Waiting . . .


Watching and reading the weather reports, we are expected to get 6-8 inches of snow tonight and another 1-3 tomorrow – oh, yay . . . It’s clear out right now (YAY!) and 30 degrees. Today was sunny & clear; most of the snow on the roads & walkways has melted which will be a GOOD thing, should we get more of the white stuff. I’d rather have new snow on top of pavement, than new snow on top of more snow on the driveway, road, etc. (just my opinion).

Last night was my special needs group and we gained another new student – that makes our numbers around 64 students, 2 leaders and 3-4 helpers, not bad. I felt bad for one group home who was bringing four students: 3 in wheelchairs and very handicapped (both mentally and physically) and one ‘average’ special needs student. The average student came in and then I got the report that the lift gate on their van wouldn’t operate; that left two caregivers in a van with three students – for 1 hour 15 minutes! Yes, they could have chosen to just go back to the group home, but they decided to let the one student stay – very impressive! Our students did a Valentine’s craft with the younger kids in the church. We had 28 of our students and about 15 young kids in the room – very noisy, but very nice, too – all involved were having a good time (made me smile just watching them interact together!).

Today was watching my 6 1/2 yr old grandson. First he decided he wanted to play a video game with my middle son (they played about 1/2 hour); then he wanted to play WebKins on my husband’s computer – that lasted about 20 minutes. He had observed my husband playing Backgammon on his computer, so he stated he wanted to learn that, too. Husband informed him that the computer CHEATS, so he got out a regular board version and they played about three games before dinner. By the time this kid is 8 he’ll be very well schooled in all versions of games! Dinner was a fast sit down to sloppy joes and then back to the board – think he had a good time.


Southwest Frito Pie

2 lb. lean ground beef
3 T. chili powder
2 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed &
drained (optional)
4 1/2 C. corn chips
2 C. shredded lettuce
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
3/4 C. chopped tomatoes
6 T. finely chopped onion
sour cream & minced fresh
cilantro (optional)

In Dutch oven, cook beef over medium
hat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in
chili powder, flour, salt & garlic powder
until blended; gradually stir in water.
Add beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat;
simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or
until thickened, stirring occasionally.
To serve:
Divide chips among six serving bowls.
Top with beef mixture, lettuce, cheese,
tomatoes & onion; garnish with sour
cream & cilantro (if desired).
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chicken, Cheese & Spinach Manicotti

1 1/2 C. finely chopped cooked

chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,

thawed & well drained

1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese,


10 manicotti shells, cooked

1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce

1/4 C. chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine chicken & garlic in large

bowl. Add spinach, cottage cheese,

egg whites & 1/4 C. mozzarella;

spoon into manicotti shells. Spray

a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick

spray & place shells in dish. Cover

with spaghetti sauce. Bake 25-30

minutes or until heated through.

Top with remaining mozzarella; bake

5 minutes longer or until cheese

is melted. Sprinkle top with basil.

Serves 5

NOTE: Can be assembled & refrigerated

up to 4 hours ahead. When ready to serve,

bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until

heated thorough. follow remaining


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Triple Thick Chocolate Cake


6 eggs

2 sticks butter, softened

3 C. sugar

1 C. plain yogurt

2 T. evaporated milk

3 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 C. cocoa powder

1 1/2 C. chocolate chips


1 C. butter, softened

3 C. powdered sugar

3/4 C. cocoa powder

4 T. evaporated milk

1 T. McCormick’s Butter &

Nut flavoring

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Cream together eggs, softened

butter, sugar, evap. milk & yogurt.

Sift together flour, baking soda &

salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet

mixture. When all blended, stir in

chocolate chips. Pour into buttered

Bundt pan. Bake 80-85 minutes.

NOTE: Check towards the end to see

when a toothpick inserted into center

comes out clean. Remove cake from

oven; set aside to cool at least 30 minutes.

Mix together all icing ingredients.

Ice cake & top and sprinkle a handful

of chocolate chips on top, if you wish.

POSTERS COMMENT: She felt that this

might work better if baked in a springform pan.

(recipe: Cynthia-justapinch.com)


Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. butter, softened
3 T. mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. celery salt
2 lb. Tilapia fillets

Preheat broiler.
Grease a broiling pan or line pan with
aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix
together Parmesan cheese, butter,
mayonnaise & lemon juice. Add basil,
black pepper, onion powder & celery
salt; mix well. Arrange fillets in a single
layer on prepared pan. Broil a few inches
from heat 2-3 minutes. Flip fillets over
& broil a few more minutes. Remove from
oven, cover with the Parmesan mixture.
Broil fillets 2 more minutes or until the
topping is browned & fish flakes easily
with a fork. Be careful to not overcook
the fish. Serves 6.

(recipe: Allrecipes.com)

Tiddlywinks (raisin bar cookies)

1 1/2 C. ground raisins*
3/4 C. sugar
1 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
1 C. chopped nuts
2 T. grated or chopped orange peel
2 C. flour
2/3 C. shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. or more, water as needed for crust
2 T. orange peel, grated or chopped gine
1/4 C. sugar (for topping)

*you can use a food processor to grind the
raisins – process with the sugar before putting
them in saucepan to boil.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bring ground raisins, 3/4 C. sugar, water &
cornstarch to boil; stirring to keep from
sticking. Add nuts & grated orange peel.
Set aside to cool slightly. Mix together
flour & shortening & salt, stirring until crumbly.
Add water to make dough, using a little more
water if needed. Roll half dough, place into a 9
inch square pan. Spread dough with filling;
cover with other half with dough rolled
very thin. Prick top dough with a fork;
sprinkle top with sugar. Bake until slightly
browned, about 20 minutes. If your oven is
too hot, try 400 degrees F.
Cool completely, cut into bars. Keeps up
to 2 days without refrigeration.

(recipe: JoEllen-justapinch.com)

Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Crustless Quiche

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach
4 large eggs
1 C. milk
2 oz. Feta cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
If spinach is frozen, thaw it in microwave. Empty
the box into a colander, let it drain. Place sliced
mushrooms in a skillet coated with nonstick spray.
Add garlic, a little salt & pepper. Turn heat to medium-
high; saute mushrooms until they release all of
their moisture & no more water remains in bottom
of skillet (5-7 minutes.)
Spray a pie pan with nonstick spray. Squeeze rest of
water out of spinach; spread it on bottom of pie dish.
Add cooked mushrooms & crumbled feta. In a medium
bowl, whisk together eggs until fairly smooth. Add milk,
Parmesan & small dash pepper; whisk to combine. Pour
mixture into pie dish over spinach mixture. Sprinkle top
with mozzarella cheese. Place pie dish on a baking sheet.
Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour; until golden brown on top and
center is solid.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apple Peanut Crumble

4-5 cooking apples, peeled & sliced
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C. butter, softened
2 T. peanut butter

Place apple slices in crockpot. In medium bowl
combine sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Mix in butter & peanut butter with pastry blender
or fork. Sprinkle over apples. Cover & cook on
Low 5-6 hours. Serve warm; plain or with
ice cream. Makes 4-5 servings.

(recipe: Moms2Moms.com)

Amish Dinner

2 C. ground beef, uncooked (about 1 lb.)
2 C. sliced raw potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
2 C. celery, chopped (about 3 stalks)
1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. green pepper, diced
2 C. canned tomatoes

Place all ingredients in crockpot in order
listed. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)

Savory Bean & Spinach Soup

3 (14 oz, each) cans vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato puree
1 (15 oz) can white or Great Northern
beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 C. converted rice
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 C. coarsely chopped fresh spinach or
kale leaves
finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, tomato puree, beans,
rice, onion, garlic, basil, salt & pepper in
3 1/2-4 Quart crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 5-7 hours or High 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours.
Stir spinach into soup before serving & top
each serving with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)


Just got back from picking up youngest son at work – 10:45 p.m. and it’s 30 degrees F. and ALL CLEAR! YAY! (Now, that’s not saying that we won’t get dumped with tons of snow during the night, but I’m very glad to report that all my ‘chickens’ are home safe & sound!)

I, like many others in the area, chose to do a quick stop at the grocery store this afternoon and also to top off my gas tank (it was below quarter tank – not good in cold weather). I decided to put a whole chicken in the crockpot tomorrow and then, with whatever leftover chicken we have, make a small pot of chicken noodle soup with thin egg noodles. That ought to hit the spot in the next few days. Youngest said that his work was pretty busy for a Tuesday – I’m guessing buying extra groceries.

Not much else going on tonight; I’ll probably play some What Word on my computer (great game of spelling various words at timed paces), then go to bed. Hope you’re in a ‘good place’ weather-wise; try to stay inside (if it’s cold outside), wrap up in something cozy, maybe read a good book, drink something nice & warm (like cocoa with little marshmallows!) and enjoy your evening.




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