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!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

  2. HI and THANKS! Lubbock, TX – interesting!

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