Gloomy Day – but that’s OK


After reading the weather report I’m wondering if what they say will really come to pass: 30-60% chance of rain/thunderstorms for the next 3 days. Right now it’s gloomy and a bit windy; last night I came out of church and said: “Smells like rain!” – then I stepped out from under the overhang and it WAS lightly raining! It’s Spring in Michigan and almost anything could happen; looking at Thursdays forecast, it says it’s supposed to get down to a low of 29 degrees F – here in Michigan that ‘could’ mean SNOW! Yep – even in April! (sure hope that doesn’t happen).


Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 C. flour
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa
powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
kosher salt
2/3 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

vanilla ice cream, for serving

Spray insides of a 2 qt. microwave-
save square baking dish with non-
stick spray. Whisk flour, 1/2 C. brown
sugar, 1/4 C. cocoa powder, baking
soda & 1/2 tsp. salt in large bowl.
Break up some of the larger brown
sugar lumps with your fingers. Make
a well in the center, add buttermilk
& oil & stir until well combined.
Scrape batter into prepared dish
using a rubber spatula, smooth top.
Put 1 C. water in a microwave-safe
2-C. or larger measuring cup. Micro-
wave on High until steaming hot,
2-3 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 C.
brown sugar & 1/4 C. cocoa powder,
vanilla & 1/4 tsp. salt; whisk to
dissolve sugar. Pour mixture over
batter in dish – do not stir in.
Microwave cake on High until top is
mostly set & dry to the touch –
approximately 8 minutes. If cake is
slightly wet in center, that’s OK, it
will continue cooking as it sits. Let
cool at least 30 minutes. When you
cut into cake there will be a gooey
chocolate pudding layer at bottom –
be sure to scoop some with each
serving. Serve cake warm or at
room temperature with ice cream.
Serves 9

Bacon-wrapped Potatoes

1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 medium baking potatoes,
halved lengthwise
4 strips bacon

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Layer onion slices on cut sides of
two potato halves; top with other
potato half. Wrap each potato with
two bacon strips & secure with
wooden toothpicks. Place on a lightly
greased baking sheet & bake,
uncovered, 1 hour 20 minutes or until
potato is tender & bacon is crisp.
Discard toothpicks. Serves 2


Baked Potato/Sausage/
Peppers & Onions Csserole

2 tsp. olive oil
2 lb. Italian sausage links, cut
into 2-inch pieces
1/4 C. olive oil
4 large potatoes, peeled/
thickly sliced
2 large green bell peppers, seeded/
cut into wedges
2 large red bell peppers, seeded/
cut into wedges
3 large onions, cut into wedges
1/2 C. white wine
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste
chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in large
skillet over medium heat; cook
& stir sausage until browned.
Transfer cooked sausage to a
large baking dish. Pour 1/4 C.
olive oil into skillet; cook
potatoes, stirring occasionally,
until browned, about 10 minutes.
Place potatoes into baking dish,
leaving some oil. Cook & stir
peppers & onions in hot skillet
until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add vegetables to baking dish.
Pour wine & chicken stock over
vegetables & sausage; sprinkle
with Italian seasoning, salt/
pepper. Gently stir sausage,
potatoes & vegetables together.
Bake 20-25 minutes until hot &
bubbling. Sprinkle top with parsley.
Serves 8


Parmesan-crusted Tilapia

3-4 talapia fillets (thawed &
patted dry with paper towels)
1/4 C. breadcrumbs (or 1/4 C.
crushed Ritz crackers)
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. lemon juice
garlic powder
olive oil

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan,
Italian seasoning & garlic powder
on a plate, mixing well. On a
different plate, pour 1 T. lemon
juice. Working 1 at a time, place
a fillet on plate in lemon juice;
sprinkle with desired amount of
salt/pepper/garlic powder. Turn
fillet over in juice & sprinkle seasoning
on other side. Dredge fillet in Parm.
mixture, patting it all over to coat.
Place in an oiled baking dish; repeat.
Sprinkle a little lemon juice over
fillets & drizzle or spray lightly with
olive oil. Bake 20 minutes until they
easily flake with a fork & edges
are browning. You can add more
Parm. on top if desired. Serves 2

Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

2 T. margarine
1/4 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen sugar snap
3 T. water
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. spicy brown mustard (Dijon)
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt margarine in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add onion &
garlic; cook 2-3 minutes until tender,
stirring occasionally. Add all remaining
ingredients to skillet; reduce heat to
medium & cook 5 minutes until
mixture is hot & peas are tender.
Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)


Cherry Bar Dessert

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. flour
2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry
pie filling

1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2-3 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter,
sugar & salt until light & fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each addition. Beat in
extracts; gradually add flour. Spread
3 C. batter into greased 15 X 10 X 1
inch baking pan. Spread crust with
pie filling & drop remaining batter by
teaspoonfuls over filling. Bake 30-35
minutes until golden brown. Cool
completely in pan on wire rack.
In small bowl mix powdered sugar,
extracts & enough milk to reach
desired consistency; drizzle over
top. Makes 5 dozen.


Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1″
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. paprika
1 c. sour cream
2 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles, uncooked
2 T. chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

Place meat, mushrooms, onions &
garlic in crockpot; add broth &
paprika. Cover & cook on Low 7-8
hours (or High 5 hours). Mix sour
cream, flour & mustard; stir into
crockpot ingredients until blended.
Cook, covered, on Low 15 minutes
longer. Cook noodles per pkg.
directions, omitting salt. Drain noodles,
place in large serving bowl. Add meat
mixture; sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft Foods)


Italian Stuffed Shells

1 lb ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 C. hot water
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1 T. beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 C. (16 oz) cottage cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
24 jumbo pasta shell noodles,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet cook beef, onion &
garlic over medium heat until meat
is not longer pink; drain. Stir in water,
tomato paste, bouillon & oregano.
Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. In
large bowl combine egg, cottage
cheese, 1 C. mozzarella & 1/2 C.
Parmesan cheese. Stuff cooked
shells with cheese mixture. Grease
a 3 qt. baking dish. Arrange shells
in dish; pour meat sauce over shells.
Cover & bake 30 mintes. Uncover,
sprinkle with remaining mozz. cheese.
Bake 5 minutes longer until cheese
is melted. Serves 6-8.

Cheese Danish Cups

1 (17.3 oz) can refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 T. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Coat 16 muffin cups with nonstick
spray. Separate each biscuit in
half by gently pulling apart. Place
each biscuit half in a muffin cup &
press against bottom & sides to
form a crust. In medium bowl beat
cream cheese, egg & sugar until
smooth; evenly smooth into crusts.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are
golden. Allow to cool slightly then
serve warm. Serves 16


Today, being not very sunny, sort of ‘arranges’ things
to do ‘inside’ – I don’t have any needed errands/trips,
so I’ve decided to start setting up the format for the
next special needs group newsletter (due May 1st).
That’s a task I don’t really relish, but it needs to be
done and, since I’m the Editor/sole person in charge,
etc., guess I’d better ‘GET TO IT!’

There might be some knitting/crocheting going on a
bit later; am still working on the crocheted baby
blanket (Diagonal Box Stitch pattern) and started
knitting the next batch of baby hats for the local
hospital. I think it’s kind of ‘cute’ – I deliver a batch
and think to myself “Maybe I’ll just drop this project” –
right about that time I get a very nice greeting card
from the hospital signed by all the doctors & nurses
in both the Infant Neonatal and regular Newborn
departments and, of course you know, that spurs
me on to knitting more (great psychology on their
part, eh?). Think I’m up to around 650 or so turned
in – I love a good challenge (I challenge myself to see
how far I can go – Yep, I’m nuts! – TOLD YA!!!) hehehe

Hope you find something to do today that either
needs doing or pleases you when/while you’re doing
it. Take a little time out for yourself: a quick nap, a nice
warm cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/?, a tiny bit ‘o chocolate,
you get the idea. You are WORTH IT! Remember THAT!




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