Shopping – (almost) All Done!


Went out for a brief shopping trip & to the library. Ended up getting gas ($1.79/9) and stopping at the dollar store. Found something nice for the three young collage girls who occasionally help out in my special needs group – now I’m down to just one young man who also helps out. His present is super easy: he loves Hershey’s Cookies & Cream candy bars so I usually get him a really big one – that’s on my ‘to buy’ next week list. . . THEN it looks like I might actually be DONE with Christmas shopping! YAY! Middle son is getting all things he likes, youngest already GOT things he wanted/needed. . . but – we took his car in today & dropped it off at the dealership – probably needs a new tire & front end alignment (guess who’s paying for that). At least he’s still getting things he NEEDS! Only one I’m still waffling about is the grandson; got him a Minecraft (his favorite game) t-shirt but that’s ALL! His dad mentioned that P – – (something, something) card for his games, will have to be more specific on what game to get that.


Gingerbread Brownies

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. baking cocoa (unsweetened)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 C. butter, melted/slightly
1/3 C. molasses
2 eggs, beaten

garnish: powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine flour,
sugar, baking soda, cocoa &
spices. In another bowl combine
butter, molasses & eggs. Add
butter mixture to flour mixture,
stirring just until combined. Spread
in a greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Bake 20 minutes. Cool in pan on
wire rack. Dust top with powdered
sugar & cut into squares.
Makes 2 dozen


Turkey Crescent Bites

2 tubes crescent rolls
1 C. chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 T. olive oil
2 1/2 C. chopped, cooked turkey
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. chopped dried cranberries

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in saute pan over
medium heat; add celery & onion-
saute until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add
chopped turkey, salt/pepper, sage &
garlic powder, stirring to combine.
Reduce heat to low & blend in cream
cheese until melted; remove from
heat & stir in chopped cranberries.
Unroll one pkg. crescent rolls & place
on a baking sheet. Using your fingers,
gently press seams together to seal.
Spread turkey mixture evenly over
dough, leaving about 1/2″ border
along edges. Unroll remaining pkg.
rolls & place on top of turkey
mixture; press edges together to seal;
gently press seams together. Bake 20
minutes until dough is golden brown.
Cut into small squares & serve*

*a pizza cutter makes quick work
of cutting


Mozzarella Stuffing Balls

3 C. cold stuffing*
2 oz. fresh Mozzarella cheese,
cut into 16 cubes
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. panko bread crumbs
1/3 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
vegetable oil, for frying

Heat oil in deep pan.
Divide stuffing into 16 portions. Mix
panko bread crumbs & Parm. cheese
in small dish. Cup each portion around
a piece of Mozz. cheese using your
hand, then roll into a firm ball. Dip
ball into beaten egg & then into
panko/Parm mixture to coat throughly.
Fry balls in hot oil to cover until well

*If you do not have 3 C. stuffing:
Dice up enough Mozz. cheese to
fit into what you have & use equal
parts of panko & Parm. cheese.


Cake Mix Fudge

2 C. + 2 T. cake mix
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. butter (1 stick) cut into
4 pieces
1/4 C. milk
2/3 C. white chocolate chips
1/2 C. rainbow cake sprinkles
plus more for topping

Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
aluminum foil. In large microwaveable
bowl mix together cake mix
& powdered sugar – mix to make sure
there are no lumps. Add butter pieces
& milk but DO NOT STIR. Place bowl in microwave
2 minutes on High. Remove from oven & stir,
stirring until you get a thick batter. Add in
white chocolate chips – only stir to combine
as they will melt if you continue stirring. Add
in rainbow sprinkles, gently stirring – quickly.
(sprinkles will melt if you continue to stir
& they will turn into a muddy color – not
desirable). Quickly spread batter into
prepared pan & press to smooth out. Sprinkle
more rainbow sprinkles on top & press into
dough gently. Place dish in refrigerator & let
set 2 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge,
remove fudge, using foil, to a cutting board.
Remove foil & cut into squares.

(note: poster did say it was VERY sweet &
would probably appeal more to children
than adults)


Crockpot Chicken Parmesan &

2 (24 oz, ea) jars spaghetti sauce
(chunky tomato, garlic & onion)
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano

1 lb. penne pasta, cooked
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

Add chicken to crockpot; sprinkel
salt/pepper & oregano over chicken
then pour spaghetti sauce over.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
without opening lid. When done
cooking, prepare pasta as per
pkg. directions. While pasta is
cooking remove chicken from pot &
place on a plate – cut into bite-
sized pieces then add back to pot.
Drain pasta very well. Add pasta
to chicken & sauce; stir. Flatten
pasta out into an even layer;
sprinkle shredded cheese &
Parmesan on top. Cover & cook
15 minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 6


Spaghetti/Chicken/Bacon Dish

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

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


Crockpot Bean & Ham Soup
(OVERNIGHT recipe)

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. dried Navy beans
1 1/2 C. dried Northern white beans
4 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
9 C. chicken broth
2 C. diced ham (or more)

Soak beans in 8 C. water overnight.
If using ‘quick soak’ method, bring beans
to a boil in 8 C. water, turn off heat, cover
& let set 1 hour; drain water before adding
to crockpot.
Mix all ingredients in crockpot & cook on
Low 9-10 hours. Discard bay leaf before
serving. Serves 8-10


Cranberry Apple Cobbler

2 (21 oz, ea) apple pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C. dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. milk

vanilla ice cream – for serving

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine dry cake mix & butter in
elec. mixer bowl. Beat at Low
speed 1 minute, until crumble.
(it’s Ok to have a few large pieces
of butter in mixture). Remove 1 1/2
C. cake mixture to medium bowl; stir
in cranberries & cinnamon. To
remaining cake mixture add milk &
beat on Low until all dry mixture
is moist. Use a spoon to mix all
together (there will be some visible
pieces of butter – don’t over mix)
Place pie filling in microwaveable
bowl; heat in microwave until bubbly,
4-5 minutes, covered. Pour hot filling
into a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Top filling
with dollops of cake batter then
sprinkle top with cranberry topping
mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes until
topping is golden brown & cracks
appear dry. Cool 30 minutes.

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)
Cinnamon Roll Cake

from scratch
Serves 15

3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter,

Cinnamon Filling:
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. packed light brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon

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

To make cake:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13″ pan (or line with
parchment paper or foil, grease
sides & bottom – set aside).
In large bowl whisk flour, salt,
sugar & baking powder; add milk,
eggs & vanilla – whisk until smooth.
Slowly add melted butter & whisk until
smooth. Spread batter into prepared
pan; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat butter using elec.
mixer until creamy. Add sugar, flour &
cinnamon; beat until fluffy, about 2
minutes (it will look crumbly at first, keep
beating, it will come together). Spread
filling over cake batter, leaving at least
1 inch space from edge of pan; swirl
gently using a rubber spatula. Bake
28-32 minutes until toothpick inserted
into cake comes out clean. Cool cake
15 minutes; pour glaze over cake &
spread evenly.

Using medium bowl, mix powdered
sugar, vanilla & milk; whisk together
until smooth & of drizzling consistency;
spread over still warm cake. Keep
covered in room temperature up to 3


Cranberry Apple Stuffing

1/2 C. butter
2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. thyme leaves, crushed
1 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
1 tsp. parsley flakes
2 red tart apples, cored/chopped
1 1/4 C. dried cranberries
1 tsp. grated orange peel (optional)
4 C. unseasoned dry bread cubes
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In skillet melt butter; add celery,
onions & saute 5 minutes. Remove from
heat; stir in next 5 ingredients & orange
peel, if using. Place bread cubes in large
bowl; stir in skillet mixture. Add broth;
toss to combine. Place in 9 X 13″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover &
bake 35-40 minutes. Makes 8 (1 C. ea)

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Our weather is still holding at CLEAR,
in low 40’s (feels like low 30’s) & over-
cast – happy with that as long as there’s
no ‘white stuff’ falling or on the ground,

Hope your day turns out BETTER than
you expected!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As we get older those gifts that we “need,” such as a front tire and alignment become more and more valuable to us. (smile)

  2. Just took care of Christmas Eve dinner, started the cards, figured the checking account, got an email that
    i have another showing this Saturday. So I’d better get off my butt and shrink the to do list!

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