It’s a GOOD day! Just got back from going to a church rummage sale (they do one every year) – you KNOW it’s a small world when you run into 5 people you know (and I don’t even GO to that church!) Got a few good deals – not much. They used to have a LOT more volunteers and had a 3-day sale TWICE a year, now they’re down to once in the Spring. Went to our local Meijers for a few items (they’re remodeling the entire store – what a nightmare trying to find anything!) Came home with one of their rotisserie chickens for tonight’s dinner.

It’s been a VERY busy week, something (or more than one) going on every day. Babysat 3 days – will go in at 3 today. Baby grandson is such a HOOT! The other day he was going around (with hands pumping the sky) yelling: “Rock and Roll!” Too funny! Yesterday, out of the blue, he started saying “Jumpy, jumpy, jumpy” and doing that very thing (until I was dizzy with it!). Keeps my young, that’s for sure!


Turtle Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box Pillsbury Moist
Supreme German Chocolate Cake mix
(with pudding in mix)
1 C. evaporated milk, divided
1/2 C. butter or 8 T./1 stick, softened
1 (11 oz) bag caramels (or about 40
pieces, unwrapped)
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare cake accordg. to box directions
then add 1/2 C. evaporated milk & butter,
using elec. mixer. Pour half of batter (about
2 1/2 C.) into prepared dish. Bake 10 minutes.
While cake is baking, melt caramels with 1/2 C.
evaporated milk either on top of stove or in
microwave (takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes in
microwave – stir every 1 minute). Pour melted
caramels over cooked cake & sprinkle on
chocolate chips & nuts. Pour rest of cake mix
on top of caramels/chips & nuts & bake
another 35 minutes.

Option: Cake is good served with ice cream


1-Pot Chili Mac & Cheese

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 diced onion
8 oz. ground beef
4 C. chicken broth
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes
3/4 C. white kidney beans (canned –
3/4 C. kidney beans (canned –
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
kosher salt
ground black pepper
10 oz. elbow pasta
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

In large skillet or Dutch oven,heat
olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add garlic, onion & gr. beef – cook
until browned, 3-5 minutes, crumbling
beef as it cooks – drain. Stir in chicken
broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder &
cumin; season with salt/pepper, to
taste. Bring to simmer & stir in pasta.
Bring to a boil; cover & reduce heat –
simmer until pasta is cooked through,
about 13-15 minutes. Remove from heat;
top with cheese & cover until melted –
about 2 minutes. Serve immediately,
garnished with parsley, if desired.
Serves 4


Glorified Hash Browns

2 cans cream of celery soup,
2 (8 oz, ea) cartons spreadable
chive & onion cream cheese
1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen cubed hash
brown potatoes
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large microwave-safe bowl,
combine soup & cream cheese. Cover
& cook on High 3-4 minutes until
cream cheese is melted, stirring
occasionally. Add potatoes & stir
to coat. Spoon into prepared dish.
Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes until
potatoes are tender. Sprinkle top with
cheese & bake 3-5 minutes longer until
cheese has melted. Serves 10

Freezer option:
Prepared unbaked casserole & sprinkle
cheese on top. Cover & freeze.
To use: partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes before
baking. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Bake
as directed, increasing time as necessary
to heat through & for a thermometer
inserted in center to read 165 degrees F.
when fully cooked.


Easy Chicken Pot Pie

3 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless,
2 T. butter
1 T. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 T. fresh thyme leaves
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. frozen peas (no need to thaw)


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium saucepan melt butter & oil
over medium heat. Add chicken & cook
until no longer pink & lightly brown –
remove chicken to a bowl. Add onion &
garlic to pan & cook about 5 minutes to
soften. Add potatoes, carrots, celery;
pour broth over veggies & add thyme –
bring to boil & turn heat to simmer.
Place chicken back in pot & cook in
broth. In small pot melt butter for
sauce – add flour & whisk until a
smooth paste forms. Add milk & bring
to boil. Pour sauce into pan with pie
filling – mix well. Add peas & place in
a casserole dish or pie plate. Place
puff pastry over top of filling &
crimp edges (or let hand over edge).
Brush top lightly with beaten egg &
(if using) scatter poppy seeds & thyme
leaves on top. Bake 35-40  minutes until
pastry is golden & filling is bubbling & not.
Serves  6


Crockpot “Under the Sea” Dip

1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of shrimp soup
2 C. cooked shrimp, tails removed/
cleaned/chopped into bite sized pieces
6 oz. crab meat, chopped or flaked
(poster used imitation crab)
2 C. shredded cheese (they used Cheddar)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Dippers: crackers, toast points, crusty
Italian bread
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Place all
ingredients in crockpot (except
dippers). Gently stir until well
combined; cover & cook on Low
2-3 hours, stirring often. Serve
with dippers. Serves 8-10


Vinegar-braised Chicken & Mushrooms

4 lb. assorted bone-in, skin on
chicken pieces (breasts & thighs)
2 lb. mushrooms (cremini, white or
baby Bella, cleaned)
2 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
5 carrots, peeled/roughly
chopped (can use baby carrots)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 T. olive oil
2 T. flour
kosher salt/black pepper

Season both sides of chicken
generously with salt/pepper. Heat
olive oil in large cast-iron skillet or
Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
In batches, brown chicken on all sices,
then transfer to a separate plate.
Reserving 2-3 T. oil, drain off fat in
pan & saute carrots & onion until
tender (about 10 minutes) Add
mushrooms & cook 6-8 minutes
until softened. Add crushed garlic &
saute 2 minutes longer. Season
mixture with salt/pepper then
transfer (discarding garlic) to plate
with chicken. Sprinkle flour in Dutch
oven & cook 1-2 minutes, whisking
continuously, until pasty & smooth.
Pour in vinegars & whisk until smooth;
cook mixture 3-5 minutes until
thickened & reduced, then slowly mix
in chicken broth. Return chicken to
pot & add bay leaf – bring to boil. Reduce
heat to Low, partially cover pot & let
simmer 35-40 minutes until chicken is
cooked through. Return vegetables to
pot & serve with reduced sauce.
Serves 6


Crockpot No Bake Cookies

1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter,
melted (do not use margarine
or tub versions)
1/2 C. milk
1 C. sugar
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
3 C. old fashioned oats (can use
quick oats)
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

Line cookie sheets with
parchment paper.
In bowl combine sugar, powd.
sugar, cocoa – mix then add
butter & milk; mix until fully
combined. (should be a little
thinner than brownie batter).
Pour mixture into 4 qt. crockpot
(if using larger crockpot, cooking
times may reduce significantly).
Pour oats on top of batter – do
not mix. Place peanut butter in
middle, on top of oats – do not
mix. Cover & cook on High 1 hr
15 minutes until cocoa mixture
reaches a rolling boil. Stir well &
use a cookie scoop to place 2 dozen
cookies on a lined cookie sheet.
Allow cookies to set for a few hours
then store in a sealed container.
Makes 2 dozen.



Our weather is typical May – sometimes sunny, mostly
rainy but at least the flowers are blooming – YAY!

Hope you are having a nice day;



Monday Morning Musings

The sun IS shining – it’s going to be a High 80’s day and I’m glad – I LOVE this last little bit of Summer weather before the (dreaded) Fall/Winter cold & snow. Today, so far, is open-ended – no particular plans for the day (which is nice). I’m guessing I’ll get the text later today to babysit my little grandson tomorrow, so that makes today all the sweeter. (Don’t get me wrong – I love my grandson & spending time with him BUT…I’m not getting any younger and lifting a 22 lb. baby is quite a feat for me so I don’t do it very much if I can avoid it. I have taken to getting down on the floor to change diapers to prevent the ‘carrying’ – works for me.)


Fantastic Cake

1 box dark chocolate fudge
cake mix & ingredients to prepare
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) Heath milk chocolate toffee

Prepare & bake cake as directed on
pkg. for 9 X 13″ pan; cool completely.
Using a drinking straw, poke holes close
together all over top of cake. Slowly
pour condensed milk over top, filling
in the holes. Repeat using caramel
topping. Spread Cool Whip on top &
sprinkle top with toffee bits. Chill
several hours or overnight before

(recipe: FB)

Cowboy Cornbread Trifle

1 box cornbread mix (Jiffy), prepared
accordg. to pkg. directions
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded/
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 lb. thick sliced bacon, cooked/chopped
into bits
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 (16 oz, ea) cans beans (pinto, kidney
or black – drained/rinsed)
2 (16 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn,
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small bunch green onions, thinly
salt/pepper, to taste

Cut baked cornbread into 1-inch chunks.
Toss tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, beans,
jalapenos & corn together in large bowl
to make a salsa. In another bowl combine
mayonnaise & ranch dressing – add salt/
pepper, to taste.

Building Trifle:
In large (preferably clear) bowl place
one layer of cornbread bits. Top with a
layer of salsa; shredded cheese, mayo
mixture & diced bacon – repeat layers.
Garnish top with sliced green onions &
any remaining cheese & bacon.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Serves 8-10


Bacon Cheese Puffs

1/2 C. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 C. grated cheese (sharp Cheddar
works best)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 C. self-rising flour
1 tsp. French or grainy mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine egg & milk;
stir in remaining ingredients. Drop
batter by rounded teaspoon onto
prepared sheet & bake until golden
brown, about 20 minutes. Cool
on wire racks.

Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad
(refrigerate overnight)

1 box pasta shells, cooked/rinsed
in cold water
4 oz. mild Cheddar cheese cubes*
1/3 C. diced red onion
1 packet Ranch salad dressing mix
10 oz. peas (frozen or canned/drained)-
if using frozen, thaw before using
1/2 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions,
rinse in cold water. Add all ingredients
to large bowl & chill overnight.

*Poster cuts cubes into quarters
NOTE: if you like more ranch flavor
you can use two dressing mix packets

Sweet Macaroni/Ham Salad

2 C. elbow macaroni, cooked
al-dente (accordg. to pkg. directions)
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled/chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped carrots
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
2 C. cooked, chopped ham

1 to 1 1/2 C. mayonnaise or
Miracle Whip
3 T. sugar
1 T. white vinegar
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. yellow mustard
1 tsp. celery seed

Combine all salad ingredients
in large bowl & toss to  mix.
Combine dressing ingredients
& pour over salad, mix well.
Refrigerate 3-4 hours before
serving. Serves 8-10


Crockpot Chicken & Zucchini

3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
2 T. garlic, minced
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 tsp. onion powder
2 whole zucchini, sliced
24 oz. spaghetti sauce (1 jar)
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
(can also use Swiss, Cheddar or

cooked pasta of your choice
to serve 8

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix
all spices, spaghetti sauce, onions,
garlic & sliced zucchini. Place
chicken breasts in crockpot & pour
vegetables over top. Spread
chopped green onions over top.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or
High 5 hours. Once cooked, cover
mixture with cheese of your
choice & let it stand until cheese
Serve with cooked pasta, if desired,
or just ‘as is’. Serves 8


Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

1 egg
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. unsweetened apple sauce
1 C. pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 T. pumpkin spice

Cream Cheese Topping:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. sugar
1 egg white
1/2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick
spray (or use paper liners)
In small bowl beat cream cheese, 1 T.
gran. sugar, egg white, milk & vanilla
2 minutes. In another bowl beat egg
& brown sugar. Add pumpkin puree &
apple sauce – mix well then stir in flour,
baking soda, baking powder & pumpkin
spice – pour mixture into 12 muffin cups.
Top each with 1 T. cream cheese mixture.
Use a toothpick to swirl cream cheese
into muffin batter. Bake 18-20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins



Have been working on the new mint
green baby afghan; originally I wrote
that it didn’t have a name BUT…after
working up about 2 inches of the pattern
it sunk in: I’ve done this before! This is
actually the Plume Pattern that I’ve
made two other afghans in. It’s a pretty
pattern and not too difficult; I was
hoping for something NEW that I’d
never knit before but…found this on
a slip of paper I’d written out and just
kept going. Oh well – it will work! Almost
done with the white & striped blanket
(will show a photo soon); this is another
charity knit and I’m happy it turned out
nicely. This one was done using up some
pretty tiny/fuzzy yarns I was given years
ago (kind of hated to use them because they’re

now discontinued & I haven’t been able to
locate something similar). Oh well –
it was given to me to USE, so that’s what I’m

Managed to visit a few garage sales over
the weekend and score a few deals: one
sale had lots of women’s tops in my size
(think I bought 6). Yesterday I stopped at
the local Farmer’s Market where they
were holding their annual Community
Garage Sale; bought 5 nice, ripe tomatoes,
one huge green pepper and got 2 FREE
paperback books! (total spent: $4.50 for
the veggies!).  They had tons of various
items for sale but nothing interested me –
oh well, it’s all about the ADVENTURE,

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!



Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Thanks, Mr. Rogers!)


Saw this among some of the knitting clipart and thought it was FUN!

Last night found 16 lovely ladies happily knitting/crocheting AND spinning wool at Panera; a brand-new lady (who knows another member who also spins) brought her small spinning wheel – we were fascinated. (No, I’m not thinking of taking up spinning – too much work to get yarn, in my humble opinion). It was another good night except-I was happily sitting there knitting & chatting when one of my friends said: “Pam, one of your stitch markers is on the floor” – Ok . . . I pick it up, wondering how it got there when I notice that somehow (have never had this happen before) my circular needles had come un-screwed causing what I was working on to come off the needles – UGH! I managed to get all the stitches back on the needle but ended up taking it home to repair. Took me a good hour to get all the stitch markers & stitches where they should be again after ripping out about 4 rows of knitting – sigh.

Today found me ‘out & about’ at the Library returning books & getting more, talking the librarians into putting up a Log Cabin flyer on the bulletin board (THEY have to do it – no tacks/pins etc. on it – they staple stuff up so only the ‘approved’ flyers are there) – also gave them a big stack of smaller flyers which they promptly started handing out to all customers – YAY! Stopped by the Log Cabin location to drop off some White Elephant stuff and got to chatting with a lady who knew me from when my youngest was in High School. Lo and behold I found myself voicing these words when she mentioned setting up the White Elephant stuff on Friday: “Do you need any help with that?” (Yep, you guessed it – going there around 1 p.m. to help – don’t know what it is about garage sales, etc. but I just LOVE messing with all the ‘stuff’/putting it in the correct areas/pricing, etc. I’m just crazy like that.


Caramel Apple Shortbread Bars

3 C. flour
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 very large Granny Smith apples,
cored/peeled/ sliced 1/8″ thick
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. heavy cream
2 T. butter
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking pan with large
sheet parchment paper; press paper
down to fit up the sides (there should
be excess paper hanging over sides of pan).
In large bowl using elec. mixer, mix flour &
powdered sugar. Add butter in large cubes &
mix until ingredients just form a dough – do
not over mix. Pat just under 2/3 of dough
into parchment-lined dish, smoothing out
the top until it is an even thickness (reserve
rest of dough for crumble). Bake 20 minutes.
Mix water & sugar in saucepan; heat on medium
heat, swirling occasionally until sugar is completely
dissolved. Bring to boil, brushing down sides of pan
using pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar
crystals from forming. When sugar has caramelized
to amber brown (3-6 minutes) add apples & stir
constantly. Apples will release liquid when they hit
the caramel & cause the caramel to harden a bit in
places – continue stirring, it will melt back down after
1-2 minutes. Continue to cook at high heat 3-4
minutes until liquid the apples release has been
cooked out & caramel is thick again. Add cream,
butter & salt, stirring constantly (protect your hands
from spatter by using oven mitts). Mixture will froth &
bubble – continue cooking on high heat until it settles
back down. Once mixture is glossy & smooth, remove
from heat. Pour over top of baked crust. Crumble
remaining dough evenly over top & bake 15 minutes
until caramel is bubbly & crumble is golden brown.
Let cool at least 1 hour before cutting.
NOTE: Poster recommends refrigerating several hours
before cutting so caramel will set up firmly. Serve cold.
Makes 12 large bars


Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

1 head cabbage, cooked until
tender & finely chopped
3 C. zucchini, seeded/sliced
2 C. flour
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl whisk
eggs with vegetable oil, oregano &
parsley – season with salt/pepper.
In another bowl combine flour &
baking powder; slowly whisk eggs
into dry mixture. Fold in chopped
onions, garlic, zucchini, cooked
cabbage, Parm. cheese & parsley –
transfer to prepared dish.
Bake 20 minutes until mixture
begins to set; sprinkle top with
shredded Cheddar cheese & bake
another 10-20 minutes until
bubbly. Garnish top with more
parsley, if desired & serve.
Serves 8


Zucchini Chips

1 large zucchini
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven 225 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets
with parchment paper. Slice
zucchini thinly; place slices on
a sheet of paper towels & put
another towel over top – press
on them (helps draw out the
liquid so it cooks a bit faster).
In small bowl pour olive oil; using
a pastry brush, brush oil on each
slice then sprinkle salt over baking
sheet. Do NOT overseason, better
to use less salt initially – slices will
shrink so if you overseason, it will
be too salty. (you can always add
more salt later). Bake 2+ hours
until they start to brown & aren’t
soggy and are crisp. Let cool before
removing & serving. Store in air
tight container for no more than 3
days. Makes 50+ chips


Cherry/Tomato/Basil Salad

2 C. (each) red & yellow cherry tomatoes
2 C. grape tomatoes
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (about
1/4 C.)
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Slice some tomatoes in half & place
in large bowl. Add remaining
tomatoes & basil; mix lightly. Mix
dressing & garlic until blended &
add to tomato mixture; toss to
coat. Sprinkle with pepper.
Serves 8 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Honey Lemon Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
sesame seeds, lightly toasted

2/3 C. chicken stock
3-4 T. honey
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
salt/pepper, to taste
Cooked rice for 4
In large ziplock bag combine soy
sauce, white wine vinegar, garlic &
chicken cubes – seal bag & shake to
evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate
2-8 hours or overnight. Remove
chicken from marinade (discard
marinade) – season chicken generously
with salt/pepper. Heat olive oil in
large pan or skillet over medium-high
heat & brown chicken on all sides until
cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Place
chicken on a plate. In small bowl whisk
chicken stock, honey & lemon juice;
sprinkle in cornstarch & whisk until
smooth. Season with ginger, salt/pepper &
taste – adjust seasoning, if necessary. Pour
sauce mixture into skillet (same one you
cooked the chicken in) return to medium-
high heat. Bring to boil & cook 3-5 minutes
until thickened. Return chicken to pan &
toss to coat.
Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4


Cheese Potato Packet – GRILL

2 medium potatoes, sliced
3 T. water
2 strips bacon, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
3 T. butter, cubed

Place potatoes & water in micro-
wave-safe bowl. Cover & microwave
on High 2-3 minutes until almost
tender. In small skillet cook bacon
over medium heat until partially
cooked but not crisp – remove to
paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Drain potatoes; on double thickness
of greased heavy-duty foil (about 18
inch square), layer half of potatoes,
bacon, onion, cheese & butter –
repeat layers. Fold foil around potato
mixture & seal tightly. Grill, covered,
over medium heat 12-14 minutes until
potatoes are tender & cheese is melted.
Carefully remove foil to allow steam to
escape. Makes 2 servings.


Creamy Spinach Roll-ups

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 yellow onion, diced small
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/
drained well
1 box puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
1 egg
1 T. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine egg & water in
small dish. Combine cream cheese,
Mont. cheese, garlic powder & onion in
a bowl-mix well. Add spinach to mixture
& stir. Unroll puff pastry & brush both
sides of each sheet with egg/water
mixture. Spread spinach  mixture over one
side of both pastry then roll up & slice.
Place slices on a greased baking sheet &
bake 20 minutes until pastry turns golden

(recipe: getinmybelly)


Had to get gas today and our prices have dropped a bit:
$2.49/9 down from $2.59/9 – I like that!

Not much else new – still looking at knitting basket images
(free clip art)
; today I discovered at site that has 40 images
per page (of knitting related illustrations or photos) and
482 PAGES of that! I’ve been going through them then
taking a break and going back – my eyes can only take in
so much at a time! So far I’m on Page 60 – let’s see, doing
the Math, that would be 3,600 images I’ve looked at JUST
TODAY! Found some cute things I’ll be using on this blog
later and some images I’ll save for the knit group – amazing
what you can find! (the site for all this was:
just in case you might like to check them out.

Hope your day is going well;



Oh, Boy have I got the RECIPES for YOU!


Not much going on around here lately – went to our local Senior Center garage sale today and picked up a few ‘goodies’ – total spent: $2.25! Did a quick trip to the grocery store for meat. Have you ever had it where you just can’t seem to come up with anything/ideas for what to cook for dinner? UGH! I checked the freezer – no inspiration there so went shopping. Sometime soon we’ll be having Beef Stir-Fry, Steak & Eggs, Chicken (in some form) and Pork Steaks. Also got the fixin’s to make baked beans & Green Bean Casserole – that should hold us for awhile (hopefully). My only ‘other’ thought was Spaghetti & Meatballs (& garlic bread, of course) – the guys LIVE on that stuff; me? I’m not so excited about spaghetti (Husband has told me he’d be happy if we had it EVERY week – UGH!). There are SO many great-sounding recipes coming in it’s hard to choose! Here ya go:


Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight Dessert
(8 hour or overnight recipe)

1 (16.5 oz) tube refrigerated chocolate
chip cookie dough
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
3 C. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
chopped nuts & chocolate curls,
optional-for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Let cookie dough stand at room temp.
5-10 minutes to soften. Press dough
into an ungreased 9 X 13 pan & bake
14-16 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack. In large bowl beat
cream cheese & powdered sugar until
smooth; fold in 1 3/4 C. Cool Whip –
spread over cooled crust. In large bowl
whisk milk & pudding mixes 2 minutes;
spread over cream cheese layer. Top
with remaining Cool Whip & sprinkle
with chopped nuts & chocolate curls,
if desired. Cover & refrigerate 8 hours
or overnight until firm. Makes 15

Crockpot Blueberry Butter

36 oz. blueberries, pureed (about 5 C.
of puree)
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
zest of 1 lemon

Place pureed blueberries in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low. After 1 hour, stir
puree & prop open lid using a spatula
or wooden spoon. After 4 hours, add
spices, sugar & lemon zest. If it hasn’t
thickened much, remove lid & cook on
High 1 hour. Place mixture in food
processor or blender & process until
smooth. Store in air-tight container
refrigerated. Makes about 2 pints

Place mixture into sterilized jars,
leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Wipe
rims & screw on lids. Process in boiling
water canner for 10 minutes. Store jars
in cool, dark place.


Cold Green Bean Salad

1 lb. fresh green beans
1 C. minced red onion
1/4 C. minced celery
1/4 C. chopped red pepper or
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms
1 C. grape or cherry tomatoes,

1 C. olive or canola oil*
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 tsp. Creole mustard
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Whisk together dressing ingredients; pour
into a saucepan & heat to dissolve sugar;
set aside to cool. Trim & blanch green beans
by boiling for 2 minutes, then plunge into a
bowl of ice water. Mix green beans with all
other salad ingredients (except tomatoes).
Pour dressing over & toss to coat.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Just
before serving bring salad to room temp.;
add tomatoes & stir to coat. Serves 4-6

* OR vegetable, sunflower or safflower oil

NOTE: You can also make this adding
1 lb. cooked tiny new potatoes or small
red potatoes (cooked) cut into bite-sized


Crab Bombs

1 lb. crab meat
1 egg, beaten
1 C. Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place crab meat in a bowl – pick
out any stray shell fragments.
Add crushed crackers, Old Bay &
parsley. In separate bowl combine
egg, mustard, lemon juice & Worc.
sauce – whip with a whisk until
smooth. Pour egg mixture over
crab meat mixture & gently mix
careful not to break up large
lumps of crab. Mold into
golfball-sized balls & place on a
cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes
then drizzle with melted butter –
allow to cool.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Chicken/Apple/Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) pkg. corkscrew pasta
2 C. red seedless grapes, cut in half
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
2 ribs celery, sliced thin
2 medium Granny Smith apples,
chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. honey
2 T. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
rinse in cold water & drain well. In large
bowl mix cooked pasta, chicken, grapes,
celery & apples. In small bowl whisk
remaining ingredients & pour over pasta;
toss until well combined. Serve
immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers in
air tight container.


Beefy Chile/Cheesy Bake

2 C. crushed tortilla chips
2 T. water
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 envelope dry onion soup  mix
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded/
1/2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded/
1 1/2 C. salsa (your choice)
1/2 C. green bell pepper, diced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 inch square baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine chips, water
& egg in small bowl; press into prepared
dish & bake 10 minutes.
Combine beef, soup mix, chiles, 1/4 C.
Cheddar & 1/4 C. Mont. Jack cheese in
medium bowl; spread over tortilla crust.
Top with salsa, bell pepper, remaining
Cheddar & Mont. Jack cheeses. Bake
25-30 minutes until cheeses are melted.
Serves 4


No-Bake Mini Peanut Butter

1 sleeve (9 squares) graham crackers
4 T. unsalted butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. heavy cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted/

1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. heavy cream
mini peanut butter cups, chopped

Spray a mini cheesecake pan* with nonstick
spray. Place graham crackers in food processor
& pulse until fine. Add melted butter & pulse
until moistened. Divide mixture in prepared pan,
about 1 heaping T. in each. Firmly press into bottom
of each cavity (a small glass or other small object
makes it easier).
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat cream cheese,
peanut butter & sugar on medium-high speed
until creamy & well combined. Add vanilla & cream,
continue to beat until well combined & thickened.
Pour in melted chocolate & beat until combined –
divide mixture among each cavity & cover with
plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or
Place chocolate chips in medium heatproof bowl.
In small saucepan heat cream just until simmering;
pour over chocolate chips & let stand 3 minutes
before stirring – stir until mixture is melted & smooth.
Pour mixture over each cheesecake, allowing to
barely drip down sides. Top each cheesecake with
chopped peanut butter cups. Serve or cover & store
in fridge up to 2 days. Makes 12

*If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, use a mini-
muffin tin – make sure to line with paper or foil liners,
otherwise crust might crumble & cheesecake might
stick when removing from tin.



A little later today I’ll be getting the
grandson from the bus stop – his Dad
was asking what days were better for
us to watch him once school is out.
Guess I’m really ‘dense’ because I
really didn’t grasp that happening
until I looked at the calendar – that’s
probably 3 (or less) weeks away! WOW!

Our weather has really been ‘cooperating’
lately – in the high 70’s, a few 80’s, sunny
& breezy. We even had ‘thundershowers’
yesterday evening – no thunder, very little
rain! Looking at the rest of the week into
next week it looks like we WILL be getting
some storms – that’s OK – the rain is good
for the plants & animals.

Hope you’re beginning to enjoy SUMMER
and taking a few naps/breaks in your day!



PS: Gas Prices are staying ‘stable’ for a change:
$2.49/9 – so I filled up today!

and so it begins – GARAGE/ESTATE Sales season!


Yesterday I noticed a post on Facebook for an estate sale REALLY close to my house so today, after doing some errands, I went. WOW! The lady who lived in that house was a hoarder (they even put that in the ad!) – she LOVED dishes! and silver plate – there had to be at least 8 silverplate butter dishes with lids (really nice, but I already have one); at least 14+ sets of dishes (probably much more); one entire room was filled with nothing but silver plated serving items for LARGE parties: platters, big tureens, silverware – I’m kind of at a loss for words when attempting to describe all in that one room, alone! The garage was so packed I hardly could get around in it – some really old steamer trunks (someone would get a huge bargain if they bought those), old really unique chandeliers – so much ‘stuff’! What did I buy, you ask? One hunk of cranberry-colored material for $2.00 – going to use it at Log Cabin Days for a picnic table cover/cloth. There was another estate sale in the area, also so I checked that one out – NO WHERE NEAR the amount of ‘stuff’ – rooms were mostly empty. I paid $1.00 for a large new white plastic ring binder notebook (a little larger than the one I use for my knit group) good bargain; new they run about $8.00. That’s the total sum of my adventures: $3.00. (good thing, ’cause I started out with $4.00 – with a little extra tucked away just in case I spotted something I really wanted/needed).


Sort of ended up on a Mexican-themed recipe list today!

Ice Cream Tacos

2 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. sugar
2 C. chocolate chips
2 T. butter
3 small flour tortillas
1/4 C. rainbow sprinkles
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream sauce

Cinnamon sugar:
On small plate combine sugar &
cinnamon – mix well.
Melt chocolate chips over double
boiler until smooth. In small
skillet over medium heat melt
butter. Add tortillas & saute, one
at a time, until golden & crisp, 2
minutes per side. Dredge both
sides of tortilla in cinnamon
Shaping Tortillas:
Fold tortillas in half & dip outer
edges in melted chocolate, then
dip in sprinkles. Turn a
tin unside down & stand tortillas
upright in between muffin ‘bumps’.
Let stand until chocolate is hardened,
about 10 minutes. Fill each taco with
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream & top
with caramel sauce. Freeze until
hardened, at least 30 minutes
Makes 3


Crockpot Taco Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 (10.5 oz) can tomatoes with green
chiles (like Ro*Tel)
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese cut into cubes

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans, salsa, canned
tomatoes & taco seasoning – stir to combine
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
During last 30 minutes of cooking time, add
cream cheese cubes & cover/cook until
cream cheese melts. Serves 4


Mexican Fried Rice

3 C. cooked white rice
4 T. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 green onions, sliced (save a few
pieces for garnish)

Add 2 T. oil to large skillet over medium-
high heat & add onion-saute 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, corn & chiles, cook 2-3
minutes until liquid has cooked out. Add
seasonings & garlic; cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic begins to brown. Turn down
heat to medium; add remaining oil &
cooked rice-cook4-5 minutes, stirring
frequently to blend. Stir in green onions &
remove from heat. Top with remaining
green onions & serve. Serves 6


Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Bruschetta

2 heads fresh garlic
1 large red bell pepper
1 baguette, sliced
3-4 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
(see note below on how to
roast garlic)

Cut pepper in half lengthwise/remove
stem & seeds. Prep garlic & roast with
cut pepper on same sheet. Remove
from oven & adjust oven temp. to
400 degrees F.
Place sliced baguette on a baking
sheet & lightly drizzle with oil. Bake
until just brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove garlic meat from bulbs & slice
pepper. Remove toasted baguette slices
from oven & spread with roasted garlic
& pepper. Serve warm. Serves 6-8
How to Roast Garlic:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using sharp knife, trip tops of each buls
so that all cloves are showing; trim
bottoms just enough so they sit flat.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 2 T.
olive oil; place bulbs on sheet & drizzle
with more oil. Sprinkle tops with salt/pepper.
Cover with foil & bake 40-45 minutes – allow
to cool enough to handle. Remove all cloves
& discard empty bulb.


Mexican Beef & Rice Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded
four cheese (Kraft)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Taco seasoning mix
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots/
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown beef in nonstick skillet; drain.
Reserve 1 C. cheese but add remaining
cheese & all remaining ingredients
to skillet – mix well. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish. Bake 40-50
minutes until rice is tender. Top with
reserved cheese & bake, uncovered,
5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Country Farm Chicken Casserole
(partial Grill usage)

2 large chicken breasts
1 medium vidalia onion, diced
5 slices bacon, chopped/cooked/
2 large potatoes, peeled/cubed
1/2 C. canned mushrooms (or
1 C. fresh)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. melted butter
garlic powder

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Reserve bacon grease in skillet.
Peel/cube potatoes & fry in
bacon grease. Season with salt/
pepper, garlic powder – add onion
& mushrooms; fry in bacon grease.
Coat chicken breasts with melted
butter & season with salt/pepper.
Grill chicken (poster used George
Foreman grill). After chicken is cooked/
cooled – cut into cubes. Mix soup &
3/4 C. broth; season with pepper to
make a sauce. In 8 X 8″ glass baking
dish combine chicken, mushrooms,
onions & potatoes. Top with sauce
& mix well so that everything is
well coated in sauce. Bake 30
minutes covered with foil. Remove
foil, top with crumbled bacon &
bake 10 minutes more, uncovered.
Serves 4

(recipe: Mike Suddaby – Facebook)

Crockpot Queso Dip with Chorizo

12 oz uncooked chorizo (or 8 oz, cooked)
16 oz. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
1/2 C. salsa
1/2 C. chopped cilantro

Toasted bread or chips, for dipping

In medium skillet cook chorizo over medium-
high heat, crumble as you cook; drain. Combine
cheese, chorizo, salsa & cilantro in crockpot.
Cook on High 1-2 hours (or Low 3-4 hours),
stirring every 30 minutes. (If desired, pour
into oven safe bowl & broil 4-5 minutes before
serving to melt top layer  of cheese). Serves 8


Raspberry Custard Pie

2 eggs, beaten
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 1/2 – 2 C. fresh raspberries
1 C. sugar
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs & sour cream together
in large bowl. In separate bowl
combine raspberries, sugar, flour
& salt; toss lightly. Add berry
mixture to sour cream mixture.
Place pie crust in a pie plate.
Pour berry mixture into pie
crust. Bake 45 minutes, until
firm & golden. Cool completely.
Serves 6-8


While out & about today I noticed that
the gas prices have jumped – again. Today
regular is up to: $2.39/9. (once again I
should have got gas when it was $2.29/9) –
oh well . . .

Our weather is really nice – perfect for
garage sales; today when I got in the car
it was 60 degrees F.; when I got home
about 2 hours later it’s almost up to 70!

Finally got the thinner white yarn I needed
to knit the baby blanket I started yesterday;
good thing was – it was on sale for $5.99
per skein (big skeins) so I bought three,
knowing they will be used, either for the
blanket or for baby hats.

Hope you have a really good day today!



and the ‘fun’ never ends . . .


Was happily cleaning up a desk when I got a phone call from a friend asking if I’d opened a new Facebook account – “Nope, been off computer all morning!” Apparently I’d been hacked; I guess it happens rather frequently (have seen it mentioned by other FB friends) – solution is to report it to Facebook AND change your password. Done – just got a message from one of my friends on FB who said she went back into the ‘fake account’ from me and it’s all gone, so I guess I’m good for now. What some people will do for ‘fun’, right? (I also immediately changed our bank password – just to be safe).

Weather is still ‘Spring-like’ – in the low 60’s, sunny & slight breeze. Lots of flowers/trees/bushes blooming. I went to Kroger yesterday and bought my annual hanging geranium EXCEPT… this time I got a bright fuchia one. I almost always go for the really red ones, but at Kroger they had them all hanging and the red ones were about 9 foot above the ground! I asked for help, they called a person but I gave up waiting after about 10 minutes & got the pink one. They also had a sale on fresh asparagus, so that went with my dinner last night: baked potatoes, salmon patties & asparagus – YUM!

Some time today I have to get going on baking a loaf of banana bread – the ‘really’ ripe banana smell is getting to me – love the bread, the smell – not so much!


Inside-Out Cream Puff Cake

1 stick margarine
1 C. water
1 C. flour
4 eggs
1 box instant vanilla or white
chocolate pudding (large box)
3 C. milk
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place margarine & water in saucepan
& bring to boil; add flour & mix well.
Cool slightly & stir in eggs, one-at-a-
time. Mix well & spread into greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 30 minutes.
Cool completely (crust will spread up
sides of dish – this is supposed to
happen). In large bowl mix pudding,
milk & cream cheese – beat until
lumps disappear then pour into
cream puff pastry. Spread Cool Whip
on top of pudding & drizzle syrup on
top. Refrigerate before serving.
This will keep well for days –


Spinach & Egg Muffins

1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach
6 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
18 cherry or grape tomatoes,
1/2 C. feta cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place 9 paper liners in muffin tin-
spray liners with nonstick spray.
Rinse spinach & leave wet. Heat
large skillet over medium-high heat;
add wet spinach & cover – steam 2-3
minutes, stirring occasionally. When
wilted & bright green, pour into a
strainer & press with a wooden spoon
to extract as much water as possible;
when cool enough to handle, chop
finely. In large measuring cup or bowl
with pour spout, beat eggs & milk;
add salt/pepper. Place an equal
amount of tomatoes/spinach & feta
in each muffin cup then fill about
80% full with beaten eggs. Bake
14-16 minutes until centers are
barely firm to the touch & tops of
muffins have domed. Remove from
oven & cool 2-3 minutes before
serving. Makes 9 muffins


Nacho Chicken Dip

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (12 oz) can chicken, drained
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Mexican-blend
tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a greased 1 quart casserole dish
layer beans, chicken, salsa & cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until
cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla
chips for dippers. Makes about 6 1/2 C.


Tuna Melt Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. corkscrew macaroni*
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 C. milk
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
3 (6 oz, ea) cans tuna, drained/flaked
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large saucepan of boiling, salted
water, cook pasta 7 minutes until al dente.
Drain well & return to pot. In medium
saucepan over Low heat, melt butter. Stir
in flour, salt/pepper & cook 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk;
increase heat to medium-high & cook
until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat & add 1 1/2 C. cheese,
stirring until melted. Add cheese sauce &
tuna to pasta; toss until evenly coated.
Transfer to baking dish. Arrange tomato
slices on top, overlapping if necessary.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover
with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove foil
& bake 10-15 minutes more until hot &
bubbly. Serves 6

*you can also use elbow or shell macaroni


Buttery Cabbage

1/4 lb. bacon
1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. frozen peas
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large pot over medium-high heat
cook bacon until crisp; remove from
pot, cool then crumble. Add remaining
ingredients to pot. Reduce heat to Low;
cover & cook 20-25 minutes until cabbage
is tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle top
with crumbled bacon – toss & serve.
Serves 6


Mexican Chicken Casserole

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 oz. (1/4 of 8 oz pkg) cream cheese,
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tomato, chopped
2 (6 inch) tortillas
1/2 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four
cheese, divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook & stir chicken & cumin in nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium
heat 2 minutes. Add peppers; cook 2 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa, cook 2 min.
Add cream cheese, cook 2 min. or until melted.
Stir in beans & tomatoes. Spread 1/3 of chicken
mixture onto bottom of 8″ square baking dish; cover
with 1 tortilla & half chicken mixture & shredded
cheese. Top with remaining tortilla & chicken
mixture; cover. Bake 20 minutes or until heated
through. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese;
bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until melted.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pizza Meatloaf

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1 (4 1/4 oz) can chopped ripe olives,
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small green pepper, seeded/chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. onion soup mix
1 C. pizza sauce, divided
2 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine egg, bread
crumbs, olives, mushrooms, mozz.
cheese, pepper, onion, soup mix &
1/2 C. pizza sauce. Crumble beef
over mixture & mix well. Shape into
a 10 X 6 inch rectangle & place in
greased 15 X 10″ baking pan. Spoon
remaining pizza sauce over top &
bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese & bake
10-15 minutes longer until no pink
remains & thermometer inserted
into center reads 160 degrees F.
Let stand 10 minutes before
slicing. Serves 6


Applesauce Brownies

2 1/4 C. flour
2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. strong brewed coffee (or water)
1/4 c. dark,unsweetened cocoa
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. unsalted butter
2 T. dark cocoa
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine flour & brown sugar in a
large bowl. In heavy saucepan combine
butter, coffee & cocoa; bring to boil,
stirring constantly – pour boiling
mixture over flour mixture. Add
buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, baking
soda & vanilla – mix well on High
speed using elec. mixer. Spray a
9 X 13″ pan with nonstick spray.
Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Prepare Frosting:
In saucepan combine butter,
cocoa & milk, heat to boiling, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & mix
in vanilla & powdered sugar until
frosting is smooth. Pour warm frosting
over brownies as soon as you remove
them from the oven. Allow to cool
completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 48 bars

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)


A little later today I have to pick up
the grandson from school – his Dad will
be picking him up so we’ll have him
from around 4:30 – 8 p.m. Not sure
just yet what we’ll be ‘doing’ for
amusement (probably lots of board
games) – but I’ve decided that dinner
will be Polish sausage and Mac & cheese –
he likes both, so that should work out.

Went to our BIG church garage sale down
the street yesterday; they “used” to have
them every Spring & Fall, but they informed
me that now they’ll only be doing the Fall
one – sigh (can’t get enough volunteers to
work it – and I’m SURE it takes a LOT of
people; they use a great deal of their
church space for it.) Ended up finding 3
sweaters (one heavy, long black plain
one that can be used instead of a light
jacket for weather like this), 2 blouses,
1 pr. Sketchers shoes, 3 books and a
bathroom rug (now aren’t you really
HAPPY to learn all I bought? hehehe)
It was fun – I don’t think there’s ever
been a time where I DIDN’T buy
something‘ – I remember when the
boys were much younger I’d come out
of there with about 2 big BOXES full of
‘stuff’ – usually clothes & toys for them.
I also enjoy getting to see some of the
‘regulars’ who work the sale every year;
just going yesterday got me in the ‘garage
sale’ mood for the year! I don’t always
buy things but love to ‘look’ – you never
know – sometimes you find some pretty
neat things! (Oh, and I also got one small
skein of baby blue yarn – just couldn’t pass
it up for 25 cents!) hehehe

Hope you’re enjoying your day – do
SOMETHING that makes you smile
today, even if it’s only taking a few
minutes to walk outside and look
at the clouds and be glad you’re



PS: Gas prices here nearly choked me
yesterday – I had gone to Kroger & you
can accumulate Kroger ‘gas points’ which
are good towards 10 cents up to 30 cents
off per gallon at Kroger gas stations. Their
regular was $2.29/9 – I ended up going to
my ‘usual’ Clark station: $2.19/9; I didn’t
have enough Kroger points to matter –

Garage Saling – YEAH!


I haven’t been to many garage sales this summer but when I learned that a new/old friend was having one – I had to go. To explain the odd friend title: The lady who had the sale worked with my husband and is the mother of 2 young people I know – sort of. Her son is a good friend of my oldest (she said she can remember him being at her house a LOT when the boys were younger). Her daughter I met via my son (via Facebook) – she was in the Air Force in Florida when she became a breast cancer victim a few years ago. My son encouraged me to write to her to give her support and we’ve been ‘Facebook” friends ever since – I got to actually MEET her today! (And her Mom!) Super happy to finally connect! I left the garage sale a happy woman: bought a folding (lawn) chair, about 7 tops, pair of summer PJ’s (the mom is shorter than me, but wears about the same blouse/top size) and a few other things. All-in-all it was a very nice visit/sale!

Our weather, due to the thunderstorms, is a bit cooler – when I first went out driving it was 60 degrees F; now that it’s sunny, it’s up to 75 and clear. The weather reports for all this week are the same: Thunderstorms in the evening – yipee . . . We had a small one yesterday but it was all over in about 10 minutes – just enough time to be gone by the time I had to go pick up my ‘student’ for our special needs group meeting.


Jalapeno Pillows

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. diced fresh jalapeno chiles
(or to taste)
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1 (16.3 oz) can Flaky layers refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
1 egg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, stir together
cream cheese, Cheddar cheese,
chiles, salt/pepper & garlic powder
until well combined; set aside.
Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Using
rolling pin, roll out each biscuit into
about 1/8th inch thick round. Spoon
about 1 t. cheese filling onto center
of each biscuit. Bring up dough around
filling; pinch to seal tightly. Place,
seam sides down on greased cookie
Egg Wash:
Beat egg with a splash of water. Brush
tops of biscuits with some of wash.
Sprinkle tops with additional salt/
pepper & garlic powder, to taste.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden
brown & firm. Serve warm. Makes 8


Farmer’s Market Corn Toss

1 T. olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 ears corn on cob, kernels removed
1 large zucchini, sliced
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,

Heat oil in large skillet on medium
heat; add onions & peppers – cook &
stir 3 minutes. Stir in corn & zucchini;
cook & stir 5 minutes or until all
vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove
from heat. Stir in parsley, pepper &
2 T. cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
Serves 6 – (about 2/3 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Glazed Strawberry Bars

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

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

*Can substitute fresh raspberries, blueberries
or sliced kiwi for strawberry slices

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 chicken leg quarters
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion & reduce heat to Low. Allow 
onion to caramelize, stirring only enough 
to prevent sticking & to be sure that all sides
are fully cooked. Add garlic; saute briefly. 
Increase heat to medium; add chicken to 
skillet; brown on both sides.Remove chicken, 
onion & garlic & place in 9 X 13 pan.Combine 
chicken stock & vinegar; deglaze skillet with
this mixture then bring to boil, continue to 
simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture 
has thickened. Pour mixture over chicken 
& stir in sun dried tomatoes. Cover dish
tightly & bake 15-20 minutes or until chicken 
is done and juices run clear.  Serves 2

(recipe: Pilgrim's Co.)

2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 jar 48 oz of your favorite spaghetti sauce
16 oz bag medium egg noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a skillet, brown meat and drain fat. Then
put the meat back in the skillet. Add spaghetti
sauce to meat; simmer for 20 minutes.Cook
noodles as directed on the package (cook to al
dente); then drain and toss noodles with butter,
seasonings and Parmesan cheese.Spray two
9 X 13 pans with nonstick spray. In each pan
layer one quarter of the sauce, half the noodles,
then split the remaining sauce between the two.
Top each with half of the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes.

*You can also add some sauteed green bell peppers,
onions & mushrooms to the sauce.

**You can use foil pans if you’re sharing with a friend.

(recipe: Facebook)

Egg, Potato & Cheese Casserole

6-8 medium potatoes
8 eggs, beaten
2 T. water
3 C. sharp cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. finely diced onion
1 C. cooked ham-diced & browned
sausage or cooked, drained bacon pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes; cool in fridge. (can be
done night before). Peel, then grate
potatoes (or rice, if desired). Mix eggs,
water, salt & pepper together. Place
potatoes & onion, evenly over bottom of
a greased casserole dish. (you can mix
together if you wish). Layer or mix in:
ham (or whatever meat you’re using).
Pour beaten egg mixture over potatoes;
spread cheese over top. Cover with foil &
bake 30 minutes. Remove foil & bake an
additional 15 minutes until golden brown.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting &
serving. Serves 6


Salted Caramel Bars

1 C. butter (2 sticks)
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 C. flour
11 oz. caramel bits* (see note)
1/2 T. sea salt

Spray bottom of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Beat together:
butter, sugar & vanilla with elec.
mixer. Once combined well, add
egg & salt, the add flour: one cup
at a time until dough ball forms. Cover
the palms of your hands with flour:
form dough into two balls, making
one ball a little over half of the
dough. Press the larger dough into
bottom of crockpot. (continue dusting
hands with flour to keep dough from
sticking). Evenly spread caramels
over dough in bottom of crockpot.

*If you are unable to find caramel bits,
buy wrapped caramels. Unwrap them &
cut each into bits. You might want to do
this first before making the dough, as it
will take some time. When done cutting
them, spread evenly over dough.

Crumble remaining dough over caramel
layer; top off by sprinkling sea salt over
top. Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

NOTE: Let bars cool before removing from

(recipe: Mary Free – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Summer Ambrosia Fruit Dessert
 2 (16 oz) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
 1 C. sweetened flaked coconut
 1 (15 oz) can mixed fruit, drained (optional)
 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
 1 (6 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
 1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
 Gently mix all ingredients, refrigerate at least
 1 hour, then serve. Serves 10
 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Hope you are enjoying your Summer - remember
 to relax a little, maybe get some sun/or a nap.
 Take a little time out for YOU!
Published in: on July 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Up and At ‘Em Monday!



Here we are at the start of another week – what to do? That was the first thought in my head as I awoke this morning. I knew there were several things I was supposed to get done – but now, remembering them? That’s another story! I keep little bits of paper all over the house for exactly those moments; you know – when you’re printing something on the computer and something goes wrong (ie: you end up printing the ENTIRE batch of pages when you only wanted to print ONE recipe? Those times!) I cut the paper up into note-sized bits then use them for recipes, notes, etc. Well, first thing today is the finishing, printing and (hopefully in the next day or so) mailing of my special needs group’s next July/August newsletter. It was pretty much done, composing-wise – just had to finish writing another article and proof-reading it. That’s done and now I’m working on the printing of 50+ copies (just finishes stapling #24 – this particular issue has an extra Memorial page for the student I believe I mentioned in another post. She passed away about a week ago from uterine cancer – lovely girl, but restricted to a wheelchair – now she’s FREE!

Am aiming at getting my list together of things to take for Log Cabin Days: sign for the group with photos of our various charity projects, table covers, business cards, MY KNITTING, camera, extra folding chairs, bottled water (for me) – I’m sure there will be a few more items to add as the day gets closer (it’s THIS Sat/Sunday). On the ‘table cover’ note: went to a small county rummage sale yesterday (got there late) but was able to snag a single-bed sized quilt – to me it looks like Christmas colors (cranberry reds & dark forest greens) but it will make a nice picnic table cover for the days ahead. (something tells me I’ve already blogged about this – sigh – call it a ‘Senior Moment’ . . .)


Healthy Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.In large bowl,
combine flour, baking soda and salt. In separate
bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in
eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir
banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to
moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread
cool in pan for 10 minutes,
then turn out onto a wire rack.

(recipe: Facebook)

Stewed Tomatoes w/Butter Toasted Croutons

3 C. cored/peeled/roughly chopped fresh
ripe tomatoes (about 2 lb)
2 T. unsalted butter
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, chopped

2-3 slices crusty French or Italian bread, cut
into 3/4″ cubes
1 T. butter
garlic salt

Place tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt & pepper
into a small saucepan; heat to simmer then
reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer 20-30
minutes until tomatoes are cooked, soft & flavors
have blended. Add chopped basil & more butter,
sugar, salt & pepper if needed for balance.

Melt 1 T. butter in small frying pan on medium
heat; add bread cubes & arrange in single layer
in pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that
bread dries out & gets slightly toasted; turn over
to toast other side. Cook about 10 minutes or until
croutons are crunchy/dry and slightly toasted.
Sprinkle with garlic salt & remove from heat.
Serve tomatoes with a few croutons on top of
each individual serving. Serves 3

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Lemonade!

2 C. sugar
4 C. water
2 C. lemon juice
12 C. cold water

Combine first 2 ingredients in a
crockpot. Heat on High 1-2 hours;
stir to dissolve sugar completely. Add
lemon juice to crockpot & turn off
heat. Add remaining water & chill.
Serve cold.


Honey Dijon Chicken

4 chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. chicken broth, divided
1 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. thyme
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Cut each chicken breast in half and place
in gallon-sized zip lock bag. Pound with
meat mallet until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
Cut each piece of flattened chicken in
half (should have about 16 (2-3″) pieces.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat. Add 2 T. butter & 1 T. oil; allow to
heat through. Sprinkle salt & pepper over
chicken pieces & carefully place them into
hot pan. Cook about 9 pieces at a time.
Don’t overcrowd. Cook 3-4 minutes on each
side or until golden brown and inside is
no longer pink. When chicken is cooked,
pour 1/4 C. chicken broth into pan, cover with
lid & let chicken simmer about 2 minutes.
Remove chicken to separate plate; cover with
foil. Cook remaining chicken following above
instructions. When all chicken is cooked &
covered with foil, prepare sauce. Add garlic
to pan & allow to cook 1 minute (leave any
chicken broth in the pan). Add 1 C. broth,
1 C. Half & Half, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 1/2
tsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. parsley,
pinch red pepper flakes, & dash of salt &
pepper; mix well. Simmer, over medium-high
heat 3-4 minutes; this will start to thicken;
taste & add more salt/pepper as needed.
Remove pan from heat; cover & let set
2 minutes. Place cooked chicken on a platter
& drizzle sauce over top. Serves 6-7


Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

1  lb. lean ground turkey ( or ground beef )
1 pkt. taco seasoning
3/4  C. water
1  (16 oz) can  tomatoes ( diced )
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans ( drained & rinsed )
2 C tortilla chips, light ( or broken taco shells )
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
4  green onion
1  bell peppers ( red, diced )
1 C.  green leaf lettuce ( chopped )

Cook meat in skillet until browned; drain.
Add taco seasoning & water; cook & stir
until sauce thickens. Add diced tomatoes &
bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer
about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add
pinto beans; cook, uncovered, 5-10 minutes
longer or until liquid from tomatoes is
reduced. In ungreased 2 qt. casserole dish,
place broken tortilla chips or taco shells; top
with meat mixture, sprinkle with cheese &
microwave about 3 minutes to melt cheese.
Top with lettuce, green onions & red bell pepper.
Serve warm.


Broccoli, Ham & Dijon Au Gratin

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 large bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut
into florets*
2 T. Dijon mustard, whole grain
1 1/2 C. Cheddar/Colby cheese blend,
shredded (with 1/2 C. set aside)
1/4 lb. ham or Canadian bacon, cut into
small cubes
salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour cream into saucepan & heat over
medium-low heat. Bring to low simmer &
allow to reduce by about half. Be careful
to watch; do not let it boil over.
Bring some salt water to boil in a soup pot.
Add broccoli to soup pot; simmer 3 minutes.
Strain & immediately plunge into ice water.
Leave broccoli in ice water until chilled
thoroughly. (this will help brocc. stay green).
Once chilled, remove & let drain & dry.
*(You can also use frozen broccoli & add to
the recipe at this point)
Whisk Dijon mustard into cream. In a bowl,
add 1 C. grated cheese; add diced ham & mix.
Whisk cheese & ham mixture into cream until
completely melted & sauce had been made.
Add cooled dry broccoli to sauce; stir until
broccoli is coated; pour mixture into a pie
pan or baking pan. Bake about 15-20
minutes, until top is browned.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises

1 box brownie mix (plus eggs & oil required on box)
1 pkg. mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line mini-muffin tins with paper liners. Mix brownies
accordg. to pkg. directions. Fill each mini-muffin cup
about 3/4ths full. Press one peanut butter cup into
each brownie. Bake 8-10 minutes.

NOTE: Can be made with regular sized muffin tins,
also. Just adjust cooking time to around 15-18


Our weather has been rather pleasant lately – in the mid 70’s
which is just to my liking. According to our weather report,
it’s supposed to have a high of 79 degrees with scattered
thundershowers, some severe – 50% possibility of rain. Oh well,
that will save me ‘attempting’ to remember to water my two
outdoor flower pots – right?

Hope you are enjoying a GREAT summer and remember
to have a good day – relax, recline, read a book/drink a
nice refreshing beverage of your choice (or just eat some
chocolate – works for me!)




Easy-goin’ Saturday

12339809858uiR0bWell – it’s ‘officially’ Spring – even if it doesn’t FEEL like it!

Happy Saturday! This week has been a bit ‘busy’ and I didn’t even REALIZE it was already Saturday! (THAT’S how scrambled it’s been!) Last night was my special needs Gym Night – it went over well, although we only had about 15 students; my theory is: because of the goofy weather and all the cancellations we’ve had to make, they’re almost ‘gun-shy’ when it comes to coming back to the group! Wednesday we had 17 kids – that’s really LOW! Sure hope it picks up some soon, now that (hopefully) our weather will be better. HOWEVER-living in Michigan is much like the cartoon below:


Right now it’s a VERY NICE 36 degrees F.! Yesterday I was being ‘optimistic’ and wore my Fall/Spring light jacket – then went to pump gas and wished I still had the heavy winter jacket – it was very breezy and CHILLY! (gas was $3.56/9 . . . sigh). It rained overnight but NO SNOW – YAY!

Went to my first (of the season) Rummage Sale yesterday at a church. I’ve attended (and worked at) MANY rummage/garage sales in my day – this was the most dis-organized I’ve ever seen! After walking around a bit, I finally asked one of the people just WHY they had all these little areas of clothes, then dishes, toys, then more clothes, some books, more clothes, etc. instead of an area of all clothes, all books, all kitchen/dishes items, etc. She said they were trying to raise monies for their church repairs and each attending/participating family had their own ‘bucket’ in which to put their funds. Essentially: all the strange ‘groupings’ were each family’s items! I wondered why there were people (almost ‘stationed’) about every 7 feet along the tables – waaay too many people – made the buyers feel like we were under some extreme surveillance! STRANGE! As I was walking in I heard a couple going out talking about the HIGH prices there. I even attempted to suggest to one of the selling people that they just pool all their donated items, (since all the proceeds were going to the church), arrange them by category, then all monies go to the church – she kept going back to the ‘Oh, NO! EACH family has their OWN bucket!” What a weird concept! She also said this was their first rummage sale – sure hope they learn something from it! I saw very few buyers but (as said before) WAAAY TOO MANY people selling! (They were also clustered in groups – not paying any attention to their items, just chatting – not a good business procedure, I would think. Sure didn’t make me WANT to buy anything!) I ended up buying a 6 qt. crockpot (circa, I’m guessing, 1990’s) for $5.00 – had a sticker: “It WORKS!” Brought it home, all happy – went to wash it, turned it over and there appeared to be a small crack in the plastic base. Husband looked it over, sort of took it apart – lots of old grease around inside rim. I cleaned that all off – guess what! The grease is what held the base to the main part! Now that it’s clean, the base keeps falling off the main part! Oh well – it is the same size as my old crockpot AND is also one of those that the ceramic insert is removable, so I’m going to keep the ceramic insert & lid – my old crockpot is also circa 1980/1990’s – I think mine’s a bit older – it belonged to husband’s Mom. Ya win some – ya lose some, right? (Here I was, all happy that now I have TWO crockpots! sigh . . . )

Just spent a bit of time searching out clipart ‘ideas’ for middle son’s NEXT art project. Yep, it’s another DOOZIE! This one requires using ‘reverse imaging’ – sort of like an old black & white photo negative – the main image has to be REVERSED, and we can only use TWO colors for the entire work – ALSO they have to be CUT OUT OF CONSTRUCTION PAPER!  (plus she said she wants DETAILED work – ugh!). They were given 8 ideas/themes and we are to chose 5 (or you can come up with 2 of your own out of the 5). Son & I haven’t had time to actually collaborate yet, so I went ‘brain-storming’ – my choice of the 5 (these are fake book titles you need to design the covers for):

“Sunset Yoga”

“Riding the Wave”

“Identify Jungle Vegetation”

“Greek Architecture”

“Light Houses of North Carolina”

Sounds like fun, right? I found some really amazing clipart at a site I’ve never seen before; gave me some really GREAT ideas to work on! (YAY!) I think the hardest will be the Greek Architecture, simply because it needs to be (in my opinion) simple/stark yet effective. Also the jungle vegetation one will require LOTS of cutting – thank heavens for my embroidery scissors with tiny tips/very sharp edges! Yes, folks, I can see us immersed in this one for hours & hours. There is still ONE MORE project after this one – it better be an easier one (although I’m guessing, it won’t be).


Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. sliced onions
2 red cooking apples, sliced
1/2 C. maple-flavored pancake syrup*
1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken in large ovenproof skillet
sprayed with nonstick spray, on medium-
high heat 3 minutes on each side, or until
evenly browned; remove from heat. Top
chicken with onions; surround with apples.
Mix syrup & dressing; pour over chicken.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Drizzle with syrup mixture
from bottom of skillet. Serves 4

*can substitute honey for syrup

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet,
cover handle of your regular skillet with several
layers of foil before using in oven.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Crockpot Chicken & Gravy

2 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope chicken gravy mix
hot, steamed rice

Combine all ingredients (except rice) in
crockpot & cook, on Low 4-6 hours. Before
serving, break chicken breasts into bite-sized
pieces and serve over hot steamed rice.


Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 lb, total),
peeled, cut into 1″ chunks
1 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. (8 oz pkg) shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled/divided
sliced green onions (garnish-optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with
water, bring to boil. Cook over medium-high
heat 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.
Add evap. milk, sour cream, salt & pepper to
potatoes in saucepan; beat with elec. mixer
until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 C. cheese & half
of the bacon; mix. Spoon mixture into a
greased casserole dish. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until heated through. Top with remaining
1/2 C. cheese, remaining bacon & green
onions, if using. Bake an additional 3 minutes
or until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Sunday newspaper flier)

Easy Homemade Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped apple

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking
powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and
egg until just combined. Fold in apple.
Pour oil into skillet so that it is
approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil on
high. Oil is ready when a little dough thrown
in floats to top. Carefully add dough to
oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown,
about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another
1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned.
Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb
excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack.
Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered
sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over
apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes
for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and
drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served

(recipe: Facebook)

Devil’s Food Cake & Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. milk
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cocoa
1 C. boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together shortening & sugar;
add egg & milk alternately with flour,
baking soda, salt & cocoa. Add water &
vanilla; mix well. Grease & flour 2 9″ cake
pans; pour in batter & bake 30 minutes; test
if toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. *

1/2 C. milk
2 T. flour
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar

Add milk & flour to saucepan;
cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Let mixture cool, then whip together
butter, & sugar in a bowl; add to milk/
flour mixture & whip together.

*You can also make this in:
Loaf pan: bake 40 minutes
layer pans: 2 round pans 30 minutes
cupcakes: 17 minutes

NOTE: If you make a layer cake, double
frosting recipe.

Quick & Easy Breadsticks

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 – 4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter (not margarine)melted
garlic seasoning

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Mix water, sugar & yeast together in glass
measuring cup; let set 5 minutes. Add salt &
flour, one cup at a time, until well incorporated.
Mix on High 5 minutes; let dough rest 5 minutes.
Pour half of melted butter into a jelly roll pan
(large cookie sheet). Place dough in center of
sheet; let set 2-3 minutes. (letting the dough rest
makes it much easier to shape.) Spread dough
out flat onto pan until it reaches all of the edges.
Pour rest of melted butter onto dough; spread it
around with your hands. Sprinkle top with garlic
seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Using a pizza
cutter, cut the dough into three rows lengthwise
and about 12 rows wide.
Place pan in oven 7-10 minutes; breadsticks
should rise about 1 inch.
Turn up oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake breadsticks about 12 minutes or until
golden brown. When finished baking, remove
from oven and let rest about 5 minutes, then
recut lines using the pizza cutter. (poster uses
kitchen shears to cut edges where pizza cutter
can’t reach, against pan rim).

Makes approximately 36 small breadsticks


Apple Praline Bread

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples,
peeled & finely chopped
1 cup nuts (walnut or pecan or a combo),

For the Praline sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar and1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the sour
cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for
a couple of minutes until well blended. Stop mixer
and then add in the flour, leavening agents and salt.
Continue to beat on low until well combined.
Fold in apples and half of nuts into batter.
Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan*.
Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top and then
press them lightly into the batter. Bake for about
60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the
center comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pan for
about 20-30 minutes and then transfer to a wire
rack to cool completely.

*So it doesn’t get too dark, I suggest using a light
colored loaf pan.

For the praline sauce:

In a small sauce pan, place the butter and brown
sugar. Using medium heat, bring to a boil. Lower
heat and simmer lightly for about one minute,
stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove
from heat and drizzle over bread. Cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)

Light & Delicious Spaghetti Squash

2 T. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato
4 C. fresh baby spinach
2 C. spaghetti squash (see below)
2 dashes salt & pepper

To cook spaghetti squash: make several holes
in squash using a fork then place in microwave
10-12 minutes (about 4-5 minutes per lb). Allow
to cool several minutes. Remove from microwave
cut open lengthwise. Using a fork, scrape out
contents (it will be stringy) into a bowl; set aside.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add
garlic & cook until just turning brown. Add tomato,
sprinkle with a little salt. Top with spinach leaves &
cover; cook 2 minutes. Spinach will cook & reduce
down. Uncover; break up spinach with a wooden
spoon; it will start to clump together once cooked.
Add spaghetti squash a little at a time & stir in. Sprinkle
with salt & pepper. Serves 1-2


Chunky Potato-Swiss Chowder

2 C. thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 C. cubed/peeled Yukon gold potatoes
(about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 C. cubed carrot (about 1/2 lb)
1 C. cubed yellow squash
2 (15.75 oz, ea) ans chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 C. hot, cooked white rice
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Heat large Dutch oven coated with non-
stick cooking spray over medium-high
heat. Add leek & garlic; saute 3 minutes or
until tender. Stir in potato & next 4
ingredients (potato – bay leaves); bring to
a boil. Cover, reduce heat & simmer 20
minutes or until tender. Discard bay
leaves. Place half of potato mixture in a
blender & process until smooth. Return
pureed potato mixture to pan; stir in rice
& remaining ingredients except parsley.
Cook over medium heat until cheese melts.
Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serves 5

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pickle Slice Appetizers
(several day recipe)

7 (3 ” ) Kosher dill pickles
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 pkgs. sliced ham, beef, pepperoni or
turkey (very thin slices)

Drain pickles several hours, up to 12;
wipe dry. Whip cream cheese. Thrust
pickle onto a fork tine. Coat pickle with
cream cheese then wrap with 3 slices
of meat. Wrap pickle in plastic wrap &
refrigerate several days. When ready to
serve, use a sharp knife & slice into
pieces 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.


NOTE: You can also add a few shakes of
Tabasco sauce to cream cheese when
whipping, for flavor


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Princess Pie (Coconut Cream)

1 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix & pat into 8 X 8 pan. Bake 15-20
minutes, until just beginning to turn
golden; do not over bake.

Layer #2:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Beat together sugar & cream cheese; fold
in Cool Whip. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer #3:
1 small pkg. coconut cream instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk

Mix together pudding & milk until thickened.
Spread over cream cheese mixture.

Top with remaining tub of Cool Whip.
Toast 1 C. coconut, sprinkle evenly on top
of dessert & refrigerate.

(recipe: Facebook)


Hope you’re having a great SPRING day! Hope the sun is shining where you are and it’s lifting your spirits greatly!






Diagonal Box Stitch baby afghan (from the pattern my dear friend, Mary (Momma) taught me MANY years ago (another baby afghan for Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower in September)


100 baby hats for St. Joseph’s Hospital; Premie hats on the left/Newborns on the right

I must say this is also with help from two friends; Laura and Terri. Delivery next week then back to knitting more!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

Preheat oven 350 F.
Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder
and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with
pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles
fine crumbs. Stir in peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb
mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press
onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.Stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.Stir together reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter layer.Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool & cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)


Chicken Noodle Casserole

2/3 C. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 3/4 in. cubes
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/2 C. chopped carrots
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 T. butter or stick margarine
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked & drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet, saute onion & garlic
in oil until tender. Add chicken; cook & stir until
no longer pink. Add broth, carrots, celery, &
thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. In a
saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt & pepper
until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil.
Cook & stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove
from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour over
chicken mixture. Add noodles; mix well. Transfer
to a 3 Qt. baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage

2 lb. lean corned beef brisket, all fat trimmed
1 C. frozen pearl onions
2 medium carrots, peeled & chunked
2 medium parsnips, peeled & chunked
1 small head cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. whote peppercorns

In 5-6 qt crockpot, place brisket, carrots &
parsnips, pearl onions, parsley, bay leaves,
peppercorns & 3 C. water. Cover & cook on
High 4 hours. Add cabbage; cook on High
1 hour 20 minutes more. Remove meat; slice
& serve. Serves 6


Crockpot Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes (peeled or not)
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place potatoes in 4-7 qt. crockpot; sprinkle with salt &
pepper. Place garlic cloves in center of a square of tin
foil; wrap up foil like a Hershey kiss candy and place in
crockpot, to the side. Place chicken bullion granules in
1 C. warm water; stir then pour broth mixture over
top of potatoes. Cut 4 T. butter into small pieces; place
them in random spots over top of potatoes. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low 7-8 hours. When potatoes
are fork-tender, remove tin foil, open it & smash the
roasted garlic with a fork. Add half of it back into crockpot.
If you want more garlic taste, add more after everything is
mixed together & tasted. Pour 1/2 C. milk, 4 T. butter & 1/3 C.
sour cream into crock. Using a hand mixer, blend potatoes
until smooth & creamy. Add more milk if they are too thick.
Taste, then add more garlic, salt or pepper if you like.
Serves 10-12

NOTE: Recipe can be halved, or make the entire batch &
reserve leftovers for a Shepherd’s Pie. OR – if you don’t
like garlic, just leave it out.



Eggplant Parmesan

3 eggplants, peeled & thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 C. spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. mozzarella cheese, shredded &
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread
crumbs. Place in single layer on baking
sheet. Bake 5 minutes on each side.
In a 9 X 13 pan, spread spaghetti sauce
to cover bottom. Place a layer of eggplant
slices in sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella &
Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining
ingredients, ending with cheeses. Sprinkle
basil over top. Bake 35 minutes or until
golden brown. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Mozzarella – Basil Chicken w/Roasted

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)
12 large fresh basil leaves, divided
2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 slices
4 large oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 C. Balsamic vinaigrette dressing, divided
2 1/4 C. grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make a cut in one long side of each chicken
breast, being careful to not cut through to
opposite side. Fill each pocket with 2 basil
leaves & 1 cheese slice and 1 sun-dried tomato.
Place chicken on one side of a rimmed baking
sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Add tomatoes
to other side of baking sheet. Brush chicken
evenly with 1 T. balsamic dressing. Bake 30
minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F).
Cut remaining basil leaves into thin slices. Top
tomatoes with basil & remaining dressing; toss
lightly. Serve chicken topped with tomato
mixture. Serves 4

(Recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
2 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles, uncooked
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place meat, mushrooms, onions & garlic in
crockpot. Add broth, paprika & salt; cover.
Cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 5 hours. Mix
sour cream, flour & mustard in small bowl;
stir into crockpot until well blended. Cook,
covered, on Low 15 minutes. Cook noodles
as directed on pkg. Drain noodles; place in
large serving bowl. Add meat mixture; mix
lightly. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 8

NOTE: For more robust flavor, brown meat in
2-3 T. oil in large skillet on medium-high before
adding to crockpot

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Mexican Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 (10-12) oz bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water

sour cream and salsa for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In large skillet, brown meat; drain off fat.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning,
soup and water; simmer over medium-low heat
until everything is well combined and heated
through. Grease 9 X 13 casserole dish. Put down
a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer
of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar
cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for
20-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10
minutes before serving.
Top with sour cream and salsa.

(recipe: Facebook)

Double-Banana Pudding Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
1 1/2 C. mashed fully-ripe bananas
about 3, divided
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (or pecans)
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter accordg to pkg.
directions. Stir in 1/2 C. bananas &
nuts; pour into greased 9 X 13 pan.
Beat pudding mixes, milk & water in
medium bowl using whisk 2 minutes;
stir in remaining bananas & pour over
batter in pan. Place pan on baking sheet.
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until
toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool 20 minutes – sauce will
thicken slightly as it cools. Sprinkle top
with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Yesterday I tried something new (to us); I was at Gordon Foods earlier in the week and bought a package of Parmesan Risotto (that’s cheesy ‘fancy’ rice). I cooked it last night along with some baked white fish. Have you ever had something turn out ‘not how you wanted it’? This was it – the fish was blah (white fish can be) and rubbery (sigh) and the Risotto was gummy and not at all what I expected – these are two items I will NOT be buying again! The ‘saving’ item was tossed salad – at least THAT tasted like I expected!

Our weather today is sunny, but cold (29 degrees F). No snow today (we did get a light dusting Weds night – Thurs morning, but it’s melted).

Today is a kind of ‘fun’ day for me: big church rummage sale in the area (and another one at another church, tomorrow!), then quick shopping at Gordon Foods for snack items for tonight’s special needs group Gym Night. Later it’s pick up grandson at 4 p.m., then leave for Gym Night around 5:20 – busy until around 9 p.m. then come home and ‘crash’.

I’ve ‘heard’ robins lately (our Michigan ‘sign of Spring’) but haven’t seen any yet.I’m glad one of the first signs of Spring is here: Rummage/Garage Sales!   I don’t really NEED anything when I go to these sales, I just like the fun of the ‘hunt’. Sometimes you find things you didn’t know you needed!

That’s about ‘it’ for now – working on more baby hats (next batch) and the white & brightly colorful baby afghan. It’s funny – when I get into an afghan, I find myself almost yearning to learn ANOTHER pattern! (Have to kind of rein-in my brain – ONE-AT-A-TIME!).

Have a GREAT day! Hope the sun is shining where you are