Garage Saling – YEAH!


I haven’t been to many garage sales this summer but when I learned that a new/old friend was having one – I had to go. To explain the odd friend title: The lady who had the sale worked with my husband and is the mother of 2 young people I know – sort of. Her son is a good friend of my oldest (she said she can remember him being at her house a LOT when the boys were younger). Her daughter I met via my son (via Facebook) – she was in the Air Force in Florida when she became a breast cancer victim a few years ago. My son encouraged me to write to her to give her support and we’ve been ‘Facebook” friends ever since – I got to actually MEET her today! (And her Mom!) Super happy to finally connect! I left the garage sale a happy woman: bought a folding (lawn) chair, about 7 tops, pair of summer PJ’s (the mom is shorter than me, but wears about the same blouse/top size) and a few other things. All-in-all it was a very nice visit/sale!

Our weather, due to the thunderstorms, is a bit cooler – when I first went out driving it was 60 degrees F; now that it’s sunny, it’s up to 75 and clear. The weather reports for all this week are the same: Thunderstorms in the evening – yipee . . . We had a small one yesterday but it was all over in about 10 minutes – just enough time to be gone by the time I had to go pick up my ‘student’ for our special needs group meeting.


Jalapeno Pillows

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. diced fresh jalapeno chiles
(or to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1 (16.3 oz) can Flaky layers refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
1 egg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, stir together
cream cheese, Cheddar cheese,
chiles, salt/pepper & garlic powder
until well combined; set aside.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Using
rolling pin, roll out each biscuit into
about 1/8th inch thick round. Spoon
about 1 t. cheese filling onto center
of each biscuit. Bring up dough around
filling; pinch to seal tightly. Place,
seam sides down on greased cookie
Egg Wash:
Beat egg with a splash of water. Brush
tops of biscuits with some of wash.
Sprinkle tops with additional salt/
pepper & garlic powder, to taste.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden
brown & firm. Serve warm. Makes 8


Farmer’s 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, 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, pepper &
2 T. cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
Serves 6 – (about 2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Glazed Strawberry Bars

2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding
3/4 C. milk
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry jello mix
2 T. cornstarch
1 C. water
4 C. fresh strawberries, sliced*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour & baking soda. Beat
cream cheese, butter, 1 C. sugar & vanilla
in large bowl with elec. mixer until
blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture,
mixing well after each addition. Press
onto bottom of 15″ X 10″ X 1″ pan. Bake
15-17 minutes or until lightly browned;
cool completely. Beat pudding mix & milk
in medium bowl with whisk, 2 min. (pudding
will be thick). Stir in Cool Whip until blended;
refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix dry jello, cornstarch & remaining sugar in
medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water & bring
to boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Cook & stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened; cool
10 minutes.
Spread pudding mixture over crust; cover with
sliced strawberries. Drizzle with glaze &
refrigerate 4 hours before serving.
Makes 36 bars.

*Can substitute fresh raspberries, blueberries
or sliced kiwi for strawberry slices

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 chicken leg quarters
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion & reduce heat to Low. Allow 
onion to caramelize, stirring only enough 
to prevent sticking & to be sure that all sides
are fully cooked. Add garlic; saute briefly. 
Increase heat to medium; add chicken to 
skillet; brown on both sides.Remove chicken, 
onion & garlic & place in 9 X 13 pan.Combine 
chicken stock & vinegar; deglaze skillet with
this mixture then bring to boil, continue to 
simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture 
has thickened. Pour mixture over chicken 
& stir in sun dried tomatoes. Cover dish
tightly & bake 15-20 minutes or until chicken 
is done and juices run clear.  Serves 2

(recipe: Pilgrim's Co.)

2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 jar 48 oz of your favorite spaghetti sauce
16 oz bag medium egg noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a skillet, brown meat and drain fat. Then
put the meat back in the skillet. Add spaghetti
sauce to meat; simmer for 20 minutes.Cook
noodles as directed on the package (cook to al
dente); then drain and toss noodles with butter,
seasonings and Parmesan cheese.Spray two
9 X 13 pans with nonstick spray. In each pan
layer one quarter of the sauce, half the noodles,
then split the remaining sauce between the two.
Top each with half of the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes.

*You can also add some sauteed green bell peppers,
onions & mushrooms to the sauce.

**You can use foil pans if you’re sharing with a friend.

(recipe: Facebook)

Egg, Potato & Cheese Casserole

6-8 medium potatoes
8 eggs, beaten
2 T. water
3 C. sharp cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. finely diced onion
1 C. cooked ham-diced & browned
sausage or cooked, drained bacon pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes; cool in fridge. (can be
done night before). Peel, then grate
potatoes (or rice, if desired). Mix eggs,
water, salt & pepper together. Place
potatoes & onion, evenly over bottom of
a greased casserole dish. (you can mix
together if you wish). Layer or mix in:
ham (or whatever meat you’re using).
Pour beaten egg mixture over potatoes;
spread cheese over top. Cover with foil &
bake 30 minutes. Remove foil & bake an
additional 15 minutes until golden brown.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting &
serving. Serves 6


Salted Caramel Bars

1 C. butter (2 sticks)
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 C. flour
11 oz. caramel bits* (see note)
1/2 T. sea salt

Spray bottom of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Beat together:
butter, sugar & vanilla with elec.
mixer. Once combined well, add
egg & salt, the add flour: one cup
at a time until dough ball forms. Cover
the palms of your hands with flour:
form dough into two balls, making
one ball a little over half of the
dough. Press the larger dough into
bottom of crockpot. (continue dusting
hands with flour to keep dough from
sticking). Evenly spread caramels
over dough in bottom of crockpot.

*If you are unable to find caramel bits,
buy wrapped caramels. Unwrap them &
cut each into bits. You might want to do
this first before making the dough, as it
will take some time. When done cutting
them, spread evenly over dough.

Crumble remaining dough over caramel
layer; top off by sprinkling sea salt over
top. Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

NOTE: Let bars cool before removing from

(recipe: Mary Free – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Summer Ambrosia Fruit Dessert
 2 (16 oz) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
 1 C. sweetened flaked coconut
 1 (15 oz) can mixed fruit, drained (optional)
 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
 1 (6 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
 1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
 Gently mix all ingredients, refrigerate at least
 1 hour, then serve. Serves 10
 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Hope you are enjoying your Summer - remember
 to relax a little, maybe get some sun/or a nap.
 Take a little time out for YOU!
Published in: on July 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Why, Certainly!

At the request of my very DEAR friend, Mary (Momma), I will (finally) post the photo of the blue & green (& shiny yarn) baby afghan – just finished it last night.


Crocheted “Bubble Gum” pattern

using 2 different colors of the same kind of yarn


Our weather (after the storm the other night) has been clear & chilly (for July, anyway) – right now it’s 68 (I’m wearing a sweater!) and sunny.

Last night I met with one of my new Knit group ladies, to help her with her knitting; as it turns out – she knits just like me: “Continental Combined”. She said she was taught by a lady from Europe and it’s been quite a few years since she’s picked it up again (actually we were BOTH thrilled to meet each other at Log Cabin Days as neither of us has ever met anyone who knits like we do!). After attempting to help her with a baby blanket pattern of mine, we both decided that was NOT the beginners pattern for her. I went home and searched the ‘net for a easier, less challenging pattern and found about 5. She told me there are now 4 ladies at her work who are expecting and she really wanted to knit blankets for them all (my, but that’s adventurous!). She’s also the person who works at the hospital where I deliver my baby hats – she said they are (to quote her) “Flying off the shelves!” Makes me happy they are being used.

LOTS of summer recipes for ya today:


Picnic-Perfect Tuna Mac Salad

1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. finely diced red onion
1/2 C. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
1 (12 oz) can tuna in water, drained
1/2 C. plus 2 T. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain yogurt
1 T. plus 1 tsp. cider vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste

Bring large pot of salted water to
boil; add macaroni, cook accordg
to pkg. directions until al dente.
Drain, rinse with cold water & drain
again. While pasta is cooking, combine
celery, onion, parsley, carrot & tuna
in large bowl. Add cooled macaroni;
toss to combine. In small bowl, whisk
mayonnaise, yogurt & vinegar. Season
with salt & pepper, whisk. Pour mixture
over pasta & toss until well coated.
Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 8.

(recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Food Digest)

Curried Broccoli Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 tsp. spicy brown mustard
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 C. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 C. raisins
1/3 C. sunflower kernels, roasted
& salted

Mix mayonnaise, mustard, honey
& curry powder in large bowl until
well blended. Add broccoli, raisins &
sunflower kernels to mayonnaise
mix; toss lightly. Serve immediately
or cover & refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 6 (1/2 c. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Grilled Zucchini with Teriyaki Sauce

2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. La Choy Teriyaki Stir Fry sauce-marinade

Spray cold grate of grill with nonstick spray.
Prepare grill for medium heat. Spray cut sides
of zucchini with nonstick spray, sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Grill cut sides down 10 minutes
or until tender. Turn zucchini over; brush with
teriyaki sauce; grill 2 minutes more.
Serves 4 (1/2 zucchini each)

(recipe: readyseteat)


1 (20 oz) can cubed or crushed
1 (15 oz) can tropical fruit
1 box orange cake mix
1 1/2 sticks  butter
1/2 C. instant oatmeal
1 C. coconut flakes

Preheat oven  350 degrees F.
Dump both fruits &  juices into a
9 x 13 baking dish. Pour dry cake
mix on top of fruit  & spread out
evenly. Mix oatmeal & coconut &
sprinkle over cake mixture with
fingers. Melt butter & pour on top
evenly. It should cover entire cake mix.
Bake 1 hour; serve with ice cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

 Butternut Squash Lasagna
(serves 2)

2 c. butternut squash puree
2 1/2 C. milk
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
pinch nutmeg
pinch thyme

White Sauce:
3 1/2 T. oil or butter
3 1/2 T. flour
2 1/4 C. milk
salt, ground white pepper
1/2 C. cottage (or ricotta) cheese
grated cheese of your choice
no-boil lasagna noodles

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine squash puree with milk,
Parm. cheese, nutmeg & thyme; season
with salt, to taste.

White Sauce:
Heat flour in an empty saucepan just
until hot; remove from heat. Add oil &
whisk; add cold milk & whisk vigorously
to avoid forming clumps. Return to heat &
cook, stirring, until thickened. Add nutmeg;
season with salt & white pepper. Add
cottage (or ricotta) cheese, grated cheese &
mix to combine.
To Assemble:
Spread a little white sauce across bottom of
oiled baking pan (8 X 5 X 2″/4 C. volume) just
to cover bottom of pan. Top with noodles &
spread some butternut puree mixture over
noodles. Top with another layer of noodles &
another spread of white sauce. Continue
layering: noodles – squash puree – noodles –
sauce until all ingredients are used, finish
with white sauce. Cover with aluminum foil
& bake 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake
another 20 minutes or until cooked through.


Grilled Chicken Veggie Packets

1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise,
1 small yellow summer squash, cut in
half lengthwise, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
cooking spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat gas grill for medium-high heat.
Combine zucchini, squash, tomatoes,
tomato sauce & Parm. cheese in medium
bowl. Place four 18 X 12 inch pieces heavy
aluminum foil on counter. Spray each with
cooking spray. Place 1 chicken breast in
center of each; sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Spoon 1/4 of tomato mixture over chicken
in each packet. Double fold top & ends of
each piece of foil, leaving space for steam to
gather. Place packets on grate; cover grill &
grill 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer
pink in center. Carefully open packets; sprinkle
evenly with mozzarella cheese & serve. Serves 4


Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
few drops vanilla (optional)
3 C. grated carrots
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs; mix with oil, then sugar.
Combine dry ingredients then mix
wet ingredients into dry; mix well.
Add grated carrots & pecans; mix again.
Grease & flour three 8″ cake pans or
a 9″ tube pan. Pour batter into pan(s)
& bake 25-30 minutes (depending on
pan used) or until toothpick inserted
into center comes out nearly clean.
Frost with cream cheese frosting
(recipe below):

Cream Cheese frosting:

1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Combine butter & cream cheese until
smooth; stir in sugar, vanilla & pecans,
mix well then frost cake.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef
2 C. water
3 C. egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir
in water; bring to boil. Add noodles, stir.
Cover & simmer on medium-low heat 8
minutes or until noodles are tender. Add
Velveeta, soup & pepper; cook 5 minutes
or until Velveeta is melted & mixture is
well blended, stirring frequently.
Serves 5 (about 1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops
1 large onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 T. pepper
1 T. sea salt
2 T. paprika
2 T. oregano
3 C. cooked rice (do not place in

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In shallow pan mix pepper, salt,
oregano & paprika – rub spices into pork
chops, making sure it’s not on too heavy.
Place chops on bottom of crock; pour
chopped onions on top. In separate bowl
mix together soups, celery & garlic – pour
over onions. Cook on Low 6-8 hours.
(If cooking on High, add another onion,
placing chopped onion first, then pork
chops, to keep them from burning, then
repeat other layers. Cook on High 4 hours)
Just before ready to serve, cook rice (or
you could use mashed potatoes or egg
noodles.) Serves 6

(recipe: crockpotladies)

Crockpot Tomato/Basil/Chicken Soup

4 (14 oz, ea) cans Italian Stewed tomatoes
2 C. chicken broth (Or 2 C. water & 2 tsp.
chicken bullion)
1 1/2 T. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 chicken thighs (frozen is fine)
1 chicken breast (frozen is fine)
3 T. cornstarch
4 T. whipping cream
1 T. butter
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Parmesan or Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Pour stewed tomatoes in blender & blend
until smooth; pour in crockpot. Add chicken
broth & all spices. Stir in well to incorporate.
Add chicken, cover & cook on High 4 hours
or Low 7 hours. When chicken has cooked
through, place on a plate & shred with 2
forks – place meat back in crockpot. In small
bowl combine cornstarch with 4 T. whipping
cream. Stir well, making sure there are no
clumps – pour into crockpot & stir well. Add
butter & balsamic vinegar; stir well. Cover &
allow to cook on High an additional 20
minutes or until soup has thickened slightly.
(salt & pepper to taste). Serves 6


Lemon Meringue Pie with a Twist

1 1/2 C. water
1 C. sugar
6 T. corn starch
3 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. butter, melted
1/3 C. sugar, for meringue
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 (8″) pie crust shell of your choice,
6 oz. can frozen lemonade

In saucepan mix together 1 C. sugar
& cornstarch; add cold water &
whisk together; bring to a boil,
stirring constantly until liquid is
clear. Mix small amount of hot
mixture with slightly beaten egg
yolks & return all to pan. Mix in
lemonade, salt & butter. Cook,
stirring constantly, 1 minute or
until thickened; remove from heat
& let cool. When cooled, pour into
baked pie shell.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Beat egg with 1/3 C. sugar & cream
of tartar until stiff & forming peaks.
Place on pie & bake until lightly
golden brown. Cool pie, then
refrigerate. Serves 8



That’s it for today – not much planned
except more knitting. Can’t decide if
dinner is going to be a meatloaf (my
husband’s all-time favorite meal) or
pizza (homemade, of course). I still
haven’t been able to locate the already-
made pizza crusts at Gordon Foods (the
freezer guy said they’re on back order,
but they haven’t been getting them in);
so I’m going to ‘experiment’ using crescent
rolls as the dough and see how it goes.
I’m guessing they’ll be more like thin-
crust pizzas – we’ll see.

Enjoy your day!



Boy – oh – Boy, the Weather!


We knew we were due for some rain, as it’s been pretty dry here but we certainly DIDN’T expect what we got! Last night we had a pretty good thunderstorm – knocked out the power TWICE, but we were fortunate that it was only out minutes each time. The strange thing was, during the 70+ MPH winds there came this barrage of HAIL! Ours was only dime-sized (yes that sounds strange)


but after checking with friends from other areas surrounding mine, I found that some actually got


Golf-Ball sized hail!

AND, if that’s not enough to convince you – try this one!!!


This photo came from the Detroit area – SURE am glad we didn’t get that!

It was really coming down – I was worried our cars might get dented, but we survived with no damage. Today on my trip to the library (which got canceled because they had no power) I noticed the amount of downed tree branches; we were CERTAINLY lucky – no power for a few minutes is NOTHING (I’ve got lots of candles!).

Not much going on today, later on I’m going to Panera to try to help a new knitter – she knits like me (Continental – Combined) and is trying to figure out a baby blanket pattern I gave her – we’ll see how that goes. Got a few more baby hats knit – sometimes I just like to work on those, as they’re small and go quickly (Premie= 1 hour, Newborn 1 1/2 hrs). ALMOST finished with the crocheted kinda shiny yarn baby blanket (don’t remember if I even mentioned this one; I gave away one like it and wanted to replace it for the Detroit Vet’s Baby Shower). This one is done in a sort of kinky yarn mixed with a shiny nylon-like yarn; I acquired it who knows when with the idea that I could probably make a baby blanket out of it – there were 2 skeins: one green with shiny and one a little larger blue with shiny. I crocheted up all the green and am going until the blue matches the size of the green half, then crocheting a plain white border around it. There’s only about 10 rows left to finish, then the border – “Piece of Cake”, so to speak.


Cinnamon Roll Cake

1 (18 1/2 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 T. cinnamon
2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to
pkg. directions; spread half
of batter into greased 9 X 13″
cake pan. In small bowl, mix
brown sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle
evenly over batter in pan then
top with remaining batter. Run a
table knife through the layers to
create swirls. Bake 30-35 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. In a bowl,
combine powdered sugar, milk &
vanilla, adding more milk if needed
to reach desired consistency. Spread
over warm cake & cut into squares.
Serves 10

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Watermelon Ice

1/2 small watermelon, peeled/seeded & cut
into 1″ chunks (about 6 C.)
3 T. confectioners sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt

In covered blender on Low speed,
blend 1 C. watermelon with confect.
sugar, juice & salt until smooth. Add
remaining melon & blend until smooth.
Pour into a 9″ X 9″ pan; cover with
foil or plastic wrap & freeze until
partially frozen, about 2 hours. Spoon
watermelon mixture into a large, chilled
bowl. With mixer on High speed, beat
until fluffy. Return mixture to baking pan
& freeze until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
To serve:
Remove from freezer & let stand 10
minutes at room temp. for easier

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Bacon-Cheeseburger Pizza Balls


10 refrigerator biscuits
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. browned hamburger (in
1/4 C. crispy bacon bits
black pepper (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
egg white, beaten (for wash)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Roll out individual biscuits to about
3 1/2 ” across. Place a bit of hamburger,
bacon, cheeses, pepper (if desired),
onion powder (if desired) and shape
filled biscuit into a ball, pinching top.
Place balls in greased pie pan with
seams (or pinched side) down. Brush
tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle
tops with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 10 balls


Chicken Tamale Casserole

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese (or
Pepper Jack) grated
1/3 C. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 lb. ground chicken/turkey or beef
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley,
to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
Combine cheeses in small bowl. In
large bowl, stir together 1/4 C. combined
cheese, milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, corn,
muffin mix & green chiles; mix until just
combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan;
bake 15 minutes or until just set. Cook chicken
(or other meat) in skillet over medium heat until
cooked completely through. Drain, if necessary,
and add salt & pepper. Remove cornbread
mixture from oven & pierce all over with a fork.
Pour enchilada sauce over corn bread mixture;
top with chicken & remaining cheese. Return
to oven another 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with
cilantro or parsley & serve.


Fluffy Strawberry Salad

1 (6 oz) box strawberry or raspberry
1 C. boiling water
1 C. crushed ice (or 1 C. cold water)
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
4 C. mini marshmallows
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries

Pour Jello mix into medium bowl;
pour boiling water over & stir until
dissolved. Pour in cold water (or ice)
& stir until ice has melted (or water/
starting to gel). Refrigerate 10 minutes
or until Jello is slightly set up (should
be as thick as pudding but will also
work if it is totally set up). In a large
mixing bowl pour crushed pineapple
with juices; 1 box vanilla pudding;
stir to combine. Add marshmallows
& tub Cool Whip; fold together. Stir
up refrigerated Jello and pour into
Cool Whip/Marsh. mixture; stir to
combine. Wash & hull strawberries;
slice up. Add to mixture & stir to
combine. Cover & refrigerate at
least 1 hour before serving. Can be
made up to 24 hours in advance.
Makes 15 generous servings.


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes,
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz can green chilies, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. water
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
10 oz. frozen corn
1 T. cilantro, chopped
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada
sauce, onion, green chilies & garlic
in crockpot. Pour in water & chicken
broth; season with cumin, chili
powder, salt, pepper & bay leaf. Stir
in corn & cilantro. Cover & cook on
Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.
Remove chicken & shred; place back
in crockpot.


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
(or buy tortilla chips)

Cut tortillas into strips & lay on
baking sheet.* Brush both sides of strips
lightly with oil. Bake 10-15 minutes until
crisp. Serve strips over soup.

*A pizza cutter works great for cutting

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Crab Rangoon Dip

2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese
2 (8 oz) pkgs. imitation crab
(or 6 oz cans) crabmeat, drained
1 can cream of shrimp soup
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
(optional: 2 T. sugar)

Combine all ingredients in 3-4 qt.
crockpot. Cook on Low 2-3 hours.
Serve with crackers.


Crab Cakes
(makes 6)

1 large egg
2 1/2 T. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely diced celery (one stalk)
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. lump crab meat*
1/2 cup panko
Canola oil

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Combine egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard,
Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, celery, & parsley
inlarge bowl; mix well. Add crab meat (be sure
to check the meat for any hard and sharp
cartilage) and panko; gently fold mixture
together until just combined, being careful
not to shred the crab meat. Shape into 6
crab cakes (about ½ cup each) and place on
prepared baking sheet. Cover & refrigerate
for at least 1 hour.

Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat
and coat with canola oil. When oil is hot,
place crab cakes in pan and cook until golden
brown, about 3-5 minutes per side.
Be careful as oil may splatter.
Serve immediately with tartar
sauce or a squeeze of lemon.

Quick Tartar Sauce

1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. sweet pickle relish

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. minced red onion
1-2 T. lemon juice, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a
small bowl. Cover and chill until
ready to serve.


Sweet Coconut Snowballs

1 C. sweetened flake coconut
1 C. flour
1 1/4 C. confectioners sugar
pinch salt
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grind 1/2 C. coconut in food processor;
chop remaining coconut & set aside.
Add flour, 1/4 C. confectioners sugar &
salt; pulse to blend. Add butter &
vanilla; pulse until dough comes
Roll dough into 1 inch balls; place balls
1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes until cookies are firm
but tender. Remove to rack; let cool
completely. In small bowl, stir together
remaining 1 C. confect. sugar & enough
milk until smooth but still thick. Dip
cookies into glaze (about 1/2 tsp. each),
letting it drip down sides. Dip in chopped
coconut & set aside for glaze to dry.
Makes about 2 dozen

Well, that’s the excitement from here
for the day – hope you all are safe &
sound (no storms), happy/healthy
and enjoying this Summer weather.



Crazy Day – but Fun!



I’ve known about this event for 2 weeks now and actually was the first person to sign up! I wrote down: “Broccoli Salad” in bold letters – and then, yesterday, all that changed. Went to my ever-trusty Gordon Food Services to pick up my broccoli salad ‘kit’ only to find they don’t carry it anymore! I asked the manager and she said that they’ve had lots of requests, but they didn’t order it this summer – WHAT??? That led me to my trusty computer to find some sort of substitute. I think I’ve made up my mind: going to put together some sort of cold salad with the following ingredients:

black beans, whole kernel corn, chopped red & green peppers, salsa, sliced black olives, halved cherry tomatoes, cooked thin spaghetti and maybe shredded Cheddar cheese. (I’m ‘considering’ using zesty Italian salad dressing – but not sure, with the salsa. Might omit the salsa – just a thought). Mix all ingredients together (cook spaghetti) & chill at least 2 hours.

Also might be making a recipe I saw on Facebook:

Sinless cookies

2 ripe bananas

1 C. quick cooking oats

1/2 C. chocolate chips (recipe calls for dark chocolate chips)

heaping T. peanut butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Roll batter into balls, place on

cookie sheets & bake 15 minutes.


I have the bananas & ingredients, that sounds pretty easy. Also grabbed an extra big bag of chips yesterday, so I think that’s enough ‘stuff’ to take. Don’t ya just hate it when your original plan ends up messing up? I had SO counted on bringing that broccoli salad: #1: I LOVE it! #2 So does everyone else #3 It’s really easy to make (IF it’s in a kit). Yes, I ‘could’ buy all the ingredients and make it myself, but that takes far more work . Oh well, hoping the above recipes will suffice for our picnic. Will probably write more about said picnic in the near future.

The road crews were out in force again last night BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!, BAM! BAM! BAM! (sound of big, huge truck beds slamming onto the truck base. They took up more cement slabs, leaving more big ‘holes’ – by morning they’re all filled in with cement, meaning traversing my driveway will be ‘fun’ today – sigh.

Our weather has been very nice for July – in the mid 70’s, sunny. Bought gas yesterday for $3.44/9 ! Had trouble with the pump and had to go in and tell the attendant how much gas I wanted put on the pump; took a quick guess and said: $45.00. Turns out my car would only hold $42.52 – great! Back in the station – the guy ended up giving me CASH for the difference (original purchase was on my card -sigh). Oh well – money is money – won’t worry about it. It’s REALLY nice to get MORE gas for LESS CASH!

I’ll let you go for now – gotta rush out & purchase the ingredients for said black bean salad (I have some of them, but not all).

Remember to try to enjoy this Saturday – Summer’s quickly rushing by, try to get some FUN out of it while you can!



Published in: on July 26, 2014 at 9:24 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Wednesday Wanderings


It’s Wednesday – so far, not a very ‘busy’ day other than lots of catching up on paperwork for both my special needs group, knit group AND paying bills. Was able to get some RESTFUL sleep last night as the construction crew was not in front of our house, doing all their NOISY repairs.

Gas prices around here are now down to $3.49/9 – amazing!

Good Knit/Crochet night last night – 15 attending and one new lady. I’m glad it’s slowly growing; summer is usually the time when we lose some of our people just due to vacations/traveling/or ‘it’s too hot’ to go out!


S’Mores Muffins

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
1/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 C. mini marshmallows, divided;
reserve enough to place a few on the
tops of each muffin

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.
In large bowl combine dry ingredients.
In separate bowl combine egg, buttermilk
& oil; mix until combined. Stir wet mixture
into dry mixture, just until moistened. Fold
in chocolate chips & mini marshmallows.
Fill muffin tins 3/4ths full; sprinkle tops
with extra marshmallows. Bake 15-18 minutes
or until they test done. Cool 5 minutes before
removing to wire racks to cool. Makes 12 muffins

*if you don’t have buttermilk: pour 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar in a 1 C. measuring cup, then fill
rest of cup with milk. Stir and let set 5 minutes =
you now have 1 Cup buttermilk!


Farmer’s 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, 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, pepper &
2 T. cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
Serves 6 – (about 2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crunchy Asian Salad

1 (.7 oz) envelope Good Seasons
Italian Salad dressing mix
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
2 (3 oz. ea) pkgs. ramen noodle
soup mix
2 (16 oz, ea) pkgs. coleslaw blend
(cabbage slaw mix)
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 C. dry roasted sunflower kernels
1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare dressing mix in small bowl
as directed on pkg; stir in sugar &
soy sauce. Break up noodles; place
in large bowl. (discard seasoning pkts)
Add coleslaw blend, onions, sunflower
kernels & almonds; mix lightly. Add
dressing; toss to coat. Makes 12
servings (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken Fajita Skillet

4 C. diced Russet baking potatoes
kosher salt, to taste
1 T. cooking oil
4 thinly sliced chicken cutlets, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. diced green bell pepper
1 C. diced onion
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 eggs

1 C. salsa
1/2 C. sour cream
fresh avocado slices
chopped cilantro (garnish)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or aluminum foil. Spread cut
potatoes in single layer on sheet,
sprinkle with salt & bake 30-35
minutes. Heat oil over medium-high
heat in large skillet. Sprinkle chicken
with salt & pepper to evenly coat; add
to hot skillet & brown. Add onions &
peppers; reduce heat & cook until
onions & peppers are soft & chicken
is cooked through; remove from heat.
In separate pan or skillet, cook eggs to
your liking (poached/scrambled/fried, etc.)
When potatoes are done, add to skillet
with chicken, etc; toss to combine then
cover with cheese & top with cooked
eggs, salsa & sour cream. Garnish with
avocado/cilantro & serve hot. Serves 4


Sweet & Tangy Broccoli Slaw

2 T. cooking oil
2 T. distilled white vinegar
1 T. granulated sugar
2 tsp. zesty honey mustard
1 (12 oz) pkg broccoli coleslaw
1/3 C. raisins
1/4 C. sunflower kernels, roasted &

Stir together oil, vinegar, sugar &
mustard in large bowl until combined.
Add remaining ingredients; toss to mix.
Serves 6 (about 2/3 C. each)


Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

1 1l2 lb. chicken breasts
1 (14.4 oz) can diced tomatoes with mild
green chilies
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. frozen corn
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
salt, to taste

cooked rice or warmed tortillas

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn,
tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic
powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne
pepper & salt in crockpot. Season chicken
breasts with salt, then lay on top. Cook on
Low 10 hours or on High 6 hours. One half
hour before serving, remove chicken &
shred. Return chicken to crockpot & stir
meat in. Adjust salt & seasoning to taste.
Serve over cooked rice or on warmed tortillas.
Serves 8


Summer Spaghetti Salad
(overnight recipe)

16 oz. spaghetti noodles
1 bottle zesty Italian salad dressing
(small bottle)
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
1/4 C. chopped onion (or less)
1 can chopped black olives, drained
1 pkg. dry Italian seasoning
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (or more)
6 oz. grilled chicken or ham, cut into
bite-sized pieces

Cook, drain & rinse spaghetti with cold
water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover &
refrigerate overnight.


Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix
brown sugar and cinnamon together in a
bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and
butter together in a bowl using an electric
mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs,
1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

Combine flour and baking powder together in
another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture.
Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the
batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add half
the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour remaining batter over apple layer; top with
remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown
sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted
in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)
Easy Cheesy Potato Bake

2 C. grated Cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 C. ham, chopped
1 C. sour cream
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 medium potatoes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice potatoes into 3/4 ” pieces; split onion
into rings. Combine potatoes & onions in
microwaveable bowl. Microwave on High
10 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
Remove from microwave; mix with sour
cream, ham & 1/4 C. cheese. Place in
greased baking dish; sprinkle top with
remaining cheese. Bake 45 minutes

(recipe: Facebook)

7 Layer Bars (cookies)

1 stick butter
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 C. butterscotch chips
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. shredded coconut
1 C. chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 8 X 8 baking pan; stir in
graham cracker crumbs; pat evenly in
bottom of pan. Sprinkle other ingredients
(except milk) in layers in pan. Pour milk
evenly over top and bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool & cut into bars.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Not much else going on at the moment; tomorrow is the funeral
for my Friend’s husband. Friday is grandson, Saturday is Sunday
School Picnic – so it looks like today is my ‘relax’ day (before
going to my special needs group later this evening. Our
weather has been warm, but we didn’t get the thunderstorms
they predicted for last night. We actually COULD use some rain;
it’s been rather dry lately.

Hope you are able to enjoy a nice Summer day. Remember:
Life is full of blessings – you just have to look for them!



With Heavy Heart

The past few days have been sad and painful; Saturday I attended a Memorial Service for a friend who had been active in another special needs group; she had been paralyzed for most of her adult life but didn’t let that stop her. She & her husband were very active in various churches with children – great couple. She recently got cancer and was slowly growing weaker over the past few months. She will be greatly missed; there were over 80 people (by my estimation) at the service.

Last night I got a message that a very close friend’s husband was dying; he’d been ill for years – diabetes and then kidney failure/dialysis. He went, last Tuesday, to kidney dialysis and she was called to take him to the hospital, his dialysis port was clogged. They did the surgery to clear it; then back to dialysis. Port clogged again – back to hospital where they kept him. A third clot developed which broke into smaller pieces, some of those went to his lung. I received word today that he passed away at 2:20 a.m. I have known his wife for 45 years; I remember going through her first husband’s cancer and eventual death, with her. I also remember the almost giddy excitement when she told me she was going on a DATE with her (soon to be) second husband. Yesterday was their 40th wedding anniversary – rejoicing in their time together, saying goodbye to him after 40 years – how sad. I was in their wedding – photo below (I’m on the end/left in the big pink picture hat (bride’s choice – she also made the dresses!)


She’s a strong woman and has gone through a lot over the years, from raising her children alone (until meeting second husband) to caring for his health (and hers). She lives in a geodesic dome (looks like an upside down bowl) about 1 1/2 hours from me; I remember them planning on building a dome, then found the one they live in while out on a drive. She mentioned to me last night that she will be counting heavily on her (adult) children to help her get the house in order, to sell it; she will probably be moving back near me, perhaps living with her daughter. So much to do – so heavy a load to bear; yes, she’s been through it all before, but then we were all much younger. I love her dearly – we’ve been close for so long (I went on ‘all nights’ at the phone company simply because I loved her sense of humor and strength and wanted to get to know her better – here it is 45+ years later – amazing).

Cherish the people around you that you love – LET THEM KNOW you love them. Be the friend they need when they need to talk, dump, cry, or just spend time with. Whether a long time, or short – we need to CARE and LOVE those in our lives who mean so much to us.

Life is short – make every minute count. When it’s your time to go let others say of you: “They really CARED and I/we knew it.” When last I spoke to my friend last night, she handed the phone to another friend and I could hear her say: “She’s crying” – I didn’t want her to know that (and thought I disguised it well – guess not). I grieve for her husband, but more I grieve for my friend who has a long, difficult road to pass through. Better to let them know you love them than wish, later, you had.


Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 9:35 am  Comments (2)  

Home Again (Yawn), Home Again – Jiggety-Jig!

Let’s see – where do I start? Last night the road crews were out in force again but THIS TIME I happened to look out the front window (around 2 a.m.) to see that they were about to render our driveway AND our connecting neighbor’s INACCESSIBLE!Big HUGE front loader scooping up (estimated by me) about 7 foot X 4 foot slabs of cement and dumping them into a really BIG dump truck. Right when I looked out they had TWO MORE to go and our driveway would NOT be able to be used, AND our neighbor’s, too. I got husband to quick go out and talk to the workers. They said they were assured that ALL homes on our street had been informed of this work (NOT OURS!) and it was a “Good to go!” Yeah, right – I’m going to OK you completely blocking us in/out? NOT! They agreed to leave our neighbor’s open, and went on their way. Right after that we get a phone call from youngest: His tire is flat, can we drive the air pump to him? (this is around 2: 30 a.m.) – husband goes to do that; I attempt to go to sleep. About 45 minutes later husband calls to tell me that the tire has a finger-sized hole and he’s coming home to pick up the extra truck tire and rim (did he REALLY need to call me?) Let’s just say – all in all, I got MAYBE 2 hours sleep ALL NIGHT! Today, 1 p.m. was a funeral for a friend who used to work with another special needs group. What would usually take me 15-20 minutes took 45 – I was 4 minutes from being late – sigh. Get there, all settled in and then learn that the newspaper was wrong: they were allowing an HOUR for visitation BEFORE the actual funeral! GREAT! It was a nice service, left there & stopped at the library, then on my way home – via a side street, one wrong turn (I know – how do you WRONG TURN going to your house?) Let’s just say I couldn’t exactly figure out how to turn onto the tiny little access of barrels they’d made for the 2 lane highway, so I drove on/did a turn around in a church parking lot and came the other way home. I’M HOME NOW – YAY!!! What a mess! Belowis a photo of last night’s ‘fun’ – hopefully you can see the size of the CRATERS were the slabs of cement were. (By 6 a.m. they were out there filling each one with new cement – the workers told my husband we would be able to drive on it by MONDAY! Sigh).


Big, dark squares are the missing cement (one left/one far right. The open space between them is where our driveway is (shot this through front window)


Gas prices are still staying on the low end: $3.54/9 – YAY!

Weather-wise, it’s overcast, 70 degrees F.
and looks like it’s about to rain.


Zucchini Italiano Casserole

3-4 medium zucchini, unpeeled,
cut into 1/4″ slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced &
separated into rings
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. fresh basil (or less, if
2 T. parsley
dash fresh ground black pepper
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled/sliced
1 C. cracker crumbs
4 T. melted butter
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 C. grated Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. sliced scallions, green &
white parts

Mix all ingredients, except crackers,
butter, cheeses, scallions & tomatoes
in crockpot; stir thoroughly. Cover &
cook on Low 5-7 hours. Before
serving, pour mixture into an oven-
proof casserole dish. Place a layer of
sliced tomatoes on top. Mix melted
butter & cracker crumbs together;
spread on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle
both cheeses on top of crumbs & place
under broiler until cheese is melted &
topping is golden brown. Sprinkle
sliced scallions on top right before
serving. Serves 6-8

(recipe: wildernesswife.como)


Avocado/Tomato/Mozzarella Salad

1 box elbow pasta
2 C. plum tomatoes, diced
3 C. diced avocado
2 1/2 C. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
salt, to taste
black pepper, ground, to taste
1/2 C. fresh torn basil leaves
1/3 C. olive oil

Combine tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella,
basil & olive oil in large bowl; season with
salt & pepper. Let mixture marinate 20-30
minutes. Cook pasta 1 minute less than
recommended cooking time on box; drain
& place in large bowl with a small drizzle
of olive oil. Add vegetables to cooked &
cooled pasta; toss & serve. Serves 7

(recipe: Barilla. com)


Baked Pepperoni Pizza Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. finely chopped pepperoni
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper
butter crackers, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese & mozzarella until
well blended; stir in pepperoni &
peppers. Spread into a 9 inch pie plate.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until top is
puffed up and lightly browned. Serve
warm with crackers. Makes 2 C. spread
or 16 servings/2 T. spread & 5 crackers

Microwave Version:
Mix all ingredients as directs; spoon into
a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High 3 minutes or until heated through,
stirring after 2 minutes

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Donut Muffins

1 1/3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp .cinnamon
1/3 C. oil
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 C. milk

For Coating:

melted butter or margarine
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients. Mix liquids;
beat till well mixed. Add liquids to dry
ingredients & mix till just blended. Put 
into muffin tin; bake 20-25 m min.
While muffins are hot dip into butter 
then roll in sugar & cinnamon or 
powdered sugar.

(recipe: Facebook)

Countryside Chicken Bake
 3 C. cooked rice
 1 C. sliced celery
 3/4 C. chopped onion
 2 T. butter or margarine, melted
 2 tsp. parsley flakes
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/8 tsp. pepper
 3 chicken breasts, split
 1 can cream of mushroom soup
 2/3 C. salad dressing or mayonnaise
 1/4 C. milk
 1 (1 lb.) can small whole carrots,
 drained (can subst. frozen or fresh)
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Combine rice, celery, onion, margarine,
 parsley & seasonings; mix lightly. Spoon
 mixture into greased 3qt. shallow baking
 dish. Top with chicken breasts. Combine
 soup, salad dressing & milk; mix well &
 pour over chicken. Bake 45 minutes. Add
 carrots; bake 15 minutes longer or until
 chicken is tender. Sprinkle top with 
 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

 Kielbasa Pasta Casserole
 1 (16 oz) pkg. dry ziti pasta
 1 lb. Polish sausage
 3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian-style
 stewed tomatoes
 3 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
 1 tsp. oregano
 1/4 C. fresh chopped parsley
 1/2 tsp. black pepper
 1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
 8 oz. shredded monterrey jack
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Boil large pot of salted water; cook 
 pasta 8-10 minutes until al dente;
 drain. In medium skillet over medium-
 high heat, cook sausage in oil until
 browned, about 5 minutes. In large
 bowl, combine pasta, sausage, stewed
 tomatoes, sauce, oregano, parsley &
 pepper; mix well. Pour into greased 
 9 X 13 baking dish. Sprinkle top with
 bread crumbs & top with cheese. Cover
 with foil; bake 30 minutes. Remove foil
 & bake 10-15 minutes longer until
 golden brown. Serves 8
Pina Colada Poke Cake
 (no alcohol)
 Overnight recipe
 1 box butter cake mix (and
 ingredients on box to make 
 1 (14 oz) can sweetened
 condensed milk
 1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut*
 1 (15.25oz) can crushed pineapple,
 drained & juice reserved
 2 C. heavy whipping cream**
 2-4 T. powdered sugar
 1 tsp. coconut extract
 shredded coconut
 maraschino cherries (garnish)
 Prepare & bake box cake in
 9 X 13 greased pan, accordg. to
 pkg. directions. While cake is
 baking, mix pineapple juice, 
 sweetened cond. milk & cream of
 coconut until smooth. Immediately
 after removing cake from oven, use
 end of a wooden spoon and poke
 holes all over top of cake. Pour milk
 mixture over top of warm cake, making
 sure to get it down into the holes. Cake
 will appear VERY saturated, but it will
 absorb liquid. Evenly spread reserved
 crushed pineapple over top. Cover 
 cake with plastic wrap & refrigerate
 In a bowl, beat together topping
 ingredients vigorously by hand, with
 a whisk or elec. mixer. When cream
 starts to thicken, add in powdered
 sugar & coconut extract. Continue
 beating until soft peaks form. Frost
 cake with topping, garnish with 
 shredded coconut & maraschino
 cherries, if desired. Keep cake 
 covered in fridge for up to 3 days.
 *cream of coconut NOT coconut
 milk - you can usually find cream of
 coconut in the drinks/mixers aisle of
 grocery store
 **poster states you may use
 Cool Whip (thawed) as a substitute
 in the topping. 
 (recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe
Chicken/Chile/Corn Tortilla Soup
 1 tsp. kosher salt
 1 tsp. ground cumin
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
 1 1/2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken
 olive oil
 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
 2 large poblano chile peppers
 2 large jalapeno chile peppers
 2 large plum tomatoes, cut length-
 wise in half
 2 Qts. chicken broth
 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped/
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
 thick-cut tortilla chips
 2 limes, cut into wedges
 sour cream
 Prepare grill for direct and indirect
 cooking over medium-high heat.
 (400-500 degrees F)
 In small bowl combine rub ingredients.
 Lightly coat chicken on both sides with oil &
 season evenly with rub. Grill chicken over
 direct heat, with lid closed, until browned
 but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes, turning
 once. Remove from grill & let rest until cool
 enough to handle. Grill corn & chile peppers
 over direct medium-high heat, with lid
 closed, until corn is golden & peppers are
 blackened on all sides, about 10-15 minutes,
 turning several times. At same time, grill tomatoes
 over direct heat until lightly marked & tender,
 5-8 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove
 vegetables from grill & let rest until cool
 enough to handle
 Cut chicken into 1/2" pieces. Remove corn
 kernels from cob. Peel & discard skins from
 chiles/remove seeds & cut into 1/4" dice. Remove
 & discard any loose skin from jalapenos then
 finely chop. Remove & discard any loose skin
 from tomato; cut into 1/4" dice. In large saucepan
 combine broth, chicken, corn, chile peppers,
 tomatoes, half of cilantro & oregano. Bring to a
 simmer & cook until flavors come together, about
 15 minutes. 
 Place a small handful of tortilla chips in each soup
 bowl & ladle soup on top. Serve hot with remaining
 cilantro, lime wedges & sour cream on side. 
 (recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Foods Digest)
Hot Ham & Cheese Dip
 1/2 onion, finely diced
 2 T. butter
 1 1/2 C. diced ham
 8 oz. cream cheese
 1 C. Swiss cheese, grated
 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
 1/2 C. Provolone cheese, grated
 2 tsp. chives
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Melt butter in medium skillet over
 medium heat. Stir in onions & continue
 cooking, stirring occasionally,until onions
 are soft & golden. Add cream cheese; stir
 until very soft & beginning to melt. Add
 remaining ingredients and, continue
 stirring until all is well combined (still
 on Low heat). Pour into 8 X 8 greased
 casserole dish; bake 20 minutes or
 until cheese has fully melted. Serve
 with crackers, chips or small slices
 of bread.
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 3/4 C. flour
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2 eggs
 2 egg yolks
 1 T. vanilla
 3/4 C. butter, softened
 1 C. sugar
 1 C. chocolate chips
 Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
 Spray/grease a 9" loaf pan.
 Whisk flour & salt together in
 a bowl; set aside. In another
 bowl, beat butter & sugar until
 fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly
 add in eggs, yolks & vanilla; beat
 until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
 Add flour mixture gradually, beat
 on low until combined; fold in
 chocolate chips. Pour batter into
 prepared pan & bake 60 minutes 
 or until a knife inserted in center
 comes out clan. Let cake cool 20-30 
 minutes before removing from pan.
 Serves 4-6
 After wrapping this up, think I'm going to see if
 I can get a little nap in before fixing dinner (right
 now I'm not sleepy - but ya never know . . .).
 Dinner is breaded Pork steaks & mashed potatoes
 (and some veggie).
 Enjoy your day!

Thursday Already!


My, how time flies when you’re ‘having fun’! Here it is Thursday already- I feel like I missed part of the week – spent most of yesterday ‘playing around’: knit some on the shawl, some on the blue/green baby blanket, knit 2 Premie hats, and crocheted on the ‘quickie’ baby blanket. (I would have read, but ran out of books – need to go to the Library soon). I really felt like a Lady of Leisure! Last night was my special needs group Music/Birthday night – we had a good crowd: 31 kids (plus caregivers & family members – probably around 47 people?). It was really nice to see some of our members return; one lady hasn’t been to the group in a good 6 months (she is a former cancer patient – it was SO good to see her own hair has now grown back!), several kids returned from camp – a good night was had by all. (I ended up bringing home 9 frosted cupcakes – we had extras; one was my breakfast this morning – grin!).

Today is a beautiful, but cool, day – right now, at 10:40 a.m. it’s only 64 degrees. Last night husband fiddled with our thermostat – it seems to show it’s working, but it’s not turning on the furnace – sigh. We had some trouble with it in the winter and the guy who came out sort of ‘jury rigged’ it to work, saying we needed to go to the hardware store and buy a new one (husband never did). We’ll see how long this goes –

Last night, upon coming ‘near’ my house while driving home my one student, I discovered that I would NOT be able to come my usual route – the county was going to be working on the road AGAIN. They had completely blocked off my side of the street (they did this before, but you could DRIVE to my house – this time NO WAY!). That put me in a conundrum – how would I be able to get in my driveway?  I ended up driving up our side street – doing a bunch of quick looks left & right then DRIVING THE OPPOSITE WAY DOWN THE ROAD TO MY HOUSE! (Hey, what was I supposed to do?) Luckily no road workers saw me – they weren’t out yet and there was NO traffic on that side of the street. I can just imagine people on the other side of the street wondering what I was doing going the WRONG way! Who cares – I made it home OK. A little later that night I looked out my front windows to see that they had a huge spotlight (on a trailer) pointed at my house while two workers just sat on the curb – don’t know what they were waiting for or WHAT they were going to do! Weird. Later, while on my computer, I heard a man’s voice on a bull horn saying: “NO – DRIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE!” (glad it wasn’t me he was yelling at!) Whew – got up this morning and you would never know all that transpired – road back to normal, big barrels sitting on the sides of the road, not bothering anyone. I’ll certainly be GLAD when they finish whatever they’re doing! (I noticed they have black mesh under all the manholes – husband said they put that there to keep out the cement pieces/bits from falling into the holes – interesting).


Blue Cheese ‘n Bacon Salad

2 medium sized ripe tomatoes,
sliced & chopped
2 medium cucumbers, chopped
1 small onion, peeled & sliced
1 pkg. Italian salad dressing,
prepared (Good Seasons)*
4 T. cooked/crumbled bacon
4 T. crumbled blue cheese

Prepare Good Seasons salad
dressing as directed on pkg; set
aside. Place veggies in a bowl; add
Italian dressing & toss. Cover &
refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Divide mixture into 4
bowls; sprinkle top of each with 1 T.
bacon & blue cheese. Serves 4

*or – I would just use bottled
Italian salad dressing


Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

2 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. butter, softened
3 eggs
2/3 C. buttermilk*
1 tsp. almond extract

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling

Crumb topping:
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour
3 T. butter, melted

1 C. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking dish; set
aside. In large bowl, beat flour,
sugar, baking powder & baking
soda until combined. Add butter &
beat until crumbly. Add in eggs,
almond extract & buttermilk; continue
to beat until mixture is light & fluffy.
Pour half of mixture into prepared
pan, spreading evenly. In separate
bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar &
egg until combined & fluffy. Pour
over batter & spread evenly. Top with
blueberry pie filling; spread evenly
over cream cheese mixture. Top
with remaining batter, spreading
evenly. Mix ingredients for crumb
topping; sprinkle over batter. Bake
50-60 minutes or until golden brown &
tests done; cool completely.
Once cooled, mix icing ingredients
together – it should be thick but thin
enough to drizzle. Drizzle over top
& serve. Makes 20 pieces.

*You can make buttermilk by pouring
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar into a 1 Cup
measuring cup, then pouring in enough
milk to come to the 2/3 measure. Stir &
let set 5 minutes – now you have


Potato Bacon Casserole

4 C. frozen shredded hash brown
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
8 oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 8″ square baking dish. Layer
1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bacon &
1/2 cheese in dish; repeat layers. Combine
evaporated milk, egg & salt in small
bowl; pour evenly over potato mixture.
Cover & bake 55-60 minutes. Uncover &
bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand
10-15 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Easy Garden Bake

1 C. chopped zucchini
1 large tomato, chopped (1 C.)
1 medium onion, chopped (1 C.)
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. Bisquick mix
1 C. milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease 9 inch pie plate. Layer
zucchini, tomato, onion & cheese
in plate. Stir remaining ingredients
until blended & pour into pie plate.
Bake 35 minute or until knife inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Chicken Packets

4 C. frozen broccoli cuts
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
4 boneless skinless chicken

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine broccoli, drained
tomatoes & dressing in medium
bowl. For each packet, lay two
20 X 12 inch sheets of regular
aluminum foil on top of each
other. Place 1 chicken breast on
each foil packet. Spoon broccoli &
tomato mixture equally over each
chicken breast. Bring up short
sides of each foil packet & double
fold top. Double fold both ends to
seal each packet, leaving space for
steam to gather. Place packets on
baking sheet; bake 20-25 minutes or
until chicken is no longer pink in
centers (165 degrees F.). Carefully
open ends of packets to allow steam
to escape before fully opening.
Serves 4



Lazy Cookie Cake Cookies

 1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs beaten
5 T melted butter
2 C mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together, refrain from eating it raw,
put in a greased 9×13 pan and bake 20 min

(recipe: momsgotink)

Crockpot Beef & Broccoli

1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast,
sliced into thin strips
1 C. beef consomme
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar or honey
1 T. sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. cooled sauce from crockpot,
after being cooked
fresh broccoli florets (as many
as desired)
hot, cooked rice

Place beef in crockpot. In small bowl
combine consomme, soy sauce, brown
sugar/honey, oil & garlic; pour over beef.
Cook on Low 6-8 hours.
After cooking:
In a cup, stir cornstarch & sauce from crockpot
stir until smooth.Stir well to combine. (If
sauce is not thickening, try bringing sauce to
a boil on stovetop with corn starch mixture. Boil
until desired consistency is reached.) Add broccoli
to crockpot; stir to combine. Cover & cook an
additional 30 minutes on High (sauce has to boil
to thicken). Serve over hot, cooked rice.

(recipe: Facebook)

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

1 lb sausage
1 1/2 oz pork gravy mix ( or 1 package
Pioneer Brand Peppered Sausage Gravy Mix )
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
to taste
black pepper,to taste
1 (8 oz) can biscuits ( 1 can
Pillsbury Grands Biscuits )

Preheat oven to 350 degree’s.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
Take biscuits and cut into 1″ pieces; line
bottom of pan with them. Brown sausage;
scatter over biscuits. Sprinkle with Cheddar
cheese. Whisk eggs & milk with a pinch of
salt and pepper; pour it over the pan.
Prepare gravy mix per package directions;
pour over casserole. Bake 30-45 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken & Peppers Stir Fry

1/2 C. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil

1 T. ketchup
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
cooked rice*

In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce,
oil, ketchup & garlic; heat mixture
in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add chicken; cook & stir 3 minutes.
Add peppers; cook & stir 5 minutes, or
until chicken is cooked through. Serve
over hot rice. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Fresh Apple Cake

1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extra
1 C. chopped pecans
3 C. peeled and chopped apples

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13″ pan. Combine oil, sugar,
and eggs. Stir in flour and baking soda.
Add vanilla, pecans, and apples. Spread
in prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Cool for 2 hours. Then prepare frosting.


1/2 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Boil all ingredients in a small saucepan for
2 minutes. Set pan in bowl filled with ice
water. Beat icing until of spreading consistency.
Spread over top of cake.

(recipe: Facebook)

It seems a bit strange not anticipating
our grandson tomorrow; not that I’m
complaining, just seems different. Not
sure what I’m doing for the rest of the
day – I am going to ‘attempt’ to re-create
a dish I formerly purchased at Gordon
Foods: Spinach/cheese stuffed chicken
breasts. They were very tasty, but to my
estimation, a bit pricey for 4 chicken
breasts (ran about $11.50 for 4). I’m going
to use frozen spinach, shredded mozzarella
& skinless chicken breasts. Am going to slice
each breast 3/4 way through, stuff with the
spinach & cheese, roll in beaten egg then
in Italian bread crumbs & bake 350 degrees
about 45 – 60 minutes. This is all ‘me’ – I’m
taking a guess on it all – we’ll see how it comes
out. (I’m guessing it will be messy – the cheese
will melt & probably ooze out – will line the
cookie sheet with foil, just in case.)

Hope you’re having a good, RELAXING day.
Enjoy the lovely sunny weather while you
can, we only have about 1 1/2 months of it
to go then FALL descends – ugh. Mind you,
I LIKE Fall – at the beginning when the air
just starts to turn a bit nippy and the leaves
are starting to turn, but then (as we all know)
not far behind is the COLD of winter – ugh!)

Big hugs;


Delivery – DONE!


(Couldn’t resist posting this!)

Today I just got back from delivering another 100 baby hats to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, Pontiac; that brings my total hats to 550 – now, don’t get too surprised, this was with HELP from other people, too, along the way. If I had to ‘say’ – I’d guess I knit about 98% of them; just glad they can go to a good cause.

Our weather is lovely for Summer – it’s a bit grey out, but still 81 balmy degrees with a slight breeze – NICE weather!

Passed my local gas station on my travels and regular gas us now $3.59/9!!! WOW! (almost too bad that my tank is still on over-full . . . sigh). It hasn’t been that low in MANY months!


Strawberry Banana Pudding Fluff

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
2 C. milk
2 C. chopped strawberries
2 C. mini marshmallows
2 bananas, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In medium bowl, mix together pudding
mix & milk accordg. to pkg. directions.
Fold in Cool Whip until thoroughly mixed.
Stir in strawberries, bananas & marsh-
mallows; mix well. Refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 12


Homemade Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped apple

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking
powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and
egg until just combined. Fold in apple.
Pour oil into skillet so that it is
approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil
on high. Oil is ready when a little
dough thrown in floats to top.
Carefully add dough to oil in
heaping teaspoons. Cook until
brown, about 2 minutes, then flip.
Cook another 1-2 minutes, until
both sides are browned. Transfer
briefly to paper towels to absorb
excess oil, then transfer to cooling
Make glaze by stirring milk and
powdered sugar together in a
small bowl. Drizzle over apple
fritters. Wait approximately 3
minutes for glaze to harden, then
flip fritters and drizzle glaze over
the other side. Best served warm

(recipe: Facebook)

Ground Beef Enchilada Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives
4 green onions, chopped
1 (28 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 T. butter
12 corn tortillas
4 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese

Using a deep, oven-safe skillet, heat to
medium-high heat. Brown ground beef, onion
& garlic; add salt & pepper. Cook until meat
is browned, about 5-6 minutes; drain. Add
enchilada sauce, chicken broth, salt & pepper,
sugar & butter; stir. Simmer, covered, 5
minutes. Pour all but 1 C. sauce into a separate
bowl. Layer 6 tortillas in skillet & cover with
half of remaining sauce & 2 C. Mex. cheese.
Sprinkle half of green onions, cilantro & olives
over cheese. Layer 6-7 more tortillas in skillet
& cover with remaining sauce. Set oven to Broil;
place pan in oven & broil until cheese is melted &
a little browned, 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven
& let set 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle remaining
green onions, olives & cilantro on top.
Serves 6-8


Summer Shrimp Salad

1 lb. cooked shrimp/ chilled &
coarsely chopped
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or
less, if desired)
1/4 C. minced red onion
1/4 C. minced celery
1/2 C. real bacon bits
(4-5 slices, cooked & chopped)
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped

Mix all ingredients together;
chill for at least 1/2 hour before

May be served in tortilla bowls,
regular bowls or use as a dip with
toasted baguette slices.

(recipe: Allison –

Tiny Tuna Delights

2 eggs
2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna
in water, drained/flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stuffing Mix for
1 C. water
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into
12 cubes

Heat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except Velveeta
until blended. Spoon into 12 muffin
pan cups sprayed with nonstick spray.
Press 1 Velveeta cube into center of
each tuna-filled muffin cup, completely
enclosing the cheese. Bake 15 minutes
or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes
before removing from pan to serve.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Jalapeno Slaw

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. lime juice
1 (2 lb) head cabbage, shredded
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro
2 fresh jalapeno peppers,
stemmed/seeded & thinly sliced

Mix mayo & lime juice in large
bowl. Add cabbage, cilantro &
jalapenos; mix lightly.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Saucy Mexican Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken
breasts* (1 lb)
1 C. thick & chunky salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1/2 C. water or chicken broth
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook chicken in nonstick skillet on
medium-high heat 4 minutes on
each side or until browned on both
sides. Add salsa & beans to skillet;
bring to boil, cover & simmer on
medium-low heat 5 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Uncover, top with cheese; remove
from heat & let stand, covered,
5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves 4

*can substitute 8 chicken thighs

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cake Mix Italian Cream Cake

1 (18 1/4 oz) white cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 C. water
4 eggs
1/2 C. canola oil
1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
2 C. flaked coconut

3 T. butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 T. cream
2 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 C. flaked coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixer bowl add cake mix,
vanilla pudding, water, eggs & oil.
With elec. mixer, beat 2 minutes at
medium speed; fold in chopped
nuts & coconut. Pour batter into
a greased 9 X 13 pan (or spray with
nonstick cooking spray and lightly
flour). Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted off center comes
out clean. Cool completely before
In medium mixer bowl, blend butter &
cream cheese. Add conf. sugar & enough
cream to make it a smooth spreading
consistency. Frost cake with frosting
& sprinkle top with coconut.

(recipe: worldsbestrecipes4utoday.

Bacon & Onion Foil Packet Potatoes

(Grill or oven)

2 – 3 sheets heavy-duty foil
1 packet onion soup powder
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
12 slices  cooked/crumbled bacon
1 small onion thinly sliced and diced
1 cup cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Sour cream for serving (optional)

Spray each sheet of foil with cooking
spray. Top each piece with equal
portions of potatoes, bacon,
1 packet onion soup powder and
mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each
serving. Wrap securely.Grill for
20- 30 minutes.

Preheat oven  350° degrees F.
Bake 35 minutes or till done. Let
stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve in foil, topped with sour
cream if desired

(recipe: Facebook)

Skillet Eggplant Parmesan

2 eggs
1 1/2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb), cut
into 1/4″ slices
1/3 C. vegetable oil, divided
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce, divided
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Place eggs in a shallow dish; beat lightly.
Place bread crumbs in another shallow dish.
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread
crumbs; pat crumbs lightly on both sides.
In large skillet, heat 2 T. oil over medium
heat. Fry eggplant slices 1-2 minutes per
side until golden, adding more oil as needed;
remove to platter. When done frying, discard
oil & place 3/4 C. sauce in skillet. Layer with
fried eggplant then spoon 3/4 C. sauce over
& sprinkle with 1/2 C. cheese. Repeat layers
2 more times, ending with sauce & reserving
1/2 C. cheese. Cover & heat 12-15 minutes
on medium-low heat. Remove cover; sprinkle
remaining cheese; cook 3-5 minutes longer
or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Parmesan/Garlic Grilled Corn

cooking spray
1/4 C. margarine
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray cold grate of gas grill with
cooking spray; preheat grill to
medium heat. Combine margarine,
garlic salt & pepper in small bowl;
set aside. Grill corn 12-15 minutes or
until tender & browned lightly, turning
occasionally. Remove corn from grill,
brush with marg. mixture then sprinkle
entire ear with cheese. Serves 4,
1 ear each.


Pina Colada Poke Cake
(no alcohol)
Overnight recipe
1 box butter cake mix (and
ingredients on box to make
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut*
1 (15.25oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained & juice reserved

2 C. heavy whipping cream**
2-4 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. coconut extract
shredded coconut
maraschino cherries (garnish)

Prepare & bake box cake in
9 X 13 greased pan, accordg. to
pkg. directions. While cake is
baking, mix pineapple juice,
sweetened cond. milk & cream of
coconut until smooth. Immediately
after removing cake from oven, use
end of a wooden spoon and poke
holes all over top of cake. Pour milk
mixture over top of warm cake, making
sure to get it down into the holes. Cake
will appear VERY saturated, but it will
absorb liquid. Evenly spread reserved
crushed pineapple over top. Cover
cake with plastic wrap & refrigerate

In a bowl, beat together topping
ingredients vigorously by hand, with
a whisk or elec. mixer. When cream
starts to thicken, add in powdered
sugar & coconut extract. Continue
beating until soft peaks form. Frost
cake with topping, garnish with
shredded coconut & maraschino
cherries, if desired. Keep cake
covered in fridge for up to 3 days.

*cream of coconut NOT coconut
milk – you can usually find cream of
coconut in the drinks/mixers aisle of
grocery store

**Poster states you may use
Cool Whip (thawed) as a substitute
in the topping.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe


Today’s mail brought me both the yarn for the shawl
AND that huge skein of Rosebud yarn I just bid on
and won the other day – amazing! Since the baby
hats are done (for now) I might either start the shawl
or work on the easy crocheted baby blanket (or a bit
of both!). Dinner tonight is an easy one: frozen pkgs
of Shrimp Scampi – you just heat them up! Sounded
good AND easy, so we’ll see. The other night I made
(what turned out to be) a VAT of spaghetti – didn’t
plan on it being THAT big (there are only three of us
currently eating here); I used 1 1/2 pkgs of angel
hair pasta – a bit TOO much! I might just freeze the
rest of the pot (about 1/2 pot left), as we’re all
getting a bit tired of eating the SAME thing every
night/lunch/snack, etc. Ever had that happen to you?
I shouldn’t complain, I’m sure there are people who
are going hungry right now that would be very
glad to get this spaghetti.

Another ‘thing to figure out’ – back to my Youtube
account – can’t seem to figure out where all my
saved ‘favorites’ went; watched their intro video
and learned that they changed up the format –
that’s great, but it only shows me about the last
3 months of my video watchings, NOT the ones
I’d saved (and there was one particular music
video I REALLY wanted to find: a clarinet piece
by a Jewish holocaust survivor (I posted it on
Facebook about 3-4 months ago; even tried going
through my previous postings on Facebook –
no luck). Ah, technology – ain’t it a PAIN!!!



Guess what WE did Yesterday!?


Wild Blackberry Pickin’!

Our backyard is filled with wild blackberries which my (age 8) grandson just loves picking! He just got back from a almost 1 week vacation with his Dad to Myrtlebeach and I was thinking: “What can I do to keep him amused?” I was so glad there was still tons of blackberries for the picking – he loves them with a little sugar and a big dollop of Cool Whip. Today he left for another vacation with the other grandparents to Minnesota for a week – that kid REALLY travels!  We also played several rounds of a card game he calls “Garbage” – I’m not one for cards, but this is one I not only can figure out – I actually LIKE it!

Seven more baby hats to go and I can call the hospital and deliver them. Last night I was in the mood for something a little more relaxing so I dug out a very simple crochet pattern and started another baby blanket with some yarn I had in my stash. I’ve decided to keep the knit blanket for next year’s Veteran’s Baby shower (as it’s a rather ‘picky’ pattern, requiring lots of concentration – each time I pick it up I only get around 4-6 rows done before I want to put it down. At that rate, it won’t be done by September). This crocheted pattern is fast and very easy – more likely I’ll be able to complete it in time.

The past several nights have been ‘different’ – to say the least. As I’ve posted before, we live on a MAIN highway (a MICHIGAN road/street/highway) – lots of traffic goes past our house daily – in the thousands of vehicles. It seems the County has decided we need some road work done on our road, so two nights ago they put up barrels on both sides of the (5 lane) street/road. At around 10 p.m. they began their work: lots of big truck bed banging, backing up BEEP-BEEP-BEEP sounds, etc. Wednesday to Thursday night they quit around 12: 30 p.m. but not before I had a major headache – they were working right in front of my house. I tried ear buds and music – that really didn’t help. Last night they were back – about 9:30 p.m. until almost 1 a.m.!!! When they left we could count at least 7 HUGE craters where they’d taken out a slab of concrete – I was a bit concerned about my son returning home and attempting to turn from the turn lane (where a crater lived) into our driveway – he made it ok. Today they are back – this time in daylight. Yes, I can here the BEEP-BEEP-BEEP of backing up trucks, the kind of grinding noise of a cement truck at work and the sounds of big trucks going by – ought to be a ‘fun’ day/night. The funny thing is: I drive this road almost daily and I’d actually say that the parts they are fixing DON’T REALLY NEED FIXING! I’m SURE there are other roads/streets with much worse cracks/craters! (Guess I shouldn’t complain, eh? At least it will be nicer than before – hopefully).


Tropical Sunshine Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in
juice, drained (juice reserved/divided)
1/2 C. chopped almonds
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. flaked coconut, toasted
whipped cream (or Cool Whip)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cake mix, evap.  milk & eggs
in large bowl. Mix, on Low speed with
elec. mixer 2 minutes. Stir in 1 C.
pineapple. Pour batter into pan; sprinkle
top with almonds & bake 30-35 minutes
or until wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool in pan on
wire rack 15 minutes.
Combine powdered sugar & 2 T. reserved
pineapple juice in small bowl; mix well &
spread over warm cake, sprinkle with
coconut & remaining pineapple. Cool
completely before serving. Top with
whipped cream or Cool Whip, if
desired. Serves 12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Apple Fritters

1 C. milk
1 egg, beaten
4 T. margarine, melted
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 orange, rind & juice
1 C. apples*, chopped (but
not too fine)
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

In mixing bowl combine milk, egg
& melted margarine. Add orange
juice, rind, chopped apples & vanilla.
Sift together sugar, salt, flour & baking
powder; stir into milk mixture with a
spoon until blended. Do not overmix.
Heat oil in skillet 350 degrees F. Drop
dough off end of tablespoon into hot
oil; fry until golden brown. Turn so they
brown evenly; place on paper towels
to cool.

*Ok to leave skins on, or as you desire

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Four-Cheese Lasagna Dip
Crockpot or Oven

1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 C. pasta sauce of choice
1 C. cottage cheese
2 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
1 C. Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
pinch red pepper flakes
dried parsley (garnish)

Garlic bread or crusty bread-
for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, brown sausage,
using a large spoon to break up
sausage into bite-sized pieces as
it cooks; drain grease. In large
bowl combine cottage cheese with
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, 1/2 C.
Cheddar cheese, 1/2 C. Parmesan
cheese & cream cheese; mix well.
Spread cheese mixture evenly into
bottom of a 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 pie plate.
In medium bowl, stir cooked sausage
with 1 C. pasta sauce, Italian seasoning,
pinch red pepper flake – spread evenly
over cheese layer. Top with remaining
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese & 1/2 C.
Cheddar cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until cheese starts to turn golden brown.
Garnish with dried parsley, if desired.
Crockpot Directions:
Arrange ingredients in crockpot in
order listed. Cook on Low 2-4 hours
or High 1-2 hours.


Cream of Zucchini Soup

1/2 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
3 medium zucchini, skin on, cut
into large chunks
1 (32 oz) can chicken or vegetable
2 T. sour cream
kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
fresh grated Parmesan cheese,
(optional) for topping

Combine chicken/veg broth, onion,
garlic & zucchini in large pot over
medium heat; bring to boil. Lower
heat, cover & simmer until tender,
about 20 minutes. Remove from
heat, puree with immersion blender
(or pour, in batches, into a blender
& puree). Add sour cream & puree
again until smooth. Serves 4


Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning
6 large flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 C. shredded taco cheese (or)
2-3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
4 oz. sour cream
jarred hot sauce, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat & onion, drain fat. Add
taco seasoning & stir in refried beans.
Mix soup & sour cream in separate
bowl. Spread half sour cream mixture
in bottom of a casserole dish. Tear up
3 tortillas & spread over sour cream
mixture. Put half meat/bean mixture
over top & add a layer of cheese. (you
could add hot sauce now if desired)
Repeat layers. Sprinkle cheese on
top & bake, uncovered, 20-30

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Asian Orange Chicken

1 1/2 C. water
2 T. orange juice
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/3 C. vinegar
2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated orange zest
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 t. chopped green onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. water


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into 1/2 inch pieces
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T. olive oil

Cooked rice to serve 4

Pour 1 1/2 C. water, orange juice., lemon juice,
vinegar & soy sauce into saucepan; set over
medium-high heat. Stir in orange zest, brown
sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion & red
pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, remove from
heat & cool 10-15 minutes. Place chicken
pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When
contents of sauce pan have cooled, pour
1 C. sauce into bag. Reserve remaining sauce.
Seal bag & refrigerate at least 2 hours. In
another resealable bag, mix flour, salt & pepper.
Add marinated chicken pieces, seal bag & shake
to coat. Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium heat. Place chicken in skillet, brown on
both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper
towels; cover with aluminum foil. Wipe out
the skillet, add the sauce. Bring to a boil
over medium-high heat. Mix together
cornstarch & 2 T. water; stir into the sauce.
Reduce heat to medium low, add chicken
pieces & simmer, about 5 minutes. stirring
occasionally. Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4


Beef & Mushrooms

3 lb. lean beef stew meat, cubed
1 pkt. onion soup mix, dry
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 large can mushrooms
1/2 C. water

cooked noodles

Place all ingredients in crockpot; cook
on Low all day. Serve over cooked

(recipe: Cheryl – Slowcooker Digest)

Crockpot Biscuit/Bacon Breakfast

1 (8 count) tube Pillsbury refrigerated
GRANDS biscuits
8 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
5 eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, tomato, green
pepper, cheese & chopped bacon. Open
biscuits & cut each single biscuit into 4
equal parts. Drop cut biscuits into egg/milk
mixture. Foll the biscuits into the mixture
until biscuits are well covered with the
mixture. Spray inside of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Pour mixture into crockpot.
Cook, on High 3 1/2 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Sinfully Good Southern Pecan Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust
4 large eggs
1 1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted & cooled to room
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. raisins
2 T. flour
2 T. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. whole pecans

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Whisk eggs in large bowl until
foamy. Add remaining ingredients,
omitting whole pecans – whisk
until combined. Pour mixture* into
pie crust & top with whole pecans.
Bake 30 minutes then reduce
oven temperature to 300 & bake
an additional 30 minutes. If you
like your crust crispy, leave in oven
as it cools & crust will crisp up.

NOTE: *You will have a little bit
of filling left over – poster says she
pours that over vanilla ice cream!



Today is the day we finally celebrate
my birthday (June 18th) – it’s been a
rather busy several weeks and we just
never got around to it. Husband asked
me, last night, where I’d like to go and
I’ve been sort of ‘hankerin’ for some
seafood; choices in that area are:
Joe’s Crab Shack (GREAT calamari!)
or Red Lobster. (in the past I would have
NOT chosen Red Lobster – my previous
experiences were not the best but…)
Last Fall we went to a luncheon for
former employees of the local Bell
Telephone company AT Red Lobster
and my perceptions were changed –
I LIKE their food! I’m thinking tonight
will be Red Lobster – love their Cheddar
biscuits and salads; looking forward to
a night I don’t have to cook!

Our weather is typical ‘summer/July’ –
74, a little cloudy but nice; possible
afternoon thunderstorm – high 84
degrees F. (NICE summer weather!)

Hope you have a GREAT DAY! Remember
to stop & smell the roses or whatever
flowers you have blooming your way!