Look who came to visit!!!




Pretty exciting! I was thinking about why we would have deer (remember the female of a few days ago?) in our yard; (a) there IS a park across the street – just trees & a lake (b) we DON’T rake/mow our leaves (more natural setting – camouflage for them?) (c) we don’t have any animals like dogs/cats which would leave a scent – guess we’re now becoming a wild life sanctuary – NEAT! This deer is about 30 feet from our house – remember we live ON a VERY busy 5-lane highway (45 MPH speed) so I’m still in awe of having these creatures so close! (AND this time I was able to get good, clear photos!)

Just spent about 30 minutes on the phone registering for next years Medicaid program. This will be the first time I am NOT covered under my husband’s insurance (I’m 4 years older than him; he’s not yet Medicaid eligible), so that made choosing a plan for me all the more confusing. Thankfully, I had a very nice, patient lady who ran me through the plan that works best for me – I’m happy with what I chose (for now, anyway). I’ll tell ya – life just gets more complicated/confusing the older you get!


Gingerbread Oatmeal

1 C. steel cut oats
2 C. apple juice
2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Mix together
all ingredients in a bowl; pour
into crockpot. Cook, on Low
4-5 hours. Serve with milk.
Serves 6

(recipe: eatathomecooks.com)

Crockpot Pantry Chicken Stew

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 C. flour
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 C. baby carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 C. frozen peas, thawed/drained
1/2 C. (Kraft) Chive & onion cream
cheese spread

Toss chicken pieces in flour; place
in crockpot. Add all remaining
ingredients (except peas & cream
cheese); cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours (or High 3-4 hours). Stir
in cream cheese & peas; cook, covered,
30 minutes more. Serves 6 (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Vegetable Casserole

1 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion,
diced fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
into thin rounds
1 medium yellow squash sliced
into thin rounds
1 medium Yukon Gold potato,
rinsed & sliced into thin rounds
1 medium tomato, sliced into
thin rounds
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
salt & pepper, to taste
1 C. shredded Italian cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Saute onion in skillet over medium
heat with olive oil until softened,
about 5 minutes. Add garlic & cook
until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Spray insides of a 8″ X 8″ square
dish with nonstick spray. Spread
onion & garlic mixture over bottom;
place thinly sliced vegetables vertically
in an alternating patter. Sprinkle
with salt & pepper, thyme &
rosemary. Cover with foil & bake
30 minutes. Remove foil; top with
cheese & bake another 15-20 minutes
until cheese is golden brown.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Fudgy Chocolate Quick Bread

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 (4 oz) pkg. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder & soda.
Microwave chocolate & butter in large
microwaveable bowl on High 2 minutes
or until butter is melted; stir until
chocolate is completely melted &
mixture is well blended. Add sugars;
mix well. Blend in eggs, sour cream &
vanilla; add flour mixture & mix well.
Stir in nuts & spread mixture into
9 X 5 loaf pan sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10
minutes or until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan
to wire rack; cool completely.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

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.

(recipe: noblepig.com)

Crockpot Pork Roast w/Veggies

1 (3 lb) pork roast
3 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
5 Russet potatoes, chopped*
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 roast
2 (.87 oz) pkts. dry pork gravy mix
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. milk
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.
Pour 3 T. olive oil in skillet; sprinkle roast
generously with salt & pepper on top &
bottom. Carefully place in hot pan; allow it
to get a golden brown sear on both sides.
Spray insides of a 3-4 qt crockpot with non-
stick cooking spray. Place seared roast in pot
& add carrots around roast. Top with chopped
potatoes & onion. Mix soy sauce, balsamic
salad dressing, 1/2 C. water & brown sugar in
a bowl; whisk ingredients together making sure
brown sugar gets dissolved; pour over top of
potatoes in crockpot. Add a dash of salt & pepper;
cover & cook on High 4-5 hours. When roast is
cooked through (temp 160 degrees F.), carefully
pour juices from crockpot into medium-sized
pan. Turn off crockpot & let meat rest inside,
with lid on 5-10 minutes before serving.


Add 2 pkts. pork gravy mix, 1/4 C. milk, 1/4 C.
water & undiluted mushroom soup to saucepan
with roast juices. Heat mixture to boiling over
medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Serve
roast & veggies with gravy. Serves 6-7.

*Make sure cut potatoes are uniform in size,
so they cook evenly.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

1 (8.5 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
2 oz Velveeta, cut into 24 small cubes
4 hot dogs, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 C. honey mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare muffin batter as per pkg; spoon
into 24 mini muffin cups sprayed with
nonstick spray. Press 1 Velveeta cube &
1 hot dog sliced into center of each
muffin cup. Bake 10-12 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before
removing from pans. Serve warm with
mustard. Makes 24

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Roasted Tomato Soup

2 lb. plum tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, peeled & whole
1/4 medium red onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs oregano, remove leaves
from stem
3-4 basil leaves
salt & pepper
2 C. vegetable broth or 2 C. chicken
broth or 2 C. water
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shaved or
grated (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Wash & cut tomatoes, placing in a
shallow baking dish, cut sides down.
Add onion pieces, garlic, oregano &
basil to pan. Drizzle vegetables with
oil & bals. vinegar; season with salt
& pepper. Bake 45 minutes. Place
roasted vegetables in food processor
or blender & puree. Slowly add broth/
water until soup has desired consistency.
Continue blending until smooth. Serve
garnished with cheese, if desired.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: food.com)

Our weather is really nice: sunny,
slight breeze, temps: 45 (up to 55
later!). Tomorrow they’re calling for
rain (oh, great) but that’s typical of this
time of year, right?

Enjoy your day – hope you have an
‘unexpected’ blessing today!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awww…cute 🙂

  2. What a wonderful additions to your scenery. It must be a thrill to see such a stately animal up so close.

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