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!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your plant is beautiful I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it stays healthy.

  2. That plant is gorgeous. It is my favorite color, too.

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