Happy Saturday!


Here we are at Saturday again – it’s 50 degrees F, grey & chilly but I’m not going to let that stop me! (I have a tendency to adjust my moods by whether it’s sunny out or not – that’s not a good idea). Looking at the weather for the coming days, mostly 50’s & rainy – oh, goody . . . looks like LOTS of knitting is in store!


Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breast tenderloins
1 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T. cumin
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans drained/
2 (15 oz, ea) diced tomatoes with
green chiles, undrained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 qt. chicken stock
1 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese
1/4 C. fresh chopped cilantro – garnish

Add chicken, onion & garlic to crockpot;
cover & cook on High 1 hour. Add all
spices, corn, green beans/black beans/
kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato
paste & chicken stock; mix to combine.
Turn heat to Low, cover & cook 6-7
hours until chicken is very tender & falling
apart. Before serving remove chicken &
shred then add back to soup. Serve topped
with cheese & pinch of cilantro (if desired).
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Teacake

8 T. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 C. self-rising flour
1/3 C. milk

1 T. butter, melted
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 6 inch round cake
pan with nonstick spray. Melt 7
T. butter. In medium bowl mix melted
butter, 1/2 C. sugar, 1 T. cinnamon &
self-rising flour to form a soft dough.
Add milk & mix until smooth – pour
into prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven; once cake is cooled
enough to handle, remove from pan &
place on a serving dish.
In a saucepan melt 1 T. butter & mix with
1 T. sugar & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; spread
over top of cake. In small bowl stir
together the remaining 1/4 C. sugar &
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon – sprinkle over cake
top. Makes 1 6″ round cake.


Curried Chicken Salad
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. chicken cut into small
pieces (breast meat works best)
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
3/4 C. plain yogurt
1/2 C. prepared hummus
1 apple, diced small
1/2 C. golden raisins
2 scallions, sliced thin

Mix curry, cumin & turmeric in
medium bowl. In gallon ziplock bag
add chicken, oil, 1/2 of spice mixture,
salt/pepper & 1/4 C. yogurt – stir or
shake to coat. Refrigerate 20 minutes
or overnight. Heat 1-2 T. oil in heavy
skillet – sear chicken until cooked
through, about 5 minutes per side
depending on size. Remove from
skillet & place on cutting board to
cool approx. 10 minutes. Add to
remaining spices 1/2 C. yogurt &
hummus, apple, raisins & scallions –
season with salt/pepper. When
chicken has cooled at bit, shred
meat using 2 forks, into bite-sized
pieces; add to bowl & stir to combine.
Refrigerate overnight for best results.
Serves 4

(recipe: bowlofdelicious.com)

Tomato/Bacon Nibbles

24-30 cherry tomatoes
1 (16 oz) pkg. bacon, crisply
cooked & crumbled
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 C. green onions, finely chopped
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise

Cut a thin slice off top of each tomato.
Cut a thin slice off bottoms (so they
can stand up). Scoop out & discard
tomato pulp; place tomatoes, upside-
down on paper towel to drain 10
minutes. Mix bacon & remaining
ingredients in small bowl. Using a
small spoon, stuff tomatoes. Serve
immediately or chill up to 2 hours.
Makes 2 – 2 1/2 dozen.

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Triple Cheese Baked Ziti

1 lb. ziti pasta
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
3 C. (12 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large pot of
boiling water cook ziti until just
barely tender; drain & place in
large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, 1 1/2
C. mozz. cheese, garlic, salt & parsley.
Mix well & spread half of spaghetti
sauce in baking dish. Spoon ziti
mixture into dish, cover with
remaining spaghetti sauce, then
sprinkle with Parm. cheese. Bake
25 minutes then top with remaining
mozz. cheese & bake an additional
10 minutes until heated through.
Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Chocolate Mint Muffins
(this recipe uses Andes Mints
candies – those little chocolate/
mint wafers)

1 3/4 C. flour
1 1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
2/3 C. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 C. Andes Mint candy (chopped
into pieces)
3/4 C. milk
1 T. vinegar
2 large eggs
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2/ tsp. coffee extract

1 C. Andes mints- chopped,
for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 16 muffin tins with liners.
Combine milk & vinegar in small
cup. In large bowl whisk flour,
brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder
& baking soda, salt. Add in chopped
mint candy & stir to incorporate.
In separate bowl mix milk mixture
& eggs – whisk. Add oil & coffee
extract-whisk to combine. Pour
into dry mixture & carefully fold in;
do not overmix. Scoop mixture into
prepared tins 3/4 ths full. Bake 23-25
minutes until toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let cool in
pan then transfer to wire rack to
cool completely. Makes 18.

(recipe: kleinworthco.com)

Green Bean & Wild Mushroom Casserole

3 C. milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 C. butter, divided
1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
nutmeg, to taste
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. fresh green beans, cut into
2 inch pieces, blanched or steamed
3 C. mushrooms: Portabella, cremini
or shiitake, sliced
1/2 C. soft bread crumbs
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In saucepan over medium-high heat bring
milk & bay leaf nearly to a boil. In another
saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 C.
butter. Add flour to butter & cook,
whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Remove
bay leaf from milk; slowly add milk to
butter, whisking constantly. Stir in mustard,
nutmeg, salt/pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from heat,
add Cheddar cheese & stir until cheese melts.
Fold in green beans & mushrooms; transfer
to a buttered 2 qt. casserole dish. Melt
remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese & bread crumbs
over top. Bake, uncovered, 50 minutes until
bubbly & golden. Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Not really sure just what’s going on with my computer – size of fonts; sorry if the recipes are coming up really small or really BIG – I’ve tried to fix it and what you see is the BEST results! Goofy!

Hope you have a great day,





Another Rainy Day…


It’s about 50 degrees F., gray and rainy – a great day to stay inside, curl up with your favorite afghan, something warm to drink and a good book (OR knitting/crochet)! This is the first day this week I haven’t had something to ‘go do’ so I’m still in my jammies at 10:50 a.m.! (Bad part is: middle son is planning a picnic (you heard me right) a little later and they ‘might’ be stopping in to use the bathroom. I have yet to meet new girlfriend, but son is really excited/happy with her so far. He decided (a few days ago) to plan a picnic for her – we have a neighborhood park across the street from our house – nothing special, lots of trees, a lake – nothing big; I used to take our dog there to throw a frisbee many years ago (before kids) but then they built a water treatment facility on the property so now it’s just ‘there’. He asked to borrow a plastic picnic table cover, a small cooler and a few golfing umbrellas. He’s going to Kroger to buy some take out sushi boxes, bottles of tea and maybe some mini cupcakes – I thought it was a really sweet gesture on his part (he’s my really ‘romantic’ son). Hope she sees his efforts and appreciates the gesture.

I’m also planning another “Knit/Crochet MOVIE Night” for next Tuesday night (our ‘off’ night for knit group. This time I’ve decided we’re doing a Taco Night – that should be fun, we haven’t done that theme in a few years (I’m doing the taco meat). We usually average about 12 people attending – I’m going to try to check out a movie I saw previews on: “Mom’s Night Out“: ” Hardworking mom Allyson has a crazy night out with her friends, while their husbands watch their children.” – sounds like it could be fun (it’s a 2014 movie, so maybe I’ll rent it, watch it first, then decide). The other ladies bring movies they think we might like, also, and then we lay them out on a table & vote which one we’re watching that night.


Gooey Apple Pull-apart Bread

12 frozen dinner rolls
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
(peeled if you desire)
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. unsalted butter, melted &

1 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Spray 8 X 4″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray. Place frozen rolls on a plate
& cover with plastic wrap; thaw
about 30 minutes until soft enough
to cut. In medium bowl mix apples,
cinnamon, sugar & 2 T. butter. Using
kitchen shears, cut each roll into 4,
roll into balls using your hands. Place
10 small balls on bottom of pan. Drizzle
about half remaining butter over rolls.
Cover with half apple mixture & repeat
layers until all ingredients are used up.
Let rise 1 hour or until rolls have
doubled in size.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 30-35 minutes until brown on top.
Mix butter, brown sugar, milk & powdered
sugar together & pour all over top of
bread. If too thick, add a little more milk &
stir before drizzling. If too thin, add a little
more powdered sugar, stir then pour.

NOTE: If loaf starts to get too brown on top,
cover loosely with foil & continue baking to
allow center to finish baking.

(recipe: recipelion.com)

3-Ingredient Chicken

2 pkts. dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 C. brown sugar
6-8 chicken thighs (or any pieces)
skin on

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Place brown sugar & seasoning pkgs.
in large ziplock bag & shake to mix.
Add chicken pieces, shake to coat &
place chicken on sheet, skin side up.
Bake 35 minutes for thighs, longer
for larger pieces until juices run clear.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Chive & Onion Hash Brown Potatoes

1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 (8 oz) tub spreadable chive & onion
cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In Dutch oven combine first 5
ingredients; cook & stir over medium
heat until blended; stir in potatoes.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Layer one third of hash brown
mixture on bottom & 2/3 C. Swiss
cheese; sprinkle with 1 T. chives –
repeat layers. Top with remaining
hash browns & cheese – dot with butter.
Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Bake,
uncovered, 10-20 minutes longer until
edges begin to brown & potatoes are
heated through. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Sprinkle with remaining
chives. Serves 12 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Spinach & Mushroom Pasta Casserole

1 (8 oz) pkg. uncooked penne pasta
2 T. vegetable oil
1 C. sliced portobello mushrooms
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 C. milk
2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed,
squeezed dry
1/4 C. soy sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions for al
dente; drain. Heat oil in saucepan
over medium heat; add mushrooms
& saute 1 minute – set them aside.
Melt butter in saucepan; whisk in
flour, garlic & basil. Gradually mix
in milk until thickened. Stir in 1 C.
cheese until melted. Remove pan
from heat & stir in cooked pasta,
mushrooms, spinach & soy sauce.
Pour mixture into prepared dish
& top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

Almost Stuffed Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops (1 1/4 –
1 1/2 lb. each) 1 inch thick
2 T. lime juice
3 2/3 C. coarsely crumbled cracker
crumbs (about 4 oz crackers)
6 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely
chopped (about 1 C.)
3 scallions (green onions), chopped
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Brush both sides of chops with
lime juice & place in dish. In medium
bowl combine remaining ingredients.
Mix until well blended & spoon evenly
over chops. Bake 40-45 minutes until
chops are cooked through. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Corned Beef Hash

1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled/
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. cooking oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme
8 oz. cooked or leftover corned beef,
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
eggs (optional, if you want poached)
1 T. vinegar (if making eggs)

Cook potatoes, onion, thyme, garlic,
salt/pepper in cooking oil in large
skillet. Gently turn occasionally about
20-25 minutes until potatoes are
cooked through & browned, adding
corned beef last 5 minutes – it only
needs to heat up, you don’t want it
breaking up too much.

IF you want poached eggs:
Heat 2 C. water in small saucepan with
1 T. vinegar until it just simmers. Keep
it at a simmer (little bubbles coming
up from bottom, not quite boiling).
Break eggs singly into small dishes.
When water is simmering, use a spoon
to swirl water around into a whirlpool.
While water is still swirling, bring egg
dish close to water & very gently tilt
it so egg goes in without a ‘plop’. Keep
a close eye on water & do NOT let it
boil. Turn it down if it tries, poaching
time should be 2-4 minutes. To gauge
doneness of your egg, put a spoon
beneath the egg & lift it just a little
bit – give it a little jiggle – how much
the yolk wiggles will let you know how
soft it is. A bit of jiggling for runny yolks,
less for a more cooked egg. When done,
lift egg out using a slotted spoon, onto
a bed of hot hash. (if you don’t use a
slotted spoon you’ll get water on your
plate). Serves 4-6

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Asparagus/Roasted Pepper Frittata

6 eggs, lightly beaten
Half & Half, or cream (a splash)
2 T. butter
1 small red onion, sliced into half moon
8 oz. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed/
1 T. snipped fresh chives
1/4 C. hot water
1 roasted sweet red bell pepper, sliced
6 T. ricotta cheese
2-4 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat butter in 10 inch skillet; add onions,
cooking until they wilt. Add asparagus;
season with salt/pepper & add chives.
Cook 1 minute; add 1/4 C. hot water &
continue cooking until water evaporates,
about 2 minutes. Add pepper slices &
pour beaten eggs evenly over vegetables
in skillet. Add 6 dollops ricotta cheese,
evenly spaced*. Sprinkle top with Parm.
cheese & place skillet in oven. Bake 25
minutes until set. Allow to cool in pan
10-15 minutes then loosen sides if needed
before sliding frittata onto a platter. Slice
into wedges & serve. Serves 2-3 as a
main meal, or up to 6 as part of a breakfast

*No need to measure the cheese

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)

7-Layer Dip Dessert

4 C. milk
3 bananas, sliced thin
1 lb. strawberries, sliced thin
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
1 C. honey-roasted almonds
1 C. pretzels, crushed
1 (5 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (5 0z) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix

Vanilla wafer cookies
graham crackers

In small bowl whisk 2 C. milk with
vanilla pudding; in separate bowl
whisk 2 C. milk & chocolate pudding –
refrigerate both bowls & let set.
After pudding is set, add ingredients
in this order in a 9 X 13″ baking dish:

-chocolate pudding on bottom
-sliced bananas
-crushed pretzels
-vanilla pudding
-sliced almonds
-sliced strawberries
Spread Cool Whip over top evenly –
you can top with more almonds, if
Refrigerate & keep cold until ready to
serve. Serve with vanilla wafers and/or
graham crackers, for dipping. Serves 20

NOTE: You can use fresh fruit, or
more pudding instead of Cool Whip
and/or: a layer of chocolate chips,
if desired.

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)


Had a fun night at Knit night Tuesday, one of my
friends from church had asked if I would mind her
9 1/2 yr old daughter joining us – she had just
taught herself how to knit and wanted a little
help. She came for about 1 1/2 hours and we had
a great time; she’s home schooled (very bright)
and ‘held her own’ sitting with two of our expert
knitters. I wasn’t too sure what they’d think about
having a young girl asking constant questions but
when she left they said they probably wouldn’t
have been as outgoing and confident when they
were her age – they were impressed. I know she
had a good time and her Mom was thrilled –
it all adds a little more ‘spice’ to our gathering!
We also had two other new ladies join us – both
nurses (one retired, one active). The older lady
said she used to knit socks and would need a
‘LITTLE’ help remembering – well, I sat her with
another expert SOCK knitter – after she left I was
told the lady hadn’t knitted in a good 20 years
and had a very old copy-of a copy- of – a copy
of a pattern which was actually unable to be
read. My friend gave the lady HER beginners
sock pattern and got her back on track. I gave
my friend a big HUG for all her efforts – you
just never know . . . some say they know how
to knit/crochet and really don’t…others just
need a little guiding help but in the end:

Not much else new around here; still working
on the two baby afghans. Monday I had to make
a quick trip to Office Depot for printer ink and
in the same shopping center is JoAnns – I ended
up buying 3 skeins of yarn on sale for $3.00 per
skein (YAY!) – they’re baby yarn in a variegated
bright blue, bright green & white. I’m thinking of
doing a pattern I’ve done before, using this yarn
as the ‘in between’ colors and a solid white for
the main pattern:

Hope your day is going well – remember to
smile a little – it helps exercise your face
muscles AND it just might lighten your
mood and the moods of others!



Spring is here – slowly


Once again we have a nice, sunny day – in the low 60’s with a slight breeze. Looking at the forecast for tomorrow, it’s saying high of 71 degrees F. – WOW! Seeing lots of flowers/trees in bloom: forsythia, tulips, daffodils, narcissus, Star of Bethlehem and something I haven’t seen since I was very young: Bittersweet! If you’re not familiar with this plant/bush, they produce tiny orange berries within a sort of paper-like outer coating. There is a house in our neighborhood directly across from where our community mailbox is and I spotted their little Bittersweet bush (it’s only about 3 1/2 feet tall). I remember we had one growing up, if I remember correctly it was growing up a type of wooden trellis to support it. If you’re not familiar with what they look like, here’s a photo (off the ‘net’):


For me, it was a ‘bittersweet’ moment, being able to draw from my (very old) memory of the name of this plant. If I’m correct, they are mostly used in flower arrangements; the berries (to my knowledge) are not edible.


At yesterday’s Wake for my husband’s cousin they served these (LOVE them!):

Funeral Potatoes

(sometimes called “Cheesy Potatoes)

12 servings

1 stick salted butter
1 (28-32 oz) bag frozen shredded
hash brown potatoes
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 C. flour
1 C. milk
2 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. grated Monterey Jack
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

2 C. kettle-cooked potato chips
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13″ pan with 1 T. butter.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat – melt 6 T. butter. Add onions
& cook, stirring occasionally, until they
start to soften, 3-4 minutes. Spinkle
flour over onions & stir to incorporate.
Cook 1-2 minutes to cook out raw flour
but do not let it color. Whisk in milk,
getting out all lumps; bring to simmer
& allow to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Season salt/pepper. Turn off heat & stir
in Mont. Jack cheese, sour cream &
Cheddar. Add hash browns & mix
everything together – place in
prepared baking dish. Melt remaining
1 T. butter in small pan; place potato
chips & Parm. in a bowl & crush chips.
Pour in melted butter & toss to coat.
Sprinkle crumbs over top of potatoes.
Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes;
remove foil & bake until golden brown
on top & bubbling around edges,
about 15 minutes more. Let rest
15 minutes before serving. Serves 12



Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

1 T. salt plus 1 1/2 tsp.
3/4 lb. linguine pasta
3 T. unsalted butter
2 1/2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 lb. large shrimp (about 16)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 lemon, zest grated
1/4 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice
(2 lemons)
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced into half-
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

In a large pot of salted, boiling water
drizzle some oil. Add 1 T. salt & linguine,
cook 7-10 minutes (accordg. to pkg.
directions). In another large, heavy-
bottomed pan melt butter & olive oil
over medium-low heat. Add garlic, saute
1 minute. Add shrimp, 1 1/2 tsp. salt &
pepper – saute until shrimp have just
turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring
often. Remove from heat, add parsley,
lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices &
red pepper flakes – toss to combine. When
pasta is done, drain & place back in pot.
Immediately add shrimp & sauce; toss
well & serve. Serves 3

(recipe: foodnetwork – Ina Garten)

Bacon-Tomato Dip in a Bread Bowl

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 medium tomato, peeled/chopped
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 round bread loaf (1/2 lb), unsliced
assorted crackers, for dipping

In small bowl beat cream cheese & mayo.
until smooth. Stir in tomato, bacon, basil
& pepper. Cover & refrigerate 1 hour. Cut a
1 1/2 inch thick slice off top of bread; set
slice aside. Carefully hollow out loaf, leaving
a 1/2 inch shell. Cut removed bread into cubes.
Fill shell with dip. Serve with bread cubes &
crackers. Makes 2 cups/serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves, cut into thin strips
4 oz. linguine, cooked al dente
2 tsp. cajun seasoning *
2 T. butter or margarine
1 thinly sliced green onion
1-2 C. heavy whipping cream
2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken & cajun seasoning in
a bowl – toss to coat. In large skillet
over medium heat, saute chicken in
butter or margarine until chicken is
tender, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce
heat, add green onion, heavy cream,
tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder,
black pepper & heat through. Pour
mixture over hot linguine & toss
with Parmesan cheese. Serves 2
Prepare Cajun seasoning – use
2 tsp. for this recipe – makes extra

*Cajun seasoning:
2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground black pepper

In container of food processor or
blender, combine all spices-process
on high speed until reduced to a fine
powder. Transfer to a container with
tight fitting lid.

(recipe: food.com)

Peach Fluff Salad

1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling
3 C. mini marshmallows
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
well drained
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Combine pie filling, marshmallows,
pineapple, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg-
stir until well mixed. Gently stir in
Cool Whip until well mixed.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: thekitchenismyplayground.com)

Crockpot Italian Chicken

6 frozen chicken breasts
1 pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cut into

Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 5-6 hours.
Serve over cooked pasta, rice or potatoes(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. granulated sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 c. butter, room temp.
1/4 C. powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
zest of 2 lemons
2 T. fresh lemon juice
5 C. powdered sugar

colored sugar sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In a small bowl combine
gran. sugar & lemon zest – rub together
with your fingers until fragrant. In bowl of
stand mixer beat butter & lemon/sugar
until combined. Slowly add powd. sugar &
beat until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, lemon juice & vanilla; beat until
smooth. Slowly add flour mixture & beat
until just combined. Evenly spread cookie
dough into prepared pan. Bake 12-14
minutes until bars are slightly set in middle.
Remove from oven & let bars cool completely.
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter & cream cheese
until smooth. Add lemon zest & lemon juice;
slowly add powd. sugar, 1 cup at a time; mix
until smooth. Frost cooled cookie bars &
decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles,
if desired. Cut bars into squares; makes
16-24 bars.

NOTE: Store bars in air-tight container in
refrigerator up to 2 days.

(recipe: twopeasandtheirpod.com)

Craft-wise I decided to rip out about a foot of
crocheted baby blanket – this is a ‘difficult to
use’ yarn – it’s sport-weight (which means it’s
a bit thin) and it’s a blue & white twist. Sounds
really nice, right? It is – by itself, without knitting
or crocheting it but make it into any kind of a
pattern and it just looks like denim-colored; the
pattern doesn’t shine at all. I was doing a
“Bubblegum” pattern which is really easy (almost
boring) but just decided I wanted to do something
a bit more ‘showy/fancy’ so I just started on another
baby afghan in “Diagonal Box Stitch” (crochet pattern)
which my dear friend Mary/Momma taught me MANY
years ago. (Mind you – I still have to go to the directions
for how to start AND decrease this, but it’s an easy
pattern and goes fast). Am going to TRY to post the
link on how to make that stitch:
Still plugging along on the mint
green blanket – have about 3 1/2 feet done so far. I was
happy, yesterday, when a lady I didn’t know came up
to me and asked if I was the one who made the Cherry
Cobbler (yes). She kept going on about how it was one
of her all-time favorites & she’d forgotten all about it.
I offered to give her the recipe but she said she
remembered how to make it, she just hadn’t made it
in a long time. Knowing I’ll hear from you if I don’t
post that recipe, here goes (sorry I can’t get this font
size to go any bigger, but the recipe came up BIG –
go figure!)

Cherry Cobbler
or Cherry Dump Cake
1 large can cherry pie filling
1 large can crushed pineapple,
well drained
1 box white or yellow cake mix
1 stick margarine (or butter),

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Spread cherry
pie filling in bottom of pan; top
with pineapple – spreading both
out to cover pan. Sprinkle the
entire DRY cake mix on top and
drizzle the melted marg/butter
on top. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour.
Serves 8.NOTE: this recipe can be doubled-
for the wake I used a big aluminum
pan and 2 cans pie filling/2 cans
pineapple – prepared same way.
You can vary the pie filling flavors;
I’ve heard of using blueberry or
apple (I personally just like the cherry).
Hope you are enjoying this lovely SPRING
weather – even if it’s cloudy or rainy, it’s
SO much better than snow & cold!

with a little help from my friends!


Yesterday I loudly complained about having trouble with Windows 10 attempting to SELF-INSTALL on my computer – THANK YOU, READERS!  1EarthUnited (one of my readers) very graciously sent me the link on how to UN-install that mess BEFORE Windows 10 could permanently barge in on my computer – THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have a very ‘techy’ husband, so he immediately set forth to conquer this mess and he did – he’s SO happy about it he immediately attacked HIS computer to do the very same thing. Now, some of you might be very happy using Windows 10 but last year, when that app. first came out husband did the install on HIS computer – that ended up costing us almost $200 and a week with his computer at Best Buy’s Geek Squad before they could take it off – what a mess! We both decided that we would NEVER get that for my computer so you can understand my plight yesterday when that very app decided to ‘self install’! UGH! I don’t CARE if it’s a FREE install – SOooooooo glad 1EarthUnited sent me that link!

Been going through my numerous emails from various recipe sites and WOW did I glean a TON of great recipes! If you’re so inclined I would recommend: http://www.tasteofhome.com  or http://www.sixsistersstuff.com   or http://www.delish.com  – what a HUGE amount of great-sounding recipes!


Apple Cinnamon Sugar Cookie

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. peeled/diced apples
2 tsp. cinnamon

1 C. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13 X 18″ baking sheet
with nonstick spray. In a large
bowl using an elec. mixer, combine
butter & sugar; mix on Medium
until creamy. Mix in eggs, one-at-
a-time, making sure to mix well
after each addition; mix in vanilla.
In small bowl combine flour, salt
& baking powder. Blend flour
mixture into butter mixture on
Low until completely incorporated;
stir in cinnamon & apples. Spread
mixture onto prepared sheet &
smooth out evenly. Bake 15-20
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let
cool completely before frosting.

Place butter in small saucepan
over medium heat & stir
constantly 8-10 minutes until
butter starts to turn golden brown.
Remove from heat; pour into a
bowl; cover & refrigerate 1 hour
until it begins to solidify. In a
mixer bowl beat butter until smooth.
Carefully add powdered sugar
alternately with milk, beginning &
ending with powdered sugar. When
frosting reaches a spreadable
consistency stir in vanilla. Spread
frosting over bars & cut.

(recipe: lemonsforlulu.com)

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Dip

1 jalapeno (1/2 C., diced)
4 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic, minced, to taste

Stir all ingredients together in
a bowl & serve with crackers.

(recipe: pinterest.com)

Bacon/Potato Bake

8 C. peeled/thinly sliced
red potatoes
2 T. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
2 T. butter, melted/divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded
Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 C. dry bread crumbs
8 slices bacon, cooked/

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in Dutch oven;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer
10 minutes. Drain, cool 10 minutes.
In small bowl combine flour, eggs,
sour cream, 1 T. butter & salt; spoon
over potatoes & toss to coat. Place
half mixture into a greased 9 X 13″
baking dish; top with half the cheese-
repeat layers. Toss bread crumbs with
remaining butter; sprinkle over top &
bake, uncovered, 1 hour until potatoes
are tender. Sprinkle top with bacon
& serve. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Grnd. Turkey & Mushrooms

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. homemade gravy mix (recipe below)
1/2 C. water
chopped green onions (optional)

Place ground turkey in crockpot, break
up pieces with a spoon. Add sliced
mushrooms, gravy mix & water; stir.
Cover & cook on Low 3-5 hours (or
High 2-3). Uncover, break up turkey
with a spoon; salt/pepper, if desired.
Serve over cooked rice, noodles, potatoes.
Garnish with sliced green onions, if
desired. Serves 4-6
cooked rice, noodles or potatoes
Homemade Gravy:
3 T. beef bouillon granules
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. flour

Place all gravy ingredients in a blender
or food processor – pulse about 10
times until all granules are the same
size. Store in an air tight container.

To Make Gravy:
Use 1/4 C. mix with 2 C. milk or water
in a saucepan; whisk over medium
heat until smooth & thickened.

NOTE: Poster added some variations
to the recipe:

Mix in 4 oz. cream cheese & 1/2 C.
sour cream after turkey is cooked
for more of a creamy, stroganoff-
type meal. Can also be made
using ground beef or chicken instead
of turkey

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Avocado Egg Salad
(serves 2)

4 hardboiled eggs, peeled/chopped
1 medium avocado, peeled/diced
4-5 T. diced red onion
4 celery stalks, diced
1 peeled/diced cucumber
1-2 T. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
salt/pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a
bowl, stirring well to combine.
You can mash some of the eggs/
avocado, if you like. Taste & adjust
mustard, vinegar, salt/pepper to
your liking. Serves 2

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Secret Ingredient Stuffed Shells

2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. diced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. large pasta shells
1 1/2 C. butternut squash, sliced
1 1/2 C. yellow squash (1 small),
sliced thin
1 1/2 C. zucchini (1 medium),
sliced thin
1 2-Cup pkg. shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta shells accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & cool. Heat oil in
12 inch saucepan over medium heat;
add onions, zucchini, yellow squash
& butternut squash & cook 10 minutes
until vegetables are fork tender. Add
garlic & red pepper flakes; cook 2-3
minutes more. Move vegetables to
a plate. Carefully stir ricotta into
warm vegetables, being careful not
to break the vegetables. Add butter
to pan & melt. Whisk in flour, salt/
pepper & nutmeg, cook 1 minute.
Whisk in milk & cook 2-3 minutes until
sauce begins to thicken.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Pour 1 C. sauce into bottom of
dish & spread around. Fill cooked shells
with squash/ricotta mixture, placing
each filled shell into dish. When all
shells are filled, pour cream sauce
over shells & top with mozzarella
cheese. Bake until heated through
& cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Serves 4

NOTE: Poster said she sometimes
adds 1 C. cooked, cubed chicken
to filling mixture

(recipe: callmepmc.com)

Blueberry Butter Cake

Bottom Layer:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
8 T. butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
8 T. butter, melted
15-20 oz. dried blueberries
2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. In large
bowl combine cake mix, egg &
melted butter – mix well using
elec. mixer. Pat mixture into
bottom of prepared pan (Poster
said she sprayed her palms with
a little cooking spray & patted
the dough down that way.)

In large bowl beat cream cheese until
smooth. Add eggs, vanilla & melted
butter – beat again until blended. Stir
in dried blueberries & sugar; mix until
well blended. Spread filling over cake
batter & bake 40-50 minutes. Do not
overbake. Center should be a little
gooey. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)


Today is one of those “stay home, get comfy in
your favorite jammies & read’ days. It’s 51 degrees
F. , gray & rainy – supposed to get up to 65 but I
have my doubts. Brings to mind the old saying:
“April showers bring May flowers”.

Today is my oldest son’s ‘debut’ as a Executive
Chef par excellence – his brand new restaurant/
bar at the brand new Hilton Hotel is opening
at 4 p.m. today. I’m sure he is more than beside
himself with anxiety (I haven’t spoken to him in
over a week – I don’t want to bother him as I
KNOW he’s got to be triple-thinking everything:
“Did I order enough . . . “, “Will we be able to
handle EVERYTHING?”, etc. I ran into his second
grade teacher last night and updated her on his
achievement – she said: “Mom & Dad will be there,
right?” and I told her “No” – this is more of a
business hotel – with lots of suites; he doesn’t
need the extra pressure with having US there,too.
Maybe, sometime down the line, we’ll check it
out but for now it’s HIS time to shine and he’s
more than earned it. (Can you tell I’m SUPER
Proud of him?)

Yesterday we got notice that my husband’s all-
time favorite cousin died at 78 of cancer. He was
a great person/family man/man of all things: if
he knew you needed help he’d be right there. He
owned his own heating & cooling company and I
can’t tell you how many times he came to our
house to help us out if the water heater or furnace
didn’t work (and you KNOW he didn’t charge us
regular prices, either – he’d just say we’d ‘work it
out’). I have great memories of him swimming with
my oldest son when son was probably about 4 –
he loved family and it showed. We were told he
didn’t want a funeral but there will be a wake this
Saturday at the local American Legion hall; I can
still hear his voice and laugh – he will be greatly

Hope you spend this day the way YOU would
LIKE to – whether it be inside, or out.




Another beautiful day!


Finally, after all the goofy/cold weather our daffodils & narcissus are able to bloom without hanging their heads! The weather has gotten a little colder, but still very tolerable (in the 60’s), sunny and Spring-like – I LOVE IT!

LOTS of recipes to share – ran into several really nice crockpot sites and couldn’t stop typing!


 Orange Creamsicle Cookies

1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. finely grated orange rind
1/4 C. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl of elec. mixer, cream
sugar , butter, cream cheese,
egg, vanilla, orange rind &
orange juice 1-2 minutes until
well combined. In separate bowl
stir flour, baking soda, cream of
tartar & salt; add to creamed
mixture & mix until combined.
Stir in white choc. chips. Spray
a cookie sheet with nonstick
spray & scoop dough onto sheet.
Bake approx. 8 minutes just
until done, so they stay chewy
& soft. Let cool on sheet a few
minutes then remove to a wire
rack to cool completely. Store
in an airtight container to stay

(recipe: Christine Bell)

Triple Cheddar Mac & Cheese

2 C. dry elbow macaroni
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/2/ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or black)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. Triple Cheddar cheese,
shredded/ divided

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Parboil macaroni in salted water
6 minutes then drain well before adding
to crockpot. While macaroni is cooking, in
small bowl whisk melted butter, evap.
milk, Cheddar cheese soup, sour cream,
eggs & seasonings. Pour sauce on top of
cooked macaroni along with 3 C. Triple
Cheddar cheese; stir all ingredients until
macaroni is coated & sauce is evenly
distributed. Cover & cook on Low 2 hours,
remove lid & check middle for doneness.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover &
cook another 15 minutes to allow cheese
to melt. Serves 8-10

(recipe: melissassouthernstylekitchen.com)

Biscuits & Gravy Bake

1 (12 oz) tube refrigerated biscuits
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. cooked sausage
1 C. shredded cheese

4 T. butter
4 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. In a
bowl mix eggs, 1/2 C. milk, salt/
Melt butter in a saucepan;
stir in flour , salt/pepper & slowly
add milk. Simmer, stirring, until
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Layer
biscuits, sausage, cheese, egg mixture
& gravy. Bake 35-45 minutes until eggs
on bottom are cooked.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Corn & Bacon Casserole

1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel
corn, drained
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn,
1 (8 oz) pkg. Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
3 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with
green chilies, drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in small saucepan,
saute onion a few minutes until
softened. In large bowl combine
both corn, muffin mix, sour cream,
shredded cheese, bacon, diced
tomatoes & butter/onion from
pan. Mix thoroughly & pour into
a greased 9 X 9″ baking dish. Bake
55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 8

(recipe: whoneedsacape.com)

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

1/2 C. chicken broth
1/3 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 lb. flank steak
1 T. sesame oil
1 head broccoli florets
sesame seeds (garnish)

Cooked rice for 4

In medium bowl combine broth,
soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic &
lime juice. Heat large skillet over
High heat. Rub steak with oil &
add to skillet – sear steak 3 minutes
per side then transfer to a cutting
board – let rest 5 minutes then slice.
Add sauce to skillet & deglaze pan
then add broccoli. Return steak to
skillet & let simmer in sauce. Season
generously with salt/pepper. Garnish
with sesame seeds & serve with rice.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)

Strawberry Cream Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1/4 C. oil

1 box strawberry Jello –
prepared – leave to cool

1 can whipped vanilla frosting
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip
1 tsp. almond extract
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Sliced fresh strawberries for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Mix together cake
ingredients; pour into pan &
bake 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
When cool, poke holes all over cake
using a straw. Pour warm liquid
Jello all over cake.
Mix frosting & Cool Whip together.
Mix softened cream cheese into
mixture & add almond extract –
mix until well blended then frost
cooled cake. Place sliced strawberries
on top of cake.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)


It’s been a bit crazy the past few days – it
seems good old MICROSOFT really wants
me to accept their “Windows 10” program-
to the point where they’re trying to FORCE
the download onto my computer! UGH! It
took my husband several tries to just get
the “Beginning Download” screen off! He
ended up backing my files onto discs and
several other ‘things’ only he knows how
to do – but I DO NOT WANT WINDOWS 10!
If you’ve been with me for awhile you might
remember all the huge MESS that program
did to my husband’s computer (including us
taking the computer to Best Buy’s GEEK
Squad to see if they could restore the computer
and remove “10” – it took them a few days
to get it off (that was right after the launch
for the ‘new Windows 10’ program – we were
some of the first people to try to install it.
Now, grant you, they MIGHT have improved
said model – I don’t care – I DO NOT want it!
For 3 days now I have been happily working
on my computer only to have the screen go
totally blank, then up pops a window in the
center of the screen announcing “Uploading
Windows 10″ will begin immediately, do not
turn off your computer.” You better believe
my fingers IMMEDIATELY hit OFF! Sure hope
that all works and I don’t HAVE to take it if

Have noticed that the gas prices have dropped
at bit over the past few days. Last I’d checked
they were hovering around $2.00 but now
they’re at around $1.95/9 (taking a guess here,
haven’t been ‘out’ in 2 days).

Was finally able to meet with my friend that
has the other knit/crochet group that makes
hats/scarves/gloves/mittens for the homeless
and give her the 39-gallon garbage bag full of
various yarns – she was in total shock! “Where
did you get all this?” (from our group yarn
swap back in the fall – it’s been THAT long I’ve
been attempting to get with her to pass it on!
She was thrilled – I’m happy to pass it on and
not carry the ‘guilt’ that all that yarn produces
in me when I feel like I really NEED to knit items
for that worthy cause – I just need to keep my
‘charity causes’ desires at a minimum. I’m already
doing enough for several other causes – no need
for more stress – right?

I’m going to close for now and go read more
recipes (my secret fun thing to do). Try to stay
healthy and enjoy some of this SPRING weather!



SO nice to finally see – SPRING!


The sun is out, the sky is a beautiful blue (no clouds), birds are singing (I can hear a Red Winged Blackbird in the distance) – a simply GORGEOUS Spring day! Oh, and did I mention the temperature is at 73 degrees F.? We’ve opened all the house windows and are letting the fresh air in – makes me sleepy (in fact I caught myself snoring while ‘attempting’ to read a book!).  THIS is the weather I’ve been waiting for – not to ‘go outside and garden, etc’ but just to experience the bright sun & singing birds – I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!


Strawberry Delight

1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

Wash, hull & slice strawberries; place in
small bowl & add sugar & lemon juice;
mix well.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl combine
flour & brown sugar. Cut butter into
mixture using a pastry blender or two
knives until butter resembles small peas.
Pour flour mixture into bottom of
prepared pan, spread evenly & press
flat to form crust. Bake 10-12 minutes
until firm; allow to cool completely.
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
powdered sugar & 1 tub Cool Whip; stir
well to combine. Spread mixture evenly
over cooled crust. Drain strawberries;
layer drained berries evenly on top of
cream cheese layer. Top with remaining
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours
before serving. Serves 10-12

(recipe: southernbite.com)

Bacon Ranch Potatoes

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 (28 oz) bag frozen O’Brian potatoes
(with chopped green/red peppers &
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. milk
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing mix
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve
Ritz crackers)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in prepared
dish; cover with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 5 minutes. Combine soup, milk
& dry dressing mix; stir well. Add about
half of the cheese & stir; pour mixture
over potatoes & stir. Sprinkle top of dish
with remaining cheese & bacon. Sprinkle
top with cracker crumbs & bake 30 minutes
until lightly browned & bubbly.
Serves 6

(recipe: allfreecasserolerecipes.com)

Stir-Fry Garlic Butter Shrimp

& Asparagus

1 C. quinoa
2 lb. asparagus, trimmed/cut
into 2″ pieces
2 lb. large shrimp/deveined
1/2 C. pinenuts (optional)
3 T. butter, divided
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt, divided

Cook quinoa as per pkg. directions.
In a wok, add pinenuts & toast until
golden (if using) stirring occasionally,
about 4 minutes – transfer to a bowl.
Return wok to medium heat; melt
1 T. butter; add half the garlic & stir
10 seconds. Add asparagus & sprinkle
with 1/2 tsp. salt; stir and cover. Cook
5 minutes & transfer to bowl with nuts.
Return wok to medium-high heat & melt
2 T. butter. Add shrimp, sprinkle with
1/2 tsp. salt & cook until pink & no grey
in sight, stirring occasionally. Turn off
heat, add half garlic & stir well; sprinkle
with black pepper, if desired. Add
asparagus, pine nuts & quinoa to wok;
stir gently & serve hot. Serves 4

(recipe: ifoodreal.com)

Tex-Mex Dip

2 (9 oz, ea) cans bean dip
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. sliced ripe olives
4 green onions with tops, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped/seeded
tortilla chips

Spread bean dip on a 12 inch serving
plate. In small bowl mash avocados
with lemon juice, salt/pepper & spread
over bean dip. Combine sour cream,
mayo & taco seasoning; spread over
avocado layer. Sprinkle top with cheese,
olives, onions & tomato. Serve with
tortilla chips, for dipping. Serves 8-10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Santa Fe Chicken Casserole

1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. taco seasoning mix (about 1/2 pkg)
2 T. milk
3 C. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 green onions, sliced
3 (6 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four
Cheese (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese spread, taco seasoning
& milk until blended. Combine next 4 ingredients
in large bowl. Add half cream cheese mixture; mix
lightly. Spread 1/3 chicken mixture onto bottom of
9 inch pie plate; top with 1 tortilla, half remaining
chicken mixture & 1/4 C. shredded cheese. Cover
with second tortilla, remaining chicken mixture, 1/4
C. shredded cheese & remaining tortilla. Top with
remaining cream cheese mixture & shredded cheese.
Cover & bake 25 minutes or until heated through,
uncovering for last 5 minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Triple Cheddar Mac & Cheese

2 C. dry elbow macaroni
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/2/ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or black)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. Triple Cheddar cheese,
shredded/ divided

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Parboil macaroni in salted water
6 minutes then drain well before adding
to crockpot. While macaroni is cooking, in
small bowl whisk melted butter, evap.
milk, Cheddar cheese soup, sour cream,
eggs & seasonings. Pour sauce on top of
cooked macaroni along with 3 C. Triple
Cheddar cheese; stir all ingredients until
macaroni is coated & sauce is evenly
distributed. Cover & cook on Low 2 hours,
remove lid & check middle for doneness.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover &
cook another 15 minutes to allow cheese
to melt. Serves 8-10

(recipe: melissassouthernstylekitchen.com)

Easy 4-Layer Chocolate Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. cold butter
1 C. chopped walnuts, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed,
2 1/2 C. milk
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. instant Chocolate
pudding mix
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl place flour & butter –
cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in
1/2 C. walnuts & press mixture
into bottom of ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake 12-15  minutes
until light golden brown. Cool
completely on wire rack.

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
powdered sugar until smooth. Fold
in 1 tub Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. In large bowl whisk milk
& pudding mixes 2 minutes; gently
spread over cream cheese layer &
top with remaining Cool Whip.
Sprinkle top with chocolate chips
& remaining nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour
until cold then cut into bars. Just
before serving drizzle with chocolate
syrup. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Still working on the mint green baby blanket
and have added another very simple crochet
baby blanket pattern – keeps me busy. I finally
got in touch with the lady that has the other
knit group that creates hats/mittens/scarves/
gloves for the homeless. I have been holding
on to a 39 gallon garbage bag full of yarn from
our last yarn swap (a good 2 months ago). Since
that time either she was too busy to connect
or I was too sick – FINALLY this Monday we’re
meeting in the Meijers parking lot so that I
can give her the yarn. Just for the comfort of
making sure I really didn’t ‘need’ any of it, I
went through it again today. Ended up saving
out about 4 skeins of various light green
yarns which will go into making 1-2 more
baby blankets for either Detroit Veteran’s
Baby Shower in September or more for
Crisis Pregnancy Center – works both ways.

Went back to the library the other day and
checked out 2 books by an author I had
written down on a list – I’m really not sure
IF I had read any of his books or not, but
started one last night at around 6 p.m. and
finished it this morning – YES, it’s a good read!
His name is Brad Meltzer and he’s written
about 10-12 books – I started on #2 earlier
today and am about half-done with it – I think
his will be the next list of books I read; he does
a nice job of unique twists – I like that. I just
finished: “The Book of Lies” (which, I felt,
started out very slow – almost didn’t continue)
and am now reading: “The Inner Circle”. I love
finding an author that has written a lot of
books BEFORE I discover them – that gives me
a big list to conquer! If you’re a reader, do you
feel that way?

We’ve finally finished all of the leftovers in
the fridge so tonight I’m making a big batch
of Enchiladas – the guys like them and there’s
usually enough for at least two meals (I’m

Hope you’re in good health and are able
to see some of this really nice SPRING weather!



Lovely Day Out!


Just got home from having lunch with two lady friends at Big Boy; we’ve all three been friends since High School. On the way home I stopped at “Ollies” (a discount store which deals in over-buys/close-outs, etc.) because I had heard that they had some Vanna White yarn on sale for $2.?? a skein (usually $5.00). I should preface this with ‘the last time I went to Ollies their yarn was JUNK!’ Tons of really POOPY colors, or RUG yarn/yarns you would NEVER buy, etc. It was just about the same today – if I’d have wanted to make something with really REALLY thick day-glow orange or yellow, I’d be good, or some really ugly orange & blue striped thick yarn – YUCK. Quick trip – quick trip out the door.

Our weather has been really nice – right now it’s about 66 degrees F., sun shining brightly, slight breeze – LOVELY! I saw FOUR rabbits in our yard today (usually the most you will see is two, so four was quite a surprise!) They were chasing each other all over – couldn’t tell if they were bucks defending their territory or male/female “Hey, Lady – Come HERE!” I’ll just be glad if we have more baby bunnies – love seeing them.


 Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces (can also use
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. Buffalo wing sauce (can also use
BBQ sauce)
2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

16 oz. penne pasta, cooked

Line a 6 qt. crockpot with a crockpot
liner or spray with nonstick spray. In
small bowl mix soup & buffalo wing
sauce. Place cut up chicken in crockpot
& pour sauce over chicken, tossing to
coat. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours,
stirring once in middle of cooking time.
When chicken is done cooking, cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions & drain. Add
ranch dressing, sour cream & mozzarella
cheese to chicken & stir well. Add drained
pasta to crockpot & mix well. Serves 8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Snickerdoodle Bars

2 1/3 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar

1 T. granulated sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
whisk flour, baking powder & salt.
In large bowl beat butter & sugars
until light & fluffy, about 2-3
minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating on Low speed until mixed.
Beat in vanilla & dry ingredients on
Low speed until just combined. Pour
half of batter into prepared pan. (The
batter will be sticky but spread it as
evenly as you can). Sprinkle half of
cinnamon/sugar mixture over batter.
Using a teaspoon, drop dollops of
remaining batter over top. (Cinn/sugar
mixture will still be visible in many areas)
Sprinkle with remaining cinn/sugar &
bake 25 minutes on center rack of oven.
Cool on wire rack 1 hour then cut into
squares. Makes 15 squares

(recipe: flavorthemoments.com)

1 Pan Mongolian Beef/Veggies & Rice

1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced ginger
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
3/4 C. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 C. vegetable oil (for cooking)
1 1/2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
against the grain
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 C. chopped broccoli
1 C. snow pea pods
1 1/2 C. long grain white rice (not
salt/pepper, to taste
chopped green onions & sesame
seeds, for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large, deep skillet heat 1 T. oil over
medium heat; add garlic & ginger –
stir to combine. When simmering, add
in water, soy sauce, red pepper flakes
& brown sugar – stir to combine & bring
to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer &
let cook 15 minutes.* While sauce is
simmering, place sliced steak in medium
bowl; toss in cornstarch, salt/pepper, to
taste – allow to sit while sauce simmers.
Once sauce is thickened to your liking,
pour into heat-safe bowl. Return skillet
to medium/high heat & pour in 1 C. oil.
Cook steak in batches, about 3-4 minutes
per batch. Allow it to be just a little
undercooked (it will continue cooking in
oven). Be sure to flip steak to cook both
sides. When each batch is finished, place
on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
During last batch add in veggies & cook
until brighter in color & a bit soft – they will
also continue to cook in oven. When all
meat/veggies are cooked, place in large
bowl & marinate in sauce. Drain oil from
skillet, add rice & water – allow to simmer
about 5 minutes. Remove steak from sauce,
reserving sauce for serving. Add steak into
rice/water (some will be submerged, that’s
OK) Add veggies around steak. Cover & cook
about 25 minutes. Remove cover & cook
another 5-10 minutes. Garnish with green
onions & sesame seeds, if using. Serve with
sauce. Serves 4-6

*You can make sauce ahead of time & store in
an airtight container up to 1 week.


French Onion Mushroom Casserole

olive oil
1 3/4 lb. pearl onions, peeled
8 oz. washed/dried Crimini mushrooms,
thinly sliced
1 1/2 T. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 C. beef broth
1/2 C. dry white wine
5 T. unsalted, softened butter, divided
2 T. flour
1 (approx. 2 ft) thin French baguette
1 1/2 T. minced garlic, divided
1 1/2 C. grated Swiss cheese, divided
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place oven rack on top third.
Coat bottom of large saute pan with
olive oil; place over medium heat. Add
peeled onions; saute, stirring occasionally,
until nicely caramelized, 15-20 minutes.
Add a bit more oil & add mushrooms.
Stir occasionally, saute until nicely
caramelized, about 10 minutes; mix in
thyme & cook about 30 seconds. Turn
heat to Low & pour in beef broth & wine
to deglaze pan (Use a wooden spoon to
gently scrape any bits of stuck onion or
mushrooms from pan. Turn heat to High
& bring to boil; reduce heat to Low &
simmer. Add 2 T. butter to small saute
pan & melt; whisk in flour. Using a whisk
add mix to onions. Turn heat to high &
bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat
to lowest setting & let simmer, uncovered,
about 15 minutes – season with salt/pepper.
While sauce is simmering, cut about 3/4
of baguette into thin slices, diagonally –
about 1/2 inch thick; place slices on a
baking sheet. In small bowl mix 2 T. butter
with 1 T. garlic – spread each slice of
bread with it; sprinkle with salt/pepper &
place baking sheet in oven until edges
are golden, 10-15 minutes. Remove from
oven & add toasted slices to bottom of
a 9 X 13″ baking dish. (leave oven on)

Cut remaining 1/4 of baguette into small
cubes & add to same baking sheet as
slices. Mix remaining 1 T. butter with
remaining 1/2 T. garlic; melt in microwave
or tiny saute pan – drizzle this over cubed
bread on sheet & sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Toss gently with your hands – make sure
it’s well mixed. Heat in oven 10-15 minutes;
remove from oven & leave oven on

Sprinkle 1/2 C. cheese evenly over toasted
slices of bread. Pour onion sauce evenly
on top & evenly distribute cubed bread
on top of that; sprinkle evenly with remaining
1 C. cheese. Bake until bubbly, 20 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes then serve.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: cookingontheweekends.com)

Blueberry Cream Crumb Cake

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C. frozen blueberries

Crumb Topping:

1 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C. melted butter

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until
large crumbs form.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, sour cream
& butter in large bowl; mix well. In separate
bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda,
& salt. Add mixed dry ingredients to egg
mixture, stirring until just combined. Gently
stir in blueberries. Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with
nonstick spray* – or for a thicker cake, use
a 9 X 9″ pan. Top with crumb mixture &
bake 15-20 minutes until a wooden toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool
before slicing.

*can also be poured into paper-lined

muffin cups

Poster also drizzles a powdered sugar

icing over top, if desired:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
& enough milk (1 tsp. at a time) to make

a smooth mixture lose enough to drizzle

over cake

(recipe: uncomplicatedkitchen.com)


It seems our Keurig coffee maker has decided to
quit making coffee. I got it all set to make a 10 oz.
cup for my husband – that went well (he has a HUGE
cup, so I set it for another 6 oz….it dispensed about
1/3 C….not enough!). We’ve gone through everything
the booklet says to do, cleaning all parts, running
straight vinegar through it, etc. – all it will produce
is about 1/3 C. AT THE MOST! Frustrating – we might
have to send it back to the manufacturer – sigh. (We
only use it about once a week, at most, so it’s not
from over-use. Who knows?

Hope you are finally able to enjoy some of this
nice weather. Stay healthy!



Spring-Like Today!


(Couldn’t resist posting the above – sure fits our weather here, lately!) Just got home from going to the movies with my husband – we saw: “Eye in the Sky” with Helen Mirren & Alan Rickman – VERY intense! If you like military movies, this one’s for you. This one deals with a split-second decision on when to launch a drone strike. Did I ‘like’ the movie? I’m not sure – it was very well acted, just not my type of movie. Don’t get me wrong – both my husband & I LOVE both Helen Mirren & Alan Rickman (that’s why we went – on the strength of their previous movies) – they are EXCELLENT actors. Let’s just say I ate a LOT of popcorn – that’s saying something, as I usually don’t at movies (husband let ME do the butter-applying and I really DOUSED it! YUM!)


Crockpot Caramel Apple Pie Dip

5 C. peeled/diced apples
1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel sauce (ice
cream sauce)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt

Combine apples, caramel, cinnamon,
nutmeg & salt in 3 qt or larger crockpot.
Stir, cover & cook on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Crust Dippers:
1 (14 oz) pkg. refrigerated pie crust/dough
1/8 C. milk
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In small bowl combine cinnamon & sugar.
Spread out one pie crust at a time on a
baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, spread
on milk; sprinkle half of cinn/sugar on pie
crust. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut crust
into serving strips; spread strips on baking
sheet so they don’t bake together. Bake
10 minutes until golden brown; repeat
with other crust. Serves 8


Chicken Paprika

2 1/2 lb. bone-in, skin on chicken
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
3/4 C. sour cream (add at end)

cooked egg noodles

Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper.
Using a large skillet, melt butter on
medium-high heat & brown chicken
on both sides (do not need to cook
through). Remove pan from heat.
Add onion, chicken broth & paprika
to crockpot & stir. Using tongs, add
chicken to crockpot in sauce. Cover &
cook on Low 5 hours without opening
during cooking time. When done,
remove chicken to a plate. Add sour
cream to sauce in crockpot & stir
to get as smooth as possible. Add
chicken back to crockpot. Serve
chicken & sauce over cooked
noodles. Serves 5

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)

Southwest Beef & Peppers Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
2 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby & Monterey
Jack cheeses

Brown hamburger in large skillet; stir in broth
& tomatoes & bring to boil. Add peppers &
rice; stir. Cover & simmer on Low heat 5
minutes or until rice is tender.
Heat broiler
Top rice mixture with cheeses & place
under broiler 6 inches from heat, 2-3
minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 6

(recipe: kraftfoods.com)

Garlic Oil Pasta & Broccoli

1/3 C. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 head broccoli, sliced into
very thin florets, stalk peeled &
cut into matchsticks
kosher salt/ black pepper
2 T. red wine vinegar
few T. water or pasta cooking water
2 C. penne pasta, cooked al dente
Parmesan cheese, garnish

In large saute pan heat oil, garlic &
pepper flakes over medium heat until
fragrant. Once garlic has turned golden,
remove from pan; add broccoli to pan.
(be sure broccoli is completely dry before
placing pan). Toss broccoli to coat in oil;
season with salt/pepper & saute over
medium heat until broccoli barely loses
some of it’s crunch, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat to High & deglaze pan with
red wine vinegar; add a few T. water,
if needed. (Use pasta water if desired)
Add pasta to pan & toss to coat with oil.
Top with Parmesan cheese for serving.
Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Ham & White Cheddar Beer

Cheese Soup

4 T butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 bottle of your favorite beer
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. milk
6 oz. sharp white Cheddar, grated
6 oz. yellow Cheddar, grated
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. cooked, diced ham

cooked/crumbled bacon, chopped
green onions; shredded cheese

Heat large stock pot over medium
heat; add butter & melt completely.
Add onion & garlic, saute 5 minutes.
Whisk in flour, salt, pepper & dry
mustard; cook 3-4 minutes until
flour is nutty & golden. Add beer &
stir constantly 2 minutes until
mixture somewhat thickens. Add
broth & milk; stir to combine & bring
to boil. Reduce heat immediately to
simmer & cook 5-10 minutes until
soup is thickened. Remove from
heat & stir in cheeses & Worc. sauce.
Garnish with desired items. Serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: withsaltandwit.com)

Mushroom/Asiago Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
4 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. dry white wine or
chicken broth
3/4 C. chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp.
dried thyme
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. shredded Asiago cheese
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Place a large skillet over medium-
high heat & melt 2 T. unsalted butter.
Cut each breast into cutlets; lightly
season on both sides with salt/pepper
& dredge in flour – shaking off any
excess. Add as many cutlets as will fit
comfortably but be sure not to crowd
the pan. Saute 5 minutes until golden on
first side, then flip & cook 1 extra minute.
Remove from skillet to a plate & cover
lightly with foil to keep warm; finish with
remaining cutlets. Add remaining butter to
skillet along with mushrooms & 1/2 tsp.
salt; cook about 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until mushrooms are golden
& become softened. Add garlic & cook
2 minutes. Pour white wine (or broth) into
skillet & stir to scrape any bits sticking to
bottom of pan. Once liquid is almost all
evaporated, add 3/4 C. chicken broth &
thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat to
medium & cook 10-15 minutes at rapid
simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to medium-low & stir in
heavy cream. Sprinkle Asiago cheese over
top of sauce & stir constantly until cheese
melts. Gently place chicken back in skillet
& allow to simmer in sauce just until the
chicken is heated through & sauce has
slightly thickened. Sprinkle with a bit of
Parmesan cheese & serve immediately.
Serves 5-6

NOTE: This can be served by itself or over
a bed of cooked pasta, rice or potatoes.

(recipe: everydaydishes.com)

Cannoli Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. mascarpone cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar, for dusting

Prepare & bake cake according to
pkg. directions for a 9 X 13″ pan;
cool cake completely.
Poke holes all over top of cake (you
can use a straw or handle of a
wooden spoon). Reserve half cup
of sweetened condensed milk – pour
rest of sweet’d milk over top of cake
& press into holes. Refrigerate 1
hour to absorb milk. Combine both
cheeses & vanilla in mixer bowl; beat
until smooth. Add powdered sugar &
cinnamon (if using); mix until combined.
Add reserved sweet’d cond. milk & mix
until combined. Spread mixture evenly
over cooled cake. Top with mini
chocolate chips & a sprinkling of
powdered sugar. Cover cake & allow to
set in fridge 2-3 hours.
Cake should keep, refrigerated, 4-5 days.

NOTE: Pour off any ‘water’ on top of ricotta
before using.
The texture of the topping is like whipped
cream at soft peak stage – if you prefer it
to be thicker you can do one of 2 things:
(a) leave sweetened cond. milk out of the
topping and/or (b) add up to about 3 C.
powdered sugar (which would thicken it).

(recipe: lifeloveandsugar.com)


Our weather is FINALLY more Spring-like,
today it’s partly cloudy and 44 degrees F,
nice enough to wear a jacket.

I’m writing you a quick post as I need to
go throw together a meatloaf for dinner
and then get organized for Knit/Crochet
Night at 6:30. Husband loves meatloaf
so it will be a good ‘fix’ – with some
leftovers, too (I hope!).

Gas prices are up again – they
‘were’ $1.96/9 a few days ago
and now they’re at $2.09/9.
I have enough Kroger gas credits
to get 20 cents off per gallon BUT
Kroger’s gas is $2.19/9, so even if
I DID use my 20 cents off, I’d still
be at the current price for my
regular gas station – go figure! Will
be going to Clark tomorrow – forget
the Kroger stuff for now…

Enjoy your day;




Wow, what CRAZY Weather!


After the totally crazy weather yesterday (about 1 1/2 inches of snow in the morning) – it warmed up and we had RAIN! I had pretty well decided I wasn’t going to choir practice & evening church when I looked outside and saw that the driveway and roads were totally clear! Went to church, all was fine – still lightly raining. Got out of church and it was coming down BUCKETS! Made a quick decision to stop at the Krogers near church to get a small plant & some things for 2 friends who are both in the same hospital (saved me going today – farther drive if I went today). Coming home was a trip with how hard it was raining (the poor plant I got was a a little squashed in the bag as I was trying my hardest to be as quick as possible getting the stuff in the car before getting totally soaked (didn’t bring an umbrella – silly me!). Wake up today to almost 60 degrees and sunny – is that WEIRD or what? According to the forecast we’re supposed to get to almost 70 by Sunday – WOW!

Just got back from visiting my two friends at the hospital – it’s not a hospital I’m very familiar with (Crittenton in Rochester) and it’s HUGE! (My middle son was there briefly last year, but in Emergency and ICU so that was easy to find). Both ladies were on different floors and I found myself asking very nice/helpful hospital people how to find the rooms and then to find my way back OUT of the hospital, as I’d parked at the front of the hospital instead of using their parking garage. (Hey, I get lost in a paper bag so I really needed help!). Both ladies are doing a bit better today than last I spoke to them, one might be going home Weds. One is in her 80’s with pneumonia – she’s feeling a bit better today (YAY!) and the other is having heart problems and cellulitis – they’re working on getting it all under control (that poor friend has been in & out of the hospital for almost 2 months now, not getting to be at home for more than 5 days in all that time!). I took the pneumonia friend a small plant and a word search book & an adult coloring book, colored pencils & sharpener – both ladies were getting bored with being in there so hopefully those items will help alleviate some of the boredom.


 Strawberry Cobbler Bars

1 C. butter, softened
1 3/4 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can strawberry pie filling

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk or cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl cream butter &
sugar; add eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each addition, stir in vanilla
In small bowl combine flour, baking
powder & salt; add to creamed
mixture. Spread 3 C. of dough into
baking pan & spread evenly. Spread
pie filling evenly over crust. Drop
remaining batter by teaspoon over
the top. Bake 30-35 minutes until a
wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean; cool on rack.
Mix ingredients for glaze & drizzle
over bars. Cut & serve; store
leftovers in air tight container.
Makes 18-24 bars

(recipe: hoosierhomemade.com)

Crockpot Western Beef Casserole

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

Combine all ingredients in crockpot; mix
well. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours, or
High 1-2 hours. Serves 4-6

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Smothered Chicken

1 large bag spinach leaves
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. red onion, minced
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms,
1/2 stick butter
2 T. olive oil
1/2 C. white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper, to taste

4-5 boneless chicken breasts
8-10 slices mozzarella cheese,
cut into 1/8″ slices
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle garlic powder, seasoned salt &
pepper on both sides of chicken. Place
in a greased 9 X 13″ pan & bake 16
Over medium-high heat, melt 2 T. olive
oil in a skillet; add onions & saute 2-3
minutes. Add spinach & garlic (spinach
will shrink). When cooked through, stir
in cream cheese & parm. cheese. Continue
cooking & stirring until cream cheese has
melted; remove from heat.
Melt butter & 2 T. olive oil in a skillet;
place in sliced mushrooms & cook until
browned all over. (Do not season with
salt until they are browned). Deglaze
pan with wine; add in garlic & season
with salt/pepper. Cook until most of wine
is cooked out. Turn over chicken pieces;
divide spinach & mushrooms over top
of each piece of chicken. Lay 2 slices cheese
over each piece & cook 12-14 minutes
longer until cheese is browned & chicken
is done. Serves 4-6

(recipe: recipes galore-Facebook)

Crispy Fried Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
1 c. milk
1 C. dried bread crumbs
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. prepared mustard
1/3 C. ketchup

1/2 C. flour
1 egg
1 C. panko or bread crumbs
salt/pepper, to taste
1-2 C. canola or peanut oil,
for frying

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine beef, egg,
onion, milk & bread crumbs; season
with salt/pepper & place in lightly
greased 5 X 9″ loaf pan or form into
a loaf & place in lightly greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. In small bowl combine
brown sugar, mustard & ketchup; mix
well & pour over meatloaf. Bake 1 hour.
Let cool & refrigerate 2 or more hours.

To fry:
Place 3 shallow pie plates in a row on
counter. Place flour in one, scramble egg
in second & panko/bread crumbs in third,
tossed with salt/pepper. Cut meatloaf into
slices. Dredge a slice of meatloaf in flour,
then into egg. Place slice in crumbs & make
sure you cover every part of slice with
crumbs; repeat with rest of meatloaf. When
all are coated, refrigerate an additional
10-15 minutes to let bread crumbs set.
Heat oil in heavy sided pan over medium-
high heat until it vigorously bubbles. Using
a slotted spoon, carefully slip meatloaf
slices into oil; fry until golden brown on
both sides, about 1 minute per side, using
spatula to carefully turn slices. Transfer
to a paper towel-covered plate, sprinkle
lightly with salt/pepper & let set briefly
to drain excess oil. Serve hot.

(recipe: recipelion.com)

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 C. water
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Brown beef in skillet; drain; stir in
spaghetti sauce & water. Mix ricotta,
1 1/2 C. mozz. cheese, 2 T. Parm. cheese,
egg & parsley. Spoon 1 C. meat sauce in
crockpot; top with layers of half noodles
(broken to fit) & cheese mixture. Cover
with 2 C. meat sauce & top with
remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese
mixture & meat sauce. Cover & cook on
Low 4-6 hours until liquid is absorbed.
Sprinkle with remaining cheeses & let
stand, covered, 10 minutes until cheese
melts. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraftrecipes)

Caramel Apple Crisp

3 C. old fashioned oats
2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. cold butter, cubed
8 C. thinly sliced/peeled tart apples
1 (14 oz) pkg. caramels, unwrapped &
1 C. apple cider, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix oats, flour, brown
sugar & cinnamon; cut in butter
until crumbly. Press half of mixture
into greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Layer half of each of the following:
apples, caramels & remaining oat
mixture. Repeat layers then drizzle
1/2 C. cider over top. Bake, uncovered,
30 minutes. Drizzle top with remaining
cider & bake 15-20 minutes longer until
apples are tender. Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


I’m hearing a Cardinal chirping outside – it’s
SO nice to hear some of the sounds of Spring!
Pretty soon we should start seeing some flowers
popping up (so far I only have one very beaten
down daffodil outside).

Hope you’re enjoying your day!



as if we thought winter was done . . . Bwahahaha!


Right after we got to church this morning it started to snow – and snow, and snow . . . there’s a good 1 1/2 – 2 inches on the ground right now and it’s still coming down! Driving home was scary – we didn’t go much over 20-30 MPH, just too slippery! If this keeps up I’m staying home from choir practice/evening church.


Crockpot Chicken & Black Beans

3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
20 oz. canned diced tomatoes with
green chilies (like Ro*Tel) drained well
30 oz. canned black beans, drained/rinsed
(2 cans)
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 packet taco seasoning mix

For Serving:
sour cream
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
guacamole or diced avocado
flour or corn tortillas
refried beans (warmed)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.
Pat chicken dry & place in bottom of crockpot.
Pour canned diced tomatoes, black beans &
corn on top making sure all liquids are drained
off well before adding. Add taco seasoning, cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours (or High 4 hours).
When done cooking, remove chicken & shred
meat using 2 forks. Add shredded meat back
into crock & stir to combine. Serve with your
favorite toppings in a tortilla for a burrito,
or soft tacos or in taco shells (taco bowl) or
even topping on nachos. Serves 8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Asian Glazed Pork Chops

6-9 pork loin chops
2 eggs
4 T. water
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 C. soy sauce
2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. butter-

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In shallow dish whisk eggs &
water. In a second dish whisk
flour, salt/pepper & garlic powder.
Heat 1/2 inch  oil in a large skillet
until hot. Dip chops in flour, then egg,
then flour again. Be sure to use plenty
of flour in second coating for a
crispy texture. Place coated chops in
pan & cook until done, turning at
approx. 5 minutes to cook both sides.
Place cooked chops on a paper towel-
lined plate.
Saute garlic in melted butter in skillet.
Add honey, soy sauce, brown sugar &
ginger; bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Simmer until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
Transfer chops to a 9 X 13 baking dish in
a single layer. Pour half of glaze over chops;
flip chops & pour rest of glaze over chops.
Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sized orange yams
4 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil.
Peel yams & chop into 1-inch cubes;
lay out on cookie sheets. Drizzle
2 T. oil over each pan & toss yams
using your fingers making sure the
oil is evenly distributed. In small
bowl combine thyme, garlic salt,
chili powder, cumin, sugar, seasoned
salt & cayenne pepper. Sprinkle half
of mixture over each pan of yams;
toss using your fingers, making sure
seasoning is evenly distributed;
sprinkle a little salt/pepper over top.
Bake 30-40 minutes until they are
soft on inside & outside gets a bit
of char (do not let them burn – they
just need to get a little dark on
outside for maximum flavor). Taste
& adjust salt/pepper to your liking.
Serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1/3 C. flour
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. water
1/3 C. oil
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) pkg. caramels or 2 1/2 C.
caramel bits
1/2 C. butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix
dry cake mix, flour & pudding mix;
stir to combine. Add eggs, water, oil,
vanilla & sour cream; mix on Low
30 seconds, scraping bowl with
spatula; mix on medium speed 2
minutes until batter is glossy. Pour
half of batter into pan, spread out
& bake 15 minutes. (unwrap caramels)
& place in medium saucepan. Add
1/2 C. butter & cook on medium-high
heat, stirring until melted & smooth.
Remove pan from heat & stir in
sweet’d cond. milk; stir well to combine.
Remove cake from oven & pour caramel
over top making sure entire cake top
is covered. Pour remaining cake batter
on top of caramel & carefully smooth
out. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top &
return to oven – bake 30 minutes more
until a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

5-Ingredient Chicken & Noodles

1 lb. chicken breast
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
10 oz. water ( a little less than 1 1/2 C.)
1 (8 oz) can chicken broth

1 (12 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix soup, water &
broth; pour into crockpot; pour soup
on top. Cover & cook on High 3 hours;
remove chicken & shred – return to pot.
Add dry noodles; cook an additional
hour, stirring occasionally. Makes
approx. 8 (1 C.) servings.

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

Cheddar Bay Biscuit Pie

2 C. cooked chicken, cubed
2 1/2 C. chicken stock or broth
1 C. Half & Half
1 C. diced carrot
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste

2 C. Bisquick mix
3/4 C. milk
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

6 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & olive oil in large
skillet over medium-high heat;
saute carrots, onion & celery
until just tender. Add garlic &
cook 1 minutes until fragrant.
Sprinkle flour over veggies, stir
& cook 1-2 minutes until flour
has cooked & absorbed most of
moisture in skillet. Stir continuously
& pour in chicken stock & Half &
Half. Add chicken & Worc. sauce;
season with salt/pepper. Cook
10-12 minutes until thickened
then pour into greased 9 X 13″
baking dish.
Combine Bisquick mix with
milk, melted butter & garlic
powder; stir to combine. Fold
in Cheddar cheese then roll
dough into small balls & place
on top of casserole. Bake
40-45 minutes until biscuits
are springy to the touch &
chicken filling is bubbly.
While casserole bakes combine
topping ingredients in small
bowl. Remove casserole from
oven & immediately brush
biscuits with mixture.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 C. butter
6 T. buttermilk
1/2 C. peanut butter
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium pot add peanut butter,
water & butter; bring to boil & remove
from heat. In separate bowl mix sugar,
brown sugar, flour, salt & baking soda
using a fork; add to peanut butter
mixture. Add eggs, buttermilk & vanilla
& mix well. Grease (or line with parchment
paper) a cookie sheet with a slight edge
(12 X 17 – jellyroll pan). Pour mixture into
pan & bake 15 minutes.
In small saucepan bring butter, buttermilk
& peanut butter to boil. Remove from heat
& add powdered sugar (a little at a time) &
vanilla. Pour frosting over warm cake.

(recipe: thebaking bit.com)

Not much new going on here – really glad
I have leftover beef stew in the fridge.

Hope you have a nice, warm, cosy day!