The Calm before the STORM!

??????????????????????????????????????Yep, it’s Michigan and YEP, we’re due for 3-5 inches of the white stuff by evening. I told my husband it looks like Spring outside: 40+ degrees, clear skies and what’s left of the last snow is now melting. Well – I spoke too soon: it’s now grey and raining; 34 degrees F. (Perfect temp for snow). I stayed home from my Bible study simply because I’m still coughing and didn’t want to alarm anyone that maybe I had something contagious! (I don’t  – am feeling stronger and head is clearer). Tonight was ‘supposed’ to be the Knit/Crochet Movie Night (with all the great foods) but I had to cancel that because the ladies were worried about going home in a snow storm (who can blame them?).  Now my day is ‘free’ – did a few errands, shopped a bit for a few food stuffs and now I’m enjoying my lovely Tim Horton’s COFFEE (love the stuff!) while writing to you. Among my ‘things to do’ list for today are: (1) Color my HAIR! The grey roots are really showing! (2) Sew together the baby afghan! (I keep procrastinating about it. It’s not the sewing I mind, it’s knowing that after that I have a good 6-8 rows of crocheted border to do – sigh). (3) finish paying house bills (DID THAT! Yay!) (4) clear out kitchen sink, wash pots & pans that don’t go in dishwasher, finish loading dishwasher and run it.  Not a LOT of stuff to do, just need to GET TO IT!

Gas Prices: How’s your area for that subject? I needed to get gas today and the lowest price around was $3.86/9.  Who would have thought I’d get excited about that HIGH a price? Guess it’s better than $4.00 a gallon, eh?

On prices: went to the Post Office to mail out the special needs groups newsletters (got them done Monday – Yay, me!) and, for the first time, purchased some International Forever Stamps. I’d read in the newspaper that they are now issuing FOREVER stamps – you can mail a letter ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD for $1.10!!! Is that not fantastic? I remember mailing cards to Canada and it cost very close to $1.00; yesterday I mailed a card to a missionary friend in Durban, South Africa – for ONLY ONE DOLLAR TEN CENTS! Also wrote to my cousins in Canada and told them about the postal stamp (then thought: you Bozo – THEIR mail is NOT the US Mail – they STILL have the very high postage!)
Oh well, I was happy about it!

I’ve decided that since we’re probably going to have to cancel my special needs group tomorrow night, dinner for tonight can be something I can take time cooking – likewise tomorrow night. Tonight is a family favorite:
Pierogies & Polish Sausage (with sour cream, of course). Tomorrow will probably be either homemade pizza or Enchiladas. (Glad I’m finally feeling well enough to cook!)

Books:  Started a book I think I read years ago by John LeCroart: “The Hearing”. Wasn’t planning on reading for a good 3 1/2-4 hours last night but had to force myself to quit when it was almost 2:30 in the A.M.! It’s a lawyer/court case story but intriguing enough to keep my interest (especially since I’m STILL trying to guess ‘who done it’!)


Baked Spaghetti

12 oz – 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked

accordg to pkg directions

1 lb ground beef

1 C. chopped onions

1 C. chopped green pepper

1 can mushrooms, drained

1 can diced tomatoes

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 can creamed soup (your choice)

1/4 C. water

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Brown meat; drain & add onions & peppers,

cook until soft. Add tomatoes, mushrooms &

spices. Simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes.

Place mixture (except cream soup, water &

Parmesan) in a big bowl; mix. Place in a

9 X 13 pan. In a small bowl, add water to

cream soup & mix well. Spread over spaghetti

mixture. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese &

bake 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes

before serving.



Snickers Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 jar creamy peanut butter

1 tub Cool Whip

1 jar caramel syrup

1 1/2 C. unsalted peanuts

1 bottle chocolate syrup

1 1/2 C. Toll House peanut butter &

chocolate chips

3 large eggs

1 1/3 C. water

1/3 C. oil

1 tub chocolate frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Prepare cake mix accordg to pkg directions.

Grease 2 round cake pans; pour in batter &

bake 29 minutes. Combine peanut butter &

Cool Whip; beat until smooth; set aside. This

will be used to ice the first layer.

When cake is completely cooled, ice top of

first layer with peanut butter mixture. Place

second layer on top of first, ice sides of cake

with chocolate frosting. Ice top of cake with

chocolate frosting, then spread on peanuts &

chocolate chips, syrup & caramel.



Easy Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked*

2 C. fresh broccoli florets**

1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,

cut into bite-sized pieces

1 2/3 C. milk

4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves

Cook pasta in large saucepan accordg

to pkg directions, omitting salt – add

broccoli to boiling water for last 2
minutes. Heat dressing in large non-
stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add

chicken, cook 5 minutes or until done,

stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining

ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring

constantly; cook 1-2 minutes or until

sauce is well blended & heated through.
Drain pasta mixture; place in large bowl.

Add chicken mixture; mix lightly.

Serves 4, 2 C. each

*Can substitute cooked spaghetti

**Can substitute frozen peas, chopped red

peppers or any vegetables for the broccoli.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Pineapple Souffle

1/4 C. butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. sugar
3-4 slices white bread, cubed
1/4 C. milk
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,

cinnamon + 1 T. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 8 X 8 pan*. Beat
eggs in medium bowl; add sugar,
milk, cubed bread & pineapple.
Fold all together & pour into pan
with melted butter. Sprinkle top
with cinnamon & sugar. Bake
45 minutes, until hot & bubbly.
Serves 4-6

*Poster notes that she just puts
the butter in the pan and sticks it
in the preheatedoven while preparing
the rest of the ingredients

NOTE: She also suggest serving
with a dollop of whipped cream or
vanilla ice cream.

(recipe: Mary

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

2 (14.5 oz ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. water
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed
according to pkg directions
4 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 oz. finely chopped ham
2 bay leaves

Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in a
saucepan. Place remaining ingredients
in crockpot; add broth mixture & cover
with lid. Cook on Low 8-10 hours or
High 4-5 hours; stir. Discard bay
leaves; remove 1 C. soup & place in
shallow bowl. Mash peas & vegetable
pieces with a fork; return to crockpot &
stir. Makes 8 servings, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Saucy Beef Noodle Skillet

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. water
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. RAMEN NOODLE
soup mix – any flavor
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat in large nonstick skillet on
medium-high heat; drain grease. Stir in
peppers, tomatoes, water & dressing.
Discard flavor packets from Ramen
noodles (or reserve for another use).
Add dry noodles to skillet; bring to boil &
cover. Simmer on low heat 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat;
sprinkle top with cheese. Serves 4
(1 3/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pinto Beans & Ham Hocks

1 C. pinto beans
2 smoked ham hocks
1 bay leaf

Place beans & ham hocks in pot with
bay leaf. Cover with water. Cook
6-8 hours on High. Remove bay leaf
before serving.
NOTE: no need to season because ham
hocks give dish flavor.

(recipe: carolsrecipes77-Slowcooker

Oven-Baked Crumb Potatoes

6 medium russet potatoes
1/4 C. butter, melted
2/3 C. Italian bread crumbs
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut potatoes into cubes and put in a
medium-sized bowl. Pour melted
butter over potatoes; add 2/3 C.
bread crumbs & salt & pepper. Stir
potatoes to mix, making sure all
cubes are coated. Spray a large cookie
sheet (with sides) with non-stick spray;
lay potatoes out evenly over pan. Bake
45 minutes, stirring a few times during
cooking. They are done when fork-tender
and crispy along outsides. Makes 7 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecooksit up!)

Homemade Hummus

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo (chick peas) beans
1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans or great
northern beans
3/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
2 T. lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
dash sugar
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. water

Drain juices from beans & rinse beans then
pour them into food processor or blender. Roughly
chop sun-dried tomatoes & add to blender. Add rest
of ingredients; blend. Test to see if it needs more salt
or pepper. Place hummus into air tight container &
refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. When ready
to serve, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil over top.
Makes 3 C.
(recipe: JamieCooksItUp!)

Valentine Meringues

3 egg whites
3 1/2 T. raspberry Jell-0, dry
3/4 C. sugar
dash of salt
1 tsp. vinegar
6 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 250 degrees
Beat egg whites gradually, adding Jell-o
& sugar until whites are stiff & glossy.
Fold in vinegar & salt; beat well. Add
chocolate chips & drop by teaspoons
on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 40-50
NOTE from poster: DO NOT double recipe.
These can be made without using the chocolate
chips, also.


Hope you’re enjoying yourself, perhaps relaxing a bit? After reading through the recipes, it’s the kind of day that makes me want to cook up a big ole’ pot of soup (not that I’m going to, but it sort of ‘begs’ for that). A few of the above I found rather ‘interesting’ – like the Valentine Meringues; they don’t seem hard to do AND would be a nice treat for either a Ladies group OR young children. The Oven-Baked Crumb Potatoes sound easy, too and not a lot of ingredients. I try, when chosing recipes for you, to find ones that don’t cost a lot, have few ingredients (or, mostly, ingredients you probably have in your kitchen). When sometimes necessary, I try to highlight something you might need to pick up (like the Ramen Noodles). We ‘have’ Ramen noodles in our house (only because middle son likes them) so I thought it was interesting to find a recipe using just the noodles. Yes, I DO know there’s at least one site for JUST ramen noodle recipes – I remember when said son first became enamored of them and came home all excited after hearing about said site. They’re ok, I guess – IF you’re into LOTS OF SALT!!!

Anyway, just looked outside again – still ‘just’ rain – YAY! (she said, knowing that this is Michigan – LAND OF SNOW!) It’s coming but the good thing is: (as far as I know, anyway) I don’t have to go out in it today/tonight! (Hey, be happy for the little things, right? Sort of like the expression: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff because, in the end, it’s ALL small stuff!”

Enjoy your day;




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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That snickers cake sounds yum, wondering if I can translate it into brownies.

    • *Don’t know but it sounds like a GREAT idea! Best of luck! (that recipe CALLED to me – glad I didn’t ‘respond’! hehehe) *

  2. Well we got dumped on overnight–five inches -oh joy-!

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