Chilly Temps Tuesday!


It’s chilly here – right now it’s around 19 degrees F. but the wind chill makes it feel like around 5 degrees F. – it’s so cold that the leader of my special needs group called to cancel our usual meeting tomorrow. We have more group homes now with more students in wheelchairs and when the temperatures get really low it’s very hard for them to maneuver students & their chairs/chair lifts on vans/pushing them up ramps, etc. – much easier to wait for a warmer night. (example of the effect of cold temps on pizza deliveries: youngest son came home last night and said his store did a total of around $80 for the entire day/night – not good – he gets paid regardless, which is good, but bad for tips).

Tonight is my Knit/Crochet group and I KNOW those ladies will brave the cold temps. just to come sit, chat, eat/drink, and knit/crochet, so it looks like I’m going ‘out in the cold’ anyway – sigh.  Right now I’m sipping part of my Christmas present from oldest son: he got us a Keurig 1-cup coffee maker and also the K-cups of Tim Horton’s coffee AND Panera’s Hazelnut Creme coffee (yum!). I’m not sure if our local Panera HAS the hazelnut flavor, but will have to check tonight – it’s nice & creamy (and I LOVE hazelnuts!!!). Great choice, son!

We had another ‘fun experience’ last night (seems this is becoming a ‘every winter’ thing): Husband was up late playing his video games on his computer, decided to ‘turn in’ for the night – went in the bathroom – toilet wouldn’t flush – frozen pipes! To attempt to make this story short – our main water pipe is directly under our cement front porch steps. There is a 4″ hole cut in the cement from when the original well was here (before we lived here). We keep a large plastic black ‘caldron’ over the hole (in summer it holds geraniums) to cover the hole. This also keeps any water/cold air from going directly onto the water pipes. It seems that (somehow) the caldron was moved about a foot OFF of the hole, allowing rain & cold air onto the pipes (this happened LAST YEAR, too!) Dear husband had to get out the hair dryer and slowly warm up the pipes to allow water flow, replace the 4″cut foam plug (which had fallen into the hole under the stairs) and replace the caldron over the hole in the cement. All this happened around 4:45 a.m.! Let’s just say he was NOT a happy camper (his grumbling woke me up!). Water was restored within a half hour; he’s still angry about ‘who would have moved that caldron!???) Who knows – go figure. Ah, the fun life I lead sometimes, eh? To add to the ‘fun’, around this same time youngest’s cell phone went off: it seems a friend of his ran out of gas and needed someone to bring him some – out went son, outside went husband. 1 1/2 hours later all was fixed/solved and everyone was home, safe & sound. Sigh . . .


 Too Easy Creamy Apple Dessert

1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk (like Eagle Brand)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a 1 1/2 qt. baking
dish & melt in oven. Remove from
oven & sprinkle graham cracker crumbs
over butter; mix well then press into
bottom of dish to make crust. Mix
sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese
& lemon juice in a bowl; spread evenly over
crust. Spoon pie filling evenly over creamy
layer; bake 25-30 minutes until set. Cool
slightly. In small dish, mix nuts & cinnamon;
sprinkle over pie filling & serve warm or cold.


Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
6 large flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 C. shredded taco cheese or
2-3 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
4 oz. sour cream
jarred hot sauce, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground meat & onion; drain.
Add taco seasoning mix & stir in
refried beans. Mix soup & sour
cream in separate bowl. Spread
1/2 sour cream mixture in bottom
of a casserole dish. Tear up 3
tortillas & spread over sour cream
mixture. Place the meat/bean
mixture over that; add a layer of
cheese. (you could add some hot
sauce now, if desired). Repeat
layers. Sprinkle cheese over top &
bake 20-30 minutes. Serves 8-10


All-Day Creamy Cheesy Chicken

1 1/4 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/4 C. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup (or
8 oz Velveeta or 1 1/2 C. shredded
Cheddar cheese)
garlic powder, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in pot. In mixing
bowl, combine soups, sour cream &
garlic powder; mix well then pour over
chicken. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours or High 4 hours.


Chicken ‘n Peppers Pasta Skillet

2 C. penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into short,
thin strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into short,
thin strips
1 small onion, chopped
2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.
Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook &
stir 2 minutes. Add vegetables; cook 6-8 minutes
or until chicken is done & vegetables are crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; add to chicken
mixture along with spaghetti sauce. Cook 5 minutes
or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Top
with mozzarella; cover. Remove from heat; let stand
1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted; top with
Parmesan. Serves 6, 1 1/3 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

 Biscuit Cinnamon Roll

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk
biscuits OR 1 tube Pillsbury Grands
buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 C. pancake syrup
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans, optional
1/4 C. chopped almonds, optional
Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray.
Combine the melted butter and syrup
in a small bowl and set aside. In another
bowl, combine the brown sugar,
cinnamon, and nuts (if desired). Place
about half of the syrup mixture in the
bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half
of the brown sugar mixture on top. Lay
the biscuits on the bottom of the pan,
overlapping edges (closely together) to
form a ring. Top with remaining syrup and
sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for
approximately 20-25 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool for 1 minute in the
pan, then invert onto a serving platter
and enjoy!
** I ended up using 1 1/2 tubes of the
Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
(1 tube didn’t seem like enough) and
baked it for about 30 minutes. It needed
a bit longer to bake since I used more.

(not sure where I found this recipe!)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Casserole

1 lb. bacon, fried & crumbled (save grease)
2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs
2 1/2 T. ranch dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 lb. bow-tie pasta, cooked al dente
2 jars alfredo sauce
1/3 C. evaporated milk or regular milk
3 roma tomatoes, diced
4 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces; coat with
1 1/2 T. ranch dressing mix. Saute in skillet
with 1 T. bacon grease with peppers & garlic.
When chicken is completely cooked, drain
grease, return chicken & vegetables to skillet.
Pour milk into jar of alfredo sauce then into
skillet with chicken. Stir in 1 tsp. ranch
seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes. Layer
casserole with remaining 1/2 jar alfredo on
bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Layer 1/3 each: pasta,
chicken sauce & tomatoes. Use 1/4 of fried
bacon; spread 1 C. cheese over top & repeat
2 more times. Cover with alfredo sauce, 1 C.
cheese & remaining bacon. Bake 30 minutes.
Serves 4-5


Spinach Cheese Bars

1 pkg. frozen, chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together all ingredients in bowl,
spread in to a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes. Cut into squares
& serve. Can be eaten cold.


Zesty Italian Soup

1 1l2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
small pieces
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans diced tomatoes,
with juice
2 (15 oz., ea) cans kidney beans
1 C. bottled Italian salad dressing*
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 C. beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta

Add all ingredients to crockpot
except pasta. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & add to soup; stir. Serves 6-8

*You can use any type bottled Italian
salad dressing: fat free/low fat/organic,



That’s all the ‘fun’ for today – hope
you are nice & warm, able to enjoy
these winter temperatures while
sipping something warm (maybe?),
relaxing and having a GREAT day!



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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It looks like you are going to need another fix for the pipes. I’m sure hubby was not to pleased having to take gas out at that time of the morning either.

    • It wasn’t husband who did the ‘gas run’ – it was youngest son – we were just glad all went well with that. I agree – even though we already have the heat tape around pipe, still all doesn’t work quite right – at least, enough to make it not happen again! Sign –

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