Happy Sunday!

It’s a rather gloomy, wet day out there (temp is 47 degrees F.) but it’s better than snow! (guess you could say it’s ‘liquid snow’, right?). I’m slowly feeling better – was able to go to church and sing in the choir (YAY!). Came home later & had a surprise visit from oldest son & his little family; they stopped by to drop off husband’s air pump. It was nice to see ALL of them – newest grandson is now officially 4 weeks/or 1 month old. I get the fun of babysitting him tomorrow evening while his parents go to a concert/date – am guessing about 4-5 hours, total – we’ll see. I also get the ‘fun’ of learning all the in’s & outs of new-fangled baby paraphernalia like the Dr. Brown baby bottles and heating pumped mommy milk on the stove after it’s been frozen! (In my day I used the microwave and, being our boys were adopted, didn’t have to figure out how to defrost that kind of milk). I’ve decided, since it’s supposed to continue raining/storming, I’m taking some matches with me – just in case the power goes out. I KNOW they have lots of candles. Should be a fun/interesting/unique experience, for sure!


 Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Pudding

8 C. day-old, unfrosted cinnamon
rolls, cubed*
4 large eggs
2 C. milk
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. raisins

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place roll cubes in bottom.
In small bowl whisk eggs, milk, sugar, butter,
vanilla & nutmeg – stir in raisins & pour over
cinnamon rolls. Stir gently. Cover & cook on
Low 3 hours until a knife inserted near
center comes out clean. Serves 6

*8 slices cinnamon or white bread, cut
into 1 inch cubes may be substituted
for the cinnamon rolls

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Liver & Onions with Bacon!

1 lb. beef liver
1/4 – 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
2 medium onions
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 T. butter
2 T. water

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Brown bacon in pan & reserve
grease. Wash the liver & slice
into thin (1/4 – 1/2″) slices;
rinse well & pat dry using paper
towels. Mix flour, garlic powder,
salt/pepper in small bowl. Grease
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish using
the bacon grease. Dip liver slices into
flour mixture & place in prepared dish.
Thinly slice onions into rings & layer
on top of liver. Cut butter into small
pats & place over sliced onions. Add
water to pan to keep all moisture from
cooking off. Bake 30-40 minutes until
well cooked & onions are soft. It may
take up to an hour, depending on
thickness of liver slices. When done
cooking, sprinkle top with bacon
crumbles. Serves 4-6


Cowboy Cornbread Meatloaf

1 1/2 – 2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 box cornbread stuffing mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/3 to 1/2 C. sliced canned mushrooms
1/2 C. diced onions
1/2 C. honey BBQ sauce (or your

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing according to box
directions. Combine stuffing,
ground beef, egg, garlic powder,
seasoning, mushrooms & onions-
mix well. Spray a loaf pan with
nonstick spray & press meatloaf
into pan evenly. Brush top of
meatloaf with a light coating of
BBQ sauce. Bake 1 hour; remove
& brush again with a thick layer
of BBQ sauce; place back in oven
another 5  minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: militarywivessaving.com)
BBQ Chili Cheese Biscuit Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled/shredded
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 stalks kale, chopped (or few
handfuls spinach, chopped)
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 (19 oz) can black or kidney beans,
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. BBQ sauce

2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. cold butter cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/2 to 3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

In large oven-safe skillet cook
ground beef & onion over medium-
high heat until browned. Add carrot,
pepper, kale (spinach) & chili powder;
cook 2-3 minutes until veggies are
softened. Add beans, tomatoes, ketchup
& BBQ sauce. Cover & simmer over
medium heat 10 minutes. (while cooking,
prepare the biscuits)


In medium bowl mix flour, baking
powder, salt & garlic powder. Add
butter cubes to mixture & cut in until
crumbly. Stir in milk gradually, stirring
just enough so dough comes together.
Roll out on floured surface & cut into
biscuit rounds (or you can leave as
one piece). Place biscuits on top of
chili mixture. Lay a piece of foil over top
(do not tighten around skillet – this is
only to prevent spatters in oven). Bake
10 minutes until light golden brown.
Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese &
bake 1-2 minutes more until cheese
melts. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead:
Cook chili 10 minutes & prepared
biscuit dough. Wrap dough in plastic
wrap & refrigerate. Cool chili to
room temp & refrigerate. When ready
to bake, bake chili, covered at 450
degrees F. 10-15 minutes before adding
biscuits on top & baking additional 10

To Freeze: Assemble completely, minus
the cheese & freeze. To bake, thaw in
fridge overnight or on counter 2-3 hours.
(Might require additional baking time
if still partially frozen when you bake.
Sprinkle on cheese during last 10 minutes.

(recipe: thereciperebel.com)

Crockpot Vegetarian Minestrone

1 C. dried navy beans, rinsed
4 carrots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 qt. (5 C.) vegetable broth
3/4 C. ditalini pasta, uncooked
3/4 C. “Classico Traditional Basil
Pesto pasta sauce & spread”
1 (5 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray & place beans, carrots & garlic in
bottom. Add broth & stir. Cover & cook
on Low 7-8 hours (or High 3 1/2 – 4 hours).
Stir in pasta & pesto sauce; cover & cook
on Low 30 minutes (or High 15 minutes).
Add spinach & lemon juice; stir & serve
topped with cheese. Serves 8 (1 C. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
Sheet Pan Home Fries

20 oz. baby red potatoes, cut
into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
fresh black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil or
spray with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients in
large bowl & toss to coat
then transfer to sheet pan &
spread in single layer. Roast
on bottom rack of oven 15
minutes. Turn mixture using
a spatula & roast an additional
25-30 minutes until golden
brown & cooked through.
Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Crockpot Red Velvet Spoon

3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
3/4 C. butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 1/2 C. flour
3 oz. red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
pecan pieces (optional)

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Place choc. chips & 3/4 C. butter
in microwave safe bowl – melt
at 30 second intervals, stirring
in between.* Whisk in eggs & egg
whites, one at a time. Mix in flour,
food coloring, vanilla, baking cocoa,
salt & baking powder. Spoon
batter into crockpot & spread out
evenly. Place a few paper towels
across opening of crockpot to catch
any moisture that may drip on
batter & cover with lid. Cook on
Low 2 1/2-3 hours. If done, when
you insert a toothpick into center,
a few crumbs will stick to it when
it comes out.Remove lid & let cool
while preparing icing.**

Beat cream cheese & butter until
mostly smooth; stir in powdered
sugar & salt, then mix in vanilla

To serve:
Place a dollop of brownie on a plate
with a dollop of icing on top & a
sprinkle of pecans, if using.

*If your microwave safe bowl isn’t
large enough, pour mixture into
a large bowl & stir in sugar.

**When you remove the lid it will
look great until it starts to cool – then
it will fall – it is perfect for spooning
out to serve.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Veggie-Lovers Cream Cheese Spread

8 oz. softened cream cheese*
1 T. finely diced jalapeno pepper
3 T. finely diced green bell pepper
3 T. finely diced red bell pepper
1 green onion, chopped finely
3 T. finely diced carrot
3 T. finely diced broccoli (stem &
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch sugar
pinch ground white pepper

Mix all ingredients together well;
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 1 cup approximately

*Microwave cream cheese on
microwaveable plate 30 seconds
on High

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)


Marshmallow ‘Peeps’ Cookie Bars

1/2 C. butter
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees F
Spray 9 X 13″ cake pan with nonstick spray.
Whip butter until fluffy, add egg & yolk
in large bowl; combine dry cake mix
along with some sprinkles. Press
dough into prepared pan & bake
18-20 minutes. Allow cake to cool
Melt white chocolate  chips in a pan
on stove (or microwave)
then combine with sweetened
condensed milk & vanilla to make
fudge layer – pour mixture evenly
over cooked ‘cake’ & smooth top.
While ‘fudge’ layer is still warm, line Peeps
side-by-side (varying colors, if desired)
on top & add some sprinkles to top.
Place pan in fridge to set. Once set,
cut into
bars (following Peeps bodies) &

(recipe: tiphero.com)

This coming week looks like it will be
pretty busy with babysitting, knit group,
special needs group, visiting our Tax Man,
special needs Gym Night – SO GLAD my
back is finally feeling better!

Still working on knitting baby hats for
the Detroit Vet’s baby shower in Sept.,
1 pink variegated yarn baby blanket &
the mint green Diagonal Squares crocheted
baby blanket – keeps me out of trouble!
Need to visit the library again soon, ran out
of books to read. I ended up ‘raiding’ my
upstairs paperbacks (we’re talking 1980’s+)
and found “The Fourth Estate” by Jeffrey
Archer (one of my favorite authors) – I thought
I’d read all his books but this one was new
to me (that could either mean I haven’t
read it ORRrrrrrrrrr I’m getting too old and
I DID read it, just forgot! … Oh well . . .

Hope you’re having a great Sunday!




Busy day – and goofy

Have you ever had one of those kind of ‘goofy’ days where things don’t quite go the way you hoped? Yep, that was today, for me. I didn’t start out with any particular plans but slowly projects began to show themselves ‘needy’ of being accomplished. I went outside to pick up the newspaper and thought: “OK – I GIVE UP! YES, I know I need to sew some new porch curtains!” That got me started on locating just where I’d put the rods (we needed new ones) that I bought many months ago and just where was that remnant of fabric I bought years ago specifically for that purpose? Found them! Measured the windows (2), measured the fabric, cut it to size, got out my good old circa 1940’s (or there abouts – see photo) machine and hooked it up (it’s one of the first portable electric machines by Singer). Got everything lined up to begin sewing – it sewed maybe 3 stitches forward & froze/locked up. OK, I thought – maybe I need to back it up & try again – NOPE, locked up completely! After fiddling with it for awhile I asked for my dear husband’s help (he’s great with all sorts of machinery). To sum this up: After over 2 hours working on it for him, about 1 with me assisting we STILL couldn’t get anywhere! Called JoAnn’s and asked just when their sewing machine repair guy would be in the store next – have to wait a week – sigh. The curtains are NOT a big deal, it’s just frustrating to think of all that time & effort only to get nowhere. Husband has been on the ‘net’ for about half hour now and found a site/video that shows how to repair the area we had trouble with – now husband wants a second try at fixing it (hopefully tomorrow or some other time, I’m DONE for today!). Crazy stuff.

Managed to finish the pink baby blanket & crochet a shell-like border around it twice (I’m not a great crocheter, this border was done with me sort of ‘making it up as I went’ – looks good, so I guess we’re ‘good to go’, so to speak.


German Chocolate Dump Cake

1 C. sweetened flake coconut
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans/divided
1 box Devil’s food cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Sprinkle coconut &
1 C. chopped pecans in bottom of pan.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to pkg.
directions; pour over coconut & nuts.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese, butter, vanilla & salt
until smooth. Beat in powdered
sugar & stir in chocolate chips and
remaining pecans. Using a spoon,
dollop cream cheese mixture over
cake batter; gently swirl mixture into
batter using a knife. Bake 35-40
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center of cake comes out clean.
Serves 16

(recipe: letsdishrecipes.com)

Best Ever Salisbury Steak

Meat ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (80/20 mixture)
1/3 C. seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. ketchup
2 T. mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
pinch cayenne pepper
2 large egg yolks
4 T. butter or oil

Gravy ingredients:
2 C. beef broth
1 1/2 T. corn starch
1 onion, chopped
1 C. (or more) fresh mushrooms,
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. ketchup
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Mix all meat ingredient together &
form into oval patties. Brown each
patty on both sides in butter or oil
in a skillet; remove from pan. Add
mushrooms & onions to pan – saute.
Add 1 1/2 C. beef broth to pan,
reserving 1/2 C. broth. Add Worc.
sauce, ketchup & parsley, mix well.
Combine reserved broth to cornstarch
to make a slurry – add it slowly to
mixture in pan & cook 3-4 minutes
then add in meat patties. Simmer
15-20 minutes until done. (time
will depend on size of your patties).

Note; be careful when browning
patties – they will break apart if not
handled gently.

(recipe: thebeardedhiker.com)

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 C. Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 zucchini, sliced thin 1/4 ” rounds
/2 C. flour
2 large eggs, beaten

Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. In large
bowl combine Panko & Parmesan.
Working in batches, dredge zucchini
rounds in flour, dip in eggs, then dredge
in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
Add zucchini rounds to skillet,
5-6 at a time, cook until evenly
golden & crispy, about 1 minute
per side. Transfer to a paper
towel-lined plate. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)

Garlic Butter Chicken & Pasta

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 T. minced garlic
3 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. diced white onions
1/2 C. sliced butter
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. frozen peas (add at end)
1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked al dente,
(add at end)
Parmesan cheese – for serving

Place chicken, garlic, onions, carrots,
butter, thyme, basil, salt/pepper in
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. When cooking time is done,
cook pasta according to pkg. directions;
add peas & drained cooked pasta to
crockpot; stir well. Sprinkle Parm.
cheese on top when serving. Serves 8

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)

Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
1 1/2 C. broccoli florets (fresh)
1 red bell pepper cut into matchsticks
2 carrots thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted

Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or
skillet over medium-high heat. Cook &
stir beef until browned, 3-4 minutes.
Move meat to side; add broccoli, bell
pepper, carrots, green onion & garlic to
center of wok/skillet. Cook & stir vegs.
2 minutes. Stir beef into vegetables &
season with soy sauce & sesame seeds.
Cook & stir until veggies are tender, about
2 more minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Crockpot Cheesy Hamburger Hash

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 C. potatoes, peeled/diced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/4 c. diced green bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. beef broth/stock
3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Brown ground beef in skillet; drain.
In large bowl mix browned ground beef,
potatoes, tomato sauce, soup, peppers,
onion & beef stock – pour into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. Stir in cheese until melted &
serve immediately. Serves 4-6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

3 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3 T. flour
pinch salt
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. lemon zest, loosely packed
1/2 C. water
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. flour

3 egg whites
pinch salt
1/4 C. granulated sugar

Prepared filling:
In small saucepan over Low heat,
whisk egg yolks, sugar, flour & salt;
whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest,
water & melted butter. Increase
heat to Medium. Whisking
constantly, cook until filling is
smooth & thick, about 7 minutes;
remove from heat.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Make Cupcakes:
In medium bowl beat butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in eggs, lemon
juice, baking powder & salt; beat in
flour until just combined. Divide
batter between 12 cupcake liners in a
muffin pan. Bake 15-16 minutes until
center of cupcakes firms up; remove
cupcakes from oven & cook 5-8
minutes (do not turn off oven)

Prepare Meringue:
Beat egg whites with salt until mixture
begins to stiffen; add sugar & beat until
meringue is stiff & forms stiff peaks
(do not overdo it). Using a sharp knife,
remove center of each cooled cupcake
(about 1″ in diameter) leaving a layer
of cupcake beneath cut out part (discard
cupcake core, or eat it). Fill cupcake centers
with lemon filling. Divide dollops of
meringue between cupcakes, spreading
out to edges & gently tapping with back
of a spoon to form peaks. Return cupcakes
to oven & bake an additional 5-6 minutes
until meringue peaks are golden brown.
Remove from oven & let cool 10 minutes.
Refrigerate an hour or more before
serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby – Facebook)

Our weather has been nice today – in
the  mid 50’s; it was a little sunny which
made me have the gumption to want to
DO stuff – like making the curtains. Oh well-
after all that ‘adventure’ I sat & read a book.
I have a friend at church who is a writer/
author and he donated one of his 3 books
to our church library – I checked it out last
night & began reading it. Our local library
now has one copy of his third book & I
just finished that one last week – since I
chatted with my husband about it, he also
read book #2, so you can see it’s a pretty
good read. His father was in World War II
and his brother is a pilot so his books
deal with WWII and flying (usually that
would not interest me but he writes well
enough that they keep my interest!).
His name is Rick Barry Two of his books are
“The Methuselah Project” (just read) and
“Gunner’s Run” (reading now). He also wrote
a short story called: “Kiriath’s Quest” which
I understand is a bit hard to find in print. He’s
a very interesting person – speaks fluent
Russian, spent 2 years living there-all (as he
would say) ‘fuel for his writing’.

Hope you’re having a great day;



A Little Knitting Catch-up

knitting sheep

Finally had a chance to take a few photos: peacock-colored scarf (for homeless shelter), another homeless shelter scarf I just started and the butter-yellow baby blanket that gave me fits by jumping off the needles last week.


Peacock scarf (photo doesn’t show the stitches very nicely)


another homeless shelter scarf – this one is more donated yarn (yarn is a teal blue chenille (I want to call it velour – same/same)


Butter-yellow baby blanket – still have about half to go on this one

So far this week has been pretty easy-going (I probably shouldn’t say that out loud – right?) Yesterday found us doing a ‘last minute’ watch-the-grandson maneuver; his Mom text me early to ask if his dad (our son) had mentioned he had a half-day of school? No . . . lots of texting later I agreed to pick him up at 12 and then keep him until his dad got here to take him to football practice (which turned out to be around 4:45 p.m.). We decided to take him out to lunch (a good ‘time killer’) so we went to Village Place (a general ‘all purpose/24 hr’ get almost any food you want) type place. He ended up ordering the kids shrimp & fries (as another of our sons said: “You can tell his dad is a chef – what normal kid orders SHRIMP?”). It was a really small order (only 4 shrimp) but he was OK with it. Husband had a big burger and was very happy with it; I ordered their Ultimate Nacho. I ask you: “WHO puts BACON on a nacho?” I don’t remember seeing that on the list of ingredients, but I ate it anyway. It was loaded with lots of really melty cheese, so that made me happy (I mostly picked off the bacon bits). Don’t get me wrong – I do like bacon, just not on a nacho!


Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
2 sticks butter, divided/melted
3 eggs, divided
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3-4 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. instant espresso granules

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick spray. Mix cake mix
with 1/2 C. melted butter, 1 egg &
1 tsp. vanilla in large bowl until
just combined. Transfer to prepared
dish (use a rubber spatula to spread
in even layer). In separate bowl beat
cream cheese 2-3 minutes until smooth
then add eggs, one at a time. Mix in
cocoa & instant coffee granules, until
smooth. Gradually mix in powdered
sugar (on Low speed if using elec.
mixer) then drizzle in remaining
melted butter & vanilla; fold in
chocolate chips until just combined.
Pour mixture over batter in dish & gently
spread in even layer. Bake 45-50 minutes
until edges are pulling away from sides
of dish & center is just set. Remove from
oven & let cool at least 40 minutes until
set. Serves 10-12

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Crockpot Mango Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 ripe mangoes, diced
1 C. mild salsa
1/4 C. brown sugar

Place all ingredients in crockpot &
stir until evenly distributed. Cover &
cook on Low 4-5 hours until chicken
reaches an internal temperature of
165 degrees F. Shred. Makes 6

Serving suggestions:
Serve on tacos, in quesadillas, on
cooked rice, or on a salad.

(recipe: thereciperebel.com)

Baked Cheesy Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan
1 oz. Provolone cheese, shredded
(or you can use mozzarella)
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place tomatoes, cut sides up, on
a baking sheet. Top with cheeses,
oregano, basil, salt/pepper.
Bake about 15 minutes until
tomatoes are tender.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Zesty Shrimp & Avocado Salad

1/4 C. chopped red onion
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
1 lb. jumbo cooked/peeled shrimp,
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed,
diced fine
1 T. chopped cilantro

In small bowl combine onion, lime juice,
olive oil, salt/pepper – let set at least
5 minutes to mellow the flavor. In large
bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado,
tomato, jalapeno; add cilantro & gently
toss. Adjust salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Quick Cream Cheese Pesto Pasta

2 C. dry tortellini
6 T. cream cheese
3-4 T. pesto sauce

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain, reserving about 1/2 C. water. In
a pan or bowl, whisk cream cheese with
pesto & about 6 T. water until creamy.
(adding a little more or less water will
produce thinner or thicker sauce).
Serve immediately.
Serving suggestions:
Sprinkle with some chopped parsley,
roasted sunflower seeds and/or grated
Parmesan cheese

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Paradise Fried Rice

1 T. sesame oil
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 C. diced pineapple
3/4 C. diced cooked ham or
Canadian bacon
2 large eggs
2 C. cooked rice
2 T. soy sauce
sliced scallions, for garnish

In large skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Add onion & garlic & cook
3 minutes. Add peppers & zucchini
& cook until soft, 6 minutes. Add
pineapple & ham, stir until combined.
Move ingredients to one side of
pan & add eggs. Scramble eggs 3
minutes then stir to combine with
rest of ingredients in pan. Add cooked
rice & stir until combined. Stir in
soy sauce & sprinkle with scallions.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)

Blueberry Zucchini Cake w/Lemon

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 C. finely shredded/drained
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries (can
save a few for garnish, if desired)

Lemon Buttercream

1 C. butter, room temp
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 lemon – juice & zest (about 2 T.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 8 inch round cake pans
with nonstick spray – lighty flour.
In large bowl using elec. mixer
beat eggs, oil, vanilla & sugar; fold in
zucchini. Slowly ad flour, salt, baking
powder/soda – gently fold in blueberries.
Divide batter evenly between prepared
pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife
inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool 20 minutes in pans then remove
from pans & cool on wire rack completely.

Combine butter, sugar & salt – beat until
well combined. Add lemon juice & vanilla;
beat another 3-5 minutes until creamy. Fold
in zest & frost cake.

*Grate zucchini & place in a clean dish towel.
Squeeze until most of liquid comes out. You
will want to have 2 total cups of shredded
zucchini after it has been drained.

NOTE: If you are piping on buttercream, omit
using zest

(recipe: iambaker.net)


I must say – that last recipe made me drool
just typing it – Blueberries AND Buttercream?

You can tell it’s getting towards Fall just by
the change in recipes being offered – more
hearty soups/stews/casseroles and less light
veggie offerings – oh well, Go With the Flow,

Still another great Low 80’s day, sunny & clear.
I LOVE this weather! (soon enough we’ll be
getting the cold temps/leaves falling/drag out
the sweaters & sweatshirts/jackets, etc.)

When I was at the Cancer center Monday I
perused their used book area (people bring
in used books & donate them: paperbacks
50 cents, hardbacks $1.00 – can’t beat those
prices!) I grabbed about 6 paperbacks and
then spotted this BIG hardback with an
intriguing cover & title: “The Lion’s Game”
by Nelson DeMille
. Let’s just say it’s pretty
riveting; it’s an international terrorist story
and the author has a quirky sense of humor
(makes me laugh out loud sometimes!). I’m
about 1/4 th through it and I started it 2
days ago – worth a read.

Hope your day is going well – take a little
time out for yourself!



Happy Wednesday!


It’s a gorgeous Summer day out today – 80 degrees F., sunny & clear skies. After the last 3-4 days of intermittent rain, it’s nice to see the sun again!

Been plugging away at the baby blocks and STRUGGLING with the intarsia. I decided I wanted a smiley face on one of the block sides; got it all drawn on the grid paper and knit maybe 1/3 of it – up to where you begin to knit in the mouth – disaster! I’m guessing I ripped it out a good 8 times, re-knit, rip, re-think/re-knit, etc. until I finally decided there was NO way I could KNIT the mouth & eyes without the mouth looking like some sort of scary Halloween pumpkin face! Ended up drawing on my old embroidery skills – cross stitch for the mouth & eyes, and Lazy Daisey for the outline of the face (took me awhile to remember the ‘trick’ to that last stitch – must have attempted it a good 8-10 times before finally it clicked). Here is what the baby block looks like on the BACK SIDE (before I sew it up & stuff it)


All the ‘mess’ of yarn ‘strings’ everywhere are called ‘floaters’ – you basically knit with one color (say white) for maybe 6 stitches, then drop that yarn, pick up the next color (say yellow) and knit 4 stitches, drop that/pick back up the white and keep going. All the yarn you are NOT using at the time just ‘floats’ at the back of the work until you need it. It’s a mess on the back but makes nice pictures on the front. Here’s that same block on the front side:


One block almost done, 2 more to go (or more, depending on my moods!) The multi-colored squares are the top/bottom of the block.


No-Bake Caramel Shortbread Pie

2 C. crushed shortbread cookies
(reserve 1 T. for topping)
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. sugar

Caramel Filling:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. caramel dessert topping
1 T. vanilla
1/4 C. heavy cream
Cool Whip, thawed

Mix all ingredients in medium
bowl; press into bottom & barely
up sides of 8 inch pie plate.

Beat cream cheese, caramel topping
& vanilla in large bowl using elec.
mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Gradually beat in heavy cream just until
blended. Beat on medium-high speed
2 minutes until fluffy then spoon into
crust & smooth out.  Top with Cool
Whip & refrigerate 3 hours until set.
When ready to serve, drizzle top with
additional caramel topping & sprinkle
with reserved shortbread crumbs.
Store leftovers in refrigerator.

(recipe: iambaker.net)

Spicy Zucchini Soup

4 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds/
stems/ribs removed (& discarded),
3 cloves garlic minced
2 lb. chopped zucchini (skin on),
about 5-6 C.
1 1/2 C. chopped day-old bread
3 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 C. water
1/2 C. fresh mint leaves (spearmint),
loosely packed/chopped
1/2 C. fresh cilantro, loosely packed,
chopped (optional)
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high
heat. Add onion & jalapeno, saute 4-5
minutes until onions are translucent but
not browned. Add garlic & zucchini;
saute 3-4 minutes longer, stirring often.
Sprinkle with salt. Add bread, broth &
water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat &
simmer gently 20 minutes. Remove from
heat; add mint & cilantro (if using). Puree
in a blender or food processor until
smooth, working in batches if necessary (or
use an immersion blender). Return soup
to pot, add lemon juice, salt/pepper, to
taste. Serve hot or chilled. Serves 4

NOTE: keeps a week, refrigerated

(recipe: simplyrecipes.com)

Crockpot Chicken in Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (or tenders)
3 T. butter, divided
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed
1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 large zucchini
fresh, chopped basil

Can be served by itself OR
with cooked pasta

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt 1 T. butter & 1 T. olive oil.
Season chicken with garlic powder,
salt/pepper & cook on each side
until lightly browned (about 3-4
minutes) then place in crockpot.
Add both cans tomatoes, tomato
sauce, Ital. seasoning & remaining
2 T. butter. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours until
chicken is cooked through*.
Taste sauce & add more seasonings,
if desired. Spiralize (or slice thin)
zucchini & add to crockpot. Cover &
cook in sauce until softened, 10-15
minutes longer. Garnish with fresh
chopped basil. Serves 4

*If using tenders: reduce time to
2-3 hours on High or 4-6 hours
on Low

NOTE: If sauce is too acidic for your taste,
you can stir in a few tablespoons of cream
or milk.

(recipe: slowcookergourmet.net)

Cucumber Sandwich Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise (can add
more, if needed)
1 medium cucumber, peeled/
seeded & finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fresh dill or 1/4 tsp.
dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Place cucumber in a colander
& press to remove excess water.
Place cream cheese & may in a
blender or food processor &
pulse until smooth. Combine
cream cheese mixture, cucumber,
dill & garlic salt & place in a bowl.
Chill until ready to serve to allow
flavors to blend.
Makes 1 C.- total or 6-8 servings

(recipe: food.com)

Creamy Broccoli/Bacon Bake

6 C. broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 C. Kraft “shredded Triple
Cheddar Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia” cheese
4 slices fully cooked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add broccoli & carrots to saucepan of
boiling water; cook 2-3 minutes until
crisp-tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 C.
cooking water. Mix next 3 ingredients
until blended. Return cooked veggies
to saucepan; add cream cheese mixture
& onions; stir until veggies are evenly
coated with sauce, adding reserved
cooking water, if necessary, for desired
consistency. Spoon mixture into 2 Qt.
casserole dish that has been sprayed
with nonstick spray. Top mixture with
shredded cheese & bacon, cover with
foil. Bake 25 minutes until heated
through, uncovering last 5 minutes
of baking time. Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Tuna Patties

2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna in
water, drained/flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 C. mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients & refrigerate
10 minutes then stir. Heat large nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray to
medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop,
make patties & place in skillet. Flatten
into patties with back of a spatula. Cook
6 minutes or until golden brown on both
sides, carefully turning after 3 minutes.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

California Club Pasta Salad

1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 C. rotini pasta, cooked/rinsed
under cold water
1 C. coarsely chopped romaine
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 C. chopped plum tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Mix ranch dressing with Miracle
Whip until blended. Combine all
remaining ingredients (except bacon)
in large bowl. Add dressing mixture &
mix lightly. Refrigerate 1 hour. Top
with bacon just before serving.
Serves 6, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Sour Cream Chocolate
Zucchini Bread

1 egg
1/3 C. oil
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded zucchini
1/4 C. cocoa powder

Spray one 8 X 4″ loaf pan
with nonstick spray. In bowl
beat eggs, oil, vanilla & sugar until
light & fluffy. Add sour cream; mix
well. Add flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt & cocoa powder – mix well
then add zucchini – stir, by hand, until
just mixed – pour into prepared pan.
Place a small rack in bottom of crockpot*
Place loaf pan on top of rack. Place 2
paper towels on top of crockpot & secure
towels with lid. Cook on High 2-3 hours
depending on how hot crockpot cooks.
Test with a wooden toothpick. Cool in
pan on a baking rack before removing
from pan. Makes 1 loaf.

NOTE: *If you don’t have a rack, ball up
a few pieces of foil & place pan on top.

You can double this recipe & make muffins,
or half muffins/half 1 loaf bread.

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Gas prices in the area have crept up a little
from $2.29/9 to $2.36/9 – as my husband
keeps reminding me: “At least they’re not
at $4.00 a gallon!”

Last night was my knit/crochet group and
we had 16 ladies all kind of crammed in;
some of them brought the baby items
they had knit/crocheted for the Detroit
Veterans Hospital’s Baby Shower – the
lady from the hospital is coming next
meeting (August 30th) to pick it all up.
Today found me sorting through the items
and writing out little tags for each that read:

“Made especially for you by: (first name, last
Waterford-Area Knitters & Crocheters”

Then I had to attach each tag to the item (the
hospital likes the ladies to know that there
was someone who personally made their gifts.
With just what I have here at the house now,
we have 18 afghans, 10 hats, 10 baby headbands.
I know that the next meeting will be pretty hectic,
with people coming in with bags. I feel bad that
on the collection day I’m not able to individually
photograph EACH item, but I am going to take
the ones that are here and photo them on my
picnic table some time soon so that the ladies
who can’t attend on ‘pick up’ day will at least
see ‘some’ of the donations. My ladies are
awesome when it comes to charity events.
One of my ladies crocheted 6 blankets and 8
hats! That’s a LOT (some ladies only do one hat
or one blanket – not that I’m complaining – I’ll
take whatever they want to make!)

A little later on I have a quick trip to the library
to pick up more books by my (now) favorite
author Lincoln Child, then a trip to the town-
ship offices to pay our Summer taxes (oh, joy).
Tonight’s special needs group is all set up: we’re
singing AND our one male helper/leader is going
to lead them in a new song he taught them a
few weeks ago, it’s called “the Fruits of the Spirit”
and I found a coloring page (free/on line) that
has that very thing on it! YAY! The night should
go pretty quickly and some of our kids are away
at camp, so it will be a smaller group – should be

Not much else new right now – lunch with my
friend yesterday was good – lots of chatting. The
food was ‘so-so’, I had a taco salad and I’ve never
before seen anyone put sliced radishes on one
(picked them off) – they put the chicken in big
chunks in the bottom of the tortilla ‘bowl’ then
shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, a little
shredded cheese & a huge dollop of sour cream;
kind of bland/blah – no beans, onion, etc. Will
not be going there again (only good thing? it
only cost $5.99).

Have a GREAT day!



Happy Thursday!


Another ‘hot one’ – just got back from a few quick errands and the car thermometer read 87 degrees F.  and that’s only around 10 a.m.! No rain in sight until Saturday (oh goodie, I have a picnic to go to then…) so we’ll see what happens.

Gas prices have dropped a little in the area; from $2.29/9 to $2.19/9  so that’s a good thing!


Lush Strawberry Shortcake Dessert

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix*
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
25 GOLDEN Oreo cookies, or other vanilla-
flavored cookies/graham crackers
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled/sliced &
patted dry
Whisk pudding mix, milk & vanilla in medium
Crush cookies in large gallon-sized ziplock bag.
Reserve 1/2 C. crumbs; place 2 T. melted butter
in bag & press, using your hands to work the
butter through remaining cookie crumbs.
Pour crumbs into a 9 X 9″ baking dish – crust
will be crumbly. Fold 8 oz. Cool Whip into
pudding; place half pudding mixture on top
of crust. Place sliced strawberries in a single
layer over pudding. Spread remaining
pudding mix over top of berries. Top with
more Cool whip & sprinkle remaining cookie
crumbs over top. Chill at least 4 hours
before serving.

*You can also use cheesecake or lemon
instant pudding mix, instead of vanilla

(recipe: crazyforcrust.com)

Lemonade Chicken
(oven or grill)

1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade
concentrate, defrosted/divided
5-6 sprigs fresh oregano (or)
1 tsp. dried*
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 whole chicken (about 3 lb),
cut into parts (or) equivalent
amount of parts

In small bowl mix 1/2 can lemonade,
oregano, oil, salt/pepper – mix well.
Place chicken in a zip-lock bag &
pour marinade over chicken, turning
bag a few times to coat chicken; place
bag in refrigerator at least 4 hours or

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Drain chicken & discard marinade.
Place chicken on a baking sheet & bake
45-60 minutes (time depends on size
of parts). while chicken is baking, prepare
Place half of lemonade concentrate in
small saucepan & reduce by 50% over
medium heat, 5-8 minutes. About 5
minutes before chicken is done, glaze
each piece with prepared glaze.
Serves 4

NOTE: *you can use any herb you like

Chicken can be made & grilled on outside
grill, also

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

6 pattypan squash, approx. 3 inches
in diameter
2 C. roughly chopped kale
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 C. corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. diced white onion
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. grated Cotija cheese*,
plus more for garnishing
1/4 C. basil, sliced thin

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place olive oil, kale & broth in
pan & cook over medium-high
heat until all of liquid is absorbed
(about 8 minutes). Once cooked,
set aside. Cut stems off tops &
bottoms of squash, removing as
little of the flesh of the squash as
possible – scoop out seedy center,
leaving a squash ‘cup’. Mix kale,
corn, white onion, garlic, salt/pepper
& 1 C. Cotija cheese in bowl. Lightly
spray a large casserole dish with nonstick
spray & evenly place squash in dish,
cup side up. Squeeze together a ball
of stuffing in your hands (like you’re
making a snowball) & place in squash
cups. (balls will be the size of a medium
ice cream scoop) – continue until all
squash are filled. Bake 35-45 minutes
then remove from oven & sprinkle tops
with cheese & sliced basil.
Serves 6

*can substitute Parmesan or feta

(recipe: simpleseasonl.com)

Cool Fruit/Shrimp Salad

1 lb. cleaned shrimp, cooked
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion,
separated into rings
1 C. (Kraft) Raspberry vinaigrette
salad dressing, divided
1 (10 oz) pkg. salad greens
1 medium papaya, peeled/cut into
2 medium kiwi, peeled/sliced
1 C. fresh raspberries

Toss shrimp & onion with 1/2 C.
dressing; cover & refrigerate 1 hour
to marinate. Drain & discard
marinade. Divide greens to 4 salad
plates & arrange fruit & shrimp over
greens. Serve topped with remaining
1/2 C. dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Orange Julius
(recipe via Dairy Queen)

1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice
concentrate, thawed
1 C. whole milk
1 C. water
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
ice cubes
orange slices, (optional garnish)

Chill 2-4 glasses in fridge before

In large bowl mix together orange
juice concentrate & 1 C. water until
smooth. Transfer mixture to blender &
pulse 5 seconds to make sure it’s
thoroughly combined. Pour in milk,
sugar, vanilla & 6-8 ice cubes – pulse
another 30-45 seconds or until smooth &
frothy. Divide into 2-4 chilled glasses &
serve immediately.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Oven-Fried Zucchini Chips

3 medium zucchini cut into
1/4″ thick slices
1 egg
2 T. Italian salad dressing
1/2 C. dry breadcrumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
Combine egg & Ital. dressing in
small bowl, stir well. Combine
bread crumbs, Parm. cheese &
pepper in small bowl; stir well.
Dip sliced zucchini into egg
mixture, dredge in bread
crumb mixture & place on sheet.
Bake 5 minutes, turning once &
baking an additional 5 minutes or
until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: food.com)

Grilled S’Mores Packets

6 whole graham crackers, broken
into pieces (2 C.)
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 c. crumbled fudge brownies
3/4 C. milk chocolate morsels
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
(optional: Reddi-whip spray
whipped topping)

Preheat gas grill to medium heat.
Stir graham crackers, marshmallows,
brownies & morsels in large bowl.
Place one 18″ X 18″ piece of heavy
duty aluminum foil on counter; spray
with nonstick spray. Place mixture in
center of foil; drop dollops of peanut
butter evenly over top. Double fold
top & ends of foil, leaving space for
steam to gather. Place packet on grate,
cover grill & grill 5 minutes until
marshmallows & morsels melt. Carefully
open pack & top with Reddi-Whip, if
desired. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat.com)


Weight-wise, I’m back down to where I
was a few days ago (before the BIG pig-out
at my son’s on Tuesday) – that makes 9.8
lb. lost in about 4 1/2 weeks. I haven’t
measured myself (according to the diet
‘stuff’, you’re supposed to lose inches
before you lose pounds – we’ll see.

The last blog entry was so BIG I forgot to
mention a book I just finished that was
REALLY GREAT! It has excitement/adventure/
it’s pretty intense – a really GOOD read! The
author is: Lincoln Child and the book is:
“Lethal Velocity”. The concept is the opening
of a new theme park totally operated using
cutting-edge holograms & robotics. Of course
there are ‘bad guys’ which really keep the
story moving – I would HIGHLY recommend
it! (It’s a library book, written in 2002, so
it should be easy to locate). I’ve read quite
a few of his other novels (some co-written
with another author) and I would say this
is the BEST I’ve read by him – read it in a day.

Well, the “Grandma” (second time through)
bought my first “new baby” item – I tend to
be very conservative when buying baby items,
maybe you’d say more ‘conventional’? I found
two water-filled teething rings (shaped like
little butterflies) – I still have several like that
in my freezer. They’re great for teething babies
AND for small burns/hurts as they cover a
small space. Knowing that for the other
Grandma this is her FIRST grandbaby, I’ll let
her go crazy with the gifts (and I know she
WILL!). I like to take my time and find things
that are useful and sometimes, unusual – hey,
we’ve got SEVEN months to plan this, right?
It’s fun looking through all the NEW things
they have out for babies – some are totally
for the purchaser, and have little to no real
use other than eye-candy (I avoid those).
Then there’s the commercialism of baby stuff-
if you go in for a Disney item, you can guarantee
it’s going to cost twice as much (another thing
I avoid). I know that, in the future, we’ll be
needing (for my house) a changing table,
pack ‘n play and, later, a high chair – those,
I’m sure, I’ll be able to find at thrift stores –
it’s always nice to know that I have a good
amount of time to plan for this!

Anyway, hoping you’re having a good day;



Who would have guessed?


Today is the beginning of ‘getting ready for Log Cabin Days’ – part of what that means is I had to do an inventory of supplies I take with me: specifically our business cards. Over the years I’ve bought my blank card ‘stock’ at Office Max – this year they changed the company they carry – time for me to learn a NEW thing! (ugh) I don’t mind doing it, it’s just one more hurdle to go over in the race to get all things organized before Saturday. Sat down with my trusty computer & the printing guide – turns out I can’t use the image I had on my old cards (don’t even remember WHERE I got it from!) so now starts the ‘fun’ – searching the ‘net’ for free clipart images of knitting baskets. Bet you didn’t know there are at least 1,000 and probably more! The last time I had to do this there might have been several hundred to choose from – not any more! I’ll tell ya – even with trying to shrink the field by being more specific, I’m SURE I looked at a good 1,000. The above photo is just one of them; found some I thought I liked until I put them on the card preview – the photo kind of disappears in the distance. The total size of said image ON THE CARD is probably only about 3/4 inch square, so it has to have a sharp picture (or at least I WANT it to). Here’s a few of what I made the ‘beginning choices of images” –

240_F_71533940_AOx7dkQ7aXXFzdpkAkrqQLPbmC3jTyQT   Heart with LOVE & knitting needles

240_F_108994640_CVIXpVajxSk8zCl67pFSN0T4qE0nNjCQ  stock-vector-basket-with-colored-balls-of-yarn-and-knitting-needles-263838614

Needless to say, I STILL have to do more ‘searching’ – printed out one sheet of cards (enough for the next few days) – will continue this tomorrow.


Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

3/4 – 1 C. crushed pretzels
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in it’s own juice/drained &
reserve juice
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix pretzels, sugar & melted
butter in medium bowl; press
into a 11 X 7″ baking pan (can
use a 9 X 9″). Bake 8 minutes;
remove & cool. Mix cream
cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth.
Fold in Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. In small saucepan
stir cornstarch & 1/4 C. sugar.
Mix in reserved pineapple juice &
bring to boil over medium heat.
Cook, stirring constantly, until
thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir
in crushed pineapple & spread
over whipped layer in dish.
Cover & refrigerate at least
1 1/2 hours until firm.

(recipe: livingoncloudandreanine.

Picnic Pasta Salad

1 lb. rotini pasta, uncooked
2 medium cucumbers, peeled/chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 (6 oz) jar green olives, drained/halved
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/3 C. Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions for
al dente; drain & rinse with cold water until
cool to touch – drain well. Combine pasta
with remaining ingredients; stir to combine &
refrigerate until ready to serve.

Italian version:
omit cucumbers & green olives, add:
black olives and/or diced green peppers
mozzarella cubes
pepperoni slices
Parmesan cheese

Greek version:
omit green onions, green olives & Ital.
dressing – add:
Kalamata olives
red onion, chopped
crumbled feta cheese
Greek salad dressing

(recipe: southyourmouth.com)

Ham & Cheese Hot Dish

3 C. ham – small cube
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. milk
1 T. Dijon mustard
8 oz. shredded Cheddar or
Colby-Jack cheese
1/2 lb. pasta (macaroni or long
tube noodles), cooked in salted
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. French-fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Cook ham in skillet to release
moisture & brown. In bowl combine
soup, sour cream, milk & mustard –
whisk to combine. Add cooked ham &
cheese, stir to combine. Once pasta
is cooked, drain & immediately add
to bowl with ingredients – stir to combine.
Pour mixture into prepared pan & top
with French fried onions, Bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven & allow
to rest 15 minutes before serving.

(recipe: rosssveback.com)
Baked Stuffed Pork Chop Casserole

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix plus
ingredients to prepare
1 apple, chopped
4 thick-cut pork chops

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to pkg
directions – add chopped apple &
mix well. Cut a pocket in each chop –
stuff with stuffing mixture & secure
edges with toothpicks. Spray  a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray & arrange
pork chops in pan. Spoon remaining
stuffing mix around chops. Cover with
foil & bake 1 hour. Uncover & bake
15 minutes more.

(recipe: mykindofcooking.blogspot.in)

Fruit Salad with Sweet Lime Dressing

1 Heaping Cup of each of the following:
strawberries, hulled/sliced
green grapes, cut in half
mangoes (2-3) peeled/chopped
kiwi (4-5) peeled, sliced thick

1 lime, juiced (approx. 2 or more T.
fresh lime juice)
2 T. powdered sugar
chopped fresh mint, garnish

Combine prepared fruit. In small bowl
whisk lime juice & powdered sugar; add
to fruit & toss lightly to combine.
If making ahead, toss with dressing &
garnish with mint just before serving.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: fromvalerieskitchen.com)

Delicious Shrimp Salad

3 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled/
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 orange, juice plus zest
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. fresh dill (+ more,
for garnish)
1 C. cucumbers: deseeded &
1 C. red bell pepper, diced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss shrimp with olive oil & 5
pinches salt & ground black
pepper. Spread shrimp in a single
layer on a baking sheet & roast
5-7 minutes, just until firm & cooked
through. Do NOT over cook. Allow
to cool slightly before mixing with
other ingredients. In large bowl, whisk
mayo, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar
& dill; toss with cucumbers, bell peppers
& shrimp. Chill until ready to serve.
Serves 20

(recipe: pgeveryday.com)

One-Pan Lazy Stuffed Mushrooms

6 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c. Italian breadcrumbs
2 lb. button or cremini mushrooms
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach, defrosted,
chopped & squeezed dry
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. cream cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with nonstick
spray. Pour about half breadcrumbs in
bottom, spreading in an even layer. Evenly
layer about 1/3 of the mushrooms on top
of crumbs; drizzle with about 2 T. melted
butter then very lightly season with garlic
powder, salt/pepper. Sprinkle remaining
breadcrumbs over mushrooms then layer
1/3 of spinach, followed by 1/3 Parm. cheese.
Dot top with about 1/3 of cream cheese in
small amounts evenly on top. Repeat
process twice more: mushrooms (pressing
firmly to compress) drizzle with butter then
salt/pepper/garlic powder, spinach, Parm
cheese & cream cheese until all ingredients
are used up. Press down firmly into dish
to compact ingredients. (It’s ok if it comes
up slightly higher than top of dish – it will
cook down in the oven). Bake 25-30 minutes
until top of cream cheese is browned &
mushrooms are tender. Let stand at least
5 minutes before serving. Serves 6

NOTE: You can also add ground sausage to
mixture for a hearty main meal (reduce
or omit salt if doing so)

(recipe: everydaydishes.com)

Heavenly Freezer Cake

1 angel food cake, cut into
12 (1 inch) slices
1/2 gallon strawberry ice cream,
cut into 12 slices
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1/3 C. chopped walnuts

Arrange cake slices on bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish. Place ice
cream slices evenly over top of
cake. In medium bowl mix Cool
Whip & pineapple – spread over
ice cream. Sprinkle top with nuts.
Cover & freeze at least 2 hours
before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Decided that since the next two nights will be
a bit busy (Knit Night/Special needs group) I
have a pork roast & carrots in the crockpot,
potatoes boiling on the stove and a green
bean casserole in the oven – we will be
eating good tonight! (and the next night,

Our weather is still in the high 80’s – last week
we were ‘supposed’ to get lots of rain/storms
but really none transpired so it’s just a bit hot
& sunny (great for those who love going to the
beach). Just checked the weather for Saturday
and it’s sunny with a high of 85 so I won’t have
to worry about being cold like last year (hehehe).

Still working my way through my favorite (at the
time) author: Michael Palmer; sadly, reading the
back flap of one of his books alerted me to the
fact that he died end of 2013 – his son finished
that book and has since written one more. Looking
him up on the ‘net’, turns out the son is also an
author and will be using all his father’s notes to
continue the craft – good man! His dad wrote a
total of 19 books (I still have a good 11 or so to
read) – great writer if you’re into murder/mystery
in a hospital setting (his Dad was a Doctor for 20
years and used his experience in his books).

Gotta get off here and get ready for Knit Night –
we have two new ladies coming tonight!



Couldn’t Ask for Better Weather!


Just got back from doing a few errands – the weather is GORGEOUS! Sun shining, slight breeze and almost EIGHTY degrees F. out! Can’t be beat! My husband was just out cutting the grass for the first time this year – I have to remember to go water the hanging geranium (I tend to forget!).

One of my stops was Gordon Foods – we really love their broccoli salad ‘kit’ and (to my knowledge, anyway) they stopped carrying it last year (BUMMER!). This is a BIG kit that feeds about 15 people – and it was GREAT for taking to parties! I noticed that in their mail flier it said they have it – I searched the entire area where they used to have them and couldn’t find it anywhere. The manager said: “Sure! We have it – and it’s right here!” Well, that was a surprise. Apparently they stopped marketing it in a big black plastic box with clear lid – now it’s all in a clear bag; same PRICE but almost 2 lb. LESS! UGH! It used to be about 5 lb. and the box it came it was the serving container after you put the kit together! Great idea, right? After the manager left there was another couple there who had heard my conversation and they joined in talking to me about it. They, too, used to purchase it and their first comment was: “IT’S SMALLER AND the same price!” ($14.99) – I told them to go on line and type in Broccoli Salad – there are TONS of recipes to make it yourself. The cool thing about this one was: it was all cut up for you! Oh well – guess it’s ‘buy at your own risk’, right? I’m going to do the research & see if I can come up with a recipe that’s close – for you.


 Broccoli Salad

8 oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
5 C. small, chopped broccoli florets
1/3 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. sunflower kernels

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. raisins

Bring a large saucepan of salted water
to a boil; add broccoli & blanch until
bright green & slightly softened, about
3 minutes. Drain well, run under cold
water to stop the cooking & drain again.
Combine all dressing ingredients. Add
broccoli & toss to coat with dressing.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Just before serving, fold in sunflower
kernels & bacon crumbles. Serve
immediately. Serves 10

(recipe: foodnetwork.com – Trisha

Pineapple Orange Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
4 large egg whites
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (1 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl beat cake mix, oranges,
egg whites & applesauce on Low speed of
elec. mixer for 2 minutes – pour into prepared
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cool
on wire rack. When cake is cool, prepare

In a bowl combine pineapple & pudding mix.
Fold in Cool Whip just until blended & spread
over cooled cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before serving. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Hot Dogs in a Crockpot

20-60 hot dogs
buns for dogs

shredded cheese, chopped onion,
mustard, ketchup, pickles

Place hot dogs in crockpot & cover.
Cook on Low 3-4 hours or High 1-2
hours. Turn heat to warm while

NOTE: Poster stated they fit 20
hot dogs in a 2.5 qt. crockpot

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Chinese Chicken Bites

1 lb. ground chicken
3 scallions, finely chopped
(about 1/2 C.)
2 T. flour
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

peanut oil-for frying

In medium bowl combine all
ingredients except oil – mix well.
Cover bottom of large skillet with
about 1/2 inch peanut oil & heat
over medium-high heat. Drop chicken
mixture by teaspoonfuls into hot oil.
Reduce heat to medium-low & fry 5-6
minutes until golden brown, turning
once. Drain on paper towels & serve
immediately. Makes 30-35 pieces

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken
6 slices sliced smoked ham
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 T. Dijon mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to box.
Place chicken in 9 X 13″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray & cover
with sliced ham. Mix soup & mustard;
spoon over chicken & top with
prepared stuffing. Bake 25 minutes
until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Top with cheese & bake 5 minutes
more until cheese is melted. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Quick & Easy Pizza Pockets

1 C. warm water
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

Combine yeast & sugar with warm
water; allow to sit 5-10 minutes until
bubbly. Add flour, salt & oil to yeast.
Combine wet ingredients into dry in
a mixer bowl & knead 5 minutes until
dough is smooth & just slightly sticky.
Allow to rise 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Divide dough into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a circle. Layer
one half of each piece of
dough with desired toppings.
NOTE: If you are using marinara or
any other pizza sauce, be sure to
keep sauce at least an inch away from
edges or they will be difficult to seal.
Once filled, pull other half of dough over
top of filling & seal edges to close (either
by slightly wetting edges of dough &
pressing together or pressing edges
together using tines of a fork). Place
‘pockets’ on a slightly sprayed baking
sheet. Lightly spray tops of pockets
with nonstick spray & bake 12-15
minutes. Serves 6

Suggested fillings:
sliced pepperoni
sliced black olives
sliced mushrooms
chopped green pepper
shredded cheese: mozzarella or
pizza sauce – marinara or jarred
pizza sauce

(recipe: myrecipemagic.com)

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

8 oz. fettuccine noodles
1 lb. large shrimp, deveined/tails
3 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic

2 T. butter
1 T. flour
2 C. milk (or heavy cream/Half & Half)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
juice of 1 small lemon (2-3 T.)
salt/pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, garnish

Cook fettuccine noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. In large pan or skillet
melt 3 T. butter over medium heat; add
garlic & stir 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add shrimp & saute 5-7 minutes until
pink & hot; transfer shrimp to a plate.
Prepare sauce by adding 2 T. butter to pan
(no need to clean pan before); melt over
medium heat. Sprinkle flour over melted
butter & stir until mixture clumps up.
Gradually whisk in milk; simmer a few
minutes, stirring throughout, until sauce
is thickened. Add Parm. cheese & stir until
melted. Stir in lemon juice, salt/pepper. Top
fettuccine noodles with sauce & shrimp;
garnish with parsley, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Healthy Yogurt Berry Cake

3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 C. frozen berries (raspberries,
blackberries, strawberries, blueberries
or mixed)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Melt butter in small saucepan on
medium-low heat until it turns golden
brown, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t
burn. Remove from heat & let cool. In
medium bowl whisk flours, baking powder
& salt. In separate bowl whisk browned
butter, sugar & brown sugar until light &
fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice & vanilla –
whisk until well combined. While stirring,
slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture.
Once combined, mix in yogurt. Using a
large spoon, gently fold in berries & pour
mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Let cool
then slice. Serves 10-12

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Had to get gas today and, once again, was a bit
‘blown away’ by the increase: regular at Clark
is now up to $2.59/9 (so I only got $25.).

Tonight is Knit/Crochet Night and I’m ready with a
new knit baby blanket; this is a pattern I’ve done
before but with a bit of a twist. I had purchased
a large (1 lb) skein of white and also got 3 smaller
skeins of a teal blue/medium green/white variegated
to use for the ‘bumpy’ rows only to discover when
working with it that the white was too thick AND
the variegated kind of got ‘lost’ in all the white.
The variegated skeins were on sale and I can still
use them for baby hats but the distance between
each ‘color’ versus the amount of WHITE they chose
to use was way too big for my project. The ‘bumps’
would end up with a tiny bit of color swimming in
tons of white – unacceptable to my way of thinking
so it was back to the ‘drawing board’ so to speak.
Went to Meijers (a store about 5 minutes from my
house – they are sort of like a WalMart – they carry
just about anything you might want all under one
roof.) Bought a big skein of sport-weight white yarn
ON SALE! (ended up buying 3 of them, great price and
I can ALWAYS use it). Got home and searched through
the yarns I already had and found a small skein of
baby pastels – variegated so I’m using that for the
‘bumps’.  I’m going to place a picture of one of the
blankets I’ve made using this pattern so you’ll kind
of get an idea of what I mean:


In the afghan I’m making, the bumps are
pastels and the background is all white.

PS: Just discovered a new (to me)
author: Michael Palmer; he writes
mystery/fiction – so far I’ve read
2 of his books: “The First Patient”
(about the President of the United
States” – fiction) and “The Fifth Vial”.
I like his style of writing – keeps you
constantly wondering what comes
next (my favorite!). I was just strolling
through the fiction/mystery section
at the library and grabbed 2 of his
books, read the back cover & checked
them out. I’m happy to report that he’s
written quite a few books and I plan on
checking them all out!

My sons introduced me to a new (to me)
animated movie: “Big Hero 6”; it’s rated
PG – it’s funny, has a good plot and keeps
you on your toes throughout the entire
movie – I would HIGHLY recommend it!
It’s 2015 – Disney.

Hope you are having a good day – AND I
hope that your weather is really nice,
as well. Husband informs me it’s supposed
to rain tomorrow, but from all I’ve seen of
our weather forecasts, we’re in for the 70/
80’s all week – YAY!




SO nice to finally see – SPRING!


The sun is out, the sky is a beautiful blue (no clouds), birds are singing (I can hear a Red Winged Blackbird in the distance) – a simply GORGEOUS Spring day! Oh, and did I mention the temperature is at 73 degrees F.? We’ve opened all the house windows and are letting the fresh air in – makes me sleepy (in fact I caught myself snoring while ‘attempting’ to read a book!).  THIS is the weather I’ve been waiting for – not to ‘go outside and garden, etc’ but just to experience the bright sun & singing birds – I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!


Strawberry Delight

1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

Wash, hull & slice strawberries; place in
small bowl & add sugar & lemon juice;
mix well.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl combine
flour & brown sugar. Cut butter into
mixture using a pastry blender or two
knives until butter resembles small peas.
Pour flour mixture into bottom of
prepared pan, spread evenly & press
flat to form crust. Bake 10-12 minutes
until firm; allow to cool completely.
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
powdered sugar & 1 tub Cool Whip; stir
well to combine. Spread mixture evenly
over cooled crust. Drain strawberries;
layer drained berries evenly on top of
cream cheese layer. Top with remaining
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours
before serving. Serves 10-12

(recipe: southernbite.com)

Bacon Ranch Potatoes

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 (28 oz) bag frozen O’Brian potatoes
(with chopped green/red peppers &
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. milk
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing mix
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve
Ritz crackers)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in prepared
dish; cover with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 5 minutes. Combine soup, milk
& dry dressing mix; stir well. Add about
half of the cheese & stir; pour mixture
over potatoes & stir. Sprinkle top of dish
with remaining cheese & bacon. Sprinkle
top with cracker crumbs & bake 30 minutes
until lightly browned & bubbly.
Serves 6

(recipe: allfreecasserolerecipes.com)

Stir-Fry Garlic Butter Shrimp

& Asparagus

1 C. quinoa
2 lb. asparagus, trimmed/cut
into 2″ pieces
2 lb. large shrimp/deveined
1/2 C. pinenuts (optional)
3 T. butter, divided
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt, divided

Cook quinoa as per pkg. directions.
In a wok, add pinenuts & toast until
golden (if using) stirring occasionally,
about 4 minutes – transfer to a bowl.
Return wok to medium heat; melt
1 T. butter; add half the garlic & stir
10 seconds. Add asparagus & sprinkle
with 1/2 tsp. salt; stir and cover. Cook
5 minutes & transfer to bowl with nuts.
Return wok to medium-high heat & melt
2 T. butter. Add shrimp, sprinkle with
1/2 tsp. salt & cook until pink & no grey
in sight, stirring occasionally. Turn off
heat, add half garlic & stir well; sprinkle
with black pepper, if desired. Add
asparagus, pine nuts & quinoa to wok;
stir gently & serve hot. Serves 4

(recipe: ifoodreal.com)

Tex-Mex Dip

2 (9 oz, ea) cans bean dip
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. sliced ripe olives
4 green onions with tops, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped/seeded
tortilla chips

Spread bean dip on a 12 inch serving
plate. In small bowl mash avocados
with lemon juice, salt/pepper & spread
over bean dip. Combine sour cream,
mayo & taco seasoning; spread over
avocado layer. Sprinkle top with cheese,
olives, onions & tomato. Serve with
tortilla chips, for dipping. Serves 8-10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Santa Fe Chicken Casserole

1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. taco seasoning mix (about 1/2 pkg)
2 T. milk
3 C. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 green onions, sliced
3 (6 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four
Cheese (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese spread, taco seasoning
& milk until blended. Combine next 4 ingredients
in large bowl. Add half cream cheese mixture; mix
lightly. Spread 1/3 chicken mixture onto bottom of
9 inch pie plate; top with 1 tortilla, half remaining
chicken mixture & 1/4 C. shredded cheese. Cover
with second tortilla, remaining chicken mixture, 1/4
C. shredded cheese & remaining tortilla. Top with
remaining cream cheese mixture & shredded cheese.
Cover & bake 25 minutes or until heated through,
uncovering for last 5 minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Triple Cheddar Mac & Cheese

2 C. dry elbow macaroni
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/2/ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or black)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. Triple Cheddar cheese,
shredded/ divided

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Parboil macaroni in salted water
6 minutes then drain well before adding
to crockpot. While macaroni is cooking, in
small bowl whisk melted butter, evap.
milk, Cheddar cheese soup, sour cream,
eggs & seasonings. Pour sauce on top of
cooked macaroni along with 3 C. Triple
Cheddar cheese; stir all ingredients until
macaroni is coated & sauce is evenly
distributed. Cover & cook on Low 2 hours,
remove lid & check middle for doneness.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover &
cook another 15 minutes to allow cheese
to melt. Serves 8-10

(recipe: melissassouthernstylekitchen.com)

Easy 4-Layer Chocolate Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. cold butter
1 C. chopped walnuts, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed,
2 1/2 C. milk
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. instant Chocolate
pudding mix
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl place flour & butter –
cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in
1/2 C. walnuts & press mixture
into bottom of ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake 12-15  minutes
until light golden brown. Cool
completely on wire rack.

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
powdered sugar until smooth. Fold
in 1 tub Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. In large bowl whisk milk
& pudding mixes 2 minutes; gently
spread over cream cheese layer &
top with remaining Cool Whip.
Sprinkle top with chocolate chips
& remaining nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour
until cold then cut into bars. Just
before serving drizzle with chocolate
syrup. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Still working on the mint green baby blanket
and have added another very simple crochet
baby blanket pattern – keeps me busy. I finally
got in touch with the lady that has the other
knit group that creates hats/mittens/scarves/
gloves for the homeless. I have been holding
on to a 39 gallon garbage bag full of yarn from
our last yarn swap (a good 2 months ago). Since
that time either she was too busy to connect
or I was too sick – FINALLY this Monday we’re
meeting in the Meijers parking lot so that I
can give her the yarn. Just for the comfort of
making sure I really didn’t ‘need’ any of it, I
went through it again today. Ended up saving
out about 4 skeins of various light green
yarns which will go into making 1-2 more
baby blankets for either Detroit Veteran’s
Baby Shower in September or more for
Crisis Pregnancy Center – works both ways.

Went back to the library the other day and
checked out 2 books by an author I had
written down on a list – I’m really not sure
IF I had read any of his books or not, but
started one last night at around 6 p.m. and
finished it this morning – YES, it’s a good read!
His name is Brad Meltzer and he’s written
about 10-12 books – I started on #2 earlier
today and am about half-done with it – I think
his will be the next list of books I read; he does
a nice job of unique twists – I like that. I just
finished: “The Book of Lies” (which, I felt,
started out very slow – almost didn’t continue)
and am now reading: “The Inner Circle”. I love
finding an author that has written a lot of
books BEFORE I discover them – that gives me
a big list to conquer! If you’re a reader, do you
feel that way?

We’ve finally finished all of the leftovers in
the fridge so tonight I’m making a big batch
of Enchiladas – the guys like them and there’s
usually enough for at least two meals (I’m

Hope you’re in good health and are able
to see some of this really nice SPRING weather!



Happy St. Patty’s Day!


I’m not Irish, but Happy Today!

Boy, oh boy – yesterday was a TRIP! Got done with the Oncologist, came home pretty tired and decided to take a quick nap – that was NOT to be! Just got comfy and the leader of my special needs group called to ask if I thought we should cancel the meeting because they had extended the Wind Advisory (winds up to 50 MPH) from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. – then she told me there were reports of power outages in the area of the church we meet at and another close ‘city’. We ended up being ‘better safe than sorry’ and started ‘the calling’. This was around 5:20 p.m. (our group starts at 7 p.m.); the last time I updated all our phone lists I did NOT print out extra copies for the other leaders (and there were a good 4-5 mistakes/number changes, etc.) on the sheets they had. That left the calling up to me, alone. Normally I wouldn’t mind but I wasn’t feeling super – did it anyway and got done around 6:10 (YAY!) The wind kept up all night – glad I didn’t have to drive my minivan through it. Yesterday I started the antibiotic to try to get rid of whatever ‘crud’ I have now – I’m going to give it ONE MORE DAY – I couldn’t get to sleep – heard 3,4, 5 a.m. on our chiming clock. When I finally DID get to sleep it was CONSTANT nightmares – horrible, grizzly, nasty. Finally was awakened at around 9 a.m. by husband yelling he was ‘coming’ when one of our son’s rang the doorbell – constantly! I didn’t even HEAR the doorbell! (son left his car at the dealership-(a friend drove him home) and he left his house key on the ring, hence needed the house opened for him). What a night! I read the side effects of this drug and one of them says something about difficulty sleeping – NO KIDDING! UGH!

Today’s a better day so far – same son needed a ride back to pick up his car so I drove him, stopped at the library & grabbed 3 more books from my current favorite authors (Preston & Child) and a quick stop to CVS to pick up things that were out of stock at the other CVS near us (I’ve been to CVS three times this week!). Was happy when the lady rang me up – she said: “Wow – you saved $11.00!” and this was with no coupons! They had my instant coffee on sale for $2.99 (usually any where from $5 – 9) so I got 2, my hair coloring $3 (special-2/$6.00, normally $5-9; – the CVS yesterday only had one box) so I was happy with my little side trip!


 Cranberry-Orange Coffee Cake

1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. sugar plus 1 T.
1 T. orange zest
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
(frozen works best)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine vinegar & milk; let stand 5
minutes. Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl cream butter, 1 C.
sugar & orange zest until light & fluffy on
medium speed of elec. mixer. Turn speed
to high & add egg. Mix flour with salt &
baking soda. Lower speed to medium-low
& add in half the flour. Add half of milk
mixture; repeat with flour & milk Add
cranberries with second amount of flour;
mix until just combined then spread
evenly into prepared dish. Bake 45
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean.

(recipe: tiphero.com)

Cajun Ham & Egg “Muffins”

8 oz. pkg. ham cubes
10 eggs
1/2 C. diced onions
1/2 C. diced green pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 c. shredded Cheddar (reserve
for topping)
(optional: 1/4 C. chopped mushrooms)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin cups with nonstick spray.*
In large bowl beat eggs; add onion,
peppers, cajun seasoning, garlic powder;
stir in ham & cheese. Spoon 1/3 C. into
each muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes – remove
from oven & top with reserved cheese. Bake
5 minutes more until a knife inserted near
the center comes out clean.
Can be frozen after baking & reheated.

* Posted suggests using muffin cup paper
liners sprayed with nonstick spray for
easier removal. Makes 12 muffins

(recipe: Courtney Louper – Facebook)

Crockpot Manicotti

2 1/4 C. ricotta cheese
1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella
1 1/4 C. shredded Parmesan
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef
6 C. your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
Brown ground beef; drain & add
3 C. spaghetti sauce & diced tomatoes;
simmer on Low while preparing filling.

Combine all filling ingredients
in a mixing bowl; mix well & place filling
into a gallon-sized ziplock storage bag.
Carefully snip one corner (you’re making
a piping bag – about 1/2″ off). Place
remaining 3 C. spaghetti sauce in bottom
of crockpot. Pipe filling mixture into
manicotti shells & place them in crockpot
on top of spaghetti sauce. Cover filled
manicotti with meat mixture, making
sure none of the shells are exposed.
Cook on High 2 1/2 hours until manicotti
is fork-tender. Top with 1 C. mozzarella
last 30 minutes of cooking time. Serve
with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Crockpot Shepherd’s Pie

Mashed Potatoes:
6 C. peeled, chopped into quarters,
cooked potatoes (if potatoes are large
cut into 6-8 pieces)
2 T. butter or margarine
6 T. Half & Half (or low fat milk)
salt/pepper, to taste

Meat Mixture:
2 C. cooked turkey, roast beef –
your choice, cut into bite-sized
2 1/4 C. frozen mixed vegs, lightly
cooked or thawed (like blend of
corn, carrots, green beans, peas, etc.)
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
1/3 C. sour cream
4 green onions, use all parts, chopped

3/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Drain cooked potatoes & add to
large pot with butter & Half & Half;
using elec. mixer, beat on Low until
desired texture; salt/pepper, to taste.
Spread mashed potatoes in bottom of
crockpot & spread to smooth. Spread
cooked meat pieces evenly over potatoes &
top with mixed vegetables. Place soup,
sour cream & green onions in a bowl &
mix together; spread over vegetables in
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 2
hours (or Low 4 hours). Sprinkle cheese
on top; cover &cook until cheese melts,
about 20-30 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: famousrecipes.wordpress.com)

Open-Faced Sausage & Peppers

1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 small green bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 T. olive oil
6 slices fresh Italian bread

In large skillet heat oil over medium
heat & add sausage. Using the back
of a wooden spoon, break apart
the sausage & cook until almost done.
Add peppers, onions & red pepper
flakes – continue cooking until veggies
are tender & sausage is cooked through.
Remove from heat. Lightly butter 3 slices
of bread & place on a plate; spoon half
of sausage mixture onto bread slices &
repeat with other bread slices & mixture.
Makes 6 servings

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-facebook)

Penne Florentine with
Mushrooms & Spinach

8-10 oz. penne pasta
3 C. medium mushrooms (shitake
or porcini, stems removed/sliced)
3 C. spinach
1 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. walnuts, roughly chopped
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt/ground pepper, to

Bring large pot of salted water to
a boil. Heat 1 T. olive oil in large
pan over medium heat; saute
mushrooms; season with salt &
cover 15-20 minutes until softened.
Stir occasionally & reduce heat if
mushrooms start to burn. Add
spinach & lemon juice; cook until
wilted then add walnuts. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
in boiling water to al dente. Drain,
reserving 1/2 C. pasta water.
Add heavy cream to spinach
mixture, stir well then add Parm.
cheese. If sauce is too thick, add a
little pasta water – 1 T. at a time,
to thin it. Taste & season with
salt/pepper. Pour drained pasta
into sauce & toss well to coat
thoroughly. Cook on low heat
5 minutes until sauce thickens
& sticks to pasta. Serve hot.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (not
4 oz. butter (1 stick) softened (not
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. strawberries, sliced into
very small pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or foil (no need to spray with
nonstick spray.)
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese, butter & sugars until
light in color. Add egg & vanilla;
continue beating until very creamy.
In separate bowl, combine flour &
baking powder. Add flour mixture to
wet ingredients & continue beating
just enough to combine. Using a
spatula, fold in sliced strawberries.
Using a teaspoon, drop cookie dough
onto baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2
inches between cookies. Bake 14 minutes
until cookies are brown a little around
edges. Cool by removing parchment
paper or foil from sheet, to wire rack.
Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: allfood.recipes)


Looked at gas prices while I was out today –
$1.94/9 – that’s ‘up’ some from the last
time I checked.

Oh! I wanted to thank you for leaving
me ‘get well’ comments – I very much
appreciate them! It’s always nice to
hear from the ‘other’ side of the
computer screen!

Enjoy your day – enjoy the SUNSHINE!



and it’s Birthday time, again!


Happy 27th birthday to our middle son!

The shirt he’s wearing is from his favorite video game: “Legend of Zelda” and he has that ‘picture’ (it’s a mask) tatooed on his upper arm, so I KNEW he’d love the shirt. Since his favorite birthday ‘treat’ is brownies, that’s double chocolate chip brownies he’s holding.

Today our weather is in the 23 degree F. range with light, fluffy snow – had to brush off my car to go shopping earlier but now the sun is out – hoping it will melt what’s on the ground (about 1/4 inch).


In Sunday School yesterday one of my friends brought in a hot breakfast treat – I asked her for the recipe – here it is!

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

1 (10 oz) can refrigerated biscuit
dough (like Pillsbury Grands!)
1 (1 lb) bulk pork sausage
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. cold water (or more,
as needed)
1 (1.5 oz) pkg. pork gravy mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Line the bottom of dish with
biscuits. Heat a large skillet over
medium-high heat. Cook & stir
sausage in hot skillet until browned
& crumbly, 5-7 minutes; drain &
discard grease. Scatter sausage over
biscuit layer & top with 1 C. Cheddar
cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, salt/pepper
in a bowl – pour over cheese layer.
Mix water & gravy mix in a saucepan;
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer
until gravy is thickened, 1-2 minutes,
adding more water for a thinner
gravy. Pour gravy over egg layer;
sprinkle remaining 1/2 C. Cheddar
cheese over casserole. Bake 30
minutes, until egg is fluffy & cheese
is bubbling. Serves 6

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

2 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts or thighs
1 C. honey
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. minced onion (poster used dried)
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red peppers
6 T. cold water
2 T. cornstarch
sesame seeds, garnish
sliced green onions, garnish

cooked rice

Cut chicken into 1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes;
place in crockpot. Mix honey, soy sauce,
sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, onion, BBQ
sauce & red peppers in small bowl; pour
mixture over chicken – stir to coat. Cook
on Low 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Remove chicken
from crockpot (reserve sauce – pour
sauce into a saucepan over medium
heat.) Mix cold water & cornstarch in small
bowl & stir into sauce. Cook sauce over
medium heat, stirring constantly, until
thickened. Turn heat to Low, add chicken
to sauce & break any large pieces into
small chunks- stir to coat while
simmering. Remove from heat – sauce
will thicken as it cools. Serve over
cooked rice & garnish with sesame
seeds & sliced green onions.
Serves 6

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

S’More Mini Pies

1 pie crust
4.4 oz. Hershey’s XL milk chocolate
2 C. mini marshmallows
1 egg white – beaten
pinch of flour

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll pie crust onto lightly
floured surface. Cut choc. bar
into segments; cut crust into
rectangles. Knead & roll dough
scraps to cut out more rectangles.
Place 3 choc. bar segments & about
10 mini marshmallows on a rectangle
of dough, top with another rectangle-
roll edges & crimp with a fork. Place
on a baking sheet & brush tops with
egg white. Bake 14-17  minutes. Cool
a few minutes before serving.

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

5 C. uncooked egg noodles
1 C. frozen peas
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 (5 oz, ea) cans light tuna in water,
1/4 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper

1/2 C. soft bread crumbs*
1 T. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Cook
noodles accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente, adding peas during last
minute of cooking; drain. In large
bowl combine soup, sour cream,
cheese, milk & salt. Stir in tuna,
onion & pepper. Add noodles & peas,
toss to combine. Spray a 11 X 7″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish, smooth
evenly. Toss bread crumbs & melted
butter; sprinkle over top & bake
25-30 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 6

*To make soft bread crumbs:
Tear bread into pieces & place in
food processor or blender. Cover &
pulse until crumbs form. One slice
of bread yields 1/2 – 3/4 C. crumbs

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Buffalo Chicken Soup

6 C. milk
3 (10.75 oz, ea) cans cream of
chicken soup
3 C. cooked/shredded chicken
1 C. sour cream
1/4 – 1/2 C. hot pepper sauce

Garnishes: shredded Monterrey Jack
cheese, chopped green onions,
additional hot pepper sauce

Mix all ingredients (except garnishes)
in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours. Serve with suggested garnishes.
Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)


1 graham cracker pie crust
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
2 medium bananas
1 (6 oz) box instant white chocolate
pudding & pie filling mix
8 oz. Cool Whip
10 strawberries

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar
together until fluffy. Spread evenly over
bottom of crust. Drain pineapple well and
spread evenly over cream cheese.
Slice banana and cover pineapple with
slices. Pour on pudding mixture.
Top with frozen topping. Cover entire pie
or garnish with strawberries, or other
fresh fruit or ground walnuts

(recipe: Facebook)

Royal Red Potatoes

1 1/2 – 2 lb. red potatoes, chopped
into 1″ pieces
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk
1 can cream of potato soup
1 dry pkt. buttermilk ranch salad
dressing mix (dry, not prepared)
salt/pepper, to taste

Toppings: bacon bits or crumbled
cooked bacon, chopped parsley

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in
crockpot; add sour cream, milk,
soup, dry dressing mix, salt/pepper –
stir well. Cover & cook on High 2-3
hours or Low 4-5 hours. Stir just
before serving & top with bacon/
parsley. Serves 4

(recipe: therecipecritic.com)

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

1 jar salsa (your choice)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (Alexia) sweet potato fries (frozen) –
or whichever brand you like
1 can (Hunts) diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn,
1 C. Mexican Blend shredded cheese

sour cream, cilantro, chopped jalapenos,
sliced avocado, sliced black olives

Place chicken & salsa in crockpot – cover
& cook on High 3 hours. Remove chicken
& shred; keep warm until ready to make
Prepare sweet potato fries accordg. to
pkg. directions.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place fries in bottom of a skillet (or 2
small skillets). Top with chicken, beans,
corn & tomatoes; top with cheese. Place
skillet in oven & bake 10-12 minutes until
cheese is melted & bubbly. Remove from
oven, top with your choice of toppings &
serve. Serves 4-6

You will have a little extra cooked chicken-
you can use it for leftovers!

(recipe: thecookierookie.com)

Pecan Cobbler

1 box refrigerated pie crust,
softened (per box directions)
2 1/2 C. light corn syrup
2 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
4 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
2 C. pecan halves

vanilla ice cream, if desired

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Remove 1 pie
crust from pouch, unroll on work
surface. Roll into 9 X 13″ rectangle &
place in prepared dish; trim edges to
fit. In large bowl combine corn syrup,
brown sugar, butter, vanilla & eggs
using wire whisk. Stir in chopped
pecans. Spoon half of filling into
crust. Remove second pie crust
from pouch & unroll on work surface.
Roll into 9 X 13″ rectangle & place
over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray
top crust with nonstick spray. Bake
14-16 minutes until browned. Reduce
oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Carefully spoon remaining filling
over baked pastry; arrange pecan
halves on top in decorative fashion.
Bake 30 minutes longer until set.
Cool 20 minutes on rack; serve warm
with vanilla ice cream (if desired).
Serves 12

(recipe: pillsbury.com)


Not much new around here – still happily
working on finishing up the crocheting on
the ‘saved’ baby blanket. Decided not to
go to the library today & get more books –
earlier the roads were a little slippery –
my ‘already read’ books aren’t due until
1/11, so I’m not worried. Working on
another ‘discount’ used book by Lee
Child: “The Enemy” – (Jack Reacher character)
kind of drags a bit but makes you really want
to know just WHO is doing all the random
killings on an army base. I have about 1/4th
of the book left.

Christmas decorations are all down except
the tree & ornaments – that’s for a day when
I really feel like wasting time – not my favorite
thing to do, either putting up OR taking down.

Hope you’re having a great day!