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!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I too remember it as Decoration Day. I also remember the the flag holders on the hood of the cars. Flags were on poles and porch railings. All reminders of those who fought for us.

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