Thoughts on a Tuesday

I know it’s right around the corner – saw two really FAT robins Sunday (here in Michigan that’s usually our first signs of Spring). The weather is still chilly – going from the 20’s when I wake up into the 40’s during the day – some days ahead show rain but that’s MUCH better than snow! I keep peaking out my kitchen window to see if there are any signs of crocus popping up – none so far.


Cake Mix Cookies

1 (15.25 oz) box lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Optional Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In large bowl using elec. mixer
add all ingredients & beat on medium
speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Using 2 spoons, drop cookie dough
into 12 heaping tablespoons, about
1 1/2 inches apart on each sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes until tops look dry &
don’t wiggle when sheet is shaken. Let
cool 5 minutes before transferring to a
wire rack. While cookies cool, make

In medium bowl whisk together powdered
sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. If you would
like a thinner glaze, add additional lemon
juice, 1 T. at a time (for less lemon flavor,
use water or milk). If you would want a
thicker glaze, add lemon zest. Drizzle on
cooled cookies & allow to harden 10-15
minutes. Makes 24 cookies


Poppy Seed Chicken

5 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 C. sour cream
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken
2 C. crushed butter crackers (about
1 1/2 tubes)
1/2 C. melted butter
1 T. poppy seeds
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cooked rice to serve 4 – if desired-
see end of recipe
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
*Boil raw chicken breasts 20 minutes;
let cool slightly & cut into 1 inch cubes.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray – place chicken cubes in dish.
In medium bowl stir condensed soup & sour
cream. Add Worc. sauce, celery salt, garlic,
lemon juice & pepper – stir well & pour over
chicken & spread evenly. In separate bowl, stir
crushed crackers, poppy seeds & melted butter –
sprinkle over chicken & sauce. Bake 30 minutes
until top of casserole is browned & sauce is
bubbly. Serve plain or over cooked rice.
Serves 4


Hungry Man Breakfast Burritos
(buffet style)

2 dozen eggs
splash of milk
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (32 oz) bag Southern potatoes
5 T. butter
8-10 large burrito-style tortillas

diced ham
cooked/crumbled bacon
cheese (your choice, shredded)
sour cream
BBQ sauce
maple syrup

Place all eggs in large bowl – add splash
of milk & a little salt/pepper – whisk
until froth. Heat a large skillet over
medium-high heat – spray with nonstick
cooking spray & pour eggs in. While eggs
are cooking, scrape bottom of pan using
a spatula until eggs are cooked through.
While eggs are cooking heat another large
skillet & add butter – once melted, pour
hash browns into pan & cook, stirring,
until golden brown. Heat tortillas in a
microwave (OR) wrap in foil & heat in
oven until heated through & warm.
Place on serving counter: tortillas,
eggs & toppings – serve buffet style
Serves 8


Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts
(about 2 large)
1 (14 oz) can enchilada sauce
6 medium corn tortillas*
3 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cut each chicken breast into about 3
pieces & place in a small pot. Pour
Enchilada sauce over & cook, covered,
on Low to medium heat until chicken is
cooked through, about 20 minutes. (No
water is needed, chicken will cook in sauce)
Make sure you stir occasionally so it doesn’t
stick to bottom. Remove chicken from pot &
shred using 2 forks.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Place 1/4 C. leftover Enchil. sauce
in bottom of a baking dish** – poster
used longer dish so she could place
2 tortillas across. Place 2 tortillas on
bottom, top with 1/3 of chicken &
1/3 of remaining sauce. Sprinkle with
1/3 of cheese & repeat starting with
2 more tortillas, chicken, sauce, cheese –
repeat with last layer ending with cheese.
Bake 20-30  minutes uncovered, until
bubbly & cheese has melted & started
to brown on top. Serve warm.
Serves 6

* poster used corn tortillas but Flour
work, also. Some people mentioned that
flour turned out a bit soggier than corn.

**Poster used a 5 & 7″ casserole dish
but said a 9 X 13″ or 8 X 8″ works as well


Crockpot Green Beans & Bacon

12 oz. center-cut bacon
29 oz. canned green beans*
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. brown sugar

In a sauce pan heat bacon & onion just
until bacon is cooked (do not brown).
Drain green beans & pour into 5 qt or
larger crockpot. Add bacon, onion &
bacon drippings on top of green beans.
Add brown sugar & maple syrup – stir
well. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or
High 4-5 hours. Serves 10

NOTE: *Can use fresh or frozen green


Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 qts. chicken stock
meat from 1 chicken (rotisserie)
16 white or yellow corn tortillas
1 T. olive oil
2 T. vegetable oil
2 C. diced onion
2-3 T. jalapeno, diced (depending
on how hot you like it)
2 T. fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. gumbo file powder (optional,
but recommended)
1 (14.75 oz.) can creamed corn
1 (7 oz) can diced mild green chiles
2-4 T. yellow corn meal (see note)
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, drained
few shakes Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Topping Options:

lime wedges
Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
chopped cilantro
Tortilla strips (see note)
Sliced fresh avocado
sliced scallions
sour cream
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Lay out 16 corn tortillas on cutting board
& slice into thin strips – spread out on sheet
pan & coat with a drizzle of olive oil just
to moisten. Bake 20 minutes, tossing every
5 minutes (If getting too brown, remove before
the 20 minutes is up). Separate 1/4th of strips
as a garnish for serving – place remaining aside
for later.

In a 5-6 qt. heavy bottomed soup pot or Dutch
oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Once
hot, add onions, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, coriander,
white pepper & (if using) gumbo file. Saute & stir
5 minutes. Add stock, creamed corn, diced green
chiles, cooked tortilla strips from earlier & corn
meal*. Bring to boil then lower to simmer &
cook 5 minutes. While soup is simmering, drain
canned tomatoes & discard liquid. After 5 minutes
puree soup using an immersion blender or regular
blender (in batches) until smooth. Check for
thickness – if you want it thicker, add more corn-
meal. If too thick, dilute with more stock or water.
When adding corn meal, it needs 5 minutes of
cooking to bloom & thicken the soup so don’t
add too much at once. Add drained tomatoes &
Worcs. sauce & taste – only add more salt if you
think it needs it. Serve immediately with any
of the suggested toppings. Serves 8-12

* If you use 2 T. cornmeal, the finished soup
will be creamy in consistency & easily drip from a
spoon. 4 T. will make finished soup thick, almost
like a porridge. Start with 2 T.


Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 (16.5 oz) box devil’s food cake mix
1 (48 oz) container mint chocolate
chip ice cream, softened
sprinkles (optional)

Whipped Topping:
1 C. heavy whipping cream
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
(green food coloring – optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake
liners. Prepare and bake cupcakes
accordg to pkg. directions – cool
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper;
place in freezer. Using a spoon, remove
centers from cupcakes, leaving bottoms
intact. Crumble removed pieces in a bowl.

Working in batches of 4, dollop a small
scoop of ice cream into each center, then
place on cookie sheet in freezer. Cover
with plastic wrap & freeze at least 4 hours.

In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk cold whipping
cream, sugar, vanilla & food coloring (if using)
on High speed until stiff peaks form, about
1 minute. Place whipped topping in a zip-lock
bag. Snip bottom corner then use bag to
pipe topping onto cupcakes. Sprinkle tops
with crumbled cake & sprinkles (if using).
Serve immediately & freeze any leftovers.
Makes 24


There are times in our lives when we are
faced with our own mortality – having breast
cancer 8 years ago did that for me. At that
time I met a young lady who, also, was going
through the same thing – except hers was
much more serious/aggressive. She beat it,
met a young man, married and had a handsome
little son who is around 2 1/2 now. About
2 years ago she, again, contracted cancer (I didn’t
know about it at that time) but this time it was
brain cancer. About 2 weeks ago she finished her
final radiation treatment and we were hopeful;
but her body was just not strong enough and she
passed away yesterday – she was 34. She was a
very strong example of how to go through a very
difficult situation with grace; she was a believer
and her faith held her when her physical strength
could not. All during this time she and her Mom
posted many family photos on Facebook – each one
with the title: “Making Memories” – somehow I
think she knew her life would be short and yet
she wanted to make the most of it with all of
her loved ones – and she did that. Her brother
is a very close friend of my oldest son and her
Mom and my husband used to work together
at the telephone company many years ago so
we know the whole family. She will be greatly
missed but she certainly made a legacy of
her life and how to go through adversity with
grace and faith.

Hoping you have a good day;



Mid-Week Musings

Slowly but surely Fall is creeping into my area – the temperatures are getting a little colder in the evenings, BUT – day time temps are still in the low to mid 70’s, so I’m happy. I love all the Fall ‘stuff’ – leaves turning, brisk air, pumpkin-flavored everything, just don’t want to be reminded that WINTER is coming!

I should also mention: our internet went ‘down’ last week for 2 days; came ‘up’ again for a total of maybe an hour then was down again for another 2 days! LOVELY! Husband was NOT happy – last time out, they STILL didn’t know what caused it to happen twice!

This is a busy week for me, every day (& some evenings) has something to go to or do; can’t complain, I’d probably be bored if I didn’t have things to do, right? The other grandma is back so I didn’t babysit all last week (that was strange – no calls/texts so I kept waiting for the other ‘shoe’ to fall but it never happened). I decided I’d catch this week in the ‘bud’ by texting my crazy schedule, so I’m only babysitting Friday, starting at 6:45 (and probably until 4/5, so I’ll need my sleep!).


I’m going to be a little crazy here and post LOTS of SUMMER recipes – there’s SO many I still want to share with you!

Strawberry Cream Cheese
Icebox Cake

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

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


Stuffed Tomatoes
(baked or grilled)

6 large, ripe tomatoes

4 C. fresh soft bread crumbs
1 medium onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan or Romano
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1 (4 oz) stick butter
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
(NOTE: if you are putting them on
the grill – preheat grill to HIGH heat)
Cut tops off tomatoes at the stem end
then scoop out seeds & spines. (can use
a melon baller for this). Place hollowed-
out tomatoes, cut sides down on a paper
towel-lined plate.

Place bread crumbs in large bowl & melt
butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion & garlic – cook until onion is
just soft, about 3 minutes; add to bread
crumbs. Add cheese, parsley, salt/pepper &
mix well. Fill each tomato cavity with mixture
letting it mound up on top. Bake or grill
5-10 minutes until tomato is just beginning
to get soft. If you want more browning on
top – place under a broiler for 1-2 minutes.
Serves 6


Zucchini Gratin

6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
plus extra for topping
1 lb. yellow onions, cut in half &
sliced (3 large)
2 lb. zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
(4 zucchini)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 T. flour
1 C. hot milk
3/4 C. fresh bread crumbs
3/4 C. grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 10″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt butter in very large (12 inch)
saute pan & cook onions over Low
heat 20 minutes until tender but not
browned. Add zucchini; cook, covered,
10 minutes until tender. Add salt/pepper &
nutmeg – cook, uncovered, 5 minutes –
stir in flour. Add hot milk & cook over Low
heat a few minutes until it makes a sauce.
Pour into prepared dish. Combine bread
crumbs & Gruyere cheese – sprinkle on
top of casserole – dot with 1 T. butter cut
into small bits. Bake 20 minutes until
bubbly & browned. Serves 6


Skinny Quinoa Veggie Dip

2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans, drained/
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 2/3 C. water, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
2/3 C. quinoa, rinsed*
5 T. lime juice, divided
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled/
coarsely chopped
2 T. plus 3/4 C. sour cream, divided
1/4 C. minced fresh cilantro
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
3/4 C. peeled/seeded/finely chopped
3/4 C. finely chopped zucchini
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
cucumber slices

In food processor pulse beans, cumin,
paprika, cayenne & 1/3 C. water until
smooth – add salt/pepper, to taste.
In small saucepan cook quinoa with
remaining 1 1/3 C. water accordg.
to pkg. directions. Fluff with a fork;
sprinkle with 2 T. lime juice.
Mash avocados, 2 T. sour cream, cilantro
& remaining lime juice.

In a 2 1/2 qt. dish, layer:
bean mixture
avocado mixture
remaining sour cream
chopped cucumber,

Serve immediately with cucumber
slices for dipping, or refrigerate.
Serves 32

*look for quinoa in the cereal, rice
or organic food aisle


Garden Bow Tie Salad

1 medium cucumber
1 medium yellow summer squash
1 medium zucchini
1 medium sweet red pepper
4 C. fresh broccoli florets
3 C. fresh cauliflowerets
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 pkgs. Italian salad dressing mix
4 1/2 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Wash first 5 ingredients but do not dry-
chop & transfer to large bowl. Add
remaining vegetables – sprinkle with
dry dressing mix – toss to coat. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions. Drain;
rinse with cold water & add to vegetable
mixture. In small bowl whisk remaining
ingredients & add to salad – toss to coat.
Serves 24 (3/4 C. each)


“Johnsonville Brats” Hot Tub

1 (2.85 oz) pkg. Johnsonville Original
Bratwurst Party pack
1 aluminum foil baking pan (11 X 9 X
2 3/4 inches)
2-3 (12 oz, ea) cans beer
2 T. butter
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
12 brat buns

Cook brats on a gas or charcoal grill
accordg. to pkg. directions. When cooked,
remove from grill & place in foil pan – place
pan on grill, add beer, butter & onions.
Over medium heat, on a covered grill, allow
brats to simmer in beer & onions. Serve each
brat with onions on a bun. Makes 12 servings


German Potato Salad

5 strips bacon
3/4 C. chopped onion
2 T. flour
2/3 C. cider vinegar
1 1/3 C. water
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 C. peeled/sliced/cooked

in large skillet fry bacon until crisp;
remove to paper towel-lined plate.
Drain all but 2 T. of bacon drippings;
cook onion in drippings until tender.
Stir in flour & blend well. Add vinegar &
water; cook & stir until bubbly &
slightly thick. Add sugar & stir until it
dissolves.Gently stir crumbled bacon &
potatoes into mixture. Serve warm.
Serves 6-8


Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Garlic Shrimp

2 lb. peeled/deveined large shrimp (tail on
or off)
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 (8.5 oz) jar sundried tomatoes (reserve
oil from jar)
3 T. minced garlic
1/2 C. diced white onion
1/2 C. vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
2 C. fresh spinach
1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
(basil – for garnish – optional)
Serve with: Cooked rice or pasta to
feed 5-6
(OR) with toasted sourdough bread
Heat large skillet on medium-high heat –
add 3 T. oil reserved from sun-dried tomatoes
jar. Add shrimp & season with garlic salt, pepper
& Old Bay seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until shrimp are opaque (about 5 minutes); remove
shrimp from skillet. In same skillet add 2 additional
T. reserved sun-dried tomato oil on medium-high
heat. Add garlic, onion & sun-dried tomatoes -cook
1 minute. Stir in vegetable stock & Dijon mustard,
stir to combine then add in heavy cream; stir until
a creamy sauce forms & comes to a slight boil.
Reduce heat & add Parm. cheese & spinach. Cook &
stir until cheese has melted & spinach has wilted,
about 3 minutes. Add shrimp back to skillet & stir
to combine. Remove from heat, garnish with basil
(if using) & more Parmesan cheese. Serve over
cooked rice, pasta or with warm, toasted sourdough
bread. Serves 5-6


Crockpot Peaches ‘n Cream Dump Cake

1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling
1 box white cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl mix cream cheese & sugar
until smooth. Place pie filling in
bottom of crockpot & spread evenly;
top with cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle dry cake mix over top &
pour melted butter on top.
Place 6-8 paper towels over opening
of crockpot & place on lid (towels
absorb excess moisture). Cook on
High 1-2 hours. Serves 4-6



I went to the second baby shower last Saturday;
I don’t know about you, but occasionally I tend
to go a little ‘crazy’ – I had originally planned on
giving them a crocheted Granny Square blanket
but the morning of the shower I decided that
wasn’t quite ‘good enough’ – I’ve known the
expectant Dad for many years, he’s almost like
another son to me. At 9:30 a.m. I started knitting
like crazy on the blanket I was working on (Feather
& Fan pattern, several different yarns) and knit
almost continually until 1 p.m. (shower started
at 1:30. I wrapped the blanket with other items
and when it came time to open gifts, I asked
them to please open mine first so I could sew
in all the ‘ends’! They did, I finished it, they
loved it . . . so much so that the expectant Dad
called me that evening to thank me, again, for
the blanket. He said: “I’ve seen you knitting
blankets for years and when I saw you come
through the door with a gift, all I could think
was: ‘I HOPE she knit one for us!’ – Pretty
sweet from a mid-20’s guy these days! I was
thrilled I’d made the decision to finish the
one that was ‘just a little fancier’ than the
original crocheted one. Sometimes you just
have to ‘go with your gut’ – right? Photo below:

Started another blanket, same pattern but
with pink/white/tiny bit of tan/mint green
yarn; I varied the pattern a bit and the ladies
in my Library Knit Group liked it quite a bit
so I guess it’s a good one.

Hope you are all in good spirits and health-
just got my approval for ‘almost’ 7 years
CANCER-FREE (in December) from my
Radiologist, so I’m thanking the LORD for
my good health.

Ladies – get your mammograms done! Mine
saved my life! A little bit of pain is worth it
compared to a VERY LONG time of going
through radiation/chemo treatments. I
was fortunate to only have 2 surgeries &
radiation, but it’s not a fun thing to do.



Hangin’ with the OWLS and other things –


First, since the cute Snoopy clipart showed up, just had to post it. Our weather temperatures have drastically changed since this time last week – woke up to 32 degrees F. (Yes, here in Michigan that CAN be the exact temperature when we get that dreaded “S” word – snow). If we had pumpkins I could have said there was definitely FROST on those pumpkins! It’s sunny, breezy and now up to 43 balmy degrees so I can’t complain too much. First thing found me getting out to return library books (found out they were closed for Veteran’s Day – which was YESTERDAY! UGH!) Oh well – was able to use the ‘side of the building’ return slot, so at least they won’t be over-due! Made a quick trek to Tim Horton’s for husband’s favorite coffee pods and tried out their ‘special: small hot cocoa for $1.00’ – it was good. Next was a quick trip to the grocery store where I found myself being seduced by two items: fresh broccoli and some really nice looking pork chops on sale; yes, dinner very soon will be broiled BBQ pork chops, baked potatoes & broccoli with cheese sauce – YUM! Tonight’s dinner will be Potato Soup – haven’t made it in awhile and, with the cold temperatures, it just seemed to be the ‘thing’ to make!

I have some GREAT NEWS! Just got the results back from my doctor’s visit on Tuesday for a chest x-ray and ultrasound of my abdomen. When I went to see my oncologist last week (cancer doctor) he requested I get these tests done – just as a preventative, last thing after being Five Years Cancer Free. To put it mildly, it made me feel a little unsettled – if I’m now cancer-free, WHY these tests? Oh well, being the good little patient I am, I had them done. Results: ALL GOOD- ALL CLEAR! YAY! Thank You, Lord!

To fill you in on the OWL story: I think I mentioned in a few posts back that I wanted to knit a baby hat for our unborn grandson – his Momma decorated his room in all owl designs so I felt a little owl hat would go good with the baby blanket. Searching for just the right pattern took some time, as did the knitting of the hat & attempting to make the face ‘cute’. When I showed my friend (the leader of my special needs group) the photo of the baby hat she immediately said: “Can you make an adult one for my daughter in Colorado? She LOVES owls!” (Normally I would NOT go for any requests like that but since she is one of my closest friends, I said “I’ll try”. Let’s just say, with researching a pattern that would fit the hat I had in mind took me almost 2 days (hence why I haven’t been writing here). Lots of really cute patterns – some in other languages (Russian/Chinese, etc.) – let’s just say I skipped those. Some I couldn’t figure out how to extract the cute owl pattern from the rest of the pattern – UGH! FINALLY I found a dishcloth pattern that fit my needs & immediately set to knitting up a test ‘swatch’. (another hour at least). Started on the hat late afternoon yesterday (lots of math figuring, to make sure the pattern would fit exactly in the middle of the hat, etc.) Worked on it a good 2 hours then put it down when I noticed that I didn’t like the way I’d done a few rows (time to rip them back – I gave up on that last night). Got up early this morning and set to ripping out 4 1/2 rows (92 stitches per row) until I was finally back where I wanted to be. Long story – I still have about 1 – 1  1/2 hours left of knitting then it will be done. I will post a photo of both the baby owl had and the adult one soon. Some days I just don’t FEEL like knitting any more . . . sigh.


No-Bake Marshmallow
Pumpkin Pie

1 (10 oz) pkg. large marshmallows
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (9 inch) graham cracker
pie crust

additional Cool Whip, for topping

In large saucepan combine first
6 ingredients; cook & stir over
medium heat 8-10 minutes until
marshmallows are melted; remove
from heat & cool to room temp.
Fold in Cool Whip & spoon into
crust. Refrigerate 3 hours until set.
Serve with additional Cool Whip
for topping, if desired. Makes 8


Southern Green Beans w/Bacon

4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
3 C. water
3 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 T. butter, unsalted
1/3 C. sliced almonds

Cook bacon in large Dutch oven
until crisp; drain on paper towels &
cut into pieces. Reserve bacon
grease-add beans, water, broth,
garlic powder, seasoning salt/
pepper to pot & bring to a boil.
Simmer 20-30 minutes until beans
are tender. Drain beans into a
strainer & return to pot on stove.
Add butter & almonds; cook over
medium heat, swirling pot, until
butter becomes golden brown &
gives off a nutty aroma. Stir beans
& bacon into butter & heat through,
making sure to coat everything with
butter. Serve warm. Serves 6-8


Pepper Jack Scalloped Potatoes

6 large russet potatoes, peeled/
rinsed/dried/sliced 1/4″ or
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 C. Half & Half
2 1/4 C. Pepper Jack cheese,
freshly grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In medium pan,
saute onion in butter over medium
heat until softened. Add flour & stir
to incorporate well. Slowly add milk &
cream; whisk together – season with
salt/pepper. Continue stirring until
mixture is bubbly & thickened; remove
from heat & add 1 1/4 C. Pepper Jack
cheese – stir until creamy. Evenly layer
half of sliced potatoes in prepared dish;
pour half of sauce onto potatoes & spread
evenly using back of a spoon. Evenly layer
remaining potatoes & cover with remaining
sauce, evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining
1 C. cheese. Bake, uncovered, 45-55 minutes
until a fork easily pierces the potato slices.
(cooking time will depend on thickness of
potato slices).
Remove from oven & cool 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 6


Sweet Potato Casserole

2 lb. sweet potatoes, cleaned
4 T. melted butter
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 egg

1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
4 T. melted butter
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Prick
potatoes with a fork & place on
pan. Bake until tender, 45 minutes-
1 hour. When potatoes are cool
enough to handle, cut them open,
scoop out insides & place potato
insides in a large bowl. Add 4 T.
butter, milk, brown sugar, spices
& egg to bowl. Use a potato masher
or food processor to mash/blend
until mostly smooth. Spray a 9 X 9″
pan or 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. Discard skins or use for another
Spread sweet potato  mixture into
pan evenly. In another bowl, mix brown
sugar, flour, melted butter & pecans,
until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of potatoes
& bake 25-30 minutes until topping has
lightly browned. Serve immediately
Serves 6


Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

1 T. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. chopped dill pickles
1 tsp. pickle juice
1 T. yellow or Dijon mustard
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 C. milk
1 large egg
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 strips bacon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Add onion & cook until
tender. Add garlic & cook 1 minute.
Add ground beef; cook until no
longer pink, 5-7 minutes; drain &
remove from heat. Season with
salt/pepper, Worc., dill pickles,
pickle juice & mustard – stir to
combine. Line a pie plate with
refrigerated pie crust & transfer
beef mixture to crust. In small bowl
whisk milk & egg; pour over beef &
top with Cheddar. Make a bacon
by placing 4 strips of bacon
on top of the pie. Flip 2 back & place
1 slice on top, then flip back the
2 slices & flip up the other 2,
creating a ‘weave’. Cover crust
with foil & bake 35 minutes. If
bacon needs to be cooked more,
place under broiler 3-5 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes then serve.
Serves 4


Grandma’s Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed/well-drained
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet
brown beef over medium heat
8-10  minutes until no pink
remains, crumbling meat as it
cooks; drain. Add spaghetti
sauce, tomatoes & salt; stir
until well blended. In medium
bowl combine broccoli, ricotta
& Parmesan cheeses; mix in egg.
Spread 2 C. sauce mixture over
bottom of prepared dish. Press
4 uncooked noodles lengthwise
over sauce & place 1 noodle
crosswise across each end of
dish, completely covering
sauce mixture. Spread
ricotta mixture evenly over noodles
then sprinkle with 1 C. mozzarella
cheese. Top with 1 1/2 C. sauce then
arrange remaining noodles over
sauce, pressing lightly into sauce.
Spread remaining sauce over top.
Bake 55 minutes until noodles
are tender. Remove from oven &
sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C.
mozzarella; cover with foil & let
stand 10 minutes. Cut & serve.
Serves 6


Beef Barley Soup

1 T. butter
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
4 C. beef broth
4 C. water
2 C. chopped, cooked roast beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. quick-cooking barley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. frozen peas

In 6 qt. stockpot, heat butter over
medium-high heat; saute carrot,
celery & onion until tender, 4-5
minutes. Add broth, water, beef,
tomatoes, barley & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer, covered, 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add beef
& peas, heat through, about
5 minutes. Serves 8 (3 qts)


Crockpot Gingerbread
Pudding Cake

1/2 C. molasses
1 C. water
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. chopped pecans
6 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. hot water
2/3 C. butter, melted

Cool Whip (thawed), whipping
cream optional toppings

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Mix molasses & 1 C. water. In a
bowl cream softened butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in egg
white & vanilla. In another bowl whisk
together flour, baking soda, salt &
spices; add to creamed mixture
alternately with  molasses mixture,
beating well after each addition;
fold in pecans. Pour mixture into
prepared crockpot & sprinkle top
with brown sugar. Mix hot water &
melted butter; pour over batter (DO
NOT STIR). Cover & cook on High
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean (2 to 2 1/2 hours).
Turn off crockpot, let stand 15 minutes.
If desired serve with optional
toppings. Serves 8



Well, that’s all the excitement around here lately –
hope you are able to enjoy this Fall weather AND
stay nice & warm!



PS: Forgot to mention: gas prices around
here have dropped to $1.99/9 – WOW!



Today I am officially FIVE YEARS CANCER FREE!


While chatting with my Oncologist (cancer doctor) I said: “So – see you in a year?” He said: “No, you’re done!” WOW! (I will still have to see my Radiologist, probably once a year, not sure yet, but for the most part, I’m done with all the doctors! YAY!)

Today was supposed to be in the 50’s but it’s 69 degrees F. sunny and gorgeous! What a great way to celebrate MY DAY! I stopped at the Salvation Army store near the cancer center and bought 5 paperbacks – they have used books for sale: .50 cents paperback/$1.00 hardbacks – more murder/mysteries for me!

Lots of Fall/Thanksgiving recipes comin’ in so here ya go:


Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

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

Whipped cream – topping

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


Overnight Apple French Toast

1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. butter
2 T. light corn syrup
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
cored/sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
9 slices day-old French bread
1 C. applesauce
1 (10 oz) jar apple jelly
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Combine brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup in small saucepan;
cook over Low heat until thick.
Pour into ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Arrange sliced apples
on top of syrup. Beat eggs, milk
& vanilla in shallow dish. Dip
bread slices in egg mixture &
arrange over apple slices. Cover
& refrigerate overnight. Uncover
& remove 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 35-40 minutes until top of
bread is browned. Combine
remaining ingredients in a saucepan
& cook over medium heat until
jelly is melted. Serve toast with
apple slices on top & spoon the
warm sauce over the apples.
Serves 6-8


30-Minute Garlic Roasted Chicken

2 T. olive oil
4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
(about 1 1/2 lb)
salt/ground black pepper
2 heads garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 slices sourdough bread,
grilled or toasted
2 T. white wine vinegar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet
over medium-high heat. Season
chicken with salt/pepper & cook,
skin-sides down, until browned,
5 minutes. Separate the heads of
garlic into cloves but do not peel.
Flip chicken, add garlic & rosemary
to skillet & transfer to oven. Roast
until chicken is cooked through but
still moist, 15-20 minutes. Place
bread on a platter & top each
sliced with a chicken breast. Add
vinegar to skillet & scrape any
browned bits with a wooden spoon.
Add 3 T. water & simmer until sauce
thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
Pour sauce & garlic over chicken/
bread. You can squeeze the garlic
out of the skin & spread on chicken
or bread. Serves 4


Sausage & Wild Rice Casserole

1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions
1 lb. sausage, cooked/drained
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients & place in
greased casserole dish. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 6-8


Crockpot Garlic Parsley Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. new potatoes, washed
1/4 C. olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. dried parsley (or fresh
parsley, finely minced)
salt/pepper, to taste

Using a vegetable peeler, peel away
ONE strip of peel around middle of
each potato & place in bottom of
crockpot. Drizzle olive oil over top
then sprinkle with garlic & parsley;
toss with a spoon to coat each
potato with oil/seasonings. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours until potatoes
are fork-tender. Serves 4


Spiced Harvest Pumpkin Soup

6 medium carrots, shredded
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 T. butter
1 medium apple, peeled/shredded
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. milk
1 C. heavy whipping cream

salted pumpkin seeds

In Dutch oven saute carrots,
onion & celery in butter 4 minutes.
Add apple & garlic; cook 2 minutes
longer until tender. Stir in pumpkin,
broth, parsley & seasonings – bring
to boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
20 minutes. Add milk & cream; cool
slightly. Place mixture in a blender &
process in batches until smooth.
Return all to pan & heat through.
Garnish servings with pumpkin seeds.
Serves 10 (2 1/2 quarts)


Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip
(overnight recipe)

1 1/2 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 C. molasses
4 C. flour
4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
(additional sugar)

Pumpkin Dip:

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 C. canned pumpkin pie mix
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Cream butter & sugar until light &
fluffy. Beat in eggs & molasses.
Combine next 6 ingredients; add to
creamed mixture & mix well.
Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Shape dough into 1/2 inch balls;
roll in additional sugar & place
(2 inches apart) on ungreased
cookie sheets. Bake until edges
begin to brown, about 6 minutes.
Cool 2 minutes before removing
to a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese until smooth;
beat in pumpkin pie mix. Add
powdered sugar, cinnamon & ginger –
mix well. Serve with cookies on the
side. Refrigerate any leftover dip.

Makes about 20 dozen cookies and
3 Cups dip



That’s all the good news from here, today.



A little behind on writing . . .


It’s been a bit busy around here lately – Saturday found me going to my first “Mom-to-Mom’ Sale with the mother & grandmother of our (not yet born) grandbaby. They found some really nice things (we still don’t know the sex – might find out today when she goes to the doctors – she’s 17 weeks now). I was happy buying some cardboard baby books and a small bouncy chair like the one the baby’s daddy had when he was a wee tyke, some 33 years ago. Church/choir practice/evening church yesterday – got a free BIG zucchini someone wanted to give away so dinner tonight will be zucchini casserole. (I wanted to make zucchini stir fry with it, but husband REALLY wanted casserole . . . oh well, what do you do, right?)

Today was a run-run: first visit to radiologist to get results of recent double mammogram: GREAT NEWS! I don’t have to come back for a YEAR! (up until now it’s been first 3 months, then 6 months . .. now it’s a year!) I asked him who actually does the “She’s now 5 years cancer free” declaration and he said both he and the oncologist – (see him Nov. 6th) so we’ll await that date. When you get cancer, that FIVE YEAR cancer free mark is what you’re shooting for – I have 2 more months to find out officially.

With that doctor stop I included a stop at the Salvation Army to see if I could find a highchair and a baby walker (I don’t want the really HUGE ones they have now-my house is too small for that) no luck yet, but I still have lots of time. Quick stop at the library to return books, stopped at Kroger to ‘state my case’: Saturday I stopped at our Kroger (they are holding a GRAND re-opening sale after remodeling) and they had rotisserie chickens for $4.99. It’s a long story but with the deli person’s help, I found & purchased one. We ate it for dinner and then I looked at my receipt: they had charged me $9.99 for it – today I took back the newspaper page with the ad, the receipt and the empty bag – the nice lady said that I had purchased an ORGANIC chicken and they are always $9.99 – Hey! I asked the deli lady there where were the chickens that were on sale and she pointed to the only one there so I bought that one! How was I to know it was ORGANIC? Good news, she refunded $5.35 cents to me – score! Quick trip to Gordon Foods then a small grocery to get more zucchini for this stupid casserole and now I’m home – whew!


Pam’s Zucchini Casserole
(rough estimates on ingredients,
I made up the recipe)

3-4 zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 – 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
about 3 C. cooked white rice
salt/pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
1/2 – 3/4 C. sour cream
1 lb. hamburger, cooked/cooled

1/2 – 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella-
(for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place half of
sliced zucchini in a layer in
bottom of dish. Mix together
remaining ingredients & scoop
on top of sliced zucchini. Place
remaining sliced zucchini on top &
sprinkle with shredded mozz.
cheese. Bake 1 hour.
Serves 6

Crockpot Turtle Monkey Bread

2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (16.3 oz) tube Pillsbury GRANDS!
homestyle refrigerated buttermilk
3/4 C. pecan halves
2 T. whipping cream
1/3 C. milk chocolate chips

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. In
2-C. microwaveable measuring cup,
mix brown sugar & butter – microwave
uncovered, on High 1-2 minutes, stirring
every 30 seconds, until mixture is boiling
& smooth. In large ziplock bag, place
gran. sugar. Separate dough into 8 biscuits;
cut each one into fourths. Add a few biscuit
pieces at a time to bag, shake to coat. Sprinkle
1/4 C. pecans in bottom of crockpot; top with
half of biscuit  mixture. Pour 1/3 of butter
mixture over biscuit pieces in crockpot – repeat
with 1/4 C. pecans & remaining biscuit pieces;
pour remaining butter mixture over biscuits,
sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 C. pecans.
Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours until
a knife inserted into center comes out clean &
biscuits are no longer doughy in center – tops
of biscuits will be moist & may appear unbaked.
Turn off heat. Carefully remove cover so moisture
on inside of lid does not drip onto bread. Cover
opening of crockpot with paper towels; return
cover to crockpot & let stand 10 minutes. Run a
knife around the inside edges of crockpot then
invert crockpot upside down onto a heatproof
serving plate.
In 1 quart saucepan, heat cream over medium
heat until just boiling – remove from heat & stir
in chocolate chips until melted & smooth. Drizzle
over top of bread & serve warm. Serves 12

NOTE: You can substitute 1/4 C. hot fudge topping,
heated, for chocolate drizzle

NOTE: If your crockpot has a ceramic removable
insert, turn container halfway around about halfway
through cooking time for more even browning.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Balsamic Snap Peas

1/2 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. shallots, minced
2 C. fresh snap peas
2 T. balsamic ‘glaze’ (recipe below)
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Add shallots & saute until tender,
2 minutes. Add garlic & saute until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Add snap peas & saute
until warmed through, 5 minutes, stir
constantly. Add balsamic glaze & toss to
combine. Season with salt & pepper. Serves 4

Balsamic Glaze:
8 oz. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
pinch salt

Pour balsamic vinegar into sauce pot;
add sugar & salt; stir to combine. Heat
over medium heat to a boil; stir. Heat
until glaze is thick & syrupy & has
reduced by half – remove from burner
& allow to cool. Can be stored in an
airtight container in fridge up to 2


BLT Pasta Salad

2 1/2 C. uncooked bow tie pasta
6 C. torn romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, diced
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 T. barbecue sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain then rinse under cold water. In
large bowl combine lettuce, tomato,
bacon & pasta. Drizzle ranch dressing
& BBQ sauce over top & gently toss
to coat evenly. Season with pepper &
serve immediately. Serves 6


Breakfast Bake

1/4 C. milk
5 eggs, whisked
1 can refrigerated biscuits
6 green onions, sliced
4-6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine whisked eggs &  milk in
large bowl. Cut biscuits into quarters
(using greased kitchen shears) & stir
into egg mixture. Let biscuits soak in
egg while cooking bacon/slice onions,
etc. Add everything to large bowl & mix
well. Pour into greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 25 minutes (make sure eggs
are no longer runny). Serve warm.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Zucchini “Meatballs”

1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 lb. unpeeled zucchini,
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped fresh basil
1 C. Italian seasoning breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 oz (1/4 C.) Pecorino Romano cheese,
freshly grated plus more for serving
2 C. marinara sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray large rimmed baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Place oil in large skillet
over medium heat. When hot, add garlic
& saute until golden, about 30 seconds.
Add zucchini, season with salt/pepper &
cook on High heat until all water
evaporates from skillet, 5-7 minutes.
Transfer to a colander to get rid of any
excess water, then to large bowl with
bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese
& chopped basil. Form mixture into 16
balls, about 1 oz each, rolling tightly &
transfer balls to prepared sheet. Spray
top of balls with nonstick spray & bake
until firm & browned, 20-25 minutes.
Heat sauce in large deep skillet to warm,
about 4-5 minutes. Add meatballs to
sauce & simmer 5 minutes. Serve with
grated cheese. Serves 4


Man Bars

1 (14 oz) box graham crackers
(3 sleeves) crushed into crumbs
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate
1 C. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 (14 oz, ea) cans sweetened condensed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs
(about 4 C. total), choc. chips, nuts,
condensed milk, vanilla & salt in
large bowl; mix until well combined.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with parch-
ment paper or foil, well greased) then
spread batter into pan. Bake 30 minutes
until set. Cool completely in pan, remove
then cut into squares. Add powdered
sugar to a medium bowl; add squares &
toss to coat. Store in air-tight container.
Makes 48 squares.



Gas prices are still staying at
$2.11/9 – YAY!

Weather-wise it’s still nice out –
in the 70’s/80’s & sunny (it rained
all day Saturday, but that’s OK).

Hope you’re having a great day!



Enjoying the quite/rest – for now . . .


After the past crazy/hectic week I’m definitely enjoying the semi-rest/quiet. Yesterday went OK – early on…church/change clothes, grandson’s football game EXCEPT – the team that played before his went over time – WAY over time which put his team way over, also. I’m sitting there looking at my watch (choir practice starts at 4:45 p.m. a good 20-25 minutes away from where I am)…time is getting VERY close to 4 p.m. and there’s still the FOURTH quarter to go! By this time I’m pretty exhausted – it’s semi-warm out but directly in front of us is the team’s cheer leaders. We’re talking 7-9 year olds (I’m guessing here) – screaming & yelling the ENTIRE game – UGH! I’m sorry – I’m not one for seeing little girls dolled up like the show “Toddlers & Tiaras” (make up, outfits that are not really for little girls, etc.) so all I want to do is watch the FOOTBALL game. Finally I make the decision to just stay for the end of the game and chuck choir practice/evening church/church business meeting and then go home. Got home & took a 1 1/2 hour NAP – I was whipped!

Today is the ‘annual’ (both sides) Mammogram – you know the drill, ladies: this is where I get up on my soapbox and urge you STRONGLY to go get your Mammograms. Bottom line: if I hadn’t done that five years ago who knows what would have happened – I’m quickly approaching the 5-year mark for being breast cancer FREE-YES, a routine mammogram caught the 3 tumors. They were very small and very close to my rib wall (in fact, had the first surgery not come back with what they call a ‘dirty margin’ – means there might be more cancer cells in the area – I might be still carrying cancer in my body.) I praise the LORD that my 5 year anniversary is quickly coming up – not sure, exactly, when the oncologist (my main cancer doctor) declares me Cancer Free – it could be December or January – I’ll have to find out then. I do know, looking back, it was 4 days ago 5 years ago that I had my first cancer surgery (then another one 2 weeks later). MAMMOGRAMS CAN SAVE LIVES! Please go get yours – we want to see you around to enjoy your life!


Layered Peanut Butter Dessert Dip

1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. Marshmallow creme (Kraft)
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. coconut, toasted
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted/
2 T. cocktail peanuts

Optional ‘dippers’:
sliced fruit, vanilla cookies, graham

Spread peanut butter onto bottom of
8 inch pie plate. Mix marshmallow
creme & Cool Whip until blended;
spread over peanut butter. Top with
remaining ingredients.
Makes 16 (2 T. ea) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken & Carrots

4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
1 lb. carrots, washed/peeled
2 T. butter
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. jarred minced garlic
pinch red pepper flakes

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high
heat. Add chicken, skin sides down, &
let brown 5-6 minutes until golden
brown. Flip & brown 2-3 minutes on
other side. Whisk vinegar, honey,
salt, cilantro, garlic & red pepper flakes
together. Place chicken & whole carrots
in crockpot – pour balsamic mixture
over top. Cover & cook on High 3-4
hours or Low 6-8 hours. Serves 4


Baked Steak with Gravy

1 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6-8 beef cube steaks
1 tsp. butter
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans golden
mushroom soup
2 1/2 C. water
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms,

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Mix flour, salt & pepper in a
shallow pie pan. Dredge steaks in
mixture. Melt butter in a skillet
over medium heat; add steaks &
brown on both sides. Arrange
steaks in a lightly greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Combine soup, water
& mushrooms – pour over steaks.
Cover with foil & bake 45-50
minutes. Remove foil, bake an
additional 15 minutes. Serves 6-8


Country Potato Bake

1 lb. pkg. frozen shredded
hash browns
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. margarine, melted
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread hashbrowns evenly in lightly
sprayed 9 X 13″ baking dish. Mix
soup, sour cream & marg. together
& pour over top. Sprinkle top with
cheese, bacon & onions. Cover with
foil & bake 45 minutes. Serves 12


Three-Bean Salad

1 (16 oz) can green beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can yellow beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans rinsed/
1 onion, sliced
3/4 C. sugar
2/3 C. vinegar
1/3 C. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Mix beans & onion together in
bowl. Combine remaining ingredients
in a saucepan & heat until sugar
dissolves – pour over beans.
Refrigerate at least 12 hours prior
to serving. Serves 12


Zippy Zucchini Pasta

1 (7 oz) pkg. angel hair pasta or
thin spaghetti
2 small zucchini, cut into
1/4″ pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican diced
tomatoes, undrained
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 – 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large skillet saute
zucchini & garlic in oil until
zucchini is crisp-tender. Add
tomatoes, parsley, oregano & pepper
flakes; heat through. Drain pasta,
serve with zucchini mixture.
Serves 3


Amish Apple Dessert

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. milk (divided into 1/2 C.
and 3/4 C.)
5-6 C. peeled/cored/sliced apples
(about 10) place in water with a
little lemon juice to prevent browning)
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″, or 9 X 9″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Mix flour,
baking powder, salt & 1/2 C. milk
in small bowl. (dough will be quite
soft). Take half of dough & roll out
onto a flour-dusted surface until it
is the size of the bottom of the
pan you are using. Carefully transfer
dough to pan – use your fingers to
form dough to cover bottom of pan.
Whisk eggs & 3/4 C. milk. Drain apples
& place them evenly over dough in pan –
sprinkle with cinnamon & 3/4 C. sugar.
Roll out remaining dough large enough
to mostly cover apples in pan. Pour
egg/milk mixture over apples. Carefully
place rolled dough on top – you do not
need to seal it to edges. Bake 45 minutes
until apples are soft & custard is set.


Haven’t received my ‘driving times’ for this week
yet (grandson transport). All is well with oldest
son & his girlfriend (after her roll-over car
accident) – she’s still a little bruised, but she &
baby are fine. Middle son is settling into his new
job as front desk clerk at Hilton – he said it’s either
really slow or really hectic but he’s getting used to
it. Other than that, this week is looking up –
tomorrow is knit/crochet night, Weds. is my
usual special needs group and coming up Saturday
is a Moms-to-Moms sale! I’ve never been to one
before but I’m told they are very ‘grandma’
friendly – I’m looking for some good prices on
a used Pack ‘n Play, maybe a changing table and
a high chair – we’ll see what happens (I’m
EXCITED! BABY shopping – YAY!)

Have a GREAT week!



PS: We’re almost into Fall weather – I had to wear
long pants and a sweater this morning – it was really
CHILLY! 68 degrees F. ; supposed to warm up into the
70’s later today – YAY!

Back ‘At It’ Again!


Finally starting to feel like my ‘old’ self – a little more energy (but not much). Went to doctors yesterday (had to wait 1 1/2 hours in waiting room -sigh). Husband & I went together – same room. After being checked the decision was it looks like we both have VIRAL infections but, just to be careful, he put us both on a Z-pack & Flonase (general coverage antibiotic & nose spray for the congestion). I ended up going to Knit Night & did ‘ok’ – but left an hour early (just started to feel really worn out).

Today was my regular check up with my cancer Radiologist: he’s very happy with the way things are going – mammogram in September and if all’s good – my last visit in December will be the 5 YEAR MARK!

Dropped off five baby blankets for Crisis Pregnancy Center (didn’t get the red & white striped one done in time – guess that will start the ‘next’ batch for delivery, right?).


Sausage Breakfast Casserole
overnight recipe)

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. milk
6 slices white bread, toasted/cut
into cubes
8 oz. mild Cheddar cheese, shredded

Crumble sausage in medium skillet, cook
over medium heat until evenly brown; drain.
Mix eggs, salt & mustard in medium bowl;
add sausage, bread cubes & cheese; stir to
coat evenly. Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & pour mixture into dish.
Cover with foil & chill 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole 45-60 minutes. Uncover &
reduce temp. to 325 degrees. Bake an
additional 30 minutes until set.


Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. seasoned or plain bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. (Simply Asian) sweet ginger &
garlic seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. corn starch
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 (10 oz) bottle sweet & sour sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. (Simply Asian) sweet ginger-
garlic seasoning (or similar)
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced thin
1 small onion, cut into chunks
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in juice,
reserve juice for sauce

Cooked brown or white rice for 4

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all meatball ingredients
together. Using a small cookie scoop, form
meatballs. Place meatballs on large baking
sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
25 minutes; drain grease & place meatballs
on paper towels.
In medium bowl mix brown sugar & cornstarch.
Add soy sauce, sweet & sour sauce, minced
garlic, Simply Asian seasoning & pineapple
juice; mix to combine. In 9 X 13″ baking dish
add meatballs, onion, green peppers, carrots
& pineapple chunks; pour sauce over all &
bake 20-25 minutes until sauce starts to
thicken. Serve over cooked brown or white
rice. Serves 4

NOTE: You can freeze the meatballs before
baking (to bake later). Once you have formed
the meatballs, place them on a large sheet
& flash-freeze them one hour. Remove from
freezer & place meatballs in large freezer bag.
Date the bag & freeze. (flash-freezing prevents
them from sticking together in bag).

(recipe: mommy’s kitchen)

Chicken/Cauliflower/Rice Casserole

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 head cauliflower
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 (10 oz, ea) bags fresh spinach
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 C. chicken broth
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Trim inner core of cauliflower & break
into florets; transfer to food processor,
filling processor only 3/4 th full. Pulse
in 1-second pulses until cauliflower has
broken down into rice-sized granules.
Transfer mixture to bowl & repeat with
remaining cauliflower. Squeeze mixture
in a dry, clean dishcloth to remove excess
liquid then transfer to a 9 X 13″ baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Season
chicken with 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper.
In a skillet heat 1 T. oil over medium-high
heat. Saute chicken 7-8 minutes per side.
Transfer to cutting board to cool – when cool
enough to handle, shred into bite-sized
pieces & add to cauliflower ‘rice’ in dish.
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In same skillet heat remaining 1 T. oil & add
onion; saute 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms
& saute about 5 minutes. Add spinach in
batches & cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
Season with 1/4 tsp. salt & 1/8 tsp. pepper.
Remove from heat & transfer to baking dish.
Whisk together chicken broth, coconut milk,
eggs, nutmeg & remaining salt/pepper. Pour
mixture over chicken & vegetables. Bake
45-50 minutes until egg mixture is set & a
toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Remove from oven & let cool
5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 6


Southwest Turkey Soup

1 lb. ground turkey
1 T. olive oil
2 (16 oz, ea) cans kidney beans,
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. frozen corn
1 C. salsa
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1-2 T. chili powder

sour cream & minced fresh cilantro,
for serving

In Dutch oven cook turkey in oil over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink; drain. Add beans, broth, corn,
salsa, chilies & chili powder; bring to
boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
10-15 minutes to allow flavors to
blend. Serve with sour cream &
cilantro, if desired. Serves 6
(2 quarts)

Freezer option:
Before adding sour cream & cilantro,
cool soup. Freeze soup in freezer
containers up to 3 months. To use,
partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Heat through in a saucepan, stirring
occasionally & adding a bit of broth or
water if necessary.


Hamburger Pie w/Garlic Mashed

5 medium potatoes
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (16 oz) can green beans,
1 (10.75 oz) can tomato soup
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms
1/2 C. milk
1 egg, beaten
4 cloves garlic, crushed/chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Spray a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish
with nonstick spray.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel, cube & cook potatoes & garlic
in large pot of water until tender; drain.
While potatoes are cooking, brown
ground beef, mushrooms & onion;
cook until hamburger is no longer
pink & onion is tender; drain.
In large bowl combine cooked
hamburger mixture, tomato soup
(undiluted) & green beans; transfer
to prepared dish. Using potato
masher or elec. mixer, combine
milk, pepper, egg, salt; mash the
potatoes. Using a spoon, place
mashed potatoes on top of
casserole & top with cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until potato
edges start to brown. Serves 4


Caramel-Glazed Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. Greek plain yogurt
1/2 C. caramel dip (for using on ice cream)
2 apples, peeled/cored, chopped

1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Glaze:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/8 C. caramel dip (or 2 T.)
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease or spray 9 X 9″ baking pan
(you can use an 8 X 8″ if you want
a thicker cake – if using 8 X 8, bake
an extra 10-15 minutes)

In a bowl whisk all DRY streusel
ingredients then add melted butter &
vanilla; stir until mixture becomes
crumbly & moist.

In large bowl cream butter & honey 2
minutes. Add eggs & beat well, then add
Greek yogurt & vanilla; continue beating
until combined. In another bowl stir flour,
baking soda, salt & baking powder; add to
butter mixture, stir until just combined.
Spread half batter on bottom of pan.
(Layer will be very, very thin but will rise
in oven). Place 2/3 rds of apple chunks
evenly over batter, then spoon 1/2 C.
caramel dip over apples (warming dip
in microwave makes it easier). Sprinkle
1 C. streusel over caramel & apples. Spread
remaining batter over streusel using a butter
knife as best you can. Add rest of apples &
sprinkle remaining streusel on top. Bake
35-40 minutes. Let cool on baking rack in

Caramel Glaze:
After cake has cooled, whisk powdered sugar,
caramel dip & milk until well mixed. Put in
microwave 30 seconds then drizzle over cake.

(recipe: Kim


Today is another ‘spring-like’ day – sometimes
sunny, SUPER windy, bits of quick rain – just
like our Springs! Beginning to see little green
sprouts all over which means pretty soon
we’ll be seeing hyacinth, crocus, daffodils
narcissus and tulips  – YAY! I think Spring
is my biggest favorite for seasons – every-
thing is brand new!

Stay healthy and try to enjoy a little of
this new weather/sunshine while you can!



If you think about it –


we are ALL blessed in some way. Today was my 6 month check up visit to my oncologist (cancer doctor) – I got a good bill of health. While I was there waiting to pay my bill there was an older woman sitting in a chair with her head down. Through the door came the Social Worker (I know her) and she stopped to give me a hug. Right after that the ladies in billing said to her: “We’ve been trying to reach you – we want you to meet …(lady in chair)”. When the social worker greeted her she began telling why she was there. Apparently she was given a ‘cancer-free’ a year ago and now the cancers returned very close to where she had it before. The social worker is a lovely lady who began to try to encourage this woman (I just stood and prayed silently for the lady in the chair.) Later on in my shopping trip I was sitting in the ‘waiting’ area at my local pharmacy to get the rest of my prescription (when I was there yesterday they only had 2 tablets and I needed 14, so they told me to return today). While there a younger man came in to the “Drop Off Orders” area and began chatting with the ladies behind the desk. He said he’s in a GREAT mood and his mood is all a state of mind. I know what he means. He began telling them that a little over a year ago there was a hot water heater explosion at his house (2 streets over from me!) and they had to move. They moved to a ‘not so good’ area and 2 months ago a drug/gang leader came to ‘repay’ the drug person they THOUGHT lived there still and fire bombed his house! (the drug guy had moved 2 months earlier!). I can’t imagine going through that kind of thing TWICE in a few months time and yet HE WAS A SUPER CHEERFUL PERSON! That’s what I mean by we are ALL blessed in some way. He could have turned really bitter after that – he chose to make the best of a bad deal. The lady with the returning cancer could do the same – I heard her say “I’m not ready to check-out yet; I’m going to fight this through.” Sometimes it’s “mind over matter”. I praise the Lord that I had a very mild bout with cancer – today my doctor told me I have a 16% chance of another cancer coming back and that I was VERY HEALTHY – made me feel good. I live my life a day at a time – there’s a Bible verse that says: “Sufficient for the day are the evils thereof.” That means: don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow, deal with the trouble today and start over tomorrow. If I have learned anything at all throughout this cancer battle it’s this: The Lord knew all about the fact that I would get cancer, how I would handle it and how I would fare after – He’s carried me through it all and I KNOW He will be there for me EVERY DAY until this life is over. To quote the entire verse from above:

Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”



Pumpkin Bread

2 C. canned pumpkin
3 C. sugar
1 C. vegetable oil
2/3 C. water
4 eggs
3 1/2 C. flour
2 T. baking soda*
1/2 T. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. nutmeg
1/2 T. ginger powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 9 X 5″ or
8 X 4″ loaf pans. Blend first
5 ingredients (pumpkin, sugar,
oil, water, eggs) beat 1 minute
on medium. Add remaining
ingredients (flour, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
blend on Low speed until
moistened. Beat 1 minute on
medium speed. Pour into pans
& bake 60-70  minutes.
Makes 2 loaves.

*Make sure to sprinkle baking soda
evenly when you add it to batter.

Bacon Appetizers

1 sleeve club-style crackers
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. thinly sliced bacon

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Lay crackers face up on a large
rack over a baking sheet or broiler
pan. Scoop about 1 tsp. grated
Parm. onto each cracker. Cut the
package of bacon in half (or cut
bacon pieces individually) &
carefully (so cheese doesn’t fall
off) wrap each cheese-covered
cracker with 1/2 piece of bacon,
completely covering the cracker –
it should fit snugly around cracker
but not be pulled too taut. Place
on rack, place baking sheet in
oven for 2 hours. Serve immediately
or at room temperature.
Makes 36 crackers


Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake

2 C. flour (more for dusting pan)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T. unsalted butter, softened at
room temp
1 1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs, room temp.
1 C. plain yogurt
1/2 C. fresh cranberries, chopped

1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. cold unsalted butter,
cut into 4 pieces
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 C. fresh cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease & flour a 9″ square
baking pan.
In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, baking soda, nutmeg & salt
until blended. Using elec. mixer,
beat butter, sugar & vanilla on medium
speed until well blended, 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to Medium-low & add
eggs, one at a time, mixing until just
incorporated. Using a wide spatula,
fold flour mixture & yogurt into butter
mixture, beginning & ending with flour
mixture. Add cranberries with last
addition of flour. Scrape batter into
pan & spread evenly. Tap pan gently
on counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake 40 minutes.

Combine brown sugar, flour & cinnamon
in a medium bowl. Add butter & mix, using
a fork, until ingredients are well blended
& form small crumbs. Stir in walnuts &
cranberries. After cake has baked 40
minutes, sprinkle streusel evenly over top
of cake. Continue baking another 10-15
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Cool in pan
on wire rack until warm or room temp.
Cut into squares & serve.


Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

10 oz. fresh or frozen whole cranberries
(about 2 1/2 C.)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. frozen blueberries

In heavy saucepan combine sugars, water,
orange juice, cinnamon & nutmeg; bring to
boil over medium-high heat. Add cranberries
& adjust heat to achieve a low boil. After
several minutes you will start to hear the
cranberries pop – IF they are splattering you,
the heat is too high. Adjust heat to achieve
a gentle but steady boil. After popping
noises stop, set timer for 5 minutes. Mixture
should begin to foam as it bubbles. After
5 minutes add blueberries & cook for
another 5 minutes. Remove from heat –
mixture will thicken as it cools. Once it’s
cooled completely, store, covered, in
refrigerator until ready to serve.


Thanksgiving Veggie Casserole

1/2 C. margarine, divided
2 C. chopped onions
3/4 C. panko bread crumbs
8 C. cooked mixed vegetables
(broccoli/cauliflower/red pepper/
and, or green beans)
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt 1/4 C. margarine over medium-
high heat in large skillet & cook onion,
stirring occasionally, until golden brown,
about 8 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs &
cook until lightly toasted, stirring
occasionally, about 2 minutes – remove
to bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 C. margarine
in skillet & add vegetables; toss to coat.
Pour half into shallow 2 qt. baking dish.
Sprinkle with half of cheese & half crumb
mixture – repeat with remaining ingredi-
ients. Bake until heated through & cheese
is melted, about 25 minutes. Serves 12

Note; thawed frozen vegetables or canned
vegetables can be used instead of fresh


Spice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes &

1/4 C. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 medium Granny Smith apples,
peeled/cored/cut into 1 inch wedges
3 sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into 1
inch wedges

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine margarine, pumpkin pie
spice & pepper in small bowl. Toss
apples with 1 T. marg. mixture in
small bowl. Toss potatoes with
remaining mixture & spread onto
baking sheet in single layer. Bake
10 minutes then stir in apple
mixture & bake, stirring once,
halfway through, an additional
25 minutes until potatoes & apples
are tender. Gently toss before
serving. Serves 6


Crockpot Honey Glazed Ham

1 (7-10 lb.) fully cooked bone-in
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. honey
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
3/4 C. apple juice

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Remove
skin & excess fat from ham. Make
surface cuts in ham about an inch
apart & 1/4 inch deep in a diamond
patter on top of ham; place ham in
crockpot. In a bowl combine brown
sugar, honey, mustard, & apple
juice; whisk until just incorporated
then brush over ham. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours. If ham is too large
& you can’t close with a lid, use foil
to make a tent over ham. Cover with
a kitchen towel & cook. Serves 10-12


Twice Baked Potato Casserole

6 baking potatoes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. butter, softened
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 C. milk, warmed
1/2 C. sour cream
5 green onions, finely chopped/

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Wash potatoes & pierce skins with
a fork. Bake 1 hour in oven, until
tender. Slice potatoes in half &
scoop out pulp into a bowl. Add
salt, pepper, butter & 1 C. cheese –
mash & beat well. Add milk; beat
until fluffy & cheese is melted. Stir
in sour cream & half of onions. Spoon
mixture into a lightly greased 9″ X 9″
baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese & onions.
Reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees F.
Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes until
heated through & cheese is melted.
Serves 6-8


Cranberry-Pecan Brie

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 (8 oz) round Brie cheese
3 T. whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 T. chopped pecans
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick spray. Unroll dough &
press perforations together to seal.
Slice Brie in half horizontally & place
bottom half in center of dough. Spread
cranberry sauce over cut side, sprinkle
with pecans & replace top of Brie. Bring
dough up over top of Brie, pressing
dough firmly to seal. Place, seam side
down, on baking sheet & brush with
beaten egg. Bake 25-30 minutes until
golden brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes
before serving – serve warm. Serves 6



Right now I’m relaxing after a very busy
day earlier. Started out at the doctors at
10 a.m., perused their used book sales
(bought 13 books at .50 cents each!),
stopped at the Salvation Army & bought
about 4 very nice sweater vests (for church),
a skirt, t-shirt for husband, 2 little balls of yarn
for baby hats, 1 really fancy (usually runs about
$7.00 a skein) yarn for .99 cents (score!) – will
use that one along with a plain cream or white
yarn for a scarf, a cute snowman ceramic pin
for my winter church coat AND a little snow-
people plaque. The plaque has 3 little snow-
people on it – I have 3 of the same kind (not
on a plaque) – they are ADORABLE and I’ve
tried to find where to purchase more, but
to no avail. I was given one years ago as
a present, then acquired 2 more at a
garage sale; I tried looking up the information
on the bottom of them, but no luck. I was
super-thrilled to see this little grouping. The
white sticker on the top said: $3.99 BUT on
the bottom, written in ink was $34.99! When
I took it up front & mentioned the difference
in price she said “It’s $3.99!” YAY! I’m guessing
the original price WAS the $34. one. They
are made of resin and each one has a very
unique personality – the one’s I have are
a lady iceskater, a lady dressed up (like for
church) and a man/snowman – these will
make a very nice addition to the grouping!
(Hopefully I’ll remember to take a photo of
the whole group – all 6 of them); they all
go on the windowsill in the kitchen.
Oh – after leaving Salvation Army I went to
get gas ($1.99/9!!!), to the dollar store,
to the grocery store and finally to the
drug store to pick up the 12 pills – LOOONG
morning – SO glad I’m home, rested, filled
with left-over pizza and Greek salad and
sitting here writing you.
OH – almost forgot – I’m on the final run
of finishing the gray men’s scarf for the
homeless – should be done by this
evening and able to drop it off at church
tomorrow night for my special needs
group’s Gym Night – YAY! Sorta/kinda
considering making ONE more scarf –
we’ll see how my energy levels are on
that one.

Hope you are having a GREAT day – able
to take a little break, rest up/ eat or drink
something that relaxes you and are able
to find SOMETHING to be grateful for –
if no more than you are still on ‘this’
side of the grass. Daily we are loaded with



Deliveries (almost) Complete!


This is the latest baby blanket (#3)  & hat for

Crisis Pregnancy Center

Today was my check up at the Radiologist (mammogram came back clear – YAY!). The doctor said it will be 4 years cancer-free this coming November; still have to have 6 month check ups until we reach the ‘goal’ of 5 years, but that’s OK. I had planned on delivering the above items but it turns out I got some false information – the Crisis Pregnancy Center lady is NOT located across the parking lot from my cancer center so tomorrow is the delivery in a parking lot of a restaurant – works for me! Delivered 1 chemo cap and the four lap blankets (made from the ‘bonus’ Ghana Project squares I received last month) – now I’m back to my ‘usual’ knitting/crochet: baby hats for the hospital, scarves for the homeless shelters and now the baby blankets/hats for Crisis Pregnancy. I started another blanket a few days ago after knitting the above blanket using two thin strands of yarn. I began rooting through my ‘stash’ (I have 3 garbage bagfuls of baby yarns of all sorts) and found quite a few small skeins of really fine “Baby weight/Sport weight” yarns so now I’m doing a blanket in 5 colors (pink, blue, mint green, pale yellow and lavender) – each skein of color is also mixed with white making a very pale color. I’m crocheting them into squares (I’ve done some like this before but it’s been awhile – actually had to go on line to get ‘started’ on how to make these squares) – I’m planning 5 squares of each color – we’ll see, I might decide to do a few more, as 5 X 5 = 25 which will make a SQUARE blanket and I prefer rectangles – all depends on my ‘mood’ when I get those done, I guess.


This is the square pattern I’m using (above is a blanket from a few years ago)


Caramel Apple Dump Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans apple pie filling*
1 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. caramel ice cream sauce
(whipped cream, optional topper)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix pie filling
& caramel sauce; spread evenly
in bottom of pan. Sprinkle dry
cake mix over top, spread evenly
then drizzle top with melted butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until top is
golden brown & filling is bubbly
around edges. Top with whipped

*can also use cherry, blueberry,
peach, etc.

(recipe: Recipe-Galore)

Savory Onion Chicken

1/4 C. flour, divided
1 broiler/fryer chicken
(3-4 lb) cut up & skin removed
2 T. olive oil
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) bottle beer

Place 2 T. flour in large ziplock bag.
Add chicken, a few pieces at a time &
shake to coat. In large skillet brown
chicken on all sides; remove & keep
warm. Add soup mix & remaining flour,
stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.
Gradually whisk in beer; bring to a boil &
cook, stirring, 2 minutes until thickened.
Return chicken to pan & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer 12-15
minutes until juices run clear. Makes 6


One-Pot Pork Chops & Gravy

4-6 pork chops
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved then sliced
into rings
3 T. flour
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

Cooked mashed potatoes or rice

Season both sides of chops with salt,
pepper, garlic & oregano. Heat oil in
skillet on medium-high heat until hot.
Sear chops in pan on each side approx.
3 minutes per side until nicely browned.
Remove from pan. Add onions to hot pan,
season with salt & pepper; saute 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium then add flour to
the onions. Stir to coat onions & continue
cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slowly add chicken broth & stir until smooth
and mixture begins to thicken. Taste for
seasoning & add salt/pepper, if necessary.
Reduce heat to Low, add chops back to pan.
Cover & cook 30 minutes – 60 minutes.(You
want to see a slight simmer – turn heat up
a little if you need to). The longer you cook
it, the more tender the chops will be. Do
not let them boil – keep it to a simmer.
Serve over cooked potatoes or rice.

Cheesy Texas Hash

4 Idaho potatoes, peeled/diced into
1″ chunks
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
2 chipotle peppers, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tsp. creole seasoning or seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated

sour cream, for topping

In medium pot add potatoes; cover with
cold water & boil 5 minutes; drain. In
meidum skillet add 1 T. olive oil; heat
over medium heat. Add bacon & cook
until crispy; drain & set aside. Reserve
2 T. bacon grease – add onion, jalapenos,
chipotle & saute 5 minutes. Add garlic
& saute 1 minute more. Add sausage &
cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add
potatoes & all spices to pan. Mix well &
cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat broiler.
Add bacon & half of green onions to pan.
Top with cheese & place under broiler 3-4
minutes until cheese melts. Remove from
oven & sprinkle top with remaining green
onions. Serve with sour cream. Serves 4


Campanelle with Spinach & Bacon
(campanelle is a type of pasta)

1 lb. campanelle pasta, uncooked
12 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs. fresh baby spinach leaves
1 C. (Kraft) Italian 5-cheese blend cheese

Cook pasta in large deep skillet or Dutch
oven as directed on pkg., omitting salt.
Cook & stir bacon until crisp; remove from
skillet using slotted spoon & drain bacon
on paper towels. Discard all but about
2 T. drippings. Whisk reserved drippings
with salad dressing until blended. Drain
pasta & return to pan. Add dressing mixture,
bacon, spinach & cheese; mix lightly.
Serves 8 (1 1/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Sliced Baked Potatoes

4-5 potatoes
4 T. butter, melted
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 c. grated cheese, your choice
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

sour cream (for topping)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice potatoes about 1/4″ thick &
brush both sides of potato slices
with butter; place them on a cookie
sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes until
lightly browned on both sides,
turning once. When potatoes
are cooked, top with bacon,
cheese, green onion; continue
baking until cheese has melted.
Serve with sour cream

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 C. chicken, cooked/shredded
2 (10 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
with green chilies
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
4 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. heavy cream
4 corn tortillas cut in half then
into 1/2 inch slices

sour cream
shredded cheese (your choice)
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over
medium heat. Add onion – cook 2-3
minutes; stir in garlic, cook 1 more
minute & season with salt/pepper.
Add cooked chicken, diced tomatoes,
tomato sauce, black beans, chicken
stock & heavy cream. Stir to combine &
bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer
15-20 minutes. Add tortilla strips &
serve with favorite toppings.
Serves 6-8


Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

1 C. chocolate chips
your favorite chocolate chip cookie

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a muffin tin
Prepare cookie dough accordg. to
your favorite recipe. Scoop 2 T.
cookie dough into each muffin tin
cup. Melt the cup of choc. chips &
spoon a layer of melted chocolate
over each of the cookies. Scoop
1 T. cookie dough over melted
chocolate, covering completely.
Bake 15-20 minutes until golden
brown. Let cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)
Our weather is improving a bit since the
weekend – it’s a ‘little’ warmer. The days
are starting to get a little cooler – starting
around the 60’s – right now it’s almost
80 and it’s 6:30 p.m.! Goofy – I hear lots
of people saying “I just LOVE this cooler
weather!”; all I can think is: “I MISS the
WARMER weather – we’ll be getting
COOL very soon!”

Our gas prices are staying low – they jumped
up just a bit over the weekend; they were
$2.15/9 and now they’re $2.19/9 – not a big
jump but I’m still hovering at 1/2 tank so as
long as they stay in that range, we’re good.

This is another kind of busy week: today was
the doctor and deliveries, tomorrow is the
other blanket delivery and Knit Night. Weds.
is special needs group, Thurs (so far) is free –
that I know of, Friday is Gym Night for special
needs group. Still haven’t heard of the Fall
school schedule for grandson – we haven’t
seen him in over a week; almost afraid to
stick my neck out for fear of getting dumped
on with lots of ‘grandson sitting’ dates – we’ll

Right now I’m awaiting our dinner – there’s a
big meatloaf in the oven and mashed potatoes
await ‘finishing’ – when I have several nights
where I’m away, I try to make up big meals
so that the guys have something in the fridge
when I’m gone. After tonight there will be
the meatloaf/mashed potatoes and last night’s
dinner leftovers: Polish sausage and mac & cheese
that should ‘keep them’ for a few – hopefully!

Hope you’re enjoying the changing weather;
I’m getting LOTS of Fall/Football party recipes –
lots of pumpkin recipes – stay tuned, they’re



It’s that time again!


Today was another bi-lateral (both sides) Mammogram; from what I could tell – it looks CLEAN! I have ONE MORE YEAR to go and it will be 5 years since diagnosis & surgery (5 years is the BIG GOAL for breast cancer survivors). The reason I’m posting this? As a REMINDER TO YOU: GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS REGULARLY – THEY CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE! No, I agree – it’s not fun (in my case it’s painful on the side that had the surgeries BUT IT’S NECESSARY! A little pain and it’s done and the alternative is MUCH WORSE! (I’ll step off my soapbox now . . . )

After my trip to get the above taken care of, I used the time to drop off the last batch of 50 baby hats to our local hospital (I’m a little ‘overdue’ in that part – was ‘going’ to do it about a month ago, just never got around to it.) Thinking over my knitting projects, for awhile I was considering perhaps dropping one of them – (1) Knit baby hats for local hospital (2) scarves for 4 homeless shelters (3) New project: baby afghans for Crisis Pregnancy center and then thought: I’m not on any SCHEDULE for any of them – each place receiving my items is glad to get them WHENEVER I deliver them so guess I’ll just keep knitting (keep hearing the song from “Finding Nemo” . . . Just keep swimming, just keep swimming (or, on my part: Just keep Knitting, Just keep Knitting!) hehehe


Apple Dessert Pizza

1 pizza crust
1 can pie filling*
1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. dark brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/2 stick margarine (1/4 C)
1 T. cinnamon

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place pizza crust on a baking sheet.
Open pie filling & dice it up a bit
while still in can; spread over pizza
crust. In small bowl mix flour, oats,
brown sugar & cinnamon. Cut margarine
into slices & cut into flour mixture using
a pastry cutter or two knives until
crumbly; sprinkle over pie filling. Bake
25 minutes until lightly brown. Top with

Place glaze ingredients in small bowl,
stir until smooth. (If needed, add a little
more milk if mixture is too thick). Drizzle
over top of pizza using a spoon.

*If you want to use fresh apples:
Peel & chop 2-3 C. of apples. Saute in
2 T. butter until tender; add a few
Tablespooons sugar if you like but keep
them a bit tart because the topping adds
a lot of sweetness. Continue with recipe.


Spinach-stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 (10 oz) pkg. fresh spinach leaves
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded Pepperjack cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
20 fresh mushrooms
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
pinch ground black pepper
8 slices bacon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place spinach in large glass bowl & heat
in microwave 3 minutes, stirring every
minute until wilted. Stir in sour cream,
Pepperjack cheese & garlic. Lay chicken
breasts on clean surface & spoon some
of spinach mixture onto each one. Roll
up to enclose spinach then wrap each
breast with 2 slices bacon; secure with
toothpicks & arrange in shallow baking
dish. Add fresh mushrooms to top &
bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, then
increase oven heat to 500 degrees F
(OR use oven broiler to cook an
additional 5-10 minutes to brown the
bacon. Serves 4


Fiesta Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops
1 (15 oz) can chili beans with
chili sauce
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 C. whole kernel corn
green chilies, to taste
3-4 C. rice, cooked

Layer all ingredients (except rice)
in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
5 hours or High 2 1/2 hours. Serve
over rice. Serves 6


Cinnamon Pie Crust

(use for apple or pumpkin pies)

2 C. flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. unsalted butter (1 1/2
sticks) or cold shortening, cut
into pieces
3-5 T. ice water

Mix flour, cinnamon & salt in large
bowl; cut in shortening with pastry
blender or 2 knives until mixture
resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add ice
water, a tablespoon at a time, tossing
dough with fork after each addition. Add
enough cold water so that dough comes
together. Gather dough into a ball; flatten
into a disk & wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate
10 minutes.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface from
center to edges into a 14 inch circle, about
1/8 inch thick. For easier rolling without
additional flour, place dough between 2
sheets waxed paper before rolling. Carefully
place pie crust on rolling pin & transfer to a
9 inch deep dish pie plate. If using waxed
paper, carefully peel back 1 sheet of paper &
flip crust into pie plate. Carefully peel off
remaining paper. Gently press crust onto
bottom & up sides of pan; trim crust so that
it extends 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan.
(reserve any remaining dough to make
pie crust decorations, if desired). Fold under
excess crust; flute the edges or press with
tines of a fork.

Double Crust:
Double ingredients; form dough into 2 discs,
one slightly larger than the other; use
larger disc to form bottom crust.

(recipe: Rhonda-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Summer Zucchini Salad

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)
1/2 C. sliced red onion
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Toss all ingredients together in
medium bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Serves 6


Creamy Chicken Chipotle Pasta

1 T. cooking oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into thin strips
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 C. egg noodles, uncooked*
1 T. finely chopped canned chipotle
peppers in adobo sauce
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat; add chicken & onions. Cook
& stir 5-7 minutes until chicken is done.
Add broth, mushrooms, Wors. sauce &
noodles. Stir & bring to boil. Cover &
simmer on medium-low heat 10-12
minutes until noodles are tender & only
a small amount of liquid remains. Stir
in peppers; cook, uncovered, 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat,
stir in sour cream. Serves 6 (1 1/4 C. ea)

*can substitute 2 C. uncooked instant
white rice for noodles. Follow directions,
cook 5 minutes, stir in peppers, cook 2
minutes, stirring occasionally, finish

(recipe: kraft recipes)


Lemon Yogurt Dip
(serve with fresh cut-up

2 C. vanilla yogurt
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. lemonade drink mix

Mix all ingredients together until
blended. Makes 16 servings,
2 T. each


Chewy Chocolate Cookies of Wonder

1/2 C. butter-flavored shortening
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. milk
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

Marshmallow filling:
12 large marshmallows,
cut in half

Chocolate Frosting:
1 C. butter
4 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 C. milk
4 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl place 1/2 C. shortening &
1 C. sugar; beat until well combined –
2 minutes. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla &
1/4 C. milk; mix until smooth. In
separate smaller bowl combine 1 3/4 C.
flour, 1/2 tsp. salat, 1/2 tsp. baking soda,
& 1/2 C. cocoa powder; Add dry
ingredients to creamed mixture & mix
just until combined. Spray a large
cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Use
an ice cream scoop to scoop dough into
1 1/2 inch balls & place on sheet. Bake
8 minutes.
Remove cookies from oven & press
one marshmallow ‘half’ in center of
each cookie – bake 2 minutes longer.
Remove from oven & allow to rest on
sheet about 3 minutes, then transfer
to cooling rack to cool completely.
Place 1 C. butter, 4 T. cocoa & 1/3 C.
milk in medium saucepan; bring to
boil over medium-high heat, stirring
continually. Place 4 C. powdered sugar
in large mixing bowl & pour hot
chocolate mixture over top; beat to
combine. As the frosting cools it will
set up more; frost tops of cookies.
Makes 24 cookies

NOTE: If you want, you can crush some
peppermint candies & sprinkle on top
of cookies.

(recipe: – her name
for this recipe is: Chocolate-Frosted
Marshmallow-stuffed Chewy Chocolate


Our weather today is a bit unpredictable:
82, hot/muggy but sunny! Looking at our
local weather report, looks like we’re in for
some thunderstorms later on and into
tomorrow, also. The GOOD part? I don’t
have Knit Night nor my special needs
group this week so I’m free to STAY HOME!
Still plugging away at the newest baby
blanket – I actually LIKE this pattern-
2 rows are just straight KNIT, one row
PURL and one pattern row – not a
hard one to follow! YAY!

Hope you have a good day today –
for those of you with school-age
children – ENJOY some YOU TIME!