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


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;



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