and all our lives are changing – as we speak!

I’m sure, in the future, we will all have stories to tell about how we lived through the PANDEMIC of 2020. Today I needed to go shopping for bottled water – well, you guessed it – totally empty spaces where cases used to be. I was able to purchase a 9-roll package of our brand of toilet paper (no, I’m not hoarding – we needed it). I still do not understand the correlation between the virus and the need to buy up all the toilet paper! My cashier told me that their little grocery store was broken into yesterday but the only thing stolen was hand sanitizer! They were pretty sure it was a customer (must have seen them on the cameras) – our world is definitely changing. Our State Governor just declared all schools closed in the state for the next THREE weeks! SO glad I don’t have kids in school! It’s a very sad state of affairs when everyone panics so drastically! My oldest son manages two large Hilton hotels in two different cities. He said that both places are now operating at 20% capacity – very few rooms being rented. Since he is the Food & Beverage Director for both hotels he said that it’s been really crazy with people cancelling banquets – no one is going anywhere, flying, going to concerts/sporting events/movies, etc. What will all of this do to our ECONOMY! The only ones with a booming monetary margin will be the companies manufacturing TOILET PAPER! Crazy – just crazy.


Crockpot Lemon Cream Spoon Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box lemon cake mix
2 large eggs, divided
1/2 C. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl using an elec. mixer,
mix cake mix, 1 egg & butter. Press
mixture into bottom of crockpot. In
another bowl mix remaining egg,
cream cheese, powdered sugar &
vanilla until smooth. Pour cream
cheese mixture on top of batter &
spread evenly. Place a few paper
towels over opening of crockpot &
place lid on top. Cook on High 1 1/2
to 2 hours, turning crockpot insert
halfway through cooking time if your
crockpot doesn’t cook evenly.
Serves 12


Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
12 oz. bacon, cooked/crumbled
4 T. unsalted butter
4 T. flour
3 C. whole milk
3 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced (Yukon or
8 oz. cheese (poster used a combination
of sharp Cheddar & Gruyere – any cheese
will work)
salt/pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. (or deep 9 X 9″
baking dish).
In a medium skillet add olive oil & heat
over medium heat. Add sliced onions, salt/
pepper – cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until onions become caramel
in color; remove from skillet. Wipe skillet
clean & cook bacon until crisp*. Remove
bacon, drain grease & wipe skillet clean.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat;
sprinkle flour on top of butter & whisk
to form a roux** – cook 2 minutes. Slowly
add milk, whisking constantly. Bring roux
to a simmer & let thicken slightly, 2-3
minutes after coming to a simmer. Remove
from heat.

Layer half potatoes, half caramelized onions,
half bacon, half cheese & half sauce in
prepared dish – repeat. Cover with foil & bake
1 hour. Remove foil & bake an additional 30
minutes until potatoes are easily pierced with
a fork. Remove from oven & let cool 10
minutes before serving. Serves 10

*You can alternatively bake the bacon while
onions are cooking to save a little time

**roux: a roux is a combination of equal parts
flour & butter, used to thicken sauces

Baked Mexican Chicken

4 chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise
2 C. salsa
1 (13 oz) bag Tortilla chips, crushed into
small pieces
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 C. diced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray (OR) line sheet with foil
In 2 separate shallow bowls (or pie plates)
pour salsa & crushed tortilla chips. Dip each
chicken breast into salsa, to cover both sides.
Dip chicken in tortilla chips, covering both
sides. Place chicken breasts on prepared
baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until
chicken is cooked through. Top each chicken
breast with a small amount of shredded
cheese & bake 2-3 minutes until cheese melts.
Top with diced tomatoes, if desired.
Serves 6


Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

3/4 lb. Italian turkey sausage links,
casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 3/4 C. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach,
coarsely chopped
2 1/4 tsp. minced fresh basil (OR)
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash crushed red pepper flakes

shredded Parmesan cheese (optional
In a Dutch oven crumble sauce; add
onion & cook, stirring, over medium heat
until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic,
cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, water &
tomatoes – bring to boil. Add tortellini;
return to boil. Cook 5-8 minutes until
almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce
heat; add spinach, basil, pepper & pepper
flakes; cook 2-3 minutes longer until
spinach is wilted & tortellini are tender.
Serve with cheese, if desired.
Makes 2 quarts – serves 6

Freezer option:
Place individual portions of cooled soup
in freezer containers & freeze. To use:
partially thaw in fridge overnight. Heat
through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally;
add broth if necessary.


Southwest Chicken Pasta
(crockpot & oven method)

1 lb. cooked chicken, sliced into
small pieces
1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. diced green chiles
salt/pepper, to taste
few dashes hot sauce
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
crushed cheese crackers (topping/

Mix cooked chicken, cooked pasta,
both soups, green chiles, salt/pepper &
hot sauce (if using). Spread in bottom
of crockpot . Cook 2 1/2 hours on Low,
uncover & sprinkle top with cheese.
Cook an additional 15-30 minutes.
Sprinkle top with crushed cheese
crackers & serve.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread mixture in bottom of greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Cook 25 minutes,
uncover & sprinkle top with cheese;
bake an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle
top with crushed cheese crackers &


Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

6 C. cereal (poster used Rice Krispies)
1 1/2 C. assorted nuts or seeds
3/4 C. honey
3/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. peanut butter (your
choice: creamy or chunky)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using
salted nuts)

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl add
cereal & nuts/seeds – toss to combine.
Add sugar & honey to large saucepan
over medium heat. Allow to come to
a boil then reduce heat to medium-low
& cook at rapid bubble 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & stir in
peanut butter, vanilla & salt until completely
blended. Pour mixture over cereal/nuts &
stir gently. Press mixture into prepared dish
& let mixture cool. Once firm, cut into bars.
Makes 18-24 bars



Here’s hoping you are all OK for now with all
of the current situations.

Stay well!




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