And we begin a NEW year & era!

Hoping that all of your NEW year is turning out just the way you would like. It’s been quiet here, lots of knitting, some cooking. We celebrated our middle son’s 31st birthday Saturday:

He was just on his way out to work (he works all nights sometimes) so it was a very quick photo – his favorite is really gooey brownies, so that’s what he’s holding.

This week is the ‘back to our regular schedule’ stuff – throw in a few extras like picking up/driving youngest son, taking both of our vehicles in for routine maintenance (tomorrow) then the regulars: both knit groups, my special needs group & 2 days of babysitting. Let’s just say this week is certainly NOT boring!

Lots more recipes to share – some are ‘holiday/appetizers’ things but thought you might like them.


Crescent Cherry Cheesecake Cobbler

1 (8 oz) tube crescent rolls
12 oz. ( 1 1/2 blocks) cream cheese,
3/4 C. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/4 C. unsalted butter (1/2 stick),

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll
crescent rolls – line 4 rolls in bottom
of dish – spread out & cover the
bottom of the dish – seal seams as
best you can. In a bowl using elec.
mixer, beat cream cheese & 1/2 C.
sugar until smooth – add vanilla &
mix again. Spread mixture over rolls
in dish. Pour pie filling on top & spread
evenly. Top with remaining crescent
roll dough doing your best to stretch
dough & seal seams. Pour melted butter
on top then sprinkle 1/4 C. sugar evenly
over top. Bake 35-45 minutes. Top crust
should look crusty & golden brown. Slice
& serve. Serves 9

NOTE: This must be kept refrigerated if not
eaten the same day it’s made.


Easy Crab Melts

8 ox. sourdough bread
2 T. olive oil
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced chives
2 tsp. minced fresh dill
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 T. fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
16 oz. crab meat (lump or other
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded

Extra dill & chives for garnish,
if desired
Slice bread into thirds or halves. (you
want it big enough to pick up but not
so big you need a fork to eat it)
Brush tops of bread slices with olive
oil on both sides & broil 1-2 minutes,
flipping half-way through until very
lightly browned.
In medium bowl combine mayo, Old Bay,
green onions, chives, dill, Worc. sauce,
orange juice, orange & lemon zests –
gently fold in crab. Remove toast from oven
& top with a heaping tablespoon of crab
mixture. Place a tomato slice on top & sprinkle
with about a tablespoon of Gruyere. Place
under broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is
melted & bubbly. Garnish with dill & chives,
if desired. Serves 24

Roasted Red Pepper/Shrimp
Scampi Dip

1/2 C. roasted red bell pepper,
diced/drained & patted dry
8 oz. light cream cheese, softened
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 C. shredded cheese (your choice-
poster used Mexican blend), divided
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 T. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen SeaPak Shrimp
Suggested Dippers:
baguette slices
bagel chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Combine
all ingredients (except shrimp
scampi and half cup shredded cheese)
in a bowl – mix until well combined.
(can also use an elec. mixer).
Stir in frozen shrimp scampi.
Bake 20 minutes – stir to distribute
seasonings onto shrimp. Sprinkle on
remaining 1/2 C. shredded cheese &
return to oven 10 minutes until cheese
is melted & bubbly and shrimp is
cooked through. Serve hot with
dippers. Serves 10


Crockpot Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage, browned/cooled
1/2 onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled/diced
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
5 C. chicken broth
1 (16 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
2 C. heavy cream

To crockpot add everything but
tortellini, spinach & heavy cream.
Cover & cook on Low 3-5 hours. Stir
in tortellini, spinach & heavy cream about
15 minutes before ready to serve. Stir &
serve. Serves 6

NOTE: great with grated Parmesan cheese
on top when serving


Baked Ranch Parmesan Chicken
(marinated 4 hrs or overnight)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 C. prepared Ranch salad dressing
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large ziplock bag or plastic
container combine chicken with ranch
dressing. Make sure chicken is fully
coated with dressing. Marinate 4 hours
or overnight.
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In a shallow dish or pan (like a pie plate)
combine breadcrumbs, Parm. cheese, black
pepper, Ital. seasoning & salt – mix well.
Remove chicken from marinade, leaving
dressing clinging to chicken. Roll chicken in
breadcrumb mixture to coat on all sides.
Place in a single layer in a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake an additional 30  minutes until chicken
is cooked through. Serves 6


Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes & Smoked

10 – 12 potatoes, peeled/sliced
1 onion, diced
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cubed
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. milk

Fill large pot with water – bring to
boil. Add bouillon cubes, potatoes &
onion – boil about 10 minutes until
potatoes are fork-tender; drain. (do
not over cook – you want potatoes to stay
in nice big slices). Pour potato/onion
mixture into 6 qt. crockpot. Top with
cubed Velveeta & sliced sausage –
salt/pepper to taste. Pour milk over
everything & gently stir. Cover & cook
on Low 2 hours (or High 1 hour). Stir
gently before serving. Serves 10


Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding
w/Vanilla Sauce

4 C. (8 slices) cubed white bread
1/2 C. raisins
2 C. milk
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg


1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine bread &
raisins. In a 1-quart saucepan combine
milk & 1/4 C. butter – cook over medium
heat until butter melts (4-7 minutes).
Pour mixture over bread; let stand 10
minutes. Stir in rest of pudding ingredients.
Pour into prepared casserole dish & bake
40-50 minutes until set in center.

Using a 1 quart saucepan, combine all
sauce ingredients except vanilla. Cook over
medium heat, stirring occasionally, until
mixture thickens & comes to a full boil,
5-8 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in
vanilla. Makes 1 1/2 C. sauce
To serve:
Spoon warm pudding into individual dishes
& serve with sauce poured over top.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8



Our weather has been cooperating (at least, for me!) –
we’ve had some cold days in the 30’s but VERY LITTLE
snow (there’s a light dusting on the ground). Wednesday
is supposed to get really cold: High 25 degrees F, Low 18
degrees F. So far the week’s weather looks cold but no
big snow – some rain. I do see some snow predicted but
no mentions of any ACCUMULATION, which is what I
am concerned about.

I finally got over the nasty cold I’ve had for over 2 weeks;
luckily no one else in the family caught it.

Hope you’re having a GREAT start to your week;



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