Another beautiful Sunday!

The sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze and it’s 79 degrees F. (with an expected of 85!). A gorgeous Sunday, for sure! Nothing lately on our agenda; oldest son & youngest grandson dropped by yesterday. Son spend many hours using a wood chipper to reduce the many branches he & other grandson cut down last week. Husband & I kept the 3 yr. old amused – he’s good, just feed him & make sure he has something to drink & he’s good!

Still working on several knitting projects & 1 crocheted baby blanket. Getting pretty close to finishing the ‘donated’ alpaca/mohair yarns – it will be a scarf when I’m done. Our local library hasn’t opened yet; you can bring back books you rented (OR – put books on hold & pick them up there, after calling to let them know you’re coming – all ‘library work’ is done in the parking lot for now). I’ve run out of books to read – I ‘could’ raid my stash upstairs; I did that last month – we’ll see.


Easy Fruit Pizza

Cookie Crust:
1 2/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. sugar
10 T. butter, room temp.
1 large egg, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Fruit Topping:
2 C. strawberries, sliced
2 kiwi, peeled/sliced
1/3 C. blueberries
1/4 C. mandarin oranges, drained
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray a 12″ pizza pan
(without holes on bottom) with
nonstick cooking spray.

Cookie Crust:
Whisk flour, baking powder, & salt
in small bowl. In another bowl using
elec. mixer, beat sugar & butter until light
& fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla & almond
extracts & beat until combined. Scrape
down sides of bowl as needed. Add in
dry ingredients & beat until soft cookie
dough forms. Press dough out into
prepared pan. Bake 11-13 minutes until
center is set. Let cool completely on
wire rack.

In a medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth & creamy. Spread evenly
over top of cooled crust.

Arrange fresh fruit over top of frosting
in a pattern you like.

(NOTE: if you like, you can mix 1 tsp.
honey with a little water to create a
nice glaze you can brush over fruits
so they look shiny)
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Serves 12


Chunky Tomato-Avocado Salad

1 avocado, pitted/peeled & cubed
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. sweet onion, chopped
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 T. lemon juice

In bowl gently stir ingredients together.
Cover & refrigerate overnight. Serves 4

Serve with corn chips or ‘Scoops’
for dippers


Crockpot Zesty Italian Beef Sandwiches

3 lb. beef chuck roast, quartered
1-2 T. oil
1 (2 oz) pkg. zesty Italian salad dressing mix
1 (12 oz) can beer
1 onion, chopped
6-7 pepperonicini peppers, chopped

6-8 sandwich buns, split
In a skillet over medium heat, brown roast
on all sides then place in crockpot. Sprinkle
dry dressing mix on top; pour beer over
roast. Add onions & peppers. Cover & cook
on High 5-6 hours until beef shreds easily
with a fork. Shred beef & serve on
sandwich buns. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.


Grilled Basil/Garlic Chicken Breasts
(4-12 hour marinade)

4 large boneless skinless chicken
breast halves (10-12 oz ea)
3 T. finely minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. olive oil

olive oil, salt/ground black pepper for skin
In small bowl mix garlic, 1 tsp. salt, basil &
oil. (add additional oil if necessary) Mash
garlic to a paste (poster used a mortar & pestle).
Smear mixture on both sides of chicken breasts
being careful to leave skins intact.
Gently place breasts in a gallon ziplock bag &
marinate, refrigerated, 4 hours up to 12 hours.
When ready to grill:
Remove chicken from bag, wipe skin side
free of marinade*. Brush on olive oil &
sprinkle on salt/pepper. Over a medium fire
place chicken skin-side down to crisp skin,
about 8-10 minutes, turning 90 degrees half
way through to get cross hatch marks. Once
skin is crisp, flip each piece over & move to
a cool side of grill – cook 8-10 minutes with
cover closed. (try to maintain an internal
grill temperature of 425 degrees F. by adjusting
burners on or off to keep that temperature.)

Remove chicken when internal temperature
reaches 155 degrees F using a probe thermometer.
Cover loosely with foil & allow to rest 5 minutes
before serving. Serve either whole or sliced.
Serves 4

*Wiping the skin helps the skin to brown without
burned basil pieces


Panzanella Salad

4 C. rustic Italian-style bread
cut into 1″ cubes
2 T. olive oil
1 English cucumber, halved,
seeded & sliced
1/3 C. red onion, thinly sliced
3 C. tomato, cut into 1″ pieces
3/4 C. yellow bell pepper, cut
into 1/2″ pieces
2 T. capers
1/2 C. basil leaves, sliced


2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 T. finely minced shallot
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 C. olive oil
salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bread cubes in a bowl;
add 2 T. olive oil & toss to coat.
Place bread on a sheet pan &
bake 10-15 minutes until dry &
lightly browned then place in a
large bowl with cucumber, onion,
tomato, bell peppers & capers.


Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl
& whisk until smooth. Pour dressing over
bread/vegetables & toss to gently
combine. Cover & chill at least 30
minutes or up to 6 hours. Stir in basil
& serve. Serves 6


Country Tomato/Bacon Pie

2-3 tomatoes, sliced
1 (9 inch) deep dish frozen pie crust,
baked accordg. to pkg. directions*
1/2 C. green onions, chopped
1/4 C. basil, chopped
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. shredded cheese (poster used
*If using a frozen pie crust, defrost
on counter about 10 minutes. Prick
with a fork & bake accordg. to pkg.
directions. (usually 400 degrees F.
10-12 minutes) Cool crust slightly.
Turn oven temp down to 350 degrees F.
Layer slices of tomato in bottom of pie
crust – season with black pepper; top
with green onions, basil & crumbled
In a bowl combine mayo & shredded
cheese – spread on top of pie.
Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

NOTE: If edges of pie crust are becoming
too brown while baking, place some strips
of foil around edges over crust during
baking time. Serves 6


Crockpot Glazed Coffee Cake

3 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix,
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. vanilla yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut a
piece of parchment paper to fit
the bottom of crockpot – place
paper in crockpot & spray top
with nonstick spray. In a bowl
mix 3 C. baking mix, sugar, yogurt,
eggs & vanilla.
In another bowl mix remaining
Bisquick mix, cinnamon & brown
sugar. Spread half of batter in bottom
of crockpot  – cover with half brown
sugar mixture. Spoon rest of batter on
top of sugar mixture – end with
remaining brown sugar mixture.
Place 2 paper towels under lid of
crockpot; cover & cook  on High
1 1/2 to 2 hours until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Use a spatula to run around edge of
cake to separate cake from crockpot.
Flip cake onto a serving plate &
remove parchment paper from cake.
In a bowl mix powdered sugar & enough
milk to make a drizzle – drizzle glaze
over cake. Serves 10-12



Hope you are all in good health and able to enjoy

this lovely summer weather!

PS: Gas Prices are currently: $2.15/9



My New ‘Normal’ is slowly coming together!

This past Saturday was National Knit in Public Day – above is me (bundled in a heavy sweatshirt jacket, using my knitting project to keep my knees warm!) It was a ‘balmy’ 63 degrees, sunny with a very strong wind. We had 18 ladies in attendance which made me happy! The general consensus was: we were having such a good time – why not do this regularly? I just finished officially scheduling our “Panera” knit group meeting for tomorrow 4-6/7 p.m. in the above park! (Panera is still at 50% capacity seating and 6′ distancing of people so it would not work for 18+ of us to try to cram in there at this time). I’m looking forward to scheduling events again! Slowly but surely my ‘new normal’ is coming into view. The ‘fun’ thing about this ‘new normal’ for my knit group is: we are now incorporating BOTH of my knit groups together!

One of the ladies in my groups began a new project for those who wanted to participate. It seems a friend gave her 2 very large garbage bags full of very expensive yarns with the stipulation that said yarns would be used to create items which could be sold to benefit CHARITIES. These are yarns I’m not familiar with – various strange textures, weights, etc. My friend divided the yarns up into projects, with a pattern (should you need one) for various items to knit/crochet. I was timid at first, choosing 2 bags. Saturday she brought the remainder of the yarns (altogether she created 44 project bags!). I now have 4 bags: one I’m working on in various shades of browns/tans/rust – it’s eventually going to be a cowl. I think the yarns are ugly but that’s just me: one is Alpaca – reminds me of knitting with dog hair! Another will be fingerless gloves – these are in a bright teal with white top & bottom; the other 2 bags are currently without an ‘idea of what to make out of them’. My friend has asked that we complete the projects by December so I’ve got time. (and I thought I was going a bit over my normal number of projects with 2 baby blankets & some baby booties! Now I’m at 2 baby blankets, knitting baby headbands for the Sept. Vet’s baby shower, baby booties and ‘the bags’!) Oh well – keeps me busy & out of trouble, right?

The ‘build a new garage’ project is still in the works; we’re awaiting a quote from another builder, not exactly sure when he’s coming over – that’s 2 builders/2 quotes – we’ll see where this goes.


(DISCLAIMER: the recipes I feature on this blog are not my recipes – see the recipe sites listed under each recipe)

Apple Pie w/ Peanut Butter Crumble

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell (poster
used Pillsbury frozen pie crust)
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. sugar, divided (3/4 & 1/4)
2 tsp. vanlla
4 C. apples, peeled/sliced (or chopped)
Poster used 5 small Red Delicious but
you can use any baking apple)
1 C. rolled oats (can use quick cooking oats)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. peanut butter ( poster used extra
crunchy – you can use regular if you like)
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk sour cream, 1/4 C.
sugar, eggs, 1/4 C. flour & vanilla. fold
in apples – toss to coat then pour into
pie shell. In a bowl mix oats, 3/4 C. flour,
1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon.
Either in microwave or on stovetop,
melt peanut butter & butter together
until smooth. Add to oat mixture &
sprinkle over apples.
Bake 50-55 minutes until golden brown
& center is set. Serves 6

NOTE:  Leftover pie should be refrigerated


Crockpot BBQ Country-style
Pork Ribs

5 lb. country-style pork ribs
1 C. chopped celery
2 C. chopped onions
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 C. ketchup
1/2 C. yellow mustard
1 C. BBQ sauce
1 C. water
3 T. dark cider vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
Suggested serving sides:
cooked white rice to serve 6
baked beans to serve 6
cole slaw
toasted garlic bread
Place ribs in large deep pot – cover
with water & boil 20-30  minutes to
decrease fat.

In a large bowl mix all other ingredients
& stir to mix well.
Place pork in crockpot, adding sauce as
you go, until you get about an inch from
top of crockpo. Use as much sauce as you
can (it will be needed later to put over rice)
Mix all well. Cover & cook on High about
5 hours. (You can keep it longer on Low
to keep it hot) Serves 6


Tomato Salad

5 C. tomatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1 C. bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
1/4 C. red onion thinly sliced
1/3 C. small basil leaves
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. fresh minced garlic
salt/black pepper, to taste

Place tomatoes, mozz. balls, red
onion & basil in large bowl. In a
small bowl whisk olive oil, red
wine vinegar, sugar, oregano, garlic,
salt/pepper (to taste). Pour dressing
over tomato mixture & gently toss
to coat evenly. Serve immediately
or cover & refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Serves 6


Bruschetta Chicken
(Grill recipe)

4 thin-cut boneless skinless
chicken breasts
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 T. balsamic glaze

1 1/2 C. tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic, finely minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. thinly sliced basil leaves
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. red onion, minced
In large bowl or ziplock bag mix olive
oil, lemon juice, salt, Ital. seasoning &
black pepper. Place chicken in bag &
marinate at least 30 minutes or up to
4 hours.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high.
Remove chicken from bag (discard bag).
Place chicken on grill. Cook 4-5 minutes
on each side (or until fully cooked).
Place mozz. cheese slices on top of chicken;
cover grill & cook until cheese melts, 2-3
(While chicken is cooking prepare topping)
In medium bowl combine tomatoes, garlic,
olive oil, red onion, basil, salt/pepper – let
stand 10 minutes. Spoon bruschetta
mixture over chicken. Drizzle with balsamic
glaze & serve. Serves 4

*If you don’t have Italian seasoning:
Mix 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. dried oregano,
& 1 tsp. dried basil


Lemon Garlic Smashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold or
3 T. melted butter (or 2 T. olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 if you
like a milder flavor)
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
salt/black pepper, to taste
(optional: 1/2 tsp. semolina –
for crispy potatoes)
Preheat oven to Broil (or grill
to medium-high (about 200 degrees F/
400 degrees F)
Place potatoes in large pot of salted
water; cook, covered 30-35 until
fork-tender; drain well. Lightly spray
a large baking sheet or tray with nonstick
cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on sheet &
use a potato masher to lightly flatten the
potatoes in one piece (don’t mash too hard).
In a small bowl mix butter, lemon juice &
garlic – pour over each potato. Sprinkle tops
with half of oregano, salt/pepper. Lightly
spray with cooking spray & sprinkle tops
with semolina, if using.
Broil or grill until golden & crispy, about
15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle
tops with remaining oregano.
To serve: season with a little extra salt &
pepper, serve immediately.
Serves 6

NOTE: For even crispier potatoes, remove
from oven half way through cooking;
spray with a little extra cooking spray &
continue broiling/grilling until golden


Southwest Chicken Coleslaw

2 C. cooked/chopped chicken
2 C. coleslaw mix
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. grape or cherry tomatoes,
1 1/2 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 C. buttermilk Ranch salad dressing
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
In large bowl add chicken, coleslaw,
cheese & tomatoes. In smaller bowl
mix lime juice, ranch dressing, chili
powder, cumin, pepper & sugar until
combined – pour over coleslaw mix &
stir to combine. Refrigerate at least
one hour prior to serving.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Also great served on a
spinach or tomato tortilla as a wrap


Orange Meringue Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 C. orange juice
1/2 C. lemon juice
1/4 C. water
4 eggs, separated
4 T. butter or margarine, cut into
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 C. diced orange segments
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line unbaked pastry crust with
foil & a layer of pie weights or
dried beans. Bake in preheated
oven until edge of crust is golden,
about 10 minutes. Carefully
remove foil & weights; bake
about 5 minutes more.
In small saucepan stir 3/4 C. sugar,
1/3 C. cornstarch & salt. Mix in
orange & lemon juices & water.
Whisk in egg yolks. Cook over
medium heat, stirring frequently,
until thick & bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat & stir in butter
& orange zest. (If desired, stir in
orange segments) Pour into pie
crust; cover with plastic wrap & set
aside to cool.
(When pie has cooled to room temp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Preparing Meringue:
In large glass or metal bowl
beat egg whites until foamy.
Gradually add 1/2 C. sugar &
cream of tartar, continuing to
beat until stiff peaks form. Lift
beater or whisk straight up – the
egg whites should form a sharp
peak that holds it’s shape. Spread
meringue over pie, making sure
it completely covers the filling &
meets the edges of the pie crust.
Bake in preheated oven until
meringue topping is golden
brown, about 15 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)


Our weather has been kind of ‘iffy’ – one day sunny
& in the 60’s, next in the 70/80’s. Today it’s supposed
to have a High of 76 degrees F. tomorrow High of 86!
Thurs. high of 90, Friday high of 92! WOW!

Gas prices jumped a bit lately to $2.04/9; not a big

Hope you have a GREAT day – stay healthy!



PS: You can’t really see it very good – but the project on my lap is the White/Pink Chevron baby blanket – I’m very close to being done with it.

Memorial Day

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

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

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

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


Campfire Cinnamon Roll-ups

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

(recipe: FB)

Corn Fritters

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

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

Copycat Thomas BBQ Mashed
Potato Salad

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

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


Creamy Pea Salad

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

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


One-skillet Queso Verde Corn Dip

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

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

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


Crockpot Baked Beans

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

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

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

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


Chicken Tender Saute

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

Life is Good!

Woke up to about an inch of snow on the ground, but sunny & 34 degrees F. Supposed to be a little more snow tomorrow, but today & tomorrow are supposed to get up to the 40’s so I’m guessing it will melt (hopefully).

How to explain yesterday? You might remember my problems with the Kroger ‘order on line/pick up at store’ situation of last week? (ordered groceries, my credit card got hacked, Kroger said I couldn’t change the card to a new #, ‘thought’ I cancelled the order due for pick up yesterday). Last night around 6:30 p.m. I was making dinner when we got a call from Kroger asking why we didn’t pick up our groceries that were due for pick up at noon? I explained the above situation and the lovely lady said: “Oh, NO – I’ve seen my manager change a charge; the transaction is NEVER done until you pick up the groceries – of COURSE we can take another card!” So, fast forward – we picked up the order (actually got the lovely lady who called us as the person bringing out our order.) Got home – fast forward: went on my computer and what to my wondering eyes does appear but a Kroger Survey! Did I like my experience with their pick up method? I was able to explain the entire situation AND there was even a place at the end to commend an employee – I was SO glad we could do that for the lovely lady who called us. WOW! (addendum: I still have in the Kroger order which is being delivered tomorrow! Adjusted that one & decided that we’d go ahead – we can always freeze bread, meat, cheese! CRAZY!!!

Took a picture of the (almost done) baby blanket I’m working on – a friend wanted to see it so here’s what it looks like now: (it reminds me of a rainbow or dyed Easter eggs!)

I still have LOTS of baby yarn to work with; am researching trying to knit mitered squares:

It’s basically knitting squares – my problem is when I try them they come out as KITES, not squares – we’ll see where this goes . . .


Apple Pie Skillet Biscuits

1 (8 count) tube refrigerated biscuits
3 T. salted butter, melted
1/3 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. apple pie spice*
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
2 T. powdered sugar
splash of milk
1/3 C. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brush an oven-safe skillet with
butter & place biscuits in pan,
brushing both sides with remaining
butter. In a bowl mix brown sugar,
cinnamon & apple pie spice – set
aside 1/3rd of mixture & sprinkle
rest on top of biscuits.
Using kitchen shears, chop pie filling
into small pieces right in the can – spoon
evenly over biscuits & sprinkle top with
reserved brown sugar mixture.
Bake, uncovered, 35-45 minutes (depending
on size of biscuits) until puffy & cooked
through in the center (check with a toothpick
inserted into center – should come out clean).
Remove from oven & allow to cool on a rack
10 minutes.
In a bowl mix powdered sugar with just a
tiny splash of milk – stir; adding more milk
as needed for a thick but pourable glaze
consistency. Drizzle glaze all over & sprinkle
with chopped nuts – serve
immediately. Makes about 4-6 servings.

*Substitute: a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg &


Mini Breakfast Cheddar/Broccoli/
Bacon Quiches

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1 (10 oz) pkg. chopped/frozen broccoli
cuts, thawed & well-drained
6 slices bacon, cooked/drained/roughly
chopped (about 3/4 C.)
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/4 C. milk
3 eggs
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 (2 1/2 inch) mini muffin
cups with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl stir soup, broccoli,
bacon, Bisquick, milk, eggs & cheese.
Spoon about 1/4 C. mixture into each
muffin cup. Bake 30 minutes until
quiches are golden brown & a knife
inserted into center comes out clean.
Let quiches cool in pan on a wire rack
about 5 minutes. Remove quiches from
pan & serve. Serves 6

Walking Taco Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/3 large onion, chopped
1 can green chiles, (small can)
1 can enchilada sauce
2 oz. cream cheese
1 bag Fritos corn chips
1 bag shredded cheese (Cheddar or
your choice)
3/4 C. shredded lettuce
1/2 C. diced tomatoes
16 salsa
8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick cooking
spray.In skillet brown ground beef with onion;
drain. Add green chiles, ench. sauce & cream

Layer in following order:
meat mixture
shredded cheese

Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Top individual servings with lettuce, tomatoes,
salsa, sour cream, as desired.


Crockpot Spaghetti Squash w/Meatballs

4 lb spaghetti squash, washed & prick
skin with a knife multiple times on all
2 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce, divided
2 T. dried minced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic (poster uses freeze-dried)
2 tsp. Italian (or pizza) seasoning
2/3 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Garnish: shredded Mozzarella and/or
Parmesan cheese
salt, to taste
After scoring spaghetti squash, wrap it in
foil & place in 6 qt or larger crockpot. In
large bowl mix 1/2 C. marinara, beef, onion,
garlic, seasoning, Parm. cheese & eggs –
for into 24 meatballs. Carefully place
meatballs around squash in crockpot,
stacking as necessary but do not press them
Cover & cook on High 4-6 hours
until meatballs are cooked to 165º degrees &
you can easily insert a knife into squash.
Carefully remove squash – it will be HOT.
Slice squash in half & scoop out seeds –
discard seeds. Allow squash to cool briefly
before handling further.
Carefully break apart meatballs in crockpot &
stir in remaining marinara sauce. Use a spoon
or fork to scrape squash strands until they
begin to break off ‘shell’ & place them in the
crockpot, salting to taste – stir.
To serve: plate squash & meatballs – top with
cheese. Serves 8

*NOTE: when purchasing your spagetti squash
pay attention to shape – try to find one that
will easily fit in your crockpot.
IF YOUR CROCKPOT LID doesn’t totally close
you can use foil around the lid & top to keep
the heat in


Skillet Lasagna w/ Home made
tomato sauce

3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
pinch hot pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 jar strained/pureed tomatoes
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 T. fresh torn basil

(Makes 2 3/4 C. sauce)

9 lasagna noodles, broken into 1/3rds
2 C. sauce (above)
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 C. ricotta cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh torn basil
Heat oil in large (high-sided)skillet over
medium heat. Cook garlic & hot pepper
flakes until golden, 1-2 minutes. Stir in
tomato paste – cook 1 minute. Stir in
jarred & fresh tomatoes, salt/pepper –
bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-
low; cook 10-15 minutes until sauce
thickens slightly. Stir in basil leaves.
(For thicker/richer/sweeter sauce, cook
1-2 hours)

Preheat boiler in oven & position rack
in middle position.
Cook noodles accordg. to pkg directions,
drain, reserving 1/4 C. pasta water. Bring
sauce to boil – toss in cooked noodles,
reserved pasta water & Parmesan. Dot
with ricotta cheese & sprinkle with
mozzarella cheese. Broil 3-5 minutes until
cheese melts. Sprinkle top with torn basil.
Serves 4

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Toss cooked noodles with pasta water &
cold tomato sauce. Layer with ricotta,
mozz & Parm. cheese in oiled 10-inch skillet
or baking dish. Cover with foil & bake 15
minutes. Remove foil & bake 10-15 minutes
longer until golden brown & bubbling.

(recipe: etc.)

Crockpot Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb. cooked meatballs
6 C. chicken broth
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 carrot, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
10 oz. pkg. frozen riced cauliflower
3 oz. fresh baby spinach

garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese
Place cooked meatballs in 6 qt. crockpot.
Pour broth over top & add all remaining
ingredients (except spinach & Parm. cheese)
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours (or Low 4-6
hours). Stir in spinach & serve in bowls
topped with Parm. cheese. Serves 6


30-Minute Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (12 oz) pkg. bowtie pasta, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions
2 T. butter
1 C. chicken broth
2 C. half & half
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. honey mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. sour cream
2 C. cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 C. deli ham, chopped (or leftover, diced)
8 slices Swiss Cheese
1 1/4 C. Italian Panko bread crumbs
(Italian bread crumbs work, also)

In large, deep OVEN SAFE skillet melt
2 T. butter on medium-high heat. Add
chicken broth, half & half, both cans
soup – whisk to combine. Add mustard,
onion powder, salt/pepper – stir & bring
to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Allow to simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly
thickened. Add chicken, ham, sour cream &
cooked/drained pasta – stir well to
combine (adjust salt/pepper to taste)
Lay Swiss cheese slices over mixture.
Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Turn oven broiler on.
Place skillet under broiler & allow cheese to
melt & breadcrumbs to get golden brown.
(watch it so you don’t burn top). Allow
skillet to cool on counter a few minutes
then serve. Serves 6-8


Brown Sugar Pie

1 1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. flour
2 eggs
4 T. butter or marg., melted
1/2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1 (9 inch)
unbaked pie crust

Optional topping:
Whipped cream
Cool Whip (thawed)
Ice cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl combine all filling ingredients,
mixing well with wire whisk. Pour into
unbaked pie shell & bake 50-55 minutes.
Pie will rise up while cooking & later
will go down when cooled. Serve with
optional toppings. Makes 1 pie




Well, that’s what’s happening around here lately;
hope you are all well. I’m still (like probably all of you)
trying to keep positive that this virus situation will
soon be over but, at the same time, wary of what
will come. Praying for peace of mind for all of us
during this.
There WILL be and end to this!



PS: Gas prices here are now $1.19/9 a gallon! WOW!

Another Day . . .

The sun is shining, the temps are in the 50’s – it’s another GOOD DAY! You read about the face masks in my last post – I received a face mask request from a friend who’s a Pharmacy Tech. at one of our local hospitals. She asked if the people in her pharmacy could obtain some of the masks my ladies were making; she said they only use masks when they have to leave the pharmacy to take meds. to other floors or nursing stations. One of my friends was finishing up on the last of the masks she could make (she was running out of supplies to make them) so she gave me her last 8. With the new ‘STAY AT HOME’ restrictions in our state, I was able to drive to her porch & pick up said masks in a bag then drive to the Pharm. tech’s condo parking lot to drop them off. It seems so strange now – maintaining a 6 foot distance but I called & let her know I was in her parking lot then I put the mask bag on her step & moved back 6 feet from said bag. She came down & picked them up – we chatted (maintaining the above distance) – now they have the masks they need and we’re good. (I spoke to my friend the nurse who originally started this mask idea – she said they are using the sewn masks OVER their regular masks because, at this time due to the extreme shortage, their nurses are forced to wear the paper masks for 5 days – so they’re wearing the sewn ones OVER the paper ones for extra protection. It’s a VERY sad time when you think of it. We’re just glad that we can help in a small way. A lady who’s a friend-of-a-(knitting) friend called to tell me she was going to sew masks – she did, and delivered 40 masks to the local hospital. She was SO moved by the reception of the person at the hospital doors (“The man was in tears, thanking me over and over”) that she cried all the way home. She was SO moved by that, she cut out another 100, sewed 40 immediately & had her granddaughter deliver them the next day. (same reception to the masks – tears of joy). The granddaughter said that there were other people inside, waving and crying. Sometimes it’s the little things we do for others that bring great joy.


Due to the current ‘shortage’ of some foods, I’m going to feature some homemade bread recipes – hope you enjoy!

No-Knead Cheese Bread

1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1 C. warm chicken broth (110º – 115º)
2 T. sugar
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 large egg, beaten
3 C. flour, divided
1 1/4 C. finely shredded Cheddar cheese,
onion salt, optional

Grease a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with butter
In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm broth.
Add sugar, butter, salt, poultry seasoning,
egg & 1 C. flour – beat until smooth. Add
1 C. cheese & remaining flour – stir 1 minute.
Cover & let rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 30 minutes. Stir batter down, about
25 strokes. Spread batter evenly into prepared
pan. Cover & let rise until doubled, about
20 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese (& onion salt, if using). Bake 25-30
minutes until golden brown. Remove from
pan to wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
Makes 1 loaf
refrigerate leftovers

No-Knead Harvest Bread

1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. oatmeal
1/2 C. assorted seeds: sesame,
flaxseed, sunflower kernels and/or
poppy seeds, divided
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3 C. bread flour, divided
2 1/4 C. cool water (55º – 65º)
2 T. molasses

additional cornmeal
In large bowl combine whole wheat
flour, cornmeal, 1/3 C. seeds, salt,
yeast & 2 1/2 C. bread flour. Stir in
water & molasses until blended.
(dough will be wet & sticky)
Cover with plastic wrap & let stand
at room temp. 12-18 hours until more
than doubled in size & bubbles are
present on the surface.
Stir in remaining bread flour

Grease a baking sheet & sprinkle well
with additional cornmeal. Turn dough
onto sheet & gently shape (using a spatula)
into a 9 inch round loaf. Cover & let rise
at room temp. 2 hours until dough holds
an indentation when gently pressed. (loaf
will slightly increase in size).

Arrange 1 oven rack at lowest rack setting;
place second rack in middle of oven. Place an
oven-safe skillet on bottom rack.
Preheat oven & skillet to 475 degrees F.
In small saucepan bring 2 C. water to boil.
Gently press remaining seeds onto top of dough.
Wearing oven mitts, place bread on top oven
rack. Pull bottom rack out & add water to skillet
(work carefully & quickly, pouring water AWAY
from you.) Carefully slide bottom rack back into
place & quickly close oven door to trap steam.

Reduce heat to 425 degrees F.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove skillet from oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes longer until deep golden
brown & bread sounds hollow when center is
tapped. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

NOTE: Recipe was tested using a cast-iron skillet.
If using a different pan, confirm it’s safe to 450º

Italian Snack Bread

1 pkg. (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 C. warm water (120º – 130º)
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temp.
2 T. olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. flour

1 1/2 C. thinly sliced onion
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
(1 tsp. coarse salt, optional)
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray
In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add egg, oil, oregano, salt & 1 1/2 C. flour:
beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining
flour to form a soft dough. Cover & let rest
10 minutes. Pat dough into prepared pan.
In large skillet saute onion in oil until tender –
spoon evenly over dough & sprinkle top with
rosemary & salt, if desired. Cover with plastic
wrap & let rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Bake bread 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
Cut into small squares & serve warm or at
room temperature. Serves about 8


Chicken Parm Soup

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (15 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
6 C. chicken broth
1 (8 oz.) pkg. penne pasta
3/4 C. cooked, shredded chicken breast (about 2)
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. freshly chopped parsley
kosher salt/ground black pepper

In large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
Add onion – cook, stirring until soft, about
5 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 minute. Stir
in tomato paste, red pepper flakes,
tomatoes & broth – bring to a simmer. Add
pasta – cook 8-10 minutes until al dente.
Add chicken, mozz. & Parm. cheeses & parsley.
Season generously with salt/pepper. Let
cheese melt then ladle into bowls.
Serves 4


Crockpot Million Dollar Pasta

2 lb. ground beef
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
2 (24 oz, ea) jars spaghetti sauce,
1 (24 oz) jar water (fill empty
spag. jar with water & use)
1 (16 oz) pkg. cavatappi pasta*
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown & crumble gr. beef; season
with salt/pepper; drain. In medium
bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream,
ricotta, minced garlic & parsley.
In bottom of 6 qt. crockpot (or larger)
add half a jar of spaghetti sauce. Evenly
layer half the box of pasta on top of sauce.
Pour remaining sauce over noodles; pour
on half a jar of water. Layer half cooked
beef over top. Dollop entire cream cheese
mixture as evenly as possible over beef
layer – do not stir. Evenly layer rest of
pasta on top & top with remaining jar of
spaghetti sauce. Pour another half jar of
water on top of sauce. Layer rest of cooked
beef on top.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours. Stir mixture;
layer with 2 C. shredded mozz. cheese. Cover
an additional 15-20 minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 6

(*cavatappi pasta: small spiral tubes, sometimes
with ridges)


Sassy Potato/Corn Chowder

4 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/4 lb. baking potatoes (about 3),
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn, thawed/drained
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 T. flour
2 C. milk

In a large saucepan cook & stir bacon
until crisp. Remove from pan; drain on
paper towels – discard drippings. Add
broth & vegetables to saucepan & bring
to boil. Simmer on Low 15 minutes until
potatoes are tender. Mix Mir. Whip & flour
in a medium bowl until blended – stir in milk;
add to potato mixture with bacon. Cook 3-5
minutes until soup is slightly thickened &
heated through, stirring occasionally.
Serves 6


Apple Coffee Cake

2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. sour cream
2 medium apples, chopped (about
2 C.)
8 T. chopped walnuts or almonds,
1/2 C. brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bundt pan with nonstick
spray & lightly flour. Combine flour,
salt, nutmeg & 2 tsp. cinnamon in
medium bowl; stir in baking soda &
powder. Mix softened butter & sugar
in separate bowl until creamy. Beat
in eggs, one at a time, combine until
creamy. Add vanilla & sour cream;
mix until well blended. Sift in dry
ingredients, beating mixture on Low
speed of elec. mixer to form batter-
like consistency. Fold in nuts & apples,
stirring gently to evenly distribute.
Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle
top evenly with brown sugar & 1 tsp.
cinnamon. Bake 50-65 minutes until
a toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool cake in pan
20-30 minutes then turn out onto
a serving plate. Serve warm.
Serves 10-12


Hope you are all in good health and ‘finding
something to do’ (if you are ‘sheltering at home’).
Yes, I’ll agree – it’s BORING. I was SO GLAD to just
get OUT in my CAR to pick up/deliver those masks
today! I realized I haven’t driven my car in almost
2 weeks (husband drove Monday when we went
for groceries). I thought about stopping at Burger
King today but because of all the hype about the
virus spreading, decided to just eat at home. Drove
by our favorite restaurant – it was SO strange to see
NO cars in the parking lot (all restaurants are closed
except those who can do take out). I noticed gas
prices here in Michigan are now at $1.49/9 – that
was a surprise! (I still have almost a full tank which
I got BEFORE the big Governor’s Order to stay at
home.)  I’m TRYING to convince myself to knit &
crochet more – before all this knitting & crochet were
my ‘things to do to relax’ after being busy – now it’s
one of the few things I have to do! Weird! Who
would have EVER thought that the ENTIRE NATION
would be at a stand-still?

Enough of my thoughts & rants – STAY HEALTHY
if you can!

(Air) HUGS!



Here we are into March and it’s been GORGEOUS! Bright, sunny days – I even wore my lighter jacket today; delivered more knit & crocheted baby blankets to Crossroads Pregnancy Center. Just checked the NOAH weather service – it’s 43 degrees F. BUT I probably shouldn’t have looked further – it seems we’re in for up to 50% chance of snow tonight/tomorrow . . . sigh – BUT no more predicted for rest of week so that’s good.

I’m still working on two projects and thought I’d post the pictures. Both are VERY close to being finished. The first is a forest green knit scarf for my friend (who will be the next leader of our special needs group) – her birthday was 1 1/2 weeks ago and I’m really getting antsy to get it done to give to her.

This is the yarn I used to ‘substitute’ for the teal blue I originally ordered/planned on using. The pattern is difficult (probably Intermediate Knitter) – 10 rows; each row requires a LOT of concentration & counting so by the time I’ve knit 10 rows I’m ready for a break!

This is the Zig Zag stitch I mentioned several posts ago. It’s done in mint green. I’ve decided that because, this too, is rather difficult/challenging, I’m going to keep it for a baby shower gift instead of donating it. This is another pattern I probably won’t EVER knit again! Looks pretty (like the above scarf) but really wears me out working on it. (sorry for the complaining . . . )


Mounds Candy Bar Brownies

1 (9 X 13″ size) pan of brownies
5 1/3 C. shredded coconut
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 container chocolate frosting

Prepare brownies & allow to cool
completely. Using elec. mixer – in
large bowl combine coconut, sweeten’d
cond. milk & powdered sugar until all
ingredients are incorporated – spread
over cooled brownies. Remove lid &
foil seal from frosting container – place
container in microwave & microwave
10 seconds until frosting is pourable.
Pour frosting over coconut mixture &
allow to cool & set up.


Crockpot Navy Bean/Vegetable Soup

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. cubed, fully-cooked ham
1 1/2 C. dried navy beans
1 envelope (Knorr) vegetable recipe mix
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 C. water

In 5 qt. crockpot, combine first 9
ingredients; stir in water. Cover &
cook on Low 9-10 hours, until beans
are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Serves 12 (3 qts)


(Cracker Barrel’s) Hashbrown
Casserole Copycat

2 lb. frozen hash browns
1/2 C. margarine or butter, melted
1 (10 1/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 11 X 14″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Mix all
ingredients in large bowl & place
in prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes
until brown on top.


Fajita Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 T. dry taco seasoning
1 1/2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. shredded Mexican cheese

chopped cilantro – for serving
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray.
Cut horizontal slices across top of
each chicken breast, stopping 1/4″
from bottom (don’t cut all the way
through). Coat chicken with olive oil
& rub taco seasoning into the meat.
Tuck peppers & onion into each slice
in chicken then place on prepared sheet.
Bake 15 minutes, remove & top with
cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more until
cheese is melted & chicken is cooked
through. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Tortellini Soup

1 onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled/halved &
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 C. chicken broth
1 (9 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
(optional: chopped fresh parsley
for garnish)
Place onions, carrots, celery, chicken,
garlic, salt/pepper, thyme, parsley &
broth in crockpot. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours (or 6-8 hrs. on Low). Remove
chicken & shred using 2 forks; return
meat to soup. Add tortellini & cook
10-15 minutes until they are puffy & heated
through. Serve garnished with parsley, if
desired. Serves 4


Kielbasa/Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

1 lb. baby red potatoes, halved or
2 C. petite baby carrots
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (13 oz) pkg. pork kielbasa, sliced
into rounds
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. olive oil separated: 2 T. &
1 T.)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt/cracked black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
In small bowl mix basil, thyme, oregano,
paprika, onion powder, salt/pepper. Place
potatoes & carrots on sheet & drizzle with
2 T. olive oil. Sprinkle half of dry herbs over
top & toss until evenly coated. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven & slide potatoes/carrots to
one end of sheet pan. Add asparagus, onion &
kielbasa slices to sheet. Drizzle with 1 T. olive
oil, remaining dry herbs & garlic – toss to coat.
Spread all ingredients evenly around baking sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes until veggies are softened &
roasted. Serve warm. Serves 4


Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless
chicken thighs
5 slices bacon
1 small onion, diced
5 jalapeno peppers, minced (seeded &
ribs removed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 (14-15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 – 15 oz) can white beans, like
1/2 C. frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/3 C. minced cilantro

shredded Cheddar cheese, for serving

Place chicken thighs in a pan with a lid; cover
with water & simmer, covered, until cooked
through. Reserve cooking water & set chicken
aside to cool – cut into bite-sized pieces.
In large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove &
set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Pour out bacon grease, leaving a couple teaspoons
in the pot. With heat on medium, add onion,
jalapenos & garlic to pot. Cook, stirring often,
until they begin to soften; stir in chili powder,
cumin, coriander & some salt/pepper – cook
1 more minute. Pour tomatoes & about 1 C.
of chicken poaching liquid into pot. Add corn,
beans & chicken – bring to low boil. Reduce heat
to a simmer & cook, stirring occasionally, about
15 minutes. Stir in cream cheese – continue to
stir until cream cheese is melted & thoroughly
mixed. Taste for seasoning & adjust salt/pepper,
if needed. If chili is too thick, add a bit more
poaching liquid. Crumble bacon into chili &
stir in cilantro – top with shredded Cheddar
cheese & serve.


Caramelized Brown Butter Cake

1 1/4 C. (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 C. milk
5 large eggs
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In heavy skillet on Low heat melt
butter until it begins to foam – stir
about 5 minutes until golden brown &
smells nutty. Transfer to a large heat-
proof bowl & allow to cool in fridge
until solid, about half hour. Once solid
remove from fridge & set aside to bring
back to room temp.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack on lower middle section
of oven. Butter a non-stick 8 X 4.5″ loaf
pan & dust with powdered sugar. Whisk
browned butter until it becomes creamy,
then add sugar & continue whisking 3-5
minutes until well combined. Whisk in
eggs, one at a time, making sure each is
thoroughly combined before adding the
next. In separate bowl combine flour,
salt & baking powder; slowly whisk flour
mixture into creamed butter until well
combined. Slowly whisk in milk & vanilla;
continue to whisk until smooth; transfer
batter to prepared loaf pan & bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven, loosely cover
with foil & continue baking 20-25 minutes
longer. Allow cake to cool in pan 10-15
minutes then transfer, upside down, onto
a serving platter. Serves 8-10


It’s been a pretty relaxing week so far – haven’t been
asked to babysit (not sure why but am not checking).
I’m attempting to put a little variety in our meals lately –
now that I’m actually only cooking for TWO! (youngest
son really doesn’t eat ‘dinner’ – he’s in & out – usually
makes two peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & he’s good).
Tonight is baked salmon with spinach/4-cheese risotto.
I’m glad my husband doesn’t mind my ‘experimenting’ –
as long as I don’t try too many ‘exotic’ things!

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!



PS: Gas prices have dropped! It’s $1.94/9 for regular! WOW!

Moving – again . . .

It’s been long in coming but middle son is AGAIN moving out. He moved back home about 1 1/2 years ago and has been wanting to get his OWN place for quite awhile (before he always moved in with buddies). We’ve been checking unfurnished apartments in the area for months now (let me tell ya – trying to find an apartment in his price range $500-650, is VERY hard! Finally we located one that’s about 5 minutes from us and about 15 minutes from his work – price: $620! AND they allow cats – he’s been wanting a cat for a LONG time! This past week has been chock-full of craziness – lots of phone calls, shopping, packing, etc. but he’s finally in his own place! YAY! It’s funny because he has little to NO furniture (single bed mattress, tv, game system – that’s about it!) Yesterday my oldest son said that they have most of the things he’ll need in their storage and they’re going there today to look/move stuff. I finally babysat yesterday – oldest son is putting in new flooring so there was no where to sit (so I got a break! Other grandparents watched him all last week – of course, they were in 7th Heaven – they love having him). We’ve been doing the ‘Doctor’ visits – both of us (husband & I) had regular check ups and then eye exams (husband gets new glasses). Tried out a small restaurant near us – heard from several friends that it was really good food/great service/good prices – tried it yesterday. . . their coffee is free (It SHOULD be-it was AWFUL! NO flavor!) Had a Philly Cheesesteak sub – VERY small – no flavor . . . don’t think we’ll be going there again. Oh well – gotta try it to know, right?

Knitting-wise, done with the 2-Color Star Stitch blanket, just have the mint green Zig Zag blanket (still only 1/4th done – lots of stitches/8 rows per pattern) so will be working on that one for quite awhile. Bought some nice yellow yarn yesterday and will be researching a new pattern for that.

Recipes – LOTS of them for you; for me, it’s hard to pick which ones to feature! Try these out:


4-ingredient Lemon/Cream Cheese Dump

1 (16 oz) can lemon pie filling
1 (15 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8″ X 8″ (or 9″ X 9″)
baking dish with nonstick cooking
spray. Pour pie filling in bottom of
prepared pan & spread to corners.
Top with half of dry cake mix. Place
cream cheese cubes evenly on top
then sprinkle top with remaining
dry cake mix. Place butter slices in a
single layer on top of cake mix, trying
to cover as much of the surface of the
cake as possible. Bake 35-40 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Remove from oven &
cool 15-20 minutes before serving


Bacon-Potato Corn Chowder

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

In large skillet cook bacon over medium
heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove
bacon with slotted spoon & drain on paper
towels. Discard drippings but reserve 1 1/2
tsp. in pan. Add onion to skillet, cook & stir
over medium-high heat until tender. Place
potatoes in large saucepan & cover with water.
Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to
medium & cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes
until tender. Drain, reserving 1 C. potato water.
Add corn, milk, salt/pepper, potatoes & reserved
potato water to saucepan; heat through. Stir in
bacon & onion. Serves 6


Chicken/Spinach/Mushroom Casserole

6 thin sliced chicken breasts
1 tub green onion cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 large pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
1 dash garlic & herb seasoning (Weber brand)
dash black pepper
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. Lay chicken slices
out in single layer; top with spinach &
mushrooms – sprinkle seasoning over top.
In a small bowl whisk softened cream cheese,
olive oil & chicken broth – pour over ingredients
in pan. Lay a piece of foil over top but do not
seal. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake,
uncovered, 20-25 minutes longer then sprinkle
shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Bake
uncovered 10 minutes until starting to brown.
Remove & let cool 10 minutes.


Lazy-Day Chicken Lasagna

1 (25 oz) bag frozen cheese ravioli
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
3 (15 oz, ea) cans crushed tomatoes
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 C. mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cooked/shredded
chicken with crushed tomatoes, Ital.
seasoning & minced garlic.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish place a layer of
frozen ravioli then spread chicken mixture
on top. Top with mozz. cheese. Continue
layering until all ingredients are used. Top
with Parm. cheese. Bake 35-45 minutes until
cooked through & bubbly. Serves 6


Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry onion soup mix
1 (14 oz) chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup (low sodium)
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry pork gravy mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
To thicken gravy:
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. cold water

In crockpot combine onion soup mix,
chicken broth, cream of chicken soup &
pork gravy mix – whisk to combine. Season
both sides of chops with a little garlic powder &
place in crockpot – move chops around to cover
with gravy mixture. Cover & cook on Low 4-6
Just before chops are done, whisk corn starch &
cold water together in a small bowl. Once smooth,
pour in with chops & stir gently. Cover & turn
heat to High – cook 30 minutes until gravy has


Crockpot Apple Crisp

1/2 C. melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. water
6 T. flour
8 large Granny Smith apples-
peeled/cored/sliced into 1/4″
slices (work fast so they don’t
turn brown)

1 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, (1 stick) cut into pats
1 C. rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
vanilla ice cream – for serving
In crockpot add butter, both sugars,
cinnamon, water & flour – stir to
combine. Add sliced apples to butter
mixture, stir, cover & cook on High
4 hours.
(while apples are cooking, prepare topping)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
In food processor, mix flour, both sugars,
baking soda, cinnamon & salt until combined.
Add cold butter pats & pulse a few times until
they are pea-sized. Add oats & pulse a few
times just to incorporate (or add in by hand).
Pour mixture onto prepared sheet tray & bake
5 minutes. Remove, toss using a spatula, &
bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, toss &
bake another 2-3 minutes just to crisp.
Remove & cool. (store mixture in air-tight
container until ready to serve).

When ready to serve, portion apple
mixture into bowls, sprinkle with topping &
serve with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 8-10


Cuban Sliders

2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Hawaiian sweet
1 1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
9 slices Swiss cheese (about 6 oz)
24 dill pickle slices


1/2 C. butter, cubed
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Without separating rolls, horizontally;
arrange bottom halves of rolls in pan.
Layer with ham, cheese & pickles;
top with roll tops. In a microwaveable
bowl or measuring cup melt butter.
Stir in onion & mustard – drizzle over
tops of rolls. Bake, covered, 10 minutes.
Uncover & bake until golden brown &
heated through, 5-10 minutes. Makes
24 sliders


Hot Fudge Pie

1 stick butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8″ X 8″ pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In a bowl using elec.
mixer, cream butter & sugar until
fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs &
vanilla – mix well. Add cocoa powder,
salt & flour – stir until well combined;
pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 -35
minutes until center is set.

NOTE: If you mix by hand it will have
a gooey texture; using an elec. mixer
will make it more of a brownie or cake



Our weather has been all over the place –
lots of snow early in week, then really cold
(in the 20’s) then finally warming up a bit
(it’s in the 30’s today). We had rain yesterday
which kind of melted the snow some but
also made it a skating rink to try to walk.
Looking at today’s forecast: 34 degrees F.
with light snow/fog/mist – that’s a lovely
combination. . . not. I see rain/snow in the
next few days but no signs of accumulation,
so that’s good! Ah, Michigan – land of
You NEVER know what the weather will
be like!”

Hope you are all in good health, staying
warm and enjoying your day!



PS: Our gas prices have been pretty steady: $2.39/9!

Another Busy Week – sigh . . .

At the beginning of this week I was thinking/hoping I’d only have 1 day of babysitting – boy, was I wrong! So far it’s been 2 (and one was almost 9 hours long) – just got the request for tomorrow (Saturday – I’m usually free from sitting on the weekends) and it’s 3 p.m. – 8/9 p.m. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little 2 1/2 yr old grandson but BOY IS HE FULL OF ENERGY! I was with him yesterday from 10:45 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. and finally I just couldn’t stand to hear any more KIDDIE TV so I shut it off (he wasn’t happy, but OH WELL . . . ). He did well playing by himself while I knit (as usual). My brain can only hold so much squeeky little voices with ridiculous program premises! I DID get to finish one baby blanket and knit 2 3/4ths pairs of baby booties (finished the other one today) so all was not wasted time. The shades of brown/black men’s scarf I started knitting I decided I’d hold off on until Fall/Winter – it’s a real strain on my fingers and it’s not really ‘needed’ until then, so I feel good about that decision. Haven’t taken up another blanket pattern just yet – I’ll know when I’m feeling ‘inspired’ . . . hehehe.


Peach Bread

4 T. softened butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk (whole)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 C. peaches, peeled/chopped
1/2 C. chopped pecans

1 single ripe peach peeled/pit removed
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. melted butter
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour a standard loaf pan.
In large bowl (or using stand mixer
w/paddle attachment) beat butter
until smooth, then add both sugars
& beat to combine. Add 1 egg at a time
& beat; then add milk & extract – beat
again. In separate medium bowl whisk
flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
& allspice. Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Fold in peaches & nuts – scrape into
prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean & top bounces back
when touched. (If you take it out too
early the center will sink as it cools).

While bread is baking, puree 1 peach using
an immersion blender (or put in a blender
& puree) – puree just until peach is in small
pieces, about rice sized. In a medium bowl
mix powdered sugar with melted butter &
extract then add in pureed peach. If mixture
is too runny, add more powdered sugar-it
should pour out of bowl when tipped but
not be watery.
Cool bread on a wire rack until room temp
then cover with half the glaze. Dust top
with powdered sugar.

To serve:
Slice loaf into 8, 10 or 12 slices then top
each piece with remaining glaze as you
serve. Makes 1 loaf


Roasted Zucchini in Oven

1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into
chunks (poster doesn’t peel hers)
2 large carrots, scraped & cut into
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
1 onion, quartered (optional)
3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter, melted (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cover a large baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large microwave bowl place
potatoes & carrots – microwave on
HIgh 5 minutes. In another large
bowl whisk together olive oil, melted
butter, garlic powder, basil, bl. pepper &
salt. Add microwaved potatoes & carrots,
zucchini, onion & sausage to olive oil
mixture & toss to coat. Spread all veggies
on baking sheet & bake 25-30 minutes.
Serves 6-8.


Dill Pickle, Bacon, Ranch Pasta Salad

12 oz. pasta, cooked al dente, drained/
1 lb. thick-cut hickory smoked bacon,
cooked crisp & cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. diced red onion
1 (16 oz) jar dill pickles, diced – reserve
2 T. pickle juice
1 (7 oz) bag (1 1/2 C.) Italian mix large-
shred cheese (poster used Sargento
4-cheese Italian)
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
2 T. pickle juice (that you reserved)

In large bowl combine cooked/cooled pasta,
bacon, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, diced/
drained pickles, Italian cheese blend & Parmesan
cheese – toss well.
In a 2-Cup measuring cup measure out 1 1/2 C.
Ranch dressing & stir in the 2 T. pickle juice –
stir well then pour over past mixture – toss
to combine. Cover, chill then serve.
Serves 10-12


Tomato/Zucchini/Mozzarella Bake

2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
1 large tomato, cut into 1″ cubes
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh parsley
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Bread crumb topping:
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/4 C. Panko (Japanese-style) bread
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a casserole dish (11″ X 8″)
or similar size with nonstick
cooking spray & layer zucchini slices,
tomato chunks, parsley, salt/pepper.
Add shredded mozz. cheese.
Prepare topping:

In a bowl add all topping ingredients
& stir until well combined. Sprinkle
topping over casserole. Cover with foil
& bake 30 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10 minutes so topping
can brown. Serves 4


Baked Lemon Pepper Garlic Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C. butter (1 stick), melted
2 heaping T. minced garlic
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. fresh ground Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. thyme (important)
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 13″ baking dish
& place in oven to melt butter. Add garlic,
thyme & lemon juice – mix well. In
a large ziplock bag mix bread
crumbs & Parmesan – place chicken
in bag & shake to coat (save extra
crumbs). Add garlic, thyme & lemon
juice to melted butter & mix well.
Lay each chicken breast in prepared
baking dish with melted butter. Turn
chicken over to coat both sides with
melted butter then place in bag to
bread again. Place chicken in baking
dish & sprinkle tops with any leftover
breading. Sprinkle some lemon pepper
on top. Bake 40 minutes. Spoon some
of liquid from pan over top of cooked
chicken. Serves 4


Sheet Pan Taco Nachos

Taco Meat:
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. taco seasoning (dry)
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican-stewed
tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 tsp. sugar

1 (11 oz) bag tortilla chips
3-4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pint grape (or cherry) tomatoes,
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro

Creamy Drizzle:
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. taco seasoning
1 T. lime juice (bottled is fine)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat – add gr. beef, onions, garlic,
salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Cook until
meat is browned & onions are translucent.
(Drain) Add stewed tomatoes & sugar; stir &
reduce heat to simmer – cook 5-10 minutes.
Line 2 sheet pans with foil & spray each with
nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of tortilla
chips into each pan & divide meat & cheese
equally into pans, sprinkling over chips. Bake
3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
While cheese is melting, combine all Drizzle
ingredients & mix until smooth.
When pans are cooked, sprinkle tops with
sliced tomatoes, gr. onions & cilantro. Drizzle
creamy sauce over top & serve immediately.
Serves 6-8


Fresh Blueberry Pie

3 C. blueberries
1 T. butter
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 C. water
1 C. sugar
1 dash salt
1 (9 inch) pie crust

Sweetened whipped cream –
optional garnish

In a saucepan bring 1 C. blueberries
& water to a boil – boil gently 4 minutes.
Add butter & stir in sugar, cornstarch &
salt. Cook slowly, stirring, until thick &
clear. Remove from heat & add lemon
juice. Pour mixture over remaining 2
C. blueberries in medium bowl, stir
gently to combine – pour mixture into
pie crust. Serve chilled or at room
temperature with a dollop of sweetened
whipped cream. Makes 1 pie



Our weather has been nice for August: in the 70-80’s
with some rain, but usually at night. Today I went out
shopping and it was (only) 70 but sunny – made me
think of the fact that pretty soon we will be getting
out our sweaters and light jackets – Fall is on the way
(sigh). I can also tell that by looking at my calendar:
the days are rapidly being filled in with events; fun
events in most cases, but more ‘things to do’.

Hope you are enjoying these last fleeting days of
warm weather. Remember to get a little rest or
do something nice for yourself (like a cup of coffee
you usually wouldn’t get, or a muffin, or buy that
book you’ve been looking at – you get my drift).
(I stopped by Tim Horton’s yesterday before the
marathon sitting job & got myself a “Triple Berry
Explosion” muffin which had been recommended
to me by one of their ladies the last time I was
there ordering (my favorite) blueberry muffin –
she said: “You really should try this one – it’s
FULL of different berry flavors!” – so I did. It was
moist & tasty but I still like blueberry best!

Enjoy your day;



PS: Our gas prices (for regular) have been hovering at
$2.69/$2.79 for weeks. Fortunately I had KROGER GAS
POINTS, so got 30 cents off per gallon today (from $2.79/9
down to $2.49.9 -YAY!)




It’s been a rather quiet week – only babysitting today for a few hours (or so I thought . . . ). I’m due at 2 today (until around 6) but got a text asking if I can do it again tomorrow from around 10:30 – 3/4/6? Oldest son (the chef) is in the middle of launching another Hilton restaurant in Lansing so he’s drawn to working lots of extra hours (it’s a 1 1/2 hr. drive from his house to Lansing). Looks like I’ll be taking a LOT of knitting with me both days . . . sigh. Am nearing the end of the yellow baby blanket and am STILL vacillating over my next blanket/project. I have lots of different colors of baby yarns – one minute I want to do a various granny squares blanket, the next something different – who knows? (Not even ME at this point!)


No-Bake Choc. Chip Cannoli Cheesecake

1 (4 oz) pkg. cannoli shells
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C. butter, melted


2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum extract
1/2 C. miniature semisweet chocolate
chips (can use regular chips, coarsely
chopped pistachios, optional

Spray a 9 inch pie plate with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place cannoli shells in food processor &
pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add sugar,
cracker crumbs & melted butter – pulse
just until combined. Press mixture onto
bottom & sides of prepared plate –
refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.


Beat first 4 ingredients in a bowl until
blended. Beat in ricotta cheese & extracts.
Stir in chocolate chips & spread into crust.
Refrigerate, covered, until set – about 4
hours. (if desired, top with chopped
pistachios). Serves 8

NOTE: Pistachios are classic in cannoli but
if you don’t have them you can still top
pie with additional crumbled cannoli
shells or chocolate shavings.


Orzo w/Spinach, Mushrooms &

1 C. uncooked orzo pasta (about
8 oz)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet orange pepper,
1 medium sweet red pepper,
1 medium sweet yellow pepper,
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. fresh baby spinach
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook orzo accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. In large
skillet, heat oil over medium-high
heat. Saute peppers & mushrooms
until tender. Add garlic & seasonings;
cook & stir 1 minute. Stir in spinach
until wilted. Stir in cooked orzo &
cheese; heat through. Serves 6


Backwoods Pork Chops & River Gravy

1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut pork chops
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. buttermilk
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
3/4 C. milk

In small bowl combine garlic & onion
powders, 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper. Rub
seasoning mixture evenly on both
sides of chops. Reserve 1 T. flour &
set aside. Place remaining flour in a
shallow dish. In another shallow dish
combine buttermilk & cayenne pepper.
Dip chops in buttermilk then coat
both sides in flour. In large skillet over
medium heat, heat oil. Add chops &
cook 5 minutes on each side until
golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk
reserved flour into milk; add remaining
salt & cook in skillet until thickened &
bubbly, stirring constantly. Serve
immediately with chops. Serves 4


Chicken & Swiss Casserole

5 1/2 C. uncooked egg noodles
(about 1/2 lb)
3 T. olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C. flour
2 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5 C. cooked,cubed rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 C. frozen peas
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. In large skillet
heat oil over medium heat. Cook
shallots & garlic, stirring, 45 seconds.
Stir in flour – cook & stir 1 minute.
Add broth, milk, thyme, lemon zest,
salt, nutmeg & pepper. Stir in chicken
& peas -heat through. Stir in noodles &
cheese. Transfer mixture to prepared
dish. In small bowl mix bread crumbs &
butter; sprinkle over top & bake 8-10
minutes until top is browned. Serves 8


Crockpot Sweet & Sour Shrimp

1 (6 oz) pkg. frozen Chinese pea pods
1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits or chunks*
2 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
1 C. chicken stock
*1/2 C. reserved pineapple juice
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 (16 oz) bag frozen cooked shrimp
(medium or large)
2 T. cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 C. cooked rice, for serving
Place pea pods in a colander & run cold
water over them until thawed enough
to easily separate. Drain pineapple juice
& reserve 1/2 C. of juice. Place pea pods
& drained pineapple into crockpot. In a
small saucepan combine cornstarch &
sugar-stir to blend. Add chicken stock,
reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce &
ginger – bring to a boil over high heat.
Cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly;
sauce should be thick & clear. Pour sauce
over pea pods & pineapple – stir gently
to blend. Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Add thawed, cooked shrimp & cook 15-20
minutes longer until hot. Add vinegar &
stir gently. Serve with hot cooked rice.
Serves 3-4


Crockpot Crustless Pizza

2 lb. ground beef
garlic salt – to taste
black pepper – to taste
dried minced onion – to taste
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
2 C. shredded pizza-blend cheese

your favorite pizza toppings

In a skillet brown beef & seasonings
over medium-high heat; drain. Place
cooked meat & mozzarella in a bowl &
mix well. Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Evenly spread
meat mixture in crockpot & pour pizza
sauce over top – spread evenly. Top with
pizza-blend cheese & any toppings you
may want. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Serves 10

(adapted from Gooseberrypatch recipe)


Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. sour cream
1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan liberally with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
mix all ingredients except berries –
add berries last, fold in gently.
Pour batter into prepared pan &
spread to even top. Bake 55
minutes or until center is firm.
Let cool 10 minutes then turn
onto a platter. Glaze if desired.

2 T. melted butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice

Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl &
drizzle glaze across top of cake.


You can tell we FINALLY have Spring in Michigan-
they are selling flowers for planting! I bought a
really nice, big hanging basket geranium today
at Krogers – it’s a multi-color: bright pink with
a darker pink center – very nice. It’s in the 50’s
today & overcast/sprinkling – looking at the
upcoming week – highest temp. is 62 degrees F.
Oh well . . . and mostly raining.

Mother’s Day is Sunday so hope you have something
planned. I never know, year to year, what’s up. Usually
my oldest son decides to take me (and his girlfriend/
mother of our youngest grandson) out to lunch so
I have that to look forward to sometime soon.

Hope you are in good health and able to see
some SUNSHINE to cheer you up!




PS: Gas prices jumping back & forth from $2.69/9 & $2.79/9 lately


It’s AFTER EASTER recipes time!

We had our family celebration on Monday – as usual, lots of food. I made two of the recipes I featured in my last post: the Layered Lemon Pie (it was good, just a little too sweet for me) and the Strawberries & Cream dessert (they called it a salad). THAT was good – I ended up putting the fresh chopped strawberries into the salad (instead of stirring them in at the last moment) – it was fine. I will say: Mixing up gelled Jell-0 using a potato masher was a new experience! It’s sticky and tends to NOT want to be mashed – different (but it came out just fine).

Along with our celebration was taking my husband for oral surgery that morning for a tooth extraction – he did just fine. I made him a big bowl of mashed potatoes and he was happy. Ah, LIFE: it throws you curve balls and you just have to adjust, right?


Crockpot Navy Bean Vegetable
  (uses leftover ham)

4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. cubed fully cooked ham
1 1/2 C. dried navy beans
1 (Knorr) envelope vegetable
recipe mix
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 C. water

In crockpot combine first 9 ingredients.
Stir in water; cover & cook on Low
9-10 hours until beans are tender.
Discard bay leaf.
Serves 12 (makes 3 quarts)


Crockpot Farmer’s Breakfast

9 large eggs
3/4 C. ricotta cheese
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried dill
5 slices bacon, sliced/cooked
1 C. diced ham
16 oz. Colby-Jack cheese, divided*
2 tomatoes, sliced

*Divide cheese by cubing 2/3rds
of it & grating the rest (save grated
for end of cooking time).
In large bowl add eggs, ricotta, salt/
pepper, dill & thyme – whisk until
smooth (some chunks of ricotta are
fine). Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Add cubed
cheese, bacon & ham to crockpot.
Whisk egg mixture one more time
to get it combined again then pour
over ham/bacon/cheese in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 hours. If
there is any liquid on top of casserole,
blot with a paper towel. Add remaining
cheese; cover & cook 5-10 minutes longer.
Serve with sliced tomatoes on top.
Serves 8


Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet
(using leftover ham)

8 oz. uncooked medium
egg noodles (about 5 C.)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. butter
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
soup, undiluted
1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 C. cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 C. water
minced fresh parsley

Cook noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Sprinkle chicken
with pepper. In large cast-iron skillet
or other heavy skillet, heat butter
over medium-high heat. Saute chicken
just until browned, 3-5 minutes. Stir
in soup, cheese, ham & water – cook,
covered, over medium heat until cheese
is melted & chicken is no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir
in noodles. Sprinkle top with parsley
& serve. Serves 4

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
(uses leftover ham)

2 lb. potatoes, peeled/thinly sliced
(about 6 C.)
1 large onion, halved & thinly sliced
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. milk
4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
4 C. fresh small broccoli florets
3 C. cubed fully cooked ham
2 T. minced fresh chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray

Place potatoes, onion & water in a
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave,
covered, on High until potatoes are
almost tender 8-10 minutes; drain. In
small saucepan melt butter over medium
heat. Stir in flour & seasonings until
smooth – cook & stir until lightly
browned, 2-3 minutes. Gradually whisk
in milk & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Cook & stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in 3 C. cheese until melted – remove
from heat. Layer potato mixture, broccoli &
ham in prepared dish. Pour sauce over top &
sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover &
bake 45 minutes. Uncover & bake until
potatoes are tender, 25-30 minutes longer.
Sprinkle top with chives & let stand 10
minutes before serving. Serves 12


Crescent Ham Rolls

1 (8 oz) tube Pillsbury crescent rolls
honey mustard or mayonnaise
horseradish spread
6 slices cooked ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray & open crescent rolls –
spread rolls out on sheet Spread some
honey mustard (or mayo) over rolls;
spread some horseradish sauce on top.
Add ham & cheese slices. Roll into a
large roll from smaller end. Cut into
segments & lay flat on prepared
baking sheet. In a bowl combine melted
butter & garlic powder: brush over tops
of rolls. Bake 12-15 minutes until rolls
are brown on top.


Ham, Apple, Cheese Quiche

1 (9 inch) pie shell, unbaked
1 1/2 C. chopped, cooked ham
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped apples*
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(or whatever cheese you like)
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. Dijon or spicy brown mustard
2 tsp. flour
1/2 C. evaporated milk (or regular milk)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine ham, onion & chopped
apples – spread in pie crust. Sprinkle
top with cheese. In a bowl, mix
sour cream, mustard, flour, milk, eggs,
salt & pepper until smooth – pour over
ham mixture. Bake 50-55 minutes
(You can sprinkle on extra cheese during
the last 10 minutes of baking time if you
like.) Makes 1 (9 inch) quiche.

*Poster didn’t peel- used Red Delicious


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Dump Cake

1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 3/4 C. milk
1 box chocolate or devils food
cake mix (regular size)
6 (1 1/2 oz, ea) pkgs. peanut butter
cups, chopped
3/4 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped unsalted peanuts

vanilla ice cream or sweetened, whipped
cream, optional toppings

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl,
combine pudding mix & milk until
blended. Stir in cake mix (batter will
be thick). Fold in peanut butter cups,
peanut butter & chocolate chips –
spread into prepared pan & sprinkle
top with peanuts. Bake 20-25 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out with moist crumbs. Cool
completely in pan on a wire rack.
Cut into bars & serve with optional
toppings. Serves 15



Our weather is FINALLY SPRING-like!
There are daffodils & narcissus blooming,
lots of birds singing and wonderful
blue skies with big, fluffy white clouds.
Today it’s 56 degrees F. with a high expected
of 63, so it’s a really nice (wear a light sweater
or jacket) kind of day. Later today is my older
grandson’s track meet AND baseball game.
Normally I would not be free on a Wednesday
evening but this week my special needs group
is taking off for Easter soooooo I might get to
go! Since my husband is (kind of) still recovering
from the oral surgery, we will (maybe) go to the
baseball game (husband doesn’t like track) – that’s
at 6 p.m. My son already informed me they will
be a little late getting to the game, as there’s
some distance from the track meet to the baseball
game – we’ll see how it goes.

Our gas prices keep jumping around lately;
Monday I stopped to get gas early (around 8:30 a.m.)
and was able to get regular for $2.69/9 – later on,
driving back home, it jumped to $2.79/9. Today
I noticed it’s up to $2.89/9! Glad I have a full tank!

Hope you’re having a great week so far and that
your Easter celebrations went very well.




PS: Just found MORE recipes using leftover ham

so will be posting those soon.