Gettin’ Ready for the COLD!


Like most of the region, we’re said to be headed for some REALLY cold weather tonight through almost Wednesday: “Southeast Michigan is under a winter storm watch Saturday night through late Sunday night the National Weather Service advises. 6-12 inches of snow accumulation;  Wind chills will drop quickly below zero Sunday afternoon into Sunday night, with values to -10 to -20 below zero during the watch period. Monday and Tuesday, it could feel as cold as -45 degrees below zero.”  Oh, Joy . . . sigh. Right now it’s clear out and 23 degrees F. but the wind chill and winds are what’s the problem. I was supposed to attend a funeral memorial service this morning, but it was about 45 minutes away – I wrote on the ‘on line’ memorial page and stayed home.

Today is middle son’s 25th birthday – will be baking his favorite: brownies, later. Also in need of baking another loaf of the super-easy banana bread (posted the recipe before: just 3 ingredients!

3-Ingredient Banana Bread

1 (15.25 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
2 eggs
3-4 overripe bananas

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mash bananas in large bowl, then add
remaining ingredients, mix well. Spray
2 small loaf pans or one large loaf pan
with nonstick spray. Pour batter into
pans. Bake 35-40 minutes (might need
to bake longer if using 1 pan).


Makes a very flavorful, moist loaf – and a great use of those few ‘black’ bananas that always seem to be hanging around!  Lately, because of the weather, I’ve been mostly making soups – first we had the black bean/turkey hot & sour soup, then yesterday I made a batch of Navy Bean soup, using up the ham bone from Christmas dinner. I was a bit surprised it didn’t make a very big batch – perhaps I wasn’t really paying attention, just wanted to get it done. Am thinking a big meatloaf for the next ‘several dinner’ meal. Husband & I were ‘out & about’ yesterday and stopped at the grocery store. We don’t go shopping together often, but this was a pleasant little trip. I’m so used to just going to the aisles I need, where he doesn’t shop for groceries (usually) so he tends to spend a good amount of time just ‘browsing’. That was fine – we didn’t really have a time schedule; I was quite happy we came out with very few ‘extras’ – don’t know about your spouse/shopping buddy – but usually they tend to buy things you usually WOULDN’T! We even stopped at Burger King for lunch – a small treat.


Just found a file I’d saved for New Year’s EVE – lots of appetizers, so I thought I’d just post them all together and you can save them (if you want) for the next holiday/get together when you need dips/appetizers.


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

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.

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

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)
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)
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 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)
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 hoping you are all safe, in good health and warm/cozy – remember to smile a little, treat yourself to something you like (good book, cup of something warm, a little extra nap, etc.) and ENJOY YOUR DAY!  Like I’ve said before: “Life’s short – EAT DESSERT FIRST!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That is one of my mottos. Also the one that ends—screaming and laughing saying what a heck of a ride.!!! Take care stay warm!!!!!

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