Good Times!


Yesterday I jumped out of my ‘normal’ and went with my husband to visit friends in a near by ‘village’: Lake Orion, MI; they live on an island and it is ‘THE’ place to be to view fireworks. I haven’t been there in a good 8-10 years (why? Simply because I really don’t like big crowds) but I made the exception and went – it was WELL worth it! It was good to see friends, re-connect and just ‘chill’. Because their firewords display is so well known in the area, it is highly suggested you get ON the island early (we got there around 3 and almost couldn’t find a parking space! To emphasize this more: they put up signs (there’s only one 2 lane road in & out) that says: “Island closed 4 -11 p.m.” – they aren’t kidding! Later on we saw 2 policemen riding their bicycles around, just making sure the peace was kept. They know our friend well and don’t bother him – even though you could plainly see a big flat board on the driveway with lots of already blown up fireworks! (our friend LOVES setting off firecrackers & medium explosives!). It was a long day spent sitting on deck chairs or just walking around – finally at 10 p.m. they began – EXCELLENT! I’d forgotten what a spectacular job they do – easily 45 minutes of beautiful displays followed by one of the biggest finales I’ve ever seen! We left to go home around 11:25 and it was bumper-to-bumper off the island and for quite a while after that – you KNOW people like it when it’s that crowded! Our friend also loves a party – he had bought and planted 54 big flowers & hanging baskets earlier in the week, just to beautify his house! There was food galore: lots of various salads, meatballs in the crockpot, TONS of various dips & chips, and a good 6-8 desserts (I made 16 filled cupcakes – they didn’t last a 1/2 hour!). Even thought, the day before, I kept grumbling to myself that I didn’t want to go, I’m glad I did! It had been so long that one friend came up to hug me, saying it was so good to see me, and later I asked someone: “Who IS that short, bald guy?” I was shocked to find out who it was – I knew him but hadn’t seen him in a good 8-10 years! (I guess that’s what I get when I don’t go see friends more frequently, eh?)

It’s now Saturday and I’m very glad I have this day between yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s church – I NEED a ‘down’ day! Still searching for the ‘right’ yarn to knit the shawl – can’t decide on color! The skirt is a dark forest green, blouse is white/apron is white – kind of torn between black and camel color (but I can’t seem to find the right camel for my liking in a #2 Lace-weight yarn! Still searching the ‘net). I did knit the snood in a sort of bright forest green – not really happy with how it came out (it’s too bunchy at the top). I managed to find a site that sells already knit ones for $10! Thinking about it – I’ve got a year to decide! There is a sort of mint green one, several black, and one CAMEL color – the RIGHT camel color – decisions/decisions!

Today is our ‘Fourth of July’ Dinner, since we didn’t have it yesterday. BBQ’d ribs in the crockpot and red skin potato salad – YUM! I love cooking ribs in the crockpot – I cook them, usually, all day – they come out so TENDER! I just cook them on High for a good 4 hours – no sauce, nothing but the ribs. Using my turkey baster, I get all the liquids out them cover them in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and cook them another 2-3 hours – works every time. Sometimes I put them on a flat sheet tray and put them under the broiler for a few, just to brown up the sauce (and, of course, add a little more sauce before broiling).


Creamy Vanilla-Berry Salad

1 (32 oz) container vanilla yogurt
1 (6 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2-3 C. fresh or frozen berries (blueberries,
strawberries or raspberries)

Place vanilla yogurt in large bowl; sprinkle
box of dry pudding mix over yogurt & mix
well. Mix in tub of thawed Cool Whip &
gently stir in 2 C. berries (reserving 1 C. for
topping), mix until just combined. Smooth
top of mixture then top with remaining
berries. Cover & chill until ready to serve.
Serves 10
Can be made up to 24 hours in advance



A-1 BBQ Ribs

3 lb pkg. baby back ribs
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. water
2/3 C. orange marmalade
1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/4 C. dijon mustard

Heat grill on medium heat. Place
half ribs in single layer on large
sheet of heavy-duty aluminum
foil. Mix sugar & seasonings; rub
half evenly on both sides of ribs.
Bring up foil sides; double fold top
& one end to seal packet. Add 1/4 C.
water to packet through open end.
Double fold remaining end, leaving
room for heat circulation inside;
repeat to make second packet. Grill
45 minutes – 1 hour or until ribs are
done. Remove ribs from foil. Mix
remaining ingredients until blended.
Return ribs to grill; brush with half
marmalade mixture; grill 15 minutes,
turning & brushing occasionally with
remaining marmalade mixture.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cranberry-Glazed Braised Short Ribs

2 C. cranberry juice
juice from 2 oranges
1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. minced ginger
3 lb. beef short ribs (about 6)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/4″
thick slices
1 T. cornstarch

Mix first 5 ingredients; set aside.
Cook ribs in Dutch oven or large
deep skillet on medium-high heat
4 minutes on each side or until
browned on both sides. Remove
ribs from pan; add onions &
cranberries, cook 5 minutes
stirring frequently. Return ribs to
pan; add 2 C. cranberry juice
mixture; bring to boil & cover.
Simmer on Low heat 1 hour 15
minutes. Add fennel; cook 45
minutes or until ribs are tender.
After about 15 minutes, bring
remaining cranberry juice mixture
to boil in medium saucepan; simmer
on medium-low heat 15 minutes or
until thickened, stirring frequently.
Use fork or slotted spoon to transfer
ribs & vegetables to platter; cover to
keep warm. Skim & discard fat from
sauce remaining in pan. Pour half into
medium bowl; whisk in cornstarch until
well blended; add to cranberry juice
mixture in saucepan; mix well & bring
to boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute.
Serve vegetables & ribs topped with
cranberry glaze. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)


BBQ Shrimp Skewers

1 lb. jumbo raw shrimp, shelled/
deveined (weight after peeling)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
kosher salt & pepper
3 T. (*Kansas city style BBQ sauce)
8 long wooden skewers

Soak skewers in water at least 20
minutes before using to prevent
burning. Combine shrimp with
crushed garlic & season with salt
& pepper. * Lightly oil grill to medium
heat. When grill is hot, add shrimp
& grill on both sides 6-8 minutes
total cooking time until shrimp is
opaque & cooked through. Brush
on sauce during last minute of cooking.
Eat immediately. Serves 4

*Kansas City-Style BBQ sauce:
1 1/3 C. tomato sauce
1/3 C. tomato paste
1/3 C. honey
1/2 C. + 3 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. molasses (unsulfered)
2 tsp. hickory liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. chili powder

In large saucepan combine all
ingredients & simmer over Low
heat 25 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Let cool & store in
refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes 2 C. + 2 T.



Tangy Key Lime Pie

1 C. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. butter, melted (salted)
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. lime zest

2 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1/2 C. fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
2 T. fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2

PLACE IN CROCKPOT (not batter):
1 C. warm water

Garnish: whipped cream
for topping, if desired

a 6 qt crockpot
and a 1.5 qt. casserole dish
(like Pyrex or Corningware)

Spray casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Mix cracker crumbs with butter,
brown sugar & lime zest.  press
crust mixture into bottom of
dish. In large mixing bowl whip
egg yolks, cond. milk, lime juice &
lemon juice with elec. mixer
until frothy; pour evenly on top
of cracker crumbs in dish.
Gently lower casserole dish
into crockpot (on top of warm
water), being careful to not
slosh water into dish. Cover
crockpot & cook on High 2-3
hours or until no longer shiny
on edges & center is set*
Remove casserole dish &
refrigerate at least 4 hours
or overnight before serving.
Serve with whipped cream,
if desired. Serves 6

*you can poke it with your finger;
if set, you shouldn’t get any
filling on your finger



Cucumber/Tomato/Mint Salad

couple cucumbers, peeled/diced
couple tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
Feta cheese (optional)
crushed garlic (optional)
sea salt
black pepper (to taste)
olive oil, to taste
fresh lemon juice, to taste*
dried mint, few generous pinches;
more, if fresh

Toss all ingredients together in
a salad bowl. Best eaten when fresh,
but keeps for a day or so in fridge.

*or raw apple cider, coconut vinegar,
or Kombucha)



Baked Onion Rings

1 yellow onion – ends trimmed,
peeled & cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 eggs
2 T. milk
3 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Separate onion slices into individual
Whisk eggs & milk in a bowl until
thoroughly combined. Place panko
crumbs in a separate bowl. Place
onion rings in large ziplock bag. Add
flour, salt & pepper; seal bag & shake
until rings are well coated. Drop
flour-coated rings into egg/milk
mixture a few at a time, & toss
lightly with tongs until coated. Place
rings into panko crumbs & gently
shake bowl to toss crumbs with
onion rings until rings are coated.
Transfer coated rings to a large
baking sheet. Spray rings lightly
with nonstick spray. Bake until
rings are tender & crumbs are
lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.



Spinach-stuffed Tomatoes

1 (12 oz) pkg. Stouffer’s Spinach
souffle, defrosted*
accordg to pkg. directions
8 medium tomatoes
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Parmesan,
Cheddar or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut 1/2″ slice from top of each tomato;
scoop out pulp, leaving shell intact. Fill
each tomato with spinach souffle;
sprinkle cheese over top. Place in shallow
baking dish. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 4

*Defrost souffle in microwave on
medium power 6-7 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

No Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake
(overnight recipe)

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 C. heavy cream, divided
2 T. lemon juice
1/3 C. sugar
4 C. diced fresh strawberries
(15 oz) box ‘Nilla Wafer cookies
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 drop red food coloring (optional)

Cream together cream cheese, sugar &
lemon juice until soft & fluffy. Add 3 C.
heavy cream & beat on medium speed
with elec. mixer until thickened & fluffy;
gently fold in strawberries. Place a single
layer of ‘nilla wafers in a 9 X 13 pan; top
with 1/3 cream mixture – repeat layers
two more times. Combine remaining
cup of heavy cream, powdered sugar,
vanilla & food coloring (if using). Beat
on medium-high until thickened; spread
over cake. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Top with additional strawberries & serve.


Ribs are in the crockpot, just had a tasty meatloaf/Cheddar cheesesandwich for my brunch (LOVE leftover meatloaf for sandwiches!)
It’s almost 80 degrees out now -sun brightly shining; maybe I’ll take my knitting outside today, just to
enjoy the lovely weather! On our drive yesterday I was observing the gas prices: on average, $3.81/9 – not
bad! I’m really glad they DIDN’T
raise the prices for the holiday weekend!

Enjoy your day and remember to
YOURSELF (and someone else, if you can!);



PS: In my perusings today I found a
very interesting KNITTING site:

They go from teaching beginning knitting
using videos, to more advanced stitches/
techniques! I found a very nice pattern
for the border of my (soon to be knit)
shawl, AND a new-to-me technique for
loosely binding off stitches (to the non-
knitter, it means how to finish your
project and take off the stitches at the
end. Her technique helps you to NOT
have tight stitches at the end; I have
tried many times to loosely knit/bind
off only to have the stitches be a little
tight – her method gives me HOPE!)



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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lake Orion always had some impressive displays. I enjoyed visiting them there. I’m going to visit the site you suggested.

  2. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • I’ve read your comments through now, twice. I’m not exactly sure what it is you want me to do.

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