and the ‘Digging out’ process begins!


Yes, here in my hometown we got 10+ inches of snow in a 12 hour period! SOooo glad I called the guy that plows our driveway to make sure we were still on his list (called him Saturday and he said “Oh, glad you called- I lost your phone #!”). He came by yesterday and now we can get up & down our driveway (slight slope but just enough to make it really difficult when it’s snowed). Middle son was at a gaming tournament Friday evening to Sunday (1 1/2 hours away) and was SOooooo glad to hear him come in the door Sunday afternoon; said it took him over 2 hours to drive home – I  believe it! Stayed home all day yesterday and will do so again today. Managed to finish knitting the last of the four spa/bath cloths – YAY! Working on finishing the other teal blue homeless scarf now.

On a sad note, got a phone call that one of our former members of my special needs group passed away Saturday evening – funeral tomorrow. I’m thinking she was in her 40’s – she quite quickly came down with dementia and had to be put in a group home (due to her becoming violent). She’s been there about 2 years but recently began to show considerable decline-recently got pneumonia. It’s sad to see our ‘original’ members slowly going away – for people with mental special needs their bodies age much quicker than most people of the same age.


Maple Bacon “Candy”

10 slices bacon, chopped
1 tube crescent rolls
1/4 C. maple syrup
3/4 C. brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper & spray
with nonstick spray. In medium
skillet cook bacon 6 minutes,
stirring occasionally – transfer
to paper towel-lined plate. Roll
out crescent rolls onto a sheet
of parchment paper – pinch
seams to make one single sheet.
Prick surface all over with a
fork. Drizzle top with half of
maple syrup & top with
brown sugar in a single layer,
doing your best to try to cover
all over. Top with cooked,
chopped bacon – distribute
evenly & drizzle top with
remaining syrup. Bake 20-25
minutes until golden. Let
cool completely before slicing
into pieces & serving.
Makes 8 servings


Christmas Cookie Dip

1/2 C. Greek yogurt
5 T. butter, softened
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. holiday sprinkles, divided

Dippers: graham crackers, cut
fresh fruit

Place butter, cream cheese & sugar
in medium bowl; using elec. mixer,
beat until light & fluffy, about 2
minutes. Add flour & vanilla; beat
1 minute. Add yogurt, 1/4 cup at
a time; mix on Low to combine. Stir
in sprinkles (reserve 2 T.) Pour
dip into a serving bowl & top with
2 T. sprinkles. Serve immediately
with suggested dippers. Serves 8

NOTE: This dip can be made a day
ahead & stored in fridge. On day
of serving, let sit at room temp.
20 minutes before serving.


Crockpot Cheesy Creamed Corn

3 lb. frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 cubes
1/4 C. butter, cut into 8 cubes
3 T. milk
1 T. sugar
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Combine corn, cream cheese, butter,
milk & sugar in crockpot; stir a little.
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours or on
High 2 hours until cream cheese is
melted & corn is heated through.
Stir gently & add salt/pepper, to
taste. Stir in grated cheese & serve.
Serves 10


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


Sriracha Chicken & Brown
Sugar Bacon Bites

2 boneless, skinless chicken
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Sriracha sauce
2 T. orange juice
6-8 slices bacon
6 T. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Cut chicken into 16-18 one-
inch cubes; place in large ziplock
bag. Add olive oil, Sriracha &
orange juice – zip up bag & turn
bag to completely coat all cubes.
Refrigerate 1 hour, turning bag
every 20-30 minutes. (Note:
for spicier bites, leave chicken
cubes in marinade longer).

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick spray.
Cut each slice bacon into 3 pieces;
remove chicken from bag & wrap
a piece of bacon around each
piece of chicken. Roll bacon-
wrapped chicken in brown sugar &
secure with wooden toothpick.
Place chicken pieces on baking
sheet & sprinkle with coarse black
pepper. Bake 30 minutes until
bacon is crisp; turning pieces
halfway through cooking time.
NOTE: Be sure to watch carefully
because ovens vary & brown sugar
can burn quickly. Makes 16-18 bites
Serve warm.

Oven-Baked Crumb Potatoes

6 medium russet potatoes
1/4 C. butter, melted
2/3 C. Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut potatoes into chunks & place
in medium bowl. Pour melted
butter over potatoes & stir to
coat. Sprinkle bread crumbs,
salt/pepper on potatoes & stir
to coat. Spray a large baking
sheet with nonstick spray &
place potatoes in even layer in
pan. Bake 45 minutes, stirring
a few times during cooking
process. (they are done when
fork-tender & crispy along
outsides). Serves 7


Crockpot Italian Sausage, Tuscan
Bean & Kale Soup

2 lb. Italian sausage (bulk, not
1 small onion chopped
1 (45 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes,
no salt added
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
no salt added
2 C. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 C. kale, stems removed,
roughly chopped

In large skillet cook sausage with
onion; crumble sausage & cook
until browned & onions are
translucent. Drain grease & add
to a 6 qt or larger crockpot. Add
remaining ingredients (except
kale) & stir to combine. Cover &
cook 6-8 hours on Low. During
last 1/2 hour of cooking stir
roughly chopped kale into soup &
cover. Continue cooking remaining
30 minutes. Serves 8


Cream Puff Cake

1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter
1 C. water
1 C. flour
4 large eggs

4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3 (3.5 oz, ea) pkgs. instant
vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large heavy saucepan heat
butter & water to boiling over
medium-high heat. Add flour &
reduce heat to Low. Cook & stir
until it forms a ball & pulls away
from pan. Remove from heat &
transfer to a large bowl. Beat in
eggs, one at a time, beating well
after each egg. Spread mixture
in bottom & up sides of an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Bake 35 minutes – cool

In large bowl combine cream
cheese & milk – beat until smooth.
Trick to making filling:
Start with cream cheese – beat until
fluffy. Slowly (while still beating)
add milk. Once well combined,
add pudding mix & beat until
thickened – spread over cooled
shell. Top with Cool Whip &
drizzle top with chocolate syrup.
Keep refrigerated until serving.
Serves 8-10


Been re-thinking our Christmas dinner ‘sides’ –
latest word is oldest son is now thinking
prime rib and ham. (learning diplomacy here)
Had a chat with other grandma (who’s doing
the appetizers) and apparently we have a bit
of a difference of opinion on what goes with
ham. Me: if it’s COLD weather, then hot sides –
Her: cold sides (like you would serve with ham
in the Summer)…I ended the discussion by saying
I’ll get back to ideas when it gets closer to the
day; don’t want to hurt anyones feelings. I’m
thinking of maybe adding a few cold sides along
with the other hot items. (I’m also thinking: maybe
I’ve got too much ‘Food Network’, cooking channels
in my brain – ie: a little more fancy when it comes
to something served with prime rib…who knows?

It’s now 2:12 p.m. and I’m still happily in my jammies!
Nothing pressing (so far) – finished the book I was
reading – knitting is kind of up to ‘snuff’ – what to do?
Play a few games of Spider Solitaire on my computer,
of course!

Have a GREAT (and warm/safe) Day!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We got plenty of joyful snow last night as well! Time for cozy recipes. We are in Michigan 🙂

  2. I’m the same way with spare time. I get on the card games and use up my spare time.

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