Thanksgiving Silliness!


My guys: Kris (oldest/31) Eric (20, Ben (25)

and Kris’s son, Kaden (8)

(I took four photos and each one of them had someone being goofy in it)

They were all trying to hurry me up with the picture taking so we could eat dinner. (You can see Kaden saying: “Grandma, please HURRY – I’m STARVING!”) They’re growing up! We had a nice dinner; I tried Kris’s Kale salad (really liked the candied pecans & very thinly sliced Granny Smith apple, but didn’t care for the kale – I don’t even like Frisee lettuce). I tried the new cranberry relish recipe – the guys liked it – I didn’t. It had cinnamon & nutmeg in it; my husband liked it so much he was dipping carrots in it and loving it (go figure!). After dinner we played “Apples to Apples” – a card game – my sides were hurting from laughing so much; we had a great time together. Hope your Thanksgiving celebration was filled with lots of great memories.

Our weather is still very nice for this time of year: a little cloudy/grey but no snow; temperatures in the 30’s which is typical. Driving is great so I’m happy.


And now for the Leftovers Recipes!

Turkey Hash with Country Gravy

1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings
1/2 C. frozen chopped onions
1/2 C. frozen chopped green pepper
2 T. chopped pimientos
2 T. oil
2 C. leftover stuffing
2 eggs
2 C. diced turkey

Leftover gravy – for serving

milk (for gravy)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high
heat. Crumble sausage into skillet;
add onions, peppers & pimientos;
cook 6-8 minutes or until sausage is
just cooked through, stirring often to
break up sausage. Transfer to large
bowl; clean pan & heat oil. Add stuffing,
eggs & turkey to bowl with sausage
mixture; stir to combine. Add to heated
pan & press down with spatula until
bottom of skillet is covered with hash.
Brown 5-7 minutes untouched. Use a
spatula to flip over hash & continue to
cook another 5-7 minutes. Place leftover
gravy in saucepan & heat over medium
heat. As gravy heats up, whisk in enough
milk to thin to desired consistency. Serve
hash topped with poached eggs (optional)
and warmed gravy. Serves 6


Creamy Turkey/Quinoa Soup

1 1/4 C. quinoa, uncooked
(rinse so it’s not bitter)
4 C. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 carrot, finely grated or diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3 C. cooked turkey (or chicken/ham)
1/4 C. butter
1/3 C. flour
2 C. heavy cream
(optional: bacon crumbles)

Add quinoa, water, bouillon, parsley,
onion & garlic powders, thyme, carrot,
celery & turkey to crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 3 hours or until quinoa is cooked
through. In frying pan, melt butter over
medium heat. Stir in flour by tablespoon
to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little
at a time, until fully incorporated & smooth.
Stir cream mixture into crockpot; add salt
& pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, on
High 15 more minutes. Serve in bowls
with bacon garnish, if desired. Serves 6


Crockpot Turkey Pot Pie Soup

4 C. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
3 C. frozen hash browns (shredded
or cubes)
3 C. diced, cooked turkey
3 oz. cooked, crumbled bacon
2 C. frozen peas
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 T. cornstarch
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. ground black pepper
salt, to taste
biscuits, optional – to serve on side

Add water, bouillon, hash browns,
turkey, bacon & mushrooms to
crockpot; cover & cook on Low 4-6
hours. Remove lid/stir in peas. Turn
heat to High. In small bowl combine
cornstarch & 1/4 C. water; stir until
smooth then stir into crockpot. Keep
lid off. Cube cream cheese into crockpot;
stir until melted. Let cook on High until
soup is thickened (about 10-15 minutes).
Add pepper & salt, to taste. Serve with
biscuits, if desired. Serves 6

Crockpot Turkey* Tetrazzini
(or chicken)

8 oz. thin 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 fresh mushrooms
1 C. finely diced celery
2 T. butter
2 C. shredded/cubed cooked chicken or
1 c. grated Sharp Cheddar cheese (
or Parmesan or mozzarella)
salt & pepper, to taste

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


(Leftover) Mashed Potato Pancakes

2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
5 T. flour, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 C. bread crumbs
olive oil

Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl;
add cheese, 3 T. flour, eggs, & parsley
(you might want to add a little salt/pepper)
give them a taste & season to your liking.
Place bread crumbs & flour in a pie plate;
toss to combine. Scoop several large
spoonfuls of potatoes & place in breadcrumbs.
Press a fork over them to flatten; sprinkle
some of the breadcrumbs on top & flatten.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat; add oil – enough to coat bottom of pan.
Using a spatula, gently lift breaded pancakes
& place in skillet. Allow them to brown on
bottom (2-3 minutes); turn over & brown
other side. Place cooked pancakes on a
plate lined with paper towels; sprinkle with
salt; repeat with rest of batch. Makes about
12 pancakes.


Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

4 C. seasoned stuffing cubes
4 C. cubed cooked turkey
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 C. chopped sweet onion
1/4 C. flour
4 eggs
3 C. milk
1 (8 1/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. butter
1/3 C. coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer first six ingredients in greased
9 X 13 pan. In large bowl, whisk flour,
eggs & milk until smooth. Add corn,
salt/pepper; mix well & pour over
top. Let stand 15 minutes. Dot top
with butter & sprinkle with pecans.
Cover & bake 35 minutes. Uncover,
bake 30-35 minutes longer or until
a knife inserted near center comes
out clean. Makes 8 servings.


 Tomato Basil Soup with

Turkey Meatballs

8 oz. ground turkey
3 T. basil pesto
3 T. whole wheat bread crumbs
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled/chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 C. Orzo pasta
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (garnish)

In small bowl combine ground turkey with
pesto, bread crumbs, 1/8 tsp. kosher salt,
1/8 tsp. black pepper & 1 tsp. red pepper
flakes; mix until evenly blended. In large
saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, carrots & celery; cover & reduce
heat to medium-low. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 1 more minute.
Add broth & diced tomatoes with juice; bring
to a simmer. Cover & cook 15 minutes.
While that is cooking, roll turkey mixture
into uniform meatballs (should end up with
about 13 one-inch meatballs). Once tomato
mixture is done simmering, add to food
processor or blender (might need to do it
in batches); pulse for about three 1-second
pulses, then blend 1 full minute or until
soup is as smooth as desired. Return soup
to saucepan; add Orzo & meatballs. Cook
on medium heat 15 minutes or until pasta
is tender & meatballs are fully cooked.
Serve topped with Parmesan.
Serves 4

(recipe: 12

Crockpot Creamy Wild Rice/
Chicken or Turkey Soup

1 1/2 to 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
thighs or 2-3 C. cooked turkey
1 C. finely diced celery
1 C. finely diced or grated carrots
3/4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
4 C. chicken broth
2 C. water
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 (4.3 oz) pkg. Long Grain & Wild Rice
1/2 C. instant brown rice*
2 C. heavy cream (or Half & Half or milk)

Place chicken thighs in crockpot (can use
frozen). In a microwavesafe dish, combine
celery, carrots, flour & butter. Microwave
5 minutes, stirring every minute (butter
will melt/vegetables will get soft. Flour
should be stirring in as best as possible
but it will be a pasty consistency.) Pour
mixture into crockpot. Add broth, water,
salt/pepper/ Rice-a-Roni and seasoning
packet, instant brown rice (if using). Cover
& cook on High 3 hours or on Low 6 hours,
or until rice & chicken are cooked through.
Stir soup a bit then add cream/milk that
has been warmed up for about a minute
in microwave (if you add in cold it will
probably curdle). Let soup cook on High
without lid about 10 minutes to thicken.
Add salt & pepper, to taste. Serves 8-10

*Poster said she didn’t feel like just using
the Rice-a-Roni gave it enough rice, so
she added in the brown rice. If you like
less rice and more broth, leave out brown



Cranberry Bliss Bars

3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
1 1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 T. minced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C. chopped sweetened dried
4 oz. white chocolate, cut into

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. chopped sweetened dried

Drizzled Icing:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
2 tsp. vegetable shortening


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat together butter & brown sugar
using elec. mixer, until smooth. Add eggs,
ginger, vanilla & salt; beat well. Gradually
mix in flour & baking powder until smooth.
Mix cranberries & choc. chunks into batter
by hand. Pour batter into a greased 9 X 13
pan. Use a spatula to spread batter evenly
across pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until cake
is lightly browned on top; allow to cool.


Combine softened cream cheese, powdered
sugar, lemon juice & vanilla in medium bowl
using elec. mixer, until smooth. Spread frosting
on cooled cake with spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 C.
chopped cranberries over frosting.

Drizzle Icing:

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk &
shortening; drizzle over cranberries using
a sweeping motion with a squirt bottle or
fill a small plastic storage bag with icing,
cut a small slit off tip of one corner, then
drizzle icing on cake.
Cover cake & refrigerate 2 hours


Enjoy your day – (I guess, if you’re a shopper,
it’s also “Black Friday” but you won’t catch
me going hunting bargains with all the other




Published in: on November 28, 2014 at 11:41 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Last-minute Recipes!


I was not planning on posting more recipes before Thanksgiving, but due to a glitch in my email/recipe saving, it was needed before I totally LOST all my recipes! (Hard to explain, but every once in awhile my email server decides I need to add some letters to my saved recipes, resulting in extremely long lines of gibberish – this time it took me about 2 minutes to totally remove all of it! Ridiculous!) Anyway, here are some last-minute recipes for ya, just in case you might still be vacillating about what to make!


Double-layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg
1/3 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla with
elec. mixer until blended. Beat in eggs,
1 at a time, just until blended. Remove 1 C.
batter; place in medium bowl. Stir in pumpkin
and spices. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking
spray; sprinkle bottom with graham crumbs.
Top with layers of plain & pumpkin batters. Bake
40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool
completely. Refrigerate 3 hours. Serve topped
with Cool Whip. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Quick Pear/Cranberry Crisp

4 pears, peeled/sliced
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 (3 oz) pkg. lemon jell-o
2 T. water
1/2 C. crushed pecan shortbread cookies
1/4 C. old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1/4 C. chopped pecans
2 T. butter, melted

Combine fruit in large bowl; add dry Jell-o &
water; toss to evenly coat fruit. Spoon into
a 8 X 8″ microwaveable dish. Mix remaining
ingredients in another bowl & sprinkle over
fruit mixture. Microwave on High 16-18
minutes or until streusel topping is lightly
browned and fruit mixture is hot & bubbly.
Cool slightly. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Southwestern Cornbread/Chicken Stuffing

1 T. canola oil
1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. canned whole kernel corn
1/3 C. black beans, rinsed/drained
1 Roma tomato, copped
1 1/2 C. water
1/4 C. butter
1 (6 oz) box cornbread stuffing mix

In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add
chicken & onion; cook until onion is translucent.
Add bell pepper, corn, black beans & tomato;
stir & cook 8 minutes; remove from heat & set
aside. In large saucepan, boil 1 1/2 C. water &
1/4 C. butter; stir in stuffing mix & cover. Remove
from heat; let stand 5 minutes then add to chicken
mixture; stir to combine. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Sweet Potato Pie Bars

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. butter, softened/divided
2 1/2 C. flour, divided
2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4),
3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. miniature marshmallows

Cut cream cheese & 3/4 C. butter into
2 1/4 C. flour in large bowl using pastry
cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs; shape into a ball. Flatten
dough into a disc; wrap tightly with plastic
wrap & refrigerate 1 hour

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place dough between 2 lightly floured sheets
waxed paper. Roll into a 15 1/2 X 10 1/2″
rectangle; discard top sheet of waxed paper.
Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ pan with nonstick spray
and invert over dough. Holding pan & dough
together, flip pan over. Discard second sheet
waxed paper. Gently press dough onto bottom &
up sides of pan. Use a fork to prick holes in
bottom of dough. Bake 10 minutes. Melt
remaining butter. Mash sweet potatoes in
large bowl; add butter and all remaining
ingredients (except marshmallows); mix well.
Pour potato  mixture over crust (pan will be full).
Bake 30 minutes or until top is puffed & lightly
browned. (filling will be soft, but will firm up
when cooled). Immediately top dessert with
marshmallows & cool 1 hour.
Heat broiler when ready to serve; broil dessert
4 inches from heat 1-2 minutes or until
marshmallows are golden brown. Cool slightly.
Makes 24 bars.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cranberry-Orange Chutney

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
2 large Granny Smith apples,
1 large navel orange, zested/juiced
1 C. golden raisins
3/4 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
Add all ingredients (except walnuts)
to crockpot; stir to combine. Cover &
cook on Low 4 hours or until everything
is cooked through & saucy. Stir in nuts
if using. Makes 12 servings (3 T. each)

(store in covered container in refrigerator
up to 4 weeks or freeze for longer storage)

Apple Cider Pumpkin Cobbler

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
8 oz. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vnailla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. apple juice
1 C. Bisquick (divided into 1/3 C. bowls)
6 T. crushed graham crackers
2 eggs, beaten
4 T. butter, sliced into smaller pats
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In each of the three bowls of Bisquick
remove 2 T. & replace with 2 T. crushed
graham crackers. In a medium bowl place
pumpkin, apple juice, 1 of the 1/3 C. bowls
Bisquick/graham crackers, evaporated milk,
spices, eggs, salt, vanilla & brown sugar –
mix until well blended. Pour pumpkin
mixture into crockpot. Sprinkle second bowl
of Bisquick mixture over top of pumpkin.
Toss butter pats on top, then sprinkle
third bowl of Bisquick mixture on top.
Cook on Low 4 hours.


Creamy Cranberry Salad
(overnight recipe)

3 C. fresh or frozen cranberries,
(thawed) & chopped
1 (20 oz) can unsweetened
crushed pineapple, drained
1 medium apple, chopped
2/3 C. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. chopped walnuts

In large bowl mix first 6 ingredients
until blended. Refrigerate, covered,
overnight. In large bowl beat cream
until stiff peaks form. Just before
serving, fold cream & walnuts into
cranberry mixture. Makes 16 (1/2 C.)

(recipe: Taste of

Layered Pumpkin Dessert Bars

25 ginger snaps, finely crushed,
about 1 1/3 C.
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 (3.4 oz.,ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz ) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs & butter; press into
bottom of 9 X 13 baking dish. Bake 10
minutes. Beat cream cheese & sugar
with elec. mixer until well blended. Add
pumpkin & spices; mix well. Add eggs,
1 at a time, beat on Low speed after each
just until blended; pour over crust. Bake
30 minutes or until center is almost set.
Cool 1 hour. Beat pudding mixes & milk
in medium bowl with whisk 2 minutes.
Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip; spread over dessert.
Cover with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate
3 hours or until firm; sprinkle top with nuts
before serving. Makes 16 bars.

NOTE: do not add nuts early, as they will
become soft.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
2/3 C. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Whipped cream for topping
pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tin cups with * cup
liners; spray cups with nonstick spray.
Mix pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs,
vanilla & milk. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice,
salt, baking powder, baking soda to mixture.
Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 C. mixture. Bake
20 minutes; let cool 20 minutes. Remove
cupcakes from pan & chill in fridge 30 minutes.
Top with whipped cream & sprinkle more
pumpkin pie spice on top. Makes 12 cupcakes.

NOTE: For this recipe, use either foil liners
sprayed with nonstick spray or just spray tins
with nonstick spray. PAPER cup liners make it
difficult to remove cupcakes from papers.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 C. zucchini, shredded

Cinnamon Swirl:
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine eggs & sugar in bowl;
mix in pumpkin, butter & vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients in a large
bowl; add to pumpkin mixture until
well mixed. Stir in zucchini.
Mix cinnamon swirl ingredients
together in separate bowl.
Pour half of dough into 2 greased &
floured loaf pans; divide cinnamon
swirl mixture evenly on top of dough,
top with remaining dough. Bake 45
minutes or until bread tests done.
Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove
to wire rack to cool. Makes 2 loafs


No-Fuss Fruit Pie

1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry
sheets (2 sheets)
1 egg
1 T. water
1 (21 oz) can or jar fruit pie filling, any flavor

Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature 30
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix egg & water in small bowl. Unfold
pastry sheets. Place 1 sheet on baking sheet &
spread pie filling on sheet to within 1 inch of
edges; brush edges with egg mixture. Place
remaining sheet over pie filling & press edges
together with fork, to seal. Brush top with egg
mixture & cut several 2″ slits in top for steam
venting. Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Cool
on baking sheet on wire rack at least 15 minutes
before cutting into squares. Serves 9

(recipe: Back of the Box website)

As far as I can tell, that’s about ‘it’ as
far as pre-Thanksgiving recipes goes;
I went through all four files of my
recipes (each one has at least 30
recipes I’ve saved, that sounded

Nothing much planned for today
except maybe some quick house-
cleaning. Think I’ve decided to
put off the delivery of the baby
hats until next week; that would
be my only reason to go out today –
better stay home and maybe get
a few things done before tomorrow’s
‘feast’. Thankfully, my family likes to
eat late (6 p.m.) – oldest son & grandson
will be having another dinner at around
2, so they really won’t be ready to eat
another BIG meal on top of that, hence
our later dinner. The good thing: I’ve
made this particular dinner so many times
over the years, it pretty much goes
together easily (in our house it’s been
almost the same recipe every year for
both Thanksgiving AND Christmas – my
family is firmly embedded in the SAME
dishes every time).

Hoping you have a wonderful, tasty,
happy THANKFUL time for your holiday.
Enjoy those you are with and be thankful
for them.

I Thessalonians 5:18:

“In EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is
the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning



Published in: on November 26, 2014 at 10:02 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Shopping, Shopping!


Today was another ‘lots of errands’ day – first: 6 month check-up with Oncologist (cancer) doctor – had a great chat, all’s good there. While going through the ‘regular’ stuff (blood pressure/temperature, etc.) I get a call from my husband: “When you get done there would you stop at ACE Hardware and pick up a SUMP PUMP?” OK – told my doctor about the call and he said: “Let’s see: Eggs, loaf of bread and a sump pump – check!” So true! Was a bit shocked at a few price jumps: eggs (large – 1 dozen) have gone from what was about $1.35 to over $2.00, sliced fresh mushrooms were around $1.25 a box, now $1.99, and there were a few other surprises while grocery shopping. Local gas station WAS $2.86/9 a few days ago (when I DIDN’T need gas) to $2.96/9 today (when I DO need it – isn’t it always the way?). I think we’re now ‘officially’ ready for the holiday: groceries are all purchased (YAY!); bought the multi-flavors cheesecake AND a pumpkin pie (for my husband). Oldest son (the chef) called today to tell me he’s bringing a Kale salad which is famous at their restaurant: something about candied pecans, dried cranberries – he had me at the nuts! I told him that’s just great because I ‘was’ thinking about a salad, but then dumped it, as my salads are not very ‘interesting’ – now he saved the day!  Was happy that I chose today to finish up the grocery shopping – went to Krogers and they were NOT busy (at around 11:45 a.m.); Gordon Food Services was (as expected) pretty busy but I’m SURE they will be a LOT more busy tomorrow – they are a wholesale/retail grocery with all kinds of great items to chose from. Also bought a new lighted Christmas wreath while at the hardware store – our old one is just a tad ‘too old’ for my liking.


5-Minute Homemade Brown Gravy

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. onion powder
2 C. water
4 tsp. beef bouillon granules

Combine water & bouillon in glass
measuring cup. Heat in microwave
1 minute at a time, until steaming
hot. Melt butter in medium saucepan
over medium heat. Add flour & onion
powder; whisk together. Allow to cook
1 minute, whisking occasionally (this
helps cook out the ‘floury’ taste). Add
beef broth mixture to flour mixture &
whisk. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer
1  minute. Makes about 2 C.


Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

2 C. sugar, divided
1 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. molasses
2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1/3 C. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine 1 1/2 C. sugar, butter & molasses in
a bowl. Using elec. mixer, beat on medium speed
until creamy. Add flour, baking soda & 1 tsp. pie
spice; beat on low until mixed. Reserve 3/4 C. mixture
into a bowl; add oats & mix well – set aside.
Press remaining mixture into an ungreased 15″ X 10″
jelly roll pan. In a bowl, combine pumpkin, remaining
1/2 C. sugar, cream cheese, vanilla & remaining
pie spice; beat until well mixed. Add eggs; beat until
smooth. Spread mixture over crust in pan; crumble
reserved oat mixture over top. Bake 25-30 minutes
until golden brown. Cool completely. Drizzle glaze
over cooled bars.


1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 – 2 tsp. Half & Half

Combine powdered sugar, butter & vanilla in bowl. Beat
with elec. mixer on medium speed, gradually adding
enough Half & Half for desired drizzling consistency.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

2 T. oil
1 C. chopped onion
2 small stalks celery, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
cubed (about 1 lb)
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 C. vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fresh thyme (more for garnish)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
cubed apples, for garnish

In Dutch oven saute celery & onion in
oil until tender; add remaining
ingredients( except apple) bring to
boil over medium heat. Reduce heat &
simmer 25-30 minutes until potatoes
are tender. Discard bay leaf & cinnamon
stick. Cool slightly, process in blender or
food processor until smooth. Return to
pan & heat through. Serve in bowls with
garnish. Serves 4


Cranberry Fluff

2 C. fresh cranberries, washed/
picked over
1/8 C. sugar
1 can cranberry sauce
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small can Tidbit or crushed
pineapple, drained
1/2 bag miniature marshmallows
1 C. toasted/chopped pecans

Place fresh cranberries in a large
ziplock bag & smash with a hammer.
Sprinkle sugar in bag & refrigerate
1 hour. About 1 hour before serving,
open can of cranberry sauce, pour
in a bowl & smash with a fork; add
fresh cranberries to bowl, pecans,
marshmallows, pineapple. Gently
fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate 1 hour
before serving.


Thanksgiving Dinner

in a Crockpot

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix (plus water &
butter to make stuffing – see box)
salt & pepper, to taste

Place frozen veggies in bottom of crockpot;
add chicken breast, frozen or thawed. Pour
soup on top. Prepare stuffing mix according
to pkg. directions; place stuffing on top of
soup layer. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 3-4 hours. Add salt & pepper, to
taste. Serves 6

Cranberry Bark


1 C. dried cranberries
1/3 C. chopped pecans,
3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white
chocolate, broken into
pieces & melted

Stir cranberries & nuts into
melted chocolate. Spread onto
waxed paper-covered baking
sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour then
break into pieces. Makes 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple/Cranberry/Pecan Stuffing

1 1/2 C. apple juice
2 T. butter or margarine
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 small apple, chopped
1/2 C. fresh cranberries (or dried)
1/4 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Bring juice & butter to a boil in medium
saucepan on High heat. Add stuffing mix
& fruit; mix lightly. Cover & remove from
heat. Let stand 5 minutes; stir in nuts.
Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)
Recipe can be doubled

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spicy Crab Spread

1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1 (6 oz) can lump crabmeat, drained/
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients until blended.
Serve with crackers, baked wonton
chips or fresh cut vegetables.
Serves 12 (2 T. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Citrus Ambrosia Salad

2 navel oranges, peeled, cut
cross-wise into thin slices
2 red grapefruits, peeled, cut
cross-wise into thin slices
4 clementine oranges, peeled,
cut cross-wise into thin slices
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. flake coconut, toasted**
1/2 C. pomegranate seeds
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. honey *
dash ground cloves

Arrange orange & grapefruit slices
alternately on a large plate. Top
with marshmallows, coconut &
pomegranate seeds. Mix remaining
ingredients & drizzle over fruit just
before serving. Serves 12

*can substitute orange juice for honey

**To toast coconut:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread coconut evenly on shallow
baking pan; bake 7-10 minutes or
until lightly browned, stirring
frequently. OR- spread in
microwaveable pie plate; microwave on
High 3 minutes until lightly browned,
stirring every minute. Watch, as coconut
can easily burn.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Roasted Butternut Squash &

1 1/2 lb. butternut squash
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
2 medium apples (Gala works well)
chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place squash in microwave for
3 minutes (helps cutting/peeling)
Slice bottom & top off squash.
Using a sharp vegetable peeler,
peel off all skin. Slice squash in
half (top to bottom) & scoop out
seeds & pulp strings. Lay each half
flat side down, on cutting board &
cut into strips then cut strips into
small chunks (try to make them as
uniform as possible). Spray 9″ X 13″
pan with nonstick spray; place cubes
in pan. Add 2 T. butter to microwave-
able bowl & melt in microwave. Add
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, salt &
smoked paprika; stir to combine &
pour over top of squash in pan –
stir to combine making sure all
cubes are coated with mixture.
Cover pan with foil & bake 20
minutes. Place cut apples in small
bowl & drizzle with balsamic vinegar,
maple syrup & brown sugar; stir to
combine. Carefully remove pan from
oven & unwrap foil. Stir in apple
mixture; return pan to oven. Bake,
uncovered, an additional 15 minutes
until apples & squash are soft. Serve
immediately. Serves 6

Autumn Chicken

2 large or 4 small chicken breasts
2 parsnips, peeled/chopped
2 carrots peeled/chopped
1 acorn squash
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth

Add parsnips & carrots to bottom of
crockpot. Place chicken on top & sprinkle
with garlic (minced or powder, your choice);
Pour broth on top. Cut acorn squash into
chunks & slice off skin. Place chunks on top
of chicken, then season with desired amounts
of salt, pepper & nutmeg. Drizzle enough honey
on top to lightly cover squash. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours.


Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
2/3 C. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Whipped cream for topping
pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tin cups with * cup
liners; spray cups with nonstick spray.
Mix pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs,
vanilla & milk. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice,
salt, baking powder, baking soda to mixture.
Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 C. mixture. Bake
20 minutes; let cool 20 minutes. Remove
cupcakes from pan & chill in fridge 30 minutes.
Top with whipped cream & sprinkle more
pumpkin pie spice on top. Makes 12 cupcakes.

NOTE: For this recipe, use either foil liners
sprayed with nonstick spray or just spray tins
with nonstick spray. PAPER cup liners make it
difficult to remove cupcakes from papers.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Our weather has been really windy with rain;
today while out running errands it stayed at
30 degrees (perfect “snow” temperature). As
long as it’s clear (no rain/snow) I’m happy; just
have to remember to bundle up – (just read
the Wind Chill for today: feels like 19 degrees F –
NO WONDER it felt so cold!

Stay warm and try to enjoy your day!




More Recipes!


(couldn’t resist – he’s so cute!)

Our weather is still cooperating – today it’s in the 50’s! Made a few trips (post office, drug store & grocery) – upon coming out of the grocery store it was POURING! (It was really windy & hard rain last night – strange weather!). Glad I’ve got my running down for today – more to come in the next few days. Since I really don’t have any big/great news to share, I really didn’t think I needed to post UNTIL I read the length of the Thanksgiving recipes I’d already accumulated (for you!). Here’s more on the Holiday Recipe Hit Parade:


Layered Pumpkin Dessert Bars

25 ginger snaps, finely crushed,
about 1 1/3 C.
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 (3.4 oz.,ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz ) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs & butter; press into
bottom of 9 X 13 baking dish. Bake 10
minutes. Beat cream cheese & sugar
with elec. mixer until well blended. Add
pumpkin & spices; mix well. Add eggs,
1 at a time, beat on Low speed after each
just until blended; pour over crust. Bake
30 minutes or until center is almost set.
Cool 1 hour. Beat pudding mixes & milk
in medium bowl with whisk 2 minutes.
Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip; spread over dessert.
Cover with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate
3 hours or until firm; sprinkle top with nuts
before serving. Makes 16 bars.

NOTE: do not add nuts early, as they will
become soft.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Caramelized Pumpkin Soup

2 small pumpkins, about 3 lb
2 C. vegetable broth
2 sweet red peppers
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. cinnamon
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil. Cut top off pumpkins & slice in
half; scoop out seeds & membranes.
Brush insides & outsides of halves
with 1 T. olive oil. Cut each half into 1
inch slices. Slice red pepper into 1/4″
slices. Add slices of pumpkin & pepper
to baking sheet & sprinkle with coarse
sea salt & black pepper. Roast pumpkin
& peppers on middle rack 30 minutes;
flipping half way through. Allow to cool
slightly; set peppers aside. Remove skin
from pumpkin & mash flesh; set aside.
In pan on medium-high heat, add 1/2 T.
olive oil & red pepper flakes. Cut onion
in 1/8″ slices & add to pan. Lower heat
to medium & cook onion 10 minutes
until caramelized. In large saucepan add
onion, peppers, pumpkin, vegetable
stock, 1 T. cayenne & cinnamon; blend
all ingredients using an immersion
blender (or, in batches, in a blender).
Heat soup through & simmer 5 minutes.
Add more vegetable stock for thinner
soup. Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
Serve soup & sprinkle with remaining
cayenne, if desired.


Party Carrots

2 lb. carrots, sliced
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 T. butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 inch water in a large
saucepan; add carrots & bouillon;
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 7-9 minutes or until crisp-
tender. In another large saucepan,
combine Velveeta & butter; cook &
stir over low heat until melted. Add
cream cheese, onions, salt/pepper;
cook & stir until cream cheese is
melted. Drain carrots; stir in cheese
sauce. Transfer to greased, shallow
2 qt. baking dish. Cover & bake
20-25 minutes until bubbly. Serves 8


Cranberry Cornmeal Dressing

3 C. chicken broth, divided
1/2 C. yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausage
links, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
1 large fennel bulb, diced
(about 1 C.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg yolk, beaten
4 C. soft French or Italian bread
3/4 C. dried cranberries
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 tsp. minced fresh savory
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl whisk 1 C. broth,
cornmeal, salt/pepper until smooth.
In large saucepan, bring remaining
broth to boil; add cornmeal
mixture, stirring constantly. Return
to boil; cook & stir 3 minutes until
thickened. Remove from heat & set
Crumble sausage into large nonstick
skillet; add onion & fennel. Cook
over medium heat until sausage is no
longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute
longer; drain. Stir in egg yolk & corn-
meal mixture. Add bread crumbs,
cranberries, parsley, vinegar, sage,
savory & nutmeg. Transfer to a
greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover
& bake 40-45 minutes or until a
thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
Makes 8 servings.

Pineapple-Sweet Potato Bake

6 large sweet potatoes (about
4 1/2 lb.)
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 C. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. butter, cubed
16 maraschino cherries
ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place sweet potatoes in Dutch
oven or large kettle; cover with
water & bring to boil. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 30-45 minutes until
tender. Drain & cool slightly. Peel &
cut each potato lengthwise into
quarters; cut each quarter into 2-3
wedges. Place in greased 9 X 13 pan.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Sprinkle
pineapple over potatoes. In saucepan,
combine sugar & cornstarch; stir in
reserved juice  & blend. Add butter &
bring to boil. Cook & stir 2 minutes until
thickened. Pour over potatoes &
pineapple; top with cherries. Sprinkle
with cinnamon & bake, uncovered,
30-35 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 8

Green Beans with Almond Butter

1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
3 T. butter, softened
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
dash pepper
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted &
finely chopped

Place beans in large saucepan; cover
with water & bring to boil. Cook,
uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until
crisp-tender. In small bowl combine
butter, lemon juice & peel, salt, garlic
powder & pepper. Stir in almonds.
Drain beans & return to pan. Add
almond butter & toss to coat.
Serves 6

Roasted Butternut Squash Tossed

4 C. cubed/peeled butternut squash,
about 1 lb.
1 large onion, chopped
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach
2 C. coarsely chopped iceburg lettuce
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 T. poppy seed salad dressing, divided
1/2 C. seasoned stuffing cubes
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted*
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl toss squash & onion with
honey, salt, garlic powder & pepper.
Transfer to a 15 X 10X 1″ baking pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
20-25 minutes until vegetables are
tender, stirring once; cool slightly.
In another bowl combine spinach,
lettuce, cheese & squash mixture.
Just before serving drizzle with 4 T.
dressing; toss to coat. Divide salad
among 8 plates; top with stuffing cubes,
cranberries, almonds & bacon. Drizzle
with remaining dressing. Makes 8

*To toast almonds:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread nuts on a 15 x 10 x 1 baking
pan. Bake 5-10 minutes until lightly
browned, stirring occasionally. OR-
spread in a dry nonstick skillet &
heat over low heat until lightly
browned, stirring occasionally.


Pecan Pie Bars for a Crowd

6 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 C. cold butter, cubed

8 eggs
3 C. sugar
3 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. butter, melted
3 tsp. vanilla
5 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar &
salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press
onto bottom & up sides of two greased
15 X 10 X 1″ baking pans. Bake 18-22
minutes until crust edges are beginning
to brown & bottom is set.
Combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter
& vanilla in large bowl; stir in pecans &
pour over crust. Bake 25-30 minutes
longer until edges are firm & center is
almost set. Cool on wire racks. Cut into
bars. Refrigerate until serving.
Makes 6-8 dozen.


Mushroom/Onion/Sage Stuffing

10-12 C. dried bread crumbs (or 16-18 oz.
loaf rustic white bread)
6 T. unsalted butter (additional 2 T., melted)
4 C. fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 lb. yellow onions, diced
4 large stalks celery, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
leaves from 2 stalks thyme
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 C. chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish. Rinse &
pat dry onions. Heat butter in large
pan; add mushrooms, onions, celery,
garlic & cook until soft, stirring
frequently. Add sage & thyme, season
with salt/pepper; cook 3 minutes then
remove from heat. Beat eggs with
chicken stock & season with salt/pepper,
poultry seasoning. In large bowl combine
bread crumbs & egg mixture; add cooked
vegetables & herbs. Pour into prepared
dish; drizzle with melted butter. Cover &
bake 30 minutes. Uncover & bake an
additional 15-20 minutes or until top
is browned. Cool 10 minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8

Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

gingersnap cookies, for dipping

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
confectioners sugar until smooth.
Beat in pumpkin, sour cream,
cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice &
ginger until blended. Serve with
gingersnaps. Makes 4 Cups

That should be enough for today –
I’m SURE there will be more to
follow in the days ahead. How are
you coming on your holiday
preparations? Think I’m pretty close
to done with the groceries – few
more things to pick up in the next
few days, but close to being done

We got a big shock Sunday – our
Sunday School teacher (a wonderful
man) Friday, was loading up his truck
with Christmas decorations with hopes
of driving to church to decorate our
classroom when he fell – (not sure if
he was on a ladder or not) but his
face directly hit the top of a small
propane tank (the thin metal rim)
which did severe damage to his
face, both jaws, dislocated his
shoulder & broke his collarbone.
He is now in the hospital, but will
be coming home tomorrow to
recooperate. There are several
oral surgeries in the future, but
he has to heal some for 6 weeks
before they can do anything. You
just never know when life will
change – in an instant. If you are
a praying person, please pray for
Rick. Thanks.



Published in: on November 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Frrrrrrigid Saturday! Brrrrrrrr!


Woke up to the results of freezing rain, overnight

I had seen the weather report last night calling for freezing rain, but was really hoping that wouldn’t happen. Good thing: I don’t have anywhere to go today, but youngest son had to be to work at 11 a.m. to deliver pizzas – not good. Just took a peek at the forecast for next week: straight RAIN until Friday! Oh well, guess it’s better than snow! You don’t get big accumulations of rain (unless you get flooding –  but not in this area).

My last post was filled with appetizers & dips; I still have LOTS of holiday/Thanksgiving recipes for you. Remember – these are NOT my recipes; I list the origin of the recipe at the bottom of each one. (just thought I might need to add that disclaimer). Here ya go for today:


Pumpkin Pie “Smoothie”

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 C. milk
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
2 T. ground flax seed
2 T. honey
2 C. ice

Heat pumpkin & spice in medium
saucepan over medium heat, 5-7
minutes. Cool to room temp. Spoon
half pumpkin mixture with remaining
ingredients into a blender; pulse until
mixture is a smooth shake. Serve
immediately. Makes 2 C. (serves 1-2)

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice:
(makes 1/2 C.)

3 T. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. cloves

Mix all ingredients together, store in
air-tight jar. Makes 1/2 C.

(recipe: AARP. org)

Spiced Apple Dump Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box Spice cake mix
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
3/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a bowl combine dry cake mix, oats &
melted butter; mix to combine. Add pie
filling to bottom of greased crockpot.
Pour cake mix mixture over pie filling;
sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using.
Cover & cook on High 2 hours. Serve
warm or cold, with ice cream or
whipped topping/whipped cream,
if desired. Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpotladies)
Stuffed Mushrooms

16 oz. whole mushrooms (not sliced)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 t. finely chopped green onion
3 T. cooked/crumbled bacon
freshly cracked black pepper
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Gently wash mushrooms & remove
stems. Mix chopped green onion to
cream cheese in a bowl; add bacon &
cracked pepper; mix to combine.
Place mushroom caps (open side up)
on a greased cookie sheet; fill insides
with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle tops
with some Panko bread crumbs; press
crumbs into cream cheese so they will
stick. Bake 15-20 minutes; serve hot.
Makes about 20

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

(stuffing served in a bowl)
2 loaves French bread, cut into
little pieces
1/2 C. melted butter
1 lb. ground sausage
9 stalks celery, chopped
3 onions, chopped
3 T. butter
1 T. celery salt
1 T. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. sage
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place bread pieces on two large
baking sheets; pour 1/2 C. melted
butter over tops & use your hands to
mix so that all are evenly coated.
Bake 25 minutes until golden brown;
stirring every 10 minutes. Brown
sausage; melt 3 T. butter in large
skillet; add veggies & saute until
onions are transparent & celery is
crisp-tender. In a very large mixing
bowl combine all ingredient except
eggs; mix well. Add eggs; stir until
well combined. Make SURE all eggs
are well incorporated. Spray a 9 X 13
pan with nonstick spray; pour
stuffing mixture into pan & cover
tightly with foil. Bake 35 minutes;
serve hot. Makes 15 generous

NOTE: If you want to stuff your bird
using this mixture make the following
Do not brown sausage, saute eggs or
toast bread. Omit broth & final 1/2 C.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 C. pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 oz) pkg. raspberry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
3 C. frozen raspberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place pretzels in small food processor
or blender; grind into coarse crumbs.
Add melted butter & 3 T. sugar; mix
until combined. Spread mixture into
a 9 X 13 pan; spread evenly. Bake
13 minutes until golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool completely. Using a
stand mixer or medium mixing bowl,
beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & mix 4 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip; mix 1 minute until well
incorporated. Heat 2 C. water in
microwave until boiling; add Jell-O
stir until dissolved. Pour raspberries
into Jell-O; stir to combine. Place
bowl in fridge until mixture has
thickened a bit; not totally set.
Remove crust from fridge; spread
cream cheese mixture over crust;
smooth then pour raspberry
Jell-0 on top. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours.

Crispy Green Beans with Bacon

2 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned
8 slices bacon, chopped into
small chunks
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper

Place chopped bacon & onions
in large, deep skillet. Cook on
medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally, 7-10  minutes. Line
a plate with paper towels &
carefully place bacon/onions
on it. Discard all but 1 T. bacon
grease from pan; add 1 T. olive
oil to grease & heat on medium-
high heat. Add green beans &
saute, stirring occasionally. After
5 minutes add 1-2 T. hot water &
cover pan. Steam 3-4 minutes,
then remove lid & taste; they
are done when they are crisp-
tender. Add bacon/onion to pan;
season with salt/pepper; stir &
serve. Makes 6 servings


Cranberry Casserole

3 medium apples (Gala)
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 to 3/4 C. sugar

1 C. oatmeal
1/3 C. self-rising flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & slice apples; place into
buttered 9 X 13 pan. Place
cranberries on top of apples;
sprinkle with sugar. Mix
oatmeal, flour, brown sugar &
nuts in zip-lock bag. Pour in
melted butter & shake well;
crumble over apple mixture.
Bake 30 minutes; uncover &
bake 30 minutes longer.

(recipe: way2go4health-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

2/3 C. flour
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with
paper liners. In bowl, whisk
together flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt & pumpkin
pie spice. In large bowl whisk
together pumpkin puree, sugar,
eggs, vanilla & evaporated milk
until well combined. Add in dry
ingredients & whisk until no
streaks of flour remain & batter
is smooth. Fill each muffin cup
with approx. 1/3 C. batter. Bake
20 minutes & let cool 20 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan & chill
in fridge 30 minutes. Top with
whipped cream & sprinkle tops
with more pumpkin pie spice or
cinnamon before serving.
Makes 12


Pumpkin “Lasagna” (dessert)

1 C. flour
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Pumpkin Layer:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small boxes vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. toasted walnuts or
pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, butter & 1/2 C. nuts;
press into baking dish, bake 15 minutes
then remove from oven & let cool completely.
Mix cream cheese & powdered sugar until
light & fluffy; add 1 C. Cool Whip; spread
over cooled crust. Refrigerate while
making pumpkin mixture. Mix milk &
vanilla pudding mix; add pumpkin puree &
cinnamon; mix until smooth. Spread over
top of cheesecake layer. Spread remaining
1 C. Cool Whip; sprinkle with chopped nuts
& refrigerate at least 3 hours.


 Mozzarella-stuffed Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 C. breadcrumbs
1 T. Italian seasoning
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. mozzarella, cut into cubes
jar marinara sauce

In large bowl mix ingredients
on list: beef through pepper;
form into 2″ balls. Press a cheese
cube into middle of ball & seal
meat around it. Heat 1/2″ olive
oil in large skillet; brown meatballs
& set aside on a plate. Pour
marinara sauce in a saucepan &
bring to a simmer. Add meatballs
& simmer until cooked through,
about 30 minutes.
Serving suggestions:
on top of cooked spaghetti or on top
of a hoagie bun, or on toothpicks
as an appetizer


Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
2 C. shredded lettuce
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives

(baked tortilla chips, for serving)

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, salsa & taco seasoning; mix well
with elec. mixer. Spread on bottom of a
large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded
lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese & black
olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
24 servings

(recipe: skinnytastecom)

I have a tendency to post ALL of the
great-sounding recipes in one post – but
I’ll ‘restrain’ myself, knowing there’s still
four more days until Thanksgiving. Wow!
ONLY FOUR! Guess I’d better get to writing
down my grocery list, eh? I’ll probably go
shopping on Tuesday – we’ll see. I was
thinking last night about how each year
I ‘attempt’ to try one new recipe for our
holiday dinner, and usually it fizzles. My
family is DEEPLY rooted in tradition: just
give us the STANDARD MENU for our
holidays – it’s OK to vary it turkey or ham,
but don’t mess with anything else! (This
year I’m going to try a different cranberry
relish/sauce recipe – we’ll see how it goes!)
Long story: years ago I was able to purchase
Ocean Spray Cranberry-Orange relish in a
tub EVERY YEAR – then they stopped making
it! (I’d guess, about 3 years ago) – I attempted
making my own – it was OK – made WAY TOO
MUCH – we had it for weeks! Oh well, we’ll
see how that goes this year. Sort of tempted
to go with a homemade pumpkin pie, too –
but I’m not much of a pie baker, so I might
forgo that one, too – sigh. What are some
of YOUR holiday food traditions? I’d love to
hear from you! Here’s our ‘standard’ menu:

Turkey (or ham)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet Potatoes (for oldest son, he’s the
only one that eats them – and he’s a chef!)
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Casserole
Rolls (Kroger’s ‘Snowflake’)
veggie tray
some sort of dessert(s)

Since today is rather ‘open ended’, think I’ll
go knit a few more baby hats. Right now I’m
at 22 premie/25 newborn; am thinking of
delivering them on Monday. Usually I try
to get 50 of each, but I’m thinking that since
I’m already knitting scarves/hats for the
homeless shelters, I’ll take a break on the
baby hats for awhile.

Just looked outside – it seems our weather
is warming up – the ice on my car is gone!
YAY! When I looked (about an hour ago)
there were long, thick ice ‘columns’ going
from the bottom of my car to the ground,
not counting the windows were ice sheets.
That’s a good thing they’ve melted, I’ll
not be so prone to worrying while my
youngest is on the roads delivering pizzas!

Have a great day! Maybe read a book,
take a quick ‘power’ nap, drink something
warm & comforting (cocoa/tea/coffee),
do SOMETHING you enjoy!



PS:  Just saw a preview of a upcoming
movie about the life of Steven Hawking,
the theoretical physicist called: “The Theory of
Everything” – sounds interesting! We
still have a movie gift card (from last
Christmas) that we haven’t used – maybe
THIS will be the movie we go see! It comes
out November 26th.
There’s another movie coming out with
Benedict Cumberbatch called:
“The Imitation Game” that sounds really
interesting: it’s about the life of English
mathematician/logician: Alan Turing who
helped crack the ‘Enigma Code’ during
WWII. – can you tell I like biographies?

Have I got the APPETIZERS for YOU!!!


I’m sure by now you know that I get/see a LOT of recipes in a day but TODAY I hit the ‘motherlode’ of appetizer recipes! For our family, we usually just have a fresh veggie tray instead of appetizers, but some of these really sound tasty! See what I mean:


Crab & Cream Cheese Delight

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz. can crabmeat, drained &
12 oz. jar seafood cocktail sauce
fresh chopped parsley (garnish,

Mix crab meat & cream cheese
together until smooth. Spread
mixture into bottom of a 9″
pie pan. Pour cocktail sauce
over crab meat to cover
completely. Sprinkle top with
parsley. Refrigerate at least
1 hour to blend flavors.
Serve with assorted crackers.
Serves 6

Ham or Salami Roll ups

1 lb. salami, sliced thin
(or ham)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
(optional) green onions

Spread each slice of meat
with some cream cheese,
on middle of slice. Place
1 green onion on top
(if using) & roll up.
Serves 6

Asparagus Wrapped w/Prosciutto

1/4 lb. Prosciutto, 20 very thin
1 lb. fresh asparagus (about 20,
1/4 lb. cheese*, your choice,
sliced thin (20 slices)

Place a slice of prosciutto on a
working surface; lay one piece of
cheese on each slice then lay
asparagus spears on top of cheese.
Roll up and place on a platter.
Serves 10

*poster suggests using various
cheeses, semi-firm cow milk cheese
with truffle – your choice


BBQ Bacon-wrapped Mushrooms

1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh large button
1 lb. pepper bacon, room temp,
slices cut in half
4 T. barbecue sauce (your choice)

Cut stems off mushrooms; rinse
briefly & dry well with paper
towels. Wrap each mushroom cap
with bacon strip (use two if cap
is not completely covered). Bacon
will stick to mushrooms so you
don’t need toothpicks. In medium
saute pan over medium-high heat,
saute wrapped caps until bacon is
golden brown. Just as bacon begins
to crisp-up, add BBQ sauce & toss
to lightly coat. Serve immediately.
Serves 6-8

Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts

1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. brown sugar
8 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

Marinate water chestnuts in soy sauce
for 1 hour; drain.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Roll each chestnut in brown sugar &
wrap with one piece bacon; secure with
toothpick. Arrange pieces on a wire rack
over a shallow baking pan. Bake 30
minutes until golden brown; drain on
paper towels. Makes 16

Note: Can be prepared ahead of time &
stored in refrigerator until ready to bake.

BLT Bites

24-30 cherry tomatoes
1 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/3 C. chopped green onion
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
(or 3 T. grated Cheddar cheese)
2 T. snipped fresh parsley

Cut a small slice off tops of tomatoes.
Using a small (14 tsp) metal measuring
spoon, scoop out pulp from tomatoes &
discard. Invert tomatoes on paper towels
to drain. Combine remaining ingredients &
spoon mixture into tomatoes. Refrigerate
several hours before serving. Makes 24-30

Roast Beef/Horseradish Spirals

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
2 green onions, chopped (about
1/2 C.)
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. prepared horseradish, drained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. deli roast beef, sliced
2 (10″) flour tortillas

Combine first 6 ingredients. Place
the two tortillas on work surface;
spread half of cream cheese mixture
over each, top each with half of roast
beef slices, leaving a 1/2 inch border
around edges. Roll up, wrap tightly
in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm,
30 minutes or up to 1 day ahead.
When ready to serve, cut diagonally
into 1/2 inch slices. Makes 36 slices


Sweet Chicken/Bacon Wraps

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
1 (1 lb) pkg. sliced bacon
3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. chili powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut each bacon slice into thirds.
Wrap each chicken cube with bacon
& secure with wooden toothpick
inserted on a diagonal, starting where
bacon seam overlaps. Stir brown sugar
& chili powder together & dredge
wrapped chicken cubes in mixture.
Spray a wire rack & broiler pan with
nonstick spray. Place cubes on rack
in broiler pan. Bake 30-35 minutes
until bacon is crisp.
Serves 12-15




Zippy Sausage Spred/Dip

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
& green chilies, drained
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Cook & stir sausage until no
longer pink; drain. Stir in
tomatoes & cream cheese.
Cook & stir until cheese melts.
Serve warm. Makes 3 cups.

Serve with assorted crackers


Creamy Garlic Salsa Dip

1 (1 oz) envelope savory herb with
garlic soup  mix (Knorr’s or Liptons)
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1/2 C. chunky salsa

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl.
Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 24
Serve with crackers/cut veggies/
corn chips


Cream Cheese/Chipped Beef Spread

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz., tub light chive & onion cream
10 oz. chipped beef, chopped fine
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder

Assorted crackers

Mix all ingredients together using
elec. mixer. Place mixture on a plate
& shape into a rounded (ball) shape.
Refrigerate 1 hour, serve with crackers.
Serves 20


Believe me, I have MORE! I’m going to deal these out over the next week or so, just thought you might like to have some advanced ideas/recipes in store for your shopping next week!

Nothing much new around here, the weather is staying DECENT: cold but no new snow. I really feel bad for the people in Buffalo, NY – I can’t even begin to imagine dealing with that much snow.

Yesterday husband agreed to sign up for a snow plowing service this winter. Our neighbor has a service, so we’ll call her & see if we can sign up with them. It sure beats struggling to shovel when you’re both in your 60’s – we did it last year – this year, NO WAY!

Stay warm, do something FUN for a change – as I always say: “Life’s short – eat dessert first!”



Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 11:00 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , ,

Happy “Chilly” Thursday!


Oh, Baby it’s COLD! Had a 11 a.m. (check up) doctor’s appointment today – my car thermometer read 22 degrees – lovely! Yes, we’ve had snow – probably about 2 inches now on the ground. Driving is OK, side roads are a bit slippery. Went to my special needs group last night and you could definitely tell it was poopy weather – we only had 15 brave souls come out (we were averaging 30-33 each week). I still haven’t delved into my ‘winter clothes’ stash – perhaps I’ll do that today – it’s time for the sweatshirts & sweaters! Looking at our forecast for the rest of the week, today is the coldest and it ‘might’ go up to 41 by Saturday, but I’ll believe that when I see it! I don’t really remember having this much snow & cold temperatures this early ie: before Thanksgiving, before. (Maybe – I just don’t remember it!)


Pineapple Cheese Ball

1 1/2 (12 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 small can crushed pineapple,
well drained
2-3 T. powdered sugar
2 T. chopped green onion (or
to taste)
2-3 T. chopped ham (or to taste)*
1 C. chopped pecans

crackers, for serving)

Combine all ingredients (except
nuts) together; roll into a ball &
chill 1 hour. Roll in crushed nuts;
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with crackers.

*Poster used deli sliced ham


Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

16 jumbo pasta shells (cook a couple
extra shells to allow for a few breaking while
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
4 C. (packed) fresh spinach leaves, roughly
12 oz. ricotta cheese
1 C. mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese (plus more
for serving)
1 large egg
1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/4 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta to al dente, accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & set aside. Heat olive
oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
When oil begins to shimmer, add garlic &
cook until it begins to brown, about 1-2
minutes. Add spinach & cook, stirring
occasionally, until leaves begin to wilt but
are still bright green, 3-4 minutes. Spinach
should be reduced by half; remove from
heat & let cool. In mixing bowl, stir
together spinach, ricotta, mozzarella,
Parmesan, egg, basil & salt/pepper until
thoroughly combined. Pour 1/2 C.
marinara sauce into bottom of a shallow
8″ X 8″ baking dish. Stuff each shell with
a generous amount of spinach mixture,
place in baking dish. Cover with remaining
sauce & bake, covered with foil, 25 minutes.
Remove foil & continue baking until top
begins to brown & sauce begins to bubble,
10-15 minutes more. Serve warm with a
dusting of Parmesan. Serves 4


Caramel Apple ‘Nachos’

2 apples (green Granny Smith, cored
& sliced
5 oz. caramel candies
1 tsp. water
1/4 C. chopped peanuts
2 T. mini chocolate chips

Unwrap caramels & place in a saucepan
with 1 tsp. water over medium-low heat.
Stir constantly until melted. Arrange sliced
apples on a plate; drizzle melted caramel
over slices. Sprinkle top with chopped nuts
& mini chocolate chips. Serves 3


Everything Breakfast Casserole

1 (16 oz) roll breakfast sausage
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 to 1 1/2 lb. shredded frozen
hashbrowns, thawed
7 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown sausage with onion & pepper in
a skillet until no longer pink; drain.
Transfer to a 9″ X 13″ pan. Mix in
sour cream, soup, hashbrowns &
cheese, reserving some cheese
to sprinkle over top. In a separate
bowl, mix eggs, milk, garlic & onion
powders, salt & pepper; pour over
mixture in pan. Bake, uncovered,
1 hour. Sprinkle top with reserved
cheese for last 10 minutes of
cooking time.


Garlic Cheddar Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken
1/2 C. melted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 C. bread crumbs
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a shallow bowl or plate, combine
melted butter, garlic, salt & pepper;
set aside. In another shallow bowl
or plate combine bread crumbs &
Cheddar cheese. Dip each chicken
breast into melted butter mixture
then press into bread crumb
mixture, completely coating each
breast. In a large, non-stick oven-
proof skillet, heat olive oil over
medium high heat. Add chicken
breasts & cook 1 minute per side,
until golden brown. Transfer skillet
to oven to finish cooking, about
7-8 minutes. Remove from oven
& let chicken rest 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 6


Festive Apple Cranberry Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. balsamic vinaigrette salad
1 each: red & green apples,
coarsely chopped
8 C. coarsely chopped romaine
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
1 C. coarsely chopped pecans,

Mix mayonnaise & salad dressing
until blended; add to chopped apples
in medium bowl – toss to evenly
coat. Spoon mixture into large
straight-sided clear bowl; top with
layers of all remaining ingredients
except nuts. Refrigerate 3 hours.
Toss gently just before serving &
sprinkle top with chopped nuts.
Makes 8 servings (1 1/4 C. each)

Salad can be refrigerated overnight.
Do not refrigerate nuts. Toss salad &
top with nuts just before serving.

*Toasting nuts: Preheat oven 350 degrees
F.; spread nuts in single layer in shallow
baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until
golden brown, stirring occasionally. Nuts
can also be toasted in a ungreased
skillet. Cook on medium heat until
golden brown, stirring frequently.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hamburger/Wild Rice Casserole

1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. celery chopped
3 T. butter
1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice Original
2 T. soy sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. water
1 can chicken with rice soup
1 small can sliced mushrooms

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Brown hamburger, onion &
celery with butter; drain. Add rest of
ingredients plus hamburger mixture to
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Serves 6


Chocolate Mint Brownies

5 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 C. butter, cut into pieces
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. butter, room temp.
2 T. milk
1 1/2 tsp. mint extract
green food coloring
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 T. butter
1 T. light corn syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt dark chocolate & butter in a
double boiler over medium-low heat.
Stir occasionally. Once melted & well
incorporated, set aside to cool slightly,
until luke warm. Once cooled, stir in
brown sugar & vanilla. Beat in eggs,
one at a time. Mix with a wooden
spoon until chocolate mixture is
smooth & glossy. In another bowl,
sift together flour, salt & baking
powder. Beat in the chocolate
mixture until combined, being
careful to not over mix. Pour
batter into greased 9″ baking pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely.
In large bowl beat 2 C. powdered
sugar & 4 T. softened butter until
fluffy. Add 4 T. milk & mint extract;
continue to mix. Add enough green
food coloring to turn the mixture
the desired green color. Spread
mint filling on top of brownies,
making sure it is even & smooth.
Melt remaining chocolate & butter
together in double boiler over
medium heat, stirring occasionally.
When chocolate is melted, remove
from heat & stir in corn syrup. Set
aside to cool slightly, about 5
minutes. Pour mixture over top of
brownies, making sure it is even &
covers the brownies completely.
Allow to cool & set before
serving. Serves 8


Crockpot Green Bean Casserole

1 C. French Fried Onions (French’s)
3 T. butter
10 oz. mushrooms, cut into 1/4″ slice
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. pepper, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 C. flour
1 1/4 C. chicken broth
1 1/4 C. heavy cream
2 lb. green beans, trimmed/ cut into
1″ pieces
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 slices hearty white bread, torn into pieces
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 C. canned Fried Onions

Place 1 C. French Friend onions in blender
or food processor; pulse until finely
ground – set aside. In large skillet melt
butter over medium heat; add mushrooms &
saute about 5 minutes. Increase heat to
medium-high; saute until liquid evaporates,
about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp.
pepper, garlic & thyme – saute 30 seconds.
Add flour & ground onions to skillet; cook
1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth & cream;
bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-
low & simmer until sauce gets very thick,
about 10 minutes. Place green beans in
crockpot; stir in sauce. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours. Remove lid, stir in cheese &
remaining salt/pepper. Turn heat to WARM,
cover with lid.


Pulse bread  & butter in food processor
until coarsely ground. Place bread crumb
mixture along with 2 C. fried onions
in large skillet. Heat over medium-high
heat until golden brown, about 3-5
minutes. When ready to serve, pour
green bean mixture into a casserole
dish & top with onion mixture.
Serves 10


Apple Snap Cookies

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. cooking oil
1/2 C. applesauce
1 large egg
1 C. raisins

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat together cake mix, oil,
applesauce & egg until creamy;
stir in raisins. Drop batter by
1 T. at a time onto greased cookie
sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until
set & golden.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe


It’s a rather quiet day here, think
I’ll go knit for awhile. Almost finished
a premie baby hat while waiting at the
doctor’s (3 month check-up: I’m doing


I KNEW there was something
else I wanted to add to this
post: while chatting with the
‘beginner’ tech at the doctor’s
office, she asked me what kind
of cancer I had, so I told her.
She sort of, to the side, said
“I should get a mammogram
sometime” (we’re talking she
was probably close to 30 yrs
old). That got me into asking
(no, I’d almost say DEMANDING)
she get one soon. I told her how
my tumors were found simply
BECAUSE I had regular mammo-
grams. That’s my reminder to
your check ups and mammo-
grams – they could save your life!
Like I told her: it’s a little pain for
a short while – MUCH BETTER
than the pain I had to go through
for the two surgeries & recovery,
let alone the radiation and it’s side
effects. A little pain is FAR BETTER
than a LOT of pain down the road.
PLEASE hear me!

I’m off my soap-box now;
stay warm, relax a little and enjoy this
pre-turkey time!



It’s been a DAY!


Today was the ‘return broken chair’ day – and we did . . . took about 1 1/2 HOURS, but we did it! Turns out the store was short staffed, they were getting in a truck delivery AND the young man at the counter had no idea what I was asking, even AFTER I explained it. Much checking, comparing prices/chairs and then they didn’t carry our broken chair but “Feel free to look around”. Ended up getting a refund of $211.00 towards a $300 chair with another 3 year warrantee (No, they don’t just extend the other one, sorry). Sigh. Then it was off to WalMart – to introduce my husband to the many ‘delights’ of that store. No particular purchases in mind, just an afternoon ‘out’. First thing my eyes light on is a big display of a toy doll – what caught my eye was the way they had made her mouth. I remember the Tiny Tears and Betsy Wetsy dolls of the 50’s – this one had a baby bottle and diapers with a BIG sign on the front of the box (which made me go into gales of VERY LOUD laughter): “Poops REAL, TINY CHARMS!” Really? TINY CHARMS? If I did that you’d be rushing me to the hospital! Turns out it comes with a little ‘charm’ bracelet but – couldn’t the designers come up with a different idea of where the charms CAME FROM??? WEIRD!!!

We meandered around the store, looking at various departments and picking up odds & ends like light bulbs, a candle that smells like Caramel Pecan Rolls (mmmmm!), some cellophane tape – the usual ‘stuff’. Ran into a lady that used to go to our church – that was nice. Quick stop at Little Caesar’s for their $5.00 pizza specials, and it was home to assemble the new chair and eat pizza. Not a bad way to spend a day!

Last night I thought I’d go for another try at loom weaving another men’s hat for the homeless shelter (tan & cream yarns – bad thing with the loom-you have to use 2 skeins together to get a nice, thick hat); I have about two more rows to finishing that one then decided to go on the other knit group site just to make sure of the time/date of their meeting in December. Good thing I did – they aren’t meeting in December! Well, guess that gives me a reason to slow down just a bit in creating for them – just a bit.

How are your Thanksgiving preparations coming? So far the only things I have on hand are 2 boxes of stuffing mix – that’s it! Found a different recipe for Cranberry Orange relish which I’m going to attempt (not real fond of my old recipe – it’s OK, but could be better). We’re still plowing our way through the various leftover cupcakes from Sunday School snacks, so not in the mood for sweets at them moment.


(new recipe for me to try)

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 (12 oz.) pkg fresh cranberries
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. fresh orange juice ( 2 fresh oranges)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pour cranberries into a deep skillet; pour
sugar, orange juice and salt; heat over
medium-high heat. Stir, they will foam-
berries will start to pop; keep stirring
until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; add cinnamon, butter
& nutmeg; stir to incorporate. Cool to
room temp, then store in airtight
container in refrigerator; will keep for up
to a week. Makes 1 1/2 C.



Maple-Mustard Roast Chicken

1/4 C. maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 T. Dijon coarse ground mustard
6 chicken leg quarters (2 lb)

(if desired: fresh rosemary or thyme,
for garnish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Whisk syrup, vinaigrette & mustard
until blended; save half for later use.
Place chicken in single layer on half
of parchment-covered baking sheet.
Brush chicken with half of syrup
mixture. Bake 50 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F)
brushing chicken occasionally with
reserved syrup mixture.
Garnish with fresh rosemary or
thyme, if desired, when serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lentil Soup w/Beef & Red Peppers

1 lb. ground beef sirloin steak
4 C. beef broth
1 C. French lentils, rinsed & drained
1 C. water
3/4 C. coarsely chopped red pepper
(1 medium)
1/2 C. chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 C. sliced carrot
1/2 C. sliced celery (1 stalk)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 C. snipped fresh parsley

Trim fat from meat; cut meat into
3/4″ pieces. In nonstick skillet cook
meat over medium-high heat until
browned on all sides. Place in 3 1/2-
4 qt crockpot. Stir in broth, lentils,
water, pepper, onion, carrot, celery,
garlic, cumin & cayenne pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 3 1/2-
4 hours. Stir in parsley. Serves 6


Chocolate Macaroon Layered Bars

Macaroon Layer:

3/4 C. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks),
cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Chocolate Layer:

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips


4 egg whites
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. flour
1 (7 oz) bag sweetened flaked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In food processor, pulse butter,
flour, sugar & salt until mixture
begins to form small lumps. Transfer
mixture to 9 X 13 pan; press evenly
onto bottom to make crust. Bake
15-17 minutes or until just golden.
Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly
over hot crust; allow to melt &
spread evenly with spatula.

In large bowl whisk together egg whites
& sugar until combined well. Stir in flour
& coconut. Drop small spoonfuls of
mixture onto chocolate layer; spread
gently. Bake 25-30 minutes until top is
golden. Cool completely in pan then
cut into bars. Makes about 2 dozen bars

Can be stored up to 5 days, covered, at
room temperature.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie Bars

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 C. brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 C. melted unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1/4 C. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. butterscotch chips

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine flour,
baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice &
cinnamon; stir to blend. In another
bowl, whisk sugars with butter, egg
whites, pumpkin & vanilla until light &
fluffy. Whisk dry ingredients into wet
ingredients in two additions until
batter is very well blended. If batter
looks more crumbly than smooth, add
a drop of water (one at a time) ONLY
if needed until it smooths out. Fold
in butterscotch chips; spread batter
onto baking pan using back of a
measuring cup to smooth evenly.
Bake 14-16 minutes until edges are
lightly brown & a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Do not
over bake or bars will be dry. Let cool
completely on wire rack.
In large bowl using an elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese, powdered sugar & vanilla
until well-blended. Frost bars & drizzle
with melted chocolate*.

*To melt chocolate: Place chocolate in
a microwave-safe cup & heat 15 seconds;
stir & heat another 15 seconds; stir until
chocolate is melted.

Crockpot Pork Roast
w/Veggies & Gravy

1 (3 lb.) pork roast
3 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
5 russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 C. mini carrots
1 T. garlic, chopped
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. balsamic salad dressing
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar

juices from the roast
2 (.87 oz, ea) pkgs pork gravy mix
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. milk
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat.
Pour olive oil in pan; sprinkle roast
generously with salt & pepper on top &
bottom. Carefully place roast in pan;
allow it to get golden brown sear on
both sides. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Place seared roast
in crock; pour mini carrots around roast;
layer potatoes & onions on top. Place
chopped garlic in small bowl; add soy
sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, water &
brown sugar. Whisk ingredients, making
sure brown sugar gets dissolved; pour
all over top of potatoes & roast. Sprinkle
potatoes with salt & pepper. Cover &
cook on High 4-5 hours. (see note)
When roast has cooked through,
carefully pour juices from crockpot into
a medium-sized sauce pan. Turn crockpot
off; let meat rest, with lid on, 5-10 minutes
before serving. Add 2 pkgs pork gravy mix
to saucepan, along with milk, water & soup.
Whisk together to combine. Heat mixture
on stove to boiling, over medium-high
heat, stirring occasionally. Serves roast &
veggies with gravy drizzled over top.

NOTE: If you know your crockpot cooks
quickly, poster suggests cooking just the
meat & sauce together on Low 4 hours,
then adding veggies & cooking on High
for the additional 2 hours.


Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip

2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1/8 C. chopped green onion
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 T. lemon juice


Spread cream cheese on bottom of a
serving plate. In small bowl mix together
cranberry sauce, cilantro, green onion,
cumin & lemon juice; spread on top of
cream cheese. Serve with crackers.


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 mixing bowl, cream together
shortening & sugar; add rest of
ingredients-mix until combined.
Drop by teaspoon onto greased
cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes
until edges are golden brown. Let
cool on pan 3-5 minutes; remove
to wire rack to completely cool.
Makes 36 cookies

Cream together butter & shortening
in a bowl; slowly mix in rest of
ingredients & spread over cooled


Spiced Pecans

1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dried ground orange
1 lb. pecan halves
4 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2 T. packed dark brown sugar
2 T. water

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper;
set aside. Mix salt, cumin, cayenne,
cinnamon & orange peel together in
small bowl; set aside. Place nuts in a
10″ cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes
until they just start to brown & smell
toasted. Add butter & stir until melted.
Add spice mixture; stir to combine. Once
combined, add both sugars & water,
simmering until mixture thickens &
coats the nuts, 2-3 minutes. Transfer
nuts to prepared sheet pan & separate
them with a fork or spatula. Allow to
cool completely before transferring
to an airtight container for storage.
Can be stored for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 1 lb.

I must say – our weather has really
turned cold/nippy/biting today;
while we were getting out of the car
at WalMart it felt like it was about
10 degrees F – I said that to my husband
and a lady getting out of her car next to
us said her car said it was 12 degrees F. –
that’s COLD! No more ‘snow’ but that
kind of chilly sure makes you MOVE
when getting from car to building!

Stay warm, friends!




Doin’ the Happy Dance!

dancing woman

A few years ago I bought a Big & Tall Office chair for my husband; a few months ago one of the arms on the chair just up and broke off! You could see, looking at the cut off part, where there had been a fault in the pouring of the plastic which probably caused the break. Husband was non-plussed about it – “It’s OK, I don’t really need both armrests.” I was thinking “I paid over $200 for that chair, we should take it in!” When we were in Office Depot/Office Max awhile ago one of the guys there accessed my account and said: “Your guarantee is still good!” (Husband still – “Don’t bother” – UGH!) Today I looked at the wear on the one good arm and said: “You know, we could STILL take it in” – got him to thinking about it. I wasn’t really sure just when I bought it or whether the warrantee was still in effect so I set to checking – YES! SUCCESS! I bought it sometime in December, 2012 and it was a 3 year (extra purchase) warrantee so I just relayed that information to husband and he replied: “Fine – we’ll take it in tomorrow!” YES!!! My thoughts were: “Why keep a broken armed chair that could be replaced with an entirely NEW one, especially since that’s WHY I bought the extra coverage!!!? (Now hoping that it doesn’t snow a lot tomorrow which might make him decide not to go – sigh).

Speaking of that ‘white stuff’, we got a small amount of snow last night. It was sort of light snowing today, but still nothing significant enough to make me not want to drive in it.


Apple Spice Cookies

3 medium apples
2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. apple pie spice*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 C. total of any of the

* Apple Pie Spice
Make your own:

2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & dice apples finely; set aside.
In large bowl of hand (or stand) mixer
combine butter, sugar & milk; mix until
smooth. Add egg & mix. In separate
bowl, combine flour, apple pie spice,
cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda & salt.
Add flour, a little at a time, to wet
ingredients until fully incorporated; mix
in vanilla. Fold in diced apples & any
optional ingredients at this time. Scoop
dough by heaping tablespoons onto baking
sheets lightly sprayed with nonstick spray
or covered in parchment paper. Bake
10-12 minutes until tops are golden brown.
Remove from oven & allow to cool
completely before storing in an airtight


Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

2 T. oil
1 C. chopped onion
2 small celery stalks, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 lb),
peeled & cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
3 C. vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fresh thyme (more for garnish)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
cubed apples – garnish

In Dutch oven saute celery  onion in
oil until tender; add remaining
ingredients (except apples) & bring to
boil over medium heat. Reduce heat &
keep soup at a simmer 25-30 minutes,
until potatoes are tender. Discard bay
leaf & cinnamon stick. Cool soup
slightly then process in a blender or
food processor in small batches until
smooth. Return to a pot & heat through.
Serve in bowls with garnish. Serves 4


Cheesy Beer Smokies
(Crockpot Appetizers)

1 (14.5 oz) jar cheese sauce
1/2 C. beer
1-2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 (14 oz, ea) pkgs. Lit’l smokies

Combine cheese sauce, beer &
tabasco sauce in crockpot until
combined. Add smokies & stir
until coated. Heat on Low 3-4
hours, stirring occasionally until
heated through. Serves 8

Shredded Potato Casserole

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. butter, melted/divided
1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen shredded hash browns,
1 C. Rice Krispies
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine soup, sour cream,
milk, Chedd. cheese & butter; stir in hash
Grease a 9 X 13 pan; pour mixture into
pan & spread evenly. Combine Rice
Krispies, Parm. cheese & remaining
butter; sprinkle over top of mixture.
Bake, uncovered, 50-60 minutes.
Serves 8.


Lemon Chicken & Rice with
Roasted Corn

1/4 C. olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 C. dry white wine (or water)
zest from 2 lemons (2 T.)
juice from 1 lemon
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves,
sea salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
4 boneless chicken breasts,
skin on
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
2 C. white rice, cooked
1 C. roasted corn

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Warm olive oil in small saucepan
over medium-low heat; add garlic &
cook 1 minute but don’t let it turn
brown. Remove from heat & add
white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice
oregano, thyme & salt; pour into a
baking dish. Pat chicken breasts dry
with a paper towel & place them,
skin side up in wine sauce. Brush
them with olive oil & season with
salt/pepper. Tuck the lemon wedges
inside & around the pieces of
chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes or until
the chicken is done & skin is lightly
browned. If the chicken isn’t browned
enough, place under broiler 2 minutes.
Cover pan tightly with foil & allow to
rest 10 minutes. Serve with the juice
from the dish & a side of white rice
& roasted corn. Serves 4


Cranberry-Orange Cheese Ball

A Sweet/Tart ball

(overnight recipe)

1 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C. frozen orange juice concentrate,
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. confectioners sugar

Caramelized pecans:
3/4 C. pecans, coarsely chopped
1 T. butter
2 T. sugar

In food processor add cream cheese,
OJ and sugar; blend until smooth. Place
a sheet of waxed paper on counter &
place cream cheese mixture on paper.
Shape mixture into a ball the best you
can. Refrigerate and let mixture set
overnight to stiffen up a bit; you can
shape it better the next day when
it’s a little harder.
Candied Pecans:
Melt butter in a pan on medium heat;
add pecans & sugar – mix well, stirring
frequently, about 3-5 minutes. Do not
let them burn! Lay out a sheet of waxed
paper on surface and place nuts on sheet,
spreading them out. Let them cool.
When you are ready to serve cheese
Remove from refrigerator & shape better.
Take pecans with your hands and press
them onto the cheeseball until covered.
Place on a serving plate & serve.


Easy Creamy Spinach Bake

1 stick butter
8 T. flour
1/2 onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 C. milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3 T. butter
24 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 C. French Fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt 1 stick butter in a pot; sprinkle
in flour & whisk together; cook over
medium heat 5 minutes or until
light golden brown. Add onion & garlic;
stir, cooking 1 more minute. Add milk,
whisking constantly; cook 5 minutes
more. In separate pot, melt 3 T.
butter; add spinach in batches until
all are incorporated. Cook until wilted,
but not soggy, about 4-5 minutes.
Season cream sauce with salt/pepper/
nutmeg; add spinach to cream sauce,
stirring gently to combine. Pour mixture
into a 9″ X 9″ pan; spread out & top
with French Fried onions. Bake 20


“Jiffy” Cornbread Casserole

1 (17 oz) can whole corn, drained
1 (17 oz) can creamed corn, drained
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. margarine, melted
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
2 eggs

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in large
bowl; mix thoroughly. Pour into
a 2 qt. greased casserole d ish.
Bake 1 hour 40 minutes.

Note: if you’d like added ‘zing’:
add prepared green or hot
chilies to mixture


Cream Cheese/Pimiento-
stuffed Celery

celery stalks
3 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 to 1 1/2 T. diced pimientos

Clean & cut celery stalks into 3-4″
pieces. In small bowl stir together
cream cheese & pimientos. Fill
celery with cheese mixture. Serve,
refrigerate leftovers.


2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
w/Apple Cider Glaze

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place dry cake mix & pumpkin
puree in large bowl; using elec.
mixer, beat until well incorporated.
(batter will be very thick). Pour
into a greased 7″ X 11″ x 2″ pan.
(this is a small rectangular pan)
Bake 28 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Do not overbake. Let cool
5-10 minutes in pan, then flip out
onto a platter.
Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl;
it will be thick but pourable. Add more
sugar or cider if needed. Pour over cake
while still warm. Reserve some to pour
over each slice when serving. Serve
warm or at room temperature.


Nothing much new around here;
started another men’s loomed hat
for the homeless shelter. Checked on
the website for the other knit group &
discovered they’re not meeting in
December – darn! I was kind of hurrying
up to get more things made to give them.
Oh well, there’s always another time, eh?

Stay warm, rest & relax when you can;
try to ENJOY yourself, at least once a
day! (for example: husband had a routine
doctor’s check up today and he came home
with Tubby’s Philly Steak & cheese (plus
mushrooms) sandwiches for us! YES! The
other ‘good’ thing is: I can’t eat a whole
12″ sub in one sitting, so I just finished
the other half for my dinner! Bonus! My
tummy is super full and I’m happily
writing to you!



“Just Can’t Win” type of day – sigh


It’s been one of those ‘ya just can’t win’ days so far. This morning I went to church wearing a skirt I hadn’t worn in a long time; I noticed when putting it on that it seemed a bit loose, but knew I’d lost about 6 lb. so just thought it was that. Today was my day to bring our Sunday School class snacks; husband was graciously coming in after me carrying the snacks. I came in the door carrying both of our Bibles & notebooks and my purse. I greeted our door guy and then raised my arms to put the Bibles/etc. up on the coat rack – you guessed it: Foomp! My skirt hit the floor! Super embarrassed but happy to have my trench coat on, I made a beeline to the Ladies bathroom for adjustments. Lucky for my a friend came in right after me and saw me digging in my purse for a safety pin (I didn’t have any) – she went back to her class and returned with a nice big one. Here’s where I get the ‘dumb’ award – I decided to go hang up my coat FIRST, then fix the skirt. Again – you guessed it: reached up my arms to hang up the coat and FOOMP! Skirt hit the floor AGAIN! THIS time I didn’t have the coat to cover up the ‘error’! I had just finished telling the doorman what had happened earlier and he had replied: “My wife has had that happen, too” when the skirt fell; SO GLAd I wore a slip! He graciously quickly averted his eyes while I scooped up the skirt and ran (AGAIN) to the bathroom. Let’s just say I learned a lesson: ALWAYS carry safety pins and, if you think it might be ‘loose’ – FIX IT AT HOME! While putting on my lipstick at home I accidentally dropped it; was happy to see that it only hit the counter, not me . . . until later at church a friend said: “HEY, you’ve got something here on your blouse” – yep, a smear of lipstick (I was too busy this morning rushing to have had an ‘extra’ glance in the mirror). Decided to wear my hair different today (just bought a new bun-holder type thingie) so I tried it out yesterday and it worked like a charm. Today, however, with my hair all bright, shiny & clean, it didn’t hold all that well – almost came down a good 2-3 times – sign . . . . JUST NOT MY DAY!  I guess, if it all comes down, I’m very glad the skirt didn’t do that while I was walking up the 3 steps to the choir loft – that way the entire church would have seen my embarrassment! There’s always a good side to each tail of woe – or at least that’s how I see it, anyway!


Creamy Raisin Rice Pudding

1 C. instant rice
1/4 C. raisins
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/3 C. milk
2 1/4 T. butter or margarine
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. vanilla
nutmeg, as needed
cinnamon, as needed
1 C. water
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine rice, water & salt in
3 quart saucepan; bring to a
vigorous boil. Reduce heat, cover
& simmer until all water is absorbed,
about 3 minutes. Combine sugar &
cornstarch; add milk, sugar mixture &
raisins to rice. Heat to boiling; boil
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat; stir in butter & vanilla. Slowly
stir about 1 C. hot rice mixture into egg
yolks in a bowl. Stir in remaining
mixture into saucepan; cover & cook
over medium heat, stirring frequently,
just until mixture starts to bubble. Remove
from heat & serve warm or chilled. Garnish
with cinnamon & nutmeg. Serves 6


Crockpot Apple Pie

8 tart apples, peeled/sliced
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. milk
2 T. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. Bisquick*
1 C. Bisquick*
1/3 C. brown sugar
3 T. cold butter

In large bowl, toss apples with
spices; place in greased crockpot.
Combine milk, soft butter, eggs,
sugar, vanilla & 1/2 C. Bisquick;
spoon over apples. Combine 1
C. Bisquick & brown sugar. Using
a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into
mixture & combine until crumbly.
Sprinkle over apple mixture. Cover
& cook on Low 6-7 hours or until
apples softened. Serves 12

*If you don’t have Bisquick:
you can substitute
1 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. shortening/oil or melted butter
(Makes 1 Cup Bisquick equivalent)


Panera’s Cream Cheese Potato

4 C. chicken broth
4 C. peeled & cubed potatoes
1/4 C. minced onion
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
cut into chunks

Combine broth, potatoes, onion &
spices in pot; boil on medium
heat until potatoes are tender.
Smash a few of the potatoes to
release their starch for thickening.
Reduce heat to low; add cream
cheese & heat, stirring frequently,
until cheese melts.
Serves 4-6


Crustless Pizza

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese


1/2 C. pizza sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese


pepperoni, chopped ham, sliced
mushrooms, chopped green/red
peppers, garlic powder, sliced olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13 baking dish with
nonstick spray. In a bowl using an elec.
mixer, combine cream cheese, eggs, pepper,
garlic powder & Parm cheese; mix until
combined. Spread into bottom of baking
dish & bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Allow crust to cool 10 minutes.
Spread pizza sauce on crust; top with
cheese & toppings. Sprinkle with garlic
powder & bake 8-10 minutes longer
until cheese is melted.

Pumpkin Cookies w/Caramel Frosting

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1 tsp. milk
1 large egg
1 C. pumpkin puree (canned)
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer, beat sugar & oil;
add egg, milk, canned pumpkin &
vanilla – blend well. In separate
bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to wet & mix,
just until incorporated. Drop
batter by spoonfuls onto a greased
cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool before frosting.

Caramel Frosting:

3 T. butter
1/4 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
pinch salt
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine butter,
cream, brown sugar & salt; cook over
medium heat, stirring constantly, until
mixture comes to a boil. Remove from
heat & stir in vanilla & 1 C. powdered
sugar. Let frosting cool to room temper-
ature then stir in enough additional
powdered sugar to make a good
frosting consistency (You may not use
the entire extra cup). Spread frosting
over cooled cookies. Makes 24


Lasagna Alfredo Roll-ups

11 lasagna noodles*
2 1/2 C. Alfredo sauce
2 C. cooked chicken, shredded
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
dash oregano
dash garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8″ X 8″ pan with nonstick
spray. Pour 1/2 C. Alfredo sauce to
just cover bottom of pah. Boil 8-10
C. water in large pot; cook noodles
until al dente (*2 extra noodles, just
in case they break). Drain & rinse
noodles with cold water to prevent
them from sticking to each other. Lay
out each noodle individually & blot
dry with paper towel. Spread about
2 t. Alfredo sauce over each noodle.
(if there is too much sauce, it will make
a big mess). Sprinkle oregano & garlic
powder on top of sauce. Spread out
1/9th of shredded chicken evenly over
each noodle. Add approx. 3 T. to each
noodle. To roll up: Start at one end &
roll noodle over toppings. You will
need to life the noodle a little to
prevent squishing out the sides while
rolling. Place rolls in prepared pan, seam-
sides down. Pour remaining Alfredo
sauce over top then top with remaining
cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until the
cheese is completely melted. Serves 3,
3 roll-ups each.


Cheesy Bruschetta Dip

1 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In bowl beat cream cheese with elec.
mixer until creamy. Stir in Mozz. cheese,
mayonnaise, garlic & tomatoes, mix until
well combined. Spread into a glass pie
plate or 8″ X 8″ dish sprayed with non-
stick spray. Bake 16-18 minutes or until
top is golden brown.


Crockpot Chicken Marsala

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C. flour
3 T. olive oil
2 oz. prosciutto (or bacon)
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
1/3 C. dry marsala wine (or
chicken broth)
1/3 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley

Place flour in shallow bowl &
season with salt & pepper. Coat
chicken evenly with mixture,
shaking off excess. Heat olive
oil in a large skillet over medium
heat; brown chicken on both
sides (work in batches to not
over-crowd chicken); transfer
chicken to crockpot once
browned. In same skillet place
another 1 T. olive oil & prosciutto
until it becomes crisp; remove
onto paper towels. Add mushrooms
to skillet & cook until they become
brown; once brown stir in wine &
broth, scraping up browned bits
stuck to pan. Pour mushroom sauce
over chicken in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low about 4 hours. Top
with cooked crumbled prosciutto &
chopped parsley. Serves 4


Cinnamon Pear Cake

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. milk
1 pear, cut into rough chunks
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9″ round baking pan;
set aside. In measuring bowl with
paddle attachment, cream softened
butter with sugar until light & fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well
after each addition. Stir in vanilla;
add flour mixed with baking powder,
salt & cinnamon, alternately with the
milk. Beat until just combined; spread
batter evenly into prepared pan. Top
with pear chunks. Bake 45 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into middle comes
out clean. Let cake cool completely in
pan. Once cooled, remove & top with
Cool Whip. Dust top with cinnamon,
if desired. Serves 8-10


Spiced Oven-Baked Potatoes & Carrots

10 medium potatoes (skin on)
1 small bag baby carrots
1 T. parsley
1 T. cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 T. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. white pepper
1/4 C. olive oil (you might need
less – just enough to coat everything)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking pan with foil. Wash &
cube potatoes to bite-sized pieces; add
to large bowl. Add oil, spices & herbs to
bowl; toss to coat evenly; spread onto
prepared foiled pan. Bake 30-40 minutes
until golden. Halfway through cooking,
use spatula to turn veggies over so they
cook evenly. Check after 30 minutes if
done. Serves 6

NOTE: You can also pre-cook this & wrap
in a foil parcel. Place on grill until ready
for serving.


Our weather is still cooperating (sort of): it’s
29 degrees F., windy & chilly but still no
sticking snow (just a few tiny ‘dandruff’-
like flurries – nothing to worry about).

Gas Prices: I love the ‘variety’ some days:
a few days ago my local Clark station had
their lowest gas at $2.96/9 and I filled up.
Yesterday it was $2.99/9 and passing it
on the way to church today it’s now
$2.91/9 – go figure! (as long as it stays
under $3 – $4, I’m happy!)

Try to say warm and comfy – I’m going to
go read for awhile before going back to
church for choir practice and evening



Published in: on November 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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