A Few More Recipes

Easter is fast approaching – today is Good Friday. Yes, this year certainly doesn’t seem like Easter as remembered in the past BUT we can all still rejoice in our Savior’s Resurrection. He is risen! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!


  Mandarin Orange Cake

1 box (Duncan Hines) Butter Golden
cake mix
1/2 C. oil
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges*

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 9″ round cake pans with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut a round
piece of parchment paper to fit inside
the bottoms of each pan (helps cake
come out easily).

In large bowl pour dry cake mix, oil &
eggs. Pour oranges & juice into bowl,
reserving 8 or 9 oranges for decorating
top of cake. Mix on Low about 30 seconds;
scrape bottom of bowl with spatula & mix
on medium speed 2 minutes until batter is
well combined & a bit glossy. Pour batter
into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes until
golden brown on top & a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Remove pans
from oven & let rest 5 minutes then invert
onto wire racks to cool completely.

In large bowl add thawed Cool Whip. Pour dry
pudding mix on top. Add crushed pineapple
with juice & mix using wooden spoon until
well combined. Place a dollop of frosting in
middle of serving plate & position 1 layer
of cake on plate. Add about 1 C. frosting to
layer & spread out. Gently place second cake
layer & frost cake top & sides. Place extra
oranges on top. (NOTE: If you’re not planning
on serving immediately, refrigerate cake.)
Serves 12

*Poster had 11 oz. cans (instead of 15 oz) can.
She measured out oranges & juice in a
measuring cup to equal about 15 ounces

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Crockpot Green Bean Casserole

2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans cream of mushroom
soup (undiluted)
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans, drained
1/3 C. milk
1 (6 oz) can French fried onions

Spray insides of crockpot lightly with
nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl gently mix together soups,
green beans & milk until well blended –
pour into crockpot & spread evenly.
Cover & cook on Low 2-3 hours. Just
before serving sprinkle French fried
onions on top. Serves 6-8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
Crockpot Honey Glazed Ham

7 lb. semi-boneless fully-cooked ham
(should fit a 6-8 qt. crockpot)*
2/3 C. honey
1 1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. hot water
3 T. corn starch
3 T. cold water

Place ham in crockpot, flat side down.
Using a fork or sharp knife, pierce
ham all over – pour honey over ham.
In small bowl mix hot water & brown
sugar – pour over ham. Cover & cook
on Low about 6 hours.

Drain juices into medium saucepot &
bring to boil over medium-high heat.
(as soon as it starts to boil, pour in:
In small bowl mix cornstarch & cold water.
Stir gently & frequently until glaze reaches
almost the thickness you desire (it will
thicken up more as it cools).
Cut ham into serving-sized pieces & serve
with glaze. Serves 10-12

*If your ham is too big to get the lid on
tight, you can wrap the top with foil to
keep the heat in.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
Crockpot Holiday Ham

7 lb. cooked, bone-in ham (or spiral cut)
cooked ham*
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. maple syrup

Place ham in crockpot, flat side down.
Rub brown sugar all over sides of ham.
Drizzle top with juice & syrup. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours.
Serves 10-12

*If your ham is a too large to cover with
crockpot lid, you can cover the top with
foil, sealing in the heat.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
Crockpot Cola Ham

7 lb. semi-boneless fully cooked ham*
1 (12 oz) can cola
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices

In small saucepan heat cola &
brown sugar on medium-high,
stirring continually, until mostly
combined. Place ham in crockpot
flat side down & pour cola mixture
over ham. Using toothpicks, secure
pineapple slices on ham. Cover &
cook on Low around 6 hours.
Remove toothpicks & pineapple
slices. Slice ham & serve with
pineapple. Serves 10-12

*If your ham is too big to get the lid on
tight, you can wrap the top with foil to
keep the heat in.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
Crockpot Broccoli/Cheese Bake

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
12 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli florets,
1 stick butter, divided/melted
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. chopped onion

Pour half of melted butter into
crockpot – spread evenly. Combine
remaining ingredients in bowl –
mix well – pour into crockpot &
cook on top until center sets
NOTE: cooking times will vary
for different crockpots: from
45 minutes to 3 hours, depending
on how hot your crockpot cooks.
Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Classic Roasted Carrots

1 1/2 bags baby carrots
1/2 C. (1 stick) salted butter, melted
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
salt, to taste
fresh parsley, garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pot boil salted water until
it comes to a rolling boil. Add carrots &
cook 3 minutes. Remove carrots & pat
dry. Place carrots in a 9 inch oval dish,
or 8 X 8″ baking pan; mix in butter, thyme
& garlic – stir. Bake 25-30 minutes until
fork-tender, stirring halfway through
cooking time. Garnish with fresh parsley
& serve.

NOTE: You can use a parchment paper-
lined sheet pan – this will decrease cooking
time so keep an eye on them.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

Bacon/Pea Salad

4 C. frozen peas (about 16 oz),
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing
1/3 C. chopped red onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled

In large bowl combine first 6 ingredients;
toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least
30 minutes. Stir in ba
con before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Orange & Lemon Jello Salad

2 (6 oz) boxes orange Jell-O
4 C. boiling water
1 (12 oz) container frozen orange
juice concentrate
2 (15 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant lemon
pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Pour 2 pkgs. orange Jell-O (dry) into
9 X 13″ pan – pour boiling water over
Jell-O & stir until all Jell-O has dissolved.
Spoon frozen orange juice concentrate
into hot Jell-O & stir until all of juice has
dissolved. Pour drained mand. oranges
carefully into pan. Cover & refrigerate
4 hours until set.

Pudding Topping:
In large bowl using elec. mixer, add both
boxes lemon pudding mix & milk. Beat on
medium-high speed until pudding is thick.
Add  1 C. (thawed) Cool Whip & stir to
combine. Carefully spoon lemon pudding
topping onto set Jell-O – spread out evenly
using a knife or spatula. Refrigerate at least
1 hour & up to 24 hrs.
Serves 12-15

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Cherry Cream Cheese Delight

20 graham crackers, rolled fine
1/2 C. melted butter
2 T. sugar

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
3 T. milk
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Combine all crust ingredients & press into
bottom of a 7 X 11 X 1 1/2″ rectangular

In large bowl beat cream cheese, powdered
sugar & milk until blended & smooth – spread
over crust (it will be very thick) In medium
bowl fold vanilla & sugar into Cool Whip &
spread over cream cheese layer. In another
bowl combine pie filling with almond extract &
gently smooth over top of Cool Whip layer.
Chill overnight before serving. (Poster usually
covers it carefully with plastic wrap when
Cut into squares before serving. Serves 16

(recipe: eatmovemake.com)


After our last experience using Kroger shop on
line & pick up at store I, again today, attempted
to do just that. THIS time (I think) I know what
to do so I set about placing my order. Interesting
fact: there are NO stores anywhere in my area
(and we’re talking LOTS of Kroger stores listed)
that have ANY slots open to place your order
for store pick up. I’m REALLY hoping this is
only because of the holiday/people shopping
for that. WOW! I clicked on store locations and,
like I said, there were at least 9 (maybe more)
within a half hour drive – NONE had ANY spaces
open to even place your order (and we’re talking
said order would not be picked up for a WEEK!).
Talked to my oldest son (the chef) about this new
(to me) idea of ordering instead of ‘in store’
shopping. He said “I can’t even imagine trying to
think of what groceries I would need 1-2 WEEKS
in advance!” We do have one advantage: our sons
WILL go shopping for us – I just hate to burden them
(BUT – if we need to, I will). We’re doing fine as far
as food goes.

KNITTING: I finally knit a pair of premie baby booties
yesterday and am DETERMINED to start a new baby
blanket TODAY!

Weather-wise: Yesterday was one of those REALLY
WEIRD weather days: The temperatures went from
60 degrees to 40 degrees in about an hour. We had,
intermittently: light rain, sleet, tiny HAIL balls, then
light, fluffy SNOW! Woke up to 30 degrees & some
snow still on the ground! One of my friends said on
Facebook: “What’s going on?” I replied: It’s MICHIGAN!
We’ve had snow for Easter before – but to have all
of those various weather changes all within a few
hours was different!

Try to stay safe & healthy. Enjoy your family/friends –
call or send cards to let people know that (even
though you can’t meet together) they are still in
your hearts and minds.



it’s FINALLY Saturday – YAY!

It has been a VERY busy/crazy week for me; yesterday ‘looked’ like it was going to be an easy babysitting (I thought: 11:30 a.m. to around 4 p.m.) – BOY, WAS I WRONG! Turns out my son (the Executive Chef) had a 250-person banquet/event that night which kinda turned out to be the ‘banquet from hell’. I kept wondering when he would be home (so I could go home); he had asked my husband to drive our 12-yr old grandson from home to his football practice (about 20 minutes away) because he wouldn’t be able to get there in time . . . that should have been a ‘sign’ for me, but I didn’t see it. Long story short: I ended up babysitting from 11:30 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. and I was exhausted! I woke up the baby after he had slept 2 hours, thinking he probably wouldn’t go to sleep later on in the evening and be up all night – almost right on that one – he was bouncing off the walls when his dad got home at almost 10 p.m. (Oh well – not MY problem! I’m DONE!!!). Next week I’m babysitting Tues & Friday but, I’m told, they won’t be LONG days – we’ll see, sure hope so! You wouldn’t think watching a 1 1/2 yr old all day long would be tiring, but for starters listening to Nick, Jr. TV for hours on end is mind-numbing (YES, I ‘could’ change the channel); just glad I’m done & today is my OFF DAY!!! (Still in my jammies at 1:10 p.m.!)


Mango Float Dessert
(8 hours or overnight)

2 C. heavy cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. graham cracker
3 ripe mangoes, diced

Combine cream, sweetened
con’d milk & vanilla in large
bowl – beat using elec. mixer
until it doubles in volume,
about 4 minutes. Spread a
scant 2 C. of cream into a
8 X 8″ baking dish; cover with
1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs &
one third of the mangoes. Continue
layering for a total of 9 layers,
ending with mango. Chill at least
8 hours or overnight. Serves 16

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Shrimp Salad

1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 T. minced dill
romaine lettuce – for serving

1/2 C. mayonnaise
juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet toss shrimp
with olive oil – season with salt/pepper.
Bake until shrimp are completely opaque-
5-7 minutes. In large bowl whisk mayo,
lemon juice & zest, Dijon mustard – season
with salt/pepper. Add cooked shrimp, red
onion, celery & dill to the bowl & toss to
combine. Serve on bread or over lettuce
leaves. Serves 2

(recipe: delish.com)

Pork Chops w/Peach Sauce

1/3 C. peach jam
2 T. ketchup
1 T. plus 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. cold, unsalted butter cut into
small pieces
12 oz. green beans, trimmed
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg white
vegetable oil, for frying
4 1/2 inch thick pork loin chops,
about 1 lb, trimmed

In large skillet over medium-high
heat cook jam, ketchup, 1 T. Worc.
sauce & 3 T. water, whisking, until
thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in
vinegar, then butter – a few pieces
at a time; whisk in a few T. water if
sauce is too thick. Remove from
heat & cover. Place green beans in
a microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle
with water & season with salt/pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap, pierce the
plastic wrap & microwave until tender,
8-10 minutes. Whisk 1 C. flour, baking
powder, 1/2 C. water, egg white, &
remaining 1 tsp. Worch. sauce in a bowl;
add a few more T. water if needed. Place
remaining 1/2 C. flour in a shallow dish
(like a pie plate). Heat 1/4 inch vegetable
oil in a large skillet over medium-high
heat until it reaches 375 degrees F.
on a deep-fry thermometer. Dredge
chops in the flour, then dip in the
batter – fry until golden, 3-4 minutes
per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve
with peach sauce & green beans.
Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Pea ‘n Peanut Salad

2 1/2 C. frozen peas (about 10 oz,)
1 C. dry roasted peanuts
1 C. chopped celery
6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. prepared Zesty Italian
Salad dressing

In large bowl combine first 5 ingredients.
In small bowl mix mayo & salad dressing;
stir into salad. Refrigerate, covered,
until serving. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Cheesy Bacon Zucchini Bread

4 strips bacon
1 C. Half & Half
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 lb. zucchini (about 1 medium
1 1/4 C. flour
1 C. fine corn meal
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. dried basil flakes
1/2 C. NY sharp white Cheddar cheese,
shredded (poster uses Cracker Barrel
1/2 C. sharp Provolone cheese, chopped
into 4 slices
2 eggs
1/4 C. melted butter (4 T.)
1/2 C. chopped scallions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour a loaf pan. Cook bacon
to crisp; drain & crumble or chops.
In a bowl mix Half & Half & lemon juice;
set aside. Shred zucchini on large holes
of a box grater-place shredded zucchini
on a clean dish towel & wring out as
much of the water as you can. You should
be left with about 1 C.  In large bowl combine
flour, corn meal, brown sugar, garlic powder,
salt, baking powder, baking soda & basil.
Add in both cheeses & toss to coat. Add in
shredded zucchini & toss, stirring with a
spoon to coat. In a separate bowl, add
Half & Half mixture with eggs – beat to
combine then add into flour mixture &
stir to combine. Stir in bacon & scallions.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake on
center oven rack 45-50 minutes until
golden brown on top & a toothpick
inserted into center of loaf comes out
clean. (the bread will be moist so
the toothpick will be wet but should
show no signs of raw batter).
Serve warm with butter or cool to
room temperature. Wrap & store
in fridge. Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
Zucchini & Tomato Casserole

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced*
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
2 C. cheese, shredded (poster uses
a combination of Cheddar & Parmesan)
1 1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley flakes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl mix all spices, salt/pepper.
Spray a 9″ X 9″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Layer chopped onion, zucchini,
tomato, cheese & bread crumbs – sprinkle
with spice mixture – continue layers, ending
with cheese & bread crumbs. Bake 45-50

*You can also use yellow squash instead

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

Crockpot Cheese Spinach

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed/well
2 C. (16 oz) cottage cheese
1 1/2 C. cubed Velveeta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt

Spray insides of 3 qt. crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine all ingredients –
pour into sprayed crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 1 hour. Reduce heat to
Low; cook 4-5 hours longer until
a knife inserted into center comes
out clean. Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chopped Feta Salad

8 C. chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 English cucumber, peeled/diced
into large chunks
1/3 C. feta cheese, crumbled
1/8 of a small red onion, sliced
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T. fresh chopped dill
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients together & serve
immediately. Serves 4

NOTE: You can also add:
-sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
-pitted olives (like Kalamata or Catelvetrano)
-canned chickpeas
-(change out red wine vinegar for fresh lemon
-turn it into a main dish by adding grilled/diced
chicken or shrimp

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Blackberry Buckle

3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter or margarine,
2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 C. flour
2/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. fresh blackberries
(can used canned)

1/2 c. butter or margarine (1 stick),
cut into pieces
1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
using elec. mixer, cream butter, sugar
& eggs. Add rest of ingredients except
blackberries & mix well; spread in
bottom of prepared dish. Mix
topping ingredients together in a
bowl (except the butter) – sprinkle
topping over blackberries & spread
butter pieces on top. Bake 40-45
minutes until top is brown.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)


I have got to say: I have a GREAT husband! On
August 18th my computer/email for some
reason decided to no longer recognize my
password! Great – NOW what do I do? I went
to my alternate email site (Internet Explorer)
and changed the password  & was then able
to retrieve my emails THERE – but NOT on my
original site through Thunderbird – sigh. I
‘think’ I might have mentioned it to my husband
who might have been busy at the time but just
kept plodding away through Internet Explorer –
don’t like their email set up! Finally today I asked
him, again, if he could check it out and it took him
a good half hour to finally get our AT&T connection
to recognize my newly-changed password – UGH!
(Honestly don’t know what I would have done if
he weren’t available! – I’d probably STILL be plugging
away on Internet Explorer and complaining all the

Our weather has taken a bit of a turn to RAIN – not
bad, just light but now our days are NOT sunny
so I’m trying to adjust to not seeing bright sunshine
when I wake up. Just looking at the forecast for the
coming week – mostly 70/80’s and chance of thunder-
storms. Tuesday is ‘mostly sunny’ but then more
thunderstorms – sigh. Oh well, life can’t ALL be sunshine,
right? The trick is adjusting your attitude to ‘try’ to be
‘sunny’ even during the gloomy times!

Have a GREAT day!



Finally – a day to relax!

It’s been a rather crazy week here – today I’m labeling: “Ping Pong Day!” Lots of emails/texts/phone calls – call a friend, have to email that friend, then text same person – crazy stuff! One person I know had an antique sewing machine & wanted to know if I wanted it (No, BUT . . . I have a friend who collects them so let me give her the information) – that resulted in lots of emails/texts/phone calls . . . sigh (and that was only ONE of the many various situations today! Crazy!

Babysat my youngest grandson yesterday and, once again, managed to screw up their TV (it was too loud, couldn’t find the remote so finally pushed the button on the side of the flat screen – that shut it off but then I couldn’t turn it back on!) Finally located the remote for the sound but that only operates the sound, so we were still without TV. I substituted (as any good Grandma would) by asking “Alexa – play classical music” – that worked out great, the baby loved ‘conducting’ the music with his little green plastic pot, using that as a conductor’s wand!

(blurry photo but you get the idea!)

It was a very long day, as his Mom had to work early hours and his Dad got stuck in a traffic jam – I was there from 8:10 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. – then had to rush home, change my top & drive to my special needs group – WHEW! I slept REALLY well last night! (Good thing today is a ‘do nothing special’ day – right?)


Browned Butter/Cinnamon Rice
Krispie Treats

5 T. butter
10 C. mini marshmallows, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 C. crispy rice cereal (ex: Rice Krispies
or brand equivalent)

Line a 9 X 9″ baking pan with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray. In
large saucepan melt butter over medium
heat. Cook butter until it is toasty brown
color. Once butter has a nutty-aroma, lower
heat & add 8 C. mini marshmallows to pan.
Stir frequently until marshmallows have
completely melted and are smooth. Remove
from heat & stir in cinnamon & vanilla. Stir
in cereal – stir to coat. Stir in remaining
2 C. marshmallows – do not mix completely –
you don’t want them to melt into cereal mix.
Press cereal mixture evenly into prepared
pan. In a small bowl mix ground cinnamon &
sugar for a topping – spread on top of cereal
mixture & press down lightly. Refrigerate
at least an hour before cutting & serving.
Makes 12 large bars

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

Bacon-Tomato Linguine

kosher salt
1 (12 oz) pkg. linguine
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 C. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/3 C. grated Parmesan or
Pecorino-Romano cheese (plus
more for topping)
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. fresh basil, torn

Add kosher salt to large pot of water –
bring to a boil; add pasta & cook as
directed on label. Reserve 1 1/4 C.
cooking water – drain pasta. Cook
bacon in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high until crisp, about 5
minutes. Add tomatoes & shallot –
cook about 5 minutes until tomatoes
start to burst. Pour off all but 2 T.
drippings from skillet. Whisk eggs,
cheese, lemon zest & 1 tsp. pepper
in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in
1 C. reserved cooking water. Reduce
heat to medium-low; add pasta &
toss well. Slowly pour in egg mixture,
tossing, to make a creamy sauce – about
1 minute. Season with salt then add
remaining 1/4 C. cooking water as
needed to loosen. Stir in basil & top
each serving with more cheese &
season with pepper. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded/chopped
(about 1-2 inch chunks – as well as red
bell pepper)
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb)
cut into 1 inch chunks
3-4 T. olive oil
Cooked white rice to serve 6-8

1 C. pineapple juice
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 420 degrees F.
Pour as much of the juice from
pineapple into a large glass
measuring cup. Place chicken,
veggies & pineapple chunks in a
large bowl. Drizzle 3-4 T. olive oil
into bowl & toss to coat. Sprinkle
chicken & veggies with garlic salt &
lemon pepper – stir to combine. Line
2 large baking sheets with foil & spread
mixture evenly over sheets. Bake
20 minutes until chicken is cooked
through & veggies are crisp-tender.

(while pans are roasting, prepare sauce)

In a large bowl pour pineapple juice*,
water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce,
chicken bull granules, sugar/brown sugar,
cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger & lemon
pepper – whisk to combine making sure
cornstarch is completely dissolved – pour
liquid into a saucepan & bring to boil over
medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Allow to boil 2 minutes.
When chicken has cooked through & veggies
are crisp-tender, pour 1/3 of sauce over top
of each pan (leaving about 1/3 of it in saucepan
to drizzle over each individual serving). Stir
sauce into chicken & veggies to coat completely.
Bake an additional 10 minutes until sauce
bubbles up a bit & becomes sticky. Serve in
individual bowls with cooked white rice &
additional sauce poured over top.
Serves 6-8

*You should have about 1 C. juice – if you
aren’t quite there, add a bit of water to bring
measurement to a full cup

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.com)

Crockpot Root Beer Pulled Pork

2 lb. pork shoulder or pork butt
1 bottle root beer of your choice
1 C. BBQ sauce of your choice
12 slider buns

Place pork in crockpot (you can add
a little salt/pepper, to taste) & pour
the bottle of root beer on top of meat.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours minimal.

Remove pork from crockpot into a large
mixing bowl & using 2 forks, shred meat.
Add 1 C. BBQ sauce to meat & mix well.
Toast slider buns (if you like) & assemble
the sandwiches. Makes 12 sliders

NOTE: You can top these with a slaw if you

(recipe: myrecipemagic.com)

Skillet-toasted Corn Salad

1/3 C. + 1 T. olive oil, divided
1/3 C. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked/
kernels cut off
4 red, yellow and/or green bell
peppers, seeded/coarsely chopped
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 head romaine lettuce, cut cross-
wise into 1-inch pieces.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, conbine
1/3 C. oil, lemon juice, sauces, garlic,
salt/pepper – cover & shake well.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet
over medium-high heat. Add corn &
saute 5 minutes until corn is tender &
golden, stirring often. Remove from
heat; keep warm. Combine corn,
peppers & cheese in a large bowl; pour
olive oil  mixture over top & toss lightly
to coat. Serve over lettuce.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Pimento/Cream Cheese

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos, well drained
3 green onions, chopped
2 T. finely chopped/seeded jalapeno

Mix all ingredients until blended.
Makes 16 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

Winning Apricot Bars

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 C. sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 (10 to 12 oz) jar apricot preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar until
light & fluffy. Beat in egg & vanilla. In a
small bowl, whisk flour & baking powder;
gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing
well. Fold in coconut & walnuts.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray & press two-thirds of dough
into bottom of pan. Spread dough with
preserves; crumble remaining dough over
preserves. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Spent most of yesterday (besides babysitting)
working on the blue baby blanket – it’s a little
over half done now (Yay!).

Dinner tonight is Enchiladas – we’re down to
one serving of Zucchini Casserole, so it’s time
to cook again. I try to make recipes that will
feed us for more than one meal. Since our
middle son moved back home (and he’s an
‘eating machine’) foods rotate through the
fridge at a faster rate than before – that’s
OK, just keeps me on my toes making sure
there’s leftovers when he gets home from
work (Yes, he can cook but leftovers are
always appreciated).

Hoping you’re having a nice, RELAXING day!



I’m not ready . . .

Tonight is my special needs group’s “Harvest Dance Party” and I’m just not ready . . . let me explain: it’s going to be BIG (because not only will our kids be there, but several other groups have been invited), it’s going to be VERY loud (that’s a given when my kids get excited, and it’s going to be LOOoong (I need to be there at 4 p.m./it doesn’t start until 6:30, ends 8:30 so you can guess I’ll be PRETTY TIRED when I finally get to go home after helping clean up. Yes, I love getting together with my ‘kids’ but I’m just not ready for this level of  WILD/LOUD! This past Wednesday found our room packed with kids – it was our Music/Birthday night. What was different this time? We’re finally getting back some of our kids- the church we meet at is undergoing a huge re-building and the parking lot has been a nightmare for anyone with physical disabilities or wheelchairs (dirt, rocks, no lighting at night, etc.). Recently they’ve added parking lot lighting (YAY!) but it’s still pretty treacherous for wheelchairs so quite a few of our group homes just haven’t been coming. With more kids in our room this Weds. it was loud, hectic and almost overwhelming but we survived. Because of the construction, our group has been moved back to our ‘old’ room (the one we asked to be taken out of due to lack of room for wheelchairs) so now that we’re back in that room – it’s CROWDED! Oh well, eventually it will be better – we’ve been assured that the building project will be suspended as of the end of October – still not sure where that leaves our group but we’ll see. All that said – I’m going to put on my BIG GIRL PANTS and go to this dance/party with a big smile, hoping to help out wherever needed. (It’s a Western/Cowboy theme – I bought a red bandanna & am wearing a denim shirt – (western is NOT my style, so I’m going to be quite the CITY cowgirl…hehehe).


Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin
2 boxes spice cake mix
1 bag milk chocolate chips

1 tub cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 18″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine pumpkin, cake mixes &
(chocolate chips, if using) together
in large bowl, mix well & pour into
prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

NOTE: You will not use eggs, oil or
water in the cake – the pumpkin
adds the moisture.

When cake is cooled, frost with
cream cheese frosting
This recipe can be halved:
1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1/2 bag chocolate chips (optional)

half tub cream cheese frosting

Use a 9 X 13″ baking dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 350 degrees
F. for 20-25 minutes

(recipe: thecreativemom.com)

Balsamic Chicken w/Roasted

8 (4 oz ea) boneless skinless
chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh black pepper, to taste
10 medium spears asparagus,
ends trimmed, cut in half
2 red bell peppers seeded,
cut into strips
1 red onion, chopped in large
1/2 C. carrots, sliced in half
long, cut into 3 inch pieces
5 oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms
1/4 C. plus 1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed/roughly
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. fresh rosemary
1/2 T. dried oregano or thyme
2 leaves fresh sage, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt/pepper.
Spray 2 large baking sheets with
nonstick cooking spray. Combine
all ingredients together in large
bowl-use your hands to mix well
then arrange everything onto
prepared sheets – spread out in
an even layer. (VEGGIES should
NOT touch chicken or chicken will
steam instead of roast). Bake
20-25 minutes until chicken is
cooked through & veggies are
roasted & tender. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytste.com)
Hearty Sausage & Bean One Pot

1 medium onion, peeled/cut in
half & sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 lb. fresh Italian sausage, casings
1/2 lb. fully-cooked smoked sausage,
sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch slices
1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can chick peas, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 C. chicken broth

Spray large saucepan with nonstick
cooking spray. Add onion & garlic – cook
over medium heat 2-3 minutes until
onion is softened. Add Ital. sausage to
pan & cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add
sliced smoked sausage & cook 3-5
minutes until Ital. sausage is cooked
through & not pink. Pour off drippings;
stir in remaining ingredients. Mix gently,
cover & reduce heat to Low – simmer
5 minutes. Uncover & cook over medium-
Low heat 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.
Serves 5

NOTE: You can also add rice or noodles to
soup – they soak up the sauce.

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Braised Red Cabbage

2 T. butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red cabbage, shredded
(about 8 C.)
1 tart apple, peeled/cored & sliced
1 T. sugar
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. good red wine
1 bay leaf
salt/ground black pepper

Melt butter in Dutch oven or soup
pot. Add onions & saute over medium
heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add
cabbage, apple, sugar, vinegar, red wine
& bay leaf. Stir & simmer on Low 30-40
minutes until cabbage is tender. Remove
bay leaf & season with salt/pepper.
Serves 6

(recipe: cookstr.com)

Grilled Ranch Potatoes

2 lb. baby potatoes, halved
1/4 tsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 packet ranch salad dressing mix
kosher salt
ground black pepper
Ranch dressing – for drizzling
chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat grill to Medium heat. In
large bowl toss potatoes with
olive oil, lemon juice & ranch
seasoning mix. Season with salt/
pepper & toss to coat. Thread
potatoes onto skewers & grill
until tender & lightly charred,
15 minutes. Drizzle with Ranch
dressing & garnish with chives.
Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Popcorn Balls

12 C. popped popcorn
1 (16 oz) bag regular sized marsh-
1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
8 oz. white chocolate chips
1-2 T. shortening
1/2 C. fall colors sprinkles

Lay out several sheets of waxed
paper on counter.
Heat butter in LARGE sauce pan over
medium heat until melted. Add
marshmallows & stir until
completely melted. Add pumpkin
pie spice – remove from heat & stir
in popped popcorn. Make sure
your hands are clean & spray
them with nonstick cooking spray.
Gently scoop up popcorn mixture &
press into a ball shape; place balls
on waxed paper.
Add white chocolate chips &
shortening to a deep bowl. Melt
accordg to pkg. directions in
microwave in 30 second increments,
stirring in between, until completely
melted & smooth. Dip balls in white
chocolate & then in sprinkles – place
back on waxed paper until chocolate
is hard.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

Cheesy Meatball Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. milk
2 C. marinara sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. chopped parsley (garnish)

In large bowl combine ground beef,
garlic, Parm. cheese, breadcrumbs,
egg, salt/pepper & milk – mix until
thoroughly combined.
Preheat broiler.
Spray bottom of a 9 or 10″ skillet with
nonstick cooking spray. Form meatballs
approx. 1 1/2 inches in diameter & place
in a single layer in pan. Broil 8-10 minutes
until meatballs are cooked through &
browned on top.* Drain any fat/liquids in
pan. Pour marinara sauce over meatballs
& sprinkle cheese over sauce. Broil 3-5
until cheese is melted & browned.  Sprinkle
with parsley & serve immediately. Serves 4

*It does not say in the recipe, but I would
probably turn the meatballs at about 4 minutes
to make sure all sides are cooked.

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
1 1/2 C. chopped cashews, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
2 2/3 C. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy
bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place flour & butter in food processor;
cover & process until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add 1 C. nuts; pulse a
few times until combined. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick cooking spray &
press mixture into pan to form a crust.
Bake 25-28 minutes until golden brown.
Remove & cool completely on wire rack.
In small bowl beat cream cheese, peanut
butter & powdered sugar until smooth;
fold in 1 C. Cool Whip – spoon over crust.
In another bowl whisk milk & both pudding
mixes 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes until
soft-set. Spread mixture over cream cheese
layer. Top with remaining Cool Whip mixture
& sprinkle with chopped chocolate &
remaining nuts. Cover & refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 12-16

NOTE: You can substitute your favorite pudding
flavors; use almond butter in place of peanut
butter or use dark or white chocolate bars for
topping. You can also use fresh whipped
cream instead of Cool Whip.

If you are transporting this dessert during the
summer/warm weather, you can freeze this
dessert 20-30 minutes to keep it cold en route.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Our weather has finally changed: it’s really COLD/
WET/RAINY/GLOOMY today! Woke up at 7 a.m. &
you would have thought it was the middle of the
night – it was DARK!!! Glad I don’t have to go out
until later today – it’s supposed to get down to
56…it’s 56 RIGHT NOW! Looking at our weather
forecast – we don’t get sun until Monday, but
still a HIGH of 56! UGH! (Here’s where I insert
my desire for INDIAN SUMMER! One can hope,

Hope you are staying warm & cosy – enjoy a
little something warm (tea, coffee, etc.) and
maybe a little added ‘extra’ (cookie, doughnut,
etc.) just to keep you ‘fortified’…hehehe.



I’ve got a HEAD ACHE!

Just spent a good hour talking/listening to women at AAA – UGH! Let me clarify: we received a form from our car insurance (AAA) asking us to fill it in concerning our medical coverage. Husband got a bit frustrated about it and called them 3 days ago (while I was out). It seems he came away with the impression that if we were in an auto accident we would NOT be covered for medical! WHAT? I encouraged him to call AAA again (with both of us on the line) and see what that’s all about. It seems they did not have our updated medical information AND, since we are now BOTH covered by Medicare, things have changed A LOT! For both of us, our medical coverage in accidents will be through AAA, not Medicare – goofy! Throw in LOTS of talking/adjusting money amounts, etc. and our bill will go UP considerably come our next payment due in November – UGH! (Yes, we know we could go through another auto insurance). At the end of said conversation she asks if we would be interested in a AAA Mastercard which would save us 3% on our bill? We decided “OK – whatever…” so she shifts us to another woman (who just happens to be in Florida!). I don’t know exactly how to put this gently – trying not to be POLITICALLY INCORRECT HERE but her accent DROVE ME NUTS! She spoke exceptionally fast and, after about 10 minutes, all I could hear was “Blah, blah, blah Mr. L” (insert our last name) over & over & over. It became a total blur – she asked if my husband wanted me included on the card and the next thing I know – I’M forced to talk with her! DOUBLE UGH! Crazy stuff – it got to the point where I said: “Whatever – I don’t care.” She replied: “Well, Mrs. L – I cannot fill in that portion myself, YOU have to give me your choice of answers.” (Let’s just say: if I were a swearing woman, BOY would she have received my CHOICE ANSWER!”) That being said, we now have a 3% AAA Mastercard coming in the mail. Husband reminded me that the crazy phone call will save us $90 every 3 months – I ‘guess’ it was worth it….sigh.


Blueberry Crumble Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 C. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. cold butter
2 C. blueberries
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flour, oats, 1 C. sugar,
cinnamon & baking soda in large
bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture
until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Reserve about 2 C. flour/butter
mixture (for topping). Press
remaining mixture into prepared
dish to form crust. In a medium
saucepan bring blueberries,
remaining 1/2 C. sugar, cornstarch
& lemon juice to boil, stirring
constantly, until mixture is
thickened, about 2 minutes.
Spread blueberry mixture over
crust & sprinkle with reserved
topping mixture. Bake 25 minutes
until topping is just browned.
Cool before cutting.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Grilled Corn Salad

6 ears freshly shucked corn
1 green pepper, diced
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/4 C. diced red onion
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro,
chopped (or more, to taste)
2 tsp. olive oil (or to taste)
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat outdoor grill to medium
heat – lightly oil grill grate. Cook
corn on grill, turning occasionally,
until corn is tender & specks of
black appear, about 10 minutes.
Set aside until just cool enough to
handle. Slice kernels off cob &
place in a bowl. Combine warm
corn kernels with green pepper,
diced tomato/onion/cilantro &
olive oil. Season with salt/pepper
& toss until evenly mixed. Let
rest at least 30 minutes to allow
flavors to blend before serving.

(recipe: supercookingideas.com)
Parmesan Chicken & Garlic
Zucchini (pan fried)

4 thin chicken breasts, boneless
(under an inch in thickness)
8 T. butter, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs (or panko)
1 tsp. pepper
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. onion powder
2 medium zucchini, sliced semi-thin
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced

Beat eggs in a shallow dish. In another
shallow dish combine bread crumbs,
Parm. cheese, pepper, onion powder &
flour – stir to fully combine. In large
hot skillet melt 4 T. butter. Dip each of
chicken pieces in egg mixture then coat
in bread crumb mixture – place in hot
skillet with melted butter. Cook on each
side about 4 minutes or until outside
is crispy & browned & chicken is cooked
completely throughout. Remove from
pan & set aside.
Add 4 T. butter to skillet & saute garlic
about 1-2 minutes; add sliced zucchini
& saute until completely tender –
sprinkle with salt/pepper. Add chicken
back to skillet; gently mix & heat about
30 seconds. Sprinkle with Parmesan
cheese & serve. Serves 4

(recipe: myincrediblerecipes.com)

Pork Chop & Potato Casserole

1 T. vegetable oil
6 boneless pork chops
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup
1 C. milk
4 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat; place chops
in oil & sear on both sides. In
medium bowl combine soup &
milk. Arrange sliced potatoes &
onions in 9 X 13″ baking dish;
place browned chops on top then
pour soup mixture over all. Bake
30 minutes. Top with shredded
cheese & bake 30 minutes more.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bites

2 C. shredded/patted dry
zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 1/4 C. plain bread crumbs
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 large egg
1/2 C. finely chopped green onion
2 T. chopped dill
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder

Ranch salad dressing, for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. In large bowl mix bread
crumbs, Cheddar cheese, egg,
green onion, dill & seasonings until
well combined. One Tablespoon at
a time, press zucchini mixture into
small balls & place on prepared
sheet – repeat, using up rest of
zucchini mixture. Bake about
30 minutes until browned & crisp,
turning over halfway through baking
time. Serve warm with Ranch salad
dressing for dipping, if desired.
Makes 30 bites

(recipe: hostthetoast.com)
Crockpot Asiago Spinach Dip

(sorry, can’t make this display without underline!)

1 lb. neufchatel cheese (or
cream cheese) two 8 oz.
blocks, cut into chunks
1 lb. asiago cheese, shredded
6 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves,
roughly chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

In 3 qt. crockpot add all
ingredients – stir to combine.
Cover & cook on Low 2 hours,
stirring after 1 hour of cooking
time & once at end of 2 hours.
Set crockpot to Warm to keep
dip warm for serving. Serves 12

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Quick Sauteed Zucchini &

1 lb. zucchini, ends cut off &
sliced then cut into quarters
6 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
1 C. red onion, chopped
1/2 C. roasted garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt/black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Saute all ingredients (except cheese)
in large skillet until onions are tender.
Remove skillet from heat & sprinkle
top with cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)

Strawberry Cream Cheese
Icebox Cake

2 lb. strawberries
2 sleeves graham crackers
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant
cheesecake-flavored pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Wash, cut tops off & slice strawberries
1/4 in thick. Line bottom of 9 X 13″
baking dish with graham crackers (break
if necessary to fit). Combine cream
cheese & sweetn’d cond. milk in large
bowl & beat with elec. mixer until
smooth & creamy. Add pudding mixes
& milk; beat on Low 4-5 minutes until
mixture starts to thicken. Fold in 2 C.
Cool Whip until smooth. Pour half
of mixture over graham crackers in
dish. Arrange a single layer of sliced
strawberries over cream cheese
mixture. Top with another layer of
graham crackers then remaining
cream cheese mixture. Top with
another layer of sliced strawberries.
Cover & refrigerate 6-8 hours. When
serving, top with remaining Cool
Whip – crush remaining graham
crackers & sprinkle over top.

(recipe: leaderrecipes.com)


I finished the blue/mint green/white baby
blanket yesterday and am 3/4ths done
with the blue ‘tassels’ blanket. Started a
quick (thick/bumpy yarn) scarf – finished
one of 3 skeins of that yarn so it should be
finished in the next week or so.

Wednesday I had an enjoyable time at
lunch with three of my church ladies –
we went to Olive Garden (soup/salad/
breadsticks). After I stopped at JoAnn’s
and, of course, found another very pretty
thin baby yarn in shades of peach, yellow,
white – am currently trying to decide which
pattern to use to execute another (you
guessed it) baby blanket. Just can’t resist
my ‘go-to’ knitting – I almost feel incomplete
without having at least two patterns going
at once (I’ve read on a knitting site there
are people who feel that way and are doing
5 different projects! YIKES!).

Going to wrap this up and get on with my
day (hopefully with no more crazy phone

Enjoy your day –



One of “THOSE” days-so far

Have you ever had one of “those” days where things just kind of go WEIRD? Example: stopped at bank drive-thru to deposit/get cash back on several checks. I sat there wondering what was taking SO long when the voice on the ‘box’ said: “Sorry for the long wait but we were checking your birth date with our records. When you can, will you stop into the bank and speak with one of the bank managers? It seems we have your birth date wrong on our records.” (mind you – they had my drivers license right there in front of them) WHAT? Ok . . . whatever. Next I go to the library to pick up two books that the library computer system emailed me reminders for/waiting for me in the “Hold” section – I check, no books. I asked the librarian and he says: “No, I’m sorry I don’t show any holds here for you currently.” Weird #2. Finally go to my local drug store to pick up 3 of MY prescription refills – turns out they only have one for my husband . . . WHAT? Weird #3! Yep, it’s one of “THOSE” days! Now I’m home safe & sound – hopefully it will only get better as the day goes on . . . hopefully!


Peach Pretzel Jello Salad

2 C. pretzels, crushed
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted
butter, melted
2 T. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 cans peaches, drained, peaches
patted dry
2 C. boiling water
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
1 (6 oz) pkg peach jello
1/2 C. sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl combine pretzels, sugar,
cinnamon & nutmeg; stir in melted
butter & mix thoroughly. Transfer
mixture to prepared pan & gently
press in even layer. Bake 8-10
minutes; set aside to cool.
In large bowl cream together
cream cheese & sugar then gently
fold in Cool Whip. Spread mixture
over cooled crust. Refrigerate
1 hour until set.
In large bowl combine jello with
boiling water & stir thoroughly
until completely dissolved; let
cool to room temperature. Top
cream cheese layer with peach
slices then gently pour gelatin
over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

Crockpot Bacon/Ranch Potatoes

6 slices bacon
3 lb. red potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 T. Ranch seasoning & salad
dressing mix
2 T. chopped chives

Preheat 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil;
spread bacon in single layer on
sheet. Bake until brown & crispy,
12-14 minutes. Cool then crumble.
Line crockpot insides with foil,
leaving enough overhang to wrap
potatoes on top & spray with
nonstick cooking spray. Play a layer of
potatoes evenly in crockpot, top
with cheese, Ranch seasoning &
bacon crumbles – repeat 2 more
times (reserve 1/2 C. cheese).
Cover potatoes with foil & cook on
Low 7-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 C. cheese;
cover & cook until melted, 1-2
minutes. Serve immediately
garnished with chopped chives.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

Easy-Cheesy Zuchinni Bake

4 medium zucchini (1 1/2 lb),
unpeeled/sliced into 1/2″ slices
2 T. chopped fresh herbs (basil,
oregano or thyme)
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 C. (no sugar added) marinara
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine sliced zucchini, fresh
herbs, garlic, marinara & Mozz.
cheese. Transfer to prepared
dish; sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Carefully remove from oven &
evenly sprinkle top with Cheddar
& Parmesan cheese. Return to
oven 10 minutes until cheeses
are melted & lightly browned.
Allow to sit 10 minutes before

(NOTE: poster states: “Like most
casseroles, this zucchini bake
tastes better when warm or at
room temperature rather than
when hot.”

(recipe: ninerecipes.com)

Portobello Onion Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry,
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. sliced baby portobello
1 large onion, halved & thinly
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 C. (4 oz) crumbled goat cheese
or Gorgonzola cheese
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary,

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Unfold pastry onto a parchment
paper-lined baking sheet. Using a
sharp knife, score a 1/2″ border
along edges of pastry. Within
border, prick pastry with a fork
all over. Bake 8-10 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from oven;
if center has puffed, flatten gently
with a spatula. In large skillet heat
1 T. olive oil over medium-high
heat. Add mushrooms; cook & stir
4-5 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from pan. To same pan
add remaining oil & onion; cook &
stir 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
Return mushrooms to pan; stir in salt.
In small bowl whisk eggs until blended;
stir in cheese & pour into crust. Top evenly
with mushroom mixture. Bake 13-15
minutes until cheese mixture is set. If
desired, sprinkle with rosemary.
Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 unripe green tomato, cored/sliced
very thinly (1/8th inch)
1-2 large eggs, lightly beaten &
whisked with 1-2 T. water
1 C. seasoned flour (salt/pepper)
1 C. finely ground corn meal or
masa harina
1/2 C. buttermilk*
salt/pepper, to taste
cajun seasoning, to taste
hot sauce, to taste

Place each of the following
items, 1 per bowl:
(1) buttermilk,
(2) seasoned flour
(3) beaten egg
(4) corn meal

Heat 1-2 inches of oil in large skillet to
shallow-fry to tomatoes. Coat tomato
slices by first dipping in milk, then
into seasoned flour, then beaten egg,
& finally in corn meal. Fry coated tomato
slices 1-2 minutes per side until golden;
drain on paper towels. Serves 2-3

* if you don’t have buttermilk:
Place 1/2 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar
in a 1-cup measuring cup & fill to
1/2 C. measure with milk. Stir with
a fork & let stand 5 minutes – now
you have buttermilk.

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)

Broccoli Cheese Salad

2 heads broccoli, cut into
small florets
1 C. cherry tomatoes, cut in
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2″
1 (6 oz) can whole black olives,
1/2 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese, cut
into 1/2″ chunks
1/2 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, cut
into 1/2″ chunks
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 C. mayonnaise
3 T. honey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. cooked, crumbled bacon

In large bowl combine broccoli,
tomatoes, onion, olives, & both
cheeses (chunks). In medium
bowl whisk yogurt, mayonnaise,
honey, garlic powder, salt/pepper &
pour over vegetables – toss until
evenly coated. Cover & chill until
ready to serve. Sprinkle top with
bacon before serving (if using bacon).
Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Ritzy Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large chicken breasts, each cut
into 3 large chunks
2 sleeves Ritz (or other butter) crackers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. milk
3 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 T. sour cream
2 T. butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place crackers in a food processor or
blender & grind up. Pour milk, cheese &
cracker crumbs into 3 separate pans. Toss
salt & pepper into cracker crumbs & mix
to combine. Dip each piece of chicken into
milk, then cheese. Press cheese into chicken
using your fingers (some will fall off when you
add to cracker crumbs – it’s ok) Press cheesy
chicken into cracker crumbs & press it on.*
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Lay chicken in pan. Sprinkle dried
parsley on top. Cover with foil & bake
35 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional
10 minutes until edges of chicken are
golden brown & crispy.
In medium sauce pan combine soup, sour
cream & butter using a whisk. Stir over
medium-high heat until sauce is hot –
serve over chicken. Serves 7

*Once cheese melts in oven it will adhere
to crumbs & crackers

NOTE: This recipe can be frozen. Assemble
chicken accordg. to directions. Cover pan
tightly with foil & freeze. When ready to use,
thaw it out completely, then bake 400 degrees F.
35 minutes. It is best to make the sauce fresh
when you are ready to eat.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

No-bake Chocolate/Pretzel/
Peanut Butter Bars

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 C. pretzel sticks, crushed into
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 C. plus 1/4 C. smooth peanut
1 1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

In medium bowl stir melted butter,
pretzel crumbs, powdered sugar &
1 C. peanut butter until well
combined. Press mixture into bottom
of ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Combine chocolate chips & 1/4 C.
peanut butter in a microwave-safe
bowl or measuring cup – microwave
in 30-second intervals, stirring
between, until melted & smooth.
Mix well then spread over layer in
dish. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before cutting into squares.

(recipe: shared.com)


Our weather is STILL gorgeous – in the mid
80’s, sunny with a slight breeze – can’t complain!

Sat down, yesterday, with my two knitting baby
blankets just to check & make sure I didn’t make
any mistakes while talking (lots) at the Ice Cream
Social – all’s good. Tomorrow is all-day baby/kid
sitting; tonight is the last of the Jet’s ceep-dish
vegetarian pizza – YAY! (I’ve learned over the
years that I like this one best – can do without
pepperoni, ham, hamburger, sausage, etc. on
my pizzas – just like the flavors of the veggies
& cheese!).

Hope your day is turning out JUST GREAT!



Some days ya just gotta be FLEXIBLE!

Today was “take my van in to the dealership for fluid changes’ day. Also on that agenda was ‘please check out WHY my right front tire has a continual slow leak!” and – why my electric side doors sometimes decide they don’t want to open/close – only sometimes! I was prepared: took 2 knitting projects and my latest book. Drove myself there, got some free coffee and commenced knitting. About half hour later nice young man from Service comes over & tells me that I have more issues than I thought: #1 they can’t find reason for electric door problem (why am I not surprised?), #2 all FOUR tires have issues (they ARE older tires) #3 something else I don’t remember now needed fixing. When I asked grand total of TIME for fixing all this they said: FIVE HOURS! Oh MY! Today is husband’s class reunion in another city so he’ll be gone a good 3+ hours, tonight is special needs group – what to do? Nice guy suggested they DO have a shuttle AND I’m just within their radius for using it -now I’m home sitting at my lovely computer, it’s almost 11 a.m. Husband ‘should’ be home in time to drive me back to dealership later. As I was getting out of the shuttle the driver said: “Hope they get your vehicle done today!” OH MY – never thought of the “What if they don’t? scenario! Mentioned to husband that he might need to drive me tonight to special needs – his response: “Won’t be the first time!” Ah, life – it’s great IF you’re flexible! Yesterday while watching the baby (just before Mom left for work) she asked if I was available TODAY to watch him – I had to say No. I texted her a little earlier explaining my plight and saying that IF she still needed, I could watch him until around 4:30 BUT she would have to pick me up; turns out her Dad will watch the baby so I’M FREE – WOW, what a concept!


Easy Strawberry Cake

1 (16.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (.3 oz) box strawberry Jell-O
4 egg whites
1/3 C. canola oil
1 C. frozen unsweetened
strawberries, thawed
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. butter, softened
2 1/3 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 9″ round
cake pans. In large bowl combine
cake mix & Jell-O; add egg whites
& oil; beat using elec. mixer until
well blended. In small bowl or
food processor, mash strawberries
in their juice – set aside 3 T.
mashed berries for icing. Add
water & remaining berries to
batter & mix; pour into pans.
Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of cake comes
out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes;
remove cakes from pan to wire
racks & cool completely.

Combine butter & reserved berrie
mixture in small bowl. Gradually
beat in powdered sugar until light &
fluffy). Place one cake on serving platter
& top with half of icing; top with second
cake & repeat, spreading icing evenly
on top.

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)

Chicken Burrito Skillet

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
& rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 green onions, chopped

Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper.
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, heat 1 T. oil. Saute chicken
until browned, about 2 minutes-
remove from pan. In same pan, heat
remaining oil over medium-high
heat. Saute rice until lightly browned,
1-2 minutes. Stir in beans, canned
tomatoes, seasonings & broth – bring
to boil. Place chicken on top (do not
stir into rice). Simmer, covered, until
rice is tender & chicken is no longer
pink, 20-25 minutes. Remove from
heat; sprinkle top with cheese. Let
stand, covered, until cheese melts.
Top with tomato & green onions.
Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Mexican Corn Bread Salad

1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch
dressing mix
1 C. sour cream
1 C. mayonnaise
6 corn bread muffins
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pinto
beans, drained/rinsed
1 green bell pepper,
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen corn,
3 large tomatoes, chopped
10 slices bacon, cooked/
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Mexican
cheese blend
6 scallions, sliced

In small bowl combine dressing
mix, sour cream & mayonnaise.
Crumble 3 corn muffins in large
glass bowl or trifle dish. Place a
layer of beans over muffins, then
bell pepper, dressing mixture,
corn, tomatoes, bacon, remaining
corn muffins (crumbled), cheese &
scallions. Cover & chill at least
2 hours before serving. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Freezer Slaw

1 1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. cider vinegar
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. shredded
angel hair cabbage slaw
1 large carrot, peeled/shredded
1 small green bell pepper,
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. mustard seeds (optional)

Bring sugar & vinegar to a boil in
small saucepan, stirring until sugar
dissolves; cool. Combine cabbage
slaw & remaining 4 ingredients;
pour vinegar mixture over cabbage
mixture & toss to coat. Place in a
large heavy-duty ziplock bag or an
airtight container & freeze up to
3 months. Thaw in fridge before
serving. Serves 8

NOTE: If you don’t need to make
this dish in advance, prepare dish-
cover & chill at least 2 hours before

(recipe: mrfood.com)

NO-bake “Baked Potato” Salad

8 medium potatoes (about 3 lb)
scrubbed & cut into 1-inch chunks
1 T. salt
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1/4 C. real bacon bits
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Place potatoes in large pot with
enough water to cover them. Add
salt & bring to boil over high heat.
Cook potatoes 10-15 minutes until
fork-tender; drain well & allow to
cool slightly. In large bowl combine
remaining ingredients; mix well.
Add potatoes & mix until well
combined. Serve warm or cover &
chill until ready to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)

No-cook Roll-ups

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed &
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 (.4 oz) envelope Ranch-
style salad dressing mix (dry)
1 (3 oz) pkg. bacon bits
9 (10 inch) flour tortillas

In large bowl combine all
ingredients except tortillas;
stir well. Spread mixture on
tortillas, distributing evenly.
Roll up, jelly-roll fashion;
wrap each in plastic wrap.
Chill 4-6 hours then cut into
1/2 inch thick slices & serve.
Makes 6 dozen

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Crockpot Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs

4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/3 C. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil

Lay chicken thighs in bottom of
crockpot. Whisk soy sauce, ketchup,
honey, garlic & basil together in a
bowl & pour over chicken. Cover &
cook on Low 6 hours. Serves 2

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
Crockpot Peachy Pork Chops

4-6 whole very ripe peaches, peeled/
pitted (can use frozen that have
been thawed or canned-in-water,
not syrup)
1 small onion,
2-4 lb. boneless pork chops
1/4 C. ketchup
1/4 C. honey BBQ sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. soy sauce
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Using blender or food processor,
place peaches in device & process
until smooth adding a small amount
of water, if necessary. Puree should
be smooth & not chunky. Place a
small amount of olive oil in large fry
pan heated to medium-low heat.
Place some of pork chops in pan &
cook 3-5 minutes per side until
chops are slightly browned on each
side but still pink inside (work in
batches until all are semi-cooked).
As chops are browning place finished
ones in a bowl, coat each chop with
some peach puree & place in crockpot.
When all chops are cooked/coated,
mix remaining peach puree, ketchup,
BBQ sauce, brown sugar, salt, garlic
salt, soy sauce & ground ginger in a bowl
& mix well to combine. Drizzle mixture
over top of chops. Cover & cook on
Low 5-6 hours or High 2-3 hours.
Test chops for doneness to make sure
they are no longer pink inside or when
a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Pineapple Pie

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. crushed pineapple
3 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat all ingredients together
(except pie shell) & pour into
unbaked pie shell. Bake until
pie sets & is brown.

(recipe: tastyrecipes/facebook.com)


Weather-wise we’re now DEFINITELY into SUMMER;
high 80’s & low 90’s – thank heavens for air conditioning!

Gas prices are really good: $2.29/9! YAY!

Depending on whether I need to go back & fetch my
vehicle today or not, dinner “might” be enchiladas.
We love them but it takes about 40+ minutes to make
them, then about an hour to bake them – we’ll see,
dinner just might be ‘catch-as-catch-can’ (meaning
eat what you want, I’m not cooking!)

Hope you’re having an OK day!



Hold onto your hats – here comes FALL!


Not by the weather – but by my upcoming calendar, things are speeding up A LOT! Earlier yesterday I ‘thought’ I had the next 2 weeks ‘grandson-sitting’ free…oh, I was WRONG! Oldest son is going out of town and all of a sudden guess who gets a lot more sitting time! Last week I thought his Mother & her family were going to take over for the time being…guess I was mistaken. Last night oldest son called to arrange the next 2 weeks and our ‘schedule’. I don’t mind picking him up at his bus stop after school – done that before. I should preface all this by saying his Mother lives about 25 minutes from me; his school is also in that area. New schedule (while Dad’s gone) includes getting him at his bus stop by his Mom’s, filling in a little time by maybe going out to eat, then driving him to his football practice (in same area), then bringing him either home to our house or to his house & me spending the night/getting him up the next day & driving him to school! UGH! There are a multitude of possible problems there – our house is VERY small with no extra beds so sleeping arrangements here would be pretty crazy. Spending the night at his Dad’s house might work – crazy, either way. I do NOT like driving to places I’m not familiar (ie: his school – never been there), don’t like driving ’round-a-bouts’ (there is one by his football practice) OR extended time trying to figure out how to keep him amused. Sorry if I sound like a disgruntled grandparent – it’s all overwhelming to me right now. Add to that son said: “You’re watching him Weds/Thurs. THIS week, right?” No – I didn’t know ANYTHING about that (either!) LOVE being in the dark when people make arrangements that include me – ugh! I know it will all work out, am actually thinking of enlisting husband to do the driving to his football/school thing – we’ll see.

Tonight is the final Pick Up date for all the baby stuff for Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower – excited to see what the ladies created and, at the same time, knowing that it’s going to be a VERY hectic evening! Am taking my camera and hoping to get some photos of all the ‘fun’. Right now I’m working on a new baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Centers – this one is a really buttery yellow, using a dishcloth pattern (I know, sounds weird, right?). It’s a really pretty lace pattern and I’m really happy the way it’s coming out. It’s 6 rows, every other row is just purling, so that takes off part of the stress of following every row. I have about a foot done now – made it a little wider than I originally wanted, but it will be very nice when done. Crisis Pregnancy Mobile van deliveries also got a little more complicated – they are no longer parking where they used to (which was about 10 minutes from me) – now they’re about 25 minutes away AND only on Wednesdays. Might not be a problem but they’re at the same church where my special needs group meets ON THE SAME DAY (in the evening) so that means I would be driving there TWICE in one day (round trip about 45 minutes, each time). Oh well – at least it’s only about every 3-4 months, so that’s not so bad – right?


No-Bake Cinnamon Tiramisu

1 (3 oz) pkg. ladyfingers, split
1/4 C. strongly brewed coffee +
1 T. sugar mixed in (hot)
1 cinnamon stick
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 C. cold milk
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon plus
more for dusting

Mix sugar into coffee while still
hot; drop in cinnamon stick & allow
to steep 1 hour. Remove stick & allow
coffee to cool completely. In large
bowl eat vanilla pudding mix & cold
milk; beat in mascarpone cheese until
smooth & creamy. Fold in Cool Whip &
ground cinnamon. Arrange half of
ladyfingers in bottom of a 9 X 9″ baking
dish. Brush ladyfingers with about half
of cooled coffee. Spread half of pudding/
cheese mixture over ladyfingers in dish.
Cover with remaining ladyfingers then
brush second layer with remaining coffee
mixture & top with remaining pudding/
cheese mixture. Cover & refrigerate at least
4 hours up to overnight. Top with a little
Cool Whip & a sprinkling of cinnamon
before serving. Serves 9

NOTE: You can serve dessert without
refrigerating. Cover & refrigerate any
leftovers up to 3 days.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Parmesan Harvest Veggie Bake

2 medium small zucchini
2 medium small yellow squash
3 tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut zucchini, squash & tomatoes into
thin slices. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & lay veggies in
dish – in order, in rows. Drizzle oil over
veggies & sprinkle Parm. cheese, garlic
salt & pepper on top. Bake 30 minutes
until zucchini become flimsy & soft.
Serves 6

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad

1/2 box penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut thin
1 T. Cajun seasoning
3 T. butter
1 pint Half & Half
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 C. + 3 T. grated Parmesan
1 tsp. sliced flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Pat chicken dry
using paper towel & dust both
sides with Cajun seasoning until
thoroughly coated. Melt 1 T. butter
in large skillet over medium heat; add
chicken & cook through completely,
about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove
from skillet. Add remaining butter to
skillet along with Half & Half, garlic
powder, salt/pepper & 1/3 C. Parmesan.
Stir to combine, remove from heat.
Toss pasta in sauce & divide onto 2
plates (there will be some leftover).
Slice chicken & place on top of pasta.
Sprinkle each with remaining Parm,
diced tomato & parsley. Serves 2

(recipe: delish.com)

Southern Cornbread Salad
(6 hour or overnight recipe)

1 box Martha White Yellow Cornbread
mix, prepared
3 C. romaine lettuce, chopped
1 (16 oz) can light red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
drained (OR) 1 (11 oz) can Mexican
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. cucumber, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped (+ extra
for garnish)
3 large tomatoes, chopped (OR) 1 1/2
C. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1.0 oz) pkt. Ranch or buttermilk
salad dressing mix, prepared

Prepare & bake cornbread accordg. to pkg.
directions – cool on wire rack. When cooled,
cut into 1-inch cubes; spread out on large
baking sheet & let dry out at least 6 hours
before using. In bottom of large trifle dish or
glass bowl, place 3/4 of cubes. Layer remaining
ingredients in following order:

romaine lettuce
green pepper
green onions

Add remaining cornbread cubes &
shredded cheese over top. Add ranch
dressing & spread evenly on top of cheese.
Garnish with chopped green onions. Cover
& refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)

Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken

1 (3.4 lb) whole chicken
3 T. canola oil
2 T. chopped sage/thyme and
1 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
(for inside of chicken: onion, 1 whole
lemon & garlic cloves)

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine chopped herbs with salt/
pepper in small bowl. Remove neck
& organs from inside chicken – rinse
& pat dry. Drizzle chicken with oil
then rub herb mixture all over bird,
inside & out. Stuff bird with large
chunks of lemon, onion & lightly
smashed garlic cloves – make sure
to stuff entire insides then place
in shallow baking dish or roasting
pan, breast side up.
Place chicken in oven & lower heat
to 400 degrees F. Cook 1 hour to
1 hour 15 minutes. Insert a
thermometer into thickest, densest
part of chicken (between breast,
leg & thigh being careful not to
let thermometer touch a bone.) The
juices should run clear if chicken is
done. Remove from oven & allow to
rest 10-20 minutes before carving.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

Antipasto Tortilla Appetizers

1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
4 oz. sliced pepperoni
4 (Kraft Big Slice) Pepper Jack
cheese slices
1 C. tightly packed arugula

Mix mayo & garlic; spread onto
tortillas. Top with remaining
ingredients & roll up tightly.
Wrap each in plastic wrap &
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before serving, cut each roll
into 6 slices. Makes 12 servings,
2 slices each.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Frozen Fruit Salad Pie

2 (8 in, ea) graham cracker pie crusts
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. lemon juice
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 (11 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
2 (8 oz, ea) cans crushed pineapple,
1 C. chopped pecans

Optional garnish/toppings:
chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, cut up
maraschino cherries, chocolate drizzle

In large bowl stir condensed milk, lemon
juice, Cool Whip, oranges, pineapple &
nuts; pour into pie shells & freeze. Thaw
15 minutes before serving. (can be frozen
up to 6 months).

(recipe: mizhelenscountrycottage.com)

Gas prices around here are still a little high,
($2.49/9) probably because of the upcoming

Weather-wise, it’s been nice – in the mid 70’s to
80’s, sunny & clear. THIS is the kind of weather
we wished was here all summer, but can’t complain-
it’s been a good (NOT SWELTERING) summer. AND,
if we complain we only need to remember what
WINTER in MICHIGAN is like (and I’ve heard this
winter is supposed to be really brutal – sure hope

Hope you’re enjoying your day – remember to
take a little time out for yourself, maybe do a
little something you like (a nap, cup of something
warm or icy, a few minutes ‘out’ to read a book,
work on a craft project, take a walk, etc. – you get
the idea.) We all need a little ‘down’ time just to
re-charge our energy – right?




Yesterday was certainly NOT your average day. I finally got youngest son to agree to ‘do his cake & picture’ – he turned 22 on Saturday but was never around to do it until yesterday. In the photo you can see he was tired, but agreed:


Happy 22, Eric!

(that’s a Dairy Queen Reese’s Ice cream cake!)

Yesterday also was the day my oldest invited us over for a family dinner – the food was fantastic! New York strip steaks, grilled to perfection including caramelized onions & mushrooms, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus (I’d never had it grilled before – phenomenal flavor!), my Greek salad, appetizers: sliced Cheddar & Pepper Jack cheeses, sliced salami, Brie cheese ‘en croute’ (wrapped in phyllo dough) & crackers. We all ate until we were stuffed. The entire dinner party included myself, my husband, middle son, oldest son/his girlfriend & our grandson, and her Mom (her dad had pulled his back earlier & couldn’t come). Finally the decided to bring out the cake – mind you, we were STUFFED! Out came a big bakery box from a local bakery that is well known for wonderful baked goods. Son opens the box & places the cake on the table with a grin. We’re all talking, not really taking in ‘the cake’. I look over & notice something on the top – two baby pacifiers! Her Mom kept talking and finally my son’s girlfriend said: “Mom, look at the cake!” Her mom walks over, starts reading the top and screams/cries! The cake is decorated in pink & blue dots – in the middle is a sign that says: “We’re having a baby!” There’s also a little teddy bear on top. Both sets of parents have talked about how great our ‘kids’ are together; they are both SUPER happy together – I’m still in shock. From what I’m told, the baby’s due date is March 1st – Wow…just WOW! It’s been TEN years since our last baby – I have since given away almost all baby ‘stuff’. There’s a few things I kept – just in case: small baby swing, big battery-operated swing, some toys. Of course, that ‘news’ got me thinking: lots of visits to Good Will, Salvation Army, etc. for baby items for OUR house. They were talking baby showers and it’s been decided that she doesn’t have that many close ‘girl’ friends to have just a ‘girl’ shower, so they’re going to have a (not sure what it’s called) combined? shower – guys & girls together. Well, my thoughts are: as soon as we find out the sex, it’s time for me to get started KNITTING – FOR SURE! All I kept saying last night was: “WOW – JUST WOW!” They, of course, are THRILLED and so is my grandson; he & his dad want a boy – I & girlfriend want a GIRL! We’ll see what transpires – what a surprise!


Sweet ‘n Salty Ice Cream Sandwiches

32 saltine crackers
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted, sliced almonds
2-3 C. vanilla ice cream, softened 5
minutes at room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 9 X 9″ baking pans with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Line up 16
crackers, salt sites up, in bottom of each
pan. In small saucepan, melt butter & sugar
over medium heat 3-5 minutes until melted –
whisk to emulsify then stir in vanilla. Pour
half of mixture over each tray of crackers;
spread evenly to cover crackers. Bake
10-15 minutes until topping is bubbly &
edges have just started to darken. Sprinkle
chocolate chips over topping & let stand
5 minutes until melted; spread choc. chips
in even layer then top with sliced almonds.
Freeze both pans 15-30 minutes until solid.
Remove from freezer & carefully peel off
foil from bottoms. Line one of the pans with
plastic wrap then put a sheet of the crackers
in it, chocolate-side down. Scoop softened
ice cream onto crackers & spread out in an
even layer. Lightly press the other choc. covered
sheet over top of ice cream layer (choc. side up)
& freeze 6-8 hours until solid, then cut into

(recipe: tiphero.com)

Sauted Zucchini & Sweet Corn

2 T. butter
2 C. zucchini or summer squash,
halved & sliced
1/2 C. onion, diced
1/3 c. green bell pepper, diced
2 C. fresh sweet corn, cut from cob,
(can also use frozen/thawed)
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 T. fresh chopped basil
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in
medium saute pan; add zucchini,
onion & green pepper – saute
4-5 minutes. Add corn & saute
3-4 minutes longer. Season with
salt/pepper & stir in parsley &
basil. Remove from heat & serve.

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)

3-Ingredient Chicken

2 packets dry Italian salad dressing
1/2 C. brown sugar
6-8 chicken thighs (or your choice),
skin on

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a metal rimmed baking sheet
with foil. Place brown sugar & dry
mixes in a large zip-lock bag – shake
to  mix. Add chicken pieces to bag &
shake to coat then place pieces on
prepared sheet, skin sides up. Bake
35 minutes for thighs, longer for
thicker pieces, like breasts – until
juices run clear.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 1/4 C. soft bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce,
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4-5 medium zucchini
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients & one can tomato sauce; mix
well. Stir in tomatoes. Half zucchini
lengthwise; scoop out seeds & fill with
meat mixture. Spray two 9 X 13″ baking dishes
with nonstick spray & place zucchini boats
in greased dishes. Spoon remaining tomato
sauce over top of each. Bake, uncovered, 45
minutes until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle tops
with cheese during last few minutes of
cooking time. Serves 8-10

*Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot
peppers, the oils can burn your skin. Avoid
touching your face.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Mozzarella/Tomato/Basil Frittata

12 large eggs
1/2 C. whole milk
2 T. olive oil
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled/
1 lb. fresh or smoked mozzarella,
2 T. slivered basil leaves
salt/fresh ground black pepper

Preheat broiler
In large bowl whisk eggs with milk.
Pour 1 T. oil into very large oven-
proof skillet (or use 2 skillets with
half the ingredients in each). Place
over medium heat & pour in egg
mixture. Scatter tomatoes, cheese &
basil over top & season with salt/
pepper. When bottom just begins to
brown, place skillet under broiler
just until the top is set, 1 minute or
less. Remove from oven & use a large
spatula to transfer frittata to a
serving platter. Cool about 10 minutes
then cut into wedges & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: cookstr.com)

Country Apple Fritter Bread

1/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. white sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. milk
2 apples, peeled/chopped mixed
2 T. granulated sugar & 1
tsp. cinnamon

1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-3 T. milk or cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray or line with foil then spray
with nonstick spray. Mix brown sugar
& cinnamon in a bowl. In another
medium bowl beat white sugar & butter
using elec. mixer until smooth & creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1-at-a-time, until blended; add
vanilla. Combine & whisk flour & baking
powder in another bowl & add into creamed
butter mixture – stir until blended. Mix milk
into batter until smooth; pour half batter
into prepared pan; add half apple mixture,
then half brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Lightly pat apple mixture into batter. Pour
remaining batter over apple layer & top with
remaining apple mixture, then brown sugar/
cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into
batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through
apples using a knife or spoon. Bake 50-60
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Remove from oven
& allow to cool 15 minutes before drizzling
with glaze.
Mix powdered sugar & milk or cream until
well mixed then drizzle over loaf.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)


I was happy with the way the Greek salad turned
out; I just went on-line and looked over various
salad recipes then concocted my own. Ingredients
chopped romaine lettuce (almost 2 heads)
chopped iceburg lettuce (1 head)
sliced cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pints)
peeled/sliced cucumbers (1 1/2)
chopped green bell pepper (1)
sliced/pitted Kalamata olives (half a jar)
sliced purple onion (small amount – it was
VERY potent!)
feta cheese (about 1/2 – 3/4 C.)
small amount toasted, chopped garlic (2 T. ?)
KROGER brand Greek salad dressing

I made a large amount (am actually thinking
of recreating it for the Sunday School picnic
this Saturday – we’ll see). There was enough
left over for us to leave some at son’s house
AND bring a rather large bowl home (half of
which became my breakfast!) Weight-wise, let’s
just say: I PIGGED OUT! Had steak, asparagus,
2 helpings salad and a very tiny amount of cake,
minus the frosting. Getting on scales today was
‘as expected’ . . . it read: GET BACK ON YOUR DIET,
WOMAN!” hehehe.

Well, now I wear 2 hats: one for a 10 year old
grandson and one for a yet-to-be-born baby
grandchild! AMAZING!



Runnin’ on the wheel . . .


Slowly but surely we’re finally ‘catching up’ with ‘the MESS. My new credit card came in the mail today so that’s a big sigh of relief (no more worrying if I know how to use my ‘other’ card!). We faxed all three reports to the IRS today – another thing done. I’m slowly gaining my confidence back – I’ll tell ya, that kind of thing can really make you feel vulnerable. I just thank the Lord that we have what we have: our health, our family, roof over our heads, food in the house, etc. One of my favorite Bible verses is: Psalm 34:1: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I am trusting that the Lord will get us through all of this; He knew before it happened what the outcome will be – I’m resting in His protection for my family.

Finished the special needs group’s newsletters & ran them to the Post Office; 59 newsletters! After adjusting names on our attendance list, we now have 79 students in the group! I can remember when I started (in the fall, 1993) that there were probably 10 students and about 5 leaders – now we have 79 students and 5 leaders! How times have changed! I texted my friend the head teacher in the group, saying it sure feels strange arranging Thanksgiving and Christmas events NOW! Just reminded one of the leaders that she volunteered to find & bring in a very large box (wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper) to hold our donations of hats, scarves, mittens, gloves & socks for the homeless. We’re also working on the Thanksgiving box which will hold donated non-perishable items for our missionary family. I’m still not (mentally) into FALL let alone the next two holidays! Whee – life’s whizzing by!

Don’t remember if I mentioned our hot water heater died 3 days ago? Husband called a company, they came out & said it needed a major part which they would order & have express shipped so we could have hot water soon. Today (2 days later) I encouraged husband to call & see what’s going on – he did, turns out they don’t MAKE the part anymore! (GREAT! WHY didn’t they CALL US about it???). Husband was frustrated and said: “Fine, just order us a new water heater!” & give me an estimate. They called back & said it would run around $1,400.00 – for a 50 gallon quick recovery. I freaked! I quickly suggested we get a few estimates before agreeing to that price (wasn’t really sure husband would take my advice, but he did.) We’re having one delivered tomorrow at $400 less! After all that phone mess husband said he hates it when his life is so rushed – I piped in with “Welcome to my world since last Thursday!” He said I tend to thrive on chaos and he doesn’t . . . not so sure if that’s exactly true but I’d much rather tackle the problems head-on, as they occur than wait and procrastinate. Enough said about that. . .just finished hand washing all the silverware that’s been in our dishwasher (that’s ALL of our silverware . . .sigh). At least we’ll have something CLEAN to eat with! (Paper plates here we come!).


Pumpkin Streusel Pie

1 9 inch unbaked pie shell
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Streusel topping:
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine pumpkin, sweetn’d
cond’ milk, eggs, spices & salt; mix well.
Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell & bake
15 minutes.
Streusel topping:
In another bowl combine brown sugar & flour;
using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in
butter until crumbly; stir in chopped nuts.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Bake pie for 25 minutes longer then sprinkle
streusel topping over top & continue baking
15-20 minutes longer until golden brown &
filling is set.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

Butternut Squash au Gratin

1 butternut squash
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 small sweet onion, thinly
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. chicken broth
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut squash lengthwise in half,
discard seeds. Cut each half
crosswise into thin slices;
remove peels. Place in large
saucepan – add enough water to
cover squash. Bring to boil on
high heat; simmer on medium-
low heat 8-10 minutes until
squash is tender. Cook bacon
in skillet until crisp, stirring
occasionally. Remove from
skillet reserving 1 T. drippings
in skillet. Drain bacon on paper
towels. Add onions to drippings
& cook, stirring 5 minutes until
crisp-tender. Stir in flour & pepper,
cook & stir 1 minute. Gradually
stir in broth; cook & stir 2-3
minutes until thickened. Remove
from heat & stir in 1 C. cheese.
Drain squash & arrange half in
a 8 or 9″ square baking dish. Cover
with half of sauce; repeat layers
topping with bacon & remaining
cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until
mixture is heated through & cheese
is melted. Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Mexican Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 quart (4 C) chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 C. thick/chunky salsa
2 C. shredded cooked chicken (can
use rotisserie chicken)
1 C. frozen corn
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)

Cook onions in hot oil in large
saucepan on Medium heat 6-7
minutes, stirring frequently. Add
garlic & cumin; cook & stir 1 minute.
Add broth, beans & salsa; stir. Bring
to boil; stir in chicken & corn. Return
to boil; simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally – remove from heat.
Stir in green onions & cilantro. Serve
topped with shredded cheese.
Serves 8 (1 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Angel Pork Chops

6 boneless pork chops
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. Chive & Onion cream cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 oz. pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
seasoned salt, to taste
1 (4 oz) can of mushrooms, drained

1 (12 oz) pkg. Angel Hair pasta or

Mix all ingredients (except pork chops
& pasta) using a mixer on Low speed for
2 minutes. Place pork chops in a skillet
& brown, sprinkling with seasoning salt,
brown on both sides. Place in crockpot,
top with mushrooms then slather the
mixture from the mixer on top. Cook
on Low 4-6 hours until pork is tender.
Serve over cooked pasta. Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Grilled Mediterranean Quesadillas

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 C. pitted black olives, sliced
1/2 C. roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. plain Greek yogurt

Heat grill to Low heat.
Combine first 5 ingredients; spread onto
4 tortillas, leaving a 1/2 inch border
around edges of each. Cover with
remaining tortillas & grill 2 minutes
on each side or until crisp & golden
brown on both sides. Cut into wedges
& serve with yogurt. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Taco Scoops

1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. dry taco
seasoning, divided
1/2 C. water
8 oz. Mexican blend cheese, grated
8 oz. chunky salsa
1 (12 oz) bag Frito Scoops (bite sized)
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

In large skillet over medium-high heat,
cook hamburger until cooked; drain.
Add half pkt. of taco seasoning & water;
continue cooking until water is evaporated.
Add salsa; mix well – add half Mex. cheese &
mix until cheese melts.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix sour cream & rest of taco seasoning.
Place scoops on large baking sheet & fill
each with a little meat mixture then top
with additional cheese. Bake 5 minutes
until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

No-Bake Oreo Truffles
(only 3 ingredients!)

1 pkg. Double Stuff Oreos
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
(you can add up to 8 oz, if desired)
dipping chocolate*

In food processor, chop Oreos
finely. Save some of the crumbs
for garnish. Using hands or spoon,
mash softened cream cheese &
crushed Oreos until well combined.
Roll into 1″ balls & place on waxed
paper covered cookie sheet. Freeze
15 minutes. While balls are in freezer,
melt chocolate according to pkg.
directions. Remove balls from freezer
& dip into melted chocolate – place on
waxed paper to dry. Garnish with
reserved crumbs, if desired before
chocolate sets up. Let chocolate set
up then serve.

*poster uses Almond Bark because it
hardens faster & doesn’t melt as easily
as chocolate chips after it sets up.



Fall is fully here – temp outside at a very
chilly 41 degrees F. and windy/gray. Lots
of leaves in the yard (since our riding
mower is not working, guess they’ll just
stay there – NO, husband wouldn’t consider
raking . . .).

Since all of my major duties are done for
now it’s finish this post, maybe read a
little on Facebook, check my emails then
go relax in my comfy recliner & work on
some of the (6) knitted spa cloths which
will go with my (special needs group)
leaders Christmas presents (have 1 done).

Dinner will be Bbq’d country spare ribs,
probably baked potatoes & some veg –
easy dinner.

Hope you’re WARM, comfy, relaxed and
able to enjoy this day. Remember: Any
time spend ‘above the grass’ is a good