Lotsa Superbowl Foods!


We’re not big football fans here, but I find my many recipe sites are BIG on football snacks & appetizers – great for sharing with YOU!


Sausage Won Ton Appetizers

1 (12 oz) pkg. wonton wrappers
1 lb. pork or hot sausage
2 C. shredded Colby cheese
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 medium red pepper, chopped fine
2 bunches green onions, chopped fine
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly press wonton wrappers into bottom
& up sides of  mini muffin cups. Bake 5
minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
(do not overbake). In large skillet, cook sausage
until no longer pink & drain well. Stir in cheese,
peppers, onions & Ranch dressing. Spoon by
rounded spoonfuls into each wonton cup. Bake
6-7 minutes or until heated through & cheese
is melted. Makes about 3 dozen.

(recipe: Lynn-justapinch.com)

Party Sausage Dip

12 oz. Italian pork sausage
1/4 C. frozen chopped onion
1 (16 oz) can Manwich BOLD
sloppy joe sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/4 C. water
(Tortilla chips, for dipping)

Cook sausage & onion in large skillet
over medium-high heat 5 minutes or
until sausage is crumbled & no longer pink,
stirring occasionally; drain. Add Manwich,
cream cheese & water; reduce heat to Low;
simmer 5 minutes or until cheese melts;
stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 14 (about 1/4 C. ea) servings.

(recipe: hungryforfootball.com)


Chicken Fiesta Nachos

1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained, liquid reserved
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (6 oz) bag corn tortilla chips
1 C. shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken
1 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack
cheese blend (1 C = 4 oz)
1/4 C. sliced green onions
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced ripe olives, drained
(sour cream & guacamole, for serving)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Reserve 1/2 C. drained tomatoes; set aside.
Blend remaining tomatoes & reserved liquid
with beans in medium bowl. Arrange chips in
large shallow baking dish. Top with bean/tomato
mixture & chicken; sprinkle top with cheese. Bake
5 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with reserved
tomatoes, green onions & olives. Garnish with sour
cream & guacamole. Serve immediately. Makes 6

(recipe: hungryforfootball.com)

Sweet ‘n Spicy Chicken Wings

1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained
1/4 C. sour cream
2 T. margarine, melted
2 T. honey
16 chicken wing drumettes (about 2 lb.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat broiler
Spray broiler pan with nonstick spray;
set aside. Place undrained tomatoes in
food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
Drain half of tomatoes; combine with sour
cream to make dip; set aside. Place remaining
undrained tomatoes in small bowl; combine
with melted margarine & honey. Sprinkle
chicken with salt & pepper in large bowl. Add
half of tomato mixture to wings; toss to coat.
Transfer to broiler pan; broil 10 minutes. Turn
wings; spoon remaining tomato mixture on wings.
Broil 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink
and tender (180 degrees F.). Serve with dip.
Makes 4 servings (4 drumettes with 2 T. dip, each)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Peanut Butter Popcorn Munch

1 bag (2.9 oz) microwave popcorn
1 C. tiny pretzel twists
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
2 T. margarine
3/4 C. confectioners sugar

Prepare popcorn accordg. to pkg.
directions. Remove all unpopped kernels.
Combine popped corn & pretzels in large
bowl. Microwave peanut butter & margarine
in small microwaveable bowl on High 1 to
1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir to blend.
Drizzle mixture evenly over popcorn mixture;
toss to coat. Sprinkle confectioners sugar over
popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Cool 10 minutes
before serving. Store leftovers in tightly sealed
container. Serves 6 (1 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
Muffin Tin ‘Mini Lasagnas’

12 oz. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C. chopped mushrooms
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. dried basil
24 wonton wrappers
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin generously
with nonstick spray.
Add turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt &
pepper to large skillet on medium to
medium-high heat. Using a wooden
spoon, break up turkey into small
crumbles; cook about 10 minutes until
turkey has browned. Stir in garlic; cook
30 seconds-1 minute, just until fragrant.
Add tomato sauce, 1 tsp. oregano & red
pepper flakes; stir to combine. Taste &
season with additional salt & pepper, if
desired. Bring sauce to gentle boil, reduce
heat & simmer 10 minutes; remove from
heat & set aside. In medium bowl, stir
together ricotta, remaining 1/2 tsp. oregano,
basil and a pinch each of salt & pepper.

To assemble:

Press 1 wonton wrapper into each well of
muffin pan – be sure to press them into the
bottom & sides of the pan. working with half
the ricotta mixture, divide it among the wells
of the pan evenly, pressing ricotta into an even
layer. Working with half the tomato sauce, divide
it among the wells of the pan, spreading in an even
layer rather than mounding. Sprinkle 2 tsp. mozzarella over top of each. Press a second wonton wrapper onto each & repeat process of layering, using second half of ricotta mixture, remaining half of tomato sauce & two more tsp. of mozzarella per cup. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted & bubbly. Remove muffin pan to a wire rack & let mini lasagnas cool a few minutes before removing them. Garnish with fresh basil before serving, if desired.  Makes 12

(recipe: traceysculinaryadventures.com)

Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese or
grated jalapeo jack
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small red onion, diced*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients in a shallow baking dish
(a 9″ square pan or round quiche pan will be perfect!)
Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until  ingredients
are melted enough to stir together.
Stir until combined.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until
lightly browned.

Serve with Triscuits, Wheat Thins, or Frito€™s Scoops for dipping
or fresh Veggies

*can use chopped green onions

(recipe: Facebook)

Mexican Pizza

1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with
lime juice & cilantro, drained/divided
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
6 honey-wheat pita pocket breads (6 1/2″)
3/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
4 1/2 C. thinly shredded romaine lettuce
6 T. finely chopped red onion

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place 1/4 C. drained tomatoes in small bowl;
set aside. Mix remaining tomatoes & beans in
small bowl until combined. Spread evenly onto
pita breads. Sprinkle breads evenly with cheese;
place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10
minutes or until edges of breads are lightly
browned & cheese melts, rotating pans halfway
through. Top with lettuce, onion & reserved tomatoes.
Serves 6 (1 pizza each)

(recipe: hungryforfootball.com)

 Sloppy Joe Slider Pull-Aparts

1 lb. ground beef/sirloin (90% lean)
1 (15 oz) can Manwich original sloppy
joe sauce
1 (12 oz) pkg. Hawaiian dinner rolls
(in tray)

Cook beef in large skillet over medium-high
heat 7 minutes or until crumbled & no longer
pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in Manwich
& heat through. Remove attached rolls from
pkg; do NOT separate. Cut in half horizontally,
leaving bottom half slightly thicker than top half.
Spread beef mixture evenly over bottom of rolls.
Place top of rolls over beef. Place on serving
platter. Either pull-apart sliders following roll
indentations or cut apart using serrated knife.
Serves 6 (2 rolls each)

(recipe: hungryforfootball.com)
Sizzling Burgers with Sweet/Sour sauce

1 lb. ground beef
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
& finely chopped
6 T. sliced green onions, divided
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. mayonnaise
3 T. Sweet & Sour sauce (LaChoy)
4 hamburger buns, split & toasted

lettuce leaves, tomato slices or pineapple
slices (optional toppings)

Combine ground beef, water chestnuts,
4 T. green onions, soy sauce, garlic powder
& pepper in medium bowl. Shape mixture
into four burger patties about 1/2″ thick; set
aside. Spray grill pan with nonstick spray. Heat
over medium-high heat. When hot, add burger
patties & cook 5-7 minutes per side or until
juices appear on surface & burgers are browned.
Turn & cook remaining side until no longer pink
in center. Combine mayonnaise, sweet & sour
sauce & remaining 2 T. green onions. Spread
1 T. sweet/sour mixture on EACH half of buns.
Assemble burgers & serve immediately.
Serves 4 (1 burger, each)

(recipe: lachoy.com)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1 (2layer) devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 C. cold milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (4 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 C. dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix according to pkg;
pour batter into 24 paper-lined muffin
cups & bake accordg. to pkg directions;
let cool 30 minutes. (cupcakes need to
be warm to fill).
Beat pudding mix & milk with whisk 2 minutes,
add peanut butter; mix well. Spoon into small
freezer-weight resealable plastic bag; seal bag.
Snip off one corner from bottom of bag to make
a pipping bag. Insert tip of bag into center of
each cupcake; pipe in about 1 T. filling. Microwave
Cool Whip & chocolate in microwaveable bowl on
High 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 minute. Dip
tops of cupcakes into mixture; sprinkle tops with
chopped nuts. Makes 24 cupcakes.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Not much exciting going on around here lately; our weather is just about the same as most of the nation: COLD! Last night was supposed to be the coldest yet – below zero; not exactly sure just how FAR below zero, but I was doing my “Mommy worrying” thing when the boys were late getting home. (They both made it in safely). I forced myself to get out and go shopping yesterday – just to get out of the house. I don’t know about you, but right about this time of year I get that SAD thing:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression, was considered a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.

Basically it just makes you have no desire to DO anything/go anywhere, etc. (my thoughts: “Oh, Joy – and we’ve got lots MORE winter before SPRING!”). Anyway it helped just to get out. I tend to get in the mood where I don’t want to go out because (I’m guessing here) I worry I will either get stuck in the snow or not be able to get back UP my driveway. You kind of get ‘gun shy’ after making it through all the earlier snow storms. We’re supposed to be getting another 1″ of snow today/tonight (80% chance). Right now it’s clear out and 22 degrees; I’m considering going out shopping again today for the few things Meijers didn’t have (plain sponges! all they had were those kitchen sponges with the scratchy backs – don’t want those!). Along with the mood thing, I’m really not in the mood to cook anything! I’ve got 4 VERY black bananas that are just screaming to be made into banana bread – gotta do that today. Tomorrow we will be getting our grandson (7 1/2) – first time since before Christmas. His mom lost her job, so she was just watching him; we got to see him at least once a week when oldest son dropped over, so it’s not like a ‘forever’ not seeing him thing but this will put us back in the ‘once a week’ grandson sitting routine.

Options for dinner tonight are: Salmon patties OR homemade Potato soup – I’m thinkin’ salmon, since we’ve done mostly chili/soups lately.

How are YOU holding out with all this goofy weather? Is it really cold where you’re at? I feel bad for us, being mostly close to zero temps, but then I read about other areas around here that are ALWAYS much lower temps (like Oxford or Lake Orion) – or my cousin in Iowa. No matter HOW bad our weather is, his is ALWAYS worse! More snow/colder temps, etc. – I guess it just goes back to what I wrote a few posts ago: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!  

Went online to KMart/Sears.com to see if I could order some heavy men’s winter gloves (all the stores around here are sold out). Was really happy to find several kinds at really discount prices ONLY to go to check-out and get a message: “Sorry, this item is out of stock”- with no “order will be processed when items are in stock” – sigh. Got ticked and went to my old standby: Amazon.com. Got 4 pairs of heavy gloves (not as low a discount) BUT they’re shipping them out today! YAY! (my guys go through hats & gloves like water; asked youngest where the other gray glove was I lent him – “I don’t know! I had it then I didn’t!) Great – there goes my Fall/Early Spring driving gloves! (I should know better than lend them my stuff -right?) Oh well . . . life goes on.

(goofy font size! Can’t change it, either!) Hope you’re managing OK in whatever weather situation you’re faced with. STAY WARM!



Feelin’ GREAT!


Went to my Radiologist today for a check up – he informed me it’s now been over TWO YEARS since my treatments and I’m doing great! Last mammogram (last week) came back clear – now I only have to go once a year for them! YAY!

Our weather, of course, is still VERY COLD! The temps driving there this morning were 3 degrees F, no  telling what the wind chill was – made my cheeks sting! I noticed people really seemed to be driving super slow – hey, people – it’s only COLD! I was also very happy to discover that the huge pile of snow completely covering my van was only light, fluffy stuff that could be cleared using a broom! I was so glad it was easy to clean that I played with the shovel, clearing a path to all our vehicles – little ‘trails’ so that each driver didn’t have to get lots of snow in their boots or on their pant legs! (that’s when I really noticed now much the wind made my cheeks sting!).

While out & about I also noticed our gas prices are staying the same: $3.39/9 a gallon for the cheap stuff.  Since it’s been so cold, I haven’t been driving much, hence my tank is still at half full – yay!  (I’m wondering if we’re going to be cancelling my special needs group this Weds; the reports say it’s going to be -10 during the day and -13 at night. (according to the report on my screen, it’s supposed to be -13 right now out there! Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know that while I was outside, eh?) My dear husband was so great – he offered to drive me to the doctor’s appointment – he has a Jeep with 4-wheel drive, so he can get through just about anything. (I was glad to oblige him as I really didn’t want to have to wait until my van’s heater warmed up – it takes a LOT longer than his Jeep!).

Oldest son just stopped over to take husband out for a belated birthday lunch – I thought that was sweet. Husband (being ever the curmudgeon) really wasn’t interested, but went along anyway. I’m just glad they get to spend some time together; oldest has his own house (and our 7 yr old grandson) so his free time is not as much as I’m guessing he would like (plus he works two jobs!). I’m just glad to see him when he stops over!

Food-wise around here we’re still working on leftovers: leftover homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade chili. It’s funny – the guys really love the chili (this time I really wasn’t interested in either the soup or the chili – not sure why). This is another ‘everybody home’ day, so I’m hoping the leftovers will cover them for dinner (then I can cook something ELSE tomorrow!) It’s funny – now that I don’t have everyone home, sitting down to dinner TOGETHER (like in the past) I find myself focusing more on what to make for dinner. Next up on my menu agenda is either: Pierogies & sausages or Salmon Patties (neither meal offering the youngest will eat – oh well . . . there’s always peanut butter sandwiches, right?).


Perfect Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter
1 1/2 C. sugar, divided
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches in juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter 9 X 13 baking dish (or two 8 X 8
baking dishes); set aside. Place butter in
medium microwave-save mixing bowl; heat
until melted. Add 1 C. sugar, flour, baking
powder, salt – whisk to combine. Add milk &
vanilla; whisk until combined. Pour batter
into prepared dish(s). Spoon peaches over
top of batter, placing them evenly around
pan. Reserve juice from can. Add 1/2 C. sugar,
cinnamon & nutmeg to juices; whisk to
combine; pour over peaches. Bake 55-50
minutes until golden brown. Serves 12

(recipe: theslowroastedItalian.com)

Chicken & Doritos Casserole

1 regular bag Doritos, crushed
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned & shredded
1 C. sour cream
1 C. milk
1 C. shredded cheese (Taco/Mexican or
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet taco seasoning mix

1 C. shredded cheese, for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all ingredients (except
Doritos). Place 1/3 Doritos (about 2 C.)
in bottom of greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
Top with half of chicken mixture. Pour
another 1/3 Doritos on top, followed by
remaining chicken mixture; top with
remaining Doritos. Bake 30 minutes;
remove from oven, top with cheese &
place back in oven 5 more minutes until
cheese melts. Remove from oven & allow
to rest 10 minutes before serving.

(recipe: rossveback.com)

Black Bean Salsa

1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (11 oz) can white shoepeg corn, drained &
1 tomato, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 onion (or 1 bunch green onions), chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
juice from 2 limes
1-2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
salt (optional)

tortilla chips of your choice, for serving

Mix all ingredients together; serve with
tortilla chips of your choice. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Party Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Campbell’s Golden
Mushroom soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. water
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
chopped fresh parsley

Mix beef, onion, bread crumbs & egg in
a large bowl. Shape mixture into 60
(1 inch) meatballs. Place meatballs in
15 X 10 baking pan. Heat broiler. Broil
meatballs 4 inches from heat 5 minutes
or until well browned, turning balls
over halfway through cooking. Stir soup,
sour cream, water & Worcestershire in a
12inch skillet. Add meatballs & cook over
Low heat 10 minutes or until meatballs
are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle top with parsley.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Tzatziki Dip (creamy cucumber dip)

2/3 C. cucumber, peeld & finely diced
1 C. plain yogurt, stirred until smooth
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 T. chopped mint
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

toasted pita chips
fresh vegetables for serving

Mix all ingredients in food processor until
smooth. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serve with toasted pita
chips & fresh vegetables.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Radish Hot & Sour Soup

5 C. chicken stock
1/4 C. rice vinegar
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground (dried) ginger
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
6 oz. sliced radishes, about 1 1/2 C.
1 1/2 C. spinach leaves, shredded
2/3 C. thinly sliced green onions

In large saucepan over medium heat,
bring stock to boil; stir in vinegar, sugar,
cayenne & ginger. Add shrimp & cook
until shrimp turn pink & curl, about
3-4 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in
radishes, spinach & green onions.
Cover & let stand 2-3 minutes before

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Amish Apple Bread

1 C. oil
3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. diced apples
3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)
(sugar for sprinkling)

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine & set aside: oil, eggs, sugar &
vanilla. Sift flour, cinnamon, soda & salt.
Add dry ingredients to oil mixture
gradually. Add apples & nuts. Bake in
2 regular loaf pans or 3 foil loaf pans
1 1/2 hours. Cool 10 minutes in pans.
Sprinkle tops with sugar

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Seriously Simple Beef Stew
(stovetop OR crockpot)

1 boneless beef chuck eye roast (2 lb)
cut into 1 inch chunks
2 C. water
3/4 C. barbecue sauce
1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 3),
cut into 1 inch chunks
6 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch
thick slices
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. A1 Thick & Hearty steak sauce

Bring meat, water & BBQ sauce to boil in
Dutch oven or large deep skillet; cover.
Simmer on medium-low heat 1 hour. Add
vegetables; stir. Cook, covered, 1 hour or
until meat & vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in steak sauce; cook
2 minutes. Serves 8


Place all ingredients except steak sauce in
crockpot; cover. Cook on Low 8 hours, or
High 4 hours. Stir in steak sauce; cook
2 minutes more.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Peanut Butter Chip/Jelly Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 – 1 C. grape jelly (depending upon
desired sweetness)
1 2/3 C. peanut butter chips, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9 inch square baking pan. Stir
together flour, sugar & baking powder in
large bowl. Using 2 knives, cut in butter until
mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add egg; blend
well. Place half of mixture in greased pan, pressing
to form crust; set aside other half of mixture. Spread
jelly over crust. Sprinkle 1 C. peanut butter chips
over the jelly. Stir together other half of mixture with
rest of peanut butter chips, then sprinkle over top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Cool
completely on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes
about 16 dessert sized bars.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)


My husband always teases me at how easily I ‘pick up’ people – it seems that I’m either ‘picking up’,as in suddenly end up engaged in a long conversation with, either:  (a) old people or (b) those interested in knitting or crochet. Today the regular nurse wasn’t ‘in’ at my Radiologists so I got to meet a new assistant – she noticed I was bundling up my crocheting (the Diagonal Box stitch baby afghan) before coming into the exam room. After some conversation, looks like there will be another new person joining my Knit group! Small world, eh? When I told her we meet at Panera Bread she was very happy – seems she lives very near there! Always nice to meet new people! (and ‘pick them up’, so to speak!).

The crocheted baby blanket is coming along nicely – already went through one partial ball of yarn and am now starting on the next; I’m thinking I’ll probably have to buy one more skein/ball to finish this into a good sized blanket. I’d forgotten how much fun this pattern is and how EASY! (sure beats the last crocheted baby blanket I did “Bubblegum” – what a boring pattern!). I’ll try to remember to photo this one when it’s done; am thinking of putting a small crocheted border around it, just to add a little something extra – we’ll see.

Sure hope you are SAFE/WARM/IN GOOD HEALTH and able to enjoy the day. It was very bright out (and still is) VERY SUNNY – almost blinding if you caught the glare off the snow & ice (guess I shouldn’t complain – it could be grey & gloomy with snow/ice/or sleet). Yes, Yes – what was that I just wrote to you the other day? Count your BLESSINGS? I hear you!!!

Have a GREAT DAY!!!



I Love YouTube!


Yep, it’s STILL really cold!

Remember yesterday I mentioned having an abundance of baby yarn all looking almost the same (white with little blue/pink/green flecks in it)? Got the inspiration last night to do another baby blanket/afghan using that but doing it in my dear friend Mary’s (Momma) pattern – commonly called: Diagonal Box Stitch (crochet).

Diagonal-Box-Stitch-SquareNot the best photo of it, but you get the idea: basically it’s little squares that are going in two directions (looks complicated, but once you figure it out, it’s not!). I haven’t worked this pattern since way, WAAAAAAY back when I used to work all-nights at the phone company and Mary was my boss (we’re talking over 35 years!). It’s one of those patterns that you start at one corner and increase until you get it as wide as you want, then decrease back down to one square (all I remember is the ‘decrease’ part was a little hard to get the hang of). ENTER: YouTube! Thank heavens for YouTube videos that show you, step-by-step, exactly how to do various things! I had printed out the on-paper directions for this pattern and got to about Set # 3 before going: “Huh? What?” so YouTube was just what I needed! Now I’m doing baby hats and this afghan – keeps me out of trouble!

Had to run a little errand today and stopped at Kroger’s for a few items. Had a discussion with oldest son (who’s the chef) on buying various mixtures of hummus when he piped up and said: “Mom – WHY are you BUYING hummus when it’s SO EASY to make – and MUCH cheaper!” We talked (I didn’t tell him I tried doing that waaay back before he was born). While shopping I thought: “OK, guess I’ll give it another try” – middle son is a hummus ‘hound’ and devours whatever is in the fridge (used to be it was JUST MY hummus – no one else touched it). Picked up 4 cans chick peas (son makes his with BAGS of chick peas – but then, he’s cooking for a restaurant), and went looking for Tahini (ground sesame seed paste). Took me a while but finally found a jar (probably about 12 oz, just guessing) – NO price on bottle or shelf – stuck it in the cart. Got to check out and asked her to scan the price of that bottle: $6.99 – let’s just say I asked her to return it, no sale (and gave her the 4 cans of chick peas, too). Granted, you only need a LITTLE tahini to make a batch, but this bottle would have made TONS of batches – and I’m not into doing that (not sure how long it would stay ‘good’, either, once opened, even IF refrigerated). I guess I’ll just stick with buying my already-made hummus and be happy (for now, any way!).


Brownie Cookies

2/3 C. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 1/2 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, combine shortening,
sugar, water & vanilla; blend well. Add eggs
& beat just until combined. In separate bowl,
combine flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt.
Gradually add dry ingredients to shortening
mixture on low speed. Add chocolate chips &
mix to combine. Drop dough by rounded
tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 8-9 minutes or until cookies are set (they
will be soft, but not gooey). Remove cookies from
oven & let cool on sheet for a few minutes, then
remove to cooling rack. Makes 36 cookies.

(recipe: Peg- Marys Recipe Exchange)

Beef Lo Mein

1 (8 oz) pkg. cooked spaghetti
1/4 C. soy sauce, divided
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger, divided
1 lb. lean flank steak, cut into 1″ slices
1 T. sesame oil
1 C. fresh snow pea pods, trimmed
1 C. broccoli florets
1 C. shredded carrots
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted

Bring salted water to boil in large pot
& cook spaghetti accordg to pkg. directions.
Combine 2 T. soy sauce & 1 tsp. ginger; toss
over steak. Heat sesame oil over medium-
high heat in a wok or large nonstick skillet.
Add steak & stir-fry 4 minutes on each side
or until browned; drain & remove from pan.
Stir-fry snow pea pods & next 5 ingredients
in pan 2 minutes. Stir in remaining soy sauce,
ginger, steak & cooked noodles. Remove from
heat & sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Serve immediately. Serves 4

NOTE: If you have time, you can sprinkle the
soy sauce & ginger over the steak & let it set
for several hours

(recipe: laurasleanbeef.com)

Crockpot Cheese & Tortellini Soup

1 lb. pork sausage, cooked & drained
1 (19 oz) pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

Add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook,
on Low, 5 hours, stirring at least twice.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpot ladies.com)

Savory Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breast halves
ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 C. dry bread crumbs
3 T. butter, melted (or margarine)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 baking pan.
Season with pepper; top each breast
with a slice of cheese. Mix together
soup & milk; pour over chicken. Sprinkle
bread crumbs on top & drizzle with
melted butter. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
Uncover & bake for another 20 minutes
or until golden brown. Serves 4.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Black Bean Salad

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 C. frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn-
parboiled, drained & cooled)
1/2 C. green onions, chopped
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
or whole pickled, minced (not seeded)
3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded & cut into chunks
1/2 C. fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 C. fresh chopped basil
2 T. lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 -1 tsp. sugar (to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste

In large bowl, combine beans, corn, onions,
jalapeno, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, basil,
lime juice & olive oil. Add sugar, salt & pepper,
to taste. Chill before serving. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


3 C. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. butter, melted

1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix everything together except butter.
Slowly stir in melted butter and pour
into a greased 9×13 pan.
For the topping, mix all the ingredients
together until well combined. Drop
evenly over the batter and swirl with a
knife. Bake 28-32 minutes.

2 C. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle glaze over the cake.

(recipe: Facebook)

Peanut Dressing
(serve as a sauce, dip or salad

1/4 C. peanut butter
2 C. orange-pineapple juice, heated
4 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. chopped green onions

Place peanut butter & 1/4 C. orange-
pineapple juice in medium bowl & stir
to combine. Add rest of juice & all
remaining ingredients; whisk together.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Jambalaya

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 oz) can whole tomatoes
1/3 C. tomato paste
1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth
1 T. parsley
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. shrimp, shelled & deveined
3 C. cooked rice

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Place all
ingredients (except shrimp & rice) in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours. Add shrimp
last 20 minutes of cooking. Stir in rice before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: msclassylady-Slowcooker digest)


Taco Meatloaf

2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 C. sour cream
1/3 C. salsa
3-4 T. taco seasoning mix
salt, to taste
1 C. crushed tortilla chips
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced tomato
chopped black olives
chopped green onion
shredded lettuce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, whisk egg & add all
ingredients except beef; mix well.
Add ground beef; mix well. Shape
into loaf in baking dish. Bake
60-70 minutes. (time depends on
how thick you make your meatloaf)
While hot, place on serving platter.
Top with sliced tomato & grated
cheese; loosely cover with foil so
heat from meatloaf melts cheese.
Prepare any combination of shredded
lettuce, chopped green onion, chopped
black olives, sour cream & extra salsa
to serve on the side or on top of
meatloaf. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Holly – justapinch.com)

Gooey Butter Cookies

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter
with spoon until well blended. Stir in vanilla and
egg. Add cake mix; stir until well combined.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered
sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased
cookie sheets. Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until
set. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling

(recipe: Facebook)
Yesterday’s (husband’s) birthday dinner went over well – everyone said the Meat & Potato Pie was great as well as the ‘doctored up’ banana cake. (I thought the frosting came out too sweet) – I even added a little sour cream to tone it done, but just made it more ‘liquid’, so I had to put the cake in the refrigerator to set the frosting. Either way – they ate it!

Sure am glad I don’t have anywhere else to go today/tonight – while driving my car’s thermometer said it was 3 degrees F. but the wind chill was terrible! The minute you got out of the car your cheeks really stung from the cold; makes me think of those poor homeless people who don’t have a choice of how to stay warm. Makes me REALLY count my blessings: Thank you, Lord for my health, a house that’s warm, warm clothing, food for my family AND some to spare, a car that WORKS, and all the other ways You bless me and my family EVERY DAY!

Reminds me of the song we all learned as children: “Count your blessings, name them one-by-one; count your blessing see what God has done; Count your blessings – name them one-by-one; And it will surprise you what the Lord has done!”

Enjoy your day – stay warm!



Happy 62nd Birthday, Husband!


Yep, today is my husband’s 62nd birthday; he’s never been one for wanting that acknowledged in any way. (long story-his favorite uncle died on his birthday many years ago and ever since, he just wants to forget – sad.) Over the years I’ve tried to ‘lighten’ the day, buying him gifts I think he’d like but it doesn’t change, so this year it’s just his favorite dinner – he’s happy with that. Favorite dinner? Meat & Potato Pie and banana cake. I found an easy banana cake recipe today and will post that below.

Weather-wise, like most of the country, it’s VERY cold. Right now it’s actually WARM! 16 degrees! BUT the wind chills make it hard to be outside very long. It’s supposed to be colder all weekend (oh, joy) from today through Monday it’s all below zero: lows -18 or lower: -23, light snow through Sunday, wind chills -20 with winds up to 50 MPH. Ah, the joys of living in a COLD state!

I had a 6-month mammogram appointment today and just the short drive to the hospital made the tips of my fingers almost numb! (it’s such a short drive the car heater didn’t get much chance to warm up). Xray wise, it looked the same as 6 months ago – which is GOOD/GREAT! Thank you, Lord!


Simple Banana Cake

3 over-ripe* bananas, peeled & sliced
4 large eggs
4 T. butter, melted
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 C. milk

4 T. butter
1/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Beat
together bananas & eggs with elec. mixer on
medium until bananas are mashed, about 1 minute.
On low speed, pour in melted butter, cake mix &
milk; beat on medium 2 minutes then pour into
pan. Bake 30-40 minutes until cake is firm in center;
let cool in pan.

In small saucepan combine sugar, milk & butter; cook on
medium-high until at a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat & add powdered sugar. Whisk until no trace of
sugar remains. Pour over cooled cake & spread; let cool.
This makes a thin layer of frosting, double frosting recipe
if you want more.

*NOTE: If you don’t have any over-ripe bananas, place yellow
bananas on cookie sheet in oven. Turn oven temp to 350
degrees F.  When your oven ‘beeps’ that is preheated, take
bananas out. The skins will be a little brownish & bananas
are warm. The heat gets all the sugars & banana flavor ready
to get mashed into cake or banana bread recipes.

(recipe: Am Giordano-justapinch.com)

Roasted Turkey Enchilada Bake

2 C. cooked, chopped turkey
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
(your choice of heat level)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 T. chili powder
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients. Place
2 tortillas, in single layer, on bottom of
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray; top with layers of half each: turkey
mixture, sour cream & cheese. Repeat layers;
cover with foil & bake 40 minutes or until
casserole is heated through & cheese is
melted. Uncover after 30 minutes & continue
baking. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tuscan Vegetable Baked Ziti

1 (7 oz) pkg. KRAFT shredded Italian
3-cheese blend cheese, divided
3 C. ziti pasta, cooked
2 large red peppers, cut into thin strips
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise, then
thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 (24 oz) jar chunky spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Reserve 3/4 C. cheese; combine remaining
cheese & all ingredients. Spoon pasta
mixture into 9 X 13 baking pan; sprinkle
top with reserved cheese. Bake 20-25
minutes or until heated through. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mustard Short Ribs

3 lb. beef short ribs
1 C. beef broth
2/3 C. honey mustard
1 T. worcestershire sauce

Place short ribs in crockpot; add
honey mustard & worcestershire sauce.
Pour beef broth over mixture; stir
mustard into broth as much as possible.
Cover & cook 8 hours on Low. Turn ribs
every 4 hours.

(recipe: thelatefarmer.com)

Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. buttermilk*
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C. flour
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, cream together egg,
vanilla, butter & 1 C. sugar until smooth.
Add buttermilk, flour & baking soda; stir
until just combined. Add cinnamon chips;
stir to incorporate. In separate small bowl,
mix together 1/3 C. sugar & cinnamon; set
aside. Pour 1/2 of batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle
3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of batter, then
add remaining batter. Sprinkle last of cinnamon
mixture over top of batter then swirl with a
knife. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
Cool in pan 20 minutes before removing to
cool completely on a wire rack.

*If you don’t have buttermilk: pour 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar into a 1-Cup measuring cup.
Pour in milk until mixture measures 1 C. Stir
with a fork and let set 5 minutes, then use as

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Supreme Pizza Dip

4 oz. pepperoni
1 C. finely chopped bacon
1/2 C. finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced + 1 whole clove
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
1/3 C. pitted black olives, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan
4 oz. mozzarella, diced

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Dice 3 oz. pepperoni; thinly slice
remaining 1 oz; set aside for garnish.
Meat medium skillet over medium heat;
add diced pepperoni; cook, stirring, until
crisp, 4-5 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper,
minced garlic, oregano, 3/4 tsp. salt & some
pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are very
tender & lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, until it
coats the vegetables & smells lightly toasted,
about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat
to simmer, stir occasionally until mixture is
slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in
olives & Parmesan cheese; remove from heat.
Season with additional salt & pepper. Preheat
broiler; scatter mozzarella & sliced pepperoni
over dip in skillet. Place skillet under broiler &
broil until cheese is melted & slightly browned,
2-3 minutes. Serve dip warm. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Food Network)

Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

15 jalapenos, cut in half, seeded/deveined
1 T. cooking oil
2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 C. minced red onion
1/4 C. minced red bell pepper
3 T. minced garlic
2 C. cream cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
salt & pepper
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven. Place
jalapeno halves on sheet tray – roast 10
minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.
Turn broiler on medium. Heat oil in
medium saute pan; add sausage & cook
5-7 minutes. Add onions, peppers & garlic;
cook about 5 minutes. Remove & place in
large bowl. Cool to room temp, then add
cream cheese & Parmesan. Mix ingredients
thoroughly & season with salt & pepper.
Place approx. 1 T. mixture into each jalapeno
slice & top with 1/2 tsp. mozzarella cheese.
Broil until mozzarella melts. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Food Network)

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

2 T. butter, softened
8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
3 C. heavy cream
1 C. whole milk
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
2 C. freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Butter large baking dish with butter.
Slice potatoes into sticks then cut sticks
to create a dice. Combine cream & milk in
a bowl. Add flour, salt, & some pepper; whisk
together so that flour is incorporated in. Add
diced potatoes to prepared dish; pour creamy
mixture over top. Cover with foil & bake 20-30
minutes. Remove foil & bake 15-20 minutes longer.
Just before serving, sprinkle grated cheese on top
& return to oven until cheese melts. 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle top with green onions & serve.
Serves 16

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Beef & Vegetable Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef, cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth or 1 beef
broth & 1 beef consomme
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
garlic & onion, undrained
1 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed basil
2 C. frozen mixed vegetables
1 C. uncooked small pasta
shredded Romano cheese

Combine beef, broth, chickpeas, water,
salt & pepper, & seasonings in large crockpot.
Mix well, cover & cook on High 5 hours or
Low for 8 hours. No stirring is necessary
while cooking. Stir in mixed vegetables &
uncooked pasta; continue cooking, covered,
an additional hour or until beef & pasta are
tender. Stir well before serving & sprinkle
with cheese. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins

1 C. flour
3/4 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. milk
1/2 C. mashed banana (fully ripe,
about 1 large)
1 egg
2 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl.
Whisk peanut butter & milk in medium bowl
until blended; stir in bananas, egg, oil & vanilla. Add
banana mixture to dry ingredients; stir just until
moistened. Spoon into 12 muffin cups sprayed
with nonstick spray (or use paper liners). Bake
18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into
center of muffin comes out clean. Cool
slightly before serving. Makes 12 muffins

NOTE: Muffins can be baked ahead of time. Cool,
then wrap individually in plastic wrap & freeze up
to 1 month. Thaw, then reheat in microwave just
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


You’ll be happy to know (or, maybe not) that I FINALLY got up the gumption to take all the boxes of Christmas ‘stuff’ AND the tree upstairs! It was really bugging me, but since the stupid cancer thing, I just don’t have the strength I used to (legs/lifting/stamina, etc.) YES, I do have two strapping young men but it seems they’re not around when ya need them; husband helped with the lugging the tree box (which was HEAVY!). That’s done for another year. Husband said yesterday that this is the first time in his memory that he really doesn’t LIKE snow and is not looking forward to more winter. I agree! When I was setting UP the Christmas ‘stuff’ I said (to myself) “I’ll leave up some of these snowmen after the Christmas stuff is packed – they sort of cheer up this time of year!” I even lugged some of them upstairs yesterday – really sick of just THINKING of more snow in the offing. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t already have TWO big snowfalls; it’s more the ‘just can’t get out/or back in the driveway” and ‘have to shovel’!  SO glad we finally found a person who can plow! We’re gettin’ too old to be lifting the really heavy, wet stuff!

Thinkin’ of spending some QUALITY time today with a new book and some knitting – now THAT’S being productive! (Not counting I still have to bake that banana cake!) I’m cheating a bit: bought a boxed banana cake and am going to mash up some really ripe bananas in the batter; bought cream cheese frosting which will have some banana oil flavoring added, for flavor. Even bought husband a ‘new’ ice cream flavor: Malted; it was funny when he was unpacking the groceries today he stopped and said: “Malted? You HATE malted!” I said; “I know! But it’s YOUR birthday and you LOVE Malted!” He walked off grumbling something about me buying ice cream I won’t eat . . . to me, it’s a Win/Win situation! I don’t like it, so I WON’T eat it! (saves me hitting it late at night when I get a craving, right?). There’s METHOD to my MADNESS!

Enjoy your day – try to stay warm (if you’re in a cold climate). Do something you like OR do something nice for someone else! Both make you feel better inside!



Cold, but quiet morning


Not sure how your weather temperatures are at the moment, but here in good old COLD Michigan it’s ZERO with lower than zero wind-chills. Last night was my first Knit/Crochet night in over a month (due to weather, we had to cancel previous meetings) – it was SO nice to get back together with friends. It was very cold last night, as well, but 19 lovely ladies showed up (FOUR new people!) – a good time was had by all. I was amazed at the parking at Panera (we’re talking 6 p.m.) and I got the LAST parking space! When I came out to my car at a little after 9 p.m. my car started right up (temp 3 degrees F) but was pretty stiff in the power steering until it warmed up. Panera (on a good day) is about 7 minutes from my house; I found it amusing (to say the least) that as I drew closer to my house the temperatures went from 3 down to zero – Yep, it was C-O-L-D! I got the call yesterday to cancel our special needs group for tonight, as it’s supposed to get even colder with wicked wind chills. Because we have quite a few of our students in wheelchairs and not all of our students are very swift on their feet, getting into the building can be a challenge – especially if it’s REALLY cold out. Easier to cancel for better weather. My only goal, today or tomorrow, is to get out and figure out a good birthday gift for my husband, as tomorrow he will be 62. I love him dearly but he’s VERY hard to buy for – he’s not really into clothes (not counting it’s not easy to find 4X shirts), he likes to read but he’s VERY picky about what authors (only HE buys his books), he’s not much into foods (I get him cinnamon tea occasionally, but he already has enough/candy – not much interest) so I really don’t have a clue what to get him  (or where to go!) – so far it’s only bake him a banana cake (he loves that). Oh, forgot to mention: he HATES anyone acknowledging his birthday! (long story – about 36 years ago his favorite uncle died on his birthday – after that, he doesn’t even want to remember it’s HIS birthday). Go figure . . . NOT an easy assignment, eh?


Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 mini bell peppers, chopped
12 C. water
9 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. salt
3 chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained &

tortilla strips
tomatoes, chopped
(or salsa)
chopped green onions
Mexican-blend shredded cheese

Heat large soup pot over medium-
high heat. Add olive oil & heat, then
add chopped veggies. Cook until
onions are translucent & veggies are
crisp-tender. Add water, bullion cubes &
seasonings & chicken to pot; bring to
rolling boil. Turn heat down to simmer &
cook 30 minutes or until chicken is
cooked through & no longer pink inside.
Remove chicken from pot; shred with 2
forks & place chicken back in pot. Add
corn & beans; cook 10 minutes longer.
Serve with choice of toppings.
Serves 8

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup.net)

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. oats
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (10-12 oz) jar strawberry preserves*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking pan. Mix butter,
flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder
& salt. Press half mixture into prepared
pan. Spread with preserves. Sprinkle
other half of  mixture over top & pat
down lightly. Bake until light brown,
30-40 minutes. Let cool completely, then
cut into squares. Makes 24 servings.

* You can use any flavor preserves/jam

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)


Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy

1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 large eggs
2 C. flour
2 tsp. seasoned salt
ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lb. cube steaks (tenderized round steak
that has been extra tenderized)
kosher salt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 T. butter


1/3 C. flour
3-4 C. whole milk
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
ground black pepper

Mashed potatoes – for serving

For the Steak:
Mix milk with eggs, one at a time in a
shallow dish. Mix flour with seasoned salt,
black pepper, paprika & cayenne in a bowl.
Have one clean plate at end to receive breaded
meat. Work with one piece of meat at a time.
Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt & black
pepper; place in flour mixture – turn to coat. Place
meat in egg/milk mixture, turn to coat. Place meat
back in flour, turn to coat then place on clean plate,
repeat with remaining meat. Heat oil in large
skillet over medium heat. Add butter, drop in a few
sprinkles flour to make sure it’s sufficiently hot. When
butter sizzles immediately, it’s ready. (if flour browns
right away, the fire is too hot). Cook meat, 3 pieces
at a time, until edges start to look golden brown, about
2 minutes each side. Remove meat to paper-towel lined
plate; keep warm by covering lightly with another plate
or sheet of foil. Repeat until all meat is cooked. After
meat is fried, pour off grease. Without cleaning skillet,
return to medium-low heat. Add 1/4 C. grease back to
skillet & allow to heat up.
When grease is hot, sprinkle flour evenly over grease. Using
a whisk, mix flour with grease, creating a golden-brown
paste. Add more flour if it looks overly greasy; add a little
more grease if it becomes too pasty/clumpy. Keep cooking
until it reaches a deep golden brown color. Pour in milk,
whisking constantly. Add seasoned salt & pepper, to taste &
cook, whisking, until gravy is smooth & thick, 5-10 minutes.
Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Be
sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned. Serve
meat with mashed potatoes & gravy. Serves 6

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Skillet Chicken & Vegetables Parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp. dried basil leaves, divided
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper*
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
(broccoli/carrots/green beans/peppers), thawed
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook garlic in dressing in large skillet over medium
heat 1 minute. Add chicken, 3/4 tsp. basil & pepper;
cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.) Add vegetables & remaining basil;
cook 2-3 minutes or until heated through, stirring
occasionally. Sprinkle top with cheese & serve.
Serves 4

*For a spicier flavor, substitute crushed red pepper for
black pepper

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Beef ‘n Noodles

2 lb. cut up stew meat
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 C. water
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 T. Italian seasoning

Place meat in crockpot; cover with broth
& water. Add seasonings.
Cover & cook on
High 4 hours, or Low 8 hours

Last 30-45 minutes of cooking, add 1
(16 oz) pkg. egg noodles. Cook until
noodles are tender and most of liquid
has been absorbed.

(recipe: Kristi’s Recipe Box)

Spinach Cheddar Quiche
(makes it’s own crust!)

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
& squeezed dry
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease 9″ round pie pan. Combine
spinach, Cheddar cheese, onion & green
bell pepper in large bowl, mix & pour
into prepared pie pan. In another bowl
combine eggs, Bisquick, salt & pepper;
mix & pour over spinach mixture. Bake
35 minutes or until center is firm.

(recipe: Cook’s Recipes)

White Bean & Ham Soup

2 T. margarine
1 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. diced celery
1 C. chopped, fully cooked ham
2 (15 oz, ea) cans Great Northern beans,
drained & rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) diced tomatoes
with basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/2 C. water

Melt margarine in large saucepan or Dutch
oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots &
celery; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are
tender, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining
ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to
medium-low, simmer 5 minutes. Serves 6,
1 1/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Easiest Pecan Bars Ever!

1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll dough & press in bottom and
half inch up sides of 9 X 13 pan. Firmly
press perforations to seal Bake 8 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients.
Pour filling over partially baked crust. Bake
18-22 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Cool completely, about 1 hour, then cut into

(recipe: Facebook)


Well, that’s all the excitement here for now – we were supposed to have our roofing/siding company out today to install the gutters, but they just called and said it’s too cold, they’ll be here Monday (we’ll see – probably will be cold then, too!).

Enjoy your day – take a few minutes to just think about one (or more) things in your life that are a blessing and then give thanks for that. Life is short – why not fill your head (and heart) with good things! For me, it all boils down to:

Philippians 4:4
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”



Late Night Visitor!


It’s around 9:30 p.m. and I just happened to look out the window and noticed a dark shape near the bird feeder; now I thought it was “Pudgems” the squirrel, but when I tapped on the window to get it to  move so I could get a better view, it didn’t move! After some inventive thinking on my husband’s part, we were able to discover it was a BUNNY! AT NIGHT!? I never knew they were out foraging that late! Not the best of photos, but my camera (even with zoom lens on) couldn’t get a better view than the one above – if you’re having trouble seeing the bunny, that’s his beady little eye in the brown blob to the right of center. He stayed there and just kept looking for food items that the birds & Pudgems left from earlier today. Who Knew? Certainly not me! (Here I thought our rabbits hibernated during the winter!)



Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 1:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Our New “Visitor”!


I nick named him “Pudgems”

Years ago we had a squirrel that visited every day during the winter – you could always tell it was ‘him’ because he had a rather scrawny tail and was pretty small. The really neat thing about that squirrel was – our middle son could actually go out and hand-feed him carrots! This one is a bit more skittish, but he comes every day looking for food and seems to really like baby carrots & chopped up apples. That dark spot at the top of the picture is where he likes to stick his head into the snow (who knows what’s there for a squirrel?) but he seems to do it regularly. I’ve checked it out – it’s only about 2 inches deep, so no great ‘squirrel hiding hole’. He seems to be the only squirrel that visits our bird feeder (just on the ground). We actually stopped filling the feeders a few years ago due to some kamakaze (sp?) squirrels that would walk the phone wires until they were directly over the feeder, then launch themselves onto it’s top. Bad part was – then they would physically OPEN the top and have a huge bird seed feast! I got tired of that and really didn’t want to spend money on squirrels, so you see the reasoning in no seed for years. This year I felt sorry for the birds due to all the snow we’ve had, so we resumed filling the feeders and waited to see how the squirrels would react. So far, it’s only “Pudgems”, so that’s OK – he only eats what’s on the ground. We’ve had cardinals, chickadees, slate junco’s, nuthatches and red-headed woodpeckers (on the suet feeder).

The weather has been cooperating lately, with temps in the high 20’s; yesterday we had pretty strong winds, but today it’s sunny and clear. No particular plans for the day, so I’m glad I’m staying inside.


Beef Stroganoff

2 T. butter
1 lb. boneless chuck roast, cut
into thin strips
1 C. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 C. diced onion
1 C. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. flour
1 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In medium skillet melt butter &
brown beef. Add mushrooms &
onion, cook until tender. Add broth,
tomato paste, garlic powder, salt &
pepper. Simmer covered, stirring
occasionally, 30 minutes or until
beef is tender. Stir in flour blended
with sour cream; bring to boil, then
simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce
is thickened (about 5 minutes). Cook
noodles according to pkg. directions.
Serve over cooked noodles.
Serves 4

(recipe: Linda-justapinch.com)

Cheesy Spinach Triangles

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed
2 T. milk
garlic & onion powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan or Romano cheese, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
bacon bits, optional
1 medium egg
3 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, spinach, milk,
cheese & spices (bacon bits, if using)
in small covered bowl. When seasoned
to taste, add egg & stir until well mixed.
Cover & refrigerate while working with
dough. Open first pkg. rolls; unroll. Rolls
are 4 rectangles, each sliced down one
diagonal. Slice from corner to corner & across
from edge to edge, making 8 triangles or
total of 32 per pkg of rolls. Place 1/2 tsp.
spinach mixture onto each triangle, pull
one point of triangle over mixture & tuck
under bottom on opposite side. Place
triangles on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake
10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Remove from oven & allow to cool 2-3
minutes. Makes 96

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apple Brown Betty

1 1/2 – 2 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
8 slices hearty wheat bread, diced
3 apples, cored & diced (Granny Smith)
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Generously butter 9 X 13 pan. Place half
diced bread into dish; sprinkle on half
of the apples, half brown sugar & half butter.
Repeat layer, end by sprinkle 1/2 C. water over
surface, a spoonful at a time. Bake, covered,
until apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove
foil & bake an additional 10-15 minutes to brown.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Broccoli Cheese Soup


4 heads broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 whole onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
Pinch nutmeg
3 cups grated cheese (mild Cheddar, sharp
Cheddar, Jack, etc.), plus more for garnish, optional
1 cup chicken broth, optional

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove 2 C. broccoli, cut in half, drizzle w/olive oil &
sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place on baking sheet
cut side down, bake until florets begin to crisp & turn
slightly brown, about 20 minutes. Melt butter in a pot
over medium heat; add onions, cook until softened,
3-4 minutes. Sprinkle flour on top; stir to combine &
cook until flour is absorbed & smells lightly toasted,
1 minute. Add milk & half & half; add nutmeg, broccoli,
small dash salt & black pepper. Cover & reduce heat to
low. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 20-30 minutes. Stir
in cheese; allow to melt. Serve soup as is, or mash with
a potato masher/transfer to blender & puree (your choice).
Garnish with toasted broccoli or grated cheese. Serves 10NOTE: when blending hot liquids, first let cool 5 minutes, then
transfer to blender, filling only halfway. Place on lid, leaving
one corner open. This will prevent the vacuum effect that
creates heat explosions. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel
to catch spatters & pulse until smooth.
IF you puree in blender, return soup to heat to re-heat. Add
some chicken broth, if necessary for thinning.

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Crockpot Upside Down Chicken Pot Pie1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (16 oz) bag frozen chopped: celery/carrots/onion
2 (18 oz, ea) jars chicken gravy
1 (16 oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 1/4 C. Bisquick mix
2/3 C. milk

Place chicken in 3 1/2-4 qt. crockpot; top with bay
leaf, pepper, froz, chopped veggies, & gravy. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours. About half hour before serving,
prepare 8 biscuits using Bisquick mix & milk, as directed
on Bisquick pkg. Gently stir frozen veggies into chicken
mixture, breaking up chicken into bite-sized pieces, if
necessary. Increase heat to High; cover & cook 15-30
minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf.
For each serving:
Split biscuits and place 2 halves on a dinner plate or in
individual bowls. Spoon about 1 Cup of chicken mixture
on top of each biscuit. Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato Roll Ups 

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
8-10 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 C. chopped tomatoes
4 (8″) flour tortillas
1 C. shredded romaine lettuce

Mix cream cheese & mayonnaise in bowl;
add crumbled bacon & diced tomatoes. Spread
mixture on tortillas, top with lettuce. Roll up
tightly and refrigerate 1 hour. Slice into 1/2
inch slices.
(recipe: Facebook)

Veggie Frittata Cups 

2 T. oil
2 1/2 C. frozen shredded hash browns
2 C. cut-up mixed fresh vegetables
(small broccoli florets/chopped red
peppers/shredded carrots)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 eggs
3 T. milk
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high
heat. Add potatoes & remaining vegetables;
mix lightly & cook 6-8 minutes or until
potatoes are browned, stirring occasionally.
Spoon into 12 muffin pan cups sprayed with
nonstick spray; top with shredded cheese.
Whisk remaining ingredients until blended;
pour over ingredients in muffin cups. Bake 15
minutes or until knife inserted into centers
comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before
removing from pan to serve. Serves 6
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Lazy Cake Cookies

1 box of yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs beaten
1 stick melted butter
2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together and bake in 9X13 pan 20
When cooled, cut into squares


Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze 

6-8 lb. fully cooked smoked bone-in ham
whole cloves, if desired
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 T. balsamic or cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
orange slices, if desired
marachino cherrie, if desired

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place ham, fat side up, on rack in shallow
roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer so
tip is in thickest part of ham & does not
touch bone or rest in fat. Cover loosely &
bake 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 hours or until thermometer
reads 135 degrees F. (13-17 minutes per pound)

About 20 minutes before ham is done, remove
from oven. Pour drippings from pan. Remove any
skin from ham. Cut uniform diamond slices on fat
surface of ham. Insert cloves in each diamond. Stir
together brown sugar, vinegar & mustard; pat or
brush on ham. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes longer.
Cover ham & let stand about 10 minutes or until
thermometer reads 140 degrees F. Garnish with
orange slices & cherries, if desired. Serves 12
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hot Spinach Dip 

2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb. spinach, cleaned/trimmed &
coarsely chopped*
1/2 C. milk
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes hot sauce (like Tabasco)
3/4 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
coarse salt & ground black pepper

Sides: baguette slices, breadsticks or

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over
medium heat. Add onion & garlic; cook
until lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Add
spinach in two additions, letting the first
batch wilt before adding the next; cook until
completely wilted, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to
a colander; press to release all excess liquid.
In same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in
cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes.
Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce &
1/4 C. mozzarella; stir to combine. Season
with salt & pepper and pour into lightly oiled
1 1/2 qt. shallow baking dish. Sprinkle top
with remaining 1/2 C. mozzarella. Bake until
bubbly & golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve
hot with sides.
*2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen spinach, thawed can be
substituted for fresh

NOTE: recipe can be assembled through
pressing excess liquid out of spinach, 2-3 days
ahead. Drain well, & chop.Prepare to this point,
then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until
ready to finish cooking.

(recipe: Yahoo Shine)

Well, my friends – here’s hoping you have a WONDERFUL day!
Remember to smile or laugh a little – it does wonders for your facial muscles AND it makes people wonder what you’re thinking!
Published in: on January 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Out & About and Back Home SAFE!


After staying home a good three days due to the last snowfall, it was MORE than time to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Our weather is typical Michigan for winter: it’s 13 degrees F. with a bit of wind (really stings your cheeks if you’re out in it too long, OR makes your fingertips sting). Mary (Momma) my friend asked, after seeing the last photo I posted of our recent snowfall-is there ICE under that snow? (she has lots where she lives). At the time I thought: “No!” – that was, until I attempted to go fill the bird feeder and had to CRUNCH my way through the snow-covered ice field! Ice on my car windshield required a good scraping, but eventually I was out and on my way. First stop: Sears – they always have tons of sales on clothing after Christmas and this time was no different. I was on the hunt for a few all black, basic men’s size Small polo shirts (for middle son who needs them for work). Typical – same as last time I did this several years ago – only could find ONE. (well -0ne is better than none, right?). Good thing? Original cost: $29.99 – got it for $11.99! On to the Women’s section (tons of Clearance racks – yay). Well, it appears Sears sense of ‘style’ and mine don’t exactly match. Found one ‘church’ blouse – black & white, long sleeves with slight ruffle at the buttons. Regular price: $40.00 – I got it for $14.99 – yay! A few more places rounded out my shopping trip and now I’m back home safe & sound! Our driveway really wasn’t that bad – I did my ‘usual’ and gunned it up the hill with enough forward motion to allow me to do a really quick shift into reverse and plunk that puppy in my regular parking spot!

Oh! Bonus – when I went to our local grocery store they handed me a small bunch of flowers! This happened once before when I was there – not exactly sure as to the “Why” but hey- FREE FLOWERS! The guy in front of me, when handed said bunch said: “My wife don’t like no flowers.” (I was next and I’m not adverse to taking a free gift!) Now, I will say – these are a tad bit ‘sorry’ looking; it’s several bunches of pink/white fresia and a couple bunches of tiny yellow daisies but they will brighten up my kitchen for a few days and that’s all that counts!


Garlic Honey Chicken

1 1/2 – 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 C. soy sauce
2/3 C. ketchup
1/4 C. honey

Add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook
3-4 hours on High or 5-6 on Low.
(sauce can be doubled if you like
extra sauce)
Serves 4-5

(recipe: savingyourdinero.com)

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. butter, melted

1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients (except butter). Slowly
stir in melted butter & pour into greased
9 X 13 pan.
Mix all ingredients together until well
combined. Drop evenly over batter &
swirl with a knife.

Bake cake 28-32 minutes.
2 C. powdered sugar
5 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While cake is still warm, mix together glaze
and drizzle over cake.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Quick Baked Ravioli

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. water
2 (1 lb, each) pkgs. frozen ravioli (meat or cheese)
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Italian 5 cheese cheese (Kraft)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix spaghetti sauce, tomatoes & water; spoon 1 C.
into 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer half of frozen ravioli,
& 1 C. shredded cheese over sauce. Top with
remaining ravioli & sauce. Sprinkle top with remaining
shredded cheese; cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes
or until heated through; uncovering after 30 minutes.
Sprinkle top with Parmesan and let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves. 8

Extra Special:: Add 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen, chopped spinach,
thawed & drained, between ravioli layers.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground sausage or ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1 T. brown sugar
4 C. chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced stewed tomatoes
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
7 lasagna noodles, broken up in large chunks
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1-2 C. Mozzarella cheese, grated

In large soup pot place ground sausage,
onion, chopped bell pepper, & garlic. Cook
over medium-high heat until sausage is
browned & onions are translucent. Add
thyme, brown sugar, stewed tomatoes,
tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, salt &
chicken broth. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat; reduce heat & let
simmer 20 minutes. Add lasagna
noodles to pot; simmer until tender,
about 10 minutes. Add Parmesan
cheese to pot, stir & allow time for
cheese to melt. Remove pot from
stove, ladle into bowl & sprinkle
tops with Mozzarella cheese.
Serves 8

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole


1 (6 oz) pkg. long grain & wild rice mix
1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 C.)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
2 T. butter
1 (10.5 – 10 3/4 oz) can chicken with white &
wild rice soup OR cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1/3 C. chicken broth
2 T. snipped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken or turkey
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare rice mix accordg to pkg. directions. In large
skillet, cook onion & celery in hot butter over
medium heat until tender. Stir in soup, sour cream,
chicken broth & basil. Stir in cooked rice & chicken.
Transfer mixture to ungreased 2 quart baking dish.
Sprinkle top with cheese & bake, uncovered,
35 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4

(recipe: Peg- Marys Recipe Exchange)

Turtle Ooey Gooey Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick margarine, softened
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. chopped pecans
caramel ice cream topping

Blend cake mix, 1 egg & stick of melted
margarine in a bowl to form a thick
dough. Place dough in a 9 X 13 pan;
press evenly onto borrom, set aside.

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese
until free of lumps, then add room temp.
butter; cream together. Add eggs & vanilla,
then powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
Pour mixture over base; spread evenly.
Sprinkle top with pecans. Place on center
rack of oven. Bake 35-40 minutes or until
top is lightly golden brown.

Set cake pan on cooling rack 30 minutes.
Drizzle top of cake generously with caramel
sauce. Serve cake warm or cold. Serves 15-20.
Refrigerate any leftovers.

(recipe: Wendy-justapinch.com)

Austrian Apple Muffins

3 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. oil
2 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
4-6 apples, peeled & cut up
1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs 1 minute. Add sugar,
vanilla & oil, then add all
remaining ingredients. Fold in apples &
nuts; place in paper-lined muffin tins.
Bake 30-35 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
After re-reading my last blog entry, I discovered I’d made a small counting error: I have already made & sent 280 baby hats, so next delivery of my usual 50 hats will put me over 300. Just got a small shipment in the mail today of 4 small skeins of baby yarn; I don’t know about you, but just being able to knit with a new color/pattern/style of yarn makes me invigorated and ready to knit lots more! I usually don’t order from Herrschner’s, but they had a sale so I bought said baby yarn – first one up for knitting is a mint green with flecks of pink, blue, yellow and other colors – ought to make some cute baby hats, for sure! (Now, mind you – it’s not like I don’t ALREADY have lots of yarn – baby yarn wise: a very large garbage bag full, plus 3 large TUBS of regular yarns saved from when I was knitting all those afghans. Sometimes ya just need a little ‘pick me up’ and a new color does the trick for me. In said garbage bag are lots of skeins of almost the same yarn: either white or white with little flecks of pink/blue/green – that gets a bit old after awhile. (Now I’m really sounding spoiled – eh?). After I’m off here, I’m off to spend time with the new mint green yarn!

Read a good book yesterday (one I bought from a used book sale): “Danger in the Shadows” by Dee Henderson. It’s a good suspense novel – has me looking into her writings with the library, to see if there are more I can check out. Every once in awhile I really enjoy just having the time to sit down and read; finished the book in one day if that tells you anything about how good it was. (I’m a fast reader).

Hoping your weather is cooperating and you’re able to get out and about; stay warm & safe!



Views from my windows


As you can see – we got more of the ‘S’ word overnight


Not as much as the last time, I’d guess about four inches; the sun is just coming up and the sky is a beautiful robin’s egg blue!

Right now (at 9 a.m.) it’s 26 degrees out there and there are ‘hintings’ we might be getting more snow – oh, yipee . . . sigh. Unlike our last HUGE snowfall, this time we haven’t been to the grocery store in probably a week. We’re not suffering, but could use the items on the grocery list – we’ll see how this goes today. (I’m not one for venturing out). Youngest son got home around 10:30 p.m. last night and said the roads were awful: slushy/icy/sloppy and our turn lane (in front of our house) was the WORST! Sure hope that changes once the snow plows & salt trucks get a chance to work on it. Ah, the fun of living in a cold state, right?


Cheese Danish

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 c. sugar
1  tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 egg white

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan; lay one
pkg. crescent rolls in pan (unrolled);
pinch openings together. Beat cream
cheese, sugar, vanilla & egg together
until smooth. Spread mixture over
crescent rolls evenly then lay second
layer of rolls on top (spread out). Brush
rolls with egg white. Bake 35-45 minutes
until top is golden brown. Top with glaze
after cooking 20 minutes.

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

Combine glaze ingredients; mix
until smooth then drizzle over baked

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken & Roasted Red Potatoes

1/4 C. ranch dressing
6 large bone-in chicken thighs,
skin & any fat removed
4 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5) cut
into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken in shallow dish; pour
dressing over chicken & refrigerate 30
minutes to marinade.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet on medium
heat until crisp. Remove bacon from
skillet, reserving 1 T. drippings; drain
bacon on paper towels. Add potatoes &
onions to reserved drippings in skillet;
cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally;
remove from heat. Crumble bacon & add
to potato mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into
9 X 13 baking dish. Remove chicken from
marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken
in pan over potato mixture. Bake 55 minutes
to 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender &
chicken is tender (165 degrees F). Top with
cheese & parsley. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tuscan Turkey Meatballs

2 T. milk
1 slice white bread, torn into pieces
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add milk to bread in medium bowl; let
stand 3 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well. Shape into 8
(2 inch) meatballs; place in 9 X 13 pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 20
minutes or until done (165 degrees F.)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

2 lb. cut up chicken, skinless/boneless,
cut into 2″ pieces
6 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 C. sliced celery
4 carrots, sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. fresh, chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper
kosher or sea salt, to taste
8 oz. spaghetti, broken into small

Place all ingredients except noodles, into crockpot.
Cook 6-8 hours on Low or until carrots are tender.
The last hour of cooking time, add broken pasta.
Continue cooking 1 hour or until pasta is al dente,
or to desired doneness. Serves 6

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

1 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. baking unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped nuts
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. baking chocoa
1 1/2 C. hot water

Spray inside of crockpot with non-
stick cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar,
2 T. cocoa, baking powder & salt in
medium bowl. Stir in milk, oil & vanilla
until smooth; stir in nuts. Spread batter
evenly in crockpot. Mix brown sugar &
1/4 C. cocoa in small bowl; stir in hot
water until smooth. Pour evenly over
batter in crockpot. Cover & cook on
High heat 2 hrs to 2 1/2 hours or until
toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Turn off crockpot. Let cake stand
uncovered 30-40 minutes to cool slightly
before serving. Spoon warm cake into dessert
dishes; spoon sauce over top. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chicken Garlic Bites

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place chicken in shallow dish. In small
bowl, mix olive oil, garlic & black pepper;
pour over chicken. Cover & marinate 30
minutes then drain. Mix bread crumbs &
cayenne; coat chicken. Arrange chicken in
single layer on cookie sheet. Bake 10
minutes or until brown.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot “Baked” Potatoes

4 medium russet potatoes
aluminum foil
Baked potato toppings: sour
cream, fresh chopped chives, bacon
bits, steamed broccoli, shredded cheese,

Wash & scrub potatoes until clean; dry
thoroughly. Prick potatoes with a fork
& wrap in aluminum foil. Place potatoes
in crockpot & cook on Low 8 hours or on
High 4 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

4 C. white bread cut into cubes
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
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
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 T. butter, cold, cut into pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Dry bread
crumbs on cookie sheet in oven 10-15
minutes. Place bread crumbs in pan. In
large mixing bowl, whisk together all
pudding ingredients except butter. Pour
mixture over bread crumbs. let sit 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 Foods, Inc.)

Amy’s Garlic Egg Chicken
(overnight recipe)

1 egg yolk
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 T. butter
1 C. dry bread crums
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. ground black pepper

Beat egg yolk with garlic in bowl, place
chicken in egg mixture; turn to coat. Cover
dish & refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight,
if possible.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Melt butter & pour into bottom of 9 X 13 baking
dish. Mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese,
parsley, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Dip marinated
chicken in crumb mixture; place coated chicken in
prepared dish; pour remaining egg mixture over.
Bake 15-20 minutes on each side, or until chicken
is no longer pink & juices run clear. Serves 4

(recipe: Pilgrims.com)

Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake

1 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 2/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 T. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 T. vanilla
5 eggs
2 C. flour + 1/4 tsp. salt, sifted together

Grease & flour one Bundt cake pan
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter &
sugar with elec. mixer until mixture is
pale & creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat
in lemon zest, lemon juice & vanilla. Add
eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just
combined after each addition. Fold in
flour & salt mixture in 2 batches,
mixing after each addition until well
combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Spoon batter into Bundt pan. Bake
45-55 minutes, or until toothpick
inserted into cake comes out clean.
Cove pan loosely with aluminum
foil if crust browns too quickly.
Remove cake from oven; cool on a
wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake
from pan and place on
wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 cake.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Still (of course) working on knit baby hats; with the next delivery (of the ones I’m working on now) that should put the total count over 200. I’m not one for keeping tabs but I know other people keep asking how many I’ve made, so now I do keep a running count. I’m just grateful that I can use my limited skills to benefit others AND be able to use up little bits of yarn that most people would throw away – to me, it’s a Win/Win situation. I can remember, as a child, I wanted to be able to MAKE something that others would want to use/buy – my best friend & I spent hours sitting on my front porch ‘attempting’ to sew doll clothes – that was a laughable effort, to say the least. My ‘sewing skills’ are very pitiful, but I definitely had the heart for it! (She was always the entrepreneur – attempting to come up with all sorts of ‘businesses’ to make money: lemonade stand, craft stand, ‘putting on a play’/singing & dancing (or trying to wrangle ME into playing piano for audiences!) – it was a goofy childhood scheme, but it kept us busy and out of trouble on hot summer days (and, it makes for good memories all these years later.) I miss my friend – she was ‘larger than life’, always full of ideas/schemes/goals for the future; we were Best Friends from the time her family moved in next to mine – I was 5, she was 4. We had a good 50+ years; may she rest in peace.

Sorry, guess I got off on ‘memory lane’ for a bit there; enjoy your day. Make sure you keep in touch with those you love and let them know they mean something to you – drop them a card, give them a call or text message – maybe send them an unexpected gift (it doesn’t have to be big or expensive). It’s those little ‘keep in touch’ things that keep a friendship going. Friends are a gift from God – treasure them.



Gettin’ back to “normal” . . .


and no, it’s not a setting on my dryer! (small joke – get it?)


Our ‘in house company’ left yesterday, much to the relief of my entire family. His brother came to take over ‘responsibility’ and care until such time as said cousin’s wife decides to take over again. Life is not easy and sometimes it can be very difficult and unexpected. Going through this past experience reminded me of just how much the Lord works in our lives. Sunday night I was watching TV rather late and there was NOTHING good to watch; husband suggested I try the higher (cable) channels and I ended up stopping on a Catholic priest’s sermon on (of all things) “The Good Samaritan”. I had no idea, at that time, just how poignant that message would be to both my husband and myself. It was only after said cousin left and I had a few moments to re-group my thoughts that Sunday night’s message came to mind.  (in case you might not be familiar with this passage: Luke 10:30-37). In our journey through life we never know what’s ahead; sometimes the Lord brings events to us to teach us, once again, just how we are to live if we call ourselves His followers.


Chicken & Bows
(kid-friendly recipe!)

1 (16 oz) pkg. bow tie pasta
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into strips
1 C. chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 C. butter, cubed
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup,
2 C. frozen peas
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions. In a
Dutch oven, cook chicken & red pepper in
butter over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until
chicken is no longer pink. Stir in soup, peas, milk,
garlic powder, salt & pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1-2 minutes
or until heated through. Stir in cheese. Drain
pasta; add to chicken mixture & toss to coat.
Serve half of mixture immediately. Cool
remaining mixture; transfer to a freezer
container. Cover & freeze up to 3 months.
Makes 2 casseroles: 6 servings each

To cook frozen casserole:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to
an ungreased shallow 3 qt. microwave-safe
dish. Cover & microwave on High 8-10 minutes
or until heated through, stirring once.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Stuffed Cabbage

12 large cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef or 1/2 beef/half ground Italian
1/2 C. cooked riced
1 jar spaghetti or tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed thyme & oregano

Wash cabbage leaves. Boil 4 C. water; turn off
heat. Soak leaves in water 5 minutes. You can
also soak the entire head of cabbage, then remove
the needed leaves after soaking. Remove leaves,
drain & cool. Combine ground meat, rice, salt,
pepper & thyme. Place 2 T. meat mixture in center
of each leaf, roll up firmly. Stack filled leaves in
crockpot; pour spaghetti (or tomato) sauce over
cabbages. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours.
Serves 6

(recipe: moms2moms.com)

Potato Bacon Casserole

4 C. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
8 oz. bacon or turkey bacon, cooked &
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
(or 1/4 C. egg substitute)
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8 X 8 baking dish.
Layer 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion,
1/2 bacon & 1/2 cheese in pan;
repeat layers. Combine evap. milk,
egg & seasoned salt in small bowl.
Pour evenly over potato mixture &
cover. Bake 55-60 minutes. Uncover,
bake another 5 minutes. Let stand
10-15 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas
6 oz. Velveeta, cut into 8 slices
2 C. cooking oil

1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh cilantro

Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high
heat; drain. Add onions, garlic, oregano &
pepper; cook until onions are tender, stirring
occasionally. Spoon 1/4 C. meat mixture onto
center of each tortilla; top with Velveeta slice.
Fold in all sides of tortillas to completely enclose
filling; secure with wooden toothpicks. Place in
single layer on baking sheet. Refrigerate 20
Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high
heat. Add chimichangas, 2 at a time; cook 5
minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper
towels. Remove & discard toothpicks. Serve
topped with sour cream & cilantro. Makes 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Coca-Cola Cake

1 C. Coca Cola
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 stick margarine
3 T. cocoa
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In saucepan, combine Coca Cola, margarine &
cocoa; bring to boil, over medium heat, stirring
constantly. In large bowl, mix sugar, flour & salt. Add
mixture from sauce pan; beat well. Add eggs,
buttermilk, soda & vanilla; beat well. Pour into a
greased & floured sheet cake pan. Bake 20-25


1/2 C. margarine
3 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 lb. confectioners sugar (1 box)

In saucepan, combine margarine, cocoa & milk
until margarine melts. Add remaining ingredients;
beat until well blended then spread on cake.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Fish ‘n Veggie Packets

6 squares aluminum foil (8 inch)
6 firm white fish fillets, 1/2 in. thick
2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 C. mixed broccoli florets & slice carrots,
6 T. Cheeze Whiz cheese dip

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 fish fillet on each square of foil, about
2 inches from one of the sides. Drizzle with1
tsp of salad dressing & sprinkle with about
1/4 tsp. thyme; top with 1/2 C. of vegetables.
Fold opposite sides of foil over fillets. Fol up
open ends of each foil packet to seal. Place on
a baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes then remove
from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place one
packet on each serving plate; slit top with a
sharp knife. Spoon 1 T. Cheeze Whiz over
each fish fillet. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Our weather has been holding nicely lately – in the 20’s (yes, that’s cold, but without snow or ice or wind, it’s not bad!)

Our gas prices, too, have been holding at around $3.39/9 a gallon (for the cheap stuff). Hey – I’m happy with that (lower would be nicer, but I’m not complaining!)

Last night was my special needs group’s Music/Birthday night – we were a bit ‘full’ with 32 students but they had a ball singing songs to praise the Lord. It’s always fun being there with them – they’re so innocent. Lois, our leader, was talking about how Jesus is with us when one of our girls raised her hand and said: “He’s here NOW?” So sweet!

Gonna close for now (and give your eyes a rest!). Hope you have a GREAT DAY!

Big Hugs;