Long Weekend!

You'll eat it and you'll like it.

Well, here we are at the beginning of a long weekend – have you made any special plans? I decided to make a ‘holiday’ dinner Monday: BBQ’d ribs & red potato salad (maybe some corn on the cob – haven’t decided that part yet).

I’m back to my “Yep, I’m certifiably NUTS” – was going through some knit web sites and spotted a really simple knit baby blanket pattern; you guessed it – am going to ‘attempt’ to knit it in 4 days. I have today, Sunday, Monday and almost all of Tuesday (the lady is coming to pick them up around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening). I don’t know what it is, but I almost feel drawn to ‘get one more done’. My husband just said: “There goes her OCD again” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I think: “Hey, I have tons of extra yarn just laying around here, why not put it to good use?” I dug in my big yarn tubs and found a good amount of four different skeins: a bright green (brighter than mint), a bright yellow, a solid pink, and a medium blue so am going to do it in stripes, sort of. Something like 6 – 8 inches of green, then pink, then yellow and ending with blue; repeat. The pattern is SUPER easy, five rows total pattern:

Cast on 73 stitches.

Row 1-4: Knit

Row 5: Knit 3, *Yarn Over, Knit 2 together* – repeat from *, end row Knit 2, can’t get any simpler! We’ll see how it all pans out – hope I can get it done in time!


Avocado Chicken Salad

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 avocado
1/4 C. chopped onion
juice of 1/2 lime
2 T. cilantro
salt & pepper, to taste

Cook chicken breasts until done, let
cool then shred. Mix with other ingredients;
chill 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sauteed Spinach & Red Bell Pepper

2 T. margarine
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 (10 oz) bag baby spinach leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Melt margarine in 12-in. skillet over medium heat;
cook red pepper, stirring occasionally, until tender,
about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds.
Increase heat to medium-high; add spinach & cook,
stirring frequently, until spinach is just wilted, about
2 minutes. Just before serving, squeeze with lemon &
serve with lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: Unilever)

Meatball Sandwich Casserole

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 C. Italian blend cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 loaf fresh Italian bread, sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place entire bag of meatballs in pot
with sauce; cover & cook, over
medium heat until warmed completely,
about 10 minutes. Stir as needed to keep
meatballs from sticking. Remove from heat,
place in center of a 9 X 13 baking pan,
layer mozzarella & Italian blend cheeses
over meatballs, topping off with Parmesan.
Take the slices of bread & line the outside
edges of the pan all the way around so they
are kind of keeping the meatballs toward
the center of the pan. The bread slices will
be standing up in the pan. NOTE: You could
also lightly butter & garlic the bread prior
to placing in the pan, or brush with olive
oil & garlic.
Place in oven & bake 25 minutes or until
cheese is melted & bubbly. Remove from
oven & serve.

(recipe: Facebook)

Stuffed Chicken Breast

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 C. frozen spinach, thawed/drained
2 T. olive oil
1 T. bread crumbs
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Flatten chicken with a mallet, to 1/4 inch thickness.
In medium bowl, combine cheese, spinach, salt &
pepper. Place breadcrumbs in shallow dish. Spoon
about 1/4 C. spinach mixture onto each breast; roll
each breast tightly & fasten seams with several
toothpicks. * Brush each chicken breast with olive
oil; sprinkle any remaining spinach & cheese on
top of chicken. Place chicken, seam-side-down on a
foil lined baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until
chicken is cooked through. Remove toothpicks
before serving.

*Be sure to count the amount of toothpicks used.

(recipe: Facebook)

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

1/4 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1 large eggplant, peeled (if desired)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano (Hunts) undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place bread crumbs in shallow dish; set
aside. Cut eggplant into 12 slices, about
1/2 inch thick. Spray each side of each slice
with nonstick spray. Spray a cooking sheet
with nonstick spray then place coated slices
on sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until tender,
turning once. Top slices evenly with cheese;
bake 1 minute more or until cheese has
softened. Combine undrained tomatoes &
sauce in small saucepan. Bring to boil over
medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-
low; simmer 10 minutes or until slightly
thickened. Spoon tomato mixture evenly
into 4 shallow bowls. Place 3 eggplant slices
over sauce in each bowl. Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp.. baking soda
1 C. butter
1 C. water
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C.. buttermilk

Peanut Butter Icing:

1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1/3 C. plus 1 T. milk
16 oz. pkg. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda
in a large bowl; set aside. Combine butter, water
and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium
heat; bring to a boil. Add to flour mixture and
mix well; set aside. Combine eggs, vanilla and
buttermilk; add to peanut butter mixture. Spread
into a greased 15″x10″ jelly-roll pan. Bake
15 to 20 minutes, until it springs back when gently

Prepare Peanut Butter Icing:

Combine butter, peanut butter and milk in a
saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and
vanilla to a spreading consistency. Spread
Icing over warm cake. Makes 15 to 20 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)

7-Layer Pasta Salad

kosher salt
8 oz. farfalle pasta (about 4 C.)
2 stalks broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. plus 1 T. chopped fresh chives
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 lime
freshly ground black pepper
2 avocados, diced
1 1/2 oz. piece deli ham, diced (about 2 C.)
8 oz. yellow Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small head romaine lettuce, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add
pasta & cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less
than the label directs), adding broccoli during
last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta & broccoli;
rinse under cool water, shaking off excess. Remove
broccoli & pat dry. Whisk mayonnaise, butter milk
1/4 C. chives, parsley, half of lime juice, 1/4 tsp. salt

& pepper, to taste. Toss pasta & a few T. of dressing

in a medium bowl.

Assemble the salad:
Toss avocados with remaining lime juice in large glass

serving bowl & season with salt; arrange in an even

layer in bottom. Top with layers of ham, broccoli, pasta,

cheese, lettuce & tomatoes. Drizzle some of the

remaining dressing on top & sprinkle with the remaining

1 T. chives, or cover & refrigerate salad & dressing

separately up to 6 hours. Bring to room

temperature before serving. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Food Network)

Buttermilk Herb Ranch Dressing

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 T. chopped fresh dill
1 T. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Whisk all ingredients together in medium
bowl. Chill at least 1 hour to allow flavors
to develop. Stir dressing well before serving.
Makes 1 Cup.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cabbage Salad Delight

1 small head cabbage
3 Braeburn apples
1/2 – 3/4 C. dried cranberries
1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
dash salt

Shred cabbage; add dried cranberries.
Place cabbage, apples & cranberries in
serving bowl. Mix final 4 ingredients until
smooth; pour over salad & mix thoroughly.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Carrot & Zucchini Bars
with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs,
brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla.
Dont worry about clumps of the brown
sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while
you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Then fold in the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts
In another bowl combine add the flour, baking
powder, ginger, and baking soda. Whisk to blend
together. Add to flour mixture to the wet mixture.
Stir just until combined. Spread batter into an
ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.Bake about 25
minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cooled prepare the frosting.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat  frosting ingredients
with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled bars.
Makes 36 bars

(recipe: Facebook)


Weather-wise, it’s hot & muggy out (75 degrees F.) – we had a pretty good thunder/lightening rainstorm last night (glad I don’t have to water my flowers!). Weather predictions are for a hot weekend – that’s OK, I’d be complaining if it even REMOTELY looked like Fall!

Gas Prices remain about the same: I had to fill up today and chose the ‘lesser of two evils’ at $3.72/9 a gallon; sometimes ya just ‘gotta do what ya gotta do’, right?

Hope you’re having a great day – remember to RELAX a bit and enjoy your life!



Published in: on August 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm  Comments (1)  

Falling Behind


Just happened to notice that I haven’t written a blog post in awhile now – sorry, no particular reason. Finished reading an interesting book – “Time Lottery” by Nancy Moser – a rather gripping story about three people who were given the chance to go back in time for a week (any time they chose, as long as it was during their lifetime) and possibly change things. It was so interesting that I checked the local library to see if there were any more books by her and was pleasantly surprised to see she wrote a sequel: “Second Time Around” – I have it on Hold. I’ve knit a few more baby hats, attended my special needs group – nothing spectacular going. Sometimes ‘nothing exciting’ can be a GOOD thing – it means that nothing BAD or earth-shattering has happened. One thing that’s different: I discovered “The Oregon Trail” game – the boys used to have it many years ago, but now it’s out for laptops. I must say – it’s definitely a ‘time User-upper’! (but fun)

How are your Gas Prices lately? I’ve noticed ours slowly creeping up: first they were $3.69 a gallon for almost a week, and now today they’re up to $3.79/9 – I’m guessing it’s for the upcoming holiday weekend. Of course! RAISE the prices when people will be traveling the most! What a GREAT idea! (NOT!!!)

I also have a good supply of ‘last of the summer’ recipes for you:


Roasted Red Potatoes for a Crowd

17 lb. red skin potatoes*, unpeeled, cut into
irregular 2 inch chunks (or left whole, if small)
1 lb. 8 oz. jar olive oil
2 oz. salt
1 T. black pepper
1 oz. garlic, minced (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large bowl; pour olive oil
over potatoes & stir to coat. Drain any excess
oil from potatoes. Sprinkle salt, pepper & garlic
over potatoes; stir to coat. Spread potatoes
in a single layer on oiled baking sheets. Roast
until tender & golden brown, 30-35 minutes.
Makes 50 servings.

*You can also use whole new potatoes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peaches ‘N Cream Pie

48 ‘Nilla wafers, finely crushed (about
1 1/2 C.)
1/3 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. boiling water
1 (3 oz) pkg. orange Jello
2 C. ice cubes*
1 1/2 C.  Cool Whip, thawed
2 fresh peaches, peeled & chopped

Mix wafer crumbs & butter; press onto
bottom & up sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
In medium bowl, add boiling water to
jello ; stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Add ice cubes; stir until jello
is slightly thickened. Remove any
unmelted ice. Add Cool Whip; stir until
blended; gently stir in peaches. Refrigerate
15 minutes or until jello mixture is thick
enough to  mound; spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

*For best results, do NOT substitute
cold water for ice cubes

Substitute: You can substitute 1 C. coarsely
chopped fresh strawberries & strawberry
jello OR 1 (11 oz) drained can of mandarin oranges
and orange jello

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog Bites

9 slices bacon, cut in halt
6 hot dogs, cut into thirds
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix sugar & pepper together in
shallow dish. Wrap 1 bacon piece
around each hot dog piece; roll in
sugar/pepper mixture to evenly coat.
Place, seam-side down, in foil-lined
rimmed baking sheet. Bake 22-24
minutes or until bacon is crisp and
golden brown, turning after 12
minutes. Makes 18 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Midwestern Potato Salad

2 lb. whole tiny new potatoes or 6
medium red potatoes
1 C. thinly sliced celery
3/4 C. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/3 C. chopped onion
2-3 T. coarse-grain brown (Dijon-style)
1 T. snipped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. fresh* or frozen whole kernel corn,
cooked & cooled

Quarter new potatoes or cube red ones.
In large covered saucepan, cook potatoes
in boiling salted water 12-15 minutes or
until tender; drain & cool. Peel, if desired.
In large bowl, combine celery, mayonnaise,
yogurt, onion, mustard, dill, lemon juice
(or vinegar), salt & pepper. Add potatoes &
corn; toss gently to mix. Cover & chill 3-24
hours. Makes 10-12 side-dish servings.

*To cook fresh corn, remove husks & silks.
Rinse, then cut kernels from cob. Cook,
covered, in small amount of boiling water
4 minutes; drain.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Zucchini, Black Bean & Rice Skillet

1 T. cooking oil
1 1/2 C. zucchini/ quartered, & sliced lengthwise
1/2 C. diced green pepper
1 (15 oz. ) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14.5 oz) can Fire-roasted Diced tomatoes
with garlic (Hunts), undrained
3/4 C. water
1 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack
cheese blend

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add
zucchini & bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add beans, tomatoes & water; increase
heat & bring to boil. Add rice; stir well. Cover &
remove from heat. Let stand 7 minutes or until
liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese before
serving. Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Dijon Chicken Wings

vegetable oil (for brushing)
4 lb. chicken wings, split at the joints, tips
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
3/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. honey
3 T. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. finely grated garlic

Position racks in upper & lower thirds of oven;
preheat to 450 degrees F. Brush 2 large baking
dishes with vegetable oil. Pat wings dry; sprinkle
with 2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread in the
dishes & bake, rotating halfway through, until
golden, 40-45 minutes.

Mix Dijon mustard, honey, mustard powder &
garlic in a bowl. Remove wings from oven & toss
with mustard mixture, then continue baking
until glazed, 3-5 more minutes. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Food Network)


1 1/2 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled/seeded& chopped
tomato juice
1 C. cucumber, peeled/seeded & chopped
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 C. chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 C. olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Fill a 6 Qt. pot halfway full of water, set over high
heat; bring to boil. Make an X with a paring knife
on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds; remove & transfer to
an ice bath. Allow to cool until able to handle,
approx. 1 minute. Remove tomatoes & pat dry. Peel, core & seed tomatoes. When seeding tomatoes, place seeds & pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible, then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 Cup. Place tomatoes & juice in large mixing bowl. Add cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt & pepper; stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 C. of mixture to a blender & puree 15-20 seconds on high. Return pureed mixture to bowl & stir to combine. Cover & chill for 2 hours/up to overnight.Serve with chopped basil on top. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Alton Brown, Food Network)

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 T. sesame seeds
1 T. poppy seeds
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 C. olive oil
1/4 C. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced onion
10 oz. fresh spinach, rinsed, dried &
torn into bite-sized pieces
1 Quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled &
1/4 C. almonds, blanched & slivered

In medium bowl, whisk together sesame &
poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika,
Worcestershire sauce & onion. Cover & chill
1 hour. In large bowl, combine spinach, straw-
berries & almonds. Pour dressing over salad &
toss. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


12 large navel oranges
2 1/2 C. freshly grated fresh coconut
(1 medium coconut)
3 T. sugar
31/4 tsp. salt

Using a sharp knife, peel oranges, removing
all bitter white pith. Working over a bowl,
cut in between the membranes to release
the sections. Squeeze the juice from the
membranes over the oranges in the bowl.
2-4 hours before serving, stir in coconut, sugar
& salt.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)


1-1/2 lb. bacon, cooked, drained,

2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 C. Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. mustard
2 C. chopped seeded tomatoes
1-1/2 C. shredded Iceberg lettuce
pepper & salt to taste

Toasted bread rounds, crackers, or pita chips.

Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Set aside 3/4 cup crumbled bacon.
In a large bowl, combine remaining bacon, cream
cheese, shredded cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise,
Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and
mustard. Spoon  mixture into prepared baking dish.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Sprinkle chopped tomatoes, remaining 3/4 cup
crumbled bacon and lettuce over hot dip. Serve
immediately with toasted bread rounds,
crackers, or pita chips.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sweet & Salty Brownies

1 (4 oz) pkg. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 C. butter or margarine
3 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 C. flour
1 C. coarsely chopped dry roasted
peanuts, divided
25 caramel candies
2 T. milk

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
Microwave chocolate & butter in large
microwaveable bowl on High 2 minutes
or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate
is completely melted. Stir in pepper; add sugar,
mix well. Blend in eggs; add flour & mix well.
Stir in 1/2 C. nuts. Spread half the batter into
9 X 13 baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Microwave caramels & milk in microwaveable
bowl on High 2 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until caramels are completely melted & mixture is well blended; spread over brownie batter in pan. Cover with remaining brownie batter. (Some caramel sauce may peek through.) Sprinkle with remaining
nuts. Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is firm to the
touch. Cool. Makes 32 servings.

NOTE: IT is important to add ground red pepper (cayenne)
right after you melt the chocolate. This ensures that the
pepper is evenly distributed into the brownie batter.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

So – do you have plans to ‘get away’ one last time for the summer? We’ve never been ‘traveling’ people, so it looks like we’ll just stay home and enjoy spare ribs cooked int he crock pot (makes them ‘fall-off-the-bone’ tender!). Youngest son is ‘celebrating’ his One Year work anniversary at Meijers today; I’m glad to see he’s continuing with this job.

Enjoy your day;



(Our weather has been somewhat typical of this time of year – warm & muggy. It rained for a few days, on & off, and now it’s sitting at 84 and overcast.)

Getting Stuff Done!

It’s a lovely summer day today – sunny & 80 degrees out. A little earlier I had to go visit our bank to have a paper notarized; managed to talk husband into going along and even stopping for Thai food for lunch! After a filling lunch of Spring Rolls and Pad Thai (I had chicken/he had pork) plus numerous glasses of Jasmine tea, we made our way home (with a doggie bag for later). I like our local Thai place – it’s less than 5 minutes away, it’s clean, prices are reasonable AND they give you SO MUCH food (enough to eat half and take the rest home for dinner!) It’s a Win/Win – we had lunch ‘out’ and still have dinner just waiting to be heated up!

Also today was the completing of the last of four baby blankets for the Detroit Veterans Hospital Baby Shower. I’ve notified the ladies in my knit group that next meeting (Sept. 3rd) is the drop-off date; the very nice lady from the hospital is driving out to meet us and see what we’ve created for them. She said last year there was almost a fight over the blankets – they were quite ‘the hit’! I’ll be anxious to see who made what – and how many. I never know until the last minute. Last year we made and donated 39 blankets – I was amazed and thrilled. This year, to my knowledge, we don’t have as many ladies participating, so we’ll see. I made four:


The apricot & white one up top is crocheted, the other three are knitted. The two: middle & left, are the same pattern, just different variations on the yarn used. The one on the right is knit – it’s a variation on “Granny’s Favorite” dishcloth pattern.

Now I’m kinda wondering what to do/where to go on my next crafting projects. I still have chemo caps to knit, baby hats to knit for the local hospital AND, perhaps, more adventures into tatting – we’ll see. I’m beginning to see that there are not as many ‘outlets’ for learning Needle Tatting. There are some books, some YouTube videos – but for the beginner, there’s not a lot out there. I found a really cute (and what looked like EASY) pattern – actually it was just a photo. I gave it two valiant tries, only to find that it didn’t work. Found another similar idea and am going to try that one. I STILL want to be able to make bookmarks – even simple ones, so that when I send a Thinking of You/Get Well, etc. card I can insert a bookmark to go with it.


The below recipes all made me think of Summer!

(DISCLAIMER: Remember these are NOT my recipes – I have made note after each recipe the source from which I gleaned them)

Zucchini Brownies

1/2 cup applesauce
2 small or medium bananas mashed
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour an 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce,
mashed bananas and sugar. Add vanilla and
cocoa and mix together. Then add baking soda,
salt, and zucchini and mix together. Add flour &
walnuts and mix together. Spread evenly into prepared
pan. Bake for 25 minutes until brownies spring
back when gently touched.

(recipe: Facebook)

Lazy Ratatouille

2 small eggplant
2 small yellow squash, diced 1/2- 3/4 inch
1 small zucchini, diced 1/2- 3/4 inch
2 yellow or red bell peppers (or one of each)
1 small onion, chopped
4 tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. pure maple syrup
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or
1/4 tsp. dried)
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to Broil
Place peppers on cookie sheet lined in
aluminum foil; place under broiler to
char skins, turning every 3-5 minutes to
get a good char on all sides. After charring,
place them in a bowl & cover with plastic
wrap; let set 5 minutes. Remove skins, seeds
& stems, reserving any juice in bowl. Dice
peppers 1/2 inch dice; place in a large bowl
with reserved juices.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In separate bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar &
maple syrup; whisk to mix thoroughly – this
is the vegetable marinade.
Cut eggplant*, squash & zucchini in 1/2 – 3/4
inch dice; toss well in marinade; add onions.
Let rest at least 5 minutes.
Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or
a silicon baking sheet (to roast vegetables)
Slice tomatoes in half horizontally, remove most
seeds. Place tomatoes, cut side up at one end of
baking sheet. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper over;
push garlic cloves into seed cavities of tomatoes
to keep them from burning, tuck rosemary between
tomatoes. Spread eggplant/zucchini/squash/onion
mixture over rest of sheet pan. Place pan in oven &
roast 30 minutes, turning vegetables (not tomatoes)
with a spatula at 15 minutes; drizzle with remaining
marinade if they look dry. After roasting, place
eggplant mixture in bowl with peppers. Place tomatoes, etc.
in a saucepan over medium heat. Break up tomatoes with
a spoon & remove skins (they should slide right off). Mash
garlic into juice. When tomato juices have reduced, mix
thoroughly with other vegetables. Add salt & pepper, to
Serve over whole wheat pasta, couscous, or quinoa. Can
be served on toasted slices of French bread or other breads
of choice. Serves 4 as an entree or 8 as an appetizer.

*To remove bitterness in eggplant, slice into 3/4 inch slices,
place on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Sprinkle tops with
a generous amount of salt & let rest 30 minutes. Rinse with
water, towel dry & dice for recipe.

NOTE: poster mentioned adding basil (at end of recipe, along
with salt & pepper) but didn’t specify amount.

(recipe: Barb – justapinch.com)

Champagne* Scallops & Asparagus
*or white wine

10 large garlic cloves
2 T. butter
20 large sea scallops, rinsed & dried
1/4 C. apple juice
1/4 C. chopped shallots (or onions)
1/4 C. champagne (or white wine)
1 T. maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
4 T. fresh chives
hot, cooked rice
1 lb. asparagus, cooked
1 T. lemon juice

Cover garlic with water in 1 quart saucepan;
bring to boil over high heat. Boil 5 minutes;
remove garlic & set aside. Melt butter in 12
inch skillet over medium heat. Add scallops;
cook 4 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring
occasionally. Remove & set aside. Stir juice,
shallots, champagne (wine), maple syrup, garlic
& 2 T. chives into same skillet. Bring to boil
over high heat; continue boiling, scraping up
brown bits from bottom of skillet until slightly
thickened, about 2 minutes. Arrange scallops
over hot rice on serving platter. Top with sauce
& remaining 2 T. chives. Serve with asparagus
tossed with lemon juice and, if desired, salt &
ground black pepper, to taste. Serves 4

(recipe: Unilever)

Baked Eggplant Boats

2 medium (15 oz, ea) white eggplant, stems
trimmed off & halved lengthwise
3 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/3 C. crushed tomatoes
5 basil leaves, chopped (more for garnish)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Hollow out flesh of eggplant to create a
boat using a melon baller or small knife,
leaving a 1/2 inch skin all around to create
a shell. Roughly chop the scooped out
flesh. Drop eggplant into boiling water; cook
3 minutes (poking it with a spoon so they stay
submerged). Remove with slotted spoon &
set on paper towels. Brown sausage in large
skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions &
garlic; cook on medium-low heat 2-3 minutes,
until onions are translucent. Add 1 C. chopped
eggplant; cook 2-3 minutes. Add 1 C. crushed
tomatoes, season with salt & pepper; cook
2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in fresh
basil. Pour 1/3 C. crushed tomatoes on bottom
of a 9 X 13 baking dish; place eggplant boats
on top. Season eggplant with salt & divide
sausage & sauce evenly among the 4 boats.
Top each with 2 T. shredded mozzarella & 1
tsp. Pecorino Romana cheese. Cover with foil
& bake 30 minutes until cheeses are melted
& eggplant is thoroughly cooked. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Pecan Pie Cobbler

1 Box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
as directed on box
2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Butter-flavor cooking spray
2 cups pecan halves
Vanilla ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 425 °F.
Grease 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with
shortening or cooking spray. Remove 1 pie crust
from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into
13×9-inch rectangle. Place crust in dish; trim edges
to fit. In large bowl, stir corn syrup, brown sugar,
butter, vanilla and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in
chopped pecans. Spoon half of filling into crust-lined
dish. Remove second pie crust from pouch; unroll
on work surface. Roll into 13×9-inch rectangle.
Place crust over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray
crust with butter-flavor cooking spray. Bake
14 -16 minutes or until browned. Reduce oven
temperature to 350°F. Carefully spoon remaining
filling over baked pastry; arrange pecan halves on
top in decorative fashion. Bake 30 minutes longer
or until set. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack. Serve
warm with vanilla ice cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Crush crackers. If using chicken breasts, not tenders,
cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces. Pour
milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate
small pans. Toss salt and pepper into the cracker
crumbs and stir mixture to combine. Dip each
piece of chicken into milk and then cheese.
Press cheese into chicken with your fingers.
Then press cheesy coated chicken into
cracker crumbs and press it in. Spray a 9X13
pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken
in pan. Sprinkle  dried parsley over chicken.
Cover pan with tin foil and 35 minutes.
Remove foil, bake for an additional 10-15
minutes, or until edges of chicken are golden
brown and crispy.
In a medium sized sauce pan combine
cream of chicken soup, sour cream and
butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium
high heat until the sauce is nice and hot.
Serve over the chicken.

(recipe: Facebook)

Dreamsicle Salad

1 (.3 oz.) pkg.  orange jello
1 (3 oz.) pkg.  instant vanilla pudding
1 (10 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Dissolve jello in 1 c. boiling water. Add 1/2
C. cold water; let set in fridge for 20 minutes.
With mixer or whisk, add dry vanilla pudding
mix and beat until smooth. Fold in oranges
and whipped topping (by hand). Refrigerate.

Try strawberry jello with strawberries, peach jello
with (no sugar added) peaches, etc.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sloppy Joe Squares

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 can (15.5 oz) sloppy Joe sauce
2 cans (12 oz ea) Pillsbury refrigerated
Big & Buttery crescent dinner rolls
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Heat oven to 350°F.
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat
8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in sauce. Heat
to boiling, stirring occasionally. Unroll 1 can of
dough; place in ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart)
glass baking dish. Press in bottom and 1/2 inch
up sides of dish. Spread beef mixture over dough;
sprinkle with cheese. Unroll second can of dough;
place over cheese. Sprinkle with sesame seed.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is bubbly
and dough is golden brown. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Facebook)


(Apologies for the varying ‘font’ sizes in the recipes – for some reason my server (WordPress) seems to get a little weird when I copy & paste recipes – not sure why.)

How are your gas prices lately? Ours are OK – not great but not really bad, either. They seem to have been fluctuating from $3.59/9, to $3.52/9, and in between.

Well, that’s about ‘it’ from here today. Hope you’re having a good day.



A fun day; busy, but fun!

Yesterday was another ‘watching our grandson’ day. Sometimes when he visits, he keeps himself busy – not THIS day. We played multiple games of Egyptian Slap (a card game) but then I could see he was getting restless. I remembered a board game high up in a closet – one the boys played when they were around his age: “Goofy Golf Machine”. This is one of those ‘assembly required’ games – let’s just say, for one: there were no directions in the box! That also means that ASSEMBLING said game was a bit of a difficulty – LOTS of looking at the photo on the box. Finally, I figured it out and we began. He loved it! It’s sort of Rube Goldberg meets plastic board game meets miniature golf. We played until I was MORE than ‘played out’; I tried the: “You’re doing so well, why don’t you take my turns?” That didn’t work – “Gramma, it isn’t as much fun without you playing!” See photo below for some idea of how it went:

000_0016                                                           Lining up a shot


The Winner!

When my oldest son, Kris, comes over with our grandson, I like to try to ‘sneak’ photos of them together. As you can see, below, they were a little more ‘aware’ of my being there ‘with the camera’ (they were looking at their video on son’s phone of their recent trip to a amusement park).

000_0014     000_0015


Grilled Fresh Peppers

1 (each): yellow, orange & red pepper
18 fresh basil leaves, divided
18 cherry tomatoes
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing,

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Cut each
pepper lengthwise in half. Remove &
discard seeds. Fill each half with 1 basil
leaf & 3 tomatoes; top with cheese. Drizzle
evenly with 2 T. dressing. Grill 8-10 minutes,
or until peppers are crisp-tender. Place
peppers on platter, top with remaining basil
leaves & dressing. Serves 6

NOTE: Fill peppers as directed, place in large
resealable container. Refrigerate up to 8 hours
before grilling as directed

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hearty Mexican Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 C. chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans,
rinsed & drained
1 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. Mexican-style Four cheese (Kraft)

Cook yellow onions in hot oil in large
saucepan on medium heat 6-7  minutes
or until tender. Add garlic & cumin; cook &
stir 1 minute. Add broth, beans & salsa; stir.
Bring to boil; stir in chicken & corn. Return to
boil, simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in green onions & cilantro. Serve topped
with cheese. Makes 8 (1 C. ) servings

(recipe- Kraft foods)

Florentine Ravioli Casserole

1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (30 oz) bag frozen large cheese ravioli,
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
1 (8 oz) bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick
spray. Spoon 1/3 of spaghetti on bottom
of dish. Arrange 12 ravioli on top & scatter
spinach over them. Top with half of each
cheese; cover with another layer of ravioli,
remaining sauce & cheese. Cover with foil,
bake 25 minutes. Uncover & bake an
additional 5-10 minutes more or until bubbly.
Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

EZ Zucchini Bread with a Twist

3 eggs
2 C. shredded zucchini
1 C. vegetable oil

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. chopped nuts
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. coconut (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, zucchini,
oil, pineapple & vanilla. In separate bowl,
combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients
to wet ingredients in large bowl. Fold in nuts,
cranberries & coconut (if desired). Pour into
2 greased 8 X 4″ loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans.
Bake large pans approx. 50-55 minutes & smaller
pans 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Insert
toothpick in center of loaf to check for doneness.
Cool 10 minutes before removing bread from
pans to wire racks.

(recipe: Diane-justapinch.com)

Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Sausage

5 lb. russet potatoes, washed, peeled &
sliced thin
1 1/2 lb. smoked sausage, large link (Echrich)
1/2 – 3/4 C. butter
3/4 C. flour
1 can evaporated milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
Place one layer of sliced potatoes to cover
bottom of dish; cover with about 1/2 of the
sliced sausage and 1/3 of the butter*. Sprinkle
lightly but generously with flour, salt & pepper.
Add another layer, continue until potatoes &
sausage are used up (usually 2 layers). Finish
by sprinkling with flour, salt & pepper. Pour
evaporated milk over to cover, moistening
all of the flour on top. Add enough water or
additional milk to ensure all of the potatoes
are damp & most of them covered (not
necessarily all, but most). Bake, uncovered,
at least 1 hour. Top should be browned &
bubbly. Test potato to see if it is tender, if
too hard or stiff, bake a little longer until
potato tests done. Serves 8-10

*You can also add dots of sour cream &
sprinkle layers with grated Cheddar cheese.

(recipe: Amy-justapinch.com)

Weight Watcher’s Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

1/2 C. crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 T. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. sugar
6 oz. pkg. vanilla Greek yogurt
2 large egg whites
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. flour
1/4 C. strawberry jam (can be sugar free)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8 baking pan with nonstick spray.
Mix together graham cracker crumbs & butter
with a fork until evenly moistened; press evenly
into bottom of prepared pan. Gently beat cream
cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth using elec.
mixer. Gradually beat in yogurt, egg whites, lemon
juice & flour. DO NOT over mix. Pour over graham
cracker crust. Stir jam until smooth & drop by
small spoonfuls over surface of filling. Using a
knife, swirl jam gently through filling to create
a marble effect. Bake 25-30 minutes or until
center is almost set. Cool to room temp; chill
a few hours in fridge. Serves 9

(recipe:: Facebook)

Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole

Can Flaky Grands biscuits
Bag shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup milk
Cubed ham or ground cooked sausage
5 eggs
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add all ingredients except biscuits; mix well.
Cut biscuits into fours and carefully mix in.
Transfer to roomy casserole dish that has
been oiled. Cook 25 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Easy Meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 Box Stuffing Mix
1 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix everything together, form it
into a loaf pan.Bake about 45 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Oven Baked Fajita

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 T. vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Place chicken strips in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, cumin,
garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.
Drizzle spice mixture over the chicken and
stir to coat. Add tomatoes, peppers, and onions
to the dish and stir to combine.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until
chicken is cooked through and the vegetables
are tender.

(recipe: Facebook)

Peach Dumplings

2 whole large peaches
2 (8 oz) cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 (12 oz) can Mountain Dew

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & pit peaches; cut both peaches into
8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent
roll & place in 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt
butter, then add sugar & barely stir. Add
vanilla & stir. Pour entire mixture over
peaches. Pour Mountain Dew around the
edges of pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon &
bake 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream &
spoon some of the sauce over top.

(recipe: Facebook)


Yesterday was also my husband & my 37th wedding anniversary. He’s not one for liking to celebrate much but I did get him to go to the movies & out for ‘burgers’ on Monday. We saw Red 2, which is what I’ve been waiting for; we had seen Red about a year ago and loved it. It’s full of action, humor, great actors (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirin, John Malcovich, to name a few). I LOVED RED, Red 2 was good, just not ‘as’ good, in my opinion, as the first one. They definitely left it open for another sequel.

We’ve also ‘tested out’ two ‘burger places in the past week or so: Halo Burger and Five Guys Burgers & Fries. They are very similar in price (a little high, in my estimation: over $5.00 for a regular burger – neither one of their fries impressed us). Youngest son loves Five Guys and urged us to go there – I can at least say: their toppings are all free, including fried onions & fried mushrooms (2 things you don’t usually see on the regular topping list). They both provided a good sized burger – I was FULL just eating one, both places. We both agreed: Halo Burger wins out: the patties are hand made (you can tell, they’re sort of not exactly round – more like what they’d look like if you made them at home) and have GREAT Flavor! Total price for a meal for 2: over $13.00. I had the regular Halo burger, husband had a double patty & a large order of fries  – we both had drinks. Although a little high in price, we’ll be back for the FLAVOR!

That’s my adventures for the past few days; tonight’s my special needs group; yesterday was Knit/Crochet night (a great night of lots of laughter – always a good thing!)

Enjoy your day – remember to smile a little!!!



PS: Forgot the ‘weather report’ – it’s been clear, warm – in the mid 80’s. Right now it’s 84 and raining – bummer.

PPS: (boy, I’m forgetting to ‘add stuff’!) Also went for my check up with the Radiologist – I’m still ‘doing great’. Next visit, in January, for a one-sided mammogram and then, if that comes back clear, I’m good for a YEAR before having a double sided one again! YAY! Praise the Lord, the cancer is staying ‘at bay’!!!

A Very Nice Day


I have to say, as days go – yesterday was a VERY NICE DAY. I should preface, the day before as I was coming out of the library, I heard a voice say: “Look who’s here!” I turned around and it was a friend I haven’t seen in about 4 years; she was very excited, saying: “You’ve been on my mind ALL WEEK!” After a short chat, she invited me to lunch at her house the following day (yesterday). I went, she had a lovely lunch of tossed salad, homemade chicken noodle soup and rosemary bread; we had a good sit-down for about two hours, then it was time to leave for my annual eye exam. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that this exam I was kind of dreading simply because my eye doctor had said last year: “You know, next year will be the time to do your cataract surgery on both eyes.” Well, I’m here to tell you – my eyes are doing great: no signs of diabetic retinopathy (no damage to my eyes because of my being diabetic), I’m seeing 20/20 with my glasses, and we can postpone the surgery another year – YAY!!! After the exam, I had talked my husband into trying a new ‘burger joint’ in the area: Halo Burger. I’d heard, from several friends, that they make a really tasty burger. Last Sunday’s newspaper fliers produced a coupon for Buy 1 ‘Classic Halo Burger’, get 1 free, so that’s what we did. Husband tried their Green Olive burger (his favorite) and declared it “One tasty burger”; I had the Classic – talk about juicy AND tasty! They hand make their patties, which makes all the difference. They are large – one was more than enough for me. The prices (to me) are a little high: $4-6 a burger, but they’re worth it, compared to the size/taste of say McDonalds/Wendy’s. Husband also ordered a large fries – can’t say that the fries were anything to write home about – OK/average. When youngest son came home later and we talked about our ‘adventure’ he said we really needed to try out another ‘burger joint’ that’s been here about 6 months: “Five Guys Burgers & Fries”; looks like that’s our next point of adventure! An early lunch with a friend, a good report on my eyes, lunch with husband – all in all, a good day!


(Not sure if I’ve posted these before, but thought the name was interesting!)

Waffle Iron Cookies

1/2 C. margarine
4 T. baking cocoa, heaped
2 eggs
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 C. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

(optional: cake frosting)

Heat waffle iron.
In medium bowl, melt margarine & cocoa.
Stir in eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla & salt. Drop
by teaspoonsful onto hot waffle iron, baking
several at a time, about 45 seconds. Cool
then frost, if desired. Makes 15 or more.

(recipe: Marsha-justapinch.com)

Polish Sausage & Cabbage Soup Crock Pot

2 C. potatoes, cubed & peeled
4 C. cabbage, shredded fine
1 carrot, shredded fine
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed (optional)
1-1/4 lb Polish sausage, cooked, halved lengthwise
and cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 C. chicken broth (or you can use water)
black pepper and salt to taste

Place potatoes, cabbage, carrot, onion, caraway seeds,
sausage, pepper and salt in crock pot. Pour broth over all.
Cover, cook on low for 10 – 12 hours or high for 5 – 6 hours.

(recipe: Facebook)

Shrimp Scampi Skewers

1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled & deveined
4 green onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 T. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, halved & sliced
non-stick cooking spray

Combine shrimp, onions, lemon juice & garlic
in medium bowl. Cover & marinate 10 minutes.
Alternately thread shrimp, onion & lemon slices
on skewers*. Grill or broil, turning once & spraying
with nonstick spray 4 minutes or until shrimp turns
pink. Just before serving, spray skewers again with
nonstick spray. Serves 4

*If using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water at
least 30 minutes prior to use.

(recipe: Unilever)

Fresh Corn Salsa

4 tomatoes, chopped, (1 1/2 lb)
1 C. cooked fresh corn kernels
(2 ears of fresh corn=1 C. cooked)
1/4 C. finely chopped red onions
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Combine all ingredients except dressing,
in large bowl. Add dressing, mix lightly.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Warm Spinach Salad with Roasted
Red Peppers

1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled
2 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. packaged fresh baby spinach
3 T. jarred roasted red sweet peppers,
drained & sliced
2 T. whole almonds or pecans, toasted
1 T. crumbled feta cheese

In small skillet, whisk together vinegar,
oil, sugar, garlic & black pepper. Bring to
boil, reduce heat, boiling gently, uncovered,
1 minute, stirring constantly.

In medium bowl, combine bacon, spinach,
roasted peppers, almonds & feta cheese.
Drizzle with warm dressing; toss to coat.
Serve immediately. Serves 2

(recipe: CVS)


Cheddar Zucchini Frittata

4 eggs
1/2 C. finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. snipped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. olive oil
12 oz. zucchini, halved lengthwise &
4 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Position oven rack to upper third of oven.
In medium bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, half
of parsley, pepper & salt; set aside. In
9 or 10″ ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil
over medium-high heat. Add zucchini &
green onions; cook 5-8 minutes or just
until tender, stirring frequently. Carefully
pour egg mixture over vegetables. Reduce
heat to medium. As mixture sets, run a
spatula around edge of skillet, lifting
egg mixture so uncooked portion flows
underneath. Continue cooking & lifting
edges about 5 minutes or until egg mixture
is almost set (surface will be moist). Reduce
heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning.
Place skillet in oven; bake about 5 minutes or
until frittata is firm & top is golden brown.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 T. parsley, serve warm
cut into wedges. Serves 4.

(recipe: Facebook)

Easy Cheesy Breadsticks

1 (10 oz) can prepared pizza crust
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. Provolone cheese, shredded
1 T. Parmesan cheese
1 T. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
(marinara sauce, for dipping)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Unroll pizza dough onto greased cookie sheet
or large bar stone; brush with butter. Sprinkle
cheeses & spices evenly over dough. Using
pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 12
long strips, then cut those in half to make
24 strips. DO NOT separate strips. Bake
10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Recut along each strip & remove from
cookie sheet. Serve sticks warm with
marinara sauce.

(recipe: Facebook)

Fabulous Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pie

For the pie:

1 chocolate graham cracker crust
1 C. peanut butter
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
1(11.75 oz) jar hot fudge topping, divided
1/2 C. sugar

For the topping:
2 T. hot fudge
2 T. peanut butter

In large bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese,
and sugar until creamy. Fold in 3 cups Cool Whip.
Spoon mixture into crust and smooth to edges.
Remove 2 tablespoons hot fudge from jar and
reserve in zip-lock plastic baggie for later. Heat
remaining hot fudge according to package directions.
Spread on top of peanut butter layer. Refrigerate pie
until serving time.
When ready to serve:
carefully spread remaining Cool Whip on top of pie.
Knead hot fudge in baggie with hands; cut tiny hole in
corner of baggie and pipe over pie. Repeat with 2
tablespoons peanut butter and pipe on pie in opposite

(recipe: Facebook)


How are your gas prices lately? Ours went up slightly from $3.49/9 to $3.56/9 – I’m guessing it’s in preparation for the holidays, even though that’s not immediately coming. This weekend, here in my town, is the annual “Woodward Cruise”. If you’re not from Michigan or not into old cars, perhaps you havent’ heard of this event. To put it simply: it’s all about the cars! OLD cars & trucks, which come to this area to ride around and show off their cars. Since Pontiac, Michigan was once the site for Pontiac Motors, which produced the Pontiac line of cars, this has become “THE” place to be if you love old cars. It’s only supposed to be one weekend (this one) each year, but because lots of people love to show off their cars, it sort of stretches to more like 2 WEEKS. I live on a main road so I hear the  cars as they drive by – remember the hot rods of the ’50’s & ’60’s? The Muscle Cars? We’ve got ’em – along with just about ANY make & model from the very first cars on. They ‘cruise’ “The LOOP” – it’s like a 3-city drive, enjoying seeing other cars as well as being ‘seen’. There are all sorts of events surrounding this weekend – a big cement empty lot in downtown Pontiac which is set aside for parking your cars, propping the hood up, setting up your sign telling viewers what make/model, etc. and then walking around looking at the other cars. Restaurants open their parking lots for more ‘old car viewing’, some churches do the same – it’s quite ‘the thing’ IF you’re into cars!  A new t-shirt design is created each year – the logo design is a yearly contest, the winner having their design put on t-shirts, hats, posters, etc. What am I doing, you ask? Staying home and ‘out of the line of trouble.’ Yes, if I wanted I could go take lawn chairs and ‘stake out a seat’ along the route – lots of people LOVE doing this every year – just sitting in a lawn chair along side a road watching all the cars go by – not my ‘cup of tea’, so to speak. If I wanted to do that, I could just go sit on my front lawn! Oh well – so much for that.

Hope you have a great weekend; our weather has finally cooperated some – it’s nice and clear, but not very warm (right now it’s 55 degrees F. at 8:30 a.m.!) It will probably warm up some a little later.

Enjoy your day!



Think I’m FINALLY Getting it!


Sample – not mine (YET)

Today, bright & early, husband had to go for a dental appointment – leaving the house ‘nice & quiet’ for my ‘adventure’. Once again, (for probably the 8-10th time), I decided to pick up the tatting and re-try figuring out the ‘Easy Tatted Bracelet’. Amazingly, I think I’m finally GETTING it! Yes, it’s a series of ‘rings’ and ‘chains’ – one side of the bracelet requires 8 rings and 7 chains, then you make a longer chain for the curve-around part to begin the next side. After about 1 1/2 hours of working, I’m FINALLY on the beginnings of the second side! AMAZING! That’s WAY farther than I’ve ever gotten before. (Not holding my breath, though – I’m putting it down for awhile, hoping it will STILL make sense the next time I pick it up).  I like the idea of tatting, except that it’s very intense work (perhaps I felt this way when I first learned knitting or crochet, but this just feels more complicated/delicate/easier to make mistakes). The one thing with tatting that is not the same as knitting or crochet: tatting stitches are a series of KNOTS – so, if you make a mistake, you can’t just pull and the mistakes just come apart (like knitting or crochet); in tatting you have to use the tip of your needle and carefully pick apart each stitch (one ‘stitch’ consists of two knots) so you can see the problem if you’ve just done about 12 stitches wrong . . . sigh. I’ll get this thing, yet! I’m just that persistent! (or, stubborn, take your pick!)



I don’t know about your area, but here in my little corner of the world it’s COLD!!! My husband said it was 56 degrees F. – that certainly is NOT the norm for mid-August in Michigan! Usually by August it’s ‘sweating’ weather – in the high 80’s/low 90’s or hotter. Last night I got out my flannel nightgown and even added another heavy blanket – I was freezing!

How’s your gas prices doing? Ours are staying (for the moment) steady at $3.49/9 – not the best prices, but I’m happy it’s not going UP!


(Disclaimer: Just a reminder – the following recipes are NOT my own, the sources are noted below the recipes)


Smokey New Potato Salad

1 1/2 lb. small red new potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. finely chopped shallot
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Place potatoes in large saucepan & cover by
2 inches with cold salted water. Bring to a
boil, lower heat & simmer until just tender
when pierced with tip of a paring knife,
15-20 minutes. Whisk together mayonnaise,
shallot, lime juice & paprika in medium bowl.
Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add
garlic & cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes;
set aside. Drain potatoes & let the sit until cool
enough to handle but still very warm, 3-4 minutes.
Cut potatoes into wedges & add to mayonnaise
mixture. Toss to combine, season with salt &
pepper then drizzle with olive oil & garlic mixture.
Sprinkle with cilantro & serve warm or room
temperature. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Food Network)

Fiesta Shrimp Tacos

2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Popcorn shrimp
8-10 flour tortillas, heated accordg to pkg directions
1 (14 oz) bag cole slaw mix
8 oz. white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 large tomato, diced
2 cans sliced black olives
lime wedges, if desired
8 oz. sour cream
1 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix
milk, as needed, to thin sauce

Bake shrimp according to pkg. directions.
Combine sauce ingredients, adding taco
seasoning, to taste. Thin sauce, if needed,
with 1-2 T. milk. Spread a Tablespoon of sauce
over each warmed tortilla. Add shredded
cabbage, cheese, tomato & olives then top
with cooked shrimp. Serve with lime wedges,
if desired.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Balsamic Chicken

4 small, skinless boneless chicken
breast halves
1 T. paprika
1/2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. dry red wine or water
3 T. balsamic vinegar

In small bowl, combine paprika,
oil, rosemary, garlic & pepper; mix well
until it becomes a paste. Rub both sides
of each chicken breast with past mixture.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. Place coated chicken in prepared
pan; cover & refrigerate 2-6 hours.

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Drizzle chicken with wine. Bake 10-12
minutes or until a thermometer inserted
into thickest part of chicken reads 170 degrees F.
and juices run clear, turning once halfway
through baking. Remove from oven, immediately
drizzle vinegar onto chicken in pan. Transfer
chicken to serving plates. Stir liquid in pan &
drizzle over chicken. Serves 4

(recipe: CVS)

Cheesy Spinach Bacon Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
& drained
1 lb. (16 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & green
chiles, undrained
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Place all ingredients in microwaveable bowl.
Microwave on High 5 minutes, or until
Velveeta is completely melted & mixture
is well blended, stirring after 3 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips, cut up fresh vegetables
corn chips
NOTE: Dip can be poured into a small crockpot
set on Low. Remember to stir dip occasionally
to prevent hot spots.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Fresh Apple Cake

fresh fruit, sliced
box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer fruit on bottom of 9 x 13 pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle
cake mix on top. (don’t need entire box)
Pour melted butter over cake mix. Bake 35-
45 minutes; done when bubbly.

Edit: Usually, I’ve found that the butter and the
moisture from the fruit is enough to soak into the
dry mix and create a nice cooked crust. If, however,
when cooking, you find that some of your cake mix
still looks powdery, you can try sprinkling a few
tablespoons of water over those areas to ensure
thorough cooking. You could also do this preemptively
at this point when you’ve poured the butter over the
dry cake mix.

(recipe: Facebook)

Tomato Bread Salad

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 C. diced mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil leaves
6 slices fully cooked bacon, heated &
1 1/2 C. large garlic seasoned croutons
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Place drained tomatoes in shallow
serving dish. Sprinkle with cheese, basil
& bacon. Top with croutons; drizzle
vinaigrette over tomato mixture. Serve
immediately. Serves 6 (about 3/4 C. ea)

(recipe: readyseteat!)


1 Head of Cabbage
3 Cups Tomato Juice
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 egg
1/2 C. uncooked brown or white rice
1 envelope Onion soup mix
1 lb. Ground Turkey or Extra Lean Ground Beef
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Run a knife around the inside of the core area, then
place the head of cabbage under hot water makes
peeling leaves off easier! Peel 8-12 big Leaves off the
Cabbage head and place in a microwave safe dish.
Cover in about an inch of water and microwave on
high for 2 min. In a mixing bowl combine tomato sauce,
egg, turkey or beef, rice, onion soup, and cheese, and mix
with fingers until well combined. Grease your crock pot with
some Pam cooking spray. Carefully place a ball of the meat
mixture into the middle of each cabbage leaf and roll up
into a ball, and place on the bottom of your crock pot seam
side down. Do this until all your meat mixture is gone.
After you have all your cabbage rolls in the crock pot,
pour the 3 cups of Tomato Juice on top.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

(recipe: Facebook)

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

1/2 C. margarine
2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
8 oz. fettuccini, cooked & drained
1 1/2 C. broccoli florets, cooked
3 T. walnuts, chopped

Melt margarine in large skillet; add
basil, lemon juice, garlic powder &
salt; mix well. Add cooked fettuccini,
broccoli, & walnuts; toss to coat.
Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Spicy Baked Beans

1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
2 T. prepared mustard
1 T. molasses
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
10 slices bacon (about 8 oz)
1 small onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pork & beans

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Combine sugar, ketchup, mustard,
molasses, garlic, Worcestershire
sauce, salt, cayenne & black peppers
in small bowl. Cook bacon in large skillet
until crisp. Remove bacon, drain & reserve
3 T. bacon grease. Cook onion & celery in
reserved grease 4-6 minutes or until tender.
Crumble bacon in 2 qt. casserole dish; stir
in pork & beans, onion mixture & sauce
mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes or until hot
& bubbly.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peach Dumplings

2 whole large peaches
2 (8 oz) cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 (12 oz) can Mountain Dew

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & pit peaches; cut both peaches into
8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent
roll & place in 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt
butter, then add sugar & barely stir. Add
vanilla & stir. Pour entire mixture over
peaches. Pour Mountain Dew around the
edges of pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon &
bake 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream &
spoon some of the sauce over top.

(recipe: Facebook)


Going to wrap this one up – time to get on with my day. Right now I think a second cup of coffee is definitely in order (to warm me up!)

Enjoy your day;



Reminder Time Again!


Hello, Everyone!

Today was another mammogram for me – this makes the Second Year anniversary of my diagnosis and I’m happy! The tech. said today’s films look exactly like last year’s – that’s GREAT!!! As to the title of this post, as you know, I try to remind you to GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS DONE! If I hadn’t had mine done on a yearly basis, it could have killed me – I’m grateful my breast cancer was caught early, treatment was minimal (compared to other friends of mine who had to endure MUCH worse – radical surgeries, chemo AND radiation, etc.). Yes, it’s uncomfortable to have your ‘ladies’ smashed, but the alternative is MUCH WORSE – a little pain for a huge gain. It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years since diagnosis – that time went by really fast! I’m feeling like my ‘old pre-cancer’ self – a few aches & pains but I could also put them down to getting older (now that I’m 65). Still glad there’s Glucosamine (over the counter) for any joint pains from the cancer drug and back pills (over the counter) to help with lower back pain. All-in-all I’m doing GREAT!

Temperature wise, it’s been a rather strange three days weather. Saturday was a gorgeous day; not sure the actual temperature, but it was sunny, breezy and just perfect to be outside. Yesterday, Sunday, was a little cooler, but still sunny. Today, however, is another story – we’re back to almost September-like weather: gray, gloomy, rainy and 65 degrees out – bring out the sweaters, you’ll need them!

Just checked on dinner in the oven: meatloaf with potato patties. I had some leftover mashed potatoes and 1 baked potato, so I sort of mixed them together with an egg, some Italian bread crumbs, some chopped up green onion, garlic powder, salt & pepper and formed them into patties & fried them – good stuff; served with some nice fresh sliced tomatoes and the meatloaf, it will make a good dinner for this chilly day.


Cool & Creamy Lime Bars

1 1/2 C. finely crushed pretzels
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. melted butter
2 (14 oz, ea) cans Eagle Brand sweetened
condensed milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
1 tsp. orange juice
1 T. grated lime peel
powdered sugar
Cool Whip
lime slices

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with waxed paper.
Combine pretzels, sugar, & butter in medium
bowl; mix well. Press mixture firmly onto
bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust 7-10
minutes. Mix Eagle Brand milk, eggs, lime
juice, orange juice & lime peel in large
bowl; pour evenly over crust. Bake 25
minutes. Cool & chill. When ready to serve,
garnish with powdered sugar, Cool Whip &
lime slices. Cut into bars.

(recipe: Ann-justapinch.com)

Baked Cod w/Cracker Topping

2 lb. skinless cod fillelts
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (about 34)
5 T. unsalted butter
lemon & parsley (garnish-optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a small baking pan or casserole
with butter or a little oil. Rinse off fish in
cold water, pat dry. Remove any pin bones
from fish & place in pan; sprinkle with salt.
Melt butter in small saucepan. Crush crackers
to coarse breadcrumb size then mix with melted
butter. Pack crumb mixture over top & sides of
fish. Bake 20 minutes until fish flakes easily.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

American Macaroni Salad

2 C. dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed & drained
1/3 C. diced celery
1/4 C. minced red onion (soaked in cold water 5
minutes then drained)
1 T. minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 C. diced tomato
1/2 C. mayonnaise
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. cider vinegar
3 T. sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or more, to taste)
freshly ground black pepper

In large bowl, combine macaroni, celery, onion,
parsley & tomato. In small bowl, whisk together
mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream
& salt. Pour dressing over salad; stir to combine.
Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Serves 6

(recipe: Food Network)

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta & Mint

1 red bell pepper, cored & cut into 4 pieces
1 eggplant (about 1 lb) cut across into 1/4
inch rounds
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz ea), cut
lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
5 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 C. grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. chopped fresh mint
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

Arrange vegetables in single layer on a
tray or work surface. Lightly spray both
sides with cooking spray. Preheat a grill
or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill
vegetables in batches until both sides
are nicely charred & veggies are just tender,
about 10 minutes for pepper, 8 min. for eggplant
& onion, 6 min. for zucchini. when vegetables
are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch
pieces & transfer to large bowl. In small bowl,
whisk together olive oil, vinegar & oregano;
pour over vegetables & toss to coat. Season
to taste with salt & pepper. Gently stir in
tomatoes & mint. Divide salad between
4 plates & sprinkle with feta cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)

Saucy Chicken Parmesan

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 T. water
3/4 C. cornflakes, crushed (about 1/3 C.)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, basil or
oregano, crushed OR 1 tsp. snipped fresh
basil or oregano
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 1/3 C. spaghetti sauce
4 oz. dried spaghetti, fettucini or other pasta,
cooked accordg to pkg. directions & drained
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
fresh herb sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place each piece of chicken between 2 pieces of
plastic wrap; using flat side of a meat mallet,
lightly pound to flatten slightly (about 1/2 inch
thick). Remove plastic wrap. Lightly coat a shallow
baking pan with nonstick spray; set aside. In a
shallow dish, combine egg white & water. In
another shallow dish, combine cornflakes, 2 T.
Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning & pepper. Dip
chicken pieces, one at a time, into egg mixture,
coat with crumb mixture & place in prepared pan.
Bake about 15 minutes or until chicken is tender &
no longer pink (170 degrees F.)

In small saucepan, warm spaghetti sauce over low
heat. Divide pasta among 4 dinner plates; place
one piece chicken on each plate & spoon sauce over
chicken. Top with Parmesan cheese & herbs, if desired.
Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Summer Squash Bake

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
4 eggs
1/2 C. Miracle Whip dressing
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. (Kraft) finely shredded Italian
Five cheese blend
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat large skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium heat. Add zucchini &
squash; cook & stir 5 minutes or until
crisp-tender. Beat eggs & dressing in
large bowl with whisk until well blended.
Stir in cheese; add zucchini mixture and all
remaining ingredients; mix lightly then
spoon into 8 inch square baking dish. Bake
35-40 minutes or until center is set and
edges are lightly browned. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Baked Avocado with Egg

Whole avocado
Cayenne pepper (or any spice of your choice)
Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove pit from avocado; scoop out a little more
avocado to increase the size of the pit’s crater.
Crack an egg into the crater. Sprinkle with cayenne
pepper (cheese too if you desire). Bake until egg is
cooked to the level you like.

(recipe: Facebook)

Watermelon Salad
(overnight recipe)

1 large cucumber, peeled & sliced thin
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 T. olive oil
3 C. watermelon, cut into small
3 large tomatoes, cut into small
1/4 – 1/3 C. red wine vinegar dressing
1 pinch sea salt
black pepper
1 T. sugar
1/3 – 1/2 C. feta cheese (tomato/basil

Place cucumber in bowl with tight fitting lid.
Add vinegar & olive oil; stir until combined. Add
a few dashes pepper; close lid & shake bowl to
distribute mixture & pepper, refrigerate overnight.
The next day: place watermelon & tomatoes in
large bowl. With slotted spoon, strain cucumber
from vinegar mixture, onto cutting board. Discard
vinegar mixture. Cut cucumber slices in half & add
to watermelon bowl. Sprinkle sea salt & sugar over
mixture; mix until well combined. Add dressing & a
couple dashes black pepper; stir until combined.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. One half
hour before serving, stir in feta cheese.

(recipe: Justapinch.com)

Baked Apple Pie Tortilla Rolls

8 Flour Tortillas (I use Large Size Tortillas)

6 Medium Size Tart Apples, Peeled and
Sliced/Diced (I use Granny Smith)

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Dash of Nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon – optional)

1/4 teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

*1 1/2 Tablespoons Melted Butter (to brush on top of tortillas)


*Cinnamon Sugar Recipe to sprinkle on top of tortillas

1/4 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Stir sugar and cinnamon together until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Butter 9X13 baking dish.Combine all dry ingredients
in a bowl; toss  sliced/diced apples in lemon juice,
then pour dry mixture over apples. Stir apples making
sure they are coated well. Place a 1/2 cup of the apple
mixture and spread in the center of a tortilla. Roll
tortilla and place in pan, seam down. Repeat 7 more times.
Note: You may only be able to fit 7 rolls in your pan.
Once rolls are in pan, lightly brush with melted butter
and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, making sure to sprinkle
in between each roll on their sides. Cover with foil and
bake on middle rack of oven for 40-50 minutes. Bake until
apples reach desired texture. Remove, enjoy hot or cold.
Great served warm with vanilla ice cream!

Baking Tips
~For crispier tortillas, remove foil with 10 minutes left for

For a QUICK version, you can use canned apple pie filling
Brush tortillas with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.


That’s what’s happening around here today – hope you’re enjoying your day and staying warm/ or cool (depending on your location!).



My, How Time Flies – or not . . .


You KNOW you’re tired when you wake up from a nap and think it’s the next day – I just did that. It’s been a rather busy two days here and I had finished reading the Sat/Sunday newspapers (that ALWAYS makes me sleepy!), so I decided to take a brief nap around 4 p.m.  I just woke up and, judging by the nice sunshine outside and how very tired I still felt, I thought it was MONDAY! When I mentioned it to my husband, it took him a minute to realize that I was, indeed, still VERY tired, so he informed me it was only 7 p.m. SUNDAY evening – not 7 a.m. Monday morning – gave him quite a chuckle! Have you ever done that? I remember doing that several times many years ago when I was single and working all nights (10 p.m. – 6 a.m. or 11 p.m.- 7 a.m.) – I’d wake up and have NO CLUE whether it was day or night (this usually happened in winter when mornings were gray and so were early evenings). At THAT time, we had no computers/cell phones, electronic devices to TELL YOU – and you certainly DIDN’T want to phone someone IF, indeed, it was something like 6 a.m.!  Ah, the fun!

Yesterday was my busy day – with the bridal shower first, then the class picnic – I had a BALL! The shower was rather small – around 30 people, at Olive Garden. The bride’s family announced that those of us who were in attendance were specially selected by the two families as those who were the closest to the bride or groom (I know both rather well); that made me feel really special being chosen. The food was good, the atmosphere/games/activities were lots of fun, but I think the sincerity of the bride-to-be was the nicest I’ve seen in a long time. She was thrilled at EVERY little thing she received: “Oh, Look! I got pot holders!” Oh, we got some coasters!” – it was adorable.

The Sunday School class picnic was next on the agenda and that, too, was a lot of fun.The weather cooperated – it was an absolutely GORGEOUS day – sunny, breezy, not hot – perfect weather for a picnic.  Lots (and LOTS) of food, a huge variety of ‘things to do’ if you chose, like: horseshoes, Ladderball (first time I’ve ever played that – I laughed myself silly!), bean bag toss, a paddleboat on their little private pond, a private gun range, just to start. Towards the end of the evening the hosts brought out sparklers, bottle rockets and those little paper lanterns you light and release up into the sky (they look like mini hot air balloons) – so much fun! Today in Sunday School class I had several of the men mention that they knew we were having fun (the four of us ladies playing Ladderball together) because they could hear us laughing a lot! It was a riot! I was SO glad we went.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. margarine, melted
3 T. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 oz) box strawberry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen strawberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix crushed pretzels, margarine & 3 T.
sugar together; press onto 9 X 13 baking
pan. Bake 8 minutes; cool.
Mix cream cheese & 1 C. sugar; fold 2 C.
Cool Whip into cream cheese mixture.
Spread over cooled crust. Dissolve jello
in boiling water; add frozen strawberries.
Chill jello mixture until syrupy, then pour
over cream cheese layer; refrigerate. Cut into
squares & garnish with Cool Whip.

(recipe: Leslie-justapinch.com)


Cheesy Beef-Corn Chip Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 C. water
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 C. corn chips
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/2 inch
2 C. shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped

Brown meat with onions in large skillet;
drain. Stir in water & taco seasoning mix;
cook as directed on pkg. Top with chips &
Velveeta. Cover & cook on Low 5 minutes or
until Velveeta is melted. Cover with lettuce &
tomatoes & serve. Serves 6
(can be topped with sour cream when served)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mediterranean Marinated Vegetable Salad

2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half & sliced
1/4 C. red onion wedges
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. (Kraft) natural Three-Cheese crumbles

Combine vegetables in large bowl. Mix dressing,
basil & garlic & add to vegetable mixture; toss to
coat. Add cheese, mix lightly. Refrigerate 1 hour
Serves 8

NOTE: Can be served with chopped cooked
chicken on top, just before serving.
Salad can also be refrigerated up to 24 hours
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bubble Pizza

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can pizza sauce
2 (12 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated buttermilk
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown beef in skillet; drain; stir in pizza
sauce. Cut biscuits into quarters & place
in a greased 9 X 13 pan; top with beef
mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle
top with cheeses, bake 5-10 minutes
longer until cheeses are melted. Let
stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Texan Ranch Chicken Casserole

1 onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
3 C. cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 T. chili powder
2 T. butter
6 T. flour
1 C. chicken stock
1 c. milk
1 (10-14 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies
12 small corn tortillas, cut into 1″ strips
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pan coated with nonstick spray,
cook veggies until crisp-tender. Add garlic &
chili powder; cook 1 minute. Remove from pan.
Add butter & flour to pan; cook 1 minute. Add
chicken stock & milk; stir until thickened. Add
chicken, veggies & diced tomatoes. Line bottom
of 9 X 13 baking pan with half the tortilla strips.
Top with half of chicken mixture, then other half
of tortilla strips. Top with cheese & bake 25-30
minutes until bubbly & browned. Makes 8 servings.

NOTE: 3 C. chicken should yield 4 oz. per 1/2 cup,
chopped. You would need about 6 (4 oz) chicken

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. chopped red peppers
2 T. chopped mixed pickled jalapenos &

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare muffin batter in medium bowl
as directed on pkg; stir in remaining
ingredients just until blended. Pour into
greased 8 inch square pan. Bake 18-20
minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 9 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Greek Tomato & Cucumber Salad

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1/2 C. coarsely chopped green peppers
1/2 C. thinly sliced red onion
1/2 C. crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 C. (Kraft) Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Combine all ingredients. Serves 4
Salad can be made ahead of time;
refrigerate up to 24 hours before

(recipe: Kraft foods)


1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
* water as called for on back of seasoning packet
3 large flour tortillas (8-inch size)
1/2 C. Salsa Con Queso
1 1/2-2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown & crumble ground beef. Drain excess
grease; add in taco seasoning & water
(following directions on back of seasoning packet).
Once taco meat is ready, turn off heat &add in
1/2 cup salsa con queso; stir until thoroughly
combined.Spray an 8-inch round baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray; layer bottom of
pan with a flour tortilla. add about 1/3 of
ground beef taco filling on the the first layer
then add 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
Continue with all the layers: another tortilla,
more taco mixture, more
cheese. Bake about 15-20 minutes
until cheese is melted & edges are slightly
golden brown. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes
Then slice and serve.

Note; Can serve with sour cream and diced tomatoes on top.


Creamy Corn & Zucchini

2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 C. fresh corn kernels
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. Kraft “Mexican-style”
Four cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium-
high heat. Add vegetables; cook & stir
8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; remove
from heat. Stir in cheese & sour cream; cook
on medium heat 3-5 minutes or until cheese is
melted & mixture is heated through, stirring
frequently. Serves 8, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Sun-dried Tomato & Garlic Dip

1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 C. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,
drained & chopped
2 T. finely chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix ingredients until well blended. Serve
with crackers or cut-up fresh vegetables.
Makes 16 (2 T. ea.) servings

Dip can be made in advance & refrigerated
up to 24 hours before serving., the longer
it’s left in refrigerator, the better the flavor.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Blueberry Bread

2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
or more, to taste
3 T. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 C. milk

2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder &
salt; stir in blueberries & lemon zest. In
another bowl, beat eggs; add milk & oil.
Stir in dry ingredients mixture just until
moistened. Pour into a greased 9 X 5
loaf pan. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.

Combine all glaze ingredients & brush
or drizzle over warm bread while still
in pan. Let cool 10 minutes, then
move to wire rack to continue cooling.
Makes 1 loaf.

(recipe: Patti-justapinch.com)

It’s now 7:45 p.m. and I have a little time before going to pick up youngest son from his work – think I might just play a few computer games of Solitaire!

Enjoy your day!



I LOVE a Bargain!


My ‘church/dressy’ shoes have seen better days and it’s time to go shoe-shopping. Unlike most women, I’m NOT a shoe person; shoes, for me, are functional. They serve a purpose, not a fashion statement. I have 1 pair of black medium heels, a pair of white summer (dress) flats, several pairs of summer sandals and 1 pair of black winter shoes – no, I’m NOT a shoe diva! Today I received, in my emails, a coupon for Payless Shoes (granted, they’re not your ‘expensive’ shoes, but . . . ) for 40% off any pair of shoes (simply because I haven’t shopped there in over a year – they started the email with: “We Miss You!”). After quite a bit of looking/trying on, etc. I settled on a plain, very much like my old, black semi-heels (medium wedges, if you will). The checkout gentleman rang it up and said: “That will be $31. and some cents.” I said: “Not with 40% off, it isn’t!” He agreed – I got them for $19.07 AND, they have a survey for your purchase. When you go online and fill in the survey you also get $10.00 off any purchase at Office Max! It’s getting towards that time when I’ll have to comp up the next special needs group newsletter AND I’ll be needing printer ink cartridges; they usually amount to almost $50, so with the $10 off coupon PLUS my $37.00 credit (for turning in used Hewlitt Packard ink cartridges) those new cartridges should be almost FREE! Pretty neat, eh? Like I said: I LOVE a BARGAIN!!!

Our weather today is absolutely GORGEOUS! It’s what our August weather is usually like: Sunny, breezy, light fluffy clouds in a robin’s egg blue sky, temperature 80 degrees F. A REALLY nice day!

Went grocery shopping this morning for the ingredients for another Chinese Coleslaw plus a dump cake dessert. Tomorrow is our Sunday School class Corn Roast and I usually bring two ‘sides’. Both recipes are really easy; I’ll be putting them together later on tonight (I’ll be busy early tomorrow with the bridal shower of a friend).

Worked on the last baby blanket yesterday and then just felt like working on something little; got out the baby yarns and knit another two baby hats for St. Joseph’s hospital. I’d forgotten just how much FUN it is to knit something quick and fun. I like working on them because I can be creative with little bits of yarn and still come up with a really cute hat. I had some apricot yarn left over from one of the baby blankets; knit a all white cuff for the hat, then knit the hat in apricot, but mid-way up, knit about 4 rows (Purled – which leaves a bumpy row outside) of the white, then finished with the remaining apricot. These little hats get rid of small bits of yarn that most people would throw away AND they give me an outlet for my creativity.



1 graham cracker pie crust
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
2 medium bananas
1 (6 oz) box instant white chocolate pudding/pie filling mix
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
10 strawberries

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar together until fluffy.
Spread evenly over bottom of crust.
Drain pineapple well and spread evenly over cream cheese.
Slice banana and cover pineapple with slices.
Pour on pudding mixture; top with Cool Whip.
Cover entire pie or garnish with strawberries, or other fresh fruit.

(recipe: Facebook)


Grilled Green Beans

8 oz. fresh green beans
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients except Parmesan cheese
in a large ziplock bag. Let flavors marinate
for 10 minutes. Put on a grill over medium heat,
turning frequently until crisp tender. About 10
minutes. Remove beans from heat, sprinkle
with Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: (Use one of those special grill skillets or a cast iron
skillet if you are worried about losing beans through the cracks.)

(recipe: Facebook)

Parmesan Meatloaf
(Low Carb)

2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 T. Marjoram
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. oregano
1 T. thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 T. olive oil
1 large egg, beaten (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg,
seasonings, and dressings in a bowl.
Put mixed beef, into a sprayed loaf pan.
Top meatloaf with pasta sauce & mozzarella
cheese. Place filled loaf pan on bottom rack of
oven and bake 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove 
meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for
5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish
with parsley if desired.

(recipe: Facebook)


Baked Cheddar-Broccoli Rice Cups

1 (10 oz.) pkg. thawed broccoli
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup grated cheese (any flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper – to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil rice. Move cooked rice to a bowl to cool for a minute.
Add all ingredients, but only use 1/2 of the cheese.
Grease a 8 cup muffin tray and shape mixture into
balls, then sprinkle rest of cheese on top.
Bake 25 minutes until golden and crisp.

(recipe: Facebook)



1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup minced chives or green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup crispy, crumbled bacon
1 cup Sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut out stem and core from cauliflower; cut
into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling
salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not
overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato
masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in cream
cheese, sour cream, most of the chives,
Parmesan, and most of the crumbled bacon.
Spread evenly in a small glass casserole dish.
Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes,
or until hot and bubbly. Top with remaining
chives and bacon.

(recipe: Facebook)

Country Apple Squares

2 C. flour
1 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 C. walnuts, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 C. apples, peeled & chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, brown sugar & cinnamon. Cut
in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add walnuts; mix.
Measure 2 C. crumb mixture into a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Bean cream cheese & milk until smooth. Mix in egg,
sugar & vanilla. Pour over crumb mixture & top with
apples. Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs; bake
30 minutes.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 C. mild salsa
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt (or, to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
4 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 C. chopped scallions or cilantro,
for topping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Place
1/4 C. salsa in bottom of a large baking
dish. Using a small spoon or melon baller,
hollow out the center of the zucchini
halves, leaving 1/4 inch thick shell on each
half. Chop the scooped out flesh into small
pieces & set aside 3/4 C. to add to taco
filling (squeeze excess water with a paper
towel), discard the rest or save to use in
another recipe. Drop zucchini halves into
boiling water; cook 1 minute & remove from
water. Brown meat in large skillet, breaking
up pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink
add spices; mix well. Add onion, bell pepper,
reserved zucchini, tomato sauce & water; stir
& cover. Simmer on low about 20 minutes.
Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats,
dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 C. in
each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 T. shredded
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 35 minutes until
cheese is melted & zucchini is cooked through. Top
with scallions & serve with salsa on the side.
Serves 4

(recipe: Skinnytaste.com)

Fettuccini, Chicken & Tomato Dinner

1 (16 oz) pkg. fettuccini, uncooked
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium onion, chopped (large dice)
4 zucchini approx 5 inches long & 1 -1 1/2
inches in diameter
4 yellow zucchini -same size as above
2 cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried Italian seasonings
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. oil
1/4 C. water
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare fettuccini accordg. to pkg. directions,
cooking until al dente; drain & set aside. Cook
chicken on medium-high in nonstick skillet until
done. Set aside to cool; dice chicken into pieces.
Slice both zucchini into 1/4 inch medallions (may
have to cut some of the squash in half at larger
end). In same skillet over medium heat, saute onion
in oil. When almost translucent add zucchini &
water. Add garlic, & dried Italian seasonings. Cook
until zucchini are desired tenderness. Add both
cans tomatoes & continue cooking until heated
through. Add cooked fettuccini to skillet; toss to
blend. Sprinkle top with Parmesan before serving.
Serves 6-8.

(recipe: Denise-justapinch.com)

One-Pot Chicken & Vegetables

1 T. olive oil
1 C. sliced zucchini
1 C. sliced or shredded carrot
1/2 C. sliced green onions or red onion
1/2 C. sliced celery
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. cooked, diced chicken
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. cooked brown rice, hot

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Add zucchini, carrots, green or red onion &
celery; saute 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add diced tomatoes & lower
heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken &
seasonings; simmer 3 minutes. Serve
chicken & vegetables over cooked rice.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Carolsrecipes77-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 corn tortillas (6 inch), divided
1 1/2 tsp. oil, divided
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 C. thick & chunky salsa (medium)
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut 2 tortillas into strips; toss with
1/2 tsp. oil. Spread in a single layer on
baking sheet & bake 10-12 minutes or until
crispy, stirring occasionally. Finely chop
remaining tortillas. Heat remaining oil
in large saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add chicken; cook & stir 5 minutes. Add
chopped tortillas, broth, salsa & corn; bring
to a boil. Simmer on medium-low heat
15 minutes. Serve topped with cheese &
tortilla strips. Serves 6 (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

2 unbaked pie shells
2 sticks butter, room temp
3 3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. cocoa powder
6 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. plus 2 oz. buttermilk*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar & butter; mix until
well blended. Beat in eggs; mix well.
Combine flour, cocoa & salt until
mixed, then add to butter mixture.
Add buttermilk to mixture; stir until
well combined. Pour into pie shells.
Bake 45 minutes; cool before cutting.

NOTE: 2 oz. is equal to 4 Tablespoons

(recipe: Shelia-justapinch.com)

Well, now that I’ve made myself drool over some of the above recipes, guess it’s time to get off here and start dinner. Dinner tonight is a meatloaf – one of my husband’s all-time favorite dinners. I’m thinking of doing baked potatoes with it and maybe a tossed salad – we’ll see.

Hope you’re having a really great day – remember to do something for yourself, no matter how little (even a 5 minute ‘rest/nap’ counts!).



Of Many Things


Today’s post got me to thinking of the poem: “The Walrus and the Carpenter” – especially the line:
“The time has come,’ the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax — Of cabbages — and kings”. Why, you ask? Well, it’s only because there’s a plethora of subjects going through my mind at the moment. Just spent almost an hour with my retirement advisers; when I turned 65 in June, I became eligible to begin my retirement pension and I still wasn’t clear on all of the ‘boxes to fill out’, so I asked for their advise. Let’s just say, I ‘thought’ I had an idea of where this was going . . . (silly me). I spoke to them beginning of June and, at that time, they said my retirement checks should begin in about 8 weeks – well, it’s 8 weeks and NOW they’re telling me it’s going to be another 8 weeks (but the check will be retroactive back to June). After much conversation, I was surprised to find that NO, the amount per month wasn’t bigger than the original amount stated in 1984, but would stay the same amount FROM THAT DATE. Let’s just say I won’t be going out for any fancy steak dinners on the amount per month I will be receiving. I was also told I should be glad I’m getting even that amount, as most employers now days aren’t even offering a retirement pension – great. I guess it’s ‘Be thankful for what you have”, eh?

Spent time in the phone, also, with another medical bill from our son who is also on our insurance; apparently they hadn’t considered the FAMILY deductible on his bill and were billing him to cover that – yep, another phone call straightened that one out. I’m actually getting pretty good at running the numbers on these various bills; at least, when it came to 7 separate bills that were sent in my name for various doctors in June. These SHOULD have been routed through Medicare FIRST, but were sent to Blue Cross, who immediately rejected them all – hence, LOTS more phone calls . . . sigh.

On a trip out our back door I happened to notice (almost eye level) this spider on it’s web:


I’m sure you’re probably not very interested in spiders, but in all my life I’d never seen one like this! That’s it’s head at the top and it’s body is all spikey – it’s underbelly is a series of tiny black and white circles, almost like a maze – fascinating! It was alive and very active; it’s about the size of a dime, maybe just a tiny bit smaller. Upon further investigation, it’s called a “Spined Microthena” – it’s common to wooded areas, and not harmful to humans. What an unusual spider! (I guess when you raise ALL BOYS, almost anything becomes ‘interesting’!)

Yesterday was youngest son’s 19th birthday and, as per tradition for him, got him his favorite Reece’s Peanut Butter ice cream cake at Dairy Queen. The photo below is around 11:30 p.m. and he’d spent the entire day with friends – he’s very tired, but happy.


I loved his comment when eating it: “Oh, YEAH! I’ve been waiting for this ALL DAY!!!”

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we had a good turnout – 17 ladies (1 new person who just moved to the area). I thought it was comical hearing, at various times throughout the evening:”I can’t WAIT to get this baby blanket DONE! I’m SO tired of knitting/crocheting it!” I know what they mean – I have 3/4th of my LAST baby blanket done (3 done, 1 almost done). We all love doing charity projects, but sometimes they get a bit boring. I have to remember to call the lady in charge of the Detroit Veterans Hospital to solidify the date of pick up of all our items.

Weather-wise it’s, again, kind of un-typical for August in Michigan – lots of cool days (right now at 1:20 p.m. it’s 71, overcast and breezy). It’s been raining every day, on & off, for about a week. The good thing is: I don’t have to remember to water my two hanging plants outside!

My ‘social calendar’ has changed a bit: This Saturday I only have to attend the Bridal Shower at 12 p.m. and the Sunday School Picnic at 4:30; the wedding reception I was going to ‘drop in’ at has been canceled. The bride (this would be their renewal, not the first wedding) is a cancer survivor and had some reconstructive surgery about three weeks ago. Apparently she isn’t healing as quickly as hoped and her doctor said NO FLYING (she’s in Florida), so they will have to re-schedule the entire thing. I feel bad for them – that’s a LOT of planning, but in the long run, we all want what’s best for HER health. She’s taking it well.


Buttery Grilled Shrimp w/Tomatoes

2 tsp. ground cumin
3 T. butter
30 uncooked jumbo shrimp (about 3 1/2 lb)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. ground white pepper, divided
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C. tightly packed fresh basil leaves
6 medium tomatoes, room temp., cut
into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 tsp. honey

Heat cumin in small skillet over low heat
until warm & slightly toasted, about 1
minute. Remove from heat, stir in butter
until melted, set aside. Brush shrimp on both
sides with butter mixture, then season with
1 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill, turning
once, until shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes.
Toss shrimp with lemon juice & 1/2 of basil;
set aside. Arrange tomatoes on serving
platter, then sprinkle with remaining salt &
pepper, honey & remaining basil leaves. Top
with shrimp & juices. Serves 6

(recipe: Unilever)

Banana Bread Brownies

1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk

Heat oven to 375F.
Grease and flour 15×10-inch jelly roll pan.
For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together
sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until
creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.
Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend 1 minute.
Stir in walnuts.Spread batter evenly into pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown
and remove from heat immediately.Add powdered
sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until
smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner
than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown
butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting
will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm).

(recipe: Facebook)

Hillbilly Farmer Casserole

6 C. frozen shredded hash browns
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. diced cooked ham
1/2 C. sliced green onions
8 large beaten eggs
2 C. evaporated milk
1/4  tsp.salt
1/4  tsp.pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of
dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onion.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and
pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish.
Bake 45-55 min.

(recipe: Facebook)

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1-10 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup shredded Colby-jack cheese blend
2 green onions, sliced thin
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Optional: sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Lightly coat 9 X 13 casserole dish with cooking spray
In large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp)
and heat over medium-high heat; add potatoes, sprinkle
with salt and pepper, and cook 10 minutes, stirring often;
spoon potatoes into casserole dish and set aside. Lower  heat to medium and add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add chicken &onionto skillet and, stirring often, cook 6-7 minutes until chicken is nearly cooked through; stir chicken and onion mixture into potatoes; set aside. In a medium bowl add soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, and paprika; mix well and pour over potato-chicken-onion mixture; bake in oven 30 minutes; sprinkle cheese, onions, and parsley over casserole and cook additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and serve with or without sour cream.  Serves 4-6

(recipe: Facebook)


1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can corn
1 can Great Northern Beans(white)
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing packet
1 Taco seasoning packet
2 cups water
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

Combine all ingredients in Crockpot except
Tortilla Chips, Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream.
Do not drain any of the cans. Stir and cover with lid.
Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips,
cheese and sour cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

Impossible Greek Spinach Pie

1/2 C. green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 T. butter or margarine
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
drained & thawed
1/2 C. creamed cottage cheese
1 C. milk
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
3 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 T. feta cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Cook & stir
onions & garlic in butter in 10″ skillet
until onions are transparent (2-3 minutes).
Stir in spinach; layer spinach mixture & cottage
cheese in pie plate. Beat milk, eggs, Bisquick,
lemon juice & pepper until smooth (15 seconds
in a blender or 1 minute using hand beater) Pour
over spinach mixture. Sprinkle top with feta &
Parmesan cheese & nutmeg. Bake 35-40 minutes
or until knife inserted into center comes out
clean. Garnish with ripe olives if desired.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Summer Squash Casserole

4 yellow squash, 1 1/2 lb,
cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
6 green onions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C. ranch salad dressing
1 1/2 C. finely shredded mild Cheddar cheese
16 Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except cracker
crumbs in 2 qt casserole dish; top with
cracker crumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until
heated through. Makes 14 (1/2 C.) servings

NOTE: For added color, substitute 2 zucchini
for 2 of yellow squash

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Corn & Black Bean Chopped Salad

3 C. chopped iceberg lettuce
2 (8 3/4 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can whole black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel Mexican diced tomatoes
with lime juice & cilantro, undrained
2 T. cooking oil
(shredded cheese) optional

Toss all ingredients together in large bowl
until combined. Can add shredded cheese,
if desired. Serves 6

(reipe: readyseteat!)

Triple Berry Cobbler

4 C. assorted fresh berries (blueberries,
raspberries, sliced strawberries)
1/4 C. sugar, divided
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 C. water, divided
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine berries in 2 qt. round microwaveable
casserole dish. Microwave on High 1 minute.
Reserve 1 tsp. sugar. Stir remaining sugar, dry
pudding mix & 1/4 C. water into berry mixture.
Mix Bisquick, sour cream & remaining water.
Drop in 6 mounds (mounds should not touch)
over fruit mixture. Mix reserved sugar & cinnamon;
sprinkle over dough. Bake 35 minutes or until
fruit mixture is hot & bubbly & biscuits are lightly
browned. Serve warm, topped with Cool Whip.
Serves 6.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Well, friends, I realize this post has been sort of ‘all over the place’ – that’s what my mind feels like right now – scrambled eggs! I’m seriously considering sitting in my comfy recliner and knitting for awhile, just to clear my head! There are some days when there’s just too much ‘input’ and not enough ‘outflow’ (medical bills/retirement pension/details on the scheduling of the baby blanket pick up/knit group/special needs group/social obligations . . . WHEW! I’m all worn out just THINKING about it all!

Hopefully YOUR day is much calmer/more relaxed & laid back. Enjoy your day!