And it’s STILL coming down!


View from living room window

Yes, that’s my van totally covered in last night’s snow; the van WAS clean yesterday and the snow is still coming down, lightly. We’re supposed to get another 3-5 inches during the day then the temps. drop rapidly. You KNOW it’s not good when you get a phone call at 7:15 a.m. from church saying all services are cancelled (we’d already decided to stay home – the main roads were OK, but who knows how the side roads will be – and then, 3+ hours later getting out of church to ‘what’? Better to stay home, safe & warm.


Middle son is now 25!

In our household, if it’s your birthday, you get to choose what kind of ‘cake’ you want – Ben always chooses brownies. He got in late last night so decided he wanted his birthday fare for breakfast! Hey – it’s his choice, eh?

Youngest son works at Meijer – it’s sort of like a WalMart – groceries and lots more. I asked him how bad it was last night, after having read lots of reports on Facebook of how CRAZY the grocery stores were – people buying up EVERYTHING! He said it was the worst he’s ever seen it since starting there about 1 1/2 yrs. ago; some people had 4 carts full of food – the store was completely out of produce AND meat! That’s really nuts! One of my friends posted on Facebook: “You’d think they were getting ready for SNOWmageddon!” Too funny. Several people posted that when they went to the stores there was no bread and very long lines. Son said he was on frozen foods for 4 hours, then they called him up to cashier; lines were half-way back from the front – that’s REALLY bad! I’m glad we did a quick shop on Thursday (I think); we didn’t even know about the upcoming snow/ice, etc. We have more than enough ‘staples’ to get us through at least a week or more – I’m NOT going to be going OUT unless I absolutely have to. Lots of yarn, lots of books – I’m good. Started reading “The Joy Luck Club” last night; yes, I know it’s an old story, but I was in the mood for reading (haven’t read in probably a month); I’m about half-way through it.


Crockpot Salsa Chicken

2 lbs. (32 oz.) chicken breasts, boneless
and skinless
1 cup salsa, homemade or purchased
1 cup petite diced canned tomatoes
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
1 C. onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery diced fine
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
3 tbsp. sour cream

Place chicken slow cooker. Sprinkle
taco seasoning over
meat then layer vegetables and salsa
on top. Pour
half cup water over the mixture, set
on Low; cook for 6-8 hours. The
meat is cooked when it shreds or reaches an
internal temperature of 165°F. When ready
to serve, break up the chicken with two
forks then stir in the sour
cream.Makes eight 1 cup servings.

(recipe: Facebook)
Magic One-Pot Italian Noodles

4 C. chicken broth
1 (12 oz) pkg. linguine noodles
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh spinach leaves
3 (15 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed tomatoes*
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 T. dried basil
1/2 T. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper

grated Parmesan cheese

Pour broth into medium pot; bring to boil.
Add spinach, tomatoes (with juices),
onion,garlic, spices & pasta to pot. Bring mixture
to boil over medium-high heat; cook about
20 minutes (al dente). Noodles will continue
to soak up broth; don’t drain any liquid from
pot. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese over
top of each bowl. Serves 6

*if tomatoes are in large chunks, cut up some

8-Can Taco Soup
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15.25 oz) can sweet corn, drained
1 (12.5 oz) can white chicken breast, drained
(or you could use cooked, shredded chicken)
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning mix

Mix all ingredients in large pot. Heat until
warm, stirring occasionally (about 15 min.)
Serve with tortilla chips, garnish with sour
cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, chopped
red onions, etc.

(recipe: Facebook)

Easiest Pineapple Cake

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

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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour into greased 9 X 13 pan; bake
35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Beat butter, cream cheese & vanilla
together until creamy; gradually add
in powdered sugar. Frost cake while
still warm. Sprinkle top with chopped
nuts, if desired.


Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & completely drained
1 (15 oz) pkg. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt & fresh pepper
1 (32 oz) can tomato sauce
9 T. (about 3 oz) mozzarella cheese,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan,
egg, salt & pepper in a medium bowl.
Ladle about 1 C. sauce on bottom of
a 9 X 13 pan. Place a piece of waxed
paper on counter & lay out lasagna
noodles. Make sure noodles are DRY.
Take 1/3 C. ricotta mixture; spread
evenly over noodle. Roll carefully &
place seam-side-down in baking dish;
repeat with remaining noodles. Ladle
sauce over noodles in baking dish &
top each with 1 T. mozzarella cheese.
Place foil over baking dish & bake
40 minutes or until cheese melts.
Makes 9 rolls.


Crockpot Creamy Tomato Soup

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

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add
oil, celery, carrots & onions – cook 5-6
minutes or until golden brown; add to
crockpot. Pour juice of the tomatoes into
crockpot, then roughly crush tomatoes with
your hands – add to crockpot. Add chicken
(or veg broth), cheese rind (if using) thyme,
basil & bay leaf. Cover & cook on Low 6
hours until vegetalbes are soft & flavors
blend. Remove cheese rind. Using an
immersion blender, blend soup until
smooth (OR you can do this carefully
in small batches in a blender). Melt
butter over low heat in large skillet; add
flour & stir constantly using a whisk,
4-5 minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1 C.
hot soup; then add 1 3/4 C. warmed milk
& stir until smooth. Pour back into crockpot
& stir, add grated Pecorinio & adjust salt
& pepper, to taste. Makes about 9 1/4 C.


Baked Pepper Fish
(1 serving)

1 (4 oz) fish fillet (scrod/cod/white fish, haddock
or orange roughy)
2 T. ranch salad dressing
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. broccoli florets

Preheat oven 450 degrees F. Spray 12 inch piece
of heavy aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Place
fish on foil; spread salad dressing over fish, sprinkle
with red pepper. Arrange vegetables over fish; fold
foil over & seal edges. Place foil packet in middle of
oven directly on rack. (To prevent spills, you might want
to place on small baking sheet.) Bake 20 minutes or until
fish is white through center & flakes easily with fork.

Can be microwaved:

Place fish & other ingredients directly on a microwaveable safe
plate. Cover with plastic wrap & microwave on High 5 minutes or
until done. Turn filet halfway through cooking time for even cooking.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apple Brown Betty

3 lb. cooking apples
10 slices bread, cubed (about 4 C.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
handful of raisins

Wash, peel & core apples – into eigths;
place in crockpot. Combine bread,
cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar,
butter & raisins – place on top of apples.
Cover & cook on Low 2-4 hours. Makes
6-8 servings.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
I’m hoping all of you are WARM, SAFE and content with your surroundings. Even though it’s winter, there is always SOMETHING to give thanks for: health, safety, food, shelter, clothing, friends/family, etc. Remember to look for that one, small thing you’re grateful for today – and smile.




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. My one thing is that both friends and family are making it through this weather safely and comfortably.

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