and Summer begins!

Our weather has been really nice 80’s & some 90’s, not humid so that really makes it much better!

Busy but not busy – some days I feel like I used to ‘before Covid’ – something going on every day . . . and then there are other days where all I do is knit, read, mess on Facebook a bit, cook dinner – the ‘new’ normal. Friday was a cookout/meeting of the leaders for my special needs group. It was SO nice to see AND HUG (YES, we HUGGED!) everyone. Great food, great fellowship, great re-connecting. We discussed what our possible opening in the Fall will be like. Our group leader for 30 years is stepping down and another lady who makes a great leader will take over. Things will be different – not sure just how many of our ‘kids’ will return but . . . in the words of our former leader: The future of the group is not up to us: our job is to keep our eyes on the Lord and HE will lead us. It’s HIS group, whether it continues or fails is not up to us – we just need to do our jobs. The other issue with all of this is: I will be leaving about 3 months after they start up again. It has been discussed with our kids & leaders; I’ve been with the group since October, 1993. My husband doesn’t like me driving at night, especially in the winter (I don’t see well in the dark) so he has asked that I retire. When all is said & done there will be four, possibly five leaders. Three have been with the group about 3 years, the other two for less time. We will see what this all brings.

At the party I brought a dessert I haven’t made in a long time. This is one of those GREAT tasting recipes, so I’ll feature it here. Also, one of the leaders brought Hot Artichoke Dip – it was WONDERFUL! Really flavorful – really tasty. (see below)



1 (18.5 oz) box chocolate cake mix
1 (3 oz; 4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 pint sour cream
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. water
4 eggs
1 C. chocolate chips (6 oz. – you can
use more)
(chocolate hot fudge sauce – drizzle)
Vanilla ice cream
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix all ingredients; mix until
smooth & pour into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours
until set in center. Let cool 30
minutes. Serves 10

Best served with vanilla ice cream

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a medium casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix all dip ingredients together
& pour into prepared dish.
Bake 30-45 minutes.

Best served with chunks of
French bread

Grilled Squash with Herbs

3 large summer squash (yellow or green)
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried, minced rosemary
1 tsp. dried, minced basil
1 tsp. dried, minced parsley
Preheat grill to High
Cut squash lengthwise into thick
strips. Combine oil, salt/pepper &
herbs in a large bowl – toss squash
slices with mixture. Grill squash
about 3-4 minutes per side.
Serve immediately. Serves 4-6

Sheet Pan Panko Shrimp

1 1/2 lb. jumbo (10/15 count)
Wild American shrimp, preferably
Gulf Shrimp, peeled/deveined
zest of 1 lemon (reserve juice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
2/3 C. Panko bread crumbs
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes (plus
more for garnish, if desired)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with
foil & spray with nonstick cooking
spray or lightly brush with olive oil.
To remove excess water: pat shrimp
dry with paper towels & place in
large bowl. Toss with remaining
olive oil, salt/pepper, Cajun seasoning,
Old Bay, pepper flakes & paprika. Add
lemon zest & garlic, spread onto
prepared sheet in single layer.

In a separate bowl mix panko crumbs,
butter, cheese, black pepper & parsley.
Sprinkle half panko mixture over shrimp
& press lightly – repeat with remaining
crumbs. Bake 10-12 minutes (depending
on size of shrimp) until shrimp are
cooked through & crumbs lightly browned.
Squeeze lemon juice on top & sprinkle
with parsley before serving.
Serves 4

Yummy Summer Pea Salad

2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen peas, thawed
1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled
1 C. golden raisins
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 C. sunflower seeds


1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar (or, to taste)
In large bowl combine peas, bacon,
raisins, Cheddar cheese, onion &
sunflower seeds. In small bowl stir in mayo,
vinegar & sugar – drizzle over salad & toss
to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap &
refrigerate 1 hour.


Crockpot 3-Bean Casserole Crunch
and OVEN recipe

1 lb. ground beef
6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 T. white vinegar
1 T. mustard
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can chili beans
1 (15 oz) can pork & beans
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 C. crushed Chili Cheese Fritos
In skillet brown ground beef with
bacon, onion & peppers – drain &
mix with remaining ingredients
(except cheese & Fritos).
Place mixture into crockpot; cover
& cook on Low 4-6 hours. Before
serving top each serving with
cheese & Fritos.* Serves 6

*If you want your cheese melty;
place on beans in crockpot for
10-15 minutes before serving.

OVEN method:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 3 quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook meat/peppers, etc. as
above in a skillet; mix in a
bowl with all ingredients
(except cheese & Fritos) then
pour into prepared dish.
Bake 45 minutes then top with
cheese & chips – bake until
top is bubbly.


Creamy Baked Mac & Cheese

16 oz (about 3 C.) elbow macaroni
3 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. milk, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb (16 oz) cubed Velveeta
cheese (1/2 inch cubes)
8 oz. shredded mild Cheddar
cheese (about 2 C.) divided
8 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook macaroni according to pkg.
directions until tender but not
soft (about 10 minutes). Drain &
pour into a mixing bowl – stir.
Melt Velveeta until melted/stir
until it’s creamy. Pour melted
cheese over pasta & stir well. Add
butter, eggs, milk & 1 C. shredded
cheese, salt/pepper. Mix very well
& pour into prepared dish. Pour rest
of cheese on top. Bake about 20
minutes until brown & bubbling.
Serve hot or cool 5 minutes out of

Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets
Grill or oven recipe

heavy aluminum foil
4 cloves garlic; 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. olive oil
40 jumbo peeled/deveined shrimp,
slightly over 1 lb.
1/4 C. dry white wine
1 T. fresh lemon juice
4 pinches red pepper flakes
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 T. chopped parsley

Optional – for serving:
whole wheat crusty bread
1 lemon, cut into wedges
In large bowl whisk grated garlic, salt
& oil. Add shrimp & toss to coat.
Chill, uncovered, at least 30  minutes –
up to 1 hour.
To Grill:

Tear off four 16″ foil sheets. Place
10 shrimp in center of each sheet; top
with remaining garlic slices, 1 T. wine,
lemon juice, pinch red pepper flakes,
1/2 T. melted butter on each.
Bring up long sides of foil so ends
meet over the food. Double fold the
ends, leaving room for heat to circulate
inside. Double fold the 2 short ends to
seal the packet.  Serves 4

Grill over High heat 8  minutes. Use
gloves or tongs to remove & carefully
open. Top with chopped parsley.
Serve with lemon wedges.
OVEN method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare packets as directed above.
Place packets in oven & bake about
10 minutes.


No-churn Ripple Ice Cream

2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. cherry pie filling (from 21 oz can)*
1/2 C. blueberry pie filling (fro 21 oz can)*

In large bowl whip whipping cream until stiff
peaks form. Fold vanilla & sweetnd cond. milk
into whipped cream – Pour mixture into a
9 X 5″ loaf pan (or similar sized container).
Put cherry pie filling in food processor &
pulse until smooth – drizzle over top of whipped
cream mixture. (rinse & dry out food processor).
Process blueberry pie filling until smooth & drizzle
over whipped cream mixture. Use a knife to cut
through the pie filling & create swirls. Cover pan
tightly with plastic wrap & freeze 8 hours until
firm. Serves 10-12

*Reserve rest of pie filling for another use



Hope you’re having a GREAT DAY!




I WENT SHOPPING!!! Our state is finally out from under the ‘stay at home’ order; we picked up my van at the dealership yesterday (needed a new Air Conditioning compressor – under warranty – yay!). Today I decided I would GO OUT! Stopped at Walgreens & picked up my instant coffee on sale (they offer it about every 3-4 months on sale) then stopped at CVS to pick up more things on sale (and to use my $10 off coupon that would expire soon). After that I drove to a nice little park where 12 of my knit ladies were meeting (6 feet apart) to knit/crochet for an hour outside! It was SO NICE to get out and really SEE people in person instead of on the Zoom meetings! One lady brought me a bag of white yarns; said “I thought you might be able to use these.” Turns out she was absolutely right! I really needed exactly that! (I use a lot of white yarn in the baby blankets). PERFECT! Without going into great detail, we’re going to do this again tomorrow (there’s a free yarn/knit project thing going on so the intent is for us to pick up the yarns, knit/crochet something with it then give it back to the lady who will give it to a charity for them to sell in their gift shop.

(a 80+ yr old woman died & she had a stash of VERY EXPENSIVE yarns – her daughter gave us the yarns with the intent that we would use them for charity only. (one of my ladies is keeping track of it all). I took 2 bags – we’ll see how this goes. Am planning on knitting either a cowl, fingerless gloves or a scarf with it – we’ll see – I promised I wouldn’t knit a baby blanket! HA!)

I’m going to try to go grocery shopping tomorrow – we’ll see how that goes (and if I have the courage to do so – today found me almost in a panic attack after leaving the first store – weird! I’ve been looking forward to this for 3 months!)


Cherry Coffee Cake

1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
8 T. butter (1 stick/ 1/2 C.), melted
1/2 C. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 tsp. lemon extract
Crumb Topping:
1/2 C. flour
2 T. butter, melted
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl whisk flour, sugar,
baking powder/baking soda.
Stir in melted butter, milk, egg &
vanilla – mix well & spread into
bottom of prepared pan. In a
medium bowl mix lemon extract
with pie filling & spread over
flour mixture.
In a small bowl mix together Crumb
Topping ingredients & sprinkle on
top of pie filling.
Bake 55-60  minutes until topping is
brown & bubbly. Serves 9

NOTE: If you would like a glaze on top,
combine 1/2 C. powdered sugar & a few
tablespoons milk – drizzle over cooled cake.


Chicken Tortilla Bake

3 C. cooked, shredded chicken
2 (4 oz, ea) cans chopped green chilies
1 C. chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
soup undiluted
1 small onion, finely chopped
12 corn tortillas, warmed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:
Sour cream
chopped green onions
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine chicken, chiles, broth,
soups & onion. Layer half of tortillas
in bottom of sprayed pan, cutting to
fit if desired. Top with half of chicken
mixture & half of cheese – repeat
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until
heated through. Serves 8

NOTE: Freezer option:
Cover & freeze unbaked casserole
To use: partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes before
baking. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 30 minutes, increasing time as
necessary to heat through & a
thermometer inserted in center
reads 165º.


Crunchy Taco Cups

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 envelope taco seasoning (3 T.)
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
(OR) Mexican blend cheese
24 wonton wrappers*
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Generously spray a 12 – cup muffin
tin with nonstick cooking spray. Combine
cooked meat, taco seasoning & Ro-Tel
in a bowl; stir to combine. Line each
muffin tin with a wonton wrapper; add
1 1/2 T. meat mixture & top with 1 T.
cheese – press down & add another layer
of wonton wrapper, meat mixture & a
final layer of cheese – repeat.
Bake 11-13 minutes until cups are heated
through & edges are brown. Makes 12

*You can find wonton wrappers in the
chilled fruits/veggies section of
grocery stores

Deep-dish Ham & Asparagus Quiche

1 9 inch pie crust (refrigerated)
3 T. olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 T. water
12 oz. cooked ham, cubed
1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed/
cut into small pieces
6 oz. shredded Swiss or Monterey
Jack cheese
7 eggs
3 C. heavy cream
salt/pepper, to taste

Coat large skillet with olive oil; add
onions & water – cook over medium-low
heat, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes,
until caramelized. Add ham & cook,
stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add
asparagus; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine eggs, heavy cream, salt/
pepper – whisk to combine. Place about 2/3rds
ham mixture into crust – top with 2/3rds cheese.
Pour 2/3 egg mixture on top – repeat with remaining
ham/cheese/egg mixtures. Filling should be about
1/2″ from top of pie crust. (If you have extra
ingredients, save for scrambled eggs the next day).
Cover quiche loosely with foil. Bake about 90
minutes. Remove foil & bake another 20-30 minutes
until quiche is set but juggles just slightly.
Remove from oven, let cool on wire rack 30-45
minutes before serving. Can be served room
temp, cold or warm. Serves 12

NOTE: If making the day ahead, let cool to room
temp. on a cooling rack. Cover & refrigerate.
Remove from fridge about 45 minutes before
planning to serve.


Crockpot Creamy Nacho Chicken Dip

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

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


Fried Boneless/Skinless
Chicken Breasts
(overnight recipe)

2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken
2 C. buttermilk*
2 C. flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
3 whole eggs
3 T. whole milk
2 T. hot sauce (your choice)
Enough shortening (or lard) to
come 2 inches up side of a large
cast iron skillet
Place chicken breasts in a large zip
lock bag; cover with buttermilk &
let stand in refrigerator overnight
or at least 12 hours. When ready
to cook; drain chicken/discard
In large bowl whisk flour, salt/pepper,
garlic powder & paprika. In a shallow
(pie) pan beat eggs, milk & hot sauce.
Place chicken, 2 pieces at a time, in
flour mixture, then egg, then back
into flour, pressing each time to coat.
Breading should be rough & shaggy:
the shaggy parts will crisp up as they fry
& give a nice crunchy crust. As you bread
each piece, place on a platter or plate.

Place a rack over a sheet tray (set aside).

In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, melt
shortening & heat to 325 degrees – no
higher**. Add all chicken at once, piece by
piece. If they don’t comfortably fit all at
once, you will need to cook in 2 batches.
The temperature of the oil will drop below
300 degrees F. when you place the chicken
in; if oil is too hot, the outsides will get too
dark before the insides cook. Fry for a total
of about 15 minutes, carefully turning each
piece every few minutes for even browning.
(Insert a probe thermometer into one piece
& remove from fryer onto prepared rack when
internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
The chicken will continue to cook to a safe
165 degrees F.) Be careful when handling
the chicken so the cooked breading stays on.
Serve immediately. Serves 4

*If you don’t have buttermilk: In a 1-cup
measuring cup add 1 T. lemon juice or
vinegar. Pour enough milk in cup to reach
1-cup. Stir & let stand 5 minutes – now you
have ‘sour milk/buttermilk’.

**Poster used a candy thermometer to
reach temperature

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
cut into bite-sized florets
3 T. olive oil
1/2 C. fresh garlic cloves (more or
less, to taste)cut in half or thirds
if especially large
salt/black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl toss broccoli with
oil, garlic, salt & pepper – spread
in single layer on prepared sheet.
Roast about 20 minutes until
broccoli is bright green & edges are
starting to brown. (do not let garlic
get too brown or it will taste bitter)
Serve hot.  Serves 4


Brownie-bottom Cheesecake

1 box brownie mix
2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate ice cream topping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9″ springform pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
Mix brownie mix accordg. to pkg;
spread in prepared pan.
Bake 8-10 minutes.
In large bowl mix cream cheese, eggs,
sugar & vanilla – beat until smooth &
spread on top of brownie.
Bake 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.
Bake another 15 minutes.
Cool completely before removing
from pan. Serve with chocolate
sauce drizzled on top, if desired.
Serves 8
(does not need to be refrigerated
before serving)



Since all of my ‘usual’ activities have been
put on hold b/c of the virus, I’ve been watching
TV in the evenings. Have been ‘binge watching’
NCIS Los Angeles lately, think I have 3-4 more
episodes before I’m done with the season (at
least all the ones that are ‘free’). I enjoy the
interaction between the characters; we also
love NCIS and NCIS New Orleans for the same

I spoke to the other leaders of my special
needs group and we’ve come to the decision
that we plan on starting up in the Fall. Hopefully
by that time things will have settled down a bit
as to churches being open, larger groups of
people meeting together – we’ll see. My group
averages about 15-17 students and about 8
or so adults. It’s such a strange world when you
have to plan out how far apart each person will
be from another person!  With that said, at
least now I know that my summer will be free.
Not sure yet when oldest son will have me start
babysitting my 3 yr old grandson again. He’s
checked with his big boss about when the hotels
will plan on re-opening their restaurants; still
not getting a definite answer – that’s hard to
plan when you don’t really know!

Hope you are all well and coping OK with all
the changes.



and, FINALLY, we’re done!

Yesterday the Governor of Michigan issued a end to her “Stay At Home” Order. Amazing – she originally had it scheduled for June 12th – not sure just why she changed it but there you go! My husband & I took my car to the dealership yesterday to get the air conditioning fixed so guess what!? The FIRST day I can actually GO OUT I don’t have my van! (Yes, I ‘could’ drive my husband’s Jeep, but that thing is like a TANK – very rough ride). Guess I’ll be ‘home’ for today and part of tomorrow (dealership said they should have it fixed by Weds. – let’s hope so!). Good thing is: it’s under warranty – YAY!

The weather is beautiful – sunny & breezy 73 degrees F. (supposed to get up to 84!). I decided yesterday, before hearing about the lifted order, that I really needed to knit something different (other than baby blankets) so I knit a pair of tiny baby booties; today I’m working on a baby/toddler headband for the baby shower in September. Sometimes you just need to change things up a bit!


Aunt Norma’s Rhubarb Muffins

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. buttermilk*
1 1/2 C. diced rhubarb
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 T. melted butter
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 (12 C, ea) muffin tins
with nonstick cooking spray
or use paper liners.
In medium bowl mix flour,
baking soda, baking powder &
In a large bowl beat
brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla &
buttermilk using elec. mixer,
until smooth. Pour dry
ingredients into wet & mix
by hand just until blended.
Stir in rhubarb & nuts – spoon
into muffin cups, filling almost
to the top.
In a small bowl stir melted
butter, gran. sugar & cinnamon –
sprinkle about 1 tsp. on top of
each muffin.
Bake 25 minutes until tops spring
back when lightly pressed. Cool
in pans at least 10 minutes before
removing. Makes 24 muffins

*If you don’t have buttermilk:

Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 1-cup measuring cup – pour
enough milk into cup to come to
the 1 cup mark. Stir & let stand
5 minutes – now you have ‘sour


Spinach-stuffed Chicken

4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. mayonnaise
1 1/2 C. chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place chicken on cutting board and,
using a sharp knife, cut a pocket
into the side of each chicken breast.
In a small bowl mix paprika, 1/2 tsp.
salt, garlic & onion powders; sprinkle
evenly over both sides of the chicken.
In a small bowl mix cream cheese, Parm.
cheese, mayo, spinach, garlic, red pepper
& remaining 1/2 tsp. salt  – stir to combine.
Spoon  mixture into each chicken ‘pocket’
evenly. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray & place chicken
on sheet. Drizzle each breast with olive
oil. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes
until chicken is cooked through.
Serves 4


Loaded Red Potato Casserole

16 small red potatoes (about 1 3/4 lb)
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
1 C. sour cream
2 T. minced fresh chives
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 qt. baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place potatoes in a 6 qt. stockpot &
cover potatoes with water – bring to
a boil. Reduce heat, cook, uncovere,
15-20 minutes until tender. Drain &
return to pot. Mash potatoes, gradually
adding milk, butter, pepper/salt – spread
into prepared dish. Sprinkle top with
1 C. cheese & bacon. Dollop top with
sour cream & sprinkle with chives
& remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered,
until heated through & cheese is melted,
20-25 minutes. Serves 8


Garlic Butter Shrimp & Pasta

8 oz. pasta, cooked al dente*
3 T. butter, divided
1 lb. medium shrimp (31/40 count),
peeled/deveined/ patted dry
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning,
juice of 1/4 lemon (plus wedges for
serving, if desired)
1 C. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 C. sliced green onions
3 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. white wine
1 C. chicken stock or broth
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

*reserve 1 C. pasta water. Drain pasta.
In large skillet heat 2 T. butter over high
heat. Add shrimp; sprinkle with seasonings;
cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes until shrimp are
cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove to
a bowl, leave drippings in skillet. Squeeze
lemon over shrimp. Add remaining butter
to skillet & cook bell pepper, green onion &
garlic, stirring occasionally until slightly
softened, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to
medium-high; add wine & chic. broth; bring
to boil – boil 5 minutes. Add pasta, shrimp,
parsley & red pepper flakes – toss until
warmed through, adding reserved pasta
water, a little at a time, to moisten, (ONLY
if needed). Taste & adjust seasonings.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Serves 4-6


Bacon/Cream Cheese Dip
(also known as Heaven on
a Cracker)

12 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
2/3 C. mayonnaise
8 oz. Monterey Jack or Swiss
cheese, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
Dippers: tortilla chips, crackers or
corn chips

In a bowl blend cream cheese &
mayonnaise. Fold in shredded
cheese & onions – spread in a
microwave-safe dish. Combine
crumbled bacon & cracker
crumbs & sprinkle on top.
Microwave on High 2-3 minutes
depending on your microwave
wattage. Serve with tortilla chips,
crackers or corn chips, for dippers.
Makes about 6-8 servings.


Crockpot Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef, browned/
1 envelope dry taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can pork & beans (can
substitute chili beans)
1 (11 oz) can mexicorn, drained (can
substitute regular whole kernel corn)
1 (10.75 oz) can Cheddar cheese
soup, undiluted
1 C. milk
2 C. shredded cheese (poster
recommends mozzarella)

2 C. Chili Cheese Fritos, crushed
(can use crushed Doritos or even
a buttery cracker, crushed)
In small bowl mix water & dry
taco seasoning mix – pour over
cooked ground beef; pour into
crockpot. Top with pork & beans,
mexicorn, evenly. In a bowl mix
soup & milk – pour on top.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours.
Top with cheese & turn on High
15 minutes. Top with crushed
chips & serve. Serves 8


Mexican Grilled Corn

6 ears fresh corn, shucked/fibers
2 T. mayonnaise
3 T. sour cream
1/2 C. grated or shredded Parmesan
cheese (OR Mexican Cotija cheese)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Heat grill over medium heat – spray
rack with nonstick cooking spray.
Grill ears of corn, turning frequently
so they don’t burn, until corn is
slightly browned & heated through,
8-10 minutes.
In a small bowl combine mayo & sour
cream – whisk until smooth. In another
small bowl combine chili powder,
salt/pepper. Using a cooking brush,
slather hot grilled corn with mayo/
sour cream mixture then sprinkle
with chili powder mixture. Coat in
Parm. cheese & sprinkle with chopped
cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge (use
lime to squirt juice over corn).
Serves 6


Strawberry Short Cake

1 1/2 quarts fresh (or frozen) strawberries;

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 C/8 T.)
1 C. buttermilk**
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Whipped cream for topping
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a round 9 inch cake pan (or
9 X 9″ square pan) with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl whisk flour, sugar,
baking powder, salt & baking soda.
Cut in butter until it resembles
coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk,
eggs & vanilla – stir with a spoon
until all ingredients are wet. Pour
batter into prepared pan & bake
25-30 minutes, checking for
doneness. Let cool 10 minutes &
remove from pan to a plate. (you
could slice this in half & put
strawberries in the middle & on
top & add whipped cream to entire
dish (OR) slice individual pieces in
half & add strawberries/cream.
Serves 8-10

*You can make this with strawberries,
blueberries, blackberries, peaches or
any fruit.

**If you don’t have buttermilk:
In a 1-cup measure, pour 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar. Add enough milk to
reach the 1-cup measure. Stir & let
stand 5 minutes – now you have
‘sour milk/buttermilk’



The interesting thing about our Governor’s change of
order is that she’s opening up bars and restaurants!
So far, it will be 50% capacity, tables/chairs 6 feet
apart but also allowing outdoor/patio serving. I
texted my son (the chef) who’s out of state right now
& told him, asking if he’d heard anything from his boss.
Answer: no, not at this time. His boss originally had
planned on opening July 1st, bringing back employees
a week earlier to get set up. Ought to be interesting
to see where this goes. She opened pools (but not
in my area – guess that’s under a local ordinance
right now), gyms, exercise classes, etc. but still
(I don’t go to them but I know a LOT of people
are really upset about that)










Hope you’re having a good week!



Another beautiful Saturday!

It seems so strange the way the days are flying by. I’m sure, once our ‘quarantine’ is lifted, we will wonder just how we survived without going bonkers (for those of you who haven’t been working through this). It’s a sunny/balmy 66 degrees F. Yesterday I decided I really needed to find another baby blanket pattern – as if knitting 2 wasn’t enough . . . bumped into a pattern that I’d done many years ago. This time I decided to change it up a bit; I’m starting with white and a federal blue then will see where this goes. I don’t think I have enough blue to complete the blanket so am thinking of changing it up by using various colors, interspersed with white – we’ll see. The fuzzy pink/white blanket is almost done; the multi-colored/scalloped blanket has a long way to go.

In the ‘kinda bored’ area, I decided we needed to spice up dinner so I made a Taco Salad the other night. (ordering groceries through Kroger-they didn’t have 1,000 Island salad dressing so I went with Catalina – DON’T DO THAT! TOO SWEET!) Needless to say, it’s all gone – sweet or not! Last night I made a Meat & Potato Pie (basically it’s a big meatloaf made in a 9 X 13″ baking pan, topped with mashed potatoes & shredded Cheddar Cheese (melted); it’s one of my husband’s favorite meals. I still have to roast the turkey – it’s been my ‘staple quarantine’ food since this started. I kind of felt like I knew that I had that in the freezer so we wouldn’t totally run out of meat! (fowl, to be more specific). I don’t know about your area, but here meat/chicken especially/hamburger are pretty scarce in the stores. I tried ordering Pork Chops from Kroger last time since they were advertised on sale that week but didn’t get them in my order. According to the calendar for my state
Michigan; our Stay-At-Home Order expires June 12th. Am REALLY hoping this will be the END of the ‘can’t go out no matter what’ if you’re considered in the older age group/diabetic, etc. I try not to complain, but there’s only SO MUCH you can try to convince yourself you’re not totally BORED!

A few days ago my oldest son & his 2 sons (ages 14 & 3) showed up at our house to cut down some trees in our yard & take out part of a chain-link fence. I knew SON was coming but didn’t expect our grandsons (well – the 3 yr old, anyway). We’ve seen son & older grandson at a distance since this started but have not been close to the 3 yr old. Let’s just say the 3 yr old is VERY ADVENTUROUS (to say the least). I ended up bringing him in the house & watching various DVD’s with him to keep him amused – it was a VERY LONG afternoon! (wrote on the calendar the date just in case I end up sick in 2 weeks – sure hope not!) Husband was outside helping do the work; the yard looks great.

I also found out lately that two events I take part in every year will still be held: our County Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social end of July (where I wear my costume & my ladies & I knit/crochet outside under a sycamore tree for the day – this year it’s going to be 2 days; they will be celebrating the BiCentennial for the County. Our end of September knit/crochet donations for the Detroit Veterans Hospital Baby Shower is also a ‘go’, but they will have to do a ‘drive in/pick up’ for the ladies, rather than a sit-down shower/party. I will have to work out the details of how the lady in charge of Women’s Affairs will pick up our donations, but that will be at a later date (maybe we’ll have to do a parking lot pick-up, too!).


Crockpot Raspberry/
Chocolate Lava Cake
(using 2 1/2 qt. crockpot)

1/2 C. butter, sliced
2 (1 oz, ea) squares unsweetened
baking chocolate
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. sugar
1/3 C. seedless raspberry jam,
6 tsp. seedless raspberry jam,
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Optional garnishes:
fresh raspberries
ice cream
whipped cream
Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In a saucepan on Low heat,
melt butter & chocolate. Remove
from heat & stir in sugar, 1/3 C.
jam, vanilla & eggs. Add flour
& baking powder – combine
well & pour into crockpot.
Dot top with remaining
teaspoonfuls of jam evenly.
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours
until cake is set (it will be a
spoonable consistency)
Serve warm with fresh raspberries
& ice cream or whipped cream.
Serves 6


Parmesan-Roasted Carrot Fries

2 lb. carrots, peeled/sliced into
1/4″ thick ‘fries’
1 T. oil
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. Parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)
cheese, grated
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl gently toss carrots in
oil, salt/pepper – sprinkle on cheese;
mix to coat. Spread in single layer on
a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Roast 16-20 minutes, mixing halfway
through. Serves 6


Brown Sugar Baked Beans

10 slices bacon, halved
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
(54 oz) pork & beans
4 T. ketchup
1/4 C. molasses
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cider vinegar
2 tsp. dry mustard

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook bacon about half way done;
drain on paper towel.
Place oven rack to lower-middle rack
position. In deep skillet heat about
2 T. bacon grease (or butter)over medium
heat. Add diced onion & green pepper –
saute about 5 minutes until softened.
Add remaining ingredients & stir to
combine – simmer about 1 minute.
Pour beans in bottom of prepared dish;
lay semi-cooked bacon on top. Bake
2-3 hours (depending on your desired
consistency). Let beans stand 5
minutes before serving.

Sheet Pan Panko Shrimp

1 1/2 lb. jumbo (10/15 count)
Wild American shrimp, preferably
Gulf Shrimp, peeled/deveiend
zest of 1 lemon (reserve juice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
2/3 C. panko breadcrumbs
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 T. dried parsley flakes, plus
more for garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with
foil & spray with nonstick cooking
spray (or brush lightly with olive oil)
Pat shrimp dry using paper towels &
place in large bowl. Toss with
remaining olive oil, salt/pepper, Cajun
seasoning, Old Bay, pepper flakes &
paprika. Add lemon zest & garlic,
spread on prepared pan in single layer.

In separate bowl mix panko crumbs,
butter, cheese, black pepper & parsley –
sprinkle half over shrimp & press lightly;
repeat with remaining crumbs. Bake 10-12
minutes (depending on size of shrimp)
until shrimp are cooked through &
crumbs are lightly browned. Squeeze
lemon juice on top & sprinkle with
parsley before serving. Serves 4


Cucumber Cream Cheese Spread
(overnight recipe)

1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut into chunks
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. salt

Dippers: crackers, toasted bagels
Cut off roots from gr. onion; place
onions in food processor – add
cucumber. Pulse until coarsely
chopped (do not over process – you
want chunks not water). Add cream
cheese, Worc. sauce & salt – Cover &
pulse until smooth; transfer to a
medium bowl. Cover & refrigerate
overnight for flavors to blend.
(this recipe NEEDS to be refrigerated
overnight before eating).
Serves 4


Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

2 C. orzo pasta
1 C. grape tomatoes, quartered
1 C. diced cucumber
5 T. olive oil
1 lemon
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano (optional)
salt/pepper, to taste

Cook pasta until tender (about 10
minutes) – do not over cook or it
will become mushy. Rinse with cold
water & drain. Zest lemon to get
1 T. lemon zest. Juice the lemon to
get 2 tsp. lemon juice.
In large bowl mix parsley, tomatoes,
cucumbers, lemon zest. Mix in oil
& seasonings; stir in drained pasta &
combine. Serve immediately or chill,
covered. Serves 8

NOTE: refrigerate leftovers for up to
5 days

Red Beet Eggs

12 hard boiled eggs, shelled
2 cans sliced or whole beets
2 C. beet juice from cans (add
water to make 2 C., if needed)
2 C. white vinegar (equal to
amount of beet juice/water)
1/4 C. sugar

In a saucepan heat beet juice/
water to very hot but not boiling.
Add sugar & vinegar – stir & allow
to cool a little.
In a large gallon glass jar add eggs
& beets; pour liquid over beets &
refrigerate for at least 4 days.


Crockpot Bacon Cheddar Potatoes

1 (12 oz) pkg. bacon, cooked crisp/
6 potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Optional garnish: chopped green onion
Line crockpot with aluminum foil so
that it will be able to fold together
over top of potatoes. Spread half of
crumbled bacon evenly on bottom
of crockpot – cover with half sliced
onions. Top with half of potatoes;
repeat layers. Fold foil to create
a packet over potatoes. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours.
ONE half hour before serving:
add cheese & stir gently. Cover &
heat through. Just before serving
top with chopped green onion,
if using. Serves 6

Crockpot Easy Peach Crumble

9 C. frozen peaches & any juice
in the bag, thawed
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. old fashioned oats
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl mix peaches, 1/2 C.
brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon
juice & extracts; add to crockpot.
In another bowl mix remaining
ingredients using 2 forks or a
pastry cutter until crumbles form.
Sprinkle crumbles over top of
peaches. Cover & cook on High
90 minutes. Serves 8



Hope you are all in good health & enjoying this weather!



Memorial Day

Today found us going to Kroger Pick-up for a grocery order. I was very surprised when going on their site last night to find that there were pick-up times open for TODAY! If you have never done this method of grocery shopping, it certainly is very much like a Roulette Wheel: you place the items you want on the order and go pick them up. You actually DON’T KNOW if what you ordered will actually BE THERE when you pick up! The employee who brings out your groceries will go over the receipt & tell you what (if any) substitutions they’ve made. (Yes, you CAN specify that you don’t want substitutions on items – this time I forgot). All went well until we got home started unpacking. Good thing the items we DIDN’T get were not essential: paper towels, 5 lb. potatoes (could have used those), oven cleaner, pork chops (they had them advertised on sale but apparently they were all gone), garbage bags. I was pleasantly surprised that I WAS able to order TOILET PAPER! (It wasn’t the brand we usually use, but at this point ANY was happily received!).

Planning on making Taco Salad for dinner tomorrow (yes, it would be a great holiday dinner but we still have leftover beef enchiladas to finish first). How are YOU doing with groceries/cooking, etc. during this quarantine? I can’t say we’re starving, that’s for sure. I am able to get just about everything I normally would if I were picking them out – just really MISS the privilege of doing that in person! Our governor extended the Stay-at-Home order until June 12th, dropping the State of Emergency order June 19th. Makes you really wonder just WHEN this will all actually be over?

Reminds me of the title of a book I read in Junior High School: Brave New World – no, the premise is not the same as now, but the title certainly fits what our world will be like post-quarantine! My cousin lives in Iowa and said that their governor opened up bars & restaurants – they now have 30 new cases of Covid-19. Sigh . . .

Enough of the “world according to Pammie” report – here’s some more recipes!


Campfire Cinnamon Roll-ups

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
wooden skewers
In small bowl combine cinnamon &
sugar. Separate rolls & wrap around
the skewers – roll in cinnamon sugar
mixture. Cook over campfire 5 minutes
rotating frequently.
 Mix 1/4 C. powdered sugar & 2-3 T.
water together to make a glaze –
drizzle over cooked roll-ups.

(recipe: FB)

Corn Fritters

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn
2 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
1 pat butter
2 T. cooking oil
1/4 C. chopped parsley

Drain corn. In a bowl mix eggs,
salt/pepper – beat. Add flour &
baking powder – whisk until smooth;
add corn & cheese -stir.
Place butter & oil in a skillet – heat until
bubbly over medium heat. Drop corn
mixture by spoonfuls into oil – when
golden on bottom, turn over & cook
other side. Drain on paper towels &
serve. Serves 6

Copycat Thomas BBQ Mashed
Potato Salad

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen cubed hash
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 C. diced onion
1/2 C. chopped sweet pickles
1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sweet pickle juice
1 heaping tsp. mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Place hash browns in large pot &
add enough water to cover – bring
to boil over medium-high heat. Once
boiling, cook 10 minutes until tender.
Drain & place in large bowl – mash,
using potato masher but leave lumpy.
In a blender, place chopped sweet
pickles & chopped onion – pulse a
few times until very fine, almost like
a relish. In bowl with potatoes place
mayo, pickle juice, mustard, minced
pickles/onions, salt/pepper – stir until
well mixed. Stir in chopped eggs until
incorporated. Cover & refrigerate several
hours until cold.


Creamy Pea Salad

2 lb. frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. diced red onion
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. cubed Colby-Jack cheese

In large bowl combine all ingredients;
stir to combine making sure to coat
all ingredients well. Store covered,
in fridge, until ready to serve.
Serves 10
Leftovers keep refrigerated up to 3 days.


One-skillet Queso Verde Corn Dip

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 ears fresh sweet corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. salsa verde
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
salt/black pepper
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, divided

For Serving:
hot sauce, to taste
tortilla chips for dipping
fresh chopped cilantro
diced tomatoes
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in 12-inch,
oven-proof skillet on medium-
high heat. Add onions – cook
3 minutes; add corn, bell peppers
& garlic – saute 1 minute.
Add salsa verde, cream cheese,
sour cream, mayo, spices, 3/4 C.
Monterrey Jack cheese & 1 1/4
C. Cheddar – stir until well blended.
Spread in even layer in skillet & top
with remaining cheeses. Bake 20-25
minutes until bubbly.
Serves 10

You can transfer dip to crockpot to
keep warm for 2 hours – OR serve
immediately. Garnish with cilantro &
chopped tomatoes, if desired. Serve
with tortilla chips


Crockpot Baked Beans

16 oz. dried Navy beans (or any
small white bean will work)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 C. dark brown sugar, firmly
1/3 C. molasses
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. dry mustard
5 C. water
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt/pepper – to taste
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/drained/
cut into small pieces or crumbled
Rinse & pick through beans
(read bean package directions).
In 6 qt. crockpot combine beans,
onion, dark brown sugar, molasses,
vinegar, mustard, water & black
pepper (add bacon if using).
Stir just until ingredients are combined.
Cover & cook on Low about 12 hours
until beans are tender. Stir in salt, to
taste, additional pepper, if needed.
(start with half teaspoon & go from there).
Turn crockpot to warm until ready to
serve. Serves 12

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (16 oz) bottle French or Catalina salad
1 C. apricot preserves
1 pkt. onion soup mix
1 (15.75 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
2 green peppers, chopped

cooked rice to serve 4
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl combine salad dressing,
apricot preserves & dry soup  mix.
Add chicken pieces & stir well;
pour into prepared dish.
Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.
Remove from oven & stir in drained
pineapple & chopped green peppers;
stir & cook 15 minutes. Remove from
oven & serve over cooked rice.
Serves 4


Chicken Tender Saute

3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
3/4 C. onion, diced
4 large scallions, whites diced/
greens sliced & separated
1 C. red bell pepper, diced
1 T. garlic, minced
8 chicken tenders (about 1 1/4 lb)*
3 C. loosely packed fresh baby
spinach (about 2 oz)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. sour cream

In large saute pan melt butter in oil
over medium-high heat; add onion,
scallion whites, bell pepper & garlic –
saute 3 minutes until onions are
translucent. Add chicken & nestle
it down so tenders sit on bottom to
brown. Cook 1-2 minutes until lightly
seared. Turn each tender & lightly
brown on other side. Add spinach,
scallion tops (green part), salt/pepper &
stir to combine. Cover & cook 1-2
minutes until spinach is wilted & chicken
is cooked through. Remove from heat
& stir in sour cream. Adjust salt/pepper to
your taste. Serves 2

*Strips of boneless, skinless chicken breast
may be substituted for tenders however
texture of cooked chicken may not be as


Easy Ice Cream Cake
(overnight recipe-lots
of freezing steps)

1 (20 oz) box brownie mix – prepared
as directed in 9 X 13″ baking pan
15 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped
1 (13 oz) jar hot fudge topping,
room temp or warmed slightly
if needed
3 quarts ice cream, slightly softened
(should be spreadable)
1 (12 oz) jar salted caramel sauce,
room temp or warmed slightly if
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare brownie mix accordg to pkg.
directions in 9 X 13″ baking pan baked
19-22 minutes until edges appear done &
center isn’t quite set. Let cool completely
then freeze 30 minutes.
Spread hot fudge topping on brownies &
top with chopped Oreos, pressing cookies
into fudge – smooth out top. Cover with
plastic wrap & freeze at least 6 hours, or
preferably overnight.

Spread ice cream over hot fudge layer –
smooth out top; cover with plastic wrap
& freeze at least 6 hours.

Top ice cream with caramel sauce, smooth
top. Using elec. mixer, beat heavy whipping
cream, powdered sugar & vanilla until stiff
peaks form. Spread on top of caramel &
smooth. Freeze at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve:
Top with Oreo crumbs, additional whipped

Store leftovers in freezer, tightly wrapped
or in airtight container up to 3 weeks.
Allow about 10 minutes at room temp.
before cutting.



Our weather has really perked up –
it’s 82º out right now & sunny. I
sat outside yesterday for about 40
minutes but it was too hot, no breeze
so I came back in. Looking at our
weather forecast, it looks like we’ll
be in the 80’s through Friday then
drop down (due to overnight
thunderstorms) to high of 77º.
Still, not bad! Summer is a comin’,
for sure!

Hope you are all having a nice day
and are in good health.



PS: Noticed that our gas prices are
up to $1.94/9 a gallon (guessing it’s
because it’s a holiday weekend).

Holiday Recipes

Cherry Pudding Cake

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

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


Campfire Cheesy Potatoes
(in foil – Grill or Oven)

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

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

(OVEN:) bake 15 minutes.

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


Best Pasta Salad

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

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

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

Southwestern Grilled Chicken
with Lime Butter

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

Lime Butter:

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

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

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

Greek Village Salad

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


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


Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches

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

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


Crockpot Korean BBQ

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

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


Crockpot Creamy Nacho Chicken Dip

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

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


Crockpot Mac & Cheese

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

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

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


Salted Caramel Cookie Cups

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

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

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



Enjoy your weekend!



Happy Wednesday!

It’s a lovely Spring day out – sunny 50 degrees F. (High expected of 61). Just got done with a Zoom Knit Library group (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – I’m so glad one of our ladies started that – it’s so nice to just knit & chat with friends! My husband hears us chatting and is amazed at the various suggestions/tips, etc. we come up with. One lady was having trouble with a pretty complicated shawl pattern and other ladies chimed in with suggestions – great! I’m almost done with the variegated baby blanket; still have lots of work on the terry-like fuzzy chevron blanket. (I’ve done that pattern before but can only do about 8 rows before I need to stop – lots of counting stitches/rows.

Hope all of you are having a great day! I’ve been (like usual) collecting more recipes to share:


Old Fashioned Butter Cake

3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter
2 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 C. buttermilk or cream*
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking
or Bundt pan. Sift flour, baking
powder, baking soda & salt
together. Cream butter, sugar,
mix in eggs (one at a time),
and vanilla. Blend in buttermilk
alternately with flour mixture into
creamed mixture. Pour into
prepared pan. Bake 1 hour. Remove
from oven & let cool completely.
Frost with:

Butter Cream Frosting:
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 c. milk or cream
2 tsp. vanilla
5 C. powdered sugar

Cream butter & vanilla until smooth.
Add sugar, alternating with milk, a
little at a time; blend until desired
consistency is reached. Frost cake.

Use 1/2 C. butter & 1/2 C. shortening
in place of the 1 C. butter

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice in
a 2-cup measuring cup. Pour in
enough milk to reach the 1 Cup
mark. Stir & let set 5 minutes –
now you have buttermilk!

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Chicken Tortilla Chip Casserole

4-5 C. cooked, chopped chicken
1 C. green onion, chopped (or regular
1 C. green pepper, chopped
2 T. oil
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup,
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup,
1 (4 oz) can green chilies, drained
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
3-4 C. crushed tortilla chips
2 C. shredded Mexican-style cheese
(or cheese of your choice)

NOTE: you can add some cayenne
or hot sauce to casserole before, or
after baking

Optional toppings:
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
sliced olives
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In a large skillet cook green pepper &
onion in oil. Add tomatoes, both soups,
green chilies, chili powder, garlic powder,
pepper/salt & cumin – mix well & simmer
about 10 minutes.
Place a layer of crushed tortilla chips in
prepared dish. Add a layer of chicken &
cover with half soup mixture. Sprinkle
1 C. shredded cheese then add another
layer of chips, chicken & rest of soup
mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove
& add remaining 1 C. cheese – return
to oven about 5 minutes, enough to
melt cheese on top. Serves 10-12


Crockpot Meatloaf & Veggies

2 T. olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (plus more, to
1/2 tsp black pepper ( plus more, to
1/4 C. beef broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
3/4 C. breadcrumbs
3/4 C. ketchup, divided
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. small potatoes, halved
1 lb. carrots, peeled/halved,
cut into 1-inch pieces

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In small pan on stovetop heat 1 T.
olive oil; add onion & cook 4-5 minutes
or until softened. Add garlic & cook 30
seconds more. Place garlic/onion in
large bowl with ground beef, thyme, salt/
pepper, broth, Worc. sauce, eggs &
breadcrumbs -stir well to combine.
Drizzle remaining olive oil over carrots &
potatoes – toss to coat; season with salt/
pepper, to taste. Form beef mixture into
a loaf & place in crockpot. Arrange
veggies around meat. Brush top with
half the ketchup.
Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.
Brush remaining ketchup over cooked
meatloaf; sprinkle with parsley then
slice & serve. Serves 8

NOTE: if you don’t have time to cook
the onions & garlic, you can add them
raw to ground beef mixture


Broccoli, Cheese & Potato Soup

2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
2-3 large carrots, peeled, diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed
into small pieces
1 tsp. onion powder
2 small heads broccoli, washed/diced
3 T. butter
1/2 C. flour
3 1/2 – 4 C. milk
4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp/chopped
In large pot combine broth, carrots,
potatoes & onion powder – bring to boil.
Cover & simmer 10 minutes. Add broccoli;
cover & simmer another 10 minutes.
While simmering:
In large saucepan melt butter. Whisk
in flour – cook 1 minutes until golden
brown. Whisk in milk & cook 5 minutes
until sauce thickens. Add cheese & stir
until melted; add salt & garlic pepper.
Pour cheese sauce into pot with veggies
& stir until well combined. Add more milk
for a thinner consistency, if desired. Adjust
salt/pepper if needed. Top with bacon
pieces when serving.

(recipe: FB Social Distance Dishes)
Frito Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (15 oz, ea) cans Ranch style beans
(pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce)
1 (9 1/4 oz) pkg. Frito Corn chips
2 (10 oz. ea) cans enchilada sauce
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
thinly sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium heat cook beef &
onions; drain & stir in beans – heat
through. Reserve 1 C. corn chips for
topping. Place remaining corn chips in
bottom of prepared dish & layer with
meat mixture, enchilada sauce &
cheese. Top with reserved chips.
Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes until
cheese is melted. Sprinkle with sliced
green onions, if desired. Serves 6


Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip

2 cans Ro*TEL (poster used 1 can Mexican-
style & 1 can Chili Fixin’s)
1 can Wolf brand chili – homestyle flavor
1 (32 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cubed
1 T. chili powder

Pour Ro*Tel in bottom of crockpot; add
Velveeta & pour Wolf’s chili on top.
Sprinkle top with chili powder & stir.
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour, stirring
occasionally. If cheese has not blended,
cook another 1/2 hour, stirring
occasionally. Serve with corn chips for
dipping. Serves 12


Gran’s Apple Cake

1 2/3 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 T. canola oil
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
6 C. peeled/chopped tart apples
1/2 C. chopped pecans

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl beat sugar, eggs,
applesauce, oil & vanilla until blended. In
another bowl whisk flour, baking soda,
cinnamon & salt; gradually beat into
sugar mixture – fold in apples & nuts.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan &
bake 35-40 minutes until top is golden
brown & a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack

In small bowl beat cream cheese, butter &
vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in
powdered sugar (mixture will be soft) &
spread over cake. Refrigerate leftovers.
Makes 18 servings



I had a very nice Mother’s Day – my oldest son’s
girlfriend had to work all day but dropped off
dinner for my husband & I:  Crab Cakes, Prime Rib,
Mashed Potatoes, Mac & Cheese (with Gruyere
cheese!), creamed spinach – what a feast! (She works
at J. Alexander’s – a kind of up-scale steak house –
they’ve gone to take out only; the food is excellent!)
There was enough for at least 2 dinners (we still have
enough prime rib for dinner tonight; am going to make
baked potatoes & add a salad – VOILA! One more
dinner! I’m anxious to make Nachos as I bought the
ingredients last week (when we did a pick-up grocery
order with Meijers). That’s ONE thing you can’t say
we’ve missed: LOTS OF FOOD! I’m working my best
at not over-eating (which is so easy to do these days!).

Have things changed any in your areas? Our ‘Stay at
Home/Stay Safe’ thing has been lifted a tiny bit: now
the golf courses are open and (according to one of
my knit ladies) they are going to allow golf carts as
of next week but only ONE PERSON PER CART. Not
much else that I’ve noticed (that I would use or need)
has changed/opened. I heard today that schools in
my area (only doing on-line) are going to be done
June 10th. I email my cousin in Iowa every Sunday &
he said their Governor opened TATOO PARLORS!
What a weird thing! (and those are counted as
ESSENTIAL???)  Lots of people here are getting
VERY anxious for barber shops to open (guess that’s
one area where I’m lucky to have long hair I trim
myself) although my husband’s getting a bit ‘shaggy’!

Stay safe – try to keep healthy!



and it’s FRIDAY . . . AGAIN!

It’s a lovely Spring day out – lots of sunshine, 58 degrees F.  – MY kind of day! We started out the morning Skyping with oldest son & our 2 grandsons, that was fun. Just got off the phone with another long-time friend (it’s her 77th birthday). Today is a day that just demands me to say: WE ARE SO BLESSED! I’m 71 3/4ths, my husband is 69; we’re in fairly good health – the friend I just talked with is in poor health and it grieves me to hear all she’s gone through. I’m SO grateful we can take things to the Lord for prayer; another blessing!

Our governor just extended the stay-at-home order to extend to May 25th (actually, it’s not yet official, but it’s coming.) I guess there are several law suits against her for doing this – not only the ‘regular’ people, but those in office here in Michigan are DONE with the stay at home thing. It’s now been over 6 weeks since I’ve been in any store. (I got to ‘escape the house’ today for a few minutes; drove to the local bank – the drive through, and deposited some checks. It was nice to just DRIVE my car and be OUTSIDE!) Food-wise we’re doing fine, am planning on making chili tonight (that should last us 3-4 days). Hearing about the lack of chicken in the stores and reading about the chicken processing plants being closed – scary stuff but I know we’ll make it through this! Hope you are all doing well – in good health. I’m scrounging around for new books to read (actually, digging through my old ones) and still knitting. My days are simple: eat/knit/read/play on computer – Facebook, recipes, etc., some tv in the evenings. I’ve been watching a few free movies on Xfinity/Comcast. I watched the 2017 version of “Murder on the Orient Express” (with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dame Judith Dench) – it was ‘ok’ – haven’t seen (or read) the other versions. I thought this one was rather ‘dark’ – as I said, it was ‘ok’.


Crushed Pineapple Sour Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) baked pie crust
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with
1 (3.5 oz0 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 T. granulated sugar
1 C. sour cream

Optional garnish: sweetened coconut flakes
In large bowl using elec. mixer, combine
pineapple, dry pudding mix & sugar –
mix in sour cream & beat on Low 2 minutes.
Pour mixture into prepared pie shell & chill
before serving. Can top with sweetened coconut
flakes as a garnish.


Mini Quiches – 3 Ways

3 refrigerated pie crusts
3 eggs
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
(each makes enough to fill
8 muffin cups)
1/2 C. cooked spinach, excess water
removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. roasted red bell peppers,
finely chopped
3 T. feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp. fresh dill,  minced

Ham & Cheese:
1/4 C. cooked ham, diced
1/4 C. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 T. fresh parsley, minced

1/4 C. cooked bacon, crumbled
1/3 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T. green onions, sliced
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 24 mini muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray
Unroll pie crusts & lay them on
a flat surface. Using a 3 inch
cookie cutter – cut 12 circles out
of each crust (or you could use
the edge of a floured drinking glass)
Press each circle of crust into the
muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, cream,

Greek Mini Quiches:
Divide spinach, roasted peppers,
feta cheese & dill between 8 muffin cups

Ham & Cheese Mini Quiches:
Divide ham, cheese & parsley
between 8 muffin cups

Bacon Mini Quiches:
Divide bacon, cheese & green
onions between 8 muffin cups.

Pour egg mixture into each cup so
that cups are 3/4ths full.
Bake 20-25 minutes until tops are
browned. Use a spatula to lift the
quiches out of the pans.
Serve immediately.
Makes 24 mini quiches.

Bacon/Potato/Corn Chowder

1/2 bacon, chopped
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
(about 5 medium) peeled/cubed
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place potatoes in large saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil
over high heat. Reduce heat to
medium; cook, uncovered 10-
15 minutes until tender; drain,
reserving 1 C. potato water.

In large skillet cook bacon over
medium heat until crisp, stirring
occasionally. Remove with slotted
spoon; drain on paper towels. (reserve
1 1/2 tsp. bacon drippings in pan). Add
onion; cook & stir over medium-high
heat until tender.
Add corn, milk, salt/pepper, potatoes &
reserved potato water to saucepan; heat
through. Stir in bacon & onion.
Serves 6


Crockpot Taco Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 oz. pkt. taco seasoning
8 burrito-sized flour tortillas
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened/
2 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, divided
Optional toppings:
grated or shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped tomatoes
chopped green peppers
sliced black olives
sour cream
hot sauce
Brown gr. beef in skillet over medium-
high heat; drain. Add taco seasoning &
cook accordg. to pkt. directions.
Lightly spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Spread 1/4th of cream cheese
on tortillas.
Place 2 tortillas in crockpot so that
they cover the bottom & come up the
sides some. Top with 1/4th of taco
meat, 1/4th of cheese & 1/4th of
tomato sauce – repeat layers three
more times. Cover & cook on Low 3-5
hours. Serve with your favorite taco
toppings. Serves 8

NOTE: Make sure your cream cheese is
softened so it’s easier to spread.


Cream Cheese Sausage-Stuffed Biscuits

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened to
room temp.
1 packet dry Ranch dressing mix/seasoning
2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 (6 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated buttermilk
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 6 muffin tins with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large skillet over medium heat cook
& crumble sausage until cooked; drain.
In large bowl combine cooked sausage,
softened cream cheese, dry ranch seasoning
& shredded Pepper Jack. Place 1 biscuit
in bottom of each muffin tin – spread them
out to make sure they fully cover the bottom.
Evenly scoop sausage mixture on top of each
biscuit. Bake about 12-15 minutes until
biscuits are done & turn golden brown.
Makes 6

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

8 bone-in chicken thighs
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. chili pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place
all spices in a small container with lid –
cover & shake until thoroughly mixed –
sprinkle over chicken thighs. Bake about
1 hour – you can test by inserting a
thermometer near the bone – it should
read 165 degrees F.


Crockpot Oreo Lava Cake

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
12 T. baking cocoa, divided
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
4 T. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
12 Oreo cookies, crumbled/divided
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
3 C. hot water
Ice Cream
Crumbled Oreo cookies
Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine flour,
sugar, 4 T. cocoa, baking powder &
salt. Add milk, oil & vanilla – stir.
Fold in crushed Oreo’s & pour
batter into crockpot – spread
evenly. In separate bowl combine
brown sugar & 8 T. cocoa; stir
in hot water & pour mixture
evenly over batter – DO NOT STIR.
Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Turn off crockpot &
remove lid. Let cake stand 30-40
Serve cake in bowls, add optional
crumbled Oreo garnish then spoon
‘chocolate lava’ from bottom of
crockpot over cake. Top with ice cream.
Serves 12


Homemade Pay Day Candy Bars

3 C. salted peanuts
2 C. peanut butter chips
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray (or line
with parchment paper)
In large saucepan melt butter & peanut
butter chips over medium heat until
smooth. Stir in sweet’d cond’ milk,
vanilla & marshmallows- stirring
until smooth & incorporated.
Spread half of peanuts in bottom
of prepared dish – pour cond’d milk
mixture over peanuts then sprinkle
remaining peanuts on top.
Cut into bars



I hope you are all well and adjusting

to all this ‘virus’ stuff.





Well – we tried it!

Today began my new experiment in ordering groceries through Kroger order on line/pick up at store. Let’s just say I need to research this a little better.

When I first began this journey LAST WEEK I started a ‘virtual grocery cart’ on line. When you’re done you can save it and go back later to add more, if you wish. Well . . . either I didn’t do the ‘add this later’ or I really goofed. To MY recollection I had something close to $200 worth of groceries to pick up. When we got there and they brought out our things, grand total was $112.94! Of course you don’t go through all of that there – you bring it home THEN go through it. I ordered 2 pkgs. of hot dogs and 1 pkg. smoked sausages – they all are eaten on BUNS! Yep – you guessed it: got the meat but NO BUNS! Crazy stuff. Guess I’ll learn by doing – almost makes me NOT want to try again. It wouldn’t be that bad EXCEPT the delays due to the virus, the wait after placing the order & doing the credit card/online payment is OVER A WEEK! Mind you, we won’t starve but you could say that I was one CRANKY Camper after going through what I thought was ALL of my order – sigh. My youngest son said, earlier, “You know, Mom, I could do your shopping for you!” I might consider giving him some cash maybe Thurs/Friday to go to our little grocery store (independent grocer) just to grab buns and a few other things. When we got to Kroger & followed their instructions on where to park there was a line. To break it down for you: (1) you place the order on line, pay with credit card & get a pick up date & time (2) the day of the pick up they send you an email reminding you of the time (3) at said time you drive there, find an empty ‘slot’ then call the number on the little sign above your ‘slot’ & tell them who you are (4) they bring the order to your car & put it in for you – NO HANDS ON/NO FACE TO FACE – they put the receipt in your bags & you drive off. (NOTE: I will give Kroger kudos for 1 thing: they gave me THREE FREE pick ups during this time – normally it’s $4.95 to pick up, so that’s good).

How are your Easter plans coming? For us, looks like it’s just going to be a ham dinner – no extra family/fancy foods/desserts – just ham & mashed potatoes (maybe salad). Guess this makes me a little more appreciative of my oldest son’s culinary skills when holiday dinners are at his house.


Peach Upside Down Cake

3 T. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches, well

1 1/3 C. baking mix (Bisquick)
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. buttermilk*
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a 9 inch round baking cake pan
melt butter in oven. Stir brown
sugar into butter in pan. Arrange
peach slices over butter/sugar.
In a bowl whisk baking mix &
gran. sugar. Add buttermilk, egg,
vanilla – stir well with a spoon &
spread over peach slices.
Bake 50-55 minutes until center
tests done when stuck with a fork.
Remove from oven & let stand
10 minutes before inverting onto a
serving plate. Makes 1 9″ cake.

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
In a 1-cup measuring cup add 1 T.
lemon juice or vinegar. Pour milk
into cup to make 3/4 C. Stir with
a fork & let stand 5 minutes. Now
you have ‘soured’ milk which works
for baking.

Best Potato Pancakes Ever

4 C. cold mashed potatoes
5 slices bacon
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Place bacon in large, deep skillet &
cook over medium-high heat, turning
occasionally, until evenly browned &
crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from
pan & crumble. Leave drippings in pan.
In large bowl mix mashed potatoes, eggs,
onion powder, salt/pepper. Stir in bacon &
cheese. Form into 8 patties.
Heat bacon drippings over medium heat &
pan-fry patties in drippings until crisp on
each side, about 4 minutes per side.
Makes 8

Cabbage Soup

3 T. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic  minced
8 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
1/2 head cabbage, chopped into 1 1/2″
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

In large pot add oil over medium heat;
add onions & garlic – cook until onions
are transparent, about 3-5 minutes. Add
broth, salt/pepper, cabbage, carrots, celery
& tomatoes. Simmer 30 minutes.
Serves 8


Crockpot Pizza Bake

2 (16 oz) tubes (8 biscuit cans)
refrigerated biscuits, cut into sixths
1 lb. ground sausage, browned/drained/
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz) can/jar pizza sauce
1/2 C. chopped bell pepper
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms,
drained (optional)
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (4 oz) can sliced black olives,

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place biscuit pieces in bottom.
Sprinkle with 1/2 C. sausage &
1/4 C. Parm. cheese – spread
sauce on top. Top with remaining
sausage. Layer peppers & optional
mushrooms. Top with remaining
cheese & optional olives. Cover &
cook on Low 3 hours until center
is done & edges are golden brown.
Cool 10-15 minutes before slicing
& serving. Serves 8


Cream Cheese Sausage Rolls

1 pkg. puff pastry (2 sheets in box),
1 (12 oz) pkg. ground pork sausage
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened to
room temp.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment
paper. In large skillet brown & crumble
sausage until fully cooked; drain. In large
bowl mix cooked sausage & softened
cream cheese – stir until well blended.
Unfold both puff pastry sheets & gently
roll out (using a rolling pin) until pastry
is about 1-inch larger than original size.
Cut each sheet into 3 strips (about where
folds were); then cut each in half to make
6 squares from each sheet. Cut each
square in half again to make a total
of 24 squares. Fill each square with 1-2
T. of sausage mixture; roll pastry around
sausage to form a ball – pinching all
edges to seal. Place them on prepared
sheet & bake 15 minutes until puffed &
golden brown. Remove from oven &
serve. Serves 12


Kid-Approved Taco Cups

1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 medium zucchini, grated using
widest part of grater (place in paper
towel & squeeze out excess water)
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. mild salsa
pinch salt/ black pepper
2 T. olive oil
6 whole wheat (6 inch) tortillas

1/2 C. sour cream
2 green onions, sliced
hot sauce, if desired
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 6-count muffin tin lightly
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix zucchini, chicken,
salsa, salt/pepper – toss so everything
is coated in salsa. Brush one side of
tortillas with olive oil & press into
muffin cups, oil sides up. Evenly
divide filling into cups. Bake 10
minutes until golden brown.
Cool a few minutes then serve
with desired garnishes. Makes 6

(recipe: – etc.)
Crockpot Cream Cheese/Caramel Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (11 oz) bag caramels, unwrapped
1/4 C. powdered sugar

sliced apples, for dipping

Place cubed cream cheese & unwrapped
caramels in crockpot. Cover & cook on
High 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on
your crockpot). Around 10-15 minutes into
cooking time, check to see if cream cheese &
caramels have started melting. Once they
start melting, stir frequently until well
blended. Stir in powdered sugar until well
mixed & serve with sliced apples.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Poster states that this recipe is REALLY
FAST so you have to watch it. If you don’t watch
it closely, you will end up with a nasty mess.
Total cook time for poster was about 1/2 hour.
As soon as you see cream chs & caramels melting


Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

1 box red velvet cake mix (regular size)
2 1/2 to 3 C. flour
1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/4 C. warm water (120 to 130 degrees F.)
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. butter, melted

2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3-5 T. milk

In large bowl combine dry cake mix,
1 C. flour & dry yeast. Add water.
Using elec. mixer, beat at medium
speed 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining
flour to form a soft dough (dough will be
sticky). Turn onto a lightly floured surface;
knead gently 6-8 times. Spray a bowl with
nonstick cooking spray & place dough in
bowl, turning once to grease dough. Cover
& let rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 2 hours.
In another bowl mix together brown sugar
& cinnamon.
Spray  9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray.
Punch down dough & turn onto a lightly
floured surface. Roll dough into a 18 X 10″
rectangle. Brush with melted butter to
within 1/4 inch of edges & sprinkle top
with sugar mixture. Roll up dough jelly-roll
style, starting with a long side – pinch seam
to seal. Cut dough crosswise into 12 slices.
Place slices in prepared dish. Cover with a
clean kitchen towel & let rise in a warm
place until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake rolls until puffed & light brown,
15-20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla &
enough milk to read a drizzling consistency-
drizzle icing over top of warm rolls.
Makes 12

NOTE: Want them to be even more decadent?
Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting over top.

-they can also be made with other flavors of
cake mixes like spice cake, devil’s food, orange



Hope you are all healthy & able to find some joy in
this (virus) situation;



No more SNOW!

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


Pistachio Poke Cake

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

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


One-Pot Spinach/Beef Soup

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

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


Simple Oven-baked Pork Chops & Rice

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

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


Crispy Roasted Potatoes

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

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


Crockpot Beefy Burrito Casserole

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

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


Saltine Toffee Cookies

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


Spinach Artichoke Dip with Roasted

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

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

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


Apple Fritter Cake

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

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

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


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


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



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

Hope your week goes even better than you expect!