Stayin’ “IN”!


Since it’s mid-Winter and we’re getting the ‘usual’ for Michigan at this time of year, I’m not surprised at our temperatures (they can always get worse!). Having heard from a few of you about YOUR temperatures, I’m not complaining. We ended up canceling my special needs group last night due to below zero temps; it’s supposed to get much worse tonight (right now our temp is hovering at zero with -17 wind chills) – that’s why I’m STAYIN’ IN! At times like these I tend to let my mind wander to what I could/should be doing – like cleaning (NAW – don’t feel like THAT!), read my book? I’m almost done with the last installment of the ‘Alphabet’ series by Sue Grafton (finishing up about 25  pages of “I is for Innocent” – just reserved J-K-L & M). Knitting? Yesterday I finished up 2 more baby hats, straightened out a ‘mess’ on a 2-row pattern scarf (one of those “so easy you could do it in your sleep’ patterns) – apparently I can’t! Took it to Knit Night thinking “easy” – ended up discovering somehow I’d knit the purl row and then continued on that vein for another 5-6 rows while chatting with my friends – UGH! Ripped back to the ‘regular’ row and got ‘back on track’; knit a few more rows on the baby afghan – it’s a little over half done now and is a bit heavy; this is one I’ll be glad I’m done with. When will I EVER learn to not go with the ‘fancy’ patterns??? Sigh…

Lots of ‘yummy-sounding’ recipes coming in lately – here ya go!


 Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

1 box vanilla cake mix (Duncan Hines
‘Signature French Vanilla)
1/2 C. butter, melted
3 large eggs, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 C. plus 2 T. confectioners sugar
1 (21 oz) can strawberry pie filling

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9″ X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Combine cake mix, butter &
1 egg in large bowl until well blended;
reserving 1/3 C. for topping.
Press remaining mixture into bottom
of prepared pan. Beat cream cheese
using elec. mixer in large bowl. Beat in
remaining eggs & 2 1/2 C. confect. sugar.
Pour mixture over cake ‘crust’ in pan.
Spread strawberry pie filling on top &
sprinkle with reserved cake mix mixture.
Bake 1 hour until golden brown. Refrigerate
until chilled. Cut into bars & sprinkle top
with remaining confectioners sugar.


The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
10 slices sourdough bread
4 T. butter, softened

In medium bowl using elec. mixer, beat
mayonnaise & cream cheese until light &
fluffy. Stir in Cheddar cheese, Mozz. cheese
& garlic powder; mix well. Spread each of
five slices bread evenly with cheese mixture.
Top with remaining bread slices. Spread
butter on both sides of sandwiches. In a
large skillet over medium heat, cook
sandwiches in batches until golden brown
on both sides & cheese is melted.
Makes 5 sandwiches.


Classic Rice Pudding

8 C. (1/2 gallon) milk
1 C. uncooked long or whole-grain rice
3 egg yolks, beaten
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large pot combine milk, rice, egg
yolks & sugar; bring to boil over
medium heat. Cook 20-25 minutes
until thickened & rice is tender,
stirring frequently to keep rice from
sticking. Remove from heat; stir in
vanilla & allow to cool slightly before
serving. Serves 8


Fiesta Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops
1 (15 oz) can chili beans with chili
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 C. corn
green chiles, to taste

3-4 C. cooked rice

Layer all ingredients (except rice)
in crockpot in order listed. Cover;
cook on Low 5 hours or High 2 1/2
hours. Serve over cooked rice.
Serves 6


Potato Goulash with Sausage

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
thick slices
2 medium yellow onions, halved
lengthwise then sliced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 small russet potatoes, peeled &
sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
1 (14.5 oz) beef broth (about 1 3/4 C.)

Brown sausage in veg. oil over medium-high
heat in 12″ Dutch oven or heavy pot* until nicely
browned & crisp around edges. Remove sausage
from oil with slotted spoon; set aside. Add onions
& saute 5 minutes; add paprika, salt, garlic & pepper;
continue cooking 2 more minutes. Add potato slices
to onions & stir until potatoes are nicely coated with
onions & seasonings. Add beef broth; bring to slight
boil. Reduce heat to medium; continue simmering,
uncovered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(you might have to poke potatoes around for a bit,
to make sure they stay submerged or mostly
submerged in broth.)
Stir in sausage, reduce heat to low & continue
cooking, uncovered, until potatoes are tender;
stirring occasionally.

*It is important to use a pot close to 12 inches in
diameter to insure the broth will be deep enough
to cook the potatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Beef & Mushroom Stew

1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 lb. beef stew meat
3 T. cooking oil
1 1/2 C. sliced carrots (4 carrots)
1 C. (1/2″ diagonally) sliced celery
(4 stalks)
1 C. spicy vegetable juice (V8)
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 potatoes cut into 1″ chunks
2 onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1 (8 oz) pkg. cremini mushrooms, halved

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine flour, salt & pepper in large, heavy-duty
zip-lock plastic bag. Add half of beef; seal bag & shake
until beef is evenly coated. Remove meat from bag,
shaking off excess flour mixture; place on large plate.
Repeat with rest of beef & flour mixture. Heat a
Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 T. oil to pan,
swirl to coat. Add half of coated beef; cook 3 minutes,
turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan;
repeat with rest of meat & oil, leaving beef in pan. Return
first half of meat to pan; add carrot & remaining ingredients
scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cover & bake 2 hours
30 minuets or until beef & vegetables are tender.
Serves 8, about 3/4 C. each

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Southern-style Cabbage Soup

1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 lb. lean ground beef
4 T. butter
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans stewed or diced
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
diced potatoes
2 T. salsa, (optional)
3 C. beef broth
(spices – your choice, season
to taste):
cayenne pepper
chili powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
pinch salt
black pepper
dash Old Bay seasoning
dash Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
dash (salt-free) Mrs. Dash

Saute celery, onion, bell pepper & garlic
in olive oil in skillet; set aside. Brown
ground beef; drain. Add cabbage to skillet;
lightly toss in 4 T. butter; cook until cabbage
is tender. Combine all ingredients in a
large pot or Dutch oven; cook until potatoes
are tender, about 45 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Tuna Cakes

2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna
in water, drained/flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 T. sweet pickle relish

Combine all above ingredients in a
bowl; refrigerate 10 minutes. Heat a
large nonstick skillet sprayed with
nonstick spray on medium heat. Using
an ice cream scoop, make 1/3 C. portions
of tuna mixture, in batches and place in
skillet. Flatten scoop ‘balls’ into patties
using back of spatula. Cook 6 minutes
or until golden brown on each side,
carefully turning patties over after
3 minutes. Serves 6

Note: For easier handling: shape tuna
mixture into patties, place in single layer
on a baking sheet & refrigerate 1 hour before
cooking as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Berry Muffins

2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. milk
6 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. miniature chocolate chips,
2 C. frozen mixed berries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line two muffin tins with paper
liners; set aside. In medium bowl
add flour, baking powder & sugar;
whisk together. Add dry ingredients
to bowl & mix until well combined.
Stir in melted chocolate; stir in
berries; mix well & scoop batter
into muffin liners (3/4 of way
full). Bake 20 minutes.Cool &
serve. Makes 20 muffins


That’s what’s ‘happening’ around here
lately. Tomorrow we have our grandson
all day – no school this week. Now that
he’s a bit older, it’s a little easier to keep
him amused. He likes playing video &
computer games plus he usually brings
something he likes to play on/with; ought
to keep us busy. Middle son is coming over
to get some paperwork/medical stuff
arranged – looks like I’m in for a busy day.

Stay warm – maybe drink something
that warms you up (cocoa/tea/coffee),
snuggle a little under a nice warm wrap/
blanket, slip in a quick nap or read a good
book – something that YOU like doing.
Last night I was reading my book, middle
son had stopped over for awhile and fell
asleep on the couch. I didn’t realize it
but woke up suddenly when youngest
came home from work – funny, the house
was quiet, nice & warm – perfect for a
quick nap! Never underestimate the power
of a “Power Nap”! (at least you can CALL
it that if you’re caught taking one! hehe)




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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m staying in too. I brought the equipment and apricots up to make jam then said no not today. I went to pick up the afghan and said no to that too. I ended up reading all the short stories but one in one of my mystery magazine instead.

  2. Reblogged this on patriciaddrury.

  3. LOL

  4. Sounds like you have plenty to keep you occupied whilst you hibernate. The Tuna cakes sound delish. 🙂

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