Not that it means all that much to me but – I did see a advertisement for Hungry Howie’s Pizza which said that JUST TODAY, if you bought a regular pizza with one topping, you could get a second “Leap Day” pizza (same as the first) for only 29 cents! That’s neat!

I’ve kind of been ‘out of it’ a bit the past few days – upset stomach, dizzy, headache – just feeling kinda ‘weird’ – we stayed home from church yesterday (I was sorely tempted to go to choir practice but then thought: If it gets worse, who’s going to drive you home?) so I just stayed on the couch. The stomach thing is gone, but still have an on & off headache & occasional dizzy spell – good thing I don’t have anything planned for the day, eh?


Salted Caramel Butter Bars

1 lb. salted butter, room temp
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. vanilla
4 C. flour
1 (14 oz) bag caramel candies (about
50 individual) unwrapped
1/3 C. milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. coarse sea salt* (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In large bowl combine butter & sugars;
using elec. mixer on medium speed, beat
until creamy. Add vanilla & beat until
combined. Sift flour into butter mixture
& beat on Low speed until a smooth, soft
dough forms.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
Press 1/3 of dough evenly into pan. Wrap
remaining dough in plastic wrap & chill.
Bake crust until firm & edges are a pale,
golden brown, approx. 20 minutes. Transfer
pan to a wire rack & let cool about 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, make caramel filling:
Place unwrapped caramels in microwavesafe
bowl. Add cream & microwave on High 1 minute.
Remove & stir until smooth If they are not
completely melted, microwave on High at 30
second intervals, stirring after each interval,
until smooth. Once melted, add vanilla & stir
until combined; pour filling over baked crust.

*If you are going to salt the caramel, sprinkle
it on caramel layer now.

Remove chilled dough from fridge & crumble it
evenly over caramel. Return pan to oven & bake
until filling is bubbly & crumbled topping is firm
& lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool
before cutting into bars.


Meatball Sub Bubble-up Bake

1 (16.3 oz) tube Pillsbury Grands! biscuits
1 (16 oz) bag frozen, cooked Italian meatballs
1 green bell pepper, diced/sauteed
3 C. marinara sauce
2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut
each into 6 pieces & place in large
bowl. Add meatballs, sauteed bell
pepper & marinara sauce, mix to
coat well. Pour mixture into an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish &
sprinkle Ital. cheese blend evenly
on top. Bake 35 minutes until
biscuit pieces are puffed & cheese
is melted/golden brown. Before
serving sprinkle Parm cheese on top.
Serves 6


Chipotle-sparked Mustard Salmon

6 salmon fillets (4 oz, ea)
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. prepared horseradish
1/4 C. stone-ground mustard
1/4 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1 tsp. minced chipotle pepper in
adobo sauce
1 tsp. shipped fresh dill

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place salmon in a foil-lined
15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan. In small
bowl, mix mayonnaise, horseradish,
mustard, lemon-pepper & chipotle
pepper; spread over fillets. Bake
15-20 minutes until fish just begins
to flake easily with a fork. Sprinkle
with dill when serving. Serves 6


Peachy-keen Glazed Pork Chops

4-6 boneless pork loin chops
(about 1 1/2 lb.)
6 T. butter
3/4 C. peach preserves (no sugar
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. salt

In skillet over medium-high heat
melt butter & whisk occasionally
until it starts to bubble & foam;
continue whisking until it just starts
to develop little brown flecks,add
seasonings & remove from heat.
Continue to whisk & let cool 1-2
minutes. Whisk in preserves until
smooth (may be a little chunky).
Place chops in crockpot & pour
sauce over them. Cover & cook on
Low 6 hours (or High 3 hours)
Serves 4


Quick Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup

4 (14.5 oz, ea.) cans chicken broth
3 C. cooked, shredded turkey or
rotisserie chicken
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1/2 C. medium salsa
5 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into
1/4″ strips
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

additional salsa, optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In Dutch oven combine first 5
ingredients & bring to boil. Reduce
heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Spread tortilla strips in
single layer on a baking sheet. Bake
4-6 minutes until golden brown &
crispy. Stir cilantro into soup. Top
servings with tortilla strips & serve
with additional salsa. Serves 8


I’m thinking of doubling this recipe for
Easter dinner!

Green Bean Bundles

3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans whole green
beans, drained
8 slices bacon, cut in half cross-
6 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Gather beans into bundles of
10; wrap each bundle with a half-
slice of bacon & arrange, seam-
sides down, in lightly greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Mix melted
butter, brown sugar & garlic in
small bowl; spoon over bundles.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Uncover, bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serves 6


Bacon & Egg Bombs

2 large eggs, hard boiled & peeled
1/4 C. butter, room temp, cut into
small pieces
2 T. mayonnaise
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large slices bacon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper & lay bacon strips out flat,
leaving space so they don’t overlap.
Bake 10-15 minutes until golden
brown; remove from oven & cool.
(save bacon grease from pan)
Place eggs in a bowl, add egg
pieces & mash with a fork. Add
mayo, salt/pepper – mix well. Pour
bacon grease into bowl & combine
well. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes until
mixture is easy to form into balls.
Crumble bacon into small pieces.
Remove egg mixture from fridge;
using a spoon or ice cream scoop,
form mixture into 6 balls. Roll each
ball in bacon crumbles & place on
a try that will fit in the fridge; place
in fridge until ready to serve. Makes 6


Cherry Brownie Dream Bars

1 (18 oz) box brownie mix (9 X 13″
pan size) & ingredients to prepare
1 (7 oz) tub marshmallow creme
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 C. crispy rice cereal

Cool Whip & additional maraschino
cherries, for topping

Prepare brownies accordg. to pkg.
directions for 9 X 13″ baking pan;
bake & cool completely – refrigerate
at least one hour.

Drain cherries & pat dry with paper
towel; cut in half. Spread marshmallow
creme on top of chilled brownies &
refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Top
with halved cherries. Melt peanut
butter & choc. chips together in a
microwave-safe container. Heat on
High heat at 30 second intervals, stirring
in between until melted. Stir in rice
cereal until completely coated & spread
mixture carefully over top of cherries.
Refrigerate another hour before cutting
into bars. When serving top with Cool
Whip & additional cut cherries, if
desired. Makes 36 bars



Our weather is back to “NICE” (at least in
my opinion) – it’s windy & gloomy out today
BUT it got warmer yesterday and rained –
almost all of the snow is gone! (Youngest
son quickly reminded me we’re supposed
to get another big snowstorm tomorrow/Weds.
with about 5 inches, total plus some super
high winds & low temps of 17 – oh, joy . . .
sigh. Oh well, it IS Michigan and Spring is just
around the corner, right? I’m HOPING!

Stay warm, safe & maybe sneak in a little nap
on the side – just sayin’ . . .



Foolin’ Around . . .


I like to knit early in the morning and today was another two Premie baby hats – these are ‘worn’ by two Halo mandarin oranges-the really small ones. (I tried them on medium eggs but the hats were too big).  Almost half done with the red & white striped baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Weather-wise it’s around 21 degrees F. no new snow, roads are clear. Saying that, I STILL don’t want to go outside! Tonight is my special needs group’s Gym Night, so I have to go . . .am thinking about taking a quick trip to the grocery store & gas station, just for ‘excuses’ to get me out in it before tonight but I still haven’t convinced myself . . . I turning into a House Troll!


Chicken Cordon Bleu Party

1 (12 oz) pkg. breaded chicken
1 tube refrigerated crescent roll
8 slices deli ham, cut in half
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into
32 strips

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll dough & cut each triangle
in half lengthwise to make a total
of 16 triangles. Lay a chicken nugget
on widest part of triangle; top with
half slice of ham, small dollop of
mustard & 2 strips Swiss cheese.
Roll up dough, wrapping around
chicken/ham/cheese bundle. Place
on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 9-11 minutes
until dough is browned, cheese is melted
& chicken is heated through. Remove
from oven & serve warm or room temp.,
with remaining mustard. Serves 16

Crockpot Sticky Russian Chicken

1 (12 oz) jar apricot preserves
1 bottle Russian salad dressing
1-2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1/2 onion, chopped

Cooked rice or mashed potatoes

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in crockpot. In a
bowl, mix half the jar of preserves with
half bottle of Russian dressing; stir in
chopped onions & pour over chicken.
Cover & cook 8 hours on Low.

NOTE: You may add more preserves and/or
dressing if you feel it won’t be enough to
cover chicken.


Tex-Mex Potato Bake

4 tsp. canola oil, divided
1 lb. ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 C. water
1 C. taco sauce
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb. potatoes, chopped into
6-8 pieces, each
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 C. fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet with 1 tsp.
canola oil. Brown chicken. Add garlic &
cook 1 minutes. Add 3 tsp. taco seasoning;
stir to coat then add 1/2 C. water. Stir &
cook until water is evaporated. Remove
chicken from pan to a bowl; add taco
sauce & season with salt/pepper.
In same skillet over medium heat, add
remaining 3 tsp. oil. Add potatoes &
season with salt/pepper. Place onions
on top (do not stir in). Season, again,
with salt/pepper. Cook, covered,
15-20 minutes, stirring often until
potatoes are tender & onions cooked.
Remove lid & top with chicken &
cheese. Place skillet in oven & bake
20-25 minutes until cheese is melted
& all is heated through. Top with
sliced tomatoes & cilantro & serve.
Serves 6


Fluffy Orange Bundt Cake

1 (2 layer) pkg. yellow cake mix
1 C. orange juice
3/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
3 eggs
1/4 C. poppy seeds
2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat all ingredients (except sugar)
using a mixer until blended. Grease
& flour a 10 inch tube pan or 12 C.
fluted Bundt pan; pour in batter
evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes until a
toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes;
loosen cak from sides of pan using
a butter knife. Invert cake onto a
wire rack to cool – cool completely.
Sprinkle top with powdered sugar
just before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Baked Garlic/Parmesan

Potato Wedges

8 small russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 C. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. chopped parsley (garnish)

Ketchup or other sauces, for dipping

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment
paper. Place potato wedges in a large bowl
of ice water – soak 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
While potatoes are soaking, combine olive
oil, garlic & dried rosemary in small bowl.
Drain potatoes & pat dry with paper towels;
place potato wedges back in bowl & drizzle
olive oil mixture over them; gently toss to
coat well. Place wedges on prepared pans
in an even layer. sprinkle 1/4 C. Parmesan
cheese over top & season with salt/pepper.
Bake 35 minutes, turning halfway, until
potatoes are crisp & golden brown. Remove
from oven & sprinkle remaining Parm.
cheese over wedges. Garnish with chopped
parsley, if using & serve warm. Serves 8

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

3 C. chicken broth
1 slice bacon
1/2 tsp. oyster sauce
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 scallions
1/4 C. cooked corn
1 T. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg
few drops sesame oil

In saucepan or pot bring broth to a
boil with bacon, oyster sauce, ginger
& 1 whole scallion – cook 10 minuts.
Strain soup & add cooked corn. In
small bowl combine 1 T. cornstarch
with 1 T. cold water. In another small
bowl whisk egg with 1 tsp. cornstarch
until there are no lumps. Slowly pour
egg mixture into boiling soup while
stirring with a spoon or chopsticks.
Pour cornstarch/water mixture into
soup, stirring until you get the thickness
you like. Remove from heat.
Serve sprinkled with chopped
scallion. Serves 2


Muffin Cup Cheddar Beef Pies

2 loaves (1 lb, ea) frozen bread
2 lb. ground beef
1 (8 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
spaghetti sauce, warmed (for

Let dough stand at room temp.
30 minutes until softened.
Grease 10 muffin tin cups
with nonstick spray or shortening

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven, cook beef over
medium heat 12-15 minutes or
until no longer pink, breaking into
crumbles; drain. Stir in mushrooms,
cheese & seasonings. Divide each
loaf into 10 portions, roll each into
a 4 inch circle & top with 1/4 C.
filling. Bring edges of dough up over
filling & pinch to seal. Place pies in
muffin cups, seam sides down.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden
brown. Serve with warmed
spaghetti sauce, if desired.
Makes 10 servings/2 pies each

Freezer option: Freeze cooled pies
in a ziplock plastic freezer bag.
To use: reheat pies on greased
baking sheets in preheated
350 degrees F. oven until heated
through. Makes 20 meat pies.


Cinnamon Crunch Cups

1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling (chopped
into small pieces)
20 vanilla wafers, coarsely crushed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Spray the insides of 6 ovenproof
custard cups with nonstick spray. In
medium bowl combine wafer crumbs,
cinnamon & nuts. Spoon 2 T. pie filling
& 1 T. wafer mixture into each cup;
repeat layers. Bake 20 minutes until
filling is bubbly & heated through.
Serves 6



Going over the weather report for the rest of

this week, looks like we’re only getting up to
43 on Saturday and MAYBE 52 on Sunday;
rain/snow likely Sunday night. Guess I just
have to ‘grin and bear it’, since living in good
old Michigan is ‘usually’ like this every winter-
some years MUCH worse, so I’ll just have to
accept it as it comes, right?

Stay warm!



ADDENDUM: Just got home from a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase a lovely pot of tulip bulbs for my friend (who’s one of our leaders in my special needs group). The temps have warmed up a bit: 35 degrees F., sun shining and my dear husband cleaned off my car before I left (that’s the ONE thing I was dreading doing, as it was totally buried!). I’m guessing, from reports in our local paper, that we got about 8 inches Wednesday/Thur. morning. The sun is doing a great job of softening up the ice/snow – the roads are totally clear AND DRY! Gas prices were a bit of a shock – they’re up, again: $1.79/9 (last I remember checking they were in the $1.60’s) – I have a half-tank, am going to take my chances & wait to see if they come down some before filling up. Husband asked if I’d stop at our favorite place: Tim Horton’s, so I was very happy to learn that I could ‘cash in’ more than one “Roll-UP-The-Rim-To-Win” redemption in one purchase: got us both coffee AND a free donut (free coffee was the other freebie) – with the Senior Discount, it was something like $1.00 + a little change – YAY, don’t you LOVE discounts? (My frugal little heart does!).

The Day After


Not exactly sure how many ‘inches’ of snow we got but it snowed almost ALL day yesterday – roads were very hazardous/driving was very slow (our two boys had to drive home in it). Today we were supposed to get up to 2 inches more, but it just lightly snowed in the morning and now it’s stopped. It’s only 30 degrees F. out and is not going to get much better until Sunday when it’s predicted to get to 54 degrees – that’s enough to start melting what’s out there. We fared well – lots of food in the house, warm clothes/warm house so we were blessed. I don’t have any plans for going anywhere until tomorrow evening when my special needs group is having a Gym Night – am really hoping the roads will be VERY clear (they are, now).


Easiest Cinnamon Scones

2 C. flour
1/2 C. unsalted butter,
frozen & grated
2/3 C. heavy cream or buttermilk
1/3 C. sugar (plus additional
for sprinkling)
2 eggs, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided

1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. In medium bowl whisk flour,
sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
& salt. Add grated butter (or you can
pulse in a food processor) to flour
mixture & using a pastry cutter or two
forks, mix well. In small bowl whisk
1 egg, heavy cream (or buttermilk) &
vanilla; mix well & pour into flour
mixture. Mix until a rough dough
comes together, then gently knead into
an 8 inch circle & transfer to baking
sheet. Cut dough (like a pie) into
12 pieces. Brush dough with
remaining egg then sprinkle with
1 T. sugar & remaining cinnamon.
Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly
golden & cooked through. Remove
from oven & let cool 10 minutes.
Glaze then serve. Makes 12 scones

Whisk ingredients together in
small bowl then drizzle over cooled
scones & let set.

Crockpot Hot & Sour Soup

8 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. rice vinegar
1/2 C. bamboo shoots (canned,
thinly sliced)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 inch fresh ginger piece, grated
1 T. Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 square of firm tofu, cubed
1/4 C. chopped cilantro (fresh)
1/4 C. sliced green onions

Pour broth into a 5-8 qt crockpot;
stir in soy sauce, vinegar, bamboo
shoots, mushrooms, ginger, Sriracha,
white pepper, sugar & tofu. Cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-4 hours. Serve garnished with
cilantro & sliced green onions.

Oven-Fried Chicken

4 chicken thighs (skin & fat removed),
1/2 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg
2 T. milk
3 dashes hot sauce
3/4 C. panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 T. peanut oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil & spray
with nonstick spray. In shallow bowl
stir flour, salt/pepper. In another
shallow bowl whisk egg, milk, hot
sauce, salt/pepper. In third shallow
bowl stir panko crumbs, cajun
seasoning, paprika, salt/pepper &
oil until evenly mixed. Dredge chicken
in flour; dip in egg mixture & press
into panko mixture – place on
prepared sheet. Bake 40-50 minutes
until crust is golden & chicken is
completely cooked. Serves 4

Best Coleslaw Ever

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
2 T. chopped chives (optional)

1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. white vinegar
3 T. sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

Place veggies in a large bowl. In
smaller bowl stir together dressing
ingredients; pour dressing over
veggies & toss to coat. Store in
refrigerator until ready to serve.
(The longer it sets, the better
it tastes.) Serves 6


Parmesan/Potato/Ham Bake

4 medium potatoes, sliced very thin
3/4 C. diced, cooked ham
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-4 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
(for topping)
1 1/2 T. butter
fresh chopped thyme

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 6″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In small bowl mix
milk & Parmesan cheese, set aside.
Towel dry potatoes before placing
in prepared dish. Place a layer (1/3rd)
of sliced potatoes on bottom of baking
dish; sprinkle with salt/pepper &
drizzle with 1/3 of milk mixture & top
with half the diced ham – repeat layer.
To last layer add remaining potato
slices, milk mixture, sprinkle with
extra Pqarmesan cheese (2-4 T.,
depending on how much you like
Parm. cheese) – dot with butter.
Bake 30 minutes until tender, then
place under broiler for 3 minutes.
Serves 3-4


Bacon Cheddar Cornbread

1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 strips bacon, chopped small
1 C. fresh or frozen corn
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
or cubed
2 T. fresh rosemary, sage or chives,

extra shredded Cheddar cheese,
for topping during baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5 loaf pan with nonstick
spray. Fry bacon until crisp; transfer
to paper towel to drain. Whisk melted
butter, sugar, milk & eggs in a bowl. In
separate bowl whisk flour, cornmeal,
baking powder & salt. Gently stir dry
flour mixture into wet ingredients
until combined & moistened but not
over-mixed. Fold in cheese, bacon,
herbs & corn using a spatula until
incorporated. Pour batter into prepared
pan & bake 30 minutes, topping with
extra cheese after 20 minutes. Bread is
cooked when middle is set & edges
are golden brown. Makes 1 loaf.


Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins

Baked Potato Mash:
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 – 1/2 C. milk
2 1/2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
8 oz. ground beef
2 T. flour
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
*Prick potatoes with a fork & microwave
on High 5 minutes; rotate & cook another
5 minutes – test with a knife to make sure
they’re done. Lay potatoes on their sides &
cut off top part (you’re making a bowl/boat)
leaving a 1/4 inch wall around skin, scoop
out insides into a bowl. Add milk, butter &
salt & mash until smooth. (If you will be
piping potatoes, place into a piping bag
fitted with large star tip). In saute pan heat
oil over medium-high heat; add onion &
saute until translucent. Add ground beef &
cook until browned. Sprinkle flour over beef
& stir. Add beef broth, Worc. sauce, salt/pepper
& frozen vegs; simmer & cook until sauce has
thickened & become glossy; remove from heat.
Fill each potato evenly with mixture (pipe potatoes
over filling, covering meat mixture completely – you
might not use all of potatoes.) If not piping, just
place mashed potatoes evenly over meat. Bake
15-20 minutes until tops start to brown.
Serves 4

*If you don’t have a microwave, bake the potatoes-
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
rub olive oil, salt/pepper all over cleaned potatoes &
place directly on oven rack. Bake 40-50 minutes until

Sugar Cookie Bars

4 eggs, well beaten
2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. butter
4 C. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

6 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. butter
1/2 T. milk
2 tsp. almond
several drops food coloring
(your choice of color)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a jelly roll pan* with
nonstick spray. Cream eggs,
vanilla, sugar & butter in a
bowl. Sift dry ingredients in
another bowl & add to creamed
mixture; mix well. Spread dough
into prepared pan. Bake 15
minutes until top is golden.

Whip icing ingredients until
light & fluffy; spread evenly over
cooled cookie bars.

*a jelly roll pan is a baking sheet
with sides so batter does not
slip off – you could use a sided
cookie sheet. (approx. size: 17 1/2″
X 12 1/2″ X 1″ deep)

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Enjoy your day, stay warm & remember
to do ‘something’ that you enjoy – even
if it’s just taking a 10-15 minute nap!



and here it comes … (sigh)


Right now we’re under a Winter Snow Warning – hazardous conditions: up to 5 inches due this afternoon, another 4 tonight, 2 expected tomorrow – yep, it’s Michigan! Just spent about 1 1/2 hours calling/texting/emailing & Facebooking all the special needs group members/group homes and also canceling my deliveries of the baby blankets & big bag ‘o yarn – NOT a good time to be ‘out & about’. My boys are working today; good thing the middle son is working in the office today and NOT on the back of a garbage truck! Youngest is working a double shift at his restaurant where he’s currently Garmage (salad guy) and dishwasher.  Husband just decided to take a ‘quick run’ in his Jeep to keep it running right (he only drives it about once a week). Good thing? He’s also stopping for coffee at Tim Horton’s & to Burger King for Whopper Juniors for he & I for lunch! (Yep, I’m spoiled . . . sometimes!).


Chicken Cordon Bleu Party

1 (12 oz) pkg. breaded chicken
1 tube refrigerated crescent roll
8 slices deli ham, cut in half
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into
32 strips

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll dough & cut each triangle
in half lengthwise to make a total
of 16 triangles. Lay a chicken nugget
on widest part of triangle; top with
half slice of ham, small dollop of
mustard & 2 strips Swiss cheese.
Roll up dough, wrapping around
chicken/ham/cheese bundle. Place
on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 9-11 minutes
until dough is browned, cheese is melted
& chicken is heated through. Remove
from oven & serve warm or room temp.,
with remaining mustard. Serves 16


Crockpot Farmer’s Pie

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery
soup, undiluted
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
(optional : 1/2 – 1 C. broth)*
1 (14.5 oz) can green beans,
1 C. frozen corn
2-3 C. turkey or chicken, cut into
bite-sized pieces
3 to 3 1/2 C. mashed potatoes
1 C. shredded cheese

Place dry stuffing mix in bottom of
crockpot (with seasoning packet). In
separate bowl mix soup & poultry
seasoning; spoon over stuffing. Layer
meat on top of soup; layer green beans
& corn – top with mashed potatoes.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours. Top
with cheese 5-10 minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8

*If you prefer your stuffing very moist,
you may want to add 1/2 – 1 C. broth
during soup step.


Chocolate Tunnel Cake

2 1/4 pkg. (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
softened/divided (total: 18 oz)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 (2 layer) chocolate cake mix
(plus ingredients to make cake)
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat 2 pkgs. cream cheese, gran.
sugar, egg & 1 tsp. vanilla using
elec. mixer until well blended.
Prepare cake batter as directed
on pkg.Grease & flour a 12-cup
Bundt pan or 10 inch tube pan.
Pour half of batter into pan;
spoon cream cheese mixture into
a ring around the center of cake
batter & cover with remaining
cake batter. Bake 45 minutes
until a toothpick inserted near
the center comes out clean. Cool
in pan 10 minutes. Loosen cake
from sides of pan with a butter
knife & invert onto a wire rack;
cool cake completely. Whisk
remaining cream cheese & vanilla
with powdered sugar & milk until
blended; drizzle over top of cake.
Let stand until glaze is firm before
cutting. Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

German Cabbage Casserole

1 T. oil
1 lb. ground turkey or lean
ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 T. finely minced garlic
1 tsp. caraway seeds
8 C. chopped cabbage (about
1 head 6 inches across)
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 C. breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8 X 12″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. In
large skillet over medium-high
heat, place oil – when hot add
onion & cook until translucent,
about 3 minutes. Add garlic &
caraway seeds, cook & stir 2
more minutes. Add turkey/beef
& cook until no longer pink. Add
cabbage & cook, stirring, until
cabbage is translucent, about
4 minutes. Remove pan from
heat, stir in cheese & sour cream,
salt/pepper, to evenly combine.
Pour mixture into prepared dish
& sprinkle top with breadcrumbs.
Bake 40 minutes until lightly
browned. Serves 6

Crockpot Asian Sesame Pork
(overnight recipe)

1 (4 lb) boneless pork roast
2 C. water
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 C. molasses
1/4 C. cider vinegar
4 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. garlic powder
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water

additional sliced green onions,
for serving

Cut roast in half & place in large
ziptop bag. In small bowl combine
water, soy sauce, sesame seeds,
molasses, vinegar, green onions &
garlic powder; pour half of marinade
into bag with the roast. Seal bag &
make sure entire roast gets covered
with marinade. Refrigerate overnight.
(also refrigerate reserved marinade)

Place roast in 5 qt crockpot & discard
marinade from bag. Add reserved
marinade to crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 1 hour. Reduce heat to Low
& cook 6-8 hours until meat is tender.
Remove roast & cover to keep warm.
Skim fat off remaining juices & transfer
liquid to a saucepan – bring to a boil.
In small bowl whisk cornstarch & cold
water. Gradually stir mixture into
saucepan; cook & stir 2 minutes until
thickened. Serve over pork with
additional sliced green onions,
Serves 8


Caramel Pecan Ice Cream Dessert

1 3/4 C. flour
1 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. melted butter
1 1/2 C. caramel ice cream topping
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine flour, oats, pecans
& brown sugar. Add butter & mix well. Spread
in a thin layer in a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking dish.
Bake 15 minutes until golden, stirring
occasionally. Crumble while warm; cool.
Press half of crumb mixture into a 9 X 13″
baking dish. Drizzle with half of caramel
topping, spread with ice cream & top
with remaining caramel topping & crumb
mixture. Cover & freeze until firm. Remove
from freezer 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 12-15


‘Worth the Wait’ Cabbage Soup

2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
juice of 1  lemon
4 beef bouillon cubes
8 C. water
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
8 C. coarsely chopped green
cabbage (1 1/2 – 2 lb)

In large soup pot over medium-
high heat, combine all ingredients.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to Low &
simmer 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Serves 12

NOTE: For a heartier soup, add
1 lb. beef shoulder or chuck,
cut into chunks. Cook stew 1
extra hour until meat is fork-



I have no plans for this day except making
Meat & Potato Pie for dinner, later – it’s my
husband’s favorite. Very simple recipe: prepare
a meatloaf big enough to fit in a 9 X 13″ dish.
Make mashed potatoes to cover dish; frost
meatloaf with potatoes & bake 350 degrees F.
about 1 hour. Just before end of cooking time
sprinkle shredded Cheddar cheese on top &
return to oven until cheese melts – simple!

Hope you are WARM & safe this day;



Tuesday again . . .


Another ‘nothin’ special’ day – did a quick trip to White Lake (about 15 min away) to get another printer ink cartridge for the last of the special needs group’s newsletters for April/May. Did a stop at the drug store for some of their good buys (Tide on sale for $5.98 – and I had a $2.00 off coupon!), my instant coffee on sale $3.99 – normally $5+, Mountain Dew 99 cents a bottle, limit 4 (I love getting that on sale – husband drinks it constantly and, not on sale, it can run $2.09 a bottle!). Grabbed a few quick groceries and got home in good time. Still have some ‘leftovers’ in the fridge – not enough for a meal for several people, but still ‘some’ spaghetti, ‘some’ fried fish & mac & cheese, still ‘some’ pierogies & sausage. I ‘was’ going to cook dinner tonight, but now that I think about it – that’s enough for us, each person getting one of those things!

Weather report says we’re in for a big snow storm soon (I didn’t know) – it’s a pretty big possibility I might be spending a few hours calling all the special needs kids to tell them we’re canceling tomorrow night – I await our leader’s call on that one. With that hovering over my head, I’m tempted to rush getting the newsletter done, folded, stuffed into envelopes & trucked to the post office TODAY! Tomorrow I’m supposed to meet with the lady in charge of Crisis Pregnancy’s Mobile unit to drop off 5 baby blankets – but that can wait if the weather is nasty. Tomorrow at 4 p.m. I’m supposed to meet the lady in charge of the group that donates hats/scarves/gloves/mittens to the homeless to give her a 30-gallon bag full of yarn – we’ll see on that one, too. (She lives about 1/2 hour away, so we try to coordinate a ‘pick up’ spot kind of in the middle). All things being ‘relative’ – we’ll see what tomorrow’s weather brings!


I have to make a note here – our pastor’s daughter made this pie once and I’m telling you: It’s TO DIE FOR!!!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 C. light corn syrup
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. pecan halves
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (9 inch) pie crust

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl.
Blend in syrup, sugar, margarine, vanilla
& salt; stir in pecans & chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into pie crust & bake
15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to
350 degrees F. & bake an additional
25-30  minutes until golden & puffed
on top. Cool before serving.
Serves 8


Million Dollar Potato Dumplings

8 medium potatoes
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 T. corn starch
1 C. bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
flour, as needed

Peel potatoes & boil in salted
water until soft; drain & mash
smoothly. Blend in egg yolks,
cornstarch, bread crumbs, salt/
pepper & mix thoroughly. Shape
mixture into dumplings (you
may need to add flour to make
dumplings hold together). Bring
a large pot of water to a boil.
Roll each dumpling in flour &
drop into rapidly boiling water.
Cover & cook about 15-20  minutes.

Baked Strawberry Salmon

3/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 salmon fillets (6 oz ea),
skin removed
2/3 C. strawberry preserves

In large resealable plastic bag, combine
soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard &
pepper. Add salmon; seal bag & turn
to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
(drain & discard marinade).
Place salmon in a greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake, uncovered,
15-20 minutes until salmon flakes
easily with a fork. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Lo Mein

2 pieces uncooked chicken breast
(1 lb)
1 (14 oz) pkg. egg noodles – (lo mein,
chow mein, spaghetti, vermicelli, etc.)
2 C. baby bok choy, washed/sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled/chopped or
shredded into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
salt/pepper, to taste

2 tsp. soy sauce (or tamari)
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp chili garlic paste* (optional)

1/2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 – 2 T. oyster-flavored sauce
2 T. soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dark soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 T. Mirin or Chinese cooking wine

Slurry for sauce:
2-3 T. cornstarch (depending on how
thick you want the sauce)
1/4 C. cold water

In small bowl combine chicken with
marinade – refrigerate at least 30
minutes. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Add marinated
chicken to crockpot & cook on Low
102 hours (or High 1 hour, flipping
halfway through until cooked through).
Remove chicken to a plate. Place garlic,
ginger & baby bok choy in bottom of
crockpot & place chicken on top.
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl
& pour over chicken; cook on High
30 minutes – 1 hour on High (or Low
1 1/2 – 2 hours) stirring occasionally
to distribute sauce evenly. Add carrots
& noodles into crockpot – use tongs
to cover noodles with sauce. Mix corn
starch slurry in small bowl & stir into
sauce in crockpot. Turn crockpot to
High & allow sauce to thicken up –
10-15 minutes. Remove & serve hot.
Serves 4-6

*1-2 tsp. chili garlic paste (sambal oelek),
red pepper chili flakes or Sriracha sauce –
all optional for a spicy kick


Easy Beef Enchiladas

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 1/2 C. diced onion
1 1/2 C. (about 2 medium) finely
diced zucchini
12 corn tortillas, heated or fried
in oil to soften
2 1/2 C. enchilada sauce
3 C. Cheddar-Jack shredded cheese

chopped avocado
sour cream
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped green peppers
sliced black olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ dish with nonstick
spray. Heat oil in large skillet;
add ground beef & cook on
medium heat until browned,
about 5 minutes. Drain fat &
remove meat to a bowl. Add onion
& zucchini to skillet & saute until
just softened, 3-4 minutes. Remove
veggies from pan & add to meat
mixture. Add 1/2 C. enchilada sauce
to prepared dish. Spread around to
coat entire bottom of dish.
Place one tortilla on a work surface;
spoon 1/4 -1/3 C. meat mixture down
middle. Sprinkle 2 T. cheese on top &
drizzle 1 T. sauce on top. Wrap tortilla
around filling tightly & place, seam sides
down, in dish. Repeat with remaining
tortillas & filling until you have filled
12 tortillas. Place tortillas side-by-side in
dish & pour remaining sauce over top.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes. Remove
dish from oven, remove foil & sprinkle
remaining cheese on top. Return dish
to oven 5 minutes for cheese to melt.
Serves 6 (2 each)


Crockpot German Lentil/Sausage

1 lb. dried brown lentils, picked over &
10 C. chicken broth
1 lb. grated carrots (or less, if you like)
2 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
2 T. dried parsley (or 1/2 C. fresh,
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2 C. cubed kielbasa sausage (or ham)
(can be browned, or not)
apple cider vinegar, for serving

Place lentils in crockpot; add all ingredients
except vinegar; stir. Cover & cook on Low
8-10 hours until lentils are tender. Before
serving remove bay leaf & stir in 1 T.
vinegar, if desired. About 1 hour before
ready to serve, stir & check doneness of
lentils, turn crockpot to High for last
hour of cooking if they are still too firm.

*you can use green lentils – but they take
longer to cook before becoming tender.
NOTE: the first time you cook this – WATCH
the liquid levels – add more broth, if
necessary & stir halfway through cooking
time. It is normal for the top & sides of this
soup to become darker in color – flavor is
not affected, just stir well to blend.

Apple Kuchen Bars

3 C. flour, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. cold butter, divided
4-5 T. ice water
8 C. thinly sliced, peeled tart
apples (about 8 medium)
2 C. sugar, divided
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 2 C. flour & salt in food
processor; pulse until blended.
Add 1 C. butter; pulse until
butter is the size of peas. While
pulsing, add just enough ice
water to form moist crumbs. Press
mixture onto bottom of greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 20-25
minutes until edges are lightly
browned. Cool on wire rack.
In large bowl combine apples,
1 C. sugar & cinnamon; toss to
coat & spoon over crust. Place
remaining flour, butter & sugar
in food processor; pulse until
coarse crumbs form – sprinkle
over apples. Bake 60-70 minutes
until golden brown & apples are
tender. Cool completely on wire
rack. Cut into bars – makes 2
dozen bars



Here’s hoping you have a GREAT
day – (and we don’t get half as
much snow as they’re predicting!)





Last night we had a really big wind (55 MPH +) for most of the night (our lights flickered once, but stayed on – YAY!). Woke up today to NO SNOW – anywhere! It’s now 56 degrees F. and sunny; a GREAT day – love seeing the sun.

Started working on another baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy center – this one is rather ‘basic’ – just red & white stripes, but it’s easy to work on without really ‘thinking’.


Nut & Cinnamon Danish

1/4 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. buttermilk
biscuits (8 per pkg)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 16 muffin cups with nonstick
spray. In small bowl combine nuts,
brown sugar & cinnamon – mix well.
Separate each biscuit in half by gently
pulling apart. Place each half in a
muffin cup & press against bottom &
sides to form a crust. In medium bowl
beat cream cheese, egg & gran. sugar
until smooth; evenly spoon into crusts
& sprinkle tops evenly with nut mixture.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are
golden brown. Allow to cool slightly
& serve warm. Makes 16

All-Day Creole Smothered

Pork Chops

8 pork chops
1 large onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. creole seasoning*
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. onion powder
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. black pepper
3 C. chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. chopped parsley
3 green onions, chopped
1 C. flour
olive oil

cooked rice/potatoes/pasta
for 4-6

Mix all spices & brown sugar
together. Add flour to medium
bowl with 1/2 T. of spice blend.
Rinse chops; pat dry. Coat with
about 2 T. olive oil; season with
2 T. spice blend; rubbing in both
sides. Heat about 2 T. olive oil in
skillet over medium heat; toss
pork chops lightly in flour mixture &
add to oil – brown 2-3 minutes each
side, in batches. Transfer pork to
crockpot. Add onion, bell pepper to
pan & cook 5 minutes; add garlic &
1/2 T. spice blend; cook 1 minute
more. Add broth & vinegar to pan,
scraping up bits on bottom of pan –
transfer to crockpot & pour over
chops. Add bay leaves to crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours
until pork is fork tender. Remove
broth from crockpot & strain into
a saucepan. Mix 2 T. cornstarch &
1/4 C. water, stir well & drizzle
into saucepan – whisk well. Bring
to boil; reduce heat & simmer about
5 minutes – taste & add about 1 tsp.
seasoning blend, if needed – stir
in parsley. Pour gravy back over chops,
garnish with green onions & serve
over hot rice, potatoes or pasta.
Serves 4-6

*Creole seasoning:
2 T. onion powder
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. dried oregano
2 T. dried basil
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. black pepper
1 T. white pepper
1 T. cayenne pepper
5 T. paprika
3 T. salt

Easy Scallion Pancakes

1 C. flour
1 C. water
1/2 C. (green onions) scallions,
oil for frying

Mix flour & water until there are
no lumps. Add chopped onions
& salt to batter. Heat oil in a pan;
pour batter into pan, swirl around
until batter is evenly distributed.
Fry 2-4 minutes on each side.
Makes 2 large or 4 small.


Cheesy Chicken Pasta Skillet

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 C. (Sargento) Chef blends shredded
6-cheese Italian cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 T. Greek yogurt
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 C. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3 C. cooked pasta (poster used farfalle)
salt/pepper, to taste
olive oil

Cut chicken into small bites & season
salt/pepper & garlic powder. Place a large
skillet over medium heat; add 1-2 T. olive
oil. Add red pepper, onion & garlic; saute
until onions are translucent. Add chicken;
cook until no longer pink. Pour in marinara
sauce, chicken stock & Ital. seasoning;mix
to combine. Stir in cooked pasta, pushing
noodles down into sauce (don’t let any
peek out-you want them to cook). Let
simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked
to your desired consistency. Stir in 2 T.
Greek yogurt & 1/2 C. shredded cheese.
Sprinkle on remaining cheese, turn off
heat, cover & let cheese melt. Serve
warm. Serves 4


Hamburger Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. thinly sliced carrots
1 C. sliced cabbage
1/2 C. thinly sliced celery
3 C. beef broth
1 C. water
2 T. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In soup pot over medium-high
heat, cook beef & onion 6-8
minutes until meat is browned.
Add carrots, cabbage & celery-
cook 5 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients, bring to boil. Reduce
heat to Low, simmer 25-30 minutes
until vegetables are tender.
Serves 6


Fried Cinnamon Apple Rings

3-4 large Gala apples
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
1 C. buttermilk
vegetable oil, for frying

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

In medium bowl add flour, baking
powder, sugar, salt & 1/4 tsp.
cinnamon. In another small bowl
combine egg & buttermilk; mix well.
In a third dish mix remaining 1/3 C.
sugar & 2 tsp. cinnamon – reserve
for topping. Slice apples into 1/4 inch
slices. Using a biscuit cutter, remove
cores along with seeds, leaving 1/4 inch
wide rings. Pat rings dry using a paper
towel to remove excess moisture. Over
medium-high heat, heat oil in a frying
pan to 350 degrees F.
As oil heats, combine flour mixture &
buttermilk mixture together into the
batter, mixing well to remove any lumps.
Dip apple rings, one at a time, into batter.
Tap rings against sides of bowl to remove
any excess batter. Gently place rings in
hot oil & fry in small batches, turning so
that they brown on both sides. Once rings
are golden & crispy, transfer to a paper
towel-lined plate to remove any excess
oil. Dip each ring into cinnamon sugar &
coat evenly. Place on a wire cooling rack,
(setting rings on a plate will result in
soggy rings). Serve warm. Serves 6


Pork & Green Chili Stew

2 lb. boneless pork shoulder
butt roast, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/2″
2 T. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 large potatoes, peeled/cut into
3/4″ cubes
3 C. water
1 (16 oz) can hominy, rinsed &
2 (4 oz, ea) cans chopped green
2 T. quick-cooking tapioca
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 C. minced fresh cilantro

sour cream, optional, for serving

In large skillet brown pork & onion
in oil, in batches. Sprinkle with salt/
pepper & transfer to 4 qt. crockpot.
Stir in potatoes, water, hominy, chilies,
tapioca, garlic, oregano & cumin. Cover
& cook on Low 7-9 hours until meat is
tender, stirring in cilantro during last
30 minutes of cooking time. Serve
with sour cream, if desired.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. salsa
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
2 C. fresh or frozen corn
4 C. (16 oz) shredded Cheddar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet cook
ground beef over medium heat until
no longer pink; drain. Stir in enchilada
sauce & salsa. Place 2 tortillas, over-
lapping as necessary, in bottom of
prepared dish. Cover with 1/3 meat
mixture, top with 1 C. corn & sprinkle
with 1 1/3 C. cheese – repeat layers
once. Top with remaining tortillas;
meat & cheese. Bake, uncovered,
30 minutes until bubbly. Serves 6-8



I guess I don’t pay attention (sometimes)
to just how quickly time/days pass – I
noticed that it’s already February 20th –
almost the entire month is gone! (Had
to hurry up and do my monthly house
bills – I do them on line, so it’s no
problem). Wow – where did this month
GO? Pretty soon it will be SPRING! In
Michigan that doesn’t necessarily mean
no snow/cold weather – I’ve seen tons
of snow on Easter! Our church choir is
rehearsing for ‘the day’ – we only have
a few more rehearsal nights left – so hard
to believe!

Hope your day goes even better than you




Warming up!


It’s now around 54 degrees F. – sun shining and most of our snow is melting – YAY! Looking at the next few days we should be seeing somewhat the same temps, a little cooler, but not by much. It’s ALWAYS nice to look forward to warmer weather.

It’s been a quiet few days here, nothing much to report but I did want to share the completed afghan with my friend’s knit cream square in the center:


I still have two more of her test rectangles – not exactly sure just when I’ll tackle another one. Right now I’ve started a very simple red & white striped baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy center. I’m thinking the above afghan will be my first donation to the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower in September.


Chocolate Cashew Popcorn

Popped popcorn (air pop works best)
cashews (as many as you want)
Milk chocolate
Dark chocolate

Cover 2 cookie sheets (the kind with
sides) with waxed paper & spread
popped corn on paper. Sprinkle nuts
over popcorn. Melt both chocolates &
drizzle over popcorn. Let chocolate
harden & serve.



Great Northern Bean Stew

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 C. chopped onion
1 (15.5 oz) can Great Northern
beans, drained/rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
2 C. chopped cabbage
1 C. sliced carrots
1 T. white vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 T. minced fresh parsley

In large saucepan cook sausage &
onion over medium heat until meat
is no longer pink; drain. Add next
11 ingredients & bring to boil. Reduce
heat, cover & simmer 50-60 minutes
until vegetables are tender. Stir in
parsley & cook 5 minutes longer.
Serves 6

This cooked stew can be frozen in
freezer containers. To use, partially
thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat
through in a saucepan, stirring
occasionally & adding a little water
if necessary.


Not yo Mama’s Tuna Casserole!

4 (4 oz, ea) cans water-packed LIGHT tuna,
8 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked accordg.
to pkg. directions
1 T. olive oil
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 C. firmly packed chopped fresh
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 C. chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 C. milk
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. finely crushed potato chips
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in pan & add mushrooms,
celery, onion, spinach & garlic; cook 5
minutes then add cream cheese, beef
stock, mozz & Parm cheeses & milk,
stirring until smooth & creamy. Fold in
cooked noodles & tuna until combined.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Pour mixture into prepared pan &
top with Cheddar cheese & crushed
potato chips. Bake 20 minutes; remove
from oven & allow to cool, loosely covered
with foil, for about 20 minutes.

(recipe: kelliskitchen)

Spiced/Baked Chicken Wings

1/3 C. flour
2 T. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 T. butter
10 chicken wings – tips removed,

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil; dot
foil with butter. In medium bowl
combine flour, paprika, garlic
powder, salt/pepper. Coat both
sides of each wing fully in mixture
& place on baking sheet. Make
sure the butter pieces are evenly
spaced out among the wings. Bake
30 minutes. Turn wings over & bake
an additional 15 minutes more until
crispy & fully cooked. Serve with
your favorite dipping sauce.
Serves 2-4


Smoked Salmon Quiche

1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 T. flour
3 plum tomatoes, seeded/chopped
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. canola oil
3 oz. smoked salmon fillet,
flaked (about 1/2 C.)
4 large eggs
1 C. whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On lightly floured surface, unroll
pastry. Transfer to a 9″ pie plate;
trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of
plate & flute edges. In small bowl
combine cheese & flour; transfer
to pastry. In large skillet, saute
tomatoes & onion in oil just until
tender. Remove from heat; stir in
salmon & spoon over cheese
mixture. In small bowl whisk eggs,
milk & salt; pour into pastry.
Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife
inserted near center comes out
clean. Let stand 15 minutes before
cutting. Serves 8

Freezer option:
Prepare & bake quiche; cool completely.
Securely wrap & freeze cooled quiche
in plastic wrap & foil. To use, partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove from
fridge 30 minutes before baking. Preheat
oven 350 degrees F. – unwrap quiche, reheat
in oven until heated through.


Cocoa-Loco Cream Cheese Pie

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (4 serving) pkg. instant chocolate
fudge pudding mix
1 C. milk
1/4 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract, divided
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 (9 oz) chocolate cookie pie crust
2 tsp. instant chocolate drink mix
1 T. chopped almonds
1 T. mini chocolate chips

In large bowl combine cream cheese,
dry pudding mix, milk & water; mix
with wire whisk; mix in 1 tsp. almond
extract & 1/4 C. Cool Whip. Pour into
crust & refrigerate about 15 minutes.
In small bowl combine remaining 3/4
C. Cool Whip, almond extract & instant
chocolate drink mix; spread evenly over
cheesecake layer. Sprinkle top with
almonds & choc. chips. Refrigerate
2 hours until ready to serve. Serves 10


Swedish Meatball Soup

1 large egg
2 C. Half & Half cream, divided
1 C. soft bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 T. butter
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
3 C. water
1 lb. red potatoes, cubed
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas,

In large bowl beat egg; add 1/3 C.
Half & Half, bread crumbs, onion &
1 tsp. salt. Crumble beef over mixture
& mix well – shape into 1/2 inch balls.
In Dutch oven brown meatballs in butter
in batches. Remove from pan; drain.
Add flour, bouillon, pepper, garlic salt &
remaining salt to pan; stir until smooth.
Gradually stir in water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cook & stir 2 minutes until
thickened. Add potatoes & meatballs.
Reduce heat, cover & simmer 25 minutes
until potatoes are tender. Stir in peas &
remaining cream; heat through.
Serves 8 – about 2 quarts.


Honey Pears

2 ripe pears, large sized
2 tsp. honey
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut each pear in half & cut a
small sliver off back side (so it
sits flat in pan). Place open-
faced on baking sheet. Scoop
out seeds using a spoon or melon
baller. Mix walnuts & cinnamon
together & spoon into pears.
Drizzle tops with 1/2 tsp. honey
on each half. Bake 30 minutes; cool
& eat. Serves 4



Here’s hoping you have a
GREAT day!



PS: Gas prices around here really jumped
up! A day ago they were at $1.59/9 –
yesterday I drove by and the price was
$1.73/9 . . .  WOW!



Today was my “Get it DONE!” day – delivered 30 baby hats and the two miscarriage blankets to the hospital and a 30-gallon garbage bag full of yarn to the Senior Center to go to Children’s Village (they teach the teens to knit & crochet). Dropped off some books at the library and checked out four more (that’s about my limit – 4 books/3 weeks). It’s a grey/gloomy day out but the roads are clear – temps around 27. I noticed gas prices are at $1.53/9 right now.

Yesterday found me comping up the special needs group’s newsletter – almost done with that and ready to print soon. It’s not ‘technically’ due out until beginning of March but my ‘kids’ will start calling me around the end of this month wondering where their newsletter is, so it’s just easier to get it out a little early if I can.


No-Bake Banana Eclair “Cake”

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk
15 graham crackers, broken
crosswise in half (30 squares),
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
3 bananas, sliced
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Beat pudding mix & milk in large
bowl using whisk 2 minutes. Let
stand 5 minutes. Cover bottom of
8″ square pan with 10 graham
cracker squares, overlapping as
needed to form an even layer. Stir
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip into pudding;
spread half over graham squares
in pan & cover with layers of half
each: bananas & graham squares.
Repeat layers of pudding mixture,
bananas, & graham squares.
Refrigerate 3 hours.
Microwave remaining Cool Whip
with chocolate in microwaveable
bowl on High 1 minute until
chocolate is completely melted
& mixture is well blended when
stirring – spread over dessert &
refrigerate 15 minutes.
Serves 9

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

1 1/2 lb. beef flank steak, cut into
stir-fry sized strips
1/4 C. cornstarch
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. soy sauce
3/4 C. water
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. shredded carrots
3 medium green onions, chopped

cooked rice
additional chopped green onions,
garnish, if desired

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cornstarch
in a shallow bowl & coat each
piece of steak in cornstarch; place
in crockpot. (discard any remaining
cornstarch). Combine remaining
ingredients in a bowl & pour over
beef in crockpot. Cook on High
2-3 hours (or Low 4-5 hours). Serve
over rice & topped with additional
chopped green onions, if desired.
Serves 4


Cream Cheese/Chicken Soup

1 small onion, chopped
1 T. butter
3 C. chicken broth
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4″
2 medium potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
2 T. minced fresh parsley
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 C. flour
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

In large saucepan saute onion in
butter; add broth, carrots & potatoes
& bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 15 minutes until vegetables
are tender. Add chicken, parsley, salt/
pepper & heat through. Combine flour
& milk until smooth – add to vegetable
mixture & bring to a boil. Cook & stir
2 minutes until thickened; reduce heat.
Add cream cheese & cook, stirring,
until melted. Serves 8


Cream Cheese/Chicken Soup

1 small onion, chopped
1 T. butter
3 C. chicken broth
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4″
2 medium potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
2 T. minced fresh parsley
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 C. flour
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

In large saucepan saute onion in
butter; add broth, carrots & potatoes
& bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 15 minutes until vegetables
are tender. Add chicken, parsley, salt/
pepper & heat through. Combine flour
& milk until smooth – add to vegetable
mixture & bring to a boil. Cook & stir
2 minutes until thickened; reduce heat.
Add cream cheese & cook, stirring,
until melted. Serves 8


Crockpot Lemon Pork Chops

1-2 lb. bone-in pork chops
lemon pepper seasoning

Cover bottom of crockpot with a
layer of pork chops – only 1
chop deep. Sprinkle layer liberally
with lemon-pepper seasoning. Place
any remaining pork chops on top &
sprinkle liberally with seasoning.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours (or
High 3 1/2 – 4 hours.)
Serves 4


Black Bean-Tomato Chili

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
1 C. orange juice (or juice from
3 medium oranges)

In Dutch oven heat oil over medium-
high heat. Add onion & green pepper;
cook & stir 8-10 minutes until tender.
Add garlic & seasonings; cook 1 minute
longer. Stir in remaining ingredients;
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer,
covered, 20-25 minutes to allow flavors
to blend, stirring occasionally. Serves 6
(2 1/4 qts)


Strawberry & White

Chocolate Cookies

1 box strawberry cake mix
1 (8 T.) stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
3/4 C. white chocolate chips
3/4 C. M & M’s*

Combine butter, egg, vanilla & cream
cheese in a bowl; mix thoroughly.
Add cake mix (half box at a time)
& mix until well combined. Stir in
chips & M & M’s by hand;
refrigerate at least 1 hour then roll
dough into 1 inch balls.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place balls on a parchment paper-
lined baking sheet & bake 9 minutes
(do not brown). Let cookies cool on
sheet for several minutes before
removing to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 3 dozen. Cookies can be
stored in an airtight container up
for 4-5 days.

*If you are making these for Valentine’s
Day – you might want to use the pink/
red/white M & M’s


Still have a little more work on the baby
blanket created from my friend’s knitted
rectangle – maybe one more row then
crocheting a border/scallop. It’s nice
knowing that the baby hats are gone –
now I’m open for creating more (in my
own time).

Hope your day is going just GREAT!



Valentine’s Day!


On this day some women get flowers, candy, jewelry but I got: PIZZA! (and breadsticks!) On the way home from church my dear husband asked me if I’d like to get pizza (of course I said YES!) so I happily chomped on Little Caesar’s $5 specials with breadsticks & garlic cream cheese – YUM! I’m a happy lady! (mind you, my husband is NOT a romantic and truly considers this day among others like Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, etc. as holidays that are trumped up by the card & candy industries.)


No-Bake Italian Cake

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
32-40 vanilla wafers
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut
12-16 maraschino cherries

Line bottom of an 8 X 8″ or 7 X 10″ baking
dish with vanilla wafers. Whisk together
sweetened. cond. milk & lemon juice in
small bowl until thoroughly combined.
Mix in pineapple with juice. Pour all of
pineapple mixture over wafers then add
another layer of wafers on top. Spread
Cool Whip evenly on top of wafers then
sprinkle top with coconut. Top with
cherries. Cover & refrigerate at least 8
hours before serving.


Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

1 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. honey
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 salmon fillet (2 1/2 lb)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small saucepan over medium heat,
cook & stir brown sugar, butter &
honey until melted. Remove from
heat; whisk in oil, mustard, soy sauce,
salt/pepper & let cool 5 minutes.
Place salmon in large foil-lined
baking pan; spoon brown sugar
mixture over fish. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes until fish flakes
easily with a fork. Serves 8


Creamy Chicken Gloria Casserole

2 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (3 large, cut in half or 6 small)
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
8 oz. button mushrooms
1 (18 oz) can creamy mushroom soup
6 slices Swiss or Muenster cheese
3 T. finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 3 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place flour, salt/pepper
in a large ziplock bag. Drop in pieces
of chicken & shake to coat well. In
large skillet over medium heat heat oil
& saute chicken until golden brown,
about 5 min. per side without  moving*
Remove chicken to baking dish. In skillet
melt butter & add mushrooms – saute,
stirring once or twice, 3-5 minutes until
mushrooms begin to brown; add to soup
& stir to combine. Taste & adjust salt/
pepper as necessary. Pour sauce over
chicken in dish & lay a piece of cheese on
top of each piece of chicken. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Remove foil &
place briefly under broiler to brown the
cheese. Sprinkle top with parsley &

*”Do not move” – place chicken in hot
oiled pan over medium heat about 3
minutes before turning & repeating
with second side. Chicken will stick to
pan at first, but will pull away as it


Mexican Pot Roast


4 lb. lean, boneless chuck roast
2 T. olive oil
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 (3 oz) can chopped green chilies
3 T. dry taco seasoning mix
` T. dry beef or chicken bouillon
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

cooked noodles or rice

Brown pot roast in olive oil in Dutch oven.
Place roast in crockpot. Combine tomatoes,
green chilies, taco mix, bouillon, sugar, both
powders; pour mixture over roast. Cover &
simmer on Low 3 1/2 – 4 hours or until roast
is tender. Serve with cooked noodles or rice.
Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Slowcooker digest)

Beef Lentil Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 (46 oz) can tomato juice or V-8
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 (V8), water,
lentils, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion,
green pepper, pepper, thyme, bay leaf,
salt & bouillon (if using). Bring to boil,
reduce heat & simmer, uncovered,
1 – 1 1/2 hours until lentils & vegetables
are tender. Add spinach & heat through.
Remove bay leaf & serve. Makes 6


Strawberry Pretzel Squares

2 C. finely crushed pretzels
1/2 C. sugar, divided
2/3 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 pkg. (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
2 T. milk
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. boiling water
1 (6 oz) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 1/2 C. cold water
4 C. fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 C. sugar
& butter; press onto bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 10
minutes; cool.
Beat cream cheese, remaining
sugar & milk using elec. mixer
until blended. Stir in Cool Whip
& spread over crust. Refrigerate
until ready to use. Add boiling
water to Jell-O in large bowl; stir
2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Stir in cold water.
Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours until
thickened. Stir in berries; spoon
over cream cheese layer &
refrigerate 3 hours until firm.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Going to church today was a bit of a
challenge – it was 2 degrees F.; the
church was about half full but I can
understand some of the older members
not wanting to go out in it – the good
thing is: IT’S SUNNY! (the above temp.
was at 8: 40 a.m. – it’s now 1:30 p.m.
and we’re up to a balmy 14 degrees F.
with a wind chill that feels like ZERO!
(can hardly wait for how cold it will
be getting out of church tonight around
7:15 p.m. – I’m sure it will be MUCH colder).
Thank heavens for a good car that runs &
starts even in really cold weather!

Keep warm, rest a little & enjoy your day!



PS: Looking at the coming week, we are
supposed to get a high of 34 Monday
and 36 on Tuesday – so that’s a ‘little’


Happy Saturday!


It’s a little early, but so true!

Today finds us with lovely sunshine and low 20’s temp-wise. If I don’t have to go out in the cold, I love seeing the sunshine through the windows – cheers me up!

Got up early today with the idea that I would (for the LAST time) sort through the 2 garbage bags of donated yarns to make sure that the bag for the teens has ‘younger-type’ yarns and the bag with all the yarn for scarves/hats/mittens for the homeless has more ‘mature’ colors (for the  most part). In with one of the bags I had included an ‘idea’ – many years ago one of my expert knitters gave me about 8 knit ‘swatches’ – she was trying to work out which pattern she would use for a sweater, so she knit up the major pattern in a rectangle about 2 ft wide X 3 feet long in white. She didn’t know what to do with the swatches so she gave them to me to use however I wanted. I used 4 on one afghan that went to The Ghana Project and surrounded the white square with knit red squares; on another one I used two of her squares, also surrounded by red squares. That left me with three; they’ve been sitting in a bag with 14 red knit squares, FOR YEARS! I decided, today, to see what I could do with just one – I crocheted a border around it (kind of ran out of that yarn) so I dug in the ‘donated’ yarns and came up with 4 balls of a sort of brick-red yarn – am working that into a crocheted border outside of the white – am planning on doing a white very small shell pattern as the final edging. It might sound a bit strange for a baby, but with her knitting skills, it makes a very elegant blanket! (I’m down to 1 premie & 4 newborn hats to go before I can deliver them and the miscarriage blankets, hopefully next week.)


Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake

1 (2 layer) box devil’s food cake mix
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate instant
pudding mix
1/3 C. sugar
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to pkg.
directions & pour into a greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Beat dry
pudding mixes, sugar, milk & water
using a whisk 2 minutes then pour over
batter. Place baking dish on a baking
sheet & bake 55 minutes to 1 hour
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes
(sauce will thicken slightly as it cools).
Spoon into serving dishes & top with
Cool Whip. Serves 16 (2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Balsamic Steak Roll Ups

1 1/2 lb. flank steak or sirloin
1/2 C. aged balsamic vinegar
1 lb.  fresh asparagus
2-3 carrots
olive oil

Cut steak into 3 inch wide strips.
Place each piece between 2 pieces
of plastic wrap & use a mallet to
pound meat into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Place steak in a resealable container
with balsamic vinegar & let sit 1-2
hours. Remove steak from container*
& salt/pepper each piece. Trim
asparagus & wrap whole bunch in a damp
paper towel then microwave 2 minutes to
partially cook. Cut carrots into matchstick
pieces. Lay a few vegetables on a slice of steak &
roll up around them using a toothpick
to secure the steak; repeat with remaining
steak & veggies until all steak is rolled up.
Heat a pan with olive oil & place steak in pan,
cooking approx. 1-2 minutes per side. Let steak
rest 5 minutes then serve. Serves 8

*discard marinade


 Anything Goes Sausage Soup

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
4 C. water
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese
soup, undiluted
5 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 C. chopped cabbage
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 T. dried parsley flakes
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink;
drain. Transfer to 6 qt. crockpot. Stir
in water & soups until blended; add
vegetables, bouillon, parsley & pepper.
Cover & cook on Low 9-10 hours until
vegetables are tender. Stir in milk; cover
& cook 30 minutes longer. Serves 15
(about 4 qts).


Lemon-Parsley Baked Cod

3 T. lemon juice
3 T. butter, melted
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
4 cod fillets (6 oz ea)
2 T. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray.
In shallow bowl mix lemon juice &
butter. In separate shallow bowl
mix flour & seasoinings. Dip fillets
in lemon mixture, then in flour
mixture to coat both sides; shake
off excess. Place fillets in prepared
dish; drizzle with remaining
lemon juice mixture. Bake 12-15
minutes until fish just begins to
flake easily with a fork. Mix parsley
& lemon peel; sprinkle over fish.
Serves 4


Fully Loaded Extreme Potato


1 lb. thick-cut bacon, cooked/chopped
2 lb. red potatoes, diced
1 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mild Cheddar
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Colby Jack
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 scallion, chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine sour cream, cream
cheese, salt/pepper – mix well. Add
potatoes & 3/4 of chopped bacon; mix
well & pour into greased 6″ X 10″ baking
dish. Cover with foil & bake 60-75 minutes
until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove
from oven, stir & sprinkle with cheese;
bake 15 minutes longer, uncovered.
Sprinkle top with remaining bacon &
chopped scallions. Serves 6

1-Dish Tamale Pie

3 poblano peppers
3 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. ground pork
1 lb. fresh Mexican chorizo,
casings removed
kosher salt
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T. chili powder
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 (15 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
2 C. frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/4 C. yellow cornmeal
3/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
kosher salt
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 C. buttermilk*
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C. grated sharp Cheddar
cheese (about 6 oz)

Roast poblano peppers directly over
flame of a gas burner or under broiler,
turning with tongs until charred all
over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a
bowl, cover with a plate & set aside
until cool enough to handle, 10
minutes. Scrape off charred skin using
a paring knife, then chop-discarding
seeds & stem.
Heat 2 T. oil in large pot over medium-
high heat. Add ground pork, chorizo &
3/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cook, stirring &
breaking up meat until browned,
8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Heat
remaining 1 T. veg. oil in pot over
medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic &
1/2 tsp. kosher salt; cook, stirring
occasionally, until softened, about 5
minutes. Add chili powder, chipotle
powder, cinnamon & cloves. Cook,
stirring, until spices are toasted,
about 1 minute. Return meat to pot
& add tomatoes, corn, Worc. sauce &
roasted chopped poblanos. Bring to
boil then reduce heat to medium-
low & simmer 10 minutes. Season
with kosher salt & stir in cilantro;
pour mixture into a 3 qt. baking dish.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking
powder, baking soda & 1/2 tsp. kosher
salt in a bowl. Whisk melted butter,
buttermilk & eggs in another bowl.
Stir dry ingredients into wet until
incorporated; stir in cheese. Dollop
the cornbread mixture over filling
in baking dish & smooth into an
even layer using back of a spoon.
Bake until filling is bubbling & topping
is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 2-Cup measuring cup.
Fill remaining cup with milk to
the 1 C. mark. Stir & let sit
5 minutes – now you have


Grandma’s Brown Sugar Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
4 eggs
2/3 C. sour cream
2/3 C. water
1/2 C. oil
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
2 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 6 ingredients using elec.
mixer until blended; add brown
sugar & nuts; mix well. Spray a
12-Cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch
tube pan with nonstick spray; pour
batter into pan. Bake 1 hour until
a toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool cake in pan
15 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of
& invert onto a wire rack. Remove pan;
cool cake completely. Sprinkle top with
powdered sugar just before serving.
Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Have a GREAT day (and try to stay