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)




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Well scrape off the burnt part sounded so familiar. I’m glad the dinner turned out fine for you. Happy Holidays lady Jane!

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