Patience & Gullibility


Today is turning out to be one of “THOSE” days – went to the bank to clear up a ‘mess’ (will speak on that in a minute) and found that they were short on people, especially the Bank Managers – sigh. I sat down in a chair with three other people and waited; apparently the bank people thought I was with that ‘group’ and just ignored me. I just kept saying (in my head) remember-Patience is a Virtue! Finally that ‘group’ got taken care of, leaving 3 chairs vacant. In comes a little old lady who starts telling me all about her checks and the bank’s mistake (sigh). Wait, wait . . . Manager becomes FREE and I get up – little old lady does an End Run and cuts me off! (sigh – add in more “Patience is a Virture”). Her problem was pretty easy to solve so I think it will only take a few minutes . . . totally forgot that MOST older people are LONELY and just want to TALK! A good 20 minutes later she FINALLY leaves, bringing me to the subject of Gullibility. I know we all have ‘weak’ moments – those times when you do something that (at any other time) you wouldn’t. Insert me about 3 weeks ago: sitting in front of computer looking at Facebook and happen upon a blurb for a weight loss product: Only $4.99 for a TRIAL SIZED Bottle! (Garcinia Cambogia) – GULLIBLE me hits OK! and charges it to my credit card ($4.99) . . . you can see where this is going, right? They sent me the bottle in a plain white box – no paperwork, no return address. (I don’ know exactly why, but that flagged a ‘somethings not quite right here’ thought and I never opened the bottle). Time went by and yesterday I was going over my checking account just to compare my spending to what the bank has and THERE IT WAS: $89.74 charged to my card from that company! YIKES! Of course, I freaked. Today went to the bank to clear it up; fortunately I know the bank manager (for many years) so she knew I wasn’t making this up. Turns out there was another lady a few weeks before me who did the same exact thing! She said that when they went to the web site (IN VERY TINY PRINT) was a ‘disclaimer’ something about you are agreeing to a 3 month membership – cost $89.74 per month! CRAZY! It took the manager a good 25 minutes on the phone trying to get that company (which kept hanging up – it was all recordings and they said they would forward you on IF YOU HIT #1 WHICH WOULD CHARGE YOU ANOTHER $1.99! CRAZY! She finally called my banks Fraud department and they were able to dispute this charge (I get my $$ back, but had to cancel that card – fine with me.)NOTE HERE: the company that did this is listed as PURITYGARCINIA)   YAY, all’s well . . . you’d think!

Episode #2: I leave the bank to go grocery shopping at Meijers. I should mention I have another ’emergency’ credit card which I hardly EVER use. I told the bank manager I’d be using that one until my new regular debit card comes in the mail. Get up to the check out (another LOOOONG wait – remember: “Patience is a Virtue!”). Get all the groceries bagged and use the card – cashier says: “I’m sorry, but that card has been denied.” WHAT? I try it again, this time hitting Debit instead of credit – same thing! I tell her “Believe me – there’s  money in the account!” Finally I end up writing a check for said amount. Cashier tells me: “This happens ALL THE TIME with customers of that bank.” LOVELY – right? You guessed it – another trip back to the bank to see just what’s going on. Get same manager (YAY) and she calls it in – the problem is that since I very rarely USE this card, the bank’s alert system guessed that my card had been stolen so it blocked the transaction. She had to call in to the main branch and get it opened up again. Lesson to me: USE the darned card every so often so this doesn’t happen again!

Two lessons here: #1: ‘PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE” (don’t lose your cool) and #2: Try to listen to that little voice in your head that says: “Don’t DO THIS!” when you’re about to do something that you KNOW might be questionable (like charging your credit card on a site you know nothing about!) I KNOW BETTER! SOoooo grateful the bank was able to clear this up for me. WHEW!  After that I stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee and a pumpkin donut – I really felt I’d earned them this time!


Breakfast “Lasagna”

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked
8 eggs, scrambled
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 sausage links, cooked/cut in half
6 strips bacon, cooked
3 C. spinach

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange 3 noodles
lengthwise in prepared dish. Layer
half of eggs, half sausage, one C.
each cheese, half of spinach; repeat
layer. Top with layer of noodles &
bacon; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses (make sure to cover
noodles completely with cheese).
Bake 15-20 minutes; serve warm.

(recipe: “The Food in My Beard” =

Caramel Apple Crisp Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
12 T. butter, melted*
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 C. peeled/cored, finely chopped
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 1/4 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin pan with
nonstick BUTTER spray. Melt butter
in small pan. In medium bowl mix
graham cracker crumbs, powdered
sugar & butter using a spoon. Slowly
add butter, mix well & evenly
distribute to 24 mini muffin cups;
press mixture on bottom & up
sides to make a ‘crumb cup’. Bake
5 minutes; let cool completely.

Change oven temp. to 375 degrees F.
Mix apples, sugar, brown sugar, flour,
cinnamon & nutmeg together & pour
into an oven-safe baking dish. Bake
15 minutes until apples are slightly

Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees F.

Scoop a teaspoon of apple
mix & place on top of graham cracker
crust cups (keeping crust in muffin
pan). Sprinkle any extra graham cracker
crumbs on top of apples; bake 5 minutes.
Let cool completely. Use a knife to loosen
from pan; place on serving plate & drizzle
caramel topping on each. Makes 24
mini cups.

*You may want to start by using 1/2 C.
butter; melt butter & add slowly to crumbs,
a little at a time making sure it’s not too wet.
You can always add more. You want a soft
dough that sticks together slightly when you
try to form a ball, not a wet dough.


Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip

3/4 C. (Kraft) 3-cheese shredded
cheese, divided
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled,
2 green onions, finely chopped,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. cheese/bacon/
onions for garnish.
Mix remaining ingredients until
blended & spread onto 9 inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 15 minutes until hot
& bubbly around edges. Garnish
with reserved ingredients.
Makes 12 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Skinny Pumpkin Bars

2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. applesauce
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, mashed
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 1/3 C. flour

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon,
baking soda, baking powder & salt. In large
bowl cream butter & sugars together. Add
applesauce & mix well. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating with each addition. Add
egg whites & pumpkin, mix well. Alternate
dry ingredients with water & wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips & pour into cookie
sheet. Bake 27-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cut
into bars.


One-Pan Lemon Chicken Bake

4 chicken breasts, boneless
2 T. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3 T. garlic chopped
zest & juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. olive oil
1/3 C. white wine
lemon pepper seasoning

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour olive oil into small saucepan over
medium/low heat. Add garlic & cook 1
minute. Add white wine, zest of 2 lemons,
lemon juice, oregano, thyme, & salt. Pour
mixture into a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pat chicken
dry & place in pan. Brush tops of chicken with
olive oil & sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper
seasoning. Cut lemon into wedges & tuck among
the chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes until chicken is
no longer pink. If chicken isn’t browned enough,
place under broiler for 2 minutes. Serves 4


Crockpot Party Beans

1 1/2 C. ketchup
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8. tsp. pepper
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans- drained/
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern beans,
1 (14 oz) can lima beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can black eyed peas, drained/

Combine all ingredients (except beans &
peas) in crockpot; mix well. Add beans &
peas, mix well. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours. Remove bay leaves before
serving. Serves 12-14


4-Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 C. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cake mix, oil & eggs. Pour
sugar in small bowl. Take 1 T. dough,
form a ball & roll in sugar. Place
balls on ungreased cookie sheet
1 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes. Let
cool completely. Makes about
30 cookies.

Note: can use any flavor cake mix;
another poster said they put 1/4 C.
sugar in a ziplock sandwich bag &
added 2 drops food coloring to sugar,
then placed balls in sugar & shook.



Our weather, today, has taken a turn to
more “Fall-like” – it’s 65 degrees F., gray
& lightly raining.

Gas prices are staying at $2.41/9 – I’m
still at a little under half tank, so really
hoping they’ll drop soon – we’ll see . . .

Tonight is Knit Night with my group and,
after the day I’ve had so far, I really think
I DESERVE a night out with the girls! Finished
the Diagonal Box stitch baby blanket (for
Crisis Prenancy Center) and am about 1/4th
done with the other knit blanket. Bought
2 big skeins of baby/sport weight yarns at
Meijers today: one white and one white/
blue twist – we’ll see what comes of those.


Diagonal Box Stitch (crochet)

Hope YOU’RE having a good day – I intend
to just keep plugging away and reciting my
little ‘mantra’ PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE in my
head – keeps me from getting upset/angry/
etc. Life’s too short to let all those little
irritations get to ya, right?



Yep, Fall is coming –


at least that’s what I’m told!

Today our weather is a balmy 71 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze – can’t beat that! To top that off, I don’t have choir practice tonight so I’m going to make homemade pizza – yay! I buy my large pizza crusts (frozen) at Gordon Food Service – in the past they sold them 2 to a pkg, now they’re 3 to a pkg. – which is actually one more than I need BUT – I’ve learned not to re-freeze them, they get crumbly or soggy so looks like tonight we’re having three pizzas!

I noticed gas prices are creeping up a little – $2.41/9 today; I still have a half tank so I’m going to play ‘gas roulette’ and hope they go down before I need more – we’ll see.


Once again I need to state that these are NOT MY recipes – you can see the recipe references at the bottom  of each recipe


Crockpot Pumpkin-Apple-
Cinnamon Cake

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 eggs
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling

chopped pecans, to taste
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip

Mix butter, brown sugar together
using elec. mixer on Low; once
well blended, add pumpkin &
eggs – beat until smooth. In another
bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking
soda, cinnamon & salt – add dry
ingredients to wet, mixing slowly-
beat approx. 2 minutes. Spray
crockpot with nonstick spray. Spread
pie filling in bottom of crockpot,
evenly. Pour cake batter on top &
sprinkle with nuts. Cover & cook on
High 1 1/2 hours (cake is done when
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out dry).
Serve with Cool Whip.
Serves 8


Oven Baked Pork Chops

3 large or 4 small pork chops (bone-in
or boneless)
3 C. water
2 1/2 T. salt
1/3 C. oil
3 large potatoes
2 small or 1 large eggplant*
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, sliced into rounds
4 garlic cloves, sliced
salt/pepper, paprika, dry thyme
1/2 C. beer (or water)

Place chops in a shallow bowl; boil 1
C. water- add 2 1/2 T. salt & stir to
dissolve. Add 2 remaining C. cold
water & pour on chops to cover.
Refrigerate 30 minutes

Cut eggplant into rounds, sprinkle with
salt & leave in a colander 30 minutes.
Wash & squeeze out liquid.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place oil in 11 1/2 X 7″ baking dish &
place in oven until oil is hot. Remove
chops from brine, pat dry with paper
towels, sprinkle with salt/pepper, &
paprika. Lay chops in hot baking dish.
Sear chops until both sides are golden,
about 3 minutes per side. Peel & cut
potatoes & other veggies into large
chunks & place in a large bowl with
eggplant, onion & garlic. Season with
salt/pepper, paprika & dry thyme. Place
vegs in baking dish; add beer & stir. Cover
with foil & bake 1 hour. Uncover & check
meat & potatoes for doneness. Place chops
on top of veggies & return
to oven. Bake,
uncovered, 10 more minutes. Serves 3-4

NOTE: You can substitute eggplant for red/
green bell peppers or sweet potatoes, broccoli,


Pepperoni Pizza Dip

4 C. (16 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 C. (16 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (6 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) cans sliced ripe olives,
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. pepperoni slices, quartered
1 T. dried minced onion

assorted crackers, for dipping

In 3 qt. crockpot combine cheeses,
mayo, mushrooms, olives, pepperoni &
onion. Cover & cook on Low 1 1/2 hours;
stir. Cover & cook 1 hour longer until
heated through. Makes 5 Cups.


Old Fashioned Tuna Macaroni Salad

1/2 lb. elbow or shell macaroni
1 C. mayonnaise (more or less)
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and
Old bay, to taste
1-2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in oil,
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed

Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & place in serving
bowl. Immediately add mayonnaise
& toss to coat well. Mix in egg,
celery & seasonings. Add tuna &
peas; gently fold in, add extra
mayonnaise if needed for desired
moisture. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

*can substitute cooked, chopped

NOTE: Optional add-ins:
chopped sweet onion/purple or
green onion
chopped sweet or dill pickles or
relish, chow-chow
black or green pitted olives,sliced
sweet bell pepper, chopped
pimentos chopped
chopped or shredded carrots
shredded cheese
1-2 T. creamy salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
juice from 1-2 wedges fresh lemon
splash of pickle juice or cider vinegar
chopped fresh parsley/dill


Zucchini Oven Omelet

2 C. chopped zucchini
1/4 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C. oil
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. light cream
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 10 inch ovenproof skillet, saute
zucchini & pepper in oil until tender,
about 3 minutes. Combine eggs, Parm
cheese, cream, butter, salt/pepper &
pour over vegetable mixture. Cook &
stir gently 3 minutes until eggs are set
on bottom. Top with cheese & bake
5-7 minutes until eggs are set & cheese
is melted. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

German Chocolate Brownies

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely
3/4 C. unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 C. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. flour

1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
4 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted/cooled
1/2 C. flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium saucepan, cook chocolate &
butter over Low heat until chocolate has
melted, 6-8 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes
then whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla & salt.
Gradually add in flour, stir until just
combined. Line a 8 or 9″ square baking
dish with parchment paper or line with
foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour in
batter & smooth with spatula. Bake
30-35 minutes; set on wire rack to cool.
In large saucepan combine evap. milk,
sugar, egg yolk & butter; cook over Low
heat, stirring constantly, until thickened,
about 5-7  minutes. Remove from heat &
add vanilla, pecans & coconut. Spread
topping over brownies while still warm.
To serve, gently remove brownies from
pan & cut as desired.
Serves 10-12


I’m still working on both baby afghans – the
crocheted (Diagonal Box Stitch) one is almost
finished (it’s a little smaller than I wanted,
but I have trouble with that pattern
determining just when to start decreasing!).
Found another knit pattern I want to try
as soon as one of these blankets is done
(Yep – Obsessive/Compulsive – that’s me!)

The guys in my house are slowly getting
better; I noticed, yesterday, there’s not
so much coughing going on (YAY!) Even
son who wouldn’t go to the doctor is
doing better! (I’m still feeling just fine,
thank you!)

Hope this turns out to be a GREAT
day for you;



Up to my eyeballs in PAPERWORK!


Last night was my special group weekly meeting and Music/Birthday Night. For some reason 3 of the ‘birthday’ people were NOT on my September list! Today is my ‘fix all the paperwork/add or subtract information, etc.’ day – yipee. Our group is also having a pretty big event Oct. 2nd – a few times a year the church we meet at wants to throw a party/event for us, which is really nice. They pay for everything and, in most cases, make all the arrangements, order food, schedule a DJ, etc. This year the task of making a flyer got handed to me AND the responsibility of making sure ALL of our students get a flyer (no big deal, right?). Last night we had 14 people (and, or group homes) that didn’t attend so today I’m rooting through paperwork trying to MAKE SURE no one gets left out of receiving a flyer, as the event is NEXT FRIDAY! (For some reason my ‘partner in crime’ (our leader) and I both thought we had about 2 more weeks – NOPE! Oh well – it will all get done and probably be a great evening. The theme chosen by the lady in charge is “Western” – I’m told we’re having sloppy joes and whatever goes with them. She’s hired a DJ so our kids can dance (that’s one thing they really LOVE!). I’m also told there will be other activities – beats me! My only job is to ‘show up’ – help if I feel like it, but basically I’m just there in an ‘administrative’ position – works for me!


Maraschino Cherry Bundt Cake

1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 C. oil
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tsp. almond extract
1 C. marschino cherries, coarsely

2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2-3 T. milk
5-7 marschino cherries, halved

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Generously grease a Bundt pan with butter
& dust with flour; place Bundt pan on a
rimmed baking sheet.
Combine all cake ingredients excpet
cherries; beat on Low 30 seconds then
increase speed to medium-high & beat
3 minutes until well combined; fold in
chopped cherries. * Pour batter into
prepared pan & tap gently to level batter.
Bake 45-55 minutes until lightly golden &
bounces back when touched. Remove
baking sheet from oven & transfer cake to
wire rack to cool 10-15 minutes. Cake will
relax & pull away from sides of pan; invert
cake pan & turn cake out onto a wire rack
to cool completely.

Combine melted butter, 2 T. milk & powdered
sugar. Add almond extract & beat until silky.
Lift some glaze with a spoon & tilt it to spill
some back into bowl. Glaze should drop in
thick ribbons but not ‘plop’ out of spoon. If
too thick, add a small amount of remaining
milk until you reach desired consistency.
Place waxed paper on counter beneath
wire rack; drop large spoonfuls of glaze onto
top of cake, working your way around until
all glaze is gone & dripping down sides of
cake. Decorate top of cake with cherry
halves. Allow glaze to set before cutting;
discard waxed paper.

*To keep cake from streaking pink, fold
cherries in gently and only a few stirs,
don’t overwork batter.


Crockpot Salisbury Steak

1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 cans golden mushroom soup

Mix beef, eggs & onion mix  in bowl.
Slather 1 can soup on bottom of crockpot.
Form meat into 4-6 patties & place on
top of soup. Slather remaining soup on
top of patties. Cook, covered, on High
2-3 hours or until meat is cooked through.
Serves 4-6


Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

4 bananas
1 C. pumpkin puree
1/3 C. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Blend together, pour into a
dish & freeze.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken Divan

1 large head broccoli, chopped
4-5 C. cooked chicken breast,
1 can cream of chicken soup.
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. butter crackers (like Ritz),
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
In large saucepan bring 4 C. salted
water to full rolling boil; add chopped
broccoli. Cook 3 minutes then transfer
to a colander to drain. In medium bowl
stir soup, mayo, lemon juice & thyme
until well combined. Add diced chicken &
broccoli; stir to coat. Season mixture with
salt/pepper & transfer to baking dish.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top then
cracker crumbs. Drizzle melted butter on
top & bake 25-30 minutes until top is
golden & casserole is heated through.
Serves 8


Cheesy Taco Cups

1 1/2 tsp. chili oil (found in Asian aisle)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 T. taco seasoning mix
3/4 C. canned black beans, drained/rinsed
16 wonton wrappers (found in produce
5 T. plus 1 tsp. salsa con queso dip
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. Mexican cheese blend (shredded)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray 8 muffin tin ‘cups’ with
nonstick spray. Heat chili oil in saute pan
or large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add ground beef & taco seasoning.
Brown beef, add black beans & continue
cooking, stirring occasionally a few
minutes, until warm. Push a wonton
wrapper into each muffin tin cups. Spoon
a teaspoonful of queso dip in each &
spread across bottom. Spoon some of
meat/bean mixture into each cup (using
about half the total mixture) then split
the salsa among the cups. Sprinkle about
half shredded Mexican cheese evenly
over top & press another wonton wrapper
on top. Repeat layering with remaining
ingredients. Bake 18-20 minutes until
golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before
removing from muffin tin. Makes 8


Creamed Peas & Potatoes

1 lb. small new potatoes
1 1/2 C. fresh shelled peas
1 T. minced onion
1 T. butter or margarine
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 C. milk

Peel potatoes & cut larger
potatoes in half (can leave skins
on, if desired); place in a saucepan,
cover with water & bring to boil. Boil
10 minutes, do not overcook. When
potatoes are done, drain off water.
Boil peas & drain. In a saucepan, add
onion & butter – cook until onion is
tender but hasn’t browned yet. Add
flour, salt & pepper; stir until mixed
then add in milk & stir into flour
mixture until all ingredients are well
blended. Continue stirring & cook until
mixture has thickened & begins to bubble;
cook 1 more minute. Add potatoes & peas
to cream sauce; stir until well distributed
& thoroughly heated. Season to taste &
serve hot.

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Fall Dip

1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
mix (dry- don’t prepare pudding)
1 small can pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Dippers: cut fresh fruit, or graham
crackers, or vanilla wafers

Mix all ingredients together. Serve
with graham crackers, cut fresh fruit
or vanila wafers.

(recipe: Facebook)

Zucchini-Onion Pie

3 eggs
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. canola oil
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 C. sliced zucchini
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 small onion, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk first 7 ingredients.
Stir in zucchini, Bisquick & onion; pour
into greased 9″ deep-dish pie plate.
Bake 25-35 minutes until lightly
browned. Makes 6 servings.


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter/
Banana Mousse

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.


Tuesday Night was MOVIE night
for my knit group & the ladies chose
“Italian” for the food theme; if you
remember I brought “Stuffed Zucchini”
as an appetizer. Surprise/Surprise! The
ladies loved it AND my family loved
it! The batch I made ended up with
a good 2 1/2 C. extra ‘filling’ which
I just mixed with the remaining
spaghetti sauce and some of the
cheese topping – we ate the last of
it today on scrambled eggs – REALLY
TASTY! Here’s my recipe:

Pam’s Stuffed Zucchini

5 medium zucchini
3/4 C. chopped onion
1 T. chopped garlic
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 lb. mild pork sausage*
1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (32 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1+ C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash zucchini. Cut zucchini, lengthwise
in half. Scoop out centers into a bowl,
leaving 1/8″ shell. Spray a large baking
pan with nonstick spray. (my pan is larger than
9 X 13″). Place zucchini shells in pan. Heat a large
skillet on stove to medium-high heat & cook
sausage. Drain most of grease, add chopped
onions, garlic, tomatoes and the scooped
out zucchini. Cook & stir 3-5 minutes until
onions are crisp-tender. Drain liquid &
spoon mixture into zucchini shells. Top
shells with spaghetti sauce (I had about
1/4 jar leftover). Cover pan with foil &
bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with
cheeses & bake an additional 5-10
minutes until cheese is melted. Remove
from oven & drain any liquids in pan.
Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into
smaller pieces – or leave whole and serve
as a main course.

*you can also substitute Italian sausage
for the pork sausage

Serves, as an appetizer, about 10 people;
as a main course (2 halves each) serves
5 people.

When I made this recipe I ended up with
about 2 1/2 C. of extra filling so I mixed
the rest of the spaghetti sauce in and more
shredded mozz. & Parm. cheese. This mixture
could be poured over cooked pasta, with
scrambled eggs or put on a flour tortilla.

Our weather continues to be AMAZING!
It’s 82 degrees & sunny right now at
almost 5 p.m.! I’ll take that ANY DAY!

In our house right now I’m the only one
(out of three others) who is healthy!
Husband went to doctor today and is
now on antibiotics for upper respiratory
infection (Bronchitis), Youngest also went
and his is the tale-end of some allergy
thing. Middle son did NOT go to doctor
(he thinks they’re evil and refuses – sigh)
and he’s hacking/chocking all over the
place. So far (knock on wood) I’m doing
just fine – whew!

Guess I’d better close this Epic novel
and go retrieve the stuff from the dryer,

Enjoy your day!



Absolutely GORGEOUS Day!


75 degrees F. outside, sunny with slight breeze – just PERFECT weather! The Black-eyed Susans are in bloom in my yard – sure are sunny/happy flowers! Just got back from a quick trip to the library, fruit stand, Krogers and Tim Hortons (treated husband & I to a pumpkin donut – besides our ‘usual’ coffees) – YUM! Tonight is the Knit/MOVIE night and I had to stop for the fixin’s for the Stuffed Zucchini. I ended up going on line and perusing about 5 different recipes to combine some & come up with own twist on it. The original recipe I had called for cooked/crumbled bacon but the rest called for Pork Sausage – I switched – pork sausage is MUCH MORE flavorful, in my opinion. We’ll see how it all turns out tonight – so far there’s only 6 ladies & me – small but should be fun!

Got a bit bored with all the crochet so I grabbed more baby/variegated yarn and started another knit afghan using one of my old favorite patterns: Cluster Rib. Really easy pattern – you work Rows 1 – 4 once, then just repeat Rows 3 & 4 over & over – simple! I will eventually finish both afghans – sometimes I just need the variety of two projects at once – Yep, it’s the old “Type A” personality thing – gotta always DO MORE! (I’m crazy – I know it!)


This is the crocheted X-pattern baby afghan (& hat) It does tend to ‘cup’ on the squares – putting it on the wooden picnic table helps it lay flat)


Hot Apple Pie DIP

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 apple, chopped/divided
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, sugar & spice
in medium bowl until blended;
stir in half the apples. Spread
mixture on bottom of shallow
baking dish; top with remaining
apples, Cheddar cheese & nuts.
Bake 10-12 minutes until heated
through. Makes 16 (2 T. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Squash

1 (2 lb) butternut squash
1 C. water
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1 T. chopped chives
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
6 Ritz (type) crackers, crushed,
about 1/4 C.
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut squash lengthwise in half; scoop
out seeds. Add water to 9 X 13 pan;
place squash cut sides down, in pan &
cover. Bake 40 minutes until squash
is tender when pierced with a knife.
Cool 10 minutes then transfer squash
to cutting board; drain liquid from pan.
Scoop out squash into medium bowl
leaving 1/4 ” thick shell. Add cheese,
sour cream, chives & paprika to
squash flesh & mix well. Spoon into
shells. Mix cracker crumbs with butter
& sprinkle over squash; return to
baking dish & bake 22-24 minutes
until heated through.
Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken
breasts (1 lb)
1/2 C. sliced onions
2 red cooking apples, sliced
1/2 C. maple pancake syrup
1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken in large ovenproof
skillet sprayed with nonstick spray
on medium-high heat 3 minutes on
each side (or until evenly browned).
Remove from heat & top with onions,
surround with apples. Mix syrup &
dressing – pour over chicken. Bake
20-25 minutes until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Drizzle with syrup
mixture from bottom of skillet.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Pineapple/Coconut/Zucchini Bread

2 C. grated zucchini (packed – DRAINED)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (7 oz) pkg. flaked coconut
3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. vegetable oil
3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick spray.
Combine eggs, oil & sugar, beat well.
Add zucchini then mix all dry ingredients
together & fold into zucchini mixture.
Mix in vanilla; blend in pineapple, coconut
& nuts & pour into prepared pans.
Bake 1 hour – check using toothpick inserted
into center of loaves – poster said her loaves
took 75 minutes).
Cool 10 minutes before remove from pans
& moving to wire racks to cool.
Makes 2 loaves

(recipe: Pat J.)

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

4 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 C. water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter
2 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated carrots (or diced)
1 C. diced celery

Combine broth, water, carrots,
chicken, celery & rice (along with
seasoning packet) in large crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6 hours or on
High 4 hours. Remove chicken & shred
using 2 forks; add back to crockpot. In
a small bowl combine salt/pepper &
flour. In medium saucepan over medium
heat melt butter. Stir in flour mixture
by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in
Half & Half, a little at a time, until fully
incorporated & smooth. Stir cream
mixture into crockpot & let cook on Low
15 more minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-style
potatoes, thawed
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans Cheddar cheese soup
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk
2 (2.8 oz, ea) cans French fried onions,

Mix all ingredients except onions in
a bowl. Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Spread half of mixture
evenly across bottom of crockpot & cover
with half of fried onions. Spread
remaining mixture on top of onions &
top with remaining onions (reserve a
few to sprinkle on just before serving).
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours, stirring
occasionally. Sprinkle top with a few
reserved onions & serve. Serves 8-10


Chocolate Peanut Drops

4 oz German sweet chocolate, chopped
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
4 (10-12 oz, ea) pkgs. white baking chips
2 (16 oz, ea) jars lightly salted dry roasted

In 6 qt crockpot layer ingredients in order
listed – DO NOT STIR. Cover & cook on Low
1 1/2 hours; stir to combine. (If chocolate
is not melted, cover & cook 15 minutes
longer; stir – repeat in 15 minute increments
until chocolate is melted) Drop mixture by
rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Let stand until set. Store in airtight container
at room temperature. Makes about 11 dozen.

Chocolate Peanut Bark:
Cook chocolate mixture as directed; spread
into two 15″ X 10″ X 1″ waxed paper-lined
baking pans. Refrigerate 30 minutes until firm.
Cut into bite-sized pieces.



Hope that you are able to enjoy this
really nice/beautiful/gorgeous day
(that’s also hoping YOUR weather
is as nice as mine today). It’s the
perfect day for a walk, a picnic,
playing catch/tossing a football,

Life is short – remember to ENJOY it!



PS: and remember to tell the ones you
love that they really are important to
you, too!

Beautiful Day!


Our weather is still ‘summer-like’ – it’s around 72 degrees F. now and sunny – I can take that!

I made it to Grandson’s football game yesterday (Husband was still not feeling well enough to go) – I actually FOUND the place ON MY OWN! (I know that sounds funny, but I can get lost in a paper bag!) I was a little late, but not bad. Funny thing – got there and didn’t know the NAME of his team! (He’s played flag football all summer and I knew THAT team, but not the ‘regular’ football team name – sigh). I stood on the sidelines and watched the coaches for awhile – none of them (on that side) looked like my son so I went over to the other side and did the same thing  – this time I spotted my son (after a bit of looking, of course). They played HARD – grandson got knocked down TWICE and stayed down for a few minutes – first time other team jammed his elbow (son is a coach and said he was surprised the other kid didn’t get thrown out of the game for that ‘illegal’ move); second time he got the wind knocked out of him pretty badly. I guess that’s the ‘breaks’ for them playing ‘regular’ football – of course you KNOW I’ve expressed my concerns on this: I don’t think NINE YEAR OLDS should be playing that rough! Call me old fashioned, but their bones are not ready for those really hard hits! The first game this year one of their players got his leg broken! (saw him on the sidelines in his uniform, cast & crutches). His team lost 12 to something like 30+. Since this was also supposed to be their ‘homecoming’ game, they had LITTLE GIRL cheerleaders – not fond of that idea, either! Making them look like made-up grown up girls – not cool in my book:  let them be YOUNG – they’ll grow up soon enough! (I’ll get off my soapbox now and walk away now )


Creamy Tomato/Cucumber Salad

1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley/basil/
dill (optional)
2 medium cucumbers, halved length-
wise & sliced
1 C. sliced sweet or purple onion
1 large tomato, chopped into large

In medium bowl whisk mayonnaise,
sour cream, vinegar, salt/pepper &
hers. Add cucumber, onion & tomato
(with it’s juices) – toss well. Cover &
refrigerate 2 hours. Makes about 4


Garden Vegetable Skillet w/Shrimp

1 lb. (51-70 count) peeled/deveined
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (or seasoning
salt, to taste)
1/2 tsp. Old Bay (optional)
1/4 C. cooking oil, divided
2 C diced, unpeeled red potatoes
2 C. green beans (fresh-trimmed/cut)
1 1/2 C. halved, quartered & sliced
Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion)
1 C. sliced mixed sweet bell pepper (red,
yellow, orange and/or green)
1 large yellow summer squash (halved,
lengthwise & sliced)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
& sliced
1 T. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. chopped, mixed fresh herbs
(rosemary, basil, parsley, sage)
1/2 C. sliced grape tomatoes or
chopped fresh tomato
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Thaw shrimp (if frozen) drain & pat dry.
Season with Cajun seasoning & Old Bay;
let rest. Heat 1 T. oil over medium heat in
large skillet. Cook shrimp, in batches,
stirring frequently, 3 minutes, adding
oil as needed; remove & set aside.
Add another T. oil & potatoes; cook
2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add bell
pepper & onion, cook & stir 3 more
minutes. Add more oil if needed &
remaining vegetables (except tomatoes)
& herbs. Cook, gently stirring, 8-10
minutes until vegetables are tender.
Move veggies to side of skillet, add
more oil, tomatoes & shrimp. Toss
gently until shrimp is warmed.Taste
& adjust seasonings, add red pepper
flakes, if using. Serves 4-6

NOTE: Can also be prepared with raw
sausage, ground beef, cubed chicken
breast, leftover meatballs, or chopped
smoked andouille or mild sausage
– all cooked thoroughly. You can also
add cooked pasta or other veggies
such as carrots, broccoli, mushrooms,
eggplant, cauliflower, okra, butter beans,
southern peas, sweet potatoes OR
frozen vegetables. Can also top with
shredded cheese of your choice.


Peach Crunch Dump Cake

1 (24.5 oz) jar sliced peaches in
light syrup
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 C.) cut into
16 pieces
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 9 X 13 greased pan layer
ingredients in order as appears
above. Bake 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold/with or without
ice cream.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe

Autumn Apple Pork Roast

1 (4 lb) pork loin roast
salt/pepper, to taste
6 apples, cored/quartered
1/4 C. apple juice or cider
3 T. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger

Place roast, fat side up, in oven-
safe pan – rub with salt/pepper. Broil
to remove excess fat – drain. Place
apples in bottom of crockpot &
place roast on top. Mix remaining
ingredients & pour over top. Cover
& cook on Low 8 hours. Serves 6-8


Bacon-Cheeseburger Dip

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green chilies
1 (6 oz) pkg. real bacon bits,
1 tsp. dried parsley

assorted dippers: cut fresh veggies,
corn chips, corn chip “scoops”

Brown ground meet; drain & place in
large skillet. Over Low heat, stir in
cheeses, tomatoes & juices, bacon
bits (reserving 2 T. for garnish). Cook,
stirring frequently, until heated
through & well blended. Pour into
a 2 qt. crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir in parsley & sprinkle remaining
bacon bits on top just before serving.
Serves 6-8


German-style Fried Potatoes
(overnight recipe)

1 1/2 lb. small potatoes, boiled in skins/
peeled  then refrigerated overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 thin slices bacon, cut into small cubes
2-3 T. olive oil & butter (50/50 mix)
salt/black pepper, to taste

Slice cold potatoes into thin 1/8″ slices.
Add 1 T. oil to large frying pan & heat. Fry
onions until soft then add bacon. Continue
frying until bacon & onions are lightly
browned; remove from pan using slotted
spoon. Add remaining oil/butter to pan
& fry potato slices over Low/Medium heat,
turning occasionally. Brown lightly on one
side before turning until potatoes are
almost done. Return onion/bacon mixture
to pan, season with salt/pepper & continue
frying at Medium heat until all is nicely
browned. Serves 4


Tropical Crisp

2 (20 oz, ea) cans chunk pineapple
drained (or 2 1/2 C. chunked fresh)
3/4 C. finely crushed Ritz or similar
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter, divided

Pour half of pineapple into crockpot;
cover with half cracker crumbs & half
brown sugar. Dot with half the butter.
Layer with rest of pineapple, cracker
crumbs, brown sugar & butter. Cover &
cook on Low 2 hours. Serve warm.
Serves 4

Note; Great with ice cream


Today is my ‘stay in my jammies’ day! The
past week was pretty busy and, although
I ‘should’ go shopping & take my books
back to the library, I’m going to play
hookey! (it’s 10 cents a book late fee-
30 cents won’t break me). Tomorrow is
our Knit/Crochet Movie night and I’m
going to make Stuffed Zucchini – (think
I posted the recipe in a earlier blog) – sounded
pretty easy – since our ‘food theme’ this time
is “Italian” I’m calling them appetizers –
cutting the zucchini halves into smaller
pieces. Looks like we’re having around 10
people; food so far: Lasagna, Pizza casserole,
salad, garlic bread, and a dessert (maybe
two – depends on whether another lady
can come). Am planning on stopping by
our local Fruit/Veg. stand on the way to
the library and checking out their
tomatoes & zucchini – stopped there early
this year and their tomatoes were huge
but pretty pricey. Husband is hinting at
BLT’s so think that’s what’s for dinner

Hope you’re enjoying this ‘last of the
Summer-like’ weather – remember to
do something nice for YOURSELF!
Take a nap, read a book, take a walk,
get an ice cream, buy yourself a little
treat (candy bar – favorite hot drink-
whatever). Life is short – eat dessert



Gloomy Day but that’s OK


Our weather took a nose-dive last last night; we ‘had’ been enjoying some nice ‘Summer-like’ weather and then thunderstorms! Today it’s gray & rainy – there is a GOOD side though – I don’t have to remember to water my few outdoors planters!

It’s been a rather busy week and I was glad to finally reach Saturday – a ‘stay home in your jammies’ day, but that wasn’t to be. Husband wanted to go pick up his new glasses and asked me to accompany him, so I did – on the up side: gave another lady my knit group business card – she might be interested in joining us! I finished the crocheted X-square afghan – not truly pleased with it. When I crochet these squares they tend to come out with rounded edges, hence when you sew them together they tend to ‘cup’ – not cool. It’s done, I will gift it to Crisis Pregnancy but not truly proud of it. A few days ago I purchased some worsted-weight variegated (baby colors) yarn; last night I sat down attempting to find a pattern I liked. The lady who received the Crisis Pregnancy blankets made an ‘off’ comment: “Oh good! They’re nice and TIGHTLY made!” (something about a new ‘directive’ – for want of a better word) about babies getting their fingers caught in blankets if there are holes in the pattern. Let’s just say that really took the wind out of my sales – I LOVE knitting with holes in the patterns – it gives them FLAIR! I went through most of my standard patterns attempting to find one that didn’t have holes (but those are rather BORING!). Started one, knit about 6 inches and then looked at it: the problem with using variegated yarns is: YOU CAN’T SEE A PATTERN BECAUSE THE YARN IS TOO ‘BUSY’! Sigh – ripped it out. Today I got to thinking: “Wait! What if I crocheted one, instead?” So I’m off crocheting my friend Mary’s (Momma) Diagonal Box Stitch pattern! I’m sorry but I’m kind of a rebel when it comes to being dictated to: I’ve decided I’m just going to make baby blankets and donate them – if they don’t want them, I’ll quit and find another charity that WILL receive them. (Yes, sometimes I’m a bit too sassy for my britches . . . )


Zucchini Crisp Pizzas

3 medium zucchini, cut into
thin rounds
2/3 C. Panko or seasoned
2/3 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 C. marina or pizza sauce
2-3 T. olive oil
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Lightly spray a rimmed baking
sheet with nonstick spray. Place
zucchini rounds in large bowl &
drizzle with olive oil; toss well
to coat each well. In shallow dish
or small bowl mix Panko & Parm.
cheese together until well
combined; season with salt/pepper.
In batches, press both sides of
zucchini rounds in Panko mix, pressing
firmly so it adheres, until they are
all thoroughly coated. Transfer rounds
to baking sheet & cook 20-25 minutes
until breading is golden brown. Remove
from oven & spread a small amount
of marinara (or pizza) sauce over each
round. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on
top & return to oven 5  more minutes
until cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Serves 6


Crockpot Peach Cobbler

3/4 C. uncooked old fashioned oats
2/3 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. Bisquick mix
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 fresh peaches, peeled/sliced

vanilla ice cream – for serving

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Combine sugars,
Bisquick, oats & cinnamon; stir
in peaches & spoon into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla
ice cream on top.

(recipe: Julie Kemeny-Facebook)

Honey-Mustard Breaded Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. plus 2 T. Dijon mustard, divided
3 T. honey
2 T. butter

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness
by pounding. In shallow bowl, combine
bread crumbs & 1 tsp. mustard. In
another shallow bowl combine honey &
remaining mustard. Dip chicken in honey-
mustard mixture, then coat with crumbs.
In nonstick skillet, cook chicken over
medium heat in butter 4-6 minutes on
each side until juices run clear. Serves 4


Cheesy Noodle Bake

2 lb. hamburger
1 (16 oz) bag extra wide egg noodles
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce w/basil,
garlic & oregano (Hunt’s)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 C. shredded sharp cheese, your

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook & drain hamburger; add sauce &
let simmer. Cook noodles accordg to pkg.
directions. Mix sour cream & ricotta
together in a bowl. When noodles are
cooked, drain & add to sour cream
mixture; combine well. Place some of
the sauce in 9 X 13 pan; layer noodles,
meat sauce & repeat. Top with shredded
cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from
oven & let set 5 minutes before cutting.

*NOTE: Poster said you might want to
use mozzarella and/or Parmesan

(recipe: SlimSecretswithSara-Facebook)

Sausage Muffins

1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 lb. cooked pork sausage, crumbled
4 eggs, beaten
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray insides of muffin tins with
nonstick spray. Mix above ingredients
together & spoon into muffin tin.
Bake 20 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Apple Butterscotch Brownies

2 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 C. butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. peeled, diced Granny Smith apples

butterscotch sundae topping (for ice cream)
Cool Whip or Ice cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir first 4 ingredients together in medium
bowl. In separate bowl mix flour, baking
powder & salt – add to brown sugar mixture
& stir until blended. Add apples & pour into
greased & floured 9 X 13 baking dish, spreading
evenly. Bake 35-45 minutes & cool completely.
Serve with Cool Whip or ice cream & butterscotch


Cheesy Scalloped Potato Casserole

2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 lb. russet potatoes-peeled/
sliced about 1/8″ thick rounds
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Melt butter in large Dutch oven over
medium-high heat until foaming
subsides. Add onion & cook, stirring
occasionally, until lightly browned &
soft (about 4 minutes). Add garlic,
thyme, salt/pepper & cook another
30 seconds. Add potatoes, chicken broth,
cream & bay leaves; bring to simmer.
Cover & reduce heat to medium-low;
simmer 10 minutes, discard bay leaves.
Transfer to 8 X 8″ baking dish; press to
an even layer. Sprinkle top evenly with
cheese & bake 16 minutes until cream
is bubbling around edges & top is golden
brown. Let cool 10 minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8


Cinnamon Apple Pie Bread

1/3 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. milk
1 apple, peeled/cored & chopped
(Poster used Granny Smith)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 5: loaf pan.
Mix brown sugar & cinnamon in a
bowl. Beat gran. sugar & butter until
creamy using an elec. mixer; beat in
eggs, 1 at-a-time, until incorporated.
Add vanilla; stir until mixed. Combine
flour & baking powder in another bowl;
stir into creamed butter. Mix milk into
batter until smooth. Pour half the batter
into prepared loaf pan. Add half apples &
half brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly
pat/push apple mixture into batter. Pour
remaining batter over apple layer, top with
remaining apples & add more brown sugar/
cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat/push apples
into batter. Swirl brown sugar mixture
through apples using a finger or spoon. Bake
30-40 minutes until a wooden toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. If you
notice it getting too brown on top, cover it
loosely with foil & continue baking until the
insides are done.



Waiting to see what tomorrow’s weather will
be like – oldest son has asked us to attend our
grandson’s football game tomorrow. Husband
is still coughing from bronchitis, so we’ll have
to see how he feels tomorrow. (He didn’t want
to go see our doctor, so it’s slow going). If we
go I’ll miss choir practice because this year
grandson is playing TOUCH football (not
‘flag’ like this summer) and apparently these
are full-time games (2 hours plus). The tag
ones were, at most, 45 minutes, total. These
have a half-time (think it’s called that) AND
oldest son said this is their Homecoming
game (WHO has a homecoming game for
9 year olds??? That’s just weird!) Oh well –
we’ll see how it goes, tomorrow.

I noticed that gas prices came down a bit
today; they were $2.39/9 and now they’re
$2.26/9, so that’s a ‘start’, right? Guess I’m
just spoiled wanting the lowest we can get!
Husband & I went to our dealership with
my van yesterday (left rear tire had a faulty
valve stem and caused tire to leak air). We
were there about 25 minutes when the guy
who took our order came to us saying that
there was a bit of a mix-up with his
mechanics. Apparently the guy who does
this stuff didn’t READ the order, just went
ahead & sprayed (whatever) stuff on all
four tire sensors and then repaired the
RIGHT rear tire. When the boss noticed
the mistake he came & told us and then
said it would be another 25 minutes or
so and they’d correct the problem. End
result: we got TWO valve stems replaced
for the price of one! Well, now we know
that the back two tires have new valve
stems, right? Crazy. I like our dealership
(Milosche Chrysler/Dodge, etc – Lake
Orion, MI) – they have a little ‘Deli’
inside the waiting room. I forgot to eat
breakfast (think I had a cookie & 2 grapes,
plus a cup of coffee – I know – don’t judge!).
I ended up getting a scrambled egg, cheese
& ham wrap with homemade salsa for
$4.00 – not bad! It was HUGE – I gave half
to my husband; it was worth the $$$.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!



Shopping – Shopping!


Today found me making another trip to the grocery store (second this week) – it seems we were really low on Chicken Noodle Soup. Husband is down with what we think is Bronchitis (he helped his cousin with his phones in cousin’s basement; husband said that the basement smelled moldy). While shopping at our local Meijers I was in the soup aisle and happened to look at the boxed soups/broths. I make a really zippy/tasty Chinese Hot & Sour Chicken Soup using Swanson’s Hot & Sour Chicken broth BUT . . . I just noticed they also have a Mexican Tortilla-flavor-infused broth – that got me thinking! On the back of the box is a recipe for Mexican Tortilla Soup – guess what WE’RE having for dinner tonight! I figure – it will be a little spicy and hot which should help husband feel a little better – we’ll see! (I’ll add the recipe, below). Husband made a comment last night when getting out my very old 2 qt. saucepan – “These are getting REALLY ratty – you should think about getting some new ones!” (I have 2 – they both are circa “My Aunt” – let’s see – she died around 1970??? Yep, they’re OLD! While at Meijer I wandered down the pots & pans aisle where I found two VERY NICE, heavy 3 qt saucepans ON SALE! Regularly: $29.99 – I got them for $17.00 each! When I got to the checkout I noticed that one rang up as $17 and one as $18 – so I mentioned it to the cashier. He said “You’re right – same pot! Let me find a department here” and he started typing into his register. “There!” he said – and promptly gave me a $2.00 off ‘discount’ in the SPORTING GOODS DEPARTMENT! HA! Works for me!


Mexican Tortilla Soup

1 tsp. cooking oil
1 C. diced onion
2 large jalapeno peppers/
seeded & chopped (about 1/2 C.)
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. whole kernel corn (can be
1 C. black beans, rinsed/drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained (or 3 small tomatoes,
1 (32 oz) carton Swanson Mexican
Tortilla flavor infused broth
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken

tortilla chips or strips

Heat oil in 6 qt saucepan over
medium-high heat. Add onion &
peppers; cook 2 minutes until tender-
crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in
tomato paste, corn, beans, tomatoes,
broth & chicken – heat to boiling.
Reduce heat to Low; cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Serve topped
with tortilla chips or strips.
Serves 8 (1 cup each)

Suggested toppings:
diced avocado
sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges

(I plan on changing this up a bit:
instead of the jalapenos I’m going
to add some medium salsa and
using some flour tortillas, spraying
them with nonstick spray – slicing
them into strips & broiling them
to crisp them up. Also using
canned corn (not frozen). My
family really likes this kind of
soup so I’m going to double the
recipe. Also bought Fajita chicken
strips (frozen) to put in the soup.


Creamy Cucumber Salad

1 lb. English cucumbers (about
1 medium) sliced 1/8″ thick
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. mayonnaise
2 T. finely chopped fresh dill,
chives or both
1 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black

Place a colander or fine-mesh strainer
over a large bowl. Add cucumbers &
1/2 tsp. salt-toss to combine. Let set
at room temp. 1 hour.

Under running water, rinse cucumbers
removing all excess salt. Line a work
surface with 1 layer paper towels. Using
your hands, remove cucumbers from
strainer & arrange in a flat, even layer
on paper towels. Top with another
layer of paper towels & gently press
to absorb any moisture. Discard
liquid in bowl & wipe dry. Combine
sour cream, mayonnaise, herbs,
vinegar, pepper, sugar & remaining
1/4 tsp. salt in bowl. Add cucumbers &
stir to evenly coat. Serve immediately
or refrigerate in an airtight container
up to 24 hours. Serves 4


Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni

3 C. (1/2 of 16oz. pkg) rigatoni pasta,
1 tsp. oil
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. flour
1/4 tsp. each:
dried basil
crushed red pepper
1 C. chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large saucepan as
directed on pkg. omitting salt. Heat
oil in large skillet on medium heat;
add zucchini, mushrooms & garlic.
Cook & stir 3-4 minutes until
zucchini is crisp-tender. Add flour &
seasonings, cook & stir 1 minute.
Stir in broth & cook, stirring, 2-3
minutes until thickened. Add cream
cheese, cook & stir 2-3 minutes
until melted. Drain pasta, return to
pan. Add zucchini mixture, spinach,
Parm. cheese & 1/2 C. mozzarella;
mix lightly. Spoon into 2 qt.
casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Top with remaining mozzarella.
Bake 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

The Best ‘No-Bake’ Bars Ever!

1 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. unrefined coconut oil*
2 C. dry oats (not instant)
1 C. shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/4 C. dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt peanut butter & coconut oil over
medium-low heat. Once melted, remove
from heat & add oats, shredded coconut,
choc. chips & vanilla; stir until chocolate
is entirely melted. Pour into a 9 X 13″
pan & cool in refrigerator. When set,
cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

*BE SURE to use unrefined for coconut


Savory Spinach Chicken
(one person recipe)

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
half (5 oz)
4 T. Italian salad dressing, divided
3 C. fresh baby spinach
dash salt
1 slice Provolone cheese

Place 3 T. salad dressing in large
ziplock bag; add chicken. Seal bag
& turn to coat. Refrigerate at least
2 hours. Drain & discard marinade.
In small skillet, brown chicken on
each side; remove & keep warm.
In same skillet saute spinach,
remaining salad dressing & salt until
spinach is wilted; drain.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in shallow baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with
spinach & cheese & bake, uncovered,
18-22 minutes until juices run clear.
Serves 1


Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1 1/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1 C. grated zucchini
1 C. grated carrots
1 (16 oz) can chocolate frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar
until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating well after each
addition. Stir in vanilla; combine
flour, baking cocoa, baking powder,
baking soda & salt – add to creamed
mixture alternately with yogurt, beating
well after each addition. Fold in zucchini
& carrots. Fill paper-lined muffin cups
two-thirds full. Bake 18-22 minutes until
a toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool
completely. Frost cupcakes. Makes 21


Sloppy Joe/Tater Tot Casserole

1 T. oil
1 1/4 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. steak seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. vinegar
1 bag tater tots

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ X 9″ baking pan with nonstick
spray. Add oil to skillet; heat over medium
heat. Cook ground beef, brown sugar &
steak seasoning. Add Worc. sauce & onion;
cook until onions are translucent then add
tomato paste, tomato sauce & vinegar.
Stir & cook 5 minutes. Place a single layer
of tater tots on bottom of prepared pan.
Pour meat mixture on top; season with
salt/pepper. Bake 30-45 minutes until
tater tots are golden brown & mixture is
bubbling up the sides.


Bacon-wrapped Chicken Roll-ups

3 large chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened*
22 strips pre-cooked bacon, divided
4 green onions, minced
3 mushrooms, minced
3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. dried parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place one chicken breast in large
gallon-sized ziplock bag; seal &
pound chicken out flat. (you want
it to be as flat as you can get it,
about 1/4 inch thick). Cut in half
using kitchen scissors; repeat with
rest of breasts. In medium bowl
mix cream cheese*, green onions,
minced bacon & mushrooms. Add
granulated garlic, onion powder, parsley
& salt/pepper – stir well to combine.
Sprinkle a bit of salt & pepper over each
chicken breast then spoon about 2 T.
cream cheese mixture onto each breast.
Roll up chicken & wrap 2-3 pieces of bacon
around each one** . Spray a 9 X 13″ pan
with nonstick spray and place chicken rolls
in it. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes until
insides of chicken are cooked through & no
longer pink. Remove from oven & cover with
foil. Allow to sit 5 minutes, then serve.
Serves 6

*If cream cheese is hard, place on a plate
& microwave about 30 seconds to soften
it up – makes it much easier to work with

**If bacon is hard to manipulate, place

on a plate & heat in microwave about

20 seconds to make it more pliable.


Gas prices today – SHOCKER! They went from
$2.19/9 yesterday to $2.39/9 overnight! YUCK!
(glad I filled up Tuesday!)

Grabbed some variegated pink/blue/white baby
yarn today – Hey! A girl’s gotta have a passion,
right? Sewing the crocheted squares together
today – we’ll see when I have time to crochet
the border on.

Weather is STILL SUPER NICE! 80’s & sunny with
a slight breeze – MY KIND OF WEATHER!

Have a great day!





I just spent a good 30 minutes writing out a blog entry for today only to find it got erased! UGH! There goes a good 8 recipes (once I enter them here, I erase them) and the time it took to compose that post. Oh well – time to ‘re-group’, eh?

Our weather has been holding at ‘Summer’ – it’s been in the 80’s and sunny – supposed to stay that way a few more days – YAY!

Gas prices are still holding at $2.19/9 – I filled up yesterday. So NICE to be able to have lower prices!

Delivered the three baby hats/blankets to the lady with the Crisis Pregnancy Center yesterday. I still have 4 more crocheted squares on the next blanket to finish then it’s time to sew them together. I’ve made 6 of each of 5 colors: blue, pink, mint green, yellow & lavender – am going to sew them together in stripes then probably border it in a variegated yarn which contains almost all of those colors.

(Sorry if these entries are a bit short – trying to remember what I typed a half hour ago!)


First a recipe I received last weekend at a picnic – my friend EJ brought these in a pizza box! She said it helps them to not stick together or break from being moved. They are REALLY TASTY and EASY!!!

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter (creamy or
1 egg

Large chocolate chips or/Reese’s
miniature peanut butter cups

Before beginning UNWRAP the
peanut butter cups so that they
are instantly available when the
cookies are done baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together sugar, peanut butter
& egg – using a small scoop, place
mounds on a cookie sheet &
bake 10-12 minutes  – WATCH
so they don’t burn! Remove from
oven and IMMEDIATELY place one
choc. chip or PB cup in center of
each cookie. Let cool & remove
from cookie sheet. Makes 20-22

NOTE: My friend brought her cookies
in a pizza box! She said it helps to
transport them so they don’t either
stick together or break apart when
being moved. Great idea!

(recipe: my friend EJ)

Honey/Mustard Potato Pouches

1/4 C. butter or margarine
2 T. honey
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1l2 lb. red potatoes (about 18
small), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C. sliced green onions

Combine butter, honey,mustard,
salt/pepper in large bowl; add
potatoes & toss to coat. Tear off
2 sheets heavy-duty foil, 24 inches
long. Arrange 1/2 of potato mixture
in center of each sheet; bring up
ends of foil & seal with double fold.
Grill, turning once, until potatoes
are tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully
open pouches & garnish with green
onions. Serves 6


Grilled Zucchini Roll-ups

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 large zucchini (1 1/2 lb)
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Mix cream cheese, feta & herbs
until blended. Trim ends of zucchini;
(discard ends). Cut each zucchini into
4 lengthwise slices & place in medium
bowl. Add dressing; toss to evenly
coat. Grill zucchini 5 minutes or until
tender, turning after 3 minutes – cool
5 minutes. Spread each zucchini slice
with about 2 T. cream cheese mixture;
roll up. Serves 8

(recipe: kraft recipes)

One-Pan Mushroom/Asiago Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
4 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. dry white wine or
chicken broth
3/4 C. chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme or
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. shredded Asiago cheese
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Serve with cooked pasta or mashed

Cut each chicken breast into thirds by
first cutting each breast in half crosswise,
then set thinner half aside. Slice thicker
part in half horizontally to make 2 more
thin cutlets. Cover pieces with plastic wrap
& pound with meat mallet or bottom of a
small skillet until all pieces are 1/4 ” thick.
Lightly season each on both sides with salt/
pepper & dredge in flour. Place a large skillet
over medium-high heat & melt 2 T. butter.
Place as many cutlets as will fit skillet; be sure
to not overcrowd. Sauté 5 minutes until golden
brown on first side, flip & cook 1 minute. Remove
chicken to plate, cover lightly with foil & repeat
with remaining chicken cutlets. When all chicken
is cooked, add remaining butter to skillet along
with mushrooms & 1/2 tsp. salt; cook 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden
& become softened. Add garlic & cook 2 minutes.
Pour white wine (or broth) into skillet & stir to
scrape anything sticking to bottom of pan. Once
wine has nearly all evaporated, add 3/4 C. chicken
broth & thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to
medium & cook 10-15 minutes at rapid simmer
until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to
medium-low & stir in heavy cream. Sprinkle
Asiago cheese over top of sauce & stir constantly
until cheese melts. Place chicken back in skillet
& simmer in sauce just until chicken is heated
through & sauce has thickened slightly. Sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese & serve immediately.
Serve with cooked pasta or mashed potatoes.
Serves 5-6


Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Corn Dip

8 strips bacon
2 (11 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn,
1 jalapeno, seeded/minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In cast iron or oven-proof skillet
cook bacon over medium heat
until slightly crispy; remove from
heat & place on paper towels.
Drain all but 1 tsp. grease. Crumble
bacon. Combine corn, jalapeno,
cream cheese, mozzarella, salt,
cayenne, half of bacon & half of
basil. Scoop mixture into skillet
& bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle top
with remaining bacon & basil;
top with Parm. cheese. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Nana’s Frozen Fruit Salad

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. heavy cream, whipped
1 C. maraschino cherries, quartered
1 (16 or 20 oz) can fruit cocktail,
2 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows,
about 24

Beat cream cheese & mayonnaise; fold
in whipped cream, cherries, drained
fruit cocktail & marshmallows. Pour
into a 1-quart freezer container (or you
can use a metal ice cube tray with the
insert removed). Garnish top with
additional maraschino cherries. Freeze
until firm. Just before plating, cut into
1 inch squares & place on individual
plates. Serves 8

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Surprise Taco Pie

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

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

Optional Toppings:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
sliced black olives
sliced jalapeno peppers
sour cream
sliced avocado

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 & up sides of a pie
plate; bake 7-10 minutes. Cook meat &
onion until done; drain. Add tomatoes,
taco seasoning & spices. When mixture
starts to bubble, pour into crust. Top
with cheese & bake 15 minutes.

*One packet taco seasoning has
4 T. -this recipe uses one packet of
taco seasoning.

(recipe: Courney Luper – Facebook

Zucchini Cobbler

6 C. chopped/seeded/peeled
2/3 C. lemon juice
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
1 tsp. 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. Combine flour, sugar in a bowl;
cut in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 C. into zucchini
mixture. Press half of remaining crust
mixture into greased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking
dish. Spread zucchini over top; crumble
remaining crust mixture over zucchini &
sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake 35-40
minutes until golden & bubbly. Makes
16-20 servings.



Not much else new – this Friday is my special
needs group’s Gym Night – should be fun. I’m
working on planning next Tuesday night’s
Knit/Crochet MOVIE night for that group –
we get together on an ‘off night’ (my knit
group meets every ‘other’ Tuesday) at one
of our ladies houses – it’s a pot luck, knit/
crochet (or don’t) and watch a movie – lots
of fun! The food theme this time is: Italian.
I have NO idea what I’m bringing! I sent out
the invitation about a half hour ago and then
the ladies email me back what they’re bringing;
I put their names/food on a list and when it
gets closer to the day I send out a final list
so that everyone knows what foods we’re
having and how many to prepare for. Usually
we have about 10-12 people so it’s a nice,
small group. I’m REALLY hoping the ladies
bring UPBEAT/FUN/FUNNY movies to choose
from – last time the group chose “Still Alice”
good movie BUT it’s about a lady who gets
Alzheimer’s and you watch her slowly fade
away – VERY SAD! At one point in the movie
one of my ladies turned around and yelled:
DEPRESSING!” (don’t blame her – that was
my thought, too!) I suggest they bring
a movie (or more) that they like and then
those that are there that night vote on
what to watch (I think most of us that
night had NOT seen it and thought: “That
sounds OK”). I’m thinking of renting the
movie with Melissa McCarthy “Spy!”
since I know that’s supposed to be really
funny – we’ll see.

Hope you’re enjoying this ‘last of the
Summer’ weather!



Deliveries (almost) Complete!


This is the latest baby blanket (#3)  & hat for

Crisis Pregnancy Center

Today was my check up at the Radiologist (mammogram came back clear – YAY!). The doctor said it will be 4 years cancer-free this coming November; still have to have 6 month check ups until we reach the ‘goal’ of 5 years, but that’s OK. I had planned on delivering the above items but it turns out I got some false information – the Crisis Pregnancy Center lady is NOT located across the parking lot from my cancer center so tomorrow is the delivery in a parking lot of a restaurant – works for me! Delivered 1 chemo cap and the four lap blankets (made from the ‘bonus’ Ghana Project squares I received last month) – now I’m back to my ‘usual’ knitting/crochet: baby hats for the hospital, scarves for the homeless shelters and now the baby blankets/hats for Crisis Pregnancy. I started another blanket a few days ago after knitting the above blanket using two thin strands of yarn. I began rooting through my ‘stash’ (I have 3 garbage bagfuls of baby yarns of all sorts) and found quite a few small skeins of really fine “Baby weight/Sport weight” yarns so now I’m doing a blanket in 5 colors (pink, blue, mint green, pale yellow and lavender) – each skein of color is also mixed with white making a very pale color. I’m crocheting them into squares (I’ve done some like this before but it’s been awhile – actually had to go on line to get ‘started’ on how to make these squares) – I’m planning 5 squares of each color – we’ll see, I might decide to do a few more, as 5 X 5 = 25 which will make a SQUARE blanket and I prefer rectangles – all depends on my ‘mood’ when I get those done, I guess.


This is the square pattern I’m using (above is a blanket from a few years ago)


Caramel Apple Dump Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans apple pie filling*
1 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. caramel ice cream sauce
(whipped cream, optional topper)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix pie filling
& caramel sauce; spread evenly
in bottom of pan. Sprinkle dry
cake mix over top, spread evenly
then drizzle top with melted butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until top is
golden brown & filling is bubbly
around edges. Top with whipped

*can also use cherry, blueberry,
peach, etc.

(recipe: Recipe-Galore)

Savory Onion Chicken

1/4 C. flour, divided
1 broiler/fryer chicken
(3-4 lb) cut up & skin removed
2 T. olive oil
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) bottle beer

Place 2 T. flour in large ziplock bag.
Add chicken, a few pieces at a time &
shake to coat. In large skillet brown
chicken on all sides; remove & keep
warm. Add soup mix & remaining flour,
stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.
Gradually whisk in beer; bring to a boil &
cook, stirring, 2 minutes until thickened.
Return chicken to pan & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer 12-15
minutes until juices run clear. Makes 6


One-Pot Pork Chops & Gravy

4-6 pork chops
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved then sliced
into rings
3 T. flour
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

Cooked mashed potatoes or rice

Season both sides of chops with salt,
pepper, garlic & oregano. Heat oil in
skillet on medium-high heat until hot.
Sear chops in pan on each side approx.
3 minutes per side until nicely browned.
Remove from pan. Add onions to hot pan,
season with salt & pepper; saute 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium then add flour to
the onions. Stir to coat onions & continue
cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slowly add chicken broth & stir until smooth
and mixture begins to thicken. Taste for
seasoning & add salt/pepper, if necessary.
Reduce heat to Low, add chops back to pan.
Cover & cook 30 minutes – 60 minutes.(You
want to see a slight simmer – turn heat up
a little if you need to). The longer you cook
it, the more tender the chops will be. Do
not let them boil – keep it to a simmer.
Serve over cooked potatoes or rice.

Cheesy Texas Hash

4 Idaho potatoes, peeled/diced into
1″ chunks
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
2 chipotle peppers, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tsp. creole seasoning or seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated

sour cream, for topping

In medium pot add potatoes; cover with
cold water & boil 5 minutes; drain. In
meidum skillet add 1 T. olive oil; heat
over medium heat. Add bacon & cook
until crispy; drain & set aside. Reserve
2 T. bacon grease – add onion, jalapenos,
chipotle & saute 5 minutes. Add garlic
& saute 1 minute more. Add sausage &
cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add
potatoes & all spices to pan. Mix well &
cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat broiler.
Add bacon & half of green onions to pan.
Top with cheese & place under broiler 3-4
minutes until cheese melts. Remove from
oven & sprinkle top with remaining green
onions. Serve with sour cream. Serves 4


Campanelle with Spinach & Bacon
(campanelle is a type of pasta)

1 lb. campanelle pasta, uncooked
12 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs. fresh baby spinach leaves
1 C. (Kraft) Italian 5-cheese blend cheese

Cook pasta in large deep skillet or Dutch
oven as directed on pkg., omitting salt.
Cook & stir bacon until crisp; remove from
skillet using slotted spoon & drain bacon
on paper towels. Discard all but about
2 T. drippings. Whisk reserved drippings
with salad dressing until blended. Drain
pasta & return to pan. Add dressing mixture,
bacon, spinach & cheese; mix lightly.
Serves 8 (1 1/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Sliced Baked Potatoes

4-5 potatoes
4 T. butter, melted
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 c. grated cheese, your choice
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

sour cream (for topping)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice potatoes about 1/4″ thick &
brush both sides of potato slices
with butter; place them on a cookie
sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes until
lightly browned on both sides,
turning once. When potatoes
are cooked, top with bacon,
cheese, green onion; continue
baking until cheese has melted.
Serve with sour cream

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 C. chicken, cooked/shredded
2 (10 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
with green chilies
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
4 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. heavy cream
4 corn tortillas cut in half then
into 1/2 inch slices

sour cream
shredded cheese (your choice)
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over
medium heat. Add onion – cook 2-3
minutes; stir in garlic, cook 1 more
minute & season with salt/pepper.
Add cooked chicken, diced tomatoes,
tomato sauce, black beans, chicken
stock & heavy cream. Stir to combine &
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer
15-20 minutes. Add tortilla strips &
serve with favorite toppings.
Serves 6-8


Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

1 C. chocolate chips
your favorite chocolate chip cookie

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a muffin tin
Prepare cookie dough accordg. to
your favorite recipe. Scoop 2 T.
cookie dough into each muffin tin
cup. Melt the cup of choc. chips &
spoon a layer of melted chocolate
over each of the cookies. Scoop
1 T. cookie dough over melted
chocolate, covering completely.
Bake 15-20 minutes until golden
brown. Let cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)
Our weather is improving a bit since the
weekend – it’s a ‘little’ warmer. The days
are starting to get a little cooler – starting
around the 60’s – right now it’s almost
80 and it’s 6:30 p.m.! Goofy – I hear lots
of people saying “I just LOVE this cooler
weather!”; all I can think is: “I MISS the
WARMER weather – we’ll be getting
COOL very soon!”

Our gas prices are staying low – they jumped
up just a bit over the weekend; they were
$2.15/9 and now they’re $2.19/9 – not a big
jump but I’m still hovering at 1/2 tank so as
long as they stay in that range, we’re good.

This is another kind of busy week: today was
the doctor and deliveries, tomorrow is the
other blanket delivery and Knit Night. Weds.
is special needs group, Thurs (so far) is free –
that I know of, Friday is Gym Night for special
needs group. Still haven’t heard of the Fall
school schedule for grandson – we haven’t
seen him in over a week; almost afraid to
stick my neck out for fear of getting dumped
on with lots of ‘grandson sitting’ dates – we’ll

Right now I’m awaiting our dinner – there’s a
big meatloaf in the oven and mashed potatoes
await ‘finishing’ – when I have several nights
where I’m away, I try to make up big meals
so that the guys have something in the fridge
when I’m gone. After tonight there will be
the meatloaf/mashed potatoes and last night’s
dinner leftovers: Polish sausage and mac & cheese
that should ‘keep them’ for a few – hopefully!

Hope you’re enjoying the changing weather;
I’m getting LOTS of Fall/Football party recipes –
lots of pumpkin recipes – stay tuned, they’re



Brrrrrrr-Summer, Where did you GO???


Waking up today to 60’s temperatures – gray, cloudy with light rain – Bleck! Attended a funeral today for a friend and mother of a close friend – she was 102!!! Lovely Christian lady – she was ready to ‘go’; in the past 2-3 months she’d fallen and (1) broke her hip then about a month later fell and broke her leg at the rehab facility! Too many surgeries – it was ‘her time’. The service was very nice – family members got up to speak and reminisce – warm & funny stories; it was a good service. Of course – I wore a summer short skirt & light weight summer blouse and I FROZE! 63 stinking degrees out there – UGH! We stopped to bring home the $5 pizzas, changed clothes into something warmer and now I’m here with you.

Still working on the baby blanket and I actually think it will be done by Monday – YAY! I’m going for another 2 inches (maybe more, depends on how I feel when I get that far) then a quick knit baby hat and we’re ‘good to go’!


 Chicken Picata

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olvie oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. flour
1 C. white wine
1/2 C. chicken stock
2 lemons, one juiced/one thinly
sliced (garnish)
2 T. brined capers, drained/rinsed
2 T. unsalted butter
4 T. chopped parsley

Place chicken on cutting board; place
your hand flat on top of breast. Using
a sharp knife, sliced into one side of
breast, starting at thicker end & ending
at thin point. DO NOT cut through to
other side (you are butterflying them).
Open breast & cover with plastic wrap.
Pound with a meat pounder or rolling
pin to create even thickness. Sliced in half
to create two equal pieces of chicken;
repeat with second breast. Heat oil in
large skillet over medium-high heat.
Season chicken with salt/pepper. Place
flour in shallow dish (like a pie plate)
& dredge chicken in flour, shaking off
excess. Saute chicken 2-3 minutes per
side until browned. Transfer to a plate.
In same skillet add white wine & bring
to boil, scraping brown bits from bottom
of skillet. When wine has reduced by
half, add chicken stock, lemon juice &
capers. Return chicken to pan, reduce
heat & simmer 5 minutes. Transfer
chicken to serving platter. Whisk
butter & parsley in skillet sauce & pour
sauce over chicken. Garnish with lemon
slices. Serves 4


Chocolate Toffee Bars

3/4 C. margarine, softened
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 C. flour

1 (10 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. margarine

1 3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
1 1/3 C. toffee bits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13″ baking dish. Beat brown
sugar, flour & margarine in large mixing
bowl until well blended & creamy. Press
evenly into bottom of prepared dish. Bake
20-25 minutes until light golden; remove
from oven to wire rack. Heat sweetened
cond. milk & margarine in heavy pan,
stirring constantly over medium heat
5-10 minutes until thickened; spread over
cooled crust. Bake 12-15 minutes until
light golden. Sprinkle choc. chips over top
& bake 2 minutes longer until chocolate
is shiny & soft. Remove from oven & spread
chocolate evenly. Sprinkle toffee bits over
top, pressing lightly into chocolate. Cool
completely & cut into bars. Cover & store
at room temperature. Makes 22-26 bars
NOTE: On warm days bars may be stored
in refrigerator-bring to room temp. before


Oven Roasted Potatoes

6 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed &
cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray
or line with non-stick foil. Place potatoes
in large bowl; add remaining ingredients &
mix well. Pour potatoes onto baking sheet.
Bake 55-60 minutes, stirring every 15-20
minutes until potatoes are tender, crisp &
lightly browned. Serves 6

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes)

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. Greek seasoning

Heat oil in large pan, add meat & onions;
cook until no longer pink. Add garlic & cook
1 minute longer. Add chopped cabbage,
tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper/salt,
Greek seasoning & water – bring to a boil.
Simmer 20-25 minutes until cabbage is tender.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Louisiana Hot Crab Dip

1/2 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat,
cleaned free of shells
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. minced green onions (white &
green parts)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a
casserole dish; gently stir until
thoroughly mixed. Adjust
seasoning to taste. Bake 35-40
minutes until lightly golden brown
on top; serve hot. Makes about 1 1/2 C.

(recipe: Good Eats-Facebook)

 Arizona Chili Cheese Crisps

vegetable oil
4 (7 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. drained (Chi-Chi’s) salsa
1/4 C. diced green chilies
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet heat 1 inch vegetable
oil to 360 degrees F. Fry tortillas, one
at a time, until golden brown on both
sides; drain on paper towels.* Place
tortillas on large baking sheet & sprinkle
each with 1/4 C. shredded cheese, 2 T.
salsa, 1 T. chilies & 1 T. Parm. cheese. Bake
8-10 minutes until cheese is melted. To eat,
break into pieces. Makes 4 large appetizer

*Tortillas can be made ahead up to 8 hours;
cover loosely & let stand at room temperature.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cheesy Eggplant/Squash Bake

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 medium sized eggplant, peeled &
cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 medium yellow squash, cut into
1/2″ chunks
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese, divided
1/2 C. instant rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 qt casserole dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet,
melt butter over medium-high
heat. Add eggplant, squash & onions;
saute 6-8 minutes until slightly
tender. In large bowl combine milk,
eggs, 1 1/2 C. cheese, rice, salt/
pepper – mix well. Add vegetable
mixture to egg mixture; mix well
& pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle
remaining 1/2 C. cheese on top &
bake 50-55 minutes until rice is
tender. Serves 6


Hope you’re having a nice, WARM day –
even if it isn’t really Summer weather
we can still enjoy the fact that it isn’t
S-N-O-W (YET!) – right?