Funny how QUICKLY a day can change!

moving-boxes-other-moving-stuff-22460371I no sooner than finished hitting “Publish” on the last post than middle son comes in announcing that he’s moving back home TODAY! Now I’m pretty sure I heard (the other day) that he’d be moving in ‘some time early January, or the next week or so’ – am absolutely POSITIVE I didn’t hear THIS WEEK! (he says I was busy on my computer and probably didn’t pay attention- go figure!) It’s not that big of a deal, but at the ‘arrival time’ earlier I was still in my jammies, no breakfast – and definitely not ready to jump up and start moving things around in this room in order to accommodate his things! Oh well – life happens, things change – right? I’m now fully dressed, the exercise machine that was in here has been moved back to the basement, empty Christmas storage boxes are now in the living room along with bags of Purple Heart donation stuff, our big dresser has been moved to the corner, so now the floor is open for his bed and chest of drawers. Sigh . . . it’s funny how ‘kids’ see things differently than we do: I see lots of little ‘projects’ to get done before his stuff comes back, he sees it as: “I just need your van – I can handle taking apart the bed, moving it all in your van, etc.” First: you are NOT driving/using MY VAN – second, it took 2 people to do the above mentioned things – you’d better be on Dad’s good side when you ASK for his help! When he moved out it took all THREE of us: son, me & Dad and THREE vehicles full of stuff! We’ll see how this all goes down – right now he’s getting ready to start training (at oldest son’s restaurant) as a server. He’s never done that before, but oldest son offered the part-time job, so we’ll see how that goes. Middle son works as a special needs caregiver but the company he works for will not let their employees work 40 hours (40 hours + and the company would have to pay benefits); this arrangement is not working well with son, who needs more $$$ so his older brother offered the part-time serving job – his choice of days/hours – this might just be the ‘boost up’ he needs!

Right now I’m rushing to complete the 62 copies of my special needs group’s newsletter for January/February. Since my computer is in the room our son will be moving back into, it behooves me to get this work done and out of the way (several reasons why: so that I KNOW what I’m doing and don’t mess it up AND so that I’m not underfoot while they are moving in wooden bed frame parts, mattress, etc. I’m normally a person who loves to keep up on all my ‘things to do’ but I find myself becoming a PROCRASTINATOR when it comes to finishing up the newsletter. It’s not like someone else is going to write it – I’m the Editor – it’s my ‘baby’, I just tend to put it off because I’m not ‘moved’ to pick out clip art, arrange fonts/draw in all the boxes, double-check dates, etc. Oh well – to quote the TV comedian: “Git ‘er Done!”

Back to work for me;



Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Last Day of 2013!


Here’s to hoping 2014 is a better year than this one was – lots of twists & turns for me and my family, but we’re still ‘alive & kickin’, so to speak. Weather-wise, it’s still COLD: 19 right now at 10: 04 a.m. – that’s OK by me, as far as I know I don’t have anywhere to go today so I’ll stay nice & warm in my home. We got about 1 1/2 inches of snow overnight – I can hear the road plows going down our street.  I bought some munchies for my family for the midnight ‘watch the ball’ thing – at my age, I really don’t care if the ball falls or not! Life goes on.

Here’s some party recipes for ya – enjoy!


Ham & Cheese Lettuce Wraps
(recipe is for one serving)

2 T. cream cheese, softened
2 large leaf lettuce leaves
6 slices smoked ham
2 tsp. chopped black olives
2 tsp. finely chopped onions
2 T. shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread cream cheese onto lettuce.
Top with remaining ingredients; roll
up. Secure with toothpicks.

Can be made with sliced turkey breast

Also can be made ahead of time; store
in refrigerator up to 24 hours before

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Sweet Pepper Ham Wraps

1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 T. cream cheese, softened
12 slices cooked, sliced ham*

Cut peppers lengthwise in half;
remove/discard seeds. Cut each
piece into three lengthwise strips.
Dry insides with paper towel; spread
evenly with cream cheese. Place one
pepper strip on each ham slice, wrap
ham around pepper & secure with
wooden toothpicks. Makes 12 servings
–  3 peppers each
*can substitute bologna for ham slices

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken Satay (appetizer)

1/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into strips

Mix first 4 ingredients; pour over
chicken in shallow glass dish.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour to
marinate, turning after 30 minutes.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove
chicken from marinade, discard marinade.
Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill 4-5
minutes on each side until chicken is done.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soak wooden skewers in water for
1 hour before using to prevent them from

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Surf & Turf Appetizers

12 slices bacon, cut crosswise in
6 large sea scallops (1/2 lb)
12 fresh pineapple chunks (1 inch)

Heat oven 400 degrees F.
Pat scallops in pineapple dry with paper
towels. Cut each scallop in half. Wrap
each scallop & pineapple chunk with bacon
piece; secure with wooden toothpicks. Place
on rack of broiler pan. Bake 25 minutes or
until scallops are opaque & bacon is cone.
Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken Fiesta Chili Dip

1 lb. Velveeta, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 (6 oz) pkg. sliced grilled chicken
breast, chopped
1 (15 oz) can chili with beans
1/2 C. chopped green peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

tortilla chips, crackers, cut-up
fresh vegetables

Mix ingredients in 2 qt. microwaveable
bowl. Microwave on High 6-8 minutes or
until Velveeta is completely melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring every
3 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips,
crackers or cut-up fresh vegetables.
Makes 32 (2 T. each) servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mexican Fiesta Bites

24 won ton wrappers
1 C. cooked, crumbled Italian sausage
1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
3/4 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese
1/4 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 won ton wrapper in each of
24 mini muffin cups sprayed with
non-stick spray, with edges of wrappers
extending over tops of cups. Bake 5 minutes.
Combine sausage & salsa. Spoon sausage
mixture into won ton cups. Bake 10 minutes
or until filling is heated through & edges of
cups are golden brown. Top with cheese; bake
1-2 minutes or until melted. Top with sour
cream & cilantro; serve. Makes 24 servings.

*can substitute chopped green onions for

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

1 C. water
1 C. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 (22 oz) pkg. fresh cauliflower florets
3/4 C. hot sauce
1 T. melted unsalted butter

blue cheese salad dressing (optional)
celery sticks (optional)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Lightly spray large nonstick baking
sheet with nonstick spray. Combine
water, flour & garlic powder in bowl,
stir until well-combined. Coat the
cauliflower pieces with flour mixture
& place on baking sheet. Bake 20
minutes. Combine hot sauce & butter
in small bowl. Pour hot sauce mixture
over baked cauliflower; continue baking
5 minutes. Serve with blue cheese salad
dressing, if desired, and celery sticks.
Serves 6


Zucchini Pizza Bites

(multiply amounts: recipe is for 1)

1 medium zucchini, cut on diagonal
olive oil spray
salt & pepper
2 T. marinara sauce
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut zucchini about 1/4 inch thick. Spray
both sides of slices with oil; season with
salt & pepper. Broil or grill zucchini about
2 minutes on each side. Top with sauce &
cheese; broil an additional 1-2  minutes,
being careful not to burn the cheese.


Black Eyed Pea Dip

1 (15 oz) can no-salt black eye peas
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 T. fresh lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. cooked corn (fresh or frozen/thawed)
1 C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 C. minced red onion, finely diced
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & diced
1 medium avocado, diced

Rinse & drain peas in a colander. In a
large bowl, combine garlic, lime juice, oil,
cumin, crushed red pepper & salt; mix well.
Add peas, corn, tomato, red onion, jalapeno
& cilantro; mix well & refrigerate 20 minutes.
When read to eat, gently mix in avocado –
serve immediately. Serves 12


Sweet Pepper & Ham Deviled Eggs

1/2 C. cream cheese
2 t. horseradish sauce (Kraft)
1 dozen hard-cooked eggs, cooled &
peeled. cut lengthwise in half
1/2 C. chopped ham (cooked)
1 green pepper, chopped*

Mix cream cheese, horseradish sauce &
4 egg yolks until well blended. Cover &
refrigerate remaining egg yolks for another
use. Add chopped ham & green pepper; mix
well. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly
into egg white halves. Sprinkle tops with
paprika, cover lightly. Refrigerate at least
30 minutes before serving. Makes 24
servings, 1 half each

*can substitute green pepper for red, OR
use 1/4 each: red, yellow & green

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Here’s to you: may you have a WONDERFUL New Year filled with health, happiness and friends. Enjoy your day – relax a little, party a little, and have fun.



Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Almost the end of this year!


I don’t know about your schedule, but around here things are moving kind of slow – no big dinners to prepare, presents to wrap, appointments to keep – kind of nice! I managed a multi-store shop today, getting those items needed, like printer ink (special needs group’s newsletter is due very soon), batteries (always in need of those!), bird seed (our outdoor birdies need food, too!), Mt. Dew (on sale – husband’s favorite ‘drink of choice’), a few groceries, quick stop at the drug store – shampoo, etc., then to pick up the mail. It was nice to ‘get out’ on my own; other than church yesterday, I’ve pretty much been ‘house bound’ – finally getting over the viral-thing, still stuffed up sinus, but getting better.

Our weather is doing it’s ‘usual for this time of year’ thing: went from the 30’s to the teens; got in the car to a brisk 16 degrees; it’s supposed to be getting colder the next 2 days, then warm up a little (HA! Michigan in winter is NEVER very warm, but you get used to it!). Looking at the rest of the week: it goes from a ‘high’ today of 19 to Friday’s 6 (and that’s the expected HIGH!) along with some show showers – maybe, during the week. Oh, joy . . . I was thinking today while walking through a very clear parking lot: “At least it’s ONLY cold – not cold and tons of snow, or ice, or rain – or all three!” There are ALWAYS blessings, if you just look for them!


Along with the upcoming New Year’s holiday – and probably parties, I’ll try posting FUN foods!


Bacon Crescent Appetizers

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except roll dough. Separate
each can of dough into 8 triangles; cut each
triangle lengthwise in half. Spread each dough
triangle with 1 generous teaspoon cream cheese
mixture; roll up, starting at short side of triangle.
Place, point-sides down, on baking sheet. Bake
12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 16 servings.

(NOTE: you can also sprinkle tops of these with
poppy seeds just before baking, if you wish)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Baked Spiral Bites

2 (8 oz, ea) refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 (5 oz) jar pimento spread (Kraft)
4 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll dough into 2 rectangles;
firmly press perforations & seams
together to seal. Spread dough with
pimento spread; top with onions. Roll
up, starting at one short end. Cut each
roll crosswise into 8 slices; place, cut-
sides down, 2 inches apart on baking
sheets. Bake 15 minutes or until
golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Slow-baked Chicken Wings

5 lb. chicken wing drummettes,
or wing pieces, thawed

1 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 C. French dressing
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. dried pepper flakes,
or chipotle pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour thawed chicken wings into
large greased baking pan; bake
1 hour, turning once. Transfer
wings to another pan lined with
greased foil.* Blend all sauce
ingredients together using blender;
pour over wings.

Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.

Bake wings 1 1/2 hours, basting every
30 minutes. Can be eaten immediately or
placed in a warm crockpot; using crockpot
will take away any crispness. Serves 6-8

NOTE: They can be served with hot sauce
or Buffalo sauce.

*The extra steps in moving wings from pan
to pan is to render off any fat, and to get
wings out of juice & fats from previous
cooking time. Foil makes clean up easier.

(recipe: Mary

Mini Crab Cakes

2 eggs
1 1/2 C. water
1/3 C. butter, melted
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
2 (6 oz, ea) cans crabmeat, drained &
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. mayonnaise*
1/4 C. apricot preserves
1 tsp. hot sauce

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium
bowl until blended. Add stuffing mix,
crabmeat & vegetables; mix well.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches
apart, onto greased baking sheets; flatten
slightly with spatula. (you should have
40 mounds). Bake 8-10 minutes or until
golden brown. Mix remaining ingredients
until blended. Serve crab cakes with sauce.
Makes 40 servings.

*can substitute Miracle Whip

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened (do not use
3/4 C. confectioners sugar
2-3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. miniature chocolate chips
3/4 C. pecans, chopped

In mixer, beat cream cheese & butter
until creamy. Add sugars & vanilla; mix
until well-combined. Stir in chocolate
chips; cover & refrigerate at least 2
hours. Mold cold mixture into a ball &
cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate
1 more hour. Roll ball in chopped nuts
just before serving. Serves 15-20.

Good served with: cinnamon or honey
graham crackers, vanilla wafers, short
bread or butter cookies.

NOTE: Poster mentions she serves this
right after mixing, without refrigerating
OR rolling in nuts!


Smoked Salmon Dip

1 small can salmon (size of tuna can),
3 T. prepared tomato pesto
2 T. prepared sliced sun-dried tomatoes
2-3 T. boursin cheese
1-2 T. sour cream
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. natural liquid smoke,
IF you’re using unsmoked salmon

In medium bowl, mix salmon, pesto,
sundried tomatoes, boursin cheese – crumbled
up to mix in well. Add liquid smoke, if using;
sour cream; mix well. Check taste at this
point – add salt & pepper, if desired. Serve
on platter with crackers, warm bread slices,


Apple Fritters

1 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. milk
1 egg
1 C. chopped apple
(oil, for frying)


2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking
powder, cinnamon; stir in milk &
egg until just combined. Fold in
apple. Pour oil in skillet so that is
approx. 1 1/2 inches deep; heat
on High. Oil is ready when a little
dough dropped in, floats to the top.
Carefully add dough to oil in heaping
teaspoons. Cook until brown, about
2 minutes, then flip. Cook another
1-2 minutes until both sides are
browned. Transfer briefly to paper
towels to absorb excess oil, then
transfer to cooling rack. Make glaze
by stirring milk & powdered sugar
together in a small bowl. Drizzle
glaze over fritters. Wait approx.
3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip
fritters over & drizzle glaze over the
other side. Best served warm.

(recipe: Facebook)

Hot Bacon Cheese Spread

1 loaf (16 oz) round Italian bread
12 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Colby & Monterrey
Jack cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

(crackers, for dipping)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut lengthwise slice from top of
bread loaf; remove center, leaving 1 inch
thick shell. Cut removed bread into bite-
sized pieces; set aside. Mix remaining
ingredients until well blended. Spoon into
bread shell; cover with top bread slice.
Wrap in foil; place on baking sheet & bake
15-20 minutes until filling is heated through.
Serve with reserved bread pieces & crackers.
Makes 28 servings, 2 T. spread & 1/2 oz. bread
cubes each.

Note: Replace top of bread loaf & refrigerate
any remaining cheese spread in bread shell.
To reheat, microwave bread shell & cheese
spread on High 1-2 minutes or until cheese
spread is heated through, stirring once.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Stompin’ Good Jalapeno Squares

2 (4 oz) cans jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
1 lb bacon, fried, crumbled
1 (12 oz) pkg shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushroom stems and pieced, drained
10 eggs, well beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.Line bottom of 9×13 baking dish with jalapenos. Sprinkle bacon pieces, cheese and mushrooms in layers. Pour beaten eggs over top. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until center is
firm. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.Cut into squares and serve hot. Makes 8 servings

NOTE: If you want a mild “hot”, just use 1 can jalapenos.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

I might be able to come up with a few more ‘party’ recipes before the New Year – we’ll see what’s posted on my emails (haven’t read them yet).

Hope you’re enjoying this ‘in between holidays’ time – stay healthy, warm, and remember to smile a little (makes people wonder what you’re up to!).



PS: My friends from “Key of Hope” ministry – the kids from Africa, left to go back home today. I can only imagine the stories they will tell their friends and families of their experiences in America! From squatter huts to the luxuries of the United States of America! What a dream come true!

Published in: on December 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Now that wasn’t THAT hard!


Photo of crocheted headband my friend asked me to make


My version, using colors she chose (my flowers were smaller, so I made 3)

This was an interesting project mainly because I’m NOT a crocheter, per se – I can sort of figure things out in crochet, but I wouldn’t consider me an actual crocheter. The spiral thingies were ‘interesting’ – never done that before but was able to find a pattern for that ‘idea’ (they made them into things like little girl’s pony tail ties, key chains, necklaces, belts – smaller or larger). I messaged her on Facebook and she’s all excited to get it – they live in Tenn., so it’s pretty cold there right now. I had to guess on the width of the band as well as circumference – not exactly sure how BIG her head is! Hope it fits – I wanted it comfy/snug – not tight. We’ll see.

All-in-all I’d say it took about 2 – 2 1/2 hours to make (not counting looking up how to make the spirals and digging in my old sewing box to find my grandma’s ‘Daisy Maker’ – SO glad I found it – not sure HOW I would have made them without it!)

Just thought you might like to see my most recent project.



Published in: on December 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Nice and quiet – for now . . .


Any minute now my nice, quiet day will begin to be very noisy; our roofing company is due here today to put up the new gutters & siding – YAY! I don’t envy them working in the cold (33 degrees F.) or having to battle all the snow on the roof (we’ve had a good amount), but it will be nice to finally have our roof area finished! Now I’m wondering how many days it will take them to complete the job. I am VERY impressed with this company: HANSON’S, they keep us updated by phone on when their men will be out, about how long it will take them and their crews clean up the work area every day – very efficient!

So – how was your holiday? We had a very nice family time Christmas evening; just our boys and oldest son’s girlfriend & our grandson. I have been down with a viral ‘bug’ for a good 5 days – heavy coughing, sore throat, very little sleep, 103.3 fever one night – no fun, for sure. I kept thinking to myself (and praying): will I EVER have the energy to cook Christmas dinner? Husband was very helpful and we managed to get out a very nice dinner. I’m starting to feel a little better each day now; last night I actually slept through the entire night without waking up coughing! When I posted a small blurb on Facebook about being sick, another friend from high school wrote that she had the very same bug  – she ended up seeing the doctor who gave her some cough syrup, but even that didn’t help. (I tried cough syrup, cough drops, Chloraseptic throat spray – nothing helped for very long). Don’t know what it was but I’m glad it’s on the ‘going away’ part!

We have been very blessed – in our area LOTS of families were without power for days; headlines on today’s paper say 6,800 people are STILL without power! With our very cold temperatures and snow, I don’t even want to think how that would feel. We went through that many, many years ago when our area was hit with a very nasty ice storm. That was back when our oldest son was little; we had a kerosene heater and gas-log fireplace, so we roughed it. We were very fortunate, also, to have a gas water heater, so we had hot water for showers; let me tell you – showering in a freezing cold bathroom, stepping out into that – WooHoo! That will raise your eyebrows, for sure! Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days, looks like we’re in for some really cold temps Monday & Tuesday: 14 degrees & 13 degrees – and that’s the HIGHS! Ah, winter in Michigan – don’t ya just love it!?


Coffeecake Muffins

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix together dry muffin ingredients, then
make a well in the center. Beat butter, sugar
& egg together well. Mix in milk & vanilla;
pour into well. Stir just to moisten. Spoon
part of batter into greased muffin tins 1/3 rd
full. Sprinkle topping mix over top, then top
with remaining batter, filling 2/3 rds full.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Irish Nachos

5 potatoes, sliced thick with skin on
5 slices bacon
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 pickled jalapenos, sliced (jar)
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 T. seasoned salt
3/4 C. corned beef, cooked & chopped
vegetable oil (for frying)

sour cream
sliced green onions
chopped tomatoes
additional jalapenos

Fry potato slices in oil until golden &
tender; drain on paper towels; sprinkle
with seasoned salt. Cook bacon until
crispy, remove & set aside. Add onion
to bacon drippings; cook until tranparent
& tender. Layer potatoes on bottom of
a 8″ or 10″ cast iron skillet; add corned
beef, crumbled bacon, onion, shredded
cheese & jalapenos, in that order. Place
under broiler 10-15 minutes or until
hot. Serves 4-6


Cheesy Pork Chop Casserole

4 potatoes, peeled & sliced
4 thick-cut boneless pork chops
1 (10.75 oz) can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 (10.5 oz) can French Onion soup
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Monterey Jack

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line bottom of a 9 X 13 pan with sliced
potatoes. Arrange pork chops on top. In
small bowl, stir together soups & pour
over chops. Cover pan with aluminum
foil & cook 1 hour or until internal
temperature of pork chops reaches 145
degrees F. Sprinkle chops with cheese,
then serve. Serves 4

(recipe: Mary Free – Marys Recipe

Slowcooker Peach Cobbler

4 C. fresh or frozen sliced peeled peaches
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. milk
(ice cream or whipped cream)

Spray insides of 6 qt. crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl,
gently toss peaches & 1/4 C. sugar;
pour into crockpot. In medium bowl
gently beat Bisquick, 1/2 C. sugar &
milk with whisk until blended. Pour
over peaches. Cover & cook on Low
3 hours or until cobbler is set in
center. Serve with ice cream or whipped
cream. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Chicken Dijon

6 whole chicken breasts, skinless/
boneless & halved
1/2 C. fine bread crumbs
salt & pepper, to taste
1/3 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 1-2 large baking
sheets. Sprinkle chicken lightly with
salt & pepper. Stir together yogurt &
mustard in small bowl; spread
mixture on bottom sides of chicken.
Place on baking sheets, coated sides
down, leaving space between pieces.
Spread mixture over tops. Combine
bread crumbs, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt &
1/4 tsp. pepper; sprinkle over chicken.
Bake 30-35 minutes until golden-brown &
no longer pink in centers.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Butter Tart Squares


1 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter (room temp, NOT melted)


2 T. butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1 C. raisins (optional)
1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine flour & sugar;
cut in butter until crumbly. Press
into 9 X i greased pan. Bake 15

In a separate bowl, mix butter &
eggs; blend in sugar, flour, baking
powder, vanilla & salt. Stir in
raisins & pecans, if using. Pour
this over baked base. Bake 20-25
minutes, or until top springs back
when touched lightly. Let cool on
wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 12-18 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Well, that’s all that’s going on around here lately; hope you all had a very lovely Christmas holiday, with friends/family/loved ones. Enjoy this brief time between the activities of Christmas and the excitement of the upcoming New Year. Try to stay in good health if at all possible. Remember to take a little time for yourself; relax, maybe enjoy a little nap or a nice hot cup of something – cocoa, coffee, tea – and try to smile a little. It helps keep our face muscles in tone! (hehehe)



Lost one!


Have you ever gone about your Christmas present wrapping only to discover you lost a present? Happens to me almost EVERY year! (I remember, as a child, in something like June or July, my Mom called me into her room and presented me with a gift – apparently SHE had the same problem and had just found a lost Christmas present!).This time it’s a video for my husband and, the bad part is, I don’t even remember WHAT it was, name of movie, etc! It was probably an impulse buy and I tucked it away – now I only remember I bought him 2 videos, no names! He’s a great sport – he (nor I) never wants anything so if I lost one, it doesn’t bother him. (It’s gonna bug ME for quite awhile if I don’t find it!).

Remember my mentioning I had a dry cough? Well it turned into ‘something’, not sure what, but I was sick all day Sat. & Sun.; ended up sleeping from around 11 p.m. Sat. until around 5 P.M. Sunday! Husband said I felt warm – temp 101.3; just kept sleeping and drinking plenty of liquids. Woke up feeling a little better today, enough to get some of the things done I had planned. All of my ‘gotta do’ things are done (except bake cookies – right now I could care LESS if we have cookies in the house!). IF I feel like it tomorrow (Christmas EVE), I’ll stop by the local grocery store for fixin’s for a big salad – if I don’t, no big deal, we’re not going to starve. Managed to bake the yearly family tradition: my double chocolate “Happy Birthday, Jesus” cake – got it all decorated and under a cake hood/top. Wrapped all the gifts – it looks a bit strange, as I used the same wrapping paper for all of them – just didn’t have the gumption to go upstairs and drag down all the other wrapping paper. It’s the thought that counts anyway, right?

Youngest dropped a minor bomb on me today: he’s bringing his new (as of a few days) girlfriend over tomorrow night to ‘hang out’. I warned him that I’m not at all sure how I’ll be feeling AND whether the house will be ‘presentable’ or not. (already asked husband to vacuum the living & dining rooms for me). We’ll see how this goes; I”m still waiting on word from both other sons as to who is coming here when: ie: dinner or just a drop by open present thing AND whether it will be on Christmas or Christmas Eve! You know all the appetizer recipes I’ve been posting here? Looks like (IF I feel like it) I might be going through past posts to come up with something for Christmas Eve. I mentioned to husband that I was thinking of making spaghetti for dinner for tonight & tomorrow night; he said: “Never mind! We don’t need the fridge clogged up with leftovers! We’ll manage just fine with sandwiches or hot dogs or hamburgers.” (See? Sometimes life CAN be easier!) Good thing about getting sick? I lost almost 5 lbs.! (You KNOW I’ll gain it right back Christmas dinner!)

A friend of mine from high school messaged me on Facebook and ask if I thought I could make this:


It’s a crocheted headband – I told her I’m not really good at crocheting but I’d give it a try (but she’d have to wait until after the holidays). She’s asking if I can make it in Heather Grey with turquoise flowers – I told her I’d check my yarn stash – who knows? I just might have those colors available! Right now I’m working on finishing another chemo caps for the cancer center, as I’m due for a regular check up around the end of January and I’d like to drop some hats off, as this IS the cold season here in Michigan.

Speaking of cold – Saturday night we had a bit of freezing rain; we were VERY lucky where I live – a lot of my friends from church reported downed power lines, no electricity/heat, etc. Being that I was feeling really sick, we stayed home. It’s 32 degrees out now, roads clear – great driving weather (hope it stays that way for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day!).


Cranberry Christmas Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a mixer, beat the eggs with sugar
until slightly thickened and light in color,
about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should
almost double in size. The eggs work as
your leavening agent in this recipe, so do
not skip this step. This mixture should
form a ribbon when you lift the beaters
out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla;
mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour
until just combined. Add the cranberries
and stir to mix throughout. Spread in
buttered 9×13 pan. Bake 40-50 minutes,
or until very lightly browned and a toothpick
inserted near the center of the cake comes
out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into
small slices.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sweet & Savory Pork Chops over Stuffing

6 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
2 T. dijon mustard
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing, divided
1/4 C. maple syrup
3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
4 green onions, chopped
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken,
prepared as directed on pkg.

Spread both sides of chops with mustard;
press rosemary into mustard. Heat 1/4 C.
salad dressing in large nonstick skillet on
medium-high. Add chops & cook 4 minutes
on each side or until browned on both sides.
Add remaining salad dressing & syrup; top
with bacon & onions-cook 5 minutes or until
chops are done (160 degrees F.) Serve chops
over dressing. Serves 6: 1 chop & 1/2 C.
stuffing each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Garlic Broccolini

2 bunches broccolini (baby broccoli)
6 cloves peeled garlic, sliced thin
1 1/2 T. olive oil
(kosher salt)
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Trim about 1 1/2″ off broccolini stems; discard
stems. Slice broccolini in half, lengthwise.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; when boiling
add broccolini & cook 2 minutes. Quickly drain;
run under cold water to stop cooking. Heat a
large saute pan over medium-high heat; add
oil & garlic – cook until golden, about 1 minute.
Add drained broccolini, season with kosher
salt to taste & cook 1 minute or until heated
through.  Serves 6

Bacon Crescent Appetizers

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except roll dough. Separate
each can of dough into 8 triangles; cut each
triangle lengthwise in half. Spread each dough
triangle with 1 generous teaspoon cream cheese
mixture; roll up, starting at short side of triangle.
Place, point-sides down, on baking sheet. Bake
12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 16 servings.

(NOTE: you can also sprinkle tops of these with
poppy seeds just before baking, if you wish)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————Chili Cheese Taco Dip
1 lb. ground beef
1 can chili (with no beans)
1 lb. mild Mexican Velveeta cheese, cubed
taco or tortilla chips

Brown beef, drain & crumble into small
pieces. Combine beef, chili & cheese in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 1 1/2 hours
or until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.
Serve warm with taco or tortilla chips.
Makes 10-12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chicken Breast Surprise

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, sliced
1 C. mushrooms
1 red pepper, sliced (yellow or green work, also)
1 C. ketchup
1 C. diet Coca-cola
Place cleaned chicken with veggies in skillet.
Mix ketchup with coca-cola; pour on top of
chicken. Cover & cook until sauce cooks down
& becomes the consistency of barbecue sauce,
approximately 30 minutes. Serves 4

Note: This is also great with turkey breast

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Raspberry Honey Walnut Crescents

2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. raspberries
3 T. honey
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. sugar
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a jelly roll sized cookie sheet with
parchment paper. Combine cream cheese,
walnuts, honey & raspberries; mix until blended.
Open cresc. rolls; place 1/2 tsp. of mixture on
widest part of triangle. Roll crescent dough 
away from you until the narrow end is under-
neath; place on parchment paper & repeat
with rest of rolls. Bake 10 minutes, then remove
from oven & brush tops lightly with melted butter.
Sprinkle granulated sugar on top then bake
2 more minutes until dough is a light brown
color. Makes 16


Crockpot Cheesy Chicken & Potatoes

1 large green pepper, chopped
1 lb. red potatoes (about 3) very thinly sliced
1 tsp. paprika
8 small bone-in chicken thighs (2 lb) skin removed
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick spray. Place
peppers in crockpot, top with potatoes. Sprinkle
paprika over chicken then place 4 chicken thighs
in crockpot; cover with soup & remaining thighs.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.
Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken & veggies
to platter; cover to keep warm. Set crockpot on
High; add Velveeta & Worcestershire sauce to
liquid in crockpot; stir. Cover with lid, cook 5
minutes. Stir until Velveeta is completely melted&
sauce is well blended. Spoon over chicken &
veggies; top with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Spice it up: Use smoked paprika

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————–Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies

1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 C. old-fashioned oats
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
2 T. milk
2 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment
paper; set aside. In medium bowl, combine
flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt,
& oats; set aside. In bowl of a stand mixer,
combine melted butter, milk, honey & vanilla.
Mix until smooth; slowly ad dry ingredients
& mix to combine. Drop 1 level teaspoon
of batter onto prepared sheets, leaving
space in between, placing only 12 cookies
on each sheet because they will spread in
oven. Bake 7-9 minutes; remove from oven &
let cool on sheets 2 minutes. Carefully
transfer cookies to wire rack & cool
completely. Spread one cookie with a thin
layer of melted chocolate & sandwich with
another cookie on top; repeat with remaining
cookies. You will use only about 1 oz. of
chocolate. Makes 22 servings

Well, friends – that’s about all I can come up with for now. Hope you are right where you want to be with all your holiday preparataions. Remember to stay healthy (not like me) and try to enjoy this time of year.



How’s Your Weather?

rain-umbrella-dog-26562364Around here in good old COLD Michigan, there’s a rain and freezing rain advisory – it’s supposed to get pretty bad very soon (low tonight of 30 degrees – it’s 37 right now at 6 p.m.). I’m glad I took the time this morning to run out to several grocery stores and the local drugstore. I’ve been struggling with our old lighted Christmas wreath for years – lots of lights; sometimes they blink, sometimes not – sometimes they won’t stay on – sigh. While I was out I bought a 100-light multi colored strand, thinking I’d strip the old lights and put on the new – that was not to be. Alas, only 1/2 the strand works; husband said: “Here, give it to me – I can fix it!”. I said: “I’m DONE with this – even though it only cost $3.99 (25% off sale) I’m taking it back to the store – why bother with it? They’ll only send it back to the manufacturer, anyway! Now we have a wreath with NO lights on it, because I’m not crazy enough to drive in freezing rain just for a $4 string of lights! (I can do that in a few days when it stops being nasty out).

Because of the nasty weather-to-come, we’ve decided to stay home from church. For the past few days I’ve been battling a sore throat; am wondering if I might have inhaled some mold (?) since I was helping in the basement of a church for 5 hours – just a thought. It’s not like I’m sick, I just have this stupid dry cough that nothing seems to stop (cough drops/cough syrup/tea – tea with honey & lemon/ tea with cinnamon – nothing – nada.)

Chores-wise, the big tree is finally UP! Got that done yesterday, along with stringing the lights on the fireplace (only to have the duct tape give way – all strings of lights nicely decorating THE FLOOR!) I bought some of those Command strips today – gonna give them a try (a friend recommended them). Still want to bake those 2 batches of cookies: peanut butter & gingersnap. I DID get another set of “Irish Hiking Fingerless Gloves” knit yesterday, for another son’s girlfriend (gettin’ pretty good at the cables!). Dinner tonight is potato soup – it’s a hit here: warm, creamy and filling – plus it lasts for several days. Husband has taken to telling me NOT to cook anything; he wants the fridge to NOT be crammed with leftovers. He’s in luck – middle son stopped by and ate the last of the beef stroganoff, now there’s nothing but veggies and sandwich makings!

There have been some really tasty-sounding recipes for dips & spreads, so I thought I’d send them on to you!


Festive Fiesta Bites

1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent dinner
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 C. cream cheese spread
3/4 C. guacamole
1 small tomato, seeded & finely chopped
1/4 C. pitted black olives, finely chopped
1/4 C. real bacon bits
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Separate dough into 2 rectangles; firmly
press perforations to seal. Place, 2 inches
apart, on greased baking sheet; sprinkle
with seasonings. Bake 15 minutes or until
golden brown, cool. Mix cream cheese spread
& guacamole until blended; spread on crusts.
Top with remaining ingredients & serve.
Makes 24 servings.

NOTE: can be made with store-bought or home-
made guacamole. Crusts can be baked ahead of
time. Cool, then cover & store at room temp.
up to 2 hours. Spread with cream cheese mixture
& add toppings just before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Stuffed Shrimp

1/2 lb. large (about 10) shrimp,
peeled & cleaned
3 T. zesty Italian salad dressing,
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
6 Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place shrimp & 2 T. salad dressing
in resealable plastic bag; refrigerate
10 minutes to marinate. Mix remaining
1 T. salad dressing & remaining
ingredients in small bowl until blended.
Remove shrimp from marinade; discard
marinade. Partially split each shrimp
lengthwise by making a long cut along
the underside of each shrimp, being
careful not to cut all the way through.
Open shrimp slightly & place, cut sides
up, in shallow baking dish. Spoon about
1 T. stuffing mixture on top of each shrimp.
Bake 7-8 minutes or until shrimp are pink &
cooked through. Makes 2 servings, about
5 shrimp each.

NOTE: You can marinate & stuff shrimp
ahead of time; do not bake. Cover &
refrigerate up to 10 hours. When ready
to serve, bake as directed, uncovered.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Zesty Stuffed Olives

1/2 C. cream cheese spread
1 (5.75 oz) can colossal black olives,
2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Spoon cream cheese spread into small
resealable plastic bag. Press cream cheese
into one of the bottom corners of bag. Cut
off a small piece from corner of bag (you’re
making a pastry tube). Squeeze cream cheese
into centers of olives. Place olives on serving
platter; drizzle with dressing then sprinkle with
parsley. Makes about 2 dozen; 11 servings –
2 olives each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Bacon-wrapped Breadsticks

4 slices bacon
4 (7 inch) breadsticks
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Wrap 1 slice bacon in spiral-fashion around
each breadstick. Place on double-thick layer
of paper towels on microwaveable plate.
Microwave on High 2 minutes. Roll immediately
in Parmesan cheese until evenly coated.
Makes 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Creamy Popper Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/4″ cubes
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped
12 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 T. butter, melted
1 green onion, sliced
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese & mayo in medium
bowl until well blended. Stir in Velveeta &
peppers; spread into a 9″ pie plate. Mix
crumbs & butter together; sprinkle over dip.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through;
top with sliced onions. Makes 18 (2 T., ea)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Spinach-Bacon Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & drained
1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
Green Chilies, undrained
8 slices cooked & crumbled bacon

Microwave all ingredients in microwaveable
bowl on High 5 minutes or until Velveeta is
completely melted & mixture is well blended,
stirring after 3 minutes. Makes 32 (2 T, ea.)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Chicken Stuffed Crescent Rolls

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 (12 oz, ea) cans chicken breast meat,
1/3 C. green onions, chopped
salt & pepper
2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Big & Flaky cresent rolls
4 T. melted butter
2 C. crushed corn flake crumbs

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3 T. sour cream
2 T. butter
1 T. milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl add drained chicken,
chopped green onion, salt & pepper;
using 2 forks, mix all together well.
Roll out 1 pkg. crescent rolls a little,
spraying rolling pin with a little nonstick
spray. Scoop about 3 T. chicken mixture into
center of triangle; roll up from long end
to other long end, pressing corners in
and making sure all filling is secure
inside the dough. (filling will leak out
if dough is not secure). Crush corn
flakes using food processor until they
resemble coarse crumbs; pour them
into a loaf pan. Spray 2 large
cookie sheets with nonstick spray.

Using your fingers,flatten out the stuffed
dough a bit then gently dip into melted butter.
Dip buttered dough into corn flake crumbs,
being sure both sides are well coated. Lay
flattened dough onto pan, leaving about 1
inch space between each roll. Bake 20
minutes or until dough is cooked and a bit
crispy and chicken mixture is heated through.
In medium sauce pan combine 1 can soup,
3 T. sour cream, 2 T. butter & 1 T. milk; whisk
together. Heat sauce over medium-high heat,
stirring occasionally. Plate crescents & pour
sauce over crescents when serving.
Makes 16 rolls

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars (cookies)

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 C. melted unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. white chocolate chips or
chopped white chocolate
1/3 C. dried cranberries, chopped


8 oz. cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat)
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 oz. white baking chocolate, melted *
1/3 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13 baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl, combine flour,
baking soda,salt & cinnamon; stir to blend. In
another bowl, whisk sugars with butter, egg
whites, applesauce & vanilla until light &
fluffy. Whisk dry ingredients into wet
ingredients in two additions until batter is very
well blended. If batter looks more ‘crumbly’ than
smooth, add a drop of water at at time (ONLY
if needed) until it smooths out. Fold in white
chocolate chips & 1/3 C. cranberries. Spread
batter onto baking pan using back of a measuring
cup to smooth evenly. Bake 10-14 minutes until
edges are light brown & a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Don’t OVER-bake or they
will be dry. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Prepare frosting:

In large bowl, using elec. mixer, beat cream cheese,
powdered sugar & vanilla until well blended. Frost bars
& sprinkle tops with remaining chopped cranberries.
Drizzle tops with melted white chocolate.

*To melt chocolate, place in microwave-safe cup;
heat 15 seconds; stir. Another 15 seconds, stir until
chocolate is melted.

When chocolate sets on bars, cut into 15 large squares
(5 cuts by 3 cuts, with the knife). Cut each square in
half diagonally to create triangles. Store in refrigerator
until ready to serve. Makes 30 servings.

Amish Cinnamon Bread
(no-knead bread)

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 C. buttermilk*
4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

NOTE: Buttermilk: if you don’t have
buttermilk, you can add 2 T. vinegar
or lemon juice to 2 C. milk – stir &
let set 5 minutes before using.

Cream together butter, 2 C. sugar &
eggs. Add buttermilk, flour & baking soda.
Place half of batter (or less) into
greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).
In separate bowl, mix 2/3 C. sugar &
cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon
mixture on top of the half batter in each
pan. Add remaining batter to pans.
Sprinkle remaining cinnamon on batter,
then swirl with a knife. Bake 45-50
minutes or until toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool loaves
in pans for 20 minutes before removing.
Makes 2 loaves.

(recipe: Facebook)
Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy

2 lb. powdered sugar
6 T. melted butter
1 T. vanilla
1/2 C. milk
peanut butter

Mix all ingredients (except peanut
butter) together; consistency should
be like a pie dough. Separate dough
into 4 parts.Cover pastry/cutting board
with a small amount of powdered sugar
to help with rolling out the dough.
Roll dough out like a pie crust, into a
square or rectangle;do not roll too thin.
Spread as much peanut butter onto
flattened dough as you want –
enough to lightly cover it. Roll dough
up like a jelly roll, then refrigerate.
When cold, cut into slices.

NOTE: This recipe had comments
from several of my friends, all of
which said they remember someone
in their family making it as children –
and they LOVED IT! (some said
they remember it being made using
mashed potatoes).

Hope you’re having a warm, relaxing evening.
Enjoy yourself!



PS: Almost forgot! I got the neatest Christmas card
in the mail today – couldn’t figure out who it was from
by the name and address. I opened it up and here
it was from all the nurses & doctors in the baby
units at the hospital I knit the baby hats for! How
SWEET of them! There were probably about
20 signatures! Made me cry – of course!

Overlapping Days!



How to you get everything done AND write a blog? You overlap the blog entries! It’s now 1 week to Christmas and I’m slowly getting things done. Last night was the Knit group Movie night – we had a great time, good food and conversation. Mid-day yesterday I suddenly thought of ANOTHER person I forgot a present for: oldest son’s girlfriend! (You’d think, after 6 years, I wouldn’t forget her!). That got me to thinking: what can I do? Why, knit ANOTHER pair of wrist warmers, of course! I’m making hers out of white yarn and adding another set of the pattern, to make them a little longer (she’s a tall girl). At the movie night I got one done, so am working on #2 today. Tonight is my special needs group’s party and, after doing this going on 20 years now, I well know NOT to over-do my energies because after the party I’m going to be exhausted! Got the strings of lights up on the secretary and fireplace mantel, partially assembled the tree (forgot the TOP section, husband is going to go upstairs and get it later.) I’m thinking tree decorating some time tomorrow. Also realized I didn’t bring down the lighted wreath for the side window facing the driveway (and visible from the road) so that’s another thing to ask him to bring down. (I’m learning! Conserve my energy!!!).

We tried the ‘easy banana bread’ I made the other day and I must say: I’m impressed! It’s very flavorful and moist! (this is the 3-ingredient Banana Bread recipe I posted a few days ago). All these years I’ve been using my close friend’s recipe for banana bread (and it’s a good one), but this THREE INGREDIENT thing is great! Am thinking of making sure we always have a box of yellow cake mix in the house – that way, when we get all those ‘almost black’ bananas around here, I can use them up! (hate throwing them away – such a waste of  money! Bananas were 59 cents a lb. at Kroger yesterday!).


Easiest Pineapple Cake


2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)


1 stick butter
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all cake ingredients together in
large bowl, using a fork. Pour batter
into greased 9 X 13 pan; bake 35-40
minutes, until top is golden brown.

Beat butter, cream cheese & vanilla
together until creamy; gradually mix in
powdered sugar. Frost cake while cakeis still warm.

Sprinkle top with chopped
nuts, if desired. Serves 15


Easy Peppery Brie en Croute

1 (8 oz) tube crescent roll dough
1 (8 oz) pkg. brie,rind removed
2 T. Tabasco GREEN pepper sauce
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Work crescent dough into thin circle
large enough to completely wrap brie.
Place cheese in center of dough circle;
prick top of the cheese several times
with a fork & slowly pour 1 T. Tabasco
over top of cheese. Let it stand briefly
so that cheese absorbs the sauce. Add
remaining Tablespoon Tabasco, pricking
cheese several more times with fork.
Some sauce will run over side of cheese,
don’t worry about it. Bring edges of dough
over top of cheese, working it together
to completely cover the cheese. Brush
edges with beaten egg & seal. Bake
about 10 minutes. Be careful not to over-
bake, as the cheese will run. Serve
immediately with crackers.


Incredible Pimento Cheese Spread

1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 lb. medium Cheddar cheese
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pint Miracle Whip salad dressing
8 oz. jar pimento, drained & chopped
3 T. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Grate cheeses or cut into small pieces.
Allow to soften to room temperature. Combine
all ingredients; blend using elec. mixer/blender
or food processor. (It may be necessary to
divide ingredients into two batches unless you
have a very large mixing container). Store
leftovers in fridge. Can be frozen.
Makes 2 quarts.


Skinny Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat)
8 oz. sour cream (reduced fat)
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
2 C. iceburg lettuce, shredded fine
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
small jar sliced black olives (drained)

baked tortilla chips

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, salsa & taco seasoning; mix well
using elec. mixer. Spread on bottom of a
large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded
lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese & black
olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Makes 24 servings


Veggie Pizza Appetizers

2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 C. fresh broccoli florets
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 C. chopped, seeded tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced, pitted black olives
1/4 C. finely chopped onion

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate dough into 4 rectangles. Press dough onto
bottom and up sides of a 15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan
to form crust. Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown;
cool. Mix cream cheese, Mir. Whip, dill & onion salt until
well blended; spread over crust. Top with remaining
ingredients & refrigerate then cut into squares.
Makes 32 servings.

Variations: you can substitute chopped cucumbers or
shredded carrots, or chopped red bell peppers for any
of the chopped vegetables.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers4 green or red peppers
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 c. water, divided
1/2 C. barbecue sauce, divided
1 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen peas
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta cheese,
cut into 1/2 in/ cubes

Cut tops off peppers; chop tops,
then refrigerate for another use. Remove
seeds from peppers; discard. Set pepper
shells aside. Combine meat, 1/4 C. water &
1/4 c. barbecue sauce, rice & peas; spoon
into pepper shells & top with Velveeta
chunks. Mix remaining water & barbecue
sauce in crockpot. Stand peppers in
crockpot; cover with lid. Cook 5-7 hours
on Low, or 2 1/2 0 3 1/2 hours on High.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mediterranean Lemon Chicken

6 chicken thighs, leg quarters or drumsticks
1 lemon
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In 9 X 13 baking dish, grate peel of 1/2 lemon, 
squeeze out the juice (about 1/4 C.) and add to
peel with oregano, garlic, oil, salt & pepper; stir
until mixed. Remove skin from chicken & discard.
Coat chicken pieces with lemon mixture & arrange,
bone side up, in baking dish. Cover & bake 20
minutes. Turn & baste chicken. Reduce heat to
400 degrees F. & bake, uncovered, basting every
10 minutes for about 30 more minutes. Serve 
chicken with pan juices. Serves 6

(recipe: Pilgrim's Co.)

Creamy Pesto Fish

4 frozen haddock fillets* (1 lb) – DO
NOT thaw
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 T. pesto
1 tomato, chopped

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place fish in 9 X 13 baking dish. Mix
dressing & pesto; spread on fish then
top with tomatoes. Bake 15 minutes or
until fish flakes easily with fork.
Serves 4

*can substitute frozen halibut or cod fillets

(recipe: Kraft foods)

York Peppermint Patty Brownies

1 C. butter + 1 T., to coat pan
8 (1 oz ea) squares unsweetened chocolate
5 eggs
3 3/4C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 2/3 C. flour
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
2 bags York Peppermint Patties*

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Line bottom of 9 X 13 pan with foil;
grease foil with butter. Microwave
unsweetened chocolate & butter 30
seconds at a time, stirring after each
cooking interval. Cook & stir until they
are melted; set aside. In mixing bowl, beat
eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt & almond extract
3-4 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture
& flour; mix until incorporated. Stir in
chocolate chips. Spread half of batter into
buttered pan. Unwrap patties & line them up
on top of bottom layer of batter. Cover patties
with second half of batter. Bake 23 minutes.
Stick a knife in center of top layer of brownies
to make sure it comes out clean before removing
from oven. Cool on wire rack then refrigerate at
least 6 hours. Cut into bars. Makes 40 small
brownies. NOTE: they are very rich, cut them small.

*poster said: DO NOT use generic peppermint
patties – make sure you use YORK brand.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)


It's Friday already! The past two days just FLEW by! The special needs
group party turned out very nice; I'd guess we had about 80 people (we
bought food & set up tables for 120, there were 2 1/2 empty tables and
LOTS of leftover sandwiches & cookies!) I made the goofy mistake of 
forgetting to bring my 'regular, every-day' shoes to wear in the kitchen
BEFORE the party, then change into my Sunday dress shoes - ended up
working in heels 5 1/2 hours - by going home time I was a very pained
zombie! I caught myself just going in circles - my feet & legs were a 
big fat pain. GOT TO remember not to do that next year, for sure! 
Thursday found me in the basement of a local church helping one of my
friends who has a very large missionary outreach; her computer had been
hacked and she's so busy she hasn't had time to re-enter all her contacts
back onto her computer, so I spent a few hours doing that. It was fun - I 
like working in quiet, so I happily was tucked in a corner typing away.
Due to being a bit sore and tired (still), 'THE' tree still didn't get
put up - but today's my goal for that. I was 'going' to go to a concert
at 10 a.m. by the kids from Durban, S. Africa (that I've told you about) 
but it appears the roads are all icy - schools are closed and it's 
raining right now (temp. 41!!!). Our roads here are clear, but the 
school where they will be performing is on dirt roads (it's the school
my boys attended when they were young), so I KNOW the roads and also
KNOW they can be a real PAIN if it's icy, so I'm staying home. One of
the presents I received from my spec'l needs group is the CD of these
kids singing, so I won't totally miss them, just the experience of 
seeing them 'in action.'
    This is the week the roofing company said they would be out here
to put on the gutters & a little bit of siding; guess that's not 
happening. I know I wouldn't want to be working outside in this 
weather! After we've had a few days of snow, I don't mind it so much.
There's probably about 8-9 inches on the ground, but the roads & walk
ways are clear (that could change quickly - weather report for this
weekend is mostly 'winter flurries' - oh, goody).
   Gas Prices! The prices around here have been steady (amazing!) at
lowest: $3.09/9 - that's not bad! I still have over a half-tank so
won't be taking advantage of that soon.
    Well, dear people, it's (more than) time for me to get off here.
Enjoy your day - and take a little time for yourself (maybe enjoy a
Christmas cookie and some cocoa? A few marshmallows won't totally 
ruin your diet - trust me!)

Big Hugs;


Sometimes Enough is . . . Enough!

old lady at desk

Today I’ve talked to two different ladies, both friends (neither know the other/totally different realms) and I’ve found myself giving them the advice I’m just now absorbing for myself: Enough, sometimes, has to be ENOUGH! One is overwhelmed with caring for her aging mother, the other is recovering from knee replacement surgery; both feel like they can’t get all the things done this season demands and they’re down on themselves. I fully understand: I don’t WANT to be a Scrooge, but sometimes I really feel like one simply because I’m overwhelmed and feeling down on myself. One of my sweet readers here sent me an encouraging message the other day, letting me know that we both need to ‘get in the Christmas spirit’ – THANKS! I try my hardest NOT to fall back on the ‘cancer’ thing; Yes, I HAD cancer, but I don’t NOW have it. Yes, I’m still learning that the exhaustion is still with me and I have to realize that I can physically do about HALF of what I want to in a day – BUT all that is becoming a learning experience. As I try to encourage others I can hear myself saying to them: “Sometimes it’s take life a MINUTE at a time!” Other people say take life a day at a time, but there are THOSE times when a day is WAY too much; it’s in those moments that we need to just narrow it down to what we can handle. If doing too many physical things takes you past your comfort zone, then have a good old fashioned Sit Down! (Lord knows I do that often enough!). If a short nap helps – DO IT! There is NOTHING in this life that is so important that you can’t take a few short minutes for yourself (barring an emergency, that is).

I’m teaching myself that if the Christmas decorations aren’t all up by Christmas, oh well! Christmas will come – ANYWAY! If I don’t get those two batches of cookies baked that I really want to do – oh, well! We won’t starve for lack of them! If, by next week, the presents aren’t fully wrapped, there’s always those convenient decorated BAGS! I don’t know of anyone who turned down a present just because it was in a bag instead of fancy wrapping paper, do you?

I’m learning – today I baked that one other batch of prepared dough and added them to the big tin of baked cookies. Dragged down some of the decorations; put a few up. Got out the fancy gift bags and proceeded to wrap all the ‘non-family’ presents, plus put together the mail lady’s cookie plate. It’s coming together – slowly, but it’s getting done. The tree now sits in it’s box in the middle of the living room – it will get put up and decorated relatively soon. I was hoping to do it today, but right now, after all the above plus making dinner, I’m too pooped! I’m learning it’s OK to take a rest – I’m a retired lady, I’m getting a bit older (65 1/2) and I’m still recovering from all the after effects of the anti-estrogen cancer drug I was on for 1 1/2 years. Those are the FACTS – I just have to deal with them and, as the saying goes:

“Put on my BIG GIRL panties and get on with it!”

Stepping off my soap box now;



Got ’em DONE!


Four and a half hours later we have: “Irish Hiking Wrist Warmers”! It’s been awhile since I’ve done any cable work, but it came back to me pretty quickly (for you non-knitters, that’s the part that looks like spirals on the gloves). Hoping my friend Christine, the evening manager at Panera, likes them.



Published in: on December 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm  Comments (1)