Not so bad – considering

Here it is 1:40 p.m. and I’m checking the weather report for the day. Last night we got around 4-5 inches of light, fluffy snow – not bad, considering what happened to the East Coast! Here’s a weather report I pulled off of Facebook for our state:


We’re in the purple area but, reading ahead for later today, they’re saying we won’t be getting more than 1 inch extra today. The Wind Chill, however, is something to consider. Average temperature for my area today: 26 degrees F., with a wind chill of around 14 degrees F. – not fun! Glad I only have two very quick ‘runs’ to drive youngest son ‘to’ work and then pick him up later this evening. Also VERY glad his work is only about 5 minutes from our house – YAY! Since we live on a major highway AND his work is also on the same road, the good thing is: the Township keeps it clear! Hope you are able to bundle up, looking at any snow from the inside and don’t have to go out in it or SHOVEL it! (Or, as my dear friend Momma/Mary – drive a tractor to plow the driveway!) It’s a GOOD day to STAY INSIDE!

Finished another baby hat using Bernat Baby Jacquard’s yarn, this time in shades of lavender.  This is the self-striping yarn that makes little flower designs on whatever you knit using it. The hats come out very cute (my very favorite color pattern with this yarn is the Pinks – makes such CUTE hats!). Got out the 30 crocheted squares for the baby blanket for my best friend’s daughter; she’s going to be having her second baby – a girl, and she’s naming it after her Grandmother: Felicity. Now that’s a name you don’t hear, often. I knew her Grandmother and her Mother well; I find it interesting that she’s naming her daughter by that name – very old fashioned. I know her Mother would be very proud. This young lady is very much like a Niece to me, as her Mother & I were best friends from age 4; her Mom died about 9 years ago and I miss her greatly. It’s an honor for me to be able to crochet baby things for her baby; she lives one state away and I haven’t seen her since she was about 11 – she’s got to be almost 30 now; we keep in touch by phone.  This particular blanket is a copy of one I made for the Detroit Veteran’s hospital baby shower so I’ll just post a photo of that one. I still have to crochet the flower in the  middle, then finish by crocheting a border. (Her’s is done in apricot and white squares.)

Detroit Vets baby shower


Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. oatmeal (pulverized in blender)
2 eggs
1/2 lb. butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 C. white sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda &
cinnamon. Cream together sugars &
butter; mix eggs into butter/sugar
mixture. Add flour mix slowly, mix
thoroughly. Mix in chocolate chips.
Bake 10 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Potato Spinach Casserole

6-8 large potatoes (about 3 lb)
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
1/4 C. butter or margarine
2 T. snipped fresh chives or green
onion tops
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & well drained
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Peel & quarter potatoes. In large saucepan,
cook potatoes in small amount of salted
water 20-25 minutes (covered pan) or until
tender; drain. Mash (should be about 6
cups). Add sour cream, butter, chives
& pepper; mash again until butter is
melted & mixture is smooth; stir in
spinach. Transfer to a 2 quart casserole.
Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or
until heated through. Sprinkle top
with cheese. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Southwest Cheddar Cheese Soup

4 medium russet potatoes, cubed
3 C. water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (or 3 tsp. granules)
1 onion, chopped
1 C. green pepper, chopped
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. flour
3 1/2 C. milk
4 C. Velveeta cheese, cubed (1 lb.)
2 T. salsa

Place potatoes, onion, carrots & green
pepper in large soup pot; add # c. water.
(water should cover vegetables with
about 1/2 inch of water at the top. Add
chicken bouillon or granules; stir. Bring heat
to medium high; cook until fork tender.
In a skillet or medium-sized saucepan, melt
butter over medium-high heat; add flour &
immediately whisk to form a thick paste.
Add milk; whisk to combine. Keep stirring,
watch for it to get thick & bubbly, should
take a few minutes. When veggies are
cooked, add milk mixture to pot. (Do
not drain any of the water the veggies
were cooking in; stir. Add Velveeta &
salsa (add more salsa if you wish);
stir to incorporate until cheese is melted.
Remove from heat & serve. Serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)

Pistachio Pudding Bread

1 box Betty Crocker super moist sour
cream white cake mix
1 small box instant pistachio pudding mix
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. chopped pecans
4 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. drained, cut-up maraschino cherries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 8 X 4 loaf pans. In a
3-quart mixing bowl, combine cake mix,
pudding mix, nutmeg & pecans. Make a well
in the dry ingredients; pour in eggs, oil,
buttermilk & cherries. Mix by hand until
just moistened; pour into prepared pans.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done;
cool & remove from pans. Makes 2 loaves.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Chicken Gnocci Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled & grated
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2-3 T. olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken & 1 C. reserved
broth from bottom of chicken container
7 C. water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16 oz.) pkg. Potato Gnocci
4 C. Half & Half
1 1/2 C. spinach, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 T. cornstarch
salt & pepper
2 T. butter

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat,
add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped
vegetables & cook, stirring occasionally,
5–8 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add broth from cooked chicken to a large
measuring cup. (there should be about
1 C. broth from package). Remove skin from
chicken; remove meat from bones & chop
into bite sized pieces. Pour broth from
chicken & 7 C. hot water into pot; add
chicken bouillon cubes; stir. Add chicken &
bring to a boil. Pour gnocci into pot, let
soup come to a boil & cook 3-4 minutes.
Gnocci will be cooked through when they
float to the top of the broth. Add chopped
spinach, Half & Half, dried thyme, nutmeg,
sugar & 2 T. butter to pot, stir & let come
to a boil. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 C.
cold water & 5 T. cornstarch; mix well &
pour into soup pot. Bring to a boil while
stirring. It will thicken as soup reaches a boil.
Taste it – adjust salt & pepper to your liking.
Serves 12.

(recipe: jamiecooksit up!)

Make-Ahead Unstuffed Shells

4 C. medium pasta shells, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 (10 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia
cooking cream
1/3 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella

Cook pasta as directed on pkg., omitting
salt. Brown meat in large skillet; drain.
Stir in marinara sauce; simmer on
medium heat 2 minutes; remove from
heat. Drain pasta, mix cooking cream,
basil & Parmesan in large bowl; stir in
pasta. Spread half meat sauce onto bottom
of a 9 X 13 baking pan sprayed with nonstick
spray; cover with layers of pasta mixture &
remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle top with
mozzarella; cover with foil. Refrigerate
up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake:

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake casserole, covered, 40-45 minutes or
until heated through, uncovering after
30 minutes. Serves 6

Variation: Chop 1 small onion & 1 green
pepper, cook along with the meat.

Casserole can be baked immediately after
assembling; reduce baking time to 30
minutes, uncovering after 20 minutes.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Saw a cute plaque photo on Facebook and thought you might find it amusing:


Stay warm, dry and comfy – enjoy your day!




Addendum: Just got back from driving youngest son – GAS PRICES HAVE JUMPED 20 CENTS A GALLON OVERNIGHT! So glad I got gas yesterday! The drive wasn’t bad – roads clear, just had to shovel the snow around my car and make a path to the porch. IF this stays this way, we’ll be fine.


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