And – how are you doing TODAY?

Since this Hurricane Sandy has wrecked so much havoc in our country, I thought I’d check-in and see how you were doing.  It was really windy here last night (in good old Michigan); lots of rain. During the night we got some hail (I had to be up at 7 a.m. and heard it hitting the windows), but other than wind and really light rain/mist, we’re good. I (mistakenly) thought my Ladies Bible Study was EVERY week, so I bundled up and drove – got about half way there when, up ahead, there was a firetruck (the big one with all the hoses) blocking the entire road, so I had to go back & retrace my steps. (found out later there was a tree across the road) All the while I was thinking – OK – NOW, how do I get to church? Remembered there was another way, drove it and got there just a few minutes late only to find only a few cars in the parking lot. Went in the church office and asked our pastor: “Let me guess, Bible Study cancelled because of weather?” He very kindly said, “No, it’s every OTHER Tuesday.” (Oh, brother – insert big blush here). On my way home I thought: “Don’t want to waste this trip out since the weather is really nasty”, so I stopped at the local area Salvation Army store! Found some really nice, heavy bath towels for middle son (when he moves out) – these were the ones they used to call the ‘body towels’ because they’re almost as long as a person – very heavy and big! Got them for $4.99 each! Picked up 2 skeins of yarn (of course), marked down to $.99 each – great for baby hats, then came home. It’s a nice feeling to know that I don’t have to go out again today/tonight for anything!  Youngest is home from school sick (hence my 7 a.m. getting up to call him out) with mild fever, aches, etc. He’s doing a little better, throat is still sore but he’s not feverish or vomiting or diarrhea (like he had yesterday). He was fortunate to be off work today, so he’s just been home ‘chilling’ at the computer playing games.  Most of our leftovers have been consumed (still about 1 serving of mac & cheese, but I’m sure that will vanish soon). Not exactly sure what to make for dinner – have all the makings for Chicken Pot Pie, but husband was sort of hinting at Pierogies & Sausage, so we’ll see.  The good thing about the pot pie is: it’s a ‘more than one meal’ dinner; the pierogies, not so much.

Been perusing some really tasty sounding recipes today – some really yummy desserts. Makes me want to make them, but if I did . . . I’d eat them and that’s a No-No. Haven’t been the ‘best’ about watching my carbs & sugar levels lately and I’m way over-due for a check-up visit to our family doctor (since back in July . . . oooops-this is not for the cancer, just a regular check up), so trying to be ‘better’ about sugar & desserts. Anyway, I digress . . . .


Herbed Chicken & Potatoes

8 small red potatoes
1 (5 lb) whole chicken
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place potatoes in 6 qt. crockpot.
Remove giblets from chicken, if
necessary. In small bowl, mix together
salt, onion powder, rosemary, sage &
pepper. Rub chicken with herb mixture;
place on top of potatoes. Cover &
cook on Low 7-8 hours or High
3-4 hours until a meat thermometer
inserted in thickest part of thigh
registers 175 degrees. Let stand
15 minutes before serving; serve
with potatoes.
TIP: You can freeze the pan drippings
in ice cube trays to use in other
recipes, if you like.

(recipe: Connie W-Slowcooker digest)

Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Breasts

1/2 C. baked tortilla chips, crushed
3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
4 lime wedges

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine tortilla crumbs, margarine
& cumin in small bowl; set aside.
Arrange chicken on aluminum-foil
lined baking sheet; top with crumb
mixture. Bake until chicken is cooked-
about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro
& serve with lime wedges. Serves 4

(recipe: Country Crock site)

Pumpkin Pillow Treats

12 caramels
1 tsp. water
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. flour
1/4 tsp. orange zest
20 won ton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 C. oil
1 T. powdered sugar


Microwave caramels & water in medium
microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds;
stir until caramels are completely melted.
Cool 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Whisk cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar,
flour, zest & remaining cinnamon until well
blended. Spoon about 2 tsp. onto center of
each won ton wrapper. Moisten edges

withegg white; fold diagonally in half. Pinch edges
together tightly to seal.

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat
to 350 degrees F. Add won tons, in batches; cook
2 -3 minutes or until evenly browned; drain on
paper towels. Cool slightly or to room temp.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar & serve with
dipping sauce.
Makes 20 servings.

NOTE: Won ton wrappers dry out quickly; keep
them covered with a damp clean kitchen towel
until you are ready to use them.

These can be made ahead and frozen. Cook won
tons as directed. Freeze up to 2 months. When
ready to reheat, place frozen won tons on baking
sheet. (No need to thaw first). Bake at 350 degrees F.
15 minutes or until heated through.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Green Beans, Tomatoes & Bacon

2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. green beans, trimmed, cut into
1 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pepper 4 plum tomatoes (about 1/2 lb) chopped

Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on medium heat
until crisp. Remove from skillet, reserving drippings.
Drain bacon. Add onions to skillet; cook & stir until
crisp-tender. Add beans, broth & pepper; stir. Bring
to boil, cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 40
minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook on medium-high heat

3 minutes or until heated through. Top with bacon.
Serves 8.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed &
1 (46 oz) can tomato juice
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes in
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 T. finely minced Chipotle peppers in
Adobo sauce (from small can)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

In Dutch oven over medium heat, brown meat & drain.
Stir in onion & garlic; cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in
remaining ingredients; simmer 1 hour.

(NOTE: poster says this chili has lots of flavor, but
heat level is quite moderate – kick up the heat by
adding more chipotle)

(recipe: Rhonda G- Marys Recipe Exchange)

“It’s All Greek to Me” Tomato Salad

2 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb. tomatoes – cut into 1 in. pieces:
(quartered cherry or halved grape tomatoes)
1/2 medium cucumber; peeled & cut into
1/4 in. pieces
1/2 small bell pepper, seeded & sliced into
thin strips
3/4 C. Greek olives, pitted & chopped
1 1/2 C. feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano &

salt/pepper in a small bowl. Place tomatoes,
cucumber, pepper & olives in large bowl. Add
vinaigrette & toss until evenly coated. Gently
toss in cheese & adjust seasonings.
NOTE: Poster says she tosses all but cheese
together & lets it sit at room temp. for 30
minutes for all flavors to meld, then tosses
in Feta when ready to serve.

(recipe: RDJ-10/26/12)

Cheese-Potato Slab Pie

3 1/2 C. flour (more for dusting)
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
(keep cold in refrigerator)
1 T white or apple cider vinegar

4 T. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
4 large red-skinned potatoes
(1 1/2 lb. – unpeeled)
2 Gala apples, unpeeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
freshly ground black pepper
3 T. breadcrumbs 5 oz. Mortadella or ham, thinly sliced
10 oz. white Cheddar cheese, shredded
heavy cream, for brushing

Mix flour, sugar & salt in a food processor.
Add 1 stick butter; pulse until combined. Add
remaining 2 sticks butter; pulse 3 times or
until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add
vinegar, then gradually add 1/3 C. ice water
through feed tube, pulsing 4 times, until
evenly combined. Squeeze dough between
your fingers – if it doesn’t hold it’s shape, add
up to 2 T. ice water & pule 2 more times (dough
should still be crumbly). Turn onto a clean surface

& press into a ball, divide in half, wrap in plastic
wrap & flatten into two 1-inch thick rectangles.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add
onion & cook until slightly brown, 5-7 minutes,
season with salt & pepper – let cool. Slice potatoes
& apples very thinly; toss in a bowl with the thyme,
remaining 2 T. olive oil, salt & pepper, to taste. Line
a 8 inch square baking dish with foil, leaving a 1-inch
overhang on all sides. On a floured surface, roll out
one piece of dough into a 12-inch square, about 1/8
inch thick. Transfer to prepared dish, tucking dough into
edges & corners – do not trim overhang. Sprinkle
breadcrumbs over dough & add onion. Lay mortadella
(or ham) on top, sprinkle with about 1/3 of cheese.
Layer half potatoes & apples on top in a single layer.
Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with
another 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes &
apples, seasoning again – finish with cheese. Roll
remaining dough into a 12-inch square; place on top
of filling. Press overhang of the two crusts together,
rolling dough under itself & pinching to make a 3/4
inch high edge. Make slits in top crust with knife to
allow steam to escape. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake pie until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees F. Brush crust with
cream & continue baking until crisp, about 35 more
minutes. Cool 25 minutes, then lift out of pan & slice
Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Food Network)

Salisbury Steak

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 T. ketchup
2 tsp. dry mustard
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
salt & pepper
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil

1 whole onion, halved & thinly sliced
2 C. beef broth
1 T. ketchup 1 tsp. seasoning sauce (like Kitchen
Bouquet – optional)
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch, (optional)
salt & pepper

Meat mixture:
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs,

ketchup, dry mustard, Worcest. sauce,
bouillon & some salt & pepper. Knead
until all combined. Form into 4-6 oval
patties (can make ‘lines’ across surface
to resemble steak). Fry patties in skillet
with butter & oil over medium-high
heat on both sides until no longer pink
in middle. Remove from skillet & pour
off any excess grease.
Reduce heat to medium; add sliced onions.
Stir & cook until golden brown & somewhat

soft, for several  minutes. Add beef stock, ketchup,

seasoning sauce (if using), & Worc.
sauce. Combine cornstarch with a little beef
broth & add to sauce (if using). Stir & cook to
reduce. Add a sprinkle of salt & pepper & more
broth if needed, for thinning. Return patties
to gravy; spoon some gravy over top & let
simmer a few minutes.  Serves 6

(recipe: Food Network)

Corn Bread Taco Bake

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. dry taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1 (12 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (8.5 oz) pkg corn muffin mix
1 can French fried onions
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown meat; drain. Stir in taco
seasoning, water, corn, green pepper
& tomato sauce; mix well. Pour into
2 qt. casserole dish. In a separate
bowl, prepare corn muffin mix
accordg to pkg. directions, except
mix in 1/2 can French fried onions.
Spoon muffin mix around outer edge
of casserole. Bake, uncovered, 20
minutes. Top with cornbread,
cheese & remaining onions; bake
2-3 minutes longer.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Four Layer Pumpkin Cake

1 (2 layer size) box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, divided
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. caramel ice cream topping*
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cake mix, 1 C. pumpkin, milk, oil,
eggs & 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with
mixer until well blended. Pour into 2
greased & floured 9 inch round cake pans.
Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick

inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cakes
in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire
racks; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer
until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin
and spice; mix well. Gently stir in Cool Whip.
Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with
serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading
cream cheese filling between layers. (DO not
frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping
just before serving; top with nuts.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 16 servings.

Omit caramel sauce; microwave 10 caramels &
1 T. milk in microwaveable bowl on High 2 minutes
or just until caramels begin to melt. Stir until
caramels are completely melted. Drizzle over
cake just before serving; top with nuts.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tomorrow is Halloween – what are you doing? I’ve explained, here, that we don’t get any trick-or-treaters here due to us living on a major highway. We also have my special needs group tomorrow night – that wouldn’t be a bad thing except that I’ll be driving to that during the time when kids will be out gathering candy – time to drive expecially carefully.

Not much else new around here; haven’t been knitting the past few days (fingers/wrist a little sore). Spending lots of time on the computer (special needs group newsletter) AND playing various video games on my computer have sort of ‘over-worked’ the muscles, so I’m giving them a bit of a rest.

Hope you’re warm, dry and happily enjoying a nice day/evening at home.



Published in: on October 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

How’s YOUR Weather?

I’m sure, like the rest of the nation, you’ve been keeping an eye on the latest ‘perfect storm’. Today our temperatures are a chilly 40 degrees F., grey, windy and a lightly sprinkling rain abound – all put together to make me want to stay inside, bundled in a warm comforter with hot chocolate (or something!). Have been ‘out’ four times already this day and it’s only 3:30 p.m. Finally finished up the newsletters and ran them to the post office where a very nice, elderly gentleman held the door for me. His comment to me was: “That’s a really nice WIG you’ve got there!” (me) “Wig? This is my real hair!” (him – rather perplexed): “Really? Wow!” What can I say? I’m blessed with a good head of hair for a 64 yr old! Thank you, Lord! (It’s getting a bit thin in the front, but it still does what hair is supposed to do – cover your head, so I’m happy. Almost made me want to say: “Grab it! It’s attached!” Funny . . .

Gas prices in our area have sky-rocketed up almost 20 cents per gallon in the last DAY! It was $3.35/9 yesterday and I was thinking: “Wow, that’s really getting down there!” – today it’s shot back up. My husband said that it’s probably due to the storm and them having difficulties delivering. I know, according to what I’ve seen on TV this past day, we’re in for SNOW sometime this evening – they’re not sure yet just how much or when. (I even heard something like 6 inches – sure hope I’m WRONG!!!)  Interesting – just went on NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration – our national weather reporting data center) and it’s now saying, for my area: Rain & 38 low tonight, Rain & 44 degrees tomorrow & Tues eveng, low 39, Rain Weds, high 46/low 39.  Well, hopefully they’re right and it doesn’t go into that “S” word! Looks like the winds are going to pick up – it’s already kinda windy – we’ll see. (I’ll take wind over SNOW any day!)

Lots more ‘warm’ recipes coming your way:


Coca Cola BBQ’d Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(can put them in frozen)
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 (20 oz) bottle BBQ sauce of your choice
1 can Coca Cola

Peel onion, cut into quarters. Cut lemon into
quarters. Place chicken breasts in crockpot;
put onion & lemon quarters on top. Pour
entire bottle of BBQ sauce and entire
bottle of Coca Cola over all. Cover & cook
on Low 6=8 hours, or High 3-4 hours.

(recipe: 6 Sisters Stuff – website)

Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large can tomato paste
1 quart stewed tomatoes

1/2 pkg. regular Italian sausage
1/2 pkg. hot Italian sausage
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. parsley
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. basil
1 T. sugar

In a skillet, brown beef & onions.
Broil sausage 3 minutes on each
side; drain on paper towel & slice.
Combine all ingredients in a large
pot/crockpot; simmer at least
an hour.


Stuffed Zucchini

5 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
3 T. margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Scoop out pulp from zucchini; set aside.
Arrange zucchini on baking sheet.
Coarsely chop remaining zucchini &
pulp. Melt margarine in 12 inch skillet
over medium-high heat; cook zucchini &
chopped onion, stirring occasionally, 5
minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add red pepper, garlic & oregano; cook,
stirring frequently, 1 minute. Let stand
to cool slightly. Evenly spoon vegetable
mixture into zucchini halves. Top with
cheese & bake 30 minutes or until
zucchini are tender.

(recipe: Unilever)

Brie & Canadian Bacon Quiche

10 slices Canadian bacon (1 oz ea.)
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 1/2 oz. Brie, cubed
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb seasoning

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place Canadian bacon slices, slightly
overlapping, around the side & bottom
of a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate sprayed
with nonstick spray; set aside. Combine
eggs, mayonnaise, pepper, Parmesan
cheese, Brie, & Italian herbs. Pour into
pie plate; bake 30 minutes. After 15
minutes of baking, place foil over
bacon to prevent from overcooking.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


Potato & Pepper Fritatta
(oven or stove-top)

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 C. shredded potatoes
1/4 C. chopped onion
6 eggs, beaten
1 C. Kraft Mexican style finely
shredded Cheddar Pepper Jack
cheese 1/2 C. sliced green pepper rings

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon in medium nonstick
ovenproof skillet 4 minutes; drain.
Add potatoes & onions, cook 7
minutes or until crisp-tender,
stirring frequently. Stir in eggs;
remove from heat. Top with cheese &
peppers; cover. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until center is set.

Prepare on Stovetop:
Assemble as directed, cook,
uncovered on stove top 10-
12 minutes or until center is
almost set. Once fritatta can
easily be released from skillet,
slide it onto a serving plate then
carefully flip it over & return to
skillet. Cook until center is set.
Serve pepper-side up.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Caramel Apple Cider

1/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4 C. apple cider or apple juice
1 stick cinnamon

Stir together brown sugar & whipping
cream in large saucepan. Cook, stirring
constantly, over medium heat, until it
starts to bubble. Stir in vanilla & cider
(or juice); cook 10 minutes, stirring
often, garnish with cinnamon stick when
serving.  Serves 4

(recipe: Jody –

Texas Corn Bread

1 C. yellow cornmeal
1 C. flour
3 T. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. fresh or frozen (thawed &
drained) corn kernels
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded &
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded & finely

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place oven rack in upper third of
oven. Coat a 9-inch square baking
pan with nonstick spray. Combine
cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder,
cumin & salt in a medium bowl. Mix
milk, butter & eggs in small bowl; add to

cornmeal mixture & stir until almost
combined. Add vegetables; stir just
until combined; spoon into pan. Bake
until lightly browned & toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean,
about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack
10 minutes before cutting; serve warm
Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 10/24/12)

Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 C. (10 oz pkg) peanut butter chips
4-5 C. (1/2 – 1 inch) broken pretzel pieces
1/4 tsp. coarse salt (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter, sugar & peanut butter in large

bowl until creamy. Add eggs & vanilla; beat well. Stir
together flour & baking soda; add to butter mixture,
blending well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Shape
dough into 1 1/2 inch balls; roll in pretzel pieces, lightly
pressing pretzels into dough. Place on ungreased
cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Bake 12-13 minutes or until light brown around
edges. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove
to wire rack; cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Sauteed Eggplant

3 T. cooking oil
1 large eggplant, peeled & cut into 1 inch
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano (Hunts), undrained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat. Add eggplant, cook 10 minutes or until tender
stirring occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes, salt &

pepper; cook 2 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle top with
cheese & serve. Makes 6 servings, 3/4 C. each

(recipe: readyseteat)

Oooey-Gooey Popcorn Balls

1 (3.3 oz) bag microwave popcorn (butter flavored)
1/4 C. butter
4 C. miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare popcorn accordg to pkg. directions. Transfer
popped corn to large heatproof bowl, being careful
to remove all unpopped kernels; set aside.
Place butter in medium  microwave-safe bowl. Micro-
wave on High 30 seconds or until melted. Add marsh-
mallows; microwave 90 seconds more (marshmallows
will appear puffed). Add vanilla & stir well with heat-
proof spatula. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn,
stir to coat. Form popcorn mixture into 2 1/2 inch
balls, rolling firmly by hand.

NOTE: Can add food coloring to melted marshmallows
for a festive ‘extra’.

(recipe: readyseteat)

Skillet Cauliflower Gratin

4 C. 1-inch cauliflower florets (about 1/2
large head)
1 1/2 C. milk, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. dry breadcrumbs
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 T. flour
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper

Position oven rack in upper third of oven;
preheat broiler.
Bring cauliflower, 1 1/4 C. milk & salt to a
boil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-
high heat. Reduce heat, cover & simmer until
cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Combine
breadcrumbs, 1/4 C. cheese & oil in small bowl.
Whisk flour & remaining 1/4 C. milk in another small

bowl until smooth; stir mixture into pan &
cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir
in remaining 1/2 C. cheese, chives, mustard & pepper.
Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Broil until top is
crispy & beginning to brown, 1-2 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G. – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mexican Cheese Soup


1/4 C. butter or margarine

1/2 C. diced green bell pepper

1/2 C. minced onion

1/3 C. flour

2 (10.5 oz ea) cans condensed

chicken broth, undiluted

4 C. (15 oz) shredded Monterey

Jack cheese

1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

1 C. Half & Half

(garnish: fried corn tortilla strips)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-

high heat; add bell pepper & onion; saute

3-4 minutes or until tender. Add flour,

cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually

add broth & cook, stirring constantly, 4

minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Stir

in cheese & next 4 ingredients. Simmer, stirring

often, 10 minutes. Stir in Half & Half; simmer,

stirring often, 5 minutes or until thoroughly

heated. Garnish, if desired. Makes 6 servings.


Hope you’re able to stay DRY and WARM during this strange weather. I’m sitting here enjoying a nice, hot cup of Tim Horton’s coffee – next up is reading the local paper in my nice, warm recliner. As far as I know, I don’t have to ‘go out’ again today/night – really counting on that. Made a big pot ‘o spaghetti yesterday, so we have leftovers galore (the guys are happy). All that’s left to do is, maybe, make some garlic bread to go with it and we’re ‘good to go’.  Enjoy your day;



Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

And Saturday Rolls Around again . . .

Maybe it’s ‘old age’, maybe it’s just me, but lately it seems like the weeks are rolling by quickly! I’m almost surprised it’s Saturday – again! Seems like I just did Saturday about three days ago – my, how time flies when you’re having ‘fun?’???  It’s a slow-going day, so far (that’s a GOOD thing!) – been working on another 2 month special needs group newsletter (Nov/Dec, 2012). I’m happy to say that it’s almost ready to print (YAY!), just waiting for approval on one entry date and we’re ‘good to go’! Sometimes the newsletter goes together quickly, sometimes it really gives me trouble (hoping this time the printing goes ‘without a hitch’). Still have to address envelopes (about 50), put stamps on them and attach our self-sticking address labels, but so far – I’m on schedule – YAY! (they need to be mailed out Monday, hopefully).

Our weather is back to the (typical at this time of year) Fall temperatures – it’s clear out and 62 degrees F. Haven’t gone through my clothes to switch out the summer from the fall/winter yet; will get to that soon.

Lots of nice FALL/Cold Weather recipes coming in:


Pumpkin Brownies

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin 1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tub Cool Whip (or) cream cheese
frosting (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs, oil, pumpkin & sugars together.
Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly
mixed. Pour into greased & floured 9 X 13

baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until center
springs back when touched. Top with Cool
Whip or cream cheese frosting.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pasta Primavera

1 C. cottage cheese

1 T. lemon juice

8 oz thin spaghetti

1 T. oil

1/4 C. scallions, chopped

1/2 C. onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

freshly ground black pepper

2 C. mushrooms, sliced

1 C. green pepper, sliced

1 1/2 C. carrots, sliced

1 (10 oz) pkg broccoli, steamed

Mix cottage cheese & lemon juice; set

aside. Prepare spaghetti accordg to pkg.

directions. Heat oil in skillet; sautee
scallions, onions, garlic & black pepper

1 minute. Add mushrooms; stir 1 minute.
Add green pepper, carrots & broccoli; stir

3-4 minutes, set aside. Toss hot spaghetti

with cottage cheese mixture; top with

sauteed vegetables. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Linda N-Marys Recipe Exchange)


New Look Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

4 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 9), cut into
1/4 inch thick slices
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
3/4 lb. (12 oz) Velveeta, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/2 lb. smoked ham, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 10-12 minutes or just until
potatoes are tender; drain. Remove 3/4
of potatoes; place in large bowl. Add
sour cream; mash until smooth. Stir
in Velveeta, ham & onions. Gently
stir in remaining potato slices. Spoon
into 9 X 13 baking pan sprayed with
nonstick spray; sprinkle top with
Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes
or until heated through.
Serves 16, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon-Cheeseburger Rollup

1 lb. ground beef
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut
into 1/2 inch cubes
1 (13.8 oz) pkg. refrigerated pizza dough

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground beef with bacon & onions

in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.
Return mixture to skillet; add Velveeta;
cook 5 minutes or until melted, stirring
frequently; cool 10 minutes.
Unroll dough on baking sheet sprayed with

nonstick spray. Press into 15 x 8 inch
rectangle; top with meat mixture. Roll up,
starting at one long side, ending with roll
seam-side down. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until golden brown.  Slice into sections,
makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

(grill or oven)

1 whole roasting chicken 4-5 lb.


12 oz. ricotta cheese

1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2 tsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)

1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 large clove garlic, minced



olive oil

1 tsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/4 tsp. dried)

1/4 tsp. paprika

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Using
poultry shears or a knife, butterfly chicken – cut along
one side of backbone. Cut along other side & remove
backbone & tail. spread chicken open, skin side up.
Press down on chicken with palms of hands (or pound
with fists) to flatten the chicken. Skewer neck skin to
back. In medium bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan, egg, parsley,
garlic, 2 tsp. chopped basil, & 1 tsp. chopped tarragon. Using
a sharp paring knife & your fingers, loosen skin over top of
chicken & drumsticks starting at neck edge. Carefully spoon
cheese mixture under skin, pressing with your fingers to
distribute evenly over chicken & drumsticks. Brush chicken
lightly with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. tarragon,
paprika & a generous amount of salt.


Prepare grill for medium indirect heat. If using gas grill, heat
all burners on high until grill is hot, then turn off middle burner.
If using charcoal grill, bank coals to one side of grill; place a
large aluminum drip pan underneath grate on the side without

coals, adding a couple cups of water to drip pan so drippings
don’t burn. Place chicken, skin side up, on cooking grate, away

from side with coals if you are using a charcoal grill or, about
the middle burner if you are using gas. You can lay out chicken
on a rack in a disposable aluminum roasting pan & place pan on
the cooking grate (this works well with gas grills. Cover the grill.

Preheat oven 500 degrees F.
Place chicken, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in
oven & immediately turn heat down to 350 degrees F. Roast for
1 1/2 hours, until juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with
a fork. (Breast meat should have an internal temperature of 165 F.,
thigh meat should have an internal temperature of 175 F.). Transfer
chicken to a cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Cut into quarters,
cutting lengthwise and crosswise. Serves 4-6.

(recipe: Rhonda G. – Marys Recipe Exchange)
Garlic Mashed Potato Gratin

4 T. butter
5 lb. russet potatoes, peeled & diced
12 cloves garlic
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 C. chopped chives
salt & pepper

Grease 3 qt. ovenproof dish with 1 T. butter.

In large pot, cover potatoes & garlic with

cold water; add 2 tsp. salt
to water & bring to boil. Cook over
medium heat until tender, about 30
minutes. Drain & return potatoes &
garlic to pot. (while potatoes are
cooking) Bring cream, grated Parmesan &
2 T. butter to simmer in a medium saucepan,
stirring until Parmesan melts. Remove from
heat; set aside.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mash potatoes & garlic with cream cheese
until smooth. Add cream mixture to potato
mixture; stir until well combined. Stir in
chives & season with salt & pepper. Spoon
potato mixture into prepared baking dish.
Dot potatoes with remaining 1 T. butter;
bake until potatoes are heated through &
golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cobb Salad Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Roka Blue cheese dressing (Kraft)
1 C. finely chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 C. chopped roasted turkey breast
(Oscar Mayer Carving Board brand)
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 small plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 avocado, pitted & diced
1/4 C. crumbled blue cheese 4 slices bacon,

crisply cooked & crumbled
crackers for dipping

Mix cream cheese & dressing until well
blended; spread onto a serving plate or
bottom of pie plate; refrigerate 1 hour.
Top with layers of all remaining ingredients,
serve with crackers. Makes 6 1/2 C. dip

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon Breadsticks

6 bacon strips, halved-lengthwise
12 breadsticks (about 5 in. long)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Wrap a piece of bacon around each
breadstick. Place on a rack in ungreased
15 x 10 x 1 in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes

or until bacon is crisp.Makes 12.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Swirl

3 large eggs
1 C. sugar
2/3 C. canned pumpkin
3/4 C. Bisquick mix
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 C. chopped pecans
2-3 T. powdered sugar1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. butter or margarine,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease bottom & sides of a
15 X 10 X 1 inch jellyroll pan;
line with waxed paper & grease
waxed paper; set aside.
Beat eggs at high speed with
elec. mixer until thick & pale.
Gradually add 1 C. sugar, beating
until soft peaks form & sugar
dissolves (2-4 minutes); fold in
pumpkin. Combine Bisquick &
spices; fold into pumpkin mixture.
Spread evenly into prepared pan &
sprinkle top with chopped pecans.
Bake 13-15 minutes.
Sift 2-3 T. powdered sugar in a 15 x
10 inch rectangle on a cloth towel.
When cake is done, immediately
loosen cake from sides of pan, turn
out onto sugared towel. Carefully
peel off waxed paper. Starting at
a narrow end, roll up cake & towel
together. Cool cake completely on a
wire rack, seam side down.
Beat cream cheese & butter at medium
speed with elec. mixer until creamy;
add 1 C. powdered sugar & vanilla, beating
well. Unroll cake; spread with cream
cheese mixture; reroll without towel.
Place on a serving plate, seam side
down. Cover & chill at least 2 hours.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: DDJ – 10/17/12)
Pumpkin Corn Chowder

2 T. butter or margarine
1 small onion, minced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen whole kernel
corn, thawed 1 (16 oz) can pumpkin (not pie mix)
2 C. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 C. Half & Half

Melt butter in Dutch oven; add onion & saute

until tender. Add corn; cook,
stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Stir
in pumpkin & next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Stir in Half & Half;

cook until thoroughly
heated (do not boil). Makes about 6

(recipe: RDJ – 10/18/12)

Mini Pumpkin Pie Crescents

2 tubes crescent rolls
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 T. pumpkin pie spice
3-4 T. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees Open tubes

of rolls, split rolls
lengthwise to make more
crescents. Beat cream cheese,
pumpkin, spice,  & sugar
together until fluffy. Place
2 tsp. mixture on each crescent
and spread out. Roll up crescent
and sprinkle extra sugar &
pumpkin pie spice on top. Bake
15-18 minutes or until browned.

(recipe: facebook)

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend; think I’ll go start a new library book!



Published in: on October 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  

No Really Good Excuse . . .

just haven’t had much to write about! (I guess that’s a good thing). It’s been busy but kinda quiet here; got a call Monday asking if I could babysit our grandson on Wednesday; his Mom got a part-time job and needed me to watch him from around 4-7 p.m. Sure! Not a problem! That kinda changed when she called a day later saying she wanted me to pick him up at his BUS STOP, not at school. School I know – bus stop – No. After a good 15 minutes worth of her trying to tell me exactly where it was, I gave in and said: “Ok – I get it” (truth? I didn’t really). This produced me worrying all night, nightmares that somehow he’d be left there and we couldn’t find him – bad stuff. Next day (yesterday) my husband said: “Do you want ME to go with you?” YES!!! Two sets of eyes are much better than one. Turns out he had it all figured out – found the ‘stop’ with no problem at all! (I had pictured it somewhere between 2 apartment complexes – and it IS but it’s right on the MAIN road! I was terrified I wouldn’t SEE the bus or HEAR it, and it would be somewhere in the many little side streets in both apartment complexes.) Today was Day 2 of the same thing: I picked him up at the stop (by myself) with no problems – YAY! Mostly it’s been driving: picking up youngest from school, driving him to or from work, my special needs group Weds., etc. I DID have a unique situation which made me really smile (hear me out): a friend in my knit group has recently posted on Facebook that a close friend of hers now has been diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer – for the SECOND time. She had it almost 5 years ago (and then she was almost at the end of her 5-years taking cancer-preventing medicine) and got pregnant with her second child. The pregnancy messed with her hormones and brought on another estrogen-fed cancer. Her friend/my friend-Andrea, decided that she would host a fund raiser for her. She came up with various items to give, for a donation. She also posted that if she could raise $1,500, she would shave her head in honor of her friend. She did just that! I told her I would give her friend a chemo cap, and I gave one to my friend, also. She just posted on Facebook a photo of her wearing my hat (this is my friend Andrea the great fund raiser, not the friend who has cancer)

Such a great friend – and such a great chemo cap model, too!

Here are both of the ‘lovely ladies’ – such great hearts!

I ended up bidding (now that I think of it, I think I already wrote about this) on the Denise circular knitting needles and winning the bid. So glad she was able to reach her goal of $1,500; every little bit helps.

Still working on knitting baby hats, nothing new – counted this morning and I’m up to 28 (almost to the original number of 29 – that’s the number I had ready for the hospital and then sent to Nicaragua instead). Been having fun ‘creating’ using various yarns – stripes, heavy ‘fuzzy’ yarn stripes with thin baby yarns. Just learned in the past few days of two young ladies who will be having babies in the Spring, so it will soon be time for me to knit more baby blankets.

(later on this evening now) Pizzas cooked for dinner, Grandson has gone home, youngest son retrieved from his work. Next on the agenda: middle son & youngest son going to the midnight preview of “Silent Hill Revelation” (read that video game-themed spooky movie); they’re both really excited – middle son said it’s been something like 5-10 years since they were originally going to make this movie.

Guess I’d better get on with posting recipes, since that’s originally what I’d planned on doing when I first started this entry!


Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Loaf

16 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, thawed

3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled &
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
zest & juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tsp)

1 C. powdered sugar
3-4 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Cut thawed rolls in half. Combine apples, sugar,
nuts, cinnamon, lemon juice & zest. Flatten each
roll-half into a 2-3 inch circle. Place 1 tsp. apple
mixture in center of each dough circle. Pinch edges
together to seal, forming a ball. Place filled balls
in a sprayed 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Spoon remaining
apple mixture evenly over top. Cover with greased
plastic wrap – let rise until dough doubles.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove wrap, bake 40-45 minutes. Cover with
foil last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over
browning. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from
pan; place on wire rack to cool. Combine icing
ingredients; drizzle over loaf. Makes 1 loaf.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

3 lb. potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped, cooked ham
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. water

1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Place potatoes in crockpot. In medium
bowl, mix together, shredded cheese, onion
& ham. Mix with potatoes in crockpot. Using
the same bowl, mix together soup & water.
Season to taste with garlic powder, salt &
pepper. Pour evenly over potato mixture.
Cover & cook on High for 4 hours.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Layered Chile Casserole

1/2 lb. chorizo*
1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 C. picante sauce**
4 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. flour
1 (8 oz) pkg shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded & quartered

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Brown chorizo in

large skillet on medium heat;
drain. Add onions, garlic & adobo seasoning;
mix well. Cook & stir until onions are tender. Stir
in picante sauce; simmer 5 minutes. Beat eggs
lightly in medium bowl; add sour cream & flour,
mix well. Stir in cheese. Layer half each: chiles,
sausage mixture, egg mixture in greased 8-inch
square baking dish. Repeat layers. Bake 35
minutes or until center is set. Makes 8 servings.

*can substitute 1/2 lb. hamburger for chorizo
** can substitute salsa for picante sauce

(recipe: Kraft foods)

3-Cheese Chicken/Penne Pasta Bake

1 1/2 C. multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 (9 oz) pkg. fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried basil
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
2  oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large saucepan accordg.
to pkg. directions, omitting salt. Add
spinach leaves to boiling water for
last minute of cooking. Cook & stir
chicken & basil in large nonstick
skillet sprayed with nonstick spray on
medium-high heat 3 minutes. Stir in
tomatoes & spaghetti sauce; bring
to a boil. Simmer on Low heat 3 minutes
or until chicken is done, stirring
occasionally; stir in cream cheese.
Drain pasta mixture; return to pan.
Stir in chicken mixture & 1/2 C.
mozzarella;  pour into 2 quart
casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 20 minutes or until
heated through; top with remaining
cheeses. Bake 3 minutes or until
mozzarella is melted. Makes 4
servings, 2 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. cooked long-grain white rice
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Italian
Five-Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat with peppers & garlic
in large skillet; drain. Stir in rice,
spaghetti sauce & 3/4 C. cheese.
Spoon into 2 quart casserole dish
sprayed with nonstick spray; top
with remaining cheese. Bake 25
minutes or until heated through.
Makes 7 (1 C .each) servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Italian Sausage Soup

8 oz. hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage
2 C. chicken broth 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

with basil,
garlic & oregano
1/2 C. uncooked small shell pasta
2 C. bagged baby spinach leaves
2 T. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil

Heat large saucepan over medium heat. Remove
casings from sausage & add sausage to pan. Cook
about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to
crumble; drain & return to pan. Add broth, tomatoes
& pasta to pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover
& reduce heat – simmer 10 minutes or until pasta
is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach until
wilted. Sprinkle each serving with cheese & basil.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Tomato-Zucchini Gratin

3 lb. ripe plum tomatoes
3 lb. firm zucchini 1/2 C. dried bread crumbs
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. olive oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice tomatoes & zucchini into 1/4-inch

thick round slices, as uniformly as you
can. Overlap tomato & zucchini slices

on a cookie sheet or ovenproof platter, like
red & green shingles. Blend all dry
ingredients together, scatter them evenly
over tomatoes & zucchini. Sprinkle olive oil
on top & bake until golden brown & crusty,
about 20 minutes.  Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Death by Oreo Cupcakes

1 pkg. Oreos, regular size
1 pkg. mini oreos, (for decoration)
1 box chocolate cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
8 T. butter, room temp.
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix accordg to pkg. directions,
do not bake. Line cupcake pans with
paper liners. Place a regular sized
Oreo in bottom of each liner. Take 1/2
of remaining cookies & chop coarsely;
add to cake mix. Fill cupcake tins with
batter. Bake 15 minutes (or accordg.
to box directions).
Cream butter & cream cheese; add
vanilla, then powdered sugar slowly
until well blended. Chop remaining
regular-sized Oreos very fine &
add to frosting. After cupcakes are
cooled, frost with frosting & place a
few mini Oreos on top. Makes 24


How’s your weather? It’s been really gorgeous here the past 2-3 days. Temps in the mid-

70’s during the day, sunny & breezy (blowing all the leaves around and off the trees) – big, fluffy white clouds in a very bright blue sky – a PERFECT summer/fall day (I’m still saying I think this was our Indian Summer). Forecast for the next 3-4 days, starting Friday night: RAIN and temps in the 40’s (typical fall weather for this time of year in Michigan). I guess, if we have to, I’ll accept it. Sure was glad to see the really nice days.

Gas prices in your area – how’s it going for you there? Ours have gone down, in the past month, from almost $4.00 ($3.99/9) a gallon to $3.36/9 today (that’s the low-grade gas). I’m happy with that – topped off the tank since I know I’ll be driving some. I’d rather be a happy driver using $3.36/9 a gallon gas than the almost $4.00 it was (she says this knowing it will probably jump up again anytime now).

Anyway, friends – ENJOY YOUR DAY! 

Big hugs;


WoooEeeee, What a Goofy Day (so far)!!!

I’m sure you’ve had days like this, too – left the house to go pick up some books at the library and then stop at the drug store. Just as I’m getting in my car a very nice looking brown & white spotted Spaniel dog, dragging a very long leather leash came flying across my neighbor’s front yard, down my driveway and straight across our road! Let me say  here – I live on a MAJOR  Michigan HIGHWAY – speed limit 45 MPH! This dog managed to cross safely, run down the sidewalk, stop to decide whether to go into the park across the street, then hightail it down that sidewalk! I never saw anyone running or calling after that dog – sure hope they find him, he SURE CAN RUN!!!  Proceeding on my way, it seemed that no matter WHERE I went there was either (a) a car, (b) a person (c) an old person or (d) an old person on a bicycle who wanted to cut either in front or behind me while I was attempting to drive! CRAZY!!! Found myself thinking: “Just wrap me up in cotton batton and GET ME HOME SAFELY!!!”  Anyway, I’m home safe now – whew!

It’s an absolutely GORGEOUS day out there today! Sunny, slight breeze and, . . . wait for it . . . SEVENTY ONE degrees F.!!! WOW! (now, that causes me to wonder: “Is THIS the Indian Summer I’ve been waiting for?”) We’ll see. Last night I was awakened at around 3 a.m. by a HUGE, VERY LONG thunder clap followed by a ton of rain. Was really thinking: tomorrow’s going to be cold, gray and rainy – not so! YAY! Driving by our gas station earlier I was amazed by the price: $3.59!!! (I have 3/4 tank but was tempted to fill it up, just because of that price!) VERY neat!!!

Now I’m wondering: should I post SUMMER or FALL/WINTER recipes? Oh well, guess I’d better stick to the ‘season’ of this year instead of my ‘flight of fancy’ weather, eh? Here ya go:


Easy Turtle Brownies

1 (14 oz) bag caramels, unwrapped
2/3 C. evaporated milk, divided
1 (18.25 oz) German chocolate cake mix,
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
6 oz or 1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt caramels & 1/2 C. milk together
until smooth; set aside. In mixing
bowl, combine cake mix, butter &
1/2 C. milk with elec. mixer until
blended well. In a greased 9 X 13 pan,
pour half of batter. Bake 6-7 minutes.
Remove from oven, drizzle caramel
over top & sprinkle with chocolate
chips & nuts. Pour remaining batter
over top; return to oven & bake
20-25 minutes.

(recipe: DDJ-07/06/12)
Gooey Chicken Burritos

3 large chicken breasts
1 (12 oz) jar salsa (red or green)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes
1 C. grated cheese (your choice)
1 onion, chopped
sliced black olives (optional)
2 t. tapioca
flour tortillas
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Cut chicken into strips. Combine salsa,
chic. soup, Ro*tel tomatoes, 1 C.
grated cheese, onion, black olives &
tapioca in crockpot. Cook on High
3-4 hours. Spoon onto warmed
tortillas, top with shredded Cheddar
cheese – microwave to melt cheese,
if desired. Serve with salsa & sour
cream, for toppings, if desired.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Mary’s Recipe

Easy Skillet Lasagna

8 oz. dry bow tie pasta, uncooked

3/4 lb. Italian pork sausage

2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced

tomatoes with basil,garlic &

oregano, undrained

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta accordg to pkg

directions, omitting salt.

Cook sausage in large non-stick

skillet over medium-high heat

7 minutes or until crumbled &

no longer pink, stirring

occasionally; drain. Add undrained

tomatoes & tomato paste; mix well.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer

5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta, stir into tomato

mixture. Stir in 1 C. cheese,

sprinkle remaining 1 C. cheese

over top. Cover & cook 5

minutes or until cheese melts.

Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat)


Quick Apple Dumplings

1 1/2 C. sugar

2 C. water

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided

1/4 C. butter or margarine

2/3 C. sugar

2 (15 oz, ea) pkgs refrigerated


8 medium Braeburn* apples, peeled &


3 T. butter or marg., cut up

vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Bring 1 1/2 C. sugar, 2 C. water,

1/4 tsp. cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

to a boil in saucepan over medium-

high heat, stirring constantly;

reduce heat & simmer, stirring

occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove

from heat, stir in 1/4 C. butter;

set syrup aside.

Cut piecrusts in half & roll into

8 inch circles. Place 1 apple in

center of each circle. Sprinkle

each evenly with sugar mixture;

dot evenly with 3 T. butter.

Fold dough over apples, pinching

to seal. Place in a lightly

greased 9 X 13 baking dish;

drizzle with syrup.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Serve with

vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

*Golden Delicious or Granny

Smith apples can substitute

(recipe: DDJ – 10/02/12)


Grilled Chicken/Apple Salad

2 T. margarine

1 large Granny Smith apple*, peeled/

cored & thinly sliced

1 large onion, sliced

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

halves, grilled or broiled

4 C. mixed salad greens

1/4 c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

1/2 C. toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

Melt margarine in 12 inch skillet over

medium-high heat; cook apple & onion,

stirring occasionally 4 minutes or until

tender. Reduce heat to medium, cook,

uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20

minutes or until apple & onion are

golden brown. Slice chicken & keep

warm. Spoon warm apple mixture over

greens, then top with chicken. Drizzle

with dressing & garnish with nuts.

Serves 2

* or other tart apple


Unfried Chicken Skewers

6 T. margarine, melted & divided
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into strips
1/2 C. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parch-
ment paper, then evenly brush with
2 T. melted margarine. Thread
chicken on 8 skewers*; dip into
flour to coat. Dip into beaten
egg then bread crumbs to coat.
Arrange on prepared baking sheets.
Brush chicken skewers with remaining
1/4 C. melted margarine. Bake until
chicken is thoroughly cooked, about
8-10 minutes. Serve with barbecue
sauce. Makes 18 skewers.

*if using wooden skewers, soak them
in water at least 30 minutes prior
to use.
Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium butternut squash

8 T. butter

2 leeks

2-3 (10 oz, ea) cans chicken broth

1/4 C. maple syrup

salt, to taste

1/4 C. or more heavy cream

Prick skin of squash/ roast in a pan

with small amount of water until well-

cooked, just before skin begins to

burn. Allow to cool slightly, slice

in half & remove seeds. Scoop out flesh

& reserve in a bowl.

Dice white ends only of 2 leeks; cook gently

in 8 T. butter. When leeks are soft, add

enough flour to make a paste (roux). Gradually

stir in chicken broth, stirring constantly. When

consistency of cream is reached, stir in squash.

Soup will be thick. Add more broth if necessary.

Process in manageable batches in a blender, using

‘puree’ setting. Return to pan & heat. Stir in

maple syrup; test for salt. Just before serving,

stir in heavy cream.

(recipe: RDJ 10/05/12)


Pumpkin Spice Cake


1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Spice Cake

2 large eggs

1 C. water

1 C. canned pumpkin

1 C. chopped nuts

1 tub Duncan Hines vanilla frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease & flour 10 inch Bundt pan. Combine

cake mix, eggs, water & pumpkin in large

bowl. Beat at medium speed with elec. mixer

2 minutes; stir in nuts & pour into pan.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted

into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25

minutes. Invert onto serving plate; cool

completely before frosting. Makes 12-16




Tonight is my special needs group – the good thing is: we have our missionary coming! She’s absolutely excellent with the ‘kids’ – teaches them songs, Bible verses, tells stories and plays various “Boys vs Girls” games – they love it & her!  For Lois & I (the teacher of the group & me) it’s an ‘easy’ evening (usually) – we try to have a Business Meeting (in another classroom) while she runs the class.  Right now we’ll be discussing ideas for the Thanksgiving food basket and the Christmas Family Gathering (big Christmas dinner/party for the kids, their families & caregivers). It’s hard to believe Christmas is getting closer, but we’re now working, weekly, on the song our kids will be singing for the big party (we do this each year). This song is rather complicated and I’m kinda glad I won’t by playing the piano for it (we’ll be using a CD). Since our kids are special needs, then really develop ‘habits’ quickly – ie: once they begin learning the words & music to their song, they REALLY don’t do well if we suddenly switch to me playing piano for it instead of them hearing the music on the CD for their cues.

Not much else going on – still working on baby hats – up to 18 new ones – they knit up fast. It takes me about 45 minutes for a premie hat and maybe 1 hr 15 minutes for a regular-sized baby hat. Oh! Almost forgot to mention – I won something! (yes, I’m one of those “I NEVER win anything” people) but this time I won a very nice set of “Denise Circular Knitting Needles” – value $60. A friend of mine from the knit group has a friend who’s about to begin treatment for a rare form of breast cancer and my friend decided to do an ‘on-line’ auction for her. I was truly amazed that I won the bid! Glad to do it for a good cause; I understand that her friend will have to stop working immediately because of her treatment and they have young children, so that will put a big burden on their family, financially. (I was so blessed to have insurance that covered my treatments). My friend is also knitting her little heart out, offering various hats, scarves, etc. for a donation for her friend.

Not exactly sure where the rest of this post went, but I’ll close for now and attempt to get it published before more goofy stuff happens!

ENJOY your day!



Travelin’ Baby Hats!

29 Baby Hats for Nicaragua!

(both regular size and premie)

This evening I get to hand them off to my friend who’s going on the trip with Henry Ford Hospital staff to Nicaragua! One of my friends at church helped knit some of them (the ones with tiny pom pons) – 29 hats all totalled. Still working on more hats for the hospital, I now have 13 hats done for that project. It’s fun knitting these little hats – I get to use up small bits of yarn AND help someone at the same time – Win/Win situation!

On another note – remember my mentioning the BIG batch of yarn that was (hopefully) coming my way? Well, finally ran into the lady from church who was my ‘go-between’ person – she’s been on vacation for a week. When she returned to her office the big box was gone. After talking to her boss, it seems the Boss knew of several of the resident’s families who get together to knit once a month, so she gave it to them. Oh well – sometimes I just have to accept the  fact that if something DOESN’T come my way, there must be something better in the future. Besides, I still have a LOT of yarn of my own to work through.  (Don’t think I NEED yarn – I really don’t – it was just a nice ‘possibility’).

Working on Enchiladas for dinner tonight; we just finished off the White Bean Chicken chili/soup last night and the guys are ‘hankerin’ for some warm-your-tummy cold weather food. Me? I’m just glad to make a dish that will feed them for more than one meal! Usually ‘enchi’s’ will feed them for a good 2 1/2 dinner meals  – I usually make about 12-16 large ones (I use the really big flour tortillas; one of them is enough for me, the guys usually eat 2 at a sitting). We top them with some Tabasco sauce and large dollops of sour cream – yummmmm!  More tasty-sounding recipes comin’ your way:


Double Chocolate Gooey Butter

Cake  (Paula Dean)

8 T. butter, melted plus

8 more tablespoons, melted

1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake


1 egg, plus 2 eggs

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

3-4 T. cocoa powder

1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In large bowl, combine cake mix,

1 egg, 1 stick melted butter; stir

until well blended. Pat mixture into

prepared pan;set aside.

In a stand mixer or with hand mixer,

beat cream cheese until smooth. Add

remaining 2 eggs & cocoa powder. Lower

speed of mixer, add powdered sugar.

Continue beating until ingredients are

well mixed. Slowly add remaining 1 stick

melted butter & vanilla, continue beating

mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts using

a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake

mixture in pan. Bake 40-50 minutes. Be

careful not to overcook cake; the center

should still be a little gooey when

finished baking. Let cake partially cool

on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.

Serves 20-24.

(recipe: Food Network)


Honey-Mustard Pork Chops

1/4 C. money
2 T. prepared yellow mustard
1 T. butter
1 1/2 lb. center-cut boneless pork chops,
1/2 inch thick
garlic powder, to taste

Mix honey & mustard together in bowl until
completely mixed. Heat butter in skillet over
medium-high heat; lay chops in hot butter. Sprinkle
with half garlic powder, cook until browned, about
3 minutes. Turn chops, sprinkle with remaining
garlic powder & fry for 3 more minutes. Brush
honey-mustard sauce over chops, turn & cook
5 minutes more. Turn once more & brush with sauce.
Cook until chops are no longer pink inside &
thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops
reads 165 degrees F, about 5 more minutes.


Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 1/2 C. beef broth
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans tomato soup
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
dash sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
1 C. cooked rice

In a stockpot over medium heat
brown beef, drain well. Add
remaining ingredients except rice;

mix well. Reduce heat to
low; cover & simmer 45 minutes.
Stir in rice, simmer an additional
15 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Chicken Cacciatore with Rice

2 T. cooking oil

1 C. chopped onion

2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

3 small zucchini, cut diagonally

into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken

breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

with basil, garlic & oregano,


1/4 C. tomato paste

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

3 C. hot, cooked brown rice

Heat oil in skillet over medium-

high heat. Add onion, mushrooms,

zucchini; cook 3-5 minutes or

until vegetables are crisp-tender,

stirring occasionally. Add chicken,

cook 5-7 minutes or until pieces

are no longer pink in centers,

stirring occasionally. Add

undrained tomatoes, tomato paste,

salt & pepper; stir. Cook until

hot, stirring occasionally. Serve

over rice. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat)


Corn & Wild Rice Chowder

1 pkg. long grain & wild rice

pilaf (Uncle Ben’s)

2 lb. frozen corn, thawed

2 cans chicken broth, divided

3 T. flour

1 onion, chopped

1/2 C. carrots, peeled & finely


1 1/2 C. skim milk **see NOTE**

salt & pepper, to taste

Prepare wild rice accordg to pkg.

directions, ommitting any oil &

salt; set aside. Combine corn, 1

can chicken broth, & flour in a

food processor. Process until

corn is thickened & mixture is

pureed. In large non-stick pot

coated with non-stick cooking

spray, saute onion & carrots until

vegetables are tender, about 5

minutes. Add corn mixture, wild

rice & remaining can chicken

broth. Cook 10 minutes or until

very well heated. Add milk &

continue cooking until hot.

Season with salt & pepper.

**NOTE: poster said they use

1 C. skim milk and 1/2 C. fat-

free half & half

(recipe: RDJ 09/28/12)


Easy Pierogi Casserole

9 lasagna noodles, uncooked

4 C. hot mashed potatoes

1/2 C. Kraft Philadelphia

Chive & Onion cream cheese spread

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 (3 oz) pkg. bacon bits, divided*

2 C. Kraft shredded Triple Cheddar

cheese with a touch of Philadelphia,


Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Cook noodles as directed on pkg,

omitting salt. Combine potatoes,

cream cheese spread, onions, 1/2

C. bacon & 1 C. Cheddar. Place

3 noodles in 9 X 13 baking dish

sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover

with 1/3 of potato mixture; repeat

layers twice. Top with remaining

bacon & Cheddar; cover. Bake 30

minutes or until heated through.

Uncover, bake 3-5 minutes longer

or until cheese is lightly browned.

Let stand 10  minutes before cutting

to serve. Serves 12.

*Bacon Bits: Oscar Mayer Real Bacon


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Creamy Chicken/Bacon/Tomato Pasta

3 C. bow-tie pasta, uncooked

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken

breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 slices cooked, crumbled bacon

1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced

tomatoes, undrained

4 oz cream cheese, cubed

1/2 C. water

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg directions,

omitting salt. Cook chicken in large

skillet on medium heat 5-6 minutes

or until done, stirring occasionally.

Add next 5 ingredients; mix well. Cook

3 minutes or until cream cheese is

completely melted & mixture is well

blended, stirring frequently. Drain

pasta, place in large bowl. Add sauce,

mix lightly & sprinkle with Parmesan.

Serves 4 (1 3/4 C. each)

NOTE: Some cookes prefer to drain pasta

well to prevent excess water from

diluting the sauce, others like a little

moisture to help prevent pasta from

sticking together. Reserve a few T. cooking

water to add to pasta if it starts to

stick together or if you want to dilute

the sauce.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Honey Pecan Tart

1 C. sugar

1/4 C. water

1 C. whipping cream

1/4 C. unsalted butter,

cut into small pieces

1/4 C. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 C. pecan halves, coarsely


1 (15 oz) pkg. refrigerated


2 tsp sugar, divided

1/2 (4 oz) pkg. bittersweet

chocolate, chopped

Bring 1 C. sugar & 1/4 C. water

to a boil in medium heavy saucepan,

stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover

& boil over medium-high heat, without

stirring, 8 minutes or until golden,

swirling pan occasionally. Remove from

heat, gradually stir in whipping cream

(mixture will bubble with addition of

cream) Add butter, honey & salt; stirring

until smooth. Stir in pecans, simmer over

medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5

minutes. Remove from heat, cool

completely. Unfold 1 piecrust onto

lightly floured surface; roll into an

11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch

removable bottom tart pan. Trim

edges; freeze crust 30 minutes.

Spread pecan mixture into crust. Unfold

remaining piecrust; roll into 10-inch circle.

Place over mixture, pressing into bottom crust

to seal; trim edges. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar;

freeze 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Bake tart 30 minutes; cool on wire rack.

Place chocolate in small heavy-duty zip-top

plastic bag; seal. Submerge in hot water

until chocolate melts. Snip a tiny hole in 1

corner of bag; drizzle chocolate over tart.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. sugar. Makes

1 9 inch tart.

(recipe: DDJ–09/26/12)


Savory Herb Spread

1/4 C. chopped flat-leaf parsley

6 gherkins or 1 regular-sized

pickle, chopped

1 T. small capers, rinsed &


1 clove garlic, chopped

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 T. whole grain Dijon mustard

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 C. margarine, softened

Combine all ingredients in

medium bowl. Serve with grilled

whole wheat bread or use as a

dressing on sandwiches. Can be

used to top grilled fish, roasted

chicken or on a bowl of cooked pasta

just before serving.

Can be made a day ahead & refrigerated.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 1 Cup spread.


Maple Sauteed Apples


4 Granny Smith apples, cored/peeled &


3 T. butter

1/4 C. maple syrup

pinch ground cinnamon

In a large nonstick skillet, cook apples

in 3 T. butter over medium-high heat,

stirring, until soft. Add syrup and pinch

of cinnamon; cook until glazed, about 5

minutes. Makes 4 servings.

NOTE from poster: great with pork chops

or a pork roast. Also good for a warm

apple ice cream sundae.

(recipe: RDJ-10/05/12)


It’s back to the gray, light-drizzle, cold/CHILLY days here in good old Michigan. Lots of leaves falling and lots more on the ground. The colors are really nice  – I love looking at all the beautiful leaves as they change from green to various yellows, golds, reds, and all shades of orange – a little reminder of how much thought the Lord put into His creation!

Hope you have a really GREAT day!



Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

New ‘Era’ in the Future . . . Maybe

Middle son came home today after spending the night with his friend; he announced he will be moving in  with said friend December 1st! Interesting! His friend is a really nice guy (very VERY smart computer guy – runs his own company, or several, not exactly sure). He has an apartment about 20 min. away from us and the guys are thinking this would be a good thing. My son loves all things computer/video games (has all his life) and his friend is also a computer game geek/expert. They are going to be creating a game together – I think that’s great! Our son has the smarts/ideas, his friend has the expertise & ability to possibly make this happen – it’s a Win/Win, sounds like. Son is really excited – he’s 23 and has wanted to move out for a long time but never had the funds to go it on his own. We’ll see how it goes; he & I sat down and made up a working grocery list for that day (apparently his friend keeps very little in the fridge and doesn’t cook at all). Our son has some skills at cooking (not like his brother, the chef) but he can make easy stuff like mac & cheese, eggs/omelets/, soups, stir fry, hamburgers, etc. I’m really hoping it turns into a great mutual thing – they are both around the same age and like the same things (and have a lot of the same friends) s0 we’ll see! (I told him I’ll start looking around for things he might need: night stand/table lamp/chest of drawers, etc.; we actually stumbled upon something his friend DOESN’T have: a can opener! He said the last time he was over there they ended up trying to open a can of food with a knife – YIKES! The good thing is: we have about 1 1/2 months to prepare/shop/etc. I do know he’ll need some bath towels (plus all the bathroom necessities: shampoo/deodorant/shave cream & razors/TP, toothpaste, etc. Hey, what are Mom’s for???

Today is a rather grey, rainy/windy day – just the kind of Beginning Fall weather I’d expect; husband said it’s supposed to rain tomorrow too -sigh. I wouldn’t mind (usually) – it’s the kind of day you’d love to snuggle up with a good book (or knitting) under a really soft, warm comforter and spend the day relaxing. That ‘would’ be the case except . . . we needed groceries & a trip to the drug store – sigh. Wasn’t too bad, only light rain – got the trip done in about an hour, total, now we’re stocked for another week or so. Planning for Pierogies & sausages one night, Enchiladas (good for 2 nights), Beef Stew (more than 2 days) and Salmon Patties/baked potatoes & tossed salad – that’s the ‘planned for’ menu for this coming week – we’ll see how it works out. The other ‘good thing’ about middle son moving out – I can freeze some of the foods I make a lot of and label them for him to take home (like stew, spaghetti, enchiladas, etc. – I mean AFTER he moves). I remember doing that for oldest son, for awhile. The difference in the two boys – oldest was a sous chef when he moved out (read that: able to cook for himself), middle son is sort of ‘starting out’ in the cooking area/grocery shopping, etc. He DOES go grocery shopping with his special needs clients, so it’s not totally foreign to him (but it might be a bit so, since he will be shopping for himself!).

Speaking of foods, menus, etc. – here’s more recipes!


Zucchini Fritters

1 lb. (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 tsp. coarse or Kosher salt (plus
extra-to taste)
2 scallions, split lengthwise & sliced thin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
oil for frying

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
Trim ends off zucchini; grate on either
large holes of box grater or, shredding
blade of food processor. In large bowl,
toss zucchini with 1 tsp. coarse salt;
set aside 10 minutes. Stir in scallions,
egg & some freshly ground black pepper.

In a tiny dish, stir together flour & baking
powder, then stir mixture into zucchini
batter. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2
T. oil over medium-high heat until
shimmering. Drop small batches of
zucchini mixture onto skillet, only a
few at a time so they don’t become
crowded – lightly nudge them flatter
with the back of a spatula. Cook
fritters over moderately high heat
until edges underneath are golden
about 3-4 minutes. Flip fritters &
fry on other side until browned, about
2-3 minutes more. Drain briefly on
paper towels then transfer to baking
sheet; place in warm oven until
needed. Repeat process, keeping pan
well-oiled, using remaining batter.
Leave fritters in oven 10-15 minutes to
finish setting.


1 C. sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1-2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
pinch of salt
1 small minced or crushed clove of

Stir together above ingredients &
adjust flavor according to your taste.
Dollop on each fritter before serving.

NOTE: These fritters keep well, either
chilled in fridge or frozen in a well-
sealed package. When ready to use
them, simply spread them out on
a tray in a 325 degree oven until
they’re hot & crisp again.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

2 -3 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 (16 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. finely chopped ginger

Combine all ingredients in crockpot;
stir well. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours, or High 2-3 hours.

(recipe; Richard-slowcooker digest)

Peanut-Chocolate Mud Pie Squares

20 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
(about 1 2/3 C.), divided
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) TUB cream cheese spread
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. sugar 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed &
1/4 C. coarsely chopped peanuts
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate instant pudding
1 1/2 C. cold milk

Line a 9 inch square pan with plastic wrap,
with ends of wrap extending over sides. Mix
1 1/2 C. cookie crumbs & butter; press onto
bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate until
ready to use. Beat cream cheese spread,
peanut butter & sugar in medium bowl with
mixer until well blended. Gently stir in
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip; spread over crust. Top
with 1/4 C. remaining cookie crumbs.
Beat pudding mix & milk in same bowl with
mixer on Low speed 2 minutes. Stir in
remaining Cool Whip; spoon over crumb
mixture. Top with remaining crumbs & nuts.
Freeze overnight. Remove dessert from freezer
20 minutes before serving; let stand at room
temperature to soften slightly. Use plastic
wrap handles to remove dessert from pan
before cutting into squares. Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Green Bean & Turkey Casserole

2 C. cubed, cooked turkey or chicken
2 C. frozen green beans
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 C. milk
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. plain mashed potato mix (dry)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 of (2.8 oz) can french fried onions-
(1/2 C.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In 2 qt. saucepan, mix turkey, green beans,
soup & 1/3 C. milk. Cook over medium heat
6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
mixture is hot. Make mashed potatoes
in microwave accordg to pkg directions,
using water, remaining 2/3 C. milk, butter,
salt & mashed potato mix. Remove turkey
mixture from heat; stir in cheese until
melted. Pour into ungreased 2 quart
casserole dish; top with mashed potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes. Sprinkle top
with onions; bake 3-5 minutes longer or
until mixture is bubbly & onions are warm.
Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Beef & Broccoli

2 C. broccoli
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 C. water
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 C. thinly sliced beef
vegetable oil
(cooked rice)

Cut broccoli into 1-inch pieces. Mix sugar,
cornstarch, water & soy sauce in a bowl.
Heat vegetable oil in frying pan; add
broccoli & stir fry 3-4 minutes. Remove
broccoli & set aside. Heat oil, again, stir-
fry sliced beef 1-2  minutes. Add sauce
to meat in pan; allow sauce to boil 15-
20 seconds, then add broccoli. Mix
together. Pour broccoli & beef on a bed
of cooked rice & serve. Serves 2.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


Banana-Stuffed French Toast

1 C. mashed ripe banana
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
4 (1 in. thick) slices Italian bread
1 C. milk
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
4 large egg whites
2 large eggs
2 tsp. margarine, divided
1/2 C. maple syrup

Combine banana & lemon juice in small
bowl; stir well, set aside. Cut bread
slices in half, crosswise; cut a slit through
sides of each piece of bread to form a
pocket. Stuff 2 T. banana mixture into
pocket of each piece of bread. Combine
milk & next 6 ingredients (milk-eggs) in
a large shallow dish; stir well with whisk.
Arrange stuffed bread pieces in single
layer in dish, turning to coat. Cover &
chill 45 minutes or until milk mixture is
absorbed, turning bread pieces over after
20 minutes.
Melt 1 tsp. margarine in large nonstick
skillet over medium heat; add half of
bread pieces; cook 4 minutes. Carefully
turn bread over; cook 3 minutes or until
browned. Repeat, then serve with
maple syrup. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: RDJ – 09/12/12)

Creamy Mashed Carrots

2 lb. carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 C. (1/2 tub) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion Cream Cheese spread
(chopped chives, optional garnish)

Bring carrots & broth to boil in saucepan
on high heat; cover. Simmer on medium-
low heat 30 minutes or until carrots are
very tender & most of broth is absorbed,
uncovering for last 5 minutes. Remove
from heat; mash until smooth. Add
cream cheese spread; stir until melted.
(sprinkle with chopped chives before
serving, if desired)
Serves 8, about 1/2 C. each
Recipe can be made ahead; cool then
refrigerate up to 24 hours. Reheat just
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Eclair Dessert

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
1 3/4 C. cold milk
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter*
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
24 Honey graham crackers
6 oz. semi-sweet 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 grahams &
half of pudding mixture in 9 X 13 baking pan,
breaking grahams as necessary to fit. Repeat
layers; top with remaining grahams.
Microwave chocolate & butter in microwavable
bowl on High 2 minutes or until butter is melted,
stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is
completely melted & mixture is well blended;
spread over grahams. Refrigerate 8 hours.
Makes 24 servings.

To Serve:
Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Repeat after
each cut to warm & clean the blade.

*Dessert can also be made omitting the peanut

(recipe: Kraft foods)

So, that’s what’s going on around my house – how about you? I’ve been happy to see that several of you have actually left comments here – I LOVE hearing from readers! Thanks for writing!

Hope you have a nice weekend – try to relax a little, enjoy something like a nice, warm cup of cocoa/tea/coffee, etc. – close your eyes for a few minutes & let yourself just RELAX! Try it – you might just find out you like it!!!



Happy “I Love Yarn!” Day!

What did I do to celebrate this lovely holiday? Not much – just worked on knitting another baby hat AND was able to solidify handing over my 29 baby hats (on Monday) to a friend who’s going to Nicaragua on a trip with Henry Ford f0r a week (she’s a nurse). Sounds kind of disjointed – eh? Anyway, she’s leaving in less than 2 weeks and thought it might be a good idea to see if she could teach some of the new moms there how to crochet baby hats. She said they don’t have any means of keeping their newborns warm (other than cradling them in their arms) and she asked if hats would help (the answer was YES!) so she’s going to take the ones I’ve finished with her on her trip! I’ve got lots of yarn and my project doesn’t have an exact ‘delivery’ date; the lady at St. Joseph’s hospital just said to call her when I wanted to drop off hats. I’m just glad they’re going to a good cause! (Just had a thought – yes, I can hear you suggesting it: I’ll try to remember to photograph the hats before I hand them over to her on Monday.)

Today’s been a productive and yet sort of disjointed day: started by visiting the bank, gas station, then a fund raiser for the Historical Society, then the dollar store & hardware store all before picking up youngest son at school. After that, we went to KMart, Meijers then Value World – he was looking to purchase some new light weight flannel shirts. He ended up with 2 at KMart and 2 at Value World, so he was happy. I, on the other hand, was looking for relatively inexpensive, small gifts for my special needs group. I’ve mentioned we do the Music/Birthday night once a month. On that night, those who have birthdays that month usually get cards or presents, or both from the other kids in the group. Occasionally we end up with someone who doesn’t get anything – for that situation we, the leaders: Lois & myself, have a box in our cupboard of small, inexpensive gifts wrapped & labeled boy or girl. I was happy to find some nice pens, some ‘fancy’ pencils (girly-type-flowers/bows/hearts, etc. & guy-types – footballs/baseballs, etc.) and a cute little teddy bear statue. It’s a bit hard to purchase gifts for our kids as they have such varied skill levels – some are really happy with coloring books & crayons while others are higher functioning and might prefer simple jigsaw puzzles, pens, pencils, etc. Anyway, I’m happy to have something to put in the birthday box for the next  birthday person.

Dinner tonight is one of my old stand-bys: White Bean Chicken Chili (the stuff that I actually call soup – recipe from a friend and she called it chili). Haven’t been cooking a lot lately – the guys haven’t been eating much. We went through spaghetti then homemade pizza, so I decided to do the ‘soup/chili’ thing – it’s filling and lasts for a few dinners.


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)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into strips
1 (15 oz) can whole peeled
tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 banana peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. water
1 (14.25 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen corn
1 T. chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada
sauce, onion, banana peppers & garlic
in crock pot. Pour in water & chicken
broth; season with cumin, chili powder,
salt, ground black pepper & bay leaf.
Stir in corn & cilantro. Cover & cook
on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly coat both sides of tortillas
with nonstick cooking spray. Cut
tortillas into strips, then spread on
a baking sheet. Bake until crisp,
10-15 minutes. Sprinkle tortilla
chips over soup before serving.

(recipe: Mary Free- Marys Recipe

Tomato ‘n Onion Pie

9 inch pie shell
4 tomatoes
2 large or 4 small vidalia onions,
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake pie shell; let cool. Layer
sliced tomatoes & chopped
onions; sprinkle each layer
with salt & sweet basil. Mix
cheese & mayonnaise; spread
on top of pie. Bake 30 minutes,

(recipe: Pat K – RDJ-08/31/12)

Corn Salsa with Peppery Chicken

1 (15.25 oz)can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can (DelMonte) diced tomatoes
with onion & garlic
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. conrstarch 1 (15 oz) can black beans,

rinsed & drained
(optional) flour tortillas
(optional) cilantro & parsley, chopped

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle chicken with pepper.
Place on unheated rack of broiler pan. Broil
4-5 inches from heat 12-15 minutes or until
chicken is no longer pink, turning once.
Combine corn, undrained tomatoes & corn-
starch in a medium saucepan until cornstarch
dissolves. Cook & stir over medium heat until
slightly thickened & bubbly. Cook & stir 2
minutes more; stir in beans; heat through.
Spoon salsa onto plates; top with chicken.
Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, serve with
flour tortillas, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: DelMonte)

Smokin’ Bacon Onion Chipotle Dip

1 (16 oz) tub sour cream 1 (1 oz) envelope

onion soup mix
1/2 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)
6 slices bacon, cooked crumbled,
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
sauce (with 1 tsp. sauce) finely
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 green onions, sliced

Mix sour cream & soup mix in medium
bowl until blended. Add cheese, 2/3 of
bacon, peppers, adobo sauce & paprika.
Refrigerate 1 hour. Top with remaining
bacon & onions, serve with crackers.
Makes 18 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spinach-stuffed Mushrooms

1 1/2 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) pkg. chicken stuffing mix
40 fresh mushrooms (2 lb)
2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well drained
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add hot water to stuffing mix in
large bowl; stir just until moistened;
set aside. Remove stems from
mushrooms; chop stems. Melt
butter in skillet over medium heat.
Add chopped stems & garlic; cook,
stirring, 5 minutes, or until tender.
Add to stuffing mix with spinach &
cheeses; mix well. Spoon into
mushroom caps. Place, filled-sides
up, in shallow pan. Bake 20 minutes
or until mushrooms are tender &
filling is heated through. Makes 40.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Harvest Baked Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squash (1 1/2 lb. each)
2 C. finely chopped apple
1/4 C. apple juice
1 T. margarine or butter, melted
1 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
32 Wheat Thins crackers, coarsely crushed
1/3 C. raisins

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half crosswise; remove
seeds. Place, cut sides down, in 9 x 13
baking pan. Add enough water to fill
dish 1/2 inch deep. Bake 40-45 minutes
or until squash is tender. Remove squash
from dish; cool slightly. Scoop cooked
squash from shells into medium bowl,
leaving 1/4 inch thick shells; set shells aside. Add apples, apple juice, margarine,
brown sugar, lemon juice & cinnamon to
squash in bowl; mix until well blended.
Stir in crushed Wheat Thins & raisins;
spoon evenly into shells. Bake 10 minutes
or until heated through. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G. – Marys Recipe

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Butter Crust:
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground mace or nutmeg
1 C. flour

Lemon Filling:
1 C. cottage cheese
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. lemon zest
3 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg
1 egg white

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare crust:

beat first 4 ingredients at medium

speed with elec. mixer until
smooth. Add 1 C. flour, beating at

low speed until well blended. Press

mixture on bottom of 8 x 8 square

pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake 20 minutes.
Prepare filling: Blend cottage cheese in
food processor 1 minute or until
smooth. Add granulated sugar & next
6 ingredients; process 30 seconds or until
well blended. Pour filling over prepared crust.

Bake 25 minutes or until set. (edges
will be lightly browned) Cool 30 minutes.
Cover & chill 8 hours, cut into bars.
Serves 8.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

The other day I was talking with my husband about a game I got interested in playing on-line: “Gardens of Time”. I guess it’s also a biggie on Facebook, but I found it on a separate site. It’s a “hidden objects’ game and I love doing those EXCEPT this one began to get on my nerves as you do your ‘quests’ using ‘energy and you need 10 energy points to play each segment of the game. Believe me, you run out of energy quickly in this game and then you can either WAIT (waiting gets you energy at a very slow rate), ask your ‘neighbors’ (other people playing the game) if they’ll ‘give’ you energy or BUY it, using REAL money (credit cards, etc. all accepted). Don’t know about you, but I have trouble accepting the idea that in order to play this game at any rate other than extremely slow, requires I hand out real money to play. Not going to happen! My husband then said he’d found an old game I used to love to play on an older computer: “Rollercoaster Tycoon”! Because my new computer is faster (with great graphics) it will take this older game – in fact all 3 versions (including Loopy Landscapes & Corkscrew Follies – never played those!) – all I have to do is put in the disc, sit back and PLAY! (Talk about a TIME STEALER!!!) I’ve been having fun (using an ‘already paid for’ game), eating up some time, and enjoying it! Who knew!?? I remember, many years ago, the boys used to love to ‘build’ the rollercoasters for me (I’m not very good at that part) – they really enjoyed making them really twisty-turny (forgive me here – but in the game, if your rollercoaster is REALLY good, your little people will ‘loose their cookies’ – you have to hire groundskeepers to clean up their messes). The boys found that quite amusing – guess, if you’re a boy, that’s funny – sigh.
Anyway, I digress – been having fun, spending some money, shopping and cooking – what have YOU been up to lately? (remember, I LOVE hearing from my readers!)

Hope you’re staying warm (it’s still in the mid-40’s here during the day, sunny & breezy). Oh – got gas today at the (last week’s price) LOW price of $3.79/9 a gallon – who knew I’d get excited about that price??? Bye & have a great weekend!



Wonderful, Quiet Wednesday!

Hello, All!

So far, it’s a very quiet day in my household – the boys are off, either to school or work, husband is on his computer and I’m on  mine: recipe for nice & quiet!  Last night’s Knit/Crochet group was fun; one of our members is a nurse and will be taking a 1-week missionary trip to Nicaragua in 2 weeks. She had asked the group for donations of crochet hooks & baby yarn; she’s going to try to teach mothers how to crochet baby hats. I guess they don’t have baby warmers in their hospitals and some of the women don’t go to hospitals to deliver babies, so she came up with the idea that baby hats would help hold in their body heat. With such short notice (overnight) the group was still able to gift her with about 10 hooks and lots of yarn, so her project is off to a great start! I sent out an email to about 8-10 of our members who haven’t been to a meeting in months, telling them that we miss their lovely smiles and would hope they would join us soon: 5 people showed up due to the email – I was thrilled! It’s always nice to re-connect with old friends; one lady said she’d gotten out of the habit of coming and when she read the email it was just the ‘boost’ to encourage her to return – she’s glad ‘she’s back’ and so are we!

Our weather is still in the beginning stages of Fall (and I’m glad – if you’re a frequent reader, you KNOW I don’t like Winter!). It’s been in the mid 40’s & 50’s during the day, sunny & windy with lots of leaves departing their trees to decorate the yards.

Tonight is “Music/Birthday” night for my special needs group – October is the largest birthday celebration for us – 10 of our students will be celebrating their October birthdays tonight, which means we will have a very large group in the room. We’re lately averaging about 29=32 people (not counting their caregivers) so I’m guessing we’ll exceed that amount tonight. Everyone loves Music/Birthday night – we sing Christian songs (some with either deaf signing or more active motions to the songs), then a brief prayer request time, then it’s arrange the birthday people around a table on which is a huge (Costco) sheet cake. Sing “Happy Birthday, Dear Friends” then cut the cake – everyone gets cake & (diet) pop, while the birthday people open cards or presents. A VERY fast-paced night – I love it, but usually come home thoroughly exhausted. (I’m the piano – player/ prayer request writer/cake cutter & server person).

Lots of great fall/football get-together/party recipes for ya – soups, crockpot stuff, desserts; here ya go!


Egg-Chilada Skillet


8 eggs

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 T. margarine or butter

2 C. tortilla chips, crushed

1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce

1 (2 1/2 oz) can sliced pitted

ripe olives, drained

1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack

cheese (2 oz)

1/2 C. sour cream

1 green onion, sliced

In bowl, beat eggs & garlic powder.

In a 10-inch skillet melt margarine

over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture.

Cook, without stirring until mixture

begins to set on the bottom & around

the edges. Using a large spoon or spatula,

lift & fold partially cooked eggs so

uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue

cooking over medium heat 2-3 minutes, or

until eggs are cooked through but are still

glossy & moist. Add tortilla chips,

enchilada sauce & olive. Stir gently to

combine. Sprinkle with cheese; cover &

cook over low heat about 5 minutes or

until heated through. Serve immediately

with a dollop of sour cream & sprinkling

of green onion, if desired. Makes 4-5


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Skillet Parmesan Zucchini

1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 C. spaghetti sauce
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook & stir peppers & onions in
large nonstick skillet sprayed
with nonstick spray on medium

heat 5 minutes. Add zucchini; cook

& stir 2 minutes. Stir in spaghetti
sauce; cover. Cook 8 minutes or
until vegetables are crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally. Sprinkle
with cheeses, cook, covered
1 minutes or until mozzarella
is melted. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraftfoods)

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 C. sliced onion
1/4 C. chopped jalapeno peppers
1 (15 oz) can Manwich sloppy joe
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Kaiser rolls
Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken, onion, jalapeno &
Manwich in cooker. Cover & cook on
Low 8 hours or until chicken is tender.
Transfer chicken to cutting board; shred.
Return chicken to crockpot; sprinkle with

salt, stir. Reduce heat to warm – serve on
rolls. Serves 8

(recipe: Conagra)

Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

2 T. margarine
1/4 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen sugar snap
3 T. water
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt margarine in large skillet over

medium-high heat. Add onion & garlic;
cook 2-3 minutes or until tender,
stirring occasionally. Add all remaining
ingredients to skillet; reduce heat to
medium & cook 5 minutes or until
mixture is hot & peas are tender.
Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Chicken Mushroom Packets
(grill or oven)

3 whole (or split) chicken breasts
salt & pepper, to taste 3 potatoes, cut

into 1/2 in. slices
4 carrots, cut 1/2 in slices
1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 T. butter
6 T. cream of chicken soup

Place each breast on large piece of heavy

duty alum. foil. Sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Divide potatoes, carrots
& mushrooms equally among foil
packets. Salt & pepper vegetables in
each packet; dot each bundle with
1 T. butter, put 2 T. cream of chic. soup
on each bundle; seal foil tightly. Grill
on medium low fire 1 hour. Unwrap
bundles, place on serving plates.
Serves 4-6

May be cooked in 350 degree F. oven
1 hour.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hershey’s One-Bowl Syrup Cake

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter or marg, softened
1 C. sugar
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. (1 16 oz can) Hershey’s syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Beat butter,
sugar & eggs until thoroughly blended
in large bowl. Add flour & baking
soda, blending well. Add syrup,
mix thoroughly. Spread batter in
prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes
or until a wooden toothpick inserted
into center, comes out clean. Cool
completely in pan. Frost or garnish
as desired. Makes 8-10 servings.

(recipe: Hershey website)

Double-Orange Party Punch

2 half-gallon cartons orange sherbet

64 oz. fresh orange juice (cartons)

1 (2 liter) fruit punch soda,chilled

1 (2 liter) ginger ale, chilled

Orange candy slices, for garnish

1-2 days ahead, scoop sherbet into

medium-small scoops onto cookie sheets

& freeze. Once frozen, can place in

resealable freezer bags for easier

storage. On day of serving: pour

orange juice & fruit punch into

large punch bowl. Add frozen sherbet

scoops. Pour ginger ale over all,

being careful of foaming that forms.

Makes 48 servings.

(recipe: DDJ 09/28/12)


Flank Steak Roll-ups

1 pkg flank steaks

1 large potato, grated

2 carrots, grated

1 stick butter

1 can mushroom soup &

1/2 soup-can milk

1 can celery soup &

1/2 soup can milk**

cooked rice or noodles

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

If steaks are rather large

pieces, cut them in half.

Season with your usual

seasoning & dredge in flour.

Mix grated potatoes & carrots

together; spread over steak

pieces. (here you could add

cut up peppers, onions, mush-

rooms or whatever you’d like).

Roll steaks up & either fasten

with toothpicks or tie with

kitchen string. Place in baking

dish, cut up butter & dot steaks.

Cover & bake 1 hour. Open soups &

mix with milk. Remove dish from

oven, drizzle soup mixture into

melted butter & over steaks. Stir

slightly, return to oven uncovered.

Bake 15-30 minutes until soup is hot

& has begun to thicken.

To serve: remove string and/or

toothpicks – steaks will hold their

shape. Serve over rice or cooked


NOTE: 1 can celery soup & 1/2

soup-can milk are optional-use

if you need to stretch the gravy.

(recipe: RDJ -09/28/12)


Cheesy Crescent Breakfast Cups

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

3 eggs

2 T. cream or half & half, or milk

5 strips cooked & crumbled bacon

1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

cooking spray

2 T. melted butter

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-

stick spray. Open rolls. Shape

each roll in muffin tin to cover

bottom & sides. In small dish,

mix melted butter with garlic

powder; lightly brush cups

with mixture. In small bowl,

beat egs with cream (or milk),

salt & pepper, cheese; sprinkle

bacon on bottom of each cup,

spoon egg mixture into each cup

(about 1 T. each cup). Bake

10-12 minutes.



Spicy Pear Cake

(overnight recipe)

4 chopped pears

3 C. white sugar

1 C. oil

2 eggs

3 C. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1 C. chopped nuts

1 C. coconut

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix pears & sugar, refrigerate



Preheat oven 350 degrees

Add oil & eggs; stir well.

Add dryingredients; mix well

then fold in nuts, coconut &

vanilla. Spray a 9 x 13

pan with nonstick spray;

pour in batter & bake

1 hour 10 minutes.

NOTE: poster said this cake

does NOT need a frosting or




Finally got my energy back yesterday and tackled the rest of the wild ‘vines’ that were tangled around my little bush – me and my newly-purchased bush trimmer-thingie (small, hand-held rose bush trimmer/cutter- works great for what I need). I feel like I’ve ‘accomplished’ something by getting that cleared out – it was really bugging me seeing it out my dining room window – now it’s nice, bright sunlight coming in not those pesky ‘grape viney’ things waving in the breeze, taunting me (yes, I took it personal – I got those little buggars!) . . . but I digress . . . (grin).

Hope you have a GREAT day – enjoy SOMETHING today, experience something new (even something small like a new flavor of tea – something!)

Life’s short – eat dessert first!

Big Hugs;


Happy Columbus Day!

It’s a quiet, chilly day here – 39 degrees! The sun’s shining through the rapidly-changing colors of the leaves on the trees AND those now on  the ground. Yep – it’s Fall; pretty soon I’ll have to root through my clothes and change out the summer togs for the warmer, long-sleeved variety. Had to break down yesterday and wear my trench coat to church – just a wee bit too nippy to go without one. Now is when warm oatmeal, big mugs of cocoa and nice, buttered cinnamon toast sound really good.

Speaking of warm recipes – lots more ‘stick to your ribs’/warm your innards recipes coming! Here ya go –


Ham with Pineapple

6-7 lb. picnic ham
1 (15.25 oz) can pineapple rings
1 (16 oz) can Pepsi (or other cola-
flavored carbonated beverage)

Place ham in crockpot, fatter side
facing down. Use toothpicks to attach
pineapple rings to ham. Pour juice from
pineapple over ham; pour cola into
crockpot. Cook on Low 7-10 hours.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chocolate Banana Bread

1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. flour
1/4 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter &
sugar. Add eggs, bananas, milk & vanilla.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking
soda & salt; add to banana mixture;
mix until just combined. Fold in nuts
if desired. Transfer to a greased 9 x 5 x
3 inch loaf pan. Bake 60-65 minutes or
until a wooden toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Cool
10 minutes before removing from pan.
Makes 1 loaf.

(recipe: Moms2Moms site)

Spicy Jack Cheese Crisps

1/2 C. butter, softened
2 (8 oz) blocks Monterey Jack
cheese with peppers, shredded
2 C. flour
96 pecan halves

Beat softened butter & cheese at
medium speed with elec. mixer until
blended. Add flour; beat until blended.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts;
shape each portion into a 6-inch log.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover & chill at least 8 hours.
Cut each log into 32 (1/8 inch) slices,
place on ungreased baking sheets.
Gently press 1 pecan half into center
of each wafer. Bake, in batches,
8-10 minutes. Remove crisps to
wire racks to cool. Store in air-
tight container. Makes 8 dozen.

(recipe: RDJ – 08/23/12)


Roasted Cauliflower

8 C. cauliflower florets
3 T. margarine, melted
1 T. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of ground black pepper
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange cauliflower, margarine,
lemon juice, garlic & pepper in

9 x 13 baking pan, toss to coat.
Roast 45 minutes or until
cauliflower is golden & tender.
Sprinkle top with cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: Country Crock site)

Corn-Crisped Chicken & Potato Dinner

1/3 C. buttermilk

1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)

2/3 C. corn flakes, crushed

4 bone-in skinless chicken breast halves

4 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled,

cut into 1-inch cubes

1 red or green bell pepper, seeds out &

cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

2 T. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Spray a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with

nonstick cooking spray. In shallow

bowl, combine buttermilk, salt &

ground red pepper; mix well. Place

corn flake crumbs in another shallow

bowl. Dip chicken into buttermilk

mixture, then coat with crumbs.

Place coated chicken in corners

of sprayed pan. In large bowl, combine

potatoes, bell pepper & onion. Sprinkle

with cheese, garlic powder & paprika;

toss to coat evenly. Place in center

of baking pan. Drizzle butter over

chicken & vegetables. Bake 30-40

minutes or until chicken is

fork-tender, it’s juices run clear

and potatoes are tender. Stir

vegetables once half-way through

baking time.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Cream Cheese-Chive Sauce

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. milk
1 T. chopped chives
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Combine cheese & milk in saucepan;
stir over low heat until smooth. Stir
in remaining ingredients.
Serve hot over:
hot, cooked potatoes, green beans,
broccoli or asparagus.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Spicy Bean “Quesadillas”

2 oz. cheddar cheese
24 Tricuit crackers (Kraft)
1/4 C. refried beans
1/4 C. Thick ‘n Chunky medium
salsa (Taco bell)

Cut cheese into 6 slices; cut each
slice crosswise in half. Top 12
crackers with beans, cheese &
salsa. Cover with remaining
crackers to make 12 snacks.
Place 6 cracker sandwiches on
microwaveable plate. Microwave
on High 10-15 seconds or until
cheese is melted. Repeat.
Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Snickerdoodle Muffins

1 1/2 C. self-rising flour*
1 C. oats
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
4 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix together flour, oats, 1/2 C.
sugar. In another bowl mix egg, butter,

vanilla & milk; mix well.
Add wet ingredients to dry mixture;
mix well. Place muffin papers in
muffin tins then fill each cup 2/3’rds
full. Bake 12-14 minutes.

While muffins are baking, mix
together topping:
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. melted butter

Mix sugar, cinnamon together.
When muffins are done baking,
brush tops of muffins with
melted butter, then sprinkle with
cinnamon/sugar topping.
Makes 12 muffins.

*To make self-rising flour:
Measure desired amount of
flour into a bowl. For each
cup of flour, add 1 1/2 tsp.
baking powder and 1/2
tsp. salt. Mix together well.


So far, it’s a easy-going day (let’s hope it stays that way!); working on more baby hats (and hoping to hear about the free yarn SOON!). Another friend of  mine at church (who is also a missionary) gave me three knit chemo caps yesterday. She, like me, loves to knit for charity. Over the years she’s donated knit squares, yarn and chemo caps; she asked for my baby & premie patterns. She & her husband do a LOT of driving and, while he drives, she knits. They are here during the cold months then, come spring, they go West to help out various youth camps. They like to travel, so this is their view of how to spend their retirement years – great idea (if you like to travel!). I told her WHEN I get the free yarn I’ll save some for her. Tomorrow is Knit Night, then Wednesday is my Friends Group Music/Birthday night – always a BUSY night. This particular night will be our biggest for birthdays: 10 of our students have birthdays in October! It’s a fun, fast-moving night – the students love it.

Hoping you will have a nice, quiet easy-going day; remember to SMILE a little during your day (it exercises your facial muscles AND makes people wonder what you’re thinking!) . . . wink!