Another beautiful day!


You all know how I kind of have a habit of ‘attempting/trying’ NEW THINGS? Well, the photo above is a blanket made of knit MITERED squares – I tried doing this a few years ago and did not succeed very well – YEP, gonna try it again. This time I’m going to make the squares small, using various baby & sport-weight yarns; object – make a baby blanket for the Detroit Vet’s Baby Shower using up my tons of scrap yarns! We’ll see how this proceeds. Also currently working on knitting up more baby headbands for the Baby Shower – another great ‘scrap yarn’ project.101_0072

(These are some of the baby headbands I did for last year’s baby shower)

I like doing these because it takes me about an hour, all totaled to make one and not very much yarn – quick/fun project! Still plugging away at the crocheted yellow “Diagonal Box Stitch” afghan – just started on the decrease part.

Lately I’m attempting another ‘new’ project – loading all the (TONS) of photos of my Knit group from 2007 to the present onto the new Facebook Groups page. Just finished wrapping up 2011 if that gives you any idea of the magnitude of this one. I quick copied the photos just before closing the site – attempting to make note of the dates/names/etc. of each one – this is NOT a fun thing to do but needs to be done. Am plugging away on this one, about an hour a day, so far. Tomorrow is the FIRST group meeting with (perhaps) new people who asked to join the group on Facebook. The old Meetup group (after I’d pared it down a LOT) numbered 90 – the new site is now UP to 38 people; I’d MUCH rather have people listed in my group who will actually SHOW UP for meetings! Most of the people listed on Meetup NEVER came to a meeting. When I first began paring down the member list I started at 138 people; from that I left people I knew and anyone who’d signed up in 2015 – that ended me up with 90. Anxious to see how many show up tomorrow. Oh! I also added a “Yarn Swap” to the mix to tomorrow – that’s when you bring in anything pertaining to knit/crochet that you no longer use/need and then take any item(s) you see that you might want! Yarn, needles/hooks/books/patterns – anything! What’s fun for me is sometimes people bring in little balls of yarn that they don’t want and usually no one else wants them, either! Score for me! Little balls of yarn can be used for baby hat brims, tiny crocheted flowers for the baby headbands – I FIND uses for them!

Started getting the details nailed down for Log Cabin Days (June 27/28); this is the first year my ladies will have a chance to SELL any items they have created. A few of the ladies participate in various craft shows throughout the year and they’re excited for this opportunity – no ‘vendor fees’ – just bring a table, sign and set up! (Of course, THEY are responsible for any monies/sales, etc.)


Pecan Cheesecake Squares

Shortbread Layer:
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans

Cheesecake layer:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Pecan Pie Layer:

3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/3 C. butter, melted/cooled slightly
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Shortbread layer:
In medium bowl combine flour & 3/4
C. brown sugar; using a pastry blender,
cut in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 C. pecans;
press mixture evenly into bottom of a
greased 9″ X 13″ pan. Bake 10
minutes, remove from oven & cool
slightly, about 10 minutes.

Cheesecake layer:
Place cream cheese in bowl of stand
mixer fitted with paddle attachment &
beat at medium speed until smooth.
Beat in sugar; add milk & vanilla-beat
until combined. Pour cream cheese
mixture over cooled shortbread layer.
Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven &
cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Pecan Pie layer:
In medium bowl combine remaining
3/4 C. brown sugar, corn syrup & melted
butter; gently stir in eggs, salt & 1/2 tsp.
vanilla. Stir in pecans; pour mixture over
cooled cheesecake layer. Bake 35-40
minutes until center is set & pecan pie
layer is a rich brown color.


Homemade Ranch Dressing
(entire bottle only 1.75 grams
fat & 255 calories)

1 C. Dannon oikos plain Greek yogurt
1 packet Hidden Valley ranch dressing
1/2 C. 1% milk

Whisk together, chill 1 hour before using.
Pour into mason jar & use.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

5-Ingredient Baked Tilappia

4 (6-8 oz, ea) tilapia fillets
fresh cracked black pepper
1 lime, finely grated zest & juice
2 T. butter

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large cast iron pan with
nonstick butter-flavored spray.
Rinse fish & pat dry; place in pan;
season each fillet with salt/pepper &
lime zest & juice. Add a pat of butter
to each fillet & cook in oven 8-12
minutes. Serves 4


Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb. fettuccine
1 T. olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pints cremini mushrooms, thinly
sliced, divided
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. milk
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Cook fettuccine accordg. to pkg. directions,
to al dente (6-8 minutes); drain.
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
Add onion & garlic, saute until onion is
translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms,
season with salt/pepper & cook, stirring
frequently, until mushrooms are very soft
& golden brown (10-12 minutes). Remove
about 1/3 of mushroom mixture & reserve.
Add milk & bring to simmer. Use an
immersion blender to puree the sauce until
smooth (or transfer to regular blender &
puree until smooth). Stir in Parmesan.
Add cooked pasta to pot & toss to coat with
To serve pasta, transfer portions to plates &
top with 1/4 C. reserved sauteed mushroom
mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6


Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

1 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
1 (6 oz) box wild rice with seasonings
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepared wild rice accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large bowl mix together
sour cream, soup, onion flakes, garlic
salt/pepper. Stir in chicken & wild
rice; place in 8 X 8″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 6


Baked Meatballs

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk
1 small onion, minced
1/2 C. rice (uncooked)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. fine bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk egg & milk
together. Mix in hamburger, rice,
salt/pepper, bread crumbs &
allspice. Shape mixture into 9
meatballs. Place in 2 qt casserole
dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Mix soup, water & Worc. sauce;
pour over meatballs. Bake
1 hour 25 minutes. Makes 9 meatballs.


Strawberry Patch Salad

1 (4 serving size) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 C. boiling water
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen sweetened straw-
berries in syrup, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. sour cream

In large bowl dissolve Jell-O in boiling
water; stir in strawberries & their
syrup, pineapple, banana & pecans until
well mixed. Spoon half mixture into a
8 X 8″ square baking dish. Chill 1 hour or
until set; reserve the remaining Jell-O
mixture at room temp. When chilled
Jell-0 is set, spread top with sour cream
then top with reserved Jell-O mixture.
Cover & chill at least 3 hours before
Serves 6


I had a lovely Mother’s Day – very quiet! No
phone calls at all (amazing!); even got a text
H. M. Day greeting from one of our helpers
in my special needs group. All three sons
had to work; middle son came over in the
afternoon bringing ‘leftovers’ from the
brunch he worked: about 7 Danish and
a box of smoked salmon slices! (I really
wasn’t sure if I’d like the salmon – I don’t
really care for any smoked foods, but this
was very smooth/tender and yummy!) It
was all I could do to NOT eat the entire
box at one time!  Husband asked me what
I wanted for lunch and I mentioned a local
chicken place with ‘to die for’ chicken, so
we brought home Chicken King broasted
chicken, broasted diced potatoes, coleslaw
and BBQ’d spareribs – a FEAST! He decided
that since we weren’t sure if the boys
would stop over, he doubled the order –
Got kissed on the top of the head by youngest
this morning with a “Happy Day AFTER
Mother’s Day, Mom!” – it doesn’t get any
better than this! I’ve never been one to
expect gifts for this day so it’s just nice to
have my kids wish me a good day.

That’s the ‘scoop’ from here, currently. It’s
76 degrees F, sunny & breezy with an 80%
chance of thunderstorms later this afternoon
& evening. I had the windows open for the
breeze, but had to close them due to it feeling
too humid – now husband has the air conditioning
on – oh well . . .




End of the Year is Getting Closer!


Sat down to work on a few ‘end of the month’ bills when it hit me how very close New Year’s IS! I feel kinda lazy lately – not a lot to do, per se – still need to work on the special needs group’s newsletter (keep procrastinating on it!) Have a few errands to run in the next few days but nothing pressing (that’s a GOOD thing!). Middle son asked for Pierogies for dinner tonight (not a problem – have frozen in basement freezer!); I’d forgotten how much HE loves to eat! The rest of the guys are so-so, but he loves eating anything homemade, which for me is great because I love cooking for someone who loves to eat! We’re still plowing through cookies from last week (that’s another good thing – the guys love cookies). I realized when going down to clean out basement fridge & bringing up the leftovers, that we hadn’t touched the pumpkin pie yet! Bonus!

Have been finding some pretty yummy sounding ‘party’-type recipes for appetizers, etc. I have no idea what we’re doing for New Year’s Eve, but if I were a betting woman, I’d bet we will be safely ensconced right here at home eating some appetizers and probably going to be right after midnight – just sayin’ . . . (now, for the younger guys – who knows?)


Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

9 inch frozen pie crust, defrosted
1/2 C. cream cheese, room temp
2 jalapenos, diced & seeded
1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds (garnish)
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp/ coarsely
1/2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. Half & Half
5 large eggs
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(optional); sour cream

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prick defrosted pie crust all over bottom
& sides with a fork; bake 10 minutes.
Remove from oven; lower oven temperature
to 350 degrees F.
While crust is hot, spread cream cheese all
over bottom of crust as evenly as possible.
Sprinkle diced jalepenos over cream cheese
(jalapeno rounds are used for garnish). Place
cream & Half & Half in small pan over
medium heat about 5 minutes until tiny
bubbles appear around edges. Scald
(bring it to just under boiling point) until
very hot, but not boiling. Beat eggs together
in a bowl; add hot cream mixture to eggs &
whisk constantly to combine. Add paprika,
salt & bacon; mix together & pour into crust.
Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, arrange
jalapeno slices on top, sprinkle with cheese &
bake 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted &
turned golden brown. Check at 12 minutes to
make sure it isn’t burning. Remove from oven
& cool slightly before serving. Serve with sour
cream on the side, if desired.


Pizza Nachos

Garlic Cream Sauce

1 1/2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. milk
pinch salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

your favorite crispy tortilla chips
garlic cream sauce (above)
1/4 C. diced onion
1/2 C. sliced pepperoni, cut into
bite sizes
1 to 1 1/2 C. Colby-Jack cheese,
(optional toppings):
1/2 C. sliced black olives
1/2 whole green bell pepper, chopped
sliced mushrooms or any other pizza
toppings you may like

Melt butter & olive oil on medium to low
heat; once melted, toss in garlic; stir.
Raise heat to medium or medium-high;
add cream & milk; stir – continue stirring
until it comes to a boil. Add salt, pepper &
chili flakes, Parm. cheese; continue
stirring (sauce will thicken quickly, keep
stirring). Once thickened, remove from heat
& set aside.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Using an oven-proof dish sprayed with
nonstick spray, add chips to bottom of dish;
drizzle garlic sauce over chips. Top with
onions & pepperoni and other toppings
of your choice.Top with shredded cheese; cook
until cheese is bubbly & veggies are warmed
through, about 7 minutes.

Bacon Jalapeno Nachos

4 C. tortilla chips
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. creamy jalapeno sauce (below)

Creamy Jalapeno Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. milk
8 oz. Jalapeno Cheddar cream cheese
1 C. chopped, cooked bacon
(optional: additional sliced jalapeno,

Prepare Sauce:
Melt butter in small saucepan over
medium heat; whisk in flour, salt
& pepper. Add milk & cook, stirring,
until mixture it thickened & bubbly.
Continue stirring & cook 1 minute
more. Remove sauce from heat & stir
in cream cheese until completely
melted. Add bacon; continue to
stir to combine.

Preparing Nachos:

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spread tortilla chips in small baking pan.
Top with Cheddar cheese & bake 8-10
minutes. Remove from oven & top with
hot creamy jalapeno sauce. Top with
additional jalapeno pieces, if deaired.

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled & peeled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded/chopped
6 pieces bacon, cooked crisp/

Slice hard boiled eggs in half,
lengthwise. Remove yolks & place
in a mixing bowl; mash yolks with
a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar,
ground mustard & sugar; stir until
well combined. Mix in jalapenos &
bacon. Place mixture in a ziplock
bag. Cut a small hole in the bottom
corner of the bag to use as piping
bag. Using bag, fill each egg white
hole with mixture; sprinkle tops
with paprika. Chill until ready to
serve. Makes 24


Chicken-Parmesan Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed/well drained
1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken
breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 egg
10 butter crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 C. mozzarella
& 3 T. Parmesan cheese until blended; spread
onto chicken. Starting at one short end of a
breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with
wooden toothpicks, if desired. Beat egg
in shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan &
cracker crumbs in separate shallow dish. Dip
chicken into egg, then into crumb mixture
to evenly coat. Place, seam sides down, in
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 30 minutes until chicken is
done (165 degrees F.) Remove & discard
toothpicks. Serve chicken topped with
spaghetti sauce & remaining mozzarella.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Kickin’ Ranch Corn Dip

1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch salad & seasoning
16 oz. sour cream
1 (10 oz) can original Ro*Tel
1 (14.25 oz) can petite diced
tomatoes, drained
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 (4.25 oz) can diced green chiles,

3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together; refrigerate
1 hour before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or

‘scoops’ chips


7-Layer Bean Dip

1 (15 oz) can refried beans
1 lb. ground beef, cooked/crumbled/
drained & seasoned with salt/pepper
1 C. sour cream
1 C. salsa
1 (8 oz) pkg shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. jarred jalapeno slices*
1/4 C. green onions (topping)

tortilla chips, for dipping

Spread refried beans on bottom of
crockpot; layer next items – except
green onions. Cover & cook on High
1 1/2 hours. If salsa has caused some
liquid on the top, blot with paper
towels. Sprinkle top with green
peppers & serve with tortilla chips.

*if you don’t like jalapeno, fresh
chopped tomatoes or chunks of
avocado could be added at end of
cooking time.


Cheesy Apple Fondue

3/4 C. apple cider
2 C. (8 oz) finely shredded Cheddar
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

cut up fresh fruits such as
apple & pear wedges, chunks
of crusty bread for dunking

In medium saucepan heat apple
cider over medium heat until
bubbly. In a medium bowl, combine
remaining ingredients; mix well. Add
cheese mixture to cider, a little at
a time; stir continuously 4-5 minutes
or until mixture is thoroughly blended
& smooth. Transfer to fondue pot or
place saucepan on a warming tray to
keep fondue warm. Serve immediately.
Serves 4


Chicken & Roasted Red Potatoes

1/4 C. ranch salad dressing
6 large bone-in chicken thighs,
skin & fat removed
4 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5),
cut into 1 inch chunks
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Pour salad dressing over chicken in
shallow dish; refrigerate 1 hour

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet on medium
heat until crisp; remove, reserving
1 T. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon
on paper towels. Add potatoes & onions;
cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; crumble bacon &
add to potato mixture – mix lightly.
Spoon into 9 X 13 baking dish. Remove
chicken from dressing; discard dressing.
Place chicken over potato mixture in
dish & bake 55 minutes to 1 hour until
potatoes are tender & chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Top with cheese &
parsley. Serves 6

Black-eyed Peas & Ham Dip

1/2 C. diced country ham, cooked
2 (15.8 oz. ea) cans black eyed peas,
3/4 C. water
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 scallions, sliced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley or
3 tsp. dried
2 T. olive oil
1-2 T. apple cider vinegar

crackers, butter crackers or cornbread

Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick
spray; place on medium-high heat. Saute
ham 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.
Stir in black-eyed peas & water; reduce
heat to medium & simmer 8 minutes or
until liquid is almost evaporated. Partially
mash peas with back of a spoon to desired
consistency. In medium bowl stir tomato,
scallions, celery, parsley, oil & vinegar.
Spoon warm pea mixture into a serving
bowl. Top with tomato mixture & serve
with crackers, etc. Makes 12 appetizer

Note; Dip can be made a day ahead &
reheated before serving


Ham & Cheddar Spread

2 C. cooked ham, cut into small
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. sweet pickle relish, drained
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place all ingredients in a food
processor; process on medium
speed 1 minute. Scrape down
sides of bowl with rubber
spatula & process another minute.
Place on serving plate or bowl;
chill until ready to serve.

NOTE: you can also use leftover
cooked turkey, chicken or corned
beef in place of the ham.

Can also be used as a sandwich
filling or appetizer spread served
with crackers.


Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint

1 C. unsalted roasted peanuts
1 C. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter,
room temp
3/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. jelly (your choice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with
parchment paper & spray with
nonstick spray. Place peanuts in
food processor & pulse to a
fine meal. Add oats, flour & salt –
process until blended. Transfer
to a bowl. In food processor, combine
butter & sugar; process until light &
fluffy. Add egg & vanilla & process
until smooth. Add half of dry
ingredients back into processor &
pulse to combine. Add remaining
half; pulse until combined. Drop
cookie dough by tablespoonfuls*
onto prepared sheets, leaving
1/2 inch between cookies. Use
your thumb to make a thumb
print in center of each cookie.
Bake cookies until bottoms are
lightly golden brown, 12-15
minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Stir jelly in a small bowl to
loosen it up and fill each
thumbprint with about 1
tsp. jelly. Makes about 40 cookies.

*poster uses an ice cream scoop

(recipe: Katie Lee-Foodnetwork)

Chocolate Coconut Balls

1 C. toasted chopped macadamia
1 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
8 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate
morsels, melted
1 T. shortening

In bowl mix nuts, cond. milk, almond &
coconut. Using your fingers, press
mixture into balls about 3/4 inch round.
Place on sheet trays lined with waxed
paper; let rest at room temp. 4 hours
or refrigerate for 1 hour.

After balls have set up, melt chocolate &
shortening until smooth. Dip balls in
mixture to coat evenly & lightly. Place onto
parchment or foil-lined sheet pan to dry.
Makes 30

(recipe: Alton Brown, Food Network)

Hope that you are enjoying a short

break this week (between Christmas
& New Years). I just looked at the
calendar & realized we will have our
grandson all day tomorrow, so visions
of my working on the newsletter just
went out the window – guess I’d better
stop procrastinating and ‘GET TO WORK’!

Hope your weather is nice – ours is STILL
holding at 30’s & sunny – no White Stuff –
YEAH!!! Gas prices are also GREAT –
$1.89/9 for cheapest around here;
another GREAT!!! YEAH!



Christmas Eve!


Joy of joys, we brought our middle son home from the hospital yesterday! He still has a lot of healing to do, but he’s out of the hospital! We’re very grateful for all of the excellent care at both hospitals he was in, and for the LOVE and CARE the LORD gave to him, and the grace that covered us while going through it.

Today, first thing, found me rushing to the grocery store for a few more food items son could eat and gas for my car ($2.08/9) as it was on almost empty! The “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” chocolate cake just came out of the oven and I’m planning on making some lemon cookies today. Last thing to do is wrap presents and we’re done/ready!


Last minute recipes:

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Lemon Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 C. powdered sugar

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. sugar
4 T. flour
6 T. lemon juice

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
2 T. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix crust ingredients with fork;
pat into a 9 X 13 pan which has been
greased & floured. Bake 15 minutes.
Mix filling together; after crust has baked
15 minutes, pour filling over crust &
continue baking 25 minutes. Cool bars
Make Frosting: Beat butter, powdered
sugar & milk for 6-8 minutes on High
speed with an elec. mixer, then add
2 T. cold water, one at a time. Beat
until smooth, then spread over
cooled bars.


Velveeta Potato Bites

2 lb. baking potatoes (about 6)
peeled/ cut into chunks
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut
into 24 cubes
1 pkt. Shake & Bake Extra
Crispy seasoned coating mix

1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water
in large saucepan 15-20 minutes
or until tender, drain. Cool 10
minutes; mash until smooth. Add
onions, egg & pepper; mix just
until blended. Empty coating mix
into pie plate. Roll potato mixture
into 24 balls, using about 2 T. for
each. Insert 1 Velveeta cheese cube
into center of each ball, completely
enclosing the cheese. Add, one-at-
a-time, to coating mix, turning to
evenly coat. Place balls on rimmed
baking sheet sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 14-16 minutes or until
heated through. Makes 24 balls
serve with salsa

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Pumpkin Pecan Bread

8 C. day old bread cubes
1/2 C. toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
4 eggs
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream topping

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place bread cubes
in crockpot along with cinnamon
chips & chopped pecans. Whisk
together eggs, pumpkin, Half & Half,
brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla,
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves;
pour over bread & gently stir to coat.
Cook on Low 3-4 hours or until a knife
inserted into center comes out clean.
Serve warm topped with ice cream &
caramel topping, if desired. Serves 8


Caramel Apple Brownie Bars

1 C. softened butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
& peeled
1 C. caramel bits
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray;
set aside. In stand mixer, combine
butter & sugar; mix until creamy. Add
eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add
flour, baking powder & cinnamon, chopped
apples until blended – batter will be thick.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle
caramel bits over batter & press in slightly.
Bake 45 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from oven & sprinkle top with
cinnamon sugar.


Crockpot Caramel Rolls

refrigerated biscuits (6-8 count)
1/2 C. brown sugar
4 T. butter
(chopped nuts, if desired*)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Lay biscuits flat on bottom of pot.
In a saucepan, melt butter with brown
sugar; cook until melted then pour over
biscuits. Cover & cook on High 1 hour to
1 hr. 30 minutes until brown.

*If you wish to add nuts, sprinkle on top
of brown sugar mixture before cooking.


Cranberry Bliss Bars


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar 3 eggs 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 cup chopped sweetened dried
4 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks



    • 4-ounces cream cheese, softened


    • 3 cups powdered sugar


    • 4 teaspoons lemon juice


    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    • 1/4 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries


Drizzled Icing


    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


    • 1 tablespoon milk


    • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar
together with electric mixer until smooth. Add
eggs, ginger, vanilla; beat well. Gradually
mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.
Mix chopped dried cranberries and white chocolate
chunks into batter by hand. Pour batter into a
buttered 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Use a spatula to
spread batter evenly across pan. Bake 25-30 minutes,
or until is lightly browned on top. Allow cake
to cool.

Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese,
powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla in medium bowl
with electric mixer until smooth. When cake has
cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over top of
the cake.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries over the
frosting on the cake.

Make drizzled icing by whisking together powdered
sugar, milk, shortening. Drizzle this icing over
cranberries in a sweeping motion with a squirt
bottle or fill small plastic storage bag with icing
and cut off the tip of one corner.

Cover cake and let chill out in fridge for a couple
hours, then slice cake lengthwise (the long way)
through the middle. Slice cake across the width
three times, making a total of eight rectangular slices.
Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating
16 triangular slices.


Ginger-Pecan Bars

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 C. butter, softened/divided
1 C. granulated sugar
1 T. vanilla, divided
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. light corn syrup
2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. chopped crystallized ginger
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
broken into pieces

Beat cream cheese, 3/4 C. butter, gran.
sugar & 2 tsp. vanilla in large bowl
with mixer until blended. Add flour &
baking soda; mix well & refrigerate
30 minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 15 X 10 X 1″ pan with parch-
ment paper, with ends extending
over sides. Press cream cheese mixture
onto bottom of pan. Bake 18-20 minutes
until lightly browned. Melt remaining
butter; pour into medium bowl. Add
eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup and
remaining vanilla; beat with whisk
until blended; stir in nuts & ginger.
Spread mixture onto crust & bake
20-25 minutes until topping is firm
around edges but still slightly soft in
center; cool completely.
Melt chocolate as directed on pkg.;
drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm before
cutting into bars. Makes 60 bars

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate covered Coconut
Peanut Butter Bites 

1/2 lb. candy coating – chocolate
1/2 C. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1/3 C. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. vanilla
1 C. coconut, plus more for topping
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. Rice Krispies cereal

In bowl combine peanut butter, butter,
vanilla, coconut, sugar & Rice Krispies;
mix until smooth. Scoop out about 1 T.
dough & roll into a ball; place on a cookie
sheet covered with parchment paper.
Repeat process with rest of dough then
place in freezer.
In a small crockpot place chocolate; cover
& cook on Low or Warm 1 hour while dough
is chilling. Stir chocolate until creamy. Dip
cookie balls in chocolate using a fork; cover
entirely with chocolate & place on cookie
sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle
tops of balls with coconut if desired. Let
chocolate set then serve or chill as desired.
Makes about 15 balls.


2-Cheese Spinach/Artichoke Dip

9 oz. frozen spinach, thawed/drained
1 (14 oz) can quartered artichoke hearts,
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 C. milk
black pepper

Using a 2.5 qt. crockpot, place all ingredients
in crockpot & gently stir. (you can use a crockpot
liner if desired). Cover & cook on High 2 hours
or until cheeses are melted. Stir to combine.
Serves 6-8

This recipe can be doubled & cooked in a
4-6 qt. crockpot.
NOTE: if dip is too thick, add more milk,
a tablespoon at a time until you have
desired consistency.


Peanut Butter Microwave

1 lb. confectioners sugar
2 T. butter
1/3 C. milk
1 C. peanut butter

Place sugar, butter & milk in
large mixing bowl; cook in
microwave 2 minutes on High.
Take out, beat ingredients
with had mixer until combined.
Microwave 30 seconds more, then
add peanut butter & mix by hand
or mixer until combined. Spread
in foil-lined 8 X 8″ pan. Let cool
then cut.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dessert

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. sugar
1 (3 oz) box cranberry-flavored Jello
2/3 C. dried cranberries
1 T. flour

assorted cookies, graham crackers and/or
fruit slices, for serving

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with elec.
mixer until creamy. Add vanilla, sugar,
dry Jello, dried cranberries & flour; mix well.
Spoon mixture into a serving dish & refrigerate,
covered, until serving time. Remove from fridge
15 minutes before serving. Serve with suggested
cookies/grahams or fruit
Makes 2 1/2 C.


Holiday Cheese Truffles

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
dash cayenne
1/4 C. chopped, roasted red peppers
2 green onions, sliced
1 2/3 C. chopped pecans

savory crackers for serving

Beat first 4 ingredients with elec. mixer
until blended; divide in half. Add peppers
to half, and onions to other half; mix each
until blended. Refrigerate several hours
until chilled. Shape each mixture into 24
(1-inch) balls; roll in chopped nuts. Serve
with crackers. Makes 48 ‘truffles’

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Our weather is ‘holding’ at GREAT
for last minute traveling, etc: 47 degrees F
and raining (a little foggy – but not bad).
We’re supposed to (maybe) get some
snow on Christmas, but various reports
say different things – I’m just SUPER GLAD
we don’t have to do a 1 hr. ride to the
hospital today/tomorrow (yes – Friday,
but that will be just my husband & son;
I told son that he might suggest his Dad
stop for a milkshake on the way home
to make the ride a little more tolerable!)

Thank you, again, ALL OF YOU, for your
prayers and concerns during this very
difficult time for my family. God is SO
Good – He has carried us through thus
far and I KNOW He will continue to do


Big Hugs;


Tuesday Thoughts


Sorry I haven’t posted sooner – it’s been a busy couple of days. Went to visit middle son yesterday and he’s greatly improving every day; we’re thrilled and, of course, give GOD the glory for it all. They keep moving him to different rooms – he’s been in all three sections of his floor (the nurse said the only one he hasn’t been in is A – the rehab unit!) He’s in good spirits and able to walk a few ‘laps’ around the halls – God is GOOD – he’s gaining his health & strength back. No, he won’t be home for Christmas, but that’s OK – we’re just thrilled he’s improving.

Got to attend our church’s “Ladies Christmas Dinner” last night – that was a very enjoyable time. The food was great (we have a lady in our church who does catering and cooks wonderful meals), and our ‘entertainment’ portion was a riot! Our Pastor, Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor and another guy from the church did a singing number that had the ladies rolling in the aisles with laughter – I haven’t smiled that much in a long time! Since it’s been hectic here, I spent time on Amazon last night ordering Christmas gifts. I had no idea what to get my grandson so his Dad gave me several suggestions – I went with those. Some time in the next couple days I need to bake the 3 loaves of Christmas bread for the neighbors and some cookies for the mail lady. This year I think I’m going to Meijers (a local grocery/retail store with a great bakery) and buying already made bakery cookies. Tomorrow evening is my special needs group’s Christmas gathering. Remember in posts past how I mentioned that this year I felt a little ‘on the sidelines’ because most of what I usually do is being taken care of? The Lord always has a plan – I know HE knew ahead of time all that we would be going through with middle son and spared me the extra stress. I only have to ‘show up’, greet people, maybe help a little on the serving line, play 2 Christmas carols and we’re done! (Have to wrap the presents for my helpers sometime today but that’s not difficult). Thursday we’re moving  middle son’s ‘stuff’ from his apartment to oldest son’s house (he will be living with oldest son when he gets out of the hospital.) They had planned this before middle son got sick, so when he’s back on his feet that will work out nicely. Oldest son lives about 7 minutes from us; this will be much closer to middle son’s work (and us) and rent will be about half what he was paying before when living with his best friend & best friend’s girlfriend. Yesterday I saw a billboard on the expressway that said “10 Days ’til Christmas!” – I know it’s been really hectic for us, but I guess I really didn’t realize just HOW close Christmas was! Wow! Are you prepared? I wrote out a menu today and will start getting my grocery shopping in order soon. (Thank heavens for AMAZON!!!)


Tex-Mex Breakfast Sausage Cups

1 (10 1/4 oz) tube refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits (5 to a can)
1/2 lb. sausage
1 egg
1 tsp. milk
1/3 C. salsa ( your choice on hot)
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook sausage, crumble & drain.
Generously spray muffin tin
with nonstick spray. Press each
biscuit into tin to form a cup,
with edges extending over top.
Evenly divide cooked sausage to
each biscuit. Beat egg with milk &
spoon 1 T. mixture over sausage
in tin. Add 1 T. salsa to sausage &
top with shredded cheese.
NOTE: To prevent any spills,
place muffin tin on top of a cookie
sheet while baking
Bake 17 minutes until done.
Makes 5

Recipe can easily be doubled.

Apple Squares

5 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 C. shortening
4 eggs, separated
1 C. milk
2 C. crushed cornflakes

6 Granny Smith apples
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/4 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. water

Combine flour & salt in large
bowl; cut in shortening. In
small bowl beat egg yolks &
milk (reserve whites for later).
Add egg mixture to flour
mixture; mix dough until
combined. Form into a ball
& cut in half. Refrigerate
30 minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crush cornflakes
into very fine pieces. Roll
out one dough half & place
on a 15 X 10″ sheet pan. Sprinkle
all corn flake crumbs over dough
evenly. Peel & slice apples &
toss in a bowl with sugar &
cinnamon. Place apples in
a flat layer on top of corn-
flake crumbs. Roll out remaining
dough half and place on top of
apples layer. Cut some slits in
dough to let out steam. Seal
all edges (tuck top crust under
bottom if you need to.) Beat egg
whites until foamy & brush over
top of crust. Bake 1 hour, until
golden. Cool slightly. Combine
icing ingredients in small bowl &
drizzle evenly over crust. Cool
completely before cutting into


Chocolate Pecan Pie

1/2 C. Karo syrup
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. pecan halves
1 deep dish pie shell (unbaked)*

1 pkg. Jell-O cook & serve chocolate
pudding mix

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Optional garnish:
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter &
vanilla, using a spoon. Stir in pecans &
pour into pie crust. Bake on center
rack 60-70 minutes. Cool 2 hours on
wire rack before serving.
While pie is baking, prepare pudding
mix accordg to pkg. directions &
refrigerate to cool. When pudding &
pie are chilled, spread pudding over
pie. In a bowl, whip heavy cream until
almost stiff. Add sugar & vanilla; whip
until cream holds peaks; top pie with
whipped cream.
If you would like to garnish pie:
Melt choc. chips in a double boiler,
then whisk in about 2-3 T. milk. Whisk
until smooth then place in a zip-lock
bag. Seal bag & cut the very tip of one
corner of the bag & use bag as a pastry
decorator – drizzle over top of pie.

NOTE: Pie is done when center reaches
200 degrees F – tap center surface of pie
lightly – it should spring back when done.
If pie crust is over-browning, cover edges
with strips of aluminum foil.

*If using prepared frozen pie crust:
Place a cookie sheet in oven & preheat
oven as directed. Pour filling into
frozen crust & bake on preheated
cookie sheet.

Cheesy Corn Dip

1 (10 oz) Rotel, drained
2 (15 oz, ea) corn & diced peppers,
3 green onions, chopped
1 C. sour cream
1 C. mayonnaise
2 C. Mexican cheese, shredded

tortilla chips for dipping

Mix all ingredients together (except
chips) & refrigerate.

Aimee’s Quick Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breast
4 oz. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 dish. Spread
mustard evenly over chicken; pour
teriyaki sauce evenly over all. Sprinkle
top with bacon bits, then cover with
cheese. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cheesy Cheddar Chowder

2 C. water
2 1/2 C. diced potatoes
1 C. diced carrots
1/2 C. minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. diced ham

Cheese sauce:
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
2 C. milk
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In medium saucepan bring soup
ingredients (except ham) to boil
10 minutes or until vegetables are
tender; add ham. In small saucepan
melt butter; stir in flour & milk &
add cheese to mixture. Whisk until
melted. Add cheese sauce to soup
mixture & stir until mixed. Serves 4


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 C. diced, cooked chicken
3 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
cheese blend
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green
chiles, undrained
1 pkg. flour or corn tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (19 oz) can enchilada sauce
1/4 C. sliced green onions (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. Mix chicken, 1 1/2 C. cheese &
chilies in a bowl. Add a few spoon-
fuls of enchilada sauce to bottom of
9 X 13 pan; spread evenly over bottom.
Layer 3 tortillas on top of sauce, making
sure entire bottom of dish and part of
sides are completely covered by
tortillas (you can cut them to fit).
Spread about half of beans on top of
tortillas, half of chicken mixture then
half of enchilada sauce. Add 3 more
tortillas & repeat layering. Place 2
tortillas on top of next layer, overlapping
a bit, then add rest of enchilada sauce.
Finish by sprinkling rest of cheese on
top. Cover with foil & bake 45-55 minutes
until bubbly (check under foil). Garnish
with green onions, if desired. Let dish
stand about 5 minutes before serving.


Crockpot Cheesy Bacon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream (or Greek plain
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. shredded Sharp Cheddar
cheese, divided

tortilla chips, for dipping

Blend all ingredients except
shredded cheese. Spoon
half of cream cheese mixture into
crockpot & layer with half the
cheese. Add remaining cream
cheese mixture & top with remaining
cheese. Heat on Low 4 hours & serve
with tortilla chips for dipping.
Makes 12 servings.


Cheese-stuffed Garlic Rolls

1 lb. frozen pizza dough, thawed
mozzarella cheese in chunk form,
cut into 36 chunks
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Divide dough into 18 equal pieces.
Flatten a piece of dough & place 2
chunks cheese inside, sealing dough
around cheese tightly. Place on baking
sheet, seam side down & continue with
remaining dough. Cover & let rise until
puffy, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine butter, Italian seasoning & garlic
in small bowl. Microwave until butter is
melted; brush mixture over risen rolls
& sprinkle evenly with Parm. cheese. Bake
20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve
very warm. Makes 18 rolls


Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 C. vegetable shortening
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 large egg
1/4 C. plus 1 T. turbinando sugar;
for coating

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt,
allspice & cloves. Add shortening,
butter, brown & gran. sugars to bowl
of a stand mixer fitted with paddle
attachment. Beat on medium speed
until light & fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Pour
in molasses & egg; beat until well
incorporated. Add flour mixture by
scoopfuls & beat until combined.
Place turbinando sugar to a small
plate. Roll dough into 1 inch balls
then roll in turb. sugar. Place 12
balls on a baking sheet 2 inches
apart. Bake 9-11 minutes, rotating
sheet halfway through baking time.
Cool on sheets 4 minutes, then
continue cooling on wire racks;
repeat with second batch.

Note: I have made these many times –
I just use regular granulated sugar to
roll dough in and have never
rotated my baking pans when baking
these – and they came out fine!

Crockpot Rueben Dip

1 (16 oz) jar sauerkraut, rinsed
& drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
2 C. shredded, cooked corned beef
1/4 C. Thousand Island salad dressing

Crackers or rye bread, for dipping

Combine sauerkraut, cream cheese,
Swiss cheese, corned beef & Thousand
Island dressing in crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 45 minutes (if you’re in
a hurry – or Low and longer if you’re
not). Just until hot & cheese is melted.
Stir occasionally while cooking.


Crockpot French Toast

1 loaf (16 oz) bread, sliced
1 dozen eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. chopped walnuts

5-6 qt. crockpot
Place bread slices in crockpot. In
large bowl, whisk all remaining
ingredients & pour over bread.
Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.

Remove lid for last 20-30 minutes of
cooking time. This will allow the
remaining moisture to evaporate and help
the bread ‘toast’ evenly.

Toast is done when bread has soaked
up all the liquid & the egg has cooked.
(You will be able to see bits of cooked
egg stuck to the outside of the bread.)

Options: add raisins or craisins

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Hoping you are where you want to be
with shopping/baking/planning for the
holidays. Remember to take time for your
loved ones and family – when it all boils
down, they are what’s most important.
Value them, cherish them and LET THEM
KNOW they are loved.



Published in: on December 16, 2014 at 11:06 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday Update


Here it is Saturday – it’s been a very stressful, hectic week but I’m here to PRAISE THE LORD, our son is steadily improving. He will have a very long road ahead, but the Lord is SO good – we are able to see small improvements daily. We (husband, youngest son & I) went to the hospital today to visit him; the town this hospital is located in is a COLLEGE town. During the week the streets are teaming with tons of pedestrians, bicycles, cars, etc. and if you’re not exactly sure where you’re going you can end up facing lots of One Way streets, to boot! We were VERY pleasantly surprised to find the the weekends are virtually EMPTY of people/cars/bicycles including the hospital! I was amazed! One person we met while doing the long walk to the parking structure said she thought it was because there are so many ‘out patients’ during the week – I don’t know why, but that place is PACKED with people – outside the hospital, in the town, etc. SO GLAD to have a nice, pleasant drive through town and walk inside the hospital. The great news is our son was moved from Critical Care to General Care yesterday – that’s a HUGE step forward! He’s going to be in there for quite a while, but we’re taking it a day-at-a-time. Husband asked to take the day off driving yesterday (it’s an hour drive one-way & add all the stress of going through town/dealing with all the people/walking, etc.) I didn’t blame him. After today he said he’s thinking of us going every-other day to visit; we’ll see. Husband and oldest son went Thursday while I watched our grandson. Poor little guy – he ended up with stomach flu (which his Mom had but we didn’t know about), so he stayed home Friday from school. I was very glad that, although I took care of him, I didn’t directly TOUCH his sweaty face or kiss him on the face – I’ve had my flu shot but certainly don’t want to carry that to son in hospital!

Yesterday, with our ‘off driving’ day I got the small fiber optic Christmas tree down and put it up in the dining room and added a few little decorations (nothing like usual, but it’s OK). When I told my grandson (in the car on the way home from his school bus stop) that I would probably only be putting up the small tree, he said: “But how will Santa know where to put the presents?” (little tree is on a small table – our other tree is usually on top of our baby grand piano). He’s 8 1/2 and very smart – I tend to forget that he’s still a little kid in his heart!

I’m thinking Monday or Tuesday I’ll bake the three loaves of bread for our neighbors (I do this every year). I told my husband that this year I’m not doing the big batches of cookies I usually bake – I’m probably going to Meijers (a large grocery/merchandise store in Michigan) and buy their bakery cookies already made up – this is NOT the year to dive into lots of baking. I ‘did’ get the stockings down and hung them on the fireplace (didn’t want the question from Grandson about why they weren’t up!). When I think back on how things have worked out, I’m very glad I spent time a month ago knitting up all those coffee mug warmers – this coming Wednesday is my special needs group’s Christmas party and those gifts are for all the helpers. Wednesday of this week I wasn’t sure if I had the gumption to go to my group’s weekly meeting, but finally went anyway. I’m glad I did – you can’t be ‘down’ around them, they always are so chipper!  It’s been a rough week, but the Lord (and lots of prayers) have carried us through so far.


Chocolate Peanut Clusters

2 (16 oz) cans cocktail peanuts
2 (6 oz) bars white baking chocolate,
4 oz. bar sweet German Baking
chocolate, chopped
2 C. dark chocolate chips
1 C. white chocolate chips

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place all ingredients inside; mix.
Cover & cook on Low 3 hours. Turn off
crockpot; let stand 20 minutes. Stir
mixture until chocolate is smooth. Drop
by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Melt
white chocolate chips in microwave;
drizzle over clusters. Let clusters
cool. Store in airtight container.
Makes 24 clusters


White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1 C. unsalted butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 T. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 T. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. dried cranberries
1 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 325 Degrees F.
Lightly grease or line baking sheets with
parchment paper. In large bowl cream
butter & sugars until smooth. Add eggs &
vanilla; blend well. Slowly add flour, baking
soda & salt to creamed mixture, mixing to
combine. Stir in cranberries, chocolate chips &
nuts (if desired). Drop balls of dough onto
prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until golden brown around edges
& set on top, about 12 minutes for small
cookies. Remove to rack to cool. Makes about
3 dozen.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)


Cheesy Spinach/Bacon Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into 1/2″
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chiles, undrained
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Microwave  all ingredients in a micro-
waveable bowl on High 5 minutes or
until Velveeta is completely melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring after
3 minutes. Makes 32 servings/ 2 T. each

Serve with tortilla chips or cut up fresh

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Simple Tortilla Pizzas
(comment from poster:

Do not need a recipe for these pizzas, but

here are the ingredients:

Flour tortillas (or pita bread)
cheeses: shredded mozzarella,
shredded Cheddar, goat, feta, etc
pizza sauce
tomato slices
sliced onions
olive oil
chopped parsley
any meats you might like

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spread pizza sauce evenly across
tortilla, leaving 1/2 inch space
around edges; sprinkle with
cheeses & toppings. Bake
12-14 minutes until cheese is
golden & bubbling & edges of
tortilla are lightly browned. Slice &


Crockpot Chicken Curry

10 chicken thighs, (2 3/4 lb) skins
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
1 onion, chopped
2 T. curry powder
1 C. sour cream

Place chicken in crockpot. Combine
next 3 ingredients; pour over chicken.
Cover with lid, cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 5 hours. Transfer chicken to platter,
reserving sauce in crockpot. Add sour cream
to sauce; mix well. Serve spooned over chicken.
Serves 10
(good served over cooked rice)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

(from Sprinkles Cupcakes)

1 C. butter, softened
3 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

In large bowl, combine butter, sugar & salt;
beat until well blended. Add milk & vanilla;
beat an additional 3-5 minutes or until smooth
& creamy. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cinnamon/Spiced Apple Bread

2 C. flour
2 C. apples (small-medium dice) –
Granny Smiths, approx 2 apples
3 eggs, room temp.
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan. Mix
flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking
powder/baking soda & salt in
a large bowl. In small bowl mix
eggs, oil, sugars & vanilla; mix well.
Add egg mixture to dry ingredients &
incorporate well. Don’t overmix. Fold
in apples so they’re completly covered
& mixed in; pour batter into prepared
pan. Bake 45-55 minutes until golden
brown and a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Remove
to cooling rack; let cool. Run a knife
around the edge of the pan to loosen
the loaf; transfer to serving plate.
Makes 1 loaf.


Friendship Casserole
(also known as Tater Tot Casserole)

1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery or mushroom
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen tater tots
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray baking dish with nonstick spray.Arrange
crescent rolls to completely cover bottom of
pan, pressing seams to seal. Brown onion & garlic
until just tender; add in ground beef, season with
salt & pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink;
drain grease. Stir in soup; mix well. Spread mixture
into 9 X 13 dish. Top with tater tots & bake, uncovered,
30-40 minutes until bubbly & tots are golden brown.
Remove from oven & top with cheese. Return to oven
& bake until cheese has melted.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Calico Ham & Bean Soup

1/2 C. dry navy or Great Northern beans
1/2 C. dry black or kidney beans
1/2 C. dry lima beans
1/2 C. dry garbonzo beans
1/2 C. dry split peas
6 C. water

2 C. fully cooked ham, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped carrot
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 C. water
salt & pepper, to taste

Rinse beans; drain. In large saucepan, combine
beans, peas & 6 C. water; bring to boil, reduce
heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain
& rinse beans. In 3 1/2-4/5 Qt. crockpot combine
ham, onion, carrot, basil, oregano, 3/4 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper & bay leaves. Stir in drained beans &
remaining 6 C. fresh water. Cover & cook on Low
8-10 hours or High 4-5 hours. Discard bay leaves;
season to taste with additional salt & pepper.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pecan Pie Bars

1 can crescent rolls
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
2 T. butter or marg, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll dough, press in bottom &
1/2 inch up sides of a 9 X 13″
pan; firmly pressing perforations
to seal. Bake 8 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix remaining
ingredients; pour over partially
baked crust. Bake 18-22 minutes
more or until golden brown.
Cool 1 hour; cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)

Amazing Puff Balls

1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 (10 1/8 oz, ea) pkgs.
refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove rolls & separate into
individual triangles. Flatten each
triangle & slice so that it becomes
3 small triangles. Dice or chop
pepperoni into tiny pieces & mix
into cream cheese so that all
pieces of pepperoni are incorporated
into cream cheese. Spoon a small
amount of mixture in middle of each
triangle & pinch up all sides around
filling. Place on baking sheet & repeat
with rest of ingredients. Bake at
amount of time stated on crescent
rolls (usually 11 minutes). Let cool
before serving. Makes 48

Thank you for your prayers and concern; like
I’ve mentioned before, this will be a long
healing but we are trusting in the Lord and
HIS leading/healing/guiding for our family.



PS: We’re also thanking the Lord for the good
driving weather we’ve been experiencing this
past week – it’s been in the 30’s and chilly/cold
but not ice or snow to battle on the roads/

Personal Update

I have not been posting to my blog lately – we have a family emergency with our middle son, (25) who is in critical condition at a hospital an hour away from us. It’s a very long story and I don’t want to go into details but if you are a praying person, I would ask for prayers for my son, Ben. He has been in hospital now since very early Sunday morning. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.



Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 7:28 am  Comments (3)  

Frrrrrrigid Saturday! Brrrrrrrr!


Woke up to the results of freezing rain, overnight

I had seen the weather report last night calling for freezing rain, but was really hoping that wouldn’t happen. Good thing: I don’t have anywhere to go today, but youngest son had to be to work at 11 a.m. to deliver pizzas – not good. Just took a peek at the forecast for next week: straight RAIN until Friday! Oh well, guess it’s better than snow! You don’t get big accumulations of rain (unless you get flooding –  but not in this area).

My last post was filled with appetizers & dips; I still have LOTS of holiday/Thanksgiving recipes for you. Remember – these are NOT my recipes; I list the origin of the recipe at the bottom of each one. (just thought I might need to add that disclaimer). Here ya go for today:


Pumpkin Pie “Smoothie”

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 C. milk
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
2 T. ground flax seed
2 T. honey
2 C. ice

Heat pumpkin & spice in medium
saucepan over medium heat, 5-7
minutes. Cool to room temp. Spoon
half pumpkin mixture with remaining
ingredients into a blender; pulse until
mixture is a smooth shake. Serve
immediately. Makes 2 C. (serves 1-2)

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice:
(makes 1/2 C.)

3 T. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. cloves

Mix all ingredients together, store in
air-tight jar. Makes 1/2 C.

(recipe: AARP. org)

Spiced Apple Dump Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box Spice cake mix
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
3/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a bowl combine dry cake mix, oats &
melted butter; mix to combine. Add pie
filling to bottom of greased crockpot.
Pour cake mix mixture over pie filling;
sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using.
Cover & cook on High 2 hours. Serve
warm or cold, with ice cream or
whipped topping/whipped cream,
if desired. Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpotladies)
Stuffed Mushrooms

16 oz. whole mushrooms (not sliced)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 t. finely chopped green onion
3 T. cooked/crumbled bacon
freshly cracked black pepper
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Gently wash mushrooms & remove
stems. Mix chopped green onion to
cream cheese in a bowl; add bacon &
cracked pepper; mix to combine.
Place mushroom caps (open side up)
on a greased cookie sheet; fill insides
with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle tops
with some Panko bread crumbs; press
crumbs into cream cheese so they will
stick. Bake 15-20 minutes; serve hot.
Makes about 20

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

(stuffing served in a bowl)
2 loaves French bread, cut into
little pieces
1/2 C. melted butter
1 lb. ground sausage
9 stalks celery, chopped
3 onions, chopped
3 T. butter
1 T. celery salt
1 T. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. sage
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place bread pieces on two large
baking sheets; pour 1/2 C. melted
butter over tops & use your hands to
mix so that all are evenly coated.
Bake 25 minutes until golden brown;
stirring every 10 minutes. Brown
sausage; melt 3 T. butter in large
skillet; add veggies & saute until
onions are transparent & celery is
crisp-tender. In a very large mixing
bowl combine all ingredient except
eggs; mix well. Add eggs; stir until
well combined. Make SURE all eggs
are well incorporated. Spray a 9 X 13
pan with nonstick spray; pour
stuffing mixture into pan & cover
tightly with foil. Bake 35 minutes;
serve hot. Makes 15 generous

NOTE: If you want to stuff your bird
using this mixture make the following
Do not brown sausage, saute eggs or
toast bread. Omit broth & final 1/2 C.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 C. pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 oz) pkg. raspberry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
3 C. frozen raspberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place pretzels in small food processor
or blender; grind into coarse crumbs.
Add melted butter & 3 T. sugar; mix
until combined. Spread mixture into
a 9 X 13 pan; spread evenly. Bake
13 minutes until golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool completely. Using a
stand mixer or medium mixing bowl,
beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & mix 4 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip; mix 1 minute until well
incorporated. Heat 2 C. water in
microwave until boiling; add Jell-O
stir until dissolved. Pour raspberries
into Jell-O; stir to combine. Place
bowl in fridge until mixture has
thickened a bit; not totally set.
Remove crust from fridge; spread
cream cheese mixture over crust;
smooth then pour raspberry
Jell-0 on top. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours.

Crispy Green Beans with Bacon

2 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned
8 slices bacon, chopped into
small chunks
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper

Place chopped bacon & onions
in large, deep skillet. Cook on
medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally, 7-10  minutes. Line
a plate with paper towels &
carefully place bacon/onions
on it. Discard all but 1 T. bacon
grease from pan; add 1 T. olive
oil to grease & heat on medium-
high heat. Add green beans &
saute, stirring occasionally. After
5 minutes add 1-2 T. hot water &
cover pan. Steam 3-4 minutes,
then remove lid & taste; they
are done when they are crisp-
tender. Add bacon/onion to pan;
season with salt/pepper; stir &
serve. Makes 6 servings


Cranberry Casserole

3 medium apples (Gala)
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 to 3/4 C. sugar

1 C. oatmeal
1/3 C. self-rising flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & slice apples; place into
buttered 9 X 13 pan. Place
cranberries on top of apples;
sprinkle with sugar. Mix
oatmeal, flour, brown sugar &
nuts in zip-lock bag. Pour in
melted butter & shake well;
crumble over apple mixture.
Bake 30 minutes; uncover &
bake 30 minutes longer.

(recipe: way2go4health-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

2/3 C. flour
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with
paper liners. In bowl, whisk
together flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt & pumpkin
pie spice. In large bowl whisk
together pumpkin puree, sugar,
eggs, vanilla & evaporated milk
until well combined. Add in dry
ingredients & whisk until no
streaks of flour remain & batter
is smooth. Fill each muffin cup
with approx. 1/3 C. batter. Bake
20 minutes & let cool 20 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan & chill
in fridge 30 minutes. Top with
whipped cream & sprinkle tops
with more pumpkin pie spice or
cinnamon before serving.
Makes 12


Pumpkin “Lasagna” (dessert)

1 C. flour
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Pumpkin Layer:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small boxes vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. toasted walnuts or
pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, butter & 1/2 C. nuts;
press into baking dish, bake 15 minutes
then remove from oven & let cool completely.
Mix cream cheese & powdered sugar until
light & fluffy; add 1 C. Cool Whip; spread
over cooled crust. Refrigerate while
making pumpkin mixture. Mix milk &
vanilla pudding mix; add pumpkin puree &
cinnamon; mix until smooth. Spread over
top of cheesecake layer. Spread remaining
1 C. Cool Whip; sprinkle with chopped nuts
& refrigerate at least 3 hours.


 Mozzarella-stuffed Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 C. breadcrumbs
1 T. Italian seasoning
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. mozzarella, cut into cubes
jar marinara sauce

In large bowl mix ingredients
on list: beef through pepper;
form into 2″ balls. Press a cheese
cube into middle of ball & seal
meat around it. Heat 1/2″ olive
oil in large skillet; brown meatballs
& set aside on a plate. Pour
marinara sauce in a saucepan &
bring to a simmer. Add meatballs
& simmer until cooked through,
about 30 minutes.
Serving suggestions:
on top of cooked spaghetti or on top
of a hoagie bun, or on toothpicks
as an appetizer


Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
2 C. shredded lettuce
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives

(baked tortilla chips, for serving)

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, salsa & taco seasoning; mix well
with elec. mixer. Spread on bottom of a
large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded
lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese & black
olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
24 servings

(recipe: skinnytastecom)

I have a tendency to post ALL of the
great-sounding recipes in one post – but
I’ll ‘restrain’ myself, knowing there’s still
four more days until Thanksgiving. Wow!
ONLY FOUR! Guess I’d better get to writing
down my grocery list, eh? I’ll probably go
shopping on Tuesday – we’ll see. I was
thinking last night about how each year
I ‘attempt’ to try one new recipe for our
holiday dinner, and usually it fizzles. My
family is DEEPLY rooted in tradition: just
give us the STANDARD MENU for our
holidays – it’s OK to vary it turkey or ham,
but don’t mess with anything else! (This
year I’m going to try a different cranberry
relish/sauce recipe – we’ll see how it goes!)
Long story: years ago I was able to purchase
Ocean Spray Cranberry-Orange relish in a
tub EVERY YEAR – then they stopped making
it! (I’d guess, about 3 years ago) – I attempted
making my own – it was OK – made WAY TOO
MUCH – we had it for weeks! Oh well, we’ll
see how that goes this year. Sort of tempted
to go with a homemade pumpkin pie, too –
but I’m not much of a pie baker, so I might
forgo that one, too – sigh. What are some
of YOUR holiday food traditions? I’d love to
hear from you! Here’s our ‘standard’ menu:

Turkey (or ham)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet Potatoes (for oldest son, he’s the
only one that eats them – and he’s a chef!)
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Casserole
Rolls (Kroger’s ‘Snowflake’)
veggie tray
some sort of dessert(s)

Since today is rather ‘open ended’, think I’ll
go knit a few more baby hats. Right now I’m
at 22 premie/25 newborn; am thinking of
delivering them on Monday. Usually I try
to get 50 of each, but I’m thinking that since
I’m already knitting scarves/hats for the
homeless shelters, I’ll take a break on the
baby hats for awhile.

Just looked outside – it seems our weather
is warming up – the ice on my car is gone!
YAY! When I looked (about an hour ago)
there were long, thick ice ‘columns’ going
from the bottom of my car to the ground,
not counting the windows were ice sheets.
That’s a good thing they’ve melted, I’ll
not be so prone to worrying while my
youngest is on the roads delivering pizzas!

Have a great day! Maybe read a book,
take a quick ‘power’ nap, drink something
warm & comforting (cocoa/tea/coffee),
do SOMETHING you enjoy!



PS:  Just saw a preview of a upcoming
movie about the life of Steven Hawking,
the theoretical physicist called: “The Theory of
Everything” – sounds interesting! We
still have a movie gift card (from last
Christmas) that we haven’t used – maybe
THIS will be the movie we go see! It comes
out November 26th.
There’s another movie coming out with
Benedict Cumberbatch called:
“The Imitation Game” that sounds really
interesting: it’s about the life of English
mathematician/logician: Alan Turing who
helped crack the ‘Enigma Code’ during
WWII. – can you tell I like biographies?

Recipes for the Weekend/Holiday


For some reason, I keep forgetting this is the Memorial Day weekend coming up! Lots of recipes to share with you, so here goes!


Zesty Grilled Potatoes

1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced
potatoes with onion
2 T. margarine
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained well
1/3 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat gas grill for medium heat. Spray
a 9 X 13 disposable foil pan with nonstick
spray; set aside. Combine potatoes, margarine,
paprika & garlic salt in large microwave-safe
bowl. Microwave on High 2-3 minutes or until
potatoes are hot & margarine melts. Stir in
drained tomatoes; place potato mixture in
foil pan and sprinkle cheese on top. Grill,
uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until potatoes
are tender. Serves 6 (about 2/3 C. each).

BLT Pasta Salad

8 oz. dry penne pasta, uncooked
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (6 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced oven-
roasted chicken breast
10 slices fully cooked bacon, heated &
2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions;
drain & rinse under cold water until
cool. Stir together drained tomatoes,
mayonnaise & garlic salt in large bowl.
Add pasta, chicken & bacon; toss to
combine. Add spinach & gently toss
together. Serve immediately. Serves
6 (1 1/3 C. each)

Parmesan-Garlic Grilled Corn

1/4 c. margarine
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray cold grate of gas grill with
nonstick spray. Preheat grill for
medium heat. Combine margarine,
garlic salt & pepper in small bowl;
set aside. Grill corn 12-15 minutes
or until tender & browned lightly,
turning occasionally. Remove corn
from grill & brush with margarine
mixture. Sprinkle entire ear of corn
with cheese. Serves 4, 1 ear each.

Grilled Salmon Burgers

3 pouches (5 oz, ea) skinless, boneless
pink salmon, drained
1/2 c. dry seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
6 hamburger buns
1/4 C. mayonnaise
6 slices fresh tomato

Preheat gas grill for medium-high
heat. Combine salmon, bread crumbs,
egg, mustard & pepper in medium
bowl. Shape mixture into 6 patties,
about 1/2 inch thick. Spray a 18 X 12
piece of heavy aluminum foil with
nonstick spray & place on grill grate.
Add patties; grill 4 minutes on each
side or until set & hot. Spray cut
sides of buns with nonstick spray &
toast on grill. Spread mayonnaise evenly
on cut sides of buns then place patties
on bottom halves and top with tomato
slice. Cover with top bun and serve.
Serves 6, 1 sandwich each)

Bacon-wrapped Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 pkg. thick-sliced bacon

Spiral one slice of bacon around each
piece of asparagus. Grill, turning
carefully, until tender. Do not leave
unattended because of bacon fat
drippings that can catch fire.
Serves 4-6

Crusty Fried Chicken & Pan Gravy

1 (2-3 lb) frying chicken, cut up
2 T. milk
1 egg
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 C. cracker meal
1/2 C. finely ground salted peanuts
salt & pepper, to taste

Place cooking oil in deep,
heavy frying pan and heat to
frying temperature.
Mix together milk & egg in shallow
pan. Mix together parsley, cracker
meal, nuts, salt & pepper in another
shallow bowl. Dip cut up chicken in
egg/milk batter then into parsley
mix, thoroughly coating each piece.
Make sure chicken is evenly coated.
Fry chicken in hot oil until each piece
is golden brown & tender. Drain on
paper towels and serve piping hot
with gravy made from the pan

Pan Gravy:
2 T. flour
1 C. water

Drain grease from skillet after
cooking chicken, reserving 2
T. grase and the brown pieces
of crust in skillet. Blend flour &
grease together then, all at once,
add water. Stir constantly until
gravy is the consistency you want.
Season to taste with salt & pepper.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe
White Bean Dip

1 C. canned white navy beans,
drained & rinsed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno pepper
2 T. lemon juice
3 t. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. sesame seeds

In food processor or blender, puree
all ingredients except parsley & sesame
seeds. Transfer puree to a glass or plastic
bowl; add parsley & sesame seeds; blend
well. Refrigerate for at least one hour before
use. Serve at room temperature. Makes 1 C.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Lemon Ice Box Pie

1 (prepared) graham cracker crust
2/3 C. lemon juice
1 small can Eagle Brand milk
1 (18 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Mix lemon juice & milk; add Cool Whip
& mix thoroughly. Pour into crust &
NOTE: Even better after it’s frozen!

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe
Curried Chicken Wraps

3 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 C. celery, chopped
1 C. seedless, red or green grapes,
1/2 C. toasted, slivered almonds
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. curry powder
2/3 C. mayonnaise
salt & pepper, to taste
10 lettuce leaves
10 large flour tortillas

In large bowl, stir together chicken,
celery, grapes, almonds, lemon
juice, curry powder & mayonnaise,
salt & pepper. Place 1 lettuce leaf on
each tortilla. Divide chicken mixture
evenly along center of each leaf. Fold
up bottom of each tortilla then roll
it up. Serves 10

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mexican Corn Salad

4 C. frozen corn, thawed or
8 large ears fresh corn
1/4 C. red onion, chopped
1/4 C. green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 C. red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded & chopped
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
1/4 C. basil leaves, chopped (or
1 tsp. dried basil)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red pepper sauce (Tabasco – optional)
1/3 C. olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped

If using frozen corn, thaw first
If using fresh corn, boil 8 minutes in lightly
salted water; cool with cold water &
cut kernels off cob. Place corn, onion,
bell peppers, tomato, garlic, basil, oregano,
Tabasco, olive oil, lime juice & rice wine vinegar
in bowl. Toss until completely combined.
Season with salt & pepper.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad

2/3 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 oz) pkg. torn romaine lettuce
1/2 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 avocado, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 C. slivered red onions
1/2 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)

Pour 1/3 C. dressing over chicken in
shallow dish; turn to evenly coat
both sides of each breast. Refrigerate
30 minutes to marinate.
Heat grill to medium heat. Remove
chicken from marinade, discard
marinade. Grill chicken 6 – 8 minutes
on each side or until done (165 degrees F.)
Combine remaining dressing with all
remaining ingredients except cheese in
large bowl. Slice chicken; place over
salad & top with cheese. Serves 6,
1 1/2 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Caramel Crunch Bars

4 1/2 graham crackers
1 (11 oz) pkg. (Kraft) caramel bits
2 T. milk
1/2 C. cocktail peanuts
1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. coarsely crushed pretzels
1 (4 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate,

Line an 8″ square pan with foil, with
ends of foil extending over sides;
spray foil with nonstick spray. Place
grahams on bottom of pan, cutting
to fit, if necessary. Microwave caramels
& milk in microwaveable bowl on High
2 minutes or until caramel is completely
melted & mixture is blended, stirring
every 30 seconds. Pour over grahams;
top with next 3 ingredients, then
drizzle with chocolate. Refrigerate at
least 1 hour. Use foil handles to remove
dessert from pan before cutting into 12
bars to serve.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

More to come, for sure! Our weather has been ‘typical’ Michigan Spring – clear, sunny & warm one minute, chilly & grey the next with a pinch of rain thrown in just for fun! I was surprised last night while driving home from my special needs group around 9:20 p.m. that it was STILL 76 degrees! Nice! Beautiful sunset with huge, fluffy clouds – very nice! I just love that we have sun later in the day now (with daylight savings time, of course).

Made Meat & Potato pie for dinner last night; we had our middle son staying overnight for 2 days – he’s been feeling sick and said: “It’s just quieter here and I can just go to be and sleep!” He’s sure it’s not a respiratory infection, or the flu – he just feels ‘sick’. That didn’t stop him from going to college all day yesterday or getting up early today to do the same – he’s a trooper.

We’re going to get youngest son’s truck towed to a repair shop – (just been waiting on him to give us the ‘word’ to get the ball rolling. He said he didn’t want to ask us to help finance the repairs – that would be the third time since he bought the truck). He’s still working part-time for the friend/landscaper doing all sorts of heavy lifting/chopping roots & trees, etc. We’ll ALL be glad when he has a WORKING vehicle again – this driving 1/2 hour to his job is getting a bit old (but he did offer gas money!).

No particular plans for the weekend – we will have our 7 1/2 yr old grandson all day tomorrow, since he doesn’t have school. Not sure yet what we’ll do to keep him amused but I’m guessing there will be lots of board game playing in my future.

Enjoy your day, whatever the weather – remember to try to smile & have a little
FUN now & then! (I get that reminder to me from my cousin every Sunday in an email – apparently he doesn’t think I have much fun!)



PS: The baby blanket is within 1 – 2 days knitting of being finished! YAY-the end is in sight!


Gloomy Tuesday – Sigh . . .


Yep, today is a dark, ‘looks like a storm coming’ type of day – and it’s only 9:35 A.M.! Was hoping to go grocery shopping today, but that might not happen – depends on how I feel. Health-wise, I’m good – it’s just that when it’s gloomy, it sort of saps my ‘energy’ – does that ever happen to you?

Yesterday husband and I went out to lunch, using part of our Christmas gift card from our oldest son. We went to Longhorn Steak House and had a very nice meal: he had a Porterhouse steak & baked potato, I had a chicken breast with steamed broccoli and a tossed salad. We both shard a free “Sweet/spicy fried calamari” appetizer (it was OK – not exactly what I was hoping for – gotta say: Joe’s Crab Shack is the place to go for fried calamari!). Husband was even willing to stop at JoAnn’s for me to grab another big skein of the ‘baby blanket’ yarn needed to finish the one due in June. I have 2 more ‘groups’ to finish, then the final border strip – should take me about a week or maybe a little less, then I want to do a single crochet border around it in the bright green yarn. (that only leaves knitting 1-2 pairs of baby booties and I’m done with that project! YAY!) I was GOOD at JoAnn’s, knowing husband was in the car waiting – I only stopped at the yarn department, grabbed my yarn and checked out – didn’t even stop to look at any other departments!

Middle son stopped over yesterday and spent the night; he’s been moved out about a month now and having him home all day/night sort of reminded me of what it was like before: drank almost all the Orange Juice, finished off all the chicken Parmesan, basically raided the fridge – I guess that’s typical. I could tell he was happy to be where FOOD was – you never know what they’re eating on their own; heard him mention he has to start eating better/more often (not what a mother wants to hear!). I made a point of cooking the boy’s favorite: Mac & cheese & Polish sausages – he ate well.


Lazy Cake Cookies

1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs, beaten
5 T. melted butter
2 C. M & M’s or mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together, place
in greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake 20
minutes; cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)

Oven-Baked Farmer’s Omelet

12 large eggs
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh thyme**
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 T. butter or margarine
6 small plum tomatoes, seeded
& chopped
8 oz. farmers cheese*, shredded
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
fresh basil leaves (garnish/optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 6 ingredients at medium
speed with elec. mixer 2-3 minutes
until well blended. Melt butter in
a 12 inch ovenproof skillet; add egg
mixture. Bake 15 minutes; remove
from oven; sprinkle with tomatoes,
cheese & basil. Return to oven, bake
15-20 minutes more until set. Serve
immediately. serves 10-12

*Farmers cheese is a mild, part-skim,
semisoft cheese available in 8 oz. rounds.
Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese may
be substituted.

**You can also substitute 1 (10 oz) pkg.
frozen, thawed & well drained chopped
spinach for the thyme.

Note: You can also add 1/2 C. cooked,
crumbled bacon.

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Ham & Mashed Potato Pot Pie

2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. frozen corn
2 C. water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1/3 C. butter or margarine
1 3/4 C. water
2 tsp. tomato bouillon cubes (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. flour
2/3 to 1 C. milk (depending on desired
thickness of sauce)
2 C. ham, cooked & chopped
2 C. mashed potatoes

1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. plus 1 T. shortening
3-4 T. cold water

1 egg (for wash)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large saucepan, combine carrots, peas
& corn; cover with 2 C. water & boil
until vegetables are tender, but not
totally cooked (8-10 minutes; drain &
set aside. In small bowl, combine flour &
salt; stir. (for crust) Cut in shortening
with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until
shortening is in small pieces throughout
the flour. Slowly add water & knead
dough until just combined. Form dough
into a ball & wrap in plastic wrap. Place
in refrigerator while finishing the filling.
Combine onion & garlic in saucepan with
butter over medium heat until onion &
garlic are fragrant & tender. Add 1 3/4
C. water, tomato bouillon cubes, pepper
& salt; stir & slowly add in flour. Add milk,
more or less depending on desired thickness.
Stir & let simmer on Low 3 minutes. Stir
in vegetables & ham. Once vegetables &
ham are coated in sauce, pour mixture
into a pie pan. Layer 2 C. mashed potatoes
on top. Remove dough from fridge & roll
it out. Top filled pie pan with crust & cut
slits in center & top for steam. Separate
egg yolk & white; save yolk for another
recipe; lightly beat white with a fork
then brush on top of crust. Place pie
pan o top of a large baking sheet &
bake 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven
& let cool before serving. Serves 8


Hawaiian Cookie Balls

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice,
1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
40 square shortbread cookies, finely
crushed (about 3 C.)
1 1/2 pkg. (4 oz, ea) Bakers White Chocolate
(6 oz) broken into pieces & melted
3/4 C. flake coconut

Combine pineapple & dry pudding mix in
medium bowl. Immediately stir in cookie
crumbs. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Shape into 32 (1 inch) balls. Roll 16 balls
in coconut; place on waxed paper-covered
rimmed baking sheet. Dip remaining balls in
melted chocolate; add to baking sheet.
Refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm.

How to easily dip cookie balls:
Add cookie balls, in batches, to bowl of
melted chocolate. Use 2 forks to roll
cookie balls in chocolate until evenly
coated. Remove balls with fork, letting
excess chocolate drip back into bowl.

NOTE: Use a food processor to finely crush
shortbread cookies. For uniform sized balls,
use a mini cookie dough scoop to measure
out cookie mixture for each ball.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast

2 T. oil
1 flat boneless pork loin roast (4 lb)
1 (14 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 C. Catalina salad dressing
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. zest and 1/4 C. juice from 1 orange

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add
meat; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until
browned on both sides. Transfer meat to crockpot.
Mix cranberry sauce, salad dressing & soy sauce;
pour over meat & cover with lid. Cook on Low
4-5 hours. Remove meat from crockpot, reserving
liquid. Cover meat to keep warm. Whisk remaining
ingredients in small bowl until blended; stir into
liquid in crockpot. Cook, covered, on High 10
minutes or until thickened. Slice meat; place on
platter. Drizzle lightly with sauce. Serve with
remaining sauce. Serves 16

For best results, DO NOT cook meat on

High setting

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Fiesta Meatloaf

2 lb. ground beef
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. water
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa,
3/4 C. Mexican-style Cheddar-
Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients except 1/4 C.
salsa & cheese. Shape into oval loaf
in 9 X 13 baking pan; top with
remaining salsa. Bake 1 hour or
until done (160 degrees F.) Top with
cheese; bake 5 minutes or until melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Waldorf Salad

1/4 C. mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. milk
2 medium unpeeled red apples,
coarsely chopped (2 C.)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 C.)
2 T. coarsely chopped nuts
salad greens

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice & milk
in medium bowl. Stir in apples, celery & nuts;
serve on salad greens. Cover & refrigerate
any leftovers.

NOTE: You can hollow out round dinner
rolls & fill with salad.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Broccoli/Rice/Cheese Casserole

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen broccoli
1 stick butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
6 C. wild rice
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 C. shredded cheese, your choice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In skillet, melt butter; saute onion &
garlic until onions are tender, set aside.
Steam frozen broccoli until thawed;
drain well & let cool. Cook wild rice
accordg to pkg directions.
NOTE: it is important to let the warm
ingredients cool before mixing every-
thing together so the cheese doesn’t
melt too soon. When ingredients are
cooled, reserve 1/2 C. cheese. Mix
remaining ingredients together &
place in a casserole dish. Spread
reserved 1/2 C. cheese on top, cover
with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove
foil & bake an additional 5-15 minutes
until cheese is melted & bubbly. Makes
approx. 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Applesauce Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 C. applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. flour
1 C. raisins (optional)

Crumb Topping:
1/2 C. butter
3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. cinnamon

Crumb topping:
Combine all ingredients until
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all muffin ingredients; stir
until moistened. Fill lightly greased
muffin cups 3/4ths full; sprinkle
tops with crumb topping. Bake
25-30 minutes. Makes 12-16 muffins.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Trying to decide whether to get dressed and just go do the grocery shopping OR go knit; decisions, decisions! (Told ya gloomy weather makes me REALLY lethargic! Oh well – such is life.

Hope YOU’RE having a GREAT day!




Today was the ‘finishing’ day for middle son’s LAST art project for Art Design – we are DONE! When he takes it to class tomorrow, he will be bringing loose sand & a few small rocks to pour into the “Japanese Sand Garden” (located next to the tree in the photo). I didn’t want to put sand in just for the photo – I’d be cleaning sand for days!


Front view


side view

As far as I know, we met all the requirements: 10 1/2″ tall, about 5″ wide, able to stand on it’s own (I used duct tape all inside and under – you can lift it up and totally turn it upside down and it won’t come apart); sign with name of business and logo; “Los Vegas” style (hence the gold glitter). We had some trouble during construction (some of the glitter-painted walls buckled a bit and the roof isn’t totally ‘flat to the walls’) but all-in-all, I think we did a great job – now it’s just ‘wait for the grade’! I had fun today making the ‘tree’ – found a really perfect branch outside, then tore off & wadded up bits of two colors of green tissue paper for the leaves (just used Elmer’s glue to adhere them). The base is Sculpey clay, adhered to the base with hot glue. I’m pretty sure everything will ‘stay in place’ for tomorrow.

Do you remember my telling you that a friend in my knit group passed away and her son was ‘gifting’ the group with all her knit/crochet/craft stuff? I knew it was coming, just not so soon. Saturday I spent about 4 hours at church helping prep the food for Sunday’s Easter breakfast – got home really wore out and just wanted to put my feet up and take a short nap. The minute I got in the door husband announced that my friend’s son was ‘in the area’ and wanted us to pick up her stuff TODAY! UGH! Got there and was pretty shocked to see that the boxes, plastic bins, etc. almost filled my entire van! It’s been slow going, but I think I’ve finally gone through it all and am now able to sort it ‘by craft’: quilting supplies, crochet books & needles, knitting books & needles, yarns, liquid embroidery supplies, embroidery threads & supplies (and probably a few others I can’t think of right now). She was a VERY meticulous person who enjoyed doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way; each project was in a separate cloth bag. If it was a crocheted afghan, ALL of the things you might need were there: needles, pattern, yarn, scissors, pencil, and in each was a stenographer’s notebook with pencil, very carefully marking off each pattern row – we’re talking PILES of these notebooks! Useful, actually, only to her – but they helped her keep track of each project. There was one particular brown afghan that I’d helped her with when she first started in the group last fall – I mentioned it to her son and he said he well remembered it. She would work on it for awhile, yell/cuss/get angry – then rip out all the stitches and start again – over and over until she would throw the needles across the room in frustration (enter where I came into the picture!). I found that bag today and had a few tears for my friend – also in the bag was another little notebook; THIS TIME I think I can decipher it enough to be able to finish the afghan (for her). She was a very sweet, soft-spoken lady with a cute sense of humor and I’ll miss her but I think she would like it if I can finish her afghan – I’ll certainly give it a good try!

How was your Easter? Mine, as expected, was pretty hectic – but in the end it all came out nicely. Got to church at 7 a.m. and helped cut cantaloupe, apples, bananas, wash dishes then quickly gulp down breakfast/sing in the choir and finally enjoy the Easter message. Came home totally ‘beat’ and rested about an hour (was actually able to SLEEP for about an hour!) Managed to get dinner all cooked & ready, family sat down and had a nice time together. (I was glad Grandma remembered the Easter baskets for everyone, because oldest son told me he totally forgot to make one for our grandson and was VERY glad to see one at our house for him!) I made the Watergate salad – it was (in most of our opinions) OK – not much more than OK – won’t be making it again. I didn’t have the time to make the Mandarin Orange Cake but we survived without, quite nicely. I was SO glad to think that I could actually get up today at WHATEVER time I wanted – no particular pressures to do anything special (except help middle son with art project, but that was later in the day).


(A few ‘belated’ Easter recipes for ya)

Do-Ahead Egg Bake
(Overnight recipe)

8 large eggs
3 C. milk
8 C. French bread cubes (cut
3/4 inch)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
12 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese, divided

Whisk eggs & milk in large bowl until
well blended; stir in bread. Add spinach,
bacon & 1 1/2 C. cheese; mix lightly. Pour
into 9 X 13 pan sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray; top with remaining
cheese. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered, 48-50 minutes
or until top is puffed & golden brown.
Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Dijon Potatoes Au Gratin

1/3 C. finely chopped shallots
2 T. margarine or butter, divided
1 C. Half & Half
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese,
1 T. chopped fresh basil
6 medium potatoes, peeled &
thinly sliced (about 5 C.)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook & stir shallots in 1 T. margarine
in medium saucepan on medium
heat until tender. Add Half & Half, mustard
& remaining 1 T. margarine; cook 5 minutes,
stirring frequently. Reduce heat to Low.
Add 1/2 C. cheese & basil; cook until
cheese is completely melted, stirring
frequently. Layer potatoes & cream sauce
alternately in greased 2 qt. round casserole
dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C. cheese;
cover with foil. Bake 45-55 minutes or
until potatoes are tender. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Deviled Eggs

8 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 T. sweet pickle relish
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
dash paprika

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove
yolks & mash yolks in small bowl.
Add Mir. Whip, relish, mustard &
seasonings; mix well. Spoon or pipe
yolk mixture evenly into egg white
halves. Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Parmesan Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chicken bouillon (cube)
1/4 C. fresh Parmesan cheese,
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat butter & oil in skillet until
warm, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic
powder & chicken bouillon; stir
until dissolved. Add asparagus &
toss in butter mixture. Cook on
medium 4-8 minutes or until it’s
bright green, like the color of a
lime. Remove from heat, top with
shaved Parmesan & freshly grated
black pepper. Serves 4


Scrambled Egg Muffins

1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
12 eggs
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or
line with paper liners. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat;
stir in sausage; cook & stir until
sausage is crumbly, evenly browned
& no longer pink (10-15 min); drain.
Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in onion,
green pepper, salt, pepper & garlic
powder. Mix in sausage & cheese.
Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into muffin cups.
Bake 20-25 minutes. (until knife inserted
near center comes out clean). Makes 12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

(Now for the LEFTOVERS recipes!):

Ham Delights

3 pkgs. small party rolls
1 lb. cooked ham, shaved & chopped
1 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 C. butter, softened
3 T. mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine butter, mustard &
Wors. sauce. Add ham & cheese; mix until
well blended. Slice top half off rolls (DO NOT
break into individual rolls). Return bottom
half to the pan (alum. pan they come in)
Spread 1/3 of ham/cheese mixture evenly
over the bottom half of the rolls in each
pan. Replace top half of rolls. Bake 15
minutes until golden brown & cheese has
melted. Slice into individual rolls before



Ham Dumpling Soup

1 ham bone
3-4 C. ham, cubed
1 can Garden Vegetable broth
2 stalks celery, whole
1 large onion, peeled & whole
4 large potatoes, diced
1 can carrots, drained
(water to cover, in pot)
2 large eggs
2 C. flour
1/2 C. water

Place first 8 ingredients in large pot.
Bring to boil then let simmer over
medium-low heat 45 minutes. While
soup is simmering, make dumplings.

Mix eggs & flour & 1/2 C. water in a
bowl, using a fork. Let set, covered,
for 1 hour.

After soup simmers 45 minutes, remove
celery stalks & onion – throw away. Remove
ham bone, take off any meat attached to bone
and add to soup. When dumplings float they
are done.

(After 1 hr. dumpling dough rest)
Roll out dumplings onto lightly floured surface,
to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 1″ squares &
slowly add to boiling soup. Let cook 5-7
minutes depending on the size and thickness of
the dumplings. (This should turn the soup broth
from clear to a thicker stew-like broth).
NOTE: If you don’t want a thick broth, roll out
the dumplings and cut them into small pieces
about the size of a penny & place in boiling
Add salt & pepper to soup, to your taste, and

Barbecued Ham Sandwiches

2 1/2 lb. ham – shaved (or sliced thin)
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
16 hamburger buns

Combine chili sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar & dry

mustard in medium-sized crockpot; mix well. Add

ham & stir gently until combined. Heat until bubbly

then reduce heat setting to ‘warm’ until ready
to serve. Serve on hamburger buns.

Monte Cristo Easter Brunch

1 dozen large eggs
3 C. heavy cream (or Half & Half)
1/2 C. powdered sugar (plus a
few T. to garnish)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 loaves crusty French bread,
a little stale
1 lb. smoked turkey, sliced thin
1 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1 lb. honey ham, sliced thin
1/2 C. strawberry jam
1/2 C. apple sauce*
1/2 C. fresh sliced strawberries
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place eggs in large bowl, add
cream, cinnamon, vanilla &
powdered sugar; using elec.
mixer whip on High until
frothy. Place French bread
slices in a herringbone style
in one layer, in a large pan
sprayed with nonstick spray.
Pour half of egg mixture over
bread. Layer sliced turkey,
layer Swiss cheese, layer sliced
ham then another layer of
bread and the remaining egg
mixture. Cover with foil & bake
25-30 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10-12 minutes
until top is golden & crispy. While
casserole is cooking, prepare
strawberry jam compote to spoon
over top of individual servings.
Strawberry Compote:
Add strawberry jam, butter, apple
sauce & vanilla in a small saucepan
over medium heat. Cook until mixture
thins. After mixture thins, add sliced
strawberries & continue cooking until
mixture begins to simmer. Remove
from heat, but keep warm until
ready to serve.
Serve sliced casserole with compote
& fresh strawberries on the side.
Serves 10-15

*a single-serving container of
applesauce is the right size, if you
have it


Traditional Hummingbird Cake
(overnight recipe)

3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. ripe, smashed bananas
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
1 C. cooking oil
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. finely chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 9″ round cake pans with
parchment paper; butter & flour pans
or spray with nonstick spray. Place flour,
sugar, baking soda, cinnamon & salt in a
bowl; using a whisk, mix well. In a separate
bowl, mix banana, pineapple, oil, eggs,
vanilla & nuts until thoroughly combined.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients;
stir to incorporate until smooth. Divide
evenly between the two cake pans.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer
to wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Remove from
pans & let cool completely on rack right side
up.  (you can refrigerate cakes to make frosting
them easier)

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Place cream cheese &butter in a bowl & mix
using elec. mixer to combine. Add powdered
sugar slowly, mixing on Low setting, to combine.
Add vanilla & mix until smooth; set aside. Do
not place in refrigerator as it will become too
stiff to frost cake. Place 1/4 C. icing in middle of
cake stand & place first cake layer right side up
on top. Spread about 2/3 C. icing on top of cake
layer. Place second cake layer right side down
on top of first layer; gently press together. Place
remaining icing on top of cake &, using a spatula,
spread icing on sides & top of cake. Place cake
in refrigerator to chill completely – preferably
overnight to fully set (this will make it easier
to cut).


Buttery-Almond Green Beans

2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 C. water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2/3 C. slivered almonds, toasted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
6 T. butter, melted

In large saucepan, combine beans, water
& soup mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat;
cover & simmer 15-20 minutes until beans
are crisp-tender. In small bowl, combine
nuts, cheese & paprika. Drain beans; drizzle
with butter, then sprinkle with almond
mixture; toss to coat. Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Easy Citrus Ham

1 boneless, fully cooked ham (3-4 lb)
1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can lemon-lime soda/pop,
1 medium navel orange, thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1 medium lime, thinly sliced
1 T. chopped crystallized ginger

Cut ham in half; place in a 5 Qt. crockpot.
In small bowl, combine brown sugar & 1/4
C. soda/pop; rub over ham. Top with orange,
lemon & lime slices. Add candied ginger &
remaining soda/pop to crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 4-5 hours or until a meat
thermometer reads 140 degrees F., basting
occasionally with cooking juices. Let stand
10 minutes before slicing. Makes 10-12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cauliflower Au Gratin

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. flour
1 C. milk
6 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan &
fill with water to just below bottom of
steamer; bring water to boil; add cauliflower;
cover & cook/steam 5-7 minutes. Grease a
9 X 9″ baking dish. Heat butter in small
saucepan over low heat; cook & stir onion
in melted butter until softened, about 5
minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly,
until mixture just starts to brown, about
3-5 minutes. Gradually pour milk into
mixture, whisking into a smooth sauce.
Cook until just simmering. Remove sauce
from heat & stir in half Cheddar cheese until
melted; sprinkle with pepper & nutmeg. Place
steamed cauliflower into prepared dish; pour
cheese sauce over cauliflower then sprinkle
with remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake 25
minutes until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
(Sorry, still having a bit of trouble with the browser and my font sizes.)

How’s your WEATHER? It’s been REALLY nice & Spring-like here; it’s sunny & clear out, temp 74! WOW! I LOVE this weather!

I think that’s about it for the news today – hope you’re having a GREAT day!