So – How did it go?


Now that we’re on the OTHER side of Thanksgiving dinner – how did your celebration go? This year I’m very thankful I had the energy to be able to put out a big dinner without it totally exhausting me. Of course I had help: oldest son, Kris, came early specifically to help with the mashed potatoes and my dear husband did his ‘job’ of peeling the 9 or so pounds of potatoes (my job was just cutting them up). The “Ruth Cris’ Sweet Potato Casserole” recipe I posted earlier came out way TOO sweet! IF I ever make it again, will definitely cut down on the sugar AND the topping recipe for that made way too much (had a good cup left over – now, what to do with that?). Of course, I over-ate and kept hearing myself later saying: “I’m SO stuffed!” In fact, so much so that I couldn’t even sample the desserts; Kris brought over an apple crisp he made from apples he & my grandson picked at an orchard – good stuff, but just too full! Middle son, Ben, brought his new girlfriend and we had a great time getting to know her – lovely young lady.

Now it’s ‘the day after’ and I’m happily sitting here at 10:40 a.m. in my nightgown, relaxing – NO shopping for me! Just deleted about 20 emails, all with HOT DEALS FOR BLACK FRIDAY! Who cares? Last night I attempted to plow through our Thanksgiving edition of the local newspaper – that was a joke; about 5 POUNDS of ads and 1 section of regular news! I’d read, a few days earlier, they threw in a small comment that they were now charging an extra $2.00 for the Thanksgiving edition and also, for Christmas – if you want to opt out of getting that, call this number (if you do, it won’t change the price of your paper, just spread the payment schedule out a little bit more) – crazy. Now I know to call and say: “Keep your stinking ADS!” Crazy! As youngest said to me when he tossed me the paper in it’s plastic bag: “Here’s your paper – it’s the weight of a good-sized CHILD!”

I don’t remember if I posted about my friend Dan Smither, who runs Key of Hope ministry in Durban, South Africa. I know, years ago, I mentioned his ministry when I was making all those afghans (and shipped some to him). For two weeks, he and his wife and 4 daughters (plus helpers) brought about 15 kids from Durban to Michigan to sing. His wife formed a children’s choir and they will be touring all over the Detroit area, singing and presenting their ministry to churches, schools and even shopping malls! Today they’re going to be at Somerset Collection (a very up-scale shopping place), performing in the atrium from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – how exciting! Dan posted a photo on Facebook of a partial ‘snow angel’ that one of the ‘kids’ had made – just think of it: going from squatters camps to Michigan – experiencing COLD weather for the first time AND getting to see S N O W! (We had a light dusting Thanksgiving day – right now it’s 29 degrees F. so the snow will stay on the ground). I’m so thrilled for all of them – the sights, sounds, new foods, new experiences – all of it. It’s a wonderful  ministry and I’m so blessed to know Dan and his family. Because it’s a large group, different families and churches are sponsoring them for meals/overnight stays, etc. Here is a photo of one family who hosted them yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner:


They were also blessed to be able to attend the Detroit Thanksgiving parade – it’s a pretty large parade, lots of floats, bands, big balloons – I can’t even imagine what they were thinking – can you? So grateful for all the people who arranged all this for them – what a blessing! I will be going to see one of their performances the second week in December – really excited about that! (I’ll throw in their web site, again, just in case you might be interested in seeing where they come from:


Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Casserole

2 C. turkey, cooked & cubed
1 C. carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 C. celery, diced
2 T. butter (unsalted)
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. thyme, dried
leftover mashed potatoes
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 T. butter (unsalted)
paprika, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Saute vegetables in butter & olive oil
until tender but not brown. Sprinkle
with salt, pepper & thyme; stir in
cooked, cubed turkey. Place in greased
large casserole dish; top with mashed
potatoes. Dot top with butter & sprinkle
with paprika. Bake, uncovered, 20-30
minutes until potatoes are browned &
casserole is heated through.

(NOTE: If you have any leftover sweet
potatoes, they are great mixed with the
mashed potatoes & used as a topping)


Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake

1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. milk
1 1/2 C. rhubarb, chopped
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 C. sliced almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease two 9 inch round pans.
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, oil,
egg & vanilla until smooth. Combine
flour, salt & baking soda; add to sugar
mixture alternately with milk; beat
until smooth. Stir in rhubarb & 1/2
C. almonds; pour into prepared pans.
In small bowl, combine sugar & butter,
stir in 1/4 C. almonds; sprinkle over
batter. Bake 30-35 minutes or until
cake tests done.

(recipe: carolsrecipes77-Marys Recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

6 large baking potatoes, peeled & cut into
1/2″ cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1/4 C. butter
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 C. cream or Half & Half
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 T. chopped fresh chives or scallions
1 C. sour cream
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
cheese, for sprinkling on top of bowls

Combine first 7 ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on High 4 hours or Low 8
hours (check to make sure potatoes are
tender). Mash mixture until potatoes are
coarsely chopped & soup is slightly
thickened. Stir in cream, cheese & chives.
Sprinkle extra cheese on top of bowls
when serving.

(recipe: Ron & Jean-Slowcooker Digest)

Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry

3 chicken breast halves
1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 C. green cabbage, shredded
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. water
1 T. soy sauce

Cut chicken breasts into strips. Heat
oil in frying pan; add strips & stir fry
over medium-high heat, turning
constantly until done. Add cabbage &
saute 2 minutes until cabbage is
crisp-tender. Mix cornstarch & seasonings
add water & soy sauce; mix until smooth.
Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
Cook until sauce has thickened & chicken
is coated, about 1 minute.

NOTE: you can also add bell pepper or carrot
strips, for color

(you could probably also use LEFTOVER turkey for this recipe!)

(recipe: Facebook)

Taco Squares

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 1/2 tsp. onion flakes
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 T. chili powder
4 oz. mozzarella slices
1 can crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown meat & onion; drain. Add
tomatoes & chili powder; simmer
5-10 minutes. Grease a 1 1/2 qt.
casserole dish. Layer half of crescent
rolls in bottom of dish; pour all of
meat mixture over rolls. Place 4
slices of mozzarella over meat
mixture; layer remaining crescent
rolls over cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes
or until rolls are golden brown. Serves 4

(recipe: Kristi’s Recipe Box)

Crustless Broccoli Quiche

4 eggs
1 1/4 C. milk
3 slices bread, crusts removed, cubed
4 C. small broccoli florets, cooked & chopped
1 C. chopped onions
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs & milk in medium bowl until
blended. Add bread; mix lightly. Stir in
remaining ingredients; pour into 9″ square
baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
45 minutes or until knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before
cutting to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Salted Caramel Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (17.5 oz) pkg. Pillsbury sugar cookie mix
3/4 C. crushed salted pretzels
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. coarse salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter, egg & vanilla until creamy; stir in
cookie mix & pretzels. Form into 36 (1 T.) balls.
Place on ungreased baking sheets 2″ apart. Flatten
balls with bottom of floured glass to 1 1/2 ” diameter.
Bake 10-12 minutes until light brown. Cool 2 minutes
then remove to wire rack.
Microwave sweetened condensed milk in large glass
bowl on High 3 minutes. Milk will boil & rise in bowl
during cooking. Microwave on Medium-low (30%)
12-16 minutes, whisking occasionally until thick &
caramel-colored. Carefully spread hot caramel mixture
on top of each cookie. If caramel thickens, microwave
on High 10 seconds to soften. Sprinkle cookies immediately
with pinch of salt. Makes 3 dozen.

(recipe: mail flyer)

24 Hour Salad

1 large iceberg lettuce
1 pkg. early June peas (frozen-do not thaw)
1/2 c. celery, chopped fine
1/3 finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 C. purple onion, finely chopped
8 oz. shredded Velveeta cheese
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled & sliced
1 pkg. sliced maple-flavored bacon
3 C. mayonnaise
3 T. sugar
4 T. lemon juice, fresh

Fry bacon; cool then crumble. Layer
first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Sprinkle
cheese on top, then eggs. In small mixing
bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar & lemon
juice; pour on top of salad then sprinkle
with bacon crumbles. Cover salad with
plastic wrap & chill 24 hours. Serves 4-6

NOTE: It can be eaten after 4 hours chilling.



Gram’s Best Brown Sugar Cake

1 (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2/3 C. sour cream
2/3 C. water
1/2 C. oil
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
2 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 6 ingredients with mixer until
blended; add brown sugar & nuts; mix
well. Pour into 12-C. fluted tube pan
(Bundt) or 10 inch tube pan sprayed with
nonstick spray. Bake 1 hour or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Loosen
cake from sides of pan; invert onto wire
rack;remove pan & cool cake completely.
Sprinkle top with powdered sugar just before
serving. Serves 16

(recipe; Kraft foods)

I attempted to take pictures of the ‘guys’ last night but everyone seemed to be in such a good mood, all the photos came out blurry! They were jockeying for who made the goofiest face, or who could jump in front of who at the last second – BOYS!                                  000_0001                                                 000_0004



I’m just grateful they are all happy & healthy – just wish I could have gotten at least ONE photo that wasn’t blurry! Ah, well – there’s always Christmas photos!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful celebration with those you love.




Down to the Wire!


Here it is – the night before the big day; right now it’s a little after 7 p.m. and I’m giving myself a well-earned sit down. Been going at it cleaning house, dragging out all the essential serving pieces/silverware/silver butter dish, etc. for tomorrow’s feast. Today was my ‘attack the living room’ day – for most of you, I’ll imagine, cleaning your entire house is a quick thing . . .  not here. I love my family members but they are all PACK RATS! Just going through the game area is a chore – sorting & dusting piles of games & systems (and finding unusual items thrown in, also – like old Sesame Street VCR tapes from when my grandson was a toddler!). I took the cleaning in stages – give the bathroom a really good cleaning – sit down with coffee, knit a few rows on a baby hat, then back at it. I’m very pleased with all I got done today; enlisted husband to do the vacuuming (we have a very HEAVY Hoover and for me it’s quite a chore just lugging it around) – that helped immensely. The red holiday tablecloth is clean and on the table – even the fiber optic little Christmas tree is up in the dining room! AMAZING – FIRST TIME EVER I have Christmas stuff up BEFORE Thanksgiving! I’m definitely a procrastinator  and am well known in our family to put off dragging the decorations down from upstairs – one year it was Christmas EVE! (That’s BAD) – haven’t been THAT bad since then. I’m waiting to see what youngest son will say when he gets home from work in a few minutes – I’m guessing he’ll be shocked to see the little tree.

Made the homemade cranberry-orange relish using my food processor – ended up with almost SOUP – by the time the processor ground up the orange, it didn’t like the idea of the frozen cranberries so getting BOTH to the right consistency just didn’t happen. Oh well – it will still taste OK tomorrow; maybe it will thicken up a bit in the fridge (one can only hope!).

Tomorrow will also be another ‘first’ – first time I only have to COOK – not clean, then cook. SO glad I took the entire thing in stages. I hate to bring up the ‘cancer’ thing but even though it’s almost been a year since I finished radiation, and about a month since I stopped taking the drugs, I’m still not up to my old energy (pre-cancer). I think, of all of it, THAT frustrates me the most. Having to ask for help doing things that used to be second nature to me – like opening a jar, cranking a hand-held can opener, going for more than 1/2 hour before I get just too tired to go on – have to take a rest. Yes, I know – it will all come (sorry for airing my grievance here – just a bit frustrated.) I am VERY grateful that I am a cancer SURVIVOR – Praise the Lord for that, as there are others who are still going through the treatments and some who don’t have a good outlook ahead. I know – be content with the ‘little things’ for, in the end, they’re ALL little things!

RECIPES! I’m guessing, at this late date, you are all pretty well into the preparation of the holiday foods and not really searching for recipes BUT I still have a LOT of recipes that just might help at the last minute!


Crockpot Turkey Breast

1 (6 lb) bone-in turkey breast
1 oz. envelope dry onion soup mix

Rinse turkey breast & pat dry. Cut
off any excess skin, but leave skin
covering the breast. Rub onion
soup mix all over outside of turkey
and under skin. Place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour, then
turn to Low, cook 7 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

(Don’t remember if I posted this before or not – this is what I’m making tomorrow)

Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1/4 C. butter, melted

Sweet potato mixture:
3 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts
& butter in mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt,
vanilla, eggs & butter in mixing bowl
in the order listed; mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into buttered baking
dish; sprinkle top with crust mixture.
Bake 30 minutes. Allow to set at least
30 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

Caramel Almond Poke Cake

2 boxes (Betty Crocker) pound cake mix
1 1/3 C. water or milk
1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 C. whipping cream
1 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
(not evaporated)
3/4 C. unblanched whole almonds, coarsely
chopped, toasted
1/3 C. (Betty Crocker) rich & cream vanilla
frosting (from 1 lb. tub)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 pan. Prepare cake mixes as directed
on box, using water, 1/2 C. butter & eggs. Spread
batter evenly in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 30 minutes. In 2 qt. saucepan, heat
whipping cream, brown sugar & 1/4 C. butter until
boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium;
simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring frequently,
until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool
slightly. Poke warm cake every inch with handle of
wooden spoon. Slowly pour condensed milk over cake.
Let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake.
about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle with most of
caramel sauce, pressing slightly into holes. Sprinkle
with almonds; drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.
Cool completely. In small microwaveable bowl,Â
microwave frosting on High 10-15 seconds; drizzle
over cake. Cut into 6 rows by 3 rows.

(recipe: Betty Crocker/Facebook)

Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Dessert

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/2 of a 3.45 oz. box instant pudding mix:
cheesecake flavor
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
10 oz. miniature marshmallows

In large bowl, mix pie filling & instant pudding
mix (remember- only half the package!) until the
pudding mix is dissolved; fold in Cool Whip. Mix
in miniature marshmallows until marshmallows
are completely coated. Cover & chill 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6-8


Cheesy Potatoes

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-style has
browns, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
20 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 C.)
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix soup & sour cream in large bowl. Add
potatoes & cheese; stir until well blended.
Spoon mixture into 9 X 13 pan; combine
crackers & butter; sprinkle over top. Bake
50 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 12, 1/2 C. each

Extra touches:
Add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce to potato
mixture before spooning into dish or sprinkle the
potatoes lightly with paprika just before baking.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hot Sausage Cheese Puffs

1 lb. Hot or sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C. Bisquick baking mix
3/4 C. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook sausage, breaking up with fork until
no longer pink; drain & cool completely.
Combine sausage, cheese, Bisquick & water;
mix with fork until just blended. Roll into
1 inch balls & place on baking sheet. Bake
12-15 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Ham Puffs

1/3 C. chopped, cooked ham
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll out crescent rolls; press triangle
perforations together. Cut into 24 pieces.
Using a mini-muffin tin, press dough
pieces into pan. Mix all other ingredients
together; fill dough pieces with mixture.
Bake 10-15 minutes, until brown.
Makes 24 puffs


Italian Broccoli

1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli cuts
3 T. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, drained (Hunts)
1/2 C. finely shredded Italian blend cheese

Place broccoli & water in medium skillet; cover.
Cook over high heat 5 minutes or until broccoli
is tender & water is almost evaporated. Add
drained tomatoes; cook 2-3 minutes more or
until hot. Sprinkle top with cheese. Serves 6,
about 1/2 C. each.


Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes

8 large sweet potatoes (about 4 lb.)
1/2 C. margarine
1/2 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake potatoes 45 minutes or until very
soft. Peel potatoes, then mash in large
bowl. Blend in remaining ingredients &
spoon onto serving plates or pipe through
a pastry bag to serve. Serves 8

(recipe: Unilever)

Apple-Pecan Stuffing

1/2 C. margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium Granny Smith apple
(or tart apple), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans, toasted
8 oz. seasoned cub stuffing mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with non-stick spray;
set aside. Melt margarine in large nonstick
skillet over medium heat; cook onion, celery &
apple, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
tender. Stir in garlic, remove from heat & pour
into large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients *
Turn into prepared dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes.
Remove cover & bake an additional 10 minutes or
until golden & crispy on top.

*Make ahead: Make recipe to this * point up to one
day ahead. Refrigerate, covered, then bake an additional
5 minutes.

(recipe: Unilever)


1 (18oz) can pumpkin (or fresh equivalent)
1 box yellow cake mix (2 layer size)

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. melted margarine or butter
1 (13oz) can evaporated milk
(not sweetened condensed)
3/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
3 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs and milk together; add pumpkin,
sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended.
Pour into 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle dry cake
mix over mixture. Drizzle with melted margarine.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 50-60 min or until
done. Serve (warm or cold) with topping or whipped

(recipe: Facebook)


I would be interested in hearing from you to see if you have any tips on what YOU do for your holidays – do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you share? Any particular foods you have every Thanksgiving (besides turkey & pumpkin pie???)? It might sound a little ‘quaint’ but my family is really deeply rooted in the SAME dinner every year: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, gravy, Cranberry-Orange relish, rolls, fresh veggie tray and usually pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) and the multi-variety slices of cheesecake.

I am VERY grateful, every year, to be able to enjoy this holiday with my family. There are many whose family members are far away (or in the Service) who are not able to sit down on Thanksgiving with their family members. I thank the Lord for giving me another year to enjoy and to be able to say that now I am CANCER FREE! It is with a very humble heart that I look forward to another year with my family, and sharing thoughts & recipes with you.

Enjoy your family and your holiday;




The Early Bird Gets the Shopping FINISHED!


Yay! Here it is, Tuesday, and I’m all done grocery shopping for Thanksgiving! Visited two local stores to finish up buying fresh produce – only bought a few ‘impulse’ buys: Gravy Maker (always use this and it was on sale), an extra box of Jiffy Corn Bread mix – for the corn casserole (wasn’t sure I had any on hand) and POLISH Dill pickles simply because husband threw a bit of a hissy fit when I bought KOSHER dills – “POLISH are much less salty!” Hey, I don’t eat them – how would I know??? Have a few more house cleaning things to get done in the next few days: vacuuming, dusting, making sure we have enough silverware clean (you know how you can forget that one little item until the last minute then suddenly realize the rest of the silverware is DIRTY in the dishwasher? Ever have that happen?). I saw a quick TV blurb with a great suggestion (I do this every year): use Post-it notes to label each serving dish/platter and label them with what goes in them, then in the ‘heat’ of preparing the foods you don’t suddenly say to yourself: “WHERE is the bowl I was going to use for the sweet potatoes?” and realize you already used it for something else! I make a list every holiday of all the foods I’m serving, including the veggie tray, then I can know at a glance what’s needed. For example, this morning while sipping my coffee I looked over ‘the list’ to suddenly see I’d forgotten to list rolls. Yes, I already bought them and they’re happily ensconced in my downstairs fridge, but with them ‘down there’ I might just have forgotten them come ‘the day’. My family is extremely partial to Kroger’s “Snow Flake” rolls (found in their bakery area). They’re usually on sale at the holidays and I buy 2 bags (24) simply because the guys use them in the days following the holiday to make mini-sandwiches. They are light & fluffy – just what you’d want in a dinner roll and they’re priced at something like $1.99 a bag of 12 (on sale).

In my cleaning yesterday of middle son’s old room (and soon to be his room, again) I discovered a medium-sized box of my old cookbooks. Back before computers and the ‘net’, I used to collect various ‘church’ cookbooks – you know the kind that local churches put together from their members. You KNOW the recipes are ‘tried & true’; I used to like to read cookbooks like some people read regular novels. I’m not saying I prepared all those recipes, but it’s always fun to see if you can find some that are few ingredients, easy to prepare and sound good. In my efforts to get rid of some of my ‘stuff’ I bundled together some of the cookbooks and a batch of cooking magazines to go to Freecycle. Now I have a bit more room and only saved the cookbooks I wanted, knowing that ‘the net’ is a great source of MANY, MANY recipes!


(you’re probably getting tired of reading PUMPKIN recipes by now, but there are still a few that warrant checking out – in my humble opinion!)

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
w/Apple Cider Glaze

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix dry cake mix & pumpkin puree in
large bowl. Using a mixer, beat until
well incorporated – batter will be
very thick. Pour batter into a greased
7 x 11 x 2 pan. Bake 28 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean; do not overbake. Let cool
5-10 minutes in pan; then flip onto a

Combine confectioners sugar, apple
cider & pumpkin pie spice. Glaze
should be thick but pourable. Add more
sugar or cider, if needed. Pour over
cake while still warm. Reserve some to
pour over each slice when served.

(recipe: Facebook)

Creamed Corn

2 pkgs. (one 16 oz and one 10 oz) frozen corn
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened & cubed
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

In 3 qt. crockpot sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray, combine all ingredients. Cover
& cook on Low 3-3 1/2 hours or until cream
cheese is melted & corn is tender. Stir just
before serving. Serves 5


Baked Lemon Chicken

3 T. butter, melted
2 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
4 (4 oz, ea) boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a shallow dish, combine butter, lemon
juice, garlic, salt & pepper. Place bread
crumbs in another dish. Dip chicken in
butter mixture, then coat with crumbs. Place
in greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Drizzle top
with remaining butter mixture. Bake,
uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until juices
run clear. Serves 4

NOTE: poster says it’s good hot or cold!

Caramel & Chocolate Pecan Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. pecan halves

Caramel layer:
2/3 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all crust ingredients except
pecans in large bowl. Beat at medium
speed until mixture resembles fine
crumbs. Press onto bottom of ungreased
9 X 13 pa. Place pecans evenly over
unbaked crust.
Combine 2/3 C. butter & 1/2 C. brown
sugar in 1 quart saucepan. Cook over
medium heat, stirring constantly, until
entire surface of mixture begins to boil.
Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 1
minute. Pour mixture evenly over
pecans & crust. Bake 18-22 minutes or
until entire caramel layer is bubbbly. (DO
NOT overbake). Remove from oven.
Immediately sprinkle with chips; allow to melt
slightly. Swirl melted chips over bars leaving
some whole for marbled effect. Cool
completely & cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.

TIP: You can also use a combination of chopped
nuts & your favorite baking chips for variety.

Recipe: Land ‘O Lakes butter co.)

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

4 medium green peppers
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 C. barbecue sauce, divided
1 c. instant white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen peas
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cubed
1/2 C. water

Cut tops off peppers; chop tops then
refrigerate for another use. Remove
seeds from peppers; discard. Set
pepper shells aside. Mix pork, 1/2
C. barbecue sauce, rice & peas. Spoon
evenly into pepper shells. Top evenly
with Velveeta. Pour remaining 1/4 C.
barbecue sauce into crockpot, stir in
water. Stand stuffed peppers upright in
crockpot; cover with lid. Cook 5-7 hours
on Low, or 2 2/3 – 3 hours on High.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Crockpot Chunky Chicken Chili

1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans,
1 1/2 C. thick mild salsa
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
four-cheese (Kraft)

Combine beans, salsa, tomato sauce & chili
powder in crockpot. Top with chicken, onions &
corn. (DO NOT STIR). Cover with lid. Cook on
Low 6-8 hours or High 4-5 hours; stir.
Serve topped with cheese. Makes 8 servings,
1 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

fresh bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 T. butter
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange asparagus on baking sheet. Coat
with nonstick spray & season with salt &
pepper. Bake 12 minutes or until tender. Melt
butter in saucepan over medium heat. Remove
from heat, stir in soy sauce & balsamic vinegar.
Pour over baked asparagus to serve.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Frozen Fruit Supreme

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
2 1/2 T. chopped maraschino cherries
or fruit cocktail, drained
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
16 oz. sour cream
1/2 C. chopped nuts

paper muffin cups
lettuce leaves

Combine all ingredients in large bowl,
mix well. Spoon into paper muffin cups &
place into muffin pans. Freeze. Peel off
paper to serve. Place on lettuce leaves.
Makes 15 servings.

Dilly Bread

2 C. flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast
2 tsp. dillseed
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. chopped onion
1 t. margarine or butter
1 C. cream-style cottage cheese
1/4 C. water
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg

Generously grease a 1 1/2 Qt. souffle
or casserole dish or 9 x 1 1/2inch round
baking pan. In large mixing bowl combine
3/4 C. flour, dry yeast, dillseed and baking
soda; set aside. In medium saucepan, cook
onion in margarine until tender. Add cottage
cheese, water, sugar & salt; stir until just
warm (120 degrees F. – 130 degrees F.). Add
to dry mixture in mixing bowl; add egg.
Beat with elec. mixer on Low 30 seconds,
scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on
High speed 3 minutes. Using wooden spoon,
stir in remaining flour. Spread batter into
prepared pan/dish. Cover with clean dish
towel & let rise in warm place until nearly
double in size ( 50-60 minutes).
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake bread 25 minutes or until golden brown.
If necessary, cover with foil the last 10 minute
of baking to prevent over-browning.
Immediately, remove bread from pan/dish.
Serve warm or allow to cool on wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf (8 servings)

(recipe: Rhonda G.- Marys Recipe exchange)

Bugs Bunny’s Favorite Carrot Casserole

1 lb. carrots, peeled
1 small onion
1 C. (2 sticks) butter
1 T. flour
1 C. milk
1 tube Ritz crackers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut carrots into 1 inch pieces & boil until
tender. Drain & mash. (May use blender oor
food processor for a few seconds). Chop onion
& saute in half of butter until softened. Do not
brown. Whisk in flour, then milk; continue
cooking until sauce is thickened. Add mashed
carrots & stir to combine. Transfer to a buttered
(or sprayed with nonstick spray) 9 X 13 baking
dish. (SEE NOTE BELOW) Serves 6

Make Topping:
Crush crackers & mix with remaining butter, melted.
Sprinkle topping on carrots. Bake 20-30 minutes.

NOTE: This dish can be made in a smaller square or
round dish – reduce amount of topping. Poster said
she used a 8″ X 8″ square dish and made up half
of topping (1/2 stick butter & 18 crackers, crushed).

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Creamy Cheddar Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped red peppers
1 green onion, chopped
assorted baguette slices or crackers

Place cream cheese & milk in a bowl;
mix until well blended. Stir in Cheddar
cheese, peppers & green chopped onion.
Refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes. Serve
with baguette slices or crackers. Serves 4

(recipe: Dean Foods)

Well, that batch of recipes ought to hold you for a day or so, ya think? I don’t know if I mentioned before but I just discovered another entire batch of ‘saved’ recipes in my draft file. I have labeled them Blog Recipes #1, 2 and now 3. I’ve mostly been working off of #2 & 3, but just found #1. I had forgotten just HOW MANY recipes were in #1 – enough that when I hit ‘save’ it takes a good amount of time before the computer returns to it’s normal working self – while it’s saving all that, it sort of freezes the screen! I guess that just means you’ll never have a wont of recipes from me, eh?

Our weather is staying in the low 30’s, grey and gloomy (at least there’s no snow on the ground – that’s a GOOD thing!). Tonight’s my Knit/Crochet night – I’m going to have to inform the ladies that we’re veering from ‘the norm’ a bit this year: in years past our ‘every other week’ meetings would work ‘around’ a holiday but this year IF we meet the ‘usual’ nights in December we’re going to be bumping into Christmas Eve AND New Years Eve! I don’t know about them, but I don’t think I’ll be sitting at Panera Bread Christmas EVE and certainly won’t be out driving New Year’s EVE! I remember in years past that I adjusted our normal calendar meeting days by one week – that TOTALLY threw the ladies off! Some were yelling because it interfered with their other group meetings, some just couldn’t seem to get it straight from then on just WHEN we met. THIS TIME I’m just going to tell them: show up if you want to, but I won’t be there. That seems simple enough – you think? We’ll see how that flies, later.

Enjoy your day-relax a bit, enjoy something you like (Music, coffee/tea/cocoa, a good book, perhaps a nap?).



Monday Morning Up & At ‘Em!


Good Morning, All!

Woke up today to middle son faxing some of his work papers – bright and early (wasn’t quite ready for that . . . guess I’ll have to get re-acquainted with that, since he’ll be moving back home . . . sigh). Today finds our weather to be another grey, bleak day – 22 BALMY degrees out; still trying to decide if I want to venture out today or wait another day to get the last of the Thanksgiving food stuffs – we’ll see after I wake up more.

Yesterday found me with a rather strange predicament – since I’d done the cleaning of the dining room Saturday and stirred up lots of dust, I found I had a rather dry throat and a little tickle which caused unexpected fits of coughing. I decided that I was going to try to sing in the choir, so to fend off a possible fit of coughing I took a half-dose of cough syrup. I bought said cough syrup back a week ago when I was sick – just Robitussin for colds (not the kind with the expectorant). Got to church and noticed I felt a little strange but just kept plugging away. Time to go to choir, same ‘strange’ feeling. When it came time for the choir to walk from the choir room to the choir loft, the first girl in my row took off at quite a almost race-walking pace (enough to have the guys behind me comment, rather loudly: “Slow Down! We’re supposed to be walking! Saunter! Saunter!” When we got into the sanctuary, they had a hand bell choir table set up right in front of where we usually walk, so we had a sort of obstacle course of weaving between said table and the grand piano, swerve left then up the 2 choir steps and to our seats. Let’s just say I put a whole new meaning on the word Serpentine! I was already having some trouble maneuvering at that pace with my bifocals but then . . . first sort of swerved right and bumped my knee on the ‘privacy curtain’ under the piano, then swerved left and bumped the bell table – I felt like I was in a human pin ball game! Made it to my chair, but WHEW! I sort of mentioned to the guy standing next to me that I was having trouble seeing with my bifocals – I really wonder what he thought! Struggled through church and came home – checked the bottle of cough syrup only to read the label: NIGHT TIME COUGH MEDICINE! NO WONDER I was so goofy acting!!! Ended up sleeping 3 hours when I got home! I know, when I bought the cough syrup, I was really sick – I’m guessing that bottle was right next to the one I wanted and I just grabbed without looking. Boy, live and learn, eh?

In my attempts at being frugal I always buy two turkeys at Thanksgiving and keep one for Christmas. Husband helped me lug the 20 pounder down the basement to the big freezer the other day. Right after I hear him yell upstairs: “How many turkeys did you buy?!!!” Turns out I was a little MORE frugal than I knew – we now have two 18 pounders and a 20 pounder! Looks like TURKEY will be in our future – a LOT! (And here I was thinking HAM for Christmas! Silly me!)

Gas Prices! Amazing what happens to them when you’re down sick and don’t get out. When I was ‘well’ two weeks ago, cheapest gas was at $3.16/9 – yesterday (going to church) that same gas was up to $3.39/9! Not cool; just happy I haven’t been driving and still have almost a full tank of that $3.16/9 gas in my van!!! Yay, frugality!


Mandarin Ginger Cream Tart

1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 C. gingersnap cookies, finely ground (about 30)
1 T. packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 T. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1 (4 serving) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 3/4 C. cold milk
3/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 T. candied ginger, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 12 slices of oranges; chop remaining,
set aside. Combine cookie crumbs, brown sugar,
egg & melted butter in bowl; combine well. Form
crust in a 9″ tart pan with removeable bottom.
Freeze 15 minutes, remove from freezer, puncture
bottom of crust with a fork. Line bottom of tart
with parchment paper or foil; fill with pie weights
(or dried beans). Bake 15 minutes on a baking
sheet. Remove from oven; allow to cool completely
on wire rack. Stir pudding & milk together until
slightly thickened. Layer chopped oranges on
bottom of tart shell; pour filling in shell & cover.
Refrigerate 2 hours or until set. Remove from fridge
at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with
thawed Cool Whip, reserved orange slices & chopped
candied ginger. Serves 12


Reese’s Peanut Butter Bark
(no baking)

2 packages HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet
Chocolate Baking Bar
1-2/3 cups REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or toasted almonds*

Cover cookie sheet or tray with wax paper. Place
chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave
at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary,
microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a
time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is
melted and smooth when stirred. Immediately place
peanut butter chips and shortening in second
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 1
minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM
an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after
each heating, until chips are melted and mixture
is smooth when stirred; stir in peanuts. Alternately
spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl
with knife for marbled effect. Gently tap tray on
counter top to even out thickness of mixture.
Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
Break into pieces; store in cool, dry place.
Makes about 1 pound candy.

*While it’s not necessary to toast almonds,
if you’d like to do so: Heat oven to 350°F.
Spread almonds in thin layer in shallow
baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until light golden brown; cool.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pkg tater tots
1/2 C. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk or heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large, lightly greased crockpot, layer 1/2
tater tots, then half  bacon pieces and half cheese.
Layer chicken pieces over cheese; sprinkle chicken with
salt and pepper. Repeat layer; pour milk over all. Cover
& cook on Low for 6 hours. The bacon provides a great deal
of flavor and is perfect with the chicken and cheese. The
tater tots lose their shape and resemble hash browns,
so if you want to substitute hash browns, it would work

(recipe: Facebook)

Crab Rangoon Dip

2 cups crab meat
16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
First, soften  cream cheese in
microwave for about a minute.
Mix onions, crab meat & cream
cheese together, then add sour cream,
Worcestershire sauce, powdered sugar,
garlic powder and lemon juice.
Mix all  ingredients; bake 30 mins.
Serve hot with chips, fried wontons
or pork rinds.

(recipe: Facebook)

Pecan-Stuffed Mushrooms

20 medium sized mushrooms
3 T. butter, melted
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. bacon: cooked & crumbled
1 1/2 tsp. chopped pecans
2 T. Italian-style bread crumbs
2 tsp. minced chives

Turn on oven broiler
Gently separate stems from mushroom caps.
Brush mushroom caps with melted butter; fill
each cap with a mixture of cream cheese, bacon,
pecans, bread crumbs & chives. Broil 3-5 minutes;
serve hot. Makes 20

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 T. butter
1 small yellow onion, cut in half/thinly
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fresh thyme
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Place in
a covered dish with 1/4 inch water; microwave
10-12 minutes. In medium skillet over medium
heat, add butter, onions, red pepper flakes & thyme;
cook until onions are slightly brown. Salt & pepper,
to taste. Using a fork, scrape insides of squash &
transfer to small bowl. Combine squash, onions,
sour cream & half of cheese; mix well. Transfer
mixture to a buttered baking dish; top with
remaining cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until
golden brown on top.

(recipe: Facebook)

Those Potatoes

(so named because everyone who has them

asks for the recipe for “THOSE POTATOES”!)

5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled &
sliced thin
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
8 oz. shredded Jalapeno Jack cheese
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Mix
together soup, milk, sour cream, salt & pepper.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in pan, spread 1/3 of
soup mixture on top, then 1/3 shredded cheese;
repeat two more times. Cover with foil; bake
45 minutes. Uncover & bake 15 minutes more.
Serves 8


Italian Bakeless Cake

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained
40-50 vanilla wafers
1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
2 c. sweetened, flaked coconut
12-16 maraschino cherries, rinsed

Whisk together sweetened condensed
milk & lemon juice in small bowl until
thoroughly combined. Mix in pineapple
juice; set aside. Line bottom of a small
glass baking dish (8 X 8 or 7 X 10) with
vanilla wafers. Pour all of pineapple
mixture over wafers, then add another
layer of wafers on top of pineapple mixture.
Spread Cool Whip evenly on top of wafers.
Sprinkle coconut over top, then top with
cherries. Cover & refrigerate at least 8
hours before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
w/Apple Cider Glaze

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix dry cake mix & pumpkin puree in
large bowl. Using a mixer, beat until
well incorporated – batter will be
very thick. Pour batter into a greased
7 x 11 x 2 pan. Bake 28 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean; do not over bake. Let cool
5-10 minutes in pan; then flip onto a

Combine confectioners sugar, apple
cider & pumpkin pie spice. Glaze
should be thick but pourable. Add more
sugar or cider, if needed. Pour over
cake while still warm. Reserve some to
pour over each slice when served.

(recipe: Facebook)

Middle son finally gave us a ‘move back home’ date – probably end of December, beginning of January. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have lots of furniture – still trying to figure out where to put his chest of drawers (purchased for him AFTER he moved out). At least he’s giving me ample time to re-arrange his old room to accommodate the ‘stuff’.

Hope you’re having a great day/night! Turkey Day in three more days!



Startin’ Early this year!


Yes, in the past I’ve always been the one saying: Wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to put up anything Christmas – until this year! Today I woke up full of ‘gusto’ and determined to tackle our dining room. Most people have houses that are not that messy – not mine. Husband is a bit of a pack rat so the operable word here is ATTACK the dining room. There were boxes of old papers/magazines/books; receipts, old cordless phones – you name it, we had it. Found a receipt from 2004, the installation directions for our dishwasher – guess I should preface that with: dishwasher was purchased in 1978! Going in stages, I finally managed to get it almost all done; still left to do is vacuum the rug – no biggie, that can be done Mon – Weds. of coming week. I dragged out the china from the china cabinet, washed it & the cabinet windows, dragged out the winter decorations for in front of said cabinet – let’s just say I WAS ON A ROLL! Found some things husband didn’t even know were missing – he said, rather loudly: “WHERE did you find my old jackknife?” (on top of the china cabinet – isn’t that where EVERYONE puts theirs? . . . NOT!!!) Old cassette tapes & cd’s, a VCR tape of the movie: “Ratrace” (great movie!) – a little bit of almost everything. After several rest periods I began hauling ‘stuff’ upstairs and down the basement (things like books, his old briefcase, a soldering iron, duct tape, etc.) While upstairs I got to thinking: “Hey! What if I put up the fiber optic Christmas tree for the dining room . . . WAY EARLY!” That should shock the boys – I’m a ‘wait until almost Christmas to put up the decorations’ person. It’s not that I don’t like SEEING them, I don’t like all the effort it takes to drag all the boxes down, assemble the tree, put the lights on it (talk husband or son to lift it on top of the baby grand piano – it’s too balky & heavy for me) – you know . . . all THAT stuff! I even put the little snowman decoration in the bathroom and the three little china snowmen on the kitchen mantle! AMAZING! Found several things to give away on Freecycle, too – YAY! Less STUFF!!!  Just hoping that all my efforts do not backfire tomorrow – you know the statement: “It takes three days of getting better for every ONE day you were sick.” (I have a tendency to OVER-do when I first start feeling better – hence I usually put myself back to being sick again . . .  hope I didn’t do that today. Am fully planning on singing in the choir tomorrow at church – I’ve REALLY missed that. Now we’re almost into the Christmas music – I remember one Easter I was SO sick I couldn’t sing in the Easter program. No, I’m no soloist, but I really enjoy working on/practicing all the music and finally getting to perform it with the choir. Really looking forward to getting back to church – to hear the sermon & lesson in Sunday School, seeing all our friends, working with the choir, etc.  It’s been a VERY productive day today.


Low-Fat Lemon Crinkle Cookies

1 box lemon cake mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed (8 oz tub)
1/2 – 1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine cake mix, egg, &
Cool Whip. Batter will be sticky! Form
dough into tablespoonfuls & roll in
powdered sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes, until
edges are golden brown. Allow to cool 1
minute on baking sheet; then remove.

(recipe: Facebook)

Soft Caramel for Popcorn

1 C. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 C. Karo syrup
1 can condensed milk

Popped  popcorn

Mix all ingredients (except popcorn)
together. Heat until mixture melts, do
not overcook. Pour over popcorn.

(recipe: Facebook)


Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter
(No Bake) Candy Bars
(AND they are HEALTHY!)

1 C. peanut butter
2/3 C. honey
1/2 C. coconut oil (NO substitutes – this is
what gives it creamy texture & flavor)
2 C. oats (not instant)
1 1/4 C. mini chocolate chips
3/4 C. dried cranberries

In medium saucepan, melt peanut butter, honey
& coconut oil. Remove from heat & add oats,
chocolate chips & dried cranberries. Stir until
combined & chocolate chips are melted. Spread
into 9 X 13 pan. Refrigerate until hardened, about
1 hour. Store in refrigerator.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken a la King

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast,
trimmed & cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 C. flour
2 T. oil, divided
10 oz. white mushrooms, quartered
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. water
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1 (4 oz) jar sliced pimientos, rinsed
1/2 C. sliced scallions

cooked egg noodles

Toss chicken & flour in medium bowl until
coated. Heat 1 T. oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Reserving remaining
flour, add chicken to pan & cook, stirring
occasionally, until lightly browned, 2-4
minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce
heat to medium; add remaining 1 T. oil to
pan. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, salt &
pepper; cook, stirring often, until mushrooms
are softened & starting to brown, 3-5 minutes.
Pour in water, bring to a boil & cook, stirring
to scrape up any browned bits, 3 minutes. Whisk
broth & milk in to reserved flour until smooth.
Stir mixture into pan; bring to a simmer, stirring
often. Stir in pimientos & chicken, return to a
simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gently
simmer & cook until veggies are tender & chicken
is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Stir in scallions &
serve immediately.
Serve over cooked egg noodles.

(recipe: diabetic connect)

Creamy Broccoli Salad

2 strips bacon
1/2 C. ice cubes
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/3 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 t. fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 1/2 C. broccoli florets (about 1 lb), cut
into bite-sized pieces
1/3 C. golden raisins
2 T. salted, roasted sunflower seeds

Cook bacon in small nonstick skillet over
medium-low heat until crispy, about 8
minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined
plate to drain, reserve 1 tsp. drippings
for the dressing. Finely chop bacon strips
& reserve. Combine 1 C. water, ice cubes &
onions in a small bowl. Let onions soak 10
minutes while preparing rest of salad, then
drain & pat dry. Whisk buttermilk, sour cream,
lemon zest & juice, reserved bacon drippings,
3/4 tsp. kosher salt & pepper to taste in large
bowl. Add broccoli, onions & golden raisins to
the dressing. Toss well, cover & chill for at least
1 hour or up to 4 hours. Before serving, toss well
& season with additional salt & pepper. Transfer
to a serving dish & top with chopped bacon &
sunflower seeds. Serves 6

(recipe: Food Network)

Zucchini Pizza Bites

(One serving)

4 slices large zucchini (1/4 ” thick) or
1 medium zucchini
salt & pepper
2 T. quick marinara sauce
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut zucchini about 1/4 ” thick. Spray both
sides of slices with nonstick cooking spray
then season with salt & pepper. Place on
cookie sheet & broil or grill about 2
minutes on each side. Top with sauce &
cheese; broil an additional 1-2 minutes,
being careful not to burn the cheese.


Dutch Apple Salad

1 C. cooked, diced ham
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 apples, peeled/cored/chopped
2 sweet pickles, chopped
3/4 C. cooked, diced potatoes
1/4 C. Italian or Buttermilk salad dressing

Combine ingredients & serve on lettuce

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Candy

Set crockpot heat on LOW.

2 lb. lightly salted dry-roasted
1 (12 oz) bag Toll House or
Hershey Milk chocolate morsels
1 (4 oz) block Bakers German
Sweet chocolate
1 (24 oz) block Almond Bark

Pour all ingredients in crockpot.
Cook, on Low, 3 hours. Stir with
spoon, then pour into cupcake
papers & let cool.

(recipe: Facebook)

Enchilada Bake

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp Taco Seasoning
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 oz tortilla chips, finely crushed *

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat or whisk cream cheese & eggs until smooth.
Add seasoning; mix well. Stir in cheese & crushed chips;
mix well. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish or line with
parchment paper; spread cheese mixture evenly over
bottom. Bake 35 minutes or until browned, but
not too dark. Let stand 5-10 minutes before adding

* 1/4 oz is about 4-5 small round tortilla chips.

1 lb. ground beef
1 T. Taco Seasoning
1 C. Red Enchilada Sauce
8 oz pepper-jack cheese, shredded

Brown hamburger; drain fat. Stir in
seasoning and enchilada sauce. Spread
over the crust. Top with the cheese.
Bake another 20 minutes or so until hot
and bubbly. Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Facebook)

Creamy Crockpot Tomato Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 C. finely diced celery
1 C. finely diced carrots
1 C. finely diced onion
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
1 tsp. thyme
1/4 C. fresh basil
3 1/2 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. flour
1/3 C. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 3/4 C. milk, warmed
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add
oil, celery, carrots & onions. Cook 5-6 minutes,
until golden then add to crockpot. Pour the
juice of the tomatoes into crockpot; roughly
crush them with your hands. Add chicken or
vegetable broth, cheese rind, thyme, basil &
bay leaf. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours or until
vegetables get soft & flavors blend. Remove
cheese rind (discard). Pour soup into a blender
in small batches & blend until smooth. Melt
butter over low heat in a large skillet; add flour.
Stir constantly with a whisk for 4-5 minutes. Slowly
whisk in about 1 C. of the hot soup, then add the
1 3/4 C. warmed milk – stir until smooth. Pour back
into crockpot & stir, add the grated Pecorino
cheese & adjust salt & pepper, to taste. Cover &
cook on Low 30 more minutes. Makes about 9 1/2


French Toast Muffins

1/3 C. applesauce or canola oil
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. milk

1 T. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/8 C. canola oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients & stir until just combined,
but still a bit lumpy. Do NOT overmix; overmixing
will ruin the texture of the finished muffins.
Scoop batter into muffin tins that have been sprayed
with nonstick spray.

NOTE from poster: Using a large spoon, I got 9 muffins
out of this batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until they just start to turn a bit golden brown at the edges.
Mix sugar & cinnamon in a small bowl. Place oil in
another small bowl. Dip warm muffins in oil, or using
a spoon, drizzle over muffins, then dip/roll/sprinkle
the muffin in cinnamon sugar mixture. There might be
a little leftover topping.


I keep forgetting to mention: Have any of you ever watched the TV show on ION TV (cable) called: “Flashpoint” ? GREAT show – full of lots of action, suspense, etc; it’s a show based around a crack team of special response (sort of ) firefighters/police which takes place in Canada.  I would highly recommend it if you get ION cable channel.

Our weather today is typical for Michigan this time of year: (was going to say in the low 30’s until I looked at the thermometer – it’s 27 and snowing right now . . . sigh). Time to zip the lining in my trench coat and drag out the wool scarf & gloves – Baby, it’s COLD outside!

Hope you’re having a good day/evening – dinner tonight is leftovers – husband gets to choose whether he wants the rest of the beef stew or the barbecued pork chops from last night! (I’ll take whatever he doesn’t want . . . our youngest is really PICKY – he RARELY eats any leftovers!).



PS: Thanks, Dar – I ‘borrowed’ your clipart from Facebook for the top of this page!

And Sometimes Life Changes on you!


Today’s been one of those ‘up & down’ days – last night middle son stopped by to tell us that he will, most certainly, be moving back home. Not sure when yet, but I’m guessing by the end of the month. He works as a special needs care giver and, yes it’s good work, BUT you can never count on a set amount of hours per week – it all depends on what the client (or their family) decides. That doesn’t pay the bills. Of course, he told me this right as I was getting ready to go to sleep – that kept me up, thinking/muddling over the changes, until after 3 a.m.! (ended up sleeping in until almost 10 a.m.) I don’t mind that he’s coming back, BUT his room will not accommodate all of the items he’s acquired since he moved; things like the bookcase, chest of drawers, tv, end tables, etc. that I purchased at a great discount at a friend’s garage sale. Not exactly sure just HOW we’re going to manage that, but I’m sure it will get done (sigh). Youngest son just got the confirmation that he’s been approved to work the ‘third shift’ – not exactly sure when that starts (remember: 10 p.m.- 6 a.m. approximately). He said he put in for (what he thought) was the week AFTER Thanksgiving off, as his vacation BUT now he’s not sure if he made a mistake and did it for the WEEK of Thanksgiving. (I’m guessing that mistake could cost him extra $$$ holiday pay – but what do I know?).

Got an email from Sears/KMart today showing me some of their on-line bargains. I don’t usually even read them but this one had a photo of men’s pajama pants, which got me to thinking: “Hey! I could save myself some driving/shopping time by ordering them ON LINE! What a concept, eh? That got me started – I also get extra points if I charge it to my VISA card, plus extra SEARS points, too – what a deal! Ended up ordering the 2 younger boys 2 prs. pajama pants each, 2 prs. of bedroom slippers for me (they were 2/1 price – Yay!), and 2 hand-held video games for grandson at a really GREAT price per game! Yay! Pammie’s getting her Christmas shopping DONE WAAAAY early, for me!!! Oldest son was sort of hinting at a computer (both younger boys already got their gifts – youngest got his truck repaired and middle will get the $$ to pay for a class he needs for his job. Yes, as a Mom I tend to ‘over-buy’ a bit; I just can’t face saying, Christmas morning, “Well, you already GOT your gifts – Merry Christmas!” So they will probably also get a big bag of socks (which they both need) and maybe underwear, also (YES – you can say it: “UNDERWEAR?” but they both NEED them!). Oldest will also get socks – we’re waiting to work on the computer idea – husband wants to take oldest to pick out the computer he wants. This is not our ‘usual’ when it comes to presents, but now that they’re older sometimes they need something ‘different’ (like truck repairs) instead of ‘gifts’. I remember when I was probably 13 or so my aunt gave me her slightly used electric curlers and I was SO thrilled! (we were pretty poor, so a gift like that was just what I needed and wanted!). It’s not the gift, it’s what’s in the heart of the giver that counts.

Went on my ‘first of three’ grocery store shoppings – visited Kroger’s (and Gordon Food Service) today. Kroger had some really great deals and Gordon’s is my ‘place’ for the frozen pumpkin pie & assorted slices cheesecake (both can be put in the freezer until next week). Next Monday or so I’ll hit the other two grocery stores for the last of the ‘fresh veggies’ and a few of their sales items. Was glad to see that both Kroger’s and another store had 2 liter bottles of Mountain Dew for $1.00 each! (My husband goes through about 6 (2 ltr) bottles a week – amazing, huh? I don’t know how he does it, but he does NOT have diabetes! Amazing! I’ve decided that this year I’m going to change things up a bit by making whipped sweet potatoes instead of my ‘usual’ chunks in a baking dish with brown sugar, a little nutmeg, a dash of orange juice, butter & topped with marshmallows. My oldest is the ONLY one who likes these, so I’m going to do a variation on them, instead. We’ll see how that goes over. . .

Accidentally discovered on my ‘drafts’ setting that I had THREE recipe blogs saved! I thought I only had two – I find recipes to post here and put them in those files – low and behold, here was a pretty full THIRD blog site saved – amazing! Yes, you can tell – I LIKE to read over recipes and post them! Hope you find some helpful; I’d really love to hear from you just to see what you think of my blog/recipe postings. (Honest – I don’t bite – I LOVE feedback!)


Lemon Lush Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. plus 2 T. chopped pecans,
8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. confectioners sugar
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed &
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs instant lemon pudding mix
2 2/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, 1/2 C. pecans & butter in
medium bowl; mix well. Press onto bottom of
11 X 8 baking dish. Bake until lightly browned,
about 15 minutes; let stand to cool.
Place cream cheese in medium bowl; beat with
elec. mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add
confectioners sugar & beat until mixture is light &
fluffy. Add 1 C. Cool Whip, fold in gently. Spread
over cooled crust. Combine pudding mix & milk
in medium bowl; beat until thickened. Spread on
top of cream cheese layer. Top with remaining
Cool Whip; sprinkle top with remaining pecans &
chill, covered, 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook)

Hot Apple Pie Dip

1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 apple, chopped & divided
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. finely chopped pecans

serve with crackers, Wheat thins

Heat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, sugar & spice in
medium bowl until well blended. Stir
in half of the apples & spread on a pie
plate or small casserole dish. Top with
remaining apples, Cheddar cheese & nuts.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 16 servings (2 T. dip each)

*substitute ground cinnamon for pumpkin
pie spice

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spicy Cranberry Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. canned whole berry cranberry
1/4 C. orange marmalade*
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted

Spread cream cheese on bottom of 9″
pie plate. Mix next 3 ingredients; spoon
over cream cheese & top with nuts. Serve
with crackers. Makes 1 3/4 C. or 14 servings,
2 T. each

*Omit red pepper (cayenne) and
substitute hot pepper jelly for orange marmalade

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Skillet Spinach Gratin

1 onion, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. baby spinach leaves
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
15 Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
(about 1 1/2 C.)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. butter, melted

Cook onions & bacon in large skillet
on medium-high heat 5-7 minutes or
until bacon is crisp, stirring frequently.
Drain; return bacon mixture to skillet. Add
spinach; cook 3-5 minutes or until slightly
wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from
heat; add cream cheese; stir until melted.
Mix cracker crumbs, Parm. cheese & butter;
sprinkle over spinach mixture. Serves 6
(1/2 C. each)

(recipe; Kraft foods)

Amish Chicken

6-8 pieces chicken, cleaned
1 C. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper &
paprika in zip lock bag. Toss chicken in bag & shake to coat each piece. Place coated pieces in 9 X 13 baking pan. Mix cream & water together; pour over chicken. Bake 1 1/2 hours or until skin on chicken is golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Creamed Parmesan Pearl Onion Casserole

2 (15 oz, ea) jars whole pearl onions (do NOT used
pickled or cocktail onions)
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. flour
2 C. cream or Half & Half
1-2 T. dry sherry (optional)
1/3 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Open onions, drain jars.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 2 qt. sauce pan over
medium heat. Turn heat to Low; stir
in flour – cook 2-3 minutes, stirring
constantly. Stir in cream or Half & Half
(& sherry, if using); stir to blend. Stir in
Parmesan, mustard powder, nutmeg, salt
& pepper, to taste. Stir well to thoroughly
combine all ingredients & melt cheese.
Grease a small oven baking dish (or spray
with nonstick spray). Place drained onions
in dish; cover with sauce mixture. Sprinkle
top with Cheddar cheese then sprinkle
with paprika. Bake 35-40 minutes, until
mixture is bubbly & hot. If desired, broil
top briefly until golden brown. Serves 8

NOTE: You can make this a day ahead &
partially bake. Finish baking 10-15 minutes
on day you’re serving it.


Cranberry Nut Muffins

3/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 C. orange juice concentrate, thawed
& undiluted
2 eggs, beaten
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped nuts
2 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine Miracle Whip, orange
juice, eggs & berries. In separate
bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients;
fill greased muffin tins. Bake 20-25
minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, remove
from pan.

(recipe: Rhonda G.-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

2 T. margarine
1/4 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen sugar snap peas
3 T. water
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt margarine in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add onion & garlic;
cook 2-3 minutes or until tender; stirring
occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients
to skillet; reduce heat to medium; cook
5 minutes or until mixture is hot & peas
are tender. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)


Seasoned Turkey Patties
(grill/stove or microwave)

1 pkg. fresh ground turkey
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 C. fine dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

(broth, butter or barbecue sauce, for
brushing on patties)

Mix all ingredients (except brushing
ingredients); shape into 4-5
1/2 inch thick patties. Prepare grill/
stove/oven or microwave. Cook
4 minutes on each side. For
microwave: cook 2 minutes each
side. Occasionally brush with broth,
butter or barbecue sauce.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Crockpot Chex Mix

Fill crockpot with your favorite cereal,
pretzels & nuts.

1/4 C. butter
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. sugar

Mix above ingredients (butter-sugar) in
medium saucepan, heat until butter melts &
sugar dissolves; stir well then pour over
cereal/pretzel/nut mixture. Mix well. Cook
on Low 2 1/2 hours without lid, stirring every
30 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Bacon-wrapped Potato Bites

12 slices bacon, cut crosswise in half
24 frozen bite-sized seasoned potato nuggets
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 t. ketchup*

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Wrap 1 bacon piece around each potato
nugget; place on rack of broiler pan. Bake
25 minutes or until bacon is crisp; turning
after 15 minutes. Mix mayonnaise & ketchup;
pour into small bowl. Serve nuggets with mayo
mixture. Serves 12

*You can substitute chili sauce for ketchup

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple-Cranberry Crumb Bars

1/2 C. butter
1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled & chopped
1 C. fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13 baking pan with foil, with ends of
foil extending over sides. Microwave butter in
large microwaveable bowl on High 1-1 1/2 minutes
or until melted. Add dry cake mix, 1 egg & cinnamon;
beat with mixer until blended. Press 2/3 of dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Beat cream cheese & sugar with mixer until blended. Add remaining egg; mix well. Spread over crust; top with apples. Pinch small pieces of remaining dough between your fingers; press lightly into cream cheese layer. Bake 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set; cool completely. Refrigerate 1 hour. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars. Makes 32 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Woke up to what I would call “Crappy Weather” today – really gray & gloomy, slightly rainy – just one of those ‘I want to go back to bed’ days. Right now it’s 41 degrees F. and hasn’t gotten any ‘cheery-er’ looking. Oh well, I guess days like this make me all the more glad for bright, sunny days!  (if we didn’t have days like this, we probably wouldn’t appreciate the nice days, right?)

Hope you’re having a great day/evening. Remember to take some breaks from whatever you’re doing – ESPECIALLY if you’re the one who’s going to be doing all the holiday cleaning/cooking/preparations NEXT week! Got to keep your health up! (I’m saying that to myself, too – still a bit stuffed up & sniffly but I WON’T let this get me down!)

Enjoy your day!



Thursday Thinkin’ . . .


It’s a rather ‘blah’, gray day out today (48 degrees) – not chilly, just kinda blah – ever have one of those days? This is my ‘off’ day – as in, nothing particular planned for the day. Went through the grocery store fliers last night to see who had the best turkey prices – was only planning on going to ONE store, but after quick comparisons, decided that all THREE local stores have good prices, each with their own ‘sales’ items. Compared things like celery, cherry tomatoes, turkeys, fresh cranberries – stuff like that. Just casually asked husband if he thought we might just skip the multi-flavored cheese cake this year, to which he replied: “WHY? I always EAT it!” (OK – got your point.). Still not looking forward to all the ‘cleaning house, picking out the serving dishes, remembering to get the gravy boat out of the china cabinet’ – that kind of ‘stuff’. Hey, being sick, I LOST a WEEK of preparation time! Not cool! Still have to go upstairs in the Christmas ‘stuff’ and bring down the red tablecloth – remember to throw it in the dryer to take out any wrinkles. Every year I end up buying some of those ‘cute’ Thanksgiving/Fall/holiday’ dinner napkins – you know the ones, and every year I end up asking myself: “WHY?” They LOOK nice but they don’t absorb ANYTHING! They’re SHINY/SLIPPERY! Oh well – at least I haven’t bought them this year  . . . YET. . .

Lots more recipes for ya – I’m ending up posting things I probably wouldn’t make but sound ‘interesting’ – something ‘different’ for the holiday meal – like the Brussels Sprout recipe. I just learned today (never too old to learn something new!) that those are spelled with an “S” at the end! All my life I’ve pronounced them BRUSSEL Sprouts – who knew? (mentioned it to my husband, who immediately chimed in: “Of course! They’re from Brussels, BELGIUM!” . . . figures, he’s the ‘brain’ in our family). Anyway . . . here’s some recipes for ya!


Pumpkin Bread Pudding

4 C. white bread, cut into cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. canned pumpkin puree
1 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. rum or brandy (optional)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 T. butter, cold, cut into pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Dry bread
cubes on cookie sheet in oven 10-15 minutes.
Place cubs in prepared pan. In large bowl,
whisk together all pudding ingredients,
except butter. Pour mixture over bread cubes.
Let set 10 minutes until bread is fully soaked.
Dab butter over top & bake 40-50 minutes.
Pudding should be set in center, but not dry.

(recipe: Domino Sugar Co.)

Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
4 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
salt & pepper, to taste

In medium saucepan, make a roux by
melting butter on low heat. Add flour &
stir about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth,
onions & cauliflower. Set heat to medium;
bring to a boil, then cover & simmer over
medium-low heat, until vegetables are
tender, about 20 minutes. Puree, using
blender, until smooth. Season with salt &
pepper & serve. Serves 4


Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

10 medium potatoes, peeled & cooked
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. grated onion
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil & whip potatoes; add other ingredients;
mix well. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan; pour
potato mixture into pan; bake 30 minutes.
Serves 8


Bacon Crispies

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
6 oz. bacon, finely chopped & divided

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat butter, flour, salt & pepper until
smooth; add grated cheese & 2/3 of
bacon; mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls
onto greased baking sheet; sprinkle with
remaining bacon. Bake 30 minutes or until
lightly browned. Cool & store in airtight tin.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (18 1/4 oz)
1 box (3.4 oz) butterscotch pudding mix
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. water
1 C. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
powdered sugar, for dusting OR
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, combine first
7 ingredients; beat on Low speed
30 seconds, beat on medium 4 minutes.
Pour batter into greased & floured
10″ fluted tube pan (or Bundt pan). Bake
50-55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick
inserted near center comes out clean. Cool
in pan 15 minutes before removing to wire
rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered
sugar or whipped cream, if desired. Serves 8


Cider-GlazedBrussels Sprouts with Bacon

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 T. butter
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed/halved
3/4 C. apple cider*
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted

Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on
medium heat until crisp. Remove from
skillet; drain. Discard all but 1 T. drippings.
Add butter, onions & Brussels sprouts to pan;
cook & stir on medium-high heat 1-2 minutes
or until sprouts are lightly browned. Mix next
5 ingredients; our over sprouts. Cook 5 minutes
or until liquid is evaporated & sprouts are evenly
glazed, stirring occasionally; stir in bacon. Spoon
sprouts into bowl, top with nuts. Serves 8,
2/3 C. each

*can substitute apple juice for cider

To toast nuts: place up to 1 C. nuts into
microwaveable shallow dish. Microwave on
High until fragrant & crisp, stirring every
30 seconds.

(recipe:: Kraft foods)

Ooey-Gooey Mac & Cheese
(also for crockpot!)

1 (1 lb) box elbow macaroni
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans Cheddar cheese soup
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk
1 1/4 stick butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 C. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 C. pepperjack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni accordg to pkg. directions just
until done. Combine soup, evap. milk, butter,
salt & pepper in large microwaveable bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a small vent,
cook 6-7 minutes until butter is melted &
mixture is warm-to-how throughout. (If making
a half-batch, cook 4 minutes). Add soup mixture
to cooked macaroni. Add cheeses, one at a time,
stirring constantly until everything is melted &
incorporated. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Note: poster says she usually places under broiler
an extra 4 minutes to brown the top.

Crockpot: Follow directions, place in crockpot on
Low; cook 4 hours.


Crockpot Sweet Garlic Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. vinegar
1/4 C. lemon-lime soda (diet or regular)
2-3 T. minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. corn starch
2 T. water
red pepper flakes (optional)

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Place
chicken (frozen/thawed or fresh) inside. Mix
together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic,
soy sauce & pepper; pour over chicken. Cook
on Low 6-8 hours or High 4 hours.
Take chicken pieces out of crockpot; pour
remaining sauce into saucepan. Place saucepan
over high heat. Mix together corn starch & water;
pour into saucepan; mix well. Let sauce come to
boil; boil 2-3 minutes or until it starts to thicken
& turns into a glaze. Remove from heat & let set
1-2 minutes (it will continue to thicken as it cools).
Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top, if desired. This
can be served over rice, noodles, baked potatoes
or mashed potatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 lb. fresh sweet potatoes
1 small onion
3 eggs
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt & ground black pepper
1/4 C. peanut oil
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Peel sweet potatoes & shred on box
shredder or in a food processor, using
medium shredding disk. You should
have about 3 C. Shred onion on shredder
or in food processor using medium shredding
disk. Place sweet potatoes & onions in a clean
kitchen towel & twist to squeeze out as much
liquid as possible. Place in a mixing bowl. Add
eggs, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice,
salt & pepper; mix well. Heat peanut oil in cast
iron skillet over medium heat. Working batches,
spoon about 1/4 C. mixture into skillet, forming
pancakes. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Makes
8 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease & flour 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix brown sugar
and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl
using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add
vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder
together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter
mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour
half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add
half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with
remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown
sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in
the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Well, that’s certainly a ‘varied’ list of recipes if ever I posted one! Sweets, veggies, crockpot and a few thrown in for fun! I love looking through recipe sites, finding new blogs/sites with EASY, few-ingredient recipes. Now, grant you – I do post some that have a long list of ingredients, but for the most part I look for ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, easy to assemble, and sound tasty. Kraft Foods has a plethora of great recipes BUT quite a few of them require you using THEIR ‘specialty’ products, like fancy cream cheese with extra ingredients, or salad dressings you probably wouldn’t have on hand – I don’t post those. Why have to GO OUT to buy special ingredients, just to make a particular recipe? (maybe, for a special occasion, perhaps – but not for the every day!). I also try to remember that, even though a major holiday is approaching, you still have to cook for the week – every day, average cooking – so I try to include recipes to that end, as well – like crockpot recipes, for example. I always try to throw in at least ONE dessert – ya never know when you just might NEED dessert, right? (Life’s short – eat dessert FIRST!).

Hope you’re have a great day, even if it ISN’T planned! I have left-over beef stew in the fridge from yesterday, so dinner’s a ‘done-deal’. I ‘could’ go grocery shopping but I don’t think I will – just not  motivated . . . yet. Probably will hit the grocery stores come Monday. One good thing: each one of the 3 store’s fliers were good on prices until the week AFTER Thanksgiving!

Was hearing talk last night (at special needs group – among the helpers) of going shopping either ON Thanksgiving or on Black Friday – what do you think about that? For me, personally, there isn’t a item EVER MADE that would induce me to go out shopping on either of those days! To me – Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter – BIG HOLIDAYS should be spent with friends & family – NOT SHOPPING! (off my soapbox now . . .)

Youngest son just got confirmation of his request to be put on third shift: 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.; he’s happy – more $$$. He just left to go for a job interview at a mall at a kiosk that sells body piercings (sigh). (quick fill in: this is the son who likes piercings/tattoos . . . sigh). He was told he could get a part-time job there (he really LOOKS the part) so he’s decided that, since he’ll be working NIGHTS, he could part-time it at the kiosk some days. Ah, the fantasies of youth AND their enthusiasm. My good friend Momma/Mary knows all about working nights – she & I both spent lots of time doing that at the phone company. (I worked 10p-6a.m. or 11-7 a.m. for 5 years). We’ll see how this ‘new arrangement’ works out – in reality!



Think I’m FINALLY back to being well!


Yes, I know – a few days ago I wrote that I was feeling MUCH better – that quickly changed; Sunday I spent the day with ‘lower intestinal problems’ – no fun. It was not until Monday (yesterday) that I FINALLY began to feel well again! Got some laundry done, got the dishwasher loaded & run and a few other minor chores – feeling like I CAN do stuff again! (Oh, and made ravioli for dinner – husband even commented he thought it was an exceptional batch! Amazing!)  Decided to sit for awhile today and knit baby hats, since I haven’t really felt like even knitting. Totals now are around 19 premie hats and 14 newborn (somewhere in that range); I won’t be delivering them until I get close to 25 of each size – probably another 2 weeks or so. Part of me wants to start another baby blanket – part of me says “WHY?”, so I’m just content to knit hats for now.

Our weather got Crazy-Wicked the other night (Sunday) – lots & lots of really strong winds. We were fortunate to not lose power, although several from our church reported they were out for hours, and today’s newspaper reports thousands in the county out for now. (Thank you, Lord, we stayed connected!) AND our new roof held up well – no leaks, as it was raining on & off during the night. Today it’s 41 bright & sunny degrees – looks like a great Fall day out there!


Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

6 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1/2 C. onion
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
4 T, flour
4 T. butter
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using a large pot, saute chopped onions in
butter until soft but not browned. In small
bowl, combine flour, salt & pepper. Stir flour
mixture into onion mixture; add milk & Half &
Half. Stir & cook over medium heat until
mixture begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add 1 1/2 C. cheese to sauce &
stir until melted & smooth. Add sliced potatoes,
bacon & stir well to combine. Pour mixture into
a greased casserole dish. Cover with foil; bake
35 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle reserved cheese
on top; return to oven & bake another 30
minutes or until potatoes are soft, cheese is
melted & edges begin to brown. Let stand a few
minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.
Serves 6-8


Caramelized Onion Cornbread Dressing

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix (prepare as directed,
2 medium chicken pieces (cooked & shredded) or
2 links mild Italian sausage, plus 1 link hot Italian
sausage, casings removed & cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 C. chicken stock/broth
2 medium onions, diced
1-2 T. dried sage
(optional) 4-6 T. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Saute diced onions in medium-large saucepan
until dark brown. Use butter or extra virgin olive
oil, or both. Pour into greased 9 X 13 baking pan.
Add crumbled cornbread, cooked meat of choice &
sage. In medium bowl, whisk together soup & 1 C.
chicken stock; pour over cornbread mixture & toss
until well combined. Pour remaining stock over
dressing mixture, stirring until completely moistened.
Bake 30  minutes. Serves 12

(Optional: top with 4-6 T. butter during last few minutes
of baking).

Note: recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated – bake when
ready to use.


Stuffed Pumpkin Meatloaf

1 (3 lb) pumpkin
salt & pepper, to taste
3 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. brown sugar
1 large egg
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut & remove top of pumpkin. Remove
strings & seed from inner part. Place
whole pumpkin in a baking pan, with 1
inch of water. Cover & cook 45 minutes.
Pour extra water off after cooking. Sprinkle
pumpkin with salt & pepper. Mix 1 T. mustard
& brown sugar; spread around inside of pumpkin.
Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon
mixture into pumpkin & pack tightly. Return to
oven & bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until
pumpkin is tender & meatloaf is cooked well.
Wedges can be cut when cooled slightly. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Orange Sauce

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries (1 bag
or 4 C. worth)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. water
zest of 1 orange

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan; bring
to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a
simmer, cooking until all cranberries have burst,
roughly 5-7 minutes. Stir regularly; remove from
heat. Transfer to clean bowl to cool at room
temperature. Cover with plastic wrap & chill until
ready to serve.  Serves 6-8  May warm slightly
just prior to serving, if desired.

(recipe: Colleen-Marys Recipe Exchange)

(This is just about the way I make mine, except I use the entire orange ground up in the food processor – and I don’t heat the mixture, just refrigerate it)

Three Alarm Chili

4 T. vegetable oil
2 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. oregano
3 T. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried, crushed red pepper
2 (16 oz, ea) cans kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large sweet red pepper, diced

Heat oil in Dutch oven; brown beef on all
sides, then remove & drain well on paper
towels. Cook onions & garlic in oil; return
meat to pan. Add tomatoes, sauce, water,
sugar, oregano, chili powder, salt & crushed
red peppers. Bring to boil over High heat.
Reduce heat; simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add
remaining 3 ingredients & simmer, covered,
until meat is tender. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Gingerbread-Caramel Bars

1 (2 layer) box spice cake mix
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg
35 caramels
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (4 oz) pkg. white baking chocolate,
coarsely chopped, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13 baking pan with foil, with
ends of foil extending over sides. Spray
with nonstick cooking spray. Beat cake
mix, ginger, butter & egg with mixer until
blended. (dough will be stiff). Press 2/3
of dough onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly
browned. Microwave caramels & milk in
microwaveable bowl on High 3- 3 1/2
minutes or until caramels are completely
melted & sauce is well blended, stirring
after each minute. Drizzle caramel sauce
over baked layer in pan. Reserve 2 T. chopped chocolate; sprinkle remaining over caramel sauce. Crumble remaining gingerbread dough over dessert. Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Microwave reserved chocolate in microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds to 1 minute,
or until completely melted, stirring every
30 seconds; drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm. Use foil handles to
lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars.
Makes 36 bars

NOTE: When cutting bars, carefully wipe off the knife blade between cuts with a clean damp towel. This prevents the filing from building up on the blade, ensuring clean cuts that leave the edges of the cut bars intact.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Stuffed Pepper Soup

3 C. cooked brown rice
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
1 C. finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 3/4 C. tomato sauce
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
salt & pepper, to taste

In large pot or Dutch oven, brown
ground beef on High & season with
salt. Drain fat, reduce heat to medium-
low & add peppers, onions, & garlic. Cook
5 minutes on Low heat. Add tomatoes,
tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram &
season with salt & pepper, to taste. Cover & simmer on Low 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 C. soup in each bowl & top with 1/2 C. cooked brown rice. Makes about 9 1/2 C.


Yams in Caramel Sauce

5 small (or 3 large) yams, peeled
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
dash salt
1 1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice peeled yams into rings; place in a
large pot. Cover with water; boil until
you can press a fork into the center.
Remove from heat & pour into a colander. Melt butter in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add flour & whisk to combine. Add evap. milk, salt & stir together. Turn up heat, bring to a boil stirring constantly. Once boiling, add brown sugar. Whisk together & bring back to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, it will get quite thick. Stir milk into sauce; let come to a boil again. Remove pan from heat. Sauce should be thicker than gravy, but thinner than pudding. Pour yams into 9 X 9 greased pan. (see NOTE). Pour sauce over yams, cover pan with foil & bake 40 minutes or until bubbly throughout. Serves 10

NOTE: If you are planning on serving this ahead,  you need to keep the cooked yams & sauce separate until ready to bake in oven. Cover, in separate containers, wrap with plastic wrap & store in fridge. When ready to cook, follow the
directions above.


Pineapple, Green Pepper Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. crushed pineapple
1 green pepper, chopped
1 T. dried onion
1 tsp. seasoning salt
2 C. sliced almonds (or chopped pecans)

Place cream cheese in mixer or large mixing bowl, add pineapple, green pepper & seasonings.Mix together until well combined. Pour nuts onto a plate. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray; scoop out half of cream cheese mixture. Form into a ball; place ball in middle of nuts on plate. Cover ball with nuts to completely coat. Place coated ball in center of a strip of clear plastic wrap; cover ball & refrigerate at least 4 hours. Scoop other half of cream cheese mixture out of bowl, roll in nuts, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Makes 2 balls.
Serve with crackers.


Crockpot Cube Steak

1 large onion thinly sliced
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
6 (about 4 oz, ea) beef cube steaks
1 T. cooking oil
3 C. water, divided
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 envelope mushroom gravy mix
1 envelope onion gravy mix

Spray inside of 3-5 qt crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place onions in bottom. Combine flour,
garlic & onion powders & pepper in large,
ziplock bag. Add steaks to bag, a few at a time;
shake until completely coated. Heat oil in a large
skillet over medium heat. Add coated steaks to hot
oil, a few at a time & cook until lightly browned on
each side. Place browned steaks in crockpot on top
of onions. Pour 2 C. water over all; cook on Low
8 hours or until meat is tender. In a bowl, whisk
together the 3 gravy mixes with remaining 1 C.
water; pour over meat in crockpot. Cool, on Low,
30 minutes longer.

(recipe: Facebook/Cube Steak Recipes)


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool.

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

Blend well. Frost cooled cake. Garnish
with chopped nuts, coconut or chopped
fruit, if desired.

Commentary suggestions:
1 tsp coconut extract in the cake
1/2 tsp coconut extract in the frosting.


How are you coming on your Thanksgiving dinner plans? Any changes – any additions? I find myself tossed – last year I made the ‘usual’ double batch of corn casserole and had TONS left over; am re-thinking the amount this year. After reading the recipe above for Caramelized Onion Cornbread Stuffing am thinking of trying that – sure sounds good! I like to add mushrooms, chopped onions (except in this recipe it’s already an element), dried raisins or dried cranberries (after I’ve put them in a small pot with some water & boiled them a bit, to soften them up) to stuffing. Dessert-wise, I’m still ‘on the fence’ – in years past I’ve just purchased a pumpkin pie AND a multi-flavor sliced cheesecake sampler – part of me wants to ‘mix it up’ and change, part of me is wondering ‘will the family get on my case for NOT having cheesecake?” Decisions – decisions! The pumpkin pie is a MUST for husband – he LOVES pumpkin anything! Lately I’ve been trying to eliminate the cranberry-orange relish (I just don’t like the mess and fuss of making it in the food processor – BUT husband loves to ‘help’, so we still do it every year). Ah, the ‘traditions’ of the holidays, eh? I’m fortunate, though – we have a small gathering, usually around 7 +, not a difficult number to cook for and, OF COURSE, all want leftovers to take home!

Well, that’s ‘the news’ for now; hope you’re enjoying your day/night. Remember to get some rest, treat yourself to something you like (a nice cup of coffee/cocoa/tea, etc) and remember to smile every once in awhile!



A Bit of This ‘n That


Here it is, Friday already! It’s been a strange week with me being sick almost the entire week. Yesterday the roofers finished their job, we did the ‘walk around’; they left and we went in the house. We hadn’t been in the house a good half hour when my husband jumped up and started yelling: No! No! NO! I ran to see what was going on – it seems a young man and girl decided that since our cars were not in their usual parking spaces up by our garage that THEY would just (as BOLD AS BRASS) drive up in our yard, park their pickup there and start rooting through the dumpster, taking the old gutters for scrap! Can you believe that? Let me tell you, my husband is NOT a person to come up against – he was LIVID and let them know, in no uncertain terms that they were on PRIVATE PROPERTY AND ABOUT TO TAKE SOMETHING THAT DID NOT BELONG TO THEM! He then told them that those gutters did not longer belong to US, either – they were the property of the roofing company and we were also not allowed to put anything extra in them before they came to haul it off. (I watched from the window – the young man left, husband being somewhat gentle in his send-off; I would have just threatened to call the cops!). Husband called the roofing company and within a half hour they came to haul off the dumpster. You just can’t be too cautious these days! (I’m STILL blown away at their brashness!). Today found me feeling a bit better; told my husband it was the first time since last Friday that I slept through the night without having to wake up several times and spray my throat with Chloraseptic spray to keep from coughing! (Chloraseptic is a great spray – it contains some chloraform, I’m guessing – it causes whatever it comes in contact with to go numb for about 10-15 minutes; also great if you get strep throat). I woke up early (and NOT to the ‘soothing sounds’ of roofers banging!) and got a good start on the day – was FINALLY able to do my grocery shopping! Was very happy to hit Kroger’s and their great sale. It sort of went: buy any ten of the noted items and you get them for … off; for example: Moutain Dew (2 liters) was $1.00 a bottle IF you bought the 10 items or 2/$3.00 a bottle if you didn’t. Since we go through a LOT of Mt. Dew (husband consumes great amounts), I knew I had this one ‘in the bag’! Got Campbell’s gravy on sale, Vlasic pickles, black olives, lasagna noodles, and a lot more items for great prices. Think I saved something like $28 – then I went to my ‘other’ small store (Fresh Food Depot) and saved a bunch more on their ‘house brand’ canned veggies, frozen veggies, cookies, etc. Even Blue Bunny ice cream was on sale for $2.99 a gallon (if you’ve never tried this brand – GET IT! It’s a VERY creamy, flavorful ice cream!). My larder is stuffed with cans – some of which will be used Thanksgiving (even Stove Top stuffing was on sale at Kroger for something like $1.00 a box). Yes, I know . . . prices will probably be lower in the next 1 1/2 weeks before the holiday but I was just happy to get a jump start on my holiday shopping! I’m still waiting to see who has the best prices per pound on whole turkeys. Think I’ve mentioned this before: I learned, years ago, to buy 2 before Thanksgiving and freeze one. One of our first Thanksgivings after being married I thought that all turkey prices would still be low BEFORE Christmas – I was wrong! Tomorrow I have a trek to the drug store for more ‘stuff’ – we’re almost out of Kleenex (gee – I wonder why? she said facetiously!. . . grin). Another great ‘savings’ I discovered: our local Family Dollar has really BIG boxes of Kleenex for really great prices and their (house brand) zip lock bags are really reasonable/not flimsy; also Febreeze spray, liquid Tide (when it’s on sale there) is usually around $5.00 a bottle for the small bottles when it’s close to $8 a bottle at KMart and other grocery stores. Also large bottles of Dawn dish washing liquid, bundled in 2 bottle bundles are cheaper. Now, granted – for those of you who shop Costco or Sam’s Club, perhaps THEIR prices are better, but for me, this does the trick. (I’m not a big fan of the big box stores: WalMart/Costco/Sams – too big, too big portions, etc.)


Beer & Rosemary Roasted Turkey

(Betty Crocker!)

1 (12-14 lb) whole turkey, thawed

1/4 C. butter or margarine, melted

2 T. Dijon mustard

1 T. chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp. dried

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 can or bottle (12 oz) dark beer

1/2 C. cold water

1/4 C. flour

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Move oven rack to lowest position.Remove & discard neck & giblets from turkey; rinse inside & outside of turkey with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Fasten neck skin to back of turkey with skewer. Fold wings across back of turkey so tips are touching. In shallow roasting pan, place turkey, breast side up. In medium microwaveable bowl, stir together butter, mustard, rosemary, salt, pepper & beer. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds, until well mixed. Brush about 1/3 of mixture evenly over surface of turkey. Fasten drumsticks together with cotton string. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh and does not touch bone. Roast, uncovered, 2 1/2 – 3 hours, brushing with additional beer mixture & pan juices every 30 minutes. Turkey is done when thermometer reads 165 degrees F. and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. If necessary, cover turkey breast with heavy-duty foil during last 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours of baking to prevent excess browning. Let turkey stand 15-20 minutes before carving. Remove skewers before slicing. Measure drippings and enough water to make 2 Cups. In 2 -qt. saucepan, heat drippings to boiling. In small cup, stir together cold water & flour until smooth. Stir flour mixture into boiling drippings. Continue stirring 2-3  minutes longer or until gravy is thickened & bubbly. NOTE: Add 6-8 small peeled onions to roasting pan after 1 hour of roasting. Garnish platter with roasted onions, fresh rosemary sprigs & orange slices.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange) —————————————

Sliced Baked Potatoes

4-5 potatoes

4 T. butter, melted

4-5 green onions, chopped

1 C. grated cheese (your choice)

4 strips cooked, crumbled bacon 

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Slice potatoes about 1/4″ thick; brush both sides of potato slices with butter; place on a cookie sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once. When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, green onions; return to oven and bake until cheese melts.

(recipe: Facebook) ——————————————-

 Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding

1 day old loaf cinnamon-raisin bread,

cut into 1 inch cubes (about 12 C.)

1 T. butter

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled & cut

into 1/2 in. cubes

1 C. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 1/4 C. milk

3 eggs

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

half of a 11 oz. pkg. soft caramel

candies (about 1 C.)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spread bread cubes on baking sheet & bake until lightly toasted, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven & let cool. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add apples & 1/4 C. sugar; cook until apples are tender & sugar turns light caramel in color, 10-15 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in cinnamon. In large bowl, whisk 3 C. milk with eggs, egg whites, vanilla & remaining 3/4 C. sugar. Fold in bread cubes & apples until thoroughly coated; let mixture stand 10 minutes. Coat a 2 1/2 qt. baking dish with cooking spray. Add bread mixture & compress gently to saturate the bread. Bake until custard is just set and top is golden, 50-60 minutes. Combine caramels & remaining 1/4 C. milk in 2 C. glass measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on High until mixture can be stirred smooth, 1-2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds after 1 minute of cooking to check consistency. Cool caramel sauce slightly, then drizzle over each serving. Serves 8 NOTE: Caramel sauce can be kept, covered, in the glass container in fridge up to 2 days. To reuse: microwave again as directed in recipe.

(recipe: Panera Bread)


Roasted Potato & Mushroom Soup


7 cups washed, unpeeled, chopped potatoes

6 cups water

4 chicken broth bullion cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

8 oz mushrooms

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt to taste

Boil 6 cups of the potatoes along with onions and bullion cubes in the water until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes).Meanwhile, toss remaining 1 cup  chopped potatoes in a bowl with 2 tsp olive oil. Lightly salt, spread on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees (Fahrenheit) until tender and golden. Set aside.While the potatoes care cooking, saute mushrooms in remaining olive oil over medium heat, until golden brown.Set aside. After potatoes with onions, etc. have finished cooking, carefully blend mixture in a blender — 1/2 at a time, making sure the liquid is evenly distributed.

To serve, dish a bowl of soup then sprinkle a few of the roasted potatoes on top, followed by a spoonful of sauteed mushrooms.

(recipe: Firefly/Jackie)


Rueben Noodle Bake

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

3/4 C.  milk

2 T. shallots, finely chopped

1 lb. corned beef, chopped

2 T. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 C. rye bread, sliced

into 3/4″ cubes

3 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 (14 oz) can sauerkraut, rinsed & drained

8 oz.  pkg. uncooked medium egg noodles

1  1/2 C. Swiss cheese, shredded

1 C. Thousand Island salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In bowl, combine soup, milk, shallots, corned beef & mustard. In small bowl combine rye bread cubes & melted butter; set aside. Spread sauerkraut on bottom of lightly sprayed 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with uncooked noodles. Pour soup mixture over noodles. Drizzle with 1/2 C. Thousand Island dressing, then sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 C. dressing & top with buttered rye cubes. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Uncover & bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Kroger)


Creamed Corn


2 pkgs (one 16 oz and one 10 oz) frozen corn

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

1/4 C. butter, cubed

1 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

In 3 qt. crockpot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, combine all ingredients. Cover & cook on Low 3-3 1/2 hours or until cream cheese is melted & corn is tender. Stir just before serving. Serves 5

(recipe: —————————————————–

Cranberry Rice Salad

2 C. cooked rice, cooled

1/4 C. sugar

1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple or

pineapple tidbits, drained

1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

1 container Cool Whip, thawed

1 C. chopped walnuts*

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl, reserving some of the mandarin oranges & chopped nuts, as garnish for top. Serve chilled over lettuce leaves or spooned into dessert bowls. Serves 10-12 *You can substitute pecans or dry roasted cashews in place of walnuts (or omit nuts, if desired)



Granny’s Cocoa Cream Pie

1/2 C. cocoa

1/4 C. cornstarch (or 1/2 C. flour)

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 1/2 C. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 C. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

prebaked pie shell

In saucepan over medium-high heat, mix cocoa, cornstarch, egg yolks, sugar & salt; add milk gradually while stirring. Cook until thick, beating it smooth (about 10-15 minutes).* Pour into pie shell; refrigerate until chilled. *Using a heavy bottomed pan helps NOTE: You can top this pie with thawed Cool Whip, whipped cream OR use left-over egg whites for a meringue topping.

(recipe: Facebook)


Our weather is still sunny & chilly – in the 40’s mostly, and cloudy. I was supposed to pick up grandson this afternoon but it seems plans changed (it worked out for the better for me, tho – I didn’t want to get him sick hanging around me) AND it gives me a Friday night off to do whatever I please!

Husband & I had a nice ‘outing’ today – we went to lunch at our local Thai restaurant. Let me tell ya – I should have thought of this sooner! Their Hot & Sour Soup really hit the spot AND cleared my head a bit!  I had my ‘usual’: Chicken Pad Thai and he had Pork Pad Thai with #1 spice level (I can’t handle the heat so mine is ‘no spice’ – still tastes GREAT and there’s enough left over for dinner!). We don’t go out very often, but it’s a nice treat.

Well, dearies – I’m going to close for now and go knit a bit (working on baby hats. ) Counted what’s done here: 19 newborn and 24 premie.

Enjoy your day/evening – stay warm, hydrated, and remember to relax a bit!



PS: I must have hit something, as right after I thought I was about to hit Publish, the entire post bunched up – all the recipes were just big paragraphs, no indentation, nothing! Whew! Took a bit of re-doing, but hope this post comes out legible! Sorry if there’s any difficulty reading it!

Good Morning, Everyone!


Can you tell – I’m feeling MUCH better! Still sound really stuffed up but don’t have that really ‘loggy/lethargic’ feeling I had for 5 days – YAY! Went to my Knit/Crochet group Tuesday evening (feeling yucky), and attended my special needs group last night (still not doing very good) but I think just getting out in the fresh air helped. Normally I would take my own advice and STAY HOME & REST but . . . Knit group had three new people signed up to come and I didn’t want them feeling UN-welcomed! (turns out only 1 showed, but I was glad I was there to meet/greet her). Last night was Music/Birthday night for the special needs group and I’m the only one who plays piano, plus I had a flyer that HAD to be given out (my ‘partner/leader’ isn’t much into computers or I would have asked her to comp up a flyer) – after the evening wore on a bit I was REALLY glad I came – we had a total of 42 ‘students’ plus parents & caregivers – next time we’re going to need at least 2 more tables and 12-14 chairs – we were bursting at the seams! It’s great to see our group growing and the Lord blessing us. We’re currently working on teaching them the song they’ll be singing for the “Friends & Family Christmas Gathering”; it’s a very meaningful song and the video with words will be projected behind them so that everyone will be able to read them and understand just what our ‘students’ are singing. Here’s the link to the video:


Today we don’t have as much “tap,tap,tap”, BAM, BAM, BAM! Thump! Scrape! as we had Tuesday and Wednesday – the ROOFERS are still here, but now they’re working on the connecting porch and garage, so the loud sounds aren’t as irritating. (Let me tell ya – having a very stuffed head and hearing all that for over 8 hours a day can really make one very cranky!). I know it’s necessary, it’s just a long process. They’re doing a great job and we’re very pleased – every night they totally clean up the yard of all boards, old shingles, etc. Next job up (when they schedule it) is siding for the dormer window and new gutters.


Cranberry Orange Cheese Ball
with Caramelized Pecans

1 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C. frozen orange juice concentrate,
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. confectioners sugar

Caramelized Pecans:
3/4 C. pecans, coarsely chopped
1 T. butter
2 T. sugar

Chop cranberries in food processor or blender. Add
cream cheese, orange juice & sugar; blend in processor
until all is creamed together. Place on sheet of waxed
paper; shape into a ball. Let set in refrigerator, overnight,
to stiffen up a bit. You can shape it better the next day
when it is harder.
Caramelized Pecans:
Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Add pecans &
sugar; mix well stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes.
Do not let them burn. Lay out a sheet of waxed paper;
place pecans on sheet, spreading them out – let them
cool. When you are ready to serve the cheese ball,
remove from fridge & shape better. Using your hands,
press pecans all over cheese ball until fully covered.
Place ball on plate & serve.


Mom M’s Sausage Stuffing

1 lb. pork sausage
3/4 c. minced onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 T. sage, dried
12 C. bread, cubed or torn into small
3 eggs
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 baking dish. Brown
sausage, remove from pan. Add onions to
pan – saute until translucent. Beat eggs &
chicken broth in medium bowl. Mix sausage,
onions, egg mix & all other ingredients in very
large bowl. Add more broth if it seems dry- it
should be fairly damp to the touch. Place all
ingredients in prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes
then cover with foil if it starts to get dry or
too brown on top. Continue to bake 15-30
minutes longer. Serves 10


Green Bean Casserole Stuffed Mushrooms

3 slices bacon, diced
1 T. butter
1/4 c. diced onion
1 an cooked, drained diced green beans
1/4 C. canned cream of onion soup
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. Half & Half
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
30 whole baby portobello mushrooms
2.8 oz. can French-fried onions

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick
spray. In small skillet, cook diced bacon
over medium heat until crisp; add butter
& melt over medium heat. Add onion &
cook until tender; remove from heat & set
aside to cool. In large bowl, combine green
beans, soup, 1/2 C. cheese, Half & Half, sour
cream, salt, pepper & reserved cooked bacon
& onion; stir to combine. Remove stems from
mushrooms (discard stems). Lightly spray
mushroom caps with nonstick spray. Place,
stem side down, in baking dish; bake 10
minutes, turning once after 5 minutes. Drain
liquid from caps & fill with green bean mixture.
Top with cheese & fried onions. Bake 8-10 minutes
longer or until mushrooms are tender & filling is
heated through. Serve warm. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Salad

1 (6 oz) pkg. cherry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled &
1 C. chopped pecans
1 can whole cranberry sauce

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained well
6-8 oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. chopped toasted pecans

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water; stir to  mix, set
aside to cool. Add apples, pecans & cranberry
sauce; pour into 9 X 13 glass dish; chill until firm.
Blend softened cream cheese with powdered sugar
until smooth. Fold in crushed pineapple. Add vanilla
to Cool Whip; mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
Gradually add Cool Whip mixture to cream cheese/
pineapple mixture. Spread evenly over firm-set Jell-O.
Sprinkle top with toasted pecans. Keep chilled until
ready to serve. Serves 12


Glorious Baked Cheese Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, cut into flowerets

4 T. butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 C. milk
1/2 – 1 T. Dijon mustard, to taste
1 1/2 C. (6 oz block) extra sharp Cheddar
cheese, grated

1 C. soft fresh bread crumbs
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 T. melted butter
pinch of salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil or steam cauliflower in water just
until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain;
set aside. Grease 2 Qt. casserole dish. In
medium saucepan, heat butter over medium
heat. Add flour & stir until smooth & just
bubbly. Add salt, pepper & milk; cook sauce,
stirring, until thickened & bubbly. Add mustard
& cheese; continue cooking & stirring until
cheese is melted. Combine cauliflower & sauce;
spoon into prepared pan. Combine topping
ingredients; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until the casserole is
bubbly & topping is browned lightly. Bake in
lower half of oven so topping doesn’t over brown.



Amish Cinnamon Bread
No kneading, you just mix it up and bake it


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Bacon & Cheddar Potato Cakes

3 slices bacon
4 C. cold leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Place bacon in large, deep skillet; cook
over medium-high heat, turning
occasionally, until evenly browned &
crisp, about 10 min. Remove bacon,
crumble & set aside. (leave drippings in
skillet). Mix mashed potatoes, eggs,
onion powder, salt & black pepper together
in a bowl. Stir in crumbled bacon & Cheddar
cheese. Form mixture into 8 patties. Heat
bacon drippings over medium heat & pan
fry patties until crisp on each side, about
4 minutes per side.

(recipe: Facebook)

Tuna Noodle Casserole (no soup)

1 can mushroom pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles – no-yolk variety
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
2 1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 (6.5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water
1 small can peas, drained
salt & pepper, to taste
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
French onions (for topping)*

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Saute mushrooms, garlic, onion & green
pepper in skillet; set aside. Cook egg
noodles accordg. to pkg. directions; drain.
Melt butter in skillet; blend in flour. Add milk,
slowly, cooking & stirring continually. When
sauce is thick & smooth, blend in cream
cheese. Add cooked noodles, tuna, peas,
peppers/onions/mushrooms; mix well. Season
with salt & pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into
greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Top mixture with
sharp Cheddar cheese & sprinkle French onions
on top. Bake 20 minutes. Serves 8

*You can also use breadcrumbs & Parmesan
cheese mixed together instead of French onions.


Cranberry Apple Pie

1  9″ (2 crust) pie shell, unbaked

4 Granny Smith apples
2 C. cranberries (fresh)
1 C. sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Peel, core & slice apples 1/8″
thick. Roll pie crust out on lightly
floured board to 1/8″ thickness. Cut
out two 11″ rounds. Fit one round into
a 9″ tart pan. Combine cranberries, apples,
sugar, flour & nutmeg; spoon into crust.
Cover with second round. Seal edges;
crimp decoratively. Make slits in top to allow
steam vents. Bake 10 minutes; then reduce
heat to 375 and bake 35-40 minutes longer.
Serve warm or chilled.
Makes 1 9″ pie

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Lots of holiday recipes coming in – (I’m trying NOT to post ALL desserts, but there are certainly a LOT of yummy-sounding ones hitting my emails these days!).

Weather-wise, today it’s ‘supposed’ to get up in the 50’s (I’m doubtful); right now it’s sunny and 34 ‘balmy’ degrees out. Last night, while driving home from Friends Group (special needs group) it was 24 degrees and VERY windy – let me tell ya, when wind hits your face at that temperature, you REALLY feel it! Thank heavens for car heaters, eh? At this point in time I’ll be really surprised IF we get an Indian Summer. (for those of you unfamiliar: Indian Summer usually occurs some time in late fall – it can be 1 day or more of unseasonably WARM weather – like in the 70’s when it’s been in the 40’s. Those of us in Michigan who have been here a long time really look forward to that brief time of warmth before the long, cold winter. It’s not a predictable thing: some years we get it, some we don’t.

I’m going to close for now; hoping you are having a great day. Remember to do something nice for yourself.



Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 11:04 am  Comments (1)  
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