There are Days and then . . .

there are the SUPER SCREW-UP Days! Yep, that’s me, today. To preface this one: you know that I’m the editor of my special needs group’s newsletter (comes out every 2 months). USUALLY it goes together quickly, prints up just fine, etc. . . but today-UGH! First off, I wanted to feature a photo of my group and other special needs kids after a fund-raiser basketball game; I did not have the photo, a friend had it on their cell phone. I emailed/texted/emailed again asking for said photo for the front page of the newsletter WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN MAILED OUT YESTERDAY! Finally, husband got a great idea and went to the other group’s website; behold! there was the photo I needed! (Mind you – I checked that site two days ago and it wasn’t there but . . . it just goes with the kind of day I’m having today, right?) Here’s the photo of the players:


Kind of hard to see everyone, but I was just glad we got the photo – FINALLY! Along with that ‘fun’, I began printing the other two pages ahead of time (while waiting on the photo) – that’s 40 copies of pages 3-4. When I finally got the photo, entered it into the page and began printing WITHOUT remembering to check the settings! Ended up with about 15 copies of EACH PAGE, separately! Yes, 15 copies of page 1, 15 copies of pg. 2 – etc. That meant that I had to go back and re-enter the copies, in order, printing the OPPOSITE page for each goofed up copy! UGH! To add to that my printer somehow thought I put in the wrong sized paper and gave me a nice notice to check the paper size! DOUBLE UGH!  I finally decided that I’m just going to the group tonight and tell them that their newsletters will be IN THE MAIL within the week – enough said! It’s making me crazy and I really don’t need to start out the day CRAZY!

Last night was another Knit/Crochet night and we were SUPER crowded! Another ladies group of about 9 people decided to take up a huge table in our section and two college kids grabbed another before I could put up all the signs. We were coming out the windows – grabbing extra chairs and putting up members wherever we could cram them! 19 people in our group/two new ladies – a good night! Two of the members brought MORE yarn, I brought a bunch of miscellaneous stuff (needles/hooks/booklets, etc.) and it was all gone except a few small things I brought – YAY! I’m just glad that my friend’s belongings are finding new homes and will be used instead of her family just throwing them out.

I tried a recipe yesterday that was on Facebook: Breakfast Casserole. Sounded good & easy – easy it was, good it wasn’t! It was made of eggs, chopped up ham (I still had leftovers), shredded Cheddar cheese, milk, a tube of Flaky Grands biscuits, salt/pepper, I added Worcestershire sauce & chopped onions. It didn’t cook right! I put it in the oven and told husband when to take it out  because I had to leave. He followed instructions and when he had plated his, took a big old bite of RAW DOUGH – UGH! When I got home I reheated it in the microwave and ate some – wasn’t the best flavor, it was OK – will NOT be making that recipe again! A lesson in: Great ingredients don’t necessarily make a great recipe!



2 lb frozen peaches
1 box yellow cake mix

1 can(s) diet 7up or sprite

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
Spread frozen peaches pan; sprinkle dry
cake mix over peaches.Pour 7up over cake mix.
Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes.Uncover &
bake for 40 minutes.

This is a Weight Watcher recipe. You can use any
frozen fruit and any lemon lime diet soda.
4 pts. per serving

(recipe: Facebook)
1950’s Salisbury Steak

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 C. diced onion (optional)
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
1 packet beef gravy mix (or 1 jar/can
brown gravy)

Mix first 5 ingredients together & shape
into patties about 3/4″ thick. Cook patties
in a skillet, turning once to brown. Remove
from skillet & place in crockpot. Add onion,
mushrooms & beef broth to skillet, heat to
boiling. Mix water & cornstarch together to
make a paste then add to boiling mixture with
a wire whisk; whisk until gravy begins to thicken.
Add gravy mix (or can gravy) to skillet (plus water
required on packet). Bring to a boil then pour
over patties in crockpot. Cook 3 hours on Low.

Oven recipe:
place patties in a large casserole dish, follow
instructions for gravy. Bake in oven 350 degrees
F. for 30 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Makes 4-6 servings.


Creamy Spring Gnocci

1 (16 oz) box potato gnocchi
1 1/2 C. asparagus, chopped into 1″
1/2 c. frozen green peas
1 C. cooked ham, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 oz. cream cheese
3/4 C. Half & Half
salt & pepper, to taste

In large skillet heat olive oil over medium
heat. Add garlic & ham; saute until ham
starts to brown. Add cream cheese &
Half & Half, stirring to melt & combine.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Add gnocchi; after 1 minute, add asparagus
& peas. Once gnocchi are floating, (about
2-3 minutes), drain & add to skillet. Toss
to coat; season with salt & pepper. Bring
to a simmer & cook a few minutes until
sauce thickens. Serves 4



Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs

6 eggs
kosher or coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 C. cooked, diced ham (about 4 oz)
1/2 C. diced pineapple
1/2 C. diced tomatoes
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Crack eggs into a bowl; season with
salt & pepper; blend well with a fork
or whisk. Whisk in ham, pineapple &
tomatoes. Spray a medium skillet with
nonstick spray. Melt butter in pan over
medium-high heat. Pour in egg mixture
& allow to cook until bottom starts to
set slightly, about 1 minute. Using a
spatula or wooden spoon, keep
scraping bottom of skillet, pausing
for 20 seconds or so after each few pushes
to let eggs set again. Break apart any large
pieces & keep moving eggs around so that
the runny parts are touching the skillet.
Just before eggs are done, sprinkle
cheese over top & cover with lid until
cheese melts & eggs finish cooking.
Remove from heat; scoop onto plates.



1 (16.5 oz) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (20 oz.) can apple pie filling
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Press 2/3 cookie dough into bottom of 8×8
or 9×9 baking pan. Mix together sugar &
cinnamon & sprinkle 2/3rds of cinnamon
sugar mixture over dough.Spread pie filling
over cookie base. Take small amounts of
remaining cookie dough, flatten slightly &
place over pie filling. (It will not cover the
pie filling completely). Sprinkle top dough
with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake approx. 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool,
then cut into squares.

(recipe: Facebook)

Pasta Slaw

1 (7 oz) pkg. salad macaroni pasta
(not elbow) – sometimes called:
ditalini pasta
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded


1 1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta, drain, rinse & place in large
bowl. Combine remaining ingredients &
refrigerate. Blend all dressing ingredients
& pour over salad. Mix thoroughly &
refrigerate until ready to serve.


Cider-glazed Stuffed Chicken

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
2 C. apple cider, divided
1/4 C. butter, divided
1 stalk celery, minced
2 apples*, peeled/chopped & divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
pounded to 1/4 in thickness
1/4 tsp. paprika
3 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine stuffing mix, 1 1/2 C. cider &
1 T. butter in microwaveable bowl; cover
with waxed paper. Microwave on High
5-6 minutes or until heated through. Fluff
with fork; add celery & half of apples; mix
lightly. Place chicken, top-sides down, on
cutting board; spread with stuffing. Roll up,
starting at one short end of each breast. Place,
seam-sides down, in 9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Melt 1 T. butter; mix with paprika & brush onto chicken. Bake 40 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.) Transfer chicken to platter; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 T. remaining butter in medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add sugar, remaining cider & apples; cook 5-6 minutes or until thickened, stirring
frequently. Remove from heat; stir in
remaining butter until melted & pour over chicken.
Serves 6

* Can substitute fresh pears for apples

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Taco Casserole

1 (7 oz) bad Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
1 lb. hamburger, cooked & drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning, mixed accrdg to pkg.
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Mozzarella cheese
shredded lettuce
sliced tomato

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer ingredients in 9 X 13 baking pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. In this order:
crushed chips, meat (with seasoning), 2/3
of cheese, lettuce tomato & remaining
cheese. Bake 15 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)
Healthy Banana Bread

2 C. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar free applesauce
3/4 C. honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.In a large
bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In
a separate bowl, mix together applesauce
and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas
until well blended. Stir banana mixture into
flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour
batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake
60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let
bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then
turn out onto a wire rack.

(recipe: Facebook)

Baked Asparagus with Parmesan

1 lb. asparagus
2 T. olive oil
salt & black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. loosely packed grated Parmesan

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Break off woody ends of asparagus. Arrange
spears on foil-lined baking sheet & coat with
olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & Parmesan.
Bake about 8-10 minutes, until cheese begins
to grown. Serves 2-4 as a side dish.

(recipe: Rhonda G.- Marys Recipe Exchange)

Guacamole Dip

4 avocados, soft
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. garlic salt

Peel & core avocados; mash
pulp. Mix in onion, lemon juice
& garlic salt. Serve with tortilla

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Chocolate Eclair Cake

1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1 C. flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (5.1 oz) large box vanilla instant pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip*
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9 X 13 glass baking pan.

Eclair Crust:

In medium saucepan, melt butter in water &
bring to boil; remove from heat. Stir in flour.
Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely
before adding another egg. Spread mixture into
pan, covering the bottom & sides evenly.
NOTE: If sides of your pan are too greased, you
won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the
sides, make sure to LIGHTLY grease. Bake 30-40
minutes until golden brown. You might want to
check it, you don’t want to over-brown it. Remove
from oven & let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles


Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate
bowl, make vanilla pudding. Make sure pudding is
thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly
add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are
no lumps. Let cool in fridge. When crust is completely
cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of Cool Whip
however thick you want it. Drizzle chocolate syrup
over Cool Whip & serve.

*You won’t use the entire tub of Cool Whip

(recipe: Facebook)


Gas prices are staying pretty much the same: $3.74/9 (down 5 cents a gallon).

The weather today is nice, a little gray and rain is expected, we had a pretty big, VERY QUICK thunderstorm last night with lots of high winds but it quickly came and quickly went in about 10 minutes, so that was OK. It’s 55 degrees F. out and not expected to get much warmer or sunnier for the rest of the week. Oh well, it’s better than snow!

Have a GREAT day – I’m going to go back and try to conquer that newsletter!



No Particular Reason . . .


to post today, except that I have TONS of recipes to share with you! It’s raining outside and 51 lovely degrees. That makes for a GLOOMY day but I’m going to try to make the best of it. Had originally planned on doing some quick shopping, but am thinking of postponing it until tomorrow (in hopes it will be a clearer/rain-free day . . . remember I said HOPING!). NOTE: Just looked at the extended forecast for the rest of the week – all the same: RAIN! UGH!

Still sorting through my deceased friend’s things and trying to find homes for all the various craft items. I’ve managed to find three friends who quilt and will be able to divide up the quilting ‘stuff’ among them. Tonight is Knit/Crochet night, so I’m hauling in several bags & boxes of ‘stuff’ for various ladies. I’m not going to start bringing in the multitudes of yarn until maybe next meeting, as I’ll already have my arms full tonight. One of our members is also bringing in all of her yarn stash to give to the group and I don’t want to take away from her generosity (besides, I know that yarn will ALWAYS be welcome with our group no matter WHEN I bring it in!).


Sugar Cookie Bars

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
3-5 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat
butter, cream cheese, sugar & egg until
frothy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla &
almond; beat 1 minute more. In small
bowl, combine flour, baking powder &
baking soda; mix well so all ingredients
are well incorporated. Add flour mixture
to butter mixture; beat 2 minutes. Press
dough into a large jelly roll (cookie sheet)
pan. Bake 20 minutes. Let pan cool completely.

In medium bowl or stand mixer, combine
butter & cream cheese, beat 2 minutes. Add
conf. sugar, milk, vanilla & food coloring; mix
1-2 minutes until smooth. Frost cookies; cut
into bars. Makes about 60 bars (depending
on how big you cut them)


Easy, Cheesy Tuna Casserole

2 cans water-packed tuna, drained
1 can cream of  mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk (or Half & Half)
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained,
reserve liquid
1/2 C. + 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. bag egg noodles
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
2-3 T. melted butter
(optional: frozen peas, sauteed/chopped
carrots, sauteed/chopped onions)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bring 4 qts salted water to boil; add
noodles & cook accordg to pkg. directions.
Drain noodles, place in lightly buttered
casserole dish. Add soup, mushrooms,
Parm. cheese & milk; combine well, using
mushroom liquid, if needed, to make
mixture a little ‘sloppy’. Gently fold in
tuna, taking care to not flake any chunks;
place mixture in casserole dish. In another
small bowl, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs &
remaining Parm. cheese; mix well. Mixture
will be on the dry side. Evenly sprinkle
breadcrumb mixture over tuna/noodles.
Bake 20-25 minutes until breadcrumbs are
lightly browned & mixture is bubbly. Allow
to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. water
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed
4 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 oz. ham (cooked) finely chopped
2 bay leaves

Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in
saucepan. Place remaining ingredients
in crockpot; add broth mixture; cover
with lid. Cook on Low 8-10 hours or
High 4-5 hours; stir. Discard bay leaves.
Remove 1 C. soup; place in shallow bowl.
Mash peas & vegetables in bowl with
fork; return to crockpot; stir. Makes
8 (1 C. ea) servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Roasted Tomato/Asparagus Tortellini

2 pints grape tomatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus
5-6 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 (24 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
1 C. chopped fresh spinach
1 T. lemon juice (fresh)
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut about 1 inch off bottoms of
asparagus stalks & discard. Chop
the rest of the asparagus into 2
inch pieces. Spread pieces & grape
tomatoes evenly over a large cookie
sheet that has a rim (keeps the juices
from running off in the oven). Peel &
roughly chop 5-6 cloves garlic; add to
tomatoes & asparagus. Drizzle olive
oil over top of veggies (about 2-3 T.)
Grind a bit of black pepper & sprinkle
a little salt on top. Using two spoons,
toss the ingredients together, making
sure all veggies have some oil on them.
Place in oven & roast 20 minutes until
asparagus is fork-tender. When veggies
are about half-done, place a large pot
of hot water on stove & bring to boil,
having added a generous amount of salt
to the water; add tortellini. Cook until
done, about 5 minutes. Pour tortellini
& boiling water into colander placed in
sink; run some warm water over cooked
pasta (don’t use cold water). Place pasta
in large mixing bowl; add 1 C. chopped
spinach. Carefully remove asparagus
mixture from oven & pour into bowl,
scraping any of the juices off the roasting
pan into the bowl. Add a little more salt &
pepper, 1 T. fresh lemon juice & 1 C. shredded
Parmesan cheese. Toss mixture together &
serve. Serves 6-7


Easy Brownie Pie

1 (20 oz) pkg. chocolate brownie mix with pecans
1 (3.9 oz) pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. shaved semi-sweet chocolate (garnish)
Prepare brownies according to pkg. directions;
Pour into 9 X 13 pan; bake & cool accordg to pkg.
directions. In small bowl, combine pudding mix &
milk; whisk until smooth. Allow to set 5 minutes then
spread over cooled brownies. Spread Cool Whip
over pudding layer & garnish with shaved chocolate
before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Serves 12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Zesty Chicken Corn Chowder

2 T. margarine
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into small pieces
1 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 oz) Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & green
chilies, undrained
1 C. frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 C. water
Melt margarine in large saucepan or Dutch
oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken &
onion; cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no
longer pink & onion is tender, stirring frequently.
Add cumin, cook & stir 1 minute. Add remaining
ingredients. Increase heat to High, cover & bring
to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer
10 minutes. Serves 4 (1 1/2 C. each)

Crockpot Turkey Breast & Gravy

1 1/2 T. unsalted butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium
6 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
1/3 C. flour
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. water
1/4 C. dry white wine
2 T. fresh sage
2 bay leaves
4-5 lb. whole bone-in turkey breast,
skin on, trimmed of fat
salt & pepper
Melt butter in 12 in. skillet over medium-high
heat. Add onion, carrot, celery & garlic; cook
until onion is soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour &
cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 C.
broth; scrape up any browned bits & smooth
out any lumps, transfer to crockpot. Place
remaining broth, water, wine, sage & bay leaves
in crockpot. Season with salt & pepper; place
turkey skin-side-up in crockpot. Cover & cook
5-7 hours on Low or until turkey reaches 165 
degrees with an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer turkey to a cutting board; tent loosely
with foil - let rest 10 minutes. Let braising
liquid settle 5 minutes, then remove fat from
surface using a large spoon. Strain braising
liquid into saucepan; discard celery, bay leaves.
Simmer liquid until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Season with salt & pepper to taste. Discard
turkey skin; carve turkey & serve with gravy
Makes 2 1/2 C. gravy. Serves about 10

Southwest Cornbread
 1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
 2 (8 1/2 oz, ea) boxes corn muffin mix
 1 (11 oz) can no salt added corn, drained
 1/2 C. chopped red bell pepper
 Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
 Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl until
 well blended. Add remaining ingredients;
 mix just until moistened. Pour into greased
 9 X 13 pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until
 golden brown. Makes 16 servings.
 Can also be poured into 24 paper-lined
 muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
 Bake 400 degrees F. 15-20 minutes or until
 golden brown.
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Baked Apple Upside Down French Toast
 3 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, 
 quartered & thinly sliced
 6 T. butter
 3/4 C. granulated sugar
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 8 slices French bread, sliced 3/4" thick
 7 eggs
 1/2 tsp. vanilla
 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
 1 C. milk
 1/2 C. heavy cream
 Melt butter in large saute pan; add
 apples. Top apples with sugar & 
 cinnamon; stir well. Saute over medium
 heat until apples are limp & translucent,
 about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so they
 don't scorch. Pour apples into 9 X 13 pan; top
 with sliced bread. Fill any spaces with small
 pieces of bread so that entire surface is covered.
 Whisk eggs with vanilla, nutmeg, milk & cream;
 pour over bread evenly so that all pieces absorb
 liquid. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
 Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
 Bake French toast 25 minutes or until bread is golden
 & custard is set. Invert carefully onto a sheet pan;
 cut into squares to serve, apple side up. 
 NOTE: can be served with your syrup of choice and/or
 a dollop of creme fraiche. Serves 6-8
 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
 Crispy Coconut Chicken
 2 T. olive oil
 5 chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 lb)
 1 egg
 2 T. milk
 2 C. panko bread crumbs
 1/2 C. coconut
 1/8 tsp. salt
 Honey Mustard Dip:
 2/3 C. mayonnaise
 3 T. Dijon mustard
 3 T. honey
 1/8 tsp. salt
 1 T. lemon juice
 1 T. white vinegar
 3 T. milk
 1 T. canola oil
 Place all ingredients 
 in blender; blend for 30 
 seconds until all ingredients
 are well combined.
 Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
 Pour 2 T. olive oil onto large cookie
 sheet; spread oil around evenly over
 pan. Cut chicken breasts into strips about
 2 inches wide. Crack egg in a loaf pan; add
 2 T. milk & whisk until well combined. In
 separate loaf pan combine panko crumbs,
 coconut & 1/8 tsp. salt; stir to combine.
 Dredge each chicken slice in egg mixture,
 then into coconut mixture, being sure to
 press mixture into chicken to help it stick.
 Lay each piece of coated chicken onto
 greased cookie sheet. Spray tops of chicken
 lightly with nonstick cooking spray. (this will
 help chicken stay moist AND help bread
 crumbs & coconut to get golden brown). 
 Bake 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked
 through & coating is crisp. Serve with honey
 dipping sauce.
 Easy Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
 1 (20 oz) bag refrigerated sliced potatoes
 2 C. diced, cooked ham
 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
 1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos
 1 (8 oz) pkg. 'garden vegetable' flavored
 cream cheese
 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
 2 T. flour
 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
 1/4 C. bacon bits
 1/2 C. corn flake crumbs
 1-2 green onions, sliced
 In 4 qt. crockpot, combine potatoes, ham, 
 onion & pimientos. In microwaveable bowl,
 place cream cheese, evap. milk, flour & 
 nutmeg. Heat on High 1-1 1/2 minutes or
 until smooth & slightly thickened. Pour
 cheese mixture over potatoes & Ham. Cover
 & cook on Low 5-6 hours or until potatoes
 are tender. Before serving, stir in bacon bits &
 sprinkle top with corn flakes & green onion.
 Makes 6 servings. 
 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Chocolate Creme Cheese Pastry
 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
 1 pkg. Phyllo dough
 3 T. confectioners sugar
 1 T. cocoa powder
 butter, melted
 Chocolate Sauce:
 1 C. heavy cream
 1 Lindt Dark Chocolate candy bar
 2 T. granulated sugar
 pinch of salt
 Whipped Cream:
 2 C. heavy cream, cold
 4 T. confectioners sugar
 Make the Chocolate Sauce - to store
 in the fridge overnight or several hours:
 In medium saucepan add 1 C. heavy cream,
 pinch of salt & 2 T. gran. sugar; heat well until
 almost to a boil. Break up chocolate bar & add,
 stirring until chocolate is melted. Let cool & pour
 into an airtight container; place in fridge (over-
 night or thick like cake frosting).
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Line cake pan with parchment paper; set aside.
 In large mixing bowl combine chocolate sauce,
 cream cheese & 2 T. confect. sugar. Use electric
 mixer; blend well until creamy. Carefully place
 a sheet of Phyllo on a sheet of parchment paper;
 brush with melted butter. Continue doing this
 until you have 8-10 sheets of Phyllo. Place these
 inside a cake pan - fold it so it fits. Put chocolate/
 cream cheese mix in center of pan & press towards
 edges, leaving about 1/4 inch edge. Repeat steps
 for phyllo dough & place on top of chocolate mix.
 Place in oven; bake 12-15 minutes or until phyllo
 is golden brown. Let cool completely, then move to
 serving plate.
 Making Whipped Topping: (to be used to top
 cooled pastry)In medium chilled mixing bowl add 2 C. heavy cream.
 Using electric mixer, whip cream. After it starts getting
 thick, add 4 T. confect. sugar & continue beating until
 thick. Use piping bag to decorate top or just spread on
 top with a spoon. Mix 1 T. cocoa & 1 t. confectioners
 sugar & dust over top. 
I can tell it's gloomy outside simply by looking at my COLD-WEATHER 
recipes posted above! Hope your weather is a bit nicer/warmer
than here. The good thing is: SPRING IS HERE!!! (and, we need
the rain for the flowers/trees/bushes and animals) Gotta have an
excuse for why I need to ENJOY this rainy day, right? And then
"This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and
be glad in it."  Psalm 118:4

Have a GREAT day!





Two Projects Done

First is the photo of the afghan I helped my (now deceased) friend start. When she first joined my knit group she was having all kinds of trouble getting the hang of a rather complicated afghan pattern. Finally, with a little help (just analyzing the pattern and breaking it down into sections), she was able to almost finish it before passing on. The photo doesn’t do it justice color-wise, it’s a rich, warm gold/tan color done in a very soft yarn.


The second project was a last minute project; basically I saw it on Pinterest and thought: “Hey, I think I can do this!”  – so I did. It, too, is made of the same yarn, so it’s really soft. A friend’s granddaughter is expecting in August, so I thought I’d give it a try. (If I ever make another one, I’ll make it smaller – there were no sizes to this, just knit a square then stitch it up according to the pattern pictures).


I’m no good at making pom pons so his tail is a little ‘thin’, but I don’t think a baby would mind.

Also spotted a really cute baby kimono wrap-around sweater I’d like to try – we’ll see where that leads; I’m NO sweater knitter – the last one I did made the baby look like it had to keep it’s arms straight out from it’s shoulders, it didn’t really BEND! Ugh!


Triple Meat Pizza Casserole

35 slices (about 3.5 oz) Canadian bacon, diced
50 slices (about 3.5 oz) pepperoni, diced
3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
2 C. water
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
8 oz. rotini pasta
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

(optional toppings: pizza sauce, sliced black
olives, Parmesan cheese)

Brown Italian sausage 3-4 minutes in large
oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high
heat. Add Canadian bacon & pepperoni; brown
1-2 minutes over medium heat. Ad marinara
sauce, water, oregano & garlic salt; stir. Mix in
pasta; cover & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to
medium-low; simmer 12 minutes or until pasta
is tender. Top with shredded cheese. Brown
cheese under broiler a few minutes, then top
with pizza sauce, black olives & Parmesan
cheese, if desired.

(recipe: Richard Holbert)

Pineapple Cream Cheese Flan

3/4 C. sugar
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened &
1 (6 oz) can pineapple juice (3/4 C.)
5 eggs
dash salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sugar Syrup:
Cook sugar in small saucepan on
medium heat 5 minutes or until melted
& deep golden brown, stirring constantly.
Immediately pour into 9 inch round pan;
tilt pan to evenly cover bottom with syrup.

Blend remaining ingredients in blender
until smooth; pour over syrup in pan. Place
in larger shallow pan. Add enough hot
water to larger pan to come halfway up outside
of 9 inch pan. Bake 1 hour or until knife inserted 
in center comes out clean. Cool slightly. 
Carefully remove flan from water. Cool completely.
Refrigerate 4 hours. Invert flan onto platter
just before serving; carefully remove pan.
Serves 8

How to Unmold Flan
Dip bottom of pan in warm water 15 seconds.
Gently pull flan from around edge with
moistened fingers. Place moistened serving
plate on top of flan. Invert pan & plate; holding
pan & plate together, shake slightly to loosen.
Gently remove pan & center flan onto plate.

Individual Flans:
Prepare sugar syrup  as above; pour
into 10 (1/2 C.) custard cups. Fill with
cream cheese mixture; cover. Place in large
shallow pan. Add enough hot water to pan to
come up halfway on sides of cups. Bake 
45 minutes or until knife inserted into centers
comes out clean. Unmold as directed above.
Makes 10 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

3 large chicken breasts, about 2 lb. 
1 (1.25 oz) packet fajita seasoning
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (4 oz ea) cand diced green chilies
3 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. chicken broth (from water/fajita mixture the
chicken cooks in)
10 flour tortillas
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add chicken breasts to deep skillet (can use frozen).
Pour enough hot water over chicken so they are 
completely covered. Sprinkle packet of fajita seasoning
mix over chicken; use a fork to stir it into the water. Bring to 
boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 20
minutes or until insides of chicken are no longer pink &
chicken is easily shredded with a fork. Remove chicken
breasts to a plate & shred meat with two forks. Place
chicken back in simmering pot; cook 10 minutes more.
Remove pan from heat (leave juices in pan). Remove chicken
into large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add chilies, soup,
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, milk and 1/2 C. chicken
broth mixture from pan. Using elec. mixer, mix ingredients
together. Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
Spread about 1/2 C. chicken filling over bottom of pan.
Layer 4 tortillas over filling. Spread a little less than half of
chicken filling over top of tortillas. Cover with 4 more
tortillas and spread all but 1/2 C. of chicken filling over top.
Cover filling with last two tortillas. Spread remaining
filling over top;/ sprinkle 1 C. cheese on top. Cover pan
with aluminum foil & bake 45 minutes or until cheese is
melted & bubbly and insides are hot. Remove from oven
& cool about 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)
Peach Dump Cake

1 (29 oz) can peaches (do not drain)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
cinnamon, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour peaches into a greased 9 X 13 baking
pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over top of
peaches (DO NOT STIR). Sprinkle cinnamon
over top of cake mix. Melt butter & drizzle over
top of mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until
light golden brown & bubbly.

Great with ice cream!

Pasta, Cabbage & Mushrooms
 1 box whole grain penne
 1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
 3 1/2 T. olive oil
 3/4 sprig fresh rosemary
 3 1/3 C. cabbage, sliced thin
 4 C. fresh mushrooms, quartered
 1/2 C. white wine (or water)
 2 C. chicken broth
 1 T. butter
 3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
 Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
 Add pasta, cook according to pkg. directions.
 In large skillet over medium heat, add oil,
 garlic & rosemary - saute 2 minutes. Add 
 cabbage & mushrooms, saute 5 minutes then
 add wine. Continue cooking until wine is
 completely evaporated; add 2 C. hot chicken
 broth & simmer 10 minutes. Drain cooked
 pasta & add to skillet with butter; toss to mix.
 Add cheese & parsley; toss again. Serves 7
 (recipe: Barilla)

Chunky Crockpot Tomato Soup
 1/2 small onion, diced, (about 1/4 C.)
 1 (14 oz) can beef broth
 1 (12 oz) can tomato sauce
 2 C. peeled & chopped fresh tomatoes
 (1/4" pieces or smaller, if possible)
 1 small zucchini, peeled & shredded
 1 tsp. dried basil
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
 1 tsp. Teriyaki sauce
 1/2 C. water
 Combine all ingredients in crockpot; 
stir until well blended. Cook on Low 
3 hours, stirring occasionally. 
Serves 4
Do-Ahead Egg Bake
 8 eggs
 3 C. milk
 8 C. French bread cubes (3/4 ")
 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped 
 spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
 12 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
 1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar
 cheese, divided
 Whisk eggs & milk in large bowl until
 well blended. Stir in bread; add spinach,
 bacon & 1 1/2 C. cheese; mix lightly. Pour
 into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with nonstick spray;
 top with remaining cheese. Cover & 
 refrigerate overnight. 
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Bake casserole, uncovered, 48-50 minutes or
 until top is puffed up & golden brown. 
 Serves 12
 (recipe: Kraft recipes)
Tuna Cakes
 2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna in
 water, drained & flaked
 1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
 1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
 3/4 C. water
 1 carrot, shredded
 1/3 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
 2 T. sweet pickle relish
 Combine all ingredients; refrigerate
 10 minutes. Heat large nonstick skillet
 sprayed with cooking spray on medium
 heat. Using an ice cream scoop, add
 1/3 C. portions of tuna mixture in batches
 to skillet. Flatten into patties with back
 of spatula. Cook 6 minutes or until golden
 brown on both sides, carefully turning
 each pattie after 3 minutes. Makes 6
 (recipe: Kraft recipes)

Creamy Pea Salad
 2 (16 oz) pkgs. frozen peas
 1/2 C. diced Cheddar cheese
 1/2 c. diced mozzarella cheese
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 C. Miracle Whip
 salt & pepper, to taste
 4 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
 In a bowl, combine all ingredients
 (except bacon); mix well. Refrigerate 
 until serving. Sprinkle top with bacon
 just before serving. Serves 6-8
Baked Onion Dip
 2 C. chopped sweet onion
 2 C. mayonnaise
 2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
 spray. In large bowl, combine mayonnaise,
 onions & cheese; pour into prepared
 dish. Bake 45 minutes until top is slightly
 brown. Serve hot, with butter crackers.
 (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mississippi Jam Cake
 1 box spice cake mix
 1 C. buttermilk*
 1/3 C. applesauce
 1/3 C. vegetable oil
 3 large eggs
 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 2/3 C. blackberry jam (or your
 choice of flavors)
 1 tsp. vanilla
 8 oz. butter
 1 C. brown sugar
 1/4 C. milk
 2 C. confectioners sugar
 1 tsp. vanilla
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 In a bowl, combine cake mix,
 buttermilk, applesauce, oil, eggs,
 cinnamon & jam; mix well. Add
 vanilla & beat again. Place in 
 either a tube pan or 2 (9") round
 layer pans. Bake in tube: 50
 minutes or layer: about 30 minutes.
 In a heavy saucepan, bring to a
 boil butter & brown sugar; boil 
 about 2 minutes. Add milk & bring
 back to boil. Remove from heat &
 add powdered sugar & vanilla; beat
 until smooth. Spread over cooled 
 *If you don't have buttermilk:
 Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
 into a 2 C. measuring cup. Pour 
 enough milk into cup to come to
 1 Cup. Stir mixture and let set
 5 minutes. Use as buttermilk.
 (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe
Our weather is still 'sorta-Spring' - in the mid 40's,
a little chilly but it was sunny today so that's good.
Gas prices are still sitting at $3.79/9 - would be nice
if they dropped some.

Hope you had a GREAT day - remember to do
a little something for yourself (and, perhaps, 
someone else, too). Smile a little, relax a little
and remember to thank the Lord for your blessings.


Grandson-sittin’ Friday


It’s a chilly, rainy day (46 degrees F); got an early phone call asking if we could take our grandson for the whole day – he was too sick to go to school. Sure – not a problem. He just went home with his other grandma, then his mom will pick him up. He was pretty good about ‘resting’ – watched TV, drew a few pictures but mostly rested. (His dad gave specific instructions: “NO Games!”). We didn’t have anything particular going on – I was thinking of checking out the Kroger gas station over by his house (about 25 min. away) to see their gas prices, but since I stayed home, that’s OK, too. Our recent prices are $3.79/9 – I would be happy to find something a little lower.


Crockpot Blueberry Breakfast

1 loaf French bread, cubed
1 (16 oz) pkg. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened & cubed
1 C. sour cream
2/3 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. maple syrup
10 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Line crockpot with crockpot liner or spray
inside of crockpot with nonstick spray. Add
cubed French bread; sprinkle blueberries on
top of bread. In a bowl, using an elec. mixer,
mix remaining ingredients. Pour mixture
over blueberries. Cook on Low 4 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

2 C. cooked, shredded chicken breast
1 T. oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. tomato paste
4 C. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can seasoned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
2 T. sour cream

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium
heat; add onion, peppers, garlic, salt &
pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender.
Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Add
broth & diced tomatoes; bring to boil. Stir
in cooked/shredded chicken & rice; simmer
15 minutes or until slightly reduced & fragrant.
Season to taste; garnish each bowl with a
dollop of sour cream when serving.
Serves 4 (2 C. each)


Buffalo Chicken/Black Bean Quesadillas

2 C. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cooked & shredded
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. Buffalo sauce
4 large (10″) flour tortillas
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Combine cooked/shredded chicken, beans,
sour cream & Buffalo sauce in nonstick
skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring
often, 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
Lay tortillas out on clean surface; mix
cheese with green onions. Sprinkle half
on ONE side of each tortilla. Divide filling
evenly over cheese & top with remaining
cheese. Fold tortilla to close. Place a non-
stick skillet over medium heat & spray
lightly with nonstick spray. Heat each
quesadilla 2-3 minutes per side in skillet
or until cheese is melted & tortillas are
golden. Serve with sour cream on side.
Serves 4

Tip: You can also use this idea as a
Nacho Platter: Place tortilla chips on
a platter & scatter chicken mixture over
chips; top with cheese & bake until
cheese is melted.


Easy Creamy Chicken

2 large chicken breasts, each cut in half to make
4 pieces
1 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
couple dashes cayenne pepper,
to taste
2 T. butter

Combine seasonings in a small bowl,
mix to combine. Coat all sides of
chicken with seasoning mix. Melt 1
T. butter in large skillet on medium-
high heat. Once butter is melted &
skillet is hot, place chicken in pan. Cook
about 5 minutes then turn over, cook
another 5 minutes on other side or
until juices run clear and chicken is
cooked through. Add remaining 1 T.
butter & heavy cream, mixing to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low; let chicken
simmer until sauce has thickened, about
10 minutes.

Cheesy Ham & Hashbrown Casserole

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes
8 oz. cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 oz,ea) cans cream of potato soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 pan. In large bowl, mix
has browns, ham, soup, sour cream & cheese.
Spread evenly into prepared dish; sprinkle top
with Parmesan cheese. Bake 1 hour or until
bubbly & lightly browned. Serve immediately.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Italian Green Beans

2 T. minced dried onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium tomato, cut up & smashed
1/4 C. water
1/2 T. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. green beans (fresh or frozen)

Mix all ingredients except green beans, in
a saucepan. Bring to boil, cover & cook on
Low 30 minutes. Cook green beans when
getting close to serving time. Drain beans,
return to pan & add tomato & spices
mixture. Cook until vegetables are heated
through, then serve.


Savory Apple Pinwheels

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 apples, any kind, cored & chopped
1/2 bunch chives, chopped
1 1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
3 dashes ground black pepper
1/2 C. cashews, chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll crescent dough, cut into quarters,
pinching seams together. Mix rest of 
ingredients together. Spread apple
mixture on dough to about 1/4 inch from
edge of dough. Roll up & pinch seam. Cut
into 6 slices, using serrated knife. Place
on baking sheet; bake 15 minutes or until
golden brown. Makes 6 rolls.

(recipe: Melissa -
Crispy Parmesan Oven Fries-
6 russet potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
4 T. Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
Preheat oven 425 degrees
Wash potatoes, slice into 5-6 half-inch
slices. Divide slices in half & lay each 
half face-down in a stack. Slice each 
stack into 4-5 half inch slices. Toss 
potatoes in large bowl with 2 T. olive 
oil, making sure they all get coated. 
Crush seasonings between your fingers 
& sprinkle over top of potatoes;
add salt & pepper, then sprinkle 
Parmesan cheese over top. Toss all 
together, making sure every potato 
gets some coating. Spray 2 large cookie
sheets with nonstick cooking spray; lay 
potatoes out evenly. Bake 20 minutes, 
stirring once or twice while they cook. 
When crispy on outside and soft on the 
inside they are done. Serves 7-8
1 box Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry cake mix
 (egg, water, oil on back of cake mix box)
 2 (10 oz, ea) boxes frozen strawberries in syrup
 1 C. cold milk
 1 (3.5 oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
 1 (3.5 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
 1 pint fresh strawberries (tops removed/cut in half, thawed)
 1/3 C. chopped pecans (optional)
 Prepare cake mix as directed on box; pour batter into
 greased 9 X 13 pan; bake according to pkg. directions.
 Let cake cool 100% then using the handle of a wooden
 spoon, poke rows of holes all over cake. Place thawed
 strawberries with syrup in food processor or blender;
 pulse/blend until a slushy consistency; pour mixture
 over cake, spread out evenly & let soak in. Place 1 C.
 cold milk & instant pudding mix in bowl, mix until it
 thickens; fold in thawed Cool Whip. Spread mixture 
 evenly over cake. Place cut fresh strawberry halves
 on cake in rows, then sprinkle with chopped nuts 
 (if using). Refrigerate cake 4 hours.
Not much going on lately; found a really cute
knit pattern for making a little bunny toy - 
I'm working on knitting it up before posting
a photo (she said, hoping it comes out as 
cute as the one I saw on Pinterest!) I'm still
plowing through my (deceased) friend's stuff-
have it organized into batches now; now it's
just finding people I know who actually DO
some of the crafts I have. As I've mentioned
before, whatever I can't find a home for
will be donated to the local Senior Center;
they can either distribute the items or
sell them in their Spring Rummage Sale. I'm
amazed at just how versatile my friend was, in
SO many crafts! She was a expert knitter, crocheter,
Tunisian crochet, Monk's cloth 'embroidery (if
you can call that embroidery), liquid embroidery/
regular embroidery, Candlewicking (a type of
sewing/embroidery), quilting, sewing, and punch-kit 
wall hangings! That's quite a variety of skills!
Looking forward to handing off some of these
materials so that people can use them; she 
would have been happy to know they are being

How are you doing post-Easter dinner? Still have 
leftover ham? We do! I'm thinking of cutting what's
left off the bone and freezing it for another time.
I really like ham, but after awhile you start
looking for 'other' dinner meats! Tonight we're 
having Potatoes O'Brien (ground beef, hash brown 
potatoes with red & green peppers, onions) cooked
in a skillet, then covered in sharp Cheddar cheese);
it's a favorite around here.

Hope you're enjoying your day - remember to take
a little time for yourself: a cup of tea/coffee, 
maybe read a little in a good book, perhaps a 
little of the leftover Easter candy (she said,
knowing she shouldn't have it, but loving it,


Slowly Getting Back to “Normal”


Today is the “I’ve got ENERGY!” day! Getting things finally cleaned up, washed, put away. Yesterday I was just too pooped from all the rushing Sat./Sunday – only managed to get the laundry caught up and more of my deceased friend’s ‘stuff’ put into groups. Good thing: I have only TWO ROWS left to finish on her brown afghan and it will be done! Yes, it’s the one I was writing about that she was having so much trouble with – she had done it (almost) all! In among the many boxes, bags & containers I found the presser foot to her sewing machine, so I called her son – we will arrange a ‘hand-off’ when he’s next in the state (in a few weeks). I’m thinking of offering him the afghan, now done – it would be a nice memory of her. There’s still, complete materials in the box, another entire afghan – not started, and one just barely started (maybe 6 rows – which could be ripped out). Going through her things made me think of what it will be like for those left after me; let’s see-I’ve been into (at various times): miniature doll house building & building miniature items, embroidery, some sewing, knitting/crochet, painting, reading (TONS of books here) – I’m sure there’s more upstairs I’m just not thinking of at the moment. I’m beginning to think it might be a good idea to start giving away some of the things I no longer do/use. Sometimes it’s just getting the energy to START doing something, or – on the reverse side, the lack of energy needed (when thinking about doing something like going through all the ‘stuff’ upstairs!) Oh well – at least, for today, it was a good thought!


Butter Rolls

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 7 X 11 baking dish. In a large
bowl, mix flour & salt. Using a pastry
cutter, cut in cold butter to make
coarse crumbs; add 1/2 C. water & stir.
Use your hands to press dough
together. Place dough in refrigerator
10 minutes to make it easier to work with.
Generously sprinkle your work surface with
flour. Roll dough out into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly over dough.
Sprinkle with 1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon. Roll
up dough, jelly-roll style. Cut into 12 even
slices & place in prepared dish. In a small
saucepan, heat milk & remaining sugar just
until it begins to boil. Remove from heat;
stir in vanilla. Pour this mixture all over the
rolls. Bake until browned, 30-40 minutes.
Makes 12 rolls.

Simple Skillet Breakfast Potatoes

6-7 russet potatoes (about 5 C. chopped)
4 T. butter
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
salt & pepper

Clean & scrub potatoes; cut into 1/2″
strips, turn potatoes over (skin side up)
& cut 4-5 more half-inch slices. Starting
at bottom of stack, cut half-inch slices
(you’re making cubed potatoes); repeat
with rest of potatoes. Heat deep skillet
over medium-high heat; add butter &
melt. Add potatoes & stir so all potatoes
have some butter on them. Add paprika,
seasoned salt & pepper; stir to make sure
seasonings are well distributed. Cover pan
& let potatoes cook through, about 15
minutes. (Make sure to check so they
aren’t burning). Stir every time you check.
When potatoes are soft on the inside, remove
pan from heat. Taste & adjust salt & pepper.
Serves 6-7



Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
4 – 4 1/2 C. flour
1 lb. deli ham, sliced thin
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven 170 degrees
Pour warm water into stand mixer;
add sugar & yeast. Mix, on Low about
30 seconds allowing ingredients to
combine. Let rest 5 minutes or until
it gets bubbly. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and
2 C. flour. Mix, on Low; mix in rest of
flour (2 1/2 C.) one cup at a time. When
dough pulls away from sides of bowl,
you have enough flour. Turn to
medium speed; mix 5 minutes. Spray
counter (for rolling out) with nonstick
spray. Divide dough into 2 equal parts;
allow them to rest on counter 5 minutes.
Do NOT skip this step. *Roll out dough
into a large rectangle & cover with half
of the ham. Sprinkle on 1 C. Cheddar
cheese. Roll dough up starting at long
end. Spray a large knife with nonstick
spray & slice the roll into 12 rounds. Place
each pinwheel onto large cookie sheet
sprayed with nonstick spray. Repeat from
* with other half of the dough. Place both
cookie sheets in oven about 10 minutes or
until they start to rise a bit. (You don’t
want it to rise fully, just expand a little).
Turn oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
(do NOT remove pans from oven). Bake
15 minutes or until golden brown along
top & bottom. Remove pans from oven &
let them rest 5 minutes. Makes 24


Crockpot Party Ham

1 (7 lb) skinless, bone-in ham (shank or
butt end portion)
1/3 C. barbecue sauce
1/3 C. honey
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray; place ham in crockpot. Mix
barbecue sauce, hone & sugar in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple &
pour over ham. Cover with lid; cook on
Low 4 hours or until ham is heated
through, turning off after 2 hours.
Transfer ham to platter, reserving sauce.
Cover ham to keep warm. Whisk cornstarch
& water until blended & pour into sauce
in crockpot. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes
or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Serve with ham. Serves 18

NOTE: It is NOT recommended cooking
them ham on High setting as this dries
out the ham.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Southern Banana Pudding

3 C. whole milk
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
kosher salt
4 large eggs, separated – yolks
lightly beaten
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 ripe medium bananas (about
1 lb) thinly sliced crosswise,
about 2 1/2 C.
50 vanilla wafers (about half a
box of ‘Nilla wafers)
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Heat 2 1/2 C. milk in large saucepan
over medium heat until steaming. Whisk
3/4 C. sugar, cornstarch & 1/2 tsp. salt in
a large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks & remaining
1/2 C. milk. Whisk half of hot milk into egg
mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk
egg-milk mixture into milk in saucepan. Cook
over medium heat, whisking constantly, until
mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low,
let mixture come to a simmer. Continue to
cook, whisking constantly, until it has
thickened to a pudding-like consistency, 3-4
minutes. Remove from heat & whisk in butter
& vanilla. Layer a third of pudding, half banana
slices & half vanilla wafers in a 9″ square baking
dish. Layer half of remaining pudding, all
remaining banana slices & all remaining wafers.
Top with last of the pudding. Cover with plastic
wrap pressed directly onto pudding surface &
refrigerate overnight to soften wafers.
(next day) Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Position oven rack in upper third of oven. Bring
egg whites to room temperature. Beat egg whites
& cream of tartar in bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with whisk attachment on medium speed until
frothy. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly
sprinkle in remaining 1/2 C. sugar, ONE tablespoon
at a time, whipping for 15 seconds after each
addition, until glossy firm peaks form. Spread
meringue mixture on top of pudding, using a
spatula so it reaches the edges of the pan. Bake
until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Serve
warm or chilled. Serves 8


Skillet Parmesan Zucchini
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 small zucchini, (1 lb), thinly sliced
1/2 C. spaghetti sauce
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook & stir peppers & onions in large
nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium heat 5 minutes; add
zucchini & cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir
in spaghetti sauce; cover & cook 8 minutes
or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring
occasionally. Sprinkle with cheeses & cook,
covered, 1 minute or until mozzarella is
melted. Serves 4 (about 3/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft

Bacon-Tomato Cups


16 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C. chopped sweet onion (Vidalia)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella or Colby-
Jack cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refrigerated buttermilk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a mini muffin pan. In skillet
over medium heat, cook bacon. Crumble
bacon, mix with tomato, onion & cheese.
Mix in mayonnaise & Italian seasoning.
Separate biscuits in half horizontally; press
each half down into muffin cup to create
a cup of dough. Fill each cup with bacon &
tomato mixture. Bake 15-18 minutes until
golden brown.


Leftover Mashed Potato Cornbread

1 C. self-rising buttermilk corn meal
1 C. flour
1/4 C. oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes (leftover)
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 C. milk

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl. Heat a large, shallow skillet over
medium-high heat, adding enough oil
to fry cornbread. When oil is hot, spoon
batter in pan into ‘pancakes’. Fry until
golden brown on both sides and center
is cooked.

Wilted Caesar Salad w/Red Onions & Ham

4 T. olive oil or butter, divided
1 T. garlic, minced
4 oz. pine nuts
1/2 C. red onion, sliced into circles
2/3 C. diced, cooked ham*
2 slices whole grain bread, cut into crouton-
sized chunks (or pre-packed croutons)
4 large artichoke hearts, cubed
4 large romaine leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T. red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 T. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2-4 T. shredded cheeses (your choice)

In medium skillet, melt 2 T. butter or olive
oil; add minced garlic, onion – stir to coat. When
onions begin to soften, add ham & pine nuts;
stir to coat. In a bowl, add 2 T. oil or butter &
cubed bread; mix to coat then stir into mixture
in skillet. Cook until bread & nuts begin to toast
& ham starts to brown.
Arrange chopped romaine on serving platter;
arrange chopped artichokes over top of lettuce.
When bread mixture browns, remove from heat &
immediately pour hot ingredients over cold
lettuce on platter. Return pan to burner & add 2
T. vinegar, stirring to de-glaze the pan – about 1
minute (scraping bits off bottom of pan & into
the vinegar.) Pour hot vinegra over ingredients
on platter & toss. Sprinkle top with Parmesan &
other cheeses. Serves 2-4

*Can also use cooked smoked turkey or chicken, cut up


Easy Grape Salad

1 lb. seedless green grapes
1 lb. seedless red grapes
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme*
1 (6 oz) pkg. slivered almonds

Wash grapes, remove all stems then place
in large bowl. In separate bowl, stir together
cream cheese & marshmallow creme until
smooth & creamy. Pour mixture over grapes.
Using a spatula, fold mixture into grapes until
well coated. Fold in almonds. May be served
immediately or covered & refrigerated 1
hour to set slightly & allow flavors to blend.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Whipped Lemon Cream Mouse

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Pour whipping cream into stand mixer or
large mixing bowl; whip until soft peaks
form then scoop out of bowl & place in
separate bowl – set aside. Place cream cheese
in mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Add powdered
sugar, lemon juice & vanilla to cream cheese;
beat until smooth & glossy. Add cream cheese
mixture to whipped cream; stir to combine.
Place in dessert bowls & serve OR place on crepes
for filling. Makes 3 cups



Well, today our weather is more ‘in the mode’ of April weather: it’s only 46 degrees and a little grey/cloudy. I was totally amazed yesterday to look out at our thermometer and see 80 degrees F.!!! We had the windows open, I swept the porch & sidewalk – nice Spring day, for sure!

Hoping you will have a very relaxing, happy day!




Today was the ‘finishing’ day for middle son’s LAST art project for Art Design – we are DONE! When he takes it to class tomorrow, he will be bringing loose sand & a few small rocks to pour into the “Japanese Sand Garden” (located next to the tree in the photo). I didn’t want to put sand in just for the photo – I’d be cleaning sand for days!


Front view


side view

As far as I know, we met all the requirements: 10 1/2″ tall, about 5″ wide, able to stand on it’s own (I used duct tape all inside and under – you can lift it up and totally turn it upside down and it won’t come apart); sign with name of business and logo; “Los Vegas” style (hence the gold glitter). We had some trouble during construction (some of the glitter-painted walls buckled a bit and the roof isn’t totally ‘flat to the walls’) but all-in-all, I think we did a great job – now it’s just ‘wait for the grade’! I had fun today making the ‘tree’ – found a really perfect branch outside, then tore off & wadded up bits of two colors of green tissue paper for the leaves (just used Elmer’s glue to adhere them). The base is Sculpey clay, adhered to the base with hot glue. I’m pretty sure everything will ‘stay in place’ for tomorrow.

Do you remember my telling you that a friend in my knit group passed away and her son was ‘gifting’ the group with all her knit/crochet/craft stuff? I knew it was coming, just not so soon. Saturday I spent about 4 hours at church helping prep the food for Sunday’s Easter breakfast – got home really wore out and just wanted to put my feet up and take a short nap. The minute I got in the door husband announced that my friend’s son was ‘in the area’ and wanted us to pick up her stuff TODAY! UGH! Got there and was pretty shocked to see that the boxes, plastic bins, etc. almost filled my entire van! It’s been slow going, but I think I’ve finally gone through it all and am now able to sort it ‘by craft’: quilting supplies, crochet books & needles, knitting books & needles, yarns, liquid embroidery supplies, embroidery threads & supplies (and probably a few others I can’t think of right now). She was a VERY meticulous person who enjoyed doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way; each project was in a separate cloth bag. If it was a crocheted afghan, ALL of the things you might need were there: needles, pattern, yarn, scissors, pencil, and in each was a stenographer’s notebook with pencil, very carefully marking off each pattern row – we’re talking PILES of these notebooks! Useful, actually, only to her – but they helped her keep track of each project. There was one particular brown afghan that I’d helped her with when she first started in the group last fall – I mentioned it to her son and he said he well remembered it. She would work on it for awhile, yell/cuss/get angry – then rip out all the stitches and start again – over and over until she would throw the needles across the room in frustration (enter where I came into the picture!). I found that bag today and had a few tears for my friend – also in the bag was another little notebook; THIS TIME I think I can decipher it enough to be able to finish the afghan (for her). She was a very sweet, soft-spoken lady with a cute sense of humor and I’ll miss her but I think she would like it if I can finish her afghan – I’ll certainly give it a good try!

How was your Easter? Mine, as expected, was pretty hectic – but in the end it all came out nicely. Got to church at 7 a.m. and helped cut cantaloupe, apples, bananas, wash dishes then quickly gulp down breakfast/sing in the choir and finally enjoy the Easter message. Came home totally ‘beat’ and rested about an hour (was actually able to SLEEP for about an hour!) Managed to get dinner all cooked & ready, family sat down and had a nice time together. (I was glad Grandma remembered the Easter baskets for everyone, because oldest son told me he totally forgot to make one for our grandson and was VERY glad to see one at our house for him!) I made the Watergate salad – it was (in most of our opinions) OK – not much more than OK – won’t be making it again. I didn’t have the time to make the Mandarin Orange Cake but we survived without, quite nicely. I was SO glad to think that I could actually get up today at WHATEVER time I wanted – no particular pressures to do anything special (except help middle son with art project, but that was later in the day).


(A few ‘belated’ Easter recipes for ya)

Do-Ahead Egg Bake
(Overnight recipe)

8 large eggs
3 C. milk
8 C. French bread cubes (cut
3/4 inch)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
12 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese, divided

Whisk eggs & milk in large bowl until
well blended; stir in bread. Add spinach,
bacon & 1 1/2 C. cheese; mix lightly. Pour
into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray; top with remaining
cheese. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered, 48-50 minutes
or until top is puffed & golden brown.
Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Dijon Potatoes Au Gratin

1/3 C. finely chopped shallots
2 T. margarine or butter, divided
1 C. Half & Half
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese,
1 T. chopped fresh basil
6 medium potatoes, peeled &
thinly sliced (about 5 C.)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook & stir shallots in 1 T. margarine
in medium saucepan on medium
heat until tender. Add Half & Half, mustard
& remaining 1 T. margarine; cook 5 minutes,
stirring frequently. Reduce heat to Low.
Add 1/2 C. cheese & basil; cook until
cheese is completely melted, stirring
frequently. Layer potatoes & cream sauce
alternately in greased 2 qt. round casserole
dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C. cheese;
cover with foil. Bake 45-55 minutes or
until potatoes are tender. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Deviled Eggs

8 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 T. sweet pickle relish
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
dash paprika

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove
yolks & mash yolks in small bowl.
Add Mir. Whip, relish, mustard &
seasonings; mix well. Spoon or pipe
yolk mixture evenly into egg white
halves. Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chicken bouillon (cube)
1/4 C. fresh Parmesan cheese,
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat butter & oil in skillet until
warm, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic
powder & chicken bouillon; stir
until dissolved. Add asparagus &
toss in butter mixture. Cook on
medium 4-8 minutes or until it’s
bright green, like the color of a
lime. Remove from heat, top with
shaved Parmesan & freshly grated
black pepper. Serves 4


Scrambled Egg Muffins

1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
12 eggs
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or
line with paper liners. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat;
stir in sausage; cook & stir until
sausage is crumbly, evenly browned
& no longer pink (10-15 min); drain.
Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in onion,
green pepper, salt, pepper & garlic
powder. Mix in sausage & cheese.
Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into muffin cups.
Bake 20-25 minutes. (until knife inserted
near center comes out clean). Makes 12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

(Now for the LEFTOVERS recipes!):

Ham Delights

3 pkgs. small party rolls
1 lb. cooked ham, shaved & chopped
1 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 C. butter, softened
3 T. mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine butter, mustard &
Wors. sauce. Add ham & cheese; mix until
well blended. Slice top half off rolls (DO NOT
break into individual rolls). Return bottom
half to the pan (alum. pan they come in)
Spread 1/3 of ham/cheese mixture evenly
over the bottom half of the rolls in each
pan. Replace top half of rolls. Bake 15
minutes until golden brown & cheese has
melted. Slice into individual rolls before



Ham Dumpling Soup

1 ham bone
3-4 C. ham, cubed
1 can Garden Vegetable broth
2 stalks celery, whole
1 large onion, peeled & whole
4 large potatoes, diced
1 can carrots, drained
(water to cover, in pot)
2 large eggs
2 C. flour
1/2 C. water

Place first 8 ingredients in large pot.
Bring to boil then let simmer over
medium-low heat 45 minutes. While
soup is simmering, make dumplings.

Mix eggs & flour & 1/2 C. water in a
bowl, using a fork. Let set, covered,
for 1 hour.

After soup simmers 45 minutes, remove
celery stalks & onion – throw away. Remove
ham bone, take off any meat attached to bone
and add to soup. When dumplings float they
are done.

(After 1 hr. dumpling dough rest)
Roll out dumplings onto lightly floured surface,
to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 1″ squares &
slowly add to boiling soup. Let cook 5-7
minutes depending on the size and thickness of
the dumplings. (This should turn the soup broth
from clear to a thicker stew-like broth).
NOTE: If you don’t want a thick broth, roll out
the dumplings and cut them into small pieces
about the size of a penny & place in boiling
Add salt & pepper to soup, to your taste, and

Barbecued Ham Sandwiches

2 1/2 lb. ham – shaved (or sliced thin)
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
16 hamburger buns

Combine chili sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar & dry

mustard in medium-sized crockpot; mix well. Add

ham & stir gently until combined. Heat until bubbly

then reduce heat setting to ‘warm’ until ready
to serve. Serve on hamburger buns.

Monte Cristo Easter Brunch

1 dozen large eggs
3 C. heavy cream (or Half & Half)
1/2 C. powdered sugar (plus a
few T. to garnish)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 loaves crusty French bread,
a little stale
1 lb. smoked turkey, sliced thin
1 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1 lb. honey ham, sliced thin
1/2 C. strawberry jam
1/2 C. apple sauce*
1/2 C. fresh sliced strawberries
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place eggs in large bowl, add
cream, cinnamon, vanilla &
powdered sugar; using elec.
mixer whip on High until
frothy. Place French bread
slices in a herringbone style
in one layer, in a large pan
sprayed with nonstick spray.
Pour half of egg mixture over
bread. Layer sliced turkey,
layer Swiss cheese, layer sliced
ham then another layer of
bread and the remaining egg
mixture. Cover with foil & bake
25-30 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10-12 minutes
until top is golden & crispy. While
casserole is cooking, prepare
strawberry jam compote to spoon
over top of individual servings.
Strawberry Compote:
Add strawberry jam, butter, apple
sauce & vanilla in a small saucepan
over medium heat. Cook until mixture
thins. After mixture thins, add sliced
strawberries & continue cooking until
mixture begins to simmer. Remove
from heat, but keep warm until
ready to serve.
Serve sliced casserole with compote
& fresh strawberries on the side.
Serves 10-15

*a single-serving container of
applesauce is the right size, if you
have it


Traditional Hummingbird Cake
(overnight recipe)

3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. ripe, smashed bananas
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
1 C. cooking oil
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. finely chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 9″ round cake pans with
parchment paper; butter & flour pans
or spray with nonstick spray. Place flour,
sugar, baking soda, cinnamon & salt in a
bowl; using a whisk, mix well. In a separate
bowl, mix banana, pineapple, oil, eggs,
vanilla & nuts until thoroughly combined.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients;
stir to incorporate until smooth. Divide
evenly between the two cake pans.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer
to wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Remove from
pans & let cool completely on rack right side
up.  (you can refrigerate cakes to make frosting
them easier)

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Place cream cheese &butter in a bowl & mix
using elec. mixer to combine. Add powdered
sugar slowly, mixing on Low setting, to combine.
Add vanilla & mix until smooth; set aside. Do
not place in refrigerator as it will become too
stiff to frost cake. Place 1/4 C. icing in middle of
cake stand & place first cake layer right side up
on top. Spread about 2/3 C. icing on top of cake
layer. Place second cake layer right side down
on top of first layer; gently press together. Place
remaining icing on top of cake &, using a spatula,
spread icing on sides & top of cake. Place cake
in refrigerator to chill completely – preferably
overnight to fully set (this will make it easier
to cut).


Buttery-Almond Green Beans

2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 C. water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2/3 C. slivered almonds, toasted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
6 T. butter, melted

In large saucepan, combine beans, water
& soup mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat;
cover & simmer 15-20 minutes until beans
are crisp-tender. In small bowl, combine
nuts, cheese & paprika. Drain beans; drizzle
with butter, then sprinkle with almond
mixture; toss to coat. Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Easy Citrus Ham

1 boneless, fully cooked ham (3-4 lb)
1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can lemon-lime soda/pop,
1 medium navel orange, thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1 medium lime, thinly sliced
1 T. chopped crystallized ginger

Cut ham in half; place in a 5 Qt. crockpot.
In small bowl, combine brown sugar & 1/4
C. soda/pop; rub over ham. Top with orange,
lemon & lime slices. Add candied ginger &
remaining soda/pop to crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 4-5 hours or until a meat
thermometer reads 140 degrees F., basting
occasionally with cooking juices. Let stand
10 minutes before slicing. Makes 10-12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cauliflower Au Gratin

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. flour
1 C. milk
6 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan &
fill with water to just below bottom of
steamer; bring water to boil; add cauliflower;
cover & cook/steam 5-7 minutes. Grease a
9 X 9″ baking dish. Heat butter in small
saucepan over low heat; cook & stir onion
in melted butter until softened, about 5
minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly,
until mixture just starts to brown, about
3-5 minutes. Gradually pour milk into
mixture, whisking into a smooth sauce.
Cook until just simmering. Remove sauce
from heat & stir in half Cheddar cheese until
melted; sprinkle with pepper & nutmeg. Place
steamed cauliflower into prepared dish; pour
cheese sauce over cauliflower then sprinkle
with remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake 25
minutes until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
(Sorry, still having a bit of trouble with the browser and my font sizes.)

How’s your WEATHER? It’s been REALLY nice & Spring-like here; it’s sunny & clear out, temp 74! WOW! I LOVE this weather!

I think that’s about it for the news today – hope you’re having a GREAT day!



A VERY Blessed & Happy Easter!


Things got a little too hectic around here for me to have time to write a post; sorry – will include more Easter-type recipes in the next post.



Published in: on April 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm  Comments (2)  

Today’s a “PRAISE THE LORD!” Day!!!


Today was my ‘lots of shopping’ day – went to four stores, last one was Kroger’s. Finished my shopping, pushed my cart to the car and went to get my car key out of my jacket – not there. Searched and searched – came up NO KEY! Panic-y, I called my husband (who has the spare) and he drove it to me. In the meantime (before he got to me) I went inside and left my name & phone # with the service desk – just in case someone might drop it off. Went home, unpacked the groceries (about 1/2 hour) and got a phone call from Kroger’s: someone dropped off my key! PRAISE THE LORD! I know, in my heart, that the Lord is faithful ALL THE TIME, even when I’m not. During the panic, I sort of did a quick prayer, but that was all. SO grateful that HE is faithful, even when I’m not. Those little programmable key fobs run $125+ to replace, so believe me, I’m truly grateful to get mine back! So much for BIG EXCITEMENT today, eh?

During my running around I realized that it’s ‘now or never’ to get Easter basket goodies, even though my youngest is 19 now – the boys still expect an Easter basket (even the Grandson). Had fun looking through all sorts of candies; found a little light up chick (goofy little rubbery-plastic thing that, when you bang it, does a ‘light show’ in it’s tummy) and a “Cars” coloring/maze book for the grandson. Yes, he’s now 7 1/2 but he still likes the little goodies. Knowing that this kid will get candy from FIVE different sources (us, other grandparents, his dad, his mom & great grandma) made me be rather ‘selective’ on what he gets. For him, more ‘toys’ than candy. Found (at Kroger’s) three really BIG marshmallow Peeps – oldest son loves them. Also, after moving a magazine display that sort of blocked the rest of the candy aisle, found bags of BLACK jelly beans (another oldest son treat). Got the LAST bag of SPICED jelly beans at Walgreen’s – YAY (for husband). This time around, I didn’t get anything for me – I really don’t need it.


Hard-boiled eggs IN THE OVEN!

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place eggs in a muffin tray so
that they don’t move around.
Cook 25-30 minutes.
(Poster mentions she saw this tip
on Facebook: “They’re supposed
to be tastier & are easier to peel.”


Carrot/Broccoli Gratin

2 C. baby carrots, cut in half
4 C. small broccoli florets
10 Ritz crackers, crushed
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
2 oz (1/4 of a 8 oz pkg) cream
cheese, cubed

Bring 3 C. water to boil in large
saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add carrots; simmer on medium-low
8 minutes. Add broccoli, simmer 3
minutes or until vegetables are crisp-
tender. Mix cracker crumbs, Parmesan
& butter until blended. Microwave
Velveeta & cream cheese in 2-Cup
microwaveable measuring cup on
High 1 minute; stir. Microwave 30
seconds or until Velveeta & cream
cheese are completely melted &
mixture is well blended when
stirred. Drain vegetables; place in
serving bowl. Top with cheese sauce;
sprinkle with crumb mixture.
Serves 8, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Quick Peach Cobbler

1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. self-rising flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. milk
1 (28 oz) can sliced peaches
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 9″ baking
pan; melt in preheated oven. Mix
flour, sugar & milk in bowl until
smooth. Pour peaches (with juice)
in bowl; add almond extract; mix.
Pour peaches mixture over melted
butter in 9 x 9 pan. Spoon batter
on top of peaches without mixing.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake
45-60 minutes until bubbling & top
is lightly browned.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe

Bubbles & Squeek*

1 medium head cabbage, chopped
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 C. ham, cubed
2 T. butter
3 C. potatoes (baked & cubed)
1/2 tsp. paprika (or more, to taste)
salt & pepper

Cook cabbage in a very small amount of
water in a saucepan; just enough to cook
until tender. In a skillet, fry bacon & onions
until onions are translucent. Add ham &
continue cooking until well heated. Add
butter, seasonings, cabbage & potatoes to
mixture & stir. Cook, without stirring, until
slightly browned on bottom, then flip
(like hash browns) & brown on other side.

*the name comes from the sound it
makes while cooking.


Classic Glazed Ham

8 lb. precooked ham (or 5 lb. canned ham)
whole cloves
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. maple syrup
2 T. mustard
1 T. corn starch
1 can (1 lb, 4 oz) unsweetened crushed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut rind off ham (if present). Score top
surface of ham in a criss-cross pattern;
stud with cloves. Place fat side up on a
rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake,
approx. 15 per pound, or follow wrapper
directions. Combine sugar, syrup & mustard.
Using 3/4 C. glaze, baste ham every 10 minutes
during last 30-45 minutes of baking. Stir
cornstarch into remaining glaze in saucepan.
Add pineapple with juice; simmer, stirring
constantly, until sauce thickens. Serve with


Grandma’s Dinner Rolls

2 round T. yeast
1 1/2 C. warm water
1 C. warm milk
1/2 C. sugar (2/3 C. if you want
sweet rolls)
6 T. shortening
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
7-8 C. flour

Beat first 7 ingredients until
smooth. Using elec. mixer with a
dough hook, add flour one-cup
at a time until dough forms a ball,
cleaning off edge of bowl. Knead
5 minutes (or 10 minutes by hand).
Let rise until double. Punch down
dough & let rise until double again.*
Punch down again & divide into 3
parts. Roll out each part & form into
rolls. Using a pizza cutter, cut into
fourths, then each fourth into thirds –
making 12 pie-shapes. Roll each one
up staring at wide end. Place on a
cookie sheet & let rise briefly. Watch
carefully as rolls will rise very quickly
now after 2 risings. Bake at 350 degrees
F. for 17-20 minutes until lightly

*To make this easier, leave dough in the
mixing bowl with dough hook, covered
with a damp towel. When it has risen
double, turn on the machine briefly to
gently punch down the dough. Cover
again with towel & allow to rise again.


Pineapple – Cherry Topped Cake

1 (18.25 oz) pkg. white cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
& squeezed dry
1/2 C. chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven as directed on cake mix box.
Combine white cake mix, vanilla pudding
mix & milk. Pour into greased 9 inch pans.
Bake 20 minutes. In a bowl, combine
softened cream cheese & Cool Whip; mix
until smooth, then spread over cooled
cake. Top with crushed pineapple,
chopped cherries & chopped nuts.
Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Peach Salsa Chicken

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 (18 oz) jar peach preserves (Smuckers)
1 (16 oz) jar medium chunky salsa (Pace)

Place chicken in crockpot, cover & cook on
High 3 hours. Drain juices from crockpot.
Mix together salsa & preserves; pour over
chicken; cover & cook on High 30 minutes

(recipe:the frugal

Chilimac & Cheese

8 oz. dry elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 (15 oz) can chili with NO beans
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into cubes

Cook macaroni accordg to pkg. directions,
omitting salt; drain & return to pan. Add
chili, drained tomatoes & Velveeta; cook
over medium heat 5 minutes until Velveeta
melts, stirring occasionally. Serves 6 (1 C. each).


Skillet Texas Hash

4 Idaho potatoes, peeled & diced
1″ chunks
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
2 chipotle peppers, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tsp. creole seasoning (or
seasoning salt)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated

(sour cream – served on side)

In medium pot add diced potatoes;
cover with cold water & boil 5 minutes;
drain – set aside. In medium skillet add
1 T. olive oil; heat over medium heat. Add
bacon & cook until crispy; drain bacon &
set aside. Reserve 2 T. bacon grease & add
white onion, jalapenos, chipotle peppers &
saute 5 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute.
Add breakfast sausage & cook until browned,
about 7 minutes. Add potatoes & all spices; mix
well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat
broiler. Add bacon & 1/2 of the green onions into
potato mixture; top with cheese & place under
broiler 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove
from oven & sprinkle with remaining green onions.
Serve with sour cream on side. Serves 4


Lemon-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

8 C. halved, trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts*
1/4 C. Greek-style plain yogurt
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water 8-10
minutes or until crisp-tender. Mix remaining
ingredients in large bowl. Drain Brussels sprouts
& add to dressing mixture. Toss to coat. Makes
4 servings 1 1/4 C. each

*can substitute small broccoli florets for Brussels

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Old-Fashioned Funeral Pie

2 C. raisins
1 C. water
1 C. orange juice
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 pinch salt
1 T. cider vinegar
3 T. unsalted butter
2 pie crusts; store bought or hand made

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place raisins, water & orange juice in a
saucepan; heat over medium heat 5
minutes. Combine sugars, cornstarch, spices &
salt in a bowl, mixing completely; add mixture
to heating raisins. Cook & stir until mixture starts
to bubble. Add vinegar, walnuts & butter; heat
until butter is melted. Remove from burner &
cool until just warm. Pour mixture into prepared
pie shell; top with second pastry crust. Bake 25
minutes or until golden brown. Cool before


Gas prices, today: $3.79/9 – going up (as expected)

The sun’s out bright & shiny – 60 degrees F. and I’m super happy! Just having sunshine makes me SO HAPPY! I know they’ve done studies on how sunlight effects people’s moods-I know it sure does mine!

Hope you’re having a GREAT DAY! Remember to smile a little, relax a little and do something nice for yourself or someone else!

Big Hugs;


Hump Day – Yeah!


Sorry – just couldn’t resist (I LOVE that camel/Hump Day commercial!) In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the link:

Today I woke up to bright sunshine and 35 degrees F. – yes, there’s still some snow outside/on the roof, but for the most part, it’s gone. Had to clean off my car last night to go to Knit/Crochet night – was surprised to find out just how heavy & wet it was (AND it was not packing snow!). Knit Night went great – I took in that huge bag of yarn and the box of many needles/etc. and was super happy to go home with NOTHING! There’s always someone in the group that waits until the last minute, just before packing up to go home, who says: “What are you going to do with that?” (the last of the yarns/etc.) Makes me happy to gladly say: “I’m hoping I can get rid of it!” and then they say: “Well, I can take it if you don’t want it.” YAY!  One of our rather new ladies told me a few weeks ago that she would only be in the group for a short time; apparently she & her husband are sort of like vagabonds – they travel all over. Next meeting will be her last, BUT she told me last night that she’s going to stop in Kalamazoo at her storage place and pick up all her yarns and GIVE THEM TO THE GROUP! Wow – talk about Wind Fall of yarn for us! (Yes, granted – none of us REALLY NEED yarn, but it’s always nice to know that you can get FREE yarn – for whatever you might want to make. One lady brought in a baby afghan she made out of the free yarns from 2 weeks ago, intending to give it to the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower in September (that our group sponsors). Very nice! I guess it sort of goes with the old expression: “What goes around, comes around.” If you do good deeds, they eventually come back to bless you. (and we are certainly blessed!)

Spent some time going through the three grocery store ads, checking for the Easter dinner supplies. Was pleasantly surprised to notice that I already HAVE most of what we will be needing – just need a few things like the ham, dinner rolls, fresh veggies for the veggie plate and ingredients for the dessert – nice! Ours will be a kind of small celebration, just our immediate family & grandson= 6 people; not hard to cook for a small group.



Crustless Bacon & Cheese Quiche

5 green onions, chopped/divided
1 tomato, chopped/divided
12 slices bacon
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
12 eggs
1/3 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. onions & tomatoes. Cook
bacon in large skillet until crisp; remove
bacon from pan, reserving 1 T. drippings
in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Add mushrooms to pan; cook & stir 2
minutes or until tender; remove from
heat. Crumble bacon & add to skillet
with remaining onions & tomatoes;
mix well. Beat eggs & sour cream with
whisk until well blended. Pour into
greased 9 X 13 pan; top with bacon
mixture & cheeses. Bake 30 minutes
or until center is set. Top with reserved
onions & tomatoes. Let stand 5 minutes
before cutting to serve. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Raspberry-kissed Coconut Bars

12 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
(about 1 C.)
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
3 oz. white chocolate, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 C. red raspberry preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs & butter; press
into bottom of 8 or 9″ square pan.
Melt 2 oz chocolate as directed on
pkg. Beat cream cheese, sugar &
vanilla in large bowl with mixer
until well blended. Add melted
chocolate; mix well. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing on Low speed
after each just until blended; pour
over crust. Bake 25-28 minutes or
until center is almost set. Cool 5
minutes; spread with preserves.
Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle
over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake
completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Serves 9

(recipe:Kraft foods)

Bacon Appetizer Crescents

1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. milk
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except dinner
rolls. Separate each can of dough
into 8 triangles; cut each triangle
lengthwise in half. Spread each
dough triangle with 1 generous
teaspoon cream cheese mixture.
Roll up, starting at short side of
triangle. Place, point-sides down.
on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes
or until golden brown. Serve warm
Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crisp-topped Carrot/Broccoli Bake

4 C. broccoli florets
1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled & cut
diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
(about 4 C.)
2/3 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. milk
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Italian Five
Cheese blend
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook vegetables in boiling water in
medium saucepan 3 minutes or until
crisp-tender; drain. Place in 9 X 13
pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Whisk Mir. Whip, flour & garlic powder
in same saucepan until blended.
Gradually stir in milk; cook on medium
heat 3-5 minutes or until sauce comes
to a boil & is thickened, stirring frequently.
Stir in Parm. cheese; pour over vegetables.
Top with shredded cheese. Prepare
stuffing as directed on pkg; spoon over
cheese. Bake 35 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 8, 3/4 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Deviled Eggs with Shrimp

1 dozen hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
1 T. chopped fresh chives
24 cooked, cleaned small shrimp
4 cucumber slices, each cut into
6 wedges

Cut cooked eggs lengthwise in half.
Remove yolks, place yolks in medium
bowl. Add mayonnaise; beat with
mixer until blended. Add mustard,
lemon zest & chives; mix well. Spoon
or pipe egg mixture into centers of
egg whites. Top with shrimp &
cucumber wedges. Serves 24

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crispy Garlic/Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 pkg. phyllo dough (defrosted)
1-2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder, to taste
spray butter (melted butter)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
You will need to work as quickly as
possible to keep dough from drying out.
Rinse asparagus, dry well. Cut bottom ends
off, discard ends. Lay phyllo dough flat on
work space; spray completely with butter
spray. Lay 3-4 pieces of asparagus on far
right side of dough with 1/3 stalk over the
top edge. Sprinkle with Parm cheese then
fold bottom of 2-3 pieces dough up over the
asparagus (like tucking into bed) then from
right to left roll it all the way to make a bundle.
Spray outside totally with butter spray & lay
on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat,
using all asparagus & dough. Sprinkle all with
garlic powder, then sprinkle cheese on top of
bundles. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden


Crockpot Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

2 (20 oz, ea) bags refrigerated hash brown
2 C. sour cream
1 can cream of potato soup
1 T. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. diced onions
1 T. butter

Over medium-high heat, saute onions in
1 T. butter until translucent & soft, about
3-5 minutes. In large mixing bowl, mix
together hash brown potatoes, shredded
cheese, sour cream, seasoning, salt &
pepper, & soup; stir until well combined.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray, then place mixture in
crockpot. Cook, on Low, 5-6 hours
Serves 8-10


Bev’s Orange Chicken

1 C. orange juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 (1 oz) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
8 chicken thighs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir together orange juice
soy sauce, onion soup mix & garlic powder;
set aside. Rinse chicken & pat dry. Place chicken
thighs in 9 X 13 baking pan. Pour orange juice
mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour 30
minutes, basting every half hour. If using
boneless chicken, reduce cooking time to
1 hour. Serves 8


Chicken Tortilla Spinach Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chili peppers
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/2 C. milk
2 1/2 C. boneless cooked chicken
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped (1 C.)
(salt & pepper, to taste)
1 1/2 C. Cheddar or Mexican-blend
cheese, shredded
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach – thawed,
& water squeezed out
8 (6 or 7 inch) corn tortillas, cut into
bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, add chicken soup, sour cream,
chopped chilies, milk, green pepper, tomato,
corn tortillas, salt & pepper, 1 C. cheese &
chopped chicken. Mix together & pour HALF
of mixture into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with
nonstick spray. Layer spinach over top, add
remaining chicken soup mixture. Bake 45-50
minutes. Remove from oven, top with
remaining cheese, return to oven & bake until
cheese melts and casserole is bubbly. Serves
approximately 8.


Mexican Stuffed Peppers

2 (14.5 oz ea) cans no salt added diced
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 large bell peppers
8 oz. ground beef
1/2 c. converted brown rice
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. raisins
chopped parsley (garnish)

In medium bowl, combine tomatoes
(with juice), vinegar, cumin, cinnamon &
salt; stir to mix. Pour 1 1/3 C. sauce mixture
into crockpot. Finely chop the 1/2 bell pepper;
slice off the top 1/2″ of the remaining peppers.
Seed the peppers;reserve the tops. In a large
bowl, using your hands, combine beef, rice,
onion, raisins, chopped pepper & remaining
sauce mixture. Spoon mixture into the peppers &
replace the tops. Place into crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or until peppers are tender
& meat is no longer pink. Serve topped with the
cooking sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serves 4


Cheesy Stuffed Shells

1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 (16 oz) tub cottage cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed & well-drained
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine spaghetti sauce & tomatoes;
spread half on bottom of greased 9 X 13
baking dish. Mix cottage cheese, spinach,
1/2 C. mozzarella, Parmesan & seasoning;
spoon into cooked pasta shells; place
shells over sauce in prepared pan, top
with remaining sauce & cover. Bake 25
minutes or until heated through. Top
with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake,
uncovered, 2 minutes or until cheese
melts. Serves 5

NOTE: Recipe can be made ahead: assemble
according to directions. Refrigerate up to
24 hours. When ready to serve, bake, covered
in 400 degree oven 35 minutes or until
heated through.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Raspberry Jello Salad

1 (29 oz) can pears
1 C. pear juice
1 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) box raspberry jello
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed

Open can of pears.
Pour 1 C. pear juice into large
glass measuring cup (discard remaining
juice). Pour 1 C. hot water over top of
pear juice; microwave 2 minutes or until
it starts to boil. Pour jello mix into hot
water/juice mixture & stir until all jello
dissolves. Refrigerate or freeze to let it
cool down. (do not let it set up, just
cool). Pour pears into blender & add
softened cream cheese; blend together.
Add lukewarm jello mixture into blender.
Add 12 oz. container Cool Whip & blend
until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9 X 13
pan; refrigerate 3 hours or until set up.



I threw in a few non-Easter dinner recipes, just in case you might need

something for the days BEFORE Easter! I was cruising my pantry to

decided just what we need to eat BEFORE Sunday – came up with

Salmon patties, Manwich ‘burgers’, and maybe a pork roast. Now that

middle son is not living here, the groceries are less (not complaining)

so we don’t go through food as quickly. Last night I made Ravioli and

with only three of us eating it, it was enough for 2 dinners (that is, of

course UNLESS middle son stops over today – then that ratio could

definitely change!)

How are your gas prices? Ours are still hovering at $3.74/9 for the cheapest – a bit high, but I’m guessing they went up, knowing people will be traveling this weekend – sigh.

Hope you have a GREAT DAY! Hope it’s sunny where you are!

Enjoy your day;


Look what I woke up to!



Typical Michigan!

Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees F, today it’s 24 and you see what’s all around! The good thing is: the ground was still warm from yesterday, so all the driveways & roads are CLEAR! I think it’s funny seeing my Spring wreath (in the car photo above) covered in snow. Oh well – we who have lived here for many years knew it was a probability – I’m guessing about 2-3 inches, total. I’ve read on Facebook that this was the all-time snowiest winter in Michigan – ever! (I remember my son mentioning that if we got any more snow this year it would make the record – and here we go! Yay . . . oh, goodie…  Saw this next picture on Facebook and thought it fit:


My oldest son came over today to say that we (in Michigan) DID break the all-time record for snowiest winter EVER! I guess they measure ‘snow fall’ from June to June and came up with this):


Wow – that’s a LOT of SNOW!

Other than the snow, not much new around here. Guess it’s time to share more holiday recipes, right?


Butter Rolls

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 7 X 11 baking dish. In a large
bowl, mix flour & salt. Using a pastry
cutter, cut in cold butter to make
coarse crumbs; add 1/2 C. water & stir.
Use your hands to press dough
together. Place dough in refrigerator
10 minutes to make it easier to work with.
Generously sprinkle your work surface with
flour. Roll dough out into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly over dough.
Sprinkle with 1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon. Roll
up dough, jelly-roll style. Cut into 12 even
slices & place in prepared dish. In a small
saucepan, heat milk & remaining sugar just
until it begins to boil. Remove from heat;
stir in vanilla. Pour this mixture all over the
rolls. Bake until browned, 30-40 minutes.
Makes 12 rolls.

Spring Vegetables Au Gratin

1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/2″
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
dash black pepper
5 C. assorted fresh vegetables (baby
carrots, trimmed green beans, pearl
onions, red pepper strips, trimmed
sugar snap peas)
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine Velveeta, milk & seasonings in
large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High 6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes; set
aside. Combine vegetables in 11″ X 7″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Add Velveeta
mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle top with bread
crumbs. Bake 40 minutes or until vegetables are
crisp-tender. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Roasted Red Pepper/Basil Puffs

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 C.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
& chopped
1 t. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried, crushed
1/2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 C. toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
Sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 24 muffin cups. Heat oil in
10 inch skillet over medium-high heat; add
onion & garlic; cook until onion is tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in peppers & basil;
cook 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat;
stir in cheese & pine nuts. Unfold 1 pastry
sheet onto lightly floured surface. Roll sheet
into a 9 X 12″ rectangle; cut into 12 (3″) squares.
Repeat with remaining sheet, making 24 sheets
in all. Spoon about 1 1/2 T. pepper mixture into
center of each square. Brush edges of squares
with egg. Fold corners to the center over the
filling, twist tightly to seal and fan out the
corners. Place filled puffs into muffin pan. Brush
puffs with egg. Bake 20 minutes or until the puffs
are golden brown. Let cool in pans on wire rack
10 minutes. Makes 24


Blender Souffle

8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into
cubes (or use shredded)
1 tsp. salt
10 slices bread, buttered & cubed
4 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in blender;
blend on High speed until thoroughly
mixed. Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt.
casserole dish. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apricot (or Peach) Crumble Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. margarine
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (10 oz) jar apricot or peach preserves
2 C. flaked coconut
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. margarine, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cream cheese, margarine &
gran. sugar, mixing at medium speed with
elec. mixer until well blended. Gradually
add milk, mixing well after each addition.
Blend in eggs & vanilla; add combined dry
ingredients to cream cheese mixture; mix
well. Pour half of batter into greased &
floured 9 X 13 pan. Dot with preserves.
Cover with remaining batter. Bake 35-40
minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean.
Combine coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon &
margarine; mix well & spread onto cake. Broil
3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 16

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Macaroni Salad
(Paula Dean)

2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup black pepper

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 4-6

Grilled Herb Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh savory
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Combine asparagus, olive oil, pepper, salt,
thyme, and savory in a resealable bag; shake until
well-coated; let the asparagus sit in the spice
bag for 10 to 15 minutes while heating up the
grill.Heat grill to medium; lay the asparagus in
a single layer across the grates; cook, turning often,
until desired tenderness (10 to 15 minutes on
direct heat). Remove from grill and immediately
top with Parmesan. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before
eating because it will be awfully hot.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes

6 large potatoes, sliced
1 small onion, diced
8 slices bacon, uncooked – diced
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 1/2 oz) can cream of chicken soup

Place half of sliced potatoes in bottom of
crockpot. Top with half onions/cheese/bacon.
Repeat layers in order, top with soup. Cook
on Low 8-10 hours.

(recipe: Ron & Jean – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spinach & Ricotta Dumplings

kosher salt
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
6 T. flour (plus more for rolling)
2 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 C. prepared marinara sauce
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
crusty bread, for serving

Bring large, wide pot of salted water to
a simmer. Put spinach in a large bowl &
separate it with your hands. Add ricotta,
3/4 C. Parmesan, flour, eggs, 3/4 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper & nutmeg. Mix using a
fork to form a slightly sticky dough. Spread
some flour on a plate. Scoop out heaping
tablespoons of spinach-ricotta mixture &
roll into about 24 loose balls, using floured
hands. Gently roll balls in the flour. Bring
marinara sauce to a simmer in a large
skillet over medium heat; whisk in butter.
Gently lower the dumplings into simmering
water & cook until they rise to the surface and
are firm, about 5 minutes. Remove dumplings
using a slotted spoon, letting water drain off,
& add to marinara sauce. Gently toss to coat,
then transfer to plates. Sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan. Serve with bread. Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients;
mix well. Spray miniature muffin tin with
non-stick cooking spray; fill each 3/4 full*.
Bake approx 18 minutes.

NOTE: Generously spray your pan with
cooking spray with flour. Once they come out
of the oven let them cool for one minute then
flip them out onto a cooling rack. If they cool
in the pan they’ll have to be chiseled out.
*Also don’t fill the pan to the very top, they
will overflow if you do.

(recipe: Facebook)

Shrimp Butter

4 (8 oz, ea) cans tiny shrimp
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 tsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 green onions, chopped
dash garlic powder
dash salt & black pepper, to taste

Drain & rinse shrimp; combine all
ingredients. Mix well. Serve with
crackers. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

(recipe: Rhonda G. Marys Recipe

Parmesan Crusted Potatoes

3 small-medium baking potatoes,
halved lengthwise
2 1/2 T. olive oil
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
few grinds of pepper mill
chives, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Coat bottom of 9 X 9 baking dish with
olive oil; evenly distribute grated
Parmesan over oil, then sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Place potato halves, cut
sides down, on top of cheese mixture.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are
very tender when pierced with tip of a
knife. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Remove to platter, top with chopped

(recipe: Facebook)

Lemon Bliss BROWNIES

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. flour
2 eggs, large
2 T. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt

For the tart lemon glaze:
4 T. lemon juice
8 tsp. lemon zest
1 rounded cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Grease an inch baking dish with butter;set aside.
Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.In bowl of an
electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment,
beat flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest,
and lemon juice until combined; pour into flour mixture
and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins; should turn
golden around the edges. Allow to cool completely before
glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will dry. Filter the
powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
Spread 1/2 the glaze over the brownies with a rubber
spatula and let glaze set.Spread 1/2 the glaze over the
bars, and let it set (not harden like most). Cut into bars
and serve.

(recipe: facebook)

Comfort Breakfast Bake

5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
16 oz refrigerated breakfast biscuits
4 green onions
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
cooked center cut bacon or cooked sausage

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix eggs & milk in a large bowl. Cut each biscuit into
fours and add it to the bowl. Do this before cooking
the bacon or cut up the scallions; it gives the biscuits
some time to really soak in the eggs. Cut up scallions,
shred cheese, cook and break up bacon or sausage, then
add everything to the bowl. Mix it all up and pour into
pan. Bake 25 minutes (make sure it isn’t runny)

(recipe from Rocking Lion)


Granted, these are not ALL Easter-type recipes, but I still have a large batch to go through, so am hoping to be able to post Easter-type recipes all week – we’ll see.

Tonight is Knit/Crochet night with my ladies and I’m hauling in the big garbage bag of free yarn and the shoe box full of various needles – sure hope it all disappears! I was able to give some away Sunday evening after church to a friend who knits baby hats for me. I told her: “Take what you want-it doesn’t have to be baby yarn – just grab what you like!” She only took a very small amount – sigh. Like I said before, what doesn’t go at the group goes to the Senior Center – hopefully they can either USE the stuff, or put it in their Spring Rummage Sale (remembering we still have another HUGE batch of ‘stuff’ coming from my friend’s son).

Today is also TAX DAY – hope you came out ‘on top’ –

Big hugs;



Published in: on April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am  Comments (4)