Been Away a While . . . No good excuse!


I just looked back on when I last made a blog entry and it’s not ‘my norm’; I don’t have a really good excuse, either! Sometimes you feel the need to write and at other times, not so much. I guess it’s because there’s not much going on around here lately!

We attended another Sunday School Picnic Saturday – it rained a bit, forcing us to move either indoors or to the shelter of the garage. Nice event: good food & friendship, glad we could go.

Yesterday began the church choir resuming (we take the Summer off); practice started up, again, at 4:45 p.m. It felt good to get back into the ‘swing of things’ – we’re sort of slow starting up, with only about half of the usual people – guess some are still on vacation.  This week starts up a change in our ‘watching our Grandson’ – he’s now 7, so the word “Babysitting” doesn’t exactly fit. I will be experiencing my first trip to (almost) Walled Lake – actually, it’s a bit closer to Union Lake, but still – it’s FAR away from where I live! (Long story, short) grandson has two parents: His Dad (our son, who lives about 5 minutes away from us) and his Mom. They split up (having never married) a little over 6 years ago; she was living about 15 minutes away, but then met a man, he bought a house, and now they live about 25 minutes away, in Walled Lake. I have never been there, but will begin my ‘new’ driving experience this Friday, as I have to pick up grandson at his bus stop close to their house, after school. I guess I would explain my driving experiences thusly: I get lost in a paper bag! My husband, on the other hand, is an EXPERT at finding anywhere/anything and doesn’t understand how I could possible get so LOST! He thinks IN MAPS in his head and knows almost any area, having driven them while he worked for AT & T. Oh well – with some help, I should be able to traverse the ‘new’ route and find said bus stop before the bus gets there – HOPEFULLY!

This Tuesday (tomorrow night) will be another Knit/Crochet Movie Night for my group. We haven’t held a Movie Night in a good 3 months and the ladies are asking for one. The food theme is Soups & Salads; so far, we only have 6 people coming, which is kind of disappointing, but you take what you get, right? I’m not sure if it’s the movie (I chose it: “Out of Africa” – great ‘chick flick’) or the food theme, or just the time of year – we’ll see.

I’m going to be working on another baby afghan for the Detroit Vet’s hospital Baby shower coming up Sept 28th. I don’t even remember if I gave you the final outcome/results of our group’s efforts! (Getting old, mentally!) The ladies knit/crocheted 19 blankets, 10 baby hats (and donated a bib & hard cover baby book). Here’s the photo of the lady from the Vets who came to pick up our blankets:


You know me . . . sometimes I get a bit “OCD” (Obsessive/Compulsive) – well, the end result of 19 blankets (AFTER I’d asked the lady how many people they have signed up to receive them at the baby shower and finding out there are 25) made me feel a bit of an ‘under-achiever’. The group did their best, but in the end, I sort of felt like we let the Vets down a bit (that’s just MY opinion, I didn’t tell the group that day that there were 25 people waiting, as I didn’t know until then, either). That got me to thinking: maybe . . . just maybe, I might be able to crank out one or two more blankets before the shower. The friend of mine who originally came up with this charity (the Vets hospital is a client of her company’s) said she wanted to attend the shower this year, just to see all the ladies receiving their gifts AND she wants to drag me along. (If you know me – I’m not one for self aggrandizement (praise) so I really don’t want to be there for that BUT I would like to see how they handle the shower, just to give me an idea of how to ‘pitch’ the event NEXT YEAR, to my knit/crochet group, so I agreed to go. Also, by my attending the shower in 2 weeks, I’ll be able to hand-deliver the extra blankets! I’ve finished the one I believe I mentioned in a post or two before this one (knit; done in large solid-colored stripes) and now I’m attempting to crochet large solid-colored squares for another blanket. The squares are easy – the difficult part is: My right index finger joint seems to not like this extra crochet work and keeps swelling up to the point where I can’t tolerate the pain! Not good! I gave it a day’s rest yesterday and am thinking I might just tape up the joint to make it rigid and see how that goes. (I’ve already tried using my middle finger, instead – it works but it’s not as productive.) I’m using ‘stash’ yarns – colors like baby pink, baby blue, the bright mint (from other blanket), butter yellow, medium lilac, darker blue – I have 6 squares done and probably another 6 or more to go. Not sure how big I’m going to make it – doing 2 squares in each color – we’ll see. WISH I’d have known exactly how many people we were making blankets FOR – THEN I might have been able to do an extra little ‘push’ on the group to make sure we met the objective number of blankets! (I’ll have to remember this for next year, for sure!) Oh well . . . you know me – a bit of an ‘over achiever’ . . . sigh.

Weather-wise it’s been a bit strange: cool in the mornings (in the low 60’s) warming up later on in the day to the 70’s – some rain. You can tell Fall is on it’s way – sigh.

Gas-prices? It’s been about the same around here – the ‘norm’ lately has been around $3.69/9 per gallon (for the cheap stuff) BUT when we went to the picnic Saturday (about 1/2 hour away) the prices were lower there! It’s almost sad to think that we’re OK with prices in the $3 range now, eh? But, on the other hand – we all HAVE to drive, so what alternatives do we have? Walk? Take a cab? (NO WAY – too expensive!), take a bus? (very few routes available) or just STAY HOME! (sometimes not an option, either). Oh well – we can always complain! That’s free!


Dorito Chicken Bake

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend (divided)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes, drained
1/2 packed taco seasoning mix
1 large bag Doritos
shredded lettuce (optional)
diced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, mix together chicken,
1 C. cheese, soup, milk, sour cream,
Ro*tel tomatoes & taco seasoning;
mix well. Grease a 2 qt. casserole
dish; add a layer of crushed Doritos
across bottom. Top with a layer of
chicken mixture. Add another layer
of crushed Doritos; then another layer
of chicken mixture. Top with remaining
cheese. (You can add more crushed
Doritos on top if desired). Cover &
bake 30-35 minutes until bubbly. Remove
from oven & top with lettuce & tomatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large head cabbage
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 C. quick-cooking rice
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers (about 15)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (1 oz) pkg. onion soup mix
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (46 oz) can V8 juice
salt, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook cabbage in boiling water just until
leaves fall of head; set aside 12 large leaves
for rolls; drain well. (refrigerate remaining
cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick
vein from bottom of each reserved leaf,
making a V-shaped cut; set aside. In a large
bowl, combine tomato sauce, rice, green
pepper, cracker crumbs, egg & soup mix.
Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Place
about 1/3 C. meat mixture on each cabbage
leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides,
beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely
to enclose filling; secure with toothpicks, if
desired. Place cabbage rolls in 3 qt. crockpot.
Pour V8 over rolls; cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours
or until filling reaches 160 degrees F. Just before
serving, sprinkle with salt & Parmesan, if
desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Facebook)

Greek Tomatoes

2 1/2 lb. tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. ripe olives, pitted & sliced
1/2 lb. feta cheese
oregano, to taste
1/2 C. olive or vegetable oil
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar

In a 9 X 13 glass dish, layer tomatoes,
onions & olives. Sprinkle with feta &
oregano. In a small bowl, combine vinegars
& oil; pour over tomato mixture. Cover &
refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Zucchini Lasagna

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 T. chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
15 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 large egg

In medium saucepan, brown meat & season
with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to
remove any fat. Add olive oil to pan; saute
garlic & onions 2 minutes. Return meat to pan,
add tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper; simmer on
low 30-40 minutes, covered. Do not add extra
water, the sauce should be thick. Lightly sprinkle
salt on each zucchini slice; set aside 10 minutes.
(salting takes out some of the moisture in the
zucchini.) After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture
with a paper towel. On grill, grill zucchini on each
side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Place on paper towels to soak up any excess
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan & egg; stir
well. In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread some sauce on
bottom & layer zucchini slices to cover sauce. Place
some of ricotta mixture on top, then layer with
mozzarella cheese – repeat process until all ingredients
are used up. Top with sauce & mozzarella; cover with
foil. Bake 45 minutes, covered, then uncover last
15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8


Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

1 can Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
1 can Pillsbury seamless crescent dough
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 C. granulated sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Combine
cream cheese, egg, 1 C. sugar & 1 tsp. vanilla; mix
until smooth. Open cinnamon roll dough & spread
onto bottom of pan, making sure seams are pinched
together. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of
dough, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Top with crescent
dough, pulling to cover cream cheese completely.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Place melted butter,
remaining 1 C. sugar & vanilla in microwaveable
bowl; microwave until smooth then pour over
dessert. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Cool before cutting.


Unfried Green Tomatoes & Squash

2 green tomatoes, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
1 1/2 C. flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle each slice of tomato &
squash with salt & pepper. Spray
a broiler pan with nonstick cooking
spray. Set up three bowls:

1: flour 2: beaten egg 3: bread crumbs.

Dip each slice first into flour, then egg
then bread crumbs. Place coated
vegetables on pan. Spray tops lightly
with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; turn each vegetable
over; spray tops with cooking spray &
return to oven. Bake an additional
15 minutes.

(recipe: Cathy –

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

1/3 C. garlic dipping oil
32 oz. pizza dough
7-8 oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
pizza seasoning, if desired

Ranch, Blue Cheese dressing
or your favorite pizza/pasta/
marinara sauce  (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate pizza dough into small
bite-sized pieces. Place dipping
oil in small bowl, toss dough pieces
in & shake to lightly coat. Layer
dough pieces in bottom of Bundt
pan; layer sliced pepperoni, shredded
cheese & sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
Repeat layers again; end with layer of
dough pieces. Bake 30-40 minutes
until bread is browned & cooked
through in center. Remove from oven,
invert pan onto a cutting board. The
bread will fall out of the pan in one
piece. Serve by pulling the bread apart
into individual servings with (optional)
above listed options.

(recipe: Facebook)

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 box Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 (15 oz) can Pure Pumpkin

No oil, no eggs, no water, nothing else
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine both ingredients, pour into
muffin tin; bake 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Well, friends – that’s all the excitement from around here, lately. Hope you are: (a) staying WARM – if it’s cold where you are (b) taking a few minutes to do something YOU like, (c) remembering to smile some during your day – no matter WHAT comes your way! Remember, it takes less muscles to Smile than to frown!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey I know about what to write problem. Sometimes my in the mood just ain’t. Hang in there Lady Jane and don’t beat yourself because you don’t have enough blankets. They shpild be happy that there are any at all. You know you “can’t feed the world!!!’

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