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.



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