Gloomy, Rainy Day – sigh


Well, Fall weather has descended upon us – woke up at 6:30 a.m. to pouring rain – it’s now 2 p.m. and gloomy, gray and chilly: 61 degrees F. I’m still in my jammies (yep, with a sweatshirt hoodie, just to keep warm). Total of things done today: some knitting, some reading, boiled some eggs, cooked breakfast & put together a salad (on the fly) for son going to work – that’s it. Last night was the Fund Raiser for special needs group followed by our meeting – by the time I got home I was ‘on my knees’ exhausted. Didn’t get the amount of people we thought we would for the fund raiser – we estimated 100 – 150 people; had TONS of hot dogs left and total monies raised: $88.50, total spent: over $100. Oh well – at least we can take back about 7 pkgs. buns and one pkg. uncooked hot dogs – that’s ‘some’ monies recovered, right? We’re planning on freezing the cooked dogs & using them for the Fall Harvest Party end of Oct., then we’ll buy new buns. Hey – ya win some/ya lose some, right?


Pumpkin Spice Cookies w/Cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 C. butter (sweet/salted)
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. canned pumpkin
2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans


1/2 C. butter (sweet/salted)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter & sugar until light &
fluffy. Add eggs & pumpkin – mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt & spices
together & fold into cookie batter. Mix
until well blended (add nuts now, if using).
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet & bake
15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla
using an elec. mixer until blended. Add
powdred sugar, 1 cup at a time, until all
is incorporated then add cinnamon. Frost
baked cookies with frosting using a knife.
You can sprinkle a little ground nutmeg on
top, if desired.  Makes 3 dozen cookies


Crockpot Pork Chops w/Caramelized
Apples & Onions

4 pork chops
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled &
2 yellow onions, sliced into rings
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Layer onions on bottom, then
apples. Sprinkle brown sugar on top.
Season chops with salt/pepper
generously on both sides & place
on top of apples. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Serves 4


Zucchini Ricotta/Basil Pasta

1 lb. ziti or other dry pasta
3 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 lb. zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz. basil (about 2 C. loose
8 oz. ricotta (1 C.)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lemon
2 oz. grated Parmesan, Pecorino or
a mixture of both (about 1 C. plus
more for serving)

Place large pot of water to boil. In
large skillet over medium-high, cook
onions in 3 T. olive oil until softened,
5-8 minutes Reduce heat, add zucchini,
season generously with salt/pepper &
continue cooking, stirring occasionally
until rather soft about 10 minutes.
Turn off heat. Using a mortar & pestle
(OR a food processor), grind garlic,
basil & a little salt into a rough paste;
stir in 3 T. olive oil. Salt pasta water
well & cook pasta, stirring. Boil
accordg. to pkg. directions keeping
pasta al dente. Drain, reserving 1 C.
cooking water. Add cooked pasta to
zucchini in skillet & turn heat to
medium-high. Add 1/2 C. reserved
cooking water, then ricotta, crushed
red pepper & lemon zest, stir to
distribute. Check seasoning & adjust;
cook 1 minute. Mixture should look
creamy. Add a little more pasta water
if necessary. Add basil paste & half
grated cheese – quickly stir to
incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm
soup plates & sprinkle with additional
cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6


Family Recipe Goulash

1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 lb. beef round steak,
cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large onions, quartered
2 potatoes, peeled/quartered
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 C. water
1/ 3/4 C. beef broth
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped

Cooked medium egg noodles
for 4

In large pot melt butter over high
heat. Add steak & onion; cook 6-8
minutes until meat is browned,
stirring frequently. Add remaining
ingredients (except tomatoes).
Cover & reduce heat to Low – simmer
45 minutes. Add tomatoes & simmer,
uncovered, 25-30 minutes longer until
beef is tender & sauce is thickened.
Serve over cooked egg noodles
Serves 4


Grandma’s Potato Pancakes

4 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.)
3/4 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. vegetable oil

Coarsely grate the potatoes & put
them & onion in a strainer – press
down with back of a large spoon to
extract excess moisture. (If they’re
still watery, wrap them in a clean
dish towel & squeeze to extract
moisture.) In large bowl combine
potatoes, onion & egg; mix well.
Gradually add flour, baking powder,
salt/pepper & mix well. In large
skillet over medium heat heat 1/4
inch oil. Using about 1/3 C. batter
per pancake, add batter to hot oil,
being careful not to crowd pan.
Fry 3-4 minutes until golden; flip
& fry an additional 3-4 minutes
until cooked through. Add more
oil as needed until all batter is
used. Remove pancakes to a
paper towel-lined plate – serve
hot. Makes 7-8 pancakes.

NOTE: serve with applesauce,
sour cream, minced dill or any of
your favorite toppings


Crockpot Beef & Enchilada Rice Dip
(4 qt or larger crockpot)

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. diced white onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 C. sour cream
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
2 1/2 C. cooked white rice
1 (8 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Brown gr. beef & onion in skillet; drain &
add to crockpot; sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Add half of cheese, sour cream, pinto beans
& rice to meat – stir then flatten out; sprinkle
with remaining cheese. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours WITHOUT OPENING LID  during
cooking time. Remove lid, sprinkle with olives
& tomatoes & serve with chips. Serves 6


Marbled Orange Fudge

1 1/2 tsp. plus 3/4 C. butter,
3 C. sugar
3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (10-12 oz) pkg. white baking chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
3 tsp. orange extract
12 drops yellow food coloring
5 drops red food coloring

Grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
1 1/2 tsp. butter. In large heavy
saucepan, combine sugar, cream &
remaining butter. Cook & stir over Low
heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to
a boil; cook & stir 4 minutes – remove
from heat. Stir in chips & marshmallow
creme until smooth. Remove 1 C. and
set aside. Add orange extract & food
coloring to remaining mixture; stir until
blended then pour into prepared pan.
Drop reserved marshmallow mixture
by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut through
top with a knife to swirl. Cover &
refrigerate until set then cut into
squares. Makes about 2 1/2 lb.



I’ve noticed that our gas prices have
shot up again to $2.29/9 (from $2.11/9) –
just when I needed gas – figures . . .

Not much else new here – going to the
new movie “Mrs. Perrigrin’s Home for
Peculiar Children”
tomorrow with  middle
son. He thought it was odd that I would
want to go see it – I told him: “Hey! YOU
introduced me to Tim Burton movies –
why WOULDN’T I want to see it?”

Have a good rest of the week;



Another great week and end!

crochet a day

It’s another gorgeous Fall-like day here in my neck of Michigan; temps in mid 70’s, sun shining, slight breeze – really nice. I know that Fall is coming ( you can almost feel it) but for now, I’m content to be delusional in thinking SUMMER will keep going – forever!

Still working on yellow baby afghan but decided that since I’m going to deliver three baby blankets Weds. to Crisis Pregnancy Center, I should start another one! (Yep, I’m nuts!) I found a baby yarn I’ve been contemplating for awhile now – tried it once a few months ago for another project and decided it didn’t work well so I stashed it. This one is a variegated: aqua blue, medium lime green, white; I have three skeins of it so am starting out with it and seeing just how far one skein will go. If it makes a good amount of afghan, I’ll just keep going with the other two skeins. If it doesn’t, I’ll ‘fill in’ a bit with white or maybe medium lime green – we’ll see. This is the same pattern I’m using as the previous ‘velour/chenille’ scarf I’m knitting for the homeless shelter  – VERY easy pattern, just 2 rows! Sometimes I like using something that’s kind of ‘mindless’ where you can just sit & knit, not really having to worry about counting stitches/rows, etc.


Apple Cider Donut Cake

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled/
1 1/2 C. apple cider
1/2 C. milk, room temp.
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs, room temp.
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Cider Glaze:
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. sugar
1/8 C. water
1/8 – 1/4 C. hard cider (I
imagine you could use regular
cider, it just wouldn’t be as strong

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
6 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
spray. In medium saucepan place
apples & cider & bring to boil over
medium heat. Reduce heat to medium
& simmer 10-12 minutes until apples
are fork-tender. Remove from heat,
cool a few minutes then place in
food processor or blender – puree.
Measure out 1 Cup & stir milk into
that. (NOTE: remaining mixture in
blender can be used over yogurt or
oatmeal or heated slightly & drizzled
over ice cream).
In medium bowl combine flour, baking
powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves
& cinnamon. In large bowl cream butter,
sugar & brown sugar on medium speed
using elec. mixer,until light & fluffy. Add
eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add
oil & mix well. Add flour mixture & apple/
milk mixture alternately in three additions,
scraping bowl as needed & mixing after
each addition. Add vanilla & beat to combine.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake
35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted
near center comes out clean. Remove from
oven & place on cooling rack 10  minutes
before removing from pan – place cake on
cooling rack to cool at least 30 minutes.

Melt butter, sugar & water over medium-
high heat – bring to boil & let boil 1-2
minutes. Remove from heat & immediately
add cider, stirring to combine. Place a baking
sheet under a wire rack. Using a pastry brush
or marinade brush, cover cooled cake with
glaze (do this in several steps, allowing glaze
to sink into cake then doing it again).

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:
Combine sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg in small
bowl. Sprinkle warm, glazed cake with mixture
using fingers to rub it into sides of cake.

(recipe: Runcible Eats)

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

3 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
salt/ to taste
1 C. shredded mozzarella
2 C. flour
6 eggs, beaten
2 C. bread crumbs
1 C. oil (for frying)
3 C. tomato sauce
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. basil

Cut a horizontal pocket in each
chicken breast & stuff each with Mozz.
cheese. Press edges of chicken together to
seal the pocket. Place flour, eggs, & bread
crumbs in three shallow dishes. Being
careful to keep chicken from opening, dip
each in flour, shaking off excess. Dip next
into egg then bread crumbs, coating each
evenly. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Fry each chicken breast until golden brown
on both sides. Place 2/3rds of tomato sauce
evenly on bottom of a baking dish & place
chicken breasts on top. Top each with remaining
tomato sauce & sprinkle with Parmesan & basil.
Bake 20 minutes. Serves 3


Crockpot Greek Potatoes

3 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved
2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter
juice of 1 lemon (zest before
squeezing – need zest later)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
zest of 1 lemon
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place potatoes, oil, butter, lemon
juice, garlic, oregano & paprika in crock;
season with salt/pepper. Cover & cook on
Low 4-5 hours or High 2-3 until potatoes
are tender. Serve immediately garnished
with lemon zest & parsley, if desired.
Serves 4


Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins

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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix flour, cornmeal,
sugar, baking soda & salt – toss with
fork. In large (2 Cup) measuring cup
place buttermilk, oil & eggs – whisk
to combine using fork. Pour wet
ingredients into dry & stir a little
using a wooden spoon (do not over-
mix). Add cheese & jalapenos to
batter – stir until there are no more
streaks of flour. Line muffin tins with
cupcake liners & spray with nonstick
spray. Pour batter into tins & bake 12-15
minutes until tops spring back when
lightly tapped. Remove from oven &
allow to cool in pans 5 minutes.

*If you don’t have buttermilk –
Pour 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice in a
2-Cup measuring cup & fill rest (up
to the 1 C. line) with milk – stir &
let stand 5 minutes – now you have

**Depending on how hot you want
your muffins, you might want to remove
most of the seeds inside the jalapenos,
as they hold the heat, using only the
flesh of the jalapenos (your choice)


Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni

3 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 tsp. oil
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. flour
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large saucepan as
per pkg. directions, omitting salt.
Heat oil in large skillet on medium
heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms &
garlic; cook & stir 3-4 minutes until
zucchini is crisp-tender. Add flour &
seasonings; cook & stir 1 minute. Stir
in broth; cook & stir 2-3 minutes until
thickened. Add cream cheese; cook
& stir 2-3 minutes until melted. Drain
pasta & return to pan. Add zucchini
mixture, spinach, Parm. cheese & 1/2
C. mozzarella; mix lightly – spoon into
2 Qt. casserole dish sprayed with
nonstick spray; top with remaining
mozzarella. Bake 10 minutes until
mozzarella is melted.
Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. ea)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Blueberry French Toast
Overnight recipe – uses a crockpot
with removable liner

1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. butter, melted
12 slices white bread
1 1/2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
5 eggs
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Garnish:  whipped cream, additional
blueberries, powdered sugar

Mix brown sugar, butter & cinnamon in
a bowl. Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Sprinkle 1/3 brown sugar
mixture evenly on bottom of crockpot.
Place 6 slices bread on top & sprinkle
another 1/3 brown sugar mixture on top;
top with blueberries evenly across top.
Cover with remaining bread; sprinkle
rest of brown sugar mixture on top. In
separate bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla &
salt; pour evenly over all. Use a spoon to
gently press bread down. Cover &
refrigerate crockpot liner overnight. Place
crockpot liner in crockpot, cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours. It is done when it is
set & golden on top. Serve sprinkled with
powdered sugar & a dollop of whipped
cream on top with some blueberries.
Serves 6-8


This is another busy week coming up: Knit Night
Tuesday, Weds. is a Fund Raiser Dinner for our
Special Needs group (6-7 p.m.) followed by the
regular group night (7-8:15 p.m.) so I guarantee
I’ll be pretty tired at the end of that night. There
are a few other things going on Thurs/Fri. but
Saturday is another Moms2Moms sale – YAY!
Still looking for a small/fold up high chair and
a small walker (like I had when my boys were
little) – the walkers they have now days are
HUGE and take up WAAAY too much room for
my small house. (AND there’s another baby
sale in 2 weeks – going to both with the Mom-to-
be and her mom, so should be fun!) I’m still a
bit amazed seeing her Mom ‘in action’ – since
this is their first grandchild she’s going APE-CRAZY
with the baby buying thing! Can’t say this baby
will not be SPOILED! Oh well – I’m letting her have
her fun, it’s nice to see her really excited for this
new addition (we still don’t know boy/girl).

It’s a nice, quiet afternoon – just had a really nice
‘spur of the moment’ Little Caesar’s $5 specials
pizza, salad & breadsticks (dear husband just
said, on the way home from church, “Hey, how
does pizza sound?” YES! Works for me – no
cooking and there’s enough for dinner, too!
SCORE! Have some leftover pork roast/carrots
& potatoes (enough for maybe, two). I LOVE
my crockpot – just throw in a pork or beef
roast, sprinkle it with a packet of dry onion
soup mix, add some carrots & potatoes and
let ‘er cook all day! (I decided this time to see
if I par-cooked the veggies, would they NOT
come out al dente – I don’t like the carrots
a bit crunchy. Just put them in a pot of
water & boiled them until they were about
half-cooked, drained then threw them in
the crockpot with the meat – IT WORKED!)

Hope you’re having a NICE, RELAXED day!



A Little Knitting Catch-up

knitting sheep

Finally had a chance to take a few photos: peacock-colored scarf (for homeless shelter), another homeless shelter scarf I just started and the butter-yellow baby blanket that gave me fits by jumping off the needles last week.


Peacock scarf (photo doesn’t show the stitches very nicely)


another homeless shelter scarf – this one is more donated yarn (yarn is a teal blue chenille (I want to call it velour – same/same)


Butter-yellow baby blanket – still have about half to go on this one

So far this week has been pretty easy-going (I probably shouldn’t say that out loud – right?) Yesterday found us doing a ‘last minute’ watch-the-grandson maneuver; his Mom text me early to ask if his dad (our son) had mentioned he had a half-day of school? No . . . lots of texting later I agreed to pick him up at 12 and then keep him until his dad got here to take him to football practice (which turned out to be around 4:45 p.m.). We decided to take him out to lunch (a good ‘time killer’) so we went to Village Place (a general ‘all purpose/24 hr’ get almost any food you want) type place. He ended up ordering the kids shrimp & fries (as another of our sons said: “You can tell his dad is a chef – what normal kid orders SHRIMP?”). It was a really small order (only 4 shrimp) but he was OK with it. Husband had a big burger and was very happy with it; I ordered their Ultimate Nacho. I ask you: “WHO puts BACON on a nacho?” I don’t remember seeing that on the list of ingredients, but I ate it anyway. It was loaded with lots of really melty cheese, so that made me happy (I mostly picked off the bacon bits). Don’t get me wrong – I do like bacon, just not on a nacho!


Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
2 sticks butter, divided/melted
3 eggs, divided
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3-4 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. instant espresso granules

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick spray. Mix cake mix
with 1/2 C. melted butter, 1 egg &
1 tsp. vanilla in large bowl until
just combined. Transfer to prepared
dish (use a rubber spatula to spread
in even layer). In separate bowl beat
cream cheese 2-3 minutes until smooth
then add eggs, one at a time. Mix in
cocoa & instant coffee granules, until
smooth. Gradually mix in powdered
sugar (on Low speed if using elec.
mixer) then drizzle in remaining
melted butter & vanilla; fold in
chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour mixture over batter in dish & gently
spread in even layer. Bake 45-50 minutes
until edges are pulling away from sides
of dish & center is just set. Remove from
oven & let cool at least 40 minutes until
set. Serves 10-12


Crockpot Mango Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 ripe mangoes, diced
1 C. mild salsa
1/4 C. brown sugar

Place all ingredients in crockpot &
stir until evenly distributed. Cover &
cook on Low 4-5 hours until chicken
reaches an internal temperature of
165 degrees F. Shred. Makes 6

Serving suggestions:
Serve on tacos, in quesadillas, on
cooked rice, or on a salad.


Baked Cheesy Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan
1 oz. Provolone cheese, shredded
(or you can use mozzarella)
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place tomatoes, cut sides up, on
a baking sheet. Top with cheeses,
oregano, basil, salt/pepper.
Bake about 15 minutes until
tomatoes are tender.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Zesty Shrimp & Avocado Salad

1/4 C. chopped red onion
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
1 lb. jumbo cooked/peeled shrimp,
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed,
diced fine
1 T. chopped cilantro

In small bowl combine onion, lime juice,
olive oil, salt/pepper – let set at least
5 minutes to mellow the flavor. In large
bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado,
tomato, jalapeno; add cilantro & gently
toss. Adjust salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 4


Quick Cream Cheese Pesto Pasta

2 C. dry tortellini
6 T. cream cheese
3-4 T. pesto sauce

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain, reserving about 1/2 C. water. In
a pan or bowl, whisk cream cheese with
pesto & about 6 T. water until creamy.
(adding a little more or less water will
produce thinner or thicker sauce).
Serve immediately.
Serving suggestions:
Sprinkle with some chopped parsley,
roasted sunflower seeds and/or grated
Parmesan cheese


Paradise Fried Rice

1 T. sesame oil
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 C. diced pineapple
3/4 C. diced cooked ham or
Canadian bacon
2 large eggs
2 C. cooked rice
2 T. soy sauce
sliced scallions, for garnish

In large skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Add onion & garlic & cook
3 minutes. Add peppers & zucchini
& cook until soft, 6 minutes. Add
pineapple & ham, stir until combined.
Move ingredients to one side of
pan & add eggs. Scramble eggs 3
minutes then stir to combine with
rest of ingredients in pan. Add cooked
rice & stir until combined. Stir in
soy sauce & sprinkle with scallions.
Serves 4


Blueberry Zucchini Cake w/Lemon

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 C. finely shredded/drained
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries (can
save a few for garnish, if desired)

Lemon Buttercream

1 C. butter, room temp
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 lemon – juice & zest (about 2 T.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 8 inch round cake pans
with nonstick spray – lighty flour.
In large bowl using elec. mixer
beat eggs, oil, vanilla & sugar; fold in
zucchini. Slowly ad flour, salt, baking
powder/soda – gently fold in blueberries.
Divide batter evenly between prepared
pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife
inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool 20 minutes in pans then remove
from pans & cool on wire rack completely.

Combine butter, sugar & salt – beat until
well combined. Add lemon juice & vanilla;
beat another 3-5 minutes until creamy. Fold
in zest & frost cake.

*Grate zucchini & place in a clean dish towel.
Squeeze until most of liquid comes out. You
will want to have 2 total cups of shredded
zucchini after it has been drained.

NOTE: If you are piping on buttercream, omit
using zest



I must say – that last recipe made me drool
just typing it – Blueberries AND Buttercream?

You can tell it’s getting towards Fall just by
the change in recipes being offered – more
hearty soups/stews/casseroles and less light
veggie offerings – oh well, Go With the Flow,

Still another great Low 80’s day, sunny & clear.
I LOVE this weather! (soon enough we’ll be
getting the cold temps/leaves falling/drag out
the sweaters & sweatshirts/jackets, etc.)

When I was at the Cancer center Monday I
perused their used book area (people bring
in used books & donate them: paperbacks
50 cents, hardbacks $1.00 – can’t beat those
prices!) I grabbed about 6 paperbacks and
then spotted this BIG hardback with an
intriguing cover & title: “The Lion’s Game”
by Nelson DeMille
. Let’s just say it’s pretty
riveting; it’s an international terrorist story
and the author has a quirky sense of humor
(makes me laugh out loud sometimes!). I’m
about 1/4 th through it and I started it 2
days ago – worth a read.

Hope your day is going well – take a little
time out for yourself!



A little behind on writing . . .


It’s been a bit busy around here lately – Saturday found me going to my first “Mom-to-Mom’ Sale with the mother & grandmother of our (not yet born) grandbaby. They found some really nice things (we still don’t know the sex – might find out today when she goes to the doctors – she’s 17 weeks now). I was happy buying some cardboard baby books and a small bouncy chair like the one the baby’s daddy had when he was a wee tyke, some 33 years ago. Church/choir practice/evening church yesterday – got a free BIG zucchini someone wanted to give away so dinner tonight will be zucchini casserole. (I wanted to make zucchini stir fry with it, but husband REALLY wanted casserole . . . oh well, what do you do, right?)

Today was a run-run: first visit to radiologist to get results of recent double mammogram: GREAT NEWS! I don’t have to come back for a YEAR! (up until now it’s been first 3 months, then 6 months . .. now it’s a year!) I asked him who actually does the “She’s now 5 years cancer free” declaration and he said both he and the oncologist – (see him Nov. 6th) so we’ll await that date. When you get cancer, that FIVE YEAR cancer free mark is what you’re shooting for – I have 2 more months to find out officially.

With that doctor stop I included a stop at the Salvation Army to see if I could find a highchair and a baby walker (I don’t want the really HUGE ones they have now-my house is too small for that) no luck yet, but I still have lots of time. Quick stop at the library to return books, stopped at Kroger to ‘state my case’: Saturday I stopped at our Kroger (they are holding a GRAND re-opening sale after remodeling) and they had rotisserie chickens for $4.99. It’s a long story but with the deli person’s help, I found & purchased one. We ate it for dinner and then I looked at my receipt: they had charged me $9.99 for it – today I took back the newspaper page with the ad, the receipt and the empty bag – the nice lady said that I had purchased an ORGANIC chicken and they are always $9.99 – Hey! I asked the deli lady there where were the chickens that were on sale and she pointed to the only one there so I bought that one! How was I to know it was ORGANIC? Good news, she refunded $5.35 cents to me – score! Quick trip to Gordon Foods then a small grocery to get more zucchini for this stupid casserole and now I’m home – whew!


Pam’s Zucchini Casserole
(rough estimates on ingredients,
I made up the recipe)

3-4 zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 – 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
about 3 C. cooked white rice
salt/pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
1/2 – 3/4 C. sour cream
1 lb. hamburger, cooked/cooled

1/2 – 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella-
(for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place half of
sliced zucchini in a layer in
bottom of dish. Mix together
remaining ingredients & scoop
on top of sliced zucchini. Place
remaining sliced zucchini on top &
sprinkle with shredded mozz.
cheese. Bake 1 hour.
Serves 6

Crockpot Turtle Monkey Bread

2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (16.3 oz) tube Pillsbury GRANDS!
homestyle refrigerated buttermilk
3/4 C. pecan halves
2 T. whipping cream
1/3 C. milk chocolate chips

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. In
2-C. microwaveable measuring cup,
mix brown sugar & butter – microwave
uncovered, on High 1-2 minutes, stirring
every 30 seconds, until mixture is boiling
& smooth. In large ziplock bag, place
gran. sugar. Separate dough into 8 biscuits;
cut each one into fourths. Add a few biscuit
pieces at a time to bag, shake to coat. Sprinkle
1/4 C. pecans in bottom of crockpot; top with
half of biscuit  mixture. Pour 1/3 of butter
mixture over biscuit pieces in crockpot – repeat
with 1/4 C. pecans & remaining biscuit pieces;
pour remaining butter mixture over biscuits,
sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 C. pecans.
Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours until
a knife inserted into center comes out clean &
biscuits are no longer doughy in center – tops
of biscuits will be moist & may appear unbaked.
Turn off heat. Carefully remove cover so moisture
on inside of lid does not drip onto bread. Cover
opening of crockpot with paper towels; return
cover to crockpot & let stand 10 minutes. Run a
knife around the inside edges of crockpot then
invert crockpot upside down onto a heatproof
serving plate.
In 1 quart saucepan, heat cream over medium
heat until just boiling – remove from heat & stir
in chocolate chips until melted & smooth. Drizzle
over top of bread & serve warm. Serves 12

NOTE: You can substitute 1/4 C. hot fudge topping,
heated, for chocolate drizzle

NOTE: If your crockpot has a ceramic removable
insert, turn container halfway around about halfway
through cooking time for more even browning.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Balsamic Snap Peas

1/2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. shallots, minced
2 C. fresh snap peas
2 T. balsamic ‘glaze’ (recipe below)
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Add shallots & saute until tender,
2 minutes. Add garlic & saute until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Add snap peas & saute
until warmed through, 5 minutes, stir
constantly. Add balsamic glaze & toss to
combine. Season with salt & pepper. Serves 4

Balsamic Glaze:
8 oz. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
pinch salt

Pour balsamic vinegar into sauce pot;
add sugar & salt; stir to combine. Heat
over medium heat to a boil; stir. Heat
until glaze is thick & syrupy & has
reduced by half – remove from burner
& allow to cool. Can be stored in an
airtight container in fridge up to 2


BLT Pasta Salad

2 1/2 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
6 C. torn romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, diced
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 T. barbecue sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain then rinse under cold water. In
large bowl combine lettuce, tomato,
bacon & pasta. Drizzle ranch dressing
& BBQ sauce over top & gently toss
to coat evenly. Season with pepper &
serve immediately. Serves 6


Breakfast Bake

1/4 C. milk
5 eggs, whisked
1 can refrigerated biscuits
6 green onions, sliced
4-6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine whisked eggs &  milk in
large bowl. Cut biscuits into quarters
(using greased kitchen shears) & stir
into egg mixture. Let biscuits soak in
egg while cooking bacon/slice onions,
etc. Add everything to large bowl & mix
well. Pour into greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 25 minutes (make sure eggs
are no longer runny). Serve warm.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Zucchini “Meatballs”

1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 lb. unpeeled zucchini,
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped fresh basil
1 C. Italian seasoning breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 oz (1/4 C.) Pecorino Romano cheese,
freshly grated plus more for serving
2 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray large rimmed baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Place oil in large skillet
over medium heat. When hot, add garlic
& saute until golden, about 30 seconds.
Add zucchini, season with salt/pepper &
cook on High heat until all water
evaporates from skillet, 5-7 minutes.
Transfer to a colander to get rid of any
excess water, then to large bowl with
bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese
& chopped basil. Form mixture into 16
balls, about 1 oz each, rolling tightly &
transfer balls to prepared sheet. Spray
top of balls with nonstick spray & bake
until firm & browned, 20-25 minutes.
Heat sauce in large deep skillet to warm,
about 4-5 minutes. Add meatballs to
sauce & simmer 5 minutes. Serve with
grated cheese. Serves 4


Man Bars

1 (14 oz) box graham crackers
(3 sleeves) crushed into crumbs
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate
1 C. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 (14 oz, ea) cans sweetened condensed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs
(about 4 C. total), choc. chips, nuts,
condensed milk, vanilla & salt in
large bowl; mix until well combined.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with parch-
ment paper or foil, well greased) then
spread batter into pan. Bake 30 minutes
until set. Cool completely in pan, remove
then cut into squares. Add powdered
sugar to a medium bowl; add squares &
toss to coat. Store in air-tight container.
Makes 48 squares.



Gas prices are still staying at
$2.11/9 – YAY!

Weather-wise it’s still nice out –
in the 70’s/80’s & sunny (it rained
all day Saturday, but that’s OK).

Hope you’re having a great day!



Beautiful Day to get things DONE!


I started out today thinking I’d make a trip to Walmart (about 20 minutes away) then things changed, so I stayed home. I don’t know about you, but around here things sort of pile up – little things that need doing – like washing the INSIDES of my car windows! They get kind of ‘filmy’ over time (no, I don’t smoke – this is just ‘road grime’) so today was the perfect day to get that done (along with sweeping out the floors, wiping down the dashboard, etc.) Next was an annual job involving stabilizing the porch door-done! Got the dishwasher loaded, washed those dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher, addressed two get well cards, updated some phone numbers for my special needs group – you know . . . THAT kind of ‘little things that pile up’! Along with all that I found a short video on YouTube which taught me how to do a more stretchy cast-on for my baby hats! You know that rim on hats that holds the hat ON? Mine are not very stretchy, even though I knit a ribbing; THIS cast on adds just that little ‘needed something’ it was lacking before – SCORE! Feeling ACCOMPLISHED today! Dinner tonight is spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread – YUM!


Since summer is wrapping up AND I’m pretty sure you all have some ZUCCHINI left – here’s some recipes for that!

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded zucchini
2 T. lemon zest
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 5 X 3″ mini
loaf pans. Using elec. mixer, beat
butter until creamy; add sugar &
beat until light & fluffy. Add eggs,
1 at a time, until just blended after
each addition. In medium bowl whisk
flour, salt, baking soda & baking
powder – add to butter mixture
alternately with sour cream, beginning
& ending with flour mixture. Stir in
zucchini, lemon zest & poppy seeds.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake 40-45 minutes until a wooden
toothpick inserted into center of
loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans
in wire racks 10 minutes then remove
to wire racks to cool completely.


Olive Zucchini Spread
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
3 C. shredded zucchini
1 (7 1/2 oz) jar marinated artichoke
hearts, drained/finely chopped
1/4 C. pimiento-stuffed olives,
1 (4 1/4 oz) can chopped ripe olives
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 French bread baguette, sliced

In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients; beat until blended
then transfer to a serving bowl.
Cover & chill at least 4 hours or
overnight. Serve with baguette
slices. Makes 6 cups


Zucchini Lasagna
(grill & oven)

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 T. chopped fresh basil
black pepper, to taste
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese,
1 large egg
16 oz (4 C) shredded mozzarella

Slice zucchini 1/8″ thick, add salt &
set aside 10 minutes.Zucchini has a
lot of water when cooked, salting it
takes out a lot of the moisture. After
10 minutes blot excess moisture with
a paper towel.
In medium sauce pan brown meat &
season with salt;  drain & remove meat
from pan. Add olive oil to pan & saute
garlic & onions 2 minutes. Return meat
to pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt/pepper –
simmer on Low 30-40 minutes, covered.
Do not add extra water – sauce should be
Heat grill to medium-high; grill zucchini 2-3
minutes per side, until slightly browned. Place
on paper towels to soak up any excess
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix ricotta, Parmesan, egg &
stir well. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & spread 1/2 C. sauce on
bottom – layer zucchini on top to cover.
Spread 1/2 C. ricotta mixture, then top with
1 C. mozz. cheese – repeat until all ingredients
are used up. Last/top layer with zucchini &
sauce. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Uncover & bake 20 minutes (to dry up the
sauce). Place remaining 1 C. mozzarella
on top & bake until melted, 10 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minute before cutting.
Serves 8


Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
(and baked potato skins)

9 medium russet potatoes
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
4 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 C. milk (if potatoes are
too thick)
1 jar bacon bits (or half lb. bacon,
2 1/2 – 3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced, garnish

Garnishes for Skins:
cooked/chopped bacon
sour cream
chopped green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Scrub & pierce potatoes several times
with a sharp knife. Bake potatoes about
an hour until potatoes ‘give’ when
squeezed gently using an oven mitted
hand. When done, cut in half & carefully
scoop out insides into a bowl, leaving
about 1/4 inch layer of skin. Using an
elec. mixer, mix potato ‘insides’ briefly
to break up; add cream cheese, sour cream
butter, garlic & about 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4
tsp. pepper – beat until thoroughly mixed.
Do not mix to gumminess. If mixture seems
really thick, add up to 1/2 C. milk to smooth
them to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Spray large casserole dish with nonstick spray
& spread potato mixture into pan.Cover with
foil & bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees F.
Immediately after removing from oven, cover
top with 1 C. cheese then sprinkle with about
2/3 of bacon & sliced green onions. Allow to
stand 10-15 minutes before serving. . Makes
about 9-10 servings.

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
For Potato Skins:
After scooping out insides you should have
18 skin ‘halves’. Cut each in half so you have
quarter skins. Heat about 2 inches canola
oil in a pan (about 325 degrees F). Fry skins
in batches, careful not to crowd the pan. Once
skins are golden brown, remove to a paper-
towel lined cooking rack to drain. Place fried
skins, open sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle
each with cheese & a little bacon. Bake 5-10
minutes until cheese melts. Top with sour
cream & chopped green onions, if desired.
Makes about 9 servings onion skins.


Crockpot Italian Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into
1 red pepper cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

cooked pasta

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of
pot; place peppers/onion/garlic on
top. Sprinkle herbs on top & pour
stewed tomatoes with juice over
all. Cover & cook on Low 6
hours. Serve over cooked pasta

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)
Ritz Cracker Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 C. milk
1 large egg

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
2 T. sour cream
2 T. unsalted butter
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine egg & milk in a pie plate/tin;
whisk until fully incorporated. Place
cheese in another pie plate. Place
crushed crackers in a third pie plate.
Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper then
dip in egg, making sure to coat both
sides; shake off excess, then coat in
grated cheese. Transfer chicken to
crushed crackers making sure to coat
all sides – press firmly so that cracker
crumbs adhere to meat. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray & place
chicken in dish. Bake 30-35 minutes until
chicken is cooked through. While chicken
is baking, make sauce:
Combine soup, milk, sour cream & butter
in medium saucepan over medium heat &
cook, stirring frequently until melted &
smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low &
simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened. Taste
& adjust seasoning. Remove chicken from
oven & serve hot with sauce drizzled over
top. Serves 4


Layered Shrimp Dip

1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 T. salsa, divided
1/2 C. cocktail sauce
3 (6 oz, ea) cans small shrimp,
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterrey Jack
sliced green onions
Tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl combine cream cheese &
3 T. salsa; spread into an ungreased
9 inch pie plate. Combine cocktail
sauce & remaining salsa – spread over
cream cheese. Arrange shrimp evenly
over top. Sprinkle top with olives.
Combine cheeses & sprinkle over top.
Sprinkle onions on top & chill.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 12-16 servings


Brazilian Candy Balls (Truffles)

Chocolate “Brigadeiro”

1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. cocoa powder
chocolate sprinkles

Grease a large plate.
Melt butter in a pot over low heat;
add milk & cocoa powder, stir
continuously until you can see the
bottom of the pot for 2-3 seconds
when dragging a spatula through.
Pour mixture onto greased plate &
chill 1 hour. Shape mixture into balls
then roll in chocolate sprinkles.

Coconut Truffles

1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. coconut milk
coconut flakes

(same process as above)

Strawberry Truffles

1 C. fresh strawberries, chopped
1/2 C. water
1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. white chocolate

Grease a large plate.
Place strawberries & water in a pot
over medium-high heat; cook until
there is a jam-like consistency & much
of liquid is evaporated. Reduce heat
to Low; add butter, sweet’d cond. milk &
white chocolate, stirring continuously
until you can see the bottom of the pot
for 2-3 seconds when dragging a spatula
through. Pour mixture onto greased
plate & chill 1 hour. Shape mixture into
balls & roll in sprinkles.

Cookies & Cream Truffles

10 chocolate cream cookies (Oreos)
1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Grease a large plate.
Separate the cream centers from the
cookies; crush cookies. Melt butter,
conds. milk & cream centers in a pot
over Low heat, stirring constantly until
you can see the bottom of the pot for
2-3 seconds when dragging a spatula
through. Pour mixture onto greased
plate & chill 1 hour. Shape mixture
into balls & roll in crushed cookie



Gas prices in our area have dropped again
(YAY!) to $2.11/9 – – – WOW!

Our weather is just perfect for the approaching
Fall – it’s sunny with a slight breeze and 72
degrees F. at 4:40 p.m. on this Thursday.

Knitting wise I did a DUMB thing Tuesday at
Knit Night: I brought the yellow baby afghan
to work on. One of MY OWN rules for Knit
Night is NEVER bring anything complicated or
that requires lots of counting stitches, rows,
etc. (this one does both – almost every row).
This afghan was on my interchangable circular
needles (meaning you can take off the ends
and put in bigger/smaller needles on the same
cable). When I reached into my bag to take out
the knitting the needle came apart from the
cable! OH NO! As I’m trying to fix it, more &
more stitches kept coming unraveled – BIG
OH NO! I attempted to put them back on the
cable (almost lost a few stitch markers which
fell off onto the floor – retrieved them later).
I got so flustered by it all that I just put the
entire thing back in the bag, saying I’ll fix it
when I get home. Next day (yesterday) I “tried”
to do just that – WHAT A MESS! I tried MANY
times to get the stitches back on the needles
and (somehow) be able to figure out just where
I was in the SIX rows of the pattern . . . let’s just
say it wasn’t a pretty sight. I got really upset and
threw it across the room (and it takes a LOT to
get me upset! . . . I did that TWO times! I was
ready to just give up so I put it down.) Mentioned
to my husband how upset I was about it – this
was the THIRD time I’ve had that happen with
my adjustable circular needles; he said: “Bring
it to me and let me see.” Good thing! By using
a flashlight he was able to see that one of the
two locking pins on the cables had worn off –
making it VERY easy for the cable to come off
of the needle! He even went on line and looked
up the company that made them and found
out they sell JUST the cables! $4.00 and I can
have a new cable! (The complete set costs
$65.00; I was so upset I had even entertained
the idea of ordering a completely NEW set!)
I bought these, used, from a friend – I’ve had
them about 4 years and use them all the time;
who knows how long she used them before me?
Anyway, I now have TWO brand new 16 inch
cables coming in the mail – YAY! After all that,
the baby afghan is FINALLY back on track –
and, NO, I’m not planning on taking it back
to Knit Night! Stick to what you know, Pammie!
ONLY bring SIMPLE stuff to work on!

So much for the excitement in my life, eh?

Hope you have a GREAT day/evening! Enjoy
this weather ’cause it will SOON ENOUGH



Enjoying the quite/rest – for now . . .


After the past crazy/hectic week I’m definitely enjoying the semi-rest/quiet. Yesterday went OK – early on…church/change clothes, grandson’s football game EXCEPT – the team that played before his went over time – WAY over time which put his team way over, also. I’m sitting there looking at my watch (choir practice starts at 4:45 p.m. a good 20-25 minutes away from where I am)…time is getting VERY close to 4 p.m. and there’s still the FOURTH quarter to go! By this time I’m pretty exhausted – it’s semi-warm out but directly in front of us is the team’s cheer leaders. We’re talking 7-9 year olds (I’m guessing here) – screaming & yelling the ENTIRE game – UGH! I’m sorry – I’m not one for seeing little girls dolled up like the show “Toddlers & Tiaras” (make up, outfits that are not really for little girls, etc.) so all I want to do is watch the FOOTBALL game. Finally I make the decision to just stay for the end of the game and chuck choir practice/evening church/church business meeting and then go home. Got home & took a 1 1/2 hour NAP – I was whipped!

Today is the ‘annual’ (both sides) Mammogram – you know the drill, ladies: this is where I get up on my soapbox and urge you STRONGLY to go get your Mammograms. Bottom line: if I hadn’t done that five years ago who knows what would have happened – I’m quickly approaching the 5-year mark for being breast cancer FREE-YES, a routine mammogram caught the 3 tumors. They were very small and very close to my rib wall (in fact, had the first surgery not come back with what they call a ‘dirty margin’ – means there might be more cancer cells in the area – I might be still carrying cancer in my body.) I praise the LORD that my 5 year anniversary is quickly coming up – not sure, exactly, when the oncologist (my main cancer doctor) declares me Cancer Free – it could be December or January – I’ll have to find out then. I do know, looking back, it was 4 days ago 5 years ago that I had my first cancer surgery (then another one 2 weeks later). MAMMOGRAMS CAN SAVE LIVES! Please go get yours – we want to see you around to enjoy your life!


Layered Peanut Butter Dessert Dip

1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. Marshmallow creme (Kraft)
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. coconut, toasted
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted/
2 T. cocktail peanuts

Optional ‘dippers’:
sliced fruit, vanilla cookies, graham

Spread peanut butter onto bottom of
8 inch pie plate. Mix marshmallow
creme & Cool Whip until blended;
spread over peanut butter. Top with
remaining ingredients.
Makes 16 (2 T. ea) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken & Carrots

4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 lb. carrots, washed/peeled
2 T. butter
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. jarred minced garlic
pinch red pepper flakes

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high
heat. Add chicken, skin sides down, &
let brown 5-6 minutes until golden
brown. Flip & brown 2-3 minutes on
other side. Whisk vinegar, honey,
salt, cilantro, garlic & red pepper flakes
together. Place chicken & whole carrots
in crockpot – pour balsamic mixture
over top. Cover & cook on High 3-4
hours or Low 6-8 hours. Serves 4


Baked Steak with Gravy

1 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6-8 beef cube steaks
1 tsp. butter
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans golden
mushroom soup
2 1/2 C. water
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms,

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Mix flour, salt & pepper in a
shallow pie pan. Dredge steaks in
mixture. Melt butter in a skillet
over medium heat; add steaks &
brown on both sides. Arrange
steaks in a lightly greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Combine soup, water
& mushrooms – pour over steaks.
Cover with foil & bake 45-50
minutes. Remove foil, bake an
additional 15 minutes. Serves 6-8


Country Potato Bake

1 lb. pkg. frozen shredded
hash browns
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. margarine, melted
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread hashbrowns evenly in lightly
sprayed 9 X 13″ baking dish. Mix
soup, sour cream & marg. together
& pour over top. Sprinkle top with
cheese, bacon & onions. Cover with
foil & bake 45 minutes. Serves 12


Three-Bean Salad

1 (16 oz) can green beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can yellow beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans rinsed/
1 onion, sliced
3/4 C. sugar
2/3 C. vinegar
1/3 C. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Mix beans & onion together in
bowl. Combine remaining ingredients
in a saucepan & heat until sugar
dissolves – pour over beans.
Refrigerate at least 12 hours prior
to serving. Serves 12


Zippy Zucchini Pasta

1 (7 oz) pkg. angel hair pasta or
thin spaghetti
2 small zucchini, cut into
1/4″ pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican diced
tomatoes, undrained
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 – 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large skillet saute
zucchini & garlic in oil until
zucchini is crisp-tender. Add
tomatoes, parsley, oregano & pepper
flakes; heat through. Drain pasta,
serve with zucchini mixture.
Serves 3


Amish Apple Dessert

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. milk (divided into 1/2 C.
and 3/4 C.)
5-6 C. peeled/cored/sliced apples
(about 10) place in water with a
little lemon juice to prevent browning)
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″, or 9 X 9″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Mix flour,
baking powder, salt & 1/2 C. milk
in small bowl. (dough will be quite
soft). Take half of dough & roll out
onto a flour-dusted surface until it
is the size of the bottom of the
pan you are using. Carefully transfer
dough to pan – use your fingers to
form dough to cover bottom of pan.
Whisk eggs & 3/4 C. milk. Drain apples
& place them evenly over dough in pan –
sprinkle with cinnamon & 3/4 C. sugar.
Roll out remaining dough large enough
to mostly cover apples in pan. Pour
egg/milk mixture over apples. Carefully
place rolled dough on top – you do not
need to seal it to edges. Bake 45 minutes
until apples are soft & custard is set.


Haven’t received my ‘driving times’ for this week
yet (grandson transport). All is well with oldest
son & his girlfriend (after her roll-over car
accident) – she’s still a little bruised, but she &
baby are fine. Middle son is settling into his new
job as front desk clerk at Hilton – he said it’s either
really slow or really hectic but he’s getting used to
it. Other than that, this week is looking up –
tomorrow is knit/crochet night, Weds. is my
usual special needs group and coming up Saturday
is a Moms-to-Moms sale! I’ve never been to one
before but I’m told they are very ‘grandma’
friendly – I’m looking for some good prices on
a used Pack ‘n Play, maybe a changing table and
a high chair – we’ll see what happens (I’m
EXCITED! BABY shopping – YAY!)

Have a GREAT week!



PS: We’re almost into Fall weather – I had to wear
long pants and a sweater this morning – it was really
CHILLY! 68 degrees F. ; supposed to warm up into the
70’s later today – YAY!

FINALLY – a quiet day!


It’s been a ‘rough’ week – lots of driving/drama/sickness/stress – SO glad it’s finally my day of REST! (OR, hopefully it WILL be!). Early in the week oldest son & his girlfriend went to California for a company training – they got back last night. While they were there & he was in the training class, she went out shopping & stopped for ice cream. As she was turning into the hotel lot a guy (speeding) ran a red light & plowed into her passenger side. (She’s OK – just bruised – thank HEAVENS! Remember she’s also about 4 months pregnant-baby is fine). Son just happened to be on a break and looked out the hotel windows to see the drama: ambulance, fire truck, cop cars, etc. and saw what looked like their rental car – it was. Imagine the fright! Anyway, they went to the hospital, guy who hit her admitted he ran the light – car is totaled but they are fine – now. What a scare!

Monday night middle son came home from visiting a friend – went to bed & woke up during night throwing up violently – he’s OK, now, think it might have been food poisoning.

Lots of driving/picking up grandson & taking to football practice; my special needs group on Weds., more driving Thurs. & Friday – SO GLAD IT’S MY ‘DAY OFF’ NOW! Tomorrow is another football game of grandsons, so that means go to church, come home & grab a bite/ change clothes, rush to game, come  home/change clothes – choir practice starts at 4:45! Then it’s evening church 6-7 p.m. – THEN I get to rest again and then the week starts all over! Not sure, just yet, what my grandson/driving schedule is for the coming week – hopefully it will be LIGHT!


2-Minute Coffe Cake in a Mug

1 T. butter
2 T. sugar
2 T. applesauce
few drops vanilla
1/4 C. flour
1/8 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 T. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

In a mug soften 1 T. butter in
microwave, about 5 seconds (you
don’t want it melted, just soft) Stir
in 2 T. sugar; mix well. Stir in apple-
sauce, vanilla, flour, baking powder,
pinch salt – stir until just combined.
(Use back of a spoon to smooth it
out in the bottom of mug). In separate
small bowl combine 1 T. butter, 2 T.
flour, 1 T. brown sugar & 1/4 tsp.
cinnamon. Use your fingers to pinch
butter & mix with other ingredients.
When it starts to look like lumpy
sand and all ingredients combined,
pour on top of batter in mug. Micro-
wave 50-80 seconds, depending on
your microwave. It should look
barely set on top (cook 50 seconds
& then in 10-second intervals) Eat
while still warm.


Zucchini Tots

4 medium sized zucchini
3/4 C. bread crumbs
3/4 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grate zucchini into a bowl & salt
generously – let stand 20  minutes so
salt can draw out moisture. Pour
zucchini onto a clean dish towel &
wring it out over the sink. Place
zucchini back in bowl; add bread
crumbs, cheese, eggs, garlic powder
& pepper – mix until well blended.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Using a tablespoon, scoop
out a tablespoon of mixture, roll
it into a ‘tot’; place on baking
sheet & repeat for rest of mixture.
Bake 20-25 minutes until tots are
crunchy. Serves 5-6


Baked Pork Chops & Fried Rice

1 1/2 C. uncooked rice
3 eggs, beaten
4 thin-cut pork chops (bones
3 T. flour
1/2 large onion cut into wedges
1 1/2 medium tomatoes, cut
into wedges
3/4 to 1 C. shredded mozzarella
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1/2 C. plus 3 T. ketchup
1/2 C. plus 1 T. beef broth
2 1/2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. tomato paste

Cook rice  – once cooked, let cool at
room temp. at least 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine all sauce
ingredients – mix well. In large pan
over medium heat, heat 1 T. vegetable
oil. Pour in 1/2 of beaten egg & scramble
eggs until almost cooked through. Add
rice & stir-fry using a spatula. Add 2 more
T. beaten eggs into rice & season with
salt. Stir-fry until all is well mixed then
transfer to a baking dish.
In two shallow pans/plates place,
separately, flour and rest of beaten egg.
Pat chops dry using paper towels then
season with salt/pepper. Dust chops
first with flour then dip into egg. In
large pan over medium-high heat, heat
3 T. vegetable oil. Cook chops in oil
until light brown & cooked through,
about 2 minutes per side; drain onto
paper towels. When chops are warm,
cut into strips & place in baking dish
on top of fried rice.
In another large pan over medium-high
heat, heat 1 T. vegetable oil. Stir in
onions & cook until light brown, about
3 minutes. Add tomatoes & cook until
slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Stir
in sauce; turn heat to medium-low &
cook 2 minutes more. Pour sauce &
mixture over chops & fried rice. Top
with mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses.
Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is
golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 3


Ham & Cheddar/Zucchini Frittata

2 C. grated* zucchini (about 2
2 T. butter
6 large eggs
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 C. cooked/chopped ham
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Using large side of a box grater,
grate zucchini. Place zucchini in
center of several paper towels &
wring/squeeze zucchini to remove
excess moisture. In an 8″ cast iron
skillet, melt butter – add zucchini &
saute over medium heat until
moisture evaporates & zucchini is
tender. In medium bowl whisk eggs &
heavy cream. Stir in ham, cheese, salt/
pepper & add zucchini. Pour mixture
into skillet & bake 20-25 minutes until
set. Serves 4-6


Baked Spaghetti

1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 T. butter
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef, browned/
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked/drained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet saute onion & green
pepper in butter until tender. Add
tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano
& ground beef – simmer, uncovered,
10 minutes. Place half of spaghetti in
greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer with
half of vegetable mixture & 1 C.
Cheddar cheese – repeat layers. In
small bowl combine soup & water until
smooth; pour over casserole & sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese. Bake,
uncovered, 30-35 minutes until heated
through. Serves 12


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Swirl Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. water
3 eggs
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. chocolate syrup

3 T. creamy peanut butter
2-3 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. chocolate syrup
20 Reese’s miniature peanut
butter cups, unwrapped & cut in

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
beat cake mix, water, eggs, 1/2 C.
peanut butter & butter using
elec. mixer on Low for 30 seconds,
then medium speed 2 minutes,
scraping bowl. Remove 2/3 C.
batter to medium bowl. Stir in
1/2 C. chocolate syrup to make
chocolate fudge batter. Spoon
half of peanut butter batter into
crockpot, followed by all chocolate
fudge batter. Top with remaining
peanut butter batter. Swirl with
a knife in a circular motion. Cover &
cook on High 1 hour 45 minutes to
2 hours 15 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Turn off crockpot, uncover & remove
ceramic base from pot to a cooling
rack. Let cool 15 minutes.
In medium bowl beat 3 T. peanut
butter & 2 T. milk with a whisk
until smooth. Add powdered sugar
& mix until smooth. If necessary,
gradually add an additional 1 T.
milk until glaze desired consistency.
Spread glaze over cake then drizzle
with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle
peanut butter cups over top of cake.

(recipe: crockpotmoms)


Weather-wise it’s gray, rainy & chilly,
71 degrees F. It’s supposed to clear up
tomorrow & get warmer but you know that
FALL is coming soon (ugh).

Gas prices dropped a bit to $2.19/9 –
that’s good.

Diet-wise I’m still hovering at 14 lb. lost.

Project-wise, still working on yellow lace
baby blanket; it’s one of those patterns
that you work on the 6-row pattern and
then you’re ready to put it down – it’s
gonna be a ‘slow going’ blanket. Working
on multi purples/greens/blue peacock-
colored scarf, about half done with that.
My ‘off’ project is still baby hats – was
working on a white & green newborn hat
today and remembered one of my knit
group ladies is expecting a baby boy
probably 1-2 months from now. She doesn’t
come very often, but I thought I’d give her
this had & knit 1-2 pairs of booties to go
with it (she also knits and said she’s been
knitting a bunch of baby hats for her baby-
I don’t know her very well therefore am
not sure just what she might like, hoping
hat & booties are ‘good’).

Dinner is leftovers: sort of a concoction I
either saw on Facebook or just made up.
Chicken breasts (butterflied: cut large
pocket in breast); prepare instant chicken
or turkey stuffing mix & stuff pocket with
stuffing. Using a 9 X 13″ dish, spread 1
1 jar Alfredo sauce in bottom of dish then
place stuffed breasts on top. Pour another
jar Alfredo sauce on top, cover with foil
& bake 350 degrees 1 hour. Remove from
oven, remove foil & top chicken with a
generous sprinkling shredded Mozzarella
cheese – place under broiler until cheese
melts. Serves 4-6 (depending on how big
the breasts are). I buy really big skinless,
boneless chicken breasts and 2 boxes
stuffing mix/2 jars Alfredo sauce.

Have a great (hopefully RESTFUL) day!




Beautiful DAY!


Today is the kind of day for relaxing (like the clip above) – the sun is shining, it’s a lovely temperature 79 degrees F., light breeze – perfect ‘End of Summer’ Holiday-day! We don’t have any special plans for the day – just enjoying the sunshine, for it won’t be too long and the temps will drop, the leaves will start falling and BOOM! We’re into Fall! (not my favorite time of year).

The ‘crazy’ grandson-sitting possible schedule of last week has mellowed out greatly: as it stands we only have to pick him up after school at his bus stop and drive him to football practice 2 days – that’s it! WHEW! So glad that’s straightened out!


Peanut Butter Custard Blast

2 C. Oreo cookie crumbs
2 T. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 C. milk
6 large egg yolks, beaten
1 C. creamy peanut butter

2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. powdered sugar
6 peanut butter cups, chopped
1/2 C. chopped salted peanuts
2 T. chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl combine cookie
crumbs & sugar; stir in butter &
press into bottom of a greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 8 minutes
until set; cool on wire rack.
In large saucepan combine sugar,
cornstarch, flour & salt; stir in
milk until smooth. Cook & stir
over medium-high heat until
thickened & bubbly. Reduce heat
& cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove
from heat & stir a small amount of
hot mixture into egg yolks; return
all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring
to a gentle boil, cook & stir 2 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir 1 C. peanut
butter in until smooth. Gently stir
peanut butter mixture into pan then
pour over crust. Cool to room
temperature. Cover & refrigerate
at least 2 hours.

In large bowl beat cream until it begins
to thicken; add powdered sugar & beat
until stiff peaks form. Spread over peanut
butter mixture then sprinkle with peanut
butter cups & peanuts. Drizzle top with
chocolate syrup. Serves 15

To Prepare ahead:
After peanut butter custard is poured over
crust, refrigerate overnight. Before serving,
top with sweetened whipped cream, peanuts,
peanut butter candy & chocolate drizzle


Baked Rueben Dip

1 (32 oz) jar sauerkraut, rinsed/
well drained
10 oz. sliced deli corned beef,
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Russian salad dressing
1 tsp. caraway seeds, optional
rye crackers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix first 6
ingredients; stir in caraway
seeds, if using. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish. Bake
25-30 minutes until bubbly. Serve
with crackers. Makes 8 cups


Pork Chop/Garden Veggie
Rice Bake

8 (1 inch thick) pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. paprika
2 T. oil
2 T. butter
1 carrot, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. green onions, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
tomatoes, drained
1 3/4 C. chicken broth
1 C. long grain rice (must be
this kind of rice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & oil in dutch oven over
high heat. Once hot, add chops &
brown 3 minutes per side – continue
until all chops are cooked. Remove
chops & add carrots, bell pepper &
mushrooms to pot. Reduce heat to
medium-high & cook, stirring
occasionally, 3 minutes. Add broth,
rice & diced tomatoes – bring to boil
then reduce to simmer, stirring
occasionally 5 minutes. Pour rice/veggie
mixture into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. (It will seem like a lot of liquid &
too little rice but it will change when
cooked). Top mixture with chops & cover
dish with foil. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4-6


Citrus Grilled Chicken

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts or thighs (or comb. of both)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
juice of 1 orange
2 fresh sprigs rosemary, removed
from stem & chopped (about 3-4 T.)
2 T. olive oil + more for grilling

Place all ingredients in zip lock bag &
marinate at room temp. 30 minutes –
one hour. Heat grill to High on one side
and Low on the other. Discard marinade
& pat chicken dry. Brush chicken with oil
& place on hot side – leave on for a few
minutes to sear; flip & repeat then move
them to cool side & close cover. Cook
5-10 minutes depending on how thick
the meat is. Poke Test: push on thickest
part of meat; if it bounces back it is
probably done or close to done. If your
finger leaves an impression, it is still
uncooked. If you have to, pull one off
& cut into thickest part of one piece
to check. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.
Serves 4


Crockpot Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

2 medium zucchini (sliced into quarter
inch rounds)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 C. cottage cheese
1 C. Parmesan cheese (shredded)
1 (12 oz) roll ground sausage, browned/
drained of excess grease
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce

Place sliced zucchini in a strainer; salt
rounds with a pinch of salt & let stand
15-20 minutes. Water from zucchini
will drip out of strainer – make sure you
have a bowl under strainer. Rinse off
zucchini & dry with a paper towel. In
medium bowl combine cream cheese,
cottage cheese & Parm. cheese – use
a hand mixer to mix until smooth. Spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick spray &
layer half of zucchini on bottom. Spread
half of pasta sauce on top & half of
cheese mixture – repeat layers. If desired,
sprinkle top with additional Parm. cheese.
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours (or) Low
4-6 hours. Serves 6-8


Crunchy Taco Cups

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning ( 3 T.)
6 oz. diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 large flour tortillas

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large skillet brown ground beef & drain;
transfer to a bowl. Add taco seasoning,
tomatoes, chiles & stir to combine. Cut
tortillas into a square shape & cut each into
4 smaller equally sized square pieces.
Generously spray a standard sized muffin
tin with nonstick spray. Line each cup
with a tortilla square. Add 1 1/2 T. of
taco mixture to each cup & top with
1 T. cheese – press down & add another
layer of tortilla square, taco mixture &
a final layer of cheese. Lightly brush
tops edges of tortilla squares with
cooking oil. Bake 18-20 minutes until
cups are heated through & edges are
golden brown. Makes 12 cups


Do Nothing Cake

2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple,

1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. evaporated milk
1 C. flake coconut
1 C. chopped nuts (your choice)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Place first 6 ingredients in
a bowl; mix until blended & pour
into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Mix butter, sugar & evap. milk in
a saucepan & cook over medium
heat until a little thickened – about
5 minutes after reaching a boil.
Remove from heat & add
remaining ingredients; stir & pour
over hot cake.



Diet-wise, I’m down 12.4 lb. (after 3 weeks). It’s slow-
going but I’m still plugging at it. I would ‘like’ to get
down to 145 (I’m at 174 now) – we’ll see where this

Still working on the yellow baby blanket for Crisis
Pregnancy – it’s a beautiful pattern (6 rows, every
other row is just Purl) but it’s the kind of pattern
where, once you’ve made it through 6 rows, you’re
ready to do something else! This will be a slow-
going afghan; I have about 16 inches done now.
Also working on a rather simple scarf for the other
knit group that collects hats, scarves, mittens &
gloves for the homeless. Every year I say I’m done
knitting for them and then . . . I feel the urge to
knit a few scarves. THIS time I happened to bump
into some really pretty purples/dark blues/dark
greens (think peacock feather colors) yarn that
someone recently gave me and, when I originally
got it (about a month ago) I really didn’t have
ANY idea what to make with it (just knew I LOVED
the colors!). This time when I found it I immediately
knew it would make a really pretty scarf (or more);
another ‘gonna take awhile’ project, but that’s OK –
I have time.

Not much else new around here – I made pierogies &
sausages for dinner last night and it looks like that
might be dinner tonight, too.

Hope you all are having a nice, relaxing holiday!



Things are LOOKING UP!


Some days are more crazy than others – remember my ‘babysitting situation’ for next week? The crazy driving schedule? Now it’s looking like I’ll only have to pick up grandson ONCE at bus stop, get him some food then take him to football practice (No overnight stays/drive to school next morning) – YAY! Still awaiting the ‘final’ schedule, but it’s MUCH better than it was a few days ago! YAY!

Tuesday night was the final drop off of all the knit/crocheted baby items and it was CRAZY-HECTIC! We had over 22 ladies crammed into a very small space but you could ‘feel’ the excitement/anticipation in the air – they were ALL excited for the event. There was a total of 75 items donated. I took pictures of some of the creations – yesterday I sat down with my camera to download the photos onto my site and . . . NO PICTURES! The computer said there was ZERO pictures to download – WHAT? I did everything I could think of – nothing. I prayed on it and just before falling asleep last night I had a quick thought of checking one more place. I just did that and YES! The computer had tucked them away but I FOUND THEM! Those dear ladies took all that time to create all those sweet items – then entrusted them to me to photo (some didn’t have time to take a picture of their item(s) themselves, so it made me SICK thinking I messed up.) It was a busy/hectic evening but I’m SO PROUD of all the ladies did for that charity!


No-Melt Sundae Pie

15 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
3 T. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. Jell-o instant pudding
1 C. cold milk
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 C. canned sweetened condensed

Combine cookie crumbs & butter; press
onto bottom & up sides of 9″ pie plate.
Reserve 1/2 C. Cool Whip; refrigerate
until ready to use. Beat pudding mix &
milk in medium bowl using whisk
2 minutes. Stir in remaining Cool Whip &
spoon into crust. Mix melted chocolate
& condensed milk; spoon over pie. Swirl
gently using a knife. Freeze 6 hours or
until firm. Let pie stand at room temp.
15 minutes before serving to soften
slightly. Top with reserved Cool Whip.
Serves 10

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Spinach/Ricotta/Zucchini Rolls

2 large/wide zucchini, washed
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or
pasta sauce of your choice)
1 (18 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
1 (18 oz) tub ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp. garlic
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
salt, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spread half pasta sauce on bottom of
a shallow baking dish. Slice zucchini
very thinly, lengthwise, to create
ribbons. Place spinach in a large bowl
& squeeze out any excess liquid (discard
liquid). Mix ricotta, eggs, garlic & 1/2 C.
mozzarella cheese into spinach until
all ingredients are well combined. Add
salt, to taste. Place 2 zucchini ‘ribbons’
on top of each other & spoon 1-2 T.
ricotta mixture on smallest end – roll
up to form a roll & place in prepared
baking dish, open end facing up – repeat
with remaining zucchini/spinach mixture.
Pour remaining sauce over rolls & top with
remaining cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes
until cheese is golden & bubbling; zucchini
is soft when tested with a fork or toothpick.
Serves 6


Grill Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
Foil Packets
(& oven recipe, also)

1 C. Manwich original sloppy joe
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
10 oz. frozen cut sweet potatoe
fries (about 20 pieces)
2 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed/quartered
4 thick-cut boneless pork chops
(4 chops=1 1/3 lb)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped green onions

Preheat gas grill for medium-high
heat. Combine Manwich & mustard
in small bowl. Place four 18″ X 12″
pieces heavy duty aluminum foil on
counter. Spray each with nonstick
spray. Evenly place sweet potatoes
& corn on each piece of foil then
top with pork. Sprinkle pork with
salt/pepper & spoon sauce over top.
Double told top & ends of each
foil, leaving space for steam to gather.
Place packets on grill & cover. Grill
15 minutes until pork is cooked
through (145 degrees F.) and corn is
tender. Carefully open packets; sprinkle
with green onions & serve. Serves 4

Oven Method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Assemble packets as above; place
packets on shallow pan & bake
25 minutes until pork is cooked
through (145 degrees F.)


Dilled Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 large cucumbers, halved
lengthwise & sliced (3 C.)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion
1/8 tsp. salt

Stir together yogurt, dressing & dill
in large bowl. Add remaining
ingredients & stir gently to combine.
Serve immediately or chill 1 hour
before serving. Serves 6


Chive & Onion Hash Brown

1 1/2 C. Half & Half cream
1 (8 oz) tub spreadable chive &
onion cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated
shredded hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a
Dutch oven. Cook & stir over
medium heat until blended; stir
in potatoes. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray & layer
1/3 of hash brown mixture and
2/3 Swiss cheese – sprinkle with
1 T. chives. Repeat layers & top
with remaining hash brown mixture &
cheese – dot top with butter. Bake,
covered with foil, 35 minutes. Uncover
& bake another 10-12 minutes until
edges begin to brown & potatoes
are heated through. Let stand 10
minutes before serving. Sprinkle
with remaining chives. Makes
12 (3/4 C. each) servings


Chicken Crescent Bake

1 (8 count) tube (regular sized)
crescent rolls
2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. instant minced onin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch pepper
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan or Romano

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken
or mushroom soup
1 soup can milk (pour milk into empty
soup can)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl combine
chicken, cream cheese, minced onion,
garlic powder, salt/pepper, cheese. In
another bowl mix soup with milk, stir so
it’s smooth. Separate crescent dough into
8 triangles; place about 1/4 C. chicken
mixture on wide base of roll, roll up
& seal, pinching sides together so filling
is completely enclosed – place rolls in
dish, making 2 rows of 4 crescents in each
row – leave space on all sides for sauce.
Pour sauce around rolls, avoiding covering
rolls with sauce or they will not brown & will
be soggy. Sprinkle roll tops with grated cheese
& bake 30-35 minutes until tops are browned.
Makes 8


Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 C. quick oats
1/3 C. applesauce
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 C. (YOUR CHOICE):
dried cherries, chopped walnuts
chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together in a
bowl. Line a 9″ X 9″ baking dish
with parchment paper & scoop
batter into pan – smooth out top.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden &
mostly firm to the touch. Allow to
cool then cut into squares. Store
leftovers in fridge. Makes 24 squares



Weather-wise it’s been nice – in the 70’s, sunny and I heard
today it’s supposed to stay that way all through the weekend.
That’s great for those planning outdoor events or cook outs!
(For us, it’s the same – stay home, do nothing . . . but relax).

Gas prices are OK – got gas today for $2.29/9 at my local

Weight-wise I FINALLY lost 12 lbs – that’s 12 lbs in TWO MONTHS!
(Oh well, I didn’t put it on overnight, so it’s not coming off quickly,
either – right?). Went to one of my doctors for a annual check up
today and he was happy. He would like my weight/height to match
the (suggested) BMI – as he told me: “Only 3 more pounds, Pam!”
I’m really hoping to just keep going on the weight loss – no fun, but
it’s helping keep my diabetes blood numbers much better, too and
that’s really what I need to keep in mind when I start getting
discouraged and sick of not eating much. (Lately Dean’s cottage
cheese has become my friend – I really like their small curd – fills
me up and it can be eaten quickly!).

Hope you’re doing well and enjoying this ‘tail-end’ of summer;
next week school starts here on Tuesday.