It’s been a busy few days here and stress levels have been high. Middle son took his car in to be repaired Monday (a friend has a repair shop). He rented a car from Hertz for 5 days, returning it yesterday. To sum up the ‘mess’ – driving that son to work, youngest back & forth to school & work, Friday night special needs group Gym Night – all busy & stressful BUT . . . this morning topped the charts. Pick up for finished car: 9 a.m. – driving almost an hour to get it (thank heavens, husband did the driving!). Middle son had a bank envelope with $400 cash to finish paying car repairs. I get a call from husband – did he leave the envelope on the diningroom table? I searched – looking on porch, driveway, etc. – no envelope. Called the bank (they stopped there to use walk-up ATM) – no one reported finding an envelope but they’d keep our information just in case – it was worth a shot, I thought. Time passes, son arrives back home with repair-guy friend. Son moves lots of papers on diningroom table and BEHOLD – he finds the envelope! THANK YOU. LORD!I had looked, but didn’t move any paperwork (silly me). Stress levels for middle son/husband and myself have been at their peaks today – SOooooooo glad it’s leveled off.  What a start to a day, eh? Have to drive youngest to work around 3:45, but that’s less than 5 minutes away, so that’s a no-brainer. Other than that, I’m good for a relaxing day (I hope). Got the small order of 4 small skeins of the new yarn I mentioned a few blogs ago – it knits up looking like the old cotton chenille bathrobes – really soft & cosy. Now have 17 baby hats done – had to take a break yesterday – overstressed the right wrist muscles. So glad to finally have talked to the lady at the hospital who heads up the program. Her voice was very calm, her demeanor very easy-going: “No rush! Whenever you’re ready to bring them, give me a call & I’ll meet you.” Interesting! It’s funny – I love to knit (but you KNOW that) – and baby hats are fun because they don’t use a lot of yarn AND you can vary the colors countless ways. I have a large garbage bag full of various bits of baby-weight/sport weight yarns, none of them big enough to knit or crochet a larger object, but just right for baby hats. If I have about a half-skein, that’s enough for a regular-sized baby hat. If it’s less yarn, it becomes a premie hat. If it’s just a little bit, it becomes the brim for either regular or premie hats! All the way around it’s a Win/Win situation! Don’t remember if I mentioned before that a friend of mine who works at a nursing home called to tell me she has a very LARGE amount of yarn, am I interested? SURE! Anything I can’t use I can pass on to the knit group ladies and I know THEY ALWAYS are happy to get free yarn! (original pick up was supposed to be Thursday, but she called to say that her manager decided to let the nursing home residents have the ‘first shot’ at the yarn, before me. No problem – they SHOULD get first shot!) Next scheduled yarn ‘viewing’ and pick up is Tuesday – I’m excited! Her original description to me was: a dishwasher BOX and several large garbage bagfuls of lots of rather expensive yarns -(WOO HOO!) It reminds me of when I first started “The Ghana Project“; another friend who also works at a nursing home (not the same one) called with that very same offer – I ended up bringing home about 3 very big garbage bags of yarn – that was the beginning. When I finally closed “The Ghana Project” I gave most of my yarn to the Cancer Center along with all the remaining squares I had, for them to make lap robes for the chemo patients. I kept three big plastic tubs of yarn for myself (I still have those). Don’t know about you (and how ‘yarny’ you are) but . . . even though I have more than enough yarn right now for myself and the baby hats/chemo hats projects – the prospect of new yarns excites me! I’m going to try to be very selective this time through – but can’t guarantee not picking up a few skeins of ‘nice/expensive yarns’ for some scarf projects for gifts in the future. (She DIDN’T ask if I was only picking it up for charity work! – she just said: “Can you use it?”) Excited for Tuesday!

So glad for the weekend to relax a bit – next week is shaping up to be somewhat like this last one was. Monday night is our first (of the Fall) Ladies Fellowship at church. It’s a 2 hour get together; light supper, short devotion and a little time to just chat – just what women love doing! This time it’s bring an appetizer; I’m good at coming up with entrees or desserts, but appetizers? I’ve decided to cruise Gordon Food Services (where my son used to work) and see what they’ve got to offer in their frozen appetizer section. (Son assures me they carry quite an assortment). Yes, I could go through my recipes (some I’ve posted here) for appetizers, but I just don’t feel like going to a lot of work making them. I have my really tasty Bean Dip, but it’s rather spicy and most ladies don’t go for that. Oh well – we’ll see how that goes on Monday night.

Because I was giving my wrists a rest from knitting, grabbed one of the 50 cent used paperbacks I bought a few weeks ago – stumbled onto: “The Winner”by David Baldacci. This one grabs you right from the first page – premise: What if someone could guarantee you would be the next big lottery winner?  Keeps you on the edge of your seat; main character is a very poor young unwed mother, raising her less-than-a-year old baby by waitressing. Lots of intrigue, murder, action, suspense and I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book! Just checked with the library – he’s written LOTS of suspense/murder/mystery books – looks like I’m going to be reading for quite awhile! I LOVE finding a new (to me) author I like!

Having looked through about 8 recipe site postings, there’s lots of football-weather/fall soups, stews, hug-your-ribs foods. (Still have a few summer salads to give you – hope you don’t mind).


Peanut Butter Meltaway Cake




3 C. flour

2 eggs

2 C. sugar

1/2 C. cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 C. vegetable oil

2 tsp vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 C. water



3/4 tsp vegetable oil

1 C. peanut butter

(can use more if you want)



1/2 C. butter

1/4 C. cocoa

1 lb. powdered sugar

6 T. sour milk *

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine cake ingredients; bake

in 9 X 13 pan 40 minutes or until

toothpick inserted into center

comes out clean. Cool completely.

Mix together peanut butter & 3/4

tsp. cooking oil. Spread this

mixture on top of cooled cake;

refrigerate 20 minutes.

Heat in a saucepan: 1/4 C. cocoa,

powdered sugar, sour milk, butter &

vanilla. Mix this until smooth &

bring to a boil. Let cool a few

minutes; pour & spread over peanut

butter layer. Cool & keep refrigerated.

*Souring milk:


Add 1/2 tsp. vinegar to the milk.

NOTE: this should thicken the milk

mixture when you’re boiling it – you

might need a dab more vinegar.



Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash Boat

1 spaghetti squash (2 3/4 lb.)

1 C. Kraft Mexican-style shredded

Four-Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia

1/3 C. finely chopped red pepper

2 green onions thinly sliced

1/4 C. bacon bits, crumbled

Preheat oven 4oo degrees F.

Pierce squash in several places with tip

of sharp knife or fork; place in shallow

microwaveable dish. Microwave on High 10-15

minutes or until squash is softened, turning

every 5 minutes. Cut squash lengthwise in

half;remove & discard seeds. Scoop squash

strands into large bowl. Add cheese, peppers

& onions; mix lightly. Spoon into 1 squash

shell; place in shallow baking dish, discard

remaining squash shell. Bake 28-30 minutes

or until heated through, topping with bacon

for last 3 minutes. Serves 6, 1/2 C. each

NOTE: To keep filled squash shell upright:

Form a sheet of foil into a ring, then

place around bottom of squash to stabilize.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Cabbage Pouches

1 medium head green cabbage, quartered

1 stick butter, quartered, each quarter

cut into thirds

1 tsp. salt, divided into quarters

2 tsp. grated ginger, divided into


2 tsp. rosemary, divided into quarters

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Cut aluminum foil into 4 large squares,

large enough to hold 1 cabbage quarter

each, with room to fold.

Lay each cabbage quarter on foil, on

cookie sheet. Place 3 pats butter on

each quarter. Sprinkle spices over

butter on each quarter. Seal foil

into pouches. Bake 1 hour.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Italian Shrimp & Scallop Salad

5 cloves garlic – minced

3 T. fresh parsley, chopped

3 T. fresh celery leaves, chopped

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 C. corn oil

2 C. frozen ‘petite’ peas

2 lb. bay scallops

2 lb. small shrimp, peeled &


In small bowl, stir together

garlic, parsley, celery leaves,

salt & corn oil; set aside. Bring

large pot of lightly salted water

to a boil over high heat. Pour in

peas; return to boil. Stir in

scallops; boil 3 minutes then add

shrimp. Continue cooking 1 1/2

minutes more. Drain well, then cool

in refrigerator 30 minutes. Once

cooled, toss with garlic dressing

until coated. Refrigerate at least

3 hours or overnight before serving.

Toss again just before serving.

Serves 8



Zesty Chicken Barbecue


6 frozen, boneless,skinless chicken breast
1 (12 oz) bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in crockpot. In a
bowl, mix BBQ sauce, Italian salad
dressing, brown sugar & Worcestershire
sauce; pour over chicken. Cover &
cook 3-4 hours on High, or 6-8
hours on low.

(recipe: Mary Free- Marys Recipe



Yam & Potato Salad

4 white potatoes, peeled & halved
4 sweet potatoes (yams) peeled &
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley
salt & pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes & yams until fork
tender; drain & rinse in cold
water, then dice. Put both in
a large bowl. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well. Add
more mayonnaise & sour
cream, if desired. Chill 1-2
hours before serving.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Apple Slaw w/ Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

3 T. honey
2 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
4 C. tri-color coleslaw mix
1 C. chopped Gala or other red-
skinned apple
2 T. sliced green onions

Stir together honey, vinegar, mustard,
& salt in large bowl until combined.
Whisk in oil until blended. Add all
remaining ingredients; toss gently
to mix. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat)

Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. vegetable oil

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,


1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-

high heat. Add zucchini, cook 7

minutes or until tender, stirring

occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,

salt & pepper. Break up tomatoes with

spoon; cook 2 minutes more or until

hot. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)


Bacon-Swiss Spinach Salad

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp,
drained, crumbled; reserve drippings
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled & sliced
3 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pcs,
using both white & green parts
1/4 red onion, sliced thin & separated
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
3 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, about
half bag
2 large handfuls romaine hearts salad
mix, about half bag
2 T. bacon drippings
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/3 C. water
3-4 T. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce, spinach, all
vegetables & Swiss cheese in a
large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk
together bacon drippings, vinegar,
water, oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Drizzle dressing over greens
mixture. Scatter crumbled bacon &
sliced egg over top. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as an entree or
4 as a side salad.

(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ 07/06/12)

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 C. long-grain white rice
2 T. butter
1 medium zucchini, grated on
large holes of grater
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

Bring broth to boil in medium
saucepan. Stir in rice; cover & reduce
heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes
or until most of liquid has been
absorbed. Remove from heat, add
butter & zucchini, cover. Allow to
stand 5 minutes, then stir. Stir in
cheese, season with salt & pepper.

(recipe-Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Sausage Green Beans
(oven or crockpot)

1/3-1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
4 (8 oz) cans sliced mushrooms (don’t drain)
1/4 -1/2 tsp. onion or garlic powder
1/2 tsp. basil or oregano
3 (1 lb ea) cans Italian-style green beans,
2 of the cans drained
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Brown sausage in large skillet & drain.
Add all ingredients except green beans;
mix thoroughly; simmer 15 minutes.
Add green beans & mix. Bake in a
covered casserole dish 30 minutes
to 2 hours; or in crockpot on Low
up to 3 hours.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Tropical Dump Cake

2 (15 oz, ea) cans tropical fruit salad

in fruit juice,
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. butter or margarine

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Reserve 1/2 C. fruit juice
from can; pour remaining juice & fruit
into crockpot. In small bowl, stir
cornstarch into reserved fruit juice
until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
Pour cornstarch mixture into crockpot;
stir to combine. Sprinkle brown sugar
over fruit. Sprinkle cake mix over fruit;
cut butter into small pieces; place evenly
over cake mix. Cover & cook on Low
3 hours or until cake is set when
lightly touched in center. Spoon warm
cake into dessert bowls, spoon fruit
mixture over cake. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Horsey-Crab Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large or Ex. Large eggs
1/2 C. crab meat
1/2 – 1 tsp. horseradish
3 T. cream cheese, room temp.
3 T. mayonnaise, or to taste
3 T. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped scallions, for garnish

Boil eggs approx. 10 minutes, Drain
hot water, adding cold water to pot
until eggs are cool enough to peel.
Peel eggs; slice eggs in half lengthwise,
removing yolk. Add yolk & all other
ingredients to mixing bowl; mix well.
Add filling to cooked egg white halves.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
Makes 24 deviled eggs.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

All-Day Apple Butter

5 1/2 lb. apples, peeled, cored & finely
4 C. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Place apples in crockpot. In medium
bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves & salt. Pour mixture over apples; mix well.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour. Reduce
heat to Low, cook 9-11 hours, stirring
occasionally, until mixture is thickened
& dark brown. Uncover & continue
cooking on Low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
Spoon mixture into sterile containers,
cover & refrigerate or freeze.

(recipe: Terry-Slowcooker Digest)

Weather-wise we’re still in the beginning stages of Fall – cooler weather but not too cold (sweater weather) – today at 11:50 a.m. it’s 59 degrees & sunny. We’ve had some lovely afternoons – blue skies, big fluffy clouds, gentle breezes with some of the leaves beginning to fall from the trees. (I know that we’re headed for cold gray days with rain, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got). Stopped at the local fruit/veggie stand the other day for another batch of big tomatoes (for BLT’s) and some nice zucchini (hate to buy it, knowing that years ago friends were almost bribing their friends to take some of the excess zucchini). I have a rather simple recipe for what I call Zucchini Casserole – husband, middle son & I like it (youngest doesn’t); that’s on the menu soon. Also have some really nice pork country spareribs that will have to be cooked pronto – got them on a mark down.

Hope you’re enjoying a nice day – remember to relax a little, smile a little (even laugh!) – we only have one ‘go’ through this life – we might as well ENJOY it! (right???)



A Little ‘This & That’

So far, today is shaping up to be a nice, slow/quiet day – so far. Yesterday was one of those “I can’t seem to get it together” days – ever have one of those? It started out with me driving middle son to get a rental car (we took his car in the shop last Friday, but he didn’t need a car until Monday). Went to the rental place and they didn’t have any economy-sized cars – sent us across town to another Hertz place. (Discovered Hertz has a AAA discount; I use Enterprise, but son needs every discount he can get). Next Hertz place had EXACTLY what he needed – in fact, the car they rented to him is an EXACT copy of his car! A 2011 Honda Civic in a really funny/rare color – looks like sea foam green (forgot the original name). How unique, eh? He decided he wanted a little “Mom Time”, so we went out to breakfast together. Actually, it was another goofy run-around thing. Started at 3 Guys Burgers & Fries (his choice) – we were there at 10:37, they don’t open until 11 – NEXT! Went to another little local diner really close to our house only to find out they’re out of business! He used his Sirius locator and we ended up at IHOP – a bit of a ways from where we were, but we had a great meal: both of us had the ‘special’: 2 eggs, hash browns, 2 bacon/or sausage, 2 pancakes. He tried their new feature: Cinnabun pancakes (they looked great but he said I would have found them WAY too sweet – he’s right!) I had their original buttermilk pancakes with their butter pecan syrup – YUMMM! Next stop for me was Krogers – lots of groceries, got home really tired! Managed a 10 minute ‘sit-down’ before driving to pick up youngest from school, then to a local store for something he needed, then stopped at his work to check his hours. 45 minutes later (while I was taking a wee nap) it was time to get up and drive him to work (before 4 p.m.). I REALLY needed a nap by this point, but was too tired to take one – ever been there? Rest of day was non-descript – fortunately!  Today is another calm day – just picked up the dirty clothes & started laundry, still have to run the dishwasher – nothing special. Tonight is Knit/Crochet night and I’m bringing two bags of mini-candy bars for the ladies, to celebrate our 5 year anniversary! (It was actually yesterday, but who’s counting?) Hard to believe we’ve been together, every-other Tuesday night, for FIVE YEARS now! Neat! We started with 5 people and now are averaging around 13 -19 each meeting (more towards the Christmas holidays). I’m just happy we’re still together! There are still 2 of the original 5 who come almost every meeting – makes me happy.

Well, our weather, as well as the area’s by now, is getting colder. It’s a sunny 58 balmy degrees out, a slight breeze and the leaves are starting to color up – especially the sugar Maples.

I love seeing all the various colors on the trees, but (as you know) don’t like the fact that the outside temperatures are getting colder. Finally moved my Wandering Jew plant inside, the bright red geranium is still going strong – lots of flowers. I’m guessing another couple weeks before it’s too cold for it to survive. Starting to take out the warmer clothes – long sleeves, socks, etc. (I love wearing sandals all summer – bare feet!) While grocery shopping yesterday I started thinking colder meals: soups/stews – bought the ingredients for the White Bean Chili; that will be on our menu in the next couple days. (good for a tummy-warmer AND it lasts for a good 3-4 meals).


Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved horizontally

1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Place tomatoes, cut-side up, on a

baking sheet. Top with Parmesan,

oregano, salt & pepper. Drizzle

with oil & bake until tomatoes

are tender, about 15 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken

1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce

2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent

dinner rolls

1 1/4 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Mix chicken & 1/2 C. enchilada sauce

in 2 qt saucepan; bring to boil over

medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Separate or cut dough into 8 long

rectangles (if using crescent rolls,

press perforations to seal). Spoon

chicken mixture & 1 T. cheese on 1

long side of each rectangle. Roll up,

pinch edges to seal. Place seam side

down in 9 X 13 baking pan. Pour remaining

sauce over enchiladas & sprinkle top

with remaining cheese. Bake 15-20

minutes. Serves 8

(recipe: John H-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Hawaiian Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple

with juice

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

1 C. shredded coconut

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 C. sour cream

1 (4 servg size) box instant

vanilla pudding

In a bowl mix pineapple & sour

cream with dry pudding mix,

mix well. Add coconut (save

a few T. for garnish), vanilla

& Cool Whip (save a couple T.

of Cool Whip for garnish).

Pour mixture into pie crust.

Spread remaining Cool Whip

in a small design on top, then

sprinkle top with coconut.

Refrigerate 2 hours.

NOTE: In hot summer months,

poster FREEZES the pie &

eats it frozen



Apple Sausage Appetizers

2 (23 oz, ea) jars unsweetened

chunky applesauce

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

2 lb. fully cooked kielbasa or

Polish sausage, cut into 1/2 in.


1 medium onion, chopped


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine applesauce &

brown sugar. Stir in sausage &

onion. Transfer to a greased

9 x 13 baking dish. Bake, uncovered,

40-50 minutes or until bubbly.

Makes 20 servings

(recipe: Taste of Home)


Italian Roasted Veggies

1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4

inch thick

1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced

1/4 inch thick

1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4 inch


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

veggies in single layer in shallow

baking pan. Bake 12 minutes or

until crisp-tender, turning once.

Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat)


Easy Berry Slab Pie

1 box refrig’d pie crusts, softened
(read directions on box)
2 (6 oz, ea) containers GREEK plain
1 (6 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 C. sliced fresh strawberries
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries
1 1/2 C. fresh raspberries
1 C. strawberry glaze

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Remove pie crusts from pouches;
unroll & stack crusts one on top of
other on lightly floured surface. Roll
to 17 X 12 inch rectangle. Fit crust into
15 x 10 x 1 inch pan, pressing into
corners. Fold extra pastry crust under,
even with edges of pan. Prick with fork,
crimp edges & bake 10-12 minutes or
until golden brown. Cool completely,
about 30 minutes.
Beat yogurt & cream cheese with elec.
mixer until smooth. Spoon into crust-
lined pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until
set. Mix berries & strawberry glaze;
spoon over berry mixture; cover &
refrigerate until serving.

(recipe: dsicre – DDJ-08/10/12)

Mushroom & Sausage Quiche

One 9″ refrigerated pie crust, fitted into a
9″ glass pie plate
1 lb. ground sausage, crumbled
1 T. butter
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
4 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1 C. cottage cheese
3 T. flour
3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. hot sauce
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crimp edges of crust. In a large skillet,
cook sausage; drain & set aside. Wipe out
skillet, add butter & melt over medium-high
heat. Add mushrooms & onion; saute 5 minutes
or until tender. Place eggs, sour cream, cottage
cheese, flour, Parmesan cheese & hot sauce in a
food processor (or blender, in batches). Process
until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.
In a large bowl, stir together sausage, mushroom
mixture, egg mixture & Cheddar cheese; spoon
into pie crust. Cover edges of crust with strips of
aluminum foil to prevent burning. Bake 50-60
minutes, until golden brown and center is set.
Let cool 10 minutes then cut into 8 wedges.
Serves 8.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Dad’s Tomato Comfort Soup

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
cooked rice or small pasta
In a stockpot over medium heat, combine
undrained tomatoes & remaining
ingredients. Simmer until heated

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Crunchy Turkey Salad

1 1/4 lb. smoked turkey breast, diced
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 C. chopped scallions
3/4 C. chopped celery
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 T. dijon mustard
1 C. seedless red grapes, cut in half
8 oz. provolone cheese, cut into 1/2
inch cubes
1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted &
coarsely chopped (optional)
3 t. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. snipped fresh chives

Place turkey in medium bowl; season
with salt & pepper. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well.

(recipe: FoodNetwork)

Pan-Roasted Corn

1 T. vegetable oil
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high heat. Add corn; cook
10-12 minutes or until corn starts
to brown, stirring occasionally.
Stir in chili powder, salt & pepper.
Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat)

Baked Green Tomatoes

6 medium green tomatoes

2 t. shortening, melted
1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
dash salt & pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Wash & remove stems & end of
tomatoes. Place in greased 9 x 9
baking dish. Brush with melted
shortening, salt & pepper. Add
enough hot water to cover bottom
of baking dish. Sprinkle tops with
bread crumbs. Bake 20-30 minutes,
until tender.

(recipe: RDJ 07/06/12)

Preacher Cake

1 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla 1/2 C. chopped nuts
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped nuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients for cake. Add
remaining ingredients and mix by
hand. Bake in 9 x 13 greased pan
30-40 minutes. Mix ingredients for
frosting & spread on cake in pan.
NOTE: You can add fruits to cake, if
desired: dried cranberries, raisins,
currants, tub of mixed dried fruits,
fresh blueberries or coconut.

(recipe: Susan –

Been busy, lately, knitting more baby and premie hats – haven’t got word back yet from the lady at the hospital as to exactly what she wants/needs for the baby department so I figured I’d just ‘keep going’ – whatever she doesn’t need, I can ship to “Stitches from the Heart” (they take baby hats).  That’s about it for things going on around here today – hope you have a GREAT day! Enjoy your ‘summer/fall’ – even IF it’s colder – the changing leaf colors are spectacular to see!



Thursday Thoughts

It’s been a rather quiet day here, just doing the ‘regular’ things like washing/drying/folding clothes, picking up/dropping off son and picking up the house a bit. Just changed out the front Welcome sign from the red hearts to a Fall wreath, moved my Wandering Jew plant indoors – that’s one plant I’m still ‘in the dark’ about. It didn’t do well in the house and, in the Spring, I moved it outside with the warning: Grow or Die! – – – it chose to grow! Amazing! We’ll see how it does (or does NOT do) over the winter – I’ve told you before – I’m NO plant person!

We’re currently awaiting the ‘TREE’ man – we have a huge (probably 30 ft, easy) black walnut tree in our back yard which is up against our fence. Yes, it throws tons of black walnuts all over the lawn (AND our neighbor’s yard). Apparently, it’s been bugging our neighbor – she called last week to tell us that there’s a branch hanging over her yard – she says the branch is cracked and, if it falls, will take out her sun porch – sigh. We’ll see what the TREE guy says – I’m still not sure just what my husband has decided; one minute he’s all for totally getting rid of the tree, the next it’s “we’ll just get it trimmed up and save the tree”. (Yes, I know that some people/company’s BUY trees for their wood, we had a company stop by about a year ago and tell us that they buy per foot upwards from the first branch DEPENDING on the staightness of the rest of the tree – the  more straight – the more money.) Ours is not very straight. Ah, the fun of it all – – – sigh.  We’ve never sprayed the tree, hence the nuts are wormy – the neighbor that used to live there when we moved in would collect the nuts, dry them and use them in baking – but they moved a good 12 years ago; neighbor now just thinks the tree is a nuisance.


(after consult with tree guy) We all agreed to SAVE the black walnut – they’re going to ‘give it a hair cut’! He agreed it’s a very good, healthy tree – no reason to totally take it down.  They can trim off branches, give it some ‘room’ AND (hopefully) not bug the neighbor with the branches by taking them up higher on her side. Along with the consult we ended up deciding to remove another tree AND have our front bushes trimmed up, too! YAY! I’m actually happy with the entire idea! The front bushes, alone, have been a big pain in my side for many years. I’m 5’4″ tall and for years the only way those bushes would be trimmed was by me standing on a short ladder and using the long hedge clippers AS FAR AS I COULD REACH! The last time I did that (a good 3 years ago) I could only reach about 3/4’s around & up the bushes – they ended up looking like they had MOHAWK hair cuts! They looked ridiculous! (I asked the male members of the family to ‘finish the job’ and trim the remaining branches but it never got done). Since that time the bushes have entirely gone WILD – I can’t see out our front door window (too much bush/branches in the way). This company is very reputable (have been in business since the late 1890’s!) and the man who came out is an Arborist from Michigan State College – he knows his TREES (& bushes!)!!! They’re going to call us for the date of all the work – around 2 weeks from now – I’m really glad we called them!


Recipes? Are you ready for more “Some Summer/Some Fall”??? Here ya go:


Curried Broccoli Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 tsp. spicy brown mustard
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. curry powder

3 C. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 C. raisins
1/3 C. sunflower kernels, roasted
& salted

Mix mayonnaise, mustard, honey &

curry powder in large bowl until
well blended. Add broccoli, raisins &
sunflower kernels to mayonnaise
mix; toss lightly. Serve immediately
or cover & refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 6 (1/2 c. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Skillet Spinach Gratin

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

6 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. baby spinach leaves or
2 bags (10 oz, ea) fresh spinach leaves
(about 4 C.) *
4 oz. (1/2 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
15 Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed,
about 1 1/2 C.)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. butter, melted

Cook onions & bacon in large skillet on medium-
high heat 5-7 minutes or until bacon is crisp,
stirring frequently; drain. Add spinach; cook

3-5 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add cream
cheese; mix well. combine cracker crumbs,
Parmesan cheese & butter. Sprinkle over
spinach mixture just before serving. Serves 6,
1/2 C. each.

* can substitute cleaned & deveined Swiss
chard for spinach.
(recipe: Kraft foods)

No-Chop Potato Salad

1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen loose-pack diced
hash browns with onions & peppers
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced celery
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream chive dip
2/3 C. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 T. sugar
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
3 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
lettuce leaves (optional)
celery leaves (optional)
pimiento strips (optional)

In large covered saucepan, cook hash

browns in boiling water for 6-8 minutes
or until tender; drain well. In large bowl,
combine potatoes & celery; set aside.
In small bowl, combine sour cream dip,
mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard &
salt. Add mayonnaise mixture to potato
mixture; toss lightly to coat. Gently fold
in hard-boiled eggs. Cover & refrigerate
4-24 hours. Before serving, garnish
with lettuce leaves, celery leaves, and/or
pimiento strips, if desired. Makes 20

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Kelly’s Black Bean Salad

1 C. white rice
2 C. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/3 C. red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. ground cumin
4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 C. canola oil
3 (15.5 oz, ea) cans black beans,
drained & rinsed well
1/2 (10 oz) box frozen corn,

Bring rice & water to a boil in
a saucepan; reduce heat to
medium-low. Cover & simmer
until rice is tender & liquid
has been absorbed – 20-25
minutes. Mix tomatoes, vinegar,

garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt,
oregano & black pepper together
in a bowl. Whisk oil into tomato
mixture to make a dressing. Stir
rice, black beans & corn together
in a bowl; toss with dressing
until well coated. Makes 10

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Asian Spinach Salad

2 C. fresh spinach
1 C. grated carrot
1 C. bean sprouts
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. rice vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Combine spinach, carrot & bean
sprouts in a large bowl. Combine
lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar,
& sesame oil, stirring well with a
whisk. Toss with spinach mixture;
top each serving with chopped nuts.

(recipe-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spinach-stuffed Chicken Breasts

2-3 T. olive oil

1 C. thinly sliced leek (1 large)

2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,

thawed, drained & squeezed dry

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken

breasts, trimmed of excess fat
3 oz. bottled roasted red bell peppers,


1 T. melted butter

1/4 C. Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 C. dry white wine

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium

heat. Add leeks, garlic, oregano, salt, crushed

red pepper & black pepper; cook & stir until

leeks are soft (about 5 min.) Remove from

heat, add spinach, stirring to combine. Set

mixture aside. Cut chicken breasts in half

horizontally using a sharp knife. Place bottom

halves of chicken in 9 x 9″ baking dish, set

top halves aside. Divide spinach mixture evenly

among breasts; top each portion with 1/4 of

roasted red peppers; replace top halves of

chicken breasts. Brush top half of each chicken

breast with melted butter; sprinkle with bread

crumbs & spray lightly with nonstick cooking

spray. Add wine to baking dish (avoiding the

breadcrumbs). Bake 40 minutes or until chicken

is completely cooked. Remove chicken from oven;
let rest 5 minutes before serving. To serve, cut

each breast into 3-4 slices on the diagonal to

expose stuffing, or leave each portion whole.

(NOTE: Slicing chicken breast horizontally

holds the filling well and does away with

the need to pin them together with


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


German Potato Salad

3 lb. potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. cider vinegar
2 T. white sugar
2 T. dried parsley
ground black pepper, to taste

Bring large pot of salted water to
a boil; add peeled & cut potatoes;
cook until tender but still firm,
about 15 minutes. Drain; transfer
to large bowl. Add onions. In a
large bowl, whisk together
mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, sugar,
parsley, salt & pepper. Gently
stir mixture into potatoes &
onions. Let stand for 1 hour
before serving, to enhance

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Chicken Mandarin Salad

1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges
3 C. diced cooked chicken or turkey
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain yogurt
1 T. honey
1 tsp. grated lemon or lime peel
2 T. lemon or lime juice (optional)
lettuce (optional)

Combine chicken, oranges & almonds in
medium salad bowl. Thoroughly blend

mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, lemon peel,
& juice, if desired, in a small bowl.
Pour over salad; toss gently to coat.
Serve on lettuce-lined plates, if desired.
Serves 5

(recipe: DelMonte)

Zucchini Corn Bread

6 eggs
3 C. shredded zucchini

1 1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 C. butter, melted
2 C. cornmeal
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in
zucchini, cottage cheese & butter.
Combine dry ingredients; stir into
zucchini mixture just until combined.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes
16-20 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-via Taste of Home
site-  Marys Recipe Exchange)

Unforgetable Chicken Casserole

3 C. chopped deli-roasted chicken
2 C. finely chopped celery
1 C. (4 oz) grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. slivered almonds
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4 oz) can water chestnuts, drained &
1 1/2 C. French fried onion rings

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together first 8 ingredients in large
bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 11 x
7 baking dish. Bake 40 minutes; sprinkle
onion rings evenly over top; bake 5
more minutes or until bubbly around edges.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 09/04/12)

Very Blueberry Cobbler

2 1/2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 C. white sugar,
1/2 tsp. flour
1 T. butter, melted
1 3/4 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
6 T. white sugar
5 T. butter
1 C. milk
2 tsp. sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan.
Place blueberries into pan, mix with
vanilla & lemon juice. Sprinkle with
1 C. sugar & 1/2 tsp. flour, then stir
in 1 T. melted butter; set aside.
In medium bowl, stir together 1 3/4
C. flour, baking powder & 6 T. sugar.
Rub in the 5 T. butter, using your
fingers or cut in with a pastry
blender until it is in small
pieces. Make a well in the center;
quickly stir in milk.  Mix just until
moistened. It should be a very thick batter
or very wet dough. May need to add a
splash more milk. Cover & let batter
rest 10 minutes. Spoon batter
over blueberries, leaving a few small
holes for berries to peek through. Mix
together cinnamon & 2 tsp. sugar;
sprinkle over top. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until top is golden brown. Let cool to
just warm before serving. Can be
refrigerated up to 2 days.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

An interesting fact from our area – I recently called a local hospital to see if they might need knit baby hats for their newborns. I was informed that (due to changes) only ONE of the three hospitals in our area delivers babies! Amazing! I spoke with a very nice woman there who was very excited about the idea but has to run it by several other people first. I’m working on a few – have 2 done, 1 more almost done.  We’ll see where this goes.

Our weather is definately going towards Fall – leaves are slowly falling from the trees, no big color changes yet. It’s been getting cooler – right now, at 5 p.m. it’s 67 degrees F. Time to drag out the sweaters & sweatshirts, jacket-weather is fast approaching. I’m already seeing Halloween decorations and advertisements for creepy ‘places’ (haunted houses, etc).  I guess you’d say I did my first ‘tribute to Fall’ the other day – I bought 3 caramel coated & nut covered apples! (LOVE those things – not good for my health, but I figure once a year isn’t too bad).

I’ll close for now – enjoy your day – stay warm & cosy; relax a bit – maybe have a cup of something warm (tea/coffee/hot cider/cocoa) and put your feet up. ENJOY!!!



Published in: on September 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm  Comments (1)  

Another Beautiful Summer/Fall Weekend


Although our weather is slowly creeping towards colder temperatures, you might not notice due to the bright sunshine and gentle breezes. I like this time of year (sometimes) because you can open the windows and air out the house (not that you can’t do that in summer, but now the breezes are just the right temperature to not be too hot). It’s been a rather quiet weekend, nothing much ‘going on’ – knit 3 baby hats for Women & Teens Prenancy Center, crocheted about 9 squares for a baby blanket, but pretty much just relaxed. Yesterday found our church choir ‘back in action’ – we’ve had an almost 3-month ‘vacation’, so it was nice to be back to our routine. Afternoon found the choir holding their first choir practice of the new season and we have about 5 new members – that’s GREAT! (we could still use a few more men, but we’re still trying to recruit them – we’ll see how that goes). New people, new music, new challenges – I LOVE it – bring it on!

As the season slowly changes, so go the incoming recipes – more ‘tailgating’/football/games/ recipes: dips, soups, stews and less of the fresh salads. Since I still have some summer-type recipes, think I’ll put them here just in case some of you (those in England – wink/wink), are going INTO summer and might be able to use them.


Frozen Fruit Salad

1 small carton sour cream
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 C. chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 C. nuts, chopped
1 large can crushed pineapple,
2 diced bananas
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Stir first 3 ingredients together
until creamy. Add cherries, nuts,
pineapple & bananas; fold in
Cool Whip. Pour into loaf pan;
freeze until solid.
Recommend taking it out of the
freezer 30-45 minutes before
serving to allow it to soften.
* You can also line the loaf pan
with aluminum foil, extending
the edges of the foil over the
edges of the pan, then when
frozen, just pull foil & salad
out of pan. Serves 10-12


Shrimp & Blue Cheese Spread

2 1/2 lb unpeeled, large raw

shrimp (21/25 count)

1/4 C. diced sweet onion

2 T. olive oil

1/2 of (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,


4 green onions, finely chopped

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1 C. crumbled blue cheese

1 C. mayonnaise

1/2 C. sour cream

2 T. fresh parsley

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

assorted fresh veggies for dipping

French bread baguette slices for


Peel shrimp, devein, if desired. Saute

onion in hot oil in skillet over medium-

high heat 3 minutes or until onion is

tender. Stir in shrimp; cook, stirring

occasionally, 3-4 minutes or just until

shrimp turn pink. Transfer to a bowl,

let stand 15 minutes. Chop shrimp &

return to bowl. Stir in cream cheese &

next 10 ingredients. Cover & chill

4 hours. Serve with fresh veggies &

bread slices.

NOTE: 2 1/2 lb. frozen, unpeeled, large

raw shrimp (21/25), thawed accordg

to pkg directions may be substituted.

Store dip in airtight container up to

2 days.

(recipe: Rhonda G.-Marys Recipe



Crisp Baked Zucchini Fries

1 zucchini, medium sized
1 egg
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. Panco bread crumbs

1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
Chop ends off zucchini, cut in
half, then into 1/2 inch strips,
making ‘fries’. Beat egg until
frothy, pour into a loaf pan;
add 1/4 C. milk; whisk. Pour
bread crumbs in another loaf
pan; add seasonings & mix.
Dredge zucchini slices in egg
mixture, then press into bread
crumbs. Lay coated zucchini
fries on cookie sheet. Bake
20-30  minutes or until
golden brown & crispy.
Sprinkle with a bit more salt
when they first come out of
the oven. Serves 4.

(recipe: JamieCooksItUp! blog)

Cucumber Summer Salad

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded
& chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. chopped green onion
1 C. Feta cheese, crumbled
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Place cucumber in medium bowl;
sprinkle with salt. Let stand 15 minutes
to release water; drain excess water
& stir in tomatoes, onions & cheese.
In small bowl, mix olive oil & lemon
juice well. Pour over cucumber mixture;
add pepper & stir gently. Refrigerate
until serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Honey French Salad Dressing

1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. ketchup
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried minced onion

Combine all ingredients;
mix with electric mixer.
Serves 4.

Good with shrimp, green onions,
ham, radishes, green beans &

(recipe: Rhonda G.-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Greek Garden Salad

2 C. torn romaine or spinach
1 C. torn leaf lettuce or iceberg lettuce
1 C. torn radicchio or shredded red
1 medium tomato
1/2 of medium red onion
1/2 of small cucumber
1 small green or red pepper, cut into
julienne strips (3/4 C.)
1/4 C. Greek olives or sliced pitted
ripe olives
3 T. olive oil or salad oil
3 T. white wine vinegar or vinegar
1 T. snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried,
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese (2 oz)

In large salad bowl, combine romaine or
spinach, leaf lettuce or iceberg & radiccio
or red cabbage; set aside. Cut tomato into
thin wedges; cut each wedge in half. Slice
onion & cucumber; cut each slice in half,
add tomato, onion, cucumber, pepper strips
& olives to the greens. For garlic vinaigrette,
in a screw-top jar, combine olive oil or salad
oil, white wine vinegar or vinegar, oregano,
garlic, & pepper. Cover & shake well. Pour
over salad; toss lightly to coat. Sprinkle
with feta cheese. Makes 4-6 servings.

Dressing can be made ahead. Cover &
chill up to 24 hours.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys REcipe

Cheesy Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 medium bell peppers, cored &


1 lb. ground chuck

1 C. instant rice, cooked

(or 1 box Rice-a-Roni beef &


1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 C. chopped celery (optional)

1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. dried basil or 2 tsp.

fresh, chopped

Your choice of shredded cheese

salt to make water boil – 1-2 T.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Fill large pot with water, add

salt & sugar. Boil & add bell

pepper. NOTE: You can cut tops

off & stuff whole peppers or cut
peppers in half length-wise. Boil

gently until pepper changes color

and tender (about 4-5 minutes).

In skillet, brown ground beef

in oil with onion & celery, until

meat is no longer pink & onion

and celery are tender and opaque,

drain well. Mix other ingredients in

bowl, add meat mixture to bowl.

Arrange peppers in baking dish

that has been sprayed with non-

stick cooking spray. Stuff peppers

with meat mixture; if any meat

mixture is left, spoon it around

peppers. Bake until bubbly and

tender, approx 45 minutes. In

last few minutes of cooking, top

peppers with shredded cheese;

cook until melted.

NOTE: Can be frozen. If freezing,
leave off cheese until ready to cook.


Layered Vegetable Salad

3 medium tomatoes, diced (2 C.)
2/3 C. green onions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can chili beans, drained
1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. sour cream
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. bacon bits

Mix tomatoes, onion & peppers; place
in a 9 x 9″ dish. Mix beans, layer over
tomato mixture. Put corn on top of
beans. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream &
dry ranch dressing; spread over corn.
Sprinkle top with finely shredded
Cheddar cheese & bacon bits.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Grilled Peaches & Pork

4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut pork

loin chops

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar, divided

2 T. fresh lime juice

3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 large peaches- peeled, halved &

pitted (about 12 oz)

6 C. trimmed arugula

1 tsp. turbinado or granulated sugar

Place each piece of pork between 2 sheets

heavy-duty plastic wrap, pound each
to 1/4 inch thickness, using a meat mallet

or rolling pin. Combine 2 T. vinegar, juice,

thyme, salt & pepper in a small bowl.

Reserve 1 T. juice mixture. Pour remaining

juice mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag.

Add pork; seal & marinate in refrigerator

1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place peaches, cut sides up, on a plate;

drizzle with remaining 2 T. vinegar. Place

pork on grill rack coated with nonstick

cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each

side or until pork is done. Set aside.

Place peaches, cut sides down, on grill

rack; grill 4 minutes or until soft &

slightly browned. Turn & cook 2 min.

or until heated through. Cut each

peach half into 4 slices. Slice pork

into 1-inch thick strips. Drizzle

trimmed arugula with reserved

1 T. juice mixture, tossing to coat.

Divide arugula evenly among 4

plates. Top with grilled pork strips

& peach slices; sprinkle evenly with

turbinado (or granulated sugar).

Serves 4.

(recipe: RDJ 08/28/12)


Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 oz, ea) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 C. Ranch salad dressing

3/4 C. hot pepper sauce

1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

corn chips (Scoops), or crackers for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat chicken & hot sauce in skillet over medium
heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese &
ranch dressing; cook, stirring until well blended &
warm. Mix in half of shredded cheese; transfer
mixture to 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese
on top, heat in oven until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Makes 5 Cups dip.



Peanut Butter Eclair Dessert


1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant


1 3/4 C. cold milk

1/4 C. creamy peanut butter

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,


24 honey graham crackers

6 oz. semi-sweet baking 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 graham

crackers and half pudding mixture

in 9 X 13 baking dish, breaking

grahams if 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.

To Easily Cut Dessert:

Use a sharp knife; dip blade

in hot water after each cut

to warm & clean the blade.

(recipe: Kraftfoods)


Baked Green Tomatoes

6 medium green tomatoes

2 t. shortening, melted
1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
dash salt & pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Wash & remove stems & end of
tomatoes. Place in greased 9 x 9
baking dish. Brush with melted
shortening, salt & pepper. Add
enough hot water to cover bottom
of baking dish. Sprinkle tops with
bread crumbs. Bake 20-30 minutes,
until tender.

(recipe: RDJ 07/06/12)

After a quick review of my two files of ‘saved’ recipes, it appears I will be posting a few more “Summer” recipes soon – didn’t realize I’d saved so many! (Oh well – that’s a good thing for you – if you need Summer recipes!)

Hope your weather is ‘cooperating’ and you’re enjoying your day. Remember to smile a little and relax a little – it makes our days much more enjoyable – right?



Chilly Out There!

Baby, it’s CHILLY out there today! Yesterday was a nice, BALMY 84 degrees, sunny with a warm breeze. We had a light rain during the night and I woke up to a CHILLY 54 degrees F.! (and it hasn’t warmed up any yet!)  (Sorry, just gotta complain a little – I’m still living in the SUMMER and not ready for FALL!)

I decided, yesterday, to see if I can knit up some ‘regular-sized’ baby hats (not premies); had a chat with a friend and she mentioned a local charity (Women & Teens Crisis Pregnancy Center) while we were talking. I have several friends who work there and they tell me the center has a ‘store’ where Moms can spend points towards items for their babies (not sure how it all works, but they assure me that they would love any hand made items). I started another crocheted apricot baby afghan in the X-pattern granny squares and will mix them with white squares. I love working on charity projects and this one can be an on-going project (along with the chemo caps); as I finish items I can just take them to church & give them to my friend who works at the center – neat! This not only gives me something to ‘do’, but also uses up some of my stash yarns (which, in turn, gives me reason to go find more yarn, on sale!) LOVE a bargain!

Not much new around here, just put a pork roast in the crockpot – love that utensil; you can put a totally frozen roast in the crockpot in the morning and have a nice, fully-cooked roast by around 5-6 p.m. – YUM! Bought some nice, big baking potatoes the other day, so it looks like  pork roast and baked potatoes!


Taco Soup

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 C. water
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch dressing mix (dry)
1 (15 oz) can white hominy, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
shredded Cheddar cheese (topping)
corn chips

In large Dutch oven, brown beef &
onion over medium heat; drain off
fat. Add chiles, salt & pepper, beans,
water, seasoning mixes, hominy &
stewed tomatoes; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.
Top with shredded cheese, serve
with corn chips.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix (no
pudding added)
1 box chocolate inst. pudding – 4
serving size
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. chocolate syrup, divided
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan. Prepare
cake per box directions, add dry
pudding mix – mix well. Gently
stir in chocolate chips. Pour into
prepared pan; bake 50-55
minutes or until cake springs
back when lightly touched. Drizzle
1/2 C. chocolate syrup over warm
cake. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly
over syrup; bake 5 minutes longer or
until marshmallows are softened and
lightly browned. Drizzle remaining
syrup over marshmallows. Cool cake
in pan; cut into squares using a knife
dipped in warm water.

(recipe: DDJ 08/17/12)


Brats & Potatoes

6 bratwurst links
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium Idaho potatoes
3 T. cooking oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove Bratwurst filling from
casings; brown in a pan with
cooking oil. As meat is browning,
add chopped onion & season to
taste. Cut potatoes into bite-
sized pieces; add to meat
mixture. Cook on high until
the outside of potatoes are
lightly browned. Place potato/
meat mixture on a baking sheet;
bake 30 minutes. When potatoes
are tender, turn on broiler &
brown about 5-8 minutes.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Michelle –

Sirloin Steak & Pasta Salad

2 C. uncooked penne or mustaccioli pasta
1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 (3/4 lb) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
1 T. garlic-pepper blend
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
3 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. (1 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat broiler.
Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large
Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 5 1/2
minutes. Add beans, cook 3 minutes or
until pasta is done. Drain & rinse with
cold water; drain well. Sprinkle steak
with garlic-pepper blend. Place on broiler
pan; broil 3 inches from heat 10 minutes
or until desired degree of doneness, turning
after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut
steak diagonally across grain into thin
slices. Combine onion & next 8 ingredients
(onion-black pepper) in a large bowl. Add
pasta mixture & beef slices; toss well to
coat; sprinkle with blue cheese. Serves 4
(about 1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Rhonda G, from Cooking Light
DEc., 2003 – Marys Recipe Exchange)

How to Make your own Croutons

(for salads)

1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. French bread cubes

Heat olive oil & minced garlic in medium
skillet on medium heat. Stir in bread cubes;
cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp & golden
brown, stirring frequently. Cool completely.
Makes 1 C. seasoned croutons.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Skillet Cabbage & Bacon

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
6 slices bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C.)
8 C. shredded green cabbage (about
1 small head)
2 C. shredded red cabbage
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. dry roasted peanuts,
coarsely chopped

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium-
high heat. Add bacon & onion; stir.
Cook 5-7 minutes or until bacon is
cooked & onions are tender, stirring
occasionally. Add cabbage & broth, stir.

Cook 10 minutes or until cabbage is wilted
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir
in sour cream; top with peanuts. Serves 8.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Oven Brunch Bake

4 eggs
2 C. milk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 C. cubed French bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mild
Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped mushrooms
1 C. chopped red pepper
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/4 C. cooked ham, chopped

Beat eggs, milk & mustard in large
bowl with wire whisk until well blended.

Add remaining ingredients;
stir gently to mix well. Pour into
lightly greased 12 x 8 baking dish;
cover. Refrigerate several hours or

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Uncover baking dish; bake 45-
50 minutes or until knife inserted
into center comes out clean.
Serves 8

TIP: can also add 1 (4 oz) can chopped
green chilies, drained, to egg mixture
before pouring into baking dish.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cider Pork Chops

2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 pork chops, bone in
1 T. cooking oil
1 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. sliced green onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 C. apple cider or unsweetened
apple juice

In large resealable plastic bag,
combine flour, salt & pepper. Add
pork chops; toss to coat. In large
skillet, brown chops over medium
heat 3-4 minutes; remove & keep warm.

In same skillet, saute celery,
onions, garlic & thyme 2-3 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Return pork
chops to pan; add cider & bring to
boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
7-8 minutes or until meat juices
run clear.

(recipe: Sharonkay-RDJ 08/24/12)

Super Moist Chocolate Pecan

Zucchini Cake


1/2 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. cooking oil

1 3/4 C. sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 C. flour

4 T. cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. buttermilk

(or 1/2 C. milk + 1 tsp. vinegar-

stirred together & let sit 5 min.)

2 C. shredded zucchini, peeled


1/2 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. pecans, chopped

1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large mixing bowl add 1/2 C.

softened butter, 1/2 C. oil, 1 3/4

C. sugar & 2 eggs; mix well – about

3 minutes. In medium bowl, add

2 1/2 C. flour, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 tsp.

baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon,

1/2 tsp. cloves & 1 tsp. baking soda;

whisk together well. Add buttermilk &

1 tsp. vanilla to wet ingredients, then

add dry ingredients; mix well. Add

zucchini to mixture; mix to combine.

Spray 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray;

pour in batter, spread around. Mix

chopped nuts & chocolate chips;

sprinkle on top of batter. Bake

35040 minutes or until toothpick

inserted into center comes out


(recipe: JamieCookesItUP! blog)

That’s it for today – sure hope it warms up some a little later! Today is a sort of ‘free’ day for me, it only involves driving my youngest son to various places: pick up from school, hair cut, work, pick up from work later – so I’m not complaining. I don’t really have a ‘set’ schedule for this day – am going to work on the baby afghan more, maybe knit another baby hat or experiment some with one, anyway. (Made one yesterday – outcome was OK, but am thinking of using a lighter-weight yarn for the next one).

Stay warm and enjoy your day!



Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Our Charity Baby Afghan Project

Last night’s final collection of baby afghans for the Detroit Veterans Hospital Baby Shower was amazing. Total count: 39 afghans – knitted/crocheted/quilted/fleeced – you name it, we had it! (along with some baby hats, stuffed animals and several other baby items.) Each time I ask our group to do a charity project they totally amaze me – they are ALWAYS over and above what I could ask for and I’m very proud of them. Here are two photos of the collection:

(left) Mrs. Brenda Finney – Women Veterans Program Manager for Detroit Veterans Hospital

Michelle, a member of our group, who was the ‘go-between’ for us with the hospital (and the project was her idea)

Pam – (that’s me) – Coordinator, Waterford-Area Knitters & Crocheters group

Here is the final ‘pile’ of gifts

I felt sad that I couldn’t photograph the last afghans which were brought in last night, but there was a time constraint. I brought in 22 at the beginning of the evening and then ladies began bringing in more – 17 more! It was a GREAT night of charity giving.

BUSY Day Yesterday!

Yesterday was a VERY busy day in my household; the evening before, my dear friend Mary (“Momma” on her blog) called to ask if I/we would be home Monday around 2 p.m. (yes!). Earlier Sunday my oldest son & grandson had stopped by for a brief visit and  a request: did we still have “THE Lego Collection”? (yes). “THE Lego Collection” is a compilation of all three boy’s Lego collections when they were growing up and it consists of TONS of Legos. Grandson is now interested in Legos and his Dad asked if we could pass them down to him (yes). I told him yesterday he is now the official “Keeper of the Lego Collection” – until one of the other boys has children (Oldest is not planning on any more children). I began, late Sunday night, going through the tubs of Legos, cleaning them up some (lots of bits of dust, old broken crayons, pencils, marbles, etc. in the boxes), putting heads/arms/hands & legs on many of the Lego people (there were a good 60? people, I’m guessing). Being a “Type A” personality (read that: GOT to have ORDER in my life – drives me nuts if things are willy-nilly), I had the inner need to make sure all the Lego people were ‘together’-having all their parts: heads, arms & hands, torso & legs. This took a great deal of time – I finally admitted I was exhausted at around 1 a.m. – with another tub to still go through. Monday early I was up ‘cleaning/sorting/fixing’ the Legos (wanted them DONE so that I could straighten up the house for my dear friend Mary!). Got it all done, baked 2 batches of cookies, made some lemonade and thought: “Now BRING ON THE VISITORS!”  Mary got here around 2:20 p.m. and we chatted & sampled cookies – great visit. I had my husband take a few photos of us – Mary announced that we’ve been friends for over 42 years now (since Fall, 1969)! That’s doing something!

As Mary & I were chatting at her truck, just before she was leaving, another vehicle pulled up – my oldest son & grandson here to see if I’d finished the Legos! My son said: “The first thing he said to me when he got out of school was – can we go see if Gramma Pam is done with the Legos?” It was one big rotating VISIT-thing! I loved it! To have one of my closest friends here AND my oldest son & grandson was a real TREAT! After they came in the house and checked out the Legos I announced that I hadn’t gotten all of the ‘stuff’ out from under the bunk beds (where the Legos ‘were’ living before cleaning) – that prompted my son to immediately crawl UNDER the bunk (I’m too ‘chubby’ to fit) and drag out all the miscellaneous Legos, papers, JUNK from under the bed – YAY!  Finally it’s clear!!! While we were going through the ‘newly found’ Legos he discovered ANOTHER medium-sized box of Legos! I had only found one big ‘base’ plate and he kept saying: “I KNOW we have more bases than that!” so he kept looking and discovered another box with a good 8-10 BIG bases – I had totally forgotten they were there! He was saying: “I don’t remember a lot of THESE Legos – did you get more?” Then I remembered – right after I first joined Freecycle (an on line group – nationwide – that’s great for getting or getting rid of things you need/ or no longer need – for FREE – check it out: I remember someone posting they had Legos they wanted to give away – I responded and there was a really BIG box of Legos/bases, etc. – that was where the REST of them came from. Needless to say – grandson is thrilled. We decided that we’d half the collection: half to his house, half says here for him to play with when he visits. When he gets older, they get passed on to the next grandchild/children.  By the time they went home loaded down with boxes of Legos, I was totally exhausted! SOooooooo glad we still had some leftover lasagna – I was too pooped to cook!


Tomato-Ham Pie

1 9″ pie shell

1/4 C. Italian bread crums

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

6 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 ”


4 oz thinly sliced deli ham-

sliced in 1/4″ strips

4 oz thinly sliced provolone

or mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4″


1/3 C. mayonnaise

1/3 C. garlic/herb cheese spread

fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Brown pie shell in oven on baking

sheet 5-8 minutes; remove. Mix

bread crumbs & parmesan; spread

2 T. over bottom of pie shell. Mix

mayonnaise, cheese spread & basil.

Layer 1/2 tomato slices in pie

shell; layer 1/2 the ham strips.

Spread mayonnaise mixture over all.

Repeat layers: tomato, ham, cheese.

Cover with remaining bread crumb

mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes or until

top is browned.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Orange Whip

(These are orange halves filled
with orange whip) You could also
just make the whip and pour it into
individual serving bowls and not
fuss with the orange peels.

2 medium navel oranges
1 4-serving size orange Jell-O
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
Roll oranges gently on counter to
help release juice. Cut oranges in
half, between navel & stem end. 
Carefully, cut between skin & meat
of fruit, being extremely careful
not to cut through skin. Using your
fingers, remove all meat of orange;
place in blender. Repeat on all 4 
halves. Clean orange halves of all
remaining meat & set aside. Blend
oranges on high speed until
pureed. Pour into a One-Cup
measuring cup, adding water or
orange juice to make one cup liquid.
In medium microwave safe bowl, bring
one cup water to a boil. Add Jell-O, 
stir until completely dissolved. Add
orange mixture to gelatin; stir to 
blend well. Refrigerate until mixture
is almost set. Using a hand mixer,pour
vanilla & evaporated milk in a bowl with
Jell-O mixture; beat a medium speed. 
Continue beating until gelatin is
light & frothy. Place orange halves in
or on top of small bowls (to keep them
upright) fill evenly with orange Jell-O
& level off top (you will have extra
Jell-O). Return orange halves to fridge
to firm completely. Add Cool Whip to 
remaining Jell-O mixture; beat with hand
mixer on high, until well blended. Place
in fridge to firm. Makes 4 orange cups
& extra Jell-O mixture.

Turkey with Tomato & Spinach Salad

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (20 oz) pkg turkey breast
tenderloins, pounded to 1/2 inch
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
3/4 C. Caesar salad dressing
1 (12 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves,
stems removed
1/2 C. chopped red onion
Sprinkle pepper evenly over both
sides of turkey. Heat large skillet
sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
over medium-high heat. Add turkey,
cook 5 minutes or until cooked
through & golden brown on both
sides, turning once. Remove from
skillet, cover to keep warm. Add
undrained tomatoes & dressing to 
same skillet. Heat over medium 
heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Divide spinach between 6 plates; 
sprinkle with onion. Thinly slice
turkey; arrange over spinach. Spoon
2/3 C. warm tomato mixture over each
salad. Serve immediately. Serves 6. 

(recipe: readyseteat)
Sweet Orange-Glazed Salmon

1 T. cooking oil
4 salmon fillets (4 fillets = 1 lb.)
1/2 C. La Choy Sweet & Sour sauce
1/3 C. orange marmalade
1/4 C. water
Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add salmon, 
skin-side up; cook 2 minutes
or until browned. Reduce heat to
medium. Turn salmon over; cook
6 minutes more or until fish 
flakes easily with fork. Do 
NOT over cook. Stir together
sweet & sour sauce, marmalade &
water in small bowl. Pour over
salmon, cook until bubbly.
Serves 4.

The secret to sauteing fish
successfully is to preheat the
skillet, use uniform pieces of
fish & take care to not over-
crowd the skillet, leaving at
least 1/2 inch between each piece
of fish. 

(recipe: readyseteat)
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 &
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt's Fire Roasted
diced tomatoes w/ garlic, undrained
3/4 C. water
1 C. instant white rice
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey
Jack cheese blend
Heat oil in 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

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler



Fruit Filling:

3 C. strawberries, fresh or frozen,


3 C. rhubarb (fresh or frozen, sliced

into 1/4 in. pieces)

1/2 C. sugar

2 T. tapioca - quick cooking

1 tsp. orange zest (optional)


2 T. sugar

1 C. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. butter

1/4 C. milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten


Spray inside of crockpot with

nonstick spray. Combine

strawberries, rhubarb, sugar & 

tapioca in crockpot; stir until

sugar coats fruit & starts to


In a bowl, combine 2 T. sugar,

flour, baking powder & salt. With

a pastry blender or fork, cut in

butter; mixture will be crumbly.

Stir in milk & egg until just moistened.

Drop dough as evenly as possible

on top of fruit. Using 3-4 paper

towels, place them on top of slow

cooker (they will absorb any excess

steam). Place on lid over towels.

Cook on High 90 minutes. Remove

lid & towels; change heat to Warm;
let sit 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Serving suggestion: serve with vanilla

ice cream or frozen yogurt

(recipe: DDJ - 08/10/12)

Creamy Watermelon Pie


1 (3 oz) pkg. watermelon Jell-O

1/4 C. boiling water

1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed

2 C. cubed, seeded watermelon
 1 graham cracker pie crust (9 inch)


In a large bowl, dissolve Jell-O in boiling

water. Cool to room temperature. Whisk

in Cool Whip; fold in watermelon cubes; 

spoon mixture into crust. Refrigerate 2 hours

or until set. Serves 6-8.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Zucchini Onion Pie

3 eggs
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. cooking oil
1 t. minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 C. sliced zucchini
1 C. Bisquick mix (or other baking mix)
1 small onion, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, whisk first seven ingredients.
Stir in zucchini, baking mix & onion. Grease a 
9 inch deep-dish pie plate; pour mixture into
pie plate. Bake 25-35 minutes or until
lightly browned. Serves 6

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Picnic Fruit Salad

1 (6 oz) box cook & serve vanilla pudding
1 (3 0z) box tapioca vanilla puding
2 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits
1 C. orange juice
1 T. lime juice
3 bananas, sliced*
(slice bananas just before serving to
prevent browning)
In saucepan, combine puddings. Drain
cans of fruit, reserving juices. Pour
reserved juice along with orange
juice into a liquid measuring cup.
Add enough water to cup to make
3 Cups liquid. Pour liquid & pudding
mix in sauce pan, heat over medium
heat. Whisk until pudding is thickened.
Place pineapple & mandarin oranges
in a 2 quart dish. Pour thickened 
pudding over fruit in bowl. Let chill
at least 1 hour. Before serving, stir
in sliced bananas.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

2 lb. red potatoes, cut into bite-
sized pieces
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 1/4 C. cooked bacon, crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced

Place potatoes in large pot, cover with
salted water & bring to a boil over
high heat. Reduce heat to medium-
low, cover & simmer until tender,
about 20 minutes. Drain, then run
under cold water until cool. Combine
sour cream & ranch dressing mix in
a small bowl until well-blended.
Transfer potatoes, bacon, Cheddar
cheese & green onions to a large
bowl. Stir in sour cream mixture
until well-coated. Cover & refrigerate
about 2 hours before serving.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peaches ‘n Cream Pie

– 1 pie shell, unbaked
5-6 ripe peaches, peeled & halved**
1 C. light cream***
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 C. sugar, divided
2 T. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
* poster used a frozen pie shell, let it
come to room temp.
** poster used large can peach halves
in light syrup
*** poster used 1/2 C. regular milk &
1/2 C. canned milk
Arrange peaches, pitted side up,
in UNbaked shell. Combine cream,
extract, eggs & 1/4 C. sugar in
bowl; beat until well blended. Pour
mixture around peaches in shell.
Dot each peach with butter &
sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake 1 hour (check to make sure
not burned). Remove and cool
on rack.



It’s a lovely 75 degree sunny day out today – still feels like Fall, though – guess I’ll have to get used to the upcoming season. Tonight’s the big ‘turn in the baby afghans’ project – I’ll write about it soon.

Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing day – remember to SMILE, RELAX and DO SOMETHING FOR YOU!



A Beautiful FALL Day!

    Not sure how your weather is – but here in mid-Michigan, it’s really beginning to FEEL like Fall! Last night when I went to pick up youngest from his job (11 p.m.) it was 61 degrees outside. This morning going to church (8:50 a.m.) it was 56 degrees and right now (1:30 p.m.) it’s a ‘balmy’ 67 – “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”  Remember, I’m still holding out for at least ONE Indian Summer day before we drive, full-force, into winter!

It’s Sunday and youngest has completed his first week of ‘alternative’ high school AND first week of his new job – he seems to have survived well (if you don’t count the sprained ankle from his first day at work moving 80 lb. bags of dog food!). A purchased ankle brace and he’s doing much better – of course, typical teenager-thinking – he waited until he’d suffered for a good 3 DAYS before mentioning it – – – sigh. When I asked him last night after work how the brace was doing he said: “Totally AMAZING!”  (that’s always good to hear!). It’s been a quiet week (always good!) – not much going on; made chicken Parmesan, homemade chicken pot pie, then BLT’s, then lasagna. Next is homemade pizza – but that’s for, probably, Tuesday or Wednesday night (we still have a good 1-2 days more of lasagna). I’m getting better at ‘planning ahead’ on meals – I knew that when I made the lasagna, it would take about 1 1/2 big bottles of Prego/Ragu spaghetti sauce – what to do with the extra 1/2 bottle? I remembered that when making Chicken Parmesan it took about 1/2 bottle – VOILA! An idea is hatched! While cooking hamburger for the lasagna, I cooked extra to use as topping for the homemade pizza – now I’m ‘usin’ my noggin’!’ (Around here I have a white erasable board on our freezer/fridge and I write the upcoming entrees for the week, according to what my freezer/fridge holds. Commonly the pizza is abreviated as HM Pizza – so the family now calls it “Her Magesty’s Pizza”.

Recipes? Yep – lots more for you~


Garden Casserole

1 large onion, sliced
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut
into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 C. flour 6 small baking potatoes, unpeeled
& sliced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen cut green
beans, thawed
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz)
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 tsp. dried whole rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
16 strips sweet red pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Saute first 3 ingredients in
butter until crisp-tender. Add
flour & cook 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Spoon half of onion
mixture into a lightly greased
9 X 13 baking pan. Layer half of
potato slices, green beans & cheese
over onion mixture. Repeat layers
of onion mixt., potatoes & green
beans. Combine Half & Half and
next 3 ingredients; pour over
vegetables. Cover & bake 1 hour
or until potatoes are tender.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese &
garnish with 16 red pepper strips.
Bake an additional 5 minutes.
Makes 8-10 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Tomato Onion Pie

1 (9 inch) pie shell

4 tomatoes, sliced

2 large or 4 small Vidalia onions,




1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 C. mayonnaise

Bake pie shell according to

pkg directions; let cool.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Layer sliced tomatoes & chopped onions;

sprinkle each layer with salt &

basil. Mix cheese & mayonnaise &

spread over top. Bake 30 minutes,


(recipe: Gigi-recipe favorites

yahoo group via Marys Recipe



Chicken Parmesan-filled Shells

1 1/2 C. Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
16 jumbo pasta shells, cooked &
2-3 C. spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine ricotta,
egg, parsley, garlic powder,
oregano & pepper; mix well. Stir
in Parmesan cheese, 1 1/4 C
Mozarella & chicken. Pour half
of spaghetti sauce in bottom
of 9 X 13 pan. Evenly fill
shells with chicken mixture &
place in dish. Top shells with
remaining spaghetti sauce; sprinkle
with remaining Mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes.
Uncover & let stand 5 minutes
before serving. Serves 4-6.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe

Watermelon Salad


8 C. loosely packed torn Boston


2 C. seedless watermelon chunks

(cut in 1 inch cubes)

3/4 C. quartered cucumber slices,

1/3 C. thin small red onion slices,

separated into rings

1/3 C. (Kraft) refrigerated Raspberry

Poppyseed dressing

Combine first 4 ingredients in large

bowl; add dressing & toss to coat.


NOTE: can also add 1/2 c. coarsely

chopped pecans or walnuts & 1/4 C.

sugar in skillet on medium heat

until sugar is melted & nuts are

evenly coated, stirring frequently.

Spread onto sheet of foil, cool.

Sprinkle over salad just before

serving.  Serves 8


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Blueberry Refrigerator Pie


7 T. butter, divided

50 ‘Nilla wafers, finely crushed

(about 1 1/2 C.)

4 C. fresh blueberries, divided

1/2 C. plus 1 T. sugar, divided

3/4 C. cold water, divided

2 t. cornstarch

zest & juice of 1 lemon, divided

3/4 C. boiling water

1 (3 oz) pkg. lemon Jell-O

ice cubes

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,

thawed & divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Reserve 1 T. butter. Melt remaining

butter; mix with ‘Nilla crumbs & press

onto bottom & up sides of 9 inch tart

pan with removable bottom. Bake 10

minutes or until golden brown. Bring

1 1/2 C. blueberries, 1/2 C. sugar &

1 T. cold watr to boil in saucepan,

stirring constantly. Dissolve cornstarch

in 3 T. remaining cold water; whisk into

blueberry mixture. Simmer on low heat 2

minutes or until thickened, stirring

constantly. Remove from heat. Add

reserved butter; stir until melted.

Reserve 1/2 tsp. lemon zest & 1 tsp.

juice. Stir remaining zest & juice

into blueberry mixture; pour into

crust. Add boiling water to Jell-O

in medium bowl; stir 2 minutes until

completely dissolved. Add enough ice

cubes to remaining cold water to

measure 1 Cup. Add to Jell-O; stir

until slightly thickened. Remove any

unmelted ice cubes. Whisk 1 C. Cool

Whip into Jell-O. Refrigerate 15

minutes or until gelatin mixture is

thick enough to mound. Stir in 1 1/2

C. remaining blueberries; spoon over

blueberry layer in crust. Refrigerate

at least 4 hours or until firm. Top

pie with remaining Cool Whip; toss

remaining blueberries with reserved

lemon zest, juice & remaining sugar;

spoon over pie. Makes 10 servings.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Greek Shrimp Pasta Salad



1/2 (16 oz) pkg. rotini pasta

1/4 C. lemon juice

1 T. Greek seasoning

3 T. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. sugar

1/4 C. olive oil

1/2 lb. peeled, cooked

medium shrimp

1 C. chopped tomatoes

(1 large tomato)

1/4 C. chopped red onion

1 (2.5 oz) can sliced ripe

black olives, drained

2 T. chopped parsley

lettuce leaves (optional)


Cook pasta accordg. to pkg

directions; drain well &

set aside. Whisk together

lemon juice & next 4

ingredients. Gradually add

oil in a slow, steady stream,

whisking until blended. Cover &

chill until ready to serve.

Combine cooked pasta, shrimp &

next 4 ingredients in large bowl.

Drizzle with chilled dressing you

made, tossing to coat. Cover &

chill 1 hour. Serve on lettuce-lined

plates, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


(recipe: RDJ 08/11/12


Salmon Salad

1 (16 oz) pkg. elbow macaroni

2 ripe tomatoes, diced

4 green onions, chopped

2 dill pickles, diced

1 (14.75 oz) can salmon, drained

1/2 C. mayonnaise

salt & pepper, to taste


Bring large pot of lightly salted

water to a boil. Add pasta & cook

8-10 minutes or until al dente;

drain. Rinse & drain pasta.In

large bowl combine pasta with

tomatoes, green onions, pickles,

salmon, mayonnaise, salt &

pepper. Mix well. Chill before



(recipe: Rhonda G. – Marys

Recipe Exchange)


Shrimp with Peach ‘Salsa’


2 C. instant brown rice, uncooked

1 C. chopped onion

1 (14.5 oz) can Hunts Fire-

Roasted diced tomatoes with garlic


1 (15 oz) can sliced peaches in

juice, drained & diced

1/2 tsp. dried basil

3/4 lb. medium peeled & deveined

shrimp with tail, thawed, if frozen

1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

Cook rice accordg to pkg directions.

Spray large skillet with non-stick

spray; heat over medium-high heat.

Add onion, cook 3 minutes or until

crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

Add next 3 ingredients; cook 2-3

minutes or just until boiling. Add

remaining ingredients, cook 2-3

minutes more or just until shrimp

turn pink, stirring frequently.

Serve over rice. Serves 4.


(recipe: readyseteat)


No-Bake Peanut Butter/

Chow Mein Noodle Cookies


3/4 C. chunky peanut butter

3/4 pkg. chow mein noodles

1 small bag marshmallows

1/4 C. butter or margarine

1 pkg. butter scotch morsels

3 medium candy bars, melted

for drizzling

Melt butter in 5 qt. sauce

pan, swirling to coat sides &

bottom of pan. Over Low heat,

add peanut butter & 1/2 bag

butterscotch morsels, stir until

melted. Add marshmallows, stirring

quickly; add chow mein noodles &

rest of items, stirring quickly

until just mixed. Drop onto waxed

paper; cool 1 hour. Melt candy

bars in small sauce pan;add a

dollop of chocolate to middle of

cookie, then drizzle

over cookies. Cool.


(recipe: Deborah –



Hope you are having a nice, relaxing Sunday – for me it’s nice because I already have dinner prepared (leftover lasagna) so I can just finish this blog, maybe play a few games of Spider Solitaire then go read my latest book in my nice, comfy recliner! (Of course, that pre-supposes that I’ll probably end up looking at the other side of my eyelids (napping), but that’s neither here nor there – – – right?)

Enjoy your day – BIG HUGS!



Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

School’s IN – Here Comes FALL!

Not much new going on around here – youngest started school AND his new job Tuesday – both are going well, it seems. His job, currently, is in a few different departments in the store. So far he’s been in Hardware, and yesterday in Pet Supplies. Yesterday found him ‘facing’ product (in commercial language, that means making all the bottles, bags, boxes, cans, etc. all have their label directly FACING the front of the shelf/display so that the customer can easily read the labels). His job was to ‘face’ tons of cans of cat & dog food, lift/move/reposition 80 lb. bags of dog food & kitty litter – he wasn’t the ‘happiest camper’ when he got off work last night. My thoughts on that? Hey, no matter WHAT you have to do – you’re getting PAID for doing it – BUCK UP! (can’t tell I’m “Old School” when it comes to working, can you?)

The past few days have felt like Post-It Note days -those days when you feel like you’ve got lots of little pieces of paper with notes on them, all needing to be read & done. Things like making sure you call AAA to tell them to take the old car you just sold OFF of your insurance, or call to check WHY youngest son’s old student ID number isn’t working when trying to re-enroll him in the school lunch program – that kind of ‘stuff’. Turns out the entire school district just changed ALL student ID numbers (new program) – good thing I called, the secretary wasn’t 100% sure of how to work the new program, either! I managed – got the number, put him on for paid lunches: they have a system where you, as the parent, can go on-line and pre-pay for their lunches. It works great for me – then I don’t have to constantly remember to give him cash (that presupposes I HAVE cash!). Finally worked my way through all my little ‘gotta do’ things – think I’m clear – for now.

Was thinking about what to make for dinner tonight (was leaning towards lasagna – have all the ingredients, just don’t seem to have the ‘want to’ to make it). While driving to the library to pick up some books I have on hold, passed the local fruit/veggie stand and thought: “BLT’s! PERFECT!” – so that’s what we’re doing. (Of course, didn’t remember until AFTER I got home, that I don’t have any “L” . . . lettuce, so guess they’ll be just BT’s! (With our guys, some like BLT’s, some just want BLC – bacon, lettuce, cheese – whatever – it all works.

Tonight’s my special needs group – just finished rushing through getting the Sept/Oct. newsletters typed, printed & mailed. Was late getting them out, so I know I’ll be facing lots of: “I didn’t get my newsletter!” comments tonight – oh well . . .

RECIPES! Have some nice ones saved up just for YOU! Here ya go:


Candybar Freezer Dessert

2 C. crushed graham crackers (about
16 squares)
1 C. crushed saltines (about 30)
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 C. cold milk
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 quart Butter Pecan ice cream,
1 Butterfinger candy bar (2.1 oz) chopped
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a large bowl, combine cracker crumbs &
butter. Pat 3/4 of mixture into a greased
9 x 13 pan. Refrigerate.
In a bowl, whisk milk & pudding mix 2 minutes.
Stir in ice cream until well blended; spread over
crust. Spoon Cool Whip over pudding layer;
spread evenly over top. Combine candy bar &
remaining crumb mixture; sprinkle over Cool
Whip. Cover & freeze at least 2 hours.
Serves 12-15.

(recipe: DDJ 08/17/12)

Sirloin Steak & Pasta Salad

2 C. uncooked penne or mustaccioli pasta
1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 (3/4 lb) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
1 T. garlic-pepper blend
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
3 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. (1 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat broiler.
Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large
Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 5 1/2
minutes. Add beans, cook 3 minutes or
until pasta is done. Drain & rinse with
cold water; drain well. Sprinkle steak
with garlic-pepper blend. Place on broiler
pan; broil 3 inches from heat 10 minutes
or until desired degree of doneness, turning
after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut
steak diagonally across grain into thin
slices. Combine onion & next 8 ingredients
(onion-black pepper) in a large bowl. Add
pasta mixture & beef slices; toss well to
coat; sprinkle with blue cheese. Serves 4
(about 1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Rhonda G, from Cooking Light
DEc., 2003 – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

2 red sweet peppers or one 7 oz. jar

roasted red sweet peppers, drained

1 fresh red chili pepper or 1-2 tsp.

bottled chopped red jalapeno pepper
8 oz. cream cheese, softened & cut up

2 T. olive oil

1 T. honey

1 clove garlic, quartered

2 T. snipped fresh rosemary, basil or

oregano (OR 1 tsp. dried & crushed)
Vegetables for dipping: small carrots,

broccoli florets, zucchini slices and/

or tortilla chips

Roast fresh sweet peppers & fresh

chili pepper according to directions



To roast peppers:

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove

stems, seeds & membranes. Place,

cut sides down, on large foil-lined

baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes

or until skins are blistered & bubbly.
fold up foil on sheet around peppers to

form a packet, sealing edges. Let stand

20 minutes to loosen skins. Peel

peppers; cut into pieces.

(NOTE: when working with chili

pepper – cover your hands with

plastic bags so that the oils in

the pepper don’t burn your skin).


In a food processor bowl or blender,

combine roasted sweet peppers, roasted or

bottled chili pepper, cream cheese, olive

oil, honey & garlic. Cover & process

until smooth. Add herb of your choice;

pulse until combined. Transfer to a

serving bowl. Serve immediately or

cover & refrigerate up to 2 days.

Makes 1 1/2 C.

(NOTE: If desired, roast peppers ahead,
then cover & refrigerate up to 24 hours)

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe



Crunchy Turkey Salad

1 1/4 lb. smoked turkey breast, diced

kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 C. chopped scallions

3/4 C. chopped celery

1/3 C. mayonnaise

2 T. dijon mustard

1 C. seedless red grapes, cut in half

8 oz. provolone cheese, cut into 1/2

inch cubes

1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted &

coarsely chopped (optional)

3 t. chopped fresh parsley

2 T. snipped fresh chives

Place turkey in medium bowl; season

with salt & pepper. Add remaining

ingredients; mix well.

(recipe: FoodNetwork)


Raspberry Shortbread Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
1 (10 oz) jar seedless raspberry jam,
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 1/2 T. water
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Beat butter & sugar at medium speed

with elec. mixer until light & fluffy.
Gradually add flour, beating at low
speed until blended. Divide dough

into 6 equal parts; roll each part into
a 12 x 1 inch strip. Place strips on
lightly greased baking sheets. Make
a 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch deep
indentation down center of each strip
using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Spoon half of jam evenly into the
indentations. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; spoon remaining
jam into indentations; bake 5 more
minutes or until lightly browned. Whisk
together powdered sugar, water & extract;
drizzle over warm shortbread. Cut each
strip diagonally into 1-inch slices. Cool in
pans on wire racks. Makes 6 dozen.

(recipe: RDJ 07/25/12)

Grilled Balsamic Chicken

1 lb. chicken breasts

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
2 t. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme 10 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black

Cut diagonal slits across chicken
breasts (about 1/4″ thick) – this
allows the marinade to penetrate
the meat; place into a resealable
plastic bag. Combine all marinade
ingredients in the bowl of a food
processor; pulse until smooth.
Pour marinade into plastic bag
with chicken; seal, removing as
much air as possible.
Preheat grill to medium setting.
Spray grill grates with cooking
spray (while standing back).
Place chicken on grill; cook
roughly 15-20 minutes, turning
once. Chicken is done when juices
run clear.

(recipe: Rhonda G- Marys Recipe

Chicken & Lemon Salad



3/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1/4 C. olive oil

1 T. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 tsp. salt

4 (6 oz, ea) skinless, boneless

chicken breast halves


1 C. sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/2 C. red bell pepper strips

1/2 C. yellow bell pepper strips

1/2 C. (1/4 ” thick) slices zucchini

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 lemon wedges (optional)

To prepare chicken, combine first 4

ingredients in large zip-top plastic

bag. Add chicken to bag, seal. Marinate

in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill

Remove chicken from bag; discard

marinade. Place chicken on grill rack

coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Grill 6 minutes on each side or until

done. Cool completely; cut into 1/4″

thick slices.

To prepare salad:

 Cook peas in boiling water 30 seconds.

Drain & rinse with cold water; drain.

Combine peas & next 7 ingredients

(through black pepper) in large bowl.

Add chicken, tossing to combine. Place

1 3/4 C. chicken salad on each of 4

Add chicken, tossing to combine. Place

1 3/4 C. chicken salad on each of 4

plates. Serve with
lemon wedges,
if desired. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 08/30/12)


Thai-style Cucumber Salad

1/3 C. sugar

1/2 C. rice vinegar

1/4 C. water

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion
1 large English cucumber, unpeeled-

seeded & thinly sliced (or chopped


In small saucepan, combine sugar,
vinegar, water, crushed red pepper &

salt. Heat over medium heat, stir

until sugar & salt dissolves. Put

cucumber & onion in a small bowl,

pour marinade over to cover veggies.

Cover & chill for at least 30 minutes.

Salad will keep for up to 3 days in


(recipe: Rhonda G.-Marys Recipe



Heavenly Carrots

4 C. cooked, sliced carrots
1 1/2 C. croutons
1 1/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. Half & Half
1/4 C. melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place carrots in buttered 1 1/2 qt.
casserole dish. Stir in croutons &
 cheese. Combine remaining
ingredients & pour over carrot
mixture. Bake, uncovered, 20
minutes or until brown on top.
Serves 6.

(recipe: mamaus-RDJ 08/31/12)

Spicy Pineapple Pork Ribs

4 C. ketchup
1 canned chipotle pepper in
adobo sauce
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple
with juice
2 T. mustard
2 T. brown sugar
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 C. water
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. liquid smoke
2 T. cooking oil
3-4 lb. pork ribs
2 large onions, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 9 ingredients in
blender; blend until smooth –
set aside. Heat oil in skillet;
brown ribs until browned on all
sides, may salt & pepper if
desired. When brown, place in
large roaster; cover with onions.
Pour sauce over & cook, covered,
2 1/2 hours, turning every 30
minutes. Uncover; cook 30
minutes, turning at 15 minutes.
Serves 6-8


Taco Salad
(Paula Dean)

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 head iceburg lettuce, washed/drained &
shredded 1 lb. lean ground beef- browned,

crumbled & drained
1 C. Catalina salad dressing

1 (7 oz.) bag taco flavored chips, crushed
1 C. salsa
tortilla chips, to serve

Combine tomatoes, cheese, onion, lettuce &
ground beef in a large bowl. Add salad dressing

& mix well. Just before serving, add taco chips,
toss to combine with other ingredients. Top
each serving with salsa. Serve with tortilla
chips.  Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Lemonade Ice Box Cake

1 box lemon cake mix (Duncan Hines)
2 cans condensed milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
13 T. lemon juice

Bake cake in 2 9″ cake pans as per
box directions; let cool. Mix
condensed milk & lemon juice,
place half between cooled layers.
Mix remainder with Cool Whip;
spread on top & sides. Place in
refrigerator until serving.

(recipe: coastlady-DDJ 08/31/12)

Been reading some good murder mysteries lately – new (to me) authors. Just finished

“The Brass Verdict” by Michael Connelly – great lawyer/trial story writer – lots of action, fast-paced (think I read it in a day, maybe 1 1/2 days).

For Labor Day we didn’t do anything special – no ‘going away’, or cook outs – nothin’ but hanging around the house in our jammies for most of the day; sometimes holidays are for RELAXING!!!

Our weather has been sort of ‘end of the summer-type’; yes, the thermometer says it’s in the WARM temperatures range, but it doesn’t feel like that. Today it’s in the mid 70’s but it’s also got a bit of a chill to it, kind of damp. I could tell by the puddles on the driveway that it had rained last night – maybe that’s where the humid part came in but it doesn’t FEEL like summer any more – sigh. I’m REALLY hoping we get an Indian Summer this year; for those of you who aren’t familiar with that term, here in Michigan we usually get one (or sometimes a few) really WARM/HOT days usually sometime in Sept/Oct. JUST BEFORE the really colder temperatures descend on us for the remainder of the Fall/Winter months.  When those come, it feels like you’re back in the middle of a hot summer day – lots of nice, warm sun – just ‘the thing’ for those of us who love Summer; to me, it feels like a real ‘soul pick me up’ – it leaves me happy for just that little touch of warm weather before knowing we’re heading for colder weather from there on out.  I can’t complain – I know that there are areas where the weather rarely changes, or they don’t get a well-defined FOUR SEASON year like we do here in Michigan.  I like seeing the fall colors on the trees, taste the crisp fall apples, but that about covers it for me on Fall (I KNOW WINTER is coming!!!) Oh well, be happy for those things you have, right?

Hope you have a great day – whether it’s a sunny, rainy, great or average day – ENJOY the time you have!!!

Big Hugs;