Sometimes Our Opinions Change!

Today was a PRIME example of that: got a text message from oldest son last night letting us know that there was going to be a Flag Football game today at 10 a.m. and we were invited. Oldest son is the coach of his son’s (my grandson) flag football team. He had mentioned something about them being involved but never actually said: “Hey, why don’t you guys come to a game?” so, until today, we didn’t. Well, I don’t know about you ladies, but I know next to squat about football and the idea of sitting outside in colder temperatures in a folding chair (or on a bleacher) for who knows how long was NOT my idea of a good thing (grandson’s involvement or not!). That makes me sound very callous but, hey – I guess if it does, I’ll claim that – I don’t care for sports of any kind BUT I went. Using a Southern expression: “Well, slather me in butter and call me a biscuit” I’m NOW a FAN! It was a RIOT! You have all these little boys running around, most who are not exactly sure what they’re doing – too funny! One little boy came over to the sidelines and was chatting with his Mom when she said: “You’d better get back over there, they’re calling you!” – his response: “But I want applesauce!” Too funny! The plays were almost in slow-motion -the quarterback would hand the ball off, then the ‘kicker’ would turn around to the three boys behind him, only to find out they were in a discussion and didn’t even know they were supposed to GRAB THE BALL & RUN! It was VERY amusing, to say the least! Oh, by the way, our team won 21 – 4? I guess last week our team lost 14 – ?, but as my son says: “I’m just trying to get them to realize they’re having FUN, win or lose!” I had a GREAT time and am looking forward to the rest of their games (something like 7-8 more). Thought I’d share a few photos I took:

Kaden flag football 4_27_13

Grandson in middle of photo, w/red pants

Kaden flag football 4_27_13 number 2

Grandson on left with his Dad, the Coach

Kaden flag football 4_27_13 number 3

End of game, teams ‘high-5’ing each other for a Good Game (Coach/son in middle)


In driving to the game today, I see the first signs of “Spring” – GARAGE SALES! Now, being I was riding with my husband, there wasn’t opportunity to say: “LET’S STOP – it’s a GARAGE SALE!” (don’t think he would have, anyway – not a fan) but it made me happy to see the ‘season of the great sales’ has begun! Our weather today is perfect for it: right now it’s 59 , clear & sunny. (Son told me the first practice they had scheduled for the team happened on a day that it was REALLY cold and hailing! They called it off). Glad “my” season of watching football will be in better weather (I hope!).

Still working on the knit baby blanket I showed you a photo of (the example – mine is different yarn). I’m almost 3/4 ths done; because the pattern is SO simple, I find my brain wandering when I knit which is NOT a good thing – I tend to think I’m in one part of the pattern and knit it – only finding out, it’s not the right spot and having to rip out several rows to get back to the correct number of stitches – sigh. It’s coming along, though – I like the pattern enough to probably do it again in another yarn, AND make it wider (the original pattern size is not exactly wide enough for my tastes).


Peanut Butter Chocolate Éclair Cake

1 box chocolate graham crackers
(there will be a few graham crackers left over)
2 (3 1/4 oz, ea) boxes vanilla instant pudding
1 C. peanut butter
3 1/2  C. milk
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
1 can chocolate frosting

Spray bottom of 9 x13 pan with cooking spray.
Line bottom of pan with whole graham crackers.
In a bowl using an elec mixer, mix pudding with milk,
peanut butter; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Fold in Cool Whip. Pour half  pudding mixture over
graham crackers. Place another layer of whole graham
crackers on top of pudding layer. Pour over remaining
half of pudding mixture and cover with another layer
of graham crackers. Heat the container of prepared
frosting, uncovered for 1 minute. Pour over top of cake.
Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving!

(recipe: Facebook)


9 lasagna noodles, cooked
2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, cut up,
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. basil (crushed)
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cheese Mixture:
30 oz. ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. fresh parsley, chopped
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded*
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

*might need extra to sprinkle on
top of lasagna before baking

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pan, combine sausage, onion &
garlic; cook until sausage is no longer
pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in
rest of ingredients (not cheese mixture).
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer 20
minutes. In medium bowl, blend ricotta,
egg & parsley. In large lasagna pan sprayed
with nonstick spray, layer noodles, then
meat mixture, then cheese mixture – continue,
ending with extra mozzarella. Bake 60 minutes.

(recipe: moms2moms site)

Layered Fiesta Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn
12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 1/2 C. shredded Sharp
Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown meat with peppers in large
skillet; drain. Return to skillet; stir
in salsa, tomatoes & corn. Spread
1 C. meat mixture onto bottom of a
9 X 13 baking dish; top with 6
tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Cover
with layers of half each of the remaining
meat mixture & cheese, top with remaining
tortillas & meat mixture; cover. Bake 25-30
minutes or until heated through. Top with
remaining cheese; let stand, uncovered,
5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serves 6

NOTE: Casserole can be made ahead;
refrigerate up to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, bake at 375 degrees F.

for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

Top with cheese, continue as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Angel Chicken

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 C. Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. water
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, uncooked
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Whisk first 4 ingredients until blended; pour
over chicken in crockpot. Cook on Low 4-5
hours or High 2-3 hours. Cook pasta
as directed on pkg, omitting salt; drain.
Serve pasta topped with chicken mixture,
sprinkle top with parsley. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Banana-Sour Cream Cake

1 (2 layer size) box yellow cake mix

1 C. mashed ripe bananas (about 3)

1 C. sour cream

3 eggs

1/4 C. oil

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. butter, softened

1 (16 oz) pkg. powdered sugar

1 C. finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Beat first 5 ingredients with elec. mixer

on Low just until moistened, stopping

frequently to scrape bottom & sides of

bowl. Beat on Medium 2 minutes then

pour into greased & floured 9 X 13 pan.

Bake 35  minutes or until toothpick

inserted into center comes out clean;

cool completely. Beat cream cheese & butter

with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat

in powdered sugar. Remove cake from pan.

Carefully cut cake crosswise in half, using

serrated knife. Place 1 cake half, top-side

down, on plate; spread with some of the

frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top

side-up. Spread top & sides with remaining

frosting. Press nuts into sides. Keep

refrigerated. Serves 16

Note; How to Neatly Frost Cake:

Freeze cake layers about 20 minutes before

frosting. This helps to set the crumbs on the cut

edges of the cake layers so they don’t pull up

into the frosting. Don’t worry if frosting does not

look perfect on the sides of cake, the nuts will

cover any imperfections.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Fast Fish Skillet

4 tilapia fillets* (1 lb)

1/4 C. Italian salad dressing

1 T. pesto

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise then

crosswise into slices

1 C. grape tomatoes

3 T. thinly sliced fresh basil

1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Brush fish with 2 T. salad dressing;

cook in skillet on medium heat 3-4

minutes on each side or until fish

flakes easily with fork. Transfer to

plate, cover & keep warm. Add

remaining dressing, pesto, vegetables &

tomatoes to skillet; cook 5 minutes or

until heated through, stirring frequently.

Spoon over fish & top with basil &

Parmesan cheese.

*can substitute haddock or cod fillets

AND use fresh or frozen fish

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Hope you’re having a great weekend – enjoy your day!



Beautiful Monday!


Right now the sun’s shining, it’s 52 degrees and what looks like a really beautiful day! Rode with youngest son to his work, then drove home. How are YOUR gas prices these past few days? Jump UP a LOT? Here the going rate for lowest priced regular gas was $3.59/9 – then it suddenly jumped to $3.79/9 (not sure if it’s because of the Boston Marathon happening or not). The prices are STILL up there, which caused me to remember youngest son was given five  $5.00 off a $20.00 gas purchase at Meijer gas stations coupons, so I decided to use one today (was almost at empty!). I was pleasantly surprised to find their lowest gas was at $3.71/9 (yes, I know – who would have thought I’d be HAPPY to get gas that HIGH? But it’s lower than my normal station which is at $3.76/9 right now). Bought $25 worth of gas for $20 and that gave me a half tank, so I’m happy. Perhaps in the next few days I’ll do that again (coupons are good until 5/5).

Are your flowers coming up yet? Our daffodils are still ‘in bud’ – perhaps in the next few days they’ll finally open; the other bulbs are blooming: miniature Japanese iris, grape hyacinth (they’re everywhere!). It truly IS a gorgeous Spring day today!

Started working on another baby afghan for the Vet’s babyshower in Sept. This one is a new-to-me pattern (sort of like “Feather & Fan” or “Old Shale” – both of those patterns look very similar; most knitters are very familiar with the Feather & Fan pattern – I’ve never tried knitting that one). This one is called Sweet Bon Bon from a pattern on


The one in the photo is done using cotton (dishcloth) yarn; I’m using a variagated baby yarn and my stripes are in white baby yarn. I’ve gotten about as much done as you see in the photo. I really like the yarn they used in the photo for the stripes, but upon checking it out on line, I’d rather not go with a specialty yarn/extra price/shipping, etc. so I just chose the white baby yarn I already had. I really like the way the afghan looks as it’s being knit – HOWEVER, one disclaimer: you’ve got to REALLY pay attention on the pattern row, or when you get to the end of the row (96 stitches) you don’t end up with 3 ending/border stitches – then you have to go back and re-count/rip-out, etc. (Have done that already a good 3-4 times – not fun! One time I ripped out 3 rows before getting to the problem!) Ugh! Because I like the pattern, I’m already thinking about the next blanket I’ll knit for Veterans, using different yarns! (Yes, I’m certifiably nuts!)

It was a very nice, quiet, peaceful weekend – YAY! Nothing exceptional to report – that’s a GOOD thing! Made spaghetti & garlic bread for dinner Sat (Sunday leftovers); tonight is homemade Pizza – another of the guy’s favorites.


Pork Chops with Creamy Chive Sauce

1 T. olive oil
4 boneless pork chops, 1/2 in. thick (4 oz ea)
salt & pepper
1/3 C. chicken broth
4 oz (half of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese, cut into
1/4 C. chopped fresh chives

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Generously sprinkle both sides of chops
with salt & pepper; place in skillet. Cook
8-10 minutes, turning once, until meat
thermometer inserted in center reads
145 degrees F. Remove chops to plate;
cover to keep warm. Add broth & cream
cheese to warm skillet; cook 5 minutes,
stirring frequently with whisk, until cheese
is melted & sauce is smooth. Stir in 3 T.
chives. Spoon sauce over chops; sprinkle
with remaining 3 T. chives. Makes 4

(recipe: Peg/Betty Crocker – Marys Recipe

Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie

2 T. butter
4 C. thinly sliced zucchini
1 C. chopped onion
2 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 eggs, well beaten
2 C. shredded Muenster or mozzarella
cheese (8 oz)
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In 12 inch skillet, melt butter over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini & onions; cook
6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
tender. Stir in seasonings. In large bowl
mix eggs & cheese; add cooked vegetable
mixture; stir gently to mix. Separate
dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased
10 inch pie plate or 12 X 8 in (2 qt.) baking
dish or 11 inch quiche pan. Press dough
over bottom & up sides to form crust.
Firmly press perforations to seal. Spread
crust with mustard. Pour egg mixture evenly
into crust-lined plate/pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or
until knife inserted near center comes out
clean. If necessary, cover crust edges with strips
of aluminum foil to prevent burning, during
last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand 10
minutes before serving.

(recipe: Rhonda G/Pillsbury site
– Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Sausage Soup

1 lb. turkey Italian sausage links,
cut into 1 inch pieces
2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. uncooked mostaccioli pasta (3 oz)
2 1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes with
basil (Italian style), undrained
1 (18.5 oz) can Progresso vegetable Classics
French onion soup

In 4 Qt. Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium-
hith heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer
pink; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking
up tomatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-
low. Cover & cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until mostaccioli is tender. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G/Betty Crocker – Marys Recipe

Easy Toffee Pretzel Bark

8 oz. mini pretzels (enough to spread out
on large baking sheet)
1 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar, packed
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line an edged cookie sheet with aluminum
foil. Spread pretzels over foil then break
pretzels into chunks (you can leave them
whole if you like). Melt chocolate chips
in small saucepan. Place butter & brown
sugar in medium saucepan; bring to boil
over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Once you have a rolling boil, keep heat at
medium & stop stirring. Let it bubble
3 minutes. Immediately pour over pretzels
on prepared sheet. If there are a few gaps
it’s Ok, candy will fuse together when baked.
Bake 5 minutes then remove from oven
to cool, 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate
over bark. Add sea salt, if desired. Allow to
set up; can refrigerate to speed up process.
Cut into chunks & enjoy. Store leftovers
in airtight container. Makes 1 large cookie
sheet full.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)



1 (20 oz.) pkg. pre-shredded hash

brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 T. flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into

small bits (about 1 cup)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled*
chives for garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.,

Lightly spray 12-cup muffin tin with

non-stick cooking spray. Mix first eight

ingredients together in large bowl.

Spoon potato mixture into each prepared

muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently

press potato mixture down in the middle

& up sides of each cup. Bake until

golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

If the nests have puffed up too much

in the center, scoop out a little with a

teaspoon. Spoon a few tablespoons

of scramble eggs into each nest

and top with chives.

(NOTE: These would be good for a


(recipe: Facebook)


Magic Crust Custard Pie

1/4 C. margarine
4 eggs
3/4 C. white sugar
1 pinch salt
2 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. flour
(nutmeg – for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients (except nutmeg)
in blender; blend 30 seconds. Pour into
buttered 9 inch pie plate; sprinkle top
with nutmeg. Bake 45 minutes. The flour
will settle to make the crust!


Incredible Baked Meatballs

1 lb hamburger
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

Mix all ingredients with hands.
Form into golf-ball sized meatballs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


(recipe: Facebook)


Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

1 C. Coca Cola (real thing, not diet)
1/2 C. oil
1 stick butter
3 T. cocoa
2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla


1 stick butter
3 T. cocoa
6 T. cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 3/4 C. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease & flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.

In a saucepan, mix Coca Cola, oil,

butter & cocoa; bring to a boil. In

another bowl, combine sugar, flour &

salt. Pour boiling Cola mixture over

flour mixture; beat well. Add eggs,

buttermilk, soda & vanilla; beat well.

Pour mixture into pan; bake 20 to 25

minutes. Remove pan. Cool about

10 minutes before frosting.


In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa,

& milk; heat until butter melts. Beat

in remaining ingredients; spread on

 the cake while it’s still warm.


(recipe: Facebook)


Strawberry Angel Food Trifle

1 (already made) angel food cake
24 oz. container frozen strawberries,

sliced with sugar added, thawed
3 cups sugar free vanilla pudding
16 oz. container of whipped cream,

slightly less than the whole container
Fresh strawberries for garnish

Tear angel food cake into medium pieces.

Begin layering cake, strawberries, pudding

& whip cream in a large clear glass bowl.

Continue irregular layers, filling the bowl.

Top entire dessert with a solid layer of whip

cream. Slice a few fresh strawberries for

garnish Refrigerate overnight or at least 4

hours before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)


(Sorry – if some of the words on the recipes are a bit SMALL, the blog server is giving me fits, again. Not only was it including a bunch of extra numbers & letters, it randomly changed some of the recipes – if you look at some of the recipe sites I noted, where I got the recipes, you’ll see what I mean. The last posted recipe ‘quote’ came out fine, most of the others went from a Arial size 14 font to a much smaller Calibri – ah, the fun, eh?)

As you can see, Facebook users are posting some really YUMMY sounding recipes lately! Well, friends, I’m going to close for now and sincerely HOPE that this blog post will work WITHOUT my having to do a bunch of adjusting before finally posting it! We’ll see . . .



The Three ‘W’s!

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Today in my neck of the woods we had the Three W’s – Water, Wind & Worms! It’s been pretty wet around here lately, usually gently Spring rains.  I had a lot of running to do today: grocery shopping and the first thing I noticed in all the parking lots was LOTS of worms! Little skinny pink worms – all over the ground! A little later in the day, while visiting a friend, our weather turned nasty – sky blackened, huge winds, very large blobs of rain hitting the windows, trees really swaying/ almost breaking. My friend’s electricity went out and I was thinking: Sure hope this isn’t a tornado (they don’t have a basement! – for those of you NOT in tornado areas, we get them Spring & Fall and the one thing you really need during a tornado or tornado warning is a basement. During this ‘crisis’ I had to quickly make my exit and drive to get my grandson at his bus stop – through the pelting rain, winds, flooded streets, etc. NOT FUN! Got to the bus stop, bus came, I got out & waited . . . no grandson! Talk about freaking out! I quickly called his Mom then remembered that she can’t answer her cell at her work, so I called my son (his dad). HE freaked! I told him to call the school, then call me – I stayed ‘put’ at the bus stop. Turns out that the school parking lot was totally flooded, one bus was out of the running. Grandson’s teacher somehow got her information mixed up and only put ‘some’ of the kids on the bus – grandson was still at school. Sigh . . . I drove to get him. I should add – I took a wrong turn (should have turned Right & turned Left – had a VERY long distance to drive to make up the missed turn). Son calls saying school is freaking – where am I? Long story short – finally got him in the car then called his dad/my son – they were both happy to re-connect (so was I). What a day! On the way back home, middle son calls wondering where I am (I was supposed to pick him up at work at 3:30 – it was now at least 3:45 . . .sigh). I picked him up and we came home. YAY – home, YAY!!! Middle son also had a doctor’s appointment at 4:30; I talked my husband into driving him. Loooooooooong day! So glad I had made a homemade chicken pot pie for dinner tonight – just had to pop it in the oven.

Working on the crocheted border of the peach & white baby afghan; delivered 61 baby hats to the hospital yesterday (brings the total to 190). Today while at one of the stores I spotted some fluffy pink & white yarn; I have some at home (hate working with it BUT it gave me an idea – think the next baby blanket will be granny squares using the fluffy yarn as the centers, then pink yarn & white yarn; should look good when done (AND it gives me a chance to use up the fluffy yarn I already have – it’s just too fluffy to use for baby hats).

Tomorrow is my special needs group’s Gym Night – that should be fun. I was a bit concerned last night when we started getting thunder storms while at church; our ‘kids’ do NOT do well with thunder. Imagine a room full of 32 special needs kids during a thunderstorm – thankfully it all worked out.

Lots more great-sounding recipes for ya:


Potato Bacon Casserole

4 C. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
8 oz. bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 C. (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven 350 F.

Grease 8-inch-square baking dish.
Layer 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bacon &

1/2 cheese in prepared baking dish; repeat layers.

Combine evaporated milk, egg & seasoned salt

in small bowl. Pour evenly over potato mixture;

cover & bake 55-60 minutes. Uncover; bake an

additional 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes

 before serving.

(recipe: facebook)


Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake

1 Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 C. water
1/3 C. vegetable oil
3 egg whites

Note: These directions are for using
a Betty
Crocker cake mix. If you chose to use a different brand,

the ingredients and measurements might be different.

Lemon Cream Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. lemon juice
1 C. heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Crumb Topping
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. cold butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make white cake according to pkg. directions. Divide batter

between two 9” cake pans; bake according to box directions.

Remove from oven;  allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes; invert

cakes to cooling rack & cool completely.

Make the lemon cream filling

Mix cream cheese & powdered sugar in  medium bowl with

elec mixer until smooth; mix in lemon juice. Whip cream in a

large bowl with elec mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.

Fold cream cheese mixture with whipped cream; stir gently by hand

until blended.

Make crumb topping

Combine flour & powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter &

 vanilla extract. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix cold butter

into flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as

you incorporate it into dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture

together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with

pieces no bigger than a pea.

When the cake is cool, spread all but 1/2 cup of  lemon cream mixture

onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully place top half of the

cake over filling. Spread remaining filling over  top & sides of  cake.

Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cake and press it onto the sides all

the way around the cake. Chill  cake for at least three hours before

serving. Slice cake into 12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered

sugar tapped through a strainer. Serves: 12. Keep refrigerated.


(recipe: Facebook)


Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

1 lb. zucchini or squash (about 2 medium-sized)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan (heaping)
1/4 C. Panko breadcrumbs (heaping)
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven  400 degrees F..
 Line two baking sheets with foil & spray lightly
with nonstick spray. Slice zucchini or squash into
1/4 inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.
In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan,
salt and pepper. Place rounds in Parmesan-breadcrumb
mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere.
The mixture will not completely cover each round, but
provides a light coating on each side. Place rounds in a
single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining
breadcrumb mixture over the rounds. Bake for
22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown.
 (There is no need to flip them during baking —
they crisp up on both sides as is.)

(recipe: facebook)

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 packet zesty Italian dressing mix
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cans cream of chicken soup
(any vegetables you might like to
add – see NOTE below)

Place everything in the crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low for 4-5 hours.
If sauce is too thick add a little milk.
Serve over pasta.

– Crockpot will cook the raw chicken
over the 4-5 hours
– Boil your noodles separately
– Add veggies halfway through cooking

(recipe: Facebook)

Crab & Cream Cheese Wontons

1 (8 oz.) tube crescent roll dough
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. cooked crabmeat, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven  375°F.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Unroll dough on work surface; pinch seams to

seal and roll with a rolling pin to create an even

rectangle.Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows to make

24 squares. In small bowl, mix cream cheese,

mayo, crabmeat, onion, & red pepper. Salt &

pepper to taste. Divide crab mixture evenly

among the squares, dropping it by spoonfulls

that are 1/2 inch from 1 corner of each square.

Starting with same corner, fold dough over filling

&  tuck end tightly underneath filling. Continue

rolling to within 1/2 inch of opposite corner.
Roll opposite corner of dough over roll; press to seal.
Place on cookie sheet. Brush with egg white, if desired.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.


(recipe: Facebook)


Appetizer Asparagus Rolls



2 cans asparagus spears

1 1/2 loaves white bread, crusts


3 oz. blue cheese crumbles

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 stick melted butter or margarine

1 can Parmesan cheese, grated

Flatten bread slices using a rolling pin.

Mix together blue cheese, cream cheese &

egg in a bowl. Spread blue cheese mixture

on bread. Place asparagus spears on each

bread slice & roll up, edges down. Cover

cookie sheets with waxed paper;

 Place rolls on cookie sheets & freeze until

firm.  When firm, cut each roll in half,

roll in melted butter, then Parmesan cheese.

Place on foil-lined sheets & freeze until

firm. Store in zip lock plastic bags until

ready to use.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

Place rolls on sheet & bake 15-20 minutes

until golden brown. Serve warm.


NOTE: recipe calls for canned asparagus

but you could use fresh – cook asparagus

before adding to recipe.


(recipe: Rose


Sausage, Egg & Biscuits Casserole


1 can buttermilk biscuits, any brand

1 lb. pork sausage

1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

6 eggs

3/4 C. milk

salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Cut biscuits into six-eight pieces; place in

greased 8 X 8 baking pan. Brown sausage,

drain then spread meat over biscuits.

Beat eggs, milk, salt & pepper; pour over

sausage. Sprinkle both cheese on top &

bake 30-35 minutes. Let set 5 minutes.


(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Peaches ‘n Cream Cake


2/3 C. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1/2 C. milk

3 T. butter, melted

1 (15 oz) can sliced peaches,

reserve liquid


Cream Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.

1/2 C. sugar

3 tsp. reserved peach juice



1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.



Mix flour, baking powder & salt. Add

egg, milk & butter; beat 2 minutes.

Pour into a well-greased 9 inch

round pan. Drain peaches, reserving

juice; arrange peaches over batter.


Cream Filling:


Cream together filling ingredients;

spoon over peaches.



Mix together topping ingredients &

sprinkle on top. Bake cake 30-35





Before I forget – wanted to share with you a rather ‘interesting’ book: “I Am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore.  I bought this book at the library’s used book sale – simply because the cover really intrigued me. I am NOT a Science Fiction reader AT ALL, but this book really kept my attention! My husband, (who IS a huge Science Fiction reader) looked up the author on line and found out that is actually a pseudo name for two gentlemen who co-wrote it. There are several other books that follow in sequence and I just put the first one on hold. It’s a rather odd premice:

Nine of us came here.

We look like you.

We talk like you.

We live among you—but

We are not you.

We have powers you dream of having.

We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—

But we are real.

They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya.

They killed them all.

I am Number Four. I am next.


Needless to say, it really caught my attention and I just finished the book – in one day.

That’s what’s going on around here, hope you are having a good day/evening and are able to stay dry!

Big hugs;


ps:  Sorry if some of the word sizes in some of the recipes are a bit ‘off’ – for some odd reason either my blog server OR the microsoft Word I’m using is messing up.  They seem to suddenly shrink parts of the recipes I’ve just copied & pasted – not fun, as I don’t always SAVE the recipes after I put them here on the blog. When I go back to check on them, they’re all messed up! (with entire paragraphs of numbers & letters I have NO idea their origin! . . . sigh…apologies!)

Magnificent Monday!


Today is the first of the WARM WEATHER! It’s now 69 warm, lovely degrees out and I’m thrilled! It’s a bit gray and looks like it might rain – but, hey – we can’t be picky when it’s THAT warm out, can we!?  Hope your weather is cooperating and you’re able to enjoy some nice Spring weather, too.

It’s been a nice, relaxing day – warmed up some pizza rolls for lunch (I know – not very healthy, but for a ‘rare’ snack, they’re OK). Went through my yarn stash and decided that today I’d finish off the apricot & white baby afghan that I started earlier in the year (the one that ‘was’ supposed to be for my friends baby – until she announced it was going to be a BOY, instead of her earlier announcement of a girl!) That will be the first of several baby afghans for the September Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower; I will stir up more interest with my Knit/Crochet group ladies in this project as it gets closer to June (June – September is a good amount of time to be able to create at least one blanket for the project). I’ve copied three more ‘new to me’ patterns for afghans – 2 knit, 1 crocheted. Whether I actually ‘make’ them is yet to be determined – depends on whether I actually can figure out the patterns.

Food-wise, more yummy-sounding recipes for you:


Key Lime Poke Cake

1 white cake mix
1 1/4 C. water
4 T. cooking oil
4 eggs


3/4 C. whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. lime juice (bottled is fine)
1 tsp. lime zest
3 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops green food coloring

1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add cake mix, 1 1/4 C. water, oil & eggs
to large bowl. Mix on Low speed 1
minute; scrape bowl & mix on medium
speed 2 minutes using elec. mixer.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. Pour batter into pan and bake
25-35 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
While cake is baking, pour 3/4 C.
whipping cream in mixing bowl or
medium-sized mixing bowl. Add lime
zest & food colorings. Whip all ingredients
until mixture is thick. Cover bowl & let
refrigerate until cake is baked & cooled
completely. When cake is done, remove
from oven & let cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon HANDLE, poke holes
all over top of cake using the handle. When
cake has cooled completely, spread filling all
over top of cake and down into holes. Place
big spoonfuls of Cool Whip over top of
filling and spread with a knife. Sprinkle a
bit of lime zest over top of Cool Whip.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serves 12

(recipe: jamiecookesitup!)

Family-Style Roasted Chicken Bake

4 large carrots with tops, peeled
1 lb. new potatoes, halved
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette, divided
4 small bone-in chicken breast halves
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut tops off carrots leaving 1/2 in stem on
top of each. Cut carrots, diagonally, in half,
then cut thicker half of each carrot lengthwise
in half; place in large bowl. Add potatoes &
2 T. salad dressing; toss to coat. Spread vegetables
on half of parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Toss chicken with remaining dressing; place, skin
sides up on baking sheet with vegetables. Bake
45-50 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
turning vegetables after 30 minutes. Transfer chicken
& vegetables to platter, top vegetables with cheese.
Serves 5

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta

1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
4 C. small broccoli florets
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 lb. uncooked, deveined peeled large shrimp*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed
on pkg, omitting salt & add broccoli to cooking
water for last 2 minutes. Heat salad dressing in
large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp &
garlic; cook & stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp
turn pink. Drain spaghetti mixture; return to
pan. Add shrimp mixture & cheese; mix lightly.
Makes 6 (1 1/4 C. ea) servings.

*can prepare using thawed frozen cooked cleaned
large shrimp. Reduce cooking time for shrimp &
garlic to 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are heated

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spinach Cheese Bars

1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach (small
box) thawed & squeezed of excess water
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all above ingredients together;
spread in 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake
40-45 minutes. Cut into small squares.
Serves 10


Monterey Jack Cheese Soup

2 C. chicken broth
1 C. tomatoes, peeled & diced
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, chopped
1 C. onion, finely chopped
3 C. Monterey Jack Cheese, coarsely
chopped, (3/4 lb.)
6 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, melted
5 C. hot milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

Mix broth, onion, tomato, chiles &
garlic in saucepan; bring to boil on
high heat. Cover & reduce heat to medium-
simmer 10 minutes. Add flour to melted butter;
mix then return mixture to heat – cook 3
minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 C. hot milk; adding 1/2
cup at a time. Cook 7 minutes until thickened.
Remove broth mixture from heat; stir into
milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Return to heat;
add remaining 1 1/2 C. hot milk, salt, pepper &
cheese. Stir until cheese is melted & soup is
well heated. Serves 10


Crockpot Beef Burritos

2 lb. boneless beef chuck or other pot roast
1 jalapeno chile, seeded & finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. beef bouillon granules or 1 beef bouillon cube
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) can refried beans, heated
6-8 (12 inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Trim fat from beef; discard. Combine meat, chile,
garlic, bouillon granules (or cube), onion chili
powder, cumin, cilantro & salt in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from crockpot; using 2 forks, shred
meat. Combine with 3/4 C. cooking juices. Spread
warm tortillas with refried beans; add shredded
beef. Fold over tortilla slices then roll up. Serve
warm. Makes 6-8 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Cream Cheese Bars

1 1/2 C. Graham cracker crumbs (24 squares)
3 T. packed brown sugar
6 T. butter, melted

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. flaked coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
additional chopped nuts, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line bottom & sides of a 9 X 13 baking pan
with foil, leaving foil overhanging at 2
opposite sides of pan. Spray foil with non-
stick spray. In small bowl, mix crust
ingredients & press into bottom of pan.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar &
eggs with elec mixer on medium speed
30 seconds. Beat on high speed 1 minute or
until smooth. Stir in coconut & 1/2 C. nuts.
Carefully spread filling over crust. Bake
25 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on cooling
rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours
or overnight. Use foil to lift out of pan. Cut
into 6 rows by 4 rows. Sprinkle top with
additional chopped nuts, if desired.

(recipe: Pillsbury)

Being such a relaxing day here, I’ve decided we’re having Pierogies & Sausages for dinner. The guys are all home today doing various things like watching tv or playing video games so a nice dinner would be in order. Like I’ve said before, lately they guys are usually ‘out’ either at work or hanging out with their friends, so it’s kind of nice to revert to our ‘old style’ of living, with everyone here at home!

Yesterday, on the way home from church we were able to see an unusual sight: there is a large lake we drive by and on the lake were about 40 or more Mute Swans! All those beautiful majestic white swans floating in groups – nice to see!


Hope that you are having a lovely day – remember to smile, and do ‘something’ for you (even if it’s something little – like a cookie!).

Enjoy your day!



My Baby Hat Pattern

I’ve recently been sent a request to post my baby hat pattern. My husband asked if I wanted to copy-write it,  NO, it’s not exactly ALL MINE. I took part of a pattern from baby hats we knit for a charity site, decreased the ‘folded brim’ (I didn’t really like them, so I changed it), and then added/adjusted the decreasing at the top of the hat. I guess this pattern would be ‘my’ version of 2 other patterns (plus some I saw on line). It works for me. I don’t like knitting ‘in the round’ either with circular needles or using 4-5 small needles (think ‘sock knitting’), therefore MY pattern is knit ‘flat‘ then sewed up. It’s just what’s easiest FOR ME. Some of my knitter friends in my Knit Group gently ‘make fun’ of me sewing up the side seams, letting me know that there is NO WAY they would be bothered with that – oh well, each to their own, yes? Here goes:



 Newborn & Premie hats

Baby Hat Pattern

Size 6 & 10 knitting needles

baby or Sport-weight yarn,

darning/yarn needle


K – Knit

P – Purl

K2tog – Knit 2 stitches together

Stockinette Stitch: Knit one row,

Purl the next row

Newborn Hat

Using size 6 needles, Cast On: 54 stitches.


Using a Ribbing Pattern (K1,P1, K1, etc.)

Knit/Purl/Knit every row until it measures 3/4 inch from

beginning edge to row on needles, ending with PURL row.

If you plan to make the hat in the same color yarn

as the brim, switch to size 10 needles and KNIT next

row. If you wish to change colors, begin next KNIT

row with new color, cut brim yarn, leaving about

2 inches for sewing up seam later. Continue

Stockinette Stitch(knit one row, Purl next) until you

have 5 inches (measuring from brim to last row



Begin Decreasing (on knit row):

Decrease Row 1:

*K2 together, K2, K2tog, K2*, repeat * to end of row,

ending with K2tog. (40 stitches on needle)

Dec. Row 2: Purl

Dec. Row 3:

*K2 tog, K2, K2 tog,* repeat * to end of row,

ending with K 2 (30 stitches on needle)

Dec. Row 4: Purl

Dec. Row 5:

*K2 tog, K1, K2tog, K1* repeat to end of row,

ending with K1 (20 stitches on needle)

Dec. Row 6: Purl

Dec. Row 7:

*K2tog, K1,K2tog,K1* repeat to end of row,

ending with K2tog. (13 stitches on needle)

Dec. Row 8: Purl

Dec. Row 9:

*K2 tog.* repeat to end of row – you will

have 7 stitches on needle.

Cut yarn, leaving about 10 inches for sewing

side seam. Thread needle with yarn, draw

needle through remaining 7 stitches & pull

up tightly; fasten off by running needle through

several of the 7 stitches, again. Turn hat so that

inside of hat faces outward, then sew

up side seam; work in end of yarn and cut.

Turn hat ‘right side’ out.



Premie Baby Hat

Using size 6 needles, Cast on 44 stitches

Brim: K1, P1, K1, etc. to end of row. Continue this ribbing for 1 1/2 inches.  Switch to size 10 needles with next row.

Body of hat: Knit first row, Purl next, (stockinette stitch) until piece measures a total of 4 1/2  inches from cast on edge.

Row 1 (decreasing): K2 tog, K2, K2 tog, K2* rep. to end (33 st.)

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2 tog, K1, K2 tog, K1* rep to end (22 st.)

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: K2 tog, K2, K2 tog, K2* rep to end (16 st)

Row 6:Purl

Row 7: K2tog all stitches to end of row (8 st left on needle)

Cut yarn, leaving about 9 inches for sewing side seam. Thread needle with yarn, draw needle through remaining 8 stitches & pull up tightly; fasten off by running needle through several of the 8 stitches, again. Turn hat so that inside of hat faces outward, then sew up side seam; work in end of yarn

Published in: on April 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Quiet . . . and YUMMY!


Our weather here in good old Michigan has been ‘typical April’, meaning cold & wet/windy/gray & somewhat dull. It’s been raining, off & on, almost every day – some days really windy. Today it’s a ‘balmy’ 37 degrees, gray & sprinkling; that’s OK. I don’t have anything in particular scheduled, just ‘the norm’ – laundry, empty & fill dishwasher – that kind of thing. Went to the library yesterday and checked out David Balducci’s ‘The Innocent’; apparently it’s his latest (2012). Great read – I’m half-way through it; keeps you interested.  Had our grandson for a few hours yesterday; he was low-key, so it was a quiet afternoon. Special Needs group: we had 34 students – our room is quickly filling up. My ‘partner/other leader’ and I really don’t have a clue what we’ll do if the group keeps growing – we’ve almost outgrown our room. Maybe we’ll have to look into using part of the gym – it’s a thought . . .we like our room especially because of the closeness to the bathrooms (for the wheelchair people).

Cute comment: went to Tim Horton’s this morning to get some coffee and just as I was completing my drive through transaction I hear the girl behind my wait-person say (into her headset) “Welcome to Taco Bell, how can I help you?” The other girls were giggling – guess you can tell when someone has more than one job, eh?

Am waiting for a call-back from the lady who takes my baby hats at the hospital (she’s just coming back from vacation, so I understand if she doesn’t put me as top priority – hehehe). I counted hats already delivered and hats ‘due to be delivered’ and decided to just make it a round number – so, with these delivered, I’ll have made 190 so far. I still love making them – they’re quick (1 – 1  1/2 hours, depending on size) and I can use up little bits of yarn to make something useful for someone else. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the ability to do something for others.

Youngest is getting better at his driving skills; this morning he had an ‘unusual’ opportunity: they are surveying ‘the roads?’ in our area and the survey team had moved down the street to a very busy intersection. Right past the intersection they had one of those electric arrow sign/trucks telling you to move to the next lane. To my knowledge, he has never had to encounter one or the need to almost immediately switch lanes. He did well – I was happy. He’s doing really well at parking and backing into parking spots (we back into our space in our driveway, so he gets daily practice on that). Right now he’s going through a sore throat and feeling sick, so I’m going to wait awhile before taking him out on longer drives/higher speeds.

Ah – now to the YUMMY part! Lately some of my friends on Facebook have been posting some really decadent recipes and I decided to share them with you. They sound REALLY good; not so sure I’ll actually try making them (not because they’re difficult – they’re not, but because I know that if I do – I’LL EAT ALL OF THEM!!!) You be the judge:


Pizza Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs sliced pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9X13 casserole dish.
Bring  large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Place pasta in pot; cook for 8-10 minutes, until
al dente; drain. In a skillet over medium heat,
cook sausage until evenly brown, drain grease.
Mix in cooked pasta & pasta sauce. Pour into
prepared casserole dish. In a bowl, mix cottage
cheese, olives, mushrooms & mozzarella cheese.
Spoon cheese mixture over sausage/pasta mixture;
top with pepperoni slices. Bake 25 minutes
until bubbly and lightly browned.

(recipe: Facebook)

Easy Cookies (no sugar)

3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 C. apple sauce
2 C. oats
1/4 C. almond milk
1/2 C. raisins (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together,
spoon onto cookie sheets.
Bake 15-20 minutes.

Sorry- no instructions on how
many cookies this makes)

(recipe: Facebook)

Elvis Presley Cake

1 (18.25 oz) pkg. white cake mix
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 C. white sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. chopped pecans

Prepare cake according to instructions on package.
Bake in a 9×13 inch pan. Allow to cool. Combine pineapple
& sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil & spoon over cooled cake.
In large bowl, cream butter & cream cheese until smooth.
Add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add vanilla &
pecans; mix well.Spread cream cheese frosting over cake.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups

2 C. cooked rice
1 (10-oz.)  box frozen, chopped broccoli,
thawed, excess water squeezed out
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 C.  Ranch Dressing
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cooked rice in  large bowl; let cool slightly.
Add remaining ingredients, using only 1/2 cup
of Cheddar cheese; stir until combined. Transfer
mixture to eight well-greased muffin cups;
top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake 25 minutes until tops are lightly browned
and edges are starting to get crispy.
Makes 8 Rice Cups

(recipe: Facebook)

Cream Cheese filled Banana Bread

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 T. sour cream
2 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1 T. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix 1 cup sugar, butter & 2 eggs; add bananas & salt.
Mix soda into softened cream cheese then mix with
2 cups flour. Mix well & add nuts. Divide 1/2  mixture
into 2 greased & floured loaf pans. Combine cream
cheese mixture ingredients & spread over batter in pans.
Spread remaining banana bread batter on top.
Bake 1 hour, then test for doneness by inserting a
toothpick into center – if it comes out clean, the
bread is done. Cool on wire rack before cutting.

Note from poster:
“I like to sprinkle a few extra nuts on top or sprinkle
top with 1 T. sugar mixed w. 1/2 T. cinnamon before
baking. Makes a nice crunchy top.”

(recipe: Facebook)

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

1/2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs

FILLINGS: (your choice):
cheeseburger, pizza, BLT,
Chicken & Veggies
NOTE: any meats added
should already be cooked

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix batter ingredients and place
1 T. in each mini muffin cup.
Top each mini muffin with 1/4
C. of desired ‘fillings’. Top with
1  more T. batter. Bake 25-30
NOTE: These can also be frozen.
Microwave and serve.

(recipe: Facebook –  poster
said recipe is from Betty Crocker)

Lemon Bars

1 box angel food cake mix
2 (42 oz)cans lemon pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix dry cake mix & pie filling together
in large bowl. Pour into greased 9 X 13
baking pan. Bake 25 minutes or until
top is starting to brown. Cool on wire
rack & sprinkle top with powdered

(note: Poster said hers took the full
25 minutes and did not brown on top
at all.)

(recipe: Facebook)

Angel Food Pineapple Bars

1 box angel food cake mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cake mix with crushed pineapple,
stirring by hand. Mixture will start to froth &
turns into an airy, fluffy bowl of batter. Pour
into a 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake 30 minutes
then cut into bars.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)




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Twice-baked Potato Casserole

1-1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 6 medium),
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked & crumbled
3 C. (24 oz) sour cream
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut baked potatoes into 1-in. cubes. Place half
in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle
with half salt, pepper and bacon; top with half
sour cream and cheeses. Repeat layers.
Bake, uncovered,  20-25 minutes or until
cheeses are melted. Sprinkle with onions.
Yield: 6-8 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)

Roasted Garlic Bacon Dip

2 heads garlic
olive oil
1 1/2 C. sour cream
3/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. chives and scallions, chopped
1/2-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper, to taste
6 slices chopped crisp bacon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut tops off 2 heads garlic, drizzle with olive oil.
Wrap in foil & bake until tender, 45 minutes.
Mix with 1 1/2 C. sour cream, 3/4 C. mayonnaise,
chopped chives & scallions. Add Worcestershire
sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in chopped crisp bacon.

(recipe: Facebook)

Now you might be able to see what I mean about YUMMY recipes!  Our gas prices are staying the same: $3.59/9 a gallon for lowest grade. Not a great price, but much better than the $3.79 and up we did have a few weeks ago!

Spring spottings: lots of green shoots coming up that will eventually be Lillys, Daffodils, Narcissus, and Tulips. I LOVE this season – even though some days are gray and rainy, I still know Summer is on the way. Also love the anticipation of all the budding/flowering bushes, like Japanese Flowering Almond, Forsythia, Snowball bush – some of my favorites – how about you; do you have Spring flower/bush favorites? Write a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

Well, friends, that’s about all I can come up with for today. Hope you’re having a great day – the weekend is just around the corner!



Quiet Day – Saturday Summary

lady in chair

It’s a kind of quiet day around here – not much going on. Started working on my special needs group’s next newsletter (due end of this month). That takes some time just setting up the format – ya know, if I were MORE computer savvy, I’d figure out a way to keep the blank format and be able to just start out working with that but – alas, I’m not. ‘My’ way requires I call up the format on Publisher, then go into each space and erase the format ‘test’ words or objects there, making room for my stuff. Bit of a bother, but it works for me.

Outside it’s a bit grey – BUT WARM!  Almost 56 degrees! WOW! For here, that’s REALLY warm! Husband & I took a quick trip today to WalMart (does that make us Walmartians?) – he was looking to purchase a new mouse for his computer (his is periodically ‘stopping’ when being used – very frustrating if you’re into a real shoot-em-up Army/World War II battle game like he likes). They didn’t have any but I was able to purchase two more medium-sized candles $3.50 each – Peach/Mango scent, comes in a glass jar. LOVE that smell! VERY relaxing! I bought one before Christmas and now it’s almost all gone – they last well, too. Grabbed a 17 oz. container of hummus (they are the only store around here that sells a container that large of hummus!); also had Town House crackers on sale for $1.98 a box – usually I can get them at another local store (and thought I was getting a bargain there for $2.99). WalMart is about 25 minutes from our house, so I don’t go there very often – but they do have good sales on most things.

Made a big batch of Potato Soup using some of the leftover Easter ham – pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself. Youngest came home from work about 3 hours early today saying he didn’t feel well AND asked for potato soup – amazing! This is the kid that rarely, if EVER, eats SOUP! He MUST be sick! Said he was out pushing carts most of the day (that’s NOT his job).  Our fridge is finally almost void of any leftovers (there are 2 pancakes left – that’s ‘it’ for extra foods!) The guys just haven’t been eating at their usual pace, so I haven’t been cooking. Am thinking Pierogies & sausages for tomorrow’s dinner – maybe – if they’re interested (we’ll see).


Roasted Potatoes & Garlic

2 lb. small new or red potatoes, quartered
8-12 cloves garlic (or more, to taste, peeled
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or)
2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Too
gently to thoroughly coat potatoes & garlic
with oil & seasonings. Place on a baking sheet
& roast 30-45 minutes, until potatoes are
lightly browned & tender. Shake sheet
occasionally to turn potatoes & assure
uniform browning. Serves 4-6.


Ratatouille  (vegetable stew)

1/2 lb. eggplant (2 medium)
1/2 lb. zucchini (4 medium)
1 tsp. salt
4 T. olive oil (more if needed)
1/2 lb. thinly sliced yellow onions
(about 1 1/2 C.)
2 sliced green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 lb. firm, ripe red tomatoes, peeled,
seeded & juiced (about 1 1/2 C. pulp)
3 T. minced parsley

Peel eggplant & cut into lengthwise slices
3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long & 1
inch wide. Scrub zucchini, slice off ends
cut into slices about same size as eggplant.
Place vegetables in a bowl & toss with salt.
Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Dry each slice
with a towel. One layer at a time, saute egg-
plant, then zucchini in hot olive oil about
1 minute on a side to brown very lightly.
Remove to side dish. In same skillet, cook
onions & peppers slowly in olive oil about
10 minutes or until tender, but not browned.
Stir in garlic & season to taste with salt &
pepper. Lay tomato pulp over onions & peppers.
Cover skillet & cook 5 minutes. Uncover,
baste with juices & raise heat; boil several
minutes until juices have almost entirely
evaporated. Place 1/3 of mixture in 2 1/2 qt.
casserole; sprinkle 1 T. parsley on top. Arrange
half eggplant & zucchini on top, then half
remaining tomato mixture & 1 T. parsley., Put
remaining eggplant & zucchini over this then
end with tomato mixture & 1 T. parsley. Cover
& simmer 10 minutes. Uncover, raise heat
slightly & cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes,
until juices have almost evaporated. Serve
hot or cold.


Homemade Cornbread

3 C. cornmeal
1 C. flour
6 T. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. melted butter or margarine
1/4 C. oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. creamed corn

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Combine
cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder &
salt in mixing bowl. Combine milk, yogurt,
butter, oil & eggs in another bowl; add to
cornmeal mixture – stir until just combined.
Stir in creamed corn. Pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

NOTE: Can be made a day ahead & stored,


Chili-Chicken Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can water
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 T. instant minced onions (or 1/4 C.
fresh chopped)
6 oz. tortilla chips
1-2 C. diced, cooked chicken or turkey
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine soup, water, chilies & onion in a
small bowl; stir to blend. In 2 qt. casserole
dish, layer 3 oz chips, chicken & tomatoes;
top with 1/2 soup mixture & a layer of
cheese. Repeat layers using remainder
of ingredients. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

3-Bean Turkey Chili

1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (16 oz) jar thick salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can great Northern beans,
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese

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 with lid, cook on High 3-4 hours or Low
5-6 hours. Serves 8

NOTE: can also be cooked on stovetop; 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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Impossible Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
sugar, for rolling (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix peanut butter, sugar & egg together
until smooth. Drop by teaspoon onto
cookie sheet 2 inches apart. If desired,
roll in extra sugar before placing on
sheet. Press with fork, press again in
opposite direction. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Do not brown or overbake.
Makes 18 cookies.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 lb. cubed round steak, cut into
thin strips
House seasoning – recipe below
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 3/4 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
salt & black pepper
1 C. sour cream
cooked egg noodles
House Seasoning:
1 c. salt
1/4 C. black pepper
1/4 C. garlic powder

Mix ingredients together, store in an
airtight container up to 6 months.
Makes 1 1/2 C.
Sprinkle steak strips with House
Seasoning to lightly cover them,
then dust with flour. In a large
skillet, quickly brown strips on both sides
in olive oil & butter. Remove from pan;
add onion slices & mushrooms; saute a
few minutes, until onion is tender . Sprinkle
with 1 tsp. flour. Place steak back in pan, add
mushroom soup & beef broth. Cook over
low heat about 30 minutes, covered.
Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt &
pepper, as needed. Stir in sour cream the
last few minutes, just before serving.
Serve over cooked noodles. Serves 4.

(recipe: Paula Dean – Food Network)

Banana Caramel Bread Pudding

12 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted &
2 medium bananas, sliced
3 eggs
1 C. milk
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 pkg. caramels (16 oz, 26 caramels),

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer half of bread cubes in greased 9 inch
square baking dish. Top with bananas,
remaining bread cubes & caramels. In
medium bowl, using wire whisk, beat eggs
until thick & lemon-colored (1-2 minutes).
Add milk, sugar, butter & cinnamon; mix well.
Pour evenly over bread cubes & bake 35
minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F.
Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until center
is set. Serve warm or chilled.


Ran into a rather ‘strange’ thing the other day – that would be April 4th. I was filling out a rather extensive questionnaire for a new oncologist (cancer doctor – all’s fine, just switching doctors) when I ran into a question I don’t recall being asked before: Birth & Death dates of parents and cause of death(s).  This might sound strange to say, but that information took quite a bit of searching to find. Death dates – well, I have the year (My father died when I was 10 – that’s all I remember). My mother died the year I graduated college – 1969, that I remember. When digging further into all this, my HUSBAND was the one to finally locate the information; he loves to do family trees and had worked on ours many, many years ago. I have no living relatives, therefore have no one to actually help me answer these questions. When I was growing up we did not celebrate birthdays – well, not my parents, anyway which brings me to the rather ‘strange’ discovery: I found out that BOTH of my parents were born April 4th (3 years apart) – the DATE of my DISCOVERY WAS ALSO April 4th! Isn’t that weird? Odd little discovery, but interesting. I have outlived both of my parents (Father died at 50, Mother died at 57) – I’m assuming the birth/death dates has something to do with whether either of them had cancer. (answer: no)

Craft-wise, discovered the lady I deliver the baby hats to is on vacation until next week – that means I’ll be knitting more hats than I originally planned on delivering. Usually I deliver 50 at a time: 25 newborn & 25 premie. Went through my baby/sport yarn stash yesterday and did some sorting out. It’s funny – when I get those JoAnn Fabrics 20 or 40/50% discount coupons they tend to make me think perhaps I need more baby yarn – good thing I checked my stash first, eh? I’m good for a LONG time, using just what I have already!

Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing Saturday – I’m STILL having trouble sorting out the days of this past week; perhaps it’s because we did Easter dinner on Monday!???  I’ve seen FOUR Robins in the past two days – SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!



It’s a GORGEOUS Day!

dancing woman

Even though we’re just in the beginnings of April, it’s Gorgeous outside today! The sun is shining brightly, robin’s egg blue skies with light, fluffy white clouds and BIRD SONGS! It’s been SO long since I’ve heard the birds; just stopped to get the mail and heard a robin high up in a tree – I love their songs! I even saw TWO robins today – my first of the season. (In case you’re not in Michigan: it’s a Michigan ‘thing’ to see if you can spot the First Robin of Spring! Not sure why, but lots of people I know do that, too. My husband announced today that he’d seen his first a few days ago – sigh, just glad I spotted TWO today!) On another note, our temperatures ARE on the chilly side: it’s around 37 degrees out, but the warm feeling from all the sunshine makes it much nicer (and there’s no wind, so it doesn’t feel colder than 37). I’m just doing my Happy Dance that Spring is HERE! (see my Dancing Lady above).

Since it was so nice out, I did my errand running – Post Office, Bank, dollar store, Sears – all done in record time. Happy to get the Income Taxes done and in the mail – YAY! Today, for me, is a FREE day – Grandson is on Spring Break and his Mom is taking him to the Great Grandma’s house today – so I have an entire day to do WHATEVER I CHOSE! WOW! (now, mind you – I don’t have a clue what that ‘is’ yet, but I’ll figure it out as I go.) Yesterday I was feeling BRAVE- took youngest on a ‘DRIVE’ around 7:15 p.m. He was a bit ‘miffed’ at me yesterday morning when I wouldn’t let him drive to work (reason being: my husband was also in the car and I was trying to avoid extra comments). I had promised son that I would take him out soon. We went for about a 45 minute drive – he did OK:  one time he got too close to a car that was ‘contemplating’ whether to run a Yellow light or not – they stopped, we almost rear-ended them. Scary, but those are the kinds of things you can’t really train for-just glad my brakes work really well! He has a tendency to get a little too close to the edge of the road or curbs; that makes me nervous. I had him go down a road that, when he saw it coming, said: “Not THAT road!” I said: “It’s good practice – just take it slow & easy.” I guess, being used to driving that road, I never noticed that it’s really narrow and curvy – good practice; he did fine. He told me he doesn’t like making Left turns – too bad – time to get used to that one! IF I’m feeling benevolent this evening, I might repeat the exercise, taking a different route – we’ll see. It’s been almost a week since he’s driven/I’ve ridden with him – it was an ‘experience’ – I just tend to forget that it’s also pretty stressful (for me). Oh well . . . somebody’s got to do it!


Chicken Florentine Casserole

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 C. butter
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 T. Italian seasonings
1/2 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 (13.5 oz, ea) cans spinach, drained
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 C. bacon bits
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken breast halves on a baking sheet.
Bake 20-30 minutes, until no longer pink &
juices run clear. Remove from heat & set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium
heat. Stirring constantly, mix in garlic, lemon
juice, cream of mush. soup, Italian seasonings,
Half & Half, & Parmesan cheese. Arrange
spinach over bottom of 9 X 9 baking dish. Cover
spinach with mushrooms. Pour half the mixture
from saucepan over mushrooms. Arrange chicken
breasts in the dish, cover with remaining sauce
mixture. Sprinkle with bacon bits & top with
mozzarella cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until
bubbly & lightly browned. Serves 4

(recipe: Pilgrims Pride)

Stir-fry Spinach Salad

1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves –
sliced into thin strips
2 T. cooking oil
1 medium green pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. ketchup
1 T. vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
6 C. torn fresh spinach
1 C. cherry tomato halves

Drain pineapple, reserving 3 T. juice in a small bowl;
set pineapple aside. (discard remaining juice). In a
skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in oil 5 minutes or until
no longer pink. Add green pepper; stir fry 2-4 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Add brown sugar & cornstarch
to pineapple juice;  mix well. Stir in ketchup, vinegar
& soy sauce until smooth; add to skillet & cook until
thickened. Arrange spinach, pineapple & tomatoes on
a large serving platter. Top with chicken & green pepper;
serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: Pilgrims Pride)

Classic Egg Salad

6 eggs
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place eggs in medium saucepan; add enough
water to cover eggs by 1 inch; bring to boil.
Remove from heat; cover & let stand 15
minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs
to bowl of ice water. Let eggs stand in ice
water 5 minutes. Peel eggs; shred cooked
eggs with a fork in a medium bowl. Add
remaining ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate
1 hour. Makes 4 servings, 1/2 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lemon Blossoms (mini cakes)

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil

4 C. confectioners sugar
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1 lemon , zested
3 T. vegetable oil
3 T. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs & oil
in large bowl; blend well using elec. mixer
until smooth, about 2minutes. Pour a small
amount of batter, filling each muffin tin
half full. Bake 12 minutes. Remove muffins
from tin onto a towel.

Place confectioners sugar in mixing bowl;
add lemon juice, zest, oil & 3 T. water; mix
with a spoon until smooth. Place waxed
paper on counter and put wire racks on
top of waxed paper. Holding the cakes
with your fingers, dip tops of cakes in
glaze while they are still warm, covering
as much of the cakes as possible OR spoon
the glaze over the cakes, turning them
to completely coat. Place on wire rack
to drip. Let glaze set thoroughly, about
1 hour, before serving or storing in
containers. Makes 5 dozen mini cakes

(recipe: Paula Dean – food network)

Creamy Raspberry Jello Salad

1 (29 oz) can pears
1 C. pear juice (from can)
1 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) pkg. raspberry Jell-O
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Pour pear juice in 2 C. glass measuring cup.
Add 1 C. hot water; heat in microwave
2 minutes or until it starts to boil. Add
Jell-O mix, stir until all granules are dissolved.
Place in fridge to cool down. (do not cool
until it ‘sets up’ – just until it’s cool. Place
pears and cream cheese in blender; blend together.
Add cooled Jell-O  and 12 oz. Cool Whip to blender.
Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into 9 X 13 pan;
refrigerate 3 hours or until set up. Serve topped with
Cool Whip and fresh raspberries (if desired).

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)

Creamy Kielbasa & Potato Soup

4 potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 C. water
3/4 lb. Kielbasa sausage, sliced into
1/2 inch pieces
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
ground black pepper, to taste

In large pot over medium heat, combine
potatoes, onion, celery, beef broth, chicken
broth& water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat
& simmer until potatoes are tender, about
15 minutes. Stir in sausage & soup; continue
to simmer until heated through & slightly
thickened. Season with pepper & serve.
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Cowboy Salsa

3 tomatoes, seeded & finely chopped
1 (15.5 oz) can black eyed peas, rinsed
1 (11 oz) can corn, drained
8 green onions, thinly sliced
2 avocados, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
4 sliced cooked bacon, finely chopped
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing*
crackers for serving

Combine all ingredients except crackers.
Serve with crackers. Makes 12 servings.

* can also prepare using Balsamic salad dressing

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pink Lemonade Cake

1 box (moist type) lemon cake mix
1 small individual size vanilla yogurt
2 T. real lemon juice (not concentrated)

1 lb. confectioners sugar PLUS 2 C. more
1/2 stick butter
1/4 C. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 T. real lemon juice
food coloring, if desired

Follow directions on cake mix for amount
of eggs, oil & water. Add 1 small container
vanilla yogurt (individual portion size). Add
2 T. lemon juice. Pour cake batter into 2
round cake pans; follow directions on box
for baking (generally around 28 minutes).
You can also bake in a 9 X 13 pan; adjust
time according to box directions
Cool cake completely.
Cream butter & cream cheese; add about
2 C. confectioners sugar at a time,alternating
with a small amount of milk. When you have a
nice, stiff frosting, add the lemon juice. If
desired, add food coloring to make your
choice of colors. Cake can also be sprinkled
with a bit of large white sugar crystals
(found in baking aisle)

(recipe: Jan-

Have you ever jumped into something that sounded good at the time but, after investigating, made you stop & think? A few weeks ago I signed up for two on-line classes to learn how to use Microsoft Excel – sounded good at the time! Yesterday I remembered that I hadn’t even gone on line to start the course, so I did. Went through the first four ‘lessons’ – talk about BORING! (I’m more of a ‘hands on’ learner – so listening to someone drone on & on really loses me FAST!) PLUS, the guy REPEATS what he’s said at the end of every lesson – ALRIGHT, ALREADY – BORING ONCE IS BAD, BUT TWICE IS RIDICULOUS! (Yes, I realize, some people might need that and, perhaps, I might need it, too – further on when the lessons get more complicated BUT   . . .) I thought it might help me with all of the various lists I have to keep for both the special needs group and my knit group – attendance, addresses, medical/health, etc. – we’ll see.

Now that I’ve bored YOU out of your skulls, I’ll close. Hope your weather is as nice as it is here, today. Enjoy what sunshine you can – remember, Summer is right around the corner!



Sometimes it’s the little things . . .


About a month ago one of my special needs students brought me a solar-powered ‘Dancing Flower’ – I LOVE IT! (I drew a little smiley face on the center of mine – it looks just like the above picture-the one in the picture is inside it’s packaging). These are really cute little toys – you set them near sunlight and they sway back & forth! Yes – small things, but seeing it dancing in my kitchen window ALWAYS makes me smile! Today is no exception, it’s a bright, sunny day – clear skies & fluffy clouds – only problem: no one told the temperatures to GO UP! It’s 29 brisk & chilly degrees out there! Oh well, Spring is on the way-I see new green shoots coming up through the ground every day; soon we’ll be seeing more crocus, hyacinth, daffodils, narcissus, tulips and flowering bushes. I just LOVE Spring!

Monday was my family’s Easter dinner and it went well. This was one of the first (that I can remember) rather ‘easy’ dinners – usually by the time we sit down to eat I’m exhausted; not so much this time! Clean up was pretty easy, too – amazing! Dinner consisted of Ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, very large tossed salad, rolls, veggie tray and the Peach Coffee Cake recipe I posted a few posts ago. I was surprised, at the end of the dinner there was one very small helping of green bean casserole left – and, to think, I wasn’t even going to make it! (Even so, I was tempted to make about half of what eventually got put on the table – I thought it wouldn’t be that popular – who knew?!). The Peach dessert – not so much . . . the one I had originally tasted in Sunday School was light, not sweet – just the PERFECT after dinner dessert. Mine came out heavy, a bit too sweet (to me) and everyone said it was a very dense dessert – most only ate about half of their portion. I served it with French Vanilla ice cream. Think I’m going to ‘lose’ that recipe. (Maybe it could have been the kind/brand of pie filling – who knows? I went to Kroger’s and they only had Kroger brand – was actually a bit surprised at their lack of variety in the pie fillings; maybe next time I’ll go to Meijer, as I’m pretty sure they would have a better selection and perhaps more name brands.) Anyway, all went well, all left the table stuffed (which is what any cook hopes will happen for a holiday meal).

Recipes? Yep – lots for you!


Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut
into 1 inch wide strips
2 T. dry taco seasoning mix
2 T. flour
1 each: green & red peppers, cut into
1 inch wide strips
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. hot, cooked long-grain white rice
1 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese
2 green onions, sliced

Toss chicken with taco seasoning mix & flour in
slow cooker. Stir in vegetables & salsa; cover &
cook on LOW 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours. Stir
just before serving. Serve over rice topped with
cheese & onions. Makes 4 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

PB & J Blondies

3/4 C. salted butter, melted/cooled
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp. vanilla
1 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 C. raspberry, strawberry or grape

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place rack in middle position of oven.
Place two overlapping sheets of greased
parchment or foil in a 9 X 13 baking dish,
so that they form a cross and hang over
the ends by at least 1 inch (for lifting bars
out when baked). Whisk together flour,
baking powder & salt in a small bowl. In
another bowl, mix melted butter & brown
sugar until combined. Mix in eggs & vanilla,
mix until combined. Add dry ingredients to
butter mixture; gently fold with spatula until
blended. Fold in peanut butter chips & peanuts.
Pour batter into baking dish; spoon on preserves.
Using a skewer or knife, make swirly patters in
the batter with the preserves. Bake until top is
shiny and toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire
rack. Using ends of foil or parchment, lift blondies
out of the dish. Cut into 24 squares & serve.

(recipe: Jeff Mauro-FoodNetwork)

Crockpot Ham & White Beans

1 lb. dried Northern beans
ham bone, shanks or diced ham
(about 1 lb.)
2 tsp. onion powder
6 C. water
salt & pepper, to taste

Rinse & sort beans according to
pkg. directions. Add rinsed beans,
onion powder, salt, pepper &
ham to crockpot, add water.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours,
or High 4 hours, until beans are
tender. Remove ham bone, shanks
or hocks; pull off meat. Add meat
to crockpot & mix.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Stuffing-Crusted Creamy Chicken Casserole

6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables,*
thawed, well drained
1 (7 oz) can corn, drained**
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 (6 oz.) pkg. stuffing mix-chicken
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle
with garlic powder; cover with stir-fry
vegetables. Combine corn & dressing;
spoon over vegetable layer in dish. Add
hot water to stuffing mix; stir until just
moistened. Spoon over corn mixture;
cover. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken
is done (165 degrees F), uncovering
for the last 15 minutes. Serves 6

*Can substitute your favorite frozen
vegetables for the stir-fry ones.
**can substitute 1 can cream-style corn
for whole kernel corn

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tortellini Soup

1 lb. ground sausage
8 C. water
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 2/3 C. shredded cabbage
1/2 C. diced onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
4 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. frozen cheese-filled
1 1/3 C. diced zucchini
(grated Parmesan cheese – topping)

In medium skillet cook sausage until
brown; drain fat. In large saucepan,
combine water, undrained tomatoes,
cabbage, onion, green pepper, bouillon
cubes, basil & pepper. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat to simmer, uncovered,
15 minutes. Stir in tortellini, sausage &
zucchini. Cook, uncovered, until pasta

is tender. Stir occasionally. Serve with
Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.


Football Stuffed Mushrooms
(overnight recipe)

24 medium fresh mushrooms (about 1 lb)
2 T. butter, unsalted
4 T. olive oil
1/4 C. chopped sweet onion (1 small)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. herb seasoned stuffing
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. real bacon bits
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes (or 2 T. fresh)

Wish soft brush, gently wipe any dirt
from mushrooms. Remove stems & cut
a thin slice from top of each mushroom
so that mushrooms sit flat. Chop stems &
thin slices to make 1 C.; set aside. In
saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
Brush mushroom caps with butter &
place caps in a shallow baking pan, cavity
side up. Heat olive oil over medium heat
in same pan used for butter. Add chopped
mushroom stems/slices, onion & garlic; cook
until tender. Remove from heat. In bowl, add herb
stuffing, cream cheese, bacon bits, Parmesan
cheese & parsley; mix lightly but thoroughly.
Spoon about 1 T. mixture into each mushroom
cap. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
24 hours.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake mushroom caps 10-15 minutes.
Serves 24



Impossible Southwestern Pie

1 1/2 C. whole kernel corn
8 medium green onions, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs

(extra salsa for serving)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease 9 inch pie pan. Layer corn, onions &
beans in plate. Sprinkle with cheese. In bowl,
stir Bisquick, milk, 1/2 C. salsa & eggs until
well blended; pour into plate. Bake 35-40
minutes or until knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Serve
with additional salsa. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 T. butter
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. raspberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease muffin tins or line with papers.
In small bowl, beat together until
smooth cream cheese with one
egg, 1/4 C. sugar & 1/2 tsp. vanilla;
set aside. In saucepan, combine milk,
butter & 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir over medium
heat until butter melts. Cool until warm
to the touch, then beat in remaining
2 eggs. In large bowl, combine flour,
baking powder, salt & remaining sugar.
Add milk mixture & stir just to blend. Fold
in raspberries. Divide batter equally among
muffin tins. Spoon about 2 tsp. cream
cheese mixture on top of each muffin. Pull
a knife through each top to swirl slightly.
Bake 20 minutes or until top springs back
when lightly touched.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Now that we’re into April – remember to look up, smile and enjoy (at least a part of) your day! Maybe you’re not in the best of health, or things are not looking great at the moment, but  . . .

REMEMBER TO SMILE! It will exercise your jaw muscles, and hopefully, lift your spirits a little!

Have a GREAT day!