Sunday and WEIRD weather!

December 2nd and it’s not just raining – it’s HAILING! The temperature is unusually warm today (56), gloomy foggy/rainy but then we get THUNDER AND HAIL! WEIRD! There IS snow predicted for Thursday but no accumulations mentioned (YAY – let’s hope it stays that way!).

Slowly but surely dragging down the Christmas decorations – I’ve never been one for really getting ‘into’ decorating but if I don’t I hear it from my sons, so . . . . sigh.

Gas prices are STILL at $2.29/9 – GREAT!

Today is also “Computer improvements are driving me NUTS’ Day! The other day when I turned my computer on I get this little “hold on for some updates to Thunderbird’ (my email server). Little did I know at the time, they DIDN’T ASK me if I WANTED them, they just automatically installed them! First things first, all my emails became DOUBLE SPACED! Took my dear husband about 20 minutes to discover just WHY that happened and then how to reverse it. Today I went to send an email to my cousin in Iowa (we email every Sunday) and, just as I’m hitting “SEND” I see on the screen NOT SEND but “SEND LATER”! UGH – more ‘stuff’! Took both of us about 10 minutes to find the ‘alternate setting’ that got rid of that, also (also explains why said cousin never replied to an email I sent a few days ago!) UGH! TECHNOLOGY SUCKS!


Cream Cheese Mints

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
7-8 C. powdered sugar (start with 7,
reserve 1 C. for dipping later)
4-6 drops peppermint oil
(food coloring, if desired)

In large bowl place cream cheese, butter
& peppermint oil – using elec. mixer,
beat until fluffy. Add 7 C. powdered
sugar & beat again until dough is like
in consistency. It will seem stiff & dry at
first but after a minute or two it will
come together. (you can add coloring
at this point, if desired.) (If it’s too dry
to form balls after you’re done mixing,
add 1 T. milk & mix again.) Form into
small 1 inch balls & place on waxed paper.
Roll each ball in powdered sugar &
flatten slightly with your fingertip/
a fork/back of a spoon/bottom of a
glass or a tiny
seasonal pastry stamp. Allow mints
to dry a few hours before storing. If
they will be eaten in a day or two, you
can leave them out in an airtight
container – for longer storage, place
in fridge. Makes about 80 1-inch mints.


Crockpot Cheesy Ranch Potatoes

1 pkg. shredded hash browns (poster
used Ore Ida)
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (medium)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 C.)
3 C. corn flakes
1 pkg. French’s fried onions

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray (or use a crockpot liner).
Pour in hash browns & use a fork or spoon
to break up any large chunks of frozen
potatoes that may be stuck together. Mix
in shredded cheese & evenly distribute
through potatoes. In separate bowl whisk
soup, sour cream & dry Ranch mix – pour
over potatoes & mix evenly throughout.
Add half of French onions & stir. Melt
butter & drizzle half of it over the potatoes
& mix in. In separate bowl crush up corn
flakes & remaining French onions*. Mix
remaining melted butter (about 1/4 C.)
in with crushed corn flakes & fried onions –
spread over top of hash browns. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours (or Low 6-8 hours).
Serves 4-6

*Poster uses a wire whisk or you can place
them in a ziplock bag & crush them that way


Apple Juice Grilled Chicken
(can be overnight recipe)

1 C. apple juice
1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken breasts in a shallow
pan. Whisk together apple juice, oil, brown
sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice & garlic in
medium bowl – pour over chicken in pan
& refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Remove chicken from marinade & grill until
done, 12-15 minutes.


Ritz Cracker Oven-fried Chicken

1 C. sour cream (not low fat)
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
3-4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place crushed crackers in a shallow
bowl (or pie plate). Place sour cream
in a shallow bowl or plate. Pat chicken
dry with paper towel & roll in sour
cream then roll each chicken breast
in cracker crumbs & place on baking
sheet. Bake 30 minutes, turn over &
bake 20-30 minutes more until
lightly browned.


 Asparagus-stuffed Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 lb)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
zest of 1 lemon
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends
2 T. olive oil (for pan)
lemon wedges (for serving)
1/4 C. grated Parmesan, garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium bowl toss asparagus with
1 T. olive oil, lemon zest & red pepper
flakes. On clean work surface, cut a
pocket into each breast, stuff each
with mozz. cheese & asparagus.
Season chicken all over with oregano,
salt/pepper – secure with wooden
toothpicks. In large (oven proof) skillet
over medium-high heat, read remaining
1 T. olive oil; add chicken & cook about
5 minutes until seared & golden on bottom.
Flip chicken & cook second side about 5
minutes until golden. Transfer skillet
to oven & bake until chicken is cooked
through, 10-15 minutes more. Squeeze
lemon juice over cooked chicken & garnish
with Parm. cheese. Serves 4


Mississippi Sin Dip

24 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
8 oz. chopped green chilies
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
12 oz. deli honey ham, very finely

corn chips, or crackers for dipping

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together &
pour into greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 20


Crockpot Meaty Split Pea Soup

1 C. dried split peas
4 C. water
2/3 C. chopped onion
4 potatoes, peeled/cut into
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 (13 oz) pkg. beef smoked
sausage, cut into pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,

Wash peas & drain – place in
crockpot with all other ingredients.*
Cover & cook on High 4 hours or
Low 7 hours until potatoes are done.
Makes about 2 quarts soup.

*Poster said you can either add
cheese with other ingredients or
sprinkle over soup, once cooked, into


5-Minute Fantasy Bars

1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (11 oz) bag butterscotch chips
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows

Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with nonstick
foil. In large microwave-safe container*
add choc. & butterscotch chips & peanut
butter. Microwave on High in 30-second
intervals, stirring in between until chips
are fully melted, peanut butter is incor-
porated & mixture is smooth. Stir in
marshmallows until fully coated. Pour
mixture into prepared pan & refrigerate
until set, about 2 hours. Cut into bars.
Store leftovers in airtight container.
Makes 24 bars.

*Poster uses an 8-Cup Pyrex measuring
NOTE: If you’d like the bars to be thicker
use a 9″ square pan & allow an extra
30 minutes for bars to set up



Did a 6-hour babysitting yesterday (kind of an emergency – both oldest
son AND his girlfriend had to work & neither knew about it ahead of
time! Son had scheduled an employee meeting months in advance
for his kitchen staff & expected his girlfriend would be off – oh well,
that’s why there’s grandmas!). During said time I managed to
finish one of two scarves for the needy: both are child’s size.
Almost done with #2 , should be able to finish that one in maybe
1 1/2 hours.

#1 (left) #2 (right – almost finished)

Hope you have a GREAT day!



PS: Now the sun is out and no rain/hail! Go figure!

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


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.

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.


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


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


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)


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



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!



and the ‘fun’ never ends . . .


Was happily cleaning up a desk when I got a phone call from a friend asking if I’d opened a new Facebook account – “Nope, been off computer all morning!” Apparently I’d been hacked; I guess it happens rather frequently (have seen it mentioned by other FB friends) – solution is to report it to Facebook AND change your password. Done – just got a message from one of my friends on FB who said she went back into the ‘fake account’ from me and it’s all gone, so I guess I’m good for now. What some people will do for ‘fun’, right? (I also immediately changed our bank password – just to be safe).

Weather is still ‘Spring-like’ – in the low 60’s, sunny & slight breeze. Lots of flowers/trees/bushes blooming. I went to Kroger yesterday and bought my annual hanging geranium EXCEPT… this time I got a bright fuchia one. I almost always go for the really red ones, but at Kroger they had them all hanging and the red ones were about 9 foot above the ground! I asked for help, they called a person but I gave up waiting after about 10 minutes & got the pink one. They also had a sale on fresh asparagus, so that went with my dinner last night: baked potatoes, salmon patties & asparagus – YUM!

Some time today I have to get going on baking a loaf of banana bread – the ‘really’ ripe banana smell is getting to me – love the bread, the smell – not so much!


Inside-Out Cream Puff Cake

1 stick margarine
1 C. water
1 C. flour
4 eggs
1 box instant vanilla or white
chocolate pudding (large box)
3 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place margarine & water in saucepan
& bring to boil; add flour & mix well.
Cool slightly & stir in eggs, one-at-a-
time. Mix well & spread into greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 30 minutes.
Cool completely (crust will spread up
sides of dish – this is supposed to
happen). In large bowl mix pudding,
milk & cream cheese – beat until
lumps disappear then pour into
cream puff pastry. Spread Cool Whip
on top of pudding & drizzle syrup on
top. Refrigerate before serving.
This will keep well for days –


Spinach & Egg Muffins

1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach
6 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
18 cherry or grape tomatoes,
1/2 C. feta cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place 9 paper liners in muffin tin-
spray liners with nonstick spray.
Rinse spinach & leave wet. Heat
large skillet over medium-high heat;
add wet spinach & cover – steam 2-3
minutes, stirring occasionally. When
wilted & bright green, pour into a
strainer & press with a wooden spoon
to extract as much water as possible;
when cool enough to handle, chop
finely. In large measuring cup or bowl
with pour spout, beat eggs & milk;
add salt/pepper. Place an equal
amount of tomatoes/spinach & feta
in each muffin cup then fill about
80% full with beaten eggs. Bake
14-16 minutes until centers are
barely firm to the touch & tops of
muffins have domed. Remove from
oven & cool 2-3 minutes before
serving. Makes 9 muffins


Nacho Chicken Dip

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (12 oz) can chicken, drained
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Mexican-blend
tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a greased 1 quart casserole dish
layer beans, chicken, salsa & cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until
cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla
chips for dippers. Makes about 6 1/2 C.


Tuna Melt Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. corkscrew macaroni*
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 C. milk
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
3 (6 oz, ea) cans tuna, drained/flaked
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large saucepan of boiling, salted
water, cook pasta 7 minutes until al dente.
Drain well & return to pot. In medium
saucepan over Low heat, melt butter. Stir
in flour, salt/pepper & cook 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk;
increase heat to medium-high & cook
until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat & add 1 1/2 C. cheese,
stirring until melted. Add cheese sauce &
tuna to pasta; toss until evenly coated.
Transfer to baking dish. Arrange tomato
slices on top, overlapping if necessary.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover
with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove foil
& bake 10-15 minutes more until hot &
bubbly. Serves 6

*you can also use elbow or shell macaroni


Buttery Cabbage

1/4 lb. bacon
1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. frozen peas
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large pot over medium-high heat
cook bacon until crisp; remove from
pot, cool then crumble. Add remaining
ingredients to pot. Reduce heat to Low;
cover & cook 20-25 minutes until cabbage
is tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle top
with crumbled bacon – toss & serve.
Serves 6


Mexican Chicken Casserole

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 oz. (1/4 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tomato, chopped
2 (6 inch) tortillas
1/2 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four
cheese, divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook & stir chicken & cumin in nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium
heat 2 minutes. Add peppers; cook 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa, cook 2 min.
Add cream cheese, cook 2 min. or until melted.
Stir in beans & tomatoes. Spread 1/3 of chicken
mixture onto bottom of 8″ square baking dish; cover
with 1 tortilla & half chicken mixture & shredded
cheese. Top with remaining tortilla & chicken
mixture; cover. Bake 20 minutes or until heated
through. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese;
bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until melted.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pizza Meatloaf

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1 (4 1/4 oz) can chopped ripe olives,
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small green pepper, seeded/chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. onion soup mix
1 C. pizza sauce, divided
2 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine egg, bread
crumbs, olives, mushrooms, mozz.
cheese, pepper, onion, soup mix &
1/2 C. pizza sauce. Crumble beef
over mixture & mix well. Shape into
a 10 X 6 inch rectangle & place in
greased 15 X 10″ baking pan. Spoon
remaining pizza sauce over top &
bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese & bake
10-15 minutes longer until no pink
remains & thermometer inserted
into center reads 160 degrees F.
Let stand 10 minutes before
slicing. Serves 6


Applesauce Brownies

2 1/4 C. flour
2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. strong brewed coffee (or water)
1/4 c. dark,unsweetened cocoa
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. unsalted butter
2 T. dark cocoa
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine flour & brown sugar in a
large bowl. In heavy saucepan combine
butter, coffee & cocoa; bring to boil,
stirring constantly – pour boiling
mixture over flour mixture. Add
buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, baking
soda & vanilla – mix well on High
speed using elec. mixer. Spray a
9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Prepare Frosting:
In saucepan combine butter,
cocoa & milk, heat to boiling, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & mix
in vanilla & powdered sugar until
frosting is smooth. Pour warm frosting
over brownies as soon as you remove
them from the oven. Allow to cool
completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 48 bars

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)


A little later today I have to pick up
the grandson from school – his Dad will
be picking him up so we’ll have him
from around 4:30 – 8 p.m. Not sure
just yet what we’ll be ‘doing’ for
amusement (probably lots of board
games) – but I’ve decided that dinner
will be Polish sausage and Mac & cheese –
he likes both, so that should work out.

Went to our BIG church garage sale down
the street yesterday; they “used” to have
them every Spring & Fall, but they informed
me that now they’ll only be doing the Fall
one – sigh (can’t get enough volunteers to
work it – and I’m SURE it takes a LOT of
people; they use a great deal of their
church space for it.) Ended up finding 3
sweaters (one heavy, long black plain
one that can be used instead of a light
jacket for weather like this), 2 blouses,
1 pr. Sketchers shoes, 3 books and a
bathroom rug (now aren’t you really
HAPPY to learn all I bought? hehehe)
It was fun – I don’t think there’s ever
been a time where I DIDN’T buy
something‘ – I remember when the
boys were much younger I’d come out
of there with about 2 big BOXES full of
‘stuff’ – usually clothes & toys for them.
I also enjoy getting to see some of the
‘regulars’ who work the sale every year;
just going yesterday got me in the ‘garage
sale’ mood for the year! I don’t always
buy things but love to ‘look’ – you never
know – sometimes you find some pretty
neat things! (Oh, and I also got one small
skein of baby blue yarn – just couldn’t pass
it up for 25 cents!) hehehe

Hope you’re enjoying your day – do
SOMETHING that makes you smile
today, even if it’s only taking a few
minutes to walk outside and look
at the clouds and be glad you’re



PS: Gas prices here nearly choked me
yesterday – I had gone to Kroger & you
can accumulate Kroger ‘gas points’ which
are good towards 10 cents up to 30 cents
off per gallon at Kroger gas stations. Their
regular was $2.29/9 – I ended up going to
my ‘usual’ Clark station: $2.19/9; I didn’t
have enough Kroger points to matter –

It’s HUMP Day! (or just plain Wednesday, take your pick!)

old lady at desk

Just got home from my weekly shopping trips – Walgreens, CVS, Dollar Store & grocery store – all had great grocery items on sale. I know I’ve told you before, but here’s a quick reminder: check out your drug store & dollar store fliers for sales on things you use every day. There was a $2.00 off coupon for TIDE – the size I use normally (if I went to KMart or Krogers) runs around $8.00 – on sale/with coupon I paid $3.50! THAT’S what I’m talking about! I can get really BIG boxes of Kleenex for MUCH cheaper at the dollar store – I’m talking BRAND NAME KLEENEX $2.00 for 195 count! The regular sized boxes hold 160 and cost $2.50+ (check out the deals!).

I’m kind of in a ‘cooking slump’ these days – looked at all the meats on sale (and there was a GREAT sale on pork chops) but I’m in a “No, I don’t want any more PORK/CHICKEN, etc.” – do you ever get like that? I baked a whole chicken in the crockpot yesterday – filling the cavity with about 12 whole garlic cloves & sprinkling the top with garlic powder; served it with fingerling potatoes & salad – it was good. Day before I made the Turkey Stroganoff with egg noodles – there’s still one serving of that and about 1 serving of the chicken left. Tonight is my special needs group so I usually don’t cook dinner on Weds, since I have to leave the house around 6 p.m. (we eat dinner around 6:30 -7 p.m.). Next on my cooking agenda is homemade pizza and that will be good for about 2-3 days worth of dinner (I make 3 pizzas at a time). Found LOTS of great crockpot recipes today, so am including some of those below:


Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese

2 (7 oz, ea) boxes apple cinnamon
muffin mix – prepared
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2-4 T. powdered sugar

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Mix up muffin mix batter & pour
into crockpot. Cut cream cheese into
12 cubes & place evenly in batter.
Place 6-8 paper towels under lid of
crockpot; cover & cook on High 2-4
hours. Remove towels/lid – sprinkle
top with powdered sugar & cut into
12 squares – serve warm.


Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

1 pkg. pasta (bowtie, rotini, your choice)
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked/
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 pkg. frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded, chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped

1 bag Frito corn chips

Cook pasta, drain & cool. In large bowl
combine all other ingredients. Mix up
2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. buttermilk
1 pkg. (Hidden Valley) Fiesta dip mix-
(poster said she finds this at WalMart)

Mix all dressing ingredients together &
add to salad – toss to coat & keep
refrigerated until ready to serve. Just
before serving gently toss in Frito
corn chips.

(recipe: Pinterest)

Ranch Chicken Cheese Dip

2 (8 oz, each) blocks cream cheese,
room temp.
1 can chicken breast meat (about the
size of a large can of tuna)
1 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix

Crackers, for dipping

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Frito Pie

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1 can crescent roll dough
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 C. crushed corn chips
1/4 C. salsa
1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add taco seasoning & water to pan
with cooked ground beef; stir &
simmer until water boiled off, about
5 minutes. Separate crescent dough
into triangles. Spray a 9″ pie dish with
nonstick spray & press triangles into
pie plate with narrow points facing
the center of the plate; press seams
together to seal. Sprinkle 1 1/2 C. corn
chips on crust; spoon ground beef over
top, spreading evenly. Mix sour cream &
salsa; spread over beef. Cover top with
shredded cheese & top with remaining
crushed corn chips – drizzle melted
butter over chips & bake 20 minutes
until crust is golden brown.


German Chocolate Brownies

1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate,
2 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 T. brewed coffee
1 tsp. instant espresso granules (optional)
3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/2 C. (4 oz) evaporated milk
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened/
2 large egg yolks
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIne a 8 X 8″ square baking pan with
foil leaving an overhang on all sides;
spray with nonstick spray (or grease
& flour pan). In large microwave-
safe bowl place butter, chocolate &
heat on High about 2 minutes to melt.
Check & stir after 1 minute (heat in
15-second intervals until chocolate
has melted & mixture can be stirred
smooth.) Allow to cool before adding
eggs so they don’t scramble. Add eggs,
sugar, vanilla, coffee & espresso – whisk
vigorously to combine. Add flour, salt
& stir until smooth & combined
without overmixing. Pour batter into
prepared pan, smoothing top lightly
with spatula. Bake 20-22 minutes until
center has just set & is no longer glossy.
A toothpick inserted into center that
comes out with a few moist crumbs
but not batter is a sign they are cooked.
Allow to cool in pan on wire rack while
preparing topping.

In medium saucepan add evap. milk,
butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt &
heat over medium-low heat 7-10
minutes until mixture has thickened.
Whisk constantly (if you don’t you’ll
end up with scrambled eggs!). Mixture
should be gently boiling while whisking.
Remove pan from heat, add vanilla &
whisk gently to combine. Add coconut,
pecans & stir to combine. Allow
topping to cool in pan about 5 minutes
then pour topping over brownies using
a spatula to spread as necessary. Allow
brownies to cool, uncovered, at least
1 hour before slicing. (Poster covers
brownies with foil & refrigerates them
a few hours or overnight, making them
much easier to slice. Makes 9-12 squares


Bacon & Feta Cheese Peas

2/3 C. water
2 C. frozen peas (or half 16 oz. bag)
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. feta cheese, crumbled
salt/pepper, to taste

Bring 2/3 C. water to boil in medium
saucepan. Add peas, cook 5-7 minutes
until tender; drain & keep about 3 T.
water in pan. Add butter & stir until
melted. Add garlic powder, bacon,
feta, salt/pepper & stir to combine.
Serve immediately. Serves 3-4


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 C. chicken broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans mild diced tomatoes
with green chilies (do not drain)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
1 T. fresh lime juice
3 T. chopped, fresh cilantro
2 medium chicken breasts

Suggested toppings:
shredded cheese
diced avocado
tortilla strips

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Add
chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans,
corn, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika,
salt/pepper, lime juice & cilantro – stir.
Add in chicken breasts. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours (or High 3-4). About 20
minutes before serving, remove chicken
& shred using 2 forks; add meat back
into crockpot & stir. Serve immediately
with suggested toppings. Serves 6


Strawberries & Cream Poke Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box white cake mix, prepared
as per box directions in 9 X 13″ cake pan

3/4 C. boiling water
1 (3 oz) box strawberry Jell-o
1/2 C. cold water

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) tub ready-made white frosting
1 tsp. almond extract

1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries,

Let baked cake cool 20 minutes then
poke top of cake all over using the
handle of a wooden spoon (or a straw),
holes about 1/2″ apart, covering entire
surface. In a small bowl stir boiling water
& Jell-O together until completely dissolved.
Pour in cold water & stir then pour over
top of cake. Cover cake with plastic wrap
& refrigerate about 3 hours.

Combine Cool Whip & frosting, stirring gently
then stir in almond extract; spread on top
of cake. Arrange sliced strawberries on top
of cake & serve. Refrigerate leftovers.



Not much going on around here
lately; we ended up watching our
grandson yesterday - he played
baseball with his dad the night
before and managed to hyper-extend
his knee. He spent the day on the
couch being 'nursed' by me & watching
tv & playing video games. Let's just
say I got a lot of knitting done!

Our weather is still Spring-like; it’s
in the 50’s & sunny with a slight breeze
not bad. I, of course, am awaiting the
low 70’s, but that’s got awhile to come.

I’m still fighting with my computer to
find a suitable font size without it
suddenly changing what I ‘copy & paste’
(read that: recipes) into super tiny or
gigantic letters! AND, it’s also decided
to not let me single-space my paragraphs,
either (I figured out this, even though
I’m not fond of this font, at least it’s
not making my writings BILLBOARD sized
with all the double spaced lines!)

Hope you’re having a good day – I love
looking outside and seeing all the new
blooming trees/bushes/flowers and all
the robins, cardinals and red-winged
blackbirds (Love to hear all their songs!).



with a little help from my friends!


Yesterday I loudly complained about having trouble with Windows 10 attempting to SELF-INSTALL on my computer – THANK YOU, READERS!  1EarthUnited (one of my readers) very graciously sent me the link on how to UN-install that mess BEFORE Windows 10 could permanently barge in on my computer – THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have a very ‘techy’ husband, so he immediately set forth to conquer this mess and he did – he’s SO happy about it he immediately attacked HIS computer to do the very same thing. Now, some of you might be very happy using Windows 10 but last year, when that app. first came out husband did the install on HIS computer – that ended up costing us almost $200 and a week with his computer at Best Buy’s Geek Squad before they could take it off – what a mess! We both decided that we would NEVER get that for my computer so you can understand my plight yesterday when that very app decided to ‘self install’! UGH! I don’t CARE if it’s a FREE install – SOooooooo glad 1EarthUnited sent me that link!

Been going through my numerous emails from various recipe sites and WOW did I glean a TON of great recipes! If you’re so inclined I would recommend:  or   or  – what a HUGE amount of great-sounding recipes!


Apple Cinnamon Sugar Cookie

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. peeled/diced apples
2 tsp. cinnamon

1 C. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13 X 18″ baking sheet
with nonstick spray. In a large
bowl using an elec. mixer, combine
butter & sugar; mix on Medium
until creamy. Mix in eggs, one-at-
a-time, making sure to mix well
after each addition; mix in vanilla.
In small bowl combine flour, salt
& baking powder. Blend flour
mixture into butter mixture on
Low until completely incorporated;
stir in cinnamon & apples. Spread
mixture onto prepared sheet &
smooth out evenly. Bake 15-20
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let
cool completely before frosting.

Place butter in small saucepan
over medium heat & stir
constantly 8-10 minutes until
butter starts to turn golden brown.
Remove from heat; pour into a
bowl; cover & refrigerate 1 hour
until it begins to solidify. In a
mixer bowl beat butter until smooth.
Carefully add powdered sugar
alternately with milk, beginning &
ending with powdered sugar. When
frosting reaches a spreadable
consistency stir in vanilla. Spread
frosting over bars & cut.


Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Dip

1 jalapeno (1/2 C., diced)
4 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic, minced, to taste

Stir all ingredients together in
a bowl & serve with crackers.


Bacon/Potato Bake

8 C. peeled/thinly sliced
red potatoes
2 T. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
2 T. butter, melted/divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded
Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 C. dry bread crumbs
8 slices bacon, cooked/

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in Dutch oven;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer
10 minutes. Drain, cool 10 minutes.
In small bowl combine flour, eggs,
sour cream, 1 T. butter & salt; spoon
over potatoes & toss to coat. Place
half mixture into a greased 9 X 13″
baking dish; top with half the cheese-
repeat layers. Toss bread crumbs with
remaining butter; sprinkle over top &
bake, uncovered, 1 hour until potatoes
are tender. Sprinkle top with bacon
& serve. Makes 12 servings.


Crockpot Grnd. Turkey & Mushrooms

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. homemade gravy mix (recipe below)
1/2 C. water
chopped green onions (optional)

Place ground turkey in crockpot, break
up pieces with a spoon. Add sliced
mushrooms, gravy mix & water; stir.
Cover & cook on Low 3-5 hours (or
High 2-3). Uncover, break up turkey
with a spoon; salt/pepper, if desired.
Serve over cooked rice, noodles, potatoes.
Garnish with sliced green onions, if
desired. Serves 4-6
cooked rice, noodles or potatoes
Homemade Gravy:
3 T. beef bouillon granules
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. flour

Place all gravy ingredients in a blender
or food processor – pulse about 10
times until all granules are the same
size. Store in an air tight container.

To Make Gravy:
Use 1/4 C. mix with 2 C. milk or water
in a saucepan; whisk over medium
heat until smooth & thickened.

NOTE: Poster added some variations
to the recipe:

Mix in 4 oz. cream cheese & 1/2 C.
sour cream after turkey is cooked
for more of a creamy, stroganoff-
type meal. Can also be made
using ground beef or chicken instead
of turkey


Avocado Egg Salad
(serves 2)

4 hardboiled eggs, peeled/chopped
1 medium avocado, peeled/diced
4-5 T. diced red onion
4 celery stalks, diced
1 peeled/diced cucumber
1-2 T. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
salt/pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a
bowl, stirring well to combine.
You can mash some of the eggs/
avocado, if you like. Taste & adjust
mustard, vinegar, salt/pepper to
your liking. Serves 2

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Secret Ingredient Stuffed Shells

2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. diced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. large pasta shells
1 1/2 C. butternut squash, sliced
1 1/2 C. yellow squash (1 small),
sliced thin
1 1/2 C. zucchini (1 medium),
sliced thin
1 2-Cup pkg. shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta shells accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & cool. Heat oil in
12 inch saucepan over medium heat;
add onions, zucchini, yellow squash
& butternut squash & cook 10 minutes
until vegetables are fork tender. Add
garlic & red pepper flakes; cook 2-3
minutes more. Move vegetables to
a plate. Carefully stir ricotta into
warm vegetables, being careful not
to break the vegetables. Add butter
to pan & melt. Whisk in flour, salt/
pepper & nutmeg, cook 1 minute.
Whisk in milk & cook 2-3 minutes until
sauce begins to thicken.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Pour 1 C. sauce into bottom of
dish & spread around. Fill cooked shells
with squash/ricotta mixture, placing
each filled shell into dish. When all
shells are filled, pour cream sauce
over shells & top with mozzarella
cheese. Bake until heated through
& cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Serves 4

NOTE: Poster said she sometimes
adds 1 C. cooked, cubed chicken
to filling mixture


Blueberry Butter Cake

Bottom Layer:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
8 T. butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
8 T. butter, melted
15-20 oz. dried blueberries
2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. In large
bowl combine cake mix, egg &
melted butter – mix well using
elec. mixer. Pat mixture into
bottom of prepared pan (Poster
said she sprayed her palms with
a little cooking spray & patted
the dough down that way.)

In large bowl beat cream cheese until
smooth. Add eggs, vanilla & melted
butter – beat again until blended. Stir
in dried blueberries & sugar; mix until
well blended. Spread filling over cake
batter & bake 40-50 minutes. Do not
overbake. Center should be a little
gooey. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 6-8



Today is one of those “stay home, get comfy in
your favorite jammies & read’ days. It’s 51 degrees
F. , gray & rainy – supposed to get up to 65 but I
have my doubts. Brings to mind the old saying:
“April showers bring May flowers”.

Today is my oldest son’s ‘debut’ as a Executive
Chef par excellence – his brand new restaurant/
bar at the brand new Hilton Hotel is opening
at 4 p.m. today. I’m sure he is more than beside
himself with anxiety (I haven’t spoken to him in
over a week – I don’t want to bother him as I
KNOW he’s got to be triple-thinking everything:
“Did I order enough . . . “, “Will we be able to
handle EVERYTHING?”, etc. I ran into his second
grade teacher last night and updated her on his
achievement – she said: “Mom & Dad will be there,
right?” and I told her “No” – this is more of a
business hotel – with lots of suites; he doesn’t
need the extra pressure with having US there,too.
Maybe, sometime down the line, we’ll check it
out but for now it’s HIS time to shine and he’s
more than earned it. (Can you tell I’m SUPER
Proud of him?)

Yesterday we got notice that my husband’s all-
time favorite cousin died at 78 of cancer. He was
a great person/family man/man of all things: if
he knew you needed help he’d be right there. He
owned his own heating & cooling company and I
can’t tell you how many times he came to our
house to help us out if the water heater or furnace
didn’t work (and you KNOW he didn’t charge us
regular prices, either – he’d just say we’d ‘work it
out’). I have great memories of him swimming with
my oldest son when son was probably about 4 –
he loved family and it showed. We were told he
didn’t want a funeral but there will be a wake this
Saturday at the local American Legion hall; I can
still hear his voice and laugh – he will be greatly

Hope you spend this day the way YOU would
LIKE to – whether it be inside, or out.




Another beautiful day!


Finally, after all the goofy/cold weather our daffodils & narcissus are able to bloom without hanging their heads! The weather has gotten a little colder, but still very tolerable (in the 60’s), sunny and Spring-like – I LOVE IT!

LOTS of recipes to share – ran into several really nice crockpot sites and couldn’t stop typing!


 Orange Creamsicle Cookies

1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. finely grated orange rind
1/4 C. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl of elec. mixer, cream
sugar , butter, cream cheese,
egg, vanilla, orange rind &
orange juice 1-2 minutes until
well combined. In separate bowl
stir flour, baking soda, cream of
tartar & salt; add to creamed
mixture & mix until combined.
Stir in white choc. chips. Spray
a cookie sheet with nonstick
spray & scoop dough onto sheet.
Bake approx. 8 minutes just
until done, so they stay chewy
& soft. Let cool on sheet a few
minutes then remove to a wire
rack to cool completely. Store
in an airtight container to stay

(recipe: Christine Bell)

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


Biscuits & Gravy Bake

1 (12 oz) tube refrigerated biscuits
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. cooked sausage
1 C. shredded cheese

4 T. butter
4 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. In a
bowl mix eggs, 1/2 C. milk, salt/
Melt butter in a saucepan;
stir in flour , salt/pepper & slowly
add milk. Simmer, stirring, until
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Layer
biscuits, sausage, cheese, egg mixture
& gravy. Bake 35-45 minutes until eggs
on bottom are cooked.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Corn & Bacon Casserole

1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel
corn, drained
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn,
1 (8 oz) pkg. Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
3 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with
green chilies, drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in small saucepan,
saute onion a few minutes until
softened. In large bowl combine
both corn, muffin mix, sour cream,
shredded cheese, bacon, diced
tomatoes & butter/onion from
pan. Mix thoroughly & pour into
a greased 9 X 9″ baking dish. Bake
55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 8


Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

1/2 C. chicken broth
1/3 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 lb. flank steak
1 T. sesame oil
1 head broccoli florets
sesame seeds (garnish)

Cooked rice for 4

In medium bowl combine broth,
soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic &
lime juice. Heat large skillet over
High heat. Rub steak with oil &
add to skillet – sear steak 3 minutes
per side then transfer to a cutting
board – let rest 5 minutes then slice.
Add sauce to skillet & deglaze pan
then add broccoli. Return steak to
skillet & let simmer in sauce. Season
generously with salt/pepper. Garnish
with sesame seeds & serve with rice.
Serves 4


Strawberry Cream Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1/4 C. oil

1 box strawberry Jello –
prepared – leave to cool

1 can whipped vanilla frosting
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip
1 tsp. almond extract
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Sliced fresh strawberries for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Mix together cake
ingredients; pour into pan &
bake 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
When cool, poke holes all over cake
using a straw. Pour warm liquid
Jello all over cake.
Mix frosting & Cool Whip together.
Mix softened cream cheese into
mixture & add almond extract –
mix until well blended then frost
cooled cake. Place sliced strawberries
on top of cake.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)


It’s been a bit crazy the past few days – it
seems good old MICROSOFT really wants
me to accept their “Windows 10” program-
to the point where they’re trying to FORCE
the download onto my computer! UGH! It
took my husband several tries to just get
the “Beginning Download” screen off! He
ended up backing my files onto discs and
several other ‘things’ only he knows how
to do – but I DO NOT WANT WINDOWS 10!
If you’ve been with me for awhile you might
remember all the huge MESS that program
did to my husband’s computer (including us
taking the computer to Best Buy’s GEEK
Squad to see if they could restore the computer
and remove “10” – it took them a few days
to get it off (that was right after the launch
for the ‘new Windows 10’ program – we were
some of the first people to try to install it.
Now, grant you, they MIGHT have improved
said model – I don’t care – I DO NOT want it!
For 3 days now I have been happily working
on my computer only to have the screen go
totally blank, then up pops a window in the
center of the screen announcing “Uploading
Windows 10″ will begin immediately, do not
turn off your computer.” You better believe
my fingers IMMEDIATELY hit OFF! Sure hope
that all works and I don’t HAVE to take it if

Have noticed that the gas prices have dropped
at bit over the past few days. Last I’d checked
they were hovering around $2.00 but now
they’re at around $1.95/9 (taking a guess here,
haven’t been ‘out’ in 2 days).

Was finally able to meet with my friend that
has the other knit/crochet group that makes
hats/scarves/gloves/mittens for the homeless
and give her the 39-gallon garbage bag full of
various yarns – she was in total shock! “Where
did you get all this?” (from our group yarn
swap back in the fall – it’s been THAT long I’ve
been attempting to get with her to pass it on!
She was thrilled – I’m happy to pass it on and
not carry the ‘guilt’ that all that yarn produces
in me when I feel like I really NEED to knit items
for that worthy cause – I just need to keep my
‘charity causes’ desires at a minimum. I’m already
doing enough for several other causes – no need
for more stress – right?

I’m going to close for now and go read more
recipes (my secret fun thing to do). Try to stay
healthy and enjoy some of this SPRING weather!



Oh, my stars and garters!


If you remember my last post concerning the problems with my son’s lost Social Security card – hang on, it gets worse. I woke up around 3 a.m. Friday with the vision of the form I had filled out on the fraudulent site – (I had printed it out) – Yes, it was worse – my husband’s, my son’s AND my social security numbers were all on that form and were now in the hands of bad people. I attempted to report the rest of the mess, but the reporting companies are OFF on the weekends – let’s just say I really did NOT get much sleep. Today, after finally getting all of our numbers reported, I told my husband. He was VERY gentle and understanding (I really had NO idea HOW he would react). I went through the information on the fraud reporting flyer the Social Security employee gave me and began a very long and arduous task of trying to fill in all the forms at the various governmental sites. One site requires that you make a police report of the incident – just finished that. I know the Lord was watching over us – the officer is a lady I’ve met at Panera during Knit Nights (she crochets) – sure put me at ease. I apologized about calling her out for this but she said: “This is VERY important – they have all of your financial information!” Now we have an official police report. We also called our financial advisor who put a ‘flag’ on our account and then reassured both my husband & I that they have a LOT of security on their files. I’ll tell you – one (seemingly) innocent mistake sure can blow up in your face! Reporting to the IRS, the Soc Sec. Administration, police department, major credit reporting company (there are 3; you report to 1 and they send the report to the other 2) – I’m still not exactly sure I’ve covered all bases. I’m mentally exhausted.


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter
Mug Cake

3 T. creamy peanut butter
1 T. + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg

Whisk all ingredients together
in an over-sized microwave-safe
mug until batter is smooth & egg
is fully whisked in. Microwave
1 minute. Let cake cook a few minutes
before eating.
Makes 1


No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. pureed pumpkin (canned is OK)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 C. brown sugar, unpacked
4 oz Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl whip cream cheese, pumpkin,
vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice &
brown sugar a few minutes until fluffy.
Fold in Cool Whip & mix until smooth.
Spoon mixture into crust & refrigerate
2 hours, until firm.

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice:
Mix together:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
Mix together & add to pie


3-Ingredient Deviled Eggs

12 large hard-boiled eggs
6 T. Miracle Whip salad dressing
cayenne pepper, to taste

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half length-
wise. Gently scoop out yolks into
a bowl (set aside egg whites). Add
Miracle Whip to egg yolks & mix
thoroughly. Place mixture into a
zip-lock bag; cut a small hole in one
of the bottom corners of the bag
(you’re using the bag as a piping
bag). Fill egg white halves where
yolks were removed. Sprinkle
cayenne pepper on top of egg
yolk mixture. Makes 24 deviled eggs.


3-Ingredient Turkey Breast & Gravy

1 bone-in turkey breast, thawed
3 T. butter
1 packet dry onion soup mix

Using kitchen shears cut off any excess
skin (but leave skin on breast). Rub onion
soup mix all over turkey breast & place,
breast side down, in crockpot. Place
butter in bottom of crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 7 hours. When cooked,
remove from crockpot & let rest on a
cutting board or platter (you can also
tent it with foil to keep the heat in) for
10 minutes. While it’s resting, time to
make the gravy!

2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

Pour juices from crockpot through a
mesh strainer & into a saucepan. In a
small bowl mix cornstarch & water until
smooth. Add cornstarch mixture into
saucepan with drippings & whisk over
medium-high heat. Gravy will thicken
in about 5 minutes; add salt/pepper, to
Slice turkey breast & serve with gravy.
Serves 6-8


Crumb-Coated Ranch Chicken

2/3 C. Ranch salad dressing
2 c. coarsely crushed cornflakes
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (6 oz, ea)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place salad dressing in shallow bowl;
in separate bowl mix cornflakes,
Italian seasoning & garlic powder.
Dip chicken in dressing then in corn-
flake mixture, patting to help coating
adhere. Place on greased baking
sheet & bake 30-35 minutes until
it reaches 165 degrees F. Serves 4


Baked Nacho Casserole

1 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 C. chopped red onion
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced
tomatoes & green chiles, drained
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. frozen whole kernel corn
1 tsp. chili powder
4 oz. baked tortilla chips, crushed &
divided (4 oz= about 4 C.)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 C. shredded lettuce
1/3 C. sour cream
1/4 C. sliced black olives
chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ glass baking dish
with nonstick spray; set aside.
Spray large skillet with nonstick
spray; heat over medium heat &
cook pepper & onion, stirring,
until softened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from pan; add beef &
cook until meat is browned &
crumbled. Add vegetables,
black beans, drained Ro*Tel,
mayonnaise, corn & chili
powder to skillet; stir until
combined. Place half of meat
mixture in prepared dish; top
with half of tortilla chips. Place
remaining meat mixture over
chips. Cover with foil & bake
25 minutes. Remove foil;
top with remaining chips & cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes until
cheese melts. Serve with lettuce,
sour cream & sliced olives on side.
(garnish with cilantro, if desired)
Serves 6 (about 1 1/2 C. each)


Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. canola oil
4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini & cook 7
minutes until tender; stirring
occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,
salt & pepper. Break up tomatoes with
spoon; cook 2 minutes more until hot.
Serves 4


Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

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

whipping cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 12 cupcake cups
In bowl mix together flour, pumpkin
pie spice, salt, baking powder/soda.
Mix pumpkin puree with sugar, eggs,
vanilla & evap. milk. Add dry ingredients
to wet & mix until evenly combined.
Fill muffin cups with 1/3 C. mixture in
each cup. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool in
pan 20 minutes then remove & cool
completely. Top cupcakes with whipped
cream & dust tops with cinnamon or
pumpkin pie spice before serving.
Makes 12


Needless to say I haven’t got much
knitting done – a bit too stressed. Did finish
another book and went to the library
today to pick up a few more.

Our gas went up Sunday, to $2.39/9 but
today it was back down to $2.29/9 so I
filled up (yay).

Weather-wise, it’s OK for Fall: hovering
between the 50’s & 60’s, sunny & at
times a little wet, but OK. I remember
when I was a kid, Trick or Treating was
ALWAYS a gloomy, windy and VERY
RAINY night – no exceptions! Seems
strange to think that’s coming up this
weekend – since we live on a major
highway, we never get any kids (which,
I guess, can be a good thing).

Hope YOU’RE having a MUCH BETTER
week than I am – stay healthy!



Oh, No . . . Not AGAIN!


Do you ever feel like you’ve dropped into a BIG HOLE? That was my stomach about 2 hours ago. Let me explain: middle son lost both his birth certificate and Social Security card – not a problem, right? I went on line & applied for a new birth certificate (didn’t even KNOW you could do that ON LINE!) It came in the mail yesterday. Today I get the brilliant idea that maybe we could do the same for the Soc Sec card – DO NOT EVER DO THAT! (do you remember my credit card fiasco of about 3 weeks ago? Where I ended up charging something to my credit card only to have that company charge me $$$ without my permission, a month later?) You guessed it – sort of. I typed in (under search) social security card replacement – and there was a site title: Social Security Card Replacement so I clicked on it, filled in the form, CHARGED $39.00 to my credit card and waited – I printed out the form but then thought: NOW what? Are they going to MAIL the card? Son was getting really impatient & insisted we just GO to Soc. Sec. and do it – so we did. The very nice lady there, after my commenting on the charges on line, said SOCIAL SECURITY DOES NOT CHARGE FOR ANY CARDS – REPLACEMENT OR NEW!! You guessed it – BIG HOLE in the pit of  my stomach! She gave us a flyer with information on what to do next to protect son’s Soc Sec. #. I’m still sick over it. Came home, he called the phone # on the flyer & reported it, I went on line to the Federal Trade Commission (also in the flyer) and reported it there then went to the bank to (hopefully) get my money back off my credit card. A half hour later, I’m good on the card – had to cancel that one and they’ll issue a new one, my monies are back in my account. WHAT A MESS! The bank lady, when looking over the paperwork I had printed out (from the fraudulent site) said that she had lost HER Soc Sec. card recently and the form she filled out looked identical to the one I did – these crooks are good at what they do. Makes me NEVER want to do any transactions ON LINE EVER AGAIN! All I could think was I must have the word GULLIBLE in huge letters on my forehead. (the bank lady did say that it’s a good thing we were ‘on it’ so quickly; hopefully the bad guys haven’t done anything using his identification.)


Pumpkin Corn Pudding

3 eggs
3 T. melted unsalted butter
(plus more to butter dish)
3/4 C. canned pumpkin puree
(not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 C. heavy cream
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. granulated sugar
2 C. canned corn, drained
(fresh or frozen kernels can
also be used)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place large pot of water
to boil. Butter a 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. In medium bowl mix eggs,
butter, pumpkin puree & cream. In
large bowl mix flour, salt, baking
powder & sugar. Mix egg mixture
into flour mixture then stir in drained
corn, mixing evenly – pour into
prepared dish. Place dish into a
larger baking dish or pan & pour
hot water into larger pan, filling about
halfway up the side of pudding dish.
(this is called a ‘water bath’ – will
help keep the pudding moist & creamy
as it bakes). Bake 50-55 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Remove from oven & let
cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8


Lasagna Soup

1 (14 oz) pkg. sweet Italian chicken
sausage, casings removed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
4 T. chopped fresh parsley, divided
3 C. chicken broth
2 1/2 C. water
2 C. quick marinara sauce
2 bay leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
6 oz. broken lasagna noodles


6 T. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. fresh chopped basil

Heat large soup pot of Dutch oven
over medium heat; spray insides
with nonstick spray & add sausage.
Cook until browned, 4-5 minutes.
Add chopped onion & garlic, cook
2-3 minutes. Add parsley, broth,
water, marinara sauce, bay leaves
& black pepper – bring to boil. Cover
& reduce heat – simmer 30 minutes.
In medium bowl combine ricotta,
Parmesan & 2 T. parsley; mix. Add
broken pasta & cook, uncovered,
according to pasta pkg. directions.
Divide soup between 6 bowls &
top each with 2 T. ricotta cheese
mixture, mozzarella, pepper & fresh
basil. Makes about 8 Cups.


Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare 2 mini muffin pans with
nonstick spray or mini-muffin liners.
In stand mixer cream butter & sugars
until combined. Add egg, vanilla,
pumpkin & milk; mix until combined
well. In small bowl gently combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda,
salt & pumpkin pie spice. Add flour
mixture into pumpkin mixture slowly,
moving until just combined. Divide
mixture into muffin tins evenly, about
1 T. per muffin cup. Bake 10 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool.

In shallow dish mix cinnamon &
sugar. In separate shallow dish
melt butter. Dip tops of each muffin
in butter then roll in cinnamon/sugar.
Place on rack to set a few minutes.
Makes 48 mini muffins

(recipe: Courtney Luper -Facebook)

Pasta & Garlic Shrimp

1/2 C. chopped garlic
(2 heads)
1 C. olive oil
1 C. white wine
salt/pepper, to taste
1 lemon, juiced
5 chili peppers (dried)
2 lb. medium-large peeled
5 T. chopped basil (optional)
1/2 lb. spaghetti
2 T. salt

In small saucepan over medium-
low heat add oil & 1/2 tsp. salt;
stir occasionally until it comes to
a simmer. Adjust heat to lowest
setting to keep at gentle simmer.
Add garlic & cook, stirring occasionally,
until garlic is pale golden, about 20
minutes. Add lemon juice, simmer until
most of juice has been absorbed into
garlic, 5 minutes. Stir in chili peppers
& wine – taste to check salt level (add
more, if desired). Keep pan on very
low heat. In large heavy skillet on
medium-high heat add 2 T. oil mixture
but NO garlic. Add shrimp to skillet,
sprinkle generously with salt/pepper &
stir gently/continuously until shrimp
are cooked, 8 minutes. Add garlic sauce.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Drain pasta into a collander – do not
rinse with water. Scoop pasta
into a deep serving platter; top with
garlic/shrimp mixture. Sprinkle top with
basil & serve. Serves 8


Sticky BBQ Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 small shallot, chopped
1/3 C. plain breadcrumbs
salt/pepper, to taste

1 C. bbq sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all meatball ingredients in large
bowl & shape into small meatballs.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over
medium-high heat & add some oil.
Cook meatballs until browned on
outside & entirely cooked through.
Once meatballs are cooked, mix all
sauce ingredients. Add meatballs
& sauce to crockpot & cook, on
Low, 3-4 hours. Serves 30


Zippy Sausage Spread

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Cook & stir sausage until no
longer pink; drain. Stir in
tomatoes & cream cheese; cook
& stir until cheese has melted.
Serve warm. Makes 3 C.


Crockpot Lava Cake

1 box devil’s food cake mix (regular
1 2/3 C. water
3 eggs
1/3 C. canola oil
2 C. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
2 C. (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

In large bowl combine cake mix, water,
eggs & oil; beat using elec. mixer on
Low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium
speed 2 minutes; transfer to a greased
4 qt crockpot. In another bowl whisk
milk & pudding mix 2 minutes. Let
stand 2 minutes until soft-set then spoon
over cake batter. Sprinkle top with choc.
chips, cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
until a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out with moist crumbs.
Makes 12 servings.


Our weather is still in the 60’s, sunny with
occasional rain – that’s OK.

Gas prices are still running at $2.29/9

Working on two afghans now: one is
all white and kind of fussy, knit-wise.
I started another one yesterday with
a really easy pattern (variegated yarn),
4 rows per pattern, so we’ll see how
that goes. I delivered the last 4 afghans
Tuesday and the Crisis Pregnancy center
lady was super happy with all of them

That’s my ‘Tales of Woe’ for the day; I know
this will all sort itself out – eventually, it’s
just weighing heavily on me that it was MY
mistake causing my son’s grief. Yep-time to
pray on it, for sure!



Well it started OUTgood, anyway . . .

confused lady

You know how you START out your day and it’s going well? That was my day – earlier. Got the remaining grocery shopping/dollar store/bank trip done in record time. Decided today was the day to do the ‘house bills’; sat down and noticed I had TWO AT&T U-Verse bills, not one – OK . . .turns out one was to remind us that they are going paperless and we have to sign up on their site – that was the ‘beginning’ of the nightmare. Start to go to site & notice my browser is taking FOREVER to do anything – mention it to husband who tells me I haven’t cleaned out my ‘browser history/cache’ in over a month (apparently it was overloaded, causing lag in computer speed). Get that all done, get on their site only to be told I have to log in with a ID # – I don’t have one! OK – they need me to change my log in codes . . . OK, do that; they will SEND ME VIA EMAIL a code to type in to complete this change . . . OK . . . Go to my email, attempt to sign in, keep getting rejected (UGH!) Finally husband hears me ranting and steps in: apparently when I had to change the code for the AT&T U-VERSE account it also changed my EMAIL sign in! UGH!!! Type in the ‘new’ U-Verse sign in password and it worked, got the ID #, proceeded with paying house bills – WHAT A MESS! (Like the TV commercials, next comes the phrase: “But WAIT . . . THERE’S MORE!). Middle son takes a trip to the Secretary of State (while I’m going through the above mess) to take a Commercial Drivers Test. He calls home telling me he needs his Birth Certificate and Soc. Sec. card – he’ll come home & pick them up. OK . . . I go to where I have both stored and NEITHER ONE are there! What does that mean? It probably means that the last time said son needed them (like always) I probably reminded him to NO LOSE THEM and, somehow he didn’t bring them back to me for storage! GREAT! Normally that wouldn’t be a big problem BUT he was born in DETROIT, which means he will have to go THERE to get a copy of said Birth Certificate then go to the Soc. Security office here to get a new copy of his card – great, right? Sigh . . . . (LOVE my son, but with his ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder he’s very scattered/unorganized ALL THE TIME!). Crazy day after all . . . finally got the bills paid, printed out the form for his Birth Certificate application and now (for some BRAIN REST for ME) I’m writing to you! Sorry the recipes are in such big print – can’t seem to be able to change that! UGH!


2-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
with Cider Glaze

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cake mix & pumpkin puree
in large bowl; using elec. mixer beat
until well incorporated (batter will
be very thick). Spray a 7 X 11 X 2″
pan with nonstick spray; pour
batter into pan & smooth out as
best you can. Bake 28 minutes
until toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes in
pan then flip onto a platter.
Combine glaze ingredients in small
bowl – glaze should be thick but
pourable. Add more sugar or cider
if needed. Pour over cake while still
warm (reserve some to pour over
each slice when served. Serves 4=6

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice,
Mix together:
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

This makes enough pie spice to make
one pie


Cinnamon Roasted Butternut

1 large butternut squash, peeled/
seeded & cut into 1″ pieces (about
3 lb or 8 C, cubed)
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
sprinkling salt/pepper
dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with
foil. Toss squash cubes with olive
oil, cinnamon, salt/pepper &
cayenne, if using until well coated.
Place coated squash on baking
sheets & spread into 1 layer. Try
not to crowd them too much or
they will not brown. Cook squash,
turning once, until edges are lightly
browned & centers are tender, 40-45

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Easy Brunch Bake

6 refrigerated buttermilk
12 eggs
1/2 onion, diced
5 oz. Canadian bacon, diced
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 T. chopped chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs, onion, bacon, cheese,
salt/pepper together. Spray a 9 X 9″
baking pan with nonstick spray.
Place biscuits in a single layer in
pan; pour egg mixture over top.
Bake 30-35 minutes; Cool 10
minutes then cut & serve.

(recipe: Tasty – Facebook)

Pizza Casserole (with Ravioli)
 1 bag frozen sausage ravioli
2 jars pizza sauce
1 (8 oz) tub ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 bag
 sliced pepperoni
1 egg
1 lb. hamburger
Italian seasoning
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook hamburger in frying pan,drain &
season with seasonings. Spray 9 X 13
baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread
2/3 C. pizza sauce on bottom of dish;
place frozen ravioli in single layer in
dish. Mix ricotta cheese & egg in a
bowl; add 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese &
mix then spread on top of ravioli.
Sprinkle top with half of hamburger;
pour 1 jar pizza sauce over & layer
half the bag of pepperoni on top.
Repeat layers, starting with ravioli
& ending with pizza sauce. Sprinkle
rest of cheese on top & cover with
foil. Bake 40  minutes. Remove foil
& bake 10 minutes until cheese is
melted & lightly browned/sauce is
bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before


Decadent Coffee Cream Pie

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, separated
1 T. flour
1/4 stick butter
2 servings instant coffee*
1 (regular sized) graham cracker pie
crust (not deep dish)
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. sugar (for meringue)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In medium saucepan combine butter, cond.
milk, egg yolks, instant coffee & flour; stir
constantly over medium-high heat until
noticeably thicker (about 10 minutes).
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla & pour
into shell.
Place egg whites in clean bowl & beat
using elec. mixer until white & foamy.
Add sugar & continue to beat until
stiff peaks form; spoon mixture over top
of pie & spread to cover top, making
sure it touches the edges of the pie crust
all around (to prevent shrinking while baking)
Bake 15 minutes until meringue is golden
brown. Allow to cool then cover &
refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before
serving. Serve cold.

*Enough instant coffee to make 2 cups


Lazy Piergies

15 lasagna noodles, cooked/divided
2 C. mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
garlic salt
onion powder
1/2 C. butter
1 onion, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange 5 lasagna noodles in lightly
greased 9 X 13″ pan. Combine potatoes,
eggs, cheese & seasonings; spread half
of mixture over noodles in pan. Cover
with another 5 noodles; spread with
remaining potato mixture. Top with
remaining noodles. Melt butter in a
skillet over medium heat; saute onion
until tender & pour over lasagna.
Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Let stand
10 minutes before slicing.

NOTE: Recipe can be frozen:
Cover unbaked casserole tightly with
foil & freeze.
When ready to use: thaw overnight
in refrigerator then bake according
to above directions.


Creamy Honey – Bacon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1/8 C. honey
1/8 C. bacon bits

Wheat Thins crackers

Place cream cheese on a plate;
drizzle honey over top then
sprinkle with bacon bits.
Serve with Wheat Thins.
Makes 8 servings


Soft Pumpkin Choc. Chip Cookies

1 C. sugar
1/4 C. oil
1/4 C. apple sauce
1 egg
1 C. pumpkin puree
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
(or lightly grease). Using stand mixer,
combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla &
egg – mix until well combined. In another
bowl stir together flour, baking powder,
cinnamon & salt. In small bowl dissolve
baking soda in milk. Add dry flour
mixture & wet mixture to pumpkin
mixture – mix well. Stir in choc. chips.
Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop,
place mounds of dough on prepared
sheets. Bake 13 minutes.


Nothing else new – weather progressively
colder/rainy – in the 60’s today but supposed
to rain a little later.

Gas prices are staying at $2.39/9 – YAY!

Afghan-wise: I ‘frogged’ (that’s knitting/
crochet term for ripped it out: ie: frogs
make a Riiiiiip, Riiiiiiiip sound) the

 ‘using up some of my old green yarns’
baby afghan – it was just TOO UGLY!
Currently working on the second afghan
I had started: white, small scallops in
pattern rows – originally I was going to
‘frog’ that one, but decided to just keep
going. (After the comment from the lady
at Crisis Pregnancy center about baby
afghans needing to be knit/crocheted
with TIGHT weave – something about
baby fingers/toes getting caught in holes
in patterns, it’s left me second-guessing
ALL my afghan attempts! This one does
have some ‘holes’ but right now I’m at
the point: “To HECK WITH IT – I’m doing
it, anyway!” (getting my ‘goat’ up – if they
don’t like it they can throw it out!).

Sure hope YOU are having a GOOD DAY!
Mine is getting better now that the computer
messes are solved – for the moment (I just
have to remember that my ‘new’ log in code
for my emails is different!)





Patience & Gullibility


Today is turning out to be one of “THOSE” days – went to the bank to clear up a ‘mess’ (will speak on that in a minute) and found that they were short on people, especially the Bank Managers – sigh. I sat down in a chair with three other people and waited; apparently the bank people thought I was with that ‘group’ and just ignored me. I just kept saying (in my head) remember-Patience is a Virtue! Finally that ‘group’ got taken care of, leaving 3 chairs vacant. In comes a little old lady who starts telling me all about her checks and the bank’s mistake (sigh). Wait, wait . . . Manager becomes FREE and I get up – little old lady does an End Run and cuts me off! (sigh – add in more “Patience is a Virture”). Her problem was pretty easy to solve so I think it will only take a few minutes . . . totally forgot that MOST older people are LONELY and just want to TALK! A good 20 minutes later she FINALLY leaves, bringing me to the subject of Gullibility. I know we all have ‘weak’ moments – those times when you do something that (at any other time) you wouldn’t. Insert me about 3 weeks ago: sitting in front of computer looking at Facebook and happen upon a blurb for a weight loss product: Only $4.99 for a TRIAL SIZED Bottle! (Garcinia Cambogia) – GULLIBLE me hits OK! and charges it to my credit card ($4.99) . . . you can see where this is going, right? They sent me the bottle in a plain white box – no paperwork, no return address. (I don’ know exactly why, but that flagged a ‘somethings not quite right here’ thought and I never opened the bottle). Time went by and yesterday I was going over my checking account just to compare my spending to what the bank has and THERE IT WAS: $89.74 charged to my card from that company! YIKES! Of course, I freaked. Today went to the bank to clear it up; fortunately I know the bank manager (for many years) so she knew I wasn’t making this up. Turns out there was another lady a few weeks before me who did the same exact thing! She said that when they went to the web site (IN VERY TINY PRINT) was a ‘disclaimer’ something about you are agreeing to a 3 month membership – cost $89.74 per month! CRAZY! It took the manager a good 25 minutes on the phone trying to get that company (which kept hanging up – it was all recordings and they said they would forward you on IF YOU HIT #1 WHICH WOULD CHARGE YOU ANOTHER $1.99! CRAZY! She finally called my banks Fraud department and they were able to dispute this charge (I get my $$ back, but had to cancel that card – fine with me.)NOTE HERE: the company that did this is listed as PURITYGARCINIA)   YAY, all’s well . . . you’d think!

Episode #2: I leave the bank to go grocery shopping at Meijers. I should mention I have another ’emergency’ credit card which I hardly EVER use. I told the bank manager I’d be using that one until my new regular debit card comes in the mail. Get up to the check out (another LOOOONG wait – remember: “Patience is a Virtue!”). Get all the groceries bagged and use the card – cashier says: “I’m sorry, but that card has been denied.” WHAT? I try it again, this time hitting Debit instead of credit – same thing! I tell her “Believe me – there’s  money in the account!” Finally I end up writing a check for said amount. Cashier tells me: “This happens ALL THE TIME with customers of that bank.” LOVELY – right? You guessed it – another trip back to the bank to see just what’s going on. Get same manager (YAY) and she calls it in – the problem is that since I very rarely USE this card, the bank’s alert system guessed that my card had been stolen so it blocked the transaction. She had to call in to the main branch and get it opened up again. Lesson to me: USE the darned card every so often so this doesn’t happen again!

Two lessons here: #1: ‘PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE” (don’t lose your cool) and #2: Try to listen to that little voice in your head that says: “Don’t DO THIS!” when you’re about to do something that you KNOW might be questionable (like charging your credit card on a site you know nothing about!) I KNOW BETTER! SOoooo grateful the bank was able to clear this up for me. WHEW!  After that I stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee and a pumpkin donut – I really felt I’d earned them this time!


Breakfast “Lasagna”

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked
8 eggs, scrambled
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 sausage links, cooked/cut in half
6 strips bacon, cooked
3 C. spinach

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange 3 noodles
lengthwise in prepared dish. Layer
half of eggs, half sausage, one C.
each cheese, half of spinach; repeat
layer. Top with layer of noodles &
bacon; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses (make sure to cover
noodles completely with cheese).
Bake 15-20 minutes; serve warm.

(recipe: “The Food in My Beard” =

Caramel Apple Crisp Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
12 T. butter, melted*
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 C. peeled/cored, finely chopped
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 1/4 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin pan with
nonstick BUTTER spray. Melt butter
in small pan. In medium bowl mix
graham cracker crumbs, powdered
sugar & butter using a spoon. Slowly
add butter, mix well & evenly
distribute to 24 mini muffin cups;
press mixture on bottom & up
sides to make a ‘crumb cup’. Bake
5 minutes; let cool completely.

Change oven temp. to 375 degrees F.
Mix apples, sugar, brown sugar, flour,
cinnamon & nutmeg together & pour
into an oven-safe baking dish. Bake
15 minutes until apples are slightly

Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees F.

Scoop a teaspoon of apple
mix & place on top of graham cracker
crust cups (keeping crust in muffin
pan). Sprinkle any extra graham cracker
crumbs on top of apples; bake 5 minutes.
Let cool completely. Use a knife to loosen
from pan; place on serving plate & drizzle
caramel topping on each. Makes 24
mini cups.

*You may want to start by using 1/2 C.
butter; melt butter & add slowly to crumbs,
a little at a time making sure it’s not too wet.
You can always add more. You want a soft
dough that sticks together slightly when you
try to form a ball, not a wet dough.


Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip

3/4 C. (Kraft) 3-cheese shredded
cheese, divided
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled,
2 green onions, finely chopped,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. cheese/bacon/
onions for garnish.
Mix remaining ingredients until
blended & spread onto 9 inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 15 minutes until hot
& bubbly around edges. Garnish
with reserved ingredients.
Makes 12 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Skinny Pumpkin Bars

2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. applesauce
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, mashed
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 1/3 C. flour

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon,
baking soda, baking powder & salt. In large
bowl cream butter & sugars together. Add
applesauce & mix well. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating with each addition. Add
egg whites & pumpkin, mix well. Alternate
dry ingredients with water & wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips & pour into cookie
sheet. Bake 27-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cut
into bars.


One-Pan Lemon Chicken Bake

4 chicken breasts, boneless
2 T. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3 T. garlic chopped
zest & juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. olive oil
1/3 C. white wine
lemon pepper seasoning

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour olive oil into small saucepan over
medium/low heat. Add garlic & cook 1
minute. Add white wine, zest of 2 lemons,
lemon juice, oregano, thyme, & salt. Pour
mixture into a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pat chicken
dry & place in pan. Brush tops of chicken with
olive oil & sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper
seasoning. Cut lemon into wedges & tuck among
the chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes until chicken is
no longer pink. If chicken isn’t browned enough,
place under broiler for 2 minutes. Serves 4


Crockpot Party Beans

1 1/2 C. ketchup
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8. tsp. pepper
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans- drained/
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern beans,
1 (14 oz) can lima beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can black eyed peas, drained/

Combine all ingredients (except beans &
peas) in crockpot; mix well. Add beans &
peas, mix well. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours. Remove bay leaves before
serving. Serves 12-14


4-Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 C. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cake mix, oil & eggs. Pour
sugar in small bowl. Take 1 T. dough,
form a ball & roll in sugar. Place
balls on ungreased cookie sheet
1 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes. Let
cool completely. Makes about
30 cookies.

Note: can use any flavor cake mix;
another poster said they put 1/4 C.
sugar in a ziplock sandwich bag &
added 2 drops food coloring to sugar,
then placed balls in sugar & shook.



Our weather, today, has taken a turn to
more “Fall-like” – it’s 65 degrees F., gray
& lightly raining.

Gas prices are staying at $2.41/9 – I’m
still at a little under half tank, so really
hoping they’ll drop soon – we’ll see . . .

Tonight is Knit Night with my group and,
after the day I’ve had so far, I really think
I DESERVE a night out with the girls! Finished
the Diagonal Box stitch baby blanket (for
Crisis Prenancy Center) and am about 1/4th
done with the other knit blanket. Bought
2 big skeins of baby/sport weight yarns at
Meijers today: one white and one white/
blue twist – we’ll see what comes of those.


Diagonal Box Stitch (crochet)

Hope YOU’RE having a good day – I intend
to just keep plugging away and reciting my
little ‘mantra’ PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE in my
head – keeps me from getting upset/angry/
etc. Life’s too short to let all those little
irritations get to ya, right?