Holiday Recipes

Cherry Pudding Cake

2 C. flour
2 1/2 C. sugar, divided
4 tsp. baking powder
1 C. milk
2 T. canola oil
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans water-packed
pitted tart red cherries, well drained
2-3 drops red food coloring, optional
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Optional: whipped cream or ice cream
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 3 qt. shallow casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl combine
flour, 1 C. sugar, baking powder, milk & oil;
pour into prepared dish.
In another bowl combine cherries, food
coloring (if using) almond extract &
remaining sugar – mix well & spoon over
batter. Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into cake portion comes out clean.
Serve warm with optional toppings.
Serves 12


Campfire Cheesy Potatoes
(in foil – Grill or Oven)

2 lb. mini Yukon Gold potatoes,
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt/ground black pepper
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

chopped parsley – garnish
crushed red pepper flakes – garnish
Preheat grill to medium-high (OR)
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut 4 large pieces of heavy duty foil
10″ long.
In large bowl toss potatoes with olive
oil, garlic powder & oregano – season
with salt/pepper. Divide potatoes between
foil pieces then fold packets crosswise to
completely cover potatoes – roll up top
& bottom edges to seam them closed.
Place packets on grill & cook 10-15
minutes, until just cooked through

(OVEN:) bake 15 minutes.

Being very careful, unwrap packets &
sprinkle with both cheeses – fold back
over potatoes & cook until cheeses
melt, 3-5 minutes. Top with parsley/
red pepper flakes – serve warm.
Serves 4


Best Pasta Salad

8 oz. rotini pasta
1 large tomato, chopped
into small pieces
1 medium green pepper, chopped
into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped, small
1 (2 1/4 oz) can black olives, drained/
1 (8 oz) bottle (Kraft) Sun-dried
tomato salad dressing
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain pasta, rinse in cold water 3 minutes.
In large bowl mix cooled pasta, tomatoes,
peppers, onion & olives. Refrigerate about
1/2 hour. Pour on salad dressing; mix well.
Add Parm. cheese; mix well & serve
immediately. Serves 6-8

Leftovers: – you will need to re-wet the
salad by adding a little more dressing
the next day.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken
with Lime Butter

2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. chili powder
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken parts

Lime Butter:

1/2 C. butter, melted
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 serrano chili, minced
2 T. finely minced white onion
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pinch black pepper

In small bowl combine first 8
ingredients. Using a spoon or
basting brush, spread mixture
over chicken – grill chicken.

Lime Butter:
In small bowl combine all butter
ingredients – drizzle over cooked
chicken just before serving (or
serve separately for dipping).
Serves 8

Greek Village Salad

4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 slender cucumber, cut in half
lengthwise, then cut into thin strips
1 green pepper, seeded/ cut into
thin strips
2 red peppers, seeded/cut into
thin strips
1 red onion, sliced/separated into rings
1/2 C. kalamata olives
8 oz. feta cheese, sliced


3 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
Place all salad ingredients in
large bowl; top with olives.
Mix dressing ingredients in a
screw-top jar – seal/shake well.
Pour dressing on salad just
before serving. Top with feta &
sprinkle with oregano.
Serves 6


Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced into
quarters, then lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, seeded/sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded/sliced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded/sliced
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. tomato paste
1 C. beer
1/2 C. BBQ sauce
4 hoagie rolls, sliced
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in large cast iron skillet
(or Dutch oven) over medium heat.
Add sausages & brown on all
sides, 7-8 minutes. remove from
skillet. Add onions & pepper to
skillet & saute until tender, about
6 minutes. Add garlic & saute until
fragrant. Stir in tomato sauce, beer
& BBQ sauce – cook a few minutes
then add sausages. Reduce heat &
simmer until sauce is thick, about
10 minutes.

Place sliced hoagie rolls on a sheet
tray & toast in oven while sausage is
simmer. Remove from oven & fill
with sausage & peppers.
Serves 4


Crockpot Korean BBQ

1/4 C. corn starch
2 T. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. chicken or beef granules
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 onion, diced (1/3 C. dehydrated/
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lb. bee flank steak*
Cooked rice or noodles to serve 8
Place all ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
(or) High 4-6 hours.
Remove meat & cut into pieces or
shred; return meat to crockpot.
Serves 8
Serve over rice or cooked noodles

*Poster notes that she has used a
beef roast and or/beef round steak
instead of flank steak.


Crockpot Creamy Nacho Chicken Dip

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) can chicken, drained/shredded
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
8 oz. shredded Mexican-blend cheese

tortilla chips or tortillas for dipping
Spray insides of 4 qt. crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl
mash/stir cream cheese until smooth.
Layer ingredients in crockpot:
refried beans
cream cheese
Cover & cook on High 1 hour (or Low 2 hrs)
Serve either on top of chips or use chips/
tortillas as dippers.  Serves 12


Crockpot Mac & Cheese

1 lb. elbow macaroni, uncooked
(regular, not gluten free)
2 1/2 C. whole milk
12 oz. evaporated milk
12 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded (3 C.)
4 oz. American Cheese* (or
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper, to taste
1/4 C. butter, cubed

Spray a 6 qt. crockpot insides
with nonstick cooking spray.
Rinse uncooked pasta well under
cold water & drain – add to crockpot
along with milks, cheeses, salt/pepper,
mustard, garlic powder & cayenne.
Stir to combine, making sure macaroni
is submerged in liquid as much as
possible – dot with cubed butter.
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour. Remove
lid & stir – depending on your crockpot,
your dish could be done at this point
OR require up to 1-2 more hours
cooking time. IF NOT DONE: continue
cooking & checking every half hour
or so. When done, pasta will be
tender & liquid will be thick & creamy.
Serves 8

*American cheese or Monterrey:
1 C. shredded from the deli, not
processed slices


Salted Caramel Cookie Cups

3/4 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
20 caramel candies, unwrapped
kosher salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 10 muffin cup openings with
nonstick cooking spray.
In small saucepan melt butter over
medium heat. Whisk constantly
until butter turns a deep golden brown,
about 5 minutes. Pour butter into a large
mixing bowl – stir in brown sugar until
well combined; stir in egg & vanilla –
mix well. Mix in flour, corn starch, baking
soda & salt until well combined. Let sit
15 minutes to cool before adding choc.
chips. Scoop 1 T. dough into each muffin
cup – flatten with your fingers to cover
bottom of the tin. Place 2 caramel candies
on top of dough; sprinkle with a bit of
kosher salt. Top each with another tablespoon
of cookie dough. Bake 10 minutes.
Remove from oven & let cool 10 minutes
before carefully removing from tins. Best
served warm (otherwise caramel hards
back up). Makes 10 cookies

NOTE: Poster said: can reheat in a hot oven
or microwave them for 10 seconds.



Enjoy your weekend!



Going through the paces – again

If you’re one of my regular readers you’re aware that I’ve been ordering our groceries on-line through Kroger. We’ve done this twice and it worked out rather well except that you have a good 1 week PLUS wait until you can pick them up. I decided this time to try Meijers, instead. Yes, they charge a fee ($4.95) for doing this but I wanted to ‘change things up a bit’, so we’re going that route. Turns out I placed my order yesterday (Monday) and we can pick them up this FRIDAY! Shorter time/wait, so that’s a good thing! I kind of went a bit crazy this time, but I will say: I’m now experienced in doing this and sometimes what you order on-line is not there when you go to pick it up – the store is just OUT of that item, so you don’t get it. This time I’m attempting to PLAN things in advance, ie: figuring out what meals I need to make for the next 2 weeks. (I had this discussion with my oldest son the chef and he said he probably couldn’t do that – he’s used to the ‘day to day’ ordering of foods, and that also goes for his home food buying as well. Well, baring things ‘not in my order’ I’m planning on making Beef Stroganoff, Nachos, homemade pizza, roasted turkey & then turkey pot pie (maybe even turkey noodle soup – we’ll see). There are other items on the list but if I receive what I’ve ordered, we’ll be doing great! We are NOT starving, that’s for sure!

Hope you are all doing well in the grocery/foods/needs department. I’m trying very hard not to let this ‘in home hibernation’ thing get to me. I live in Michigan and our governor has been mentioned on TV many times by the President as well as other governors. I won’t discuss politics but I’ll just say: I (and my family) are REALLY getting tired of this ‘stay at home’ thing. It’s now been since the second week in March since I’ve been in a store or shopping. No, it won’t KILL me to not do that, but I (and my family) really miss the old ‘routines’. I just read an article today in our local paper discussing restaurants, their in-the-future openings and the CHANGES that will occur. One thing that I didn’t think of (that was mentioned) is: there will probably not be any more buffets, self-serve foods, serve yourself beverage machines – that never crossed my mind! This virus will impact all of us at different levels and I’m NOT talking about getting sick from it – just the total change in how we live our lives! One person mentioned it will probably be a very long time before people shake hands again! (I’ll step off my soapbox now)…


No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

1 C. butter
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a 9 X 9″ square pan
In large saucepan over medium heat,
melt butter. Stir in brown sugar &
vanilla. Mix in oats & cook over LOW
heat 2-3 minutes until ingredients
are well blended. Press half of mixture
into bottom of prepared pan.(reserve
rest for topping).
In a small heavy saucepan melt choc.
chips & peanut butter, stirring
frequently until smooth. Pour
choc. mixture over crust in pan &
spread evenly with a knife or back
of a spoon. Crumble remaining oat
mixture over chocolate layer, pressing
in gently. Cover & refrigerate 2-3
hours (or overnight). Bring to room
temperature before cutting into bars.


Breakfast Crescent Pizza

1 (12 oz) tube (Pillsbury) Grands
Big & Buttery crescent rolls
8 oz. pork sausage, cooked
1 C. pepperoni slices
4 eggs
1 (4 oz) can mushroom pieces, drained
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (or oregano)
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green
chilies, drained
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown sausage in skillet; drain.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Roll out
crescent rolls in prepared dish,
pinching seams together & spreading
to fit dish up each end & along sides.
In bowl, whisk eggs, mushroom pieces,
green pepper, onion, salt/pepper, Ital.
seasoning & tomatoes – pour over rolls.
Sprinkle top with cooked sausage.
Add pepperoni slices & Mozz. cheese
on top.
Bake 35-40 minutes. Serves 8-10

NOTE: you can substitute or combine
other meats (like ham, bacon)


Delicious Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
Optional toppings:
cooked/crumbled bacon
chopped chives
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Trim excess fat from chicken &
place in bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish. In a bowl mix
all other ingredients – pour
over chicken. Cover with foil
& bake 1 hour. Uncover & bake
30 minutes. Serves 4


Homemade Flour Tortillas

2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 T. shortening
3/4 C. water

In a bowl mix flour, salt &
baking powder. Add shortening;
continue mixing with a fork until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center of the
mixture & add the water. Slowly
incorporate the dry & wet ingredients
until dough starts to form. Place
dough on a floured surface & knead
several minutes until dough is smooth.
Cover & let rest 30 minutes
Divide dough into quarters then divide
each quarter into thirds for a total of
12 portions. Roll out each portion into
a 6-7 inch circle. Heat a skillet over
medium-high heat. Cook tortillas
about 2 minutes per side until puffed &
lightly browned. Remove to a plate &
cover with a towel to keep warm.
Serve immediately. Makes 12 tortillas


Spinach & White Bean Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
drained/rinsed; divided
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (32 oz) carton vegetable or
chicken broth
4 C. chopped fresh spinach (about
3 oz)
1/4 C. thinly sliced fresh basil

shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

In large saucepan heat oil over medium
heat. Add garlic; cook & stir until tender,
30-45 seconds. Stir in 2 cans beans, pepper
& broth. Puree mixture using immersion
blender (or puree in a blender) – return to
pan. Stir in remaining beans & bring to
boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15
minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in
spinach & basil; cook, uncovered, until
spinach is wilted, 2-4 minutes. If desired,
serve with Parm. cheese. Serves 6


Crockpot Peachy BBQ Ribs

1 rack baby back ribs (or you can leave
the rack of ribs whole)
1 1/2 C. bbq sauce of your choice
1 (15.25 oz) can sliced peaches, drained/
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Rib preparation:
Remove ribs from pkg., pat dry. Remove
silver skin from back of ribs (it’s the curved
side). Use a sharp knife to cut ribs into
individual pieces. Add to crockpot:
bbq sauce, peaches, vinegar, mustard &
garlic powder – stir. Add ribs to sauce & stir
to coat. Cover & cook on Low 6-7 hurs
without opening lid during cooking time.
When cooking is done, remove grease
from the sauce – poster lays a paper towel
over the grease & lifting it off (discard
paper towel). Serves 6

Poster said this recipe goes good with:
mashed potatoes
baked potatoes
steamed rice
cooked noodles


Roasted Tomato & Asparagus Tortellini

2 pints grape tomatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus, bottoms trimmed;
cut into 2 inch pieces
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 (24 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
1 C. chopped spinach
1 T. lemon juice (fresh)
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a rimmed baking sheet spread
asparagus pieces & tomatoes, evenly.
Sprinkle chopped garlic on top &
drizzle olive oil over top (2-3 T.)
sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.
Using 2 large spoons, toss well, making
sure all veggies have a bit of oil on them.
Roast 20 minutes until asparagus is
fork-tender. (WHEN veggies are half-
done) place a large pot of water on
stove & bring to boil – salt generously &
add tortellini. Cook about 5 minutes;
pour into colander & run a bit of warm
water on top (you want tortellini to stay
quite warm – don’t use cold water).
Pour cooked tortellini in a large bowl & add
1 C. chopped spinach. Carefully pour
roasted veggies (& their juices) into bowl;
add a little more salt/pepper on top.
Squeeze 1 T. lemon juice over & add
grated Parm. cheese – toss & serve.
Serves 6-7


Grilled Cheese/Tomato Soup Bake

3 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, divided
12 slices Italian/sourdough or rye
bread (1/2 inch thick)
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 3/4 C. milk
2 large eggs
1 C. shredded Italian cheese blend
or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In small bowl mix cream cheese &
1 tsp. basil until blended; spread
onto 6 slices bread. Top with
mozzarella cheese & remaining
bread. Spread outsides of sandwiches
with butter & arrange in prepared dish.
In small saucepan combine tomato paste,
garlic, salt/pepper & remaining basil.
Cook & stir over medium heat 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in milk & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
4-5 minutes until thickened, stirring
frequently. Remove from heat. In a
large bowl whisk eggs; gradually whisk in
1/3 milk mixture. Stir in remaining milk
mixture & pour over sandwiches – sprinkle
tops with Italian cheese blend. Bake,
uncovered, 25-30 minutes until golden
brown & cheese is melted. Let stand
10 minutes before serving. Serves 6


Homemade Brownie Mix

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Mix up & put in ziplock bag.
Write on bag:
Add: 2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
To prepare:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients & pour into a
pan. Bake 20-25 minutes

Note: I’m guessing it would be an
8 X 8″ baking pan sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray (no pan size
was indicated)

(recipe: DM recipes/Facebook)

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

8 C. bread, cubed
3 medium apples, peeled/cored/
4 eggs
1 C. vanilla yogurt
1 C. milk
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. sugar + 2 T.
1/2 C. raisins

1 C. unsalted butter
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. brown sugar
vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl whisk yogurt, milk, eggs,
1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg & 1/2 C. sugar.
Stir in apples, raisins then gently fold
in bread cubes & pour into prepared pan.
In small bowl combine 2 T. sugar & 1 tsp.
cinnamon – sprinkle on top of pudding.
Bake 30-40 minutes until puffed & golden
While pudding is baking prepare sauce:

In heavy saucepan over medium-low heat
stir butter, heavy cream & brown sugar –
bring to boil. Reduce heat to Low; simmer
about 5 minutes until sauce thickens. Pour
over bread pudding to serve. Serve with
vanilla ice cream.

NOTE: If you can, leave bread cubes out for
a few hours so they dry out (If not, place them
on a baking sheet & bake 350 degrees F. 10-15
minutes until they are dry but not toasted.

Can be made the night before & baked for
breakfast. Poster says it actually gets better
if it sits overnight.



Hope you’re having a good week so far;



The times they are a’ changin’!

With all that’s going on today in our country AND world (with the Novel Coronovirus COVID-19) our ‘old’ way of life is changing DAILY! From where we shop/when we shop, gather together, worship, etc. – we’re now forced to find a NEW NORM for our lives. I’m sure all of you are experiencing these changes, as well. A few days ago I got word that one of my special needs ‘kids/students’ (he’s 49) Dad died. Usually that would immediately be followed by our leader & myself going to the visitation and/or funeral. NOT ANY MORE! One of our helpers very recently had a nephew die and, as she put it, the ‘Norm’ is not NORM anymore. Funeral homes are forced to restrict visitation to JUST FAMILY and only 10 people in a room at a time – that’s REALLY going to be hard – especially in the future with more people becoming infected. I am NOT a dooms-day person; it takes quite a bit for me to become panicked – I am NOT at this time. The one thing I will forever hold onto is my faith; I know that whatever comes, the Lord is in control. One of the recent songs our church choir sang has the ending words: “We will put our faith in God, Alone!” So far I’ve been spending my days in the house EXCEPT today I really just needed to get out for awhile, so I drove to our mailbox (2 minutes down a side street) and I took the back roads home just to spend a little more time ‘out’. It’s a sort of over-cast day, 50 degrees F. , no snow around. My husband said tomorrow is forecast for 64 degrees! WOW! Windows in my house will definitely be open for awhile for fresh air!

So far I’m doing my ‘usual’ – knitting/crocheting, reading, checking email & Facebook, cooking, playing my piano, watching a little TV – not much else. Am considering going on YouTube to try to teach myself how to do Entrelac knitting (kind of fancy,( to me) difficult stitch pattern). Not sure just when I would use this technique but it’s always fascinated me.


I would be REMISS if I didn’t add the first recipe, since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!

Crockpot Corned Beef Hash

1 lb. corned beef, chopped
1 lb. russet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. chopped parsley – garnish
Fried eggs – for serving
Line insides of crockpot with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine corned beef, potatoes, onion,
olive oil, Worc. sauce, garlic powder,
oregano & parsley – toss. Cover &
cook on High 4-5 hours until potatoes
are tender. To serve, garnish with
more parsley – serve warm with eggs.
Serves 4


Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. quick or old fashioned oatmeal
1 medium green apple, peeled/
chopped into small pieces
1/2 C. walnuts, chopped

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
soda, cinnamon & salt. In large bowl
beat softened butter, brown sugar &
gran. sugar until creamy. Add eggs &
vanilla – beat until combined. Stir flour
mixture into sugar mixture & mix until
incorporated. In another bowl stir
oatmeal, chopped apples & walnuts –
add to mixture. Using a 1-inch cookie
baller (or rounded tablespoon) drop
cookies onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 12 minutes – remove & let set
a few minutes on the sheet – transfer
to wire rack to cool.

In a large bowl mix powdered sugar &
milk – drizzle over cookies one they have
cooled completely.

Makes 4 dozen


Jalapeno/Cream Cheese Chicken

3 skinless/boneless chicken breast
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. butter
1 large onion, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded/minced
(wear gloves)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 T. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (28 oz) can green enchilada sauce
7 flour tortillas
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with 1 tsp. cayenne,
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, salt/pepper &
place in a baking dish. Bake about
45 minutes until chicken is no longer
pink inside & juices run clear. Allow
chicken to cool & shred with 2 forks.

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet
over medium heat; cook onion &
jalapenos until onion is translucent,
about 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese
in chunks; allow cream cheese to melt
& soften. Stir in garlic powder, cayenne,
paprika, chili powder & cumin – mix in
cooked, shredded chicken & remove
from heat.
In bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish
pour half of green enchilada sauce &
smooth out. Lay tortillas on a work
surface & place chicken mixture in a
line down middle of each tortilla.
Sprinkle about 1 T. Monterey Jack
cheese on each tortilla & roll up,
placing tortillas in sauce in dish,
seam sides down. Pour remaining
sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle
remaining cheese on top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until filling is
hot & bubbling & cheese has melted.


Crockpot Cheesy Vegetable Soup

1 (32 oz) bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower
2 1/2 C. peeled/cubed potatoes
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. diced onion
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. block Velveeta cheese, cubed
16 oz. block Mexican cheese spread, cubed
1 lb. cooked, cubed ham

Place all ingredients in 6 qt or larger
crockpot -mix well. Cover & cook on
Low 4-6 hours (until potatoes are tender),
stirring occasionally.
Serves 8

Cheddar/Dill Cornbread

3 C. flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter,
melted (plus extra to grease pan)
8 oz. aged extra-sharp Cheddar
cheese, grated/divided
1 C. minced fresh dill
In large bowl combine flour, cornmeal,
sugar, baking powder & salt. In another
bowl combine milk, eggs & butter. Using
a wooden spoon, stir wet ingredients
into dry until most of lumps are dissolved.
Do no overmix. Mix 2 C. grated cheese &
dill into batter & allow to stand at room
temperature 20 minutes.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Greast a 9 X 13″ baking dish with butter.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing
top & sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool
& cut into large squares. Serve warm or
at room temperature.
Makes 12 large pieces


Grandma’s Chicken ‘n Dumpling Soup

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 1/2-4 lb),
cut up
2 1/4 qts. cold water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
6 whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1 1/2 C. chopped carrots
1 C. fresh or frozen peas
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped/peeled potatoes
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf

2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
2 T. butter, melted
3/4 – 1 C. whole milk

snipped, fresh parsley (optional)
In large stockpot place chicken, water,
bouillon, peppercorns & cloves. Cover &
bring to boil; skin foam. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 45-60 minutes until
chicken is tender. Strain broth; return
to stockpot. Remove chicken & allow to
cool enough to handle. Remove meat
from bones; discard bones & skin.
Cut chicken into chunks. Cool broth &
skim off fat. Return chicken to pot
with soups, vegetables & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover &
simmer 1 hour. Uncover; increase
heat to a gentle boil (discard bay

In medium bowl combine dry
ingredients. Stir in egg, butter &
enough milk to make a moist,
stiff batter. Drop batter by
teaspoonfuls into boiling soup.
Cover & cook without lifting lid
18-10 minutes. Sprinkle top with
parsley, if desired.
Makes 3 quarts/ serves 12


Apple Pie Bread Pudding

8 C. bread, cubed
3 medium apples, peeled/cored/
4 eggs
1 C. vanilla yogurt
1 C. milk
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. sugar plus 2 T.
1/2 C. raisins

1 C. unsalted butter
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. brown sugar
Optional: vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl whisk yogurt, milk,
eggs, 1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg &
1/2 C. sugar. Stir in apples, raisins
then gently fold in bread cubes –
pour into prepared pan.
In small bowl mix 2 T. sugar & 1
tsp. cinnamon – sprinkle on top
of pudding.
Bake 30-40  minutes until puffed &
golden brown.

While bread pudding is baking:
In heavy saucepan over medium-low
heat, stir butter, heavy cream & brown
sugar – bring to boil. Reduce heat to Low
& simmer until sauce thickens (about 5
minutes). Pour over bread pudding to
serve. (optional: top with vanilla ice



I hope you are all doing well during this time;
one thing I’ve started doing lately is ‘copying’
ideas I see on Facebook and ‘sharing’ them
for others – mostly ideas or sites where parents
can go with their children. Some are on-line
art lessons, or virtual tours of various museums.
I suppose I should preface the above (I don’t
know exactly what YOUR STATE has put into
place for official guidelines – Michigan just
declared ALL schools closed, indefinitely
which leaves parents with children AT HOME
and, probably, bored. Hopefully, these posts
on FB will help others in that situation.

Try to stay healthy!

(AIR) Hugs!


What to do on a ‘Free” Day!

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

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


Pineapple Pistachio Cake

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


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

(Optional: frost with frosting).

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

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

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

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

Hamburger Rice Casserole

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

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

Crockpot or Stovetop:  (GROUP)
Cabbage Fiesta Soup

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

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

*Can be made on stovetop.


Foil-Pack Taco Chicken

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

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

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

Potato Nachos

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

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


Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

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

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


3-ingredient Lemon Crumble Bars

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

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



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

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

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



and all our lives are changing – as we speak!

I’m sure, in the future, we will all have stories to tell about how we lived through the PANDEMIC of 2020. Today I needed to go shopping for bottled water – well, you guessed it – totally empty spaces where cases used to be. I was able to purchase a 9-roll package of our brand of toilet paper (no, I’m not hoarding – we needed it). I still do not understand the correlation between the virus and the need to buy up all the toilet paper! My cashier told me that their little grocery store was broken into yesterday but the only thing stolen was hand sanitizer! They were pretty sure it was a customer (must have seen them on the cameras) – our world is definitely changing. Our State Governor just declared all schools closed in the state for the next THREE weeks! SO glad I don’t have kids in school! It’s a very sad state of affairs when everyone panics so drastically! My oldest son manages two large Hilton hotels in two different cities. He said that both places are now operating at 20% capacity – very few rooms being rented. Since he is the Food & Beverage Director for both hotels he said that it’s been really crazy with people cancelling banquets – no one is going anywhere, flying, going to concerts/sporting events/movies, etc. What will all of this do to our ECONOMY! The only ones with a booming monetary margin will be the companies manufacturing TOILET PAPER! Crazy – just crazy.


Crockpot Lemon Cream Spoon Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box lemon cake mix
2 large eggs, divided
1/2 C. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl using an elec. mixer,
mix cake mix, 1 egg & butter. Press
mixture into bottom of crockpot. In
another bowl mix remaining egg,
cream cheese, powdered sugar &
vanilla until smooth. Pour cream
cheese mixture on top of batter &
spread evenly. Place a few paper
towels over opening of crockpot &
place lid on top. Cook on High 1 1/2
to 2 hours, turning crockpot insert
halfway through cooking time if your
crockpot doesn’t cook evenly.
Serves 12


Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
12 oz. bacon, cooked/crumbled
4 T. unsalted butter
4 T. flour
3 C. whole milk
3 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced (Yukon or
8 oz. cheese (poster used a combination
of sharp Cheddar & Gruyere – any cheese
will work)
salt/pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. (or deep 9 X 9″
baking dish).
In a medium skillet add olive oil & heat
over medium heat. Add sliced onions, salt/
pepper – cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until onions become caramel
in color; remove from skillet. Wipe skillet
clean & cook bacon until crisp*. Remove
bacon, drain grease & wipe skillet clean.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat;
sprinkle flour on top of butter & whisk
to form a roux** – cook 2 minutes. Slowly
add milk, whisking constantly. Bring roux
to a simmer & let thicken slightly, 2-3
minutes after coming to a simmer. Remove
from heat.

Layer half potatoes, half caramelized onions,
half bacon, half cheese & half sauce in
prepared dish – repeat. Cover with foil & bake
1 hour. Remove foil & bake an additional 30
minutes until potatoes are easily pierced with
a fork. Remove from oven & let cool 10
minutes before serving. Serves 10

*You can alternatively bake the bacon while
onions are cooking to save a little time

**roux: a roux is a combination of equal parts
flour & butter, used to thicken sauces

Baked Mexican Chicken

4 chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise
2 C. salsa
1 (13 oz) bag Tortilla chips, crushed into
small pieces
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 C. diced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray (OR) line sheet with foil
In 2 separate shallow bowls (or pie plates)
pour salsa & crushed tortilla chips. Dip each
chicken breast into salsa, to cover both sides.
Dip chicken in tortilla chips, covering both
sides. Place chicken breasts on prepared
baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until
chicken is cooked through. Top each chicken
breast with a small amount of shredded
cheese & bake 2-3 minutes until cheese melts.
Top with diced tomatoes, if desired.
Serves 6


Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

3/4 lb. Italian turkey sausage links,
casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 3/4 C. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach,
coarsely chopped
2 1/4 tsp. minced fresh basil (OR)
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash crushed red pepper flakes

shredded Parmesan cheese (optional
In a Dutch oven crumble sauce; add
onion & cook, stirring, over medium heat
until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic,
cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, water &
tomatoes – bring to boil. Add tortellini;
return to boil. Cook 5-8 minutes until
almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce
heat; add spinach, basil, pepper & pepper
flakes; cook 2-3 minutes longer until
spinach is wilted & tortellini are tender.
Serve with cheese, if desired.
Makes 2 quarts – serves 6

Freezer option:
Place individual portions of cooled soup
in freezer containers & freeze. To use:
partially thaw in fridge overnight. Heat
through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally;
add broth if necessary.


Southwest Chicken Pasta
(crockpot & oven method)

1 lb. cooked chicken, sliced into
small pieces
1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. diced green chiles
salt/pepper, to taste
few dashes hot sauce
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
crushed cheese crackers (topping/

Mix cooked chicken, cooked pasta,
both soups, green chiles, salt/pepper &
hot sauce (if using). Spread in bottom
of crockpot . Cook 2 1/2 hours on Low,
uncover & sprinkle top with cheese.
Cook an additional 15-30 minutes.
Sprinkle top with crushed cheese
crackers & serve.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread mixture in bottom of greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Cook 25 minutes,
uncover & sprinkle top with cheese;
bake an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle
top with crushed cheese crackers &


Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

6 C. cereal (poster used Rice Krispies)
1 1/2 C. assorted nuts or seeds
3/4 C. honey
3/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. peanut butter (your
choice: creamy or chunky)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using
salted nuts)

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl add
cereal & nuts/seeds – toss to combine.
Add sugar & honey to large saucepan
over medium heat. Allow to come to
a boil then reduce heat to medium-low
& cook at rapid bubble 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & stir in
peanut butter, vanilla & salt until completely
blended. Pour mixture over cereal/nuts &
stir gently. Press mixture into prepared dish
& let mixture cool. Once firm, cut into bars.
Makes 18-24 bars



Here’s hoping you are all OK for now with all
of the current situations.

Stay well!




No more SNOW!

Our weather finally took a turn – it’s slowly warming up AND the sun has melted ALL the snow in our yard! Hey, I can deal with that! Looking at the rest of the week there’s a 30% chance of snow on Thursday but I’m ‘gambling’ that we don’t get it!


Pistachio Poke Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 C. water
1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 large eggs

powdered sugar – garnish/dusting
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray & lightly dust with flour.
In large bowl beat (using elec. mixer)
cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil & eggs
2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan &
bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick
inserted near center of cake comes
out clean. Let cake cool in pan
15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack
to cool completely. Dust top with powdered
sugar before serving.


One-Pot Spinach/Beef Soup

1 lb. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (32 oz, ea) cartons beef broth
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
with green pepper/celery/onion,
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
4 C. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

grated Parmesan cheese – garnish
In 6 qt. stockpot cook beef & garlic over
medium heat until beef is no longer pink,
breaking up mat into crumbles; 6-8
minutes; drain. Stir in broth, tomatoes &
seasonings; bring to boil. Stir in pasta &
return to boil. Cook, uncovered, until pasta
is tender, 7-9 minutes. Stir in spinach until
wilted & serve sprinkled with cheese.
Serves 8 (2 1/2 qts)


Simple Oven-baked Pork Chops & Rice

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. water
1 C. long grain rice, uncooked
1/4 onion, sliced
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3-4 pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together soup, water, rice & 1/4 tsp.
pepper in a 3-quart casserole dish. Add
Salt & pepper chops & place on top of
rice. Cover & bake 1 1/4 hours until meat
is done & liquid is absorbed. Remove from
oven & let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 4


Crispy Roasted Potatoes

2 lb. new yellow potatoes, halved
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, whole/peeled/ bruised
2 bay leaves
2 T. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 pinch cayenne pepper

In large pot of water place potatoes. Bruise
fresh rosemary with dull side of a knife blade &
place in pot. Add garlic, bay leaves & salt – bring
to boil. Simmer 5 minutes; drain – let potatoes
air dry.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
When potatoes are thoroughly dry, transfer them
back to pot. Drizzle with olive oil, cayenne pepper &
a pinch of salt – stir to coat. Transfer to a rimmed
sheet pan & bake until potatoes are golden brown &
crusty and flesh is creamy & soft, about 35-45 minutes,
depending on size of potatoes.


Crockpot Beefy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.5 oz) can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 (15 oz) can refried beans
1 C. Mexican-style shredded cheese

your favorite burrito toppings
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Brown gr. beef in a skillet with onion &
garlic; drain. In a bowl mix together
refried beans & soup then add in
gr. beef – stir to combine & pour into
crockpot. Top with shredded cheese.
Cover & cook on Low 1 1/2 hours
until cheese is melted. Serve on
tortillas & your favorite burrito
toppings. Serves 6


Saltine Toffee Cookies

4 oz. saltine crackers
1 C. butter
1 C. dark brown sugar
2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 C. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with saltine crackers
in single layer. In a saucepan combine
sugar & butter – bring to boil – boil
3 minutes. Immediately pour mixture
over crackers & spread to cover crackers
completely. Bake 5-6 minutes. Remove
from oven & sprinkle choc. chips on top.
Let stand 5 minutes. Spread melted
chips to cover & top with chopped nuts.
Allow to stand 5 minutes. Cool completely
& break into pieces.


Spinach Artichoke Dip with Roasted

16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/
drained & excess liquid squeezed out
1 1/2 C. Parmesan or Parmigiano
Reggiano cheese
1 (24 oz) jar marinated/quartered
artichoke hearts, drained/coarsely
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 heads garlic, roasted*
chips/corn chips
toasted baguette slices
celery sticks
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 3 qt. baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl combine cream cheese &
mayonnaise – mix until well combined.
Add spinach, cheese, artichoke hearts,
lemon juice, pepper & roasted garlic –
stir until combined. Spoon  mixture into
prepared dish. Bake 20-25 minutes until
golden brown & bubbling. Serve with
suggested dippers. Serves 16

*How to roast garlic heads:
2 heads garlic
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In small baking dish or cast-iron
skillet drizzle a small amount of
olive oil. Cut top quarter or third
of the garlic heads so that the cloves
are exposed. Place in dish with roots
on bottom & cut sides on top. (they
need to be snug in the dish – if needed,
crumble some foil & place between
heads to keep them upright or use a
smaller dish). Drizzle remaining oil
over top of heads & sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Cover dish or skillet
with foil & bake 40-50 minutes.
(garlic is done when it’s ‘fork-tender’
& caramelized) Let cool long enough
to handle before gently pushing the
cloves out of skins. Start from root
end & push up just like squeezing the
last bit of toothpaste out of the tube.


Apple Fritter Cake

1 heaping C.  apples(peeled/
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
small pinch fresh grated nutmeg
2 T. cornstarch
2 tsp. water

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. Greek (or plain) yogurt –
or sour cream
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 T. milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking dish.

In small saucepan combine apples,
sugar, water, cinnamon & cornstarch.
Cook on Low heat 5-7 minutes, stirring
constantly until sauce is thickened &
apples are a bit soft. Remove from heat
to cool. In small bowl mix brown sugar &
cinnamon until well combined.


In large bowl cream butter & sugar until
light & fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add
applesauce & vanilla – mix until combined.
Add eggs, one-at-a-time, beating well after
each. Sift dry ingredients together. Add
dry ingredients to batter in three parts,
alternating with yogurt in 2 parts, beginning
& ending with dry ingredients – beat until
just combined. Spoon half of batter into
prepared pan. Spoon cooled apple mixture
over batter carefully & spread evenly. Sprinkle
2/3rds of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over
apples & cover with rest of batter. Sprinkle
rest of brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over
Bake 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
into center of cake comes out clean.


While cake is baking prepare glaze.
In a bowl mix powdered sugar, vanilla &
milk until glaze is desired consistency. When
cake comes out of oven – immediately,
but carefully
pour glaze onto hot cake.
(try to pour as evenly as possible). You
might have to pick up cake pan & tilt it to
spread glaze evenly. Let cake stand while
for glaze to set.



It’s been quiet around here lately – last week I only
had to babysit for about 2 hours. Saturday was youngest
grandson’s 3rd birthday party; I felt sorry for him because
he had a cold and was pretty grumpy for most of it. He got
a LOT of toys (I knew he would). Not sure yet when I’ll be
watching him this week, usually it’s Thurs/Friday – one or
both days. His dad will be having his 37th birthday next
week – he’s our oldest; my, how time flies, eh?

Hope your week goes even better than you expect!



“Go have some FUN, Hon!”

Those were the words said to me as I left a “Five Below” store today – I’ve never been in that store before (and didn’t find anything I would want to buy) BUT the cashier’s cheery comment as I left made me think. FUN – when was the last time I really had FUN? I was out attempting to find some clothes for my almost-three year old grandson’s birthday and the thought came to mind: “Re-sale shops – THOSE are fun!” I had passed a ‘new to the area’ store like that on the way to where I was shopping so I stopped in there! After about an hour of happy browsing I came home with two very nice bath towels, a Quacker Factory top for $4.99 (guessing that was originally about $30+), and 6 drinking glasses. Did I have fun? YES! Yes, I did!

This week I’m actually OFF – no babysitting (my off days are the same, this week, as the Momma’s) so I have an entire week FREE! It’s been a good week: went to a nice luncheon with some friends Tuesday and had an EXCELLENT hamburger & home chips (husband & I will definitely go there again!), did my usual Weds. Library knit group & last night special needs group – today was shopping, tomorrow is special needs group’s Gym Night so a fun, relaxing week! The lady that will be taking over in my special needs group some time this summer had a birthday Monday. She always gives me such nice gifts but, for some reason, THIS time I could not come up with something to give her UNTIL there was a discussion about fancy scarves I’d knit our leader in past years. I’m happy to say that I won a bid on Ebay for some really pretty sport-weight teal blue yarn & will be knitting her a fancy scarf – the yarn is expected to be delivered TOMORROW! YAY! I’m excited – I told my friend that’s what I’m making her but she has no idea of the color or pattern so she’s excited, too.

This is a shot of the yarn – it’s 2 shades of teal


(I had gone through my entire yarn stash looking for an appropriate yarn for this project but realized I gave it all away the last Yarn Swap we had, thinking I’d never need FANCY yarn) – oh well . . .


(I should make a note here that I tried the Stuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe from last post and husband LOVED IT! I did ‘adjust it’ a bit – omitted the dill & thyme, used spaghetti sauce instead of marinara & didn’t put the cheese on top – no self-respecting Polish person would put cheese on stuffed cabbages! I will definitely make it again!)

Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

2 1/2 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. buttermilk, room temp.
3 T. grated zest & 1/4 C. juice from
3 lemons
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temp.

3 C. powdered sugar
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. buttermilk

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking
soda & salt in medium bowl. In a
liquid measuring cup combine buttermilk,
lemon juice & vanilla. Using elec. mixer on
medium speed, beat sugar & lemon zest until
moist & fragrant (about 1 minute). Transfer
1/4 C. sugar mixture to small bowl, cover &
Add butter to remaining sugar mixture & beat
until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in
eggs & yolk, one at a time, until incorporated.
Reduce speed to Low – add flour mixture in
3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of
buttermilk mixture;  mix until smooth (about
30 seconds). Scrape batter into prepared pan
& smooth top. Bake 25-35 minutes until cake
is golden brown & a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out clean. Transfer
cake to wire rack to cool 10 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk powdered sugar, lemon
juice & buttermilk until smooth. Gently spread
over warm cake & sprinkle evenly with reserved
sugar mixture. Cool completely, at least 2 hours.

NOTE: Poster poked holes in top of her cake so
that some of the glaze would penetrate the cake

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey (OR) chicken
1 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 (10 oz) pkg. chopped frozen spinach,
thawed/well drained
1 medium carrot, peeled/grated (about
1/2 C.)
1 egg, beaten
1 (18.3 oz) carton (Swanson) Turkey Gravy
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large bowl mix turkey, bread crumbs,
spinach, carrot, egg & 1/4 C. gravy – season
as desired & shape into 6 mini meatloaves.
Place meatloaves in a 9 X 13″ baking dish
& pour remaining gravy over them. Bake
25 minutes until meatloaves are cooked
through. Serves 6


Joe’s Crab Shack Crab Cakes

2/3 C. mayonnaise
5 egg yolks
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. blackening seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 C. crushed, chopped parsley
2 1/2 C. breadcrumbs
2 lb. crabmeat

In large bowl mix all ingredients
together & form into 4 oz. patties.
Coat with flour & fry in 1 inch of oil
until golden brown.


Alabama Hearty Beef & Vegetable Soup
(large recipe)

2-4 T. canola oil
4 lb. beef stew meat
8 medium onions (2 1/4 lb), halved
& thinly sliced
12 C. water
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. beef bouillon granules
12 medium red potatoes (about 3 1/2 lb)
1/2 large head cabbage, chopped
1 lb. carrots, thinly sliced
6 ribs celery, thinly sliced (3 C.)
3 C. (about 15 oz) frozen corn
3 C. (about 12 oz) frozen peas
3 C. (about 12 oz) frozen cut green beans)
1 1/2 C. (about 15 oz) frozen lima beans
1 bay leaf
3 tsp. dried marjoram
3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) frozen sliced okra

Heat 1 T. oil in large stock pot over
medium heat. Brown beef in batches,
adding additional oil as needed. Remove
meat with slotted spoon. Add onions to
pot; cook & stir until tender. Drain
drippings; return beef to pan. Stir in
water, tomatoes, tomato sauce. Worc.
sauce & bouillon – bring to boil. Reduce
heat; simmer, covered, 45 minutes.
Stir in potatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery,
corn, peas, green beans, lima beans &
seasonings – return to boil. Reduce heat;
simmer, covered, 35 minutes. Stir in okra,
cook 15 -20 minutes longer until beef &
vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Makes 26 (1 1/2 C. each) servings


Broccoli/Cheese Stuffed Chicken

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Stuffing mixture:
1 C. fresh broccoli florets, diced
1/2 C. bell pepper, chopped
1 C. shredded Colby Jack or
Cheddar cheese
1 T. mayonnaise
2-3 T. olive oil
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In small bowl mix onion powder,
paprika, salt/pepper & half of garlic
powder. Place chicken on a cutting
board; using a sharp knife, cut a pocket
horizontally through each chicken breast,
being careful to not cut all the way
through to the other side. In a medium
microwave-safe bowl place broccoli &
2 T. water. Cover & microwave on High
3 minutes until just tender. Drain. Place
bell pepper, cheese, mayo & rest of
garlic powder into bowl & stir to combine.
Stuff each chicken breast with 1/3 of
stuffing mixture. In a small bowl stir
onion powder, garlic powder, pepper,
salt & paprika – sprinkle over each side
of chicken breasts. In a oven-proof skillet
place olive oil & heat over medium-high
heat. After oil is hot, carefully add each
chicken breast. Cook 4-5 minutes per side
until just browned. Remove from stove top
& place in oven 10-15 minutes until
chicken is cooked through. Remove from
oven & allow to rest a few minutes before


Crockpot Potatoes/Cabbage & Kielbasa

12 oz. kielbasa
5 small russet potatoes, peeled/diced
1/2 head cabbage (about 6 C) chopped
1 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 C. chicken broth

6 qt or larger crockpot
Slice & brown kielbasa in a skillet;
add to crockpot along with remaining
ingredients – stir.
Cover & cook on Low 6 hours without
opening lid during cooking time.
Serves 8


Brownie Crackles

1 box (9 X 13″ size) fudge
brownie mix
1 C. flour
1 large egg
1/2 C. water
1/4 canola oil
1 (6 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate
chips (1 C.)
powdered sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray several baking sheets with
nonstick cooking spray (recipe
makes 3 dozen)
In large bowl beat brownie mix,
flour, egg, water & oil until well
blended; stir in choc. chips &
let stand 30 minutes.
Place powdered sugar in shallow
dish (like pie plate). Drop dough
by tablespoonfuls into sugar; gently
roll to coat & place on prepared
baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes
until set. Remove from pans & cool
on wire rack. Makes 3 dozen



Have a GREAT day!



Sometimes you just have to change things up a bit!

Since our middle son moved to his new apartment last week I had a decision to make – he took our very old, extremely heavy TV with him. That left a space for our flat screen TV to be put on a long coffee table in our living room. To say that my husband & I are hoarders is a bit harsh but we certainly KEEP things a long time. For the past two days I’ve been sorting through, clearing out all of our game systems/games/VCR tapes/music discs, etc. That was a HUGE job but I’m proud to say it’s almost done. Years ago a friend moved to another state and sold me her DVD and VCR systems – they’ve sat here all that time and never been used. FINALLY, with the space available, my husband hooked up the VCR system yesterday and I happily watched two old movies I hadn’t seen in MANY years: “Princess Caraboo”(1994)  and “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came down a mountain” – great movies! (We have to get another cord for the other VCR system before my husband can hook that one up but I’m excited for that, too. There’s a BIG box of movies we haven’t watched in a LONG time, also! Middle son stopped by to pick up a few things today and was VERY surprised at the change – YAY! Success!


Honey Cinnamon Bars

1 C. sugar
3/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1 large egg
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped walnuts, toasted

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. water

additional toasted/chopped walnuts
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan with
nonstick baking spray.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat sugar,
oil, honey & egg until well blended. In another
bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.
Gradually beat mixture into sugar mixture. Stir
in 1 C. walnuts & spread mixture into prepared
pan. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown –
edges will puff up. Cool completely on wire rack.
In small bowl mix powdered sugar, mayo, vanilla &
enough water to reach desired consistency – spread
over top of bars. If desired, sprinkle top with additional
walnuts. Let stand until glaze is set then cut into bars.
Makes 2 dozen.
Refrigerate leftovers

Crockpot Sausage Cheese Dip

1 (10 oz) can RoTel tomatoes
1 lb. ground sausage*
1 (32 oz) block Velveeta cheese, cubed

Corn chips
cut up veggies

In a skillet brown sausage; drain &
place in a small crockpot (3 qt). Pour
RoTel on top & place Velveeta cubes
on top. Cover & cook on Low 2-3 hours,
stirring occasionally. Serves 12

Optional items:
*Can use breakfast or pork sausage
– hot sauce
-a can of green chilies
-fire-roasted tomatoes


Pizza Dip with Pepperoni

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. pizza sauce
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mini pepperoni
1/4 C. sliced black olives
1/4 C. green bell pepper, finely diced
1 T. chopped parsley

corn chips, “Scoops”, crackers,
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 6 or 8″ square baking dish
(or skillet) with nonstick cooking spray.
Place cream cheese in a bowl & add
Ital. seasoning & garlic powder – stir until
thoroughly combined. Spread mixture in
an even layer in bottom of prepared dish.
Spread pizza sauce on top – add mozz. cheese
& arrange pepperoni, olives & bell pepper on
top. Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle top with parsley & serve with dippers.
Makes 8 servings

NOTE: Dip can be prepared up to 4 hours before
you plan to serve it. Store, covered, in fridge then
bake according to directions. You may need to
add 5 minutes to baking time.

Hearty Mexican Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 qt. (4 C.) chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. shredded rotisserie chicken
1 C. frozen corn
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)

In large saucepan, add oil & cook onions
on medium heat 6-7 minutes until tender,
stirring frequently. Add garlic & cumin, cook,
stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, beans & salsa;
stir & bring to boil. Stir in chicken & corn –
return to boil. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Remove from heat – stir in
green onions & cilantro. Serve topped with
shredded cheese. Serves 8

Optional serving idea: serve topped with
sour cream & chopped avocados, if desired.
Garnish with lime wedges.


Parmesan-Zucchini Bites

3 medium zucchini
garlic salt, to taste
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place a wire rack inside a baking
sheet (if you don’t have a rack, just
spray baking sheet well with nonstick
cooking spray).
Trim both ends of zucchini – slice
diagonally into 1/4″ thick slices &
arrange in single layer on rack (or sheet).
Sprinkle with garlic salt & flip so that
garlic salt is on the bottom. Brush tops
lightly with olive oil & top each slice
with Parmesan cheese – sprinkle lightly
with paprika.
Bake 10-15 minutes just until zucchini
is soft & Parm. is melted & bubbly. Remove
from oven & allow to cool about 5 minutes
before serving. Season with additional
garlic salt, if desired. Makes 4-6 servings


Crockpot Italian Lentil & Vegetable Soup

1 C. dried lentils, uncooked
3 C. water
2 C. marinara sauce
1 1/4 lb. butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 lb. green beans/trimmed & cut
into 1-inch lengths
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 small potato, peeled/ cut into 1-inch
3/4 C. onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil

Combine lentils & water in crockpot.
Add remaining ingredients (except
olive oil). Stir, cover & cook on Low
8 hours until lentils & veggies are
At serving time, stir in olive oil &
ladle into bowls. Serves 8


Twix Cookie Cups

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 T. milk
2 C. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar;
add egg white & vanilla – mix until
well combined. Add in flour & baking
powder, mix thoroughly. On a floured
surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ to 1/2″
thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut
out 24 circles – place on an ungreased pan.
Bake 6-8 minutes – remove when cookies
are puffy & no longer glossy. Transfer to
wire rack to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling:
In a microwave bowl melt caramels &
milk 1 minute. Stir at 30-second mark; stir
until smooth & creamy. Carefully spoon a
few teaspoons of caramel onto each cookie,
spreading until it almost covers the cookie.
Refirgerate cookies & caramel 10-15 minutes
until completely cold. Melt choc. chips at
30-second increments until completely
melted & incorporated. Spread a small amount
of chocolate onto each cookie. Let chocolate
layer cool & set up before serving. Makes 24



Our weather is still mild (30’s) – clear, although we
had a very light dusting of snow overnight with a
chance of flurries tonight (no accumulation noted).
I don’t mind this weather – you can bundle up and
walk/drive in it without worrying about slipping or
getting your car stuck. (Our driveway, at the bottom,
has FINALLY cleared of the huge ice dam from the last
snowfall – remember we couldn’t get anyone to plow?)
Not complaining – if the rest of this winter stays this
way I’ll be a happy camper! (but then – I’m not naive,
either, having grown up in Michigan!)

Hope you are having a great day!



Just a few more days . . .

Ok – here goes; these are recipes in no particular order; they really sounded good – Enjoy!


Reese’s 2-ingredient/15
minute Peanut Butter/Choc.
Chip Cookie Bites!

12 refrigerated chocolate chip
cookie dough balls (about 1-2 T. dough)
12 bite-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

(OVEN TEMP- accordg. to cookie dough
pkg. directions)
Spray a mini muffin cup tin with
nonstick cooking spray
Place 1 dough ball in muffin pan &
bake 10-12 minutes (follow directions
on pkg. )
As soon as you pull them out of the oven:
place 1 peanut butter cup in center of
each cookie. Allow to cool a few minutes
Makes 12


The Ultimate Almond Joy Magic Bars

1 1/2 sticks (or 12 T.) unsalted
butter, room temp.
1/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour

1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped almonds
1 1/2 C. shredded coconut
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 9″ baking pan with
parchment paper, allowing it to hang
over on all sides.
In large bowl using elec. mixer on
medium speed, beat butter & brown
sugar until light & fluffy – a few minutes.
Add vanilla & mix to combine. Add flour
& mix on Low speed until crumbly –
place mixture in prepared pan & press
into an even layer. Bake about 15
minutes until edges are light brown.
Remove from oven – sprinkle chopped
nuts over crust & top with coconut.
Pour sweetn’d con’d milk evenly over
top then sprinkle both choc. chips on
top. Return to oven 20-25 minutes until
edges are light brown. Transfer pan to
a baking rack & cool completely.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before
cutting into squares.

NOTE: bars can be kept at room temp. in
an air-tight container up to 5 days.

They can also be frozen – thaw cookies for
a few hours in fridge before serving.


Spinach Artichoke Crab Dip

1 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (6.5 oz) tub spreadable spinach
artichoke cheese
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (8 oz) container pasteurized jumbo
refrigerated lump crabmeat
1 (10.25 oz) pkg. Pepperidge Farm
Harvest Wheat Distinctive crackers
for dipping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 1-quart casserole
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a 2-qt. saucepan over medium
heat, melt butter. Stir in flour & garlic;
gradually stir in milk. Cook & stir 5 minutes
until mixture boils & thickens. Stir in cheese,
nutmeg & black pepper. Cook & stir until
cheese is melted. Gently stir in crabmeat –
spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Bake 20 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Serve with crackers for dipping. Serves 20


Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled (reserve
2-3 T. bacon grease)
3 russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2-3/4″ pieces) about
6 C.
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bacon grease on sheet tray &
move it around a bit (to coat). Place
cut potatoes on pan & toss with tongs to
thoroughly coat them in grease; sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Spread potatoes in a
single layer & bake 20  minutes, stir well
& bake 20 minutes longer. Stir again, making
sure that none of potatoes are sticking to the
tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove from
oven, stir & sprinkle generously with shredded
cheese & chopped bacon. Return tray to oven &
bake 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted. Top
with sliced green onions just before serving.
Serves 6


Crockpot Brown Sugar Ham

6-7 lb. picnic pork shoulder ham/
spiral or black forest ham
1/8 C. yellow/dijon or stone ground mustard
1/2 C. light or dark brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can pineapple – tidbits, crushed or
rings – DO NOT DRAIN

Place ham in crockpot – place mustard on ham,
pat with brown sugar then pour over pineapple.
Cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours. DO NOT OPEN
LID while it cooks, so heat doesn’t escape.
Slice & serve with pineapple & juices.
Serves 15

Crockpot Crustless Brown Sugar/
Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz0 can pumpkin puree
(not can that already has seasonings in it)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt

Optional side:
ice cream
Line insides of crockpot with foil.*
Mix all ingredients together in medium
bowl using a whisk until smooth. Spray
foil with nonstick cooking spray & pour
pumpkin mixture in crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 2 1/2 hours until filling is
set, keeping lid on the entire time.
When cooking time is done, remove lid.
Take the ceramic insert out of crockpot base
& place insert on a cooling rack for about
30 minutes. Serves 8

*Poster uses 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil &
makes a bowl in bottom of crockpot, layering
each piece on top of the other.

NOTE: it is easier to get foil with pie in it
out when pie has chilled completely

Crockpot Green Bean Casserole for
a Large Crowd

(6 qt or larger crockpot)

32 1/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
(three 10 3/4 oz. cans)
1/2 C. milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
145 oz. green beans (Ten 14.5 oz cans,
12 oz. French’s French Fried onions
(two  6 oz, ea. canisters)
In very large bowl whisk soup, milk,
black pepper & onion powder until
smooth. Stir in drained green beans.
Gently fold in 1 canister Fr. Fried onions
using a rubber spatula, taking care not
to break up the green beans.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray & pour bean mixture in.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 hours.

NOTE: if your crockpot is oven safe, sprinkle
remaining canister Fr. Fried onions on top of
casserole. Remove crockpot insert from heating
element & place in the oven WITHOUT the lid.
Cook 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. until onions
are browned.

(OR) Place onions in a small dish in oven 10
minutes until browned then sprinkle over
casserole. SEE NOTE BELOW

Set insert back in crockpot heating element,
cover with lid & set on WARM until ready to
serve. Serves 20

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven to brown onions:
place onions in a dry skillet on stove over medium-
high heat. Use a spoon & stir about 3 minutes until
browned; sprinkle over casserole.

Can I use fresh or frozen green beans?
Use 8 C. fresh (trimmed/cut) or frozen green beans
instead of canned. Cook 3 1/2 to 4 hours until beans
are tender.

How long can I keep this on Warm setting after
Up to 3 hours – keep an eye on it & make sure
edges aren’t scorching – stir or turn off if edges get
too hot.

Crockpot Bacon/Green Bean Casserole

4 C. cut fresh green beans, uncooked
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of bacon soup
can use mushroom – do not add water
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
6 oz. container French’s Fried onions, divided
12 oz. bacon, cooked & sliced/divided

In large bowl combine beans, soup, milk,
Worc. sauce, half the bacon & half the
onions – stir until combined. Add mixture
to crockpot. Cover & cook on High 3 1/2 hours
without opening lie during cooking time.
When cooking time is done, add remaining
onions to a hot skillet on stove top & toast
them until brown – sprinkle over casserole
along with remaining cooked bacon.
Serves 10

Crockpot Classic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. russet potatoes – peeled/cut into
1-inch chunks
1 C. (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into cubes
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened/
cut into cubes
1/4 C. milk (or more, to taste)
salt/pepper, to taste

Place cut potatoes in bottom of 6 qt.
crockpot. Dot potatoes with 1 stick
cubed butter – pour chicken broth on
top. Cover & cook on High 4-5 hours –
potatoes are ready when fork tender.
Carefully drain excess broth from cooked
potatoes. Add remaining stick cubed
butter, cream cheese, milk & salt/pepper
to taste. Mash potatoes with a potato
masher until smooth (or leave a little
lumpy if you like). Add more milk, if
needed, to reach consistency you prefer.
Cover & keep potatoes on Warm setting
until ready to serve. Serves 10


No Fuss Pie Crust

2 C. flour
1/2 C. oil
3 T. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with
nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl
whisk flour, salt & baking powder. Add
oil & water & mix until combined – form
into a ball. Press ball of dough into bottom
of prepared pie dish, spreading it out towards
the sides. Using your knuckles (or the bottom
of a glass), push it evenly across bottom & up
sides of dish. Crimp top edges or flatten using
fork tines. Fill with favorite filling & bake
according to pie instructions. Makes 1 crust.

No-Bake Pineapple Cream Cheese

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (14-16 oz) can crushed pineapple,
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. pineapple chunks
1/2 C. shredded coconut (topping)

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
In large bowl mix graham cracker crumbs
& sugar; add melted butter – stir to combine
well. Press into a 8 X 8″ (or 9 X 9″) baking pan.

In large bowl beat softened cream cheese &
powdered sugar until very smooth. Beat in
thawed Cool Whip – fold in drained pineapple.
Spread filling on top of crust. Top with pineapple
chunks & sprinkle with coconut.
Chill very well – at least 4 hours,
preferably overnight.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

1 (12 oz) box N’illa wafers
2 1/2 C. sugar
6 C. whole milk
6 sliced bananas
1 C. self-rising flour
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crumble enough wafers to cover the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish –
set aside remaining wafers to use for
decoration at end.

Combine all ingredients in large pot
(except 1/2 C. sugar).
In a large bowl combine all wet
ingredients – including 6 egg yolks

NOTE: set aside egg whites for meringue

Slowly add wet into dry mixture-stir until
completely dissolved. Cook over low heat
until thickened to pudding consistency.*

Once ready, remove from heat & cool
to room temperature.

Place sliced bananas over wafer crumbs &
pour mixture over them. In separate bowl
beat the 6 egg whites & slowly add in
remaining 1/2 C. sugar until a stiff meringue
forms – pour over pudding. Bake 8-10
minutes until meringue is golden brown on

*The trick is to stir continuously & not get
too hot – so you don’t burn the pudding.


Just got home from finishing up the grocery
shopping – at Kroger’s – MAN, they were
crowded! I saw a friend of mine riding on
one of those electric carts – she had nothing
in her cart; she said she didn’t have to shop
today, she just wanted to see all the ‘last
minute shoppers’ going crazy! WOW – that’s

Woke up today thinking I’ve GOT to be over
this cold thing – nope, still feeling really
exhausted but had to ‘push ahead’ to get
the food stuffs for Weds. dinner. SUPER GLAD
I’m home now – dinner is hamburgers, something
EASY! As far as I know, all the presents/food/
stocking stuffers are bought – if there’s anything
I forgot . . . OH WELL!

Hope you’re making a big dent in all your holiday

Stay healthy & warm (today it’s 54 degrees F. here
in Michigan – with NO SNOW in the forecast for the
rest of the week! YAY!



Getting down to the wire!

Apologies for not posting more recipes sooner – am battling a cold (I kind of ‘over’ sang last Sunday for the Christmas contata & ended up with a sore throat come Monday). Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas program/party/dinner – I’m amazed, today, that I’m not sicker but am very glad of that. Got this weeks grocery shopping done today and feel like I accomplished something – nothing like shopping & pumping gas when you don’t feel well!


Crockpot Sweet/Spicy Nuts

2 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 C. nuts, your favorites

Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper.
Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg
whites to crockpot & whisk until foamy.
Add sugar, butter & spices – stir until a
thick syrup forms. Add nuts & stir to
coat. Cover crockpot with a clean dish
cloth or 2 layers paper towels. Place lid
on top & cook on Low 3 to 3 1/2 hours (or
High 1 1/2 to 2 hours) stirring every 20
minutes & every few minutes at the end
until nuts are fragrant, lightly browned &
coating appears dull – not shiny.
Remove nuts from crockpot – there will be
excess sugar coating left behind. Spread
nuts in even layer on prepared sheets,
spreading them out & separating as much
as possible. Cool completely, stirring once
or twice so nuts won’t stick. Once cool,
break apart any nuts that have stuck together.
Transfer to a serving dish, jar or airtight
container for storage. Nuts will store in an
airtight container at room temp. for several
weeks. Makes 6 1/2 C.

NOTE: If nuts soften with storage, crisp them up
by placing in a 400 degrees F. oven 10-15
minutes, stirring often.

Crockpot Ham

1 (10 oz) bone-in spiral sliced ham
1/2 C. chicken stock
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. maple syrup
3/4 C. brown sugar

In a 6-7 qt (or larger) crockpot place
ham, flat side down, & pour chicken
stock over. In a bowl whisk mustard &
maple syrup – pour over top of ham
making sure to get all sides – sprinkle
brown sugar all over ham. Cover tightly
(If your lid won’t fit tight, wrap tightly
with foil). Cook on Low 4-5 hours, basting
once or twice during last hour of cooking.
Remove ham from crockpot & let rest 20
minutes before serving. Reserve juices to
make gravy or use as an au jus. Serves 4


3-ingredient No Bake Oreo Balls

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (14 oz) pkg. chocolate dipping chips

Optional: candy sprinkles for decorating
Line a cutting board or baking sheet with
parchment paper. Using food processor,
finely crush Oreos. Combine cream cheese &
crushed cookies  until well blended. Form
mixture into 1 inch balls & place on prepared
sheet. Freeze 30 minutes.Microwave chocolate
for 1 minute, stirring & repeating until melted.
Using a fork, dip each ball into chocolate to
completely coat – shake off excess & return
to tray – decorate with optional sprinkles,
if desired. Makes 48


Easy Jalapeno Popper Bites

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Optional: ranch salad dressing for dipping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Separate rolls into triangles.
On each triangle place a dollop of cream
cheese (1/2 T. or so); add a piece of jalapeno
& some cooked bacon. Roll up into bundles,
making sure the cream cheese doesn’t run
out while baking – place on prepared baking
sheet, seam sides down. Bake 12-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings


Green Beans Almondine

3 T. butter, divided
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/3 C. shallots, minced
1 lb. green beans (use smaller
French beans if you can find them),
salt/pepper, to taste
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley

In a large skillet over medium heat melt
1 T. butter. Add almonds & cook 3-4 minutes
until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove nuts from pan; wipe pan clean
with a paper towel. Melt remaining 2 T.
butter in pan; add shallots & cook 3-4
minutes until tender. Add green beans &
1 T. water. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until gr. beans are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice & salt/pepper. Sprinkle
reserved almonds over green beans along
with parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 4


Make-ahead Biscuits & Gravy
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles.
Remove sausage using slotted soon,
discard grease but reserve 1/4 C. in
skillet. Stir in flour until blended &
cook, stirring, until golden brown,
1-2 minutes – do not burn. Gradually
whisk in milk & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Cook & stir until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage, pepper,
paprika & chili powder – pour into
prepared dish & cool completely.
In large bowl mix Bisquick, sour cream
& melted butter until moistened. Turn
onto a lightly floured surface & knead
gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough into
a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut using a floured
2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter & place biscuits
over gravy. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove dish from fridge while oven heats.
Bake, uncovered, until gravy is heated
through & biscuits are golden: 22 -25
minutes. Serves 10

Freezer Option:
After biscuits/gravy are read to place
in fridge, cover & freeze. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30
minutes before baking & bake as directed
above, increasing time as needed until
gravy is heated through & biscuits are
golden brown.


Green Chile Spinach Dip

1 1/2 C. canned chopped/roasted
green chiles
1/2 C. thawed/drained frozen spinach
1 C. shredded Monterey Jack Pepper cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. cream cheese, softened
2/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Tortilla chips, for dipping
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter a shallow 1-qt. baking dish.
In medium bowl toss chiles, spinach,
both cheeses. In another bowl stir
remaining ingredients – fold into chile/
cheese mixture until well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared dish & bake
20-30 minutes until bubbling & starting
to brown. (If dip is bubbling & not browning,
place under broiler for a few minutes)
Makes 4 Cups

Amazing Puffballs

1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni chopped
into tiny pieces
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 (10 1/8 oz, ea) pkgs. Pillsbury
refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Open rolls & separate into individual
triangles. Flatten each & slice so that
it becomes 3 small triangles. In a bowl
mix diced pepperoni with cream cheese,
stirring very well so that all pepperoni
pieces are mixed into cream cheese.
Place a small spoonful of cream cheese/
pepperoni mixture in middle of each
roll triangle – pinch up all sides around
filling then place on a cookie sheet.
Bake about 11 minutes. Allow to cool
before serving. Serves 48

Sausage Pinwheels

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 can crescent roll dough

Remove dough in a whole sheet
Press perforated edges together to
form one sheet of dough. Spread
sausage evenly over dough. Starting
with a long edge, roll dough into a
log. Refrigerate log overnight (or until

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice 1/2 inch pieces from log & place
on a baking sheet. Bake 12-18 minutes.
Makes 24


Forgotten Cookies
(like bitig into a cup of hot
chocolate topped with whipped cream!)

It’s recommended you make these
the night before you need them as they
need to be ‘forgotten’ in the oven until

4 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 to 1 C. sugar (according to preference)
3/4 to 1 C. mini chocolate chips (accordg.
to your preference)


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Using elec. mixer, place vanilla & egg whites
in a bowl & beat until just foamy. Add cream
of tartar – beat until soft peaks form. Slowly
add in sugar white continuing to beat until
all sugar is added and until tall/stiff peaks have
formed. Gently fold in choc. chips. Spoon
out portions of mixture onto prepared sheet
(they don’t need to be spaced out much).
Place all cookies on sheet in oven at once
& immediately shut oven off. Serve the
next day. Makes 30-50 cookies

Store cookies in an air tight container at room
temperature. They will be good for 1-2 weeks.


No Bake Pecan/Coconut Praline Cookies

2 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 1/2 C. grated coconut
Lay out a large strip of waxed paper
on the counter.
In a large saucepan mix sugar, evap. milk,
corn syrup & butter – bring to rolling boil –
boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat & add
pecans, coconut & vanilla. Stir about 4
minutes. Take a spoonful of batter &
pour onto waxed paper – continue with
rest of batter. Let stand until batter has
hardened. Remove from paper & enjoy.

(recipe: pepper romo – Facebook)

I’m doing great on the gift shopping – all
except oldest son & his girlfriend; they both
like to golf & last year I got them a golf
package for 2 through Groupon – only
problem: we live in a VERY COLD/SNOWY
state and the offers are only good for 3 months –
that would put them at March – still lots of snow
& rain here. My solution is: tell them I’ll get them
a golf package but it won’t be until WARM weather
so they can enjoy it!

The house is now all decorated, trees up, etc.
Today I delivered the last of the ‘neighbor
Christmas breads’, mail lady got cookies &
candy so all that’s left to do now is bake my
friend a loaf of banana bread (her favorite)
before this coming Sunday – that should be
easy enough. Still need to wrap gifts and maybe
purchase a few more ‘stocking stuffer’ things
like small bags of chips or ‘Combos’, some
sausage sticks (the guys love the extra spicy
ones) – that leaves baking the “Happy Birthday,
Jesus” chocolate cake – that I can do next week.
Still not sure who in our family will have to work
on Christmas (OR) when we’re doing dinner –
but that’s OK.

Hope you are all managing to stay safe and
HEALTHY! (I’m so grateful I’m not sicker!).



PS: I should add our weather has been really nice:
it’s been in the 20’s (yes, that’s cold BUT) – no SNOW
or rain/ice! We actually have a high of 43 degrees F.
coming on Sunday!