Nice, Quiet Day – So Far!


Yesterday was a bit of a ‘down’ day – was ‘going’ to go to my all-time favorite twice-yearly garage sale at the church down the street, but things changed and I didn’t get to go – until today! Their first day is HUGE – long line down the sidewalk before they open, tons of people pushing, grabbing, etc. so Day 2 was much different – I could have rolled a bowling ball down the aisles! Not much (for me) to purchase – 2 paperbacks, 2 women’s tops, 2 little framed Bible sayings and a rather nice rose pin (will look great on a suit). I read, on our local community site, that there was to be a huge in-door flea market starting today, so I drove to that one, too. Big, empty store that they had rented and set up various stalls – tons of (mostly junk) stuff; ended up buying 3 paperbacks (25 cents each). Next door is a permanent consignment store – perused that, too – prices too high for my taste. I did find it interesting, however – while at the ‘flea market’ I noticed an older lady who stood out a bit (she kept talking to herself, rather loudly); noticed she was purchasing some small antique items. Later, while in the consignment store, she came in. The interesting part is: she WORKS at the consignment store and was buying things at lower prices next door and re-marking them UP for their store! Clever woman!

Our weather is ideal – in the 80’s, sunny & breezy – big fluffy clouds on a robin’s egg blue sky; makes me think – if I were younger I’d probably be riding my bike or talking a long walk to the beach – great Spring weather!

Craft-wise, am 1/3 done on baby afghan #3 (#2 using the same pattern as the last one I did, but this time it’s white with baby-colors variegated yarn for the dividing ‘bumpy’ lines. It’s OK – I was hoping for more of a ‘pop’ with the variegated yarn; didn’t think that it has a lot of white in it, thereby kind of disappearing, in spots, against the all white background. Next one: white with a more solid/variegated yarn (have 2 skeins of that, too!). The pattern is really easy – 2 rows, repeated and afghan #2 is going along much quicker than #1.


Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (2 1/2 – 3 lb, total) peeled &
cut into 1 inch chunks
1 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. (8 oz pkg) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled, divided
sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with
water & bring to boil. Cook over medium-high
heat 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.
Grease a 2 1/2 – 3 Qt. casserole dish. Return
potatoes to saucepan; add evap. milk, sour
cream, salt & pepper. Beat with hand-held mixer
until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 C. cheese & half of
bacon. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Bake
20-25 minutes or until heated through. Top
with remaining 1/2 C. cheese, remaining bacon
& green onions. Bake an additional 3 minutes or
until cheese is melted.

NOTE: Can be made ahead of time & refrigerated.
Cover with foil & bake 350 degrees F. 40-45 minutes
or until heated through. Uncover, top with cheese,
bacon & green onions, bake an additional 3 minutes
or until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Raspberry Cake Bars

1 (18 oz) pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie
dough, softened (recommend: Pillsbury)
3/4 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 C. seedless raspberry jam
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 X 8 square baking dish
with enough foil to have an overhang
on 2 sides. Mix cookie dough with lemon
extract, kneading to combine. With damp
fingers, press 2/3 of dough into bottom
of prepared pan. Spread jam over dough,
crumble remaining dough evenly over top
of jam. Scatter pecans over top & bake until
browned around edges & cooked through
in center, about 35 minutes. Let cool in
pan. Lift edges of foil to remove bars. Bars
are soft, so be careful. Cut into 2 inch squares
or diagonally into pennant shapes.
Makes 16 squares.

(recipe: Sandra Lee – FoodNetwork)

Chunky Chicken Chili

1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans,
1 1/2 C. chunky salsa (mild)
1 (15 oz) can no salt added tomato
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese (Kraft)

Combine beans, salsa, tomato sauce
& chili powder in crockpot. Top with
chicken, onions & corn. (DO no stir)
Cover with lid; cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 4-5 hours; stir.
Serve topped with cheese.
Makes 8 servings (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Skillet Dinner

8 oz. thin spaghetti broken in half
16 oz. ground mild Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can Italian style tomato sauce
1 1/2 C. water
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown sausage & onions in large skillet
over medium heat. Add diced tomatoes,
tomato sauce & water; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes. Bring
back to a boil, stir in uncooked pasta &
mix well. Cover & simmer 20 minutes,
stirring often to separate pasta. Sprinkle
top with cheese & serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Kroger Foods)

Beef & Black Eyed Pea Soup

1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried black eyed peas
1 (10 oz) can bean & bacon soup
4 C. water
6 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 lb. beef chuck roast,cut into 2 inch cubes
1/4 tsp. pepper

Sort through peas to remove any stones or
shriveled peas; rinse & drain. Combine all
ingredients in 4-5 quart crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 9-10 hours or until peas are
tender & beef is done. Makes 6 servings.


Sour Cream Chicken Paprika

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 C. chopped onion
1 /2 T. butter
2 t. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. flour
1 (8 oz) container sour cream

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
You can leave chicken whole or cut up. Add chicken
to skillet & pan-fry until cooked through & juices
run clear, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from
skillet; set aside.
Using same skillet, cook onion in butter until clear but
not brown, about 5-8 minutes. Season with paprika &
salt. Pour chicken stock into pan; bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to simmer; mix flour with sour cream until smooth,
then whisk into chicken stock. Place chicken in skillet until
chicken is heated through & sauce has thickened. Serves 4
Serve over hot cooked noodles or cooked rice.



Easy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Eclair Dessert

1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
1 3/4 C. cold milk
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz ) tub Cool Whip, thawed
24 honey graham crackers
6 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 T. butter

Beat pudding mix & milk in large bowl with
whisk 2 minutes. Add peanut butter; mix well.
Stir in Cool Whip. Layer 1/3 of grahams and
half of pudding mixture in 9 X 13 baking dish,
breaking grahams if necessary, to fit. Repeat
layers & top with remaining grahams.
Microwave chocolate & butter in microwaveable
bowl on High 2 minutes or until butter is melted,
stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is
completely melted & mixture is well blended.
Spread over grahams. Refrigerate 8 hours.
Makes 24 servings.

How to easily cut into serving pieces:
Use a sharp knife & dip blade into hot water
after each cut to warm & clean the blade.

Can prepare as directed, omitting peanut
butter – making it “Easy Chocolate Eclair Dessert”.

Berry-Blue Corn Muffins

1 1/4 C. flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 C. buttermilk
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease muffin cups or line with paper
muffin liners. In large bowl, combine flour,
cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder & baking
soda. In separate bowl, beat together oil, vanilla,
& egg. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients,
alternating with buttermilk just until moistened.
Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into
prepared muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes until
golden. Serve warm. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can
still make it if you have milk! Add 1 T. white
vinegar or lemon juice to a one cup measuring
cup. Pour in milk to bring milk level to 1 Cup
level. Stir and let sit 5 minutes then use as much
as your recipe calls for.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys-Recipe Exchange)

Roasted Red Potatoes w/Bacon & Cheese

1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1/2 C. (Kraft) Italian Five Cheese blend*
1/4 C. real bacon bits
2 lb. small red potatoes (about 9),
1 T. chopped fresh parsley**

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl; add
potatoes & toss to coat. Spoon into
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Cover with foil. Bake 55 minutes
or until potatoes are tender, uncovering
after 40 minutes. Sprinkle top with
parsley before serving. Serves 8

*Can also be made with shredded Colby &
Monterrey Jack cheese or shredded Cheddar

**can substitute fresh rosemary for parsley

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hope you’re enjoying your day; take a look outside and remember to take a little time to enjoy all the blooming things arrayed for your viewing! Today I was driving and just soaking in all the floral beauty: forsythia in full bloom, tulips!, daffodils, narcissus, violets – and our resident bunny is back! (we have a briar patch in the middle of our backyard that is full of wild blackberries – the rabbits love to live there and we love seeing them out in the yard in Spring & Summer, nibbling our grass/weeds/whatever it is they like eating!)



PS: Guess I thought I’d already posted a photo of the first baby blanket – upon looking back, I didn’t find it so here it is (this is the variegated main part with white ‘bumpy ridges’ – one I’m working on now is the same pattern but the colors are reversed: white main part, variegated bumpys)

Det Vets Baby afghan 2013

                Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower – Sept., 2013


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful blanket! I am hoping to stop by a yarn shop next week and sign up for crochet classes. I can crochet a chain all around the world but that’s it! Thanks for the raspberry cake bar recipe. I may just try that this weekend. ~maria

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