Thoughts on a Tuesday

I know it’s right around the corner – saw two really FAT robins Sunday (here in Michigan that’s usually our first signs of Spring). The weather is still chilly – going from the 20’s when I wake up into the 40’s during the day – some days ahead show rain but that’s MUCH better than snow! I keep peaking out my kitchen window to see if there are any signs of crocus popping up – none so far.


Cake Mix Cookies

1 (15.25 oz) box lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Optional Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In large bowl using elec. mixer
add all ingredients & beat on medium
speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Using 2 spoons, drop cookie dough
into 12 heaping tablespoons, about
1 1/2 inches apart on each sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes until tops look dry &
don’t wiggle when sheet is shaken. Let
cool 5 minutes before transferring to a
wire rack. While cookies cool, make

In medium bowl whisk together powdered
sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. If you would
like a thinner glaze, add additional lemon
juice, 1 T. at a time (for less lemon flavor,
use water or milk). If you would want a
thicker glaze, add lemon zest. Drizzle on
cooled cookies & allow to harden 10-15
minutes. Makes 24 cookies


Poppy Seed Chicken

5 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 C. sour cream
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken
2 C. crushed butter crackers (about
1 1/2 tubes)
1/2 C. melted butter
1 T. poppy seeds
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cooked rice to serve 4 – if desired-
see end of recipe
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
*Boil raw chicken breasts 20 minutes;
let cool slightly & cut into 1 inch cubes.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray – place chicken cubes in dish.
In medium bowl stir condensed soup & sour
cream. Add Worc. sauce, celery salt, garlic,
lemon juice & pepper – stir well & pour over
chicken & spread evenly. In separate bowl, stir
crushed crackers, poppy seeds & melted butter –
sprinkle over chicken & sauce. Bake 30 minutes
until top of casserole is browned & sauce is
bubbly. Serve plain or over cooked rice.
Serves 4


Hungry Man Breakfast Burritos
(buffet style)

2 dozen eggs
splash of milk
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (32 oz) bag Southern potatoes
5 T. butter
8-10 large burrito-style tortillas

diced ham
cooked/crumbled bacon
cheese (your choice, shredded)
sour cream
BBQ sauce
maple syrup

Place all eggs in large bowl – add splash
of milk & a little salt/pepper – whisk
until froth. Heat a large skillet over
medium-high heat – spray with nonstick
cooking spray & pour eggs in. While eggs
are cooking, scrape bottom of pan using
a spatula until eggs are cooked through.
While eggs are cooking heat another large
skillet & add butter – once melted, pour
hash browns into pan & cook, stirring,
until golden brown. Heat tortillas in a
microwave (OR) wrap in foil & heat in
oven until heated through & warm.
Place on serving counter: tortillas,
eggs & toppings – serve buffet style
Serves 8


Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts
(about 2 large)
1 (14 oz) can enchilada sauce
6 medium corn tortillas*
3 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cut each chicken breast into about 3
pieces & place in a small pot. Pour
Enchilada sauce over & cook, covered,
on Low to medium heat until chicken is
cooked through, about 20 minutes. (No
water is needed, chicken will cook in sauce)
Make sure you stir occasionally so it doesn’t
stick to bottom. Remove chicken from pot &
shred using 2 forks.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Place 1/4 C. leftover Enchil. sauce
in bottom of a baking dish** – poster
used longer dish so she could place
2 tortillas across. Place 2 tortillas on
bottom, top with 1/3 of chicken &
1/3 of remaining sauce. Sprinkle with
1/3 of cheese & repeat starting with
2 more tortillas, chicken, sauce, cheese –
repeat with last layer ending with cheese.
Bake 20-30  minutes uncovered, until
bubbly & cheese has melted & started
to brown on top. Serve warm.
Serves 6

* poster used corn tortillas but Flour
work, also. Some people mentioned that
flour turned out a bit soggier than corn.

**Poster used a 5 & 7″ casserole dish
but said a 9 X 13″ or 8 X 8″ works as well


Crockpot Green Beans & Bacon

12 oz. center-cut bacon
29 oz. canned green beans*
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. brown sugar

In a sauce pan heat bacon & onion just
until bacon is cooked (do not brown).
Drain green beans & pour into 5 qt or
larger crockpot. Add bacon, onion &
bacon drippings on top of green beans.
Add brown sugar & maple syrup – stir
well. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or
High 4-5 hours. Serves 10

NOTE: *Can use fresh or frozen green


Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 qts. chicken stock
meat from 1 chicken (rotisserie)
16 white or yellow corn tortillas
1 T. olive oil
2 T. vegetable oil
2 C. diced onion
2-3 T. jalapeno, diced (depending
on how hot you like it)
2 T. fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. gumbo file powder (optional,
but recommended)
1 (14.75 oz.) can creamed corn
1 (7 oz) can diced mild green chiles
2-4 T. yellow corn meal (see note)
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, drained
few shakes Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Topping Options:

lime wedges
Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
chopped cilantro
Tortilla strips (see note)
Sliced fresh avocado
sliced scallions
sour cream
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Lay out 16 corn tortillas on cutting board
& slice into thin strips – spread out on sheet
pan & coat with a drizzle of olive oil just
to moisten. Bake 20 minutes, tossing every
5 minutes (If getting too brown, remove before
the 20 minutes is up). Separate 1/4th of strips
as a garnish for serving – place remaining aside
for later.

In a 5-6 qt. heavy bottomed soup pot or Dutch
oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Once
hot, add onions, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, coriander,
white pepper & (if using) gumbo file. Saute & stir
5 minutes. Add stock, creamed corn, diced green
chiles, cooked tortilla strips from earlier & corn
meal*. Bring to boil then lower to simmer &
cook 5 minutes. While soup is simmering, drain
canned tomatoes & discard liquid. After 5 minutes
puree soup using an immersion blender or regular
blender (in batches) until smooth. Check for
thickness – if you want it thicker, add more corn-
meal. If too thick, dilute with more stock or water.
When adding corn meal, it needs 5 minutes of
cooking to bloom & thicken the soup so don’t
add too much at once. Add drained tomatoes &
Worcs. sauce & taste – only add more salt if you
think it needs it. Serve immediately with any
of the suggested toppings. Serves 8-12

* If you use 2 T. cornmeal, the finished soup
will be creamy in consistency & easily drip from a
spoon. 4 T. will make finished soup thick, almost
like a porridge. Start with 2 T.


Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 (16.5 oz) box devil’s food cake mix
1 (48 oz) container mint chocolate
chip ice cream, softened
sprinkles (optional)

Whipped Topping:
1 C. heavy whipping cream
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
(green food coloring – optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake
liners. Prepare and bake cupcakes
accordg to pkg. directions – cool
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper;
place in freezer. Using a spoon, remove
centers from cupcakes, leaving bottoms
intact. Crumble removed pieces in a bowl.

Working in batches of 4, dollop a small
scoop of ice cream into each center, then
place on cookie sheet in freezer. Cover
with plastic wrap & freeze at least 4 hours.

In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk cold whipping
cream, sugar, vanilla & food coloring (if using)
on High speed until stiff peaks form, about
1 minute. Place whipped topping in a zip-lock
bag. Snip bottom corner then use bag to
pipe topping onto cupcakes. Sprinkle tops
with crumbled cake & sprinkles (if using).
Serve immediately & freeze any leftovers.
Makes 24


There are times in our lives when we are
faced with our own mortality – having breast
cancer 8 years ago did that for me. At that
time I met a young lady who, also, was going
through the same thing – except hers was
much more serious/aggressive. She beat it,
met a young man, married and had a handsome
little son who is around 2 1/2 now. About
2 years ago she, again, contracted cancer (I didn’t
know about it at that time) but this time it was
brain cancer. About 2 weeks ago she finished her
final radiation treatment and we were hopeful;
but her body was just not strong enough and she
passed away yesterday – she was 34. She was a
very strong example of how to go through a very
difficult situation with grace; she was a believer
and her faith held her when her physical strength
could not. All during this time she and her Mom
posted many family photos on Facebook – each one
with the title: “Making Memories” – somehow I
think she knew her life would be short and yet
she wanted to make the most of it with all of
her loved ones – and she did that. Her brother
is a very close friend of my oldest son and her
Mom and my husband used to work together
at the telephone company many years ago so
we know the whole family. She will be greatly
missed but she certainly made a legacy of
her life and how to go through adversity with
grace and faith.

Hoping you have a good day;



“Just Can’t Win” type of day – sigh


It’s been one of those ‘ya just can’t win’ days so far. This morning I went to church wearing a skirt I hadn’t worn in a long time; I noticed when putting it on that it seemed a bit loose, but knew I’d lost about 6 lb. so just thought it was that. Today was my day to bring our Sunday School class snacks; husband was graciously coming in after me carrying the snacks. I came in the door carrying both of our Bibles & notebooks and my purse. I greeted our door guy and then raised my arms to put the Bibles/etc. up on the coat rack – you guessed it: Foomp! My skirt hit the floor! Super embarrassed but happy to have my trench coat on, I made a beeline to the Ladies bathroom for adjustments. Lucky for my a friend came in right after me and saw me digging in my purse for a safety pin (I didn’t have any) – she went back to her class and returned with a nice big one. Here’s where I get the ‘dumb’ award – I decided to go hang up my coat FIRST, then fix the skirt. Again – you guessed it: reached up my arms to hang up the coat and FOOMP! Skirt hit the floor AGAIN! THIS time I didn’t have the coat to cover up the ‘error’! I had just finished telling the doorman what had happened earlier and he had replied: “My wife has had that happen, too” when the skirt fell; SO GLAd I wore a slip! He graciously quickly averted his eyes while I scooped up the skirt and ran (AGAIN) to the bathroom. Let’s just say I learned a lesson: ALWAYS carry safety pins and, if you think it might be ‘loose’ – FIX IT AT HOME! While putting on my lipstick at home I accidentally dropped it; was happy to see that it only hit the counter, not me . . . until later at church a friend said: “HEY, you’ve got something here on your blouse” – yep, a smear of lipstick (I was too busy this morning rushing to have had an ‘extra’ glance in the mirror). Decided to wear my hair different today (just bought a new bun-holder type thingie) so I tried it out yesterday and it worked like a charm. Today, however, with my hair all bright, shiny & clean, it didn’t hold all that well – almost came down a good 2-3 times – sign . . . . JUST NOT MY DAY!  I guess, if it all comes down, I’m very glad the skirt didn’t do that while I was walking up the 3 steps to the choir loft – that way the entire church would have seen my embarrassment! There’s always a good side to each tail of woe – or at least that’s how I see it, anyway!


Creamy Raisin Rice Pudding

1 C. instant rice
1/4 C. raisins
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/3 C. milk
2 1/4 T. butter or margarine
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. vanilla
nutmeg, as needed
cinnamon, as needed
1 C. water
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine rice, water & salt in
3 quart saucepan; bring to a
vigorous boil. Reduce heat, cover
& simmer until all water is absorbed,
about 3 minutes. Combine sugar &
cornstarch; add milk, sugar mixture &
raisins to rice. Heat to boiling; boil
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat; stir in butter & vanilla. Slowly
stir about 1 C. hot rice mixture into egg
yolks in a bowl. Stir in remaining
mixture into saucepan; cover & cook
over medium heat, stirring frequently,
just until mixture starts to bubble. Remove
from heat & serve warm or chilled. Garnish
with cinnamon & nutmeg. Serves 6


Crockpot Apple Pie

8 tart apples, peeled/sliced
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. milk
2 T. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. Bisquick*
1 C. Bisquick*
1/3 C. brown sugar
3 T. cold butter

In large bowl, toss apples with
spices; place in greased crockpot.
Combine milk, soft butter, eggs,
sugar, vanilla & 1/2 C. Bisquick;
spoon over apples. Combine 1
C. Bisquick & brown sugar. Using
a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into
mixture & combine until crumbly.
Sprinkle over apple mixture. Cover
& cook on Low 6-7 hours or until
apples softened. Serves 12

*If you don’t have Bisquick:
you can substitute
1 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. shortening/oil or melted butter
(Makes 1 Cup Bisquick equivalent)


Panera’s Cream Cheese Potato

4 C. chicken broth
4 C. peeled & cubed potatoes
1/4 C. minced onion
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
cut into chunks

Combine broth, potatoes, onion &
spices in pot; boil on medium
heat until potatoes are tender.
Smash a few of the potatoes to
release their starch for thickening.
Reduce heat to low; add cream
cheese & heat, stirring frequently,
until cheese melts.
Serves 4-6


Crustless Pizza

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese


1/2 C. pizza sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese


pepperoni, chopped ham, sliced
mushrooms, chopped green/red
peppers, garlic powder, sliced olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13 baking dish with
nonstick spray. In a bowl using an elec.
mixer, combine cream cheese, eggs, pepper,
garlic powder & Parm cheese; mix until
combined. Spread into bottom of baking
dish & bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Allow crust to cool 10 minutes.
Spread pizza sauce on crust; top with
cheese & toppings. Sprinkle with garlic
powder & bake 8-10 minutes longer
until cheese is melted.

Pumpkin Cookies w/Caramel Frosting

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1 tsp. milk
1 large egg
1 C. pumpkin puree (canned)
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer, beat sugar & oil;
add egg, milk, canned pumpkin &
vanilla – blend well. In separate
bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to wet & mix,
just until incorporated. Drop
batter by spoonfuls onto a greased
cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool before frosting.

Caramel Frosting:

3 T. butter
1/4 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
pinch salt
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine butter,
cream, brown sugar & salt; cook over
medium heat, stirring constantly, until
mixture comes to a boil. Remove from
heat & stir in vanilla & 1 C. powdered
sugar. Let frosting cool to room temper-
ature then stir in enough additional
powdered sugar to make a good
frosting consistency (You may not use
the entire extra cup). Spread frosting
over cooled cookies. Makes 24


Lasagna Alfredo Roll-ups

11 lasagna noodles*
2 1/2 C. Alfredo sauce
2 C. cooked chicken, shredded
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
dash oregano
dash garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8″ X 8″ pan with nonstick
spray. Pour 1/2 C. Alfredo sauce to
just cover bottom of pah. Boil 8-10
C. water in large pot; cook noodles
until al dente (*2 extra noodles, just
in case they break). Drain & rinse
noodles with cold water to prevent
them from sticking to each other. Lay
out each noodle individually & blot
dry with paper towel. Spread about
2 t. Alfredo sauce over each noodle.
(if there is too much sauce, it will make
a big mess). Sprinkle oregano & garlic
powder on top of sauce. Spread out
1/9th of shredded chicken evenly over
each noodle. Add approx. 3 T. to each
noodle. To roll up: Start at one end &
roll noodle over toppings. You will
need to life the noodle a little to
prevent squishing out the sides while
rolling. Place rolls in prepared pan, seam-
sides down. Pour remaining Alfredo
sauce over top then top with remaining
cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until the
cheese is completely melted. Serves 3,
3 roll-ups each.


Cheesy Bruschetta Dip

1 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In bowl beat cream cheese with elec.
mixer until creamy. Stir in Mozz. cheese,
mayonnaise, garlic & tomatoes, mix until
well combined. Spread into a glass pie
plate or 8″ X 8″ dish sprayed with non-
stick spray. Bake 16-18 minutes or until
top is golden brown.


Crockpot Chicken Marsala

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C. flour
3 T. olive oil
2 oz. prosciutto (or bacon)
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
1/3 C. dry marsala wine (or
chicken broth)
1/3 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley

Place flour in shallow bowl &
season with salt & pepper. Coat
chicken evenly with mixture,
shaking off excess. Heat olive
oil in a large skillet over medium
heat; brown chicken on both
sides (work in batches to not
over-crowd chicken); transfer
chicken to crockpot once
browned. In same skillet place
another 1 T. olive oil & prosciutto
until it becomes crisp; remove
onto paper towels. Add mushrooms
to skillet & cook until they become
brown; once brown stir in wine &
broth, scraping up browned bits
stuck to pan. Pour mushroom sauce
over chicken in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low about 4 hours. Top
with cooked crumbled prosciutto &
chopped parsley. Serves 4


Cinnamon Pear Cake

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. milk
1 pear, cut into rough chunks
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9″ round baking pan;
set aside. In measuring bowl with
paddle attachment, cream softened
butter with sugar until light & fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well
after each addition. Stir in vanilla;
add flour mixed with baking powder,
salt & cinnamon, alternately with the
milk. Beat until just combined; spread
batter evenly into prepared pan. Top
with pear chunks. Bake 45 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into middle comes
out clean. Let cake cool completely in
pan. Once cooled, remove & top with
Cool Whip. Dust top with cinnamon,
if desired. Serves 8-10


Spiced Oven-Baked Potatoes & Carrots

10 medium potatoes (skin on)
1 small bag baby carrots
1 T. parsley
1 T. cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 T. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. white pepper
1/4 C. olive oil (you might need
less – just enough to coat everything)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking pan with foil. Wash &
cube potatoes to bite-sized pieces; add
to large bowl. Add oil, spices & herbs to
bowl; toss to coat evenly; spread onto
prepared foiled pan. Bake 30-40 minutes
until golden. Halfway through cooking,
use spatula to turn veggies over so they
cook evenly. Check after 30 minutes if
done. Serves 6

NOTE: You can also pre-cook this & wrap
in a foil parcel. Place on grill until ready
for serving.


Our weather is still cooperating (sort of): it’s
29 degrees F., windy & chilly but still no
sticking snow (just a few tiny ‘dandruff’-
like flurries – nothing to worry about).

Gas Prices: I love the ‘variety’ some days:
a few days ago my local Clark station had
their lowest gas at $2.96/9 and I filled up.
Yesterday it was $2.99/9 and passing it
on the way to church today it’s now
$2.91/9 – go figure! (as long as it stays
under $3 – $4, I’m happy!)

Try to say warm and comfy – I’m going to
go read for awhile before going back to
church for choir practice and evening



Published in: on November 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Look who came to visit!


Baby bunny in front yard!

Lately I’ve been a bit concerned about our ‘bunny population’ – every year we have two rabbits who make their home in our ‘briar patch’ in the backyard (wild black raspberry bushes) and we usually see their offspring in mid summer. This year we saw the rabbits, but then we spotted a big, mangy UGLY cat lying on our picnic table and began to suspect where our rabbits went. Haven’t seen a rabbit in about 2 weeks – until today! Husband got back home from a quick doctor’s office (routine) visit, came in and said; “COME HERE – YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS!” Here was this BABY bunny – he was on the grass about 3 feet from my van – husband walked right by him and he didn’t move! I ran & got my camera,  still he didn’t move, only munched on clover! Either he was totally scared or ONE VERY BRAVE BABY BUNNY! It just made me super happy to see him – even IF he was in the front yard instead of the back (our front yard, remember, is on a MAJOR highway – not very safe for animals, for sure!).

Woke up to rain and a wee thunderstorm last night – temperatures are cooler today (64 degrees F.) and cloudy/grey – good for staying home & knitting or reading a book! (I’m working my way through another ‘quilter’ book by Jennifer Chiaverini (she writes the Elm Creek Quilts series); no, I’m NOT a quilter (all thumbs when it comes to sewing) but I really enjoy the way she weaves a story. Very much like the Debbie Macomber knitting series about Blossom Street – both are very enjoyable reads. The book I’m reading now is a compilation of the first 3 books in the series, so it’s not only very thick, but VERY HEAVY! Still, I’m partial to reading a BOOK (as opposite reading a tablet – just sayin’).


Watermelon/Mozzarella Salad

3 C. cold watermelon bite-sized
balls or cubes
1 C. bite-sized fresh part-skim
mozzarella balls or cubes
2 T. honey
2 1/2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T. freshly chopped mint leaves
pinch salt
pinch crushed red pepper

Place watermelon & mozzarella in a
serving bowl. In separate bowl, whisk
together honey, lemon juice, chopped
mint, salt & crushed red pepper. Pour
dressing over melon & cheese/toss to
combine & serve immediately.
Serves 4


Crockpot Taco Dip

2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 (13 oz, ea) cans chili
2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 pkgs. Taco seasoning mix
2 T. chili powder
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Brown ground beef & onions;
drain. Add to crockpot with
remaining ingredients. Cook,
on Low, 2 hours or until
Velveeta is melted.

(recipe: Crockpotladies)

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 pkg. Devils Food Cake mix
1 can cherry pie fruit filling
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

2 C. sugar
8 T. butter
1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 15 X 10″ jelly roll
pan. Mix cake mix, cherry pie filling,
almond & eggs together; pour into
pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean. Boil sugar, butter & milk
in a saucepan 1 minute then add
chocolate chips; stir until chips
are melted then spread on warm


Summer Cherry Chicken

2 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken (leg quarters)
2 C. whole cherries pitted & chopped
1/4 C. sugar
1 small onion, halved/sliced
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste

Place chicken in crockpot; sprinkle
with spices. In a bowl mix cherries,
onions & sugar; mix & pour over
chicken. Cook on Low 7-9 hours or
High 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours.


Three Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

6 zucchini ( 3 1/2 lb)
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
3 arbol chilies, stemmed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

3 C. hot, cooked long-grain brown rice
if desired, as side dish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook zucchini in boiling water in
large saucepan 5-7 minutes or until
tender; drain, reserving 1 C. cooking
liquid; cool zucchini. Cut thin slice off
stem end of each zucchini; carefully
scoop out centers, leaving 1/4″ thick
shells. Chop removed zucchini; combine
with mozzarella & feta cheeses. Heat oil
in medium skillet over medium heat. Add
onions, chiles & garlic; cook & stir 3 minutes
or until onions are crisp-tender, remove
from heat. Add half onion mixture to
zucchini mixture; spoon into zucchini shells.
Place in greased 9 X 13 pan. Blend reserved
water, tomato sauce & remaining onion
mixture in blender until smooth; pour
over stuffed zucchini shells. Cover & bake
25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle tops with Parmesan & serve
with rice (if desired). Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crisp Refrigerator Pickles

1 C. white vinegar
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. water
1-2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
3 C. sliced cucumbers
3 small onions, thinly sliced

Place sliced cucumber & onions in a
large container or bowl*. In a separate
bowl, stir vinegar, sugar, water & salt
together until dissolved; add celery
seed. Pour mixture over cucumbers &
onions & refrigerate.
Makes about 6 Cups.

*in photo, mixture was put in a glass
canning jar.

Poster notes that they taste
best after 1-2 days in fridge. Keeps
for 2-3 months.


Grilled Asparagus

1/4 C. Balsamic vinaigrette
salad dressing
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears,
1 t. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Pour dressing over asparagus in
shallow dish; turn to evenly
coat asparagus with dressing.
Remove asparagus, reserving
dressing in dish. Grill asparagus
5 minutes or until crisp-tender,
turning & brushing occasionally
with reserved dressing. Serve
topped with cheese. Serves 4

Note: Thicker spears are better
for roasting or grilling; the bigger
the spears, the longer they take to
cook & the more grilled or roasted
flavor they will have.

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Spaghetti Casserole

1 envelope onion soup mix
1 pkg. angel hair pasta
1 1/2 qt. boiling water
1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 T. parsley flakes
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large saucepan, combine onion
soup mix & spaghetti with water;
cook until pasta is tender, DO NOT
DRAIN. In large skillet, brown meat,
stir in tomato sauce & paste, parsley
& basil; add to spaghetti; heat through.
Place in casserole dish; top with cheese &
bake 20 minutes. Serves 6


Tortellini/Sausage Soup

1 lb mild bulk Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves,minced

1 cup water
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp basil
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
8 oz frozen tortellini
1 cup chopped onion
5 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 tsp oregano
1 medium green pepper, chopped

Brown sausage and drain grease. Place sausage,
onions, garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, carrots,
and tomato sauce in slow cooker. Cover; cook on
LOW for 6 hours. Add basil, oregano, zucchini,
green pepper, and tortellini to slow cooker.
Cover; cook for another hour on HIGH or until
tortellini are done. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)

Skinny Shrimp Salsa

16 oz. cooked/peeled shrimp, diced fine
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced fine
6 T. red onion, diced fine
3 T. jalapenos, diced fine (more or less,
to taste)
2 T. minced cilantro
juice of 2 limes (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Combine onion, tomatoes, salt &
lime juice in a large non-reactive bowl;
let stand 5 minutes; add remaining
ingredients; taste for salt & adjust as
needed.Refrigerate to let flavors
combine at least 1 hour before serving.
Serves 8


Cake Mix Apple Cobbler

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling
6 T. butter, melted

Place pie filling in bottom of crockot.
Spread cake mix over top then spoon
butter onto cake mix; DO not mix.
Cook on High 4 hours.
VERY GOOD with vanilla ice cream!



Lately it’s been nice & quiet around here, so I’ve been
catching up on knitting; still have the rest of the ‘big ball’
of yarn before the (pain in the neck) baby afghan is done.
I like the way it looks, it’s just that (and I chose this pattern!)
it’s ‘fussy’ – every other row is constant counting of each
stitch – by the time you’ve done the four-row pattern, you’re
ready to put it down for a LONG time! I’m determined to get
it done before the Vet’s Baby shower delivery (hoping that’s
Sept 16th – still awaiting a solid date). Worked on my shawl
some – since it’s just knit & purl, it goes quickly AND since it’s
not due until NEXT June, I’m taking my sweet time on it. Knit
another baby hat yesterday, just to keep ‘in the loop’. I’ve
been ‘thinking’ about crocheting another baby blanket before
September – but, mind you – just ‘thinking’ at this stage. Yes,
I know – I’m NUTS! Don’t know WHY I like challenging myself
to get something done with a very short deadline – guess I
just like the thrill of the chase! Maybe . . .

Last night youngest son came home extremely frustrated –
it seems his (old) truck’s brakes totally failed just as he
was coming up our driveway (foot to the floor, no brakes)
and he ‘gently’ drove into the fence – no big deal, no dent
to truck or fence. He/WE have been pouring $$$ into this
vehicle ever since he got it; he still owes us $ for previous
repairs – I was at a quandary, so asked husband. He said:
Let’s just get it done – call a tow truck in the morning and
take it to Belle Tire and get it checked out – he needs the
vehicle and I need the peace.” End of story – Ah, the ‘fun’
of parenthood – right? (I was thinking, last night, of how
many times we’ve been this ‘route’ with the other two
sons and their vehicles – too many times to count. Life –
sometimes it’s struggling to keep your head above water
and others it’s maintaining the ‘dog paddle’ – either way,
it’s got to be done! Son was lamenting that it seems that
he never ‘gets a break’ so I gave him the ‘Mama’ story
about how I VERY WELL remember being VERY broke at
his age – at that time, I remember as a treat to myself,
attempting to save up enough $ to be able to buy a
Burger King Whopper – that was ALL I could afford, as a
treat! Back then (1969) Kraft Macaroni & cheese was
19 CENTS a box and I lived on the stuff – IF I had enough
$, it was made with milk, if not – water (not very tasty, but
I survived.) I was living with my best friend in a small
apartment and IF we had a little extra $, we added a
cooked, cut up hotdog to the mix – that was “LIVING!”
BUT – moral of the story: I SURVIVED JUST FINE!

Today is VOTING DAY in our area; husband & I are
going in a few minutes. It’s mostly local issues, but
I really want to vote on maintaining our Police/Fire
Millage. The way I see it: those guys put their lives
on the line EVERY DAY for us – we need to support
them any way we can.

Have a GREAT DAY! Remember to smile a little,
maybe listen to some music that makes you happy,
or just go take a nap! YOU are IMPORTANT –
remember that!

Big Hugs;


With Heavy Heart

The past few days have been sad and painful; Saturday I attended a Memorial Service for a friend who had been active in another special needs group; she had been paralyzed for most of her adult life but didn’t let that stop her. She & her husband were very active in various churches with children – great couple. She recently got cancer and was slowly growing weaker over the past few months. She will be greatly missed; there were over 80 people (by my estimation) at the service.

Last night I got a message that a very close friend’s husband was dying; he’d been ill for years – diabetes and then kidney failure/dialysis. He went, last Tuesday, to kidney dialysis and she was called to take him to the hospital, his dialysis port was clogged. They did the surgery to clear it; then back to dialysis. Port clogged again – back to hospital where they kept him. A third clot developed which broke into smaller pieces, some of those went to his lung. I received word today that he passed away at 2:20 a.m. I have known his wife for 45 years; I remember going through her first husband’s cancer and eventual death, with her. I also remember the almost giddy excitement when she told me she was going on a DATE with her (soon to be) second husband. Yesterday was their 40th wedding anniversary – rejoicing in their time together, saying goodbye to him after 40 years – how sad. I was in their wedding – photo below (I’m on the end/left in the big pink picture hat (bride’s choice – she also made the dresses!)


She’s a strong woman and has gone through a lot over the years, from raising her children alone (until meeting second husband) to caring for his health (and hers). She lives in a geodesic dome (looks like an upside down bowl) about 1 1/2 hours from me; I remember them planning on building a dome, then found the one they live in while out on a drive. She mentioned to me last night that she will be counting heavily on her (adult) children to help her get the house in order, to sell it; she will probably be moving back near me, perhaps living with her daughter. So much to do – so heavy a load to bear; yes, she’s been through it all before, but then we were all much younger. I love her dearly – we’ve been close for so long (I went on ‘all nights’ at the phone company simply because I loved her sense of humor and strength and wanted to get to know her better – here it is 45+ years later – amazing).

Cherish the people around you that you love – LET THEM KNOW you love them. Be the friend they need when they need to talk, dump, cry, or just spend time with. Whether a long time, or short – we need to CARE and LOVE those in our lives who mean so much to us.

Life is short – make every minute count. When it’s your time to go let others say of you: “They really CARED and I/we knew it.” When last I spoke to my friend last night, she handed the phone to another friend and I could hear her say: “She’s crying” – I didn’t want her to know that (and thought I disguised it well – guess not). I grieve for her husband, but more I grieve for my friend who has a long, difficult road to pass through. Better to let them know you love them than wish, later, you had.


Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 9:35 am  Comments (2)  

Gettin’ back to “normal” . . .


and no, it’s not a setting on my dryer! (small joke – get it?)


Our ‘in house company’ left yesterday, much to the relief of my entire family. His brother came to take over ‘responsibility’ and care until such time as said cousin’s wife decides to take over again. Life is not easy and sometimes it can be very difficult and unexpected. Going through this past experience reminded me of just how much the Lord works in our lives. Sunday night I was watching TV rather late and there was NOTHING good to watch; husband suggested I try the higher (cable) channels and I ended up stopping on a Catholic priest’s sermon on (of all things) “The Good Samaritan”. I had no idea, at that time, just how poignant that message would be to both my husband and myself. It was only after said cousin left and I had a few moments to re-group my thoughts that Sunday night’s message came to mind.  (in case you might not be familiar with this passage: Luke 10:30-37). In our journey through life we never know what’s ahead; sometimes the Lord brings events to us to teach us, once again, just how we are to live if we call ourselves His followers.


Chicken & Bows
(kid-friendly recipe!)

1 (16 oz) pkg. bow tie pasta
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into strips
1 C. chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 C. butter, cubed
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup,
2 C. frozen peas
1 1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions. In a
Dutch oven, cook chicken & red pepper in
butter over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until
chicken is no longer pink. Stir in soup, peas, milk,
garlic powder, salt & pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1-2 minutes
or until heated through. Stir in cheese. Drain
pasta; add to chicken mixture & toss to coat.
Serve half of mixture immediately. Cool
remaining mixture; transfer to a freezer
container. Cover & freeze up to 3 months.
Makes 2 casseroles: 6 servings each

To cook frozen casserole:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to
an ungreased shallow 3 qt. microwave-safe
dish. Cover & microwave on High 8-10 minutes
or until heated through, stirring once.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Stuffed Cabbage

12 large cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef or 1/2 beef/half ground Italian
1/2 C. cooked riced
1 jar spaghetti or tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed thyme & oregano

Wash cabbage leaves. Boil 4 C. water; turn off
heat. Soak leaves in water 5 minutes. You can
also soak the entire head of cabbage, then remove
the needed leaves after soaking. Remove leaves,
drain & cool. Combine ground meat, rice, salt,
pepper & thyme. Place 2 T. meat mixture in center
of each leaf, roll up firmly. Stack filled leaves in
crockpot; pour spaghetti (or tomato) sauce over
cabbages. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours.
Serves 6


Potato Bacon Casserole

4 C. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
8 oz. bacon or turkey bacon, cooked &
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
(or 1/4 C. egg substitute)
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8 X 8 baking dish.
Layer 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion,
1/2 bacon & 1/2 cheese in pan;
repeat layers. Combine evap. milk,
egg & seasoned salt in small bowl.
Pour evenly over potato mixture &
cover. Bake 55-60 minutes. Uncover,
bake another 5 minutes. Let stand
10-15 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas
6 oz. Velveeta, cut into 8 slices
2 C. cooking oil

1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh cilantro

Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high
heat; drain. Add onions, garlic, oregano &
pepper; cook until onions are tender, stirring
occasionally. Spoon 1/4 C. meat mixture onto
center of each tortilla; top with Velveeta slice.
Fold in all sides of tortillas to completely enclose
filling; secure with wooden toothpicks. Place in
single layer on baking sheet. Refrigerate 20
Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high
heat. Add chimichangas, 2 at a time; cook 5
minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper
towels. Remove & discard toothpicks. Serve
topped with sour cream & cilantro. Makes 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Coca-Cola Cake

1 C. Coca Cola
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 stick margarine
3 T. cocoa
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In saucepan, combine Coca Cola, margarine &
cocoa; bring to boil, over medium heat, stirring
constantly. In large bowl, mix sugar, flour & salt. Add
mixture from sauce pan; beat well. Add eggs,
buttermilk, soda & vanilla; beat well. Pour into a
greased & floured sheet cake pan. Bake 20-25


1/2 C. margarine
3 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 lb. confectioners sugar (1 box)

In saucepan, combine margarine, cocoa & milk
until margarine melts. Add remaining ingredients;
beat until well blended then spread on cake.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Fish ‘n Veggie Packets

6 squares aluminum foil (8 inch)
6 firm white fish fillets, 1/2 in. thick
2 T. zesty Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 C. mixed broccoli florets & slice carrots,
6 T. Cheeze Whiz cheese dip

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 fish fillet on each square of foil, about
2 inches from one of the sides. Drizzle with1
tsp of salad dressing & sprinkle with about
1/4 tsp. thyme; top with 1/2 C. of vegetables.
Fold opposite sides of foil over fillets. Fol up
open ends of each foil packet to seal. Place on
a baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes then remove
from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place one
packet on each serving plate; slit top with a
sharp knife. Spoon 1 T. Cheeze Whiz over
each fish fillet. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Our weather has been holding nicely lately – in the 20’s (yes, that’s cold, but without snow or ice or wind, it’s not bad!)

Our gas prices, too, have been holding at around $3.39/9 a gallon (for the cheap stuff). Hey – I’m happy with that (lower would be nicer, but I’m not complaining!)

Last night was my special needs group’s Music/Birthday night – we were a bit ‘full’ with 32 students but they had a ball singing songs to praise the Lord. It’s always fun being there with them – they’re so innocent. Lois, our leader, was talking about how Jesus is with us when one of our girls raised her hand and said: “He’s here NOW?” So sweet!

Gonna close for now (and give your eyes a rest!). Hope you have a GREAT DAY!

Big Hugs;


Sometimes Enough is . . . Enough!

old lady at desk

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

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

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

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

Stepping off my soap box now;



Not Even Two Weeks . . .

Just got home from picking up youngest son – his first car (a beater) and his first accident. He’s OK, car’s totaled. He was on the main highway close to where we live, attempting to pull out into the turn lane (2 lanes away) – cars in oncoming traffic let him in, just as he was getting into turn lane, a BIG pick up came barreling down the turn lane about 35 MPH and hit him head on. I repeat – he’s fine, very upset, but physically fine. After dealing with the police, insurance company and tow company, we finally got the total damage – it’s totaled. We’re going to wait until Friday to call a company recommended by the place we had it towed to (also the place where he bought the car, from one of the employee’s daughter) to have them scrap it. Sad situation AND, by Michigan law, even though he didn’t do the hitting, he was ‘at fault’ – for obstructing traffic. We’ll have to arrange an appointment with the local court to (hopefully) not have any points put on his brand new record – it depends on the judge, the officer said. OH! I must say-I also called AAA to give commendations to both their representative who took our initial accident call AND the tow company AND their driver. AAA was very professional (as always) and FAST! Their tow driver got to us BEFORE the police! AND the tow driver got out of his great big tow truck with two dripping, really cold bottles of WATER! I was VERY impressed and told him so. (when I called AAA back to tell them, they said they’re trying to be more ‘customer friendly’ – I told them, after standing in the hot 84 degree sun for 1 1/2 hours, that was the MOST welcome site – really cold bottled water! Isn’t that neat???

On another note, husband made it through the teeth surgery just fine, earlier today. It’s rather odd, but after we got home from the oral surgeon I was sitting in my recliner reading a book and  ‘oberserving’ how pleasant it was to have both sons sort of ‘on their own’ – AND I didn’t even voice it OUT LOUD! Oh well, now I return to playing taxi service for youngest until he can save up enough money to get another car.

Anther ‘new’ note-middle son finally moved out yesterday! THAT was a crazy, busy day, for sure. It took three vehicles, all driving in tandem, to get him to his new location – a townhouse about 15 minutes from our house. Hopefully, THIS TIME, he will be able to enjoy where he is and STAY there! (he moved out in December and moved back in first week in January a little less than a month later; you just never know . . . )


Stir-fry Spicy Chicken Tenders

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

1 T. cooking oil

1 frozen bell pepper & onion mix

Combine sugar, paprika, salt, pepper & cayenne

in medium bowl; add chicken & toss to coat. Cover

& refrigerate 15 minutes or overnight. Heat oil in

large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pepper &

onion mix; cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies

are soft, 5-7 minutes. Add chicken; cook, stirring,

until no longer pink in center, 3-5 minutes. Serve

hot. Serves 4.



Make stir-fried spicy beef using 1 lb. of stir-fry

beef thinly sliced top round steak instead of chicken.


(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Garlic Lemon Chicken w/ Potatoes & Green Beans


6 T. olive oil

2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3/4 lb. trimmed fresh green beans

8 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breasts (bones in/ with skin)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Coat large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with

1 T. olive oil. Arrange lemon slices in single layer

in bottom of dish or skillet. In large bowl, combine

remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper; add

chicken, green beans & potatoes – toss to coat. Pour

mixture in pan; spread around evenly. Roast 50

minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm.


(recipe: Facebook)


Skillet Potatoes with Bacon & Cheddar


4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 onion chopped

2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 8), thinly sliced

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

6 T. sour cream

Cook & stir bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium

hieat until crisp. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon;

drain on paper towels. Discard all but 3 T. drippings from

skillet. Add onions to skillet; cook & stir 5 minutes. Stir

in potatoes; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 20-25

minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Top with cheese & bacon; cook, covered, 1-2 minutes or

until cheese is melted. Serve topped with sour cream.

Serves 12, about 1/2 C. each


(recipe: Kraft foods)


Zucchini Gratin


6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter (plus extra

for topping

1 lb. yellow onions, cut in 1/2 & sliced (3 large)

2 lb. zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick (4 zucchini)

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 T. flour

1 C. hot milk

3/4 C. fresh bread crumbs

3/4 C. grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Melt butter in very large (12 in) skillet; cook

onions over low heat 20 minutes or until tender,

but not browned. Add zucchini; cook, covered,

10 minutes or until tender. Add salt, pepper &

nutmeg; cook uncovered 5 more minuets. Stir in

flour, add hot milk & cook over low heat a few

minutes until it makes a sauce. Pour mixture into a

8 X 10 baking dish which has been sprayed with

nonstick spray. Combine  bread crumbs & cheese;

sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 T.

butter cut into small bits; bake 20 minutes or until

bubbly & browned. Serves 6


(recipe: Ina Garten – Food Network)


Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies


1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp

1 stick butter, room temp

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 (18 oz) box moist chocolate cake mix

confectioners sugar, for dusting

In large bowl, using elec. mixer, cream butter &

cream cheese until smooth; beat in egg. Add

vanilla & cake mix; beat well. Cover &

refrigerate 2 hours, to firm up to be able to

roll into balls.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Roll chilled batter into tablespoon-sized balls,

then roll in confectioners sugar. Place on

ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake

12 minutes; cookies will be soft & ‘gooey’.

Cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies


(recipe: Food Network)


Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomatoes &

Fresh Mozzarella


3 T. olive oil, plus extra for greasing grill pan

4 large portobello mushrooms (about 5 inches in

diameter), stemmed

salt & fresh ground black pepper

3 T. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 small to medium-sized vine ripened tomatoes, cut

into 1/2 inch pieces

8 oz. fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained & cut into

1/2 inch cubes

1/4 C. chopped fresh basil leaves

Prepare barbecue to medium-high heat

Drizzle 3 T. olive oil over both sides of mushrooms

then sprinkle with salt & pepper. Drizzle olive oil on

grill pan to prevent mushrooms from sticking. Grill

until the mushrooms are heated through & tender,

about 5 minutes per side. Whisk olive oil & garlic

in medium bowl to blend. Add tomatoes, cheese &

basil; toss to coat. Season tomato salad with salt &

pepper. Place 1 hot grilled mushroom, gill-side up,

on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Spoon the tomato salad atop the mushrooms,

drizzling with olive oil to finish. Makes 4 servings.


(recipe: Food Network)


Pan Roasted Corn

1 T. cooking oil

1 (16 oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high

heat. Add corn; cook 10-12 minutes or until corn

starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili

powder, salt & pepper. Serves 4 (1/2 C. each)


(recipe: readyseteat!)


Gooey Peach Cake


1 box yellow cake mix

(plus eggs, oil, water -as directed on box)

2 (16 oz, ea) cans sliced or diced peaches

1/2 C. brown sugar

1 T. corn starch

1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)

sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, mix cake batter as directed on box.

In small bowl, mix brown sugar & cornstarch until

well combined. In small nonstick skillet, heat peaches

in juice, breaking them up a little; add extract, brown

sugar mixture – stir until thickened. In ungreased

9 X 13 baking pan, pour batter. Drop peaches by

large spoonfuls over all of the batter. (If using

almonds, sprinkle them on at this point).

Bake 25-35 minutes. DO NOT overbake; it needs

to be a little gooey. Serve hot or cold, with ice

cream or milk. Makes 1 cake.




Well, that’s the scoop for today – really hoping it slows down around here, at least for awhile! I’m SO grateful to the Lord that my son is fine – you can always get another car.

Enjoy your day!



Problem Solved – YAY!

Have you ever had one of those situations where, for a brief period of time your heart sort of either went faster or skipped a beat over something you did? Yesterday was one of ‘those’ – since our mailbox is not by our house (it’s on a side street, can either walk or drive there), we don’t get the mail every day. Picked up several days-worth of mail yesterday after church; in the mail was a notice from our car insurance company stating that, due to non-payment, our car insurance was CANCELLED! YIKES! Reading over the paperwork it said that we could still pay the payment IF the payment was received before this Wednesday – WHEW! Went on-line, clicked on the ‘pay my bill’ and electronically paid it. Done – great! Right after that a little thought kept tickling the back of my mind . . . “Wait! You’d better check to make sure that’s one of those ‘instant’ payments!” (explanation: the bank told me that some of the companies ‘use’ electronic payment BUT they don’t exactly do it the quick way – they have the BANK issue a check and physically MAIL the company your payment; no extra charge to me). Wouldn’t you know it – AAA is one of ‘those’ companies! YIKES! Payment ABSOLUTELY HAS to be to AAA BY WEDNESDAY! In very tiny print next to the AAA bill payment part on my bank account is a tiny envelope picture with a 5 on it – meaning your ‘electronic’ payment will take FIVE days to get there – GREAT! I have THREE DAYS not FIVE!! Read that as: major freak! (or heart skips a beat as mentioned above). OK – at 9 a.m. bright & early this morning I called AAA and explained my predicament. Very nice young gentleman said: “I’ll check with my supervisor about allowing the payment.” Came back and said (very nicely, mind you) “Sorry, but you’ll have to take up with your bank the cancelling of the electronic payment and you would need to pay the bill some other way, by Wednesday.” OK – I can handle that – we went through the steps and did an ‘instant/electronic’ bill payment on the phone – now we have car insurance again – GREAT. A little later I went in to our local bank, chatted with my lovely bank lady – turns out I was a ‘bit’ wrong in my assessment of the situation. When I read that little tiny “5” on the envelope screen display – that doesn’t take into account WEEKENDS! Turns out my ‘electronic’ payment wouldn’t have taken five days – but, since it was made on a Sunday, AAA wouldn’t have gotten the actual payment until a WEEK from today! WHEW! Thank heavens for getting it straightened around, right? All I can say is – sure am glad that’s fixed. OH! Forgot to mention the “WHY” of all this mess – I keep our bills in a big ring-binder notebook. When I got that ‘cancellation’ notice all I could think was: “But I never got a bill!” Turns out, after much searching, I DID get the bill – it somehow got shoved to the very back, under a bunch of other papers along with the renewal notice from AAA for our yearly membership! (took care of both of them with the phone call). Guess I’ll be MUCH more careful in the future in putting the bills IN the notebook, not just quickly shoving them in the side without actually opening the notebook. It’s the LITTLE THINGS in life that keep us young/active/stressed – yes?  I felt so relieved when I came home from the bank that I cooked up a brunch for the three of us: husband, middle son & myself. Had a bunch of great omelet ingredients, some leftovers from the tacos the other night: chopped onion, black olives, green peppers, plus chopped ham, 2 1/2 baked potatoes, chopped mushrooms and finished it off with melted Cheddar cheese – YUM! I love when you can make something tasty with ‘extras’ hanging out in your fridge!

Lots more recipes for you (the actual reason for this post – want to get the holiday recipes to you before the holiday!)


Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8-10 medium sized potatoes, peeled &
cut into cubes
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter
1/3 C. chives, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
additional butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil  potatoes until tender. Beat sour cream
& cream cheese together. Add hot potatoes &

beat until smooth. Add butter, chives, salt &
pepper. Place in a greased 2 quart casserole
dish. Dot with butter; sprinkle top with
paprika. Bake 25 minutes. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Festive Cranberry Salad

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
– In a bowl, combine milk & lemon juice; mix
well. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, marsh-
mallows & pecans. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon
into 9 X 13 baking dish & freeze until firm,
4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
Makes 12-16 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Thanksgiving Punch

2 quarts cranberry juice, chilled
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 quart ginger ale

In large punch bowl, pour cranberry
juice. Stir in frozen lemonade, stirring

until dissolved. Just before serving, add
the ginger ale. Makes 12 cups.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

1 (12 oz) pkg fresh cranberries
1/4 C. green onion, chopped
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper*
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 T. lemon juice
dash salt
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese

Place cranberries in food processor
(or you can just chop them). Chop
green onion, cilantro & jalapeno
pepper into small pieces. (*If you
don’t like heat, omit jalapeno
pepper). Add all ingredients
except cream cheese,  in a bowl.
Mix all together, cover & store in
fridge at least 4 hours. When ready
to serve, place cream cheese on a plate,
spread out evenly on plate. Pour
cranberry mixture over cream cheese,
spread around. Serve with crackers.
Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecookesitup)


Holiday Broccoli Saute

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. raisins
3 T. water
1 T. sugar
6 C. fresh broccoli florets,*
cooked until crisp-tender
1/4 C. chopped toasted walnuts

Melt margarine & pumpkin pie
spice in 1/2 inch nonstick skillet
over medium heat. Cook onion,
stirring frequently, until tender,
about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar,
cook 1 minute. Stir in raisins, water
& sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until
slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in broccoli, then sprinkle with
walnuts. Serves 6

*Use cooked, frozen broccoli florets
instead of fresh

(recipe: Unilever)

Cranberry-Orange Spiced Green Beans

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. dried cranberries
1 lb. green beans*, trimmed &
cooked crisp-tender

Melt margarine & spice in 12-inch
nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Cook shallot, stirring frequently,
until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in
orange juice & cranberries; simmer
1 minute. Stir in green beans. Garnish,
if desired, with orange slices.
Serves 6.

*Can use frozen cooked green beans
instead of fresh.

(recipe: Unilever)

Baked Spiced Squash

2 T. margarine
2 T. maple syrup or pancake syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium butternut squash,
halved & seeded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease baking sheet, set
aside. Combine all ingredients
except squash, in small bowl.
Arrange squash cut side up, on
baking sheet, brush with 1/2 of
margarine mixture. Bake 45 minutes

or until squash is tender,
brushing with remaining margarine
mixture halfway through cooking.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Unilever)

Autumn Spice Glaze  (for poultry)

3/4 C. butter, unsalted
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, dried
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, coarse-ground

Combine all ingredients in small
saucepan; heat over low heat 3-4

minutes. To glaze, brush mixture on
turkey every 30 minutes after the
first hour of cooking.

(recipe: Honeysuckle White)

Cranberry-Pear Crisp

1 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar 1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, cut into chunks
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
3 lb. firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored & cut
into 1 inch chunks
1 C. fresh cranberries, rinsed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix flour, 1/4 C. granulated sugar,
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. With
mixer fitted with a paddle, on low speed (or
using your fingers) mix or rub in butter until
mixture forms coarse crumbs & begins to
come together; stir in walnuts. In large bowl,
mix pears, cranberries & remaining 1/4 C.
granulated sugar. Pour into a 9 inch square
or round baking dish; spread level. Top
evenly with flour mixture. Bake until juices
are bubbly, pears are tender when pierced
and topping is golden brown: 40-50 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Salad

1 lb. cranberries

1 lg. strawberry jell-o

1 C. hot water

1 lg. red apple (chopped)

1 orange (juice and rind)

1-1/2 C. sugar

1 C. walnuts

1 C. crushed pineapple (drained)

Put cranberries and orange through

food grinder. Mix jell-o with 1 cup

water until dissolved. Add remaining

ingredients and refrigerate.

Makes about 3 quarts.Freezes wonderfully.

Sandy-marys recipe exchange


Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 C. crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour (see below)
1 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. butter
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cranberry, pineapple & vanilla;
set aside. In another bowl combine
remaining ingredients; spoon 1/2 of mixture
into well greased 9 X 13 pan. Press firm,
spread with cranberry filling, cover with
remaining crumbs. Bake 40 minutes.

Self-Rising Flour:
For every cup of regular flour, add 1 tsp.
baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 1/3 C. flour
3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3/4 C. cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 C. old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats,
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with foil, leaving ends of foil
extending over sides; spray with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, 1/4 c. granulated sugar & brown
sugar in medium bowl until blended; cut in butter
with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats & nuts.
Reserve 1 C. oat mixture; press remaining onto
bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat
cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin &
spice with elec. mixer until blended. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle to with reserved oat mixture & bake
25 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Use foil to transfer
dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
Makes 24 bars.
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
Mix together & use as directed

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple-Cranberry Salad Toss

1 (10 oz) pkg. torn  mixed salad greens
2 apples, sliced
3/4 C. dried cranberries
3/4 C. walnut halves, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 C. raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Toss greens with fruit, nuts & onions. Add
dressing just before serving; mix lightly.
Serves 8, 1 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream
Cheese frosting

1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix
1 C. sour cream
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 C. oil
3 eggs
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) pkg. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 5 ingredients with elec. mixer
until blended; spoon into 24 paper-
lined muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes
or until toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes;
remove from pans; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla in large
bowl with elec. mixer until blended. Gradually
beat in sugar. Blend in cinnamon; spread over
cupcakes. Makes 24.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 lb. fresh pumpkin, peeled &
cubed (about 8 C.)*
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 C. boiling water
1 C. light cream or Half & Half
4 oz. cream cheese
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in 3 qt. saucepan over medium-
high heat; cook onion, garlic & pumpkin
stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
onion is tender. Stir in bouillon cubes
blended with water. Bring to boil over
high heat. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or
until pumpkin is tender. Stir in cream & cream

cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes or until heated through. Remove
from heat & cool slightly. Process soup
in blender or food processor in batches at
low speed, until smooth. Return soup to
saucepan & season with salt & pepper;
heat through. Serves 4

*Substitute: Use 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
instead of fresh pumpkin. Stir in canned
pumpkin with the water.
(recipe: Unilever)


Sweet Potato Pancakes w/Brown Sugar Cream

2 large sweet potatoes or yams, cooked & mashed
(about 1 1/2 lb)
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs, divided
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
6 T. margarine
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. coarsely chopped pecans

Combine potatoes, 1/2 C. bread crumbs,
1 T. brown sugar, salt & pepper. Drop by
tablespoons into remaining 1 C. bread
crumbs; roll to coat lightly. Melt 3 T. margarine
in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; cook 1/2 of the pancakes, turning once
& flattening slightly, 6 minutes or until
golden brown, keep warm. Repeat with
remaining margarine & potato mixture.
Blend remaining 1 T. brown sugar with sour
cream. To serve, dollop each pancake
with sour cream mixture then garnish
with nuts. Makes about 30 cakes.

(recipe: Unilever)

Lots of recipes – if I come across any more before Thursday I’ll post them. Sometimes the same recipes work well for Christmas, too.  It’s another beautiful “Fall-Like” day here, 45 degrees, clear and sunny (just my kind of day!). Hope you’re having a great day and remember to do all of your holiday preparations in stages – thereby assuring they get done and you’re not too tired to enjoy the actual holiday!

Big Hugs;


Thirty-six and counting and other GOOD NEWS!

Today is our 36th wedding anniversary (photo from last year, same time). Tonight we plan on going to Outback Steak House to celebrate (never been there).  It’s been an adventure – we’re still learning about each other as we age (gracefully) together – three sons and one grandson later, it’s still good.

Today was my visit with the radiologist – MY MAMMOGRAM  WAS ALL CLEAR!!! Now I can say, it’s been one year since the initial cancer diagnosis and I’m CANCER-FREE! (of course, still have to go through 5 years of check-ups & mammograms, but HEY- I CAN DO THAT!) I celebrated by taking a nice, slow stroll through the ‘healing’ garden next to the cancer center and took lots of photos on my cell phone of all the lovely flowers blooming there. Rang the wind chime, picked a very small daisy and pinned it in my hair; thanking the LORD for all He’s done to bring me to this place and time in my life. Last year I asked Him to allow me more time to see my sons and grandson grow more – He’s done that. I know lots of people (especially ones who’ve survived a big thing) that you need to treasure every day – sometimes that isn’t easy, for various reasons, but EVERY day is a gift (even the bad ones – they teach us patience and endurance). Treasure even the BAD days – they’re there to teach you to appreciate the GOOD days – it makes them all the sweeter! (believe me – I’ve had lots of bad days in my life, but I’m still here to PRAISE THE LORD through it all.  Sixty four years old, one year cancer-free and married to my husband 36 years now – three healthy sons and a 6 yr old grandson to give thanks for –



Took the 6 chemo caps in to the cancer center and was thinking of ‘what next’ to knit? Saw a really cute idea for little knit  baskets – they’re Christmas ornaments – and am thinking of making them for my knit group ladies (I’d need to make about 30).

I attempted my first one last night and think I’m going to modify them a bit – not exactly sure that’s what I want make, but we’ll see. (I did the knitting needles about 4 yrs ago for the knit pins I made the ladies). Was thinking maybe I could carve the end of a toothpick to make a tiny crochet hook for those ladies who only crochet – but then I’m getting ahead of myself here. Still need to think about this project a bit more and decide if I really WANT to make 30+ of these . . . we’ll see.

Recipes? Still have lots for ya!


Cheesy Crustless Quiche

1/2 stick butter (1/4

1/4 C. flour

3/4 C. milk

1 C. cottage cheese

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

5 eggs

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

3 T.  grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 C. chopped green onions

3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Melt butter in medium skillet on
medium heat. Stir in flour; cook,

stirring until bubbly. Gradually

add milk; cook over medium heat,
stirring occasionally, until sauce

thickens. Remove from heat; set

aside to cool, about 15-20  minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine cottage cheese, baking

powder, salt & mustard; set aside.

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl. Slowly

add cream cheese, cottage cheese

mixture & milk/flour sauce. Fold in

Swiss & Parmesan cheeses. Pour into

a butter 10″ pie plate. Sprinkle top

with chopped green onions & crumbled

bacon. Arrange tomato slices, cut side

up, around top. Bake 40 minutes, until

puffy & lightly browned. A knife inserted

into center of quiche should come out

clean. Let rest 15 minutes, then serve.

Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe



Island Pineapple Chicken Breasts


4 green onions

3 T. butter
4 skinless chicken breast halves

flour seasoned w/ salt & pepper

1 (14 oz) can sliced pineapple

1 avocado

brown rice, cooked separately

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Chop onions using only 1 inch of

green tops. Saute in 1 T. butter

until glazed; transfer to crockpot.

Coat chicken breasts in seasoned

flour; saute until brown on both

sides; transfer to crockpot. Drain

pineapple; pour juice over

chicken. Cover & cook on Low

3-4 hours or High 1 1/2 – 2 hours

or until breasts are tender. Saute

pineapple slices in butter until

golden; place on heated

platter. Top each with a chicken

breasts. Slice avocado into 8

lengthwise strips & place 2

slices on each chicken breast.

Serve pan drippings over cooked

rice. Serves 4.



 Chocolate Mississippi Mud Pie


2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter or marg., softened


12 oz. Cool Whip
3/4 c. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1 small pkg. instant butterscotch pudding mix
3 C. milk

Thoroughly blend crust ingredients; press firmly
in bottom of pan. Blend together half Cool Whip,
sugar & cream cheese. Spread mixture on top of
crust. Whip together puddings & milk; spread on
top of cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining
Cool Whip & refrigerate.

(recipe: Rhonda G, Marys recipe Exchange)

Bacon-Swiss Spinach Salad

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp,
drained, crumbled; reserve drippings
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled & sliced
3 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pcs,
using both white & green parts
1/4 red onion, sliced thin & separated
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
3 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, about
half bag
2 large handfuls romaine hearts salad
mix, about half bag
2 T. bacon drippings
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/3 C. water
3-4 T. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce, spinach, all
vegetables & Swiss cheese in a
large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk
together bacon drippings, vinegar,
water, oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Drizzle dressing over greens
mixture. Scatter crumbled bacon &
sliced egg over top. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as an entree or
4 as a side salad.

(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ 07/06/12)

Grilled Zucchini with Teriyaki Sauce

2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. La Choy Teriyaki Stir Fry sauce-marinade

Spray cold grate of grill with nonstick spray.
Prepare grill for medium heat. Spray cut sides
of zucchini with nonstick spray, sprinkle with
salt & pepper. Grill cut sides down 10 minutes
or until tender. Turn zucchini over; brush with
teriyaki sauce; grill 2 minutes more.
Serves 4 (1/2 zucchini each)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

2 T. margarine
1/4 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen sugar snap
3 T. water
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt margarine in large skillet over

medium-high heat. Add onion & garlic;
cook 2-3 minutes or until tender,
stirring occasionally. Add all remaining
ingredients to skillet; reduce heat to
medium & cook 5 minutes or until
mixture is hot & peas are tender.
Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: ready seteat)

Caprese Chicken & Bacon

8 strips bacon
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
(6 oz ea)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bacon in ungreased 15 x 10 baking
pan, bake 8-10 minutes or until
partially cooked but not crisp. Remove
to paper towel to drain. Place chicken
in ungreased 9 x 13 pan; brush with
oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper. Top
with tomatoes & basil. Wrap each
in two strips bacon, arranging bacon
in a crisscross pattern. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes or until meat thermometer
registers 170 degrees F. Top with cheese,
bake 1 minute longer or until cheese is
melted. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Super Potatoes

2 (16 oz) containers sour cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (3 oz) bags real bacon bits
2 pkts. Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28-30 oz) bag frozen hash
brown potatoes, the shredded kind

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients, mix
in hash browns. Spread into a greased
9 X 13 pan. Bake 45-60 minutes.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sweet Potato Cake

2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/2 C. mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. cooking oil
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 lb. confectioners sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients for cake
together; pour into 3 greased &
floured cake pans. Bake 30 minutes.
Cool cakes on wire rack before

Prepare frosting:
Mix all frosting ingredients together
and frost after cake cools.


Smoky Pimiento Cheese Spread

1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. grated smoked gouda cheese
1 (6 oz) jar roasted red peppers,
drained & chopped
1 (3.5 oz) jar diced pimiento-
1 C. mayonnaise
2 large jalapenos, seeded & chopped
6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
1 T. honey
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Thoroughly mix all cheeses in a mixing
bowl. Add roasted peppers & pimiento,
stir well. In separate bowl, combine the
remaining ingredients – well. Taste &
adjust seasonings as needed. Stir mayo
into cheese mixture; blend well. Refrigerate
in an airtight container for up to one week.
Serves 8-10.

USES: Great for sandwiches, as a dip for
vegetables or a spread on toast.


There’s my entries for this day – ENJOY

your day! Find something YOU LIKE and

DO IT! Whether it be sipping some nice

hot tea, reading a book, listening to your

favorite music/cd/tape/speaker, or

indulging in a little chocolate (I had a

little bit of ice cream earlier), taking a

walk, singing at the top of your lungs –


Happy DAY! Big hugs;


ps: The cancer center was holding a used book sale – if you’ve known me long, you know I LOVE to read – bought $8.00 worth – at 50 cents a book – came home with 16 books – I’m a happy camper!

pps: Weather today is PERFECT! Sun shining, lots of big, white fluffy clouds, nice breeze – about 76 degrees – PERFECT WEATHER!!!

How ’bout those GAS PRICES? YIKES!

Was out running a few errands and taking youngest to fill out some job applications yesterday and noticed I needed gas. Last time I looked (a few days ago) in our area the prices for regular ran about $3.69/9 – as of yesterday (and they could be higher today) I was seeing $3.99/9  – $4.02/9/- $4.06/9 and even$4.09/9! CRAZY!!! Ended up stopping at the one closest to us which also had the lowest price of $3.99/9. About a week before (last time I got gas) it was $3.46 and that was great – little did I know, eh?  We ended up putting in (on -line, in the store, using their computer terminal) apps for Target and Meijer, stopped by Family Video (about 3 minutes from our house) and got a PAPER app! (those are few and far between THESE DAYS!). Turns out the guy at Family Video is a good friend of our middle son, and youngest son recognized him when he got the app. The guy said: “Fill this out & bring it back; we’re doing open interviews next Thursday.” Sounds pretty good! It’s tough for our youngest, as he has no experience and no diploma (yet) – we’ll see where this goes. I keep telling him: “Don’t pay attention to WHERE or WHAT job you’re going for – just GET ONE! It might be the one you use for your EXPERIENCE on your NEXT job application!” We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

Our weather is warm/hot – lots of beautiful sunshine (86 right now at 1:30 p.m.). I love sunshine and summer BUT the way this particular summer is going – I’m worried about the lack of rain. Remember last winter when we didn’t get very much snow at all? Yes, our weather is definitely taking a turn – both winter and summer. Not looking great – just sayin’ – not trying to be a prophet of doom & gloom, but it’s not looking good. (Maybe in YOUR area its’ better – sure hope so!). God made the seasons for a reason – each one helps the next so that we have a well-rounded planet – too much or too little rain/snow/sleet, etc. and there’s trouble – too little of the same – same idea/different problems.

Am working on afghan #6 – this one will be almost the same as the multi-colored squares one and the pink/white one BUT I taught myself something new today and am incorporating it in the center.  Took me a bit to figure out just how they did it – (I don’t read crochet patterns very well) but I finally figured it out (and besides – those who are viewing the blanket aren’t likely to say: “That doesn’t look exactly like the pattern photo!” – right?)  It’s a nice day – I might go out and do the photographing of the other 5 afghans – we’ll see (I find myself putting it off – I really don’t like being in the sun).

RECIPES?!!! LOTS of summer-type recipes coming in – here ya go for today!

Garden Gazpacho
(cold veggie soup)

4 c. vegetable juice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/3 C. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 C. (about 3 med) cucumbers,
peeled, seeded & chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. finely chopped red onion
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)

Combine vegetable juice, tomatoes with
juice, lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic,
hot pepper sauce & black pepper in
large bowl. Ladle into food processor
or blender (in batches, if necessary),
cover & process until smooth. Pour
into a soup tureen; add cucumbers,
bell pepper & onion, stir in cilantro.
Cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serve with sour cream on
the side. Serves 6

(recipe: Rhonda G. – Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Fruity-Nutty Chicken Salad
(this sounds like it would be
great for a women’s luncheon)

5 large boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cooked & shredded
1 bunch seedless grapes, cut into
4 pieces
2 large red Delicious apples,
cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 jar mayonnaise
1 pkg. chopped walnuts
1 pkg. chopped pecans
Salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, if desired
— In big bowl, place chicken, grapes,
nuts, apples, and mayonnaise to coat.

Stir, add salt, pepper & garlic powder
(if using). Mix well; chill 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6
Serve with crackers or toast rounds.


Easy “Baked” Tomatoes
(grill or oven)

4 tomatoes, halved crosswise
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat grill to medium heat.
Place tomatoes, cut sides up,
in disposable foil pan. Drizzle
tops with dressing; sprinkle
with cheese. Place pan on grill
grate; cover with lid. Grill
15 minutes or until tomatoes
are softened & cheese is
lightly browned. Serves 4.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place tomato halves, cut sides
up, in 9 x 13 baking dish. Top
with salad dressing & cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until
tomatoes are soft & cheese
is lightly browned.

(recipe: Kraftfoods)

Creamy Layered Peach Squares

 2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2  (8 oz, ea) pkgs cream cheese,
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed &
3 large fresh peaches, peeled & sliced
1 1/2 C. boiling water
1 (6 oz) pkg raspberry Jell-O
2 C. ice cubes

Mix crumbs, 1/4 C. sugar & butter, press
into bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan. Beat
cream cheese & remaining sugar in
medium bowl until well blended.

Whisk in 1 1/2 C. Cool Whip; spread over

crust. Top with sliced peaches. Refrigerate until
ready to use. Add boiling water to Jell-O
in large bowl, stir 2 minutes until
completely dissolved. Stir in ice cubes until
melted. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until
thickened. Whisk in remaining Cool Whip;
spread over peach layer. Refrigerate 4
hours or until firm. Makes 20 servings.

(recipe: Kraftfoods)

“Better than Arby’s” Roast Beef

(crockpot –

1 (3-4 lb) beef roast

1/2 C. water

1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1 envelope onion soup mix

1 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)

salt & pepper, to taste

Place roast in crockpot. Stir remaining

ingredients together & refrigerate.


Lift off any grease/fat membrane from

roast. Simmer on Low 5-7 hours.

Shred meat, serve on buns.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Patio Potatoes


4 potatoes, sliced

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 pint sour cream

4 T. milk

Mix soup, milk & sour cream. Place

potato slices on heavy aluminum

foil squares, cover with sour

cream mixture. Close foil

securely Grill 45-50 minutes.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Sour Cream & Bacon Chicken


8 slices bacon
8 boneless, skinless chicken
2 (10 oz, ea) cans roasted
garlic cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
Place bacon in large skillet;
cook over medium-low heat until
some of fat is rendered. Be sure
bacon is still pliable & not
crisp. Drain onto paper towels.
Wrap one slice bacon around each
chicken breast; place in a 4-5
quart crockpot. In medium bowl,
combine soups, sour cream & flour;
mix with wire whisk until well
blended. Pour over chicken. Cover,
& cook on Low 6-8 hours* until 
chicken & bacon are thoroughly
cooked. When cooked, remove
chicken; beat sauce with wire
whisk to make smooth and well
blended. Pour sauce over chicken.

Can be served over rice, couscous,
or wide egg noodles.

*If you have a newer crockpot,
check chicken at 5 hours. Internal
temperature should be
160-170 degrees F.

(recipe: Sue-RDJ- 07/27/12)
Sunny Summer Salad

2 pears, sliced
1 C. strawberries, sliced
2 oranges, peels left on
2 kiwi fruit, peeled & sliced
greens - such as radicchio or
butter lettuce
1/4 C. toasted coconut

1 1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. honey
Mix dressing well and pour
into serving container.
Cut orange slices into wedges.
On four salad plates, arrange
greens and all fruits into
a design. Top with coconut.
Serve honey dressing on side.

(recipe: DDJ 07/27/12)
Baked Stuffed Zucchini

2 medium zucchini, about 1 lb.
2 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 C. soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
salt & pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash zucchini; cook whole in a 
small amount of boiling water
for about 8 minutes. Drain; cut
into hales lengthwise. Scoop
out pulp; chop. Melt butter in
heavy skillet, saute garlic & 
onion for 1 minute, or until
onion is tender; stir in 
chopped zucchini pulp, bread
crumbs, poultry seasoning,
salt & pepper. Stuff zucchini
halves with mixture. Place in a
greased baking dish, bake
20 minutes or until zucchini
is tender. Serves 4.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe 
Strawberry Freeze Dessert

12 Chips Ahoy cookies
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 (12 oz) can frozen berry juice
concentrate, thawed
1 C. crushed strawberries
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. whole strawberries, cut in
Arrange cookies in single layer on
bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Beat
cream cheese & sugar in large bowl 
with mixer until well blended. 
Gradually beat in juice concentrate;
stir in crushed berries. Whisk in
Cool Whip until well blended. Pour 
over cookies in pan. Freeze 6 hours
or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 minutes
before serving; let stand at room
temperature to soften slightly. Top
with berry halves.
Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hope you’re staying cool, relaxing a bit

with something cool to drink and remember

to PUT YOUR FEET UP! You deserve a


Big hugs;