Great Day!



It’s a beautiful, balmy 78 degrees outside with lots of sunshine & fluffy clouds – MY kind of day! Saw our little baby bunny out in the yard and our resident chipmunk – love looking for them first thing while getting my coffee ready, they cheer me up! Just got back from visiting the yearly Senior Center Rummage & Bake sale; came away with some great buys: a green & white checked cloth shower curtain, a small galvanized roasting pan and one small Christmas decoration – total cost: $3.25! The shower curtain will work just fine to cover a wooden picnic table at Log Cabin Days, allowing me to put our small display on the table AND make it look a bit more ‘homey’. The roasting pan will replace my old one (have had it since I got married, almost 37 years ago). The old one had a small chip in the bottom (his Mom gave it to me, used) and it’s worked all those years BUT the chip is the spot where everything sticks! This one is brand new and only $1.00! A balm to my FRUGAL heart! And, to top off my experience, they had a large table of day old breads with a sign: FREE! Took home a nice (orig. price $3.99) loaf of Artisan bread for my husband; it will be really tasty warmed in the toaster oven with some butter – YUM! At said sale I also ran into a lady I used to work with at Michigan Bell MANY years ago, several of my special needs ‘kids’ & one of their caregivers, and three members of my knit group! It’s a GREAT DAY!

Last night was our special needs group meeting and we got a HUGE blessing! For many years we’ve been sort of crammed into a large classroom (I think I wrote about the night I had 48 kids, 8 wheelchairs and tons of caregivers – that was the biggest group we’ve ever ‘wedged’ into that room!). My friend (and the group’s leader) Lois went before the church deacon committee and presented our ‘plight’. They responded by giving us the entire old sanctuary – it’s HUGE! We now have about 15 round tables with 8 really cushy chairs at each, a baby grand piano (YAY! I’m thrilled! Our old upright only played some of the keys and the loud pedal didn’t work at all!), a white board, nice podium AND our own bathrooms! The room is wheelchair accessible and there’s room for growth! THANK YOU, LORD! (the only ‘downside’ – because it’s such a large room, sound really bounces off the walls, even with carpeting and drapes – it got pretty loud towards the end of the evening. Imagine being in a gym and how sound bounces there. Hey, I’m not complaining – it will just take a bit of adjusting, that’s all).  Friday is our Gym Night with the group; we’re having ham & cheese ‘subs’ on hot dog buns, chips & cookies; a devotional and then the ‘kids’ can do jigsaw puzzles, color  papers, play basket ball or other various games; they love it and it’s a good night ‘out’ for them.

Still working on the new “Grandma’s Favorite-style” baby blanket; have 9 more rows of plain knitting then I get to start the decrease rows! That will make me feel like I’m finally (sort of) getting towards the ‘home stretch’! I ordered the very fine variegated purples yarn for my friend’s shawl – YES – I decided on knitting a shawl. I picked a fairly simple/easy pattern so we’ll see how it goes.

Nothin’ much new on the food scene – I have a large pork roast that I need to shred and make into BBQ’d pork for dinner – on hamburger buns (YUM!). There are still some really tasty sounding recipes coming in on Facebook, so I hope you don’t mind if I share them with you!


Rhubarb Dump Cake

1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (3-4 C.)
1 C. white sugar
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry Jell-o
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. water
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F..
Grease 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread rhubarb evenly
in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle sugar over rhubarb,
followed by  Jell-o, then dry cake mix. Pour water & melted
 butter over top. Do not stir. Bake 45 minutes or until
 rhubarb is tender.

(recipe: Facebook)

Banana Split Ice Cream Dessert


3 C. vanilla ice cream

3 C. chocolate ice cream

3 C. strawberry ice cream (each flavor: about

1/2 of a 44 oz. container)

3/4 C. pecans

1 (5 oz) box sugar cones

5 T. butter, melted

2 T. sugar

dash salt

2 medium-sized bananas

1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

1 (11 oz) jar hot fudge sauce

maraschino cherries

Take ice creams out of freezer & let set

on counter – you want it to be a bit soft

before using. Toast pecans: pour pecans

in medium skillet & sprinkle with a bit of

salt. Heat over medium-high heat. When

nuts turn darker & smell fragrant (about

5 minutes), remove pan from heat &

allow nuts to cool. Break up sugar cones

some & toss into food processor or blender.

Grind cones to coarse pieces. (If you don’t

have a blender/food proc. – you can still put

the cones in a zip-lock bag & crush them with

a rolling pin or canned food. Pour 5 T. butter,

2 T. sugar & dash of salt into ground up cones.

Stir together with wooden spoon to combine.

Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with nonstick

spray. Pour crumb mixture into pan & use a

small measuring cup to firmly press mixture

into bottom & 1 inch up sides of pan. Scoop

vanilla ice cream over crust & press down to

cover crumbs. Slice bananas over ice cream,

covering evenly. Scoop chocolate ice cream

onto bananas & smooth out. Cover ice cream

with pecans. Scoop strawberry ice cream over

nuts & smooth evenly. Cover ice cream with

Cool Whip. Wrap pan tightly with plastic wrap &

freeze at least 12 hours (or up to 1 week). When

ready to serve, allow pan to set on counter about

5 minutes. Remove outside of pan; cut dessert

with a sharp knife Heat hot fudge in microwave

then drizzle over each piece. Add a cherry to each

serving. Serves 12


(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)


Turkey & Pasta Primavera


2 lb. turkey breast tenderloins or boneless,

skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 in. pieces

1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables (sugar snap

peas, carrots, onions & mushrooms)

2 tsp. dried basil, oregano or Italian seasoning

1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo pasta sauce

3/4 lb. linguine or spaghetti, broken

shredded Parmesan cheese

In 4 1/2 – 6 qt. crockpot, combine turkey (or chicken)

& frozen vegetables. Sprinkle with dried herb. Cover &

cook, on Low heat, 4-5 hours or High 2- 2 1/2 hours.

At midway point in cooking, stir in Alfredo sauce.

When cooking is done, cook pasta accordg to pkg.

directions & drain. Stir cooked pasta into turkey

mixture & mix well. Serve with shredded Parmesan

sprinkled on top.  Serves 8


(recipe: Family Circle Slow Cooker Meals)


Cranberry, Feta & Toasted Walnut Salad

1  (10 oz) bag mixed salad greens

1 C. dried cranberries

1 (6 oz) pkg. oven-roasted chicken breast

1 (4 oz.) pkg. crumbled feta cheese

1/2 C. walnut pieces, toasted

1/2 C. Italian, or Raspberry salad dressing

Toss greens with cranberries, chicken, cheese &

walnuts in large salad bowl. Add dressing; mix

lightly – serve immediately. Serves 4


How to Toast Walnuts:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spread walnuts in single layer on baking sheet.

Bake 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.


German Potato Salad


1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced potatoes with onion

4 slices fully cooked bacon

3 T. mayonnaise

3 T. cider vinegar

3 T. sliced green onion (white & green)

1 t. firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

Spray large skillet with nonstick spray; heat over

medium-high heat. Add potatoes to skillet, cover &

cook 15 minutes or until tender, turning occaionally.

Place bacon on paper-towel covered microwaveable

plate. Microwave on High 30 seconds or until bacon

is crisp. Crumble bacon, set aside. Combine

mayonnaise, vinegar, onion, sugar & mustard in

medium bowl. Add potatoes to mayonnaise mixture

and bacon; mix lightly. Serves 6


(recipe: readyseteat!)


Chewy Oatmeal Yogurt Bars


3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 (8 oz) carton yogurt (vanilla or fruit-flavored)

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 T. vegetable oil

2 T. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 C. oats

1 C. “add-ins” – diced dried fruits, raisins, cranberries,

chocolate chips)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg, oil, milk &

vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking

soda, cinnamon & salt; mix well then add to yogurt

mixture; mix well. Stir in oats & add-ins of your choice.

Spread dough on bottom of ungreased 9 X 13 pan.

Bake 28-30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool

completely on wire rack then cut into bars. Makes 24



(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


(Leftovers) 3 Ingredient French Fry Casserole


large bag French fries

2 cans Nacho cheese soup

leftover taco meat (cooked)

Brown fries according to pkg. directions. Prepare

nacho soup for a topping; reheat taco meat. Layer

fries, meat & cheese on each plate.


(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Crisp Cucumber Salsa


2 C. finely chopped & seeded cucumber

1/2 C. finely chopped & seeded tomato

1/4 C. chopped red onion

2 T. minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped

4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 C. sour cream

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

tortilla chips

In small bowl, combine first seven

ingredients. In another bowl, combine

sour cream, lemon & lime juices, cumin &

seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture

& toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.


(recipe: Facebook)


Cheesy Stuffed Peppers


6 green bell peppers, tops cut off & seeds


2 T. vegetable oil

1 C. finely chopped yellow onion

1/2 C. finely diced green bell peppers or peas

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground pork or Italian sausage

2 T. minced garlic

1/4 C. finely chopped fresh parsley

3/4 T. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

pinch red pepper flakes

2 C. cooked long or medium grain white rice

8 oz. tomato sauce plus more


1 C. Gruyere cheese, grated

1 C. mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large pot of boiling water, parboil peppers

until tender, 2-3 minutes. Cook longer if you

like your peppers soft. Remove with a slotted

spoon & dry on paper towels. In large skillet

or saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add onions & chopped bell peppers; cook

until soft, about 3minutes. Add beef, pork or

Ital. sausage, pepper flakes & black pepper.

Cook until meat is browned, stirring with

heavy wooden spoon to break up lumps,

about 6-10 minutes. Add rice & tomato sauce;

stir well. NOTE: at this point, if you want to

substitute peas instead of diced peppers,

throw peas in pan & heat through 2 minutes.

Remove from heat & adjust seasoning to

your taste. Pour enough water into a baking

dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8″ –

1/4″ deep. Stuff bell peppers with rice

mixture half way up then sprinkle with cheeses.

Add another layer of rice mixture. Spread

1-2 T. tomato sauce on top of each pepper.

Place peppers in a baking dish then place this

dish into the pan with water. If there is any leftover

rice mixture, fill in around the peppers. Cover

dish with foil & cook in oven about 30 minutes

until tender. Remove foil & sprinkle more cheese

on top; return to oven another 15-20 minutes until

cheeses are melted & bubbly. Remove from oven

& let rest approx. 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6




Lemon Chicken Piccata


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 C. Panko bread crumbs OR 1/2 C. flour

pinch salt & pepper

2 T. vegetable oil

7 T. butter, unsalted & divided

2 medium lemons

1 large shallot, rinsed & minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 C. chicken stock

2 T. capers, drained

3 T. parsley, finely chopped & divided

Preheat oven 180 degrees F.

Juice one whole lemon, reserving juice. Cut

second lemon, top to bottom, cut off end

pieces. fruit side down, slice one lemon half

into very slender slices & reserve. Using the

other cut half for additional juice to make

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice. Butterfly each chicken

breast into two pieces, then cut each piece in

half. Pound chicken to about 1/2 inch thick.

dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Salt

& pepper both sides lightly. In large skillet,

add 2 T. oil & 2 T. butter; heat to medium high.

Dredge each chicken piece in Panko crumbs or

flour. Fry half chicken pieces until browned, about

2 minutes. Flip chicken pieces & brown on other

side an additional few minutes until cooked

through. Add remaining 2 T. oil & 2 T. butter for

second batch of chicken & repeat. Plate pieces,

as they cook, wrap with foil & keep in warm oven.

NOTE: If chicken is browning too quickly, reduce

heat to avoid burning.

While chicken stays warm in oven, add shallots

to skillet. If more butter is needed to sautee, add

a bit more. Stir quickly for about 1 minute until

they begin to soften. Add garlic & stir another 30

seconds until fragrant. Add chicken broth, lemon

juice & lemon slices; bring liquid to a simmer &

continue simmering until broth reduces to about

1 1/2 Cups – about 10 minutes. Add capers & parsley,

then add 3 T. remaining butter. Swirl pan off of heat

until butter is melted. Plate chicken & ladle sauce

on top. Sprinkle top with a bit of leftover parsley,

if desired. Serves 4




Well, friends, that’s about all that’s ‘going on’ around here lately. Hope you have a GREAT day! Enjoy it!



Memorial Day


Today we celebrate Memorial Day – the day we remember all those who gave their lives, and those who fought for our freedoms.

Along with this day as a holiday, we also have picnics, cook-outs, visit with family & friends and generally enjoy our first official ‘summer’ holiday. Today it’s a bit chilly (58) but sunny. Since we have a relatively small family (4 at home) we don’t usually do picnics/cook-outs BUT I threw a very large pork butt roast in the oven, smothered it in zesty Italian salad dressing and am planning on cooking it on low (300 degrees F) all day long. (It’s too big for my crockpot, otherwise I would have done that). We’ll see how it comes out; so far it’s only been ‘in the oven’ an hour. I also discovered some crinkle-cut french fries in the freezer, so that’s what we’re having with the roast and probably some sort of veggies (green beans?).

Yesterday we had a nice surprise; one of our oldest son’s friends called saying he was in the area and wanted to stop by. We’ve know Albert since Kindergarten Round-up when both boys were 5 yrs. old; he’s become ‘one of our kids’ so it was a pleasure to get to see him. He now lives in Washington, D.C. – I get to talk to him on the phone maybe every 6-8 months, but it was a delight to get to SEE him and give him many hugs. He also brought a young lady with him; his youngest brother got married Saturday, so they were here for the event.

Today oldest son is at a cabin up North with his family, middle son is relaxing here for the day and youngest is working 10:15 – 5 p.m. at Meijers (of which he’s not happy). I’m just VERY glad Meijers allowed him to have this Thurs. and Saturday off from work, as Thurs. is his graduation rehearsal (and they made it VERY clear: you don’t show up for rehearsal – you DON’T WALK!), Saturday is the graduation. He’s really worked at this graduation; he fluffed off his senior year and did not graduate. We had to employ ‘tough love’ on this one – it’s YOUR responsibility to do the school work, not ours – you don’t do it, you don’t graduate. I was happy he complied when it came to signing up for remedial classes to make up those credits he fluffed off. Now is the ‘reaping the rewards’.  I’m not sure, at this time, just what his plans are for his future. I know that he wanted to get into Auto Mechanics – we’ll see.

Tomorrow night is Knit/Crochet night and I’m still plugging along on the fourth baby afghan. This one is a variation on the “Grandma’s Favorite’ dishcloth pattern; whoever designed it added a ‘lace’ panel in between each grouping of regular knit stitches making it fancy! It’s a relatively easy pattern; I’ve decided to add two more panels to the one I’m knitting so that it will be a little bigger/longer. (the original pattern works up to 27″ X 27”). While at church yesterday I suddenly realized that, come September, a young friend of mine will be getting married. (don’t ask me what possessed me) – I asked her Mom what her daughter’s two favorite colors are (purples). Her Mom asked, knowing I knit & crochet, “What are you thinking?” I honestly told her I’m not exactly sure yet. I’m kind of vacillating between knitting her a shawl or an afghan. I’ve never done a shawl before but can easily see her wearing one. An afghan – well, those take up lots of time AND space if you’re knitting one entire piece, instead of doing panels. Still sitting on the fence on this one – we’ll see what I decide later.

Food! Yep, with holidays comes lots of FOOD! There are tons of great-sounding recipes coming into my emails these days so I thought I’d share more with you!


Grilled Potatoes & Onion

4 potatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
4 T. butter

Preheat grill for indirect heat.
Measure 2-3 sheets aluminum foil large enough to
easily wrap the veggies & layer, one on top of the
other. Place potatoes & onion in center, sprinkle tops
with salt & pepper & dot with butter. Wrap into a
flattened square & seal edges. Place wrapped pkgs.
over medium heat & cover. Cook approx. 30 minutes,
turning once. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Blue Cheese Burger Kabobs

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. dry red wine or beef broth
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. ground sirloin or 85% ground beef
2 oz. coarsely crumbled blue cheese
1 small red onion, cut into wedges
1 (6-8 oz) pkg. large cremini mushrooms
2 T. olive oil
4 hamburger buns, split
2 C. arugula
blue cheese wedges (optional)

In large bowl, combine garlic, wine,
Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt &
pepper. Add meat; mix well. Gently stir in
crumbled blue cheese until just combined.
Form meat into 12 meatballs; cover & chill
at least 1 hour. On four 12-inch presoaked
wooden skewers, thread meatballs, red onion
& mushrooms, leaving a quarter inch between
pieces. Brush onion & mushrooms lightly with
olive oil & sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.
For Charcoal Grill:
Place kababs on a greased grill rack directly over
medium coals Grill 14-16 minutes or until meat
is not longer pink (160 degrees F.), carefully
turning once halfway through grilling. Add
hamburger buns & grill the last 1-2 minutes until
Gas Grill:
Preheat grill; reduce heat to medium. Cover & grill
as directed above. Serve kabobs with buns,
arugula & blue cheese wedges. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Adult S’Mores

2 pkgs. chocolate graham crackers
(about 16, uncracked)
8 T. raspberry preserves
8 tsp. Chambord liquor (raspberry-
flavored liquor) optional
8 dark chocolate candy bars
48 large marshmallows
nonstick foil

Lay 8 graham crackers on a flat cutting
board. Mix rasp. preserves with Chambord.
Spread rasp. mixture on 8 of the crackers.
Cook the marshmallows on a stick. Place one
chocolate bar on each of the 8 crackers, then
1 chocolate bar to each, then top with 3
grilled marshmallows per cracker; top with
other cracker. Wrap crackers in nonstick
foil (nonstick side inside). Place on a grill
on which the coals have cooled down a bit
or on the side of a bonfire pit. Use tongs
to carefully remove them. Open foil
carefully and enjoy. Serves 8

NOTE: Can also be made using orange
marmalade and Dekuyper orange liquor.

Tip: These can also be made on a gas range
if you don’t have a grill or campsite available.


Camper’s Coleslaw


1 1/2 C. sugar

3/4 C. white vinegar

3/4 C. olive oil

3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. celery seed

1 medium heat cabbage, shredded

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

In small saucepan, combine first 5 ingredients.

Bring to boil; boil 1-2 minutes or until sugar

is dissolved. Remove from heat; cool to room

temp. In large bowl, combine cabbage, onion

& pepper; add dressing & toss to coat.

Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with slotted

spoon. Makes 12 (3/4 C. ea) servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


BBQ’d Stuffed Patties


1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers

1/3 C. barbecue sauce

2 T. sliced green onion

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 lb. ground beef

8 dill pickle slices

In large bowl, stir together crackers, bbq sauce,

onion & pepper. Add ground beef; mix well. On

waxed paper, shape mixture into 8 patties about

3 1/2 inches in diameter. Top four patties with

pickle slices. Place remaining patties on top of

pickle; seal edges completely, enclosing pickle.

Grill directly over medium heat 11-13 minutes or until

no longer pink or until well done (160 degrees F),

turning once. Makes 4 patties

(recipe: Kellogg)


Shrimp & Feta Salad


1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves

1/2 lb. cooked, cleaned large shrimp

2 C. chopped watermelon (3/4 in. chunks)

1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

1/2 C. slivered red onion

1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted

1/3 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine all ingredients except dressing,

in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat.

Serves 4 (2 1/4 C. each)

NOTE: You can add 2 T. chopped fresh mint.

Also, you can substitute strawberries for


(recipe: Kraft foods)


BLT Potato Salad


2 lb. red potatoes, quartered

1/2 C. water

3/4 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. chopped fresh chives

1 T. white vinegar

8 slices bacon, coarsely chopped

romaine lettuce

2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved

Place potatoes in 2 qt. microwaveable

casserole dish. Add water; cover with lid.

Microwave on High 6-8 minutes or just

until potatoes are tender; stir. Let stand,

covered, 5 minutes. Drain potatoes;

rinse with cold water; drain again. Mix

mayonnaise, chives & vinegar in large

bowl until blended. Add potatoes &

remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Serves 10 (1 C. each)

NOTE: salad can be prepared ahead of

time; omit the lettuce. Refrigerate up to

24 hours; toss with lettuce just before


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Antipasto Pasta Salad


8 oz. dry bow-tie pasta, uncooked

1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) fire-roasted

diced tomatoes with garlic, drained

1/4 C. Italian salad dressing

2 C. small fresh cauliflower florets

1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper

30 slices pepperoni, cut into quarters

(about 1/2 C.)

3/4 c. cubed mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions.

Drain & rinse under cold water until cool.

Stir together drained tomatoes & dressing

in large bowl. Add pasta & remaining

ingredients; toss to combine. Serve

immediately or refrigerate until cold.

Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Appledoodles (cookies)



8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 C. brown sugar

2/3 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 C. flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 small apple, peeled/cored & diced small

Cinnamon/Sugar mixture:

1/2 C. sugar

3 T. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In mixing bowl, cream butter on medium-high

speed until soft, smooth & light. Add both sugars

& mix well. Stirring vigorously, add egg & beat

well. In separate bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch,

baking soda, salt & nutmeg. Slowly fold batter into

dry mixture just until combined. Fold in apples by

hand until well distributed. Mix together cinnamon/

sugar mixture and put on flat plate. Form dough

into balls then roll in cinnamon mixture, coating

evenly. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet

(or use parchment paper), placing them 3 inches

apart. Press cookies slightly to flatten & sprinkle

a extra pinch of cinnamon sugar on flattened

surface. Bake cookies 7 minutes, then rotate

cookie sheet in oven and bake another 7

minutes. (If using greased sheet – they might

be done at this point; if using parchment, cookies

will take 2-3 minutes longer). You are looking for

golden edges & a blonde middle. Cool on

baking sheet. Cookies will keep in an airtight

container, at room temperature, 3 days.

Makes 30-40 cookies.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Well, now that I’ve shared some really yummy-sounding recipes with you, think I’ll go take a peak at the roast. It’s only been in the oven an hour but it sure is smelling good with the Italian salad dressing.

Have a peaceful, quiet, SAFE, Memorial Day!



Holiday Weekend Coming UP!


I hadn’t really planned on writing another blog this soon, but after reading all the great recipes, I just had to SHARE!


Burger/Veggie Grill Dinner

1 lb. ground beef, shaped into patties
8 small red skin potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 C. frozen French style green beans
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Coat a 12 X 10 X 2 1/2 inch foil baking pan
with nonstick spray. Layer potato slices on
bottom of pan. Top with burgers. Mix together
melted butter with remaining ingredients; pour
over burgers & potatoes. Place pan on gas or
charcoal grill, 4-6 inches above coals. Cover
grill, cook about 25 minutes or until potatoes
are tender. Serves 4

(use a food thermometer to make sure patties
reach minimum internal temperature of 160
degrees F.)

Oven Method:
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Assemble as above, place pan in oven &
bake about 30 minutes or until potatoes are

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

1 pkg. rotelli or farfalle pasta
2 carrots, shredded
2 stalks celery chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/3 C. (Franks) buffalo sauce
2/3 C. ranch salad dressing
2 C. cooked & shredded chicken

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Mix buffalo sauce with salad dressing; toss
with cooked & drained pasta. Add vegetables
& chicken. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

tip: you could also top with crumbled blue cheese
NOTE from site: “That great Buffalo chicken flavor
permeates this terrific salad.” (You might want to
add a bit more ranch dressing to cut the ‘bite’ – or not!)


Refreshing Watermelon Salad

3 C. chopped watermelon (3/4 inch
1 C. chopped cucumbers (1/4 inch
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 T. chopped fresh mint
2 t. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

Combine all ingredients; serve or chill
before serving. Serves 4 (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Sweet & Tangy Broccoli Slaw

2 T. cooking oil
2 T. white vinegar
1 T. granulated sugar
2 tsp. honey mustard
1 (12 oz) pkg. broccoli coleslaw
1/3 C. raisins
1/4 C. sunflower kernels (roasted & salted)

Stir together oil, vinegar, sugar & mustard in
large bowl until combined. Add remaining
ingredients; toss to mix. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat!)

Stovetop “Baked” beans

(yes, this is ‘stretching’ it a bit, but not everyone likes ‘outdoor’ cooking!)

2 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can pork & beans
1/4 C. ketchup
1 T. spicy brown mustard

Cook bacon in medium saucepan over medium-high
heat 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
Add onion; cook 2 minutes more or until tender. Stir
in beans, ketchup & mustard; bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens,
stirring occasionally. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat!)

Picnic Corn & Tomato Salad

1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, drained
1 (15.25 oz) can yellow sweet corn, drained
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
3 T. real bacon bits
2 T. ketchup
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl;
stir to combine. Chill 1 hour before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat!)

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Lemon Frosting


2 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. oil

1/4 C. honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. shredded carrot

1 C. shredded zucchini

1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 C. powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs,

brown sugar, oil, honey & vanilla. Fold

in carrots, zucchini & walnuts. In another

bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger &

baking soda; whisk to blend then add to

flour mixture, stir until just combined. Spread

batter on ungreased 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake

25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into

center comes out clean. Cool completely in

pan on wire rack. Once cake is cooled, make


In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients using

elec. mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread

or pipe frosting over cooled bars. Makes 36 bars.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Beer Can BBQ Chicken

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1 whole chicken (4 lb)

1 (12 oz) can beer

1/2 C. honey barbecue sauce

Heat grill for indirect grilling; light one side

of grill, leaving other side unlit. Close lid;

heat grill to 375 degrees F.

Mix first 5 ingredients; rub onto chicken.

Open beer can; discard (or drink) half

of the beer. Place can on work surface;

lower chicken over can, inserting can into

tail end of chicken. Stand chicken on grate

over unlit area, using the legs to help the

chicken stand upright; cover. Can should

remain in chicken on the grill.

Grill chicken 1 hour; brush with 1/4 C. sauce.

Grill, uncovered, 15 minutes or until chicken

is done (165 degrees F.), monitoring for

consistant grill temperature & brushing

chicken frequently with remaining sauce.

Remove from grill; cover loosely with foil.

Let stand 10 minutes before removing

chicken from can & carving chicken. Discard

any beer remaining in can. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: When grilling over indirect heat, food is

not cooked directly over the heat source.

The covered grill acts like an oven, so there is

no need to turn the food.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


3-Bean Macaroni Salad


1 C. elbow macaroni, uncooked

1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed & halved

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can great Northern beans,


1 green pepper, chopped

3/4 C. chopped red onions

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

2 T. chopped fresh dill

Cook macaroni in large saucepan as

directed on pkg, omitting salt & adding

green beans to boiling water the last

2 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water;

drain again. Place macaroni mixture

in large bowl. Add remaining beans,

peppers & onions; mix lightly. Mix

remaining ingredients until blended;

add to salad, toss to coat. Refrigerate

1 hour before serving. Serves 16

(1/2 C. each)

note: can substitute 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas

(garbanzo beans) for Great Northern beans.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Frito Corn Salad


1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can whole kernel fiesta corn, drained

1 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing

1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)

1/2 pkg. chili Fritos

chopped bell pepper (optional)

chopped onion (optional)

Mix all ingredients except Fritos.  (can be

mixed together the night before and

refrigerated). Just before serving, add

Fritos & gently mix.

(note; adding Fritos too early will cause

them to become soggy)



Red Potato Salad with Bacon

(Paula Dean)

6 C. cubed red skin potatoes, unpeeled

(about 1 1/4 lb.)


2 – 3 strips bacon

1 C. chopped bell pepper (any color)

1/4 C. minced red onion

1/4 C. sliced scallions (about 2)

1/4 C. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 T. mayonnaise

freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in large pot, add water just to cover &

season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to boil over medium-high

heat; cook until tender (8-10 minutes). Drain & cool

slightly. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp; drain on

paper towels & finely chop. In large bowl, combine potatoes,

chopped bacon, bell pepper, onion & scallions. In small

bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp.

salt & 1/4 tsp. black pepper; pour mixture over potatoe

mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover & refrigerate or

serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6


1-2-3 Cake in a Coffee Mug

2 boxes cake mix – one any flavor you

choose the other MUST be Angel Food

Pour both cake mixes, dry, into a bowl –

mix well. Place mixture in a airtight


To Make:

Add 3 T. dry mixture to a large coffee mug;

add 2 T. water & microwave 1 minute.

Top with fruit, ice cream, whipped cream-

whatever you like!

(recipe: Facebook)


The weather here is chilly (44 degrees F.) but it’s finally SUNNY out – hopefully, for those who are planning picnics, barbecues, outdoor activities, it will warm up some soon!

Enjoy your weekend!



Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

New Regimen – whether I like it or not!


The past two days have been trips to two of my doctors for check-ups. End result: I’m overweight (I knew that) and my diabetic ‘sugar’ levels are higher than before (knew that, too). Primary physician said that I need to lower the sugar numbers in order to stay off medication for Diabetes (knew that), so now I’m going back to my old regimen of about 8 years ago (when I was first diagnosed as diabetic) and reduce the amount of carbs in my diet and reduce the amount of foods I eat, per day. It worked at that time (lost 50 lbs) and allowed me to stay off diabetic medications so, logically, it should work again, right? I must admit – back then, I was totally scared of being diabetic, thus my regimen became what you would call extreme; this time out I’m not going ‘full tilt’. I have six months to get my numbers down some – to me, that’s workable. Other than that, I’m GREAT! I learned something from one of my doctors: because I’m overweight insurance companies look at your BMI (body mass index) and give you a number – mine is 30. The doctor explained that the insurance companies look for UNDER 30 being ‘normal’ – anything above 30, they can (and will) start charging you more to cover you, insurance-wise! (another good reason for me to lose some weight, eh?).  I know I’ve ‘been bad’ when it comes to what I eat – now it’s time to reverse that process and get back to basics – sigh.

How are your gas prices lately? We jumped from $3.79/9 to $3.99/9 overnight! Outrageous! I’m thinking it’s because the holiday is fast approaching. I went shopping at KMart the other day and their little coupon machine spit out a coupon for 30 cents off per gallon at Speedway! I’m still a virtual newbie at Speedway (I tend to feel rushed/confused and don’t like it when I have to go inside to pay for gas) BUT I braved it today and used the coupon. Had a VERY nice young lady behind the counter and when I stated I really don’t know what to do with the coupon and my Speedway card, she walked me through it. So happy to have a full tank of gas AND have paid 30 cents less per gallon for it! (I would have saved the coupon until next week when prices might just come down, but I needed it today.)

Have you got any specific plans for the holiday weekend? As usual, here we’re ‘open’ – nothing planned however – I do have some really tasty-sounding recipes for you!


Black Bean Appetizer

(overnight recipe)

1 lb. dry black beans

1/2 C. chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp. salt

1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

1 lb. tortilla chips

Sort dry black beans &  soak overnight covered

with water in a stockpot. (next day) Drain water,

refill pot with fresh water & bring to a boil. Reduce

heat & simmer, covered, 1 hour. Add onion, garlic &

salt; cook 2 hours or until thick. Sprinkle with

cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe Exchange)


Cheesy Tomato Fish Bake

1 lb. frozen haddock fillets*

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 T. chopped parsley

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Place fish in 9 X 13 baking pan & drizzle tops

with salad dressing. Bake 25 minutes then

top with tomatoes & cheese. Bake 5 minutes

longer or until cheese is melted & fish flakes

easily with a fork. Sprinkle top with parsley.

Serves 5

NOTE: no need to defrost fish before using

as directed

 *can also use frozen halibut or cod fillets

(recipe: Kraft foods


Zesty Grilled Summer Veggies

4 zucchini cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices

3 (each)  red & yellow peppers, cut into 1/2 inch

wide strips

1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat grill to medium heat. Place veggies in

grill basket* & grill 10 minutes or until crisp-tender,

turning occasionally. Place in large bowl. Add

dressing & toss to coat. Sprinkle top with cheese.

Serves 8

How to grill without a Grill Basket:

Cover grill grate with large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum

foil before heating grill as directed. Spread veggies onto

foil. Grill as directed, stirring occasionally.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Coconut Cream Poke Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box white cake mix

3 (3.4 oz ea) boxes instant coconut cream pudding

& pie filling mix

1/3 C. flour

1 1/2 C. water

1 tsp. coconut extract

4 eggs

1/3 C. oil

1/3 C. sour cream

4 C. milk

2 C. sweetened flaked coconut

1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Place cake mix, 1 box coconut cream pudding mix &

1/3 C. flour in large bowl; toss to combine. Add 1 1/2 C.

water, 1 tsp. coconut extract, 4 eggs, 1/3 C. il &  1/3 C.

sour cream. Blend ingredients on Low speed 1 minute.

Scrape bottom of bowl, beat at medium speed 2

minutes until batter is smooth & glossy. Spray a 9 X 13

baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into

pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into

center comes out clean. Remove from oven; let cool

10 minutes. Spread 2 C. coconut on a large cookie sheet.

Place in oven about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, to

toast the coconut. BE CAREFUL when you open the oven

as coconut lets off a really potent fume that can burn your

eyes. when cake has cooled about 10 minutes, poke a bunch

of holes in cake with handle end of a wooden spoon. Pour

4 C. milk & 2 boxes coconut cream pudding into large bowl

of stand mixer. Using whisk attachment, whip pudding about

10 minutes or until it thickens up. Pour pudding over top of cake

& spread out with a knife. Carefully dollop Cool Whip on top

of pudding and spread out with a knife. Sprinkle cooled, toasted

coconut over top of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to

24 hours before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)


Crockpot Roast

1 (3 lb.) boneless chuck beef roast, trimmed

of excess fat

1 tsp. salt, dividd

1 tsp. black pepper, divided

1 (14 oz) can beef broth

4 C. carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds

3 C. roughly cut onion

2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 C. celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 T. tomato paste

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp. chopped garlic

2 T. cornstarch

Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray; bring to

high heat. Season roast with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper.

Cook & rotate roast until all sides are browned,

about 5 minutes. Place in crockpot. Add all

remaining ingredients except cornstarch, including

1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper; gently stir. Cook on

High 3-4 hours or Low 7-8 hours until roast is

cooked through. Turn off crockpot. In small bowl,

dissolve cornstarch in 2 T. Cold water. Stir corn-

starch mixture into liquid in crockpot. Let set,

uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5

minutes. Discard thyme. Slice meat & top with

veggies & sauce. Serves 12

NOTE: If roast breaks into pieces when you trim

away fat, just cook each piece until browned. The

smaller pieces will take less time.

(recipe: DASH magazine,


Crunchy Onion Pork Chops


3 C. (6 oz) French’s original or Cheddar French

Fried Onions

3 T. flour

6 (1/2 inch thick) bone-in or boneless pork chops

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Season chops with salt & pepper. Place fried onions

in plastic bag; lightly crush with hands or rolling pin.

Transfer mixture to pie plate or waxed paper. Dip

seasoned pork chops in beaten egg, then coat with

onion crumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Place

chops on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until

no longer pink in center.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry


2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 3/4 inch.

1 can pineapple chunks (reserve 4 oz juice)

1 bag frozen stir fry veggies

1/2 C. diced onion

1 small can sliced mushrooms

2 T. soy sauce

1 (14 oz) bottle sweet & sour sauce

2 T. vegetable oil

In large high walled pan, heat oil & onions 2 minutes, then

add frozen veggies; cook 3 minutes to thaw & slightly

cook. Remove from pan & set aside. Fry cubed chicken

until cooked through; add remaining ingredients to pan &

heat thoroughly. Stir often. Do no overheat veggies or they

will get soggy. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Springtime Asparagus


1 C. (about 4 oz) sliced mushrooms

1/4 C. Italian salad dressing

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 lb. asparagus spears, ends removed*

2 T. sliced almonds

Mix mushrooms, dressing & lemon juice

in large nonstick skillet; cook on medium heat

3-5 minutes or just until mushrooms are tender,

stirring frequently. Top with asparagus, cover &

reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 5 minutes

or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Sprinkle with

almonds when serving. Serves 4

*You can substitute 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen

asparagus spears, thawed, for fresh asparagus

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Strawberries & Cream Bars


1 box vanilla cake mix (18.25 oz)

1/3 C. butter, room temp.

2 eggs, divided

3 C. sliced strawberries (approx. 1/4″ slices)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/3 C. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. In

large bowl, combine butter, 1 egg & cake mix;

mix well – mixture will be stiff. (you can use your

hands to combine). Reserve 1 C. mixture for

topping and set aside. Press remaining

mixture onto bottom of pan; bake 10 minutes.

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar,

vanilla & remaining egg until smooth. Spread

cream cheese mixture over top of partially

baked crust. Evenly arrange sliced strawberries

over cream cheese mixture & sprinkle top

with remaining crust mixture. Bake 25-30

minutes until center is set & crumbs on top

turn golden brown. Cool completely on wire

rack; chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)


Well friends, that about wraps up what I wanted to share today. OH! Almost forgot! Last night we had a medium rain shower and, driving on my way to AND from my special needs group I got the priviledge of seeing TWO different rainbows! One on the way in, and a different (wider/fainter) one on the way home! Pretty neat! All I could think of at the time was:


Psalm 19:1

   “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows forth His handywork.”


Thank you, Lord, for such a nice blessing!

Enjoy your day!



Published in: on May 23, 2013 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

One More Done!


This is the ‘sister’ to the first afghan I posted using this design. This time I chose to make the body of the afghan in a solid color, and the bumpy parts in variegated – I like the pattern, it’s easy to remember (AND I can spot the mistakes when I come up short at the end of a pattern row – VERY IMPORTANT!) After photographing said afghan (outside – temp at 78 lovely degrees, but a bit overcast – they’re saying rain sometime today), I got to thinking: “What’s the NEXT afghan pattern going to be?” I visited JoAnn Fabrics a few days ago, only because I had a 60% off coupon (and those are VERY rare!) – purchased a light weight yarn in blues, white and greens – great for a baby boy. Just spent about a half hour perusing various yarn/knitting sites attempting to find a relatively easy (for me) knit pattern – something I haven’t already knit in the past. Located about 6, so now it’s plow through them and see if one will be the ‘next’ baby afghan pattern. I like doing this – AND I like a challenge, so should be fun. Am writing up the email to my knit group to start getting them involved in crocheting or knitting dishcloths for the Waterford Historical Society’s “Log Cabin Days” coming up the end of June. (I’ve already knit about 7, so I’m holding off on those, myself). Also in said email will be a gentle reminder that September is coming and the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower is looming ahead of us. For those of us who knit or crochet, we need ‘planning’ time before decided whether to participate or not, whether we have ample yarn/time, etc. I like to start early for them – it brings in better results later! (Yes, as you know, I’m an OVER achiever, so this will be baby blanket #4 coming up – not trying to ‘show off’, I just want to make sure we have a good showing of baby blankets for the Vets. Some of our ladies will make one, a few will make 2, so I just want to make sure that we can deliver a nice amount for their event.)

Lots more great-sounding summer recipes for you (and a few that might not exactly be ‘summer’ but sounded really tasty!)


Bacon Ranch Foil Packet Potatoes
(on grill)

3 sheets  heavy-duty foil
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
6 slices cooked & crumbled bacon
1 packet ranch dressing mix
salt & pepper, to taste
3 T. butter
Sour cream for serving, if desired
Spray each sheet of foil with cooking spray.
Top each piece with equal portions of potatoes,
bacon, and ranch dressing mix. Add salt and pepper
to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each serving.
Wrap securely. Grill for 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand
10 minutes before serving. Serve in foil, topped
with sour cream if desired.

(recipe: Facebook)


2 stalk(s) uncooked broccoli, chopped
1 head(s) (medium) uncooked cauliflower, chopped
1/2 C. sweet red pepper(s), chopped
1/2 C. green pepper(s), chopped
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 large uncooked red onion, chopped
1(large) can large ripe black olives, chopped
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. Ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
Chill before serving.

(recipe: Facebook – comment:
from  Weight Watchers page of healthier recipes.)

Chocolate Lasagna Dessert

1 pkg regular Oreo cookies
(Not Double Stuff) – about 36 cookies
6 T.  butter, melted
1  (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 T cold milk
1  (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
2  (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. instant chocolate pudding mix
3 1/4 C. cold milk
1  1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Crush 36 Oreo cookies into FINE crumbs (food processor
works, but you could also place them in a large ziplock
bag & crush them with a rolling pin. Transfer  crumbs
to a large bowl. Stir in 6 T. melted butter; use a fork to
incorporate  butter into cookie crumbs. Transfer
mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press crumbs
onto the bottom of pan. Refrigerate pan. Mix cream
cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 T. milk
and sugar; mix well. Stir in 1  1/4 C. Cool Whip. Remove
crust pan from fridge & spread  mixture over the crust.
In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with
3 1/4 C. cold milk. Whisk several minutes until pudding
starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread mixture over
previous cream cheese layer. Allow dessert to rest for
about 5 minutes so that  pudding can firm up further.
Spread  remaining Cool Whip over  top. Sprinkle
mini chocolate chips evenly over top & place in
freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours
before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast Casserole

1 lb pork sausage
2 T butter
2 packages Sausage Gravy Mix (makes 2 cups per package)
12 eggs
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tubes refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook sausage in 10″ skillet – breaking up chunks; set aside.
In large saucepan, make gravy according to directions; add
sausage to gravy, set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs, evaporated
milk and salt. Soft scramble eggs with the butter. Layer gravy, eggs,
gravy, eggs, gravy in 9 X 13 pan then top with biscuits.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes  until biscuits are golden brown.


Grilled Fresh Salsa Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing, divided

1 tomato, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

1 tsp. zest plus 2 tsp. juice from 1 lime

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken

5-7 minutes on each side or until done (165 degrees F.),

brushing occasionally with 1/4 C. dressing. Combine

remaining dressing with remaining ingredients. Serve

chicken topped with salsa. Serves 4

NOTE: can also add 2 tsp. chopped cilantro and/or 1 tsp.

chopped jalapeno peppers

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Feta & Vegetable Rotini Salad


3 C. rotini pasta, cooked & cooled

1 c. crumbled Feta cheese

1 C. halved cherry tomatoes

1 C. chopped cucumbers

1/2 C. sliced black olives

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

1/4 C. finely chopped red onions

Combine all ingredients & refrigerate

1 hour before serving. Serves 8, about

1 C. each.

Note; can substitute plum tomatoes for

cherry tomatoes and/or substitute chopped

red or green peppers for cucumbers

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Orange Cream Cheese Bread


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. shortening

1 2/3 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 C. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 T. baking powder

1 C. milk

1/2 C. chopped walnuts

2 T. grated orange peel

1/4 C. orange juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Combine cream cheese & shortening, cream well.

Gradually add sugar, beating until light & fluffy. Add

eggs, beating well after each addition. Combine flour,

baking powder & salt; add to creamed mixture

alternately with milk, beginning & ending with flour

mixture; mix well after each addition. Stir in walnuts &

orange peel. Pour batter into 2 greased & floured

8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 inch loaf pans. Bake 55 minutes

or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center comes

out clean. Let bread cool in pans 10 minutes. Sprinkle

tops with orange juice. Remove to wire rack to finish

cooling. Makes 2 loafs

(recipe: Jen –


Shells with Peas, Bacon & Parmesan


3 C. pasta shells

8 strips bacon, cooked crisp

1 clove minced garlic

1 1/4 C. milk

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick softened butter

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 C. fresh peas

Cook pasta shells in boiling, salted water until

al dente; drain. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp;

transfer to paper towels & crumble. Reserve

2 T. fat from bacon. Add garlic to bacon fat &

cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to Low, then whisk

in milk, cubed cream cheese & softened butter.

When smooth, add Parmesan, peas & most of

bacon. Cook until hot; stir in shells. Lightly

season with salt. Top with reserved bacon.

(recipe: DASH magazine,


Honey Dijon Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs

3 T. honey Dijon salad dressing

2 T. minced green onions

1/8 tsp. pepper (if desired)

Remove shells from eggs; halve lengthwise or crosswise.

Carefully remove yolks & place in small bowl. Mash yolks

with a fork. Add salad dressing & green onions; mix well.

Lightly spoon or pipe mixture back into egg white halves.

Sprinkle tops with pepper (if desired). Refrigerate until

ready to serve. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


It’s another gorgeous day outside – hope you get to enjoy a WONDERFUL day today!



Better Day


Hello, again; sorry for the previous rant but sometimes ya just gotta get it out. After a chat with my family doctor and verifying the other doctors on my team, it seems that they all take Medicare AND my family doctor said that his own parents also have Medicare as their primary, and BC/BS as their secondary insurers and he thinks that’s a good thing. Sure hope so.

This morning found us out at the flag football field again watching our grandson (and his dad, the Coach) play. The eventual ending found the score 7 – 0 (our team was 0), but as my son asks each of his players: “Did you have FUN playing? It doesn’t matter if we won or lost – it’s if we had FUN doing it!” There were several injuries at this game, our grandson was one of them – but all got up and continued playing, so it wasn’t too bad. The weather was just perfect (69 degrees F.) with some sun. I wore a sweatshirt & jacket but took off the jacket mid-game. It’s supposed to get up into the 80’s later; so far even with the warmer weather, it’s not intolerable so that’s a good thing.

Not much going on, still working on the third baby afghan; have about 2 inches left to finish; might be able to finish it today, we’ll see. Been also knitting cotton dishcloths for the Historical Society (have 7 done so far). I probably should bring out the baby hats & chemo caps, too (except they really don’t need the chemo caps when it’s warmer weather).

Am getting lots of ‘summer-type’ recipes coming in – here are some:



6 T. olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb. trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 lb.)

Preheat oven 400°F.
Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 T.  olive oil.
Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in  bottom of  dish or skillet.
In a large bowl, combine remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt
& pepper; add green beans & toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon
or tongs, remove green beans &arrange  on top of lemon slices.
Add  potatoes to olive-oil mixture; toss to coat. Using a slotted
spoon or tongs, arrange potatoes along  inside edge of  dish or
skillet on top of green beans. Place chicken in same bowl with
olive-oil mixture &  coat thoroughly. Place chicken, skin-side up,
in dish or skillet. Pour any remaining olive-oil mixture over chicken.
Roast  50 minutes. Remove chicken from dish or skillet. Place
beans &  potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until
potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving
plates; divide  green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.
Serves 4

(recipe: Facebook)

Best Grape Salad
(overnight recipe)

2 lb. green seedless grapes
2 lb. red seedless grapes
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. crushed pecans
Wash & stem grapes; set aside. Mix
sour cream, cream cheese, gran. sugar &
vanilla until blended. Stir grapes into mixture
gently; pour into large serving bowl.

Combine brown sugar & pecans; sprinkle
over top of grapes to cover completely.
Chill overnight. Serves 15

recipe: Jamie Renee/


Holy Cow Cake

chocolate cake mix (your preference), baked as directed
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz.)  jar caramel topping
4-5 Butterfingers candy bars, crushed
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
Prepare & bake cake as directed on package.
Blend caramel and sweetened condensed milk.
After removing cake from oven, use a skewer or
fork to poke holes into the top of the cake; pour
caramel mixture over cake. Crush candy bars &
sprinkle half of them over the warm cake. Chill.
Stir cream cheese & Cool Whip together until
blended well. Spread over cooled cake.
Sprinkle top with remaining candy.

(recipe: Facebook)

No Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam
(Overnight recipe)

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 0 minutes

3 lbs. strawberries, hulled and stems removed
1 3/4  C. apple juice
1 1/2 package no sugar, low sugar pectin
(Four 8 oz. containers)

Mash strawberries in a large bowl.
In small saucepan, bring apple juice & pectin to a boil;
boil 1 minute. Pour straight into the mashed strawberries
and stir hard 1 minute. Ladle into freezer containers and
place in  refrigerator overnight to let it cool slowly and set.
Then store in the freezer. Good in the freezer for up to 1
year, in the fridge for 3 weeks.

Yield – Four 8 oz. containers

NOTE from poster: I find that using 1 1/2 package
really gets the jam to set perfectly!

(recipe: Facebook)

Mini Peach Cobblers

1 C. sugar
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
a dash of salt
3/4 C. milk
1 stick of melted butter
brown sugar
1 can diced peaches

Preheat oven 350˚F.
Put 1 tsp of melted butter into each regular size muffin tin.
Combine first 5 ingredients by hand: sugar, flour, baking powder,
salt and milk. Put 2 tbsp of batter into each regular size muffin tin
on top of the melted butter. Then put 1 tbsp diced peaches on
top of the batter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and then cinnamon.
Bake the regular size muffin tins for 12 minutes.
Let them cool almost completely before taking out of pan.

(great served with vanilla ice cream)
(recipe: Facebook)

Creamy Jalapeno-stuffed Chicken

8 small boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (2 lb) pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. Kraft Mexican-style finely
shredded Four Cheese, divided
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely
1 egg
3 C. tortilla chips (4 oz) finely crushed
(about 1 C.)
1 C. green salsa

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place chicken on work surface. Mix
cream cheese, 1 1/2 C. shredded
cheese & peppers until well blended;
spread onto chicken. Starting at one short
end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly.
Can be secured with wooden toothpicks,
if desired.

(Can be refrigerated up to 8 hours at this point)

Beat egg in shallow dish. Place crushed chips in
separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then
roll in chips. Place, seam-sides down, in single
layer in shallow pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake 35 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Warm salsa. Top chicken with remaining shredded
cheese & serve with salsa.
Serves 8

(recipes: Kraft foods)

Chicken Rice Soup


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
5 C. water or chicken broth
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (2 C.)
3/4 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. raw rice
1/4 C. chopped onions
1 C. frozen or canned mixed vegetables
5 tsp. chicken flavor instant bouillon or
5 cubes
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine chicken, water or broth, vegetables
& seasonings in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours (or High 4-5 hours). Makes 2 quarts.


Hearty Beef & Cabbage Stew

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (40 oz) can tomatoes
2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. chili powder
1/2 C. chopped celery
2 C. thinly sliced cabbage

Saute beef in skillet; drain. Combine all ingredients
except cabbage, in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
3 hours. Add cabbage, cook on High 30-60 minutes
longer. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Choco-Peanut Bars Deluxe

1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 C. chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 C. chunky peanut butter
2 1/4 C. crisp rice cereal

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, cream shortening,
butter & brown sugar until light &
fluffy. Beat in egg, peanut butter &
vanilla. Combine flour & salt;
gradually add to creamed mixture;
mix well. Spread into a greased
15″ X 10″ X 1″ baking pan. Bake
15-20 minutes or until golden
brown. Cool 15 minutes.
Melt chocolate chips & peanut
butter in saucepan. Stir in cereal &
carefully spread over top. Chill
30 minutes or until firm. Cut into
bars. Makes 3 dozen.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


Today is the kind of day you either want to go outside and work in the yard OR go outside and take a nap in a hammock! Not sure, just yet, what I’m going to do (but it won’t be option A above – I’m NOT a yard person). Hope your weather is cooperating and you’re happy with it!



Rant Warning . . .


As of June I will be eligible to receive MEDICARE – I DON’T WANT IT! (remember, I did give you a warning title). You see, up until now I was VERY happy to be paying premiums to our retirement company for their Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage. Almost EVERY doctor accepts BC/BS – NOT EVERY doctor accepts Medicare. When you’re a cancer patient this is ULTIMATE! After a lengthy conversation with someone from Social Security (which is the umbrella for Medicare) they told me that if I refuse to sign up for Parts A & B, in the future if I DO want to sign up, there will be a 10% FEE charged, plus I would have to wait for an open enrollment (I knew about that) which ‘could’ make you wait almost a year for coverage, depending on the time of sign-up. IN ADDITION to those two ‘lovely’ penalties, there’s also the fact that your current insurance company, when it finds out you refused Medicare, could cancel your coverage with THEM! GIVE ME A BREAK! CATCH 22 ALL OVER AGAIN! This might not sound very important BUT I’m not where I was a few years ago: just one family doctor – now I have quite a few specialty doctors: Oncologist, Radiologist, etc. Now I have to call each one and see IF they take Medicare – if they don’t I’m not sure WHAT will happen! I will still be having BC/BS as my medical provider BUT because of MEDICARE, they will be the SECONDARY provider – that means that MEDICARE is the one calling the shots as to who I see, what procedures they approve (or not), what medications I can receive, etc. For example, I’m Hypothyroid – I can ONLY use the MAIN thyroid drug – the generic doesn’t work on me! It’s a mess and, as you can tell, I”M NOT HAPPY! Yes, I CAN refuse Parts A & B, BUT if I do there are 3 primary penalties – all of which are pretty major. Here I thought I could just call them up, set up an appointment to see a person at Social Security, sign the paper that says I refuse Parts A & B coverage and I’m done. As it stands now – I guess I’ll HAVE to take it, like it or not.

Please forgive me if I sound ‘spoiled’ – I realize that there are lots of people out there who are MORE than grateful for Medicare. I’m glad it’s there for them, but I was happy with paying our retirement premiums to our insurance provider and being able to say which doctor I chose to see (within their scope of doctors). Life just changed under my nose. There was ONE GOOD thing that I heard from the lady at BC/BS – she said: “You don’t HAVE to use the Medicare card until you become eligible” – I haven’t got it in the mail yet AND I have two doctors appointments coming up next week. At least those visits will be covered by BC/BS – but I’ll have to ask them if they accept Medicare. We’ll see.

Sorry, but I’m in a bit of a funk today so will postpone posting recipes for next time.



Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

A Quiet Tuesday, so far


Here it is Tuesday already – our weather hasn’t changed much since last I wrote, we’re still sitting in the 50’s, grey/cloudy, and CHILLY! Just when I had started to drag out all the Summer clothes, it’s time to grab some long-sleeved tops and occasionally sweatshirts! The ‘Wandering Jew’ plant I had already stuck outside ONCE, came right back inside because it’s simply too cold for it. This is the plant I received a year ago Mother’s Day from one of my special needs students. It wasn’t doing well last year so I put it outside for the summer and it FLOURISHED! Well, now we’re looking at it being kind of spindly and droopy – guess it will just have to wait some more before finally enjoying the warmth of Summer – sigh.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going out to lunch with my oldest son (Mother’s Day present). He let me choose and I picked “Joe’s Crab Shack”; I’d never been there and kept seeing all the yummy-looking ads on TV. We had a very enjoyable time; he ordered fish & chips and I tried their Blackened Sea Bass with steamed asparagus, ‘dirty rice, 3 small clam stuffed clam shells and 3 bacon-wrapped shrimp. The dish is supposed to be spicy – SO glad the waitress mentioned that (I don’t like spicy) so I asked for it without the sauce – it was great. (Ended up giving my son the shrimp as they were really spicy – so was the rice; I was just happy with the fish & asparagus! He also ordered Calimari for an appetizer – I’d never had battered & fried squid before – it was REALLY tasty! Also tried marinara sauce with it (had that before and didn’t like it – but THIS one was really good!). We were both happily stuffed. Sunday (being that he is a chef) he also brought over several ‘goody’ boxes: LOTS of various desserts – peanut butter cookies, lemon bars, lemon-coconut butter cookies (THE BEST!), another one I couldn’t figure out (bar cookie), a whole box of cheese cake squares (really tasty) AND an entire apple pie! (The boy knows his Mama has a sweet tooth!).  Middle son mentioned taking me out to dinner or a movie ON Mother’s Day but I really don’t like going out on a holiday-too crowded, so we postponed.

Recipes? Lots of them coming in – to share with you!


Avocado Tomato Salad

2 ripe avocados
2 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Cut up tomatoes, avocados into small
bites, mix gently with lemon juice,
salt & pepper, & cilantro. Serve chilled or
room temp.

(recipe: Facebook)

Hawaiian Ham N Cheese Sliders

1-2 pkgs. of Hawaiian sweet rolls
1 onion, minced
1 stick  butter
3 T.  Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 lb. shaved deli ham- or more depends how thick you want them
8-10 slices Swiss or American cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a sauce pan melt  butter. Add onion; cook until soft
then add mustard, Worcestershire & poppy seeds.
Simmer  5 minutes. Slice rolls right down the middle.
Place them in a pan with foil. Place 2/3 of mixture on
bottom of rolls then add ham & cheese. Top with the
other side of the rolls; add the rest of the mixture on top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cut where the lines are in the Hawaiian
rolls and you know have perfectly melted sliders.

(recipe: Facebook)


1 (20 oz) can cubed or crushed pineapple
1 (15 oz) can tropical fruit
1 package  orange cake mix
1 1/2 sticks  butter
1/2 C. instant oatmeal
1 C. coconut flakes
(ice cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dump both fruits & their juices into a 9 x 13
Pyrex baking dish. Pour dry cake mix on top of
the fruit & spread out evenly. Mix oatmeal &
coconut; sprinkle over cake mixture with fingers.
Melt butter & pour on top evenly.
It should cover the entire cake mix.
Bake for one hour & serve with ice cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Bring sugar & milk to a boil;
boil 2 1/2 minutes. remove from
heat & stir in peanut butter &

(recipe: Facebook)

Pineapple Pork

2 lb. boneless pork loin cut into
bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. honey barbecue sauce
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in
juice, undrained
3 T. cornstarch
2 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 large red peppers, coarsely chopped
6 C. hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 C. peanuts, chopped (optional)

Combine meat & barbecue sauce in
crockpot. Drain pineapple, reserving
1/4 C. juice. Add reserved juice to cornstarch,
stir until dissolved. Add to meat mixture; mix
well. Top with pineapple chunks & peppers;
cover with lid. Cook on Low 6-8 hours or
High 5 hours. Serve over rice, sprinkle
servings with nuts (if desired)
Serves 8.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Spanish Rice


2 T. butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C. chopped onion

1/4 C. chopped red, orange or green bell pepper

2 C. rice (poster used short grain)

1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce

3 1/2 C. chicken broth*

1/2 tsp. cumin

salt & pepper

1 T. butter

1 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.

Add 2 T. butter & melt. Add garlic, onion & peppers;

cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until

onions are translucent. Add 2 C. rice; stir to combine.

Allow rice to cook some (to give it a golden brown color;

this enhances the flavor of the rice – taking care not to

burn it.) Looking to brown SOME of the rice, not all of it.

Add tomato sauce & chicken broth (see * below).

*NOTE: poster used 3 1/2 C. very hot water & 3 1/2 tsp.

chicken bullion, mixed together)

Add cumin & stir well. Reduce heat to medium low; cover

pan & simmer 12-15 minutes or until rice has soaked up

liquid and is no longer crunchy. Sprinkle with a bit of salt

& pepper; add 1 T. butter; stir to combime. Turn off heat

& sprinkle cheese on top; cover & let stand 5 minutes until

cheese is melted.  Serves 8

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)


Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms


12-15 large fresh mushrooms

2 T. butter, divided

2 T. chopped onion

1 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. dried basil

salt & pepper, to taste

4 oz. bulk Italian sausage

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

2 T. dry bread crumbs

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems

finely; set caps aside. Place stems in paper

towels & squeeze to remove any liquid. In a

large skillet, heat 1 1/2 T. butter; cook stems &

onion until tender. Add lemon juice, basil, salt &

pepper; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated;

cool. In large bowl, combine mushroom mixture,

sausage & parsley; stuff reserved mushroom

caps. Combine crumbs & cheese; sprinkle over

tops. Dot each with remaining butter. Place in

a greased baking pan & bake 20 minutes or

until sausage is no longer pink, basting

occasionally with pan juices. Serve hot

Makes 12-15 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Savory Beef Empanadas


1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 C. chopped onions

1/4 C. chopped green peppers

3 slices cooked ham, finely chopped

2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing

2 T. tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 C. chopped cilantro

1 C. cooking oil

Brown meat in medium skillet on medium heat;

drain. Add onions, peppers, ham, salad dressing,

tomato sauce & garlic; mix well. Reduce heat to

medium-low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro;

set aside.

Roll each pastry sheet into 15 X 10 inch rectangle

on lightly floured surface. Cut out six (5 inch) squares

from each sheet. Spoon about 1/4 C. meat mixture

onto center of each square. Moisten edges with water.

Fold dough into a triangle to enclose filling; press lightly on

tops to remove any air pockets. Seal edges by crimping

with a fork. Heat oil in large deep skillet to 375 degrees F.

Add empanadas, in batches of trhee or four; cook 3

minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides.

Remove from oil; drain well. Cool slightly before serving.

Serves 6, 2 empanadas each.

NOTE: Empanadas may be baked instead of fried:

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Place empanadas on baking

sheets and bake 18-20 minutes or until pastry is golden


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Easy Oven Omelet

(overnight recipe)


18 eggs, beaten

2 lb. (or less) grated Cheddar cheese

2 lb. cottage cheese

2 C. milk

2 C. Bisquick

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted

2 C. sliced green onions

1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled*

Mix all ingredients together in very large bowl

Cover & refrigerate overnight. Remove from

fridge about 30 minutes before baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Pour mixture into a 10 X 15 baking

dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake 1 hour until top is golden brown and

eggs are set. Remove from oven & let set

10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Serve with salsa & sour cream on the side.

Serves 12-15

*You can substitute cubed ham, cooked baby

shrimp or cooked crumbled sausage for the bacon.

Can also add green chilies if desired



Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Caramel Pecan Cookies

(just the name makes me drool!)

1/2 C. butter, softened

1 C. plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided

1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 C. flour

3/4 C. baking cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1 C. chopped pecans, divided by 1/2 C.

1 (13 oz) pkg. Rollo candies

1 C. peanut butter

1/2 C. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, peanut butter,

1 C. sugar & brown sugar until well blended. Beat

in eggs & vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa & baking

soda in separate bowl; gradually add to creamed

mixture just until combined. Stir in 1/2 C. pecans &

mini chocolate chips. Shape dough by tablespoonfuls

around each Rollo. In a small bowl, combine remaining

pecans & sugar; dip each cookie halfway into pecan

mixture. Place cookies, nut side up, on ungreased

baking sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes or until top is

slightly cracked. Cool 3 minutes; remove to wire

racks to cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies.



Hope you’ve had a pleasant week so far – enjoy this weather of BLOOMING things!



Yep, it’s Michigan! Brrrrrrrrrr!


In typical Michigan fashion, we went from 70 degree days to 45-50 degrees, overnight! Yesterday I finally braved it and put my Wandering Jew plant outside (for the Summer, I thought) only to come home last night to 46 degrees – definitely NOT plant weather! This is the plant that one of my special needs kids bought me for Mothers Day last year; I’m NOT a plant person (love them but seem to kill them) but this one survived, albeit looking VERY thin & droopy. Last year, as a ‘last ditch effort’ I put it outside and it totally thrived! Amazing! Oh well, it will just have to be content sitting in my house until another WARM day!

I had the pleasure of attending our church’s Ladie’s Dinner last night (it used to be called the Mother/Daughter Banquet but they decided, this year, to include ALL ladies – and I was glad! (I don’t have any daughters, sisters, Mom, etc. so this made me feel ‘included’ – YAY!) We had a very nice dinner – grilled steak, baked potatoes, a WONDERFUL tossed salad (with real bacon bits & lots of veggies), fresh green beans with various roasted peppers & onions and dinner rolls. Dessert was strawberry short cake! YUM! Glad I went – fun company, good food, great message – a totally enjoyable evening!

Today, in the cold, our grandson played another game of Flag Football – this time I sent my husband, as our youngest had to be at work at 11 (time the game ends); he came back reporting our team won and grandson scored a really long touchdown – glad to hear it! Hoping NEXT Saturday I’ll be able to go.

Lot’s more yummy recipes – most coming from Facebook! I’ll tell ya – looking at those photos makes me drool! Enjoy!


Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole

2 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)
8-10 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/3 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T. black pepper
1 T. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
6 T. hot sauce (Tabasco)

2 C. fiesta blend shredded cheese (or Mexican blend)
1 C. crumbled bacon
1 C. diced green onion

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Spray 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a large
bowl mix olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder
& hot sauce. Add cubed potatoes; stir to coat. Carefully
scoop potatoes into prepared baking dish, leaving
behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mixture as
possible. Bake  45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes,
until cooked through & crispy – browned on the outside.
While potatoes are cooking, add  cubed chicken to  bowl
with left over olive oil/hot sauce mixture; stir to coat.
Once potatoes are fully cooked, remove from  oven &
lower  temperature to 400 degrees. Top cooked potatoes
with the raw marinated chicken. In a bowl mix together:
cheese, bacon & green onion. Top the raw chicken with
cheese mixture. Return casserole to  oven; bake
15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
& topping is bubbly delicious.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chocolate Icebox Pie

2/3 C. milk
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 C. cold water
2 T. cornstarch
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. butter or margarine
1 (6 oz) ready-made chocolate crumb pie crust
1 C. whipping cream
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped peanuts, toasted
1 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy bar, chopped

Heat milk until it just begins to bubble around edges
in a 3 Qt. saucepan over medium heat (DO NOT boil).
Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate morsels until
melted; cool slightly. Stir together cold water & cornstarch
until dissolved. Whisk cornstarch mixture, sweetened
condensed milk, eggs & vanilla into chocolate mixture.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Boil 1 minute or until mixture thickens & is smooth.
(DO NOT overcook). Remove from heat, whisk in butter.
Spoon mixture into pie crust; cover & chill at least
8 hours. When ready to serve, beat whipping cream at
high speed with elec. mixer until foamy; gradually
add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread
whipped cream evenly over pie filling; sprinkle
with pecans & candy bar pieces.

(recipe: Facebook)

Pull Apart Bacon Bread

12 bacon strips, diced
1 (1 lb) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 (4 oz) C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch salad dressing mix

In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat
5 minutes or until partially cooked; drain on
paper towels. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch
thickness; brush with 1 T. oil. Cut into 1-inch
pieces; place in a large bowl. Add bacon, cheese,
dressing mix & remaining oil; toss to coat. Arrange
pieces in a 9 in X 5 in. oval on a greased baking
sheet, layering as needed. Cover & let rise in a
warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake bread 15 minutes. Cover with foil, bake
5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sweet Baby Ray’s Crockpot Chicken

4-6 chicken breast
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
1/4 C. vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 C.  brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix everything but chicken. Place chicken
in crockpot (frozen is ok). Pour sauce
mixture over chicken. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken-Parmesan Bundles


4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,

thawed & squeezed dry

1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

6 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

6 small boneless, skinless chicken breast

halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness

1 egg

10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)

1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 C. mozzarella

& 3 T. Parmesan until blended; spread onto

chicken. Starting at one short end of each

chicken breast, roll up chicken tightly & secure

using wooden toothpicks. Beat egg in shallow

dish. Mix remaining Parmesan & cracker crumbs

in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then

roll in cracker crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place,

seam side down, in 9 X 13 baking pan sprayed

with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes

or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.) Remove &

discard toothpicks. Serve chicken topped with

heated spaghetti sauce & remaining mozzarella

cheese. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Roasted Eggplant Salad


1 large eggplant, peeled (if desired) & cubed

(about 6 C.)

1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt’s Fire-Roasted diced

tomatoes, diced

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained

1/2 C. chopped red onion

1/2 C. light Italian salad dressing

1 (10 oz) bag chopped Romaine lettuce

1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Place eggplant in large shallow baking pan;

spray with nonstick cooking spray. Toss to coat

then spread in a single layer in pan. Bake 15

minutes or until tender, stirring 2 times. Combine

all remaining ingredients EXCEPT lettuce and

cheese in a large bowl; mix well. Add eggplant;

toss together. Divide lettuce evenly between

4 serving plates. Top evenly with eggplant

mixture then sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4

NOTE: Can also be refrigerated and served chilled.

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Chicken Enchilada Soup


1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican style stewed tomatoes

2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans (rinsed & drained)

2 (15 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 C. chopped onion

1/2 C. red or green bell pepper, chopped

2 chicken breasts (can use frozen)

1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup

2 1/2 C. milk

4 chicken bullion cubes (or 4 tsp. bullion granules)

1/2 tsp. lime juice (can be bottled)

1/3 C. sour cream

2 T. butter


Tortilla chips, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped

cilantro, sliced avocado

Pour stewed tomatoes into crockpot (slice up tomatoes

if you wish). Add black beans & corn, onion & peppers.

Pour enchilada sauce in medium bowl; add cream of

chicken soup, milk & crumble bullion cubes on top; whisk

until smooth. Place chicken breasts over vegetables in

crockpot then pour enchilada sauce mixture over chicken.

Cover & cook on High 4 hours or Low 7-8 hours. Remove

chicken from crock; place on a plate & shred with a fork.

Add lime juice, sour cream, & 2 T. butter to soup. Whisk

until butter has melted & sour cream is well combined.

Place chicken back in crockpot and stir well. Serves 8.

Serve with suggested toppings.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)


Chocolate Bliss Pecan Pie


2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. Bakers Semi-sweet chocolate,


2 T. butter or margarine

1   ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15 oz

pkg.) *

3 eggs, beaten, divided

1/4 C. packed brown sugar

1 C. light corn syrup

 1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. pecan halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Chop 4 oz. chocolate coarsely; set aside. Microwave

remaining chocolate & butter in large microwaveable

bowl on High 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir

until chocolate is completely melted. Line 9 inch pie

plate with crust as directed on pkg; brush bottom with

small amount of eggs. Add remaining eggs, sugar, corn

syrup & vanilla to melted chocolate; stir until well blended.

Add chopped chocolate & nuts; mix well. Pour into crust.

Bake 55 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes

out clean. Cool completely. Makes 10 servings.

* Can substitute 1 frozen deep-dish (9 inch) pie crust for

refrigerated pie crust

NOTE: Serve topped with Cool Whip (thawed)

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Well, friends, that’s ‘it’ for today – hope you have a WARM and enjoyable day!



Published in: on May 11, 2013 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Busier that EVER!

Last night was “Music/Birthday” night in my special needs group. Our ‘leader’ (my ‘partner in crime’) was out sick with stomach flu; normally that would really make me nervous, as I’m definitely NOT a leader (just a really good ‘helper’). I went into the evening with great hopes and a great ‘helper’ (another lady in that church who has joined us as a helper). Along with her help we had four high schoolers who drop by to help when they can – SO glad they were there! We went through the evening – we start with singing the 14 various Christian songs they know (in fact, we sang each twice – to kill time!). During that time the church’s pastor popped his head in and just said: “WOW!” and left – our room was PACKED! It was a VERY busy evening – end count (and I might have missed 1-2 names on the attendance sheet) was: 48 students and who knows how many caregivers! The BIGGEST number we’ve EVER had – in our 23 years together! We had 8 wheelchairs (we usually have about 3). On a ‘normal’ music/birthday night our leader gets a big Costco sheet cake and I cut it to feed the multitudes; last night, because she was sick, her daughter delivered 30 store-bought cupcakes. I had early notice of this, so I bought another 24 cupcakes – we had TWO left at the end of the evening (and that’s only because some of our students don’t (or can’t) eat cake/sweets). I was AMAZED and in AWE – the Lord provided, we survived the night and all went away happy! WHEW!  I spoke to our leader today and she said she’s definitely going to have to speak with the church board about WHERE we can go (in the church) as we’re definitely OUTGROWING our room! There is one other room that’s a little larger, but it’s too far from the bathrooms for our kids (considering our wheelchairs). There’s the gym, BUT if we took over the gym, the other children’s programs that run there during the time we’re in our room would be kicked out and where would THEY go? I’m glad I don’t have to make those kinds of decisions! My thoughts go back to when I first started volunteering in this group: there were about 5-6 leaders and maybe as many ‘students’ – same room, very small numbers. I’m very grateful that the Lord has increased our numbers AND given us helpers to accomplish HIS mission for these handicapped/mentally-challenged individuals. We never know who we’re reaching with His message, but we are assured, through scripture, that His Word will not return void:

Isaiah 55:11

“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

God has a purpose and a plan for each of us; I’m so very grateful He has put me in that room with those students – they are a blessing to me every Wednesday. I often wish the WORLD could see them through my eyes and realize that they are NOT an obstacle or an object of derision, to be made fun of – they ARE God’s creation. Whether they can see, speak, hear, walk – those are of no importance – even deaf & mute, they CAN teach us ALL something. For example, last night while I was praying outloud with/and for the group, I asked that the Lord help my friend/our leader Lois, to heal her and lift her up. One of our students stood up and said, very loudly: “I sure hope I don’t get sick! I don’t like to get sick!” That gave me the opportunity to tell the group that we ALL don’t like getting sick but we CAN ask the Lord for His help in healing us AND our loved ones! If you had been a little fly on the wall last night you would have heard, right after that: “I sure hope the Lord helps Lois to feel better! I want to pray for Lois! I LOVE Lois!” Our students are our blessings! They LOVE unconditionally, they speak their minds without boundaries (sometimes that can be very funny, too) and when you become their friend THEY WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER! How many other people in your life will do that? I’m sure the numbers are very small. That’s why, many years ago when my family left that church (for various changes/differences of opinions) I could NOT leave the group! They just WOULDN’T understand! Once you’re their friend, you are their friend FOREVER! I am also grateful to that church for allowing me to continue in that ministry, even though I do not attend their church. They know where my heart is.

Now I’ll get off my soapbox for the day –

Hoping you are all having a GREAT day! It’s 73 degrees outside, bright and sunny! In a short while I’ll hop into my car and go pick up my grandson from his bus stop. Dinner is enchiladas – quick to make and will serve us for more than one meal. Tomorrow I’ve signed up to attend a Ladie’s Dinner at church. (It used to be called the “Mother/Daughter Banquet” but they changed it to include ALL ladies – I’m glad, as I don’t have a daughter or a Mother!) With enchiladas in the fridge, I don’t have to worry about what ‘the guys’ will be eating for dinner!

(Was thinking of closing this post after my ‘soapbox’ comment, but I have way too many great sounding recipes to share, so here you go!)


Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

(cooked on grill)

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

12 C. torn Romaine lettuce

1 egg*

3 T. olive oil

1/4 C. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. spicy brown mustard

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Spray cold grate of outdoor grill with nonstick

cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium heat.

Place chicken on grill; cover grill with lid. Grill

10 minutes or until no longer pink in centers

(165 degrees F.), turning after 5 minutes.

Cool chicken 10 minutes; cut into strips. Place

lettuce in large bowl; add chicken & mix lightly.

In small bowl,  mix egg, oil, lemon juice, garlic,

mustard, salt & pepper using wire whisk until

well blended. Pour over salad; toss to coat.

Serve immediately. Serves 6 (about 2 C. each)

TIP: You can also sprinkle salads with shredded

Parmesan cheese just before serving, if desired.

*You can also substitute 1/2 C. Egg Beaters instead

of raw egg

(NOTE: because of use of raw egg, discard any

leftover salad)

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Sauteed Tomatoes & Zucchini


1 T. cooking oil

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add zucchini; cook 7 minutes or until tender,

stirring occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,

salt & pepper; break up tomatoes with a spoon.

Cook 2 minutes more or until hot. Serves 4.

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Easy Coconut Cream Pie


2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix

2 C. cold milk

2 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided

1 C. flake coconut, divided

1 graham cracker pie crust (6 oz)

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large bowl with whisk

2 minutes. Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip & 3/4 C. coconut;

pour into crust. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Toast

remaining coconut*, if desired. Top pie with remaining

Cool Whip & coconut. Makes 8 servings

*How to toast coconut:

Heat oven 350 degrees F. Spread coconut in shallow

baking pan. Bake 7-10 minutes or until lightly

browned, stirring frequently.

(recipe: Kraft Foods)


Four-Cheese Spinach Lasagna


2 C. chopped fresh broccoli

1 1/2 C. julienned carrots

1 C. sliced green onions

1/2 C. chopped sweet red pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1/2 C. flour

3 C. milk

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed &

squeezed dry

1 1/2  C. (12 oz) cottage cheese

1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese

12 lasagna noodles, cooked & drained

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In large skillet, saute vegetables & garlic in

oil until crisp-tender; remove from heat & set

aside. In small heavy saucepan, whisk flour &

milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook & stir

2 minutes then reduce heat. Stir in 1/4 C.

Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper; cook 1

minute longer or until cheese is melted. Remove

from heat; stir in spinach. Set 1 Cup aside.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, Mozzarella

& Swiss cheeses. Spread 1/2 C. spinach mixture in

a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Layer bottom with

four noodles, half of cheese mixture, vegetables &

3/4 C. spinach mixture. Repeat layers; top with

remaining noodles, reserved spinach mixture &

remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover & bake

35 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer or

until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


French Chicken Broccoli Supreme

1 lb. fresh broccoli, broken into pieces & steamed 2 minutes

3 C. cooked chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

3 C. grated Cheddar cheese, divided

1 tube Ritz crackers

1 stick melted butter

1 T. poppy seeds


 1/3 C. butter, melted

1/4 C. cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 C. COLD water

1/3 C. chicken broth

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 C. milk

1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese (from above)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In greased 9 X 13 pan, layer broccoli & chicken; set aside.

In saucepan, over medium heat, combine melted butter,

dissolved cornstarch, chicken broth, seasonings & milk.

Stir well, continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn

heat down to Low, add 1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese;

stir until melted. Pour over the chicken & broccoli & top

with 1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese. Melt butter, add

poppy seeds & stir well. Crush Ritz crackers in large zip-

lock bag with a rolling pin. (do not crush too small). Add

cracker crumbs to melted butter & sprinkle over top of

cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until hot &


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Ooey Gooey Turtle Cake


1 box yellow cake mix

1 large egg

1 stick margarine

2 (8 oz ea) pkgs cream cheese, softened

2 sticks unsalted butter

3 C. powdered sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 C. chopped pecans

caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.



Blend cake mix, 1 egg & stick of melted margarine

ina bowl to form a thick dough. Place dough in

9 X 13 pan; press evenly onto bottom of pan; set



In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth

then add room temp. butter; cream together. Add eggs

& vanilla, then gradually add powdered sugar, one cup

at a time. Pour mixture over base in pan; spread

evenly. Sprinkle pecans on top. Place in center rack of

oven; bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Top should be golden

brown. Remove from oven & cool 30 minutes. Drizzle

top of cake generously with caramel sauce. Cake may

be served warm or cold. Refrigerate unused portions.

Serves 15-20

(recipe: Wendy –


That’s it for today – hope you have a GREAT day!



Published in: on May 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment