Yep, it’s Michigan!


Woke up to about 1 1/2 inches of the white stuff – oh, joy. Reading the weather reports for the next 3-4 days, looks like we’re going to be getting it, on & off, for awhile. Our roads are clear and it’s about 27 degrees F. right now – glad I don’t have anywhere to go.

Today was Day Two of my Yarn Purge – I decided that I really wanted to go through ALL of my yarn and get rid of what I don’t really use. I have 3 big Tupperware tubs full; most of which was saved from back when I was doing “The Ghana Project” afghans – all worsted weights.  My thoughts were: there is already a 30 gallon garbage bag full of yarn to go to Childrens Village – where would THIS go? Then I remembered my friends from the group that knits for the homeless! They really could use this yarn. I’m not sure if I’ll be knitting for their project again, but I know that they take donated yarn, so that’s where it will go. I took all of the big plastic bags full of baby yarns and am now able to store all of it in those bins! YAY! My one son came into the living room while I was about half-way done and said: “WOW, Mom – that’s impressive!” (this was while there were tubs, bags & skeins of yarn all over the room and extending into the dining room! (I did keep some yarn for a few men’s scarves and one bag of varied greens to make into another baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy center). I’m still working on knitting one of the baby blankets for the miscarriage box; this one is 20 X 20″ – I’m thinking I’ll probably be just knitting the 10 X 10″ size – they knit up quickly.


Cherry Cola Bread

1 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. diet cola
1 C. frozen sweet cherriesÂ

1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. diet cola

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 2 loaf pans. In large
bowl beat butter & sugar on medium
speed using elec. mixer until light &
fluffy. Add eggs, one-at-a-time, beating
well with each addition. Add flour, 1/2 C.
at a time, followed by cola, 1/4 C at a
time. Add baking powder & soda, & salt.
Mix just until combined; stir in cherries.
Pour batter into prepared pans & bake
45 minutes – 1 hour until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Remove from oven & let cool completely.
Prepare glaze:
In medium bowl whisk together powdered
sugar & cola; drizzle over cooled loaves.
Makes 2 loaves.


Ham & Sausage White Bean Stew

1 1/2 T. butter/bacon drippings or
olive oil
1/4 lb. andouille or smoked sausage,
1 1/2 C. diced onion
1C. diced carrot
1/2 C. diced celery
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 T. dried parsley
1 bay leaf
3 C. cubed, smoked ham
6 C. chicken stock or broth
1 medium potato, cooked &
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans white beans
(Great Northern, navy) drained &

In large skillet brown sausage in 1/2 T.
butter/oil; remove & set aside. Add
remaining oil to pan & saute onion &
vegetables 4 minutes. Add garlic,
seasonings & ham; cook 1 minute. Stir
in stock/broth, bring to boil. Return
sausage to pan,reduce to low simmer &
cook 30 minutes. Stir in mashed potato
until fully incorporated; add tomato &
beans. Simmer until beans are warmed
through & stew reaches desired
consistency, 10-15 minutes longer.
Taste & adjust seasonings; remove bay
leaf. Serves 4-6


Crockpot Alfredo Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 quart heavy cream
2 T. butter
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
salt/pepper, to taste

1/2 box of your favorite pasta,
(optional: extra grated Parm. cheese)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray; place chicken in crockpot. In a
saucepan, heat heavy cream, add butter
& cheese & stir until melted. Add salt &
pepper, to taste & pour over chicken. Cover
& cook on Low 4-6 hours. Serves 4
Serve over cooked pasta with extra grated
Parm. cheese, if desired


Florentine Spaghetti Bake

8 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 C. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 C. (16 oz) cottage cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/squeezed dry
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until sausage is
no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1
minute longer; drain. Stir in spaghetti
sauce & mushrooms – bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & cook 15 minutes
until heated through. Drain pasta; in
large bowl combine egg, cottage cheese,
spinach, Parm. cheese, salt/pepper.
Spread 1 C. sausage mixture into
greased 9 X 13″ baking dish. Top with
spaghetti & remaining sausage mixture.
Layer with spinach mixture & mozzarella
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 45
minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes
longer until lightly browned & heated
through. Let stand 15 minutes before
cutting. Serves 9



Biscuit Crust Pizza

2 C. flour
4 Tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. butter, melted
2/3 C. milk

Mix flour, baking powder & salt in a
bowl. Add butter & mix; add milk.
Mix & place on greased cookie sheet &
flatten out.

pizza (or alfredo) sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded mild Cheddar cheese
frozen chopped bell peppers &
onions (come together in a pkg)
(you can also used cooked hamburger,
pineapple, cooked sausage/chicken,
Barbecue sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees. Bake
pizza 15-20 minutes, checking every
5 minutes after initial time until desired

NOTE: recipe can be tripled

(recipe: wholesomejoyphotography.

Spicy Beef & Peppers Stir-Fry

1 T. canola oil
12 oz. flank steak, cut diagonally
across the grain into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper
3 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (like Lee Kum Kee)
4 green onions, cut into 2″ pieces
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Cooked white or brown rice for 4

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-
high heat. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat
& add steak; cook 2 minutes, searing on
one side. Add bell peppers; cook 2 minutes
until beef loses it’s pink color, stirring
constantly. Remove mixture from pan.
Add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger & chili
garlic sauce to pan; bring to boil. Cook
1 minute until slightly thickened. Add beef
mixture & green onions back to pan; toss
well to coat. Sprinkle top with sesame
seeds before serving. Serve over cooked
rice. Serves 4


Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Spoon pie filling
into dish & spread evenly. In
medium bowl combine cake mix,
cinnamon chips, nuts & cinnamon;
sprinkle dry mixture evenly over
pie filling, then drizzle with butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden
brown & bubbly. Serve warm or cold.
Serves 12


Easy Spinach-stuffed Shells

21 jumbo pasta shells
2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. grated romano cheese
1 egg
1 (5 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/squeezed dry
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
chopped basil (optional: garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread 1/4 C. sauce on bottom of
large skillet. Cook jumbo pasta
shells accordg. to pkg. directions
BUT cook them 2 minutes LESS
than directed; drain.
Combine ricotta, romano, egg, spinach,
salt/pepper in medium bowl. Fill
shells with filling, making sure they
are still able to close. Place filled
shells in skillet & pour remaining
sauce over shells; top with slices
of mozzarella cheese. Bake 30
minutes until cheese is melted &
brown bubbles start to appear.
Garnish with basil (if desired);
serve hot. Serves 7


Potato Bacon Chowder

1 lb. potatoes, peeled/cubed
(about 2 medium)
1 C. water
8 strips bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
soup, undiluted
1 3/4 C. milk
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 T. minced fresh parsley (garnish)

Place potatoes in small saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cover & cook 10-15
minutes until tender. In large skillet
cook bacon until crisp; remove to
paper towel-lined plate. Saute onion
& celery in skillet until tender; drain
& add to undrained potatoes. Stir
in soup, milk, sour cream, salt/pepper.
Cook over Low heat 10 minutes until
heated through (do not boil).
Crumble bacon; set aside 1/4 C. –
add remaining bacon to soup along
with parsley. Sprinkle reserved bacon
over top. Serves 6


6-Minute Cake Mix Cookies

1 box cake mix, any flavor
2 eggs
1/3 C. vegetable oil

small shallow pan (pie plate)
with some granulated sugar in

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment
paper. Mix dry cake mix with eggs &
oil using elec. mixer. Scoop out 1 T.
mixture, roll between your palms
to form a 1 inch ball & place 2 inches
apart on prepared sheets. Using a
flat-bottomed glass dipped in gran.
sugar, press cookies to about 1/4 inch
thick. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool
slightly before removing to cooling
rack. Makes 24 cookies

Optional Glaze;
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. cream or milk
drop or two vanilla
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Combine all glaze ingredients &
stir until smooth, adding more cream/
milk, if necessary to achieve a glaze
consistency. Spread on cookies &
allow to set before serving.



Here’s hoping your day goes even BETTER
than you expected!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. saved this in faves, looks delicious.

  2. Ads you can tell by my post I had a busy morning but i’m taking a breather now.

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