Happy Saturday!


So far it’s turning out to be a really nice day! The sun is shining, it’s 31 degrees outside and VERY windy – but, Hey! Yesterday was warmer, creating melting of the snow & ice – that’s a GREAT thing! I’ve heard, from several other people, that their driveways & sidewalks were virtual SKATING RINKS because of the underlying ice, but hopefully if this continues, we’ll have lots LESS ice & snow! Our picnic table is a good example; I use it to kind of gauge the height of the accumulated snows. Yesterday, with the melting, it looked almost like a couch cushion – the mounded snow on top had decreased greatly, showing an underlying very thick layer of ice (I didn’t even know that was there!). Interesting to observe it all getting smaller – sure hope this continues. Yesterday (and today) our winds are pretty rugged – I got really tired of hearing our porch door bang open from the winds; it’s now propped open, just to avoid that constant BANG! sound. Saw this cartoon on Facebook today and it thoroughly explains our MICHIGAN weather lately:


Got an email today saying our choir practice is resuming; our choir director’s wife (who plays piano for us) had to have surgery on her wrist end of January and is now able to resume her duties – YAY! Since we’re going to be starting the Easter season music so late, looks like we’ll only be singing two songs instead of a contata this year – it’s all good. I’m just happy to be back with the group; it’s such a good feeling working on learning new music, challenging your own voice to see if you can really reach those super-high notes (properly – not squeaking!) and blending with a group of people who are all dedicated to the same end: to make beautiful music which praises the Lord and brings honor to His name – as well as lift people’s hearts to worship.

Working on my last 2 baby hats – for a total of 50; I try to make 25 Newborn and 25 Premie before I deliver them, that way they should have enough to keep them ‘covered’ until my next delivery in a few months (I hope!). I already have ENOUGH yarn, but saw a great sale at Herrschner’s (craft company) and ordered some really nice baby yarn (good prices!). Last year I made two of the same pattern, using the same yarns but reversing the positions of them. That pattern was SO much fun and came out so nice looking, I decided today to make another one – but this time with a bit more brightly colored baby yarn; should be a fun knit!


The pattern is the one on the left (same as middle, yarns reversed). The one I want to do this time is the (left) white background with brighter multi-baby colors yarn.

Herrschner’s had a really bright baby multi-colored yarn, so I’m anxious to see how that one will turn out! (The pattern is easy and lots of fun to knit).


Peanut Butter Banana Monkey Bread

1 small banana, coarsely chopped
6 T. peanuts, divided
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. butter
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 T. pancake syrup (maple)
1 T. water
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (16.3 oz) can refrigerated buttermilk
biscuits, each cut into quarters

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place bananas in 9″ round pan sprayed with
nonstick spray; sprinkle with 1/4 C. nuts.
Microwave brown sugar, butter, peanut butter,
syrup & water in small microwaveable bowl
on High 1 minute or until butter is melted;
stir until mixture is well blended; drizzle over
ingredients in pan. Use pulsing action on
food processor to process remaining nuts &
granulated sugar, until nuts are almost ground;
pour into shallow dish. Dip dough pieces in nut
mixture, turning evenly to coat each piece. Arrange
in a single layer over ingredients in pan; top with
any remaining nut mixture. Bake 25 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 1 minute; invert onto plate.
Remove pan; top bread with any nuts remaining in
pan; cool slightly. Makes 12 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
2 C. Bisquick
2 C. milk
1 can cream chicken soup
3 tsp. chicken granules
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Layer #1:
In a 9 X 13 pan, melt butter & swirl pan
around to coat bottom. Spread shredded
chicken over butter. Sprinkle black pepper &
dried sage over chicken. Do not stir.

Layer #2:
In small bowl, mix milk & Bisquick; slowly pour
over chicken; do not stir.

Layer #3:
In medium bowl, whisk together 2 C. chicken
broth, chicken granules & soup; slowly pour
over Bisquick layer. Do not stir.

Bake casserole 30-40 minutes, until top is
golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Skinny Clam Chowder

2 lb. potatoes, peeled/cut into
1/3″ cubes (no larger)
1 C. celery, cubed to 1/3″
1 1/4 C. onion, finely chopped
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. flour
1 bay leaf
1/3 tsp. thyme
3/4 to 1 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. milk (or water)
1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
3 (6.5 oz, ea) cans chopped clams

Strain juice from canned clams into
large pot; reserve clams for later. Add
clam juice, Half & Half, potatoes; bring
to simmer then pour ingredients into
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 4 hours.
Cook bacon in skillet until just crispy; strain
& discard fat, set aside bacon for later.
Add olive oil to pan with celery & onion;
saute 8-10 minutes or until onion is shiny
& transparent. Add garlic; saute 3 more
minutes. Add 1/4 C. flour, cook with
vegetables 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add vegetables to crockpot along with bay
leaf, thyme & salt (add salt little by little, you
might not want the entire 1 tsp.). Stir once
an hour; add bacon & clams in the last half
hour of cooking time.


Skillet Potato Pancake

2 T. cooking oil
1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
1/3 C. flour
3 eggs
1/3 C. grated yellow onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over
medium-high heat. Combine potatoes
& flour in large bowl; set aside. Combine
eggs, onion, salt, garlic powder & pepper
in another bowl; add egg mixture to potato
mixture; mix well. Place potato mixture
evenly in skillet. Cover skillet with aluminum
foil; cook 10 minutes or until mixture is set
and bottom is golden grown. Place large
plate over skillet; holding skillet & plate,
turn skillet over, inverting pancake onto
plate. Cut into wedges. Serves 6 (1 wedge

(recipe: readyseteat.com)


1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 boxes orange Jello
1 box vanilla instant pudding
1 C. milk
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tub Cool Whip

Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13″ pan.
Let cake cool completely. Poke holes in cooled
cake. Mix 1 pkg. orange gelatin dessert with
1 C. boiling water and 1 C. cold water. Pour over
cake. Cover & refrigerate for 4 hours. Mix pudding mix
with cold milk, the other pkg. orange gelatin dessert
& vanilla; beat by hand with a whisk until thickened.
Fold in Cool Whip; frost cake with pudding mixture.
For a layered Creamsicle Cake: Make cake batter as directed,
then batter pour evenly into 3 round 9″ cake pans. Bake
cakes as directed and let cool. Make orange gelatin as
directed on pkg. but with this version, you’ll let the gelatin
set up instead of pouring it into the cake. We recommend
using your round cake pans, or using a 13 x 17″ jelly roll pan
(1″ deep cookie sheet with edges). Once you pour the liquid
gelatin mixture into the pans, it will need to be refrigerated
for about 4 hours. Meanwhile, make the pudding mixture
according to the original recipe. Finally, layer in this order:
cake, gelatin pudding mixture. Repeat once more for a
6-layered Creamsicle Cake.

(recipe: Facebook)
Sausage Pepper Pasta

3 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 lb. Italian sausage links, sliced
1 (each) green, red & yellow bell
pepper, coarsely chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 C. shredded Italian Mozzarella-
Parmesan cheese blend (Kraft)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg directions,
omitting salt. Cook sausage in large skillet
on medium heat 10 minutes, stirring
frequently. Stir in peppers; cook & stir
7 minutes or until sausage is done & peppers
are crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, cook 2
minutes or until heated through, stirring
occasionally. Drain pasta; add to sausage
mixture with shredded cheese blend; mix
well. Top with Parmesan cheese. Serves
6 (1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Melty Pizza Hummus

1/2 C. cooked garbanzo beans,
heaping 1/2 tsp. dry basil
heaping 1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 C. + 2 T. basil & garlic tomato
1 T. olive oil

combine all ingredients in food processor;
blend well until there are no chunks. Scoop
into a serving dish; serve with chips, raw
veggies or crackers. Can also be used as a
spread for sandwiches or toasted bread.
Can be chilled in fridge before serving. Store
in closed container in refrigerator – will last
a few days.

*Or plain tomato sauce; add extra basil & garlic

(recipe: Facebook)

Baked Triple-Veggie Dip

1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (1lb,3oz) can asparagus spears, drained &
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & drained
1 (8.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained &
1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive & Onion
cream cheese spread
1/2 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix 1 1/4 C. Parmesan with all remaining
ingredients. Spoon into 2 qt. baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray; top with
remaining Parmesan. Bake 35 minutes or
until dip is heated through & top is lightly
browned. Makes 36 servings (2 T. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

“This BEETS the cake!”

1 (14 oz) jar beets, drained
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 C. self-rising flour
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. applesauce, unsweetened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy, then
beat in eggs. Add cinnamon & nutmeg, then
applesauce; mix well. Add in SF flour, a little
at a time on Low speed of elec. mixer until
well mixed. Puree beets in food processor
or blender until smooth (or heat in micro-
wave until soft & mash them with a potato
masher or use a standard mixer to beat them).
Mix beets into batter until well blended. Pour
batter into lightly greased & floured 9 X 13
pan (or Bundt pan). Bake 35-40 minutes until
cake tests done*.
If using a 9 X 13 pan, you can lightly ice the cake
with store-bought cream cheese frosting (or
just a glaze.) If using a Bundt pan, you can glaze
it or just sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

*A cake tests ‘done’ when you insert a clean
wooden toothpick into the center and it comes
out clean – no wet dough sticking to it.

NOTE: Poster commented that people who have
eaten this cake and did NOT know what the secret
ingredient (beets) was, guessed it was cranberries!

(recipe: Melissa-justapinch.com)

We had our grandson (age 7 1/2) over for most of the day yesterday: 7:50 – 3:30 p.m.; let’s just say I really didn’t get much sleep the night before (possibly worrying about waking up in time?) – got 3 hours sleep. Wasn’t really ready for a BOUNCY, READY-TO-PLAY kid! I stalled a bit by making omelets & toast for breakfast, then his uncle got him situated (for awhile) on the TV playing virtual hockey -this boys really takes after my son (our oldest): he LOVES almost every sport and can quote all sorts of sports stats (just like his dad). Later we played a ton of board games until I (virtually) hit the wall and said: “Grandma’s REALLY tired, can we take a break?” He played with Legos some while I attempted to take a short nap (didn’t happen – I just lie there ‘listening’ to him playing). After I got up I remembered a box I’d seen upstairs and brought it down. He & I spent a good 1 1/2 hours making a pink mouse key chain with beads – he LOVED it! This was a box of ‘leftovers’ from way back when the boys were about his age; they had already made the alligator, turtle, frog – but there was still enough cording to make ONE more project, so he chose the mouse. (think I’ll look into buying more elastic cord, for later). There’s still enough beads to make a ladybug, butterfly and something else (don’t remember). He loves doing crafts, so that helped use up some of the time. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE spending time with him, BUT he’s so smart and full of energy that it’s difficult for me to come up with things to keep him busy! Around 3:30 his other grandmother arrived to pick him up; she’ll have him overnight. (We don’t have any place to have him ‘overnight’ – no spare bedroom/extra space). It was fun  – I think he had a good time.

Hope you’re having an OK day – (or better!). Enjoy your day – smile a little, have a wee snack that you like, put your feet up and take a 10 minute ‘Power Nap’ if you can!



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like that little boy kept you hopping Grandma! But I know you love trying to keep him busy.

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