One Done!


Knit Scarf for Homeless Shelter

This is the first scarf I was knitting for the homeless shelter project with the new knit group (I meet them next Saturday). The yarn was donated, pattern I made up (really easy) – took me about 1 1/2 weeks, knitting whenever I felt like it. I wanted to go to the first meeting bringing something with me to donate; I’m still working on the other (ladies) scarf – I tend to think of this one as a man’s scarf – it’s long & heavy (I borrowed my husband’s neck to make sure it was long enough before finishing it – it’s folded over in the photo.)

It’s another GORGEOUS day out there – went grocery shopping JUST to have an excuse to go outside! (pretty bad, eh?) From looking at the National weather forecasts, it looks like we, here in good old Michigan, will be enjoying SUMMER-LIKE weather for at least the next 5 days or so! INDIAN SUMMER! YAY! It’s so nice out there I opened the windows and turned on the house fan – it’s about 78 degrees & sunny – just perfect weather for me!


Crockpot Peach Cobbler

3/4 C. Bisquick mix
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
6 oz. evaporated milk (1/2 of a
12 oz. can)
2 tsp. margarine or butter, melted
2 eggs
3 large, ripe peaches, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Lightly grease insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine sugar & Bisquick. Add
eggs & vanilla; stir then pour in
margarine & milk; mix well. Mix in
peaches & cinnamon until well
mixed then pour into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 3-4 hours.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream,
if desired, or Half & Half cream

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe

Cashew Chicken & Broccoli

4 C. raw broccoli, cut into
small pieces
1 C. cashews
1/2 C. sliced yellow onion
1-2 C. cooked chicken*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chicken stock

Add at end of cooking time:
1/4 C. water mixed with
2 T. cornstarch

In large skillet add broccoli, cashews,
onion, cooked chicken, garlic, sugar,
soy sauce, oil & chicken stock. Cook
on High heat; cover with lid & bring
to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat
to medium & boil 7-8 minutes until
broccoli is tender. Stir in cornstarch
blend to thicken sauce; stir until
well blended. Once sauce thickens
remove from heat. Serve over
cooked rice or noodles. Serves 4

* can substitute canned chicken
if needed


Tater Tot Edge Bake
(Overnight – crockpot)

1 (30 oz) pkg. tater tots
6 oz. diced Canadian bacon
2 onions, chopped
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
12 eggs
1 C. milk
4 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In greased 5 qt crockpot layer 1/3 rd of
tater tots, Can. bacon, onions & cheeses.
Repeat layers twice, ending with a layer
of cheeses. In large bowl, whisk remaining
ingredients & pour over ingredients in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 8


Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 3/4 C. confectioner's sugar
Melt chocolate & butter together; let cool &
blend into sour cream, vanilla & salt. Gradually
add confectioner's sugar until frosting is of
spreading consistency, beat well. Makes 2 Cups.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Porcupine Meatballs
 1 lb. lean ground turkey
 1 T. minced garlic
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/4 tsp. pepper
 1/2 C. uncooked instant brown rice
 1 C. bread crumbs
 1 C. milk
 2 T. tomato paste
 1 (24 oz) can marinara sauce
 Combine meat, garlic, salt, pepper,
 rice, bread crumbs, milk & tomato
 paste in a bowl; shape into meat-
 balls with an ice cream scoop. Place
 in crockpot in a single layer; pour
 marinara sauce over top. Cover &
 cook on Low 3-5 hours. Serves 5
German Potato Pancakes
6 large potatoes
 2 eggs, well-beaten
 1 1/2 T. flour
 1/4 tsp. baking powder
 1 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 small onion, finely grated
 Grate potatoes; place them in a
 sieve & press the water out of them.
 Mix potatoes with rest of ingredients.
 Drop by spoonfuls into 1/4 inch hot
 cooking oil. Cook & brown on both
 sides. Makes 12 pancakes.
 good served with applesauce &
 sour cream
Sauteed Squash Medley
1 medium zucchini, cut in half
 lengthwise, sliced
 1 medium yellow summer squash,
 cut in half lengthwise, sliced
 1/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
 2 T. margarine
 Spray large skillet with nonstick
 spray; heat over meidum-high
 heat. Add all ingredients except
 margarine; cook 5 minutes until
 browned lightly, stirring occasion-
 ally. Remove from heat & add
 margarine until melted.
 Serves 4 (1/2 C. each)
 Note: can use 2 zucchini or 2
 yellow squash instead of 1 each.
Creamy Jalapeno Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
 room temp
 1 C. mayonnaise
 1 C. Mexican-blend cheese, 
 shredded (half Monterey Jack or
 half Cheddar)
 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
 1 (4 oz) can green chiles, 
 1 (4 oz) can jalapenos, diced
 1 C. panko bread crumbs
 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
 1/4 C. butter, melted
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 6 ingredients 
in a mixer or food processor; 
blend until smooth. No need 
to drain cans-personal option. 
Spread dip into a greased 
casserole dish.
In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 
additional 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese 
& melted butter. Sprinkle crumb 
mixture evenly over dip & bake
20 minutes until top is browned 
& bubbling around edges. 
Well, it seems my computer 
is having fun (again)
at my expense - can't get 
the fonts to line up
correctly without looking 
Crazy - sigh.
Hope you're enjoying the 
tail-end of our great 
summer weather - 
remember to take
a little time for 



Another Gorgeous Day!


Bright & sunny, High expected today 73! YES! Early this morning our oldest son called to ask what we liked in our coffee – he was at Tim Horton’s (3 minutes from us) and Tim’s is offering ALL sizes of coffee for $1 a cup, so he brought us our favorite coffee – what a son, eh?

Not much going on around here, tonight is my special needs group and tomorrow is the BIG Hawaiian Luau party for same group – ought to be ‘interesting’, to say the least! Tonight is “Music/Birthday Night” which is always the group’s favorite night: we sing Christian songs (they have about 14 favorites), I play piano – it’s great fun, then we get the people who’s birthday occurs during this month together, take a photo of them then the entire group gets cupcakes & (diet) pop – they love it. For some reason, this particular night always seems to fly by (guess it’s because I’m always running from one activity to the next – keeps me young!)


Bacon Mac & Cheese

4 oz. elbow macaroni noodles,
1 1/8 C. water
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/3 C. cooked, crumbled bacon
(plus 1/4 C. more for serving)
3 oz. grated Cheddar cheese
(sharp gives more flavor, but
medium or mild work, too)
1/4 C. Panko bread crumbs

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Evenly layer uncooked
macaroni; pour water & cream over
top. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic
powder, paprika, liquid smoke &
bacon on top. Cover & cook on High
80-90 minutes. Remove lid & gently
stir. Add grated cheese; gently stir
until melted. Serves 4
(recipe can be doubled)

Option: Turn on oven broiler; Spread
panko bread crumbs on a cookie
sheet & place under broiler until
toasted (few minutes- watch to make
sure they don’t burn). Spoon mac &
cheese into serving bowls; top with
a tablespoon of crumbled bacon &
a tablespoon bread crumbs.


Gooey Apple Pie Bars

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. butter
3 1/4 C. flour, divided
10 Granny Smith apples, peeled/sliced
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. caramel candies or bits
caramel ice cream sauce

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 15 X 10″ pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese & butter
together with elec. mixer. Gradually add
3 C. flour & mix at Low speed until just
combined; shape into two equal-sized
balls of dough. Lightly flour two 15 X 10″
pieces of waxed paper. Place one ball of
dough on waxed paper & use your palm
to flatten ball. Place second lightly floured
piece of waxed paper over top of dough &
use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 15 X
10 inches. Discard top waxed paper, flip
dough onto prepared pan & peel off
second sheet of waxed paper. In large
bowl, combine apples, remaining 1/4 C.
flour, sugar & cinnamon; stir to coat. Pour
apple mixture onto dough & spread out
evenly. Sprinkle caramel bits over apples.
Repeat method for remaining ball of
dough. Carefully flip dough over the
apples & discard waxed paper. Tuck in
edges of dough to create a seal & make
small slits on top to vent steam. Bake
35 minutes or until golden brown. Let
cool 15 minutes. Drizzle with caramel
sauce & cut into bars. Makes 16 bars


Sweet & Sour Cabbage

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced,
1 medium green cabbage, cored/cut into
1-inch pieces
1/4 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. soy sauce

Heat oil
in large heavy pot (or Dutch oven)
over medium heat. Add bacon & cook
until brown/crispy, stirring frequently. Use
a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate.
Add onion & cabbage to pot & cook, stirring
often, until cabbage is wilted, about 10 min.
Add vinegar, sugar & soy sauce; cook until
cabbage is crisp-tender, about 10 more
minutes. Stir in bacon. Serves 4


Chicken ‘n Biscuit Bake

3 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 C. chicken stock or broth
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 C. Bisquick
1 1/2 C. milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. frozen mixed vegetables-
(allow to thaw about 30 min. before
adding to recipe)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
dash pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Warm chicken stock in small sauce pan;
add bouillon cubes to dissolve – keep warm
until ready to use. Lightly spray 9 X 13 pan
with nonstick spray (or large, round casserole
dish). Pour in melted butter; layer shredded
chicken on top of butter. Sprinkle veggies on
top. In small bowl combine milk & Bisquick-
you might have a few lumps) Pour over chicken
& vegetables – DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle a little
black pepper over mix, if desired. Combine soup
with warmed stock in small bowl. Once blended,
slowly pour over Bisquick layer. It’s supposed to
look like a big, soupy mess-DO NOT MIX.
If using 9 X 13 pan: bake 40-45 minutes until
casserole is set and top is brown & bubbly.
If using large round pan: bake 50-55 minutes.
Remove from oven; allow to rest 5 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)


Pizza Pasta

12 oz. rigatoni, cooked
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C. Cheddar cheese
pepperoni (to taste)
1 C. Canadian bacon, chopped
1 small can sliced mushrooms
1 can sliced olives (drained),

Cook rigatoni 8 minutes; drain &
mix with pasta sauce. Place half in
crockpot. Place half of each:
mushrooms, olives, mozzarella,
Cheddar & Canadian bacon in
crockpot. Cover with rest of
rigatoni & pasta sauce. The last
layer should be covered with
mozzarella & pepperoni. Cook
on Low at least 5 hours.
Note: you can add cooked ground
beef to recipe, if desired.

Bacon-Ranch Roasted Cauliflower

4 C. cauliflower florets
1/3 C. Ranch dressing
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Toss cauliflower with dressing;
spread on foil-covered rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes
or until tender. Place cauliflower
in medium bowl; add bacon &
onions, mix lightly. Serves 6
about 3/4 C. ea.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Banana Pudding “Puppy Chow”

5 C. rice Chex cereal
10 oz. vanilla almond bark or
Candiquik or similar baking chocolate
4 T. dry banana cream pudding mix
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. banana chips

Pour rice cereal into a large bowl.
Slowly melt vanilla baking chocolate
in a small bowl in microwave, stopping
every 30 seconds to stir & make sure
it doesn’t burn. Add dry pudding mix
to melted chocolate; stir until combined.
Pour melted choc. mixture over Chex
cereal; lightly stir to coat evenly. Be
careful not to break the cereal too
much. Add powdered sugar to cereal
& lightly stir to coat evenly (OR add
cereal & powdered sugar to a large
ziplock bag, then shake.). Allow
mixture to dry. Add broken pieces
of banana chips, if desired.

Rice-stuffed Acorn Squash

3 acorn squash, cut lengthwise in
half, seeded
2 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. cooked long-grain white rice
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
four cheese, divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place squash, cut sides up, in
microwaveable dish; cover with
waxed paper. Microwave on High
12-14 minutes or until squash is
tender. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
Scoop squash from shells into large
bowl, leaving 1/4 inch thick shells.
Add margarine; mash squash. Add
rice, nuts & half the cheese; mix well.
Spoon evenly into shells; place on a
baking sheet & top with remaining
cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes or until
heated through & cheese is melted.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Grilled Garden Salad

2 ears fresh corn on cob,
husks & silk removed
2 small yellow squash, cut
lengthwise into 3 slices each
2 small zucchini, cut length-
wise into 3 slices each
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing
2 T. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Grill corn 15 minutes or until
kernels are tender & browned,
turning occasionally; cool slightly.
Grill squash & zucchini 5 minutes
or until tender, turning occasionally.
Cut kernels off cob; place in medium
bowl. Chop squash & zucchini & add
to corn in bowl along with tomatoes.
Mix lightly. Mix dressing, lemon juice
& garlic; add to vegetable mixture
& mix lightly. Top with cheese & basil.
Serves 8

NOTE: You can also add 6 slices cooked
& crumbled bacon to this recipe along
with the dressing & remaining ingredients.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon & Corn Griddle Cakes

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1 T. sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 C. whole kernel corn
oil, for frying
1/2 C. bacon, chopped

In large bowl stir together flour,
baking powder, salt, paprika, &
sugar. Beat eggs into mixture; stir
milk a little at a time; stir well to
combine. (batter will be very thick)
Mix in corn. Heat skillet over medium
heat; add 2 T. oil, swirling pan to coat
surface evenly. Fry batter like pancakes,
using 1 T. batter per fritter. Cook 1-2
minutes per side until golden brown.
Serves 3-4


Sorry if the size of the various recipe
fonts is ‘goofy’ – once again my computer
is deciding (as my friend Mary put it)
what it wants to YELL about this week!
Crazy stuff – I go to paste in the recipe
and it comes out HUGE; delete, re-size
and this time it not only is huge but also
is in bold AND underlined! Sigh –
Oh well, things could be a LOT worse
than that – right? (Don’t sweat the small

Not sure yet what I’m going to tackle for
today – dinner is leftover pierogies &
sausages OR leftover homemade pizza – both
great choices! (I love when a ‘plan’ comes
together: I know I’m going to be super-busy
both tonight & tomorrow night, so it’s
leftovers dinner both nights – WIN!)

Husband & youngest son are going to look
for a car for son; he’s going to establish
credit for himself with a car loan (he’s 20).
He works for a local pizza place and was
originally signed up as a DRIVER, but since
he now does NOT have a vehicle, his boss
is bugging him heavily to either get a
vehicle or lose his job – no win situation (he’s
been without for about 1 1/2 – 2 months
now and guess who’s been driving him back
& forth). Hoping all goes well – husband is
taking him, so I feel confident they will
come back with a good, dependable
vehicle – son wants something Low Mileage –
that figures, since his job is driving! We’ll
see where this one goes.

Have a GREAT day and take a little time
for something for yourself – a brief nap,
maybe a cup of your favorite beverage,
read  a chapter in a book, take a walk –
ENJOY YOURSELF! (or, as I’m want to
say: Life’s short – eat dessert first!)



Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 10:51 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bright ‘n Sunny Today!


It’s slowly beginning to look like Fall around here – the trees are VERY SLOWLY (at this point) starting to turn colors. I love seeing the many beautiful colors of the changing trees, the crispness in the air and approaching Fall BUT I don’t like knowing that, very soon, we will be facing another winter. (Unfortunately for those of us in the “Mitten” – Michigan, it’s being predicted that this will be one of the hardest winters in 40 years – PLEASE say it isn’t so! We just lived through an excruciatingly harsh winter LAST YEAR!). Right now, at almost noon, it’s bright & sunny, slight breeze and 51 degrees (zero chance of rain – YAY!) We had some rain yesterday and a town somewhat near us had a tornado touch down early this morning – SO GLAD it wasn’t us! Thank YOU, Lord!

Not much going on so far – still working on the two knit scarves for the other knit group – I find myself looking for more challenging patterns and have found a few. I like to keep my knitting ‘interesting’ – knitting scarves takes some time so you, as the knitter, want to be a bit challenged by the project (at least I do)! This week, on Thursday, my special needs group is having a “Hawaiian Luau” – there is a very energetic lady at the church we meet at who loves to do charity events (she & her husband are well known in the community as great fund raisers). She decided last year to get involved with our group and held a very nice Harvest Party for us. She also went to the various schools & places which have special needs adults, inviting them and their staff to come to our party. Through her, we gained about 5 new students (which is her goal – to ‘grow’ our group). I am in awe of her energy & enthusiasm – (obviously, she has a gift in this area); she plans the food, gets donors for all items/gifts/prizes/food stuff/decorations and even enough helpers for the entire event! I learned we will be having hot dogs/hamburgers, chips, cut up watermelon & fresh pineapple, cookies & cake. (Our kids are rather limited on their ‘likes’ when it comes to food, so she’s playing it safe with hot dogs & hamburgers). She has hired a DJ for 1 hour and the kids will be able to dance, play games, win prizes and have a great time; it’s a 3-hour event. After last year’s Harvest Party she said she had such a great time working on it that she wants to do this for our group once or twice a year! AND – at no cost to us! VERY nice!


Cinnamon-frosted Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 C. pumpkin
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Cinnamon Frosting:
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. shortening
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl cream together shortening
& sugar; add rest of ingredients & mix
until combined. Drop by teaspoon onto
greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes
or until edges are golden brown. Let
cool on pan 3-5 minutes; remove to wire
rack & let cool
Cream together butter & shortening in
bowl. Slowly mix in rest of ingredients &
spread over cooled cookies.
Makes 36 cookies


Pork chops/Apples & Stuffing

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
6 boneless pork chops (1 1/2 lb)
3/4″ thick*

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to
pkg. directions. Spread pie filling
on bottom of a 9 X 13″ dish
sprayed with nonstick spray; top
with chops & stuffing. Cover with
foil. Bake 35 minutes until chops
are done (145 degrees F.),
uncovering for last 5 minutes.
Remove dish from oven & let
stand 3 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

*can substitute 6 boneless,
skinless chicken breasts &
increase baking time as
necessary for chicken to be
done (165 degrees F.)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Zucchini/Spinach

3 C. (1/2 of 16 oz pkg) rigatoni
pasta, uncooked
1 tsp. oil
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. flour
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. chicken broth
4 oz (1/2 of 8 oz pkg) cream
cheese, cubed
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions, omitting salt. Heat
oil in large skillet on medium
heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms
& garlic; cook & stir 3-4 minutes
until zucchini is crisp-tender. Add
flour & seasonings; cook & stir
1 minutes. Stir in broth; cook &
stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
Add cream cheese; cook & stir
2-3 minutes until melted. Drain
pasta; return to pan. Add zucchini
mixture, spinach, Parmesan &
1/2 C. mozzarella, mix lightly. Spoon
into a 2 qt casserole dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. Top with
remaining mozzarella. Bake 10
minutes or until mozzarella is melted.
Serves 6; 1 1/3 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Baked Triple-Veggie Dip

1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan
cheese, divided
1 (1 lb, 3 oz) can asparagus
spears, drained/chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/drained
1 (8.5 oz) can artichoke hearts,
1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1/2 C. mayonnaise

Dippers: crackers or cut-up
fresh vegetables

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix 1 1/4 C. Parm with all
remaining ingredients. Spoon
into a 2 qt. baking dish; top
with remaining Parm. cheese.
Bake 35 minutes or until dip
is heated through & top is
lightly browned.
Serves 36; 2 T. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Beef Nacho Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (12oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
1 C. frozen whole kernel corn
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. chili powder
2 C. tortilla chips, crushed
2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 tomato sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef in large skillet over
medium heat; drain excess fat. Stir in
salsa, corn, mayonnaise & chili powder.
Layer 1/2 meat mixture into 8″ square
baking pan, followed by 1 C. tortilla
chips. Spread 1 C. cheese over top-
repeat with remaining chips & cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
Top with sliced tomato & serve.


Homemade Bisquick Mix

2 C. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 T. shortening (butter or margarine)

Mix all ingredients; blend until mixture
resembles fine crumbs. Use as a
substitute for Bisquick. Store in a dry,
cool place. Makes 2 C.


No Bake Pineapple Cookies

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
well drained
1 C. chopped pecans
3 C. flaked coconut

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
pineapple until combined then fold
in nuts; cover & refrigerate 1 hour.
Remove from fridge & roll into 1″
balls, then roll balls in coconut.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Makes about 2 dozen

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken & Black Bean Nachos

1 C. cooked, shredded chicken
2 T. salsa
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. chili powder
20 tortilla chips
1/2 C. black beans, rinsed/
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 C. Colby Jack cheese, shredded

sliced black olives
cilantro, chopped
green onion, chopped

Place chicken in a microwave-safe
bowl; add salsa & seasonings & stir.
Cover bowl & microwave 1 minute
until chicken is warm. Arrange 12
tortilla chips on plate; spoon chicken
mixture over chips. Sprinkle black
beans & cheeses over top. Top with
more tortilla chips and another layer
of chicken, beans & cheese. Micro-
wave plate 30 seconds to melt cheese
or however long it takes to melt the
cheeses. Sprinkle top with sliced
olives, chopped cilantro, guacamole
and more salsa. Serves 4


Chocolate Twinkie Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can frosting

5 T. flour
1 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. margarine
1/2 tsp. salt

Bake cake accordg. to pkg. directions.
When cake is completely cooled, remove
cake from pan onto a large plate or platter.
If cake is really moist, place cake in freezer
for a few minutes, it should pop right out.
Cut cake in half to make 2 layers; use a
second plate, placing it over top of cake,
cut cake & remove top layer with 2nd
plate; set aside. Flip bottom cake half
back into pan.
In a medium saucepan cook 5 T. flour,
1 C. milk, 1/4 tsp. salt until thick; stirring
until like a thin gravy. (if it is too thick it
won’t beat up well in end). Remove from
heat & add 1 tsp. vanilla. Let cool completely.
(you can refrigerate it at this point).

In medium bowl, cream together 1 C.
granulated sugar, 1/2 C. Crisco shortening,
1/2 C. margarine & 1/2 tsp. salt.

When ‘gravy’ is completely cooled, ad to
bowl of creamed ingredients & beat
10 minutes – it should be fluffy &
the consistency of a Twinkie filling.
NOTE: this recipe makes about 2 C.
fluff filling – it would be enough to have
a 1/2 inch of filling in a 9 X 13 cake.

Spread cream filling on bottom layer of
cake, leaving 1/4 inch of space around
outside of cake (cream will spread out
when top layer is put back on). Carefully
slip top layer back onto cake. Frost cake
as you normally would.

NOTE: If you are going to do a cake with
multiple layers, place cake in freezer so
that Twinkie filling sets up and does not
mix with the frosting if it squeezes out
the sides.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 bell peppers
5 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 C. cooked white rice
1 C. chopped tomatoes*
1 T. chopped fresh oregano, or
1 tsp. dried
ground black pepper
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
dash Tabasco sauce

Bring a large pot of water to boil over
high heat. Cut tops off peppers 1 inch
from stem, remove seeds. Add several
generous pinches of salt to boiling water
then add peppers & boil, using a spoon
to keep peppers completely submerged
until bright green & flesh is slightly
softened, about 3 minutes. Drain &
set aside to cool.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat 4 T. oil in large skillet over medium
heat. Add onions; cook & stir until soft
& translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic &
cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat &
add meat, cooked rice, tomatoes & oregano;
season generously with salt & pepper; mix
well. (You may find it easier to put ingredients
in large bowl & mix with your hands). Drizzle
remaining 1 T. oil inside peppers. Arrange cut-
side of peppers up in a baking dish then stuff
with filling. Combine ketchup, Wors. sauce,
Tabasco sauce & 1/4 C. water in a small bowl
then spoon over filling in peppers. Add 1/4 C.
water to baking dish. Place dish in oven &
bake 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on
how big peppers are). Cook until internal
temperature of peppers reaches 150-160
degrees F.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Here’s hoping you are having a GREAT
day and enjoying the weather.



Havin’ fun!

Sit 'n Knit yarn logo

If you’ve known me for long, you know I love a good cause AND a new project! My last post was about a new (to me) knit group in my area that are knitting hats, scarves & gloves for the homeless in a nearby city. I chatted, briefly, with their leader and agreed to attend their next meeting beginning of October. Weeellllll – (again IF YOU KNOW ME) I have a very short patience level when it comes to wanting to start something new SO – I dug through the two bags of donated yarn from Knit Night and located several (actually 11) skeins of yarn that ‘spoke to me’. On one set of needles I started a ladies scarf (fuzzy/soft) in various shades of rose/pinks in a simple pattern. Just before going to sleep last night I was struck with the thought: “Wait! Wasn’t there some more ‘manish’ yarn in there?” Got up, dug through it and located a really chunky ivory yarn (3 skeins) so today I cast on for another scarf, this one for a guy (OR, it could be a lady, also – rather benign pattern.) I started out working a rather familiar pattern I created a few years ago then thought that perhaps I might veer off a bit and try a new idea – it worked OK (think it would work out better if it were a darker yarn, you’d be more able to see the pattern), so – like the title says: I’ve been HAVIN’ FUN! I delivered all the bags of Detroit Vets. baby ‘stuff’ today to my friend who, in turn, will drive it to the hospital in the morning. Since she lives rather close to where I had to go to pick up my grandson at his bus stop, I took along the ivory scarf. Let’s just say – with really chunky yarn and size 13 needles, I’m almost done with the first skein! My whole goal was just to have at least one scarf to donate when I meet up with this new group beginning of October – looks like that might be ‘a few’ to donate. I don’t mind a bit – I love knitting AND I love doing charity work, so it all works out in the end. (the hard part, for me, will be giving up the rest of the two bags of free yarn in 2 weeks!) Not that I don’t already have LOTS of scarf-type/weight yarns in my stash, it’s just when you (meaning I) see all these new possibilities – it gets a girl’s ambitions goin’!!! (I can just hear my friend Mary/Momma saying: “Oh, boy – here she goes again!” Yep, that’s me – a little ‘over-the-top’ when it comes to ambition! It’s almost like when I finish one project there’s a hole there that needs to be filled (with another project). Without the new ‘scarf’ project, I’d be down to just knitting baby hats & chemo caps – not a ‘bad’ thing, but after making so many, it does get a little ‘old’ (doesn’t mean I won’t continue doing them, I just need a brief break from them.) So, that’s my tale of adventures in knitting! (AND, I’m looking forward to seeing what this new group creates: patterns, ideas, etc. That’s one of the things I love the most about going to my knit group – seeing all the various creative ways other ladies create using yarn, either knitting or crochet; it never gets old for me. (I just hope they like the scarves I’m making!)


Applesauce Nut Bread

1 large finely diced, peeled apple,
diced into 1/4″ pieces
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. sugar
1/8 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 C. applesauce
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar, not packed
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 oz. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with
nonstick baking spray.
In medium bowl combine
apple, cinnamon, sugar &
lemon juice; set aside. In
medium bowl combine flour,
baking soda,nutmeg, cinnamon,
allspice & salt with wire whisk.
Set aside.
In large bowl mix oil, egg whites,
sugar, applesauce & vanilla; beat at
medium speed until thick. Add
flour to mixture, blend at Low
speed until combined – do not
overmix. Fold in apples & nuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan &
bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Let pan cool 20 minutes;
bread should be room temp.
before slicing.


Taco Meatloaf

1 egg
1/2 C. sour cream
3-4 T. taco seasoning mix
salt, to taste
1 C. crushed tortilla chips
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
2 lb. lean ground beef

Optional: sliced tomato,
chopped black olives, chopped
green onion, shredded lettuce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk egg & add
all ingredients except beef; mix
well. Add ground beef & mix
well. Shape mixture into a loaf
in baking dish. Bake 60-70 minutes
depending on how thick you made
the loaf. While hot, place on a serving
platter. Top with (options) sliced
tomato & grated cheese. Loosely
cover with foil so heat from loaf
melts the cheese. Prepare any
combination of shredded lettuce,
chopped green onion, chopped
black olives, sour cream & extra
salsa to serve on side or top
of meatloaf. Serves 6-8


Chicken Tetrazini

8 oz. spaghetti, uncooked
1 C. heavy cream
2 1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1-2 C. sliced mushrooms
1 C. finely diced celery
2 T. butter
2 C. shredded/cubed cooked
rotisserie chicken (or cooked
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar
salt & pepper, to taste

Lay spaghetti flat in bottom of
crockpot. Pour cream on top then
pour on water. Sprinkle salt, pepper,
garlic & onion powders on top of
the liquid. Sprinkle mushrooms &
celery evenly over mixture. Cut
butter into 8 cubes & spread
evenly. Layer chicken evenly on top.
Cover & cook on High 90 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top & let melt
5 more minutes. Salt & pepper, to
taste.  Serves 6

*You can also use Parmesan or
mozzarella cheese.


Crockpot Creamy Corn
(best way to use up fresh
summer corn)

5 strips bacon, cooked crisp
3 T. bacon grease
2 T. butter
7-8 green onions, chopped
(green & white parts)
1 clove garlic, minced
6-8 ears corn (about 5 C.
kernels or 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 C. milk
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. hot sauce

Place bacon grease & butter on
bottom of crockpot; set on High,
cover & leave 5 minutes until
butter melts. Add green onions &
garlic, cover & leave 10 minutes
until onions are soft. Reduce heat
to Low. Add corn, cream cheese,
milk, salt/pepper & hot sauce; stir
well. Cover & cook 3 1/2 hours.
Chop cooked bacon into small
pieces & stir through corn. Cover &
continue cooking 30 minutes. Serve
immediately. Serves 6


Easy Cheese Danish

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. flour
1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 C. cream cheese flavor,
or vanilla frosting (canned)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl, mix cream cheese,
sugar, vanilla & flour; set aside.
Line a baking pan with foil, spray
with nonstick spray & set aside.
Unroll crescent rolls leaving them
in rectangles. Lay rolls on greased
pan together, lining up width wise.
Press edges together to even out &
seal any holes. Cut 1/2 inch wide
diagonal strips on each side of the
dough. Spread cream cheese filling
down center of dough, leaving
2-3 inches on either side. Fold the
1/2″ wide dough strips up & over the
filling, alternating sides so it looks like
a braided pattern. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until filling is set & dough is golden
brown. Cool 15 minutes. In small bowl
microwave frosting 15-30 seconds &
drizzle over danish. Serves about 8

(recipe: allfoodrecipes)

Easy-Cheesy Pepperoni Twist Rolls

frozen bread dough
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
olive oil
Italian seasoning
garlic powder (optional)
melted butter
1/4 C. tomato sauce (optional)

Place frozen bread dough on a
sheet of plastic wrap that has
been sprayed with  nonstick
spray or brushed with cooking
oil. Lay wrap, oiled side down,
on bread dough. This allows the
dough to rise & move easily under
the wrap without it sticking or
holding back the dough.
Allow dough to thaw a few hours
at room temp. When dough is
completely thawed it will be
slightly puffed up.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Roll out dough to approx. 11″ X 11″
square. One frozen dough log makes
one pepperoni roll. Brush dough
with olive oil (or other cooking oil).
Lay pepperoni on dough, covering
entire surface; sprinkle with Mozz.
cheese. Sprinkle with shredded
Parm. cheese & lightly sprinkle with
Italian seasoning. Lightly sprinkle
with garlic powder & roll up dough,
starting at one edge of square. Place
roll on baking sheet, leaving space
between, if you’re making more than
one. Brush some melted butter on
top of uncooked roll(s). Bake 15-25
minutes. When done top of roll(s)
should be golden brown & you
should be able to make a tapping
sound on the crust with your finger-
nail. Make sure you allow roll to cool
completely before slicing & serving.
Serve with tomato sauce on side,
if desired.


Carrots with Maple/Pecan Sauce

5 C. sliced carrots
1/4 C. finely chopped pecans
1 T. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/3 C. maple-flavored syrup

Place carrots in large saucepan; add
enough water to cover carrots. Cover &
bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer &
cook 10-12 minutes or until tender; drain.
Place pecans in a small nonstick saucepan;
cook over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes
until lightly browned, stirring constantly.
Remove from saucepan; set aside. In same
saucepan, combine onion & butter; cook
2 minutes over medium heat until onion
is tender. Stir in syrup; bring to a boil –
boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir
in pecans; pour over carrots & toss
gently to coat. Serves 10

(recipe: Back of the Box website)
Barbecue Dinner

2 medium unpeeled potatoes, cut
into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 T. quick-cooking tapioca
2 lb. chicken thighs or drumsticks,
skinned & fat removed
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. yellow mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt

Place potatoes, green pepper & onion
in crockpot. Sprinkle tapioca over
mixture. Place chicken on top.
In small bowl stir together tomato
sauce, brown sugar, Worc. sauce, mustard,
garlic & salt; pour over chicken
Cover & cook on Low 10-12 hours or High
5-6 hours.
Transfer chicken & vegetables to large
serving bowl. Skim fat from sauce; spoon
sauce over chicken & vegetables.
Serves 4-5

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Harvest Pasta Casserole

1 butternut squash (2 lb),
peeled/cut into 1″ cubes
1 onion, cut lengthwise in
half, then sliced crosswise
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. olive oil
3 1/3 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed &
1/4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Three-
Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia, divided (Kraft)
1/4 C. croutons, crushed

Heat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients in
9 X 13 dish. Bake 30-40 minutes
or until squash is tender. Cook
pasta accordg to pkg directions,
omitting salt. Drain pasta; return
to pan. Add cream cheese & milk;
stir until cream cheese is melted
& sauce is well blended. Add to
squash mixture with 1 C. shredded
cheese; mix lightly. Top with crouton
crumbs & remaining shredded cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated
through. Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pineapple Lush Dip
(dessert dip)

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla
instant pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed
pineapple in juice, undrained
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

fresh fruit or vanilla

Add dry pudding mix to
pineapple in medium bowl;
whisk 2 minutes. Stir in
Cool Whip. Makes 26
servings (2 T. each)

Can be made ahead of time;
refrigerate until ready to serve.

Leftovers can be placed in
parfait glasses & topped with
cut fresh fruit

(recipes: Kraft foods)

Our weather is still holding at ‘nice’ – the days
are sunny with big, fluffy white clouds and
gorgeous blue skies – temperatures around
65 and a little cooler at night. Right now it’s
almost 8 p.m. and 66 degrees F. outside!

Hope you’re enjoying this weather – have
a GREAT day!!!



Busy – but for a good cause!

Today is the big FINAL photo session for all of the donations for the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower (on the 27th). Here are the final items turned in last night:


14 fleece/sewed blankets – ADORABLE!!!


Two adorable quilts – click on them (I LOVE the ‘boy’ one with hunting theme)


3 lovely crocheted blankets (and my baby headbands-

I made 10, total, but forgot to add the others to the




35 blankets/quilts/fleece

11 hats

3 pairs booties

6 hat/bootie sets

3 snug sacks & hats

10 baby headbands


Enough for 70 gifts, total (of course if you add, maybe 2 headbands & a hat, that would change the total but that’s just fine!) I am REALLY proud of my ladies – they did an excellent job!

It’s been a bit BUSY around here lately, running to the library, drug store, grocery store, photoing the baby donations, etc. I think the hardest part was actually coordinating the DELIVERY of the baby items. The lady who heads the Lady Vets program is on a training in Florida until the 22nd; one of my members agreed to deliver them and she’s REALLY busy. I’m going to drive the lot over to her house and leave them on her porch Thursday and she’ll take them to Detroit Friday. Let’s just say: it’s a BIG load!  Along with the Knit/Crochet group – we had THREE new people last night! That made 22 at our meeting (we would have been hard-pressed to pack in any more, if they’d have come!). One lady was not only new, but she doesn’t knit OR crochet – she does these REALLY COMPLICATED cross-stitch embroidery wall hangings (which she brought for us to see). She said she found our group on line and thought: “I need some time OUT” (she’s sole care-giver for both of her parents who have Alzheimers). I told her we were HAPPY to include her.  Not only that – she brought two garbage bags full of yarn (that was her Mom’s) – she really knows how to please our group! (It was so hectic/crowded, I told her I was taking it home and would bring it back in two weeks – hopefully it won’t be quite as crowded.) Lovely evening getting to know the new people, helping someone who knits like me, and just chatting – I love my group!

On another (similar) note: I got a note on our site from a lady who heads up a different knit group; she was asking if I would be interested in ‘partnering’ with their group. I phoned her – their group gets together to knit/crochet scarves, hats & mittens for homeless people in Pontiac (through Grace Centers of Hope). I told her I thought it was interesting because earlier this year one of my members saw a post on Facebook about a lady in Canada who creates items and places them around her city with a note that says something like: “I’m not lost. If you need a scarf, please take me.” I talked with my member & told her about this new possible venture – I thought it might be a good idea for our group simply because it prevents US from going to possibly dangerous areas of Pontiac, just to aid the homeless. This way we could participate AND also be safe. (My member kind of said she still liked the idea of going around ‘scattering’ items, being anonymous.) Oh well – to each their own, right? I closed the subject by telling the leader of this other group that I would attend their next meeting in the beginning of October and we’d chat more about it then. I also told her that since we just concluded a BIG charity project, we probably wouldn’t be actually starting this until after the holidays. We’ll see how it goes. (I, personally, found 6 skeins of really nice yarn in the ‘FREE’ yarn from last night and will probably start scarves using that). Oh! The other thing: their group GIVES AWAY yarn for their projects! That might also be an incentive for some of my ladies who might not want to spend $$$ on buying more yarn. I love the way life always brings new and interesting projects!

(On another note – you’re probably getting tired or reading about this, but . . . I ran into a lady cashier at Walgreen’s today and we got to chatting about the group’s baby donations. She said she goes to a lot of estate sales and often runs into great deals on yarns. She took my card and will call me if she sees any great deals! Pretty neat – eh? You just never know whats around the next corner!)


Cheese & Chive Bread

1 3/4 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 eggs, room temp.
1/3 C. whole milk, room temp.
1/3 C. olive oil
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz. Cheddar cheese, cubed
1/3 C. fresh chives, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a loaf pan with butter. In
large bowl whisk together flour,
baking powder, salt & pepper. In
another bowl, whisk together eggs.
Add in olive oil & milk; whisk until
well blended. Add wet ingredients
to dry. Using a wooden spoon, mix
until combined, making sure not
to over mix. Stir in cheeses & chives;
pour into prepared pan. Bake 35-40
minutes. Remove pan from oven &
allow to cool.


Tortellini Bake

1 (19/20 oz) bag frozen cheese-filled
1 (15 oz) jar alfredo sauce
1//2 jar marinara sauce
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. Mix all ingredients (except
cheeses) together & pour into pan;
spread around. Top with cheeses &
bake 1 hour.

(recipe: Pinterest)

Pizza Nachos

Garlic Cream Sauce:
1 1/2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. milk
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cracked black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

crispy tortilla chips (your choice)
1/2 C. Garlic Cream sauce (above)
1/4 C. diced onion
1/2 C. Pepperoni, cut into bite-sized
1/2 C. sliced black olives
1/2 whole green bell pepper, seeds
removed & diced
1 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Make a
‘roux’ by adding Parm. cheese to
melted butter & blend. Add in cream
& milk, stirring constantly until blended.
Add in remaining sauce ingredients; simmer
on low, do not boil. Layer chips in an oven-
proof skillet. Pour sauce over chips & layer
remaining nacho ingredients, topping with
cheese. Heat in oven until cheese melts.

(recipe: Pinterest)

Baked Garlic Potato Slices

2-4 whole potatoes
olive oil
finely chopped garlic
herbs & spices (your choice)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice potatoes to desired thickness;
thinner is crispier. Rinse potatoes
with water to remove starch; dry
with paper towel. In large bowl, mix
olive oil, salt, chopped garlic & your
choice of herbs. Add potatoes & continue
to mix until each slice is evenly coated.
Place slices in a baking pan & bake,
turning every 15 minutes until golden
brown. Serve hot.
NOTE: Can use Ranch or Thousand
Island dressing for dipping.

(recipe: foodfunhappiness.blogspot.

Feta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken

6 boneless chicken breasts, butterflied*
1/2 C. spinach for each breast
1/4 C. Feta cheese for each breast
2-3 sun dried tomatoes for each breast
olive oil
any herbs you might like
kitchen string (1 1/2 feet for
each breast)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
*Butterfly chicken breasts:
slice each breast in half but
leaving end portion uncut (making
it look like an open book). You can
pound them flatter if need be.
Place a layer of spinach in each,
then a layer of crumbled feta and
2-3 sun dried tomatoes. Tie it up.
Lightly oil, salt/pepper each side
of tied bundle & add any herbs
you might want. Sear chicken on
stovetop in a skillet with a light
layer of oil, over medium-high heat
then transfer to a oven-safe dish.
Bake, 25-30 minutes or until internal
temperature reaches 165 F. If you
want the chicken to brown, turn on
broiler last 2-3 minutes of cooking
time but watch carefully. Let chicken
rest 5 minutes before serving. Remove
string before serving. Serves 6


Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

16 oz. Penne Regate Pasta,
cooked al dente & cooled
2 C. shredded cooked chicken
4 C. finely sliced Romaine lettuce,
cut into 1/2″ thick strips
1 (12 oz) jar Marie’s Caesar salad
dressing (in cold produce section)
1 C. shredded Parmesan Cheese (
not grated)
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cracked pepper

Toss dressing & cooked/cooled pasta
together until pasta is coated. Add
chicken, garlic salt & pepper; mix. Add
Parmesan (reserving a little for topping).*
Wait until you are ready to serve before
putting in romaine, so it stays fresh.
Serves 4-5

*The mix will look like way too much
dressing but once mixed in with the
lettuce, it will be perfect.

NOTE: Poster notes that she would not
use any other dressing for this salad


Zucchini Corn Pancakes

4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 C. grated zucchini (about 1 large)
1 C. fresh sweet corn off cob/or
frozen corn
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 3/4 C. flour

In large bowl combine eggs, oil, salt,
pepper & herbs; whisk to combine.
Add zucchini, corn & cheese; stir
thoroughly with spatula. Add flour
& stir until thoroughly combined &
there are no pockets of dry flour
hiding in the batter. Heat a large
cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium-
high heat, add a very small amount of
oil. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop
1/4 cupfuls of batter onto skillet &
flatten, if necessary with back of
scoop into a circle about 4 inches
in diameter. Cook on each side about
3-4 minutes or until a deep, golden
brown. Remove & transfer to a plate.
Serve warm with your favorite
toppings. Makes 10 pancakes.

NOTE: poster said she likes salsa &
sour cream for toppings)


Fire & Ice Salad

1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed

1 medium green bell pepper,
cut into thin strips
1 small red onion, cut in half &
sliced thin
1 jalapeno, chopped fine
3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 medium cucumbers, peeled/
sliced thin

Combine both vinegars with sugar,
salt, horseradish, celery & mustard
seeds in a small saucepan. Stir &
bring to a boil, boiling for 1 minute;
set aside. In large glass bowl, combine
bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno &
tomatoes; pour hot vinegar/sugar
mixture over vegetables & set
aside to cool.
Add cucumbers, stir, cover with
plastic wrap & refrigerate several
hours. Use a slotted spoon for
serving to drain off excess liquid.
Serves 4-6


Sweet & Spicy Bacon-wrapped Meatballs

1 lb. bacon, cut in half
36 meatballs (or, as many as you have
bacon slices)
1 C. brown sugar
3 T. chili powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix brown sugar & chili powder in small
bowl. Spray broiler pan with nonstick spray.
Wrap half-slices of bacon around meatballs
& secure with toothpick. Dredge balls in
sugar/chili mixture, pressing to coat well then
place on greased pan. Bake 30-45 minutes
depending on how you like your bacon
(poster likes it crispy, so she cooked hers
45 minutes).
Serving size: 3 meatballs, recipe yields
about 36 balls

Note: poster used frozen, fully cooked
Italian meatballs which she thawed in
microwave before wrapping with bacon.


4 Ingredient Butter Pecan Squares

22 graham crackers
1 C. butter
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIne a rimmed baking sheet with
aluminum foil & spray with non-
stick spray. Place graham crackers
on sheet; set aside. In small
saucepan over low heat, melt butter.
Add brown sugar & pecans; boil
2 minutes, stirring regularly. Spread
mixture evenly over graham crackers.
Bake 10 minutes; cut into squares
while still warm. Allow to completely
cool before removing from sheet.
Store in air-tight container.
Serves 22


Our weather has been very nice the past few
days; it’s sunny and in the mid 60’s with a
slight breeze. I was very happy it stayed so
nice today so that I could finish taking the
photos for the group. (If you look close, in
one of them there’s my hand & camera
shadow – oh well – I was standing on a chair
trying not to fall AND make sure I took a
fairly good photo.)

Hope you have a GREAT day!





Today, being Saturday, began more road construction in front of my house – that’s not bad, but let me explain. Earlier in the day my youngest asked if I would drive him over to the mall (20-25 min. drive – normally) as he needed a new pair of black jeans for work – not a problem. The place he wanted to go was unfamiliar, so I went on-line and looked it up to make sure I knew where to go. Piece of cake – straight past the mall about 3-4 traffic lights, turn left and we’re there. That sounds great HOWEVER I had totally forgot about the MAJOR construction in that area. My (partner in crime) friend, the leader of my special needs group lives over there and she had told me about them closing a major road which made getting anywhere really difficult. Guess who was confronted with that today! A good 3 traffic lights before getting near the mall it started – they were narrowing it down from 4 lands to 2, and then . . . one. It was a nightmare! We must have sat through at least 5-6 lights before moving, maybe, a car’s length. About 4 traffic lights away, youngest got really antsy and decided to WALK the rest of the way! Normally I would object, but at this point, I just ‘went with it.’ (He told me later he walked most of it on the new cement construction part – there was no one working there today and the cement was dry). I continued on at a snail’s pace, finally arriving at the store only to see him sitting on the curb waiting for me – purchases in hand! I’m just guessing, but I’d say it took us about 45 minutes to go what would normally take 5-7 minutes – crazy. Oh, and then there was the ‘go in the opposite direction’ thing – more bumper to bumper, but not as bad; once we passed the mall it was normal 40 MPH cruising – WHEW! While I was sitting in the car ‘going to’ that store I called my friend and told her she deserved a gold medal for enduring THAT kind of traffic! I can’t remember when I’ve been in that big of a mess before – I just ‘went with it’ – what else could we do? He did agree that he doesn’t want to go back there for a VERY long time! (My friend said she heard that they are rushing that job in order to be done before the holidays – I’m guessing Christmas? WHEW!)

Yesterday found me in the company of middle son who had invited me to lunch (for my birthday back in June) – I finally said OK. (I don’t want to spend his money, but he reminded me that he would spend it, anyway, on other things so why not on his Mom!? I gave in). I asked that we go to a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant he had been to before. He tried to dissuade me by saying it only has two tables, it’s mostly a take-out, but I insisted. We had a great time – the lady who runs it immediately almost squealed at seeing him: “HELLO MY FRIEND! Where you been? I no see you in a long time! AND YOU BRING YOUR MAMA! How NICE! HELLO MAMA!” (what a sweet lady! She went on & on about how good a son I have and how nice it is that he took me out to eat.) I had no idea what to order but quickly chose a vegetable & chicken mixture with rice & an egg roll ($7.00 – lunch); my son ordered from the dinner menu (he said he just picked something he’s never eaten before: LOTS of veggies, white rice and HUGE shrimp!) The one thing I remember him saying about this place was that they gave you a LOT of food for the price – he wasn’t kidding! We ate & ate and STILL had tons to bring home. He ordered Crab Rangoon (my favorite appetizer) – I was surprised; normally you get 4 – they gave us 8 and they were filled to the brim with cream cheese & onion – really creamy & yummy! The one ‘down’ thing to this place is: since it’s a take-out, mainly – we got our food in take out containers – I asked for hot tea and got it in a styrofoam cup! Plastic forks, more styrofoam – but I guess that just added to the ambiance, eh? To give you an idea of the amount of food – my container was so full that you couldn’t close it if you wanted to, when she set it in front of me – it was HEAPING! I ate, maybe, 1/4 th of the food and brought the rest home. I had a little bit earlier today and husband ate the rest as his DINNER – that’s how much was LEFT OVER! Amazing!


Apple-Spice Dump Cake

3-4 C. peeled/thinly sliced
1 box spice cake mix
6-8 pats butter

Pecan topping:
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. oats
1/2 C. chopped pecans

vanilla ice cream

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Place
apples on bottom. Pour
cake mix over apples &
spread evenly. Dot butter
evenly over cake mix; do
not stir ingredients. Mix
together topping ingredients
& sprinkle over top. Cook
on High 4 hours.
Serve with vanilla ice cream,
if desired.


Pizza Monkey Bread

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. Italian seasonings
2 cans Pillsbury Grands Homestyle
finely chopped pizza toppings:
pepperoni, cooked sausage, green
peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc.)
1 C. marinara sauce
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a bundt pan with cooking
spray; set aside. In small bowl
whisk melted butter, garlic salt &
Italian seasonings until combined.
Remove biscuits from cans. Take a
raw biscuit & cut a slit in the side.
Using your fingers (or carefully use
a knife) to open the slit biscuits to
form a pocket. Carefully tuck a pinch
of cheese into pocket then add a
tsp of marinara sauce, some pinches
of your favorite toppings. Top with
a final pinch of cheese, then use
your fingers to pinch together the
dough to seal the pocket – make
sure it’s WELL sealed. Dunk the
pocket in butter mixture on both
sides, then place in prepared pan
seam side UP. Repeat with
remaining biscuits until they are
all filled & placed in pan side by
side. Pour any remaining butter
mixture over top, then bake 30
minutes until dough is cooked &
lightly browned. Remove & let
set 6 minutes. Carefully turn
bundt pan on top of a plate &
give it a slight jiggle to release the
monkey bread. Remove pan & serve
bread with a side of extra marinara
sauce for dipping.


Confetti Bean Salad

1 C. sugar
3/4 C. cider vinegar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can green beans
1 can yellow wax beans
1 can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can great northern beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped

Combine sugar, vinegar, oil, salt &
pepper in large bowl; mix well. Drain
all beans, rinse in cold water, drain
and add to bowl. Add onions & peppers;
mix well. Marinate in refrigerator
for 24 hours for best flavor.
Serves 18.

NOTE: You can use any canned bean
you prefer: cannelini, great northern,
pinto, red beans, small white cranberry
beans, etc.

(recipe Deanna –

Tomato, Spinach Pasta Toss
2 C. uncooked Rotini* pasta
1/2 lb. Italian sausage**
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes,
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed
on pkg; omit salt. Cook sausage in deep large
skillet on medium-high heat 10-12 minutes or
until done, stirring occasionally. Drain grease,
return sausage to skillet. Add spinach &
tomatoes; cook 2 minutes or until spinach is
wilted, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta;
return to skillet. Add sausage mixture &
cheeses, mix lightly. Makes 6 (1 C. )

*you can substitute penne pasta for rotini

**you can substitute ground beef or
turkey for Italian sausage.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cheesy Hash Brown/Ham
1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown
potatoes, cubed or shredded
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken 
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 (6 oz) pkg. herb-seasoned 
stuffing mix
2 C. chopped ham
Spray insides of crockpot with 
nonstick spray. Combine hash 
browns, onion soup mix, salt, 
sour cream, soup, cheese &
ham; place in crockpot. Sprinkle
stuffing mix over top then drizzle 
melted butter over stuffing. 
Cover & cook on Low 5-6
hours or High 2-4 hours.
Brownies for a Crowd 
(serves 20-30) 
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate 
32 oz. semi-sweet chocolate 
(5 1/3 C. chocolate chips, approx) 
7 C. sugar 
1/4 C. vanilla
 8 large eggs 
4 C. flour 
1 T. salt 
1 T. baking powder
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. 

Melt chocolate & butter in double boiler, 
stirring frequently. Remove from heat 
when melted. Combine sugar & 
vanilla in mixer (or by hand) 
slowly pour in chocolate/butter 
& mix until well combined. 
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well 
after each addition. 
(Batter should be shiny & smooth). 
Combine flour, salt & baking powder 
in separate bowl; add to wet ingredients 
- mix just until combined, do not over mix. 
Line three 9 X 13" baking pans with 
parchment paper that over hangs the 
long sides, then spray generously 
with nonstick spray. Pour batter into 
pans & spread out evenly. 
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a 
toothpick inserted into center 
comes out with wet crumbs. 
Start checking at 30 minutes, 
as ovens differ greatly. When done, 
remove from oven & let cool in pans 
10 minutes. Remove from pans 
using the parchment & let cool an 
additional 5 minutes before cutting. 
Serve immediately. 
(recipe: allfoodrecipes)
Potato Bacon Soup

6-7 large potatoes, peeled
& cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
8 oz cream cheese, softened
& cubed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 C. milk*
1 pkg. real bacon bits or cooked,
crumbled bacon (how much you
shredded Cheddar cheese, (topping)
green onions (topping)

Cook potatoes & onion in chicken
broth with just enough water to cover
potatoes & onions.Cook until tender;
remove some & mash to make
soup thicker. Do not mash all of the
potatoes. Add cubes of cream cheese;
remove from heat until cream cheese
is melted. Return to heat on Medium-
Low heat. Add half bacon, both soups,
butter & spices; cook another 10 minutes.
Serve garnished with shredded
Cheddar cheese, green onion &
bacon pieces.

*Poster noted she never uses the
milk, she likes thick soup – it’s your

(recipe: Amber-

 Double Chocolate Coke Cake

1 C. Coca Cola (real thing, not diet)
1/2 C. oil 
 1 stick butter
 3 T. cocoa
 2 C. sugar
 2 C. flour
 1/2 tsp. salt
 2 eggs
 1/2 C. buttermilk
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. vanilla
 1 stick butter
 3 T. cocoa
 6 T. cream or milk
 1 tsp. vanilla extract
 3 3/4 C. confectioner's sugar
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 In a saucepan, mix Coca Cola, 
oil, butter & cocoa and bring 
to a boil. In another bowl, 
combine sugar,  flour and salt. 
Pour the boiling Cola mixture 
over flour mixture and beat 
well. Add eggs, buttermilk, soda 
& vanilla; beat well. Pour mixture
into a greased and floured 
13 x 9 inch baking pan;bake 
20-25 minutes. Remove pan. 
Cool about 10 minutes before 
 In a saucepan, combine butter, 
cocoa, & milk. Heat until butter 
melts. Beat in remaining 
ingredients and spread on
cake while it's still warm. 
 (recipe: Facebook)

Our weather has definitely taken a turn
 for the COLD! It's been grey, cloudy &
 around 51 degrees F. all day. From what
 I've read & heard recently, we're going
 to be in for another really harsh winter.
 I don't know about you, but I'm NOT
 looking forward to that. My oldest son
 was dancing for joy the other day when
 informing me that someplace like Idaho
 had an inch of snow - of course, that
 son LOVES to ski! Sigh . . . no rest for the
 non-snow/cold weather lover - at least
 not in MY state: MICHIGAN!
 Enjoy your day - try to stay warm & 

PS: Sorry about all the various font sizes - seems
my computer is 'having it's own way' today with
whatever I type!

What a difference a day makes!


(That would make a good song title, yes? hehehe) I got a call early this morning from the leader of our special needs group saying we’re going to have to cancel tonight’s meeting. (Not always the brightest bulb in the box, I asked: WHY?) She then proceeded to tell me we’re in for a really big severe thunderstorm right around the time we’d be conducting class! Oh – goody – so I spent a good 1 1/2 – 2 hours on the phone contacting/texting, or Facebook messaging our group. Right now, at 5:18 p.m. there are still two group homes I need to call. With group homes, the residents go ‘out to work’; usually the house phone will go from ringing to either a fax machine sound or a 1,000 cycle tone (for those of you who have worked in the telephone industry, you know what I mean!) – for the rest of you, it simply means “You AIN’T gonna get they by phone right now” – call later! Eventually they will answer when the staff returns to the house. For me, hopefully, that means before 7 p.m. when our group would start. The church, also, has a sign on the door for those who didn’t get the message we’re not there, I’m just trying to avoid the drive there and back for them, if I can. We had a small rain shower earlier, it got a little dark, but not bad. Right now it’s 70 degrees F. with some medium-gray clouds quickly moving through the skies – we’ll see what ‘later’ brings. I’m not looking forward to that simply because my youngest gets off work at 8 p.m. and will be needing a ride home; hope the storm is over by then. OH! Middle son FINALLY got power restored yesterday – his complex was out 6 days! Crazy!

On the knitting scene – I have ONE MORE baby headband to finish and I’ll be counting myself done with the Veteran’s Baby shower contributions.

Have started back to reading the Jennifer Chiaverinni books (Elm Creek Quilts). I love the way she writes (AND she’s a very prolific writer – YAY!) My only problem is: I THINK I’ve chosen wisely with her books only to discover I’ve already read them! Went to the library yesterday and checked out 3 – only to find I’d already read two of them! UGH! Yes, I’m starting a list of books of hers I’ve ALREADY read – hopefully that will stifle my goofiness!


Pizza Monkey Bread

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. Italian seasonings
2 cans Pillsbury Grands Homestyle
finely chopped pizza toppings:
pepperoni, cooked sausage, green
peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc.)
1 C. marinara sauce
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a bundt pan with cooking
spray; set aside. In small bowl
whisk melted butter, garlic salt &
Italian seasonings until combined.
Remove biscuits from cans. Take a
raw biscuit & cut a slit in the side.
Using your fingers (or carefully use
a knife) to open the slit biscuits to
form a pocket. Carefully tuck a pinch
of cheese into pocket then add a
tsp of marinara sauce, some pinches
of your favorite toppings. Top with
a final pinch of cheese, then use
your fingers to pinch together the
dough to seal the pocket – make
sure it’s WELL sealed. Dunk the
pocket in butter mixture on both
sides, then place in prepared pan
seam side UP. Repeat with
remaining biscuits until they are
all filled & placed in pan side by
side. Pour any remaining butter
mixture over top, then bake 30
minutes until dough is cooked &
lightly browned. Remove & let
set 6 minutes. Carefully turn
bundt pan on top of a plate &
give it a slight jiggle to release the
monkey bread. Remove pan & serve
bread with a side of extra marinara
sauce for dipping.


Family Swiss Steak

2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 lb. boneless beef round steak, cut
into 1″ thick pieces
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, peeled & thinly sliced
2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled & thinly sliced
4 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 C. beef broth

In small bowl combine flour, thyme & paprika.
Using pastry brush, brush Wors. over steak pieces
then dredge in flour mixture. Lightly coat a large
nonstick skillet with nonstick spray. Place skillet on
medium-high heat, add steak pieces & brown on
both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer meat
to crockpot; top with garlic slices, celery, onions &
tomatoes. Pour beef broth over top – do not stir.
Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours or High 4-5 hours.

(recipe: Cheryl B-slowcooker digest)

Potato Goulash with Sausage

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
thick slices
2 medium yellow onions, halved
lengthwise then sliced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 small russet potatoes, peeled &
sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
1 (14.5 oz) beef broth (about 1 3/4 C.)

Brown sausage in veg. oil over medium-high
heat in 12″ Dutch oven or heavy pot* until nicely
browned & crisp around edges. Remove sausage
from oil with slotted spoon; set aside. Add onions
& saute 5 minutes; add paprika, salt, garlic & pepper;
continue cooking 2 more minutes. Add potato slices
to onions & stir until potatoes are nicely coated with
onions & seasonings. Add beef broth; bring to slight
boil. Reduce heat to medium; continue simmering,
uncovered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(you might have to poke potatoes around for a bit,
to make sure they stay submerged or mostly
submerged in broth.)
Stir in sausage, reduce heat to low & continue
cooking, uncovered, until potatoes are tender;
stirring occasionally.

*It is important to use a pot close to 12 inches in
diameter to insure the broth will be deep enough
to cook the potatoes.


Bacon & Corn Griddle Cakes

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1 T. sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 C. corn
oil for frying

1/2 C. bacon, chopped
warm maple syrup

In large bowl stir together flour,
baking powder, salt, paprika & sugar.
Crack eggs & beat into flour. Add milk,
a little at a time; stir well to combine.
It will be a very thick batter; stir through
the corn kernels. Heat skillet over medium
heat & add 2 T. oil, twirling pan to coat
surface evenly. Fry batter as you would
pancakes, using 1 T. batter per fritter. Takes
about 1-2 minutes per side, until they are
golden brown. Place on paper plates to
remove excess oil.
Serve with chopped bacon & warm maple
syrup on the side. Serves 3-4


Caramel Apple Dip

16 individually wrapped caramels,
1/4 C. water
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In medium saucepan over medium-
low heat, melt caramels with water,
stirring frequently. Remove from
heat & set aside. In medium bowl,
cream together cream cheese, sugar &
vanilla. Fold cream cheese mixture
into caramel mixture. Serve immediately
with cut apple slices.

NOTE: Apples dipped in lemon juice
will not turn brown quickly.


Balsamic Glazed Carrots

1 (2 lb) pkg. baby carrots
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lay carrots out on a cookie sheet.
Drizzle 1 T. olive oil over top, stir
so that they get a bit of oil on
them. Sprinkle with salt & pepper;
stir. Bake 25 minutes or until fork-
tender. In small bowl mix 1 T.
balsamic vinegar with brown sugar
& drizzle over carrots; stir. Place
back in oven 5 minutes; carrots
will turn glossy; taste & add more
salt & pepper, if desired.
Serves 6-8


Microwave Chicken ‘n Dumplings

2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. flour
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 sprig fresh thyme
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 C. shredded rotisserie chicken,
from about 1/2 chicken
1 C. frozen peas & carrots

1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil

Whisk together broth & flour in
a microwaveable 8 X 8 X 2 baking
dish or 4 qt. microwave-safe bowl,
until there are no lumps. Stir in
onions, celery, butter thyme sprig,
3/4 tsp. salt & few grinds pepper.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap, cut a
small slit in center with paring knife
to vent steam. Microwave on High
5 minutes (in 1,100 Watt oven –
or 8 minutes in 700 Watt oven).
Remove dish from microwave; remove
plastic wrap. Carefully whisk mixture
until there are no clumps of flour at
bottom. Place dish back in microwave,
uncovered, cook on High until broth
is bubbly & thick, 5 minutes in (1,100
Watt) or 8 minutes (in 700 Watt).

In medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal,
baking powder & salt. Add milk & oil in
center; stir together with a fork until
dough just comes together (it will be
sticky & wet).

To Assemble:
Remove dish from microwave; remove
& discard thyme sprig; whisk broth
mixture again. Stir in shredded chicken &
frozen peas/carrots. Arrange rounded
teaspoons of dough (about 16 dumplings)
about 1/2 inch apart around sides of dish
or bowl. Grind a little pepper over each
dumpling. Cover dish tightly with new
piece of plastic wrap; cutting a small slit
to vent steam.Microwave on High until
dumplings are puffed & a toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. 6 minutes. If
dumplings are not cooked through, micro-
wave again in 30 second intervals, testing
with a toothpick after each. Serves 4

No-Bake Eclair Cake

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix, dry
3 1/2 C. milk
12 oz. tub Cool Whip
2 (14.4 oz, ea) pkgs. graham crackers

3 T. butter
3 T. milk
3 T. cocoa powder
1 C. powdered sugar

Blend milk & pudding mixes 2 minutes
with an elec. mixer; fold in Cool Whip.
Layer graham crackers in bottom of a
9 X 13 pan, covering entire bottom (you
may need to trim some to fit). Pour half
pudding mixture over crackers & smooth
out. Add another layer of graham crackers
shaping as needed; layer second half of
Cool Whip mixture, smooth out. Place
final layer of crackers on top with bumpy
side down. (helps the top look more
smooth); cut & shape crackers to fit.

Microwave butter & milk just enough to
melt together (do not boil). Add cocoa &
powdered sugar; blend together. (it will
be a runnier frosting/glaze). Pour over top
of graham crackers & smooth out. Refrigerate

*Poster notes she usually doubles the
frosting when she makes it


Zucchini Cakes

2 zucchini
1 C. Bisquick
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 eggs
1 T. chopped garlic
salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. canola oil
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped parsley leaves

Grate 2 zucchini; place in clean
kitchen towel & squeeze out
excess water. In large bowl, combine
zucchini, Bisquick, onion, eggs & garli;
season with salt & pepper, to taste.
Mix well to thoroughly combine. Heat
oil in skillet over medium heat. Using
a 1/4 cup measure, drop about 6-8
portions of zucchini mixture into skillet.
Fry on both sides until golden brown &
cooked through, about 3 minutes per
side. Remove from skillet & drain on
paper-towel lined sheet pan. In small
bowl, mix together sour cream & parsley;
season with salt & pepper, to taste.
Arrange zucchini cakes on serving platter
& serve with sour cream. Serves 4


Waffle-Iron Calzones

2 cans refrigerated biscuits (any brand)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 C. mini pepperoni slices
pizza sauce or tomato sauce (for dipping,

Flatten biscuits by hand to make them
bigger & thinner. Place grated mozzarella
then pepperoni in centers of 5 biscuits.
Cover with another flattened biscuit. Press
dough around edge to seal. Spray waffle
maker with cooking spray – heat waffle
maker. Place 1 biscuit in center of waffle
maker; close lid & cook 3 minutes or until
waffle is golden brown. Repeat with
remaining biscuits. Serve with tomato or
pizza sauce. Makes 10.


(I give up with this computer FONT sizing! It’s crazy – going from HUGE to really tiny!)

Hope your weather is nice; from what
I’ve read lately we, here in the upper
North, are due for a rapid cold
weather blast – unusually early. NOT
looking forward to that! Hopefully,
here in good old Michigan, we’ll be
treated to “Indian Summer” before
the real cold weather descends –
remember I said: “HOPEFULLY”!!!



Beautiful Fall-like Day!


Woke up early today to a nice, brisk morning – lots of sunshine and a mild breeze. Had a few errands to run (Walgreen’s had some good sales on food again!). Chose to make a quick stop at one of our little grocers near our house – JUST FOR A LOAF OF BREAD! (Ever do that? JUST ONE THING!) And you come out with BAGS FULL!!! Yep, got some plain yogurt, really nice-looking spareribs, some marked down veggies which gave me the idea for tonight’s dinner: NACHOS! I/WE love them but I don’t make them very often because once you’ve purchased all the fresh veggies plus the Nacho Cheese Doritos, it tends to be a bit pricey – at least in my mind, anyway. They had tomatoes, green peppers & lettuce marked down – YAY! We will be FEASTING tonight!

I’m getting LOTS of great-sounding recipes in my inbox so I just HAVE to share – right?


(Not my recipe, but thought it fit:)

Turkey Taco Nachos

2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 T. taco seasoning
2 handfuls corn tortilla chips
1 C. shredded cheese (your
chopped tomato
chopped red onion
chopped pickled jalapeno
Greek yogurt

(other toppings:
black beans
chopped avocado

Heat oil in medium skillet;
add turkey & cook until
lightly browned. Add taco
seasoning & 1/4 C. water;
cook until liquid evaporates,
stirring meat. Place chips on
a plate in a single layer; top
with taco meat. Sprinkle
cheese on top & microwave
1 to 1 1/2 minutes until cheese
is melted.* Top with tomato,
red onion & a dollop of Greek
yogurt. Serves 2-3

* or bake in 375 degrees F. oven
until cheese is melted.


Tomato-Basil Pizza Dip

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. finely chopped fresh
basil, divided
1 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 C. shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. chopped roma tomatoes
1 T. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small saucepan combine tomato
sauce, garlic, 1 T. basil, sugar, salt &
pepper; heat on medium heat 3-4
minutes. Spread cream cheese on
bottom of a 9″ pie plate that has
been sprayed with nonstick spray.
Pour sauce on top; top with
mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, 1
T. basil & Parmesan cheese. Bake
20 minutes. Serve immediately
with crackers.


Caramel Oatmeal Bars

1 (14 oz) pkg. caramels, unwrapped
3 T. milk or cream
1 C. oatmeal
1 C. flour
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. maragarine
1 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt caramels & milk in
microwaveable bowl for
approx. 2 minutes. Cool. In
separate bowl mix together
oatmeal, flour, sugar, soda,
salt & margarine until you
have a crumb texture. Pat
1 C. of crumb mixture into a
greased 9 X 13″ pan. Bake
10 minutes. Remove from
oven & spread chocolate
chips, nuts & caramel
mixture on top. Sprinkle
the remaining cup of crumbs
on top & bake an additional
15 minutes. Let cool before
serving. Cut into 18 bars.


Tex-Mex Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into 1″ wide strips
2 T. taco seasoning mix
2 T. flour
1 each: green & red bell pepper,
cut into 1″ wide strips
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. hot, cooked long-grain white
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
four cheese (Kraft)
2 green onions, sliced

Toss chicken with taco seasoning
& flour in crockpot. Stir in vegetables
& salsa; cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours or High 3-4 hours. Stir just
before serving. Serve over cooked
rice, topped with cheese & onions.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Grilled Italian-stuffed Peppers

1 3/4 C. water, divided
1 1/2 C. instant brown rice, uncooked
2 C. cooked hamburger
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce, divided
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1 large each: red, yellow & green
bell peppers, halved lengthwise &

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Bring 1 1/2 C. water to boil in medium
saucepan. Add rice; cover & simmer 5
minutes. Remove from heat & let stand
5 minutes. Stir in hamburger, zucchini,
Ital. seasoning & 1 C. each spaghetti
sauce & cheese; spoon into peppers.
Top with remaining sauce & cheese.
Place each filled pepper-half on center
of a 12 inch square sheet of heavy-duty
aluminum foil. Bring up foil sides. Spoon
1 T. remaining water onto bottom of each
foil packet. Double fold top & ends to seal
packets, leaving room for heat circulation
inside. Grill 20-25 minutes or until filling
is heated through & peppers are crisp-
tender. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Squash Casserole

1 T. vegetable oil
6 medium yellow summer
squash, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 T. butter
1/2 C. grated Parmesan
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 C. sour cream
salt & pepper
1 sleeve crackers, crushed
medium to fine (recommend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. Heat
oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Saute squash, onion & butter until
soft; transfer to a bowl & stir in
Parm., Cheddar & sour cream. Add
salt & pepper, to taste. Place mixture
in prepared dish & sprinkle cracker
crumbs evenly over top. Bake 20
minutes or until top is golden &
bubbly.  Serves 6-8


Country-fried Potato/Veggie

6 medium potatoes, diced/peeled
2 medium zucchini, sliced/diced
2 medium yellow squash, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
dash salt/pepper
dash garlic powder
1 tsp. all seasoning spice
4 T. olive oil

(will need large skillet with lid)
Heat skillet with olive oil. Once
oil is hot, add veggies & brown
about 10 minutes; add seasonings.
Place on lid & cook 20 minutes.*
Serves 4-6

*time depends on how large or
small the veggies are diced. You
want them to be brown when
fully cooked.

NOTE: Poster serves this with

White Gravy
3 T. butter
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. black pepper
up to 4 C. milk

Place butter & flour in skillet;
Heat & stir until brown & thickened,
then add milk gradually until you
reach desired thickness. Add pepper
before serving.


Bacon Breakfast Cupcakes

1 (20 oz) bag refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 eggs
2 T. milk
3/4 C. crumbled crispy-cooked
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(3 oz)
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with foil liners
then generously spray with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, mix potatoes,
oil, salt & pepper – pour into prepared
cups, press lightly. Bake 45-55 minutes
or until golden brown. In medium bowl
beat eggs & milk. Stir in bacon & cheese.
Firmly press potatoes into muffin cups
using the bottom of a 1/4 C. measuring
cup. Top each with slightly less than 1/4
C. egg mixture. Bake 13-16 minutes or
until knife inserted in center of egg comes
out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with
sauce. Makes 12

(recipe: Facebook)

Grilled Zucchini

5 zucchini
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
olive oil
salt & pepper

Wash zucchini, cut tops off. Slice into
three equal strips, lengthwise; place
in a gallon ziplock bag. Pour about
1/2 C. Italian dressing in bag; seal
bag tightly & shake to coat all
zucchini with dressing.

Preheat grill 400 degrees F.
(Marinate zucchini 10-15 minutes)
Spray grill with nonstick spray then
lay zucchini slices over grates. Close
lie & allow to get some nice grill
marks on them; flip over to other
side. Watch carefully, so they don’t
burn. Should take about 5 minutes
per side. Remove from grill into a
bowl. Drizzle slices with olive oil &
sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Serves 6-8


Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. granulated sugar
1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding
2 3/4 C. milk
2/3 C. dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 C. flour
1/2 C. unsalted butter, cold
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Garnish: peanut butter kisses
chocolate sprinkles

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine peanuts & flour; cut in butter &
press into a 9 X 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes;
set aside & cool completely. Place crust in
fridge to cool further.
Cream peanut butter, cream cheese &
powdered sugar together; carefully spread
on top of crust layer; refrigerate.
Whisk puddings together; add milk &
whisk about 2 minutes or until pudding
begins to thicken. Carefully spread on top
of peanut butter layer, taking care not to
disturb the peanut butter layer; refrigerate.
Whip heavy cream on medium-low speed
until it begins to thicken. Add sugar, increase
speed to medium-high & whip until soft
peaks form. Carefully spread over pudding
layer, taking care not to disturb the pudding
layer. Sprinkle toppings on top. Refrigerate
1 hour before serving.


It’s one week until the turn-in date for my
Knit group’s baby afghan donations. Since I
started knitting the baby headbands, it’s
been another ‘fun’ project. My dear friend
Mary (Momma) was right – she knew I
couldn’t just knit four! AND I don’t like odd
numbers, so later on tonight I’ll round out
my donation of them to 8. They ARE fun to
knit and take about 1 hr 10-15 minutes,
depending on how long it takes me to
crochet the flowers.

Nothing much going on around here;
it’s now 5:30 p.m. and it’s 75 degrees out-
still sunny & breezy. I’m going to hang onto
these last Summery days, knowing full well
that colder weather’s a comin’, for sure!

Enjoy your day!



Playin’ Around

I finally was able to make contact with the lady in charge of the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower (YAY) and we had a very nice chat; managed to work out all the small twists in when she will receive all of our knitted & crocheted donations. While chatting I mentioned knowing there’s another church who also donates items for this event. She mentioned that they received something they’ve never got before: baby headbands. That, of course, got me to thinking: “Wonder if I could make those?” Here ya go:



They’re not hard, take about an hour altogether – a little knitting on the band and crocheting on the flowers; I always love a new challenge.

Today has been a nice, quiet day – got some running/shopping done and was home within an hour. Middle son stopped over for a quick visit (or, as he said: “I came to eat your food, tell you I love you and then ‘BYE’!) – love that kid!

Picked up grandson from the bus stop yesterday; I guess I didn’t realize his DAD would be picking him up later. That’s a GOOD thing, as it gives us a chance to SEE our oldest at least once a week!

Our weather is FINALLY acting like SUMMER – today it got up to 96 (right while I was driving youngest to work – good thing my car has AC!) About an hour ago we had a small thunderstorm (temps before storm, about 92 – after around 85). Right now (9 p.m.)  72 degrees F.


Butter Cream Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers,
crushed into crumbs
olive oil
1 C. chicken broth
4 T. butter
1 C. plus 2 T. Half & Half, divided
1/2 tsp. thyme, dried
2 T. cornstarch
salt & pepper

Cut chicken into chunks using
kitchen shears; place pieces in
a ziplock bag & seal. Pound
chicken flat using a meat mallet.
Pour cracker crumbs into a
loaf pan. Press each chicken
piece into crumbs, being sure
to coat both sides generously.
Place each coated piece on a plate.
Heat large skillet over medium-high
heat. Once skillet is hot, pour about
5 T. olive oil in pan. Let oil heat about
30 seconds then put chicken carefully
into pan – do not crowd- you will
need to cook the chicken in 2 batches.
Let chicken cook about 3-4 minutes per
side, turning with a fork. Remove to
separate plate & cook second batch,
adding another few tablespoons oil
to pan before adding chicken. Once
done cooking chicken add 4 T. butter,
1 C. chicken broth to pan, allowing
butter to melt. Whisk mixture, scraping
bottom of pan to break crispy pieces
loose. Add Half & Half, dried thyme &
whisk to incorporate & allow to come
to a boil. In small bowl pour 2 T.
Half & Half and 2 T. cornstarch, stir
until smooth. Pour cornstarch mixture
into pan & stir with whisk; allow to
return to boil. It will thicken as it heats.
Remove from heat, taste & adjust
with salt & pepper. Place chicken on
a platter, serve with cream gravy.
Serves 6


Peach Coffee Cake

1 (18 1/2 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. lemon extract, divided
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling, cut
into smaller pieces
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. butter, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine dry cake mix,
3ggs, 1/2 tsp. extract, walnuts & pie
filling; stir until well blended. Spread
in greased & floured 9 X 13 pan; set
aside. In separate bowl, mix sugar,
flour, butter & remaining extract with
a fork or pastry blender until crumbly;
sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 40-45
minutes, until center of cake springs
back when touched. Serves 12

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Taco Dip

2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 (13 oz, ea) cans chili
2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 pkgs. Taco seasoning mix
2 T. chili powder
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Brown ground beef & onions;
drain. Add to crockpot with
remaining ingredients. Cook,
on Low, 2 hours or until
Velveeta is melted.

(recipe: Crockpotladies)

Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes

1 1l2 lb. fresh green beans*
1 T. butter
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. basil
salt & pepper
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut
in half

Cook beans in water until tender.
In a skillet melt butter & add garlic
salt, sugar, basil, salt & pepper.
Place cherry tomato halves in skillet
& cook until barely soft & heated,
but not squishy. Add drained beans &
mix well.
*You can use drained canned green
beans & canned stewed tomatoes
instead of fresh cherry tomatoes. Add
canned vegetables to butter/basil mixture
& heat through.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 C. uncooked rice
1 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp. lime zest
4 C. water
2 T. lime juice
1 T. sugar
3 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

In large skillet combine rice,
butter, garlic, lime zest, bullion
cubes & water; bring to boil &
stir well. Reduce heat to Low;
cover & simmer 20-30 minutes.
In small bowl combine lime juice,
sugar & cilantro; pour over top
of hot cooked rice; stir. Makes
about 4 C. cooked rice


Crab Cakes with Spicy Mayo

1 lb. crabmeat, picked free of
1 C. panko bread crumbs
3 green onions, finely chopped
(green & white parts)
1/2 C. finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 C. peanut oil
spicy mayo (recipe below)

Mix egg, mayo, onion, bell
pepper & seasonings in a bowl
until combined. Add crab & half of
panko crumbs; mix. Do not overmix-
you want the crab to remain in chunks.
Form mixture into cakes; coat in
remaining panko. Place cakes on a plate
covered with waxed paper. Cover & place
in fridge at least 2 hours. This lets them
solidify a bit & makes them a lot easier
to fry them.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes
in batches, in pan & fry until browned,
about 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip cakes
& fry other side until golden brown, about
4 minutes. Serve warm with spicy mayo.

Spicy Mayo

4 T. mayonnaise
few drops olive oil
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
few dashes tabasco
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice.

Mix all ingredients & serve
with crab cakes, on side.


Golden Summer Squash &
Corn Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 medium summer squash,
(about 1 lb) diced
3 tsp. chopped fresh herbs:
such as thyme or oregano,
1 (14 oz) can chicken or
vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. fresh corn kernels
(from 1 large ear*)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over
medium heat. Add shallot &
cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add
squash & 1 tsp. herbs; cook,
stirring occasionally, until
squash starts to soften, 3-5
minutes. Add broth & salt; bring
to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer &
cook until squash is soft & mostly
translucent, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer to a blender & puree until
smooth. Return soup to pan & stir
in corn; bring to a simmer over
medium heat & cook, stirring
occasionally, until corn is tender,
3-5 minutes more. Remove from
heat, stir in lemon juice. Serve
garnished with remaining 2 tsp.
herbs & feta cheese. Serves 4
(1 scant Cup each)

*To remove corn from cob, stand
an uncooked ear on it’s stem end
in a shallow bowl. Slice kernels
off using a sharp, thin-bladed knife.
If making a soup, after cutting off
the kernels, you can reverse the
knife & use the dull side to press
down the length of the ear to push
out the rest of the corn & it’s milk.


Ranch-Bacon Chopped Salad

6 C. torn lettuce
1 large tomato, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing

Toss lettuce with tomatoes,
zucchini, corn & bacon bits in
large bowl. Add dressing just
before serving; toss to coat.
Serves 4,1 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad

1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 (16 oz) tub vanilla yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 pkg. no-bake cheesecake filling
1-2 containers sliced fresh strawberries
3-4 sliced bananas

Stir together first 4 ingredients; fold
in fruit. Other fruits can be added or
substituted. Best served chilled and
the same day (due to banana dis-

(recipe: Facebook)


Not much going on so far this weekend;
Sunday starts back to singing in the
choir and choir practices at 4:45 p.m.
before evening church 6-7 p.m. I really
LOVE singing in the choir – not to show
off my voice, but I love the challenge
of learning new music, challenging
myself to see if I can actually hit the
really high notes (or not – thank heavens
we have two ladies in the choir who
really CAN hit the high notes ON KEY!).
It’s nice to share the experience with a
great group of people who are all
doing the same thing: trying our very
best to sing praises to the Lord and to
help the congregation join in the praise.
We have a great choir director and his
wife (she plays piano and organ); they’re
a great team with lots of enthusiasm – it
really makes the entire experience a lot
of FUN!

Hope you’re enjoying your day (or night);



September here we come!


It’s now Sept. 3rd – still sunny out, but we’re dipping into the cooler nights and shorter days. Right now at 9 a.m. it’s a ‘balmy’ 61 degrees F. – Brrrrrrrr! I have a few errands to run but think I’ll wait until a little later today for it to warm up a bit. According to our local weather, it’s supposed to get up to a high of 81 later – that would be nice!

Last night was another Knit/Crochet night and we were bursting at the seams! 22 lovely ladies joined us and they never cease to amaze me at their generosity in creating items for charity projects. I’ve set the ‘pick up’ date for the Detroit Veteran’s Baby Shower items to be Sept. 16th, but more of the ladies brought in their creations last night – LOTS more! Later today I’ll photo the most recent donations; one of our new ladies made three gorgeous baby hats & ‘snug sacks’ and two more sets of hats & blankets! Right now, by my latest count we have: 3 sets of booties, 11 separate baby hats, 17 blankets, 6 sets of hats & booties and 3 hats & snug sacks! That’s enough for a total of 40 individual gifts! And that’s not counting whatever comes in two weeks from now! This is, by far, the BIGGEST donation our group has ever done and this is the third time we’ve done this project. I really don’t know exactly how many people are on the list for the ‘shower’ but I know that the ladies receiving these gifts will truly be blessed – my ladies really put their hearts into their creations AND IT SHOWS! (I’m SO proud of them – can you tell?) Here’s the latest photos:





These are the Baby Cuddle Sacks with matching hats!




Once again – lots more ‘summer’ recipes to share (now more of the Fall recipes are coming in but I’m just going to keep posting the Summer ones until it’s REALLY cold out – OK?)


Campfire Potatoes

Large baking potatoes
sliced cheese (your choice)
thickly sliced (about 1/2″)

Slice potatoes almost all the
way through from one end
to the other (making slits
for the cheese to go it). Wrap
well with heavy aluminum foil
& bury in coals of the fire. Leave
untouched about 40 minutes.
Open packets, add cheese slices
in middle of each potato ‘slit’,
re-wrap & cook 5-10 minutes
longer (being careful you don’t
burn your fingers!). Test for
doneness by piercing with a
fork – fork should lift out
without lifting the potato.
Cooking time depends on the
size of the potatoes & strength
of the fire. Serve with pats of
butter, salt & pepper.

Chilled Creamy Cucumber Soup

3 cucumbers, peeled/seeded
2 C. plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. honey
1 lemon
fresh or dried dill, to taste

Grate cucumber to yield 3 C.
Place cucumbers, yogurt, garlic,
honey & a squirt of lemon in
food processor; snip in some dill.
Process until smooth. Slowly add
water until creamy. Season with
salt & pepper, continue processing.
Pour into a bowl, chill & serve.


Deep Dish Peach Custard Pie

1 unbaked 9″ deep-dish pie crust
(4 C. volume)
3 1/2 C. (about 7 medium) peaches/pitted &
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 – 3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg

Streussel Topping:

1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1/3 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. butter or margarine, chilled

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Arrange sliced peaches in pie shell.
Combine sweetened condensed milk,
eggs, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon &
nutmeg in large mixer bowl; beat
until smooth & pour over peaches.
Bake 10 minutes.

Streussel topping:
Combine brown sugar, flour & walnuts
in medium bowl. Cut in butter with a
pastry blender or two knives until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle pie with Streussel topping.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 &
bake pie an additional 55 – 60 minutes
or until a knife inserted near the center
comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Fabulous Chicken Salad

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
32 oz. can chicken broth
3 stalks celery, minced
1 small white onion, minced
1 C. seedless red grapes, quartered
1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. Kraft 1-Step coleslaw maker
1/2 tsp. curry powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Place chicken breasts in large pot with
chicken broth; bring to boil, reduce
heat to simmer until chicken breasts
are thoroughly cooked. Cool slightly;
shred or cut into small chunks. Combine
minced celery & onion, grapes, apples,
mayonnaise, coleslaw maker & curry
powder; mix well. (salt & pepper, to taste)
Fold shredded/cut up chicken into mayo.
mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours
before serving to allow flavors to blend.
Serves 12


Mexican Black Bean Rice Salad

5 C. cooked rice & cooled
2-3 tsp. salt
2 cans black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can corn, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken &
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes

1/4 C. lime juice
2 T. vinegar
2 T. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. oil
4 pickled jalapenos *
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender
& mix until smooth. Add all salad
ingredients in a bowl; pour dressing over
salad & mix well with a wooden spoon.
Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Serves 12

*Only use 2 if you don’t like a lot of


Crispy Chicken/Won Ton Salad

5 C. cooked brown rice
5 chicken breasts (2-3 lb)
olive oil
(McCormick Grill Mates:)
“Montreal Steak Seasoning”
1 (12 oz) pkg. Won Ton wrappers**
(plus oil for frying)
6 green onions chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 (10 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
(Sesame Asian Dressing -recipe below)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare dressing & refrigerate
(see below)
Place chicken breasts (completely
thawed) on a greased cookie sheet.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top of
each. Sprinkle some Steak seasoning
mix over top of each one. Place pan
in oven & bake 25-30 minutes until
insides of chicken are no longer pink.
Lay the won ton wrappers in 2 piles
on cutting board. Using a sharp knife,
cut them into strips. Heat cooking oil
in deep skillet over medium-high heat;
about 1 1/2 inches of oil. When oil is
hot, carefully place some of the won
ton strips in oil (you will need to fry
them in batches). Cook about 3 minutes
per batch or until golden brown; place
them on paper towels to dry – sprinkle
lightly with salt. NOTE: If you don’t want
to fry them, you can place them on a
cookie sheet sprayed with cooking oil –
spray strip tops with oil. Bake 400 degrees
F. 10 minutes – watch them so they don’t
burn. Salt when they come out of oven.
Chop up cooked chicken & place on a
platter. Place chopped onions, lettuce,
pepper strips & oranges in separate
bowls along with won ton strips. Let
your guests arrange their own salads.
Serves 6-7

**won ton wrappers are found in
the fresh veggie aisle

Light & Creamy Toasted Sesame Asian
(makes 2 Cups)

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. soy sauce
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 C. dry roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
pinch red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients to blender;
cover & mix several minutes
until peanuts are finely chopped.
Store in sealed container in fridge
for up to 1 week.


Lemon-Garlic Chicken

1/2 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 T. cooking oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 4=1 lb.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray shallow baking dish with nonstick
spray. Combine bread crumbs, garlic salt &
lemon pepper in ziplock plastic bag. Combine
lemon juice & oil in another ziplock bag. Add
chicken to lemon juice bag; toss to coat. Place
each breast in bag with crumb mixture, toss
to coat. Place coated chicken in single layer in
prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs
over chicken, if desired. Spray tops of chicken
with nonstick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until chicken is no longer pink in center
(165 degrees F.) Serves 4


Pecan Pie Muffins

1 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
2 C. chopped pecans
2/3 C. butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease muffin cups generously
(grease well or they will STICK!)
In medium bowl stir together
brown sugar, flour & pecans. In
separate bowl beat butter & eggs
together. Stir dry ingredients into
wet just until combined. Spoon
batter into muffin cups about 2/3
full. Bake 12-13 minutes for mini-
muffins or 15-17 minutes for
regular sized muffins. Run a knife
around the edge of each muffin
in the tin, then pop it out.
Makes 12

(recipe: Facebook)

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, beaten
1 C. buttermilk*
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch cayenne powder
1 C. flour
1 C. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
3 C. oil

Mix egg, buttermilk, garlic powder
& cayenne; set aside. Place chicken in large
bowl or large ziplock bag. Pour buttermilk
mixture over chicken & seal tightly. Keep in
refrigerator 2-4 hours.

In shallow dish (for dredging) mix flour, bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese, salt, pepper & baking
powder. Remove chicken from fridge & shake
off excess buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken
in flour & prepare to fry.

Heat oil in large, deep & heavy skillet. When oil
is hot & shimmering, carefully place coated
chicken in hot oil & fry until golden brown &
juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.

*IF you do not have buttermilk:
In a 1 cup glass measuring cup, pour
1 T. white vinegar or lemon juice.
Pour milk into cup to bring milk level
to 1 C. Stir & let stand 5 minutes then
use as much as your recipe calls for

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Quick & Easy Turtle Brownies

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/3 C. oil
2 eggs
1 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. milk chocolate chips
1 C. dark chocolate chips
1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 C. butter
32 unwrapped caramels
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
Combine cake mix, oil & eggs; blend well &
stir in all chips & nuts; mixture will be very
thick. Pour half of mixture in bottom of pan
in a very thin layer. Bake 10 minutes & remove
from oven. While baking, combine butter,
caramels & condensed milk in a medium
saucepan over low to medium heat. Heat
until all is melted & smooth. Spread
caramel mixture over partially baked
cake mixture layer. Top with remaining cake
& chip mixture. (It will not completely
cover but you can press mixture flat with
your fingers & lay it in small sections over
the caramel. Bake an additional 25-30
minutes. Remove from oven & cool 20
minutes. Run a knife around edges. Cool
completely before cutting.


Baked Zucchini Slices

1 zucchini
1 T. olive oil
sea salt
ground black pepper

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

Cut zucchini into thin slices &
toss in olive oil, sea salt &
pepper; sprinkle with paprika &
bake 25-30 minutes.
*paprika not only flavors this,
but also boosts metabolism,
reduces appetite and lowers
blood pressure!

(recipe: Facebook)

Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water,
drained & flaked
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 C. chopped black olives
2 T. finely chopped red onions
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
zest & juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tomatoes

Starting at top of tomato, partially
cut each tomato into wedges, being
careful not to cut all the way through
to the bottom of the tomato. Combine
all ingredients (except tomatoes) in
a bowl; fill sliced tomatoes with tuna
mixture. Serves 4.

NOTE: Tuna mixture can be prepared
ahead of time; refrigerate up to 24
hours before spooning into slices

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Have a wonderful day!