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.


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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/


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.


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


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


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


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.


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).


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


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.


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.


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


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



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.


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


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



Well it started OUTgood, anyway . . .

confused lady

You know how you START out your day and it’s going well? That was my day – earlier. Got the remaining grocery shopping/dollar store/bank trip done in record time. Decided today was the day to do the ‘house bills’; sat down and noticed I had TWO AT&T U-Verse bills, not one – OK . . .turns out one was to remind us that they are going paperless and we have to sign up on their site – that was the ‘beginning’ of the nightmare. Start to go to site & notice my browser is taking FOREVER to do anything – mention it to husband who tells me I haven’t cleaned out my ‘browser history/cache’ in over a month (apparently it was overloaded, causing lag in computer speed). Get that all done, get on their site only to be told I have to log in with a ID # – I don’t have one! OK – they need me to change my log in codes . . . OK, do that; they will SEND ME VIA EMAIL a code to type in to complete this change . . . OK . . . Go to my email, attempt to sign in, keep getting rejected (UGH!) Finally husband hears me ranting and steps in: apparently when I had to change the code for the AT&T U-VERSE account it also changed my EMAIL sign in! UGH!!! Type in the ‘new’ U-Verse sign in password and it worked, got the ID #, proceeded with paying house bills – WHAT A MESS! (Like the TV commercials, next comes the phrase: “But WAIT . . . THERE’S MORE!). Middle son takes a trip to the Secretary of State (while I’m going through the above mess) to take a Commercial Drivers Test. He calls home telling me he needs his Birth Certificate and Soc. Sec. card – he’ll come home & pick them up. OK . . . I go to where I have both stored and NEITHER ONE are there! What does that mean? It probably means that the last time said son needed them (like always) I probably reminded him to NO LOSE THEM and, somehow he didn’t bring them back to me for storage! GREAT! Normally that wouldn’t be a big problem BUT he was born in DETROIT, which means he will have to go THERE to get a copy of said Birth Certificate then go to the Soc. Security office here to get a new copy of his card – great, right? Sigh . . . . (LOVE my son, but with his ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder he’s very scattered/unorganized ALL THE TIME!). Crazy day after all . . . finally got the bills paid, printed out the form for his Birth Certificate application and now (for some BRAIN REST for ME) I’m writing to you! Sorry the recipes are in such big print – can’t seem to be able to change that! UGH!


2-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
with Cider Glaze

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cake mix & pumpkin puree
in large bowl; using elec. mixer beat
until well incorporated (batter will
be very thick). Spray a 7 X 11 X 2″
pan with nonstick spray; pour
batter into pan & smooth out as
best you can. Bake 28 minutes
until toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes in
pan then flip onto a platter.
Combine glaze ingredients in small
bowl – glaze should be thick but
pourable. Add more sugar or cider
if needed. Pour over cake while still
warm (reserve some to pour over
each slice when served. Serves 4=6

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice,
Mix together:
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

This makes enough pie spice to make
one pie


Cinnamon Roasted Butternut

1 large butternut squash, peeled/
seeded & cut into 1″ pieces (about
3 lb or 8 C, cubed)
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
sprinkling salt/pepper
dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with
foil. Toss squash cubes with olive
oil, cinnamon, salt/pepper &
cayenne, if using until well coated.
Place coated squash on baking
sheets & spread into 1 layer. Try
not to crowd them too much or
they will not brown. Cook squash,
turning once, until edges are lightly
browned & centers are tender, 40-45

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Easy Brunch Bake

6 refrigerated buttermilk
12 eggs
1/2 onion, diced
5 oz. Canadian bacon, diced
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 T. chopped chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs, onion, bacon, cheese,
salt/pepper together. Spray a 9 X 9″
baking pan with nonstick spray.
Place biscuits in a single layer in
pan; pour egg mixture over top.
Bake 30-35 minutes; Cool 10
minutes then cut & serve.

(recipe: Tasty – Facebook)

Pizza Casserole (with Ravioli)
 1 bag frozen sausage ravioli
2 jars pizza sauce
1 (8 oz) tub ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 bag
 sliced pepperoni
1 egg
1 lb. hamburger
Italian seasoning
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook hamburger in frying pan,drain &
season with seasonings. Spray 9 X 13
baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread
2/3 C. pizza sauce on bottom of dish;
place frozen ravioli in single layer in
dish. Mix ricotta cheese & egg in a
bowl; add 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese &
mix then spread on top of ravioli.
Sprinkle top with half of hamburger;
pour 1 jar pizza sauce over & layer
half the bag of pepperoni on top.
Repeat layers, starting with ravioli
& ending with pizza sauce. Sprinkle
rest of cheese on top & cover with
foil. Bake 40  minutes. Remove foil
& bake 10 minutes until cheese is
melted & lightly browned/sauce is
bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before


Decadent Coffee Cream Pie

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, separated
1 T. flour
1/4 stick butter
2 servings instant coffee*
1 (regular sized) graham cracker pie
crust (not deep dish)
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. sugar (for meringue)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In medium saucepan combine butter, cond.
milk, egg yolks, instant coffee & flour; stir
constantly over medium-high heat until
noticeably thicker (about 10 minutes).
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla & pour
into shell.
Place egg whites in clean bowl & beat
using elec. mixer until white & foamy.
Add sugar & continue to beat until
stiff peaks form; spoon mixture over top
of pie & spread to cover top, making
sure it touches the edges of the pie crust
all around (to prevent shrinking while baking)
Bake 15 minutes until meringue is golden
brown. Allow to cool then cover &
refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before
serving. Serve cold.

*Enough instant coffee to make 2 cups


Lazy Piergies

15 lasagna noodles, cooked/divided
2 C. mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
garlic salt
onion powder
1/2 C. butter
1 onion, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange 5 lasagna noodles in lightly
greased 9 X 13″ pan. Combine potatoes,
eggs, cheese & seasonings; spread half
of mixture over noodles in pan. Cover
with another 5 noodles; spread with
remaining potato mixture. Top with
remaining noodles. Melt butter in a
skillet over medium heat; saute onion
until tender & pour over lasagna.
Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Let stand
10 minutes before slicing.

NOTE: Recipe can be frozen:
Cover unbaked casserole tightly with
foil & freeze.
When ready to use: thaw overnight
in refrigerator then bake according
to above directions.


Creamy Honey – Bacon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1/8 C. honey
1/8 C. bacon bits

Wheat Thins crackers

Place cream cheese on a plate;
drizzle honey over top then
sprinkle with bacon bits.
Serve with Wheat Thins.
Makes 8 servings


Soft Pumpkin Choc. Chip Cookies

1 C. sugar
1/4 C. oil
1/4 C. apple sauce
1 egg
1 C. pumpkin puree
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
(or lightly grease). Using stand mixer,
combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla &
egg – mix until well combined. In another
bowl stir together flour, baking powder,
cinnamon & salt. In small bowl dissolve
baking soda in milk. Add dry flour
mixture & wet mixture to pumpkin
mixture – mix well. Stir in choc. chips.
Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop,
place mounds of dough on prepared
sheets. Bake 13 minutes.


Nothing else new – weather progressively
colder/rainy – in the 60’s today but supposed
to rain a little later.

Gas prices are staying at $2.39/9 – YAY!

Afghan-wise: I ‘frogged’ (that’s knitting/
crochet term for ripped it out: ie: frogs
make a Riiiiiip, Riiiiiiiip sound) the

 ‘using up some of my old green yarns’
baby afghan – it was just TOO UGLY!
Currently working on the second afghan
I had started: white, small scallops in
pattern rows – originally I was going to
‘frog’ that one, but decided to just keep
going. (After the comment from the lady
at Crisis Pregnancy center about baby
afghans needing to be knit/crocheted
with TIGHT weave – something about
baby fingers/toes getting caught in holes
in patterns, it’s left me second-guessing
ALL my afghan attempts! This one does
have some ‘holes’ but right now I’m at
the point: “To HECK WITH IT – I’m doing
it, anyway!” (getting my ‘goat’ up – if they
don’t like it they can throw it out!).

Sure hope YOU are having a GOOD DAY!
Mine is getting better now that the computer
messes are solved – for the moment (I just
have to remember that my ‘new’ log in code
for my emails is different!)





Patience & Gullibility


Today is turning out to be one of “THOSE” days – went to the bank to clear up a ‘mess’ (will speak on that in a minute) and found that they were short on people, especially the Bank Managers – sigh. I sat down in a chair with three other people and waited; apparently the bank people thought I was with that ‘group’ and just ignored me. I just kept saying (in my head) remember-Patience is a Virtue! Finally that ‘group’ got taken care of, leaving 3 chairs vacant. In comes a little old lady who starts telling me all about her checks and the bank’s mistake (sigh). Wait, wait . . . Manager becomes FREE and I get up – little old lady does an End Run and cuts me off! (sigh – add in more “Patience is a Virture”). Her problem was pretty easy to solve so I think it will only take a few minutes . . . totally forgot that MOST older people are LONELY and just want to TALK! A good 20 minutes later she FINALLY leaves, bringing me to the subject of Gullibility. I know we all have ‘weak’ moments – those times when you do something that (at any other time) you wouldn’t. Insert me about 3 weeks ago: sitting in front of computer looking at Facebook and happen upon a blurb for a weight loss product: Only $4.99 for a TRIAL SIZED Bottle! (Garcinia Cambogia) – GULLIBLE me hits OK! and charges it to my credit card ($4.99) . . . you can see where this is going, right? They sent me the bottle in a plain white box – no paperwork, no return address. (I don’ know exactly why, but that flagged a ‘somethings not quite right here’ thought and I never opened the bottle). Time went by and yesterday I was going over my checking account just to compare my spending to what the bank has and THERE IT WAS: $89.74 charged to my card from that company! YIKES! Of course, I freaked. Today went to the bank to clear it up; fortunately I know the bank manager (for many years) so she knew I wasn’t making this up. Turns out there was another lady a few weeks before me who did the same exact thing! She said that when they went to the web site (IN VERY TINY PRINT) was a ‘disclaimer’ something about you are agreeing to a 3 month membership – cost $89.74 per month! CRAZY! It took the manager a good 25 minutes on the phone trying to get that company (which kept hanging up – it was all recordings and they said they would forward you on IF YOU HIT #1 WHICH WOULD CHARGE YOU ANOTHER $1.99! CRAZY! She finally called my banks Fraud department and they were able to dispute this charge (I get my $$ back, but had to cancel that card – fine with me.)NOTE HERE: the company that did this is listed as PURITYGARCINIA)   YAY, all’s well . . . you’d think!

Episode #2: I leave the bank to go grocery shopping at Meijers. I should mention I have another ’emergency’ credit card which I hardly EVER use. I told the bank manager I’d be using that one until my new regular debit card comes in the mail. Get up to the check out (another LOOOONG wait – remember: “Patience is a Virtue!”). Get all the groceries bagged and use the card – cashier says: “I’m sorry, but that card has been denied.” WHAT? I try it again, this time hitting Debit instead of credit – same thing! I tell her “Believe me – there’s  money in the account!” Finally I end up writing a check for said amount. Cashier tells me: “This happens ALL THE TIME with customers of that bank.” LOVELY – right? You guessed it – another trip back to the bank to see just what’s going on. Get same manager (YAY) and she calls it in – the problem is that since I very rarely USE this card, the bank’s alert system guessed that my card had been stolen so it blocked the transaction. She had to call in to the main branch and get it opened up again. Lesson to me: USE the darned card every so often so this doesn’t happen again!

Two lessons here: #1: ‘PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE” (don’t lose your cool) and #2: Try to listen to that little voice in your head that says: “Don’t DO THIS!” when you’re about to do something that you KNOW might be questionable (like charging your credit card on a site you know nothing about!) I KNOW BETTER! SOoooo grateful the bank was able to clear this up for me. WHEW!  After that I stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee and a pumpkin donut – I really felt I’d earned them this time!


Breakfast “Lasagna”

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked
8 eggs, scrambled
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 sausage links, cooked/cut in half
6 strips bacon, cooked
3 C. spinach

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange 3 noodles
lengthwise in prepared dish. Layer
half of eggs, half sausage, one C.
each cheese, half of spinach; repeat
layer. Top with layer of noodles &
bacon; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses (make sure to cover
noodles completely with cheese).
Bake 15-20 minutes; serve warm.

(recipe: “The Food in My Beard” =

Caramel Apple Crisp Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
12 T. butter, melted*
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 C. peeled/cored, finely chopped
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 1/4 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin pan with
nonstick BUTTER spray. Melt butter
in small pan. In medium bowl mix
graham cracker crumbs, powdered
sugar & butter using a spoon. Slowly
add butter, mix well & evenly
distribute to 24 mini muffin cups;
press mixture on bottom & up
sides to make a ‘crumb cup’. Bake
5 minutes; let cool completely.

Change oven temp. to 375 degrees F.
Mix apples, sugar, brown sugar, flour,
cinnamon & nutmeg together & pour
into an oven-safe baking dish. Bake
15 minutes until apples are slightly

Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees F.

Scoop a teaspoon of apple
mix & place on top of graham cracker
crust cups (keeping crust in muffin
pan). Sprinkle any extra graham cracker
crumbs on top of apples; bake 5 minutes.
Let cool completely. Use a knife to loosen
from pan; place on serving plate & drizzle
caramel topping on each. Makes 24
mini cups.

*You may want to start by using 1/2 C.
butter; melt butter & add slowly to crumbs,
a little at a time making sure it’s not too wet.
You can always add more. You want a soft
dough that sticks together slightly when you
try to form a ball, not a wet dough.


Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip

3/4 C. (Kraft) 3-cheese shredded
cheese, divided
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled,
2 green onions, finely chopped,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/3 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Reserve 2 T. cheese/bacon/
onions for garnish.
Mix remaining ingredients until
blended & spread onto 9 inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
spray. Bake 15 minutes until hot
& bubbly around edges. Garnish
with reserved ingredients.
Makes 12 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Skinny Pumpkin Bars

2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. applesauce
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, mashed
1/3 C. water
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 1/3 C. flour

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon,
baking soda, baking powder & salt. In large
bowl cream butter & sugars together. Add
applesauce & mix well. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating with each addition. Add
egg whites & pumpkin, mix well. Alternate
dry ingredients with water & wet ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips & pour into cookie
sheet. Bake 27-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cut
into bars.


One-Pan Lemon Chicken Bake

4 chicken breasts, boneless
2 T. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3 T. garlic chopped
zest & juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. olive oil
1/3 C. white wine
lemon pepper seasoning

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour olive oil into small saucepan over
medium/low heat. Add garlic & cook 1
minute. Add white wine, zest of 2 lemons,
lemon juice, oregano, thyme, & salt. Pour
mixture into a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pat chicken
dry & place in pan. Brush tops of chicken with
olive oil & sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper
seasoning. Cut lemon into wedges & tuck among
the chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes until chicken is
no longer pink. If chicken isn’t browned enough,
place under broiler for 2 minutes. Serves 4


Crockpot Party Beans

1 1/2 C. ketchup
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8. tsp. pepper
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans- drained/
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern beans,
1 (14 oz) can lima beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) can black eyed peas, drained/

Combine all ingredients (except beans &
peas) in crockpot; mix well. Add beans &
peas, mix well. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours. Remove bay leaves before
serving. Serves 12-14


4-Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 C. sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cake mix, oil & eggs. Pour
sugar in small bowl. Take 1 T. dough,
form a ball & roll in sugar. Place
balls on ungreased cookie sheet
1 inch apart. Bake 10 minutes. Let
cool completely. Makes about
30 cookies.

Note: can use any flavor cake mix;
another poster said they put 1/4 C.
sugar in a ziplock sandwich bag &
added 2 drops food coloring to sugar,
then placed balls in sugar & shook.



Our weather, today, has taken a turn to
more “Fall-like” – it’s 65 degrees F., gray
& lightly raining.

Gas prices are staying at $2.41/9 – I’m
still at a little under half tank, so really
hoping they’ll drop soon – we’ll see . . .

Tonight is Knit Night with my group and,
after the day I’ve had so far, I really think
I DESERVE a night out with the girls! Finished
the Diagonal Box stitch baby blanket (for
Crisis Prenancy Center) and am about 1/4th
done with the other knit blanket. Bought
2 big skeins of baby/sport weight yarns at
Meijers today: one white and one white/
blue twist – we’ll see what comes of those.


Diagonal Box Stitch (crochet)

Hope YOU’RE having a good day – I intend
to just keep plugging away and reciting my
little ‘mantra’ PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE in my
head – keeps me from getting upset/angry/
etc. Life’s too short to let all those little
irritations get to ya, right?



Groovin’ to the Move!


I missed wishing you a Happy Groundhog Day!

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


Smothered Chicken w/Mushroom Gravy

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

1/2 bunch green onion, diced

Hot cooked rice or potatoes

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


Cranberry-Rice Pilaf

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

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

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


15-Minute Creamy Bowtie Noodles

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

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


Mixed Vegetable Casserole

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Tamale Bake

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

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


Blueberry Crumble Bars

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

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

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


Crabmeat Stuffed Salmon

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

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


Banana Pudding Poke Cake

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

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


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

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



Topsy-turvy Day –


Ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to get a handle on it? You HAD things planned you wanted to get done but somehow, things just keep getting more complicated? That’s my day, today. Got up with every intention of doing several ‘business-type’ things, straightening out middle son’s insurance issues (ie: getting him signed up on Obamacare), working at other little ‘things’ – every time I turned around, things got all goofy! Told my husband that I almost feel like I’m procrastinating (something I rarely do) just because I was afraid of which ‘shoe would hit the floor next’! Crazy – I ‘think’ I got most of it done – not entirely sure. Went grocery shopping – think I got everything I intended, but again – not exactly sure. UGH! Not liking that feeling, for sure! (I’m more of a ‘make a list, make sure everything is in order & checked off’ type of person, so chaos is NOT my friend!)


Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 lb),
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) shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled,
sliced green onions, garnish (optional)

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

(recipe: coupon flyer)

Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce

1 T. olive oil
1 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 C. red wine (or chicken/vegetable
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Baked Ziti:
12 oz. rigatoni, penne, or ziti pasta
3 T. olive oil
3 spicy Italian sausages, casings
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded/diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 C. marinara
1 C. mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
salt/pepper to taste

Pour oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add
chopped onion, saute 5-10 minutes; once
translucent, add garlic & cook 1 minute. Add
wine or stock, turn heat to High, making sure
to scrape brown pieces from bottom of pan.
Cook until nearly all liquid evaporates, about
3 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, salt/pepper;
stir well. Cover & simmer
on Low 15 minutes;
set sauce aside for baked ziti.
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Fill large pot with salted water & bring to a boil.
Add pasta; boil 7-10 minutes (until al dente).
Drain & toss with 1 tsp. olive oil before pouring
into a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 T. olive oil in
large pan over medium-high heat to cook
sausage. Add sausage & cook until evenly
browned, breaking apart with spatula or spoon
about 5 minutes; drain/ add to pasta mixture.
Discard grease from pan; add rest of oil & saute
onion, bell peppers, garlic, salt/pepper 3-4
minutes then add to sausage/pasta mixture –
toss everything together. Add marinara sauce,
1/2 C. mozzarella & 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese;
fold everything together. Season to taste, then
pour mixture into lightly greased 8″ X 8″ baking
dish. Top mixture with rest of cheese & bake
20-25 minutes or until cheese is brown &
bubbly. Serves 6-8


5-Ingredient Pot Roast

3 lb. beef chuck roast
1 packet Ranch dressing mix (dry)
1 (dry) Au Jus seasoning packet
6 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. water

Pour water into crockpot; place
meat on top. Sprinkle meat with
Ranch & Au Jus packets, placing
butter on top. Cover & cook on
Low 8 hours, shredding into the
sauce after 7 1/2 hours. Serves 6-8

NOTE: The drippings can be made
into gravy by heating them in
saucepan with a little extra water.
Once boiling, add 1 T. cornstarch
that has been mixed with 1 T. cold
water. Whisk mixture into pan until
it boils again & turn down heat to
simmer until thickened.

Raspberry Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed

1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. sugar
1 (6 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries
(OR) 1 heaping cup fresh
1 1/2 tsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven according to
temperatures listed on pie crust.
Prick bottom & sides of pie crust
with a fork & bake crust accordg.
to pkg. directions; cool completely.
Pour 1 T. cornstarch & 1/4 C. sugar
into medium saucepan; stir. Add
frozen raspberries (or fresh), 1 1/2
tsp. water & lemon juice; stir. Over
medium-high heat, bring mixture
to boil, stirring constantly. Let boil
a few minutes until desired
consistency is reached (should be
just a little thinner than pudding).
Remove from heat; add 1 T butter,
1/2 tsp. vanilla & dash salt. Let
butter melt a little, then stir in.
Let mixture cool completely (if you
are in a hurry, you can pour it into
a bowl & refrigerate). Place softened
cream cheese in stand mixer or
medium-sized bowl; beat until smooth.
Add 1 C. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla,
dash salt; mix 2 minutes. Add 1/2 C.
sour cream & 3 C. thawed Cool Whip;
mix until well combined, 2 minutes.
Pour filling into cooled crush (might
have a bit leftover, depending on
how deep the pie crust is). Once
topping has cooled, pour over filling.
Refrigerate 1 hour, then serve.


Pizza Nachos

Garlic Cream Sauce

1 1/2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. milk
pinch salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

your favorite crispy tortilla chips
garlic cream sauce (above)
1/4 C. diced onion
1/2 C. sliced pepperoni, cut into
bite sizes
1 to 1 1/2 C. Colby-Jack cheese,
(optional toppings):
1/2 C. sliced black olives
1/2 whole green bell pepper, chopped
sliced mushrooms or any other pizza
toppings you may like

Melt butter & olive oil on medium to low
heat; once melted, toss in garlic; stir.
Raise heat to medium or medium-high;
add cream & milk; stir – continue stirring
until it comes to a boil. Add salt, pepper &
chili flakes, Parm. cheese; continue
stirring (sauce will thicken quickly, keep
stirring). Once thickened, remove from heat
& set aside.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Using an oven-proof dish sprayed with
nonstick spray, add chips to bottom of dish;
drizzle garlic sauce over chips. Top with
onions & pepperoni and other toppings
of your choice.Top with shredded cheese; cook
until cheese is bubbly & veggies are warmed
through, about 7 minutes.


Chicken Stuffed Crescent Rolls

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
2 (12 oz, ea) cans chicken; drained
1/3 C. green onions, chopped
salt & pepper
2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Big & Flaky
crescent rolls
4 T. melted butter
2 C. crushed corn flake crumbs

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

Place cream cheese in large mixing
bowl or stand mixer. Add chicken, green
onions, salt & pepper – using 2 forks,
mix all together (or mix on Low 2 minutes
until all ingredients are combined, if using
stand mixer).Spray 2 large cooking sheets
with nonstick spray.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Open roll pkgs. Gently pull
one triangle of dough from roll; spray a
rolling pin with some nonstick spray &
roll triangle out just a bit. Scoop about
3 T. chicken mixture into center of dough,
roll from bottom up to top making a ball,
pressing corners in & making sure all
filling is securely inside dough. Place
corn flakes in food processor; pulse until
they resemble coarse crumbs; pour into
a loaf pan. Flatten stuffed dough ball a
little & gently dunk into 4 T. melted butter.
Dip buttered roll into corn flake crumbs,
making sure both sides are coated well.
Place roll onto prepared pan making sure
there is about an inch space between each
roll. Bake 20 minutes until dough is cooked
& a bit crispy & chicken mixture is heated
In medium saucepan combine chicken soup,
3 T. sour cream, 2 T. butter & 1 T. milk; whisk
ingredients together. Heat sauce over medium-
high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over
baked rolls. Makes 16 rolls

NOTE: recipe can be made ahead & frozen:
assemble & bake rolls as instructed. Allow
to cool then carefully place in freezer-safe
ziplock bags. When ready to use, remove
from bag & microwave 2-3 minutes or place
in 350 degrees F. oven 10 minutes until
heated through.
Sauce does NOT hold up to freezing well –
best made fresh when ready to serve


Crab Guacamole

2 diced avocados, coarsely
1/4 C. diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded/minced
2 T. fresh cilantro
3 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. canned lump crabmeat, drained
& flaked

baked chips, crackers, tortilla chips,
etc. for serving

Mix all ingredients together;
refrigerate, if desired, before serving
Makes 2 C. (or 6 servings – 1/3 C. per


Texas TNT Dip

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
2 lb. Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 C. salsa
2 T. chili powder

In saucepan over medium heat, cook
ground beef about 8 minutes until
browned; drain. Add remaining
ingredients; reduce heat to Low,
cook until cheese is melted & mixture
is warmed through, stirring
occasionally. Makes 8 C.

Crockpot Taco Soup

2 lb. ground beef
2 onions, diced
2 (15.5 oz, ea) cans pinto beans
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed/
1 (15.25 oz) can corn
3 (14.5 oz,ea) cans diced stewed
tomatoes with green chilies (like
2 (4.5 oz,ea) cans diced green chiles
1 (1.25 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz) pkt. Ranch salad dressing mix

tortilla chips
shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
sour cream
diced green onion

In skillet brown hamburger with
diced onion; drain & add to crockpot.
Add rest of ingredients (except
toppings) to crockpot; stir to combine.
Cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4.
Serve in bowls with toppings of
choice. Serves 6-8


We have still been very fortunate
with our weather – understand that
New York is due for a real nasty storm
coming this evening. We’re still in a
cold front (averaging 25 degrees each
day – but clear & sunny). With the sun
shining, our accumulated snow & ice
on driveway & roof is almost gone! YAY!
(I know – don’t hold your breath – there’s
always more where that came from and
it’s only the end of January!).

Started reading the Alphabet series of
murder/mysteries by Sue Grafton; they
are so named because she started her
first book with “A is for Alibi” and went
from there: “B is for Burglar”, “C is for
Corpse”  – just finished “C” – not sure if
she ever finished the alphabet, but am
pretty sure she’s close to the end so I’ve
got LOTS of reading ahead of me.

Next month is the last meeting of the other
knit group (the one that does hats/scarves/
mittens/gloves for the four homeless shelters
in our area). I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be with
them next ‘season’, I have a tendency to be
a bit compulsive when it comes to jumping
on the charity bandwagon (I can hear my
friends saying, in jest, “NO! Not YOU, Pammie!”)
and this last ‘season’ I tended to get a bit too
wrapped up in trying to make as many hats &
scarves as I could possibly make – which, in
turn, made me rather cranky and feeling
stressed. (Yep – I’m crazy like that). We’ll see
how I feel about it in the Fall when, I’m
guessing, they take up the mantle of crafting
for the shelters again. I had enough scrap
yarn to probably make another scarf but
had to actually tell myself “NO! STOP!!!
You’ve done ENOUGH for now!” so then I
picked up my bag of knitting for the cancer
center chemo caps. I have one about 1/4th
done – that will keep me busy for awhile.
Some of my ladies in my knit group are
already working on baby blankets for this
September’s Detroit Veteran’s Baby Shower!
One lady told me she already had two made,
another said she’s set her goal at FOUR and
has three already done! Wow! (I haven’t even
STARTED THINKING about making them yet!)

Tomorrow I have the privilege of going out
to lunch with two of my high school friends;
one I rode the bus with in high school and the
other was in Girl’s Choir with me in our junior
year – both are in my Adult Bible Sunday School
class at our church. We like getting together
every couple months just to chat – we’re all
almost the same age; one is a widow, the other
cares for her husband who has some major
medical issues – we all have kids, so we can
relate! Tomorrow we’re going to Big Boy; they
have good food at reasonable prices and none
of us is actually going for the FOOD, anyway!
The location of said restaurant is VERY close
to both JoAnn Fabrics AND Michael’s stores –
both of which sell yarn! I ‘might’ check them
out just to see if I’m ‘inspired’ by some baby
yarn to start my first Vet’s baby blanket –
we’ll see.

One of my members/friends in my knit group
is expecting their first child in June; they’ve
tried for a long time – she & I have spent much
time talking over what it’s like to NOT be able
to become pregnant (we tried for 8 years: many
meds – single & double fertility pills/surgeries,
etc. and ended up adopting, so I understand.)
It is a HUGE blessing that she & her husband
are now expecting in June – they’ve been
through a LOT. Knowing that she loves to knit
and has already made up quite a few hats,
snug sacks, socks, etc. for her baby, I’m NOT
going to be one to knit her a baby blanket. I’ve
decided to knit up a toy bunny (I made one
last year and posted the photo), a set of knit
baby blocks (yep, did that, too & posted) and
then maybe some baby headbands (like the
ones I knit last year for the Vet’s shower). We’ll
see where this takes me – another one of my
ladies & I are planning a baby shower for her
sometime in the beginning of May. Not sure
just what gifts the other members of the knit
group will create for her, that’s why I’m not
doing a blanket. She’s kind of like a little sister
to me and I’m just THRILLED for them – she
just found out last week it’s going to be a
girl! Anyway, we’ll see where tomorrow’s
‘yarn checking out/shopping’ goes!

Hope you’re having a GREAT day! Keep
keeping on – take care of yourself & your



Chilly Temps Tuesday!


It’s chilly here – right now it’s around 19 degrees F. but the wind chill makes it feel like around 5 degrees F. – it’s so cold that the leader of my special needs group called to cancel our usual meeting tomorrow. We have more group homes now with more students in wheelchairs and when the temperatures get really low it’s very hard for them to maneuver students & their chairs/chair lifts on vans/pushing them up ramps, etc. – much easier to wait for a warmer night. (example of the effect of cold temps on pizza deliveries: youngest son came home last night and said his store did a total of around $80 for the entire day/night – not good – he gets paid regardless, which is good, but bad for tips).

Tonight is my Knit/Crochet group and I KNOW those ladies will brave the cold temps. just to come sit, chat, eat/drink, and knit/crochet, so it looks like I’m going ‘out in the cold’ anyway – sigh.  Right now I’m sipping part of my Christmas present from oldest son: he got us a Keurig 1-cup coffee maker and also the K-cups of Tim Horton’s coffee AND Panera’s Hazelnut Creme coffee (yum!). I’m not sure if our local Panera HAS the hazelnut flavor, but will have to check tonight – it’s nice & creamy (and I LOVE hazelnuts!!!). Great choice, son!

We had another ‘fun experience’ last night (seems this is becoming a ‘every winter’ thing): Husband was up late playing his video games on his computer, decided to ‘turn in’ for the night – went in the bathroom – toilet wouldn’t flush – frozen pipes! To attempt to make this story short – our main water pipe is directly under our cement front porch steps. There is a 4″ hole cut in the cement from when the original well was here (before we lived here). We keep a large plastic black ‘caldron’ over the hole (in summer it holds geraniums) to cover the hole. This also keeps any water/cold air from going directly onto the water pipes. It seems that (somehow) the caldron was moved about a foot OFF of the hole, allowing rain & cold air onto the pipes (this happened LAST YEAR, too!) Dear husband had to get out the hair dryer and slowly warm up the pipes to allow water flow, replace the 4″cut foam plug (which had fallen into the hole under the stairs) and replace the caldron over the hole in the cement. All this happened around 4:45 a.m.! Let’s just say he was NOT a happy camper (his grumbling woke me up!). Water was restored within a half hour; he’s still angry about ‘who would have moved that caldron!???) Who knows – go figure. Ah, the fun life I lead sometimes, eh? To add to the ‘fun’, around this same time youngest’s cell phone went off: it seems a friend of his ran out of gas and needed someone to bring him some – out went son, outside went husband. 1 1/2 hours later all was fixed/solved and everyone was home, safe & sound. Sigh . . .


 Too Easy Creamy Apple Dessert

1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk (like Eagle Brand)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place butter in a 1 1/2 qt. baking
dish & melt in oven. Remove from
oven & sprinkle graham cracker crumbs
over butter; mix well then press into
bottom of dish to make crust. Mix
sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese
& lemon juice in a bowl; spread evenly over
crust. Spoon pie filling evenly over creamy
layer; bake 25-30 minutes until set. Cool
slightly. In small dish, mix nuts & cinnamon;
sprinkle over pie filling & serve warm or cold.


Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
6 large flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 C. shredded taco cheese or
2-3 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
4 oz. sour cream
jarred hot sauce, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground meat & onion; drain.
Add taco seasoning mix & stir in
refried beans. Mix soup & sour
cream in separate bowl. Spread
1/2 sour cream mixture in bottom
of a casserole dish. Tear up 3
tortillas & spread over sour cream
mixture. Place the meat/bean
mixture over that; add a layer of
cheese. (you could add some hot
sauce now, if desired). Repeat
layers. Sprinkle cheese over top &
bake 20-30 minutes. Serves 8-10


All-Day Creamy Cheesy Chicken

1 1/4 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/4 C. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup (or
8 oz Velveeta or 1 1/2 C. shredded
Cheddar cheese)
garlic powder, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in pot. In mixing
bowl, combine soups, sour cream &
garlic powder; mix well then pour over
chicken. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours or High 4 hours.


Chicken ‘n Peppers Pasta Skillet

2 C. penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into short,
thin strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into short,
thin strips
1 small onion, chopped
2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.
Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick
spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook &
stir 2 minutes. Add vegetables; cook 6-8 minutes
or until chicken is done & vegetables are crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; add to chicken
mixture along with spaghetti sauce. Cook 5 minutes
or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Top
with mozzarella; cover. Remove from heat; let stand
1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted; top with
Parmesan. Serves 6, 1 1/3 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

 Biscuit Cinnamon Roll

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk
biscuits OR 1 tube Pillsbury Grands
buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 C. pancake syrup
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans, optional
1/4 C. chopped almonds, optional
Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray.
Combine the melted butter and syrup
in a small bowl and set aside. In another
bowl, combine the brown sugar,
cinnamon, and nuts (if desired). Place
about half of the syrup mixture in the
bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half
of the brown sugar mixture on top. Lay
the biscuits on the bottom of the pan,
overlapping edges (closely together) to
form a ring. Top with remaining syrup and
sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for
approximately 20-25 minutes or until
golden brown. Cool for 1 minute in the
pan, then invert onto a serving platter
and enjoy!
** I ended up using 1 1/2 tubes of the
Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
(1 tube didn’t seem like enough) and
baked it for about 30 minutes. It needed
a bit longer to bake since I used more.

(not sure where I found this recipe!)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Casserole

1 lb. bacon, fried & crumbled (save grease)
2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs
2 1/2 T. ranch dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 lb. bow-tie pasta, cooked al dente
2 jars alfredo sauce
1/3 C. evaporated milk or regular milk
3 roma tomatoes, diced
4 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces; coat with
1 1/2 T. ranch dressing mix. Saute in skillet
with 1 T. bacon grease with peppers & garlic.
When chicken is completely cooked, drain
grease, return chicken & vegetables to skillet.
Pour milk into jar of alfredo sauce then into
skillet with chicken. Stir in 1 tsp. ranch
seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes. Layer
casserole with remaining 1/2 jar alfredo on
bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Layer 1/3 each: pasta,
chicken sauce & tomatoes. Use 1/4 of fried
bacon; spread 1 C. cheese over top & repeat
2 more times. Cover with alfredo sauce, 1 C.
cheese & remaining bacon. Bake 30 minutes.
Serves 4-5


Spinach Cheese Bars

1 pkg. frozen, chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed dry
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together all ingredients in bowl,
spread in to a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes. Cut into squares
& serve. Can be eaten cold.


Zesty Italian Soup

1 1l2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
small pieces
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans diced tomatoes,
with juice
2 (15 oz., ea) cans kidney beans
1 C. bottled Italian salad dressing*
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 C. beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta

Add all ingredients to crockpot
except pasta. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & add to soup; stir. Serves 6-8

*You can use any type bottled Italian
salad dressing: fat free/low fat/organic,



That’s all the ‘fun’ for today – hope
you are nice & warm, able to enjoy
these winter temperatures while
sipping something warm (maybe?),
relaxing and having a GREAT day!



Of Cops and Coupons


Today was my day for getting things done; started by baking 2 loaves of gingerbread and a dozen blueberry muffins (for our 3 neighbors) – that went well. Next was a trip to Kohl’s – a store I rarely shop. They have great deals and I still needed a few more presents for the guys so I went. I always make sure I (1) know where I parked and (2) always – ALWAYS lock my car! The shopping took about 45 minutes plus a good 35 minutes just standing in line to check-out. Got all done, walked out to the parking lot and couldn’t find my car! I knew EXACTLY where I parked – walked the entire lot twice, praying all the way: “Lord, please find my car!” (Side note here: husband & I spend about 2 1/2 – 3 hours yesterday moving all of middle son’s belongings from his apartment – almost all of that ‘stuff’ was in the back of my car – believe me, I was more panicking for HIS belongs than my car.) Finally I called my husband who told me to go inside the store and wait for him; meanwhile he called the local police for that area. I waited a good 20 minutes, easy – no husband, no police. Husband had called me back to say that the dispatcher asked if I knew where my car was, “Are you sure she didn’t go out another exit?” (I was SURE – I KNEW where I parked it!). While just standing and waiting a thought kept inkling in my brain: “Are you REALLY sure?” Finally I asked the next woman who came through the doors if the road out front was M-59? She said, No and pointed to the right – OH BROTHER! Believe me – I sprinted around the corner of that store and hit the PANIC button on my car (I had done this numerous times before and not heard that beep,beep from my car – that’s why I was sure it was stolen!) Yep – you guessed it: “Beep! Beep!” Oh my goodness was I embarrassed. I spotted the police car in front of the store and he was walking up to me while I was walking up to him. I yelled: “I found it!” He said; “I found it, too!” Of course, I apologized tons to him – he said they get numerous calls every day from people who do that – go out another exit of a store and can’t find their car. What a relief, though! You better believe I told the Lord TONS of times how grateful I was.  Crazy – eh? (husband arrived after the policeman had left, so we sat in husband’s car while I de-stressed (read that: cried/bawled my eyes out in relief), then we both headed for home. All I could think (at the time) was this has been a very stressful Christmas time already with son in hospital, but to add a stolen car & contents to it – impossible!

After calming down I took a trip to Walgreen’s drug store; I know I’ve told you before how visits to drug stores can reap you bargains in grocery items (today peanut butter, Miracle Whip, garbage bags). Finished up almost all of the stocking stuffers; because this year has been so stressful and I’ve been a little more scattered than normal, I found out I totally forgot 4 of my ‘teen helpers’ for my special needs group! I usually get them something little, just as a thank you; I was glad to pick up some nice things at Walgreen’s to finish that off (I already told them that I’ll give them their presents when we return to the group January 7th).

How are your gas prices lately? Earlier today I drove by my regular Clark station and their lowest price was $2.19/9 – about 2 hours later I drove by again and it’s at $2.14/9! Pretty nice! Add the low gas prices to our weather really being great and those are two blessings I’m very happy to receive since we’re driving back & forth to the hospital every other day (about 60 miles, one way).


Spiced Pudding Squares

1/2 C. butter, melted/cooled
1 egg
1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1 C. cold milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 T. toffee bits

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 3 ingredients just until blended;
press onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 15-17 minutes
or until toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean; cool completely. Beat dry pudding
mix, milk & spice in medium bowl with
whisk 2 minutes. Stir in Cool Whip until
blended; spread over crust. Refrigerate
2 hours. Sprinkle top with toffee bits
just before serving. Makes 24 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Queso Dip

3/4 lb. ground beef or sausage,
2 lb. block Velveeta cheese
2 chopped tomatoes & jalapenos*
1 (7 oz) can diced roasted chiles,
canned or fresh
diced onions
diced green peppers (optional

Corn chips, tortillas, etc. for

Saute onion & green peppers in
a little oil in a skillet until lightly
brown; spoon into bottom of (mini)
crockpot or dish you will prepare
dip in. Spoon cooked meat into
crockpot. Cut Velveeta into large
cubes; add to crockpot. Top with
chopped tomatoes, jalapenos &
cook on Low heat until cheese has
melted & ingredients are well
combined – stir occasionally.

*Ro-Tel works well for this


Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

1 can seamless crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

With your hand mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese and
vanilla together until smooth in a medium sized bowl.
Unroll the crescent roll sheet. Stretch dough out slightly.
It should be in the shape of a rectangle. Spread cream
cheese mixture over the top of the crescent sheet,
leaving a gap at the edge about 1/2 inch. Sprinkle
chocolate chips on top of cream cheese. Roll the
crescent sheet up tightly and wrap in cling wrap.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

When chilled preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent
sticking. Slice the crescent roll into 1/4″ slices. Bake on
prepared cookie sheet for 12 -14 minutes until crescent
roll appears golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack; eat warm or room temperature.

(recipe: Facebook)

Mock Pizza Casserole

2 lb. meat: ground beef, Italian sausage,
ham, pepperoni (your choice)
2 (24 oz, ea) jars spaghetti sauce
24 oz. PLUS – Mozzarella cheese (how
ever much YOU want)
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese
Veggies: green pepper, onion, olives,
mushrooms, spinach,or your favorite
pizza toppings
1 (1 lb) bag noodles (bowtie, macaroni,
etc. your choice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil noodles to al dente. Cook all meats
(except pepperoni). Grease a 9 X 13 baking
dish. Divide cooked noodles, sauce & cheeses
into thirds. Layer #1: noodles, sauce, cheese,
1 meat & veggie Layer #2 noodles, sauce, cheese
1 meat & veggie Layer #3 noodles, sauce, cheese,
1 meat & veggie. Bake 40 minutes; let rest 15
minutes to set up, then serve. Serves 8


Cranberry-Orange Pork Roast

2 T. oil
1 flat boneless pork loin roast (4 lb)
1 (14 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 C. Catalina salad dressing
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. zest and 1/4 C. juice from 1 orange

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.
Add meat; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or
until browned on both sides. Transfer meat to
crockpot. Mix cranberry sauce, dressing & soy
sauce; pour over meat & cover with lid. Cook
on Low 4-5 hours. Remove meat from crockpot,
reserving liquid. Cover meat to keep warm. Whisk
remaining ingredients in small bowl until blended;
stir into liquid in crockpot. Cover & cook on High
10 minutes or until liquid is thickened. Slice meat;
place on platter. Drizzle lightly with sauce and serve
with remaining sauce. Serves 16

FOR BEST RESULTS: Do not cook meat on HIGH

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Coconut Balls

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 stick butter
14 oz. coconut
2 C. chopped nuts
2 lbs powdered sugar

Ghirardelli Chocolate Candy Making Block
(or your choice) (I only melt half at a time)

Mix all ingredients except chocolate. Chill
& roll into balls. Let stand 1 hour in refrigerator
after rolling into balls. Dip each candy into
melted chocolate.

(recipe: Facebook)
Braised Paprika Chicken

3 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken thighs/
drumsticks/and, or breasts) skin
3/4 tsp. coarse salt, divided
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 T. cooking oil
1 T. butter
4 C. finely diced onions
pinch of sugar
1 C. diced red bell pepper
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. sweet paprika (Hungarian)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1 T. flour
2 t. finely minced fresh parsley, dill and/or

Pat chicken dry with paper towels; season with
1/2 tsp. salt & pepper. Heat oil & butter in large,
heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onions & sprinkle with sugar; cook, stirring
frequently, until onions are very soft & light brown,
10-15 minutes. Stir in bell peppers, tomato paste,
paprika & crushed red pepper. Add chicken & stir
gently into onion mixture. Sprinkle with marjoram &
add broth. Cover with tight-fitting lid & simmer over
medium-low heat until chicken is very tender, about
50 minutes. Just before chicken is done, whisk sour
cream, flour & remaining 1/4 tsp. salt into a small bowl
until smooth. When chicken is done, remove to a plate.
Stir sour cream mixture into sauce; return to simmer &
cook, stirring, until sauce coats the spoon. Reduce heat
to low, return chicken to sauce & reheat, about 1 minute.
Serve garnished with parsley, dill and/or chives, if desired.

* If you are using a combination of thighs, drumsticks and
breasts, cut each breast in half crosswise to make pieces
about the size of a thigh. And if you buy whole legs,
separate the drumsticks & thighs. When pieces are about
the same size, they’ll cook at about the same rate.

NOTE: You can prepare this ahead of time. Prepare through
to “JUST BEFORE CHICKEN IS DONE, cool to room temperature
& refrigerate up to 1 day. Finish recipe before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: diabetic connect/Facebook)

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

1 lb. large strawberries
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3-4 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
graham cracker crumbs

Rinse strawberries & cut around tops;
remove tops & scrape out part of
insides (some may already be hollow
inside) – to hold filling. In a mixing bowl,
beat cream cheese, powdered sugar & vanilla
until creamy. Add mixture to a piping bag or
ziplock back with corner snipped off. Fill
strawberry insides with cheesecake
mixture. Once they are filled, dip top
of berry in graham cracker crumbs.
NOTE: If not serving immediately, refrigerate
until serving.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)
3-Ingredient Lemon Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (1/2 C.) stick unsalted butter,
1 can lemon pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
In a bowl, combine softened butter with
dry cake mix; mix until crumbly. Measure
out 1/2 C. of mixture; set aside. Using rest
of mixture; press into bottom of prepared
pan. Spread it out evenly and pack down
with your hands. Spoon lemon pie filling
onto crust; spread out evenly. Sprinkle
reserved crumb mixture over top. Bake
20-25 minutes; top will start to turn very
light golden brown. Cover & store in

(recipe: the

Turkey Meatball/Spinach Tortellini Soup

10 oz. ground turkey
2 T. seasoned breadcrumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped parsley
1 large egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 T. unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 small Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
9 oz. refrigerated spinach cheese tortellini
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3 C. loosely packed baby spinach
fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for

Combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg,
parsley, garlic, salt & Parmesan in bowl.
Using your hands, gently mix all ingredients
well until everything is combined. Form into
small meatballs, about 1 T. each – it will make
about 20-22 meatballs. In large nonstick pot or
Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Add celery, onion, carrot & garlic; cover & reduce
heat to low; cook 8-10 minutes until vegetables
begin to soften. Add chicken broth & parmesan
rind; increase heat to medium-high & bring to
boil. Season with black pepper, to taste. Reduce
heat to medium & gently drop in meatballs; cook
about 4 minutes. Add tortellini; simmer until cooked
accordg to pkg. directions, about 7 minutes. Once
cooked, remove Parm. rind (if using) & add baby
spinach. Stir to combine & serve topped with
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Serves 6



Breakfast Biscuit Bake

10 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1 (16 oz) tube refrigerated breakfast
biscuits (Pillsbury flaky)
4 green onions, chopped
1 C. shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
4-6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
(and/or cooked sausage, crumbled)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix eggs & milk in large bowl. Cut each
biscuit into fours (use kitchen shears); add
to bowl.* Add all other ingredients to bowl;
mix well; pour into greased 9 X 13 pan.
Bake 30 minutes.
*poster adds biscuits to bowl while cooking
meats, to let biscuits absorb more egg/milk.

NOTE: Can be made the night before; leave
mixture in bowl, refrigerated & covered with
plastic wrap. Morning of serving; stir well,
then pour into prepared pan & bake.

(recipe: Facebook)


Well, that’s my tales for today – crazy,
happy and everything in between. Our
son is still improving – today he started
on milkshakes! It is all in the Lord’s hands
and He’s healing him day-by-day.

Hope you have a wonderful day!



PS: Always remember to keep in mind
that there might be more than one
entrance to a store! Hehehehe!