Today is my husband’s 65th birthday – he is not one to want any big deal made of it; cake & a present are fine for him. (don’t even wrap the present, no card – all on the ‘down low’). I gave him 2 new long-sleeved ‘church’ shirts and just finished popping his favorite cake (Banana w/Cream Cheese frosting) in the oven. I’d forgotten just how time-consuming/multi bowls/steps making a cake from scratch can be! I’m Bushed! (and the frosting is still yet to be made!). Earlier I went to Meijer to grab some garlic parmesan Alfredo sauce to go with the stuffed chicken breasts for dinner. His favorite dinner is Meat & Potato Pie (a huge meatloaf frosted with mashed potatoes & topped with melted sharp Cheddar Cheese) – we just had meatloaf a few nights ago so I decided to switch it up a bit (he likes this dinner, also).

Our weather is really goofy – it’s been that way now for almost this entire month. It was ‘supposed’ to be in the high 40’s today; when I went to Meijer at around 12:30 p.m. it was 39 degrees F., windy and raining – REALLY chilly! Oh well . . . better than snow I guess, right?


For those of you who MIGHT ENJOY making a cake from scratch, here’s my recipe:

Banana Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/8 C. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*


1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 275 degrees F. **
Grease & flour either: (a) one 9 X 13″
baking dish OR (b) two 9″ round baking
Mix mashed banana with lemon juice in
small bowl. In medium bowl mix flour,
baking soda & salt. In large bowl cream
butter & granulated sugar. Beat in eggs
one-at-a-time then stir in vanilla. Beat
in flour mixture gradually with buttermilk.
Stir in banana mixture & pour into pan(s).
Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted
into center of cake comes out clean.
(this will make the cake very moist)

In large bowl cream butter & cream
cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla &
add powdered sugar gradually. Beat at
LOW speed until fully combined then on
High until smooth. Frost cake.

(recipe: allrecipes.com/recipe/8333/banana-cake-vi/

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Using a 2-cup measuring cup add 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar. Pour milk into cup to reach
1 1/2 cup mark. Stir with fork & let stand
5 minutes – now you have buttermilk!

**I baked  mine in two 9″ round pans &
at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes.

NOTE: This makes a VERY dense cake

Brocccoli, Sausage, Pasta Simmer

3 C. uncooked spiral pasta
2 lb. smoked kielbasa or Polish
sausage, cut into 1/4″ pieces
2 medium bunches broccoli, cut
into florets
1 C. sliced red onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
2 T. minced fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried
2 T. minced fresh parsley or 2 tsp.
2 tsp. sugar

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In Dutch oven saute sausage, broccoli
& onion 5-6 minutes until broccoli is
crisp-tender. Add tomatoes, basil,
parsley & sugar. Cover & simmer 10
minutes. Drain pasta & stir into
sausage mixture. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Bart’s Black Bean Soup

1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. chunky salsa
1/2 C. (canned) whole kernel
corn, drained
dash hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. lime juice
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar
2 T. chopped green onions

In microwave-safe bowl combine
first 5 ingredients. Cover & micro-
wave on High 2 minutes until
heated through. Pour into 4
serving bowl & drizzle each with
lime juice. Sprinkle with cheese &
green onions. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Easy Sticky Chicken

3-5 lb. bone-in chicken,
skin on (legs & thighs)
1 C. ketchup
1 C. honey
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In sauce pot combine ketchup,
honey, brown sugar, soy sauce &
garlic powder over medium heat;
bring to boil while stirring – remove
from heat. Arrange chicken pieces
in 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pour entire
sauce over chicken, turning pieces
with tongs to fully coat. Bake 45
minutes (uncovered); turn pieces
& continue baking 30 minutes longer.
Fifteen  minutes before serving, turn
pieces one more time & baste with

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)

Crockpot Beef Stew

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
1 inch cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 1/2 C. beef broth
3 potatoes, peeled/diced
4 carrots, peeled/ sliced

Using gallon-sized ziplock bag,
mix flour, salt/pepper. Pour
meat into bag & shake until
well coated then place meat in
crockpot (discard bag). Stir garlic,
paprika, Worc. sauce, onion, broth,
potatoes & carrots into crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on
Low 8-10 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: juleseatsandtreats.com)

Egg Rolls in a Bowl!

1 T. sesame oil
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 T. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 C. shredded cabbage (about
1 small head)
2 large carrots, shredded (2 C.)
4 oz. rice noodles
3 green onions, thinly sliced

additional soy sauce, if desired

In large skillet heat oil over
medium-high heat; cook & crumble
pork until browned, 4-6 minutes.
Stir in soy sauce, garlic & seasonings.
Add cabbage & carrots; cook 4-6
minutes until vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Cook rice noodles
accordg. to pkg. directions; drain &
immediately add to pork mixture,
tossing to combine. Sprinkle with
green onions. (serve with additional
soy sauce, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

3-ingredient Chili Cheese Dip

1 (15 oz.) can Hormel Turkey
chili (with or without beans)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cut
into cubes
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

tortilla chips – for dipping

Combine all ingredients in micro-
wave safe bowl. Microwave on
High 2-3 minutes; stir & continue
to microwave in 30-second
intervals until all cheese is melted
& chili is heated through. Serve
warm with tortilla chips.

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

Meatball-stuffed Biscuits

1 (12 oz) tube Pillsbury Grands
Jr golden layers refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
10 frozen fully-cooked Italian-style
meatballs, thawed, cut in half
4 sticks string cheese (mozzarella)
about 3 oz, cut each into 5 pieces
1 T. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. marinara sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate biscuits, cut each in half
(you should have 20 pieces). Gently
roll biscuit piece into a ball & flatten
in palm of your hand. Place 1 piece
string cheese (you may need to
flatten) & one meatball half in
biscuit – wrap remaining dough
around & seal edges. Place, seam-
sides down, in 9 inch round cake
pan – repeat for remaining meatballs.
Lightly spray tops with nonstick
cooking spray or lightly brush with
oil or melted butter. Sprinkle tops
with Parm. cheese, garlic powder &
Italian seasoning. Bake 18-23 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm
with marinara sauce.

(recipe: amadascookin.com)

Twisted Strawberry Shortcake
(like a trifle)

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 qt (4 C.) cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) prepared angel food
cake, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. orange juice
3 C. sliced fresh strawberries
5 oz. white chocolate, grated/

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large
bowl using a whisk for 2 minutes;
gently stir in Cool Whip. Place cake
cubes in large bowl & drizzle orange
juice over cake & toss to coat. Place
half of cake cubes in deep glass
serving bowl; cover with layers of
half each: pudding mixture, straw-
berries & chocolate. Top with layer
of remaining cake cubes, pudding
mixture, strawberries & chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before
serving. Store leftovers in fridge.
Makes 20 (1/2 C. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

I noticed that gas prices have dropped a little,
again; now we’re down to $2.19/9 for regular
(that’s from $2.39/9 a week ago!) YAY!

Not much else pressing for the moment;
our ‘soon-to-be’ grandson’s baby shower
is this coming Saturday. (I still have to
remember to get a big ‘baby shower’ bag
to put the ‘stuff’ in). It’s hard for me to
grasp that very soon we will have a newborn
in the family – it’s been 10 years since my
first grandson (and the baby’s older brother!).
Not worried about my ‘baby care-giving’ skills;
it might have been 10 years but I think I’ve
got this one covered (that’s 3 adopted sons,
14 foster children, running my own baby/infant
day care for 3 years plus working in the church
baby nursery for years . . . yep, think I got this one)

Hope your day is going well – remember to take
a little break JUST FOR YOU! (Believe me, after
reading through the cake recipe, ‘thinking I had
it OK’ only to discover I didn’t really READ the
bowl sizes – ended up having to transfer the
dry ingredients to another bowl so I would
have enough room to mix ALL the ingredients
together at the end . . . sigh – I TOOK A BREAK!
In fact, am STILL taking a break while the cake




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A big Happy Birthday to your hubby and may he have many more. It is hard to believe that the new baby will be here soon.

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