and we have snow…


In Michigan you learn to expect that “S” word anytime from before Thanksgiving on – so far this week we’ve had no snow, then snow, then no snow – and finally (like today) a light dusting on the ground. Our temperatures have dropped into the 30’s – they are predicting low temps on Sunday and up to 3 inches of the white stuff … oh goody (sigh)

My knitting skills have been kicked into high gear lately – still have two more cotton spa cloths to knit and finish another homeless scarf. The cloths have to be done & wrapped by Wednesday evening – I might have another week on the scarf. Almost freaked out today when I learned that my oldest son’s girlfriend (the Mama of the soon-to-be Grandbaby) will be having a birthday December 22! I went Christmas shopping yesterday and now my preparations have paid off. I had already knit her the two pairs of boot toppers; bought a really nice rather large wooden sign (she loves signs in their house) that says: “This is my Happy Place!” . . . that is going to be her birthday present and I’ll figure out a few additives for her Christmas present. (Maybe a gift card to Bed,Bath & Beyond).


Just wanted to remind you –
the recipes I post are NOT mine
(unless noted). The source of the
recipe is listed at the bottom of
the post


Caramel Peanut Fantasy Dessert

2 C. crushed vanilla wafers (about 60)
1/3 C. butter, melted
20 caramels
15 miniature Snickers candy bars
1/2 C. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream, divided
2 C. salted peanuts, chopped
3/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips
(additional chopped salted peanuts,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl combine wafer crumbs &
butter; press onto bottom of greased
9 inch springform pan. Place on a baking
sheet & bake 8-10 minutes; cool on wire
rack. In heavy saucepan combine caramels,
candy bars, caramel topping & 1/4 C.
cream; cook & stir over Low heat until
smooth & blended. Remove from heat;
stir in peanuts & spread over crust. Cover
& refrigerate 1 hour.
In microwaveable bowl, melt chips &
remaining cream; stir until smooth then
spread over caramel layer. If desired,
sprinkle top with additional chopped
nuts. Cover & refrigerate 1 hour or until
serving. Serves 12


Spinach/Artichoke Dip

2 (10 oz.) bags spinach, stems
1 T. unsalted butter
2 T. minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. flour
1 1/4 C. whole milk
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. sour cream (more for serving)
1/2 C. shredded white sharp
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. frozen artichoke hearts,
thawed, squeezed dry & roughly

tortilla chips & salsa, for serving

Bring large pot of salted water to
boil; stir in spinach & cook about
30 seconds (until bright green). Drain
& rinse under cold water; squeeze
out excess moisture, finely chop.
Melt butter in large saucepan over
medium heat. Add onion, garlic &
1/2 tsp. salt – cook until onion is
soft, about 2 minutes. Add flour &
cook, stirring until lightly toasted,
about 1 minute. Whisk in milk &
cook, whisking constantly, until
thickened, about 1 minute. Remove
from heat & stir in lemon juice,
Worc. sauce, Parmesan cheese &
sour cream. Return pot to medium
heat; add spinach,Cheddar &
artichokes – stir until cheese melts
& dip is heated through.
Serve with warm tortilla chips,
salsa & sour cream.
Serves 4-6


Crockpot Apple & Clove Ham

8-9 lb. spiral ham
1 C. apple juice or cider
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

In 6 qt. or larger crockpot add
ham; pour apple juice over ham.
Sprinkle brown sugar on top &
spread pie filling on top. Sprinkle
top with cloves. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours WITHOUT opening
lid during cooking time. Serve ham
with apples & sauce. Serves 12+


One-pot Ranch Pork Chops &
Crispy Potatoes

3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter, melted
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch seasoning mix
(just dried seasoning)
1 lb. baby red potatoes, halved
4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops
(about 7 oz ea)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet
with foil & spray with nonstick
spray. In small bowl whisk olive
oil, butter, garlic & Ranch seasoning.
Place potatoes in a single layer on
sheet & drizzle with half of oil
mixture; toss to coat. Bake 15
minutes. Remove from oven & place
pork chops on sheet with potatoes.
Brush chops with remaining oil
mixture & bake an additional
10-15 minutes until pork is
golden & cooked through.
For a crispy, charred finnish –
place sheet pan under broiler
2-3 more minutes. Serves 4


Chicken Alfredo Roll-ups

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 1/4 C. milk
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cream cheese, softened
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
(can be rotisserie)
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 cooked lasagna noodles

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large casserole dish with
nonstick spray. Melt butter in
large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic & saute until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Whisk flour
into butter & garlic; cook until
mixture is bubbling & golden,
1 minute. Gradually pour in
milk, whisking constantly. Bring
to simmer, then stir in cream
cheese & Parmesan. Let simmer
until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes.
Add lemon juice & 1 tsp. parsley.
Season with salt/pepper then
stir in shredded chicken. Spoon
a thin layer of sauce onto bottom
of prepared pan. Lay cooked
noodles in single layer on a
cutting board or baking sheet.
Spread chicken mixture on each
noodle then roll up. Lay roll-ups
in prepared pan, seam sides
down. Spoon more sauce on top.
Bake 15-20 minutes until sauce
is bubbly & beginning to brown.
Garnish with more parsley &
serve warm. Serves 4


Creamy Broccoli/Cheese Soup

3 C. water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
8 C. broccoli, chopped (about 3 large
3/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. butter
2 C. milk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 T. flour
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
(optional: 1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,

In medium pot make a white sauce:
melt 1/2 C. butter over medium-high
heat. Once butter is melted, stir in flour
until combined. Stir in milk; continuously
stirring until there are no visible chunks.
Let simmer until it starts to boil. Once
boiling, add cream cheese & Velveeta.
Stir until creamy & smooth & no visible
chunks. Remove from heat & set aside.
In large pot bring 3 C. water & bouillon
cubes to a boil. Once boiling, add chopped
broccoli & onion – boil 10-12 minutes until
2/3 of water has evaporated & broccoli
is tender. Reduce heat to medium & add
white sauce to pot – stir until combined.
(It will look very watery) Bring to slow
boil & cook 15-20 minutes, stirring
frequently so it doesn’t stick. IF you like
it extra cheesy, stir in a cup of sharp
Cheddar cheese, grated. Once it has
simmered about 20 minutes, remove
from heat. Let sit 5-10 minutes (it will
thicken up at this point). Serve.
Serves 8


Crockpot Baked Apples

3 lb. Granny Smith or Fuji apples
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 T. butter, cut into slices

Wash, core/slice/peel apples &
add to bottom of 6 qt. crockpot.
Stir in sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg,
cinnamon & butter to coat slices.
Cover with lid slightly ajar on Low
6 hours. Stir at least once halfway
through cooking process. Serves 6

NOTE: They can be served as a side
dish or as a dessert with ice cream


Candy Crunch Pudding Pie

2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 (1.4 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate –
covered toffee bars, chopped/
1 ready-to-use chocolate crumb
pie crust
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Beat pudding mixes & milk in medium
bowl using whisk 2 minutes. Stir in
half of Cool Whip and all but 3 T.
toffee – pour into crust. Top with
remaining Cool Whip, toffee &
drizzle melted chocolate over
top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 8 servings



Hope you’re having a good week –
we’re headed for another weekend.
Slowly but surely I’m dragging down
bits of the Christmas decorations –
no trees yet but we’ll get there –




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