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.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

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 – justapinch.com)

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.
(recipe: therecipecritic.com)
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- justapinch.com)

 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!

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It seems that Mr. Computer has his own ideas on what is important to “shout” about. I have to smile when I see your posts!! Your belated birthday dinner sounds yummy!

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