What to do on a ‘Free” Day!

It’s a gorgeous, sunny day out (38 degrees F.) – there’s a cardinal just chirping it’s heart out – nice, calming start to the day. Since our church services are (indefinitely) cancelled, I decided to Seize the Day! Our local Walgreens has a sale (starting today) on our brand of bottled water (Aquafina) so I went at 9 a.m. when they opened. Only bought 1 case (the cashier was a bit panicked b/c they only had something like 12 cases left in the entire store). She said: “If just ONE MORE person screams at me b/c we don’t have any hand sanitizer I’m going to Lose it!” I tried my best to be a calming influence – it’s got to be hard out there right now (and probably will get worse before this pandemic is over – more like PANIC-demic). People are crazy!

Came home, swept the porch & walkway of leaves, cleaned in inside of my windshield on my  van (it really needed it) then read & copied a bunch of new recipes for you (& one for me). I decided I’m going to make the Pineapple Pistachio cake for Easter dinner – sounds yummy. Am going to go with the poster’s suggestion of topping the cake with Cool Whip mixed with dry pistachio pudding mix then sprinkling a bit more coconut & chopped nuts on top.


Pineapple Pistachio Cake

(Note there are several different ways to frost/top cake)


1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
(without pudding)
1 (3.4 oz) box instant pistachio pudding
3 eggs
1/4 C. sour cream
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 tsp. almond extract (could use
1 C. shredded coconut
1 C. chopped pecans (or other nuts)
Optional: frosting*
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch Bundt pan (or
9 X 13″ baking dish) with nonstick
cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk pudding & cake
mixes. Add eggs, sour cream, milk,
undrained pineapple, almond/vanilla
extract, coconut & nuts – mix well.
Pour batter into prepared pan &
bake 50-55 minutes (test for doneness
using a toothpick). Cool in pan 15 minutes
then turn out onto a serving plate.

(Optional: frost with frosting).

NOTE: You can also just sprinkle
powdered sugar on top of baked cake.

*Poster used a tub of prepared whipped
vanilla frosting, melted about 12 seconds
in microwave & poured over cake. She topped
the cake with some coconut & chopped nuts.

She also suggests you could: Use another pkg.
of pistachio pudding mix; mix with thawed
Cool Whip instead of frosting.

Glaze: mix some powdered sugar, milk &
almond extract – drizzle over cake

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
Hamburger Rice Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1/2 C. chopped regular or green onion
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 C. chopped celery
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 1/4 C. Minute rice
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a skillet brown meat, green pepper,
celery & onion; drain. Stir in soup, broth,
rice, onion soup mix & pepper. Pour
mixture into a casserole dish & sprinkle
top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30-35
minutes. Serves 8

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
Crockpot or Stovetop:  (GROUP)
Cabbage Fiesta Soup

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 to 3/4 head cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, cut into rings
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chilies
1 C. water
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese soup
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 C. frozen cut corn (can use 1 can-drained)
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 tsp. black pepper
salt, to taste

Brown hamburger with garlic; drain. *Add
to crockpot with rest of ingredients. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours (or Low 6-7 hours).
Serves 8

*Can be made on stovetop.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

Foil-Pack Taco Chicken

4 small boneless/skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)*
4 tsp. (dry) taco seasoning mix (comes in a foil packet)
1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 2) thinly sliced
3/4 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four cheese (Kraft)
1/2 C. thick/chunky salsa
1/4 C. sour cream

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle chicken with dry taco seasoning.
Tear off four large sheets foil  – spray with
nonstick cooking spray (or lightly coat with
oil) – lay cut up potatoes in centers of each
foil square – top with chicken, cheese & salsa.
Fold foil to make 4 packets & place in a single
layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is done (&
no pink remains). Cut slits in top of foil to
release steam before carefully opening packets
Serve chicken topped with sour cream.
Serves 4

*If your chicken breasts are larger than 4 oz they
will take longer to cook. Be sure to cook them
long enough so they are done.

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)
Potato Nachos

1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, washed/
cut into 1/2″ thick wedges
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Mexican seasoning blend
1 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese
1/4 C. black beans, drained/rinsed
1/4 C. diced tomatoes
1/4 C. sliced black olives (optional)
1/4 C. sliced green pepper
1/4 C. sliced green onions
3 T. canned, diced green chiles

Optional toppers:
sour cream
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place cut potatoes in medium bowl with
oil, garlic salt & Mexican seasoning – stir
well to coat – transfer to large baking
sheet & spread into single layer. Bake
25-30 minutes, stirring several times
until crisp & brown. Top with cheese,
beans, tomatoes, olives, peppers, onions
& chiles – bake 5 minutes more to melt
cheese. Serve with optional toppings.
Serves 4

(recipe; mipotato.com)

Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves, steamed
2 lb. ground beef
1 C. marinara sauce, divided
2 T. dried minced onion or
freeze dried shallots
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (or
pizza seasoning)
3/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

additional marinara sauce & sour
cream – for garnish
In a bowl combine beef, 1/2 C.
marinara, dried onions, garlic,
seasonings, Parm. cheese & eggs.
Place 1/12th of mixture into
center of each cabbage leaf & wrap
up like a burrito. Place in bottom of
crockpot (seam sides down), layering
if needed. Spoon remaining marinara
sauce over each roll. Cover & cook on
High 4 hours until cabbage is tender
& meat is cooked through. Serve
with additional marinara sauce and/or
sour cream. Serves 4

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

3-ingredient Lemon Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick salted butter (1/2 C.),
room temp.
1 (22 oz) can lemon pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
combine softened butter with dry
cake mix; mix until crumbly. Set
aside 1/2 C. mixture for topping.
Press rest of mixture into baking
dish – spread out evenly & press
down to form crust. Spoon pie
filling on top. Sprinkle reserved
dry crumble on top. Bake 20-25
minutes. (The crumble on top will
just start to turn a very light golden
brown). Remove from oven – cool
10 minutes & cut into bars.
Serves 12

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)


Haven’t quite decided if I’m telling my son & his
girlfriend that I have the entire week FREE – don’t
get me wrong, I love my little grandson but hours
of watching his SUPER-HYPER little butt can be

Also haven’t decided if I’m cancelling my Panera
knitting group for Tuesday evening. Husband
suggested I call Panera & ask if they’re open,
then decide. I ‘could’ just leave it open &
those that want to come, will come – we’ll see.
Haven’t exactly decided yet.

Hope you are all in good health, happy &
enjoying this lovely day!



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