Great Day!


Awoke to a considerable change in our weather – it was 73 degrees! Husband & I had an appointment with our financial advisor so afterwards we did our ‘usual’ and stopped for lunch. He asked where I wanted to go and I picked a small spot kinda close to where we live: The Royal Diner. It’s a family-owned place with a HUGE menu – just about anything you can imagine is on there (took us awhile to finally decide!). We haven’t been there in about 6 months and totally forgot the HUGE portions they give you; he had a Reuben sandwich & fries & I had a Philly Cheesesteak, coleslaw & onion rings (of course the rings were for sharing). We both did the best we could and ended up bringing more than half of our meals home – just finished mine for dinner – YUM! You don’t find many places like that any more – great food, great service, great prices and HUGE portions. The one thing I kinda noticed – I told my husband I felt like we were having “lunch at the Senior Center” – almost every table had little old men – the guy behind me was on his cell phone and talking VERY loudly about his ‘personal medical problems’ (read that:prostrate surgery, etc.) – not your best conversations over food – for sure! Oh well – that’s life, eh?

I noticed today that our gas prices have dropped again (YAY) to $2.41/9 – (they were $2.49/9) – usually they don’t drop before a holiday weekend, so if they stay down, that’s nice for those traveling over the 4th.


Summer Fruit Salad

1 small honeydew melon, cut
into cubes (about 6 C.)
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. finely chopped mint leaves
1 T. honey
mint leaves, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in large
bowl & stir gently; allow to set at
room temp. 20 minutes then taste &
adjust amount of lime juice or honey-
you may require more depending on
natural sweetness & ripeness of melon.
Garnish with mint leaves & serve cold or
room temp. Serves 4-6


Breakfast Sausage Croissant Bake

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 T. olive oil
1 can butter-flavored croissant rolls,
cut into pieces
10 large eggs
3 C. whole milk
1 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary (optional)
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese or Gruyere

Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Heat large skillet &
saute sausage with 1 T. oil, rosemary,
green onions – season generously
with salt/pepper – cook over medium-
high heat until thoroughly browned,
spreading & turning often. Remove
from heat. Stir eggs, milk & cream
together in large bowl; add Parm.
cheese – mix to combine. Line bottom
of prepared dish with croissant pieces
then top with sausage. Pour egg/
cheese mixture over top. Using a
rubber spatula, compress mixture
slightly. Cover with plastic wrap or
foil & refrigerate 4-6 hours or
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle shredded Swiss or Gruyere
cheese on top & bake 45-55 minutes
until cheese is golden brown & bubbly.
Remove from oven & let rest 15 minutes
before serving. Serves 6-8


20-minute Honey Garlic Shrimp

1/3 C. honey
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (optional)
1 lb. medium uncooked shrimp,
2 tsp. olive oil
(optional) chopped green onion for

Whisk honey, soy sauce, garlic & ginger
in medium bowl. Place shrimp in a large
zip-lock bag – pour half of marinade on
top & shake. Allow shrimp to marinade
in fridge 15 minutes or up to 8-12 hours.
Cover & refrigerate the rest of the
marinade. Heat olive oil in a skillet over
medium-high heat. Place shrimp in skillet
(discard used marinade). Cook shrimp on
one side until no longer pink – about
45 seconds, then flip shrimp over. Pour
in remaining marinade & cook until
shrimp are cooked through, about 1
more minute. Serve with cooked
marinade sauce & garnish with green
onion. Serves 4

NOTE: sauce is excellent on cooked
brown rice & steamed veggies on
the side


Blue Cheese Ranch Mashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled/cubed
4 medium parsnips, peeled & sliced
1 inch thick
1 T. onion powder
1/2 T. garlic powder
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/4 – 1/2 sour cream
1 C. blue cheese, crumbled
4 T. butter, sliced
1/2 C. chopped: parsley, chives &
zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
salt/black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes & parsnips in large pot
filled with water – salt water & bring to
boil. Cook until tender; drain & mash
with rest of ingredients. Adjust salt/
pepper, to taste. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rachel Ray)

Chicken Parmesan Roll-Ups
(lunch/dinner item)

1 tube crescent rolls
1 T. olive oil
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1/4 C. marinara
1/2/ C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. grated mozzarella cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On floured work surface roll out
crescent rolls into one large rectangle,
pinching together seams. In large
skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Cook chicken until golden & cooked
through, 4-6 minutes per side. Season
with salt/pepper & transfer to cutting board-
slice thinly Spoon marinara over crescent
rectangle then sprinkle with Parm. &
mozzarella cheeses – top with sliced
chicken & basil. Starting from bottom,
tightly roll up rectangle like a cinnamon
roll, then slice into four rolls. Spray a
glass baking dish with nonstick spray &
place rolls in dish. Bake 15-20 minutes
until puffed & golden. Serves 4


Rainbow Stir Fry

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. plain peanut butter
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. water
2 T. honey
juice of 1 lemon
1 T. vegetable oil
1 red pepper, seeded/sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded/sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 head broccoli, florets only,
chopped medium
2 C. green beans, trimmed
2 C. carrots, sliced into half
1 pkg. cooked soba noodles

In medium bowl combine garlic,
peanut butter, soy sauce, water,
honey & lemon juice – whisk until
smooth & season with salt/pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high
heat & add oil. Cook onions, carrots,
broccoli, peppers & green beans until
tender but still vibrant, about 10
minutes. Add cooked soba noodles to
skillet & stir to combine. Serve hot.
Serves 4


Orange Cream Fruit Salad

1 (3 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
3/4 C. – 1 1/2 C. milk*
1/3 c. frozen orange juice
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
or tidbits, drained well
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained well
2 bananas, sliced

Combine pudding mix, milk &
orange juice concentrate in bowl;
beat with elec. mixer on medium
speed 2 minutes then fold in Cool
Whip. Gently mix in fruit & chill
2-3 hours until ready to serve.

*Start with 3/4 C. milk – you can
add more milk depending on the
consistency you like.

You can also add more fruit –
oranges or bananas. Poster also
said she sometimes uses sliced
strawberries & mini marshmallows.



Still working on both baby blankets – 6
more plain white squares to go on the
pink & white one. I got confirmation on
the ‘pick up’ date for the Detroit Vet’s
baby shower stuff: August 30th. I will
send out an email very soon letting my
ladies know how much time they have
to finish their items. When I get these
two blankets done I will probably work
on a few little baby girl headbands – they’re
fun to make, use up all those little bits of
yarn and are quick to make – we’ll see.

Hope you are having a great Tuesday – my
days are still mixed up having spent my
weekend as I did – I still think it’s Saturday!



and now it’s MONDAY!

I SURVIVED the weekend at Log Cabin Days! YAY! The temps were in the mid to high 80’s and pretty muggy with lots of little tiny gnats (great fun, they kept swarming around my hands when I’d try to knit – sigh). Met lots of people, re-connected with other demonstrators I’d seen years before and got (what I consider) a pretty nice offer: the Oakland County Pioneer Historical Society asked me to come (in costume) to their Ice Cream Social July 30th (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and knit! It’s a once a year event to raise monies for their historical society and they charge $5 per person or $10 a family – you get cake & ice cream, a tour of Governor Wisnor’s mansion and lots of other things to see & do (I get to go free AND get cake/ice cream – not bad!). While chatting with some of the other re-enactors I soon discovered they have a sort of ‘circuit’ they go to each year – they were asking me if I had gone to Greenfield Village or Greenmead? Both historical places in Michigan (no to both answers – at least NOT as a re-enactor, anyway). I had fun, saw lots of friends who stopped by and am now happily HOME in the air conditioning! Here’s a few photos I took of our event:

101_0289   101_0286

Photo 1: Two of my lady knitters, Sally & Marty

Photo 2:  A lady who ‘tats’ (makes lace) showing our

 youngest member (10) how to make lace


Photo 3: Tracy & Rose – Spinners (we share the space)

Although we had lots of our members ‘drop by to say HI’, only Sally, Marty, and our youngest member actually came to DEMONSTRATE (not counting Rose, who was counted as a Spinner, not a knitter . . . I know, but it’s a technicality that counts, per group).  I certainly would have liked more people from the group to show up, but it was VERY hot, so maybe that’s why – oh well, there’s always NEXT year! (I remember the very first time I went there as a demonstrator – think it was 2008 – I was the ONLY person from my group there – for 2 days. . . and no costume…people just walked by and looked at me strangely, like “What is SHE doing sitting there knitting?” Oh well . . .


Strawberry ‘candy’

fresh strawberries, sliced

Turn oven on 210 degrees F.
Place strawberries on shallow
baking pan & bake 3 hours –
they taste like Twizzlers!

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

2 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled &
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. extra sharp Cheddar cheese,
8 sliced thick-cut bacon, cooked/
1 pkg. dry Ranch dip mix
1 T. yellow mustard
1/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. mayonnaise
chives, chopped

Boil potatoes until almost fork-
tender; drain & rinse with cold
water. In large bowl mix sour
cream, mustard, mayo & Ranch
mix. Toss in potatoes, stirring to
coat. Cover & refrigerate until
ready to serve. When ready:
stir in bacon & cheese, top with


Creamy Clam Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 T. sour cream
2 T. mayonnaise
1 (6.5 oz) can minced clams,
drained/reserve liquid
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 T. dried minced onion
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
ground black pepper, to taste

In medium bowl combine all
ingredients except clam juice –
mix just until combined. Add juice,
a little at a time, until you reach your
desired consistency. Chill several
hours to allow flavors to combine –
stir before serving. Makes 16 servings.

Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapeno peppers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, halved lengthwise
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 T. chili seasoning mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise
& remove seeds. In small bowl beat
cheeses until blended; spoon into
pepper halves. Wrap a half-strip of
bacon around each pepper half. Combine
brown sugar & chili seasoning; coat
peppers with sugar mixture & place
in greased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan.
Bake 18-20 minutes until bacon is firm.
Makes 1 dozen.

NOTE: wear disposable or rubber gloves
when handling peppers, the oils can burn
your skin – avoid touching your face during
the handling of the peppers


Avocado-Tomato Salad

2 tomatoes, large, cut into large
2 avocados, peeled/cut into large
1 purple onion, small, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes
olive oil

In large bowl combine tomatoes,
avocados, red onion & cilantro. Squeeze
lime juice over top & drizzle with olive
oil; gently stir to combine. Taste & add
salt, as needed. Serves 6


Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
1 1/2 C. broccoli florets (fresh)
1 red bell pepper cut into matchsticks
2 carrots thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted

Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or
skillet over medium-high heat. Cook &
stir beef until browned, 3-4 minutes.
Move meat to side; add broccoli, bell
pepper, carrots, green onion & garlic to
center of wok/skillet. Cook & stir vegs.
2 minutes. Stir beef into vegetables &
season with soy sauce & sesame seeds.
Cook & stir until veggies are tender, about
2 more minutes. Serves 4


Grilled Chicken/Broccoli Tortellini

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken tenders
2 pkgs. refrigerated spinach tortellini
2 T. minced garlic
4 C. Half & Half
2 T. flour
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
3 C. broccoli florets
salt/pepper, to taste
added Parmesan cheese – garnish

Preheat grill 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta over medium-high heat
as per pkg. directions – add olive
oil to water when cooking noodles.
Remove from heat & drain – add
pasta back to pot.
While pasta is cooking make sauce:
In medium saucepan whisk Half & Half
with flour until flour is dissolved. Cook
over medium-high heat until mixture is
bubbling & thick, about 4 minutes. Slowly
whisk in garlic, cheeses, salt/pepper –
continuing to stir. Cook on Low 3-5
minutes – remove from heat.
Grill chicken until fully cooked
through & juices run clear; cut
chicken into slices & add to drained
Bring small pot of water to boil over
medium-high heat – once boiling,
add broccoli & allow to blanch 2-3
minutes until tender – remove &
add to chicken & noodles. Add
sauce to mixture; stir gently to coat.


White Almond Wedding Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 C. water
1 C. sour cream
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Stir together dry cake mix, flour, sugar
& salt in large bowl until well mixed.
Add water, sour cream, veg. oil,
both extracts & egg whites – beating
with elec. mixer on Low until all
ingredients are mixed & moistened
but some lumps still remain, 4 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake
25 minutes until top is light golden
brown & a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Allow to
cool before frosting.

Wedding Cake Frosting:
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. shortening
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
8 C. powdered sugar

Cream butter & shortening together
until smooth. Gradually add sugar,
milk & vanilla extract; mix until smooth



It’s nice to return to my daily life – took the special

needs group’s newsletters to the Post Office today,

so that’s done. Grabbed some sales at Walgreen’s,

returned a pair of really cute sandals I’d ordered

on line, to Payless Shoe Store (they’re really good

about their products – if you buy on line you can

return items to their stores – no POSTAGE/SHIPPING

COSTS!). The sandals were adorable BUT a little too

narrow – sigh.

I have 2 lb. of hamburger defrosted and was trying

to think of what to make for dinner – it’s going to be

“Meat & Potato Pie’ – really easy recipe: mix up your

ingredients to make a meatloaf, spray a 9 X 13″ pan with

nonstick spray & pat in mixture. Bake 350 35-40 minutes,

drain grease. Prepare a batch of mashed potatoes & ‘frost’

meatloaf with potatoes then sprinkle about 3/4 C. shredded

Cheddar cheese on top & return to bake another 25

minutes! (I use instant potatoes – you can use whichever

you choose). It’s my husband’s all-time favorite recipe and

the boys like it, too (actually I can’t think of anyone who

DIDN’T like it when I’ve served it – including my grandson!).

Hope you have a nice, relaxing Summer day;



Sometimes you need to –

know your limits. Today was a lesson in just that very thing; earlier in the day I went grocery shopping and to the drug store. Came home, put away the things purchased and rested about half hour before heading off to ‘help’ with the White Elephant stuff. It’s HOT out there, so I took a bottle of water – I worked under a pavilion for almost 3 hours when I suddenly felt very dizzy, sick to my stomach and had a huge headache. I excused myself & sat in my car with the air on high, drinking water. About 10 minutes later I thought I was doing OK, so went back to continue – that lasted about 5 minutes before I had to ‘bow out’ and go home – I was a mess. Made it home OK, quickly grabbed the Ritz crackers (to quell the stomach), and spent a good 20 minutes lying down. While going over what might have happened (I thought it was heat prostration) middle son said: “Mom, when did you eat last?” BINGO – a frozen waffle & coffee around 8 a.m. and that’s about it – no wonder I ‘crashed’; being a diabetic I should have recognized a sugar low but I put it off on the heat. Oh well – I’m fine now but as I said earlier in this blog: Sometimes you have to know your limits! I did get a good amount of ‘stuff’ sorted/priced/arranged on tables but not as much as my MIND said I wanted to do – again, I have to sometimes accept that I’m not as YOUNG as my brain says I am. I WILL go to both Log Cabin Days – but will definitely keep an eye on when I eat! sigh…


No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

2 sticks salted butter, softened,
plus more for greasing pan
1 C. chunky peanut butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1 (12 oz) box vanilla wafers
1 (12 oz) bag mini semisweet
chocolate chips

2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. chopped peanuts
Grease a 9 X 12″ baking pan with
some butter. Using elec. mixer, mix
butter & chunky peanut butter until
smooth; stir in the sugar one cup at
a time. Place vanilla wafers in food
processor & pulse until you have crumbs.
Add crumbs & mini chocolate chips to
peanut butter mixture; spread evenly
in prepared pan.
Using a double boiler or microwave,
melt chocolate chips & creamy peanut
butter together. Allow to cool a few
minutes then pour over base in pan.
Spread frosting evenly & sprinkle
chopped peanuts on top. Refrigerate
at least 1 hour then cut into 20 bars.

(recipe: Ree Drummond – Facebook)

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T. milk
1 1/2 C. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried parsley
2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 pork chops

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In small bowl beat eggs & milk. In
separate small bowl beat bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese & parsley.
Heat oil in large oven-proof
skillet over medium heat; stir in
garlic & cook until lightly browned-
remove garlic & discard. Dip each
pork chop into egg mixture, into
bread crumbs, coating evenly. Place
chops in skillet & brown 5 minutes
each side. Place skillet & chops in
preheated oven & cook 25 minutes
until cooked through. Makes 4 chops

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Fresh Green Beans w/Lemon,
Garlic, Parsley

1 C. water
1 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
salt/ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Add water to large skillet & bring to
boil. Add beans; cover-reduce heat
to medium-low & cook 8 minutes
until beans are almost tender. Drain.
Heat oil & butter in same skillet over
medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30
seconds until fragrant. Add beans
back into pan along with lemon
juice; season with salt/pepper. Cook,
stirring gently, 2 minutes until
heated through. Sprinkle with
parsley & toss gently to combine.
Serves 4


Sweet Oven Baked Ribs

1 1/2 lb. beef ribs
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. thinly sliced green onion
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 C. catsup
1/2 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. molasses
1/4 C. smooth peanut butter
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 T. Thai sweet chili sauce

In large pan place ribs & enough
cold water to cover; bring to boil.
Cover, remove from heat & let stand
30 minutes. Drain ribs.
Heat oil in medium saucepan over
medium heat; add onions & gently
fry until soft, about 3 minutes; add
garlic & cook 1 more minute. Stir in
remaining sauce ingredients & cook
until sauce thickens slightly, about
10 minutes. Remove from heat, reserve
1 C. sauce.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a shallow pan with foil; place ribs
in pan & brush both sides with sauce.
Cover with foil & bake, brushing more
sauce & turning every 20 minutes until
tender & cooked through, about 1 hour.
Place ribs on a serving platter & serve
immediately with reserved heated sauce.
Serves 4


Balsamic Parmesan Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, large, sliced thick
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. fresh spinach leaves, roughly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Place tomato slices in large ziplock bag.
Pour vinegar over tomatoes & gently
toss to coat. Refrigerate bag 1-2 hours,
tossing once or twice while marinating.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Add spinach &
garlic to a skillet; top with olive oil & saute
over medium heat until spinach has just
wilted. Spoon a small amount of spinach
mixture over each tomato slice; top with
shredded mozz. cheese & sprinkle grated
Parm. cheese over top. Bake 10-15
minutes until cheese is melted & tomatoes
have softened. Serves 4


Cheesy Broccoli Cups

1 tsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
3 crowns broccoli (OR) 1 (12 oz)
bag frozen broccoli
3/4 C. panko breadcrumbs
1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. cream

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Saute onions & garlic in butter in
saucepan until translucent. Blanch
broccoli (if using fresh); place in a
strainer 30 minutes (longer if still
frozen) in sink. Blot well & chop into
smaller pieces. Beat eggs in bowl;
add cream, breadcrumbs, cheeses,
salt/pepper – mix well. Add broccoli
& onion mixture & mix well. Spray
a 12-cup cupcake tin with nonstick
cooking spray. Fill tin cups full,
dividing mixture between the 12
cups. Bake 25-30 minutes until
browned & crispy around edges.
Makes 12

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Sexy Coconut Cream Pie Parfait

2 C. evaporated milk, chilled
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. coconut cream
instant pudding mix
1 C. cold water
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
2 T. sugar

One-half of 8 oz. tub Cool Whip,
thawed (1 Cup)
1/2 C. toasted coconut
1/4 C. hot fudge ice cream sundae

Place crust ingredients in small bowl;
mix well, making sure crumbs are well
coated with butter. Press into bottom
of a 11 X 7″ baking dish (oblong pan).
In large bowl mix pudding mix, milk &
cold water – using elec. mixer, beat at
Low speed 2 minutes – let mixture
stand about 1 minute. Fold 8 oz. of
Cool Whip into pudding mixture until
incorporated & pour on top of crust.
Refrigerate until pudding layer is firm,
about 3 hours. Spread additional cup
of Cool Whp on pudding layer, making
nice swirls. Sprinkle top with coconut
then drizzle with fudge sauce. Serves

*NOTE: Microwave sauce on High 20
seconds until it’s drizzling consistency.


Earlier today it occurred to me
that I needed to locate my costume
for tomorrow – thought I’d put it in
a drawer then had to search around;
finally found it in a bag in the closet –
YAY! Still have to iron it. Dinner is in
the oven – it’s kind of a ‘made-up’
thing based on something I saw at
the grocery store: skinless, boneless
chicken breasts (big ones) butterfly-sliced
and stuffed with chicken ‘dressing’ in a
9 X 13″ and then I poured Garlic Alfredo
sauce over them & am baking them
350 degrees F. for an hour – hope they
taste good! (I kinda made up the alfredo
sauce thing – was kind of thinking spaghetti
sauce or pizza sauce and then decided
NOT to do that – we’ll see how it comes out.

I’m hearing from other people that we’re
supposed to have thunderstorms Sunday –
hope not. In years past we’ve had to quickly
gather up our things (while at Log Cabin Days)
due to a quickly moving storm/tornado –
that was no fun – it scared the visitors and
really cut into the day’s events. Oh well –
what can you do? I’m more of a ‘I’ll worry
when I NEED to” kind of person – why add
stress ahead of time, right?

Hope your weekend is really great –
I probably won’t be blogging for the next
few days; we’ll see – depends on my
energy levels at that time.



‘Taking a Break Day’!

Boynton smiling critter

Sometimes you just need to declare an ‘official’ Taking a Break Day” I know that tomorrow when I go volunteer to help sort ‘stuff’ for the White Elephant sale Saturday I’ll be pretty tired when I come home – that’s a given. I ‘was’ going to go grocery shopping today but . . . I just didn’t feel like it! Instead I knit the first of the ten plain white squares for the baby afghan then began printing the special needs group newsletter for July/August – 50 copies are now printed. Next will be folding them all, putting them in the envelopes, sealing & putting return address labels on them. I might need more copies printed but I really don’t ‘need’ to get them out until about Monday so I’m doing my ‘take a break’ thing – NOW! The envelopes are all addressed – I just haven’t spent the time to count them to see exactly how many  copies I need (plus about 10-12 more for handouts to staff & any new people that come). Haven’t decided what’s for dinner – might be salmon patties as they’re really quick & easy to fix. In the back of my mind runs this little ditty (most days): “You KNOW you need to get some food together so the guys have cooked food in the fridge!” (Now, if I really admit it, here,  they can ALL fend for themselves . . . guess it’s just the imprinted MOM thing of making dinner EVERY day. Do you have that ‘problem’???) Tomorrow is the White Elephant ‘thing’ then all day Saturday & Sunday I’ll be doing my ‘thing’ at Log Cabin Days and won’t feel like making dinner when I get home – who knows? I might just get creative & order Kentucky Fried Chicken! (Or, around here: Chicken King) – we’ll see.


Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box cheesecake or white chocolate
pudding mix
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 (6 oz, ea) tubs strawberry yogurt
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
3 bananas, sliced (add just before serving
or they’ll brown)
3 C. miniature marshmallows (optional)

In large bowl whisk together Cool Whip,
pudding mix & yogurt. Cover & refrigerate
until just before serving (at least 1 hour).
When ready to serve, slice strawberries &
bananas. Remove mixture from fridge &
gently fold in fruit & marshmallows (if
using). Stir gently to combine & serve
immediately. Serves 8-10


Vegetable Strata

3 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed/
cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, quartered &
1 C. fresh or frozen corn
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. each minced fresh-
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (1 lb) loaf Italian bread,
cut into 1-inch cubes
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Gruyere
or Swiss cheese
5 large eggs
1 3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. chopped pecans

In large skillet heat 1 tsp. oil
over medium-high heat. Add
asparagus; cook & stir until
crisp-tender; transfer to large
bowl. Repeat with an additional
1 tsp. oil & zucchini; add to
asparagus. In same pan cook
& stir corn, shallots & garlic in
remaining oil until shallots are
tender. Stir in herbs, salt & pepper-
add to asparagus mixture; stir in
bread cubes. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Pour
half of mixture into pan; sprinkle
with 1 1/2 C. cheese – repeat layers.
In another bowl whisk eggs & milk;
pour over casserole. Sprinkle top
with pecans. Refrigerate, covered,
at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Uncover dish, bake 40-50 minutes
until a knife inserted near center
comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 12

Freezer option:
After assembling, cover & freeze.
To use: partially thaw in fridge
overnight. Remove from fridge 30
minutes before baking. Preheat oven
350 degrees F. & bake strata, covered,
45 minutes. Uncover & bake 10-15
minutes longer until a knife inserted
near center comes out clean. Let stand
10 minutes before serving.


Ground Beef Crescent Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. tomato sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) tube crescent dinner rolls
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine beef & onion in large skillet
over medium-high heat. Cook until
beef is thoroughly cooked, about 8
minutes. Drain grease, stir in tomato
sauce & cook until just heated through.
combine mozz. cheese & sour cream in
a bowl. Pour beef mixture into bottom
of a 9 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan.
Dollop cheese mixture on top of meat &
spread evenly. Unroll crescent dough &
place on top of cheese mixture in pan.
Trim edges as needed, filling in any
spots with extra dough; tuck edges in
around edges of pie dish. Combine
melted butter, Parm. cheese & basil –
spread evenly on top of dough. Bake
18-20 minutes until dough is browned
& cooked. Let stand 10-15 minutes
before slicing. Serves 6


Spinach Dip Bites

2 C. frozen spinach, thawed/chopped
1 (6 oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained/
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
pepper, to taste
1 tube seamless crescent dough

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl combine spinach, artichoke
hearts, garlic & Parm. cheese. Blend
in cream cheese & half of mozz. cheese;
season with salt/pepper. Using a rolling
pin, lay out dough on cutting board &
lightly stretch to 8 X 12″ rectangle. Cut
dough into 2 inch squares (24 total).
Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with non-
stick spray & place one square in each
tin, gently pushing down to create an
indent (don’t need to mold to cup).
Scoop 1 tsp. mixture on top of each
square & gently push in. Spread
remaining mozz. cheese over tops of
each cup. Bake 15-17 minutes until golden
brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes before
removing from pan. Makes 24


Carrot & Ginger Soup

3 T. butter
2 T. chopped garlic
2 C. diced onion
2 large ribs celery, chopped (1 C.)
3 lb. carrots, peeled/diced
3 T. chopped fresh ginger
2 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 C. honey
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Garnish: candied ginger (chopped)
& finely julienned carrots

In large Dutch oven melt butter over
medium-high heat; add garlic, onion,
celery, carrots & ginger. Cook, stirring
often, 10 minutes. Add stock & bring
to boil. Reduce to simmer & cook
20-25 minutes until vegetables are
tender. Remove from heat & add
coriander, ground ginger & honey.
Working in batches, place in blender
& puree – returning pureed soup to
pot. Add cream, salt/pepper & mix
to combine. Reheat slightly & serve.
Add garnish to bowls when serving,
if desired. Serves 4-6


Dijon Coleslaw

4-5 C. shredded cabbage
1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. white wine or champagne
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 T. whole-grain Dijon mustard
(can use regular Dijon, but use
1/2 T. as flavor is more intense)

In large bowl place cabbage & salt;
toss to coat & let stand 10 minutes.
Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl
& mix with cabbage. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours – the longer the better.
Serves 4-6

*white vinegar may be substituted,
but wine/champagne vinegar will
taste a lot better


Spinach Pesto Penne w/Shrimp & Peas

12 oz. penne pasta
2 C. baby spinach
1 C. fresh basil
1/3 C. plus 1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
plus more for serving
1/4 C. pine nuts or almonds
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt/black pepper
1 lb. peeled/deveined medium
1 C. peas
crushed red chili flakes (optional)

In large pot salted boiling water, cook
pasta to al dente; drain, reserving 1 C.
pasta water – return pasta to pot.
In small food processor or blender,
pulse spinach, basil & 1/3 C. olive oil
until combined. Add Parmesan, pine
nuts (or almonds) & garlic – season with
salt/pepper. In large skillet over medium
heat, heat remaining T. oil; add shrimp &
cook until pink, 3-4 minutes. Add pasta,
pesto & peas to skillet & toss until
completely combined. Stir in 1/4 C. pasta
water & stir until creamy. Sprinkle top
with Parmesan cheese & chili flakes (if


Banana Cake Balls

1/2 C. cold milk
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 small fully ripe banana, mashed
1 (10 3/4 oz) pkg. frozen pound cake,
thawed & crumbled into fine crumbs
3 (4.4 oz, ea) pkgs. milk chocolate bars,
2 T. multi-colored sprinkles

Stir milk & pudding mix together in
medium bowl using large spoon just
until pudding mix is moistened.
Immediately add bananas & cake
crumbs; mix well. Shape into 36
(1-inch) balls & place on waxed
paper-covered rimmed baking sheet.
Freeze 1 hour.
Melt chocolate in medium micro-
waveable bowl on High 1 1/2
minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Dip
balls in chocolate; return to baking
sheet – top immediately with sprinkles.
Let stand until coating is firm.
Makes 36 balls

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)


While the newsletters were printing I was
looking over Facebook and bumped into a
knitting site I’ve never seen before! If you
enjoy knitting you might like to check it out;
they have TONS of stitches (lots for expert
knitters as well as the rest of us) – I love
looking at sites like that – they give me
great ideas for new scarf or baby blanket
patterns. The site is called:

Not much else new around here, weather’s
still in the high 80’s (supposed to get above
90 on Sunday – don’t think I’ll be wearing
my knit shawl with my costume THAT day!



Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Thanks, Mr. Rogers!)


Saw this among some of the knitting clipart and thought it was FUN!

Last night found 16 lovely ladies happily knitting/crocheting AND spinning wool at Panera; a brand-new lady (who knows another member who also spins) brought her small spinning wheel – we were fascinated. (No, I’m not thinking of taking up spinning – too much work to get yarn, in my humble opinion). It was another good night except-I was happily sitting there knitting & chatting when one of my friends said: “Pam, one of your stitch markers is on the floor” – Ok . . . I pick it up, wondering how it got there when I notice that somehow (have never had this happen before) my circular needles had come un-screwed causing what I was working on to come off the needles – UGH! I managed to get all the stitches back on the needle but ended up taking it home to repair. Took me a good hour to get all the stitch markers & stitches where they should be again after ripping out about 4 rows of knitting – sigh.

Today found me ‘out & about’ at the Library returning books & getting more, talking the librarians into putting up a Log Cabin flyer on the bulletin board (THEY have to do it – no tacks/pins etc. on it – they staple stuff up so only the ‘approved’ flyers are there) – also gave them a big stack of smaller flyers which they promptly started handing out to all customers – YAY! Stopped by the Log Cabin location to drop off some White Elephant stuff and got to chatting with a lady who knew me from when my youngest was in High School. Lo and behold I found myself voicing these words when she mentioned setting up the White Elephant stuff on Friday: “Do you need any help with that?” (Yep, you guessed it – going there around 1 p.m. to help – don’t know what it is about garage sales, etc. but I just LOVE messing with all the ‘stuff’/putting it in the correct areas/pricing, etc. I’m just crazy like that.


Caramel Apple Shortbread Bars

3 C. flour
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 very large Granny Smith apples,
cored/peeled/ sliced 1/8″ thick
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. heavy cream
2 T. butter
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking pan with large
sheet parchment paper; press paper
down to fit up the sides (there should
be excess paper hanging over sides of pan).
In large bowl using elec. mixer, mix flour &
powdered sugar. Add butter in large cubes &
mix until ingredients just form a dough – do
not over mix. Pat just under 2/3 of dough
into parchment-lined dish, smoothing out
the top until it is an even thickness (reserve
rest of dough for crumble). Bake 20 minutes.
Mix water & sugar in saucepan; heat on medium
heat, swirling occasionally until sugar is completely
dissolved. Bring to boil, brushing down sides of pan
using pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar
crystals from forming. When sugar has caramelized
to amber brown (3-6 minutes) add apples & stir
constantly. Apples will release liquid when they hit
the caramel & cause the caramel to harden a bit in
places – continue stirring, it will melt back down after
1-2 minutes. Continue to cook at high heat 3-4
minutes until liquid the apples release has been
cooked out & caramel is thick again. Add cream,
butter & salt, stirring constantly (protect your hands
from spatter by using oven mitts). Mixture will froth &
bubble – continue cooking on high heat until it settles
back down. Once mixture is glossy & smooth, remove
from heat. Pour over top of baked crust. Crumble
remaining dough evenly over top & bake 15 minutes
until caramel is bubbly & crumble is golden brown.
Let cool at least 1 hour before cutting.
NOTE: Poster recommends refrigerating several hours
before cutting so caramel will set up firmly. Serve cold.
Makes 12 large bars


Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

1 head cabbage, cooked until
tender & finely chopped
3 C. zucchini, seeded/sliced
2 C. flour
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl whisk
eggs with vegetable oil, oregano &
parsley – season with salt/pepper.
In another bowl combine flour &
baking powder; slowly whisk eggs
into dry mixture. Fold in chopped
onions, garlic, zucchini, cooked
cabbage, Parm. cheese & parsley –
transfer to prepared dish.
Bake 20 minutes until mixture
begins to set; sprinkle top with
shredded Cheddar cheese & bake
another 10-20 minutes until
bubbly. Garnish top with more
parsley, if desired & serve.
Serves 8


Zucchini Chips

1 large zucchini
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven 225 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets
with parchment paper. Slice
zucchini thinly; place slices on
a sheet of paper towels & put
another towel over top – press
on them (helps draw out the
liquid so it cooks a bit faster).
In small bowl pour olive oil; using
a pastry brush, brush oil on each
slice then sprinkle salt over baking
sheet. Do NOT overseason, better
to use less salt initially – slices will
shrink so if you overseason, it will
be too salty. (you can always add
more salt later). Bake 2+ hours
until they start to brown & aren’t
soggy and are crisp. Let cool before
removing & serving. Store in air
tight container for no more than 3
days. Makes 50+ chips


Cherry/Tomato/Basil Salad

2 C. (each) red & yellow cherry tomatoes
2 C. grape tomatoes
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (about
1/4 C.)
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Slice some tomatoes in half & place
in large bowl. Add remaining
tomatoes & basil; mix lightly. Mix
dressing & garlic until blended &
add to tomato mixture; toss to
coat. Sprinkle with pepper.
Serves 8 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Honey Lemon Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
sesame seeds, lightly toasted

2/3 C. chicken stock
3-4 T. honey
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
salt/pepper, to taste
Cooked rice for 4
In large ziplock bag combine soy
sauce, white wine vinegar, garlic &
chicken cubes – seal bag & shake to
evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate
2-8 hours or overnight. Remove
chicken from marinade (discard
marinade) – season chicken generously
with salt/pepper. Heat olive oil in
large pan or skillet over medium-high
heat & brown chicken on all sides until
cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Place
chicken on a plate. In small bowl whisk
chicken stock, honey & lemon juice;
sprinkle in cornstarch & whisk until
smooth. Season with ginger, salt/pepper &
taste – adjust seasoning, if necessary. Pour
sauce mixture into skillet (same one you
cooked the chicken in) return to medium-
high heat. Bring to boil & cook 3-5 minutes
until thickened. Return chicken to pan &
toss to coat.
Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4


Cheese Potato Packet – GRILL

2 medium potatoes, sliced
3 T. water
2 strips bacon, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
3 T. butter, cubed

Place potatoes & water in micro-
wave-safe bowl. Cover & microwave
on High 2-3 minutes until almost
tender. In small skillet cook bacon
over medium heat until partially
cooked but not crisp – remove to
paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Drain potatoes; on double thickness
of greased heavy-duty foil (about 18
inch square), layer half of potatoes,
bacon, onion, cheese & butter –
repeat layers. Fold foil around potato
mixture & seal tightly. Grill, covered,
over medium heat 12-14 minutes until
potatoes are tender & cheese is melted.
Carefully remove foil to allow steam to
escape. Makes 2 servings.


Creamy Spinach Roll-ups

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 yellow onion, diced small
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/
drained well
1 box puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
1 egg
1 T. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine egg & water in
small dish. Combine cream cheese,
Mont. cheese, garlic powder & onion in
a bowl-mix well. Add spinach to mixture
& stir. Unroll puff pastry & brush both
sides of each sheet with egg/water
mixture. Spread spinach  mixture over one
side of both pastry then roll up & slice.
Place slices on a greased baking sheet &
bake 20 minutes until pastry turns golden

(recipe: getinmybelly)


Had to get gas today and our prices have dropped a bit:
$2.49/9 down from $2.59/9 – I like that!

Not much else new – still looking at knitting basket images
(free clip art)
; today I discovered at site that has 40 images
per page (of knitting related illustrations or photos) and
482 PAGES of that! I’ve been going through them then
taking a break and going back – my eyes can only take in
so much at a time! So far I’m on Page 60 – let’s see, doing
the Math, that would be 3,600 images I’ve looked at JUST
TODAY! Found some cute things I’ll be using on this blog
later and some images I’ll save for the knit group – amazing
what you can find! (the site for all this was:
just in case you might like to check them out.

Hope your day is going well;



Who would have guessed?


Today is the beginning of ‘getting ready for Log Cabin Days’ – part of what that means is I had to do an inventory of supplies I take with me: specifically our business cards. Over the years I’ve bought my blank card ‘stock’ at Office Max – this year they changed the company they carry – time for me to learn a NEW thing! (ugh) I don’t mind doing it, it’s just one more hurdle to go over in the race to get all things organized before Saturday. Sat down with my trusty computer & the printing guide – turns out I can’t use the image I had on my old cards (don’t even remember WHERE I got it from!) so now starts the ‘fun’ – searching the ‘net’ for free clipart images of knitting baskets. Bet you didn’t know there are at least 1,000 and probably more! The last time I had to do this there might have been several hundred to choose from – not any more! I’ll tell ya – even with trying to shrink the field by being more specific, I’m SURE I looked at a good 1,000. The above photo is just one of them; found some I thought I liked until I put them on the card preview – the photo kind of disappears in the distance. The total size of said image ON THE CARD is probably only about 3/4 inch square, so it has to have a sharp picture (or at least I WANT it to). Here’s a few of what I made the ‘beginning choices of images” –

240_F_71533940_AOx7dkQ7aXXFzdpkAkrqQLPbmC3jTyQT   Heart with LOVE & knitting needles

240_F_108994640_CVIXpVajxSk8zCl67pFSN0T4qE0nNjCQ  stock-vector-basket-with-colored-balls-of-yarn-and-knitting-needles-263838614

Needless to say, I STILL have to do more ‘searching’ – printed out one sheet of cards (enough for the next few days) – will continue this tomorrow.


Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

3/4 – 1 C. crushed pretzels
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in it’s own juice/drained &
reserve juice
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix pretzels, sugar & melted
butter in medium bowl; press
into a 11 X 7″ baking pan (can
use a 9 X 9″). Bake 8 minutes;
remove & cool. Mix cream
cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth.
Fold in Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. In small saucepan
stir cornstarch & 1/4 C. sugar.
Mix in reserved pineapple juice &
bring to boil over medium heat.
Cook, stirring constantly, until
thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir
in crushed pineapple & spread
over whipped layer in dish.
Cover & refrigerate at least
1 1/2 hours until firm.

(recipe: livingoncloudandreanine.

Picnic Pasta Salad

1 lb. rotini pasta, uncooked
2 medium cucumbers, peeled/chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 (6 oz) jar green olives, drained/halved
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/3 C. Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions for
al dente; drain & rinse with cold water until
cool to touch – drain well. Combine pasta
with remaining ingredients; stir to combine &
refrigerate until ready to serve.

Italian version:
omit cucumbers & green olives, add:
black olives and/or diced green peppers
mozzarella cubes
pepperoni slices
Parmesan cheese

Greek version:
omit green onions, green olives & Ital.
dressing – add:
Kalamata olives
red onion, chopped
crumbled feta cheese
Greek salad dressing


Ham & Cheese Hot Dish

3 C. ham – small cube
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. milk
1 T. Dijon mustard
8 oz. shredded Cheddar or
Colby-Jack cheese
1/2 lb. pasta (macaroni or long
tube noodles), cooked in salted
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. French-fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Cook ham in skillet to release
moisture & brown. In bowl combine
soup, sour cream, milk & mustard –
whisk to combine. Add cooked ham &
cheese, stir to combine. Once pasta
is cooked, drain & immediately add
to bowl with ingredients – stir to combine.
Pour mixture into prepared pan & top
with French fried onions, Bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven & allow
to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Baked Stuffed Pork Chop Casserole

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix plus
ingredients to prepare
1 apple, chopped
4 thick-cut pork chops

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to pkg
directions – add chopped apple &
mix well. Cut a pocket in each chop –
stuff with stuffing mixture & secure
edges with toothpicks. Spray  a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray & arrange
pork chops in pan. Spoon remaining
stuffing mix around chops. Cover with
foil & bake 1 hour. Uncover & bake
15 minutes more.


Fruit Salad with Sweet Lime Dressing

1 Heaping Cup of each of the following:
strawberries, hulled/sliced
green grapes, cut in half
mangoes (2-3) peeled/chopped
kiwi (4-5) peeled, sliced thick

1 lime, juiced (approx. 2 or more T.
fresh lime juice)
2 T. powdered sugar
chopped fresh mint, garnish

Combine prepared fruit. In small bowl
whisk lime juice & powdered sugar; add
to fruit & toss lightly to combine.
If making ahead, toss with dressing &
garnish with mint just before serving.
Serves 8-10


Delicious Shrimp Salad

3 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled/
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 orange, juice plus zest
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. fresh dill (+ more,
for garnish)
1 C. cucumbers: deseeded &
1 C. red bell pepper, diced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss shrimp with olive oil & 5
pinches salt & ground black
pepper. Spread shrimp in a single
layer on a baking sheet & roast
5-7 minutes, just until firm & cooked
through. Do NOT over cook. Allow
to cool slightly before mixing with
other ingredients. In large bowl, whisk
mayo, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar
& dill; toss with cucumbers, bell peppers
& shrimp. Chill until ready to serve.
Serves 20


One-Pan Lazy Stuffed Mushrooms

6 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c. Italian breadcrumbs
2 lb. button or cremini mushrooms
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach, defrosted,
chopped & squeezed dry
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. cream cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with nonstick
spray. Pour about half breadcrumbs in
bottom, spreading in an even layer. Evenly
layer about 1/3 of the mushrooms on top
of crumbs; drizzle with about 2 T. melted
butter then very lightly season with garlic
powder, salt/pepper. Sprinkle remaining
breadcrumbs over mushrooms then layer
1/3 of spinach, followed by 1/3 Parm. cheese.
Dot top with about 1/3 of cream cheese in
small amounts evenly on top. Repeat
process twice more: mushrooms (pressing
firmly to compress) drizzle with butter then
salt/pepper/garlic powder, spinach, Parm
cheese & cream cheese until all ingredients
are used up. Press down firmly into dish
to compact ingredients. (It’s ok if it comes
up slightly higher than top of dish – it will
cook down in the oven). Bake 25-30 minutes
until top of cream cheese is browned &
mushrooms are tender. Let stand at least
5 minutes before serving. Serves 6

NOTE: You can also add ground sausage to
mixture for a hearty main meal (reduce
or omit salt if doing so)


Heavenly Freezer Cake

1 angel food cake, cut into
12 (1 inch) slices
1/2 gallon strawberry ice cream,
cut into 12 slices
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1/3 C. chopped walnuts

Arrange cake slices on bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish. Place ice
cream slices evenly over top of
cake. In medium bowl mix Cool
Whip & pineapple – spread over
ice cream. Sprinkle top with nuts.
Cover & freeze at least 2 hours
before serving. Serves 12



Decided that since the next two nights will be
a bit busy (Knit Night/Special needs group) I
have a pork roast & carrots in the crockpot,
potatoes boiling on the stove and a green
bean casserole in the oven – we will be
eating good tonight! (and the next night,

Our weather is still in the high 80’s – last week
we were ‘supposed’ to get lots of rain/storms
but really none transpired so it’s just a bit hot
& sunny (great for those who love going to the
beach). Just checked the weather for Saturday
and it’s sunny with a high of 85 so I won’t have
to worry about being cold like last year (hehehe).

Still working my way through my favorite (at the
time) author: Michael Palmer; sadly, reading the
back flap of one of his books alerted me to the
fact that he died end of 2013 – his son finished
that book and has since written one more. Looking
him up on the ‘net’, turns out the son is also an
author and will be using all his father’s notes to
continue the craft – good man! His dad wrote a
total of 19 books (I still have a good 11 or so to
read) – great writer if you’re into murder/mystery
in a hospital setting (his Dad was a Doctor for 20
years and used his experience in his books).

Gotta get off here and get ready for Knit Night –
we have two new ladies coming tonight!



and a few days later . . .


Since last I posted we’ve gone through my 68th birthday Saturday and Fathers Day yesterday – both were pretty quiet. For dinner Saturday I asked for Jet’s deep-dish veggie pizza – husband got 2 and Greek salad, so we were stuffed. Yesterday oldest son dropped by with a 24-bottle case of the ORIGINAL Mountain Dew in glass bottles – for his dad (who will drink nothing else  – great idea/present!).  I’m now 68 and still in good health & looking forward to this coming weekend for Log Cabin Days when I’ll be knitting from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., answering lots of peoples questions about knitting/crochet and enjoying myself outside.


Mandarin Orange Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. oil
4 eggs
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges
with liquid

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients in a bowl; beat
3-4 minutes. Spray 3 round cake
pans with nonstick spray & pour
cake batter into pans. Bake 25-30

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in it’s own juice
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (13 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Mix dry pudding mix & pineapple
together; fold in Cool Whip & frost
one layer at a time then frost top &
sides. Refrigerate.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Bacon Ranch Cabbage

1 bag precut cabbage mix
1/2 lb. cooked bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 envelope dry Ranch seasoning mix
2 T. olive oil

Cook bacon – remove from pan. Cook
& caramelize onions in bacon grease
& 2 T. olive oil. Add cabbage & cook
down; add Ranch dressing mix & bacon;
continue cooking down to desired

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Garden Vegetable/Brown Rice Casserole

1 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. zucchini, shredded (skin on)
(2 small zucchini)
2 C. carrots, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil, chopped
1 T. dried summer savory
1 1/2 C. brown rice, cooked
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with nonstick
spray. Place large skillet over medium-high
heat; add olive oil, onion & bell pepper –
cook about 4 minutes until veggies begin
to soften. Add garlic & cook 1 more minute.
Add shredded carrots, zucchini & salt – cook
5 minutes until carrots begin to soften; remove
from heat & add basil, summer savory, rice,
Parm. & Cheddar cheeses – stir to combine
then allow to cool slightly. Stir in beaten
eggs until thoroughly combined then transfer
to baking dish. Lay tomato halves across top
then push down slightly into casserole.
Sprinkle top lightly with salt/pepper then
grated Parm. cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes
until center is hot. Remove from oven &
place under broiler a few seconds to brown
top. Serve hot. Serves 6-8


Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad

1 C. ranch salad dressing
2 T. taco seasoning mix (hot or mild)

3 C. cooked chicken, cooled/diced
4 C. chopped romaine lettuce,
about 1 head
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded/diced
1 C. corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
4-5 green onions, sliced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
4 oz. sharp Cheddar or Pepper Jack
cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1 C. crushed tortilla chips

(Optional toppings)
diced jalapeno pepper
toasted pumpkin seeds
diced avocado

In large bowl stir all ingredients
for dressing – refrigerate until
ready to serve.
In large bowl toss all salad ingredients
together; add dressing a little at a time,
then toss until lightly coated. Season
with salt/pepper, to taste – serve
immediately. Serves 8


Grilled Peaches with Ricotta

1 T. honey
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. Ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 lb. fresh peaches, halved/cored
1/3 C. pistachios, chopped
(optional garnish)
fresh berries – garnish
freshly chopped mint – garnish

Combine honey, vanilla, Ricotta &
cinnamon in medium bowl; whip
together using fork or whisk. Combine
honey & butter in medium sauce pan
over medium heat; stir until melted
& combined then brush over peaches.
Grill – cut sides down (do not turn)
3-4 minutes until grill marks form.
Remove from grill & top with ricotta
mixture. Use optional garnishes, if
desired. Serves 4


Pizza Sliders

12 (connected) dinner rolls
1 C. pizza sauce
1/2 thin deli-slices mozzarella cheese
24 deli slices sandwich pepperoni
4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked/
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 T. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Slice rolls horizontally (keeping
them connected) & place bottoms in
pan. Spoon pizza sauce onto bottoms &
spread out evenly. Add 6 slices mozz.
cheese to cover sauce, layer with 12
slices pepperoni; top with chopped
bacon. Add remaining 6 slices  mozz.
cheese, followed by 12 slices pepperoni.
Place roll tops on top of pepperoni.
Whisk melted butter, garlic & onion
powders, oregano & chili flakes –
pour evenly over top of rolls. Cover
with foil & let stand 10 minutes.
Bake 10 min. with foil on. Remove
from oven & serve. Makes 12

(recipe: sugarandsoulco.)

Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

Add all ingredients to crockpot; stir
well to combine. Cover & cook on
High 3 hours (or Low 6 hours) –
LONGER if chicken is frozen. Once
chicken is fully cooked, drain off
any excess liquid. Using a fork, shred
chicken. Serve meat in tortillas or
taco shells with your favorite toppings.
Serves 6


Chocolate Root Beer Cake

1 box Devil’s food cake mix
1 can root beer, divided
1 1/2 tsp. root beer extract, divided
2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine cake mix, 3/4 C. root
beer & 1 tsp. root beer extract;
mix well & pour into prepared
pan. Bake accordg. to pkg.
directions then remove from
oven to cool completely. While
cake is cooling, combine powdered
sugar & 1/2 tsp. root beer extract.
Mix some then add root beer,
1 T. at a time until frosting is
smooth & will easily pour over
cooled cake. Pour over cooled
cake & let frosting set up before



Finally found a pair of sandals I liked – went to;
they even had a ‘first time order’ discount so that made me

Slowly sorting out what yarn/needles I’ll be taking to
Log Cabin Days – it’s such a fun day (tiring, but fun) –
lots of enthusiastic people who are there (like me
and my group) representing life in the late 1800’s/
early 1900’s. There are the 1800’s Muzzle Loaders
(who love shooting off their guns over the lake –
REALLY LOUD!); 2 ladies who bring their spinning
wheels & spin wool into yarn, wood carvers/turners;
a Alpaca farmer who brings 2 alpaca to see;
the Sisters of the Union (2 ladies who set up their own
tents, bring food to cook, work on crafts like making
candles, knitting, etc.; a small group of people who
still do the very old art of Tatting; plus a really
excellent local orchestra and a great Barbershop
group (more than a quartet) – lots to see and do
Oh! plus my group!

Not much going on this week – grandson will be
on vacation with his  mom to Pennsylvania so
I’m free of babysitting until June 30th.

Hope your day is going just as you’d planned –
enjoy this weather! It’s been in the high 80’s
the past few days  – sure hope it cools off for
the weekend! (Not like LAST YEAR when I FROZE
the first day of Log Cabin – it was very windy,
rainy and in the 40’s!).



Wednesday Wonderings


Nice, quiet day so far – finally turned on the air conditioning because it was getting stuffy in the house. The ‘guys’ are all gone for awhile, each to their separate event (Husband got to attend his class reunion – he loves going) – I had a nice time getting a few things done, straightening up one corner of the ‘computer/husband’s MAN LAND’ room (it’s too awkward to do while he’s IN it – and he’s ALWAYS in it) so I’m happy it’s a little neater.

Last night was my knit group’s Knit/Movie night and we had 10 come – good food/good movie. I rented a movie I’d only seen the preview to: Mom’s Night Out” and it turned out to be a big hit – funny with a really good message (basically if you’re a Mom you HAVE a great job and lots of people depend on you, don’t give up!).

Finally got a call from the appliance people – the part will come in Thursday, so they’re coming between 11 – 5 p.m. FRIDAY to FIX MY WASHER!(would like it sooner, but … sigh) The boys are going crazy because they can’t wash their clothes (of course I suggested them going to a laundromat, but they wouldn’t want to spend real MONEY, would they!) . . . sigh . . .


Pudding Cookies
(makes 32)

1 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. sugar
1 (3.12 oz) pkg. vanilla pudding mix
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips, semisweet,
divided (or any you might prefer)
3/4 C. sprinkles, divided
1 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper. In bowl using elec. mixer, cream
butter & sugars until light & fluffy. Add
pudding mix, eggs & vanilla, mix until
combined. In medium bowl whisk flour,
baking soda & salt; add in flour mixture
to pudding mixture in 3 parts, mixing
just until combined. Stir in 1 1/4 C.
chocolate chips & 1/2 C. sprinkles until
combined. Using small cookie scoop,
place cookie scoops on prepared sheet.
Bake 8-9 minutes until just set (they
may look under cooked, but that’s OK).
Immediately add remaining  chocolate
chips, sprinkles & sea salt to tops of
cookies. Let cool on sheet at least
5 minutes then remove to cooling
rack. Makes 32 cookies

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Tomato/Mozzarella/Avocado Salad

4 ripe tomatoes, cubed
3 (4 oz) balls fresh mozzarella
cheese, cubed
2 avocados, peeled/pitted/cubed
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. white sugar
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Lightly toss tomato, mozz & avocado
cubes in large bowl. Mix bals. vinegar,
red wine vinegar, basil, sugar, salt/pepper
in separate bowl. Pour dressing over salad
& mix to coat.


Bacon-baked Chicken & Potatoes

2 lb. bone-in chicken thighs or breasts
8 potatoes, cut into wedges
1 C. crispy-cooked bacon, crumbled
1/3 C. olive oil
2 T. garlic powder
1 T. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in
an even layer in dish & season
with salt/pepper. Season both
sides of chicken generously with
salt/pepper. In small bowl whisk
together garlic powder, paprika
& cayenne – dredge each piece of
chicken in mixture. Heat 2-3 T.
olive oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat & brown chicken on all
sides – transfer to prepared dish &
place on top of potatoes. Whisk
remaining olive oil into spice
mixture & mix until smooth; drizzle
over browned chicken & potatoes &
top with bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes
until chicken is completely cooked
through & potatoes are tender. Remove
from oven & let stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 8


Turkey Meatball Skillet

1/4 C. plus 2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
1 C. breadcrumbs
1 large egg
3 T. chopped fresh parsley,
plus more for garnish
1 C. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In large pot over Low heat, heat
1/4 C. oil; add half of garlic & all
rosemary. Stir until fragrant (making
sure it doesn’t burn) 1 minute. Add
crushed tomatoes & season with salt/
pepper. Let simmer while making

In large bowl combine gr. turkey, bread-
crumbs, egg, remaining garlic & parsley;
season with salt/pepper. Roll mixture
into meatballs.

In large skillet over medium-high heat,
heat remaining 2 T. oil. Add meatballs &
brown, moving occasionally so they don’t
stick, about 5 minutes. Ladle sauce into
skillet & over meatballs; top with cheese
& bake until meatballs are cooked through,
10 minutes more. Garnish with parsley &
serve. Serves 4


Creamy Ranch Chicken (crockpot)

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
or breast
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing/
seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. finely diced sweet red bell pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Mix soup & dry ranch dressing mix together
in crockpot. Gradually add water, stirring
so it doesn’t get lumpy. Stir in red pepper;
add chicken, cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 3-5 hours. About half hour before
cooking time is done, add cream cheese cubes
& Parm. cheese. Cover & continue cooking about
30 minutes more. Stir well so cream cheese is
well blended into sauce. Serves 4-6


Cheesy Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip

2 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. dry white wine
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
2 T. chopped fresh parsley,
plus more for garnish
1/2 lb. medium peeled/deveined
shrimp, defrosted
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 C. shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

sliced baguette, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat melt
butter. Add garlic & cook 1-2 minutes.
Add wine, lemon juice, parsley & shrimp.
Season with salt/pepper & cook until
shrimp are no longer opaque & wine is
reduced, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to
cutting board & finely chop shrimp.
Add ingredients to large bowl with
ricotta, Cheddar & Parmesan cheeses;
stir to combine. Transfer to greased
baking dish & bake 15 minutes. Place
under broiler 3 minutes, if you prefer
a darker top. Garnish with parsley &
serve with bread. Serves 4


Strawberry Bread

2 C. fresh strawberries
3 1/8 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour two 9 X 5″ loaf
pans. Slice strawberries & place
in medium bowl; sprinkle lightly
with sugar. Combine flour, sugar,
cinnamon, salt & baking soda in
large bowl; mix well. Blend oil &
eggs into strawberries – add
strawberry mixture to flour
mixture, blending until dry
ingredients are just moistened.
Stir in pecans & divide batter into
pans. Bake 45-50 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into loaves
comes out clean (test each loaf).
Let cool in pans on wire rack 10
minutes; turn loaves out of pans
& allow to cool before slicing.



Weather-wise we’re supposed to be getting
thunderstorms this afternoon/evening and
on into tomorrow – so far it’s just gray out
with temps around 77 degrees F. Tonight is
my special needs group so I’m really hoping
the thunder/lightening holds off until after
8:15 p.m. when we adjourn (those things
really scare the kids and it can be a bit difficult
getting them calmed down when that happens.)
Yes, they are all adults (ages range from 20’s
all the way up to around 65 – mentally from
about 4/5 yrs. old to ‘you wouldn’t know they
have mental issues if you didn’t spend time
with them’).

Nothing much new – still working on both
baby blankets. The “pink squares” one
I have to knit 6 pink squares, 10 plain ones
and 2 white “X” in the middle squares –
working on pink #5 now – all the rest are
still ‘to come’.

Enjoy your day – remember to smile a little!



Happy Monday!


Another bright, sunny day out there – it’s only 9:16 a.m. but looks like it’s going to be a very nice SUMMERY day! Predicted high 76 – now tomorrow and into the next few days we’re supposed to get thunderstorms; guess that means I’d better get any errands done today, right? Need to stop at Family Video and rent the movie:”Mom’s Night Out” for the Knit/Movie night tomorrow (never saw it but it sounded like a good ‘chick flick’ for us).

Went to a nice after evening church graduation party for a friends daughter who just got her M.D. – she’s got at least 3 more years college to go (she just got accepted at HARVARD, no less!) – she’s going to be a Criminal Pathologist! She’s always been a very smart young lady who conquered any goal she set out for: Black Belt in Karate, top honors in Med school, etc. so I was super happy to go to her party. Lots of great food – really cute decorating theme: the tables each had one of her medical/college books on it with a chemistry beaker with flowers in it! She had two ‘life sized’ plastic skeletons arranged, standing up, at the head of the food table – one had a paper plate in it’s hand and the other had a sign saying: “Don’t forget to grab a plate!” Fun evening!

I chatted with our choir director last night at practice and asked him, if it would be possible, could we sing (my favorite) “The King of Love My Shepherd is” NEXT Sunday? Our choir will be taking the next few months off for the Summer and we only have 2 more songs to sing. I will be gone the last Sunday for Log Cabin Days and REALLY wanted to be able to sing that song. We’ve been practicing it for almost 3 months now (for some reason the guys sections seem to have trouble with the timing in several sections) – it’s not an easy song, but the words are SO powerful and the musical arrangement is really beautiful (it’s almost like Psalm 23 set to music – almost, but not quite). I was SO happy when the choir director said: “I think we can do that!” YAY! Little requests – happy results! (below is a link to a ‘version’ of the song – not exactly the version we’re singing but close)


LOTS of great recipes for Father’s Day – thought I’d start early so you can maybe find some you like!


Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 T. butter
6 peanut butter cups, coarsely
chopped (or more, if you like more)*

Butter bottom of an 8″ X 8″ pan
& line with parchment paper.
Place milk, butter & chips in a
glass bowl & microwave 1 minute
at 70% power. Stir until smooth, adding
15 seconds at a time more microwaving
if not smooth. Add frozen peanut butter
cups & immediately pour into pan. Freeze
10 minutes then refrigerate several hours.
Cut into squares & serve.

*NOTE: freeze peanut butter cups prior
to making the fudge so they don’t just
melt (cups will not be melted into fudge)


Dad’s Greek Salad

4 large tomatoes, seeded/coarsely
2 1/2 C. (about 6) thinly sliced English
1 small red onion, halved/thinly sliced
1/4 C. olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano, (optional)
3/4 C. pitted Greek olives
3/4 C. (3 oz) crumbed Feta cheese

Place tomatoes, cucumbers & onion
in large bowl. In small bowl whisk oil,
vinegar, salt/pepper and oregano until
blended; drizzle over salad & toss to
coat. Top with olives & cheese. Serves 8

BBQ Picnic Chicken GRILL

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. butter
1 C. ketchup
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. chili sauce
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. celery seed
1 T. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
2 broiler/fryer chickens (3 1/2 –
4 lb. each), quartered

In large saucepan saute garlic in
butter until tender; add next 8
ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat.
Grill chicken, covered, over medium
heat 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Baste with sauce & grill 15 minutes
longer or until a meat thermometer
reads 170 degrees F., basting &
turning several times. Makes 8 servings


Dad’s Baked Beans

3 (15.5 oz, ea) cans great
northern beans, rinsed/drained
5 hot dogs, sliced
1 1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 T. molasses
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In ungreased 2 qt. baking dish
combine all ingredients. Cover &
bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours until heated
through. Serves 8


Big Daddy’s BBQ Ribs

3/4 brown sugar, packed
2 T. mesquite seasoning
4 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 T. dried minced onion
1 T. seasoned salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. cumin
1 T. pepper
1 tsp. salt
8 lb. pork spareribs, cut into
serving sized pieces
3 1/2 C. BBQ sauce

In small bowl combine first 10
ingredients; rub over ribs, cover
with foil, refrigerate overnight

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place ribs, bone side down on a
rack in shallow roasting pan. Cover
& bake 1 hour; drain. Brush some
of BBQ sauce over ribs. Bake,
uncovered, 30-45 minutes until
tender, basting occasionally with
sauce. Serves 8


Crockpot Beef Short Ribs

1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 1/2 lb. boneless beef short ribs
1/4 C. butter
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. beef broth
3/4 C. red wine vinegar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. chili sauce
2 T. catsup
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. chili powder

Place flour, salt/pepper in a ziplock
bag – add ribs & shake to coat. Brown
ribs in butter in large skillet then place
in crockpot. In same skillet combine
remaining ingredients – bring to boil,
stirring, then pour over ribs. Cover &
cook on Low 9 hours. Serves 6

Jalapeno Cheese Corn Muffins

1 C. + 2 T. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. buttermilk*
1/2 C. oil
2 eggs
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
2-3 small jalapenos

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine flour,
cornmeal, sugar, baking soda &
salt – stir with a fork. In large 2-cup
measuring cup pour buttermilk, oil
& eggs – whisk until well combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry & stir
a few times using a wooden spoon
(do not overmix) – 2-3 times. Chop
jalapenos (remove seeds). Add
cheese & jalapenos to muffin batter;
stir just until there are no more streaks
of flour. Line muffin tin with paper liners &
spray liners with nonstick spray. Bake
12-15 minutes until tops spring back
when lightly tapped. Remove from
oven & allow to set 5 minutes, then


3 Cheese Pasta Bake

1 (16 oz) pkg. ziti pasta
2 (10 oz, ea) jars alfredo sauce
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
1 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & pour back into pot.
In large bowl combine alfredo sauce &
sour cream; add cooked pasta & toss to
coat. Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & spoon half of pasta
into prepared dish. In separate bowl
stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parm.
cheese & most of parsley. Spread mixture
evenly over pasta & spoon remaining
pasta on top. Sprinkle top with Mozz.
cheese & a little chopped parsley.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Serves 6-8

Not Fried Ice Cream Cake
(overnight recipe)

1 1/2 C. cornflake crumbs
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 (1.5 quart, ea) containers butter
pecan ice cream, softened/divided

Optional Toppings:
caramel or chocolate sauce
whipped cream
maraschino cherries

In small bowl combine cornflake crumbs,
sugar, melted butter & cinnamon; press
into lightly greased 9 inch spring form pan.
Spoon half of softened ice cream over crust
& level the top. Sprinkle with remaining
crumb mixture. Cover & freeze 1-2 hours
until firm. Top with remaining carton of
ice cream; cover & freeze at least 6 hours
or overnight.

Let cake stand at room temp. 5 minutes before
removing the sides of the pan. Serve with
optional toppings, if desired. Serves 12



Hope you have a great day ahead!




Welcome to SUMMER!


The sun is shining brightly (very little breeze) and we’re supposed to get up to 90 degrees F. today! I was out in it earlier – trip to library, Krogers & Gordon Food Service and am happily ensconced in my nice air-conditioned house writing to you!

Was a bit shocked to see that our gas prices are up, again: $2.75/9 (last time I checked they were in the $2.50 range – sigh).

While shopping I was ‘thinking’ about buying some pork spare ribs – saw a BIG package of them for $101.00!!! (now that I think about it – I believe they were beef, not pork – but really – WHO has that kind of money to buy those??? . . . guessing, obviously SOMEBODY does or they wouldn’t have them for sale, right?) Whew! Now THAT’S what I call Sticker Shock! Our local Krogers is going through an entire store re-do which makes shopping almost twice as long as you attempt to find items you ‘used’ to know where they were! I ran around many aisles just trying to find cookies, paper towels and dried cranberries (yes, I know – weird assortment, but hey! we needed them!). Finally found the cookie aisle moved WAY up by the checkout – sigh (will have to remember that for future reference). While they are doing this re-model they moved SOME of the fruits to the very front of the store (where ALL of the produce used to be) . . . mind you, LAST week they had the fresh fruits (strawberries/blueberries/blackberries, etc) up front. Today they moved the entire BAKERY to that area! Go figure! I just sort of thought: “Check off that area as I’m never going there again!” Sigh…they moved the bread/buns aisle by the veggies/produce – WHY? What kind of logic is THAT? Their logic is way beyond me . . . I know when Meijers first opened they offered customers maps on sheets of paper so you could FIND what you were looking for – think I might just send a suggestion to for that very thing. I saw a LOT of frustrated customers attempting to find what they USED to buy and KNEW where it was. Change – I’m not one for much of that…


No-Bake Peach Chiffon Pie

1/4 C. water
1 pkg. peach Jell-O
2 (6 oz, ea) tubs peach yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. peaches or oranges, diced
6 peach slices, for garnish
1 graham cracker pie crust

Mix water & Jell-O in glass bowl
& microwave on High 1 minute.
Whisk in yogurt & Cool Whip; stir
in diced peaches then pour into
crust. Refrigerate until set. Top
with peach slices before serving.
Serves 6


Crockpot Honey Buffalo Turkey Breast

1 (3 lb) turkey breast, bone in, skin on
1 C. Franks Red Hot (original)
1/4 C. honey
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. melted butter

Place turkey breast in crockpot. In
small bowl combine Frank’s Hot sauce,
honey & pepper – stir until smooth. Pour
half of sauce over turkey (save remaining
sauce in fridge). Cover & cook on Low 5
hours. Heat remaining sauce in microwave
until warmed. Remove turkey breast &
remove skin & bone. Slice & serve with
warmed sauce. Serves 6


 Garlic Butter Salmon

5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan (plus
more for serving)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 T. melted butter
kosher salt
3 zucchini, cut into half moons
2 T. olive oil
4 (6 oz, ea) salmon fillets
ground black pepper
torn fresh parsley (garnish)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix garlic, Parm.
cheese, Italian seasoning & melted
butter – season with salt.
Parchment Packets:
Cut four sheets of parchment; place
1/4 of zucchini in middle & drizzle
with 1/2 T. olive oil. Place salmon
on top & brush with garlic butter
marinade; season with pepper.
Bring two sheets together & fold
down over salmon then tightly roll up
sides-repeat until you have four packs.
Place packs on a baking sheet & bake
15 minutes, until salmon is cooked
through. Open packs, garnish with
parsley & Parmesan cheese. Serves 4


5 Gallon Party Punch

5 gallon drink dispense
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade
1 (12 oz) can frozen orange juice
1 (12 oz) can frozen pink
lemonade concentrate
1 (46 oz) can pineapple juice
4-6 pkgs. Peach Mango Kool-Aid
4 C. sugar
3-4 pkgs. Orange Crystal Light
1 (regular size) pkg. ice
2 (2 liter, ea) bottles Sprite or 7-Up

In bottom of drink dispenser place
frozen lemonade, frozen orange
juice, frozen pink lemonade, Kool-Aid,
4 C. sugar, pineapple juice & 3 pkgs.
Crystal Light. Pour 1 pitcher full of
water over top & stir well, allowing
frozen concentrates to melt &
incorporate. Add ice – stir to combine.
Add enough water to fill to 4-gallon
marker (on inside of dispenser) or
until there are about 5 inches of space
remaining in container. Add Sprite or
7 UP & stir well. Taste & add another
pkg. of either Kool Aid or Crystal Lite
if it’s not a potent as you would like.
Cover container & serve.


Zucchini Cheddar Puff Casserole

2 lb. zucchini or yellow squash (sliced
1/4″ thick) 7 Cups
1 C. sour cream
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 egg whites
4 T. seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In medium saucepan cook squash,
covered, in a small amount of water
3-5 minutes. Drain well & spread evenly
prepared dish. In a bowl, combine sour
cream, egg yolk, flour, onion, salt/pepper;
stir in cheese. In another bowl beat egg
whites until fluffy, stiff peaks form; fold
into sour cream mixture – spoon onto
squash in dish. Mix bread crumbs & butter
& sprinkle over top. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Serves 4-6


Pork Chop Casserole with Rice

1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 (1-inch thick) boneless pork chops
2 T. vegetable oil, divided
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (about 2 C)
1 C. finely chopped onion
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (10.5 oz) can golden mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. rice mix*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Place flour,
salt/pepper into zip-lock bag & shake
to mix. Add chops & shake to lightly
coat. In large heavy skillet (big enough
to hold all of chops) heat 1 T. oil over
medium-high heat until oil shimmers.
Add chops & brown about 3 minutes
on each side until golden brown. Remove
from pan to a plate & add remaining oil
to pan; saute onions & mushrooms until
onions are translucent & mushrooms begin
to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with
additional salt/pepper & fresh basil. In a
bowl, mix broth & soup until well
combined – microwave 2 minutes on
High until hot. Place rice in baking dish &
pour soup mixture over. Arrange chops on
top & spoon mushroom mixture over &
around chops. Cover with foil & bake 45
minutes until rice is tender & has absorbed
most of liquid. If there is too much liquid,
remove foil & return to oven, uncovered,
10 minutes. Serves 4

*Any type of rice will work but poster
prefers a mixture of long grain & wild
rice for color/flavor/nutritional value


Creamy Dill Corn-on-the-Cob

4 ears corn
1 C. whipping cream
1/4 C. fresh dill, chopped
2 T. butter, melted
1/4 C. water
salt, to taste

Chop each ear of corn into 3 sections &
place in crockpot. Combine melted
butter & water together & pour over
corn. Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 hours
or Low 3 hours. In a bowl combine
cream & dill; mix well. When corn is
cooked, pour cream/dill over corn-
stir cobs around to coat completely.
When serving, sprinkle with salt, to


Garden Pea Salad

2 cans very young early peas, drained
very well
1/4 C. chopped onion
2 hard boiled eggs, crumbled
2-3 T. mayonnaise
chopped pimento (optional)

Place peas, onions, eggs & mayo
in large bowl & stir to combine.
Season to taste, add pimento,
if using.

(recipe: Paula Dean)

Mozzarella Stick Onion Rings

2 large white onions
3-4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 C. flour
5 eggs
2 C. bread crumbs
oil, for frying

marinara sauce – for dipping

Peel & cut onions into rings, then
separate rings. Slice cheese into 4
even strips & place a smaller onion
ring in center of a larger one. Fill the
gap between the rings with strips of
cheese – repeat with remaining rings/
cheese & freeze them 1 hour.
Place flour, eggs & bread crumbs in three
separate shallow dishes (pie plates work
well). Dip each frozen ring into flour, then
egg, then breadcrumbs then back into egg
and one last time into breadcrumbs. Repeat
with remaining rings.
Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Fry rings
until golden brown, being careful not to fry
them too long as cheese may ooze out
completely. Drain rings on paper towels &
serve with marinara. Makes 9-12 rings


Frozen Desert Treat

1 large box strawberry Jell-O
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
1 (15 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 – 1 C. chopped nuts, optional

Mix all ingredients together in a large
bowl; pour into 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Place in freezer for a few hours or

(recipe: Vicki Suddaby-Facebook)


On the subject of ‘change’ – I have never been
one to have patience when it comes to learning
something new (well – except in the area of
crafts) . . . today I was perusing the Kroger ad
for groceries and noticed they had devoted the
entire inside/center pages to a ‘new’ thing: a
Kroger coupon “app”. I mentioned it to middle
son (who LOVES delving into anything techie)
and he said: “Oh, yeah Mom – that’s real easy!”
I (of course) ask for his help and he gets me almost
set up – (I had to go to the ‘app’ store on my phone
and set up an account there & get that synced
with my Kroger account. THEN you’re supposed
to click on the coupons you want to use that
day and when you’re in the checkout – you
show the cashier your phone ‘app’ and it
automatically applies those coupons to your
account – DIDN’T THEIR OLD system do that
just using your Kroger card? GOOFY! I did a few
coupons-to-phone then thought about it: I am
NOT one to remember WHICH coupons I loaded
onto the phone LET ALONE remember to go TO
the app. & then show it – FORGET IT! Yep, I’ll
admit it – I’m TOO OLD for this stuff! I’ll just be
coupons, thank you! (You can now officially
call me an “OLD FOGIE’! (sp?) For the few cents
I’d save using my phone app – I’ll just pass,
thank you.

Hope you’re having a GOOD, STRESS-FREE day!