and then there’s snow . . . coming today-UGH!


Watching the weather report last night made us just want to go to bed and not get up! Between today and Sunday night we’re supposed to get between 6-7 inches of the white stuff. Tomorrow is CHURCH! We always go to church! Well, it will be ‘get up & see what we’ve got to deal with’. Middle son left last night for a weekend gaming tournament – a good 1 1/2 hours  away – REALLY hope he thinks about coming back home before Sunday night! Living in Michigan makes you think long & hard about where you have to go, traveling conditions, traffic, etc.


 Melt-in-your-Mouth Pecan Sandies

2 C. flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 large egg, room temp.
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C. pecans: 1 C. chopped/1 C.
reserved whole, for decoration

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In large bowl beat sugar, egg,
butter & vanilla until creamy (3-5 minutes).
In separate bowl combine flour, salt &
baking soda. Using elec. mixer on Low slowly
add dry ingredients until just combined, then
fold in chopped pecans. Scoop out dough; roll
into 1-inch balls & place on prepared sheets.
Place 1 whole pecan in center of each cookie.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges of cookie
are just golden. Remove from oven; cool
on wire rack. Serve immediately or store in
airtight container. Makes 2-3 dozen


Crockpot Green Bean Casserole

2 lb. fresh green beans (or frozen
French-cut green beans)*
4 T. unsalted butter
6 T. flour
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned/
stems removed & sliced
1 C. Parmesan cheese, finely
grated (optional)
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 T. butter
1 1/2 C. French’s French fried onions,

In large saucepan melt 4 T. butter over
low heat. Whisk in 6  T. flour & let
cook1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 C.
chicken broth then 1 C. milk; whisk
until it begins to thicken. Let simmer
a few minutes. Season to taste with
salt/pepper. Stir in Half & Half.
In a nonstick skillet saute mushrooms
slowly so they release all of their
moisture. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/2 tsp. black pepper, & 1/2 tsp. ground
thyme. When mushrooms start to turn
golden brown (about 10 minutes) add
to sauce in other saucepan. Stir in 1 C.
finely grated Parmesan cheese (if using).
In large bowl toss green beans with
mushroom sauce. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray; pour
green bean mixture into crockpot &
sprinkle 1/2 C. French fried onions
on top.
*Fresh beans – cook on Low 4-6 hours
Frozen beans- cook on Low 5-6 hours
Shortly before serving heat 1 T. butter
over medium heat. Add 1/2 C. Panko
bread crumbs & cook until lightly
toasted. Add 1 C. French fried onions
& cook 1 minute. When casserole is
done cooking transfer to a serving dish
& sprinkle Fried onion mixture over
top & serve.


Creamy Garlic Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
(chopped parsley, garnish)

In large pot over medium heat,
melt butter; add garlic & cook
1 minute. Add chicken broth &
bring to boil. Once boiling, add
pasta & cook until done – then
lower heat & simmer until most
of broth has evaporated. Turn off
heat; add whipping cream & Parm.
cheese – stir then serve with parsley

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Mexican Beef & Vegetable Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2/ lb. top sirloin steak, cubed
into 1″ chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 C. diced celery
1 C. diced carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
8 C. beef stock
3 T. lime juice
salt, to taste
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled/diced into cubes
1 C. canned yellow corn
fresh parsley, minced (optional

In large Dutch oven or soup pot over
medium heat add 1 T. oil. Place half
of beef in pot & brown on each side –
remove with slotted spoon into a
separate bowl, repeat with rest of
meat. Add 1 more T. olive oil & onions
to pot & cook over medium heat until
onions are translucent. Place celery,
carrots, garlic, cumin,oregano, pepper,
cayenne, diced tomatoes & beef stock,
lime juice & potatoes in same pot &
mix until combined. Bring to boil, cover &
simmer 20 minutes. Taste & adjust
seasoning. Add corn to pot & stir.
Garnish with parsley, if desired &
serve warm. Serves 8


Super Easy Italian Crescent Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. In skillet,
cook ground beef until brown; drain &
add spaghetti sauce – heat through.
Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles
Place dough in ungreased 9 inch pie plate
with narrow tips (of rolls) overlapping rim
of dish. Mix sour cream & 1 1/4 C. cheese
together. Spread ground beef onto rolls;
top with sour cream mixture. Fold rolls
over so tips are in center of dish (try not
to overlap). Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C.
cheese & dried basil. Bake 20-25 minutes
until golden brown. Serves 6


Chocolate Pretzel Rings

48-50 pretzel ‘rings’ or squares
48-50 milk chocolate or striped
chocolate kisses
1/4 C. milk chocolate M & M’s

Place pretzels on greased baking
sheets; place 1 chocolate kiss in
center of each pretzel. Bake at
275 degrees F. 2-3 minutes until
chocolate is softened – remove
from oven. Place 1 M & M candy
on each, pressing down slightly so
chocolate fits pretzel holes. Refrigerate
5-10 minutes until chocolate is firm.
Store in airtight container at room
temperature. Makes about 4 dozen


Creamy Potato & Red Pepper Dip

2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb),
kosher salt
6 medium cloves garlic
3/4 C. whole blanched almonds
1/2 C. plus 2 T. olive oil, plus
more for drizzling
2 whole jarred roasted red
peppers, rinsed/patted dry
1/2 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 C. lemon juice
3 T. white wine vinegar

baked pita chips and/or
warm fresh pita bread wedges

Place potatoes & 1 T. salt in medium
saucepan; cover with cold water by
2 inches. Bring to boil over high heat.
Lower heat & simmer until potatoes
are very tender, 25-30 minutes. Once
water is at a simmer, add garlic cloves
& cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic &
cool slightly, then coarsely chop.
Add garlic to food processor along with
almonds & 1/2 C. oil; process until
mixture becomes a thick paste – transfer
paste to a large bowl. Rinse out food
processor & add roasted red peppers,
parsley, pepper flakes, 2 T. oil & 1/4 tsp.
salt. Process until mixture is mostly
smooth with some small chunks. When
potatoes are tender, drain well then
cool slightly. Use a clean dish towel to
rub off skins (discard skins), coarsely
chop potatoes. Mash (or use food
mill or rices) potatoes add to bowl
with almond mixture. Add 2 tsp. salt
& gently stir until just combined. Stir
in lemon juice, vinegar & 1/2 C. water;
taste for seasoning & adjust as needed.
Spoon potato mixture into shallow
baking dish – make a large well in
center. Fill well with red pepper sauce
& lightly drizzle top with olive oil.
Serve warm or at room temperature
with pita chips/bread chunks.
Makes about 4 cups


Candy Bar Fudge

1/2 C. butter
1/3 C. baking cocoa
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
30 caramels, unwrapped
1 T. water
2 C. salted peanuts
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

In microwave-safe bowl, combine
butter, cocoa, brown sugar & milk.
Microwave on High until mixture
boils, about 2 minutes. Stir in
powdered sugar & vanilla; pour into
a greased 8 X 8″ square pan. In
another microwave-safe bowl heat
caramels & water on High 1 1/4
minutes until melted. Stir in peanuts;
spread over chocolate layer. Micro-
wave chocolate chips on High 30
seconds until melted; spread over
caramel layer. Chill until firm.
Makes 2 3/4 lb. or 64 servings


No-Bake Chocolate/Peanut Butter

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. whole milk
4 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 C. instant oats
2 tsp. vanilla

Line baking sheets with waxed
In medium saucepan add butter, sugar,
milk & cocoa – heat on medium heat.
Measure out peanut butter & oats &
have vanilla ready – process goes quickly.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil; boil 1
minute 15 seconds. Remove from heat
immediately, stir in peanut butter. Add
oats – stir, add vanilla – stir. Drop by
Tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
Let cool 30 minutes until set. Store in
air-tight container.

Tip to perfect cookies: TIME THE BOIL
when it’s at a full, rapid boil, not when you
first start seeing bubbles. Never go over 1
minute 15 seconds while boiling or it will
end up too dry.

Second tip: never make them when it’s raining-
they will not turn out correctly (they’ll be gooey
and not set up) Weird, but true



Today is one of those “What do I do FIRST?” days;
there are three rather ‘pressing’ things I SHOULD
be doing: (1) get those 2 spa cloths knit, (2) work
on completing the next newsletter for my group
in time to email it to the church so they can get
it printed up, so I can drive there/pick them up/
staple together/fold/put some in envelopes &
mail BEFORE January 4th which will be our first
meeting of the new year (3) finish buying presents
hopefully BEFORE we get too much snow to
travel in safely…those are the ‘weighing on my
brain things’ today. And where do you find me
when all that needs doing? Perusing my emails,
reading Facebook posts and then deciding to
make a post to you! Yep, I’ve officially joined
Also still tossing around which ‘sides’ will go
well with the Christmas dinner! Oldest son
is preparing either Prime Rib or Roast Pork
Loin (or both, he hasn’t decided yet) – other
grandmother & I are doing the sides &
desserts. I asked son if he would prepare
his (fantastically tasty) grilled asparagus;
along with that I’m thinking glazed carrots,
twice-baked/stuffed potatoes, maybe some
kind of cold salad/jello thing?, rolls. The
other grandma makes great appetizers, so
that’s what she’s doing; I’m doing the desserts.
For starters: our family tradition: a big dark
chocolate cake:


along with French vanilla ice cream.
Might come up with one more dessert,
maybe something not quite as sweet?
Haven’t decided yet. The Birthday cake
is usually round, but that year I found
my old heart-shaped pans and went
with that. I make it as a devil’s food
cake & add extra strong coffee as the
liquid (brings out the chocolate flavor).

Well, my dears, the day is swiftly passing
and I’m no closer to getting any of my
objectives accomplished. Think I’ll sign
off here and start on the the newsletter.

Enjoy your day – and stay warm & safe!!!



Stayin’ Warm Inside!


Husband just read me the weather report for the next few days – I thought it was cold YESTERDAY – boy, was I wrong! Today 12 degrees F. (wind chill minus 11), next couple days: high of 14, 17, 28, back to teens (don’t want to imagine the wind chills – I’m cold enough!). Driving home from church last night made me really appreciate a car with a working heater; even WITH the heater cranked up to high I was still COLD; it was 11 degrees at that time (don’t know the wind chill – didn’t need to know to know it was really COLD!). Thank YOU, Lord, for giving us a warm house, working cars, clothes to cover us, food in our pantry – all the blessings You have provided AND a relatively healthy family at this time! Remember the old song most of us learned as children: “Count Your Blessings” Name them, one by one, count your blessings see what God has done; Count your blessings, name them one-by-one, Count your many blessing see what God has done!” Those words ring SO true!


Butter Rolls
(sweet cinnamon rolls)

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 7 X 11″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix
flour, & salt; using a pastry cutter,
cut in butter. When you have
coarse crumbs, add 1/2 C. water &
stir. Use your hands to press the
dough together & refrigerate 10
minutes. Generously sprinkle
workspace with flour & roll
dough into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly
over dough; sprinkle with 1/4 C.
sugar & cinnamon. Roll up dough,
jelly-roll style & cut into 12 even
slices; place in prepared dish. In
small saucepan, heat milk &
remaining sugar just until it
begins to boil Remove from heat &
stir in vanilla; pour over rolls.
Bake 30-40 minutes until browned.
Makes 12 rolls

Tuscan Pork Chops

4 pork chops, fat trimmed
1 T. olive
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 C. fresh tomatoes, diced,
including liquid
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. basil

Cooked pasta or noodles
for 4

Heat a large, heavy pan on High
until warm. Add oil & heat untl
shimmery, but not burning/
smoking, about 20 seconds. Brown
pork chops on each side.Reduce heat to
medium-low, add onions. Stir &
flip chops after 2 minutes on each
side. Add tomatoes, garlic & spices;
simmer until tomatoes are soft &
sauce has set-up, about 5-8 minutes.
Serve on a bed of cooked pasta or
noodles. Serves 4

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

4 large bell peppers*
1 lb. lean chopped turkey meat
1-2 T. garlic powder
1 small white onion, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. tomato sauce
1/2 C. small diced tomatoes
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
shredded cheese, for topping
(poster uses Mexican blend)
1 C. black beans, drained/
rinsed (optional)

Heat oven 400 degrees F.
Place ground turkey in medium
saute pan, season with garlic
powder & brown. About half-
way through browning add
chopped onion, garlic & cilantro.
Cook until meat is completely
browned & onion is a little
translucent. Add tomato
sauce, diced tomatoes & chicken
broth; mix & simmer on Low
5 minutes. Add cooked rice into
meat mixture & blend well. (at
this point you can add the black
beans, if desired). Cut bell peppers
in half lengthwise & remove seeds.
Place each half in a 9 X 13 baking dish.
Spoon meat mixture into each pepper
half, filling as much as possible. Pour
enough chicken broth into pan to
cover entire bottom of pan in a
thin layer. Cover dish tightly with
foil & bake 35 minutes. Remove
foil & top each pepper with shredded

* poster suggests looking for round
peppers – they’re easier to fill


Chicken Gnocci Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally
into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise
& cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 quarts chicken broth
1 lb. mini potato gnocci
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
3 T. parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat &
coat bottom with olive oil. Add onion,
carrots & celery, cook until tender 5
minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves & thyme;
cook 2 more minutes. Pour in chicken
broth & bring to boil. Add gnocci &
simmer 5 minutes until tender. Stir in
cooked chicken & continue to simmer
another couple minutes to heat through.
Season with salt/pepper, remove bay
leaves. Serve with chopped parsley
sprinkled on top. Serves 6-8


Black Bean/Quinoa Enchilada Bake

1 C. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 C. water
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed/
1 red pepper, seeds removed/diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed/
1 C. frozen corn kernels
juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/3 C. chopped cilantro
salt/pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
2 C. red enchilada sauce
2 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese

Toppings: sliced green onions, avocado
slices, sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Add quinoa & water to
medium saucepan & bring to boil over
medium heat. Boil 5 minutes; turn heat
to Low & simmer 15 minutes until water
has been absorbed. Remove from heat &
fluff with a fork; cover & set aside.
In large skillet heat olive oil over medium-
high heat. Add onion, garlic & jalapeno;
saute 5 minutes until softened. Add
peppers & corn; cook 3-4 minutes. Add
lime juice, cumin, chili powder & cilantro;
stir to combine. Season with salt/pepper,
to taste. In large bowl add cooked quinoa &
black beans. Add sauteed vegetable
mixture & stir to combine. Pour in enchilada
sauce; stir well. Add 1/2 C. shredded cheese &
mix & pour into prepared dish. Top with
remaining cheese; cover with foil & bake
20 minutes. Remove foil & bake 10 minutes
until cheese has melted & edges are
bubbling. Remove from oven, let cool
10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if
desired. Serve warm. Serves 8-10

NOTE: This recipe freezes well


Apple Pecan Cake

1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
3 C. peeled/chopped apples

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix all
ingredients together except nuts
& apples. Batter will be stiff, mix
well then add apples & nuts – mix
& spread in pan. Bake 45 minutes.
The apples moisten the cake while

(If you would like an icing on the cake)

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place all icing ingredients in a pan
& bring to boil – boil 2 minutes then
set pan in a bowl filled with ice water
& beat icing until thickened. You can
also add powdered sugar to mixture if
it’s not thick enough.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Caramelized Baked Chicken Legs/

2 1/2 lb. chicken legs*
1 2/3 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 2/3 T. ketchup
3/4 C. honey
2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Mix oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey,
garlic, salt & pepper – pour over
chicken. Bake 1 hour until sauce is
caramelized. Serves 6-8

*can use wings or pork ribs


Crockpot Beef Casserole Soup

3 leeks, cleaned & chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat,
cut into chunks
3 beef bouillon cubes
garlic powder, to taste
basil, to taste
salt/pepper, to taste

6 1/2 – 7 C. boiling water

Place boiling water in crockpot;
add all other ingredients. Cover
& cook 8 hours.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie

1 pkg. Oreo cookies
5 T. butter, melted

1 3/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. melted butter
1 (small) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. peanut butter cups, chopped

Using a food processor, grind Oreos
into fine crumbs; mix with melted
butter & press firmly onto a 9″
springform pan or pie plate. Place
in freezer while you work on filling.
In a bowl mix peanut butter, sugar &
melted butter until well combined;
press into prepared pie crust.
In separate bowl whisk pudding mix &
milk 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip &
spread over peanut butter layer.
Refrigerate 1 hour until set.
Spread remaining Cool Whip over top
of pie & sprinkle with chopped peanut
butter cups. Refrigerate 1 hour before
slicing. Serves 10



Not much going on at the moment; I’ve
been procrastinating about going ‘out’ –
probably need milk & bread, but not sure
I want to go get COLD while doing just
that (I’m lazy!). Happy that today middle
son is ‘off’ (he works for a garbage company
and I can’t imagine riding on the back of a
garbage truck in these freeze temps!); yes,
he works tomorrow – sigh.

Tonight’s dinner is homemade pizza – that’s
another one of those ‘more than one meal’
dinners. I use already prepared frozen pizza
crusts from Gordon Food Services – they come
3 to a pkg., about 14″ each crust. (They used
to offer two to a pkg. which, I thought, was
better for our family, but have gotten used to
preparing three at a time – lots of leftovers
for dinner/lunch & the guys just grabbing a
slice whenever they want. The next two days
will be my knit group & special needs group
so it’s nice to already have dinner made!

Hope you are all keeping warm (that is, if
you are in a COLD climate!). Try to take a
little time out for yourself – maybe a quick
5 minute ‘cat-nap’ (I did that for 40 minutes
before leaving for choir yesterday and woke
up craving chocolate cake! Who knows what
that was about!?).

Enjoy your day!



PS: Forgot to mention: Gas Prices
around here have dropped to $1.64/9

Getting Things Done!


Beautiful Summer day – mid 70’s & sunny – the kind of day to relax . . . or not. Middle son came over today after church and we had a ‘chat’. I had suggested he move back home either Monday or Tuesday, but I was leaning more to Tuesday to give me a little extra time to get his room straightened/arranged. While we were chatting he told me he already had paid the rent for this month and there really wasn’t a rush – we could do it more towards the end of the month . . . WHEW! I had envisioned frantically attempting to move/store/re-place things in his room to make room for the large amounts of clothes, mostly (do you remember the 5 garbage bags of clothes I washed for him just before he moved back in in December?). I guess I just have to ‘put it out there’ – we are a family of PACK RATS. We have things stuffed in closets and any other open space – things from when the boys were little: toys, games, books, audio tapes of stores, etc. In his room, presently, is a rather large bookcase STUFFED with kids books & audio tapes – I just never felt the need to either get rid of them or pack them away! My ‘plan’ for the next few weeks is to dig into the closet in his room and remove/move up stairs 4-5 sleeping bags, some old toys, extra pillows, etc. Hopefully that will give me the room I need to move about 7 board games (the very same ones my grandson LOVES to play when here). I’ve said it before: we have a small house – that leaves NO ROOM for anything extra. Oh well – I’ve got my work cut out for me – thank heavens it doesn’t have to be done in ONE DAY!

Dinner tonight was roasted turkey breast and stuffing (good deal on the turkey) – not exactly sure why but I’m sort of on a ‘cleaning’ thing today. Got the laundry done, cleaned the fridge, rearranged both the upstairs and downstairs freezers (making a list on the fridge of what I have, meat-wise, in both freezers). I’m mentioned that middle son can REALLY EAT! I’m attempting to use up the meats in the freezers so that I can purchase more. With just my husband & I eating we don’t go through the food like we used to when I was cooking for five. Makes me feel good that the fridge & freezers are ‘in order’ now – easier to see what’s available if you’re hungry.

Worked on some more baby hats today in the car back & forth to church. I like making them – they take very little yarn and knit up quite quickly. Haven’t touched the last baby afghan since last Tuesday (knowing I have until the end of August to finish it  – a bit of a prevaricator, I’d say). Speaking of putting things off, I haven’t felt the urge to go pick any more wild blackberries lately. I can see from my kitchen window that they are in full ripeness right now; I suppose I ‘could’ pick & freeze them but I’m just not inspired to go get scratched & bit by mosquitoes anymore. I learned last week that Grandson will be spending Fridays at a day camp through the first part of August, so there’s no one who really desires to eat them – guess the birds & critters will be happy with what’s out there, eh?


Chili Relleno Casserole

2 (7 oz, ea) cans whole green chile
peppers, drained
8 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. Longhorn or Cheddar cheese,
2 eggs, beaten
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 T. flour
1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Lay half of chiles
evenly in bottom of dish; sprinkle
with half of both cheeses & cover
with remaining chiles. In a bowl
mix eggs, milk & flour; pour over
top of chiles. Bake 25 minutes;
remove from oven & pour tomato
sauce evenly over top. Bake 15
minutes more. Sprinkle top with
remaining cheeses & serve.

Note; Poster added cooked ground
turkey: layer of chiles, then turkey,
then cheeses, etc

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Circles


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. minced jalapenos (or 1/2 can,
1 tube regular refrigerated crescent

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. In small bowl combine cream
cheese & jalapenos; mix well. Open
cresc. rolls – do not separate. Open
roll of rolls & separate long-ways at
perforation so you have two long
sheets of crescent rolls with 4 rolls
each. Pinch remaining perforations
together on each of the 2 sheets to
make two continuous crescent roll
sheets. Divide cream cheese mixture
& spread evenly over both sheets.
Roll up both rolls from short end.
Cut each roll into 12-16 pieces. Place
each piece on prepared cookie sheet
& bake 11-13 minutes.


Thomas’ BBQ Potato Salad
(from Thomas Pit BBQ in
Madison County)

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

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

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1/2 C. sugar
1 large egg
1/4 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. blueberries

Cheesecake Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. blueberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together butter & sugar
until light & fluffy; beat in egg &
vanilla. Add sour cream & milk;
mix well. Add flour, baking
powder & salt; mix just until
incorporated. Spread evenly into
greased 9 X 9″ cake pan*. Spread
1 1/2 C. blueberries on top.

Prepare Cheesecake Layer:
Beat cream cheese with sugar until
incorporated; add vanilla & egg;
spread on top of cake.

Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before serving.

To serve:
Sprinkle powdered sugar & blueberries
on top. Serves 10

*Poster uses a springform pan

Crockpot Green Beans

1 (14.5 oz) can green beans, drained
2 (14 oz, ea) cans chicken broth, season
with garlic salt
1 onion, cut into wedges (peel outside
skin off)
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces &

(save bacon drippings
for something else)
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients (except bacon
drippings) in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 8 hours or High 5 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter/
Banana Mousse

(serves 1)

1 T. peanut butter
2 T. whipped cream
1 banana

Toppings: ice cream caramel sauce/
chocolate sauce (optional)

In bowl place peanut butter & whipped
cream; mix. Cut banana into slices. In
another bowl place half the banana,
half peanut butter mousse; repeat with
rest of banana & mousse. Chill 1 hour.
Top with toppings, if desired. Serves 1.

Swiss Fondue Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled,
thinly sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
or mushroom soup
1/3 C. apple juice
1 C. dry herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly on both
sides with salt/pepper; place in pan.Top
evenly with apple slices & place a slice
of cheese over each chicken breast. In
medium bowl combine soup & apple
juice; pour over chicken, then sprinkle
with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over top.
Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is no
longer pink in center. Serves 4


Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

10 medium potatoes (about 3 lb), peeled
& thinly sliced
3 C. cubed fully cooked ham
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a greased 6 qt. crockpot, layer half
of potatoes, ham, onions & cheese.
Repeat layers; pour soup over top &
sprinkle with paprika & pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 8-10 hours or until
potatoes are tender.

(recipe: crockpotmoms-Facebook)

Hope you’re enjoying these lovely
Summer days – it won’t be too long
before we’re all saying: “I MISS those
warm days!”



Can you say “Avoidance Tendencies”?



I LOVE sunny weather! It’s climbing to almost 50 degrees F today and I’m super happy – sunny weather always makes me feel upbeat. Today is the LAST day before “Nephew Arrives” – got myself ‘in gear’ and went shopping, that’s done. House is stocked with cereal, ice cream, cookies, pizza rolls, chips/sour cream/salsa – plus other ‘necessary’ items like Kleenex, toilet paper, salad & sandwich makings. I even got a great bargain at the dollar store: $4.00 for a super big box of Frosted Flakes (his favorite) – I put it on the pillow in the bedroom he’ll be using; I figured he can take it back to college with him. We’re still trying to coordinate when the ENTIRE family will be off work – so far it’s not working. Oldest is off Thurs. but not Friday (his birthday) – so is middle son – we were hoping to go out to dinner at oldest son’s restaurant. Looks like just husband & I will be taking him probably Friday or Saturday – his plane doesn’t get in until 7:15 p.m. so it’s not likely husband will want to drive another half hour to restaurant AFTER driving 1 hour both ways to pick up nephew at airport.

House work left to do: vacuum living & dining rooms & bedroom, clean bathroom, iron & put up curtains in bedroom & bathroom (husband has to put up curtain rod in bathroom – I’m too short!) – not a lot of work, but right now I’m ‘resting’ by writing you! Got all the fixin’s to make husband & son’s favorite dinner for Thursday/maybe Friday: Meat & Potato Pie – can’t go wrong with a Man-pleasing recipe! (Oh, still have to bake oldest son’s birthday cake for Thursday – his Herb Garden Starter Kit birthday present came in the mail today – YAY!).


Cheesy Potato Pancakes

3 C. mashed potatoes
2/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped green onions
1 egg, beaten
3 T. plus 1/2 C. flour
3 T. oil
sour cream, for serving

In a bowl stir together potatoes,
cheese, green onions, egg & 3 T.
flour until combined. Divide mixture
into 12 portions. Roll each portion into
a ball, then flatten it into a pancake.
Place remaining flour on a pie plate &
dredge each pancake in flour Heat oil
in a skillet; fry pancakes until golden
& crispy. Transfer pancakes to paper
towels; sprinkle with salt. Top
pancakes with sour cream when
serving. Serves 6 (2 pancakes each)

(recipe: Russie- Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pecan Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt

3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 2/3 C. corn syrup
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with aluminum foil
or parchment paper. In food processor
or large bowl pulse together flour, sugar
& salt (crust ingred.) until combined. Slowly
add cold butter & pulse until mixture is coarse
& crumbly. Place dough in foil-lined pan; press
evenly & around edges. Bake 20 minutes or
until golden brown; remove & set aside.
In large bowl whisk together eggs, corn syrup,
sugar, honey, butter & vanilla (filling ingred.)
Fold in pecans & mix so they’re thoroughly
coated; pour over hot crust. Return to oven
& bake 25-30 minutes until filling has set.
Remove & let cool completely before
removing foil from dish. Cut into bars –
Makes 4 dozen bars


Breakfast Pizza Scramble

2 eggs
2 T. chopped pepperoni/vegetables
or your favorite pizza toppings
2 T. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T. shredded mozzarella or Cheddar

Coat a microwave-safe cereal bowl with
nonstick spray. Add eggs, pepperoni,
milk, salt/pepper; beat until blended.
Microwave 45 seconds on High; stir.
Top with cheese & microwave 30-45
seconds more until eggs are set. Serve
immediately. Serves 1


Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins

8 oz. ground beef
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. frozen mixed vegetables
(peas, corn, carrots – or fresh)
2 T. flour
1 C. beef stock/broth*
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper

4 large potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 to 1 C. milk
2 T. butter
salt, to taste

Optional topping:
Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top
after baking

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prick potatoes with fork about 6
times, per potato. Microwave on High
6 minutes then rotate potato & micro-
wave another 5 minutes. Pierce with a
knife to check if fully cooked. Remove
from microwave, cut off tops (like you
are going to make a baked potato); scoop
out center flesh using a spoon, leaving a
fairly thin skin. Place scooped potato
flesh into a bowl; add milk, butter & salt;
mash until smooth; set aside.
Heat olive oil in large fry pan over medium-
high heat. Add onion & garlic, saute 2 minutes.
Turn heat to High; add ground beef – cook about
3 minutes; drain. Sprinkle flour over meat; stir.
Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer & continue stirring until sauce
is thick & glossy, about 2 minutes – remove from
heat. Fill each potato with filling so it’s slightly
heaped. Push down lightly to pack filling in well.
You can pipe the potato on top if desired using a
large star tip nozzle, or scoop on top using
a spoon. (Note: you probably won’t use all of
the potato filling – save remainder or serve on
the side.)
Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet & bake
15-20 minutes until mashed potatoes start
to brown on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4

*or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in hot water

NOTE: You can bake the potatoes instead of
microwaving; 40-50 minutes 350 degrees F.


Apricot Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast,
cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oil (olive or vegetable)
1/2 C. apricot preserves
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/4 C. water
2 T. onion soup mix

cooked rice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook chicken in skillet in garlic & oil
until browned. Place in 8″ X 8″
baking dish. Combine all other
ingredients & pour over chicken.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
juices run clear. Serve over cooked rice.


Tex-Mex Couscous

1 T. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 C. diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 C. frozen corn (or fresh)
1 C. uncooked couscous
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 C. diced tomatoes with
chiles (from can – like Ro*Tel)
1 C. chicken broth
1 T. cilantro, freshly chopped

Heat small pan over high heat; add
1 tsp. oil. When oil is hot, add frozen
corn. Cook stirring occasionally, until
dark brown in color. Heat a medium
saucepan over medium heat; add
1 T. oil; saute onion & garlic 2-3 minutes.
Add in couscous; cook 1 minute. Stir in
cooked corn, tomatoes, salt, cumin &
coriander. Stir in chicken broth; bring to
a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover &
cook 12 minutes. Fluff with a fork & top
with chopped cilantro. Serves 4

Crockpot Pineapple Pork

2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. honey barbecue sauce
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in
juice, undrained
3 T. cornstarch
2 large green peppers, coarsely chopped
2 large red peppers, coarsely chopped
6 C. hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 C. peanuts, chopped

Combine meat & bbq sauce in crockpot.
Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 C. juice.
Add reserved juice to cornstarch; stir until dissolved, then add to meat mixture – mix
well. Top with pineapple chunks & peppers;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
5 hours. Serve over rice – sprinkle with
nuts when serving. Serves 8
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
 Reese’s Peanut Butter/Banana

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. oil
1 egg
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugra
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) bag Reese’s Mini cups

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8″ X 4″ loaf pan with
butter or shortening. In medium
bowl whisk together flour, baking
soda, baking powder & salt, set aside.
In large bowl stir together bananas,
peanut butter, oil, egg & sugars.
Pour dry ingredients into wet; stir
just until combined, batter will be
lumpy. Fold in Reese’s mini cups;
spread batter into prepared pan. Bake
1 hour until toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Remove
from oven & let cool in pan 10 minutes,
then loosen the edges of the pan with
a knife & remove loaf from pan, trans-
ferring bread to a cooling rack.


Hope you’re able to enjoy some sunny
weather – Spring is ON THE WAY! (Of
course, living in Michigan, one KNOWS
that we could still get more of the white
stuff before Spring finally arrives. I remember
as a child one Easter morning, walked to church
in my Easter outfit, thin sweater & dress ‘flats’
shoes, only to come out of church having to
walk home in an inch of SNOW! UGH! Yep,
that’s Michigan for ya!

Enjoy your day!



PS: Was adding the various categories to the
blog entry and realized I’d put in Knitting/
Crochet/crafts – Am still plugging away at
“The Afghan Project” – finished knitting the
first of two patterned panels for Panel #3-
still have one more 20″ wide X 12 1/2″ long
panel, then two smaller (just knit) panels.
After that it’s crochet probably about 15
Granny Squares, sew it all together and
crochet a border around it. I’m guessing,
at the most, about 2 weeks until completion.

Groovin’ to the Move!


I missed wishing you a Happy Groundhog Day!

Well, today starts “The MOVE!” Middle son IS moving in with oldest son and today begins the moving – it’s been a bit hectic/unorganized – moving son keeps vacillating on whether to stay here or move in with older brother (which was the original plan before he got sick beginning of December!) Today is also the COLDEST day it’s been in a LONG time – got up to ‘almost’ 1 degree F. – I’m sure it’s warmed up some, but husband really isn’t ‘into’ this whole idea of moving on a really cold day. At first, oldest son had to work but middle son was off – now that’s reversed – middle son has to work at 3 and oldest is off all day – confusing, eh? “The Plan”, as it now stands is this: middle son goes to work, husband & I got mattress shopping – put both mattresses (no box springs, etc) in my minivan and take one to ‘new house’ and bring one home for youngest son (who also needs one). Tomorrow, if all works out well, the rest of the move will commence (which really isn’t much). I spent a little time this morning re-organizing middle son’s ‘stuff’ so that it was more compact/easy to  move/easy to put away (ie: all ‘bath’ needs: soap, toothpaste/toothbrush/etc. in one box, all sheets & towels in another bag, etc. (Plus it helps me ‘vent’ my anxiety over the craziness of this all! I’m more of a “let’s just get this ALL done at once” kind of person, where my husband is “let’s do as little as possible’ and stretch it out over several days – sigh; that’s where we’re complete opposites. I’m the ‘get it all organized, in my head organized, then let’s roll . . . oh, well (you now see why I’m on my computer writing this blog, don’t you? To vent a little extra energy – I’m ‘awaiting’ husband’s decision to ‘take a shower then go buy the mattresses’ – I’ve been ‘ready’ for hours! Oh well – all things in due time, I guess . . .


Smothered Chicken w/Mushroom Gravy

8 chicken thighs or breast, bone-in,
4 slices bacon
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. (El Pato) mexican hot style
tomato sauce
1 T. creole seasoning
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1/2 T. black pepper
1 red onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. flour
olive oil

1/2 bunch green onion, diced

Hot cooked rice or potatoes

Mix seasonings in small bowl;
set aside. Heat 1 T. olive oil in skillet
over medium heat; add bacon & cook
about 7 minutes until bacon is crispy.
Place chicken in large bowl & coat with
2 T. olive oil & seasoning blend; mix
well. Lightly flour chicken & set aside.
Remove bacon from pan & set aside.
Add chicken to bacon grease; add more
olive oil, if needed, & brown chicken in
batches about 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer to crockpot & repeat with rest
of chicken. Add bell pepper, onion &
celery to pan; saute 5 minutes; add
garlic & cook 1 minute more. Add
soup & hot tomato sauce to pan &
mix well. Pour mixture over chicken
in crockpot. Cook, on Low 4-5 hours
until chicken is done. Sprinkle cooked
bacon & green onions on top, if
desired. Serve over hot cooked rice
or potatoes. Serves 4


Cranberry-Rice Pilaf

2 T. margarine
1 1/2 C. long-grain white rice,
2 C. chicken broth

1 C. orange juice
1/3 C. dried cranberries
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. chopped green onions

Melt margarine in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add rice; cook 3
minutes until rice starts to turn golden
brown, stirring frequently. Carefully add
broth, juice, cranberries, thyme & salt to
skillet; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat
to medium-low & cook 18 minutes until
rice is tender. Stir in green onions.
Serves 6 (2/3 C. each)


15-Minute Creamy Bowtie Noodles

1 (16 oz) box bowtie noodles
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 T. butter
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
1 C. chicken broth*
1/2 C. milk

Cook bowtie noodles accordg to pkg.
directions, al dente. In small bowl add
cream cheese – microwave 45 seconds;
stir. Add seasonings & bullion to cream
cheese; mix well. Heat a large deep
skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 T.
butter; melt then pour 1 C. chicken broth,
2 cans soup, 1/2 C. milk & seasoned cream
cheese mixture. Stir mixture well allowing
all ingredients to heat through & bubble.
Simmer, while stirring, 2 minutes. Drain
cooked pasta well then place noodles in
individual serving bowls; top with sauce.
Serve immediately. Serves 6-8


Mixed Vegetable Casserole

12 Ritz crackers, crushed (1/2 C.)
1 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
(broccoli, red pepper & carrots) thawed,
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts,
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/3 C. chopped onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cracker crumbs & butter until
blended. Combine remaining ingredients
in 1-qt. casserole dish; top with crumb
mixture. Bake 35 minutes until heated
through. Serves 8, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Tamale Bake

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 C. finely diced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 C. yellow cornmeal
1 egg
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (1.25 oz) envelope taco seasoning
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives,
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
minced green onions, for garnish

In large skillet brown beef with
onion & garlic until meat is cooked;
drain. In large bowl combine corn-
meal, egg & milk; mix until smooth.
Add corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning,
olives & ground beef to cornmeal
mixture; mix well. Dump mixture
into crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6 hours or High 3 hours. Sprinkle
with cheese & cover again; cook an
additional 15 minutes until cheese
is melted. Serve spooned into
bowls or on plates garnished with
chopped green onion.
Serves 6


Blueberry Crumble Bars

Crust & crumble:
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3 C. flour
1 C. (2 sticks) butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla

4 C. fresh blueberries
1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 baking pan; set
Crust & Crumble:
In medium bowl combine both sugars,
baking powder & flour. Using a pastry
cutter, cut in butter, egg & vanilla until
mixture is well combined & resembles
coarse crumbs. Pat half of mixture into
bottom of prepared pan. In separate
bowl, combine all filling ingredients;
stir gently. Sprinkle blueberry mixture
evenly over crust. Crumble remaining
dough over top of blueberries. Bake
45 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven & allow to cool
completely before cutting.
Makes 24-28 bars


Crabmeat Stuffed Salmon

1/2 lb. imitation crabmeat, flaked
1/2 C. Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) melted butter
6 (6 oz, ea) salmon fillets

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl, combine all
ingredients except salmon; mix well
& set aside. Cut a slit lengthwise 3/4
of way through each salmon fillet. Evenly
divide stuffing into each slit & place on
prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-20
minutes until fish flakes easily.
Serves 6


Banana Pudding Poke Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (plus
ingredients to make cake)
2 (small) boxes instant banana
pudding mix
4 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
20 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
sliced bananas

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake accordg. to pkg. directions;
bake & let cool about 5-7 minutes. Using
the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes
all over the top of the cake, big enough
for the pudding to seep into & go deep
enough with the spoon that you hit the
bottom of the pan.
Prepare pudding mixes with milk; whisk
until fully mixed – no lumps. Pour pudding
mixture over cake; spread evenly – filling
all holes. Refrigerate cake 2 hours. Top
cake with sliced bananas, Cool Whip &
crushed vanilla wafers.


It’s still nice & sunny outside, even
though it’s really cold; very grateful
for heat/warm clothes/food/etc.

Hope you’re staying nice & warm;
enjoy your day!



Being a slug –


Do you ever have days where you just plain don’t feel like doing ANYTHING? That’s me, today. I had planned on going to deliver the baby hats today – just don’t feel like getting out of my warm, cozy jammies! Played tons of games of solitaire (on line), read lots of posts on Facebook – just can’t seem to get inspired. Other than the hat delivery, the only other thing on my agenda for the day is stripping the turkey carcase – not very great aspirations, but my ‘lack of get-up-and-go’ seems to about fit that  job. Not sick, just plain LAZY!  The weather is nice (for this time of year) – it’s in the 50’s and clear/overcast  – no snow (that’s GREAT!); I should ‘make haste while the (overcast) sun shines’, right? Oh well, we all have a ‘down’ day sometimes.

Gathered some leftovers recipes for ya:


Chicken (or turkey)/Broccoli Casserole

1 (12 oz) pkg.  broccoli
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts*
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 C. cornflakes, crushed
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. flour
dash nutmeg
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 baking dish; bring large
pot of water to boil. Add broccoli to pot&
cook 5-6 minutes until almost tender. Remove
from water; set aside. Add chicken breast to
boiling water, reduce heat to low, simmer
until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to cutting board to cool
When cool, cut chicken into cubes; place
with broccoli. In large saucepan, whisk
milk, flour, salt, pepper & nutmeg until
smooth; bring mixture to a boil 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Take off heat, add
mayonnaise, yogurt, soup & half of
cheese. Whisk continuously until smooth;
add in broccoli & chicken/ stir into sauce.
Pour  mixture in prepared dish, cover with
crushed cornflakes & rest of Parm. cheese.
Bake 20 minutes. Serves 6-8

*could use already cooked turkey


Creamy Turkey Casserole

4 C. cooked leftover stuffing, divided
4 C. coarsely chopped leftover cooked
turkey (about 1 lb)
3/4 C. mayonnaise, divided
1/4C. whole cranberry sauce
2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8″ baking pan with nonstick
spray. Spoon 2 C. stuffing into pan
then top with turkey. Combine
mayonnaise, potatoes & cheese in
large bowl; evenly spread on turkey,
top with remaining 2 C. stuffing. Bake
40 minutes or until heated through.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish, if desired, with dried
cranberries. Serves 12

(recipe: Hellmann’

Tomato Basil Soup w/Turkey meatballs

8 oz. ground turkey
3 T. basil pesto
3 T. whole wheat bread crumbs
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled/chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 C. Orzo pasta
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (garnish)

In small bowl combine ground turkey with
pesto, bread crumbs, 1/8 tsp. kosher salt,
1/8 tsp. black pepper & 1 tsp. red pepper
flakes; mix until evenly blended. In large
saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, carrots & celery; cover & reduce
heat to medium-low. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 1 more minute.
Add broth & diced tomatoes with juice; bring
to a simmer. Cover & cook 15 minutes.
While that is cooking, roll turkey mixture
into uniform meatballs (should end up with
about 13 one-inch meatballs). Once tomato
mixture is done simmering, add to food
processor or blender (might need to do it
in batches); pulse for about three 1-second
pulses, then blend 1 full minute or until
soup is as smooth as desired. Return soup
to saucepan; add Orzo & meatballs. Cook
on medium heat 15 minutes or until pasta
is tender & meatballs are fully cooked.
Serve topped with Parmesan.
Serves 4

(recipe: 12

Crockpot Creamy Wild Rice/
Chicken or Turkey Soup

1 1/2 to 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
thighs or 2-3 C. cooked turkey
1 C. finely diced celery
1 C. finely diced or grated carrots
3/4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
4 C. chicken broth
2 C. water
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 (4.3 oz) pkg. Long Grain & Wild Rice
1/2 C. instant brown rice*
2 C. heavy cream (or Half & Half or milk)

Place chicken thighs in crockpot (can use
frozen). In a microwave-safe dish, combine
celery, carrots, flour & butter. Microwave
5 minutes, stirring every minute (butter
will melt/vegetables will get soft. Flour
should be stirring in as best as possible
but it will be a pasty consistency.) Pour
mixture into crockpot. Add broth, water,
salt/pepper/ Rice-a-Roni and seasoning
packet, instant brown rice (if using). Cover
& cook on High 3 hours or on Low 6 hours,
or until rice & chicken are cooked through.
Stir soup a bit then add cream/milk that
has been warmed up for about a minute
in microwave (if you add in cold it will
probably curdle). Let soup cook on High
without lid about 10 minutes to thicken.
Add salt & pepper, to taste. Serves 8-10

*Poster said she didn’t feel like just using
the Rice-a-Roni gave it enough rice, so
she added in the brown rice. If you like
less rice and more broth, leave out brown


Southwest Chicken Skillet

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
or tenders, cut into small pieces*
salt & pepper/any seasonings you use
to season chicken
1 T. olive oil
1 C. uncooked rice
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chiles
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
handful of shredded Mexican cheese blend
sour cream, for topping

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat &
add olive oil – swirl pan to coat with oil. Add
seasoned chicken & cook until no longer pink.
Stir in uncooked rice, Ro*tel, tomato sauce &
water; bring to boil & cover. Reduce heat to
Low & cooked 20 minutes until rice is tender.
(you can stir about half way through time
to make sure it isn’t sticking). Once rice is
done, stir & top with shredded cheese. Turn
off heat & cover 5 minutes until cheese is
melted. Top with a dollop of sour cream &
serve. Serves 4-6

*could use cooked turkey

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Soup

2 (1 lb, ea) chicken breasts (can be frozen)*
10 C. hot water
9 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. bell peppers, chopped
1 C. carrots, chopped
1 C. chopped celery
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans Mexican-style
stewed tomatoes, diced
1 (4 oz) can green chilies, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 C. white rice (uncooked)
2 (15 oz. ea) cans black beans,
rinsed & drained

Place chicken breasts in large soup
pot; add 10 C. hot water, chicken
bouillon & onion. Bring to boil
over medium-high heat & let
boil 20 minutes until chicken is
cooked. Remove chicken from
pot & shred using two forks then
place back in pot. Add stewed
tomatoes, green chiles, tomato
sauce, cumin, oregano, chili
powder & brown sugar. Add rice
& stir to combine; bring to a
rolling boil; cover slightly so
that lid is a bit off the pot to
allow steam to escape. Cook
15 minutes until rice &
vegetables are tender. Remove
pot from heat; add black beans &
stir. Serves 8
*could use cooked turkey
Chewy Gingerbread Bars
3/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ X 9″ pan with nonstick
spray. Pour melted butter, sugar
& molasses into stand mixer bowl.
Beat until well combined. Add egg &
beat until smooth. In separate
bowl, toss together all dry ingredients.
Pour dry ingredients into mixer &
beat until just combined. Press dough
into bottom of prepared pan. Bake
15-20 minutes – do not overbake. Stick
a knife in center of bars – if it comes
out clean, remove pan from oven &
let cool completely. Bars will continue
to cook a bit as they cool. (bars will
be refrigerated later to help them
set up & not be too doughy).
Mix all frosting ingredients together
in stand mixer; beat until smooth. Spread
frosting over cooled bars. Refrigerate
one hour. Refrigerate leftover bars.
Recipe can be doubled – use
a large jelly roll pan. Bake 350
for 20-25 minutes, follow rest of
Chicken ‘n Biscuit Bake

3 C. cooked, shredded chicken*
1 1/2 C. chicken stock or broth
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 C. Bisquick
1 1/2 C. milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. frozen mixed vegetables-
(allow to thaw about 30 min. before
adding to recipe)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
dash pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Warm chicken stock in small sauce pan;
add bouillon cubes to dissolve – keep warm
until ready to use. Lightly spray 9 X 13 pan
with nonstick spray (or large, round casserole
dish). Pour in melted butter; layer shredded
chicken on top of butter. Sprinkle veggies on
top. In small bowl combine milk & Bisquick-
you might have a few lumps) Pour over chicken
& vegetables – DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle a little
black pepper over mix, if desired. Combine soup
with warmed stock in small bowl. Once blended,
slowly pour over Bisquick layer. It’s supposed to
look like a big, soupy mess-DO NOT MIX.
If using 9 X 13 pan: bake 40-45 minutes until
casserole is set and top is brown & bubbly.
If using large round pan: bake 50-55 minutes.
Remove from oven; allow to rest 5 minutes.

*could use cooked turkey

(recipe: Facebook)

Bacon-Spinach Mashed Potatoes

2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, about 6,
peeled & cut into chunks
5 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (9 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia Chive &
onion cream cheese spread

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan
15-20 minutes, or until tender. Cook bacon in large
skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan,
reserving 1 T. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on paper
towels. Add garlic to drippings in skillet & cook 2 minutes,
stirring frequently. Add spinach; cook & stir 1-2 minutes
or just until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat; crumble
bacon & stir into spinach mixture. Serves 12, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Have been having lots of trouble
posting these recipes – server
keeps wanting to make the print
Billboard size! Lots of cutting,
pasting and adjusting sizes –
whew. Sorry, had a lot of great
recipes to share – maybe some
other day.
Hope you have a GREAT day!Hugs;PammiePS: It’s Cyber Monday and I’m

even too ‘pooped’to shop ON LINE!

Need to get my Mojo back!

Published in: on December 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Slowly Getting Back to “Normal”


Today is the “I’ve got ENERGY!” day! Getting things finally cleaned up, washed, put away. Yesterday I was just too pooped from all the rushing Sat./Sunday – only managed to get the laundry caught up and more of my deceased friend’s ‘stuff’ put into groups. Good thing: I have only TWO ROWS left to finish on her brown afghan and it will be done! Yes, it’s the one I was writing about that she was having so much trouble with – she had done it (almost) all! In among the many boxes, bags & containers I found the presser foot to her sewing machine, so I called her son – we will arrange a ‘hand-off’ when he’s next in the state (in a few weeks). I’m thinking of offering him the afghan, now done – it would be a nice memory of her. There’s still, complete materials in the box, another entire afghan – not started, and one just barely started (maybe 6 rows – which could be ripped out). Going through her things made me think of what it will be like for those left after me; let’s see-I’ve been into (at various times): miniature doll house building & building miniature items, embroidery, some sewing, knitting/crochet, painting, reading (TONS of books here) – I’m sure there’s more upstairs I’m just not thinking of at the moment. I’m beginning to think it might be a good idea to start giving away some of the things I no longer do/use. Sometimes it’s just getting the energy to START doing something, or – on the reverse side, the lack of energy needed (when thinking about doing something like going through all the ‘stuff’ upstairs!) Oh well – at least, for today, it was a good thought!


Butter Rolls

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, cold
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 7 X 11 baking dish. In a large
bowl, mix flour & salt. Using a pastry
cutter, cut in cold butter to make
coarse crumbs; add 1/2 C. water & stir.
Use your hands to press dough
together. Place dough in refrigerator
10 minutes to make it easier to work with.
Generously sprinkle your work surface with
flour. Roll dough out into a 12 X 10″ rectangle.
Spread softened butter evenly over dough.
Sprinkle with 1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon. Roll
up dough, jelly-roll style. Cut into 12 even
slices & place in prepared dish. In a small
saucepan, heat milk & remaining sugar just
until it begins to boil. Remove from heat;
stir in vanilla. Pour this mixture all over the
rolls. Bake until browned, 30-40 minutes.
Makes 12 rolls.

Simple Skillet Breakfast Potatoes

6-7 russet potatoes (about 5 C. chopped)
4 T. butter
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
salt & pepper

Clean & scrub potatoes; cut into 1/2″
strips, turn potatoes over (skin side up)
& cut 4-5 more half-inch slices. Starting
at bottom of stack, cut half-inch slices
(you’re making cubed potatoes); repeat
with rest of potatoes. Heat deep skillet
over medium-high heat; add butter &
melt. Add potatoes & stir so all potatoes
have some butter on them. Add paprika,
seasoned salt & pepper; stir to make sure
seasonings are well distributed. Cover pan
& let potatoes cook through, about 15
minutes. (Make sure to check so they
aren’t burning). Stir every time you check.
When potatoes are soft on the inside, remove
pan from heat. Taste & adjust salt & pepper.
Serves 6-7



Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
4 – 4 1/2 C. flour
1 lb. deli ham, sliced thin
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven 170 degrees
Pour warm water into stand mixer;
add sugar & yeast. Mix, on Low about
30 seconds allowing ingredients to
combine. Let rest 5 minutes or until
it gets bubbly. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and
2 C. flour. Mix, on Low; mix in rest of
flour (2 1/2 C.) one cup at a time. When
dough pulls away from sides of bowl,
you have enough flour. Turn to
medium speed; mix 5 minutes. Spray
counter (for rolling out) with nonstick
spray. Divide dough into 2 equal parts;
allow them to rest on counter 5 minutes.
Do NOT skip this step. *Roll out dough
into a large rectangle & cover with half
of the ham. Sprinkle on 1 C. Cheddar
cheese. Roll dough up starting at long
end. Spray a large knife with nonstick
spray & slice the roll into 12 rounds. Place
each pinwheel onto large cookie sheet
sprayed with nonstick spray. Repeat from
* with other half of the dough. Place both
cookie sheets in oven about 10 minutes or
until they start to rise a bit. (You don’t
want it to rise fully, just expand a little).
Turn oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
(do NOT remove pans from oven). Bake
15 minutes or until golden brown along
top & bottom. Remove pans from oven &
let them rest 5 minutes. Makes 24


Crockpot Party Ham

1 (7 lb) skinless, bone-in ham (shank or
butt end portion)
1/3 C. barbecue sauce
1/3 C. honey
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 (14 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray; place ham in crockpot. Mix
barbecue sauce, hone & sugar in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple &
pour over ham. Cover with lid; cook on
Low 4 hours or until ham is heated
through, turning off after 2 hours.
Transfer ham to platter, reserving sauce.
Cover ham to keep warm. Whisk cornstarch
& water until blended & pour into sauce
in crockpot. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes
or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Serve with ham. Serves 18

NOTE: It is NOT recommended cooking
them ham on High setting as this dries
out the ham.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Southern Banana Pudding

3 C. whole milk
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
kosher salt
4 large eggs, separated – yolks
lightly beaten
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 ripe medium bananas (about
1 lb) thinly sliced crosswise,
about 2 1/2 C.
50 vanilla wafers (about half a
box of ‘Nilla wafers)
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Heat 2 1/2 C. milk in large saucepan
over medium heat until steaming. Whisk
3/4 C. sugar, cornstarch & 1/2 tsp. salt in
a large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks & remaining
1/2 C. milk. Whisk half of hot milk into egg
mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk
egg-milk mixture into milk in saucepan. Cook
over medium heat, whisking constantly, until
mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low,
let mixture come to a simmer. Continue to
cook, whisking constantly, until it has
thickened to a pudding-like consistency, 3-4
minutes. Remove from heat & whisk in butter
& vanilla. Layer a third of pudding, half banana
slices & half vanilla wafers in a 9″ square baking
dish. Layer half of remaining pudding, all
remaining banana slices & all remaining wafers.
Top with last of the pudding. Cover with plastic
wrap pressed directly onto pudding surface &
refrigerate overnight to soften wafers.
(next day) Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Position oven rack in upper third of oven. Bring
egg whites to room temperature. Beat egg whites
& cream of tartar in bowl of a stand mixer fitted
with whisk attachment on medium speed until
frothy. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly
sprinkle in remaining 1/2 C. sugar, ONE tablespoon
at a time, whipping for 15 seconds after each
addition, until glossy firm peaks form. Spread
meringue mixture on top of pudding, using a
spatula so it reaches the edges of the pan. Bake
until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Serve
warm or chilled. Serves 8


Skillet Parmesan Zucchini
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 small zucchini, (1 lb), thinly sliced
1/2 C. spaghetti sauce
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook & stir peppers & onions in large
nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium heat 5 minutes; add
zucchini & cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir
in spaghetti sauce; cover & cook 8 minutes
or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring
occasionally. Sprinkle with cheeses & cook,
covered, 1 minute or until mozzarella is
melted. Serves 4 (about 3/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft

Bacon-Tomato Cups


16 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C. chopped sweet onion (Vidalia)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella or Colby-
Jack cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refrigerated buttermilk

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a mini muffin pan. In skillet
over medium heat, cook bacon. Crumble
bacon, mix with tomato, onion & cheese.
Mix in mayonnaise & Italian seasoning.
Separate biscuits in half horizontally; press
each half down into muffin cup to create
a cup of dough. Fill each cup with bacon &
tomato mixture. Bake 15-18 minutes until
golden brown.


Leftover Mashed Potato Cornbread

1 C. self-rising buttermilk corn meal
1 C. flour
1/4 C. oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes (leftover)
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 C. milk

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl. Heat a large, shallow skillet over
medium-high heat, adding enough oil
to fry cornbread. When oil is hot, spoon
batter in pan into ‘pancakes’. Fry until
golden brown on both sides and center
is cooked.

Wilted Caesar Salad w/Red Onions & Ham

4 T. olive oil or butter, divided
1 T. garlic, minced
4 oz. pine nuts
1/2 C. red onion, sliced into circles
2/3 C. diced, cooked ham*
2 slices whole grain bread, cut into crouton-
sized chunks (or pre-packed croutons)
4 large artichoke hearts, cubed
4 large romaine leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T. red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 T. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2-4 T. shredded cheeses (your choice)

In medium skillet, melt 2 T. butter or olive
oil; add minced garlic, onion – stir to coat. When
onions begin to soften, add ham & pine nuts;
stir to coat. In a bowl, add 2 T. oil or butter &
cubed bread; mix to coat then stir into mixture
in skillet. Cook until bread & nuts begin to toast
& ham starts to brown.
Arrange chopped romaine on serving platter;
arrange chopped artichokes over top of lettuce.
When bread mixture browns, remove from heat &
immediately pour hot ingredients over cold
lettuce on platter. Return pan to burner & add 2
T. vinegar, stirring to de-glaze the pan – about 1
minute (scraping bits off bottom of pan & into
the vinegar.) Pour hot vinegra over ingredients
on platter & toss. Sprinkle top with Parmesan &
other cheeses. Serves 2-4

*Can also use cooked smoked turkey or chicken, cut up


Easy Grape Salad

1 lb. seedless green grapes
1 lb. seedless red grapes
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme*
1 (6 oz) pkg. slivered almonds

Wash grapes, remove all stems then place
in large bowl. In separate bowl, stir together
cream cheese & marshmallow creme until
smooth & creamy. Pour mixture over grapes.
Using a spatula, fold mixture into grapes until
well coated. Fold in almonds. May be served
immediately or covered & refrigerated 1
hour to set slightly & allow flavors to blend.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Whipped Lemon Cream Mouse

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Pour whipping cream into stand mixer or
large mixing bowl; whip until soft peaks
form then scoop out of bowl & place in
separate bowl – set aside. Place cream cheese
in mixer bowl; beat until smooth. Add powdered
sugar, lemon juice & vanilla to cream cheese;
beat until smooth & glossy. Add cream cheese
mixture to whipped cream; stir to combine.
Place in dessert bowls & serve OR place on crepes
for filling. Makes 3 cups



Well, today our weather is more ‘in the mode’ of April weather: it’s only 46 degrees and a little grey/cloudy. I was totally amazed yesterday to look out at our thermometer and see 80 degrees F.!!! We had the windows open, I swept the porch & sidewalk – nice Spring day, for sure!

Hoping you will have a very relaxing, happy day!



Funny how QUICKLY a day can change!

moving-boxes-other-moving-stuff-22460371I no sooner than finished hitting “Publish” on the last post than middle son comes in announcing that he’s moving back home TODAY! Now I’m pretty sure I heard (the other day) that he’d be moving in ‘some time early January, or the next week or so’ – am absolutely POSITIVE I didn’t hear THIS WEEK! (he says I was busy on my computer and probably didn’t pay attention- go figure!) It’s not that big of a deal, but at the ‘arrival time’ earlier I was still in my jammies, no breakfast – and definitely not ready to jump up and start moving things around in this room in order to accommodate his things! Oh well – life happens, things change – right? I’m now fully dressed, the exercise machine that was in here has been moved back to the basement, empty Christmas storage boxes are now in the living room along with bags of Purple Heart donation stuff, our big dresser has been moved to the corner, so now the floor is open for his bed and chest of drawers. Sigh . . . it’s funny how ‘kids’ see things differently than we do: I see lots of little ‘projects’ to get done before his stuff comes back, he sees it as: “I just need your van – I can handle taking apart the bed, moving it all in your van, etc.” First: you are NOT driving/using MY VAN – second, it took 2 people to do the above mentioned things – you’d better be on Dad’s good side when you ASK for his help! When he moved out it took all THREE of us: son, me & Dad and THREE vehicles full of stuff! We’ll see how this all goes down – right now he’s getting ready to start training (at oldest son’s restaurant) as a server. He’s never done that before, but oldest son offered the part-time job, so we’ll see how that goes. Middle son works as a special needs caregiver but the company he works for will not let their employees work 40 hours (40 hours + and the company would have to pay benefits); this arrangement is not working well with son, who needs more $$$ so his older brother offered the part-time serving job – his choice of days/hours – this might just be the ‘boost up’ he needs!

Right now I’m rushing to complete the 62 copies of my special needs group’s newsletter for January/February. Since my computer is in the room our son will be moving back into, it behooves me to get this work done and out of the way (several reasons why: so that I KNOW what I’m doing and don’t mess it up AND so that I’m not underfoot while they are moving in wooden bed frame parts, mattress, etc. I’m normally a person who loves to keep up on all my ‘things to do’ but I find myself becoming a PROCRASTINATOR when it comes to finishing up the newsletter. It’s not like someone else is going to write it – I’m the Editor – it’s my ‘baby’, I just tend to put it off because I’m not ‘moved’ to pick out clip art, arrange fonts/draw in all the boxes, double-check dates, etc. Oh well – to quote the TV comedian: “Git ‘er Done!”

Back to work for me;



Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  



To begin this ‘tale of woe’ I should preface – my husband likes to go to bed VERY LATE! We’re talking 3 a.m. – ? ; last night (for whatever reason – might have been the cup of coffee I drank around 11 p.m.), I also stayed up late. I gave up and tried going to sleep around 3 (3: 30 clock chime heard, 4 a.m. – must have fallen asleep around 4 something). I’m awakened at ??? time by husband who informs me we have NO WATER! (He usually fills the two containers for the humidifier just before he goes to bed, so I’m guessing that’s how he discovered this predicament). I hear him on the phone to the Water Department asking questions (the water treatment plant is just across the road from our house) – I fell back asleep. Next thing I hear husband telling me we need to move a bunch of ‘stuff’ in the basement, there’s a man coming to check it out – mid-sentence he corrects himself with: “Oh, he’s here!” Our basement is NO MAN’S LAND – there’s stuff there from 25-30 years ago stacked up. Our house is pretty old – who ever designed it put the water shut off valve in a tiny little ‘under the front steps’ cubbyhole – we don’t go in there, in fact it was totally barricaded with ‘stuff’ – husband had quite the time getting TO that, let alone moving it all out of the way to get into that little ‘room’. Probably 10 or so minutes later I hear husband saying: “The pipes are frozen under the steps.” Oh- JOY! (I’m wondering, in my sleep-induced coma, just what he wants ME to do about it! I fall back to sleep.) In the realm of our OLD house, not only did they build that silly little room, they put a HOLE (about 4 inches across) in the top step of the front steps – I have no idea why. Over the years we’ve always just put a large planter over it (it’s sort of to the side of the middle of the steps). Apparently, when the roofers were here, they moved the planter, allowing all that lovely FROZEN cold air/snow/water to go right down onto the water pipe & shut off valve! Husband ended up putting up some sort of styrofoam plug for the hole and using a hair dryer to heat up the pipes so that the water flowed again. Yes, we now have water! It’s 11:30 a.m. and husband is sleeping – I’m not going to be the one to make any noise and wake him up – he’s had a really ROUGH late night, for sure! (I was going to begin baking cookies, but that would make too much noise).  Ya know- sometimes life just doesn’t give you a break! THANK HEAVENS it wasn’t BURST water pipes! I just have to remember, there’s ALWAYS room to give the Lord thanks for even the little things – for, in the end, they’re ALL little things!

I suppose I should add that last night it was REALLY cold – I drove to special needs group in 11 degrees – really chilly. Came home in 9 degrees and I’m sure it just got colder-no more snow, but really frigid. It’s sunny out now and 16 degrees; glad I don’t (that I know of) have anywhere to go/drive today. Oh – wait! I DO have to walk the 3 Christmas breads over to the neighbors (I procrastinated yesterday and they’re sitting on the dining room table ‘glaring’ at me: “Hey! YOU! Take us to our new owners!” (Don’t know about you, but if I don’t do something when I know I should, inanimate objects begin talking/reminding me! (Yep, I’m certifiably nuts! Just ask my friends!)


Spiced Applesauce Bread

1  1/2 C. applesauce
1 stick or 1/2 C. or 8 T. butter or margarine,
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk (could use regular milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. craisins (dried cranberries) -could use raisins
and can add more if wanted
1/2 –  1 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and brown sugar.  Add eggs,
buttermilk, vanilla and applesauce; mix with mixer.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,
nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt in a bowl. Mix well with
wire whisk and add to liquid ingredients mixing together
with mixer. Fold in craisins and nuts with a spoon.  Pour
batter into a 9 x 5 bread pan that has been sprayed with
cooking spray.  (I sprinkle a little brown sugar and a few nuts
on top just to give it a little crunch). Bake 55-60 minutes
checking for doneness as ovens vary. Let cool about 10 minutes
before removing from pan.  Makes 1 loaf.
NOTE: You can also make this recipe into smaller loaves – remember
smaller loaves cook about 10 minutes less than the big ones.

(recipe: Facebook)

Raspberry Whip Cake

1 angel food cake, cut into 1″
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. sour cream
1 C. powdered sugar
1 pint red raspberries, well
drained (fresh or frozen)

In medium bowl mix Cool Whip, sour
cream & powdered sugar. Carefully
fold in raspberries; set aside. Place all
angel food cake pieces in bottom of
9 X 13 pan; pour raspberry mixture
over cake & spread evenly over cake.
Cover & refrigerate 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook)

Reuben Crescent Bake

2 tubes (8 oz ea) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1-1/4 lb. sliced deli corned beef
1 (14 oz)
can sauerkraut, rinsed & well drained
2/3 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tsp. caraway seeds

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one
long rectangle; seal seams and perforations.
Press onto the bottom of a greased 9X13 baking
dish. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Layer with half  cheese and all corned beef.
Combine sauerkraut and salad dressing; spread
over beef. Top with remaining cheese. On a
lightly floured surface, press or roll second
tube of crescent dough into a 13-in. x 9-in.
rectangle, sealing seams and perforations.
Place over cheese. Brush with egg white;
sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake for 12-16
minutes or until heated through and crust is
golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before
cutting. Yield: 8 servings. Source
(recipe:  Taste of Home)

Jell-O Cookies!
(made using dry jello!)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 (3 oz) pkg. jello (your choice of
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 T. powdered sugar
Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl
using elec. mixer, until blended.
Mix flour, dry jello & baking soda;
gradually add cream cheese mixture,
mixing well after each addition.
Refrigerate 30 minutes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Roll dough into 60 (1 inch)
balls; place 2 inches apart,
on greased cookie sheets. Bake
9-11 minutes or until edges are
lightly browned. Cool on sheets
2 minutes, remove to wire racks
to cool. Sprinkle with powdered
sugar just before serving.

Makes 30 cookies

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Stuffed Alfredo Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 oz. ground milk Italian pork sausage
1 ( 1.25 oz) envelope Alfredo sauce mix
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & drained
1/2 C. Ricotta cheese
2 plum tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken between 2 sheets heavy-duty
plastic wrap & flatten to 1/4 inch thickness
using a meat mallet or rolling pin; set aside.
Cook sausage in large skillet over medium-
high heat 10 minutes or until it crumbles &
is no longer pink; drain & set aside.
Prepare Alfredo sauce accordg to pkg.
directions; set aside. Combine shredded
Mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses. Stir together
sausage, spinach, Ricotta & 1/2 C. Mozzarella/
Parm. cheese mixture. Spoon mixture evenly
down center of each chicken breast; roll up &
secure with wooden toothpicks. Place, seam-
side down, in lightly greased 2 qt. baking dish.
Pour prepared Alfredo sauce over chicken &
sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese mixture.
Bake 50 minutes – 1 hour or until chicken is
done. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut chicken rolls
into slices; serve with sauce then sprinkle
tops with diced tomatoes before serving.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 C. finely chopped, seeded & peeled cucumber 
1/2 C. finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 C. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
(baked tortilla chip scoops)
In small bowl, combine first 7 ingredients. In
another bowl, combine sour cream, lemon & 
lime juices, cumin & seasoned salt; pour over
cucumber mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve
immediately with chips. Makes 2 1/2 C.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Savory Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones
(overnight recipe)

3 slices bacon, diced, cooked & drained
1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 stick salted butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 C. flour
1/4 C. milk

In food processor, process butter,
(cut in pieces) salt, sugar, baking
powder & flour. Pulse until mixture
is coarsley combined. In mixing
bowl, place bacon, cheese, chives &
flour mixture. Combine well & add
milk a little at a time until mixture
is stiff. Knead a few times & form
into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap &
refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake,
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Roll out scone mixture into a round
cylinder shape, about 1/2 inch
thick. Place on greased baking
sheet. Cut round into wedges. Pull
each wedge back so that there is
a 1/2 inch space between wedges.
Brush scones with melted butter &
bake 20 minutes. Remove from
oven & baste with additional melted
butter. Serves 6


Bubble Pizza – 3 Ingredients

3 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 (16 oz) jar spaghetti or pizza sauce
8 oz. shredded cheese (your choice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut biscuits into quarters. Toss
biscuits into sauce & pour into
9 X 13 baking dish. Bake 20
minutes. Check for doneness by
inserting a knife into biscuit to be
sure center is cooked. Add cheese&
return to oven until cheese melts.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe
Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 large head cabbage
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 C. cooked, instant or Minute rice

2 (26 oz, ea) jars tomato sauce
salt & pepper
onion & garlic powders

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Chop cabbage into bite-sized chunks. In large
frying pan or Dutch oven, add enough butter to
cover bottom and a little extra. Fry cabbage
until tender, but not mushy. When done, place
in large bowl; set aside. Using same frying
pan, cook ground beef; drain grease. In a sauce-
pan, cook the rice. Mix meat & rice together,
adding salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders,
to taste. Add some of the tomato sauce to
moisten the mixture. Cover bottom of a 9 X 13
baking dish with about 1/4 of tomato sauce, then
layer cabbage, meat and rice mixxture, sauce,
repeat until pan is full. Bake 45 min – 1 hour.
Serves 6

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)

Honey-Roasted Red Potatoes

1 lb. red potatoes, quartered
2 T. diced onion
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. honey (or more, as desired)
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly coat an 11 X 7 inch baking dish
with nonstick spray. Place potatoes in a
single layer in prepared dish & top
with onion. In small bowl, combine
melted butter, honey, mustard, salt &
pepper; drizzle over potatoes & onion.
Bake 35 minutes or until tender, stirring
halfway through cooking time.


Sunday Chicken Supper

4 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 C. fresh green beans (2 inch pieces)
5 small red potatoes, quartered
1 (3 lb) broiler/fryer chicken, cut up
4 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
1 1/2 C. hot water
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 pinch pepper

In a 5 qt. crockpot, layer first 7 ingredients in
order listed. In a bowl, combine remaining
ingredients; pour over items in crockpot.
Do NOT stir. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours
or until vegetables are tender & chicken juices
run clear. Remove chicken & vegetables.
Thicken juices for gravy, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: Pilgrims Pride)

Well, there ya have it – life in the FAST lane at our house! I guess the guys REALLY liked the chili – it’s all gone! (I was hoping for at least one more meal of it, but looks like now I have to figure out something for tonight.) I know there’s chicken breasts, pork roasts, fish, beef cube steaks, and more in the freezer – I might cook the cube steaks in beef mushroom gravy and have baked potatoes and some veggy – we’ll see.

Hope you are staying warm, enjoying the many ‘fun’ things about this season: the Christmas decorations, the music, the little ‘extras’ that make up the many days before we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Enjoy your day!



VICTORY over Turkey!


I must begin this post by prefacing: I don’t have ‘help’ in my house (yes, I suppose, IF I asked for it, the guys would/might step in – but for the most part, I’m on my own). The reason I bring that up is: today I conquered the turkey carcass! (Most, if not ALL of you, by now have long-done what I did today – stripped your carcasses). Thanksgiving dinner, for us here, is around 6:30 – 7 p.m. (yes, for most of you, that’s WAY too late) but here we sort of go on my husband’s old ‘work’ schedule – he got home around 6:30 p.m. so dinner always followed shortly thereafter. After a huge holiday meal, I would much rather sit and chat than clean up dishes – so that’s what we did. All the ‘side dishes’ were relegated to the basement fridge and we’ve been sort of ‘doing a trip to the basement for a plate of foods – bringing it up and splitting it among whomever wanted dinner – hey, don’t laugh – it works for us! There was enough turkey STILL left over to have one more full dinner plus some for sandwiches AND enough to make a dish of turkey soup fixin’s, too! I LOVE when you can make a meal stretchlike that (it’s my Scots heritage – gotta be FRUGAL!). Yes, there’s still pumpkin pie and cheesecake but I’ve had my share of those – not much into sweets lately. I’m already thinking & planning the Christmas dinner: this time it’s HAM, no sweet potatoes or stuffing, instead a big tossed salad, green bean casserole, corn casserole, veggie tray and rolls – we’ll see about desserts as it gets closer. Have you looked at the calendar lately? It’s FOUR WEEKS until Christmas! I feel like I was stuck in a cave somewhere – how did the NEXT holiday creep up so fast?

Did any of you do the “Black Friday” sales? (You know me by now – there’s NO WAY I’d venture out for that – I hate crowds with a passion!). I actually didn’t ‘venture out’ until Saturday, but only because CVS drug stores had Mountain Dew (my husband’s favorite) on sale for 69 cents a 2 liter bottle (limit 5) plus they had mailed me a 35% off coupon, so that warmed my little Scots heart! I ended up buying over $50.00 in merchandise and saved $25.00 with my coupons and sale items! YAY! I usually buy the mini candy bars for my knit group’s Christmas meeting (which will be Dec. 10th this year – early, but we had to because of the way the calendar is running – we meet every two weeks). They were on sale for $6.99 a large bag – I bought two bags, with a coupon for $2.00 off plus another in store coupon: got both bags for less than the price of one! How are you doing on Christmas present shopping? So far, I’ve done some ON LINE – not sure about the rest. I have decided to purchase two skeins of the funny, lacy yarn to knit two scarves (I did four of them in that, last year) (1) for middle son’s girlfriend and (1) for the little old lady we drive to church who has Alzheimers. She’s such a sweet person and I can see her going down hill fast – I really makes me sad. I have to remind her (AND her husband) that it’s now COLD weather and she needs her WINTER coat – she came out yesterday with her light spring coat – again. Sigh . . . good thing it’s only from their WARM foyer at the condo, to our warm car, to the warm foyer at church and reverse the process BUT if our car broke down – you get the idea.


Baked Turkey Croquettes

12 oz. cooked turkey, chopped fine
3 potatoes, peeled, cooked & mashed
3/4 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C. parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
1/2 C. bread crumbs (seasoned)
1 egg, whisked

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In large bowl mash potatoes with 1/4 C. broth,
salt & pepper; set aside. Saute garlic & onions in
oil on low heat; add parsley, salt & pepper – cook
until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add turkey & remaining
broth, mix well & turn off heat. Add turkey to
mashed potatoes; mix well. Measure 1/4 C. mixture
them form into croquettes; place on waxed paper-
repeat with remaining ingredients. Dip each
croquette into whipped egg, then into breadcrumbs –
place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Spray
generously with nonstick spray. Bake 15 minutes or
until golden brown. Serves 6


Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

(poster said you can make this is one large
casserole dish or individual ramekins – measurements
aren’t important; just use what you can fit into whatever
baking dish you are using.)

leftover turkey, cut into chunks
leftover gravy, warmed up a little
leftover stuffing
leftover vegetables
leftover mashed potatoes, warmed up a little – maybe
add a little milk, if needed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover bottom of dish with turkey in a double layer. Pour
gravy over turkey to cover it. Add a layer of stuffing, then
veggies. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Drizzle top of
potatoes with a few tablespoons of melted butter. Bake
until top is golden and gravy starts to bubble.

(recipe: Rock Recipes)

Creamy Corn & Turkey Soup

1/2 C. chopped onion
1 red pepper, chopped & divided
2 T. butter or margarine
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 C. shredded, cooked turkey
1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
2 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Cook onions & half red peppers in butter
in large saucepan on medium heat, 5-6
minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring
frequently. Add cream cheese; cook on
low 3-4 minutes or until melted, stirring
constantly. Stir in turkey, corn, broth &
milk. Cook 5 minutes or until soup is
heated through, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with remaining peppers &
black pepper. Serves 6, 1 C. each.

Soup can be made ahead of time; Cool,
then refrigerate up to 2 days. Reheat
before serving.

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Turkey & Black Bean Soup

In a large soup pot, cook until soft:

2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1 medium red onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced

6 C. turkey or chicken stock
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes
1 (19 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 C. cooked, chopped turkey
3 T. fresh oregano
salt & pepper, to taste

Simmer over medium heat 20 minutes.

(recipe: Rock Recipes)

Turkey & Spinach Dip

3 T. olive oil
1 C. diced onions
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. ranch dressing
1 T. hot sauce
2 C. leftover cooked, diced turkey
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 1/2 C. shredded Jack cheese
2 (6 oz, ea) bags fresh baby spinach, cooked,
chopped & liquid squeezed out
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9″ square baking dish with nonstick
spray; set aside. Cook & stir garlic & onions in
oil in medium skillet on medium heat 3-5 minutes
or until onions are soft; remove from heat & cool.
Blend cream cheese, ranch dressing & hot sauce in
mixing bowl. Stir in turkey, artichoke hearts, Jack &
Parmesan cheeses, spinach & cooked onion mixture.
Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake 25 minutes.
Remove from oven; sprinkle with Cheddar cheese;
bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is
completely melted. Makes 12 servings.
Serve with tortilla chips


Fruit Swirl Bread

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar plus 1 tsp, for topping
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. sour cream
2/3 C. jam (any flavor)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 8 X 4 loaf pan. In mixing
bowl of elec. mixer, mix butter, 3/4
C. sugar, vanilla & eggs until well
blended. Add flour, salt & baking
soda mix until incorporated, stir
in sour cream. Spread 1/2 -inch
layer in bottom of pan. Spoon jam
over batter in bowl, fold 2-3 times
to swirl lightly. Do NOT over mix.
Spoon into pan, spread evenly.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. sugar over top. Bake
50-55 minutes or until bread tests
done. Remove from oven. Immediately
invert onto a rack, turn right side up.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 1 loaf.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cheesy Turkey Stromboli

1 (11 oz.) can refrigerated pizza dough
6 slices Colby Jack cheese
1 (7.5 oz) pkg. sliced smoked turkey (or
leftovers) coarsely chopped
1/2 C. coarsely chopped roasted red
1 tsp. dried basil
1 egg
1 T. water

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll dough on lightly floured surface. Roll
or pat into 12-inch square; top with cheese,
turkey, peppers & basil, leaving 1/2 inch rim
around all sides. Roll up; pinch seam & ends
together to seal. Place, seam side down, on
foil-covered baking sheet. Beat egg & water;
brush on dough. Bake 22-25 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before
slicing. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Black Bean Chicken

2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1/2 C. brown rice, uncooked
1 lb. chicken breasts

Place frozen chicken breasts in crockpot.
Top with beans, rice & salsa. Cook on Low
8-10 hours. Serves 6

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Monkey Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. ripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Blend butter & sugar. Add egg & vanilla;
beat until thoroughly combined. Blend in
banana. Combine flour, baking powder,
baking soda & salt; add to butter mixture
& mix well. Stir in chocolate chips & nuts.
Fill greased mini muffin cups half full. Bake
12-14 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes then
remove to wire rack to cool completely
Makes 4 dozen mini muffins.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sausage Ring

3 lb. bulk sausage
1 1/2 C. cracker crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. minced onion
1 C. finely grated peeled apple

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine sausage,
crumbs, eggs, onion & apple; mix
well & press into angel food cake
pan (or Bundt). Bake 1 hour. Drain
grease then invert onto serving

NOTE: Ring can be frozen-
Wrap cooked ring in foil then freeze.
Defrost in foil & reheat in foil in 350
degree oven. This will take 1 hour; check.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
6 oz. Italian turkey sausage
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil/garlic & oregano, drained (Hunts)
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
Scoop pulp from each zucchini half, leaving
1/4″ shells & reserve pulp. Place shells, cut-
side down, on microwave-safe plate; cover
with waxed paper. Microwave on High 4
minutes or until shells begin to soften slightly.
Arrange shells in baking dish. Cook sausage in
medium skillet over medium-high heat until
crumbled & no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
remove sausage from skillet; set aside. Cook
onion & reserved zucchini in skillet about 5
minutes or until onion & zucchini are lightly
browned & softened. Stir in drained tomatoes,
cooked sausage & bread crumbs. Remove from
heat; cool about 5 minutes. Stir in egg; spoon
filling into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with cheese &
bake 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
Serves 2 (2 halves each)


German Apple Pancake

3 large eggs
1 C. milk
3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 T. butter

2 tart baking apples, peeled & sliced
3-4 T. butter
2 T. sugar
confectioner’s sugar
lemon wedges

Preheat a 10 inch cast-iron skillet in 425
degrees F. oven.
In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour,
salt & nutmeg; cover & process until
smooth. Add butter to hot skillet; return to
oven until butter bubbles. Pour batter into
skillet; bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until
pancake puffs & edges are browned & crisp.

In a skillet, add apples, butter & sugar. Cook &
stir over medium heat until apples are tender.
Spoon into baked pancake, sprinkle with
confectioners sugar. Cut & serve immediately
with lemon wedges. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Rhonda-G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Quick catch-up – gas prices here are lower! AMAZING! $3.19/9 a gallon – YAY! Weather is a bit warmer, too – today it’s sunny, clear and 41 – yes, it’s not 70’s but it’s warmer than last week (in the 20’s). Got into the car for church yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that I could actually knit in the car (husband drives) – last week it was low 20’s and I didn’t even attempt it – even with the car heat on.

Working on finishing up the next batch of baby hats for the hospital: right now I’m at 19 premie and 22 newborn (I try to shoot for 25 each, so I’m not too far away from my goal!).

Saturday I did something I’ve never done before – spent most of the afternoon on the couch watching tv with youngest son! What, you ask, would keep me that long? They were running an entire marathon of the Harry Potter movies – I’m not into fantasy (or whatever you call that set of books) – attempted to read the first one and just couldn’t get my mind wrapped around it. The guys, over the years, have watched the movies – I’d pop in a little and watch a bit of it, but never actually an entire movie, let alone the last THREE! It was sort of: “Oh, that’s on – wait, don’t think I know what that’s about!” . . . many hours later, then end was achieved – good ending! Son was going to go hang out with some of his friends about 20 minutes before the end and I said: “Wait! Who’s going to explain the parts I don’t understand!?” He ended up staying!!! Let’s just say we were ‘on the couch’ (between trips for snacks/bathroom breaks/etc.) from around 3:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.!!! It was fun.

I’m off here – have to comp up a Christmas flyer for my Special Needs Group’s Christmas “Friends and Family Gathering” – can’t believe it’s coming SO SOON! That will be Dec. 17th. – only two more weeks to practice the group’s song before it’s time to perform it! They love it, their friends/family and caregivers love seeing them sing – it’s a great evening for all of us.

Enjoy your day/night!!! Remember to REST a bit!!!



ps: After THREE weeks of feeling sick, I’m finally starting to feel better -still stuffed up, but was able to sing with the choir yesterday and go to practice, so it’s coming! YAY!