and now for MORE FUN! (not . . .)


In our lives, sometimes, come unexpected ‘strange’ things happening. Let me explain: about 4 days ago I had heated food in the microwave and noticed a tiny bit of a ‘smell’ – didn’t think much of it (I was heating up stir-fry). Husband came into kitchen a little later, heated up something in microwave and called me to verify he was smelling something like electrical burning  around the microwave. Here we both were, sniffing the air all over the kitchen. We live in an old house (circa 1920’s) with very old electrical wiring. Long story (kinda) short: husband suspected the wall plug – went out & purchased a new one. During this time he issued the edict that we were NOT to use the microwave OR toaster oven or anything on that circuit until it was repaired. OK – fine, I thought – not knowing it would take him 2 days to get around to fixing it – sigh. Yesterday, he decided, was ‘the’ day to do the repair. Let’s just say it took 1 1/2 HOURS to get it done. He bought a replacement plug with the little circuit breaker in it – after MUCH going up & down stairs to & from the circuit breaker, turns out he decided to READ THE DIRECTIONS! It seems the company ships the little bugger in the “TRIPPED” position – that meant nothing to me, but apparently did to my husband – THEN he was able to get it to work! YAY! During all the ‘fun’ I decided I would do a load of laundry – got it running & went about my business. Later I thought: “I didn’t hear the buzzer go off” which signals the end of the load – went down to check … washer is full of water & clothes – WHAT? Re-set it (thinking it might have been due to the circuit breakers being turned off several times) and went on with my business. About an hour later decided to go throw the clothes in the dryer – open the washer . . . SAME THING, AGAIN! Washer full of dirty water & clothes – same spot on the dial! WHAT??? OK – I’ll jump to today: the washer repair guy is coming in about an hour – husband suspects it’s either the switch in the lid OR the dial – washer won’t go to SPIN cycle – we’ll see. AH, the F-U-N! (NOT!)


Strawberries & Cream Bars

1 C. salted butter, room temp.*
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. white chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2 C. fresh chopped strawberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 7 X 11″ baking dish with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. In bowl of
stand mixer, mix butter, sugar & vanilla
on medium speed 2 minutes. Turn speed
to Low & add flour, mixing until dough
just comes together. Press dough into
prepared pan & bake 30 minutes until
edges are slightly golden brown; remove
from oven & let bars cool completely.

In bowl of stand mixer beat cream cheese
on medium speed until smooth. Slowly beat
in melted white chocolate & mix on medium
speed until smooth & incorporated evenly.
Spread cream cheese mixture on top of
cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge
up to 2 days. Makes 16 bars.

When ready to serve:
Spread chopped strawberries evenly on top
of cream cheese layer; cut into squares & serve.

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp. salt to


Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip

1 C. chopped artichoke hearts,
canned or frozen/thawed, or 4
fresh artichokes*
1/2 C. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed, squeezed dry
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 T. sour cream
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
ground black pepper, to taste

sliced toasted pita
sliced toasted French bread or

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat cream cheese in small bowl in
microwave on High 30 seconds; add
sour cream – stir well. Add spinach &
artichoke hearts, Parm. cheese, salt,
garlic & onion powders & pepper –
stir well. Spray a casserole dish with
nonstick spray & pour mixture into
dish; top with mozz. cheese & sprinkle
top with paprika. Bake 25-30 minutes
until cheese is golden & dip is bubbly.
Serves 8

*If using fresh artichokes, trim ends,
clean them & boil spinach & artichoke
hearts in 1 C. water in small saucepan
over medium heat until tender, about
10 minutes. Drain in colander when done.


Bacon Onion Foil Packet Potatoes
(grill or oven)

2-3 sheets heavy-duty foil
1 dry packet onion soup mix
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion
12 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. cheese (optional)
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. butter

sour cream – for serving (optional)

Preheat grill
Spray each sheet of foil with nonstick
spray. Place equal portions potatoes,
bacon/onion, onion soup mix in
middle of each sheet. Salt/pepper, to
taste & add 1 T. butter to each – wrap
securely. Grill packets 20-30 minutes
& let stand 10 minutes before opening &

Oven method:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare packets as above & bake
35 minutes until done. Let stand 10
minutes before opening & serving. Serve
with sour cream, if desired.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Tuscan Tortellini Salad

1 lb. cheese tortellini, fresh
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
fresh ground black pepper
4 slices prosciutto, chopped
1/2 C. baby spinach
1/2 C. sun-dried tomato, chopped
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded

In large pot of salted boiling water, cook
tortellini accordg. to pkg. directions.
Drain & transfer to large serving bowl.
Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt/
pepper. Add prosciutto, spinach, sun-
dried tomatoes & dressing to bowl &
toss until well combined. Garnish with
shredded Parmesan. Serves 8


Creamy Chicken & Roasted Red
Pepper Pasta

1 lb. bowtie pasta (or any kind)
1 1/2 lb. cooked chicken, sliced or cubed
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T. butter
1 C. Half & Half, room temp.
1 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers,
1 C. mozzarella, shredded

Optional: chopped parsley and/or
basil for serving

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium
heat & cook onion & garlic until soft.
Whisk in Half & Half & chicken broth;
stir in salt & mozzarella. Lower heat
to keep sauce from boiling. Add
chicken & red pepper slices to sauce;
stir frequently & keep an eye on heat
so it doesn’t boil. Drain cooked pasta
& stir together with sauce. Add
chopped parsley and/or basil, if
desired, when serving. Serves 4-5


Velvet Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. butter
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. cream

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add chops & salt/pepper tops
of them. Cook until browned, flip & salt/
pepper, again. Cook until second side is
brown. Pour in broth; reduce heat to
medium & cook until broth is mostly
evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove
chops from pan; turn off heat but leave
pan on stove. Using a wooden spoon to
stir, pour cream into pan & immediately
start stirring – continue until pan
remnants are fully blended in with
cream & cream is warm & thick. Serve
sauce over chops. Serves 4


Old-Fashioned Jam Bars

1 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. finely chopped almonds
1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 – 3/4 C. peach preserves
(or your favorite jam)
1/2 C. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 c. flour
1/4 C. finely chopped almonds
1/2 tsp. almond extract
pinch salt

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 -2 tsp. milk
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter & sugar in bowl; add
flour, chopped almonds & extract –
mix well (batter will be thick &
crumbly). Cover bottom & sides
of 8 X 8″ baking dish with 2 pieces
of parchment paper cut to fit width
but leaving a slight overhanging
at edges. Spread crust dough into pan
& pat down & up edges using your
finger tips. Bake 10 minutes; remove
from oven & immediately spread 1/2 -3/4
C. preserves/jam over hot crust.

Cream butter & sugar together, beat on
medium speed 2 minutes. Add eggs &
extract – beat 2 more minutes. Mix in
flour & chopped almonds, beating on
Low speed until light & fluffy, 3 minutes.
Drop batter by tablespoonful over top
of preserves/jam in dish. Using the back
of a spoon, carefully spread batter out to
edges of pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until
top is golden brown – remove from oven
& cool completely before cutting.
Once cool, cut into 16 squares.
Mix all glaze ingredients using a whisk
until smooth – drizzle over tops of cooled
bars. Allow glaze to set before serving
Makes 16 bars.



The weather is good: in the low 70’s & sunny;
according to our local weather forecast it’s
supposed to get up to 88 on Saturday – that
will be nice for all the people having graduation
parties or garage sales!

Not much else going on at the moment – one of
my knit group ladies gave me a suggestion on the
recent baby blanket (pink diagonal squares from
last post) – they suggested, since it takes quiet a
long time to knit just one of those squares, that
I make the alternate white squares just the plain
diagonal knit instead of doing the fancy ‘diagonal
stitches through the middle’ – THAT makes sense!
The regular diagonal squares are a very fast knit-
it’s only knitting (with yarn overs) through out!
I’m currently on pink square #4 – I have enough
yarn to do at least 8 more, but don’t think I’m
going to make the blanket THAT big (each square
measures 8″ X 8″).

Hope your day is going the way you want –
enjoy some of the sunshine while you can –
(remember last winter WISHING for sunshine? –
I DO!)




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Gremlins in the electrical is no fun. 😉

  2. Bless your heart it was not a good ‘power day’ for you. i hope things get better soon.

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