March 17th

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s a lovely, sunny & cold (21 degrees F) day – just got home from the last Flag football game for older grandson – now it’s on to baseball very soon (oh joy…). It’s nice to be able to attend the games and also get to see the other half of the family (grandson’s Mom’s family) – I’m not really ‘into’ football, but I do enjoy saying HI to everyone. Yes, it’s the GREEN holiday – No, I’m not one for getting into it in any way but thought the above clipart was cute.


Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup

2 T. vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. leftover corned beef (cooked)
3 C. green cabbage, chopped
1 lb. potatoes, peeled (if desired),
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. caraway seeds
salt/pepper, to taste
2 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth

sour cream, optional garnish
fresh chopped dill, optional garnish

In a soup pot heat oil over medium heat.
Add carrots & onion, cook, stirring
occasionally, 8-10 minutes until veggies
are softened. Add corned beef, cabbage,
potatoes, caraway seeds, salt/pepper &
chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat
to Low; simmer about 30 minutes until
veggies are tender.
To serve: Pour soup into individual bowls
& garnish with sour cream/chopped dill.
Serves 8


Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Muffins

1 C. white whole wheat flour
1 C. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. chilled butter
1 C. 1% buttermilk
3 T. honey
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C. raisins

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with baking spray.
In large bowl combine all dry
ingredients (flour, baking powder,
baking soda & salt). Using a pastry
cutter or 2 knives – cut in butter until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In small bowl stir buttermilk, honey &
egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture
to dry ingredients – stir to combine; stir
in raisins. Spoon batter into prepared tins.
Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. Remove & cool on wire rack 5
minutes before removing muffins from tin;
finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool
completely. Store muffins in an airtight
container or zip lock bag at room temp.
Makes 12 muffins

Quick Asparagus & Lemon Pasta

salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fettuccine pasta
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed/
cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
zest from 1 lemon

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in medium skillet & saute
onion in skillet until soft; add garlic & saute
1 more minute. Remove from heat.
Add pasta to boiling water & cook accordg.
to pkg. directions. During final 2 minutes
cooking time, reserve 1 C. pasta water then
add asparagus to boiling water. Drain cooked
pasta & asparagus – return to pot. & add
1 T. olive oil, onion/garlic mixture, Parm.
lemon zest & 1/2 C. reserved pasta water.
Season with salt/pepper; add additional
pasta water as needed. Serves 4-6
Refrigerate any leftovers.

Crockpot Pot Roast & Veggies

1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/2 C. cold water
1 (.9 oz) pkt. onion-mushroom soup
1 (2 1/2 lb) boneless beef chuck
1 lb. red new potatoes
1 (16 oz) pkg. baby carrots
1 onion, thinly sliced

Mix first 3 ingredients until blended.
Place meat in crockpot; top with
vegetables & sauce. Cover & cook
on Low 8-9 hours (or High 6-7)
Serves 8


Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can petite tomatoes,
diced, with juice
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. long grain rice, uncooked
1 head savoy cabbage, chopped
into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat;
add ground beef & cook until well
browned; drain grease. Add chopped
onion & garlic to skillet & cook 5
minutes. Add paprika, salt/pepper –
cook 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes &
juice, tomato sauce, chicken broth &
uncooked rice – bring to boil then
reduce heat to medium-low. Cover &
cook 15 minutes. While mixture is
cooking remove outer leaves from
cabbage; cut head in half, remove core
& chop cabbage into 1/2″ pieces. Once
meat mixture has finished simmering,
transfer to a bowl & return skillet to heat.
Add cabbage, water & kosher salt; cover
& cook over medium-high heat until
cabbage is wilted slightly. Uncover &
cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Place cabbage in a
clean kitchen towel & wring excess water

To assemble casserole:

Layer bottom of baking dish with
half meat mixture; half cabbage &
repeat with rest of both, ending
with cabbage. Cover tightly with
foil & bake 45 minutes. Remove
foil & serve while hot.
Serves 8-9

NOTE: If you prefer crispier cabbage, remove
skillet from heat before stirring in cabbage so
it doesn’t fully cook


NOTE: I just tried this yesterday – I
substituted a jar of spaghetti sauce for
the tomatoes – husband LOVED IT! Guess
I’ll be making this one again!

Orange Juice Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (4 serving size) pkg. orange Jell-O
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. orange juice
4 eggs

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 10 inch Bundt pan with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl using elec. mixer on medium
speed, beat all ingredients 2 minutes
until well mixed – pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes
until a wooden toothpick inserted
near center of cake comes out clean.
Let cool slightly in pan then invert
onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 12

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. orange juice
zest of 1 orange (if you have it)

Mix glaze ingredients & pour over


Hope you have a GREAT DAY!




A day of MUCH NEEDED rest!

Yesterday was a MARATHON day – from leaving for church at 8:40 a.m. to finally arriving home again at 8 p.m. I was running. Church, Grandson’s First Birthday party, back to church at 4:30 for choir practice/evening church/congregational meeting – UGH! Had a nice time at the birthday party – this grandson doesn’t like getting his hands dirty so when his parents stripped him down to a diaper to ‘smash’ his cake, he really didn’t get into it. Lots of help by parents & other grandparents until he finally ate a bit of frosting off his fingers, but smash? NO WAY!

They had a nice lunch of ‘make your own’ sandwiches, potato salad, tossed salad & all the fixin’s, dill pickles and cake. (Not exactly sure what I ate that didn’t agree with my stomach but I had stomach cramps ALL DAY/NIGHT – not good. Might have been the pickles – I love dills but something really didn’t agree with my stomach.) I’m better today but will be really careful about what goes in my mouth for the next few days – stomach feels like someone punched it!


Pecan Pie Bars with Shortbread

Shortbread crust:

1 stick (1/2 C.) salted butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour


1 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 eggs
1/2 C. (packed) brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. flour

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Line bottom of 8 X 8″ baking pan
with parchment paper. In small bowl
mix butter, sugar, vanilla & flour until
it makes a sticky dough. Press dough
into bottom of prepared pan in single
thin layer. Bake 10-15 minutes. In
large bowl mix eggs, brown sugar, corn
syrup & flour until combined – fold in
chopped pecans. When crust is done,
remove from oven & pour nut mixture
over crust. Raise oven temperature to
350 degrees F. & bake 25-30 minutes
until top is golden & crispy.


Maple Ham & Egg Cups

1 T. butter, melted
6 slices deli ham
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. butter, cut into 6 pieces
6 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

English muffins, toast or biscuits to
serve 6

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brush insides of 6 muffin cups with
melted butter & line each cup with
1 slice ham. Pour 1/2 tsp. maple
syrup over each ham slice & top with
1 pat butter. Crack one egg into each
cup & season with salt/pepper. Bake
20 minutes until eggs are set. Remove
from oven; use a spoon or gently twist
each serving to loosen. Serve on English
muffins, toast or split biscuits. Serves 6


Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded/
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon (about
3 small cubes)
7 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes, petite,
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3-4 corn tortillas, torn into 1″

Optional Garnishes:
tortilla chips or strips
grated cheese (your choice)
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onion
In 4-6 qt. soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add onion, garlic, Anaheim & jalapeno
chilies & bouillon – cook until veggies
are softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in
all chicken broth & diced tomatoes (with
juices). Rinse chicken breasts under cool
water & add to pot. Bring to boil &
immediately reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer until chicken is cooked through,
15-20 minutes. Remove chicken & cool
slightly. Add all remaining ingredients
(including tortilla pieces) to broth &
either puree using immersion blender
or, in batches, in a blender. Do not fill
blender more than 1/3rds full – hot
liquids expand when pureed & may
explode out of top of blender, causing
possible burns. Transfer pureed soup
to pot & return to Low heat. Shred or
cube chicken (when cool enough to
handle) – add back to soup & stir to
combine. Simmer soup 30  minutes.
Test soup – add salt/pepper, if needed.
Serve with options. Serves 6


Crockpot Pesto Chicken

1 (21.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
(two 10.5 oz)
1/2 C. pesto (your choice/favorite)
1/2 C. sour cream
2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts
or tenderloin, cut into strips

Cooked noodles, rice or pasta to
feed 8
Spray 5-6 qt. crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place chicken strips
in bottom. In a bowl mix together soup,
pesto & sour cream – spread evenly over
chicken strips. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until chicken is cooked through
& tender. Serve chicken over cooked
noodles, rice or pasta. Serves 8


Twice-baked Potato Casserole

1 lb. thin bacon
16 russet potatoes
6 T. canola oil
4 sticks (1 lb.) salted butter,
plus more for buttering dish
2 C. sour cream
2 C. grated Cheddar or Jack
(or mix of both) cheese, plus
more for topping
2 C. whole milk
4 tsp. seasoned salt
6 green onions, sliced
kosher salt/black pepper,
to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in saute pan until
crispy; cool then crumble. Scrub
potatoes & place on baking sheets.
Rub potatoes with canola oil & bake
until tender, 45 min – 1 hour. Remove
from oven, lower oven temp. to 350
degrees F. Slice butter into pats &
transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add
bacon & sour cream. Using a sharp
knife, cut each potatoes in half
lengthwise & scrape out insides into
bowl. Tear up 3 of the skins & throw
them in bowl. Smash potatoes using
a potato masher. Add cheese, milk,
seasoned salt, green onions & some
salt/pepper – mix together well. Butter
a baking dish & spoon mixture into dish.
Top with more grated cheese & bake
25-30 minutes until warmed through.
Serves 16

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Foodnetwork)

No-Bake Preacher Cookies

3 C. quick cooking oats, uncooked
2 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 stick + 1 T. unsalted butter,
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Pour oats in large bowl. Line a
baking sheet with parchment
paper (can use a flat surface
instead of sheet). In saucepan
melt 1 stick butter over medium-
high heat, stirring frequently.
Bring to boil 1 minute then remove
from heat. Add peanut butter &
vanilla – stir to combine. Pour
mixture over reserved oats in bowl;
add milk & sugar – stir until fully
incorporated. Scoop 1 T. batter
onto baking sheet, press down
to flatten. Melt chocolate chips
with 1 T. unsalted butter in a
microwave-safe dish at 20 second
intervals on medium heat until melted,
stirring after each interval until
chocolate is completely melted.
Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over
tops of cookies. Cookies are ready
to eat when chocolate has cooled &
set. (OR) Chill in fridge 1 hour.
Makes 30-40 cookies



I fully plan on taking it EASY today – nothing
special planned so that should work (leftover
homemade lasagna in fridge, so no cooking!).

Our weather is typical Spring in Michigan: in
the 50’s, sunny and sometimes VERY windy!
Looks like we’re going to get rain on Thursday
but that’s OK (at least it’s not snow!).

Hope you are in good spirits, feeling well
and enjoying the day!



Beautiful but chilly day!

Today is bright & sunny, but only 12 degrees F. with a slight breeze which makes you feel colder than you actually are. Been ‘out & about’ all morning (grocery shopping, getting gas and attending another knit group) – don’t remember if I mentioned that I joined another knit group which meets in our local library Weds. mornings 10-12 p.m. Lovely group (and growing) with lots to offer: patterns/ideas/tips, etc. Today another member of my knit group joined us and then ended up teaching all of us there the “Russian Join” which is a method of joining two yarn ends so that you don’t have a big knot in your project – very handy! Two of the library ladies joined my group last night, so I can easily see that this ‘attending two knit groups’ will be beneficial to lots of ladies! Also learned yesterday that our pastor’s wife is expecting a BOY in mid May, so the mint green afghan will go to her (almost done with it – a few more rows then a border & I’m done!)


Caramel Pecan French Toast
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
2 T. light corn syrup
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
12 slices Italian-style (or any
thick) bread
6 eggs
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. (1/4 stick) butter
1 T. light corn syrup

In small saucepan over medium
heat, cook brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup until thickened, stirring
constantly. Pour sauce into a 9 X 13″
baking dish & sprinkle with 1/2 C.
chopped pecans. Place 6 slices
bread in dish & sprinkle with
remaining pecans – cover with
remaining bread slices. In a blender,
combine eggs, milk, vanilla & cinnamon-
pour evenly over bread. Cover &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake French toast 40-45 minutes
until egg mixture is firm & golden
brown. In a small saucepan combine
Caramel Sauce ingredients; cook over
Low heat until thickened, stirring
constantly. Serve with French toast.
Serves 8


Baked Chicken ChimiChangas

2 1/2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 C. salsa
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1 C. Half & Half
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a skillet
simmer chicken, salsa, onion, cumin &
oregano until heated through & most
of liquid has evaporated. Place 1/2
cup mixture down middle of each
tortilla; top with 2 T. cheese. Fold
sides & ends over filling & roll up.
Place, seam sides down, in prepared
dish. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes
until lightly browned. In a saucepan,
heat broth, bouillon & pepper until
bouillon is dissolved. Combine flour
& cream until smooth; stir into broth.
Bring to boil; cook & stir 2 minutes
until thickened. Stir in chilies & heat
To serve:
Cut chimichangas in half; spoon sauce
over top. Serves 6


Crockpot Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/2 – 2 lb. beef chuck roast or
stew meat, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. frozen corn
1/3 C. Guinness beer
3 T. tomato paste
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. corn starch
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1 tsp. beef granules
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5 C. mashed potatoes (prepared)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In nonstick skillet cook onions 5-6
minutes until soft; place in crockpot.
Add beef & all remaining ingredients
(except mashed potatoes & cheese) in
crockpot – season with salt/pepper &
stir well. Wipe down insides of crockpot
with a paper towel then spread mashed
potatoes over top of beef mixture to the
sides of crockpot to seal ingredients. Place
a long piece of paper towel over opening
of crockpot & cover with lid (to absort
steam). Cook on High 4-5 hours or Low
8-10 hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle cheese over
top of potatoes & cover with lid 5 minutes
to melt cheese. Serve hot. Serves 8


Winter Rice

2 T. butter or margarine
2 C. chopped onion
1 C. long-grain or whole-grain
rice, uncooked
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. white pepper

In large skillet over medium heat,
melt butter; saute onion 5 minutes.
Add rice & continue to saute 7-10
minutes until rice begins to brown.
Stir in remaining ingredients & reduce
heat to Low; cover & simmer 20-25
minutes until rice is tender & mixture
is creamy. Serves 8

20-Minute Sesame Chicken &
(underlined items you might
not have on hand)

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into strips
1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water

Cooked white or brown rice
to serve 4

In medium bowl whisk soy sauce,
rice vinegar, sesame oil, oyster
sauce & cornstarch. Add oil to
large wok or skillet over high heat.
Add chicken & cook until golden
brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add
broccoli, green onions, ginger &
garlic – cook 3 minutes, stirring
frequently. Pour Soy Sauce mixture
on top of ingredients in wok/skillet
& stir. Add water & stir until mixture
has thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4


Crockpot Clam Chowder

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
3 (6.5 oz, ea) cans clams, not drained
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled/diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. cornstarch

In large skillet on medium-high, cook
bacon until crisp-remove from pan.*
Add to crockpot:half bacon, clams, onion,
potatoes, celery, garlic, water, salt/pepper
& thyme – stir. Cover & cook on Low 7
hours (refrigerate remaining bacon until
ready to serve with soup). In a measuring
cup add Half & Half with cornstarch &
whisk to combine. Add mixture to crockpot
& stir. Cook on High 30 minutes. Serve
with remaining bacon sprinkled over top.**
Serves 8

*Poster sometimes cooks potatoes & onion
in bacon grease before adding to crockpot.

**You might want to heat the bacon slightly
before sprinkling it on top since it will be
cold from fridge.


Lemon Blossoms
(mini cupcakes)

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 oz. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil

4 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
3 T. vegetable oil
3 T. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray miniature muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine cake mix, dry pudding
mix, eggs & oil – blend well using
elec. mixer until smooth, about 2
minutes (batter will be thick). Pour a
small amount of batter into tins,
filling half full*. Bake 12 minutes.**
Turn out baked muffins onto a tea
Prepare while cupcakes bake. In large
bowl combine powdered sugar, lemon
juice, zest, oil & 3 T. water – mix with
a spoon until smooth. Using your
fingers, dip each into glaze while
still warm, covering as much of each
cake as possible (OR spoon glaze over
warm cakes, turning to completely
coat). Place on wire rack with
waxed paper underneath to catch
any drips. Let glaze set thoroughly,
about 1 hour, before storing in
containers with tight-fitting lids.

*Poster said a small cookie scoop
works well for making them uniform

**IF you make a large batch, be sure
to reverse muffin tins mid-way through
baking times to insure uniform baking.
Poster notes they come out of tins
better if you cook them a little past the
golden brown stage, making the cakes
more firm.



The past few days have been a bit of a scramble –
babysat yesterday 10:15 – 5:15 (over my usual
time; son got stuck on the expressway in bumper-
to-bumper traffic), then Knit Night. Also – amidst
the many things going on, youngest son moved
back in. He went for a job interview earlier today,
really hoping this works – he needs a good, steady

Tonight is my Special Needs group – first time we’ve
been able to meet since the FIRST week in December!
Our weather has just not been cooperating! I have a
HUGE pile of things to drag with me tonight (the
Christmas presents for the various leaders & lots of
other ‘stuff’) – one good thing: WE don’t have to teach
tonight! Once a month we have a visiting missionary
come & teach our group so we, the leaders, can have
a Business Meeting. (because of all the delayed events,
we’re also cramming our Birthday Night into tonight –
crazy/busy but the kids will love it!).

Hope you are able to stay healthy and warm –
Spring is (eventually) coming! Hang in there!



Getting Closer to the New Year…

With the New Year fast approaching, I thought I’d post more appetizer & dip recipes for you.


4 Ingredient Cheese Ball

24 oz. cream cheese, softened,
(3 pkgs)
1 jar Kraft Roka Blue Cheese
1 jar Kraft Old English cheese
spread (or American cheese spread)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans,

assorted crackers, for dipping

In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
all ingredients (except nuts) until
smooth. Place a large piece of
plastic wrap in a small bowl &
scoop cheese mixture into wrap.
Using the plastic wrap, shape
cheese mixture into a ball.
Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Remove
ball from fridge & take off
plastic wrap. Place sliced almonds
on a plate (or pie plate) & roll
cheese ball in nuts to coat. Place
ball on a serving plate & serve
with assorted crackers. Makes
1 ball.

3-Ingredient Nacho Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (your choice)
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded 4-Cheese
Mexican blend cheese

corn chips – for dipping

Optional toppings for serving:
diced avocado,
sliced olives, cherry tomatoes
cut in half, chopped green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread cream cheese evenly in
bottom of a medium baking dish*.
Pour salsa over top & spread to
cover the cream cheese. Sprinkle
shredded cheese on top. Bake
15-20 minutes until hot & bubbly.
Garnish with optional toppings
shredded cheese on top. Serve
with corn chips for dipping.
Serves 10

* poster used deep dish pie plate
4-ingredient Chicken Taquitos

10 (6 inch) soft flour tortillas
1 C. cooked, finely diced chicken
1 C. (Sargento) 4-Cheese Mexican
shredded cheese
1/3 C. salsa or taco sauce

Optional garnishes:
salsa, guacamole, sour cream,
sliced black or green olives,
sliced green onion

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl stir chicken, cheese &
salsa. Divide chicken mixture evenly
down the side of each tortilla. Roll
up tortilla & place on foil-lined
baking sheet; repeat with rest of
ingredients. Spray tops of taquitos
with nonstick cooking spray (to
help them brown & crisp in oven).
Bake 15-20 minutes until crispy.
Makes 10

Crockpot Chicken Nachos

1 (1 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
8 oz. tortilla chips
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Additional toppings:
sliced black olives, sliced green
onions, guacamole, sliced avocado,
sour cream, salsa, chopped jalapeno

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Place
chicken in bottom of crockpot;
sprinkle with taco seasoning &
pour salsa on top. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours (or Low 6-8
hours). When chicken is done,
using 2 forks – shred chicken &
return to crockpot. Keep chicken
warm in crockpot until ready to
serve with nachos. Place tortilla
chips on a large serving platter.
Spoon hot, shredded chicken over
chips & top with shredded cheese.
(Cheese will melt from heat of
chicken – OR you can place the
nachos under the broiler for
a few minutes to get the cheese
crispy & browned on top).
Garnish with additional toppings
of your choice. Serves 8

Southwestern Egg Rolls

1 C. finely diced, cooked chicken
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. whole kernel corn
1/4 C. black beans, rinsed/drained
4 T. salsa (plus additional, for
4-Cheese Mexican blend shredded
cheese (about 1/3 C.)
8 egg roll wrappers*

garnish: sliced green onion

Dipping: salsa, sour cream,

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix chicken, taco
seasoning, corn, beans & salsa.
Spoon about 2 T. mixture on
bottom third of one egg roll
wrapper; top with about 1 tsp.
cheese. Fold sides toward
center & roll tightly. (Keep
the remaining wrappers covered
with a damp paper towel until
ready to use to prevent drying
out.) Place egg roll, seam-side
down on baking sheet – repeat
with remaining wrappers. Spray
tops of egg rolls with nonstick
cooking spray (helps them turn
golden brown & crispy). Bake
10-15 minutes until lightly
browned. Makes 8
Recipe can be doubled.

*You can find egg roll wrappers
in most grocery stores in the
fresh vegetable section.

Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

12 slider buns (or Hawaiian
rolls, sliced)
3/4 to 1 C. pizza or pasta sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. pepperoni slices
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking
spray. Cut slider/buns in half &
place bottoms in prepared dish.
Spread pizza/pasta sauce on
bun bottoms. Top each with
pepperoni slices using as
many as you like. Slice
mozzarella into 12 slices &
place 1 slice on each bottom;
replace bun tops on sliders.
In small bowl combine Parmesan,
melted butter, garlic powder,
basil & oregano – mix & spread
over tops of rolls. Cover with
foil & bake 25 minutes. Remove
foil & bake 5 more minutes.
Serve immediately.
Makes 12 sliders

Creamy Mushroom Tartlets

1 T. butter or margarine
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms,
finely chopped
1/2 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in large nonstick
skillet on medium heat. Add
mushrooms; cook 5 minutes
until tender, stirring frequently.
Add cream cheese spread &
Parmesan; cook & stir 1 minutes
until cream cheese melts. Remove
from heat. Unroll dough into 2
long rectangles; firmly press
perforations & seams together
to seal. Cut each rectangle into
12 squares. Place 1 square in
each of 24 mini muffin cups
with corners of squares extending
over rims of cups. Firmly press
dough onto bottom & up side of
each cup. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp.
mushroom mixture in each cup.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden
brown. Sprinkle tops with parsley.
Cool in pan 5 minutes before
serving. Makes 12 servings.


I had great plans of going to KMart for
some SALE shopping today but woke
up to more snow on the ground – sigh.
We’ll see about the shopping – hopefully
the roads will clear up a little. My middle
son will be having his 29th birthday
January 4th, so I’d like to see if I can
find a few things for him. THIS son is
one that loves lots of things but also
is happy with things he NEEDS. We
helped him out with a little bill paying
for his Christmas gift (that’s what he
asked for) but also gave him SOCKS,
which he needed. (I love this son for
his honesty – he opened the socks &
said: “I really need underwear…” so
guess what he’s getting for part of
his birthday presents! He also REALLY
needs gloves & a snow brush/scraper.
Both younger sons seem to lose those
items EVERY winter – sigh. (the snow
brush I have in my car is a good 30+
years old and still works just fine! I even
use it to brush stuff off the floor of my
car during the non-winter months – it’s
really held up!

Not much going on around here lately –
I cooked a half ham yesterday, just so
we’d have meat to go with all the leftover
sides that are still in our fridge! (and, it
makes great sandwiches, too!). Looking
at some (new to me) knit patterns to
start another ‘needy’ scarf – I have tons
of yarn so knitting scarves makes sense
in the winter. I LOVE my knitting – I
don’t knit for me – I knit for charity
simply because I can knit all the patterns
me, it’s a win/win situation.

Hope you are staying nice & warm (and
healthy)!  Don’t know about you, but
my scale is registering more pounds
than I’d like right now – almost time
to start working on losing some weight-



The calm after the holiday

Here in Michigan we’re digging out, again, from all the snow we got the last week or so. First we got EIGHT inches in one day, then Christmas Day we got a good 4 inches more. NOW we’re into the ‘deep freeze’ – it’s not snowing but it’s REALLY cold! Today at around 8:30 a.m. it was -4 (and that’s not counting the wind chill factor). It’s kind of one of those “don’t go out unless you HAVE to!” things. The roads are clear – now – so driving is better but you’d better wear LOTS of layers of clothing/coats/jackets/hats/scarves/gloves-mittens, etc. I babysat yesterday from 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. but needed to get gas first; let’s just say I was very glad to have a heavy coat with a hood so that I could pull the hood up over my hat – pumping gas on a very cold, windy day is not recommended; from the weather report, it’s going to be COLD all week. (looking at my cell phone, it just says COLD for each day, so you know it’s not your regular temperatures.)

This is the week I always feel ‘out of sorts’ – it’s not a regular week day, it’s not exactly a holiday; you kind of forget which ‘day’ it is without the ‘usual’ activities (for me it seems strange not having a Knit Night OR my special needs group). Cooking is really not needed as we plow through the leftovers (not complaining, mind you). I plan on finishing the knit  ‘young girls white & pink scarf’ I started last week, another needy donation thing.

One more photo from Christmas; you’ll note the baby has pink ‘goo’ smeared all over him (that’s my Pink Fluff dessert they decided to let him try). This photo was taken just before he had a quick bath & bed, so for him, it was the end of a VERY busy day.

He had on a really cute one-piece outfit that made him look like he was wearing a tuxedo!


With New Year’s Eve festivities approaching, I thought I’d post appetizers & dips for those of you who are having parties


Sausage & Cheese Dip

1 lb. breakfast sausage
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C. sliced green onions
1/4 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning,
to taste (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. dried parsley
Assorted crackers, chips or mixed
raw vegetables for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown sausage in an oven-safe
skillet or casserole dish; drain &
return sausage to skillet. Add cheeses
& cook over Low heat, stirring often,
until cheese has melted. Blend in
remaining ingredients; taste &
adjust to your liking. Bake, uncovered,
30-40 minutes until heated through &
bubbly around edges. Serve warm with
suggested dippers. Serves 4-6


Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough*
3/4 lb. ham, sliced very thin
8 oz. Swiss cheese, sliced very thin
8 T. butter, melted
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. poppy seeds**
1 T. chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Unroll dough into large
rectangle about 13″ X 8″. Layer ham on
top of dough to cover it completely; layer
cheese in same fashion over ham. Starting
at one long end, tightly roll up dough, jelly
roll style, pinching the end to seal. Cut the
loaf crosswise into 12 equal pieces & arrange
on prepared dish. Whisk butter, brown sugar,
mustard & poppy seeds together & pour
evenly over rolls. Bake 25-30 minutes until
golden brown. Sprinkle top with parsley,
if desired. Makes 12 pinwheels.
Rolls can be stored, unbaked, up to 24
hours refrigerated, covered with foil, before

*You can substitute pizza dough with crescent
rolls, using 1 1/2 tubes (8 oz, ea)

**You can substitute sesame seeds for poppy


Chicken Zucchini Poppers

2 C. zucchini, grated (skins on),
about 2 small
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 yellow onion, finely minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/finely
minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix zucchini, chicken,
onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, paprika
& pepper until combined. Scoop
heaping tablespoons of mixture onto
prepared sheet, spacing at least 1 inch
apart. Bake 18-20 minutes until centers
are firm. Remove from oven, move oven
rack to top position; set oven to Broil.
Sprinkle tops of poppers with Parmesan
cheese. Broil poppers until tops are
light brown & crispy. Makes 36
Serve alone or with your favorite dipping

Bacon Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large eggs
4 slices bacon
2 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dill pickle relish
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
scallions, chopped – garnish

Place eggs in large pot & add
water to cover eggs by at least
an inch. Bring water to full,
rolling boil; set timer for 2 minutes.
After pot has been at a full boil for
2 minutes, remove from heat &
place on cool part of stove – reset
timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes
carefully drain hot water & cover eggs
with cold water until they are cool
enough to peel – peel eggs. Rinse
peeled eggs under cold water to remove
any shell. Cook bacon over medium heat
until crispy, turning halfway through.
Drain on paper towels & cool – reserve
drippings for filling. Cut each hard boiled
egg in half lengthwise; remove yolks to
small bowl (reserve whites for filling).
Place cooked yolks in a bowl & mash
well with a fork; add mayonnaise, bacon
drippings, mustard, vinegar & pickle
relish – stir until combined. Season with
salt/pepper & spoon or pipe filling into
reserved egg white halves. Crumble bacon
into large pieces & stick bits of bacon on
top of each egg half; sprinkle with chopped
scallions, if using. Makes 24

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Wings

4-5 lb. chicken wings, rinsed/dried
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. orange juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 T. garlic, minced
2 T. fresh grated ginger
1/2 C. honey
3 T. rice vinegar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 C. water
2 T. cornstarch
sesame seeds – garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. (if you are making
5 lb. wings, you will need 2 sheets).
Do not over crowd wings on pan or
they won’t become crispy. You can
place a wire cooling rack on sheet
to enhance crispness. In large bowl
place wings; lightly salt & pepper.
Sprinkle baking powder over wings,
tossing to lightly dust each wing –
place on prepared sheet. Space
wings as far apart as possible; bake
45-55 minutes, turning once or
twice during cooking time. (NOTE:
each time you turn the wings, spoon
off any liquid that accumulates on
bottom of pan – this helps wings
develop a crispier texture.
In medium saucepan add soy sauce,
orange juice, lemon juice, garlic,
ginger, honey vinegar, brown sugar &
red pepper flakes – cook over medium
heat – bring to full rolling boil then
reduce heat to medium-low & simmer
sauce 8-9 minutes to reduce & thicken.
In small bowl stir water & cornstarch.
Remove sauce from heat momentarily-
whisk in cornstarch mixture & stir until
completely combined – return pan to heat.
Turn heat to medium & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to Low & simmer 1 minute.
Remove sauce from heat & cover.
When wings are cooked through & crispy,
transfer to a large bowl & toss desired
amount of sauce with them. You can also
spoon sauce over wings directly in pan
if desired. Reserve extra sauce for dipping.
Transfer coated wings back to baking
sheet & return to oven 8-10 minutes until
glaze becomes dark & sticky. Remove from
oven & spoon a little sauce from pan onto
wings for extra flavor. Sprinkle tops with
sesame seeds & allow wings to cool a
few minutes before serving. Serves 12


Cranberry-Eggnog Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 large egg
1 C. eggnog
1/4 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. whole-berry cranberry

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease or line with paper
liners 12 muffin cups.
In large bowl whisk first 5
ingredients. In another bowl
whisk egg, eggnog & melted
butter until blended – add to
flour mixture & stir just until
moistened. Spoon 1 T. batter
in bottom of each cup. Drop
1 tsp. cranberry sauce into
center of each & top with
remaining batter & cranberry
sauce. Cut through batter with
a knife to swirl. Bake 15-18
minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes on a rack before
removing from pan to cool.
Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins


I’m sure there will be more dips &
appetizer recipes in the next few days
so, hopefully, you’ll find something you

Enjoy these next few days before more
holiday activities (if you’re partying on
New Years). Remember to STAY HEALTHY
(if you can) and take a break/relax a bit
just to re-charge your energy!



and a WONDERFUL TIME was had by all!

The image is a little dark, but we got (almost) the entire family! From left: My husband, next to him our oldest son, in front of him is baby’s Grandma #2, behind her is me, in front of me is oldest grandson’s Grandma & her husband, then oldest grandson (11 1/2), seated is other (baby) grandpa #2 and the baby’s Momma (baby was sleeping). Our middle son & his girlfriend were working, youngest son wasn’t feeling well – but we got ALMOST everyone in the photo!

We had food galore! Oldest son (the chef) also made a boatload of Lobster Mac & cheese (first time I’ve had that) plus lots of other foods too numerous to mention/list. Let’s just say no one went home hungry!


Apple Cobbler Shortbread Squares

1 stick butter
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

3 large apples, peeled/cored/
thinly sliced
3 T. granulated sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 C. light brown sugar
3/4 C. flour
6 T. butter, softened

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl beat 1 stick butter, 1/4 C. sugar
& vanilla until creamy. Add 1 C. flour,
1/4 tsp. salt – mix well. Press mixture
evenly into baking dish. Bake 15 minutes.

In large bowl combine filling ingredients;
mix until apples are evenly coated.

Mix ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle
half over crust.

Increase oven temperature
to 350 degrees.

Place apple mixture in even layer over
crust; sprinkle with remaining topping.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool 2 hours then refrigerate 2 hours.
Cut into bars – serves 12


Leftovers – Egg Rolls

6 egg roll wrappers*
1 C. leftover cooked turkey,
1 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 C. leftover cranberries
1 C. leftover stuffing
vegetable oil
1/2 C. leftover gravy (for dipping)

Place an egg roll wrapper on a clean
surface – lay it out so that it forms
a triangle in front of you.  Spread a
thin layer of cranberries on, then
add a few T. mashed potatoes, stuffing
& turkey. Fold up bottom point &
tightly fold in sides. Gently roll, then
seal fold using a few drops of water
on edges; repeat with remaining
In large skillet over medium heat,
heat oil (it should reach 1 inch up
sides of pan) until it starts to bubble.
Add egg rolls & fry until golden,
1 minute per side. Transfer to a
paper towel-lined plate to cool
slightly. Serve with heated gravy.
Makes 6

*can find them in the produce
section of grocery store

(recipe: Facebook)
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

3 t. olive oil
3/4 C. diced onion
1 1/4 C. diced carrots
3/4 C. sliced celery
3 T. flour
3 C. chicken broth
2 1/2 C. chopped, cooked turkey
1 1/4 C. frozen peas
salt/pepper, to taste

1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large pot over medium heat
heat oil until shimmering. Saute
onion, carrots, celery until
softened. Stir in flour until no
lumps remain. Add about 1/4 C.
broth & stir until a thick sauce
forms. Add remaining broth &
bring to boil. Reduce heat to a
simmer & allow to simmer until
thickened, about 10 minutes.
Turn off heat & stir in turkey/peas;
season with salt/pepper. In separate
small bowl beat egg & milk – pour into
flour & stir to combine. (it should be
a sticky dough). Drop dough, 2-3
T. each, on top of turkey mixture.
Bake 17-19 minutes until topping
is golden brown.

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

3 large carrots, peeled/sliced
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli florets
(about 4 C.)
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs or breasts
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. water
3 1/2 C. (about 7.5 oz) dry herb-seasoned
stuffing mix
1/3 C. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place carrots & broccoli
on bottom. Season chicken with salt/
pepper & place on top of vegetables.
In medium bowl whisk soups & water –
pour over chicken. Sprinkle dry stuffing
mix on top of chicken & drizzle with
melted butter. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours (or High 3-4 hours).
Serves 8


Tropical Fruit Salad

4 kiwis, peeled/sliced
3 navel oranges, peeled/sliced &
cut in half
2 mangos, peeled/cubed
1 pineapple, cut into bite-sized
2 C. seedless red grapes
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. honey
1 tsp. orange zest

Combine fruits in a large bowl &
spoon onto a serving platter. Mix
remaining ingredients until blended;
drizzle mixture over fruit just before
serving. Serves 10 (1 C. each)


Double-Pork Hash

5 slices bacon, (thick-cut)
1 (8 oz) boneless ham steak,
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. red bell pepper, seeded/
diced (1/2 inch)
1 (20 oz) bag refrigerated hash
brown potatoes
salt/black pepper, to taste

IN large skillet over medium heat
cook bacon, turning once, until
crisp (about 8 minutes). Transfer
to paper towels to cool/crumble.
Pour fat from skillet into a small
bowl (you should have about 5 T. ;
add vegetable oil, if needed to achieve
5 T. Return 3 T. bacon fat to skillet –
over medium heat add ham & cook,
stirring occasionally, until beginning to
brown, about 2 minutes. Add onion &
red pepper, cook, stirring occasionally,
until onion is golden, about 7 minutes.
Add hash brown potatoes; cook until
underside is mostly golden, about 7
minutes. Drizzle remaining 2 T. bacon
fat over hash. Using a metal spatula,
turn hash over in sections. Continue
cooking, stirring occasionally, until
hash is completely golden brown, about
5 minutes. Sprinkle with crumbled
bacon & season with salt/pepper.
Serve hot. Serves 6

(recipe: Smithfield)

Sweet Potato Turkey Patties

1 lb. ground turkey
1 clove garlic
1 T. maple syrup
1/4 C. chopped chives
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
salt/pepper – to taste
2 C. grated sweet potato
2 T. olive oil

In food processor add turkey, garlic,
maple syrup, chives, red pepper flakes,
poultry seasoning, salt/pepper – process
until combined then transfer to large
bowl. Add grated sweet potato to bowl
& fold into turkey mixture until well
combined. In large skillet heat olive
oil over medium-high heat. Once hot,
form mixture into patties & place in
skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Add
a splash of water to skillet, cover &
cook another 5 minutes to help cook
thoroughly without burning outside of
patties. Remove cover, let liquid cook off;
transfer patties to a paper towel-lined plate
to drain.

Turkey Tetrazzini

half of (16 oz) box spaghetti noodles
3 T. butter, divided
2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 C. milk
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 T. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook spaghetti noodles accordg.
to pkg directions; drain & place in
a 3 quart casserole dish that has
been sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray (OR you can use a
7 X 11″ pan). Add 1 T. butter to
noodles & toss to melt butter.
Heat a large skillet & melt 2 T.
butter in skillet; once melted,
add mushrooms & onion (salt &
pepper a bit). Saute over medium
high heat until onions are translucent.
Add soup & milk – whisk to combine.
Add poultry seasoning & dry mustard –
stir to combine. Add 1 C. Cheddar
cheese & stir in – once melted, remove
pan from heat. Sprinkle chopped turkey
over noodles in dish. Pour soup mixture
over turkey, sprinkle with 1 C. mozzarella
cheese & 1 T. Parm. cheese on top of
sauce. Sprinkle dried parsley on top &
bake 30 minutes until cheese is melted &
sides are bubbly. Serves 6


Crockpot Double Chocolate Cake

1 (2 layer) chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate instant
pudding mix
1 C. sour cream
1 C. water
2/3 C. oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 pkgs. (4 oz, ea) semi-sweet
chocolate (6 oz) chopped
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Mix dry cake mix & pudding mix
in a large bowl using whisk until
blended. Add next 4 ingredients;
mix well & stir in chopped chocolate.
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray & pour mixture in.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours
(or High 3 – 3 1/2 hours) until top
surface of cake has no wet spots
& cake begins to pull away from
sides of crockpot. Serve warm
with Cool Whip topping. Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Yesterday was a day filled with LOTS of action:
husband & I struggled for HOURS getting the
foods prepared to take to oldest son’s house –
Christmas Eve my (wonderful – NOT!) back went
‘out’ again, so standing was very painful but we
managed to work around it: I sat while cutting
up potatoes (husband peeled – for mashed pots).
We did our best to make oldest son’s sudden change
in ‘eating time’ from 2 p.m. to 1 p.m. but several
small disasters lost us some time, so we didn’t get there
until around 1:30 – oh well . . . Green Bean casserole
decided to overflow all over inside of microwave
(where I’d put it to speed up the cooking time), corn
casserole took longer to cook than usual – stuff like
that. Oh – and then there was the WEATHER! The
temps were hovering at 19 degrees F. and it began
to snow MORE! Driving was very slow and treacherous-
his street was almost impassable, but we made it!
It snowed while we were there, probably another 1-2
inches – it’s supposed to be VERY cold all week (right
now NOAH National weather service is saying it’s
2 degrees F. outside with wind chill making it feel
like -13 degrees F! (the HIGHEST temp this week is
Friday at 16 degrees F. so not to thrilled with that,
but HEY! What can ya do?  I’m babysitting tomorrow,
hopefully only 10:15 – 3:30, but we’ll see. Baby got
TONS of toys so I’m sure he will be very amused while
playing with all of them.

Wanted to share with you my most precious presents;
Oldest son & his girlfriend had these photos blown up
& framed on canvas (each is about 1 1/2 feet square):

Bottom photo was Thanksgiving, 2017 (I didn’t know my son was taking the photo!)

To sum it all up – we had a WONDERFUL Christmas!

Hoping you were able to enjoy your
holiday. It’s not the presents under
the tree that counts – it’s who’s



Christmas Eve, 2017

And so it’s Christmas Eve – this day started out with church & singing in the choir. Our choir director and his lovely wife (who is also our accompanist) are in another state for the holidays SOooooooo we did something we have never done before – we sang to a CD of the music. I must say – it took a bit of work as most are not used to that idea, but after practicing, we actually nailed it in the final performance so I was happy (as, I’m sure, was our assistant director!). During church I got a text from middle son asking if he & his girlfriend could take my husband & I out for lunch (as their Christmas gift to us) – so we went to a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant (girlfriend is Vegan & son is getting there). This was my second try at that type of food and I did my best NOT to let them know I really didn’t like ANYTHING I’d ordered – I DID try, though! Not my idea of a good idea; I had Garlic Almond Ghallaba with chicken: “Assorted sautéed vegetables and your choice of meat blended together with rice, almonds & garlic”; it also came with more roasted (BIG CHUNKS) veggies: green pepper, carrots, zucchini, onion. If nothing else, it was filling (I told my husband he gets ALL of my ‘takeout/leftovers’ – I’m really not interested). BUT…it’s the thought that counts, right? (son & girlfriend were really enjoying their foods).


(A few last minute recipes – just in case you might need them)

Caramelized Onion Dip

2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
3 lb. yellow onions, cut in
half lengthwise & crosswise
into 1/4″ slices
2 T. brown sugar
salt/black pepper
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream

chopped chives – garnish (optional)

Heat butter & oil in heavy medium
saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions & sugar – cook, stirring
constantly, until soft & golden, about
15-20 minutes. Season with salt/pepper.
Stir in vinegar & simmer until mixture is
dry. Add hot sauce (if using). Remove from
heat & allow to cool slightly.
Mix cream cheese until smooth in large
bowl. Fold in sour cream & caramelized
onions – season with salt/pepper. Garnish
with chives, if using.
Can be eaten warm or chilled.
Makes 2 Cups

Pretzel-ring Beer Cheese Dip

1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
plus more for sprinkling
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. chopped chives (more for
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. beer (suggested: Guinness)
ground black pepper
2 T. baking soda
1 can Pillsbury Grands! biscuits
egg wash (1 egg + 1 T. water, mixed)
coarse salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl combine cheeses,
cream cheese, mustard, chives,
garlic powder & beer- season with

In small saucepan bring 2 C. water
& baking soda to a boil. Reduce to
a simmer. Cut each biscuit in half &
roll into a ball then cut an X slice
across top of each ball. Drop into
simmering water & cook 1 minute.
Remove using a slotted spoon –
transfer to a cast-iron skillet
forming a ring around skillet. Brush
biscuits with egg wash & sprinkle
tops with coarse salt. Transfer
cheese dip to center of skillet &
smooth top. Sprinkle top of dip
with more Cheddar cheese. Bake
until biscuits are golden & dip
is warmed through, 33-35 minutes.
Garnish with chopped chives & serve.
Serves 6

Cheesy Cauliflower/Bacon Dip

4 C. small cauliflower florets
(about 1/2 large head)
1/2 C. water
4 slices bacon
1/2 C. finely chopped yellow onions
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) shredded Italian
5-cheese blend, divided
1 T. sliced green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In food processor, process cauliflower
until pea-sized pieces. Place in large
microwaveable bowl & stir in water.
Microwave on High 3 minutes; stir.
(goal is crisp-tender). If necessary,
continue microwaving 2 minutes until
any larger cauliflower pieces are crisp-
tender; drain. Cook bacon in medium
skillet on medium heat until crisp;
remove to paper towel-lined plate.
Discard all but 1 T. drippings. Add
onions to drippings; cook 3-4 minutes
until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Add cream cheese & hot sauce; cook &
stir 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is
completely melted & well blended. Stir
in cauliflower, mayo & 1 1/2 C. cheese;
smooth top. Crumble bacon; sprinkle
over dip & top with remaining shredded
cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until dip
is heated through & top is brown;
sprinkle top with green onions &
serve. Makes 32 (2 T. each) servings.


Crockpot Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes, peeled/cut
into chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 C. water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place garlic cloves in a small square of
foil; wrap foil up like a Hershey kiss
candy. Place peeled/chopped potatoes
into crockpot & season well with salt/
pepper. Place foil/garlic packet into
potatoes. Place chicken bouillon granules
into a large 2-Cup measuring cup & stir in
1 C. warm water until dissolved – pour over
potatoes. Cut 4 T. butter into small pieces
& place in random spots over potatoes.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours or Low
7-8 (depending on how fast your crockpot
When potatoes are fork-tender, remove foil
packet; open it – smash garlic with a fork &
add half of it back into crockpot. (If you want
more garlic taste, add more after everything
is mixed together – best to start with a little).
Pour 1/2 C. milk, 4 T. butter & 1/3 C. sour
cream into crockpot & mix, using elec. mixer
until all is smooth. You can add more milk
if they are too thick. Taste & add more salt/
pepper/garlic, if needed. Serves 10-12


Cranberry-Orange Cake

1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
1 C. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 1 orange – (about 1 T.)
juice of an orange
1/2 C. butter
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 C. fresh cranberries

1 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk/water or orange

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Sprinkle 2 T. sugar in
bottom of sprayed pan. Sprinkle
1/4 C. cranberries on top of sugar.
Cream butter & sugar until sugar
turns a lemon color, about 4-5
minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
mix until incorporated. Add orange
juice & zest, then sour cream. When
fully incorporated, add flour, salt &
baking powder – mix well. Stir in
remaining 1 1/4 C. cranberries; pour
into prepared pan & bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
near center comes out clean. Let
stand 5 minutes after removing
from oven. Invert cake onto a wire
rack to cool.
Mix glaze ingredients & spread on
top & sides of cake. Serve.


Chocolate Churro Dip

1 tube refrigerated biscuit dough
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 C. cinnamon sugar
2 C. Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an oven-safe 10″ skillet
with nonstick cooking spray. Cut
each biscuit in half & roll into
balls. Dunk each ball in melted
butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar.
Place around the perimeter of the
skillet to form a ring. Biscuit
pieces should be touching. Pour/
scoop Nutella into center of skillet
& bake 25 minutes until biscuits
are golden & cooked through. Let
stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm. Serves 6

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

Caramel Sauce:
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 C. heavy cream
3 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1 C. flour
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. granulated sugar
6 T. softened butter
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. salt

Caramel Sauce:
Heat sugar & water in small
saucepan on medium heat to
melt sugar. Continue cooking &
swirling sugar until it turns an
amber color. Whisk in sea salt &
heavy cream (mixture will bubble
up violently, briefly). Continue
whisking until sauce is smooth.
Stir in butter & vanilla.

Combine all crumble ingredients using
an elec. mixer. Mixture will be crumbly
but stay together when squeezed. Place
sliced apples in a bowl with lemon juice.
Cook apples in a large cast iron skillet
over medium-low heat in butter to draw
out moisture. Sprinkle with salt to draw
out all moisture possible. Drain & place
back in skillet. (about 5-7 minutes cooking
time). Pour 3/4 of prepared caramel
sauce into apples & gently stir. Top with
crumble topping & bake 20 minutes.
Serve with remaining caramel sauce.
Serves 6


Weather-wise, our temps. dropped severely –
it’s now 19 degrees and snowing. We’re supposed
to get 1-3 inches; while we were at the restaurant
it was coming down a LOT. Going home was pretty
slippery  – SO glad we only live about 7 minutes
away AND don’t have to go out again today/tonight!

All I have left to ‘do’ is wrap presents and (maybe)
put together the 2 casseroles together & refrigerate
overnight (easy day!).

Stay warm, SAFE and remember to relax a bit in
between ‘adventures’!



Everything Old is New Again!

Today started out with me attempting to bring down more Christmas decorations; spotted some boxes I hadn’t gone through and Lo & Behold! There was a tiny tree decorated with  miniature ornaments I’d made a good 15 years ago that I’d totally forgotten! Also ‘found’ the rest of the clear plastic window ‘stickers’ (snowflakes, Christmas themes, etc.) – I’d already put up enough of those, but nice to know where the old ones are – now! I’m doing my best to ‘keep on – keeping on’ while still struggling with the ends of this cold thing – I find I’m pretty exhausted most days so today I just told myself: “Self: enough is enough! Do just these things and NO MORE! GO REST!” Yesterday was crazy – up really early to drive to the other church (1/2 hr) to pick up the special needs group newsletters, drive back to son’s house to babysit 10:15 to 3:30, go home & rest a few, then Knit Night 6:30 – 9 p.m. (then home to collapse!). Today was getting up early to fold, address, stuff all the newsletters, stop at Walgreen’s to get stamps (NO WAY I was standing in line at the Post Office THIS close to Christmas!). Turns out they had exactly TWO books of stamps at Walgreen’s – SCORE! just what I needed. Got to the drive through/outdoors mailboxes at the Post Office and BOTH of them were overflowing with mail – no way I’m putting our newsletters in there only to have them fall out, so I went inside & put them in the ‘inside’ mail slot (having worked at that location back in 1969, I KNOW that that particular slot gets picked up BEFORE the outside boxes do) – mailing complete. The presents are all purchased,  most of the stocking stuffers are there, most of the house decorating is done. That leaves (TOMORROW – I’m putting it off for today – resting) baking 4 loaves of breads & delivering them to the neighbors and (MAYBE) putting up a tree. Husband & I both agreed – this year it’s just going to be the small fiber-optic tree in the dining room – that’s ENOUGH for us! Getting old is no fun, but getting sick at the busiest time of the year really sucks…enough of my complaining…(sorry)


Crispy Ginger Cookies

2 1/3 C. flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. baking soda
scant 1/4 tsp. salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
softened but still cool
1 large egg
1/3 C. molasses

In medium bowl whisk flour, ginger,
allspice, cinnamon, cloves baking soda,
salt & pepper. Using elec. mixer, beat
1/2 C. gran. sugar, brown sugar & butter
until light & fluffy, 3-5 minutes, scraping
sides of bowl as necessary. Add egg &
beat about 20 seconds; scrape down bowl
sides. Add molasses – mix well & scrape
sides again. Add dry ingredients then mix
on Low speed just until incorporated. Do
not over mix. (Dough will be very soft;
refrigerate at least 1 hour – or until firm
enough to roll out).

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven;
line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place remaining 1/2 C. gran. sugar in a shallow
bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls & roll in
sugar to coat – place on prepared sheet about
2 inches apart (they will spread). Flatten tops
slightly with your fingers. Bake 10-14 minutes
until set & golden on outside & slightly soft on
the inside. (as they bake they will puff up, then
flatten). Do not remove from oven until they are
flat). Let cookies cool in sheet a few minutes then
transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate
dough between batches, as needed, to maintain
a soft (but not wet) consistency. Cookies will keep
several days in airtight container. Makes 36 cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

4 oz. semisweet chocolate*, chopped
4 T. unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
8 oz. (Nabisco) chocolate wafers – about
32 cookies from a 9-oz. pkg), finely ground
using a food processor to make 2 C. crumbs

Peanut Butter Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 C. smooth peanut butter
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. cold heavy cream

4 oz. semisweet chocolate*, chopped
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. salted, roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In medium glass bowl combine chocolate &
butter – microwave on High in 20-second
intervals until just melted. Stir well then stir
in cookie crumbs. Press mixture evenly over
bottom & up rim of a 10-inch tart pan with
removable bottom
. Make sure to not make
the crust too thick in any one spot, especially
around the rim. Keep it thin throughout or it
will come out too hard. Bake crust 10 minutes
then cool on a rack.

Peanut Butter Filling:
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat cream
cheese with peanut butter, sugar & vanilla until
blended. In another large bowl, using elec.
mixer, whip chilled cream until firm. Fold
one-third whipped cream into peanut butter
mixture to loosen it, then fold in remaining
whipped cream. Spoon filling into cooled crust,
smoothing the surface. Refrigerate, uncovered,
1 hour.

In medium glass bowl combine chocolate with
heavy cream – microwave on High in 20-second
intervals until chocolate is just melted & cream is
hot. Stir until blended, then cool to barely warm,
stirring occasionally. Spread over chilled peanut
butter filling & sprinkle chopped peanuts around
edges of pie. Chill, uncovered, 3 more hours.

To Serve:
Carefully remove rim from pan by gently pressing
upwards on bottom while holding the rim in place.
(If using a springform pan, run a thin knife around
crust to loosen it, the remove springform ring). Use
a sharp knife to cut the pie into wedges. Run the
knife under hot water & dry it between each cut.
Serve chilled or slightly cooler than room temp.

* Poster uses the best quality, such as Ghirardelli

NOTE: Pie can be made a day ahead then covered &
refrigerated until ready to serve.


Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

1 lb. hot sausage, uncooked (or
any sausage you prefer)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. Bisquick (baking mix)
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all ingredients
until well combined; roll into 1-inch
balls. Place on baking sheets
& bake 20-25 minutes until brown.
Makes about 24 balls.

NOTE: can be made ahead & frozen.
If baking frozen, add a few minutes
to the total cooking time.


Bacon/Ranch/Walnut Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp (leave on counter at
least 1 hour before mixing)
1/8 C. plus 1/8 C. walnuts, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/4 C. fresh chives, chopped
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2.8 oz) pkg. pre-made real bacon bits

Using elec. mixer in large bowl cream
cream cheese until creamy. Add dry
ranch mix & parsley, blend. Add 1/8 C.
walnuts – blend in; blend in chopped
chives. Add Chedd. cheese & stir, while
scraping sides of bowl, creating a ball.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on counter
& sprinkle remaining 1/8 C. nuts on sheet.
Sprinkle entire pkg. of bacon bits on sheet.
Roll cheese ball in bacon bits/nuts until it’s
completely covered. Wrap ball in plastic
wrap & shape into a round ball; place in
fridge 2 hours. Remove from fridge when
ready to eat – allow 1 hour to soften.
Serve with crackers, crostini, French bread
chunks, pretzels, etc. for dipping.

Creamy Jalapeno Dip

1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. buttermilk
1/3 C. sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chopped jalapenos
(cut this in half if you don’t like spicy)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1/3 C. chopped cilantro
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Place all ingredients in a blender or
food processor – process until smooth.
Refrigerate any leftovers.


Southern Smothered Pork Chops

4 center-cut pork chops
1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chicken or beef broth
1 medium onion, chopped

Suggested ‘sides’:
cooked mashed potatoes (for 4)
cooked rice or noodles (for 4)

Pour flour, poultry seasoning &
salt in zip-lock bag – shake to mix.
Add chops & shake until lightly
coated. Heat heavy skillet large
enough to hold all chops over
medium-high heat. Add oil &
heat until it shimmers. Place
chops in pan & saute 2-3 minutes
per side until golden brown. Remove
chops from pan & add 2 T. flour
mixture from bag to skillet; stir a
few seconds to cook flour. Add
about 1 C. broth & cook, stirring,
to lift any browned bits from pan.
Add remaining broth & turn off
heat. (Reserve remaining flour
mixture for later).
Place onion in bottom of crockpot &
lay chops on top. Pour liquids from
pan over chops. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Remove about 1 C.
of liquids from crockpot into a
small bowl; stir in remaining flour
mixture from bag & mix until
completely smooth. Return this
mixture to crockpot, stirring to mix.
Cover & cook 30-45 minutes more.
Serves 4

(suggested sides: mashed potatoes or
cooked noodles or rice)


Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

5 lb. baking potatoes, sliced
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 T. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing (liquid)
1/4 C. salsa – your choice of heat
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 T. fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes in a 12″ cast
iron skillet OR 9 X 13″ baking dish
& coat in olive oil, salt/pepper –
fold in shredded cheese. Bake
60 minutes until browned on top
& tender.
Mix Ranch dressing & salsa in
small bowl until combined. Once
potatoes are done cooking, evenly
drizzle salsa/ranch on top &
sprinkle top with chopped bacon &
parsley. Serve hot. Serves 15


Crockpot Candybar Dip

1 (12 oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
25 caramels, unwrapped
1/2 C. heavy cream
6 fun-size Milky Way candy bars

Spray a small crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place all ingredients in pot, cover
& cook on Low 1 1/2 – 2 hours until
melted & smooth. Serve warm.
Makes 3 cups

Suggested Dippers:
chocolate or vanilla cookies
pretzel sticks
brownie bites
pound cake cubes
graham crackers


 Tiramisu Cheesecake Dessert

1 (12 oz) pkg. vanilla wafers
5 tsp. instant coffee granules, divided
3 T. hot water, divided
4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 T. baking cocoa

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Layer half of wafers in greased 9 X 13″
baking dish. In small bowl dissolve 2 tsp.
coffee in 2 T. hot water; brush 1 T. mixture
over wafers. In large bowl beat cream
cheese & sugar until smooth; beat in
sour cream. Add eggs, beating at Low
speed just until blended. Remove half
of filling to another bowl. Dissolve
remaining coffee granules in remaining
hot water & stir into one portion filling –
spread over wafers. Layer remaining wafers
over top, brush with remaining dissolved
coffee granules & spread with remaining
filling. Bake 40-45 minutes until center is
almost set. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
Loosen sides from dish with a knife. Cool
1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight,
covering when completely cooled.
To serve, spread with Cool Whip & dust
with baking cocoa. Makes 12 servings.


Crockpot Brown Sugar Carrots
(also OVEN & stovetop methods)

5 lb. bag carrots, peeled/cut into
3/4″ coins
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Place all ingredients in crockpot &
mix together. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Garnish with additional
brown sugar when serving, if
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large foil-lined pan with
nonstick spray. Mix all ingredients
& pour into pan. Bake 25-30
Boil carrots 5-7 minutes. Place
all ingredients in large pan &
cook carrots until glazed &

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Loin

1 (3-4 lb) pork loin
1 (14 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (1 oz) pkg. onion soup mix

In small bowl mix cranberry sauce &
soup mix, stir until combined. Place
pork loin in crockpot & pour cranberry
mixture on top. Cover & cook on Low
7 hours without opening lid during
cooking time.
Slice & serve with sauce.
Serves 8



Hoping that you are all in good health and
fairly ‘ready’ for the holidays. Sharing my oldest
son’s little family (he also has an 11 yr old son
who’s not in this photo)


Stay healthy!



Happy Saturday!

It’s a typical Michigan Winter day – temps around 29 degrees F., no ‘extra’ snow (yet) – it did give us about 1 1/2 inches more yesterday which made driving home a bit touchy. Yesterday! I babysat from 10 a.m. – 3:30! YAY! All went very well, had a great time wrestling with (as my husband calls him) “Da Baby” – he’s a little over 9 months old now, 5 teeth (with another one coming soon); he can walk pretty well now – loves making ovals & circles – he can even walk backwards – surprising!


This is the photo I had to work from – the request was to “TRY” to (somehow) copy it, if I could. My dear, sweet special needs guy, Kevin, has slept with this since he was a baby (and still does) – he’s almost ‘loved it to death’. His Mom asked if I could see what I could do. Originally it was Mint green & white (now it’s sage & cream). With some struggles finding that funny sort of ‘hole/stitch’ at the right top of the photo, I plowed on. Since I really had no idea just ‘where’ the hole pattern went in the entire blanket, I just sort of ‘winged it’ – his Mom said: “Do what you can”. Remembering that I’m a KNITTER who’s a beginner Crocheter, here is the finished crocheted blanket/lovey:

It’s 28 inches wide by 40 inches long (if you flip the photo, the bottom is a reverse of what you’re seeing in the photo). There are mistakes and it’s not perfect, but I think, for what it’s going to be used for, it should work. (He wads up his old blanket & tucks it under his head/face when he sleeps.)


 Crockpot Turtles Candy

4 C. pecans, chopped
2 lb. almond bark
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. chocolate baking bar
2 (12 oz, ea). pkgs. Rolo candies,
candy sprinkles – optional

Place pecans, almond bark. choc.
chips & choc. baking bar in crockpot
set on Low. Cover & heat 1 1/2 – 2 hours
until melted. Uncover & stir until evenly
combined. Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper (or silicone mats). Lay
Rolos candies on paper, 2 inches apart.
Using a small cookie scoop**, scoop choc.
mixture, a little at a time, on each Rolo –
repeat until all Rolos are covered. Top
each candy with sprinkles, if desired.
Allow candy to cool until hardened.
Makes about 96

*If you want more caramel in each
bite, you can substitute caramels
in place of Rolos.

**If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you
can use a heaping Tablespoon/measuring


Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well-drained
1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
1 egg, separated
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F>
Mix first 4 ingredients & egg yolk
in large bowl until blended. Open
rolls & separate into 8 triangles.
Cut each triangle diagonally in
half. Spoon 1 T. spinach mixture
in center of each triangle. Bring
corners of dough to center over
filling, overlapping ends. Pinch
ends together to seal & place on
baking sheets. Beat egg white
lightly & brush on tops of bundles.
Bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 8


Broccoli Casserole Dip

4 slices bacon
1 head broccoli cut into
small florets (about 3 C.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. crumbled Ritz crackers
1/4 C. butter, melted

crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet cook
bacon over medium heat until
crisp – remove bacon from
skillet & transfer to paper towel-
lined plate. Reserve 2 T. bacon
fat in skillet. Add broccoli florets
& cook until crisp-tender, about
4 minutes. Chop bacon &
broccoli into very small pieces. In
large bowl combine cream cheese,
mayonnaise, sour cream & garlic
powder – mix until smooth. Fold
in cheese, cooked broccoli & bacon.
Season with salt/pepper & transfer
to small baking dish. In small bowl
combine crumbled crackers with
melted butter – toss until combined.
Scatter mixture on top of dip in dish.
Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted
& cracker topping is golden & crispy.
Serve warm with crackers for dipping.
Serves 6


Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

2 cloves garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas,** drained/rinsed
SEE next ingredient
**1/2 C. liquid from chickpea can (at
4 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. tahini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, roasted
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (if
you don’t like spicy, cut amount
to 1/2 tsp.)

Add garlic to food processor & process
until chopped. Add chickpeas, lemon
juice, tahini, salt, olive, roasted sweet
potato & spices – process 1-2 minutes
(mixture will be pretty thick & not
completely smooth). Slowly add in
reserved liquid & process until hummus
reaches your desired consistency.
(Poster noted she used 1/2 C.)


Bacon-Cheddar Cornbread Loaf

1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon, chopped in small
1 C. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed
2 T. fresh rosemary, sage or chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Fry bacon until crisp;
transfer to paper towels. Whisk
melted butter, sugar, milk & eggs in
a bowl. In another bowl whisk flour,
cornmeal, baking powder & salt.
Gently stir dry flour mixture into wet
ingredients until combined & moistened,
but not over mixed. Fold in cheese, bacon
crumbles, herbs & corn using a spatula,
until incorporated. Pour into prepared
loaf pan & bake 30 minutes, topping
with extra cheese after 20 minutes of
baking time. Bread is cooked when middle
is set & edges are golden brown.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12

Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak

2 lb. chip steak (or) 2 lb. cube steaksk
cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 to 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 lb. pepperoni, thinly sliced
8 oz. Provolone cheese, thinly

In medium skillet saute mushrooms
in oil until softened & light brown,
about 5 minutes – add to crockpot
along with rest of ingredients EXCEPT
Provolone. Cover & cook on Low
6 hours. Stir well & divide among
6 bowls. Cover each bowl with
Provolone & add some cooking juices
to each bowl to melt the cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Ranch Potatoes

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup,
1 1/4 C. milk
1 envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place potato cubes in saucepan, cover
with water & bring to boil – cook about
10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost
tender; drain then place in prepared pan.
In a bowl mix soup, milk, dry dressing mix,
1 C. cheese, salt/pepper to taste & pour
over potatoes. Sprinkle crumbled bacon &
remaining cheese on top. Bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
Pecan Chicken Salad

4 C. cooked/chopped chicken
breast (OR) two 15 oz. cans
1 1/2 C. sliced seedless grapes
(red or white)
1/2 C. chopped celery

1 T. sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1 C. mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together;
place in a serving bowl.


Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (about 2 lb)
1/4 C. butter
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Cooked egg noodles for 4

In large skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Add chicken &
cook until very lightly browned
on both sides but not cooked
through. Add broth & reduce
heat to Low about 10 minutes
until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken & place on a
plate. Add sour cream, garlic
powder, salt/pepper to skillet;
continue cooking on Low while
stirring until sour cream is
melted & fully incorporated.
Remove about 1/2 C. of liquid
from skillet & stir flour into
liquid until smooth then pour
back into skillet. Using a wire
whisk, whisk until gravy is
thickened & smooth again. Add
chicken back to skillet & turn to coat.
Serve chicken & sauce immediately
over cooked egg noodles.
Serves 4


Oreo Cookie Balls-3 Ingredients!

1 (14 to 19 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. white almond bark (OR) 24 oz.
white chocolate chips*

*Almond bark contains no nuts – it is
a candy coating that may be found
near the chocolate chips in stores.

Crush Oreos very fine-either by using a
food processor or placing in a ziplock
bag & crushing them with a mallet or
rolling pin.
In a large bowl, using elec. mixer mix
cream cheese & crushed cookies – mix
until well blended. Scoop out & form
into 1-inch balls – place on waxed paper
until ready to dip.

Melt almond bark (or white choc. chips):
1 of 2 methods: Place in microwave-safe
bowl & microwave in 30 second intervals,
stirring after each, until melted & smooth
(OR) Melt in a saucepan until fully melted
& smooth.
Dip each cookie ball in melted mixture then
place on waxed paper to cool completely.
Store in airtight container in fridge.
Makes 60-70 balls.



I’m slowly but surely feeling better – still
stuffed up but functioning OK. Tonight (6 p.m.)
is our final choir rehearsal for tomorrow’s
Christmas program – I’m going to TRY to
sing tonight – we’ll see what happens!

It’s now NINE days until Christmas; oldest
son let me know last night that we’re doing
Christmas dinner at 2 p.m. (at his house). I
have no idea what meat he’s doing but I’m
doing the ‘same old’ sides: garlic mashed
potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole,
(black olives – oldest’s favorite), probably a
repeat of the wild rice casserole (middle son’s
girlfriend – and now middle son are VEGAN –
they both said they loved the casserole so
here goes one more time!) and 2 desserts.
It’s a tradition in my family to bake a “Happy
Birthday, Jesus” chocolate cake so perhaps
that might be one of the 2 desserts – we’ll
see. Here’s a photo of one from a few years

Hope you are all able to remain in good
health while finishing up these days before
the holiday. While choosing the recipes to
post today I noticed I still have a LOT of
appetizer & cookie/candy recipes to post
so those will be coming in the next few

Stay warm & take a few minutes to rest/
relax while going through your very busy



Happy Tuesday!

Saw this ‘hat’ on Facebook & couldn’t resist showing it to you! Can you imagine the looks you’d get if you wore that on a shopping trip? Too funny!

It’s a gorgeous day out – sun shining, almost 50 degrees F.! Wow – such a treat – I love it when the sun shines, really cheers me up (she said, knowing that the really cold, gloomy weather is just around the corner – sigh).


Easy Pistachio Pie

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant pistachio
pudding mix (Jell-O)
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
including juice
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
(or 1 C. heavy whipping cream,
whipped to stiff peaks)
Prepared baked pie crust
(graham cracker crust can be used, also)

Optional Toppings:
1 C. whipped cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. chopped pistachios
sliced maraschino cherries

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
pudding mix until light & fluffy.
Beat in crushed pineapple (with juice).
Stir in marshmallows – fold in Cool
Whip (or whipped cream) & spoon
into pie crust. Chill at least 2 hours.

Optional Toppings:
Beat whipped cream & powdered
sugar together until stiff peaks
form – pipe onto top of pie; add
maraschino cherries & chopped
pistachios. Serves 12


Leftovers – Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

6 eggroll wrappers*
1 C. leftover cooked turkey,
1 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 C. leftover cranberries
1 C. leftover stuffing
vegetable oil
1/2 C. leftover gravy (for dipping)

Place an eggroll wrapper on a clean
surface – lay it out so that it forms
a triangle in front of you.  Spread a
thin layer of cranberries on, then
add a few T. mashed potatoes, stuffing
& turkey. Fold up bottom point &
tightly fold in sides. Gently roll, then
seal fold using a few drops of water
on edges; repeat with remaining
In large skillet over medium heat,
heat oil (it should reach 1 inch up
sides of pan) until it starts to bubble.
Add egg rolls & fry until golden,
1 minute per side. Transfer to a
paper towel-lined plate to cool
slightly. Serve with heated gravy.
Makes 6

*can find them in the produce
section of grocery store

(recipe: Facebook)

Swiss/Bacon Dip

8 slices bacon, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 rounded teas. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 C. smoked almonds, coarsely

baby carrots
cocktail-sized bread slices
sliced baguettes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown bacon in nonstick skillet
over medium heat; drain bacon
on paper towels. In medium
bowl combine cream cheese,
mayonnaise, mustard, cheese,
scallions & cooked bacon. Spray
small shallow baking casserole
with nonstick spray & spread
mixture into dish. Bake 15-18
minutes until golden & bubbly
at edges. Top with chopped
almonds. Serve with suggested
dippers. Serves 6


Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

3 t. olive oil
3/4 C. diced onion
1 1/4 C. diced carrots
3/4 C. sliced celery
3 T. flour
3 C. chicken broth
2 1/2 C. chopped, cooked turkey
1 1/4 C. frozen peas
salt/pepper, to taste

1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large pot over medium heat
heat oil until shimmering. Saute
onion, carrots, celery until
softened. Stir in flour until no
lumps remain. Add about 1/4 C.
broth & stir until a thick sauce
forms. Add remaining broth &
bring to boil. Reduce heat to a
simmer & allow to simmer until
thickened, about 10 minutes.
Turn off heat & stir in turkey/peas;
season with salt/pepper. In separate
small bowl beat egg & milk – pour into
flour & stir to combine. (it should be
a sticky dough). Drop dough, 2-3
T. each, on top of turkey mixture.
Bake 17-19 minutes until topping
is golden brown.


Crockpot Honey (Baked) Ham
Crockpot & Oven recipes

7-10 lb. spiral ham
2 T. brown Dijon mustard
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. honey
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. water
2 T. corn starch

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Combine
sugar, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon &
mustard in a saucepan on medium
heat; cook 2-5 minutes until
ingredients melt & combine – whisk
thoroughly & remove from heat.
Place ham in crockpot & pour water
in bottom of crockpot; pour honey/brown
sugar mixture over ham.* Cover & cook
on Low 6-8 hours, basting ham with
juices once every hour. Once ham is
cooked, remove from crockpot. Pour
juices from bottom of crockpot into a
medium saucepan. Mix 2 T. cornstarch
with 1 T. water in saucepan; cook on
medium heat until starts to thicken.
Use that as a glaze over ham or even
as a gravy for potatoes.
Serves 14

*If your lid does not fit over ham,
you can make a foil tent to cover ham.

NOTE: IF you don’t own a crockpot,
you can bake the ham – follow above
directions & ‘tent’ the ham with foil.
Bake 350 degrees F. 15-20  minutes
per pound, basting once every half


Cream of Wild Rice Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
8 C. chicken broth
3 C. cooked wild rice
1 C. cubed, cooked chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. evaporated milk
1/4 C. minced chives

In large saucepan saute onion,
carrot & celery in butter until
tender. Stir in flour until blended.
Gradually add broth. Stir in rice,
chicken, salt/pepper & bring to
a boil over medium heat. Cook &
stir 2 minutes until thickened.
Stir in milk & cook 3-5 minutes
longer. Garnish with chives when
serving. Serves 10 (2 1/2 quarts)


Marshmallow/Caramel Popcorn

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
9-10 marshmallows
12 C. popped popcorn

In glass measuring cup or
microwaveable bowl microwave
brown sugar & butter 2 minutes.
Add marshmallows & microwave
until melted, 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.
Pour over popped popcorn.

Tuna Casserole

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 1/2 C. egg noodles, cooked/
1/2 C. frozen peas
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna
in water, drained
salt/black pepper, to taste
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. French fried onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine soup,
milk, mayo, garlic powder. Stir
in cooked noodles, peas,
tomatoes, tuna, salt/pepper
& spoon into prepared dish.
Sprinkle top with cheese &
bake 20 minutes until bubbly.
Top with French fried onions &
bake another 5 minutes.
Serves 6


Easy Pull-apart Pizza Bread

2 tubes refrigerated pizza dough
or biscuits
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/3 C. olive oil
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni,
cut into small pieces
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove dough from tubes, cut
biscuits/dough into quarters.
In bowl, mix all other ingredients
together & toss to combine. Spread
mixture on each piece of dough &
arrange in a baking dish. Bake
30 minutes. Flip onto a serving plate
& enjoy.

NOTE: Poster said she served a warmed
pizza sauce in a dish, on the side, for


No Bake Oatmeal Fudge Cookies

3 C. rolled oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped nuts (optioanal)
1/2 C. butter
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. cocoa powder

Place large sheets of waxed paper
on counter/smooth surface. In a
bowl mix oats, vanilla & nuts. In a
pan on medium-low heat bring sugar,
cocoa & evaporated milk to boil,
stirring & cooking 2 minutes. Turn
off heat. Add butter & whisk to melt.
While still hot, add oat mixture &
stir to coat. Drop mixture by spoonful
onto waxed paper & let cool at least
2 hours.



These past days (after Thanksgiving) I
almost feel like a woman on vacation –
nothing in particular that needs ‘doing’!
(Not complaining, mind you) the baby’s
Mom decided to quit her job (good
decision – they were really over-working
her way too much & no commensurate
pay for doing so!). That being said, she
heard from another place while working
out her 2-week notice, went for the
interview and before she got to the
parking lot, they hired her on the spot!
She starts tomorrow, so I don’t have to
babysit today – that feels strange but
I know the ‘new’ sitting schedule is
in the works – soon! She asked for
weekends off & better hours so she
could spend more time with the
baby & her family and the new place
gave it to her! (Now THAT’S having
an excellent resume, right?). Before
this, my son (the chef) left for work
at 4:30 a.m. and (usually) got home
around 3:30 p.m. – she would have
to go to work anywhere from 10:30
a.m. to 2 p.m. and not get home
until around 11:30 – 12 p.m. – that
left little or no time to spend with
my son and the baby – I don’t blame
her a bit! We’ll see how this works
out as time goes on.

I finally (almost) finished out the
turkey – made Turkey Stroganoff
with egg noodles; there’s still
enough white meat to make some
sandwiches so my husband is happy.

Well, I had fun with the “Black Friday”
sales ON LINE – now I’m getting emails
saying my items have shipped – YAY!
I really like this idea – I don’t have to
go out & battle crowds AND I get
some pretty sweet discounts to boot;
a win/win situation in my books.

Hope you have a GREAT day!