Thoughts on a Thursday

lady in recliner

It’s been kinda slow around here these past few days – don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! Managed to finish all four lap robes and will take them to the cancer center in September.



Started knitting a gray men’s scarf (for the homeless shelters) – about half done with that. Our weather has definitely been ‘typical’ AUGUST weather – mid 90’s, clear & VERY HOT. Yesterday it was about 94 and ‘sweltering’ – around 4 p.m. we had a quick thunderstorm – that was a surprise but it took the temps. down to 74 which was nice.


Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 C. canola oil
1 1/3 C. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. buttermilk*
zest of 1 lemon
1 C. grated zucchini

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, salt & baking powder in
medium bowl. In large bowl beat eggs.
Add oil & sugar to eggs until well
blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk,
lemon zest to mixture & blend all
together. Fold in zucchini unil well mixed.
Add dry  mixture to wet mixture; blend
together until well combined. Pour into
greased 9″ X 5″ ** loaf pan. Bake 40-45
minutes. While still warm, make glaze
& spoon over bread. Let glaze set up
before cutting. Makes 1 loaf.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
in a 1 Cup measuring cup. Pour
in milk to reach 1/2 C.; stir &
let set 5 minutes – you now have

NOTE: Poster suggested using a
cheese grated to grate zucchini. Make
sure to dry the zucchini after grating
so it is not super watery.

**If using glass 9″ X 5″ loaf pan, bake 15-
25 minutes longer. Can also be made in
smaller loaf pans – divide batter into 4
& place in greased 6 X 2 X 1/2″ pans;
bake 35-40 minutes. Can also be made
into muffins – bake 25-30 minutes; makes
about 15-16 muffins.


Steakhouse Potato Salad

3 lb. small red potatoes (about 12)
cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Place potatoes in 2 qt. microwaveable
dish; add water & cover with lid,
Microwave on High 12-15 minutes or
just until potatoes are tender; drain &
place in large bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour
until completely cooled. Mix dressings
until blended; add to potatoes with
remaining ingredients – mix lightly.
Makes 14 (1/2 each) servings

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Bacon & Grilled Onion Macaroni

3 C. macaroni, uncooked
olive oil
6 green onions, trimmed
4 slices bacon cut into 1/2 ”
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) shredded 3-
cheese with a touch of Philadelphia,

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large saucepan accordg
to pkg. directions, omitting salt. Spray
grill pan with nonstick spray & heat
on medium heat. Add onions, drizzle
with oil & cook 4-5 minutes until lightly
charred, turning after 3 minutes; chop.
Cook & stir bacon in medium saucepan
until crisp; remove from pan using slotted
spoon. Drain on paper towels. Add flour to
drippings remaining in pan; cook & stir
1 minute. Gradually stir in milk & cook
3-5 minutes until thickened, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & add
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese, onions & half
the bacon; mix well. Drain pasta; return
to pan. Add cheese sauce & mix well.
Spoon into a greased 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish & top with remaining shredded
cheese & bacon. Bake 20 minutes until
heated through. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Avocado Deviled Eggs

8 eggs
2 medium avocados, mashed
1 T. cilantro, chopped
2 T. lime juice
2 T. chopped onion
salt/pepper, to taste
paprika (for topping)

Boil 8 eggs & let cool, then peel.
Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise,
place yolks in a bowl & add all
other ingredients (except paprika).
Mix together & spoon into egg
white halves. Sprinkle a little
paprika on top.

Note; You can use the leftover filling
for a dip.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Baked Sticky Honey Chicken

one 3-lb chicken, cut into
10 pieces
kosher salt & fresh cracked black
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 stick butter, melted
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with
foil & spray with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle chicken on both sides with
salt/pepper. Combine honey, mustard,
melted butter & lemon juice in large
bowl. Toss chicken in mixture & place,
skin side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle
with more salt/pepper. Bake until chicken
is fully cooked, about 40 minutes.

NOTE: poster used all chicken legs &
said they needed to be cooked an
additional 15 minutes.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-facebook)

Easy Orange Refrigerator Pie

2/3 C. boiling water
1 (3 oz) pkg. orange Jell-O gelatin
ice cubes
1/2 C. cold water
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 tsp. orange zest, finely chopped
1 ready-to-use (6 oz)graham cracker
pie crust

Add boiling water to Jell-O in large
bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Add enough ice to cold
water to measure 1 Cup; add to
Jello & stir until slightly thickened.
Remove any unmelted ice; whisk
in Cool Whip until blended.
Refrigerate bowl 15-20 minutes
until mixture is thick enough to
mound. Stir in zest & spoon into
crust. Refrigerate 4 hours until firm.
Serves 8


Copycat Crackerbarrel
Country-style Cheesy Hash

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown
potatoes, thawed
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. onion, chopped
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish; place
hash browns in dish & sprinkle with
salt/pepper. In a bowl mix soup, sour
cream, melted butter & onion; spread
over potatoes & stir gently. Sprinkle top
with Cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered,
45-55 minutes until bubbly & golden.

(recipe: The Gooseberry Patch)

Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
6 eggs
1 T. milk
1 C. precooked & crumbled sausage
1 c. shredded cheese (your choice)
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Spread crescent rolls across
bottom of crockpot & press seams
together to form a crust. (Make sure you
press them up the sides just a little –
maybe 1/2 inch). Whisk eggs, milk, salt/
pepper & pour over rolls. Sprinkle top
with cooked sausage & top with cheese.
Cook on High 2-3 hours.



Gas prices are now at an all-time low: $2.59/9!
I went shopping at KMart the other day and got
one of their ‘coupons’ good for 30 cents off per
gallon of gas at Speedway – going to cash that
in later today (almost on empty). I LOVE when
those coupons AND the gas prices work together!

Hope you have a great day!



Will wonders never cease?


Wednesday found me opening a box (see above) filled with 83 knit 7″ X 7″ squares from Grace UMC in Indiana, PA. Let me explain: many years ago I used to have a afghan ministry for children in Ghana, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Durban, South Africa. People from all over would knit/crochet squares and mail them to me; I, in turn, would sew them together to make afghans which would be sent to the above named countries. See my site for details:

It’s been four years since I closed the afghan ministry due to my getting breast cancer – it was quite a surprise to receive afghan squares now! It takes 30 squares to make a blanket/afghan and I don’t have the contact people now who would be able to transport any. This got me to thinking: I ‘could’ sew them into four lap blankets for the chemotherapy patients at my cancer center! So that’s what I’m doing. I have two completed (20 squares each) and two more to go – my next appointment at the center isn’t until September so I have time. I wrote a thank you letter to the lovely ladies at that church explaining what I’m doing with their squares  – like my mother used to say: “Will wonders never cease?”


Rhubarb Custard Bars

2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. cold butter

2 C. sugar
7 T. flour
1 C. heavy whipping cream
3 eggs, beaten
5 C. finely chopped fresh or
frozen rhubarb, thawed/drained

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. heavy whipping cream,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl combine flour & sugar; cut
in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Press into greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.
For filling combine sugar & flour
in bowl; whisk in cream & eggs.
Stir in rhubarb & pour over crust.
Bake 40-45 minutes until custard is
set – cool. Topping: beat cream
cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth;
fold in whipped cream & spread over
top. Cover & chill then cut into bars.
Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 3 dozen


(These are different than the ones I posted

last post)

Bacon/Jalapeno/Cheese Bombs

1 (16 oz) tube biscuit dough (8 large
6 oz. mozzarella cheese (can use
cheese sticks)
16 oz. cooked bacon (ends & pieces),
cooked & crumbled
3 large jalapenos, seeded/stem removed
& minced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Split each of biscuits in half to make 16
flat discs; divide cheese into 16 equal
portions. Add 1 chunk cheese, about
1/2 tsp. bacon & jalepos on dough disc
then wrap ends around to create a ball;
be sure to fully seal. Dip each ball into
any remaining bacon/jalapeno then
place on a baking sheet with extra
bacon/jalapenos facing up. Bake
10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Serve immediately so cheese is melty.
Makes 16 cheese bombs


Crockpot Tex-Mex Chicken


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. Taco seasoning
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 C. frozen corn

Cooked rice – for serving

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped cilantro – garnish

Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken; add
salsa and place in crockpot. Cook, on Low,
3 hours. Add beans, bell peppers – stir to
combine. Cook another 3 hours or until
chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken
& cut into bite-sized pieces; return to crockpot
& stir to coat. Add corn-cook another 15 minutes
or until corn is warmed through. Serve over
cooked rice; top with shredded cheese & cilantro.
Serves 4

(recipe: Richard-slowcooker digest)

2-Ingredient Oreo Bark
(comment: Tastes like
Cookies ‘N Cream)

18 oreo cookies, crumbled
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with parchment
or waxed paper. Melt entire bag
of choc. chips in microwave (or
double boiler). Melt & stir 30
second increments if microwv’d)
After it’s melted, mix in 3/4 of crushed
oreos; pour onto paper & smooth
out with spatula. Sprinkle top with
remaining crushed oreos. Place in
freezer about 20 minutes then break
into pieces.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

3- Ingredient Quick Pasta Salad

1 box pasta noodles (your choice –
like bow tie)
1 bag fresh broccoli slaw  mix
salad dressing of your choice

Cook pasta al dente; drain & rinse
in cold water. Drizzle pasta with
salad dressing, just enough to
moisten then toss. Chop broccoli
slaw into small pieces & toss into
pasta. Drizzle more dressing,
to taste. Cover with plastic wrap &
refrigerate at least 2 hours. Test
pasta after 2 hours of chilling; if
more dressing is needed, add it &
return to fridge until ready to serve.
Serves 4-6


White Bean Dip

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans,
2 cloves garlic
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/3 C. olive oil
1/4 C. (loosely packed) fresh
Italian parsley leaves
freshly ground black pepper

pita bread wedges

Place beans, garlic, lemon juice, oil &
parsley in food processor. Pulse until
mixture is coarsely chopped; season
with salt & pepper, to taste. Place
mixture in small bowl. Makes 6
Serve with pita bread wedges


Our weather is still seasonally great:
84 degrees F. – went grocery shopping
earlier and came home a little earlier
than planned simply because I had ice
cream in the car and didn’t want it to

I’m a little frustrated – I wrote out an
entire blog post this morning with
just about the same content (except
all the recipes got wiped!). Somehow
I accidentally wrote it on the Ghana
site instead of here – when I discovered
it, I erased the one on the Ghana Project,
not thinking that it would wipe everything!
Sigh – live & learn, right?

Hope you’re having a great day – stay cool!



You’re doing WHAT???


Yes, it’s hot outside (77 degrees F.) but with the air conditioning on, it’s ‘pleasant’! Among the many things found in ‘THE’ closet was a large bag of IRONING; mind you – this bag has been in there a good 2-3 YEARS without my feeling the need to explore it. I was just going to add it to the huge pile for Purple Heart but husband said: “You’d better go through it – you don’t want to realize you gave something away you really liked . . . ” Plowing through the bag it contained just what I thought it did: my summer blouses – all in great need of ironing. What to do? Ok – today is a ‘light’ day for me (read that: not a lot on my list of ‘to do’ stuff) so I dragged out the iron, etc. After ironing (and using spray starch – another ‘thing of the past’, right?) 6 blouses and trying a few on – 3 went to Purple Heart – too thin/sleeves too short for an older woman who has ‘upper arm flops’ (that hangy skin) and a few made it to the closet to wear. There are probably around 7 more in the bag – just lost the desire to stand & iron – those are ‘for another day’ (hehehe) and off to ‘the closet’ they went. Closet is STILL really spaciously empty- YAY! Thursday Purple Heart is coming – thought it was ‘cute’ – the lady asked me if I had less than 20 boxes or bags . . . I actually had to THINK about that before answering! (Yes – probably around 8-9 large boxes and maybe 1-2 garbage bags) Yesterday I put more old games on Freecycle and, so far, NO ONE has responded! Last week I had 3-4 requests on each item! Oh well – if they’re not gone by Thursday – more for Purple Heart, right?  Managed to re-organize the wrapping paper box and found a taller, more sturdy box for that stuff (yay). One of the ‘things that got done’ today was a many, MANY years needed thing. We live in a small, old house that has those clear cut glass door handles on all the doors. The inside handle on ‘the closet’ fell off many years ago (handle was on the shelf, just needed someone to re-attach it with a sturdier screw – mind you, these are thick, very short screws with no tip). I tried a few times then went meekly to husband with the request he ‘try his hand’ at it. Took him awhile, but we now have a secure handle again – YAY! Little things getting done, a little at a time.

A little later today we’re making a trip to Best Buy to purchase a new cross-cut paper shredder. The one we have was ‘freecycled’ to me years ago – it only cuts one way and only tolerates 1-2 sheets of paper at a time before it angrily starts clogging up – VERY frustrating. Last evening I dragged one Bag One (1998) of the many bill/receipt bags to shred. Got almost to the bottom of the bag before I decided I’d had enough – we need a new cross-cut one! I was pleasantly surprised to find they aren’t that expensive ($50 and up, depending on what you want/need). I’m going for the 8-sheets at a time (will probably not do that many at a time); checked various places on line to check reviews & prices – the one I’m hoping to buy is around $50.00.


 (I’ve had this before – it’s a ‘to die for’ recipe!)

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) pre-baked pie shell

3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans
1 2/3 C. dark corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Position oven rack to middle;
lightly grease a 9″ pie plate.
Place pecans in food processor;
pulse 6 seconds until roughly
chopped.* In large bowl whisk
eggs, corn syrup, sugar, honey,
butter & vanilla; fold in pecans &
mix until thoroughly coated. Pour
over hot crust. Return pie to oven;
bake 25-30  minutes until filling
has set. Remove & let cool completely
before serving.

*If you don’t have a food processor,
place nuts in a ziplock bag & use a
rolling pin or other heavy object to
roughly chop/break them into smaller


Crockpot Chicken Drumsticks

1 T. brown sugar
1 T. sweet paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 lb. bone-in, skin on chicken drum-
1 1/2 C. barbecue sauce
nonstick cooking spray

Combine sugar, seasonings & spices;
pour into a gallon-sized baggie & place
chicken in bag, a few pieces at a time.
Close bag & shake to coat. Place coated
chicken in crockpot (it’s OK to overlap).
Drizzle 1/2 C. barbecue sauce over top &
toss to coat evenly. Cover & cook on Low
4-6 hours, until chicken is tender. Place
oven rack 10 inches from broiler element;
turn on broiler.
Cover a cookie sheet with foil & spray with
nonstick spray. Arrange chicken on sheet;
brush 1/2 C. barbecue sauce on chicken
& broil 1-5 minutes until chicken is crisp
& slightly charred. Turn legs over & brush
with 1/2 C. barbecue sauce – broil an
additional 1-5 minutes until second side
is crisp & slightly charred. Serves 4-6


Egg, Ham & Spinach Breakfast

6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. Greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 C. diced mushrooms
1 C. (packed) baby spinach
1 C. shredded Pepper-Jack
1 C. cooked, diced ham

Whisk eggs, salt/pepper, milk,
yogurt, thyme, onion & garlic
powders together until smooth.
Stir in mushrooms, spinach,
cheese & ham. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray.
Pour mixture into crockpot,
cover & cook on High 90 minutes –
2 hours. Eggs should be set.
Slice & serve. Serves 6


Surprise Taco Pie

1/4 C. butter
2/3 C. milk
2 T. taco seasoning* (one packet)
2 1/2 C. mashed potato flakes

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 can Ro*Tel Fire-roasted
tomatoes, do not drain
2 T. taco seasoning*
1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
dash hot sauce (optional)
1 C. shredded cheese of your

Shredded lettuce, chopped fresh
tomatoes, sliced olives, jalapeno
slices, sour cream, avocado slices

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium pan, melt butter, then
add milk & 2 T. taco seasoning;
mix well & remove from heat. Add
potato flakes, mixing until well
combined. Press mixture into
bottom & sides of a pie plate.
Bake crust 7-10 minutes. While
crust is baking, cook meat & onions
until cooked; drain. Return to pan,
add tomatoes, taco seasoning & spices.
After mixture starts to bubble, pour
into crust. Top with cheese & bake
15 minutes.
You can either top baked pie with
shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes,
sliced olives, jalapeno slices or
have those items in individual bowls
for guests to top their own.

*One taco seasoning packet contains
4 T. seasoning, so this recipe uses one

(recipe: Courtney Luper – FB)

Raspberry Chocolate Bars

1 C. flour
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. butter (no substitutions)
1/2 C. seedless raspberry jam
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1 C. white chocolate chips
2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 T. shortening

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. In bowl
combine flour & powdered sugar; cut
in butter & mix well. Press mixture
into a 9 inch square baking dish. Bake
15-17 minutes or until lightly brown.
Allow to cool completely. Spread jam
evenly over cooled crust. In a separate
bowl, beat cream cheese & milk together
until smooth; set aside. In small saucepan,
over low heat melt white choc. chips & add
to cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth.
Spread evenly over raspberry mixture.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut chocolate
squares into small pieces & melt with
shortening in small saucepan over low heat,
stirring constantly. Spread over white chocolate
layer. Cool completely before cutting into small
squares.Store in refrigerator.

NOTE: you can change the flavor of the jam to
suite your tastes.


Jalapeno Cheesy Monkey Bread

1 (16.3 oz) tube refrigerated biscuits,
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper-Jack
cheese, divided
1/2 C. pickled jalapeno-nacho slices,
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Dip 1/3 of each biscuit piece in butter;
place in 9 X 5 loaf pan sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with 1/2 C. cheese,
3 T. nacho slices & 1/4 tsp. garlic
powder & oregano – repeat all layers.
Cover with remaining dipped biscuit
pieces, nacho slices & seasonings.
Bake 35 minutes. Top with remaining
cheese; bake 5-10 minutes longer until
cheese is melted. Cool 10 minutes
before removing from pan. Serve warm.
Serves 8

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Creamy Basil & Tomato Pasta

6 tomatoes, chopped (about 3 C.)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. (Kraft) sun dried tomato
viniagrette salad dressing
1 lb. linguine, uncooked
1/2 C. pine nuts, toasted

Combine first 4 ingredients; let
stand 30 minutes. Cook pasta as
directed on pkg, omitting salt;
drain & place in large bowl. Add
tomato mixture & pine nuts; mix
lightly. Serves 8, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Finally finished the last baby blanket;
tonight is Knit/Crochet Night and I’m
thinking I might just knit up a few more
baby head bands for the Detroit Vet’s
Hospital baby shower coming beginning
of September. It’s that or start working
on some men’s scarves for the home-
less shelters; the lady that runs that
knit group posted a request for more
men’s scarves/hats/gloves – mostly in
dark colors. I have some yarn I saved
from one of the yarn swaps specifically
for men’s scarves so it depends on my
knitting ‘folly’ which I start working on

Hope you’re having a nice day –



and THAT’S why I love coupons!


Today was a quick trip to my local drug store: CVS. They have a ‘special’ going on this week where you use your CVS card, grab a tote bag – put whatever items you want in the bag and get 30% off whatever’s in the bag – and the bag is free! I only needed a few things but already had their ‘Extra Bucks’ coupons totalling $8.00, so that’s another $8.00 off my purchases; I also needed to pick up a prescription. Got to the counter and put said items down (total without prescription: $18.41). As she’s scanning said items she says there’s a problem as I already have a $10.00 credit in their program and when all is done, I would need another $2.00 in purchase in order to get the entire thing FREE! I quickly march over & grab a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew (my husband’s favorite – I refuse to pay $2.08 NORMALLY for this but . . . ) – she gets all done and all I had to pay was $5.00 for my prescription – SCORE! Mind you, that doesn’t happen often, but when it does it sure is nice! Let’s just say I had a spring in my step upon leaving. OH! Forgot the ‘other’ thing: when the receipt printed out there was ANOTHER $5.00 Extra Bucks for me for my next purchase! YES!


Banana Split Fluff Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box banana instant
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
(do not drain)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. finely chopped nuts (+
2 T. for topping/garnish)
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,

Stir pudding mix & pineapple until
dissolved & thickened; fold in Cool
Whip. Gently stir in marshmallows,
nuts; choc. chips, bananas & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes
about 8 cups.


Spinach & Cheese Stuffed
Chicken Breast

2 boneless skinless chicken
1/4 of an 8 oz. cream cheese
block (2 oz)
few small slices Pepper Jack cheese
small handfull of fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese
pepper & garlic salt, to taste
olive oil
tomato slices

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place both cream cheese, Parm.
cheese & Pepper Jack in bowl &
microwave 30-40 seconds. Add
spinach, a little garlic salt & pepper.
Stir into softened cheese mixture.
Cut a slit/pocket in one side
(longways) of each breast; stuff
spinach/cheese mixture into each
pocket. Lightly spray a baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle
chicken with Parmesan, garlic salt/
pepper & place in prepared sheet.
Drizzle tops with olive oil. Bake
30 minutes; remove from oven &
place some tomato slices on top &
bake about 10 minutes more.

(recipe:Courtney Luper -Facebook)

Chili-Cheese Taco Dip

1 lb ground beef, cooked
1 can chili – no beans
1 lb. mild Mexican Velveeta
cheese, cubed or shredded

chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes,
chopped green pepper, chopped onion

Place all dip ingredients in crockpot;
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours until
cheese is melted; stir ingredients
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

California Pasta Salad
Large recipe

1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into
1 inch pieces
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) sliced ripe
olives, drained

1 (16 oz) bottle Italian salad
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. sesame seeds
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse in cold water – transfer
to large bowl. Add vegetables & olives.
In large bowl whisk dressing ingredients;
drizzle over spaghetti mixture; toss to
coat. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Serve with slotted spoon. Serves


Greek Spinach w/ White Beans & Feta

1/4 C. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced vertically
into thick slices, about 2 C.
1 T. fresh garlic, chopped
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms, about
2 C.
1 (15 oz) can white cannellini beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. dry red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. fresh baby spinach
juice from half lemon
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese, divided

Remove tomatoes from can, roughly
chop & place back in juice in can.
In large skillet over medium-high heat
add oil & (once hot) add onions, garlic &
mushrooms – saute until vegetables are
almost tender but still have a little crunch.
Add beans, tomatoes & juice, pepper flakes,
oregano, salt/pepper; cook 5 minutes to
combine flavors & reduce liquid. Add
spinach & cook just to wilt, then add
lemon juice & half the feta. Cook just to
heat mixture & remove to a serving bowl.
Top with remaining feta & serve.
Serves 6-8


Corn Chip Chicken Casserole

2 C. diced, cooked chicken
1 C. cooked white rice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. frozen corn
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies,
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 C. corn chips, coarsely broken

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine all
ingredients except corn chips &
1/2 C. cheese; mix well. Spoon into
prepared dish & sprinkle corn chips
over top. Bake 30-35 minutes; sprinkle
top with remaining cheese & bake
5 additional minutes until bubbly &
cheese is melted. Serves 4

Italian Layer Bake

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated
crescent rolls
8 slices deli turkey (about 1/2 lb)
8 slices deli ham (about 1/2 lb)
12 slices deli hard salami (about
1/2 lb.)
8 slices Swiss cheese, (about 1/2 lb)
1 (12 oz) jar roasted peppers,
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll crescent roll dough without
separating triangles. Separate
dough into 2 squares along center
cut line. Place 1 square dough into
a 8 inch square baking pan, using
your fingertips to press dough to
fit bottom of dish. Layer bottom
with half turkey/ham/salami/Swiss
cheese & roasted peppers. Pour half
of beaten eggs over top & repeat
layers. Place remaining square of
dough over peppers & pour remaining
eggs over dough; cover lightly with
foil. Bake 20 minutes, remove foil
& bake an additional 20-22 minutes
until golden brown & heated
through. Let cool 15-20 minutes
then cut & serve. Serves 6


Berry Ugly Pie

3 C. blueberries, divided
1/2 C. Bisquick mix
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Cool Whip – for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Spray a 9″ deep dish pie plate
with nonstick spray. In blender
puree 1 C. blueberries until
smooth. Add Bisquick, sugar,
butter, eggs, evaporated milk
& vanilla; blend until smooth.
Pour into a large bowl, stir
remaining 2 C. blueberries into
mixture; pour into pie plate.
Bake 60-65 minutes until a
knife inserted into center comes
out clean. Allow to cool then slice
& serve. Top slices with Cool Whip,
if desired. Cover & refrigerate any
leftovers. Serves 8


It’s another beautiful sunny day – 

81 degrees F.

I spent a good bit of time last night
‘attempting’ to put the correct cassette
tapes in the correct boxes for the young
family at church; we have about
25 boxed sets of ‘Adventures in Odysea”
programs. I didn’t know there were THAT
many – and I quickly remembered that
my boys were not as ‘exacting’ when
putting back tapes in the correct box –
drove me nuts! I finally, out of utter
desperation, did the best I could and
for the remaining 6 tapes, just shoved
them into empty spots – oh well. Also
with that ‘find’ I discovered another ‘old
friend’ – when my oldest son was very
young he used to love to listen to little
kid songs/stories on cassette – I found his
old cassette case with about 30 various
cassettes – a lot of Christian kids stories,
songs, some story cassettes – a virtual
treasure trove for the right person! Hard
to give them up but I don’t foresee us
getting any more grand kids in the future
(I could be wrong), so it’s time to let them
go, hoping this family will really appreciate

Hoping your day is filled with sunshine
(and not too hot!).



Finally – Getting it all DONE!


The closet – FINALLY!

I made the decision today that I would finish ‘the closet’ – at the top are 3 boxes with old toys (keepers – the die-cast trucks/cars, etc.), on the floor are 5 blankets, 1 extra pillow, 2 sleeping bags, the games grandson & I play, the vacuum cleaner and (out of site of this photo) are a few shelves with more board games – for when grandson gets a little older). You can actually WALK into the closet! YAY! I’ve listed the last of the ‘stuff’ on Freecycle today and am hoping it all goes (more little kid board games, some Play Doh molds – not much.) Today I spoke to a Mom who has a young family and she is willing to take the multitude of “Adventures in Odysea” cassette tapes – it was a Christian radio program from the early 2000’s (guessing here) – my boys used to love listening to the stories at night before going to bed. Great stories, good Christian themes – was so glad to be able to pass them on  instead of just throwing them away or giving them to Purple Heart (where they might just get thrown away). It will take me awhile to get all the cassettes back in their original cases (the boys weren’t very good at putting the right cassette in the right box – sigh). It makes me feel good to know that something that I put value to can still be used by someone else rather than just thrown out. Just because it’s not ‘new’ or current doesn’t make it worthless.

Yesterday was my Sunday School class picnic and, while driving there, we were wondering if there WOULD be a picnic – it got really dark, the clouds were looking like tornado clouds (we get them in Michigan so you know what they look like before they form) then it started POURING rain! The good part was it stopped about a block before we got to our friend’s house and was really nice the rest of the day! It was in the 90’s (hot/humid) but her house is on a private lake so there was a nice breeze. Some of the people went on trips around the lake on her boat (I was too worried I’d get a sun burn, so I declined). Of course there was a multitude of food; I made the two recipes I posted a few days ago (the Chicken/Bacon/Cheese casserole and the Coconut Poke Cake). Funny thing: when I went to Kroger’s to find coconut creme instant pudding mix – there wasn’t any. I had a brief chat with a lady in that aisle and she said: “You’re not going to find that – that’s an older item, they don’t stock that anymore in the stores – I’ve tried to find it.” Great . . . now what? I ended up revising the recipe to be a Banana Creme Poke Cake! Baked a yellow cake, waited until it cooled then poked holes all over the top using the handle of a wooden spoon. Prepared a large box of instant banana creme pudding mix & poured that over the top, pushing the pudding into the holes as best I could. Refrigerated it overnight and the next day sliced fresh bananas over the top of the pudding then covered the entire thing in a thick layer of Cool Whip. Let’s just say it was a huge hit – there was ONE serving left when it came time to go home. The other recipe (Chicken/Bacon/cheese/spaghetti) went “OK” – had half left to bring home (that will be dinner for several nights). It tasted OK, nothing special – but then there were all kinds of other foods to choose from: BBQ’d pulled pork for sandwiches, BBQ’d meatballs, baked beans, 2-3 kinds of veggie/macaroni  salads, and tons of desserts – of course I ended up STUFFED (I was ‘good’ when it came to the food – but not so much when it came to dessert: someone brought a strawberry/Cool Whip dessert and I kinda pigged out . GOOD STUFF! Really simply: she place a layer of graham crackers on bottom of a 9 X 13″ pan. Sliced up fresh strawberries on top, covered with Cool Whip then a layer of sliced strawberries – YUM! (I’m guessing she probably refrigerated it overnight because the graham crackers were not all hard & crunchy – more soft.)

Just finished doing the house bills for the month. Last month oldest son talked me into trying the “one month FREE” on AMAZON PRIME. I was under the assumption that I could watch tons of free movies on my COMPUTER SCREEN – guess not. You can watch them through a game device (but not like I thought). Prime also has lots of good features: really quick delivery/fees – but I really just wanted the movie thing. When I went on my bank account I discovered that I’d been charged $99.00 for PRIME! After searching it out and having a nice ‘on line chat’ with a Amazon representative, they removed the $99.00 fee (that was for the next YEAR) – and I was even 4 days PAST the 1 month free time. I said I’d be willing to pay the ‘over’ days but they said no and will remove the charge altogether – pretty nice, eh? It’s probably a great thing to have, just not for me. I WILL SAY – I’m impressed with their customer service!


Jello Pretzel Pie

2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. granulated sugar
3 T. brown sugar

1 C. granulated sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. whipping cream
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. strawberry Jell-0
1 (16 oz) container fresh, sliced
1 1/2 C. boiling water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients & press
into a 9 X 13″ baking pan. Bake 10
minutes; cool to room temp.

Cream together cream cheese,
vanilla, whipping cream & 1 C. sugar.
Fold in Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. Dissolve Jello in boiling
water; stir in strawberries & chill
until partially set (about 1 hour).
Spread mixture over cream cheese layer.
Chill until set, about 2 hours then serve.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Bacon/Jalapeno Cheese Bombs

1 (16 oz) tube biscuit dough (8 biscuits)
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
16 oz. cooked bacon, crumbled
3 large jalapenos, seeded/stem removed,

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Split each biscuit in half to make 16 flat
discs. Divide cheese into 16 equal parts.
One biscuit at a time: place 1 chunk of
cheese & about 1/2  tsp. bacon & jalapeno
on dough;; wrap ends around to create a
ball; make sure to fully seal. Once all balls
are formed, dip each ball in any remaining
bacon/jalapeno. Place on baking sheet with
extra bacon/jalapeno pieces facing up.
Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve
immediately so cheese is melty. Makes 16


(I make something similar to this but I also

add 1 lb. browned hamburger to the mix)

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

6 C. chopped zucchini (approx
2 lb)
2 C. cooked rice
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 (4 oz) can green chilies, drained &
chopped (optional)
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat; saute zucchini & onions until
tender, 10-12 minutes; season with
salt/pepper; drain off excess liquid.
In large bowl combine cooked rice
with green chiles (if using), sour
cream, Parmesan, 1/2 C. mozzarella,
garlic powder – stir together. Transfer
mixture to greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish; top with zucchinis & onion.
Sprinkle Cheddar cheese & remaining
mozzarella over top. Bake 25-30
minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Place under broiler 3-5
minutes until golden brown.
Serves 8


 Dill Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. sour cream (or plain Greek
1 cucumber, peeled/sliced
1 medium to large tomato, sliced
then cut into quarters
2 slices onion, sliced then cut
into quarters
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 – 1 tsp. dill
salt, to taste

Add sour cream/yogurt  & lemon
juice; mix well. Add onion, cucumber
& tomato to mixture & stir until
veggies are coated with dressing.
Serve room temp. or refrigerate.

(recipe: Nancy Miller-Facebook)

Mozzarella/Basil Stuffed Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into
8 slices
12 oz. roasted red peppers (sliced into
1″ pieces – about 2 whole red peppers
if you roast your own)
1 bunch basil, whole leaves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. Italian seasoning
pepper/salt, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease or spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into
long side of breast, stopping about 1/4″
from opposite side. Lay chicken breast in
prepared dish, opened up. Sprinkle insides
with 1/2 Italian seasoning, salt/pepper. Stack
roasted red pepper, basil & 1 slice mozzarella
on bottom side of opened breast. Fold the
top flap over, tucking in cheese/basil/red
pepper as necessary. Sprinkle top with
remaining Ital. seasoning. Repeat process
for rest of chicken breasts/ingredients.
Bake 30-40 minutes (until no longer
pink). Remove from oven; turn oven to
BROIL. Top chicken with remaining
mozzarella slices & sprinkle with
Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheeses
are browned & bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Serves 4


Banana Pudding Poke Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (prepare
accordg to box directions)
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant
banana pudding mix
4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
20 crushed vanilla wafers

sliced fresh bananas*

Prepare cake in 9 X 13″ pan; allow
to cool 2-3 minutes. Using end of
wooden spoon, poke holes all over
cake making sure you go to the bottom
of the pan – you want the holes big
enough for the pudding to get down
there. In medium bowl whisk pudding
with 4 C. milk until all lumps are gone.
Pour pudding over top of cake & use
back of spoon to push pudding into
all holes. Refrigerate 2 hours; spread
Cool Whip on top & * sprinkle crushed
vanilla wafers on top of Cool Whip.

*If desired, slice some bananas & place
on top before placing wafer crumbs.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta

1 (1 lb) box penne pasta,
cooked accordg to pkg./
drained & kept hot
2 T. butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. flour
3/4 C. chicken or beef broth
3/4 C. milk
2 tsp. parsley flakes
salt/pepper, to taste
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large pot & add
garlic; cook over medium heat 1
minute. Add flour & cook 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Stir in broth &
milk; cook, stirring frequently, until
sauce boils & thickens. Add parsley,
salt/pepper & cheese, stir until
cheese is melted. Toss hot pasta
with sauce & serve immediately.

NOTE: you can also add mushrooms or
spinach when tossing pasta with sauce.


Crockpot Shredded Chicken

3 lb. skinless boneless chicken
breasts or thighs
1 oz pkt. Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 – 1 C. chicken broth

Place chicken in crockpot &
sprinkle with dry dressing mix. Pour
broth over chicken until almost but
not fully covered. Cover & cook on
Low 6-8 hours.

Great on sandwiches or tossed in


That’s a wrap for this day – hope you’re
enjoying some NICE summer weather.
Take a little time for yourself – rest/read
a book/take a walk, etc. – YOU’RE WORTH



PS: Gas prices have really dropped!
Today they were $2.63/9 – that’s a
HUGE drop from a week ago! YAY!
(Of course they ‘would’ drop when
I still have 3/4’s of a tank of gas –
oh well . . . )

Long Day – Time to rest


Thought this was a funny sign! (found on Facebook)

Today was the ‘watch grandson for a few hours’ day – turns out his Dad ended up working a LOT more than a ‘few’ hours! They got here around 9:30 – he took a nap until around 11 a.m. and then we sorted through some of the games & ‘stuff’. He decided he wanted to play Scrabble (of all things!) with me! He just turned 9 and I must say he did an EXCELLENT job – (I won by 12 points – but he is a contender for a great Scrabble player when he gets older!). Middle son stopped over and just threw out the comment: “We all learned – NO ONE challenges Mom to Scrabble – she’s the reigning Champ!” (It’s true but I didn’t want my grandson to know that!) We had fun going through more toys, each with the question put to him: “If you want it, just tell me – other wise I can find someone who will want it.” His Dad finally came around 4 p.m. and was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of ‘stuff’ going to HIS house! “Mom, you can just leave this stuff here for him to play with!” NO! It’s going home with YOU! How do you think we got all this stuff? Your Grandmother did the same thing to us! (different ‘stuff’, same idea – send it out the door!). Got rid of a few more things today; pretty soon I’ll need to buckle down and re-package some of it, to go back in the closet but THIS time it will be able to fit with ease! YAY!

Was going to go grocery shopping today before we learned it was going to be a long day – guess tomorrow will be the trips to various stores. Grandson asked me which grocery store I shopped at and I rattled off a list of about 3 grocery stores and a few drug stores – he looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I said: “YES! DRUG STORES! You can get some really good deals on some grocery items just by following their flyers!” (Guess ya never really get out of the ‘homeschool/teaching’ mode, eh?) Just as an example: this week Walgreen’s has my instant coffee on sale for $2.99 a jar (normally around $7-8 at a grocery store); garbage bags – also have a $1.00 off coupon for them – double SCORE! Computer printer paper $3.00 a 400-sheet pkg – limit 4 (that’s REALLY cheap – and I go through a LOT with my special needs group’s newsletters AND printing up knitting/crochet patterns. Yep, I’m a FRUGAL shopper!


Peachy Cream Cheese Cobbler
(fresh peaches recipe)

1 stick (1/2 C.) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 quarts fresh peaches,
washed/peeled & sliced
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into
small pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & pour into 9 X 13″
baking dish. In small bowl mix
egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt; pour directly
over butter in baking dish-
DO NOT stir. Add peaches,
arranging in single layer as much
as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese
pieces on top. Bake 45 minutes
until top is golden brown & edges
are bubbly. (crust rises up &
around the fruit).

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)
Cool Cucumber Salad

2 C. thinly sliced cucumbers (4 small
or 2 large)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. thinly sliced onion
1/4 C. vinegar
1/4 C. water
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. black pepper (coarse ground)
1 pinch red pepper, ground

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl; refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

2-Ingredient Pork Chops

5-6 thick bone-in pork chops
2-3 envelopes dry Italian salad dressing
mix (Good Seasons)
(do not add salt – mix has enough)

Rinse chops; pat dry. Place dry mix
in shallow bowl; lightly coat chops
with mix on both sides. Heat skillet
to medium heat; spray with nonstick
spray or lightly coat with olive oil.
Grill chops 6 minutes per side. Cook
until internal temp. reaches 145-150
degrees F.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 T. cream cheese
1 T. green onion, chopped
2 strips bacon, partially cooked

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pound out chicken breast to about
1/4″ thick. Mix together cream cheese
& green onions; spread over 1 side
of chicken breast. Roll up to cover
cream cheese. Wrap partially cooked
bacon around breast & secure with
wooden toothpick. Place on baking
sheet & bake 30 minutes. Place
under broiler about 5 minutes to
crisp bacon (keep an eye on it so
bacon doesn’t burn!).
Serves 1-2

(recipe: cocinandoconalena.blogspot

Cheese Grits & Sausage Casserole

1 lb. ground pork sausage
4 1/4 C. water
2 tsp. salt
1 C. quick-cooking grits
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray. Cook sausage in medium
skillet over medium-high heat until no
longer pink; drain grease. Heat water in
medium saucepan to boiling. Stir in salt &
whisk in grits; stir briskly to prevent
clumping. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
10-12 minutes until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add sausage (reserve 1/4 C.
for topping), Cheddar cheese, cream
cheese & pepper into grits. Stir well &
pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved
sausage on top & bake 25-30 minutes.


Cheesy Bacon-Chive Biscuits

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
3 T. minced chives
1/2 C. cooked, chopped bacon
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter
3/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In small bowl toss together cheese,
chives & bacon; set aside. In separate
bowl whisk flour, baking powder & salt.
Cut in butter using pastry blender or
two forks. Add milk & stir just enough
to bring mixture together. (should be a
soft dough) Gently fold in cheese mixture.
Turn dough onto floured surface & knead
one minute. Pat or roll dough out to 1/2 –
3/4 inch thickness; cut into rounds (can
use a biscuit cutter or mouth of a glass cup)

For crisp biscuits: Place far apart on ungreased
baking sheet
For fluffier biscuits: place close together on
ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes until brown on top.


Zucchini Pasta

1 lb. rotini pasta
1 C. cream cheese
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 medium zucchini, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt/ fresh ground black pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
until al dente. Drain & reserve 1 C.
pasta water. Heat olive oil in large pan
or skillet over medium-high heat; saute
garlic 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add
zucchini & cook 2 minutes, stirring
frequently. Reduce heat to medium; stir
in cream cheese & cook until smooth &
creamy. Season with salt/pepper then add
drained pasta to pan, stirring to totally
coat pasta. Pour in 1/2 C. reserved pasta
water & stir to combine.
NOTE: Add more or less pasta water until
desired consistency is reached. Stir in
grated Parmesan cheese & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes)

Cinnamon Sugar Shortbread Bars

2 C. butter, room temp
1 C. powdered sugar
3 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. cornstarch
1/2 C. sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In bowl of stand mixer beat
together butter & powdered sugar
until light & fluffy. Mix in flour &
cornstarch until well combined. Pat
into an ungreased 10 X 15 rimmed
baking sheet. Prick all over with a
fork. In small bowl combine sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over dough.
Bake 40 minutes until edges are lightly
golden & cookie is set. Cut into bars
while still warm.


Just finished watching a really good movie-
“The Theory of Everything” (2015) about
Stephen Hawking. It was interesting, sad/
deeply moving, etc. He has outlived ALL
that the doctors told him when first
diagnosed – they told him he had Lou
Gehrig’s disease and gave him 2 years
to live – he’s now 73 and was diagnosed
in his 20’s! Excellent actors – I would
highly recommend it.

Hope you’re having a great day –
it’s been clear & warm today 71;
showers 70% likely with thunder-
storms, tomorrow (sure puts a
damper on my shopping – but I
really NEED to go, so guess I’ll just
carry my ‘bumpershoot’ (umbrella,
for the Americans! hehehe)



Goin’ Out the Door! YES!


Things are moving – going out the door – YES! Got rid of the older 22″ color TV (didn’t really think that would go) to a very nice lady who manages a small hotel near here. She says she tries to pick up older TV’s (because they’re heavy, for one) because some of the people who stay at her place walk off with the TVS! She mentioned they take sheets, towels, TVs and other things which got me to thinking: “What size sheets do you use?” (double bed) – YES! Also gave her 5 sets of sheets in good condition (was trying to figure out how I would list them on Freecycle – each set is different and I don’t think Freecycle has a ‘insert photo’ tab. She said they do work for Child Protective Services and get in families with young children – another YES! I had some younger boys toys – those went with her, too. I asked for her business card and said if I run across anything else I think they might be able to use, I’ll call her; we both came away happy for the meeting!

The childrens games are going, as well. There’s a lady coming a 2 p.m. to pick up about 6 – still have more, just kind of waiting a bit so that the same people don’t get them all. Moving the sheets, games & TV made a BIG dent in the ‘stuff’; finally attacked the top shelf & last few boxes left in the closet and was mildly amused: one big box had nothing but my husband’s VERY old baseball uniforms (from back before we were married – circa 1976)! Another one was his Mother’s stuff – her purse, some business things – think (for now) I’m just going to put them in a smaller box & shove them back up in the top of the closet – don’t feel like dealing with that right now (she’s been gone a good 15 years). The GOOD THING is: I’m making a dent! So happy to be able to give this stuff away – what doesn’t go will go to Purple Heart (they call me monthly; it will be good to say “Yes, you can come for a pick up!”).


Strawberry Brownies

1 box strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 C. canola oil
white chocolate chips (optional)

1 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9″ square baking dish
with parchment paper, leaving
a 2″ overhang on both sides. In
large bowl or mixer, beat eggs &
canola oil into cake mix until no
lumps remain. (If using chocolate
chips, fold them in now) Pour
batter into baking dish; smooth
top. Bake 15-17 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out mostly clean. Remove
brownies from oven & let cool 5
minutes before removing parch-
ment paper from baking dish &
transferring to a wire rack. In a
medium bowl whisk milk & vanilla
into powdered sugar until smooth.
For a thicker glaze, use less milk or
for a thinner glaze, more milk.
Drizzle glaze over slightly cooled
brownies & let stand before
cutting into squares. Makes 1
dozen squares.


Summer Party Salad

1/3 C. olive oil
4 T. lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (15 oz) can chick peas,
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 1/2 C. cherry tomatoes, cut
into quarters
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 c. finely chopped English
1/2 C. thinly sliced scallion

In medium bowl whisk olive oil,
lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt/
pepper & set aside. In large bowl
combine remaining ingredients;
pour dressing over salad & toss to
combine. Refrigerate 1 hour until
ready to serve. Serves 12


Beyond Easy Swiss Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5-6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 box chicken stuffing mix
1 stick butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray; place chicken in
bottom of crockpot. Cover with
Swiss cheese. In a bowl, combine
soup & milk; pour evenly over
chicken & cheese. In larger bowl
mix melted butter into dry stuffing
mix until well combined; spread
over chicken/cheese. Cover & cook
on Low 6 hours or High 3 hours.
Serves 4

*If you have a crockpot where the
crock is removable, place in oven
under broiler a few minutes or
until stuffing on top is a bit crispy.

(recipe: the homeheart.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 medium zucchini
(2-3 C. grated)
7 T. cocoa powder
2 T. butter, softened
3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. applesauce
1 T. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze:
3/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 T. butter
1 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grate zucchini & place on paper
towels to absorb extra moisture.
Combine sugar, eggs, applesauce,
zucchini, butter & vanilla in large
bowl. Combine chocolate chips with
a few T. flour to keep them from
sinking to bottom of pan while cake
is baking. Stir in flour, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder &
chocolate chips; stir until all
ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Pour batter into well greased Bundt
pan. Bake 60-70 minutes until a
wooden toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Let cake cool 10
minutes before inverting onto a plate.
Combine butter, chocolate chips &
corn syrup in microwaveable dish.
(poster used Pyrex glass measuring cup)
Heat in microwave 30 second intervals
at 50% power, stirring in between, until
melted. Pour over cake & serve.


Cannoli Dip

1 (32 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. vanilla

mini chocolate chips
chopped pistachios
fresh orange zest
graham crackers, vanilla
wafers, fresh fruit – for dipping

Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; top with mini choc. chips,
chopped pistachios and orange
zest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with dippers of your choice


Chicken & Spinach Manicotti

1 pkg. manicotti tubes
9 oz. fresh spinach
1 T. olive oil
1/2 rotisserie chicken (meat
removed from bones & shredded)
1 egg
18 oz. ricotta cheese
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/4 C. Italian cheese (shredded
Italian blend – or mozzarella, divided)
alfredo sauce (recipe follows)
fresh chopped parsley – garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
al dente; drain. In small saucepan cook
spinach in 1 T. olive oil until wilted; remove
to cutting board & roughly chop. In large bowl
mix ricotta cheese, shredded chicken, spinach,
Parmesan cheese & egg; spoon mixture into
a piping bag (or large ziplock bag with corner
cut off – hole needs to be large enough for
filling to pass through). Ladle alfredo sauce
over bottom of 9 X 13″ pan. Squeeze filling
into manicotti & arrange in pan, side by side.
Ladle additional sauce over top; sprinkle
with remaining 1/2 C. cheese. Bake 20
minutes; cool slightly & sprinkle top with
chopped parsley.

Alfredo Sauce:

8 T. butter
4 T. cream cheese
1 1/2 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. garlic powder
fresh ground black pepper
2 C. freshly grated Parmesan

In saucepan over medium heat melt
butter, cream cheese, Half & Half &
cream. Whisk in garlic powder &
Parmesan; season with small amount
of black pepper. Simmer, stirring often,
until sauce has thickened to a creamy


Shrimp/Tortellini Pasta Toss

1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
1 C. frozen peas
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 lb. uncooked shrimp (31-40 per lb)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook tortellini accordg to pkg directions,
add peas during last 5 minutes of
cooking. In large nonstick skillet, heat
2 T. oil over medium-high heat. Add
shrimp; cook & stir 2 minutes. Add
garlic; cook 1-2 minutes longer until
shrimp turn pink. Drain tortellini
mixture; add to skillet. Stir in salt,
thyme, pepper & remaining oil ; toss
to coat. Makes 4 servings.


Creamy Cranberry Salad
Overnight recipe

3 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
(thawed) chopped
1 (20 oz) can unsweetened
crushed pineapple, drained
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 medium apple, chopped
2/3 C. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. chopped walnuts

In large bowl mix first 6 ingredients
until blended. Refrigerate, covered,
overnight. In large bowl beat cream
until stiff peaks form. Just before
serving, fold cream & walnuts into
cranberry mixture. Serves 16 (1/2
cup each)


The weather today is very nice – sunny & 76;
last night I got to thinking about grandson
visiting tomorrow morning. There are still lots
of blackberries on the vines so I went out
(liberally doused with bug spray) and picked
another 2 quarts! The berries are smaller and
there might be about one more picking before
they’re all dried up but I know my grandson
LOVES eating them, so I thought I’d have some
on hand for him as a treat.

Tonight is my special needs group’s Birthday/
Music night which usually finds me SUPER-
BUSY! We start off by singing their favorite
Christian/Bible songs (they have about 14
they like) – I play piano for that. Then we
do prayer requests; next it’s time for the
‘Birthday People’ to sit at a table and we
all sing Happy Birthday to them. They each
get a large cupcake & glass of diet pop –
then the rest of the room has theirs; then
it’s time to say good bye & clean up the
room & go home. It’s a very fast-paced
hour & 15 minutes and I love it.

Hope you’re having a good day today-
remember to rest when you need to,
drink lots of liquids in this hot weather
(something I keep having to remind
myself of) and do something FUN!





Call Me CRAZY – Again!

Yesterday and today found me deeply entrenched in a NEW project: attempt to clean out the bedroom closet (this is in the room middle son will be taking). Youngest son asked me yesterday: “Has that closet EVER been cleaned out?” Good question – husband answered: “It was clean when we moved in!” (in 1979!) We have a small house and all our 3 closets are filled to the brim with STUFF. This particular closet was filled with old toys & games! I know, about a year ago, I took some of the ‘stuff’ out and donated it to Purple Heart – this time I’m going to TRY to weed out what we won’t use and keep what we will. I will include photos for you; let’s just say there were games I don’t EVER remember having, some doubles, some I remember buying and the boys didn’t like at all, etc. There was also about 4 sets of double bed sheets (from when we had a double bed!) and tons of plastic trucks (most of which were cheap plastic and got broken being shoved back in the closet – those went out with the garbage today!)


THE closet still with some ‘stuff’ that needs going through.


The bed covered in sheet sets & ‘stuff’


The corner filled with ‘stuff’ to go to Purple Heart (and there’s more)


This is SOME of the games – just some! Pile on chair are ‘going’ to our local freecycle (I hope someone wants them!) Pile on right are keepers – so far.

There was a large LEGO container filled with tiny plastic army men and their jeeps/trucks/tanks, etc. (Freecycle), quite a few metal trucks & airplanes – those are being stored – it’s amazing the stuff we accumulate throughout our lives! I’ve told you before – we’re PackRats! It REALLY shows when you start plowing through closets! (not sure if I’m going to have the energy to attack the other two closets or not – we’ll see . . . that’s in the FAR future, if I do!) I texted my oldest son to ask if he wants his old roller blades – he texted back: “Send picture” – he doesn’t even remember them! He’s the only son who took up that sport. There are some games I’m anxious to try on my grandson-I’m pretty sure he will be thrilled with most of them. There’s Clue, Jr., Clue, Sorry, Don’t Break the Ice, Jumanji, Forbidden Bridge, Parcheesi (don’t remember how to play that), Snakes & Ladders (older kids version of Shoots ‘n Ladders – had 2 copies of Shoots, etc.) – should be fun. Oldest son asked if I could watch grandson in the morning Thursday so we’ll see!

Had ‘fun’ yesterday attempting to get back ‘ON’ our local Freecycle; I hadn’t been using it for a good year and then they decided to change sites. I did about everything I could think of to get back on – it kept ‘looping’ me back to the log in information. Finally, out of desperation, I wrote Freecycle.Org and asked them for help – they said it sounded like I had an old ‘cookie’ in my files (from when I was a member years ago) and then explained how to clear it. In the meantime a friend who’s a moderator for that group sent me an email ‘invite’ and now we’re ‘good to go’ again. Yay! Am hoping to get rid of most of this ‘stuff’ through them. There’s also an older model 22″RCA color TV that I purchased for middle son one of the times he moved (no remote – he lost it . . . and he never actually USED the tv! they will need a universal remote). Hoping someone will want it – I know it works – just need it out of the room for the space when son moves back. Yep, guess you could call our house: JUNK IS US!  (there’s also my collection of recipe books – that will be hard to give up but I NEVER use them! Ugh!)


Here’s a dish I’m going to try for this Saturday (Sunday School Class picnic)

Spaghetti/Chicken/Bacon dish

12 oz spaghetti, cooked/drained
3 C. cooked/chopped chicken
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 C. chicken stock
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir chicken, spaghetti,
soup, chicken stock, some bacon,
1 C. cheese & salt/pepper. Pour into
greased 9 X 13″ pan. Bake, covered,
20 minutes. Uncover & top with 1/2 C.
cheese, rest of bacon & bake 10
minutes more.


Also going to try this one for the picnic:

Coconut Cream Poke Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box white cake mix
3 large eggs
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 small (3.4 oz) box coconut cream
instant pudding mix
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut*
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
Mix together cake mix, eggs, milk, oil,
instant pudding & vanilla until smooth;
pour into prepared pan. Bake 32-35
minutes until toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Mix cream of
coconut & sweetened cond. milk in
medium bowl. Poke holes in hot cake
with round end of a wooden spoon &
slowly pour this mixture over the cake,
trying to fill the holes. Let cake cool
completely. When cake is fully cooled,
top with Cool Whip & sprinkle with
desired amount of sweetened coconut
flakes. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before
serving. (it’s even better the next day-
if you can wait that long!)

*this is found in the mixed drinks/alcohol aisle


Chicken Peppers Taquitos

3 C. shredded, cooked chicken
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. hot sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (4.5 oz, ea) cans green chiles
16 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. vegetable oil, for frying
salsa – for dipping

Mix cooked, shredded chicken
with cheeses, hot sauce & chiles.
Working with one flour tortilla
at a time, place a few tablespoons
of chicken mixture in center of
tortilla & roll up tightly. Add oil
to large skillet over medium heat.
Once oil is hot, add about four
taquitos to pan, seam sides
down. Cook 2-3 minutes per side
flipping once. Once cooked transfer
to a paper-towel lined plate. You can
also place them in a pan & keep them
warm in a 250 degrees F. oven while
frying the rest. Makes 16


Baked Squash Casserole

4 C. yellow squash, peeled/
cut up into chunks
1 medium purple onion, cut up
35 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. butter, melted
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly steam squash & onion in a
steamer basket about 5 minutes;
drain; set aside. In medium bowl
combine cracker crumbs & cheese.
In large bowl add drained squash &
onion; gently fold in half of cracker/
cheese mixture. In small bowl whisk
together egg & milk; add to squash
mixture. Add half of melted butter
to squash mixture; season with
salt/pepper. Spread squash mixture
in 9 X 13″ baking pan; top with
remaining crackers & pour remaining
butter over dish. Bake 25 minutes
until lightly browned.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes & Bacon

1 (32 oz) bag frozen Southern-style diced
hash browns
8-10 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 onion, chopped medium
8 oz. sour cream
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

(chopped chives – optional)

In large bowl mix soup, hash browns,
melted butter, onion, sour cream, bacon,
cajun seasoning, garlic powder, pepper &
1 C. shredded cheese. Place ingredients
in crockpot, top with other 1 C. cheese.
Cook on Low 3-4 hours. (You can also
place some of the cooked,crumbled bacon
on top before serving.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

Strawberry Bread

2 C. fresh strawberries
3 1/8 C. flour
2 C. granulated sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 9 X 5″ loaf
pans. Slice strawberries & place in
medium bowl; sprinkle lightly with
sugar & set aside. Combine flour, sugar,
cinnamon, salt & baking soda in large
bowl; mix well. Blend oil & eggs into
strawberries; add strawberry mixture
to flour mixture, blending until dry
ingredients are just moistened. Stir in
pecans; divide batter into both pans.
Bake 45-50 minutes until toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes.
Turn loaves out of pans & allow to cool
before slicing. Makes 2 loaves

That Good Salad
(poster said people always
ask for this salad by this name!)

3/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 bunches (1 lb ea) romaine,
2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 C. slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. Caesar salad croutons

In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine
oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt/pepper.
Cover & shake well; chill.
In large serving bowl toss romaine,
tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds,
Parmesan cheese & bacon. Shake
dressing; pour over salad & toss.
Add croutons & serve immediately.
Serves 14


Charleston Cheese Dip

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed (like Ritz)
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Serving: corn chips, crackers or bagel

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix mayonnaise, cream
cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack
cheese, green onions & cayenne pepper.
Transfer to shallow baking dish (like 9″
pie plate). Top mixture with cracker crumbs &
bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Remove pan from oven; top with bacon. Serve
immediately with suggested servings.
Makes 10 servings.


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 nuts

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 large bowl beat sugar,
sour cream, butter & eggs until
creamy. Blend in bananas & vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, salt & blend
1 minute; stir in nuts. 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 together
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 when bars are
still warm.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)


Hope you have a great day – right
now it’s raining & chilly (70 degrees F).
Better get off here – hearing thunder.



Getting Things Done!


Beautiful Summer day – mid 70’s & sunny – the kind of day to relax . . . or not. Middle son came over today after church and we had a ‘chat’. I had suggested he move back home either Monday or Tuesday, but I was leaning more to Tuesday to give me a little extra time to get his room straightened/arranged. While we were chatting he told me he already had paid the rent for this month and there really wasn’t a rush – we could do it more towards the end of the month . . . WHEW! I had envisioned frantically attempting to move/store/re-place things in his room to make room for the large amounts of clothes, mostly (do you remember the 5 garbage bags of clothes I washed for him just before he moved back in in December?). I guess I just have to ‘put it out there’ – we are a family of PACK RATS. We have things stuffed in closets and any other open space – things from when the boys were little: toys, games, books, audio tapes of stores, etc. In his room, presently, is a rather large bookcase STUFFED with kids books & audio tapes – I just never felt the need to either get rid of them or pack them away! My ‘plan’ for the next few weeks is to dig into the closet in his room and remove/move up stairs 4-5 sleeping bags, some old toys, extra pillows, etc. Hopefully that will give me the room I need to move about 7 board games (the very same ones my grandson LOVES to play when here). I’ve said it before: we have a small house – that leaves NO ROOM for anything extra. Oh well – I’ve got my work cut out for me – thank heavens it doesn’t have to be done in ONE DAY!

Dinner tonight was roasted turkey breast and stuffing (good deal on the turkey) – not exactly sure why but I’m sort of on a ‘cleaning’ thing today. Got the laundry done, cleaned the fridge, rearranged both the upstairs and downstairs freezers (making a list on the fridge of what I have, meat-wise, in both freezers). I’m mentioned that middle son can REALLY EAT! I’m attempting to use up the meats in the freezers so that I can purchase more. With just my husband & I eating we don’t go through the food like we used to when I was cooking for five. Makes me feel good that the fridge & freezers are ‘in order’ now – easier to see what’s available if you’re hungry.

Worked on some more baby hats today in the car back & forth to church. I like making them – they take very little yarn and knit up quite quickly. Haven’t touched the last baby afghan since last Tuesday (knowing I have until the end of August to finish it  – a bit of a prevaricator, I’d say). Speaking of putting things off, I haven’t felt the urge to go pick any more wild blackberries lately. I can see from my kitchen window that they are in full ripeness right now; I suppose I ‘could’ pick & freeze them but I’m just not inspired to go get scratched & bit by mosquitoes anymore. I learned last week that Grandson will be spending Fridays at a day camp through the first part of August, so there’s no one who really desires to eat them – guess the birds & critters will be happy with what’s out there, eh?


Chili Relleno Casserole

2 (7 oz, ea) cans whole green chile
peppers, drained
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. Longhorn or Cheddar cheese,
2 eggs, beaten
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 T. flour
1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Lay half of chiles
evenly in bottom of dish; sprinkle
with half of both cheeses & cover
with remaining chiles. In a bowl
mix eggs, milk & flour; pour over
top of chiles. Bake 25 minutes;
remove from oven & pour tomato
sauce evenly over top. Bake 15
minutes more. Sprinkle top with
remaining cheeses & serve.

Note; Poster added cooked ground
turkey: layer of chiles, then turkey,
then cheeses, etc

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Circles


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. minced jalapenos (or 1/2 can,
1 tube regular refrigerated crescent

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. In small bowl combine cream
cheese & jalapenos; mix well. Open
cresc. rolls – do not separate. Open
roll of rolls & separate long-ways at
perforation so you have two long
sheets of crescent rolls with 4 rolls
each. Pinch remaining perforations
together on each of the 2 sheets to
make two continuous crescent roll
sheets. Divide cream cheese mixture
& spread evenly over both sheets.
Roll up both rolls from short end.
Cut each roll into 12-16 pieces. Place
each piece on prepared cookie sheet
& bake 11-13 minutes.


Thomas’ BBQ Potato Salad
(from Thomas Pit BBQ in
Madison County)

1 (32 oz) pkg. cubed frozen hash
4 eggs, hard boiled/chopped
1/2 C. diced onion
1/2 c. chopped sweet pickles
1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 c. sweet pickle juice
1 heaping tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Place hash browns in large pot & cover
with water. Bring to boil over medium-
high heat. Once boiling, cook 10 minutes
until tender. Drain & place in large bowl.
Mash potatoes with potato masher but
leave lumpy. Place chopped sweet
pickles & chopped onion in a blender;
pulse a few times until very fine, almost
like a relish. Place mayonnaise, pickle
juice, mustard, minced pickles/onions,
salt/pepper in bowl with potatoes. Stir
until well mixed. Stir in chopped eggs.
Cover & refrigerate several hours until

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1/2 C. sugar
1 large egg
1/4 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. blueberries

Cheesecake Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. blueberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in egg &
vanilla. Add sour cream & milk;
mix well. Add flour, baking
powder & salt; mix just until
incorporated. Spread evenly into
greased 9 X 9″ cake pan*. Spread
1 1/2 C. blueberries on top.

Prepare Cheesecake Layer:
Beat cream cheese with sugar until
incorporated; add vanilla & egg;
spread on top of cake.

Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before serving.

To serve:
Sprinkle powdered sugar & blueberries
on top. Serves 10

*Poster uses a springform pan

Crockpot Green Beans

1 (14.5 oz) can green beans, drained
2 (14 oz, ea) cans chicken broth, season
with garlic salt
1 onion, cut into wedges (peel outside
skin off)
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces &

(save bacon drippings
for something else)
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients (except bacon
drippings) in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 8 hours or High 5 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter/
Banana Mousse

(serves 1)

1 T. peanut butter
2 T. whipped cream
1 banana

Toppings: ice cream caramel sauce/
chocolate sauce (optional)

In bowl place peanut butter & whipped
cream; mix. Cut banana into slices. In
another bowl place half the banana,
half peanut butter mousse; repeat with
rest of banana & mousse. Chill 1 hour.
Top with toppings, if desired. Serves 1.

Swiss Fondue Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled,
thinly sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
or mushroom soup
1/3 C. apple juice
1 C. dry herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly on both
sides with salt/pepper; place in pan.Top
evenly with apple slices & place a slice
of cheese over each chicken breast. In
medium bowl combine soup & apple
juice; pour over chicken, then sprinkle
with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is no
longer pink in center. Serves 4


Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

10 medium potatoes (about 3 lb), peeled
& thinly sliced
3 C. cubed fully cooked ham
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a greased 6 qt. crockpot, layer half
of potatoes, ham, onions & cheese.
Repeat layers; pour soup over top &
sprinkle with paprika & pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 8-10 hours or until
potatoes are tender.

(recipe: crockpotmoms-Facebook)

Hope you’re enjoying these lovely
Summer days – it won’t be too long
before we’re all saying: “I MISS those
warm days!”



Kinda Quiet Saturday


oh, yeah – that’s me!

It’s a warm one out there today-upper 70’s and HOT! Did a quick trip out earlier to return a library book & grab a few I had on hold. Since it was such a quick trip, I decided to drop in to the dollar store. GREAT place to find nice, not expensive greeting cards – recently had several friends needing Get Well cards, so had to stock up. Love getting a good deal – these were 2/$1.00.

Middle son stopped over to chat about when he’s moving back; that’s fine EXCEPT he has the idea that a lot of STUFF in his room needs to be moved OUT (“Oh, pack it up and put it in the basement or upstairs”) – UGH! I’m not exactly ready to begin packing up boxes of books, moving a book case, etc. Ah, the fun . . .


Zesty Lime/Shrimp/Avocado Salad

1/4 C. chopped red onion
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. jumbo cooked/peeled shrimp,
chopped (weight after peeled)
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/diced fine
1 T. choppe cilantro

Combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil,
salt/pepper in small bowl. Mix & let stand
at least 5 minutes to mellow flavor of onion.
In large bowl combine chopped shrimp,
avocado, tomato & jalapeno. Combine all
ingredients together, add cilantro & gently
toss. Adjust salt/pepper to taste. Serves 4

Zucchini Cobbler (dessert)

8 C. peeled/seeded/chopped
zucchini (about 3 lb)
2/3 C. lemon juice
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg


4 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large saucepan over medium-low
heat cook & stir zucchini & lemon
juice 15-20 minutes until zucchini is
tender. Add sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg;
cook 1 minute longer; remove from heat
& set aside.
Combine flour & sugar in bowl; cut in
butter until  mixture resembles coarse
crumbs. Stir 1/2 C. into zucchini mixture.
Press half of remaining crust mixutre into
a greased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan. Spread
zucchini over top; crumble remaining
crust mixture over zucchini; sprinkle with
cinnamon. Bake 35-40 minutes until golden.
Serves 16-20

Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake

4-6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
6-8 slices Swiss cheese (or mozzarella)
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pat chicken dry & place in greased
9 X 13″ baking dish; top with sliced
cheese. In bowl mix mayonnaise, sour
cream, 1/2 C. Parm. cheese, salt/pepper &
garlic powder; spread over cheese & sprinkle
with remaining Parm. cheese. Bake 1 hour.


Crockpot Strawberry Shortcake

2 1/4 C. Bisquick mix
3/4 C. sugar, divided
2/3 C. milk
3 T. applesauce
1 quart strawberries, hulled/sliced

Optional toppings/garnishes:
Cool Whip, thawed

Mix Bisquick, 1/2 C. sugar, milk &
applesauce until it forms a dough.
Spray insides of crockpot with non-
stick spray. Gently press dough into
bottom of crockpot; cover & cook
on High 1 hour 15 minutes (until
a wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean.) Gently
toss strawberries with 1/4 C. sugar
in separate bowl. Turn shortcake
out onto a plate. Cut into single
serving pieces & spoon berries
over top – top with Cool Whip,
if desired. Serves 8


Corn & Bean Salad
Perfect salad for summer
outings – no mayonnaise

1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 (13 oz) jar corn relish
1/2 C. canned kidney beans,
1/2 C. quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped sweet orange
pepper (or red/green)
1/4 c. sliced pimiento-stuffed
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley

In large bowl combine all
ingredients; cover & refrigerate
until serving. Serves 12 (1/2 C. ea)

Watermelon/Cucumber Mint Salad

8 C. cubed, seeded watermelon
2 English cucumbers, halved
lengthwise & sliced
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. minced fresh mint
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In large bowl combine watermelon,
cucumbers, green onions & mint.
In small bowl whisk remaining
ingredients & pour over salad; toss
to coat. Serve immediately or
refrigerate, covered, up to 2 hours
before serving. Serves 16 (3/4 C.


Iva’s Peach Cobbler

6-8 ripe peaches, peeled/sliced
2 1/2 T. cornstarch
3/4 – 1 C. sugar

1 C. flour
2 egg yolks
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sugar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine peaches, cornstarch &
sugar; place in greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Combine flour, egg
yolks, butter, baking powder &
sugar in a bowl. Gently fold in
egg whites then spread over
peaches. Bake 45 minutes until
fruit is bubbling around edges
& top is golden. Serves 12


Simple Swiss Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 pkg. Herb Stuffing mix
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken breasts on bottom;
cover with slices of Swiss cheese. In small
bowl combine soup & milk; pour over
chicken & cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix
on top & drizzle melted butter over top.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours or High
2-3 hours. Serves 6


Olive Cheese Bites

1/2 C. flour
1  1/4 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
3 tsp. milk
3 T. melted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
35-40 pitted green olives

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients (except olives).
Mold a rounded teaspoon of dough
around each olive; place on cookie
sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes. Serve


Roasted Asparagus Risotto

10 asparagus spears, ends cut off
1 T. olive oil
salt/ground black pepper
6 C. vegetable broth
5 T. unsalted butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. Arborio rice (risotto rice)
1/2 C. dry white wine (or water)
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place asparagus spears on baking sheet
& toss with olive oil. Season with salt/
pepper & roast 15-20 minutes, tossing
once, until very tender; set aside.

To make risotto:
Heat vegetable broth in medium pan;
simmer on low while making risotto.
In large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter &
saute onion & garlic on medium-low
5 minutes. Add rice & stir until all of the
grains are coated with butter. Add wine &
cook about 2 minutes. Add 1 C. broth to
rice & stir with a wooden spoon until
broth is absorbed. Continue to add broth,
1 C. at a time; keep stirring. When mixture
starts to dry out, add more broth. Continue
until rice is cooked; about 30 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, stir in Parm. cheese.
Cut asparagus into bite-sized pieces & stir
into risotto. Season with salt & pepper;
serve warm. Serves 6



Gas prices just dropped another ten-cents
per gallon ($2.79/9) – of course, they would –
I just filled up! Sigh . . .

Hope you have a great day filled with
things you are happy doing!