Another Rainy Day…


It’s about 50 degrees F., gray and rainy – a great day to stay inside, curl up with your favorite afghan, something warm to drink and a good book (OR knitting/crochet)! This is the first day this week I haven’t had something to ‘go do’ so I’m still in my jammies at 10:50 a.m.! (Bad part is: middle son is planning a picnic (you heard me right) a little later and they ‘might’ be stopping in to use the bathroom. I have yet to meet new girlfriend, but son is really excited/happy with her so far. He decided (a few days ago) to plan a picnic for her – we have a neighborhood park across the street from our house – nothing special, lots of trees, a lake – nothing big; I used to take our dog there to throw a frisbee many years ago (before kids) but then they built a water treatment facility on the property so now it’s just ‘there’. He asked to borrow a plastic picnic table cover, a small cooler and a few golfing umbrellas. He’s going to Kroger to buy some take out sushi boxes, bottles of tea and maybe some mini cupcakes – I thought it was a really sweet gesture on his part (he’s my really ‘romantic’ son). Hope she sees his efforts and appreciates the gesture.

I’m also planning another “Knit/Crochet MOVIE Night” for next Tuesday night (our ‘off’ night for knit group. This time I’ve decided we’re doing a Taco Night – that should be fun, we haven’t done that theme in a few years (I’m doing the taco meat). We usually average about 12 people attending – I’m going to try to check out a movie I saw previews on: “Mom’s Night Out“: ” Hardworking mom Allyson has a crazy night out with her friends, while their husbands watch their children.” – sounds like it could be fun (it’s a 2014 movie, so maybe I’ll rent it, watch it first, then decide). The other ladies bring movies they think we might like, also, and then we lay them out on a table & vote which one we’re watching that night.


Gooey Apple Pull-apart Bread

12 frozen dinner rolls
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
(peeled if you desire)
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. unsalted butter, melted &

1 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Spray 8 X 4″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray. Place frozen rolls on a plate
& cover with plastic wrap; thaw
about 30 minutes until soft enough
to cut. In medium bowl mix apples,
cinnamon, sugar & 2 T. butter. Using
kitchen shears, cut each roll into 4,
roll into balls using your hands. Place
10 small balls on bottom of pan. Drizzle
about half remaining butter over rolls.
Cover with half apple mixture & repeat
layers until all ingredients are used up.
Let rise 1 hour or until rolls have
doubled in size.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 30-35 minutes until brown on top.
Mix butter, brown sugar, milk & powdered
sugar together & pour all over top of
bread. If too thick, add a little more milk &
stir before drizzling. If too thin, add a little
more powdered sugar, stir then pour.

NOTE: If loaf starts to get too brown on top,
cover loosely with foil & continue baking to
allow center to finish baking.


3-Ingredient Chicken

2 pkts. dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 C. brown sugar
6-8 chicken thighs (or any pieces)
skin on

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Place brown sugar & seasoning pkgs.
in large ziplock bag & shake to mix.
Add chicken pieces, shake to coat &
place chicken on sheet, skin side up.
Bake 35 minutes for thighs, longer
for larger pieces until juices run clear.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Chive & Onion Hash Brown Potatoes

1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 (8 oz) tub spreadable chive & onion
cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated shredded
hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In Dutch oven combine first 5
ingredients; cook & stir over medium
heat until blended; stir in potatoes.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Layer one third of hash brown
mixture on bottom & 2/3 C. Swiss
cheese; sprinkle with 1 T. chives –
repeat layers. Top with remaining
hash browns & cheese – dot with butter.
Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Bake,
uncovered, 10-20 minutes longer until
edges begin to brown & potatoes are
heated through. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Sprinkle with remaining
chives. Serves 12 (3/4 C. each)


Spinach & Mushroom Pasta Casserole

1 (8 oz) pkg. uncooked penne pasta
2 T. vegetable oil
1 C. sliced portobello mushrooms
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 C. milk
2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed,
squeezed dry
1/4 C. soy sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions for al
dente; drain. Heat oil in saucepan
over medium heat; add mushrooms
& saute 1 minute – set them aside.
Melt butter in saucepan; whisk in
flour, garlic & basil. Gradually mix
in milk until thickened. Stir in 1 C.
cheese until melted. Remove pan
from heat & stir in cooked pasta,
mushrooms, spinach & soy sauce.
Pour mixture into prepared dish
& top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted.
Serves 6-8


Almost Stuffed Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops (1 1/4 –
1 1/2 lb. each) 1 inch thick
2 T. lime juice
3 2/3 C. coarsely crumbled cracker
crumbs (about 4 oz crackers)
6 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely
chopped (about 1 C.)
3 scallions (green onions), chopped
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Brush both sides of chops with
lime juice & place in dish. In medium
bowl combine remaining ingredients.
Mix until well blended & spoon evenly
over chops. Bake 40-45 minutes until
chops are cooked through. Serves 4


Corned Beef Hash

1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled/
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. cooking oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme
8 oz. cooked or leftover corned beef,
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
eggs (optional, if you want poached)
1 T. vinegar (if making eggs)

Cook potatoes, onion, thyme, garlic,
salt/pepper in cooking oil in large
skillet. Gently turn occasionally about
20-25 minutes until potatoes are
cooked through & browned, adding
corned beef last 5 minutes – it only
needs to heat up, you don’t want it
breaking up too much.

IF you want poached eggs:
Heat 2 C. water in small saucepan with
1 T. vinegar until it just simmers. Keep
it at a simmer (little bubbles coming
up from bottom, not quite boiling).
Break eggs singly into small dishes.
When water is simmering, use a spoon
to swirl water around into a whirlpool.
While water is still swirling, bring egg
dish close to water & very gently tilt
it so egg goes in without a ‘plop’. Keep
a close eye on water & do NOT let it
boil. Turn it down if it tries, poaching
time should be 2-4 minutes. To gauge
doneness of your egg, put a spoon
beneath the egg & lift it just a little
bit – give it a little jiggle – how much
the yolk wiggles will let you know how
soft it is. A bit of jiggling for runny yolks,
less for a more cooked egg. When done,
lift egg out using a slotted spoon, onto
a bed of hot hash. (if you don’t use a
slotted spoon you’ll get water on your
plate). Serves 4-6


Asparagus/Roasted Pepper Frittata

6 eggs, lightly beaten
Half & Half, or cream (a splash)
2 T. butter
1 small red onion, sliced into half moon
8 oz. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed/
1 T. snipped fresh chives
1/4 C. hot water
1 roasted sweet red bell pepper, sliced
6 T. ricotta cheese
2-4 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat butter in 10 inch skillet; add onions,
cooking until they wilt. Add asparagus;
season with salt/pepper & add chives.
Cook 1 minute; add 1/4 C. hot water &
continue cooking until water evaporates,
about 2 minutes. Add pepper slices &
pour beaten eggs evenly over vegetables
in skillet. Add 6 dollops ricotta cheese,
evenly spaced*. Sprinkle top with Parm.
cheese & place skillet in oven. Bake 25
minutes until set. Allow to cool in pan
10-15 minutes then loosen sides if needed
before sliding frittata onto a platter. Slice
into wedges & serve. Serves 2-3 as a
main meal, or up to 6 as part of a breakfast

*No need to measure the cheese


7-Layer Dip Dessert

4 C. milk
3 bananas, sliced thin
1 lb. strawberries, sliced thin
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
1 C. honey-roasted almonds
1 C. pretzels, crushed
1 (5 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (5 0z) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix

Vanilla wafer cookies
graham crackers

In small bowl whisk 2 C. milk with
vanilla pudding; in separate bowl
whisk 2 C. milk & chocolate pudding –
refrigerate both bowls & let set.
After pudding is set, add ingredients
in this order in a 9 X 13″ baking dish:

-chocolate pudding on bottom
-sliced bananas
-crushed pretzels
-vanilla pudding
-sliced almonds
-sliced strawberries
Spread Cool Whip over top evenly –
you can top with more almonds, if
Refrigerate & keep cold until ready to
serve. Serve with vanilla wafers and/or
graham crackers, for dipping. Serves 20

NOTE: You can use fresh fruit, or
more pudding instead of Cool Whip
and/or: a layer of chocolate chips,
if desired.



Had a fun night at Knit night Tuesday, one of my
friends from church had asked if I would mind her
9 1/2 yr old daughter joining us – she had just
taught herself how to knit and wanted a little
help. She came for about 1 1/2 hours and we had
a great time; she’s home schooled (very bright)
and ‘held her own’ sitting with two of our expert
knitters. I wasn’t too sure what they’d think about
having a young girl asking constant questions but
when she left they said they probably wouldn’t
have been as outgoing and confident when they
were her age – they were impressed. I know she
had a good time and her Mom was thrilled –
it all adds a little more ‘spice’ to our gathering!
We also had two other new ladies join us – both
nurses (one retired, one active). The older lady
said she used to knit socks and would need a
‘LITTLE’ help remembering – well, I sat her with
another expert SOCK knitter – after she left I was
told the lady hadn’t knitted in a good 20 years
and had a very old copy-of a copy- of – a copy
of a pattern which was actually unable to be
read. My friend gave the lady HER beginners
sock pattern and got her back on track. I gave
my friend a big HUG for all her efforts – you
just never know . . . some say they know how
to knit/crochet and really don’t…others just
need a little guiding help but in the end:

Not much else new around here; still working
on the two baby afghans. Monday I had to make
a quick trip to Office Depot for printer ink and
in the same shopping center is JoAnns – I ended
up buying 3 skeins of yarn on sale for $3.00 per
skein (YAY!) – they’re baby yarn in a variegated
bright blue, bright green & white. I’m thinking of
doing a pattern I’ve done before, using this yarn
as the ‘in between’ colors and a solid white for
the main pattern:

Hope your day is going well – remember to
smile a little – it helps exercise your face
muscles AND it just might lighten your
mood and the moods of others!



Spring-Like Today!


(Couldn’t resist posting the above – sure fits our weather here, lately!) Just got home from going to the movies with my husband – we saw: “Eye in the Sky” with Helen Mirren & Alan Rickman – VERY intense! If you like military movies, this one’s for you. This one deals with a split-second decision on when to launch a drone strike. Did I ‘like’ the movie? I’m not sure – it was very well acted, just not my type of movie. Don’t get me wrong – both my husband & I LOVE both Helen Mirren & Alan Rickman (that’s why we went – on the strength of their previous movies) – they are EXCELLENT actors. Let’s just say I ate a LOT of popcorn – that’s saying something, as I usually don’t at movies (husband let ME do the butter-applying and I really DOUSED it! YUM!)


Crockpot Caramel Apple Pie Dip

5 C. peeled/diced apples
1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel sauce (ice
cream sauce)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt

Combine apples, caramel, cinnamon,
nutmeg & salt in 3 qt or larger crockpot.
Stir, cover & cook on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Crust Dippers:
1 (14 oz) pkg. refrigerated pie crust/dough
1/8 C. milk
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In small bowl combine cinnamon & sugar.
Spread out one pie crust at a time on a
baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, spread
on milk; sprinkle half of cinn/sugar on pie
crust. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut crust
into serving strips; spread strips on baking
sheet so they don’t bake together. Bake
10 minutes until golden brown; repeat
with other crust. Serves 8


Chicken Paprika

2 1/2 lb. bone-in, skin on chicken
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
3/4 C. sour cream (add at end)

cooked egg noodles

Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper.
Using a large skillet, melt butter on
medium-high heat & brown chicken
on both sides (do not need to cook
through). Remove pan from heat.
Add onion, chicken broth & paprika
to crockpot & stir. Using tongs, add
chicken to crockpot in sauce. Cover &
cook on Low 5 hours without opening
during cooking time. When done,
remove chicken to a plate. Add sour
cream to sauce in crockpot & stir
to get as smooth as possible. Add
chicken back to crockpot. Serve
chicken & sauce over cooked
noodles. Serves 5


Southwest Beef & Peppers Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
2 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby & Monterey
Jack cheeses

Brown hamburger in large skillet; stir in broth
& tomatoes & bring to boil. Add peppers &
rice; stir. Cover & simmer on Low heat 5
minutes or until rice is tender.
Heat broiler
Top rice mixture with cheeses & place
under broiler 6 inches from heat, 2-3
minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 6


Garlic Oil Pasta & Broccoli

1/3 C. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 head broccoli, sliced into
very thin florets, stalk peeled &
cut into matchsticks
kosher salt/ black pepper
2 T. red wine vinegar
few T. water or pasta cooking water
2 C. penne pasta, cooked al dente
Parmesan cheese, garnish

In large saute pan heat oil, garlic &
pepper flakes over medium heat until
fragrant. Once garlic has turned golden,
remove from pan; add broccoli to pan.
(be sure broccoli is completely dry before
placing pan). Toss broccoli to coat in oil;
season with salt/pepper & saute over
medium heat until broccoli barely loses
some of it’s crunch, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat to High & deglaze pan with
red wine vinegar; add a few T. water,
if needed. (Use pasta water if desired)
Add pasta to pan & toss to coat with oil.
Top with Parmesan cheese for serving.
Serves 4


Ham & White Cheddar Beer

Cheese Soup

4 T butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 bottle of your favorite beer
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. milk
6 oz. sharp white Cheddar, grated
6 oz. yellow Cheddar, grated
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. cooked, diced ham

cooked/crumbled bacon, chopped
green onions; shredded cheese

Heat large stock pot over medium
heat; add butter & melt completely.
Add onion & garlic, saute 5 minutes.
Whisk in flour, salt, pepper & dry
mustard; cook 3-4 minutes until
flour is nutty & golden. Add beer &
stir constantly 2 minutes until
mixture somewhat thickens. Add
broth & milk; stir to combine & bring
to boil. Reduce heat immediately to
simmer & cook 5-10 minutes until
soup is thickened. Remove from
heat & stir in cheeses & Worc. sauce.
Garnish with desired items. Serve
immediately. Serves 6


Mushroom/Asiago Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
4 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. dry white wine or
chicken broth
3/4 C. chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp.
dried thyme
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. shredded Asiago cheese
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Place a large skillet over medium-
high heat & melt 2 T. unsalted butter.
Cut each breast into cutlets; lightly
season on both sides with salt/pepper
& dredge in flour – shaking off any
excess. Add as many cutlets as will fit
comfortably but be sure not to crowd
the pan. Saute 5 minutes until golden on
first side, then flip & cook 1 extra minute.
Remove from skillet to a plate & cover
lightly with foil to keep warm; finish with
remaining cutlets. Add remaining butter to
skillet along with mushrooms & 1/2 tsp.
salt; cook about 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until mushrooms are golden
& become softened. Add garlic & cook
2 minutes. Pour white wine (or broth) into
skillet & stir to scrape any bits sticking to
bottom of pan. Once liquid is almost all
evaporated, add 3/4 C. chicken broth &
thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat to
medium & cook 10-15 minutes at rapid
simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to medium-low & stir in
heavy cream. Sprinkle Asiago cheese over
top of sauce & stir constantly until cheese
melts. Gently place chicken back in skillet
& allow to simmer in sauce just until the
chicken is heated through & sauce has
slightly thickened. Sprinkle with a bit of
Parmesan cheese & serve immediately.
Serves 5-6

NOTE: This can be served by itself or over
a bed of cooked pasta, rice or potatoes.


Cannoli Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. mascarpone cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar, for dusting

Prepare & bake cake according to
pkg. directions for a 9 X 13″ pan;
cool cake completely.
Poke holes all over top of cake (you
can use a straw or handle of a
wooden spoon). Reserve half cup
of sweetened condensed milk – pour
rest of sweet’d milk over top of cake
& press into holes. Refrigerate 1
hour to absorb milk. Combine both
cheeses & vanilla in mixer bowl; beat
until smooth. Add powdered sugar &
cinnamon (if using); mix until combined.
Add reserved sweet’d cond. milk & mix
until combined. Spread mixture evenly
over cooled cake. Top with mini
chocolate chips & a sprinkling of
powdered sugar. Cover cake & allow to
set in fridge 2-3 hours.
Cake should keep, refrigerated, 4-5 days.

NOTE: Pour off any ‘water’ on top of ricotta
before using.
The texture of the topping is like whipped
cream at soft peak stage – if you prefer it
to be thicker you can do one of 2 things:
(a) leave sweetened cond. milk out of the
topping and/or (b) add up to about 3 C.
powdered sugar (which would thicken it).



Our weather is FINALLY more Spring-like,
today it’s partly cloudy and 44 degrees F,
nice enough to wear a jacket.

I’m writing you a quick post as I need to
go throw together a meatloaf for dinner
and then get organized for Knit/Crochet
Night at 6:30. Husband loves meatloaf
so it will be a good ‘fix’ – with some
leftovers, too (I hope!).

Gas prices are up again – they
‘were’ $1.96/9 a few days ago
and now they’re at $2.09/9.
I have enough Kroger gas credits
to get 20 cents off per gallon BUT
Kroger’s gas is $2.19/9, so even if
I DID use my 20 cents off, I’d still
be at the current price for my
regular gas station – go figure! Will
be going to Clark tomorrow – forget
the Kroger stuff for now…

Enjoy your day;






I just spent a good 30 minutes writing out a blog entry for today only to find it got erased! UGH! There goes a good 8 recipes (once I enter them here, I erase them) and the time it took to compose that post. Oh well – time to ‘re-group’, eh?

Our weather has been holding at ‘Summer’ – it’s been in the 80’s and sunny – supposed to stay that way a few more days – YAY!

Gas prices are still holding at $2.19/9 – I filled up yesterday. So NICE to be able to have lower prices!

Delivered the three baby hats/blankets to the lady with the Crisis Pregnancy Center yesterday. I still have 4 more crocheted squares on the next blanket to finish then it’s time to sew them together. I’ve made 6 of each of 5 colors: blue, pink, mint green, yellow & lavender – am going to sew them together in stripes then probably border it in a variegated yarn which contains almost all of those colors.

(Sorry if these entries are a bit short – trying to remember what I typed a half hour ago!)


First a recipe I received last weekend at a picnic – my friend EJ brought these in a pizza box! She said it helps them to not stick together or break from being moved. They are REALLY TASTY and EASY!!!

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter (creamy or
1 egg

Large chocolate chips or/Reese’s
miniature peanut butter cups

Before beginning UNWRAP the
peanut butter cups so that they
are instantly available when the
cookies are done baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together sugar, peanut butter
& egg – using a small scoop, place
mounds on a cookie sheet &
bake 10-12 minutes  – WATCH
so they don’t burn! Remove from
oven and IMMEDIATELY place one
choc. chip or PB cup in center of
each cookie. Let cool & remove
from cookie sheet. Makes 20-22

NOTE: My friend brought her cookies
in a pizza box! She said it helps to
transport them so they don’t either
stick together or break apart when
being moved. Great idea!

(recipe: my friend EJ)

Honey/Mustard Potato Pouches

1/4 C. butter or margarine
2 T. honey
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1l2 lb. red potatoes (about 18
small), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C. sliced green onions

Combine butter, honey,mustard,
salt/pepper in large bowl; add
potatoes & toss to coat. Tear off
2 sheets heavy-duty foil, 24 inches
long. Arrange 1/2 of potato mixture
in center of each sheet; bring up
ends of foil & seal with double fold.
Grill, turning once, until potatoes
are tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully
open pouches & garnish with green
onions. Serves 6


Grilled Zucchini Roll-ups

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 large zucchini (1 1/2 lb)
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Mix cream cheese, feta & herbs
until blended. Trim ends of zucchini;
(discard ends). Cut each zucchini into
4 lengthwise slices & place in medium
bowl. Add dressing; toss to evenly
coat. Grill zucchini 5 minutes or until
tender, turning after 3 minutes – cool
5 minutes. Spread each zucchini slice
with about 2 T. cream cheese mixture;
roll up. Serves 8

(recipe: kraft recipes)

One-Pan Mushroom/Asiago Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
4 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. dry white wine or
chicken broth
3/4 C. chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme or
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. shredded Asiago cheese
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Serve with cooked pasta or mashed

Cut each chicken breast into thirds by
first cutting each breast in half crosswise,
then set thinner half aside. Slice thicker
part in half horizontally to make 2 more
thin cutlets. Cover pieces with plastic wrap
& pound with meat mallet or bottom of a
small skillet until all pieces are 1/4 ” thick.
Lightly season each on both sides with salt/
pepper & dredge in flour. Place a large skillet
over medium-high heat & melt 2 T. butter.
Place as many cutlets as will fit skillet; be sure
to not overcrowd. Sauté 5 minutes until golden
brown on first side, flip & cook 1 minute. Remove
chicken to plate, cover lightly with foil & repeat
with remaining chicken cutlets. When all chicken
is cooked, add remaining butter to skillet along
with mushrooms & 1/2 tsp. salt; cook 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden
& become softened. Add garlic & cook 2 minutes.
Pour white wine (or broth) into skillet & stir to
scrape anything sticking to bottom of pan. Once
wine has nearly all evaporated, add 3/4 C. chicken
broth & thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to
medium & cook 10-15 minutes at rapid simmer
until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to
medium-low & stir in heavy cream. Sprinkle
Asiago cheese over top of sauce & stir constantly
until cheese melts. Place chicken back in skillet
& simmer in sauce just until chicken is heated
through & sauce has thickened slightly. Sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese & serve immediately.
Serve with cooked pasta or mashed potatoes.
Serves 5-6


Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Corn Dip

8 strips bacon
2 (11 oz, ea) cans whole kernel corn,
1 jalapeno, seeded/minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In cast iron or oven-proof skillet
cook bacon over medium heat
until slightly crispy; remove from
heat & place on paper towels.
Drain all but 1 tsp. grease. Crumble
bacon. Combine corn, jalapeno,
cream cheese, mozzarella, salt,
cayenne, half of bacon & half of
basil. Scoop mixture into skillet
& bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle top
with remaining bacon & basil;
top with Parm. cheese. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Nana’s Frozen Fruit Salad

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. heavy cream, whipped
1 C. maraschino cherries, quartered
1 (16 or 20 oz) can fruit cocktail,
2 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows,
about 24

Beat cream cheese & mayonnaise; fold
in whipped cream, cherries, drained
fruit cocktail & marshmallows. Pour
into a 1-quart freezer container (or you
can use a metal ice cube tray with the
insert removed). Garnish top with
additional maraschino cherries. Freeze
until firm. Just before plating, cut into
1 inch squares & place on individual
plates. Serves 8

(recipe: Recipes-Galore)

Surprise Taco Pie

1/4 C. butter
2/3 C. milk
2 T. taco seasoning*
(1 packet taco seasoning
mix, divided)
2 1/2 C. mashed potato flakes

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 can (Ro-Tel) fire-roasted
tomatoes, do not drain
2 T. taco seasoning*
1 tsp. chili powder
dash hot sauce (optional)
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)

Optional Toppings:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
sliced black olives
sliced jalapeno peppers
sour cream
sliced avocado

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium pan melt butter then add
milk & 2 T. taco seasoning; mix well.
Remove from heat & add potato
flakes, mixing until well combined. Press
mixture into bottom & up sides of a pie
plate; bake 7-10 minutes. Cook meat &
onion until done; drain. Add tomatoes,
taco seasoning & spices. When mixture
starts to bubble, pour into crust. Top
with cheese & bake 15 minutes.

*One packet taco seasoning has
4 T. -this recipe uses one packet of
taco seasoning.

(recipe: Courney Luper – Facebook

Zucchini Cobbler

6 C. chopped/seeded/peeled
2/3 C. lemon juice
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large saucepan over medium-low
heat cook & stir zucchini & lemon
juice 15-20 minutes until zucchini is
tender. Add sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg;
cook 1 minute longer. Remove from
heat. Combine flour, sugar in a bowl;
cut in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 C. into zucchini
mixture. Press half of remaining crust
mixture into greased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking
dish. Spread zucchini over top; crumble
remaining crust mixture over zucchini &
sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake 35-40
minutes until golden & bubbly. Makes
16-20 servings.



Not much else new – this Friday is my special
needs group’s Gym Night – should be fun. I’m
working on planning next Tuesday night’s
Knit/Crochet MOVIE night for that group –
we get together on an ‘off night’ (my knit
group meets every ‘other’ Tuesday) at one
of our ladies houses – it’s a pot luck, knit/
crochet (or don’t) and watch a movie – lots
of fun! The food theme this time is: Italian.
I have NO idea what I’m bringing! I sent out
the invitation about a half hour ago and then
the ladies email me back what they’re bringing;
I put their names/food on a list and when it
gets closer to the day I send out a final list
so that everyone knows what foods we’re
having and how many to prepare for. Usually
we have about 10-12 people so it’s a nice,
small group. I’m REALLY hoping the ladies
bring UPBEAT/FUN/FUNNY movies to choose
from – last time the group chose “Still Alice”
good movie BUT it’s about a lady who gets
Alzheimer’s and you watch her slowly fade
away – VERY SAD! At one point in the movie
one of my ladies turned around and yelled:
DEPRESSING!” (don’t blame her – that was
my thought, too!) I suggest they bring
a movie (or more) that they like and then
those that are there that night vote on
what to watch (I think most of us that
night had NOT seen it and thought: “That
sounds OK”). I’m thinking of renting the
movie with Melissa McCarthy “Spy!”
since I know that’s supposed to be really
funny – we’ll see.

Hope you’re enjoying this ‘last of the
Summer’ weather!



Long Day – Time to rest


Thought this was a funny sign! (found on Facebook)

Today was the ‘watch grandson for a few hours’ day – turns out his Dad ended up working a LOT more than a ‘few’ hours! They got here around 9:30 – he took a nap until around 11 a.m. and then we sorted through some of the games & ‘stuff’. He decided he wanted to play Scrabble (of all things!) with me! He just turned 9 and I must say he did an EXCELLENT job – (I won by 12 points – but he is a contender for a great Scrabble player when he gets older!). Middle son stopped over and just threw out the comment: “We all learned – NO ONE challenges Mom to Scrabble – she’s the reigning Champ!” (It’s true but I didn’t want my grandson to know that!) We had fun going through more toys, each with the question put to him: “If you want it, just tell me – other wise I can find someone who will want it.” His Dad finally came around 4 p.m. and was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of ‘stuff’ going to HIS house! “Mom, you can just leave this stuff here for him to play with!” NO! It’s going home with YOU! How do you think we got all this stuff? Your Grandmother did the same thing to us! (different ‘stuff’, same idea – send it out the door!). Got rid of a few more things today; pretty soon I’ll need to buckle down and re-package some of it, to go back in the closet but THIS time it will be able to fit with ease! YAY!

Was going to go grocery shopping today before we learned it was going to be a long day – guess tomorrow will be the trips to various stores. Grandson asked me which grocery store I shopped at and I rattled off a list of about 3 grocery stores and a few drug stores – he looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I said: “YES! DRUG STORES! You can get some really good deals on some grocery items just by following their flyers!” (Guess ya never really get out of the ‘homeschool/teaching’ mode, eh?) Just as an example: this week Walgreen’s has my instant coffee on sale for $2.99 a jar (normally around $7-8 at a grocery store); garbage bags – also have a $1.00 off coupon for them – double SCORE! Computer printer paper $3.00 a 400-sheet pkg – limit 4 (that’s REALLY cheap – and I go through a LOT with my special needs group’s newsletters AND printing up knitting/crochet patterns. Yep, I’m a FRUGAL shopper!


Peachy Cream Cheese Cobbler
(fresh peaches recipe)

1 stick (1/2 C.) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 quarts fresh peaches,
washed/peeled & sliced
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into
small pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & pour into 9 X 13″
baking dish. In small bowl mix
egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt; pour directly
over butter in baking dish-
DO NOT stir. Add peaches,
arranging in single layer as much
as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese
pieces on top. Bake 45 minutes
until top is golden brown & edges
are bubbly. (crust rises up &
around the fruit).

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)
Cool Cucumber Salad

2 C. thinly sliced cucumbers (4 small
or 2 large)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. thinly sliced onion
1/4 C. vinegar
1/4 C. water
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. black pepper (coarse ground)
1 pinch red pepper, ground

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl; refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

2-Ingredient Pork Chops

5-6 thick bone-in pork chops
2-3 envelopes dry Italian salad dressing
mix (Good Seasons)
(do not add salt – mix has enough)

Rinse chops; pat dry. Place dry mix
in shallow bowl; lightly coat chops
with mix on both sides. Heat skillet
to medium heat; spray with nonstick
spray or lightly coat with olive oil.
Grill chops 6 minutes per side. Cook
until internal temp. reaches 145-150
degrees F.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 T. cream cheese
1 T. green onion, chopped
2 strips bacon, partially cooked

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pound out chicken breast to about
1/4″ thick. Mix together cream cheese
& green onions; spread over 1 side
of chicken breast. Roll up to cover
cream cheese. Wrap partially cooked
bacon around breast & secure with
wooden toothpick. Place on baking
sheet & bake 30 minutes. Place
under broiler about 5 minutes to
crisp bacon (keep an eye on it so
bacon doesn’t burn!).
Serves 1-2

(recipe: cocinandoconalena.blogspot

Cheese Grits & Sausage Casserole

1 lb. ground pork sausage
4 1/4 C. water
2 tsp. salt
1 C. quick-cooking grits
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray. Cook sausage in medium
skillet over medium-high heat until no
longer pink; drain grease. Heat water in
medium saucepan to boiling. Stir in salt &
whisk in grits; stir briskly to prevent
clumping. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
10-12 minutes until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add sausage (reserve 1/4 C.
for topping), Cheddar cheese, cream
cheese & pepper into grits. Stir well &
pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved
sausage on top & bake 25-30 minutes.


Cheesy Bacon-Chive Biscuits

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
3 T. minced chives
1/2 C. cooked, chopped bacon
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter
3/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In small bowl toss together cheese,
chives & bacon; set aside. In separate
bowl whisk flour, baking powder & salt.
Cut in butter using pastry blender or
two forks. Add milk & stir just enough
to bring mixture together. (should be a
soft dough) Gently fold in cheese mixture.
Turn dough onto floured surface & knead
one minute. Pat or roll dough out to 1/2 –
3/4 inch thickness; cut into rounds (can
use a biscuit cutter or mouth of a glass cup)

For crisp biscuits: Place far apart on ungreased
baking sheet
For fluffier biscuits: place close together on
ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes until brown on top.


Zucchini Pasta

1 lb. rotini pasta
1 C. cream cheese
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 medium zucchini, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt/ fresh ground black pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
until al dente. Drain & reserve 1 C.
pasta water. Heat olive oil in large pan
or skillet over medium-high heat; saute
garlic 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add
zucchini & cook 2 minutes, stirring
frequently. Reduce heat to medium; stir
in cream cheese & cook until smooth &
creamy. Season with salt/pepper then add
drained pasta to pan, stirring to totally
coat pasta. Pour in 1/2 C. reserved pasta
water & stir to combine.
NOTE: Add more or less pasta water until
desired consistency is reached. Stir in
grated Parmesan cheese & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes)

Cinnamon Sugar Shortbread Bars

2 C. butter, room temp
1 C. powdered sugar
3 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. cornstarch
1/2 C. sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In bowl of stand mixer beat
together butter & powdered sugar
until light & fluffy. Mix in flour &
cornstarch until well combined. Pat
into an ungreased 10 X 15 rimmed
baking sheet. Prick all over with a
fork. In small bowl combine sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over dough.
Bake 40 minutes until edges are lightly
golden & cookie is set. Cut into bars
while still warm.


Just finished watching a really good movie-
“The Theory of Everything” (2015) about
Stephen Hawking. It was interesting, sad/
deeply moving, etc. He has outlived ALL
that the doctors told him when first
diagnosed – they told him he had Lou
Gehrig’s disease and gave him 2 years
to live – he’s now 73 and was diagnosed
in his 20’s! Excellent actors – I would
highly recommend it.

Hope you’re having a great day –
it’s been clear & warm today 71;
showers 70% likely with thunder-
storms, tomorrow (sure puts a
damper on my shopping – but I
really NEED to go, so guess I’ll just
carry my ‘bumpershoot’ (umbrella,
for the Americans! hehehe)



Sunshiny Saturday!


Even though our weather has been cold (in the 20’s with tiny ‘dandruff-like’ flakes of snow) it’s still bright & sunny out and that makes me happy!

Last night was my special needs group’s Gym Night – we played Bingo (which the kids love) – only problem? We only had a total of 15 people (and that includes caregivers!). Small group – lots of fun; great snacks: salsa & “Scoops” chips or Chex mix and pop – the kids had fun and so did we.

We just finished the last of the Taco Salad – middle son stopped over the other day and said: “Taco Salad? I knew I smelled something good! Why Taco Salad?” My answer: because your Dad & I WANTED some! That’s one of those foods that we ALL pig-out on, can’t seem to just eat a little. Love it – glad it’s gone so I can go back to eating ‘normal’ sized portions!


Layered Ranch Dip

2 C. (16 oz) sour cream
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing
mix (dry)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green
chilies, drained
1 (4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterey
Jack cheese

corn or tortilla chips, for serving

In small bowl mix sour cream & dry
dressing mix; spread into a large
shallow dish. Layer with chopped
tomato, green chilies, olives, onion
& cheese. Refrigerate until serving.
Serve with chips; makes 8 servings


Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat oil & garlic in small saucepan over
Low heat until garlic becomes golden,
several minutes (do not burn) – allow
oil to cool. Bend asparagus gently at
bottom end, when it snaps discard
end pieces. Place asparagus on lipped
roasting pan & toss with oil/garlic,
coating all pieces. LIne up asparagus &
push together, season with salt/pepper,
then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Roast
12 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
Serve at once.


Italian Chicken Alfredo

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 C. water
1 (.7 oz) pkg. dry Italian -style salad
dressing mix
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4.5 oz) can sliced, canned mushrooms
1 (8 oz) pkg. spaghetti
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crock;
combine dry Italian dressing mix & water
in small bowl then pour over chicken.
Sprinkle with garlic. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours.
After 4 hours, whisk softened cream cheese
& chicken soup together in a bowl; pour
over chicken & stir in mushrooms. Cover &
cook on Low 1 additional hour. Cook
spaghetti accordg. to pkg. directions.
To serve, spoon chicken & sauce over hot,
cooked spaghetti then sprinkle tops with
chopped parsley.

(recipe: Ron & Jean-Slowcooker Digest)

Mint Oreo Cookies

Peppermint or mint flavoring
green food coloring
waxed paper
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
3 bags Hershey White chocolate chips*

Pour half of white chips in glass measuring
cup (2 Cup). Heat in microwave 30 seconds
at a time, stirring after each heating; when
chocolate is almost melted let it set 1 minute.
Add 1 capful of mint flavoring and about
7 drops food coloring; stir to incorporate.
Chocolate will start to set up a bit after adding
these. Add 1 T. shortening & stir. Dip 1 Oreo
in chocolate; using two spoons, gently roll
Oreo around in chocolate; lift cookie up
between the 2 spoons & gently shake it back
& forth to allow some chocolate to drip off.
Place dipped cookie on a cookie sheet lined
with waxed paper. Once you have used up
all of your melted chocolate, melt the other
half as directed above (reserve about 1/3 C.
to drizzle over the cookies later); finish
dipping the rest of the Oreos. Drizzle
remainder of white chocolate over tops of
cookies & let them set up. You can refrigerate
them to quicken the process. Makes about
45 cookies.

*Poster notes Nestle’s chips does NOT work
for this recipe (once food coloring & mint gets
added, chocolate gets quite chalky). She
recommends Kroger or Walmart generic brands
for this.



Family Swiss Steak


2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 lb. boneless beef round steak,
cut into 1″ thick pieces
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, peeled & thinly
2 medium stalks celery, thinly
2 medium onions, peeled & thinly
4 medium plum tomatoes, thinly
1/2 C. beef broth

In small bowl combine flour,
thyme & paprika.Using pastry
brush, brush Wors. over steak
pieces then dredge in flour mixture.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet
with nonstick spray. Place skillet
on medium-high heat, add steak
pieces & brown on both sides,
about 5 minutes per side.
Transfer meat to crockpot; top
with garlic slices, celery, onions
& tomatoes. Pour beef broth
over top – do not stir. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4-5 hours.

(recipe: Cheryl B-slowcooker digest)

Zucchini Quiche

Crust: (or use store-bought)

1 1/2 C. flour

4 T vegetable shortening, cold

3 T. ice water

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,

to taste

dry beans*for weighing down crust while


5 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 C milk (or 1 C milk, 1/2 C heavy cream)

1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 white onion, chopped

2-3 small zucchinis, rinsed/chopped

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,

to taste

mixed herbs, garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 450º F.
Spray quiche pan with nonstick spray.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade,
pulse flour with (very cold) cubed butter,
shortening and salt until mixture is pebble-
like in texture.
While pulsing, slowly drizzle

in ice cold water until dough ball begins to

form. Turn out onto counter and roll into a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap &refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge and roll out onto a lightly
floured surface. Fold dough in half and carefully
transfer to 10-inch pie pan.
Spread dough

out gently in pan and trim off  excess overhang.

[Dough should be rolled out 1-2-inches larger

than intended pie pan.] Cover crust with sheet

of parchment paper or aluminum foil and

weigh down with beans*. Place in oven and

bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake,

uncovered for another 5. Remove
from oven and reduce oven temperature

to 350º F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a

large pan over medium-high heat. Cook

zucchini until softened, 8-9 minutes.

Add onion (and if necessary, more olive oil),
and cook until translucent and fragrant,

stirring occasionally. 5-7 minutes. Drain

off excess oil and season with salt & pepper.

Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix milk

(and heavy cream) with beaten eggs, and

add nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Spread veggies out evenly in the crust & slowly
pour in egg mixture. Cover the top with mixed
cheeses and herbs, if using.
Place in oven &

bake for 35-40 minutes, or until
crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.
Yields 6-8 servings


Lemon Poppyseed Waffles/Lemon
Butter Cream Syrup

3 C. flour
2 T. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
3 eggs, beaten until frothy
2 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. butter, melted

Heat waffle iron.
In large mixing bowl place flour,
baking soda, salt, sugar & poppy seeds;
mix to combine. In separate bowl whisk
eggs, milk, oil & lemon juice; pour wet
ingredients into dry & whisk with fork.
When almost all batter is incorporated,
add 3 T. melted butter; whisk. Batter
should be slightly lumpy. Spray waffle
iron with nonstick spray; carefully scoop
(or pour) batter into iron & cook waffles.

Lemon Butter Cream Syrup

1/2 C. butter
1/2 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1-2 T. lemon zest
3 drops yellow food coloring
dash salt

Using medium saucepan, melt butter
over medium-high heat. Add sugar &
evap. milk; stir & bring to boil. Cook 4-5
minutes, continuously stirring. Remove
pan from heat & add lemon zest (start
with 1 tsp. & taste, if you want more,
add another tsp.) Add lemon juice &
food coloring – taste syrup & adjust
(if you want  more zip, add more zest
& lemon juice). Allow pan to sit for
a few minutes on counter to thicken.
Makes 1 1/2 C. syrup


Ranch Cheddar Chicken

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch salad dressing mix, dry
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper
1/3 C. Panko bread crumbs*
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 pan or spray
with nonstick spray. In small bowl
whisk mayo, cheese, Ranch mix & garlic.
Season chicken with salt/pepper, to taste.
Place chicken in single layer in prepared
dish; top with mayo mixture & sprinkle
top with Panko crumbs. Cook 25-30
minutes until thoroughly cooked & top
is golden brown. Serve immediately,
garnished with parsley, if desired.
Serves 8

*Panko can be found in the Asian aisle


Cheesy Bacon/Ranch Potatoes

6 slices bacon
3 lb. red potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 T. Ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
2 T. chopped chives

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil. Spread bacon in single layer on
baking sheet; bake 12-14 minutes
until brown & crispy. Let cool before
crumbling; set aside.
Line crockpot with aluminum foil,
leaving enough to overhang – to
wrap potateos on top; spray foil
with nonstick spray. Place layer of
potatoes evenly in crockpot; top with
cheese, dry Ranch & bacon. Repeat
2 more times, reserving 1/2 C. cheese.
Cover potatoes with overlapping foil.
Cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 3-4
hours. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese, cover & cook until melted,
about 1-2 minutes. Serve garnished
with chopped chives. Serves 8


Still working on nephew’s scarf, now almost half
done – it’s an easy 2-row pattern, so I should
get it done within the week. Speaking of weeks –
this coming one is filled! Take car into shop to
see what’s leaking, help middle son with paper-
work on his car lease, Good Friday service (choir
singing and an hour choir practice after, prep
for Easter Sunday breakfast (Sat) and then
Easter Sunday – WOOF! (I’m good as long as
I don’t think about how busy it’s going to be!)
Oh, and throw in Knit Night Tuesday and my
special needs group Weds.

Still have a little grocery shopping to do for
Easter dinner – it’s going to be a rather ‘plain’
dinner this time: Ham, cheesy potatoes,
green bean casserole, rolls, veg tray and
carrot cake; I already talked to oldest son
who’s bringing his cheesy potatoes (YUM!) –
that’s one less thing I have to make. Still
have to do a little ‘Easter basket’ shopping
as well – not sure if I actually bought anything
for grandson’s basket! (How CAN I forget?!).
Many years ago when grandson was little
(probably 4) he looked at his Dad’s Easter
basket (which had a bag of black jellybeans
in it) and said: “Wow, Dad! I didn’t know
the Easter Bunny shops at Krogers!” (I’d
forgotten to take the sticker off the bag!)
My son said grandson was really amazed,
thinking that they ‘might’ have actually
SEEN the Easter Bunny at Krogers!) Funny!

Have a great day!



Got the opportunity to watch an
older movie “I Dreamed of Africa” – (2000);
starring Kim Basinger, Eva Marie Saint, Vincent
Perez – GREAT movie! Borrowed the disc from
a friend and watched it on my computer – it’s full
of action and about three KLEENEX scenes; the
best part? It’s a true story of a woman who moved
to Africa with her newly married husband and her
young son (from a previous marriage) and how
they lived. Reminded me of “Out of Africa”
(1985 another good movie-Meryl Streep/Robert
Redford) as both movies are true stories of women
fending for themselves in a country filled with wild
animals, snakes, etc. I would highly recommend both

Just plain tired . . .


(No, I didn’t make this, just thought it was clever)

Today was my ‘get things done’ day and I think I over-did it a bit. Started out by baking (from scratch) a banana cake and then thought: “You know, you still have 3 black bananas, that’s enough to make a banana bread, too” – so I did. Got the dishwasher loaded, made out a grocery list, make omelets for everyone for breakfast, then it was time to go grocery shopping. Went to the dollar store, grocery store & finished up at the drug store. Everything is put away and I’m BEAT! Dinner is simple: sloppy joes – always a favorite and it helps to have something easy to cook when you’re just too pooped!


Crockpot Hamburger & Potato Bake

1 1/2 lb. hamburger, browned/drained
1 large onion, sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled/sliced
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. milk
1 small can corn niblets
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Layer potatoes, onions, garlic &
hamburger until all is used, sprinkling
each layer with salt & pepper. Mix soup
& milk; pour over top. Cook 3-4 hours
on High. Stir in corn niblets the last 30
minutes & top with cheese. Serves 4
(Cook in 4-6 qt. crockpot for best


Ham & Cheese Skillet

1/4 C. onion, chopped
1/3 C. green pepper, chopped
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. milk
2 C. cooked ham, cubed
8 oz. dry macaroni noodles
1 C. sour cream *
1 C. shredded cheese (Swiss, Cheddar,
American, etc.)
salt & pepper, to taste

Melt butter in skillet & cook onions &
peppers until tender; stir in salt &
flour. Add milk, a little at a time, with
a fork or whisk. Add ham & macaroni;
stir constantly while bringing to a boil.
Cook until macaroni is tender. Stir in
sour cream & cheese to melt (DO NOT
boil.) Serves 6

*or 1/2 C. sour cream and 1/2 C.
plain Greek yogurt


(I’m planning on making this some time this week!)

Pepper Jack/Spinach-stuffed
Chicken Breast

1 lb. boneless,skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. Pepper Jack cheese,
1 C. frozen spinach, thawed/drained
2 T. olive oil
1 T. breadcrumbs
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Flatten chicken to 1/4″ thickness.
In medium bowl, combine cheese,
spinach, salt/pepper. Spoon about
1/4 C. mixture onto each breast; roll
each breast tightly & fasten seams
with toothpicks (you might need as
many as 8 toothpicks per breast –
make sure to count total toothpicks
used). Place breasts, seam-side up
on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush
each breast with oil, sprinkle bread-
crumbs over breasts and any remaining
spinach/cheese mixture. Bake 35-40
minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Remove toothpicks before serving. Serve
whole or sliced.

(recipe: Facebook)

Strawberry Cream Cheese

1 stick (1/2 C.) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 quarts whole strawberries,
washed/tops cut off
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into
small pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & pour into 9 X 13 pan,
moving pan around to coat bottom.
In small bowl mix egg, milk, flour,
sugar, baking powder & salt; pour
directly over butter in pan, do NOT
stir. Add strawberries, arranging in
a single layer as much as possible.
Sprinkle cream cheese pieces over
strawberries. Bake 45 minutes or
until top is golden brown & edges
are bubbling (Crust rises up &
around the fruit, but fruit will
still pop a little out of top).

(recipe: Facebook)

Melt in your Mouth Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 C. Parmesan cheese
2 C. Greek-style plain yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with
nonstick spray; place chicken
in pan. Mix together rest of
ingredients & spread  over
chicken breasts. Bake 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook-Courtney Luper)

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 T. butter
1 small yellow onion, cut in half &
very thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or
more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut spaghetti squash in half length-
wise & remove seeds. Place in a covered
dish with 1/4 inch water; microwave 10-12
minutes. In medium skillet over medium
heat, add butter, onions, red pepper & thyme;
cook until onions are slightly brown in color;
salt & pepper to taste. Using a fork, scrap
the insides out of the squash & transfer to
a small bowl. Combine squash, onion mixture
& half of cheese together; mix well. Place
mixture into a buttered baking dish & top
with remaining cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes
until golden brown on top. Serves 6


Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 C. taco sauce
1 C. Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

3 green onions, chopped (green tops, too)
sour cream
sliced black olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook ground beef in large skillet; add taco
seasoning & prepare accordg. to pkg. directions.
Add cream cheese; cover & simmer until cheese
is melted; blend well. Set aside & cool completely.
Cook pasta shells accordg. to directions; drain. Set
shells out individually on cutting board/baking
sheet so that they don’t stick together. Pour salsa
on bottom of 9 X 13 baking pan. Stuff each shell
with meat mixture. Place shells in pan, open side
up. Cover shells with taco sauce. Cover with foil &
bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add shredded
cheeses; remove foil & bake 10-15 minutes more.
Top with any condiments you like: green onions,
sliced olives, etc. Serve with extra sour cream &

(recipe: The Way to His Heart blog)

Knock You Naked Brownies!

1 stick butter, melted
flour, for dusting
1/3 + 1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 (18.5 oz) box German chocolate
cake mix
1 C. finely chopped pecans
60 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 9 baking pan.
Pour 1/3 C. evap. milk into bowl with
cake mix. Add melted butter & pecans;
mix together – it will be very thick. Divide
dough in half down the middle. Press half
into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until
slightly set, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven,
set aside. In double boiler, or glass bowl over
a pot of simmering water, combine caramels &
remaining 1/2 C. evap. milk. Stir occasionally
until caramels are totally melted & mixture is
smooth. Pour mixture over first baked layer,
spreading so it’s even. Sprinkle choc chips
over top.
On a clean surface or sheet of waxed paper, press
remaining dough into a square shape slightly
smaller than the baking pan. Carefully set it on
top of choc. chips. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove
pan from oven, let cool to room temp. Cover pan
& refrigerate brownies several hours to let them
set. When ready to serve: sprinkle top generously
with powdered sugar & cut into large rectangles
before removing from pan. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Food Network)

Easy Creamy Potato Soup

3 lb. potatoes, diced (don’t peel)
4 T. garlic powder
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (38 oz) can chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Add potatoes, garlic powder, onion &
chicken broth to crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 5 hours or Low for 8
hours. Remove soup from crockpot;
puree in blender or food processor
with cream cheese. Pour back into
crockpot & keep warm.

Poster says she serves hers with:
shredded Cheddar cheese
cooked/chopped bacon

on top.


Crockpot Chicken & Noodles

1 lb. chicken breast
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup,
10 oz. water
1 (8 oz) can chicken broth
1 (12 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles,
dry (not cooked)

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. In mixing bowl
mix together soup, water & broth.
Place chicken in crockpot & pour
mixture over chicken. Cook on
High 3 hours. Remove chicken;
cut or shred into bite-sized pieces
then place back in crockpot. Add
noodles DRY, not cooked, & cook
an additional hour, stirring
occasionally. Makes approx. 8,
1 Cup servings.

(recipe: ourtablefor

Pizza Soup with Homemade Croutons

1 (24 oz) jar Classico Four Cheese
pasta sauce
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans tomato soup
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) soup cans filled
with water
1 empty soup can filled with Half &
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz grated pizza blend cheese
(mozzarella & cheddar cheeses)

Homemade Croutons:
1/2 loaf Italian bread
olive oil
Italian seasoning
sea salt
garlic salt

Place pasta sauce in blender & blend
until completely smooth. Pour pasta
sauce, tomato soup, water, Half &
Half, oregano, garlic salt, onion powder
& Parm. cheese in large pot. Mix well
& warm over medium heat, stirring
often. Once soup is hot, add shredded
cheeses; stir until cheese melts. Serve
soup with croutons on top.

Cut Italian loaf into bite-sized pieces.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium
heat & add bread pieces*. Drizzle
more olive oil over bread & turn to
coat the pieces. Sprinkle with sea
salt, Italian seasoning & garlic salt.
Continue cooking, turning often, until
golden brown & crispy.

*depending on the size of the pan,
not all of the bread pieces might fit
in the pan at one time.


Our weather is still nice for this time
of year in Michigan – it’s holding to
the 30’s during the day for the most
part, colder (of course) at night. We
had a very light dusting of snow early
in the evening (when I came out of
church at around 7:20 there was a
thin layer of ice on my windows, but
not enough to worry about, easily
scraped off). It’s been sunny & clear
today – roads are great, so I’m not

Enjoy your day!



PS: Almost forgot! I had the pleasure
of watching (almost all) of the movie
“Captain America”; normally this
would not be a movie I would even
consider watching but it was on while
I was baking the cake so I ended up
getting to see almost all of it – it was
a GOOD movie!
Published in: on February 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Frrrrrrigid Saturday! Brrrrrrrr!


Woke up to the results of freezing rain, overnight

I had seen the weather report last night calling for freezing rain, but was really hoping that wouldn’t happen. Good thing: I don’t have anywhere to go today, but youngest son had to be to work at 11 a.m. to deliver pizzas – not good. Just took a peek at the forecast for next week: straight RAIN until Friday! Oh well, guess it’s better than snow! You don’t get big accumulations of rain (unless you get flooding –  but not in this area).

My last post was filled with appetizers & dips; I still have LOTS of holiday/Thanksgiving recipes for you. Remember – these are NOT my recipes; I list the origin of the recipe at the bottom of each one. (just thought I might need to add that disclaimer). Here ya go for today:


Pumpkin Pie “Smoothie”

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 C. milk
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
2 T. ground flax seed
2 T. honey
2 C. ice

Heat pumpkin & spice in medium
saucepan over medium heat, 5-7
minutes. Cool to room temp. Spoon
half pumpkin mixture with remaining
ingredients into a blender; pulse until
mixture is a smooth shake. Serve
immediately. Makes 2 C. (serves 1-2)

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice:
(makes 1/2 C.)

3 T. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. cloves

Mix all ingredients together, store in
air-tight jar. Makes 1/2 C.

(recipe: AARP. org)

Spiced Apple Dump Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box Spice cake mix
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
3/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 C. quick-cooking oats
1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a bowl combine dry cake mix, oats &
melted butter; mix to combine. Add pie
filling to bottom of greased crockpot.
Pour cake mix mixture over pie filling;
sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using.
Cover & cook on High 2 hours. Serve
warm or cold, with ice cream or
whipped topping/whipped cream,
if desired. Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpotladies)
Stuffed Mushrooms

16 oz. whole mushrooms (not sliced)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 t. finely chopped green onion
3 T. cooked/crumbled bacon
freshly cracked black pepper
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Gently wash mushrooms & remove
stems. Mix chopped green onion to
cream cheese in a bowl; add bacon &
cracked pepper; mix to combine.
Place mushroom caps (open side up)
on a greased cookie sheet; fill insides
with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle tops
with some Panko bread crumbs; press
crumbs into cream cheese so they will
stick. Bake 15-20 minutes; serve hot.
Makes about 20

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

(stuffing served in a bowl)
2 loaves French bread, cut into
little pieces
1/2 C. melted butter
1 lb. ground sausage
9 stalks celery, chopped
3 onions, chopped
3 T. butter
1 T. celery salt
1 T. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. sage
4 eggs, beaten
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place bread pieces on two large
baking sheets; pour 1/2 C. melted
butter over tops & use your hands to
mix so that all are evenly coated.
Bake 25 minutes until golden brown;
stirring every 10 minutes. Brown
sausage; melt 3 T. butter in large
skillet; add veggies & saute until
onions are transparent & celery is
crisp-tender. In a very large mixing
bowl combine all ingredient except
eggs; mix well. Add eggs; stir until
well combined. Make SURE all eggs
are well incorporated. Spray a 9 X 13
pan with nonstick spray; pour
stuffing mixture into pan & cover
tightly with foil. Bake 35 minutes;
serve hot. Makes 15 generous

NOTE: If you want to stuff your bird
using this mixture make the following
Do not brown sausage, saute eggs or
toast bread. Omit broth & final 1/2 C.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Salad

2 1/2 C. pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 oz) pkg. raspberry Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
3 C. frozen raspberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place pretzels in small food processor
or blender; grind into coarse crumbs.
Add melted butter & 3 T. sugar; mix
until combined. Spread mixture into
a 9 X 13 pan; spread evenly. Bake
13 minutes until golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool completely. Using a
stand mixer or medium mixing bowl,
beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & mix 4 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip; mix 1 minute until well
incorporated. Heat 2 C. water in
microwave until boiling; add Jell-O
stir until dissolved. Pour raspberries
into Jell-O; stir to combine. Place
bowl in fridge until mixture has
thickened a bit; not totally set.
Remove crust from fridge; spread
cream cheese mixture over crust;
smooth then pour raspberry
Jell-0 on top. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours.

Crispy Green Beans with Bacon

2 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned
8 slices bacon, chopped into
small chunks
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper

Place chopped bacon & onions
in large, deep skillet. Cook on
medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally, 7-10  minutes. Line
a plate with paper towels &
carefully place bacon/onions
on it. Discard all but 1 T. bacon
grease from pan; add 1 T. olive
oil to grease & heat on medium-
high heat. Add green beans &
saute, stirring occasionally. After
5 minutes add 1-2 T. hot water &
cover pan. Steam 3-4 minutes,
then remove lid & taste; they
are done when they are crisp-
tender. Add bacon/onion to pan;
season with salt/pepper; stir &
serve. Makes 6 servings


Cranberry Casserole

3 medium apples (Gala)
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 to 3/4 C. sugar

1 C. oatmeal
1/3 C. self-rising flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Peel & slice apples; place into
buttered 9 X 13 pan. Place
cranberries on top of apples;
sprinkle with sugar. Mix
oatmeal, flour, brown sugar &
nuts in zip-lock bag. Pour in
melted butter & shake well;
crumble over apple mixture.
Bake 30 minutes; uncover &
bake 30 minutes longer.

(recipe: way2go4health-Marys
Recipe Exchange)
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

2/3 C. flour
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. evaporated milk
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with
paper liners. In bowl, whisk
together flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt & pumpkin
pie spice. In large bowl whisk
together pumpkin puree, sugar,
eggs, vanilla & evaporated milk
until well combined. Add in dry
ingredients & whisk until no
streaks of flour remain & batter
is smooth. Fill each muffin cup
with approx. 1/3 C. batter. Bake
20 minutes & let cool 20 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan & chill
in fridge 30 minutes. Top with
whipped cream & sprinkle tops
with more pumpkin pie spice or
cinnamon before serving.
Makes 12


Pumpkin “Lasagna” (dessert)

1 C. flour
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

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

Pumpkin Layer:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small boxes vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. toasted walnuts or
pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, butter & 1/2 C. nuts;
press into baking dish, bake 15 minutes
then remove from oven & let cool completely.
Mix cream cheese & powdered sugar until
light & fluffy; add 1 C. Cool Whip; spread
over cooled crust. Refrigerate while
making pumpkin mixture. Mix milk &
vanilla pudding mix; add pumpkin puree &
cinnamon; mix until smooth. Spread over
top of cheesecake layer. Spread remaining
1 C. Cool Whip; sprinkle with chopped nuts
& refrigerate at least 3 hours.


 Mozzarella-stuffed Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 C. breadcrumbs
1 T. Italian seasoning
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. mozzarella, cut into cubes
jar marinara sauce

In large bowl mix ingredients
on list: beef through pepper;
form into 2″ balls. Press a cheese
cube into middle of ball & seal
meat around it. Heat 1/2″ olive
oil in large skillet; brown meatballs
& set aside on a plate. Pour
marinara sauce in a saucepan &
bring to a simmer. Add meatballs
& simmer until cooked through,
about 30 minutes.
Serving suggestions:
on top of cooked spaghetti or on top
of a hoagie bun, or on toothpicks
as an appetizer


Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
2 C. shredded lettuce
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives

(baked tortilla chips, for serving)

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, salsa & taco seasoning; mix well
with elec. mixer. Spread on bottom of a
large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded
lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese & black
olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
24 servings

(recipe: skinnytastecom)

I have a tendency to post ALL of the
great-sounding recipes in one post – but
I’ll ‘restrain’ myself, knowing there’s still
four more days until Thanksgiving. Wow!
ONLY FOUR! Guess I’d better get to writing
down my grocery list, eh? I’ll probably go
shopping on Tuesday – we’ll see. I was
thinking last night about how each year
I ‘attempt’ to try one new recipe for our
holiday dinner, and usually it fizzles. My
family is DEEPLY rooted in tradition: just
give us the STANDARD MENU for our
holidays – it’s OK to vary it turkey or ham,
but don’t mess with anything else! (This
year I’m going to try a different cranberry
relish/sauce recipe – we’ll see how it goes!)
Long story: years ago I was able to purchase
Ocean Spray Cranberry-Orange relish in a
tub EVERY YEAR – then they stopped making
it! (I’d guess, about 3 years ago) – I attempted
making my own – it was OK – made WAY TOO
MUCH – we had it for weeks! Oh well, we’ll
see how that goes this year. Sort of tempted
to go with a homemade pumpkin pie, too –
but I’m not much of a pie baker, so I might
forgo that one, too – sigh. What are some
of YOUR holiday food traditions? I’d love to
hear from you! Here’s our ‘standard’ menu:

Turkey (or ham)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet Potatoes (for oldest son, he’s the
only one that eats them – and he’s a chef!)
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Casserole
Rolls (Kroger’s ‘Snowflake’)
veggie tray
some sort of dessert(s)

Since today is rather ‘open ended’, think I’ll
go knit a few more baby hats. Right now I’m
at 22 premie/25 newborn; am thinking of
delivering them on Monday. Usually I try
to get 50 of each, but I’m thinking that since
I’m already knitting scarves/hats for the
homeless shelters, I’ll take a break on the
baby hats for awhile.

Just looked outside – it seems our weather
is warming up – the ice on my car is gone!
YAY! When I looked (about an hour ago)
there were long, thick ice ‘columns’ going
from the bottom of my car to the ground,
not counting the windows were ice sheets.
That’s a good thing they’ve melted, I’ll
not be so prone to worrying while my
youngest is on the roads delivering pizzas!

Have a great day! Maybe read a book,
take a quick ‘power’ nap, drink something
warm & comforting (cocoa/tea/coffee),
do SOMETHING you enjoy!



PS:  Just saw a preview of a upcoming
movie about the life of Steven Hawking,
the theoretical physicist called: “The Theory of
Everything” – sounds interesting! We
still have a movie gift card (from last
Christmas) that we haven’t used – maybe
THIS will be the movie we go see! It comes
out November 26th.
There’s another movie coming out with
Benedict Cumberbatch called:
“The Imitation Game” that sounds really
interesting: it’s about the life of English
mathematician/logician: Alan Turing who
helped crack the ‘Enigma Code’ during
WWII. – can you tell I like biographies?

And We’re Off – AGAIN!

Yep, I’m ‘back in the game’ – the ART DESIGN PROJECT game, of course! This particular project is (in my opinion) VERY touchy/difficult only in that it not only requires you cut things out of construction paper very finely BUT it requires you to think OPPOSITE of what your normal brain-thinking would be. I’ll attempt to explain: this project is supposed to be a book cover BUT it’s in REVERSE – think of an old-time film negative: that which is white is black/etc. The book covers are to be done on 6 X 6″ bristol (kind of thick cardboard) board using cut out construction paper for the designs. We are to chose 5 book titles (as given by the teacher) and come up with designs for them. On the back of the presention board they are to render a 2 X 2″ square in black & white that is the opposite of the front design (see what I mean about brain-thinking? His teacher did tell the class normal people don’t think this way, so it’s very difficult to wrap your brain around this idea – at least for ME it was!) Here is what we’ve done so far:


This is the cover, done in black & light blue, here is the back side 2 X 2″ black & white


(I had to show this in 2 photos, since this one is done) The rest have not been glued to the presentation boards yet, so I photographed them, not glued, on a white board)


The book title is:  Sunset Yoga


This book title is: Greek Architecture

(it kind of looks crooked, but it’s only resting on the white board, not glued)

We still have two more designs to finish; I sketched out my ideas for the last two, but middle son has to make up his mind how he wants to do them. At the last minute he suddenly decided to change-up one of the titles (oh, great . . . sigh). We’ll see what happens. (Ah, yes – son just got home and said (about the Greek Architecture one)
“Don’t you remember? The teacher said she wants the design moved over closer to the middle of the page?” Let’s just say I wasn’t happy (to put it mildly!) His comment: “Mom, you don’t take criticism well.” YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!  This is where I just back off and see how he does the rest of this, right?

Not much new around here – Knit/Movie night went very well: 11 people and a TON of food! The funny thing? Four people said they were bringing dessert, none (at the time) said exactly WHAT dessert. Come that night – we ended up with FOUR batches of CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! How funny! Watched the movie: “Dear John”; some really liked it, I thought it was OK.

Today was ‘supposed’ to be the finish of our roofing/gutters project (we let them delay finishing due to all the snow & ice). They came out and said: “The weather is supposed to get worse today – snow & rain, so we’ll call as soon as we get clearer weather.” That’s fine – we had nothing ELSE to do, anyway! Good old Winter/Spring – ya just never know whether it’s going to be clear or snowy! I saw two robins yesterday! (for us, here in Michigan, they are a harbinger of Spring!).


Ooey-Gooey Chicken

6 boneless, skinless hcicken thighs
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C. water
1 T. dry Italian salad dressing mix (see below)
1 T. quick cooking tapioca
3/4 C. Greek-style plain yogurt (or sour cream),
room temperature (to prevent curdling)
1 T. flour
salt & pepper
bacon bits (optional)

Cooked rice, noodles or potatoes

Place chicken in crockpot. Pour cream of
chicken soup, water, dressing mix &
tapioca over top. Cover & cook on Low
4-6 hours. Remove chicken & shred or
cut into pieces. In a bowl, stir together
Greek yogurt (or sour cream) & flour. Add
mixture to crockpot & stir. Add chicken
back to crockpot; stir into creamy mixture.
Salt & pepper, to taste. Serve over cooked
rice, noodles or potatoes (top with a
spoonful of bacon bits, if desired)
Serves 6

Dry Italian Dressing Mix:
(Makes large amount – if you
want to use it for salads, also or
just use the required amount above
for this recipe)

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. sugar
2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. ground basil
1 T. dried parsley
2 T. salt
Mix all ingredients & store in an
airtight container.
(IF you want to make it into
salad dressing:)

2/3 C. apple cider vinegar
2/3 C. olive oil
2 T. water
2 T. dry mix

In a jar, combine all 4 ingredients &
shake. Store in the jar with a lid, in
the refrigerator.

(recipe: 365 days of
Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 (8 oz) pkg. egg noodles
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 oz) can onion soup
1 1/2 C. colby cheese, grated
1 C. chopped celery
1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimentos
1/4 C. slivered almonds
2 (10 oz, ea) cans chunk chicken or
1 1/2 C. cooked, chopped chicken
buttered bread crumbs

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cook noodles accordg to pkg directions.
Combine soups & cheese in small saucepan;
heat until cheese is melted. Combine cooked
noodles, soup & cheese mixture, celery, pimentos,
almonds & chicken. Pour into a 2 1/2 qt. greased
casserole dish. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on
top. Bake 40-45 minutes.  Serves 4


Zucchini-Onion Frittata

3 T. butter
2 T. vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut in half & sliced
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
chopped, seeded plum tomatoes (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter with oil in 12″ ovenproof skillet
over medium-high heat. Add zucchini & onion,
saute 12-14 minutes or until onion is tender.
Remove from heat & stir in 1/4 C. Parmesan
cheese. Whisk together eggs & next 3 ingredients
on list at least 1 minute or until well blended;
pour over vegetable mixture. Bake 13-15 minutes or
until set; increase oven temp. to broil & broil
5 1/2 inches from heat 1-2 minutes or until edges
are lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan & basil. Garnish, if desired.
Makes 6-8 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon-Horseradish Dip

1 (16 oz) tub sour cream (or Greek-style
plain yogurt)
3 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. 18 servings, 2 T. each
Serve with crackers, chips or cut-up
fresh vegetables

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Bundles

1/2 pkg. (17 1/4 oz) Pepperidge Farm
Frozen Puff pastry sheets – 1 sheet
1 (6 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
confectioners sugar

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature
30 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix chocolate pieces & walnuts; set aside.
Unfold pastry onto lightly floured surface.
Roll into 12 inch square. Cut into 9 (4 inch)
squares. Place about 2 T. chocolate mixture
in center of each square. Brush edges of squares
with water. Fold corners to center on top of
filling & twist tightly to seal. Fan out corners.
Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake
15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from
baking sheet & cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
Sprinkle tops with confectioners sugar. Makes 9.

For large puffs, cut pastry into 4 (6 inch) squares
and place about 1/3 C. chocolate mixture into
center of each. Continue as directed above.
Makes 4.



Chicken with Garlic, Basil & Parsley

1 T. dried parsley, divided
1 T. dried basil, divided
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. parsley & 1 tsp. basil over bottom
of dish. Arrange chicken breast halves in dish;
sprinkle evenly with garlic slices. In a small bowl,
mix remaining 2 tsp. parsley, basil, salt & red
pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Top with tomato
slices & bake, covered, 25 minutes. Remove
cover, continue baking 15 minutes or until
chicken juices run clear. Serves 4.

(recipe: Pilgrims .com)

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

5-6 potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 C. milk
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. tub sour cream
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large pot filled with
water to cover potatoes; bring to boil
over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer
20-25 minutes; drain well. Mash potatoes
until light & fluffy. In large bowl, beat all
other ingredients (except Cheddar cheese &
bacon) until smooth & creamy. Spoon into
lightly greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle top with
cheese & bacon. Cover & bake 30 minutes or
until heated through. Serves 10-12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

CheesyCauliflower Patties

1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets; cook in
boiling water until tender, about 10
minutes; drain. Mash florets while
still warm. Stir in cheese, eggs, panko,
cayenne & salt to taste. Coat bottom
of a griddle or skillet with olive oil
over medium-high heat. Form
cauliflower mixture into patties about
3 inches across. Cook until golden-
brown & set, about 3 minutes per
side. Keep each batch warm in oven
while cooking the rest.


Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf Rhodes bread (in freezer section),
1/2 C. softened butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C. finely chopped apple (Granny
Smith preferred)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. “Homemade Basic Caramel”
(recipe below)

Grease a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray (or two 8 X 8 pans)
In small bowl combine sugar & cinnamon
for filling. Toss diced apples with lemon
juice in small bowl. On floured surface,
roll out Rhodes dough to approx. 12 X 16
inches; spread with softened butter &
sprinkle top with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Evenly sprinkle diced apples on top then
drizzle Basic caramel on top of apples.
Starting on long side, roll up dough into a
cylinder; pinch edge to close. Cut dough
into 12 equal circles. (NOTE: it’s easier if
you start with a center cut then work your
way out). Place circles cut-side-down, into
greased pan – try to leave a little bit of space
around each roll, for rising. Let rolls rise
45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 C. powdered sugar
dash vanilla flavoring
2 T. milk

Mix well with elec. mixer & frost cooled
rolls. Drizzle Homemade Caramel over each
roll before serving.

Homemade Caramel

2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
3/4 C. dark corn syrup
2 T. unsalted butter
2 tsp. kosher salt

Fill a bowl halfway with ice & water. Combine
ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to
boil over medium-high heat. Cook until
mixture registers 250 degrees F. on a candy
thermometer, about 10-20 minutes (could be
longer). Immediately dip bottom of saucepan
in ice water bath & let chill until bubbles have
subsided, about 1 minute. Stir until stiff caramel
from bottom is incorporated into warm caramel
on top. Remove from water bath,

Visited the library yesterday and checked out another five books; think that’s what I’m going to do today (plus finally make the much-awaited lasagna.) Still working on reading through the many Dee Henderson novels – I like her writing style: enough action/suspense to keep you wanting to read more. Also checked out two Debbie MacComber books; she writes lady-type novels AND books with knitting! (I’ve read several of them – good, kinda ‘fluffy’ stories).

It’s a rather cold/chilly/gloomy day here, temp. 33 degrees F. (perfect SNOW temperature – yippie). Today is one of those days where you just want to snuggle up under a nice, warm afghan and read a good book – or knit! Think I might just do BOTH!

Enjoy your day!



ps: Sorry about the font size on some of the recipes – I try my best to make them legible, but this blog site (I’m guessing) keeps adjusting the size and I don’t know how to change it! I either get super tiny print or HUGE – there’s not nice in-between medium there!


And there’s also CROCHET!


Not the best of photos, but here’s the crocheted (boring) baby blanket I’ve been working on (what seems like forever!). It’s a VERY easy pattern, but takes a LONG time to finish. This will be added to the baby blankets for NEXT year’s Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower

Spent some time yesterday perusing one of my all-time favorite knit/crochet sites:  (it’s a free site, you just have to sign up). I ended up looking through quite a few knit patterns for baby/afghans and printed up 5. One was especially intriguing and I ‘might’ (in the near future) purchase yarn to make said afghan (who knows?).

I’ve discovered one thing about myself over the years (you probably already figured this one out): I love looking at recipes and knit/crochet/craft patterns AND being able to share them with you!

While attempting to feel better the other evening, I ended up running into (and watching) a updated movie: “The A Team”. Now, normally I wouldn’t be interested in this type of action movie, but I must say: this one was well done and full of adventure/action – it caught my attention immediately. It was made in 2010 and starred Liam Neeson (great actor), Bradley Cooper (new to me), Jessica Biel, Gerald McRaney (good older actor), Dirk Benedict (one of the original TV version actors of A Team), Dwight Schultz (another origial TV version actor of A Team), and (I’m told) several cameo appearances by famous actors. This one was on a TV channel that has (in between the movie & commercials) two people who ‘fill in’ behind the scenes bits and/or explain just how a certain thing was done – interesting. (I like that sort of thing, husband was grousing the entire time – “GET ON WITH THE MOVIE AND QUIT TALKING!”) Oh well . . .

Since this is my second blog post today, am going to close (no recipes this time). I had just hit ‘publish’ on today’s blog post when I looked over at my side screen and saw the photo of the baby afghan, so decided rather than wait, I’d just write a quick post.



Been Away a While . . . No good excuse!


I just looked back on when I last made a blog entry and it’s not ‘my norm’; I don’t have a really good excuse, either! Sometimes you feel the need to write and at other times, not so much. I guess it’s because there’s not much going on around here lately!

We attended another Sunday School Picnic Saturday – it rained a bit, forcing us to move either indoors or to the shelter of the garage. Nice event: good food & friendship, glad we could go.

Yesterday began the church choir resuming (we take the Summer off); practice started up, again, at 4:45 p.m. It felt good to get back into the ‘swing of things’ – we’re sort of slow starting up, with only about half of the usual people – guess some are still on vacation.  This week starts up a change in our ‘watching our Grandson’ – he’s now 7, so the word “Babysitting” doesn’t exactly fit. I will be experiencing my first trip to (almost) Walled Lake – actually, it’s a bit closer to Union Lake, but still – it’s FAR away from where I live! (Long story, short) grandson has two parents: His Dad (our son, who lives about 5 minutes away from us) and his Mom. They split up (having never married) a little over 6 years ago; she was living about 15 minutes away, but then met a man, he bought a house, and now they live about 25 minutes away, in Walled Lake. I have never been there, but will begin my ‘new’ driving experience this Friday, as I have to pick up grandson at his bus stop close to their house, after school. I guess I would explain my driving experiences thusly: I get lost in a paper bag! My husband, on the other hand, is an EXPERT at finding anywhere/anything and doesn’t understand how I could possible get so LOST! He thinks IN MAPS in his head and knows almost any area, having driven them while he worked for AT & T. Oh well – with some help, I should be able to traverse the ‘new’ route and find said bus stop before the bus gets there – HOPEFULLY!

This Tuesday (tomorrow night) will be another Knit/Crochet Movie Night for my group. We haven’t held a Movie Night in a good 3 months and the ladies are asking for one. The food theme is Soups & Salads; so far, we only have 6 people coming, which is kind of disappointing, but you take what you get, right? I’m not sure if it’s the movie (I chose it: “Out of Africa” – great ‘chick flick’) or the food theme, or just the time of year – we’ll see.

I’m going to be working on another baby afghan for the Detroit Vet’s hospital Baby shower coming up Sept 28th. I don’t even remember if I gave you the final outcome/results of our group’s efforts! (Getting old, mentally!) The ladies knit/crocheted 19 blankets, 10 baby hats (and donated a bib & hard cover baby book). Here’s the photo of the lady from the Vets who came to pick up our blankets:


You know me . . . sometimes I get a bit “OCD” (Obsessive/Compulsive) – well, the end result of 19 blankets (AFTER I’d asked the lady how many people they have signed up to receive them at the baby shower and finding out there are 25) made me feel a bit of an ‘under-achiever’. The group did their best, but in the end, I sort of felt like we let the Vets down a bit (that’s just MY opinion, I didn’t tell the group that day that there were 25 people waiting, as I didn’t know until then, either). That got me to thinking: maybe . . . just maybe, I might be able to crank out one or two more blankets before the shower. The friend of mine who originally came up with this charity (the Vets hospital is a client of her company’s) said she wanted to attend the shower this year, just to see all the ladies receiving their gifts AND she wants to drag me along. (If you know me – I’m not one for self aggrandizement (praise) so I really don’t want to be there for that BUT I would like to see how they handle the shower, just to give me an idea of how to ‘pitch’ the event NEXT YEAR, to my knit/crochet group, so I agreed to go. Also, by my attending the shower in 2 weeks, I’ll be able to hand-deliver the extra blankets! I’ve finished the one I believe I mentioned in a post or two before this one (knit; done in large solid-colored stripes) and now I’m attempting to crochet large solid-colored squares for another blanket. The squares are easy – the difficult part is: My right index finger joint seems to not like this extra crochet work and keeps swelling up to the point where I can’t tolerate the pain! Not good! I gave it a day’s rest yesterday and am thinking I might just tape up the joint to make it rigid and see how that goes. (I’ve already tried using my middle finger, instead – it works but it’s not as productive.) I’m using ‘stash’ yarns – colors like baby pink, baby blue, the bright mint (from other blanket), butter yellow, medium lilac, darker blue – I have 6 squares done and probably another 6 or more to go. Not sure how big I’m going to make it – doing 2 squares in each color – we’ll see. WISH I’d have known exactly how many people we were making blankets FOR – THEN I might have been able to do an extra little ‘push’ on the group to make sure we met the objective number of blankets! (I’ll have to remember this for next year, for sure!) Oh well . . . you know me – a bit of an ‘over achiever’ . . . sigh.

Weather-wise it’s been a bit strange: cool in the mornings (in the low 60’s) warming up later on in the day to the 70’s – some rain. You can tell Fall is on it’s way – sigh.

Gas-prices? It’s been about the same around here – the ‘norm’ lately has been around $3.69/9 per gallon (for the cheap stuff) BUT when we went to the picnic Saturday (about 1/2 hour away) the prices were lower there! It’s almost sad to think that we’re OK with prices in the $3 range now, eh? But, on the other hand – we all HAVE to drive, so what alternatives do we have? Walk? Take a cab? (NO WAY – too expensive!), take a bus? (very few routes available) or just STAY HOME! (sometimes not an option, either). Oh well – we can always complain! That’s free!


Dorito Chicken Bake

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend (divided)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes, drained
1/2 packed taco seasoning mix
1 large bag Doritos
shredded lettuce (optional)
diced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, mix together chicken,
1 C. cheese, soup, milk, sour cream,
Ro*tel tomatoes & taco seasoning;
mix well. Grease a 2 qt. casserole
dish; add a layer of crushed Doritos
across bottom. Top with a layer of
chicken mixture. Add another layer
of crushed Doritos; then another layer
of chicken mixture. Top with remaining
cheese. (You can add more crushed
Doritos on top if desired). Cover &
bake 30-35 minutes until bubbly. Remove
from oven & top with lettuce & tomatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large head cabbage
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 C. quick-cooking rice
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers (about 15)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (1 oz) pkg. onion soup mix
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (46 oz) can V8 juice
salt, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook cabbage in boiling water just until
leaves fall of head; set aside 12 large leaves
for rolls; drain well. (refrigerate remaining
cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick
vein from bottom of each reserved leaf,
making a V-shaped cut; set aside. In a large
bowl, combine tomato sauce, rice, green
pepper, cracker crumbs, egg & soup mix.
Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Place
about 1/3 C. meat mixture on each cabbage
leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides,
beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely
to enclose filling; secure with toothpicks, if
desired. Place cabbage rolls in 3 qt. crockpot.
Pour V8 over rolls; cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours
or until filling reaches 160 degrees F. Just before
serving, sprinkle with salt & Parmesan, if
desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Facebook)

Greek Tomatoes

2 1/2 lb. tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. ripe olives, pitted & sliced
1/2 lb. feta cheese
oregano, to taste
1/2 C. olive or vegetable oil
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar

In a 9 X 13 glass dish, layer tomatoes,
onions & olives. Sprinkle with feta &
oregano. In a small bowl, combine vinegars
& oil; pour over tomato mixture. Cover &
refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Zucchini Lasagna

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 T. chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
15 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 large egg

In medium saucepan, brown meat & season
with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to
remove any fat. Add olive oil to pan; saute
garlic & onions 2 minutes. Return meat to pan,
add tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper; simmer on
low 30-40 minutes, covered. Do not add extra
water, the sauce should be thick. Lightly sprinkle
salt on each zucchini slice; set aside 10 minutes.
(salting takes out some of the moisture in the
zucchini.) After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture
with a paper towel. On grill, grill zucchini on each
side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Place on paper towels to soak up any excess
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan & egg; stir
well. In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread some sauce on
bottom & layer zucchini slices to cover sauce. Place
some of ricotta mixture on top, then layer with
mozzarella cheese – repeat process until all ingredients
are used up. Top with sauce & mozzarella; cover with
foil. Bake 45 minutes, covered, then uncover last
15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8


Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

1 can Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
1 can Pillsbury seamless crescent dough
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 C. granulated sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Combine
cream cheese, egg, 1 C. sugar & 1 tsp. vanilla; mix
until smooth. Open cinnamon roll dough & spread
onto bottom of pan, making sure seams are pinched
together. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of
dough, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Top with crescent
dough, pulling to cover cream cheese completely.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Place melted butter,
remaining 1 C. sugar & vanilla in microwaveable
bowl; microwave until smooth then pour over
dessert. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Cool before cutting.


Unfried Green Tomatoes & Squash

2 green tomatoes, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
1 1/2 C. flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle each slice of tomato &
squash with salt & pepper. Spray
a broiler pan with nonstick cooking
spray. Set up three bowls:

1: flour 2: beaten egg 3: bread crumbs.

Dip each slice first into flour, then egg
then bread crumbs. Place coated
vegetables on pan. Spray tops lightly
with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; turn each vegetable
over; spray tops with cooking spray &
return to oven. Bake an additional
15 minutes.

(recipe: Cathy –

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

1/3 C. garlic dipping oil
32 oz. pizza dough
7-8 oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
pizza seasoning, if desired

Ranch, Blue Cheese dressing
or your favorite pizza/pasta/
marinara sauce  (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate pizza dough into small
bite-sized pieces. Place dipping
oil in small bowl, toss dough pieces
in & shake to lightly coat. Layer
dough pieces in bottom of Bundt
pan; layer sliced pepperoni, shredded
cheese & sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
Repeat layers again; end with layer of
dough pieces. Bake 30-40 minutes
until bread is browned & cooked
through in center. Remove from oven,
invert pan onto a cutting board. The
bread will fall out of the pan in one
piece. Serve by pulling the bread apart
into individual servings with (optional)
above listed options.

(recipe: Facebook)

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 box Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 (15 oz) can Pure Pumpkin

No oil, no eggs, no water, nothing else
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine both ingredients, pour into
muffin tin; bake 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

Well, friends – that’s all the excitement from around here, lately. Hope you are: (a) staying WARM – if it’s cold where you are (b) taking a few minutes to do something YOU like, (c) remembering to smile some during your day – no matter WHAT comes your way! Remember, it takes less muscles to Smile than to frown!