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!




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