Lots ‘O Recipes!


Really sunny out today!

When the sun is out the temperatures rise – we have 40 degrees F. out there! Snow in the yard is melting, the snow on the garage roof is gone – YAY! I love sunny days – they really lift my spirits.

Lots of appetizer recipes coming in so I thought I’d share them with you


Cream Cheese/Bacon Crescents

1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Chive & Onion
cream cheese spread
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese spread & bacon
until blended. Separate each can of
dough into 8 triangles; cut each
triangle lengthwise in half. Spread
each triangle with 1 generous tsp.
cream cheese mixture. Roll up,
starting at shortest side of triangle;
place, point sides down, on baking
sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until
golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Stuffed Meatballs

1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1/8 lb. prosciutto, diced
2 oz. uncooked baby spinach
1/8 lb. sweet capicola, diced
1/8 lb. Genoa salami, diced
1/8 lb. provolone, diced
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella,
shredded or diced
1/4 C. finely grated Parm. cheese

2 slices white or soft wheat bread,
crusts removed
1/4 C. whole milk
2 T. olive oil
1 C. onion, diced fine
1 T. fresh garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 T. Italian seasoning
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. grated Parm. cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork

1 quart tomato sauce or
your favorite sauce (for serving,
plus more if serving with pasta)

additional Parmesan cheese, for

In medium pan heat oil & saute
onions with Ital. seasonings over
medium heat. After 5 minutes add
prosciutto & cook 3 minutes; remove
from heat & cool. In medium bowl add
capicola, salami, provolone, mozz. &
Parm. cheese – mix to combine. Add cooled
onion to meat/cheese & stir to combine;
cover & refrigerate filling until later.

Place bread in large bowl & cover with milk,
making sure bread is completely covered &
soaks up milk. In saute pan over medium heat
add olive oil & onions; cook 5 minutes then
add garlic & cook 1 min – remove from heat to
cool. Add eggs to soaked bread & stir vigorously
to combine; add Ital. seasoning, parsley, salt/
pepper & Parm. cheese, mix to combine. Add
ground beef & pork & gently combine but do
not over mix. Divide mixture into 8 equal
Line a small sheet tray with parchment paper.
Fill a bowl with water to wet your hands as
you work. Remove filling from fridge & divide
that into 8 portions. With wet hands, take
1 portion meatball, roll into ball then place on
a cutting board; press down into center. Take
a portion of filling & place on meatball. Use
a spatula to lift it from the board & press
sides up & around filling, pinching closed on
top; place pinch-side-down, on sheet tray
& repeat with rest of mixtures. Cover &
refrigerate 30  minutes.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray top & sides of meatballs on tray
with nonstick spray (or brush with oil)
Bake 20  minutes, uncovered. While
meatballs are cooking heat tomato sauce
in large skillet. When meatballs are cooked,
use a spatula & place meatballs in sauce,
covering tops. Cover skillet & cook on
low simmer 15 minutes (discard any fat
that collects on sheet pan). Serve with
additional Parm. cheese. Makes 8 large

*If you don’t have Italian seasonings:
use half dried basil & half dried oregano

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
Game Day Giant Stuffed Sanwich
(serves 8-12)

1/2 C. quick cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 C. boiling water
2 T. butter
1 (16 oz) pkg. hot roll mix
3/4 C. very warm water (110-115 degrees F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1 (9 oz) pkg. deli-sliced honey ham
1 (6 oz) pkg. deli sliced roast turkey
1 (6 oz) pkg. deli sliced roast chicken
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
8 sliced Cheddar cheese

garnish- shredded lettuce

Combine oats, boiling water & butter in
large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. (from
hot roll packet) dissolve yeast in warm
water; add to oat mixture. Stir well &
mix in eggs. Add flour from roll mix; blend
well. Form mixture into a 10-inch circle
on a greased 12″ pizza pan (you’re making
the bun). Cover & let rise 25 minutes, until
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 25 minutes & cool on wire rack. Cut in
half horizontally. Whisk mayo & mustard;
spread over cut sides of bun. Assemble
sandwich & cut into wedges. Serves 8-12

(recipe: gooseberrypatch)

Loaded Bacon Potato Chip Dip

1 C. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. your favorite shredded cheese
4-6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
4 green onions, chopped

Potato chips, for dipping

Mix sour cream & cream cheese until
well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients
& chill 1 hour. Serve with potato chips.

(recipe: gooseberrypatch)

Tomato & Black Bean Salsa

chopped tomatoes
finely diced bell pepper (or)
fresh garlic, minced
red onion, finely diced
black beans, drained/rinsed
cilantro, finely chopped
fresh squeezed lime juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl;
adjust seasoning (salt/pepper) as
desired. Serve immediately &
refrigerate leftovers.

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)
Chinese Sticky Sesame Wings
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. chicken wings (drummette
sections, about 10)

1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. white wine
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
1 tsp. garlic paste
2 T. brown sugar

drained marinade (above)
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
1 tsp. (hot or toasted) sesame oil
1 C. flour (approx)
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
cooking oil, for frying (or 3 T.
melted butter, if baking)

Whisk marinade ingredients together
& marinate chicken in ziplock bag
Drain marinade & reserve. Add
brown sugar, sriracha & sesame
oil to marinade & stir to blend;
pour marinade into saucepan &
bring to boil; whisk constantly
over medium heat until sauce
reduces to a syrup & coats back
of a spoon.

To Pan Fry:
Heat cooking oil or shortening in
a large cast iron skillet (about
1 1/2 inches deep) to 375 degrees F.

To Bake:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Dredge drained wings in flour &
shake off excess.

Place in a bowl & drizzle with butter &
toss until it mixes in (just to coat)
Coat again in flour & shake off.
Place coated wings on baking sheet
& bake 35 minutes, turning
occasionally, until browned & cooked

After dredging (see above) fry wings
about 10 minutes, turning once during
cooking time, until meat is 165 degrees F.
inside. Drain wings on paper toweling.

Drizzle wings with sauce or shake in sauce
(like hot wings) or use sauce as dip. Sprinkle
wings with sesame seeds or sprinkle on top
of dip & toss.
Serves 10

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)

Bacon Cheeseburger Rolls

1 pkg. egg roll wrappers*
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
8 slices bacon, cooked crispy
1/2 yello onion, chopped
2 C. shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 T. yellow mustard
1 T. + 1 tsp. olive oil

(small bowl of water &
pastry brush)

sesame seeds, for topping
ketchup for dipping, if desired

Heat 1 T. olive oil in large skillet
over medium heat. Cook onion until
transparent, stirring frequently. Add
meat & brown; add mustard, Worc.
sauce, salt/pepper – stir then let cool
a few minutes.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper on a work
surface; place a heaping spoonful of
meat mixture in center of wrapper &
crumble a few pieces of bacon on top,
sprinkle on some cheese. Dip pastry
brush in water & apply a little water
to outside edges of wrapper. Fold
each side of wrapper into center &
squeeze edges shut. (Looks like a
burrito when done). Place rolls on
a baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Brush tops of rolls with
remaining olive oil & sprinkle tops
with sesame seeds. Bake 18-20
minutes until golden brown. Serve
immediately with ketchup (if desired).
Makes 12-14 rolls

*You can find egg roll wrappers in
the fresh vegetable department at
grocery stores (usually refrigerated)

(recipe: flavorsbyfour.blogspot.in)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crescents

1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) strawberry cream
cheese spread
3 T. finely chopped walnuts
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese spread & nuts until
blended. Separate each can of dough
into 8 triangles; cut each triangle
lengthwise in half & spread about
1 tsp. cream cheese filling in middle
of each. Roll up, starting at short side
of each & place, points down, on baking
sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Serve warm. Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Ultimate Choc. Chip/Cookie/Oreo/
Fudge Brownie Bar

Cookie dough:
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 C. gran. sugar
3/4 C. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C. (12 oz) milk choc. chips

1 pkg. Double Stuff Oreos

1 Family Size (9 X 13) box brownie
mix (& eggs/oil needed to prepare)
1/4 C. hot fudge ice cream topping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking pan with foil;
coat generously with nonstick spray.
Cream butter & both sugars in large
bowl using elec. mixer on medium 3-5
minutes. Add eggs & vanilla; mix well.
In another bowl whisk flour, baking soda
& salt; then slowly incorporate into
other bowl until flour is just combined.
Stir in choc. chips. Spread dough on
bottom of prepared pan, top with a
layer of Oreos. Mix brownie mix accordg.
to pkg. directions, adding an optional
1/4 C. hot fudge ice cream topping to
the mix.
Pour batter over cookie dough
& Oreos. Bake 45-55 minutes. Let cool
completely before cutting. Brownies
may still be gooey in middle while still
warm, but will set up perfectly once

(recipe: kevinandamanda.com)

Sausage Soup

1 lb. hot sausage
1 lb. sweet sausage
1 (32 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
hot pepper flakes
2 large cans chicken broth
small bag tortellini

In skillet cook sausage & crumble;
drain. Mix all other ingredients to
skillet & cook until tortellini is fully

(recipe: jaytriedandtrue.blogspot.in)

White Chicken Caprese Lasagna

3 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained/
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped/
1 1/2 pg. cream cheese (12 oz)
1 C. Half & Half
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped
12 lasagna noodles, cooked
12 slices mozzarella (whole milk)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine chicken, artichokes,
1 C. mozz. cheese, grated Parm, 1/2 the
basil & tomatoes. In separate bowl using
elec. mixer, beat cream cheese, Half &
Half & garlic until well combined. Using a
spoon, stir in half the basil. Set half the
cream cheese mixture aside; stir remaining
half into chicken mixture. Using half of
cream cheese mixture (without chicken)
spread it into a 9 X 13″ pan, covering
the bottom. Lay 3 noodles on top then
top with 1/3 of chicken mixture. Repeat
noodles & chicken mixture 2 more times,
ending with a noodle layer. Top with last
half of cream cheese mixture. Place mozz.
cheese slices over all & top with more
basil, if desired. Bake 25 minutes until
heated through. Slice & serve.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: thecookierookie.com)


I’m not one for sports, so I’m not exactly
sure just when the BIG games are coming,
except I can tell they’re getting close because
of all the appetizer recipes showing up on
my emails. I’ll be adding more as they come
in, for those of you who host parties (or
need a quick recipe to take with you to a

Have a GREAT day!



Bright, Sunny Day!


One of our helpers in my special needs group bought me a kit with miniature Paper White Narcissus; I planted them about 3 weeks ago and now they’re blooming! For some reason I thought they would be a little bigger – each flower is about the size of a dime or smaller! There were 4 bulbs in the kit, the other three stalks are growing, one looks like it’s almost ready to produce flowers – the other two are still ‘working on it’. It’s nice, in the middle  of winter, to be able to see some fresh flowers! It’s sunny out today, still some snow on the ground and only 21 degrees F (wind chill minus 7) but I’m just feeling uplifted with the bright sunshine coming in the windows!


Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
(about 3)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash salt

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10″ X 1″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large bowl
cream butter & sugar until light
& fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas &
vanilla. Combine flour, baking
soda & salt; stir into creamed
mixture until just blended &
pour into prepared pan. Bake
20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
butter until fluffy; add conf. sugar
& vanilla – beat until smooth &
frost bars. Makes 3 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

5-ingredient Coconut Curry

1 can coconut milk*
2 T. red curry paste
2 small heads broccoli cut
into small bite-sized pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained/rinsed
1/2 T. cornstarch dissolved in
2 T. cold water
minced garlic or onion

Saute broccoli, onion/garlic in 1 T.
oil in skillet. After a few minutes add
coconut milk; let simmer 5-8 minutes.
Broccoli should soften but still be
tender-crisp. Add curry paste to pan
& whisk until combined with coconut
milk. Add chick peas & bring to slight
boil – add cornstarch mixture & boil
about 1 minute then reduce heat
& let cool slightly. Sauce will thicken
as mixture cools. Serves 3-4

*You can usually find coconut milk
in the section where alcoholic drink
mixes are sold in grocery stores

(recipe: pinchofyum.com)

Zesty Mississippi Roast

3-5 lb. boneless beef rump or
chuck roast
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
cracked black pepper
1 T. vegetable or canola oil
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, halved/sliced
1 envelope dry Ranch dressing mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy or
au jus mix
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed thyme
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary
1 C. Coca Cola (classic, not diet)
1 large bay leaf
1 whole jalapeno (can use pickled)
4 golden peperoncini peppers
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. cornstarch

Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut
multiple small slits all over roast;
insert garlic slivers in slits. Season
roast on all sides with pepper. Heat
1 T. oil in large skillet & brown roast
on both sides. Add celery to bottom
of a 6 qt. crockpot; place roast on top.
Add onion to skillet & cook 3 minutes;
place in crockpot.
Whisk ranch dressing mix, gravy mix,
thyme & rosemary – stir in Coke,
whisk until well blended. Add bay
leaf, jalapeno, peperoncini to top of
roast & pour Coke mixture over top.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours, or
High 4-5 hours. (total time depends
on size of roast).
To thicken gravy:
Remove roast to a plate & loosely
tent with foil to keep warm. Skim any
excess fat off top of juices & carefully
transfer contents of crockpot to a
saucepan. Stir in 1 T. butter & cornstarch,
using just enough water to dissolve
cornstarch. Whisk into gravy; bring to
a boil, reduce heat & simmer until
thickened. Serve with roast. Serves 6-8

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)

Skillet Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. coconut oil

Heat large skillet add oil & potatoes;
stir. Cook 15 minutes until tender. Stir
often, making sure not to burn them.
Add garlic, salt, cinnamon & parsley;
stir repeatedly & cook another 4
minutes. Stir often & try not to burn
the garlic.

NOTE: You can roast them in the oven:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add all mixed ingredients to a roasting
pan & bake 25-35 minutes.

(recipe: healthyhappysmart.com)

Eggplant Parmesan

3 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
3 medium eggplants, cut into
1/4 inch slices
2 (4 1/2 oz, ea) jars sliced
mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick
spray. Place eggs & bread crumbs in
separate, shallow bowls. Dip
eggplant slices into egg, then
coat in crumbs & place on
prepared sheets. Bake 15-20
minutes until tender & golden
brown, turning once. In small bowl,
combine mushrooms, basil & oregano.
In another small bowl combine
cheeses. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & spread 1/2 C.
sauce in bottom, smoothing out.
Layer with 1/3 of mushroom mixture,
1/3 eggplant, 3/4 C. sauce & 1/3
cheese mixture – repeat layers twice.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
heated through & cheese is melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pistachio Bar Dessert

36 Oreo cookies finely crushed
(about 3 C.)
6 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. Pistachio-flavored
instant pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/divided
1/2 C. chopped toffee bits

Mix cookie crumbs & butter until blended;
press onto bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Beat pudding mixes & milk in large bowl
using whisk 2 minutes; spread 1 1/2 C.
onto crust. Stir half of Cool Whip into
remaining pudding & spread over pudding
layer; cover with remaining Cool Whip &
refrigerate 4 hours until firm. Sprinkle top
with toffee bits before serving. Serves 32

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Pizza Waffles!
snack or appetizer

1 pkg crescent rolls (8 pieces)
1 1/3 C. mozzarella cheese
pepperoni or your favorite
pizza toppings
pizza sauce,warmed, for dipping

Preheat waffle iron & spray with
nonstick spray. Unroll crescent
rolls. Pinch seams to connect
2 triangles so you form 4
rectangles. Place 1/3 C.
cheese & pepperoni in each
rectangle; fold over & pinch
to seal all sides – repeat with
remaining sections. Place each
piece of dough on preheated
waffle iron, close & cook 5
minutes until browned. Serve
warm with pizza sauce for
dipping. Makes 4

(recipe: spendwithpennies.com)

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

2 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
3 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. pepper

In saucepan over medium heat,
heat oil; cook onions & garlic
until softened. Add tomatoes,
broth, tomato paste & pepper;
bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer 15 minutes until slightly
thickened. In batches, add soup
to blender & puree. Serves 4

(recipe: food.com)

Greek Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

6 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. long-grain white rice
2 C. cooked chicken, diced
2 large eggs, room temp.
2/3 C. fresh lemon juice (do
not used bottled)

Add broth & rice to large saucepan;
bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
Cover & cook 15 minutes until rice
is cooked; add chicken to pot. Remove
soup from heat & cover. In separate
bowl whisk lemon juice into eggs until
frothy. Ladle about 1 C. hot broth from
soup & slowly whisk into eggs, whisking
constantly. Slowly stir warmed eggs into
pot of soup. Serve immediately.

(recipe: whatskpcooking.com)

Rustic Nut Bars

1 T. plus 3/4 C. cold butter,
2 1/3 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

2/3 C. honey
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, cubed
2 T. heavy whipping cream
1 C. chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 C. salted cashews
1 C. pistachios
1 C. salted roasted almonds

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil, letting ends extend over
sides by 1 inch; spray foil
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. Cut in remaining
butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir in egg until
blended (mixture will be dry);
press mixture firmly onto bottom
of prepared pan. Bake 18-20
minutes until edges are golden
brown. Cool on wire rack.
In large heavy saucepan combine
honey, brown sugar & salt; bring
to boil over medium heat, stirring
frequently to dissolve sugar. Boil
2 minutes, without stirring. Stir
in butter & cream; return to a
boil. Cook & stir 1 minute until
smooth. Remove from heat, stir
in nuts & spread over crust.
Bake 15-20 minutes until topping
is bubbly. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack. Lift foil edges to
remove from pan. Cut bars –
makes about 3 dozen bars.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Not much going on around here lately (YAY!);
tonight is my special needs group’s Gym Night-
it’s 2 hours: short devotion, snack time then
we have a lady who works at the local Senior
Center come in an play a few games with the
kids (they love it!) – then it’s time to go home!
Quick, fun night for all.

Stay warm, enjoy something you like doing
(even if it’s only taking a NAP!)



Just Plain Wednesday


Nothing ‘special’ today – did a quick trip to the drug store (to correct the one family photo I got a copy of – needed a 8″ X 10″), library, gas & to pay the Winter Taxes. I discovered that it had snowed just a tiny bit overnight – no big deal, temps in mid 30’s & clear. Discovered that gas prices had gone UP a bit since Sunday (Sunday regular was something like $1.56/9); today it was $1.65/9 – that’s Ok, still managed to get 3/4ths tank for $25 so I was happy.


Striped Delight
(chilled pudding dessert)

35 Oreo cookies
6 T. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. cold milk
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate
instant pudding mix
3 1/4 C. cold milk

Place cookies in food processor
& pulse to fine crumbs; transfer
to a medium bowl & mix in butter.
Press mixture on bottom of a 9 X13″
baking dish. Whisk cream cheese,
sugar & 2 T. cold milk in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in 1 1/4 C.
Cool Whip & spread over crust. Beat
pudding mixes with 3 1/4 C. cold milk
using whisk 2 minutes & pour over
cream cheese layer. Let stand 5
minutes until thickened. Cover
with remaining Cool Whip &
refrigerate 4 hours. Serves 24

NOTE: to cut into squares easily:
Place dessert in freezer about 1 hour
before cutting into squares

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Spicy Spinach Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 lb. (16 oz) Velveeta cheese, cut into
1/2″ cubes
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes with
green chilies, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

Place spinach in large microwaveable
bowl & microwave on High 5 minutes.
All all remaining ingredients & mix well.
Microwave 5 minutes until Velveeta
is completely melted & mixture is well
blended, stirring after 3 minutes.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing
pork chops

Layer pork chops in crockpot;
add soup then sprinkle dry
ranch dressing over all. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low 6
Pork chops come out very tender &
you have a gravy to serve over
mashed potatoes

(recipe: Facebook)

Beef Lentil Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 (46 oz) can tomato juice or V-8
4 C. water
1 C. dried lentils, rinsed
2 C. chopped cabbage
1 C. sliced carrots
1 C. sliced celery
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. diced green pepper
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 beef bouillon cubes (optional)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed

In large stockpot, cook beef over
medium heat until no longer pink;
drain. Add tomato juice, water,
lentils, cabbage, carrots, celery,
onion, green pepper, pepper, thyme,
bay leaf, salt & bouillon (if using).
Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat
& simmer, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2
hours until lentils & vegetables are
tender. Remove bay leaf; add spinach
& heat through. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Avocado-Tomato Salad

2 large tomatoes, diced into large
2 avocados, diced into large pieces
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
olive oil

In large bowl combine tomatoes,
avocados, onions & cilantro. Squeeze
the lime juice over top & drizzle with
olive oil; gently stir. Taste & adjust
salt as needed. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteandtellblog.com)

Refried Bean Dip

1 can refried beans
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 dashed Tabasco pepper sauce
1 1/2 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

corn chips or pretzel crisps for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In small bowl mix beans & seasonings;
divide between two 6″ skillets that are
oven-safe (or oven-safe casserole dishes).
Sprinkle cheese evenly over tops & bake
10-15 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: yummly.com)

Rustic Chocolate -Cinnamon
Bread Pudding

1/2 C. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 3/4 C. milk
6 C. cubed whole wheat bread
(6-8 slices)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese & sugar in large
bowl using elec. mixer until well
blended. Add egg whites &
cinnamon; mix well. Gradually beat
in milk until well blended. Place
bread pieces in a 8″ square baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Top with chocolate & cream cheese
mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes until
center is set. Cool slightly.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Pepperoni Pizza Chili

2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bulk hot Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 (16 oz) can hot chili beans,
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
1 (12 oz) can pizza sauce
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni,
1 C. water
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 C. (12 oz) shredded mozzarella

In Dutch oven cook beef, sausage,
onion, green pepper & garlic over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink; drain. Stir in salsa, beans,
pizza sauce, pepperoni, water, chili
powder, salt/pepper & bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cover & simmer 20
minutes heated through. Sprinkle
servings with cheese. Serves 12
(3 quarts)

NOTE: This chili can be frozen:
Before adding cheese, cool chili.
Freeze in freezer containers. TO USE:
partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Heat through in saucepan, stirring
occasionally & add a little water if
needed. Sprinkle each serving with
cheese when serving.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pull-apart Garlic Rolls

1 tube refrigerated biscuits
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a muffin tin. Cut biscuits
into fourths & place in large bowl.
Add butter, garlic powder, parsley &
mozzarella; mix using your hands,
making sure all pieces are coated.
Place pieces in prepared muffin tin
(3 pieces per tin cup) you will have
two extra – use them however you
want. Bake 15 minutes. Serve

(recipe: Facebook – Tasty)

Warm Caramel Bananas

2 T. butter or margarine
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. sour cream
2 bananas
1/2 C. roasted peanuts, chopped
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Melt butter in large skillet over
medium heat; add sugar & cook
until melted, stirring occasionally.
Gradually mix in sour cream & cook
on Low heat 1 minute. Cut bananas
lengthwise, then in half. Add, cut-
sides-down, to skillet & cook 1
minute, basting occasionally with
sauce from bottom of skillet. Stir
in nuts. Spoon bananas evenly into
4 dessert dishes & top with remaining
sauce. Drizzle with chocolate & top
with Cool Whip. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Have a great, warm, safe day!



REALLY Chilly/Windy out there!


The thermometer reads in the low 30’s but that WIND is awful! Went to the bank, drug store & grocery and was doing a pretty hard lean into the wind just to get to the car! Husband says it’s because it’s not only windy but wet as well; with these temps. almost all our snow is gone – driveway & front yard are totally clear, backyard has a little but not bad. I’m not complaining – you can walk (with effort) and drive in it without worrying about getting stuck!

Just discovered I did a rather dumb thing: lost my Blog Recipes #4 – must have dumped it after putting a recipe on it yesterday. That one had all the desserts on it so looks like I’ll have to start over for you – not a problem, just a time thing. I keep the recipes I share with you (before I share them) on 4 sheets plus one labeled Crockpot (I also have a group of people who like me to send them crockpot recipes). Not crucial, will get back to where I was, just a dumb mistake. (I usually hit save anytime I enter a recipe but must have been distracted and just dumped it instead – sigh).

With all the great things on sale today I was a bit hard-pressed to decide what’s for dinner! They had 4 really large chicken legs & thighs for $1.46 (going to broil them & have baked potatoes with for tonight); 2 large turkey legs at $3. something (I roast them in the oven until the meat falls off the bones, then make a sort of beef stroganoff sauce with onions & fresh mushrooms & serve that over cooked egg noodles, and lastly CVS had canned salmon 2/$3.00 – that’s REALLY low! We love salmon patties, so that might be in sight sometime this week, as well!


Hawaiian Hamburger Steaks

1 1/2 lb. ground steak meat
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1 T. fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce,
1 onion, thinly sliced or chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
2 C. beef broth
1 T. ketchup
1 T. cornstarch
salt/pepper, to taste

cooked mashed potatoes or rice
to serve 4

In large bowl combine meat, bread
crumbs, rosemary & 1 tsp. Wors.
sauce. Divide meat into four &
shape into oval patties. In large
skillet add 2 T. olive oil & 1 tsp.
butter over medium-high heat. Cook
patties on each side until fully
cooked; remove from pan. Add
onions to skillet & cook over
medium heat until caramelized &
tender. Add broth, ketchup, 1 tsp.
Wors. sauce, salt/pepper. In small
bowl whisk cornstarch & 1 T. broth
to make a thin paste; whisk this
into beef broth gravy mixture;
bring to boil & reduce heat to Low.
Add patties back to skillet & heat
through. Serve with mashed potatoes
or cooked rice, if desired.
Serves 4

(recipe: therecipecritic.com)

Lemon-Herb Roasted Potatoes

6-8 large russet potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1/2 – 2 inch chunks
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 to 1/3 C. olive oil (can be butter
& oil, if desired)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 1/2 T. dried herbs: oregano, thyme/
1 whole garlic bulb, broken into about
4 pieces (optional)

Parboil potatoes in salted water about
3-4 minutes- NO LONGER.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat a baking pan big enough to hold
all the potatoes without crowding. (a
glass or metal pan are fine as long as
it is well heated beforehand – prevents
the potatoes from sticking to the pan.)
Drain potatoes & let stand 5 minutes
then toss with lemon juice. Make sure
to toss well so potatoes absorb the
lemon juice. Add salt/pepper, herbs,
garlic cloves & olive oil. Transfer
mixture to hot pan. The potatoes
should sizzle when they hit the hot
pan. Roast potatoes 60-76 minutes
until nicely golden brown all over,
turning every 20 minutes. After first
10 minutes, give the pan a shake to
make sure the potatoes are not stuck
to it. The roasted garlic may have to
be removed before the potatoes, as
it generally cooks faster. When potatoes
are done cooking, squeeze garlic onto
potatoes & stir a little.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: rockrecipes.com)

Peanut Butter Cookie S’Mores Bars

1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 (10 oz) pkg. miniature marshmallows,
1/4 C. milk
2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, DO NOT THAW
2 graham crackers, coarsely broken

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Mix first 3 ingredients
until blended; press onto bottom
& 1/2 inch up sides of dish. Bake
14-15 minutes until golden brown.
Cool 30 minutes. Microwave 3 cups
marshmallows & milk in a micro-
waveable bowl on High 1 minute
until marshmallows are completely
melted & mixture is well
blended when stirred; pour over
cooled crust & top with remaining
marshmallows, pressing them gently
into melted layer. Cool completely.
Microwave chocolate & Cool Whip
in microwaveable bowl 2- 2 1/2 minutes
until chocolate is completely melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring every
minute. Pour over marshmallow layer
& spread to cover layer. Sprinkle top
with crushed graham crackers &
refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
Makes 32 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

1 (3 lb) rotisserie chicken
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion-whole, unpeeled
8 C. chicken broth
6 medium carrots, peeled/cut chunky

your choice of noodles, cooked separately

Remove most white meat from chicken; chop
into cubes – place in a container, cover &
refrigerate. Place rest of chicken in crockpot;
pour in broth. Add onion, celery, carrots &
1 T. kosher salt (to taste). Cover & cook on
Low 4 hours (or High 1 hour). Once done,
discard bones & whole onion. Add cooked
noodles & white meat; stir & serve.

(recipe: hugsandcookiesxoxo.com)

Dr. Seuss Breakfast Casserole

6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. mlk
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 C. diced mushrooms
1 C. packed baby spinach
1 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 C. cooked, diced ham

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Whisk eggs, salt/pepper, milk,
yogurt, thyme, onion powder, garlic
powder together in large bowl. Stir in
mushrooms, spinach, cheese & ham;
pour mixture into crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 90 minutes – 2 hours. Eggs should
be set. Slice & serve. Serves 6

(recipe: allfreeslowcookerrecipes.com)

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Bake

3 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, divided
12 slices Italian sourdough or rye
bread (1/2 inch thick)
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 C. milk
2 large eggs
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Italian
cheese blend or mozzarella

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl mix cream cheese
& 1 tsp. basil until blended; spread
onto 6 slices bread. Top with mozz.
cheese & remaining bread. Spread
outsides of ‘sandwiches’ with butter.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & arrange sandwiches
in bottom. In small saucepan combine
tomato paste, garlic, salt/pepper &
remaining basil; cook & stir over
medium heat 1 minute. Gradually
whisk in milk – bring to boil. Reduce
heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 minutes
until thickened, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat. Whisk eggs in
a large bowl; gradually whisk in 1/3
milk mixture. Stir in remaining milk
mixture & pour over sandwiches –
sprinkle with Italian cheese blend.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
golden brown & cheese is melted. Let
stand 10 minutes before serving
Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Creamy Crockpot Cocoa

1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
6 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. chocolate chips (milk choc. or

marshmallows – garnish

Pour all ingredients into crockpot &
whisk until well combined. Cover &
cook on Low 2 hours, stirring
occasionally until mixture is hot &
chocolate chips are melted. Whisk
well before serving. Garnish with
marshmallows, if desired.
Serves 4

(recipe: onegoodthingbyjillee.com)

Grilled Chipotle Shrimp

(appetizer – makes about 60

1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce,
chopped plus 1/4 C. adobo sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. water
2 T. lime juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 lb. uncooked large shrimp,

Cilantro Cream Sauce:
1 C. sour cream
1/3 C. minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. grated lime peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. minced fresh mint

In small saucepan bring brown
sugar, chipotles, adobo sauce,
garlic, water, lime juice, oil &
salt to boil. Reduce heat, cook &
stir 2 minutes – remove from heat
& cool completely.
Transfer mixture to large resealable
plastic bag. Add shrimp, seal bag &
turn to coat. Refrigerate up to
2 hours.

Combine sauce ingredients & chill
until serving.

Drain & discard marinade. Thread
shrimp onto metal or water-soaked
wooden skewers. Using long-handles
tongs, moisten a paper towel with
cooking oil & lightly coat the grill
rack. Grill shrimp, covered, over
medium heat or broil 4 inches from
heat 6-8 minutes until shrimp turn
pink, turning once. Serve with sauce.
Makes about 5 dozen (1 1/4 C. sauce)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Right now it’s almost 1 p.m. – the house is nice
and quiet; both sons are away at work, husband
is happily watching the movie: “Shogun” (one of
his favorites, and mine) and I’m happily typing
away to you! About 8 more rows on the really
bright/fuzzy baby blanket for Crisis Preg. Center
and that will be done – am hoping to crank that
out today. I’m guessing the ‘new’ project of 2
hats for 2 young girls will be given to me
tomorrow evening (that is, if my friend bought
the yarn yet!) – I’m ready. Got a few more baby
hats done for the local hospital; the pattern
for baby hats/chemo caps & hats for young
girls is all the same, just varied by the number
of stitches you cast on when beginning. Haven’t
been back to the library to get any new books –
the 3 I checked out last were all ‘duds’ – all by
same 2 co-authors I really liked, but some of
their earlier works – guess I should stick to their
LATER works, eh?

Hope you have a nice, relaxing day today!



PS: Went to CVS in hopes of using their photo
copier machine to make copies of the Christmas
family photos – well, I ‘sort’ of succeeded. The lady
behind the counter wasn’t too sure how to use it
and called for the manager. (side note: I’ve done
this before, but it was a good 3-4 YEARS ago and
they just updated their whole KODAK system about
6 weeks ago – sigh). Good thing the manager was
called – I wanted one sheet of 9 wallets – the lady
had ‘helped’ me and it would have been NINE
SHEETS of (9 photos each sheet) wallets
! The
manager said: “Did you know that each sheet
is $6.99 – you have a LOT of sheets there!” WHEW!
Good thing he knew that – we fixed it! SIGH! I
brought home all my ‘creations’ only to discover
that I need to make one more big photo of the
family (for our mantle) and it’s a 9 X 16 (not a
5 X 7 like I made) – not a big deal now that I have
‘some’ idea of how to run their machine. The
old one had a touch spot that said OK or CONTINUE
or something when you were done with that step –
this one didn’t – all I knew was DO NOT HIT THE
CHECKOUT BUTTON! That wraps up the order and
begins the printing – if you wanted to add more to
that order you’re just out of luck – have to start
all over again! We’ll see how this all pans out
another day!

Time to ‘catch up’, again . . .


Weather-wise it’s OK – staying clear & in the 25-30 degrees F range – you can walk & drive in it, so I’m not worried (until, of course, we get another big snow storm); this week we have a few days of 30% possible snow showers, but am not worried.

After the whirl-wind weekend of cooking/baking it’s time to get the house back in order: water plants, start laundry, run the dishwasher, catch up on special needs group/knit group paperwork and maybe grocery shop. We’re finally out of leftovers! YAY! (2 pieces of banana cake left – after devouring most of cake, we agreed it wasn’t that bad – frosting is GREAT! I ‘might’ . . . just. . . make. . . another one! We’ll see – but THIS TIME I’m using my Kitchenaid mixer – it’s designed for heavy creaming! (The frosting was killer by the time you got to the third cup of powdered sugar; youngest son took over for me. I thought it was funny – tried to tell him that you have to FOLD the sugar into the batter but he tackled it like a man – grabbed the spatula and proceeded to do a mighty STIR which sent clouds of powdered sugar EVERYWHERE! . . . I’ll admit it – I LAUGHED! He wasn’t amused . . . )


Lemon Cake Mix Bars

1 box lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick melted butter
1 box powdered sugar (about 4 C.)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl combine
cake mix, 2 eggs & melted butter; spread
in bottom of pan. In another bowl using
elec. mixer, combine powdred sugar, 2 eggs
& cream cheese; stir in coconut & spread
mixture on top of crust. Bake 35-40 minutes
until edges are brown & center is set (it will
be slightly wobbly in middle). Cool 30
minutes, then refrigerate 2 hours or up to
2 days. Cut into bars.

(recipe: mixandmatchmama.blogspot.ca)

Crockpot Steak Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef sirloin tip roast,
cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. canola oil
1 oz. pkg. onion soup mix
4 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 C. uncooked wide egg noodles

Mix flour, salt/pepper in large ziplock
plastic bag. Add beef cubes, seal bag
& toss to coat well. In large, deep
skillet heat oil over medium-high
heat; add coated meet & saute
about 6 minutes, turning, until brown;
place meat in crockpot. Sprinkle soup
mix evenly over beef. In a bowl using
a whisk, combine broth, tomato paste
& Wors. cause; pour over beef. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours until beef is
tender. Add noodles, cover & cook 30
more minutes, until noodles are tender.
Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

 Breakfast Roll-ups

3 eggs
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerted crescent
dinner rolls
8 fully-cooked breakfast sausage links
4 slices Cheddar cheese (sandwich
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl beat eggs, reserve 1 T.
beaten egg for wash on top of rolls;
scramble remaining eggs. Unroll
dough onto work surface; separate
into 8 triangles. Cut cheese slices in
half; place 1 half on each triangle. Top
each with spoonful of eggs & 1 sausage
link. Loosely roll up triangles as directed
on can; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Brush rolls with reserved beaten egg;
sprinkle salt/pepper on each & bake
15-18 minutes until golden brown.
Serves 8

(recipe: tablespoon.com)

Six-Layer Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 C. sliced white onion
1 C. sliced celery
2 C. peeled/sliced carrots
2 c. sliced russet potatoes
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery
soup (undiluted)

Brown ground beef in skillet on
stove-top; drain. Add salt/pepper &
onion powder, stir. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray. Layer
ingredients as follows:
smooth soup over top.
Cover & cook on Low 5 hours-do not
open lid during cooking time. Serves 5

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)

Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi

1 (16 oz) pkg. gnocchi
2 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
12 oz. Italian sausage
1 1/2 C. diced tomatoes (or
1 can diced tomatoes)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella

Heat a large skillet over medium-high
heat. Add oil & cook gnocchi 7 minutes
until lightly browned; remove from pan.
Add sausage to pan; cook until browned;
remove from pan. Add tomatoes, garlic,
Ital. seasoning, salt/pepper & cook about
7 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. Add
gnocchi & sausage back to pan; pour in
cream & stir until everything is warm.
Top with cheese – heat until cheese is
melted. Serves 4

(recipe: dinnersdishesanddesserts.com)

Leftover Ham Casserole

1 (12 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of broccoli
soup, undiluted
1 1/2 C. milk
2 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 1/2 C. frozen California-blend
vegetables, thawed
1 1/2 C. cubed fully-cooked ham
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. In large bowl combine soups &
milk; stir in cooked noodles, corn,
vegetables, ham, parsley, pepper/salt &
3/4 C. cheese. Spray a 9 X 13″ dish with
nonstick spray & pour mixture into pan.
Cover with foil & bake 45 minutes. Uncover,
sprinkle with remaining cheese & bake
5-10 minutes longer until bubbly & cheese
is melted. Serves 8-10

(recipe: moderationrecipes.blogspot.com)

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

1/2 C. chocolate (ice cream) syrup
1 (2 layer) box chocolate cake mix
1 C. water
1/3 C. oil
7 eggs, divided
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (4 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate,
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pour chocolate syrup into 12-C.
fluted tube pan* sprayed with
nonstick spray. Beat cake mix,
water, oil & 3 eggs in large bowl
using elec. mixer, 2 minutes until
blended. Add sour cream & mix
well; pour over syrup in tube pan.
Beat cream cheese & sugar in
separate bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Add remaining
eggs; mix well. Blend evap. milk &
melted chocolate; gently spoon over
cake batter in pan. Cover pan with
foil sprayed with nonstick spray-
place ‘sprayed side’ down on pan.
Place tube pan in large, shallow pan.
Add enough water to shallow pan so
that water comes at least 2 inches
up sides of tube pan. Bake 1 hour
30 minutes until toothpick inserted
near center comes out clean. Cool
cake completely in pan. Refrigerate
2 hours, then invert cake onto plate.
Serve cake topped with Cool Whip.

*Bundt pan

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Classic Split Pea Soup

3/4 lb. smoked ham, cubed
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped carrot
1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. dried split peas (rinsed)
2 qt. chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled,
2 tsp. salt*
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. cream or Half & Half

In large stock pot saute onion, celery
& carrots in 1 T. vegetable oil a few
minutes. Add split peas, chicken stock,
potatoes, ham, salt/pepper & bring to
boil. Reduce heat & simmer, covered,
1 hour until peas are very soft, stirring
occasionally. Working in small batches,
place soup in blender & process until
soup is very smooth & thick; return
soup to stock pot & add cream. Stir
well & reheat (do not boil).

*Salt: If you are using homemade
chicken stock that has not been salted,
add the 2 tsp. salt. If using a soup base
it has salt in it, but not as much as
bullion. If you are using regular bullion,
leave out the salt & taste just before
serving for salt content.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Hope your day is going well for you;
not sure, yet, what ‘else’ I’m going to
get myself into- knitting, of course.
About half-way done with the
easy afghan for Crisis Preg. Center;
of the items currently being worked
on, that would probably be the top
priority, as it’s about a week away
from delivery to them.

Stay warm & enjoy your day!



One HOT Kitchen!


Early this morning found me making Beef Stew for a friend from church who had knee replacement surgery Monday; while that was cooking I baked a banana Birthday cake for my husband. Usually I use a ‘tried & true’ recipe I’d found on the ‘net many years ago but today I couldn’t FIND IT! I ended up using a recipe from Allrecipes.com – I just sampled some a few minutes ago . . . it was thick & dense, frosting was a little too sweet but not much banana flavor! Will I use that recipe again – probably not. The one thing that really turned me off on that particular recipe was it seemed to have too many steps – I had bowls & utensils all over the kitchen! Oh well, I did what I promised and baked a banana cake, so all’s well.

Our weather is still cooperating – in the 30’s, clear and no snow/ice on the roads – YAY! Gas prices today were $1.52/9 – pretty good! I’ll be needing a fill-up pretty soon, so I hope they stay in that low range.


Here’s the cake recipe I made today:

Banana Cake

3/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/8 C. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 275 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking pan.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice (OR)
vinegar into a 2 C. measuring cup;
pour milk into cup & stir. Let
mixture set 5 minutes & now
you have buttermilk!

Mix  mashed bananas with lemon juice. In
medium bowl mix flour, baking soda &
salt. In large bowl cream 3/4 C. butter &
2 1/8 C. granulated sugar until smooth.
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, stir in vanilla.
Beat in flour gradually, alternating with
buttermilk. Stir in mashed bananas &
pour into pan. Bake 1 hour.
Remove cake from oven & place directly
into freezer for 45 minutes (makes the
cake very moist)

In large bowl cream butter & cream cheese
until smooth. Add powdered sugar, slowly,
using elec. mixer on Low until combined
then High until smooth. Frost cake

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Churro French Toast

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 T. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar:

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

6 large eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. grated orange zest (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 large loaf Challah bread, sliced 1/2″
thick slices
unsalted butter
vegetable oil

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat all ingredients until smooth;
place in zip-lock bag.

Cinnamon Sugar;
In shallow bowl combine cinnamon &

Preparing the toast:
In large shallow bowl whisk eggs, milk,
orange zest (if using), vanilla, honey &
salt. Soak as many slices of bread in
mixture as possible, 5 minutes, turning
once. Heat 1 T. butter & 1 T. oil in very
large skillet over medium heat. Add
soaked bread & cook 2-3 minutes per
side, until well browned. remove from
pan & immediately dip in cinnamon
sugar, turning to coat completely. Remove
to a sheet pan & keep warm in oven until
ready to serve. Fry remaining soaked
bread, adding butter & oil as needed
until all are cooked. Remove warmed
French toast to plate. Snip a small
hole in bottom corner of ziplock
bag & drizzle cream cheese glaze over
toast; serve immediately.
Makes about 10 slices

(recipe: handletheheat.com)

Crockpot Chicken & Black Beans

3 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (20 oz) can diced tomatoes w/green
chilies (Ro*Tel)
2 cans (30 oz, total) black beans,
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix, dry

Optional toppers for serving:
sour cream
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
guacamole or diced avocado
flour or corn tortillas
refried beans

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
Pour canned tomatoes, black beans & corn
on top. Sprinkle taco seasoning over top;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
4 hours. Remove chicken from pot &
shred meat with 2 forks; add meat back
into crockpot; stir to combine.
To Serve:
Serve this mixture on top of tortillas
to make burritos or in a taco bowl or
as a topping on nachos.
Serves 8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Cheesy Ham & Hash Brown Casserole

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown
8 oz. cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans cream of potato
soup (undiluted)
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. In large bowl
mix hash browns, ham, soup, sour
cream & cheese; spread evenly over
bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 1
hour until bubbly & light brown.
Serves 12

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup

1 lb carrots, peeled/cut into
1/2 inch chunks
1 medium onion, cut in half
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
1 T. olive oil
white pepper
6 C. vegetable stock
1 2/ T. grated fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
4 tsp. sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Add carrots, onion & garlic to a
sheet tray & spread out evenly.
Drizzle tops with olive oil & an
even sprinkling of salt/pepper;
mix until coated. Bake 35 minutes
until tender. In large saucepan
add vegetable stock; bring to a
simmer. Add carrots, onion,
garlic (squeezed out of it’s
peel – discard peel), ginger &
bay leaf; simmer 15 minutes.
Add 1/4 tsp. salt & small pinch
of pepper, or to taste. Add
small batches of soup to a
blender & blend until smooth-
return to pot. If soup is too
thick, add more stock. Check
seasonings & serve garnished
with chopped parsley & sour
cream. Serves 4

(recipe: culinaryginger.com)

Jalapeno Popper Casserole

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen tater tots,
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
2 C. Mexican-style cheese blend,
1 C. sour cream
1 C. bacon, cooked/crumbled
3/4 C. jalapeno pepper (seeds
removed & minced) plus 3-4
jalapenos, thinly sliced
1/3 C. green onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spread tater tots on 9 X 13″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake 15-20 minutes until very crispy.
In large bowl blend cream cheese, sour
cream, 1 C. cheese blend & minced
jalapenos. Add 2/3 C. bacon & mix
until incorporated. Remove tater
tots from oven & spread cream
cheese mixture evenly over tots;
sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Spread remaining bacon over cheese
& arrange thinly sliced jalapenos &
green onions on top. Bake 20 minutes
until cheese is golden & bubbly.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Chewy Chocolate-Caramel Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 C. canola oil
2 eggs
2 C. semi-sweet or milk chocolate
1 C. white chocolate chips
1/2 C. toffee bits
1/2 C. butter
32 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl beat
cake mix, oil & eggs. Stir in choc.
chips, white choc. chips & toffee bits.
Press half of mixture into prepared
dish. Bake 10 minutes – remove from
While crust is baking: melt butter,
caramels & cond. milk over Medium-Low
heat until caramels have melted &
mixture is smooth; pour slowly & spread
evenly over baked crust. Drop remaining
batter in spoonfuls over top & return to
oven. Bake 25-30 minutes until top is set
& edges are golden brown. Cool 20
minutes. Loosen edges from pan & continue
to cool 40 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut
into small squares to serve.

(recipe: lizventures.com)


Other than all the cooking/baking &
delivering food, it’s a nice, quiet day.
Husband & two sons are all on their
own game systems or computer, playing
their own various games – pretty quiet!

Hope your Saturday is nice and quiet,



Let the celebrations begin!

Happy Birthday

My husband turns 64 this Saturday and we began his celebration today by going out to lunch at Outback Steak House (one of his favorite places). I felt bad for the servers & greeter: it seems that when they open at 11 a.m. they have two servers and it’s very slow (ie: people usually don’t come in the door until noon) – not today. One server was late coming in, one just didn’t show for awhile, leaving the greeter to do the serving! She nicely explained that it might be a bit of a wait (we were OK with that); husband & I kept saying “She looks familiar!” Finally I asked – turns out we go to the same church! We had a nice RELAXED lunch (got there around 11:30 & finally left around 2 p.m. – the ‘end time’ was because the greeter lady decided to chat with us which was just fine. It was funny, while getting dressed husband was going to wear his ‘favorite’ shirt and I told him to hold on – he kept saying “Hold on for WHAT?” Finally I remembered where I’d hidden the shirt I bought him for his birthday & he wore that. After lunch we stopped at Arizona Saddlery and picked up his ‘birthday’ moccasins; I told him he still has one more present but he nearly freaked out on me – he HATES celebrations, so I told him “Too bad, you have to wait until Saturday to get it!” (he was good with that). While we were ‘relaxing’ waiting for our food I said I forgot to get chocolate cake mix for his birthday cake – he said: “Why do you need that to make a BANANA cake?” (Oooooooops – totally forgot that’s HIS favorite!) I’ll get it done. We also dropped off his Jeep for regular maintenance; it will be ready tomorrow so we get another ‘together time’ day (dealership is about half-hour away).


Skinny Orange Dreamsicle Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 (12 oz) can Sunkist orange pop
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice
2 tsp. fresh orange zest
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
(optional) fresh orange slices for

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
spray a 9″ springform pan with
nonstick spray. In a bowl mix cake
mix & orange pop together & stir
until just combined (do not overmix)
Pour batter into prepared pan. In
medium bowl whip cream cheese until
smooth; add powdered sugar & mix
until fully incorporated. Add orange
juice & zest until well combined. Pour
cream cheese mixture over cake batter
& swirl a few times with a spoon or
spatula. Bake 32-35 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool cake completely.
Spread Cool Whip evenly over cake &
top with sliced fresh orange slices
(if using).

(recipe: highheelsandgrills.com)

Quick Spinach/Sausage Soup

1/2 lb. Italian sausage, casings
removed, meat crumbled
1 T. chopped garlic
1 lb. spinach, stems trimmed
3 (14.5 oz ea) cans chicken broth
1/2 C. broken pieces capellini (1 inch)
(OR) 1/2 C. vermicelli pasta
4 slices French bread, 1/2 inch thick
4 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese,

Heat a large saucepan over high heat.
Add sausage & cook, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds; add
spinach & broth. Fill one empty broth can
with water & add to pot. Cover & bring to
boil. Add pasta, cover & boil 2 minutes.
Heat broiler. Broil bread slices on cookie
sheet about 1 minute per side, until
toasted. Drizzle each slice with 1 tsp. oil;
sprinkle tops with 1/2 tsp. Parm cheese.
Divide soup among 4 large soup bowls; top
each serving with a slice of toast. Serves 4

(recipe: food.com)

Country Cottage Potatoes

2 C. hot mashed potatoes (don’t
add any butter or milk)
1 C. creamed cottage cheese
3 T. butter
1 T. chopped chives
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Combine potatoes, cottage cheese,
butter, chives & salt; mix thoroughly.
Spay a 1 qt. casserole dish with nonstick
spray & spoon potatoes into dish. Heat,
uncovered, 20 minutes. Five minutes
before end of baking, sprinkle with
Cheddar cheese.

(recipe: favesouthernrecipes.com)

Chicken Fried Steak

4 (1/2 lb. each) beef cube steaks
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
1 egg
1 T. Tabasco hot sauce
1/4 C. vegetable oil (for frying)

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
3-4 C. milk
salt/pepper, to taste

Cooked rice or biscuits (4)
for serving

Heat shortening in deep skillet to
325 degrees F.
In one shallow pie plate add flour;
in a small bowl stir baking powder,
baking soda, pepper/salt; stir in
buttermilk, egg & Tabasco. Dredge
each steak first in flour, then into
batter, then again in flour. Place
steaks in skillet & cook until evenly
golden brown on both sides, about
5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks
on a plate lined with paper towels.
After frying all steaks, drain any
leftover oil from skillet, reserving
any fried ‘bits’ in pan (do not clean
Return skillet to medium heat; melt butter
in skillet. Whisk 1/2 C. flour into melted
butter. Scrape bottom of skillet to release
‘bits’ into gravy. Stir in milk, a little at a time,
using a whisk; raise heat to medium & bring
to a simmer, cooking until thick, 6-7 mintes.
Season generously with salt/pepper. Serve
on top of cooked rice, biscuits & top with
gravy.  Serves 4

*If you do not have buttermilk:
In a 2-Cup measuring cup pour 1 T.
vinegar or lemon juice. Fill cup to
1 1/2 C. measure with milk & stir.
Let set 5 minutes and now you have

(recipe: abountifulkitchen.com)


No-Bake Avalanche Cookies

2 C. Rice Krispie cereal
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 lb. white chocolate (vanilla almond
bark) melted
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

In large bowl mix cereal & marshmallows.
Mix peanut butter with white chocolate
until smooth; pour over cereal, gently
mixing until everything is well coated.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Using a spoon, scoop cereal mixture
onto lined sheet in small mounds.
Let set 2 hours until chocolate is set
up. (store in air tight container).
Makes 2 dozen

(recipe: dinnersdishesanddesserts.com)

Cheesy Spinach/Jalapeno Crescent

1 (9 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
6 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/3 C. diced pickled jalapenos, drained/
patted dry
2 tubes refrigerated crescent roll dough

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare spinach in microwave accordg.
to pkg. directions; drain/squeeze dry
using paper towels. Combine cream
cheese & ricotta in large bowl using
an elec. mixer to combine. Add spinach,
cheese & jalapenos; mix to combine.
Open crescent dough & separate into
triangles. Using ungreased cookie sheet,
arrange triangles into a ring so short
sides of triangles form a 3 inch circle
in center (dough will overlap; half of
each triangle will hang over edges of
cookie sheet – dough ring should look
like a sun). Spoon spinach mixture on
half of each triangle, closest to center
of ring. Bring each dough triangle
hanging over sides of pan up over
filling, tucking dough under bottom
layer of dough to secure it – repeat
around ring until entire filling is
enclosed (some filling might show
a little). Bake 15-18 minutes until
dough is fully cooked & golden. Let
cool slightly before slicing & serving.
Serves 16

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)

Crockpot Western Beef Casserole

1 1l2 lb. lean ground beef, browned
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (16 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (10.75 oz) can tomato soup
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 C. milk or water

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.
Mix well then cook on Low 4 hours or
on High 1-2 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Tuesday was Knit/Crochet night & I was in a
bit of a hurry getting my ‘stuff’ and ended up
taking the ‘hard’ baby blanket to work on. All
was going great until today when I happened
to look at it – it seems I somehow managed
to completely KNIT about 6 rows in one
section, totally omitting all the nice little
‘holes’ that were supposed to be there! You
guessed it – time to rip it all out and start
over. After about an hour of ripping & attempting
to start over, it’s now where I think it should
be but I was too burned out with the ripping
to go ahead & knit it over, so there it sits. I
don’t think the mistake was due to Knit night,
I think I might have started that mistake HERE
then just continued it later – either way, it HAD
to be fixed, definitely NOT something a non-
knitter would overlook – BIG, GLARING
MISTAKE! I kept telling myself “This is good
practice – even expert knitters make mistakes!”
(not saying I’m one – I’m more an intermediate
level). Last night my close friend who runs the
special needs group asked me if I would be
willing to knit two hats for her granddaughters.
(You guessed it – I don’t seem to be able to
use the NO word – I told her to buy the yarn
& I’d do them for her). Oh well . . . .

Our weather is holding at chilly/cold but
not a lot of snow/ice on the ground (YAY!)
We had a light dusting this morning, but
nothing to worry about (not like the HUGE
storm coming for Washington, DC).

Our gas prices are still dropping: $1.54/9
today – pretty neat!

Enjoy your day!



In out of the cold


Finally braved it and went to the drug store & grocery; you know you’re ‘out of it’ when you mention to the grocery cashier that it seems very busy today. She replies: “It’s the nineteenth!” I look at her with a vacant stare and she finishes with: “the day everyone gets their food stamps!” Ooooh,  THAT’S why! (reminder to self: don’t go grocery shopping on the 19th!)

It’s still really cold out-car temp. said 17 degrees F. but I’m pretty sure the wind chill is much lower (just checked: it’s 8 below). Tonight is my Knit/Crochet night – I’m pretty much guessing there won’t be very many ladies out tonight – we’ll see.

Have a close friend that just had knee replacement surgery yesterday so I’m going to make beef stew for she & her husband (who’s in a wheelchair) – I’m guessing she won’t be cooking for awhile yet. They are both diabetic so I found some raspberry juice bars for their dessert – better than cake (well, no really, but it’s a good substitute, anyway).


Cherry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
2 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
3/4 C. butter, melted
1 can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Mix cake mix &
oats in large bowl; add melted
butter & stir until crumbly.
Press half of the crumbs onto
bottom of prepared dish.
Carefully spread pie filling over
crust; spread remaining crumbs
over filling & press down
gently. Bake 18-23 minutes until
very lightly golden brown. Eat
warm or cool & cut into bars.
Makes 24 bars

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Cornbread Chicken Cowboy

4 C. baked, crumbled cornbread*
1/4 C. diced green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced onion
1/4 C. diced celery
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. cooked, diced chicken
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine cornbread,
bell pepper, onion, celery & cheese; place
half mixture into prepared dish. Spread
chicken in an even layer over mixture.
Whisk soup & broth until completely
combined & pour over chicken. Spread
remaining cornbread over chicken &
gently press down to form top crust.
Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes until hot
& bubbly & golden on top. Serves 4-6

(recipe: theseasonedmom.com)

3-Ingredient Pork Chops & Gravy

1 box Stove Top pork stuffing mix
1 (19 oz) can apple pie filling
4 large thin pork chops

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
Spray an 8 X 11″ baking dish with
nonstick spray; spread pie filling in
bottom of pan. Salt/pepper the
pork chops & lay on pie filling;
top with stuffing mix. Cover with
foil & bake 40 minutes. Remove
foil last 10  minutes of baking.
Serves 4

(recipe: noshingwiththenolands.com)

Easy Shrimp Scampi

3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. olive oil
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. dry bread crumbs
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley

hot, cooked angel hair pasta
for 4

In 10 inch oven-proof skillet saute
garlic in butter & oil until fragrant.
Add shrimp, lemon juice, pepper &
oregano; cook & stir until shrimp
turn pink. Sprinkle with cheese,
bread crumbs & parsley. Place
skillet under broiler 6 inches from
heat for 2-3 minutes until topping
is golden brown. Serve with cooked
pasta. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

3 C. peeled/diced apples –
about 3 apples
4 T. sugar
4 T. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon juice

12 egg roll wrappers*
oil- for frying
powdered sugar – for

Combine all filling ingredients in
large bowl; mix well. Place 2 heaping
tablespoons of filling in center of
each wrapper; fold in sides & roll
wrapper tightly. (use a dab of water
on the tip of your finger & swipe
inner edge of wrapper then seal
tightly). It is important to make sure
the sides of the wrapper are tucked
in, holding the ingredients – if they
leak it can cause splattering.

Preheat oil in a pan to 350 degrees F.
Fry each roll about 4-5 minutes until
browned & crispy. Place cooked rolls
on a paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle
tops of rolls with powdered sugar.
Serves 4

*you can find egg roll wrappers in the
fresh fruit section of most groceries.

(recipe: heavenlyscnetsrecipes.blogspot.

Minestrone Soup

4 T. margarine
3/4 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped carrots
1 (19 oz) can cennellini beans
1/2 C. shredded cabbage
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 C. cubed potatoes
1 quart chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. elbow macaroni
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in heavy pot over medium
heat; add onion, celery & carrots – saute
a few minutes. Add beans, cabbage,
tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, broth,
garlic, parsley & salt to pot. Bring to boil,
cover & reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour until
vegetables are barely tender. Add pasta;
simmer 30  minutes more. Check seasoning
& serve hot with grated cheese on top.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)


Crockpot Ham & Ranch Potatoes

2 lb. red skin potatoes, peeled/
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 oz. pkg. Ranch salad dressing
mix (dry)
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of potato
1 (16 oz) pkg. cooked diced ham
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in
bottom. Mix cream cheese, dry
dressing mix & soup really well &
pour over potatoes. Cover & cook
on Low 6 1/2 hours. Add ham &
stir; sprinkle cheese on top, adjust
seasoning (salt/pepper) if needed.
Cover & cook until cheese melts,
about 15-30 minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Do Nothing Cake

2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple,

1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. evaporated milk
1 C. flake coconut
1 C. chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place first 6 cake ingredients in a
bowl & mix until blended then
pour into greased 9 X 13″ pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes.

Mix butter, sugar & evap. milk &
pour into saucepan. Cook over
medium heat until a little thickened,
about 5 minutes to come to a boil.
Remove from heat & add remaining
ingredients; stir well & pour over
hot cake. Serves 16

(recipe: baking.food.com/recipe/do-


Hope you are somewhere warm & cozy;
when I finish here I’m going back to my
knitting – nothin’ much else new!



PS: Forgot to post this photo I
received yesterday (when the
temps were REALLY low & wind
chill WAY below zero); it’s my
oldest son & grandson with
their friend visiting from Kansas
City, MO!

J'lo, Kaden & Kris Jan.,2016

Left to right:

Friend, our grandson (9) & our oldest son

To be honest, when I saw the
photo on Facebook I almost
skipped over it until I read the
caption the friend wrote under
the photo about visiting with
his friend & young son! I texted
my son to say I was glad they
were all so bundled up!

Stayin’ Warm Inside!


Husband just read me the weather report for the next few days – I thought it was cold YESTERDAY – boy, was I wrong! Today 12 degrees F. (wind chill minus 11), next couple days: high of 14, 17, 28, back to teens (don’t want to imagine the wind chills – I’m cold enough!). Driving home from church last night made me really appreciate a car with a working heater; even WITH the heater cranked up to high I was still COLD; it was 11 degrees at that time (don’t know the wind chill – didn’t need to know to know it was really COLD!). Thank YOU, Lord, for giving us a warm house, working cars, clothes to cover us, food in our pantry – all the blessings You have provided AND a relatively healthy family at this time! Remember the old song most of us learned as children: “Count Your Blessings” Name them, one by one, count your blessings see what God has done; Count your blessings, name them one-by-one, Count your many blessing see what God has done!” Those words ring SO true!


Butter Rolls
(sweet cinnamon rolls)

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 7 X 11″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix
flour, & salt; using a pastry cutter,
cut in butter. When you have
coarse crumbs, add 1/2 C. water &
stir. Use your hands to press the
dough together & refrigerate 10
minutes. Generously sprinkle
workspace with flour & roll
dough into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly
over dough; sprinkle with 1/4 C.
sugar & cinnamon. Roll up dough,
jelly-roll style & cut into 12 even
slices; place in prepared dish. In
small saucepan, heat milk &
remaining sugar just until it
begins to boil Remove from heat &
stir in vanilla; pour over rolls.
Bake 30-40 minutes until browned.
Makes 12 rolls

(recipe: bunsinmyoven.com)
Tuscan Pork Chops

4 pork chops, fat trimmed
1 T. olive
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 C. fresh tomatoes, diced,
including liquid
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. basil

Cooked pasta or noodles
for 4

Heat a large, heavy pan on High
until warm. Add oil & heat untl
shimmery, but not burning/
smoking, about 20 seconds. Brown
pork chops on each side.Reduce heat to
medium-low, add onions. Stir &
flip chops after 2 minutes on each
side. Add tomatoes, garlic & spices;
simmer until tomatoes are soft &
sauce has set-up, about 5-8 minutes.
Serve on a bed of cooked pasta or
noodles. Serves 4

(recipe: sweetcsdesigns.com)
Turkey Stuffed Peppers

4 large bell peppers*
1 lb. lean chopped turkey meat
1-2 T. garlic powder
1 small white onion, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. tomato sauce
1/2 C. small diced tomatoes
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
shredded cheese, for topping
(poster uses Mexican blend)
1 C. black beans, drained/
rinsed (optional)

Heat oven 400 degrees F.
Place ground turkey in medium
saute pan, season with garlic
powder & brown. About half-
way through browning add
chopped onion, garlic & cilantro.
Cook until meat is completely
browned & onion is a little
translucent. Add tomato
sauce, diced tomatoes & chicken
broth; mix & simmer on Low
5 minutes. Add cooked rice into
meat mixture & blend well. (at
this point you can add the black
beans, if desired). Cut bell peppers
in half lengthwise & remove seeds.
Place each half in a 9 X 13 baking dish.
Spoon meat mixture into each pepper
half, filling as much as possible. Pour
enough chicken broth into pan to
cover entire bottom of pan in a
thin layer. Cover dish tightly with
foil & bake 35 minutes. Remove
foil & top each pepper with shredded

* poster suggests looking for round
peppers – they’re easier to fill

(recipe: thelovenerds.com)

Chicken Gnocci Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally
into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise
& cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 quarts chicken broth
1 lb. mini potato gnocci
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
3 T. parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat &
coat bottom with olive oil. Add onion,
carrots & celery, cook until tender 5
minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves & thyme;
cook 2 more minutes. Pour in chicken
broth & bring to boil. Add gnocci &
simmer 5 minutes until tender. Stir in
cooked chicken & continue to simmer
another couple minutes to heat through.
Season with salt/pepper, remove bay
leaves. Serve with chopped parsley
sprinkled on top. Serves 6-8

(recipe: twopeasandtheirpod.com)

Black Bean/Quinoa Enchilada Bake

1 C. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 C. water
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed/
1 red pepper, seeds removed/diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed/
1 C. frozen corn kernels
juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/3 C. chopped cilantro
salt/pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
2 C. red enchilada sauce
2 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese

Toppings: sliced green onions, avocado
slices, sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Add quinoa & water to
medium saucepan & bring to boil over
medium heat. Boil 5 minutes; turn heat
to Low & simmer 15 minutes until water
has been absorbed. Remove from heat &
fluff with a fork; cover & set aside.
In large skillet heat olive oil over medium-
high heat. Add onion, garlic & jalapeno;
saute 5 minutes until softened. Add
peppers & corn; cook 3-4 minutes. Add
lime juice, cumin, chili powder & cilantro;
stir to combine. Season with salt/pepper,
to taste. In large bowl add cooked quinoa &
black beans. Add sauteed vegetable
mixture & stir to combine. Pour in enchilada
sauce; stir well. Add 1/2 C. shredded cheese &
mix & pour into prepared dish. Top with
remaining cheese; cover with foil & bake
20 minutes. Remove foil & bake 10 minutes
until cheese has melted & edges are
bubbling. Remove from oven, let cool
10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if
desired. Serve warm. Serves 8-10

NOTE: This recipe freezes well

(recipe: twopeasandtheirpod.com)

Apple Pecan Cake

1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
3 C. peeled/chopped apples

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix all
ingredients together except nuts
& apples. Batter will be stiff, mix
well then add apples & nuts – mix
& spread in pan. Bake 45 minutes.
The apples moisten the cake while

(If you would like an icing on the cake)

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place all icing ingredients in a pan
& bring to boil – boil 2 minutes then
set pan in a bowl filled with ice water
& beat icing until thickened. You can
also add powdered sugar to mixture if
it’s not thick enough.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs/

2 1/2 lb. chicken legs*
1 2/3 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 2/3 T. ketchup
3/4 C. honey
2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Mix oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey,
garlic, salt & pepper – pour over
chicken. Bake 1 hour until sauce is
caramelized. Serves 6-8

*can use wings or pork ribs

(recipe: food.com)

Crockpot Beef Casserole Soup

3 leeks, cleaned & chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat,
cut into chunks
3 beef bouillon cubes
garlic powder, to taste
basil, to taste
salt/pepper, to taste

6 1/2 – 7 C. boiling water

Place boiling water in crockpot;
add all other ingredients. Cover
& cook 8 hours.

(recipe: deliciousrecipes.blog.co.uk)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie

1 pkg. Oreo cookies
5 T. butter, melted

1 3/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. melted butter
1 (small) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. peanut butter cups, chopped

Using a food processor, grind Oreos
into fine crumbs; mix with melted
butter & press firmly onto a 9″
springform pan or pie plate. Place
in freezer while you work on filling.
In a bowl mix peanut butter, sugar &
melted butter until well combined;
press into prepared pie crust.
In separate bowl whisk pudding mix &
milk 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip &
spread over peanut butter layer.
Refrigerate 1 hour until set.
Spread remaining Cool Whip over top
of pie & sprinkle with chopped peanut
butter cups. Refrigerate 1 hour before
slicing. Serves 10

(recipe: dinnersdishesanddesserts.com)


Not much going on at the moment; I’ve
been procrastinating about going ‘out’ –
probably need milk & bread, but not sure
I want to go get COLD while doing just
that (I’m lazy!). Happy that today middle
son is ‘off’ (he works for a garbage company
and I can’t imagine riding on the back of a
garbage truck in these freeze temps!); yes,
he works tomorrow – sigh.

Tonight’s dinner is homemade pizza – that’s
another one of those ‘more than one meal’
dinners. I use already prepared frozen pizza
crusts from Gordon Food Services – they come
3 to a pkg., about 14″ each crust. (They used
to offer two to a pkg. which, I thought, was
better for our family, but have gotten used to
preparing three at a time – lots of leftovers
for dinner/lunch & the guys just grabbing a
slice whenever they want. The next two days
will be my knit group & special needs group
so it’s nice to already have dinner made!

Hope you are all keeping warm (that is, if
you are in a COLD climate!). Try to take a
little time out for yourself – maybe a quick
5 minute ‘cat-nap’ (I did that for 40 minutes
before leaving for choir yesterday and woke
up craving chocolate cake! Who knows what
that was about!?).

Enjoy your day!



PS: Forgot to mention: Gas Prices
around here have dropped to $1.64/9

It’s Friday – again


Slow day here – the weather is warming up a bit (icicles on roof are melting); thermometer says around 40 degrees F. it’s gray/gloomy and ‘dull’ – but hey, it’s Winter in Michigan so what can I expect? Mostly knitting on both afghans – somehow when it gets gloomy outside I don’t have any ‘get up & go’, just want to go back to bed  . . . bad, eh?


Raspberry Almond Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
6 T. brown sugar
1 C. cold butter, cut into small
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 C. seedless raspberry jam
1/2 C. sliced almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Combine
flour & brown sugar in food
processor; pulse a few times to
combine. Add butter, egg &
almond extract; pulse a few
times until mixture is coarse &
crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 C. mixture;
pour remaining crumbs into
greased prepared pan. Press
mixture down in an even layer;
bake 10 minuets. Spread jam
over crust & sprinkle with
reserved crumb mixture &
sliced almonds. Return to
oven & continue baking
25-30 minutes until top is
light golden brown. Cool on
wire rack then cut into bars.
Makes 24 bars

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)

Dorito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. diced onion
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (10 oz) can cheese soup
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with
green chiles
1 (10 1/2 oz) bag Doritos
Nacho Cheese flavor
3 C. Mexican-blend shredded

sour cream and/or salsa, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large, deep
skillet brown meat with onion
until fully cooked; drain. Add dry
taco seasoning, soup & tomatoes;
stir until blended. Crush chips
slightly. Place 1/3 of crushed chips
in bottom of pan then spoon meat
mixture over top. Top with 1 C.
cheese, spreading evenly. Layer another
1/3 chips, rest of meat & another cup
of cheese. Top with chips & cheese.
Bake 25 minutes. Serve with sour cream
and/or salsa. Serves 6

(recipe: allfreecasserolerecipes.com)

Vegetable Quinoa Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 1/2 C. fresh green beans,
cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 (32 oz) box vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 C. chopped fresh basil
2 C. cooked quinoa
salt/black pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in large, heavy-
bottomed stockpot over medium-
low heat. Once hot, add onion & cook
until tender, 5 minutes. Add garlic,
cook 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, celery,
zucchini, squash & green beans; cook
4-5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Add veg. broth, diced tomatoes, bay
leaves, thyme & basil; reduce heat to
Low. Cover & cook 25-30 minutes until
vegetables are fork-tender. Stir in
cooked quinoa & season w/ salt/ pepper.
Remove bay leaves & serve warm.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: To Cook Quinoa:
Rinse 1 C. quinoa under cold water. Add
quinoa, 2 C. water & pinch of salt to a
medium saucepan. Bring to boil over
medium heat & boil 5 minutes. Turn
heat to Low & simmer 15 minutes or
until water is absorbed. Remove from
heat & fluff with a fork

(recipe: twopeasandtheirpod.com)

Crockpot Applesauce Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 C. applesauce
2/3 C. barbecue sauce (your choice)
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken on bottom of crockpot.
Mix other ingredients in a bowl; pour over
chicken. Cook, on Low, 6 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: Crockpotladies)

Chick Pea/Roasted Red Pepper Dip

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 roasted red pepper, skin & seeds
2 T. fresh parsley, leaves only
2 cloves garlic
1 T. sesame oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt/fresh ground pepper

cut up fresh veggies, for dippers

Combine all ingredients in food
processor;  add a little water if it’s
too thick. Blend until smooth. Serve
with cut up fresh vegetables like
cucumbers, peppers, celery, etc.
Serves 4

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sour Cream Rice Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 C. long grain white rice
3 C. water (or beef broth)
1 C. cottage cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place rice & water in medium
saucepan over medium heat,
stirring occasionally. Bring to boil,
reduce heat to Low, cover & cook
15-18 minutes until water is
absorbed. Let sit, covered, 5
minutes. Brown ground beef in
skillet until cooked; remove from
heat; drain & add tomato sauce.
Add rice to a large mixing bowl &
stir in sour cream, cottage
cheese & salt/pepper – mix to combine.
Spray a 2 qt baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread half rice mixture in
bottom; top with half meat/tomato
mixture & sprinkle on half of cheese.
Repeat layers. Bake 15 minutes until
cheese is melted. Serves 4

(recipe: bunsinmy oven.com)

Chocolate Mint Brownies

2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate,
broken into pieces
1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
16 small chocolate-covered mint

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8″ square baking pan
with foil, with edges of foil
extending over sides – spray with
nonstick spray. Microwave chocolate
& butter in large microwaveable
bowl on High 2 minutes until butter
is melted. Stir until chocolate is
completely melted & mixture is
well blended. Add sugar; mix well.
Blend in eggs; stir in flour &
cocoa powder. Spread 1/3 of batter
on bottom of prepared pan. Arrange
mint patties in single layer over
batter in pan; cover with remaining
batter. Bake 30-35 minutes until
toothpick inserted into center comes
out with fudgy crumbs. (do not
overbake). Use foil handles to lift
brownies from pan before cutting
into squares to serve. Makes 24.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Lazy Days Cabbage Roll Casserole

2 lb. ground beef, browned/drained
1 C. onion, chopped
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 C. instant rice
1 tsp. salt
1 (14 oz) can beef broth

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients (except broth)
in ungreased, deep 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Drizzle top with broth & cover with foil.
Bake 1 hour; uncover & stir. Cover again
& bake an additional 30 minutes until
rice is cooked & casserole is heated
through. Serves 10-12.

(recipe: mandysrecipeboxblog.com)


I don’t know about you but every once in
awhile I ‘hit the wall’ with my weight (and
sugar levels – I’m type 2 diabetic/no meds);
today was ‘that’ day. I have a certain limit
I keep for myself as to my weight (as high as
I want it to go) and the ‘hopeful’ numbers
as to the blood levels – well, today is the
REALITY CHECK . . . time to get ‘serious’ again
about lowering both numbers – sigh. No
more late night snacking on chips & sour
cream (one of my downfalls – don’t know
when to stop!) or grabbing a cookie here
& there during the day – time to go back
to simple eating. I ‘was’ going to have a
bowl of Cheerios for breakfast (no sugar)
until I took my blood test . . . ended up
having an egg lightly cooked with chopped
onion, mushrooms & a dash of garlic
powder. Yep, being diabetic is no fun but
as long as I keep reeling in my desires
to eat whatever I want, we’re OK. Most
people do the ‘reality check’ for their
New Year’s resolution – not me, I just
do it when the numbers start climbing.
I have a regular check up with my main
physician come Feb. 1st, so it’s now
lose 4 lb.s before then (not too hard
to do), it’s the blood levels that are
hard to lower – sigh. Ah LIFE, it’s great
as long as you don’t get OLD!