and – once again – there’s TURKEY!


Had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at oldest son’s house with lots of food, 2 turkeys (one roasted/one smoked) – we brought home our leftovers but NO TURKEY! All of us here were saying: “Gee, wish we had some leftover turkey to make a sandwich!” That got me to thinking: “Wait! I have that FREE 10/12 lb. turkey I got last week!” It just came out of the oven and the house smells great! We still have leftover green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls – all I need to do is whip up some gravy & stuffing and we’re good for another few meals PLUS leftovers! Bought 2 packages of the ‘ready-made, comes in a roll’ pie crusts for making turkey pot pie next week – yum! Funny thing: at dinner on Thanksgiving our 10 yr old grandson piped up and said that his teacher had them write about something that brings memories of Thanksgiving – he wrote about Grandma’s (that’s ME!) homemade green bean casserole! Too funny! (Now his Dad hates the stuff, so for his son to hold it in such high regard I take as a HUGE compliment!)

Earlier I made a quick trip to the grocery store for a few things (like bread & milk); while in line to check out I got into a conversation with the check out lady – we were chatting about the great holiday food. She said something about having a lot of food at her house; the lady behind me said the same thing: “We had turkey AND ham, tons of sides, so much food!” and THEN she says: “I’m tired of it so I gave the leftovers to the GARBAGE DISPOSAL!” Wow – talk about really making me cringe! She could have called someone, maybe a homeless shelter, and donated whatever she had leftover! WHAT A WASTE! Even if she didn’t know anyone personally, I’m sure if she called a church or shelter they could direct her to SOMEONE who would LOVE to have what she was ‘sick of eating’ – sigh. (I’ll get off my soapbox now . . .)


Apple Fritter Cinnamon Roll

2 medium apples, peeled/
cored & diced small (about
1 1/2 C. apples)
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. water
1 can Pillsbury Grands! cinnamon
rolls (5 rolls in pkg)
5 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 T. heavy whipping cream or
milk, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ pie plate with nonstick
spray. Place diced apples, brown
sugar, gr. cinnamon & 1 T. water
in small bowl; stir. Cover loosely
with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 2-3 minutes until apples
are just slightly translucent; drain
well. Cut each cinnamon roll into
6 pieces (they will fall apart a little,
it’s OK). Sprinkle pieces evenly in
prepared pan. When apples are
done, drain well & sprinkle over
cinnamon roll pieces. Stir melted
butter & brown sugar together; pour
over top of apples/cinn. roll pieces.
Bake 28-33 minutes until cooked
through in center.
Just before serving, place icing
that came with rolls in a small bowl.
Heat about 10 seconds in Microwave
so that it’s pourable. Stir in heavy
whipping cream (or milk) to make
it more of a glaze, then pour over
top of dish. Serve warm or at
room temp. Makes 8-10 servings


Turkey Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1/4 C. chopped water
1 green onion, chopped
2 (one 8 oz/one 4 oz) tubes
refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl beat first 5
ingredients until smooth; stir
in turkey, water chestnuts &
green onion. Unroll both tubes
of dough & separate into 6
rectangles. Press perforations to
seal & place 1/3 C. turkey mixture
in center of each rectangle. Bring
4 corners of dough together above
filling; twist & pinch seams to seal.
Place on ungreased baking sheets
& brush tops with melted butter.
Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs
& bake 15-20 minutes until golden
brown. Makes 6

Turkey Stuffed Shells
(great use of leftovers)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1 C. cooked stuffing
4 green onions, chopped
1 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp. chili powder,(optional)
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. turkey gravy, warmed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg.
directions for al dente.
In large bowl mix mozz. cheese,
turkey, stuffing & green onions.
In small bowl stir sweet potatoes
& (if using) chili powder. Drain
shells; fill each with 2 T. stuffing
mixture & 2 tsp. sweet potato
mixture. Arrange in greased
11 X 7″ baking dish; sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese. Bake,
covered, 15-20 minutes until
heated through. Serve with
heated gravy. Makes 8 servings


Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
(about 12 oz)
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers,

assorted fresh vegetables, cut up,
for dippers

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat 6-8 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking into crumbles.
Using slotted spoon transfer sausage
to 3 qt crockpot. Stir in cream cheese,
Parmesan cheese, sour cream, chilies
& peppers. Cook, covered, on Low
3 to 3 1/2 hours until heated through.
Stir before serving & serve with cut
fresh veggies for dipping.
Makes 24 (1/4 C. each) servings


Curried Turkey Rice Soup

1 lb. fresh butternut squash*
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. small diced carrots
1 C. small diced onion
1/2 C. small diced celery
1 C. uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp. dry sage
1 tsp. dry curry powder
8 C. turkey stock/broth, divided
1 lb. cooked turkey meat,
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C. Half & Half
salt/pepper, to taste

You can also use 2 C. leftover
cooked squash –  (if using
leftover, omit first 4 ingredients
in recipe)

*If using uncooked squash, preheat
oven 450 degrees F.
Peel & seed squash, cut in half
top to bottom, brush insides with
oil, salt/pepper & roast on a foil
lined pan until soft, 45 minutes to
1 hour. Once squash is soft, place
insides in food processor with
1-2 C. turkey stock; puree until

In 5 qt soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add carrots,
onion & celery – saute 4 minutes.
Add rice; saute 2 minutes. Add
sage & curry – stir. Add remaining
turkey stock, bring to boil. Lower
to a low simmer & cook until rice
is tender, 12-15 minutes. Add
cooked turkey & peas; heat just
to hot. Remove from heat & add
Half & Half – taste for seasoning,
adjust as needed. Serves 6-8


Crockpot Cheesy Corn & Peppers

2 lb. frozen corn kernels
2 T. butter, cubed
1 large green bell pepper, finely
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Add all ingredients
except cream cheese & Cheddar
cheese to crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 2 hours. Add cheeses, stir
to blend. Cover & cook 15 minutes
longer until cheeses melt. Serves 8


Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 C. butter, melted (plus
more to grease the pan)
1 1/2 C.  leftover sweet potato
1 3/4 C. flour
2 T. light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. pecans
maple syrup, for serving

IN large bowl beat eggs with
butter & milk. Stir in sweet
potato casserole. In separate
bowl mix flour, brown sugar,
baking powder, cinnamon & salt.
Add dry to wet ingredients &
stir just to combine.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
(to keep pancakes warm while
you cook the entire batch)

Heat 1 or 2 griddle pans to medium-
low heat & grease each with butter.
Make sure pan is completely up to
temperature before adding butter.
Using a quarter cup measuring cup
& scoop batter onto pans, about
4 per pan. Cook until edges start
to dry & bottom is browned, then
flip, about 2-3 minutes. Cook on
other side until brown & place on
a cookie sheet & heat in oven.
While pancakes are cooking, heat
a small saute pan over medium &
add pecans. Dry toast about 5
minutes until browned, tossing
often. Cool then coarsely chop or
leave whole.
To serve: drizzle tops with maple
syrup & top with toasted pecans.
Makes 20 pancakes

*It’s OK is a little topping gets mixed


Pumpkin Pancakes with
Maple Pumpkin Butter

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter,
2 T. pumpkin puree
1 T. maple syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes:
1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T. canola oil
1 to 1 1/4 C. milk
1 C. pumpkin puree

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
In bowl of stand mixer beat
butter, pumpkin puree & syrup;
mix until thoroughly combined.

In large bowl combine flour, brown
sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & baking
powder; stir with a whisk until well
mixed. Make a well in center of bowl
with dry ingredients. Add beaten egg
& oil. Add 1 C. milk & start whisking
wet ingredients together. Slowly
incorporate dry ingredients from sides
of bowl until fully combined. Add
pumpkin puree & mix well, adding
more milk if necessary to get a thick
but pourable butter. Heat a flat griddle
over medium-low heat & grease well.
Griddle is hot enough when a drop of
batter immediately sizzles on it. Using
a 1/4 C. measure, ladle batter onto hot
griddle (these should make about a 4
inch pancake). Cook 2-3 minutes until
edges are set then flip & cook 2-3
minutes more – repeat with rest of batter.
Serve immeditely with a spoonful of
Maple Pumpkin Butter on top.
Serves 10-12 pancakes


(not sure if I posted these or not –
I made them for Thanksgiving – they’re
good but very sweet; next time I would
omit sprinkling the tops with powdered
sugar – they’re just fine without it)

Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, melted butter &
1 egg until it forms into a dough.
Press dough into 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cream cheese & 1 egg to
bowl of electric mixer & mix until
smooth. In batches, slowly, mix in
3/4 ths of box of powdered sugar.
Pour cream cheese mixture over
cake dough evenly until completely
covered. Sprinkle pecans & powdered
sugar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into bars.



In the realm of knitting, here’s the two
pairs of boot toppers I knit for my oldest
son’s girlfriend:


In case you might be wondering just WHAT you would do with these, here’s a photo (the person I knit mine for really LOVES wearing boots)



Our weather has changed a bit from the
forecasts of a few days ago; they were
predicting rain changing to snow and cold
(30’s) temperatures. I’m SUPER glad that
didn’t happen (at least, not yet); right
now it’s 40 degrees F. & cloudy – the
forecast for up to Tuesday is 40’s,
Tuesday High 54 with 30% chance of
rain – Hey, I can handle THAT!

Hope you are having a great weekend –
for those of you who went ‘Out Shopping’,
can’t say as I ‘feel for you’ – that’s one of
those “I WOULD NEVER!” things (I hate
crowds so NO amount of great price
deals would lure me in).

Hope you all had a great holiday, found
items you wanted (if you shopped) and
are able to relax a little and count your



More Recipes for the “day before”

Happy Thanksgiving!

All the fixins are purchased, time to start thinking about making the desserts. Husband loves doing the mashed potatoes so that’s HIS dominion (to do – tomorrow). Having fun going over more great sounding recipes and thought I’d better post these ‘just in case’ someone might need a last minute recipe. Here goes:


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Bars

1 C. (2 sticks) butter
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. pumpkin puree
3 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking dish with
parchment paper or foil – lightly
spray with nonstick spray.
Using stand or hand mixer, cream
butter & gran. sugar until creamy &
fluffy; add eggs, pumpkin puree &
vanilla – mix until combined. In
separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder
pumpkin pie spice & salt. Gradually
add dry ingredients (about 1 C.
at a time) to wet ingredients, stopping
mixer to scrape down sides of bowl.
Dough will be thick, like brownie batter.
Using a rubber spatula, press dough
evenly into prepared pan. Bake 19-21
minutes until just golden brown. Do
not over cook as bars will become hard
& overly dry (20 minutes seems to be
the ideal time). Remove from oven &
let cool completely before frosting.

Using hand or stand mixer, cream butter &
cream cheese with vanilla. Gradually
begin adding powdered sugar, 1 C. at
a time, stopping mixer to scrape down
bowl. Gradually add in cinnamon then
spread frosting over cooled bars.

For easy cutting, refrigerate bars until just
before cutting & serving. Makes 12 large
bars. Refrigerate any leftovers & to keep
frosting set.


Cranberry Chicken Salad
(can be used as a salad
or appetizer)

3 C. cooked/shredded chicken,

or turkey!
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/3 C. chopped pecans

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. honey
1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, to taste

Place chicken, celery, cranberries &
nuts in a bowl. In another small bowl
whisk mayonnaise, honey, vinegar,
salt/pepper – pour over chicken
mixture & mix thoroughly. Taste
& adjust seasonings (IF you are using
a rotisserie chicken or highly
seasoned leftover chicke, taste before
adding any additional salt/pepper to
mixture). Cover & refrigerate several
hours or overnight. Allow to come
to room temperature, adding more
mayonnaise only if needed to
Serve on rolls, bread, crackers,
stuff into a tomato or scoop
over a bed of shredded lettuce.

Sweet Potato Dumplings

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 C.)
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can orange or lemon-lime
soda (like 7 UP, Sprite or Mountain
2/3 C. cooked, mashed sweet
potatoes (about 1 small)
1 T. butter, softened
1/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 oz/8 roll) tube crescent rolls
2 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter with sugar & soda in
a saucepan; simmer until sugar
dissolves. Remove from heat &
let cool. Butter a 8 or 9″ square
baking dish. Mash sweet potatoes,
butter, brown sugar, salt & spice
together. Unwrap crescent rolls
& use a knife to separate into
triangles. Combine sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle dough
triangles lightly with mixture.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of
filling on large end of rolls; tuck
points over filling & roll, tucking
& stretching, rolling & pinching
dough to form a tight, enclosed
pouch. Place in prepared dish,
tips down. Pour syrup over &
around rolls & sprinkle tops
generously with cinn/sugar
mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes
until heated through & browned.
Let rest 5 minutes then serve
warm, spooning sauce from pan
onto dumplings. Top with a
dollop of whipped cream, if
desired & dust tops with
additional cinnamon sugar,
if desired. Makes 8 dumplings

NOTE: Recipe may be doubled,
using 9 X 13″ pan. If you don’t
have pumpkin pie spice, combine
equal parts cinnamon, ginger &
cloves for a total of 1 teaspoon.
May substitute frozen, thawed
sweet potato/yam patties,
sprinkled with sugar & seasonings
& topped with a thin pat of butter
before rolling up.

To Prepare raw sweet potato:
Boil whole & unpeeled until
tender, about 10 minutes or
puncture with a knife several
times & microwave 4-6 minutes
until cooked through & tender.
OR puncture & roast at 400 degrees F
45-50 minutes until fork tender.

Over-the-top Mac & Cheese

1 (16 oz) pkg. elbow macaroni
1/2 C. shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 C. + 1 T. butter, divided
2 C. Half & Half cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. cubed Velveeta processed cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg
directions. Combine Muenster, Cheddar
& Monterey Jack cheeses in a bowl.
In large saucepan melt 1/2 C. butter
over medium heat. Stir in Half & Half,
eggs, Velveeta, seasonings & 1 1/2
C. cheese mixture. Drain pasta;
add to cheese mixture & stir to coat.
Spray a 2 1/2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray & transfer cheese
mixture to pan. Sprinkle top with
remaining cheeses mixture & dot
top with remaining butter. Bake,
uncovered, 40-45 minutes.
Makes 7 servings.

Turkey Gravy

drippings from 1 roast turkey
1/2 – 1 C. turkey or chicken broth
1/4 C. + 1 T. flour
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Pour drippings into a 2-cup
measuring cup; skim & discard
any fat. Add enough broth to
cup to measure 2 cups. Transfer
to a small saucepan & bring to
boil. In small bowl whisk flour
& milk until smooth; gradually
stir into drippings mixture. Stir
in bouillon granules, poultry
seasoning & pepper. Return
to boil, stirring constantly &
cook, stirring, 2 minutes until
thickened. Makes 2 1/3 C.

Best Ever Cranberry Sauce

3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. water
1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh cranberries,
rinsed/picked through
pinch salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 piece orange peel (use a
potato peeler or paring knife)

In large saucepan over medium
heat combine sugar, orange juice
& water – stir to combine. Add
cranberries, salt, cinnamon stick &
orange peel; bring to simmer
stirring frequently. Continue
cooking about 10 minutes until
all or most of cranberries have
popped. Let cool at least 30
minutes. Cover & refrigerate until
ready to use.
Can be made 3 days in advance.
Makes 8 servings


4-Ingredient Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
2 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans

In medium bowl mash cream cheese; mix
dressing mix & mozz. into cream cheese.
Shape mixture into a ball & roll in
chopped nuts. Refrigerate, covered in
plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

NOTE: once rolled in nuts, wrap in
plastic wrap then you can shape the
ball better.


Crockpot Sweet/Tangy Carrots

12 carrots, peeled/sliced 1/4″ thick
1/3 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Place all ingredients in crockpot; stir
until well combined. Cover & cook on
High 2-3 hours, stirring twice during
cooking process. Carrots are done when
they are tender. Serves 10-12


Pecan Pie Fudge

1 pie crust (store-bought or
3 C. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. pecans, roughly chopped,
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanlla
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a square baking dish with
parchment paper or foil. Unroll
one pie crust & cut out a square the
same size as the baking dish – place
crust in dish then poke all over with
a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes until light
brown; remove from oven & cool
In medium pan over medium-high
heat combine corn syrup, evap.
milk, maple syrup, choc. chips & brown
sugar – mix all together. Once
mixture has melted, stirring
continuously, mix in vanilla & salt.
Pour mixture over crust in pan then
top with chopped nuts, pressing
nuts gently into fudge so they
adhere. Cover with plastic wrap
& refrigerate until set; slice into
squares. Serves 12-16


Easy Coconut Cream Pie

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed/
1 C. coconut, divided
1 ready-to-use graham cracker
crumb crust (6 oz)

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large
bowl with whisk 2 minutes; stir in
1 C. Cool Whip & 3/4 C. coconut;
pour into crust. Refrigerate 4
hours until firm. Toast remaining
coconut.* Top pie with remaining
Cool Whip & sprinkle with toasted
coconut. Serves 8

*How to Toast Coconut:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread coconut onto bottom of
shallow pan. Bake 7-10 minutes
until lightly browned, stirring

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Hope all of you have a GREAT
Thanksgiving holiday with those
you love.



Goin’ Shopping!


Today was “Finish up the grocery shopping” day. Went to Krogers which was pretty busy (as I expected), ran into a good friend – seems like almost every time I go to Kroger’s I run into someone I know. Also, I’m beginning to wonder if I have an invisible sign on me somewhere that says: “Ask this woman anything – she probably knows!” I ended up helping a lady pick which kind of bagged bread stuffing to use: cubes or this weird powdered bread crumb thing (answer: CUBES! I can’t imagine what you’d get using the other stuff!) and then, later in my shopping helped a rather young mom with her quandry about making Green Bean Casserole – but in muffin tins. Apparently she followed some recipe she saw on line (I saw one like what she described but passed it up) which involved making the casserole & putting it in muffin cups so that each person got a little ‘casserole muffin’. She followed the recipe and added 2 1/2 CUPS of cream of mushroom soup! I said: “Let me guess – you got green bean SOUP!” (Yep). She asked me what portions I would use if I made that recipe so I told her the soup #1 should NOT be diluted – use straight from the can #2 It’s meant as a BINDER, so only add a small amount until the mixture holds together. (When I make the regular casserole & enlarge it a bit I use about 5 cans green beans & 1 can soup, so I told her to add about 1/2 – 3/4ths of the can but stop as soon as the mixture binds together. She seemed happy with my anser – guess I’ve finally graduated to the “Knowledgeable GRANDMOTHER look!” Too funny! Found a SUPER great HUGE already baked pumpkin pie in the Kroger Bakery – SCORE! (I was ‘going’ to go to Gordon Foods for the pie, but all of theirs are frozen/bake it yourself – and not that large, either). Really happy with my purchase – $9.99 – great deal! (Had to sort through a ton of Sweet Potato Pies just the same size – guess they think everyone wants sweet potato over pumpkin – I found mine on a shelf UNDER the display; there were a few other pie flavors tucked under there, probably for re-stocking the top of the table)


Ginger Fruit Crisp

1/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. plus 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 C. sliced fresh plums
1 c. sliced peeled peaches
1 C. sliced nectarines

1 C. crushed gingersnap cookies
(about 20 cookies)
1/2 C. old fashioned oats
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C. cold butter, cubed
1/2 C. sliced almonds
(Cool Whip, thawed or Whipped
Cream, for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine brown sugar
& cornstarch; add plums, peaches
& nectarines – gently toss to coat.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & pour mixture
into pan – spread out evenly.
In small bowl combine cookie
crumbs, oats, brown sugar, ginger,
cinnamon & salt. Cut in butter
until crumbly – stir in almonds &
sprinkle over top of dish.
Bake 30-35 minutes until filling
is bubbly & topping is browned.
Serve warm with suggested
toppings. Makes 9 servings


Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie


12 oz. gingersnap cookies (about
2 T. light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted

Custard Filling:
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree Ginger
(not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 C. gran. sugar
2 T. light brown sugar
2 tsp. fresh ginger, crushed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt (fine)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Easy Whipped Cream:
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using food processor, pulse
cookies & brown sugar until
a coarse crumb; add ginger &
cinnamon & pulse once-twice
to combine. Pour in melted
butter & pulse until combined.
Spoon crumbs into an ungreased
9″ pie pan or two 7 1/2 inch
tart pans (with removeable bottoms).
Using your fingers, gently divide
mixture into an even layer on bottom
& sides of pan. You can use the
bottom of a measuring cup to firmly
pack the crust into the pan. Bake 8
minutes – remove from oven & let
cool 10 minutes.

Heat pumpkin, sugars, ginger,
cinnamon, cloves & spices in a
large heavy-bottomed pot over
medium heat until mixture begins to
sputter – cook 5 minutes, stirring
regularly until smooth & glossy.
Remove from heat & slowly stir in
cond. milk, whisking until completely
combined. Whisk in eggs & yolk, one
at a time, whisking until completely
combined after each addition. Stir in
vanilla & pour filling into pie crust.
Bake 30 minutes, until edges of filling
just start to set. Turn oven to 325
degrees F. & bake 25-35 more minutes
until filling is mostly set (center will
still be slightly jiggly). Cover just the
crust with foil or a pie crust shield
if crust starts to brown too quickly).
Filling may bubble & puff up slightly
as it cooks – it will settle as it cools.
Remove from oven & let cool 2-3 hours
until completely set. Filling will
continue to cook through residual heat.
When pie is completely cooled, place
ingredients for whipped cream in a bowl
& using an elec. mixer whip until fully
combined – frost top of pie with mixture
or serve on the side.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Best eaten day of baking, but will keep
2-3 days in fridge.

Orange Cranberry Holiday Punch

1 (64 oz) jug cran-apple juice
1 (12 oz) can frozen cranberry juice
concentrate (do not add water)
3 C. orange juice
juice of 1 lime (or 2 T.)
2 liters ginger ale
fruit for garnish – cranberries, apple
orange and/or  lime slices

In large pitcher mix cran-apple
juice, frozen cranberry concentrate,
orange & lime juices (this is the
punch base).
Chill base until ready to serve.
Just before serving, add ice to
punch bowl or drink dispenser;
add punch base & ginger ale, then
any garnishes desired. Makes 1 gallon


Crescent Roll Stuffing

1/2 lb. pork sausage, casings
1 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 C. minced fresh sage leaves
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 egg, lightly whisked

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook sausage in large nonstick
skillet until browned all over,
breaking up meat as it cooks;
drain fat; clean skillet. Return
skillet to medium heat; melt
butter then add onion, carrots &
celery – stir in fresh herbs &
return sausage to skillet. Season
with salt/pepper. Remove skillet
from heat to let mixture cool
slightly. Cut crescent roll triangles
into thirds then roll each piece
into balls & place in a bowl. Combine
balls with sausage mixture, egg &
chicken stock. Transfer to a medium
casserole dish that has been sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 45 minutes
to 1 hour, until top is golden brown &
all dough is cooked through. If
topping is browning too quickly,
cover top with foil to finish baking.
Serves 6

Maple Bacon Baked Brie

8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1 wheel Brie cheese
1 egg whisked with 1 T. water
(makes egg wash)
2 T. pecans, chopped

Bread chunks, for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Using small skillet over medium
heat, cook bacon until crispy,
8 minutes; drain. Add syrup to
skillet & stir until combined. Line
a baking sheet with parchment
paper & roll out puff pastry onto
sheet. Place Brie on top & top
cheese with all but 1 -2 T. maple/
bacon mixture. Fold up each
corner of pastry, brushing each
corner with egg wash. Top with
pecans & remaining maple/bacon
mixture. Bake until pastry is golden,
(cover with foil if browning too much).
Serve immediately with bread chunks.


Cranberry Salsa

2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper,
seeds removed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime – zest & juice
1/4 tsp. cumin
pinch salt & pepper
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 pomegranate
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese

Assorted crackers, for

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In medium bowl toss cranberries,
sugar, jalapeno, garlic, lime zest &
juice, cumin, salt/pepper. Line a
baking sheet with parchment
paper. Spread mixture on sheet
& roast 10-15 minutes until berries
burst. Remove from pan, leaving
excess juice on pan & gently
combine with cilantro & pomegranate
‘seeds’. Cover & refrigerate to cool
& let flavors blend (1 hour to
over night).
Place cream cheese on a serving
dish & spoon salsa over top.
Serve with crackers, for dipping.
Serves 8-10


Sweet Potato/Cauliflower

2 lb. sweet potatoes
1 lb. cauliflower florets
3 T. milk
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
freshly chopped parsley (garnish)

Peel & cut sweet potatoes into
1 1/2 inch chunks. In large pot
with steamer basket, steam
sweet potatoes & cauliflower
with 1 inch of water in bottom
of pot. Vegetables will be ready
in about 10-12 minutes, when
fork tender. Place in large bowl
& mash with milk. Stir in yogurt,
garlic powder, salt/pepper. If
too thick, add milk 1 T. at a time,
until desired consistency. Garnish
with chopped parsley, if desired.
Serves 4-6


4-ingredient Crockpot Chicken &

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1  can cream of chicken soup
1  can cream of mushroom soup
1 tube Pillsbury GRANDS biscuits

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot;
pour both soups on top & mix well.
Cover & cook 8 hours on Low. Shred
chicken using 2 forks. Open biscuits &
cut each biscuit into pieces; drop them
on top of chicken mixture in crockpot.
Cover & cook about 30 minutes until
dough on top has puffed up & turned
golden brown. When cooked, mix dough
into gravy & chicken & serve.


Cranberry-Orange Almond Trifle

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (more for garnish)
1 tsp. orange extract, divided
2 C. whipped cream
1 C. whole cranberry sauce
1 loaf pound cake (16 oz), cut into
1 inch cubes
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 C. slivered almonds, toasted
(for garnish)

In large bowl mix cream cheese, sugar,
cinnamon & 1/2 tsp. orange extract
using elec. mixer until smooth. Using
a spatula, fold in whipped cream &
whole cranberry sauce.
Arrange 1/3 C. cubes on bottom of a
round trifle dish. In separate bowl
combine milk, almond extract &
1/2 tsp. orange extract – drizzle 2 T.
mixture over cake cubes then spread
1/3 of cream cheese mixture over
cake cubes. Repeat for second & third
layers using remaining cake cubes &
milk/cream cheese mixtures. Sprinkle
top with slivered almonds & cinnamon.
Cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours
before serving. Refrigerate any
leftovers. Serves 8

(recipe: Kroger)


Our weather and the gas prices are both staying
regular – it’s clear & 38 degrees F; gas was $2.05/9
today at Clark where I filled up. I was almost
expecting gas to go up for the holiday – glad it
didn’t (at least today, anyway!).

Things around here are quiet; tonight is my
Knit/Crochet group – that’s always a nice
evening chatting with friends while working
on various projects.

Hope you have a GREAT evening!




Making a “List” and other things –


The last two days have certainly been ‘different’ – yesterday husband & I got all ready to go to church; there was a light dusting of snow on the windshield &  frozen parts. I got out the ice scraper & was cleaning off the windshield while husband was just coming out of the house. He got in the car and then yelled something – I thought he said: “Get In!” I leaned over and asked again – he replied” It’s dead!” Oh, no – not again! Yep, battery was totally gone. To add to the fun, HIS Jeep had a dead battery, too (he knew that and was going to jump it last week but just didn’t get around to it). Later on he used son’s car to jump-start my minivan but kept saying it just wasn’t ‘revving up’ right-he checked and one of the cells on the battery was dead. Since there was no evening church/choir practice I didn’t have to go out, so I just stayed in. Today husband removed the battery & got a new one – van works just fine! YAY! (Probably later we’ll jump HIS Jeep).

Since I had some time to spare yesterday I went on line & started ordering Christmas presents – YAY! Got some good prices on men’s PJ bottoms & a long-sleeved Seattle Seahawks t-shirt for grandson. It’s always nice to have a ‘start’ on presents!

Discovered a GREAT recipe site today (go figure – I should have KNOWN about this one) LOTS of great recipes – I got totally enmeshed in their appetizers!


Bite-sized Salted Caramel Cheesecake

1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 T. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 T. melted butter
1 1/2 pkg. (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
12 Kraft caramels
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Mix graham crumbs, brown sugar,
1/4 tsp. salt & butter; press onto
bottoms of 24 paper-lined mini
muffin cups. Beat cream cheese &
granulated sugar in large bowl
using elec. mixer until blended.
Add egg; beat just until blended.
Spoon mixture into muffin cups,
adding about 1 T. to each.
Bake 15 minutes until centers of
cheesecakes are almost set. Cool
completely & refrigerate 1 hour.

Place caramels in small heatproof
bowl. Add milk & 1/4 tsp. salt;
place over pan of boiling water
making sure boiling water does not
touch bottom of bowl. Cook until
caramels are completely melted
& mixture is well blended, stirring
frequently. Drizzle about 1 tsp.
caramel sauce over each cheesecake;
sprinkle tops with remaining salt.
Refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 24

(recipe: Kraftrecipes)

5-Minute Potato Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen hash browns
8 oz. sour cream
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
half of a (10.75 oz) can cream of
chicken soup
1/2 stick or 2 oz. butter, softened
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
black pepper, to taste
(optional) chopped green onions
or chives as garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Thoroughly mix
all ingredients together in large
bowl & spoon into prepared pan,
pressing down using back of a
spoon to flatten surface. Bake
90 minutes until casserole is
bubbling & starting to brown on
top. Cool 10 minutes before
serving. (garnish with chopped
green onions or chives, if desired)


Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Honey

4 sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into
1 inch cubes
1/4 C. olive oil (+ more for drizzling
potatoes after cooking)
1/4 C. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
salt/ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay potato chunks in single layer on
a roasting tray – drizzle with oil, honey,
sprinkle cinnamon, salt/pepper on top.
Roast 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove
from oven & transfer to a serving platter.
Drizzle with more olive oil before serving.
Serves 4


3-Ingredient Jalapeno Poppers

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
8 small jalapeno peppers
1 (8 oz) tub Garden Vegetable cream
cheese spread

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate dough into 8 triangles; cut
each lengthwise into 2 narrow triangles.
Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise, remove
seeds. Spoon cream cheese into chili
halves. Place 1 stuffed half on shortest
side of each triangle. Roll up, starting at
shortest end of triangle & rolling to
opposite point. Place point sides down
on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake
14-18 minutes until crescents are
deep golden brown. Makes 16

3-Ingredient Sausage/Cream
Cheese Crescent Bundles

1/2 lb. bulk hot pork sausage*
1/2 C. spicy jalapeno cream cheese
spread (from 8 oz. container)
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dough sheet (or) 1 (8 oz) tube
refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In 10 inch nonstick skillet cook
sausage over medium-high heat
4-5 minutes, stirring frequently
until no longer pink; drain. Unroll
dough & press into 12 X 9″ rectangle.
(if using crescent roll dough, firmly
press perforations to seal). Using
a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut
into 6 rows by 4 rows, making
24 squares. Place about 1 rounded
teaspoon sausage in center of each
dough square. Top with about 1
tsp. cream cheese. Bring 4 corners
together to overlap slightly in
center at top of each bundle. Twist
& pinch to seal, leaving small gaps
between seams. Place on ungreased
cookie sheets. Bake 10-14 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 24 servings.

Cranberry-Cream Cheese Bites

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. chopped dried cranberries
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. finely diced/seeded jalapeno
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dough sheet (or) 1 (8 oz) tube
refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking
parchment paper. In medium
bowl mix cream cheese, cranberries,
chives & jalapeno. Unroll dough
onto work surface. Press into
12 X 8″ rectangle (if using crescent
roll dough, firmly press perforations
to seal). Using pizza cutter or sharp
knife, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows,
making 24 squares. Place 1 tsp.
cream cheese mixture in center
of each square. Bring 4 corners
together to overlap slightly in
center at top of each bundle. Twist
& pinch to seal, leaving small gaps
between seams; place on cookie
sheets & bake 11-13 minutes
until golden brown. Serve
warm. Makes 24


Will post more appetizers soon – didn’t
want to put them all on one post!

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


Crockpot Apple Cranberry Sauce

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries (or
3 C.)
1 C. dried cranberries (“Craisins”)
10 large ripe strawberries, frozen*
1 large Red Delicious or Honey
Crisp apple, peeled/diced
1/4 C. fresh orange juice
juice of 1/2 lime
lime zest
3 T. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Add all ingredients to crockpot, cover
& cook on High 2 hours. Once
majority of cranberries have popped
allow sauce to cool. Puree mixture
using a food processor, blender or
immersion blender (done in small
batches). Taste & add more sugar,
if desired. Makes approx. 1 quart
(4 C.) of sauce. Sauce can be frozen

*If you don’t have frozen strawberries,
add extra apple


Strawberry Cream Cheese Mini Wraps

12 tsp. strawberry jam
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Roll out each pie crust & trim edges to
form a square – cut into 6 equal squares.
In medium bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese & powdered sugar. Turn
the square of dough so it’s shaped like
a diamond with one tip at the top &
one at the bottom. Spread 1 T. cream
cheese mixture in each square, forming
a line from top corner to bottom. Spread
1 tsp. jam over cream cheese. Fold side
corners in & over & place on a baking
sheet – repeat with remaining dough &
filling. Bake 15 minutes until crust is
lightly browned. Makes 12 servings



Our weather is clear & sunny today (what little
snow we did get melted away – YAY!). Looking
at the week’s forecast, looks like Weds – Friday
“Rain/Snow, mostly cloudy” – oh well . . .

Hope your plans for the coming holiday are
coming together nicely.



The Holidays are getting CLOSER!


Today was another grocery shopping/drug store day. Happy to get 20% off my entire bill at CVS just for getting a flu shot a month ago (they give you a coupon for 20% off!) – that coupon took $11.00 off my bill – YAY! Went next door to one of our local grocery stores intent on just getting what was on sale and a few needed items like bread & milk. Along the way they also had a few more items I’ll need for preparing the desserts next week, so picked them up also. When I got to the check out the lovely lady rang up my bill and announced that I qualified for a FREE turkey! (they have a “over $100” free turkey thing – I didn’t even KNOW about that! SCORE!!!) My total bill was $101.11 – how neat! Still have more items but am waiting until Monday to finish those off – I LOVE sales!

Our weather has certainly sunk to ‘average for this time of year in Michigan’ temperatures – we went from 50’s down to 30’s! It’s chilly, gray & lightly raining; I’m told that we’re supposed to get some of that dreaded “S” word tonight (snow) but it won’t stick – ugh . . . here comes Winter!


(these sounded SOooooo good!)

Melt-in-your-mouth Pumpkin Cookies

2 C. butter, softened
2 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
4 C. flour

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 C. powdered sugar
ground cinnamon – garnish on
top of cookies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl beat 2 C. butter
using elec. mixer on medium
speed 30 seconds. Add gran.
sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon &
nutmeg; beat until combined
Beat in eggs & 2 tsp. vanilla
until combined; beat in
pumpkin. Beat in as much of
flour as you can using mixture –
stir in remaining flour with a
wooden spoon.
Drop dough by heaping teaspoons
2 inches apart on ungreased cookie
sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes until
tops are set. Transfer to wire
rack to cool.
In small saucepan heat 1/2 C. butter
& brown sugar until melted & smooth.
Transfer to medium bowl & stir in
milk & 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat in
powdered sugar until smooth.
Spread frosting on cookies &
sprinkle tops with additional
cinnamon, if desired.
Makes 60 cookies


Roasted Acorn Squash w/Wild

Rice Stuffing

2 large acorn squash
1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 apple, peeled, finely chopped
2 T. butter
1/4 C. raisins
1 T. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 C. cooked brown/wild rice blend
1/4 C. chopped toasted pecans
1/4 C. chopped parsley
pepper, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove seeds from squash, quarter
lengthwise. Brush insides with olive
oil; sprinkle with salt & place on
foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 30-40
minutes, until tender.
In skillet melt butter over medium
heat; add chopped veggies, apples &
1/4 tsp. salt, cook 5 minutes then
transfer mixture to a bowl. Add
rice, pecans, parsley, salt/pepper-
mix & let cool.
(Can be made ahead at this point;
keep squash & stuffing at room temp.
up to 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.)
Stir in egg.
Brush squash with olive oil. Using
an ice cream scoop, mound stuffing
on each squash piece, pressing into
place then top with cheese. Bake
30-40 minutes until squash is soft &
cheese melts (cover with foil if browning
too quickly.) Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kroger)

Bacon-Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs
6 sliced strips bacon, cooked
crispy & chopped
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp. brown mustard
1/2 tsp. sriracha (optional)

Carefully cut eggs in half & remove
yolks to a bowl of electric mixer.
To bowl with yolks add almost all
bacon (save some for topping eggs),
mayonnaise, blue cheese, brown
mustard & sriracha (if using). Mix on
low until combined & creamy. Fill
egg halves with egg mixture &
sprinkle tops with bacon. Keep
cold until serving. Makes
12 deviled egg halves.


Crockpot Pork Chops & Dressing

4-6 pork chops, about 1″ thick (bone-in or
2 T. oil
7 oz. (half bag) seasoned poultry stuffing
1 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. sliced carrots
10 oz. whole green beans
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 C. chicken stock, divided*
1 small envelope country-style gravy
mix or chicken gravy mix

Heat large skillet over medium-high
heat; add oil & brown chops on both
sides. Remove from pan. Deglaze pan
with 1/2 C. chicken stock (reserve). In
large bowl mix stuffing mix, veggies
& 1 C. chicken stock – place in crockpot.
Lay pork chops on top & drizzle liquid
from skillet on top. In small bowl mix
soup, gravy mix & remaining 1/2 C.
stock – spread over chops. Cover &
cook on Low 5-6 hours or High
3-5 hours. Check for doneness at
minimum cooking time.
Serves 4-6

*This is the amount poster used;
she got very soft stuffing texture.
If you would like your stuffing a
little more firm, reduce stock to
1 C. total; more can be added
during cooking time if it’s too dry


Crockpot Orange Glazed Carrots

1 lb. carrots, peeled/sliced 1/4″ thick
on the bias
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. orange marmalade
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1/4 tsp. dried sage

Place carrots, water, sugar & kosher
salt in crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 4-6 hours or until carrots are
tender. Drain, stir in marmalade,
butter & sage – season to taste with
salt/pepper. Turn crockpot to warm
until ready to serve. Serves 4

Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled


Cranberry Ribbon Loaf

1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 C. sugar
dash salt
1 (14 oz) can whole-berry
cranberry sauce
1 C. heavy whipping cream,
6 slices prepared angel food
cake (sliced 1/2 inch thick)

Line bottom & sides of a 9 X 5″
loaf pan with heavy-duty foil.
In large bowl beat cream cheese,
sugar & salt until smooth – stir
in cranberry sauce & fold in
whipped cream. Spread 1/3 of
mixture into prepared pan; top
with 3 cake slices (cut cake, if
needed, to fit). Repeat layers &
top with remaining cranberry
mixture. Cover & freeze.
Remove loaf from freezer 15
minutes before serving. Use
foil to remove loaf from pan
(discard foil). Cut into slices &
Makes 8 servings


Finished the cream colored boot toppers
and started on another pair in brick red,
different design (will show both when
finished). They are easy to knit up and
work well if you have some chunky yarn.
(I “might” consider knitting up a pair
of fingerless gloves to go with one of
the pairs – but we’ll see on that one.
Fingerless gloves are another really
quick knit.)

Hope you are all in good health
and ‘adjusting’ to the changing



Lots of Recipes!


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching my inbox is overflowing with recipes! Our family dinner will be hosted by my oldest son but I will be responsible for providing the desserts (and a few other things). So far, in looking over all the great sounding recipes, I’ve chosen one dessert – lots more still to come, I’m sure!


Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

2 3/4 C. sugar, divided
1/2 C. water
4 T. butter
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
pinch salt
2 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled/
sliced (about 4 large)
1 lb. Gala apples, sliced (about 2 large)
1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 unbaked pie crust – deep dish 9″

4 T. old-fashioned oats
2 T. flour
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 T. cold unsalted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium saucepan bring 2 C. sugar
& 1/2 C. water to boil over medium
heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until
mixture starts to boil. After sugar dissolves
& syrup is simmering, reduce heat to
medium-low & cook 8-10 minutes,
without stirring until mixture turns a
light amber color. Remove from heat;
stir in butter, cream & salt until smooth;
let cool 15 minutes.
Place peeled/sliced apples in large bowl;
mix remaining 3/4 C. sugar, flour, cinnamon
& nutmeg; sprinkle over apples. Spoon apples
into prepared pie crust. (apples will mound
in middle). Drizzle apples with 1/2 C. caramel
In small bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar,
cinnamon, & salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter,
cut butter into mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle
oat mixture over apples. Place pie on a large
rimmed baking sheet which is covered with
foil (to catch any spills).
Bake until browned & bubbly: 1 hour 15
minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Loosely cover
pie with foil last 30 minutes if necessary
to prevent top from excess browning.
Let pie cool completely. Warm remaining
caramel sauce & drizzle pit top OR
individual slices with mixture before


These are what I chose as one of
my desserts:

Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, melted butter &
1 egg until it forms into a dough.
Press dough into 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cream cheese & 1 egg to
bowl of electric mixer & mix until
smooth. In batches, slowly, mix in
3/4 ths of box of powdered sugar.
Pour cream cheese mixture over
cake dough evenly until completely
covered. Sprinkle pecans & powdered
sugar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into bars.


 Tangy Pineapple/Sweet Potato


4 medium sweet potatoes, washed/
cut into 1/4″ slices (about 4 C.)
2 C. pineapple, sliced
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 12 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange sweet
potatoes, pineapple & cranberries
in dish; sprinkle top with brown
sugar. Combine butter & cinnamon
in small bowl – drizzle over brown
sugar & cover with foil. Bake 45-50
minutes until potatoes are tender.
Remove foil last 5-10 minutes of
baking time. Serves 6


Stuffing Spinach Balls

1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix
for chicken
1 2/3 C. hot water
1/4 C. butter or margarine, cut up
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen, chopped
spinach, thawed/well squeezed &
patted dry
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix stuffing mix, hot water &
butter in large bowl until blended.
Add remaining ingredients; mix
lightly. Spray 2 rimmed baking
sheets with nonstick spray. Shape
mixture into 60 (1 inch each) balls
& place on prepared sheets. Bake
15-20 minutes until heated through
& lightly browned. Serves 12

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Crockpot Mushroom/Wild Rice Pilaf

1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 C. wild rice
4 oz. mushrooms, finely diced
6 green onions, diced
2 C. vegetable or beef stock
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter in medium pan over
medium heat. Add rice & toast
until lightly browned. Place
mushrooms & onions in pan &
saute over medium heat 2-3 minutes
until mushrooms start to cook; pour
mixture into crockpot & cook on
High 3 hours. Stir & season with
salt/pepper, to taste; serve warm.
Serves 6


Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
(make & serve or make &
freeze recipe)

1 whole raw chicken (5 lb), cut
into pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced small
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/2 medium zucchini, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. spaghetti, broken into 2″ pieces
2 cans cream to mushroom soup
3 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt/pepper, to taste

Place chicken pieces in large pot filled
with cold water; bring to boil then reduce
heat & simmer at low bubble 30 minutes,
until chicken is cooked through. Remove
chicken from pot & allow to cool. Once
cooled, shred enough chicken for 2
generous cups. Remove 2 cups cooking
liquid from pot & save for later. Bring
remaining liquid back to boil; cook pasta
in water about 8 minutes until al dente;
drain. Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium heat; add peppers, zucchini,
onion & garlic – season lightly with
salt/pepper & saute about 5 minutes
until veggies are softened.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl combine veggies, chicken,
pasta, cream of mush. soups, 1 1/2 C.
cheese, seasoning salt & cayenne pepper-
mix until combined. Stir in 1 C. reserved
liquid until well combined. Stir in as
much remaining liquid as needed to make
sauce creamy – add salt/pepper, to taste.
Spoon mixture into either a 9 X 13″ baking
dish (that has been sprayed with nonstick
spray) (OR) two 8 X 8″ baking dishes sprayed
with nonstick spray. Sprinkle remaining
1 1/2 C. cheese on top. Bake 30 minutes
until bubbly & cheese is golden brown.

You can either bake & serve it OR (without
baking) cover with foil & refrigerate up to
2 days OR freeze up to 6 months. If you
refrigerate it, it will take about 45 minutes
to bake. IF YOU FREEZE IT – defrost first,
then bake 45 minutes.


Chutney/Bacon Cheeseball
(8 hour or overnight recipe)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
1 (9 oz) jar chutney
1 lb. bacon strips, chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped

assorted crackers

In large bowl combine cheeses &
shape into a ball. Place ball on a
plate & top with chutney. Cover &
refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
In large skillet cook bacon over
medium heat until crisp; drain
then sprinkle bacon & onions over
cheese ball before serving.
Serve with crackers. Makes 4 1/2 C.


Crockpot Apple Pudding Cake

2 C. flour
2/3 C. plus 1/4 C. sugar, divided
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter
1 C. 2% milk
2 medium tart apples, peeled/
1 1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. honey
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/3 C. sour cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
In small bowl combine flour,
2/3 C. sugar, baking powder &
salt. Cut in butter until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir
in milk just until  moistened &
spread in bottom of crockpot;
sprinkle apples over batter.
In small bowl combine orange
juice, honey, melted butter,
cinnamon, remaining sugar &
pour over apples. Cover &
cook on High 2-3 hours until
apples are tender. In small bowl
combine sour cream & powdered
sugar; serve on the side with warm
pudding cake. Makes 10 servings


Our weather is still clear & nice – in the mid 50’s;
according to the weather reports we’ll very soon
be dropping down to what are our ‘normal’
temperatures for this time of year in Michigan –
the mid 40’s & below. I don’t mind any other
seasons of the year except winter, just because
of the cold/snow/ice/driving conditions, etc.
Snow is pretty to LOOK AT but, to me, that’s

It’s been a quiet week so far, as you read in
my last entry I finally finished the baby hat,
adult owl hat and now the blanket, too. Have
started knitting a pair of boot toppers for
my oldest son’s girlfriend (who loves wearing
boots) – finished #1 now on to #2, then to
sew them up. They were easier than I had
anticipated so I think I’ll be looking into
another cable pattern to adjust to making
another pair of boot toppers – we’ll see
how that goes.



Boot Toppers are in a medium chunky yarn

That’s about that’s new around here for




OWLS – All Done!


I’m happy to say that they are BOTH DONE! I texted a photo of the adult hat and my friend who commissioned it- she was VERY happy – I’ll hand it over to her Wednesday.

Amidst many texts we were able to solidify the Thanksgiving dinner plans – YAY! The other Mom/Grandma & I will be doing all the sides & desserts & my son (the chef) will be doing the turkey. I love him lots but (Lord love him) he tends to want to over-do a bit; example-he asked if he should do a turkey AND a prime rib – NO! Thanks but we are not an army! There will be (to my knowledge) nine people – maybe a few more, but still – not a huge crowd. The other Mom/Grandma let me know baking is not her forte, so I’ll be doing two desserts – not sure just what yet, but we’ll see. Knowing my son there will be tons of appetizers (even though other Mom/Gr’ma will also be doing her famous ham roll-ups – some with jalapenos – just for me!). Somehow I’m pretty convinced we won’t go hungry!


Caramel-Cheesecake Stuffed
Baked Apples

5 small apples, cored/scooped
out (do not cut all the way through)
6 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 T. caramel topping
1 medium egg
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. apple pie spice
1 tsp. caramel (for drizzling
over baked apples – optional)
chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Place cream cheese,
caramel topping, sugar & apple pie
spice in mixer bowl – beat until
smooth & creamy, 3-4 minutes. Fill
each apple 2/3 rds full using mixture –
do not fill to the top. Transfer
apples to baking sheet – bake 22-25
minutes until cheesecake is set.
Remove from oven & cool completely.
Transfer apples to a serving plate &
drizzle tops with caramel & chopped
nuts. Serves 5


Buffalo-Ranch Alfredo Pasta

1 box your choice shaped pasta
(to serve 4)
1 stick butter, unsalted
1/4 C. hot sauce
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 1/4 C. milk
1/2 packet dry Ranch seasoning mix

Optional toppings:
crumbled blue cheese
diced jalapeno peppers

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Melt butter over medium heat in
skillet. Add hot sauce, stirring occasionally,
then add cream cheese. Using a wooden
spoon, break up cream cheese then whisk
mixture together until creamy, slowly
adding in milk as you go. Sprinkle in half of
packet Ranch seasoning, stirring it in until
fully combined. Toss sauce with pasta &
top with crumbled blue cheese & diced
jalapeno peppers (optional)
Serves 4


French Onion Penne

2 T. butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh thyme leaves, plus
more for garnish
1 packet onion soup mix
1 lb. penne pasta
2 C. beef broth
2 C. water
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 C. shredded Gruyere cheese

In large pot melt butter over medium-
low heat. Add onions & caramelize,
stirring occasionally, until deeply
golden, 15 minutes; season with
salt/pepper. Add garlic, thyme &
French onion soup  mix – stir until
garlic is fragrant – 1 minute. Add
pasta, broth & water – bring to boil
then let simmer until pasta is al
dente & most liquid is absorbed
(it should be saucy), 15-20  minutes.
Add heavy cream & 1 C. Gruyere;
stir until cheese is melted.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as is, or as French onion soup.
Heat broiler; transfer pasta to oven-
safe bowls or ramekins & top with
more Gruyere. Broil until cheese is
melted, 1-2 minutes, then garnish
with more thyme. Serve immediately
Serves 4


Crockpot Potato Soup

12 medium red potatoes, cubed,
not peeled
1 T. butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 C. water
5 chicken bouillon cubes or
5 C. chicken broth or stock
1 can cream of potato soup
3 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. chopped chives
1/4 C. Italian parsley, chopped

Saute onions & garlic in butter. Place
potatoes, bacon, water, onion mixture,
chicken cubes/broth & seasoning in
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 4
hours or Low 8 hours until potatoes
are tender. Stir in heavy cream, parsley,
cheese, sour cream & chives & serve
immediately. Serves 8


Reese’s No-Bake Crispy Cookies

4 C. Rice Krispies cereal
1 C. light corn syrup
1 C. granulated sugar
1 1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
5 regular-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter
Cups (crushed)
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Place cereal in a large bowl. In
large microwaveable bowl place corn
syrup & peanut butter – cook on High
2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds
until mixture is evenly combined – pour
over cereal & mix. Mix in chocolate chips.
After a few minutes, mix in crushed
peanut butter cups (waiting so they don’t
melt from hot mixture). Spoon onto sheet
using an ice cream scoop. Let cool then use
your hand or a spatula to slightly flatten
them (so they look more like a thick cookie
instead of a ball).

(recipe: recipesfromheaven)

Easy Baked Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 C. flour
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. Italian-style seasoned
bread crumbs
4 T. olive oil
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom
3/4 C. milk
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl combine flour, garlic powder &
seasoning salt. Place beaten eggs in
a shallow bowl & place bread crumbs
in another shallow bowl. Dredge chops
lightly in flour, then egg then bread
crumbs. Heat oil in medium skillet
over medium heat; fry chops in oil
until crisp well browned. Transfer
chops to a 9 X 13″ baking dish &
cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
While baking, combine soup, milk &
garlic in medium bowl. After chops
are cooked, remove from oven & cover
with soup mixture. Re-cover with foil
& bake another 30 minutes.

Cheesy Cauliflower Patties

1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 large eggs
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more,
or less, to taste)
olive oil

Cook cauliflower florets in boiling
water until tender, about 10 minutes;
drain. Mash while still warm. Stir
cheese, eggs, panko, cayenne & salt
into mixture.
Coat the bottom of a griddle or skillet
with olive oil over medium-high heat.
Form mixture into patties about 3
inches across. Cook until golden brown
& set, about 3 minutes per side. Keep
each batch warm in oven while cooking
the rest.

(recipe: Mary Free-MarysRecipeExchange)

Crockpot Gingerbread
Pudding Cake

1/2 C. molasses
1 C. water
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. chopped pecans
6 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. hot water
2/3 C. butter, melted

Cool Whip (thawed), whipping
cream optional toppings

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Mix molasses & 1 C. water. In a
bowl cream softened butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in egg
white & vanilla. In another bowl whisk
together flour, baking soda, salt &
spices; add to creamed mixture
alternately with  molasses mixture,
beating well after each addition;
fold in pecans. Pour mixture into
prepared crockpot & sprinkle top
with brown sugar. Mix hot water &
melted butter; pour over batter (DO
NOT STIR). Cover & cook on High
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean (2 to 2 1/2 hours).
Turn off crockpot, let stand 15 minutes.
If desired serve with optional
toppings. Serves 8



Our weather & gas prices are staying the same –
that’s a good thing!

You know me – I tend to like a challenge;
was thinking about Christmas and presents
and came up with (I hope) a good idea for
a present for our (yet unborn) grandbaby.
The Mom likes to wear boots and I found
two patterns for knit boot toppers (in case
you are not familiar with these, they are
sort of like socks without the foot part –
they go on your legs around the knee
area – worn with boots they make you
look like you’re wearing long socks, but
without the heat. (I guess you’d say they’re
more for show). This will be another
challenge for me as I’ve never knit anything
like this before BUT I found patterns that
are knit then sewn up, so they shouldn’t
be too hard (she said – hoping she won’t
have to eat her words in the future!).

We finally get to watch our grandson (age
10) tomorrow – for quite awhile we got him
almost every week, sometimes twice a week
but somehow things changed and we haven’t
had that opportunity for a good 3-4 weeks
now. I finally texted my son and asked just
when we could do that again. He apologized
and said he totally forgot my request (he’s
been very busy with work) so I will pick him
up after school tomorrow and have him
until his dad gets off work (guessing around
7/8 p.m.?). Should be a fun time.

Been thinking along the lines of Christmas
presents – how about you? Are your plans
coming together? For some, it’s rather easy
finding something to give – for others, a
total empty head! I really LOVE having
Amazon Prime because the shipping is
free AND they’re usually very quick to get
an order out to you. At least we have
about another month – right?

Hoping all is going well for you – stay
warm & safe;



Hangin’ with the OWLS and other things –


First, since the cute Snoopy clipart showed up, just had to post it. Our weather temperatures have drastically changed since this time last week – woke up to 32 degrees F. (Yes, here in Michigan that CAN be the exact temperature when we get that dreaded “S” word – snow). If we had pumpkins I could have said there was definitely FROST on those pumpkins! It’s sunny, breezy and now up to 43 balmy degrees so I can’t complain too much. First thing found me getting out to return library books (found out they were closed for Veteran’s Day – which was YESTERDAY! UGH!) Oh well – was able to use the ‘side of the building’ return slot, so at least they won’t be over-due! Made a quick trek to Tim Horton’s for husband’s favorite coffee pods and tried out their ‘special: small hot cocoa for $1.00’ – it was good. Next was a quick trip to the grocery store where I found myself being seduced by two items: fresh broccoli and some really nice looking pork chops on sale; yes, dinner very soon will be broiled BBQ pork chops, baked potatoes & broccoli with cheese sauce – YUM! Tonight’s dinner will be Potato Soup – haven’t made it in awhile and, with the cold temperatures, it just seemed to be the ‘thing’ to make!

I have some GREAT NEWS! Just got the results back from my doctor’s visit on Tuesday for a chest x-ray and ultrasound of my abdomen. When I went to see my oncologist last week (cancer doctor) he requested I get these tests done – just as a preventative, last thing after being Five Years Cancer Free. To put it mildly, it made me feel a little unsettled – if I’m now cancer-free, WHY these tests? Oh well, being the good little patient I am, I had them done. Results: ALL GOOD- ALL CLEAR! YAY! Thank You, Lord!

To fill you in on the OWL story: I think I mentioned in a few posts back that I wanted to knit a baby hat for our unborn grandson – his Momma decorated his room in all owl designs so I felt a little owl hat would go good with the baby blanket. Searching for just the right pattern took some time, as did the knitting of the hat & attempting to make the face ‘cute’. When I showed my friend (the leader of my special needs group) the photo of the baby hat she immediately said: “Can you make an adult one for my daughter in Colorado? She LOVES owls!” (Normally I would NOT go for any requests like that but since she is one of my closest friends, I said “I’ll try”. Let’s just say, with researching a pattern that would fit the hat I had in mind took me almost 2 days (hence why I haven’t been writing here). Lots of really cute patterns – some in other languages (Russian/Chinese, etc.) – let’s just say I skipped those. Some I couldn’t figure out how to extract the cute owl pattern from the rest of the pattern – UGH! FINALLY I found a dishcloth pattern that fit my needs & immediately set to knitting up a test ‘swatch’. (another hour at least). Started on the hat late afternoon yesterday (lots of math figuring, to make sure the pattern would fit exactly in the middle of the hat, etc.) Worked on it a good 2 hours then put it down when I noticed that I didn’t like the way I’d done a few rows (time to rip them back – I gave up on that last night). Got up early this morning and set to ripping out 4 1/2 rows (92 stitches per row) until I was finally back where I wanted to be. Long story – I still have about 1 – 1  1/2 hours left of knitting then it will be done. I will post a photo of both the baby owl had and the adult one soon. Some days I just don’t FEEL like knitting any more . . . sigh.


No-Bake Marshmallow
Pumpkin Pie

1 (10 oz) pkg. large marshmallows
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (9 inch) graham cracker
pie crust

additional Cool Whip, for topping

In large saucepan combine first
6 ingredients; cook & stir over
medium heat 8-10 minutes until
marshmallows are melted; remove
from heat & cool to room temp.
Fold in Cool Whip & spoon into
crust. Refrigerate 3 hours until set.
Serve with additional Cool Whip
for topping, if desired. Makes 8


Southern Green Beans w/Bacon

4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
3 C. water
3 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 T. butter, unsalted
1/3 C. sliced almonds

Cook bacon in large Dutch oven
until crisp; drain on paper towels &
cut into pieces. Reserve bacon
grease-add beans, water, broth,
garlic powder, seasoning salt/
pepper to pot & bring to a boil.
Simmer 20-30 minutes until beans
are tender. Drain beans into a
strainer & return to pot on stove.
Add butter & almonds; cook over
medium heat, swirling pot, until
butter becomes golden brown &
gives off a nutty aroma. Stir beans
& bacon into butter & heat through,
making sure to coat everything with
butter. Serve warm. Serves 6-8


Pepper Jack Scalloped Potatoes

6 large russet potatoes, peeled/
rinsed/dried/sliced 1/4″ or
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 C. Half & Half
2 1/4 C. Pepper Jack cheese,
freshly grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In medium pan,
saute onion in butter over medium
heat until softened. Add flour & stir
to incorporate well. Slowly add milk &
cream; whisk together – season with
salt/pepper. Continue stirring until
mixture is bubbly & thickened; remove
from heat & add 1 1/4 C. Pepper Jack
cheese – stir until creamy. Evenly layer
half of sliced potatoes in prepared dish;
pour half of sauce onto potatoes & spread
evenly using back of a spoon. Evenly layer
remaining potatoes & cover with remaining
sauce, evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining
1 C. cheese. Bake, uncovered, 45-55 minutes
until a fork easily pierces the potato slices.
(cooking time will depend on thickness of
potato slices).
Remove from oven & cool 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 6


Sweet Potato Casserole

2 lb. sweet potatoes, cleaned
4 T. melted butter
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 egg

1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
4 T. melted butter
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Prick
potatoes with a fork & place on
pan. Bake until tender, 45 minutes-
1 hour. When potatoes are cool
enough to handle, cut them open,
scoop out insides & place potato
insides in a large bowl. Add 4 T.
butter, milk, brown sugar, spices
& egg to bowl. Use a potato masher
or food processor to mash/blend
until mostly smooth. Spray a 9 X 9″
pan or 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. Discard skins or use for another
Spread sweet potato  mixture into
pan evenly. In another bowl, mix brown
sugar, flour, melted butter & pecans,
until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of potatoes
& bake 25-30 minutes until topping has
lightly browned. Serve immediately
Serves 6


Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

1 T. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. chopped dill pickles
1 tsp. pickle juice
1 T. yellow or Dijon mustard
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 C. milk
1 large egg
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 strips bacon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Add onion & cook until
tender. Add garlic & cook 1 minute.
Add ground beef; cook until no
longer pink, 5-7 minutes; drain &
remove from heat. Season with
salt/pepper, Worc., dill pickles,
pickle juice & mustard – stir to
combine. Line a pie plate with
refrigerated pie crust & transfer
beef mixture to crust. In small bowl
whisk milk & egg; pour over beef &
top with Cheddar. Make a bacon
by placing 4 strips of bacon
on top of the pie. Flip 2 back & place
1 slice on top, then flip back the
2 slices & flip up the other 2,
creating a ‘weave’. Cover crust
with foil & bake 35 minutes. If
bacon needs to be cooked more,
place under broiler 3-5 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes then serve.
Serves 4


Grandma’s Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed/well-drained
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet
brown beef over medium heat
8-10  minutes until no pink
remains, crumbling meat as it
cooks; drain. Add spaghetti
sauce, tomatoes & salt; stir
until well blended. In medium
bowl combine broccoli, ricotta
& Parmesan cheeses; mix in egg.
Spread 2 C. sauce mixture over
bottom of prepared dish. Press
4 uncooked noodles lengthwise
over sauce & place 1 noodle
crosswise across each end of
dish, completely covering
sauce mixture. Spread
ricotta mixture evenly over noodles
then sprinkle with 1 C. mozzarella
cheese. Top with 1 1/2 C. sauce then
arrange remaining noodles over
sauce, pressing lightly into sauce.
Spread remaining sauce over top.
Bake 55 minutes until noodles
are tender. Remove from oven &
sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C.
mozzarella; cover with foil & let
stand 10 minutes. Cut & serve.
Serves 6


Beef Barley Soup

1 T. butter
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
4 C. beef broth
4 C. water
2 C. chopped, cooked roast beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. quick-cooking barley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. frozen peas

In 6 qt. stockpot, heat butter over
medium-high heat; saute carrot,
celery & onion until tender, 4-5
minutes. Add broth, water, beef,
tomatoes, barley & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer, covered, 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add beef
& peas, heat through, about
5 minutes. Serves 8 (3 qts)


Crockpot Gingerbread
Pudding Cake

1/2 C. molasses
1 C. water
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. chopped pecans
6 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. hot water
2/3 C. butter, melted

Cool Whip (thawed), whipping
cream optional toppings

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Mix molasses & 1 C. water. In a
bowl cream softened butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in egg
white & vanilla. In another bowl whisk
together flour, baking soda, salt &
spices; add to creamed mixture
alternately with  molasses mixture,
beating well after each addition;
fold in pecans. Pour mixture into
prepared crockpot & sprinkle top
with brown sugar. Mix hot water &
melted butter; pour over batter (DO
NOT STIR). Cover & cook on High
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean (2 to 2 1/2 hours).
Turn off crockpot, let stand 15 minutes.
If desired serve with optional
toppings. Serves 8



Well, that’s all the excitement around here lately –
hope you are able to enjoy this Fall weather AND
stay nice & warm!



PS: Forgot to mention: gas prices around
here have dropped to $1.99/9 – WOW!

Great Day – again!


Another beautiful, gorgeous Fall Day – sun shining, 58 degrees, slight breeze – just perfect (who would guess it’s almost the middle of November?! In Michigan, no less!)

Just got home from going to the movies with husband & middle son, to see “Dr. Strange” with one of my favorite actors: Benedict Cumberbatch! It was SUPER – action packed, lots of CGI, great acting – really kept me glued to the screen. I can’t even BEGIN to imagine all the choreographing each actor had to go through/learn for those fight scenes! (and, of course, I glommed on a ton of super-buttered popcorn; Hey! What’s a movie without popcorn?!)

Tonight’s dinner is going to be a very large roasted chicken, stuffing & tossed salad. I went to Krogers the other day and this great big roasting chicken was marked down to $6. something – at first I said, No, I don’t need a chicken but then I got to thinking: “Their already cooked rotisserie chickens at Krogers run $7.00, maybe a little less if on sale.” This one is really BIG! YUM!


Apple Crisp Pie

1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1 (9 inch) deep-dish pie crust
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. butter, cold/sliced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pour apple pie filling into pie crust.
In a bowl combine sugars, oats &
cinnamon; sprinkle over filling.
Dot top with butter slices. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 8


Mushroom Risotto

1 1/4 C. arborio rice
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
3 slices bacon, finely diced
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, thickly
2 cloves garlic, minced/divided
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 C. dry white wine
1 (32 oz) box chicken stock*
4 T. butter
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese**
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat large skillet over high heat. Add
2 T. oil; quickly add mushrooms & sear
them until they begin to brown. Add
half garlic & cook 30 seconds; remove
from heat. Heat a deep saucepan (3-4
qt) over medium heat. Put in remaining
oil & heat. Add bacon & cook until it
begins to brown. Add onion, remaining
garlic, thyme; cook until onion is
translucent. Add rice & stir, making
sure rice is coated with oil. Stir in wine;
cook, stirring frequently until wine is
mostly absorbed. Add about 1/2 C.
chicken stock; stir frequently until liquid
is almost absorbed. Continue, adding
stock in about 1/2 C. increments &
stirring until it is almost absorbed until
all stock is used up. Rice should be tender
at this point and there should be a
creamy sauce. Add reserved mushrooms
& garlic; stir well. Stir in butter & cheese;
adjust seasoning with salt/pepper, to
taste. Serves 6-8

*Can substitute vegetable stock
** You can use 2 T. Roman & 2 T.
Parmesan for more flavor


Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
(use 4 qt or larger crockpot)

6-7 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(5-6 lb)
4 C. chicken stock/broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans enchilada sauce
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
2 (4 oz, ea) cans diced green chilies
2 C. frozen whole kernel corn
2 (14 oz, ea) cans black beans, drained/
1 (6 oz) can pitted black olives, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tsp. cumin
salt/pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to crockpot; cover &
cook on High 4-5 hours (Low 7-8 hours).
Stir occasionally.
About 1 hour before serving, remove
chicken into large bowl & shred using
2 forks then return to crockpot & allow
to cook the remaining hour.  Serves 8


Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes

6 medium orange yams peeled &
cut into 1 inch cubes
4 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil &
lay cut yams evenly on sheets. Drizzle
2 T. oil over each pan & toss to coat.
In small bowl combine thyme, garlic
salt, chili powder, cumin, sugar,
seasoned salt & cayenne – sprinkle
half of mixture over each pan of
yams & toss to evenly distribute
seasonings. Sprinkle with salt/pepper
on top. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft
on insides & outsides are a little bit
charred. Do no burn them. Taste &
adjust salt/pepper. Serves 6


Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

1 small head cabbage, finely
chopped (about 3 C.)
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
4 large tomatoes, diced
2 T. tomato paste
1 C. Mexican-blend shredded
1 C. white rice, uncooked
2 2/3 C. beef broth
salt/pepper, to taste

In large skillet over medium-high
heat, brown ground beef & onion
until beef is no longer pink & onions
are tender; drain grease & season
with salt/pepper. Stir in cabbage,
diced tomatoes & tomato paste;
cook over Low-medium heat until
cabbage is tender. Add rice & beef
broth; increase heat to Medium/
high & bring to boil. Reduce heat
to medium-low & cover with tight
fitting lid. Cook without uncovering
22 minutes until rice is tender &
liquid is absorbed. Remove from
heat; sprinkle top with cheese –
cover & allow cheese to melt,
3-5 minutes.


Crockpot Nutella Hot Chocolate

6 1/2 C. skim milk (you can use milk
with a higher fat content if you wish)
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 T. vanilla
1 C. Nutella (Hazelnut Spread with cocoa)
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.
Whisk milk, sweet/cond. milk, vanilla,
Nutella, cocoa powder & salt. Cover
& cook on Low until warm (about 2
hours). Serves 6-8


Chocolate Pretzel Pie

2 1/2 C. pretzels
13 T. butter
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
8 oz (1 C.) chocolate*
1 C. heavy cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crush pretzels until fine in
food processor. Melt butter &
fold pretzels into butter; stir
in brown sugar; press mixture
into pie dish with a spoon,
pushing the base of the crust
to create a slight sides wall.
Bake 10 minutes.
Place cream in a saucepan &
bring to boil. Pour chocolate
wafers into a bowl & cover
with hot cream; whisk until
smooth. Pour chocolate
mixture into pie crust &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Serves 8

*Poster used chocolate melting



Well, tomorrow is ELECTION DAY – I have been
silent as to who I’m voting for. Tomorrow night
is my Knit/Crochet group at Panera – I’m
curious to see just how many ladies will join
me there. I really DO NOT want to follow the
minute-by-minute tally of who’s winning at
that very second – there will be time for
finding out. I’m almost hoping those AT
Panera (not my group) will also be silent,
but we’ll see…I might come home early.
Not trying to be a ‘stick-in-the-mud’ but
all the DRAMA has been driving me nuts –
from BOTH sides. I’m sick of all the MUD
slinging from both sides. Why can’t we
just have an election where the people
running run on their own merit WITHOUT
the other side trying to bring them down?
(stepping off soap box now).

Hope you remember to get out and vote –
for the candidate YOU think will best
serve our country in the next 4 years.




Happy Saturday!


The sun is shining, the leaves are falling – it’s another good Fall day! Spent the early morning knitting more rows on grandson’s blanket & loom-knitting the orange/yellow hat for charity. Got lots of loads of laundry done yesterday, so I’m pretty well FREE for today – YAY! Been reading lots more great Fall/Thanksgiving recipes – here ya go:


Crockpot Pecan Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
2/3 C. dark corn syrup
1/3 C. melted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans (or a
combination of chopped & halves)

Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream
or Cool Whip (thawed) for serving

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place pie crust in pot & press it
to shape the bottom of the crockpot.
In a large bowl stir remaining ingredients
together,except nuts, until mixed well.
Stir in nuts*. Pour filling into crust (if
you reserved some nuts, gently place
them on top of filling. Cover & cook on
High 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Serves 6

*Poster reserves about half the nuts
to arrange on top of filling to make
it look prettier


Fall Pasta Salad

1 (8 oz) pkg. elbow macaroni
1 C. chopped, cooked rotisserie
1 C. chopped apples
1 C. chopped pears
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped candied walnuts
1 C. mayonnaise
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Cook pasta to desired doneness;
drain well & cool (rinse with cold
water to cool quickly; drain well).
In large bowl combine cooled
pasta, chicken, apples, pears,
cranberries, celery & candied
walnuts; mix well. In small bowl
combine mayonnaise, maple syrup,
vinegar & salt; blend well & pour
over pasta mixture; toss lightly
then serve immediately. Serves 6

NOTE: If you’re not serving the
salad immediately, you may want
to wait to add the pears & walnuts
just before serving so they remain
crunchy. You can also add an
additional 1/4 C. mayonnaise to
moisten the salad just before serving.


Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

2 C. diced/peeled butternut squash
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. vegetable broth, divided
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. minced fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
sauce, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
2 C. fresh baby spinach
fresh sage, (optional)

IN large saucepan saute squash,
carrot, onion & cumin in oil 10
minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
Add 1 1/2 C. broth; bring to boil &
reduce heat. Cover & simmer 10-12
minutes until vegetables are tender –
cool slightly. Transfer mixture to
blender; add tomatoes, cream cheese,
basil, chipotle pepper & remaining
broth – cover & process 1-2 minutes
until smooth. Return mixture to
saucepan; stir in beans, corn & spinach.
Cook & stir until spinach is wilted &
soup is heated through. (sprinkle with
fresh sage, if desired.) Serves 5


Sweet Potato Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper,
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (32 oz) carton plus 1
(14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 large sweet potato, peeled/
2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. honey
4 green onions, chopped

In large saucepan, saute onion,
red pepper & carrots in oil 3
minutes. Stir in  ginger, garlic,
cayenne & black pepper; cook
2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes
& sweet potato – bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer
15-20 minutes until potatoes are
tender. Cool slightly then pour,
in batches, into a blender &
process until smooth. Return
mixture to pan & heat through.
Stir in peanut butter & honey-
cook & stir until peanut butter
is melted. Garnish servings with
green onions. Serves 8
(2 quarts)


Crockpot Cube Steaks & Gravy

2 lb. beef cube steaks
salt/black pepper
flour (for dredging)
1 (1 oz) pkt. onion gravy mix (Lipton)
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
2 C. water

Salt/pepper your steaks to your liking
then dredge in flour & fry in skillet in
hot oil until brown. Place in crockpot.
Add water, soup & gravy mix all at
once. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
(Serve with mashed potatoes or cooked
rice – your choice)


Cake Mix “Puppy Chow”

1 box Funfetti cake mix
6 oz. vanilla almond bark or
white chocolate chips
6 C. Honey-nut Cheerios cereal

Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet
with waxed or parchment paper.
Place almond bark in 6 qt crockpot &
melt on High, stirring occasionally.
(should take less than 1 hour). Add
Cheerios, stirring well to coat all
cereal with melted bark. Add in
dry cake mix slowly while stirring
until coated. Spread mix onto
prepared sheet & cool. Store in
cool place in airtight container or bag
up to 2 weeks. Serves 8


Bacon/Cheddar Cornbread Bites

1 (7 oz) box Martha White Yellow
Cornbread & Muffin mix
2/3 C. milk (or buttermilk)
1 egg, beaten
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. maple syrup

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl combine
cornbread mix, milk & egg – stir until
smooth. Add cheese, bacon & syrup;
lightly mix to combine. Fill each cup
2/3 rds full with mixture. Bake 10-13
minutes until cooked through & lightly
golden brown on top. Remove from
oven & cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove
& cool slightly on a baking rack before
serving. Makes 21-24 mini muffin bites

(recipe: mommy’skitchen)

Pumpkin Bread w/Maple

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. brown sugar
1 C. sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2/3 C. evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 T. maple syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease & flour three
8 X 5″ loaf pans.
Combine butter, brown sugar &
white sugar in large bowl; beat
until combined. Beat in pumpkin
puree, evap. milk, eggs & vanilla
until combined. In separate bowl,
whisk flour, baking soda, salt &
pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add
dry ingredients to wet & mix just
until combined. Pour mixture into
prepared pans until they are filled
2/3rds full. Bake 45-50 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let cool

Whisk all icing ingredients together
until smooth; spread over cooled

NOTE: Poster states: “The bread gets
more flavorful on the second day!”



Hope you are enjoying your weekend;
get out and view the changing colors!