Place in 2 lightly
greased 15 x 10 jellyroll
pans. Bake 30-35 minutes
or until done. Makes
12 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 4/17/12)
Sizzling Italian Vegetables
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 T. balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook zucchini, tomatoes & bacon in
dressing in skillet on medium-high
heat 6-8 minutes or until zucchini
is crisp-tender and bacon is done;
stirring occasionally. Sprinkle
top with cheese.
Serves 2, 3/4 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Crispy-topped Creamy Spinach
2 (10 oz,ea) pkg frozen chopped
spinach, thawed & well drained
1 (8 oz) Kraft Philadelpia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1/2 C. ranch dressing
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Triple
Cheddar cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia, divided
24 Ritz crackers, crushed
(about 1 C.), divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 4 ingredients in large
bowl until well blended. Stir in
3/4 C. Cheddar & 1/2 C. cracker
crumbs. Spoon into 2 quart 
casserole dish sprayed with
nonstick spray; top with 
remaining crumbs & Cheddar.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until
heated through & cheese is 
melted. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Chicken & Asian Pear Salad

2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
8 oz baby spinach
1/3 C. bleu cheese crumbles
1/4 C. shredded carrot
2 T. chopped walnuts
2 T. herb salad dressing
2 Asian pears, thinly sliced

In a bowl, mix together spinach,
bleu cheese crumbles, carrots,
walnuts & dressing; toss to coat
ingredients. To serve: place
salad on a plate & top with sliced
pears & chicken cubes.
Serves 4.
Dilled Cucumber Salad
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. Italian dressing
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 large cucumbers, halved
lengthwise, sliced (2
large= 3 Cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced
tomatoes, drained
1/4 C. thinly sliced red
1/8 tsp. salt

Stir together yogurt, 
dressing & dill in large
bowl. Add all ingredients;
stir gently to combine.
Serves 6 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)
Cheesy Beef Nachos
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. thick 'N chunky salsa
4 C. tortilla chips (4 oz)
1 C. Mexican-style finely
shredded Four Cheese (Kraft)
1/4 C. chopped onions
1/4 C. chopped tomatoes
1/4 C. sliced jalapeno peppers
1/4 C. sliced black olives
1/4 C. guacamole

Brown meat in skillet; drain.
Stir in salsa; simmer 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Arrange
chips on large microwavable plate;
top with meat mixture & cheese.
Microwave on High 2-3 minutes or 
until cheese is melted, rotating
plate after each minute. Top 
with remaining ingredients.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Warm Brownie Pudding
1 (19.5 oz) pkg fudge brownie mix
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1/4 C. water
1 1/2 C. firmly packed light brown
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 C. boiling water
ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. 
Grease two 9 inch square baking
pans. Combine brownie mix, oil,
eggs & 1/4 C. water in medium bowl.
Mix well, about 1 minute; divide
batter evenly between prepared
pans. Combine brown sugar & cocoa
in a small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle
half of brown sugar mixture evenly
over batter in each pan. Pour half
of boiling water on top of brown
sugar mixture in each pan. Bake
until set, about 23 minutes. Serve
with ice cream or whipped cream.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

That's about all going on around here
these past few days; taking youngest son
to the doctor's at 2 for a bad cough. I'm 
guessing upper respiratory infection but 
we'll see what transpires. 

Enjoy your day and stay cool &




I’m Back – Finally!

After two days of non-stop knitting & crochet, then attending our grandson’s birthday party, then catching up on housecleaning/laundry, etc. – I’m FINALLY able to sit and blog a bit! Log Cabin Days was nice, although (for no known reason) the count was down on both the presenters/demonstrators AND those attending. Not sure if it’s the economy or what (the event was free), but there just wasn’t the same amount of booths, sellers, even their White Elephant donations were WAY down! (for once I didn’t buy anything – there just wasn’t anything apealing!). Some of my ladies came to knit or crochet for a few hours on Saturday, but Sunday I was ‘on my own’. That was OK, as I had our resident ‘weaver’ to chat with – she was almost non-stop busy chatting with people who were curious about her various weaving looms and the items she had made on them. I found it interesting that she made a rather thick throw rug out of old socks! We had excellent weather both days with nice breezes.  Below are a few photos of the days:

Kim, myself & Margaret

Our resident American Indian, Mike Jewell; he made all of his clothing, including doing all of the bead work (he also has a magnificent headdress complete with porcupine guard hairs – it’s in his tent )

One of the encampment people shooting his gun over

the lake (scares people EVERY time – very loud boom!)

Campsite behind our pavillion – Civil War Encampment

in background. They come in on Friday night, set up

and spend the weekend ‘in costume/on site’.


Since I’m overdue on posting, I’ll get right down to the recipes!


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese,


1/2 C. sugar

1 egg

1/2 C. coconut (optional)

1 (16.5 oz) refrigerated

chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese,

sugar & egg until smooth. Stir in

coconut. In ungreased 9 or 8

inch square pan, break up half of

cookie dough. With floured fingers,

press dough evenly in bottom of

pan to form crust. Spread cream

cheese mixture over dough.

Crumble & sprinkle remaining

half of dough over cream cheese

mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or

until golden brown & firm to

touch. Cool 30 minutes.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours or

until chilled. Cut into bars.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Mexican Chicken

1 pkg. soft flour tortillas

4 chicken breasts, cooked,

boned & cut into bite sized


1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic salt

grated cheese

1 can Rotel tomatoes

2 cans cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Tear tortillas into pieces.

Mix chicken pieces, soup, onion,

garlic salt & Rotel tomatoes

in a bowl. Line a greased

baking dish with torn

tortillas; make sure the

whole bottom of dish is

covered; can make 2 layers

if desired. Spoon chicken &

soup mixture over tortillas;

top with grated cheese. Bake

30-35 minutes or until


(can be frozen & reheated in


(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Greek Vegetable Salad
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1/2 C. kalamata olives
1/2 of small red onion, thinly
1/2 C. (Kraft) Greek vinaigrette
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Mix vegetables in large bowl,
add dressing & feta. Toss lightly.
Serve immediately or refrigerate
until ready to serve. 
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
6 oz. fettuccini pasta, 
2 pkgs(6 oz, ea) refrigerated
diced oven roasted chicken
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
2/3 C. creamy Caesar dressing
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1 (9 oz) pkg. chopped romaine
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Break pasta strands in half; cook
accordg to pkg directions, omitting
salt. Rinse with cold water to cool
quickly; set aside. Stir together
chicken, drained tomatoes, dressing &
onion in large bowl; add cooked
pasta. Add lettuce to pasta mixture, 
toss to coat ingredients evenly
with dressing mixture. Sprinkle top
with cheese; serve immediately.
Serves 6 (about 1 3/4 C. each)

*can substitute penne pasta for 

(recipe: readyseteat)
Pizza Balls
3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk
biscuits (10 per can)
56 pepperoni slices
block of Colby cheese
1 beaten egg
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
1 jar pizza sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut block of cheese into 28
squares. Flatten a biscuit &
stack pepperoni & 1 cheese
square on top. Gather up 
edges to form a ball. Line
up balls on a greased 9 x 13
baking pan; brush tops with
beaten egg. Sprinkle tops 
with Parmesan, Italian
seasoning & garlic powder.
Bake 18-20 minutes.

(Recipe: John - Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Sloppy Joe's Tacos

1 lb. ground beef
1 (15.5 oz) can Manwich
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 C. shredded lettuce
12 taco shells, warmed
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped plum tomatoes

Cook beef in large skillet over
medium-high heat 7 minutes; drain.
Stir in Manwich & cumin; simmer
5 minutes. Divide lettuce evenly
between taco shells. Place about
1/4 C. meat mixture in each shell
over lettuce. Top meat evenly with
cheese & tomatoes. Serves 6,
2 tacos each

(recipe: readyseteat)
Durango Potato Salad
2 lb. small red potatoes
1 (10 oz) can Ro*tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1 C. chopped celery
2 green onions, sliced
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In large saucepan, boil potatoes in
enough water to cover; about 15
minutes or until tender; drain &
cool slightly. Cut into quarters.
In large owl combine Ro*tel tomatoes,
mayo & mustard. Add potatoes, celery,
green onions & bacon; toss to coat.
Cover & refrigerate about 1 hour. 
Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys RecipeExchange)
Dilled Pasta Salad
2 C. uncooked pasta
1/3 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped red or green bell
1/2 C. shredded carrot

3/4 C. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 1/2 T. vinegar
1 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion salt

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions;
drain. Rinse pasta with cold water, 
drain again. Add onion, celery,
bell pepper & carrots; toss. Mix
remaining ingredients & gently 
stir mixture into pasta mixture. 
Chill at least 1 hour before serving
to develop flavors.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys REcipe Exchange)
Chicken in Foil (grill)

1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
10 fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 chicken breasts, halved
1 (8 oz) can pineapple slices
1 tsp. butter or margarine
garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste
4 16-inch squares aluminum foil

Divide peppers & mushrooms into four
equal parts. Coat small area in center
of each foil square with butter or
margarine. Place one portion peppers &
mushrooms on greased area of foil, top
with a chicken breast half and pineapple
slice. Season with garlic powder, salt &
pepper. Fold foil securely - check for
leaks. Place on coals for 10-15 minutes
per side. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Garlic Butter
Blend any leftover peeled
garlic cloves with 1 C. softened
butter in blender until smooth.
Use rubber spatula to transfer
to airtight container. Refrigerate
up to 2 weeks. Use to cook
scrambled eggs or as a topping
for your favorite cooked meat 
or sauteed vegetables

(tip:  Kraft Foods)
Cinnamon Cake
3 C. flour
3 C. sugar
1 C. oil
3 tsp. baking powder
4 large eggs
1/4 C. pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

3-4 large apples, peeled
& grated
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease tube pan. In large
bowl, whisk together flour,
sugar & baking powder. Make
a well: add oil, eggs, pineapple
juice & vanilla; mix well. Grate
apples in another bowl, blend
with cinnamon & sugar. Pour
half of batter, then half of
filling into tube pan. Repeat
with another layer batter & filling.
Bake 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool.

(comment from poster: "Really
yummy & moist!")

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe
After two days of yarn work my wrists are a
bit sore, but got a good amount done on the 
apricot baby blanket, a few crocheted squares
for the pink & white baby blanket and finished 
up another chemo cap. Delivered more caps to the
cancer center yesterday (working on cap #76 now).
Yesterday was my 3 month check up and the oncologist
said I'm doing very well (I thought so). Next up
on the cancer 'thing' is a double side mammogram around
the end of July, then check up with Radiologist about a
week after, just to make sure I'm still 'clean and cancer-
free'. Only complaint I have about it all is: I'm gaining
weight. Not just a little - it's like almost 20 lb.s now!
That's not cool! My friend who had cancer a year before me
has put on around 30 lb. since she started the Arimidex (it's
a side effect of the drug). Yes, I know that the other 'side' 
of that is I should rejoice that I'm ALIVE, and I do - but 
sure don't want to be almost the weight I was about 3 years
ago (and, for those of you who might remember, that's some-
where over 200 lb!) It's quickly getting close - ugh! The
hard part is: I'm TRYING to eat less and healthier, it just
doesn't seem to matter. The doctor said: "Is your appetite
increasing?" HECK NO! Oh, well . . . enough of my griping.

I have to get off here, the special needs group's bi-monthly
newsletter is due out this week and I haven't even started it
yet! It's about a good day's worth of work to get it all
comped up, printed, folded and mailed so I'd better get

Enjoy your day!



Overdue – I know

It’s been a few days since last I posted and I really don’t have a good excuse! Monday was my 64th birthday; my husband & I went to Crackerbarrel restaurant for lunch. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed the food. Had rainbow trout, baby carrots, their hashbrown casserole (hashbrowns with onions & cheese) and (since it WAS my birthday) I splurged on dessert. Tried their Apple dumpling dessert: pie crust with apples, nuts & 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Don’t get all excited: it was good BUT WAY TOO SWEET for me! I had about 5 bites & gave it to my husband – he finished it off (happily).

Last night was Knit night & I collected the final donations of dishcloths for Log Cabin Days. (I took several photos to submit to our website BUT my camera battery died, so I’ll have to post there & here later) – sigh. The ladies  made a total of 60 dishcloths!

Tonight is my special needs group & we’re trying something new & different. Lois, our head teacher, found a lesson plan that is broken into five parts, dealing with five of Jesus’s features and attributes, starting with His eyes. This is rather difficult to explain but basically a person who is capable of drawing (me) starts a portrait while the other person is telling the lesson. Tonight begins with His eyes. The picture I found on line was the best I could come up with because all of the features required for the five lessons are His eyes, mouth, hands, feet and knees. We’ll see how it goes – I’m (naturally) nervous because I’m not used to drawing while people look on but Lois keeps reminding me: it’s our ‘kids’ – they’ll love it. (Basically you very lightly sketch in the picture, then while she’s telling the story I fill in the features, completing each part at the end of each week’s lesson, ending with a complete portrait in 5 weeks.)

This is the painting I’m using to draw from – the one I’ll be drawing is without the child on His lap and without the other people. (I only have about 15 minutes per lesson to do the drawing)

Lots more recipes for you:


Peanut Butter & Chocolate Eclair Dessert

1 (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding

1 3/4 C. cold milk

1/4 C. creamy peanut butter*

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

24 honey graham crackers

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

3 T. butter

Beat pudding mix & milk in large bowl

with whisk 2 minutes. Add peanut butter;

mix well. Stir in Cool Whip. Layer 1/3

of grahams and half of pudding mix in

9 x 13 dish, breaking grahams as

necessary to fit. Repeat layers. Top

with remaining grahams. Microwave

chocolate & butter in microwavable

bowl on High 2 minutes or until

butter is melted, stirring after 1

minute. Stir until chocolate is

completely melted & mixture is well

blended. Spread over grahams.

Refrigerate 8 hours.

Serves 24.

*Dessert can also be made omitting

the peanut butter


TIP: to easily cut dessert into

serving pieces, use a sharp knife

with tip dipped in hot water after

each cut to warm & clean the blade.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Grilled "Baked" Potatoes
4 baking potatoes (2 lb)
1 T. oil
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. cooked & crumbled bacon

Heat greased grill to medium-
high heat. Pierce potatoes with
fork or small sharp knife; rub
with oil. Microwave potatoes on
microwavable plate on High 8
minutes or until tender, turning
after 4 minutes. Transfer from
plate to grate of grill. Grill
12-15 minutes or until potatoes
are crisp and lightly browned,
turning occasionally. Split
potatoes and serve topped with
remaining ingredients.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Grilled Italian-Style Potato Salad
2 lb. unpeeled small red potatoes,
halved (about 6 C.)
1/3 C. water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing,
1/4 C. mayonnaise
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Microwave potatoes & water in 2 Qt.
covered microwavable dish on High
8 minutes; drain. Add garlic & 
2 T. dressing; toss to coat. Spoon
potato mixture onto center of large
sheet heavy-duty foil sprayed with
non-stick spray; fold to make
packet. Grill 20 minutes or until
potatoes are tender, turning 
packet over after 10 minutes.
Mix mayo and remaining dressing 
in large bowl. Add potatoes, bacon,
and onions; toss lightly. Serve
warm. Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Sweet BBQ'd Chicken Kabobs

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken*
breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 C. fresh pineapple chunks (1 1/2
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 
inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2
inch pieces
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
3 T. frozen orange juice
concentrate, thawed

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Thread chicken alternately with
pineapple & peppers onto 8 long
wooden skewers, using 2 skewers
placed side-by-side for each
kabob. Mix bbq sauce & juice
concentrate; brush half evenly
onto kabobs. Grill 8-10 minutes
or until chicken is done, turning
& brushing occasionally with 
remaining sauce. Serves 4.

TIP: Soak wooden skewers in water
30 minutes before using. Wrap
ends with foil before
grilling to prevent them
from burning. If using metal
skewers, use just 1 metal
skewer when assembling each

* Variation: can use 1 lb. skinless
salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch
chunks or 1 lb. uncooked peeled &
deveined extra-large shrimp
Reduce grilling time to 4-6 
minutes or until shrimp turn pink.

** Can substitute 1 (20 oz) can
drained pineapple chunks for 
fresh pineapple

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Asparagus Crostini

Fresh ricotta
baguette slices
thinly sliced asparagus
salt & pepper
olive or truffle oil

Spread fresh ricotta on
toasted baguette slices,
then top with thinly sliced
asparagus. Season with salt &
pepper, drizzle with olive or
truffle oil.

(recipe: Food Network)
BLT Sandwich Salad
For the salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, thinly
sliced (about 6 C.)
1/2 C. chopped red onion
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped
4 slices white bread
1 T. unsalted butter

For the Bacon:

1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. black peppercorns,
crushed in a bag with a mallet
6 strips center-cut bacon
6 sprigs fresh thyme

For the dressing:

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1-2 T maple syrup
4 tsp. whole-grain mustard
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine lettuce, onion & 
tomatoes in large bowl; set
aside. Cut bread into crouton-
sized cubes. Melt butter in
a skillet over medium heat.
Add bread cubes; toss to coat,
until golden, about 6 minutes.
Set aside to cool.

Making the bacon: Mix brown
sugar, paprika, lemon zest &
crushed pepper in a small bowl.
Add bacon, press to coat on both
sides. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper; place thyme springs
on parchment paper, then lay a strip of
bacon on top of each sprig. Bake until
bacon is caramelized & crisp, about
20 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet.
Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces using
scissors; add to bowl with lettuce.
Discard the thyme.

Making the dressing:

Whisk mayonnaise, syrup, mustard &
lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add
dressing to salad & toss. Sprinkle
croutons on top. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Food Network)
Poached Egg Salad
8 eggs
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
2 C. seedless red grapes
2 T. cider vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
4 slices crusty bread, toasted
1 (10 oz) pkg Italian mixed
salad greens (romaine & radicchio)
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

In large skillet pour water to halfway
up sides. Bring water to simmering. One
at a time, break an egg into measuring
cup. Hold lip of cup close to water;
carefully slide egg into water, allowing
each egg equal space in pan. Simmer,
uncovered, 3-5 minutes, until whites are
set and yolks begin to thicken but are
not hard. In second skillet, cook leeks
& grapes over medium heat in 2 T. hot
olive (or canola) oil 4 minutes, just
until leeks are tender and grape skins
burst. Remove from heat; add vinegar.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper. With 
slotted spoon, transfer eggs to
toast; serve with greens, leeks,
grapes & cheese. Serves 4.

(recipe: RDJj 06/08/12)
Caramel Brownie Cake
1 (19.4 oz)box family-size fudge
brownie mix
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3/4 C. caramel ice cream topping,
1 (8 oz) extra creamy Cool Whip,
1/2 C. finely chopped peanuts
15 maraschino cherries with stems,
well drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with 
non-stick spray. Combine brownie mix, 
water, oil & eggs in large bowl.
Stir 50 strokes; spread in prepared
pan. Bake 28-31 minutes; cool 30
Poke holes, about 2 inches apart,
in warm brownies with handle of
wooden spoon. Use 1/2 C. caramel
topping to fill the holes, then
spread remaining caramel over top
of brownies. Fold 1/4 C. caramel
topping into Cool Whip; spread
evenly over brownies. Sprinkle top
with chopped peanuts & chill 30
minutes. Top each piece with a
maraschino cherry before serving.
Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Pillsbury coupon/ad)
I'm sure your weather is 'up there'
as far as the temperatures go - it's
been in the high 80s to low 90's;
I understand it's supposed to get a 
little cooler for the weekend - sure
hope so since I'll be sitting under
a pavillion for 8 hours Sat. and 
about 5 on Sunday! Enjoy your day!


Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sand, Sons & Sofas

Thursday afternoon brought a visit from our grandson; his Mom has been out of work for a few weeks so we don’t get to ‘babysit’ him as often as before – this was a fun visit. About a week earlier we purchased a new sandbox and sand for him – this was his first time ‘trying it out’.

A little later on our middle son came home from work and also ‘tried out’ the sand box – they set to building castles & walls:

A great time was had by all!

Last night was the last special needs group Gym Night until the Fall. We had a good turn-out: about 33 ‘kids’ and some caregivers. Dinner was ham & cheese ‘subs’, chips, cucumber slices & (sugar free) fudgsicles for dessert; I came home sufficiently ‘whipped’ but happy.

Still working on the baby afghans & chemo caps. Think I’ve decided to save the pink crocheted squares to work on at Log Cabin Days – they’re quick to make, take little ‘mental’ effort and are light weight (to carry to & from the event). The apricot afghan, made from worsted weight yarn, is slowly becoming rather heavy – working on that in the summer heat (even thought we’ll be under a pavillion) is not my idea of a good thing.

Yesterday found us excited at the delivery of our new (couch) sofa! Our camera doesn’t do justice to colors well: it’s charcoal gray, the throw pillows are cream background with black, charcoal gray and medium blue ‘fern’ patterns. The rug, end table lamps and picture over the couch all have medium blue in or on them, thus tying together the whole. The family’s decision on it: they all like that it is much firmer than the old couch and a little higher off the ground – comfortable!


More tasty summer recipes for you!

 Banana Pudding Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant

pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 C. water

1/2 C. mashed ripe banana (1 medium)

1/4 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in

large mixing bowl. Beat at

medium speed with elec. mixer

until well blended. Pour into

greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake

50-55 minutes or until a

wooden toothpick comes out

clean when inserted into

center. Cool in pan on wire

rack 15  minutes; remove from

pan, cool completely on wire rack.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Chicken Spectacular

3 C. cooked chicken or turkey,
1 pkg. Uncle Ben's long grain &
wild rice, cooked as directed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can French-style green beans,
1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sliced water chestnuts
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix ingredients together &
pour into 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Bake 25-30 minutes until 
bubbly. Serves 8
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Spring Vegetables Au Gratin

1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta,
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves*
dash black pepper
5 C. assorted vegetables:
baby carrots, trimmed green
beans, pearl onions, red pepper
strips, trimmed sugar snap peas
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine Velveeta, milk & 
seasonings in large micro-
wavable bowl. Microwave on
High 6 minutes, stirring after
3 minutes; set aside. Combine
vegetables in greased 11 x 7
inch baking dish. Add Velveeta
mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle
top with bread crumbs and bake
40 minutes or until vegetables
are crisp-tender.
Serves 10, 1/2 C. each.
*can substitute dried basil or
curry powder or ground nutmeg
for thyme

(recipe: Kraft foods)


BBQ'd Chicken 'n Cheddar Dinner

3 T. barbecue sauce
4 small boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves (1 lb)
2 small unpeeled red potatoes, 
thinly sliced
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded
& sliced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place a 12-inch square foil sheet on
work surface. Spoon about 1 tsp.
BBQ sauce in center of foil. Place
one chicken breast half over sauce;
spread another tsp. sauce over
chicken. Top with quarter of the
potato, bell pepper & onion. Sprinkle
top with a little salt & pepper. Fold
foil in half to cover contents; make
narrow folds along sides edges to 
seal. Repeat with remaining ingred-
ients to assemble three more
packets. Place packets on a baking
sheet & bake 35 minutes. Open foil
packets with scissors and CAREFULLY
pull back edges. Sprinkle a quarter of
cheese over top of each chicken breast;
return to oven, unsealed, for 2
minutes or until cheese is melted. With
a spatula, transfer contents of each
packet onto individual serving plates.
Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Mexicali Pasta Salad

4 C. wagon wheel pasta,


1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,


1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1/2 C. chopped red pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 C. ranch dressing
1 T. taco seasoning mix
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 C. Mexican-style
finely shredded Four Cheese (Kraft)
1/3 C. minced fresh cilantro

Cook pasta accordg to pkg. 
directions, ommitting salt.
Rinse with cold water; drain
well. Place in large bowl, add
next 4 ingredients & mix
lightly. Mix dressing, seasoning
mix & lime juice; add to salad
& toss to coat. Add cheese &

cilantro, mix lightly.

Serves 8 (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Zucchini, Black Bean & Rice Skillet

1 T. cooking oil
1 1/2 C. quartered lengthwise
sliced zucchini
1/2 C. diced green bell pepper
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
drained & rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunts Fire
Roasted diced tomatoes with garlic,
3/4 C. water
1 C. instant white rice
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar &
Monterey Jack cheese blend
Heat oil in large skillet over
medium heat. Add zucchini & bell
pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add beans, tomatoes
& water; increase heat - bring to
boil. Add rice, stir well. Cover &
remove from heat. Let stand 7 
minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Sprinkle top with cheese.
Serves 4 (1 1/4 C. each)
(recipe: readyseteat)
Easy 'Mug" Apple Crisp

3 medium Granny Smith or
Braeburn apples, peeled,
diced (3 med=about 3 C.)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. granola cereal without
dried fruit
3 T. firmly packed light
brown sugar
2 T. margarine

(Cool Whip or Reddi-Whip

for topping)

Spray insides of 4 medium
microwave-safe mugs; set aside.
Combine apples & cinnamon in
small bowl; divide evenly
between mugs. In same bowl,
stir together granola, brown
sugar & margarine; spoon 
evenly over apples in mugs.
Microwave all mugs on High
8  minutes or until apples
are tender. Top each serving
with Cool Whip or Reddi-Whip.
Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: readyseteat)

Our weather these past few days
has been absolutely perfect - between
70's & 80's, slight breeze & sunny.
Hope you enjoy your day and weekend!



‘Nother Start to Another CRAZY Day!


Almost like the other ‘crazy’ early morning start – today is following that sort of trend. One of the special needs guys I drive each week, John, in his late 60’s with heart problems didn’t call me yesterday to tell me if he was or was not coming to our Bible study, so I tried calling him – about five times (even called his cell, which he rarely uses). After he didn’t answer, I drove by the  location I pick him up at (Dunkin Donuts) – no John. Called another of his friends- he talked to him on Monday. Tried calling when I got home, around 9:30 p.m., nothing. To summarize this: called this a.m., nothing- called the local hospital he went to last time he had heart problems (not there). Ended up looking up the manager’s number of his apartment building and they sent someone over – John finally called me. Turns out he wasn’t answering his phone due to bill collectors – sigh.  Nothing like a crazy, scary, mixed-up start to the day, eh? SO glad he’s OK – am going to try (again) to see if I can get him some help ie: a part-time caregiver, or someone to stop in a visit him on a regular basis. Tried this last year, no help. I guess he does have a social worker but the man is no help – will not return phone calls or even investigate John’s case – really frustrating! I tried, last year, to see if I could get him any help from local agencies, but they told me that IF he has a social worker, they can’t get involved (PLUS I’m not a relative, ergo I have no power to get anyone moving on his behalf.) VERY FRUSTRATING! One of my friends was going to see if she could get him a Dietitican and Home Healthcare visiting nurse, but that all fell through, too. I have a hard time believing, in this day of “anyone can get help” (read into that non-US citizens), etc. that I can’t find help for one older special needs man when he needs it!  (I’ll get off my soapbox now . . . sigh)

Since my inbox is filled with lots of summer recipes, I’d better post some for you!


 Layered Fruit Salad

2 C. fresh peach slices or
1 (16 oz) can sliced peaches, drained
2 C. fresh blueberries
2 C fresh strawberry slices
2 C. fresh green grapes
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. whipping cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

In a large glass bowl, layer fruit in
order given. In a separate bowl
mix cream cheese, lemon juice &
lemon rind. In another bowl, whip
cream just until peaks form; add
powdered sugar; whip to stiff
peaks. Fold cream cheese mixture
& whipped cream mixture together.
Spread over fruit & sprinkle top
with chopped nuts. Serve immediately
or store, covered, in refrigerator.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe

Roast Asparagus Almondine

1 1/2 lb. asparagus
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. sliced almonds

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Trim tough ends off asparagus.
On a jellyroll pan, toss asparagus
with oil, oregano, salt & pepper;
spread in even layer on pan.

Roast 10 minutes; add almonds

during last
5 minutes of roasting.


Rice Pilaf with Peas

8 slices peppered bacon, diced

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 C. regular, long grain rice
2 (10 oz) pkgs. frozen green peas
2 C. water
1 (13 3/4 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
Over medium heat, cook bacon until
crisp; remove to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1/4 C. bacon drippings

from skillet. Add onion to skillet; cook

until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir, then add rice, peas, water, salt &

pepper. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat

to low. Simmer,covered, 20 minutes or

until rice is tender.Toss bacon with rice

& serve immediately. Serves 12.


Italian Baked Fish Fillets

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
3/4 C. plain, Italian-style or garlic &
herb bread crumbs
1 lb. fresh or frozen white fish fillets,

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Lightly spray 15×10 baking pan with
nonstick spray. Pour dressing into a
shallow dish. Place bread crumbs in
another shallow dish. Dip fish in
dressing, then into bread crumbs, coating
evenly. Place in pan & bake 8-12 minutes
or until fish flake easily with a fork.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Kielbasa Pepper Pasta

1 1/2 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
1/2 C.  green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 C. red pepper, cut into strips
2 T. chopped red onion
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1/2 lb. fully cooked kielbasa or
Polish sausage, cut into 1/4 inch
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet, saute peppers & onion in
butter until tender. Add sausage, salt &
pepper; cook & stir until sausage is
heated through. Drain pasta & add to
skillet; toss to coat. Makes 2 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Red & Green Rollups

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. chopped, drained roasted red bell
peppers (from 7.25 oz jar)
1/4 C. chopped ripe olives
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
4 spinach-flavored flour tortillas (8-10 in)

In medium bowl, mix all ingredients
(except tortillas). Divide mixture among
tortillas, spreading to edges of tortillas.
Roll up tightly. Wrap each roll in plastic
wrap & refrigerate at least 2 hours but
no longer than 24 hours. To serve,
cut rolls into 1/2 inch slices & secure
with toothpick.


Roasted Corn Salsa

3 ears corn, shucked
4 medium tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb),
2 onions, diced
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
salt & black pepper
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat broiler (or prepare charcoal fire &
let burn to grey ash). Place corn on broiling
pan or grill set about 6 inches from heat
source. Cook, turning often, until kernels have
softened and are lightly browned, about
10 minutes. Let cool, cut off kernels (makes
about 3 Cups)
In a large bowl, combine corn kernels,
tomatoes, onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt,
pepper & Tabasco sauce. Add parsley; stir
well. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 8


Sizzling Shrimp Stir Fry

 2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. zesty Italian dressing,
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp,
peeled & deveined
1 T. grated gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. sliced baby bok choy*
1 C. sugar snap peas
4 green onions, diagonally cut
into 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved

2 2/3 C. hot cooked long-grain
brown rice
Mix cornstarch & soy sauce until
well blended; stir in broth & 2
T. dressing. Heat remaining dressing

in large skillet on medium-high heat.
Add shrimp, garlic & ginger; stir-fry
3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Add bok choy; stir fry 2 minutes.

Add peas & onions; stir fry 2-3 minutes or
until crisp-tender. Stir in soy sauce
mixture & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Simmer on medium heat
1-2 minutes or until thickened; stirring
frequently. Serves 4 (1 2/3 C. ea)

* Can substitute baby spinach leaves

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Enchilada Pasta Bake

 4 1/2 C. medium pasta shells,
2 tsp. oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (1.25 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
2 C. roasted chicken breast*
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
3 green onions, thinly sliced,
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg Kraft Mexican-style
shredded Four Cheese with a touch
of Philadelphia

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions,
omitting salt. Heat oil in large non-
stick skillet on medium heat. Add
yellow onions & peppers, cook 3-5

minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring
frequently. Stir in seasoning mix &
tomatoes; cook & stir 3 minutes. Add
chicken, beans and half of green onions
and cilantro;  mix well. Remove from
heat. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture,
mix lightly. Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish;
top with cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until pasta mixture is heated through and
cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining
green onions & cilantro. Serves 8.

* This is sliced already prepared deli chicken
slices or grilled chicken breast strips or leftover
cooked chicken
Serving Suggestion:  Serve with sour cream
and chunky salsa.

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Western Skillet Hash Browns

2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
6 button mushrooms, sliced
salt & pepper
5 thin slices deli ham, chopped
2 T. butter
6 frozen hash brown patties
1 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

In small skillet heat olive oil over
medium heat. Add onion, peppers &
mushrooms; cook until vegetables are
tender. Season with salt & pepper;
cook 1 minute longer. Add ham & cook
until slightly browned. In a large skillet
heat butter over medium-low heat.
Add hash browns; cook until golden
brown & crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
Flip hash browns, cook on other side
about 5 minutes. Top with sauteed
vegetables & ham, sprinkle top
with cheese & cover. Turn heat off
and let set until cheese melts.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Oreo & Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

 1/2 C. hot fudge ice cream topping,
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed &
1 (3.9oz) pkg. chocolate instant
pudding mix
16 Oreo cookies, chopped
(about 2 C.) divided
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches*

Whisk fudge topping & 1 C. Cool

Whip in medium bowl until blended.

Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 minutes. Stir in
1 C. cookies. Arrange 4 ice cream
sandwiches, side by side, on a 24-
inch piece of foil. Cover with half
the Cool Whip mixture. Repeat
layers. Top with remaining sand-
wiches. Frost with remaining
Cool Whip; press remaining cookies
into top & on sides of dessert.
Wrap loosely with foil & freeze
4 hours. Serves 12

TIP: The consistency of fudge
topping can vary depending on the
brand you purchase. If your fudge
topping mixture is too thick to
spread easily, stir in up to
1/4 C. milk.

* Can also be prepared using
Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches.

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Here’s hoping the REST of this day

calms down considerably! So glad to

hear my friend John is doing fine. Oh!

We got the call last night that our new

custom-built sofa is ready to be delivered!

Husband worked out the appointment –

tomorrow some time! YAY!  Still have to

get some grocery shopping done & run

youngest son over to his girlfriends house.

Enjoy your day – hope YOU have a very

RELAXING day – I’m certainly going to TRY




PS: Almost forgot:  HAPPY FLAG DAY!!!

Rude Awakening!

Strange start to the day – I awoke to the sounds of faint fire/police truck sirens and my husband saying: “Do you HEAR that?” My answer – check the toy box. Turns out somehow one of our grandson’s police or fire truck toys got shifted around in the toy box, setting off it’s alarm. Next I hear my husband say: “Ben’s car door is open!” (reason for freaking – it had been that way all night: was there a break-in or did my son forget to shut it last night around 1 a.m. when he came in?) Husband shut the car, then I asked: “Did the car start?” (ie: leave the door open all night, pretty good possibility of battery not working) – Car started. I went back to sleep. Next interval of awakening (might make that ‘rude awakening’ ) husband sort of rushing through house saying: “Did you find it yet?” Middle son & husband were looking for son’s lap top AND his wallet- turns out they found both of them in the house – WHEW! Well, that did it for my going back to sleep – I was fully awake! As we tend to say around this house: Never a dull moment!

Not much going on here at the moment, laundry in my near future. Started another baby blanket – this one in a regular worsted weight peach-colored yarn. Turns out I had a large (almost 1 lb.) ball of it so I figured I’d give it a go. This one is in a familiar pattern for me; it’s called “Imitation Embroidery #1” in the Mon Tricot knitting book, circa 1960’s. (there are three of the Imitation Embroidery patterns, all a little different, each with holes in the pattern).  I’m hoping to knit the whole ball and see how big it makes it; if it’s not exactly as large as I’d like, I’ll probably crochet a white border around it. Let’s see- currently working on: chemo caps (bag in my car-work on that when I’m riding to & from church while husband drives – keeps me from freaking at his driving!), the peach blanket and the bright pink crocheted squares. Found out last night that I can get about 10 6 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch squares from one skein (and I have 2 in that bright pink), so I’m figuring another 2 skeins of white, same pattern should make a decent sized baby blanket (40 squares will make it 32.5 inches wide by 52 inches long, plus a single crochet border around the entire blanket). I guess it’s my OCD:(Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder) that makes me have to have more than one project going at a time. It’s sort of the thrill of beginning a project and wondering how it will turn out when you’re done.

Food-wise, lots of summer-type, grill recipes:


Black Forest Coffee Cake



3 eggs

1 1/2 C. sugar

1/2 C. oil

1 1/2 C. milk

2 T. vanilla

3 C. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 C. chocolate chips

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie


Beat eggs; add sugar, oil,

milk & vanilla; mix. Add

flour & baking powder, mix

again. When well mixed,

add chocolate chips. Pour

into a large greased baking

pan. Drop cherry pie filling

by the tsp. in even rows into

the batter.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.


1 C. Bisquick

1/2 C. sugar

1/4 C. butter or margarine

1/2 C. chocolate chips (garnish)

Blend Bisquick, sugar &

butter with a pastry

blender to form loose crumbs.

Sprinkle over top of cake,

garnish with chocolate chips.

Bake 50-60 minutes until

golden brown.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe

Exchange – original recipe:

The Apple Dumpling Gang)


Pork Chop/Apple/Bean Packets

2 (15 oz, ea) cans pork & 
beans, drained
1 1/2 C. sliced, quartered
red skin apples
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
4 bone-in pork chops (6 oz,
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat outdoor grill to medium-
high heat. Stir together drained
beans, apples, onion & barbecue
sauce in medium bowl. Place four
18 x 12 inch pieces of heavy
foil on counter. Spray each
with nonstick cooking spray. Place
1 pork chop in center of each
square; sprinkle with salt. Spoon
1/4th bean mixture over pork in 
each packet. Bring up short sides
of each foil packet & double 
fold top. Double fold both ends
to seal each packet, leaving
space for steam to gather.
Place packets on grate of covered
grill. Grill 15-20 minutes or 
until pork chops are cooked
through (160ºF.) and apples
are tender. Carefully open
packets. Serves 4.

NOTE: Packets can be baked
on shallow pan in oven 20 
minutes or until
pork is cooked through &
apples are tender.

(recipe: readyseteat)

No-Melt Sundae Pie  

15 Oreo cookies, crushed

3 T. butter, melted

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed


1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding

1 C. cold milk

2 squares Bakers Semi- Sweet

chocolate, melted

1/3 C. canned sweetened condensed


Mix cookie crumbs & butter; press onto bottom

& up sides of 9 inch pie plate. Reserve 1/2 C.

Cool Whip; refrigerate until ready to use. Beat

pudding mix & 1 C. cold milk in medium bowl

with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in remaining Cool

Whip; spoon into crust. Mix melted chocolate

& condensed milk; spoon over pie. Swirl gently

with knife. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Let pie

stand at room temperature 15 minutes before

serving to soften slightly. Top with reserved

Cool Whip. Serves 10 (recipe: Kraft Foods)


Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken


2 Cups torn romaine lettuce

2 eggs, beaten

3 T. olive oil

1/4 C. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. spicy brown mustard

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

shredded Parmesan cheese


Spray cold grill grate with non- stick

spray. Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place chicken on grate; cover. Grill

10 minutes or until no longer pink in

center (165 degrees F.), turning after

5 minutes. Cool chicken 10 minutes;

cut into strips. Place lettuce in large

bowl; add chicken & mix lightly. Mix

eggs, oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard,

salt & pepper in small bowl with wire

whisk until well blended. Pour over

salad; toss to coat, serve immediately.

Sprinkle salad with shredded Parmesan

cheese, if desired. Serves 6.

(recipe: readyseteat)


Durango Potato Salad

2 lb. small red potatoes
1 (10 oz) can Ro*tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1 C. chopped celery
2 green onions, sliced
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In large saucepan, boil potatoes in
enough water to cover; about 15
minutes or until tender; drain &
cool slightly. Cut into quarters.
In large owl combine Ro*tel tomatoes,
mayo & mustard. Add potatoes, celery,
green onions & bacon; toss to coat.
Cover & refrigerate about 1 hour. 
Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys RecipeExchange)
Pizza Margherita on the Grill

1-2 T. cornmeal
1 pizza crust mix or prepared pizza
1/4 C. olive oil
1 t. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 C. finely shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large tomato, thinly sliced (blot
with paper towels to absorb moisture)
1 large clove garlic, minced
15 basil leaves, stacked, rolled 
& sliced to make ribbons (chiffonade)

Brush grill rack with oil. Preheat grill 
to medium heat. For charcoal, place rack
3-4 inches above coals. Dust surface of a
large baking sheet with cornmeal. Shape
dough into 10-12 inch circle or rectangle,
1/4 inch thick. Take care to maintain even
thickness. Blend oil & 1 T. chopped basil
leaves. Place basil/oil mixture, shredded
cheeses, tomatoes, garlic & fresh basil
chiffonade on a platter & place near grill.
Carefully lift dough & drape over grill
rack. Within a minute or two, dough will
begin to puff, the underside will firm up
& grill marks will appear. Using tongs,
flip crust over. Brush 1/2 of basil/oil
mixture over pizza crust to within 1/2 inch
of outer edge. Scatter mozzarella & parmesan
cheeses evenly over crust. Add tomato slices
& garlic; drizzle remaining basil/oil over
crust if desired. Continue to grill another
4-5 minutes until cheeses are melted & grill
marks begin to appear on underside of crust.
Scatter basil chiffonade over crust and remove
from heat. Slice & serve immediately.

(recipe: Spartan Foods, MI)
Perfect Picnic Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (3 oz) pkg. lemon instant pudding
1 C. plus 1 T. water
4 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate,
thawed but undiluted
2 1/2 C. confectioners sugar

Combine cake mix, pudding mix (dry), water,
eggs & oil; bake according to cake mix
directions in 9 x 13 pan. While cake is
baking, combine lemonade concentrate with
confectioners sugar. After baking, 
immediately poke holes all over cake with
a long-pronged meat fork or something 
similar. Pour lemonade mixture all over top
and let it seep in. Return cake to oven
5-10 minutes more.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Mexican Grilled Corn

4 ears corn
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. freshly chopped cilantro
1 C. grated Parmesan
1 lime, juiced
ed chili powder, to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges,
for garnish

Remove husks from corn, leave the
core attached at end (to hold onto).
Grill corn on a hot grill or cast
iron griddle pan until slightly
charred. Turn so it gets cooked 
evenly all over. Mix mayonnaise, 
sour cream & cilantro. Place
Parmesan cheese in another bowl.
While corn is still warm, slather
with mayo mixture, squeeze lime
juice over corn & shower with
Parmesan cheese. Season with
chili powder and serve with extra
lime wedges. Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)
Chubby Hubby Bars

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. unsalted butter,
room temperature
1 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 T. vanilla
1/4 C. chunky peanut butter
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped pretzels

1/4 C. peanut butter chips
1/4 C. chocolate chips
1/4 C. coarsely chopped pretzels

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and 
spray with non-stick spray. In a 
bowl, whisk together flour, baking
soda & salt. Using a mixer, beat
butter & both sugars at medium
speed until fluffy. Add eggs &
vanilla. On low speed, beat in 
dry ingredients just until 
incorporated. Stir in peanut 
butter, chocolate chips & 
chopped pretzels. Spread batter
evenly in pan. Sprinkle peanut
butter chips, chocolate chips &
chopped pretzels on top for 
topping. Bake 30 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool completely.

Sometime today I need to go on-line and order
husband some walking shorts for Father's Day.
Now, I hear you say: "Isn't that a little
LATE to be ordering, as Father's Day is THIS
coming Sunday?" Yes, and no; my husbad adhears
to the ridiculous idea/rule that Father's Day
is NOT a holiday, ergo - no presents, no 
acknowledgement of the day, etc. (Don't ask
me why-he's sure it's a conspiracy by all
candy/flower/card companies to make UN-holidays
like Mother's Day/Grandparents Day/Valentine's
Day, etc. - he hates them all). Anyway, that said,
I'm still going to order him some shorts - whether
he accepts them as a 'present/gift' is up to him, 
we still made the effort (sigh). (I should preface
that all of our collective relatives/parents are not
living now, so that makes his idea of not celebrating
a little easier). 
Nice day out - windows are open, sun is shining,
slight breeze, birds are singing, 72 degrees! I
might try to get a walk in today before it gets

Enjoy your day!!!



Where’s the Exit?

Today’s been a bit busy; started out with a memorial service at our church for a dear little old lady I’d come to know. I’m really going to miss her but her older sister is still with us, so I can still go tease her and get hugs  That might sound a little strange, but I usually approach them with “There’s those two WILD women”! I love teasing them – it makes them smile. Got home from that, changed clothes and went to the local “Relay for Life” event for the American Cancer Society held at a local middle school. Several of my friends from church have booths there, so I wanted to stop by and say hello as well as see what it was all about. I’d registered as a ‘survivor’ but then, due to the memorial service, couldn’t be there for the opening program at 10 a.m. when they have the survivors walk a lap around the track then have a celabratory luncheon. Since I got there later I didn’t really know exactly where to go, so I walked around viewing the booths. Forgot to mention here that the booths are located all around the inside of the track. First I walked, looking at the booths then decided OK, time to go home – it’s getting too hot (the medication I’m on says I’m not supposed to be out in the sun – had on SPF 30 and a big sunhat). As I’m getting warmer & warmer, I begin to notice that I can’t seem to find just where I came in! After noticing that several of the booths are looking rather familiar, I spot my friend and her husband at their booth – AGAIN. My response to their rather amused/confused look was: “This is what happens when you can’t find the exit! I did TWO laps!” Well, at least I got my exercise!  (the temps at that time were 86 degrees F. – full sun, no breeze.)

Left there, still perspiring profusely and wanting to cool off – desperately, I ended up going to the library – they have air conditioning! Checked out more of my favorite author (Faye Kellerman) then went to the crafts aisle to look at knit/crochet books for more baby afghan ideas. Got to that aisle and noticed that someone was sitting on a stool, bent over, with lots of books on the floor – “She must be rearranging the section” I thought – until she raised up her head – it was another of my church friends! (of course, we chatted for a good 45 minutes!). Home now, nicely cooled off and lunch in my tummy – time for some ‘blog entries’. More recipes for ya:


 Banana Pound Cake



1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix

4 eggs, room temp

1/3 C. oil

1/2 C. water

1 1/3 C. mashed bananas (about 4)

1 small pkg. vanilla instant pudding

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in

large mixing bowl; mix

until well blended. Beat

at medium speed with elec.

mixer 4 minutes. Turn

batter into greased &

lightly floured Bundt pan

or tube pan. Bake 1 hour or

until toothpick inserted

into center of cake comes

out clean. If desired,

dust top of cake with

confectioners sugar

before serving.

(recipe: Peg-Marys

Recipe Exchange)


Newlywed Chicken & Stuffing
1 (8 oz) pkg herb-seasoned
stuffing mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
4 large boneless chicken breasts,
2 (10 oz) cans cream chicken soup
2 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine stuffing mix & butter
in a bowl; mix well. Spoon into
a 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange
chicken in single layer on top
of stuffing. Mix undiluted
soup & chicken broth in a 
bowl; spoon over chicken. Bake
40 minutes or until chicken
is cooked through. Serves 4.
(recipe: Linda N. Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Dynamite Baked Spaghetti
16 oz. cooked spaghetti noodles
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. green pepper, chopped
1 T. margarine
1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp.
1 lb. cooked ground beef*
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup**
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Saute onion & green pepper in 
margarine; add tomatoes, oregano,
garlic & beef. Simmer 10 minutes;
stir occasionally to keep from
sticking. Place 1/2 cooked 
spaghetti noodles in bottom of
greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with 
half of vegetable/meat mixture.
Top with 1 C. mozzarella; repeat
layers. Mix soup & water together
& spread over casserole. Top with
Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered,
30 minutes. Serves 6-8

* can substitute chicken or
Italian sausage

** If using chicken, substitute
cream of chicken soup

Zesty Shrimp Spread
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. chopped, cooked cleaned
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tsp. prepared horseradish 

Beat cream cheese & mayo in 
medium bowl with elec. mixer
on medium speed until well
blended. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well. Cover &
refrigerate several hours.
Serve with crackers or 
toasted bread.
Makes 16, 2 T. servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Mediterranean Marinated Salad
2 large tomatoes, cut into 
1 each: green & yellow peppers
coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in
half, sliced
1/4 C. red onion wedges
1/2 C. zesty Italian dressing
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. (Kraft) Natural Three-
cheese crumbles

Combine vegetables in large
bowl. Mix dressing, basil & 
garlic; add to vegetable
mixture - toss to coat.
Add cheese, mix lightly.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Spinach & Feta Pita Bake
6 (6 inch) whole wheat pita
1 (6 oz) tub sun-dried tomato
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch spinach, rinsed & chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. olive oil
1 pinch ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread tomato pesto onto one
side of each pita bread; place
them pesto-side up on a baking
sheet. Top with tomatoes,spinach,
mushrooms, feta cheese & Parmesan
cheese. Drizzle tops with olive
oil & sprinkle with pepper. Bake
12 minutes or until pitas are
crisp. Cut into quarters &

(recipe:jb-RDJ 05/11/12)
Crockpot Bread Pudding
3 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. bread cubes
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. raisins

Mix all ingredients together
until bread cubes are
thoroughly wet. Place mixture
in greased crockpot. Cook on
High 3-4 hours or until a 
knife inserted into center
comes out clean.

(recipe: carolsrecipes-
Slow Cooker Digest)
Hope you're having a nice, relaxing,
COOL day! I know my friends who are at
the Relay for Life are troopers - the event
goes 24 hours, I can't imagine being in that
kind of heat for that long. They're raising
money for cancer research; I admire their



Hello, Everyone!

Hope you’re having a nice day – it’s a balmy 72 degrees F, sunny with a slight breeze – the perfect summer weather! Not much planned for the day – this has been a rather unplanned week; seems so strange after all the many weeks & months of activities related to high school. Still working on the baby afghan, have yet to open the next ‘Pound of Love’ huge ball of yarn. The other evening at Knit night one of our ladies brought in three boxes of donated yarns (I keep saying I don’t need MORE yarn!) and, of course, some of it ‘spoke’ to me. There were three skeins of the cheeriest bright yellow soft yarn and several skeins of a nice medium pink so I brought them home (to give them a nice home – you know how that goes . . . hehehe). Not sure if I mentioned here that one of my ladies came up with this idea for another ‘group charity’ project; one of her company’s clients is the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital. In meeting with some people there, she learned that they recently held a baby shower for returning lady ‘vets’ and that event was very well received. The contact person told her that they were considering doing another one soon – that gave my friend the idea of involving our group. (the bright yellow and pink yarns are going to be made into baby blankets for this project – I just wanted to get a head-start!). A little later today I’ll be phoning the contact person at the hospital to get the exact details from her as to how our group can donate/participate. It’s also nice to know that my friend will be the transporter of our finished items – Detroit is about an hour away. I got out a pattern for making crocheted squares (see below) and plan on using the pink yarn (plus white) for one of the blankets.

Just finished reading another book by one of my very favorite authors Faye Kellerman; just read “The Burning House”. I thought I’d read all of her books to date, but found this one at a garage sale – turns out she’s written two more I haven’t read yet (library, here I come!). Her books are murder/mysteries with a recurrent main character, a detective who works on cold cases. She’s very talented as a writer (her husband is Johnathan Kellerman – I’m not impressed with his writing at all – it’s very thin on plot and watered-down in content).

While strolling through the grocery store the other day, attempting to figure out just what I was planning for meals this week, came upon spare ribs close to ‘sell by’ date (as in: use very soon). Last night we had a small feast here: BBQ’d spareribs (cooked them in the crockpot – very tender), Gordon Food Service Red Potato salad (really tasty), cole slaw (made it myself), baked beans and Kosher dill pickles – great ‘picnic-type’ foods! (Left-overs today – double YUM!). Also spotted some really huge tomatoes, so bought fixin’s for BLT’s – probably tomorrow’s dinner. More yummy-sounding recipes for you –


Grill Marinated Vegetables

fresh veggies, such as:
cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus,
carrots, onions, etc.
1 gallon water with 2 T. salt
2 C. olive oil
1 C. apple cider vinegar
2 T. coarse ground mustard
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. cracked black pepper

To make marinade:

Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard,
salt & pepper.

Bring salted water to
boil add veggies, cover & cook 2-4
minutes; drain off water. Cover with
ice and ‘shock’ the veggies back to
being cold. Drain veggies, add to
marinade, toss to coat. Cover &
refrigerate up to 7 days.

(recipe: Joan-Bernie’s Grill in
Chelsea – 1_Comfort_Foods)
Chocolate Carrot Cake

2 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 1/3 C. unbleached white flour
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs – room temp.
1 1/4 C. honey
2/3 C. vegetabe oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 C. buttermilk*, room temp
1 1/2 C. grated carrots

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt chocolate in double boiler;
set aside to cool. In separate
bowl, beat eggs. Add honey &
beat until light. Add oil & beat
again. Stir in vanilla & lemon zest.
Add cooled chocolate; mix well.
Stir in buttermilk; stir in dry
ingredients until just combined;
stir in carrots.
Pour batter into two 9 inch buttered
and floured cake pans. Bake 35-40
minutes or until cake tester inserted
into center comes out clean. Let
cool completely. Take cakes out
of pans and frost.

* to make buttermilk for this recipe:
Pour 1/2 T. vinegar into bottom of
1 C. measuring cup. Pour milk into
meauring cup until it reaches the 3/4
cup mark; stir and let set 5 minutes
then use in recipe.

 Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 C. butter, room temp
1 1/2 C. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. honey or maple syrup
3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. instant coffee 1 T. rum, creme

de cacao or Grand Marnier

Beat butter; add cream cheese & beat
until smooth & creamy. Add honey or
maple syrup; beat again. Add cocoa, coffee &

liquor. Beat until well combined.
Makes enough frosting to fill & frost one
9-inch double layer cake.

(recipe: Joan 1_Comfort_Foods)

Crockpot Beef Fajita Soup

1 lb. lean boneless beef stew meat,
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 (16 oz)pkg. frozen fajita-style veggies
with strips of onions, red &  green
bell peppers cut up
2 C. water
1 small can tomato sauce
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. garlic pepper
1 (15 oz) can beef broth
(garnish: sour cream, chopped
avocado, shredded Monterrey
Jack or Cheddar cheese)

Combine beef, broth, water, veggies,
tomato sauce & cumin. Cover &
cook on Low 8-8 1/2 hours or until
beef is tender. Stir in black beans,
seasoned salt & garlic pepper.
Heat, covered, 10 minutes. Serve
topped with garnishes as desired.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Richard – slowcooker digest)

Oven-Roasted Country-Style Ribs

 3-4 lb. country style pork ribs
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. ketchup
1/4 C. vinegar
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place ribs in roasting pan. In
2 Qt. saucepan, combine remaining
ingredients. Cook over medium heat,

stirring occasionally, until
mixture comes to a full boil
(5-8 minutes). Pour sauce over ribs,
turning to coat all sides. Bake, turning
ribs ever 20-30 minutes, for 2- 2 1/2
hours or until ribs are fork-tender.
Remove ribs, skim fat from sauce,
serve sauce with ribs

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Dill Potato Wedges


7-8 new red potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. celery salt
2 tsp. crushed dill

Wash potatoes well; boil until
soft; drain well on paper towels.
Melt 1 stick butter in large frying
pan; saute garlic a few minutes,
then add potatoes & seasonings.
Pan-fry until lightly brown.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange


Country Casserole

2 C. small shell pasta, cooked & drained
3 C. frozen mixed vegetables, cooked &
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
one can French fried onions, divided
2 C. shredded cooked chicken (can use
canned chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl,
reserving half of cheese & half of
onions for topping later. Spoon
into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake 25
minutes; top with remaining
onions & cheese; bake until
cheese is melted, about 5
minutes more.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Banana Split Dessert

8 T. butter or margarine (1 stick)
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 C. confectioners sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese softened
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 C. Cool Whip
3-6 bananas, sliced
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 C. milk
(Cool Whip for topping, also
maraschino cherries, chopped nuts or
your choice of garnish)

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
Melt butter in 9 x 13 baking dish. Stir
in graham cracker crumbs; press with
a fork to make a crust. Bake 5 minutes;
set aside to cool. Combine conf. sugar,
cream cheese, pineapple & Cool Whip
in large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer
to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Spread mixture evenly over top of
graham crust. Slice enough bananas
to completely cover pineapple-cream
layer. Prepare instant choc. pudding
with milk; pour over top of banana
slices. Refrigerate to set.
Just before serving: top with
additional Cool Whip and nuts,
cherries or whatever you wish
as an additional topping.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 12.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Enjoy your day!



Happy Tuesday!

Not much going on around here lately (that CAN be a good thing!); catching up on some needed chores like vacuuming, dusting, some ‘not regularly done’ laundry. Finally gave my Wandering Jew plant the ‘ultimatum’: I’m sticking you outside – grow or die – I really don’t care which! (Of course, I also watered it with some Miracle Grow-laced water – so we’ll see how it does.) Tonight is Knit Night and I’m looking forward to a little ‘yarn time’ with my lady friends; always a nice, relaxing evening (and add to that Panera’s lemonade and you’ve got a great night!).

Lots of summer-type recipes for you – enjoy!


Cheese Topped Grilled Tomatoes


4 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise in
1/4 C. Italian dressing
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. chopped fresh herbs (basil,
chives and/or parsley)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place
tomatoes, cut side up, in 8 inch
square foil pan sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray. Drizzle tops with dressing,

top with cheeses. Place pan on grill grate.
Grill 10-12 minutes or until mozzarella
is melted & tomatoes are heated through.
Sprinkle tops with herbs before serving.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spaghetti Pepperoni Pie

1/2 lb. spaghetti, broken
up into thirds
1/3 C. dry seasoned bread
2 C. bottled chunky pasta
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. sliced pepperoni, chopped 
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 T. grated Parmesan

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook spaghetti 1 minute less than
pkg. directions; drain. Coat a
10 inch nonstick skillet with
cooking spray. (If skillet handle
is not ovenproof, wrap with 
aluminum foil.) Coat bottom of
skillet with crumbs. In bowl,
combine spaghetti, pasta sauce,
mozzarella & pepperoni. Stir in
beaten eggs; spoon mixture into
prepared skillet. Bake in oven
30 minutes. Sprinkle top with
Parmesan and bake until cheese
is golden brown, 10 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes, cut into
wedges. Serves 6.
(recipe: Peg-Marys-RecipeExchange)
Creamy Chicken & Noodles

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 C. chopped onion
3 C. water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
3 C. dry extra-wide egg
noodles, uncooked
1 (10 oz) container
refrigerated light Alfredo
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach

Spray large nonstick saucepan
with spray; heat over medium-
high heat. Add chicken & onion,
cook 5 minutes or until chicken
is no longer pink in center &
onion is crisp-tender, stirring
occasionally. Stir in water &
tomato paste; add noodles, stir.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low, simmer 10-
12 minutes or until noodles are 
tender. Add Alfredo sauce &
spinach; mix well. Cover & 
cook over medium-low heat
3 minutes or until spinach
wilts and mixture is hot,
stirring after 1 1/2 minutes.
Serves 6
(recipe: readyseteat)
Summer Fruit Tart 
1 C. flour 
1/2 C. sugar, divided 
1/3 C. cold butter, cut up 
1/2 C. plus 2 T. toasted slivered 
almonds, divided 
2 T. ice water 
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 
1 egg 
1 C. fresh peach slices 
1 C. fresh blackberries 
1 T. apricot jam 

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. 
Mix flour & 1/4 C. sugar in medium 
bowl. Cut in butter until mixture 
resembles coarse crumbs. Blend 1/2 
C. nuts in blender until finely 
ground; add to flour mixture with 
water & stir until mixture forms 
a ball. Press onto bottom & up  
sides of 9 inch tart pan. Bake  
12-15 minutes or until golden brown; 
cool. Beat cream cheese, remaining 
sugar & egg with mixer until blended. 
Pour into crust; top with fruit &  
remaining nuts. Bake 25-30 minutes. 
Microwave apricot jam in micro- 
wavable bowl on High 15 seconds or 
until melted; stir. Brush over tart; 
cool. Refrigerate 1 hour or until 
Serves 8 

(recipe: Kraft Foods) 
Warm Bean Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 C. sour cream
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese 
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together cream cheese & sour
cream in a large bowl. Mix in
refried beans until combined;
stir in taco seasoning. Spray a
9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray. 
Spread bean mixture evenly into
bottom of pan; sprinkle top
with both cheeses. Bake 25-30
minutes or until cheese is melted
and slightly browned. Serve with
tortilla chips.

(recipe: -
via Pinterest)
Ranch Taco Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes w/
green chilies
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans
1 (14 oz) can pork & beans
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 C. water
1/2 - 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1/2 - 1 envelope Ranch dressing mix

In large pot, brown ground beef with onion
until meat is not longer pink & onion is
soft & clear; drain grease. Add tomatoes,
beans, tomato sauce & water; add 1/2 
envelope of each of mixes - stir well
then add more, to taste. Heat pot until 
NOTE from poster: "I also like to add
frozen corn & 1 can black beans; add
a little more water if it gets too

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
English Pea Salad

1 can English peas (early or
tiny) drained well
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1 small jar pimento, drained
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 T. Miracle Whip
1/4 C. mayonnaise*

Mix all ingredients except bacon.
Refrigerate overnight or at least
3 hours. Crumble bacon on top,
stir lightly; serve.

*NOTE: May add pasta of choice,
increase mayonnaise.

(recipe: Moms2Moms)
Spring Frittata

1 T. margarine
1/2 lb. thin fresh asparagus
spears, trimmed, cut into
1/2 inch pieces
1/4 C. sliced green onions
3/4 C. finely chopped fully
cooked ham
8 eggs
1/4 c. shredded Colby Jack

Melt margarine in 10-inch
skillet over medium heat. Add
asparagus; cook 6 minutes or
until crisp-tender, stirring
occasionally. Add onions & ham;
heat 2 minutes more. Pour eggs
over vegetables & ham; reduce
heat to medium-low. Cover &
cook 10 minutes or until eggs
are set. Sprinkle top with 
cheese.* Cut into wedges to
serve. Serves 4, 1 wedge each
*If a more browned top is
desired, place pan under
broiler 2-3 inches from 
heat. Broil 2 minutes or 
until set & bubbly.

(recipe: readyseteat)
Cranberry Chicken

2 T. cooking oil
4 boneless skinless chicken
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. cranberry juice cocktail
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 T. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. dried cranberries

Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken
with oregano & salt. Cook chicken
12-15 minutes or until no longer
pink in center (165º F.), turning
once. Stir together juice, corn-
starch & brown sugar in microwave-
safe 2 C. measure or small bowl 
until blended; add cranberries. 
Microwave on High 3-4 minutes
or until sauce boils & thickens,
stirring after every minute. Serve
sauce over chicken.
Serves 4 (breast & 1/4 C. sauce)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Hope you're having a good week
so far - it's a mild 64 degrees out
with some sun; not a bad temperature
if you're wanting to work in the yard.

Enjoy your day!



Unusual but necessary . . .

(not ‘the house’ I was at)

(Yes, I realize that was a rather confusing title – let me explain. . . )

I’ve been ‘away’ from my computer for two days now doing something I’ve never done before – house sitting! Yesterday, early in the afternoon, a very nice gentleman from our church called to ask if either of us could possibly do him a favor? It seems there was a lady in our church congregation who died last Sunday; her family lives in Chicago and would be coming in for the funeral but didn’t have anyone to watch the deceased’s house while they were away. Since I really didn’t have anything in particular to do that day, I said yes. From 1:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. yesterday I ‘house sat’. The family returned around 5:30 and asked if I would join them for dinner as they’d picked up Boston Market food – very nice of them. I later asked what they had planned for today for the funeral and, it seems, they didn’t have anyone to ‘house sit’, so I was there today from 9:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The house is located in a VERY quiet neighborhood – you could hear a pin drop (much different than where I live on a major highway). It was a quiet, peaceful time – I got lots of knitting, embroidery and book-reading done. It’s nice to be back home to what’s familiar to me but that was a pleasant diversion as well. Just before I left the family gave me a very nice flower arrangement of roses, daisies and mums (and also said they hoped I wouldn’t be offended that they were funeral flowers but that they wanted to do something nice for me) – I was honored. Sometimes it’s just nice to do something nice for someone – even if you don’t even know them. (Oh – I didn’t know the deceased, either – she had been in her mid 70’s and had heart problems).

What else is there to say? It’s a dark, gloomy gray day – chilly, too – 56 degreesF. Dinner tonight is going to be Sloppy Joes – simple and quick to fix. Tomorrow is a big dinner at church at 6 p.m. to honor our Pastor & his wife for 25 years of service, then there’s a big luncheon Sunday after church, too (I chose to just go to Saturday night’s program). We’ve been attending this church since 2005 and it feels like ‘home’ to us.

Recipes! YES!!! Here’s your weekly dose:


 Cherry Crumb Cake

1 (18 1/4 oz)  box yellow

cake mix, divided

1 C. flour

1 envelope dry yeast

(rapid rise)

2/3 C. warm water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry

pie filling

1/3 C. cold butter, cubed


1 C. confectioners sugar

1 T. light corn syrup

2-4 T. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In mixing bowl, mix 2 C. cake

mix, flour, yeast & water until

well blended; stir in eggs. Pour

mixture into a greased 9 x 13

pan. Gently spoon both cans

pie filling over top. In a

small bowl, place remaining

cake mix; cut in butter until

crumbly & sprinkle over pie

filling. Bake 40-50 minutes or

until lightly browned. Cool on

wire rack. Combine confectioners

sugar, corn syrup & enough water

to achieve desired consistency.

Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Makes 12-16 servings.

(recipe: Lucky Leaf brand pie



Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

16 oz. dry spaghetti, cooked 
but not over done
1 lb. Velveeta 2% cheese
1 (12.5 oz) can chicken breast,
drained & flaked
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of 
mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced
tomatoes & green chilies
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1/2 C. water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
salt & pepper, to taste

Spray crockpot with non-stick
cooking spray. Combine all
ingredients in crockpot; stir
to mix well. Cook on Low
2-3 hours; stir again just
before serving.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe

Saucy Chicken & Spinach Skillet

1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless

chicken thighs, cut into bite-

sized pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. olive oil

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach


1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to pkg.

directions, ommitting salt. Cook

& stir chicken & garlic in hot

oil in deep large skillet or

Dutch oven on medium-high heat

3 minutes or until chicken is

no longer pink. Add sauce;

simmer on medium-low heat

8-10 minutes or until chicken

is done, stirring occasionally.

Add spinach, cook 1 minute or

until just wilted, stirring

frequently. Drain pasta, serve

topped with chicken mixture &

cheese. Serves 6.

(recipe: kraft foods)


Vegetable Pita Pockets
1 C. chopped cucumbers
1 C. chopped carrots
1/2 C. ranch dressing
4 pita breads, cut in half
2 small tomatoes, sliced
8 spinach leaves

Combine cucumbers, carrots &
dressing. Fill pita halves
evenly with tomatoes, spinach &
vegetable mixture.
Serves 4, 2 filled pita halves

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Yogurt Bites for Two
1 (6 oz) container Yoplait straw
berry yogurt
1/2 C. frozen Cool Whip (thawed)
4 strawberries, cut in half
8 miniature paper baking cups

Place mini paper cups in 8
mini muffin tin. Spoon
slightly less than 2 T. yogurt
into each cup; top with small
dollop of Cool Whip. Cover with 
foil or plastic wrap and freeze
1 hour. Take out of freezer,
top with strawberry half just 
before serving.
Honey Ribs

2 lb. lean spare ribs
1 can condensed beef bouillon
1/2 C. water
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. honey
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake ribs 1 hour (1/2 hour
per side) or broil 15-20
minutes to remove fat. Cut
into single servings. Combine
all ingredients in crockpot,
stir to mix. Add ribs; cover
& cook overnight or on low
for 8 hours. 

(Serve over rice, if desired)
(recipe: carolsrecipes-
Slow cooker digest)
Italian Roasted Vegetables
1 medium zucchini, sliced 
1/4 in. thick
1 medium yellow summer squash,
sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/4 inch thick
1 T. cooking oil
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in
large bowl, toss to coat.
Spread vegetables in single
layer in shallow baking pan.
Bake 12 minutes or until
crisp tender, turning once.
Serves 4

Strawberry Banana Muffins
3/4 C. butter, room temperature
2/3 C. light brown sugar, firmly
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 C. cake flour
1 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 T. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, cream butter;
add sugar and blend well. 
Puree bananas in food 
processor. Stir bananas &
eggs into butter mixture, 
beating until batter is 
smooth. In medium bowl, 
sift together flours, salt,
baking soda, & baking powder.
Add flour  mixture to batter;
mix well. Stir in sliced
strawberries. Spoon batter
into greased muffin tins or
foil baking cups. Sprinkle
tops with sugar. Bake 20
minutes. Serve warm. 

(recipe: Moms2Moms)
Hope you're having a quiet, relaxing day.