Project Done!


This is the new dining room tablecloth. When discussing tablecloths we used years ago, I suddenly remembered we ‘used’ to use a lace runner over the cloth – just to make it a bit more ‘fancy’ – found the runner – here it is:


Couldn’t decide which I like better: ‘with’ or ‘without’ runner; think I’ll leave the runner on for awhile and see just how it gets treated by ‘the guys’. If I remember correctly, I finally removed it years ago due to it getting caught in all things they tossed on the table: keys, notebooks, pens, work name tags, etc. (you get the idea). Just thought you’d like to see the Finished Project!  (Photo #1 shows the color closest to the ‘actual’ color – you know how cameras tend to mess up color – unless, of course, you have a really fancy, expensive one – which I do not!)



Published in: on January 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm  Comments (2)  

Free Day (and then some)!


Where do I start? Don’t know about your weather, but our’s is typical Michigan all the way. I wrote about the horrid snow-mess Sunday night, well today we have WARM – 46 degrees F. warm! It’s crazy; due to the weather all schools were closed yesterday – we (my guys & I) spent the ENTIRE day in our jammies! That was almost a first (don’t recall ALL of us doing that before).

This morning I got a call at 9 a.m. saying that my Ladies Bible Study was being cancelled – the roads were too slippery. I guess that would make sense – first huge amounts of snow, followed by freezing rain, then just cold (yesterday). I just got home from taking youngest on a jaunt to his girlfriends and it wasn’t the ‘slippery’ one had to watch out for – it was FOG! Especially around the lakes (and, here in Michigan, there are lakes EVERYWHERE!); plus something else we rarely see . . . standing water! You see, with the snow, rain and then melting, the ground can’t absorb all the water, hence there’s big puddles on roads that extend into the middle lane; hit one of those at full speed and you’re expecting a flooded engine, for sure! (done that one before – many, many years ago). We have a rather large puddle right outside our porch entry, requiring you be either a big stepper or a good short-jumper; anything less and you’ll end up with soaking shoes! (Many years ago – a good 12-15, we had this same problem and I remember my husband propping the porch door open and extending a 2 X 4 board from the center of the porch out beyond the huge puddle – it was the only way you could enter or exit our porch without getting wet feet.).

Along with my quick jaunt I was shocked to find that GAS PRICES have shot up immensely! A week ago we were seeing $3.29/9 regularly (this is for the lowest regular gas), then in a day it went to $3.39/9 . . . today I was lucky to find $3.56/9! I’d pulled into Speedway, as that’s usually the lowest prices in our area, but when I saw $3.59/9 I pulled right back out and tried Clark (which was my old ‘best prices’ place). Glad to find that Clark had it for $3.56/9 – Hey! Even 3 cents per gallon cheaper is savings; ya gotta save when ya ken these days (notice that brings out the Scots in me!). Sure hoping these prices drop soon – that’s ridiculous! (Haven’t had time to read the newspapers much lately – am wondering just what shot the prices so high?)

When I discovered I, indeed, had a FREE day, that set me to thinking: “Now – WHAT can I do that I normally wouldn’t do, for lack of time?” Clearing the dining room table, I got out the new blue material for the tablecloth and set to pinning it. (Would have finished it up with the sewing machine , had the machine not been upstairs in youngest’s bedroom – didn’t want to wake him). While pinning, middle son asked: “Could we have pancakes today? I’ll cook them if you don’t want to . . .” well . . . I love my son dearly BUT he makes huge messes in the kitchen when he cooks, so you know how that went. Made a double batch, plus scrambled eggs & orange juice (youngest woke up when he smelled the cooking) – the guys were all happy. After the cooking I really didn’t have the gumption to continue with the sewing project; finished mending a pillowcase which had 3 out of 4 sides coming unstitched – ugh. Next was drive youngest – stopped at the library and decided that since I had such a good time reading “Cranford” (almost done with that one), I checked out “Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen (specifically the college edition, complete with all sorts of footnotes & explanations!) After reading Cranford, I learned one needs to have those explanations – I don’t always think like the 1800’s! IF I like Pride, etc., I can see a whole new realm open to my reading – I’ve never been one for romances but was surprised to see that book under that catagory; we’ll see how this goes.

Dinner tonight is going to be Chicken Parmesan – ran into the chicken breasts in the fridge (thought I’d put them in the freezer, so it’s cook them NOW!) – ever have that happen? I can tell by all the flyers and ads in the newspaper & on TV, that the Superbowl is fast approaching. You will notice a considerable posting (by me) of various dips – just thought some of you might like to experiment some with those. Even with all the guys living here, sports has never been a huge event (and I’m glad). Our neighbors, on the other hand, LOVE all things sports and host great parties attended by their friends. (don’t get me wrong – they are GREAT neighbors – at times they used to send over a tray of jalapeno poppers, knowing I love them!) Anyway, I digress – here’s your recipes for the day:


Chili-Cheese Lasagna


1 lb. lean ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

1/4 C. water

1 (15 oz) can black beans,

rinsed well

1 green pepper, finely chopped

3/4 C. thick & chunky salsa

1 T. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

9 lasagna noodles, cooked

1 1/2 C. cottage cheese

1 (8 oz) pkg. Kraft Mexican-

style shredded Four Cheese

with a touch of Philadelphia

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Brown meat with garlic in large

skillet. Add next 7 ingredients;

stir. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Spread 2 C. meat

sauce onto bottom of 9 X 13

baking dish sprayed with non-

stick spray. Cover with layer of

3 noodles, 1/2 C. EACH cottage

cheese & shredded cheese & 2

C. remaining meat sauce. Repeat

layers twice. Top with remaining

shredded cheese. Cover with foil &

bake 50-55 minutes or until heated

through. Remove foil last 10 minutes

of cooking time. Let stand 10 minutes

before cutting to serve. Makes 12


(recipe: KRaft foods)


Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 C. shortening

1 1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2  3/4 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp salt

3 T. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cream shortening & sugar, add

eggs (one at a time) & vanilla;

blend well. Sift dry ingredients

together, then add to creamed

mixture. Mix sugar & cinnamon in

a small bowl. Roll cookie dough

into balls then roll in sugar/

cinnamon mixture. Place on

ungreased cookie sheets & bake

10 minutes.

(recipe: DDJ 10/12/12)


Pan-fried Fish

1 lb. fresh or frozen fish fillets,
1/2 – 3/4 inch thick
1 egg, beaten
2 T. water
2/3 C. cornmeal or fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of black pepper
shortening or cooking oil, for frying

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish & pat dry
with paper towels. Cut into four serving-
sized pieces, if necessary. Measure
thickness of fish. In a shallow dish, combine
egg & water. In another shallow dish stir
together cornmeal, salt & pepper. Dip
fish into egg mixture, then coat fish with
cornmeal mixture. In a large skillet, heat
1/4 inch melted shortening or oil. Add half
of the fish in a single layer, frying on one
side until golden (if fillets have skin, fry
skin side last.) Turn carefully, fry until
second side is golden & fish begins to
flake when tested with a fork. Allow
3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper
towels. Keep warm in a 300 degree oven
while frying remaining fish. Makes 4

Spicy Hot Fish:
Prepare as above except omit pepper.
Reduce cornmeal to 1/4 C. and combine
with 1/4 C. flour, 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper,
1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic
powder & 1/2 tsp. paprika.

Potato Chip Fish:
Prepare as above, except substitute 1 1/3
C. finely crushed potato chips (about 4 C.)
or saltine crackers for the cornmeal & omit
the salt.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Black Bean & Corn Salad

1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 C. frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 T. vegetable oil
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let
stand at least 15 minutes for corn to
fully defrost & flavors to combine, then
toss & serve. Serves 4

NOTE: the corn will place a quick-chill
on the salad as it defrosts – no need to
(recipe: Rachel Ray )


Texas Crabgrass


– 1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1/2 lb. fresh crabmeat or 1 (7 oz) can
crabmeat, drained
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
(crackers or Melba toast rounds)

In a small skillet, melt butter & saute onions
4-5 minutes. In a saucepan, bring spinach to
a boil; cook 1 minute then drain well. Add
spinach to butter mixture, stir in crabmeat &
cheese. Heat & serve in a chafing dish. Serve
with crackers or Melba toast rounds.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

7-Minute Pudding

1/3 C. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 C. milk
2 egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar &
cornstarch. Using an elec. mixer, beat in milk
& egg yolks until smooth. Microwave on Medium
5 minutes. Beat well. Microwave on High 2 minutes,
stir. Blend in butter & vanilla; pour into serving dishes.
Cool. Makes 3-4 servings.

(NOTE: recipe was tested in a 1,100 Watt microwave)

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Parmesan Zucchini

4 zucchini (about 1 lb) thinly sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine vegetables & sauce; place
in a 9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. Bake 25 minutes;
sprinkle top with cheeses, bake
5 minutes longer or until mozzarella
is melted.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chorizo Sausage Poppers

1 (4 oz) box fresh button mushrooms
1 (15 oz) pkg. chorizo sausage
2 medium sized jalapeno peppers
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
pinch salt
2 tubes crescent rolls
olive oil

optional garnishes:
sour cream and/or salsa

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Clean & finely chop mushrooms. Drizzle
some olive oil in a skillet over medium
heat. Saute mushrooms; set aside in a
bowl. Open chorizo sausage, remove
from casing. Put sausage in skillet; cook
about 7 minutes. Chop & finely dice
jalapeno peppers. Place cream cheese in
a bowl; add mushrooms & peppers. When
sausage is ready, drain grease then add
sausage to mixture – mix by hand. Using
mini muffin tins, pinch off crescent roll
dough, flatten and place in muffin tin.
Add a spoonful of mixture to center of
dough, then pinch closed. Bake 7-8
minutes being careful not to burn. Remove
from muffin tin as soon as they come out;
place on a dish. Serve with sour cream
and/or salsa. Makes about 50


Greek Antipasto Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/3 C. chopped, drained roasted
red peppers
1/4 C. finely chopped red onions
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 small lemon, seeded
1 T. inced fresh parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese & garlic; spread onto
bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Cover with
peppers & onions; drizzle top with oil &
top with feta cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes
or until heated through. Squeeze lemon over
dip & sprinkle top with parsley. Serve with

Variation: serve with added layer of 10
chopped kalamata or black olives, before
baking.Makes 16 servings, 2 T. dip each

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Hope you’re have a great day (even a FREE one, if you let yourself!). I have about 1 hr 15 minutes before driving youngest to work. Just called Sears driving school to enroll him in Drivers Ed – learned something that, to me, was a bit ‘strange’: Since he is now 18 and legally/technically ‘an adult’, he will first have to read through the booklet: “What Every Driver Should Know” and take a written test BEFORE he can take drivers ed! I said: “WHAT? He has never taken drivers ed or driven a car – why?” She said it’s a new law and that he’s actually lucky, as the test for teens is much harder than for adults. The test is to give him a PERMIT – ridiculous! A PERMIT BEFORE he’s taken drivers ed? I can guarantee you that he’s NOT going to be driving OUR cars BEFORE he’s done with the course – (he was saying earlier that with the Permit he ‘could’ drive with a person in the car who’s over 21 – NO WAY!) After he completes the Permit test, I’m to call Sears Driving School and give them his permit # – she said that he cannot drive a car (DURING DRIVERS ED) with an instructor IN THE CAR WITHOUT the permit. CRAZY! Let’s just put it this was: “IN MY DAY” (read that circa 1966) you were to go through the entire drivers ed course, drive on a little driving course (no faster than 15 MPH, by the way), THEN take a final test and get your permit – none of this ‘horse before the cart’ stuff . . . just crazy, in my way of thinking. (but – if you ask my youngest, he’d say that I’m living in the stone age so none of that applies now days . . . sigh).

Well, dears, have a great day –

(from an Ancient Driver with an excellent record, by the way – )



It’s Monday AND it’s WARM!


Last night was an ‘adventure’, to be sure – came out of church around 7:15 p.m. to find HUGE snowflakes coming down in rapid descent, sideways. Oh, No! Winter Snow storm – great. On the way home, when I normally would be driving 45-50 MPH, I was creeping along at 35 or less; let’s just say visibility was very limited and the roads very slippery. At one point I had been following another car, then they turned off and I was suddenly the lead dog on the sled – not able to even tell if I was ON the road, let alone in the correct lane, with (of course) other cars following me! Decided, almost home, that I’d better stop for milk & bread, seeing that this was NOT getting any better, so I stopped at a local drugstore. “May I help you?” (me: “Yes – I found the milk, where is your bread?”) “We don’t sell bread products any more.” (me: “WHAT? You USED to!”) It seems their bread delivery was from Hostess (you know – who made Twinkies and is now in court/receivership/bankruptcy, something like that). Great – now what! Ended up stopping at a 7/11 for bread and sliding home, safe. The reports were coming in “Freezing Rain due around 11 p.m.” – youngest was still out with his girlfriend, so I texted him to come home soon – he made it in by 10:30 only to tell me that he asked his girlfriend to let him off in the turn lane because her little/light-weight car wouldn’t have made it up our driveway – smart move!  It’s now 3 p.m. and we’re all safely ensconced here at home, still in our jammies! No schools open in our area and the outside temperature now is 44 degrees! All the snow that ‘was’ on my car has slid off, roads are clear and any icicles on the roof are rapidly melting. Ah, Michigan-the old saying still goes: “Don’t like our weather? Stick around a few minutes and it will change!”

The guys talked me into making another big batch of spaghetti yesterday; I was all ready to make a big batch of chili but they would NOT be moved! “But, Mom! You KNOW this house runs on spaghetti! Give us what we want/need!” (How can you object when they LIKE a food I cook? – I caved. . .). I was looking over my recipe ‘stash’ (those I’ve been gleaning from various sites) and trying to fix the mix-up of the previous post when I made a discovery – a few months ago I thought it looked like I was missing some of the recipes – I found them! Somehow (probably some error on my part) they ended up being saved to a ‘draft’ file of my CROCKPOT recipes! Spent a good hour or so just copying & pasting the ‘regular’ recipes to another file, thus freeing up the crockpot recipes to be exclusively JUST crockpots. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a good 50-60 ‘mis-filed’, so there are quite a few ready to post to you now!


Irish Stew

1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat
2 T. cooking oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed (2 C.)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces (1 C.)
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 C. sliced celery
1 (9 oz) pkg. frozen cut green beans
1 T. instant beef bouillon granules
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes, cut up
1 1/2 C. water

Cut meat into 1/2 inch cubes. In large skillet,
brown meat, half at a time, i hot oil; drain
well. In a 3 1/2, 4, 5 or 6 quart crockpot,
combine potatoes, carrots, onion & celery.
Add frozen beans, bouillon granules,
Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt & pepper.
Stir in browned meat, undrained tomatoes &
water. Cover & cook, on Low 10-12 hours or,
on High 5-6 hours. Makes 6 servings.


Beer-Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. dream cheese, softened
1/4 C. ranch salad dressing
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. beer
2 green onions, chopped

Beat cream cheese & ranch in medium bowl
using mixer, until blended. Stir in remaining
ingredients. Refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. Makes 5 servings (2 T. each)
Serve with crackers & cut up fresh vegetables.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread

1 large crusty loaf of bread, unsliced
1 C. basil pesto
salt & pepper
2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed
with nonstick spray. Place bread in center,
slice bread carefully without cutting all
the way to bottom of loaf. Slice it going
the other direction, so that you have lots
of little 1 inch squares all over the top of
the loaf. Pour the pesto on a bowl, add just
a bit of salt & pepper. Using a butter knife,
spread pesto inside the loaf along every
sliced part of the bread. Pull the slices
apart & push a bit of both shredded
cheeses into each little crevice. Wrap
bread up in aluminum foil on the baking
sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Uncover bread &
allow to remain in oven until cheese is melted
and a bit golden in color. Take bread out of
the oven; let cool just a bit before serving.
Makes 7 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)

Chicken Stuffed Crescent Rolls

2 (8 oz ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 (12 oz ea) cans chicken, drained
1/3 C. green onions, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (12 oz, ea) pkg. big & flaky crescent rolls
4 T. melted butter
2 C. crushed corn flake crumbs

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3 T. sour cream
2 T. butter
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add cream cheese to large mixing bowl;
add chicken, green onions, salt & pepper.
Using two forks, mix all together. (If using
elec. mixer, mix on low for a few minutes
or until all ingredients are combined.)
Open crescent rolls, pull one triangle of
dough from roll. Spray a rolling pin with
nonstick spray; roll triangle just a bit.
Scoop about 3 T. chicken mixture into
center of dough; roll up from bottom to top .
Press corners in, making sure all of chicken
filling is secure inside the dough. Toss corn
flake crumbs into a food processor; blend
until they resemble coarse crumbs, then
pour into a loaf pan. Flatten filled dough
ball out a bit; gently dunk it in 4 T. melted
butter then into corn flake crumbs. Make
sure both sides are coated well. Spray two
large cooking sheets with nonstick spray.
Lay corn flake covered chicken stuffed
roll on pan, making sure there is about
an inch of space around each roll. Bake
20 minutes or until dough is cooked and
a bit crispy & chicken mixture is heated
through. In medium sized saucepan, combine
chicken soup, 3 T. sour cream, 2 T. butter &
1 T. milk; whisk ingredients together. Heat
pan over medium high heat, stirring
occasionally. Pour sauce over baked
rolls & serve. Makes 16 rolls.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)

Grandma’s Secret Apple Brownies

3 C. flour
3 C. apples – peeled & cored (about 3-4),
finely chopped
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 C. orange juice
2 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13 pan. Mix all ingredients well
in large bowl. Bake 45 min. – 1 hour.


Treadmill-worthy Brownies

1 1/2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
10 T. cocoa
1 C. soft shortening or 1 stick margarine &
1/2 C. shortening
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. nuts, chopped (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients; stir until smooth (batter
will be stiff). Spread dough into a greased 9 X 13
pan. Bake 30 minutes. Cool 1/2 hour.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 box powdered sugar
4 T. cocoa
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
3-4 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl using elec. mixer on Low
speed, combine powdered sugar, cocoa,
butter, milk & vanilla. Beat at medium
speed 1-2 minutes until creamy. Spread
on cooked & cooled brownies.


Brown Sugar Chicken


12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or

6 boneless, skinless breast halves

1 C. brown sugar

1/4 C. lemon-lime soda

2/3 C. vinegar

3 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped

2 T. soy sauce

1 tsp. ground black pepper

Use a 5-6 quart crockpot for this recipe

Place chicken in crockpot; cover with brown

sugar, pepper, chopped garlic & soy sauce. Add

vinegar, pour in soda (it will bubble). Cover &

cook on Low 6-9 hours or High 4-5 hours. Chicken

is done when it is cooked through & has reached

desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the

more tender it will be. Serve over a bowl of cooked

rice. Serves 6 (2 thighs each)

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)


Chicken & Spinach Pesto Lasagna


12 uncooked lasagna noodles

3 T. olive oil

1 C. onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs frozen chopped

spinach, thawed & drained

3 C. cooked, diced chicken breast


1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 C. ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 1/2 C. prepared pesto sauce,

plus 2 T.

3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with non-

stick spray. Partially cook lasagna

noodles accordg. to pkg directions.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-

high heat. Cook & stir onions & garlic

in oil until transparent. Add spinach,

cook & stir 5 minutes. Add chicken; stir

5 minutes; season with salt & pepper. In

large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, pesto

& Parmesan cheese until thoroughly blended.

Add chicken & spinach mixture; stir to

combine. Spread 2 T. pesto in bottom of

prepared pan. Layer 4 lasagna noodles, slightly

overlapping. Top with 1/3 of spinach mixture

and 1/3 mozzarella; repeat layers twice. Bake

35-40 minutes or until hot & bubbly. Serves 8.

(recipe: Kroger co.)


Orange Chicken

3-4 juice oranges, unpeeled &


1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. Chinese spices

1-2 C. soy sauce

1 T. lemon juice

Mix ingredients & let stand 1

hour. Pour over cut up chicken

& let set 2 hours. Bake in

sauce at 350 degrees F.

1 hour 15 minutes, or until

chicken is tender

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Tomorrow is Ladie’s Bible Study and, since our church is about 2 minutes down the road from the cancer center, am planning on delivering the pink/brown yarn chemo caps I was hurrying to finish. Managed to get three done and a friend at church who also likes to knit charity items handed me a bag yesterday with 2 more chemo caps and 3 little baby hats! We’re ‘on a roll’ again, it would appear! What have YOU got planned for the week? Hopefully it’s something you enjoy doing or going to! It’s hard to believe that this week is the end of January already! Are you happy with your ‘beginning of the new year’? So far, for me it’s been OK – nothing really sad/bad, nothing monumental – and that’s a GOOD thing!

Enjoy your day!



Feels like a Saturday!


Not sure just why, but today just feels like a Saturday – you know, that feeling you get when you finally come to the weekend and don’t have all of the ‘normal’ week-day duties/chores/things to do? For a change, that’s what’s happening here – no particular thing/place/chore to do – YAY! Slept in a little later, got up and thought: “OK – NOW what do I do?” Well, since middle son moved back home AND we changed out the bunk bed, his room still looks disheveled. I’ve been looking it over and decided that a few things moved to different locations within the room would be just what was needed – you guessed it, I got to work. Not a BIG task, but just a lot of moving: clothes, paperwork, boxes, various piles of video games & books, laundry baskets full of clothes (who knows if they’re CLEAN or not!). My dear husband was good enough to help me out (I’m sure he knew that once I got started I’d need his strength). We moved a medium-sized bookcase across the room, then took the drawers out of our biggest chest of drawers and moved that over to where the bookcase used to be. Amazing how just that little change made the room look more like an adult lives here! He hasn’t returned home from work yet, so I’ll be anxious to see what he thinks of it. His younger brother came into the room and proclaimed: “TOO MUCH CHANGE! I can’t handle it!” (said in a joking manner). I love having little ‘challenges’ to do or look forward to (still haven’t even ‘thought’ about sewing the dining room table cloth – that will come . . .)

This is one of those weeks that have shaped up not exactly as I’d hoped. We got notice that not one, but two, people we loved have passed on. One is my husband’s cousin’s daughter – we’re going to the memorial service; we just learned that she had lung cancer and just let it go too long. The other is a very old friend – she & her husband have been missionaries for longer than I am old; they are AMAZING people. Not exactly sure of their ages, but they’ve got to be pushing 90. A few years ago they moved in with their daughter (about 1 hour away), then afterwards, to a nursing home. She’s had frail health for years (heart problems) but he recently succumbed to Alzheimer’s. Now is when you tend to think about the progression of things and marvel at the Lord’s blessing on this whole situation. He is now to the point that I don’t think he would realize that she died – that’s a good thing! If it were he that passed first, she would have grieved greatly – they’ve been, as she used to say, Sweethearts, since high school. Sad, but I know that she’s in heaven praising her Lord and Savior – that was her greatest hope and now she’s accomplished it!

How is your weather? Ours has remained about the same – in the low teens or maybe up to 20 during the day. Lately we’ve also had snow flurries – nothing to worry about . . . yet. (it’s not sticking). Just very cold, bone-chilling temperatures outside (thank heavens for a warm house, clothes and food for our bodies). Speaking of food – lots of nice, warm recipes for ya!


Easy Greek Chicken Casserole

1 T. olive oil
2 C. chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 T. dried thyme
1-2 tsp. black pepper
10 garlic cloves, minced
6 C. cubed red potato (1/2 in cube),
about 2 lb.
2 C. cut green beans (1 inch cut)
1/4 C. water
2 T. anchovy paste or finely chopped olives
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
undrained (use no-salt added)
8 skinned, boned chicken thighs (about 1 lb)
1/2 C. (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add thyme, pepper &
garlic; saute 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-
high; add potato & saute 8 minutes or until potato
begins to brown. Stir in green beans, water, anchovy
paste, & tomatoes. Remove mixture from heat.
Arrange chicken thighs into potato mixture, top
with feta cheese. Cover & bake 45 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: RDJ- 09/18/12)

Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole


2 (4.3 oz) boxes Rice A Roni Long Grain

& Wild rice

1 C. white rice

1/2 C. onion, chopped

2 (14 oz) cans cream of chicken soup

2 C. milk

2 C. warm water

2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 T. butter, melted

3 chicken breasts, cut into


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick

spray; pour Rice a Roni rice into

pan (not seasoning packets). Add

white rice, chopped onion, both cans

soup and 2 C. milk. Add both packets

of seasoning mix to 2 C. warm water;

stir and pour into pan. Add 1 1/2 C.

cheese, salt, pepper, and melted butter;

mix. Make sure to break up cream of

chicken soup, so that all ingredients

become well combined. Add chicken to

pan; sprinkle 1/2 C. cheese over top

of chicken; cover pan with foil. Bake

1 hour; remove foil, bake 30 minutes

more. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Jamie Cooks It Up! blogsite)


Banana Bread Bars


1/2 C. butter, softened

1 C. brown sugar

10 oz. apricot preserves

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1 3/4 C. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. bananas, mashed

1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan.

Cream together butter & brown

sugar. Add apricot preserves, beaten

eggs & vanilla, mix well. Combine

flour, baking powder, baking soda &

salt together in separate bowl; mix

then add to creamed mixture. Add

mashed bananas, stir well. Add nuts

& mix. Pour into prepared pan &

bake 35-40 minutes. Cool then cut

into bars.



Beef Stroganoff (crockpot)

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into

1 inch cubes**

10 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 C. beef broth

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1 C. sour cream

2 T. flour

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles,


2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place meat, mushrooms, onions &

garlic in crockpot. Add broth,

paprika & salt; cover & cook on

Low 7-8 hours (or High 5 hours).

Mix sour cream, flour & mustard.

Stir into ingredients in crockpot

until well blended. Cook, covered,

on Low 15 minutes. Cook noodles

as directed on pkg. Drain noodles;

place in large serving bowl. Add

meat mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle

top with parsley. Serves 8

**For more robust flavor: brown meat

in 2-3 T. oil in large skillet on

medium-high heat before adding to


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Onion-Glorified Pork Chops

1 T. vegetable oil
6 pork chops
1 onion, peeled & thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed dried thyme
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery soup,
1/4 C. water
hot, buttered noodles (optional)

In large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat,
heat oil & cook pork chops until browned on
both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove &
set aside. Add onion & thyme to skillet;
cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently,
until tender-crisp. Stir in soup & water; bring
to boil & return pork chops to skillet. Cover &
reduce heat to low – cook 5 minutes. Serve with
hot noodles, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Warm Winter Lemon Cake

1 (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
2 (3.4 oz, each) lemon flavor instant pudding
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix accordg to pkg directions; pour
into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Beat
dry pudding mixes, granulated sugar, milk & water
with whisk 2 minutes; pour over batter in dish. Place
baking dish on baking sheet (sheet will catch any
spill-over) Bake 55 min.- 1 hour or until toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 20
minutes. Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Sprinkle
top with powdered sugar & serve warm. Serves 16

TIP: For stronger lemon flavor, add zest & juice from
1 lemon to pudding mixture before pouring over
batter in baking dish.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Beef & Barley Soup

1 lb. stew beef or hamburger
8 C. water
1 pkg. beef bouillon
1 (14 oz) can tomatoes
1 C. celery, chopped fine
1 C. carrots, chopped
1 C. onion, chopped
1/2 C. barley
1/4 C. chopped parsley
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic, to taste (optional)

Brown beef in 2 T. oil in soup pot. Add 8
C. water to pot; boil, then simmer 1 1/2
hours. Remove meat & shred. Dissolve
bouillon in 1/2 C. water. Add vegetables &
bouillon to pot. Add barley, parsley, spices &
meat. Simmer until barley is cooked.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Ranch Pizza

1 pkg. pizza crust mix
1 bottle Ken’s Ranch salad dressing
1 pkg. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 pkg. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pkg. real bacon bits
3 sprigs green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare pizza crust according to pkg.
directions. Place on greased pan. Top
crust with half bottle of Ranch dressing.
Add chopped green onions, mozzarella
& Cheddar cheeses. Top with bacon.
Bake 15 minutes. Serves 3-4.


Bacon-Cheese Muffins

1 lb. bacon
4 C. flour
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until
crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels & crumble
once cooled. Coat 24 muffin cups with nonstick spray. Mix
flour, Cheddar cheese, baking powder, garlic salt & black
pepper in large bowl. Beat eggs, milk & vegetable oil
together in small bowl; stir into flour mixture just until
moistened. Gently fold bacon through the batter; spoon
batter into prepared cups. Bake 15-20 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. Serve warm. Makes 24 muffins.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


I’m hoping that all of the above recipes are ‘new’ to you – I had a large error on my computer which somehow combined all my regular blog recipes (the ones I save for you, here) with the crockpot recipes I save for my crockpot group – BIG MESS. My computer has this lovely little ‘thing’ it likes to do every once in awhile – it will fill any note/message/recipe, etc. with random AAAAAAA – this will be in the middle, end, where ever it feels like it! The last mess I refer to had a good 4 INCHES worth of A’s – in the middle of a recipe, and then, interspersed in others . . . fun . . . NOT! Anyway, hoping the above are all new recipes and not some I might already have posted. Due to the above ‘mess’ I have a good 30 or more recipes to hand go-through looking for AAA’s and taking out recipes I’ve already posted. sigh . . .

Ah well, what would life be were it not for some complications/troubles/etc.? Right? The trick is not to let them get you down (sometimes easier said than done) but as long as we keep on trying, things will work out in the end. To quote one of my favorite sayings: “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end!” (I was pleasantly surprised to hear that quoted in the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (2011) – I’ve written about that movie, I think about 2-3 months ago – good movie!

Anyway, friends – guess I’d better close for now and get on with my evening!



Baby, It’s COLD outside!


Here we are in an Artic Freeze (my term) – our temperatures are in the teens & lower. Went to Knit Night last night, it was 5 degrees F. out – I was happily amazed to see 14 ladies came out in the cold to knit/crochet together! None seemed the least bit surprised that others came, either.  I spent a little over 2 hours yesterday phoning all of my special needs students & their group homes, telling them we’re cancelling our Wednesday meeting (tonight) due to the cold. We have, probably, about 8 students in wheelchairs, or using walkers and when it’s this cold, they really suffer because it takes them longer to get from a van/car to inside the building (even if their caregiver is a fast wheelchair pusher!).  That means that I have a FREE night tonight! Today, also, is my dear husband’s 61st birthday! I’m making him a banana cake with cream cheese frosting later on today. I asked him if he would like his favorite dinner (Meat & Potato Pie) but he seemed rather non-plused about it – “I don’t know – I’m not real excited about it being my birthday” (but that’s ‘him’ – he doesn’t get excited about anything very often.) I had no clue what to buy him for a present, so I located some books I thought he’d enjoy: 2 Clive Custler’s we don’t have and a used book from the library “Hidden Treasures of the World” – one of those photo books about various antiques/places, etc. – I’m pretty sure he’ll like that one.

Delivered the 50 baby hats on Monday; I’m averaging about 50 every 2 months, so that’s a pretty good output. Have 2 chemo caps done (using the brown & pink yarn) and working on one more – hoping to deliver them next Tuesday after Bible study (our church is just down the road from the cancer center – makes sense to drive there afterwards, to save gas – it’s about a 20 minute drive from our house). It was interesting last night observing the various projects some of my ladies are working on; one of the new ladies was knitting an Entrelac scarf (NOT an easy pattern, for sure!):


It’s knitting in two directions, making the stitching look weaved – it’s one I have in my “perhaps I’ll try one day” pile – definitely NOT for a beginner! Several were knitting various scarves in several different patterns. One was finishing up another of those ‘lace yarn’ scarves (like I knit). I love going to Knit Night because I can see other patterns/ideas/projects I might not even attempt and ALSO there are the people who are working on them to gather information from! One of our members who hasn’t been to a meeting in a good 2-3 years, now works for JoAnn fabrics and was telling us that if we had anything we’d like help on, she’d be more than willing to teach us – GREAT! She helped another of our members get the ‘knack’ of how to knit the lace yarn by sitting her down and giving her the scarf she’d been working on: “Here – you take it and I’ll show you how to begin!” Pretty neat, eh?

Well, now that we’re definitely into the COLD months, I’ve got quite a few great soups, stews & casserole recipes for you:


Remember that these are NOT my personal recipes, I glean them from various sources and note the donor/site at the bottom of each recipe.


Zesty Minestrone

1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (19 oz) can red kidney beans*, rinsed
2 (14 oz, ea) cans vegetable broth
2 C. water
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. small pasta shells, uncooked
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat salad dressing in large nonstick

skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions,

celery & carrots; cook 2 minutes or until

crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Pour
into crockpot. Add tomatoes, beans,
broth, water & seasoning; stir & cover.
Cook on Low 6 hours (or High 3 hours)
Stir in macaroni, cook 10-15 minutes or
until macaroni is tender. Top with
cheese just before serving. Serves 8,
about 1 C. each)

*can also use canned white beans or
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Pork Stew & Dumplings

2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1
inch pieces 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into
3/4 inch slices
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-sized
2 onions, chopped
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 eggs
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stove Top stuffing
mix for chicken
1 C. warm water
1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1/4 C. chopped fresh chives

Combine first 6 ingredients in crockpot;
cover with lid. Cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4 hours. Discard bay leaves.
Mix eggs, stuffing mix & water; shape
into 8 balls. Add cream cheese spread
to crockpot, stir until melted. Gently
stir in stuffing balls; cook, covered,
oh High 30 minutes. Turn off crockpot.
Let stand 15 minutes. Serve stew &
dumplings topped with chives.
Serves 8 (1 1/2 C. each)

Shaping the stuffing balls:
Use moistened hands to shape the
stuffing balls; it helps prevent the
stuffing from sticking to your hands.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken ‘n Dumplings Casserole

1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas
4 C. cubed, cooked chicken
2 C. Bisquick
2 tsp. dried basil
2/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large saucepan, saute onion, celery

& garlic in butter until tender. Add flour,
sugar, salt, basil, pepper & broth; bring
to a boil. Cook & stir 1 minute; reduce
heat. Add peas; cook 5 minutes, stirring
constantly. Stir in chicken & pour into
a greased 9 X 13 baking pan.

To Make Dumplings:

Combine Bisquick & basil in a bowl. Stir
in milk with a fork until moistened. Drop
by tablespoonfuls onto casserole. (12
dumplings). Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Cover & bake 10 minutes more or until
dumplings are done.


Cauliflower Broccoli Casserole

1 bunch fresh cauliflower, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1 stick margarine, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 cans cream of celery soup
(paprika – for garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook first 2 ingredients (either in pot with
some water added, or steamed or
microwaved) until vegetables are NOT
cooked until they’re soft – just cook
about 5 minutes). Drain vegetables
well & cool. Place in a buttered 9 X 13

baking dish. Mix together next 3 ingredients;
pour over vegetables then sprinkle top
with paprika. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes.


Butternut Squash Risotto

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped

2 t. fresh sage, chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled,
seeded & grated or finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. arborio rice
1 C water
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 C. chicken stock

Heat oil in deep skillet or pot over
medium heat. Add onion, salt &
pepper; saute 4 minutes until onion
is softened but not browned. Add
sage & cook 1 minute. Add squash
& garlic; cook 3 minutes. Heat
chicken stock in a saucepan; keep
simmering. Add rice to vegetables &
cook 3 minutes until rice kernals become
chalky. This helps release the starch in
the rice & is an important step in the
creaminess of the risotto. Add water
to deglaze pan; cook 3 minutes. Add
one ladleful of hot stock at a time to
the rice mixture while stirring. Do not
add any more stock to rice until the
liquid is evaporated. Continue doing
this until all of the stock is absorbed.
This is a slow process, do not rush it.
when all stock is incorporated, remove
from heat and add Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4


Warm Peanut Butter Pudding

1 (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate instant pudding
2 C. cold milk
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. thawed Cool Whip

Beat pudding mix & milk with whisk 2 minutes.
Spoon into 4 microwaveable dessert dishes;
top with peanut butter. Microwave on High
30 seconds or until peanut butter begins to
melt & pudding is heated through. Top
with Cool Whip. Serves 4

Suggestion: For best results, microwave 1-2
servings at a time. Pudding may also be
served cold.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hobo Skillet Pork Chops

6 loin pork chops
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. butter
1 (10.75 oz) can chicken & rice soup

Mix together flour, salt, dry mustard, sage &
garlic powder in shallow dish. Dredge pork chops
in mixture on both sides. On medium heat, melt
butter in skillet & brown chops. Turn heat to
low & add soup; cover & simmer 1 hour.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Irish Ham & Potato Pie

1/2 C. green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 C. cooked, diced potatoes
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. diced, cooked ham
1/2 c. finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. Half & Half

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Generously butter 9 inch pie plate. Whisk
eggs, onions, salt & pepper in large bowl. Add
potatoes, cheese, ham, bell pepper & Half & Half.
Stir to blend & pour into prepared dish. Bake
1 hour 20 minutes or until tested down when a
knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cut
into wedges to serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mandarin Tuna Casserole

1 T. butter
1/4 C. chopped green onion
1 C. sliced celery
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup,
2 C. chow mein noodles, divided
1 (7 oz) can tuna, drained
1/2 c. cashews, toasted
1/4 C. water
1 (11 oz) can Mandarin orange sections, drained

Preheat ove 350 degrees F.
In heated pan, melt butter over medium heat; saute
green onions 1 minute. Add celery & continue sauteeing
3 minutes. Add soup, half of chow mein noodles, tuna,
cashews & water; mix well. Spoon into a 8 inch baking
dish; sprinkle remaining noodles on top. Bake 15 minutes
or until bubbly. Garnish top with Mandarin orange ssections.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Garlic-Lemon Chicken

1 (3 lb.) chicken, skinned & cut up (do not debone)
1/2 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. minced garlic
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
3 dashes hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1 C. white wine

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours. Serve over hot cooked rice.

(recipe: carolsrecipes77-Slowcooker digest)

Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C. chopped apple
2 T. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 T. Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

Combine apple, cheese & bread crumbs; set
aside. Flatten chicken breasts between sheets of
waxed paper, to 1/4 inch thickness. Divide
apple mixture between chicken breasts; roll up
each breast & secure with toothpicks.
Melt butter or margarine in large skillet over
medium heat. Brown stuffed chicken breasts.
Add water, cover & simmer 15-20 minutes,

until chicken is no longer pink. Transfer chicken
to a serving platter. Combine 1 T. water & cornstarch,
stir into chicken juices in pan. Cook & stir until
thickened. Pour over chicken, garnish & serve.
Serves 4.


Pineapple Cranberry Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 C. shredded zucchini
1 C. vegetable oil
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. chopped nuts
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. coconut (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine eggs, zucchini,
oil, pineapple & vanilla. In a separate
bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix well
then ad dry to wet ingredients. Fold in nuts, cranberries & coconut (if desired).
Pour into 2 greased 8 X 4″ loaf pans or
3 small loaf pans. Bake larger pans 50-55
minutes. Smaller pans: 35-40 minutes or
until golden brown and toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool 10
minutes before removing from pans to
wire racks


That’s the news from a cold, breezy Michigan; hope you’re WARM and enjoying your day. I’m currently amusing myself with a book I picked up at the library: “Cranford” by Elizabeth Gaskell. I learned of this book from a knitting site; it’s a fiction story of a English country town in mid nineteenth century. It’s a bit of a struggle reading it, as the wording is not exactly ‘as we speak these days’, but I’ve decided to plow through it anyway. There is also a connecting video: “Return to Cranford”-this features Dame Judith Dench, Jonathan Pryce and several others – as per the back cover: “an all-star cast re-unite in this heart-warming 2 part sequel to the Emmy-winning BBC/PBS mini-series.” Haven’t watched the video yet, hopefully it will be a little easier to follow than the book. I DO enjoy period pieces (even though this book is a bit to plow through), so we’ll see . . .

Just checked our local weather forecast for the next few days: today High 18, low 9/Thurs high 20, low 14/Friday high 23, low 17 (oh, and periodic snow fluries for those days, too ). Right now they’re saying it’s a balmy 10 degrees F. out there – it’s SUNNY! YAY! Am planning on stopping at the grocery store after dropping youngest at work at around 3:45, purchasing the ingredients to make the Meat & Potato Pie.

Have a GREAT day (stay warm!)



Well, Here’s the Weekend . . .


How’s your weather doing? Here, it’s a gray, over-cast-type day – temperatures in the mid 30’s, mostly. Right now it’s a ‘balmy’ 45! Amazing! It’s been kind of gloomy (weather-wise) for days now, mostly in the really chilly, slightly windy area, so I’m rather amazed at a 40’s temperature – neat! Ooooooooops, I spoke too soon – just looked at the forecast for the next 4-5 days. Sunday 25 & windy, low 16/Monday 20 slight snow, low 7/Tuesday 15 slight snow, low 6/Weds. 23 snow & low of 15 – that’s enough for me – don’t want to read any more. Sometimes I’m better off NOT knowing what it’s going to do – then I tend to be OPTIMISTIC!

Yesterday we had a small celebration in our family – our youngest finished his required classes and is now a HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE! (Technically, he doesn’t do the actual graduation ceremony until June, but he got a completion certificate yesterday). I made him a batch of double dark-chocolate brownies with chocolate chips, frosted in chocolate with the words: “Yay, Eric! You DID IT!” He liked that.

Today’s mostly been a ‘catch-up’ cay: finished a premie baby hat, started another chemo cap and another newborn hat; looked over the house bills, caught up the check book with the banks figures, did a little paperwork for the special needs group – next is doing some catching up on information for the new Knit Group people. I try to keep a running list of their names, addresses, phone #’s & email addys, just in case I have to contact them (been kind of lazy in that area – need to correct that).

Got sort of ‘lost in thought’ today on a (new to me) recipe site:  It’s a chicken company and they have 40 pages of just dinner recipes (also breakfast & lunch). I’ve copied some of them for you and will insert them here, a little at a time (you don’t want to be buried with just chicken, do you???)

Still am dragging my feet a bit on the ‘sewing a new dining room table cloth’ project. Stopped at JoAnn Fabrics last week and bought material (wanted a federal blue/colonial blue but they didn’t have that – ended up with more of a royal blue???) It will work, just have to hem it. (more like: go upstairs, drag down the 1940’s portable sewing machine, hook it up, then proceed). Also bought material for new porch curtains – same thing there – just have to DO IT! I’m finding out that I’m slowly developing a liking for WalMart (help me!!!). Went there last week and am very happy they carry the plain hummus in HUGE containers (don’t have that around here). I find I tend (a bit) to ‘impulse buy’ – got new rods for porch curtains, a medium candle (Peach/Mango scent – very nice), and some ‘take & bake’ ready-made pizzas (I would, normally, NEVER do that!) Good thing Walmart is not CLOSE to me – (about 25 min. away) or I’d be over-buying ALL the time!


Spanish-style Chicken Stew

2 T. olive oil
3 red onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (28 oz) can Italian plum tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
2 C. water
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch salt & pepper, to taste
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 potato, cubed
4 chicken thighs
4 oz. Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed,
sliced 1/4 inch thick (see note)

Heat oi in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir
in onions & garlic, cook until onion has softened & turned
clear. Pour in tomatoes, garbanzo beans & water; season
with paprika, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Stir in
carrots & potatoes, place chicken thighs skin-side up,

on top of vegetables. Bring to boil, over high heat. Reduce
heat to medium, cover & simmer until chicken is tender,
about 25 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from stew;

set aside. Stir in chorizo slices, then pour stew into a glass

baking dish. Place chicken thighs
on top, skin-side up. Bake until stew has thickened & chicken
skin is crispy, about 15 minutes. Serves 4

NOTE: Be sure to buy Spanish chorizo NOT MEXICAN. Spanish
chorizo has been smoked & comes ready to eat like kielbasa,
whereas Mexican chorizo is raw and resembles Italian sausage.



Tortilla Chip Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) bottle mild taco sauce
1 small green pepper,chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 (8 oz) pkg. mild Cheddar cheese, shredded

Whip together cream cheese & mayonnaise. Spread

evenly on bottom of a 9″ pie dish or 8″ x 8″ pan.
Pour taco sauce over, then sprinkle with green pepper,
tomatoes & onion. Cover with cheese & refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

Use salsa as well as taco sauce.
Can also top with:
 sliced black olives
a layer of guacamole

Can double recipe, place in 9 X 13 pan.
(recipe: Meijer distributing, Inc.)

Cheddar Mushroom Breakfast Squares

2 tsp. butter 2 C. sliced white button mushrooms
1/2 C. sliced green onion, including tops
6 slices country-style bread, cubed & divided
2 C. finely shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 C. milk
8 eggs
1 tsp. red or green hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8″ X 8″ square glass or ceramic baking
dish with nonstick spray; set aside. In a medium
skillet or medium heat, melt butter & add
mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes or until
softened & brown at edges. Stir in green onions,
set aside. Place 1/2 of bread cubes in prepared
dish. Scatter 1/2 of mushroom mixture & 1/2 of
cheese over bread crumbs. Layer remaining
bread cubes & mushroom mixture; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat milk, eggs, pepper sauce &
salt, if desired, until well blended. Pour milk
mixture over bread cubes and top with remaining
cheese. Bake, covered, 45 minutes. Remove
foil & bake an additional 15 minutes or until top

is puffed up & cheese is browned at edges. Let cool
5 minutes; cut into squares.
NOTE: can be made ahead – cover dish with foil &
refrigerate 8-10 hours before baking.

(recipe: Spartan foods)

Cauliflower with Bacon Salad
(overnight recipe)

1 medium head iceberg lettuce
4 C. cauliflower florets
1 C. thinly sliced red onion
3/4 C. mayonnaise 2 slices crisp bacon, crumbled

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
Line bottom of bowl with lettuce,
top with cauliflower & onion. Spread
mayonnaise over entire surface of salad.
Sprinkle with cheese & bacon bits. Cover &

refrigerate overnight. Toss just before

(recipe: carolsrecipes 77 – Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.
Prepare cake mix according to directions.

Fill each cupcake liner 1/4th full of cake
batter. Mix brown sugar & cinnamon in a
small bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of
cinnamon mixture over cake batter
in tins. Pour cake batter in tins until
2/3 rds full, no  more. Sprinkle another
teaspoon cinnamon sugar on top.
Using a toothpick, swirl cinnamon sugar
around top of cupcake. Bake 15 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted in center
of cupcake comes out clean. Cool on
a rack.


1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar

In bowl of elec. mixer, using paddle attachment,
cream butter & sugar until fluffy. Add cream
cheese & vanilla, beat until combined, about 2
minutes. Frost cupcakes.


1 stick butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium heat,
melt butter with sugar & cinnamon until
combined and pourable, but not boiled.
Let cool 1 minute & drizzle over frosted

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
& completely drained & squeezed
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt & pepper
1 (32 oz) jar tomato sauce
9 T. (about 3 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese,
egg, salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle

about 1 C. tomato sauce on bottom of a 9 X 13
baking dish. Place a piece of waxed paper on
the counter & lay out lasagna noodles. Make
sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 C. ricotta mixture
& spread evenly over noodles. Roll noodles
carefully & place, seam side down, onto baking
dish; repeat with remaining noodles. Ladle
sauce over noodles in dish; top each with
1 T. Mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil &
bak 40 minutes or until cheese melts. Makes
9 rolls

(recipe: Weight Watchers)

“Impossible” Dijon Wild Rice & Ham Pie

1 C. cubed cooked ham
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 C. cooked wild rice
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese (4 oz)
2/3 C. Bisquick mix
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 C. milk
1/3 C. chive & onion sour cream potato topper
(from a 12 oz. container)
1 T. country-style Dijon mustard
2 eggs
3 T. sliced almonds
fresh chives, chopped (if desired)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Spray a 9

inch pie plate with nonstick cooking
spray. Layer ham, bell pepper, wild rice &
cheese in pie plate. In medium bowl, mix
remaining ingredients except almonds with
whisk or fork until blended. Pour over
ingredients in pie plate; sprinkle top with
almonds. Bake 30-35 minutes or until
knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let
stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish
with fresh chives, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Betty Crocker kitchens)

Spanish Beans
(overnight recipe)
– 1 lb. pork sausage
1 lb. Italian sausage, no casings
2 C. chopped celery
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 C. onion, chopped
2 lb. can pork & beans
1 lb. can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 lb. can green beans
1 lb. can wax beans
1 lb. can lima beans
1 lb. can sliced mushrooms
1 large jar pimentoes
1 can tomato soup
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 T. dry mustard
1 tsp. hot chili powder

Remove Italian sausage from casings if-

necessary; brown in large skillet with

pork sausage, bell pepper, celery & onion.
Drain grease. Combine soup, brown sugar,
chili powder & dry mustard in a bowl,

then stir into sausage mixture. Drain all beans
except pork & beans; add to sausage
mixture, mixing carefully. Chill mixture

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

(NOTE: bring bean mixture to room
temperature before baking)

Pour mixture into a greased large casserole
dish. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes.
POSTER noted: makes a wonderful
casserole to take to large gatherings.


Poster noted that this was her family’s

‘go to’ cake when they were short on


Two Egg Cake

1/2 C. shortening
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream shortening, sugar & vanilla until
light & fluffy. Add eggs; beat thoroughly.
In medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients alternately with milk and
shortening mixture.
Bake in greased & lightly floured 8″round pan
30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean.


Thought I’d leave you with a photo of my oldest son,

his girlfriend & my grandson:


They were attending the wedding of a friend; I just got the photo so I thought I’d share.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend;



Happy Tuesday!


Here we are at Tuesday – (I almost typed in Monday – wow, am I out of it?). Was supposed to go to Ladies Bible Study this morning but was feeling VERY rebellious – don’t know why, exactly, except I just felt like being “froward” (that’s a word used in the Bible – means “Obstinately Willfull” and I fit that description to a T! Got up in a really cranky mood (didn’t want to ‘rub off’ on my fellow Bible study ladies – not because I thought they’d be shocked, but just because  . . . After reading my friend Mary’s (Momma) blog about the idea of changing things up a bit after Christmas and how drab my house felt minus all the bright shiny objects and red decorations, I wanted to go out and BUY something! Ended up at JoAnn fabrics and bought some royal blue fabric to make a new table cloth. (I was hoping to find a Federal Blue – cornflower blue but the darker, more vibrant blue was all they had in the fabric I’d chosen. Now, I will admit here – I’M NO SEAMSTRESS! The best I can do is hem up said fabric to approximately the size that’s on my table now, but it makes me happy. Also had fun buying more yarn (I hear you: MORE yarn???) – Yep! Finally found the really pretty sock yarn I’d been looking for – it’s a Debra Norville variegated purples – I’ve used it before to knit a chemo cap but then couldn’t find any more of it! (bought 2 skeins – sock yarn comes in really tiny skeins). Bought more Bernat’s Baby Jacquards yarn – this time in a variegated yellow and one in lavenders; I LOVE this yarn because it’s SELF DESIGNING! My VERY favorite is their rose-colored blend – when you knit with it it makes it’s own design which comes out looking like you were very clever and knit a band of red flowers & green leaves! I LOVE IT (but, of course, they didn’t have that blend – haven’t seen it in quite some time – might have to go on-line and order it.) When I was at the Radiologist yesterday the nurse told me that the patients really LOVE one particular yarn color I knit hats with – it’s a chocolate brown and variegated pinks, so I told her I’ll find it and knit more in that color range. I just happened to have enough in my stash to make the border ‘cuff’ using that yarn (for 2 hats) and then knitting the cap itself in a medium pink. Found more of the chocolate brown/pink at JoAnns and bought a skein. Went on line last night & ordered 2 more skeins, so I’ll be ‘set’ for awhile (and so will the chemo hats).

Managed to set up the delivery of 50 more baby hats for this coming Monday. This time it’s 20 newborn, 20 Premie & 10 really tiny hats. I love doing them – they knit up quickly and I can make so many variations using different yarns (plus, being small, I can use up small bits of yarn in my stash).

Our weather lately has been, I guess you’d say, sort of typical of this time of year in Michigan (and sort of like last year): it’s been chilly (in the 20’s) but clear & sunny – go figure! We ‘were’ supposed to get some snow by Thursday but the revised forecast just says mostly 30’s for the week (slight chance of snow tomorrow – but I’m being optimistic and hoping it won’t!).

Food-wise, not much new; made the White Bean/Chicken soup for dinner last night – it’s a good one for cold nights (recipe is in another blog entry from last year???). Looking through many recipes from various sites, there are some really good-sounding ones. It’s sometimes hard for me to choose what to post here – they ALL sound great!

(apologizes here – my server is ‘acting up’ when I try to type in recipe titles – bear with me – sometimes it’s coming up BILLBOARD sized letters, other times it’s almost too tiny to read! Go figure!)

Deep Dish Banana Pudding

46 vanilla wafers, divided
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 (3.4 oz ea) pkgs vanilla INSTANT
pudding mix*
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed &
4 bananas (1 lb), sliced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crush 30 wafers; mix with next 4
ingredients. Spread onto bottom of
15 X 10 X 1 inch pan sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray. Bake 5 minutes;
stir. Bake 3-5 minutes or until golden
brown; cool.
Beat pudding mixes with milk 2 minutes;
pudding will be thick. Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip.
Layer 1/3 of crumb mixture and half of
bananas & pudding in 2 quart serving bowl.
Repeat layers. Beat cream cheese & granulated
sugar in medium bowl using elec. mixer, until
well blended. Gently stir in 1 C. remaining
Cool Whip; spread over top of dessert, sealing
to edge of bowl. Sprinkle top with remaining
crumb mixture. Refrigerate 3 hours. Top
each serving with remaining Cool Whip, chopped
nuts & whole wafers just before serving.
Makes 16 servings.

* substitute Jell-O cheesecake flavored instant pudding

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bruschetta & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano, undrained
1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (2 lb)
1/3 C. Italian roasted red pepper salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine tomatoes, 1/2 C. cheese & basil in
medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, stir just until
moistened. Place 2 chicken breasts in freezer-
weight resealable plastic bag. Pound chicken
to 1/4 inch thickness. Repeat with remaining
chicken. Place chicken, top sides down, on
cutting board; cover with stuffing. Roll
chicken breasts up, starting at one short end.
Place, seam sides down, in 9 X 13 baking
dish, drizzle with salad dressing. Bake 40
minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
Top with remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes
or until cheese is melted. Serves 8

Variation: use diced tomatoes with
bell or jalapeno peppers, chopped fresh
cilantro instead of basil & Mexican-style
shredded cheese instead of mozzarella.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Beefy One-Pot Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 Yukon gold potato (6 oz)
finely chopped
1 C. water
1 (14 oz) can baked beans
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown meat in large nonstick
skillet; drain. Add next 3
ingredients; cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in
water; cover & simmer on medium-
low heat 10 minutes or until
vegetables are tender, stirring
occasionally. Add beans & barbecue
sauce; mix well. Cook 5 minutes or
until heated through, stirring
occasionally. Top with cheese before
serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Chicken Taco Casserole

1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
9 (5 inch) corn tortillas
1 C. chopped cilantro
2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (8 oz)
1 small tomato, sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt & pepper; place in
medium skillet & add cold water to cover. Bring
to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to medium-low; cook, turning once or twice,
until opaque & firm, about 10 minutes. Remove,
let cool & cut into small pieces or shred. (should
have about 3 C. cut up chicken)
Spread 1/3 of sauce over bottom of a 7 X 11 baking
dish. Arrange 3 tortillas, slightly overlapping, on
top. Sprinkle 1/3 chicken & cilantro over tortillas.
Top with 1/3 cheese; make 2 more layers sauce/
tortillas/chicken/cilantro & cheese. Arrange
tomato on final layer of cheese; cover with foil &
bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove
foil & cook until top is lightly browned, about
10 minutes more. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 09/17/12)


Almond Coconut Bars

-1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. butter, melted
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
7 oz. coconut, flaked
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter
24 whole blanched almonds
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. 
In small bowl, combine graham cracker
crumbs & butter; press into ungreased
9 X 13 pan. In another small bowl, combine
milk & coconut. Carefully spread this evenly
over the crust. Bake 18-20 minutes or until
lightly browned. In a microwave-safe bowl,
combine chocolate chips & peanut butter. 
Microwave on High 1 minute, stir. Microwave
30-60 seconds longer or until chips are
melted. Stir until smooth; spread over
warm bars. Garnish with almonds in evenly
spaced rows. Refrigerate 1 hour before
cutting into 24 bars.

(recipe: DDJ - 10/05/12)

Spaghetti Fritatta

 6 eggs
 1 1/2 C. cut-up, cooked spaghetti
 1 C. finely chopped fresh spinach*
 1/2 C. finely chopped baked, cooked ham
 1 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack
 cheeses, divided
 1/4 tsp. salt
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Beat eggs in large bowl with wire
 whisk until well blended. Stir in 
 spaghetti, spinach, ham, 1/2 C.
 cheese & salt. Spread into
 greased 9 inch pie plate; sprinkle
 top with remaining 1/2 C. cheese.
 Bake 30 minutes or until center
 is set. Makes 4 servings.

 *can substitute broccoli for spinach

 NOTE: to check for doneness, insert
 a kitchen knit into center; when it comes
 out clean, it's done cooking.

 (recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Meatloaf

 12 oz. chopped raw bacon
 1 small white onion, chopped
 5 button mushrooms, chopped
 1 1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef
 1 egg
 1/4 C. evaporated milk
 6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
 1/2 C. corn flake crumbs
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Place bacon in skillet & cook over
 medium heat until pieces are browned.
 Remove with slotted spoon to paper 
 towels. Discard all but 1 T. bacon grease.
 Stir in onions & mushrooms, cook until
 soft; remove from heat. In large bowl, stir
 together beef, egg & milk. Stir in onion &
 mushrooms. Mix in about 4 oz. Swiss
 cheese and all but 1 T. bacon. Stir in
 cornflake crumbs & mix until well blended.
 Shape into a loaf; place in a meatloaf pan.
 Bake 1 hour. Drain fat & sprinkle with
 remaining cheese & bacon. Return to oven
 & bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

 (recipe: Sandy- Marys Recipe Exchange)
Stir-Fried Sweet Peppers with Tomatoes

 4 green peppers, coarsely chopped
 1/3 C. olive oil
 4 cloves garlic, sliced
 3 large tomatoes, peeled & coarsely
 1/2 tsp. each salt & pepper
 Cook green peppers in olive oil in
 large skillet over medium heat. Stir
 often 10 minutes or until lightly
 browned. Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
 Stir in tomatoes, salt & pepper. Stir
 often, 15 minutes or until slightly
 thickened. Makes 4 servings.

 (recipe: RDJ 10/26/12)
Peanut Butter/Chocolate Molten Cake


 4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
 1/2 C. butter
 1 C. powdered sugar
 2 eggs
 2 egg yolks
 6 T. flour
 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
 3 T. creamy peanut butter
 2 T. brown sugar
 1/4 tsp. vanilla
 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
 Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
 Microwave chocolate & butter in large
 microwaveable bowl on High 1-1 1/2 
 minutes or until chocolate is almost
 melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is
 completely melted. Stir in powdered sugar.
 Blend in eggs & egg yolks. Stir in flour; set
 aside. Mix cream cheese, peanut butter,
 brown sugar & vanilla until well blended.
 Pour half chocolate batter into 1 quart
 souffle dish sprayed with nonstick spray; cover
 with layers of cream cheese mixture & remaining
 chocolate batter. Bake 20 minutes or until edge
 is set but center is slightly soft. Cool slightly.
 Serve topped with Cool Whip. Makes 10 servings.

 (recipe: Kraft foods)

3-Bean Turkey Chili

 1/2 lb. ground turkey
 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, 
 1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
 1 (15 oz) can black beans,
 rinsed & drained
 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans,
 rinsed & drained
 1 (15 oz) can great Northern
 beans, rinsed & drained
 1 tsp. chili powder
 1 tsp ground cumin
 1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
 Cook turkey in large saucepan on medium-
 high heat 10 minutes or until no longer pink,
 stirring occasionally. Add to crockpot with all
 remaining ingredients (except cheese); stir.
 Cover & cook, on High 3-4 hours or Low 5-6
 hours. Spoon into bowls, top with cheese.
 Makes 8 servings, 1 1/4 C. each.

 Can be made on stove top. Cook turkey in 
 large saucepan on medium-high heat 10
 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring
 occasionally. Add tomatoes, salsa, beans
 & seasonings; mix well. Bring to boil; simmer
 on low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 (recipe: Kraft Foods)
Apple Cider Chicken

 2 T. olive oil
 2 T. butter
 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
 salt & ground black pepper
 1/2 onion, chopped
 1 Granny Smith apple, cored & sliced into 1/4 in.
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 2 tsp. dried thyme
 2 bay leaves
 2 T. flour
 1 1/2 C. apple cider
 Heat oil & 1 T. butter in skillet over medium-high heat.
 Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper; add to pan
 & sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes each side.
 Remove chicken from pan; set aside. Add remaining
 butter & onion, apple, garlic, thyme & bay leaves. Saute
 until apple begins to get color & onions soften, about 
 6 minutes. Add flour; stir 2-3 minutes. Place chicken
 back in pan, add cider & bring to a boil. Reduce heat
 to simmer & cover. Cook until chicken is cooked
 through, about 12 minutes. Serves 4.

 (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Quick Hash

 1 lb. ground beef
 1 large onion, chopped
 1 tsp. salt
 1/4 tsp. pepper
 1 C. stewed tomatoes
 2 1/2 C. whole kernel corn
 1/4 lb. Cheddar cheese, cubed
 Place ground beef, onion, salt & pepper in
 a skillet. Cook & stir over heat until meat is
 lightly browned & onion is soft. Drain off
 grease before adding other ingredients.
 Add tomatoes & corn; cover & simmer over
 low heat 30 minutes. Stir in cheese cubes; cover
 & let stand 2-3 minutes until cheese melts. Serve
 with nacho chips

 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Enjoy your day and remember to take a little time 
out for YOURSELF! (I splurged a little today while
at WalMart - bought a $3.27 Peach & Mango candle - 
it has a very refreshing, clean scent - I like 
smelling candles while I knit!)



End of a Busy WEEK!

dear god ty 4 my friends 9204706 7-17-05

(My blog server just totally changed up my settings, so this might be a bit different than my old posts; we’ll see). Where do I start? This past week sort of blurs into one big blob of constant motion. Knit Night Tuesday – we had 19 in attendence, almost maxed out the space we’re now in! Three new ladies – I’m happy we’re growing but not exactly sure just what/where we’re going if this keeps up! Oh well – it’s a ‘nice’ conundrum, for sure. Wednesday was my Special Needs group – first meeting back after Christmas. We were a bit ‘light’ on attendees BUT we also had a great friend that’s a missionary to Durban, South Africa come visit us! (He’s one of the son’s of the original founder of our group; his sister (special needs) and his brother (college kid/helper) are both in our group. SEE: Key of Hope in the right side blogs – that’s his ministry. It was a great experience just hearing of his ministry. When he started it, five years ago, he moved his wife and four daughters there – permanently. They minister to children who’s lives are GREATLY affected by AIDS; many have lost their entire family to the disease. He told us that when he first started he ministered to ONE GIRL. Then it grew to 17 children; right now, on Saturdays, they hold a Bible study for 750 children! They’re running out of room to hold them! He said that they (with helpers) go around and visit each and every one of the children, during the week – seeing how they’re doing, what they might need (food, clothing, medical help) and then implementing the help whenever they can. I can’t even wrap my brain around that amount of children, let alone imagine myself heading up a group that large! He’s an amazine young man (I think he’s in his mid 30’s now) with a goal – it’s a honor to be one of his friends and to be humbled by his service to the Lord. It just rejuvinates me to jump in with both feet in our ministry to our special needs kids.

Thursday was ‘help our middle son move his stuff home’ day. My husband & I drove to Holly and got ‘some’ of his belongings. I guess, in the move from the apartment to this house, things were just sort of grabbed & grouped together, making sorting out just ‘his’ things that much more difficult. When we got home I made up a list of things I remember sending with him a month ago, so that when he goes back he’ll have some idea what he’s still missing. Among the missing items is ONE SHOE! Who looses ONE SHOE? Only my son! The new house he ‘was’ supposed to live in was really nice – newly built, out in the country – very nice, next to a woods; ah, but that wasn’t to be. Middle son seems quite content to be ‘back in the fold’ for awhile; sometimes that’s just what they need before venturing ‘out’ again. Thursday was also babysit grandson day – we had a great time playing board games (he beat me quite a few times – THIS TIME I wasn’t even TRYING to let him win! He’s getting good!). Friday was ‘get the Christmas decorations DOWN!” day. Tree is down and in it’s box, decorations are in their boxes; only things left are the manger scene to be packed and then carrying all those boxes back upstairs and organizing their storage. Glad to see it done, but (like my friend Mary/Momma) the house looks rather bleak. One of her readers to her blog said that, in the same situation, she chose to go out and buy new throw pillows and a new dining room table cloth – great idea! (we already have new throw pillows BUT the idea of a new table cloth intrigues me! Something to ‘spark up the drab’, so to speak.)

Weather-wise it’s a SPRING-LOVER’s DREAM! The snow is almost all gone – yesterday it was semi-warm (in the 40’s); when I stepped outside it felt like SPRING! Today it’s supposed to get up to 58 degrees! (it’s already around 52!). I remember we had a really strange winter last year, much like this. Not complaining any – I guess we’re supposed to get a bit of light snow tomorrow and temperatures are supposed to drop to the mid 30’s, which would be about normal for this time of year in Michigan.

Craft-wise, have finished three chemo caps which I’ll deliver Monday to Radiology – have to go in for a routine check up.  Am almost up to my personal goal on the baby hats: 20 Premie/7 really tiny/19 newborn. Am thinking of delivering them when I get the last newborn hat done. (was originally going to go for 50, but think I’ll be happy with 20 of each – who knows? I might still knit 3 more tiny ones, just to even the delivery number – I’m weird like that!). Also started working on finishing a baby blanket for a friend’s daughter who’s due (I think) around March – it’s going to be a girl. I had started crocheting peach colored squares last Fall and then put it away. Brought out the ‘stash’ and have the needed 15 peach and am working on 15 white, then I’ll put it together. Am planning on crocheting a flower on the center square (like I did for one of the baby blankets for the Detroit Vet’s Hospital blankets last September).

Been doing a lot of driving lately, taking or picking up youngest son. He will be DONE with his schooling this coming Friday – he has A’s & B’s, so he should finally GRADUATE! He’s not exactly sure yet about the details of it; I remember talking to the counselor at the beginning of his studies at this school and she said they do a graduation ceremony – cap & gown/diploma – the whole thing. Even though he didn’t graduate his regular high school, he will have a valid diploma from this school – I’m very grateful!  Not sure, yet, what his plans are – he’s still working at Meijer as a cashier  – he needs to take Drivers Ed. He said he’s planning on taking that FIRST, then asking for full time employment. We’ll see where this goes.

Food-wise, I’ve been cooking a bit – 2 huge batches of spaghetti, Potatoes O’Brian, and yesterday husband decided he wanted Little Caesar’s $5.00 pizzas, so we had them for lunch and leftovers for dinner! I find myself missing the little ‘grab & go’ desserts – homemade cookies, cheesecake or pumpkin pie slices! (YES, I KNOW! Not good for me – but I MISS THEM!!!) I do have a box of blueberry muffin mix I might just put together – to ‘ease my cravings’ (wink).


Quick Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
1 can cream/mushroom soup
1 T. ketchup
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1 C. milk
2 T. butter
1 1/3 C. instant mashed potato flakes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook beef & onion in 10-in. skillet over medium-
high heat until beef is browned, stirring to separate
meat; drain. Stir in soup, ketchup, black pepper

& peas & carrots to skillet. Heat through. Spoon mixture
into a 9 in. pie plate. Heat milk & butter in 2 quart
saucepan over medium-high heat to boil. Remove from
heat, stir in potato flakes. Spoon potatoes over beef
mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until potatoes are
lightly browned. Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Quick Sweet & Sour Pork

2 C. instant brown rice, uncooked

1 T. cooking oil

1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into

1 inch pieces

3 C. frozen bell pepper & onion

strips (from 16 oz pkg)

1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks in

juice, drained

1 (10 oz) jar La Choy Sweet &

Sour Sauce

1 T. soy sauce

Cook rice accordg to pkg directions,

omitting salt & butter. Heat oil in

large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add pork, cook & stir 6-8 minutes or

until cooked through & lightly browned.

Remove from skillet. Add pepper blend to

skillet; cook 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in cooked pork, pineapple, sweet &

sour sauce & soy sauce. Heat 5 minutes

more or until hot. Serve over rice.

Serves 5.

(recipe: readyseteat)


Apple Gingerbread Cake


2 C. flour

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. margarine, room temp.

1 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 C. molasses

1 tsp. baking soda

1 C. milk

1 1/2 C. peeled & diced apple

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease 10-in. Bundt pan, set

aside. Combine flour, cinnamon,

ginger, cloves & salt in medium

bowl; set aside.

Beat margarine & sugar together in

large mixing bowl, using elec. mixer,

until smooth. Add egg; beat until

combined. Stir in molasses; dissolve

baking soda in milk, then add to sugar

mixture. Stir in flour mixture on low

speed until just combined. Gently fold

in apples; spoon into prepared pan.

Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick

inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool 15 minutes on wire rack; remove

from pan and cool completely.

Serves 8


Crockpot Fajitas

1 habanero pepper diced (with or

without seeds – your choice)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed well

1 can red beans, rinsed

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies &

garlic (do not drain)

1 C. frozen corn

4 large boneless chicken breasts,


1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 pkg. fajita seasoning mix (dry)

Set crockpot on Medium heat. Layer with

beans, then peppers, onions, garlic &

top with corn. Add water until just

visable below veggies. Place chicken on

top of veggie bed, salt & pepper to taste.

Sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Pour tomatoes

over chicken; sprinkle with fajita mix.

Cover & cook 6 hours. Serves 6-8

NOTE: Poster said they prefer to shred

the chicken & place in bowls, then top

with cheese, Doritos, green onions & sour




Crescent Quiche Lorraine

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls

1 egg, beaten

1 C. evaporated milk

1/2 tsp. ssalt

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 C. shredded Swiss cheese

1 C. (3.5 oz) can French fried onions

9 slices bacon, cooked crisp &


Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Separate dough; press into an

ungreased 9″ pie pan. Press

pieces together to form a

crust. Combine egg, milk, salt

& sauce; stir in cheese. Sprinkle

half of onions over unbaked crust.

Pour egg mixture into crust then

sprinkle with bacon & remaining

onions. Bake 25-30 minutes or

until set. Cool 5 minutes before


(recipe: Lou-RDJ 10/12/12)


Skillet Chicken & 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) Kraft

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 con-

stantly 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 until baking mix

is moistened. Spoon into 6 mounds over mixture

in skillet; cook on medium-high heat 2 minutes.

Cover skillet; cook on Low heat 15 minutes or

until chicken is done & toothpick inserted in

dumplings comes out clean. Top with parsley &

Parmesan cheese.  Serves 6

*may substitute any frozen vegetables for peas &


(recipe: Kraft foods)


PIneapple Upside Down Cupcakes

1 (18 oz) box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 C. margarine, melted
1 C. pineapple juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. margarine, melted
2/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1 (16 oz) can pineapple chunks in
natural juice, drained
15 maraschino cherries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 15 muffin cups with non-
stick cooking spray; set aside.
Beat cake mix, eggs, 1/2 C.
margarine, pineapple juice &
vanilla in large bowl with elec.
mixer or whisk until blended.
Combine 1/3 C. melted margarine
with brown sugar in small bowl;
stir until smooth. Place 1 T. mixture
into each muffin cup. Carefully
top with 2 chunks pineapple and
a maraschino cherry. Evenly fill
muffin cups with cake batter.
Bake 20 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 10
minutes on wire rack. Loosen
edges of cupcakes with small
knife, invert onto rack &
remove from pans. Serve warm
or let cool.

(recipe: Unilever)

Cobb Club Sandwiches

4 hoagie rolls, split & lightly toasted
1 C. blue cheese salad dressing
3/4 lb. thinly sliced cooked turkey
4 (1 oz) sharp Cheddar cheese slices
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
8 bacon slices, cooked
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
3 C. shredded lettuce
1/4 C. olive oil vinaigrette

Spread cut sides of each hoagie roll
with dressing. Layer bottom halves
of rolls evenly with turkey & next
5 ingredients; drizzle with
vinaigrette. Cover with top halves
of rolls. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe:: RDJ 10/17/12)

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 (6 oz) pkg. Oscar Mayer Deli
Fresh Oven Roasted chicken breast,
1/2 C. hot pepper sauce
1/4 C. blue cheese crumbles
2 green onions, sliced

Spread cream cheese onto bottom of

microwaveable 9 inch pie plate. Mix
chicken & sauce; spread over cream
cheese. Top with blue cheese & onions.
Microwave on High 2 minutes or until
heated through. Serve warm.
Makes 18 servings, 2 T. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

‘Nilla Apple Crisp

4 large Granny Smith apples (2 lb),
peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed &
2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/3 C. old-fashioned or quick-
cooking oats
1/4 C. cold margarine
25 Nilla wafers, crushed
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Toss apples with 1/4 C. brown
sugar & 1 tsp. cinnamon. Spoon
into 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.
Combine oats, remaining sugar &
cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in
margarine with pastry blender or
2 knives until mixture resembles

coarse crumbs. Stir in wafer crumbs;
sprinkle over apples. Bake 30-35
minutes or until apples are tender.
Serve topped with Cool Whip.

Makes 12 (1/2 C. each) servings
(recipe: Kraft foods)

Well, that’s the ‘happenings’ around here at the moment. Hope you’re having a nice, RELAXING Saturday – remember to take a little time out FOR YOURSELF!

Enjoy your day;



Sorry and “Hi!”

Quick note – was just going over my “Spam” folder and eliminating those comments. As I hit the ‘delete’ I noticed there was a ‘comment’ from Debbie in Austin, Tx and it looked like a GOOD comment (not spam). Sorry, it already got erased by the time I noticed it BUT I just wanted to say THANK YOU, Debbie, for commenting! (I don’t usually read the Spam, as most of it is there only to ‘advertize’ whatever someone else wants, in the form of a comment – I was taught that by my dear friend “Momma’s” son, Les, who taught me some of the ‘ins & outs’ of blog writing.  He said that what usually hits your spam folder might look OK in the comment, but be sure to look at the (whatever you call that) computer ‘signature’ under their name – there you’ll usually find what they’re ‘pushing’ – sometimes it’s selling stuff, sometimes it’s worse (porno junk). I don’t usually even LOOK at the Spam stuff – I just dump it.

Sooooo – I say that to get to the bottom of this: IF you comment (and I love when you do) I hope it lands in the ‘comments’ and not the ‘spam’ folder’!



Published in: on January 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm  Comments (2)  

So Happy – and Feelin’ Great!



Today was another check up mammogram on the surgery side and, as the radiology tech & I looked at the films we both agreed – looks clear to us! She compared the last ones from August and remarked: “Wow! They look identical – mirror image!” I noticed that the scarring is getting smaller and she said: “It’s supposed to.”  Later on I called my Oncologist’s office to find out the results from several blood tests they did Dec. 28th – the report came back: “Normal”! YAY! THANK YOU, LORD! That means there weren’t any cancer cells loosely floating around in my body – that’s a really GOOD thing! I’ve noticed that I’m slowly feeling a little stronger every day – not so much fatigue. Did a lot of ‘little’ errand running today: to the hospital first for the mammo, then to the drugstore, home, then to the library, Township offices (to pay our Winter Taxes), stopped at KMart to return something, then Tim Horton’s for coffee and a small treat for husband & I (blueberry muffins!). Normally, that kind of ‘running’ would cause me to have to take a very long rest with nothing else to ‘do’ for the rest of the day. I read a book for a good 2 hours (the book I mentioned before: the actual life story of the Countess of Highclere Castle, on which the Masterpiece Theater’s production of “Downton Abbey” is fashioned after). Just finished dinner: Spaghetti & garlic toast. I made that very dinner last night and the guys were ravenous (or so it would seem) – all the garlic toast was gone and just ONE serving left of the spaghetti! Now, I’m not bragging, but I make a BIG pot ‘o spaghetti (1 1/2 lbs. of dry spaghetti noodles, 2 jars of Prego and whatever meat – last night it was meatballs and the cut up remains of some leftover pork chops; tonight it was the leftover remains of a pork roast and cooked hamburger). Normally I would not, ever, repeat the same meal two nights in a row, but the guys really wanted it – so they got their wish (let’s see how long this second batch lasts!). The good thing about this was: I was able to use the leftover meats (if I have any, I usually cut them into bite-sized pieces & freeze them), plus all of the leftover hamburger & hot dog buns in the house (and that was a considerable amount!). There is a cartoon featured in our local newspaper called: “Pluggers” – we love the humor AND it usually fits our family to a ‘T’. I have one I cut out years ago which has a Mom standing over the oven – the caption is: “A plugger’s garlic bread looks suspiciously like hot dog buns.” SO TRUE! I butter them, sprinkle with garlic powder & Italian spices then cover with Parmesan cheese and put them under the broiler until nicely browned.

For those of you who are ‘on the ball’, my Christmas decorations & tree are still up! And, YES, I still plug in the lights every night, including the lighted wreath in the window. Why? No particular reason except I just haven’t felt the ‘need’ to take them down yet! It will get done – eventually. I remembered, this evening, that I still need to take a ‘gift’ out of the box and ‘use’ it. One of my special needs guys gave me a Amaryllis bulb (comes in a box with plastic pot & ‘soil’ – you just dampen the ‘soil’, place some of it in the pot, arrange the bulb on the soil, cover with remaining soil, water and wait.) It’s funny because I was thinking this year that I really wanted to get over to ACO hardware simply because they SELL those and I wanted to buy one – totally forgot – then I get one for Christmas! I love watching them grow – this one is a vibrant red; I’ll try to remember to take a photo when it blooms – they usually produce about 5-6 flowers – very pretty. It’s nice to know there will be a little ‘Spring’ in the house during a cold, grey winter. Speaking of weather – it’s been pretty decent here: in the 30’s during the day and high 20’s at night, no new snow! It was warm enough, with enough bright sunlight today, to melt a good part of the ice on the driveway and other roads; supposed to stay that way until Thurs & Fri when we’re expected to get rain. Rain’s not bad – as long as it doesn’t FREEZE!

Well, after all that’s said, on to the recipes!


Mexican Chicken Casserole

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 tomato, chopped
2 6 inch tortillas
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook & stir chicken & cumin in nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium
heat 2 minutes. Add peppers, cook 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa, cook 2 minutes.
Add cream cheese; cook 2 minutes or until
melted. Stir in beans & tomatoes. Spoon 1/3
of chicken mixture into 8 inch square baking
dish; cover with 1 tortilla and half EACH of
remaining chicken mixture & shredded cheese.
Top with remaining tortilla & chicken mixture;
cover. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese; bake
uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pink Raspberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter
2 C. flour
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 box fresh raspberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour muffin tins or
use paper liners (makes 12 muffins)
Sift flour, baking powder & salt
together; set aside. Cream butter &
sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs;
beat well. Add milk then flour mixture,
beat until well combined. Place 3
raspberries in each muffin cup. Add
remaining raspberries to muffin
mixture; beat well until it turns
pink. Spoon into muffin cups
evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes
Makes 12 muffins.


Pink Raspberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter
2 C. flour
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 box fresh raspberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour muffin tins or
use paper liners (makes 12 muffins)
Sift flour, baking powder & salt
together; set aside. Cream butter &
sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs;
beat well. Add milk then flour mixture,
beat until well combined. Place 3
raspberries in each muffin cup. Add
remaining raspberries to muffin
mixture; beat well until it turns
pink. Spoon into muffin cups
evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes
Makes 12 muffins.


Quick & Creamy Chicken Stew


3/4 lb. potatoes, quartered

2 T. water

1 T. oil

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken

breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 (10 3/4oz) can cream of chicken soup

1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing

2 C. frozen peas & carrots

1/2 C. sour cream

Microwave potatoes & water in covered

microwaveable dish on High 7 minutes or

until potatoes are tender. Heat oil in

large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add

chicken; cook 7 minutes or until evenly

browned, stirring occasionally. Add

potatoes, soup, dressing & frozen veggies

to chicken in saucepan; stir. Bring to

boil; cover & simmer on medium-low heat

3 minutes or until chicken is done &

vegetables are heated through. Stir in

sour cream, cook 1 minute or until

heatedthrough, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Pumpkin-Swirl Cheesecake Bars


25 ginger snaps, finely crushed

(about 1 1/2 C.)

1/2 C. finely chopped pecans

1/4 C. butter, melted

4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,


1 C. sugar, divided

1 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

1 C. canned pumpkin

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

dash ground cloves

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Mix ginger snap crumbs, nuts & butter;

press onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Beat

cream cheese, 3/4 C. sugar & vanilla

with  mixer until blended. Add eggs,

1 at a time, beating after each, just

until blended. Remove 1 1/2 C. batter.

Stir remaining sugar, pumpkin & spices

into remaining batter. Spoon half of

pumpkin batter into crust; top with

spoonfuls of half the plain batter.

Repeat layers; swirl gently with knife.

Bake 45 minutes or until center is almost

set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Makes 16 bars

NOTE: You can line the pan with aluminum

foil, extending ends of foil over sides

of pan. Use foil ‘handles’ to lift chilled

cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Awesome Cabbage Casserole


1 small cabbage

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 C. margarine or 1/4 C.

butter melted


1/4 C. mayonnaise

1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom



1/4 C. margarine or butter, melted

1 C. grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

30 butter-flavored crackers, crushed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Coarsely chop cabbage into large

casserole dish sprayed with non

stick spray. Sprinkle chopped onion

on top; pour melted butter over

cabbage. Sprinkle with salt. Mix

mayonnaise & soup together; spread

over cabbage and onions.


Mix together melted butter, crushed

crackers & grated cheese; sprinkle

over top of casserole. Bake 45

minutes or until bubbly & brown.

(recipe: Sue-RDJ 10/12/12)


Marvelous Mac & Cheese

(oven or crockpot)

1 (1 lb) box elbow macaroni

2 cans Cheddar cheese soup

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk

1 1/4 sticks butter

1 tsp salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 C. extra sharp Cheddar

cheese, shredded

2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,


2 C. pepperjack cheese,


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions

until just done. Combine soup, evap.

milk, butter, salt & pepper in a

large microwaveable bowl. Cover with

plastic wrap, leaving a small vent –

cook 6-7 minutes until butter is

melted & mixture is warm-to-hot

throughout. Add cooked pasta; add

cheeses, one at a time, stirring

constantly, until everything is

melted & incorporated. Bake

40-45 minutes. (can stick under

broiler for a few minutes to brown



Spray interior of crock with non-

stick spray. Follow directions

1-5, cook on Low 4 hours.



8-Can Taco Soup

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained &


1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained &


1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 (15.25 oz) can sweet corn, drained

1 (12.5 oz) can white chicken breast,


1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce


1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

packet of dry taco seasoning

Combine all ingredients; heat until

heated through & flavors blend.

(NOTE: poster suggests serving

tortilla chips on the side.)

(recipe: RDJ 10/12/12)


Quick Chocolate-Orange Layer Cake

(uses ready-made cake)


1 1/2 pkgs (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,


6 T. butter, softened

6 C. powdered sugar

1 T. orange zest

12 drops orange food coloring*

2 baked chocolate cake layers

(8 inch), cooled

3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 of 8 oz. tub Cool Whip

(do not thaw)

Beat first 5 ingredients with elec.

mixer until blended. Cut each cake

horizontally into 2 layers. Stack on

plate, spreading 3/4 C. frosting

between each layer. Frost top & sides

with remaining frosting. Microwave

chocolate & Cool Whip in microwavable

bowl on High 2 minutes or until chocolate

is completely melted &  mixture is well

blended, stirring after each minute. Cool

15 minutes; spread over top of cake,

allowing excess to drizzle down sides.

Keep refrigerated. Serves 16

*if you don’t have orange: substitute

8 drops yellow & 4 drops red, mix.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Crockpot Swiss Steak


2 lb. boneless beef chuck eye roast,

cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 C. A-1 Original steak sauce

1 onion, sliced

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,


2 T. flour

1/4 C. water

Toss meat with steak sauce; place in

crockpot. Top with onions & tomatoes,

cover & cook on Low 9-10 hours or

High 4-5 hours. Mix flour & water;

stir into meat mixture. Cook, covered,

5 minutes or until sauce is thickened,

stirring occasionally. Serves 8

Serving suggestion: Serve over hot,

cooked egg noodles.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Hash Brown Casserole

2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
6 large eggs, well beaten
1 (12 fl oz) evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen shredded
hash brown potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
10 slices turkey bacon, cooked &
chopped or 1 C. diced, cooked ham

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking pan. Combine
cheese, eggs, evaporated milk, salt &
black pepper in large bowl. Add
potatoes, onion, bell pepper & bacon
(or ham); mix well. Pour mixture into
prepared dish & bake 60-65 minutes
or until set.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Craft-wise I’m still knitting chemo & baby hats; next Monday I have a visit to my Radiologist (just a routine check-up) and I’ll deliver whatever chemo caps I have done, at that time. Not much else ‘new’ around here; today I was commenting that it sort of feels ‘good’ to finally have all of the ‘holiday’ foods gone (still have some pumpkin pie and maybe 2 slices of cheesecake, but I’m sure those aren’t here for long). Now we’re into the ‘winter’ recipes: soups, crockpot meals – the hot & hearty of the season. How are YOU doing lately? Send me a comment – I love hearing from you!