Roses ‘n Rain

We have rain! It started last night and is still going on now – we’re supposed to have rain, on & off, all weekend. (Saves having to water the outside flowers!) Speaking of flowers – today, while driving through the back parking lot at Meijers, I spotted something on the ground and backed up to get a better look. Roses! Fresh roses, just sitting there waiting to go home with me, so I asked my son to get out and pick them up. (the photo makes them look really screaming pink – they’re a little more subtle – pink & cream). There were no other cars or people around and they had been there for a little while, as they were soaked with rain – never stopped me! Now I have fresh, beautiful FREE roses to enjoy for a few days!

Another thing to ‘enjoy for a few days’ – youngest son went for his second interview at Meijers and the lady said he ‘pretty much’ has the job! He has to return tomorrow for a brief interview with the store’s General Manager, but she said that’s more of a formality. He will be working General Merchandise, 4 p.m.- 11 p.m., 30 hr weeks, $7.40 an hour – not bad for a first job! (I remember my first job working as a Telephone Operator, part time while still in high school – I made $1.75 an hour and was darned proud of it! Except for the boys who worked in the Car Shops, that was really HIGH pay for a young girl! )  She said he will probably begin next week for orientation (paid) – pretty cool! He still has the other interview at Family Video this evening, which he’s decided to keep – ‘just in case’. I’m excited, as Meijer has more than just this store, they have tons of departments and lots of room for advancement so it’s a great opportunity! (For those of you not in our area, Meijer is kind of like a general store + grocery store + hardware + pet supplies store + clothing, etc.  – Oh, and they added a gas station!) It’s a great store; I don’t shop there very often simply because it’s SUCH a BIG store – you end up buying WAAAAY more than you planned on: “Oh! Wait! I need some duct tape!” or “I think one of the boys needs some socks”all while you went there JUST TO GET GROCERIES!  – get the picture? I also find their prices a little higher than the other grocery stores in our area – but- IF we get an employee discount, that might be ‘worth my while’ – ya think?

This evening (5-8 p.m. or so) I’m going to the cancer center to help them with a community project for this weekend. The center is sponsoring a Tail-Gating party and follow-up football game with the local area high school (rides to & from the game provided) on Saturday. I remember them mentioning it last year, but I was too sick at the time. I guess the cancer center people sew on names & numbers to the backs of the football jerseys – not totally sure all the details (ie: whether the jerseys are PINK for breast cancer or not) all I know is: they asked me if I would come help with the sewing. I told her I am NOT a seamstress – I can’t sew a straight line with a sewing machine. She asked if  I ‘could’ help by assembling the jerseys (like an assembly line) for the people who would be sewing – I said “Sure! I can do that!” (plus they’re feeding us dinner – cool!). Something ‘different’ to do and I really like the people at my cancer center – they have such BIG hearts for charity and the community. I’ll let ya know the ‘facts’ when I’m done doing this!


Frozen Lemonade Squares

9 honey graham crackers, finely
crushed (about 1 1/4 C.)
1/3 C. margarine or butter, melted
4 C. frozen vanilla yogurt, softened
6 oz (half of 12 oz can) frozen
lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

(optional garnishes: fresh mint
sprigs, lemon slices, grated
lemon peel, fresh raspberries)
Mix graham cracker crumbs &
margarine; press onto bottom
of 9-inch square pan. Beat yogurt
& lemonade with elec. mixer
until blended; spread over crust.
Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
Serve topped with Cool Whip;

garnish if desired. Makes 9 servings.

(recipe: Kraftfoods)


Russian Bean Salad

2 small tomatoes, each cut
into 4 wedges
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. chicken broth
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
dash of sugar
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. m inced fresh cilantro
1 C. diced red onion
1 C. diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 C. minced fresh cilantro
1 (19 oz) can kidney beans,
1 (19 oz) can cannellini beans or
other white beans, drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place tomato wedges on a baking

sheet coated with nonstick spray.
Lightly coat tomatoes with spray;
sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper.
Bake 1 hour. Place tomatoes, 1/4
tsp. salt, vinegar & next 5 ingredients
(vinegar through garlic) in a blender;
process until smooth. Pour into a
bowl. Stir in 1 tsp. cilantro; set aside.
Combine onion, bell pepper, cilantro
and beans in a bowl; stir well. Add
tomato mixture; toss well. Makes
10 servings.

(recipe: RDJ-08/08/12)

Buttery Loaded Potatoes (grill)

8-10 medium potatoes, diced
1/4 C. butter, cold
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 C. green onions, chopped
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
salt & pepper, to taste

Tear off several large squares of heavy-
duty aluminum foil – to make a big
packet. Combine potatoes, butter &
bacon in foil – using one sheet of
alum. foil as lid, fold both sheets together
to form a packet – making sure to seal
all sides well. Place packet on grill
over medium-high indirect heat
15-20 minutes, until done. Carefully
open packet, add chopped onions &
shredded cheese, season with salt &
pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour
cream. Serves 4.


Balsamic Chicken Salad

3 C. diced, cold cooked chicken
1 C. diced apple, unpeeled seedless

grapes, sliced in half
(amount optional)
1/2 C. diced celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
3 T. balsamic vinegar
5 T. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Toss chicken, apple, grapes, celery,
onion & walnuts together in large
bowl. Whisk together vinegar & oil;
pour over salad. Season with salt &
pepper to taste; mix well. Allow to
rest about 30 minutes before

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

18 Minute Chicken

1 medium onion, sliced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
Dijon mustard
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash,
sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
3 T. butter
3/4 tsp. basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Measure out four 12 x 18 squares of
heavy duty aluminum foil. Divide
ingredients into 4 parts on foil, as follows:

Place onion slices in center
of foil, then chicken; season with
salt & pepper; spread lightly with
mustard. Top with squash & mushrooms.
Season with salt & pepper, dot with butter;
sprinkle top with basil, garlic & paprika.
Fold top half of foil over food, meeting
bottom edges of foil. Seal edges together
making a tight 1/2 inch fold. Fold again,
allowing space for heat circulation and
expansion. Repeat to seal each side. Place
foil packets on cookie sheet; bake 18 minutes.
Foil packet will puff up while cooking. To
serve, transfer foil packets to dinner place
using pot holder or oven mitts. Cut an X
on top of packet; fold back foil. Top each
serving with grated cheese. Serves 4.

(recipe: Peg/

Stir-Fry Asparagus with Peanuts

2 T. cooking oil

3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, cut in

2-inch lengths (about 2 1/2 C.)

2 tsp. soy sauce

2 T. chopped dry roasted peanuts

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet

over medium-high heat. Add asparagus,

cook & stir 4 minutes or until crisp-

tender. Remove skillet from heat; add

soy sauce & stir to coat. Sprinkle

with peanuts & serve.

Serves 4 (1/2 C. ea.)

(recipe: readyseteat)


Banana Bread Brownies w/Brown
Butter Frosting

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas,
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped walnuts 

Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 C. butter
4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 
3 T. milk
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Grease & flour 15 x 10 inch
jelly roll pan. 

In large bowl,beat sugar, sour cream, 
butter & eggs until creamy. Blend in
bananas & vanilla. Add flour, baking
soda & salt; blend about 1 minute,
stir in walnuts. Spread batter evenly
in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until
golden brown.

Heat butter in large saucepan over
medium heat until boiling.* Let butter
turn a delicate brown color; remove from 
heat immediately. Add powdered sugar, vanilla,
and milk. Whisk until smooth (should be
thicker than a glaze, but thinner than a
frosting.) Using a spatula, spread over the
warm bars (frosting will be easier to spread
while bars are still warm). Makes 2 dozen bars.

NOTE: be VERY careful when heating butter, as it
turns brown very quickly - too much and it's 

(recipe: Life's Simple Measures via pinterest)
Italian Chicken Kebabs
2 lb. boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
2/3 C. grated Romano cheese
4 tsp. minced fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
2 medium zucchini
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow onions
12 cherry tomatoes
metal skewers
Cut onions, zucchini & peppers
into chunks; set aside. Cut
chicken into chunks; set aside.
In a glass mixing bowl, slowly 
mix all ingredients except 
chicken & cherry tomatoes, until
well blended. Add chicken & 
tomatoes;refrigerate 1 hour,
tossing at 30 minutes to coat.
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Thread skewers in this order:
chicken chunks, alternating
with onions, zucchini, peppers
& cherry tomatoes. Discard 
marinade. Place skewers on
grill grid & cook about
15-18 minutes or until 
chicken is done & vegetables
are tender-crisp, turning

(recipe: Sandy-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Potato Casserole
(Paula Dean-FoodNetwork)

2 C. mashed potatoes
1/2 C. sour cream
*House Seasoning-recipe below
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 small bell pepper, sliced thin
8 T. butter
1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
4 medium potatoes, cooked
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
*House Seasoning:
Use to season casserole-
save rest for later

1 C. salt
1/4 C. black pepper
1/4 C. garlic powder

Mix ingredients together &
store in airtight container
for up to 6 months.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread mashed potatoes evenly on
bottom of casserole dish. Layer 
sour cream evenly over top. Sprinkle
House Seasoning, to taste. Saute
onion & bell pepper in butter; evenly
layer over top of sour cream. Slice
potatoes & layer over onions & bell
peppers; add butter. Sprinkle House
seasoning over top. Top with 
cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove
from oven & crumble bacon over top.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys REcipe
Bacon-Cheese Breakfast Pizza

single crust pizza (9 inch)
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Roll pizza dough to fit 12 
inch pizza pan. Bake 5 
minutes. Sprinkle bacon & 
cheese evenly over crust. 
In a bowl, beat eggs, sour
cream & parsley until smooth;
pour over pizza. Bake 20-25
minutes or until pizza is
puffy & lightly browned.

(recipe: RDJ-07/27/12)
Sweet Horseradish Sauce

1/4 C. pure honey
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. whipped cream
3 T. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
-- In small bowl, mix honey &
mayonnaise until smooth. Fold
in whipped cream. Stir in 
horseradish, mustard, salt &
vinegar; mix well. Store in 
refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes 4 servings


Upside-Down Hot Fudge Sundae Pie

2/3 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. dry cocoa
2 eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 T. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
2 bananas, peeled & thinly sliced
ice cream – any flavor
whipped topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over
low heat. Add cocoa; stir until smooth.

Remove from heat; stir together eggs, milk

& vanilla.Add egg mixture to cocoa mixture,

stir with whisk until smooth & slightly thickened.

Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour & salt

to cocoa mixture. Stir with whisk until smooth.

Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust. Bake 30-35

minutes until edges are set (center will be soft).

Cool about 2 hours. Just before serving, garnish

each serving with banana slices, ice cream &

whipped topping. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Hershey website-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Exciting day, even if it’s wet out! I’m excited for

our youngest son and really hoping this ‘first job’

will work out well for him. Between his going back

to school in September to finish up the credits he

needs to graduate AND working 30 hours a week,

he’s going to be ONE BUSY YOUNG MAN! (and,

of course, on that same note – I’m going to be one

busy Mom driving him everywhere!) We haven’t

quite figured out just WHEN he’ll be able to take

the Segment 1 drivers ed. classes, either – but it

will all work out somehow!




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