Thoughts on a Thursday


It’s about 45 degrees F. outside, very dark grey and rainy, but that’s OK – (quoting the old adage) “April showers bring May flowers!” Made a quick trip to the Post Office to mail nephew’s scarf, hat & a bag of M & M’s – he should get them Saturday.


These are done in his school colors of maroon & gold

Today is our trip to the ‘tax man’ (about an hour’s drive) and then a visit with my dear friend Mary (Momma, if you see her posts/comments – she has her own blog – in fact, she & her dear husband Jay were the people responsible for me starting a blog; they just kept saying: “YOU should start a blog!” (I kept thinking: “WHY? Who would want to read what I write?) You just never know – right?


Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-3 T. milk
food coloring, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl or stand mixer combine
butter, cream cheese, sugar & egg – blend
using mixer until smooth (will almost
resemble frosting). Add vanilla & almond;
beat 1 minute more. Add flour, baking
powder & baking soda; beat 2 minutes.
Spread or press dough evenly into a
jello roll (13 x 18″ ) pan. Bake 20 minutes
oruntil golden brown (test with toothpick
for doneness).
In large bowl beat butter & cream cheese
until smooth. Add powdere sugar, milk,
vanilla & food coloring, if desired; beat
4  minutes until fluffy. Frost cooled pan
of cookies; cut into bars. Makes 40 bars.


Strawberry Cotton Candy Salad

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. crushed pineapple, well
1 C. strawberry pie filling
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

8 large strawberries, halved
3/4 C. chopped pecans

Fold all dessert ingredients together
in large bowl (except nuts & strawberries).
Top with chopped nuts & strawberries;
chill at least 1 hour.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

 Baked Triple-Veggie Dip

1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (1 lb, 3 oz) can asparagus spears,
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/drained
1 (8 1/2 oz) can artichoke hearts,

Assorted crackers and/or cut-up
fresh vegetables, for dipping
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix 1 1/4 C. Parmesan with all
remaining ingredients & spoon into
a 2 qt. baking dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with remaining
Parmesan & bake 35 minutes until
dip is heated through & top is lightly
browned. Makes 36 servings, 2 T. each

(recipe: Kraft
Deviled Egg Spread

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, divided
3/4 C. mayonnaise
4 oz (1/2 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
2 T. white vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
3 green onions, sliced/divided
1/8 tsp. paprika

Assorted crackers and/or cut-up
fresh veggies, for dipping

Reserve 1 egg for garnish. Cut remaining
eggs lengthwise in half; remove yolks.
Place yolks in food processor. Add mayo,
cream cheese, vinegar, mustard & 12 egg
white halves. Process until blended & spoon
into medium bowl. Chop remaining egg
white halves coarsely; add to cream cheese
mixture with 2/3 of onions, mix lightly.
Chop reserved egg finely; sprinkle over
egg mixture in serving bowl along with
remaining onions; garnish with paprika.
Makes 28 servings, 2 T. each.

(recipe: Kraft

Spicy Seasoned Pretzels

16 oz. (1 lb) bag tiny twist pretzels
1 C. vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp. garlic salt (or 1 tsp. garlic
powder & 1 tsp. salt)
2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Pour oil & spices into gallon ziplock
bag; seal & shake to evenly combine
oil with spices. Add pretzels; seal & shake.
Two ways to finish pretzels:
Option 1:
Leave them in ziplock bag & allow pretzels
to soak up seasoned oil for at least 6 hours,
or ideally 24 hours, turning bag every few
hours to shake them.
Option 2:
Bake the oil-soaked pretzels in a 200 degrees F.
oven on a flat sheet for 1 hour, stirring several
times to ensure even baking. Allow to cool
before eating.

Pretzels will keep in airtight container for up to
3 weeks. Serves 6-8


Fresh Corn & Tomato Fettuccini

8 oz. uncooked fettuccini
2 medium ears sweet corn, husks
2 tsp. plus 2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. chopped sweet red pepper
4 green onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 C. crumbled Feta cheese
2 T. minced fresh parsley

In Dutch oven cook fettuccini accordg
to pkg. directions, adding corn during
last 8 minutes of cooking. In small
skillet heat 2 tsp. oil over medium-high
heat. Add red pepper & green onions;
cook & stir until tender. Drain pasta &
corn; transfer to large bowl. Cool corn
slightly; cut corn from cob & add to
pasta. Add tomatoes, salt/pepper,
remaining oil & pepper mixture – toss
to combine. Sprinkle top with cheese &
parsley. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: taste of

Bacon & Maple Scalloped Potatoes

1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz (1/2 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
1 1/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. milk
3 slices fully cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 C. maple-flavored pancake syrup
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about 8)
cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 C. shredded “Triple Cheddar cheese
with a touch of Phildelphia” (Kraft)*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook onions in large skillet sprayed with
nonstick spray, on medium-high heat 3-5
minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring
frequently – remove onions from skillet.
Add cream cheese, broth & milk to skillet;
cook & stir on medium-low heat 5 minutes
or until cream cheese is completely melted &
sauce is well-blended. Remove from heat,
stir in bacon & syrup. Place half of potatoes
in 9 X 13″ baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Cover with layers of onions & shredded
cheese. Top with remaining potatoes & cream
cheese sauce; cover. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes until
potatoes are tender & top is golden brown,
uncovering for last 15 minutes. Serves 8

*can use shredded Cheddar cheese

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. asparagus
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp.
regular table salt)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut off woody bottom part of spears &
discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off
skin on bottom 2-3 inches of spears (this
keeps the spears from being ‘stringy’).
Place asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet
& drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt.
Using your hands, roll asparagus until evenly
coated with oil & salt. Roast 10-15 minutes
depending on thickness of stalks & how tender
you like them. (they should be tender when
pierced with the tip of a knife).


Easy Smothered Chicken

6 medium potatoes, sliced thin
6 boneless/skinless chicken
1 small onion, sliced
1 (10 oz) can Cheddar cheese
1 1/4 C. milk
6-8 slices bacon, chopped &
cooked crispy with drippings
1/2 to 1 C. cheese
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk soup & milk together until
smooth. Reserve 1 C. cheese/soup
mixture; set aside to use later.
Spray bottom & sides of 9 X 13 pan
with nonstick spray. Place a single layer
of potatoes along bottom ; top with
1/3 of soup mixture; sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Repeat layers 3 times.
Top potatoes with sliced onion. Cover
tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 30
minutes. Season chicken tenderloins with
salt & pepper then saute in bacon drippings
over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
(not trying to fully cook, just sear on each
side); set aside. Remove potatoes from
oven & uncover. Arrange chicken tenders
on top of potatoes & pour reserved
cheese/soup mixture over chicken. Cover
tightly again & continue cooking 30 more
minutes. Remove from oven & uncover.
Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over
chicken & potatoes then top with bacon
pieces. Place in oven & continue cooking,
uncovered, 5-10 minutes or until cheese
is melted & bubbly.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Crockpot Coconut Cake
(round 4 qt. crockpot was used)

1 box yellow cake
(ingredients required on box:
eggs, butter, oil, etc.)
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut extract

2 T. powdered sugar
sweetened shredded coconut
cream cheese frosting (optional)
Prepare cake as per box directions
but – instead of milk or water, use
coconut milk (make sure to shake
the can well before pouring, to mix
the cream). Add 1 tsp. coconut
extract to batter. (reserve rest of
coconut milk  for later in recipe.)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray; pour in batter. Cover & cook on
High 2-4 hours until toothpick comes
out clean. (do not need to vent lid)*

When cake is finished cooking, mix 1/2 C.
reserved coconut milk with 2 T. powdered
sugar. Poke holes in hot cake with a skewer;
pour sweetened coconut milk over top. (IF
you are not going to frost the cake, sprinkle
on shredded coconut – if you are going to
frost, save the coconut for later.)
Let cake cool to room temp, then refrigerate
1 hour. (If you are going to frost, do that now.)
Serve chilled cake right out of crockpot.

*If you notice a lot of condensation on the
lid, you might vent, but original recipe
poster did not and said cake came out fine


Since our trip to visit the ‘tax man’ &
our friend is an hour (one-way) I’ve
started another baby blanket, using
the yellow yarn from previous baby
blanket – this time I’m using my dear
friend Mary’s crochet pattern – it’s
called “Diagonal Box Stitch” (just
in case you might be interested,
here’s the YouTube link for it –

this pattern is relatively simple but I
can never remember how to start it
OR how to begin decreasing
help/video or otherwise.

Hope you are having a good day-
remember to take a little time for



PS: Gas prices today: $2.24/9 – perfect
for gassing up for a long trip!


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It was a delightful visit having you and hubby up to the house. We don’t get to do this enough.

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