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!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I hope the birthday dinner was great! Sometimes we have to wait for the good stuff!

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