Almost There!


Yesterday and today I’ve had some extra time to devote to working on the last Art Project; the 3D building made out of foam board. I can finally say we’re ALMOST DONE! All the walls are finished/windows made, doors on, roof made (that was a total fluke that worked really well!) – almost all done! We still need to construct the railings around the second & third floors, find/locate the ‘train grass’ somewhere in the basement, assemble the building, somehow get it anchored down to the foam board base, put in the ‘tree’, the sign for the hotel and ‘Japanese Sand Garden’. Dear Son (for whatever reason) thought it would be a really great idea to build a Japanese Sand Garden on the base; if you’re not familiar, I’ll try to explain using a photo:


They can vary greatly, but basically they are areas of ‘sculpted’ sand with some rocks. The decorating of the sand is unique to the builder – any design works. Son thought it would be a very good idea to see if we can do a small one – we’ll see. I’m thinking Elmer’s glue painted onto the surface, quickly ‘combed’ with a plastic fork, then sprinkled with real sand; add some small rocks afterwards – we’ll see how it comes out. I’m planning on a ‘practice’ board, first – just in case it doesn’t work. Sort of like the project today – since the teacher wants it to look Los Vegas style, we decided to cover the second floor in glitter (we had very fine green mixed with gold, but when we tried it, it just didn’t look right – ended up using just gold.) On the ‘Roof Goof” – I had cut out and fully lined (traced scalloped lines on roof to resemble tiles) a piece of cardboard, then painted the underside black. Son wanted the curved Japanese roof, so I thought the underside should be black, since that would show when curled. Little to my knowledge, the cardboard itself began to curl! When I gently painted the top side of the roof (with the tiles) I was able to mold the damp card board into just what we wanted – curved edges! YAY! I’m not exactly sure how ‘fine’ of a job the entire project will be when put together, but for amateurs, I think it will look just fine (she said, ‘fingers crossed’.) It’s not due to hand in for another week (April 22, last day of class). Son did almost all the foam board cutting and some design ideas, but this one is mostly me – not taking any credit, just saying: when you see it you know who to blame for any errors!  It’s been a ‘crazy ride’ working this all out, but I’m happy it’s finally in it’s finishing stages.

Not much else new around here EXCEPT OUR WEATHER! Yesterday was really nice, sunny & clear and in the low 60’s BUT TODAY – we got almost to 70!!! I had some quick grocery shopping to do and was pleasantly pleased to be able to go out without a coat or jacket! I even drove with the windows down! We opened the house windows and aired the house out – that’s always SO nice to do once Spring gets here. (I must admit, I’ve heard rumors of possible SNOW next week: just looked on the weather channel for our area and it shows: Monday night Rain/Snow likely, low 26 degrees F., Tuesday chance Rain/Show High 36F, low 24! UGH! Going up in the week, it doesn’t look like we’ll get much higher than 36 degrees by next Sunday! UGH! NOT GOOD!

Have you been getting ready for Easter & Easter dinner? I’ve decided to make the Watergate Salad I featured a few posts ago – it’s easy and should be liked (maybe if I eliminate the nuts); it’s a light, fluffy Cool Whip based dessert with pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, miniature marshmallows – we’ll see how it goes. Not sure yet about dessert – might ask oldest son (the chef) to bring/make dessert.

Had grandson almost all day Friday – no school/their Spring break. Funny, used to be (in days past) it was EASTER break and took place closer to EASTER! Goofy. We’re not sure, yet, if he has school Good Friday (I get him on Fridays). He & I had fun painting – I was working on ‘the project’ and I gave him paper & paints to ‘create’. He drew then painted a picture of a house, garage, car,  & sun and had fun doing it. I’m thinking about becoming the “Craft Grandma” for him. He has 5 people, altogether who watch over him: His Dad (my son), His Mom & her boyfriend, His other Grandparents, his Great Grandmother (his Mom’s side) and us. Most of the others like to keep him busy with sports or activities, Gr Grandma likes to take him to the Dollar Store – I’m the only one that doesn’t try to ‘keep him busy’ – I’d rather let him just BE A KID! He’s only 7 1/2 so I figure, for him, our house is more like ‘down time’ – Legos, building blocks, coloring/painting/mazes, reading books, etc. Now that I’m sure he likes crafts, I’m thinking of taking him to Michael’s and see what kind of kids projects we can ‘get into.’ Last year I bought him several wooden small birdhouses and we painted them together – might do that again this year, as some of mine got a little weather-worn last year sitting on the outside window sill.


Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (8 oz)Crushed Pineapple in 
100% Pineapple Juice, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, zucchini,
oil, pineapple and vanilla. Combine dry
ingredients; stir into egg mixture just
until moistened. Fold in nuts and raisins
if desired. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in.
loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2 loaves.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Dorito Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped
two cans red kidney beans, rinsed &

a handfull of scallions, chopped
about 1-2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. crushed Doritos
one can corn/black bean mix (optional)
Catalina salad dressing

Mix all ingredients together tossed with
Catalina salad dressing.

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 C. diced mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 T. tomato paste
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. white cooking wine
1/2 tsp. salt (or, to taste)
1/8 tsp. black pepper (or, to taste)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 T. corn starch
3 T. cold water

Cooked pasta or rice, for serving

Place onion, pepper & garlic in bottom of crockpot; place chicken pieces on top. Combine tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, chicken broth,
wine, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf – pour over chicken. Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 7-8 hours or until chicken is done.If cooking on Low – turn heat setting to High,remove chicken pieces. Combine corn starch & cold water; whisk into liquids. Heat on High about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve over cooked pasta or rice.


Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham

1 (7 lb) ham
2 C. pineapple juice
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup

Unwrap ham & place in crockpot. Rub
ham with brown sugar on all sides.
Pour pineapple juice & maple syrup
over ham. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours. About an hour before serving,
pour juices over top of ham. Remove
ham to cutting board; let rest 10
minutes before carving.

Bacon-Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled & peeled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled

Slice hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.
Remove yolks & place yolks in a bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork; add mayonnaise,vinegar, ground mustard & sugar & stir until well combined. Mix in jalapenos & bacon; blend well. Place mixture into a large ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in bottom corner of bag (to use as a pastry bag). Fill each egg white ‘hole’ with mixturethen sprinkle tops with paprika. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 24.


I’m sorry – not exactly sure just what my server is doing, but it keeps making the recipes really HUGE/GIANT – totally illegible. Will have to submit more recipes in another post as this one just isn’t working – sigh.

Have a GREAT day!



It’s going to be a GOOD Day!


The CROCUS are in bloom! YAY!

If you didn’t know by now, Spring is my all-time FAVORITE time of year – I love watching for the first shoots of the crocus and hyacinth to pop out of the ground, look for the first robins, hear bird songs again – love it all! It’s a little chilly right now (37 degrees F.) but a wee bit sunny, too, which lifts my spirits.

Had a good time at last night’s Knit/Crochet & Yarn Swap night – I took a  large bag filled with mostly worsted weight yarns and several knit bags (I have WAY too many of those!) and came home with new yarns; about 1/3 of the amount of yarns taken – the ones I brought home were baby or sport weight yarns and little bits & pieces, just perfect for baby hats! Most knitters don’t want little bits of yarn – they want the whole skeins to make projects like gloves, scarves, cowls, sweaters, etc. I love the little bits as they are just what I use when making the baby hats. I came away with some really bright yellow (YAY!), a really nice, rich warm cocoa brown and another really nice cream (those will make some really nice looking boy baby hats), some pretty medium pinks, some nice blues and a few skeins of sage green – I’m happy! This was our second Yarn Swap and I truly think we had a lot more yarn THIS time than the first! This idea is a ‘keeper’ – we’ll probably do it again in 3-4, or maybe 6 months (giving them enough time to accumulate more that they don’t need or want!).

With the fun of the evening we were also saddened to learn that one of our ladies (age 70) had passed away 2 days ago. One of the managers of Panera came over with a written message for me from her son; he had called to let the group know AND to say that he wanted to donate all of her knitting materials to us – how kind. When I saw the obituary in last night’s paper, it states that there will be a family time from 5-7 p.m. tonight (no service or funeral), so I’m going to go right at 5 to have enough time to also be able to pick up the one guy who rides with me to special needs group. She will be missed – she only came sporadically but I got to know her a little and really enjoyed her quirky sense of humor. She first came telling me she used to knit many, many years ago and was afraid she wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it. She brought an afghan she’s started long ago (very complicated pattern and it was HUGE!). I’m NOT a knitting teacher, but by looking over her pattern and finally grasping the ‘gist’ of it, I was able to get her back on track. (She kept losing her place in the pattern then having to rip out row after row – and these were really LONG rows!). I told her about ‘stitch counters’ (little circles of plastic that you put on your needle to mark spots in the row) – she had a ton of them in her bag, so we got started breaking her row patterns down to small groups of the same stitches. I was so proud of her (and I think she was proud of herself, too) that after that she was able to sail along knitting happily, having regained her sense of self worth as well as her sense of her ability to knit! Yes, she will be missed greatly.


Mocha Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. plus 1 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
2 T. plus 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules,
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips,
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder,
cinnamon & salt in large bowl. In small bowl,
stir milk & 2 T. coffee granules until coffee is
dissolved. Add butter, egg & vanilla; mix well.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in 3/4 C. chocolate chips. Fill greased or
paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake 17-20
minutes for regular muffins or 13-15 minutes for
mini muffins. Cool 5 minutes before removing
from pans to wire racks.
In food processor or blender, combine cream
cheese & remaining vanilla, coffee granules &
mini chocolate chips. Cover & process until well
blended. Refrigerate spread until serving time.
Serve spread on the side. Makes 16 regular or 36
mini muffins.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Beef & Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Ro*Tel
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen Tater Tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, diced
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown beef & onions in skillet; add
Ro*Tel.  Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Pour beef &
onion mixture on bottom of crockpot.
Mix in chicken soup. Pour tater tots
over top & cook 2-3 hours on Low.
One half hour before serving, add
shredded cheese, cover & let cheese


Balsamic Glazed Carrots

1 (2 lb.) pkg. baby carrots
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lay out carrots evenly on a large
cookie sheet; drizzle olive oil over
carrots, then stir them around so
that they all get a bit of oil on them.
Sprinkle tops with salt & pepper. Roast
in oven 25 minutes, or until fork tender.
In a small bowl mix balsamic vinegar &
brown sugar; drizzle over carrots &
return to oven 5 minutes. Adjust
salt & pepper to your liking.
Serves 6-8


Skillet Lasagna

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 lb Italian sausage
2 eggs
1 1/4 C. cottage cheese
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 C. Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 jars (24 oz, ea) Prego spaghetti sauce
1 (9 oz) pkg. Oven Ready lasagna noodles
2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sausage, garlic & onion; cook until sausage is
browned & onion/garlic are tender; drain grease.
In medium bowl whisk 2 eggs; add cottage cheese,
Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan & salt/pepper;
stir to combine. Pour 1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce &
stewed tomatoes into skillet; stir. Pour 2/3 of sauce
into a separate container; set aside (leaving 1/3 of
sauce in skillet). Layer half of lasagna noodles over
sauce in skillet, break  a few pieces, if needed. Cover
noodles with half cottage cheese mixture; pour 1/3
of reserved sauce over cheese mixture then layer
rest of noodles over top. Add rest of cottage cheese
mixture and rest of sauce. Bring mixture to simmer
over medium-high heat then cover & let simmer about
15 minutes or until noodles are tender & cheese
mixture is melted. (Make sure to not cook at too high
a temperature – you don’t want the bottom to burn).
Turn on oven broiler, uncover skillet & sprinkle 2 C.
mozzarella cheese & 1/2 C. Parm. cheese on top. (Make
sure your skillet is “OVEN SAFE” – if it is not, cover it
with the lid & let cheese melt on stove top. (IF it is
oven safe, place under broiler until cheese broils –
3-4 minutes. remove from pan and let set a few
minutes. Serves 10


Watergate Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in
juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. (Jello) pistachio
instant pudding mix
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 8, about 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Shrimp Scampi

1/3 C. margarine
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 lb. medium (31/35 count)
shrimp, peeled & deveined

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place margarine in 8 x 8 baking
dish & melt in oven. Add onion,
pimientos, garlic, lemon juice &
dill; stir together. Add shrimp;
toss to coat. Bake, uncovered,
15 minutes or just until shrimp
turn pink. Serves 4, about 8
shrimp each)

Serving note: serve with cooked
linguine, if desired. Cook pasta
while shrimp bakes.


Apple Pork Tenderloin Recipe

2 lb. pork tenderloin
8-10 medium to large potatoes,
peeled & cubed
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
4 T. flour (for gravy – optional)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place potatoes & potatoes in bottom
of crockpot; place tenderloin on top. Add
pie filling on top. Cover & cook on High
5-6 hours. Place contents of crockpot into
large bowl. If you want gravy, add flour
to liquid juices at bottom of crockpot;
whisk flour well until blended & serve
with tenderloin & veggies.


Warm Canadian Bacon Bites

1 (3.5 oz) pkg. (Hormel) Pizza-style Canadian
bacon, chopped
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried basil
2 (12 oz,ea) pkg. refrigerated buttermilk
flaky biscuits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine Canadian bacon,
cheese, tomato, onion, mayonnaise & basil.
Cut each biscuit in half. Place biscuit halves
into greased muffin cups, pressing gently to
fit cups. Spoon 1 T. filling into each cup.
Bake 20-25 minutes; serve warm.
Makes 40 appetizers.

(recipe: Hormel foods)

No-Bake Peanut Butter Eclair Cake

18 chocolate graham crackers

1 (3.5 oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 C. milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
16 Reese’s Peanut butter cups
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 T. unsalted butter
1 T. corn syrup
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. milk

In large mixing bowl, beat pudding mix with
milk until there are no lumps. Beat in peanut
butter until smooth; fold in Cool Whip, set
In 9″ square baking pan, layer 6 grahams; top
with half of pudding mix. Top with 6 more crackers
& all peanut butter cups. Top with remaining
pudding mixture; finish by topping with remaining
6 graham crackers.
Heat unsweetened chocolate with butter & corn
syrup on medium heat in small saucepan; whisk
until smooth. Remove from heat & whisk in powdered
sugar & milk. Frost top of graham cracker layer &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serves 8



I was just going through my files and realized I have a TON of great recipes for you. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more frequently just to be able to share these – some would be perfect for Easter dinner. Right now I’m not in the “Easter Dinner” mode – I’m finding every year I almost dread the cooking simply because very early that morning I will be in our church kitchen helping with the 8:45 a.m. Easter Breakfast, quickly followed by me running to the choir room to briefly practice, then go out & sing for the Easter Service, with the choir. After the church service, I’m certainly NOT thinking about what to cook that evening! Yes, I know that some grocery stores offer all-cooked dinners to pick up, not sure if I’m ready for that yet. We’ll see, as time goes on, what transpires at my house. Have YOU started planning/shopping for that yet? I’m sure it will be a small dinner here, just my family & grandson, total: 6 people, so dinner shouldn’t be that difficult. I ‘might’ ask oldest son, the chef, if he’ll prepare his super-tasty cauliflower casserole – we’ll see. Just spotted the dessert I posted above: “Watergate Salad” – might make that one for a side dessert. To quote a family statement from my past: “All things in due time.”

Have a great day – hope you’re area is starting to look more Spring-like every day!

Big hugs;




WE GOT AN A+ for this project! Amazing!

As I’ve explained before, the assignment was to come up with book covers, using the book titles provided by the teacher. They were to be entirely cut out of construction paper and using only TWO colors, they were to “Pop”! when you looked at them. She asked for details (hard to do when cutting out construction paper, believe me! I discovered I could do so much better using embroidery scissors than the suggested Exacto knife). We have ONE more project – cut out of foam board (oh, joy…); I don’t have all the details yet but they are to create a building, their choice, BUT it has to have a Los Vegas ‘twist’ to it. Son chose a Japanese bath house but after doing some on-line searching for designs/photos, etc. of the outsides, what I THINK he means is a Japanese TEA house (am going to try to sell him on that idea, instead). The bath house is rather plain and will be difficult to VEGAS-Up, whereby the tea house might have better exterior designs to work with. We’ll see where all this goes – right?

Tonight is Knit/Crochet night with another Yarn Swap – this time I was able to take the time to dig through some of my yarn ‘stash’ and (hopefully) get rid of some of it. I don’t work with chunky yarns but somehow have several skeins (probably given to me at one time), plus several variagated yarns (those I used to use when doing the Ghana Project afghans, but haven’t used since – we’re talking 2 1/2 years). Working on the next set of baby hats; finished the delivery yesterday of the 100 hats – the volunteer who took them seemed quite surprised and kept saying: “I know they’ll LOVE them!” I’m just happy they can use something I create to bring joy to others. One of my two friends who also knits hats for my project keeps saying: “We do it because we want every baby born there to know that they are loved.”

Our weather has been AMAZING these past two days: definitely SPRING-Like! It was in the 50’s yesterday but today it got to almost 60! (AND with typical Spring winds – nearly blew me away when I came out of the grocery store! WHEW!) Reading the reports for the rest of the week are actually DISMAL, IF they come to fruition: Thursday High of 39 with chance of SNOW! UGH! (I do remember a huge snowstorm when I was young ON EASTER, so it’s still possible now – sure hope it doesn’t come true!)


Apple Bundt Cake

2 C. white sugar
1/4 C. orange juice
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts
confectioners sugar
2 C. diced, peeled apples
1 T. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
To Make Filling:
Combine diced apples, 1 T. white sugar &
cinnamon; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Beat
2 C. white sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla & eggs
at high speed of elec. mixer. Stir in sifted
ingredients; fold in nuts. Pour 1/3 of batter into
greased Bundt or tube pan. Add alternate layers
of filling & batter, ending with batter. Bake
55-60 minutes or until top springs back when
lightly touched. Remove cake from pan while hot.
Cool cake on wire rack & sprinkle top with
confectioner’s sugar.


Bacon & Onion Foil Packet Potatoes

2 to 3 sheets of heavy-duty foil
1 packet onion soup powder
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
1 small onion thinly sliced and diced
1 cup cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Sour cream for serving (optional)

Spray each sheet of foil with cooking spray.
Top each piece with equal portions of potatoes,
bacon, 1 packet onion soup powder and mix.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon
of butter to each serving. Wrap securely.

Grill for 20 to 30 minutes.
Or you can bake it in the oven, at 350° for about
35 minutes or till done. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serve in foil, topped with sour
cream if desired

(recipe: Facebook)
Herb & Cheese Stuffed Roasted Chicken

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves*
4 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 whole roasting chicken (3 1/2 lb)
1 lemon, halved
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
2 large baking potatoes (1 1/2 lb),
peeled/cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lb) peeled/
cut into chunks

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, rosemary, half garlic &
pepper. At neck of chicken, using handle of
wooden spoon or fingers, carefully separate
skin from meat of breast, thighs & legs, being
careful not to tear the skin. Spoon cream cheese
mixture under skin; use fingers to spread mixture
out to thighs & legs. Place lemon halves into cavity
of chicken. Place chicken in shallow roasting pan;
brush with 2 T. oil. Toss potatoes with remaining
oil & garlic in separate pan. Bake chicken &
potatoes 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is
done (165 degrees F.), stirring potatoes every
30 minutes. Transfer chicken to large serving
dish, reserving juices in pan. Let chicken stand 10
minutes. Spoon potatoes around chicken. Skim
fat from reserved juices in pan; discard fat. Spoon
juices over chicken & potatoes. Serves 6

*can substitute thyme leaves for rosemary

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Balsamic-Glazed Carrots

10 carrots, peeled/quartered lengthwise
1/4 C. balsamic-vinaigrette salad dressing
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. butter
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

Cook carrots in boiling water in large
saucepan over medium heat 4-6 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Cook dressing, sugar
& butter in small saucepan on Low heat
3-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring
occasionally. Drain carrots; return to pan &
add sauce. Stir & cook 2-3 minutes or until
carrots are heated through & evenly coated
with sauce. Sprinkle top with parsley.
Makes 8 (1/2 C. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spiced Pepper Steak

1 1/2 lb. round steak, cut into strips,
about 1″ X 3″
2 T. cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded &
cut into strips
1/4 C. cold water blended with 1 T. cornstarch

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat; brown
beef strips quickly. Drain & place in crockpot, then
top with onion. Combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar,
salt, pepper & ginger; pour over beef & onion. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours. Add tomatoes & green bell
peppers; cook 1 hour longer. Stir cornstarch mixture
into liquid in pot; cook on High until thickened.
Serves 6

(recipe: Cheryl-Slowcooker digest)

Lemon Breakfast Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 box instant cheesecake pudding mix
(4 serving size)
1 C. ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, beat together cake mix,
pudding mix, ricotta cheese, oil, eggs &
lemon extract on medium sped 2 minutes;
pour into prepared pan. Mix together sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle over cake batter. Swirl
mixture into batter slightly. Bake 35-45
minutes or until a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out clean. Allow
to cool slightly, then cut into squares.
Serves 16-20


Mexicana Chopped Salad

1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
2 avocados, chopped
2 C. halved cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c. chopped red onions
1/2 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese

Mix dressing & cumin. Combine rest
of ingredients in large bowl; add
dressing mixture & mix lightly. Serve
immediately. Serves 6, 1 C. each

NOTE: You can also add 1 C. thawed
frozen corn and/or 2 T. chopped fresh
cilantro to salad before tossing with
dressing mixture. Top with 1/2 C.
broken corn tortilla chips.

Salad can be made ahead of time: Prepare
as directed, except do not add avocados &
cheese. Refrigerate up to 8 hours. Toss with
avocados & cheese just before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Incredible Pimento Cheese Spread

1 lb. Velveeta cheese, grated
1 lb. medium Cheddar cheese, grated
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 pint Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 (8 oz) jar pimentos, drained & chopped
3 T. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Grate cheeses or cut into small pieces; allow
to soften to room temperature. Combine all
ingredients; blend using mixer/blender or
food processor. (It might be necessary to
divide ingredients into two batches unless
you have a very large mixing container). Store
leftovers in refrigerator; can be frozen.
Makes 2 quarts.


Mini Lasagnas

1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
1 C. marinara sauce (or your favorite
tomato-based sauce)
1 C. mozzarella cheese, grated + 1 C.
for topping
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. cottage or ricotta cheese
24 wonton wrappers

(topping: 1 C. grated mozzarella cheese)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
Line muffin tins with 12 wonton wrappers.
In small bowl, combine three cheeses; mix
together. Combine meat & sauce. Using a
small cookie scoop, add 1 scoop cheese
mixture to bottom of each wrapper; add a
small spoonful of meat/sauce. Top with
another wonton wrapper, repeat cheese/
meat scoops – you will have 2 layers in each
cup. (You can top each cup with more
mozzarella cheese if you want). Bake 15-20
minutes until bubbly & wontons are brown.
Remove from oven & let set a few minutes;
run a knife around cup & remove to serving
plate. Makes 12 cups


Chocolate-Raspberry Individual 'Flans'

1 1/2 C. boiling water
1 (.3 oz) pkg. Raspberry Jell-)
1/2 oz. Baker's bittersweet chocolate
1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
3/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. fresh raspberries
In large bowl add boiling water to 
Jell-O; stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Microwave chocolate, 
marshmallows & Cool Whip in
medium microwaveable bowl on 
High 1 minutes or until marsh-
mallows are completely melted &
mixture is well blended when stirred.
Gradually whisk in Jell-O until
blended. Pour into 4 dessert dishes;
refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
Top with berries before serving.
Serves 4

For Lower-Calorie Version:
use Sugar-free Jell-O
and sugar-free Cool Whip

NOTE: For 'extra' touches, you can
melt additional bittersweet chocolate
and drizzle over tops of desserts
before serving. Dust raspberries
with powdered sugar before garnishing.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Now the sun is out – YAY! Any little bit of sunshine really brightens up my spirits – how ’bout you?

Gas prices are about the same as last week, they went down about 2 cents ($3.56/9). I’ve also noticed at the grocery store how some things have gone up a bit in price: milk $3.59/9 (unless, of course, you look for a lower price in the local DRUG STORE fliers!). Hamburger has gone from a large package running about $5-6 to now $7 & 8.00 (that’s the lower grade hamburger, at my local store, not a chain). Went grocery shopping today and there’s Enchiladas and Black Bean/Chicken soup on the menu soon. Like I’ve mentioned before, with the guys working and crazy hours, at that – we don’t have ‘sit down’ dinners like we used to; makes planning foods a little difficult. I try to make things that can be warmed up in individual portions. We just finished up the lasagna & chili.

Anyway, I’m going to close here for now – hope you have a GREAT day! Remember to do something for yourself every once in awhile – makes YOU feel better and also lifts your spirits!



And We’re Off – AGAIN!

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


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


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


The book title is:  Sunset Yoga


This book title is: Greek Architecture

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

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

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

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


Ooey-Gooey Chicken

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

Cooked rice, noodles or potatoes

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

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

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

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

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

(recipe: 365 days of
Chicken Noodle Casserole

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

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


Zucchini-Onion Frittata

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

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

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon-Horseradish Dip

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Bundles

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

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

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



Chicken with Garlic, Basil & Parsley

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

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

(recipe: Pilgrims .com)

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

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

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

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

CheesyCauliflower Patties

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

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


Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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

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

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

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

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

Homemade Caramel

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!



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


Having “I Might as Well” kind of days!


Have you ever had that kind of day? Let me explain: last night, on the way home from evening church I got to thinking about a few errands I was going to do the NEXT day – while I was driving it struck me: “I might as well see if the grocery store is open and grab those cans of beans I need for chili.” (I should explain: earlier that day I stopped at the grocery store only to run into a power failure while I was there – customers please leave the building). We live in the area of the power outage so I knew – total time without power? 5 HOURS! Today, while attempting to help middle son with another art project I decided to see if I could find some NEWER construction paper (mine is very old – circa the 1960’s!) I needed a dark/navy blue color and mine had faded to a middle purple. Called up a local dollar store and they said they had some so I made the trip (they had a tiny pad with THREE colors: pink, yellow & light green – no help). I sat there thinking: “Do I really want to just go home and forget the navy blue OR do I want to go across the street to Meijers which ALSO has the tossed salad materials I will be needing tomorrow for the Knit/Movie night?” (insert: Might as Well) in here. They did have construction paper in two different sized pads BUT no navy blue! I bought the smaller pad anyway, since some of their colors are brighter than what I have. It seems strange, but the ‘might as well’ actually is saving me some trips; YES, I would still have needed to go, but this way tomorrow is free until around 6 p.m. when I would leave for Knit/Movie night. Right now there’s chili in the big pot and I’m using this time as a break from the art project. It’s a doozie! The teacher wants the images to be reversed – think of an old photo negative: that which is black is white, etc. Kinda blowing my mind attempting to think that way! We’re only allowed to use TWO colors (and that includes the background – not an easy assignment!).

Today was also a ‘get it done’ day – baked a loaf of banana nut bread, loaded & ran the dishwasher, did a load of laundry, worked on the art project, did the shopping, knit a baby hat – now I can relax a little with you! Finally got a call back from the hospital I deliver the baby hats to (thought it was kind of strange they didn’t answer their phone OR call me back!). Turns out the lady I used to deal with doesn’t work there anymore – got a very nice older lady who’s a volunteer – now the Volunteer Office handles my project! Made an appointment for a week from today to deliver them (friend who’s been knitting hats still has more to turn in – I’ll pick them up Sunday at church). I’m just doing the 100 hats for now, any more I’ll save for the next delivery.


Strawberry-Banana Muffins

3/4 C. butter, room temp.
2/3 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 C. cake flour
1 C. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, cream butter. Add
sugar; blend well. Puree bananas in
food processor. Stir pureed bananas &
eggs into butter mixture, beating until
batter is smooth. In medium bow, sift
together cake flour, all-purpose flour, salt,
baking soda & baking powder. Add flour
mixture to batter & mix well. Stir in
sliced strawberries. Spoon batter into
greased muffin tins or foil-lined tins.
Sprinkle tops with granulated sugar.
Bake 20 minutes. Serve warm.


Aimee's Quick Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 oz. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 baking pan. Slather
mustard evenly over chicken, then pour
teriyaki sauce evenly over all. Sprinkle top
with bacon bits, then cover with cheese.
Bake 35-45 minutes (check chicken for 
doneness-making sure juices run clear). 
Serves 4

(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
Lemon-Shrimp Pasta Toss

3 C. bow tie pasta, uncooked
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, cut into
2 inch lengths
1 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 lb. cooked, cleaned large shrimp
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (8 oz ) pkg. Colby-Monterey Jack
cheese crumbles (Kraft)
Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed
on pkg; omitting salt & adding asparagus
to cooking water for last 3 minutes; drain.
Rinse with cold water; drain well. Mix 
dressing, oregano & lemon zest. Place
pasta mixture in large bowl; add dressing
mixture, shrimp, tomatoes & cheese;
mix lightly. Serves  12 (3/4 C. each)

Salad can be made ahead of time.
Refrigerate up to 24 hours before

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Santa Fe Enchilada Bake

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (16 oz) jar thick salsa
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn*
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook & stir chicken, onions & peppers in 
large nonstick skillet on medium heat 10
minutes or until chicken is done; stir in salsa
& corn. Arrange 6 tortillas on bottom on a 
9 X 13 baking pan; cover with layers of
half of chicken mixture, sour cream & cheese; 
repeat layers & cover. Bake 40 minutes or
until heated through, uncovering for last
10 minutes. Serves 8

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with chopped tomatoes, shredded
lettuce & chopped fresh cilantro just before

*you can substitute 1 rinsed & drained (15 oz) 
can kidney beans for the corn

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Potato Chip Chocolate PIe

1 ready made pie crust, unbaked 9 inch, deep dish
2 large eggs
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
3/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. salted potato chips, crushed
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat eggs using elec. mixer until foamy. Add flour,
sugar, brown sugar & butter; mix until just combined.
Add potato chips & chocolate chips; mix well. Pour
mixture into pie crust and bake 55-60 minutes. Serves 8

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Crab Dip

1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (6 oz) jar artichoke hearts
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. dried dill
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green onions, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. fresh lump crab meat
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream Parmesan & cream cheese using
elec. mixer. Add artichokes, mayo, dill &
garlic; mix well. Add green onions & 
lump crab meat just until well blended.
Bake 40 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: Nicole -
Bacon-wrapped Cream Cheese

12 slices hickory bacon, thick cut
8 slices sandwich bread
1 (8 oz.) TUB cream cheese (garlic & herb
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
3 T. Old Bay seasoning
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add smoked paprika to tub of
cream cheese; mix until combined.
On 4 slices bread, generously spread
cream cheese mixture; top with another
slice of bread. Cut off crusts. Cut each
sandwich in 3 rows, turn & cut in half
making 6 bites. Cut 12 slices bacon in
half; wrap each bite with slice of bacon, 
secure with wooden toothpick. Cover a
cookie sheet with foil & spray with non-
stick spray. Add wrapped bacon bites
to sheet; sprinkle Old Bay over each one.
Place in center rack of oven; bake 25-30
minutes until bacon is brown & cooked.
For a crisper bacon, place under broiler
for approx. 1 minute - watch them, or they
will burn! Serves 4-8

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes 
& Carrots
 2 lb. white potatoes (about 6) peeled & thinly
 2 onions, sliced, separated into rings
 4 carrots, cut diagonally into thin slices
 3 T. butter or margarine
 2 T. flour
 1/4 tsp. black pepper
 dash black pepper
 dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
 1 1/2 C. milk
 1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
 Heat oven 375 degrees F.
 Cook vegetables in boiling water 8-10
 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in
 medium saucepan on medium heat. Add
 flour & seasonings, mix well. Cook & stir
 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until
 well blended. Bring to boil on medium heat;
 cook 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring
 constantly. Stir in cheese; cook on low 1 
 minute or until cheese is melted, stirring
 constantly. Drain vegetables; spoon half into
 9 X 13 greased dish. Cover with half cheese
 sauce; repeat layers & cover with foil. Bake
 45 minutes or until heated through, uncovering
 after 30 minutes.
 Serves 12, 2/3 C. each
 (recipe: Kraft foods)
Mandarin Orange Upside 
Down Cake
 1 stick butter
 1 C. brown sugar
 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges
 1/2 C. coconut
 1 pkg. yellow cake mix
 3/4 C. chopped pecans
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Heat butter in 9 X 13 pan until 
melted.Sprinkle brown sugar in 
pan bottom then arrange orange 
slices over sugar. Sprinkle coconut 
on top of oranges. Prepare cake
 mix as directed on pkg, stirring in 
the chopped pecans. Pour batter 
into pan over coconut. Bake 45-55
minutes. Remove from oven & 
immediately turn cake over onto 
a cake plate.

 (recipe: Rhonda G-
Marys Recipe Exchange)
How is your weather lately? Our's just keeps 
thinking it's WINTER! Yesterday was in the 20's but when
I got out of church last night I nearly FROZE! The Wind
Chill was AWFUL! It was lightly snowing when I got back 
home, right now it's 28.

Going to close for now (computer's reacting VERY slowly
to anything I type.



Easy-goin’ Saturday

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

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


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

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

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

“Sunset Yoga”

“Riding the Wave”

“Identify Jungle Vegetation”

“Greek Architecture”

“Light Houses of North Carolina”

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


Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

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

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

*can substitute honey for syrup

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Crockpot Chicken & Gravy

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

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


Baked Potato Casserole

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

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

(recipe: Sunday newspaper flier)

Easy Homemade Apple Fritters

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

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

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

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

(recipe: Facebook)

Devil’s Food Cake & Butter Cream Frosting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick & Easy Breadsticks

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

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

Makes approximately 36 small breadsticks


Apple Praline Bread

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

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

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

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

For the praline sauce:

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

(recipe: Facebook)

Light & Delicious Spaghetti Squash

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

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


Chunky Potato-Swiss Chowder

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

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

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pickle Slice Appetizers
(several day recipe)

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

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


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


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Princess Pie (Coconut Cream)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(recipe: Facebook)


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




Project #4 – Finally DONE!!! YAY!





(This one is both my son’s & my favorite)

The two that were done with construction paper cut-outs were the one above and the Sports Shack – those were difficult to do, but we got them DONE!

Published in: on March 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Busy Couple of Days


The snow is finally melting!

Not a lot to write about – been working on helping middle son with the LAST Art Design project – (I think!). This one is all about Logos – companies use them as ‘instant identification’ for their customers and products. What sounds like an easy assignment can prove to be VERY difficult when it comes to coming up with logo designs for such companies as (a) a ceiling fan company in the tropics (b) a coffee company that is now going to be selling both hot AND cold coffee (c) a sports company that is expanding to cover almost every known sport and (the last and most difficult) (d) MAKE UP your OWN company and then design logos for it! I’d say, of all the companies listed above, the two most difficult were the fan company and the sports company. The teacher did NOT want the students to include any lettering in the design, just a picture/image – not as easy as it sounds. She even told them to ‘think out of the box – the more random, the better” – that’s what happened with the sports company (as you will see when I show you the final photos). In this project, I attempted to stay as much OUT of it as I could, but then it hit the wall, so to speak. It’s very difficult to come up with ideas (SO glad I don’t work for an advertising firm!).

Been cooking a bit lately – Chicken Parmesan, Beef roast with potatoes & carrots; have all the fixin’s for lasagna, but today I just don’t feel quite ‘right’ – ever have one of those days? It was ‘supposed’ to be: get up and go grocery shopping AFTER husband took my car into dealership for a routine check up; no boys home (at work). What actually happened? Got up, husband stayed home not feeling well (headache) – BOTH boys home – surprise! I didn’t feel well, either – achy, out of sorts, yucky (not flu, just not quite ‘right’). Got some laundry done, went through the cupboards & fridge to see what was needed grocery-wise (I knew we were getting pretty empty in the larder, so to speak). Made up the lists for where to go/what to buy but just couldn’t seem to muster enough energy to accomplish it – not ANY of it! Middle son got up and said: “Today’s the day to finish the project!” (me thinking: Oh, great – I didn’t even THINK about that one!). After a brief conference about the last two logo ideas, we settled on them and got to work and I’m happy with what we produced. I’m a perfectionist – it REALLY bothers me if things I make/work on, etc. don’t come out (in my mind’s eye) PERFECT! I have to remember that THIS project is supposed to be my SON’S work, hence I have to do things a bit differently that I would if it were solely mine – what does that mean, exactly? My son is a GUY – they don’t color ‘inside the lines’ exactly – half of this project required using colored pencils in very small spaces, or black ink pen in a 2″ X 2″ space – you tend to get some ‘spill-over’, if you understand what I’m saying. Right now all of the (4)  8 X 8″ squares are painted (2 painted/2 using construction paper-cut out), (4) 2″ X 2″ black pen renderings (12) 3 X 3″ squares colored with colored pencils. What’s left: gluing all of them on four large foam boards plus the headings AND writing a small paper on WHY you chose each of the ideas for each of the four companies. I’M DONE! My part in this is finished – son still has to do the write-ups and the gluing  – all before 9 a.m. tomorrow morning BUT I’M NOT GOING TO STRESS OVER IT!  That’s hard for me, as I want to see the completed project. I love my family but I live with a house full of procrastinators! Oh well – such is life, eh?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day – a day, for me, just like every other day. I’m not one to celebrate this day BUT I WILL post some recipes for you, for this day.


Irish Potluck Potatoes

4 medium-large potatoes, peeled &
sliced 1/8″ thick
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup-can milk*
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 quarter loaf Velveeta, cut into
1″ cubes (standard size large loaf)
3 slices deli roast beef, cut into
1/2″ squares (medium thin slice),
approx. 1/4 lb.
3 slices deli corned beef, cut into
squares (medium thin slice) approx
1/4 lb.

4-5 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
(save grease)
1/2 pkg. shredded cabbage, approx.
2-3 C.
3/4 C. coarsely shredded colby cheese
3-4 green onion stems (or whole onion),
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced & cut
into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 stick butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Place
sliced potatoes in pan. Mix soup & soup-can
milk in small bowl; pour over potatoes.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. pepper & salt on potatoes.
Add first layer of roast beef pieces, then
corned beef pieces, then cubed Velveeta.
Bake 40 minutes until potatoes are tender
(check with fork). Reheat skillet with bacon
grease; add onion & cabbage. Sprinkle with
salt & pepper, fry until cabbage is done &
beginning to brown. Remove from heat; stir
in 1/4 stick butter. When potatoes are cooked,
remove from oven. Using fork, transfer cabbage &
onion mixture to casserole dish; uniformly cover
potatoes & cheese; sprinkle with colby cheese
then top with bacon & chopped green onion.
Return to oven 10 minutes to melt cheese &
crisp dish slightly. Remove from oven; let stand
10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10

*1 soup-can: means 1 empty soup can filled
with milk


Easy Triple-Layer Pistachio Pie

2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/4 C. sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 oz) Oreo pie crust
3/4. C. chopped pistachios, toasted &
2 (3.4 oz ea) pkgs. Pistachio instant
pudding mix (Jello)
1 3/4 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Mix melted chocolate & condensed milk
until blended; spread onto bottom of crust.
Sprinkle with half the nuts & refrigerate
until ready to use. Beat pudding mixes &
milk with whisk 2 minutes (pudding will be
thick). Spread 1 1/2 C. over chocolate layer
in crust. Stir half the Cool Whip into remaining
pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust.
Top with remaining Cool Whip & nuts.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

(recipe; Kraft foods)

 Irish Colcannon

1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 5),
peeled & quartered
3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. water
3/4 lb. cabbage, shredded (about 4 C.)
2 T. butter
1/2 C. milk, warmed

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 20 minutes or until tender.
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on
medium heat, until crisp. Remove bacon
from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on
paper towels. Add onion to skillet; cook
& stir 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add
water; stir to release browned bits from
bottom of skillet. Add cabbage; mix well.
Cover & cook 7 minutes or until cabbage is
tender & water is cooked off, stirring
occasionally. Drain potatoes; return to pan.
Add butter; mash potatoes until creamy,
gradually adding milk. Add cabbage mixture
& bacon; mix well. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

“Shamrock” Bell Pepper/Potato Frittata


4 thin slies green bell pepper, sliced into
1/4″ thin slices, crosswise
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 C. minced shallots
1 (7 oz) medium peeled Yukon Gold
potato, diced into 1/2 ” pieces
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Crack eggs & egg whites into large bowl.
Add salt & pepper; beat until blended. Heat
10″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add
oil & shallots to pan; cook until golden, 2-3
minutes. Add potatoes, season with salt,
garlic powder, paprika & black pepper. Cover
& cook over medium-low heat, stirring
occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 12-15
minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Carefully
arrange bell pepper slices on top to create a
shamrock pattern, if desired. Reduce heat to
Low; cook until edges are set, 6-8 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven & bake until frittata is
completely set & cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven; transfer frittata to large
place. Cut into 4 wedges; serve.


Mint Chocolate Brownies

1 C. butter, melted
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

Mint Filling:
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. mint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring
3 T. whipping cream
dash salt

Chocolate Topping:
1/3 . whipping cream
1 1/3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 C. melted butter, 2 C. sugar,
1/2 C. cocoa powder & 2 tsp. vanilla in
bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl.
Mix on Low speed until combined & smooth,
about 1 minute. Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, mixing
well after each one. (the batter will be runny
at this point) In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 C.
flour & 1/2 tsp. salt; toss together with fork to
combine. Add this to brownie batter; mix on
medium speed about 2 minutes until smooth.
Stir in 3/4 C. chocolate chips. Spray a 9 X 13
pan with nonstick spray; spread batter into pan.
Bake 25-35 minutes, being sure not to overbake.
Remove pan from oven; let stand to cool
Prepare Chocolate topping:
Place 1/3 C. whipping cream, 1 1/3 C. semi-sweet
chocolate chips & 1/3 C. butter in medium sauce
pan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly
until all is melted & well combined (a few minutes)
Set pan aside to cool (mixture should be lukewarm
when you pour it over mint filling).
Prepare Mint Filling:
In medium mixing bowl add 2 1/2 C. powdered sugar,
2 T. softened butter, 4 oz. softened cream cheese,
1/2 tsp. mint extract, 2-3 drops green food coloring &
3 T. whipping cream. Beat ingredients 2-3 minutes until
well combined. When brownies are completely cooled,
spread mint filling over brownies. Place pan in fridge &
allow to set about 20 minutes. When filling is set, pour
chocolate topping over top and spread evenly. Place pan
back in fridge 1 hour, or until chocolate layer is set. When
ready to serve, slice with sharp knife and store leftovers
in fridge or freezer. Makes one 9 X 13 pan.


Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew

2 lb. lean, boneless beef stew meat, cut into
1 1/2 inch cubes
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, cut in quarters or
eighths, depending on size
2 large onions, peeled and cut into chunks
(varying sizes is fine)
1 cup water
1 packet instant beef bouillon (OR use 1 cup
beef broth, and eliminate 1 cup water)
1/3 cup instant tapioca
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon dried basil
6-8 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, including juices

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a very large Dutch oven, stir water, beef bouillon
and tapioca until combined. Stir in salt, pepper,
basil and garlic. (You’re essentially making the
base for the “sauce”) Open can of tomatoes.
Using a kitchen sheers, coarsely cut tomatoes
while in the can. Pour tomatoes, including juices,
into Dutch oven and stir. Alternately add beef,
celery, carrots, onions and potatoes to Dutch
oven, folding and stirring to make sure everything
is coated. Cover and pop in the oven 2 1/2-3 hours,
or until meat and vegetables are tender.
Makes  8 servings.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Blarney Stones

4 eggs
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/4 C. butter, melted

2 lb. confectioners sugar
2/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
6 C. finely chopped peanuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar &
vanilla until thick & lemon-colored,
about 4 minutes. Combine flour,
baking powder & salt; add to egg
mixture. Beat on slow speed just
until combined; beat in milk & butter.
Grease 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray &
pour batter into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack then
cut into squares. Cover & free overnight.

In a small bowl, beat confect. sugar, milk,
vanilla & salt until smooth. Frost the top &
sides of frozen cake squares then roll in
peanuts. Place on wire racks to set.
Makes 2 dozen


Weather-wise it’s been kind of crazy – when it LOOKS like it’s going to be a rather warm day (in the 40’s, here, would be warm) – it turns into a 9 degree day (like Saturday!) Yesterday was OK but towards evening the wind was really chilly and the temps driving home from church at around 7:45 sat at 14 degrees F. Crazy stuff.

How are YOUR gas prices? Ours have JUMPED – they are now sitting at $3.69/9 – that’s outrageous, in my opinion! (What happened to $3.39/9? I was sort of happy with that, of course LOWER would be good, too!).

Well, the grocery shopping has now been moved to tomorrow AFTER I get done at the dentist’s (quick trip there to pick up a teeth-whitening kit). This is one of two weeks of pretty full days. The good thing? There are TWO church rummage sales coming up this week, on two different days! YAY! You KNOW it’s coming on Spring when we finally get garage/rummage sales! (Mind you – I don’t REALLY NEED anything, I just love the excitement of the search!).

My friend who knit the extra baby hats for me has now given me another bag with 17 MORE hats – and I haven’t delivered the last ones yet! I thought I knit fast – she’s WAAAY past me! Tomorrow is Knit/Crochet night with the added fun of the Yarn/Accessories Swap thrown in. We’ll see how that goes – the ladies seem quite interested (me, not so much: I really don’t have anything to swap AND I already have Way TOO much yarn & accessories!).  I started another baby blanket (think I mentioned that last post): this one is a pattern I’ve done last year, also for the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower (did 2 last year in this pattern). This time I bought a MUCH brighter yarn for the contrast to the main white color; not exactly sure I like the brightness, but I’m sure the knit group ladies will convince me it’s really “colorful” and babies would love it. We’ll see . . .

Gonna close here for now; hope you have a GREAT day – enjoy and don’t imbibe too much of the Irish Stout!



SUNNY Sunday!


Amazing – we’ve had several WARM days together! (well – I suppose I should clarify that: FRIDAY was an AMAZING warm day – it actually got up to 50 DEGREES! Today it’s sunny and 25 degrees.) I was SO happy to see WARM sunshine – it was melting the multitudes of snow/ice masses! All the snow is off of our roof, off the driveway, sidewalk, etc – you can drive and not worry about sliding – very little ice on the roads – YAY! Oh, on another ‘car’ related subject: how are your gas prices? Friday was ‘go get grandson’ day and I decided I would stop at a Meijer gas station close to his bus stop: the price was great: $3.52/9 BUT they were lined up 3 deep at each pump and I only had about 10 extra minutes before the bus was due. Across the street at Speedway was the same thing/same price – sigh . . . passed them both by. Yesterday I went on line to see who had the best prices and (yesterday) Meijer here (3 minutes from my house) they were $3.59/9; I couldn’t go at the time but thought I’d get it on the way home from church today. After church we drove by, only to discover they were sitting at (what seems like) the ‘standard’ price for my area: $3.62/9; ended up passing that up and going to Clark – same price -sigh. Sometimes ya just can’t win.

Friday/Grandson went well; I had purchased a nifty $1.00 ‘craft’ for him to do (a plastic mug with an insert; the insert is an all-black scratch paper – you scratch off the design you want and underneath the black is multi-colored rainbow effect so that your ‘design’ is in color on an all black background.) He ended up deciding to do that one some other time; he just wanted to draw and color! He ‘created’ and I worked on thinking up new Logo designs for middle son’s LAST Art Design project; came up with a couple he might use.


Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. water
3/4 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (6 oz) box chocolate pudding mix
4 oz. chocolate chips
4 oz. cinnamon chips

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine dry cake
mix, pudding mix, choc. & cinnamon
chips; stir well. Add softened cream cheese,
water, vegetable oil & eggs in bowl; stir
well. Pour mixture into crockpot and
cook on High 3 hours. Let cool 10-15
minutes. Place a large plate on top of
crockpot opening. Invert crockpot and
cake should easily slide out onto plate.


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

12 corn tortillas
1 (26 oz) can cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 C. salsa
1 lb. chicken, cooked & shredded
4 oz. shredded taco cheese
1 (1 oz) taco seasoning mix packet

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine soup, sour cream & taco mix
in saucepan; heat, mixing well. Spray
9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Cut
tortillas into strips or pieces; place in
bottom of prepared pan (about the size
of corn chips). Remove soup mix from heat;
stir in chicken & salsa. Pour contents of
saucepan over tortilla pieces, making sure
to cover them all. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted &
starting to brown. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving.


Meatball Rice Soup

3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
6 C. water
4 C. rice*
1 (12 oz) bag frozen steamable mixed
1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 packet onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Add beef broth & water to large pot,
bring to boil. Place gr. beef, parsley, onion
powder & garlic powder in large bowl; mix
well & form mixture into small meatballs.
Add rice to water & cook 5 minutes. Partially
cook vegetables (microwave 3 minutes). Remove
rice bags from water, leave broth/water there. Add
meatballs, tomatoes & onion soup to pot & cook
8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice & vegetables;
cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve.

*Poster used Success white rice BAGS


Buttery Breadstick Biscuits

2 T. butter or margarine
3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Heat butter in 9 X 9 X 2 square pan in
oven until melted. Mix flour, sugar,
baking powder & salt in medium bowl.
Add milk; stir with fork about 30 strokes
or just until soft dough forms. Turn dough
onto well-floured surface; roll dough around
to coat with flour. Knead lightly about 10
times then roll or pat into 8″ square. Cut
dough into 9 strips with floured knife. Dip
each strip into melted butter, coating both
sides. Arrange strips close together in pan.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot. Makes 9 strips.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Betty Crocker/Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Creamy Kielbasa/Kraut Surprise

(Serves 2)

1 small bag frozen sauerkraut, drained
1 small carrot – shredded
1 small onion, diced
1 ring smoked kielbasa sliced into
rounds or diced
1 large onion, sliced
4 oz. sour cream
2 slices bacon

In large frying pan add bacon, cook on
medium-high heat until cooked. Remove
& chop up, return to pan. Add sauerkraut,
carrot & small onion to pan; cook until
translucent & soft. Add kielbasa; stir until
cooked. Add large onion & cook until all
onions are translucent. Lower heat to
medium-low & add sour cream; stir to
combine. Cook until sour cream is creamy
throughout pan. Mix well & lower heat to
simmer; simmer 10 minutes. Serves 2


Sundried Tomato-Parmesan Peas

1 1/2 C. frozen peas
1/4 C. (Kraft) Sun-dried Tomato vinaigrette
salad dressing*
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook peas as directed on pkg.; drain. Toss
with dressing & cheese. Makes 2 (3/4 C. ea)

*can substitute zesty Italian salad dressing

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Stuffed Egg Muffin

1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 dozen eggs
3 T. real bacon bits
1/2 C. shredded Colby/Monterey
Jack cheeses

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg to box,
omitting the ‘stand’ time. Press 1/4
C. stuffing onto bottom & up sides of
each of 12 muffin cups sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray, forming a
1/4 inch rim around top of cup. Place
muffin pan on baking sheet. Add 1 egg
to each cup; top with bacon & cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until whites are firm
and yolks are cooked to desired doneness.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 24.

NOTE: Run knife around edges of muffin cups
to make it easier to remove the baked cups
from pan.
Can be made ahead of time. Prepare recipe
as directed; cool completely. Refrigerate
until ready to serve. To reheat: wrap 2 muffins
in waxed paper; microwave on High 15 seconds
or just until warmed. Repeat with rest of muffins
as needed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Crumble topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, but do not thaw!)

Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Grease a 9 inch square pan and set aside. In a medium bowl,
combine the first 6 ingredients, mixing together with a
fork until crumbly; set aside. In another medium bowl,
stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream together the remaining butter and
sugar. Blend in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Blend in
the flour mixture and cream alternately, beginning and
ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Fold in
the blueberries. (The dough is quite stiff, so be patient as
you’re folding in the berries! Don’t mush them up!)
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle
with the crumble topping. Bake for 50-60 minutes,
until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes
out clean. Cool, and cut into 9 large squares.

(recipe: Facebook)

Hot Chicken Salad

3 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 C. celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped
1 small jar pimento, drained
2 T. lemon juice
1 C. mayonnaise
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
2-3 C. crushed potato chips
1/2 to 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. slivered almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, mix all ingredients except
cheese, potato chips & almonds; mix well.
Place in a 9 X 13 baking dish that has been
sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle cheese
on top of mixture, then top with crushed
potato chips & almonds. Bake 30 minutes,
until bubbly. Serves 8+


Double Banana Pudding Cake

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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter accordg. to pkg directions.
Stir in 1/2 C. bananas & nuts. Pour into 9 X 13
baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Beat
pudding mixers, milk & water in medium bowl
with whisk 2 minutes; stir in remaining bananas.
Pour over batter in dish; place on baking sheet*.
Bake 55 minutes – 1 hour or until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.
Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Sprinkle top
with sugar. Serve warm. Serves 16

*baking sheet is used to catch an sauce that might
bubble over sides of dish as the dessert bakes

(recipe: Kraft foods)

That’s the news from around here; finished the crocheted Diagonal Box afghan (still trying to decide if I want to crochet a white border around it, or not). One of my friends in Sunday School asked a few weeks ago if I was still knitting baby hats – she wanted to participate. Today she gave me a bag of 26 hats! (She didn’t know this was not a ‘knit group’ project, just me doing it – she wants to continue . . . I’m ALL for it! Will call the hospital tomorrow and set up a delivery date; by my ‘estimate’ that will be around 70+ hats this time! (about 10 of those were knit byanother friend of mine in the knit group – I’ve got great friends who love doing charity work . . me, too).

Enjoy your day – since it’s officially “SPRING FORWARD” Time Change day – take an extra nap if you need it! (Our Sunday School teacher mentioned that our class was unusually QUIET today – someone in the back commented: “It’s because we’re all still asleep!”



Project # 3 – FINISHED!

This one was, by far, the most challenging/difficult/ down-right pain in the neck of the one’s he’s been assigned thus far. The assignment was to pretend you were a design company who was asked to create two designs for the surf & waveboard company: “Slickers”. You were to come up with two designs of your choosing then make 5 ‘example’ boards, using five out of eight color combinations – one of the example boards was also to be made into a surf/waveboard showing off your design. Son chose the designs and most of the colors; one of the stipulations was that one was to be done in ‘cool’ colors and the other in ‘warm’ colors. That might sound REALLY easy, at first . . . but when you begin to use the mandatory ‘color combinations’ you come up with some pretty UGLY colors! (in my humble opinion, that is . . .). I painted the (really ugly) yellow-orange/blue-violet wings pattern and, YES – you can say it: “IT’S UGLY!’ You would have been laughing if you heard me (as my husband calls it) ‘quacking’ (complaining) the entire time I did it – there’s no way around it – it’s just plain UGLY! The color choices DO NOT go together, no matter HOW you try: yellow-orange and blue-violet are just NOT colors I would MIX – anywhere! (much less – be colors that are ‘cool’ looking!) Yes, I DID say I wouldn’t PAINT, but as my son said: “Mom, I just have to face it: I’m NOT FAST when it comes to painting!” (I really felt bad for him; what would take me about 25 minutes to paint took him 1 1/2 – 2 HOURS! And even then, he was really struggling! Since it HAD to be done by tomorrow 9 a.m.,I did help, a little (most the behinds the scenes thing like gluing and typing the various labels). Here are the finished project boards:



Another project done- son told me: “I’ll be glad if I just get a C on this one” – I agree; we did it but it sure wasn’t easy!

I’ll let ya know, later, what the final grade was.



PS: I changed up dinner totally: Pierogies & Polish Sausages! YUM!


Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment