Ah, yes – it’s Michigan in the Spring!


Woke up to 32 degrees and heavy, wet snow on the ground. The trees look really pretty all covered in it; the good thing is: it’s melting. This is the best kind of snowball snow – heavy & wet – great for throwing.

First thing today found husband & I making a trip to the car dealership to find out where the ‘leak’ is in my vehicle (they discovered it last week when they were doing an oil change). Back home now just awaiting the verdict (if it’s under warranty, we’re good).


1 Minute Cinnamon Roll
(Makes ONE)

2 T. applesauce
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. flour
3 T. packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

Cream Cheese Icing;
1 T. cream cheese, softened
3 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk

Spray insides of a 8 oz. microwaveable
mug. In small bowl, combine all roll
ingredients; mix well. Spoon batter
into mug. Microwave 60-70 seconds,
until set in center. Let cool 4-5 minutes.
Remove to a plate. In small bowl combine
icing ingredients; stirring until smooth.
Spread icing on roll & enjoy!

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Traditional German Potato Salad

3 onions, thinly sliced
3 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated
potato wedges
1/3 C. flour
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. black pepper
2 C. water
1 1/4 C. cider vinegar
3 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Place onions in 6-7 qt. crockpot;
place potatoes on top of onions. Stir
together flour & next 5 ingredients in
large saucepan. Gradually whisk water
& vinegar into flour mixture, stirring
well with whisk. Cook, whisking
constantly, over medium-high heat
until slightly thickened; pour over
potatoes. Cover & cook on Low 6 1/2
hours. Sprinkle with bacon & serve warm.
Serves 14

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Banana Cream Pie

3/4 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 T. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
3 medium firm bananas
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
whipped cream or Cool Whip
sliced banana (for topping)

In saucepan combine sugar, flour &
salt; stir in milk & mix well. Cook
over medium heat, stirring constantly,
until mixture thickens & comes to
a boil, boil 2 minutes – remove from
heat. Stir a small amount of mixture
into egg yolks, return to saucepan &
cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly,
remove from heat. Add butter &
vanilla; mix well. Allow to cool
slightly. Slice bananas & place evenly
in bottom of pie shell. Pour cream
mixture over bananas & cool. Before
serving, garnish with whipped cream
or Cool Whip & sliced bananas.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: food.com)

Frizzled Cabbage

1/4 medium green cabbage
2 T. butter

Core & very thinly slice cabbage.
Melt butter in large skillet over
medium heat. When butter is
bubbling, add cabbage; salt &
pepper cabbage. Stir occasionally &
cook until mostly wilted, about 10
minutes. Turn heat down to medium-
low; let cook, stirring frequently
until cabbage is starting to caramelize
(brown), about 10 minutes. Do not
let it burn. Taste, adjust seasoning &
serve immediately. Serves 2

NOTE: can also add fried onions &
cooked/chopped bacon

(recipe: food.com)

No-Yolk Deviled Eggs

10 hard boiled eggs
3/4 C. mashed potatoes
1 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2-3 drops yellow food coloring

Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove
yolks & refrigerate for another use.
Set whites aside. In small bowl
combine mashed potatoes, mayonnaise,
mustard & food coloring; mix well. Stuff
or pipe into egg whites; sprinkle tops
with paprika. Refrigerate until serving.
Makes 10 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Deviled Ham-stuffed Eggs

8 hard boiled eggs
1/4 C. deviled ham spread
1/4 C. finely chopped green onions
1/4 C. sweet pickle relish
1/3 C. finely chopped celery
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove
yolks & set whites aside. In small bowl
mash yolks with a fork. Add next 8
ingredients; mix well. Stuff or pipe
into egg whites & refrigerate until
serving. Sprinkle tops with paprika.
Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Smokin’ Hot Deviled Eggs

12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 chipotle peppers in adobo
sauce, finely chopped
1 T. capers, drained
1 T. stone-ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
minced fresh cilantro

Cut eggs in half lengthwise; remove
yolks; set whites aside. In small bowl
mash yolks. Add mayonnaise, chipotle
peppers, capers, mustard, salt/pepper;
mix well. Stuff or pipe into egg whites.
Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle tops
with cilantro. Makes 2 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. plain yogurt (whole milk)
1 1/3 C. sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8 1/2 X 4 1/4 X 2 1/2 inch
loaf pan; line bottom of pan with
parchment paper; grease & flour pan.
Mix together flour, baking powder & salt
in one bowl. In another bowl whisk yogurt,
1 C. sugar, eggs, lemon zest & vanilla. Slowly
whisk dry ingredients into wet. Using a
rubber spatula, fold vegetalbe oil into
batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan; bake
50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
loaf comes out clean.

Cook 1/3 C. lemon juice & remaining
1/3 C. sugar in small pan until sugar
dissolves & mixture is clear; set aside.
When loaf is done, allow to cool in pan 10
minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack
over a sheet pan. While loaf is still warm,
pour lemon-sugar mixture over loaf & allow
it to soak in; cool.

Combine powdered sugar & lemon juice;
pour over cake for glaze. Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: Barefoot Contessa/Foodnetwork.com)

Will endeavor to continue posting recipes this
entire week just in case you might need an
‘inspiration’ for your Easter meal.

Hope all’s going well for you – remember
to relax a little and ‘recharge’ – sometimes
a quick 5-minute nap/rest is just what’s
needed to give you an extra boost in your



Published in: on March 31, 2015 at 10:06 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

So Begins the Countdown!


Easter is coming – are you ready? Of course, Easter means more to me than colored eggs, bunnies, candy, etc. – those of you who know me know that I am a Christian and Easter is the culmination of all I believe in. The Lord Jesus Christ is the center of my life and Easter is the celebration of His triumph. Easter also means family – getting together for a special holiday meal – what could be better? Since I’m getting LOTS of great-sounding recipes, thought I’d ‘try’ to post every day, at least a few recipes for you. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a ‘boost’ – a fresh idea for a meal.


Lemon-Blueberry Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans blueberry pie filling
1 (15.25 oz) box lemon cake mix
1 C. butter, melted

1 large tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour pie filling into a 2 1/2 qt. casserole
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour dry
cake mix over filling, spread out evenly.
Pour melted butter over top of cake mix.
Bake 50-60 minutes until cake is cooked
through & edges are golden brown. Remove
from oven & let cool. Top with Cool Whip,
if desired.

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)

Scalloped Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, peeled/
sliced 1/4″ thick
salt/fresh ground pepper
3 T. flour
4 T. butter
1 1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
Cover bottom of dish with a
single layer of potatoes. Sprinkle
generously with salt/pepper, flour &
a few dots of butter; repeat until all
potato slices are used. Pour milk over
mixture until top is almost covered;
dot with remaining butter. Bake
1 hour until potatoes are soft.

(recipe: Fanny Farmer)

Glazed Carrots

1 lb. carrots (about 6)
2 T. butter
1/3 C. packed brown sugar

Cut carrots in half crosswise, then length-
wise into 2 or 3 sticks. Place in pot of salted
water; bring to boil (covered) about 10
minutes until crisp-tender; drain. Melt
butter; stir in brown sugar until dissolved &
pour over carrots. Cook over medium-low
heat about 10 minutes, turning often.
Serves 6

(recipe: food.com)

Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta

1 (1 lb) box penne (or 1 lb box
penne rigate) cooked as per
pkg. directions; drained & kept hot
2 T. butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. flour
3/4 C. chicken or beef broth
3/4 C. milk
2 tsp. parsley flakes
salt/pepper to taste
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter &  add garlic to medium
saucepan; cook over medium heat
1 minute. Add flour & cook 2 minute,
stirring constantly. Stir in broth & milk,
cook, stirring frequently, until sauce
boils & thickens. Add parsley, salt/pepper,
& cheese; stir until cheese melts. Toss
hot pasta with sauce & serve immediately.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: food.com)

Hot Bacon Cheddar Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 C. (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
3 green onions, chopped
8 bacon slices, cooked/crumbled –
1/2 C. crushed Ritz crackers

assorted crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
mayonnaise, thyme & pepper; stir in
cheese, green onions & half the bacon.
Transfer to greased 3-Cup baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, 13-15 minutes or until
bubbly. Top with crushed crackers &
remaining bacon. Serve with crackers.
Makes 3 Cups.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Grandma’s Cocoa Cream Pie

1 pre-made & baked pie shell
1/2 C. cocoa
1/4 C. cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

topping: Cool Whip or
whipped cream

In a pot* over medium-high heat
mix cocoa, cornstarch, egg yolks,
sugar & salt; add milk gradually
while stirring. Cook until thick,
beating it smooth. Continue
stirring (can take 10-15 minutes).
Pour thickened filling into pie
shell. Refrigerate 1 hour. Top
with topping, if desired (OR use
leftover egg whites for meringue.)

NOTE: Using a heavy bottom pan

(recipe: Facebook)

Refrigerator Layered Salad

1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
1 medium head iceburg lettuce,
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
& separated into rings
10 radishes, sliced
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 C. real bacon bits

In small bowl combine mayonnaise,
sugar & curry powder; mix well &
set aside. In large glass serving bowl
layer lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms,
onions, radishes, cheese & bacon bits.
Spread dressing over top; cover & chill
overnight or at least 2 hours before
serving. Toss & serve. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Lemon-Butter Parmesan Potatoes

3 lb. potatoes, peeled/cut into
large wedges
1 C. chicken broth
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 C. butter, melted (do not
use margarine)
1 tsp. oregano
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 to 3/4 C. grated Parmesan
chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter shallow baking dish; place
cut potatoes in dish. In bowl, combine
broth, lemon juice, butter, oregano,
salt/pepper & minced garlic; mix well
to combine- pour over potatoes & stir
to coat well. Cover tightly with foil &
bake 40 minutes. Uncover & stir well.
Sprinkle top with Parm. cheese*, return
to oven (uncovered). Bake another
20-30 minutes until potatoes are
done to desired tenderness. Sprinkle
top with chopped parsley & serve.
Serves 6

Note; Parmesan may be sprinkled on
just after baking if desired.

(recipe: greek.food.com)

Oven-roasted Sweet Potatoes

7 C. sweet potatoes, scrubbed,
cut into 1 inch cubes
1 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 C. coarsely chopped onions
1 T. butter, melted

Place potatoes in shallow roasting
pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt/
pepper; toss well to coat. Bake 30
minutes; add onions, stir well. Bake
an additional 30 minutes; remove
from oven.
Preheat broiler
Drizzle potato mixture with melted
butter; stirring to coat. Broil 10
minutes until browned. Serves 12

(recipe: food.com)

Hard-COOKED Eggs

2-4 dozen raw eggs

Position oven racks in middle of
oven. Place eggs on racks & place
a baking sheet pan in bottom of
oven (just in case an egg breaks).
Set oven temp to 325 & bake
30 minutes.
When eggs are done, fill a large
bowl with ice water & place eggs
in bowl. Peel eggs as soon as they
are cool enough to handle, then
return them to ice water to thoroughly

NOTE: This makes a creamier egg than
steaming or boiling. It is definiely easier
to peel eggs in the water or while eggs
are still dripping wet. Egg white comes
out fluffier & less rubbery than traditional
hard-boiled eggs.

(recipe: Alton Brown – food.com)

Crustless Bacon-Cheese Quiche

5 green onions, chopped/divided
1 tomato, chopped/divided
12 slices bacon
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
12 eggs
1/3 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. onions & tomatoes.
Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp.
Remove bacon, reserving 1 T. drippings
in skillet; drain bacon on paper towels.
Add mushrooms to pan; cook & stir 2
minutes until tender – remove from heat.
Crumble bacon; add to skillet with
onions & tomatoes (not reserved)
mix well. Beat eggs & sour cream with
whisk until blended; pour into 9 X 13
greased dish. Top with bacon
mixture & cheeses; bake 30 minutes
until center is set. Top with reserved
onions & tomatoes. Let stand 5 minutes
before cutting to serve. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Our weather is slowly warming up (it’s supposed
to get into the 60’s by Wednesday!). I love seeing
and hearing all the signs of Spring: Robins (I saw
3 together!), singing birds, crocus blooming and
green shoots popping up. (Once again, my black
is at work – I tried planting chive seeds a
few weeks back – I had ONE tiny sprout, but it
died – sigh. . . I’m NOT a gardener!) Maybe when
the stores start having live plants out I can buy
some; husband loves chopped chives in his
cottage cheese and the dried variety is VERY
(in my humble opinion) expensive: $6.00 a
bottle! I also have dill seeds, but I’ll hold off
on attempting to plant them – weird thing is:
the bag of soil is the Miracle Gro kind so
I should have seen SOMETHING grow – at
least I’d ‘think’ I should! (My Mom & Grand-
mother would NOT be proud of me – they
were both BIG on planting/gardening). Guess
I’ll just have to be happy for the talents I DO
have, right?

Hope you are seeing sunshine where you
are and are anxious for Easter.



Sunshiny Saturday!


Even though our weather has been cold (in the 20’s with tiny ‘dandruff-like’ flakes of snow) it’s still bright & sunny out and that makes me happy!

Last night was my special needs group’s Gym Night – we played Bingo (which the kids love) – only problem? We only had a total of 15 people (and that includes caregivers!). Small group – lots of fun; great snacks: salsa & “Scoops” chips or Chex mix and pop – the kids had fun and so did we.

We just finished the last of the Taco Salad – middle son stopped over the other day and said: “Taco Salad? I knew I smelled something good! Why Taco Salad?” My answer: because your Dad & I WANTED some! That’s one of those foods that we ALL pig-out on, can’t seem to just eat a little. Love it – glad it’s gone so I can go back to eating ‘normal’ sized portions!


Layered Ranch Dip

2 C. (16 oz) sour cream
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing
mix (dry)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green
chilies, drained
1 (4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterey
Jack cheese

corn or tortilla chips, for serving

In small bowl mix sour cream & dry
dressing mix; spread into a large
shallow dish. Layer with chopped
tomato, green chilies, olives, onion
& cheese. Refrigerate until serving.
Serve with chips; makes 8 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat oil & garlic in small saucepan over
Low heat until garlic becomes golden,
several minutes (do not burn) – allow
oil to cool. Bend asparagus gently at
bottom end, when it snaps discard
end pieces. Place asparagus on lipped
roasting pan & toss with oil/garlic,
coating all pieces. LIne up asparagus &
push together, season with salt/pepper,
then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Roast
12 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
Serve at once.

(recipe: Mrfood.com)

Italian Chicken Alfredo

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 C. water
1 (.7 oz) pkg. dry Italian -style salad
dressing mix
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4.5 oz) can sliced, canned mushrooms
1 (8 oz) pkg. spaghetti
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crock;
combine dry Italian dressing mix & water
in small bowl then pour over chicken.
Sprinkle with garlic. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours.
After 4 hours, whisk softened cream cheese
& chicken soup together in a bowl; pour
over chicken & stir in mushrooms. Cover &
cook on Low 1 additional hour. Cook
spaghetti accordg. to pkg. directions.
To serve, spoon chicken & sauce over hot,
cooked spaghetti then sprinkle tops with
chopped parsley.

(recipe: Ron & Jean-Slowcooker Digest)

Mint Oreo Cookies

Peppermint or mint flavoring
green food coloring
waxed paper
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
3 bags Hershey White chocolate chips*

Pour half of white chips in glass measuring
cup (2 Cup). Heat in microwave 30 seconds
at a time, stirring after each heating; when
chocolate is almost melted let it set 1 minute.
Add 1 capful of mint flavoring and about
7 drops food coloring; stir to incorporate.
Chocolate will start to set up a bit after adding
these. Add 1 T. shortening & stir. Dip 1 Oreo
in chocolate; using two spoons, gently roll
Oreo around in chocolate; lift cookie up
between the 2 spoons & gently shake it back
& forth to allow some chocolate to drip off.
Place dipped cookie on a cookie sheet lined
with waxed paper. Once you have used up
all of your melted chocolate, melt the other
half as directed above (reserve about 1/3 C.
to drizzle over the cookies later); finish
dipping the rest of the Oreos. Drizzle
remainder of white chocolate over tops of
cookies & let them set up. You can refrigerate
them to quicken the process. Makes about
45 cookies.

*Poster notes Nestle’s chips does NOT work
for this recipe (once food coloring & mint gets
added, chocolate gets quite chalky). She
recommends Kroger or Walmart generic brands
for this.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)


Family Swiss Steak


2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 lb. boneless beef round steak,
cut into 1″ thick pieces
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, peeled & thinly
2 medium stalks celery, thinly
2 medium onions, peeled & thinly
4 medium plum tomatoes, thinly
1/2 C. beef broth

In small bowl combine flour,
thyme & paprika.Using pastry
brush, brush Wors. over steak
pieces then dredge in flour mixture.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet
with nonstick spray. Place skillet
on medium-high heat, add steak
pieces & brown on both sides,
about 5 minutes per side.
Transfer meat to crockpot; top
with garlic slices, celery, onions
& tomatoes. Pour beef broth
over top – do not stir. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4-5 hours.

(recipe: Cheryl B-slowcooker digest)

Zucchini Quiche

Crust: (or use store-bought)

1 1/2 C. flour

4 T vegetable shortening, cold

3 T. ice water

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,

to taste

dry beans*for weighing down crust while


5 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 C milk (or 1 C milk, 1/2 C heavy cream)

1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 white onion, chopped

2-3 small zucchinis, rinsed/chopped

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,

to taste

mixed herbs, garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 450º F.
Spray quiche pan with nonstick spray.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade,
pulse flour with (very cold) cubed butter,
shortening and salt until mixture is pebble-
like in texture.
While pulsing, slowly drizzle

in ice cold water until dough ball begins to

form. Turn out onto counter and roll into a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap &refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge and roll out onto a lightly
floured surface. Fold dough in half and carefully
transfer to 10-inch pie pan.
Spread dough

out gently in pan and trim off  excess overhang.

[Dough should be rolled out 1-2-inches larger

than intended pie pan.] Cover crust with sheet

of parchment paper or aluminum foil and

weigh down with beans*. Place in oven and

bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake,

uncovered for another 5. Remove
from oven and reduce oven temperature

to 350º F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a

large pan over medium-high heat. Cook

zucchini until softened, 8-9 minutes.

Add onion (and if necessary, more olive oil),
and cook until translucent and fragrant,

stirring occasionally. 5-7 minutes. Drain

off excess oil and season with salt & pepper.

Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix milk

(and heavy cream) with beaten eggs, and

add nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Spread veggies out evenly in the crust & slowly
pour in egg mixture. Cover the top with mixed
cheeses and herbs, if using.
Place in oven &

bake for 35-40 minutes, or until
crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.
Yields 6-8 servings


Lemon Poppyseed Waffles/Lemon
Butter Cream Syrup

3 C. flour
2 T. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
3 eggs, beaten until frothy
2 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. butter, melted

Heat waffle iron.
In large mixing bowl place flour,
baking soda, salt, sugar & poppy seeds;
mix to combine. In separate bowl whisk
eggs, milk, oil & lemon juice; pour wet
ingredients into dry & whisk with fork.
When almost all batter is incorporated,
add 3 T. melted butter; whisk. Batter
should be slightly lumpy. Spray waffle
iron with nonstick spray; carefully scoop
(or pour) batter into iron & cook waffles.

Lemon Butter Cream Syrup

1/2 C. butter
1/2 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1-2 T. lemon zest
3 drops yellow food coloring
dash salt

Using medium saucepan, melt butter
over medium-high heat. Add sugar &
evap. milk; stir & bring to boil. Cook 4-5
minutes, continuously stirring. Remove
pan from heat & add lemon zest (start
with 1 tsp. & taste, if you want more,
add another tsp.) Add lemon juice &
food coloring – taste syrup & adjust
(if you want  more zip, add more zest
& lemon juice). Allow pan to sit for
a few minutes on counter to thicken.
Makes 1 1/2 C. syrup

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Ranch Cheddar Chicken

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch salad dressing mix, dry
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper
1/3 C. Panko bread crumbs*
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 pan or spray
with nonstick spray. In small bowl
whisk mayo, cheese, Ranch mix & garlic.
Season chicken with salt/pepper, to taste.
Place chicken in single layer in prepared
dish; top with mayo mixture & sprinkle
top with Panko crumbs. Cook 25-30
minutes until thoroughly cooked & top
is golden brown. Serve immediately,
garnished with parsley, if desired.
Serves 8

*Panko can be found in the Asian aisle

(recipe: damndelicious.net)

Cheesy Bacon/Ranch Potatoes

6 slices bacon
3 lb. red potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 T. Ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
2 T. chopped chives

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil. Spread bacon in single layer on
baking sheet; bake 12-14 minutes
until brown & crispy. Let cool before
crumbling; set aside.
Line crockpot with aluminum foil,
leaving enough to overhang – to
wrap potateos on top; spray foil
with nonstick spray. Place layer of
potatoes evenly in crockpot; top with
cheese, dry Ranch & bacon. Repeat
2 more times, reserving 1/2 C. cheese.
Cover potatoes with overlapping foil.
Cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 3-4
hours. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese, cover & cook until melted,
about 1-2 minutes. Serve garnished
with chopped chives. Serves 8

(recipe: damndelicious.net)

Still working on nephew’s scarf, now almost half
done – it’s an easy 2-row pattern, so I should
get it done within the week. Speaking of weeks –
this coming one is filled! Take car into shop to
see what’s leaking, help middle son with paper-
work on his car lease, Good Friday service (choir
singing and an hour choir practice after, prep
for Easter Sunday breakfast (Sat) and then
Easter Sunday – WOOF! (I’m good as long as
I don’t think about how busy it’s going to be!)
Oh, and throw in Knit Night Tuesday and my
special needs group Weds.

Still have a little grocery shopping to do for
Easter dinner – it’s going to be a rather ‘plain’
dinner this time: Ham, cheesy potatoes,
green bean casserole, rolls, veg tray and
carrot cake; I already talked to oldest son
who’s bringing his cheesy potatoes (YUM!) –
that’s one less thing I have to make. Still
have to do a little ‘Easter basket’ shopping
as well – not sure if I actually bought anything
for grandson’s basket! (How CAN I forget?!).
Many years ago when grandson was little
(probably 4) he looked at his Dad’s Easter
basket (which had a bag of black jellybeans
in it) and said: “Wow, Dad! I didn’t know
the Easter Bunny shops at Krogers!” (I’d
forgotten to take the sticker off the bag!)
My son said grandson was really amazed,
thinking that they ‘might’ have actually
SEEN the Easter Bunny at Krogers!) Funny!

Have a great day!



Got the opportunity to watch an
older movie “I Dreamed of Africa” – (2000);
starring Kim Basinger, Eva Marie Saint, Vincent
Perez – GREAT movie! Borrowed the disc from
a friend and watched it on my computer – it’s full
of action and about three KLEENEX scenes; the
best part? It’s a true story of a woman who moved
to Africa with her newly married husband and her
young son (from a previous marriage) and how
they lived. Reminded me of “Out of Africa”
(1985 another good movie-Meryl Streep/Robert
Redford) as both movies are true stories of women
fending for themselves in a country filled with wild
animals, snakes, etc. I would highly recommend both

Wisdom on a Wednesday


Sometimes it takes a little WISDOM to know when to quit something – for example, I took the current (yellow & white) baby afghan with me to the car dealership yesterday while waiting for an oil change. I love the ‘look’ of this pattern but it’s particularly tricky and I’ve struggled through almost 3/4ths of it by now. I was happily sitting & knitting when I noticed, about 4 inches down, a big yarn LOOP – “What’s THAT?” Upon closer inspection I discovered it was a dropped stitch that was quickly coming unknit – UGH! I found a paperclip in the bottom of my purse and snagged said errant stitch. When I got home I gave it a closer inspection (thinking I could probably ‘fix it’ using a crochet hook) after checking I discovered that I really couldn’t tell just WHERE the Yarn Over stitches fell in the pattern – DOUBLE UGH! I ended up ripping out about 6 rows of knitting and ended up decided I’d had enough! I did a ‘Bind Off’ row and called it done! It’s shorter than I would have liked, but sometimes you just have to decide when to quit and when it’s OK to continue. The baby afghan was supposed to be about 3 1/2 feet wide but I goofed on casting on the original stitches, making it about 4 1/2 feet WIDE (too wide for a baby blanket, actually). Now the length is about 3 1/2 feet, so if you USE the blanket width-wise, you’ll be just fine (it’s just that the pattern will be sideways) – at this point WHO CARES?! Certainly not me! Started on nephew’s (school colors) hat – it’s almost done (should be able to finish it today) then it’s on to the matching scarf. Started knitting the scarf, have about a foot done – not exactly sure how long each color change will be – will decide that when I have ALL the yarn to work with. (quick explanation: when Loom knitting something you are required to use 2 skeins of yarn together for each stitch – for regular knitting you would only use one skein) – have to wait for the maroon yarn to be ‘freed up’ from the hat to continue with scarf.  Last night was Knit/Movie Night and we had a fun/small group – only 6 but we had a yummy dinner: Quinoa salad (LOVE the stuff!), spaghetti salad, fruit salad, chili, pea soup, wheat rolls, lemon bars & chocolate cream cheese cake. Ended up watching: “Once” – it was an OK movie, kind of boring but I got quite a bit loom knit on the hat, so I was happy.


Felt it was probably necessary to post my friend Laura’s Quinoa Salad recipe – just so some of you might want to try it – it’s REALLY tasty!

Black Bean/Quinoa Salad

1 C. (dry) Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can whole kernel corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced

Equal parts:
olive oil
lemon juice
yellow mustard
salt & pepper

Start out with a few Tablespoons
of each & increase to 1/4 C. of each,
depending on how dry you like it

Cook quinoa in 2 C. water accordg.
to pkg. directions. Drain (or make sure
water has cooked out). Place in bowl
with remaining ingredients; pour
dressing over top & mix well.

Note: quinoa is a grain – you can find it

in the section where they feature more

of the specialty foods (you might have
to ask where it’s located).

(recipe: My friend Laura)


Crockpot Chicken Alfredo

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (3), cubed
1 (about 15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 tsp. dried onion
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. sun dried tomatoes, cut
into small slices
1 C. fresh baby spinach
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, uncooked

Season chicken cubes with salt/pepper;
add to crockpot & sprinkle with dried
onion. Pour Alfredo sauce & water over
chicken. Cover & cook on High 4 hours
or Low 6 hours. Add sun dried tomatoes.
Tear up spinach & add to crockpot; stir &
let spinach wilt & tomatoes slightly soften.
Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions then
spoon on top of mixture in crockpot.
Serves 4

(recipe: persnicketyplates.com)

Lemony Lemon Brownies

3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
2 large eggs
2 T. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice

4 T. lemon juice
8 T. lemon zest
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease an 8″ X 8″ pan with butter;
set aside. Zest & juice 2 lemons; set
aside. In bowl of elec. mixer, beat flour,
sugar, salt & softened butter until combined.
In separate bowl whisk eggs, lemon zest &
lemon juice until combined; pour into flour
mixture & beat 2 minutes on medium speed
until smooth & creamy. Pour mixture into
prepared pan; bake 23-35 minutes (should
be golden brown around edges). Allow to
cool completely before glazing. Do not
overbake or bars will be dry.
Mix powdered sugar, lemon zest & juice;
spread glaze over bars with rubber spatula.
Let glaze set then cut into bars.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

White Bean & Sausage Casserole

2 (15.8 oz, ea) cans Great Northern beans,
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic &
onion, undrained
1 lb. light smoked sausage, sliced
1 (10.5 oz) can French onion soup, undiluted
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 (1 oz) pkg. beef & herb gravy mix
2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 C. fine dry bread crumbs
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine first 8 ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low 8 hours or until carrots
are tender. Stir in bread crumbs; sprinkle
Parm. cheese on each serving. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Amish Chicken Stew

10 C. chicken broth
4 potatoes, peeled/cut into quarters
1 small onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 carrot, peeled/sliced thin
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
12 oz. bowtie pasta
1 rotisserie chicken, skinned/boned &
shredded (about 3 C. meat)

In soup pot over medium-high heat, combine
broth, potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, salt/
pepper; bring to boil & cook 10 minutes. Stir
in pasta & cook 8 minutes. Add chicken &
cook 4-5 minutes, until chicken is heated
through. Serve immediately. Serves 6

NOTE: This stew will thicken up as it sits, so
you may want to add additional water when
you reheat any leftovers.

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Crockpot Salisbury Steak & Gravy

2 lb. lean ground beef
2/3 C. oats
2 eggs
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 medium onion, sliced &
separated into rings (optional)
1 (8 oz) can sliced mushrooms
drained (optional)
3 packets brown gravy mix
3 C. water

In medium mixing bowl, combine
meat, oats, eggs, onion, salt &
pepper; mix until thoroughly
combined. Shape bee into patties
& brown in skillet, turning once.
Transfer patties to crockpot; top
with sliced onions & mushrooms.
In mixing bowl, whisk together gravy
packets & water until well blended;
pour in crockpot. Cover & cook on
High 4 hours or until patties are
thoroughly cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes, cooked
egg noodles or rice.

(recipe: contentedathome.com)

Cream Cheese Crumb Bars

1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. brown sugar + 2 T.,
1 C. flour
1 C. walnuts, chopped/divided
1 T. vegetable oil
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 T. milk or light cream
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8 pan with foil, pressing
tightly up sides.* In bowl of standard
mixer with paddle attachment, cream
butter & 1/3 C. brown sugar until fluffy,
add flour until just combined. Remove
from mixer & blend 1/2 of chopped nuts
by hand; stir mixture until a small crumb
forms. Reserve 1 C. of this mixture. Take
remaining mixture & press into prepared
pan. Bake 12 minutes; place on rack to cool.

To reserved crumb mixture add remaining
2 T. brown sugar, remaining 1/2 C. nuts &
1 T. oil; mix thoroughly; set aside. Place
mixer bowl back on with paddle & cream
sugar & cream cheese until light & fluffy;
scrape bowl & mix again. Add egg, milk,
lemon juice & vanilla; beat until very light &
creamy. Pour this mixture into cooled pan
over cooked crust & top with reserved
topping pressing just slightly into mixture.
Bake 25 minutes; cool on rack, in pan. Once
cool, lift foil edges up & place on a cutting
board. Fold foil down flat & slip foil out.
With a sharp, serrated knife, cut the whole
pan into 3 rows X 3 rows for a total of
nine squares. (If you like, cut each square
in half corner to corner, forming 18 triangles).

*This will help remove the finished bars
once baked.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
Extreme Pepperoni Dip

4 C. (16 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
3 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce
2 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni,
1 (6 oz) can pitted ripe olives,
1 (5 3/4 oz) jar sliced green
olives with pimientos, drained/
tortilla chips

Combine first 6 ingredients in 4 Qt.
crockpot sprayed with nonstick
spray. Cover & cook on Low 1 1/2
hours; stir. Cover & cook 1 1/2 hours
longer or until cheese is melted.
Serve with tortilla chips. Makes
2 1/4 quarts.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Breadstick Pizza

2 (11 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
5 oz. Canadian bacon, chopped
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded mozzarella
marinara sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll breadsticks into a greased
15″ X 10″ X 1″ baking pan. Press
onto bottom & up sides of pan. Pinch
seams to seal. Bake 6-8 minutes until
set. In large skillet saute mushrooms,
peppers, onion & 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
in 2 tsp. oil until crisp-tender; drain.
Brush crust with remaining oil; sprinkle
with 3/4 C. Cheddar cheese; top with
vegetable mixture & Canadian bacon.
Combine mozz. cheese & remaining
Cheddar; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle
top with remaining Italian seasoning.
Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is
melted & crust is golden brown. Serve
with marinara sauce on side. Makes
12 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Our weather has sort of reverted back to
Winter-like temps – today it’s almost 30,
grey & a light misty-rain. Yesterday we
were really ‘chillin’ going to the dealership-
it was a ‘balmy’ 18 degrees! Hope it warms
up some before Easter. I still have memories
of walking to a local Baptist church in my
neighborhood when I was about eight. My
best friend & I had on light cotton dresses,
light Spring sweaters, little cotton socks &
Mary Jane shoes – the walk was about 15
minutes from our houses. Got out of church
and discovered it had snowed: about 2 FEET
of snow (not counting the temperatures had
dropped considerably!). Let’s just say the
SPRINT home (trying to avoid getting the
snow in our shoes) was NOT FUN! Ah, yes
Michigan – the state where the common
slogan is: “Don’t like our weather? Stick
around 10 minutes and it will change!”

Have a great day!



Done and Delivered! YAY!


From This –


to This – total time: 17 days

Finally finished “The Afghan Project” today – called the lady & met her at Panera, along with the son of the original ‘knitter/crocheter’ who started this. Let’s just say it was well received – they BOTH cried! She hugged me four times, continued saying how great it was and how  I have NO idea how much it means to her – just glad it met their approval. Compensation? She asked, I said $50; while there she handed me a roll of money which I put in my pocket. Got home later & looked at it: $90.00! I’m happy with that. I tried to explain to her about how much time it took just to crochet the outer border (1 hour each – 3 times around= 3 hours just for the edge).

I should also note: if you look at the photo
up close you’ll see lots of mistakes – I left in
all of the original crafters work; there are a
TON of little, tiny knots all over the work,
also. I don’t know WHERE she got that
yarn, but sometimes there were knots every
2 INCHES! Drove me nuts – but I persevered.
(The big flaw that really bugged me was the
bulging granny square right in the middle –
I even asked one of my expert crocheters
in my group WHY do HER granny squares
bulge at the sides? She explained that the
original crafter used 2 stitches between
patterns instead of one – OH! NOW the light
dawns! I told the lady that I copied each
one of her granny squares and if they
bulged, it was a ‘design intention’ –
sounded good to me! (I think she was
too excited to really care!)

Glad it’s done, now I can get on with other projects (like purchasing & knitting a hat & scarf for my (newly acquired) nephew – see photo:


Thats his college and school colors; am pretty sure JoAnn’s carries those (it’s more maroon & gold). He’s a great kid – we had a great time hosting him.


Cheesy Bacon Spaghetti Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
3 slices cooked, cut up bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
12 oz. spaghetti
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, cut up
1 can Ro*Tel, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz pkg. shredded cheese, your choice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook meat, onion & green pepper in
pan; drain. Blend mixture with cream cheese,
soup & Ro*Tel & tomatoes. Add sour cream,
mix well. Cook spaghetti, drain but do not
rinse. Place one layer of cooked spaghetti
into greased 9 X 13 pan. Layer with meat
mixture; top with cheese & repeat layers.
Bake 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted
into casserole comes out clean. Let stand
10 minutes before cutting.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Mini Crust-less Quiches

1 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/3 C. chopped bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium tomato, diced
6 oz. turkey kielbasa*, diced
2 C. baby spinach
5 large eggs, beaten
4 large egg whites
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over
medium heat. Saute onions & salt 5
minutes until soft; add bell peppers,
garlic, tomato, kielbasa & saute
another 5-7 minutes. Add spinach &
cook until wilted, about 1 minute;
set aside. In large bowl whisk eggs,
egg whites, milk, flour, salt/pepper
until smooth. Add cheese & cooked
kielbasa mixture to bowl; mix well.
Pour mixture into prepared tins.
Bake 28-30 minutes until firm.
Serves 6

*can substitute chopped ham or

These can be frozen & reheated.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Banana Bread Brownies

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 – 4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease & flour 15″ X 10″ jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl beat sugar, sour cream,
butter & eggs until creamy. Blend in
bananas & vanilla. Add flour, baking
soda, salt & blend/mix 1 minute, stir
in walnuts. Spread batter evenly in pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Heat butter in large saucepan over medium
heat until boiling. Let butter turn a delicate
brown & remove from heat immediately.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla & milk; whisk
until smooth (it should be thicker than a
glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a
spatula, spread over warm bars (frosting
will be easier to spread while bars are still

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

2 1/2 – 3 lb. chicken pieces (breasts/
legs/thighs, etc)
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes-
1/3 C. of can juices reserved
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 pint cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 C. kalamata olives, halved
1/2 C. dry white wine (or water)
1 carrot, peeled/chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt/ freshly ground black pepper,
to taste

Season all sides of chicken with salt & pepper;
set aside. Place carrot, celery, onion, garlic,
cherry tomatoes, olives & mushrooms in crockpot.
In a bowl, whisk diced tomatoes, tomato paste,
wine & reserve tomato juices. Place chicken in
crockpot & pour tomato mixture on top. Add
bay leaf, oregano,basil, salt/pepper & red pepper
flakes. Cover & cook on Low 8 hours. Uncover &
check to make sure chicken is cooked through
& still tender. Remove chicken using tongs; cover
& set aside. Turn crockpot temp. to High, cook
another 20-30 minutes until sauce thickens.
Return chicken to sauce & serve hot.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

1 egg
1/2 C. plain breadcrumbs
1 T. Italian seasoning
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
6 cranks freshly ground black pepper

1 (25 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large bowl mix meatball ingredients
until combined evenly. Roll into 40
balls (about 1 1/2 – 2 inches). Place
meatballs on a baking sheet, evenly
spaced apart & bake 20-25 minutes.

(reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees F.)

Pour half of spaghetti sauce in bottom
of a 2 qt baking dish; top with cooked
meatballs. Pour remaining sauce over
top & top with both cheeses. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Remove foil,
bake an additional 5 minutes until
cheese is melted.
Can be served ‘as is’ or as a topping
for cooked pasta of your choice – OR
as meatball subs.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

One Pot Lemon Shrimp Alfredo

8 oz. fettucine
1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. flour
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 lemon, juiced
12 oz. peeled & deveined
cooked shrimp, tail off
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan
parsley, garnish

In large skillet over medium heat warm
olive oil; saute garlic 1-2 minutes stirring,
until fragrant. Stir in flour; slowly whisk
in chicken broth until smooth then add
milk. Stir in salt/pepper, nutmeg & lemon.
Bring to boil; add fettucine & simmer
15 minutes, stirring throughout. Add
shrimp & continue to simmer 5 minutes
until pasta is cooked through & shrimp
is warm. Stir in Parmesan & garnish with
parsley, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)
Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

1/2 C. butter flavored shortening
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. mint extract
1/4 C. milk
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C. milk chocolate chips
1 C. white chocolate chips

2 (4.62 oz ea) boxes Andes Mint
(mini choc. bars)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl or stand mixer add
1/2 C. shortening & 1 C. sugar; beat
until well combined, about 2 minutes.
Add egg, mint extract & 1/4 C milk; mix
until smooth. In separate small bowl
combine flour, salt, baking soda & cocoa;
add dry ingredients to creamed mixture &
mix just until combined. Add both chips &
mix to combine. Roll dough into 2 inch
balls & place on greased cookie sheet. Bake
6-7 minutes until tops are cracked. While
cookies are baking, unwrap all Andes
bars. When tops of cookies have cracked
remove them from oven & place 2 mints
on top of each cookie; place back in oven
1 minute. Remove pan from oven & spread
melted mint bars over top of each cookie.
Remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Chocolate
will start to harden up after about 1 hour.
Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Our weather is staying ‘the same’: in the mid 50’s
except today it’s rather gloomy with a little light
rain thrown in. Gas prices are at $2.39/9 – Ok by

Not much else going on – will take up the baby
blanket again, hoping to get that done soon. Nice
pattern, just tedious (I might even way-lay that one
until I get the hat & scarf knit for nephew – we’ll

Hope you are well and having a good day;




Another sign of Spring: our backyard
is filled with Aconite blooming all over; it’s a ground cover.


Almost there!


I’ve been diligently working on “THE afghan” – to the point that I only have to sew Panel #3 onto Panels 1 & 2, then crochet the border and I’m done! Decided to let the lady who gave me this project know where I’m ‘at’ so I emailed her today only to find, in my emails, one from her inquiring “How is Maria’s afghan coming?” UGH! Oh well .. . I would suppose she’s wondering since it’s been 2 weeks & 2 days, gotta love it.


Fluffy Strawberry Salad

1 (6 oz) box strawberry or raspberry
1 C. boiling water
1 C. crushed ice (or 1 C. cold water)
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple & juices
4 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries

In medium bowl add dry Jello & pour
boiling water over; stir until all has
dissolved. Pour crushed ice in bowl
(or cold water) stir until ice has
melted; refrigerate 10 minutes or until
Jello has slightly set up (should be
thick as pudding). Pour crushed
pineapple & juices into large bowl;
add vanilla pudding mix; stir to
combine. Add marshmallows & Cool
Whip; stir using wooden spoon. Stir
Jello until well ‘whipped’; pour into
Cool Whip mixture; stir to combine.
Wash strawberries, cut off green tops;
slice berries. Add berries to mixture &
stir to combine. Cover & refrigerate
at least one hour before serving.
Can be made up to 24 hours in
advance. Makes 15 generous servings

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Classic Cashew Chicken

2 lb. skinless boneless chicken
thighs or breasts
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. canola oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 C. cashews

cooked rice

Combine flour & pepper in a large
ziplock bag; add chicken & shake
to coat entirely. Heat oil in skillet
over medium-high heat. Brown
chicken 2 minutes on each side then
place chicken in crockpot. Combine
soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar,
garlic, ginger & pepper flakes in
small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook
on Low 3-4 hours. Add cashews &
stir. Serve over cooked rice.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: If you like sauce & want to have
more to pour over chicken & rice,
double the sauce ingredients.

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

Mexican Meatloaf

1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. taco sauce
1 C. coarsely crushed corn chips
1/3 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 lb. ground beef
(additional taco sauce or salsa)

Combine all ingredients, mix well.
Shape into a round loaf & place in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours or until a meat thermometer
reads 160 degrees F. Serve with
additional taco sauce or salsa.

(recipe: crockmoms.com)

Chicken Parmesan Meatball


1 lb. lean ground chicken
1 C. panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. milk


1 lb. campanelle pasta (or ziti – any
small shape is fine)
1 (1 1/2 lb) jar marinara sauce
2 C. grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to boil; add
pasta – cook 1 minute LESS than pkg.
directions state. Add all meatball
ingredients to large bowl; using your
hands, mix together well. Form into
small balls, about 1″ in diameter &
place on a parchment-lined baking
sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until cooked
through & no longer pink. Remove from
oven & reduce oven temperature to 350
degrees F.
Add pasta sauce to a large bowl & stir in
cooked pasta & meatballs. Stir gently
to coat all in sauce. Spread half of
pasta & meatballs into 9 X 13 baking
dish. Top with half of mozzarella cheese;
repeat layers. Sprinkle top with Italian
seasoning & bake 20 minutes or until cheese
is melted.Serve immediately.

(recipe: bunsinmyoven.com)

Zucchini Italiano

3-4 medium zucchini (unpeeled),
cut into 1/4″ slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced &
separated into rings
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
(if you use dry, use less)
2 tsp. parsley
dash ground black pepper
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled &
1 C. cracker crumbs
4 T. melted butter
1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 C. grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. sliced scallions, green/white
Mix all ingredients (zucchini through
ground pepper) in crockpot; stir well.
Cover & cook on Low 5-7 hours. Before
serving, pour mixture into an oven-proof
casserole dish. Place a layer of sliced
tomatoes on top. Mix melted butter
& cracker crumbs & spread on top of
tomatoes. Sprinkle both cheeses on top
of crumbs.Place under broiler until cheese
is melted & top is golden brown. Sprinkle
sliced scallions over top right before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: wildernesswife.com)

Cookie Dough Brownies

1 C. canola oil
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour

1 C. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate
1 T. shortening
3/4 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl beat eggs, oil, sugar &
vanilla until well blended. Combine
flour, cocoa & salt; gradually beat
into egg mixture; stir in walnuts,
if desired. Pour into a greased
9 X 13 pan. Bake 30 minutes until
brownies test done cool completely.
In large bowl, cream butter & sugars
until light & fluffy. Beat in milk & vanilla.
Gradually beat in flour; spread over
brownies; chill until firm.
In a microwave, melt chocolate chips
& shortening; stir until smooth. Spread
mixture over filling. Immediatly
sprinkle with nuts, pressing down
slightly. Let stand until set.
Makes 3 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Our weather is still quite lovely – in the 50’s &
sunny with a light breeze – PERFECT weather
for crafting (in my opinion!).

Dinner, tonight, will be Salmon Patties &
baked potatoes (maybe a tossed salad
thrown in for fun). Husband & I are
back to our ‘old’ routine now – just he &
I rambling around the house; youngest
lives here but we only see him briefly
when he either comes home or gets
ready to go to work. Saw middle son a
few days ago and he was in a great mood;
haven’t touched base with oldest since
last Friday, but that’s OK. How are YOU
getting along with Easter only two weeks
away? I haven’t (quite honestly) even
‘thought’ about what’s for dinner; I DO
know those two days (Sat/Sun) will be
some of my most busy: Saturday is
prep-work for the Easter breakfast
(cutting up fruits, cracking tons of eggs,
etc.). Sunday is get up super early to go
help in the kitchen for the breakfast,
work/serve most of the breakfast,
gobble down a quick bite to eat, then
run to the choir room to practice/sing
Easter service, come home & crash!
It’s been this way for around 5 years
now and my kids have learned that
IF you want EASTER dinner, it had
better be around 5/6 p.m. because
Mom is WAY TOO POOPED to cook
it any earlier! Am going to hit up
oldest to bring the potatoes – he
makes a really tasty dish: sliced
potatoes, onion, some kinds of
cheese – really REALLY tasty! Will
have to start perusing the grocery
store ads soon to get an idea of
just WHAT I’m going to be cooking,

Hope all is going well for you this
day –



Happy Monday!


Well, it’s life back to normal around here; we drove nephew back to Mt. Pleasant yesterday; we left here at 12:02 and got home at 5:05 p.m. – really long day! I managed to finish knitting the bright green scarf for the homeless shelters – am going to hold off on scarf knitting for awhile. There might be an exception to that, though – when we were chatting, nephew made a comment about he’s never had anyone knit anything for him before (and he didn’t say it with a ‘hint-hint’ voice, either!). His school colors are maroon & gold so I’m thinking hat & scarf, but we’ll see. He is a really nice young man, great sense of humor – we had a great time for his visit. We took him for his first Thai food experience and he liked Pad Thai beef (no spice); the next day we went to our oldest son’s restaurant and tried smoked beef brisket; let’s just say if you’re into smoked meats it was probably great (I’m not so I had a Portobello mushroom cap sandwich). The place is very well known and popular; oldest came out to say Hi and said he was kind of short on time because they were preparing an ‘out’ party (outside of the restaurant) for 400 people and they only had about 1 1/2 hours before they had to deliver the food. I know he’s proud of his restaurant (you can tell); it’s just not our kind of food (but, of course, we didn’t say that to him!).

Today is open-ended, nothing particular planned – it feels funny not having a ton of things on my check list to get done before nephew gets here. I did my best to try to stuff him with food – sent him home with a loaf of banana nut bread & a huge box of cereal. His mom called while we were still driving, telling us he called her to say he had a great time (that’s good).


Since St. Patrick’s day is so close, here’s a few ethnic recipes for ya:

Sweet Potato/Parsnip Mash

1 lb. parsnips, peeled/ cut into pieces
2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. allspice

Combine parsnips & potatoes in a pot,
cover with water & bring to a boil.
Simmer until vegetables are tender &
parsnips have lost their bitterness.
Drain, return to pot over heat. Mash
with milk, brown sugar, butter, salt &
allspice. Serve hot. Serves 8

(recipe: russie-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner
(pressure cooker)

1 (3 lb) uncooked corned beef w/pickling
spices & juice
1 1/2 C. water, divided
1 C. beer
1 large head cabbage, quartered
4 large carrots, cut into 3″ chunks
6 potatoes, peeled, cut in half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In 6 qt. pressure cooker, place corned
beef with spices, 1 C. water & beer.
Secure lock & over high heat bring
to full pressure. Reduce heat just
enough to maintain pressure for 60
minutes. (remove from heat, wait for
pressure to drop). Remove lid; place
meat on cutting board & cover to keep
warm. Add remaining water & ingredients
to pressure cooker. Lock lid, over high
heat, bring to full pressure. Reduce heat
enough to maintain pressure 4 minutes;
release pressure. Remove lid; using a
slotted spoon, remove vegetables to
serving platter. Slice corned beef against
& serve with vegetables. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Sweet & Sour Irish Cabbage

2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. caraway seed
1/4 C. water
4 C. (half medium head)
shredded green cabbage

In large skillet heat all
ingredients except cabbage
over medium heat 2 minutes,
stirring constantly. Add cabbage
& stir to coat. Reduce heat to low,
cover & simmer 20 minutes.
Serves 3

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Irish Freckle Bread
(Tea Brack)
a moist close-grained,
packed with fruit breakfast

1 C. brewed hot tea (Irish
breakfast tea is a good choice)
1 C. raisins, packed
1/2 C. currants, packed
1 C. pitted prunes, snipped
into small pieces
1 C. chopped dates
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 C. Irish-style wholemeal flour*
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2 1/2 T. coarse sparkling
white sugar

Pour hot tea over dried fruits in
medium bowl; set aside to cool to
lukewarm (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 8″ X 2″ round cake
pan – if pan isn’t at least 2″ deep,
use a 9″ round pan. In medium bowl
stir together brown sugar, flour,baking
powder & salt. Add dried fruit & any
remaining liquid. Stir until thoroughly
combined; batter will be thick & stiff. Add
egg, mixing thoroughly. Spread mixture
into pan; sprinkle top evenly with coarse
sparking sugar. Bake 60-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes out
moist, but without clinging crumbs. Remove
from oven, turn out of pan onto rack to cool.
Makes one loaf.

*You can also use King Arthur White Whole
wheat flour

(recipe: kingarthurflour.com)

Beer Cheese Soup with Potatoes

1 to 1 1/2 lb. potatoes
1/4 C. flour
3 C. chicken broth
12 oz. beer
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. celery salt
12 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 C. heavy cream
chives, chopped (garnish)

Scrub & dice potatoes; place in crockpot &
toss with flour. Add broth, beer & seasonings;
stir to combine & make sure flour is dissolved.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 6-8
hours. Add cream & cheese; stir to combine.
Continue heating another 15-30 minutes.
Serve sprinkled with chives, if desired.
Serves 6

(recipe: crockpotgourmet.net)

Rueben Spread

1 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed/drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 (3 oz) pkg. corned beef, chopped-
or use deli corned beef
3 T. Thousand Island salad dressing

snack rye bread rounds or crackers,
or whole grain bread

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.
Combine kraut, cream cheese, Swiss
cheese, corned beef & 1,000 Island
dressing in small 1 1/2 qt, crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 2 hours until
cheese is melted. Stir to blend; serve
warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes
about 3 1/2 C.

(recipe: justapinch.com)

Beef, Ale & Onion Stew
(crockpot or Dutch Oven)

2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2″
1 C. flour
3 T. plus 1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, peeled/quartered
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. red wine
1 (12 oz) bottle dark ale*
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaf
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 lb. pearl onions, peeled
(poster used frozen pearl onions,
14 oz. large button or cremini mushrooms

Cooked egg noodles or rice

Dry beef using paper towel; set aside. Place
flour in large bowl. Heat 3 T. olive oil in large
frying pan over low-medium heat. Dredge
one third of the beef cubes in flour, shaking
off excess; add to pan (add as much as will
fit without crowding). Brown meat on all
sides; place in 4 qt. crockpot or Dutch oven.
Dredge & brown remaining meat in batches,
add to cooker. Add onion, mustard, wine, ale,
thyme, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt/pepper to
pot. Cook on Low 6 hours (or in Dutch oven
over low heat, covered, 2 1/2 hours). At end
of cooking time add pearl onions. Trim stems &
cut mushrooms into quarters. In nonstick pan
heat 1 T. oil; add mushrooms & cook over low-
medium heat, shaking pan frequently, until
mushrooms begin to give off liquid & turn light
brown. Season with a pinch of kosher salt &
pepper; stir them into the stew. Cook a total
of 7 1/2 hours in crockpot or 3 1/2 hours
on stove top. Serve over cooked egg noodles
or rice. Serves 4-6

*Poster used Guinness Stout

(recipe: theperfectpantry.com)

(this one isn’t Irish, but I felt like I needed

to add a dessert recipe!)

Chocolate Pie Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. + 2 T. butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
4 T. water

6 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
5 oz. chocolate, melted or
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 C. chopped walnuts or
powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients for crust,
using your hands or food processor.
Wrap dough in foil & refrigerate 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cut dough in half & roll to size of pan
(7″ X 12″). Grease & flour pan then
place rolled dough in pan. In large bowl
beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add
gran. sugar & beat until well mixed. Mix in
egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla, chocolate
& lemon juice; mix slightly. Fold in ground nuts
& gently mix with a spoon or spatula (do not
use mixer for this step). Transfer filling to pan,
roll second half of dough & cover filling in pan.
Bake 30 minutes until top is pale golden. Sprinkle
top with powdered sugar before serving.

(recipe: kitchennostalgia.com)

Our weather has been great for this
time of year: in the 50’s & sunny, which
was perfect for the long drive yesterday.
Gas prices are OK – $2.26/9 (would like
them lower, but that’s OK) – we only
used 1/4 tank yesterday!

Will probably go back to knitting on
‘the afghan project’ today; worked on
the Detroit Vet’s baby afghan a little
yesterday – was surprised at how
quickly I’d forgotten the pattern! UGH!
Guess that teaches me NOT to go too
long between projects, eh?

Hope you have a great, sunny day!



And what did YOU do today?


Today is “D-Day” – arrival of nephew later this evening. What have I been doing, you ask? Oh, baking a (from scratch) chocolate birthday cake for oldest son’s 32nd birthday, 2 loaves banana nut bread, helping husband hang second window shade and repairing a dragon! (I hear you going “WHAT?”) Middle son has a very nice dragon statue (he’s into dragons) – it’s moved with him wherever he went. Last time he moved the one ‘hand’ broke off – today I decided I’d try to glue it back on -No problem – a little Super Glue and we’re good, right? Wrong! Super glue just got absorbed into the “plasticky” compound it’s made from. Tried Elmer’s Glue – that didn’t work, either – even after letting it get really tacky first. Last resort? Elmers AND Super Glue, together (I would have thought they’d cancel each other out, but it worked!!! YAY! Ah, the things we Moms do for our kids!

It’s another really sunny day, a little colder (42 degrees F.) but I don’t care – give me sunshine and I’m good to go!


Butterscotch Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, room temp
(plus more for pan greasing)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. plus 1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. quick-cooking oatmeal
6 oz. butterscotch chips (about 1 C.)
1 C. confectioners sugar
4 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 pan with butter.
Using elec. mixer, cream butter,
gran. sugar, brown sugar & 1/2
C. peanut butter. Add egg & vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda & salt. Mix
oatmeal into flour mixture then stir
into creamed mixture. Spread batter
in pan; sprinkle butterscotch chips
on top. Bake 20-25 minutes until
browned around edges. Whisk together
conf. sugar, milk & remaining 1/4 C.
peanut butter until smooth then
spread evenly over warm bars. Allow
to cool completely before cutting
into squares. Makes 15 bars

(recipe: Trisha Yearwood/foodnetwork.com)

Cheesy Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/crumbled
8 flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, room
1 C. salsa
2 C. shredded Pepperjack cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes with chilies
1 packet taco seasoning (dry)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add taco seasoning, 1/4 C. water & can
Ro*Tel (including liquid) to pan with
cooked ground beef; heat until liquid
has mostly boiled down; remove from
heat & set aside. In medium bowl, add
cream cheese & beat using elec. mixer
until completley smooth; add salsa &
mix until combined. In medium saucepan
heat refried beans; add 1/2 C. cream
cheese to beans & stir. Heat until
thoroughly mixed; remove from heat &
set aside. Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Spread 1/3 C. meat mixture on bottom
of prepared dish. Place 2-4 tortillas on top;
spread half of bean mixture on top of
tortillas then top with half of salsa
mixture. Top salsa with half of meat
mixture. Mix both cheeses together; top
casserole with half of cheese. Add another
layer of 2-4 tortillas; top with bean
mixture. Add remaining salsa mixture to
top beans & top with remaining beef.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake 25 minutes or until cheese has melted.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

Crockpot Chuck Roast

1 (3 lb) chuck roast
olive oil
1 lb. carrots, peeled/cut into
large chunks
2 lb. potatoes, peeled/cut into
large chunks
1 onion, peeled/cut into large
2 stalks celery (optional) cut
into large chunks
1 C. beef broth
1 T. cornstarch

Seasoning Mix:
2 T. steak seasoning (like A1)
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. dried rosemary

Combine ingredients for Seasoning
mix in small bowl; set aside. Coat
both sides of meat with olive oil.
Sprinkle 1/3 of seasoning mix onto
each side of roast. Sear both sides of
meat in large skillet over medium-high
heat; transfer to crockpot. Place
vegetables in a large bowl; drizzle with
a little olive oil to coat then sprinkle
on remaining seasoning mix; toss to
coat then add to same skillet used to
sear the meat. Saute vegetables about
5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer
vegetables to crockpot on top of roast;
pour on beef broth. Cover & cook on
Low 9 hours or High for 6 hours.

Using a turkey baster, remove most of
juices from crockpot & transfer to a
small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over
medium heat on stovetop. Whisk together
cornstarch with a little water & blend into
pan juices while whisking. Bring back to
a simmer until thickened (taste & adjust
seasoning as needed)
Transfer roast & vegetables to a large platter;
ladle gravy over all & serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pasties for Six
(meat pies)

Makes 6-7 individual pasties


1 C. Crisco
3 C. flour

1 tsp. salt
1 C. very cold water

Mix shortening, salt & flour until
it looks like peas, using a pastry
blender or just cut dough using
2 knives crisscrossed. Add cold
water; mix just until it all sticks
together – don’t over work or the
crust will be tough. Refrigerate
while making filling.

1 1/2 .b pasty meat *
4-5 diced potatoes
1 small diced rutabaga**
1 small diced onion
diced carrots


Mix all filling together; add salt/
pepper to taste.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Individual Pasties:
Take a tennis ball-sized piece of dough;
roll it out on a flour-dusted surface; turn
& roll some more. Using an 8″ plate, cut
out dough in 8″ circle. Place some filling
on half of circle; place a pat of butter on
filling. Wet your fingers then wet outside
edge of circle; fold top half over & press
down (water will make top half stick to
bottom half). Flute edge (or just press
fork tines onto edges to seal. Place pastie
on cookie sheet; make a small vent hole in
top – repeat process with rest of dough &
filling. Brush tops of pasties with a little milk
(makes crust brown better).
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. (test to see if
rutabas are done** – they take the longest
to cook – the smaller you cut them up, the
quicker they will cook.

*Pasty meat is typically 3/4 coarse ground beef to 1/4 coarse ground pork, but you can also use finely diced steak, as well as venison.

(recipe: John Anderson-Yoopers/Facebook)

 Orange Chicken

1 1/2 C. water
2 T. orange juice
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/3 C. rice vinegar
2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated orange zest
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. chopped green onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. olive oil

Pour 1 1/2 C. water, orange juice,
lemon juice, rice vinegar & soy sauce into
a saucepan on medium-high heat. STir in
orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic,
chopped onion & red pepper flakes; bring
to a boil. Remove from heat, cool 10-15
minutes. Place chicken pieces in resealable
ziplock bag. When contents of saucepan
have cooled, pour 1 C. sauce into bag;
reserve remaining sauce. Seal the bag &
refrigerate at least 2 hours.
In another ziplock bag mix flour, salt &
pepper; add marinated chicken pieces. Seal
the bag & shake to coat. Heat olive oil in a
large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken
in skillet; brown on both sides; drain on a
plate lined with paper towels – cover with
foil. Wipe out the skillet; add sauce & bring
to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix
together cornstarch & 2 T. water; stir into
sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; add
chicken pieces & simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Serves 4

(recipe: allfood.recipes)
Upside-Down Apple Pie

6 T. melted butter, divided
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (15 oz) pkd. refrigerated rolled
pie crusts
1 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. flour
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 large Granny Smith or other firm
applels, peeled/cored, cut into 1/2″

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a deep-dish pie plate with non-
stick spray, then line with waxed paper.
Spray waxed paper with nonstick spray.
In small bowl combine 4 T. butter, brown
sugar & nuts; mix well & spread evenly
over bottom of pie plate. Unroll 1 pie
crust & place in pie plate, pressing
crust firmly against nut mixture & sides
of pie plate; set aside.
In large bowl combine gran. sugar, flour,
cinnamon & remaining butter; mix well.
Add apples & gently toss to coat; spoon
into pie crust. Unroll second pie crust &
place over apple mixture in pie plate. Trim
& fold edges to seal; using a knife, cut four
1 inch slits in top crust (for steam vent).
Bake 1 to a 1 1/4 hours until crust is golden.
Carefully loosen waxed paper around rim &
invert pie onto a serving plate while still hot.
Remove waxed paper & allow to cool slightly;
slice into wedges & serve warm, or allow to
cool completely before serving.

NOTE: To make sure you don’t have any
pie’spill-overs’ – position a sheet of foil under
pie on bottom oven rack to catch any juices
that may leak from pie while it’s baking.

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Chicken & Vegetables Soup


2 C. chopped chicken, cooked
or raw
2 T. butter
3/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 T. minced garlic
7 C. chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 C. diced carrot
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn

Place all ingredients into crockpot;
cook on High 6-8 hours. Serves 6

(recipe: food.com)

Roasted Chicken & Onions

1 (2-3 lb.) chicken, cut into 8 pieces*
2 large onions, thinly sliced & separated
into rings
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine all ingredients;
toss until chicken is thoroughly coated; place
in prepared dish. Bake 60-70 minutes until
chicken is no longer pink & juices run clear.
Serves 4

*If you prefer you can roast a whole chicken
rather than cutting it up. Be sure to coat
chicken with seasoning mixture & cook for
an extra 20 minutes until no pink remains
& juices run clear.

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Well, now that I’ve had a nice little
‘rest’ writing to you, it’s back to the
last of the cleaning (vacuuming – ugh).
Things are going nicely with the
preparations for the visit; when I’m
done, it’s back to knitting/crocheting/
fixing ‘The Afghan Project’ – making
good progress on it!

Have a GREAT (hopefully sunny)



Can you say “Avoidance Tendencies”?



I LOVE sunny weather! It’s climbing to almost 50 degrees F today and I’m super happy – sunny weather always makes me feel upbeat. Today is the LAST day before “Nephew Arrives” – got myself ‘in gear’ and went shopping, that’s done. House is stocked with cereal, ice cream, cookies, pizza rolls, chips/sour cream/salsa – plus other ‘necessary’ items like Kleenex, toilet paper, salad & sandwich makings. I even got a great bargain at the dollar store: $4.00 for a super big box of Frosted Flakes (his favorite) – I put it on the pillow in the bedroom he’ll be using; I figured he can take it back to college with him. We’re still trying to coordinate when the ENTIRE family will be off work – so far it’s not working. Oldest is off Thurs. but not Friday (his birthday) – so is middle son – we were hoping to go out to dinner at oldest son’s restaurant. Looks like just husband & I will be taking him probably Friday or Saturday – his plane doesn’t get in until 7:15 p.m. so it’s not likely husband will want to drive another half hour to restaurant AFTER driving 1 hour both ways to pick up nephew at airport.

House work left to do: vacuum living & dining rooms & bedroom, clean bathroom, iron & put up curtains in bedroom & bathroom (husband has to put up curtain rod in bathroom – I’m too short!) – not a lot of work, but right now I’m ‘resting’ by writing you! Got all the fixin’s to make husband & son’s favorite dinner for Thursday/maybe Friday: Meat & Potato Pie – can’t go wrong with a Man-pleasing recipe! (Oh, still have to bake oldest son’s birthday cake for Thursday – his Herb Garden Starter Kit birthday present came in the mail today – YAY!).


Cheesy Potato Pancakes

3 C. mashed potatoes
2/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped green onions
1 egg, beaten
3 T. plus 1/2 C. flour
3 T. oil
sour cream, for serving

In a bowl stir together potatoes,
cheese, green onions, egg & 3 T.
flour until combined. Divide mixture
into 12 portions. Roll each portion into
a ball, then flatten it into a pancake.
Place remaining flour on a pie plate &
dredge each pancake in flour Heat oil
in a skillet; fry pancakes until golden
& crispy. Transfer pancakes to paper
towels; sprinkle with salt. Top
pancakes with sour cream when
serving. Serves 6 (2 pancakes each)

(recipe: Russie- Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pecan Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt

3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 2/3 C. corn syrup
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with aluminum foil
or parchment paper. In food processor
or large bowl pulse together flour, sugar
& salt (crust ingred.) until combined. Slowly
add cold butter & pulse until mixture is coarse
& crumbly. Place dough in foil-lined pan; press
evenly & around edges. Bake 20 minutes or
until golden brown; remove & set aside.
In large bowl whisk together eggs, corn syrup,
sugar, honey, butter & vanilla (filling ingred.)
Fold in pecans & mix so they’re thoroughly
coated; pour over hot crust. Return to oven
& bake 25-30 minutes until filling has set.
Remove & let cool completely before
removing foil from dish. Cut into bars –
Makes 4 dozen bars

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Breakfast Pizza Scramble

2 eggs
2 T. chopped pepperoni/vegetables
or your favorite pizza toppings
2 T. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T. shredded mozzarella or Cheddar

Coat a microwave-safe cereal bowl with
nonstick spray. Add eggs, pepperoni,
milk, salt/pepper; beat until blended.
Microwave 45 seconds on High; stir.
Top with cheese & microwave 30-45
seconds more until eggs are set. Serve
immediately. Serves 1

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins

8 oz. ground beef
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. frozen mixed vegetables
(peas, corn, carrots – or fresh)
2 T. flour
1 C. beef stock/broth*
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper

4 large potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 to 1 C. milk
2 T. butter
salt, to taste

Optional topping:
Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top
after baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prick potatoes with fork about 6
times, per potato. Microwave on High
6 minutes then rotate potato & micro-
wave another 5 minutes. Pierce with a
knife to check if fully cooked. Remove
from microwave, cut off tops (like you
are going to make a baked potato); scoop
out center flesh using a spoon, leaving a
fairly thin skin. Place scooped potato
flesh into a bowl; add milk, butter & salt;
mash until smooth; set aside.
Heat olive oil in large fry pan over medium-
high heat. Add onion & garlic, saute 2 minutes.
Turn heat to High; add ground beef – cook about
3 minutes; drain. Sprinkle flour over meat; stir.
Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer & continue stirring until sauce
is thick & glossy, about 2 minutes – remove from
heat. Fill each potato with filling so it’s slightly
heaped. Push down lightly to pack filling in well.
You can pipe the potato on top if desired using a
large star tip nozzle, or scoop on top using
a spoon. (Note: you probably won’t use all of
the potato filling – save remainder or serve on
the side.)
Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet & bake
15-20 minutes until mashed potatoes start
to brown on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4

*or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in hot water

NOTE: You can bake the potatoes instead of
microwaving; 40-50 minutes 350 degrees F.

(recipe: recipetineats.com)

Apricot Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast,
cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oil (olive or vegetable)
1/2 C. apricot preserves
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/4 C. water
2 T. onion soup mix

cooked rice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook chicken in skillet in garlic & oil
until browned. Place in 8″ X 8″
baking dish. Combine all other
ingredients & pour over chicken.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
juices run clear. Serve over cooked rice.

(recipe: livingonadime.com)

Tex-Mex Couscous

1 T. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 C. diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 C. frozen corn (or fresh)
1 C. uncooked couscous
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 C. diced tomatoes with
chiles (from can – like Ro*Tel)
1 C. chicken broth
1 T. cilantro, freshly chopped

Heat small pan over high heat; add
1 tsp. oil. When oil is hot, add frozen
corn. Cook stirring occasionally, until
dark brown in color. Heat a medium
saucepan over medium heat; add
1 T. oil; saute onion & garlic 2-3 minutes.
Add in couscous; cook 1 minute. Stir in
cooked corn, tomatoes, salt, cumin &
coriander. Stir in chicken broth; bring to
a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover &
cook 12 minutes. Fluff with a fork & top
with chopped cilantro. Serves 4

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
Crockpot Pineapple Pork

2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. honey barbecue sauce
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in
juice, undrained
3 T. cornstarch
2 large green peppers, coarsely chopped
2 large red peppers, coarsely chopped
6 C. hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 C. peanuts, chopped

Combine meat & bbq sauce in crockpot.
Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 C. juice.
Add reserved juice to cornstarch; stir until dissolved, then add to meat mixture – mix
well. Top with pineapple chunks & peppers;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
5 hours. Serve over rice – sprinkle with
nuts when serving. Serves 8
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
 Reese’s Peanut Butter/Banana

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. oil
1 egg
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugra
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) bag Reese’s Mini cups

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8″ X 4″ loaf pan with
butter or shortening. In medium
bowl whisk together flour, baking
soda, baking powder & salt, set aside.
In large bowl stir together bananas,
peanut butter, oil, egg & sugars.
Pour dry ingredients into wet; stir
just until combined, batter will be
lumpy. Fold in Reese’s mini cups;
spread batter into prepared pan. Bake
1 hour until toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Remove
from oven & let cool in pan 10 minutes,
then loosen the edges of the pan with
a knife & remove loaf from pan, trans-
ferring bread to a cooling rack.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

Hope you’re able to enjoy some sunny
weather – Spring is ON THE WAY! (Of
course, living in Michigan, one KNOWS
that we could still get more of the white
stuff before Spring finally arrives. I remember
as a child one Easter morning, walked to church
in my Easter outfit, thin sweater & dress ‘flats’
shoes, only to come out of church having to
walk home in an inch of SNOW! UGH! Yep,
that’s Michigan for ya!

Enjoy your day!



PS: Was adding the various categories to the
blog entry and realized I’d put in Knitting/
Crochet/crafts – Am still plugging away at
“The Afghan Project” – finished knitting the
first of two patterned panels for Panel #3-
still have one more 20″ wide X 12 1/2″ long
panel, then two smaller (just knit) panels.
After that it’s crochet probably about 15
Granny Squares, sew it all together and
crochet a border around it. I’m guessing,
at the most, about 2 weeks until completion.

Miscellaneous Monday Musings


Happy Monday!

It’s a lovely WARM (49 degrees F.) day here – the sun is shining brightly making me want to CLEAN (again – in lieu of nephew’s coming Thursday.) Husband & I started out the day with a visit to our Financial Advisor, then a quick lunch at IHOP (Yum!). I tried their Garden Omelet – lots of fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and lots of Cheddar cheese (with a few sausages, for good luck!) One thing I’ve noticed when ‘out & about’ – so many various ways people eat/act/behave when out in public. I guess I’m a bit ‘old fashioned’ but, to me, it’s rude to talk on your cell phone while sitting with another person at a meal (just sayin’); or treating your server like your paid slave and then throwing some money at them when you’re done (Oh, here ya go) – sorry, I’m on a rant here. While eating with my husband I remembered many, MANY years ago when I got my first job as a telephone operator at Michigan Bell Telephone Company. My Business Advisor at our high school took me aside and told me that I was working for a very prestigious company (back then the Customer Business Office was in our building) and we had to look and act like professionals while at work. He talked about my ‘dress’ and mentioned comportment (something RARELY mentioned these days). I remember feeling a bit mortified (had I done something untowards?) That got me to hitting the school library for books on how a lady walks, talks, eats, sits, etc. – remember good old Emily Post? I absorbed her books! Today while eating I remembered one of the ‘rules of eating’: Never cut more than three bites of anything at a time and always take one bite, lay your fork down, chew the food, THEN pick up the fork and continue. That’s just ONE of her rules – I’m sure, now days, NONE of that flies (unless you’re part of the Royal Family somewhere!) Reminds me of one of my favorite TV programs: “Downton Abbey” – the main family in that program is rather upper class English and watching them at a meal/banquet reminds me of all I read as a girl. If you’d like some amusing reading, try reading some of Emily Post’s books!


Orange Juice Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (4 serving size) orange Jello
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. orange juice
4 eggs

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 10″ Bundt or tube pan with
nonstick spray; set aside. In medium
bowl using elec. mixer on medium
speed, beat all ingredients 2 minutes
or until well mixed; pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or
until a wooden toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Let cool
slightly then invert onto a wire rack
to cool completely. Serve or cover
until ready to serve.

1 C. confectioners sugar
2 T. orange juice
zest of 1 orange

Mix confect. sugar & orange juice
together & drizzle over cake. Sprinkle
orange zest on top.

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Easy Chicken/Zucchini Saute

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
1 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
olive oil
6 chicken cutlets
2 T. flour
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 T. balsamic vinegar (or 3 T.
red wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp. salt

About 45 minutes before serving thickly
slice mushrooms & zucchini, chop onion.
In a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat
using 1 T. hot olive oil, cook zucchini until
crisp-tender & lightly browned, remove
to plate. In same skillet, using 1 more T.
oil, cook mushrooms until browned, remove
to plate. Coat chicken with flour; in same
skillet, in 2 T. hot oil, cook chicken until
lightly browned & juices run clear when
pierced, about 10 minutes. Remove to bowl
with mushrooms. In skillet drippings, over
medium heat, cook onion until tender &
browned; stir in 1/2 C. water. Return chicken
mixture to skillet; add tomatoes, vinegar &
salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to Low &
simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add zucchini &
heat. Serves 6

(recipe: allfood.recipes)
Crockpot Chili Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 (15 oz,ea) cans chili with or/wo
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 (15 oz) frozen pkg. mixed vegetables
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans (Red Gold) diced
tomatoes with garlic/onion
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 &
pour into crockpot. Add all other
ingredients (liquid & all) and broth/
water; stir. Cover & cook on Low 4
hours. Serve with garnishes of your
choice. Serves 10-12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

French Onion Pork Chop Skillet

6 boneless pork chops (1 1/2 lb,
1/2 inch thick each)
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook chops & onions in large nonstick
skillet on medium-high heat 8 minutes,
turning chops & stirring after 4 minutes.
(Chops will not be done). Remove chops
from skillet; cook onions an additional
5 minutes until golden brown, stirring
frequently. Stir in Worc. sauce; return
chops to skillet; spoon onion mixture
over chops. Combine stuffing mix &
water; spoon around edges of skillet.
Top chops & stuffing with cheese; cover
& cook 5 minutes until cheese is melted
& chops are done. Remove from heat,
let stand 3 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Praline Apple Crisp

6 Granny Smith or Braeburn apples,
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. oats (old fashioned OR quick)
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. chilled butter, diced
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. toffee bits

Sprinkle apples with cinnamon;
place in greased crockpot. Combine
remaining ingredients (except
toffee bits & nuts) until crumbly;
sprinkle mixture over apples & top
with toffee bits & nuts. Cook on
Low 4-6 hours. Serves 10

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

 Taco Pie

refrigerated pie crust

1 lb. ground beef
1 pouch taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. salsa
1 C. lettuce, shredded
1 medium tomato, diced
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
shredded cheese
chopped tomatoes
sliced olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Pat pie crust into glass pie pan;
sprinkle with a pinch of taco
seasoning mix; bake 7-10 minutes
until it just begins to brown. In
medium skillet cook beef & onions
until beef is browned & cooked
through; drain. Add salsa & all
remaining taco seasoning; cook
3-4 minutes- pour mixture into
pie crust & top with shredded
cheese. Bake 15 minutes until
crust is golden brown. Let
cool 5 minutes; top with your
choice of optional garnishes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Creamy Chicken/Mushroom Pasta

2 T. oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. whipped cream
pasta of your choice
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed chili pepper

In large pan place oil, garlic & chili;
heat until hot; add chicken to pan –
cook until browned. Add mushrooms
& heat until tender. Cook pasta accordg.
to pkg. directions (al dente). Mix cream
cheese & whipped cream; place in pan &
let simmer 5 minutes until all ingredients
are heated through. (add pepper for
seasoning). Drain pasta; add to pan with
other ingredients – mix together.
Serves 2

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

Crazy Cake

(this used to be called “Wacky Cake”)

1 1/2 C. flour
3 T. cocoa (unsweetened)
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
5 T. vegetable oil
1 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix first 5 ingredients in a greased
8″ square baking pan. Make 3
depressions in the dry ingredients –
two small, one larger. Pour vinegar
in one, vanilla in another and
vegetable oil in the third; pour water
over all – mix until smooth. Bake 35
minutes; check with toothpick for

(recipe: sweetlittlebluebird.com)

Still working on “The Afghan Project” – came upon
a rather confusing situation last night; it seems I’d
forgotten how to crochet Granny Squares! Got
Round 1 done just fine, but then couldn’t exactly
remember how to go from there! Went on YouTube
and that was almost my undoing – watched a good
six videos and they all did it differently than I did/do!

Finally, today, I went back on YouTube
and found a video by a young man who
does it the way I USED to – YAY!!!

Started planning out the third panel last night; I have panel #1 done, Panel #2 is ‘in the works’,
but couldn’t quite figure out how to configure #3.
You see, what’s left of the knit panels I was given
is a really MESSED UP panel – it’s too narrow at one
end and way too wide at the other, filled (every
2-3 feet or so) with patched up bits, holes, spots
where the dog had slobbered (which discolors the
yarn – tried washing it, no luck). What to do? I
finally have decided that I’m going to unravel
the yarn and COPY her pattern myself, knitting the
needed sections – it will be the same pattern, same
yarn, but without all the mess (hopefully!) We’ll
see how that comes out. Another ‘decision’, so to
speak: I’ve decided that IF the lady asks me how
much $$$ do I think my work is worth I’m going to
say $50.00 – I think that’s fair; we’ll see. This is WAY
more work than I’d envisioned, so I guess you’d say
it’s a “Labor of Love” (although right now I’m not
LOVING it much!).

Our gas prices are down to $2.19/9 – WahHOO!

Have a great, ENJOYABLE day!