Memorial Day, 2016


I remember, as a child, this holiday was called Decoration Day and we (along with most families) would make a special trip to the cemetery to put flowers on the graves of loved ones. I don’t know how many people do that these days, but it brings back memories. All of my immediate family (Father, Mother, Aunts/Uncles, Grandparents) are deceased – none (that I know of) were in the military, but I have a great respect for those who served and fought for our freedoms.

I don’t have anything special planned for this day other than cooking a chicken in the crockpot and mac & cheese to go with it. For who knows what reason, I woke up at 5 a.m. and was WIDE AWAKE, so I stayed up & knit two baby hats (I can do that in my sleep). Two loads of laundry done – read Facebook – now time to add more recipes for you!


German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

3 C. pecan halves
1 3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. cold butter, cubed
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 C. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange pecans in single layer of shallow
baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly
toasted; stirring halfway through baking.
Line bottom & sides of 9 X 13″ baking dish
with foil, leaving an overhang on the 2
short sides – spray with nonstick spray.
Whisk flour, powdered sugar & cocoa – add
cold butter & combine (using pastry blender
or 2 forks)* until mixture resembles coarse
meal – press mixture into bottom of pan &
about 3/4 inch up sides.** Bake 15 minutes;
remove from oven & immediately sprinkle
top with chocolate chips; allow to cool on
wire rack at least 30 minutes.
In large bowl add eggs & beat lightly. Add
brown sugar, corn syrup & melted butter –
whisk together utnil smooth. Stir in coconut
& pecans & pour evenly over partially baked
crust. Bake 28-34 minutes until edges are
golden & filling has set; cool completely on
wire rack then refrigerate 1 hour.
Using foil overhang, lift bars from pan &
place on a cutting board – use a sharp
knife to cut into bars. Makes 24 (2 inch)

* You can also mix crust ingredients using
a food processor
** Shortbread crusts can be a bit tricky:
mixture will not hold together on it’s own
but it should hold together when pinched.
Be SURE your ingredient measurements are
accurate and press crust firmly into bottom
of pan.


Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini

1 (20 oz) pkg. tortellini (chicken,
cheese, sausage, spinach – your choice)
2 T. butter
1/2 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. flour
1 1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. heavy cream
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
3 T. fresh basil, chopped
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, finely
salt/pepper, to taste
red chili flakes, optional

Cook tortellini accordg to pkg directions;
drain. In large saucepan melt butter over
medium heat; add onion & saute until
translucent. Add garlic & saute until
fragrant. Add flour & stir constantly
1 minute; slowly whisk in milk & heavy
cream until smooth; continue to stir
until sauce begins to simmer. Add tomatoes,
spinach & basil – season with salt/pepper.
Continue to cook until sauce has thickened
& spinach has wilted. Add Parm. cheese & stir
until melted. Remove from heat; toss cooked/
drained tortellini in & mix until evenly coated.
Garnish with additional Parm. cheese & chili
flakes. Serves 5


Crockpot Country Spareribs

2-3 lb. country-style bone-in pork ribs
1 onion, sliced
1 (18 oz) bottle BBQ sauce, your choice
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. Dijon or spicy mustard
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place ribs in bottom
& place onions on top – sprinkle with
salt/pepper. Mix remaining ingredients
together & pour over ribs. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours.


Crockpot Red Beans & Sausage

1 lb. dried red beans
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. fully cooked andouille
sausage links, cut into 1/4″
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. Creole seasoning*
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
6 C. chicken broth

hot cooked rice for 8

Rinse & sort beans; soak
accordg. to pkg. directions. In
large skillet heat oil over medium-
high heat. Brown sausage; remove
with slotted spoon & add onion,
green pepper & celery to skillet.
Cook & stir 5-6 minutes until crisp-
tender. Combine beans, sausage,
vegetables & seasonings in crockpot.
Stir in broth. Cover & cook on Low
8-10 hours or until beans are tender.
Remove 2 C. bean mixture to a bowl;
mash gently with potato masher &
return to crockpot – heat through.
Serve over rice. Serves 8
(2 3/4 quarts)

NOTE: * the following spices may be
substituted for 3 tsp. Creole seasoning:

3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


Orange/Lime Chicken Fajitas

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. orange juice
2 limes, juiced
3 T. honey
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded/finely chopped
1 T. fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
4 orange (and/or) yellow bell
peppers, seeded/sliced
2 sweet onions, sliced
12 corn or flour tortillas
6 scallions
1 avocado, peeled/pitted/
3/4 C. sour cream

In ziplock bag combine orange &
lime juices, honey, 2 T. olive oil, chopped
garlic & jalapeno, oregano & salt. Add
chicken breasts & toss to coat.
Marinate in fridge 30 minutes.

(If you have a grilling basket or pizza
screen – you will be using that to cook
the vegetables)
Heat lightly greased grill or grill pan
on medium heat. Toss peppers & onions
with remaining 1 T. oil. Place vegetables
in basket or on screen & grill until
softened & slightly charred, 7-10 minutes.
Remove chicken from bag, letting excess
drip away (reserve marinade). Grill
chicken 7-8 minutes per side (chicken is
done when it feels firm to the touch &
a meat thermometer inserted in center
reaches 170 degrees F.). Remove
chicken & veggies from grill & let rest
5 minutes before serving.
Pour reserved marinade into small
saucepan & bring to boil; boil 5
minutes until slightly thickened.
Place scallions on grill about 2
minutes until just charred & limp.
Place tortillas on grill until grill
marked & just warmed through,
about 30 seconds.
To Assemble Fajitas:
Slice chicken into strips; place
some chicken, peppers, onions in
grilled tortilla. Top with drizzle
of heated marinade, diced avocado,
dollop of sour cream & grilled
scallions. Serves 6


California Spaghetti Salad

1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into
1 inch pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 medium yellow or orange bell
pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) cans sliced ripe
black olives, drained

1 (16 oz) bottle Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. sesame seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse in cold water. Add all
veggies to large bowl.
Prepare dressing: Whisk Italian dressing,
cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery
seed & garlic powder together in a
bowl; pour over salad & toss to coat.
Cover & refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Serves 10-12

(recipe: Facebook-Healthy Living Journey)

Frozen Banana Pudding Cups

1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
3 eggs
2 C. milk
1 box ‘Nilla wafers
5 bananas
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
muffin cup liners
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In saucepan (or double boiler) on
medium-low heat, place sugar, flour,
eggs & milk; stir well with whisk. Cook,
stirring constantly, until thickened (about
15 minutes). Remove from heat, add
vanilla & stir. Pour mixture into a heat-
proof bowl & cover with plastic wrap;
place in refrigerator just until cooled,
about 30 minutes.
Place 18 muffin cup liners into two (12 cup
each) muffin tins. Place about 4 slices of
banana in each cup. Pour a small amount
of pudding in each cup, just enough to
fill it half-to-three fourths full. Place 4
‘Nilla wafers in each tin, on their sides
so they form ‘walls’ around the pudding,
keeping the banana slices in the center
to help hold them up. Add a dollop of
Cool Whip to center of each cup & spread
until it touches the wafers. Place tins in
freezer for a few hours, until completely
frozen. Insert a knife into edge of cups
to loosen them. Can serve immediately
or place in a freezer or airtight container
& return to freezer until ready to serve.
Makes 18


Over Night Layered Salad

1 medium head iceberg lettuce, torn
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced, separated
into rings
2 C. frozen peas (about 10 oz)
1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
12 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
3/4 C. dried cranberries

In 4 qt or 9 X 13″ glass dish layer

first 5 ingredients. In small bowl

mix mayo & sugar; spoon over salad,

spreading to cover. Sprinkle top with
cheese, bacon & cranberries. Refrigerate,
covered, overnight. Serves 16 (1 C. each)


Our weather is STILL really nice: supposed
to get up to the 80’s today & sunny – that’s
great for those who are planning outdoor

I noticed, yesterday, that our gas prices
have dropped 10 cents a gallon to $2.49/9.
YAY! That’s great for those traveling!

Please have a GREAT, safe holiday and
remember to think of those who served
our country – and, if you can, thank a VET!



A Nice, Relaxing Day!


Lots of poppies & phlox in our back yard!

This is just a small ‘bunch’ – there’s lots more! I love the pop of color they provide. Our weather is supposed to be in the 80’s all weekend and extending into next week as well with some scattered thundershowers (just to help lower the temps, in my opinion!).  I had decided to take a trip out to the backyard, take a photo or two of the poppies and maybe knit a little – it started sprinkling the minute I went outside, so here I am INSIDE writing to you!


Magic Cobbler

3 C. canned sliced peaches in
juice, drained (can use fresh –
about 4 peaches)
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. milk
1 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. boiling water

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking pan with nonstick
spray. Arrange sliced peaches in bottom
of pan. In large bowl cream butter with
3/4 C. sugar; add vanilla & mix well. Add
milk, flour, salt & baking powder to sugar/
butter mixture – mix until creamy & spread
over peaches – smooth out. In separate
bowl mix 1/3 C. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
& cornstarch – sprinkle mixture evenly
over batter. Pour boiling water over top,
making sure to cover all of sugar with
water (this makes the crispy topping).
Bake 40-45 minutes – cool slightly
before serving.

Note: can be made using blackberries
or blueberries (or probably strawberries/
raspberries, too)


Pizza-stuffed Mushrooms

20 mushroom caps
1 jar marinara sauce
shredded mozzarella
1 pkg. mini pepperoni sliced
shredded fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large oven-proof skillet, fill
each mushroom cap with marinara
& sprinkle generously with mozz.
cheese. Top each with mini
pepperoni & bake 15-20 minutes
until cheese is melted & pepperoni
is crispy. Top with shredded basil &
serve. Makes 20


Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes & Chives

2 lb. 4 oz. yellow potatoes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. diced chives

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Wash & cut potatoes into quarters-
place in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with
salt, olive oil, garlic powder & pepper. Stir
to coat evenly with oil & spices. Cover &
cook on High 3 hours (or Low 5-6 hours).
Remove lid & sprinkle evenly with cheese &
chives. Cover & let warm about 5 minutes
until cheese is fully melted. Serve
immediately. Serves 6


“Tamale-Stuffed” Peppers

2 (8.5 oz, ea) pkgs. corn muffin mix
(like Jiffy)
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) shredded Chedder &
Monterey Jack cheeses
1 (6 oz) pkg. cooked ham, chopped
6 large green peppers, cut lengthwise
in half & seeded (2 lb)
1 1/2 C. thick salsa

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare corn muffin mix in large
bowl per directions on pkg. Stir
in sour cream, corn, cheese & ham.
Spoon mixture into pepper halves;
place on a foil-covered baking sheet.
Bake 30 minutes until toothpick
inserted into centers of filling
comes out clean. Serve topped
with salsa. Serves 12 (1 half each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Best Bratwursts Ever – crockpot

1 pkg. bratwursts (whatever flavor/
type you like)
1 onion, sliced
2 C. apple juice
4 T. Dijon mustard

any toppings you prefer & buns

In a skillet, brown brats on all sides –
place in crockpot. Top with sliced
onion. In a small bowl mix apple
juice & Dijon mustard – pour over
top. Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours
or High 3-4 hours, making sure they
are fully cooked before serving.

Crockpot Hot German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes cut into thick slices
1 large onion, chopped small
1/3 C. water
1/3 C. cider vinegar
2 T. flour
2 T. sugar (poster used brown sugar)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seed
4 sliced cooked bacon, crumbled
(or bacon bits)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Add potatoes & onions to pot &
stir. Mix other ingredients (except bacon)
& pour over potatoes/onions. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 4 hours
until potatoes are cooked through.
Stir in bacon & serve.


Twisted Strawberry Shortcake

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 quart (4 C.) cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) store-bought angel food
cake, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. orange juice
3 C. sliced fresh strawberries
5 oz. Baker’s white chocolate, grated

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large
bowl using whisk 2 minutes – gently
stir in Cool Whip. Place cake cubes in
large bowl. Drizzle orange juice
over cubes then toss to coat. Place
half of cubes in deep glass serving
bowl & cover with layers of half
each: pudding mixture/strawberries/
chocolate. Top with layers of remaining
cake cubes, pudding mixture, strawberries
& chocolate Refrigerate at least 30
minutes before serving. Store any
leftovers in refrigerator. Serves 20
(1/2 Cup each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Hoping you’re having a GREAT
weekend so far – remember to
take a few naps while you’re at it!



Holiday Weekend Comin’ Up!


For some of you, this holiday weekend will mean picnics or family outings. Lots of great recipes coming in so I’ll get right to sharing:


Fluffy Frozen Strawberry Dessert

1 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. finely chopped walnuts
2 C. fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a bowl combine flour, brown sugar,
butter & walnuts; mix well & spread
out on a large cookie sheet (15 X 10 X 1″).
Bake 15 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during
baking. Let cool 5-10 minutes – remove
1/2 C. for use later. Press rest of mixture
into a 9 X 13″ baking dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. In another bowl mix
strawberries, sugar & lemon juice. Fold
in Cool Whip & spread over cooled crust.
Sprinkle top with reserved 1/2 C. nut mixture.
Cover & freeze 6-8 hours. Serves 12


Classic Coleslaw

1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1 small green cabbage (about 1 3/4 lb),
finely shredded
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/8″ thick
matchsticks or coarsely grated
1 small onion, coarsely grated (optional)

Whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar,
salt, mayo & sour cream in small bowl.
Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use
(will keep up to 2 days)
Place cabbage, carrots & onion in large
bowl; pour in dressing & toss thoroughly.
Refrigerate, covered, until slaw begins to soften,
1-2 hours. If not using immediately, refrigerate
covered, up to 2 days. Just before serving,
toss again. Serves 8

(recipe: Martha Stewart)

Hummus & Roasted Pepper Phyllo Bites

30 mini phyllo shells (2 boxes),
defrosted (Athens)
3/4 C. + 3 T. plain hummus
1/2 C. diced English cucumber
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 1/4 oz. (1/4 C) crumbled feta cheese
2 T. minced parsley

Place each mini shell on a serving platter.
Fill each with 1 1/2 tsp. hummus. Divide
cucumber, roasted pepper, feta & parsley
evenly between shells & serve. Serves 15


Bacon/Ranch Potato Salad

2 lb. baby red potatoes, halved
or quartered, if large
6 slices bacon
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 pkg. dry ranch seasoning mix
kosher salt
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped chives

In large pot boiling, salted water
cook potatoes until fork-tender,
about 15 minutes. Drain/rinse under
cold water then transfer to large bowl.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
bacon until crispy; transfer to paper
towel-lined plate to drain, then crumble.
In small bowl, stir sour cream, lemon juice
& ranch seasoning (adjust seasoning if
necessary).  Add sour cream mixture to
potatoes & toss until combined. Add
Cheddar cheese, chives & bacon – toss
until combined. Refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4


Turkey Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
salt, to taste
3 large sweet red bell peppers, washed
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. tomato sauce
1 1/2 C. cooked rice

1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray medium saute pan with nonstick
spray – heat on medium heat. Add onion,
garlic & cilantro, saute 2 minutes & add
ground turkey. Season with salt/garlic
powder, cumin; brown several minutes
until meat is completely cooked. Add
tomato sauce & 1/2 C. chicken broth;
mix well & simmer on Low 5 minutes.
Combine cooked rice & meat together.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise – remove
seeds & place in a baking dish. Spoon
meat mixture into each pepper half &
fill with as much mixture as you can.
Pour remaining chicken broth on bottom
of pan; cover tightly with foil & bake
35 minutes. Top with shredded cheese.
Serves 6


Country Gravy Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg. sausage of your choice, browned
1 pkg. pepper sausage gravy or regular
country gravy mix
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Cut biscuits into 1″ pieces & line
bottom of pan. Brown sausage & scatter
over biscuits in pan; sprinkle top with
Cheddar cheese. Whisk eggs & milk with
a pinch of salt & pepper; pour over
ingredients in pan. Prepare gravy mix
accordg. to pkg. directions & pour over.
Bake 30-45 minutes.


Lemon Cake w/Lemon
Butter Frosting

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. milk

1 T. grated lemon zest
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 T. cornstarch
6 T. butter
3/4 C. granulated sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten

4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 8 inch round
cake pans. Mix flour, baking powder
& salt. In large bowl cream butter &
sugar until light & fluffy, about 5
minutes. Beat in eggs, one-at-a-time,
then stir in vanilla. Beat in flour
mixture alternately with  milk, mixing
just until incorporated – pour batter
into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans
on wire racks 10 minutes then invert
onto wire racks to cool completely.

In medium saucepan, mix 1 T. lemon zest,
1/2 C. lemon juice  & 1 T. cornstarch until
smooth. Mix in 6 T. butter & 3/4 C. sugar –
bring to boil over medium heat; boil 1
minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl
using wire whisk beat egg yolks until smooth.
Whisk in a small amount of hot lemon
mixture. Pour egg mixture into saucepan,
beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce
heat to Low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes
until thick (not to boil). Pour into a medium
bowl – press plastic wrap onto surface of
mixture to keep ‘skin’ from forming as it cools.
Cool to room temp then refrigerate 3 hours.

In large bowl beat powdered sugar, 1/2 C. butter,
2 T. lemon juice & 1 tsp. lemon zest until smooth.
Beat in milk & increase speed – continue to beat
until light & fluffy.
Using long serrated knife, slice each cake layer in
half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer,
cut side up, on a serving plate; spread with half
of lemon filling. Top with another cake layer &
spread with 1/2 C. frosting. Add third cake layer;
spread with remaining half of lemon filling.
Press on last cake layer & frost top & sides of
cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake
until serving time.


I don’t have any particular plans
for the weekend but two of my
kids will be going away, so I’m
glad for them. Personally it will
probably be ‘business as usual’
(which means computer/knitting/
reading!) – not a bad deal! Since
we’ll be ‘down’ in total people
eating here, I won’t have to cook
much, either – YAY! I did break down
& buy some Gordon Foods Red
Skin potato salad
(a little pricey – in my opinion-but
worth it!) Combine that with grilled
brats or hot dogs and you’ve got
some good eatin’!

Hope all of you are doing well,
in good health and able to enjoy
some lovely summer weather
coming our way!



Couldn’t Ask for Better Weather!


Just got back from doing a few errands – the weather is GORGEOUS! Sun shining, slight breeze and almost EIGHTY degrees F. out! Can’t be beat! My husband was just out cutting the grass for the first time this year – I have to remember to go water the hanging geranium (I tend to forget!).

One of my stops was Gordon Foods – we really love their broccoli salad ‘kit’ and (to my knowledge, anyway) they stopped carrying it last year (BUMMER!). This is a BIG kit that feeds about 15 people – and it was GREAT for taking to parties! I noticed that in their mail flier it said they have it – I searched the entire area where they used to have them and couldn’t find it anywhere. The manager said: “Sure! We have it – and it’s right here!” Well, that was a surprise. Apparently they stopped marketing it in a big black plastic box with clear lid – now it’s all in a clear bag; same PRICE but almost 2 lb. LESS! UGH! It used to be about 5 lb. and the box it came it was the serving container after you put the kit together! Great idea, right? After the manager left there was another couple there who had heard my conversation and they joined in talking to me about it. They, too, used to purchase it and their first comment was: “IT’S SMALLER AND the same price!” ($14.99) – I told them to go on line and type in Broccoli Salad – there are TONS of recipes to make it yourself. The cool thing about this one was: it was all cut up for you! Oh well – guess it’s ‘buy at your own risk’, right? I’m going to do the research & see if I can come up with a recipe that’s close – for you.


 Broccoli Salad

8 oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
5 C. small, chopped broccoli florets
1/3 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. sunflower kernels

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. raisins

Bring a large saucepan of salted water
to a boil; add broccoli & blanch until
bright green & slightly softened, about
3 minutes. Drain well, run under cold
water to stop the cooking & drain again.
Combine all dressing ingredients. Add
broccoli & toss to coat with dressing.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Just before serving, fold in sunflower
kernels & bacon crumbles. Serve
immediately. Serves 10

(recipe: – Trisha

Pineapple Orange Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
4 large egg whites
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (1 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl beat cake mix, oranges,
egg whites & applesauce on Low speed of
elec. mixer for 2 minutes – pour into prepared
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cool
on wire rack. When cake is cool, prepare

In a bowl combine pineapple & pudding mix.
Fold in Cool Whip just until blended & spread
over cooled cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before serving. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Hot Dogs in a Crockpot

20-60 hot dogs
buns for dogs

shredded cheese, chopped onion,
mustard, ketchup, pickles

Place hot dogs in crockpot & cover.
Cook on Low 3-4 hours or High 1-2
hours. Turn heat to warm while

NOTE: Poster stated they fit 20
hot dogs in a 2.5 qt. crockpot


Chinese Chicken Bites

1 lb. ground chicken
3 scallions, finely chopped
(about 1/2 C.)
2 T. flour
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

peanut oil-for frying

In medium bowl combine all
ingredients except oil – mix well.
Cover bottom of large skillet with
about 1/2 inch peanut oil & heat
over medium-high heat. Drop chicken
mixture by teaspoonfuls into hot oil.
Reduce heat to medium-low & fry 5-6
minutes until golden brown, turning
once. Drain on paper towels & serve
immediately. Makes 30-35 pieces


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken
6 slices sliced smoked ham
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 T. Dijon mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to box.
Place chicken in 9 X 13″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray & cover
with sliced ham. Mix soup & mustard;
spoon over chicken & top with
prepared stuffing. Bake 25 minutes
until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Top with cheese & bake 5 minutes
more until cheese is melted. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Quick & Easy Pizza Pockets

1 C. warm water
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

Combine yeast & sugar with warm
water; allow to sit 5-10 minutes until
bubbly. Add flour, salt & oil to yeast.
Combine wet ingredients into dry in
a mixer bowl & knead 5 minutes until
dough is smooth & just slightly sticky.
Allow to rise 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Divide dough into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a circle. Layer
one half of each piece of
dough with desired toppings.
NOTE: If you are using marinara or
any other pizza sauce, be sure to
keep sauce at least an inch away from
edges or they will be difficult to seal.
Once filled, pull other half of dough over
top of filling & seal edges to close (either
by slightly wetting edges of dough &
pressing together or pressing edges
together using tines of a fork). Place
‘pockets’ on a slightly sprayed baking
sheet. Lightly spray tops of pockets
with nonstick spray & bake 12-15
minutes. Serves 6

Suggested fillings:
sliced pepperoni
sliced black olives
sliced mushrooms
chopped green pepper
shredded cheese: mozzarella or
pizza sauce – marinara or jarred
pizza sauce


Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

8 oz. fettuccine noodles
1 lb. large shrimp, deveined/tails
3 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic

2 T. butter
1 T. flour
2 C. milk (or heavy cream/Half & Half)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
juice of 1 small lemon (2-3 T.)
salt/pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, garnish

Cook fettuccine noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. In large pan or skillet
melt 3 T. butter over medium heat; add
garlic & stir 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add shrimp & saute 5-7 minutes until
pink & hot; transfer shrimp to a plate.
Prepare sauce by adding 2 T. butter to pan
(no need to clean pan before); melt over
medium heat. Sprinkle flour over melted
butter & stir until mixture clumps up.
Gradually whisk in milk; simmer a few
minutes, stirring throughout, until sauce
is thickened. Add Parm. cheese & stir until
melted. Stir in lemon juice, salt/pepper. Top
fettuccine noodles with sauce & shrimp;
garnish with parsley, if desired. Serves 4


Healthy Yogurt Berry Cake

3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 C. frozen berries (raspberries,
blackberries, strawberries, blueberries
or mixed)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Melt butter in small saucepan on
medium-low heat until it turns golden
brown, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t
burn. Remove from heat & let cool. In
medium bowl whisk flours, baking powder
& salt. In separate bowl whisk browned
butter, sugar & brown sugar until light &
fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice & vanilla –
whisk until well combined. While stirring,
slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture.
Once combined, mix in yogurt. Using a
large spoon, gently fold in berries & pour
mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Let cool
then slice. Serves 10-12


Had to get gas today and, once again, was a bit
‘blown away’ by the increase: regular at Clark
is now up to $2.59/9 (so I only got $25.).

Tonight is Knit/Crochet Night and I’m ready with a
new knit baby blanket; this is a pattern I’ve done
before but with a bit of a twist. I had purchased
a large (1 lb) skein of white and also got 3 smaller
skeins of a teal blue/medium green/white variegated
to use for the ‘bumpy’ rows only to discover when
working with it that the white was too thick AND
the variegated kind of got ‘lost’ in all the white.
The variegated skeins were on sale and I can still
use them for baby hats but the distance between
each ‘color’ versus the amount of WHITE they chose
to use was way too big for my project. The ‘bumps’
would end up with a tiny bit of color swimming in
tons of white – unacceptable to my way of thinking
so it was back to the ‘drawing board’ so to speak.
Went to Meijers (a store about 5 minutes from my
house – they are sort of like a WalMart – they carry
just about anything you might want all under one
roof.) Bought a big skein of sport-weight white yarn
ON SALE! (ended up buying 3 of them, great price and
I can ALWAYS use it). Got home and searched through
the yarns I already had and found a small skein of
baby pastels – variegated so I’m using that for the
‘bumps’.  I’m going to place a picture of one of the
blankets I’ve made using this pattern so you’ll kind
of get an idea of what I mean:


In the afghan I’m making, the bumps are
pastels and the background is all white.

PS: Just discovered a new (to me)
author: Michael Palmer; he writes
mystery/fiction – so far I’ve read
2 of his books: “The First Patient”
(about the President of the United
States” – fiction) and “The Fifth Vial”.
I like his style of writing – keeps you
constantly wondering what comes
next (my favorite!). I was just strolling
through the fiction/mystery section
at the library and grabbed 2 of his
books, read the back cover & checked
them out. I’m happy to report that he’s
written quite a few books and I plan on
checking them all out!

My sons introduced me to a new (to me)
animated movie: “Big Hero 6”; it’s rated
PG – it’s funny, has a good plot and keeps
you on your toes throughout the entire
movie – I would HIGHLY recommend it!
It’s 2015 – Disney.

Hope you are having a good day – AND I
hope that your weather is really nice,
as well. Husband informs me it’s supposed
to rain tomorrow, but from all I’ve seen of
our weather forecasts, we’re in for the 70/
80’s all week – YAY!




and so it begins – GARAGE/ESTATE Sales season!


Yesterday I noticed a post on Facebook for an estate sale REALLY close to my house so today, after doing some errands, I went. WOW! The lady who lived in that house was a hoarder (they even put that in the ad!) – she LOVED dishes! and silver plate – there had to be at least 8 silverplate butter dishes with lids (really nice, but I already have one); at least 14+ sets of dishes (probably much more); one entire room was filled with nothing but silver plated serving items for LARGE parties: platters, big tureens, silverware – I’m kind of at a loss for words when attempting to describe all in that one room, alone! The garage was so packed I hardly could get around in it – some really old steamer trunks (someone would get a huge bargain if they bought those), old really unique chandeliers – so much ‘stuff’! What did I buy, you ask? One hunk of cranberry-colored material for $2.00 – going to use it at Log Cabin Days for a picnic table cover/cloth. There was another estate sale in the area, also so I checked that one out – NO WHERE NEAR the amount of ‘stuff’ – rooms were mostly empty. I paid $1.00 for a large new white plastic ring binder notebook (a little larger than the one I use for my knit group) good bargain; new they run about $8.00. That’s the total sum of my adventures: $3.00. (good thing, ’cause I started out with $4.00 – with a little extra tucked away just in case I spotted something I really wanted/needed).


Sort of ended up on a Mexican-themed recipe list today!

Ice Cream Tacos

2 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. sugar
2 C. chocolate chips
2 T. butter
3 small flour tortillas
1/4 C. rainbow sprinkles
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream sauce

Cinnamon sugar:
On small plate combine sugar &
cinnamon – mix well.
Melt chocolate chips over double
boiler until smooth. In small
skillet over medium heat melt
butter. Add tortillas & saute, one
at a time, until golden & crisp, 2
minutes per side. Dredge both
sides of tortilla in cinnamon
Shaping Tortillas:
Fold tortillas in half & dip outer
edges in melted chocolate, then
dip in sprinkles. Turn a
tin unside down & stand tortillas
upright in between muffin ‘bumps’.
Let stand until chocolate is hardened,
about 10 minutes. Fill each taco with
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream & top
with caramel sauce. Freeze until
hardened, at least 30 minutes
Makes 3


Crockpot Taco Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 (10.5 oz) can tomatoes with green
chiles (like Ro*Tel)
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese cut into cubes

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans, salsa, canned
tomatoes & taco seasoning – stir to combine
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
During last 30 minutes of cooking time, add
cream cheese cubes & cover/cook until
cream cheese melts. Serves 4


Mexican Fried Rice

3 C. cooked white rice
4 T. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 green onions, sliced (save a few
pieces for garnish)

Add 2 T. oil to large skillet over medium-
high heat & add onion-saute 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, corn & chiles, cook 2-3
minutes until liquid has cooked out. Add
seasonings & garlic; cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic begins to brown. Turn down
heat to medium; add remaining oil &
cooked rice-cook4-5 minutes, stirring
frequently to blend. Stir in green onions &
remove from heat. Top with remaining
green onions & serve. Serves 6


Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Bruschetta

2 heads fresh garlic
1 large red bell pepper
1 baguette, sliced
3-4 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
(see note below on how to
roast garlic)

Cut pepper in half lengthwise/remove
stem & seeds. Prep garlic & roast with
cut pepper on same sheet. Remove
from oven & adjust oven temp. to
400 degrees F.
Place sliced baguette on a baking
sheet & lightly drizzle with oil. Bake
until just brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove garlic meat from bulbs & slice
pepper. Remove toasted baguette slices
from oven & spread with roasted garlic
& pepper. Serve warm. Serves 6-8
How to Roast Garlic:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using sharp knife, trip tops of each buls
so that all cloves are showing; trim
bottoms just enough so they sit flat.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 2 T.
olive oil; place bulbs on sheet & drizzle
with more oil. Sprinkle tops with salt/pepper.
Cover with foil & bake 40-45 minutes – allow
to cool enough to handle. Remove all cloves
& discard empty bulb.


Mexican Beef & Rice Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded
four cheese (Kraft)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Taco seasoning mix
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots/
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown beef in nonstick skillet; drain.
Reserve 1 C. cheese but add remaining
cheese & all remaining ingredients
to skillet – mix well. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish. Bake 40-50
minutes until rice is tender. Top with
reserved cheese & bake, uncovered,
5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Country Farm Chicken Casserole
(partial Grill usage)

2 large chicken breasts
1 medium vidalia onion, diced
5 slices bacon, chopped/cooked/
2 large potatoes, peeled/cubed
1/2 C. canned mushrooms (or
1 C. fresh)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. melted butter
garlic powder

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Reserve bacon grease in skillet.
Peel/cube potatoes & fry in
bacon grease. Season with salt/
pepper, garlic powder – add onion
& mushrooms; fry in bacon grease.
Coat chicken breasts with melted
butter & season with salt/pepper.
Grill chicken (poster used George
Foreman grill). After chicken is cooked/
cooled – cut into cubes. Mix soup &
3/4 C. broth; season with pepper to
make a sauce. In 8 X 8″ glass baking
dish combine chicken, mushrooms,
onions & potatoes. Top with sauce
& mix well so that everything is
well coated in sauce. Bake 30
minutes covered with foil. Remove
foil, top with crumbled bacon &
bake 10 minutes more, uncovered.
Serves 4

(recipe: Mike Suddaby – Facebook)

Crockpot Queso Dip with Chorizo

12 oz uncooked chorizo (or 8 oz, cooked)
16 oz. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
1/2 C. salsa
1/2 C. chopped cilantro

Toasted bread or chips, for dipping

In medium skillet cook chorizo over medium-
high heat, crumble as you cook; drain. Combine
cheese, chorizo, salsa & cilantro in crockpot.
Cook on High 1-2 hours (or Low 3-4 hours),
stirring every 30 minutes. (If desired, pour
into oven safe bowl & broil 4-5 minutes before
serving to melt top layer  of cheese). Serves 8


Raspberry Custard Pie

2 eggs, beaten
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 1/2 – 2 C. fresh raspberries
1 C. sugar
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs & sour cream together
in large bowl. In separate bowl
combine raspberries, sugar, flour
& salt; toss lightly. Add berry
mixture to sour cream mixture.
Place pie crust in a pie plate.
Pour berry mixture into pie
crust. Bake 45 minutes, until
firm & golden. Cool completely.
Serves 6-8


While out & about today I noticed that
the gas prices have jumped – again. Today
regular is up to: $2.39/9. (once again I
should have got gas when it was $2.29/9) –
oh well . . .

Our weather is really nice – perfect for
garage sales; today when I got in the car
it was 60 degrees F.; when I got home
about 2 hours later it’s almost up to 70!

Finally got the thinner white yarn I needed
to knit the baby blanket I started yesterday;
good thing was – it was on sale for $5.99
per skein (big skeins) so I bought three,
knowing they will be used, either for the
blanket or for baby hats.

Hope you have a really good day today!



Beautiful day out there!


Time to put out the ‘little houses’

Each year I have to go through my assortment of ‘little houses’ to see how they fared last year’s weather. They are sold at JoAnn’s for $1.00 each, so they’re not expensive AND not meant to be outside in all sorts of weather but most of them usually only need a little touch up paint and they’re good. This year I had to replace three since they kind of fell apart, but I enjoy playing around with painting them so it’s OK.

Our weather today is GORGEOUS! Sunny, light breeze and supposed to get up to around 65 degrees F. Reading ahead, we’re supposed to be getting some 70’s coming up in the next few days – YAY! BRING IT ON!

I sat down yesterday and attempted to start another baby afghan; this one is a pattern I’ve done before. Guess I didn’t really realize that I need a thinner yarn – all I have is two ONE POUND skeins of white yarn that’s worsted weight. That kind of yarn is good for most things but using it with this pattern (and using white), the pattern kind of gets lost. I’d done about 1 1/2 inches of pattern before deciding I have to change yarn weights; that means either ordering on line or going out & buying more (not a big thing except it takes time away from me getting this thing started – YES – I’m impatient to get going!). I’m ‘amusing’ myself by knitting more baby hats – that’s always a good ‘go-to’ project when I feel like knitting but don’t want to do anything big.


 Salted Caramel Sheet Cake

1 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 1/4 C. flour (more for flouring pan)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. whole milk

Salted Caramel Frosting:
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. packed dark brown sugar
6 T. whole milk, divided
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
caramel ice cream sauce
‘Heath” Bits ‘o Brickle Toffee bits
sea salt, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Generously grease & flour 12 X 17″
half sheet/jelly roll pan. In large
bowl using elec. mixer, mix butter
1 minute on medium speed. Add
brown sugar & gran. sugar – beat
on medium speed until fluffy. Add
eggs & vanilla; mix until smooth.
Add yogurt; mix on medium-high
speed until combined. In large
bowl whisk together flour, baking
soda & salt; pour half of mixture
into butter mixture & beat at Low
speed 5 seconds. Pour in 1/2 C.
milk; beat on Low 5 seconds –
repeat with remaining flour & milk
until combined & smooth (Do not
overmix). Spread batter into
prepared pan, smooth evenly using
a spatula. Bake 20-24 minutes
until top is lightly browned &
toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Remove from oven & let
cool in pan on wire rack.

Melt butter in small saucepan over
medium heat; whisk in brown sugar
until completely combined – bring
to boil, add 2 T. milk & boil 1 minute
more. Remove from heat; pour into
large heat-proof bowl & let cool to
room temp. about 45 minutes. Once
cooled, add remaining milk, powdered
sugar, vanilla & salt. Using elec. mixer,
beat on Low 20 seconds then gradually
increase to High speed. Beat 3 minutes.
If frosting is too thick, add 1 T. milk &
beat again until smooth. Spread on
top of cooled cake then drizzle top
with caramel sauce & sprinkle with
toffee bits & sea salt. Makes 25-30
Store leftovers in covered container
in fridge for up to 5 days.


Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados

2 avocados, pitted
2 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. raw de-veined shrimp (fresh
or frozen)
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 C. corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
1/4 C. Greek plain yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
basil, garnish (optional)

Scoop out avocados & dice, leaving a small
‘skin’ border. In skillet over medium-high
heat heat oil; add shrimp & cook until
fully cooked, 5-7 minutes. Let cool then
chop into bite-sized pieces. In large bowl
toss diced avocado with shrimp, tomatoes,
corn, Greek yogurt & lemon juice – season
with salt/pepper. Divide among 4 avocado
halves & garnish with basil. Serves 4


Crockpot Mashed Cauliflower & Garlic

1 1/2 lb. cauliflower florets
4 peeled whole garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper, to taste
chopped chives – for serving

Place cauliflower florets in bottom of
crockpot & fill with water until it covers the
cauliflower; add bay leaf, garlic cloves &
1/2 tsp. salt. Cover & cook on High 4 hours
until cauliflower is very tender (or on Low
6 hours). Remove lid & drain all water,
discard bay leaf. Add olive oil, Parmesan
cheese & 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Mash, using
potato masher, until desired consistency.
(or you can pour cauliflower into food
processor or blender & puree). Add salt
& pepper, to taste & garnish with chives.
Serves 4-6


Enchilada Pasta Bake

4 1/2 C. uncooked medium pasta
2 tsp. oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
2 C. (Oscar Mayer Carving Board)
Flame grilled chicken breast strips
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
3 green onions, thinly sliced/divided
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro,
1 (8 oz) pkg. Mexican style shredded

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Heat oil in large skillet
on medium heat. Add onions & peppers,
cook 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender,
stirring frequently. Stir in seasoning mix
& tomatoes; cook & stir 3 minutes. Add
chicken, beans & half green onions &
cilantro – mix well. Remove from heat.
Drain pasta; add chicken mixture &
mix lightly. Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & pour mixture
into dish – top with cheese. Bake
20-25 minutes until mixture is heated
through & cheese is melted. Sprinkle
with remaining green onions & cilantro.
Serves 8 (1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Mediterranean Bean Salad

1 (15.5 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 C. chopped grape tomatoes
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 C. chopped red onion
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. chopped fresh  mint
1 1/2 T. olive oil
juice from 1 medium lemon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

In large bowl combine beans, tomatoes,
garlic, onion, parsley & mint.
In small bowl whisk olive oil & lemon juice
until smooth & emulsified. Pour dressing
over beans & veggies; add 1/2 tsp. salt &
pepper (to taste) & carefully toss with large
metal spoon. Allow to sit at room temp.
30 minutes so flavors combine.
Serves 4


Pepperoni/Sausage Stuffed Pizza

1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/4 C. warm water
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 1/2 – 4 C. flour

2 1/2 C. (10 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
2 1/2 C. (10 oz) shredded white
Cheddar cheese, divided
2 T. flour
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, cooked/
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (3 1/2 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 (15 oz) can pizza sauce
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In small bowl dissolve yeast in warm
water. In large bowl combine oil, sugar,
yeast mixture & 1 C. flour; beat on
medium speed until smooth. Stir in
enough remaining flour to form a
stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a
floured surface & knead until smooth
& elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in
a greased bowl, turning once to grease
the top. Cover with plastic wrap & let
rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 1 hour.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Punch down dough; divide into 3
portions. On a lightly floured surface
combine two portions of dough & roll
into a 15 X 11 inch rectangle. Transfer
dough to prepared pan, pressing onto
bottom & up sides of pan. Top with
2 C. mozz. cheese & 2 C. Cheddar cheese.
Sprinkle with flour, seasonings, cooked
sausage, mushrooms & pepperoni. Roll
our remaining dough into a 9 X 13″
rectangle & place over filling in dish,
crimping edges to seal. Prick top with a
fork several times to let out steam.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses &
bake on a lower oven rack 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temp to 375 degrees. Spread
pizza sauce over cheese in dish & bake
30-35 minutes longer until edges are
lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes
before cutting. If desired, sprinkle top
with Parmesan cheese. Serves 12


Iowa Corn Casserole

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
1/4 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
1 T. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. cornstarch
1/3 C. plus 2 T. plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet cook
bacon until crisp; remove bacon &
reserve 1 T. bacon drippings. Over
medium heat saute pepper & onion
in skillet until tender, about 5 minutes.
Place in large bowl, combine with whole
kernel & cream-style corns, sugar, eggs,
cornstarch, bacon & 2 T. bread crumbs.
Mix well & pour into prepared dish.
In small bowl combine remaining bread
crumbs & reserved bacon drippings; mix
well & sprinkle over top of casserole.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden & set.
Serves 6


S’mores Roll-ups!

1 tube crescent roll dough
2 C. mini-chocolate chips
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 C. graham crackers, broken
into small pieces
flour – for rolling

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Sprinkle work surface with flour.
Unroll crescents & separate into
individual triangles. In microwave-
safe bowl, microwave 1 C. choc.
chips in 30-second increments
until fully melted. On each
crescent, spread 1 tsp. melted
chocolate, top with 1 tsp. mini
choc. chips, marshmallows &
graham cracker pieces. Roll into
crescent shape & transfer to a
baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes
then drizzle tops with more melted
chocolate. Serve. Makes 12


Tonight is my special needs group’s Music/Birthday
night so I know I’ll be busy playing piano for their
singing and serving cupcakes – we have 3 ‘kids’ with
birthdays this month. This is the one night of each
month I KNOW we’ll have a big group – they love
singing AND eating cupcakes!

Have a GREAT day!



A nice, quiet day – so far!

dont let people discourage you

Saw this and thought it was cute!

It’s rather gray and gloomy out today – low 50’s and we’re supposed to get rain a little later (sure looks like it!). Finished both baby afghans yesterday and finally have photos for them (they are both going to the Detroit Veterans Baby Shower in September).


This is the Diagonal Box Stitch afghan (crocheted) – the yarn is white & blue twist which, when worked up, comes out looking like denim!


This one is the mint green knit “Plume Pattern” (same as the baby blanket

I posted the photo of yesterday for my friend’s baby – except I didn’t border this in another color)


Chocolate Revel Bars

1 1/2 C. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter/divided
1/2 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8″ or 9 X 9″ baking pan
with parchment paper, then spray
with nonstick spray. Combine flour,
oats, baking soda & salt in small
bowl. In large bowl cream 6 T. butter
& sugar until lightened in color & fluffy.
Beat in egg & vanilla, then slowly beat
in dry ingredients. In a double boiler
(or microwave, in 30-second intervals)
melt condensed milk, choc. chips &
remaining butter – stir until completely
melted & smooth. Spread 2/3 of cookie
dough mixture & pack into prepared
baking dish. Top with melted chocolate
& gently tap dish against a hard
surface so that it spreads out & evenly
coats the dough. Spoon remaining
cookie dough mixture over top of
chocolate & bake 25-30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Remove from
oven & let cool completely before
cutting into 1″ X 2″ squares.


Chicken Bruschetta Bake

1/2 C. flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. dry Italian bread crumbs
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 C. diced tomatoes
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. olive oil
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
(or 1 tsp. dried)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Mix bread crumbs & 1/4 C. Parm.
cheese – place in a shallow pie plate.
Place flour in another pie plate & eggs
in a separate pie plate. Dip chicken into
flour, then eggs, then bread crumb/cheese;
place in prepared dish – repeat with rest
of chicken. Pour melted butter on top of
chicken. Bake 30 minutes until insides are
no longer pink.
While chicken bakes, mix tomatoes, garlic,
oil, cheese, basil, bals. vinegar & salt/pepper.
Let stand 15 minutes so flavors can meld.
When chicken is done, spoon some of
tomato mixture on each chicken breast &
serve.  Serves 5


Crockpot Tex-Mex Cheese Dip
(Queso Blanco)

1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can petite cut
diced tomatoes with jalapenos,
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green
chiles, undrained
1 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lb. white American cheese
(from the deli)

tortilla chips, for dipping

Place diced onion in medium sized
microwaveable bowl; cover loosely
with plastic wrap. Microwave on
High 2 minutes. Combine onion, garlic,
and next 5 ingredients in 4 qt. crockpot.
Tear cheese slices into large pieces & add
to crockpot, stirring until blended. Cover
& cook on Low 2 hours (do not overcook).
Stir dip before serving; keep warm.
Makes 6 cups


Crockpot Cube Steaks & Onion Gravy

4 beef cubed steaks
1/2 of large onion, diced
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 C. beef broth

Cooked mashed potatoes/rice/or
noodles for 4

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place steaks in crockpot & sprinkle
diced onion on top. Stir together soup,
dry soup mix & beef broth – pour over
top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.
Serve with cooked mashed potatoes,
rice or noodles. Serves 4


Easy Peasy Party Crackers

5 sleeves saltine crackers
1 1/4 C. canola oil
1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Place crackers on their sides (like they
were in the sleeve) in rows of a plastic
container with a tight fitting lid. (Don’t
worry if they don’t all fit, just place as
many as you can). Pour oil in a 1 pint
canning jar; add dressing mixes & Parm.
cheese – screw on lid & shake jar well.
Slowly pour all of mix over each row of
crackers. Place on lid & flip container
over. Let stand 5 minutes; flip container
back over & let stand 5 minutes. Repeat
every 5 minutes for 1 hour. Serve.
Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed
container up to 1 week.


Garlicky Shrimp Stir Fry

4 baby bok choy
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled/
1/2 C. chicken or veg. stock
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. mirin (or rice vinegar)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Cooked rice or noodles for 4

Cut bok choy crosswise into 1/2 inch
slices, keeping leaves & stalks separate.
Stem shiitakes & thinly slice caps. In
small bowl whisk stock, cornstarch &
mirin. In large nonstick pan heat sesame
oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add bok choy stalks & mushrooms spread
in a single layer. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt &
pepper – cook, without moving, until starting
to brown on bottom, 2-3 minutes. Stir & cook
until softening, 2-3 minutes. Add crushed red
pepper, garlic, ginger & bok choy leaves – stir
to combine. Cook about 1 minute. Season
shrimp on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper.
Add to vegs & cook just until pink, 1-2 minutes
per side. Push all ingredients to outer edges of
pan. Pour stock into center & simmer until
thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir everything
together to combine & coat, then remove pan
from heat. Taste & adjust salt/pepper, as
needed. Serve over rice or cooked noodles,
if desired. Serves 4


Calzone Pinwheels

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. diced pepperoni
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) pkg. refrigerated crescent
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl mix first 9 ingredients.
Unroll crescent dough & separate into
4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal.
Spread rectangles with cheese mixture
to within 1/4 inch of edges. Roll up,
jelly-roll style, starting with a short
side; pinch seams to seal. Using a
serrated knife, cut each roll into four
slices. Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick spray & place slices on sheet,
cut sides down. Bake 12-15 minutes until
golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.
Makes 16 appetizers


Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

1/2 C. butter, melted (plus more for
buttering pan)
1 c. flour (plus more for flouring pan)
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 super-ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour 9 X 5″ loaf pan. In
large bowl whisk flour, cocoa, baking
soda & salt. In another large bowl
combine sugar, butter, buttermilk,
vanilla, egg & egg yolk until smooth.
Pour wet ingredients over dry & stir
until combined. Fold in choc. chips
& mashed bananas. Pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake about 60
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let cool
at least 10 minutes in pan before
turning out onto a wire rack to finish


Not much happening around here today –
hope that YOU have a GREAT day filled
with some laughter, rest and peace.



Only in Michigan –


I know you’ve seen this one before, but –

Driving to church this morning in 42 degrees and light SNOW! Thank heavens it didn’t stick around – temps are “supposed” to go ‘up’ to 46 – still: BRrrrrrrrrr!

The baby that I knit the blanket, hat & booties for is coming home from the hospital today and his parents posted this photo on Facebook:


with the comment: “Going home warmed by knitted goodies from Pam L – he’s already spoiled!” (it’s nice to see my gifts are being used- in another photo of him he has on the VERY TINY booties I knit; I did 4 pairs, I think but those were the newborns and they fit!)

Today was a ‘learning/experimenting’ day for me. My hair doesn’t have much curl – when I was a child it was like a Brillo Pad (*see explanation below) – very frizzy, but now that I’m much older, it’s mostly straight. Lately I’ve been having trouble getting it to even hold a curl for 3 hours (church time/Sunday mornings). It ‘used’ to stay semi-curled for the entire day – no longer – it goes straight even before I leave the house! UGH! I saw a video on Facebook for using ‘rags’ to curl your hair; my Mom used to do that when I was really young so I decided to give it a try last night. My hair is almost to my waist and rather thick, so you can guess how that procedure went – took about 45 minutes to get it all up in rags. (mind you, with that length, I could only roll up about a foot of it but was really hoping for some sort of nice waves/curls). That hope was NOT TO BE: you guessed it – took out the rags, attempted to brush it…TOTAL FRIZZ! I showed my husband and his comment was: “Well, maybe if you brush it!”… I DID! Ended up wetting it all down (to straight) and resorting to my regular style these days: pulled back into a pony tail then twisted up in a tight ‘tail’ and held in place by a big hair clip. It looks good (I sort of look like a secretary with it that way) but guess my hopes of curls just went off into the sunset.

*For those of you who don’t know what a Brillo Pad is: it’s a steel wool scrubbie: like an SOS pad – steel wool all bunched up into lots of steel wool frizzies.


Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

4 eggs, room temp./separated into
whites & yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 C. milk, lukewarm
1 T. powdered sugar (for dusting top)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking pan with nonstick
spray & line with parchment paper. Beat
egg whites in a bowl until stiff. Whisk egg
yolks, vanilla & sugar until creamy. Add
melted butter; mix half minute. Add flour
& cocoa; mix using a spatula until well
incorporated. Pour milk gradually in &
continue beating. Add in egg whites,
one third at a time & gently stir using
spatula – do not overmix, just stir a few
times; pour mixture into prepared pan
& bake 60 minutes. Remove from oven
& let cool, 1 hour. Dust top with
powdered sugar & cut. Refrigerate


Italian Crescent Casserole

1 lb ground beef, cooked/drained
1 C. garlic/tomato spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In skillet mix cooked beef & spaghetti
sauce; heat over medium heat until
warm. Separate crescent dough into
8 triangles & place in ungreased 9″
glass pie plate in a wheel/spoke
pattern with narrow tips overlapping
rim of plate about 3 inches. Press
dough in sides & bottom of pan to
form crust & cover the pan. Sprinkle
about 1 C. cheese over dough. Spoon
meat mixture evenly over cheese. Bring
tips of dough over filling to meet in
center, do not overlap. Sprinkle top
with remaining cheese then sprinkle
with basil. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Serves 4


1-Skillet Mexican Beef & Rice

1/2 onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. taco seasoning (1 or 2 pkts)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C. fire-roasted corn kernels, drained
(or you can use regular corn kernels)
3/4 C. white long grain rice, uncooked
2 C. beef broth
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby-Jack cheese

Taco Topping:
sour cream
diced avocado
sliced black olives
chopped cilantro

Cook onion in large skillet over medium heat
1-2 minutes; add ground beef & cook until no
longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning, diced
tomatoes, corn, rice & beef broth – stir until
combined. Bring to small boil; reduce heat to
simmer & cover. Cook 20 minutes, stirring at
10 minutes. Stir & top with shredded cheese.
Cover & cook on Low 3 minutes until cheese
is melted. Top with Taco toppings of your choice.
Serves 4-6


Baked Reuben Sliders

1 pkg. Hawaiian Sweet rolls, sliced open
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
1/4 – 1/2 .b. corned beef, sliced thin
1 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed/drained
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish. Place
bottoms of rolls in dish. Spread 1/4 C.
Thous. Isl. dressing on roll bottoms. Lay
corned beef slices on roll bottoms, followed
by sauerkraut. Lay Swiss cheese slices on top.
Spread remaining Thous. Is. dressing over
inside of top halves of rolls & place on top
of the Swiss cheese. Using a pastry brush,
spread butter over tops of rolls. Bake 15-20
minutes until cheese is completely melted.
Remove from oven & cut each roll out;
place on a plate & serve. Serves 12


Amish Breakfast Potato & Sausage

1/2 lb. bacon
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 large baked potatoes, cooled/
shredded (about 4 C.) OR 4C. frozen
shredded hash browns – completely
1 small onion, finely diced
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded/
8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded/divided
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon & sausage in skillet; remove
to paper towel-lined plate. Saute onion
in skillet*. When bacon & sausage have
cooled, sliced into bite-sized pieces. In large
bowl combine shredded potatoes with salt/
pepper, garlic powder & hot sauce. Stir in
cottage cheese & all but 1/4-1/2 C. of each
cheese. Stir in bacon & sausage (reserve
1/4 C. of each for top.) Stir in sauteed vegs
& eggs. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & spread mixture into pan.
Top with reserved cheese, bacon & sausage.
Bake 35-40 minutes until all cheese has
melted/bubbling & casserole has set-up
in middle. You can remove from oven OR
place under broiler a few minutes to brown
the cheese. Allow casserole to cool a few
minutes then cut into servings.

*You can add chopped/sauteed red or green
bell peppers, sliced zucchini or sliced mushrooms
which have been sauteed.


Crockpot Pork Chop Delight

1/2 C. plus 2 T. flour, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
4 boneless pork chops
2 T. oil
1 onion, sliced
2 C. chicken broth
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

cooked rice or egg noodles for 4

Mix 1/2 C. flour, salt/pepper in shallow
bowl. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high
heat. Coat chops well with flour mixture
then brown in heated oil – place chops in
crockpot. Arrange onion slices on top &
pour broth over all. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours.

Mix sour cream & 2 T. flour until well
combined; add to juices in crockpot &
stir. Cover & cook on High an additional
15-30 minutes until gravy thickens. Serve
over cooked rice or noodles. Serves 4

Almond Coffee Cake

2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 C. plain Greek yogurt

Streusel Filling & Topping
1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick cold, unsalted butter
3/4 C. chopped almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl whisk
flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt
& cinnamon. Using elec. mixer, cream
butter & sugar until fluffy, about 3
minutes. Add eggs, one-at-a-time, &
beat until smooth. Beat in both
extracts & yogurt; mix until well
combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients;
mix until just combined.

To prepare topping:
In medium bowl add flour, brown sugar &
cinnamon – stir well with wooden spoon.
Work butter into mixture with your fingertips
until evenly distributed; stir in 1/2 C. chopped
nuts. Pour half coffee cake batter into prepared
pan (batter will be thick). Sprinkle half of
topping over batter; spoon remaining batter
on top, spreading gently. Sprinkle with
remaining topping & top with remaining
1/4 C. chopped nuts.
Bake 45 minutes until golden & a wooden
toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool to room temp & cut into squares.
Serves 9-12


I don’t know about your area, but here
gas prices have jumped again – regular is
now up to $2.24/9 a gallon.

I finished the blue/white diagonal box
crocheted baby blanket; will have to
post the photo in the next blog as right
now I’m unable to take a photo, but it
came out nicely (I think). Still have about
a foot of blanket to knit on the green
“Plume pattern” (same as the blue
blanket in the above baby photo) then
about 6 rows of border and that one will
be done. Looking at new patterns to start
another blanket this week (looking is the
FUN part!).

Hope you are in good health and enjoying
WHATEVER weather you have in your area
this mid-May day!





My middle son works part time, making very little money. The company he works for is NOT one to give health insurance hence, last year, we managed to get him enrolled in MEDICAID. He recently mentioned he might want to see our doctor about an ailment and wanted to make sure he still had insurance…”therein lies the tale” to use a very old expression. To try to put this into some sort of perspective, let’s just say I spent a good 1 1/2 HOURS calling all sorts of various government phone numbers ATTEMPTING to get either a caseworker name or phone number. By the end of that time I had (a) gotten REALLY mad and told a guy to “Bite me!” – he was NO help at all (b) ended up with the very same extension/person a good 3 or more times (their recordings are hooked into a LOOP!) (c) the very last person I talked to was SO SNOTTY I ended up hanging up and bawling – hard! I got NO WHERE! The last (snotty woman) yelled at me that she was with Child Protective Services and how did I get HER? (I HAVE NO IDEA – the recording kept saying “If you know your parties extension, Press 1, if not, press 0” – everytime I hit O it took me back to the original recording! UGH! I was so upset, all I could think was: “If THAT WOMAN is with Child Protective Services – LORD HELP anyone who gets HER and needs help; maybe their child is being removed from the home or they are being abused!” I cannot BELIEVE what a mess that was! AND – (speaking for myself) I’m NO DUMMY when it comes to talking on or using phones! I spent 16 YEARS with the phone company! UGH! Today my son said perhaps we could ‘attempt’ to plod through the form ON LINE, so that’s what we did. Not saying that was ‘easy’ in any way – equally frustrating, but we finally got the 32 page form completed and submitted.

Want to know the really ‘fun’ part? NO ONE would tell him anything as to who was his case worker! I ended up, today, locating a piece of paper with a name & number on it so we called it: answering machine basically saying that the worker’s cases had all been transferred – please call the main number.” I’m guessing that worker QUIT – I know I WOULD, if I had to work for that kind of insanity! (I will say, one nice lady DID let us know that he no longer HAD insurance; apparently it had expired LAST YEAR! We said we didn’t get a letter or any sort of notification from them. She said: “You ‘should’ have received a letter, but that’s not always the case so you’ll have to re-apply”. So basically there are LOTS of people out there who’s insurance expired and they have NO IDEA until they go to try to USE it! Is that ABSURD or what? That is ONE very SAD state of affairs for our lovely federally funded ‘insurance for people who can’t afford it’ program!

So much for my frustrations yesterday – at least we finally got the form submitted…and now we wait.



Published in: on May 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm  Comments (5)  

It’s a “Hurry up & Wait” kind of day!


Just got home from a trip to the car dealership – we dropped off my van for ‘routine maintenance’, went out for breakfast and stopped at JoAnn Fabrics, to boot! When we mentioned we were going out to eat the guy at the dealership asked ‘where’ – I told him I had no idea – any suggestions? He mentioned a little cafe in the area so we gave it a try: we both had omelets & hash browns .. . food was ‘OK’, nothing to write home about – it filled our tummies, so that was good. Our stop at JoAnn’s was just to kill time and that, it did. Husband sat down in a chair in the yarn section, adjusting stuff on his cell phone while I perused…end result – nothing I could see/find that I needed/wanted, so we came home – now it’s a ‘wait for the phone call’ then the 25 minute drive back to Lake Orion to the dealership, then back home. Good thing I already know what’s for dinner tonight (Chicken Parmesan & Garlic Noodles) ’cause this has been a pretty disjointed day so far!


Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

3 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C. butter
3/4 C. plus 1-2 T. milk
1 egg yolk
2 C. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
5 C. fresh or frozen unsweetened
raspberries, thawed/drained
3 C. sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb*,

Vanilla Icing:
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
5-6 tsp. milk

In large bowl combine flour & salt;
cut in butter until crumbly. Whisk
3/4 C. milk & egg yolk; gradually
add to flour mixture, tossing with
a fork until dough forms a ball. Add
additional milk, 1 T. at a time, if
necessary. Divide dough into two
portions so that one is slightly
larger than the other. Wrap each
in plastic wrap & refrigerate 1
hour until easy to handle.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Roll out larger portion of dough
between 2 large sheets lightly
floured waxed paper into an
18 X 13″ rectangle. Transfer to
ungreased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking
pan – press onto bottom & up
sides of pan, trim pastry to edges
of pan. In large bowl combine
sugar & cornstarch. Add raspberries
& rhubarb; toss to coat & spoon
into pastry. Roll out remaining
dough; place over filling in pan.
Fold bottom pastry over edge of
top pastry & seal with a fork –
prick top several times with
fork tines to allow for steam.
Bake 45-55 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar, vanilla &
enough milk to make a drizzling
consistency – drizzle over top of pie.
Cut into squares – makes 2 dozen.

*If using frozen rhubarb, measure
rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw
completely. Drain in a colander but
do not press liquid out


Cheesy Brown Rice Risotto, Leeks
& Asparagus

2 T. butter, divided
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut into
bite-sized pieces
2 leeks, large, trimmed & cut in half
lengthwise & into thin half circles
1 tsp. salt
2 C. brown (short grain) rice
1/2 C. dry white wine
6 C. chicken broth, heated to a simmer
3 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
fresh ground black pepper
parsley, finely chopped – garnish

Melt 1 T. butter in large saucepan over
medium heat; add  asparagus – cook &
stir until bright green & crisp-tender,
3-4 minutes. Remove from pan. Add 1
T. butter to pan, leeks & salt; cook &
stir until leeks are tender, 5-6 minutes.
Add rice to leeks, cook & stir 2-3 minutes
until rice is very shiny. Raise heat to
medium-high & add wine. Bring to boil,
stirring until wine is nearly absorbed.
Reduce heat to medium-low & begin
adding broth, one ladleful at a time,
stirring often until liquid is nearly
absorbed before adding next. Stir
risotto often during this process to keep
it from sticking. Continue cooking risotto
adding a ladleful or two at a time for
30-35 minutes until rice is nearly tender
but still a bit firm in the middle. Stir in
asparagus & a bit more broth. When
broth has been absorbed, stir in cheese
& a little more broth so that risotto is
creamy (neither runny nor stiff). Season
to taste with salt & pepper. Sprinkle
top with parsley (if using) and a bit
more cheese when serving.
Serves 4-6


Bacon-wrapped Chicken Roll-ups

3 large chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
22 strips pre-cooked bacon, divided
4 green onions, minced
3 mushrooms, minced
3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. dried parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place 1 chicken breast in a gallon
ziplock bag; seal the bag & pound
chicken to flatten as thin as you
can get it (about 1/4″ thick). Cut
flattened breast in half using
kitchen shears – repeat with other
2 breasts. In medium bowl place
cream cheese & microwave 30
seconds to soften. Add green
onions, minced bacon & mushrooms,
minced garlic, onion powder, parsley
& salt/pepper – stir to combine.
Sprinkle a bit of salt/pepper over each
reast & spoon about 2 T. cream cheese
mixture on each breast. Roll chicken
up & wrap 2-3 pieces of bacon around
each one*. Spray 9 X 13″ pan with
nonstick spray & place rolls in it.
Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes until
inside of chicken is cooked through &
is no longer pink. Remove pan from
oven, cover in foil & allow to stand
5 minutes then serve. Serves 6

*If bacon is hard to manipulate,place
on a plate & microwave about 20
seconds to make it more pliable.


Chive & Honey Biscuits

2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. chopped fresh chives
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. honey (warmed 20 seconds
in microwave)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large bowl mix flour, baking
powder, salt & chives. In another
bowl stir milk, mayo & warm honey.
Mix wet ingredients with dry until
it starts to ‘come together’. Roll
out dough on a floured work surface
to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds
using a biscuit cutter (or a glass –
lightly coat the rim with shortening
& then use it to cut out the biscuits).
Place biscuits on greased cookie
sheet & bake 10-12 minutes until golden
brown. Makes 12


Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

1 (3 oz) pkg. ramen noodle soup mix
1 (14 oz) pkg. coleslaw blend (cabbage
slaw mix)
2 c. shredded or chopped cooked chicken
4 green onions, diagonally sliced
1/3 C. chopped peanuts
1/2 Kraft lite Asian Toasted Sesame
salad dressing
1 T. creamy peanut butter

Break ramen noodles up into small
pieces in large bowl (discard seasoning
packet). Add coleslaw blend, chicken,
onions & nuts; mix lightly. Beat salad
dressing & peanut butter using whisk
until blended & add to salad – toss
to coat. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Hawaiian Sausage Breakfast Casserole

5 slices Hawaiian sweet sliced bread
(from 16 oz) pkg.
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby & Mont. Jack
cheese, divided
6 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. mild country sausage, (thawed,
if frozen)
1 C. chopped red bell pepper
1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits in
juice, drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Place bread in single layer in dish,
cutting slices to fit. Sprinkle with 3/4 C.
cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, salt/pepper in
medium bowl until blended. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat & add
sausage. Cook 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add bell pepper; cook 2
minutes until pepper is tender & sausage
is crumbled & no longer pink; drain & spoon
over bread in dish. Top evenly with pineapple.
Pour egg mixture over sausage layer & sprinkle
with remaining 3/4 C. cheese. Bake 25-30
minutes until knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead:
Prepare casserole. Cover & refrigerate at
least 8 hours or overnight. Preheat ove
350 degrees & bake 35 minutes until
knife inserted into center comes out


Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese
Squares (crockpot)

2 (7 oz, ea) boxes apple cinnamon
muffin mix – prepared
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2-4 T. powdered sugar

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Mix up muffin mix batter & pour
into crockpot. Cut cream cheese into
12 cubes & place evenly in batter.
Place 6-8 paper towels under lid of
crockpot; cover & cook on High 2-4
hours. Remove towels/lid – sprinkle
top with powdered sugar & cut into
12 squares – serve warm.


It’s a nice, Spring-like day again: supposed
to get up to 70! Right now it’s kind of

overcast & gloomy with a tiny bit of light
sprinkles, but that’s OK – the flowers love
the rain! (I have to keep reminding myself
to go out & water the one hanging

Hope things are going well for you and
that you are enjoying good health!