Getting There – Slowly but surely!


Well, the Christmas decorations are getting put up – a bit at a time. Just finished putting up the garland & lights on the secretary and putting up the fiber optic tree in the dining room; next comes the tree on top of the piano (a bigger task). Still have to put the extra lights on the garland that goes around the fireplace mantle, but that’s a ‘do when you can’ task. I’m just happy it’s slowly ‘happening’, as my energy levels haven’t been very high lately. (Sorry, dear readers, if I’m complaining too much – it feels like it to me- I’m trying to not focus on the negative and just ‘get on’ with my life, aches & pains/low energy and all.)

Haven’t started the Christmas cookie & breads baking yet BUT I DID manage to go to Gordon Foods and locate the box of already-cut-out sugar cookies (YAY – they were getting kind of low on their stock and there have been years where they were totally sold out before the holiday!). Still have to buy the boxed bread mixes (Yes, I DO use the mixes – especially the cinnamon streusal (sp?) one – very good!). Made a large chicken pot pie for dinner last night so there’s leftovers for tonight (and then some!). With only three of us now in the house and youngest not eating much (his choice) we have a LOT more leftovers! Our middle son, Ben (the one that moved out) still stops by almost every evening right about dinner time (convenient, no?). I’m guessing it’s partly he misses us and partly he can play games on the internet on his Dad’s computer AND eat a free meal – but then, I’m speculating . . . ). Haven’t seen him today, but then the night’s still ‘young’ (it’s only 5:35 p.m.).

How’s YOUR decorating/baking/card-sending coming? I have a list of a few cards to write out and a pile to put up (we have an archway between the dining room & living room and I tape them up around the arch). Just ordered the three dozen chocolate chip cookies for next Tuesday night’s Knit Night (yes, I ‘could’ bake them, BUT since we’re meeting at Panera Bread AND they make great cookies, I figure it’s best to be a patron of their store and have them bake them). Last year I ordered four dozen and had a LOT to bring home (their ‘mini’ chocolate chip cookies are the size of my REGULAR choc. chip cookies!). Stopped at WalGreen’s today to get more stocking stuffers and picked up two bags of mini candy bars (think they were Snickers) to put on the trays with the cookies – they were even ON SALE! YAY!

OH! Finally figured out what to get my husband for Christmas – AND – I gave it to him yesterday! (Actually – he got to assemble it – it was too heavy for me to lift). I went to Office Max and bought him a computer chair. Not just ‘any’ computer chair – did you know that they make BIG MEN’s chairs? For people who are up to 350 lbs! (this is my husband). This chair is leather and made by Serta company (the mattress company) so I’m counting on them to make it a very well-made chair. He was really thrilled with it – it fits his needs. The chair he was using was one I got free from Freecycle about 2 years ago and due to his weight all of the plastic casters had broken (hence it didn’t roll at all). Now he can sit, recline, and roll all he wants! My middle son was home when I got home so I had him carry the box in; he reported that he thought I really did ‘good’ this time with the gift – Dad was ‘in his glory’! Makes ya feel good when you get something for someone that they actually like and can use.

Getting more holiday recipes every day so it’s time I share some with you!


Broccoli, Rice & Cheese Casserole


1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1/4 lb. butter
2 C. cooked rice
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs frozen broccoli
1 (8 oz) jar Cheez Whiz
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare rice accordg to pkg directions.
Saute onion & celery in butter. Place rice,
onion/celery mixture & broccoli in 2 Qt.
casserole dish. Combine half of cheese,
soup, milk, salt & pepper; pour over
broccoli & rice. Put remaining cheese
spread over top. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Miracle Green Bean Casserole

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of broccoli soup
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. creamy salad dressing (like Miracle Whip)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (14.5 oz ea) cans French-cut green beans,
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans cut green beans, drained
2 C. Cheddar-flavored French-fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together soup, sour cream, Miracle
Whip, salt & pepper in large bowl. Gently
stir in French-cut green beans & cut green
beans, one can at a time. Fold in 1 C. fried
onions. Pour mixture into a casserole dish;
cover with foil & bake 35 minutes. Remove
foil & stir. Top with remaining fried onions;
bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Cheddar Ranch Dip

1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 (1 oz) dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 (3 oz) can bacon bits
1 C. Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In medium bowl, thoroughly blend
sour cream & ranch dressing mix. Mix
in bacon bits & Cheddar cheese. Chill
20 minutes or longer before serving.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Pumpkin Bread

1/2 C. cooking oil
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 can pumpkin
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda

Blend oil & both sugars in large bowl.
Stir in eggs & canned pumpkin; add
remaining dry ingredients & mix
thoroughly. Pour batter into a greased
or oiled bread pan. Add 2 C. water to
crockpot; place pan in crockpot. Cover

top of crockpot with 8-10 paper towels.
(to trap condensation & keep bread from
becoming mushy). Place lid on crockpot,
Bake on HIGH 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Three-Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 C. mayonnaise
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained &
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
dash hot sauce
dash Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. In large bowl

beat cream cheese with elec.
mixer until smooth. Beat in mayonnaise  until
smooth, then add remaining ingredients, stir
until thoroughly combined. Transfer dip to a
pie plate or shallow gratin dish. Bake 30-40
minutes or until top is golden brown & dip

is bubbling. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla
chips or fresh veggies. Makes 3-4 servings.

(recipe: Paula Dean/via Marys Recipe Exchange)

Glazed Apple Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter, chilled
1 egg, separated (yolk beaten w/enough
milk to equal 2/3 C. – reserve white)

1 C. crushed corn flakes

8-10 medium tart cooking apples (8 C.),
peeled & sliced
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 reserved egg white
2 T. granulated sugar

1 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine flour & salt; cut in
butter until crumbly. With fork, stir in egg yolk &
milk until dough forms a ball; divide in half. On
lightly floured surface, roll 1/2 of dough into
15 X 10 inch rectangle; place on bottom of a
15 X 10 inch jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with corn
flakes; top with apples. In small bowl, combine

1 C. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
& nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples. Roll remaining

half of dough into a 15 X 1/2 X 10 1/2 in. rectangle;
place over apples.
Beat egg white with fork until foamy; brush over
top crust.
In small bowl, stir together 2 T. sugar & remaining
cinnamon; sprinkle over crust. Bake 45-60 minutes or
until lightly browned. In small bowl, stir together
confectioners sugar, vanilla & milk for
desired blazing consistency; drizzle over warm

(recipe: Rhonda G.-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

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

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

(recipe; Richard-slowcooker digest)

Sweet ‘n Sour Meatloaf

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1/2 C. brown sugar

1/4 C. vinegar

1 tsp. prepared mustard

2 lb. lean ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 small onions, minced

1/2 C. fine soft bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.


Mix first 4 ingredients in small


Mix other ingredients & 1 C. of

the sauce in a large bowl. Place

mixture in 2 Qt. loaf pan. Press

into a loaf, with a raised center

so that there is space for fat to

collect. Pour 1/4 – 1/2 C. sauce

over the loaf. Bake 1 hour 15

minutes, basting with 1/4 C. sauce

after 30 minutes. Makes 1 juice


(recipe: RDJ- 09/28/12)


Creme Caramel Squares


1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs

1/3 C. butter, melted

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 C. sugar

3 1/4 C. cold milk, divided

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed &


1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant

pudding mix

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. butterscotch

instant pudding mix

1/3 C. caramel ice cream topping

Mix graham crackers & butter; press onto

bottom of 9 X 13 baking pan. Refrigerate

while preparing filling.

Beat cream cheese, sugar & 1/4 C. milk in

large bowl with elec. mixer until blended.

Gently stir in 1 C. Cool Whip; spread over

crust. Beat each flavor pudding mix with

1 1/2 C. remaining milk in separate bowl

with whisk 2 minutes. Pour, in layers,

over cream cheese filling. Top with

remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Drizzle caramel topping over dessert just

before serving. Makes 16 servings.

NOTE: Can substitute chocolate pudding for

butterscotch and chocolate syrup for

caramel topping.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Instant Chocolate Cake for ONE

1/4 C. flour

5 T. sugar

2 T. cocoa

1 egg

3 T. milk

3 T. vegetable oil

dash of vanilla extract


Whisk all ingredients

together; pour into a

large microwaveable coffee

mug. Microwave until puffed,

about 2 minutes.

(recipe: Food Network)


Mini Spinach Feta Tarts

2 T margarine
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
3 large eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. crumbled feta cheese (about 4 oz)
1/2 C. Bisquick mix
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease mini nonstick muffin pans;
set aside. Melt margarine in 10 inch
skillet over medium-high heat; cook
green onions, stirring occasionally,
4 minutes or until tender. Stir in
spinach; set aside & cool slightly.
Beat eggs, milk, cheese, Bisquick, salt,
pepper & nutmeg in medium bowl,
using wire whisk or fork. Stir in
green onions & spinach; evenly
spoon into prepared muffin tins.
Bake 15 minutes or until set.
Serve warm.
(recipe: Unilever)

Apparently my server for this blog has totally changed it’s format for blogging (much to my chagrin!). If this entry looks different, that’s why. I’m not exactly sure just how to put in the subjects (used to show in a column to the right of the blog – that’s not there now). Oh well – we press on, right? Hope this ‘works’ – it will take a bit of getting use to, but then we all must learn sometimes, right?

Hope you’re having a great day/night – remember to enjoy your day as much as possible! Today was chilly but sunny (in the 30’s – typical for this time of year in Michigan) – still great for getting out and shopping/driving, etc. so I’m not complaining.

Big Hugs;


Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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