Will wonders never cease?


Wednesday found me opening a box (see above) filled with 83 knit 7″ X 7″ squares from Grace UMC in Indiana, PA. Let me explain: many years ago I used to have a afghan ministry for children in Ghana, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Durban, South Africa. People from all over would knit/crochet squares and mail them to me; I, in turn, would sew them together to make afghans which would be sent to the above named countries. See my site for details:


It’s been four years since I closed the afghan ministry due to my getting breast cancer – it was quite a surprise to receive afghan squares now! It takes 30 squares to make a blanket/afghan and I don’t have the contact people now who would be able to transport any. This got me to thinking: I ‘could’ sew them into four lap blankets for the chemotherapy patients at my cancer center! So that’s what I’m doing. I have two completed (20 squares each) and two more to go – my next appointment at the center isn’t until September so I have time. I wrote a thank you letter to the lovely ladies at that church explaining what I’m doing with their squares  – like my mother used to say: “Will wonders never cease?”


Rhubarb Custard Bars

2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. cold butter

2 C. sugar
7 T. flour
1 C. heavy whipping cream
3 eggs, beaten
5 C. finely chopped fresh or
frozen rhubarb, thawed/drained

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. heavy whipping cream,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl combine flour & sugar; cut
in butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Press into greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.
For filling combine sugar & flour
in bowl; whisk in cream & eggs.
Stir in rhubarb & pour over crust.
Bake 40-45 minutes until custard is
set – cool. Topping: beat cream
cheese, sugar & vanilla until smooth;
fold in whipped cream & spread over
top. Cover & chill then cut into bars.
Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 3 dozen


(These are different than the ones I posted

last post)

Bacon/Jalapeno/Cheese Bombs

1 (16 oz) tube biscuit dough (8 large
6 oz. mozzarella cheese (can use
cheese sticks)
16 oz. cooked bacon (ends & pieces),
cooked & crumbled
3 large jalapenos, seeded/stem removed
& minced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Split each of biscuits in half to make 16
flat discs; divide cheese into 16 equal
portions. Add 1 chunk cheese, about
1/2 tsp. bacon & jalepos on dough disc
then wrap ends around to create a ball;
be sure to fully seal. Dip each ball into
any remaining bacon/jalapeno then
place on a baking sheet with extra
bacon/jalapenos facing up. Bake
10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Serve immediately so cheese is melty.
Makes 16 cheese bombs

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Crockpot Tex-Mex Chicken


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. Taco seasoning
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 C. frozen corn

Cooked rice – for serving

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped cilantro – garnish

Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken; add
salsa and place in crockpot. Cook, on Low,
3 hours. Add beans, bell peppers – stir to
combine. Cook another 3 hours or until
chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken
& cut into bite-sized pieces; return to crockpot
& stir to coat. Add corn-cook another 15 minutes
or until corn is warmed through. Serve over
cooked rice; top with shredded cheese & cilantro.
Serves 4

(recipe: Richard-slowcooker digest)

2-Ingredient Oreo Bark
(comment: Tastes like
Cookies ‘N Cream)

18 oreo cookies, crumbled
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with parchment
or waxed paper. Melt entire bag
of choc. chips in microwave (or
double boiler). Melt & stir 30
second increments if microwv’d)
After it’s melted, mix in 3/4 of crushed
oreos; pour onto paper & smooth
out with spatula. Sprinkle top with
remaining crushed oreos. Place in
freezer about 20 minutes then break
into pieces.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

3- Ingredient Quick Pasta Salad

1 box pasta noodles (your choice –
like bow tie)
1 bag fresh broccoli slaw  mix
salad dressing of your choice

Cook pasta al dente; drain & rinse
in cold water. Drizzle pasta with
salad dressing, just enough to
moisten then toss. Chop broccoli
slaw into small pieces & toss into
pasta. Drizzle more dressing,
to taste. Cover with plastic wrap &
refrigerate at least 2 hours. Test
pasta after 2 hours of chilling; if
more dressing is needed, add it &
return to fridge until ready to serve.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

White Bean Dip

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans,
2 cloves garlic
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/3 C. olive oil
1/4 C. (loosely packed) fresh
Italian parsley leaves
freshly ground black pepper

pita bread wedges

Place beans, garlic, lemon juice, oil &
parsley in food processor. Pulse until
mixture is coarsely chopped; season
with salt & pepper, to taste. Place
mixture in small bowl. Makes 6
Serve with pita bread wedges


Our weather is still seasonally great:
84 degrees F. – went grocery shopping
earlier and came home a little earlier
than planned simply because I had ice
cream in the car and didn’t want it to

I’m a little frustrated – I wrote out an
entire blog post this morning with
just about the same content (except
all the recipes got wiped!). Somehow
I accidentally wrote it on the Ghana
site instead of here – when I discovered
it, I erased the one on the Ghana Project,
not thinking that it would wipe everything!
Sigh – live & learn, right?

Hope you’re having a great day – stay cool!





WE GOT AN A+ for this project! Amazing!

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

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

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


Apple Bundt Cake

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

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

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

(recipe: moms2moms.com)

Bacon & Onion Foil Packet Potatoes

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

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

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

(recipe: Facebook)
Herb & Cheese Stuffed Roasted Chicken

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

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

*can substitute thyme leaves for rosemary

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Balsamic-Glazed Carrots

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spiced Pepper Steak

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

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

(recipe: Cheryl-Slowcooker digest)

Lemon Breakfast Cake

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

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

(recipe: Sylvia-justapinch.com)

Mexicana Chopped Salad

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

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

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Incredible Pimento Cheese Spread

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

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

(recipe: Shelley-justapinch.com)

Mini Lasagnas

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

(topping: 1 C. grated mozzarella cheese)

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

(recipe: simply-gourmet.com)

Chocolate-Raspberry Individual 'Flans'

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

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

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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

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

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

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




It’s been a busy few days here and stress levels have been high. Middle son took his car in to be repaired Monday (a friend has a repair shop). He rented a car from Hertz for 5 days, returning it yesterday. To sum up the ‘mess’ – driving that son to work, youngest back & forth to school & work, Friday night special needs group Gym Night – all busy & stressful BUT . . . this morning topped the charts. Pick up for finished car: 9 a.m. – driving almost an hour to get it (thank heavens, husband did the driving!). Middle son had a bank envelope with $400 cash to finish paying car repairs. I get a call from husband – did he leave the envelope on the diningroom table? I searched – looking on porch, driveway, etc. – no envelope. Called the bank (they stopped there to use walk-up ATM) – no one reported finding an envelope but they’d keep our information just in case – it was worth a shot, I thought. Time passes, son arrives back home with repair-guy friend. Son moves lots of papers on diningroom table and BEHOLD – he finds the envelope! THANK YOU. LORD!I had looked, but didn’t move any paperwork (silly me). Stress levels for middle son/husband and myself have been at their peaks today – SOooooooo glad it’s leveled off.  What a start to a day, eh? Have to drive youngest to work around 3:45, but that’s less than 5 minutes away, so that’s a no-brainer. Other than that, I’m good for a relaxing day (I hope). Got the small order of 4 small skeins of the new yarn I mentioned a few blogs ago – it knits up looking like the old cotton chenille bathrobes – really soft & cosy. Now have 17 baby hats done – had to take a break yesterday – overstressed the right wrist muscles. So glad to finally have talked to the lady at the hospital who heads up the program. Her voice was very calm, her demeanor very easy-going: “No rush! Whenever you’re ready to bring them, give me a call & I’ll meet you.” Interesting! It’s funny – I love to knit (but you KNOW that) – and baby hats are fun because they don’t use a lot of yarn AND you can vary the colors countless ways. I have a large garbage bag full of various bits of baby-weight/sport weight yarns, none of them big enough to knit or crochet a larger object, but just right for baby hats. If I have about a half-skein, that’s enough for a regular-sized baby hat. If it’s less yarn, it becomes a premie hat. If it’s just a little bit, it becomes the brim for either regular or premie hats! All the way around it’s a Win/Win situation! Don’t remember if I mentioned before that a friend of mine who works at a nursing home called to tell me she has a very LARGE amount of yarn, am I interested? SURE! Anything I can’t use I can pass on to the knit group ladies and I know THEY ALWAYS are happy to get free yarn! (original pick up was supposed to be Thursday, but she called to say that her manager decided to let the nursing home residents have the ‘first shot’ at the yarn, before me. No problem – they SHOULD get first shot!) Next scheduled yarn ‘viewing’ and pick up is Tuesday – I’m excited! Her original description to me was: a dishwasher BOX and several large garbage bagfuls of lots of rather expensive yarns -(WOO HOO!) It reminds me of when I first started “The Ghana Project“; another friend who also works at a nursing home (not the same one) called with that very same offer – I ended up bringing home about 3 very big garbage bags of yarn – that was the beginning. When I finally closed “The Ghana Project” I gave most of my yarn to the Cancer Center along with all the remaining squares I had, for them to make lap robes for the chemo patients. I kept three big plastic tubs of yarn for myself (I still have those). Don’t know about you (and how ‘yarny’ you are) but . . . even though I have more than enough yarn right now for myself and the baby hats/chemo hats projects – the prospect of new yarns excites me! I’m going to try to be very selective this time through – but can’t guarantee not picking up a few skeins of ‘nice/expensive yarns’ for some scarf projects for gifts in the future. (She DIDN’T ask if I was only picking it up for charity work! – she just said: “Can you use it?”) Excited for Tuesday!

So glad for the weekend to relax a bit – next week is shaping up to be somewhat like this last one was. Monday night is our first (of the Fall) Ladies Fellowship at church. It’s a 2 hour get together; light supper, short devotion and a little time to just chat – just what women love doing! This time it’s bring an appetizer; I’m good at coming up with entrees or desserts, but appetizers? I’ve decided to cruise Gordon Food Services (where my son used to work) and see what they’ve got to offer in their frozen appetizer section. (Son assures me they carry quite an assortment). Yes, I could go through my recipes (some I’ve posted here) for appetizers, but I just don’t feel like going to a lot of work making them. I have my really tasty Bean Dip, but it’s rather spicy and most ladies don’t go for that. Oh well – we’ll see how that goes on Monday night.

Because I was giving my wrists a rest from knitting, grabbed one of the 50 cent used paperbacks I bought a few weeks ago – stumbled onto: “The Winner”by David Baldacci. This one grabs you right from the first page – premise: What if someone could guarantee you would be the next big lottery winner?  Keeps you on the edge of your seat; main character is a very poor young unwed mother, raising her less-than-a-year old baby by waitressing. Lots of intrigue, murder, action, suspense and I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book! Just checked with the library – he’s written LOTS of suspense/murder/mystery books – looks like I’m going to be reading for quite awhile! I LOVE finding a new (to me) author I like!

Having looked through about 8 recipe site postings, there’s lots of football-weather/fall soups, stews, hug-your-ribs foods. (Still have a few summer salads to give you – hope you don’t mind).


Peanut Butter Meltaway Cake




3 C. flour

2 eggs

2 C. sugar

1/2 C. cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 C. vegetable oil

2 tsp vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 C. water



3/4 tsp vegetable oil

1 C. peanut butter

(can use more if you want)



1/2 C. butter

1/4 C. cocoa

1 lb. powdered sugar

6 T. sour milk *

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine cake ingredients; bake

in 9 X 13 pan 40 minutes or until

toothpick inserted into center

comes out clean. Cool completely.

Mix together peanut butter & 3/4

tsp. cooking oil. Spread this

mixture on top of cooled cake;

refrigerate 20 minutes.

Heat in a saucepan: 1/4 C. cocoa,

powdered sugar, sour milk, butter &

vanilla. Mix this until smooth &

bring to a boil. Let cool a few

minutes; pour & spread over peanut

butter layer. Cool & keep refrigerated.

*Souring milk:


Add 1/2 tsp. vinegar to the milk.

NOTE: this should thicken the milk

mixture when you’re boiling it – you

might need a dab more vinegar.

(recipe: SKHunter-justapinch.com)


Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash Boat

1 spaghetti squash (2 3/4 lb.)

1 C. Kraft Mexican-style shredded

Four-Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia

1/3 C. finely chopped red pepper

2 green onions thinly sliced

1/4 C. bacon bits, crumbled

Preheat oven 4oo degrees F.

Pierce squash in several places with tip

of sharp knife or fork; place in shallow

microwaveable dish. Microwave on High 10-15

minutes or until squash is softened, turning

every 5 minutes. Cut squash lengthwise in

half;remove & discard seeds. Scoop squash

strands into large bowl. Add cheese, peppers

& onions; mix lightly. Spoon into 1 squash

shell; place in shallow baking dish, discard

remaining squash shell. Bake 28-30 minutes

or until heated through, topping with bacon

for last 3 minutes. Serves 6, 1/2 C. each

NOTE: To keep filled squash shell upright:

Form a sheet of foil into a ring, then

place around bottom of squash to stabilize.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Cabbage Pouches

1 medium head green cabbage, quartered

1 stick butter, quartered, each quarter

cut into thirds

1 tsp. salt, divided into quarters

2 tsp. grated ginger, divided into


2 tsp. rosemary, divided into quarters

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Cut aluminum foil into 4 large squares,

large enough to hold 1 cabbage quarter

each, with room to fold.

Lay each cabbage quarter on foil, on

cookie sheet. Place 3 pats butter on

each quarter. Sprinkle spices over

butter on each quarter. Seal foil

into pouches. Bake 1 hour.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Italian Shrimp & Scallop Salad

5 cloves garlic – minced

3 T. fresh parsley, chopped

3 T. fresh celery leaves, chopped

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 C. corn oil

2 C. frozen ‘petite’ peas

2 lb. bay scallops

2 lb. small shrimp, peeled &


In small bowl, stir together

garlic, parsley, celery leaves,

salt & corn oil; set aside. Bring

large pot of lightly salted water

to a boil over high heat. Pour in

peas; return to boil. Stir in

scallops; boil 3 minutes then add

shrimp. Continue cooking 1 1/2

minutes more. Drain well, then cool

in refrigerator 30 minutes. Once

cooled, toss with garlic dressing

until coated. Refrigerate at least

3 hours or overnight before serving.

Toss again just before serving.

Serves 8

(recipe: Lillian-justapinch.com)


Zesty Chicken Barbecue


6 frozen, boneless,skinless chicken breast
1 (12 oz) bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in crockpot. In a
bowl, mix BBQ sauce, Italian salad
dressing, brown sugar & Worcestershire
sauce; pour over chicken. Cover &
cook 3-4 hours on High, or 6-8
hours on low.

(recipe: Mary Free- Marys Recipe



Yam & Potato Salad

4 white potatoes, peeled & halved
4 sweet potatoes (yams) peeled &
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley
salt & pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes & yams until fork
tender; drain & rinse in cold
water, then dice. Put both in
a large bowl. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well. Add
more mayonnaise & sour
cream, if desired. Chill 1-2
hours before serving.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Apple Slaw w/ Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

3 T. honey
2 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
4 C. tri-color coleslaw mix
1 C. chopped Gala or other red-
skinned apple
2 T. sliced green onions

Stir together honey, vinegar, mustard,
& salt in large bowl until combined.
Whisk in oil until blended. Add all
remaining ingredients; toss gently
to mix. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat)

Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. vegetable oil

4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,


1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-

high heat. Add zucchini, cook 7

minutes or until tender, stirring

occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,

salt & pepper. Break up tomatoes with

spoon; cook 2 minutes more or until

hot. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)


Bacon-Swiss Spinach Salad

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp,
drained, crumbled; reserve drippings
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled & sliced
3 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pcs,
using both white & green parts
1/4 red onion, sliced thin & separated
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
3 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, about
half bag
2 large handfuls romaine hearts salad
mix, about half bag
2 T. bacon drippings
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/3 C. water
3-4 T. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce, spinach, all
vegetables & Swiss cheese in a
large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk
together bacon drippings, vinegar,
water, oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Drizzle dressing over greens
mixture. Scatter crumbled bacon &
sliced egg over top. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as an entree or
4 as a side salad.

(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ 07/06/12)

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 C. long-grain white rice
2 T. butter
1 medium zucchini, grated on
large holes of grater
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

Bring broth to boil in medium
saucepan. Stir in rice; cover & reduce
heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes
or until most of liquid has been
absorbed. Remove from heat, add
butter & zucchini, cover. Allow to
stand 5 minutes, then stir. Stir in
cheese, season with salt & pepper.

(recipe-Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Italian Sausage Green Beans
(oven or crockpot)

1/3-1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
4 (8 oz) cans sliced mushrooms (don’t drain)
1/4 -1/2 tsp. onion or garlic powder
1/2 tsp. basil or oregano
3 (1 lb ea) cans Italian-style green beans,
2 of the cans drained
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Brown sausage in large skillet & drain.
Add all ingredients except green beans;
mix thoroughly; simmer 15 minutes.
Add green beans & mix. Bake in a
covered casserole dish 30 minutes
to 2 hours; or in crockpot on Low
up to 3 hours.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Tropical Dump Cake

2 (15 oz, ea) cans tropical fruit salad

in fruit juice,
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. butter or margarine

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Reserve 1/2 C. fruit juice
from can; pour remaining juice & fruit
into crockpot. In small bowl, stir
cornstarch into reserved fruit juice
until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
Pour cornstarch mixture into crockpot;
stir to combine. Sprinkle brown sugar
over fruit. Sprinkle cake mix over fruit;
cut butter into small pieces; place evenly
over cake mix. Cover & cook on Low
3 hours or until cake is set when
lightly touched in center. Spoon warm
cake into dessert bowls, spoon fruit
mixture over cake. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Horsey-Crab Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large or Ex. Large eggs
1/2 C. crab meat
1/2 – 1 tsp. horseradish
3 T. cream cheese, room temp.
3 T. mayonnaise, or to taste
3 T. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped scallions, for garnish

Boil eggs approx. 10 minutes, Drain
hot water, adding cold water to pot
until eggs are cool enough to peel.
Peel eggs; slice eggs in half lengthwise,
removing yolk. Add yolk & all other
ingredients to mixing bowl; mix well.
Add filling to cooked egg white halves.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
Makes 24 deviled eggs.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

All-Day Apple Butter

5 1/2 lb. apples, peeled, cored & finely
4 C. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Place apples in crockpot. In medium
bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves & salt. Pour mixture over apples; mix well.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour. Reduce
heat to Low, cook 9-11 hours, stirring
occasionally, until mixture is thickened
& dark brown. Uncover & continue
cooking on Low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
Spoon mixture into sterile containers,
cover & refrigerate or freeze.

(recipe: Terry-Slowcooker Digest)

Weather-wise we’re still in the beginning stages of Fall – cooler weather but not too cold (sweater weather) – today at 11:50 a.m. it’s 59 degrees & sunny. We’ve had some lovely afternoons – blue skies, big fluffy clouds, gentle breezes with some of the leaves beginning to fall from the trees. (I know that we’re headed for cold gray days with rain, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got). Stopped at the local fruit/veggie stand the other day for another batch of big tomatoes (for BLT’s) and some nice zucchini (hate to buy it, knowing that years ago friends were almost bribing their friends to take some of the excess zucchini). I have a rather simple recipe for what I call Zucchini Casserole – husband, middle son & I like it (youngest doesn’t); that’s on the menu soon. Also have some really nice pork country spareribs that will have to be cooked pronto – got them on a mark down.

Hope you’re enjoying a nice day – remember to relax a little, smile a little (even laugh!) – we only have one ‘go’ through this life – we might as well ENJOY it! (right???)



It’s a GOOD Day!

 (photographed on floor of cancer center just before turning them in)


Ten more chemo caps turned in; also found an additional eight afghans upstairs that I thought I’d already donated to “The Ghana Project”, so those went to the Cancer Center as lap robes for chemo patients (they get really cold undergoing treatments). It’s a windy but sunny, CHILLY 32 degree day out there – I’m feeling great! Just got back from seeing the Oncologist (Primary cancer doctor in charge of my case) and he said I look good and he’s very happy with my total progress with the breast cancer. I got the prescription for ‘the pill’; he said not all patients gain weight on it, so – we’ll see; I go back in 3 months. Thank you, Lord, for my good outcome going through breast cancer – I can’t say that for all women I’ve met who have this same diagnosis – that is a special blessing I will never forget. Just as a ‘treat’ I stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee for my husband & I (LOVE their coffee – tastes great and gives you a lift as well!).

Now that the chemo hats are out of my house, think I’ll finish up the baby sweater today (and maybe put a photo here as well). Today is sort of ‘open ended’ – nothing particular planned (except the ‘usual’ driving & picking up youngest son for color guard practice). Am thinking, since it’s really chilly, of making potato soup – that might drive away the chilly – what do you think? Our fridge is still a haven for leftovers – one serving of meat & potato pie, maybe 2-3 servings of spaghetti & meatballs and (acquired last night) about 2 servings of Chicken Alfredo (pasta with chicken & alfredo sauce), plus rolls & tossed salad. At least we won’t ‘starve’!

Well, friends, looks like I’ve got another batch of recipes here to pass on (reminder: these are NOT my personal recipes, I have NOT tried them – I just receive 5-6 recipe list postings and sort through them to find ones that sound easy & tasty).


 Cake Mix Applesauce Muffins

1 box yellow cake mix

1/4 C. flour

2/3 C. water

1 C. applesauce

1/2 – 1 C. chocolate chips

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together.

Spray muffin tins with non-

stick cooking spray. Spoon

batter into tins and bake

15-20 minutes. Makes 18 muffins.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe



Chicken Noodle Casserole

2 cans chicken breast meat,

packed in juice, drained & flaked

1 (12 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles,

cooked & drained*

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 tsp. soy sauce

1/3 C. milk or water or chicken stock

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. onion powder

salt & pepper, to taste

16 Ritz crackers, finely crushed

2 T. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

*Cook noodles according to pkg. directions,

draining 1 minute BEFORE fully cooked.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, both cans

soup, cheese, soy sauce, milk (or water/stock),

garlic & onion powders; season with salt &

pepper as desired. Carefully fold in noodles.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick

spray; pour noodles into prepared dish. Mix

melted butter & cracker crumbs; sprinkle over

noodle mixture. Cover & bake 45 minutes or

until bubbly. Serves 6 generously.

(recipe: Victoria-Marys Recipe Exchange)


Honey Candy

2 C. honey

1 C. sugar

1 C. heavy cream

Combine all ingredients & cook

slowly to a hard-ball stage.

Pour onto buttered platter.

When cool enough to handle,

grease hands & pull until a

golden color; cut into pieces.

(recipe: Susan-Marys Recipe



Crockpot BBQ Chicken

4-6 pieces boneless, skinless

chicken breasts (frozen works)

1 bottle BBQ sauce (your choice)

1/4 C. vinegar

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 C. brown sugar

1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix BBQ sauce with other

ingredients; place chicken

in crock. Pour sauce over &

cook on low 4-6 hours.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Yummy Bars

2 large tubes Pillsbury crescents rolls

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,


1 C. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 C. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, place cream

cheese, 1 C. sugar and vanilla

extract; mix well. Open 1 tube

of rolls, unroll (but do not

tear apart). Place in bottom

of 9 X 13 baking pan. Spread

cream cheese mixture over rolls.

Place other roll of rolls on top

of cream cheese. Melt butter &

pour over crescents. Mix 3/4 C. sugar

& cinnamon together;

sprinkle on top of bars.

Bake 30 minutes. Let cool &

cut into bars.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe



Cranberry Squares

1 (18.25-oz.) box white or

yellow cake mix

1 (16-oz.) can cranberry sauce

(jellied or whole-berry; jellied is

easier to slice)

1 stick (4 oz.) butter

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Grease and flour a

9×13-inch baking pan.

Put one half of dry mix in pan; pat

it evenly on bottom of pan. Slice

cranberry sauce and layer the slices

over the cake mix in the pan. Dot

with half the butter; pour the remaining

cake mix evenly over the top.

Dot with the remaining butter.

Bake at 375 F. for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into

2-inch squares when cool.

Yield: 2 dozen 2-inch squares


Optional Extras: 3/4C. coarsely

chopped walnuts or pecans OR

1 T.grated orange zest and 1/2 C.

mandarin orange sections,

drained and coarsely chopped.

If using nuts or orange sections,

sprinkle them evenly over

cranberry-sauce layer.


Variation: Use spice cake mix

instead of white or yellow cake mix.

Note: If not sufficiently calorie-laden

to suit you, slice an 8-oz. block of

cream cheese in 1/4-inch thick slices.

Arrange evenly over the

cranberry layer before adding the final

half of the cake-mix layer.


Cabbage Casserole

1 (2 lb.) head green cabbage,


1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

1 C. crushed potato chips

1 can condensed cream of

mushroom soup( Campbell’s

or a thick brand)

Additional 1/2 C. shredded

cheese and 1/2  C. crushed

chips for topping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook cabbage in about 2 C.water over

medium heat until tender; drain. Add

cheese, potato chips and soup.Place

in 9×13 inch casserole or Pyrex dish

sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Top with 1/2 C. cheese and

1/2 C. crushed potato chips.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Serves 4-6.


Best Nacho Dip Ever

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. sour cream

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. cocktail sauce

1 C. mild salsa

3/4 C. diced green onion

3/4 C. diced red bell pepper

3/4 C. diced green bell pepper

2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 C. shredded lettuce

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

In a blender or food processor, thoroughly

mix cream cheese, sour cream and

mayonnaise. Spread mixture evenly in

bottom of a medium serving dish.

In individual layers, top  mixture with

cocktail sauce, mild salsa, diced green

onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper,

shredded Cheddar cheese and shredded

lettuce. Arrange cucumber slices

around  edge of serving dish.

Chill at least 2 hours before serving.


Beef Nacho Casserole

1 lb. ground beef

1 1/2 C. chunky salsa

1 (10 oz) can whole kernel corn,


3/4 C. creamy salad dressing (ie:

Miracle Whip)

1 tsp. chili powder

2 C. crushed tortilla chips

2 C. Colby cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large skillet over medium-high

Heat, cook ground beef; drain.

Remove from heat & stir in

Salsa, corn, mayonnaise & chili

Powder. Pour mixture into a

2 quart casserole dish: layer

beef mixture first, tortilla chips,

cheese (repeat twice), ending

with cheese on top. Bake 20

minutes uncovered until cheese

is melted & dish is thoroughly

heated. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Allrecipes.com)


Crockpot Sour Cream Bacon


8 bacon slices
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of
mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. flour

You can prepare this one of two ways.

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook
over medium-low heat until
some of the fat is rendered.Be sure that
bacon is still pliable and not crisp; drain on
paper towels.If you use this method, reduce
the flour to 1/4 cup.(Or don’t cook the bacon

and proceed with the recipe.)
Wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless
chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot.
In medium bowl, combine condensed soups,
sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk
to blend; pour over chicken.Cover crockpot and
cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon
are thoroughly cooked.You may want to remove
chicken and beat sauce with a wire whisk
so it is very well blended.Pour sauce over chicken.
Serves 8


Beans & Barley 3-Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Sauce (see recipe below)

1 pkg (8-10) 10-inch corn or flour tortillas

2 diced fresh tomatoes plus

1/4 cup finely diced seeded tomato (divided)

1 bunch sliced green onions

1/2 C. sliced black olives

6 oz. grated Cheddar cheese

6 oz. grated queso blanco cheese

6 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

1 large avocado

2 tsp. lime juice

1 tsp. minced, seeded jalapeno

pinch minced garlic

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch black pepper

1-2 T. coarsely chopped cilantro

sour cream for garnish

Enchilada sauce:

1 C. finely diced onion

(about 1 small onion)

3 cloves minced garlic

2 T. canola oil

1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes

2 tsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. salt

pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Prepare Enchilada Sauce:

Saute onion and garlic in oil until onions

are translucent but do not let garlic

burn. Add remaining ingredients;

simmer about 10 minutes.


Cover bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking

dish or 12-inch round baking dish

with 1 cup Enchil. sauce.

Add about half of tortillas, overlapping

slightly to completely cover pan.

Combine cheeses in medium bowl.

Remove about 1 1/2 cups of mixed cheeses;

sprinkle over tortillas. Add about half

sliced green onions, half of 2 fresh

diced tomatoes, and half of olives.

Top with layer of remaining tortillas and

remaining sauce.Bake casserole, covered,

25 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately

add remaining cheese & vegetables. Bake

uncovered, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make guacamole: Mash

avocado until smooth. Add lime juice,

jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, remaining

1/4 cup diced tomato and cilantro.

Remove casserole from oven; let set

about 10 minutes. Serve garnished with

sour cream and guacamole. Makes

8-10 servings.

(recipe: Joan-1_Comfort_Food



Chocolate Peanut Grahams


4 whole cinnamon graham

crackers, broken into


1/4 C. creamy peanut butter

1 C. semisweet chocolate or

milk chocolate chips*

3 tsp. shortening

2 t. chopped peanuts or

colored sprinkles

Spread half of cracker

quarters with peanut

butter; top with remaining

crackers. In a microwave-safe

bowl, melt chocolate chips

and shortening; stir until

smooth. Dip cracker sand-

wiches into chocolate;

place on waxed paper lined

pan. Sprinkle tops with

chopped nuts or sprinkles

while chocolate is still

wet.Refrigerate until

chocolate sets. Makes

8 ‘cookies’

*Can also substitute white

almond bark instead of

chocolate;sprinkle tops

with light dusting of

ground cinnamon

(recipe: Lisa B/DDJ




Well, that’s the ‘baby sweater’ – I think sometimes I set goals for myself

that are higher than what I should – the sweater is ‘done’ but not

as ‘cute’ as I’d hoped; oh well . . .

Hope you’re having a great day, it’s still very

chilly here (husband just gave me the report

that it’s supposed to go down to around 27

tonight with frost warnings – oh, great . . .



Gettin’ ‘er Done!

The past two days have been a jumble of organizing yarn, squares and distribution.  Today my husband & I drove the remaining completed afghan squares and 2 garbage bags full of yarn to the cancer treatment center (if you’d read earlier posts, they’re are going to be used to make lap robes for the cancer patients). When I had dragged all the boxes and bags of squares out of the boys bedroom and stacked them in the kitchen my husband came out and said: “What is all THIS?” (although I’d told him about the whole ‘getting rid of the squares’ thing – since he was doing the driving- I thought he’d seen and understood the ‘project’). Seems he didn’t fully understand what ‘over 300 squares’ looked like! To say he was shocked would be putting it mildly! Repeat this process when the lady who’s agreed to take up the project first spotted the many boxes & bags in our car – shocked would be an adequate word to describe the look on her face!  (I also remembered to ask her if she would be the ‘go-between’ person if I made more chemo caps and she said that was a good idea, too.) The squares are now gone and I’ve finally dug through all my yarn ‘stash’ – now I guess I was the one to be a bit surprised at just how much yarn I had accumulated!  Over the years various people and groups gave me yarn to use on “The Ghana Project” and I had it all stored in 4 large bins and several bags.  Yesterday found me digging through each one of the bins and dividing up the ‘who gets what’ (a) 2 bags to a friend who can use the yarn, she makes all kinds of things for other people (b) 2 bags to a lady at church who has been great at knitting squares for me (even buying yarn at yard sales with her own  money and knitting it up) and when she knew I was swamped sewing squares together, she then not only knit squares but then sewed them into afghans for me! (c) a bag of yarn for a friend who’s just learning how to loom hats (d) 3 garbage bags to various people on FreeCycle (e) a box of yarn for my knit group ladies to go through, and lastly – today I put what remained that I’d saved for my own knitting projects (premie hats & chemo caps) into the bins. To say I was surprised would be putting it mildly – I had NO idea I still had 3 full bins of yarns! That’s one HUGE stash of yarn when you consider all I kept and all I gave away! (Oh, and 2 bags of yarn to the lady receiving the squares, for them to use sewing the squares together!). Whew! Just glad that all that yarn and squares was given to help others and it will still continue to bless others in the future – YAY!

A little ‘amusement’ for you: check out this site “World’s Biggest Yarn Stash?”


It’s raining today and chilly – first day it actually ‘feels’ like Fall (57 degrees, grey and gloomy). I dug out my winter shoes (but didn’t put away the sandals, yet), put on socks, long pants, a blouse with long sleeves AND a cardigan – I’m chilly! Yesterday also found me taking my youngest son to the doctor for tonsillitis; he’s now on an antibiotic, so hope he’s feeling better – his tonsils were HUGE!

Tomorrow is my surgery and it’s looking like it’s going to be an ‘action-packed’ day: get there 7 a.m., go through 2 dye injections in Radiation, then a wire location (to guide the surgeon) then surgery at 10; I’m supposed to be home by ‘dinner time’ they tell me, if all goes as planned. I’m ‘good to go’ as far as if you’re wondering how I’m doing; I just want to get this over with and on with the radiation part – I’m sort of looking at this like a Speed Bump in my life – they slow you down and get in your way, but you make your way PAST THEM!  A while ago I ran into this saying:

Thought for the Day: “That bump in the road you hit used to be a mountain but God got to it first and knocked it down for you.”

Have some really good sounding recipes for you!


Banana Upside-Down Cake

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 bananas, sliced
1 (18.25 ounce) pkg. banana cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 (8 inch) pans. Combine butter
and brown sugar, divide and spread evenly between
the 2 pans. Sprinkle pecans evenly over both
brown sugar mixtures, arrange banana slices
evenly over each. Prepare cake mix according to
pkg. directions.  Divide batter into the 2 pans.
Bake 40 -45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted
into center of  cake comes out clean. Turn cakes
upside down on a platter or plate, gently tap bottom
and carefully remove pans, replacing caramel
mixture that sticks to pan.
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Yellow Squash Casserole

4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
35 buttery round crackers,crushed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash and onion in a large skillet
over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of
water.Cover, and cook until squash is tender,
about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a
large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together
cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker
mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a
small bowl,mix together eggs and milk, then add
to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter,
and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a
9×13 inch baking dish.Sprinkle with remaining
cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until
lightly browned.
(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes
8 oz. cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of potato soup
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a
large bowl, mix hash browns, ham, cream of
potato soup, sour cream, and Cheddar cheese.
Spread evenly into prepared dish. Sprinkle with
Parmesan cheese. Bake 1 hour, or until
bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately.
(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Aunt Rose’s Famous Green Tomato Casserole

3 large green tomatoes, skin on
1 large yellow onion
Bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice tomatoes
and onion. Grease a 1- or 2-quart casserole. Layer
tomatoes and onions. Salt and pepper each layer.
Cover with a thin layer of crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake 30-45 minutes. Serves 4.
(recipe: Mississippi Cooks: Featured Cookbook

March 2003 issue of Today in Mississippi


Zucchini Spice Coffee Cake

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/4 milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup marg. or butter, softened

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 13 x 9
pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup;
level off. In large bowl, combine all coffee
cake ingredients at low speed until moistened;
beat 2 min at med. speed. Pour into prepared pan.
In small bowl, combine all topping until
crumbly; sprinkle over batter.
Bake 35-40 min. in oven until top springs back.
(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)


Watermelon Pineapple Salsa 

2 C. finely chopped seeded watermelon 
1 C. crushed pineapple, drained well 
1 C. sweet onion, minced 
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro 
Zest of orange and lime
1/2 C. orange Juice
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste 
A good serving of freshly ground black pepper.
Stir watermelon, pineapple, and onion together 
with cilantro, orange juice, and hot sauce in a 
bowl.  Cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes 
before serving.  Longer is better.
NOTE from poster:
The recipe didn't call for the lime juice, 
but I loved the flavor.  I also zested the 
orange  and lime before I juiced them.
(recipe: RDJ-8/19/11)
Hope you're having a great day - stay
warm & dry!

PS: A friend sent me a card today and I wanted to 
share the verse she quoted:
Psalm 57:1 
"Be merciful to me, oh God, be merciful to me
for my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of
Your wings I will make my refuge until these
calamities have passed by."

I am trusting in my Great and Wonderful 
Lord to get me through this and safe
on the other side; until I write to
you again!




New Beginnings

Hello again, Dear Friends!

Today was my visit to the surgeon and so far, the news is all good. My surgery will be either Tuesday or Thursday of next week (beginning of September). In the building where my doctors are is a library for patients and their families. I decided to stop by there just to see what they had available. While there, the librarian came in and I felt the need to ask her if she knew of any cancer groups that might be able to use knit & crocheted afghan squares – she said YES! She works with several schools and said they are always looking for good projects to help cancer patients – they would love the opportunity to sew squares together to make lap robes! She said she could also use some of them to keep in the library for patients and their families who drop in and are looking for something to do while waiting. I’m thrilled! Now I can pass on the extra completed squares to those who will continue the blessings to others who need comforting! I wrote a letter to the nurse who first gave me the idea for The Ghana Project and told her that I’m closing that ministry. I’m still working on the idea of knitting chemo caps and will ask her if they could use donated caps for patients as well. I love to knit and this will give me a ‘project’ to work on.

That’s the news from here, today. Hope you’re having a great day!



More New Directions

Gorgeous weather here lately – in the mid 70’s & sunny!

Hello, Everyone!

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve always been a ‘sucker for a good cause’. Today while finishing up knitting the gold scarf which will be my friend’s Christmas present I got to thinking of what I told my other friend who’s going through this cancer battle with me: “We’re Sisters in the faith fighting cancer together!” Well, that got me to thinking about new directions; I have written to the lady who is in charge of delivering the afghans I made to Ghana, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone and told her that I won’t be doing that for awhile, due to the cancer treatments. Now that I’ve reached the goal I’d set (for myself) of 300 afghans, what am I going to be doing in the future and what am I going to do with the rest of the already knit/crocheted squares?  Don’t get me wrong-I love doing this but my once ‘love’ has almost become a drudge (for want of a better word) – pushing myself to get a large number done to take to the hospital for delivery to those countries. What if – what if there might be a need for those kinds of afghans here – locally-for (perhaps) women struggling in their battle with cancer?  What if I could shift that direction and start over (so to speak) with a new direction? And maybe call it: “Sisters in the Faith Fighting Cancer Together?”  Well, dear friends, that’s what’s rolling around in my brain now; we’ll see where it all goes. Tomorrow I meet with the surgeon for the first time (I’m guessing there will be more than one meeting before surgery – I could be wrong, we’ll see). I’m going to ask her if she knows of any groups out there that might be able to use afghans for people with cancer in the area.

On the crafting end of it – yesterday I stopped in JoAnn Fabrics and picked up more yarn (I hear you – MORE yarn? Girlfriend- you’ve got more yarn than you could ever use!!!). You see, my new ‘cancer buddy’ (guess I should give her name, as she’s in this with me) Louann and I share more than just our diagnosis’s – she also loves yellow as her favorite color – but when we got to discussing colors, it seems her FAVORITE color is Magenta – also MY favorite color! (She said she doesn’t tell people about magenta because most people either don’t know what it is, or think it’s actually purple-it’s not, it’s more of a purply-pink, almost raspberry). She said that when she was a little girl, first day of school when you get a new box of crayons (we’re talking the 64 box or larger), she’d pull out the Magenta crayon and hide it, so it was always new – she loved that color that much! Well, my ‘go-to’ yarn store had just that color in a very soft yarn – YAY!  Because it’s a rather thin yarn, I’m going to pair it with a very fine, very soft yarn I have (white) and make her a Magenta hat (loomed).  Also, while strolling the yarn isles at JoAnn’s they have a short little half-aisle of marked down ‘goodies’ and I spotted a wicker basket full of these goofy little skeins of rust-colored fun fur!  My immediate thought was: what can I do with this?  I bought 4 ‘balls’ and am going to pair that with some of the gold soft yarn leftover from my friend’s Christmas scarf for another hat for Louann!  (One thing I’ve learned from being friends with other women who have had chemo is: they need something to cover their heads at home, to keep them warm and so that if someone knocks at the door they don’t have to run and grab their wig or answer the door bald, hence my idea of lots of ‘at home’ chemo caps for my friend.  Now I’ll be anxious to see her reaction to this newly invented-in-my-head gold/rust fun-fur creation! The fun fur is a very thin/fine yarn with these almost feathery bits randomly placed coming out of it. When knit up, it produces a sort of fluffy look – I think it will be FUN! (I’m anxious to get started creating it!).

Well, dear friends, it’s on to RECIPES!!! YAY!


Bean, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dip

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)

Place first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until
smooth. Combine bean mixture and remaining ingredients
in a small bowl. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
(recipe: Recipes du Jour 6/28/11)

1 graham cracker crust
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1- 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
10 oz. Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese, milk and orange juice with mixer. Fold
in cool whip. Pour into crust & refrigerate at least 4 hours.
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
Slow Cooker Beef Taco Bake

 1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup — (10 3/4-oz.)
1 C. thick and chunky salsa
1/2 C. milk
6 flour tortillas or 8 corn tortillas
cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheeseBrown ground beef in skillet over medium-
high heat.Place in slow cooker. Add soup and
salsa and pour over ground beef.
Cook over Low heat for 6-8 hours.
During last hour of cooking time, add
tortillas. In last 30 minutes of cooking
time, add milk and stir.Sprinkle cheese
over all just before serving.
Serves 4-6.
(recipe: Deidre-Slowcooker Digest)

Twice-Baked Ranch Potatoes4 large baking potatoes
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T.milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes
1/4 C.shredded Cheddar cheese
Scrub and pierce potatoes; place on a microwave-
safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for18-20
minutes or until tender, turning several times. Let
stand for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in small mixing
bowl, combine cream cheese and milk; beat in salad
dressing mix. Add mashed potatoes; mix well. Cut a
thin slice from the top of each potato; scoop out pulp,
leaving a thin shell. Add pulp to the cream cheese
mixture and mash. Spoon into potato shells. Top with
cheese. Place two potatoes on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2
minutes or until heated through. Place remaining
potatoes on a baking sheet. Freeze overnight or until
thoroughly frozen; transfer to a freezer bag. May be
frozen for up to 3 months. To use frozen potatoes:
Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave,
uncovered, at 50% powder for 8-9 minutes or
until heated through.

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken
6 Chicken Thighs skinless – or pieces, cut up
1/2 Cup flour — mixed with
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
3 T. catsup
3 T. brown sugar
6 oz. lemonade, frozen concentrate
2 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 C waterDredge chicken in flour mixed with salt. Shake
off excess and brown in a hot skillet. Remove
chicken and put in crockpot. Mix
lemonade, brown sugar, vinegar (use regular
vinegar if you prefer) and catsup and pour over
chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. When ready
to serve, remove chicken to a warm platter and
thicken sauce with cornstarch/water solution,
and serve along with the chicken.
(recipe: Deirdre – Slowcooker Digest)

Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents

1 Can Crescent Rolls
1 Tub Philadelphia Cream Cheese-Chive & Onion flavor
3-4 Strips Bacon Cooked & Crumbled

Mix Cream Cheese & Bacon. Half all crescent
triangles to make 8. Place 1 heavy teaspoon of
mixture on top and roll up. Bake at 375 for 10-12

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Simple Yogurt Cake with Fresh Berries

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup cane sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 C. canola oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Oil a 9-inch cake pan, then line bottom
with circle of parchment paper. Oil the paper,
too; set pan aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking
powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl,
whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil,
almond extract and vanilla extract. Gently whisk
flour mixture into yogurt mixture just until
blended and smooth.Pour batter into prepared pan
and bake for 45 minutes, or until cake is golden
brown and top has formed a thin crust. The cake should
be just firm in the center when done. Cool cake on a
wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and
peel off parchment paper. Continue cooling on a rack.
Slice and serve with berries. Serves 8
NOTE:  For a cake with a hint of lemon,
 substitute freshly grated lemon zest for the almond extract.
 (recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Foods)
Grilled Peach Sundaes 
6 ripe peaches 
3 teaspoons sugar 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 lime 
1/2 cup honey 
Vanilla ice cream 

Cut the peaches in half and remove the 
pits. Dust the cut side of each half with 
some of the sugar and ginger. Light a 
charcoal grill and allow the coals to 
burn until well covered with gray ash or 
heat a gas grill to low. Place the peaches 
sugar side down on the center of the cooking 
grate. Grill 6 to 7 minutes or until golden
brown. Remove from grill. Grate the zest from 
the lime, then squeeze the juice. In a small bowl, 
combine the juice, zest, and honey. Serve the 
peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, 
drizzled with some of the sauce. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: DDj-8/25/11)
East-West Vegetables

2 pounds potatoes
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound zucchini -- small
1 1/2 pounds sweet red peppers
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

 1/3 cup olive oil
 1/4 cup soy sauce
 2 teaspoons sesame oil
 Glaze: Stir together olive oil, soy 
sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.
 Cut potatoes and sweet potatoes lengthwise 
into 1/2-inch slices. Cut zucchini in half 
lengthwise. Cut peppers in half; seed and 
trim ends, then cut in half again. Lightly 
brush vegetables on one side with glaze; place 
glaze side down on oiled grill.
Grill, covered, over medium coals or 
on medium setting until tender and lightly
charred: 25 to 30 minutes for potatoes; 
20 to 25 minutes for sweet potatoes; 8-12 minutes 
for zucchini; and 6 to 8 minutes for peppers.During 
cooking, turn once, brushing the top side with glaze
before turning. Brush cooked vegetables with remaining 
glaze and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
 * To toast sesame seeds: Heat in small skillet 
over low heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
(recipe: Carole-Canadian Living, July 1989)
Farmer's Casserole
6 cups shredded hash brown potatoes, frozen
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup sliced green onions
8 eggs -- beaten
3 cups evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 3 quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange potatoes evenly in
the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onion.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour
egg mixture over potato mixture in dish.

Bake, uncovered, 45-55 minutes or until center
appears set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Better Homes & Gardens, 2003)

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cool Whip
2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped
1 graham cracker pie crust
Whipped topping
Whole strawberries

Combine softened cream cheese, Cool Whip and strawberries in
large mix bowl until well blended. Pour into pie crust.
Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Top with whipped
topping and fresh whole strawberries.

(recipe: lovet0cook-Marys’ Recipe Exchange)
Forester Potato Salad

1 (24 oz) bag hash brown potatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, rough chopped
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 T dill relish
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 sour cream
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a dutch oven, bring water to boil, add potatoes
and cook til fork tender (about 1 minute). Drain & let cool is a
separate bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Season to taste.
Can be made the day before and allow the flavor to marinate
together overnight.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
There’s lots more great-sounding recipes coming – (I just looked at my email box and I’ve been very delinquent at sorting them out – gotta get at that!
Thought for the day:
         “Remember- no one is guaranteed tomorrow, so make the BEST of your day TODAY!!!
BIG Hugs to all of YOU – I’m doing fine!

“I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise will continually be in my mouth!”
  Psalm 34:1

The Yellow Hat and New Directions

       I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1

As you might remember, I have been working on knitting a chemo hat for my friend, Louann, who just began her fight against a diagnosis of breast cancer. Now I’m not an ‘experienced/advanced’ knitter so this was a difficult project for me. You see, the requirements for a chemo hat are a bit different than the premie baby hats I’d knit in the past – they require that there be no seams and they must be long enough to cover the head from the top forehead area, cover the ears and extend to the back of the head to where the hair line stops. Attempt #1 ended up being a size good enough for a 5-6 year old child – too small (that will go with the premie hats donation); #2 ended up large enough to fit my husband’s head and then some – too big! (I ripped it out). Finally, out of desperation, I thought of my trusty ‘loom’; using the same soft yellow yarn from hat #2, I just finished ‘The Yellow Hat’! (Did I take a picture? No, it’s not a fancy hat, just an average loomed hat which she can wear around the house.) I spoke with her yesterday and, as strange as it sounds, with her chemo schedule, she’s expected to lose her hair this Tuesday; so glad I finished her hat on time. She’s very courageous, strong and has a very upbeat attitude which really helped me talk to her about my ‘new’ situation.

You see, as of Thursday, I joined her in the breast cancer fight. It’s been difficult this month with going to my doctor and him telling me that (a) they thought I had suspicious ‘moles’ on my body (they turned out to be nothing) (b) I now have a heart murmur (that, too, is ‘normal’ and nothing to worry about but (c) after my mammogram, it seems I have 2 small masses which lead to my visit to the oncology doctor yesterday. As it was explained to me – for all the kinds of cancer I could have – the one I have (a) is small (b) requires little treatment and (c) has a great success rate!

I’m guessing that as of this Monday, my life will take on an almost rollercoaster feel; I’m awaiting a call from the surgeon as to when they will do the lumpectomy. (If you’re taking notes, my schedule will look something like this:

(1) lumpectomy and removal of 3 lymph nodes-I questioned why the lymph nodes if it’s not ‘in’ them; answer was-to prevent a pathway for the cancer to spread (2) 6 weeks of Mon-Fri. daily radiation treatments then (3) 5 years of taking one pill a day as a preventative for this type of cancer. (ps: both doctors assured me that radiation will not cause hair loss – I’d already asked them to tell me ahead of time because I thought I could donate my hair to “Locks of Love”, it’s long enough for that).

For those of you who might have questions, I learned quite a bit. I had a total hysterectomy in 1989 and began estrogen therapy immediately. Estrogen is a wonderful thing – it kept me ‘sane’ for all these years (honestly! Without it I became a raging, angry individual you don’t want to know! I hated myself the two times various doctors decided I needed to be off it!). The problem with estrogen? You can get the type of cancer I have that thrives on estrogen! Who knew? I’m very grateful it’s been caught very early – my only worry? I had to stop taking the estrogen immediately. I talked to the two doctors and said: “I hope you have something ELSE to give me to prevent me turning into a raving lunatic!” Their answer was: “We could put you on an anti-depressant to help that.” Sigh . . . I remember in the past it took about 2 weeks from me stopping it before I really started having MAJOR problems (today is day 2). Let’s just say, I’m really working on watching my mouth and thoughts – you see, without the estrogen you tend to say whatever you’re thinking – and believe me, it’s not all good thoughts! If someone cuts in front of you while driving, you turn into a truck driver! Not good! (and it only gets worse). We’ll see . . . this is going to be a long journey, but I’m not afraid. I told my doctor that waiting those four days for the results were very hard; having to tell my husband and children was very hard. Now knowing what’s ahead of me is not scary – I’m ready to fight this thing and win! As you know, I’m a Christian and I truly believe the Lord will be with me through it all. I can’t begin to tell you the many, many Bible verses that have comforted me, the verses from hymns or songs I’ve sung in choir, all very comforting.

This whole ‘journey’ has changed my plans a bit; I’ve written the lady in charge of the afghans and told her I might not be working on them for awhile and she understands. I’ve written to my Knit Group and explained that I might not be there every 2 weeks, but I’ll try (I’ll try to keep up with the scheduling of the meetings for them). As to my special needs group, I’ve spoken to my ‘partner/other teacher’ and she’s praying for me – we agreed that I won’t tell the group exactly what I have, only that I might be sick (no need to spread fear into them – Cancer can be a very scary word to some). Tomorrow is telling my Sunday School class and that will be VERY hard; I haven’t told our Pastor yet, either. Why, you might ask? Because I’ve never been one to like drawing attention to myself and this situation doesn’t give me a choice – I have to, but I don’t like it – I know I need their prayers and support, it’s just that I’m not ready to see the pain in their eyes (it was hard enough to see that in my family’s eyes).

This is a ‘new direction’ for me but one I’m ready to take with the Lord’s help. I will try to keep posting here, just to furnish you with yummy recipes, if nothing else!

Thank you for your support, prayers, good thoughts, etc.



PS: I should also tell you the blessings so far: (I’ll try not to make this long) When I went for the biopsy the doctor who was scheduled for it said he didn’t like the mammogram films and asked if I’d had a Ultrasound (no) so they did that – good thing! On the ultrasound it showed that there were TWO masses, one right behind the other (they only thought there was one, originally). When seeing the Oncologist (cancer doctor) they decided to change surgeons – the one I will have now specializes in breasts and, as they said: “She’s the BEST there is in that field!” I know that the Lord is taking care of this whole thing and going before me; I rest in Him.

Some Catching Up . . .

First, since I didn’t post this earlier in the month (Aug. 6th, to be exact), here’s our youngest with his #17  ice cream cake: (Dairy Queen Butterfinger!)

Just returned from getting him registered for  school – his Senior Year! He’s been busy these past three weeks working on the field work drills for Color Guard/Marching Band at his school. I’m glad he’s young and energetic – practice is 12 noon – 6 p.m. every day; this Sunday they all leave for Band Camp where they’ll put all their learning to the test and perfect their routines as the first football game is the day after they return from camp! It’s been a busy three weeks for me, too, with all the driving back & forth to school (sure got a lot of practice packing lunches!)

Also on my agenda this past week was finally putting together Afghan # 300!!! YAY!!!  I’m considering a short break from the afghan project but still have enough stored squares to make about 30 more afghans (and that’s just a guess on the actual # of afghans). This one came out very colorful; most of the bright squares were crocheted by one person.

(as per my tradition, there’s a Teeny Beanie toy tucked in the center pocket – this one is a chameleon – his colors matched the afghan colors, I thought!)  You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

This week I get a break from babysitting; the other grandparents are taking our grandson to the “Dream Cruise” downtown. This is a yearly summer event, usually lasting 3 days but frequently stretches into several weekends. This is a Antique Car aficionado’s paradise! When I was in my teens a tradition started when kids & adults would go “cruising Woodward Avenue” in the summer. It was, basically a ‘see & be seen’ thing, there you & your friends would drive up and down Woodward, stop at various drive-in restaurants and ‘hang out’ together. (I know this sounds wimpy- but I never did it – not even now). Over the years it’s grown into a really huge thing – more than our little town, more than our lovely state of Michigan – there are people who drive here from all over the USA, some even SHIP their cars here rather than drive them. They either drive their old cars up & down OR park them, prop the hood up and people walk up and down viewing all the cars.

I’m using my ‘free day’ to work on the yellow chemo cap (have finished the brim and am advancing to the body of the hat) and also working on the gold scarf. The scarf seemed to be a hit at knit night – people kept asking what I was working on and they liked the pattern. When I told them it was a dishcloth pattern they seemed quite surprised – it looks like a scarf pattern to me, hence my idea to use it that way. One lady asked if it was a ‘fake cable’ pattern (never thought of it that way, but I suppose it is!) When it’s done I’ll try to remember to post a photo.

Oh! Recipes! Almost forgot! Here are more tasty-sounding recipes for ya!



1 (18 1/4 oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 (12 oz.) can root beer
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Root Beer Glaze:
1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar
3 T. root beer
2-3 drops vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients for cake,
beating until smooth. Pour into
greased Bundt pan. Bake until  toothpick
inserted into center of cake comes
out clean (or about 35-40 minutes).
Cool in pan for 10 minutes; run a knife
along edges of pan to loosen. Invert cake
to remove from pan and cool completely
on a wire rack. Combine ingredients for glaze.
Pierce top of cake with a skewer about every
2 inches and drizzle the glaze over the

*Serve cake topped with vanilla,  butter pecan
or maple walnut.
(recipe: lovetocook- Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pizza

8 oz. pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 bacon slices, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 C. shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C. green onion slices
Ice cream for topping, see note*

Preheat oven to 350.
Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles.
Arrange triangles in circle on greased 14-inch
pizza pan with points toward the center and
wide ends toward the outside.  Pat out dough
with fingers to 12-inch circle, pressing seams
together to seal.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until
golden brown.  Remove from oven; cool
completely.In small bowl, combine mayonnaise
and mustard; spread evenly onto crust.  Sprinkle
with bacon.  Top with lettuce, tomato cheese and
onion.  Cut into wedges to serve. 10 servings
(recipe: KS Tabby-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Mound Bars

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. white sugar
1/2 C. melted butter
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. flaked coconut
1 (12 oz) pkg semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted
butter or margarine. Mix and pat into the bottom of
one 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. Combine
condensed milk and flaked coconut. Spread  over crust
and bake 15 minutes. Spread melted chocolate chips
over the top. Let cool and cut into squares.
(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)


3-4 lbs. Italian sausages (sweet or hot)
2 medium green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
28-30 oz jar spaghetti sauce

Cook sausage whole in covered frying pan;
drain and slice. Put all ingredients in crockpot
and cook 2-3 hours on high. Turn to low to keep
(recipe: KS tabby-1_Comfort_Foods)

Bacon Horseradish Stuffed Mushrooms

12 large fresh mushrooms about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. onion – chopped
2 T. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
4 1/2 oz low-fat cream cheese softened
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste-optional)
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese grated (optional)
1 T. Cajun Spice mix (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Trim mushrooms; remove stems. Set caps
aside; finely chop stems. In small bowl combine
butter, onion and chopped stems. Saute in large
pan until butter melts and onion is tender, stirring
from time to time. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley,
bacon, cream cheese, and horseradish. Add
cayenne pepper if you’d like a spicy bite to the dish.
Mixture should be dry but not crumbly. Spoon
mixture into caps, pressing lightly. Arrange filled
caps in a baking sheet and sprinkle tops with
grated Parmesan or a bit of Cajun spice mix.
Bake about 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.
The cheese browns nicely if you use it on top.
Serve while still warm. Makes 12.
(recipe: Joan – Cream-Cheese-or-Sour Cream site)

Fabulous Zucchini Brownies

1  1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C. zucchini, shredded
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix sugar, oil and vanilla; set aside. In a separate
bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda
and salt. Blend in sugar mixture, zucchini and
nuts. Pour into a lightly oiled 13″x9″ baking pan
and bake  25 to 30 minutes. Cut into squares.
Makes about 1-1/2 dozen
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)


1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. baking cocoa

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar. Add egg,
vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined. Blend in
bananas. Combine flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt; add to creamed mixture, mix well.
Divide batter in half. Add cocoa to half; spread
into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Spoon
remaining batter on top, swirl with a knife. Bake
25 minutes or until bars test done.
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cajun Oven-Fried Chicken

1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 T. salt-free Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 chicken breast halves (about 1 lb), skinned
2 chicken drumsticks (about1/2 lb), skinned
2 chicken thighs (about 1/2 lb), skinned 
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400F. 
Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish.
Place panko in a shallow dish. Dip chicken, one 
piece at a time, into buttermilk mixture; dredge 
in panko.Place chicken on a baking sheet lined 
with parchment paper. Lightly coat chicken with 
cooking spray. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes or 
until done, turning after 20 minutes. 
Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)

Snow Pea, Scallion, and Radish Salad

2 C. (8 oz.) snow peas, trimmed 
4 scallions (white and green parts), 
   thinly sliced 
8 radishes, trimmed and cut into 
    thin strips (about 1/2 C.) 
1/4 cup rice vinegar 
1 tsp. granulated sugar 
1 Tbs. walnut or canola oil 

Put snow peas in a microwave-safe 
bowl with 1 Tbs. water. Cover tightly 
and microwave for 1 minute. Drain and 
let cool. Cut snow peas on the diagonal 
into 1/2-inch diamond shapes, discarding 
the end pieces. In a medium serving bowl, 
combinesnow peas, scallions, and radishes. 
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 
sugar, and oil until the sugar dissolves. 
Pour over the salad and serve.
(recipe: Ellie-Recipes du Jour 6/24/11)
Tropical Kugel
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sweet butter, softened
3/4 of a 16 oz. container of sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 well rounded cup sugar
1(8 oz.)pkg thin or medium egg noodles, cooked and 
1 (15 oz.)can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (15 oz.)can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (15 oz.)can Queen Anne cherries (If unavailable, 
use dark sweet cherries)
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Beat first six ingredients until smooth.  Combine 
with remaining ingredients.  Pour into a greased 
13 x 9" pan.  Heavily sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar 
mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until bottom is brown.
Serves 8.
(recipe-angchick - Desserts du Jour 7/8/11)

Well, that’s all the ‘stuff’ going on around here so far this week;



Another Beautiful Summer Day!

Hello, Everyone!

Today is another gorgeous Summer day – right now it’s 76 degrees F. (perfect temperature!), sunny with a slight breeze – makes you just want to go out and DO something! (I’ve just returned from grocery shopping – not a glorious thing to do, but it got me out of the house and was needed). Grocery shopping also inspired tonight’s dinner: BLT’s! Just discovered a GREAT bacon: Hormel’s Maple bacon – great smells when cooking and good flavor when eating; I highly recommend it! I also have another batch of great-sounding recipes to share with you so here they are!


Brownie S’mores

9 whole cinnamon graham crackers, halved crosswise
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips
35 regular-sized marshmallows

Heat oven to 350°F.
Spray bottom of 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Arrange graham crackers over bottom of pan, overlapping
slightly or breaking to fit, if necessary.Melt butter and
unsweetened chocolate in medium saucepan over low heat,
stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, brown
sugar and vanilla until blended. Stir in eggs until blended and
smooth; stir in flour. (Batter will be smooth, thick and shiny.)
Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon and gently spread over graham
crackers. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is just set and
toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs
Heat broiler. Place marshmallows on their sides evenly over
top of brownies. Broil 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until
marshmallows are puffed and tops are golden brown. Serve
slightly warm or at room temperature.

TIP Depending on the shape of your pan, you may have part
of a graham cracker left over.  Makes 35 bars
(recipe: Tamara – 1_Comfort_Foods, yahoo groups)

Sandra’s Strawberry Delight

(overnight recipe)
1 loaf angel food cake, torn apart into pieces
1 (9 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
1 pkg strawberry Jell-O (dry), 3 oz size
1 quart strawberries, fresh or frozen
   (can sweeten fresh berries),sliced

Use a 9 by 13-inch dish.  Mix Cool Whip and
dry Jello together, then stir in strawberries.
Layer  shredded cake, then strawberry mixture;
repeat until all are used up. Top with Cool Whip.
Refrigerated overnight before serving.
(recipe: Carolyn - DDJ)

Twice-Baked Ranch Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T.milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes
1/4 C.shredded Cheddar cheese
Scrub and pierce potatoes; place on a microwave-
safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for18-20
minutes or until tender, turning several times. Let
stand for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in small mixing
bowl, combine cream cheese and milk; beat in salad
dressing mix. Add mashed potatoes; mix well. Cut a
thin slice from the top of each potato; scoop out pulp,
leaving a thin shell. Add pulp to the cream cheese
mixture and mash. Spoon into potato shells. Top with
cheese. Place two potatoes on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2
minutes or until heated through. Place remaining
potatoes on a baking sheet. Freeze overnight or until
thoroughly frozen; transfer to a freezer bag. May be
frozen for up to 3 months. To use frozen potatoes:
Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave,
uncovered, at 50% powder for 8-9 minutes or
until heated through.

Taco Chicken Stuffed Tomatoes

2 cans chicken chunks
2 C. cabbage, shredded
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. onions (dehydrated flakes)
4 medium tomatoes
6 leaves lettuce

Drain chicken. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, cabbage,
sour cream, mayo, chili powder, and onion. Toss lightly till
well mixed. For tomato cups, cut out 1/2 in of the core from
each tomato. Invert tomatoes. For each, cut from top to,
but not quite through, stem end, making six wedges. For
salads, line plates with lettuce or cabbage. Place tomatoes
on plates. Spread wedges slightly apart; fill
with chicken mixture. Top with cheese. Serve.
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Corn Fritters

2 large eggs
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 C. whole kernel corn
1-2 T. oil
1 tsp. margarine

Preheat nonstick skillet medium high
with 1-2 T. of oil, depending upon 
size of skillet.Separate eggs, putting 
whites into small bowl and yolks into 
large bowl.In large bowl, whisk together 
egg yolks,lightly beaten with wire whisk.
Whisk in corn. Beat egg whites in small 
bowl until peaks are stiff but not dry. 
Fold egg whites into the corn mixture 
with wire whisk.Add 1 tsp. margarine to 
skillet over oil for flavor. Drop batter 
by heaping tablespoon one at a time. Reduce
heat to medium and cook until browned on 
bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn once (do not 
pat fritters down) and cook the second 
side until browned (1 to 2 minutes).
Do not overcook.Serve immediately. 
Top with warm maple syrup, 
orange marmalade.

(recipe: Joan - 1_Comfort_Foods yahoogroups)

Peaches 'n Cream Cups

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
4 large, fresh peaches, halved & pitted

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in
large bowl with mixer until well
blended; gently stir in Cool Whip.
Scoop out peach pulp from skins, leaving
1/8 inch thick ‘shells’. Chop pulp, add
to cream cheese mixture; mix well. Spoon
into peach ‘shells’ and serve. Makes
8 servings.

Crunchy Corn Chip Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 c. barbecue corn chips, crushed

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Arrange chicken in an ungreased 13″x9″ baking
pan; set aside. Combine soup, one cup cheese
and taco seasoning together; spread over chicken.
Bake 45 minutes; sprinkle with corn chips and
remaining cheese. Return to oven; bake until
cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Mexicana Chopped Salad

1/3 cup zesty Italian Dressing

1/2 tsp.  ground cumin
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
2   avocados, chopped
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1   yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup Mexican style finely shredded Four Cheese

Mix dressing & cumin; combine remaining
ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing
mixture; mix lightly. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 (1 C.) servings.
(recipe: Kraft Foods)

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
 1/2 tsp. garlic-pepper blend
1 pkg. pasteurized process cheese spread, (8 oz.) diced
2 Tbsp. milk
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 sandwich buns

In a large skillet, brown ground beef and
garlic-pepper blend until thoroughly cooked.
Drain.  In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot, combine
cooked ground beef and all remaining ingredients
except buns; mix well. Cover; cook on low setting
for 6 to 7 hours. To serve: spoon mixture onto
sandwich buns
(recipe: KS tabby-1_Comfort-Foods)

I’m still working on the afghans – ONE more to go until I reach 300, then I’m planning on taking a break. Am also working on knitting the scarf for my friend for Christmas; one more skein of yarn to go on that (in other words: I’m half done!). Am also still researching knit chemo caps; I had started one but then read that ‘seams’ are painful to the scalp if you’ve undergone chemo therapy, so I’m starting over with that idea. Found a couple of really good patterns and want to get started; only problem? Now I’ll be knitting with circular needles and double points (2 things I really don’t like doing) BUT if it’s for my friend, it’s worth it!

For those of you who like to knit and or/crochet, found a very interesting site with lots of free patterns for all sorts of things (even FELTING!): hats, baby, large lady patterns (and NO, I didn’t mean you can get a pattern to knit a large lady! hehehe); they even have a section called “Lots and Lots of Scarves!” Check it out!


Enjoy your day!



“It’s all gonna work out fine” (my new saying!)