FINALLY – we have a garbage service!


We live in a Township – our township officials recently decided to go to ONE company to handle ALL of our township. They held a bid – 3 companies entered, one was chosen. (Our old company was not chosen and decided to get really nasty with it’s customers: they sent us all notices that come the end of October we would have to find a new service – no exceptions). Great . . . to make this short I have spent the past THREE WEEKS attempting to contact the new company – by phone, on line, & by emails – CRAZY POOR service! By phone you get a recording, on line you get to the page where you sign up & the page FREEZES! by email they sent me an immediate reply saying they would call me – nothing . . . nothing for THREE WEEKS! Today husband & I went at it again and FINALLY got through – our first day will be this Friday. UGH! Before this new change it was not unusual for FIVE DIFFERENT COMPANIES to drive their trucks through the neighborhood behind me – EVERY DAY! Talk about wrecking the roads! We’ll see where this goes.


(I have to preface the following recipe – one of my friends in our Sunday School class made this recently & it’s REALLY TASTY!)

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 box cake mix (yellow, white or spice)
1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 C. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl combine
pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, gran. sugar &
milk. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, cloves & pour
into prepared pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix
evenly over top then sprinkle pecans over
dry cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over all.
Bake 50-60 minutes until edges are lightly
browned. Allow to cool.
Serves 12


Cheesy 1-Pan Zucchini Taco Skillet

2 zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 C. corn (fresh, frozen or canned)-
drain if using canned
1 C. black beans, drained/rinsed
1 lb. gr. beef (or turkey)
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. plain tomato or
enchilada sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. grated cheese (poster used Cheddar &
Pepper Jack, combined)
Additional optional toppings:
chopped green onion
diced tomatoes
chopped or sliced jalapeno peppers
sour cream
Greek yogurt
fresh cilantro
crushed tortilla chips
pico de gallo
Heat a 9/10 or 11 inch cast iron skillet to
medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive
oil in bottom. Brown meat until cooked &
not pink; drain & crumble. Season with
cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika,
salt/pepper. Add tom/ench. sauce & mix
well. Transfer to a bowl & keep warm.
Add 1 tsp. oil to skillet & heat. Add
onion & saute 3-4 minutes until edges are
golden. Add corn & cook until tender (this
will take longer if fresh/frozen). Add zucchini
& continue cooking 3-4 minutes until softened
but al dente. Reduce heat to Low & top with
taco meat & black beans; sprinkle with 1 C.
cheese (or more, if desired). Cover until cheese
melts. Spoon into bowls & top with optional
toppings, if desired. Serves 4


Potato Leek Soup

1 C. Vidalia onions, chopped
5 C. leeks, chopped (white only)
& cleaned of sand
1 C. celery, chopped
1/2 C. celery leaves, chopped
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. yellow potatoes (like Yukon
Gold) peeled/diced
1 lb. Russet potatoes, peeled/diced
2 qts. chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp. sea salt (depending on how
salty your broth is)
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 C. heavy cream

chopped chives – garnish
In a 4-5 qt. stock pot melt butter
over medium heat; add onions, leeks,
celery & leaves – saute 10 minutes
until soft. Add garlic – cook 2 more
minutes. Add both potatoes & stock;
increase heat. Tie bay leavs & fresh
thyme together with butcher’s twine;
add to pot along with salt/pepper. Bring
to boil then lower to simmer – simmer
15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Remove thyme/bay leaves – discard.
Puree soup (in small batches) in a blender
(or use an immersion blender). Stir in
cream & taste to adjust salt/pepper, if
needed. Serve topped with chopped
fresh chives. Serves 10


Crockpot Beef & Noodles

1 (2 lb) beef chuck roast
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of mushroom
with roasted garlic soup
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles

sour cream – garnish

Place roast, soups & dry soup mix in
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 5 hours
or 7-8 hours on Low. Shred beef. Cook
egg noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & add to roast & gravy. Serve with
sour cream. Serves 6-8


5-Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice

1 1/2 C. corn (frozen or fresh)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
3 C. whole grain brown rice (or
Minute Ready to Serve Rice or
other quick-cooking rice)
1 T. chili powder
1 C. salsa (jarred or homemade)

Optional garnish: fresh cilantro
and/or diced avocado
Preheat large skillet over medium heat.
Add corn & black beans – cook until
corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Add
rice & chili powder, stir to combine.
Cook, stirring constantly, about 3
minutes. Stir in salsa & cook until
everything is combined & warmed
through, about 2 minutes. Remove from
heat & let cool 5-10 minutes then garnish
with optional garnish & serve.
Makes 6 (1 C. each) servings

Can be used as a main entre, or with tacos,
enchiladas or fajitas or as a vegetarian
burrito filling


Make-ahead Biscuits & Gravy
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles.
Remove sausage using slotted soon,
discard grease but reserve 1/4 C. in
skillet. Stir in flour until blended &
cook, stirring, until golden brown,
1-2 minutes – do not burn. Gradually
whisk in milk & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Cook & stir until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage, pepper,
paprika & chili powder – pour into
prepared dish & cool completely.
In large bowl mix Bisquick, sour cream
& melted butter until moistened. Turn
onto a lightly floured surface & knead
gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough into
a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut using a floured
2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter & place biscuits
over gravy. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove dish from fridge while oven heats.
Bake, uncovered, until gravy is heated
through & biscuits are golden: 22 -25
minutes. Serves 10

Freezer Option:
After biscuits/gravy are read to place
in fridge, cover & freeze. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30
minutes before baking & bake as directed
above, increasing time as needed until
gravy is heated through & biscuits are
golden brown.


Stovetop Rice Pudding

1 1/2 C. cooked rice
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 to 1/3 C. granulated sugar (to taste)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large gg, beaten
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/3 C. golden raisins
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a pan combine rice, 1 C. milk,
sugar & salt – cook over medium
heat until thick & creamy, 10-15
minutes. Beat egg into remaining
1/2 C. milk & slowly add to rice
mixture, stirring constantly. Add
cinnamon, nutmeg & raisins; cook
over medium heat about 5 minutes
longer, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat & stir in butter & vanilla.
Spoon into dessert cups or ramekins.
May be served hot, at room temp.
or chilled.
Serves about 4



This week is shaping up nicely – just found out I
have the ENTIRE week off babysitting! One of my
friends asked me last week if she’d taken me out
for my birthday lunch (my birthday was in June).
I actually didn’t remember so we’re going out
tomorrow! YAY! It’s always nice to have a little
‘extra perk’ you didn’t expect.

Our weather is now in the 40’s & 50’s – typical
Fall here in Michigan. Evenings are dipping down
into the 30’s (with some 20’s – UGH!). Weds.
looks like it’s a 30% chance of rain/snow changing
to showers with a high of 42; oh well, it’s going to
be getting really cold pretty soon, so guess 42 isn’t
so bad, right?

Hope you are all in good health and enjoying the
last of the gorgeous fall leaves falling. Think I’ll
drag out my winter clothes today & pack away
‘Summer’ – it’s about time!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good move on the clothes. I started changing mine over also.

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