Snow & Cold – Yep, it’s Michigan in the Winter!


This is my Winter Welcome sign outside our porch door (just a wee bit ‘o snow)

Satelite photo of my state – BRrrrrrrrrrr!

Woke up to about 2 inches of new snow on the ground and it’s still snowing a bit & sunny; temps around 10 degrees F. (wind chill minus 5 degrees F, so YEP, it’s CHILLY again today.) I have a few errands to run and am seriously thinking about procrastinating until tomorrow (the ‘other’ knit group meets tomorrow so I’ll have to go out for that . . . unless they cancel . . . ). Been putting some serious time in on the two scarves for that group; both are about half done. I tend to wrap my scarves up and pin them with a cable stitch holder; when I unrolled one of them last night (hoping it would be close to long enough) husband piped in: “Still have at least half MORE to do, I’d say.” . . . (thanks, sigh). Oh well, keeps me off the streets, as my Mom used to say.

Today was my ‘Just Get It DONE!’ day – grabbed all the Christmas stuff and took it upstairs, all the miscellaneous stuff that needed to go down the basement and got that done – YAY! Changed out the dining room table cloth from the red Christmas one to the regular blue one; changed out the two candle stands from red to blue – now it doesn’t look so much like Christmas, just more like Winter (left up the various little snowmen statues – they make me smile).


Stuffed Peppers

2 large green or red bell peppers
1/2 C. instant brown rice, uncooked
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chiles, drained
1 1/2 C. frozen Southwest mixed
vegetables (corn/black beans/red peppers)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
1/3 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8″ X 8″ glass baking dish with
nonstick spray. Cut bell peppers length-
wise through stem into halves; remove/
discard seeds & membranes. Place peppers,
cut-side down, in dish. Bake 15 minutes until
tender. Prepare rice accordg. to pkg directions,
adding cumin & garlic salt. Add drained
tomatoes, mixed vegs & half of tomato sauce
to cooked rice; stir to combine. Divide rice
mixture & place inside peppers. Top with
remaining tomato sauce & sprinkle tops
with cheese. Cover dish with foil & bake 20
minutes until peppers are hot & cheese melts.
Serves 4 ( 1 half pepper each)


Honey Sesame Meatballs

2 lb. fully cooked (about 50) frozen
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
3 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red peppers
sesame seeds (garnish)

Place frozen meatballs in crockpot.
In small bowl whisk together honey,
brown sugar, barbecue sauce, soy
sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic &
crushed red peppers; pour over
meatballs & stir to coat. Cook on
High 3 1/2 – 4 hours, stirring every
hour until heated through. Sprinkle
with sesame seeds when serving.


Crockpot Chili Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (15 oz, ea) cans chili with
or without beans (your choice)
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 (15 oz) can mixed vegetables
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup
2 C. beef broth or water
(garnish: sour cream, shredded
Cheddar cheese)

Brown ground beef & onion in a
skillet over medium heat; drain &
place in crockpot. Add all other
ingredients in cans (liquids included)
and broth/water; stir. Cover & cook
on Low 4 hours. Serve with suggested
Serves 10-12


Wrapped Up Brie

1 (17 1/4 oz) pkg. frozen puff pastry-
you will only be using 1 sheet – slightly
2 (4.5 oz, ea) pkgs. Brie cheese rounds,
well chilled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Roll out puff pastry sheet onto lightly floured
surface into a 10″ X 12″ rectangle. Cut dough
in half, making two 10″ X 6″ pieces. Place one
brie round in center of each pastry ‘half’. Bring
ends up to the center, wrapping dough around
cheese and pinch the dough firmly to seal;
cut off any excess dough (it should look like a
little dough ‘bag’ with twisted top). Place
bundles, pinched-edge down, on prepared
sheet. Bake 22-25 minutes until golden. Let
cool slightly before cutting into small wedges.
Serves 6

(note: when we prepare this we serve it with
toasted bread ‘points’ or sturdy crackers – it’s
great for dipping!)

Million Dollar Layered Shortbread Bars

1/2 C. sugar
1 1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 C. flour
1 extra large egg yolk, beaten

Dulce de Leche Filling:
2 (14 oz, ea) cans sweetened condensed

Chocolate Glaze:
6 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao),
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 C. unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In stand mixer fitted with paddle, or
hand mixer, spread butter around bowl
by mixing 10 seconds on Medium speed.
With mixer still on, add sugar & beat until
sugar & butter are blended. Add 2 C. flour;
mix on medium. Add egg yolk, beat a few
more seconds until combined; turn dough
out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Shape dough into a 6″ X 6″ square, then
sprinkle remaining 1/2 C. flour onto dough.
Fold dough over; knead until flour is
incorporated & shortbread is smooth.

Butter a 9 X 13 baking pan; press dough into
pan. Prick dough all over with a fork; bake
20-22 minutes until golden brown. Let cool
completely on wire rack.

Dulce de Leche Filling:
Pour sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan
over medium heat; cook 15-20 minutes until
caramelized; stirring frequently with a spatula
or it will burn. Pour cooked filling over cooled
shortbread & refrigerate until filling has cooled

Chocolate Glaze:
In double boiler, melt chocolate, corn syrup &
butter, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over
chilled Dulce filling; spread evenly with spatula.
Refrigerate 1 hour until glaze hardens

Once bars have chilled, cut into squares & serve.


Cheddar-Mashed Potato Casserole

2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6)
2 T. butter
2 T. milk
1/2 C. sour cream

1 C. shredded Triple Cheddar cheese
with a touch of Philadelphia (Kraft)
6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 20 minutes until tender;drain &
return to pan. Add butter, milk & sour cream
to potatoes; mash until smooth. Spoon
half into 1 1/2 qt. casserole; cover with
layers of cheese, remaining potato
mixture & bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes
until heated through. Serves 10,
1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Swiss Onion Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
onions, thawed
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Swiss
1 c. mayonnaise or salad
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. ground pepper.

large corn chips or Melba
toast rounds

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Drain onions on paper towels.
Combine onions & remaining
ingredients; spoon mixture
into a 1 qt. baking dish. Bake
25 minutes or until bubbly &
lightly browned. Serve with
large corn chips or Melba
toast rounds. Makes 4 C.


PB & J Blondies (cookies)

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C.) salted butter,
melted/cooled plus more for greasing
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp. vanilla
1 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 C. raspberry, strawberry or
grape preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack to middle position.
Place two overlapping sheets of
greased parchment paper or foil
in a 9 X 13 pan, so they form a cross
and hang over ends by at least an
inch. Whisk together flour, baking
powder & salt in small bowl. In
another bowl, mix melted butter &
brown sugar until combined. Add
eggs & vanilla; mix until combined.
Add dry ingredients to butter
mixture & gently fold with spatula
until well mixed. Fold in peanut
butter chips & peanuts. Pour batter
into prepared pan & spoon preserves
on top. Using a knife, make swirl
patterns into batter with preserves.
Bake until top is shiny (30-35 minutes)
and a wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool in dish
on wire rack. Using ends of foil/parch-
ment, lift blondies out of the dish.
Cut into 24 squares.

(recipe: Jeff Mauro-Food Network)

Hope you are having a GREAT
day – stay warm & remember to
treat yourself to a little ‘something’
(even if it’s only a 5 minute nap).




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey I changed my tablecloth to a blue one –I think we are twins. I did finally put the truck in 4 wheel drive and backed down the driveway to get the mail but did nothing else outside. I have been watching HBO seeing it is free for a few days. So that means nothing else is getting done.

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