Still Mighty Chilly!


Another light dusting of snow overnight – roads are clear but it’s only 13 degrees F. out there with a wind chill of -11 degrees F. Oh goody- I have my special needs group tonight AND it’s Music/Birthday night (most popular event of every month) not counting I’m needed to play the piano for all the singing – sigh. Bundle up, Buttercup – we’re in for a REALLY CHILLY NIGHT!

Still working on the ‘special’ baby blanket – it’s coming along nicely, about 2 1/2 feet done. Spent a good amount of time yesterday on line attempting to find the crocheted border I had in my head – a sort of leaf-lying-on-it’s-side thing (don’t know where I originally saw it and OF COURSE I didn’t print it out or save it anywhere!) Went through all my knit/crochet books, searched on line (let’s say I spent a good 2 hours doing that) and finally decided to go through my books one more time. Just as I was saying to my son: “Wouldn’t it be nice if I just turned the page and there it was?” You guessed it – did just that. Me & my BIG ideas: this lovely pattern is SEVENTEEN ROWS TO MAKE ONE LEAF! Brings back that old TV commercial: “What was I thinking?” Let’s just humbly say: it’s WAaaaaay past my knit skill levels! Oh well, at least I finally FOUND it! Thought about what I could do instead which brought me to ANOTHER knit border I’d seen somewhere . . . this time it was a shorter search – found it and now will have to do an experiment to see if I can, indeed, do this pattern. I want to do a knitted, structured ruffle all around the blanket but reading the pattern and not exactly sure what they mean in one part – will play with that idea later.

Cold weather brings out the soups, stews & casseroles – enjoy!


Cheesy Sausage Chili

Chili Base:
1/2 lb. ground chicken
1/2 lb. ground turkey sausage
1 lb. tomatillos
1 (jalapeno/poblano or aneheim) pepper
2 c. salsa verde
1 can navy beans, rinsed/drained
1 (12 oz) bottle beer
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cilantro

Cheese Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice-
poster used Monterrey Jack)

Cook ground chicken & sausage in
skillet on medium-high heat until
fully cooked; drain. Peel husk from
tomatillos – rinse to remove sticky
residue; cut off & discard stem; chop
into small bite-sized pieces. Remove
ends/ribs & seeds from pepper &
chop. Add all chili ingredients to
crockpot; cover & cook on Low 7-9
hours. When cooking time is done,
prepare cheese sauce by melting
butter over medium-high heat in
saucepan; whisk in flour to form a
paste. Slowly stir in milk while
whisking until smooth. Bring to a
simmer 4-6 minutes until sauce
thickens enough to coat the back
of a spoon. Remove from heat;
stir in cheese until melted &
smooth then stir into chili.
Continue to heat another
15 minutes.


Italian Meatball Soup

1 T. olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 small onion, diced small
2 T. tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can beef stock
1 1/2 C. water
1 lb. cooked cocktail-size Italian
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Add all ingredients (except oil) to
crockpot; stir well to combine. Cover &
heat on Low 4-6 hours (or High 3-4
hours). Serves 6

NOTE: recipe calls for 1 1/2 C. water-
for a thicker soup, omit water


Turkey Tetrazzini

(half of a 16 oz) box Spaghetti noodles
3 T. butter, divided
2 C. cooked, chopped turkey
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. milk
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 T. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook spaghetti noodles accordg.
to pkg. directions; drain & place in
a 3 qt. casserole dish sprayed with
nonstick spray  (or 7 X 11″pan). Add
1 T. butter to noodles & toss to coat.
In hot skillet add 2 T. butter – melt then
add mushrooms & onions (salt & pepper,
a little, if desired). Saute over medium-
high heat until onions are translucent.
Add soup & milk; whisk to combine. Add
poultry seasoning & dry mustard, stir to
combine. Stir in cheese; once cheese melts,
remove pan from heat. Sprinkle chopped
turkey & cheese over noodles in prepared
dish then pour sauce from skillet on top.
Sprinkle top with 1 C. mozzarella cheese &
1 T. Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle parsley on top
& bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until cheese
is melted & sides are bubbly. Serves 6


2-Minute Hawaiian Pie

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 (6 serving) box instant vanilla
pudding mix
8 oz. sour cream
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
1 (8 oz) can pineapple slices
8 maraschino cherries
1/2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut
1 small container Cool Whip (for

In large bowl combine crushed pineapple,
dry pudding mix & sour cream; mix until
combined then spoon into pie crust.
Decorate top with pineapple slices &
cherries; sprinkle top with coconut. Pipe
on Cool Whip (if desired) Cover & chill
at least 2 hours before serving.


“Better than Olive Garden” Alfredo

3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese
1 (12 oz) box angel hair pasta

Melt butter in medium saucepan with
olive oil over medium-low heat. Add
garlic, cream, white pepper – bring to
simmer, stirring often. Add Parm cheese
& simmer 8-10 minutes until sauce has
thickened & is smooth. When sauce
has thickened, add Mozz. cheese & stir
utnil smooth – stir FREQUENTLY.
While sauce cooks, boil noodles 3-5 minutes.
Drain pasta & place on serving plates;
spoon sauce over pasta. Serves 4-6


Crockpot Pierogie Casserole

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
8 medium baking potatoes, peeled/
cut into chunks
1/4 C. milk
1/4 C. butter
2 C. mild or sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 medium onions, sliced
1 T. butter
2 C. ricotta cheese
1 lb. bacon

Garnish: sour cream & chopped

Cook noodles accordg. to pkg
directions; drain/rinse & place on a
lightly greased baking sheet. Cover
with waxed paper until ready to use.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place bacon on a foil lined baking
sheet & bake until cooked but still
soft, about 15-20 minutes; drain on
paper towels & cool; cut into small
pieces. Place cut potatoes in pot of
cold water; bring to boil & cook until
tender. In a skillet melt 1 T. butter &
saute sliced onions until slightly
caramelized. Drain potatoes & place
in large mixing bowl. Mash potatoes
with butter, milk, salt/pepper until
smooth; mix in Cheddar cheese. Spray
a large crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Place 3 lasagna noodles on bottom
of crockpot; spread 1 C. ricotta on top
of noodles. Spread 1/3 of potato mixture
on top of ricotta, place 3 more noodles
on top & repeat layering. Place last 3
noodles on top, then potatoes, bacon,
onions (no ricotta). Cover & cook on Low
2 hours. Serve with sour cream & chives


Crockpot Beef & Barley Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 – 1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat,
2 medium carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 medium zucchini * diced small
4 C. beef stock
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 C. barley
1/2 tsp. dry thyme
1/2 tsp.dry rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 C. fresh parsley, finely chopped,
garnish (optional)

Place chopped onion in microwave-
safe shallow dish, mix in 1 T. olive
oil & microwave 2 minutes until
onions are translucent. Mix all
ingredients (except parsley) &
place in crockpot. Cover & cook on
High 3 hours (or Low 6 hours). Add
chopped parsley & serve.

* You can substitute: 1 red bell
pepper, chopped/1 C. broccoli
florets/ or any other veggie you choose

NOTE: If you want to add some richness
to the soup, mix 1 T. margarine with
1 T. flour & microwave 1 minute; pour
into soup & mix well.


Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 1/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1 C. flour
1/2 C. cocoa, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 C. hot water

vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat a pot of water on the stove
to very hot (just under a simmer).
In large bowl, using elec. mixer,
combine 3/4 C. gran. sugar, flour,
1/4 C. cocoa, baking powder &
salt. Stir in milk, melted butter &
mix until smooth. Pour batter into
a lightly grease 2 qt. ceramic dish
or a 9″ square baking pan sprayed
with nonstick spray; spread evenly.
In small bowl, stir remaining 1/2 C.
gran. sugar, brown sugar, 1/4 C.
cocoa; mix well. Sprinkle mixture
evenly over batter in pan. Pour the
hot water over the top – DO NOT
STIR! Bake 35-40 minutes if using
a dish (or 30-35 minutes if using
9″X9″ pan) or until center is
almost set. Remove from oven &
let stand 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, spoon cake into
individual serving bowls, making
sure to spoon the fudgy sauce from
bottom of pan over the top of the
cake. Add a scoop of vanilla ice
cream if desired; serve immediately.
Serves 8



Last night I made a homemade chicken
pot pie – my own recipe. Sometimes
when I write about things I cook a
few readers will ask for the recipe – this
is one of those “I MADE IT UP” things.
I’ll attempt to re-create
Pam’s Chicken Pot Pie

1 1/2 – 2 C. cooked chicken*
2 cans chicken or turkey gravy
2 boxes refrigerated pie crusts,
(they come 2 to a box)
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen mixed
vegetables (peas, corn, carrots
& green beans)
1 (32 oz.) bag froz. mixed veg
(same as above)
1/2 (14 oz) bag frozen “South-
western blend” chopped onions,
red & green peppers
garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove pie crusts from box &
wrappers – allow to reach
room temp. (I forgot to do that
last night & the dough was
tearing big time). In very large
bowl or soup pot mix chicken,
froz. vegs & onion/pepper blend,
salt/pepper, garlic powder &
Worc. sauce until well blended.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Unroll pie dough & lay
in prepared dish, cutting to fit
dish. (this takes a little time,
you have to cut strips to make sure
the sides are fully covered in dough,
forming the bottom crust. Spoon
meat/veg mixture into crust, smoothing
to make even. Top with rest of crust,
again cutting & pressing together to
form a top crust. (you WILL have
leftover dough). Cut slits in top
crust, spray crust with nonstick
spray; cover with foil.  Bake 1 1/2
hours, remove foil & bake another
1/2 hour until top crust is brown.
Allow to sit 10 minutes before
cutting. Serves 8

*cooked chicken – you can use
rotisserie, any leftover cooked
chicken or turkey or (in a pinch)
I use frozen fajita chicken strips,
cut into bite-sized pieces.

Just confirmed we ARE having my special needs
group tonight – temps are going to be around
16 degrees, but there’s no wind, so it’s a “Go” –

Try to stay warm, enjoy some cocoa (with
marshmallows, of course!) and maybe a
little ‘treat’ . . . mini candybar, cookie,
etc. (can you tell I’m in the mood for a




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Not only does she create lovely items with yarn but she creates tasty things too, You are something else Lady Jane!

    • Aw, gee – you flatter me! (Thanks!)

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