New Year’s Eve!


Today is New Year’s Eve and I ventured out to do a ‘few’ errands (which, of course, turned into MORE errands) – but that’s OK – got most of what I wanted, done. Made an extra stop at Game Stop to pick up a 3DS charger for middle son’s game system (he owns a 3DS – which is a hand-held game player) but thinks he left the charger at the old apartment (it’s just easier to get a new one than go through the hassle – plus it’s 1/2 hour away). I was totally surprised that it only cost $10.31! (The system for it is REALLY expensive – in my humble opinion). Tried the library to return books, but they were closed. Stopped at Kroger (totally forgetting it’s a holiday eve) and was greatly surprised at the number of cars in the parking lot. Shopping was ‘interesting’ – every end of the aisle was like a stop light – lots of people rushing here & there so you really had to keep your eyes open! Leaving the parking lot I saw a lady in a van almost HIT a man in a power wheelchair – she wasn’t looking and he was lower than a car height (not taking her side by any means) – scary stuff! Got a GREAT deal on a Honeysuckle Young Turkey ($14.10 for a 14 lber) – so that’s what we’re having for dinner for the next few nights! YAY! The guys had made the comment that they really like turkey any time, so here ya go!


Velveeta Potato Bites

2 lb. baking potatoes (about 6),
peeled & cut into chunks
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into
24 cubes
1 pkt. Shake ‘N Bake Extra Crispy
seasoned coating mix

1  1/2 C. thick, chunky salsa

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water in
large saucepan 15-20 minutes until
tender. Drain & cool 10 minutes.
Mash potatoes until smooth; add
onions, egg & pepper; mix just until
blended. Empty coating mix into a pie
plate. Roll potato  mixture into 24
balls, using about 2 T. for each. Insert
1 Velveeta cheese cube into center of
each ball, completely enclosing cheese.
Roll each ball in coating mix & place
on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with
nonstick spray. Bake 14-16 minutes
until heated through. Serve with salsa
Makes 24 balls

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. pork sausage
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temperature
2 (10 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes &
green chiles, well drained (like
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Brown sausage in skillet until cooked
through; drain fat. Add cooked
sausage, cream cheese, diced tomatoes
& garlic salt to crockpot. Heat until
bubbly, stirring occasionally.

Serve with tortilla chips

Extras: can also add bunch of chopped
green onions and/or 1/2 C. Parmesan
cheese to mixture.

IF you like it hot: you can make this
using Hot pork sausauge and Extra
Hot diced tomatoes & green chiles


No Bake Peanut Butter/Choc. Chip
Granola Bites

1 C. old fashioned oats
1 c. coconut
1/4 C. ground flax seed
1/4 C. wheat germ
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients in large
mixing bowl; mix well. Refrigerate
30 minutes. Once chilled, roll
mixture into approx. 1 inch balls,
using about 1 T. of mixture for each
ball. Store in refrigerator for up to
1 week. Makes approx. 30.

(recipe: thekitchenismyplayground.

Beefy Taco Dip

1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 C. shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced

tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl beat cream cheese,
sour cream & mayonnaise until
smooth; spread onto a 12 – 14″
pizza pan or serving dish. Refrigerate
1 hour. In saucepan over medium heat,
brown beef; drain. Add taco seasoning &
tomato sauce; cook & stir 5 minutes; cool
completely. Spread over cream cheese
layer & refrigerate.
Just before serving, sprinkle top with
cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion &
green pepper. Serve with chips.


Cheesy Enchilada Quinoa

1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 C. uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 C. frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
1/2 C. salsa
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 C. water
1 (19 oz) can enchilada sauce (or
two 10 oz cans)
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 C. shredded Cheddar or Mexican
1/3 C. fresh cilantro, chopped/
stems removed

(optional: 2 T. fresh lime juice,
sour cream, chopped green onions,
1 small jalapeno)

In large skillet cook ground turkey until
cooked; drain & place in crockpot. Add in
uncooked quinoa, black beans, corn,
diced tomatoes & green chiles (do not
drain, salsa & minced garlic. Add onion
& bell peppers, (chopped jalapeno, if
using). Add in water, enchilada sauce,
chili powder & cumin; stir well. Cover &
cook on High 3 to 3 1/2 hours until
liquid is absorbed into mixture. Uncover &
stir again; stir in cheese & fresh cilantro
(add in fresh lime juice if using, also
a dollop of sour cream & chopped green
onions, if using). Serves 6-8

Can be served in a bowl or on warmed


Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta

1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 T. olvie oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. water
1 to 1 1/2 C. chicken broth
12 oz. pasta (poster used shells)
2 oz. (1 C.) grated Parmesan
cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 oz (about 1 C.) shredded
mozzarella cheese
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cooked & cut into bite-
sized pieces
2 T. chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place tomatoes in bowl of
food processor; pulse until
coarsely chopped, about 10
pulses. Place an oven-safe
skillet over medium-high heat;
add oil, garlic, oregano, red
pepper flakes & salt; cook until
just fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chopped tomatoes, water,
1 C. chicken broth & pasta to
pan, stirring to combine. Bring
to a vigorous simmer, then cover
pan & continue simmering until
pasta is tender, about 16-18
minutes (you might need to
reduce heat slightly). Stir
frequently as it cooks. Once
tender, remove lid & stir in
3/4 C. Parmesan, pepper &
chicken. Season to taste with
additional salt/pepper if needed.
If mixture seems dry, add as much
of remaining 1/2 C. chicken broth
as needed to loosen it up.*
Sprinkle top evenly with mozzarella
cheese & remaining Parm. Transfer
pan to oven & bake 5-10 minutes or
until cheese has melted & bubbles
around edges. Garnish with basil
& serve.

*If you don’t have an oven-safe
skillet, transfer mixture to a baking

(recipe: traceysculinaryadventures.

No-Bake S’More Cake
(overnight recipe)

1 box graham crackers
2 (7 oz, ea) tubs marshmallow creme
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt

Mix marshmallow creme with Cool Whip
until smooth & creamy (use elec. mixer);
when smooth, add vanilla & mix again.
Lin bottom of a 9 X 13 pan with some of
the graham crackers (break to fit, if needed)
Spread 1/3 of marshmallow mixture evenly
over crackers; repeat: crackers/marshmallow,
ending in cracker layer.
Melt chips & cream in saucepan over medium
low heat until smooth, stirring constantly until
chocolate is completely melted & well combined.
Turn off heat. Add salt and, about every 5 minutes
whisk chocolate, about 5-20 minutes. Pour
mixture over top of crackers in pan & smooth out.
Place, uncovered, in freezer about 30 minutes.
Remove from freezer, cover & put in refrigerator
overnight. Serves about 20

Our weather is very chilly (20’s but with
the Wind Chill, it’s about 14 degrees F.);
still keeping clear & sunny, so it’s great
for walking/driving/etc.

Gas prices are still dropping: $1.88/9
for the lowest near us – YAY!

Hoping you have a SAFE and FANTASTIC
New Year – enjoy yourself, let the ones
who are closest in your life KNOW you
care about them and appreciate them.
Life is short – love the ones you can,
WHILE you can!



Published in: on December 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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