Very Casual Days


After all the hustle & bustle of the past weekend, it’s kind of nice to have no ‘real’ plans to do anything for this week. The weather has still been ‘non-typical’ of Michigan for this time of year – got up to around 60 degrees F. – that’s chilly for July! It’s been cool, gloomy and, at times, a bit wet. Managed to finish the edging on the second white/purple Granny Square afghan, finished a chemo cap (I keep those in a bag in my car, for when I’m caught ‘out’ with nothing to keep me busy – say at a doctor’s office or waiting in line at the Secretary of State’s office). Finished a few baby hats – after counting the finished hats, looks like I’ve got quite a ways to go: 7 Premie, 11 Newborn. Still have to finish the current baby blanket then I think I’m ‘DONE’ for the Vets blankets (have done 5 and 5 baby head bands). That number might change as we get closer to September (the beginning of September is the Baby Shower) – we’ll see.

I find it interesting when going on-line to look up an item just what ‘other’ things pop up on a search. I was looking at yarn winders on Ebay and Amazon – I’m considering buying a battery-operated yarn winder (get tired of winding a huge mass of yarn by hand – I like using the ‘center-pull’ balls, they’re much easier than yanking on a yarn skein that rolls all over the floor). When I typed in YARN WINDER I also (several pages into the search) had things like: bobbin winder for sewing machine, braided line, fishing line, kite string winder, and “The Fast and Furios” movie! Interesting – I didn’t know they wound YARN in that movie! (hehehe); always amusing looking things up on line –

With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, there’s lots of great summer recipes popping up on my screen:


Three Bean Salad
(overnight recipe)

2 (15 oz, ea) cans chick peas
2 (15 oz, ea) red kidney beans, rinsed/
2 (15 oz, ea) cans green beans
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, with
2 onion, diced

1 C. cider vinegar
1 C. white sugar
2/3 C. olive oil (or vegetable)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Place all beans in a colander & rinse
well. In bowl place sugar, vinegar, oil,
minced garlic, salt/pepper; stir to mix
well. Place beans in large bowl; add
chopped onion & pimentos with juice;
pour dressing over all & stir well to
coat. Cover & refrigerate several
hours (preferably overnight).

NOTE: A few hours before serving,
stir again really well & return to
fridge to continue marinating.  Will
keep for at least a week in fridge.

Makes a large amount – can easily
divide recipe in half, if needed.


German Potato Salad
(hot or cold)

6-8 medium red potatoes
5-6 bacon slices (do not
use turkey bacon)
1 onion, chopped
3 T. sugar
1 C. water
1/3 C. apple cider vinegar
5 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes whole, without
peeling, until fork-tender. Drain &
allow to cool until you can handle
them. Slice as thin as you can into
a large bowl. In large skillet fry bacon
until crisp; remove to paper-towel
lined plate – reserve bacon grease in
skillet. Crumble bacon on top of
potatoes in bowl. Saute onions in
bacon grease over medium heat until
tender. Remove from heat; stir in
water, vinegar, sugar & flour. Salt/
pepper, to taste* Return to heat &
bring just to a boil while stirring
constantly. Boil 1 minute, while still
stirring. Remove from heat & pour
over potatoes. Carefully stir until
well coated. Serve warm.

*Poster says she started with
1 tsp. salt/1 tsp. pepper – then
added more to her taste

Sweet-tart Lemon Cookies

1 (18.25 oz) box lemon cake mix
1/3 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 lemon, juiced/zested
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cake mix in large bowl ; beat
in eggs & oil. Mix in vanilla, 3 tsp.
lemon juice & 1 tsp. zest; stir until
combined. Using a small ice cream
scoop or a tablespoon, drop
spoonfuls of dough onto baking
sheets, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches
space between each cookie. Bake
10-11 minutes until puffy & brown;
edges begin to pull away from sheet.
Remove from oven & cool at least
15 minutes before serving.
Makes 2-3 dozen


Bacon-wrapped Potatoes
(2 servings – can always
be increased)

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

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Layer onion slices on cut side of
two potato halves; top with other
potato half. Wrap each potato
with two bacon strips; secure
with wooden toothpicks. Place
on lightly greased baking pan.
Bake, uncovered, 1 hour 20
minutes until potato is tender &
bacon is crispy. Discard toothpicks


Taco-filled Green Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
3/4 C. (canned) kidney beans,
1 C. salsa
4 medium green peppers
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet cook beef over medium
heat; drain Stir in taco seasoning, kidney
beans & salsa; bring to boil, then reduce
heat & simmer 5 minutes. Cut peppers in
half lengthwise, remove stems & seeds –
discard. In large pot of boiling water cook
peppers 3-5 minutes; drain & rinse in cold
water. Spoon about 1/2 C. meat mixture
into each pepper half. Place in ungreased
9 X 13 pan. Cover with foil & bake 15-20
minutes until peppers are crisp-tender &
filling is heated through. Top each with
tomato & cheese. Serve with sour cream
on the side. Makes 4 servings.

Jalapeno Spinach Dip

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/squeezed dry
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Half & Half cream
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped, seeded jalapeno
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried dill weed

tortilla chips

In 1 1/2 qt. crockpot, combine first
ten ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
2-3 hours until heated through. Serve
with tortilla chips. Makes 16 (1/4 C.
each) servings.


Zippy Pasta Salad

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni (or any
medium pasta shape)
4 ripe tomatoes, seeded/chopped
1/2 C. sliced scallions
1/2 C. chopped cucumber (peeled/
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 T. wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 (6 oz) can spicy V8 juice

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions to desired doneness;
drain & place in large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients; combine
until thoroughly mixed. Cover &
chill at least 1 hour; mix again
before serving. Serves 6


Bacon/Cheese/Potato Casserole

3 1/2 C. water
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 1/2 C. instant potato flakes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. bacon bits
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. (1/2 pint) heavy cream
1-2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with non-
stick spray. In saucepan, bring water,
butter, salt/pepper to a boil over high
heat. Remove from heat; gently stir in
potato flakes, onion & bacon bits until
well combined. Spoon potato mixture
into prepared dish; sprinkle with cheese
then pour sour cream over top. Sprinkle
top with scallions & bake 35-40 minutes
until heated through & edges are brown.
Serves 6


Spinach/Artichoke-topped Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. garlic salt, divided
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichoke
hearts in water, drained
3 c. loosely packed baby spinach
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. cream cheese
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Spray grates of grill & utensils with
grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium
heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp.
garlic salt & pepper. Grill chicken
10 minutes until no longer pink,
turning after 5 minutes. Let stand
5 minutes. Combine all remaining
ingredients in medium microwave-
safe bowl. Cover & microwave on
High 4 minutes until hot & creamy,
stirring halfway through. Transfer
chicken to serving plates; spoon
spinach mixture evenly over
chicken & serve. Serves 6

NOTE: You can also sprinkle spinach-
artichoke mixture with Parmesan
cheese & serve on grilled French
baguette slices.


Sweet BBQ Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(frozen or thawed)
1 (18 oz) bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken breasts in bottom of
crockpot. In mixing bowl combine
BBQ sauce, brown sugar, vinegar &
Worc. sauce; pour over chicken.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or
Low 4-6 hours. Serves 4


Cucumber Mango Salsa

1 C. diced seedless cucumber
1 C. diced mango
1/4 C. diced red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed &
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt/ black pepper, to taste

Tortilla chips, for dipping

Combine all salsa ingredients
in large bowl; stir & taste to
adjust seasoning. Serve with
tortilla chips.

This salsa is also good with grilled
fish or chicken.

Peach Slab Pie

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
as directed on box
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
9 C. frozen, sliced peaches – thawed &
drained (from 4  10-oz. bags)
1/2 roll refrigerated sugar cookies

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove pie crusts from pouches. On
lightly floured surface, unroll & stack
crusts one on top of the other. Roll
them to 17″ X 12″ rectangle. Fit crust
into ungreased 15 X 10 X 1inch pan,
pressing into corners. Fold extra crust
even with edges of pan; crimp edges.
In large bowl mix brown sugar, cornstarch
& lemon juice; stir in peaches to coat.
Spoon mixture into crust-lined pan. Break
cookie dough into coarse crumbs & sprinkle
evenly over filling. (wrap & refrigerate other
half of cookie dough for another use).
Bake 55-60 minutes until crust is golden
brown & filling is bubbling. Cool on rack
45 minutes; cut & serve. Makes 24 servings


Have you made any plans for the holiday?
Cook-out, party, go to see the fireworks?
Husband decided that this year we’re staying
home – last year we went to Lake Orion (about
1/2 hour away) to visit friends – they live on
an island and have THE BEST view of the
fireworks, over the lake. Lots of fun but,
coming home, it’s bumper-to-bumper for
quite a while, so we’re just hanging out here.

Hope you have a GREAT day!



PS: Gas prices are at $.2.89/9 lately


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: