Been Shoppin’!

It’s been a busy week so far, hard to believe it’s already Thursday – ever have that kind of situation? Went shopping at KMart yesterday for their $1.00 a bottl 2 ltr. Mountain Dew (husband loves the stuff) and found some very nice men’s long-sleeved dress shirts at 40% off – (yay) bought 3 for the sons. Went back today and found more nice items at 40 – 50 % OFF! Bought myself nice gloves (mine are really worn) – almost didn’t get them because they’re $19.99 BUT looked up and saw the 50% off sign and said: YES!!! Got scarves for two young ladies and 2 pairs of Joe Boxer soft slipper-socks to go with them, 3 packages of double-edged disposable razors for the guys stockings – I’m almost ahead of myself on Christmas shopping! I have always been a ‘don’t like to shop for Christmas’ person, but this year the shopping is almost doing itself – finding nice things at bargain prices – MY KIND OF DEAL!!! Still have to go on line and order husband’s favorite powdered cinnamon tea – strange stuff, but he loves it.

Last night was our special needs group and it was really busy – must have been the full moon, but several of our students were really having emotional issues (really hard to deal with in the midst of around 35 other students – tends to disrupt the class BIG TIME).

Tuesday was Knit/Crochet MOVIE night – food theme: baked potatoes. Good food, good movie: “A Walk in the Clouds” with Keanu Reeves (1991) – oldie but really good ‘chick flick’.

How’s your weather lately? It’s been chilly but clear – daily in the low 30’s with some wind (’bout froze my ‘whatevers’ yesterday just pumping gas!). Last night I looked up into the very cold, clear night air and saw a bright ‘something’ at about the 10 o’clock position to the moon. Mentioned it to husband and he looked it up on-line – turns out it’s JUPITER! It was very bright and I didn’t know if it was a star or planet – neat to see!

Speaking of pumping gas – how’s your gas prices? Our’s are a bit goofy – I got (low grade) gas 2 days ago at $3.59/9 and thought I was doing something. Later in that same day I drove by and it was $3.53/9 – sigh. Today drove by Speedway and it was $3.49/9! Go FIGURE! At least it’s going DOWN!!!

Are you finally out of leftovers and leftover turkey? We still have one sandwich-sized plate full of sliced turkey – have been considering making turkey soup with it, but still like having that around to just make a quick sandwich. Turkey on a flour tortilla, some shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese, a bit of Miracle Whip, little spicy mustard and – to top it off – cranberry-orange relish – YUM!  (I use small flour tortillas instead of bread – much lower in carbs – being diabetic.)

Speaking of health – went to Dr for regular check up, Tuesday morning. Was fully expecting a big lecture on my weight AND my blood sugar levels – was pleasantly surprised! Took my blood there – it was in the ‘normal’ range; weight was 3 lbs less than a year ago – (not great, but lower!) YAY! Have decided to, once again, make an effort to get both weight & blood under control more (I tend to snack on things that I shouldn’t – like potato chips, or corn chips with melted Cheddar cheese/salsa & sour cream – a cookie here & there – you get the idea. We’ll see where this goes – not the best time of year to attempt this being Christmas goodies are coming in the near future!


Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

2 C. flour
4 T. brown sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
4 T. shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten 1/4 C. seedless raisins
1/2 C. milk
2 T. sugar
1 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Sift flour with baking powder & salt. Add
brown sugar; cut in shortening with
2 forks. Add egg & enough milk to form
a soft dough; add raisins. Grease & flour a

8 or 9 inch cake tin. Pour mixture into
pan & pour melted butter over top of
cake. Sprinkle with 2 T. sugar & cinnamon.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Turkey – Rice Soup

1 C. water 4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen mixed vegetables
(2 cups)
1 C. quick-cooking rice
2 C. chopped cooked turkey or chicken
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

In large saucepan, combine broth, water,

rosemary & pepper; bring to boil. Stir in
mixed vegetables & rice; return to boil &
reduce heat. Cover & simmer 10-15 minutes
or until vegetables & rice are tender. Stir
in turkey & undrained tomatoes; heat
through. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Chicken Chowder

1/2 C. chopped carrots
1 C. milk
1 C. chicken broth
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 1 potato, peeled & cubed
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into 1″ pieces
2 (15 oz, ea) cans creamed corn
1/4 C. dried potato flakes
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except dried
potato flakes & cheese, in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours or
until potatoes are tender & chicken
is thoroughly cooked. Add potato
flakes & cheese, stir well to combine.

(recipe: Slowcookerdigest)


1 1/2 C. drained mandarin orange chunks
2 apples, cored & chopped
2 bananas, sliced
1 small tub sour cream
1 pkg. mini-marshmallows
1/2 C. coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. drained pineapple chunks

Mix all ingredients together, pour into
large bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before serving. Serves 8


Hash Brown Potato Bake

1 bag hash browns
1 can cream of chicken soup

1 small container sour cream
1/4 C. margarine
1/4 tsp. onion, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
grated Cheddar cheese
1 small bag crushed sour cream &
onion potato chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter a large casserole dish.
Combine hash browns, soup, sour
cream, margarine, onion, salt & pepper
in large mixing bowl. Spread mixture
into prepared dish. Cover mixture with
grated Cheddar cheese, crushed chips &
pepper. Bake 1 hour or until brown & bubbly.
Serves 12


Turkey-Zucchini Pie

4 C. raw zucchini, diced

4 C. cooked, cubed turkey
1 1/2 C. butter
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. basil
2 T. dried parsley flakes
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cans crescent rolls
2 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Press crescent rolls into a pie plate;
brush with mustard; set aside. Cook
zucchini, turkey, onion & all spices in
butter until tender; remove from heat.
Add eggs & cheeses; mix well. Pour

mixture into pie plate. Bake, uncovered,
20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 12

Zippy Turkey Pot Pie

3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. Miracle Whip dressing
1 T. flour
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
3 C. chopped, cooked turkey
(about 1lb.)
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen mixed vegetables
(peas, carrots, green beans, corn),
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust
(1/2 of 14.1 oz pkg)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix milk, dressing & flour in large
microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High 2-3 minutes or until sauce is

thickened, stirring after each minute.
Stir in cheese; microwave 1 minute.
Mix until well blended. Add turkey,
mixed vegetables & onions; toss to
coat. Spoon into 9-inch pie plate,
smooth surface. Place crust over
filling, flute edge & seal to rim of
pie plate. Cut several slits in crust
to allow for steam to escape. Place
pie on baking sheet. Bake 30-35
minutes or until crust is golden
brown. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheese ‘n Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

12 large fresh mushrooms (1 lb)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced

4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove stems from mushrooms; discard
or reserve for another use. Mix remaining
ingredients; spoon into mushroom caps.
Place, filled-sides up in shallow baking
dish. Bake 18-20 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb ground beef
4 cans chicken broth
5-6 potatoes, peeled & cut into cubes
shredded cheese
salt & pepper (to taste)
sour cream

Brown ground beef, drain. Add broth to pot with
ground beef. When broth starts to boil, add
potatoes. Cook until potatoes are soft. Add cheese,
cook until cheese is melted. Add salt, pepper &
sour cream when serving.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sour Cream Apple Squares

2 cups  flour

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup chopped nuts

1 tsp. 2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dairy sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 cups peeled & finely chopped apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup

and level off. In large bowl combine

first three ingredients and blend at low

speed until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Press

2 3/4 cups of the crumb mixture into

ungreased 13×9 pan. To rest of the

ingredients add cinnamon, soda, salt,

sour cream, vanilla, and egg. Stir in

apple. Spoon over base. Bake 25-30

minutes until toothpick inserted

comes out clean. Cut into squares

and serve with whipped cream.



Traditional Brunswick Stew

1 lb. chicken, cut into pieces
1 large onion
1/2 lean ham, cut into small pieces
3 pints tomatoes
1 pint lima beans
4 large potatoes, diced
1 pint grated whole kernel corn
1 T. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
red pepper, to taste

Cut up chicken, place in large pan with
3 quarts water, large onion & ham; simmer
gently two hours. Add tomatoes, lima beans,
potatoes, grated corn, salt, pepper & red pepper.
Cover & simmer gently one more hour, stirring
frequently to prevent scorching. Serve hot.

(recipe: moms2moms site)


Nacho Mini Muffin Nibbles

3 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. chopped green onions with tops
1/4 C. (1 oz) shredded cheese for tacos

2 T. jalapeno nacho slices, drained
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
additional chopped green onions, with tops

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Generously grease 25 mini-muffin cups, heat the
‘pans’ in oven.In blender, blend all ingredients except additional
green onions at medium speed until well blended,about

30-45 seconds. Fill hot muffin cups 2/3rd
full.Sprinkle tops with additional chopped onions,
if desired. Bake until puffed & lightly browned,
about 10 minutes. Makes 24 appetizers

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)-

Wow – when I look over the recipes I’ve saved for you, I’m surprised at how many there are – and I’ve yet to peruse the ones coming in lately! Look out, readers – lots of holiday recipes comin’ your way soon! If I hadn’t been so busy earlier in the week I would have posted more of them – sorry, will try to catch up soon. Was chatting with the cashier while I was in line and she was mentioning starting her holiday baking – I’d TOTALLY forgotten about that! Oh well, there’s always another day – eh? This year I think I’ll go with the frozen, already made/just need to be baked/ Gordon Foods Service sugar cookies, for starters. They make a lot, they’re large and the guys like them. Now I’ll have to start going through the Christmas cookie recipes and start planning on shopping for the ingredients for them. It’s always ‘something’, right? I’m just thanking the Lord for the health that I DO have; yes, I tire easily and have to plan out just what I want to do for the day, knowing that if I ‘over-do’, I really pay for it the next day. Since my doctor was happy with my health right now, I guess I should be happy, also!

I’m grateful that I’m ‘this side of the grass’ and able to breathe another day – THANK YOU, LORD!

Big hugs;


Hail, Yes!

Here it is – day after Thanksgiving and it’s 37 degrees out and HAILING! Not a lot, mind you, but it’s ‘thinking about it’ pretty strongly. According to our local newspaper, they’re expecting rain and possibly SNOW tonight. It also said this will be the biggest wet & snow-filled winter in ages – oh, joy . . .

Just drove youngest to his girlfriend’s house – told him he’s really doing something to get me out of the house on “Black Friday”. Did any of you brave the crowds for that? When our oldest son came for Thanksgiving dinner (around 6:30 p.m.) he said they passed by KMart and ToysRUs – both parking lots had lines AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE STORES! (No WAY! You wouldn’t catch me there – EVER! Ain’t NO great prices that would entice me to stand outside in the cold for hours just to save a few dolloars!) Son said he heard/saw on the news that in New York there were people who had been IN LINE since MONDAY! Not sure what/which stores but that’s just plain NUTS!

We had a very nice dinner, everyone was stuffed. When clearing the table I asked my husband what he did with the Green Bean Casserole (since he was already putting plastic wrap on some of the dishes). His response: “I didn’t do ANYTHING with that!” That got me to thinking, which resulted in the realization that I’d (somehow) totally forgotten to put it on the table! It was still in the microwave (I’d thrown it in there to just warm it a bit, but then oldest son came in and I forgot it!) Sigh . . . funniest thing is: Oldest son’s girlfriend, while I was making up ‘to go’ boxes, said: “I just LOVE Green Bean Casserole!” – so guess who got a BIG glob of that in her ‘to go’ box! Youngest got off work at 10 p.m. ( we weren’t sure if they’d make him stay until 11 p.m. as they’d done that all week, even though his actual time was off at 10); he was thrilled to sit down to a huge meal. While I was dishing up his food (least I could do for him working all day), I asked about the Green Bean Casserole and his response totally shocked me: “I LOVE that stuff!” (ya coulda fooled me!). This evening will find us making up another batch of mashed potatoes (we ate 5 lbs yesterday -those go over really well), more stuffing and more gravy. Husband & I made up the cranberry-orange relish together – hope I remember at Christmas – ONLY ONE batch, NOT TWO! We’ve got relish to feed the army! Husband loves it on almost anything but really – – – there’s enough here to last through December! I wonder if you can freeze it? Probably not, since it’s just fresh cranberries, 1 orange & sugar – maybe I’ll try a batch frozen just to experiment. We used to buy Ocean Spray Cranberry-Orange Relish in little tubs EVERY year, but now they don’t have it – at least around here. It’s nice to think that I don’t have to ‘do’ much tonight for dinner – almost a ‘rest’ night.

(Totally forgot to get the camera out – sigh – no pictures)

Oh! How are your gas prices? Ours jumped from $3.49/9, down to $3.46/9 UP to $3.64/9 and holding. I kind of expected a little jump due to the holiday, but that was a bit more than I was thinking.


(Let the ‘leftover’ recipes begin!!!)


Turkey Dumpling Soup

1 lb. cooked, chopped turkey meat
3 C. water
salt & pepper, to taste
3 T. flour
1 (12 oz) pkg. refrigerated biscuit dough

Place turkey, water, salt & pepper in medium
saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer
30-40 minutes or until a broth has formed.
Spread flour on a medium cutting board or
other flat surface. Roll out biscuit dough; cut into
1 X 2 pieces. Drop pieces into broth; cook over low
heat about 15 minutes.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Stove Top Spinach Balls


1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing mix – chicken
1 2/3 C. hot water
1/4 C. butter or margarine
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs frozen chopped
spinach, thawed well drained & patted dry
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Mix stuffing mix, hot water & butter in
large bowl until blended. Add remaining
ingredients; mix lightly. Shape into 60
(1 inch) balls. Place in single layer on
2 rimmed baking sheets sprayed with
nonstick spray. Bake 15-20 minutes or
until lightly browned. Serves 30, 2 balls each.

NOTE: Balls can be made and frozen in
resealable freezer bags. Will keep, frozen,
up to 3 months. When ready to serve,
thaw in fridge, place on baking sheets &
bake accordg to above directions.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Three Cheese Corn Casserole

2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen whole kernel corn
1 (8 1/2 oz) box corn muffin mix*
1/2 C. sour cream
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 (8 oz) pkg (Kraft) shredded 3-cheese
with a touch of Philadelphia, divided
4 green onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended; stir
in 1/2 C. cheese. Pour into 2 qt buttered casserole
dish. Bake 40 minutes. Combine remaining cheese,
onions & bacon. Top casserole with cheese mixture,
bake 15 minutes more or until lightly browned.
Serves 12

*Substitute for Corn Muffin Mix:
3/4 C. cornmeal
3/4 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Turkey Noodle Casserole

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
2 C. diced cooked turkey (or ham)
1 1/2 C. cooked noodles
butter or margarine
1/4 C. chopped onion
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. milk
salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine turkey, noodles & peas in 2
quart buttered casserole dish. Melt 2
T. butter in a saucepan; saute onion &
mushrooms. Blend in soup, milk &
seasonings. Pour mixture over meat,
top with shredded cheese. Bake 20-30
minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Leftover Turkey & Stuffing ‘Enchiladas’

1 1/2 C. turkey gravy
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. chopped cooked turkey
1 1/2 C. leftover stuffing, warmed
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
10 corn tortillas (6 inch), warmed
1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) diced tomatoes
with basil, garlic & oregano, drained

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Combine
gravy & sour cream in small bowl; spread 1/2
C. in dish. Combine turkey, stuffing & 1/2 C. cheese
in bowl. Top each tortilla with 3 T. turkey mixture.
Roll up & place seam-side down in baking dish.
Spoon remaining gravy mixture over enchiladas;
sprinkle with drained tomatoes & remaining
1/2 C. cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake
25 minutes or until enchiladas are hot & cheese
melts. Remove foil, bake 5 minutes more. Serves 5,
2 enchiladas each.

(recipe: readyseteat)

Thanksgiving Turkey Fiesta Salad
(using leftovers)

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. prepared salsa

6 C. torn romaine lettuce leaves
2 C. diced, cooked turkey
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked & crumbled

Combine mayonnaise & salsa in small bowl;
set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in
large bowl. Just before serving, toss with
mayonnaise mixture.
Serve with optional salad fixin’s such as:
chopped tomatoes, black beans, shredded
cheese, sliced pitted ripe olives,sliced green
onions and/or tortilla chips.
Serves 4.

(recipe: hellmans )

Granola Apple Crisps

5 Golden Delicious or other baking apples

(about 2 lb) peeled, cored &
thinly sliced
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar,
6 T. flour, divided
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 C. margarine
1 C. granola cereal
(vanilla ice cream – optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with nonstick
spray; set aside. Combine apples, 1/4 C.
brown sugar, 2 T. flour, lemon juice &
1 tsp. cinnamon in large bowl. Turn into
prepared dish; set aside. Combine remaining

4 T. flour, 1/4 C. brown sugar
& 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in food processor.
Add margarine & granola; pulse just until
combined; sprinkle over apples. Bake 55
minutes or until golden brown & bubbly.
Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 (serve with vanilla ice cream)

(recipe: Unilever)

Easy Mashed Ginger Carrots

2 T. margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans carrots,
drained & heated
1 T. firmly packed light brown sugar
– Melt margarine in 2 qt. saucepan over
medium heat. Cook onion, stirring
occasionally, until crisp-tender,
about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic & ginger;
cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.
Stir in hot carrots & brown sugar;
mash. Heat through. Serves 6

(recipe: Unilever)

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

1 red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C. ketchup, divided
3 T. soy sauce 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 lb. ground turkey breast
36 butter crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 C.)
1 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely shredded
Four cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook & stir red peppers, onions & garlic in hot
oil in large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Stir in black pepper; cool.

Mix egg, 1/2 C. ketchup, soy sauce & Worcestershire
sauce in large bowl. Stir in vegetable mixture; add
turkey, cracker crumbs & 3/4 C. cheese; mix well. S

hape into 10 X 5 inch loaf in shallow pan; top with
remaining ketchup. Bake 55 min – 1 hour or until
done (160 degrees F), topping with remaining
cheese after 50 minutes. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

1 1/4 C. sugar
1 C. butter or marg, softened
1/4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract*
1 egg
1 3/4 C. flour 1/3 C. unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. dried cherries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, milk,
almond extract & egg with elec. mixer on
medium speed until smooth. Stir in remaining
ingredients. Drop dough by rounded table-
spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased
cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until
almost no indentation remains when touched
in center of cookie and surface is no longer
shiny. Immediately remove from cookie
sheets; place on cooling rack. Makes 48.

*can substitute vanilla instead of almond
To make all cookies uniform shape, use a spring-
handled ice cream scoop to drop dough onto
cookie sheets.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Well, Friends – looks like it’s time for me to go get cosy in my recliner, read today’s newspaper and knit a bit. Hope you are having a VERY RELAXING day-after-Thanksgiving!

Big hugs;


Happy Thanksgiving – and other ‘stuffing’

Sorry, I couldn’t resist on the title. Right now it’s 4:15 p.m. and I’m writing to you while awaiting my turkey’s cooking; just set the timer for hour #3 (it’s a 23 lb. turkey, so we’re talking 3 1/2 – 4 hours total). Yes, I’m well aware that when it’s done it will be a late time for dinner but that’s just what we do here. Oldest son, his girlfriend & his son go to his girlfriend’s Uncle’s house for their dinner, earlier (eating around 3), then they show up here around 6:30/7 p.m. For me it’s a good deal because I can take my time with all the preparations. This year I’m trying not to complain – this stupid cancer-preventative drug really saps all my strength and makes me ache – sure not something that makes me want to jump up and cook a huge meal! I’ve been using my sons & husband’s strengths for doing things so that I can attempt to conserve some of my strength for ‘the long haul’. (The thoughts of 4 1/2 more YEARS of this fun are a little depressing, but the alternative is much worse, so what can ya do?). Anyway, turkey’s in the oven, pumpkin pie is baked, all the various casserole dishes are lugged out from  the cupboards, fancy table cloth ironed & on the table (even IRONED the diningroom curtains! Amazing!) Fancy serving ware out and on the table (you know, those shiny implements of service you rarely use but at holidays? The big slotted spoon, the fancy almost-sculptured meat fork, etc.) Still have to get out the  crudites (cut up celery, put the black olives in the little serving dish, get out the baby carrots & tiny tomatoes – that kind of stuff). Around 5 o’clock I’ll start assembling the corn casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and get them in the oven. Husband asked me around 11 a.m. when I was going to start the potatoes – “Not for QUITE a while!” He loves peeling & cutting up the 5-7 lb. of potatoes for the mashed potatoes. I find it funny because when oldest son comes in the door, that’s the first thing HE wants to do! I just let them both ‘duke it out’!!!

Drove youngest to work around 3:35 – he works 4-11 p.m. today and is still bemoaning his favorite holiday – I told him there will be plenty of leftovers for when he gets home (that didn’t help any). He was surprised that Meijers parking lot was pretty empty – I’d guess that most of the people would have already stopped in there earlier – you know, if you suddenly realized you forgot to buy butter – or milk/olives/bread/whipping cream, etc.  I’m also guessing that the really crazy time (PRE-Black Friday sales) will start around 8/9 or later – not sure; he wasn’t either.) I’m SOOOOOOoooo glad I’m not planning on joining in that craziness – there’s no amount of really great sales that would entice me to go shopping on that day.

Delivered 50 baby hats to the hospital yesterday: 25 regular-sized & 25 premie. This morning I was doing a bit of knitting and thought: I wonder if the premie hats are small enough? (I left a phone message for the lady who took the hats, telling her to ask the nurses in both baby departments as to how the hats ‘fit’ – are the big ones big enough and are the premie hats small enough). That got me to try another knitting technique I haven’t tried before (don’t ask me why, I’m not sure, myself!). It’s called by various names: Strand Knitting/Fair Isle or just plain knitting with various colors, all in the same row. You are using 2 (or more) strands of yarn at the same time, moving them forward or backward to either feature or hide a color. I decided to try a really small premie hat using this technique. There are 2 strands here: a solid white and a multi-colored yarn. By moving the yarns forward & backwards you get a different look:

This one is modeled on an orange – I figured that’s about the size (or even smaller) of a premie baby’s head. The photo isn’t very clear on showing the technique but you get the idea. Below are the 50 hats from yesterday:

Regular-sized on the left, Premie hats on the right


Recipes, anyone? I still have more holiday recipes but I think, for today, I’ll forego posting them just to give you a break (and me, too).

Went out to get the paper on our lawn today and about had a stroke – the newspaper, filled with all sorts of Black Friday ads must have weighed a good 5 pounds! Oh, by the way – our weather is really nice! 54 degrees, clear and a tiny breeze; however . . . our news report says we could be getting snow Friday night. I guess I’m REALLY out of it lately because I thought – “Oh, Friday, OK” not realizing that’s TOMORROW!!! UGH! Not ready for that! The report said it’s supposed to get colder and rain for about 4-5 days, snow possible. It also said that we’ll probably have the wettest and COLDEST winter – not a good thing. Oh well, since my complaining doesn’t effect the temperatures/rain/ or snow ANY, I guess I’ll just be quiet, right?

On this Thanksgiving afternoon, I’m grateful for another year with my family & friends. My youngest said he just thinks: “Hey, I made it another year!” Yep – that’s my sentiments, exactly! Hoping you and yours are blessed this holiday. Remember to stop and soak in the blessings of family, provisions, a place to rest (be it home, apartment, or whatever), and the ability to breathe one more day. I might be cranky, achy and complain – but I’m VERY grateful I’m still here to wish you a blessed holiday!



Problem Solved – YAY!

Have you ever had one of those situations where, for a brief period of time your heart sort of either went faster or skipped a beat over something you did? Yesterday was one of ‘those’ – since our mailbox is not by our house (it’s on a side street, can either walk or drive there), we don’t get the mail every day. Picked up several days-worth of mail yesterday after church; in the mail was a notice from our car insurance company stating that, due to non-payment, our car insurance was CANCELLED! YIKES! Reading over the paperwork it said that we could still pay the payment IF the payment was received before this Wednesday – WHEW! Went on-line, clicked on the ‘pay my bill’ and electronically paid it. Done – great! Right after that a little thought kept tickling the back of my mind . . . “Wait! You’d better check to make sure that’s one of those ‘instant’ payments!” (explanation: the bank told me that some of the companies ‘use’ electronic payment BUT they don’t exactly do it the quick way – they have the BANK issue a check and physically MAIL the company your payment; no extra charge to me). Wouldn’t you know it – AAA is one of ‘those’ companies! YIKES! Payment ABSOLUTELY HAS to be to AAA BY WEDNESDAY! In very tiny print next to the AAA bill payment part on my bank account is a tiny envelope picture with a 5 on it – meaning your ‘electronic’ payment will take FIVE days to get there – GREAT! I have THREE DAYS not FIVE!! Read that as: major freak! (or heart skips a beat as mentioned above). OK – at 9 a.m. bright & early this morning I called AAA and explained my predicament. Very nice young gentleman said: “I’ll check with my supervisor about allowing the payment.” Came back and said (very nicely, mind you) “Sorry, but you’ll have to take up with your bank the cancelling of the electronic payment and you would need to pay the bill some other way, by Wednesday.” OK – I can handle that – we went through the steps and did an ‘instant/electronic’ bill payment on the phone – now we have car insurance again – GREAT. A little later I went in to our local bank, chatted with my lovely bank lady – turns out I was a ‘bit’ wrong in my assessment of the situation. When I read that little tiny “5” on the envelope screen display – that doesn’t take into account WEEKENDS! Turns out my ‘electronic’ payment wouldn’t have taken five days – but, since it was made on a Sunday, AAA wouldn’t have gotten the actual payment until a WEEK from today! WHEW! Thank heavens for getting it straightened around, right? All I can say is – sure am glad that’s fixed. OH! Forgot to mention the “WHY” of all this mess – I keep our bills in a big ring-binder notebook. When I got that ‘cancellation’ notice all I could think was: “But I never got a bill!” Turns out, after much searching, I DID get the bill – it somehow got shoved to the very back, under a bunch of other papers along with the renewal notice from AAA for our yearly membership! (took care of both of them with the phone call). Guess I’ll be MUCH more careful in the future in putting the bills IN the notebook, not just quickly shoving them in the side without actually opening the notebook. It’s the LITTLE THINGS in life that keep us young/active/stressed – yes?  I felt so relieved when I came home from the bank that I cooked up a brunch for the three of us: husband, middle son & myself. Had a bunch of great omelet ingredients, some leftovers from the tacos the other night: chopped onion, black olives, green peppers, plus chopped ham, 2 1/2 baked potatoes, chopped mushrooms and finished it off with melted Cheddar cheese – YUM! I love when you can make something tasty with ‘extras’ hanging out in your fridge!

Lots more recipes for you (the actual reason for this post – want to get the holiday recipes to you before the holiday!)


Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8-10 medium sized potatoes, peeled &
cut into cubes
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter
1/3 C. chives, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
additional butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil  potatoes until tender. Beat sour cream
& cream cheese together. Add hot potatoes &

beat until smooth. Add butter, chives, salt &
pepper. Place in a greased 2 quart casserole
dish. Dot with butter; sprinkle top with
paprika. Bake 25 minutes. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Festive Cranberry Salad

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
– In a bowl, combine milk & lemon juice; mix
well. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, marsh-
mallows & pecans. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon
into 9 X 13 baking dish & freeze until firm,
4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
Makes 12-16 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Thanksgiving Punch

2 quarts cranberry juice, chilled
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 quart ginger ale

In large punch bowl, pour cranberry
juice. Stir in frozen lemonade, stirring

until dissolved. Just before serving, add
the ginger ale. Makes 12 cups.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

1 (12 oz) pkg fresh cranberries
1/4 C. green onion, chopped
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper*
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 T. lemon juice
dash salt
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese

Place cranberries in food processor
(or you can just chop them). Chop
green onion, cilantro & jalapeno
pepper into small pieces. (*If you
don’t like heat, omit jalapeno
pepper). Add all ingredients
except cream cheese,  in a bowl.
Mix all together, cover & store in
fridge at least 4 hours. When ready
to serve, place cream cheese on a plate,
spread out evenly on plate. Pour
cranberry mixture over cream cheese,
spread around. Serve with crackers.
Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecookesitup)


Holiday Broccoli Saute

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. raisins
3 T. water
1 T. sugar
6 C. fresh broccoli florets,*
cooked until crisp-tender
1/4 C. chopped toasted walnuts

Melt margarine & pumpkin pie
spice in 1/2 inch nonstick skillet
over medium heat. Cook onion,
stirring frequently, until tender,
about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar,
cook 1 minute. Stir in raisins, water
& sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until
slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in broccoli, then sprinkle with
walnuts. Serves 6

*Use cooked, frozen broccoli florets
instead of fresh

(recipe: Unilever)

Cranberry-Orange Spiced Green Beans

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. dried cranberries
1 lb. green beans*, trimmed &
cooked crisp-tender

Melt margarine & spice in 12-inch
nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Cook shallot, stirring frequently,
until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in
orange juice & cranberries; simmer
1 minute. Stir in green beans. Garnish,
if desired, with orange slices.
Serves 6.

*Can use frozen cooked green beans
instead of fresh.

(recipe: Unilever)

Baked Spiced Squash

2 T. margarine
2 T. maple syrup or pancake syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium butternut squash,
halved & seeded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease baking sheet, set
aside. Combine all ingredients
except squash, in small bowl.
Arrange squash cut side up, on
baking sheet, brush with 1/2 of
margarine mixture. Bake 45 minutes

or until squash is tender,
brushing with remaining margarine
mixture halfway through cooking.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Unilever)

Autumn Spice Glaze  (for poultry)

3/4 C. butter, unsalted
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, dried
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, coarse-ground

Combine all ingredients in small
saucepan; heat over low heat 3-4

minutes. To glaze, brush mixture on
turkey every 30 minutes after the
first hour of cooking.

(recipe: Honeysuckle White)

Cranberry-Pear Crisp

1 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar 1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, cut into chunks
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
3 lb. firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored & cut
into 1 inch chunks
1 C. fresh cranberries, rinsed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix flour, 1/4 C. granulated sugar,
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. With
mixer fitted with a paddle, on low speed (or
using your fingers) mix or rub in butter until
mixture forms coarse crumbs & begins to
come together; stir in walnuts. In large bowl,
mix pears, cranberries & remaining 1/4 C.
granulated sugar. Pour into a 9 inch square
or round baking dish; spread level. Top
evenly with flour mixture. Bake until juices
are bubbly, pears are tender when pierced
and topping is golden brown: 40-50 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Salad

1 lb. cranberries

1 lg. strawberry jell-o

1 C. hot water

1 lg. red apple (chopped)

1 orange (juice and rind)

1-1/2 C. sugar

1 C. walnuts

1 C. crushed pineapple (drained)

Put cranberries and orange through

food grinder. Mix jell-o with 1 cup

water until dissolved. Add remaining

ingredients and refrigerate.

Makes about 3 quarts.Freezes wonderfully.

Sandy-marys recipe exchange


Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 C. crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour (see below)
1 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. butter
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cranberry, pineapple & vanilla;
set aside. In another bowl combine
remaining ingredients; spoon 1/2 of mixture
into well greased 9 X 13 pan. Press firm,
spread with cranberry filling, cover with
remaining crumbs. Bake 40 minutes.

Self-Rising Flour:
For every cup of regular flour, add 1 tsp.
baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 1/3 C. flour
3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3/4 C. cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 C. old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats,
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with foil, leaving ends of foil
extending over sides; spray with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, 1/4 c. granulated sugar & brown
sugar in medium bowl until blended; cut in butter
with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats & nuts.
Reserve 1 C. oat mixture; press remaining onto
bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat
cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin &
spice with elec. mixer until blended. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle to with reserved oat mixture & bake
25 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Use foil to transfer
dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
Makes 24 bars.
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
Mix together & use as directed

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple-Cranberry Salad Toss

1 (10 oz) pkg. torn  mixed salad greens
2 apples, sliced
3/4 C. dried cranberries
3/4 C. walnut halves, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 C. raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Toss greens with fruit, nuts & onions. Add
dressing just before serving; mix lightly.
Serves 8, 1 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream
Cheese frosting

1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix
1 C. sour cream
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 C. oil
3 eggs
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) pkg. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 5 ingredients with elec. mixer
until blended; spoon into 24 paper-
lined muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes
or until toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes;
remove from pans; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla in large
bowl with elec. mixer until blended. Gradually
beat in sugar. Blend in cinnamon; spread over
cupcakes. Makes 24.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 lb. fresh pumpkin, peeled &
cubed (about 8 C.)*
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 C. boiling water
1 C. light cream or Half & Half
4 oz. cream cheese
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in 3 qt. saucepan over medium-
high heat; cook onion, garlic & pumpkin
stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
onion is tender. Stir in bouillon cubes
blended with water. Bring to boil over
high heat. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or
until pumpkin is tender. Stir in cream & cream

cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes or until heated through. Remove
from heat & cool slightly. Process soup
in blender or food processor in batches at
low speed, until smooth. Return soup to
saucepan & season with salt & pepper;
heat through. Serves 4

*Substitute: Use 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
instead of fresh pumpkin. Stir in canned
pumpkin with the water.
(recipe: Unilever)


Sweet Potato Pancakes w/Brown Sugar Cream

2 large sweet potatoes or yams, cooked & mashed
(about 1 1/2 lb)
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs, divided
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
6 T. margarine
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. coarsely chopped pecans

Combine potatoes, 1/2 C. bread crumbs,
1 T. brown sugar, salt & pepper. Drop by
tablespoons into remaining 1 C. bread
crumbs; roll to coat lightly. Melt 3 T. margarine
in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; cook 1/2 of the pancakes, turning once
& flattening slightly, 6 minutes or until
golden brown, keep warm. Repeat with
remaining margarine & potato mixture.
Blend remaining 1 T. brown sugar with sour
cream. To serve, dollop each pancake
with sour cream mixture then garnish
with nuts. Makes about 30 cakes.

(recipe: Unilever)

Lots of recipes – if I come across any more before Thursday I’ll post them. Sometimes the same recipes work well for Christmas, too.  It’s another beautiful “Fall-Like” day here, 45 degrees, clear and sunny (just my kind of day!). Hope you’re having a great day and remember to do all of your holiday preparations in stages – thereby assuring they get done and you’re not too tired to enjoy the actual holiday!

Big Hugs;


Lots More Recipes!

Kind of struck a gold mine here and thought I’d better start posting or I’ll run out of days before I run out of Thanksgiving-type recipes! Here ya go:


One-Pot Thanksgiving Dinner
(2 servings)

1/2-3/4 lb. turkey tenderloin or boneless
breast filets 1/3 C. whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 C. orange marmalade*
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 dash white pepper
1/3 C. shelled walnuts
8-10 pearl onions, peeled & halved
1 medium sweet potato or yam, scrubbed &
cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 C. broccoli florets

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray inside of 2 qt. cast iron Dutch oven & lid
with nonstick spray. Set turkey pieces into base

in a single layer, trying not to overlap pieces as much
as possible. Lightly sprinkle with salt. In food
processor or blender, pulse cranberries using
chopping blade until berries are in large chunks.
Add marmalade, lemon juice & white pepper; pulse
2-3 times to mix. Pour in walnuts; continue to pulse
until walnuts are roughly chopped, making a thick,
rocky paste.
Drop spoonfuls of cranberry paste onto turkey pieces
until only about half is left. Toss in onions & layer in
sweet potato slices, lightly salt. Cover with rest of
cranberry paste; top with broccoli florets. Cover &
bake 40 minutes.

*if you don’t have orange marmalade: substitute
pulpy orange juice (it will make more ‘gravy’ in bottom
of pot)

NOTE: Adding 1/4 C. broth to cranberry-walnut paste
will also increase amount of gravy.

(recipe: Kitchen Update Moms2Moms site)

Turkey-Basil Chicken Roll Ups

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, finely chopped
6 T. chopped, fresh basil, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) shredded Italian
Five Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia, divided
8 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, onions, 2 T. basil & 1/2 C.
shredded cheese until blended; shape into 8 logs.

Place 1 log on one short end of each chicken
breast; press lightly into chicken. Roll up tightly,
tucking in both ends of breast around filling to
completely enclose filling. Place, seam-sides
down, in 9 X 13 pan sprayed with nonstick
spray; top with spaghetti sauce. Bake 30
minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Top with remaining shredded cheese; bake 3-5
minutes or until melted. Sprinkle top with remaining
basil. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Fudge

– 3/4 C. pecans
1 tsp. olive oil
3 C. sugar
3/4 C. butter
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
2 T. corn syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (12 oz) pkg. white chocolate chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Line a 9 X 9 pan with foil; spray with
nonstick spray. Place olive oil in hot skillet
& add pecans; add salt. Let pecans toast
over medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally, 5 minutes or until nuts
turn a darker color. Place butter into
a medium sized saucepan; melt over
medium high heat; add evaporated milk,
pumpkin, corn syrup, sugar & pumpkin
pie spice. Stir mixture to combine. Bring
to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring
constantly. Cook & continue to stir until
it comes to 234 degrees F. or a “soft
ball stage” on candy thermometer. Once
it comes to a boil, it should take about
15 minutes to reach correct temperature.
Remove from heat and quickly add marsh-
mallow creme, white chocolate, vanilla &
toasted pecans. Stir together to combine.
Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool
at least 2 hours. Cut & serve. Store
leftovers, covered tightly, in refrigerator.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup)

Butternut Squash with Apples &

1/4 C. margarine, melted
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 3/4 lb)

cut into 1/2 inch cubes
(about 5 Cups)
1 medium apple, cubed
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in 1 1/2
qt. baking dish. Season, if desired,
with salt. Cover & bake 30 minutes.
Remove cover, bake an additional 15

minutes or until squash is tender.
Serves 4

(recipe: Unilever)

Crumb-topped Roasted Tomatoes

4 T. margarine, melted
3 lb. plum tomatoes (about 12),
1 large shallot OR 1 small onion,
finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking dish with
1 T. margarine. Add tomatoes,
then sprinkle with shallot, garlic,
thyme & 1 T. margarine. Season,
if desired, with 1 tsp. ground
black pepper. Bake 50 minutes.
Combine remaining 2 T. margarine,
bread crumbs & cheese in medium
bowl. Sprinkle over tomatoes. Broil
until golden, about 2 minutes.
Cool slightly before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: Unilever)

Apple-Pecan Holiday Stuffing

1/4 C. margarine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 C. finely chopped celery
1 Gala or Golden Delicious apple, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
3/4 C. apple cider
1 (12 oz) pkg. seasoned or unseasoned
cube stuffing mix
1/4 C. finely chopped pecans
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Melt margarine in 12-inch nonstick skillet
over medium-high heat; cook onion &
celery, stirring occasionally, until tender,
about 5 minutes. Stir in apple & cook,

stirring occasionally, until apple is tender,
about 4 minutes. Stir in broth & apple
cider; bring to a boil over high heat.
Remove from heat, stir in stuffing mix
& mix until moistened. Garnish
with pecans & parsley. Serves 9.

(recipe: Unilever)

Sweet Potato Praline Bake

1 T. finely chopped pecans
1 T. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked &
1/4 C. margarine
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
2 T. flour
1/2 C. marshmallow creme

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine pecans with brown sugar in
small bowl, set aside. Beat sweet
potatoes, margarine, spice, egg &
flour in large bowl with elec. mixer
until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add
marshmallow creme; beat until
just blended. Spoon into ungreased
1 1/2 qt. casserole dish; sprinkle top
with pecan mixture. Bake 30 minutes
or until bubbling. Serves 8

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

1 (15 oz) can canned pumpkin

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking dish. Mix pumpkin,

evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon &
salt. Pour mixture into baking dish; sprinkle
dry cake mix over mixture, top with chopped
nuts. Evenly pour melted butter over top and
bake 50-55 minutes.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Macaroni Meat PIe

1 (8 oz) pkg macaroni noodles
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 C. meat broth or consomme
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. cubed cooked beef
1 C. well drained chopped tomatoes
1/2 C. grated cheese (your choice)
1/2 C. buttered bread crumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni accordg to pkg directions; drain.
Cook onions, green pepper & mushrooms in butter
5 minutes. Add flour, salt , pepper & nutmeg; stir,
cooking about 5 minutes longer. Add broth or
consomme & Worcestershire sauce, stirring
constantly. Let cook until thickened; remove from
heat. Butter a 2 qt casserole. Line prepared casserole
with half cooked macaroni. Add beef & sauce. Pour
tomatoes over all. Add rest of macaroni. Sprinkle top
with cheese & cover with crumbs. Bake 25 minutes or
until top is lightly browned & bubbly. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Ham, Potato & Leek Soup

2 T. unsalted butter
4 C. thinly sliced leeks, white & light
green parts only
4 C. chicken broth
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into
1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
2 C. cooked ham, diced
1/4 C. cream or half & half (optional)
salt to taste 3 T. fresh parsley, chives or dill, chopped

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add leeks; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken broth, potatoes & pepper; bring to
a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat;
cover & simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables
are very tender. Using a blender or food processor,
working in batches, process until smooth. Stir in
ham & cream; season to taste with salt. Garnish
with parsley, chives or dill. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe exchange)

Spiced Cranberry Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. canned whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 C. orange marmalade
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)*
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted

Spread cream cheese on bottom of 9-inch
pie plate. Mix next 3 ingredients; spoon over
cream cheese. Top with nuts. Serve with crackers.
Makes 1 3/4 C. or 14 (2 T. each) servings.

*Variation: prepare as directed, omitting red
pepper & substituting hot pepper jelly for
orange marmalade.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

2 C. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salat

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1 C. mashed, cooked fresh pumpkin*

1 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 C. cold milk

1/4 C. oil

6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate,

coarsely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt &

spices until well blended; set aside. Beat eggs,

pumpkin, sugars, milk & oil in large bowl with

wire whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients;

stir just until  moistened. Stir in chopped chocolate.

Pour into prepared loaf pan; bake 55 minutes – 1

hour or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf

comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from

pan, cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 18

(1/2 inch) slices.


* Mashed, cooked fresh pumpkin might have a

higher moisture content than canned pumpkin

puree. For best results, do not substitute canned

pumpkin puree in recipes calling for homemade

mashed pumpkin.

How to Prepare Fresh Pumpkin Puree:

Cut a 4-5 lb. pumpkin in half with a large knife. Scoop

out seeds & stringy fibers. Cut pumpkin into 1 1/2 inch

cubes. Place pumpkin in large saucepan. Add water to

1 inch depth. Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat & simmer

25-30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Drain well; cool

just until pumpkin is easy to handle. Remove peel. Mash

with a potato masher for a chunky mixture. For a smoother

consistency, process pumpkin in a food processor. Drain

mashed pumpkin in a sieve for about 20 minutes to remove

excess liquid. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days. Cooked

pumpkin can also be frozen up to 6 months in resealable

freezer-weight plastic bags.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Hope you don’t mind that I threw in a couple ‘everyday’ recipes, too. I’m amazed at how many great-sounding recipes there are available this year!

REMINDER/DISCLAIMER: The recipes posted on my blog are NOT my own (hence the name in parentheses at the bottom, stating where I got them from). IF there might be one that is mine, I will state that – just wanted to make that clear to those who might not have read my blog before.

Had fun earlier today at KMart, looking for items for middle son’s moving out. He was in need of some sort of chest of drawers and some sort of table to put his TV on. Have been looking around for awhile for these items; stopped at a local antique store that son mentioned – just to see what they had to offer (didn’t find anything). It’s a really nice store (his friend works there) – lots of circa 1950’s stuff, some eclectic items, but nothing I wanted to buy. At KMart found a 4 drawer chest of drawers on sale for $34.99 (was $54.99) – yes, it’s pressboard, but for his ‘first time’, it will work. Also found 2 small tables which will work: one for his TV and the other for a nightstand (they can hold up to 22 lbs). He really liked them and said they will go well with his frirend’s apartment decor (black & brushed chrome – sort of 50’s style). (2 tables – $19.99!!!) I told him they are part of his Christmas present; by the time I’m/we’re finished with his ‘moving out needs’ I will have spent a ‘pretty penny’, thus the ‘Christmas present’ idea. Still have to locate a single bed frame (the kind that used to sell for around $19.99) – haven’t called furniture stores yet. KMart had something like what I wanted, but much more sturdy, lots more metal bars for the frame – but they wanted $129.99 – too much, in my mind. We’ve still got a bit of time; he’s planning on moving out beginning of December.  I’m happy I’m slowly able to locate the things he needs – I remember doing this for oldest son many years ago. I hit a ton of garage sales at that time – buying things like a blender, toaster, silverware, a lamp (I repainted it), a chair – fun stuff.  He was furnishing an entire apartment; middle son only has to furnish a bedroom (yay!).

Weather is still unusually warm for this time of year – it’s 3:35 p.m. now and 50 degrees F., clear and feels warmer than it is! Began working on another baby hat last night – trying to make the total number come to 50 (have about 3-4 more to make – don’t feel like getting up to go check the actual count – sorry).

Hope you’re having a great day – enjoy yourself and remember to SMILE a bit!


Once a chef . . . always a chef!

May I take your order, M’am?

Thursdays are ‘babysit my grandson’ day – today he was rather bored with reading his books and drawing. He noticed that his ‘kitchen set’ was missing from our livingroom (I gave it away about a month ago – it’s made for 2-4 yr olds & he’s 6 1/2). He said he was feeling like cooking – the good thing was, I kept the big container of plastic foods, his ‘menu’ and cooking implements – he was thrilled. If you’re going to be a customer in HIS restaurant you HAVE to give your name – he won’t serve you if you don’t! I became Miss Smith and later Mrs. Perriwinkle (my choice of names – he thought they were hillarious!). He made me breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few ‘chef choices’ thrown in extra. Did you know you have to use your blender to process pineapple? (He has a toy battery-operated blender and he must have blended that toy pineapple a good 10 times before declaring it was fit to eat!) It was a joy to play with him today – his dad would be proud of his ‘up and coming’ chef. (I’ll have to remember to ask my oldest son – his Dad – if HE requires the name of his client before cooking for them!) Oh – grandson, as the Executive Chef went by several names also; first he was Chef Tony and then, for the dinner menu, he was Chef Zane (apparently he knows a third-grader named Zane who’s his friend). Too funny. He very meticulously writes down how much he’s charging you, then gives you play plastic money to pay him with. A peanut butter & jelly sandwich, grape pop and a banana was $10.00 (inflation, you know . . . ) Ah, the imagination of a 6 year old!

Went shopping today for the Thanksgiving turkey – got a good deal at Kroger for their house brand: a 23 lb. for 69 cents a pound  – came to $15 – not bad. I find it interesting remember holiday prices from years ago – used to be a 4 stick package of margarine, on sale, was 50 cents – now, you’re lucky if you can find them for 79 cents (we’re talking Blue Bonnet or Imperial). I was happy to get the larger container of Durkee’s French Fried onions for $2.29 today – I thought I did rather well using coupons – saved $23.00 on an over-$100 total order, not bad. Still have to go to another store beginning of next week for the russet potatoes on sale: 5 lb bag 99 cents! Campbell’s gravy (in a glass jar) 2/$1.00 – not bad!  Picked up youngest son from work tonight and he was telling me about the lady customer who bought 16 turkeys! She was doing the cooking for her company’s holiday dinner – ugh! He’s had a few more ‘extreme’ couponers – more of the ‘over $600 orders’ – he said, for him as a cashier, it’s really tiring. I guess their store (Meijer) honors other stores coupons which means the cashier then has to do a lot of hand-typing in the prices & codes; if you have a lot of that type of items it could get really frustrating. (Glad I’m not working on that kind of job). I’m just grateful he HAS a job!

Still plugging away at the baby hats – finished 2 more today. Decided I’d change things up a bit and am working on another chemo cap. If you read my blog last month you saw I won a set of circular, interchangable knitting needles – I decided to give them a try on the chemo cap; they work very nicely. I finally found the ‘net yarn’ I was writing about last entry. It’s commonly used to knit quick scarves – there are several different kinds/types – here is a photo of what they look like knit-up:


Here’s more recipes for you:

Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos or Tostadas

4 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
14 oz. chicken broth

Put chicken breasts, taco & ranch mixes,
and chicken broth in crock pot. Set on Low
5 hours. After 5 hours, shred chicken with
2 forks. Replace lid, continue cooking on
Low 30 minutes more. Serve shredded
chicken on tostadas, tacos, burritos or salad
with your favorite toppings.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium baking potatoes, about 4 lb.

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. butter, softened (1 stick)
1 pint sour cream
2 C. (1/2 lb) shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. chopped chives, (garnish)
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained & crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pierce potatoes , place on baking pan. Bake
1 hour 15 minutes, until very soft. Peel &
mash potatoes in large bowl with potato masher
or back of fork. Add cream cheese, butter, sour
cream & 1 C. Cheddar; stir well. Add garlic, salt &
pepper; stir again. Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with non-
stick cooking spray. Place potato mixture in dish,
bake 30-35 minutes until hot. Sprinkle remaining
1 C. Cheddar over casserole, return to oven 5 minutes
until cheese melts. Garnish with chopped chives & bacon
before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hamburger Gravy

2 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 C. flour
1 quart milk salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp. onion salt
1 small onion, chopped (optional)

Place hamburger in deep skillet; crumble

& cook over medium-high heat until evenly
brown. Remove from heat & sprinkle flour
over cooked hamburger. Stir until evenly
coated & all fat is absorbed. Place skillet
over medium heat, add 1/2 of milk & stir
until gravy begins to thicken. Add remaining
milk until desired consistency has been
reached & gravy comes to a boil. Season
with salt, pepper & onion salt. Makes
6 servings.

SERVE: over mashed or boiled potatoes, toast
or biscuits (or cooked rice!)
Can add fresh, chopped onion, if desired.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pumpkin Crisp

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 C. evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 (18.25 oz) pkg. butter-flavored
yellow cake mix
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. butter, melted
whipped cream (optional)
ground nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Stir together first 5

ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.

Sprinkle cake mix (dry) evenly
over pumpkin mixture. Top, evenly,
with chopped pecans & then drizzle with
melted butter. Bake 60-65 minutes or
until golden brown. Remove from oven
& let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or at room temp. Serve
with whipped cream & nutmeg, if
desired. Makes 8-10 servings.

(recipe: Linda N-1_Comfort_Foods)

Hearty Hamburger Soup

1 lb. hamburger

1/8 tsp. onion salt

1/8 tsp. garlic salt

2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce

2 lb. frozen mixed vegetables

2 medium potatoes, peeled &


salt & pepper, to taste

Brown hamburger in 3 qt. saucepan,

stirring until crumbly; drain

grease. Add next 3 ingredients &

2 C. water, mix well. Simmer,

covered, 30 minutes. Stir in

mixed vegetables & simmer,

covered, 25 minutes longer.

Add potatoes; cook until

potatoes are tender; season

with salt & pepper.Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Baked Zucchini Chips


2 medium zucchini, sliced thin

2 T. kosher salt

1/3 C. bread crumbs

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 T. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Add zucchini & salt to a colander, toss

well. Let sit 15-20 minutes; press out

any excess water then rinse very well

under running water. Add zucchini to

a bowl with milk; toss well. In another

bowl, add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese,

onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil,

and dried oregano. Add zucchini & toss in

breadcrumb mixture, coating each side. Spray

a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Place zucchini chips in single layer on

sheet & spray tops of zucchini with non-

stick spray. Bake 5-7 minutes, turn & bake

5-7 minutes more.

(recipe:Sandy- Marys Recipe Exchange)


Overnight Stuffed French Toast


1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia

1/3 less fat cream cheese

3 T. sugar

8 slices cinnamon-swirl bread

4 eggs

1/2 C. milk

2 C. sliced fresh strawberries

1 C. blueberries

Mix cream cheese & sugar until well

blended; spread onto bread. Place

4 bread slices, cream cheese-sides

up, in 8 in. square baking dish

sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover

with remaining bread slices, cream

cheese-sides down. Whisk eggs &

milk until well-blended; pour over

bread. Cover & refrigerate overnight.

(next day)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or

until center is set & top is

lightly browned. Serve topped

with fruit. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


How’s your weather been lately? Our’s is hovering around the 40’s during the day – chilly but tolerable; evening it’s in the low 30’s – REALLY chilly but tolerable as long as there’s no s-n-o-w coming! Hope you are having a good week so far. Remember – holiday shopping & cooking involves just ONE BIG THING: lots of planning  – PLAN to take your time, plan what you’re buying or preparing and planning a BREAK throughout the day! Shopping or cooking – they’re all the same: they don’t do anyone any good if the shopper/chef/cook is too tired to continue! (Trust me on that one – I know from experience!) If I had one complaint about this ‘struggling through the 5 year cancer project’, it would be how the cancer drug saps your strength. I told my husband I’m really curious if, at the end of the 5 years on the preventative drug, I’ll finally start feeling like I can do things without constantly feeling exhausted or achy (sure hope so!) Since I’ve been on the drug (almost 8 months now) I’ve had to learn the hard way to TAKE IT EASY and DON’T OVER-DO! Believe me, my body lets me know REALLY fast if I forgot that one little rule. I don’t mind being 64 , what I DO mind is feeling like I’m in my 80’s! Oh well, the alternative could be MUCH worse – I’m very grateful to the Lord for bringing me to this point in my life, there are others who weren’t given that chance.  Thank you, Lord, for giving me more LIFE to live, things to experience and a body that, although slow and achy, can still do things.  (I’ll step off my soapbox now . . . ).

Hope you’re enjoying all the preparations for the upcoming holiday!



Sprinkling . . .

Got up this morning to a light sprinkling of that white stuff . . . the “S” word (sigh). It’s a ‘balmy’ 31 degrees out right now at 11:12 a.m. so it looks like we’re headed into that “W” word: Winter. Had to get  up & out early today – middle son is really battling a nasty upper respiratory infection; finally got him to go to the doctor yesterday and they said it’s possibly viral, but gave him a prescription for Amoxicillin, which I filled today. He’s one that loves to argue ‘he knows his body best’ – even though he sounds like he’s coughing up his lungs-just glad he finally conceded he needs a little extra help to get over this. The rest of us are in OK health, youngest sort of sounds a bit congested, but nothing like his older brother!

It’s been quiet around here lately, nothing special going on (YAY!). Made Chicken Parmigiana with Garlic-Parmesan noodles for dinner last night; when the boys got home from their various jaunts BOTH of them said: “Wow, Mom! You really made a GREAT dinner – THANKS!” (a Mom lives for those words!) Tonight is an easy one: Potatoes O’Brian:  hash brown potatoes with green & red peppers cut up, onions and ground beef, all stirred in together. At the end of cooking I pour in an entire bag of shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese then broil it (great with a bit of ketchup – at least that’s the way the boys eat it – and a little Tabasco).


Creamy Turkey Casserole

4 C. prepared stuffing
4 C. coarsely chopped cooked turkey
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place turkey in bottom of casserole dish.
Combine 1/4 C. mayonnaise with cranberry
sauce; evenly spread over turkey. Combine
remaining 1/2 C. mayonnaise, potatoes &
cheese in large bowl. Evenly spread on turkey,
then top with stuffing. Bake 40 minutes or until
heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before

(recipe: newspaper flyer)

You’ve Got to Be Kidding Cake

1 box cake mix, any
3 large eggs, beaten
1 can pie filling, any flavor

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl, dump dry cake mix, eggs &
pie filling. Stir together until well
mixed; pour into greased 9 X 13
pan. Bake 35 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean.

NOTE: Pair flavors of cake mix &
pie fillings: apple filling with butter
pecan cake mix; cherry pie filling
with devil’s food cake mix,
pineapple cake mix with blueberry
filling. Strawberry cake mix with
strawberry filling.

Extra Inch to the Hips Tip:
Chop room temperature
cream cheese into chunks. Poke
chunks randomly into batter
after pouring batter into pan. Make
sure cheese is in deep. Continue to
(Poster said an Amish friend of hers
gave her this recipe. Poster notes
that this is a very moist & tasty cake;
no icing is needed.)


Crispy Mac & Cheese

1 box macaroni & cheese
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup (10.75 oz)
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. mustard
1 dash ground black pepper
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese, divided
2 C. crushed shoe string potatoes or
potato chips

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Boil macaroni in 2 C. water 4-5 minutes. Mix soup,
mustard, pepper, cheese packet, cooked macaroni
in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake 20 minutes or
until hot; stir a sprinkle of shoe string potatoes or
potato chips over top; add remaining cheese. Bake
until chips are browned & cheese is melted. Serves 4


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
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place potaotes in crockpot. In medium

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

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Skillet Chicken ‘n Dumplings

1 T. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. (1/2 of 8 oz tub) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas & carrots
1 C. Bisquick
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. milk
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large, deep skillet on medium-
high heat. Add chicken, cook & stir 4 minutes or

until no longer pink. Transfer to bowl. Add
broth gradually to flour in small bowl, whisking
constantly until blended. Add to skillet; cook & stir

on medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened.
Add cream cheese spread; cook & stir 3 minutes or
until melted. Remove from heat; stir in chicken &
vegetables. Stir Bisquick, sour cream & milk just
until Bisquick is moistened. Spoon into 6 mounds
over mixture in skillet; cook on medium-high heat
2 minutes. Cover; cook on low heat 15 minutes or
until chicken is done & toothpick inserted into
center of dumplings comes out clean. Top with
Parmesan & parsley. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Angel Food Cake w/Lemon Filling

1 angel food cake (store bought or homemade)
1 can lemon pie filling
1 carton lemon yogurt (lowfat)
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip*, thawed

Mix lemon pie filling & lemon yogurt together;
set aside. Cut angel food cake into 3 layers,
using a serrated knife. Spread lemon mixture
on top of each layer, except for top layer.
“Frost” the cake with Cool Whip around sides
& on top of cake. Refrigerate until serving.

*NOTE: If using LITE Cool Whip, do no put on
until last minute, as it has a tendency to break

down & run. (note from original poster of recipe)

(recipe: DDJ 09/14/12)

Chicken & Cabbage Soup

1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 1/2 C. potatoes, peeled & diced
3 C. cabbage, sliced
1/2 C. white mushrooms, diced
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
olive oil

Season chicken breast with pepper. In a soup pot,
saute chicken & garlic in some olive oil over
medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through.
Add broth, onion, carrots & potatoes; bring to boil.
Cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add cabbage
& mushrooms, cook 5 more minutes, then add
parsley. Remove from heat & serve.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Maple Syrup Pork Chops

4 pork chops
2 T. butter or vegetable oil
1/4 C. minced onion, plus 1
medium onion sliced (sliced
onion, optional)
1 T. apple cider or white vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. water
1-2 T. Worcestershire sauce
salt, to taste
about 1 T. flour (for thickening gravy)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Heat butter (or oil) in large saute pan on

medium-high heat. Pat chops dry with

paper towels. Lightly salt chops then

brown on each side in saute pan. Cook

just enough to brown, remove from pan

& place into a high-sided baking dish or

roasting pan. (if chops are very thin &

cooked through at this point, skip

the oven step & tent them loosely with

aluminum foil while making sauce.) Add

minced onion to saute pan (where you browned

chops), saute 2-3 minutes, until onion begins to brown.
Add vinegar, chili powder, pepper, maple syrup, water &

Worcestershire sauce; bring to boil. Pour sauce over chops.

Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F.; bake, uncovered, 10-

15 minutes for thick (1 inch chops) or 5-10 minutes for

thin (1/2 inch thick chops) or until interior of pork reaches

145 degrees F.

* (Optional step): In same saute pan used to make sauce, add
a little oil & heat to medium high. Cook sliced onions in pan,

allowing onions to pick up any sauce remaining in pan. Cook

until lightly browned, while chops are baking.


Place chops on serving platter, loosely tent with foil. Pour

sauce over chops.Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F.; bake,

uncovered,10- 15 minutes for thick (1 inch chops) or 5-10 minutes for
thin (1/2 inch thick chops) or until interior of pork reaches
145 degrees F.
* (Optional step): In same saute pan used to make sauce,

add a little oil & heat to medium high. Cook sliced onions in pan,
allowing onions to pick up any sauce remaining in pan. Cook
until lightly browned, while chops are baking.
Place chops on serving platter, loosely tent with foil. Pour sauce
into saucepan used to sear chops in, whisk in 1 T. flour to thicken

gravy. Salt to taste & serve gravy over chops and (optional) sliced
onions. Serves 4.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Eggplant & Ground Beef Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian-flavored crushed
1 eggplant, peeled & thinly sliced
2 C. mozzarella & Cheddar cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease bottom & sides of 9 X 13 pan. Bring a
large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil;
cook lasagna noodles at a boil until tender yet
firm, about 10 minutes; drain & set aside.
Cook & stir ground beef, onion, mushrooms &
garlic in skillet over medium heat until beef is
completely browned, about 10 minutes.
Stir canned tomatoes into beef mixture; simmer
until sauce has formed, 3-4 minutes. Pour about
1/4 of sauce into bottom of prepared pan. Layer
noodles on top of sauce; spread a thin layer of
sauce on top of noodles. Place a layer of eggplant
slices on top of noodle/sauce layer. Sprinkle about
1/4 of cheese on top of eggplant. Repeat layering
with remaining ingredients, ending with sauce topped
with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly &
brown, about 40 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pecan Fingers (cookies)

1 C. butter
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. water
2 C. flour
2 C. pecans, grated or finely chopped
extra powdered sugar, for rolling cookies in

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter & blend in sugar, salt, vanilla &
water. Add flour & pecans; mix well. Chill dough,

if soft. Shape into finger-like ovals, using level
teaspoonfuls of dough. Place on an ungreassed
cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes. Roll in
powdered sugar while still warm.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Not much else going on around here – which can be a GOOD thing! Have been slowly plodding along on baby hats – nothin’ special; think I’m up to around 32 now that need delivering to the hospital (with 29 in Nicaragua). Still uncertain about what I’m doing for Christmas presents for the helpers in the special needs group – that would be 3-4 people. Last year I crocheted a really quick ‘potato chip’ scarf for one of them (she’s not with us this year) – I ‘could’ do those . . . really easy, quick pattern – that’s a thought. Am still a bit torn about using the new ‘net’ yarn to make a scarf – saw the yarn at Meijers this morning, it runs around $6.99 a skein-not sure how many skeins for a scarf, though (that’s kinda expensive for yarn, in my opinion).

OH! How are YOUR gas prices? Ours jumped from $3.39/9 to $3.46/9 and today it’s $3.49/9 – yes, it’s only 3 cents, but . . . sure am not happy seeing the prices go UP (especially knowing that we’re soon going into a holiday week and lots of people traveling/shopping, etc.) Youngest son was VERY smart – when he hired in at Meijers he immediatly put in that he wanted Black Friday (the biggest shopping day of the year – day after Thanksgiving) OFF – sure hope he gets his wish because . . . IF he ends up working, guess who gets to drive him! Just the idea of that parking lot jammed with people & cars is enough to bring on a headache! Haven’t really started doing the grocery shopping for the upcoming holiday yet – have a turkey in the freezer; depends on my mood (AND the prices of frozen turkeys this coming week) whether I’ll buy another one or two. I like to get 2 before Thanksgiving and keep one in the freezer – you just CAN’T get turkey at the low prices AFTER the holiday (believe me, I tried . . . many years ago I was under the ‘dilusion’ that they had those prices Thanksgiving AND Christmas! They don’t!).

Well, friends – guess I’ll get off of here for the moment and see what other mischief I can get myself into!

Enjoy your day!



PS:  Went to pick up youngest after his work the other night and he was telling me – his last customer was an “extreme couponer” – $600.00 worth of groceries AND coupons for most of them – believe me, that’s when you DON’T want to be a cashier! He said she saved something like $100.00 – it’s worth it, but it sure does take time at the check out! Sigh . . .

Published in: on November 13, 2012 at 11:48 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Been a BUSY Week!

Sometimes it’s better when you look BACK on something rather than while you’re in the midst of it – this was one of those weeks. It seemed like every day had a miriad of ‘things that HAD to get done’, like driving youngest son various places, meetings to go to (Ladies Fellowship Monday, Ladies Bible Study Tuesday morning, Knit Night Tuesday evening, Special Needs group Weds. evening), etc. Sometimes I was ‘lucky’ in that small details changed, like Tuesday evening when it looked like I would have to leave Knit Night early to pick up youngest from his job at 8:30 (Knit Night is over at 9 p.m.) – husband called to tell me that they’d asked youngest to work until 11 p.m. – whew! Saved by the details! Wednesday I thought I had to babysit grandson, which requires I pick him up from the bus stop exactly at 4 p.m. (wouldn’t have been a bad thing except youngest son needed me to take him somewhere – the return trip would have been a real ‘squeeker’ – just barely making the pick up time) – fortunately my oldest son called to say that the  great grandma was going to take grandson for the day – YAY! Crazy week. My husband’s Aunt died Weds. and they scheduled a cematary service for this morning; luckily we had the time to be able to attend. It was in Sterling Heights, about 25 minutes from our house. Time-wise, it also ‘worked out’ – it almost happened that our youngest would have to walk home from school, as we weren’t sure if we’d get back home by his time: 12:30 p.m., but it all worked out fine – he had a make-up test to take and I picked him up at school at 1:30! YAY, Again! Right now I’m happily ‘coming down’ from all the constant go-go-go; knit another baby hat, took an ‘unscheduled’ 20 or so minute nap and now I’m here with you! Tomorrow, other than driving youngest to & from work, I’m free – – – as far as I know, that is! One of the ‘good’ things about today is we were able to experience a ‘new to us’ restaurant: Andiamo’s in Sterling Heights, MI. (for the funeral dinner). The food was EXCELLENT! It was served in a casual, course-by-course Italian style (the deceased Aunt was Italian): excellent tossed salad and wonderful, warm Artisan breads with herbed olive oil for dipping, a pasta side dish, main course: lightly breaded white fish, green beans & carrots (with some sort of side tomato/herb sauce for the fish), then a small ‘palate cleanser’ of vanilla ice cream lightly drizzled with chocolate sauce – wonderful meal! My husband looked them up on-line and found out they are a chain, of sorts. It’s always nice to know of a great place to go for really good food!

Meals here have been sort of scrambled; with all the various goings-on (for me), we had the White Bean/Chicken ‘soup’ (mentioned in the last blog entry) for several nights PLUS the Navy Bean soup (also mentioned). By Thursday we were all pretty ‘souped out’ – so I went to the grocery store to shop. While there, they had a ‘special’ featured item: Freschetta pizza – Southwestern style (about a ‘medium’ size) for $2.99 each! I thought: “Haven’t had anything like this before – why not try it? For that price, can’t be beat!” The pizza (I bought 2) had a thin crust, sauce (of course) sliced red peppers & onions, corn, and huge chunks of chicken! (I also noticed that this was very similar to the fajita-style chicken I buy at Gordon Foods – the kind I use in the White Bean/Chicken soup). Bought a 4-cheese pizza also, just in case others in the family weren’t too happy with the Southwestern-style pizza (I LIKED IT! So did middle son-said it was definately different but he’d like it if I continued buying that kind! Interesting!) Husband was a ‘not so hot’ vote (he sticks to what he knows: my homemade pizzas –  hamburger, pepperoni, onions, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, green peppers (if I have any) and 2 kinds of cheeses; sometimes ‘old faithful’ just plain works!)

Recipes! Still have lots of great-sounding recipes for you:


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)

Broccoli-Cheddar Chicken Bundles

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs,
pounded to 1/2 in. thickness
1 C. frozen broccoli florets, thawed &
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 packet Shake ‘n Bake Extra Crispy
seasoned coating mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken, smooth-sides down,
on work surface; top with broccoli,
cheese & bacon. Roll up each chicken
thigh tightly, starting at one short
end; secure with wooden toothpicks.
Roll in Shake ‘n Bake until evenly
coated. Place, seam-sides down, in
single layer in shallow foil-lined
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Remove & discard toothpicks
before serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mississippi Mud Cookies

1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. milk chocolate morsels
1 C. PLUS 2 T. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Microwave semisweet chocolate chips

in small microwave-safe bowl on High 1

minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.

Beat butter &
sugar a medium speed with elec. mixer until creamy;
add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each
addition. Bea in vanilla & melted chocolate. Combine
flour, baking powder & salt; gradually add to chocolate
mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chopped
pecans & 1/2 C. milk chocolate morsels. Drop dough
by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined
baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows into each portion
of dough. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to
wire racks. Makes about 3 dozen.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

“Pizza” Pork Chops

5 boneless pork chops
1 pinch salt & ground black pepper,
to taste
5 slices tomato (1/2 in. thick)
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
5 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat grill to medium heat.
Season chops with salt & pepper;
arrange in bottom of disposable
aluminum pan. Top each chop with
tomato slice. Divide basil, oregano &
garlic between chops; drizzle each
with olive oil. Cover pan with foil
Cook until pork is no longer pink in
center, about 25 minutes. Remove
pan from grill; top each chop with a
slice of mozzarella cheese, re-cover
pan with foil & wait until cheese melts,
3-5 minutes, before serving.

(recipe: Cookincrazyme-RDJ 09/14/12)

Baked Potato Soup

5 lb. russet potatoes, washed but not peeled,
diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced (5 tsp. if using jarred)
8 C. (64 oz) chicken stock or broth
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. seasoned salt
(Optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded
cheese, green onions, dollop sour cream)

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning & chicken
stock to crockpot. Cook on High 6 hours or Low
10 hours. Add softened cream cheese; puree half of
soup with an immersion blender (or use blender, in
small batches) until cheese is incorporated. Stir well,
top with choice of garnishes.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Party Nachos

1 lb. ground turkey
2 T. vegetable oil
1 envelope Taco seasoning mix (1.25 oz)
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. bottled salsa
1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 pkg. Scoop-style tortilla chips (about 60)
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (4 oz)
(Optional garnishes: guacamole, sour cream,
sliced canned jalapenos)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet on medium-
high heat, heat oil. Add ground turkey; cook
8-10 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa &
black beans. Reduce heat to medium, cook,
uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon turkey mixture evenly into each
scooped tortilla chip; place on large baking
tray. Top with shredded cheese & bake 4
Serve with optional garnishes.

*Alternative heating: Microwave:
Microwave filled chips in small batches
on High setting 20 seconds.

(recipe: Perdue chicken)

Sweet Chex Mix w/ Berries

4 C. bite-sized Corn Chex
4 C. bite-sized Rice Chex
2 C. pretzel knots
1 C. sliced almonds
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
6 T. butter
3 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 C. dried cranberries or
1 C. dried blueberries or
1 C. dried cherries

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine corn & rice Chex, pretzels &
almonds in large roasting pan or baking
dish; set aside. In medium saucepan, bring
to Boil while stirring: brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup. When mixture comes to boiling

point stop stirring; let boil for an additional
5 minutes over medium heat. Remove from
heat, stir in baking soda. Pour immediately
over cereal mixture. Stir gently to evenly
coat cereal mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Stir
& bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir in dried fruit(s). Spread
mixture on buttered foil to cool. Break
into bite-sized pieces & store in air-tight

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hissy Fit Dip*

2 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed small
1 C. white American cheese, shredded
1/2-1 lb. pork sausage, crumbled, cooked
& drained
1/4 C. green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. curry
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash garlic salt or powder

Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat 350 degrees F.
In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring
until well blended. Place in baking dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 1 hour.
Serve with crackers, chips or veggie sticks
(carrots, celery, sliced cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)

*Rumor has it the first time this was served at a
SEC tailgating party, it was so popular that it was
gone in no time. One uppity young lady who missed
tasting the new recipe was so distraught she pitched
a big HISSY FIT, hence the name.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Stuffed Green Peppers

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained &
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 C. shredded, Cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 C.)
4 small green peppers, tops removed & seeded

Combine all ingredients except reserved cheese

& green peppers. Stuff peppers to top. Place in
crockpot (3 peppers in bottom & 1 on top).
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-4 hours. Sprinkle with 1/4 C. reserved
cheese last 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rival Crockpot Stoneware Slow
Cooker cookbook-slowcooker digest)

S’Mores Apples

6-8 Granny Smith apples
6-8 wooden skewers/sticks
2 T. unsalted butter
1 (28 oz) bag large marshmallows
10 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 C. crushed graham crackers

Twist off stems on apples. If skewer
ends are blunt, sharpen them using
a utility knife to slice off one end at
a diagonal angle. Firmly grip apple &
push skewer two-thirds into stem-end
of apple. If any juice leaks out, blot
fruit with paper towel before dipping.
Lay out a layer of waxed paper on a baking
sheet (can use parchment paper, also).
In a saucepan over low heat, melt
butter. Add marshmallows & stir
until melted. Dip apples, one at a
time, then transfer to waxed paper.
Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
In a double boiler over low heat, melt
chocolate chips, stirring continually.
Pour graham cracker crumbs into
a large bowl (leaving enough room
for dipping apples in bowl).
Dip an apple into chocolate, stopping
two-thirds of way up. Immediately
dip lower third of apple into graham
cracker crumbs, rotating to coat
evenly. Transfer apples to waxed
paper & repeat for all apples.
Refrigerate until set, about 15
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe

On a new note, I finally got to see a movie I’ve been waiting for: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Dame Judith Dench, Maggie Smith and several other excellent English actors). It just happened to be on our local cable ‘pay per view’ and I was able to see it for $5! That’s cheaper than going to the movies! It’s another of those: ‘senior-aged people looking for something to add spice to their lives take a trip to India after reading an advertizement about the forementioned hotel’. It was a fun movie, a little slow to start but a good ending – I’d recommend it.

Not much else going on (thank heavens!) – it looks like this coming week is fairly ‘standard’, not a lot of extra goings-on. Was looking (on line) at yarns with the thought of, perhaps, knitting a few scarves (Christmas presents for the helpers in the special needs group) but now that I think on that a little more, think I’ll forego that idea and go with ‘easier’ gifts.  There’s a new yarn out this year (actually several kinds) that make knitting a scarf almost fool-proof. They come in big skeins and look almost like mesh or net (in various colors); you basically knit the top of the skein strand and it automatically makes big mesh-like ruffles. It looks really nice when knit up (was trying to find a photo of it, knit up, but wasn’t able to at this time).

Anyway, that’s what’s going on around here – OH! Just noticed today that gas prices, here, jumped up TEN CENTS per gallon! I filled up yesterday for $3.36/9 and now it’s $3.46/9 – that’s not good.

How’s your weather lately, by the way? It’s been typical around here for this time of year: slight chill in the air (enough to wear a jacket, not cold enough to bring out the really heavy WINTER jackets yet) – today it was in the mid-50’s and sunny; in the evening it’s dipping down to the 30’s (now THAT’S cold weather! The other day there was FROST on my windshield, in the mid 30’s – YUCK!). Oh well – time to ‘buck up’ and get used to the fact that WINTER IS COMING! (double yuck!)

Hope you’re having a great day/evening!



More Shopping? Why, YES! Think I will!!!

Two hours later and two big bagfuls to lug home = one happy shopper! Salvation Army in our area has a 1-Day 50% off all clothing sale and I had F-U-N! Middle son has been mentioning that he really doesn’t ‘need’ STUFF for when he moves, he just needs newer clothing (sigh) so I went to see just what I could do about that. He now has 1 new pair of jeans, about 12 dress/work-type shirts, 2 ‘fun’ t-shirts, plus I also ‘scored’ for youngest two long-sleeved flannel shirts (his new “love” clothing apparel), a nice tan dressy-type sweater for me (church) and a every-day long sleeved turtle neck (me) PLUS 2 more of those really big ‘BODY’ towels (for our house) and a bath mat. Total cost of all these items? $44.50!!! SCORE!!! I thought it was cute when, while kind of boxed in a women’s tops aisle, two ladies were chatting and one said: “I wonder why it’s so busy in here today?” I chimed in: “It’s 50% off ALL clothing!” They both squeeled!  (Ah, I love spreading the ‘joy’ to others! hehehe). Oh! Gas prices in our area are down some, again! They were $3.49/9 yesterday and now they are $3.34/9 today! NICE! (my tank is already full, but it still gives me a tiny bit of joy to know it’s down some!)

On my outings today, noticed that there was FROST on the windshield when I started out at 10 a.m. – temperatures were at 39 degrees F.; up to 41 degrees F. by noon. Still clear out, no clouds or rain, so that’s good.

Family really liked the pork roast, cooked carrots, baked potatoes & tossed salad last night. I told them I had really missed having a ‘regular’ sit-down dinner; since the boys are both working now, it’s a rarity to have us all at the table at the same time, let alone eating a full ‘dinner’! They usually just load up a plate and gobble down whatever’s in the fridge OR make a sandwich – sigh. Don’t know what’s for dinner tonight – might just make stroganoff from the pork roast – maybe. Tomorrow, after church, will be the starting of Navy Bean Soup. Monday evening is another church Ladie’s Fellowship and those of us with last names A-M are assigned ‘soup’. My soup recipe is from the Michigan Bean Commission and takes a good day to make (or, you could do the ‘quick’ method and boil the beans first – I prefer the regular ‘soak overnight’ method). Haven’t made this recipe in a good year or  more (sometimes the guys like it, sometimes it’s ‘ho-hum’) and this does make a pretty good-sized batch (hence my idea of making/taking to church – what’s leftover will be just the right size for us!).

On to the recipes! Are you looking into what to cook for Thanksgiving yet? Just wondered –


Little Kettle Soup

(my recipe-Navy Bean  Soup)


1 lb. dry navy beans

2 1/2 qts. water

3/4 C. celery, diced

3/4 C. carrots, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 meaty ham bone or ham hock

1/2 C. catsup

1/4 lb. bacon ends & pieces

1 T. salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. pepper

dash vinegar

Soak beans overnight. Add

remaining ingredients; bring to

a boil; turn down heat & simmer

2-4 hours, until beans reach

desired tenderness. Add additional

water, if necessary, as it simmers.

(recipe: Michigan Bean Commission)


Sweet ‘n Sour Smoked Sausages

2 (16 oz, ea) pkgs miniature smoked
sausage links
2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
3 T. brown sugar

Place sausages in crockpot. In a bowl,
combine pie filling, pineapple & brown
sugar; pour over sausages. Cover &
cook on Low 4 hours. Serves 16-20


Buffalo Chicken Chili

1 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 C.)
1 medium red or yellow bell
pepper, chopped (1 C.)
2 C. cubed deli rotisserie chicken
(from 2-2 1/2 lb. chicken)
1 C. chicken broth
1 T. chili powder
5-6 drops red pepper sauce
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pinto beans,
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes,
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese

In 3 quart saucepan, heat oil over
medium-high heat. Cook onion &

bell pepper in oil about 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until crisp-
tender. Stir in remaining ingredients
except celery & blue cheese. Heat
to boiling, reduce heat to medium-
low; simmer, uncovered, 10-15
minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with celery &
blue cheese.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Recipe Exchange)


Dijon Turkey

1 (12 lb) whole turkey, thawed
1/3 C. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard *

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Remove neck & giblets from turkey; rinse turkey &
pat dry with paper towels. Free legs from tucked

position (do not cut band of skin holding legs in)
Using rubber spatula or hand, loosen skin over
breast, starting at body cavity opening by legs.
Spread 2 T. mustard inside body cavity; spread
remaining mustard on meat under skin. Use
wooden toothpicks to secure skin at opening.
Return legs to tucked position; turn wings back
to hold neck skin in place. Place turkey, breast-
side up, on flat rack in shallow open pan; brush
skin with oil. Bake 3 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
45 minutes or until done (165 degrees F.),
covering breast loosely with foil to prevent over-
browning, if necessary. Let stand 15-20 minutes
before carving (to seal in juices). Discard toothpicks
before serving. Serves 30.

*Can also use Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Blueberry Crisp

4 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C. granola
1/3 C. coconut
2 T. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
If blueberries are frozen, thaw but do not
drain. Stir together berries with sugar,
lemon juice & cinnamon. Pour into
ungreased 10 x 6 baking pan. In a
separate bowl, mix together granola,
coconut & butter; sprinkle over top of
filling. Bake 30-40 minutes or until
topping is crisp. Serves about 6.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Skillet Parmesan Potatoes

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T. water
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 6)
thinly sliced
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook & stir bacon in 10 in. nonstick

skillet on medium heat until crisp.
Remove bacon with slotted spoon,
reserving 2 T. drippings in skillet. Drain
bacon on paper towels. Add peppers &
onions to skillet, cook & stir 6 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat, transfer

onion mixture to bowl. Add water to
skillet; arrange 2 C. potatoes on bottom
of skillet; top with layers of half each:
onion mixture & bacon. Repeat all
layers; top with remaining potatoes,
cover. Cook on medium-low heat 30
minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Carefully invert onto large platter;
top with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 10 (1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

35 Lorna Doone Shortbread cookies
1 (11 oz) pkg. caramel bits*
1 T. milk
3 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 squares white chocolate

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, with ends of
foil extending over sides; spray with cooking
spray. Arrange cookies in single layer on bottom
of pan. Microwave caramel bits & milk in
microwavable bowl on High 1 1/2 – 2 minutes
or until bits are completely melted & mixture is
well blended, stirring after each minute. Pour

over cookies; spread to completely cover cookies.
Microwave chocolates in microwavable bowl 2
minutes or until almost melted, stirring every
30 seconds; stir until chocolates are completely
melted. Pour over caramel layer; spread to
completely cover caramel layer. Let stand
2 hours before cutting into bars. Makes
24 bars.

* can substitute Kraft caramels for caramel bits

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mexicali Cheese Dip

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Queso Quesadilla
cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia (KRAFT)
1 green onion, sliced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
8 C. tortilla chips (8 oz)

Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat until
crisp. Remove from skillet, reserving 1 T. drippings
in skillet. Add tomatoes & peppers to skillet, cook
& stir 3 minutes or until tomatoes are softened &
most of liquid is cooked off. Stir in cheese; cook &
stir 1 minutes or until melted. Transfer to shallow
serving dish; top with bacon, onions & cilantro.
Serve with chips. Makes 12 (2 T. dip each) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spiced Apple & Butternut Squash Soup

1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 large onions, diced 2 large Granny Smith apples; peeled,
cored & diced
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 butternut squash, peeled, halved
lengthwise & seeds removed, diced into
1-inch cubes
3 quarts chicken stock
salt & freshly ground black pepper,
to taste

Melt butter in large pot over medium
heat. Add onions & apples; cook until
tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in
spices, cook 1 minute then add squash
& chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce
heat & simmer, uncovered, until squash
is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Puree
in blender, and serve. Add additional stock,

if necessary to desired thickness.
Season with salt & pepper. Refrigerate
any leftovers. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Kroger/Chef John)


Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 C. mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1/3 C. oil
1/4 C. milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder &

salt in large bowl; set aside. Stir
eggs, bananas, oil & milk in large
bowl until well blended. Add dry
ingredients; stir just until moistened.
Stir in chopped chocolate & nuts.
Pour into grease 9x 5 loaf pan. Bake
55 minutes or until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool in
pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack.
Cool completely before cutting.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
1 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. creamy peanut butter
4 T. packed brown sugar
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 C. peanut butter chips
Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams,
apple slices for dipping

Beat cream cheese, sugars & peanut
butter until well blended. Spoon onto
a large piece of plastic wrap, bring up
all four corners & twist tightly
forming into a ball shape. Freeze 1-2

hours or until firm. Place peanut butter
& chocolate chips in flat dish. Remove
plastic wrap from ball & roll ball in chips
to completely cover. Place in freezer
until 30 minutes prior to serving.
Serve with cookies &/or apple slices.

(recipe: DDJ-09/14/12)

Pizza Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 C. shredded Provolone cheese
8 oz pkg. sliced pepperoni
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. chopped black olives (optional)
1/4 C. chopped green peppers

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 C.
Provolone, pepperoni, tomatoes, black
olives until well blended. Spoon into a
6-C. casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining
Provolone over top. Bake until bubbly,
about 15 minutes.
Serve with pita chips, garlic bread, bread
sticks or crusty Italian rolls.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Happily sitting here listening to YouTube: “Frederick Delius: ‘A Song of Summer’ – I love classical music! Heard an interesting piece on the car radio today: Francois Couperin: “Mysterious Barricades” on guitar. It was originally composed for harp, but this was a delightful rendition!

Got some good news from a friend who has been battling cancer now for 4 years – now, for the second ‘3 month period’ he’s CANCER FREE! Hearing that certainly helped buoy me up after yesterdays news about several other friends who are still ‘in the battle’. I’m sure most, if not all of us who have been in that battle know – it’s a constant struggle – we’re never totally ‘out of the woods’, but I’m just rejoicing that, for now, I’m clean! Have a 3 month check up coming end of December. I’m praying that all will be ‘status quo’ – clear. This is just a general check up, so I’m not concerned.  Hopefully those of you who read yesterday’s post will take what I said to heart and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES! You are important to others – remember that!

Big hugs;


Shopping, Great Prices and Shopping Tips

Just got back from a marathon shopping trip (left the house around 10:30 a.m. and got home around noon) – let’s see: ACO (Mountain Dew 4/$5, Kleenex big boxes 4/$5), Gordon Foods, Fresh Food Depot (great canned goods prices Libby canned veggies corn/peas/gr. beans 88 cents ea, turkey gravy 99 cents & chicken broth 99 cents – all major name brands) then KMart for twin bed comforters $17.99 each! I realized the other day that the comforters that the boys have on their beds are the same ones we bought a good 12 years ago, when we bought the bunk beds!  Happy with all my purchases (also got middle son a small desk/table lamp and some deep ceramic cereal bowls, plus toothpaste & bar bath soap – he’ll need them when he moves). It always makes me feel good when I can purchase items we would normally use and get them at great prices.  Was just watching several short videos on Yahoo Financial Facts which said that, due to this summer’s drought our food prices would be higher very soon (but then, you knew that already, right?). One thing they suggested is: if you’ve got the money- buy your Thanksgiving AND CHRISTMAS turkey NOW – the prices will be going up. They said that prices for an average family of 10, last year, was $49.20 for a holiday meal and this year it will go up by approximately $10 for that same meal, $59.04. I always try to buy two turkeys before Thanksgiving simply because the price is right! They mentioned that Kroger will be featuring really great frozen turkey prices very soon, something to watch for, for sure! They mentioned fruit prices will be going up, hence your holiday desserts will cost more; their suggestion: buy pumpkin and they are a dry weather ‘fruit’ which wasn’t affected by the drought. Right now there’s a big pork roast & carrots (with cranberry sauce) in the crockpot. Dinner will be the roast, carrots, baked potatoes & tossed salad – YUM! Got a great deal on spareribs, too – another crockpot special we like here. Let’s see if I can ‘copy & paste’ the two videos I mentioned above:

The first one is about what are the best days to shop certain stores like KMart/Target/Penney’s etc:   Title: Secret Strategies Retailers Use

The second one is about the rising food prices, SAME SITE:  Title: Why Thanksgiving Will Cost You More


Meatballs in crockpot

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 heaped T. oatmeal
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
salt & pepper

(flour – for coating, oil
for browning)

Mix ingredients together; shape
into 12 balls. Coat balls in flour,
brown in hot oil in skillet, then
transfer to crockpot.

Sauce for Meatballs:

3 medium leeks, washed &
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced
1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes

Stir-fry leeks, garlic & green
pepper in pan used for meatballs.
Add tomatoes, bring to boil. Pour
sauce over meatballs in crockpot,
cook on High 3 hours.

(recipe: Linda-slowcooker digest)

Quesadilla Pizzas

8 (6 in) fajita-style flour tortillas,
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. cooking (or olive) oil
1/2 C. pizza sauce
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 C. refried beans, warmed
1/4 C. diced green chiles
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 C. (1 oz) shredded Monterrey
Jack cheese
1/4 C. sliced ripe olives

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place 4 tortillas on baking sheet;
sprinkle with Cheddar cheese
evenly, top with remaining
tortillas. Brush lightly with oil;
bake 4 minutes. Combine pizza
sauce & cumin in a small bowl.
Spread on tortillas, spoon beans
evenly over sauce, sprinkle with
chiles, green onions, Monterrey
Jack cheese & olives. Bake 3 minutes
or until cheese is melted; cut
into wedges. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

7-Layer Cookie Bars

1/4 lb. butter
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. coconut
1 (6 oz) pkg. chocolate chips
1 (6 oz) pkg. butterscotch chips
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix butter & cracker crumbs; press in

9 x 13 pan. Pour in both chips, spread
around & top with coconut. Top with
chopped nuts then pour Eagle Brand
milk over entire mixture. Bake 30
minutes or until golden brown.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves 2 C. (12 oz bag) milk chocolate chips (NOT
nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with spray or line with
parchment paper. Beat butter until smooth, using
elec. mixer. Beat in sugars, a little at a time, until
mixture is light & fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time,
then mix in vanilla & pumpkin puree. In large
bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,
ginger, nutmeg & cloves. Slowly beat flour mixture
into batter, in thirds. Stir in chips. Scoop cookie
dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared
cookie sheets. Bake 15-20 minutes or until
cookies are browned around edges. Remove
cookie sheets from oven, let rest 2 minutes.
Take cookies off with spatula, cook on wire racks
Makes approx. 60 cookies.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Roasted Butternut Squash Medley

4 slices bacon, chopped
3 T. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1 butternut squash, peeled, cut into
3/4-inch cubes (about 3 C.)
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 red peppers, quartered
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp.
Remove from skillet, reserving 2 T.
drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on
paper towels. Pour drippings into large
bowl; add dressing, mustard & sugar;
mix well. Reserve 1 T. dressing mixture;

set aside. Toss vegetables with remaining
dressing mixture; spread onto rimmed
baking sheet sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 30 minutes or until
vegetables are tender, turning after
15 minutes. Spoon vegetables into bowl.
Add bacon & reserved dressing mixture;
mix lightly. Makes 8 servings (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Salsa-Cheddar Chicken

2 T. Zesty Italian salad dressing
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 large green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large tomato, chopped
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
2 C. hot, cooked long-grain brown rice

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add
chicken; cover. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side or
until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, cover to
keep warm. Add peppers to skillet, cook 5 minutes,

stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes & salsa. Return
chicken to skillet; simmer, covered, on medium-low
heat 10 minutes or until done (165 degrees F.)
Top with cheese; cook, covered, 4-5 minutes or
until melted. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

NOTE: Can also add 1 (15 oz) drained can of corn or
black beans with the tomatoes & salsa.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Saucy Pepper Steak

1 each: red, green & yellow bell peppers,
cut into strips
1 small onion, cut into strips
1 lb. boneless, beef sirloin steak,
well trimmed, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
2 C. hot, cooked long-grain brown rice

Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with
nonstick spray on medium-high heat. Add

peppers & onions; cook & stir 6-8 minutes
or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Transfer
to large bowl; cover to keep warm.
Add meat, garlic & black pepper to skillet;
cook & stir 3 minutes. Add soy sauce; cook
1 minute or until meat is done. Stir in
barbecue sauce; cook 2-3 minutes or until
heated through. Spoon meat mixture into
bowl with vegetables; toss gently. Serve
over rice. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Southwest Ranch Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 packet ranch salad dressing mix
1 (10 oz) can mild Ro*tel tomatoes*
2 T. cilantro, diced fine
juice of half a lime (or 1 T.)

Process all ingredients in food processor
about 30 seconds or until smooth. Makes
about 2 1/2 C.

*can use hotter Ro*tel, if desired.
Serve with crackers, fresh veggies or chips

(recipe: Lou-RDJ 09/14/12)

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

5-6 medium sized sweet potatoes

Wash potatoes well but don’t dry.
Place on bottom of crockpot, cover &
turn on Low. Cook 6-7 hours or until
tender. Serve with butter & salt.


Fried Apples

1-2 T. butter
3-4 apples, cored & sliced (skin on or off,
your preference)
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
– Melt butter in medium frying pan. Add sliced
apples, brown sugar & cinnamon. Simmer over
medium low heat until bubbly. Continue cooking
for about 10-20 minutes (depending on how
thick you cut your apples) until apples are tender.

NOTE: If you want more syrup with apples, increase
butter & brown sugar.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

How’s your weather holding up? It’s been clear here the past two days – still in the mid 40’s and a bit breezy, but not bad for November.


On to a subject I don’t usually mention: Health. This past week has seen me become much more aware of just how blessed I have been with my ‘cancer’. I have learned that two very lovely ladies I know well both are struggling with cancer – not the ‘easy’ kind I had, but for one of them the diagnosis is she has 3-6 months left. What an awful blow! This lady is awesome – mother of one of my special needs kids, pillar of her family and anyone she comes in contact with; you need something done? She’ll be there – with bells on and out-work almost anyone there, young or old. I love her dearly and it truly grieves me to know that part of the entire problem is: she didn’t take care of HER health. She’s like many of us who look after OTHERS before ourselves. She knew she should go to the doctor after experiencing constant diarrhea, but she put it off. When she finally went, she had colon cancer. Surgery, chemo, radiation – done. Not more than 4 months later a check up found that it had metastisized to her liver – 3 spots there. Operable – yes; great! Last week they called her in to do more blood work & tests (before any surgery) – the tumors have doubled in size and number – no surgery and now it’s also in the lining of her stomach, hence the 3-6 month diagnosis. The reason for this writing: PLEASE, I’m BEGGING YOU, if you know you have something in your body that ‘just isn’t right’ OR you’re due to go for a check up of some sort (ESPECIALLY Mammograms/Colonoscopies) GET IT DONE IMMEDIATELY! Who knows what ‘might have been’ for my friend, if only she’d gone to the doctor much sooner.  It’s almost the same story for my other friend – waited to see doctor about a unhealing sore on her chest, near her shoulder. At the moment I don’t have an exact diagnosis for her, but I know that they were telling her that her mammogram wasn’t good. VERY SCARY stuff!  I was truly blessed to have gone through cancer surgery twice and come out on the other side, rejoicing. Who knows what’s in my future, but I’m certain that I can spread the news that you REALLY need to keep up with your own health. Caregivers/family members, those who look after others – NEED to look after themselves FIRST. I truly care for all of you (even though many of you I’ll never meet face-to-face). Cancer is a very scary disease – and the best prevention is EARLY DETECTION! I KNOW!

Enough of my soapbox for now. Hope you have an easy-going weekend; stay warm, rest when you can and treat yourself a little today!