Nice, QUIET Day!


It’s a SUNNY DAY! (I LOVE Susan Boynton’s illustrations!)

Yesterday found me picking wild blackberries with our grandson – it’s become a ‘tradition’ here, his Dad & Uncles all did it when they were young and now he’s carrying on the fun. We both got a few ‘pokes’ from the pickers but he was able to eat a large bowl of them with Cool Whip AND take home almost a quart, for later. There’s lots more berries out there and I’m sure we’ll be back picking when he comes on Monday. I had totally forgotten what a young boy going through a ‘Growth Spurt’ was like – MAN, that kid can EAT! He started out with a slice of bread/peanut butter & jelly – few minutes later asked for 2 slices of bread/butter/cinnamon & sugar. About half hour later a hot dog followed by some grapes – then 2 more slices bread/cinnamon & sugar. I kept asking him if he wanted more substantial food but he seemed happy with just bread/cinnamon! I know there was more food during the day, plus blackberries. His Dad said he’s totally outgrown all his long pants by a good 2-4 inches; I’m guessing he’s going to be pretty tall when fully grown, his dad is 6 ft something and his mom is around 5′ 7/8″.



Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Pretzel Crust:
2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. sugar

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Strawberry Topping:
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
1 T. corn starch
1 1/2 T. strawberry flavored Jell-O
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled &

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir crushed pretzels,
butter & sugar until combined. Spray
a 10 inch tart pan with nonstick spray
and press pretzel crust firmly into pan
using the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake 10 minutes & let cool completely.

Cheesecake Layer:
Beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & vanilla – beat until combined
then add Cool Whip & beat until medium
peaks form – spread into cooled crust.

Strawberry Topping:
In small saucepan combine sugar, water &
corn starch – bring to boil. Boil 2 minutes,
whisking constantly (mixture will thicken),
remove from heat. Add Jell-O & whisk
until combined. Arrange strawberries in
single layer all over cream cheese layer
then pour Jell-O mixture over, covering
each berry. Refrigerate until Jell-o is firm,
2 hours. Serves 8


Spicy BBQ Onions (Grill/Oven)

1 (18 oz) bottle BBQ sauce*
2 large yellow onions

Preheat grill to medium heat or
preheat oven 350 degrees F. Thinly
slice onions & place slices in large
bowl. Pour 1/2 bottle of bbq sauce
on onions & mix well. Place each onion
on a separate square of foil; wrap tightly
with foil. Place on grill or in oven for
20-30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Serves 4

*Poster used Kraft Thick ‘n Spicy


Skillet Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes (medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. coconut oil

Peel & cube potatoes; heat a skillet on
medium heat-add oil & potatoes. Cook &
stir frequently about 15 minutes until
tender – do not burn. Add garlic, salt,
cinnamon & parsley – stir repeatedly &
cook another 4 minutes. Stir often & try
not to burn the garlic.
These can also be OVEN ROASTED:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add all ingredients to a roasting pan;
bake 25-35 minutes (time varies according
to how big you cut the potatoes)
Serves 4


BBQ Bacon Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 1/2 – 2 pkgs. thick cut bacon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 T. onion powder (or 1/4 C.
finely chopped onion)
1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line large sheet pan with foil.
Place ground beef, pork sausage, eggs,
bread crumbs, garlic & onion powder
in a bowl – mix thoroughly & roll into
approx. 28 golf ball-sized balls. Make a
hole in center of ball & insert a pinch of
cheese; pinch ball shut & shape back into
a ball. Cut bacon strips in half & wrap a
half around each meatball; place balls on
prepared sheet, bacon seam side down.
Bake 20 minutes on center oven rack.*
At 20 minutes take pan out & drain fat;
brush on BBQ sauce & place back in oven
10 minutes – brush on more sauce. Drain
pan again, if needed. Brush on more sauce &
place back in oven 5 minutes. (If you’re not a
big fan of BBQ sauce, you can skip the third
brushing & just serve sauce on the side.)
Drain any remaining fat & serve.

*You can place meatballs on a wire rack in
the pan – this will keep the meatballs out of
the bacon grease.


Buffalo Chicken Pasta (crockpot)

1 lb. chicken breast, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. hot sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing (or blue cheese)
1 1/2 C. sour cream
3 C. penne pasta

Season chicken with salt/pepper &
place in crockpot. Stir soup, dressing,
hot sauce & pour into crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 4-6 hours (or High
2-3 hours). Stir in cheese & sour
cream. Boil pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & add to crockpot.
Stir well & serve


Chicken Breasts with Garlic &

3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cubed
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. oil
1 T. minced garlic
3 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 T. butter

Pat chicken dry with paper towels &
toss with flour, salt & pepper. Heat oil
in large skillet over high heat. Cook
chicken 3 1/2 minutes, turning
occasionally. Add garlic, parsley &
butter; saute 1 minutes & stir to
coat chicken with pan sauce. Serves 4


Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. long grain white rice
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 T. chopped cilantro

Combine rice, chicken broth, salt
& ground cumin in large saucepan
or skillet. Bring to boil over medium-
high heat. Cover & reduce heat to
medium-low; let simmer 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, keeping lid on.
Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
Remove lid & add lime juice, zest &
chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork
& serve warm. Serves 6


Summer Watermelon/Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. olive oil
3 T. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seeds

1 (5 oz) pkg. baby arugula
1 (2 lb) watermelon, or
roughly 6 C., cubed
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 (6 oz) pkg. feta cheese,
16 basil leaves

Place olive oil, balsamic vinegar,
mustard & honey in bowl of small
food processor; pulse a few times to
emulsify dressing. Add salt & poppy
seeds; stir with spoon & set aside.
Place arugula on a platter, cover with
cucumbers & watermelon; sprinkle
with feta. Slice basil leaves into ribbons &

toss evenly over salad. Drizzle with
dressing & serve. Serves 8



Still working on the knit scarves for military people;
I made two in black (in my opinion – very boring;
I tried using very plain stitches – their suggestion and
I’m not too thrilled with the outcome. I might make
one more before sending them – then I’ll be done with
this ‘extra’ charity project/idea. Found a really simple
knit baby blanket pattern on Facebook – am wanting to
give that a try soon. The ‘pick up’ date for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby shower is August 30th so I still have
time; have 3 of the baby headbands done and one
almost done (I’m thinking a total of 10 on this project).

Tomorrow is our first of two Sunday School picnics –
I finally decided what to make: baked chicken legs &
thighs. I know that might sound strange but last year
at the same picnic we had tons of salads & desserts
and one person brought grilled sausages – that was the
only meat (and they went super fast!). I got up early
today and did my usual ‘multi-stores’ shopping: to the
bank, drugstore, Gordon Foods (large bulk food type
place) then to a small grocery store near me. The
manager at the drugstore was very happy I saved a
total of $33.27 in coupons and store sales (me, too!).
They had 2-liter Mountain Dew for 99 cents! Tide was
on sale for $5.97 (liquid – usually it’s around $8-9 per
bottle) AND I had a Buy 2/1 free coupon, so that
helped. The small store near me had a lot of sales-
chicken legs & thighs 79 cents a lb. so I bought three
packages (not really sure if I can have the time to
COOK all that, but we’ll see – am planning on baking
them coated in Italian bread crumbs/garlic powder/
pepper 350 degrees F. 1 hour) – – – there’s a LOT of
chicken – we’ll see! Anyway – super happy to get a
lot of good bargains. Sunday is my turn to bring
Sunday School treats, so good old Gordon Foods
came to my rescue! They sell frozen, already-baked
mini muffins (5 different kinds in 1 pkg – I bought
2 of those), mini cinnamon buns – frozen (1 pkg)
and a pkg. of mini brownies – that should fill them
up! Our class is the 50’s & 60’s and there are, on
an average Sunday, about 45-55 people and they
all love treats with their coffee. I’m not worried –
any leftovers will quickly be consumed by my

Dinner tonight will be leftover enchiladas – I made
12 big ones yesterday; still 9 for dinner tonight. I
like making them because they’re quick, easy and
fill up the guys. (I’m guessing that right about now
one of you is going to comment: “What’s the recipe
for those?”)

Pam’s Enchiladas

1 1/2 – 2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Fajita seasoning pkt. (like
Taco seasoning – comes in a little
envelope, dry)
about 1 C. chopped onion
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refried beans
garlic powder
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded extra sharp
Cheddar cheese

sour cream/hot sauce for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large baking pan with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef in small skillet;
drain. Add dry Fajita seasoning packet &
water required on pkg. – cook & stir until a
thicker sauce has formed – take off heat.
Place 1 tortilla on a plate, spread about
1 1/2 – 2 T. refried beans down middle,
sprinkle some chopped onion on top,
a dash of garlic powder and about
2 T. seasoned meat. Roll up tortilla &
place seam-side down in pan – repeat
until you have used up all ingredients.
Pour enchilada sauce over top (I use
a small ladle, making sure sauce is on
all – even to the ends). Cover with foil
& bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven,
take off foil & sprinkle cheese on top.
Place pan under broiler until cheese
melts nicely. Serve with sour cream &
hot sauce on the side. Makes 12
You can make more or less of these; my
guys really like them so I make a big
batch. You can vary the size of the
tortillas as well. For my guys, 2 enchiladas
make up a serving (for me, 1).

Our gas prices are staying at $2.39/9 and
I’m happy. The weather has cooled down
a tiny bit – we were supposed to have a HUGE
thunderstorm last night but it was pretty mild
with a little thunder/lightening and some rain
(my petunias were all droopy from the rain –
they even looked like the rain washed all
their color off!).

Hope your day is going well;





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