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!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Got caught up on the posts–love the project for class you two did an excellent job!
    I know what you mean about what will they do when I’m gone. I thought about going through things now but I don’t really feel like it. I think I’ll just tell them to get rid of it all and not sweat the small things!!!

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