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


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


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I think the project will get put aside while nephew is here and that it just fine. Enjoy your guest.

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