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!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Even though I love yarn, it has been over a week since I have crocheted anything. Right now, my energy all seems to go to my full-time job. I do speech therapy in a grade school. It sure seems like we have a lot in common, with knitting/crocheting, working with special needs kids, and being cancer survivors. Did I read somewhere you live in Illinois?

    • Hi, Elizabeth!
      No, I’m in Michigan but it’s always nice to hear from someone with similar interests! Since I’m ‘retired’ (been ‘retired’ now for 29 years – that doesn’t really count, retired from a ‘traditional’ job). Have been realy busy since then as: (a) adoptive parent (b) day care provider 3 yrs in our home infants & toddlers (c) foster parent – those were my ‘official’ jobs, not counting all the other ‘stuff’ like my special needs group/church groups & activities/special needs group/knit group/church choir, etc. I know what you mean about being totally tired – too tired to crochet. I get that way sometimes – guess that’s why I only do small projects, eh? Where do you live? I can imagine Speech therapy in a grade school can be VERY exhausting some days! I love working with my special needs group but ‘sometimes’ they can really wipe me out (and I’m only with them 1 hr 15 min. a week!). Ah, life – it ain’t for the weak!
      Thanks for writing – keep it up, I love hearing from readers!!!

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