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;



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Enjoy the time you have is great advice and like you I intend to do so!


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