It’s New Year’s EVE!


So true – I’m NOT a party animal (anymore – maybe some in my 20’s). Went out a little earlier to pick up a few things to nosh on tonight with my husband: the chilled shrimp ring, some French onion chip dip & chips and some fried calamari (fried octopus – sounds gross but is really tasty – husband & I like it!). The boys will be ‘out’ – youngest probably with his friends, oldest the same with his family – middle son has to work ALL NIGHT as front desk clerk & Night Auditor at his job at the Hilton Hotel. I’m NOT looking forward to that for him – first he’s not feeling 100%, has a persistent cough. I can’t imagine doing his job tonight, what with all the people who book rooms NOT to stay in like a businessman would, but to have big drinking parties in their rooms – ugh! I talked with oldest (that hotel’s Ex. Chef) and ask if he has to work – “No, I’m off until Tuesday!” (that’s good – wish his younger brother was, too).

Got a request yesterday to knit (for pay) more boot toppers (for Mommy-to-be’s Mother!) – she said she really likes the ones I knit her daughter and would I be able to make her 2 pairs just the same!? I’m not one for liking to do projects for pay – for me, it’s too much pressure to make sure they are exactly perfect. Oh well, after much deliberation, I’m done with one of the cream ones and started one of the rust colored ones – just for the variety of knitting different patterns (it gets boring doing 2 of the same thing). I did tell her I’m not exactly sure I have enough rust colored yarn (it was given to me many years ago – not sure if they still make it!). I did find 2 partial balls of it, so am going to attempt to knit them, perhaps making the tops in white – we’ll see. Still knitting on the little sage & white scarf – am hoping to finish it by Wednesday so I can turn it in, then it will just be the boot toppers & the pink baby blanket…maybe…knowing me, I ‘might’ decide to do another scarf, we’ll see. (wink)


Mini Eclair Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted
1 (4 serving size) instant French
vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 C. milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
3/4 C. premade chocolate frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 18 mini muffin cups with paper
liners. In medium bowl combine
graham cracker crumbs, sugar & butter;
mix well then evenly press mixture
into bottoms of liners (use your
fingers – press over bottoms & up
sides of liners). Bake 5 minutes
until crust begins to brown – remove
from oven & cool completely.
In medium bowl whisk pudding mix &
milk – fold in thawed Cool Whip.
Place mixture in ziplock bag & snip
off one bottom corner. Fill cups
evenly with pudding mixture.
In small microwave-save bowl heat
frosting 10-15 seconds; stir until
smooth & pourable. Place in small
ziplock bag, snip off one bottom
corner & top pudding mixture with
a dollop of chocolate frosting.
Refrigerate 4 hours until ready to
serve. Makes 18


Party Shrimp

1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp,

In large ziplock bag combine
first 8 ingredients. Add shrimp;
seal bag & turn to coat.
Refrigerate 2 hours. Drain shrimp,
discard marinade. Place shrimp
on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Broil 4 inches from heat 3-4 minutes
on each side or until shrimp turn
pink. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Sesame Chicken Bites

3/4 C. mayonnaise
4 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 C. dry bread crumbs
1/4 C. sesame seeds
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2-4 T. canola oil

In small bowl mix sauce ingredients;
refrigerate until serving
In shallow bowl mix bread crumbs,
sesame seeds & parsley. In another
shallow bowl mix mayonnaise &
seasonings. Dip chicken into
mayo mixture then into crumb
mixture, patting to help coating
adhere to all sides.
In large skillet heat 2 T. oil over
medium-high heat. Add chicken,
in batches, cook until chicken is no
longer pink, turning occasionally
& adding additional oil as needed.
Serve with sauce. Makes about
2 1/2 dozen (with 3/4 C. sauce)

Icy Holiday Punch
(overnight recipe)

1 (6 oz) pkg. cherry jello
3/4 C. sugar
2 C. boiling water
1 (46 oz) can (Dole) canned
100% pineapple juice
6 C. cold water
2 liters ginger ale, chilled

In 4 qt freezer-proof container
dissolve jello & sugar in boiling
water. Stir in pineapple juice &
cold water. Cover & Freeze overnight.
Remove 2 hours before serving.
Place in a punch bowl, stir in ginger
ale just before serving.
Makes 30 servings (about 5 3/4

Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

1 French bread baguette (1 lb),
cut into 36 slices
2 C. shredded Monterray Jack
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted
6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 green onion, chopped
dash salt
(additional toasted almonds,

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bread slices on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes
until lightly browned. In large
bowl combine cheese, mayo.,
almonds, bacon, onion & salt –
spread over bread. Bake 7-8
minutes until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle tops with additional
almonds, if desired. Serve warm.
Makes 3 dozen

7-Layer Mediterranean Dip

1 (8 oz) tub plain hummus
1 (8 oz) C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) jar roasted sweet red
peppers, drained/chopped
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C. chopped red onion
12 Greek olives, pitted/chopped
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Baked pita chips for dipping

Spread hummus in 9 inch pie plate;
top with sour cream, red peppers,
cheese, onion & olives. Sprinkle
top with parsley & refrigerate
until serving. Serve with pita chips.
Makes 2 1/2 C.


Hot Reuben Dip

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Big slice
Swiss cheese slices, chopped
1/4 lb. sliced deli corned beef,
chopped (about 1 Cup)
3/4 C. well-drained sauerkraut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese & salad
dressing in medium bowl until
blended; add remaining
ingredients & mix well.
Spray bottom of a 9 inch pie
plate with nonstick spray &
spread mixture onto plate.
Bake 20 minutes until heated
through. Serves 20 (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Cheddar Jalapeno Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. beer
6 slices bacon, chopped*
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved/
seeded & thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese & garlic powder
in medium bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Gradually beat in
beer then stir in remaining
ingredients. Spread mixture on
bottom of a 1 1/2 qt casserole
dish or 9 inch pie plate. Bake
15-20 minutes until heated
through. Serves 16 (2 T. each)

*poster recommended using
Oscar Mayer Butcher Thick Cut
Hickory Smoked bacon

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Crockpot Hot Citrus Cider

1/2 gallon apple juice
2 1/4 C. water
1 1/2 C. orange juice
3 (4 inch, ea) cinnamon sticks
1 T. whole cloves
1/4 C. molasses

Garnish: apple slices

Pour all ingredients into crockpot;
mix well. Heat on Low, stirring
occasionally. Keep warm & serve
in mugs with apple slices. Refrigerate
leftovers in covered container up to
3 days. Makes 3 quarts


Caramallow Dip

4 C. miniature marshmallows
25 caramels (unwrapped)
1/4 c. canned evaporated milk

Optional ‘dippers’:
cut up fruit, cubes of angel
food cake, marshmallows,
graham crackers,

Place all ingredients in large
microwaveable bowl. Microwave
on High 2 minutes; stir. Microwave
1 minute until marshmallows are
completely melted & mixture is
well blended. Cool slightly.
Makes 14 (2 T. ea) servings.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Our weather has been holding at NICE –
today it was almost 40 degrees F! The
next few days are supposed to get up
to almost 47 – that’s amazing for this
time of year in Michigan! (almost makes
you feel like you’re waiting for the other
shoe to drop…living here all my life I
KNOW snow is in the forecast sometime
soon – just hope it holds off a little

If you’re celebrating the New Year
tonight – have fun, be safe and enjoy
yourselves! (I’ll be happy right here
at home)





More Party Foods!


Since the next big PARTY night is coming up soon I thought you might like more ideas (and, since my In Box just keeps growing with great recipes), thought I’d share!


3-Ingredient Lemon Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter,
softened (do not use margarine)
1 can lemon pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
combine softened butter & dry
cake mix – mix until crumbly.
Remove 1/2 C. mixture & set
aside. Press remaining mixture
into prepared dish – spread
evenly & pack down using your
hands. Spoon lemon pie filling
over crust & spread out as much
as possible. Sprinkle reserved
1/2 C. crumbles on top evenly.
Bake 20-25 minutes (top will
just start to turn very light brown.
Cool then slice into bars.


Chicken Alfredo Dip

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan
1 C. shredded Mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 C. cooked, chopped chicken
breast (about 1 large)

Cut up fresh veggies,
crackers, crusty bread

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium skillet over medium
heat, melt butter; whisk in flour
until smooth. Add salt, parsley
& garlic – cook 1 minute. Add
broth & milk; whisk until
combined. Cook over medium
heat, whisking often, until
thickened & smooth. Stir in
Parm. cheese & 1/2 C. mozz.
until melted. In medium bowl
beat cream cheese using elec.
mixer until smooth. Add sauce
& beat until combined; stir in
chicken. Spread mixture into
a medium baking dish
(1 to 1 1/2 quart); top with
remaining 1/2 C. mozz. cheese
& bake 15-20 minutes until
bubbly & beginning to brown.
Cover & refrigerate up to 2
days until ready to bake.
Makes 3 1/2 Cups

Garlic/Cheddar Chicken Bites

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with
nonstick spray. In shallow bowl
combine melted butter & garlic
powder. In another shallow
bowl combine bread crumbs,
shredded Cheddar cheese,
Parm. cheese, oregano & parsley.
Dip chicken pieces in melted
butter, then coat in bread crumb
mixture. Place pieces on prepared
sheet & bake 15-20 minutes until
chicken is cooked through & no
longer pink. Serves 4

Meatball Parm. Skewers

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 T. chopped parsley
2 C. marinara sauce
4 cloves garlic, divided
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan,
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
5-6 mozzarella slices, cut into
small squares
fresh basil leaves – garnish

Mince 2 garlic cloves & thinly
sliced remaining 2 cloves. In large
bowl mix ground beef, bread
crumbs, egg, parsley, minced
garlic & 1/4 C. Parmesan; season
with salt & pepper – mix just
until combined then roll into
golf ball-sized balls. Heat 1-2
T. olive oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat & add
meatballs – cook to brown on
all sides. When meatballs
have developed a nice crust,
remove from skillet & wipe
skillet clean. Return skillet
to stove over medium heat –
pour marinara sauce in
skillet; stir in thinly sliced
garlic & remaining Parmesan.
Bring to simmer then add
meatballs back to pan. Spoon
sauce over meatballs; cover
pan & simmer 10-12 minutes
until cooked through. Top
each meatball with a square
of mozzarella – cover pan
& cook until cheese melts.
Turn off heat & top each
meatball with a whole
folded basil leaf & pierce
with a toothpick to serve.
Serves 6-8


French Onion Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. large fresh mushrooms
3 T. butter
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 pkt. onion soup mix
1 T. water
1/4 C. plain bread crumbs
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 slices Swiss cheese, each
slice cut into 4 squares

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Gently clean mushrooms by
wiping with damp paper towels.
Remove stems from 12 mushrooms;
set caps aside. Finely chop stems &
remaining whole mushrooms. In
large skillet over medium heat, melt
butter; cook onion 3 minutes; stir
in chopped mushrooms, onion soup
mix & water – cook 4-5 minutes until
tender. Remove from heat & add
bread crumbs & black pepper – mix
well. Using a teaspoon, stuff caps
with stuffing mix; place on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes; remove
from oven & top each with a piece
of cheese. Return to oven 5 minutes
until cheese is melted & mushrooms
are heated through. Serve immediately.
Makes 12

Ham & Cheese Sticky Buns

1 (8 oz) pkg. refrigerated
crescent rolls
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1/2 C. finely diced ham
1 T. finely chopped onion
3/4 C. shredded Swiss cheese
2 T. light brown sugar, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with
nonstick spray. On flat surface,
unroll crescent dough & pinch
seams together. Evenly spread
mustard on dough. Sprinkle
ham, onion, cheese & 1 T. brown
sugar over mustard. Starting
at long side, roll up tightly,
making sure seams are pinched
together. Using a serrated knife,
cut into 12 slices & place each in
a muffin cup, cut sides down.
Sprinkle tops evenly with
remaining brown sugar. Bake
20-25 minutes until golden
brown. Let cool 5 minutes, then
remove from tin & serve warm.
Makes 12


1-Pan Lazy Chicken Enchiladas

2 T. oil
1 1/2 lb. chicken tenderloins,
cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes with garlic
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1/2 C. frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
(your choice of heat-level)
6 corn tortillas, chopped or torn
into 1/2″ pieces
3/4 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 T. chopped cilantro
2 green onions, sliced

Heat large skillet over medium-high
heat; add oil & diced chicken tenders –
cook 3-4 minutes until exterior of
chicken is no longer pink. Add onion &
cook 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes
& juice, black beans, corn, garlic powder,
oregano & cumin – bring to boil. Reduce
heat to medium & cook 2-3 minutes,
stirring often. Add enchilada sauce &
chopped corn tortillas; stir to combine &
return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-
low & simmer, uncovered, 5-6 minutes
stirring frequently until hot & bubbly
& tortillas break down & thicken
sauce. Remove from heat & stir, season
with salt/pepper. Sprinkle with shredded
cheese & let stand 5 minutes for cheese
to melt & sauce to thicken a little. Just
before serving sprinkle with chopped
cilantro & sliced green onions.
Serves 6-8


Caprese Bites (Skewers)

8 oz. mozzarella balls
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 C. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
24 cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
1 C. balsamic vinegar

In small bowl stir together
mozzarella, olive oil, Italian
seasoning, crushed red pepper
flakes & season with salt.

Assemble Skewers:

On a wooden skewer layer a
cherry tomato, basil leaf (folded),
marinated mozzarella ball &
another cherry tomato – place on
a serving platter – repeat with
rest of items.

Balsamic Glaze:

In small saucepan or skillet bring
balsamic vinegar to low simmer –
let thicken until syrupy, 15 minutes.
Let cool & thicken.
Drizzle skewers with balsamic
glaze & serve.
Serves 12

BLT Bites

12-14 cherry tomatoes
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. finely shredded Cheddar
1/3 C. sliced green onions
1/4 C. bacon bits

Cut off a thin slice from tops
of each tomato – scoop out &
discard seeds. In small bowl
combine remaining ingredients
& spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate
several hours before serving.
Serves 12


Spicy Pasta Salad

3 C. rotini pasta, cooked al dente accordg.
to pkg. directions (can also use macaroni or
shell pasta
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1 small green pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion (OR) 3-4 green onions,
1 medium cucumber, peeled/chopped
1 large firm tomato, chopped
2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna, drained
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 (1 oz) pkg. Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch
Dressing Mix
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne, optional
1/2 C. mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

In large bowl combine cooked pasta, eggs,
green pepper, onion, cucumber, tomato &
tuna. Mix sour cream, dry spicy Ranch dressing
mix, black pepper/salt, cayenne & mayo. Combine
sour cream mixture with salad ingredients. Fold
in cheese & refrigerate several hours or
over night. Makes 10-12 servings.

NOTE: You can also make this salad using
cooked/sliced ham, chicken or any meat you


Chocolaty S’Mores Bars

1/4 C. butter, cubed
1 (10 oz) pkg. large marshmallows
1 (12 oz) pkg. Golden Grahams
1/3 C. milk chocolate chips, melted

In large saucepan melt butter over
Low heat; add marshmallows. Cook
& stir until blended – remove from
heat & stir in cereal until coated.
Using a buttered spatula, press
mixture evenly into greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Drizzle top with melted
chocolate chips & cool completely.
Cut into bars & store any leftovers
in airtight container. Makes 1 1/2 dozen



Not much new going on around
here – weather is clear & in the
mid 30’s. Looking at the forecast
it’s saying 70% chance of snow
tonight (possibly 1 inch accumulation);
hey, it’s Michigan! 1 inch is NOTHING!
BRING IT ON! (As long as that’s ALL
we get, that is…)

Hope you have a nice day-



Time for Appetizers & Dips!


With the next holiday/event being New Year’s Eve, thought I might just do a Appetizers & Dips post. You will see that most of these are from a really GREAT site:  you can find just about any recipe you can dream up – great site!


Bacon-Cheddar Bites

1 C. milk
1/2 stick butter
1 C. flour
4 eggs
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp/
1/3 C. thinly sliced scallions
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick
spray. In medium saucepan over
medium heat combine milk & butter;
melt butter. Stirring vigorously with
a wooden spoon, add flour until
mixture forms a ball. Remove from
heat; stir in 1 egg until mixture is
smooth. Repeat with remaining
eggs, adding 1 egg at-a-time until
thoroughly combined – stir in
remaining ingredients. Drop
mixture by teaspoonfuls onto
sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes
until puffed & golden brown.
Serve warm. Makes 36


Lobster Dip

8 oz, (1/2 lb) lobster meat,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. honey mustard

In large bowl combine all
ingredients. Refrigerate until
ready to serve. Makes 2 1/2 C.


Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich

2 cans white meat chicken,
drained/flaked with a fork
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing,
or ‘to taste’
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 slices onion, diced
1 hard-boiled egg, cooked/

Combine chicken, celery, onion &
egg to a bowl. Add Miracle Whip,
a little at a time until salad is of
desired consistency. Spread on
bread or toast.

Can substitute 2 cans of tuna for
the chicken & adding a T. of sweet
pickle relish


Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 T. plain bread crumbs
2 T. unsalted butter plus 1
T. melted
1 lb. large peeled/deveined
shrimp, tails discarded, cut
into 1/4 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
large pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 C. dry white wine
1/2 C. fresh parsley, finely
1 tsp. lemon zest

slices crusty bread or crackers

Place oven rack in top position &
preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese, Mozz. , sour
cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan,
2 T. bread crumbs & 1/2 tsp. salt
in large bowl using an elec. mixer
on medium-high speed. Cover &
refrigerate until ready to add to
Melt 2 T. butter in large skillet
over medium-low heat. Add shrimp,
garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt & red pepper
flakes – cook, stirring frequently,
until shrimp just start to turn
pink, about 2 minutes. Add wine,
bring to simmer & cook until
shrimp are pink & cooked through,
2 minutes (there will be some
liquid left in skillet.) Remove
skillet from heat, let shrimp
cool completely.
Mix parsley, remaining 2 T.
bread crumbs & 1 T. melted butter,
lemon zest & pinch salt in small
bowl. Stir shrimp & cream cheese
mixture together to combine;
transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
(Dip & breadcrumb mixture can
be covered & refrigerated overnight,
separately, at this point).
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on dip;
bake until hot & bubbly, 15-20
minutes. Switch oven to Broil &
cook until top is golden brown,
1-3 minutes. Let rest a few minutes
then serve hot with dippers.
Serves 8-10


Home Run Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2/3 C. beer
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter slightly
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper

crackers, cubes of Italian bread

Place cream cheese, Cheddar cheese,
dry mustard, beer & butter in food
processor – process until creamy. Add
remaining ingredients & process until
smooth & completely combined.
Makes 3 C.

Serve at room temperature. Can be
stored, covered, in fridge up to
2 weeks.


Cheesy Bacon Pinwheels

1 egg
1 T. water
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. real bacon bits
1/3 C. sliced scallions
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from
17.3 oz pkg), thawed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 2  baking sheets with nonstick
spray. In small bowl whisk egg & water.
In medium bowl combine cream cheese,
Cheddar & Mozz. cheeses, bacon, scallions,
garlic powder: mix well. Unfold pastry
sheet on flat surface. Brush edges with
egg mixture. Spread cheese mixture evenly
over pastry. Starting with short side, tightly
roll up dough (jelly roll style). Cut into
1 inch slices; lay flat on baking sheets.
Brush tops & sides with egg mixture.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve warm. Makes 12 pinwheels


Dilly Crab Dip

1/2 lb. imitation crabmeat,
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. fresh chopped dill
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,

crackers, crusty bread,
bread sticks

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine all
ingredients; mix well. Spoon
mixture into a small baking
dish. Bake 25-30 minutes until
hot & bubbly. Serve immediately.
Serves 10

1-2-3 Salsa Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 C. medium salsa
1 T. dried parsley flakes

tortilla chips, fresh cut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 qt. casserole or baking
dish with nonstick spray. In
medium bowl using elec. mixer,
combine all ingredients & beat
until smooth & well blended.
Scoop mixture into prepared
dish & bake 30 minutes until
light golden. Makes 3 cups dip


Cranberry Pecan Brie Bites

12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed/
picked through
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. water
pinch salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece orange peel
2 (8.8 oz, ea) pkgs. naan flatbread
1 (8 oz) pkg. brie
24 pecan halves
fresh thyme, for garnish

Combine sugar, orange juice &
water in large saucepan over
medium heat; stir to combine.
Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon
stick & orange peel – bring to a
simmer over medium heat,
stirring frequently. Continue
cooking about 10  minutes until
all or most of cranberries have
popped. Let cool at least 30
minutes; refrigerate until ready
to use.
To Prepare:
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Cut naan into pieces using a
pizza cutter – try to get 6-8 pieces
per naan. Cut small wedges off the
wheel of brie & place on top of
naan pieces. Spoon a small amount
of cooled cranberry sauce on top of
brie, top with pecan half & place on
prepared sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes until
brie starts to melt & bubble. Remove,
top with sprig of fresh thyme (if using)
& serve immediately.
Serves 12



Our weather is still OK – a little overcast
but with yesterday’s warm temperatures
MOST of our snow has melted – YAY! Roads
are clear  – they ARE saying possibility
of snow flurries tonight – sure hope they
don’t stick!

With the ‘free time’ between holidays
finished the grey/black/white scarf and
started on another pink baby blanket.
While working on that I thought: “Maybe
I should do another scarf” so found
some nice, soft Sage colored yarn & am
variegating it with white to make a
(probably young girl) scarf – both scarf
& blanket are relatively easy patterns, so
not so much stress when working on

Since the Christmas dinner at our
son’s house, we have lots of SIDES
but NO MEAT to go with them so
I put a big chicken in the crockpot
for dinner tonight. Lots of mashed
potatoes, glazed carrots, green
bean casserole & 3-bean salad
(plus rolls). Don’t know about
your house, but here we are
inundated with SWEETS! That
is usually NOT the case, but this
year there’s a ton of cookies &
some candy – tasty but really
hard to walk by and not grab!
(I’ll personally be glad when
they are gone! TOO TEMPTING
for me!)

Hope you are having a good day;



The Day After!


Ah, the “DAY AFTER” Christmas! A time to RELAX and recall the happenings of yesterday. Hopefully yours were GREAT! My dear friend Mary (Momma) wrote that she hoped my dinner preparations came out well due to her picking up on my rather worried posting – she wasn’t far from wrong. I managed to put the green bean casserole in the oven after dusting the top with extra French Onions – just to broil a bit…you guessed it: burned the top! Managed to scrape them off and save the casserole – Whew! Saturday I was making the cake early – got it baked and went into my cupboard, pulled down the tub of frosting only to discover CREAM CHEESE (white) frosting, not the chocolate fudge I’d hoped for – what to do? Well, I remembered reading somewhere that you can make frosting using chocolate chips so printed out a recipe, worked on it – recipe says stir until cool – yeah, right! IF you have a few DAYS to do that! I stirred for almost a half hour before decided this was NOT a good idea! Remembered another trick I’d read somewhere so filled a bowl with ice cubes & immersed the hot pan in it, continued stirring which finally cooled down the frosting. In the meantime, I did a ‘brilliant’ move: decided to test the temperature of frosting (on a spoon) using my tongue – you guessed it, half my tongue got a major burn, can’t taste or feel tastebuds on that side!. Finally got frosting cooled, spread on cake (a not-desired consistency, hard to spread – kept almost melting off cake). Well – it tasted OK – a bit grainy – never had frosting grainy before . . . they ate it and said it was OK…Oh well, I tried! Made the glazed carrots – they, too, were OK…nothing special to write home about, for sure – not a ‘repeat next year’. Let’s just say we had TONS of food – everyone ate and were filled (mistakes included).

We had ‘almost’ our entire family there – youngest son said he might be a bit late, then texted he couldn’t come, something came up. Turns out the mother of a close friend of his died a few days earlier and friend had NO family here (Dad died several years ago, siblings are in other states) so my youngest decided to spend the evening with his friend – they went to eat at a Chinese restaurant! No photos were taken (missed taking  them at Thanksgiving, too)  – we had a good evening, lots of food & fun; what more can you ask for? We were blessed.


Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry Jello
1 (15 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. water
(Strawberry Cream Cheese
Frosting – recipe below)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly greased 2 (9 inch)
round cake pans.
In large bowl combine cake mix
& jello; add pureed strawberries,
eggs, oil & water – beat at
medium speed using elec. mixer
until smooth. Pour into prepared
pans & bake 20 minutes or until
a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pans 10 minutes
then remove to wire racks to
cool completely.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
1/2 tsp. strawberry extract
7 C. powdered sugar
freshly sliced strawberries – garnish,

In large bowl beat butter & cream
cheese on medium speed using elec.
mixer, until creamy. Beat in 1/4 C.
strawberry puree & extract (rest of
puree is leftover but can be used in
smoothies or on ice cream). Gradually
add powdered sugar, beating until
smooth. Spread frosting between
layers of cake & on top & sides.
Garnish each slice with sliced fresh
strawberries, if desired.

(recipe: Paula Dean –

Crockpot Parmesan/Ranch Party Mix

1 C. butter, sliced
2-3 (1 oz, ea) pkgs. Ranch dressing
mix – 2 pkgs. if you want less Ranch
flavor, 3 if you want more)
4 C. Rice Chex cereal
4 C. Wheat Chex cereal
1 C. cashews
1 C. peanuts
4 C. pretzels
1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan; add ranch
dressing mixes – stir until well combined
(there will be some thicker mixture in
bottom). Place cereals, nuts & pretzels
in crockpot – mix until mixed up well.
Pour half of butter mixture & half of
freshly grated Parm. evenly across top
of cereal mixture – stir gently until
well distributed. Pour remaining butter
mixture & cheese evenly over cereal;
gently stir again until all pieces are well
coated. Cook, UNCOVERED, 2-3 hours
on High, stirring occasionally. Once
mixture is glazed, lay out on parch-
ment paper lined sheet to cool. When
cooled completely, store in air-tight
container until ready to serve.
Makes approx. 14 cups


Honey-glazed Pork Meatballs

1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. milk
2 lb. lean ground pork
1 egg
1/4 C. diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. fresh chopped herbs:
(poster used sage, parsley,
rosemary & thyme)

1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch whisked with
1 T. water until smooth
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Line large cookie sheet with foil.
Stir breadcrumbs with milk & let
set 5 minutes; add to ground pork
in bowl along with rest of meatball
ingredients – use hands to mix until
combined well (do not overwork).
Using hands, form into 12 evenly
sized meatballs (poster used an
ice cream scoop). Place balls on
foil-lined sheet & place under
broiler in oven 5-8 minutes,
watching closely until lightly
browned – transfer to crockpot.
Whisk together sauce ingredients;
pour over meatballs. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-6 until
meatballs are fully cooked.

NOTE: For saucier meatballs,
double sauce ingredients.

If sauce is too thin after cooking,
it can be transferred to a saucepan
& brought to a boil 3-5 minutes
while whisking in additional
cornstarch & water (cornstarch &
water in equal amounts) until
desired thickness is reached.


Buttery Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into thirds
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 stick butter (1/4 C)
1 gallon-sized ziplock bag

Place chicken pieces in a bowl of
buttermilk; cover & let soak 20-30
minutes in fridge.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, salt, seasoned salt,
pepper & paprika in zip lock bag or
bowl – mix well. Cut butter into a
few pieces & place in 9 X 13″ baking
dish – melt butter in oven. Spread
melted butter around bottom of pan;
lightly spray pan with nonstick spray to
make sure there are no dry spots. Shake
excess buttermilk off chicken & completely
coat each piece in flour  mixture. Either
shake in bag until coated or dip each
piece in bowl until coated. Place each
piece in preheated pan. Bake 20 minutes.
Turn chicken over & continue baking
20 minutes more until cooked through.


Garlic Ranch Crockpot Potatoes

3 lb. red potatoes, washed/quartered
2 T. salted butter
2 T. olive oil
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 T. chopped chives
1 T. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides with nonstick spray & place
all ingredients in crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 3-4 hours until potatoes are fork-
tender* Serve hot. Serves 6-8

*Check after 1 hour & stir to make sure
all potatoes are fully coated. Check again
after 2 1/2 hours to make sure they are done.
Depending on the size of the potatoes, they
could cook a bit quicker.


Turkey, Red Pepper & Goat
Cheese Frittata

6 large eggs
1 tsp. plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 1/2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat broiler. In bowl whisk
eggs, 1 tsp. olive oil & salt/pepper,
to taste. In an oven-proof skillet
(a cast iron skillet or heavy
enameled saute pan works well)
heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper & cook until tender,
5-8 minutes. Add turkey, season with
salt/pepper. Turn heat to medium-low,
add egg mixture & cook until eggs are
set on bottom, about 5 minutes. Use
a heatproof spatula to lift cooked eggs
so that some of the liquid egg flows to
the bottom of pan. Cover & cook until
frittata is not quite set, about 5
minutes. Uncover skillet, sprinkle top
with goat cheese & transfer to oven-
broil until frittata is golden brown &
puffed on top, 3-5 minutes.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4

(recipe: Kroger)

Bacon-Ranch Casserole

1 (12 oz) pkg. penne pasta
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 C. heavy cream or Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 pkg. dry RANCH salad dressing mix
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cooked, boneless/skinless chicken
breasts, shredded
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large saucepan
over Low heat melt butter. Add
garlic, crushed red pepper, flour &
stir into butter. Add heavy cream,
broth & continue stirring until
thickened. Stir in half of dry ranch
salad dressing mix – remove from
heat & stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour pasta into prepared dish &
top with chicken, bacon & peas .
Pour sauce over top & sprinkle
with mozzarella cheese evenly.
Bake 30 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted.


Crockpot Sausage Stew

6 T. (or 1/2 C.) zesty Italian salad
2 T. Dijon mustard
6 small, unpeeled red potatoes, cut
into 1 inch slices
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (or 1/2 bag
mini carrots)
2 C. green cabbage, chopped (or
2 C. pre-shredded coleslaw mix)
1 ring fully cooked smoked sausage or
kielbasa, cut into 1-inch slices
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green peppers, celery & onions,

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix salad dressing &
mustard. Layer potatoes, onions, carrots
& cabbage in crockpot; pour mustard
mixture over vegetables & arrange
sausage slices on top. Cover with can
of tomatoes. Cover & cook on Low 7-8
hours. Serve with extra Dijon mustard,
if desired.


Crockpot Broccoli/Cheddar Soup

4 T. butter
5 T. flour
3 c. milk
3 C. chicken broth (or veg. broth)
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 C. chopped broccoli florets
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 oz. cream cheese
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 tsp. salt
1-4 tsp. black pepper, to taste
(optional: extra grated cheese,
for topping)

In large saucepan melt butter over
medium heat; stir in flour until
mixture clumps up. Very gradually
whisk in milk until all milk has been
added & a thick white sauce forms.
Add chopped onions, broccoli, garlic,
Ital. seasoning & cream cheese to
crockpot. Add sauce from pan &
chicken broth; stir to combine.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
or Low 4-6 hours. Uncover, add
sharp Cheddar cheese, salt/pepper
& stir until cheese melts. Adjust
salt/pepper, if needed. Serve warm
topped with extra cheese, if desired.
Serves 4-6


Spicy Tomato Pork Chops

1 T. olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops (5 oz, ea)
1 large onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Brown chops on both sides, remove
& keep warm. In same skillet, cook & stir
onion until tender then stir in remaining
ingredients. Return chops to skillet &
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered,
15-20 minutes until tender. Let stand
5 minutes before serving; serve with sauce.
Serves 4


Cinnamon Bun Casserole
(overnight recipe)

1 (1 lb) loaf sliced cinnamon-
raisin bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs
2 1/2 C. milk, divided
2 T. powdered sugar
2 T. chopped pecans

Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray.
Cut each bread slice
diagonally in half twice to
make 4 small triangles. Stand,
with points up, in 4 lenghwise
rows, in pan. Mix 6 oz. cream
cheese & brown sugar in large
bowl until blended; stir in
cinnamon & vanilla. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing well after
each addition. Reserve 1 T.
milk. Gradually whisk remaining
milk into cream cheese mixture &
pour over bread. Cover with
foil & refrigerate 8 hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered,
40-50 minutes until knife inserted
into center comes out clean & top
is golden brown.
Mix remaining cream cheese,
powdered sugar & reserved milk
until blended – drizzle over casserole,
sprinkle top with nuts & serve.
Serves 12



Woke up to 46 degrees F. weather
and very dense FOG! WOW! Who
would have thought that here in
Michigan it would get this WARM
at this time of year!? They were
originally calling for snow soon,
but now looking at the forecast,
it’s mostly cloudy with some small
spots of rain – GREAT!

Gas prices are still staying at
$2.39/9  guess that’s OK, I still
like it a bit lower, but that’s just me.

Not much else new – no particular
plans for the day, or actually –
for the week! My knit group is off
this week as well as my special
needs group: that makes me a
Lady of Leisure! Was chatting with
oldest son’s girlfriend & her Mom –
they’re planning on hitting the stores
today for 70 % sales…NOT ME! I
remember one year when we were
first married my Mother in Law
bought my brother in law (who
lived in Florida) several pairs of
jeans for Christmas – they didn’t
fit and GUESS WHO had to take
them back to the store AFTER
Christmas! UGH! I promised
myself then that NEVER AGAIN
would I go to stores after the
holidays (grocery, drug, hardware,
stores Yes, but no clothing or
big ticket stores like Kohl’s,
JC Penney’s, Bed/Bath & Beyond,
etc. – just TOO CRAZY for me!
I told my family  AMAZON PRIME
has become my best friend this

Middle son opened his presents
and there was a new tie for him –
he said: “Mom! ANOTHER tie?
Thanks, but this can be my last
tie for awhile” I told him: “Just
wait – your birthday is in a week!”
(hehe, he’s getting TWO more ties
then!). Hey, they all coordinate
with his work uniform (Hilton
Hotel front desk clerk: Navy
blue blazer, light blue shirt,
(tie), tan slacks. (Honestly,
don’t know who came up with
that color combination for
a ‘uniform’ but – it’s a job.
Doesn’t look BAD, just could
be a little more color coordinated,
in my humble opinion.

Well, friends, time for me to get
my rather tired buttocks off this
chair and go DO something! Have
about 8 rows left on black/gray &
white scarf then that’s done. Want
to start a new pattern for another
donated baby blanket – just haven’t
quite found a pattern that ‘speaks
to me’ – if you know what I mean.

Have a great (and hopefully relaxing)



Merry Christmas!


Published in: on December 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm  Comments (1)  

It’s almost here!


Finally finished up decorating the main tree, the lights around the fireplace & secretary AND got the presents wrapped – YAY! Only things left to do are bake a few things tomorrow & throw together (my first, ever) 3-Bean Salad (it has to marinate at least 12 hours) – those things are for Saturday. Sunday is church at 10:30 (have to be there at 10 a.m. for choir practice) then dinner at son’s house (time has not yet been decided). It feels GOOD to finally be ahead of schedule. Ran out to the store today for a few essentials: bread & eggs; came home with bananas, 2 boxes of ginger cookies, a small box of glazed donuts (the guys go through them like water), 3 bars of bath soap, 2 containers of hand soap – just a ‘few’things – hehehe


Today’s post will be COOKIES & DESSERTS!

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

2 C. crushed Oreo cookies
3 T. butter, melted
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 1/2 C. vanilla ice cream
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
15 peppermint (round) candies
2 T. chocolate (ice cream) shell

Remove ice cream from freezer &
leave to soften about 15 minutes.
Spray 9″ pie pan with nonstick
spray. Stir cookie crumbs & melted
butter in medium bowl; spread
mixture into pie pan & press evenly
over bottom & up sides of pan.
Freeze 10 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip, peppermint extract &
10 peppermint candies to blender;
blend until smooth; pour into pie
crust & freeze at least 3 hours. Crush
remaining candies. Immediately
before serving, top pie with
chocolate topping, additional
Cool Whip & crushed candies.
Serves 8

Magic Turtle Bars

2 C. crushed vanilla cookies (wafers)
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 bags (Kraft) caramel bits
2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Combine crushed cookies & butter
until crumbs are moist & spread
evenly in bottom of pan, pressing
down to form a crust. Layer rest of
ingredients: 1 bag choc. chips, caramel
bits, pecans (save about 1/4 C. for
top), second bag of choc. chips,
remaining pecans. Drizzle sweetened
cond. milk over entire pan, making
sure to cover all nooks & crannies.
Bake 25-30 minutes just until milk
begins to turn golden. Let cool
completely before cutting. Store
in airtight container.

NOTE: if you choose to refrigerate
these bars, let them come back
to room temperature before

Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. soft butter
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 bag white chocolate chips

Combine powdered sugar, salt,
butter & peanut butter in large
bowl, stirring until completely
mixed & smooth. Place dough
in fridge 20-30 minutes to firm

Cover a baking sheet
with parchment paper.
Roll approx. 1 T. of dough
in your hands & place on
prepared sheet; roll rest
of dough & place sheet
in fridge 30 minutes.

In medium microwaveable
bowl melt white chocolate
chips in 30 second intervals,
stirring until completely
smooth. Dip balls in chocolate,
return to lined sheet &
refrigerate until ready to serve.


Coconut Snowball Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. cornstarch
2 C. flour
1 C. finely shredded coconut
2 C. powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Mix butter on Medium speed
using elec. mixer until creamy. Add
2/3 C. powdered sugar & salt; mix
well. Add vanilla, cornstarch &
coconut; continue mixing on Low
speed gradually adding flour & mix
until evenly combined. Scoop 1 T.
dough at a time & roll into a ball;
place balls on prepared sheet. Bake
16-18 minutes until bottoms get
lightly golden.
Place 2 C. powdered sugar in a
pie pan/plate (for rolling cookies)
Remove from oven & cool a few
minutes. While cookies are still
warm, roll them in powdered
sugar; place on wire rack to
cool then roll once more in
powdered sugar. Makes 25

(NOTE: I…Pam, don’t do the
second powdered sugar coating,
makes them too messy to eat,
in my opinion!)

Martha Washington Balls

3 C. pecans
2 C. coconut
4 C. powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 jar maraschino cherries,
drained/patted dry
2 C. chocolate candy melts

Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper.
Place pecans & coconut in food
processor; pulse until finely
chopped. Using elec. mixer,
cream sugar & butter together
until light. Add milk & chopped
nuts/coconut – stir until well
mixed. Using your hands, take
a small amount of dough &
form around a cherry; place
on prepared sheet. Chill in
fridge 1 hour.
Place chocolate melts in a glass
bowl & melt in microwave on
High 30 seconds; stir & repeat
until all chocolate is melted &
smooth. Dip each ball into
chocolate, allowing excess to
drip back into bowl. Place balls
on parchment-lined baking sheet
& allow to harden. Makes 36

Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

In a pan bring sugar & milk to a
boil; boil 2 1/2 minutes. Remove
from heat & stir in peanut butter
& vanilla.

(recipe: Facebook)
Crockpot Candy Cane Bark

24 oz. white chocolate chips
1 box peppermint candy canes,

Place one gallon-sized ziplock bag inside
another 1 gallon ziplock bag (so you have
a double bag). Place candy canes in bag(s);
zip up, removing most of air. Using a rubber
mallet, hammer or end of a rolling pin,
crush candy canes until you have a nice
mixture of small chunks & candy cane dust.
(Line crockpot with liner if you want to
use one)
Pour both bags of white chocolate chips
into crockpot (NOTE: DO NOT spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.)
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour until chips
are melted enough that when stirred
they turn smooth. Be careful not to
overcook, as white chocolate chips
will burn. Line a large rimmed cookie
sheet with waxed or parchment paper.
Pour half of crushed candy canes into
melted white chocolate & stir until
well mixed & candy canes are covered
with melted white chocolate. Pour
melted white chocolate & candy cane
mixture into center or prepared cookie
sheet. Working quickly, spread candy
cane mixture evenly on cookie sheet
using a spatula, making sure there is no
overly thick or thin areas. Sprinkle
remaining candy cane pieces evenly
over top. Let candy harden at room
temp. a few hours (you can speed it
up by placing sheet in fridge). Flip
candy bark out of cookie sheet & peel
off paper; break bark into pieces. Store
in air tight container or package for
gift giving. Serves 15

NOTE: You can also use a food processor
to crush candy canes, being careful to
not over process – otherwise you end up
with just candy cane dust – with very few
little chunks


Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.


Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 C. white chocolate chips

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 T. orange juice

2 T. dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C. white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using stand mixer or large mixing
bowl, place butter & brown sugar;
mix until well combined. Add eggs,
one at a time, ginger, vanilla, 1/2
tsp. salt. Mix until mixture is smooth.
In small bowl mix together 1 tsp.
baking powder & 1 1/2 C. flour. Add
dry mixture to butter mixture & mix
until well combined (should take
a few minutes). Mix in chopped
cranberries & white choc. chips.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with non-
stick spray – place dough inside &
spread evenly using a knife. Bake
25-30 minutes until golden brown;
cool completely.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese,
butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, orange
zest & orange juice until well combined,
smooth & glossy. Spread over cooled
cake & top with chopped dried
Pour white choc. chips in microwave-
safe bowl; heat in 30 second intervals,
stirring between each. You want to
make sure the chocolate doesn’t get
too hot – it will clump up if heated
too fast. Drizzle melted chocolate over
bars & chill in fridge until chocolate
has set up & frosting has firmed up
a bit. Makes 16 bars


Since you know I can’t just sit with nothing
to work on, have started (don’t remember
if I posted this one or not yet) a men’s
(homeless) scarf using some of the yarn
that was in that HUGE donation I posted
a few days ago. It’s about 3/4 ths done now;
it’s an easy stitch so it goes fast:


The scarf starts out with a kind of

shiny dark charcoal, then goes to
white & gray – will end with the
dark charcoal. It doesn’t photograph
well – looks better in person.

Looking at all that yarn got me ‘desiring’
to crochet something. I’m only a beginner
when it comes to crochet, but wanted to
start a baby blanket using some of the
donated yarns. There were about 5 skeins
of this teal blue, decided to combine it
with white – reminds me of the colors
that were featured in the movie “Frozen”
(I didn’t see the movie, but saw all the
promotions/items featuring those two
colors together). I looked up a really
simple pattern, did 3 rows (in teal) and
decided it was rather boring looking so
then looked up another pattern – ended
up combining the two. The original
pattern called for casting on 61 stitches
for a baby blanket – well, that wasn’t
a good idea (too small) – I had already
done a good 10 rows before deciding
I’m just going to finish it then make a
wide teal & white border around it
to make it bigger – that should work.
(this one will be for Crisis Pregnancy


The white stitches don’t show
up very well – they sort of look like

Our weather is still nice – the bottom of
our driveway is actually totally CLEAR –
certainly makes getting in our drive a LOT

Hope you are happy with all of your
holiday preparations – don’t let them
BOG YOU DOWN! Take things a little
at a time – EVEN if that means that
some things just won’t get/be done!
I made the executive decision years
ago to no longer send Christmas
cards – I used to stress over it TOO
MUCH! The same decision came this
year about baking tons of cookies –
too much stress/too many calories!
I’m much happier for both decisions –
less stress makes a happier Pammie!

Enjoy your day!



Appetizers – we got ’em!


My ‘in box’ is overflowing with GREAT recipes – especially Appetizers, so I thought: “Why not just do an all-appetizer post!?” Here ya go:


Parmesan Puffs

2 1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. margarine
2 1/2 C. flour
10 eggs
3 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

5 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease medium baking
sheet. In medium saucepan
bring milk & margarine to boil
over medium-high heat. Stir in
flour; reduce heat to Low &
vigorously stir until thick enough
to form a ball – remove from heat.
Beat eggs into mixture until
smooth; stir in Parmesan. Drop
dough by rounded teaspoonfuls
onto sheet. Bake 15 minutes until
puffed & golden brown.
Serve with warmed marinara sauce,
for dipping. Makes 10 servings

No-Brainer Shrimp Spread

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
2 (6 oz, ea) cans cocktail shrimp,
drained or 1/4 lb. fresh, cooked
shrimp, diced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 (12 oz) bottle shrimp seafood
cocktail sauce

crackers, for dipping

Mix softened cream cheese, 2/3rds
of shrimp, sliced onions & 1/2 bottle
of shrimp cocktail sauce. Mix well,
adding more sauce if needed to make
mixture a spreading consistency.
Place in a serving bowl, place a thin
layer of cocktail sauce over top.
Arrange remaining shrimp on top,
as decoration. Chill, then serve
with crackers of your choice.
Serves 8

Blue Cheese/Pecan-stuffed Dates

4 slices bacon
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3 T. orange juice
1/2 C. blue cheese, crumbled
2 1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. chopped pecans, divided
24 pitted dates

Cook bacon in large skillet over
medium heat until crisp; drain on
paper towels, reserving 1/2 tsp.
bacon grease in skillet. Add onion
& cook over medium heat until
softened, 3-4 minutes. Add orange
juice & cook, scraping up any
browned bits, until liquid is
evaporate, 1-2 minutes more.
Transfer mixture to medium bowl;
let cool. Crumble bacon into onions,
add cheeses & half of pecans – stir
well to combine. Stuff each date with
a heaping teaspoon of mixture & top
with remaining pecans.
Serves 12


Fire Crackers

1 lb. unsalted saltine crackers
(4 sleeves)
1 C. canola oil
1 (1 oz) pkt. ranch salad dressing
2 T. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In a large air-tight container, line
crackers on ends (like dominoes).
In small bowl mix oil, dry dressing
mix, peppers & garlic powder – stir
until all ingredients are well mixed.
Continue to stir to prevent pepper
from settling to bottom of bowl.
Spoon mixture evenly over crackers,
like drizzling icing on a cake. Close
lid tightly & flip container over
every 5 minutes for about 20
minutes. Lightly shake back &
forth to make sure all crackers
are coated. Store in ziplock bag;
will keep about a week.
Makes 24 servings.


Loaded Cheeseball Bites

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked/finely
1/3 C. finely chopped chives
1/3 C. finely chopped pecans

stick pretzels

Mix cream cheese, Cheddar, garlic
powder, paprika & season with salt/
pepper. Form mixture into 18 small
balls & refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
In shallow bowl or on a plate, stir
cooked/chopped bacon, chives &
pecans; roll balls in mixture &
insert a stick pretzel into each
ball. Serve  – if not serving
right away, loosely cover with
plastic wrap & return to fridge.
Let stand at room temp. 15
minutes before serving.
Makes 18

BBQ Bacon Cheeseball

6 sttrips bacon, cooked crisp,
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 C. BBQ sauce of your choice
1/4 C. chopped pecans

crackers and/or cut up fresh
veggies, for dipping

In large bowl mix half of bacon, half
green onions, cream cheese, Cheddar
cheese & BBQ sauce; stir until evenly
combined. Taste & season with salt/
pepper, if needed, stirring mixture once
more to incorporate. Transfer mixture
to center of a large sheet of plastic
wrap. Form mixture into a ball & wrap
tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate
(or freeze) at least 1-2 hours until
mostly firm. Add remaining bacon,
green onions & pecans to large plate;
using your fingers, combine them.
Unwrap cheeseball & place in center
of plate; gently roll ball until it’s
coated with mixture. Serve immediately
with crackers or cut up veggies for
dipping. (Or wrap & refrigerate ball
until you are ready to serve it.)
Serves 12-16

Jalapeno-Red Pepper Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. grated sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar
1/2 C. finely diced red bell pepper (seeds/
stem removed)
1/3 C. finely diced jalapeno (seeds/stem
2 finely minced cloves garlic
(optional: 1/3 C. chives, chopped green
or red onion, corn or bacon bits)
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. sliced almonds

In large bowl add all ingredients except
nuts; stir to combine (can use a hand-
held elec. mixer on Low speed). Make
sure cream cheese is very well softened
before beginning or it will be very
difficult to combine all ingredients. Using
a spatula or your hands, pat mixture
into a ball shape inside bowl. Tear off
a large piece of plastic wrap & place
ball on wrap; wrap up ball & place in
a ziplock bag (to prevent fridge smells).
Refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight)
to chill & firm up.
Before serving:
Combine nuts in medium bowl & gently
roll ball in nuts until completely covered.
Cheeseball can be made days in advance,
but do not roll in nuts until day of serving.

Creamy Baked Double Cheese &
Sweet Onion Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mayonnaise
6-8 oz. grated cheese, divided (poster
used Gouda)
1 medium-large sweet Vidalia onion,
peeled/diced (about 1 heaping cup)
1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

chips, bread chunks, crackers, bagel
chips, pita chips, Fritos Scoops,
mini toasts, fresh cut veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9″ pie plate (or 10″
oven-safe baking dish) with
nonstick spray
In large bowl add all ingredients
(reserve 1/2 C. cheese for topping)
stir to combine. Turn mixture
into prepared dish, smooth top
with spatula. Evenly sprinkle
reserved cheese on top & bake
45-50 minutes until top is golden
brown & bubbly. Allow to cool
before serving.
Dip will keep (in airtight container)
in fridge up to 5 days. Gently
re-heat in microwave before
serving. Serve with dippers

Everything on a bagel Cheeseball

4 tsp. poppy seeds
4 tsp. sesame seeds
4 tsp. dried garlic
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

crackers, chips, cut up fresh veggies

Mix dry spices in a bowl. In large
bowl mix cream cheese & sour cream
until thoroughly combined. Mix in
cheese, scallions & bacon. Cut off a
large section of plastic wrap &
place on counter – scoop out mixture
onto wrap & form into a ball.
Refrigerate overnight or at least
2 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap
ball & place spice mixture on a plate.
Roll cheeseball in seasonings until
outside of ball is totally coated.
Serve with crackers/chips.


Taco Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/4 C. taco seasoning mix
2 T. diced/seeded jalapeno peppers
1 (4 oz) can diced black olives, drained
1 C. crushed tortilla chips (or Doritos)
2 C. shredded lettuce
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved

chips, crackers

In large bowl beat cream cheese with
taco seasoning until well blended; add
jalapenos & black olives, mix well. Line
a 4-C. bowl with plastic wrap. Drop
mixture into bowl & wrap plastic
around cheeseball. Refrigerate at
least one hour (more is better). When
ready to serve, place shredded lettuce
& sliced tomatoes on a serving plate.
Fill a bowl with the crushed chips;
unwrap cheeseball & place in bowl –
press chips gently onto outsides of
ball. Place ball on a platter & serve
with chips & crackers. Serves 8-10

Cranberry/Almond/Bacon Cheeseball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. white Cheddar cheese (or
feta, goat cheese or gorgonzola)
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 T. finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. chopped, roasted almonds

sliced baguette bread, crackers

In medium bowl place softened
cream cheese, white Cheddar, bacon,
cranberries, cilantro & Word. sauce –
blend together well. Spoon  mixture
onto a large piece of plastic wrap –
bring corners together & form a ball.
Place ball in a bowl, refrigerate at
least 3 hours until ball becomes firm.
When ready to serve, unwrap ball &
roll in chopped nuts until thoroughly
coated. Serve with sliced baguette
bread or your favorite crackers.

NOTE: one commenter suggested using
pistachio nuts in place of almonds –
for the color contrast!


AND the rest of the lights – YAY! I stayed
home last night from the (extra) special
needs group’s participation in the sponsoring
church’s Christmas program – was just a little
too tired from grocery shopping earlier
in the day. Yes – I hear you: I AM trying to
rest. There are a few spots on my body that
still have a bit of an ache, but I’m healing –
slowly. So happy I’m able to be up & about
as well as able to go & do things! That fall
could have been MUCH worse!  All that’s
left to do on my ‘to do list’ is wrap presents.
Conferred with other grandma yesterday
on adjustments to Christmas dinner: I
ended up making two executive decisions:
(1) changed Pecan Pie to Pecan Tarts –
it made more sense to have a smaller
dessert offering along with the double
chocolate cake & Fr. Vanilla ice cream
(2) changed Cheesy Deluxe potatoes to
good old Garlic Mashed – the last store
I was at was totally out of hash browns
and I just didn’t feel like either going to
another store OR anticipating doing that
any OTHER day, either – so decided to
just go with my husband’s GREAT Garlic
mashed potatoes (besides, he seemed
a bit put out that we weren’t doing
those for dinner, anyway!) It’s a win-
win situation! The other grandma
also informed me she’s also going
to make MORE cold sides! Something
about a cold macaroni salad, some
other cold stuff and also hot sweet
potatoes – let’s just say: WE WILL BE
STUFFED! (don’t think any of us
will be complaining, though, do you?)

Hope you are (to use a Brittish
expression) SPOT ON with your
Christmas preparations/baking/

Our weather has been REALLY GREAT
(for this time of year in Michigan,
anyway…) – it’s clear, roads are great/
clear, sun is shining and NO SNOW,
at least until Friday and they’re saying
less than an inch – hey, we got this!
Our temperatures have been a bit
warmer, also – High today is supposed
to be 38, that’s GOOD! So far, the
weather is going to be really great for
all the people driving/traveling during
the weekend and into the next week,
too! YAY!

Closing for now – lots more recipes
to get typed up for you (I love doing
that – gives me ideas and let’s me
share things with you, too!)



Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Menus and Executive Decisions


Today was ‘the’ day to get all the Christmas grocery shopping done; I fully planned out my ‘route’ – 3 stores, where to get each item at the best price – check! Mid-way through store #1 I began to feel the “Boy, am I getting tired” feeling. After checking out I thought – “You know, this needs to be amended – do I REALLY need to get those few items at store #3 JUST because they’re on sale?” NOPE! On to store #2 only to find that one of the main items in making Cheesy Potatoes (hash browns) was NOT in their freezer compartment…that space was EMPTY! UGH! WHAT TO DO? I ‘could’ go on to store # 3 which probably had them or I could postpone the trip to another day. NOPE – on the fly quick decision: We’re having my husband’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes! He loves making them, they’re tasty – who needs FANCY potatoes? A little further on almost same quandry – needed BIG pecan pie . . . store only had the 8 inch size – NOW WHAT!? Ok, LOOK! Here are really cute Pecan TARTS! Almost same price (actually a little bit less). You would get about 8 slices of pie – these tarts come 12 to a package – I’ll buy 2 and we’ll call it DONE! SCORE! What ‘fun’ I have when I really tired & shopping! Learned from other grandma that she’s added MORE cold sides to menu – my thoughts? I give up – we’ll have a BOATLOAD of food – let’s just enjoy it ALL!


Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies,
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream,
1 (16 oz) jar hot fudge ice cream
topping, warmed
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl combine 3 3/4 C.
cookie crumbs & butter; press
into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Spread with ice cream.
Cover & freeze until set.
Drizzle fudge topping over ice
cream; cover & freeze until set.
Spread with Cool Whip; sprinkle
top with remaining cookie crumbs.
Cover & freeze 2 hours until firm.
Remove from freezer 10 minutes
before serving.
Serves 12


Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

3 T. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix butter, sugar & eggs in large
bowl. Combine flour, cream of
tartar, baking soda & salt in
another bowl. Mix dry ingredients
into butter mixture & chill
10-15 minutes. Chill a cookie
sheet the same amount of time.

Mix 3 T. sugar & 3 tsp. cinnamon
in a shallow pan (pie plate). Scoop
dough into balls & roll in mixture,
then place on refrigerated cookie
sheet. Bake 10 minutes & remove
from pan immediately.
Makes 24


Smoked Salmon Wrapped Dill-
Chive Potatoes

1 lb. baby red potatoes*
8 oz. smoked salmon
3/4 C. sour cream
1 T. chopped shallots
1 T. chopped dill
1 T. chopped chives
1-2 tsp. horseradish (optional)
salt/pepper, to taste

Cut larger potatoes in half; place
potatoes in large pot of salted,
boiling water 15 minutes until
just tender. Let cool slightly.
Mix sour cream, shallots, dill,
chives, horseradish (if using),
salt/pepper in large bowl &
pour over warm potatoes – stir
to combine then refrigerate
until cold. Slice small strips of
salmon to wrap around potatoes.
Wrap potatoes & hold together
using a toothpick or skewer.
Serve immediately or refrigerate
until ready to serve.
Makes 26-30 skewers

*poster used Chilean Splash
little potatoes


Garlic Butter Chicken & Pasta

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 T. minced garlic
3 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. diced white onions
1/2 C. sliced butter
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. frozen peas (add at end)
1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked al dente,
(add at end)
Parmesan cheese – for serving

Place chicken, garlic, onions, carrots,
butter, thyme, basil, salt/pepper in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. When cooking time is done,
cook pasta according to pkg. directions;
add peas & drained cooked pasta to
crockpot; stir well. Sprinkle Parm.
cheese on top when serving. Serves 8


Bacon & Cheddar Green Bean

2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of
mushroom soup
1 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/chopped
(about 6 T.), divided
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 (14.5 oz,ea) cans green beans,
2 2/3 C. French’s French fried
onions, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray insides of 3 qt. baking
dish with nonstick spray.
In large bowl mix together
soup, milk, 1/4 C. cheese,
5 T. bacon, black pepper,
green beans & 1 1/3 C. onions;
pour into prepared dish.
Bake 25 minutes until mixture
is hot & bubbling. Stir &
sprinkle top with remaining cheese,
onions & bacon. Bake 5 minutes
more until onions are golden
brown. Serves 12

(recipe: The Oakland Press,
Family Features, Dec., 4, 2016)

Cabbage Roll Soup
(regular & crockpot methods)

1 lb. lean ground pork or beef
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 C. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
1 T. tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large head cabbage
2 C. cooked rice (white or brown)
1 T. olive oil
2 C. gruyere or Monterrey Jack
1 egg
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown meat, onion & garlic over medium
heat until no pink remains; drain. Stir in
tomatoes (including juice), tomato paste,
seasonings & tomato sauce – simmer,
uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat
& add rice.
Coarsely chop cabbage, rinse & shake dry.
Heat 1 T. oil in skillet & add half of cabbage;
cook just until softened (about 5 minutes);
repeat with rest of cabbage. Place half of
cabbage in large casserole dish; top with half
meat sauce; repeat layers. Cover with foil &
bake 45 minutes. In small bowl combine cheese,
egg & milk. Remove foil, top casserole with
cheese mixture & bake, uncovered, an additional
20 minutes. Serves 8

Crockpot Method:

1 1/2 lb. ground beef or pork (or
a mixture of the two)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
1 C. water
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
3/4 C. long grain white rice, uncooked
1 head cabbage
1/3 C. water
1 1/2 C. Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Brown meat, onion, garlic & seasonings
in skillet over medium heat until no pink
remains; drain. Add 1 C. tomato sauce,
1 C. water. 1/2 can tomato soup & diced
tomatoes to skillet. Stir in rice & mix well.
Heat through then remove from heat.
Chop cabbage into 4 wedges & remove
core (discard core) & chop wedges into
chunks. Layer half of meat mixture and
half of cabbage in crockpot; repeat layers.
Combine remaining soup, tomato sauce &
1/3 C. water – pour over top of cabbage.
Cook on Low 4-6 hours just until rice is
cooked. Once done, turn off heat &
sprinkle cheese on top. Cover & let
stand 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 8


Baked Chops & Scalloped Potatoes
(oven and/or Crockpot recipe)

6 boneless loin pork chops
2 small-medium onions, chopped
2 T. butter
4 C. potatoes, sliced very thin
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. Heat large skillet over medium-
high heat & melt 1 T. butter. Brown chops
on both sides, remove from pan. Add
remaining 1 T. butter & brown onions
until soft. In same pan, add soup &
gradually stir in milk (so you don’t get
lumps). Place sliced potatoes in even
layer in prepared dish; place chops on
top. Pour soup mixture over chops then
wiggle the dish a bit so sauce distributes
throughout pan. Cover & bake 30 minutes.
Remove cover & bake 30-40 minutes longer.
Serves 6

Crockpot Method:
Follow recipe up to sauteeing onions &
making soup/sauce. Butter or spray
insides of crockpot then place sliced potatoes
in bottom. Top with chops & pour soup
mixture over top. Cover & cook 3-4 hours
on High or 5-7 hours on Low.


Crockpot Salty/Sweet Crunchy Candy

1/2 C. butter, sliced
1 (11.5 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 C. corn chips, coarsely crushed
2 C. mini pretzel twists, coarsely

Place all ingredients EXCEPT corn chips
and pretzels in crockpot & stir. Cover &
cook on High 30-90 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Once chocolate is completely
melted, add corn chips & pretzels; gently
stir until well coated. Line a cookie sheet
with parchment paper & spread mixture
evenly using a wooden spoon. Refrigerate
sheet 1 hour until it sets up. Break into
pieces after set. Serves 10-12


Granny’s Spice Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 large egg
2 T. light corn syrup
2 T. grated orange peel
1 T. cold water
3 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

(red hot candies/nonpareils and
or sprinkles – for topping – optional)

Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy.
Beat in egg, corn syrup, orange peel &
cold water. In another bowl whisk flour,
baking soda, cinnamon, ginger & cloves;
gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half – shape each into
a disk & wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate
dough at least 1 hour until firm enough
to roll.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
On lightly floured surface roll each
portion into 1/8″ thickness. Cut into
desired shapes using a cookie cutter &
place 1 inch apart on greased baking
sheets. Decorate as desired then bake
until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool
Makes 4 dozen



While out today I noticed the gas prices have
jumped up quite a bit; around here regular
is now $2.39/9.

It’s now four days since my fall on the ice;
am doing a little better each day – a little
stiff in the shoulder blade area but that’s
where the major impact was, so I’m not
surprised. Am still sure I didn’t break any
bones, although my sons keep bugging me
to go get it checked out. Yes, I’m stubborn
and No, I’m not going to – end of story.

Hope things are going well for all of
you during this (can be stressful) time
of year. Remember to take a little time
out to relax – even if it’s a 10 minute
‘power’ nap! (just did that about half
hour ago!).



Anybody got yarn? (and other happenings)


Yesterday at church a friend gave me 3 boxes and 3 big bags full of yarn – she was helping her friend get rid of her mom’s stuff. Not a great photo (I accidentally deleted the good one) but you get the idea. There is one huge bag full of SETS of yarn – like 9-12 big skeins of BRIGHT ORANGE (have no idea what you’d make with that) – I took enough to make 2-3 baby blankets and some scarves; the rest will go to the Knit group January 17th for our Yarn Swap. In amidst the yarns I found a kind of neat scarf – it wasn’t finished (not exactly sure what the creator’s “method” was for doing it – TONS of ends sticking out and LOOPS! Crazy! Took me awhile to get it together & finish it (had a good photo of ‘before’ too, but deleted it…ooops). Here’s the finished product – it will make a nice man’s scarf for the homeless: (it’s folded up in photo)


Sunday was our choir’s Christmas program and I was very happy to be able to participate – you see, Saturday night after practice (around 8:30 p.m.) I walked out of church, being VERY careful of where/how I was walking when my feet went totally out from under me and I fell flat on my back. Never before have I experienced having the wind knocked out of me – that’s scary! I couldn’t breathe! My friend saw the whole thing and was yelling across the parking lot: “Pam! ARE YOU OK?”  I couldn’t speak OR breathe – my brain kept saying: “Roll OVER, you IDIOT! Suck in some air!” so I did – took a few minutes but was able to sit up. Two guys from choir came over to help me stand, one walked me to the car. My first thought was: “OH NO! My scoliosis! WHAT did just do to my back!?” but it was OK – two days later I’m still a little stiff & sore; apparently I also hit my elbow as it’s a little sore BUT NOTHING’S BROKEN! PRAISE THE LORD! It was one of those freak things: I had boots on, I was VERY careful how I was walking – I remember thinking: “OK – TINY, BABY…steps – OOOOOOOooooo, falling – this is gonna hurt when I hit!” My friend was freaking out – she thought I had a concussion – I hit my head, but not hard at all. AH, the FUN of getting older, eh? Another friend in my Sunday School class (same age as me) fell last week & broke her leg; she thought it was her knee, but her husband said: “No, you broke your tibia!” (bone that runs from kneecap to foot, in front). Been taking it easy since after church yesterday – nothing on my agenda, per se, until tomorrow night’s Knit/Crochet night. The second tree is still not up, nor the lights but if that’s all we have – it’s STILL OK!


Peppermint Delight

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies,
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 gallon Peppermint ice cream,
slightly softened
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
1 (11 3/4 oz) jar hot fudge ice
cream topping, warmed
crushed peppermint candies

In large bowl combine cookie
crumbs & butter; press into an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Spread softened ice cream
over crust; top with Cool
Whip. Cover & freeze until
solid. (May be frozen up to
2 months).
Just before serving, drizzle top
with hot fudge topping &
sprinkle with crushed candies.
Serves 12-15

Chocolate-Peppermint Striped

45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed
(about 1 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3 C. plus 2 T. cold milk, divided
1/4 C. finely crushed candy canes
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate
instant pudding mix
1/4 C. coarsely crushed candy

Combine wafer crumbs, butter &
2 T. sugar; press onto bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish; refrigerate
until ready to use.
Beat cream cheese, remaining
sugar and 2 T. milk in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in
finely crushed candy canes. Add
1 1/4 C. Cool Whip; mix well then
spread over crust. Beat pudding
mixes & remaining milk with
whisk 2 minutes; pour over
cream cheese layer. Let stand
5 minutes until thickened. Cover
with remaining Cool Whip.
Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with
coarsely crushed candy canes
just before serving.
Serves 24


Prosciutto Pizza Rolls


1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. ready-to-bake
pizza dough
3 oz. prosciutto
1 C. shredded mozzarella
1 C. chopped, fresh basil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix tomato
sauce, paste, vinegar, basil, garlic,
pepper, 1 tsp. oregano & 2 tsp.
olive oil to make pizza sauce.
Roll out pizza dough to 14″ X 8 1/2″
inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 C. of
sauce evenly over dough, reserving
remaining sauce for dipping. Lay out
prosciutto on top & sprinkle evenly
with cheese & basil. Using a pizza
cutter, cut dough in half down
length. Next, cut each half into
8 even strips. Roll each strip
carefully & place on baking sheet
seam-sides down. Brush tops
with remaining olive oil & sprinkle
tops with remaining oregano.
Bake 12 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 12

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

1 lb. mild country sausage
2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar
1 1/2 C. Bisquick mix

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine sausage & cheese in large
bowl; blend in Bisquick with hands
until well mixed. Roll mixture into
1 inch balls & place on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm
or at room temperature. Serves 20


Crockpot Cube Steak & Gravy

1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6-8 pieces cube steak
2 T. oil
2 C. beef broth

Mix flour, dry mustard, salt/
pepper & garlic powder in ziplock
bag. Add cube steak, zip bag &
toss bag to coat all meat. (Reserve
excess flour mixture for later step)
Heat oil in a skillet (or browning
crockpot). Brown cube steak on all
sides but do not cook through. Mix
any excess flour with broth & pour
into crockpot. Add steak & cook on
High 90 minutes – 2 1/2 hours until
steaks are fork-tender & sauce has
thickened. Serves 4-6


Baked Orange Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. canola oil

2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
3 T. white vinegar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

Cooked rice for 4-6

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces &
season with salt/pepper. In separate
bowls, place cornstarch & slightly
beaten eggs. Dip chicken in cornstarch
then into egg mixture. Heat oil in large
skillet over medium-high heat & cook
chicken until lightly browned. Spray a
9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick spray
& place chicken in dish. In medium bowl
whisk brown sugar, orange juice, srirach,
apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy
sauce, garlic salt & cornstarch – pour
over chicken. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4-6

(Note: serve over rice, if desired)


Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
chopped into 1″ pieces
2 large onions, chopped
6 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream

Place 2 T. butter & chopped onions
in large skillet over medium-low heat;
cook slowly, stirring occasionally until
golden in color & fragrant. Add quartered
potatoes to large pot of boiling salted
water; cover & turn heat to Low. Cook
about 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain
& add to large bowl with sour cream, onions
& rest of butter. Mash using potato masher
or elec. mixer until desired consistency.


Cream of Turkey soup

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 C. diced onions
1 C. diced leeks (white part only)
1 C. diced celery
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. new red potatoes, peeled/diced
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dry thyme
1/4 C. dry white wine or water
5 C. turkey stock
4 C. cooked, diced turkey meat
1/4 C. Half & Half or light cream

In large pot melt butter & add onions,
leeks, celery, carrots & potatoes. Saute
over medium high heat 5-10 minutes
until almost tender. Reduce to medium &
add flour, salt/pepper, sage & thyme – cook
5 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon &
being careful the mixture does not stick.
Add wine (or water) & scrape up any
browned bits from bottom of pan. Add
stock, bring to boil & reduce to simmer.
Cook 10-15 minutes until vegetables are
tender & soft. Remove several batches
of soup to a blender & puree – add back
to pot. Add turkey & heat to hot; add
cream & serve. Serves 6-8


White Chocolate Fudge

3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white chocolate,
broken into pieces
3/4 C. canned sweetened condensed
1 C. almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 T. orange zest

Line 8 X 8″ baking pan with foil,
extending ends over sides. Microwave
chocolate & milk in microwaveable
bowl on High 2-3 minutes until
chocolate is almost melted; stir until
chocolate is completely melted &
mixture is well blended. Add
remaining ingredients; mix well.
Spread mixture on bottom of
prepared pan & refrigerate 2
hours until firm. Using foil handles,
remove fudge from pan & cut into
squares. Makes 24 servings


1 1/2 pkgs (4 oz, ea) semi-sweet
chocolate, broken into small
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Melt chocolate
as directed on pkg. Place
marshmallows in large bowl &
pour melted chocolate over; toss
until evenly coated. Drop rounded
tablespoons of mixture into 24
mounds on prepared sheet.
Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.


I’m still trying to figure out the
foods for Christmas dinner –
so far not so much luck. (I do better
if I don’t think someone is double-
guessing my choices . . . sigh). I know
it will all be great and there will be
more than enough to feed all nine
of us so I shouldn’t worry…just me,
I guess.

Our weather has been getting
much colder BUT no snow (so far); it’s
a ‘balmy’ 15 with a wind chill that
makes it feel like 3 degrees F above
zero – fun! The sun is out, the roads
are clear so for those who want to
go out, it’s great driving weather!
I’m going to wait another day or so
before venturing far – still a little
achy and don’t want to ‘push it’.

Hope you all stay SAFE and WARM;



PS: Noticed gas prices went up a tiny bit,
from $2.19/9 to $2.21/9 – not too
bad considering we’re into the last
week of HOLIDAY shopping, etc.

Slowly getting it all done!


Well, they weren’t wrong in predicting more snow for my area – another 2+ (was supposed to be 5, so I’m not too upset). Ended up calling our plow guy to ask him to do our drive, even though it’s not much snow – since we live ON a major highway the bottom of our drive is piled up with frozen ice/snow to where (if you have a small car) you might not make it UP the drive (just enough of a slope to where you need a ‘running start’ to get up it, with snow/ice involved.  It’s about 25 degrees F out now with later predictions of freezing drizzle & light snow during the night – GREAT! I have choir practice from 6-8 p.m. tonight (NO chance of missing this one – tomorrow morning is the program!).

FINALLY finished the blue/green baby blanket – yes, people like it but the yarn makes the knitter a bit ‘blind’ if worked on too long – it’s a bit BRIGHT!


Brought out some more donated yarn (white & a federal slate blue) and started another (homeless) scarf – worked about 6 inches & decided it was too wide to be able to make a decent length before running out of yarn so started it again, narrower. Still wasn’t happy with the yarn – too scratchy so decided to dump that project and wait until tomorrow when I’m supposed to get 2 boxes & several BAGS of yarn (& some crochet things) from a lady at church. Sometimes just seeing new yarn gives me inspiration – we’ll see. (Next project will be another scarf – think I mentioned that last post).


Eggnog Bread

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. eggnog
1/2 C. vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum extract

Eggnog glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. eggnog
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
sugar, salt, baking powder,
cinnamon & nutmeg. In another
medium bowl combine eggnog, oil,
eggs, vanilla & rum extract. Slowly
add wet ingredients to dry – stir
until combined. Pour batter into
prepared pan then tap pan on
counter so the cake is evenly set
in pan. Bake 65-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Place on cooling
rack & cool 15 minutes. Loosen
sides of bread with a knife &
carefully remove from pan. Let
cake cool completely on wire
While bread is cooling, prepare
In small bowl whisk powdered
sugar, eggnog, vanilla, rum extract
& nutmeg – drizzle glaze over
cooled loaf.

NOTE: If cake isn’t done & top is
browning too fast, drape a piece
of foil over top & finish baking
until a toothpick comes out clean.

(recipe: twopeasandtheir

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

2 lb. apples, peeled/cored/sliced,
about 6 C. (poster used Granny Smith)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 C. orange juice

(add at end, to taste)
1/2 C. brown sugar

Add apples, cranberries, clove, cinnamon
sticks & orange juice to crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 5 hours or Low 8, without
opening lid during cooking time. When
time is done, remove cinnamon sticks &
discard. Ladle everything into a blender
working in batches – add sugar. (poster
used 1/2 C. – you can always add more)
Blend until smooth. Makes 20 servings

Comments from poster:
I think it tastes better after being
refrigerated overnight. Good on
biscuits or croissants.


Four-Cheese Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 T. unsalted butter
1 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 C. grated Fontina cheese
1 C. grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Pecorino Romano cheese,
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped parsley

Bring 8 qt. stock pot of salted
water to boil – cook pasta to
al dente, reserve 1 C. pasta
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, melt butter & combine with
Half & Half. Bring to low simmer;
add all of cheese & 1/2 tsp. black
pepper. Reduce heat to Low &
mix until well incorporated. Drain
pasta & gently fold in half of pasta
using tongs to coat all strands.
Add parsley & rest of pasta. If sauce
is too thick, add a spoonful of
pasta water at a time until you
reach desired consistency. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

Country-style Pork Roast

1 (2-3 lb. ) pork roast
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 lb. baby carrots (or sliced
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Dump carrots in bottom of
crockpot. Cut roast in half; place
flour, salt, onion & garlic powders,
ground mustard & oregano in a
gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add one
half roast to bag, seal & shake until
roast is entirely coated – repeat with
other half of roast. Heat a large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
oil & brown roast on all sides (about
2-3 minutes per side) – place both
halves in crockpot. Pour chicken broth
on top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours
until pork is tender. Remove roast from
crockpot; using a slotted spoon, remove
carrots. Measure out 3 C. liquid from
crockpot & pour into medium saucepan.
Bring to boil. In small bowl, mix cornstarch
& water & pour into saucepan. Bring to
boil & cook 2-3 minutes until gravy
thickens. Serves 8


Dump & Go Cracker Barrel Casserole

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken or
mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic or onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
diced ham or bacon (cooked/chopped)

Optional topping:
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix hash browns, onion,
soup, sour cream, cheese, seasoning &
optional pepper/bacon or ham. Spread
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread mixture into dish. Mix
topping ingredients & spread over
potato mixture. Bake 45 minutes to
1 hour, until golden brown. Serves 12

NOTE: Poster said that sometimes she
omits the optional topping & bakes it
30 minutes, removes from oven & stirs
it up ‘to get everything nice & crispy’,
then returns to oven to complete cooking


Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 can cream of mushroom
1 can beef broth
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 T. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In crockpot mix undiluted soup with
beef broth, onion soup mix & steak
sauce – stir well. Add frozen meatballs;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. When done, stir in sour cream.
Prepare egg noodles accordg. to pkg
directions; drain well & stir into crockpot
or serve on top of meatballs. Serves 6

NOTE: Poster said: If preparing for a crowd,
double recipe – keep crockpot on ‘warm’ or
‘buffet’ setting.


Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

1 can whole-berry or jellied
cranberry sauce
3/4 C. chili sauce
1/4 C. water
2 bags frozen fully-cooked meatballs

Place cranberry sauce, chili sauce &
water in crockpot; stir to combine. Add
meatballs & stir to coat. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours until bubbly &
meatballs are heated through. Stir &
serve warm. Serves 8


Cheesy Stuffing Casserole

1 (6 oz) box chicken or turkey
stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli
1 (10 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
salt/pepper, to taste
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
(OR) 1 C. fresh grated Cheddar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour frozen broccoli &
frozen corn into prepared dish.
Pour soup over vegetables & stir
to combine; season with salt/
pepper. Dot top of vegetables
with cubed/grated cheese. Cover
with stuffing evenly over top.
Cover tightly with foil & bake
35-40 minutes. Remove from
oven & carefully remove hot foil.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8 as a side


Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.



On the ‘getting it done’ front, finally have
one small fiber-optic up & lit, brought
down the rest of the Christmas ‘stuff’ –
good thing I went back up – forgot to
bring down the TOP of the tree! (it’s in
sections). Maybe between tomorrow &
Monday I’ll get the rest up (bigger tree
& lights on fireplace & secretary). We’ll
see …       Paperwork-wise, I’m good – got
the new calendar finished & printed for
the knit group (Tues), remembered to
call Panera Monday to order 3 dozen
of their mini-chocolate chip cookies
(every year I get those along with some
small candy bars & put them on trays
for the knit group (my Christmas present
to them), got thank you cards done for
those in the special needs group who
gave me presents (they always want me
to open them BEFORE Christmas!) – it’s
coming together.  Had an epiphany while
knitting: Mother of baby-to-be and her
Mom will be experimenting with baking
cookies & candy Monday (baby Mama
doesn’t cook) so I was thinking about
that; found a really nice wooden recipe
box with dividers & recipe cards on
Amazon – it’s ‘on it’s way before
Christmas’. I was texting with the other
grandma and we were mentioning
favorite cookie recipes – apparently
I have some she’s never heard of SOoooo
I thought: I’ll write some of them out
on some of the recipe cards & add
them to the recipe box! SCORE! I
love when a present idea hits –
especially when it’s an easy-to-
achieve one!

Not much else going on, trying to
conserve energies for later when
‘battling’ the snow & roads going
to & from church tonight. Sure hope
tomorrow mornings roads are clear!

Stay warm, drink a little something
you like (cocoa/tea/smoothie?) and
take a little time for yourself. It’s a
crazy time of year and we tend to
OVER-DO to the point where we’re
too exhausted to have any fun,
ourselves. (I know I’m guilty of that-
big time!).