Moving – again . . .

It’s been long in coming but middle son is AGAIN moving out. He moved back home about 1 1/2 years ago and has been wanting to get his OWN place for quite awhile (before he always moved in with buddies). We’ve been checking unfurnished apartments in the area for months now (let me tell ya – trying to find an apartment in his price range $500-650, is VERY hard! Finally we located one that’s about 5 minutes from us and about 15 minutes from his work – price: $620! AND they allow cats – he’s been wanting a cat for a LONG time! This past week has been chock-full of craziness – lots of phone calls, shopping, packing, etc. but he’s finally in his own place! YAY! It’s funny because he has little to NO furniture (single bed mattress, tv, game system – that’s about it!) Yesterday my oldest son said that they have most of the things he’ll need in their storage and they’re going there today to look/move stuff. I finally babysat yesterday – oldest son is putting in new flooring so there was no where to sit (so I got a break! Other grandparents watched him all last week – of course, they were in 7th Heaven – they love having him). We’ve been doing the ‘Doctor’ visits – both of us (husband & I) had regular check ups and then eye exams (husband gets new glasses). Tried out a small restaurant near us – heard from several friends that it was really good food/great service/good prices – tried it yesterday. . . their coffee is free (It SHOULD be-it was AWFUL! NO flavor!) Had a Philly Cheesesteak sub – VERY small – no flavor . . . don’t think we’ll be going there again. Oh well – gotta try it to know, right?

Knitting-wise, done with the 2-Color Star Stitch blanket, just have the mint green Zig Zag blanket (still only 1/4th done – lots of stitches/8 rows per pattern) so will be working on that one for quite awhile. Bought some nice yellow yarn yesterday and will be researching a new pattern for that.

Recipes – LOTS of them for you; for me, it’s hard to pick which ones to feature! Try these out:


4-ingredient Lemon/Cream Cheese Dump

1 (16 oz) can lemon pie filling
1 (15 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8″ X 8″ (or 9″ X 9″)
baking dish with nonstick cooking
spray. Pour pie filling in bottom of
prepared pan & spread to corners.
Top with half of dry cake mix. Place
cream cheese cubes evenly on top
then sprinkle top with remaining
dry cake mix. Place butter slices in a
single layer on top of cake mix, trying
to cover as much of the surface of the
cake as possible. Bake 35-40 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Remove from oven &
cool 15-20 minutes before serving


Bacon-Potato Corn Chowder

1/2 lb. bacon strips, chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about
5, medium) peeled/cubed
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large skillet cook bacon over medium
heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove
bacon with slotted spoon & drain on paper
towels. Discard drippings but reserve 1 1/2
tsp. in pan. Add onion to skillet, cook & stir
over medium-high heat until tender. Place
potatoes in large saucepan & cover with water.
Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to
medium & cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes
until tender. Drain, reserving 1 C. potato water.
Add corn, milk, salt/pepper, potatoes & reserved
potato water to saucepan; heat through. Stir in
bacon & onion. Serves 6


Chicken/Spinach/Mushroom Casserole

6 thin sliced chicken breasts
1 tub green onion cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 large pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
1 dash garlic & herb seasoning (Weber brand)
dash black pepper
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. Lay chicken slices
out in single layer; top with spinach &
mushrooms – sprinkle seasoning over top.
In a small bowl whisk softened cream cheese,
olive oil & chicken broth – pour over ingredients
in pan. Lay a piece of foil over top but do not
seal. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake,
uncovered, 20-25 minutes longer then sprinkle
shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Bake
uncovered 10 minutes until starting to brown.
Remove & let cool 10 minutes.


Lazy-Day Chicken Lasagna

1 (25 oz) bag frozen cheese ravioli
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
3 (15 oz, ea) cans crushed tomatoes
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 C. mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cooked/shredded
chicken with crushed tomatoes, Ital.
seasoning & minced garlic.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish place a layer of
frozen ravioli then spread chicken mixture
on top. Top with mozz. cheese. Continue
layering until all ingredients are used. Top
with Parm. cheese. Bake 35-45 minutes until
cooked through & bubbly. Serves 6


Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry onion soup mix
1 (14 oz) chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup (low sodium)
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry pork gravy mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
To thicken gravy:
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. cold water

In crockpot combine onion soup mix,
chicken broth, cream of chicken soup &
pork gravy mix – whisk to combine. Season
both sides of chops with a little garlic powder &
place in crockpot – move chops around to cover
with gravy mixture. Cover & cook on Low 4-6
Just before chops are done, whisk corn starch &
cold water together in a small bowl. Once smooth,
pour in with chops & stir gently. Cover & turn
heat to High – cook 30 minutes until gravy has


Crockpot Apple Crisp

1/2 C. melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. water
6 T. flour
8 large Granny Smith apples-
peeled/cored/sliced into 1/4″
slices (work fast so they don’t
turn brown)

1 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, (1 stick) cut into pats
1 C. rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
vanilla ice cream – for serving
In crockpot add butter, both sugars,
cinnamon, water & flour – stir to
combine. Add sliced apples to butter
mixture, stir, cover & cook on High
4 hours.
(while apples are cooking, prepare topping)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
In food processor, mix flour, both sugars,
baking soda, cinnamon & salt until combined.
Add cold butter pats & pulse a few times until
they are pea-sized. Add oats & pulse a few
times just to incorporate (or add in by hand).
Pour mixture onto prepared sheet tray & bake
5 minutes. Remove, toss using a spatula, &
bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, toss &
bake another 2-3 minutes just to crisp.
Remove & cool. (store mixture in air-tight
container until ready to serve).

When ready to serve, portion apple
mixture into bowls, sprinkle with topping &
serve with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 8-10


Cuban Sliders

2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Hawaiian sweet
1 1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
9 slices Swiss cheese (about 6 oz)
24 dill pickle slices


1/2 C. butter, cubed
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Without separating rolls, horizontally;
arrange bottom halves of rolls in pan.
Layer with ham, cheese & pickles;
top with roll tops. In a microwaveable
bowl or measuring cup melt butter.
Stir in onion & mustard – drizzle over
tops of rolls. Bake, covered, 10 minutes.
Uncover & bake until golden brown &
heated through, 5-10 minutes. Makes
24 sliders


Hot Fudge Pie

1 stick butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8″ X 8″ pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In a bowl using elec.
mixer, cream butter & sugar until
fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs &
vanilla – mix well. Add cocoa powder,
salt & flour – stir until well combined;
pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 -35
minutes until center is set.

NOTE: If you mix by hand it will have
a gooey texture; using an elec. mixer
will make it more of a brownie or cake



Our weather has been all over the place –
lots of snow early in week, then really cold
(in the 20’s) then finally warming up a bit
(it’s in the 30’s today). We had rain yesterday
which kind of melted the snow some but
also made it a skating rink to try to walk.
Looking at today’s forecast: 34 degrees F.
with light snow/fog/mist – that’s a lovely
combination. . . not. I see rain/snow in the
next few days but no signs of accumulation,
so that’s good! Ah, Michigan – land of
You NEVER know what the weather will
be like!”

Hope you are all in good health, staying
warm and enjoying your day!



PS: Our gas prices have been pretty steady: $2.39/9!

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