Yep, I’m Nuts!

As you (who have followed my blog OR know me personally) know – at times I tend to ‘follow my fancies’ and decide to attempt/try something ‘new’. This time my brain has got me searching out ideas for going ‘vintage’ for next year’s Log Cabin Days. Around the grounds you will see various ladies strolling, in various ‘period piece’ clothing – the two Spinner – ladies who joined us both had on period wear: one wore a white blouse, dark skirt and a knit shawl, the other had on a cotton dress with a (pinned on top) full apron.


The two “Spinner Ladies” are on the left: one with blue skirt, and behind her, the other lady in a blue dress with white pinned apron

That got me to thinking: IF I were to do this, what ‘era’ would I chose? The “Village” where the event takes place in is set in the 1800’s. I’ve decided (after MUCH looking on line) that I will go with a dark blue cotton skirt, white cotton with some lace blouse, a knit medium-blue shawl and (attempt to knit) a (blue) snood to hold my hair. I’ve had a Snood pattern for years – just thought it was a neat idea but never really had a good use for one . . . UNTIL NOW! In case you wondered just WHAT is a snood? I’ll see if I can find a picture of one for you:

il_570xN.168020213  The “snood” is the one upper left – I’m not exactly sure if I will do mine exactly like this, maybe a little shorter to just keep my ponytail wrapped in it – we’ll see when I get there. I already have a knit shawl pattern (if you remember, I knit a variagated purple one last year for my friend, as a wedding present):

101_0032I’m thinking of knitting this in a light blue; it’s an easy pattern – (like anything else) it just takes time. Since I have a YEAR to plan – we’ll see where this goes! The only thing I’m sort of stumped on right now is: shoes. I noticed the one spinner lady had on a sort of ‘flats’ – we’ll see; my BASIC idea is – whatever I chose HAS TO BE COOL; it gets pretty HOT sitting there knitting for 7+ hours (given a little time for breaks/food/etc.)


Dinner tonight is an experiment: when I defrosted the basement freezer last week I noticed I had a package of Tater Tots – mind you, I don’t normally use those, so then that got me to wondering just WHAT to do with them? I remembered (in all the various recipes I send you) something about a Tater Tot Casserole, so I did some searching. Our dinner is a variation on a theme; tater tots, cooked hamburger, chopped onion, chopped fresh mushrooms, chopped red & green peppers (get them frozen in a bag), cream of mushroom soup mixed with about 3/4 C. sour cream. Placed a layer of Tater tots on bottom of a (little bit smaller than) 9 X 13 greased pan. Cooked hamburger, onions, mushrooms, peppers (drained) then mixed soup & sour cream together & stirred into the meat/veggie mix. (I also added some ground pepper, few dashes of Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder). Poured meat/veggie/sour cream mixture over bottom layer of tater tots -smoothed it out then added the last layer of tater tots. Baked it 350 degrees 45 minutes, removed from oven & covered in a layer of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese & some shredded mozzarella – returned to oven for 10 minutes, then under broiler until cheese began to brown. Not so sure just how ‘spectacular’ this will taste, but at least it got the tater tots used up! (AND it filled our tummies!)

Yep, guess I’m in an EXPERIMENTAL mood today – we’ll see where this all pans out!

Enjoy your evening;




Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 7:37 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

On the Other Side – Finally!


(photo from last year)


Let’s just say, for the past two days, I’ve been sweltering! Mama – it was HOT! Log Cabin Days was great – 17 of my ladies showed up (at various times) to knit/crochet with me; lots of people took our business cards so hopefully, we’ll get some new members! All totaled, I don’t think there were as many people coming through the event as in past years – even the other presenters (the encampment people) agreed.  On the down side we had ‘midges’ (little tiny black bugs) which kept ‘bugging’ us plus TONS of cottonwood floating in the air, on the ground almost in piles, etc. I inhaled some, several times! Two new ladies who were spinners joined us and they were lovely! I really enjoyed chatting with them – turns out one of them is also a home schooler, so we had that in common, also. Sunday it rained, on & off, during the day. At one point I was visiting with friends in a small pavilion – I said “It’s time I get back to my ‘station’ – I stood up – it started to POUR! Sat back down, repeat – it took me THREE tries to actually get to walk (minus the downpours!) from that location, across the park, over the bridge, to our little pavilion. Going back over the photos I took this year I realized I never remembered to have someone else take a photo of ME with my ladies! Oh, well – next year. I felt sorry for the guys who were dressed up in formal costumes – some were actually wool! UGH! When it’s over 80 degrees F., I’m pretty sure they were really sweating! It was a good two days but I’m glad I’m back home again!

Took the current baby blanket with me and worked on it some – with the heat, bugs, lots of chatting I stopped to look at it and realized I had knit a good inch WRONG! Stuffed it in my bag and took it home; considered ripping it out but then there are about 12-15 stitch markers on every row – too much work. Just took up the pattern from there on out – it’s not that noticeable; as some of my ladies say:
“It’s a design deviation!” It’s just fine! Ended up working on baby hats for the duration of the two days – those are just straight knit/purl (even then, at times I got to where I forgot where I was in the pattern when it came to decreasing!) Just too darned HOT!!!

We’re still waiting for my husband’s cousin to come fix our air conditioner – sure hope he calls to remind him today (it’s been really hot inside – today’s OUTSIDE temperature is 73 – inside it’s 83!!!) UGH!


Cucumber & Onion Salad
(overnight recipe)

4 large cucumbers, peeled &
sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 T. kosher salt
1 extra large Vidalia onion
sliced into rings, then cut in

2/3 C. white vinegar
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed (optional)

Place cucumber slices in a colander;
place colander on rimmed dish. Toss
with salt & let set at least 30 minutes
to draw out some of the water.*
Whisk together all ingredients; add
dressing to cucumbers (after setting);
mix in sliced onion. Toss, cover tightly
& refrigerate until well chilled, stirring
occasionally. Toss again before serving.
Serves 4-6

*After salting step, run cucumbers
through a salad spinner to spin off
any remaining moisture; salt before
proceeding with recipe.

Cheesy Beef-Corn Chip Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 C. water
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 C. corn chips
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta cheese, cut
into 1/2 inch cubes
2 C. shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped

Brown meat with onions in large
skillet; drain. Stir in water & taco
seasoning; cook until thickened.
Top with chips & Velveeta; cover &
cook on Low 5 minutes or until
cheese is melted. Top with lettuce
& tomatoes.
Serves 6, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon ‘n Cola Beef Pot Roast

1 (3-4 lb) bottom round beef roast
1 (12 oz) can cream of celery or
mushroom soup
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
(reserve drippings)
3-5 T. bacon drippings
1 (1 1/2 oz) pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) can Cola
1 T. corn starch & 1 T. water, mixed

hot cooked mashed potatoes (side)

Pour can of cola in crockpot, set
temperature to Low. Place roast in
crockpot; sprinkle with dry onion soup
mix. Pour bacon drippings over roast &
spread bacon crumbles on top. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 4-6 hours.
One hour before roast is served, make
gravy: Lift roast out of crockpot & set
aside. Add can of soup to crockpot &
whisk until blended. (or you can use
a elec. mixer). Add cornstarch & water
mix; whisk to thicken. Place roast back
in crockpot & finish cooking time. Serve
roast with gravy over mashed potatoes.
Serves 4-6


Garlic Shrimp Tortellini Toss

1 (19 oz) pkg. frozen cheese tortellini,
1 1/2 C. peas
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
peeled & deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare tortellini accordg to pkg.
directions; during last 5 minutes
of cooking, add peas. Drain. Heat
olive oil over medium-high heat in
large skillet. Add shrimp & cook 2
minutes. Add garlic & cook another
2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Add tortellini mixture to skillet &
stir in seasonings. Toss to coat.
Serves 4



Greek Goddess Salad

4 pitted Kalamata olives
1 medium garlic clove
3 t. flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 C. fresh-squeezed lemon juice,
or more, to taste
1/2 medium cucumber, seeded/
chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 medium red or orange bell
pepper, cored/seeded & chopped
into 1/2″ pieces (about 1 C.)
1 medium tomato, seeded/chopped
into 1/2 ” pieces (about 1/2 C.)
1/3 C. finely chopped red onion
1 oz. crumbled feta cheese
4 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced

By hand or in a mini-food processor
fitted with a chopping blade, finely
chop olives, garlic & parsley; stir in
lemon juice. Combine cucumber, bell
pepper, tomatoes, onion & 3/4 oz. feta;
toss in olive mixture then top with
remaining feta. (If desired, top with
grilled chicken.)


Cantaloupe Sherbet

4 C. ripe cantaloupe chunks (1 small
4 C. milk, divided
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3/4 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine cantaloupe chunks & 1 C.
milk in blender; cover & process
until smooth. Combine 1 C. milk &
gelatin in a saucepan; cook over
Low heat, stirring constantly, until
gelatin dissolves. Combine gelatin
mixture, cantaloupe puree, remaining
2 C. milk, syrup, sugar & salt; mix well.
Pour mixture into a 9 X 13 pan; cover &
freeze 3 hours. Spoon sherbet into a
large mixing bowl; beat at Low speed
until smooth. (DO NOT overbeat, or
mixture will melt). Pour back into pan;
cover & freeze until firm before serving.
Makes 2 quarts

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Fire & Ice Tomatoes

6 large tomatoes, skinner & quartered*
1 large green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 large red onion, sliced thin

1 large cucumber, sliced thin
3/4 C. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. red pepper or Tabasco sauce
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. water

Place prepared tomatoes, bell peppers,
onion & cucumber in a large bowl; toss
to combine ingredients. Combine vinegar,
celery salt, mustard seed, sugar, red pepper,
black pepper, salt & water in a saucepan
& bring to boil; boil 1 minute – remove
from heat. While liquid is still hot, pour
over vegetables. Chill for several hours
or overnight.(recipe: Facebook)


Papa McElhenny’s Chicken Salad

2 chickens, boiled & deboned
3 apples, peeled
4 oranges, peeled
1 1/2 C. red seedless grapes
3-4 eggs, hard-boiled
1 C. mayonnaise (more if desired)
salt & pepper, to taste
orange juice

Chop chicken, apples, oranges, grapes &
eggs; combine with mayonnaise, salt &
pepper. Squeeze a little orange juice over
salad & stir to combine. Refrigerate.

Good with Ritz crackers

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)


Jello Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 C. pretzels (crushed fine)
3 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. butter
1 (6 oz) pkg strawberry Jell-O
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
or small (16 oz) container sliced
fresh strawberries
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine pretzels, brown sugar &
melted butter; press into bottom of
greased 9 X 13 baking pan.* Cool crust.
Prepare Jello accordg. to pkg. directions;
add strawberries & mix. Refrigerate
until partially set (if not set, it will leak
through cream cheese layer & make
pretzels soggy). Beat cream cheese &
sugar until smooth; blend in Cool Whip.
Spread mixture over cooled crust. Make
sure to spread completely to edges to create
a seal so jello doesn’t leak through. Pour
Jello over cream cheese layer & refrigerate
until set.

*you can use more butter if crust isn’t
sticking together


This week is shaping up to be a very
(hopefully) relaxing one: no knit night,
no special needs group and no grandson
on Friday! Other than grocery shopping,
I can’t think of anything else that’s needed
at the moment! YAY!
Enjoy your day – try to stay COOL and
remember to relax a little, take a nap if
needed and PAMPER yourself a little!



Just Chillin’


Another 62 dishcloths – Wow! Grand total

delivered today: 119 – that’s SOME total!!!

As you probably know, today is the ‘Day Before’ Log Cabin Days – it’s been a bit hectic, but manageable. Baked another loaf of banana bread (to get rid of 4 rather black bananas), Grandson came around 10:15, played about 40 minutes of a video game, then announced he was ‘taking a break’ – promptly fell asleep and STAYED that way until I woke him up around 2:20 p.m.! His dad mentioned he’s spent the night at a neighborhood friends house and they didn’t get much sleep (leave it to Grandma’s house to get quiet and rest!). That made watching him REALLY easy for me – managed to get most of the ‘stuff’ I have to take tomorrow all organized – YAY!

It’s a HOT one today – really MUGGY! Right now, at 5:35 p.m. the temp says 80 degrees; all I know is: My car was REALLY HOT! Long story short the above dishcloths were all crocheted by one lady – she’d been in the hospital overnight and then emailed me to make sure I got her donation; we met for coffee, then I drove all the dishcloths over to the site for tomorrow. Since I know I won’t be here much in the next two days, I stopped at Dollar General (don’t hardly ever go there, but it was close) and bought some cheese-filled bratwurst & buns for dinner tonight (and extras).

Sunday is Grandson’s actual birthday party and I really didn’t have a clue as to what to get him; middle son stopped over today and said: “Just get him a gift card for Game Stop – that way he can buy whatever he wants!” Brilliant – so that’s what I did (the day is saved!)

In among the many little ‘last minute’ things needing to be done was the printing of a few more of our Knit Group Business cards. I am SO glad my husband has taught me to be more independant/willing to venture and attempt-try things that I used to think were out of my knowledge-zone. Things like when the printer suddenly decides to jam when I put in two sheets of the business cards. I remember how to remove the jammed paper, but completely go brain dead when it comes to putting back the little plastic cover to the paper feed! I tried & tried, finally he comes in and gets it done in one ‘click’! Turns out I was trying TOO hard – it just sort of falls into place – duh! Along with that came the paper jam, me shutting off the printer while fiddling with it, then going to click on my Publisher file with the business cards on it-Publisher kept popping up a little box that said something like: “Publisher has deemed this file to be corrupted. It will not open the file, to save your computer.” UGH! REALLY??? I clicked on it 3 times, shut it down and tried again and THEN IT HAPPENED – I FIGURED OUT A WAY AROUND IT!!! Right clicked the mouse which brought up a spot that said: save to desktop – BINGO! Went to my desktop, clicked on it and printed the cards! YAY! This wouldn’t have been such a big deal except – every one of those cards was hand-drawn (on the computer) by me – we’re talking at least 2 hours work which I CERTAINLY did not want to lose! (I’m not all that computer saavy – I sort of do things by the seat of my pants, metaphorically speaking). Anyway, it worked, I have more business cards to take tomorrow – problem solved – for now!


Worried Fried Green Tomatoes

2 1/2 lb. green tomatoes, sliced vertically,
1/4″ thick
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 C. flour
salt, pepper
4 T. olive oil

Place flour, salt, pepper in a paper bag;
place tomato slices in bag & shake to coat.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in skillet.
Add tomatoes & garlic; cook without stirring
5 minutes. Use a stiff spatula to scrape bottom
of skillet & turn tomatoes. Continue to cook
over medium to high heat, scraping bottom of
skillet occasionally to prevent burning. Expect
some sticking; just scrape hard. Try to resist
adding more oil, but add only if you need to.
When most of tomatoes have turned olive
green or dark brown, about 20 minutes, lower
heat to Low. Continue to cook, worrying
the tomatoes around with the spatula until
they are all either brown or olive green.
Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Honey Sesame Wings

3 lb. chicken wings
salt & pepper, to taste
2 C. honey
1 C. soy sauce

1/2 C. catsup
1/4 C. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
(garnish: sesame seed)

Place chicken wings on ungreased
broiler pan; sprinkle with salt &
pepper. Place pan 4-5 inches under
broiler & broil 10 minutes on each side
or until chicken is golden. Transfer
wings to crockpot. Combine remaining
ingredients, except sesame seed, &
pour over wings. Cover & cook on Low
4-5 hours, or High 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Arrange
cooked wings on a serving platter & sprinkle
with sesame seeds. Makes about 2 1/2

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

No Bake Strawberry Eclair Cake

1 box Honey Graham crackers (14.4 oz)
2 (1 oz, ea) pkgs. Cheesecake Jell-O
Pudding mix
2 1/2 C. milk
1 (12 oz ) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled/sliced

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate,
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk

Mix pudding mix with milk using a
whisk; beat about 2 minutes, by
hand. Fold in Cool Whip; set aside.
Place in a 9 X 13 pan one layer
graham crackers. Top with half of
pudding mix; lay have of strawberries
on top of pudding; repeat layers.
Top with one more layer graham
Mix melted baking chocolate with corn
syrup. Add vanilla, butter, powdered
sugar & milk; whisk thoroughly until
smooth. Spread over top layer; cover &
refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Serves 15


Crispy Fried Meatloaf

2 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 C. fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 C. water
2/3 C. ketchup, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tps. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine
beef, bread crumbs, eggs, water,
1/3 C. ketchup, 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/2 tsp. pepper & 1/2 tsp. garlic
powder; mix well. Place mixture
in prepared dish & shape into
loaf; spread remaining ketchup
over top. Bake 60-70 minutes until
no longer pink in center. Let cool
then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Slice cold meatloaf into 3/4 inch
Place flour in shallow dish; place
eggs in another shallow dish &
lightly beat. Combine panko bread
crumbs, salt & pepper in third
shallow dish. Coat a slice of cold
meatloaf on both sides with flour,
then egg & then bread crumbs. In
large skillet, heat oil until hot. Fry a
few slices at a time 1-2 minutes on
each side, or until golden brown. Drain
slices on paper towels & serve.
Serves 6


Fresh Zucchini Casserole

2 zucchini, sliced thin
1 yellow squash, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 C. peeled, shredded carrots
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 C. sour cream (*melted slightly)
8 oz. Herb Stuffing mix**
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, melted

In large bowl combine zucchini,
squash, carrots & soup. *Melt
soup on 50% power in micro-
wave, just enough to soften it.
Combine sour cream & flour in
small bowl; add to veggies. In
another bowl, mix melted butter
with stuffing mix. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray. Place
half stuffing mix in crockpot, add
vegetable/soup mixture & top with
remaining crumbs. Cover & cook
on Low 7 hours. Serves 6

**You can substitute cream of
chicken if you desire


Lime Fruit Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
2/3 C. frozen limeade, thawed
1 small lime (more or less, to
taste) for zest AND juice
1 C. whipping cream

Beat together cream cheese & sugar
until smooth. Beat in limeade, grated
lime peel & juice from 1/2 the lime.
Whip cream & fold into cream cheese

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

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)

Easy Green Bean Pasta Salad

2 T. fresh lemon juice (approx.
1/2 – 1 lemon)
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (approx
2 limes)
3 T. orange juice, no pulp
1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. olive oil
1/2 T. poppy seeds
black pepper, to taste

1 bag mixed salad greens
1 box bowtie pasta, cooked/rinsed
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled*
1 C. red grapes
1 1/2 C. cooked green beans, chopped
2 medium-ripe Anjou pears, sliced
1/2 C. diced tomatoes

(Optional: grilled chicken slices)

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar
with a tight lid & shake vigorously.
Let stand, refrigerated, 30 minutes
before serving to blend flavors.
Rinse & dry salad greens. Toss all
ingredients together in large salad
or serving bowl. Sprinkle dressing over
salad & toss. Serves 4-6

*Add more, if desired


Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Manwich BOLD sloppy joe sauce
2 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
16 oz. tater tots
chives, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In large skillet, brown ground beef
with peppers & onions until meat is
cooked through. Drain fat; return to
heat – stir in corn, Manwich & cream
cheese. Cook, over Low heat until
cream cheese is melted. Pour mixture
into a 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with
half of grated cheese. Arrange tater
tots in a single layer over top of cheese.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven
& sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Serve immediately.


Skillet Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring,
until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce,
pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer
for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Serves 6 to 8

Pepper Steak

1 1/2 – 2 lb. beef round steak
2 T. cooking oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 C. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tomatoes, cut into 8ths (or one 16 oz
can tomatoes with liquid, cut up)
2 large green peppers, cut into strips
1/2 C. cold water
1 T. cornstarch

cooked noodles or rice

Cut beef into 3 inch X 1 inch strips;; brown in
oil in a skillet; transfer to crockpot. Combine
the next 7 ingredients; pour over beef. Cover
& cook on Low 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
Add tomatoes & green peppers; cook on Low
1 hour more. Combine cold water & cornstarch
to make a paste; stir into liquid in crockpot &
cook on High until thickened. Serve over noodles
or rice. Serves 6

(recipe: slowcooker digest)

Easy Lemon Bars

16 T. or 2 sticks butter, softened
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. sugar
4 T. flour
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 T. finely grated lemon peel
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. Combine butter, flour,
powdered sugar & salt in a bowl
until dough resembles small pea-
sized pieces. Pat dough into bottom
of pan evenly & bake 10 minutes.
Remove from oven & prepare filling:

Blend eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice &
lemon peel until all are combined (the
batter will be lumpy, but will smooth
out during baking.) Pour filling over
crust; bake 20 minutes or until sides
begin to loosen from pan. Allow to
cool. Just before serving, cut into bars,
sift powdered sugar over top & serve
immediately. Serves 12


 That’s what’s happening around here; hope you are able to relax a bit, stay cool and enjoy this beautiful Summer.




(crazy website wants to keep changing the size of the fonts -UGH!)


Getting Ready –


57 dishcloths ready to deliver!

The above photo gives you an idea of the amount BUT – there are still about 62 MORE dishcloths waiting to be picked up! One of our group has been in the hospital (got out yesterday) and she’s trying to decide how/when to get them picked up/delivered to me. Originally I thought it was going to be tomorrow, but now I’m not sure (right now she has a migraine). We’ll see – I told her that if, by some fluke, we DON’T get them – they can always be picked up later and the Historical Society will be able to use them in their before Christmas sale – so we’ll see how it pans out. The ladies in the group are always gracious and welcoming – we had another new person Tuesday night – YAY! I’m, for now, just working on baby hats and the occasional row or two on the current baby blanket.  Chatted with my husband today about the logistics of the ‘to and from’ for both days. Saturday he will be driving me to the site, then picking me up later that evening. Sunday I was originally going to go to church then come to Log Cabin Days, but now that will not really work out, as someone should be there with our sign & ‘stuff’ (that would be me). I was going to drive myself, but then that leaves me lugging the sign, table covers, my knitting, folding chairs, etc. ON THE SHUTTLE BUS! That won’t work! Now the plan is: husband is going to skip Sunday School, drop me off, go to church and pick me up at the end, after 4 p.m. YAY! (As the years go by with this ‘project’ I keep accumulating more ‘STUFF’ to haul along – first year it was just me & my knitting! I don’t even think I brought any business cards! Oh well – it will all work out in the end!

Our weather is being goofy again – overcast, a little chilly 77 degrees F. Weather for Saturday is Sunny (yay) but Sunday is 60% chance of thunderstorms. (yuck). I remember two years ago we had to close early on Sunday because there was a BIG thunderstorm coming in – I think we left at around 2:30. I felt bad because they make money with this project and closing early cut into that, but what can you do?


 Orange Dreamsicle Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Orange
Supreme cake mix
1 C. milk, cold
1/2 C. fresh orange juice
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 small box orange jello
1 small box French vanilla
pudding mix
4 large eggs

1 medium tub Cool Whip,
1 large can crushed pineapple,
well drained*
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans,
finely chopped

*Open can pineapple, pour into a
colander & mash with a spoon (if
you do not do this, frosting will
be runny).

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
(see ** note at bottom)

Grease & flour three 8″ or 9″
cake pans.
In large bowl place cake mix, milk,
oil, orange juice, pudding & jello
mixes, and eggs (beating after adding
each one);  mix well. Divide batter
among cake pans; bake 30 minutes.**
Cool cakes on racks until cooled.

In medium bowl add drained
pineapple, sugar, sour cream & 1 C.
Cool Whip; mix well by hand. Spread
frosting between cake layers. Sprinkle
bottom & second layer with chopped
nuts. Add 1 to 1  1/2 C. Cool Whip to
frosting mix; fold in and frost top &
sides of cake. Keep refrigerated.

**If using dark cake pans, bake at 325
degrees F.


Cheesy Taco Rice
(serves 12-15)

3 lb. ground beef
2 C. red pepper, diced
2 C. red onion, diced
2 T. garlic, minced
2 lb. Queso Blanco Velveeta,
1 (24 oz) jar salsa
6 C. rice, cooked
3 T. taco seasoning mix
1 C. tortilla strips (garnish)

Brown beef in skillet over
medium heat, breaking up large
chunks; salt & pepper to taste.
Cook 6-8 minutes; drain

1 T. drippings) & put meat in
crockpot. Return skillet to medium-
high heat; saute onion & red pepper
in reserved drippings, until soft 3-4
minutes; salt & pepper to taste. Stir
in garlic; cook 2 minutes – place in
crockpot. Add cheese, cooked rice,
salsa & seasoning; mix thoroughly.
Cover & cook on High 2 hours or until
mixture is heated through & cheese
is bubbly. Scoop into bowls, garnish
with tortilla strips & serve.


Sour Cream/Cucumber/Onion Salad
(overnight recipe)

4 large cucumbers, peeled/sliced
about 1/2″ thick
1 T. kosher salt
1 extra large Vidalia onion, sliced
into rings

1/3 C. white vinegar
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. sour cream*
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. dill weed (optional)

Place cucumber slices in colander,
place colander on a rimmed dish;
toss cucumbers with salt & let
rest at least 30 minutes to draw
out some of the water.
Whisk together ingredients. Add
cucumbers & onions to dressing.
Toss, cover tightly & store in
refrigerator several hours or
overnight, stirring occasionally.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: After salting step, run cucumbers
through salad spinner to spin off any
remaining moisture. Salt before
proceeding with recipe.

*Can substitute mayonnaise, Greek
plain yogurt or buttermilk (use half)
for sour cream.

Shrimp & Asparagus Pasta

16 oz. angel hair pasta
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
2 C. diced asparagus
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 C. halved cherry tomatoes
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet melt butter; add oil,
garlic, asparagus, salt & pepper – saute
3 minutes. Add shrimp & saute an
additional 3 minutes; stir in evap. milk.
Boil & reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes & pasta, stir well then
sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4



King Crab Appetizers

2 (12 oz) pkgs. refrigerated biscuit
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (6 oz) can crab meat, drained
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. thinly sliced green onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch paprika

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 12 tartlet pans.
Divide rolls in half & press into
prepared tartlet pans; set aside.
In large bowl, combine cream
cheese, crab, mayonnaise, Parmesan,
Cheddar cheese, green onions &
Worc. sauce. Spoon 1 tsp. mixture
into tarts & garnish with paprika.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until light
brown. Makes 12

NOTE: Tartlets freeze well, just reheat
before serving.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


Asian Noodles in Peanut Sauce

1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. dry roasted peanuts, chopped &
2 tsp. oil, divided
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into thin strips
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 lb. spaghetti*, uncooked
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Blend chicken broth, bbq sauce,
crushed red pepper & 3/4 C. nuts
in blender until smooth. Heat 1 tsp.
oil in large nonstick skillet on
medium-high heat. Add chicken;
cook 5 minutes or until done,
stirring occasionally. Remove from
skillet  & cover to keep warm. Add
remaining oil to skillet; add onions &
bell peppers, cook & stir 5 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Cook spaghetti
accordg to pkg. directions, omitting
salt. Drain spaghetti; add to ingredients
in skillet along with chicken. Remove
from heat & add peanut sauce. Mix
lightly. Sprinkle top with cilantro &
serve topped with remaining nuts.
Makes 6 servings.

*May be made with fettuccine, also

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Jalapeno-stuffed Chicken
make-ahead recipe/overnight?

8 small boneless skinless chicken breasts,
2 lb, pounded to 1/4″ thickness
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. Mexican-style finely
shredded Four Cheese, divided (Kraft)
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded,
finely chopped
1 egg
3 C. tortilla chips, finely crushed (about
1 C.)
1 C. green salsa

Place chicken on work surface. Mix cream
cheese, 1 1/2 C. shredded cheese & peppers
until blended; spread on chicken. Roll up
tightly, starting at short end. Refrigerate
up to 8 hours.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Beat egg in shallow dish; place crushed
chips in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken
in egg, then roll in crushed chips. Place,
seam sides down, in single layer in shallow
pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
Warm salsa. Top chicken with remaining
shredded cheese & serve with salsa.
Serves 8

NOTE: Roll-ups can be secured with wooden
toothpicks before baking – discard toothpicks
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mom’s Cottage Potatoes

8 Russet potatoes, cooked & diced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. onion salt
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 C. crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl mix together
potatoes, Ched. cheese, onion
salt & bread crumbs; pour into
greased 9 X 13 pan. In small
bowl mix together milk, butter,
salt & pepper; pour over potato
mixture. Top with crushed
corn flakes. Bake 30 minutes.
Serves 6


Parmesan-encrusted Tilapia

4 Tilapia fillets
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. Mix butter, Panko & Parm.
cheese in a bowl. Lay Tilapia
fillets on cookie sheet & top
with Parm mixture. Bake 15-20
minutes. Serves 4


Pecan Pie Cookie Bars

2 C. flour
1/2 C. confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 C. butter, room temperature

1 1/2 C. dark corn syrup
2/3 C. dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. toasted coarsely-chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, confect. sugar &
baking powder in large bowl; whisk to
combine. Using an elec. mixer, beat in
butter to flour  mixture until it resembles
coarse crumbs. line a 9 X 13 pan with
foil that extends to edges of the pan.
Press crust mixture evenly into pan &
bake 15 minutes.

Prepare Filling:

Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl
(except pecans). Once smooth, stir in
nuts. When crust is finished baking, remove
from oven & evenly spread with filling.
Return pan to oven & bake another 30-35
minutes or until a knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool completely, then cut
into squares. Makes 24 bars



Put a pork roast in the crockpot yesterday
with a can of cranberry jelly & let it cook
until it fell off the bones. I ‘was’ going to
serve it with baked potatoes, but it was
just too tempting – put some on a hamburger
bun with BBQ sauce & cheese – YUMMM!
There’s enough for leftovers tonight with
baked potatoes – works for me!

Hope you’re having a SUNNY, BRIGHT and



Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Not much today –


It’s a rather slow day – later have to drive to the Post Office to deliver the (NOW FINISHED!) special needs group July/August newsletter. Happy it’s finally done – a week early! Been sitting here perusing various knit/crochet sites, looking at various baby & afghan patterns – copied two. I find enjoyment in just ‘looking’ – sometimes I can find a really nice SCARF pattern that can be converted into an afghan – that’s fun. Found a pattern titled: Stained Glass Ripple Afghan that looks a lot like another pattern I used to knit for the Ghana Project squares – this one is more like Feather & Fan but with a black border around the stitches:


Who knows? I might just come up with a baby afghan using various colors and WHITE (instead of black) – it’s a thought. Right now I’m about ‘baby afghaned’ out – still have the last Chevron Pattern one to do – it’s about 1/4 th finished; I’m taking that one to Log Cabin Days – that will give me LOTS of time to work on it. Been playing with a few more knit Newborn baby hats – they’re fast and give you a sense of quick accomplishment. (Not that baby blankets don’t, it’s just they take WEEKS as opposed to less than 2 hours!)

Just got word via Facebook that our gas prices are now at $4.09/9 – OUTRAGEOUS! (and I need to get gas in the next day or so – ugh)

Lots & LOTS of summer recipes to share – sometimes I think I have WAY MORE recipes than I can post in a month! Hope you find them useful:


Crab Pasta Salad

8 oz spaghetti
16 oz. imitation crabmeat, chopped
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1 C. broccoli florets
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C. sliced green onion
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. Italian salad dressing
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse in cold water. In large bowl
combine pasta, crab, peas, broccoli, pepper
& onion. In small bowl, mix together
mayonnaise, salad dressing & cheese;
pour over past mixture & toss to coat.
Cover & refrigerate 2 hours.
Serves 10


(sorry – my server won’t allow me to enlarge

the next recipe!)

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

 2 C. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained/chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chopped, drained oil-packed sun-dried
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. tightly packed fresh basil, chopped/divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine chicken, artichokes, 1 C. mozzarella,
Parmesan & tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk
& garlic powder with elec. mixer until well blended;
stir in 2 T. basil. Mix half with chicken mixture.
Spread half of remaining cream cheese mixture
onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Cover with 3 noodles &
1/3 chicken mixture; repeat layers of noodles &
chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles,
cream cheese mixture & mozzarella; cover with foil.
Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle
with remaining basil. Let stand 5 minutes before
cutting to serve.

(recipe: Facebook)


Cinnamon Roll Meltaways

1 pkg. Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
8 regular-sized marshmallows
4 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. cinnamon/sugar*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place melted butter in shallow dish.
Place cinnamon/sugar in another shallow
dish. Roll out cinnamon rolls just until they’re
evenly spread out & large enough to wrap
around a marshmallow. Wrap each roll
around one marshmallow & dip evenly
in melted butter then drop in cinnamon/
sugar dish & coat evenly. Place each coated
roll in a cupcake tin ‘hole’. Bake 12-15
minutes until puffed, firm & golden. Let
cool so that you can safely handle them.
Makes 8

Hot Spinach Jalapeno Cheese Dip

1 1/2 C. skim milk
2 T. flour
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 (8 oz) pkg. Mexican pasteurized process
cheese spread with jalapeno chilies, cut
into 1/2 inch pieces
2 (9 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen spinach in a pouch,
thawed & squeezed dry

slices baguette-style French bread or
cut-up fresh vegetables

Place 1 1/2 C. milk in large nonstick saucepan;
place over medium-high heat. In small bowl,
combine remaining 1/4 C. milk & flour; blend
with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk to
saucepan; cook about 5 minutes, stirring
constantly, until thickened. Add onion, pepper,
Worc. sauce; mix well; bring just to boil. Reduce
heat; simmer 10 minutes or until onion is
tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese until
melted. Add spinach; mix well. Cook until
thoroughly heated.
Serve with slices of French bread or cut up
fresh vegetables.

(recipe: Pillsbury)

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 C. cooked white rice
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 large green bell peppers, chopped

1 tsp. dried basil
1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 C. beef broth
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes
1 T. brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese (garnish)

In large pot, brown beef with spices;
drain. Stir in dry onion soup mix; heat
thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients
(except rice) and bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer 30-40 minutes or until
peppers are soft. Add rice & heat
through. Scoop into bowls & sprinkle
tops with mozzarella cheese (or cheese
of your choice). Makes 5 servings

(recipe: Elizabeth-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pecan Chicken Salad

(large recipe – feeds
25-30; recipe can be

1 (50 oz) can cooked chicken breast,
canned or cook 3 lb. of chicken breasts &
4 large Gala apples, cored &
3 T. lemon juice
2 C. black or red seedless grapes,
cut into fourths
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
2 (2 oz,ea) bags chopped pecans

3 C. Miracle Whip
3 T. dill weed
2 T. milk
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste

Place all cut vegetables in a large bowl
& drizzle lemon juice over (including
apples & grapes). In separate bowl,
mix Sauce ingredients together, set
To large bowl with veggies, add shredded
chicken; toss again, then add sauce. Stir &
add more salt & pepper, to taste (if it isn’t
enough). Add nuts; stir once more then
refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.*

*Poster notes she thinks it’s better if
it sets overnight

NOTE: Salad only good for up to 4 days
refrigerated; after that it begins to get

Salad can be served as is, or on bread
or in pita wraps.


Country Pork Chop Casserole

1 T. vegetable oil
2 pork chops (3/4″ thick)
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 of a 16 oz. can Veg-All mixed vegetables
1/2 of a 12 oz. can chicken broth
1/2 T. sugar
2/3 C. quick cooking rice

Brown pork chops in oil in heavy skillet.
Stir in onions & apple; cover & cook
10 minutes. Drain Veg-All, reserving
liquid. Stir in liquid, chicken broth & sugar;
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer until
pork chops are cooked, approx. 25 minutes.
Remove chops; bring liquid to boil & stir
in vegetables & rice. Remove from heat & let
stand 5 minutes.Serve pork chops over rice.
Serves 2

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Banana Split “Cake”

9 graham crackers, crushed
(about 1 1/2 C.)
1 C. sugar, divided
1/3 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in juice, drained
6 bananas, divided
2 (3.4 oz,ea) pkgs vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 C. chopped pecans

Mix graham crumbs, 1/4 C. sugar &
butter; press into bottom of 9 X 13
pan. Freeze 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese & remaining
sugar with elec. mixer until blended;
spread carefully over frozen crust &
top with pineapple. Slice 4 bananas
& arrange over pineapple. Beat
pudding mixes with milk; whisk 2
minutes. Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip;
spread over banana layer in pan &
top with remaining Cool Whip.
Refrigerate 5 hours. Slice remaining
bananas just before serving &
arrange on top of desert then top
with chopped nuts. Serves 24

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Vegetable Pizza appetizer

2 pkgs. (refrigerated) crescent rolls
1 (4 oz) pkg. French Onion dip
1 (4 oz)  pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch salad
dressing mix
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 C. fresh broccoli florets
2 c. cauliflower florets
1 C. carrots, shredded
1 C. green olives, sliced
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven accordg to pkg. directions
for crescent rolls. Place rolls in a greased
jelly roll pan; press together perforations
to form a crust. Bake per directions on pkg.
Mix French onion dip, cream cheese, Ranch
dressing mix & mayonnaise together. Remove
crust from oven & cool completely. Spread
Fr. onion mixture on cooled crust. Sprinkle
cut vegetables on cream cheese mixture &
sprinkle with cheese. Refrigerate & cut when
ready to serve (cut into 16 squares)


Grandma’s Potato Salad

5 lb. red potatoes
6 hard-boiled eggs
2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
3/4 C. whipping cream
2 T. yellow mustard
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. vinegar

Peel & dice potatoes; place in large
stock pot. Cover with water & bring
to rapid boil. Turn heat down to
medium & boil 5-7 minutes or until
potatoes are tender. Drain & let cool.
In medium mixing bowl, whisk whipping
cream for 1 minute; stir in Miracle Whip,
mustard, sugar, salt, pepper & vinegar;
mix until combined. Pour mixture over
cooled potatoes. Peel & dice 3 hard-
boiled eggs & add to potatoes; mix
until combined. Peel last 3 eggs & slice,
place on top of salad as a garnish.
Refrigerate until thoroughly cooled.


Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 box stuffing mix for pork (prepared
accordg to pkg.)
1 (16 oz) pkg. mild pork sausage, browned
1 GIANT, 2 large or 4 medium zucchini
mozzarella cheese

Slice whole zucchini length-wise, in half.
Scoop out insides and place in a bowl,
leaving a border of inside flesh (you can
use a teaspoon). Roughly chop insides &
add to browned sausage along with
your cooked stuffing. (You can also slice a
thin slice off the bottom of the ‘boats’ so
that they lay flat in crockpot). Stuff
zucchini boats with mixture & place in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 3-4 hours. (Do not add any liquid
to these, zucchini has a very high liquid
content). When fully cooked, remove
from crockpot (posted used tongs & a
slotted spoon). Place stuffed zucchini on
a baking tray & sprinkle tops with cheese.
Place under broiler for a few minutes to
brown the tops & melt the cheese.


Farmers Market Corn Toss

1 T. olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 ears corn on cob/kernels removed
1 large zucchini,(or 2 small) sliced
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat.
Add onions & peppers; cook & stir
3 minutes. Stir in corn & zucchini; cook
& stir 5 minutes or until all vegetables
are crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Stir
in parsley, black pepper & 2 T. cheese.
Top with remaining cheese.
Serves 6 (2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Well, it’s lightly raining out and sort of ‘grey’ –
I just keep telling myself: “Ya need the water
to help the plants & flowers!” (sigh – still
doesn’t make me CHEERY!) I guess cheery
is a state of mind – right?

Hope you’re having a great day (even IF
it’s raining!) Hey – DUCKS like it!!!




Up and At ‘Em Monday!



Here we are at the start of another week – what to do? That was the first thought in my head as I awoke this morning. I knew there were several things I was supposed to get done – but now, remembering them? That’s another story! I keep little bits of paper all over the house for exactly those moments; you know – when you’re printing something on the computer and something goes wrong (ie: you end up printing the ENTIRE batch of pages when you only wanted to print ONE recipe? Those times!) I cut the paper up into note-sized bits then use them for recipes, notes, etc. Well, first thing today is the finishing, printing and (hopefully in the next day or so) mailing of my special needs group’s next July/August newsletter. It was pretty much done, composing-wise – just had to finish writing another article and proof-reading it. That’s done and now I’m working on the printing of 50+ copies (just finishes stapling #24 – this particular issue has an extra Memorial page for the student I believe I mentioned in another post. She passed away about a week ago from uterine cancer – lovely girl, but restricted to a wheelchair – now she’s FREE!

Am aiming at getting my list together of things to take for Log Cabin Days: sign for the group with photos of our various charity projects, table covers, business cards, MY KNITTING, camera, extra folding chairs, bottled water (for me) – I’m sure there will be a few more items to add as the day gets closer (it’s THIS Sat/Sunday). On the ‘table cover’ note: went to a small county rummage sale yesterday (got there late) but was able to snag a single-bed sized quilt – to me it looks like Christmas colors (cranberry reds & dark forest greens) but it will make a nice picnic table cover for the days ahead. (something tells me I’ve already blogged about this – sigh – call it a ‘Senior Moment’ . . .)


Healthy Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.In large bowl,
combine flour, baking soda and salt. In 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)

Stewed Tomatoes w/Butter Toasted Croutons

3 C. cored/peeled/roughly chopped fresh
ripe tomatoes (about 2 lb)
2 T. unsalted butter
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, chopped

2-3 slices crusty French or Italian bread, cut
into 3/4″ cubes
1 T. butter
garlic salt

Place tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt & pepper
into a small saucepan; heat to simmer then
reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer 20-30
minutes until tomatoes are cooked, soft & flavors
have blended. Add chopped basil & more butter,
sugar, salt & pepper if needed for balance.

Melt 1 T. butter in small frying pan on medium
heat; add bread cubes & arrange in single layer
in pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that
bread dries out & gets slightly toasted; turn over
to toast other side. Cook about 10 minutes or until
croutons are crunchy/dry and slightly toasted.
Sprinkle with garlic salt & remove from heat.
Serve tomatoes with a few croutons on top of
each individual serving. Serves 3

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Lemonade!

2 C. sugar
4 C. water
2 C. lemon juice
12 C. cold water

Combine first 2 ingredients in a
crockpot. Heat on High 1-2 hours;
stir to dissolve sugar completely. Add
lemon juice to crockpot & turn off
heat. Add remaining water & chill.
Serve cold.


Honey Dijon Chicken

4 chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. chicken broth, divided
1 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. thyme
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Cut each chicken breast in half and place
in gallon-sized zip lock bag. Pound with
meat mallet until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
Cut each piece of flattened chicken in
half (should have about 16 (2-3″) pieces.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat. Add 2 T. butter & 1 T. oil; allow to
heat through. Sprinkle salt & pepper over
chicken pieces & carefully place them into
hot pan. Cook about 9 pieces at a time.
Don’t overcrowd. Cook 3-4 minutes on each
side or until golden brown and inside is
no longer pink. When chicken is cooked,
pour 1/4 C. chicken broth into pan, cover with
lid & let chicken simmer about 2 minutes.
Remove chicken to separate plate; cover with
foil. Cook remaining chicken following above
instructions. When all chicken is cooked &
covered with foil, prepare sauce. Add garlic
to pan & allow to cook 1 minute (leave any
chicken broth in the pan). Add 1 C. broth,
1 C. Half & Half, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 1/2
tsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. parsley,
pinch red pepper flakes, & dash of salt &
pepper; mix well. Simmer, over medium-high
heat 3-4 minutes; this will start to thicken;
taste & add more salt/pepper as needed.
Remove pan from heat; cover & let set
2 minutes. Place cooked chicken on a platter
& drizzle sauce over top. Serves 6-7


Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

1  lb. lean ground turkey ( or ground beef )
1 pkt. taco seasoning
3/4  C. water
1  (16 oz) can  tomatoes ( diced )
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans ( drained & rinsed )
2 C tortilla chips, light ( or broken taco shells )
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
4  green onion
1  bell peppers ( red, diced )
1 C.  green leaf lettuce ( chopped )

Cook meat in skillet until browned; drain.
Add taco seasoning & water; cook & stir
until sauce thickens. Add diced tomatoes &
bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer
about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add
pinto beans; cook, uncovered, 5-10 minutes
longer or until liquid from tomatoes is
reduced. In ungreased 2 qt. casserole dish,
place broken tortilla chips or taco shells; top
with meat mixture, sprinkle with cheese &
microwave about 3 minutes to melt cheese.
Top with lettuce, green onions & red bell pepper.
Serve warm.


Broccoli, Ham & Dijon Au Gratin

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 large bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut
into florets*
2 T. Dijon mustard, whole grain
1 1/2 C. Cheddar/Colby cheese blend,
shredded (with 1/2 C. set aside)
1/4 lb. ham or Canadian bacon, cut into
small cubes
salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour cream into saucepan & heat over
medium-low heat. Bring to low simmer &
allow to reduce by about half. Be careful
to watch; do not let it boil over.
Bring some salt water to boil in a soup pot.
Add broccoli to soup pot; simmer 3 minutes.
Strain & immediately plunge into ice water.
Leave broccoli in ice water until chilled
thoroughly. (this will help brocc. stay green).
Once chilled, remove & let drain & dry.
*(You can also use frozen broccoli & add to
the recipe at this point)
Whisk Dijon mustard into cream. In a bowl,
add 1 C. grated cheese; add diced ham & mix.
Whisk cheese & ham mixture into cream until
completely melted & sauce had been made.
Add cooled dry broccoli to sauce; stir until
broccoli is coated; pour mixture into a pie
pan or baking pan. Bake about 15-20
minutes, until top is browned.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises

1 box brownie mix (plus eggs & oil required on box)
1 pkg. mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line mini-muffin tins with paper liners. Mix brownies
accordg. to pkg. directions. Fill each mini-muffin cup
about 3/4ths full. Press one peanut butter cup into
each brownie. Bake 8-10 minutes.

NOTE: Can be made with regular sized muffin tins,
also. Just adjust cooking time to around 15-18


Our weather has been rather pleasant lately – in the mid 70’s
which is just to my liking. According to our weather report,
it’s supposed to have a high of 79 degrees with scattered
thundershowers, some severe – 50% possibility of rain. Oh well,
that will save me ‘attempting’ to remember to water my two
outdoor flower pots – right?

Hope you are enjoying a GREAT summer and remember
to have a good day – relax, recline, read a book/drink a
nice refreshing beverage of your choice (or just eat some
chocolate – works for me!)




Saturday Smatterings


Sorry-couldn’t resist – thought this was cute (although a bit CRAZY!)

It’s Saturday – the WEEKEND! YAY! Finally – been waiting for this day for 6 days now – finally a day to MYSELF; to catch up on stuff AND relax a bit. Woke up (for no good reason) at 6:30 a.m. (Waaaaay early for me) and decided to finish knitting the baby hat I started yesterday. Didn’t want to wake my husband, so ended up knitting another one, just because. Started the laundry and remembered I was going to defrost the BIG upright freezer in the basement, so I started that. Every other time I’ve done this I’ve emptied the freezer and put big steaming pots of hot water in (with freezer OFF), shut the door and let the steam do it’s work. This time (for no good reason other than I didn’t feel like carrying lots of steaming pots of water up & down the basement steps) I just shut it off, left the door open and went upstairs. About 2 hours later I went to check and was VERY amazed! Almost all the big chunks of ice had melted (we have a floor drain – don’t panic!). I’m going to give it about another 1 1/2 hours and go check again – this is, by far, a MUCH better plan than my old one! All I have to do then is just wash it down with some soapy water, rinse, dry and turn it back on. I’m going to wait about an hour before putting the food stuffs back in. Job done – the EASY way (this time!).

Next up on today’s agenda is getting out my summer clothes and moving the winter box into the summer clothes space. Been grabbing a few tops out of the box but it’s situated under a table and rather hard to get at; I’m guessing that our weather will soon heat up to where I’ll be needing my shorts and light-weight slacks.

Last night was my Special Needs group’s last gym night until Fall. We had a good time; I spent time helping 2 different people with jigsaw puzzles. Since our ‘kids’ are all different skill/mental levels, some like to play basketball, some floor hockey and some just like to do puzzles or color. Gym nights give us, as leaders, a chance to do more ‘one-on-one’ with them. Not all of our group comes on Gym Nights, so it’s a smaller group, also. I’m guessing we probably had 23? or so last night. All of us enjoyed ice cream sundaes with lots of extra toppings (I was doing most of the dishing out so I was lucky to get my ‘favorite’: melty ice cream – I waited until last!)

I’m sure I mentioned our rather unseasonal weather; last night it was chilly AND rainy! Got in the car to go to church and it was 60 degrees; on the drive home it dropped to 50 VERY cold degrees, with lots of rain (and I was not thinking and didn’t bring a sweater or jacket – Brrrrrrr!)


Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil

2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. miniature semisweet chocolate
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 1/4 C. hot water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 2 qt. casserole dish, combine flour,
sugar, cocoa & baking powder. Add
milk, oil & vanilla; stir until well
mixed & pour into dish. In small bowl,
combine brown sugar, cocoa & chocolate
chips; sprinkle over cake batter – DO NOT
stir. Pour hot water over top and bake
30-35 minutes or until top looks cooked.
Serve warm (with ice cream, if desired)

Pizza Stuffed Shells

15-18 jumbo pasta shells
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tsp. oregano
4 oz. sliced pepperoni, chopped
& divided
1 green pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 C. pizza sauce
2 C. mozzarella cheese,
shredded & divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells al dente accordg to
pkg. directions; drain & set aside
to cool. In medium pan, brown
ground beef, onion & garlic until
no pink remains; drain any fats.
Add 3/4 of pepperoni & cook 3
minutes. Add green pepper,
oregano & tomato; cook 3 minutes
or until green pepper is slightly
softened. Remove from heat &
stir in 1/2 C. mozzarella. Fill each
shell with pepperoni mixture
(approx. 1 1/2 T. in each); place
in a greased baking dish. Top
stuffed shells with pizza sauce;
cover with foil & bake 20-25
minutes or until heated through.
Remove foil; add remaining cheese
& remaining pepperoni. Return
to oven until cheese is melted &


Pan-fried Tomatoes

1 1/2 lb. firm fresh tomatoes
1/2 C. unseasoned dry bread
1 T. green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder*
1/4 C. milk
2 T. olive oil, divided

Core tomatoes & cut into
1/2″ thick slices. In a shallow dish
or pie plate combine bread crumbs,
green onion, salt & chili powder. In
shallow bowl place milk. Dip tomato
slices in milk then coat both sides with
bread crumb mixture, shaking off
excess. In large nonstick skillet heat
1 T. olive oil until hot. Add tomato
slices, a few at a time, cook over medium
heat until golden, 2-4 minutes on each
side. Add remaining 1 T. olive oil half-way
through cooking of all tomatoes.

*Variations: Omit chili powder, add 1 T.
grated Parmesan cheese & 1 tsp. Italian
seasoning OR 1/2 tsp. curry powder & 1
tsp. cumin OR 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve tomatoes as an accompaniment to
meat, fish, poultry or over arugula drizzled
with balsamic vinaigrette or on toasted
Italian bread slices

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Tortellini Tomato-Spinach Soup

1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. minced onion (about 1/2
small onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
4-6 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14 oz) pkg. fresh tortellini or 1
(9 oz) pkg. dried tortellini
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
10 oz. fresh spinach or 10 oz frozen
spinach, defrosted & chopped
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-
high heat. Saute onion & garlic, stirring
often until translucent, about 5-7
minutes. Add broth & tomatoes; turn
heat to High & bring to boil. Add
tortellini & cook accordg. to pkg.
directions. When tortellini is almost
done, add spinach & adjust seasonings
to taste (salt & pepper). Garnish each
serving with a sprinkling of Parmesan
cheese; serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Lemon Butter Rice

4 T. butter
1 1/4 C. long grain rice (or jasmine)
3 C. hot water
4 tsp. chicken bullion granules
2 T. lemon juice (bottled*)
3/4 tsp. salt

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat. Add 4 T. butter & melt. Pour
rice into butter; saute 4-5 minutes until
rice is slightly golden brown. Dissolve
bullion granules into hot water & pour
into skillet. Add lemon juice & salt;
stir. Bring to simmer, cover & cook on
medium-low heat 20-25 minutes. Stir
& taste for flavor & to make sure rice
is thoroughly cooked. (if rice is still
crunchy, cook a bit longer). Fluff with
fork & serve. Makes 2 1/2 C. cooked.

*Note from poster: bottled lemon
juice works best; fresh lemon juice
has a tendency to turn bitter if left
to simmer too long


Grilled Shrimp Tacos

1 large avocado, pitted/peeled, diced
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1/2 C. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. peeled/deveined large shrimp
(31/40) with tail, thawed if frozen
1 T. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
8 white corn tortillas (6″) warmed

Spray cold grate of gas grill with grilling
spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Toss
together avocado, drained tomatoes,
corn, onion & salt in medium bowl; set
aside. Remove tails from shrimp; toss with
oil & chili powder in large bowl. Thread shrimp
evenly onto metal skewers; grill 2-3 minutes
on each side or just until shrimp turn pink.
Divide shrimp evenly between tortillas &
top each with about 1/4 C. avocado mixture.
Serve immediately. Serves 4, 2 tacos each

Note: wooden skewers may be used; soak
them in water for at least 30 minutes before


All-Day Pineapple Chicken

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
2 large cans chunked pineapple
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
2 C. fresh or frozen sugar snap peas
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
salt, soy sauce & sesame seeds,
to taste

Cooked white rice, for serving

Combine all ingredients (except peas)
in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 8-10
hours. Add sugar snap peas during last
1 hour of cooking. Serve over cooked
rice. Serves 8


Individual Chicken Pot Pies

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
1/2 chicken broth
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl, mix Bisquick, milk & eggs.
Grease muffin cups or use muffin
liners. Mix together chicken, onion,
chicken broth, vegetables & seasonings.
Add 1 C. cheese; mix well. Place a little
less than 1 T. batter into each muffin tin.
Place about 1/4 C. filling in each tin, then
top with 1 T. batter. Bake 25-30 minutes
then remove to wire rack to cool. 

(recipe: Sandy-Mary's Recipe Exchange)
Cornbread-Topped Beef Casserole

6 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/3 C. chopped stuffed green olives
1/4 C. raisins
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet until
crisp; drain. Brown ground beef with
onions & peppers in same skillet. Remove
from heat; stir in bacon, tomato sauce,
olives & raisins. Spoon into greased 9 X 13
baking dish. Prepare muffin batter as
directed on pkg; stir in cheese and spread
over meat mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center of cornbread
comes out clean. Serve topped with sour
cream. Makes 10 (1 C.) servings
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Glazed Beets

1 (16 oz) can sliced or diced beets
2 T. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 T. white vinegar
2 T. butter

Drain beets, reserving 1/3 C. juice. In
saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch &
salt; stir in beet juice & vinegar. Cook &
stir over medium-high heat until
thickened & bubbly. Cook & stir 2
minutes longer. Add beets & butter;
heat through. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Grandma’s Lemon/Raspberry
Sherbet Dessert

1 1/2 C. crushed Ritz crackers
4 T. sugar
7 T. butter, melted
2 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 qt. raspberry sherbet, softened
9 T. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
6 T. lemon juice
3 eggs, beaten

In medium bowl, mix together cracker
crumbs, sugar & butter; press into
bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Freeze in
freezer until frozen.
In large bowl, mix ice cream & sherbet
until well combined; spread over frozen
crust & freeze 2 hours.
Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar &
lemon juice; mix until combined. Beat
eggs in medium bowl; add a small
amount of lemon mixture to eggs &
stir until combined. Gradually add egg
mixture to hot filling. Heat this mixture
over low heat, stirring continually &
cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
(DO NOT cook at higher temperature,
as this may cause the eggs to curdle).
Cool completely, then spread over
ice cream mixture; return to freezer
until ready to serve. Makes 15



The good thing about defrosting the freezer is:
you can SEE the stuff you have in it! For example, didn’t really have a ‘plan’ for dinner tonight until I spotted the Shrimp Scampi I’d purchased & froze. Bingo! Dinner!!! YAY! (It comes in frozen pouches
with shrimp, veggies and corkscrew pasta, plus a
sauce – yummy stuff!)Well, friends – time for me to get off here and start moving clothing boxes!

Enjoy your day!


Great Day!


Lunch with my friends on my birthday!

Yesterday turned out to be a GREAT day all around; first went to lunch with the two ladies above – we’ve all been friends since high school. (Lunch: Culver’s – all of us chose Grilled Chicken/bacon blue cheese/cranberry salads – really tasty stuff! There were also ‘interesting’ presents: $3 off any purchase at CVS, free car wash at my dealership, free ice cream sundae at Culvers (I decided I really didn’t need it – AND they didn’t have my favorite ice cream: I’d gone on line to see their menu before going to the restaurant and the SITE said that the ‘flavor of the day’ was Butter Pecan! Got there and it was something like Cookie Dough – YUCK!). Tried to talk my two friends into getting the free sundae and eating it FOR ME, but they both declined.  Last night was my Special Needs group and they somehow found out it was my birthday, also. Last night was our monthly Music/Birthday night, so I got included in the photos & Happy Birthday song. Also received some nice gifts – some are still ‘coming’ . . . keeps me curious!

Today was coffee with two ‘other’ friends – nice conversation – we went to Panera and ended up chatting for almost TWO HOURS! Next I stopped at Michael’s Crafts to see if I could find another project for grandson to do; he likes craft stuff AND it helps keep him occupied. I ended up getting a small loom for making, of all things, potholders! You remember THOSE: you get all these cloth loops and you string them back & forth to make a potholder! The kit came with enough to make three: one for his Mom, one for his other Grandmother and one for his Great Grandmother! I see it as a Win/Win situation! His eighth birthday is coming up soon; also found a nylon BIG frisbee-type thingie; it’s a good 3 feet in circumference; ought to keep him busy at his house! His actual party at his Dad’s house is the second day of Log Cabin Days, so we’ll be coming at the tail end of his party but that’s OK. He’ll have his ‘buddies’ to play with, so having Grandma & Grandpa come is not a really big deal.

Tomorrow night is our last Gym Night for the Special Needs group until Fall; this time we’re going to have an Ice Cream Sundae party (along with a short devotion). I know they’ll LOVE the treat – complete with all kinds of toppings.


Grilled Pork & Pineapple

4 3/4 inch thick boneless top loin
pork chops
ground black pepper
1 peeled & cored fresh pineapple
3 T. orange marmalade
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. roasted lightly salted
cashew halves, coarsely chopped

Sprinkle pork lightly with salt & pepper.
Cut pineapple into 1/2 inch thick slices;
set aside.
Charcoal grill:
Place chops on rack of uncovered grill
over medium coals for 4 minutes. Turn;
add pineapple. Brush chops & pineapple
with 2 T. marmalade; grill 3-5 minutes
more or until instant-read thermometer
reads 160 degrees F. when inserted into
chops. Turn pineapple halfway through
grilling. Combine yogurt & remaining
marmalade; arrange pineapple & chops
on plates & top with yogurt mixture;
sprinkle with nuts. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Cranberry Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (4 oz ea)
1 T. olive oil
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
1 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. water
1 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 C. hot, cooked couscous (or rice)
1/4 C. slivered toasted almonds

In large skillet saute chicken in oil
until browned on both sides. In small
bowl, combine salsa, cranberries, water,
honey, garlic, cinnamon & cumin; mix
well & pour over chicken. Cover & cook
over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes or
until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees
F. Serve with couscous or rice; sprinkle with
almonds before serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

S’Mores Cups

7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
4 bars milk chocolate candy
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350.
Place graham crackers into a large
resealable plastic bag. Finely crush
into crumbs. Combine graham cracker
crumbs, powdered sugar and butter
in small bowl. Mix well with fork.
Place small scoop of crumb mixture
in each cup of a mini-muffin pan.
Press crumbs to form shallow cups.
Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling
While crust is in oven, break two candy bars
into rectangles. Remove pan from oven;
place one rectangle into each cup.
Cut marshmallows in half crosswise
using shears dipped in cold water. Place
one marshmallow half, cut-side down,
into each cup. Return to oven 1-2
minutes or until marshmallows are just
slightly softened. Remove from oven;
cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups
from pan. Cool completely. Break
remaining candy bars and place in (1-cup)
prep bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute-1 1/2
minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring
every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each
marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn
top-side up and let stand 40 minutes-1 hour
or until set. Yield: 24 cups
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

(recipe: Facebook)

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

    1-1/2 cups butter, softened


    2 cups light brown sugar, packed


    1 cup granulated sugar


    5 large eggs


    3 cups all-purpose flour


    1 teaspoon baking powder


    1/2 teaspoon salt


    1 cup whole milk


    1 (8 oz) bag of toffee bits


    1 cup pecans, chopped


    1 recipe CARAMEL DRIZZLE (see below)


    Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
    Spray a 12 C. Bundt pan with nonstick spray;
    set aside. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars,
    beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time,
    beating well after each addition. In medium
    bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt.
    Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture
    in thirds, alternately with milk,beginning &
    ending with flour mixture; beat until just
    combined. Stir in toffee bits & pecans. Spoon
    batter into pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick
    inserted near center comes out clean, 75 – 85
    minutes. Let cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove
    from pan, let cool completely on wire rack.
    Spoon caramel drizzle over cooled cake.

    NOTE: Do not freak if some of the cake sticks
    to the pan, you can cover up any mistakes with
    the caramel drizzle.

    Easy Caramel Drizzle Sauce

    1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 C. brown sugar, packed
    2 T. butter
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    In medium saucepan, combine condensed milk & brown
    sugar; bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking
    constantly. Reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes, whisking
    constantly. Remove from heat; whisk in butter & vanilla.

    NOTE: Make sure you drizzle caramel while it’s still HOT.
    When cooled, the caramel does somewhat harden

    (recipe: Taste of the South’s Southern Cakes Mag/
    via Pinterest)

    Easy Chalupas

    12 flat, crispy corn tortillas*
    1 (15 oz) can refried beans
    1 (12 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
    1 C. chopped lettuce
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped

    Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
    Separate tortillas, spread refried beans
    evenly over each tortilla; sprinkle cheese
    on top & place on baking sheets. Heat
    just until cheese melts. Remove from oven
    & top with lettuce, tomato, onion & salsa.
    Serve immediately. Serves 8

    *If you cannot find crispy corn tortillas, buy
    soft ones & fry in hot oil until crispy. Drain
    thoroughly, and continue with recipe above.

    (recipe: Rhonda-Marys Recipe Exchange)

    Avocado/Tomato Salad with
    Confetti Vinaigrette

    1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1/2 C. finly chopped fresh cilantro or
    1/2 C. virgin olive oil
    1/4 C. fresh lime juice
    2 small jalapenos, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1 T. granulated chicken bouillon
    4 medium tomatoes sliced or cut
    into wedges
    2 medium ripe avocados

    Combine pepper, onion, cilantro, olive
    oil, lime juice, jalapenos, garlic & bouillon
    in medium bowl; stir well. Refrigerate
    30 minutes.
    Peel & slice avocado; arrange avocado &
    tomato slices on a platter, alternating on
    top of each other. Drizzle with prepared
    dressing. Serves 4

    NOTE: Poster said dressing is also good on
    sauteed, roasted or grilled meat or seafood.
    Also good as a dipping sauce for bread

    (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
    Baked Corn Dogs

    1 C. flour
    1 C. yellow cornmeal
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    6 T. butter, melted
    1/2 C. milk
    1/4 C. honey
    8 hot dogs
    8 wooden sticks (skewers)
    mustard & ketchup

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment
    paper; set aside. In a bowl, mix flour,
    cornmeal, baking powder & salt until
    combined. In separate bowl, mix melted
    butter, milk & honey until combined.
    Slow add wet mixture to dry mixture;
    mix with a wooden spoon. Knead dough
    2 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll
    dough to 1/4″ thickness. Insert sticks into
    hot dogs & place one on dough & cut a
    rectangle around it. Wrap corn dog with
    dough & pinch together at top & bottom.
    Place on cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
    Finish wrapping remaining hot dogs.
    Bake 15-20 minutes or until they start
    to brown. Serve immediately with
    ketchup & mustard. Serves 8


    Chilled Red Pepper Soup

    1 jar sweet roasted red peppers
    1 C. chicken or vegetable stock
    1 1/2 C. water
    1 T. olive oil
    2 tsp. garlic powder
    2 tsp. onion powder
    2 tsp. honey
    2 T. lemon juice
    1 t. dried parsley
    1 T. dried basil

    Pour all ingredients into a blender;
    puree on medium speed 1 minute.
    Transfer to a medium pot & heat over
    medium-high heat until it lightly
    simmers, 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally
    to keep from sticking to bottom of pan.
    Remove pot from heat; place a strainer
    on top a medium bowl & pour soup
    through strainer to remove all large
    particles. Chill soup 30 minutes. Serve
    in chilled glass bowls or small glass



    Our weather has been a bit different these
    past few days; woke up in the middle of the
    night to a HUGE thunder/lightening storm-
    lots of booms & flashing – went right back
    to sleep. In the morning I said to my husband
    something about how big the storm was; he
    replied: “Yes, I know! I kept talking to you
    about it and you just kept sleeping!” Apparently
    it lasted, on & off, all night! It’s been muggy;
    today is overcast and 76 degrees. We’re supposed
    to have our air conditioning guy come out either
    tonight or tomorrow to look at our unit. Last
    winter we had a huge (about 150 lb) slab of ice
    come off the roof and take out our back gutters
    as well as dent the air conditioner. We didn’t think
    it did any real damage to the AC until we tried to
    use it: the motor would come on, but the fan blade
    wouldn’t turn. Husband took a real close look and
    discovered the outside cover had been dented just
    enough to touch the fan blade, causing it not to
    rotate – great . . . The one GOOD thing is: the AC
    guy is husband’s cousin!

    How’s your GAS PRICES lately? I was sort of forced to
    get gas today (told you in an earlier post I would be
    driving a LOT this week!). Plain old REGULAR gas is
    now $3.96/9 a gallon! Outrageous! (doesn’t mean
    I can get by without it, but it sure frosts my pumpkin
    to pay those prices!) And I (mistakenly) thought that
    prices would lower a bit once summer started – silly

    Went grocery shopping today and got a great buy
    on some steaks, so dinner will be steak & eggs!
    LOVE those kind of dinners!

    Am going to close for now and go knit a bit; dragged
    out the baby hat yarns again and have been trying to
    ‘catch up’ my Newborn knit hats so that they’re the
    same number as the Premies: 45 (I have quite a few
    to go). NO, I don’t HAVE to do this, but I’m a TYPE A
    personality with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder):
    that just means that I need to have things come out
    even (or with pictures on the walls – they MUST be
    straight or it drives me NUTS!) so when it comes to
    my donating the baby hats to the hospital, I try to
    give them an even number of both Premie & Newborn
    hats (since they go to two separate departments in
    the hospital) Make any sense, NOW?
    On that note, I’ll close!




    Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm  Comments (1)  

    Busy Week!


    Looking at my calendar for the week – looks like I’ll be traveling A LOT! Today found me riding along with my friend and leader of our special needs group; we went to pay our respects to the family of one of our ‘kids’. This ‘young lady’ was in her 40’s, severely handicapped in a wheelchair and had been going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer; she had suffered about eight months. She was well loved and you could tell – she has a lovely family; it’s SO good to know that, even though she lived in a group home, she was WELL loved and taken care of – she will be missed.

    Tomorrow I’ve decided to ‘brave it’ and get my driver’s license renewed. Normally that would not be a big thing, except it’s probably been about 7 years since I’ve had to do that and I’m pretty much expecting a WRITTEN TEST this time. (my driving record is clean – (no points) or accidents in I can’t remember when – hope I’m not jinxing myself here . . . just sayin’). I just spent time thoroughly going over the on-line booklet from our Secretary of State: “What Every Driver Should Know”, took a practice test (got 100%), so hopefully I’m ‘good to go’ (I’ll let ya know tomorrow!). Last time I remember taking one of those I missed one question – it was something about driving a truck in the mountains. Let me tell you: We DO NOT HAVE MOUNTAINS IN MICHIGAN! I know NOTHING about driving in the mountains! The lovely lady who gave me the test said: “If you were to guess – what do you think is the right answer?” I gave her my thoughts and she agreed. (note: husband says you only have to get a 70% to pass – we’ll see!). I’ve been driving since I was 17, so that’s about 47 years now; had 4 accidents in my life – three of which were caused by other people, one was an unavoidable during a freak snowstorm and I couldn’t stop. The policeman said No ticket, but I did have to report it to the insurance company – no points. (In fact, ONE of those accidents was really freaky: I was slowly approaching a red light on a 2 way road when I looked out my left side to see a car driving VERY slowly out of a party store parking lot – he drove straight into my left side! There was no where I could go – turns out he was VERY drunk, all information he gave me was false and he drove away before the cops came! Wonderful . . . .    Anyway, tomorrow’s the ‘big day’ – I’ve been avoiding it for awhile now, but Wednesday is my birthday, so I HAVE to get this done or not be able to drive! I’m curious to see how many years this next license will be for. On the renewal note, had to look up another thing that’s been bothering me: I currently have the red organ donor ‘heart’ on my license – I’ve heard (from others) that I will no longer be able to do that, being a cancer survivor. I went on line to our Secretary of State and found out that they can still use my organs IF I’ve never had a blood-born cancer – amazing! I only had radiation, and the cancer was NOT in my lymph nodes, so looks like I can still do that! I have a friend who, in his early-40’s suddenly needed a heart transplant – believe me, organ donations became front and center and made me a BIG supporter of that. You just never know who or when someone will need them after you die. My thought is: It’s my LAST gift to those who are still here – USE THEM; certainly I will not need them any more!

    The craziness continues Wednesday; lunch with three of my lady friends from church, then special needs group that night. Thursday is another lunch with two other friends, Friday is my grandson all day. Looks like Saturday (so far) will be my ONLY free day – we’ll see. Looking at gas prices in our area, not so good on all the traveling. Today, Weds and Thurs will be great gas-guzzlers – not close trips, any of them. Oh well, if ya want to par-tay, guess ya have to pay the (gas) price, right? (We’re looking at almost $3.90/9 for regular) – could be higher, I didn’t look today (still at half tank).


    Cheesy Sausage Pigs in a Blanket

    1 oz. pkg. crescent rolls
    8 sausage links
    4 slices cheese

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Brown sausages accordg. to pkg.
    directions. Unroll crescent rolls &
    divide into triangles. Cut each piece
    of cheese at a diagonal into two
    pieces to fit the crescent roll shape;
    place on roll & top with a sausage link.
    Roll sausage link up in crescent roll &
    place on baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes
    or until browned. Makes 8


    Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

    1 box chocolate cake mix
    1 small box instant chocolate pudding
    1 1/2 C. milk
    1 1/2 C. chocolate chips

    Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
    Prepare pudding accordg. to pkg.
    directions; add dry cake mix & stir
    well to combine (batter will be
    thick). Smooth batter into greased
    8″ pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on
    top & bake 30 minutes or until
    edges pull away from sides of pan.

    (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe
    Baked Chicken Salad

    2 C. chicken, cooked & diced
    1 1/2 C. celery, diced
    1/2 C. blanched almonds
    4 C. potato chips
    1/2 C. mayonnaise
    1 lemon slice, peeled
    1 C. cheddar cheese cubes

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. Place
    chicken & celery into dish. In a blender
    chop nuts & add chicken. Put 2 C.
    potato chips in blender, cover &
    process 4 seconds; stir. Empty onto
    waxed paper & set aside. Repeat with
    remaining chips. Place remaining
    ingredients into container, cover &
    process until smooth; add to chicken &
    mix well. Sprinkle potato chip crumbs
    over top & bake 30 minutes.

    (recipe: Dorie-Marys Recipe Exchange)
    Picnic Fruit Salad

    1 (32 oz) can pineapple tidbits, NOT
    6 oz. frozen orange juice
    3 1/2 oz. box instant lemon pudding mix
    3 bananas, sliced
    1 (32 oz) can diced pears, drained
    1 (32 oz) can diced peaches, drained
    1 (16 oz) can mandarin orange segments,

    Strain pineapple juice from can into a bowl.
    Add orange juice to bowl; mix well. Add
    instant pudding & dissolve well. Gently
    fold in all fruits. Refrigerate 24 hours
    before serving.

    (recipe: Dorie – Marys Recipe Exchange)

    Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi

    8 oz. linguini or other pasta
    1/4 C. olive oil
    1/4 C. butter
    1 lb. large shrimp, peeled/deveined
    1 pkg. McCormic Garlic Butter Shrimp
    Scampi seasoning mix
    1 T. lemon juice

    (grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish,
    if desired)

    Cook pasta accordg. to pkg directions;
    drain well. Heat oil & butter in large
    skillet over medium heat until butter
    is melted. Add shrimp & seasoning
    mix; cook & stir 3-4 minutes or just
    until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lemon
    juice. Toss with cooked pasta to coat
    well. Serve with grated Parmesan,
    if desired. Serves 4


    Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizers

    1 C. sour cream
    1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
    1 (4 oz) can chopped black olives, drained
    1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
    1/2 C. chopped green onions
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp seasoned salt
    8 (10 inch) flour tortillas

    Mix all filling ingredients together
    (except tortillas). Divide filling &
    spread evenly over tortillas; roll
    them up. Wrap each rolled tortilla
    in plastic wrap, twisting ends.
    Refrigerate several hours or over-
    night. Unwrap; cut into slices. Lay
    pinwheels flat on serving plate.


    Bacon-cheeseburger Casserole

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 onion, chopped
    1/3 C. ketchup
    2 T. yellow mustard
    1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
    4 C. (1/2 of 32 oz pkg) frozen
    bite-sized seasoned potato nuggets

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
    Brown meat with onions in skillet;
    drain grease. Stir in ketchup & mustard.
    Spoon mixture into a 9″ square baking
    dish sprayed with nonstick spray; top
    with remaining ingredients. Bake 30-
    35 minutes or until casserole is heated
    through and potato nuggets are golden
    brown. Serves 8, 1 C. each

    NOTE: you can also add 1 chopped
    tomato to cooked meat with ketchup
    & mustard

    (recipe: Kraft recipes)

    Easy Chickekn ‘n Dumplings

    2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
    cooked & shredded
    6 T. butter
    3/4 C. flour
    1 C. vegetable stock
    5 C. chicken stock
    1 C. water mixed with 1 T. cornstarch
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1/2 tsp. onion powder
    3/4 tsp. ground sage
    1 tsp. dried parsley
    1 tsp. pepper
    2 1/2 tsp. salt
    1 C. frozen peas
    1 1/2 C. diced carrots, canned or frozen
    6 biscuits (recipe below)

    Melt butter in large saucepan on medium-
    high heat. Add flour, whisk well to combine &
    cook for 1 minute. Add veg. stock; whisk
    vigorously making sure to not leave any
    clumps & mixture is smooth. Add chicken stock;
    whisk vigorously. Let mixture begin to bubble, then
    begin whisking constantly, making sure mixture is
    smooth. Add water mixed with cornstarch; whisk
    well to combine. Add seasonings, stir to combine.
    Turn heat to medium; let simmer & thicken about
    20-30 minutes. Add chicken, peas & carrots; stir to
    combine. Prepare biscuits & bake while chicken
    gravy mixture is warming.
    When biscuits are cooked, split them in half – place
    halves on plates & top with chicken gravy mixture.
    Serves 6


    2 C. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 T. sugar
    3 tsp. baking powder
    1/3 C. shortening (Crisco)
    1 C. milk

    Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
    Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick
    spray. Add flour, salt, sugar & baking
    powder to large bowl; whisk to
    combine. Cut in shortening until
    crumbs form. Gently stir in milk to
    combine. Turn dough out onto floured
    surface & knead 15-20 times. Pat dough
    down to 1 inch thick, then cut biscuits
    with a biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in
    flour. Place biscuits onto cookie sheet &
    bake 14 minutes or until edges begin to
    brown. Makes 6 biscuits.


    Southwest Salsa Chicken Casserole

    1 C. uncooked white rice
    1 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed
    1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
    1 (16 oz) jar salsa
    1 C. chicken broth
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/2 tsp. oregano
    2 chicken breasts, thawed & sliced
    into 3 large pieces
    1 C. shredded Monterey Cheddar cheese
    1/4 C. shredded cilantro
    2 green onions, sliced

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Spray 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
    Place dry rice, beans, corn, salsa, broth &
    dry seasonings in pan; stir until combined.
    Push chicken pieces into mixture until
    they’re slightly covered. Cover with aluminum
    foil, bake 60 minutes. Remove from oven, make
    sure chicken is cooked (165 degrees F) and rice
    is fluffy. Sprinkle chicken with cheese; place
    back in oven 5 minutes. Add sliced green onions
    & cilantro on top; serve hot.

    (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

    Magic in the Middle Cookies

    1 1/2 C. flour
    1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 C. granulated sugar (plus
    extra for rolling)
    1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
    1 stick butter, softened
    1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    3/4 C. smooth peanut butter
    3/4 C. confectioners sugar

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Lightly grease or line with
    parchment, two baking sheets.
    In medium bowl, whisk together
    flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt.
    In another medium bowl, beat
    together sugars, butter & 1/4 C.
    peanut butter until light & fluffy.
    Add vanilla, egg & egg yolk; beating
    to combine, then stir in dry
    ingredients; blend well.

    In small bowl, stir together 3/4 C.
    peanut butter & confectioners
    sugar until smooth

    With floured hands or a teaspoon
    scoop, roll filling into 25 one-inch
    balls. Scoop 1 T. of the dough. Make
    an indentation in center with your
    finger & place one of the balls into
    indentation. Bring cookie dough up &
    over the ball, pressing edges together
    to cover the center. Roll cookie in palms
    of your hand to smooth it out into a
    ball. Repeat with remaining dough &
    balls. Roll each rounded cookie in
    granulated sugar then place on prepared
    baking sheets, leaving about 2″ between
    cookies. Grease the bottom of a drinking
    glass and use it to flatten each cookie
    to about 1/2 inch thickness. Bake 7-9
    minutes or until set and you can smell
    chocolate. Remove from oven & cool
    on rack.


    It’s another warm day out there, sunny & clear blue skies with big, fluffy clouds: right now it’s 87 degrees F. Glad I don’t have to go anywhere else (that I know of) today; our house is brick and stays pretty cool. Planning on getting out the knitting a little later; I actually spent the entire day yesterday KNIT-FREE! Amazing! It’s down to the two Veteran’s Hospital baby blankets (one 3/4’s done, one 1/4 th done) and knitting more baby hats for our local hospital. I’m thinking of saving the baby blankets for when I got to Log Cabin Days next weekend; since I’ll be there 7 hours Saturday and 4 hours Sunday, that will be (knitting) time well spent; might take some yarn for baby hat knitting, too (sometimes it gets boring just knitting the same thing for hours & hours).

    Hope you have a LOVELY, cool and enjoyable day!



    Happy Flag Day!


    Once again the SUN is out and it’s a (chilly) 64 degrees, but clear skies, so it can’t be all bad. Looking at the calendar, it’s hard to believe we’re already mid-point of June – graduation parties are over (for the most part), some weddings – but it’s SO hard to believe Summer is marching on RAPIDLY! Remember those days and weeks of looking at all that snow and wishing/hoping/wanting SUN and GREEN GRASS? Well it’s HERE! (Can’t say that I’ve really taken advantage of that, though – keep thinking: “You could take that knitting OUTSIDE, you know!” but I usually don’t – silly me.

    Once again, since Father’s Day is tomorrow, thought I’d throw in one more batch of recipes. Oldest son stopped by yesterday to drop off our grandson (I don’t get to see this son very often, even though he lives about 5 minutes away – he’s usually working – he’s the chef). Grandson had fun painting the coffee mug for his dad – hope he remembers to give it to him tomorrow! (During the weekends, grandson is shuffled back & forth between the Mom & other grandparents, so he won’t see his son until tomorrow – hope the ‘mug’ makes it to his Dad in one piece!).


    Oven-Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

    1 tsp. vegetable oil
    2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    2 lb. red potatoes, halved
    1 T. vegetable oil
    1/4 C. sour cream (optional)

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
    Spray 9 X 13 baking pan or cast
    iron skillet with nonstick spray.
    Pour about 1 tsp. veg. oil to coat
    the bottom. Mix Parm. cheese, salt,
    garlic powder, paprika & pepper in
    a bowl. Bot the cut-side of potatoes
    with paper towel to remove any
    moisture. Place potatoes in a bowl &
    drizzle with 1 T. oil; toss until potatoes
    are lightly coated. Sprinkle potatoes
    with Parm. mixture; toss to coat. Arrange
    potatoes, cut-side down, onto prepared
    pan. Bake 15-20 minutes; turn to cut-side
    up & continue baking until golden &
    crispy, about 15-20 minutes longer.
    Serve with sour cream, if desired.

    (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

    Sausage/Cheese Muffins

    1 lb. hot ground pork sausage
    1 tsp. onion powder
    3 C. Bisquick
    1 (10.75 oz) can condensed
    Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
    2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
    3/4 C. buttermilk (or water or

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Cook sausage & onion in large
    skillet over medium to medium-
    high heat, stirring until sausage
    crumbles and is no longer pink;
    drain & cool. Combine sausage,
    Bisquick & shredded cheese in
    large bowl. Make a well in center
    of mixture; stir together soup &
    buttermilk; add to sausage
    mixture, stirring just until dry
    ingredients are moistened. Spoon
    into lightly greased muffin tins, filling
    to tops of cups. Bake 15-18 minutes or
    until lightly browned.

    (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

    Balsamic Steak Skewers
    (makes 4 skewers)

    1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette
    1/4 C. barbecue sauce
    1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    1 lb. sirloin steak, cut into
    1″ cubes
    2 C. cherry tomatoes

    In large bowl whisk together
    balsamic vinaigrette, BBQ
    sauce & Dijon mustard. Reserve
    1/2 C. of mixture for basting.
    Marinate steak pieces in
    mixture, tossing to coat. When
    ready to grill, using 4 metal
    (or wooden soaked-in-water)
    skewers, thread beef & tomatoes
    in alternating fashion. Using a
    long-handled tongs, rub a paper
    towel that has been moistened
    with cooking oil over grill grates
    to lightly coat them. Place
    skewers on grill over medium heat.
    Cover grill & cook until beef
    reaches desired doneness.
    Can also be broiled about 4″
    from heat for 6-9 minutes,
    turning occasionally & basting
    with reserved marinade during
    last 3 minutes of cooking time.


    Smothered Beef Brisket
    (overnight recipe)

    2 flat cut beef briskets
    2 T. *homemade seasoning mix
    (recipe below)
    3 large sweet onions, peeled &
    sliced into half rings
    8 carrots, chopped
    5-6 stalks celery, chopped,
    including tops
    1 apple, cut into eighths
    2 lemons, sliced
    2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
    1/2 C. brown sugar
    1/4 C. yellow mustard
    1 T. Worcestershire sauce
    2 strips bacon, uncooked

    Rub seasoning mix all over
    both briskets & refrigerate
    (The next day)
    Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
    Make a bed of prepared fruit &
    vegetables in a large roasting pan.
    Put briskets in bed & cover with
    a blanket of sauce that is made
    by combining tomato sauce, brown
    sugar, mustard & Worcestershire.
    Place a strip of bacon on top of sauce
    on each brisket. Cook 3 1/2 hours until
    liquid in sauce has evaporated and meat
    is very tender. If sauce is getting too brown
    before the meat is as tender as you would
    like, add a little water to the pan & cover
    with foil.

    Homemade Seasoning Mix:

    1 T. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    1/4 tsp. onion powder
    1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
    1/4 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 tsp. sea salt or Kosher salt
    1 tsp. black pepper

    Mix all ingredients together.
    (can also be added to Tex-Mex
    style dishes like chili)

    ——-Shrimp Cocktail Salad

    2-3 lb. fresh raw shrimp
    1/4 each: green/red/yellow/orange
    pepper, cut up into thin strips
    1 Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
    juice from 2 lemons
    2 T. Worcestershire sauce
    1 bottle Open Pit barbecue sauce
    fresh cilantro, chopped
    1 lemon, thinly sliced for garnish

    Clean, devein, remove tails & quickly
    steam shrimp, being careful not to
    overcook; set aside to cool in large
    serving bowl. When shrimp is cooled,
    add peppers, onions, cilantro, Worsch.
    sauce, juice from 2 lemons & entire
    bottle of Open Pit; mix well. Refrigerate
    2 hours to completely chill. Mix well
    before serving, garnish top with lemon
    slices, if desired.


    Southern Banana Pudding

    2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
    room temp
    1 1/4 – 1 1/2 (14 oz) cans sweetened
    condensed milk
    1 (5 oz) pkg. instant banana pudding mix
    1 (5 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
    2 C. cold milk
    1 T. vanilla extract
    1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
    4-5 large bananas, sliced
    1 (17.5 oz) pkg. ladyfingers
    12 vanilla wafers, crumbled
    1 stick butter
    1/2 C. packed brown sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 C. rum

    In bowl of mixer beat cream cheese until
    fluffy. Slowly add sweetened/cond. milk,
    banana & vanilla pudding mixes, cold milk
    & vanilla extract; beat until well incorporated.
    Slowy fold half of Cool Whip into pudding.

    Rum Sauce:
    In medium pan add butter, brown sugar,
    vanilla extract, cinnamon & rum; bring to
    boil. Remove from heat & cool 20 minutes.

    To Assemble:
    Arrange a full row of ladyfingers on bottom
    of a 9 X 13 pan. Pour 1/4 rum sauce over
    ladyfingers to soak them. Add slices of 2
    bananas over ladyfingers; pour another 1/4
    of rum sauce over bananas. Smooth half
    of banana pudding mix over top of bananas.
    Repeat layers: ladyfingers/rum sauce/
    bananas/rum sauce/banana pudding mix.
    Spread remaining Cool Whip over top then
    sprinkle crumbled vanilla wafers over Cool
    Whip. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before


    Crockpot Parmesan Pork Chops

    6-8 bone-in pork chops, thawed
    2 cans cream of mushroom soup
    1 C. bread crumbs
    3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
    1 T. Italian seasoning
    2 tsp. paprika

    Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
    spray. In a bowl combine bread crumbs,
    Parm. cheese, Italian seasoning & paprika.
    Place first layer of pork chops (you will only
    want 2 layers, total) in bottom of crockpot.
    Spread 1 can soup over chops. Shake half
    the dry ingredients in bowl over chops.
    Place next layer of chops; spread other can
    of soup over chops; cover with remaining
    dry ingredients. Cook, on Low, 4-6 hours.
    Serves 6

    (recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

    5 Ingredient Chicken Tacos

    2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes
    1 tsp. cumin
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    salt & pepper

    Toppings: cheese, cilantro, lettuce,
    lime, sour cream, guacamole, etc

    Place chicken in bottom of crockpot;
    sprinkle with salt & pepper. Sprinkle
    with cumin & garlic powder; top with
    Ro*Tel tomatoes. Cover & cook on
    Low 4-6 hours. Remove chicken from
    crockpot, using a mixer, shred chicken
    or you can use 2 forks. Add chicken
    back to crockpot; salt & pepper to
    taste. Serve chicken mixture over
    tortillas with toppings suggested.
    Makes 6 servings.


    Spring Vegetables Au Gratin

    1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta cheese,
    cut into 1/2 in. cubes
    3/4 C. milk
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
    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. Micro-
    wave on High 6 minutes, stirring after
    3 minutes; set aside. Combine
    vegetables in 11 X 7 inch baking dish
    sprayed with nonstick spray. Add
    Velveeta mixture, toss to coat.
    Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake
    40 minutes or until vegetables are
    crisp-tender. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each)

    (recipe: Kraft foods)

    Strawberry Cake Bars

    1 box yellow cake mix
    2 1/2 C. Quick oats
    3/4/ C. melted butter
    1 can strawberry pie filling

    Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
    Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
    Mix together oats, cake mix & melted
    butter until there is no more dry mix.
    Press 1/2 of this mixture evenly into
    bottom of prepared pan; spread pie
    filling evenly over crust. Sprinkle
    remaining oat mixture evenly on top.
    Bake 18-23 minutes or until top is
    lightly browned. Cool before cutting
    into bars.


    Hope your weekend is full of fun things:
    picnics, trips to the beach, cook outs,
    or just plain enjoying the day!




    Published in: on June 14, 2014 at 11:48 am  Comments (2)  
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