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 . . . )


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The poke cake sounds great! I want to try it. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. I don’t understand I just type on my computer and up it comes. But then I do have a membership.

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