Gettin’ Colder – for sure!


It’s sitting at around 35 degrees F and there’s FROST all over the ground – yep, Winter’s coming. Weather report for this week looks like highs of 50’s, by Wednesday night we start rain – oh, joy . . .

Tonight is the dinner at oldest son’s house and I’m writing my grocery list as we speak. Son is a great cook (he should be – he’s an Executive Chef) so looking forward to some GOOD food!

Saturday my husband & I went to the annual Michigan Bell Telephone Company Operator’s Luncheon – I’d venture to guess there were around 25 attending. Some I knew, some I didn’t – in fact I said Hi to one lady, we hugged then gave our names. She said hers and I admitted I didn’t remember her, then I gave mine and she loudly said: “Oh, I remember YOU!” (great . . . well, at least she was smiling when she said it!). Here’s a few photos from the event:


In this one I know the 2 ladies in the middle – the blonde on the end asked for our photo – I really don’t remember her! (blush) – Me on the right


In this one my dear friend Mary (Momma) is at the end of the table looking right (short hair) that’s me next on the right looking up, and my husband gesturing on the right, next to me. Good time with good people.


Crockpot Apple Crumb Cobbler

3-4 large apples, peeled/cored/sliced
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. sugar
5 T. butter, softened/divided
1 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix,
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed

Vanilla ice cream – for serving,

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Toss apple slices with cinnamon &
nutmeg; spread evenly in bottom
of crockpot. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl,
add milk, vanilla, sugar, 2 T. butter &
3/4 C. Bisquick – mix well then pour
over apples in crockpot. Combine
brown sugar, remaining Bisquick &
cut in remaining butter until
crumbly – spoon over batter –
DO NOT STIR. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours or High 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream,
if desired.


Potato/Buffalo Chicken Casserole

2 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed
8 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. black pepper
1 T. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
6 T. hot sauce

3 C. Fiesta blend cheese*
1 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
1 c. diced green onion

Preheat oven 500 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
mix olive oil, salt/pepper, paprika,
garlic powder & hot sauce. Add
cubed potatoes; stir to coat.
Carefully scoop potatoes into
prepared dish, leaving behind as
much of the olive oil sauce/
mixture as possible. Bake 45-50
minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes
until cooked through & crispy/
browned on the outside. While
potatoes are cooking, add cubed
chicken to bowl with olive oil
mixture; stir to coat. When potatoes
are fully cooked, remove from oven
& lower oven temp. to 400 degrees F.
Top potatoes with raw marinated
chicken. In bowl mix cheese, bacon &
green onions – top chicken with mixture.
Bake 15-20 minutes until chicken is
cooked through & topping is bubbly.
Serve with extra hot sauce and Ranch
dressing. Serves 6-8

*Fiesta cheese blend: mixture of
shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar &
Queso Quesadilla cheeses – Also
called: 4-Cheese Blend (Sargento)

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots

2 lb. carrots, cut as you like or
1 lb. pre-cut baby carrots
1/4 C. maple syrup
2 t. unsalted butter, melted

optional garnishes:
sea salt
chopped parsley
additional pepper

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Remove carrots from pkg; pat dry with
a paper towel. In small bowl whisk
maple syrup & melted butter; drizzle
this over the carrots & season with
salt/pepper – toss to ensure coating.
Place on sided sheet pan & bake 30-35
minutes until carrots are glossy, tender
but have some browned edges. Remove
from oven & garnish with sea salt, parsley
or added pepper, as you like. Serves 4-6


Cheesy Bean/Bacon Pasta

12 oz. short pasta
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/
1 C. whole kernel corn
1 C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
al dente – drain. Cook bacon in skillet
until crisp; drain off all but 2 T. fat in
skillet. Saute garlic & chili powder in
skillet 30 seconds. Add broth, beans,
corn & tomatoes – bring to a boil.
Simmer until heated through. Toss
cooked pasta in skillet, season &
sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: Russie-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bite-Sized Banana Cream Pies

1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 C. cold milk
2-3 bananas, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 batch pie crust (see recipe below),
OR you can use store-bought
refrigerated pie crust)

In medium bowl, whisk pudding mix &
cold milk 2 minutes. Cover with plastic
wrap & refrigerate. Whip heavy cream &
powdered sugar into stiff peaks. Using
either a pastry bag with open star tip,
or a zip-lock plastic bag with bottom
corner snipped off, pipe about half tsp.
of chilled pudding onto each pie crust
piece. Place a slice of banana on top,
then squeeze about 1 1/2 tsp. onto
each banana slice. Refrigerate pies
while preparing whipped cream in
another pastry bag. Pipe about
1 1/2 tsp. whipped cream onto each
pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. cold butter
3 T. shortening
3 1/2 – 4 T. ice cold water
flour, for dusting

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium bowl, mix flour & salt.
Cut 4 T. butter into flour using
pastry cutter or 2 forks until it
looks like coarse meal; then cut in
shortening until well blended. Add
ice cold water & stir with fork. Use
your hands to gently work dough
into a ball. Flour a rectangle of
waxed paper, place dough ball in
middle, flour the ball & cover with
another sheet of waxed paper. Roll
dough out to a thickness of about
1/8″. Using a sharp knife or pizza
cutter, cut cough roughly into
1 1/2″ X 1 1/2″ squares. (or you
could use cookie cutters).
Place dough pieces on parchment-
lined cookie sheet. Prick each piece
a few times with a fork. Bake 11-13
minutes or until browned on edges.
Remove from oven & cool completely
before using to assemble mini-pies.


Crockpot Baked Bean Soup

1 (15 oz) can white kidney beans
or pinto beans, rinsed/drained*
1 C. onion, finely diced
1 C. diced carrot
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. molasses (unsulphured)
1 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 T. chili powder
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted
tomatoes (& juice)
2 C. water
salt, to taste

Place beans in crockpot & top with
onion & carrot. Add all seasonings/
spices. Add tomatoes & water, stir.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours or
High 4-5 hours. **
Before serving you can place some
of the soup in a blender & puree,
adding back to soup. This will thicken
the soup & provide a richer flavor.

*You can use dry beans – be sure to
pre-soak 2/3 C. overnight then cook
until beans are soft. **If your beans
were dry, you might need to cook as
long as 10 hours, depending on altitude
& humidity.


Pumpkin/Apple Monkey Bread

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 (16.3 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
2 C. peeled/diced apples
3/4 C. melted butter
1/2 C. pumpkin puree
2 T. maple syrup

In large bowl combine both sugars,
cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger. Slice
each biscuit into quarters then add
biscuits & diced apples to sugar
mixture, tossing to coat everything.
Place in crockpot. In small bowl whisk
butter, pumpkin puree & maple syrup
together & pour over biscuits in
crockpot. Cook on Low 7-8 hours.



Gas prices, as of yesterday, were back down
to $2.25/9 (hope they’re still at that price, as
I need to fill up today).

This week is shaping up to be busy – Knit
Night tomorrow, special needs group Weds.,
something Thurs (don’t remember right now);
it’s OK, I’m used to busy weeks. We’re rehearsing
with my special needs group the song they will
be singing Dec. 16th for our dinner. It’s a great
song with lots of meaning; if you might be
interested, here’s the link to the video:

Our kids did it last year with the video playing
in the background – this year our leader wants
them to sing it alone with me playing piano for
them – we’ll see how it goes.

Finished the one knit scarf for our special needs
group’s Christmas box for the homeless and started
on another one. This one is medium grey with dark
grey ends – quick knit, easy pattern. Still working on
both of the other baby blankets. I asked a friend at
church yesterday if my friend who’s expecting will
be finding out the sex of her baby (or not) and she
said YES! (This friend is best friends with the mom-
to-be). I’m going to wait – if it’s a girl I’ll give her one
of the two I’m working on; if it’s a boy I’ll create a
new blanket – we’ll see! I believe I might have
mentioned before that this mom-to-be has been
trying for about 4 years to conceive (and they had
a miscarriage 4 years ago) so I’m SUPER happy for
them. We tried for 8 years and it just never happened,
so I know the sadness that brings – SUPER HAPPY for
them!!! They will make great parents! I’ve known the
dad since he was a teenager – he’s one of our ‘extra’
kids in the family – friends with my sons.

Hope this week will be really good for you!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I really enjoyed the luncheon.

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