Here we are into March and it’s been GORGEOUS! Bright, sunny days – I even wore my lighter jacket today; delivered more knit & crocheted baby blankets to Crossroads Pregnancy Center. Just checked the NOAH weather service – it’s 43 degrees F. BUT I probably shouldn’t have looked further – it seems we’re in for up to 50% chance of snow tonight/tomorrow . . . sigh – BUT no more predicted for rest of week so that’s good.

I’m still working on two projects and thought I’d post the pictures. Both are VERY close to being finished. The first is a forest green knit scarf for my friend (who will be the next leader of our special needs group) – her birthday was 1 1/2 weeks ago and I’m really getting antsy to get it done to give to her.

This is the yarn I used to ‘substitute’ for the teal blue I originally ordered/planned on using. The pattern is difficult (probably Intermediate Knitter) – 10 rows; each row requires a LOT of concentration & counting so by the time I’ve knit 10 rows I’m ready for a break!

This is the Zig Zag stitch I mentioned several posts ago. It’s done in mint green. I’ve decided that because, this too, is rather difficult/challenging, I’m going to keep it for a baby shower gift instead of donating it. This is another pattern I probably won’t EVER knit again! Looks pretty (like the above scarf) but really wears me out working on it. (sorry for the complaining . . . )


Mounds Candy Bar Brownies

1 (9 X 13″ size) pan of brownies
5 1/3 C. shredded coconut
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 container chocolate frosting

Prepare brownies & allow to cool
completely. Using elec. mixer – in
large bowl combine coconut, sweeten’d
cond. milk & powdered sugar until all
ingredients are incorporated – spread
over cooled brownies. Remove lid &
foil seal from frosting container – place
container in microwave & microwave
10 seconds until frosting is pourable.
Pour frosting over coconut mixture &
allow to cool & set up.


Crockpot Navy Bean/Vegetable Soup

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. cubed, fully-cooked ham
1 1/2 C. dried navy beans
1 envelope (Knorr) vegetable recipe mix
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 C. water

In 5 qt. crockpot, combine first 9
ingredients; stir in water. Cover &
cook on Low 9-10 hours, until beans
are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Serves 12 (3 qts)


(Cracker Barrel’s) Hashbrown
Casserole Copycat

2 lb. frozen hash browns
1/2 C. margarine or butter, melted
1 (10 1/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 11 X 14″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Mix all
ingredients in large bowl & place
in prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes
until brown on top.


Fajita Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 T. dry taco seasoning
1 1/2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. shredded Mexican cheese

chopped cilantro – for serving
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray.
Cut horizontal slices across top of
each chicken breast, stopping 1/4″
from bottom (don’t cut all the way
through). Coat chicken with olive oil
& rub taco seasoning into the meat.
Tuck peppers & onion into each slice
in chicken then place on prepared sheet.
Bake 15 minutes, remove & top with
cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more until
cheese is melted & chicken is cooked
through. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Tortellini Soup

1 onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled/halved &
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 C. chicken broth
1 (9 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
(optional: chopped fresh parsley
for garnish)
Place onions, carrots, celery, chicken,
garlic, salt/pepper, thyme, parsley &
broth in crockpot. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours (or 6-8 hrs. on Low). Remove
chicken & shred using 2 forks; return
meat to soup. Add tortellini & cook
10-15 minutes until they are puffy & heated
through. Serve garnished with parsley, if
desired. Serves 4


Kielbasa/Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

1 lb. baby red potatoes, halved or
2 C. petite baby carrots
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (13 oz) pkg. pork kielbasa, sliced
into rounds
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. olive oil separated: 2 T. &
1 T.)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt/cracked black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
In small bowl mix basil, thyme, oregano,
paprika, onion powder, salt/pepper. Place
potatoes & carrots on sheet & drizzle with
2 T. olive oil. Sprinkle half of dry herbs over
top & toss until evenly coated. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven & slide potatoes/carrots to
one end of sheet pan. Add asparagus, onion &
kielbasa slices to sheet. Drizzle with 1 T. olive
oil, remaining dry herbs & garlic – toss to coat.
Spread all ingredients evenly around baking sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes until veggies are softened &
roasted. Serve warm. Serves 4


Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless
chicken thighs
5 slices bacon
1 small onion, diced
5 jalapeno peppers, minced (seeded &
ribs removed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 (14-15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 – 15 oz) can white beans, like
1/2 C. frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/3 C. minced cilantro

shredded Cheddar cheese, for serving

Place chicken thighs in a pan with a lid; cover
with water & simmer, covered, until cooked
through. Reserve cooking water & set chicken
aside to cool – cut into bite-sized pieces.
In large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove &
set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Pour out bacon grease, leaving a couple teaspoons
in the pot. With heat on medium, add onion,
jalapenos & garlic to pot. Cook, stirring often,
until they begin to soften; stir in chili powder,
cumin, coriander & some salt/pepper – cook
1 more minute. Pour tomatoes & about 1 C.
of chicken poaching liquid into pot. Add corn,
beans & chicken – bring to low boil. Reduce heat
to a simmer & cook, stirring occasionally, about
15 minutes. Stir in cream cheese – continue to
stir until cream cheese is melted & thoroughly
mixed. Taste for seasoning & adjust salt/pepper,
if needed. If chili is too thick, add a bit more
poaching liquid. Crumble bacon into chili &
stir in cilantro – top with shredded Cheddar
cheese & serve.


Caramelized Brown Butter Cake

1 1/4 C. (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 C. milk
5 large eggs
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In heavy skillet on Low heat melt
butter until it begins to foam – stir
about 5 minutes until golden brown &
smells nutty. Transfer to a large heat-
proof bowl & allow to cool in fridge
until solid, about half hour. Once solid
remove from fridge & set aside to bring
back to room temp.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack on lower middle section
of oven. Butter a non-stick 8 X 4.5″ loaf
pan & dust with powdered sugar. Whisk
browned butter until it becomes creamy,
then add sugar & continue whisking 3-5
minutes until well combined. Whisk in
eggs, one at a time, making sure each is
thoroughly combined before adding the
next. In separate bowl combine flour,
salt & baking powder; slowly whisk flour
mixture into creamed butter until well
combined. Slowly whisk in milk & vanilla;
continue to whisk until smooth; transfer
batter to prepared loaf pan & bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven, loosely cover
with foil & continue baking 20-25 minutes
longer. Allow cake to cool in pan 10-15
minutes then transfer, upside down, onto
a serving platter. Serves 8-10


It’s been a pretty relaxing week so far – haven’t been
asked to babysit (not sure why but am not checking).
I’m attempting to put a little variety in our meals lately –
now that I’m actually only cooking for TWO! (youngest
son really doesn’t eat ‘dinner’ – he’s in & out – usually
makes two peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & he’s good).
Tonight is baked salmon with spinach/4-cheese risotto.
I’m glad my husband doesn’t mind my ‘experimenting’ –
as long as I don’t try too many ‘exotic’ things!

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!



PS: Gas prices have dropped! It’s $1.94/9 for regular! WOW!

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