Sometimes you just have to change things up a bit!

Since our middle son moved to his new apartment last week I had a decision to make – he took our very old, extremely heavy TV with him. That left a space for our flat screen TV to be put on a long coffee table in our living room. To say that my husband & I are hoarders is a bit harsh but we certainly KEEP things a long time. For the past two days I’ve been sorting through, clearing out all of our game systems/games/VCR tapes/music discs, etc. That was a HUGE job but I’m proud to say it’s almost done. Years ago a friend moved to another state and sold me her DVD and VCR systems – they’ve sat here all that time and never been used. FINALLY, with the space available, my husband hooked up the VCR system yesterday and I happily watched two old movies I hadn’t seen in MANY years: “Princess Caraboo”(1994)  and “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came down a mountain” – great movies! (We have to get another cord for the other VCR system before my husband can hook that one up but I’m excited for that, too. There’s a BIG box of movies we haven’t watched in a LONG time, also! Middle son stopped by to pick up a few things today and was VERY surprised at the change – YAY! Success!


Honey Cinnamon Bars

1 C. sugar
3/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1 large egg
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped walnuts, toasted

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. water

additional toasted/chopped walnuts
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan with
nonstick baking spray.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat sugar,
oil, honey & egg until well blended. In another
bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.
Gradually beat mixture into sugar mixture. Stir
in 1 C. walnuts & spread mixture into prepared
pan. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown –
edges will puff up. Cool completely on wire rack.
In small bowl mix powdered sugar, mayo, vanilla &
enough water to reach desired consistency – spread
over top of bars. If desired, sprinkle top with additional
walnuts. Let stand until glaze is set then cut into bars.
Makes 2 dozen.
Refrigerate leftovers

Crockpot Sausage Cheese Dip

1 (10 oz) can RoTel tomatoes
1 lb. ground sausage*
1 (32 oz) block Velveeta cheese, cubed

Corn chips
cut up veggies

In a skillet brown sausage; drain &
place in a small crockpot (3 qt). Pour
RoTel on top & place Velveeta cubes
on top. Cover & cook on Low 2-3 hours,
stirring occasionally. Serves 12

Optional items:
*Can use breakfast or pork sausage
– hot sauce
-a can of green chilies
-fire-roasted tomatoes


Pizza Dip with Pepperoni

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. pizza sauce
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mini pepperoni
1/4 C. sliced black olives
1/4 C. green bell pepper, finely diced
1 T. chopped parsley

corn chips, “Scoops”, crackers,
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 6 or 8″ square baking dish
(or skillet) with nonstick cooking spray.
Place cream cheese in a bowl & add
Ital. seasoning & garlic powder – stir until
thoroughly combined. Spread mixture in
an even layer in bottom of prepared dish.
Spread pizza sauce on top – add mozz. cheese
& arrange pepperoni, olives & bell pepper on
top. Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle top with parsley & serve with dippers.
Makes 8 servings

NOTE: Dip can be prepared up to 4 hours before
you plan to serve it. Store, covered, in fridge then
bake according to directions. You may need to
add 5 minutes to baking time.

Hearty Mexican Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 qt. (4 C.) chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. shredded rotisserie chicken
1 C. frozen corn
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)

In large saucepan, add oil & cook onions
on medium heat 6-7 minutes until tender,
stirring frequently. Add garlic & cumin, cook,
stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, beans & salsa;
stir & bring to boil. Stir in chicken & corn –
return to boil. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat – stir in
green onions & cilantro. Serve topped with
shredded cheese. Serves 8

Optional serving idea: serve topped with
sour cream & chopped avocados, if desired.
Garnish with lime wedges.


Parmesan-Zucchini Bites

3 medium zucchini
garlic salt, to taste
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place a wire rack inside a baking
sheet (if you don’t have a rack, just
spray baking sheet well with nonstick
cooking spray).
Trim both ends of zucchini – slice
diagonally into 1/4″ thick slices &
arrange in single layer on rack (or sheet).
Sprinkle with garlic salt & flip so that
garlic salt is on the bottom. Brush tops
lightly with olive oil & top each slice
with Parmesan cheese – sprinkle lightly
with paprika.
Bake 10-15 minutes just until zucchini
is soft & Parm. is melted & bubbly. Remove
from oven & allow to cool about 5 minutes
before serving. Season with additional
garlic salt, if desired. Makes 4-6 servings


Crockpot Italian Lentil & Vegetable Soup

1 C. dried lentils, uncooked
3 C. water
2 C. marinara sauce
1 1/4 lb. butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 lb. green beans/trimmed & cut
into 1-inch lengths
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 small potato, peeled/ cut into 1-inch
3/4 C. onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil

Combine lentils & water in crockpot.
Add remaining ingredients (except
olive oil). Stir, cover & cook on Low
8 hours until lentils & veggies are
At serving time, stir in olive oil &
ladle into bowls. Serves 8


Twix Cookie Cups

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 T. milk
2 C. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar;
add egg white & vanilla – mix until
well combined. Add in flour & baking
powder, mix thoroughly. On a floured
surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ to 1/2″
thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut
out 24 circles – place on an ungreased pan.
Bake 6-8 minutes – remove when cookies
are puffy & no longer glossy. Transfer to
wire rack to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling:
In a microwave bowl melt caramels &
milk 1 minute. Stir at 30-second mark; stir
until smooth & creamy. Carefully spoon a
few teaspoons of caramel onto each cookie,
spreading until it almost covers the cookie.
Refirgerate cookies & caramel 10-15 minutes
until completely cold. Melt choc. chips at
30-second increments until completely
melted & incorporated. Spread a small amount
of chocolate onto each cookie. Let chocolate
layer cool & set up before serving. Makes 24



Our weather is still mild (30’s) – clear, although we
had a very light dusting of snow overnight with a
chance of flurries tonight (no accumulation noted).
I don’t mind this weather – you can bundle up and
walk/drive in it without worrying about slipping or
getting your car stuck. (Our driveway, at the bottom,
has FINALLY cleared of the huge ice dam from the last
snowfall – remember we couldn’t get anyone to plow?)
Not complaining – if the rest of this winter stays this
way I’ll be a happy camper! (but then – I’m not naive,
either, having grown up in Michigan!)

Hope you are having a great day!



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