Shopping, Shopping!


Today was another ‘lots of errands’ day – first: 6 month check-up with Oncologist (cancer) doctor – had a great chat, all’s good there. While going through the ‘regular’ stuff (blood pressure/temperature, etc.) I get a call from my husband: “When you get done there would you stop at ACE Hardware and pick up a SUMP PUMP?” OK – told my doctor about the call and he said: “Let’s see: Eggs, loaf of bread and a sump pump – check!” So true! Was a bit shocked at a few price jumps: eggs (large – 1 dozen) have gone from what was about $1.35 to over $2.00, sliced fresh mushrooms were around $1.25 a box, now $1.99, and there were a few other surprises while grocery shopping. Local gas station WAS $2.86/9 a few days ago (when I DIDN’T need gas) to $2.96/9 today (when I DO need it – isn’t it always the way?). I think we’re now ‘officially’ ready for the holiday: groceries are all purchased (YAY!); bought the multi-flavors cheesecake AND a pumpkin pie (for my husband). Oldest son (the chef) called today to tell me he’s bringing a Kale salad which is famous at their restaurant: something about candied pecans, dried cranberries – he had me at the nuts! I told him that’s just great because I ‘was’ thinking about a salad, but then dumped it, as my salads are not very ‘interesting’ – now he saved the day!  Was happy that I chose today to finish up the grocery shopping – went to Krogers and they were NOT busy (at around 11:45 a.m.); Gordon Food Services was (as expected) pretty busy but I’m SURE they will be a LOT more busy tomorrow – they are a wholesale/retail grocery with all kinds of great items to chose from. Also bought a new lighted Christmas wreath while at the hardware store – our old one is just a tad ‘too old’ for my liking.


5-Minute Homemade Brown Gravy

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. onion powder
2 C. water
4 tsp. beef bouillon granules

Combine water & bouillon in glass
measuring cup. Heat in microwave
1 minute at a time, until steaming
hot. Melt butter in medium saucepan
over medium heat. Add flour & onion
powder; whisk together. Allow to cook
1 minute, whisking occasionally (this
helps cook out the ‘floury’ taste). Add
beef broth mixture to flour mixture &
whisk. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer
1  minute. Makes about 2 C.


Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

2 C. sugar, divided
1 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. molasses
2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1/3 C. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine 1 1/2 C. sugar, butter & molasses in
a bowl. Using elec. mixer, beat on medium speed
until creamy. Add flour, baking soda & 1 tsp. pie
spice; beat on low until mixed. Reserve 3/4 C. mixture
into a bowl; add oats & mix well – set aside.
Press remaining mixture into an ungreased 15″ X 10″
jelly roll pan. In a bowl, combine pumpkin, remaining
1/2 C. sugar, cream cheese, vanilla & remaining
pie spice; beat until well mixed. Add eggs; beat until
smooth. Spread mixture over crust in pan; crumble
reserved oat mixture over top. Bake 25-30 minutes
until golden brown. Cool completely. Drizzle glaze
over cooled bars.


1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 – 2 tsp. Half & Half

Combine powdered sugar, butter & vanilla in bowl. Beat
with elec. mixer on medium speed, gradually adding
enough Half & Half for desired drizzling consistency.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

2 T. oil
1 C. chopped onion
2 small stalks celery, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
cubed (about 1 lb)
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 C. vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fresh thyme (more for garnish)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
cubed apples, for garnish

In Dutch oven saute celery & onion in
oil until tender; add remaining
ingredients( except apple) bring to
boil over medium heat. Reduce heat &
simmer 25-30 minutes until potatoes
are tender. Discard bay leaf & cinnamon
stick. Cool slightly, process in blender or
food processor until smooth. Return to
pan & heat through. Serve in bowls with
garnish. Serves 4


Cranberry Fluff

2 C. fresh cranberries, washed/
picked over
1/8 C. sugar
1 can cranberry sauce
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small can Tidbit or crushed
pineapple, drained
1/2 bag miniature marshmallows
1 C. toasted/chopped pecans

Place fresh cranberries in a large
ziplock bag & smash with a hammer.
Sprinkle sugar in bag & refrigerate
1 hour. About 1 hour before serving,
open can of cranberry sauce, pour
in a bowl & smash with a fork; add
fresh cranberries to bowl, pecans,
marshmallows, pineapple. Gently
fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate 1 hour
before serving.


Thanksgiving Dinner

in a Crockpot

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix (plus water &
butter to make stuffing – see box)
salt & pepper, to taste

Place frozen veggies in bottom of crockpot;
add chicken breast, frozen or thawed. Pour
soup on top. Prepare stuffing mix according
to pkg. directions; place stuffing on top of
soup layer. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or High 3-4 hours. Add salt & pepper, to
taste. Serves 6

Cranberry Bark


1 C. dried cranberries
1/3 C. chopped pecans,
3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white
chocolate, broken into
pieces & melted

Stir cranberries & nuts into
melted chocolate. Spread onto
waxed paper-covered baking
sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour then
break into pieces. Makes 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple/Cranberry/Pecan Stuffing

1 1/2 C. apple juice
2 T. butter or margarine
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 small apple, chopped
1/2 C. fresh cranberries (or dried)
1/4 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Bring juice & butter to a boil in medium
saucepan on High heat. Add stuffing mix
& fruit; mix lightly. Cover & remove from
heat. Let stand 5 minutes; stir in nuts.
Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)
Recipe can be doubled

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spicy Crab Spread

1 (8 oz) tub (Kraft) Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1 (6 oz) can lump crabmeat, drained/
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients until blended.
Serve with crackers, baked wonton
chips or fresh cut vegetables.
Serves 12 (2 T. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Citrus Ambrosia Salad

2 navel oranges, peeled, cut
cross-wise into thin slices
2 red grapefruits, peeled, cut
cross-wise into thin slices
4 clementine oranges, peeled,
cut cross-wise into thin slices
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. flake coconut, toasted**
1/2 C. pomegranate seeds
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. honey *
dash ground cloves

Arrange orange & grapefruit slices
alternately on a large plate. Top
with marshmallows, coconut &
pomegranate seeds. Mix remaining
ingredients & drizzle over fruit just
before serving. Serves 12

*can substitute orange juice for honey

**To toast coconut:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread coconut evenly on shallow
baking pan; bake 7-10 minutes or
until lightly browned, stirring
frequently. OR- spread in
microwaveable pie plate; microwave on
High 3 minutes until lightly browned,
stirring every minute. Watch, as coconut
can easily burn.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Roasted Butternut Squash &

1 1/2 lb. butternut squash
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
2 medium apples (Gala works well)
chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place squash in microwave for
3 minutes (helps cutting/peeling)
Slice bottom & top off squash.
Using a sharp vegetable peeler,
peel off all skin. Slice squash in
half (top to bottom) & scoop out
seeds & pulp strings. Lay each half
flat side down, on cutting board &
cut into strips then cut strips into
small chunks (try to make them as
uniform as possible). Spray 9″ X 13″
pan with nonstick spray; place cubes
in pan. Add 2 T. butter to microwave-
able bowl & melt in microwave. Add
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, salt &
smoked paprika; stir to combine &
pour over top of squash in pan –
stir to combine making sure all
cubes are coated with mixture.
Cover pan with foil & bake 20
minutes. Place cut apples in small
bowl & drizzle with balsamic vinegar,
maple syrup & brown sugar; stir to
combine. Carefully remove pan from
oven & unwrap foil. Stir in apple
mixture; return pan to oven. Bake,
uncovered, an additional 15 minutes
until apples & squash are soft. Serve
immediately. Serves 6

Autumn Chicken

2 large or 4 small chicken breasts
2 parsnips, peeled/chopped
2 carrots peeled/chopped
1 acorn squash
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth

Add parsnips & carrots to bottom of
crockpot. Place chicken on top & sprinkle
with garlic (minced or powder, your choice);
Pour broth on top. Cut acorn squash into
chunks & slice off skin. Place chunks on top
of chicken, then season with desired amounts
of salt, pepper & nutmeg. Drizzle enough honey
on top to lightly cover squash. Cover & cook
on Low 8-10 hours.


Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

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

Whipped cream for topping
pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tin cups with * cup
liners; spray cups with nonstick spray.
Mix pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs,
vanilla & milk. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice,
salt, baking powder, baking soda to mixture.
Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 C. mixture. Bake
20 minutes; let cool 20 minutes. Remove
cupcakes from pan & chill in fridge 30 minutes.
Top with whipped cream & sprinkle more
pumpkin pie spice on top. Makes 12 cupcakes.

NOTE: For this recipe, use either foil liners
sprayed with nonstick spray or just spray tins
with nonstick spray. PAPER cup liners make it
difficult to remove cupcakes from papers.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Our weather has been really windy with rain;
today while out running errands it stayed at
30 degrees (perfect “snow” temperature). As
long as it’s clear (no rain/snow) I’m happy; just
have to remember to bundle up – (just read
the Wind Chill for today: feels like 19 degrees F –
NO WONDER it felt so cold!

Stay warm and try to enjoy your day!





Friday Fun – sort of


First off, Radiology doctor check up – came out FINE! Double mammogram came out clear – THANK YOU, LORD! Good news – see him in 6 months just to ‘check in’ and next mammogram in A YEAR! YAY! Stopped at the local Salvation Army and found a really nice medium tan colored crocheted vest which will go really nicely with my brown skirt & cream colored long-sleeved turtle neck this winter; also got a pair of black dress slacks on 1/2 price – SCORE! More running to Office Max for printer cartridges, then to the Post Office for stamps for the special needs group newsletters I’m printing as I type! 65 copies this time; hopefully I’ll be able to get them all printed, stapled, folded, stuffed into the envelopes, stamped & ran to the Post Office before tonight. (being we’re going into a 3 day weekend, I’d like them to go out in tomorrow’s mail, if possible, as Sunday is the last day of this month!) Can you believe it – there went AUGUST! Sigh . . .

In my travels I noticed that gas prices jumped from $3.44/9 a few days ago to $3.66/9 today – NOT GOOD, as I only have half tank right now! Why did I think that they’d stay LOW for awhile? Silly me.

We’re still working on all the nice fresh produce I bought earlier in the week. Made Zucchini casserole with corn on the cob for dinner; yummy dinner (good thing the doctor didn’t ask for a blood test, as rice AND corn really spike my diabetic numbers!) Still working on leftovers – only have a chicken breast & 1 hash brown potato patty left – not bad! That might be my lunch, just to get them out of the fridge! Tonight will probably be a repeat of last night’s dinner, as I still have lots of casserole and 4 more ears of corn. Still up on the menu is BLT’s – with only two of us eating dinners, it takes much longer to gt it gone! (I shouldn’t complain – there are people who are going hungry, right?)


Glazed Strawberry Bars

2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla
instant pudding mix
3/4 C. milk
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry
Jell-O mix
2 T. cornstarch
1 C. water
4 C. fresh sliced strawberries*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour & baking soda.
Beat cream cheese, butter, 1
C. sugar & vanilla in large bowl
using elec. mixer until blended.
Gradually beat in flour mixture,
mixing well after each addition.
Press on bottom of 15 X 10 X 1
inch pan. Bake 15-17 minutes until
lightly browned; cool completely.
Beat pudding mix & milk in medium
bowl with whisk 2 minutes (pudding
will be thick). Stir in Cool Whip until
blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix dry Jell-o, cornstarch & remaining
sugar in medium saucepan. Gradually
stir in water & bring to boil on medium-
high heat, stirring constantly. Cook &
stir 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
Cool 10 minutes.
Spread pudding mixture over crust;
cover with strawberries. Drizzle with
Jell-O glaze. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Serves 36

*can substitute raspberries, blueberries
or kiwi

(recipe: kraft foods)

Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning
6 large flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 C. shredded taco cheese (or)
2-3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
4 oz. sour crem
jarred hot sauce, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown meat & onion, drain fat. Add
taco seasoning & stir in refried beans.
Mix soup & sour cream in separate
bowl. Spread half sour cream mixture
in bottom of a casserole dish. Tear up
3 tortillas & spread over sour cream
mixture. Put half meat/bean mixture
over top & add a layer of cheese. (you
could add hot sauce now if desired)
Repeat layers. Sprinkle cheese on
top & bake, uncovered, 20-30

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

 Watermelon Salad

4 C. watermelon, cubed
1 large cucumber, seeded/diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
8 pitted Kalamata olives,*
quartered (optional)

1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lime juice
zest of one lemon & one lime
1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 C. Greek or regular plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl;
refrigerate. Toss all other ingredients
together; keep chilled until ready to
serve, then gently fold in dressing.
Serves 6

*can substitute raisins or fresh blueberries
for olives.


Easy S’Mores Dip

1 1/2 C. milk chocolate chips
3 T. milk
5 1/3 C. miniature marshmallows
graham crackers, for dippers

Pour chocolate chips, milk & 1 1/3 C.
marshmallows in medium saucepan.
Heat over medium-high heat, stirring
constantly until melted; pour mixture
into a 9 inch pie plate; smooth surface.
Sprinkle remaining marshmallows in
plate over chocolate; place under
broiler until marshmallows are golden
brown – watch, as they can burn quickly!
Use graham crackers as dippers.
Serves 6-8


Cheesy Ranch Potatoes

2 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of potato soup
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing mix
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Place cleaned & quartered potatoes in
(2 qt) crockpot. In a bowl beat together
cream cheese, soup & salad dressing mix.
Stir in shredded cheese, pour over potatoes
in crockpot & stir. Cover & cook on Low 8
hours or until potates are tender. Serves 5


Beef & Broccoli – crockpot

2 lb. your favorite beef sliced thin*
2 C. beef broth
1 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
3 T. sesame seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. cornstarch
2-3 lb. broccoli florets

cooked rice

In small bowl combine broth,
soy sauce & brown sugar until
dissolved. Place beef in crockpot
& pour sauce over. Add sesame
seeds & minced garlic. Cook on
Low 6-8 hours. Mix cornstarch with
4 T. of liquid from crockpot in a bowl.
Stir well & add mix back into crockpot;
stir gently. Add room temperature
broccoli to crockpot & cook on High
40 minutes or until broccoli is cooked
through. Serve over cooked rice or
your favorite fried rice recipe.
Serves 8-10
*poster used round steak


Chinese Honey Garlic Chicken

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
salted & peppered, to taste
3 T. oil
1/2 C. corn starch

2 tsp. garlic
1/3 C. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or
white vinegar)
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. soy sauce
(optional: 1/2 tsp. crushed red
pepper flakes)

Corn starch slurry: 2 T. cold water
& 1 T. corn starch
(optional: chopped scallions, sesame
seeds, cooked white or brown rice,
or fried rice)

Heat oil in large pan or skillet over
medium heat. Toss chicken pieces in
corn starch; cook 6-8 minutes in pan,
stirring occasionally to ensure even
cooking until chicken is cooked
through & crisp on outside. In small
saucepan, whisk together all sauce
ingredients (except corn starch slurry).
Add to boiling sauce; reduce to simmer
& allow to cook 2-3 more minutes until
thick. Add sauce to chicken & stir to
coat. Serve with rice & optional items
listed above. Serves 4


Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 lb. pasta
3/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
3/4 C. sour cream
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1 C. shredded carrot
1/2 C. real bacon bits

Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; rinse with cold water
& drain well. In large bowl
combine all other ingredients;
stir in pasta & combine well.
Chill 2 hours before serving.


Cherry Fluff

2 cans cherry pie filling
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

In large bowl combine Cool Whip &
condensed milk until smooth. Mix
in cherry pie filling & drained
pineapple. Mix well, cover &
refrigerate 1 hour.

NOTE: also good with chopped
walnuts mixed in.


Zucchini Bars with Brown
Butter Frosting

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 C. shredded zucchini (about
3 medium)
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans

6 T. butter
6 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 – 10 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 15 X 10 X 1″ pan. In
medium bowl, add flour, baking
powder, salt & cinnamon; mix &
set aside.
In mixer bowl, add sugar, oil & eggs;
mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients
to wet ingredients until incorporated.
Stir in zucchini & chopped nuts; spread
evenly in pan – cook 30-40 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Let bars cool completely.

Heat medium saucepan to medium heat;
add butter & whisk until it turns brown. Add
powdered sugar, vanilla & milk; stir together
until smooth & spread over cooled bars.
Serves 24


Parmesan Bread Sticks

1 (1 lb) loaf French bread
3/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut bread loaf into 5 pieces, each
about 4 inches long. Cut each piece
lengthwise into 6 sticks. After brushing
sides with melted butter, sprinkle sticks
with Parmesan cheese & place on ungreased
jelly roll pan. Bake about 8 minutes, or until
golden brown.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spent the entire day yesterday playing
Rollercoaster Tycoon with my grandson;
we’re talking from around 8 a.m. until
almost 6 p.m. – the boy is insatiable!
We still have until Aug. 31st to see if
I won the 3-disc set on Ebay (so far
the bid is still $3.65 – my top bid is
$10, so I’m really hoping we get it
for the lower price!) He even asked me
if I would be playing it after he went
home! Love that boy – next Tuesday
he starts school, 3rd grade if I’m not
mistaken. His dad asked if he wanted to
be in flag football this year (yes) – that’s
GREAT! Last year he was in touch football
and it was too far away for us to go see
his games, so this will be great as it’s in
flag football is in our area.
Guess I’d better close here – having
all kinds of ‘fun’ with the printer – sometimes
I’m actually able to print the entire 65
copies with NO TROUBLE, but then there
are other times (like now) when I keep
getting “Paper Jam” – ugh!!! (It must
know I’m not paying full attention to
the printing!)

Enjoy your day;



PS: the weather is still very UN-August like: right now it’s 69 and chilly, overcast. Where did our summer go!???

Got my Runnin’ shoes on!


It’s Monday and it’s also ‘lots of places to go’ day! Just got home from 7 various jaunts: Bank, Walgreen’s, Library, Fruit/Veg. stand, Gordon Foods, CVS and Huron Foods. I’m SO glad my dear husband has me call ahead – he lugs the groceries, etc. from the car to the house for me. Sometimes I think just doing that after all the running around is pretty exhausting (let alone putting away all the stuff, too!). I’m sitting here nice & comfy sipping a big, tall glass of ice water and feeling the antioxidants just coursing through my body. At Gordon Foods they had a really big box of fresh blueberries for $1.69 – been eating handfuls of them. Today was a sort of ‘wake up’ call: remember you need to eat HEALTHY! Got fresh strawberries, a cantauloupe, corn on the cob, some gorgeous tomatoes for BLT’s, some zucchini for Zucchini Casserole, the fixin’s for coleslaw (for some reason, this summer I’m craving coleslaw!). Got a nice big fryer chicken for the crockpot for around $6.00 – happy with all my ‘deals’ – coupons & all. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating: did you know that you can get some really great buys at DRUG STORES? I’m talking groceries! Got 2 jars of Jif creamy peanut butter for $4, a nice sized jar of honey-roasted peanuts for $1.99 – at WALGREEN’S! I’m a BIG fan of checking all the ‘in the mail’ fliers from CVS, Walgreens, KMart – they all have some pretty good GROCERY deals, if you just look! Walgreen’s is pretty good about selling canned salmon for a really great price – with coupon; I like it for making salmon patties.

My cousin wrote from Iowa yesterday that they were going through some really muggy days; I wrote him back that we were in the mid-70’s and breezy – no muggy . . . I spoke too soon. Today it’s 80, very sunny and VERY muggy (thank heavens for Air conditioning!).

Gas prices have stayed relatively good: yesterday my favorite place (Clark – little station – nothing fancy) had el cheapo (lowest grade) gas for $3.49/9 – today it’s down to $3.43/9 – that’s great!

They are still, periodically, working on our road but it’s not as bad (the only BAD thing is figuring out just WHEN they WILL be working on it). Saturday was a nightmare of constant clogged traffic in front of our house- they had narrowed down the usual 5-lanes to 2, right next to each other – no turn lane – lovely . . .When it’s like that it’s easier to go all the way around the block just to get in my driveway without  a big mess. This, too, shall pass . . .


Chocolate Eclair Cake


2 pkgs (1 oz, ea) Jello Cheesecake
pudding mix (sugar free)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
2 1/2 C. milk
12 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1 box graham crackers (14.4 oz)

1 tub sugar free chocolate frosting

Mix pudding mix with milk, using a whisk.
Beat about 2 minutes by hand. Fold in
crushed pineapple & Cool Whip, set
aside. Layer a 9 X 13 baking pan with
one layer of graham crackers. Top with
half pudding mix. Repeat layers with
grahams, remaining pudding & top
with one more layer grahams. Take
lid off frosting, remove metal cover &
place in microwave. Microwave about
45 seconds, until frosting is liquid and
pour over grahams – spread out evenly.
Cover &refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

NOTE: This recipe can be made using
sliced strawberries, or raspberries,
or blueberries. Use 1 pint hulled & sliced
strawberries. Place berries on after 1st
layer grahams & pudding mix & repeat
in that order for next layer.


Old Fashioned Potato Loaf

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 C. Half & Half
salt & pepper, to taste
5 medium cooked potatoes,
cooled & chopped
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
chopped green onion, to taste
1/2 C. (or more) shredded Cheddar

Melt butter in saucepan, gradually
stir in flour. Slowly add Half & Half,
stirring constantly simmering until
thickened; season with salt & pepper.
Gently add potatoes, parsley &
green onion to sauce; simmer 2
minutes longer. Pour mixture into
a well-oiled 9 X 13 pan; press down
firmly. Chill several hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
One half hour before serving time,
place loaf in oven-proof pan. Sprinkle
with cheese & bake 20-30 minutes
or until golden brown. Serves 6


Crockpot Asian-style Beef

4 green onions
2 T. oil
1 boneless beef chuck or blade
roast (2 1/2 lb), trimmed & cut
into 2″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
2 red bell peppers, coarsley
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. (Kraft) Asian Toasted
Sesame salad dressing
2 C. snow peas, cut diagonally
in half
1/2 C. cashews, chopped

cooked rice

Slice onions, keeping sliced
white bottoms & green tops
separate. Heat oil in large
skillet on medium-high heat.
Add meat; cook 5 minutes or
until evenly browned, stirring
occasionally & adding garlic for
last minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce,
bell peppers, crushed pepper &
white onion slices; pour into
crockpot, cover with lid. Cook
on Low 5-6 hours or High 3-4
hours. Mix cornstarch & dressing
until blended; pour into crockpot
along with snow peas & nuts;
stir to combine. Cook, uncovered,
10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Top with green onions slices when
serving. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Homemade Peach Cobbler

2 1/2 lb. ripe, juicy peaches (about
4 C., sliced)
3/4 C. sugar
4 drops almond extract
pinch cinnamon
2 T. butter
biscuit topping, recipe below

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Peel peaches by dipping into boiling
water about 1 minute, then slip off
skins. Slice into wedges, discarding
pits. Place in shallow 6 C. baking
dish or casserole; sprinkle tops with
sugar & almond then dot with butter.
Cover with biscuit dough for top.

Biscuit Top:
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. butter or shortening
1/2 C. milk MINUS 1 T.

Whisk flour, salt & baking powder;
cut in shortening using a pastry
blender or two knives or your
fingertips. Stir in milk, all at once,
stirring with a fork until dough clings
together. Pat or roll out dough to
1/4″ thickness & place over peaches.
Trim edges, crimp or flute to seal.
Cut a hole in top center for steam.
Bake 425 degrees F. 15 minutes then
reduce to 325. Bake an additional
10-15 minutes or until peaches are
cooked & top is golden. Serve warm
with vanilla ice cream or whipped

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Crockpot Parmesan Ranch

2 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 oz. Ranch dressing mix
2 T. Parmesan cheese
(or more, if desired)

Place mushrooms in crockpot;
melt butter in a bowl & add
salad dressing mix. Mix well &
pour over mushrooms. Sprinkle
with about 2 tsp. Parmesan
cheese (or more). Cook on Low
4 hours.  Serves 4


Sausage & Cheese Crescent Squares
2 tubes refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 lb. pork sausage (hot or mild)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degres F.
Unroll one tube of rolls into 2
long rectangles; place in ungreased
9 X 13 baking dish. Press rolls
over bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to
form crust. Cook sausage over
medium heat in skillet, stirring
frequently until no longer pink.
Remove from skillet, discard grease.
Add to skillet cream cheese & cook
over Low heat until melted. Add
cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon
mixture evenly over crust in dish;
sprinkle top with cheese. Unroll
second tube of rolls onto a work
surface. Press rolls to form a 9 X 13
rectangle for top crust. Firmly press
perforations to seal then carefully
place over mixture in dish. Bake
21-26 minutes or until golden
brown. Let cool 15 minutes then
cut into small squares.


Chicken & Dumplings Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked/shredded
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
2 C. Bisquick
2 C. whole milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 tsp. chicken granules
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to  taste)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer #1:
In a 9 X 13 pan, melt butter. Spread
shredded chicken over butter; sprinkle
with pepper & sage; do not stir.
Layer #2:
In small bowl, mix milk & Bisquick;
slowly pour over chicken; do not stir.
Layer #3:
In medium bowl, whisk chicken broth,
chicken granules & soup; once
blended, slowly pour over Bisquick
layer; do not stir.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until top is
golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Southern Ambrosia

1 C. sweetened coconut
1 C. pecan pieces
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. Heavy cream
1 T. sugar
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained well
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained well
1/2 C. maraschino cherries,
drained well – stems removed

Place coconut in shallow pan with
pecan pieces & butter; toast until
coconut is light brown; cool
completely. Whip heavy cream &
sugar until it forms stiff peaks; fold
in yogurt, being careful to not break
down the cream too much. Gently
fold in marshmallows, oranges,
pineapple chunks & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours (overnight
is better) to let flavors mix.
Serve with more fresh whipped cream
& top with a cherry.

Grilled Corn Salad

3/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing,
1/4 C. yellow mustard*
4 ears corn on cob, husks &
silks removed
1/2 lb. fresh green beans,
trimmed/quartered & cooked
1 jicama, peeled, cut into 1/2′
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil

Heat grill to Low heat.
Mix 1/4 c. salad dressing &
mustard in shallow dish until
blended. Add corn; turn to
evenly coat. Transfer corn to
grill, reserving dressing mixture
in dish. Grill corn 15-20 minutes
or until tender, turning &
occasionally brushing with
reserved dressing mixture; remove
corn from grill; cool. Cut corn from
cobs; place in large bowl. Add beans,
jicama, tomatoes, basil & remaining
dressing; mix lightly.
Makes 16 servings (1/2 C. each)
* For a flavor boost, substitute
Dijon mustard for yellow

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cucumber Dill Greek Salad

2 large cucumbers
1 T. Greek (plain) yogurt
1 T. sour cream
1 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
salt & ground black pepper,
to taste

Peel & finely slice cucumbers.
In salad bowl, mix yogurt with
sour cream, lemon juice, garlic &
dill; season with salt & pepper. Add
cucumber & toss until well
combined. Refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4

Quick Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. water
10 C. loosely packed torn romaine
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing

Brown meat with onions in large
nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; drain. Add seasoning mix &
water; mix well & bring to boil.
Simmer on medium-low heat 3
minutes. Divide lettuce among
4 plates; top evenly with meat
mixture, tomatoes, cheese &
crushed chips; drizzle with
dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

1/2 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 T. cooking oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 4=1 lb.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray shallow baking dish with nonstick
spray. Combine bread crumbs, garlic salt &
lemon pepper in ziplock plastic bag. Combine
lemon juice & oil in another ziplock bag. Add
chicken to lemon juice bag; toss to coat. Place
each breast in bag with crumb mixture, toss
to coat. Place coated chicken in single layer in
prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs
over chicken, if desired. Spray tops of chicken
with nonstick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until chicken is no longer pink in center
(165 degrees F.) Serves 4


 Haven’t quite decided what to make for

dinner tonight; there’s either bratwurst

(cheese-stuffed for me & beer marinated

for husband), or Potatoes O’Brian

(hash brown potatoes with onions,

green & red peppers, sliced mushrooms,

ground beef & topped with shredded

extra sharp Cheddar cheese -sort of like a

casserole – YUMMY!) – those, so far, are my

2 choices. This week, fortunately, is not

(so far, anyway) AS busy as the past

2-3 have been. No knit group tomorrow,

just grandson all day. Wednes-day is

special needs group (that’s all – I hope),

Thurs. is grandson, again but not as

long, Friday is free – I HOPE )forgot

Radiologist appointment first thing).

Amidst all that ‘fun’ is getting together

the next issue of the special needs group

newsletter; if I’m not mistaken this will

be issue #76. That means I’ve been

doing this now since Sept., 2001 – as my

husband would say: “It keeps her on

her toes”!

That’s about ‘it’ on this weeks ‘hit parade’; finished
another chemo cap (that makes 3 this time) for
delivery this Friday. I try to take in a few each time I
have to go there for a check up. The GOOD THING,
this time, is the Radiologist said that if my latest
mammogram is clear (and it was), I start only
coming in once A YEAR! YAY! (There’s still the
Oncologist  – main cancer doctor, and I’m pretty
sure he won’t let me get off that easy (right now
it’s every 3 months, just like my main family
doctor – saw him last Friday – all’s good there!).
Ah, the ‘fun’ life of a cancer survivor – but the way
I look at it: IT COULD BE MUCH WORSE! Just going
in to hear ‘all’s well’ is no big deal!

I hope you have a GREAT day – filled with just
enough events to keep you busy, but not too busy,
and relaxing enough to keep you stress-free.

Big Hugs;



PS: Sorry about all the various font sizes – still don’t

know WHY my browser does that!

Busy Week!


Looking at my calendar for the week – looks like I’ll be traveling A LOT! Today found me riding along with my friend and leader of our special needs group; we went to pay our respects to the family of one of our ‘kids’. This ‘young lady’ was in her 40’s, severely handicapped in a wheelchair and had been going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer; she had suffered about eight months. She was well loved and you could tell – she has a lovely family; it’s SO good to know that, even though she lived in a group home, she was WELL loved and taken care of – she will be missed.

Tomorrow I’ve decided to ‘brave it’ and get my driver’s license renewed. Normally that would not be a big thing, except it’s probably been about 7 years since I’ve had to do that and I’m pretty much expecting a WRITTEN TEST this time. (my driving record is clean – (no points) or accidents in I can’t remember when – hope I’m not jinxing myself here . . . just sayin’). I just spent time thoroughly going over the on-line booklet from our Secretary of State: “What Every Driver Should Know”, took a practice test (got 100%), so hopefully I’m ‘good to go’ (I’ll let ya know tomorrow!). Last time I remember taking one of those I missed one question – it was something about driving a truck in the mountains. Let me tell you: We DO NOT HAVE MOUNTAINS IN MICHIGAN! I know NOTHING about driving in the mountains! The lovely lady who gave me the test said: “If you were to guess – what do you think is the right answer?” I gave her my thoughts and she agreed. (note: husband says you only have to get a 70% to pass – we’ll see!). I’ve been driving since I was 17, so that’s about 47 years now; had 4 accidents in my life – three of which were caused by other people, one was an unavoidable during a freak snowstorm and I couldn’t stop. The policeman said No ticket, but I did have to report it to the insurance company – no points. (In fact, ONE of those accidents was really freaky: I was slowly approaching a red light on a 2 way road when I looked out my left side to see a car driving VERY slowly out of a party store parking lot – he drove straight into my left side! There was no where I could go – turns out he was VERY drunk, all information he gave me was false and he drove away before the cops came! Wonderful . . . .    Anyway, tomorrow’s the ‘big day’ – I’ve been avoiding it for awhile now, but Wednesday is my birthday, so I HAVE to get this done or not be able to drive! I’m curious to see how many years this next license will be for. On the renewal note, had to look up another thing that’s been bothering me: I currently have the red organ donor ‘heart’ on my license – I’ve heard (from others) that I will no longer be able to do that, being a cancer survivor. I went on line to our Secretary of State and found out that they can still use my organs IF I’ve never had a blood-born cancer – amazing! I only had radiation, and the cancer was NOT in my lymph nodes, so looks like I can still do that! I have a friend who, in his early-40’s suddenly needed a heart transplant – believe me, organ donations became front and center and made me a BIG supporter of that. You just never know who or when someone will need them after you die. My thought is: It’s my LAST gift to those who are still here – USE THEM; certainly I will not need them any more!

The craziness continues Wednesday; lunch with three of my lady friends from church, then special needs group that night. Thursday is another lunch with two other friends, Friday is my grandson all day. Looks like Saturday (so far) will be my ONLY free day – we’ll see. Looking at gas prices in our area, not so good on all the traveling. Today, Weds and Thurs will be great gas-guzzlers – not close trips, any of them. Oh well, if ya want to par-tay, guess ya have to pay the (gas) price, right? (We’re looking at almost $3.90/9 for regular) – could be higher, I didn’t look today (still at half tank).


Cheesy Sausage Pigs in a Blanket

1 oz. pkg. crescent rolls
8 sausage links
4 slices cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown sausages accordg. to pkg.
directions. Unroll crescent rolls &
divide into triangles. Cut each piece
of cheese at a diagonal into two
pieces to fit the crescent roll shape;
place on roll & top with a sausage link.
Roll sausage link up in crescent roll &
place on baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes
or until browned. Makes 8


Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare pudding accordg. to pkg.
directions; add dry cake mix & stir
well to combine (batter will be
thick). Smooth batter into greased
8″ pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on
top & bake 30 minutes or until
edges pull away from sides of pan.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe
Baked Chicken Salad

2 C. chicken, cooked & diced
1 1/2 C. celery, diced
1/2 C. blanched almonds
4 C. potato chips
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 lemon slice, peeled
1 C. cheddar cheese cubes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. Place
chicken & celery into dish. In a blender
chop nuts & add chicken. Put 2 C.
potato chips in blender, cover &
process 4 seconds; stir. Empty onto
waxed paper & set aside. Repeat with
remaining chips. Place remaining
ingredients into container, cover &
process until smooth; add to chicken &
mix well. Sprinkle potato chip crumbs
over top & bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Dorie-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Picnic Fruit Salad

1 (32 oz) can pineapple tidbits, NOT
6 oz. frozen orange juice
3 1/2 oz. box instant lemon pudding mix
3 bananas, sliced
1 (32 oz) can diced pears, drained
1 (32 oz) can diced peaches, drained
1 (16 oz) can mandarin orange segments,

Strain pineapple juice from can into a bowl.
Add orange juice to bowl; mix well. Add
instant pudding & dissolve well. Gently
fold in all fruits. Refrigerate 24 hours
before serving.

(recipe: Dorie – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi

8 oz. linguini or other pasta
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. butter
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 pkg. McCormic Garlic Butter Shrimp
Scampi seasoning mix
1 T. lemon juice

(grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish,
if desired)

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg directions;
drain well. Heat oil & butter in large
skillet over medium heat until butter
is melted. Add shrimp & seasoning
mix; cook & stir 3-4 minutes or just
until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lemon
juice. Toss with cooked pasta to coat
well. Serve with grated Parmesan,
if desired. Serves 4


Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizers

1 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped black olives, drained
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp seasoned salt
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Mix all filling ingredients together
(except tortillas). Divide filling &
spread evenly over tortillas; roll
them up. Wrap each rolled tortilla
in plastic wrap, twisting ends.
Refrigerate several hours or over-
night. Unwrap; cut into slices. Lay
pinwheels flat on serving plate.


Bacon-cheeseburger Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/3 C. ketchup
2 T. yellow mustard
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
4 C. (1/2 of 32 oz pkg) frozen
bite-sized seasoned potato nuggets

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown meat with onions in skillet;
drain grease. Stir in ketchup & mustard.
Spoon mixture into a 9″ square baking
dish sprayed with nonstick spray; top
with remaining ingredients. Bake 30-
35 minutes or until casserole is heated
through and potato nuggets are golden
brown. Serves 8, 1 C. each

NOTE: you can also add 1 chopped
tomato to cooked meat with ketchup
& mustard

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Easy Chickekn ‘n Dumplings

2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
cooked & shredded
6 T. butter
3/4 C. flour
1 C. vegetable stock
5 C. chicken stock
1 C. water mixed with 1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. ground sage
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. frozen peas
1 1/2 C. diced carrots, canned or frozen
6 biscuits (recipe below)

Melt butter in large saucepan on medium-
high heat. Add flour, whisk well to combine &
cook for 1 minute. Add veg. stock; whisk
vigorously making sure to not leave any
clumps & mixture is smooth. Add chicken stock;
whisk vigorously. Let mixture begin to bubble, then
begin whisking constantly, making sure mixture is
smooth. Add water mixed with cornstarch; whisk
well to combine. Add seasonings, stir to combine.
Turn heat to medium; let simmer & thicken about
20-30 minutes. Add chicken, peas & carrots; stir to
combine. Prepare biscuits & bake while chicken
gravy mixture is warming.
When biscuits are cooked, split them in half – place
halves on plates & top with chicken gravy mixture.
Serves 6


2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/3 C. shortening (Crisco)
1 C. milk

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. Add flour, salt, sugar & baking
powder to large bowl; whisk to
combine. Cut in shortening until
crumbs form. Gently stir in milk to
combine. Turn dough out onto floured
surface & knead 15-20 times. Pat dough
down to 1 inch thick, then cut biscuits
with a biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in
flour. Place biscuits onto cookie sheet &
bake 14 minutes or until edges begin to
brown. Makes 6 biscuits.


Southwest Salsa Chicken Casserole

1 C. uncooked white rice
1 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 chicken breasts, thawed & sliced
into 3 large pieces
1 C. shredded Monterey Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. shredded cilantro
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place dry rice, beans, corn, salsa, broth &
dry seasonings in pan; stir until combined.
Push chicken pieces into mixture until
they’re slightly covered. Cover with aluminum
foil, bake 60 minutes. Remove from oven, make
sure chicken is cooked (165 degrees F) and rice
is fluffy. Sprinkle chicken with cheese; place
back in oven 5 minutes. Add sliced green onions
& cilantro on top; serve hot.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Magic in the Middle Cookies

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. granulated sugar (plus
extra for rolling)
1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 C. smooth peanut butter
3/4 C. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease or line with
parchment, two baking sheets.
In medium bowl, whisk together
flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt.
In another medium bowl, beat
together sugars, butter & 1/4 C.
peanut butter until light & fluffy.
Add vanilla, egg & egg yolk; beating
to combine, then stir in dry
ingredients; blend well.

In small bowl, stir together 3/4 C.
peanut butter & confectioners
sugar until smooth

With floured hands or a teaspoon
scoop, roll filling into 25 one-inch
balls. Scoop 1 T. of the dough. Make
an indentation in center with your
finger & place one of the balls into
indentation. Bring cookie dough up &
over the ball, pressing edges together
to cover the center. Roll cookie in palms
of your hand to smooth it out into a
ball. Repeat with remaining dough &
balls. Roll each rounded cookie in
granulated sugar then place on prepared
baking sheets, leaving about 2″ between
cookies. Grease the bottom of a drinking
glass and use it to flatten each cookie
to about 1/2 inch thickness. Bake 7-9
minutes or until set and you can smell
chocolate. Remove from oven & cool
on rack.


It’s another warm day out there, sunny & clear blue skies with big, fluffy clouds: right now it’s 87 degrees F. Glad I don’t have to go anywhere else (that I know of) today; our house is brick and stays pretty cool. Planning on getting out the knitting a little later; I actually spent the entire day yesterday KNIT-FREE! Amazing! It’s down to the two Veteran’s Hospital baby blankets (one 3/4’s done, one 1/4 th done) and knitting more baby hats for our local hospital. I’m thinking of saving the baby blankets for when I got to Log Cabin Days next weekend; since I’ll be there 7 hours Saturday and 4 hours Sunday, that will be (knitting) time well spent; might take some yarn for baby hat knitting, too (sometimes it gets boring just knitting the same thing for hours & hours).

Hope you have a LOVELY, cool and enjoyable day!





In everyone’s life there are choices – some easy, some difficult, but we ALL have to make them. This week was my first visit to my cancer doctor since he took me off of the cancer-suppressing drug six months ago. I am now feeling back to my ‘old’ self; I have energy, my mind is clear and I don’t ache constantly – I’m really happy about that. During our brief check up he asked me if he mentioned starting another drug the last time we met; I said no. He then ran down the drug, what it does and why I should be taking it for the REST OF MY LIFE. Basically, it’s another of the SAME drug I stopped six months ago – same side effects, etc. I asked him to give me the ‘numbers’ (basically, your ‘odds’ of cancer coming back again). My number is 16%, so I asked him IF I took this drug, what would be the number – 14% he said. I told him that, for 2% difference, I will take my chances and stay off any suppressing drugs. It’s a kind of scary thing, wondering IF the cancer will return (he did say that most breast cancers DO return), but I’m am going on 66 in June and I truly want to LIVE my life, not just barely struggle by every day – in pain, with a muddled brain, constantly struggling and feeling like I’m 90! Choices – we all have to make them. I decided to put it in the Lord’s hands because HE is in control of  my life and only HE knows when, exactly, I will depart this life. Yesterday I attended a visitation for a friend I knew from Michigan Bell, who recently died. I was a bit shocked to learn that she had died of a re-occurrence of breast cancer which spread to her lungs and thyroid. Did THIS bring my recent visit to the doctor into perspective? No – because I learned from her sister, that breast cancer runs in their family (to my knowledge, I’m the only one EVER to have contracted the disease). Lots of prayer and consideration – but my CHOICE is to LIVE, the best I can, until the Lord takes me home.

On a better note, our weather has been totally late-Spring-like: it’s been into the 70’s!!! Right now (at 1:40 p.m.) it’s 66 & clear/sunny – just my kind of weather! We have the windows open, the house heat ‘off’ and are just enjoying the long-awaited nice weather!

If you remember, I mentioned a few posts ago, that a close friend’s grandson (girlfriend) is going to have a baby in August. (they’re the ones that like the really bright/almost neon green). I knit a baby hat with the bright green border & a blue/green & white variegated main part. Am almost finished with a sweater (6 mo). which I started 2 days ago. This will be my second sweater, ever, and it’s a different pattern than the first one I knit. It is also in the bright green, with a hood – just have to finish the hood then attach the arms, sew up seams, sew on 2 small buttons and we’re ‘good to go’. I also want to knit booties to go with it – those are ‘in the offing’. As well as those, I wanted to knit a baby blanket. Yes, I’ve knit tons of baby blankets, but this time I wanted to vary the pattern a bit using white and also the blue/green/white, and bordering it in the bright green. Spent a bit of time on various knit sites trying to find a pattern that would work for this color scheme and finally found this one:


I’m leaving the thick white border ‘white’ and making the scalloped ‘fan’ decoration in the blue/green/white yarn; it will then be bordered with the bright green yarn, when finished. This is my first “Feather & Fan” pattern – it looks easy but it’s lots of counting (and, let me tell you – I tend to let my mind WANDER when doing that and end up with either too many or not enough stitches at the end of the 154 stitches per row – UGH!). We’ll see how this goes; I already told my friend when she said the shower is in JUNE, that I might not get all the knitting done by then. She said that’s OK  . . . whew! (I was counting on July, maybe – but certainly not the first weekend in JUNE!) Sigh . . . lots of knitting in MY future, for sure!


Breakfast Bake

1 can Flaky Grands biscuits
1 (8 oz) bag shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C. milk
1 C. cooked, cubed ham (or ground sausage)
5 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients and mix saving biscuits for last.

Cut biscuits into fours and carefully mix in.
Transfer to roomy casserole dish that has been oiled.
Bake 25 minutes

(recipe: Facebook)

Chocolate-Pecan Pie Bars

1 C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. flour
2 C. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. semi-sweet
chocolate, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter, flour, 1/2 C. sugar &
salt with elec. mixer until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs.
Press crumbs on bottom of
15 X 10 X 1″ pan sprayed with
nonstick spray.
Bake 20 minutes or until lightly
browned. Microwave corn syrup &
6 oz. chocolate in large microwave-
able bowl on High 2 1/2 minutes or
until chocolate is almost melted,
stirring after 1 1/2 minutes; stir until
completely melted. Add remaining
sugar, eggs & vanilla; mix well. Stir
in nuts.Pour chocolate mixture over
warm crust; spread to evenly cover
crust. Bake 35 minutes or until filling is
firm around edges but still slightly
soft in center; cool completely. Melt
remaining chocolate as directed
on pkg; drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm. Cut into bars.
Makes 48 servings.

NOTE: Line pan with aluminum foil with
ends extending over sides; spray foil
with nonstick spray. Lift cooked dessert
from pan with foil ‘handles’ before
cutting into bars.

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Cheddar Baked Chicken

1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg
1 T. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 C. crispy rice cereal (Rice Chex type)
3 chicken breast halves, cut in half
2 T. butter, melted
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Coat a medium baking pan with 1/4 C.
melted butter. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, 
pepper, & garlic powder. In a separate bowl, 
beat together egg & milk. In a third bowl, 
mix cheese, bread crumbs & cereal. 
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, 
dip in egg mixture then press into
bread crumb mixture to coat. Arrange 
in prepared baking dish. Drizzle 2 T. 
butter evenly over chicken.
Bake 35 minutes or until coating is 
golden brown & chicken juices run clear.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary's Recipe Exchange)

Taco Cornbread Pizza

1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 lb. ground beef
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare corn muffin mix accordg.
to pkg; spread into greased 12 inch
pizza pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until
lightly browned. Cook meat with seasoning
mix as directed on pkg. Sprinkle 1 C. cheese
over crust; top with meat mixture & remaining
cheese. Bake 4-5 minutes or until cheese is
melted. Serves 8

Can be served with taco toppings: shredded
lettuce, chopped tomatoes, thick & chunky

Prepare as directed, using these variations:
omit taco seasoning & add 3/4 C. barbecue
sauce to drained, cooked meat. Substitute
1 finely chopped red or green pepper, 1 C.
frozen corn & 1 (15 oz) can black or kidney
beans (rinsed & drained) for drained, cooked
ground beef.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Southwestern Quinoa & Black Bean Casserole

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2 jalapenos, seeds & ribs removed, minced
1 T. oil
4 1/2 C. cooked black beans*, rinsed
1 1/4 C. vegetable broth
2 C. cooked quinoa**
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
4 bell peppers, diced
1 1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese
diced green onions

Can be served with: sour cream, tortilla chips,
on tacos, on a salad or eat just as is!

*Black beans: Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion &
jalapeno, saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broth & black beans; bring to boil & cook
5 minutes. Mash beans to desired consistency;
mixture should be thick, not watery. If there is
still a lot of moisture, let it cook out by keeping it
on heat another few minutes;. taste & season with
**Quinoa: In dry nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat, toss & toast cooked quinoa with cayenne, chili
powder, cumin & salt 1-2 minutes. Taste & season with
salt; set aside.
Peppers: In same dry nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat, place diced peppers – DO NOT STIR. This allows the
peppers to get a brown roasted look on the outside. Wait
2-3 minutes before stirring, then let them ‘roast’ for another
few minutes before removing from heat.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spoon black bean mixture into a glass 9 X 13baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with quinoa, bell peppers
& cheese. Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10 minutes or until top layer of cheese is golden
& bubbly. Sprinkle with green onions;
let cool at least 10 minutes.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Chicken Parmesan Bundles

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Creamy Vegetable Bake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. milk
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
4 large carrots (1/2 lb) diagonally
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1″ lengths
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Microwave cream cheese & milk in large
microwaveable bowl on High 1 min. or
until cream cheese is melted & mixture is
blended when stirred. Add Parm. cheese
& basil; stir to blend. Add vegetables; toss
to coat. Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray; pour vegetables into pan. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to box; spoon over
vegetable mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until
golden brown. Serves 10 (3/4 C. ea)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tortellini Tuna Salad

1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini, cooked
1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained & flaked
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C. chopped red peppers
1/4 C. finely chopped red onions
1/4 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/4 C. Italian salad dressing

Combine all ingredients; refrigerate
several hours. Serves 4, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Apple Orchard Chicken Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 C. chopped walnuts, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 apple, chopped

Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl;
add remaining ingredients & mix
lightly. Serves 10, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)



4 C. kettle potato chips (4 oz)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small tomato, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 C. sour cream

Spread chips on large microwaveable
plate; top with cheese. Microwave
on High 1-2 minutes or until cheese
is melted. Top with remaining ingredients;
serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Chocolate Cream Cheese

1/2 C. pecans, finely chopped
1 C. flour
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
dash salt

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese ( 1 1/2 pkgs)
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Pudding Layer:
1 (6 oz) box chocolate pudding mix
3 C. milk

Cream Layer:
3-4 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 C. flour, 3/4 C. brown sugar,
1/2 C. softened butter & chopped
pecans in medium mixing bowl.
Using pastry blender (or fork), mix
ingredients together. (do not over-
mix – there should still be many
clumps of butter throughout the mix).
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray;
sprinkle mixture into pan. Press gently
down with fingers. Bake 10 minutes or
until crust is golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool 5 minutes. While it
is still warm, using a sturdy spatula,
break up crust into pieces. Press
crumbs back down with spatula &
let cool completely. Place in medium-
sized mixing bowl: 1 box choc. pudding
mix & 3 C. cold milk; beat with elec.
mixer until thick. In another medium
sized bowl place 12 oz cream cheese,
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla &
dash salt; beat until well combined &
smooth. Add 1 1/2 C. thawed Cool Whip
& beat until well combined. Carefully
spoon cream cheese layer onto cooled
crust. Using a knife, gently spread it over
the crust. (crust might stick to filling – be
gentle & spread carefully). Cover this
layer with pudding – spread out evenly.
Place about 4 C. Cool Whip on top of
pudding layer & spread out. Cover with
plastic wrap & chill at least 1 hour.
Makes 15 servings.



That’s about ‘it’ for now – gas prices are still staying around $3.79/9 – not exactly where I’d like them, but what can you do?

Hope you have a GREAT weekend, and for those of you who are Mothers/Grandmothers/etc.:




Feelin’ GREAT!


Went to my Radiologist today for a check up – he informed me it’s now been over TWO YEARS since my treatments and I’m doing great! Last mammogram (last week) came back clear – now I only have to go once a year for them! YAY!

Our weather, of course, is still VERY COLD! The temps driving there this morning were 3 degrees F, no  telling what the wind chill was – made my cheeks sting! I noticed people really seemed to be driving super slow – hey, people – it’s only COLD! I was also very happy to discover that the huge pile of snow completely covering my van was only light, fluffy stuff that could be cleared using a broom! I was so glad it was easy to clean that I played with the shovel, clearing a path to all our vehicles – little ‘trails’ so that each driver didn’t have to get lots of snow in their boots or on their pant legs! (that’s when I really noticed now much the wind made my cheeks sting!).

While out & about I also noticed our gas prices are staying the same: $3.39/9 a gallon for the cheap stuff.  Since it’s been so cold, I haven’t been driving much, hence my tank is still at half full – yay!  (I’m wondering if we’re going to be cancelling my special needs group this Weds; the reports say it’s going to be -10 during the day and -13 at night. (according to the report on my screen, it’s supposed to be -13 right now out there! Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know that while I was outside, eh?) My dear husband was so great – he offered to drive me to the doctor’s appointment – he has a Jeep with 4-wheel drive, so he can get through just about anything. (I was glad to oblige him as I really didn’t want to have to wait until my van’s heater warmed up – it takes a LOT longer than his Jeep!).

Oldest son just stopped over to take husband out for a belated birthday lunch – I thought that was sweet. Husband (being ever the curmudgeon) really wasn’t interested, but went along anyway. I’m just glad they get to spend some time together; oldest has his own house (and our 7 yr old grandson) so his free time is not as much as I’m guessing he would like (plus he works two jobs!). I’m just glad to see him when he stops over!

Food-wise around here we’re still working on leftovers: leftover homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade chili. It’s funny – the guys really love the chili (this time I really wasn’t interested in either the soup or the chili – not sure why). This is another ‘everybody home’ day, so I’m hoping the leftovers will cover them for dinner (then I can cook something ELSE tomorrow!) It’s funny – now that I don’t have everyone home, sitting down to dinner TOGETHER (like in the past) I find myself focusing more on what to make for dinner. Next up on my menu agenda is either: Pierogies & sausages or Salmon Patties (neither meal offering the youngest will eat – oh well . . . there’s always peanut butter sandwiches, right?).


Perfect Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter
1 1/2 C. sugar, divided
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. milk
1 T. vanilla
1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches in juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter 9 X 13 baking dish (or two 8 X 8
baking dishes); set aside. Place butter in
medium microwave-save mixing bowl; heat
until melted. Add 1 C. sugar, flour, baking
powder, salt – whisk to combine. Add milk &
vanilla; whisk until combined. Pour batter
into prepared dish(s). Spoon peaches over
top of batter, placing them evenly around
pan. Reserve juice from can. Add 1/2 C. sugar,
cinnamon & nutmeg to juices; whisk to
combine; pour over peaches. Bake 55-50
minutes until golden brown. Serves 12


Chicken & Doritos Casserole

1 regular bag Doritos, crushed
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned & shredded
1 C. sour cream
1 C. milk
1 C. shredded cheese (Taco/Mexican or
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet taco seasoning mix

1 C. shredded cheese, for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all ingredients (except
Doritos). Place 1/3 Doritos (about 2 C.)
in bottom of greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
Top with half of chicken mixture. Pour
another 1/3 Doritos on top, followed by
remaining chicken mixture; top with
remaining Doritos. Bake 30 minutes;
remove from oven, top with cheese &
place back in oven 5 more minutes until
cheese melts. Remove from oven & allow
to rest 10 minutes before serving.


Black Bean Salsa

1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (11 oz) can white shoepeg corn, drained &
1 tomato, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 onion (or 1 bunch green onions), chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
juice from 2 limes
1-2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
salt (optional)

tortilla chips of your choice, for serving

Mix all ingredients together; serve with
tortilla chips of your choice. Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Party Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Campbell’s Golden
Mushroom soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. water
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
chopped fresh parsley

Mix beef, onion, bread crumbs & egg in
a large bowl. Shape mixture into 60
(1 inch) meatballs. Place meatballs in
15 X 10 baking pan. Heat broiler. Broil
meatballs 4 inches from heat 5 minutes
or until well browned, turning balls
over halfway through cooking. Stir soup,
sour cream, water & Worcestershire in a
12inch skillet. Add meatballs & cook over
Low heat 10 minutes or until meatballs
are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle top with parsley.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Tzatziki Dip (creamy cucumber dip)

2/3 C. cucumber, peeld & finely diced
1 C. plain yogurt, stirred until smooth
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 T. chopped mint
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

toasted pita chips
fresh vegetables for serving

Mix all ingredients in food processor until
smooth. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serve with toasted pita
chips & fresh vegetables.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Radish Hot & Sour Soup

5 C. chicken stock
1/4 C. rice vinegar
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground (dried) ginger
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
6 oz. sliced radishes, about 1 1/2 C.
1 1/2 C. spinach leaves, shredded
2/3 C. thinly sliced green onions

In large saucepan over medium heat,
bring stock to boil; stir in vinegar, sugar,
cayenne & ginger. Add shrimp & cook
until shrimp turn pink & curl, about
3-4 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in
radishes, spinach & green onions.
Cover & let stand 2-3 minutes before

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Amish Apple Bread

1 C. oil
3 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. diced apples
3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)
(sugar for sprinkling)

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine & set aside: oil, eggs, sugar &
vanilla. Sift flour, cinnamon, soda & salt.
Add dry ingredients to oil mixture
gradually. Add apples & nuts. Bake in
2 regular loaf pans or 3 foil loaf pans
1 1/2 hours. Cool 10 minutes in pans.
Sprinkle tops with sugar

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Seriously Simple Beef Stew
(stovetop OR crockpot)

1 boneless beef chuck eye roast (2 lb)
cut into 1 inch chunks
2 C. water
3/4 C. barbecue sauce
1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 3),
cut into 1 inch chunks
6 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch
thick slices
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. A1 Thick & Hearty steak sauce

Bring meat, water & BBQ sauce to boil in
Dutch oven or large deep skillet; cover.
Simmer on medium-low heat 1 hour. Add
vegetables; stir. Cook, covered, 1 hour or
until meat & vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in steak sauce; cook
2 minutes. Serves 8


Place all ingredients except steak sauce in
crockpot; cover. Cook on Low 8 hours, or
High 4 hours. Stir in steak sauce; cook
2 minutes more.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Peanut Butter Chip/Jelly Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 – 1 C. grape jelly (depending upon
desired sweetness)
1 2/3 C. peanut butter chips, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9 inch square baking pan. Stir
together flour, sugar & baking powder in
large bowl. Using 2 knives, cut in butter until
mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add egg; blend
well. Place half of mixture in greased pan, pressing
to form crust; set aside other half of mixture. Spread
jelly over crust. Sprinkle 1 C. peanut butter chips
over the jelly. Stir together other half of mixture with
rest of peanut butter chips, then sprinkle over top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Cool
completely on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes
about 16 dessert sized bars.



My husband always teases me at how easily I ‘pick up’ people – it seems that I’m either ‘picking up’,as in suddenly end up engaged in a long conversation with, either:  (a) old people or (b) those interested in knitting or crochet. Today the regular nurse wasn’t ‘in’ at my Radiologists so I got to meet a new assistant – she noticed I was bundling up my crocheting (the Diagonal Box stitch baby afghan) before coming into the exam room. After some conversation, looks like there will be another new person joining my Knit group! Small world, eh? When I told her we meet at Panera Bread she was very happy – seems she lives very near there! Always nice to meet new people! (and ‘pick them up’, so to speak!).

The crocheted baby blanket is coming along nicely – already went through one partial ball of yarn and am now starting on the next; I’m thinking I’ll probably have to buy one more skein/ball to finish this into a good sized blanket. I’d forgotten how much fun this pattern is and how EASY! (sure beats the last crocheted baby blanket I did “Bubblegum” – what a boring pattern!). I’ll try to remember to photo this one when it’s done; am thinking of putting a small crocheted border around it, just to add a little something extra – we’ll see.

Sure hope you are SAFE/WARM/IN GOOD HEALTH and able to enjoy the day. It was very bright out (and still is) VERY SUNNY – almost blinding if you caught the glare off the snow & ice (guess I shouldn’t complain – it could be grey & gloomy with snow/ice/or sleet). Yes, Yes – what was that I just wrote to you the other day? Count your BLESSINGS? I hear you!!!

Have a GREAT DAY!!!



Happy 62nd Birthday, Husband!


Yep, today is my husband’s 62nd birthday; he’s never been one for wanting that acknowledged in any way. (long story-his favorite uncle died on his birthday many years ago and ever since, he just wants to forget – sad.) Over the years I’ve tried to ‘lighten’ the day, buying him gifts I think he’d like but it doesn’t change, so this year it’s just his favorite dinner – he’s happy with that. Favorite dinner? Meat & Potato Pie and banana cake. I found an easy banana cake recipe today and will post that below.

Weather-wise, like most of the country, it’s VERY cold. Right now it’s actually WARM! 16 degrees! BUT the wind chills make it hard to be outside very long. It’s supposed to be colder all weekend (oh, joy) from today through Monday it’s all below zero: lows -18 or lower: -23, light snow through Sunday, wind chills -20 with winds up to 50 MPH. Ah, the joys of living in a COLD state!

I had a 6-month mammogram appointment today and just the short drive to the hospital made the tips of my fingers almost numb! (it’s such a short drive the car heater didn’t get much chance to warm up). Xray wise, it looked the same as 6 months ago – which is GOOD/GREAT! Thank you, Lord!


Simple Banana Cake

3 over-ripe* bananas, peeled & sliced
4 large eggs
4 T. butter, melted
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 C. milk

4 T. butter
1/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Beat
together bananas & eggs with elec. mixer on
medium until bananas are mashed, about 1 minute.
On low speed, pour in melted butter, cake mix &
milk; beat on medium 2 minutes then pour into
pan. Bake 30-40 minutes until cake is firm in center;
let cool in pan.

In small saucepan combine sugar, milk & butter; cook on
medium-high until at a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat & add powdered sugar. Whisk until no trace of
sugar remains. Pour over cooled cake & spread; let cool.
This makes a thin layer of frosting, double frosting recipe
if you want more.

*NOTE: If you don’t have any over-ripe bananas, place yellow
bananas on cookie sheet in oven. Turn oven temp to 350
degrees F.  When your oven ‘beeps’ that is preheated, take
bananas out. The skins will be a little brownish & bananas
are warm. The heat gets all the sugars & banana flavor ready
to get mashed into cake or banana bread recipes.

(recipe: Am

Roasted Turkey Enchilada Bake

2 C. cooked, chopped turkey
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
(your choice of heat level)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 T. chili powder
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients. Place
2 tortillas, in single layer, on bottom of
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray; top with layers of half each: turkey
mixture, sour cream & cheese. Repeat layers;
cover with foil & bake 40 minutes or until
casserole is heated through & cheese is
melted. Uncover after 30 minutes & continue
baking. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Tuscan Vegetable Baked Ziti

1 (7 oz) pkg. KRAFT shredded Italian
3-cheese blend cheese, divided
3 C. ziti pasta, cooked
2 large red peppers, cut into thin strips
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise, then
thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 (24 oz) jar chunky spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Reserve 3/4 C. cheese; combine remaining
cheese & all ingredients. Spoon pasta
mixture into 9 X 13 baking pan; sprinkle
top with reserved cheese. Bake 20-25
minutes or until heated through. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Mustard Short Ribs

3 lb. beef short ribs
1 C. beef broth
2/3 C. honey mustard
1 T. worcestershire sauce

Place short ribs in crockpot; add
honey mustard & worcestershire sauce.
Pour beef broth over mixture; stir
mustard into broth as much as possible.
Cover & cook 8 hours on Low. Turn ribs
every 4 hours.


Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. buttermilk*
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C. flour
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, cream together egg,
vanilla, butter & 1 C. sugar until smooth.
Add buttermilk, flour & baking soda; stir
until just combined. Add cinnamon chips;
stir to incorporate. In separate small bowl,
mix together 1/3 C. sugar & cinnamon; set
aside. Pour 1/2 of batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle
3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of batter, then
add remaining batter. Sprinkle last of cinnamon
mixture over top of batter then swirl with a
knife. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
Cool in pan 20 minutes before removing to
cool completely on a wire rack.

*If you don’t have buttermilk: pour 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar into a 1-Cup measuring cup.
Pour in milk until mixture measures 1 C. Stir
with a fork and let set 5 minutes, then use as

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Supreme Pizza Dip

4 oz. pepperoni
1 C. finely chopped bacon
1/2 C. finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced + 1 whole clove
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
1/3 C. pitted black olives, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan
4 oz. mozzarella, diced

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Dice 3 oz. pepperoni; thinly slice
remaining 1 oz; set aside for garnish.
Meat medium skillet over medium heat;
add diced pepperoni; cook, stirring, until
crisp, 4-5 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper,
minced garlic, oregano, 3/4 tsp. salt & some
pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are very
tender & lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, until it
coats the vegetables & smells lightly toasted,
about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat
to simmer, stir occasionally until mixture is
slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in
olives & Parmesan cheese; remove from heat.
Season with additional salt & pepper. Preheat
broiler; scatter mozzarella & sliced pepperoni
over dip in skillet. Place skillet under broiler &
broil until cheese is melted & slightly browned,
2-3 minutes. Serve dip warm. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Food Network)

Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

15 jalapenos, cut in half, seeded/deveined
1 T. cooking oil
2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 C. minced red onion
1/4 C. minced red bell pepper
3 T. minced garlic
2 C. cream cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
salt & pepper
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven. Place
jalapeno halves on sheet tray – roast 10
minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.
Turn broiler on medium. Heat oil in
medium saute pan; add sausage & cook
5-7 minutes. Add onions, peppers & garlic;
cook about 5 minutes. Remove & place in
large bowl. Cool to room temp, then add
cream cheese & Parmesan. Mix ingredients
thoroughly & season with salt & pepper.
Place approx. 1 T. mixture into each jalapeno
slice & top with 1/2 tsp. mozzarella cheese.
Broil until mozzarella melts. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Food Network)

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

2 T. butter, softened
8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
3 C. heavy cream
1 C. whole milk
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
2 C. freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Butter large baking dish with butter.
Slice potatoes into sticks then cut sticks
to create a dice. Combine cream & milk in
a bowl. Add flour, salt, & some pepper; whisk
together so that flour is incorporated in. Add
diced potatoes to prepared dish; pour creamy
mixture over top. Cover with foil & bake 20-30
minutes. Remove foil & bake 15-20 minutes longer.
Just before serving, sprinkle grated cheese on top
& return to oven until cheese melts. 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle top with green onions & serve.
Serves 16

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Beef & Vegetable Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef, cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth or 1 beef
broth & 1 beef consomme
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
garlic & onion, undrained
1 C. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed basil
2 C. frozen mixed vegetables
1 C. uncooked small pasta
shredded Romano cheese

Combine beef, broth, chickpeas, water,
salt & pepper, & seasonings in large crockpot.
Mix well, cover & cook on High 5 hours or
Low for 8 hours. No stirring is necessary
while cooking. Stir in mixed vegetables &
uncooked pasta; continue cooking, covered,
an additional hour or until beef & pasta are
tender. Stir well before serving & sprinkle
with cheese. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins

1 C. flour
3/4 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. milk
1/2 C. mashed banana (fully ripe,
about 1 large)
1 egg
2 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl.
Whisk peanut butter & milk in medium bowl
until blended; stir in bananas, egg, oil & vanilla. Add
banana mixture to dry ingredients; stir just until
moistened. Spoon into 12 muffin cups sprayed
with nonstick spray (or use paper liners). Bake
18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into
center of muffin comes out clean. Cool
slightly before serving. Makes 12 muffins

NOTE: Muffins can be baked ahead of time. Cool,
then wrap individually in plastic wrap & freeze up
to 1 month. Thaw, then reheat in microwave just
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


You’ll be happy to know (or, maybe not) that I FINALLY got up the gumption to take all the boxes of Christmas ‘stuff’ AND the tree upstairs! It was really bugging me, but since the stupid cancer thing, I just don’t have the strength I used to (legs/lifting/stamina, etc.) YES, I do have two strapping young men but it seems they’re not around when ya need them; husband helped with the lugging the tree box (which was HEAVY!). That’s done for another year. Husband said yesterday that this is the first time in his memory that he really doesn’t LIKE snow and is not looking forward to more winter. I agree! When I was setting UP the Christmas ‘stuff’ I said (to myself) “I’ll leave up some of these snowmen after the Christmas stuff is packed – they sort of cheer up this time of year!” I even lugged some of them upstairs yesterday – really sick of just THINKING of more snow in the offing. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t already have TWO big snowfalls; it’s more the ‘just can’t get out/or back in the driveway” and ‘have to shovel’!  SO glad we finally found a person who can plow! We’re gettin’ too old to be lifting the really heavy, wet stuff!

Thinkin’ of spending some QUALITY time today with a new book and some knitting – now THAT’S being productive! (Not counting I still have to bake that banana cake!) I’m cheating a bit: bought a boxed banana cake and am going to mash up some really ripe bananas in the batter; bought cream cheese frosting which will have some banana oil flavoring added, for flavor. Even bought husband a ‘new’ ice cream flavor: Malted; it was funny when he was unpacking the groceries today he stopped and said: “Malted? You HATE malted!” I said; “I know! But it’s YOUR birthday and you LOVE Malted!” He walked off grumbling something about me buying ice cream I won’t eat . . . to me, it’s a Win/Win situation! I don’t like it, so I WON’T eat it! (saves me hitting it late at night when I get a craving, right?). There’s METHOD to my MADNESS!

Enjoy your day – try to stay warm (if you’re in a cold climate). Do something you like OR do something nice for someone else! Both make you feel better inside!



Sometimes Enough is . . . Enough!

old lady at desk

Today I’ve talked to two different ladies, both friends (neither know the other/totally different realms) and I’ve found myself giving them the advice I’m just now absorbing for myself: Enough, sometimes, has to be ENOUGH! One is overwhelmed with caring for her aging mother, the other is recovering from knee replacement surgery; both feel like they can’t get all the things done this season demands and they’re down on themselves. I fully understand: I don’t WANT to be a Scrooge, but sometimes I really feel like one simply because I’m overwhelmed and feeling down on myself. One of my sweet readers here sent me an encouraging message the other day, letting me know that we both need to ‘get in the Christmas spirit’ – THANKS! I try my hardest NOT to fall back on the ‘cancer’ thing; Yes, I HAD cancer, but I don’t NOW have it. Yes, I’m still learning that the exhaustion is still with me and I have to realize that I can physically do about HALF of what I want to in a day – BUT all that is becoming a learning experience. As I try to encourage others I can hear myself saying to them: “Sometimes it’s take life a MINUTE at a time!” Other people say take life a day at a time, but there are THOSE times when a day is WAY too much; it’s in those moments that we need to just narrow it down to what we can handle. If doing too many physical things takes you past your comfort zone, then have a good old fashioned Sit Down! (Lord knows I do that often enough!). If a short nap helps – DO IT! There is NOTHING in this life that is so important that you can’t take a few short minutes for yourself (barring an emergency, that is).

I’m teaching myself that if the Christmas decorations aren’t all up by Christmas, oh well! Christmas will come – ANYWAY! If I don’t get those two batches of cookies baked that I really want to do – oh, well! We won’t starve for lack of them! If, by next week, the presents aren’t fully wrapped, there’s always those convenient decorated BAGS! I don’t know of anyone who turned down a present just because it was in a bag instead of fancy wrapping paper, do you?

I’m learning – today I baked that one other batch of prepared dough and added them to the big tin of baked cookies. Dragged down some of the decorations; put a few up. Got out the fancy gift bags and proceeded to wrap all the ‘non-family’ presents, plus put together the mail lady’s cookie plate. It’s coming together – slowly, but it’s getting done. The tree now sits in it’s box in the middle of the living room – it will get put up and decorated relatively soon. I was hoping to do it today, but right now, after all the above plus making dinner, I’m too pooped! I’m learning it’s OK to take a rest – I’m a retired lady, I’m getting a bit older (65 1/2) and I’m still recovering from all the after effects of the anti-estrogen cancer drug I was on for 1 1/2 years. Those are the FACTS – I just have to deal with them and, as the saying goes:

“Put on my BIG GIRL panties and get on with it!”

Stepping off my soap box now;



Down to the Wire!


Here it is – the night before the big day; right now it’s a little after 7 p.m. and I’m giving myself a well-earned sit down. Been going at it cleaning house, dragging out all the essential serving pieces/silverware/silver butter dish, etc. for tomorrow’s feast. Today was my ‘attack the living room’ day – for most of you, I’ll imagine, cleaning your entire house is a quick thing . . .  not here. I love my family members but they are all PACK RATS! Just going through the game area is a chore – sorting & dusting piles of games & systems (and finding unusual items thrown in, also – like old Sesame Street VCR tapes from when my grandson was a toddler!). I took the cleaning in stages – give the bathroom a really good cleaning – sit down with coffee, knit a few rows on a baby hat, then back at it. I’m very pleased with all I got done today; enlisted husband to do the vacuuming (we have a very HEAVY Hoover and for me it’s quite a chore just lugging it around) – that helped immensely. The red holiday tablecloth is clean and on the table – even the fiber optic little Christmas tree is up in the dining room! AMAZING – FIRST TIME EVER I have Christmas stuff up BEFORE Thanksgiving! I’m definitely a procrastinator  and am well known in our family to put off dragging the decorations down from upstairs – one year it was Christmas EVE! (That’s BAD) – haven’t been THAT bad since then. I’m waiting to see what youngest son will say when he gets home from work in a few minutes – I’m guessing he’ll be shocked to see the little tree.

Made the homemade cranberry-orange relish using my food processor – ended up with almost SOUP – by the time the processor ground up the orange, it didn’t like the idea of the frozen cranberries so getting BOTH to the right consistency just didn’t happen. Oh well – it will still taste OK tomorrow; maybe it will thicken up a bit in the fridge (one can only hope!).

Tomorrow will also be another ‘first’ – first time I only have to COOK – not clean, then cook. SO glad I took the entire thing in stages. I hate to bring up the ‘cancer’ thing but even though it’s almost been a year since I finished radiation, and about a month since I stopped taking the drugs, I’m still not up to my old energy (pre-cancer). I think, of all of it, THAT frustrates me the most. Having to ask for help doing things that used to be second nature to me – like opening a jar, cranking a hand-held can opener, going for more than 1/2 hour before I get just too tired to go on – have to take a rest. Yes, I know – it will all come (sorry for airing my grievance here – just a bit frustrated.) I am VERY grateful that I am a cancer SURVIVOR – Praise the Lord for that, as there are others who are still going through the treatments and some who don’t have a good outlook ahead. I know – be content with the ‘little things’ for, in the end, they’re ALL little things!

RECIPES! I’m guessing, at this late date, you are all pretty well into the preparation of the holiday foods and not really searching for recipes BUT I still have a LOT of recipes that just might help at the last minute!


Crockpot Turkey Breast

1 (6 lb) bone-in turkey breast
1 oz. envelope dry onion soup mix

Rinse turkey breast & pat dry. Cut
off any excess skin, but leave skin
covering the breast. Rub onion
soup mix all over outside of turkey
and under skin. Place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour, then
turn to Low, cook 7 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

(Don’t remember if I posted this before or not – this is what I’m making tomorrow)

Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1/4 C. butter, melted

Sweet potato mixture:
3 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts
& butter in mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt,
vanilla, eggs & butter in mixing bowl
in the order listed; mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into buttered baking
dish; sprinkle top with crust mixture.
Bake 30 minutes. Allow to set at least
30 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

Caramel Almond Poke Cake

2 boxes (Betty Crocker) pound cake mix
1 1/3 C. water or milk
1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 C. whipping cream
1 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
(not evaporated)
3/4 C. unblanched whole almonds, coarsely
chopped, toasted
1/3 C. (Betty Crocker) rich & cream vanilla
frosting (from 1 lb. tub)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 pan. Prepare cake mixes as directed
on box, using water, 1/2 C. butter & eggs. Spread
batter evenly in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 30 minutes. In 2 qt. saucepan, heat
whipping cream, brown sugar & 1/4 C. butter until
boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium;
simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring frequently,
until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool
slightly. Poke warm cake every inch with handle of
wooden spoon. Slowly pour condensed milk over cake.
Let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake.
about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle with most of
caramel sauce, pressing slightly into holes. Sprinkle
with almonds; drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.
Cool completely. In small microwaveable bowl,Â
microwave frosting on High 10-15 seconds; drizzle
over cake. Cut into 6 rows by 3 rows.

(recipe: Betty Crocker/Facebook)

Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Dessert

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/2 of a 3.45 oz. box instant pudding mix:
cheesecake flavor
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
10 oz. miniature marshmallows

In large bowl, mix pie filling & instant pudding
mix (remember- only half the package!) until the
pudding mix is dissolved; fold in Cool Whip. Mix
in miniature marshmallows until marshmallows
are completely coated. Cover & chill 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6-8


Cheesy Potatoes

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-style has
browns, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
20 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 C.)
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix soup & sour cream in large bowl. Add
potatoes & cheese; stir until well blended.
Spoon mixture into 9 X 13 pan; combine
crackers & butter; sprinkle over top. Bake
50 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 12, 1/2 C. each

Extra touches:
Add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce to potato
mixture before spooning into dish or sprinkle the
potatoes lightly with paprika just before baking.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hot Sausage Cheese Puffs

1 lb. Hot or sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C. Bisquick baking mix
3/4 C. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook sausage, breaking up with fork until
no longer pink; drain & cool completely.
Combine sausage, cheese, Bisquick & water;
mix with fork until just blended. Roll into
1 inch balls & place on baking sheet. Bake
12-15 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Ham Puffs

1/3 C. chopped, cooked ham
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll out crescent rolls; press triangle
perforations together. Cut into 24 pieces.
Using a mini-muffin tin, press dough
pieces into pan. Mix all other ingredients
together; fill dough pieces with mixture.
Bake 10-15 minutes, until brown.
Makes 24 puffs


Italian Broccoli

1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli cuts
3 T. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, drained (Hunts)
1/2 C. finely shredded Italian blend cheese

Place broccoli & water in medium skillet; cover.
Cook over high heat 5 minutes or until broccoli
is tender & water is almost evaporated. Add
drained tomatoes; cook 2-3 minutes more or
until hot. Sprinkle top with cheese. Serves 6,
about 1/2 C. each.


Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes

8 large sweet potatoes (about 4 lb.)
1/2 C. margarine
1/2 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake potatoes 45 minutes or until very
soft. Peel potatoes, then mash in large
bowl. Blend in remaining ingredients &
spoon onto serving plates or pipe through
a pastry bag to serve. Serves 8

(recipe: Unilever)

Apple-Pecan Stuffing

1/2 C. margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium Granny Smith apple
(or tart apple), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans, toasted
8 oz. seasoned cub stuffing mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with non-stick spray;
set aside. Melt margarine in large nonstick
skillet over medium heat; cook onion, celery &
apple, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
tender. Stir in garlic, remove from heat & pour
into large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients *
Turn into prepared dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes.
Remove cover & bake an additional 10 minutes or
until golden & crispy on top.

*Make ahead: Make recipe to this * point up to one
day ahead. Refrigerate, covered, then bake an additional
5 minutes.

(recipe: Unilever)


1 (18oz) can pumpkin (or fresh equivalent)
1 box yellow cake mix (2 layer size)

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. melted margarine or butter
1 (13oz) can evaporated milk
(not sweetened condensed)
3/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
3 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs and milk together; add pumpkin,
sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended.
Pour into 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle dry cake
mix over mixture. Drizzle with melted margarine.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 50-60 min or until
done. Serve (warm or cold) with topping or whipped

(recipe: Facebook)


I would be interested in hearing from you to see if you have any tips on what YOU do for your holidays – do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you share? Any particular foods you have every Thanksgiving (besides turkey & pumpkin pie???)? It might sound a little ‘quaint’ but my family is really deeply rooted in the SAME dinner every year: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, gravy, Cranberry-Orange relish, rolls, fresh veggie tray and usually pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) and the multi-variety slices of cheesecake.

I am VERY grateful, every year, to be able to enjoy this holiday with my family. There are many whose family members are far away (or in the Service) who are not able to sit down on Thanksgiving with their family members. I thank the Lord for giving me another year to enjoy and to be able to say that now I am CANCER FREE! It is with a very humble heart that I look forward to another year with my family, and sharing thoughts & recipes with you.

Enjoy your family and your holiday;




‘Nother Busy Week . . .


Once again life is squeezed between filled days; today is no different: Grandson’s flag football game 1-2 p.m., then rush home/change clothes/ and drive like a crazy woman to a wedding 20 miles away – making sure I get there BEFORE 3 p.m.! Then it’s drive from the wedding to the reception (here’s where it gets tricky – I’m not familiar with either the location of the wedding OR the reception – thank heavens for Mapquest!).Reception is 12 miles from wedding/church – I hope I can follow someone (just in case, I printed out the Mapquest directions!) As my husband would say: “You can get lost in a paper bag!” (that’s SO true!) I hate driving places I’m not familiar with; husband (in his older/retired state) doesn’t like going to ‘events’ (read that weddings/parties, etc) much, so I’m going ‘solo’ (again!). This is another young couple from our church – we know both families – ought to be fun!

Let’s see – what else is new? Not really a lot – just the same old RUNNING! It’s getting so that I almost need a Social Planner – almost every day has at least one ‘event’; mind you, I’m not complaining but it makes me long for days with NOTHING but ‘chilling’ in sight! I’m just very grateful that we have a car that runs well and is able to keep up with my constant driving; just cracked 50,000 miles on my van – we’ve had it about 2 years now (got it with 20,000 miles on it). Yes, I know – if I worked the mileage would have grown much quicker.


Jonny Apple-Seedy Crisp

6 medium apples, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt
1 C. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange apple slices in a greased
9 X 13 baking dish. Combine remaining
ingredients & spread over apples. Bake
35-40 minutes, until top is golden brown.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Tuna Cakes

2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna in
water, drained & flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sweet pickle relish

Combine all ingredients; refrigerate
10 minutes. Heat large nonstick
skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking
spray on medium heat. Using a ice
cream scoop, make 1/3 C. portions of
tuna mixture, in batches, to skillet.
Flatten into patties with back of a
spatula. Cook 6 minutes or until golden
brown on both sides, carefully turning
patties after 3 minutes. Makes 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hash Brown Quiche

1 (24 oz) bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
4 slices bacon
1/3 C. red onion, chopped
1/3 C. green pepper, chopped
5 eggs
1 1/3 C. Half & Half
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Place bag of hash browns in microwave for
a few minutes to begin to defrost. Heat large,
deep skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 T.
butter & melt. Add potatoes, 1/4 tsp. smoked
paprika & 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt, add salt &
pepper, to taste; allow potatoes to cook through.
Make sure they are golden brown & crisp. In
separate skillet, fry bacon over medium high heat.
When cooked, place on paper-towel covered plate.
Discard all but 1 tsp. bacon grease from pan. Add
green pepper & red onion to skillet; saute over
medium high heat, stirring occasionally until tender.
Using a deep 9 inch pie plate, pour cooked hash
browns into pan, press down on bottom & up sides.
(you can use the bottom of a measuring cup for this)
In medium sized mixing bowl place 5 eggs & Half & Half;
whisk together with a fork. Crumble bacon & add to eggs.
Add sauteed green pepper & onion, 1/4 tsp. smoked
paprika, salt & pepper, 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese; stir
to incorporate then pour into pie plate over potatoes.
Bake 45-55 minutes until center is set & top is golden.
Allow to sit 10 minutes, then serve. Serves 8


Crushed Cheese Cracker Pork

1 lb. pork tenderloin
1 egg, beaten
1 t. steak sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. cheese crackers, finely crushed
2 t. vegetable oil, divided

Combine egg, steak sauce & garlic powder in
shallow dish. Place crushed crackers in another
shallow dish. Cut tenderloin crosswise into 1/2
inch thick slices; pound or flatten with heal of
your hand to 1/4 inch thickness. Dip each slice
first into egg mixture, then cracker crumbs, turning
to coat. Heat 1 T. oil in large nonstick skillet over
medium heat until hot. Add half of pork slices & cook
4-5 minutes per side or, until browned. Repeat with
remaining oil & pork slices. Serves 4

(recipe: National Pork Board)

(don’t know what happened to the font size on the recipe below-it’s acting goofy and I’m afraid if I try to change it it will totally get really illegible- sorry)

Creamy Cheesy Scalloped Cabbage

1 small head green cabbage
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. medium white sauce (recipe below)
1/2 –  3/4 C. fine bread crumbs, buttered
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. butter

White Sauce:

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut cabbage into wedges; cook,
uncovered, until tender (about 25 minutes). Add
salt to water just before cooking is completed; drain
cabbage, add butter.

White Sauce:

In saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour &
salt; stir to combine. Gradually add milk, stirring
constantly until thickened. Layer cabbage, cheese & white sauce in 2 1/2 Qt. casserole dish; repeat layers. Top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake 25 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned. Serves 6-8.


Sweet BBQ Chicken Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3 C. shredded cooked chicken
3/4 C. jellied cranberry sauce
3/4 C. chili sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 C. sliced green onions
assorted salted crackers (for dipping)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spread cream cheese into bottom of
9 X 13 baking dish. Stir together chicken,
cranberry sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire
sauce, vinegar, mustard & red pepper flakes
in medium bowl. Spoon mixture over cream
cheese in baking dish; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle with onions & serve with crackers
for dipping. Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pumpkin Fudge

2 T. butter
2 1/2 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 C. white chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow creme
3/4 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Line a 9 X 9 baking pan with aluminum
foil; set aside. In a 3 Qt. saucepan, heat
milk & sugar over medium heat; bring to
a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden
spoon. Mix in pumpkin puree & cinnamon;
bring back to a boil. Stir in marshmallow
creme & butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook,
stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes. Remove
from heat; add choc. chips & vanilla; stir until
creamy & all chips are melted. Pour into
prepared pan & let cool. Remove from pan,
& cut into squares. Store in cool, dry place.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Creamed Corn

1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 T. butter
8 ears corn, husks & silks removed
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 C. heavy cream
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper

In large saucepan, melt 1 T. butter on
medium heat. Add onions; cook 2-3
minutes until clear. While onion is
cooking, remove kernels from corn cob.
Stand a corn cob vertically over a large,
shallow pan (like a roasting pan). Using
a sharp knife, use long, downward
strokes of the knife to remove the
kernels from the cob. Use the edge of a
spoon to scrape the sides of the cob to
remove any remaining pulp. Add corn to
onions & butter in saucepan. Add 2/3 C.
water & remaining butter; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat & cover; cook 10-15 minutes
until corn is tender. Add sugar, nutmeg &
cream to corn. Cook, uncovered, 5-6 minutes
stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 (3.4 oz) box instant pumpkin spice pudding mix (if you can’t find sub vanilla pudding & 1 T. pumpkin pie spice)
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine sugars, butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the pudding mix, stirring to combine completely. Add in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and oats. Stir to combine and let stand for 5 minutes. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper, and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
Freezing Directions:

Follow directions above. When completely cool, transfer to gallon sized freezer storage bag.
Servings: 36 cookies

(recipe: Facebook)

How is your weather lately? Our’s is very much Fall-like BUT it’s been really sunny and warm! (right now would not be a good example: it’s 10:25 a.m. and it’s only 59 degrees out, BUT it should warm up later to 78 degrees! YAY!)

Gas Prices? Our’s have been a bit ‘strange’ – they were in the $3.49/9, then dropped to $3.44/9 – last night I saw they’d dropped further to around $3.39/9 – interesting! I’m not complaining! (especially with all the driving I have to do today!)

Health-wise, I’m doing fine. Been waiting to see how I’d feel after going off the cancer drug – so far it’s been 1 week plus 1 day – the joint pain is slowly decreasing (that’s a good thing!). Still have the occasional hot flash but that could just be hormonal; mood swings – haven’t noticed any. I’ll just be glad if I can sit down then get up and not sound like I’m 90 yrs old, grunting & groaning and barely able to make my feet & legs move at all – that would be a great thing! Even at 65 I still (mentally) feel a lot younger THEREFORE I’ve determined I’m going to still ACT a whole lot younger! (Yes, for those who know me personally – that means I’ll still be JUST as crazy/silly, etc. as I’ve ever been!)

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!