Great Intentions, but . . .


I have WANTED to post several times lately BUT our phone line was down, therefore all computer-related projects were not to be had. Husband is a retired  AT&T tech. and called to have them send out a tech LAST WEEK to have this fixed (tons of static/internet drops out multiple times a day); nice guy came out and agreed that YES there was ‘squirrel-gnawing on the lines’ evidence AND crossed wires” – he fixed those and hung a new drop to the house (that’s the wire that goes from the telephone pole to the house.) All was fine UNTIL THE NEXT RAIN! TONS of static (in fact it took my special needs guy I drive THREE CALLS just to tell me he didn’t need me to pick him up yesterday); crazy stuff. Now that the rain has gone, we have phone/cable again . . . go figure. Husband called it in AGAIN.

I DID get lots of knitting done – finished the blue/green/white baby blanket scheduled for June 7th baby shower – I’ll photo it  for you later. Am coming down with a doozie of a cold/sinus infection-type thing – fully developed this morning. It’s been a crazy week: went for annual OB/GYN visit yesterday – all’s good there EXCEPT – doctor explained to me that with  Obamacare (read that Medicare) they are now looking VERY CLOSELY at your BMI (Body Mass Index) that means how much weight you carry on your body for how tall you are. He told me that they (the govmt/insurance) wants your BMI to be 30 or under – I’m 32. He explained that for me to get there I need to lose about 12 lbs. That’s not a big deal BUT, coming in the NEAR future, IF YOU DON’T fall under the 30 mark, they could cancel your Medicare! I said: “But I have Blue Cross as my secondary insurance – wouldn’t I still be able to just go with them?” Answer: No, because once Medicare cancels you – your other insurance will follow. THAT’S NOT RIGHT! But – I can yell & scream all I want, whether you agree with me or not on this ‘Obamacare/insurance’ – it’s coming down the pike. The bad thing is: YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE!  If you’ve read my posts months ago, I unfortunately discovered that even though I didn’t WANT Medicare, I HAD NO CHOICE! If I didn’t take it, my regular (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) insurer would NOT take me! NOT RIGHT!!! Just thought that you might like to know what’s coming – if you’re ‘of a good weight/BMI, you have nothing to worry about; but if you’re not – you might want to check this out with your doctor.

Spent a lovely THREE HOURS at the car dealership this morning getting my ‘check engine’ light checked out; turns out it was a stuck thermostat. Was also due for some routine maintenance, so I had them do that also. Yes, brought my knitting and got quite a few rows done on the other Detroit Vet’s Baby Shower afghan – that one is almost done. (Sometimes I almost wish my brain didn’t say: “Well – if that one’s done, you could always KNIT ANOTHER ONE before September – when the shower is scheduled). Crazy – but we’ll see.

This cold/sinus-thing is kicking my butt right now – lots of dry coughing, so I’ll make the ‘chat part’ short and just enter the recipes!


Peanut Butter Buckeye Bars

2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. confectioners sugar
pinch salt
2-3 C. pretzels
10 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 T. shortening

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 C. finely ground graham
cracker crumbs
1/3 C. sugar
6 T. butter, melted

In large bowl combine 1 1/2 C.
graham cracker crumbs with 1/3
C. sugar & 6 T. melted butter. Combine
well & set aside. Line a 8 X 8 pan with
either parchment paper or tin foil,
making sure foil hangs over edges to
make ‘handles’. Spray with nonstick
spray. Pour graham mixture into pan &
very firmly press down.* Place in
refrigerator 1 hour.
Peanut Butter Mixture:
In large bowl, use hands to combine
peanut butter, softened butter, pinch
salt, vanilla & confectioners sugar.
Squish mixture together to mix well
(you can also use a large spoon, but
poster says hands work best).
(after crust has chilled 1 hour):
Arrange peanut butter mixture on top
of crust & gently press it down. Arrange
a single layer of pretzels over pb layer.
Crush remaining pretzels & set aside.
In large bowl, add milk chocolate chips
& 2 T. shortening. Melt accordg. to pkg
directions (poster microwaved 1 minute
at 50% power, stirred & mic’d 20 second
intervals until melted & smooth). Pour
melted chocolate mixture over bars;
sprinkle remaining pretzel crumbs over top.
Refrigerate 30 minutes; cut into small

*If you don’t press mixture down firmly,
crust will fall apart


Pancake Muffins with Sausage

1/2 lb. breakfast sausage, cooked &
cut into small pieces
1 1/2 C. milk
4 T. white vinegar
2 C. flour
4 T. white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
(maple syrup, for drizzling)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In small bowl combine milk with
vinegar & allow to sit 5 minutes.
In large bowl sift flour, sugar,
baking powder, baking soda &
salt. Add eggs, milk, vanilla &
melted butter; stir to combine.
Stir in cooked sausage pieces.
Prepare muffin tins with nonstick
cooking spray or line with paper
liners. Fill each muffin cup
2/3 rds of the way full. Bake
15-16 minutes or until done.
Drizzle muffins with maple
syrup & serve immediately.

Optional: you could also use
cooked bacon, or blueberries
or diced apples in place of


Knock Your Socks Off Crockpot Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. andoulle sausage (or smoked
sausage or kielbasa)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. white wine (or beer or chicken stock)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 T. grainy mustard (Dijon)
1/2 tsp. salt
scallions, for garnish
(serve over cooked rice, quinoa
or buttered noodles)

In mixing bowl whip cream cheese with
chicken stock, salt, garlic, mustard & wine
until incorporated. Place chicken & sausage
in bottom of crockpot; put onions on top.
Pour cream cheese mixture over top. Cover
& cook on High 4 hours or Low 5-6 hours,
checking occasionally to make sure it’s not
thickening too much. If it is, add more
chicken stock or wine. When ready to serve,
place entire contents in a large baking dish
& place under broiler a few minutes to add
extra color (optional but highly recommended).
Serve over cooked rice, quinoa or pasta.


Loaded Chicken Pasta Salad

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into 1″ pieces
12 oz. box farfalle or bow tie pasta noodles,
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 C. diced white onion
fresh parsley

4 T. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 C. milk (or heavy cream/Half &
2-3 tsp. cajun seasoning* (or
store bought)
1/3 C. diced tomatoes

Cajun Seasoning

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
heaping 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

In small bowl whisk together all
Cajun seasoning ingredients. Sprinkle
1-2 tsp. over chopped chicken pieces.
Spray a large pan or nonstick skillet
with cooking spray. Cook chicken over
medium heat 5-8 minutes, stirring
throughout until cooked through.
Place chicken in a bowl & set aside.
In same pan, melt butter & saute
peppers & onions 2-3 minutes. Stir
in flour until mixture clumps together
or comes together in a “ball”. Slowly
whisk in milk. Stir in diced tomatoes.
When mixture is smooth & creamy,
stir in 2 tsp. cajun seasoning (or more,
if you like it spicy). Add pasta &
chicken; stir to coat. Continue to stir
until chicken is heated through. Serve
warm & garnish with parsley.
Serves 4



Cheesy Corn Dip

1 (10 oz) can original Ro*tel tomatoes
2 (15 oz, ea) cans corn & diced peppers,
3 green onions, chopped
1 C. sour cream
1 C. mayonnaise
2 C. Mexican-style cheese, shredded
tortilla chips, for dipping

In large bowl mix all ingredients & chill.
Serve with tortilla chips.


Chicken, Beets & Blue Cheese Salad

4 C. torn romaine lettuce
4 C. baby spinach leaves
2 1/2 C. cut-up grilled boneless
skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can sliced beets, drained
1/4 C. red onion slices, separated
into rings
1/4 C. crumbled Blue cheese
1/4 C. pecan halves, toasted
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing*

Toss lettuce, spinach, chicken, beets,
& onions in large bowl; sprinkle
with cheese & pecans. Add dressing
just before serving; mix lightly.
Serves 4

*can use Good Seasons Italian
Dressing mix – prepare with less oil

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Moo Shu Chicken Cabbage Cups

2 C. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into strips, cooked
1 T. cooking oil
2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
3 C. broccoli coleslaw
1/2 C. hoisin sauce
1 T. lime juice
8 (Napa Chinese) cabbage leaves
cashews or peanuts, finely chopped
green onion, thinly sliced

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet or wok over

medium-high heat.Add mushrooms & cook

3 minutes until tender. Add coleslaw,cooked

chicken & hoisin sauce. Stir-fry 3-5minutes

or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lime

juice. Spoon some of hot chicken mixture

into each cabbage leaf; sprinkle with chopped

nuts & green onions. Serves 4

NOTE: You can also add fresh bean sprouts

tossed with lime juice to finished cups before serving.
Recipe can also be served on a large platter with

cabbage leaves, a bowl of chicken mixture &
small bowls of chopped nuts & green onions.



Sweet Sausage/Cheesy Noodle Casserole

1 lb. egg noodles (wide or homestyle)
1-2 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
2 (11 oz, ea) cans tomato bisque soup,
8 oz. ricotta cheese
4 – 8 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil egg noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
Brown ground sausage; drain. Drain pasta;
place in large bowl; add shredded cheese to
bowl & mix well. Add ricotta cheese & cooked
sausage; mix well. Spray 9 X 13 with nonstick
spray; pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake
25 minutes.



Mardi Gras Pork & Potatoes

6 potatoes, peeled & halved
8 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, whole
1 (3-4 lb.) pork loin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. fresh minced parsley
1 pkt. onion soup mix
2 bay leaves

Season pork loin with salt & pepper;
briskly rub it into the meat with your
hands, place roast in hot skillet that
has been lightly coated with vegetable
oil. Pan fry on all sides until lightly browned.
Place veggies in crockpot in this order:
carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic then
roast. Mix together water, chicken broth,
parsley, bay leaves & onion soup mix – pour
mixture over roast. Cook, on Low 10 hours.

(recipe: Richard-Slowcooker digest)

Cinnamon Red Hots Cookie Bars

12 T. butter, room temp.
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. cinnamon red hot candies/
cinnamon imperials or  (‘hot
tamales’ candies, cut in half)

6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 T. butter, room temp
3 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease an 8 X 8 pan or line with
parchment paper, then grease. In
large bowl, cream butter & sugar
on medium speed until fluffy, about
3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating after each egg, then beat in
vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk
together flour, cinnamon, salt &
baking soda. Add flour mixture to
wet mixture; beat on low speed
until just combined; stir in red hots.
Spread mixture evenly in pan &
bake 22-25 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted into the center
comes out clean. Cool bars
completely, then frost.

Beat cream cheese & butter together
on medium speed until light & fluffy,
3-4 minutes. Add conf. sugar one cup
at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla & continue beating until
frosting is thick & fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Frost bars & cut into squares with large
chef’s knife, wiping the knife clean
after each cut. Makes 16 squares

(recipe: Richard-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Yesterday we had a deluge of rain for most of the day but today it’s finally a lovely, sunny & clear day: 68 degrees F. I spotted some iris I had planted years ago; they sprung up behind a scraggly bush (which I intent to cut down soon); so glad I saw them! Our two rabbits are having a great time relaxing in our yard (husband hasn’t cut the grass there yet, so when they’re out all you can see is the tips of their ears!). Today on the way home from the car dealership I saw a full grown dear run across four lanes of traffic – no one hit it/it survived to run into a woodsy area on the other side! This is in a really built-up area: lots of stores and houses – interesting!

Enjoy your day – hope you have lovely weather to enjoy!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Isn’t it amazing how the wild life is still visiting despite the area.

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