One more shot at Game Day recipes!

Knowing that some of you just ‘might’ need a few quick recipes – here’s a few more:


Buffalo Chicken Pizza

3/4 lb. chicken breast cutlets
2 tsp. grill seasoning (recommend
McCormick Montreal Seasoning)
1 pizza dough (store bought)
cornmeal or flour (for handling dough)
2 T. butter
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 T. hot sauce
1/2 C. tomato sauce
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
1/2 C. blue cheese crumbles
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Preheat grill pan to high.
Place chicken on a plate & drizzle
olive oil over chicken then season
with grill seasoning. When grill is
hot, add chicken & cook 3 minutes
on each side. Stretch dough to form
pizza using cornmeal or flour to help
you handle it. (NOTE: If you let it
rest & warm up a few minutes it
will handle even easier.) Set pizza
dough on pan & clean board. In medium
skillet over medium heat, melt butter &
stir in Worc. sauce, hot sauce & tomato
sauce. Remove chicken from grill &
thinly slice it. Add chicken to sauce &
stir to coat. Cover dough with saucy
chicken, cheeses & scallions. Bake
18 minutes until crisp. Serves 4

Dr. Pepper Meatballs

approx. 2 lb. frozen meatballs
1 (12 oz) can Dr. Pepper soda/pop
1 C. ketchup
1/2 C. brown sugar (dark or light)
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. granulated garlic

In Dutch oven or large pot combine
all ingredients EXCEPT meatballs.
Stirring constantly, bring to boil over
medium-high heat. Carefully add
meatballs & stir to coat. Continue
to cook over medium heat until sauce
has reduce by at least half & is thick
(about 20 minutes), stirring every so
often to prevent meatballs from burning.
Serve as is or over rice, as a meal.

Hawaiian Meatball Sliders
(oven AND crockpot recipe)

2 lb. lean ground beef
2 C. bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 C. minced onion
3 slices thick bacon (or 3 slices thin),
chopped in food processor until it’s
like a paste
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1 1/2 C. milk
2 pkgs. King’s Hawaiian Jalapeno rolls,
12 count
1 oz. bottle King’s Hawaiian original
BBQ sauce

In large bowl add all slider ingredients
(except milk) – knead using your hands
until well mixed. (If you find a large
piece of bacon or onion, pick them out
& discard). Add milk & knead again until
all milk is absorbed into meat mixture. Let
bowl rest 30 minutes (or refrigerate

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Use about 2 heaping tablespoons of meat
mixture for every meatball – dip your hands
into ice water & gently form a meatball –
place on a cookie sheet – repeat with
remaining meat mixture. Bake 20 minutes
then check to see if they are done – internal
temperature should be 160 degrees F. If
they’re not done, bake another 5 minutes &
check again. When all meatballs are cooked,
remove from oven*. Add 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
to crockpot; place meatballs gently over sauce.
Pour remaining bottle over balls, stirring to
gently coat. Cook on Low 4 hours.

Split 24 Kings Hawaiian Jalapeno rolls in half.
Add 1 meatball to each & cover with top of
roll. Run a small skewer through top of roll
& through meatball to bottom to keep sand-
wiches together. Makes 24

*If you are planning on freezing them, let them
cool & store in airtight freezer containers.

Crustless Skillet Pepperoni PIzza

1 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
10 slices pepperoni
1/2 tsp. oregano
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1/2 C. marinara sauce, heated (for dipping –

In a 8″ non-stick skillet over medium heat,
add mozzarella in an even layer. Top with
Parm. cheese & pepperoni – cover with a
glass lid & cook until cheese is completely
melted & edges are golden. Top with
oregano & red pepper flakes – remove from
heat. Let cool 3 minutes before sliding onto
a plate. Garnish with parsley & slice. Serve
with marinara, for dipping. Serves 1

Crockpot Creamy Ranch Bean Dip

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (15.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
16 oz. sour cream
3 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 oz. pkt. ranch dressing mix

For Serving:
2 C. salsa
corn chips

Place refried beans, pinto beans, sour
cream, 1 C. cheese & ranch dressing mix
in crockpot. Stir & flatten out. (for a neater
look – use a wet paper towel to clean up
the edges of the crockpot). Sprinkle
remaining cheese & top. Cover & cook
on High 2 to 2 1/2 hours until hot &
bubbly. Serve with salsa & chips
Serves 10

(Crockpot) Tamale Dip

3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 (15 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. canned whole kernel corn, drained
1 C. shredded rotisserie chicken
1 T. chili powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper
freshly chopped cilantro (garnish)

tortilla chips – for dipping

Combine all ingredients except
cilantro in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Just before serving, garnish with cilantro.
Serve with tortilla chips
Serves 8-10


Our weather today is dicey – when we left for
church it was 30 degrees F. with a light powdered
sugar-like snow falling. When we got out of church
it was 23 degrees and reports of 3-6 inches of snow
during the day/evening. Got a text from the pastors
saying due to weather conditions, they’re cancelling
church (nothing to do with football). I’ll miss going
to choir practice, but was NOT looking forward to
what the road conditions would be when I got out
around 7:15 p.m. (I’m not into football & neither is
my husband, so we’re not going to be watching BUT
he IS looking forward to me making Nachos for
dinner, so that’s something to look forward to!).

I also noticed driving to church that our gas prices
have dropped back down (they were $2.49/9, then
jumped to $2.64/9) now they’re back to $2.49/9
– YAY!

It’s nice to know that, for a change on a Sunday,
I get to lounge around in my comfy clothes & relax!
Hope you have a relaxing rest of the day!




Football Recipes!

I’m not a fan of football but I DO know lots of people love getting together to watch (or not) and EAT! Here are some recipes I hope you can use:


Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts

2 (8 oz, ea) cans water chestnuts, drained
1 lb. lean bacon, cut in half
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. ketchup
1/4 C. soy sauce


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Soak water chestnuts in soy sauce
15 minutes, stirring a few times to
make sure they are fully coated;
remove from soy sauce (reserve
soy sauce. Wrap 1/2 strip of bacon
around each & secure with toothpicks.
Place, toothpick sides up, in a 7 X 11″
glass baking dish. Bake 25-35 minutes
until desired crispness. Remove from
dish & drain grease – place chestnuts
back in dish. In a small bowl add
ketchup & brown sugar to reserved
soy sauce -stir well to combine. Pour
sauce evenly over chestnuts to coat.
Bake an additional 20-30 minutes.


Bacon Cheddar Bites

1 C. milk
1/2 stick butter
1 C. flour
4 eggs
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp &
1/3 C. thinly sliced scallions
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 baking sheets with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
saucepan over medium heat
combine milk & butter until
butter is melted & mixture is hot.
Add flour & stir vigorously using
a wooden spoon, until mixture
forms a ball. Remove from heat;
stir in 1 egg until mixture is smooth.
Repeat with remaining eggs, adding
1 egg at a time, until thoroughly
combined. Stir in remaining
ingredients. Drop mixture by
teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets.
Bake 15-18 minutes until puffed &
golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 36


Garlic Bread Pizza Dip

2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. plus 1 T. Parmesan cheese,
1 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
1 can refrigerated biscuits (like
Pillsbury Grands)
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. finely chopped parsley
1/4 C. pizza or marinara sauce
1/4 C. mini pepperoni

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine 1 1/4 C.
mozzarella, cream cheese, ricota,
1/4 C. Parmesan, Ital. seasoning
& red pepper flakes – season with
salt; stir to combine.
Half biscuits & roll into balls. Place
in a skillet in a ring. In small bowl
combine olive oil, garlic & parsley-
brush on biscuits. Place dip inside of
ring & spoon over marinara. Top
with remaining 3/4 C. mozzarella &
mini pepperoni – sprinkle top with
remaining T. Parmesan. Bake about
30 minutes until biscuits are golden &
cheese is melted. (Brush biscuits with
more olive oil halfway through, if
necessary). Blot any grease from
pepperoni; let cool 10 minutes before
serving. Serves 8

Jalapeno Popper Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
10 slices chopped, cooked bacon
2 jalapeno peppers, (seeded – if you
want to cut the heat), chopped
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir cream cheese,
mayo, sour cream, garlic powder,
most of cooked bacon (reserve
some for topping), most of jalapenos
(reserve some for topping), 1 C.
Cheddar cheese & 1 C. Monterrey
Jack cheese -season with salt/pepper.
Transfer mixture to a skillet for baking
& sprinkle top with remaining bacon,
Cheddar & Monterey & jalapenos.
Bake 15 minutes until bubbly &, if
desired, broil 3 minutes to brown top.
Serves 4-6

Cheesy Caramelized Onion Dip

1/2 lb. bacon
1 T. butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 C. shredded Gruyere cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

Toasted baguette slices, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat
cook bacon until crispy; drain (reserving
1 T. grease) set aside bacon. Melt butter
in same skillet; add onions & cook until
soft & golden, about 10 minutes. In large
bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream,
Worc. sauce & garlic powder: beat, using
elec. mixer, until light & fluffy then
season with salt/pepper. Fold in cheeses,
crumbled bacon & onions. Transfer to
a small baking dish & bake until bubbly,
about 20 minutes. Garnish top with
parsley & serve warm. Serves 6

Pretzel Dogs

12 hot dogs
1 pkg. pizza dough, cut into 12
1/2 inch wide strips
3 T. baking soda
1 container French’s Crispy Jalapenos,
crushed (like French’s Fried onions)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Boil hot dogs in water 3 minutes; remove
& pat dry – reserve 1 C. hot dog water.
Wrap a piece of dough around each hot
dog in a spiral. In a small bowl stir baking
soda into 1 C. hot dog water. Dip each
dough-wrapped hot dog into this mixture
then roll in crushed Jalapenos. Place on
a parchment-paper lined baking sheet &
bake 10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with mustard & ketchup. Makes 12

NOTE: poster said recipe called for 12 hot
dogs & 1 pkg. pizza dough but she was
able to use 16 hot dogs & cover them all.

Beer-Cheese Stuffed Pretzels


1/2 C. warm water
2 T. light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 pkt)
1 C. beer
1/2 C. unsalted butter (8 T)
1 1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
4 1/2 C. flour
3 quarts water (for boiling pretzels)
2/3 C. baking soda (for boiling pretzels)
1 egg, beaten (for brushing before baking)
Beer Cheese:

1 lb. Cheddar cheese, cubed
1 lb. natural Swiss cheese, cubed
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. beer
2 T. heavy cream

1 scallion, chopped
Pretzel Dough:
Combine water, brown sugar & yeast
in bowl of a stand mixer – mix using
dough hook until combined; let stand
5 minutes. Add melted butter, beer,
salt, flour to mixture – mix on Low
speed until combined. Increase speed
to Medium & continue kneading until
dough is smooth & begins to pull away
from sides of bowl (3-4 minutes). If dough
appears too wet, add more flour (1 T. at
a time) Remove dough from bowl, place
on a flat surface & knead into a ball using
your hands. Coat a large bowl with canola
oil – add dough & turn to coat dough with
oil. Cover using a clean towel or plastic
wrap & place in a warm spot until dough
doubles in size – about 1 hour.

Using food processor, add cheese, garlic,
dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, beer &
cream – blend until smooth. Place mixture
in a piping bag fit with a large circular tip.*
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Divide
pretzel dough into 8 equal balls I roll each
out into a rectangle (about 11 X 3″). Pipe
beer cheese in a thick line the length of each
dough piece. Starting with the opposite side,
roll dough into a log, enclosing the filling
inside. Pinch seams together & very gently
roll dough using your hands to form an even
cylinder, fully enclosing the filling. Take the
2 ends of each cylinder & form into a circle
that is overlapped by a couple inches of
cough on either side – twist the ends &
lay over the opposite side to form a pretzel
shape – press to seal. Slowly add baking soda
to boiling water; boil pretzels in water
solution, 2 at a time, for 30 seconds, splashing
tops with warmed water using a deep spoon.
Remove pretzels using a large flat slotted
spoon. Place 4 pretzels on a baking sheet;
brush tops with egg wash & season liberally
with sea salt & more grated Cheddar cheese.
Bake 15-18 minutes until pretzels are golden.
Let cool 5 minutes; sprinkle with chopped
scallions & serve. Makes 8 pretzels.

To re-heat pretzels:
Heat 15 minutes in 350 degrees F. oven

If you want a bit more beer cheese – add
a little more cream to mixture, making it
more of a dipping consistency.



Today is another “go to grandson’s flag
football game” day – he does really well;
he’s very fast – made several great plays.
His team won (with his pass) 18-13! YAY!
(Of course, I also get to keep the baby
amused while his brother plays – felt bad,
baby woke up with a slight fever and you
could tell he really didn’t feel quick up to
playing, so we cuddled a bit).

I noticed that gas prices went up a bit,
from $2.49/9 to $2. 64/9 – maybe they’re
thinking people will be traveling to see
the game or party??? Just a thought –

Weather-wise it’s lightly snowing (more
like powdered sugar) – temperature is
22 degrees F. (with wind chill, feels like
12 degrees F.) We were bundled up while
walking to & from the ‘dome’ (looks like
a giant inflated golf ball from the outside
but it’s nice & warm and we don’t get
snowed on, so it’s good!).

Got a call from a lady at church who’s saving
a big box of yarn for me; I told her she called
at the perfect time as a week from now I’ve
scheduled a “Yarn Swap” for my group – they
will be thrilled to get her yarn! She just wanted
to know that it would be USED – I guaranteed
her it definitely will be! (I love these opportunities
to see new-to-me yarns…as if I need more, right?)
Hehehe – yes, I have a large ‘Stash’ but it gets used
so I’m not feeling guilty at all!

Enjoy your weekend & stay warm (& healthy!);



Busy Monday

Tomorrow is my husband’s 66th birthday so (thanks to the reminder by a friend) I ‘remembered’ to bake him his favorite Banana Cake! (Whew – I had totally forgot about baking – just focused on his present!). The cake I baked is not the original recipe I found on the ‘net’ many years ago (will still have to see if I can research that one – it was super moist AND had banana cream cheese frosting, to boot!). This one is a good cake, all scratch – THANK HEAVENS I had 4 frozen bananas in the freezer and enough butter & cream cheese to make it! (Yes, I ‘could’ make a trip to the store, but was trying to avoid that if I could.) Got the word that I’m babysitting Tues AND Thurs. this week so I know I’m going to be tired – wanted to spend today relaxing (if I could). Am going to make Shepherd’s Pie for dinner (another of his favorites).


Here’s the recipe for the banana cake I made:

Banana Cake

1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/8 C. gran. sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 275 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking pan
Mix mashed with lemon juice in small
bowl. In medium bowl mix flour, baking
soda & salt. In large bowl cream 3/4 C.
butter & 2 1/8 C. gran. sugar. Beat in
eggs 1 at a time; stir in vanilla. Beat in
flour mixture gradually with buttermilk.
Stir in banana mixture & pour into pan.
Bake 1 hour. Place directly in freezer
45 minutes

In large bowl cream butter & cream
cheese until smooth; beat in vanilla. Add
powdered sugar gradually & beat at Low
speed until combined, then High until
smooth. Frost cake

NOTE: (cake)The original recipe called for
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar but I thought that
made it too sweet and texture more like
wall-paper paste, so I just used 3 C. – as it
was, I ended up using a little milk to thin
it to a spreading consistency. Husband
suggested next time I try using a little
sour cream – that would work, too, and
not change the consistency too much.


Creamy Wild Rice/Chicken Soup

1/4 C. butter
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks celery ,diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 C. chicken: cooked/shredded
(can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 C. chicken stock
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. flour
1 C. long grain & wild rice mix

In large heavy bottomed pot melt
butter over medium heat. Add onion,
carrots & celery – cook 2-3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms-
season with salt/pepper – cook until
mushrooms are soft. Add shredded
chicken & stock. In small bowl whisk
flour & heavy cream until smooth-
pour into soup & stir. Add rice & cook,
covered, 25-30 minutes until rice is
tender. Taste & adjust salt/pepper.
Serves 4-6


Crockpot Cranberry/Orange Pork

3 lb. boneless rolled pork roast
1 (14 oz) can whole cranberry
1 orange
2 tsp. dried, minced onion
1 tsp. ground sage

Rinse pork roast under cold water
in sink & pat dry with paper towels;
place in crockpot. In small bowl
combine cranberry sauce, zest &
juice from orange, dried onion &
sage; mix well & pour over roast.
Cover & cook 6-8 hours on Low
or 3-4 hours on High until cooked
through & tender. Remove roast
from crockpot & let stand 5-10
minutes before slicing (to allow
juices to redistribute throughout
the meat.) Slice & serve.
Serves 6-8


Spicy Hot Sausage Balls

1 (16 oz) pkg. hot pork sausage*
2 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar

Serve with your favorite type
of mustard, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all
ingredients. Using your hands,
knead mixture well until soft
dough forms. Roll dough into
1-inch balls & place on a rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes,
until bottoms begin to brown &
no pink remains in sausage.
Makes about 5 dozen

*Make sure to use a packaged
hot sausage like Jimmy Dean brand
NOT spicy Italian sausage from the
meat counter because the consistency
is different.


Baked Bean Chili Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded/finely chopped
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pork & beans
1/2 C. BBQ sauce
1 can RoTel tomatoes with chilies
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 C. catsup
2 T. spicy brown mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
4 T. brown sugar
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Brown
ground bee, onion & bell
pepper in large saucepan. Add
pork & beans, BBQ sauce & brown
sugar to beef mixture – simmer,
covered, at least 5 minutes. Pour
mixture into prepared pan &
crumble bacon on top. Bake,
foil-covered, 45 minutes. Remove
foil & bake 10 minutes more.


Crockpot Ham & Beans

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried Northern beans
3-4 meaty ham hock shanks or a
meaty ham bone (1 1/2 lbs), meat
chopped into big chunks
1 small onion, diced
salt/pepper, to taste
1/3 C. light brown sugar

Sort beans for any pebbles then
rinse beans under cold water. Add
rinsed beans, onion, salt/pepper &
ham into crockpot. Add enough
water to cover the beans (between
6-8 cups water). Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low
& cook 4-5 hours until beans are
tender. Remove ham shanks or
hocks – shred meat then return to
crockpot. Add brown sugar & stir.

NOTE: Poster removes about 1 cup
liquid from beans before adding
brown sugar – depends on how
thick you want the beans.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

1 1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. old fashioned oats
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips (plus
more, for topping, if desired)
1 egg
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9″ loaf pan.
In bowl, whisk flour, oats, sugars,
baking powder, baking soda &
cinnamon. In another bowl mix
egg, butter & milk. Stir wet
ingredients into dry – fold in
chocolate chips. Pour batter into
prepared pan & sprinkle top
with additional chocolate chips,
if desired. Bake 40-45 minutes.
(or when inserting a knife into
center of bread comes out clean).



Our weather has taken a WARM turn – it’s
been in the 40’s yesterday and today, with
rain for most of the day. (It’s a bit gloomy,
but at least we’re not slipping & sliding on
ice or huge amounts of snow!) Driving
home from church last night was a bit
of a challenge: lots of patches of fog but
I took my time & got home fine.

Hope you are all in good spirits and good
health – remember SPRING IS COMING!



Craft Update

Since I keep referring to my various knit projects, thought I’d share a few photos (so you kind of know what I’m talking about):

The Mint Green baby blanket (might give it to our Pastor’s wife, who’s due in mid-May) (almost done)

Salmon pink & white ‘needy’ scarf (done)

Gray men’s/boys ‘needy’ scarf (almost done)

Most recently started Teal & White baby blanket


Strawberry Cream Cheese
Icebox Cake

2 lb. strawberries, washed/hulled/
sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 sleeves graham crackers
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant cheesecake
flavored pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Spray bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray & line
bottom with graham crackers. In a
bowl combine cream cheese & sweetened
condensed milk – beat using elec. mixer
until smooth & creamy. Add pudding mixes
and milk – mix on Low 4-5 minutes until
mixture starts to thicken. Fold in 2 C.
Cool Whip until smooth. Pour half of
cream cheese mixture over graham
crackers & smooth evenly. Arrange a
single layer of sliced strawberries over
cream cheese mixture. Top strawberries
with another layer of graham crackers/
cover with remaining cream cheese
mixture. Top with another layer of
strawberries. Cover & refrigerate
6-8 hours. When serving, top with
remaining Cool Whip. Crush remaining
graham crackers & sprinkle crumbs over
the top.


Tomato Balsamic Chicken

2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 C. thinly sliced shallots
2 lb. bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 T. flour
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Hot cooked orzo (rice) or your
choice of cooked rices to serve 6
Place carrots & shallots in crockpot
& top with chicken. In a bowl whisk
flour & broth until smooth. Stir in
tomatoes, vinegar, oil, garlic &
seasonings – pour over chicken. Cover
& cook on Low until chicken & carrots
are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove chicken
from bones, shred slightly using 2 forks;
return to crockpot & heat through.
Serve with your choice of cooked rices.

Freezer Option:
Freeze cooked chicken mixture in
freezer containers. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Heat through
in saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cooked rice.


Crispy Fried Parmesan Turkey

1 1/2 lb. turkey cutlets (4)
2/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
1 T. water
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large plate (or pie plate) mix
flour, salt, poultry seasoning &
pepper. In another plate beat egg
& water. In third large plate mix
Panko & Parmesan cheese.
Bread turkey in this order:
Dip in egg, then flour, again egg,
then Panko. Press flour & bread
crumbs on really well & set aside
while heating skillet. In large cast
iron or heavy skillet heat butter &
oil over medium heat until butter
is totally melted & bubbling. Add
breaded cutlet (2 at a time) to
skillet & cook 3-4 minutes per
side until golden. Transfer to a
cookie sheet & cook rest. When
they are all browned, transfer to
oven 10 minutes to finish cooking.
If your cutlets are very thin (less
than 1/2 inch) you may be able to
cook them through in the skillet
without need for the oven.
(Internal temp. of meat should
read 160 degrees F. when done).
Makes 4 – serve warm.


Hot & Sour Soup

2 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. chili sauce or sriracha
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
(about 2 tsp)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. firm tofu, pressed until
drained & chopped into strips
1 C. shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C. cooked chicken, shredded
1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained/
finely chopped
6 C. chicken broth or stock (or veg. broth)
2 T. cornstarch
4 T. cold water
2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
black or white pepper, to taste
4 green onions, finely chopped

In large pot heat chicken broth over
medium-high heat & add cooked
chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots,
tofu, garlic, ginger, vinegars, chili sauce,
soy sauce & sugar – bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer 5 minutes. In small bowl
whisk cornstarch & 4 T. cold water until
smooth – gradually stir into soup. Cook
4-7 minutes until soup thickens. Slowly
pour beaten eggs in a thin stream while
stirring soup – cook 25 seconds.
Garnish: In small bowl mix oil, pepper &
onions. Ladle soup into bowls & garnish
with sesame mix. Serve hot. Serves 4
(2 C. servings)


Winter Black Bean Salsa

1 (16 oz) can black beans,
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen whole
kernel corn, thawed
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/4 C. fresh lime juice
1 envelope (Good Seasons)
Garlic & Herb salad dressing mix
2 T. chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. minced fresh jalapeno
pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Tortilla chips – for dipping

Mix all ingredients in large bowl
until well blended; cover &
refrigerate at least 15 minutes
before serving. Store leftover
salsa in airtight container in
fridge. Makes 32 (2 T. each)


Grandma’s Deviled Eggs

18 eggs
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place eggs in a soup pot & add
just enough water to cover eggs;
heat to boiling. When water is
boiling, remove pan from heat.
Cover & let stand 20 minutes.
Drain water & run cold water over
eggs. Add some ice cubes to water &
let cool 5-10 minutes. Peel eggs, slice
in half length-wise. Remove yolks to
a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise,
mustard, celery salt, salt & pepper;
mix well. Fill each egg half with
yolk mixture. Serve immediately or
cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Makes 36


Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars

6 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
1/3 C. butter
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. chopped pecans
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butterscotch chips & butter
in a saucepan over medium-low
heat; stir in cracker crumbs &
nuts. Press half of mixture onto
bottom of an ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. In another bowl
beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Stir in condensed milk; mix in
vanilla & egg – pour over
crumb mixture. Top with remaining
crumb mixture. Bake 25-30
minutes. Chill until firm then cut
into bars. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen



Have a great day!



More Appetizer recipes!

Knowing New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, I wanted to give you time to buy & prepare any appetizers you might want to make!


Warm Bacon/Blue Cheese Dip

8 oz. bacon, cut into small
pieces & cooked crisp
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz. blue cheese, room temp.
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 T. chopped fresh chives

Dippers: cut fresh veggies

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl combine garlic with
blue cheese, cream cheese, chives &
cooked bacon. Fill ramekins (small
oven-proof bowls) with cheese mixture.
Do not overfil. Cook 20 minutes until
you see the cheese start to melt. Serve
warm with fresh veggies. Garnish with
additional chives, if desired.
Makes 10 servings.

Three Olive Topenade

1 C. kalamata olives, pitted
1 C. large green olives, pitted
1 C. California olives, pitted
1 red bell pepper, roasted/cut
into 1″ pieces
4-5 cloves garlic
1 T. parsley, loosely chopped
1 T. basil, loosely chopped
3 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. capers
5 T. olive oil

In food processor place olives,
capers, garlic & red pepper – pulse
in 1-second intervals 10-15 tiems
& scrape down sides of bowl. Add
herbs, lemon juice & olive oil – pulse
another 10 times, stopping in the
middle to scrape down the bowl
sides. You want the pieces to be
1/8″ to 1/4″ in size and you want
to see all the colors of the olives &

Smoked Salmon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
juice from 1 lemon
2/3 oz. fresh baby dill, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. (about 1 C.) hot smoked
salmon (meat should be cold – hot
refers to the cooking process)
1/4 C. cooked bacon, crumbled

Dippers: crackers, crostini

In bowl of stand mixer, cream together:
cream cheese & lemon juice on High
speed several minutes until well
combined & fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl
then add dill, jalapeno & garlic – blend
until well mixed. Add salmon chunks &
bacon – mix until just combined. The
more you mix, the less salmon chunks
you will have.
Serve with crackers or crostini (or spread
on a bagel for breakfast!) Makes 2-3 C.

Spinach-Artichoke Puff Pastry

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach,
thawed/excess water squeezed out
2 (6 oz, ea) jars marinated artichoke
hearts, drained
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 clove garlic
1 C. Gruyere cheese, shredded (OR
substitute your favorite cheese)

1 (14 oz) pkg. puff pastry, thawed
(should contain 2 portions)
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with parchment
paper. In (7 C) food processor, combine
spinach, artichokes, cream cheese &
garlic – blend until smooth. Roll out
puff pastry to 10 X 10″ square (if it’s
already pre-rolled, use as is). Spread
half of filling across pastry, leaving a
1 inch strip at one end. Sprinkle with
half the cheese. Brush the 1 inch strip
with water. Starting at the end OPPOSITE
the water/strip, roll pastry up, press
gently to seal end. Brush the ‘roll’ with
beaten egg. Using a sharp knife, slice into
1/2 inch slices & arrange on a parchment-
lined baking sheet. Brush tops of slices
with more beaten egg. Bake 18-22 minutes
until lightly golden. Repeat with second
sheet of pastry & remaining ingredients.
Makes 30-35 pinwheels.

Southwestern Yogurt/Chicken
  (uses grill)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 (7 oz) tub plain Greek yogurt
4 tsp. southwestern seasoning
spice blend*
1 C. canned black beans, rinsed/
1 C. whole corn, drained
1 C. fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. red, yellow or orange bell
pepper, diced
1/4 C. Pepperoncini peppers,
chopped (about 3 peppers)
4 scallions, chopped
1 lime, juiced (optional)
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped-

8 oz. tortilla dipping chips
or pita chips

Heat lightly greased grill or
grill pan to medium-high heat.
Brush chicken with olive oil &
season with salt/pepper. Grill
breasts 7-8 minutes on each side.
Remove from grill & let cool 5-
10 minutes, then shred into bite-
sized pieces using a fork. In
medium bowl mix yogurt & spices.
Combine yogurt mixture with
shredded chicken, black beans,
corn, tomatoes, bell peppers,
pepperoncini & scallions. Squeeze
lime juice over (if desired) & toss
well to combine. Set aside 30
minutes to allow flavors to develop.

To serve:
Transfer dip to serving bowl & garnish
with chopped cilantro. Place bowl on
a platter & surround with tortilla or
pita chips (OR serve as individual
tortilla cups with chicken dip &
garnish with a cilantro leaf.)

Serves 6-8

*You can make your own seasoning

Mix together:
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

Restaurant-style Queso Blanco
(Crockpot recipe)

1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can petite cut
diced tomatoes with jalapenos,
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles,
1 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 lb. white American cheese (from the

tortilla chips, for dipping

Place onion in medium microwave-
save bowl; cover loosely with heavy-
duty plastic wrap & microwave on
High 2 minutes. Combine onion,
garlic & next 5 ingredients in 4 qt.
crockpot. Tear cheese slices into
large pieces & add to crockpot,
stirring until blended. Cover & cook
on Low 2 hours (do not overcook).
Stir dip before serving; keep warm.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 6 Cups

Easy Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

3 C. boneless/skinless chicken breast,
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. red pepper sauce
6 flour tortillas
3 C. Monterey Jack cheese (or
Mexican cheese blend) shredded

Ranch or Blue cheese salad dressing,
for dipping

In medium bowl place chicken. In
separate bowl stir melted butter &
pepper sauce until completely combined.
Pour sauce over cubed chicken & stir
to coat completely in sauce. Place large,
nonstick skillet or grill pan over medium-
low heat & allow to come to temperature.
Spray surface lightly with nonstick cooking
spray. Place 1 tortilla in skillet then
immediately add 1/2 C. shredded cheese to
cover one half of tortilla; spread 1/2 C.
buffalo chicken on top of cheese then fold
uncovered half on top of chicken/cheese.
Press down on tortilla using a spatula
to force cheese & chicken into contact
with heat, sealing top & bottom. Cook
on first side 2-3 minutes until golden
brown & crispy. Flip tortilla & cook 2-3
minutes on other side. If tortilla becomes too
brown before cheese melts, lower
temperature. Transfer cooked tortilla to
cutting board & cut into wedges. Serve
with Ranch or Blue cheese dressing for
dipping. Makes 8 quesdillas

Avocado Chipotle Shrimp

1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 lb. shrimp, raw/peeled/
deveined (size 51-60)
2 T. oil
juice of half lime (reserve other
half for avocados)
2 T. cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, pitted/cubed
juice of half lime
10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes,
salt/pepper, to taste

1 bag tortilla chips (Scoops)

Mix olive oil, chili powder, salt,
garlic powder & brown sugar in
medium bowl until completely
combined. Add shrimp & stir to
coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap &
refrigerate at least 1-4 hours.
After shrimp has marinated at least
1 hour, remove from fridge & drain
any excess liquid from bowl. Place a
large skillet over medium-high heat &
add 2 T. oil. When oil is hot, carefully
add shrimp & cook 1-2 minutes per side,
depending on size of shrimp. Transfer
to medium bowl & squeeze juice of half
lime over top. Sprinkle with chopped
cilantro & stir to combine – allow to cool
slightly. In another bowl stir avocado,
lime juice & tomatoes -season with salt/
pepper, to taste. Place approx. 2 tsp.
avocado mixture into each tortilla chip
‘scoop’ & top with a shrimp. Serve
immediately. Makes 25-30 servings.

Chicken Spread with Roasted

1 small zucchini
2 C. broccoli florets
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. lemon juice (or red wine
2 boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cooked
salt/pepper, to taste

Crackers, crostini or fresh veggies
for spreading mixture on

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove ends from zucchini & cut
in half lengthwise. Using a spoon,
remove all seeds & chop into 3/4″
pieces – place in large bowl. Add
broccoli florets, onion, bell pepper &
whole garlic cloves – drizzle with olive
oil & toss to coat. Spread vegetables
evenly on large rimmed baking sheet &
sprinkle with salt. Roast 18-22 minutes
until softened & brown around edges.
In large bowl stir cream cheese, garlic
powder, onion powder, basil & lemon
juice(or red wine vinegar). Place cooked
chicken in food processor & pulse until
very finely chopped – combine with
cream cheese mixture. Remove veggies
from oven & cool slightly then add to
food processor & pulse to desired
consistency. (You want to leave some
texture to veggies, but they still need to
be spreadable). Fold chopped veggies
into chicken mixture; season to taste
with salt/pepper. Cover & refrigerate
at least 2 hours. Remove from fridge
half hour before serving.
Serve with crackers, crostini or fresh
veggies. Makes 8 servings

Baked Rueben Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) can sauerkraut, rinsed/
drained & chopped
1/2 lb. deli sliced corned beef,
finely chopped
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 T. finely chopped onion
1 T. ketchup
1 T. spicy brown mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine all ingredients –
mix well & spoon into prepared
dish. Bake 25-30 minutes until
bubbly & golden. Serve warm.
Serves 6



I know that’s a LOT of recipes – ENJOY!!!




Savings and Searchings

Yesterday I ventured out to KMart and our local drug store (CVS); needed to go both places (and because they also had some great sales!). Found men’s gloves on sale (for youngest 2 sons), snow scrapers with brushes (also for 2 sons), husband needed new pillows (on sale) and it just kept going. Got to the register and the cashier asked if I had any bonus points (not that I knew of) so he checked – turns out I had $15.00 in bonus points! Kept going with the sale; by the time he was done I not only saved $$$ but also got a coupon for another $10.00 off (good the next week) – can ya say “SCORE!”? Went to CVS and it was another repeat; I used a $5.00 ‘CVS Extra Bucks” at the register and the cashier & manager were both saying: “We’ve never seen THIS before!” Turns out I got back another 2 coupons: one for $2.00 off and another for $8.00 off! YES! Shopping coupons and sales is a GREAT thing! Yes, I was HAPPY I went shopping!

Sometimes, when knitting, I kind of get bored with the patterns I’ve used a lot so I go looking for new ones. I have a large (probably 2 foot tall) pile of knitting books, booklets, etc. so I started going through those. That brought me to a pattern I had a photo of, but no pattern – that, in turn, started a search. (yes, you guessed it – THAT started ANOTHER search!). I ran across a pattern I’d done a good 5 years ago for a baby afghan. To shorten this story, that pattern was pretty complicated (got it from a lady at church who said: “Oh, it’s EASY!” – yeah, right…). Her comment challenged me to figure it out (which took a few hours) – finally boiled it down to something I COULD do and I made that blanket. Seeing a photo of the COMPLETE pattern spurred me on to “WHERE is that little booklet I originally had in which I’d broken down that pattern into something I could knit?” Much searching, (also finding about 8-10 other patterns I want to experiment with) finally found it! (I had been thinking the booklet cover was PINK – turns out the color of the blanket is PINK, not the booklet, but now I found it!) After looking it over, NO – I don’t think I want to tackle that one any time soon… As you can guess, I’ll be trying out those ‘found’ patterns a little later today. (Grin)

Since we’re getting close to New Year’s Eve (and probably parties) – here’s more PARTY recipes for ya:


Pineapple Lush Dessert Dip

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in juice, undrained
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Suggested dippers:
vanilla wafers

In medium bowl add dry pudding
mix to pineapple – whisk 2 minutes.
Stir in Cool Whip. Makes 26 (2 T.each)

Chicken Parmesan Snackers

2 oz (one fourth of an 8 oz pkg)
mozzarella cheese
1 cooked, small boneless/skinless
chicken breast half, cut into 16
thin slices
1/4 C. pasta sauce
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 cracked pepper & olive oil
wheat crackers (or just wheat

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut cheese into 8 slices, then
cut each slice in half. Place
chicken in small bowl & toss
with pasta sauce. Place crackers
in single layer on a baking sheet;
top with chicken mixture, cheese
& oregano. Bake 5-6 minutes
until cheese melts.
Makes 8 servings (2 crackers each)

Hawaiian Pineapple Spread

2 (5 oz, ea) jars Kraft Pineapple
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 slices cooked ham, finely chopped
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 green onions, sliced

Assorted crackers and/or
fresh cut up veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients until blended;
spread on bottom of a 9-inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes
until heated through.
Makes 28 (2 T. each) servings.

Lasagna Bites

6 lasagna noodles
kosher salt
2 C. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 T. chopped parsley,
plus more for garnish
ground black pepper
1 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
pot boiling, salted water, cook
noodles to al dente. Drain &
lie flat on baking sheet. In
medium bowl combine ricotta
cheese, egg & 1 T. parsley; mix
until well combined then season
with salt/pepper. Cut lasagna
noodles in half crosswise. Spread
a thin layer of ricotta onto each
noodle then roll up; cut rolled
noodle in half, crosswise. Place
‘bites’ on same greased baking
sheet & spoon marinara onto each
bite then sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese
has melted & bites are warmed
through. Garnish with more parsley
& serve warm. Serves 8

Crispy Dry Rub Chicken Wings

12 chicken wings/drums
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. garlic salt

(dipping sauce recipe to follow)

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
In a bowl combine wings, baking
powder & garlic salt – toss to coat.
Lay wings in a single layer on a rack
over foil-lined sheet pan. Bake 30
minutes; turn heat up to 450 degrees F
& bake an additional 35-45 minutes
until golden brown & crispy. Serves 6
Honey Dipping Sauce:

1 C. honey
2 T. water
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

In small saucepan, combine
ingredients & simmer 2-3
minutes, being careful not
to let it boil over. Remove
from heat & let stand 30
minutes. Pour into bowl
& serve with wings.


2-ingredient Lemon Bars

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (15.75 oz) can Lemon Pie filling

(optional toppings:)
powdered sugar
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix cake mix & pie filling
until moist & well blended –
do not over stir. Pour batter into
pan & bake 20-23 minutes until
golden brown on top. Sprinkle top
with powdered sugar (optional)
and/or whipped cream.


Bacon-Pierogi Bites

14 slices bacon, cut in half
1 (12 oz) pkg. mini potato &
Cheddar pierogies*, thawed
1/4 C. light brown sugar

sour cream – for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
Wrap bacon around center of
each pierogi & place on prepared
sheet; sprinkle tops evenly with
brown sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes
until bacon is crisp. Serve with
sour cream, for dipping.
Serves 4

*sold in frozen foods – usually
by frozen potatoes/hashbrowns

Cheesy Crab Poppers

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C. milk
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (10 oz) container lump crab
meat, drained well
2 C. vegetable oil

In large bowl combine corn
muffin mix, bread crumbs,
Cheddar cheese, cream cheese,
butter, egg, milk, scallions, salt
& cayenne pepper – mix well.
Gently stir in crab meat until
combined; form mixture into
1 1/2 inch balls.
In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat
vegetable oil over medium-high
heat until hot. Place several crab
balls in oil, making sure not to
overcrowd. Cook 4-5 minutes until
golden brown, stirring occasionally-
remove to paper towel-lined plate
to drain. Repeat with remaining
balls. Serve warm. Makes 30

Bread Bowl Fondue

1 ( 1 to 1 1/2 lb) loaf plain
rye bread, unsliced
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. sliced scallions (7-8)
3 oz. bacon bits
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut top off bread loaf, about
1/3 of the way down (set top
aside). Hollow out inside of bread,
leaving about 1 inch bread around
edges (like a wall). Cut bread that
was removed from insides into
1-inch cubes; spread cubes on a
baking sheet. In large bowl, mix
remaining ingredients until well
blended. Spoon mixture into
hollowed-out bread loaf & replace
top on bread. Wrap bread bowl
in double layer of foil. Bake
60-70 minutes. Place bread cubes
in oven during last 15 minutes of
baking, until crisp. Carefully remove
foil from bread bowl & place on
a serving plate. Serve with toasted
cubes, for dipping. Makes 5 1/2 C.



I still have more appetizer recipes
so I’ll probably post them (you could
always tuck them away for later!).

Our weather is cold but not unbearable-
snowed a tiny bit last night (maybe an
inch?). Living in Michigan all my life, I’ve
gotten used to our winters (except when
we get dumped with tons of snow OR
have a ‘Deep Freeze’ with temps at or
below zero – then I complain!

Stay warm, take a little time for yourself
to relax, re-coup, and get on with your day.



Getting Closer to the New Year…

With the New Year fast approaching, I thought I’d post more appetizer & dip recipes for you.


4 Ingredient Cheese Ball

24 oz. cream cheese, softened,
(3 pkgs)
1 jar Kraft Roka Blue Cheese
1 jar Kraft Old English cheese
spread (or American cheese spread)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans,

assorted crackers, for dipping

In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
all ingredients (except nuts) until
smooth. Place a large piece of
plastic wrap in a small bowl &
scoop cheese mixture into wrap.
Using the plastic wrap, shape
cheese mixture into a ball.
Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Remove
ball from fridge & take off
plastic wrap. Place sliced almonds
on a plate (or pie plate) & roll
cheese ball in nuts to coat. Place
ball on a serving plate & serve
with assorted crackers. Makes
1 ball.

3-Ingredient Nacho Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (your choice)
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded 4-Cheese
Mexican blend cheese

corn chips – for dipping

Optional toppings for serving:
diced avocado,
sliced olives, cherry tomatoes
cut in half, chopped green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread cream cheese evenly in
bottom of a medium baking dish*.
Pour salsa over top & spread to
cover the cream cheese. Sprinkle
shredded cheese on top. Bake
15-20 minutes until hot & bubbly.
Garnish with optional toppings
shredded cheese on top. Serve
with corn chips for dipping.
Serves 10

* poster used deep dish pie plate
4-ingredient Chicken Taquitos

10 (6 inch) soft flour tortillas
1 C. cooked, finely diced chicken
1 C. (Sargento) 4-Cheese Mexican
shredded cheese
1/3 C. salsa or taco sauce

Optional garnishes:
salsa, guacamole, sour cream,
sliced black or green olives,
sliced green onion

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl stir chicken, cheese &
salsa. Divide chicken mixture evenly
down the side of each tortilla. Roll
up tortilla & place on foil-lined
baking sheet; repeat with rest of
ingredients. Spray tops of taquitos
with nonstick cooking spray (to
help them brown & crisp in oven).
Bake 15-20 minutes until crispy.
Makes 10

Crockpot Chicken Nachos

1 (1 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
8 oz. tortilla chips
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Additional toppings:
sliced black olives, sliced green
onions, guacamole, sliced avocado,
sour cream, salsa, chopped jalapeno

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Place
chicken in bottom of crockpot;
sprinkle with taco seasoning &
pour salsa on top. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours (or Low 6-8
hours). When chicken is done,
using 2 forks – shred chicken &
return to crockpot. Keep chicken
warm in crockpot until ready to
serve with nachos. Place tortilla
chips on a large serving platter.
Spoon hot, shredded chicken over
chips & top with shredded cheese.
(Cheese will melt from heat of
chicken – OR you can place the
nachos under the broiler for
a few minutes to get the cheese
crispy & browned on top).
Garnish with additional toppings
of your choice. Serves 8

Southwestern Egg Rolls

1 C. finely diced, cooked chicken
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. whole kernel corn
1/4 C. black beans, rinsed/drained
4 T. salsa (plus additional, for
4-Cheese Mexican blend shredded
cheese (about 1/3 C.)
8 egg roll wrappers*

garnish: sliced green onion

Dipping: salsa, sour cream,

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix chicken, taco
seasoning, corn, beans & salsa.
Spoon about 2 T. mixture on
bottom third of one egg roll
wrapper; top with about 1 tsp.
cheese. Fold sides toward
center & roll tightly. (Keep
the remaining wrappers covered
with a damp paper towel until
ready to use to prevent drying
out.) Place egg roll, seam-side
down on baking sheet – repeat
with remaining wrappers. Spray
tops of egg rolls with nonstick
cooking spray (helps them turn
golden brown & crispy). Bake
10-15 minutes until lightly
browned. Makes 8
Recipe can be doubled.

*You can find egg roll wrappers
in most grocery stores in the
fresh vegetable section.

Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

12 slider buns (or Hawaiian
rolls, sliced)
3/4 to 1 C. pizza or pasta sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. pepperoni slices
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking
spray. Cut slider/buns in half &
place bottoms in prepared dish.
Spread pizza/pasta sauce on
bun bottoms. Top each with
pepperoni slices using as
many as you like. Slice
mozzarella into 12 slices &
place 1 slice on each bottom;
replace bun tops on sliders.
In small bowl combine Parmesan,
melted butter, garlic powder,
basil & oregano – mix & spread
over tops of rolls. Cover with
foil & bake 25 minutes. Remove
foil & bake 5 more minutes.
Serve immediately.
Makes 12 sliders

Creamy Mushroom Tartlets

1 T. butter or margarine
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms,
finely chopped
1/2 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in large nonstick
skillet on medium heat. Add
mushrooms; cook 5 minutes
until tender, stirring frequently.
Add cream cheese spread &
Parmesan; cook & stir 1 minutes
until cream cheese melts. Remove
from heat. Unroll dough into 2
long rectangles; firmly press
perforations & seams together
to seal. Cut each rectangle into
12 squares. Place 1 square in
each of 24 mini muffin cups
with corners of squares extending
over rims of cups. Firmly press
dough onto bottom & up side of
each cup. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp.
mushroom mixture in each cup.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden
brown. Sprinkle tops with parsley.
Cool in pan 5 minutes before
serving. Makes 12 servings.


I had great plans of going to KMart for
some SALE shopping today but woke
up to more snow on the ground – sigh.
We’ll see about the shopping – hopefully
the roads will clear up a little. My middle
son will be having his 29th birthday
January 4th, so I’d like to see if I can
find a few things for him. THIS son is
one that loves lots of things but also
is happy with things he NEEDS. We
helped him out with a little bill paying
for his Christmas gift (that’s what he
asked for) but also gave him SOCKS,
which he needed. (I love this son for
his honesty – he opened the socks &
said: “I really need underwear…” so
guess what he’s getting for part of
his birthday presents! He also REALLY
needs gloves & a snow brush/scraper.
Both younger sons seem to lose those
items EVERY winter – sigh. (the snow
brush I have in my car is a good 30+
years old and still works just fine! I even
use it to brush stuff off the floor of my
car during the non-winter months – it’s
really held up!

Not much going on around here lately –
I cooked a half ham yesterday, just so
we’d have meat to go with all the leftover
sides that are still in our fridge! (and, it
makes great sandwiches, too!). Looking
at some (new to me) knit patterns to
start another ‘needy’ scarf – I have tons
of yarn so knitting scarves makes sense
in the winter. I LOVE my knitting – I
don’t knit for me – I knit for charity
simply because I can knit all the patterns
me, it’s a win/win situation.

Hope you are staying nice & warm (and
healthy)!  Don’t know about you, but
my scale is registering more pounds
than I’d like right now – almost time
to start working on losing some weight-



The calm after the holiday

Here in Michigan we’re digging out, again, from all the snow we got the last week or so. First we got EIGHT inches in one day, then Christmas Day we got a good 4 inches more. NOW we’re into the ‘deep freeze’ – it’s not snowing but it’s REALLY cold! Today at around 8:30 a.m. it was -4 (and that’s not counting the wind chill factor). It’s kind of one of those “don’t go out unless you HAVE to!” things. The roads are clear – now – so driving is better but you’d better wear LOTS of layers of clothing/coats/jackets/hats/scarves/gloves-mittens, etc. I babysat yesterday from 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. but needed to get gas first; let’s just say I was very glad to have a heavy coat with a hood so that I could pull the hood up over my hat – pumping gas on a very cold, windy day is not recommended; from the weather report, it’s going to be COLD all week. (looking at my cell phone, it just says COLD for each day, so you know it’s not your regular temperatures.)

This is the week I always feel ‘out of sorts’ – it’s not a regular week day, it’s not exactly a holiday; you kind of forget which ‘day’ it is without the ‘usual’ activities (for me it seems strange not having a Knit Night OR my special needs group). Cooking is really not needed as we plow through the leftovers (not complaining, mind you). I plan on finishing the knit  ‘young girls white & pink scarf’ I started last week, another needy donation thing.

One more photo from Christmas; you’ll note the baby has pink ‘goo’ smeared all over him (that’s my Pink Fluff dessert they decided to let him try). This photo was taken just before he had a quick bath & bed, so for him, it was the end of a VERY busy day.

He had on a really cute one-piece outfit that made him look like he was wearing a tuxedo!


With New Year’s Eve festivities approaching, I thought I’d post appetizers & dips for those of you who are having parties


Sausage & Cheese Dip

1 lb. breakfast sausage
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C. sliced green onions
1/4 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning,
to taste (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. dried parsley
Assorted crackers, chips or mixed
raw vegetables for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown sausage in an oven-safe
skillet or casserole dish; drain &
return sausage to skillet. Add cheeses
& cook over Low heat, stirring often,
until cheese has melted. Blend in
remaining ingredients; taste &
adjust to your liking. Bake, uncovered,
30-40 minutes until heated through &
bubbly around edges. Serve warm with
suggested dippers. Serves 4-6


Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough*
3/4 lb. ham, sliced very thin
8 oz. Swiss cheese, sliced very thin
8 T. butter, melted
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. poppy seeds**
1 T. chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Unroll dough into large
rectangle about 13″ X 8″. Layer ham on
top of dough to cover it completely; layer
cheese in same fashion over ham. Starting
at one long end, tightly roll up dough, jelly
roll style, pinching the end to seal. Cut the
loaf crosswise into 12 equal pieces & arrange
on prepared dish. Whisk butter, brown sugar,
mustard & poppy seeds together & pour
evenly over rolls. Bake 25-30 minutes until
golden brown. Sprinkle top with parsley,
if desired. Makes 12 pinwheels.
Rolls can be stored, unbaked, up to 24
hours refrigerated, covered with foil, before

*You can substitute pizza dough with crescent
rolls, using 1 1/2 tubes (8 oz, ea)

**You can substitute sesame seeds for poppy


Chicken Zucchini Poppers

2 C. zucchini, grated (skins on),
about 2 small
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 yellow onion, finely minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/finely
minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix zucchini, chicken,
onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, paprika
& pepper until combined. Scoop
heaping tablespoons of mixture onto
prepared sheet, spacing at least 1 inch
apart. Bake 18-20 minutes until centers
are firm. Remove from oven, move oven
rack to top position; set oven to Broil.
Sprinkle tops of poppers with Parmesan
cheese. Broil poppers until tops are
light brown & crispy. Makes 36
Serve alone or with your favorite dipping

Bacon Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large eggs
4 slices bacon
2 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dill pickle relish
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
scallions, chopped – garnish

Place eggs in large pot & add
water to cover eggs by at least
an inch. Bring water to full,
rolling boil; set timer for 2 minutes.
After pot has been at a full boil for
2 minutes, remove from heat &
place on cool part of stove – reset
timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes
carefully drain hot water & cover eggs
with cold water until they are cool
enough to peel – peel eggs. Rinse
peeled eggs under cold water to remove
any shell. Cook bacon over medium heat
until crispy, turning halfway through.
Drain on paper towels & cool – reserve
drippings for filling. Cut each hard boiled
egg in half lengthwise; remove yolks to
small bowl (reserve whites for filling).
Place cooked yolks in a bowl & mash
well with a fork; add mayonnaise, bacon
drippings, mustard, vinegar & pickle
relish – stir until combined. Season with
salt/pepper & spoon or pipe filling into
reserved egg white halves. Crumble bacon
into large pieces & stick bits of bacon on
top of each egg half; sprinkle with chopped
scallions, if using. Makes 24

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Wings

4-5 lb. chicken wings, rinsed/dried
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. orange juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 T. garlic, minced
2 T. fresh grated ginger
1/2 C. honey
3 T. rice vinegar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 C. water
2 T. cornstarch
sesame seeds – garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. (if you are making
5 lb. wings, you will need 2 sheets).
Do not over crowd wings on pan or
they won’t become crispy. You can
place a wire cooling rack on sheet
to enhance crispness. In large bowl
place wings; lightly salt & pepper.
Sprinkle baking powder over wings,
tossing to lightly dust each wing –
place on prepared sheet. Space
wings as far apart as possible; bake
45-55 minutes, turning once or
twice during cooking time. (NOTE:
each time you turn the wings, spoon
off any liquid that accumulates on
bottom of pan – this helps wings
develop a crispier texture.
In medium saucepan add soy sauce,
orange juice, lemon juice, garlic,
ginger, honey vinegar, brown sugar &
red pepper flakes – cook over medium
heat – bring to full rolling boil then
reduce heat to medium-low & simmer
sauce 8-9 minutes to reduce & thicken.
In small bowl stir water & cornstarch.
Remove sauce from heat momentarily-
whisk in cornstarch mixture & stir until
completely combined – return pan to heat.
Turn heat to medium & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to Low & simmer 1 minute.
Remove sauce from heat & cover.
When wings are cooked through & crispy,
transfer to a large bowl & toss desired
amount of sauce with them. You can also
spoon sauce over wings directly in pan
if desired. Reserve extra sauce for dipping.
Transfer coated wings back to baking
sheet & return to oven 8-10 minutes until
glaze becomes dark & sticky. Remove from
oven & spoon a little sauce from pan onto
wings for extra flavor. Sprinkle tops with
sesame seeds & allow wings to cool a
few minutes before serving. Serves 12


Cranberry-Eggnog Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 large egg
1 C. eggnog
1/4 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. whole-berry cranberry

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease or line with paper
liners 12 muffin cups.
In large bowl whisk first 5
ingredients. In another bowl
whisk egg, eggnog & melted
butter until blended – add to
flour mixture & stir just until
moistened. Spoon 1 T. batter
in bottom of each cup. Drop
1 tsp. cranberry sauce into
center of each & top with
remaining batter & cranberry
sauce. Cut through batter with
a knife to swirl. Bake 15-18
minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes on a rack before
removing from pan to cool.
Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins


I’m sure there will be more dips &
appetizer recipes in the next few days
so, hopefully, you’ll find something you

Enjoy these next few days before more
holiday activities (if you’re partying on
New Years). Remember to STAY HEALTHY
(if you can) and take a break/relax a bit
just to re-charge your energy!



Christmas Eve, 2017

And so it’s Christmas Eve – this day started out with church & singing in the choir. Our choir director and his lovely wife (who is also our accompanist) are in another state for the holidays SOooooooo we did something we have never done before – we sang to a CD of the music. I must say – it took a bit of work as most are not used to that idea, but after practicing, we actually nailed it in the final performance so I was happy (as, I’m sure, was our assistant director!). During church I got a text from middle son asking if he & his girlfriend could take my husband & I out for lunch (as their Christmas gift to us) – so we went to a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant (girlfriend is Vegan & son is getting there). This was my second try at that type of food and I did my best NOT to let them know I really didn’t like ANYTHING I’d ordered – I DID try, though! Not my idea of a good idea; I had Garlic Almond Ghallaba with chicken: “Assorted sautéed vegetables and your choice of meat blended together with rice, almonds & garlic”; it also came with more roasted (BIG CHUNKS) veggies: green pepper, carrots, zucchini, onion. If nothing else, it was filling (I told my husband he gets ALL of my ‘takeout/leftovers’ – I’m really not interested). BUT…it’s the thought that counts, right? (son & girlfriend were really enjoying their foods).


(A few last minute recipes – just in case you might need them)

Caramelized Onion Dip

2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
3 lb. yellow onions, cut in
half lengthwise & crosswise
into 1/4″ slices
2 T. brown sugar
salt/black pepper
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream

chopped chives – garnish (optional)

Heat butter & oil in heavy medium
saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions & sugar – cook, stirring
constantly, until soft & golden, about
15-20 minutes. Season with salt/pepper.
Stir in vinegar & simmer until mixture is
dry. Add hot sauce (if using). Remove from
heat & allow to cool slightly.
Mix cream cheese until smooth in large
bowl. Fold in sour cream & caramelized
onions – season with salt/pepper. Garnish
with chives, if using.
Can be eaten warm or chilled.
Makes 2 Cups

Pretzel-ring Beer Cheese Dip

1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
plus more for sprinkling
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped chives (more for
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. beer (suggested: Guinness)
ground black pepper
2 T. baking soda
1 can Pillsbury Grands! biscuits
egg wash (1 egg + 1 T. water, mixed)
coarse salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl combine cheeses,
cream cheese, mustard, chives,
garlic powder & beer- season with

In small saucepan bring 2 C. water
& baking soda to a boil. Reduce to
a simmer. Cut each biscuit in half &
roll into a ball then cut an X slice
across top of each ball. Drop into
simmering water & cook 1 minute.
Remove using a slotted spoon –
transfer to a cast-iron skillet
forming a ring around skillet. Brush
biscuits with egg wash & sprinkle
tops with coarse salt. Transfer
cheese dip to center of skillet &
smooth top. Sprinkle top of dip
with more Cheddar cheese. Bake
until biscuits are golden & dip
is warmed through, 33-35 minutes.
Garnish with chopped chives & serve.
Serves 6

Cheesy Cauliflower/Bacon Dip

4 C. small cauliflower florets
(about 1/2 large head)
1/2 C. water
4 slices bacon
1/2 C. finely chopped yellow onions
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) shredded Italian
5-cheese blend, divided
1 T. sliced green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In food processor, process cauliflower
until pea-sized pieces. Place in large
microwaveable bowl & stir in water.
Microwave on High 3 minutes; stir.
(goal is crisp-tender). If necessary,
continue microwaving 2 minutes until
any larger cauliflower pieces are crisp-
tender; drain. Cook bacon in medium
skillet on medium heat until crisp;
remove to paper towel-lined plate.
Discard all but 1 T. drippings. Add
onions to drippings; cook 3-4 minutes
until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Add cream cheese & hot sauce; cook &
stir 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is
completely melted & well blended. Stir
in cauliflower, mayo & 1 1/2 C. cheese;
smooth top. Crumble bacon; sprinkle
over dip & top with remaining shredded
cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until dip
is heated through & top is brown;
sprinkle top with green onions &
serve. Makes 32 (2 T. each) servings.


Crockpot Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes, peeled/cut
into chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 C. water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place garlic cloves in a small square of
foil; wrap foil up like a Hershey kiss
candy. Place peeled/chopped potatoes
into crockpot & season well with salt/
pepper. Place foil/garlic packet into
potatoes. Place chicken bouillon granules
into a large 2-Cup measuring cup & stir in
1 C. warm water until dissolved – pour over
potatoes. Cut 4 T. butter into small pieces
& place in random spots over potatoes.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours or Low
7-8 (depending on how fast your crockpot
When potatoes are fork-tender, remove foil
packet; open it – smash garlic with a fork &
add half of it back into crockpot. (If you want
more garlic taste, add more after everything
is mixed together – best to start with a little).
Pour 1/2 C. milk, 4 T. butter & 1/3 C. sour
cream into crockpot & mix, using elec. mixer
until all is smooth. You can add more milk
if they are too thick. Taste & add more salt/
pepper/garlic, if needed. Serves 10-12


Cranberry-Orange Cake

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
1 C. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 1 orange – (about 1 T.)
juice of an orange
1/2 C. butter
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 C. fresh cranberries

1 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk/water or orange

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Sprinkle 2 T. sugar in
bottom of sprayed pan. Sprinkle
1/4 C. cranberries on top of sugar.
Cream butter & sugar until sugar
turns a lemon color, about 4-5
minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
mix until incorporated. Add orange
juice & zest, then sour cream. When
fully incorporated, add flour, salt &
baking powder – mix well. Stir in
remaining 1 1/4 C. cranberries; pour
into prepared pan & bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
near center comes out clean. Let
stand 5 minutes after removing
from oven. Invert cake onto a wire
rack to cool.
Mix glaze ingredients & spread on
top & sides of cake. Serve.


Chocolate Churro Dip

1 tube refrigerated biscuit dough
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. cinnamon sugar
2 C. Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an oven-safe 10″ skillet
with nonstick cooking spray. Cut
each biscuit in half & roll into
balls. Dunk each ball in melted
butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar.
Place around the perimeter of the
skillet to form a ring. Biscuit
pieces should be touching. Pour/
scoop Nutella into center of skillet
& bake 25 minutes until biscuits
are golden & cooked through. Let
stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm. Serves 6

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

Caramel Sauce:
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 C. heavy cream
3 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1 C. flour
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. granulated sugar
6 T. softened butter
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. salt

Caramel Sauce:
Heat sugar & water in small
saucepan on medium heat to
melt sugar. Continue cooking &
swirling sugar until it turns an
amber color. Whisk in sea salt &
heavy cream (mixture will bubble
up violently, briefly). Continue
whisking until sauce is smooth.
Stir in butter & vanilla.

Combine all crumble ingredients using
an elec. mixer. Mixture will be crumbly
but stay together when squeezed. Place
sliced apples in a bowl with lemon juice.
Cook apples in a large cast iron skillet
over medium-low heat in butter to draw
out moisture. Sprinkle with salt to draw
out all moisture possible. Drain & place
back in skillet. (about 5-7 minutes cooking
time). Pour 3/4 of prepared caramel
sauce into apples & gently stir. Top with
crumble topping & bake 20 minutes.
Serve with remaining caramel sauce.
Serves 6


Weather-wise, our temps. dropped severely –
it’s now 19 degrees and snowing. We’re supposed
to get 1-3 inches; while we were at the restaurant
it was coming down a LOT. Going home was pretty
slippery  – SO glad we only live about 7 minutes
away AND don’t have to go out again today/tonight!

All I have left to ‘do’ is wrap presents and (maybe)
put together the 2 casseroles together & refrigerate
overnight (easy day!).

Stay warm, SAFE and remember to relax a bit in
between ‘adventures’!



Getting Closer . . .

Got a few more decorations up yesterday (not many) and still no tree – it will come. Hope you are getting the last minute things done you hoped you would/could. Still struggling with lack of energy and tomorrow I babysit – really hoping it’s ONLY 10:15 a.m. – 3:30! Learned yesterday that youngest son is going to be able to join us for Christmas dinner – YAY! In going over all the various canned/boxed foods I bought for the various dishes for Christmas dinner I discovered I missed a good 5-7 cans green beans for the Green Bean Casserole! Got to thinking about it (after searching all over and in my car) – I remembered getting into a good 15 minute conversation with one of the older men that works at one of the grocery stores I frequent – and, said conversation was just when I was trying to decide how many cans of green beans to buy. Guess the ‘conversation/distraction’ was enough to cause me to totally forget to buy them! UGH! Well, I ‘was’ kind of planning on going out for a short trip to the drug store (I’m searching for something I SHOULD have bought a few weeks ago when I saw them) – wanted to buy one of those really big Hershey’s Kisses for the baby’s Mom (just a little something ‘extra’, but it seems they are sold out in places I go). Have fully decided I’m NOT going to WalMart, KMart or Meijers, even IF they have them – too tired, still, to battle crowds – might just ‘go without.’ These past few days of realizing I’m NOT as healthy as I’d hoped brings back a saying my good friend Mary (Momma) shared with me:

What I have   –          is enough
What I am      –          is enough
What I do       –          is enough
What I’ve achieved – is enough

I’ve notice, through the years, that EVERY Christmas I do the same thing: buy presents that I think are nice/heartfelt/something the person receiving them will enjoy THEN, when it comes REALLY CLOSE to the actual day-I begin to doubt if it’s ENOUGH. That’s NOT a good thing – hence, why Mary’s saying really hits home. I just have to re-read the saying and APPLY IT! (Have you ever had that situation?)


Pie Crust Pinwheel Cinnamon

2 pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
2/3 C. sugar (option: mix half white & half
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 to 2 1/2 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In small bowl combine sugar(s)
& cinnamon. Roll pie crusts on on a clean,
lightly floured surface & roll each out into
a large rectangle. Brush melted butter over
dough, then evenly sprinkle cinnamon/sugar
mixture on top. Starting with long end, roll
dough over itself to create a long log. Cut
log into 1-inch rounds then transfer to sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes until cookies are light
golden. Remove from oven & let cool 2 minutes
before transferring to a wire rack to cool
completely. Makes approx. 2 dozen


Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices deli ham
2 chicken breasts, cooked/sliced thinly
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 T. honey
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a pie pan (or 9″ baking pan) with
nonstick cooking spray. Remove rolls
from pkg; lay out in long rectangle –
pinch seams together well. Sprinkle
Italian seasoning on. Layer: Swiss
cheese, then ham then chicken breast.
Roll up like a cinnamon roll & cut into
8-10 rolls/rounds. Place rolls on pie pan
& bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
Mix honey & Dijon & serve in a small
bowl as a dip. Makes 4 servings

Sausage Cream Cheese Crescents

16 oz. bulk sausage, cooked/crumbled
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cooked
sausage, cream cheese & Cheddar
cheese. Separate rolls into triangles;
cut each triangle in half, lengthwise.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon meat
mixture onto each roll & roll up.
Place on cookie sheets & bake about
15 minutes until golden brown.

Ham & Swiss Rolls (appetizer)

1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1 onion, minced
1 C. butter, melted
4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
2 T. poppy seeds
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
4 pkgs. small dinner rolls
1 lb. shaved deli ham

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Combine mustard, onion, butter,
cheese, poppy seeds & Worc.
sauce in small bowl. Using a
serrated knife, slice an entire
pkg. of rolls in half horizontally.
Spread bottom half of rolls with
1/4 of mustard mixture, top with
1/4 lb. ham & replace top bun.
Place rolls on a sheet pan lined
with foil – repeat with remaining
rolls & ingredients. Bake 20-30
minutes until thoroughly heated.

Artichoke/Garlic/Herb Cream
Cheese Spread

1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichokes,
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 tsp. dried garlic
1/2 tsp. chopped chives
1/2 tsp. chopped dill weed
1/2 tsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. dried red & green pepper
flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Chop artichokes in blender or food
processor. Combine all ingredients
in medium bowl & chill several hours.
Serve with toasted bread, pita chips
or crackers. Makes 1 1/2 C.


Creamy Broccoli-Bacon Bake

6 C. small broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia
cream cheese spread
2 T. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked/chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large saucepan filled with
boiling water add broccoli &
carrots – cook 2-3 minutes until
crisp-tender. Drain, reserving
1/4 C. cooking water. Mix next
3 ingredients in a bowl until
blended. Return cooked vegs.
to saucepan; add cream cheese
spread & onion – stir until
veggies are evenly coated with
sauce, adding reserved cooking
water, if necessary, for desired
consistency. Spray a 2-qt.
casserole dish with nonstick
cooking spray & spoon mixture
into dish. Top with shredded
cheese & bacon – cover with foil.
Bake 25 minutes until heated
through – uncover for last 5
minutes of cooking time.
Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)


Crockpot Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 T. taco seasoning
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken
1 (10.5 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes
(diced tomatoes w/green chilies)
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese (poster
uses sharp Cheddar & mozzarella,

Tortilla chips
sour cream
sliced avocado

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In a
large skillet brown meat; drain
& add taco seasoning. Add
soup, Ro*Tel, beans & corn –
stir well & pour into crockpot.
Sprinkle top with cheese. Cover
& cook on Low 2-3 hours.
Serve with desired toppings.
Serves 4-6

NOTE: This recipe can also be
made in the oven:
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix ingredients together (after
cooking meat) & pour into
prepared dish. Bake 30 minutes.


Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled/grated
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled/chopped
2-3 T. olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken plus 1 C.
reserved broth from bottom of container
7 C. water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16 oz) pkg. Potato Gnocchi
(Gnocchi are Italian dumplings &
can usually be found in grocery stores
by the dried pastas – might also be
found in the frozen sections)
4 C. Half & Half
1 1/2/ C. spinach, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 T. cornstarch
2 T. butter

Heat a large soup pot over medium-
high heat & heat oil. When oil is hot,
add chopped veggies – cook over
medium-high heat, stirring occasionally
5-8 minutes until onions are translucent.
Remove skin from chicken & meat from
bones – chop meat. Pour broth from
chicken container & 7 C. hot water into
pot; add chicken bouillon cubes & stir;
add chopped chicken & bring to boil.
Pour gnocchi into boiling pot & return
to boil. Cook 3-4 minutes – gnocchi will
be cooked through when they float to
top of broth. Add spinach, Half & Half,
thyme, nutmeg, sugar & 2 T. butter to
pot, stir & bring to boil.
In small bowl combine 1/4 C. cold water
& 5 T. cornstarch – mix well & pour into
pot. Bring soup to boil while stirring – it
will thicken as it reaches a boil. Season
with salt/pepper & serve. Serves 12


Strawberry/Banana Cheesecake

1 (8 oz)  pkg. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. vanilla yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. cheesecake-flavored
instant pudding or pie filling mix
1/2 bag miniature marshmallows
3 pints strawberries, cleaned/sliced
4 bananas, sliced
1 container raspberries (optional)

In large bowl mix cream cheese, yogurt,
pudding mix & Cool Whip until creamy.
Stir in marshmallows/fold in fruit.
Garnish top of bowl with additional
fruit, if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Fudge Pie

2/3 C. evaporated milk
1/2 of a 12 oz. pkg. semisweet
chocolate morsels
2 T. butter
1 C. sugar
2 T. flour
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans

1 (unbaked) pie crust

fresh whipped cream, for
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place first 3 ingredients in a
microwave-safe bowl & heat
on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes
until melted & smooth, whisking
at 30 second intervals. Whisk
sugar & flour into chocolate
mixture; add eggs, 1 at a time,
whisking just until blended after
each addition. Whisk in vanilla &
salt; stir in pecans. Pour mixture
into pie shell & bake 35-40 minutes
until set. Cool 10 minutes before
Serve with fresh whipped cream.



Have a great day – and TRY to stay healthy!