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.


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


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.


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

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


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.



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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful job, you restored/completed their heirloom. 🙂

  2. You did it!! I knew you could and the satisfaction you obtained from the lady’s reaction means a lot.
    I paid $2.55.9 a gallon today for gas. The last couple of days have been chilly but at least I have seen my first robin in the yard.

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