Finally – Here Comes the Sun!


After several days of cold, rainy days the sun’s out and it’s supposed to warm up a bit. Got home a little while ago from doing some quick shopping and it was 54 degrees F. – gas prices are still at $2.79/9 but managed to snag some Mountain Dew (2 liters) for $1.00 a bottle (limit 5) but anything over 5 and it was still only $1.25 a bottle (KMart) so I was happy. I laid out 26 crocheted squares for the baby blanket (just to see what it looks like) and decided that if I do all patterned squares it will look too ‘busy’, so I’m going to vary them with all white granny squares. Since I’ve already got 29 patterned squares, I’m planning on making TWO blankets (40 squares each); I have enough of the various colors to make that many and plain white worsted weight yarn is not that expensive so guess I’ve got my projects set up for awhile. Wednesday I take middle son to the hospital for an esophageal scope to see how his throat/esophagus, etc. is doing after his ‘situation’ in December. He’ll be knocked out for the test so I’m going to take the plain white yarn to begin crocheting plain granny squares (it beats me dragging 5 different skeins of yarn for the colored squares!).


Nutella No-Bake Oat Cookies

2 1/2 – 3 C. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 C. sugar
2/3 C. Nutella
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt

Line 2-3 baking sheets (depending
on size of cookies) with parchment
paper; set aside. In medium saucepan
over medium heat stir sugar, milk,
butter & cocoa until sugar is dissolved
&  mixture is combined & smooth. Raise
heat & bring to boil; stirring often, cook
for 1 more minute. Mix in Nutella until
smooth then add vanilla & salt. Working
quickly, remove pan from heat & stir in
oats, making sure oats are thoroughly
coated in Nutella mixture.*
Using a spoon, drop equal-sized cookies
onto prepared trays & transfer trays to
freezer to set. Refrigerator is fine, but they
chill faster in the freezer. Makes 3-4 dozen

*Quality of oats may vary depending on
how runny or thick mixture is. Amount is
‘to taste’


Make-ahead Mexican Salad

1 (16 oz) pkg. torn iceberg lettuce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/drained
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 C. thick salsa
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Colby & Monterey
Jack cheeses
2 green onions, sliced
2 C. broken baked tortilla corn chips

In large 4 1/2 qt. serving bowl, layer
lettuce, beans & tomatoes. Mix salsa
& sour cream until blended; spread
over salad to seal. Sprinkle with
cheeses & onions. Refrigerate several
hours. Sprinkle top with chips just
before serving, toss lightly.
Serves 10


Lasagna-stuffed Spaghetti Squash

2 spaghetti squash (3 lb) halved/seeded
1 T. oil
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded (Kraft) Italian 5 cheese
blend, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brush cut sides of squash evenly with
oil; place, cut sides down, on baking
sheet & bake 30 minutes until tender.
Cook sausage with onions & garlic
in large skillet on medium heat 10
minutes or until sausage is done,
stirring frequently. Stir in spaghetti
sauce; simmer 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat;
combine ricotta, Parmesan & 1/2 C.
Italian cheese. Place squash halves
on baking sheet cut sides up. Fill
with layers of ricotta mixture, meat
sauce & remaining Italian cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes until heated
through. Cut each squash in half
& serve. Serves 8


Crockpot Bean Medley

1 1/2 C. ketchup
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
2 bay leaves
1 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 (15.5 oz) can black-eyed peas,
1 (15.5 oz) can great northern
beans, drained/rinsed
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 (15 1/4 oz) can lima beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/

Combine first 12 ingredients in
crockpot; stir in remaining ingredients.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours, or
until onion & peppers are tender.
Discard bay leaves. Makes 12
(3/4 C. each) servings


Pizza Pasta Bake

1 lb. rotini pasta
24 oz/2 C. spaghetti sauce
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded/
6 oz. sliced pepperoni, divided
1 medium onion, chopped/divided
2 bell peppers, chopped/divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & return to pot. Add spaghetti
sauce, 2 C. mozzarella, 1 C. pepperoni,
half of chopped onion & half bell
pepper; stir to combine. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour
pasta mixture into pan; spread into an
even layer. Spread 1 C. cheese on top;
layer pepperoni, onion & bell pepper on
top; top with remaining cheese. Bake
10-15 minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Serves 8-10


German Potato Salad

4 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp/
crumbled (reserve 2 T. drippings)
3/4 C. onion, chopped
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. water
2 T. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
pepper, to taste
dried parsley, to taste
(garnish: fresh parsley, chopped)

Boil potatoes until tender; drain &
set aside. Saute onions in reserved
bacon drippings over medium-high
heat until tender. Mix soup, water,
vinegar, sugar & pepper together in
large bowl. Add bacon & onion;
combine well. Pour mixture into
potatoes; add parsley & mix well.
Place mixture into crockpot; cover
& cook on Low 4 hours. Garnish
with fresh parsley, if desired.
Serve warm. Serves 4


Blueberry Bread

1 C. sugar
3 C. plus 2 tsp. flour, divided
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 C. blueberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sift together sugar, 3 C. flour,
salt & baking powder in bowl.
Stir in egg, milk & butter; add
lemon juice. Toss blueberries
with 2 tsp. flour; fold into
mixture. Spread batter in
greased 9″ X 5″ loaf pan. Bake
1 hour. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Gooseberry Patch

BaconBBQ Meatloaf

3 large eggs
1 C. diced white onion
1/3 C. barbecue sauce
1/4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
25 saltine crackers, crushed
2 lb. ground beef
8 slices cooked/crumbled bacon

1/2 C. barbecue sauce
8 slices cooked, crumbled bacon

In large bowl add eggs, onion, BBQ
sauce, milk, onion powder, salt/pepper
& crushed saltines; mix well using your
hands. Add ground beef & cooked bacon,
only mixing until it just comes together.
Spray a 6 qt. crockpot with nonstick spray;
shape meat into a loaf & place on bottom
of crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours.
Do not open lid during cooking time. Drain/
remove fat & discard
. Spread BBQ sauce on
top & sprinkle with cooked bacon. Serves 6


Shrimp Egg Drop Soup

4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 C. water, divided
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 1/2 C. frozen home-style egg
1 C. frozen broccoli florets, thawed/
coarsely chopped
1/2 C. julienned carrot
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 lb. cooked medium shrimp, peeled/

In small bowl combine cornstarch, soy
sauce, ginger & 1/2 C. cold water; set
aside. In large saucepan combine broth
& remaining water; bring to a simmer &
add noodles. Cook, uncovered, 15
minutes. Add broccoli & carrot, simmer
3-4 minutes longer or until noodles are
tender. Drizzle beaten egg into hot soup,
stirring constantly. Stir cornstarch mixture &
add to pan. Bring to a boil, cook & stir 2
minutes until slightly thickened. Add shrimp
& heat through. Serves 4


Tonight is Taco Salad (again) – I waited about 5 days
before deciding to make the second batch; my
husband LOVES the stuff (I do, too – but not
for extended days in a row!). Went to a local
grocery store here on Saturday and found a
(new to me) product – they were selling the
bags (in the freezer section) for $1.00
a 10 oz pkg – and that was more than enough
to feed 2 people – what am I talking about?
These were fingerling potatoes in rosemary &
garlic sauce. I didn’t even know I LIKED
Rosemary until I cooked these – they
were ‘gourmet quality’ – I was impressed.
I’ve never heard of the company before –
TJ’s Premium Gourmet – they were called
“Rosemary & Garlic Tri-Color Roasted
fingerling potatoes” ( Yellow Laratte, Red
Thumb & Purple Pelisse potatoes). I found
a marked down steak and we had these
potatoes & steak (not a normal meal for
us – but at marked down prices, it was
worth it!).  Also tried Johhsonville
Brats with Wisconsin cheese inside (dinner
Sunday night) – those were marked down
to .99 cents a pkg (5 in pkg) so that was
another great find. (Went back today to
the grocery and they still had the potatoes
– bought 4 more pkgs. but the brats were
now 2 for $5.00)

Well, friends, time to get off here and go
crochet a bit, finish up the laundry and
start chopping veggies for the Taco Salad.

Have a great day!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Well you will have time to work on your squares. I find that and reading sure helped when I had to wait for Jay.

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