A New Year – A New Start . . . Again

1353245066o5l4pAHere it is – another ‘new’ year; how are you faring this ‘new’ day? Did you celebrate last night, whether grandly or quietly? Our’s was a very quiet celebration: husband & I ate some small snacks at midnight, then went to bed. Not with a huge Hurrah! but with a quiet thankfulness that, once again, we’re still together and doing well. Thanking the Lord for all He’s brought us through (health, especially) we’re facing this ‘new year’ with Hope – how about you? Yes, with all that’s being spoken of in the news about the ‘fiscal cliff’ we’re all facing, it does make that word Hope seem a bit shaky, but we will still pray that all will be well with all those we love and that this nation will, once again, succeed.  Today, too, is the last day of the ‘off of school, off of any group attending’; it seems strange to have no actual committments – no driving or picking up son from school (yes, I still have to drive him back & forth to work), no Knit group, no special needs group – just a quiet time. Not sure, yet, what I’ll be doing – there ARE things that need attending, like dishes, laundry and perhaps taking down a few of the Christmas decorations – but maybe not! I’m really good at procrastinating about that particular chore – don’t like putting them up, don’t like taking them down! (yep – it’s confirmed: I’m a Scrooge!)

Food wise, I sort of ‘dropped the ball’ on posting more appetizers like I’d wanted to. No excuse, just didn’t feel like putting together another blog yesterday – sorry. Still have lots of tasty-sounding recipes to share with you:


Bloody Mary Pot Roast

1 3 lb. boneless chuck beef roast
6 oz. canned Bloody Mary mix
1/2 C. red wine
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
8 small onions
3 medium carrots, cut into 1 in. pieces
1 stalk celery, cut into 1 in. pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place a 22″ x 18″ piece of aluminum foil in
a ungreased 9 x 13 baking pan. Place roast in
pan; add Bloody Mary mix & wine. Sprinkle
roast with flour, pepper & onion soup mix.
Arrange vegetables around beef; fold foil
over & seal. Bake 2 hours or until tender.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peach Delight

First Layer:
1/2 C. margarine, softened
1 C. flour
1 T. sugar
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Second Layer:
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (9 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. fresh peaches, sliced

Third Layer:

1 C. sugar
1 (3 oz) pkg peach Jell-O
4 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix first set of ingredients; spread
in 9 X 13 dish. Bake 20 minutes;
cool before adding second layer.

Second Layer: Cream together sugar
& cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip;
spread mixture over crust. Top with
sliced peaches.

Third Layer: Combine sugar, cornstarch
& water in small saucepan; cook until
thick. Stir in peach Jell-O until thoroughly
blended. Cool. Spoon over peaches.

(recipe: Linda N-1_Comfort_Foods)

Crispy Ranch Chicken Wings

2 C. Corn Chex cereal
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix (milk recipe)
2 eggs
2 lb. chicken wings
bottled or additional prepared ranch
dressing, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Crush cereal;
place in a large bowl. Add cheese &
dressing mix; mix well. In separate bowl,
beat eggs with fork or whisk. Dip each
chicken win in eggs; coat evenly with cereal
mixture; place on cookie sheet. Bake 35 minutes
turning halfway through baking or until juices
of chicken are clear when thickest part of
wing is cut to bone. (165 degrees F.) Serve
with ranch dressing for dipping. Serves 12.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Smoky Chicken & Potatoes


1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken

thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes, unpeeled

cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 green pepper, cored/seeded, cut

into 1/2 inch strips

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 T. olive oil

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 lemon, cut into wedges,

plus more for serving (optional)

1/2 C. parsley, chopped

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Spray  9 x 13 baking dish with

nonstick spray. Add chicken,

potatoes, onion, green pepper &

garlic. Toss with olive oil &

season with paprika, salt & pepper.

Squeeze lemon wedges over top &

scatter lemon wedges over casserole.

Bake 30 minutes or until chicken

reaches 160 degrees F.. Stir once

after 20 minutes. Scatter parsley

over top. Serve with additional

lemon, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: Family Circle Mag/Sept, 2012)


Applesauce Cookies


2 C. chunky applesauce

3 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 C. packed brown sugar

1 C. shortening

2 eggs

1/2 C. cold coffee

1 C. chopped raisins (or dates)

1/2 C. chopped nuts

Spoon applesauce into a cheese-

cloth lined sieve; set aside to

drain. Sift flour, baking soda,

salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves;

set aside. Using elec. mixer, cream

together sugar, shortening & eggs;

stir in coffee. Slowly beat dry

mixture into wet mixture. Fold in

strained applesauce, raisins/dates

& nuts by hand. Refrigerate batter

8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Drop cold batter, 1 heaping tsp. at

a time, onto a lightly greased cookie

sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 9-12

minutes, or until finger pressed

in center of cookie barely leaves

an impression. Makes 48.

(recipe: cookincrazyme-DDJ-



Layered Cabbage Casserole


8 C. finely shredded cabbage

2 onions, chopped

1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 c. instant white (or brown) rice, uncooked

2 cans cream of tomato soup

2 soup-cans water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cook & stir cabbage & onions in dressing in

large skillet on medium heat 5-10 minutes or

until tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.

Add meat to skillet; cook until browned, stirring

occasionally. Stir in rice, soup & water until

blended. Layer 1/3 cabbage mixture & half meat

mixture in 9 X 13 baking dish. Repeat layers;

top with remaining cabbage mixture; cover &

bake 1 hour or until heated through.

Serves 8 (1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)


French Onion Soup – CROCKPOT


6 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T. unsalted butter

2 (14 oz, ea) cans beef broth

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black

pepper or to taste

8 slices French bread, 1 inch thick

8 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese

1/4 C. dry sherry, if desired

In large skillet, cook onions & garlic

on low heat in hot butter 20 minutes;

stirring occasionally. Transfer onion

mixture to 5 qt. crockpot. Add beef

broth, Worcestershire sauce & 1 C.

water. Cover & cook on low 6 hours or

High 3 hours. Before serving, toast

bread slices with cheese slice on

top. (Broil 3 minutes or until

cheese is light brown & bubbly).

Ladle soup into bowls, top with

toast slice. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Skip-justapinch.com)


Anti-Crabby Cake*


*Poster said she grew up with

this cake – named because no

matter how you were feeling, this

cake always made you feel better!



1 can crushed pineapple in 100% juice

(large can)

2 C. flour

1 1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. baking soda


8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 stick unsalted butter

2 C. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Place all cake ingredients into

large mixing bowl; blend, by hand,

to combine. Pour mixture into a

9 X 13 glass pan. Bake 30-40

minutes until just golden brown

& baked through. Frost cake

while still warm so prepare

frosting while cake bakes.

Add frosting ingredients into

a large bowl; beat until

combined & smooth. Spread

frosting on warm cake right

in pan. Let cool, then

refrigerate. Serve cold.

(recipe: Sarah-justapinch.com)


Apple & Raisin Slaw


1/2 C. sour cream

3 T. mayonnaise

1 1/2 T. white vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

2 C. unpeeled, chopped Rome

apples (about 1 medium)

1 C. golden raisins

1 (16 oz) pkg. cabbage &

carrot coleslaw

Combine first 6 ingredients

in a large bowl, stirring

with a whisk. Add apple, raisins

& coleslaw package; toss to


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


Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen shredded hash
browns, thawed
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1  1/4 C. shredded Colby & Monterey Jack
cheeses, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook bacon, onions & peppers in large skillet
on medium-high heat 5 minutes or just until
bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally; transfer
to large bowl. Add hash browns, soup, sour
cream & 1 C. cheese; mix lightly. Spoon into
greased 9 X 13 baking dish; top with
remaining cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes or until
heated through. Makes 20 servings (1/2 C. each)

TOPPING (if desired):
Crush 30 Ritz crackers; mix with 2 T.
melted margarine; sprinkle over casserole
before baking; bake as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Country Skillet Bacon Corn Bread

2 (8.5 oz) pkgs. corn muffin mix
10 slices cooked bacon, chopped
3/4 C. frozen corn
1/2 C. chopped red bell peppers
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
1 C. buttermilk*
2 eggs

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients; stir until
just blended. Pour into a 12 inch

cast iron skillet that has been sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 18-20 minutes
or until golden brown. Cool slightly
before cutting. Makes 12 servings.

NOTE: Can also be prepared using a 9
inch square pan sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 20 -25 minutes or until
golden brown.

*Don’t have buttermilk?
Add 1 T. white vinegar or
lemon juice to a 1-cup measuring
cup, then add enough milk to measure

1 Cup. Stir & let stand 5 minutes – then
use as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Bacon Appetizer Crescents

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except crescent rolls.
Separate each can of dough into 8 triangles;
cut each triangle lengthwise in half. Spread
each dough triangle with 1 generous tsp.
cream cheese mixture; roll up, starting at
short side of triangle. Place, point side down,
on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until
golden brown; serve warm. Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

On a different note, I was just thinking about one of my favorite TV programs on PBS: “Downton Abbey”, in our area it shows at 8 or 9 p.m. Sunday evenings on PBS-Masterpiece. It’s definitely a ‘period’ piece, mostly occurring before and after World War I. It follows a family who lives at Downton Abbey (HUGE estate – the actual building has had many books written about it: “Highclere Castle” (Britain). The story line is riveting, characters well ‘fleshed’ out, great STAR performances: Maggie Smith (most people know her from Harry Potter), the new season will include Shirley McLain (as the American mother of the lady of the house) – next Sunday premieres the beginning of the third season. If you like Elizabethan-type venue – check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

Craft-wise, I’ve begun another chemo cap, having turned in about 7 last week. I’m learning that I enjoy knitting the baby hats more, as they take less time to completion. Since this ‘cancer thing’ is going to be for 4 more years (check-ups, doctor visits, etc.) I decided I’ll keep on knitting them as there’s always need of more. As I merrily go on my way, sort of content to know that I’m doing well in my treatments and advancement, I come upon the reality of this disease when I have to visit my Oncologist (cancer doctor). Connected with his office and area is the chemotherapy department. I’m brought up short (to use a Brittish expression) in my delusion when faced with others who are also in this, but they are struggling with surviving through chemo. Believe me – it’s a BRUTAL treatment and I’m so VERY glad I didn’t have to undergo it – bless all those who do. Sorry if I’m putting you off a bit, but it’s a reality I have to face; THANK GOD I was spared thus far. Health-wise I’m feeling stronger and less ‘achey’ (the drug I’m on for 5 years causes my body to react like I’ve got arthritus – achy joints; you never know, day to day, which joints it will attack – knees/hips, wrists/fingers/elbows – not fun but I’m learning that Advil helps quite a bit. I told my neighbor yesterday that I’m really hoping when this 5 year treatment is up I’ll start feeling MY AGE – right now, at times, I feel about 90! (but it comes & goes – today I’m feeling pretty good!) AND – in the long run – the alternative is so much worse – Praise the Lord I’m HERE to complain – right? (I’ll step off my soapbox now).

Hoping this first day of the New Year finds you well, resting (some) and enjoying the beginnings, for that’s what it is, actually – NEW BEGINNINGS. Let’s hope we ALL have a great New Beginning of 2013!




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