Bye Bye, Christmas – Hello Winter!


We’ve been VERY fortunate by not having any new ‘white stuff’ (snow) lately – the temperatures are slowly falling (expected to be a HIGH of 19 degrees F. Friday – sigh) so it’s always possible. I’m just glad that, for the first time that I can ever remember, I got all the Christmas decorations down today – told my husband to MARK THAT DOWN AS A FIRST! Today was a nice, quiet day – solved a knitting problem, finished reading my book and got to thinking “What next?” and then the “Well, you ‘could’ start taking down ‘some’ of the decorations…just some, not all”… a little later it started and now (except for convincing some guys in my house to help me haul it all upstairs) we’re back to ‘just regular’ decorations. I even took my time taking down the decorations and attempting to keep them in groups; even looked up possibly ordering a new set of Christmas tree lights – ours are pretty old and I’m getting frustrated at how many lights are NOT lighting in the strings…sigh. We’ll see on that one whether I actually order new ones or not (YES, I ‘could’ have purchased some right after Christmas at a discount rate, but I didn’t think of that in time…sigh).

Since we’re kind of ‘over’ the time for needing appetizers (except for upcoming Football games) I thought I’d try to focus on casseroles and warmer foods. Again, lots of great recipes coming in. I want to start by posting two that I forgot to post: Cheesy Funeral Potatoes (really tasty) and the 3-Bean cold Salad I made for Christmas (turned out really tasty – I thought; not too sweet or too vinegary).


Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen shredded
1 C. sour cream
2 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 T. melted butter, divided
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of
chicken soup
1 1/2 C. corn flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour 1 (32 oz) bag frozen potatoes
in large microwaveable bowl;
microwave 2-3 minutes (to thaw
potatoes). Stir in 1 C. sour cream,
2 1/2 C. shred. cheese, 2 T. melted
butter, both cans soup & a bit of
salt/pepper. Mix well with wooden
spoon, making sure all ingredients
are combined. Pour 1 1/2 C. corn
flakes in small food processor –
crush into crumbs (you can also
put them in a ziplock bag & roll
them using a rolling pin or soup
can). Place crumbs in a small bowl &
pour 2 T. butter on top – stir to
combine. Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick spray. Spread potato/
cheese mixture in pan & smooth.
Cover top with corn flake/butter
mixture. Cover pan with foil &
bake 45 minutes.
Serves 12-15


 3-Bean Salad 

 2 (15 oz) cans cut green
beans, drained
1  (16 oz) can wax beans,
1 (15 oz) can dark or light
kidney beans, rinsed/drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 C. sugar
2/3 C. white vinegar
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix sugar, vinegar, oil, salt/
pepper in small bowl. Pour
all other ingredients into a
large bowl then pour sugar
mixture over all & toss well
to coat. Refrigerate at least
12 hours before serving.
Serves 16

Grandma’s Creamy Ham & Potato

2 lb. Russet potatoes, peeled/cut
into 1″ cubes
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 lb. cooked ham, cubed*
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/4 C. frozen green peas

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes &
onion on bottom; add ham &
sprinkle with pepper. Pour soup
evenly over potatoes & ham –
toss gently to coat. Cover &
cook on High 3 hours. Gently
stir in cream cheese & peas; cover
& cook 10 minutes longer until
cream cheese is melted.
Serves 4

*if you don’t have cooked leftover
ham, a thick slice of deli ham works


Crockpot Cheesy Bacon Cauliflower

2 lb. cauliflower florets
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. grated mozzarella cheese,
3 oz. bacon crumbles

Place cauliflower in crockpot. Melt
butter in saucepan over medium heat;
stir in flour, salt/pepper. Add milk all
at once & cook, stirring constantly, until
mixture thickens & bubbles. Remove from
heat, add 1 1/2 C. cheese – whisk until
smooth – pour mixture over cauliflower
& stir. Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Stir in bacon, salt & pepper to taste.
Serves 6


Chocolate/Peanut Butter
Sheet Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. water
1/2 C. butter, cubed
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. baking cocoa
3 large eggs
1/2 C. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla

3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped salted or
unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
whisk flour, sugar, baking soda
& salt. In small saucepan, combine
water, butter, peanut butter &
cocoa; bring to boil, stirring
occasionally. Add to flour mixture,
stirring just until moistened. In
small bowl whisk eggs, sour cream &
vanilla until blended; add to flour
mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer
to prepared pan & bake 25-30 minutes
until a toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean.
In large bowl beat powdered sugar,
peanut butter, milk & vanilla until
smooth. Remove cake from oven & place
on wire rack. Immediately spread top
with frosting. Sprinkle top with peanuts &
cool completely. Makes 15 servings.


Georgia Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts*
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 (29 oz) can peach slices, drained
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In small bowl stir brown sugar,
ginger & cloves. Place chicken in bottom
of prepared pan; pour peaches over &
sprinkle entire top with brown sugar
mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes until
chicken is fully cooked, basting with
juices occasionally. Serves 4

*You can use bone-in chicken & cut
any way you like. Cooking time may
need to be adjusted up or down
depending on what cuts you use.


Farmers Market Crockpot Stew

1 (2 lb.) beef chuck roast, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. flour
3 T. olive oil
2 C. sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, diced
3 C. russet potatoes, diced into 1/2
inch pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 C. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 T. minced fresh parsley
salt/pepper, to taste

In large bowl combine beef cubes & flour,
mixing well to coat. In medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, saute beef in oil,
stirring occasionally until beef is slightly
browned, 5-10 minutes (beef will not be
entirely cooked). Place beef in crockpot;
add carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic,
tomatoes, water, vinegar & seasonings –
stir to combine. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours. Season with salt/pepper before
serving. Serves 8-10

NOTE: Stew will keep, refrigerated, up
to 4 days


Amish Beefy Noodle Bake

8 oz. wide egg noodles
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 of green pepper, seeded/chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
3 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
1 T. sugar
pinch salt/pepper
1 C. small-curd cottage cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. sour cream
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Brown & crumble beef with green
pepper & garlic until beef is no longer pink;
drain. Add tomato sauce, sugar, salt/pepper –
stir to combine. Add cooked/drained noodles
& mix well. In medium bowl combine cottage
cheese & cream cheese until smooth &
thoroughly combined. Add sour cream &
green onions, mix well. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Layer half of noodle
mixture in dish; top with cream cheese mixture,
spreading evenly over top of noodles. Add
remaining noodle mixture on top & sprinkle
with Cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30
minutes or until heated through & cheese
has melted. Serves 8


Banana Bread Pudding

4 C. day-old, cubed French or
sourdough bread (cubed to 1″ pieces)
1/4 C. butter, melted
3 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. sliced firm bananas (1/4 ” pieces)

3 T. butter
2 T. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place bread cubes in a greased
2 qt. casserole dish; pour butter
over & toss to coat. In medium
bowl lightly beat eggs; add milk,
sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg
& salt – stir in bananas & pour
over bread cubes – stir to coat.
Bake, uncovered, 40 minutes until
a knife inserted near center comes
out clean.
Melt butter in small saucepan; combine
sugar & cornstarch & add to butter. Stir
in milk & corn syrup – cook & stir over
medium heat until mixture comes to a
full boil – boil 1 minute. Remove from
heat & stir in vanilla. Serve warm sauce
over warm pudding. Serves 6


Just read in our local paper that our
gas prices will be going up soon – it
seems we will have an increase in
gas taxes. In 2 years time they will
have accrued enough (hopefully)
income from this program to start
FIXING our roads! That will be
nice (the gas increase, not so much).

Hope you are doing well; our family
is (so far) doing well for the New
Year: middle son has a cold, but
otherwise we’re all doing OK!



PS: As to the actual New Year’s
celebrations – I managed to fall
asleep watching Family Feud at
around 11:30 or so and woke up
about an hour later. I’m not one
for caring to ‘watch the ball
drop’ so that was OK. Earlier my
husband & I had some cold
shrimp & cocktail sauce, fried
calamari (octopus) and French
Onion chip dip & chips – nice
little snack. Middle son did
well working all night as front
desk clerk at his hotel – we were
a bit concerned as that is a HUGE
night for hotels/people drinking,
etc. Had a few small incidents
but nothing he couldn’t handle.


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey Happy New Year GP, looking forward to fabulous recipes throughout 2017! Be well. 🙂

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