Not Quite as Planned but . . .


Today is Thursday and I’m ‘supposed’ to be sitting my grandson, but so far (1 1/2 hours later) he’s still not here. I asked my husband if I should call about it and he said: “NO”, so we’ll just wait this one out. Last time he didn’t come (Tuesday) he had a field trip, so perhaps that’s what’s going on today; either way, I have had a FREE day so far! That was a GOOD thing because it gave me time to make up a big, free-standing foam board with photos & details of my knit group, to be displayed at the upcoming “Log Cabin Days” this Sat/Sunday. I’ve sort of been putting off making said sign so I finally said: “Gotta get it done!”, and did – YAY! I delivered 64 knit & crocheted dishcloths to the Historical Society yesterday for them to sell, that’s 4 more than we did last year.

101_0004Still working on the wedding shawl and decided to start another baby afghan for the Vet’s Hospital Baby Shower; only one problem, got the stitches cast on and started working Row 1, only to look at the pattern (this will be the third one I’ve done using this pattern) and discover I needed to knit 4 rows BEFORE starting the pattern row . . . rip it out, start again.  Knitting along merrily on half of Row 3 of just knitting when it hits me: the pattern is done in groups of 10 stitches PLUS 6 stitches. To explain: however large you want to make it, you cast on 10 times how big you want it, then add 6 stitches to that. Say you wanted it 100 stitches, you would cast on 106 (goofy, but that’s just the way some patterns work). For some really crazy reason, that didn’t make sense to me so I ripped it all out . . . again! After thinking about it, I had the RIGHT amount of stitches the second time through . . . UGH! Oh well, ‘when’ I decide to pick it up again, am going with 126 stitches, at least I know that’s the right amount I did for the other 2 blankets . . . sigh.


Pineapple Cobbler



2 (20 oz, ea) cans chunk pineapple, undrained

1 stick butter

1/2 C. flour

1/4 C. brown sugar



2 C. Bisquick

1 C. brown sugar

1 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Place butter in medium saucepan; add juice from

pineapple, brown sugar & flour. Cook, over medium-

high heat until butter is melted, whisking with wire

whisk constantly until mixture is smooth & creamy.

Bring ingredients just to a boil, stirring constantly,

then remove from heat. Stir in pineapple chunks.

Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray & pour in

filling.  To mix topping: In medium bowl stir together

Bisquick & brown sugar; add milk & stir until smooth &

well combined. Pour over filling & bake 25-30 minutes

or until golden brown on top. Serve warm. 

(recipe: Facebook)


Cheesy Cauliflower Patties


1 head cauliflower

2 large eggs

1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 C. panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper ( to taste)


olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets & cook in boiling water

until tender about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash cauliflower

while still warm. Stir in cheese, eggs, panko, cayenne &

salt to taste. Coat  bottom of a griddle or skillet with

olive oil over medium-high heat. Form  cauliflower

mixture into patties about 3 inches across. Cook until

golden brown & set, about 3 minutes per side.Keep

each batch warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

(recipe: Facebook)


 Bacon Cheese Potatoes


 1 lb. bacon, or more- (you can bake it first

in the oven or fry it done and brown then, dice

it and place in the crock pot)

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

4 medium potatoes thinly sliced

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (or shredded it fine)

 salt and pepper


green onions (optional)


Line crockpot with foil, leaving enough to cover potatoes when

 finished, this will help it, not to stick and to steam the

 potatoes, also to keep them from getting mushy. Layer half each of the bacon,

onions and potatoes in the crockpot. Season to taste with salt and

pepper and dot with butter.Repeat layers of bacon, onions, potatoes

and cheese. Dot with butter. Cover with remaining foil.

Cover and cook on low for up to 6 hours (check it in about 4

hours, depending on your crock pot).

Add cheese for the last 20 – 30 minutes.


(recipe: Facebook)


No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies


1/3 C. sugar

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa

2 T. milk

2 T. crunchy peanut butter

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats

Line a dinner plate with waxed paper.

Stir together sugar, cocoa & milk in 4-C

glass measuring cup or medium microwaveable

bowl. Microwave on High 1-1 1/4 minutes, or

until boiling, stirring once. Stir in peanut butter

& vanilla until blended. Stir in oats until combined.

Drop by spoonsful onto waxed paper to make

6 cookies. Cool in freezer 10 minutes before

serving. Makes 6 cookies.


(recipe: readyseteat!)


Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes


1 T. cooking oil

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4= 4C.)

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground 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 spoon;

cook 2 minutes more or until hot. Serves 4,

3/4 C. each. 

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Grilled Coca Cola Chicken


1 C. coca cola

1/2 C. barbecue sauce

2 T. hot pepper sauce

1 whole broiler-fryer chicken (3 lb)

Heat grill for indirect grilling; light one side of grill,

leaving other side unlit. Close lid; heat grill to

350 degrees F.

Cook coca cola & barbecue sauce in saucepan

on medium heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce. Reserve

3/4 C. sauce to serve with chicken. Cut out back

bone of chicken carefully with kitchen shears or

sharp knife. Place chicken, skin side up, on work

surface; press firmly to flatten. Place chicken, breast

side down, on grill grate over lit area; cover with lid.

Grill 15 minutes, turn, then place over unlit area. Grill

25-30 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)

monitoring for consistent grill temperature, turning &

brushing occasionally with remaining BBQ sauce

mixture for last 15 minutes. Let chicken stand 15

minutes before carving. Serve with reserved

barbecue sauce mixture. Serves 6


NOTE: When grilling over indirect heat, the food is

not cooked directly over the heat source The covered

grill then acts like an oven, so there is no need to turn

the food. Use this grilling method for foods that

require at least 25 minutes of grilling time or foods

that are so delicate that direct exposure to heat source

would dry them out, such as roasts, whole chickens,

thick steaks, ribs or delicate fish fillets.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Roasted Green Beans with Lemon

Vinaigrette Drizzle

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed

1 medium sweet onion, halved & sliced into

thin wedges

1 clove garlic, minced

4 T. margarine, melted & divided

1 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Toss green beans, onion, garlic & 2 T.

melted margarine in 9 X 13 baking dish or

roasting pan. Roast, stirring once, until

beans are tender, about 25 minutes. Combine

remaining 2 T. margarine, lemon juice, honey,

mustard & black pepper in small bowl with wire

whisk; stir in parsley.


To Serve:

Arrange green bean mixture on serving platter,

then drizzle with lemon mixture. Serves 4

(recipe: Unilever)


Chicken & Roasted Red Potatoes


1/4 C. ranch salad dressing

6 large bone-in chicken thighs (1 3/4 lb), skin &

visible fat removed

4 slices bacon

1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5), cut into 1 inch chunks

1 onion, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

1 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Pour dressing over chicken in shallow bowl;

refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate. Heat oven

to 400 degrees F.

Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat until

crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, reserve 1 T.

drippings in skillet; drain bacon on paper towels.

Add potatoes & onions to drippings; cook 5 minutes

stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Crumble

bacon & add to potato mixture; mix lightly. Spoon

into a 9 X 13 baking dish. Remove chicken from

marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken over

potato  mixture & bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, or

until potatoes are tender & chicken is done (165

degrees F.). Top with cheese & parsley.

Serves 6


To add a little extra zip: mix 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

with the ranch dressing before pouring over chicken.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Brownie Refrigerator Cake


1 box brownie mix

1 extra large egg

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 C. powdered sugar

2 (8 oz.) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

1 (3 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding

1 (3 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding

3 1/2 C. milk

1 Hershey candy bar or chocolate syrup


Mix brownie mixes according to directions. Add egg;

mix well.  Bake in brownie pan according to pkg. directions.

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 tub Cool Whip.

Put this mixture on top of cooled

brownies. Blend puddings & milk together; put on top of

cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of Cool Whip.

Put chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup on top. Refrigerate

 until ready to serve.


(recipe: Facebook)


How are the gas prices in your area now? Have they come down any? Around here I’m pleasantly amazed that they are now sitting around $3.44/9, which (although not really low) are acceptable. Wondering if they’re going to jack them back up for the holiday – sure hope not!

Are you planning on doing anything special for the holiday? Cooking out, going to the beach, or just staying home. As usual, we’ll probably just stay home. I ‘might’ consider buying spareribs and making potato salad & corn on the cob – but that’s NEXT WEEK, so I’m not going to even think about it yet!

Not much else new going on here at the moment, guess I’ll close and go back to knitting (again!).

Have a GREAT day!!!



PS: Almost forgot! I decided to purchase a birthday present for myself this year – I bought the ‘next step up’ Kodak Easy Share camera with zoom lens. I’ve had my ‘old’ Easy Share for 7 years now and really could have, at many events, used a zoom – so now I have one! First photo taken was the above dishcloths, but am planning on carrying it Sat/Sun. for the events. Sometimes ya just gotta ‘do something’ that seems right!

PPS:  Weather’s sitting at a balmy 78 degrees F, it was raining when we got up and we’re supposed to get thunderstorms all week – sure hope it doesn’t mess up Log Cabin Days!

Full Calendar Coming UP!


Just looked at this coming week’s ‘activities’ and I almost want to say: “Give it to someone else!” Tomorrow (Sunday) is grandson’s 7th birthday and, of course, we have to attend the party. Monday (so far) is clear – YAY! Tuesday is grandson 10:30 – around 6:30/7 and also Knit Night 6:30-9 (husband will watch grandson after I have to leave); Weds. is special needs group, Thurs Grandson, same times, Friday is a wedding, Sat & Sunday are Log Cabin Days; that gives me ONE non-activity day in the entire week – UGH! Oh well, just like Dory in “Finding Nemo” I have to keep repeating: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”

Last night was our last Gym Night until Sept/Oct. for my special needs group and we had a good turn out. Thursday was the funeral of one of my  ‘kids’ Dads; sad but a very nice visitation, service and luncheon. I was able to re-connect with three special needs families that I haven’t seen in at least 10 years. One Mom said she’s going to start bringing her daughter again and another asked about our meeting day & time; SO NICE to see people you haven’t seen in such a long time! I haven’t been to a Catholic mass in many, many years but I must say: this one was definitely a celebration of the man’s life – it was a joyous celebration! I was very glad I stayed.

This past week has been almost one long running Birthday celebration for me; between best wishes on Facebook, phone calls and cards (plus presents), I truly feel WISHED! It’s good, going into 65! I even got ‘frisky’ and bought myself a present: a new camera with zoom lens! Now maybe I can take a little clearer photos of distance shots!

Knit-wise, I have approximately 4 weeks to get the bridal shawl done. I got a phone call from the lady who heads up the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower and she informed me they currently have 26 expectant moms that will be attending. That tells me I need to crank out at least one more baby blanket before the beginning weeks of September (I have 3 done now). I’m hoping some of my knit/crochet group will do what they did last year: make some of those ‘really quick’ tied flannel blankets; those are quick to make and then we (hopefully) will have enough to cover all 26 people! We’ll see!


Apple Pie Muffins



1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 C. flour

1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp. cinnamon



1 1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

2/3 C. vegetable oil

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. buttermilk

2 C. diced, peeled firm tart apples (such as Spy,

Granny Smith)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.


In large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil,

egg & vanilla until smooth. In separate bowl, sift

together flour, soda & salt. Stir oil mixture into

flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in

apples, mixing just until combined. Spread into

greased muffin cups, filling 3/4 th full.


Mix together topping ingredients until crumblly,

then sprinkle topping over muffins evenly. Bake

25-30 minutes until golden brown & tops spring

back. Makes 18 muffins


NOTE: You could also add cinnamon to the muffin

batter, if desired. (about 1 tsp. or less)


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Cheese Manicotti Florentine


16 manicotti noodles

1 lb. ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)

1/2 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 C. grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 T. chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

2 C. spaghetti sauce

1 small onion, diced

1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1/2 lb. fresh spinach, chopped

(or you can use frozen – thawed &

drained/squeezed dry)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sautee onion & mushrooms until tender.

Steam fresh chopped spinach until wilted.

Combine Ricotta, Mozzarella, 3/4 C.

Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley & spices.

Add spinach & 3/4 of sauté mixture; mix

to combine. Fill uncooked manicotti shells; place

filled shells in a single layer in greased 9 X 13

baking pan. Add remaining sauté to spaghetti

sauce, mix together then pour over manicotti.

Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over noodles.

Bake 35 minutes.


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Spinach Enchilada Verde


1 C. sour cream

1 (7 oz) can green salsa

1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed & thinly sliced

2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 (10 oz) pkg. corn tortillas

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, stir together half of sour cream &

green salsa. Spread enough to coat bottom of

a 9 X 13 baking dish. On each tortilla, spread

a small amount of salsa & sour cream mixture,

in the center. Lay a small handful of spinach over

that & sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Roll

up, securing with wooden toothpick & place in

baking dish. When all tortillas are in pan, pour

remaining salsa over top & sprinkle with remaining

cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned &

heated through.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Colorful Shrimp Fried Rice

1 lb. raw, shelled & deveined shrimp

4 C. water

1/2 tsp. salt

2 C. uncooked rice

3 T. vegetable oil

4 celery ribs, trimmed & sliced diagonally

1 1/2 C. thinly sliced onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. grated gingerroot

1 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced

1/4 C. beef broth

1/2 C. diced cooked ham

1/4 lb. snow peas, blanced 1 minute

2 large eggs

1 T. soy sauce

1/2 C. chopped, trimmed green onion

In small skillet over medium heat add a little

water to skillet & cook shrimp until pink. Remove &

cool then peel & devein shrimp. Slice them in half

 lengthwise; set aside. Bring water & salt to boil

in 2 quart saucepan; stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover

& simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff rice

gently with a fork; set aside. Heat oil in large heavy

skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles

when dropped in the oil. Add celery, onions, garlic &

gingerroot; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add bell pepper

& cook 3 minutes. Stir in cooked rice, beef broth &

ham; cook 2 minutes. Add lightly blanched snow pea

pods & shrimp; cook 1 minute. Whisk together eggs

& soy sauce in small bowl. Push rice mixture to the

sides of skillet then scramble the whisked eggs in

the center of the skillet. When eggs are set, fold into

the rice. Stir in finely chopped green onions & serve

hot. Makes 8 servings.


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Barbecued Scalloped Potatoes on Grill

(oven method included)


3/4 lb. red potatoes (about 2) peeled, thinly sliced

2 carrots, cut diagonally into thin slices

1/2 C. water

1/3 C. plus 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/3 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Heat grill to medium heat. Microwave potatoes, carrots

& water in microwaveable bowl covered with waxed

paper on High 5-7 minutes or just until potatoes are

crisp-tender; drain well. Mix 1/3 C. cheese & dressing;

add to potato mixture, mix lightly. Spoon onto center of

large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil* sprayed with

nonstick cooking spray; fold to make packet. Place on

upper shelf of grill. Grill 15-20 minutes or until vegetalbes

are tender. Cut slits in foil to release steam before

carefully opening packet. Sprinkle potato mixture with parsley

& remaining cheese. Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)


Oven-method: Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Assemble

potato packets as directed. Bake 20 minutes or until

potatoes are tender.


*If you don’t have heavy-duty aluminum foil, use a double

layer of regular foil instead.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole


1 lb. ground beef

1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained

1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained

2 T. margarine, melted

1/2 C. salsa

2/3 C. sour cream

1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Cook ground beef in nonstick skillet over

medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until

beef is done, about 5 minutes. Remove

from heat, stir in cilantro. Combine black

beans, corn & melted margarine in 8 inch

baking dish. Top with beef mixture; spread

with salsa & sour cream; sprinkle top with

cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until heated

through & cheese is melted. Serves 6


(recipe: Unilever)


Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms


12 large fresh mushrooms (1 lb)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, minced

4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 T. chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Remove stems from mushrooms; discard or save

for another use. Mix remaining ingredients except

paprika; spooninto mushroom caps. Place, filled-

sides up, in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle tops with

paprika. Bake 18-20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 12 servings.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Sweet ‘n Spicy Smoked Ribs

(directions for a smoker or gas

or charcoal grill)


2 slabs pork loin back ribs, each cut in half

(about 5 lb. total)



1/4 C. dark brown sugar

1 T. garlic salt

1 T. onion powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. black pepper

1 C. mild prepared or homemade BBQ sauce

Soak 2 C. wood chips in hot tap water.

Rinse & pat dry ribs.


Prepare Rub:


In a medium bowl, combine sugar, garlic salt,

onion powder, cinnamon, oregano & pepper. Rub

mixture generously over meaty side of ribs. Sprinkle

a small amount over bony side of ribs.


Prepare Smoker:


Fire up 10 lb. charcoal in bottom of grill. Charcoal

is ready when gray & ashy. Reassemble grill, water

pan & bottom grill grate. Pour at least 8 C. water into

water pan. Place 2 of the half rib racks, meaty side up,

on bottom grate. Replace top grill grate & top with

remaining two half rib racks. Cover grill; shake excess

water off chips, then add to charcoal through side door.

Smoke ribs at 200 degrees F. – 226 degrees F. for 3

hours, then carefully turn over. Continue to smoke ribs

for an additional hour. Turn ribs again, brush with 1/2 C.

BBQ sauce. Continue to smoke for another 30 minutes to

1 hour, until rib meat registers 160 degrees F.  on an

instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill & brush

again with sauce. Serve with additional sauce on the

side. Serves 8.


NOTE: To smoke on a gar or charcoal grill:: the secret to

smoking food is, KEEP IT LOW AND SLOW.


To Convert a Charcoal Grill:

Follow manufacturer’s directions for amount of charcoal

needed. Do not use charcoal infused with starter fluid

because it could make food taste ‘off’. Briquettes are ready

when gray & ashy; push to perimeter & place a foil pan with

2 C. water in center. Place soaked wood chips directly on

briquettes; put food on grill rack above pan of water. Add

5-7 briquettes to each side every hour if grill temp varies.


To Convert a Gas Grill:

Heat grill 15 minutes; turn one burner to medium or medium-

high, the other ‘off’. Place presoaked wood chips in a foil pan

directly on hot burner; place a foil pan of water on other side.

Add food to grill rack above pan of water.


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Banana Split Cake


9 honey graham crackers*, crushed

(about 1 1/2 C.)

1 C. sugar, divided

1/3 C. butter, melted

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice,


6 bananas, divided

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

2 C. cold milk

2 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided

1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 C. sugar &

butter; press onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Freeze

10 minutes. Beat cream cheese & remaining

sugar with mixer until blended. Spread carefully

over crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 bananas;

arrange slices over pineapple. Beat pudding

mixes with milk using whisk 2 minutes. Stir in

1 C. Cool Whip; spread over banana layer in

pan. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerte

5 hours. Slice remaining bananas just before

serving; arrange over dessert & top with nuts,

if desired. Makes 24 servings.


*or regular graham crackers


Option: Omit nuts & make chocolate curls from

a 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar. Use to garnish



(recipe: Kraft foods)


Youngest son is ‘happy as a clam’ with his ‘new’ car – haven’t seen him much since he got it – basically: Baby bird has (almost) flown the nest!  Middle son is now actively talking about his moving out end of June – this place will (almost) be a ghost town! If I thought I had trouble figuring out when to cook dinner and for how many, this is an entirely NEW territory for me – cooking for TWO; haven’t done that in THIRTY years!

Also on my agenda for this coming week is comping & printing the special needs newsletter (due out in the mails before end of month). Think I’m going to spend most of my day getting that set up – then I won’t feel the pressure of that looming over me, too!

Dinner is a beef roast, baked potatoes, asparagus and what’s left of my birthday cake. Hope you’re able to find a recipe or two above that might sound intriguing to you!

Enjoy your weekend – our weather has been slowly climbing – yesterday was mid 80’s (and I was ‘glowing’ – remember: Men sweat/women ‘glow’!). Right now the thermometer is reading 76 at 11:30 a.m. so it looks like it might be another HOT one! (I’m planning on staying inside!).  Gas prices are coming down; I happily paid $3.86/9 the other day – still seeing some prices higher, depending on the station but I’m really glad we’re UNDER $4.00 a gallon, finally!

Big Hugs!



Life Changes – Slowly

Well, let’s just say I survived the past few days – what a whirlwind! During that time I’ve had three trips to the Secretary of State’s office with youngest son – to get his actual Driver’s License and then to get plates for his ‘new to him’ car. I don’t know about your local Sec. of State offices, but here, if you’re (pardon me) DUMB enough to go there on either a Monday or Friday – you PAY – you WAIT!!! One of our trips we waited 2 1/2 hours – next day, for plates, a good hour; yes, they’re just THAT busy! CRAZY! As I stated above, life changes – now we have a fully licensed driver IN HIS OWN CAR! (the details of getting said car are another long story – he bought it, sight unseen, from a friend he knew from school & work). It’s a 2000 Saturn, 4 door – a little ‘well -for-wear’ should we say? It runs BUT it also has a very unique KEY problem! Let’s just say he drove it to work yesterday and, later decided to go sit in his new car on his lunch and listen to his CD’s – couldn’t get it to start! Much work later and several calls to us, husband & I drove to his work only to discover he’d accidentally left his interior lights on (turns out he bumped them by accident). We jump started it, husband finally figured out the ‘trick’ to getting the key to work (lots of specific jiggling – sigh). Now he’s happy with the car – it runs, the keys DO work, and for the first time in many months I DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE HIM TO WORK!!! Amazing! My day is MY OWN! As I sit here typing, it’s now 11:59 a.m. and I’m still in my jammies! Here is a photo of proud ‘new’ car owner (and brand spanking new driver)


Through all of the whirlwind I also had my 65th birthday! During one of the runs to son’s work, I decided I’d buy myself a birthday cake – and I did! It’s a little 1/4 sheet cake, chocolate, but I enjoyed it. Also picked up two of their large store-made pizzas (one all cheese, one stuffed crust pepperoni) – that way I didn’t have to cook dinner. Also got to sit my grandson for the day and we had fun in the sandbox:


Almost 7 and missing lots of teeth!

Decided to knit a baby hat to go along with the baby afghan for my surgeon (who’s expecting in Sept.) so put this one together:

Yes, my calendar is STILL full of lots-to-do stuff the remaining part of the week, but it’s nice to know that at least my daily goings-on are NOT revolving around youngest son’s work schedule! (Let’s see-what time is it? He works until what? OK – still have 1/2 hour before getting him at work.) My, my, my – what WILL I do with all that EXTRA time??? hehehe


Rocky Road Cake



1 (18.25 oz) pkg. German chocolate cake mix

1 (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate instant pudding mix

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 C. sour cream

1/3 C. butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

3 1/4 C. milk, divided

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. chocolate cook & serve pudding mix

1/2 C. chopped pecans

1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

(vanilla ice cream – optional)

Beat cake mix & next 5 ingredients plus 1 1/4 C.

milk at medium speed with elec. mixer 2 minutes,

stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour

batter into lightly greased 4 qt. crockpot. Cook

remaining 2 C. milk in a heavy non-aluminum

saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 3-5

minutes or just until bubbles appear (DO NOT

BOIL); remove from heat. Sprinkle cook & serve

pudding mix over batter. Slowly pour hot milk

over pudding mix. Cover & cook on Low 3 1/2


Heat pecans in a small nonstick skillet over

medium-low heat, stirring often, 3-5 minutes or

until lightly toasted & fragrant.

Turn off crockpot. Sprinkle cake with pecans,

marshmallows & chocolate morsels. Let stand

15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly

melted. Spoon into dessert dishes, serve with

ice cream, if desired.


NOTE: The cake will look like it needs to cook a

little longer, but by the time the topping is set, it’s

ready to serve.


(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Italian Peas & Tomatoes

3 T. margarine, & divided

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 C. frozen green peas, thawed

2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp. garlic

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 C. loosely packed fresh basil leaves,

coarsely chopped (optional)

Melt 2 T. margarine in 12 inch nonstick

skillet over medium-high heat; cook onion,

stirring occasionally, until tender, about

10 minutes. Stir in peas, tomatoes, garlic &

pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes

& peas are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in

remaining 1 T. margarine & basil.

Serves 4


(recipe: Unilever)


Hot & Spicy Hush Puppies


1 C. yellow cornmeal

3/4 C. self-rising flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne

1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 C. grated Cheddar cheese

1 C. buttermilk

Orange dipping sauce (recipe below)

Preheat deep fryer 375 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together in large mixing

bowl to form a thick batter. Dip 2 table spoons

into water. Using the spoons, scoop up some

of the batter & drop into hot oil. Work in batches.

Fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove &

drain on paper towel-lined sheet tray. Serve with

dipping sauce. Makes 4-5 servings.


Orange Dipping Sauce;


1/4 C. Dijon mustard

1/4 C. honey

1/4 C. orange marmalade


Mix all ingredients together & place in bowl.


(recipe: The Neeley’s – Food Network)


Cheddar Chicken Crunch Salad


1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing

1/4 C. ranch dressing

4 C. small fresh broccoli florets

2 C. chopped cooked chicken breasts

1 C. halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 C. thinly sliced red onions

1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Mix dressing in large bowl. Add all remaining

ingredients except cheese & bacon; mix lightly.

Refrigerate 1 hour. Top with cheese & bacon just

before serving. Serves 4 – (2 C. each)


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Grilled Shrimp Tacos

1 large avocado, pitted, peeled & diced

1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilies,


1/2 C. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

1/4 C. chopped red onion

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. peeled & deveined large shrimp

with tail (thawed, if frozen)

1 T. cooking oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

9 white corn tortillas (6 inch) warmed

Spray cold grate of gas grill with cooking spray.

Preheat grill for medium heat. Toss together

avocado, drained tomatoes, corn, onion &

salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Remove tails from shrimp, toss with oil &

chili powder in large bowl. Thread shrimp

evenly onto metal skewers*; grill 2-3 minutes

on each side or just until shrimp turn pink.

Divide shrimp evenly between tortillas. Top

each with about 1/4 C. avocado mixture &

serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.


*Wooden skewers may be used in place of

metal skewers. Soak wooden skewers in

water at least 30 minutes before using.


(recipe: readyseteat!)


Taco Bake


1 lb. ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning mix

(water, as called for on back of seasoning pkt)

3 large (8 inch size) flour tortillas

1/2 C. Salsa Con Queso (salsa with cheese)

1 1/2 – 2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend

Toppings: sour cream, diced tomatoes


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Brown & crumble ground beef; drain grease. Add

taco seasoning & water. Once meat is cooked,

turn off heat – add 1/2 C. salsa con queso; stir well

until thoroughly combined.

Spray a 8 inch round baking pan with nonstick spray.

Layer bottom of pan with one flour tortilla. Add about

1/3 of ground beef filling on first layer, then 1/3 of cheese.

Continue layering: tortilla/taco meat/cheese.

Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted & edges are

slightly golden brown. Allow to cool a few minutes, slice

& serve. Serve with sour cream and/or diced tomatoes,

if desired.


(recipe: Facebook)


Spinach & Bacon Pasta


1 (16 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles

3/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,

cut into bite-sized pieces

2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach leaves

1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Cook noodles as directed on pkg, omitting salt.

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat.

Add chicken; cook & stir 5-7 minutes or until

done. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring

occasionally. Drain noodles, reserving 1/2 C. of

cooking water. Add noodles & reserved cooking

water to chicken mixture in skillet; stir. Remove

from heat; add spinach, 1/2 C. cheese & bacon;

mix lightly. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.

Serves 8 (1 1/2 C. each)


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Grilled Garlic Potato Salad


1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes (about 12), cut in half

1/3 C. water

4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing, divided

3/4 C. mayonnaise

2 tsp. yellow mustard*

2 stalks celery, chopped

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Place potatoes & water in 2 qt. microwaveable

casserole dish; cover with lid. Microwave on High

8 minutes, rotating dish after 4 minutes. Cut thin

slice off top of each garlic clove, leaving papery

skin on; discard tops. (Do not cut root ends).

Place garlic on sheet of foil; drizzle with 1 T.

dressing; wrap garlic in foil. Drain potatoes;

thread onto metal skewers. Brush with some

remaining dressing. Grill potatoes & garlic

10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender,

turning potatoes frequently & brushing with

remaining dressing. Remove potatoes &

garlic from grill; cool. Remove garlic pulp from

skins. Mix garlic with mayonnaise & mustard

in large bowl. Add potatoes & celery to mustard

mixture; mix lightly. Refrigerate several hours

or until chilled. Serves 12, 1/2 C. each


*for added flavor boost, substitute Dijon mustard

for yellow.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Banana Pudding Squares


35 ‘Nilla wafers, crushed

1/4 C. margarine, melted (1/2 stick)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. powdered sugar

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided

3 bananas

3 C. cold milk

2 (4 servg) pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 square semi-sweet baking chocolate, grated

Combine wafer crumbs & margarine; press firmly

onto bottom of 9 X 13 baking dish. Refrigerate

while preparing filling.

NOTE: poster says she doubles crust ingredients

 to cover 9 X 13 pan

Mix cream cheese & sugar in medium bowl until well

blended. Stir in 1 1/2 C. Cool Whip; spread carefully

onto crust; set aside. Slice bananas & arrange over

cream cheese mixture. Pour milk into large bowl; add

dry pudding mixes & beat with wire whisk 2 minutes;

spoon over bananas. Spread with remaining  Cool

Whip; sprinkle top with grated chocolate. Refrigerate

at least 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers in

fridge. Serves 8


(recipe: Betty –


Well, it seems this post might be a little late in the ‘posting’ – just noticed my camera battery is dead and it needs to be working in order to transfer the photos from it to this blog. Looks like a trip to the drug store is in order for me – sigh. Husband just reminded me that my new computer has a port where I can plug in my SD card from my computer directly into the computer and download the photos there! Pretty neat!!!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that, for my birthday, not only friends & family but also COMPANIES are giving me birthday gifts! Really! Got a coupon for $3.00 off any purchase at CVS (of course, I’m a very loyal customer) and 200 birthday points from Speedway (only went there once, but hey- maybe I can start going there more frequently?). I’ve been thinking about just what I’d like for my birthday present – think I’ve come up with ‘a new camera’ – one very much like the one I have right now (digital Kodak Easy Share 300) but with a telephoto lens! (Sure could have used that for youngest’s graduation photos!) Husband already said we’re going out to dinner at my convenience – think I’ve picked Joe’s Crab Shack simply because I really liked their fried calamari (really crispy and yummy!). But then – there’s still Cracker Barrel to think about . . . we’ll see.

Tonight is my special needs group – I know that one of my ‘helper’ friends is planning on bringing me hummus & pita bread for my birthday; she’s been very ‘I KNOW what I’m getting you for your birthday!” – grinning at me and chuckling – ought to be fun to see what transpires!

Our weather has been continually gorgeous – sunny, really blue skies with big, fluffy clouds and in the mid 70’s – really nice summer days!

Hope you’re able to enjoy your day – take a little time for yourself: relax, maybe have something cool to drink, put your feet up? Life’s short –

EAT DESSERT FIRST!!! (my little words of wisdom for this day!)



Wild & Crazy But Getting Better – I Think ???


You know, sometimes, in life where you’re just cruising along and then you have one of ‘those’ days/weeks? That’s sort of been my whirlwind for the past few days. Saturday found me taking middle son (age 24) to Emergency writhing in great pain, possible kidney stone. Four hours later, several pain pills & shots later, it turns out he DOES have a kidney stone BUT it’s in the process of being ‘passed’ (ie: it’s  NOT in the kidney). He also has a gall bladder stone (no problem, they said) and a cyst on the kidney (again: no problem, they said). Pills to go home with for pain and to help easy out the stone. Bad part? The pain meds made him nauseous – couldn’t keep anything down! (Note on going home: eat food with the pain pill AND drink plenty of fluids) – easier said than done! All day Saturday he was sick; mostly slept. Yesterday was a little better but today we think he finally got it out (gross but: they give them a strainer to catch any stones and a container to take it to the doctors). What came out was so tiny I was totally amazed a thing that small could cause such pain! He seems to be doing better – well, I hope so – he went to work (I didn’t see him).

Friday took youngest to the Secretary of State’s to get his official driver’s license only to find out we also needed his birth certificate, a piece of mail with his name & address on it, his learner’s permit and something else – ended up coming home frustrated. First thing today we were back there, necessary papers in hand. Walked in the door (knowing it’s MONDAY and they’re always busy Mon. & Fri) – they were on #11 on the screen – we had a tag for #63! I went back to the car & got my knitting, son went next door to Taco Bell for some food for him. I chatted with several really nice people (even gave out my knit group business card to two ladies who are in the area!). About 1 1/2 hours later, we finally got his license (or it will be coming in the mail – he got the ‘paper equivalent’ for now). While we were sitting there waiting he informs me that a friend of his he used to go to school with AND used to work where he works has a car for sale and he wants to buy it . . . SIGHT UNSEEN! Yes, we’re dealing with an 18 1/2 yr old here (my son) AND he doesn’t think things through BUT, to make a long story short, he’s on his way to buy it right now. It’s a 2000 Saturn -123,000 miles – 24 MPG  ($900.00) – she’s driving it, it needs a wheel bearing but her dad works at an auto repair shop and he’s going to fix it for $50.00 TODAY! She says her Dad has done all the repairs on it, so he trusts her. I tell ya, folks – they sure do things differently these days than when I was a kid! I already gave him ‘the talk’: “You realize that this car is ALL ON YOU – you made this decision and if it needs anything, or has any unseen/undisclosed problems, it’s ALL YOUR DECISION AND ALL YOUR MONEY  that’s going to be used for any repairs – we’re done”. We gave him $500 for graduation to go towards the purchase of a car – that’s done, anything else is on him. Let me tell you – that’s a REALLY hard place to be, as a parent but with THIS son, it’s been ‘tough love’ all the way. He’s very headstrong and only learns the hard way. Not my idea of a good thing, but sometimes you just have to step back and let them fall (of course, praying all the way that he’s going to be alright).  I remember my first car: a baby blue Mercury Comet! Don’t even know the year but with my Aunt’s boyfriend co-signing for me, I made it happen. I drove that car from 1966-1970, and it was probably just about on it’s last legs when I FIRST got it, but it got me through college & work!


Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 1/2 to 2 lb. lean ground beef
1 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2  (14.5 oz ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can  tomato sauce
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt

In  large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add
ground beef & onion; cook, stirring, until beef is
no longer pink & onion is tender. Add  garlic &
continue cooking  1 minute. Add  chopped cabbage,
tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper & salt; bring to a boil.
Cover & simmer 20 – 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Serves 6 to 8.
(recipe: Facebook)

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

1 C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. flour
2 C. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
8 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter, flour, 1/2 C. sugar & salt with
mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Press onto bottom of 15 X 10 X 1 inch pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 20 minutes
or until lightly browned. Microwave corn syrup
& 6 oz. chocolate in large microwaveable bowl
on High 2 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is
almost melted, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes. Stir
until completely melted. Add remaining sugar,
eggs & vanilla, mix well; stir in nuts.
Pour chocolate mixture over warm crust; spread
to evenly cover crust. Bake 35 minutes or until
filling is firm around edges but still slightly soft
in center. Cool completely. Melt remaining chocolate
as directed on pkg; drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm, cut into 48 bars.

TIP: Line pan with foil with ends extending over
sides; spray with cooking spray, then use as
directed. Lift cooled dessert from pan with foil
‘handles’ before cutting into bars.

Use stove instead of microwave oven:
Prepare & bake crust as directed. Cook
corn syrup & chocolate in large saucepan
on very low heat just until chocolate is
melted, stirring constantly. Remove from
heat & continue with recipe as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs


1/3 C. mayonnaise

1 T. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

kosher salt

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 lb)

cooking oil (for brushing)

1 1/2 C. bread crumbs

3 large tomatoes, halved crosswise

freshly ground black pepper

Combine mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne

& 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add chicken &

toss to coat. Cover & refrigerate at least 2

hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium low. Brush grill grates

with cooking oil. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow

dish, then add chicken, turning to thoroughly coat.

Grill chicken, turning once, until golden brown &

cooked through, 20-25 minutes per side.

Brush tomatoes with cooking oil & season with

salt & pepper. Place, cut-side down on grill &

cook until marked, about 4 minutes per side.

Serve with the chicken. Makes 4 servings.


(recipe: Food Network)


Zesty Grilled Potatoes

1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced potatoes with onion
2 T. margarine
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilies;
well drained
1/3 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat gas grill for medium heat. Spray a 9 X 13
disposable foil pan with spray; set aside. Combine
potatoes, margarine, paprika & garlic salt in large
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave o High 2-3 minutes
or until potatoes are hot & margarine melts. Stir in
drained tomatoes. Place potato mixture in foil pan;
sprinkle with cheese. Grill, uncovered, 20-25 minutes
or until potatoes are tender. Serves 6 (about 2/3 C. each)

NOTE: If you don’t have a disposable foil pan, a large
sheet of heavy-duty foil, with sides folded up, will work.

(recipe: readyseteat!)


Peach Cobbler


8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted & sliced into

thin wedges

1/4 C. white sugar

1/4 C. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnaon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. cornstarch



1 C. flour

1/4 C. white sugar

1/4 C. brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

6 T. unsalted butter, chilled & cut into

small pieces

1/4 C. boiling water


Sugar-Cinnamon Mixture:

3 T. white sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 C.

white sugar, 1/4 C. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp.

cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice & cornstarch.

Toss to coat evenly then pour into a 2 qt.

baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.



In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 C. white

sugar, 1/4 C. brown sugar, baking powder

& salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or

using a pastry blender, until mixture resembles

coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven, drop spoonfuls

of topping over peaches. Sprinkle entire

cobbler with sugar & cinnamon mixture &

bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.


(recipe: Facebook)


Warm Bacon-Horseradish Dip


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 C. (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 T. milk

1 T. prepared horseradish

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

6 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked, drained &

crumbled (about 3/4 C.), divided

1/4 C. sliced green onions

1 tsp. butter or margarine, melted

6 wheat crackers, crushed


(crackers for serving dip)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

In food processor bowl, combine cream cheese,

Cheddar cheese, milk, horseradish, Worcestershire

sauce, garlic & pepper. Cover & process until

nearly smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir

in 1/2 C. bacon & green onions; spread in shallow

2 1/2 – 3 Cup casserole dish. In small bowl, toss

together remaining bacon, 6 crushed crackers &

butter. Sprinkle over cheese mixture & bake about

15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with

crackers. Makes 16 servings


(recipe: Kelloggs)


Mexican Fiesta Salad Squares


2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey or chicken

1 1/4 C. medium thick & chunky salsa

1 (1 oz) env. taco seasoning mix

1 clove garlic, minced

1 C. sour cream

2 C. thinly sliced iceberg lettuce

2 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced

2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced

1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 C. pitted ripe olives, coarsely chopped

additional salsa (optional)


Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Grease a cookie sheet. Unroll dough

side-by-side, seal edges together to form

one rectangular shaped pizza. Place dough

on sheet & bake 15-18 minutes or until

golden brown. Remove from oven; cool

completely. In skillet, cook turkey or chicken

over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until

no longer pink, breaking meat into crumbles.

Drain grease. Combine salsa, seasoning mix

& garlic in medium bowl; mix well. Add to

turkey in skillet; toss to coat. Spread sour

cream over crust. Spoon turkey mixture

over sour cream. Top with lettuce, tomatoes,

onions, cheese & olives. Serve immediately

with additional salsa, if desired. Serves 8


(recipe: facebook)


Beer-Battered Onion Rings


1 1/4 C. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 egg

1 pint beer

4 lb. onions, whole

flour, as needed, for dredging

Oil, for deep frying

Heat cooking oil to 375 degrees F.

Sift dry ingredients together; beat egg in

a separate bowl. Add beer to beaten egg.

Add egg/beer mixture to dry ingredients; mix

until smooth. Peel onions & cut into 1/2 inch

thick slices. Break slices into rings & dredge

in flour. Dip rings in batter a few times. Using

the swimming method*, deep fry until done.

Drain on absorbent paper, seasoning with

additional salt & white pepper; serve hot.


*Swimming Method: gently lowering

food into the oil and allowing it to

freely move to the top of the oil. The

food usually requires turning to brown

on both sides.


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes


1 large sweet potato, peeled

4-6 slices bacon

olive oil

chili powder

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Cut sweet potato into 1″ cubes. Cut bacon in

half crosswise, then in half lengthwise. Wrap

each piece of sweet potato with a piece of

bacon, securing with a toothpick. Place sweet

potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle with

olive oil then sprinkle with chili powder. Bake

20 minutes; remove from oven & flip potato

pieces over. Return to oven & bake an

additional 20-25 minutes until bacon is crispy

& potatoes are browned; drain on a paper

towel-lined plate. Serve warm with sour cream,

ranch dressing or guacamole. Serves 4


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Ice Cream Pie


1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

1/4 C. honey

1 C. (Keebler) Chips deluxe Peanut Butter Cup cookies

(about 8)

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

1 chocolate ready-made pie crust

1/2 C. chocolate ice cream topping

Place large mixing bowl in freezer. In small bowl, stir

together peanut butter & honey; set aside. Coarsely

chop cookies. In chilled bowl, combine ice cream,

peanut butter mixture & cookies; beat on Low speed

of elec. mixer until combined. Spread half of mixture

on bottom of crust. Drizzle with ice cream topping.

Carefully spread remaining ice cream mixture on top.

Freeze at least 3 hours or until firm. Let stand at

room temperature 15 minutes before cutting.

Garnish as desired. Store in freezer. Serves 8


(recipe: Kelloggs)


Our weather is now in Summer mode: upper 70’s, sunny with bright blue skies & big, fluffy clouds – YAY!

Looking over this week, the calendar’s full (as usual) – this time it’s squeezing in a funeral for another of my special need’s groups parents (that makes three in the past 2 months). It’s sad, but they were all in their 70’s (or higher).

Grandson will be here tomorrow bright & early (10:30 a.m.) for all day, plus squeezing in getting the title & license plates/insurance coverage for new car – that will be all before he has to go to work at 1 p.m.

OH! Almost forgot! A HUGE (to me, anyway) blessing: same son (our youngest) has been awaiting getting a job at a kiosk in the mall where they sell body piercings (I know – YUCK!). He has several piercings and thinks it would be a great job (yeah, right . . .). They had him convinced it would be more money/hours than his current job at Meijers (I’ve been told be several people that they lie to get you to work for them, then fire you a few months later, for no good reason – great job, right?). ANYWAY – I digress (don’t I , always?) Saturday night I went to pick him up from his job and he said: I just got a promotion! I start this coming week in GROCERY; $8 an hour (that’s 25 cents more per hour than he had) AND FULL TIME! (he was part time). Now he’ll be working 9 1/2 hour days and he off-side commented to me while he was driving us home: “I think I’ll keep my job at Meijers”  . . . THANK YOU, LORD!!! Now THAT’S a mother’s prayers answered if EVER I heard them! (the kiosk job, to me, was a really stupid idea! Even his older brother said to me: Doesn’t he know that’s all a lie? He’s smarter than that!).

So, friends, he starts in Grocery tomorrow – (he’s off today – which just happened to work out great for going to Sec. of State’s office!). Like I’ve said before – my days are pretty much filled with doing stuff for my family.

Speaking of family- with all the hospital/ER waiting Saturday – I finished the blue baby blanket! Just got a bridal shower invitation for the shawl friend – I now have 5 weeks to finish it! I’m sort of considering putting some very tiny clear beads on it up the middle; I have some beads but they’re too small to fit a stitch through, so IF I do put beads on it, I’ll have to sew them on by hand. (Yes, I know you can knit them in, but at this point, it’s rather futile – might as well just sew them all).  Oh – within the past three days I’ve given away 4 more of my business cards for our knit group – it’s funny how people sort of gravitate towards you if you’re knitting in public! Hey, I figure, with my knit/crochet group, the more the merrier!

Well, think that about covers all the happenings around here for now. Enjoy your day – take a walk, smell the flowers (or at least LOOK at them . . . people tend to look at you weirdly if you just stop, bend down and smell random flowers, say outside a doctor’s office – I know – I do it all the time! Buy, hey – they already KNOW I’m nuts, right?)



Tests – All Done! YAY!


Spent a few hours at the hospital this morning getting ultrasounds & dopplar tests – one really great thing came out of the dopplar test: The tech doing my test said: “I shouldn’t tell you this BUT your carotid arteries (the ones in your neck) are cleaner that the students we practiced on in school! For your age, your arteries are GREAT!” YAY! I was kind of worried that, if anything came out negative, it would probably be that. Whew! I’m not really worried about the other tests. Just glad that’s over (wasn’t painful – just took awhile).

Our weather is finally back to Summer/June – it’s 74 outside now (at 5:15 p.m.), nice & sunny with a slight breeze – just my idea of a perfect day! It was chilly when I went out this morning, in the low 60’s (8 a.m.); glad it’s warmed up. Gas-prices wise – they are still teetering – last night coming home from my special needs group I spotted a station with $3.99/9 – that’s the first I’ve seen UNDER $4 in weeks BUT as I got closer to home, they were still at $4.16. Husband went out today and said the prices changed while he was out from $4.15 to $3.96/9 – interesting. Just read in our local paper that our local problem with the high prices is now fixed (there was some sort of refinery in Detroit that had a fire), so hopefully we’ll see lower prices soon. For awhile, Michigan had the highest gas prices IN THE NATION!

A little earlier today my husband took our youngest out for his last ‘driving practice’ – on the expressway and parallel parking. Husband said he did good – that’s great. Son said to me the other night that he knew I wasn’t really comfortable with his driving, so did I think his DAD would be willing to do the expressway thing again. He’s right – I’m never really relaxed while in the car and he’s driving. Don’t get me wrong – he will pass the test tomorrow and get his license – it’s just that there are a few ‘things/issues’ I have trouble with concerning his driving. To me, he drives too fast when approaching stopped traffic – doesn’t slow down until (to me) it’s VERY close.  I think that would be my ONE complaint; no amount of my mentioning that does any good – will just have to learn that one on his own (WHEN he gets his OWN car!). He’s already talking looking for used cars the minute he gets his license. I’m guessing it’s going to be a bit of a difficulty – he only has $1,300. – that won’t buy much; we’ll see.


Lemon Ice Box Bars


14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
2 T. melted unsalted butter
1 T. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 C. lemon juice
2 tsp. powdered gelatin
3 T. boiling water

Place graham crackers in bowl of food processor;
pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown
sugar & salt; pulse to blend, until crumbs resemble
wet sand. Coat a 8 inch square baking pan with non-
stick spray; pack crumbs firmly into bottom of pan.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk &
egg; beat on High using elec. mixer until smooth &
creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest & juice; beat
until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. In small bowl,
combine gelatin & boiling water; whisk until gelatin is
entirely dissolved; let cool 2-3 minutes. Stir gelatin into
cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated.
Pour filling over crust. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight,
until filling is firm. Slice into 2 inch squares using a
chilled knife coated with nonstick spray.

(recipe: foodnetwork)


Cheddar-Jalapeno Scalloped Potatoes

2 lb. baking potatoes (about 6)
3 T. flour
1 C. milk
1 C. sour cream
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple Cheddar
cheese with a touch of Philadelphia

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Cook potatoes in boiling water in saucepan
about 20 minutes or just until tender; drain &
cool. Peel & slice potatoes. Whisk flour &
milk in large bowl. Stir in sour cream & peppers.
Add potatoes; stir to coat. Pour into 2 quart
casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Top with cheese & bake 25-30 minutes or until
heated through. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each)

NOTE: Add 1/2 C. finely chopped onions to
sour cream mixture with sliced cooked
potatoes, if desired.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Swiss Steak


3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lb. boneless beef round steak, cut into serving-
sized pieces
2 T. butter
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of mushroom soup,
1 C. water
HOT cooked noodles

In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt &
pepper  Add beef, a few pieces at a time; shake to coat.
In a large skillet, brown beef in butter on both sides.
Transfer to 3 qt. crockpot; top with onion. Combine soup
& water; pour over onions. Cover & cook on Low
8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with noodles.
Serves 8

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Zesty Shrimp Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. chopped cooked cleaned shrimp
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced

Beat cream cheese & mayonnaise in medium
bowl with elec. mixer until blended. Add
remaining ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate
several hours or until chilled. Serve with
crackers or toasted bread rounds.
Makes 16 2 T. servings

Note: For extra zip add 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
to cream cheese mixture before chilling.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Blueberry Pudding Loaf

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
3 C. flour
1 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. frozen blueberries,dusted
with sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In very large mixing bowl, cream butter &
cream cheese, using elec. mixer on medium
speed until creamy & blended. Add sugar, sour
cream & vanilla; mix until fluffy. Add eggs, one
at a time, mixing well after each. In large
mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda,
baking powder & salt. Add gradually to butter/
cream mixture; blend well. Add blueberries; stir only
to distribute. Batter will be very thick. Place
batter into two greased & floured loaf pans.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10
minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Rosemary-Parmesan Crisps

1 (11 oz) can refrigerated thin pizza crust
1/4 C. (Kraft) Tuscan house Italian salad dressing
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 C. sliced kalamata olives8
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Unroll pizza crust on baking sheet sprayed with
nonstick spray; press into 15 X 12 inch rectangle.
Bake 5 minutes. Brush crust with salad dressing;
top with remaining ingredients. Bake 6-8 minutes
or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or room
*Substitute: sliced black olives or stuffed green olives

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Cake Mix Cookies – Key Lime!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 box lime or lemon pudding mix
1 C. vegetable oil
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together well. Scoop by
tablespoon onto cookie sheet & bake
10-12 minutes.


Note: Poster said she couldn’t find lime
so she used lemon. She has also used
yellow cake mix & pumpkin spice instant
pudding mix (can usually find around Haloween
or Thanksgiving). Also spice cake & pumpkin
spice pudding!

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Creamy Bacon Vegetable Pasta Skillet

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 C. elbow macaroni, uncooked
4 C. assorted vegetables: broccoli florets,
pepper strips, carrot slices, mushroom slices,
peas and/or zucchini slices*
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat
until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; set
aside. Add onion to drippings; cook & stir until
tender. Add 1 C. water, chicken broth & macaroni;
bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover &
simmer 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Add
vegetables & cream cheese. Cook until cream cheese
is melted d& mixture is heated through, stirring
frequently. Sprinkle with bacon & Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6 (1 1/4 C. each)

*can substitute 1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
(thawed & drained) for fresh vegs.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Meatless Nachos

16 tortilla chips
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 jar thick & smooth taco sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pour can of beans into a mixing bowl &
mash with a potato masher until desired
consistency. Stir in taco sauce & garlic;
mix well. Lightly grease a cookie sheet;
arrange tortilla chips on sheet in one
layer. Drop spoonfuls of bean mixture
onto each chip. Cover chips with cheese
& bake approx. 10 minutes. Allow to cool
a few minutes before eating, as filling will
be scalding hot. Serves 2


Still working on the wedding shawl and the baby blanket – was really glad I dragged my knitting with me for the tests; got quite a bit done on the shawl – EVEN made a new knitting friend (the ultrasound tech). She taught herself how to knit so I got her email addy to send her some great free pattern sites  to help new knitters. It’s always fun to meet new craft people!

Hope you enjoy your day – I’m off here to go start dinner: Homemade pizza!



National Knit & Crochet ‘IN PUBLIC’ Week – DONE!!!

Last night was my knit & crochet group meeting and we fulfilled the above title! Fourteen of us had a great time (as usual) doing what we love-working on all things ‘yarny’!


The ladies are working on knitting & crocheting dishcloths for our yearly “Log Cabin Days” coming up June 29 & 30,  for the Waterford Historical Society. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount already turned in – one lady crocheted THIRTY! I’d say, right now I have about 50 awaiting delivery and we still have another 2 1/2 weeks to go!

Today my husband is happily attending his All-Class Reunion from his High School – I thought that was a very good idea, including ALL classes instead of just having it for your one year of graduation; that way, more people come (and, at our ages, there are fewer of us!). I’m not really one for class reunions, think I attended our 15 year – it was OK; I was really hoping to see more of the people I grew up with from our neighborhood, but most of them didn’t come.

New “toy” – a couple at church who are going off to Germany in a few weeks to be missionaries at a youth camp asked me if I’d like a knitting machine. I’m familiar with them but have never had a desire to own/operate one. She seemed very eager to give it to someone she knew, so I took it. It’s from 1959, and manufactured in Germany (hence some of the terms are in GERMAN!). It came with a notebook of samples and some patterns; her Mother originally owned it and she said that her Mom made a living selling baby clothes she’d made on said machine – impressive! There were no directions for the machine, so I chanced to go on EBay and LO, and BEHOLD – there they were – the EXACT directions for that EXACT machine! We bought them and now husband is very eager to see if he can figure out how to work it (not me). I even checked out a book from the local library on knitting machines BUT, I find it very interesting: in NEITHER one of the ‘instructions’ (ones from EBay OR the book from the library) do they explain just how to THREAD the machine with yarn! WEIRD! Oh well – that’s all for my husband to explore – just seeing all those moving parts and directions gave me a headache!

On the library scene – went there yesterday to pick up the knitting machine book I’d placed on hold and also checked out two more murder/mystery books on familiar authors. Friends – I’m GETTING OLD! Got the books home, opened to chapter one and started reading. On BOTH books I’m reading along, 1-2 chapters when it happens – this sounds pretty familiar! Turns out I’d already read BOTH BOOKS! DUH! Oh well, senility can strike at any time, right? I really should start writing down what books by what authors I’ve ALREADY read . . . sigh.

Lots of yummy-sounding recipes coming in lately – here ya go!


Parmesan Baked Tomatoes


2 medium tomatoes

1/3 C. freshly grated Parmesan

fresh oregano, chopped


freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Cut tomatoes lengthwise into approx.

1/3 inch slices. Place them on a baking sheet.

Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt & pepper.

(season according to taste). Drizzle tops

with olive oil & bake until tomatoes are

tender & cheese is melted, about 10-15

minutes. Serves 2

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Banana Pudding Poke Cake


1 (10 oz.) box yellow cake mix plus

 ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil & water)

2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. instant banana pudding

4 C. milk

1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

20 vanilla wafers, crushed (leave some of pieces big)

2 ripe bananas, sliced



 Prepare cake mix according to package directions

for a 9×13 cake; bake according to pkg. directions.

Once cake comes out of oven, allow it to cool for

just a couple of minutes. Then, with a wooden spoon

handle or some other similarly-sized object, begin

poking holes in the cake. You want the holes to be

fairly big so that the pudding has plenty of room to

get down in there. Be sure to poke right down to

the bottom of the cake.In a bowl,whisk together

instant pudding with 4 cups milk; stir until all lumps

are gone. Let pudding sit for just about 2 minutes, so it

has just slightly begun to thicken but not fully set,

it should still be easily pourable. Pour pudding over

cake taking care to get it into the holes as much as

possible. Spread it all out using the back of spoon

gently push pudding down into the holes. Put 

pudding in fridge to set and cool. Once your

cake has completely cooled, spread on Cool

Whip. Spread crushed wafers on top of cake.

You can do this part immediately before serving

the cake; this will ensure the wafers are crunchy

when you serve it. Serve with freshly sliced bananas.


It’s even better the next day so it’s a great dessert to

make ahead of time.

Keep refrigerated.

(recipe: facebook)


Crockpot Breakfast

Want breakfast tomorrow without lifting a finger?

Place 2 sliced apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch salt in the bottom of the crock pot.
Pour in 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 cups of milk and 2 cups water.
Do NOT stir.
Cook overnight for 8 – 9 hours on low.

(recipe: Facebook)


No Dough  Pizza



1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature

2 eggs

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese




1/2 C. pizza sauce

1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

toppings – pepperoni, ham, sausage,

 mushrooms, peppers

Garlic powder


Preheat oven  350 degrees F.

Lightly spay a  9—13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Using handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper,

garlic powder & Parmesan cheese until combined.

Spread into baking dish. Bake 12-15 minutes, or

until golden brown. Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread pizza sauce on crust; top with cheese & toppings.

Sprinkle pizza with garlic powder. Bake 8-10 minutes,

until cheese is melted.


(recipe: facebook)


Triple Cheese Spinach Manicotti


12 manicotti shells, uncooked

4 slices bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. ground beef

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,

thawed & squeezed dry

1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 C. water

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta as directed on pkg. Cook bacon in

large skillet on medium heat 4-5 minutes or until

crisp. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from

skillet; reserving drippings in skillet. Drain bacon

on paper towels. Add onions & garlic to drippings;

cook & stir 2 minutes. Add ground beef; cook &

stir 6-7 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in bacon,

cream cheese, spinach, mozzarella & herbs. Drain

shells; fill with meat mixture. Pour 1 C. spaghetti

sauce into bottom of 9 X 13 baking dish; top with

filled shells. Add water to spaghetti sauce jar,

cover with lid & shake jar. Pour water over shells;

cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes or until heated

through, uncovering after 35 minutes. Top with

Parmesan. Serves 6.


Dish can be made ahead; assemble as directed,

refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve,

bake in 350 degrees F. oven for 55  minutes or

until heated through, uncovering after 45 minutes.


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Sweet ‘n Tangy 4-Bean Salad


8 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed

3/4 C. cider vinegar

2/3 C. tomato juice

1/4 C. vegetable oil

3 t. dry red wine or apple juice

1/2 C. sugar

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced (1/2 tsp.)

1 (12 oz) frozen shelled sweet edame (soybeans),


1 (14.5 oz) can cut wax beans, rinsed & drained

1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 bunch green onion, finely chopped

4 large carrots, coarsely chopped

In large saucepan, cook green beans in boiling

lightly salted water 10 minutes or just until tender;

drain & rinse with cold water & set aside. In extra-

large bowl, combine vinegar, tomato juice, oil, wine,

sugar,Worcestershire sauce, mustard & garlic. Stir

in beans, green onion & carrot. Refrigerate, covered,

4-48 hours. Serve with slotted spoon. Makes 12

(1 C. each) servings.

NOTE: Assemble & refrigerate 4-48 hours; fresh green

beans will lose some color as they marinate in the

dressing. For brightly colored green beans, cook &

chill as directed, but do not add to salad. Cover &

refrigerate separately, then toss in with salad just

before serving.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Crash Hot Potatoes

(from The Pioneer Woman)

12 whole new potatoes (or small round potatoes)

3 T. olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste

rosemary or other herbs of choice (chives, thyme, etc)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Bring pot of salted water to a boil; add in as many

potatoes as you wish to make; cook until fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place

cooked potatoes on sheet, leaving plenty room between

each potato. Using a potato masher, gently press down

each potato until it slightly mashes. Rotate the masher

90 degrees & mash again. Brush tops of each crushed

potato generously with more olive oil. Sprinkle tops

with kosher salt, black pepper & herbs. Bake 20-25

minutes or until golden brown.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Bacon Cheddar Puffs


1 C. milk

1/4 C. butter

1 C. flour

4 large eggs

1 C. (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

8 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled

1/2 tsp. onion salt or powder

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine milk & butter in medium saucepan; heat

over medium heat until butter is melted & mixture

is simmering. Add flour all at once; continue to cook,

stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture

forms a ball. Remove from heat.

Beat in 1 egg until mixture is smooth. Repeat with

remaining eggs, adding just 1 egg at a time, beating

until thoroughly combined. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Drop heaping teaspoons of mixture onto greased

baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until puffed & golden

brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.


(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


3 Ingredient Frito Pie


1 bag Fritos

1 can Nacho cheese soup

1 can chili

Heat chili, melt cheese according to soup

directions. Layer Fritos, chili & cheese on



(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)




2 C. (16 oz) sour cream

2 C. mayonnaise

2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked & crumbled

6 plum tomatoes, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

Crackers or chips

In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise,

bacon, tomatoes & onions. Refrigerate until

serving. Garnish top with bacon & green onions.

Serves 6


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


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)


It’s a nice-looking day outside (going on noon) – temperature is 70 and sunny – great day for a picnic, if you were so inclined!

Tomorrow’s my tests to rule out clogged (neck) arteries and a general check on my ‘innards’ – we’ll see how it all comes out.

Hope you have a GREAT day! Get out and enjoy some of the sunshine (that is – IF you have sunshine!).



A Little Bit of Everything


Here it is Saturday already – boy, did the past week FLY by! First thing this morning was get up & out to see the last Flag Football game for our grandson. Not exactly sure of the final score, but I think his team won by 1 point. It was just really fun watching them all – they remind me of little baby goats or horse colts; at this age (4-6 yrs) they tend to ‘frolic’ when left to themselves for a few minutes. I love just sitting and watching them as they’re waiting for the next play: they’re dancing back & forth or jumping up & down (Oh, to have their energy, eh?) – they’re little kids doing what they do best – enjoying life! (I took a really cute photo of our grandson holding his trophy – but I did it with my cell phone and the phone is not compatible with my computer cord, so I can’t share it.) Each year the kids get a trophy; grandson’s comment to me – “This is my third trophy!”

Last blog entry I mentioned the small ‘surgery’ on the bump on my neck – got it done, in office, on Wednesday. I’m fine (bruised up a bit, but then I do that) – it was a sebaceous cyst, nothing to worry about. Next on the ‘list’ is getting the dopplars on my neck and the ultrasounds of my abdomen – that comes Thursday. Not a big deal, just more ‘tests’. Am really hoping that my carotid arteries are fairly clear – really don’t want to think about having a stent (or more) put in, but then at my age (almost 65) it happens to a lot of our friends around this time in life – we’ll see how it all comes out. Sigh . . .

Working on trying to lose some weight – not doing a really great job of it. Lost 3 lbs, then went out to dinner last week and gained it back. Right now I’m where I started – sigh. Time to get more aggressive at it – but I DON’T WANT TO! (the only real reason I HAVE to is: it will prevent the doctor from starting me on diabetic meds – I’ve been good for around 7 years now so now it’s time to ‘get back on the wagon’ and eat more healthy . . . sigh.

Speaking of food (and I do that a LOT!), here’s more recipes for ya!


Best Fruit Salad Ever!

1 (29 oz) can peach slices (& juice)
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks (& juice)
1 (3 1/8 oz) box dry vanilla instant pudding
1 lb. strawberries, quartered
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
1 bunch grapes
1-2 T. sugar (optional)

In large bowl, combine peaches, pineapple &
vanilla pudding mix; mix well until pudding
is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, banana,
blueberries, grapes & sugar (if using). Chill
1 hour, before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)


Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 C. Dannon Oikos plain Greek yogurt
1 pkt. Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. milk

Whisk ingredients together; chill 1
hour before use. Makes 1 quart.

(recipe: facebook)


Microwave Popcorn without a Bag!

Glass bowl (microwave safe)

Ceramic plate (microwave safe)

1/2 C. dry Popcorn kernels

Place popcorn kernels in bottom of

bowl; place plate on top of bowl.

(Plate should be wide enough to

go beyond the rim of the bowl).

Microwave 2 minutes 45 seconds.

That’s all! No bag-no butter/oil, nothing

to throw away afterwards and no un-

popped kernels!


(recipe: facebook)


(Here’s an unusual and healthy cookie recipe)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1  1/4 C. canned chickpeas, well-rinsed & patted dry
with a paper towel
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C + 2 T.  peanut butter
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 C.  chocolate chips

Preheat oven  350°F
Combine all  ingredients, except  chocolate chips, in a food
processor or blender; process until very smooth. Make sure
to scrape  sides and top to get the little chunks of chickpeas
and process again until they’re combined.
 Add chocolate chips & stir it if you can, or pulse once or twice.
Mixture will be very thick and sticky.
With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of
parchment paper.  If you want them to look more like normal
cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t rise much.
Bake for about 10 minutes.
Yields about fourteen 1 1/2″ cookie dough balls.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken Tamale Pie


3 C. diced, cooked chicken (about 12 oz)

1 1/2 C. prepared salsa

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

1 1/2 C. chicken broth

1 T. chili powder

2 scallions (white & green parts), sliced

3/4 C. cornmeal

1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 T. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Heat chicken, salsa, beans, 1/2 C. broth &

chili powder in a 10 inch cast-iron skillet

over medium heat, stirring until simmering.

Stir in scallions & remove from heat. Combine

cornmeal with 1 C. broth & 1 C. water in medium

pan. Bring to simmer over medium heat,

stirring until very thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove from

heat & stir in cheese & butter. Season with salt &

pepper. Spread cornmeal mixture over filling &

bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let

stand 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 6 servings.


(recipe: Food Network)


Warm Spinach & Bacon Salad


1/3 C. red wine vinaigrette salad dressing

6 C. tightly packed torn fresh spinach

1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 c. thin red onion rings

2 T. cooked bacon crumbles

Microwave dressing in microwaveable bowl on

High 30-50 seconds or until hot. Pour over

combined spinach, mushrooms & onions in

large bowl; toss to coat. Top with bacon.

Serves 4 (1 1/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Vegetable Tian

(thinly sliced veggies topped with cheese then


1 T. olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced

1 medium potato, thinly sliced

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried thyme

salt & pepper, to taste

1 C. shredded Italian cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Saute onion & garlic in skillet with olive oil until

softened (about 5 min.) Spray insides of a

8 X 8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Spread

onion & garlic in bottom of dish. Place sliced

veggies on top. Sprinkle generously with salt,

pepper & thyme. Cover dish with foil & bake

30 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese;

bake another 15-20 minutes until cheese is

golden brown.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Pork Chops in Mushroom Cream Sauce


4 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 in. thick)

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

1 (2 C.) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 C. chicken broth

4 tsp. cornstarch

1 (6 oz) container Greek plain yogurt

4 C. hot, cooked rice or pasta

Sprinkle both sides of chops with seasoned

salt & pepper. Heat 2 tsp. oil in 10-inch non-

stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Add chops; cook 4 minutes on each side or

until golden brown. Remove chops; set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp oil over

medium heat. Add onion & mushrooms;

cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix

chicken broth & cornstarch well; add to skillet

& heat to boiling. Return chops to skillet. Spoon

some of the sauce over chops. Reduce heat; cover

& simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until

pork is no longer pink in center. Stir in yogurt until

well blended; cook over Low heat until heated

through. Serve with rice or pasta.


(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


 Blue Ribbon Apple Bundt Cake



3/4 C. sugar

3 tsp. orange flavored instant drink mix (like Tang)

2 tsp. cinnamon



3 C. flour

2 C. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. orange flavored drink mix

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. vegetable oil

1/2 C. water

2 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs

4 C. apples, peeled & thinly sliced


Spice Glaze:

2 C. powdered sugar

1 T. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice*

2-4 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease & flour a 12 C. Bundt pan

Combine streusel ingredients in small bowl;

set aside. In large bowl, combine all cake

ingredients except apples. Pour 1/3 batter

(about 1 2/3 C.) into pan. Layer 2 C. apples

over batter; sprinkle with half the streusel. Repeat

layers with another 1/3 C. batter, remaining

apples & remaining streusel; end with

remaining 1/3 C. cake batter. Bake

65-75 minutes, until toothpick inserted into

center comes out clean. Cool in pan 3 minutes,

then invert onto a serving plate to cool

completely. When cake is cool, prepare glaze:

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter &

spice. Add milk one T. at a time until smooth &

of drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over

cooled cake.


Substitute: combine a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg

& cloves




Our weather (typical Michigan) is hovering between chilly and warm. It’s ‘supposed’ to get up into the 70’s today, but right now it’s really overcast & cloudy and 62 degrees. (Wore my sweatshirt & jacket while watching the flag football game earlier and was really GLAD I wore them – windy & chilly!)

Oh! Gas Prices – what do you think about them, lately? Crazy, eh? Here in Michigan we’ve been hit with really HIGH prices this past week. I’m hearing it has something to do with a refinery in Detroit area that had a fire? Not sure BUT – – – earlier this week the prices were $4.29/9 – that, to me, is highway robbery! I went on my trusty computer and looked up ‘gas prices Michigan’ and found a great site:  They post the current prices in your area (you type in your zip code and it gives you the current prices). I found a low price ($4.19/9) at a station about 7 minutes away, so I drove there. Outside, on their nice digital sign was posted the price I saw on line. I pulled up to the pumps and saw: $4.41/9, $4.51/9, and $4.61/9 – I thought maybe I missed something (I don’t go to that station), so I drove around to another pump – same thing. Thinking I’d missed something, somewhere I got out of my car and went inside to ask about the difference. She told me: “Oh, that’s if you have your XXX grocery card bonus AND your XXX gas station bonus points, THEN you get that price!” To me, that’s FALSE ADVERTISING! I was really shocked. I ended up getting $20 CASH, at $4.29 a gallon. NOT RIGHT! I came home, fuming, to my husband and he agreed. I even wrote a question on our local area community site asking what others thought of this – most agreed it’s not right and I should write to our congressman or report them to some gas prices commission. I decided I really didn’t want to do either, since I’d already vented on that site and my name and email were right there for all to see (no privacy here, I’m sorry). I don’t want to get on the wrong side of some commission. One person even suggested I write or call the local TV news station, saying they’d done that years ago about high gas prices and the station AND local newspapers wrote about it. Sorry, but I’m a chicken when it comes to being the vigilante – I just waited a few days. Prices are now down ‘some’: $4.17/9 – still outrageous, but sometimes WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Well, friends – there’s my SOAPBOX rantings for today. Hope you found a recipe that intrigued you some. Oh! Books/Reading: bought several paperbacks at a sale lately and found this one in particular: “The Sign” by Raymond Khoury. Very interesting premise: a blazing sphere of light appears out of nowhere in the skies above Antarctica, then vanishes. What is it, where did it come from? and WHY? I’m about 1/3 through the book; definitely keeping my interest so far.

Knitting wise: started the shawl for my friend who’s getting married in Sept.; it’s done in very fine (#2) yarn in varied shades from dark purple to very light lavender with a bit of greens thrown in (didn’t know about the greens when I saw it on line – guess it will just ‘have to do’, as I’ve already started working on it!). Found a rather simple pattern on line and have about 6 inches or so knit. It’s a repeating pattern – Lace pattern and Garter stitch:


Anyway, that’s what’s happening around here – hope you’re having a nice, relaxing weekend. Maybe grilling outside? Or going to a picnic/graduation party? Whatever you’re doing – remember to HAVE FUN and RELAX a little! Life’s short – eat dessert first!



Miscellaneous Thoughts on a Tuesday


To begin – how are your GAS PRICES lately? The other day I got gas at $3.89/9 and thought I was doing something good; turns out I WAS! Later that very same day the prices went up to $4.19/9 – OUTRAGEOUS! They’ve dropped a bit in the past few days – yesterday I saw $4.07/9 as about the lowest in our area BUT STILL – that’s just NUTS!

Still working on the “Grandma’s Favorite” baby afghan for the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower (in Sept); I’m finally to the decrease part, so it shouldn’t take too long to finish (guessing about a week, hopefully). Next is the variegated purples shawl for my friend – just checked and the yarn should be arriving tomorrow (exciting!). I’m really hoping I ordered enough, as I’m really sort of ‘out on a limb’ on this one – friend is a bit on the large side, therefore will require making said shawl just a tad larger than the original pattern – we’ll see how that goes.

Yesterday was my first visit with new Oncologist (the one I was excited to meet, having heard lots of great comments about him). The visit went very well (he asked me if I was an Accountant or Engineer – I asked ‘why’ and he said because I had been so precise on all the records I filled out for their office . . . too funny!) The visit was a general 6-month check up but I came away a bit surprised: he ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen (not exactly sure why) plus doplar tests on my neck (to rule out any blocked arteries – sure hope they’re clear!) plus a visit with my original surgeon. I have a small bump on the side of my neck that’s been there around 1-2 years. The problem is: it grew a bit in shape and size since the radiation. I mentioned it to my regular physician and he said, because of the location (it’s close to the main artery in my neck) he wouldn’t touch it, BUT if it grew he might send me to a surgeon. The cancer doctor didn’t mince any words: I don’t think it’s cancerous BUT if it’s growing, it needs to go! First thing this morning I get a phone call from my surgeon’s office and am seeing her tomorrow – that’s sure FAST! After my visit yesterday I felt a little ‘out of it/almost invaded’ so I took a nice long walk around the cancer center’s Healing Garden. It’s a very relaxing place, lots of blooming flowers & trees (took a few photos on my cell phone of dew on some flowers). Sometimes you just have to stop and relax and let the LORD take your worries for you. I’m not scared/worried about this neck thing, it’s just that I was in the mind set of going, having him ask me several questions and then waltzing out with another 6 month appointment, nothing more. BIG surprise! (Oh, and they took blood for blood cancer markers, too). Life’s great if you don’t weaken (old saying I heard alot while growing up).

Recipes! Lots of them coming in – here ya go:


Apple Delight

1 1/2 C. chopped apples

1 C. sugar

1 C. flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

dash salt

3 T. vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 – 1 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together and spread in a

8 X 8 baking pan; bake 30 minutes.

Optional: Can be frosted, topped with ice

cream or whipped cream.

(recipe: Roberta-The Oakland Press)


Hidden Pear Jello Salad

1 (16 oz) can pear halves

1 (3 oz) box orange Jell-O

1 C.  (or half 8 oz. tub) Cool Whip

2 T. milk

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

Drain pears, reserving juice. Place juice in a

small saucepan, bring to boil. Remove from

heat & dissolve dry Jell-O into juice; stir until

dissolved; cool slightly. In medium bowl, mash

pears with a potato masher. Mix in cream cheese &

milk; beat with elec. mixer until smooth. Add Jell-O

& juice mixture to pear mixture; mix again with beaters.

Fold in Cool Whip & refrigerate.

(recipe: Sharon-The Oakland Press)


Jim Dandy Date Bars


1 1/2 C. chopped, pitted dates

1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 C. water

1 T. Brandy (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla


1 C. flour

1 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. rolled oats

1/2 C. chopped pecans

1 1/2 sticks butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine all Jam ingredients in large

saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat,

simmer 5 minutes. Mixture should

resemble a thick paste. Cool

Combine flour, otas, sugar, nuts &

salt in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter

until it resembles coarse meal. Reserve

2 Cups for topping; press remainder onto

bottom of greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Spread

crust with cooled jam & sprinkle with

reserved crumb mixture. Bake 25-33 minutes

until golden brown. Cook completely, cut into


(recipe: Bonnie-The Oakland Press)


Italian Brunch Casserole

(overnight recipe)

1 (8 oz) pkg. sweet Italian sausage

8 green onions, sliced (1 C.)

2 zucchini, diced (about 3 C.)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 (7 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers,

drained & chopped

1 (16 oz.) loaf Italian bread, cut into

1-inch cubes (about 8 C.)

2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

6 large eggs

1 1/2 C. milk

Remove & discard casings from sausage; cook

sausage in large skillet, stirring until sausage

crumbles & is no longer pink; drain. Add green

onions & next 3 ingredients to skillet. Sauté 4

minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in

roasted bell peppers; drain & cool. Spread 4 C.

bread cubes in a lightly greased 9 X 13 baking pan.

Top with half each of sausage mixture & cheese; repeat

with remaining bread, sausage & cheese. Whisk together

eggs & milk; pour over bread. Cover & chill 8 hours.

When ready to bake:

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Bake, covered, 1 hour or until bubbly & hot. Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Apple ‘n Onion Chicken


3 medium apples

2 large onions

1 T. butter

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

3/4 C. shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

2 T. unsweetened apple juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large skillet, sauté apples & onions in

butter for 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer

to a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with

chicken; sprinkle with salt & pepper. Combine

the cheeses, bread crumbs & thyme; sprinkle

over chicken. Drizzle top with apple juice.

Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until

chicken juices run clear. Serves 6

(Poster’s comment: I have made this dish

many times for family & company; the unique

combination of flavors always get rave


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Chicken & Asparagus Quiche

2 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crusts

2 T. butter

2 T. olive oil

1 T. garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed & cut

into 1-inch pieces

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,


3 eggs, beaten

1 C. Half & Half

1 tsp. dry mustard

salt & pepper, to taste

2 C. shredded Monterey Jack

cheese, divided

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Place pie crusts in two 9 inch pie plates;

bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden

brown. In large skillet, melt butter &

olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic

onion & asparagus 5-7 minutes, until

asparagus is crisp-tender. With a slotted

spoon, remove vegetables from skillet,

leaving as much of the butter mixture as

possible. Add chicken to skillet; sauté

7-8 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove

skillet from heat. In a bowl, whisk together

remaining ingredients except cheeses.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle 1/2 C. cheese in each pie crust.

Layer half the chicken in each crust,

followed by half the veggies & half egg

mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes. Makes

2 quiches; each serves 4-6.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Oven-fried Broccoli Bites with

Avocado Dipping Sauce


12-16 oz. fresh steamed broccoli

1 1/2 C. grated mozzarella cheese

3 eggs

salt & pepper

1 C. seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.

Form patties by hand & lay on a greased

cookie sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes until

browned, turning once.

Avocado Dipping Sauce:

meat from 1 avocado

1-2 T. sour cream

salt & pepper

Mix ingredients together until

smooth & serve on the side as

a dip for the broccoli bites.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Roasted Potatoes & Onions

2 lb. new potatoes (red/white or Yukon gold),

scrubbed & halved

1 lb. onions, peeled

1/4 C. olive oil

2 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

In large bowl, toss together all

ingredients. Spread mixture in single

layer on a baking sheet. Bake until

potatoes & onions are golden brown &

cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Serve immediately or cool & store in

air-tight container in refrigerator,

reheating in Preheated 400 degrees F.

oven for 10-15 minutes.

Serves 4-6

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Sweet Alabama Pecan Bread


1 C. sugar

1 C. brown sugar

4 eggs, beaten

1 C. oil

1 1/2 C. self-rising flour

1 tsp. vanilla

2 C. pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease & flour 9 X 13 baking dish.

Using a wooden spoon, stir together sugar,

brown sugar, eggs & oil in a medium bowl

until smooth. Stir in flour & vanilla; add pecans

& stir to evenly mix. Spoon into prepared pan;

bake 30-35 minutes.




Almost forgot – the cancer center was holding another great used book sale yesterday (50 cents for paperbacks, $1.00 for hard backs) – I couldn’t resist, came home with about 12. The way I figure it – it’s for a good cause AND great prices for books, too! I love reading so we’ll see what these produce. (Even found a hardback book by George Burns for my husband; he was happy to get it!)

It’s another beautiful, sunny (but slightly chilly 59 degrees F) day here in good old Michigan (land of the ‘you never know what weather you’re going to get – stay around, it will change!). Hope you have a GREAT day!



Another BUSY Day!

Today started out with watching grandson’s flag football game (they lost). It was a nice day (nice enough – the rains held off; it’s been raining here EVERY day!). Got to see a friend from many, many years ago, turns out he & his son were just visiting to see if he might like to sign his son up for next year. He said he went on line, saw our last name and the team name (our oldest son is their coach, hence our name in front of the team’s name) so he came – nice reunion!

The rains held off so I did a quick trip in search of a sheet cake for youngest son’s graduation (today). Yes, I know – I waited way too long but was pretty sure I knew just where to go. Was I wrong! Ended up at Meijer’s, buying a 1/4 th sheet cake (a little smaller than I wanted, but beggar’s can’t be choosers, right?); found a marble cake with white icing, trimmed in red with 3 different colored balloons – it worked. I bought a tube of red decorator frosting and wrote Congrats, Eric! (cake was too small to fit the entire CONGRATULATIONS).


A little later on found us getting ready to attend said graduation; it was held at the local college and I was SUPER glad they had a separate schedule for his school, as the two main high schools held theirs at 11:30 a.m. and 1: 30 p.m. (both of those schools had at least 300 graduates, EACH!) which would have made PARKING a nightmare! (they’re leaving, we’re coming in, etc.) Our graduation was at 5:30 and all went very well. There were 83 graduates – it was just long enough, not too long and very well done. Here’s the smiling graduate:


He’s 18 and ‘all growed up’!

After the ceremony we took him out for dinner at Papa Vino’s (new to us, he’d been there before). We all stuffed ourselves: husband and son were happy with the complimentary bread & olive oil, I had calamari (YUM!), they had, individually: Veal Parmisan and sausages & peppers/Stuffed Manicotti & garlic bread. I had something called Rotini & Crab Meat. It was good – filling; there were bits of crab meat, chopped mushrooms, snow pea pods (yum) and chopped tomatoes with Parmesan cheese. Since we were celebrating, I saved room for Tiramisu – never had it and always wanted to try it, made the authentic Italian way. I had about 3 bites and gave it to my husband – a little too heavy on the chocolate sauce/coffee taste for me. They were both very happy with their meals and we all ‘rolled’ home over stuffed & happy.

(Soap Box warning): One thing I observed while at the ceremony which really bothered me – during the playing of the National Anthem only a HANDFUL of people actually put their right hand over their hearts. There were people talking, using their cell phones, looking around, etc. – I was appalled.  I’m not talking YOUNG kids, these were ADULTS who, if they were raised like me in public schools, were taught to respect our flag and country! Yes, I’ll give you the idea that perhaps all of them are not happy with our country at this time BUT you still show respect! The lady sitting next to me drove me nuts constantly texting on her cell, looking all around, fidgeting, etc. Can’t you hold still for maybe 3 minutes? I had SUCH a yearning to say something to her, but didn’t want to cause a scene. I guess I’ve just been WAY too sheltered lately as to ‘the way things are’ in public lately. It’s a sad state of affairs, as far as I’m concerned, that there is such lack of any type of respect now. (stepping off soap box now). Feel free to comment here – I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

After such a filling meal, I’ll attempt to bring you more tasty-sounding recipes:


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


2 C. quick-cooking oats

1 3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. chopped peanuts

1 (6 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 large egg, beaten

1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed milk

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder &baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles fine crumbs.Stir in peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 C. crumb mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press onto bottom of 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.Stir together sweetened condensed milk & peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust. Stir together reserved crumb mixture & chocolate chips; sprinkle evenly over peanutbutter layer. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool then cut into bars.


(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Saucy Chicken & Spinach Skillet


1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs,

cut into bite-sized pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. olive oil

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves

1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.

Cook & stir chicken & garlic in hot oil in large,

deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat

3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add

sauce; simmer on medium-low 8-10 minutes or until

chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Add spinach;

cook 1 minute or just until wilted, stirring frequently.

Drain pasta; serve topped with chicken mixture &

shredded cheese. Serves 6


For a spicier sauce, add 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

to chicken mixture with spaghetti sauce


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin


1 medium spaghetti squash

2 T. butter

1 small yellow onion, cut in half & sliced very thin

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp. fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 C. sour cream

1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Cut squash in half & remove seeds. Place in microwaveable

covered dish with 1/4 inch water & microwave 10-12 minutes.

In medium skillet over medium heat, add butter, onions, red

pepper & thyme; cook until onions are slightly brown. Salt &

pepper, to taste. Using a fork, scrape insides of squash out

of rind & transfer to a small bowl. Combine squash, onions,

sour cream & half of cheese; mix well. Pour mixture into

a buttered baking dish & top with remaining cheese.

Bake 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Chinese Coleslaw

2 (16 oz, ea) bags coleslaw mix

1 C. sunflower kernels

1 C. slivered or sliced almonds

1 (5-6) bunch green onions, sliced

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. Ramen noodles, crushed

(set seasoning pkts aside for dressing)


1 C. vegetable oil

1/3 C. white vinegar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

2 seasoning pkts.

In large bowl, mix coleslaw, sunflower kernels,

almonds, green onions & crushed noodles. In

small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.

Pour dressing over coleslaw mixture; toss until

salad is evenly coated. Cover & refrigerate until

ready to serve.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Seafood Delight Casserole


18 slices dense white bread

2 C. milk

1 C. mayonnaise

4 large eggs

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 small jar chopped pimentos

3/4 C. chopped celery

1/4 C. chopped onion

1 can sliced mushrooms, drained

2 cans crabmeat, drained

(or chopped crab lumps)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 stick butter

Trim crusts from bread; butter both sides of

each slice. Layer half of slices on bottom of

9 X 13 baking dish. Combine milk, mayonnaise

& eggs; beat well. Add green peppers, pimentos,

onions & crab meat; stir then pour over bread

in pan. Cover with remaining slices. Cover with

plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine soup & shredded cheese; spread over

top layer of bread. Bake 1 hour. Serves 8-10




No-Bake Lemon Cream Mini Cheesecakes

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. lemon instant pudding mix

1 C. milk

4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.

juice & zest of 1/2 lemon

6 individual serving-sized pre-made graham

cracker tart shells

whipped cream (optional)

lemon peel (optional)

Whisk together pudding mix & milk 3 minutes,

or until completely smooth; set aside. Using

either a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or

hand mixer, whip cream cheese with lemon

juice & zest until it is loose & smooth. Add

lemon pudding mixture; mix until evenly

combined & smooth. Divide mixture between

crusts; refrigerate at least 30 minutes before

serving. Garnish with whipped cream & lemon

peel, if desired.  Makes 6 tarts


(recipe: Kraft foods)


30-Minute Chicken

1 medium onion, sliced
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves,
(4 oz ea)
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In a greased 9 X 13 pan, place onion & chicken
breasts; sprinkle with salt (if desired) & pepper.
Layer mushrooms & zucchini over chicken. Combine
garlic, tomatoes, basil & oregano; pour over
vegetables. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 30
minutes or until juices run clear. Sprinkle with
Parmesan cheese, if desired, Serves 4.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Well, it’s been a busy day for me and there’s another one coming tomorrow. I’d totally forgotten that I signed up to go to a Cancer Survivor’s luncheon tomorrow (after church) at my local cancer center. A friend of mine who went through a more severe bout with breast cancer called and reminded me it’s tomorrow, so I’m going with her. We both attended last year and it’s a very nice afternoon – LOTS of food, music, speakers, prizes, etc. plus a very nice walk through their on-site ‘healing garden’. I love going through the garden because they have all these amazing flowers & flowering bushes/trees in bloom, plus a nice waterfall, various hanging chimes, etc – very relaxing. I will ‘just’ get home before having to go back to church for choir practice at 5, then church 6-7, so I guarantee you I’ll be one very tired person when it’s all said & done!

Enjoy your day – hope you’re doing something FUN for YOU!!!