Hold onto your hats – here comes FALL!


Not by the weather – but by my upcoming calendar, things are speeding up A LOT! Earlier yesterday I ‘thought’ I had the next 2 weeks ‘grandson-sitting’ free…oh, I was WRONG! Oldest son is going out of town and all of a sudden guess who gets a lot more sitting time! Last week I thought his Mother & her family were going to take over for the time being…guess I was mistaken. Last night oldest son called to arrange the next 2 weeks and our ‘schedule’. I don’t mind picking him up at his bus stop after school – done that before. I should preface all this by saying his Mother lives about 25 minutes from me; his school is also in that area. New schedule (while Dad’s gone) includes getting him at his bus stop by his Mom’s, filling in a little time by maybe going out to eat, then driving him to his football practice (in same area), then bringing him either home to our house or to his house & me spending the night/getting him up the next day & driving him to school! UGH! There are a multitude of possible problems there – our house is VERY small with no extra beds so sleeping arrangements here would be pretty crazy. Spending the night at his Dad’s house might work – crazy, either way. I do NOT like driving to places I’m not familiar (ie: his school – never been there), don’t like driving ’round-a-bouts’ (there is one by his football practice) OR extended time trying to figure out how to keep him amused. Sorry if I sound like a disgruntled grandparent – it’s all overwhelming to me right now. Add to that son said: “You’re watching him Weds/Thurs. THIS week, right?” No – I didn’t know ANYTHING about that (either!) LOVE being in the dark when people make arrangements that include me – ugh! I know it will all work out, am actually thinking of enlisting husband to do the driving to his football/school thing – we’ll see.

Tonight is the final Pick Up date for all the baby stuff for Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower – excited to see what the ladies created and, at the same time, knowing that it’s going to be a VERY hectic evening! Am taking my camera and hoping to get some photos of all the ‘fun’. Right now I’m working on a new baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Centers – this one is a really buttery yellow, using a dishcloth pattern (I know, sounds weird, right?). It’s a really pretty lace pattern and I’m really happy the way it’s coming out. It’s 6 rows, every other row is just purling, so that takes off part of the stress of following every row. I have about a foot done now – made it a little wider than I originally wanted, but it will be very nice when done. Crisis Pregnancy Mobile van deliveries also got a little more complicated – they are no longer parking where they used to (which was about 10 minutes from me) – now they’re about 25 minutes away AND only on Wednesdays. Might not be a problem but they’re at the same church where my special needs group meets ON THE SAME DAY (in the evening) so that means I would be driving there TWICE in one day (round trip about 45 minutes, each time). Oh well – at least it’s only about every 3-4 months, so that’s not so bad – right?


No-Bake Cinnamon Tiramisu

1 (3 oz) pkg. ladyfingers, split
1/4 C. strongly brewed coffee +
1 T. sugar mixed in (hot)
1 cinnamon stick
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 C. cold milk
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon plus
more for dusting

Mix sugar into coffee while still
hot; drop in cinnamon stick & allow
to steep 1 hour. Remove stick & allow
coffee to cool completely. In large
bowl eat vanilla pudding mix & cold
milk; beat in mascarpone cheese until
smooth & creamy. Fold in Cool Whip &
ground cinnamon. Arrange half of
ladyfingers in bottom of a 9 X 9″ baking
dish. Brush ladyfingers with about half
of cooled coffee. Spread half of pudding/
cheese mixture over ladyfingers in dish.
Cover with remaining ladyfingers then
brush second layer with remaining coffee
mixture & top with remaining pudding/
cheese mixture. Cover & refrigerate at least
4 hours up to overnight. Top with a little
Cool Whip & a sprinkling of cinnamon
before serving. Serves 9

NOTE: You can serve dessert without
refrigerating. Cover & refrigerate any
leftovers up to 3 days.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Parmesan Harvest Veggie Bake

2 medium small zucchini
2 medium small yellow squash
3 tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut zucchini, squash & tomatoes into
thin slices. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & lay veggies in
dish – in order, in rows. Drizzle oil over
veggies & sprinkle Parm. cheese, garlic
salt & pepper on top. Bake 30 minutes
until zucchini become flimsy & soft.
Serves 6

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad

1/2 box penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut thin
1 T. Cajun seasoning
3 T. butter
1 pint Half & Half
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 C. + 3 T. grated Parmesan
1 tsp. sliced flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Pat chicken dry
using paper towel & dust both
sides with Cajun seasoning until
thoroughly coated. Melt 1 T. butter
in large skillet over medium heat; add
chicken & cook through completely,
about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove
from skillet. Add remaining butter to
skillet along with Half & Half, garlic
powder, salt/pepper & 1/3 C. Parmesan.
Stir to combine, remove from heat.
Toss pasta in sauce & divide onto 2
plates (there will be some leftover).
Slice chicken & place on top of pasta.
Sprinkle each with remaining Parm,
diced tomato & parsley. Serves 2

(recipe: delish.com)

Southern Cornbread Salad
(6 hour or overnight recipe)

1 box Martha White Yellow Cornbread
mix, prepared
3 C. romaine lettuce, chopped
1 (16 oz) can light red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
drained (OR) 1 (11 oz) can Mexican
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. cucumber, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped (+ extra
for garnish)
3 large tomatoes, chopped (OR) 1 1/2
C. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1.0 oz) pkt. Ranch or buttermilk
salad dressing mix, prepared

Prepare & bake cornbread accordg. to pkg.
directions – cool on wire rack. When cooled,
cut into 1-inch cubes; spread out on large
baking sheet & let dry out at least 6 hours
before using. In bottom of large trifle dish or
glass bowl, place 3/4 of cubes. Layer remaining
ingredients in following order:

romaine lettuce
green pepper
green onions

Add remaining cornbread cubes &
shredded cheese over top. Add ranch
dressing & spread evenly on top of cheese.
Garnish with chopped green onions. Cover
& refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)

Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken

1 (3.4 lb) whole chicken
3 T. canola oil
2 T. chopped sage/thyme and
1 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
(for inside of chicken: onion, 1 whole
lemon & garlic cloves)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine chopped herbs with salt/
pepper in small bowl. Remove neck
& organs from inside chicken – rinse
& pat dry. Drizzle chicken with oil
then rub herb mixture all over bird,
inside & out. Stuff bird with large
chunks of lemon, onion & lightly
smashed garlic cloves – make sure
to stuff entire insides then place
in shallow baking dish or roasting
pan, breast side up.
Place chicken in oven & lower heat
to 400 degrees F. Cook 1 hour to
1 hour 15 minutes. Insert a
thermometer into thickest, densest
part of chicken (between breast,
leg & thigh being careful not to
let thermometer touch a bone.) The
juices should run clear if chicken is
done. Remove from oven & allow to
rest 10-20 minutes before carving.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

Antipasto Tortilla Appetizers

1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
4 oz. sliced pepperoni
4 (Kraft Big Slice) Pepper Jack
cheese slices
1 C. tightly packed arugula

Mix mayo & garlic; spread onto
tortillas. Top with remaining
ingredients & roll up tightly.
Wrap each in plastic wrap &
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before serving, cut each roll
into 6 slices. Makes 12 servings,
2 slices each.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Frozen Fruit Salad Pie

2 (8 in, ea) graham cracker pie crusts
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. lemon juice
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 (11 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
2 (8 oz, ea) cans crushed pineapple,
1 C. chopped pecans

Optional garnish/toppings:
chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, cut up
maraschino cherries, chocolate drizzle

In large bowl stir condensed milk, lemon
juice, Cool Whip, oranges, pineapple &
nuts; pour into pie shells & freeze. Thaw
15 minutes before serving. (can be frozen
up to 6 months).

(recipe: mizhelenscountrycottage.com)

Gas prices around here are still a little high,
($2.49/9) probably because of the upcoming

Weather-wise, it’s been nice – in the mid 70’s to
80’s, sunny & clear. THIS is the kind of weather
we wished was here all summer, but can’t complain-
it’s been a good (NOT SWELTERING) summer. AND,
if we complain we only need to remember what
WINTER in MICHIGAN is like (and I’ve heard this
winter is supposed to be really brutal – sure hope

Hope you’re enjoying your day – remember to
take a little time out for yourself, maybe do a
little something you like (a nap, cup of something
warm or icy, a few minutes ‘out’ to read a book,
work on a craft project, take a walk, etc. – you get
the idea.) We all need a little ‘down’ time just to
re-charge our energy – right?



Happy Thursday!


Yesterday I had lunch with a very good friend – my dear friend Mary (sometimes called “Momma”) – I took her to a neat place: Royal Diner which is close to us. They serve a little of EVERYTHING – you’d be hard pressed to find something they DON’T serve! She & I had Greek salads; let’s just say the Royal Diner is known for it’s large portions so we both had salad to take home for later! (The photo, above, is from last fall). It was nice to spend time catching up – she recently moved much nearer to me and I’ve been wanting to take her out to lunch for awhile now.

Our weather is getting a little more ‘Fall -like” – colder with rain; still summer temps (in spots) right now the weather report says it’s 83 degrees F. out, but there are also thunderstorms in the near future. Yes, we DO need the rain, but that also cools off the days (and there aren’t that many warm days ahead before Fall sets in).

Playing with knitting patterns for the next baby blanket – another one for Crisis Pregnancy Centers (still don’t know whether we’ll have a boy or girl for next grandbaby, so I’m holding off on that for now.) Found a couple really NEAT baby toys – one of my friends who lives out state posted a photo of her baby daughter on Facebook and I messaged her: “What is the name of that toy on her left?” It’s a really neat block sorter, picture match, kind of thing (hard to explain but I was really enthralled with it – so I ordered that via Amazon AND a really cute book called “The Little Chef” – it has pages with various things the Little Chef can cook – there are cut out vegetables, meats, etc. and pictures of pans, etc. – the veggies, meats, etc. have velcro so the child can put whatever they choose on the page to ‘cook’ . . . but you KNOW the REAL reason I bought it was my oldest son, the baby’s Dad, is a chef! On the way home from our lunch yesterday I also stopped at a thrift store – found a really cute little green, fuzzy frog (she’s going to be doing the nursery in Woodland themes, so I figured a frog fits!) and a very nice cabled cream button-up/hooded 3 month size baby sweater. Grand total of my purchases? $1.93! Score!


Strawberry Bread

2 1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
1 C. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. fresh sliced strawberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl;
fold in strawberries & pour into pan.
Bake 55-65 minutes until top is golden
brown & completely set. Cool slightly
in pan then loosen sides of loaf from pan
& remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)

Zucchini/Sausage Stovetop


1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 T. canola oil
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
cut up
1 (8.8 oz) pkg. ready-to-serve long
grain rice
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar

In large skillet cook sausage over medium
heat, 5-7 minutes until not longer pink,
breaking into crumbles. Drain/remove from
pan. In same pan heat oil over medium heat.
Add zucchini & onion, cook, stirring, 5-7
minutes until tender. Stir in sausage, tomatoes,
rice, mustard, garlic salt & pepper. Bring to
boil; reduce heat & simmer, covered, 5
minutes to allow flavors to blend. Remove
from heat; sprinkle with cheese & let stand,
covered, 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chicken Parmesan Roll-ups

1/4 C. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
6 thin-cut, boneless/skinless chicken
cutlets (about 1 1/4 lb) – or slice
regular chicken breasts in half
lengthwise to make your own cutlets)
1/2 C. Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place oven rack to upper-middle position.
Heat 2 T. oil in medium saucepan over
medium heat. Add onion & cook until
softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic,
cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
tomatoes & simmer until slightly thickened,
about 5 minutes. Remove from heat & stir
in half of basil – transfer half of sauce to a
8 X 8″ baking dish. Combine mozzarella &
Parmesan cheese in medium bowl, reserving
1/2 cup of mixture. Add remaining basil to
remaining cheese. Pat cutlets dry with paper
towels & season with salt/pepper. Top
cutlets with basil/cheese mixture, leaving
1-inch border around edges of cutlets. Roll
up tightly & arrange, seam sides down, in
prepared dish. Toss bread crumbs with
remaining oil in small bowl. Top chicken with
reserved cheese, remaining sauce & bread
crumb mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes until
chicken is cooked through & crumbs are
golden. (depending on thickness of your
chicken you may have to cook a little longer)
If breadcrumbs are getting too brown, after
about 15 minutes of cooking time cover with
foil for remaining baking time. Serves 6

(recipe: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)

Lasagna Stuffed Eggplant

2 medium eggplants
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1 container ricotta cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking pan with nonstick
spray. Remove sausage from casings;
brown over medium-high heat, drain.
In small bowl combine ricotta cheese,
Parm. cheese, eggs, parsley & garlic
powder. Cut eggplants in half length-
wise, scoop out centers, leaving about
half inch flesh on skins. Spread 1 C.
marinara sauce in bottom of sprayed
pan then place eggplant halves on sauce.
Spoon ricotta mixture evenly into
eggplants then top with cooked sausage,
remaining marinara & shredded mozz.
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil & bake an additional 15
minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)

Marinated Sugar Snap Peas

1 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 C. olive oil

Place peas in large stockpot &
add water to cover. Bring to boil &
cook 1 minute or until crisp-tender.
Drain/rinse. Place peas in a large bowl.
Add onion, garlic & olive oil; toss
gently. Cover & refrigerate at least
20 minutes. Remove from fridge &
let stand. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Layered Salad for a Crowd
(serves 20)

1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. seasoning blend*
1 bunch romaine, torn
2 medium carrots, grated
1 C. chopped red onion
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas,
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled

In small bowl whisk mayo, milk,
dill & seasoning blend. In 4 qt
clear serving bowl, layer romaine,
carrots, onion & cucumber (DO
not toss). Pour dressing over top &
sprinkle with peas, cheese & bacon.
Cover & refrigerate until serving.
Serves 20

*Poster used Morton Natures’ Seasons
seasoning blend: (a blend of salt/pepper/
onion/garlic/celery & parsley)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 C. shredded zucchini*
4 T. cocoa powder
1/2 C. quick cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk chocolate chips

1/2 C. butter
4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. cocoa powder
4 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer, mix 1/2 C.
butter & 3/4 C. brown sugar on
medium speed 1 minute. Add
egg – beat an additional 1-2
minutes until mixture is light &
fluffy. Add vanilla, mix just until
combined. Add 1 C. shredded
zucchini to mixture & mix until
combined. In separate bowl mix
2 C. flour, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 C. oats,
1 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. salt
& 1 C. milk choc. chips. Add dry
ingredients to creamed mixture &
mix until combined. Spray a large
cookie sheet with nonstick spray &
scoop dough out evenly over sheet.
Bake 8-9 minutes until top of cookies
spring back when pressed. Remove
from oven & cool 5 minutes then
remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl;
melt butter in microwave. Add powdered
sugar (a little at a time), cocoa powder, milk,
vanilla & dash salt – beat with hand beaters
until frosting is smooth & silky. Frost cookies.
Makes 36 cookies

*Zucchini: Peel zucchini, remove seeds from
center then shred. Pat dry before using

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Our gas prices are staying ‘up’ a bit: $2.29/9 – not ‘bad’,
but of course, I’d prefer them lower . . . just sayin’

So far, middle son is doing well at his new job as Front
Desk Clerk & Night Auditor for Hilton Hotels. Youngest
is also doing well at his new job making pizzas – in fact,
they asked him to train a new person a few days ago –
he’s only been with this establishment a little over a
week (but he’s had LOTS of experience in the pizza
business). Makes a Mom proud that their sons are
doing well.

Just finished printing up 65 copies of my special needs
group’s newsletter (double sided/2 sheets) – next I have
to fold them all & stuff them into envelopes. Think I’ll
wait until tomorrow to take them to the Post Office,
it’s 4:15 p.m. right now and I don’t want to battle
“Five O’Clock Traffic” ( you might remember I live on
a MAJOR Michigan highway, speed in front of my house
is 45 MPH. At this time of day it starts backing up –
it’s that way from about 4 p.m. until around 6:30 p.m.;
the only way you can get out of my driveway is if a
nice person lets you in! (and then you have to drive to
the first side street and go around in order to be
facing in the direction you originally wanted – just to
GO someplace! Ah, the fun . . .)

Well, that’s the news from here, today.
ENJOY your day!



Busy Week!


Sometimes it’s good to say: “Ah, time to rest!” This past week has been a bit of a rush! Helping middle son with his new job (read that: doing a LOT of praying for him to ‘GET’ all the details of it); watching grandson; leading special needs group (our leader had to go out of town); plus the various ‘normal’ duties of my job as Mom/Wife, etc. Yesterday was my husband’s & my 40th wedding anniversary – he told me to choose where we were going for dinner. I knew he wouldn’t want a fancy/dress up place, so I chose Joe’s Crab Shack. We’ve been there before, like the food, etc. BUT . . . we’d never been there on a weekend before – BIG MISTAKE! Service was REALllllllllllly slow, food was overcooked, they turned the music up to deafeningly loud (I complained and they explained that they do that when the wait staff has to DANCE! DANCE? WHO CARES!? My EARS are killing me! (I was very polite as I explained that the volume they had it at would cause someone who was prone to seizures to GO INTO ONE! They turned it down (no dancing). They told me that there are people who specifically come to the restaurant JUST to see them dance …WHAT? The manager came over & apologized – she said even SHE noticed it was way too loud! She told us that, normally, they would first turn the music DOWN, make an announcement that the wait staff was about to dance, THEN turn the music up (she said she could hear how loud it was IN THE KITCHEN, that’s why she came out!) Anyway, we told her just before she came over we were so upset we were ready to ask for our check and leave. I noticed the music stayed off UNTIL…right AFTER we went out the door, then it was back to screamingly loud – crazy! We both agreed (1) never to go there on a week end, again and (2) look for a better seafood restaurant – it was just not worth it.

Today found us going to church, coming home, changing clothes and going to watch grandson in his first-of-the-season football game (and his Dad, who is one of 6 coaches). The weather was good for it – clear and not too hot (mid 70’s). The other team out manned them by a good 3 to 1; grandson’s team had 1 extra player (not sure what they call them – the guys who fill in while other players are resting?) so grandson’s team ended up playing the entire game! They were exhausted . . . and it showed; the final score was something like 59 to ZERO! UGH! About half-way through the game it started raining – not heavy, but enough to get wet (wouldn’t you know it – I left our unbrellas in the car!). Oh well – such is life, eh?


Fresh Peach Ice Box Dessert

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
4 C. fresh ripe peaches, peeled/

In small bowl mix graham crumbs with
sugar. Place some of crumb mixture in
bottom of serving dish (save some crumbs
for garnish/topping).
Using elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
condensed milk until creamy, no lumps.
Stir in Cool Whip & mix until completely
blended. Fold in fresh peaches, reserving
some for topping. Scoop mixture into
serving dish & garnish with cracker crumbs
& fruit. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving;
best served cold. Refrigerate any leftovers.

(recipe: mixhelenscountrycottage.com)

Crockpot Enchiladas

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 C. finely chopped green bell
1 C. chopped onion
1 T. granulated chicken bouillon
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green chiles
1/3 C. water
5 (9 inch) flour tortillas, cut to fit
crockpot, if necessary
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Mexican 4-
cheese blend

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place oil, beef, bell pepper, onion &
bouillon in large skillet; cook over medium-
high heat, stirring frequently, 8-10 minutes
until beef is no longer pink & vegetables are
tender. Add beans, diced tomatoes & water –
mix well. Spread 1 1/2 C. mixture on bottom
of crockpot, top with 1 tortilla & 2/3 C. cheese –
repeat layers 4 times, ending with remaining
1/3 C. cheese. Cover & cook on Low 5 hours.
Serves 8

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie

4 T. butter
half of yellow onion, diced
2 ears sweet corn
2 large zucchini, sliced very thin,
(4 C.)
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. shredded cheese (poster
used Mozzarella & Swiss)
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat butter in large, deep skillet
over medium-high heat. Add onions,
zucchini & mushrooms. Cut corn kernels
off cob & add to pan. Continue to saute
until veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove
from heat. Once mixture cools, stir in herbs,
salt/pepper, cheese & beaten eggs. Line a
9 inch pie plate (or larger) with parchment
paper or spray with nonstick spray. Transfer
mixture to pie plate & arrange top so
zucchini slices lay flat & look nice. Top with
a little extra cheese, for looks. Cover with
foil you have sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake an
additional 5 minutes to brown top. Let
stand 10-15 minutes before cutting into
slices. Serves 6-8

(recipe: pinchofyum.com)

Chicken & Fruit Salad

3 C. cooked chicken (white
meat), diced
1 C. chopped celery
1 Red Delicious apple, cored/
1 C. dried cranberries or cherries
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dill weed (chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
dash Tabasco sauce

(optional garnish: chopped dill)

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, Tabasco &
seasonings together until completely
blended. Place rest of ingredients in
large bowl & mix well. Blend wet
ingredients into chicken/apple, etc. &
mix well. Chill at least 2 hours before
serving. Garnish top with chopped dill,
if desired.

(recipe: mizhelenscountrycottage.com)

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 C. sun dried tomatoes

Cooked pasta for 4-6

In large skillet add oil & cook
chicken on medium-high heat
3-5 minutes on each side until
brown on each side & no longer
pink in center. Remove from
skillet & place on a plate. Add
heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic
powder, Ital. seasoning & Parm.
cheese to skillet & whisk over
medium-high heat until it starts
to thicken. Add spinach & tomatoes;
let simmer until spinach starts to wilt.
Add chicken back to pan & serve over
cooked pasta, if desired. Serves 4-6

(recipe: therecipecritic.com)

Hash Browns & Chicken
Brunch Casserole
(overnight recipe)

15 large eggs, beaten
1 (28 oz) pkg. frozen O’Brien
potatoes (with onions &
peppers in pkg)
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed,
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese,
5 green onions, chopped
3 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In very large bowl combine eggs,
potatoes, chicken, milk, tomatoes,
1 C. cheese, green onions, cilantro,
seasonings – blend well & transfer
to a greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Cover & refrigerate several hours
or overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove from fridge & bake,
uncovered, 1 hr 15 minutes to
1 hour 30 minutes until golden
brown & a knife inserted in center
comes out clean. Let stand 5-10
minutes before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Un-stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. white buttom mushrooms
2 T. water
1/4 C. dried Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 T. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,
2 T. Italian parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. thyme (fresh or dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil (to drizzle)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice off bottom of stems; use a moist
paper towel to gently remove any
dirt from mushrooms. Quarter or halve
the mushrooms, depending on size.
Sprinkle water in bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan; place mushrooms in a
single layer on top of the water. In
small bowl combine next 6 ingredients
(breadcrumbs through salt/pepper).
Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of
mushrooms. Drizzle evenly with olive
oil then spray top with nonstick spray
& evenly coat. Bake, uncovered, until
mushrooms are golden, about 20
minutes. Serve hot or warm. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

12 oz. fresh raspberries, washed/dried
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp.
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs (10-12
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl or mixer, mix cream cheese,
sugar & vanilla until smooth, then mix in
raspberries until broken down & incorporated,
yet still a little chunky. Fold in Cool Whip using
rubber spatula until just combined then freeze
1 1/2 – 2 hours until firm. Using small ice cream
scoop or tablespoon, scoop 1-2 inch balls of
mixture & roll in crushed graham crackers until
completely coated. Transfer to parchment paper-
lined baking sheet – continue with rest of mixture.
Place balls in freezer until ready to eat then let
sit at room temp. before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)


Another thing I’ve been busy doing is finishing (what I
‘thought’) was the first baby block. After sewing it all
up and stuffing it, it’s more like a baby BALL! It’s OK,
just much BIGGER than I originally planned. Not sure,
just yet, if I’ll pursue the blocks idea just yet – we’ll
see. Finished the blue/green baby afghan – that one is
going (along with 2 more) to Crisis Pregnancy Center.
The ladies in my knit group have been bringing in
some of their blankets & hats for the upcoming
pick-up (August 30th) for the Detroit Veteran’s
Hospital baby shower in September…so I’ve been
photographing them & putting them on our web
site so that the ladies who won’t be able to come
August 30th will still get to see ‘some’ of the
donations. Here’s the baby ‘block/BALL’ for my upcoming



Here’s the blue/green afghan for Crisis Pregnancy Center:


Lastly, here are 18 afghans, 14 hats & 10 baby headbands:







Not really sure just WHY my site won’t let me move the
photos together and add a ‘closing’ but I’m kind of ‘stuck’
right now so I’ll add the ending here instead – sigh.

Have a GREAT day!



Happy Wednesday!


It’s a gorgeous Summer day out today – 80 degrees F., sunny & clear skies. After the last 3-4 days of intermittent rain, it’s nice to see the sun again!

Been plugging away at the baby blocks and STRUGGLING with the intarsia. I decided I wanted a smiley face on one of the block sides; got it all drawn on the grid paper and knit maybe 1/3 of it – up to where you begin to knit in the mouth – disaster! I’m guessing I ripped it out a good 8 times, re-knit, rip, re-think/re-knit, etc. until I finally decided there was NO way I could KNIT the mouth & eyes without the mouth looking like some sort of scary Halloween pumpkin face! Ended up drawing on my old embroidery skills – cross stitch for the mouth & eyes, and Lazy Daisey for the outline of the face (took me awhile to remember the ‘trick’ to that last stitch – must have attempted it a good 8-10 times before finally it clicked). Here is what the baby block looks like on the BACK SIDE (before I sew it up & stuff it)


All the ‘mess’ of yarn ‘strings’ everywhere are called ‘floaters’ – you basically knit with one color (say white) for maybe 6 stitches, then drop that yarn, pick up the next color (say yellow) and knit 4 stitches, drop that/pick back up the white and keep going. All the yarn you are NOT using at the time just ‘floats’ at the back of the work until you need it. It’s a mess on the back but makes nice pictures on the front. Here’s that same block on the front side:


One block almost done, 2 more to go (or more, depending on my moods!) The multi-colored squares are the top/bottom of the block.


No-Bake Caramel Shortbread Pie

2 C. crushed shortbread cookies
(reserve 1 T. for topping)
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. sugar

Caramel Filling:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. caramel dessert topping
1 T. vanilla
1/4 C. heavy cream
Cool Whip, thawed

Mix all ingredients in medium
bowl; press into bottom & barely
up sides of 8 inch pie plate.

Beat cream cheese, caramel topping
& vanilla in large bowl using elec.
mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Gradually beat in heavy cream just until
blended. Beat on medium-high speed
2 minutes until fluffy then spoon into
crust & smooth out.  Top with Cool
Whip & refrigerate 3 hours until set.
When ready to serve, drizzle top with
additional caramel topping & sprinkle
with reserved shortbread crumbs.
Store leftovers in refrigerator.

(recipe: iambaker.net)

Spicy Zucchini Soup

4 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds/
stems/ribs removed (& discarded),
3 cloves garlic minced
2 lb. chopped zucchini (skin on),
about 5-6 C.
1 1/2 C. chopped day-old bread
3 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 C. water
1/2 C. fresh mint leaves (spearmint),
loosely packed/chopped
1/2 C. fresh cilantro, loosely packed,
chopped (optional)
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high
heat. Add onion & jalapeno, saute 4-5
minutes until onions are translucent but
not browned. Add garlic & zucchini;
saute 3-4 minutes longer, stirring often.
Sprinkle with salt. Add bread, broth &
water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat &
simmer gently 20 minutes. Remove from
heat; add mint & cilantro (if using). Puree
in a blender or food processor until
smooth, working in batches if necessary (or
use an immersion blender). Return soup
to pot, add lemon juice, salt/pepper, to
taste. Serve hot or chilled. Serves 4

NOTE: keeps a week, refrigerated

(recipe: simplyrecipes.com)

Crockpot Chicken in Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (or tenders)
3 T. butter, divided
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed
1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 large zucchini
fresh, chopped basil

Can be served by itself OR
with cooked pasta

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt 1 T. butter & 1 T. olive oil.
Season chicken with garlic powder,
salt/pepper & cook on each side
until lightly browned (about 3-4
minutes) then place in crockpot.
Add both cans tomatoes, tomato
sauce, Ital. seasoning & remaining
2 T. butter. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours until
chicken is cooked through*.
Taste sauce & add more seasonings,
if desired. Spiralize (or slice thin)
zucchini & add to crockpot. Cover &
cook in sauce until softened, 10-15
minutes longer. Garnish with fresh
chopped basil. Serves 4

*If using tenders: reduce time to
2-3 hours on High or 4-6 hours
on Low

NOTE: If sauce is too acidic for your taste,
you can stir in a few tablespoons of cream
or milk.

(recipe: slowcookergourmet.net)

Cucumber Sandwich Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise (can add
more, if needed)
1 medium cucumber, peeled/
seeded & finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fresh dill or 1/4 tsp.
dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Place cucumber in a colander
& press to remove excess water.
Place cream cheese & may in a
blender or food processor &
pulse until smooth. Combine
cream cheese mixture, cucumber,
dill & garlic salt & place in a bowl.
Chill until ready to serve to allow
flavors to blend.
Makes 1 C.- total or 6-8 servings

(recipe: food.com)

Creamy Broccoli/Bacon Bake

6 C. broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 C. Kraft “shredded Triple
Cheddar Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia” cheese
4 slices fully cooked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add broccoli & carrots to saucepan of
boiling water; cook 2-3 minutes until
crisp-tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 C.
cooking water. Mix next 3 ingredients
until blended. Return cooked veggies
to saucepan; add cream cheese mixture
& onions; stir until veggies are evenly
coated with sauce, adding reserved
cooking water, if necessary, for desired
consistency. Spoon mixture into 2 Qt.
casserole dish that has been sprayed
with nonstick spray. Top mixture with
shredded cheese & bacon, cover with
foil. Bake 25 minutes until heated
through, uncovering last 5 minutes
of baking time. Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Tuna Patties

2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna in
water, drained/flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 C. mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients & refrigerate
10 minutes then stir. Heat large nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray to
medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop,
make patties & place in skillet. Flatten
into patties with back of a spatula. Cook
6 minutes or until golden brown on both
sides, carefully turning after 3 minutes.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

California Club Pasta Salad

1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 C. rotini pasta, cooked/rinsed
under cold water
1 C. coarsely chopped romaine
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 C. chopped plum tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Mix ranch dressing with Miracle
Whip until blended. Combine all
remaining ingredients (except bacon)
in large bowl. Add dressing mixture &
mix lightly. Refrigerate 1 hour. Top
with bacon just before serving.
Serves 6, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Sour Cream Chocolate
Zucchini Bread

1 egg
1/3 C. oil
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded zucchini
1/4 C. cocoa powder

Spray one 8 X 4″ loaf pan
with nonstick spray. In bowl
beat eggs, oil, vanilla & sugar until
light & fluffy. Add sour cream; mix
well. Add flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt & cocoa powder – mix well
then add zucchini – stir, by hand, until
just mixed – pour into prepared pan.
Place a small rack in bottom of crockpot*
Place loaf pan on top of rack. Place 2
paper towels on top of crockpot & secure
towels with lid. Cook on High 2-3 hours
depending on how hot crockpot cooks.
Test with a wooden toothpick. Cool in
pan on a baking rack before removing
from pan. Makes 1 loaf.

NOTE: *If you don’t have a rack, ball up
a few pieces of foil & place pan on top.

You can double this recipe & make muffins,
or half muffins/half 1 loaf bread.

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Gas prices in the area have crept up a little
from $2.29/9 to $2.36/9 – as my husband
keeps reminding me: “At least they’re not
at $4.00 a gallon!”

Last night was my knit/crochet group and
we had 16 ladies all kind of crammed in;
some of them brought the baby items
they had knit/crocheted for the Detroit
Veterans Hospital’s Baby Shower – the
lady from the hospital is coming next
meeting (August 30th) to pick it all up.
Today found me sorting through the items
and writing out little tags for each that read:

“Made especially for you by: (first name, last
Waterford-Area Knitters & Crocheters”

Then I had to attach each tag to the item (the
hospital likes the ladies to know that there
was someone who personally made their gifts.
With just what I have here at the house now,
we have 18 afghans, 10 hats, 10 baby headbands.
I know that the next meeting will be pretty hectic,
with people coming in with bags. I feel bad that
on the collection day I’m not able to individually
photograph EACH item, but I am going to take
the ones that are here and photo them on my
picnic table some time soon so that the ladies
who can’t attend on ‘pick up’ day will at least
see ‘some’ of the donations. My ladies are
awesome when it comes to charity events.
One of my ladies crocheted 6 blankets and 8
hats! That’s a LOT (some ladies only do one hat
or one blanket – not that I’m complaining – I’ll
take whatever they want to make!)

A little later on I have a quick trip to the library
to pick up more books by my (now) favorite
author Lincoln Child, then a trip to the town-
ship offices to pay our Summer taxes (oh, joy).
Tonight’s special needs group is all set up: we’re
singing AND our one male helper/leader is going
to lead them in a new song he taught them a
few weeks ago, it’s called “the Fruits of the Spirit”
and I found a coloring page (free/on line) that
has that very thing on it! YAY! The night should
go pretty quickly and some of our kids are away
at camp, so it will be a smaller group – should be

Not much else new right now – lunch with my
friend yesterday was good – lots of chatting. The
food was ‘so-so’, I had a taco salad and I’ve never
before seen anyone put sliced radishes on one
(picked them off) – they put the chicken in big
chunks in the bottom of the tortilla ‘bowl’ then
shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, a little
shredded cheese & a huge dollop of sour cream;
kind of bland/blah – no beans, onion, etc. Will
not be going there again (only good thing? it
only cost $5.99).

Have a GREAT day!



and so it begins again – another Monday!

good morning friends

This day started out well – youngest son has a new job (pizza making, which he’s good at), middle son has today off before starting ‘all nights’ (10 p.m.-6 a.m.) tomorrow as Night Auditor for Hilton Hotel. Our weather has cooled off some: now in the high 70’s/low 80’s.

Got started looking up Intarsia knitting patterns for the baby blocks. What, you ask, is Intarsia? Knitting with more than one strand of yarn to make a pattern. Going ‘on line’ I was able to find several intarsia grid patterns I’ll be working on:

imgres images  images

Intarsia is making pictures (using a chart/grid) – my ‘problem’ with what I’m doing is: I’m working on a very small scale (total 20 stitches wide) – most intarsia patterns are used on the fronts of sweaters/hats, etc. and start at 35/45+ stitches wide. The Pink Hearts above is what intarsia looks like when it’s knit/worked up. I’m thinking of doing some hearts on the red/white block – we’ll see. I have 3 of 4 sides for the blue/greens/white block done and am starting on the last side; when it’s done I’ll sew them together then stuff full using polyesther fiber fill (then post a photo, hopefully). I want to make at least three blocks.


Crockpot Peach Compote/Pie

8 ripe peaches, peeled/sliced or
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. brandy (optional)
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Place sliced/chopped peaches in
large bowl & toss with sugars,
(brandy, if using) cinnamon & vanilla.
Pour mixture into crockpot & top
with cubed butter. Turn on Low &
cook 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring halfway
through or until peaches are tender &
sauce is thick & syrupy. Serve hot
with vanilla ice cream or let cool &
cook in a pie or crumble.
Serves 8 or enough for 1 pie

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

3-4 C. broccoli florets
1/2 red onion, cut in half then
thinly sliced
5 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 C. sunflower seeds
1 C. craisins
1 C. cubed (or shredded) Cheddar cheese

1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Toss salad ingredients together in large
bowl. In small bowl combine dressing
ingredients until sugar is dissolved; pour
over salad & toss to coat. Chill 1 hour or
longer before serving. Best made & served
the same day.

(recipe: mynameissnickerdoodle.com)

Crockpot “Crack” Chicken

1 lb. chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 packet dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled

Place chicken, cream cheese & dressing
mix in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours, or High about 4 hours. Once
cooked, shred chicken using 2 forks, then
fold in bacon. Serve on buns, over pasta or
rice – or by itself. Serves 6-8

(recipe: thecookinchicks.com)

Old Fashioned Potato Salad

3 lb. small white potatoes
kosher salt
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. buttermilk or milk
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. whole-grain mustard
1/2 C. fresh dill, chopped
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 C. celery, chopped
1/2 C. red onion, chopped

Place potatoes & 2 T. salt in large pot
of water; bring to boil, then lower heat
& simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes
are barely tender when pierced with a
knife. Drain into a colander then place
colander with potatoes over the empty
pot off the heat. Cover with a clean,dry
kitchen towel & leave to steam 15-20
minutes until tender, but firm.
In small bowl whisk together mayo, butter-
milk, Dijon & whole grain mustards, dill,
1 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper. When potatoes
are cool enough to handle, cut them into
quarters or halves, depending on their
size. Place cut potatoes in large bowl &
pour enough dressing over them to
moisten. (as the salad sits you may need
more dressing). Add celery & red onion,
2 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper. Toss well, cover
& refrigerate a few hours to allow flavors
to blend. Serves 6-8

(recipe: barefootcontessa.com)

1-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 large white onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper,
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can mild Ro*Tel diced
tomatoes & green chiles
7 oz. pasta (your choice)
1/2 C. sour cream
1 scallion, diced
2 T. chopped cilantro
4 oz. diced avocado (from 1 small)

Season chicken with 3/4 tsp. salt,
1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp.
chili powder & 1/4 tsp. garlic powder.
In large, deep skillet, heat 1 tsp. olive
oil over high heat. When oil is very hot,
add chicken & cook until browned, stirring
about 5-6 minutes; transfer to plate.
Reduce heat to medium, add remaining
1 tsp. olive oil; when oil is hot, add onions,
peppers & remaining cumin, paprika, chili
powder, garlic powder & salt. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until soft, about 10  minutes.
Add garlic & stir until fragrant & well
combined, about 30 seconds. Remove from
heat & transfer to chicken plate. In same
skillet add broth, diced tomatoes & uncooked
pasta; stir to combine & bring to boil. Cover
& reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 minutes
until pasta is tender & liquid is mostly absorbed.
Add chicken & veggies to skillet; stir to combine &
heat through, about 2 minutes. Mix in sour cream
& top with scallions & cilantro. Serve with avocado
on top. Serves 5

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Asparagus Pasta Salad

8 oz. penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed/cut into
2″ pieces
1 C. halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 C. thinly sliced purple onion

1/3 C. plain Greek yogurt
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
salt/pepper, to taste

In large pot filled with salted water add
pasta & boil 12 minutes then add cut
asparagus. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes
then drain & run under cold water until
pasta & asparagus have cooled. Drain
completely & place in large bowl. Add
tomato & onion; toss to coat. Whisk
together all dressing ingredients & pour
over pasta – stir to coat. Serve chilled.

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)

Zucchini Salmon Patties

2 (5 oz, ea) cans boneless skinless
pink salmon, drained/flaked
3/4 C. shredded zucchini
1/2 C. dry bread crumbs
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. mayonnaise, divided
1 clove garlic, minced/divided

Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl;
add half each mayo & garlic; mix well.
Shape into 12 (1/2 inch thick) patties.
Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cook patties,
in batches, in large nonstick skillet
sprayed with nonstick cooking spray
on medium heat 8 minutes until
golden brown on both sides, turning
carefully after 4 minutes. Mix
remaining may & garlic until blended &
serve with salmon patties. Serves 6

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Cookie Dough Fruit Crisp

1 lb. refrigerated sugar
cookie dough
1 T. cinnamon
4 C. sliced peaches
2 C. blueberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 T. vanilla
1 tsp. kosher salt

1 T. cinnamon
1 T. sugar – mixed together
with cinnamon

vanilla ice cream – for serving

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl mix cookie dough
with cinnamon until combined. In
another bowl stir peaches, blue-
berries, sugar, flour, vanilla & salt –
stir until combined. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray.
Add fruit mixture to dish; top with
1 inch balls of sugar cookie dough &
bake until fruit is bubbly & cookie
crust golden, about 1 hour. Sprinkle
top of crust with cinnamon sugar
mixture. Let cool & serve with
vanilla ice cream.  Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)


Not much going on, going out to lunch with a
good friend from high school tomorrow – to a
little ‘hole-in-the-wall’ Mexican place she likes –
we’ll see how that goes! Tomorrow night is
Knit/Crochet night and I have about 25 or so
rows on the blue/green/white baby blanket &
then that will be done.

Hope your day is going the way you like –



and here come the rains!


It’s been pretty hot here the last almost 2 weeks, most days either high 80’s or into the 90’s and no rain. Last night, late, we had a pretty good thunderstorm and today it’s been pretty dark out. I needed to run to the grocery store for more bread (we had BLT’s for dinner last night and extra fixin’s so needed the bread. I didn’t get much sleep last night (long story) so I knit early this morning then started in on my current reading book . . . woke up with book on my face and the room almost as dark as night! Oh golly! Still needed to get to the store, so hurriedly dressed & drove there – ended up sitting in my car about 2-3 minutes before the rain let up. This particular store is always extremely COLD – when I came out the doors I was hit by a huge WALL of HUMIDITY! Rains stopped, HUMID started – BIG TIME! We ‘were’ supposed to go to our Sunday School picnic today at 4 p.m. but we decided that with the rains (and lack of sleep) we’d just stay home.

For some reason I thought I had already written about my current knitting project, but apparently not. After thinking over what I could knit NOW for my upcoming grandbaby, I decided to knit a set of baby blocks. It’s been a good 6+ years since I’d done these (only once before, for a close friends daughter) so I had to refresh my knitting ‘memory’. Since I don’t know (yet) whether it’s a girl or boy, I started with one in white & red stripes. Also working on one that’s shades of white/blue/mint green (using yarns from last baby blanket) – it’s fun and challenging trying to make variations in such a small space (blocks are 4 1/2 inches square – 4 sides & top/bottom). I thought it might be easier for you to visualize what I’m talking about by posting photos of the last set I made, years ago:



Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

1 pkg. yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.) dissolved
in 1/2 C. room temp. water
3 T. shortening (Crisco)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 1/2 C. flour
1 C. hot water
1 egg, beaten
3 tsp. salt

1/4 C. softened butter
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1/2 can apple pie filling
1/4 C. cinnamon/sugar mix

1 C. confectioners sugar
2-3 T. milk

Add yeast to 1/2 C. room temp.
water; stir with a spoon. In bowl of
a stand mixer add shortening, sugar,
hot water & salt – beat 30 seconds;
allow to cool to room temp. Add
2 C. flour & mix until smooth. Mix
in yeast mixture until well combined
then  mix in beaten eggs. Gradually
stir in remaining flour; mix using a
dough hook, about 2 minutes. Remove
dough from bowl & place on a lightly
floured counter. Coat hands in flour &
knead by hand, adding a little flour if
dough is still too sticky; knead until
dough feels smooth. Put dough in a
greased bowl & cover with a towel.
Let rise 30 minutes until it doubles in
Remove dough from bowl & place on
lightly floured counter; roll dough into
a rectangle. Spread butter over all of
dough top; sprinkle with brown sugar &
cinnamon/sugar mixture. Spread apple
pie filling over top then gently roll up
dough into one long roll. Cut rolls into
12 even slices using a dough cutter.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick
spray and place rolls in pan. Place pan
in a warm spot & cover with a towel – let
rolls rise until double in size, about an

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake rolls 10 minutes. Reduce oven
temperature to 350 degrees F. & bake
an additional 7-10 minutes until golden
brown. Remove pan from oven & let
cool on wire rack.

In a small bowl combine milk & conf.
sugar; whisk until smooth the pour
frosting over rolls & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Easy Zucchini Quiche

1 pie crust (pre-made/store bought)
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C. milk (or 1 C. milk, 1/2 C. heavy
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 white onion, chopped
2-3 small zucchini, rinsed/chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
mixed chopped herbs, (optional garnish)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray pie plate with nonstick spray & place
crust in plate. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large
pan over medium-high heat; cook zucchini
until softened, 8-9 minutes. Add onion (and,
if necessary, more oil) cook until fragrant,
stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Drain excess
oil & season with salt/pepper. In medium bowl
mix milk (& heavy cream, if using) with beaten
eggs. Add nutmeg & pinch salt/pepper. Spread
veggies out evenly on crust & slowly pour in
egg mixture. Cover with mixed cheeses & herbs
(if using). Bake 35-40 minutes until crust is golden
brown & cheese is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes
& serve warm. Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Pinwheel Italian Calzones

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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl stir ricotta, Ital.
seasoning, salt, Parm. cheese, mozz.
cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, gr.
pepper & onion. Unroll crescent
dough & separate into 4 rectangles.
Press remaining perforations together
to seal. Spread filling evenly onto
rectangles. Roll up filling inside
dough starting at short side. Slice
each finished roll into four slices &
place, cut sides down, onto a baking
sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until
lightly browned. Warm pizza sauce &
serve pinwheels with sauce in small
cups for dipping. Serves 4

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Easy BBQ Short Ribs

4 lb. boneless beef short ribs,
cut into 3″ long pieces
kosher salt/ ground black pepper
2/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried ground thyme
2/3 C. ketchup
1 T. yellow mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Arrange ribs in a 9 X 13″ baking
dish; season with salt/pepper, to
taste. In small bowl combine all
remaining ingredients & stir to
incorporate; pour sauce over ribs
& toss well, coating all pieces.
Cover with foil & roast until
cooked through & tender, about
3 hours. Remove foil during last
30 minutes of cooking, to brown
the top. Transfer to serving platter.
Serves 6

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Marinated Cucumbers & Tomatoes

4 ripe tomatoes
2 large cucumbers
olive oil

Slice tomatoes into wedges &
place in a bowl. Peel cucumbers &
cut into thin slices – add to bowl.
Add oil, oregano & salt – all to taste.
Sprinkle vinegar over, taste & adjust
vinegar, if needed. Serve. Serves 4

(recipe: food.com)
Potatoes w/Garlic/Mint & Butter

2 lb. new potatoes
4 T. butter
2 T. finely chopped mint*
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt/ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot
with enough lightly salted water
to cover – bring to boil. Turn heat
to a very low simmer & cook until
fork-tender (about 30 minutes).
Drain, add butter/mint/garlic &
salt/pepper  to pot. With lid on,
toss gently to cover potatoes with
seasoned butter. Serves 4-6

*Use chopped parsley if you don’t have
mint, or use a mixture of both, if desired

(recipe: food.com)

Grilled Corn & Chipotle Pepper Salad

8 ears fresh corn, husks/silks removed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 T. sliced green onion
2 chipotle peppers, minced
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat grill to medium
Arrange corn on grill & cook, turning
frequently, until slightly charred,
about 12-15 minutes. Remove from
grill & let cool. Cut kernels from cob
using a sharp knife – transfer to a
serving bowl. Add all remaining
ingredients & toss to combine.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Crockpot Applesauce Pork Chops

3 lb. pork chops (bone-in or boneless)
2-3 C. applesauce (cinnamon or plain –
can use plain & add 1/2 tsp. ground
1/2 T. ground ginger
2 T. dried minced onions
salt/pepper, to taste

cooked rice or pasta

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place half of chops in crockpot &
sprinkle half of ginger on them, salt/
pepper & half of minced onions. Cover
chops with 1 C. applesauce. Add rest
of chops on top, sprinkle rest of ginger,
salt/pepper & rest of minced onions.
Spread 1 C. applesauce over chops. Cover
& cook on Low 7-8 hours. Serve over
cooked rice or pasta.  Serves 6

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Pecan Cobbler Dump Cake

6 T. butter (no substitutions)
1 C. pecans
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 C. hot water

Optional toppings:
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add butter to 9 X 13″ baking pan & melt
butter in oven. Remove from oven, sprinkle
pecans over melted butter. In a bowl mix
flour, sugar, milk & vanilla – stir to combine
but do not over mix. Pour batter over butter
& nuts – do not stir. Carefully pour hot water
over mixture – DO NOT STIR. Bake 30-35
minutes until golden brown. Cobbler will
not be firm after 35 minutes – it will firm up
as it cools. If over-cooked, there will be less
sauce. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

(recipe: callmepmc.com)


Hope things are going well for you; diet-wise I’m now
down 11.2 lbs – YAY! (That’s over a month’s time, by
the way).

Enjoy your day – even IF it’s wet – we need the rain
for the flowers/trees/lake levels, etc.



Happy Thursday!


Another ‘hot one’ – just got back from a few quick errands and the car thermometer read 87 degrees F.  and that’s only around 10 a.m.! No rain in sight until Saturday (oh goodie, I have a picnic to go to then…) so we’ll see what happens.

Gas prices have dropped a little in the area; from $2.29/9 to $2.19/9  so that’s a good thing!


Lush Strawberry Shortcake Dessert

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix*
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
25 GOLDEN Oreo cookies, or other vanilla-
flavored cookies/graham crackers
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled/sliced &
patted dry
Whisk pudding mix, milk & vanilla in medium
Crush cookies in large gallon-sized ziplock bag.
Reserve 1/2 C. crumbs; place 2 T. melted butter
in bag & press, using your hands to work the
butter through remaining cookie crumbs.
Pour crumbs into a 9 X 9″ baking dish – crust
will be crumbly. Fold 8 oz. Cool Whip into
pudding; place half pudding mixture on top
of crust. Place sliced strawberries in a single
layer over pudding. Spread remaining
pudding mix over top of berries. Top with
more Cool whip & sprinkle remaining cookie
crumbs over top. Chill at least 4 hours
before serving.

*You can also use cheesecake or lemon
instant pudding mix, instead of vanilla

(recipe: crazyforcrust.com)

Lemonade Chicken
(oven or grill)

1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade
concentrate, defrosted/divided
5-6 sprigs fresh oregano (or)
1 tsp. dried*
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 whole chicken (about 3 lb),
cut into parts (or) equivalent
amount of parts

In small bowl mix 1/2 can lemonade,
oregano, oil, salt/pepper – mix well.
Place chicken in a zip-lock bag &
pour marinade over chicken, turning
bag a few times to coat chicken; place
bag in refrigerator at least 4 hours or

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Drain chicken & discard marinade.
Place chicken on a baking sheet & bake
45-60 minutes (time depends on size
of parts). while chicken is baking, prepare
Place half of lemonade concentrate in
small saucepan & reduce by 50% over
medium heat, 5-8 minutes. About 5
minutes before chicken is done, glaze
each piece with prepared glaze.
Serves 4

NOTE: *you can use any herb you like

Chicken can be made & grilled on outside
grill, also

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

6 pattypan squash, approx. 3 inches
in diameter
2 C. roughly chopped kale
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 C. corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. diced white onion
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. grated Cotija cheese*,
plus more for garnishing
1/4 C. basil, sliced thin

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place olive oil, kale & broth in
pan & cook over medium-high
heat until all of liquid is absorbed
(about 8 minutes). Once cooked,
set aside. Cut stems off tops &
bottoms of squash, removing as
little of the flesh of the squash as
possible – scoop out seedy center,
leaving a squash ‘cup’. Mix kale,
corn, white onion, garlic, salt/pepper
& 1 C. Cotija cheese in bowl. Lightly
spray a large casserole dish with nonstick
spray & evenly place squash in dish,
cup side up. Squeeze together a ball
of stuffing in your hands (like you’re
making a snowball) & place in squash
cups. (balls will be the size of a medium
ice cream scoop) – continue until all
squash are filled. Bake 35-45 minutes
then remove from oven & sprinkle tops
with cheese & sliced basil.
Serves 6

*can substitute Parmesan or feta

(recipe: simpleseasonl.com)

Cool Fruit/Shrimp Salad

1 lb. cleaned shrimp, cooked
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion,
separated into rings
1 C. (Kraft) Raspberry vinaigrette
salad dressing, divided
1 (10 oz) pkg. salad greens
1 medium papaya, peeled/cut into
2 medium kiwi, peeled/sliced
1 C. fresh raspberries

Toss shrimp & onion with 1/2 C.
dressing; cover & refrigerate 1 hour
to marinate. Drain & discard
marinade. Divide greens to 4 salad
plates & arrange fruit & shrimp over
greens. Serve topped with remaining
1/2 C. dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Orange Julius
(recipe via Dairy Queen)

1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice
concentrate, thawed
1 C. whole milk
1 C. water
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
ice cubes
orange slices, (optional garnish)

Chill 2-4 glasses in fridge before

In large bowl mix together orange
juice concentrate & 1 C. water until
smooth. Transfer mixture to blender &
pulse 5 seconds to make sure it’s
thoroughly combined. Pour in milk,
sugar, vanilla & 6-8 ice cubes – pulse
another 30-45 seconds or until smooth &
frothy. Divide into 2-4 chilled glasses &
serve immediately.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Oven-Fried Zucchini Chips

3 medium zucchini cut into
1/4″ thick slices
1 egg
2 T. Italian salad dressing
1/2 C. dry breadcrumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
Combine egg & Ital. dressing in
small bowl, stir well. Combine
bread crumbs, Parm. cheese &
pepper in small bowl; stir well.
Dip sliced zucchini into egg
mixture, dredge in bread
crumb mixture & place on sheet.
Bake 5 minutes, turning once &
baking an additional 5 minutes or
until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: food.com)

Grilled S’Mores Packets

6 whole graham crackers, broken
into pieces (2 C.)
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 c. crumbled fudge brownies
3/4 C. milk chocolate morsels
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
(optional: Reddi-whip spray
whipped topping)

Preheat gas grill to medium heat.
Stir graham crackers, marshmallows,
brownies & morsels in large bowl.
Place one 18″ X 18″ piece of heavy
duty aluminum foil on counter; spray
with nonstick spray. Place mixture in
center of foil; drop dollops of peanut
butter evenly over top. Double fold
top & ends of foil, leaving space for
steam to gather. Place packet on grate,
cover grill & grill 5 minutes until
marshmallows & morsels melt. Carefully
open pack & top with Reddi-Whip, if
desired. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat.com)


Weight-wise, I’m back down to where I
was a few days ago (before the BIG pig-out
at my son’s on Tuesday) – that makes 9.8
lb. lost in about 4 1/2 weeks. I haven’t
measured myself (according to the diet
‘stuff’, you’re supposed to lose inches
before you lose pounds – we’ll see.

The last blog entry was so BIG I forgot to
mention a book I just finished that was
REALLY GREAT! It has excitement/adventure/
it’s pretty intense – a really GOOD read! The
author is: Lincoln Child and the book is:
“Lethal Velocity”. The concept is the opening
of a new theme park totally operated using
cutting-edge holograms & robotics. Of course
there are ‘bad guys’ which really keep the
story moving – I would HIGHLY recommend
it! (It’s a library book, written in 2002, so
it should be easy to locate). I’ve read quite
a few of his other novels (some co-written
with another author) and I would say this
is the BEST I’ve read by him – read it in a day.

Well, the “Grandma” (second time through)
bought my first “new baby” item – I tend to
be very conservative when buying baby items,
maybe you’d say more ‘conventional’? I found
two water-filled teething rings (shaped like
little butterflies) – I still have several like that
in my freezer. They’re great for teething babies
AND for small burns/hurts as they cover a
small space. Knowing that for the other
Grandma this is her FIRST grandbaby, I’ll let
her go crazy with the gifts (and I know she
WILL!). I like to take my time and find things
that are useful and sometimes, unusual – hey,
we’ve got SEVEN months to plan this, right?
It’s fun looking through all the NEW things
they have out for babies – some are totally
for the purchaser, and have little to no real
use other than eye-candy (I avoid those).
Then there’s the commercialism of baby stuff-
if you go in for a Disney item, you can guarantee
it’s going to cost twice as much (another thing
I avoid). I know that, in the future, we’ll be
needing (for my house) a changing table,
pack ‘n play and, later, a high chair – those,
I’m sure, I’ll be able to find at thrift stores –
it’s always nice to know that I have a good
amount of time to plan for this!

Anyway, hoping you’re having a good day;




Yesterday was certainly NOT your average day. I finally got youngest son to agree to ‘do his cake & picture’ – he turned 22 on Saturday but was never around to do it until yesterday. In the photo you can see he was tired, but agreed:


Happy 22, Eric!

(that’s a Dairy Queen Reese’s Ice cream cake!)

Yesterday also was the day my oldest invited us over for a family dinner – the food was fantastic! New York strip steaks, grilled to perfection including caramelized onions & mushrooms, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus (I’d never had it grilled before – phenomenal flavor!), my Greek salad, appetizers: sliced Cheddar & Pepper Jack cheeses, sliced salami, Brie cheese ‘en croute’ (wrapped in phyllo dough) & crackers. We all ate until we were stuffed. The entire dinner party included myself, my husband, middle son, oldest son/his girlfriend & our grandson, and her Mom (her dad had pulled his back earlier & couldn’t come). Finally the decided to bring out the cake – mind you, we were STUFFED! Out came a big bakery box from a local bakery that is well known for wonderful baked goods. Son opens the box & places the cake on the table with a grin. We’re all talking, not really taking in ‘the cake’. I look over & notice something on the top – two baby pacifiers! Her Mom kept talking and finally my son’s girlfriend said: “Mom, look at the cake!” Her mom walks over, starts reading the top and screams/cries! The cake is decorated in pink & blue dots – in the middle is a sign that says: “We’re having a baby!” There’s also a little teddy bear on top. Both sets of parents have talked about how great our ‘kids’ are together; they are both SUPER happy together – I’m still in shock. From what I’m told, the baby’s due date is March 1st – Wow…just WOW! It’s been TEN years since our last baby – I have since given away almost all baby ‘stuff’. There’s a few things I kept – just in case: small baby swing, big battery-operated swing, some toys. Of course, that ‘news’ got me thinking: lots of visits to Good Will, Salvation Army, etc. for baby items for OUR house. They were talking baby showers and it’s been decided that she doesn’t have that many close ‘girl’ friends to have just a ‘girl’ shower, so they’re going to have a (not sure what it’s called) combined? shower – guys & girls together. Well, my thoughts are: as soon as we find out the sex, it’s time for me to get started KNITTING – FOR SURE! All I kept saying last night was: “WOW – JUST WOW!” They, of course, are THRILLED and so is my grandson; he & his dad want a boy – I & girlfriend want a GIRL! We’ll see what transpires – what a surprise!


Sweet ‘n Salty Ice Cream Sandwiches

32 saltine crackers
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted, sliced almonds
2-3 C. vanilla ice cream, softened 5
minutes at room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 9 X 9″ baking pans with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Line up 16
crackers, salt sites up, in bottom of each
pan. In small saucepan, melt butter & sugar
over medium heat 3-5 minutes until melted –
whisk to emulsify then stir in vanilla. Pour
half of mixture over each tray of crackers;
spread evenly to cover crackers. Bake
10-15 minutes until topping is bubbly &
edges have just started to darken. Sprinkle
chocolate chips over topping & let stand
5 minutes until melted; spread choc. chips
in even layer then top with sliced almonds.
Freeze both pans 15-30 minutes until solid.
Remove from freezer & carefully peel off
foil from bottoms. Line one of the pans with
plastic wrap then put a sheet of the crackers
in it, chocolate-side down. Scoop softened
ice cream onto crackers & spread out in an
even layer. Lightly press the other choc. covered
sheet over top of ice cream layer (choc. side up)
& freeze 6-8 hours until solid, then cut into

(recipe: tiphero.com)

Sauted Zucchini & Sweet Corn

2 T. butter
2 C. zucchini or summer squash,
halved & sliced
1/2 C. onion, diced
1/3 c. green bell pepper, diced
2 C. fresh sweet corn, cut from cob,
(can also use frozen/thawed)
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 T. fresh chopped basil
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in
medium saute pan; add zucchini,
onion & green pepper – saute
4-5 minutes. Add corn & saute
3-4 minutes longer. Season with
salt/pepper & stir in parsley &
basil. Remove from heat & serve.

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)

3-Ingredient Chicken

2 packets dry Italian salad dressing
1/2 C. brown sugar
6-8 chicken thighs (or your choice),
skin on

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a metal rimmed baking sheet
with foil. Place brown sugar & dry
mixes in a large zip-lock bag – shake
to  mix. Add chicken pieces to bag &
shake to coat then place pieces on
prepared sheet, skin sides up. Bake
35 minutes for thighs, longer for
thicker pieces, like breasts – until
juices run clear.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 1/4 C. soft bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce,
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4-5 medium zucchini
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients & one can tomato sauce; mix
well. Stir in tomatoes. Half zucchini
lengthwise; scoop out seeds & fill with
meat mixture. Spray two 9 X 13″ baking dishes
with nonstick spray & place zucchini boats
in greased dishes. Spoon remaining tomato
sauce over top of each. Bake, uncovered, 45
minutes until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle tops
with cheese during last few minutes of
cooking time. Serves 8-10

*Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot
peppers, the oils can burn your skin. Avoid
touching your face.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Mozzarella/Tomato/Basil Frittata

12 large eggs
1/2 C. whole milk
2 T. olive oil
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled/
1 lb. fresh or smoked mozzarella,
2 T. slivered basil leaves
salt/fresh ground black pepper

Preheat broiler
In large bowl whisk eggs with milk.
Pour 1 T. oil into very large oven-
proof skillet (or use 2 skillets with
half the ingredients in each). Place
over medium heat & pour in egg
mixture. Scatter tomatoes, cheese &
basil over top & season with salt/
pepper. When bottom just begins to
brown, place skillet under broiler
just until the top is set, 1 minute or
less. Remove from oven & use a large
spatula to transfer frittata to a
serving platter. Cool about 10 minutes
then cut into wedges & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: cookstr.com)

Country Apple Fritter Bread

1/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. white sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. milk
2 apples, peeled/chopped mixed
2 T. granulated sugar & 1
tsp. cinnamon

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-3 T. milk or cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray or line with foil then spray
with nonstick spray. Mix brown sugar
& cinnamon in a bowl. In another
medium bowl beat white sugar & butter
using elec. mixer until smooth & creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1-at-a-time, until blended; add
vanilla. Combine & whisk flour & baking
powder in another bowl & add into creamed
butter mixture – stir until blended. Mix milk
into batter until smooth; pour half batter
into prepared pan; add half apple mixture,
then half brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Lightly pat apple mixture into batter. Pour
remaining batter over apple layer & top with
remaining apple mixture, then brown sugar/
cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into
batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through
apples using a knife or spoon. Bake 50-60
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Remove from oven
& allow to cool 15 minutes before drizzling
with glaze.
Mix powdered sugar & milk or cream until
well mixed then drizzle over loaf.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)


I was happy with the way the Greek salad turned
out; I just went on-line and looked over various
salad recipes then concocted my own. Ingredients
chopped romaine lettuce (almost 2 heads)
chopped iceburg lettuce (1 head)
sliced cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pints)
peeled/sliced cucumbers (1 1/2)
chopped green bell pepper (1)
sliced/pitted Kalamata olives (half a jar)
sliced purple onion (small amount – it was
VERY potent!)
feta cheese (about 1/2 – 3/4 C.)
small amount toasted, chopped garlic (2 T. ?)
KROGER brand Greek salad dressing

I made a large amount (am actually thinking
of recreating it for the Sunday School picnic
this Saturday – we’ll see). There was enough
left over for us to leave some at son’s house
AND bring a rather large bowl home (half of
which became my breakfast!) Weight-wise, let’s
just say: I PIGGED OUT! Had steak, asparagus,
2 helpings salad and a very tiny amount of cake,
minus the frosting. Getting on scales today was
‘as expected’ . . . it read: GET BACK ON YOUR DIET,
WOMAN!” hehehe.

Well, now I wear 2 hats: one for a 10 year old
grandson and one for a yet-to-be-born baby
grandchild! AMAZING!



Yep, it’s STILL hot out there! (but it’s August)


Had to make a quick run to the grocery store a little earlier – my car thermometer said 88 degrees F.; it’s sunny and a GORGEOUS baby-blue sky with great big wispy clouds – if I were a sail boat person, it would be THAT kind of a day.

This evening our oldest son (the Exec. Chef) invited us over for dinner – he loves entertaining and wants to do this, every once in awhile. Also coming will be his girlfriend’s parents – we all get along great, so it should be a really FUN time. He’s making New York strip steaks & twice-baked potatoes; I’m bringing a Greek salad – he let me know they are ‘good’ on dessert, mentioning something about we have the cakes already. Cakes? I’m wondering why cakes – plural, but guess I’ll find out later, right?

Gas prices in our area have jumped up a bit – I should have taken advantage of them when they were $2.16/9 but now they’re up to $2.29/9 – not terribly bad, but would have liked the lower price – sigh.


Chocolate Bliss S’mores

1/2 C. butter, melted
2 C. crushed graham crackers
1/2 C. chopped M & M’s (peanut
butter flavored)
1/2 C. chopped M & M’s peanut
1 C. chopped Milky Way Midnight
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
spray then line with parchment paper.
In large bowl mix butter & graham
crumbs; press onto bottom of prepared
pan. Sprinkle chopped M & M’s &
Milky Way bars on top of crust. Bake
12-15 minutes until candy is melted &
slightly golden. Remove & cover
generously with  mini marshmallows.
Return to oven & bake another 10
minutes until marshmallows are golden
on top. Cool on rack & sprinkle with
some remaining graham crumbs, if
desired. Let cool completely before

(recipe: livingthegourmet.com)

Sweet Cola Ribs

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 C. ketchup
1 can cola
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 T. onion powder
1/2 T. ground mustard
1/2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub:

2 T. salt
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper

2 racks pork spare ribs (about
3 lb. each)

In medium saucepan over medium
heat, add oil. Once heated, add onion &
garlic; saute until tender. Add all remaining
sauce ingredients & bring to boil. Reduce
heat to simmer & cook, uncovered, stirring
frequently, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Dry Rub:
Whisk all dry rub ingredients together in
small bowl. (this can be stored in an airtight
container up to 6 months).

Rinse & dry ribs; place on clean cutting
board. Pull off membrane & trim ribs of
excess fat. Liberally season both sides of
ribs with rub. Wrap ribs with plastic wrap
& refrigerate 4-12 hours so flavors can
Preheat grill to 250 degrees F. using
hickory and charcoal. Set up grill for
indirect heat.
Place ribs, meatier sides down, on grill
away from coals; close cover & cook
1 hr 15 minutes, flipping several times
for an even cook. Coat ribs with sauce,
reserving some for dipping later. Cook
another 20 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Grilled Seafood Boil Foil
(& oven method)

2 T. salted butter, softened
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 lb. peeled/deveined shrimp,
thawed if frozen, patted dry
1/3 lb. bay scallops, foot removed,
thawed if frozen, patted dry
1 T. canola oil
3/4 tsp. seafood seasoning (like
Old Bay)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed, halved, crosswise
2 1/2 C. red potatoes, chopped*
2 links andouille sausage, sliced
1 C. lager beer
2 T. chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine butter & lemon peel in
small bowl. Combine shrimp,
scallops, oil, seafood seasoning,
garlic powder & cayenne in another
bowl; toss to coat. Place four 18″ X
12″ pieces of heavy duty aluminum
foil on counter – spray with nonstick
spray. Divide & evenly place corn &
potatoes on each piece of foil – top
each with some seafood mixture &
sausage slices. Fold edges of foil
upward; pour 1/4 C. beer into each
packet. Double fold top & ends of
each piece of foil, leaving space for
steam to gather. Place packets on
grate, cover. Grill 15-20 minutes until
seafood is cooked through (145 degrees
F.) and vegetables are tender. Carefully
open packets. Divide lemon butter
evenly & place on each piece of corn.
Sprinkle each with parsley & serve.
Serves 4

Oven method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare packets as above; place
on shallow pan & bake 25-30
minutes until seafood is cooked
through (145 degrees F.) and
potatoes are tender.

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
BLT Macaroni Salad

1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions,
drained & cooled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped baby

In large bowl combine mayonnaise,
garlic, salt/pepper – add cooked
pasta & remaining ingredients. Mix
well, cover & refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 12

NOTE: you may add a little more
mayonnaise before serving if it’s a
bit too dry

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sauteed Zucchini, Bacon & Tomatoes

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thin
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste

Cook bacon in pan until crisp, remove
from pan, drain grease & wipe out pan
with paper towel until there is only a
small amount of grease left in pan. Sauteed
sliced zucchini 10 minutes until cooked,
sprinkle with a little salt. Add tomatoes,
garlic & bacon to pan & cook 1-2 minutes
more. Makes 1 serving.

(recipe: upstateramblings.com)

Pineapple/Pecan/Chicken Salad

3 C. cooked/chopped chicken breasts
1 C. finely chopped celery
2 green onions, sliced (about 3 T.)
2 T. finely chopped green pepper
1 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 T. lemon juice

Combine chicken, celery, green onion,
green pepper, salt/pepper & mayo
in a bowl – mix well. Stir in pecans,
pineapple & lemon juice. Chill about
30 minutes before serving to allow
flavors to meld.

(recipe: thekitchenismyplayground)

Ambrosia Salad

1 (29 oz) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 C. maraschino cherries, drained/
rinsed & cut in half
1 (1 oz) box cheesecake-flavor Pudding
8 oz. sour cream
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. miniature marshmallows

Drain all fruit – if it was packed in syrup,
rinse in cold water & drain. Combine fruit
cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges &
cherries in large bowl – sprinkle with dry
cheesecake-flavored pudding mix & stir
to coat. Add sour cream & Cool Whip –
stir well. Fold in marshmallows & chill
at least 1 hour before serving.

(recipe: recipelion.com)


Not much new around here, finally got the
‘when do we watch the grandson’ schedule
ironed out. Turns out it’s not too bad: this
week we have him all day Thurs & Friday.
Next week just Thurs. and, if all stays the
same, we’re ‘off’ for the rest of the month!
Son said it looks like it will be every Thurs.
& every other Friday when school starts –
we’ll see.

Oh! Wanted to include an actual photo
of my really pretty plant: CELOSIA


Even THIS photo doesn’t do it justice – the bottom
of the plumes are darker magenta and so are the
tips – the middles are sort of a white/pink hue –
REALLY pretty (and, so far . . . fingers crossed . . .
I’m keeping it alive!) YAY!

Have a GREAT day!



A Little “This & That”


This is Celosia!

Wednesday when I went to my special needs group one of our helpers brought in a gorgeous plant like the above. She said she bought our leader a birthday present and felt that she hadn’t spent enough on mine (in June) so she got the Celosia, too! It’s really pretty – in my all-time favorite color: Magenta (the pot is even purple!) – it looks, up close, like the plumes would be very soft but they’re more like a straw flower – kind of rough (surprising!). I ‘warned’ her that I’m known as the “PLANT KILLER” but she said we’ll just see how this one goes. I guess it’s supposed to be an outside plant, but I’m going to try to make it a house plant . . . keep your fingers crossed as to how long I can keep it alive.

Today is my youngest son’s 22nd birthday – he asked for his present early (like last month) so today finds me going to Dairy Queen and purchasing a peanut butter ice cream cake for him.

Diet-wise: I’m still plugging along on the diet drink stuff and attempting to eat wisely. As of today I’ve lost 9.2 lb. and my blood sugar number was really good this morning, so I’m happy. Dinner last night was BLT’s (YUM), I had 1 slice of bread and made it a half-sandwich. Have been eating lots of fruit & veggies – my new ‘go to’ snack food is sunflower seeds. I found a rather large bag of them (shelled/lightly salted) at our local grocery store for $2.99 – great price! I haven’t seen any changes (yet) on the measurements; my friend who’s sort of like a ‘trainer’ said you will notice inches off before you notice pounds – oh well, I’ve never been quite ‘normal’, anyway . . . (hehehe)


Chocolate “Lasagna”

1 pkg. chocolate sandwich cookies
6 T. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. powdered sugar
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding

Place cookies in a ziplock bag & crumble
them. Once crumbled, add butter &
smash together. Add mixture to a 9″ X 9″
baking dish – arrange in flat layer.
In bowl, add cream cheese & powdered
sugar; mix, using elec. mixer until smooth.
Fold in 1/2 C. Cool Whip; spread on cookie
crust in dish. In another bowl mix instant
chocolate pudding & milk; whisk until thick
then pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate
about 15 minutes until pudding is firm*. Once
firm, add Cool Whip, smooth out & sprinkle
chocolate chips on top.

*You can also place it in the freezer for
1 hour

(recipe: jasminemaria.com)

Grilled Corn Salad

3/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing,
1/4 C. yellow mustard
4 ears corn on cob, husks & silk
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed/
quartered & cooked
1 jicama, peeled/cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil

Heat grill to Low heat.
Mix 1/4 C. dressing & mustard in shallow
bowl until blended. Add corn & turn evenly
to coat. Transfer corn to grill, reserving
dressing mixture in dish. Grill corn 15-20
minutes until tender, turning & brushing
occasionally with dressing mixture. Remove
from grill & cool.
Cut corn from cobs; place in large bowl. Add
beans, jicama, tomatoes, basil & remaining
dressing; mix lightly. Makes 16 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Grilled Beer Brats & Potatoes
Foil Packets
(& oven method)

1 C. lager beer
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. finely chopped garlic
4 T. spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. thinly sliced red onion
2 1/2 C. red potatoes, chopped*
1 (19 oz) pkg. pork bratwurst

additional spicy brown mustard &
chopped parsley, optional

Prepare gas grill for medium-high
heat. Whisk beer, Worc. sauce,
cornstarch, garlic, mustard & pepper
in medium bowl. Place five 18″ X 12″
pieces heavy duty aluminum foil on
counter – spray with nonstick spray.
Evenly place onion & potatoes on each
foil. Pierce bratwursts with fork & place
on top of vegetables. Carefully fold edges
of foil upward; pour about 1/4 C. beer
mixture into each packet. Double fold
top & ends of each piece of foil, leaving
space for steam to gather. Place packets
on grate, cover grill & grill 20-25 minutes
until bratwurst is cooked through (160
degrees F.) & potatoes are tender.
Carefully open packets & serve with
additional mustard & parsley, if
desired. Serves 5

Oven Method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Prepare
packets as above. Place packets on
a shallow pan & bake 25-30 minutes
until brats are cooked through &
potatoes are tender.

*original recipe calls for:
2 1/2 C. Alexia Oven Reds with
olive oil, Parmesan cheese &
roasted garlic
(about 1/2 bag)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Cheesy Stuffed Eggplant

2 stuffed eggplants, stems removed
1 small onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 C. cherry tomatoes, stems removed &
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. bread crumbs
1 1/4 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut eggplants lengthwise; scoop out
pulp, leaving enough outside skin to
form a boat. Dice eggplant scooped
out & combine with zucchini, garlic,
tomatoes & onion in large bowl. Heat
olive oil in large skillet over medium
heat – saute mixture 4-5 minutes. Add
salt/pepper, basil & half of parsley to
pan; continue cooking 1 more minute.
Remove from heat, stir in breadcrumbs
& half of mozz. cheese. Lightly spray a
baking sheet with nonstick spray &
place eggplant boats on sheet. Fill
boats with vegetable mixture then top
with remaining cheeses. Bake 25
minutes then garnish with remaining
parsley & serve hot. Serves 4, 1/2
eggplant each.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Chicken/Parmesan Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/well squeezed
1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6 small boneless/skinless chicken breasts,
pounded to 1/4″ thickness
1 egg
10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 1/2 C. pasta sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray.
Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 C. mozzarella,
3 T. Parm. cheese until blended – spread
onto chicken. Starting at one short end of
each breast, roll up chicken tightly & secure
with wooden toothpicks. Whisk egg in
shallow dish until blended. Combine
cracker crumbs & remaining Parm. cheese
in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in
egg, then roll in crumb mixture until evenly
coated. Place in prepared dish & bake
30 minutes until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Remove from oven & discard toothpicks. Serve
chicken topped with warmed pasta sauce &
remaining mozzarella. Serves 6

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Shrimp/Jalapeno Appetizers

metal skewers
32 uncooked large shrimp (1 lb),
1/3 C. Italian salad dressing
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
32 Ritz butter crackers
6 oz sharp Cheddar cheese,
cut into 16 slices then cut each
sliced diagonally in half
11 slices bacon, each cut into 3 pieces
4 fresh jalapeno peppers,
cut into 8 slices

Toss shrimp in a bowl with salad
dressing & refrigerate 30 minutes to
marinate. Mix sour cream & cilantro
in small bowl, refrigerate until ready
to use.
Heat grill to medium heat.
Place crackers in single layer in a
disposable foil pan. Place cheese
slices on crackers & cover with foil
Drain shrimp; discard marinade. Wrap
each shrimp with a piece of bacon then
thread onto skewers. Grill skewers 10
minutes until shrimp turn pink, turning
skewers frequently. Place (cracker filled)
foil pan on grill grate; grill 2 minutes
then remove from grill. Let stand, covered,
1-2 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.
Remove shrimp from skewers & place on
crackers. Top with sour cream mixture &
pepper slices. Makes 32 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
(room temp, not melted)
4 oz. butter (1 stick) softened,
(room temp, not melted)
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. fresh strawberries sliced into
very small pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or foil. In large bowl using elec.
mixer, beat cream cheese, butter &
sugars until light in color. Add egg &
vanilla, continue beating until very
In separate bowl combine flour &
baking powder – mix. Add flour
mixture to wet ingredients &
continue beating just enough to
combine. Using a spatula, fold in
sliced strawberries. At this point
you can bake cookies using one of
two methods:
Method #1:
Flatten & spread cookie dough on a
plate & freeze 30-40 minutes to harden.
After hard, but not frozen, just enough
so it doesn’t stick to your hands & is
very easy to handle, using the palms of
your hands, roll dough into balls & drop
on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake
about 14 minutes until a little brown
around edges. Cool by removing paper/
foil with cookies on it, to a wire rack.

Method #2:
Using a teaspoon, drop cookie dough by
teaspoonfuls onto sheet leaving about
1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake about
14 minutes until a little brown around
edges. Cool cookies same as method 1.

Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: allfood.recipes)


Our weather is still sunny and mostly
in the high 80’s. Looking at the forecast
for the next week (up to Weds.) it’s
clear, sunny & high 80’s (Wed. High 91!).
Oh well – it IS August, guess I’d better
enjoy this while I can because Fall will
soon be knocking on our doors – sigh.

In the next week or so I need to take
advantage of the lovely weather and
take all the baby items for the Detroit
Vets baby shower outside to photo
them on my picnic table. There will be
more donations the night of the
pick up (Aug. 30th) but I’ll try to at least
get a head start on them now. The
ladies in the group, whether participating
or not, still like to see what everyone
created. Of my entire knit/crochet group
which now numbers 62, I’d say about
6-8 of us actually make anything for the
shower, so when I see the big pile of
baby items on the night of pick up, my
heart is really blessed at their
generosity – every item counts and I’ve
heard from the lady to heads up this
project that each item is greatly
appreciated. She mentioned that families
in the military don’t always have a lot
of money to spend on their second/
third, etc. child so something like this
is a real blessing to them. I’m very glad
we are a small part of making their day.

Hope you have a wonderful day!