Published in: on February 14, 2017 at 11:54 am  Comments (1)  

Merry Christmas!


Published in: on December 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm  Comments (1)  

Couldn’t Ask for Better Weather!


Just got back from doing a few errands – the weather is GORGEOUS! Sun shining, slight breeze and almost EIGHTY degrees F. out! Can’t be beat! My husband was just out cutting the grass for the first time this year – I have to remember to go water the hanging geranium (I tend to forget!).

One of my stops was Gordon Foods – we really love their broccoli salad ‘kit’ and (to my knowledge, anyway) they stopped carrying it last year (BUMMER!). This is a BIG kit that feeds about 15 people – and it was GREAT for taking to parties! I noticed that in their mail flier it said they have it – I searched the entire area where they used to have them and couldn’t find it anywhere. The manager said: “Sure! We have it – and it’s right here!” Well, that was a surprise. Apparently they stopped marketing it in a big black plastic box with clear lid – now it’s all in a clear bag; same PRICE but almost 2 lb. LESS! UGH! It used to be about 5 lb. and the box it came it was the serving container after you put the kit together! Great idea, right? After the manager left there was another couple there who had heard my conversation and they joined in talking to me about it. They, too, used to purchase it and their first comment was: “IT’S SMALLER AND the same price!” ($14.99) – I told them to go on line and type in Broccoli Salad – there are TONS of recipes to make it yourself. The cool thing about this one was: it was all cut up for you! Oh well – guess it’s ‘buy at your own risk’, right? I’m going to do the research & see if I can come up with a recipe that’s close – for you.


 Broccoli Salad

8 oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
5 C. small, chopped broccoli florets
1/3 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. sunflower kernels

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. raisins

Bring a large saucepan of salted water
to a boil; add broccoli & blanch until
bright green & slightly softened, about
3 minutes. Drain well, run under cold
water to stop the cooking & drain again.
Combine all dressing ingredients. Add
broccoli & toss to coat with dressing.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Just before serving, fold in sunflower
kernels & bacon crumbles. Serve
immediately. Serves 10

(recipe: – Trisha

Pineapple Orange Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
4 large egg whites
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (1 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl beat cake mix, oranges,
egg whites & applesauce on Low speed of
elec. mixer for 2 minutes – pour into prepared
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cool
on wire rack. When cake is cool, prepare

In a bowl combine pineapple & pudding mix.
Fold in Cool Whip just until blended & spread
over cooled cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before serving. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

Hot Dogs in a Crockpot

20-60 hot dogs
buns for dogs

shredded cheese, chopped onion,
mustard, ketchup, pickles

Place hot dogs in crockpot & cover.
Cook on Low 3-4 hours or High 1-2
hours. Turn heat to warm while

NOTE: Poster stated they fit 20
hot dogs in a 2.5 qt. crockpot


Chinese Chicken Bites

1 lb. ground chicken
3 scallions, finely chopped
(about 1/2 C.)
2 T. flour
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

peanut oil-for frying

In medium bowl combine all
ingredients except oil – mix well.
Cover bottom of large skillet with
about 1/2 inch peanut oil & heat
over medium-high heat. Drop chicken
mixture by teaspoonfuls into hot oil.
Reduce heat to medium-low & fry 5-6
minutes until golden brown, turning
once. Drain on paper towels & serve
immediately. Makes 30-35 pieces


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken
6 slices sliced smoked ham
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 T. Dijon mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing mix accordg. to box.
Place chicken in 9 X 13″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray & cover
with sliced ham. Mix soup & mustard;
spoon over chicken & top with
prepared stuffing. Bake 25 minutes
until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Top with cheese & bake 5 minutes
more until cheese is melted. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Quick & Easy Pizza Pockets

1 C. warm water
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

Combine yeast & sugar with warm
water; allow to sit 5-10 minutes until
bubbly. Add flour, salt & oil to yeast.
Combine wet ingredients into dry in
a mixer bowl & knead 5 minutes until
dough is smooth & just slightly sticky.
Allow to rise 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Divide dough into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a circle. Layer
one half of each piece of
dough with desired toppings.
NOTE: If you are using marinara or
any other pizza sauce, be sure to
keep sauce at least an inch away from
edges or they will be difficult to seal.
Once filled, pull other half of dough over
top of filling & seal edges to close (either
by slightly wetting edges of dough &
pressing together or pressing edges
together using tines of a fork). Place
‘pockets’ on a slightly sprayed baking
sheet. Lightly spray tops of pockets
with nonstick spray & bake 12-15
minutes. Serves 6

Suggested fillings:
sliced pepperoni
sliced black olives
sliced mushrooms
chopped green pepper
shredded cheese: mozzarella or
pizza sauce – marinara or jarred
pizza sauce


Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

8 oz. fettuccine noodles
1 lb. large shrimp, deveined/tails
3 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic

2 T. butter
1 T. flour
2 C. milk (or heavy cream/Half & Half)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
juice of 1 small lemon (2-3 T.)
salt/pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, garnish

Cook fettuccine noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. In large pan or skillet
melt 3 T. butter over medium heat; add
garlic & stir 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add shrimp & saute 5-7 minutes until
pink & hot; transfer shrimp to a plate.
Prepare sauce by adding 2 T. butter to pan
(no need to clean pan before); melt over
medium heat. Sprinkle flour over melted
butter & stir until mixture clumps up.
Gradually whisk in milk; simmer a few
minutes, stirring throughout, until sauce
is thickened. Add Parm. cheese & stir until
melted. Stir in lemon juice, salt/pepper. Top
fettuccine noodles with sauce & shrimp;
garnish with parsley, if desired. Serves 4


Healthy Yogurt Berry Cake

3/4 C. flour
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 C. frozen berries (raspberries,
blackberries, strawberries, blueberries
or mixed)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Melt butter in small saucepan on
medium-low heat until it turns golden
brown, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t
burn. Remove from heat & let cool. In
medium bowl whisk flours, baking powder
& salt. In separate bowl whisk browned
butter, sugar & brown sugar until light &
fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice & vanilla –
whisk until well combined. While stirring,
slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture.
Once combined, mix in yogurt. Using a
large spoon, gently fold in berries & pour
mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Let cool
then slice. Serves 10-12


Had to get gas today and, once again, was a bit
‘blown away’ by the increase: regular at Clark
is now up to $2.59/9 (so I only got $25.).

Tonight is Knit/Crochet Night and I’m ready with a
new knit baby blanket; this is a pattern I’ve done
before but with a bit of a twist. I had purchased
a large (1 lb) skein of white and also got 3 smaller
skeins of a teal blue/medium green/white variegated
to use for the ‘bumpy’ rows only to discover when
working with it that the white was too thick AND
the variegated kind of got ‘lost’ in all the white.
The variegated skeins were on sale and I can still
use them for baby hats but the distance between
each ‘color’ versus the amount of WHITE they chose
to use was way too big for my project. The ‘bumps’
would end up with a tiny bit of color swimming in
tons of white – unacceptable to my way of thinking
so it was back to the ‘drawing board’ so to speak.
Went to Meijers (a store about 5 minutes from my
house – they are sort of like a WalMart – they carry
just about anything you might want all under one
roof.) Bought a big skein of sport-weight white yarn
ON SALE! (ended up buying 3 of them, great price and
I can ALWAYS use it). Got home and searched through
the yarns I already had and found a small skein of
baby pastels – variegated so I’m using that for the
‘bumps’.  I’m going to place a picture of one of the
blankets I’ve made using this pattern so you’ll kind
of get an idea of what I mean:


In the afghan I’m making, the bumps are
pastels and the background is all white.

PS: Just discovered a new (to me)
author: Michael Palmer; he writes
mystery/fiction – so far I’ve read
2 of his books: “The First Patient”
(about the President of the United
States” – fiction) and “The Fifth Vial”.
I like his style of writing – keeps you
constantly wondering what comes
next (my favorite!). I was just strolling
through the fiction/mystery section
at the library and grabbed 2 of his
books, read the back cover & checked
them out. I’m happy to report that he’s
written quite a few books and I plan on
checking them all out!

My sons introduced me to a new (to me)
animated movie: “Big Hero 6”; it’s rated
PG – it’s funny, has a good plot and keeps
you on your toes throughout the entire
movie – I would HIGHLY recommend it!
It’s 2015 – Disney.

Hope you are having a good day – AND I
hope that your weather is really nice,
as well. Husband informs me it’s supposed
to rain tomorrow, but from all I’ve seen of
our weather forecasts, we’re in for the 70/
80’s all week – YAY!






My middle son works part time, making very little money. The company he works for is NOT one to give health insurance hence, last year, we managed to get him enrolled in MEDICAID. He recently mentioned he might want to see our doctor about an ailment and wanted to make sure he still had insurance…”therein lies the tale” to use a very old expression. To try to put this into some sort of perspective, let’s just say I spent a good 1 1/2 HOURS calling all sorts of various government phone numbers ATTEMPTING to get either a caseworker name or phone number. By the end of that time I had (a) gotten REALLY mad and told a guy to “Bite me!” – he was NO help at all (b) ended up with the very same extension/person a good 3 or more times (their recordings are hooked into a LOOP!) (c) the very last person I talked to was SO SNOTTY I ended up hanging up and bawling – hard! I got NO WHERE! The last (snotty woman) yelled at me that she was with Child Protective Services and how did I get HER? (I HAVE NO IDEA – the recording kept saying “If you know your parties extension, Press 1, if not, press 0” – everytime I hit O it took me back to the original recording! UGH! I was so upset, all I could think was: “If THAT WOMAN is with Child Protective Services – LORD HELP anyone who gets HER and needs help; maybe their child is being removed from the home or they are being abused!” I cannot BELIEVE what a mess that was! AND – (speaking for myself) I’m NO DUMMY when it comes to talking on or using phones! I spent 16 YEARS with the phone company! UGH! Today my son said perhaps we could ‘attempt’ to plod through the form ON LINE, so that’s what we did. Not saying that was ‘easy’ in any way – equally frustrating, but we finally got the 32 page form completed and submitted.

Want to know the really ‘fun’ part? NO ONE would tell him anything as to who was his case worker! I ended up, today, locating a piece of paper with a name & number on it so we called it: answering machine basically saying that the worker’s cases had all been transferred – please call the main number.” I’m guessing that worker QUIT – I know I WOULD, if I had to work for that kind of insanity! (I will say, one nice lady DID let us know that he no longer HAD insurance; apparently it had expired LAST YEAR! We said we didn’t get a letter or any sort of notification from them. She said: “You ‘should’ have received a letter, but that’s not always the case so you’ll have to re-apply”. So basically there are LOTS of people out there who’s insurance expired and they have NO IDEA until they go to try to USE it! Is that ABSURD or what? That is ONE very SAD state of affairs for our lovely federally funded ‘insurance for people who can’t afford it’ program!

So much for my frustrations yesterday – at least we finally got the form submitted…and now we wait.



Published in: on May 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm  Comments (5)  

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone!


I John 4:14: “and we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

Published in: on December 25, 2015 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Ok – I caved!


(not my house)

After thinking of what I ‘might’ have to ‘do’ today I read a couple chapters in the new book I’m working on then got a bad case of the GUILTS . . . traipsed upstairs and started dragging down the Christmas decorations. Got my husband to bring down the two trees. Hung the lighted wreath in the window and turned it on – first ‘decoration’ officially UP! (Just couldn’t face my grandson tomorrow when he comes over saying: “Grandma Pam! WHERE’S your TREE???” (that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll put the tree up by then, but at least he can see I’ve made a ‘start’! (Talk about procrastinating, eh?)

After that, we got a call that youngest son’s car was ready to pick up – husband went to get son at work & finish that little detail. While they were gone I started thinking: “Ya know – if I start NOW I could probably finish the 3 loaves of Christmas bread for the neighbors!” Happy to say that there are 2 loaves of cranberry bread and 1 cinnamon streusel ready to deliver. Got started on the mail lady’s cookies, too! I remembered the recipe from last year – SUPER SIMPLE! These are cake mix cookies – 3 ingredients and you’re good to go for 3 dozen cookies! I had a box of chocolate fudge cake mix so I added about 1 C. chocolate chips to the batter – they turned out really soft & tasty! Recipe below:


Cake Mix Cookies

1 box any flavor cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together &
spoon by tablespoons onto
ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 9 minutes.
Makes 3 dozen

Christmas Muddy Buddies
(puppy chow)

9 C. Rice Chex cereal, Corn
Chex or Chocolate Chex –
or a combination
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar

In large bowl measure cereal.
In 1 qt. microwaveable bowl,
microwave choc. chips, peanut
butter & butter, uncovered, on
High 1 minute; stir. Microwave
about 30 seconds longer until
mixture can be stirred smooth;
stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over
cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
Pour into 2 gallon ziplock bag. Add
powdered sugar, seal bag & shake
until well coated. Spread mixture
on waxed paper to cool. Store in
airtight container in refrigerator.
Makes 18 servings.


Sausage & Cheese Breakfast

1 (16 oz) pkg. breakfast sausage
1/4 C. onion, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar

1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. water
1 T. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Using medium skillet, cook sausage &
onion until sausage is cooked through.
Drain; transfer to medium bowl & allow
to cool. Add remaining ingredients for
filling; stir to combine. In small saucepan,
combine milk, water & sugar – heat over
Low heat until mixture reaches 115 degrees
F. – remove from heat; stir in yeast & let
set 5 minutes. Combine 1 C. flour, salt,
butter, egg & yeast mixture in large
mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed
until blended. Gradually stir in enough
remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured
surface; knead until smooth & elastic
(about 5 minutes). Cover with a
kitchen towel & let dough rest 10
minutes. Roll dough out onto floured
surface into a 8 X 14″ rectangle. Spread
filling evenly over dough, leave a 1″
margin on outer edges. Roll up dough,
starting with long side. Pinch seams to
seal. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll
into 10 equal-sized rolls. Place each roll,
cut side down, into lightly greased
9 X 13″ baking pan (or 10″ pie pan).
Cover & let rise in a warm place 1
hour or until rolls have doubled in size.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls 25-30 minutes until golden.
Allow rolls to cool in pan on wire rack.
Makes 10 rolls


Ham & cheese Pastry Puffs

Spice Blend:
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. puff pastry,
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 C. Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 C. white Cheddar cheese,
1 egg, beaten
1 T. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line baking sheets with parchment
paper. Combine all spice blend in
small bowl; mix well. Unfold pastry
sheets & cut each sheet into 9
squares. Spread about 1/2 tsp.
Dijon over pastry; arrange ham &
cheese down center of squares.
Sprinkle with some spice blend
then fold two opposite corners
of each square over filling &
press edges to seal. Place on
prepared baking sheets. Combine
egg & water & brush each pastry
with egg wash. Sprinkle tops of
pastries with more spice blend.
Bake 15-18 minutes until golden
brown. Serve warm or at room
temperature. Makes 18


Italian Mozzarella Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (8 oz) pkg. penne pasta, cooked
1/3 C. green olives w/pimentos, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper
on both sides & place in crockpot. Sprinkle
garlic evenly on top of breasts & cover with
marinara sauce. Cover & cook on Low 6
hours (chicken should be cooked through
& tender). Place breasts on lightly greased
baking sheet & sprinkle with mozz. cheese.
Place olives & Parm cheese in crockpot;
stir & heat through. Place chicken under
broiler 2-3 minutes until cheese is
melted & golden (watch to make sure it
doesn’t burn). Pour sauce over cooked
pasta; mix well & serve chicken over
pasta. Serves 6

(recipe: crockpotmoms)

Baked Pineapple-Glazed Baked

1 (12 lb) fully-cooked ham,
bone-in half ham
whole cloves (if desired)
1 C. 7-UP or Ginger Ale*
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. pineapple preserves (or)
well-drained crushed pineapple
1/2 C. pineapple juice
1 T. spicy brown mustard
large can pineapple rings
large jar maraschino cherries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a deep baking pan with
wide foil to form a tub for the
ham. Place ham in pan, cut-
side down & lightly score fat
on ham by cutting into it
slightly, creating a diamond
pattern. Insert whole cloves
into corners of each diamond,
if desired. Pour 7 UP or ginger
ale over ham, cover loosely
with another piece of foil & bake
30 minutes. Mix brown sugar,
pineapple, mustard; add enough
pineapple juice to form a thick,
but pourable glaze – pour any
remaining juice around ham.
Brush about 1/3 of glaze over
ham & loosely cover with foil.
Return to oven & bake 10-15
minutes until fruit is warmed
through & internal temp. of
ham reads 145 degrees F. on
an instant read thermometer.
Remove & let rest 15 minutes,
then carve around bone &
natural seams of ham, trans-
ferring slices back into pan
juices until ready to serve.
Serves 12+

*May omit 7UP or ginger ale
and use all pineapple juice.

For a smaller ham:
Oven temp. 350 degrees F.
roughly 18 minutes per pound,
until center of ham reaches
145 degrees F. Check instructions
on your brand of ham for their


Easy Christmas Peppermint

1/4 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. light corn syrup
3-4 C. powdered sugar, divided
1-2 tsp. peppermint or mint
extract (or your choice of flavors)
food coloring – preferably gel or paste
1/2 C. granulated sugar (to roll balls

Combine butter & corn syrup in small
bowl. Add 2 C. powdered sugar, your
choice of extract – mix well until
combined. NOTE: add extract 1/2 tsp.
at a time until mixture reaches your
desired flavor. Stir in an addition
cup of powdered sugar. Turn mixture
out onto a cutting board sprinkled
with 1/2 C. powdered sugar. Knead
mixture until sugar is absorbed &
is completely smooth, adding
additional powdered sugar, if needed.
Divide dough into three portions.
Tint one portion red (using food coloring)
and one green – leave one portion white.
Shape into 3/4 inch balls & roll in
granulated sugar; flatten gently with a
fork. Let candies stand, uncovered, at
room temperature, 1 day. Store in
airtight container. Makes 5 dozen



That’s all for today – 2 postings –
now THAT’S a first!




Published in: on December 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Scattered thoughts on a Thursday



Not much going on – finished the yellow crocheted baby blanket today; haven’t quite solidified my pattern idea for the next blanket (am sort of hovering at a Granny Square one – yes, I know – that’s CROCHET and you HATE crochet!). Found lots of nice patterns knit & crochet, but want to use this donated yarn to it’s best potential. Most of the yarn is a sort of fuzzy baby yarn (skeins in white & lavender; have a few small skeins of a dark purple, a large skein of a kinky light pink, and some light mauve). Have a large ball of leftover yellow from other afghan; am thinking of making the squares like flowers: bright yellow center, then varying outer rings – we’ll see.

My special needs friend I drive each week brought me his afghan (the one I knit him about 1 1/2 years ago) – it seems he caught it on something and now it has a small hole. Washed & dried it first and a little later on today will go looking for the hole. Upon first sight I didn’t find one – we’ll see.

Our weather is still chilly, gray and yucky 56 degrees F. (could be worse: it could be raining – sigh). Gas prices are on the rise: now up to $2.69/9 – guess they’re upping them for the holiday weekend. My oldest son just told me that the price of eggs will be going up a LOT soon – I guess there’s a bird flu that’s killing commercial chickens, making egg prices go through the roof. He’s an Executive Chef and has been trying to order ahead on eggs, but his suppliers tell him that they are now limited on how many they can sell due to this new development.

Managed to make it through our Knit/Crochet Movie night Tuesday – we watched a movie we all voted on (not exactly knowing what it was about but the girl that brought it just got it from Netflix and said it was NEW!). The movie: “Still Alice” – Alex Baldwin & Julianne Moore – about a lady professor who slowly goes downhill with early-onset Alzeheimer’s – certainly NOT a happy/fluffy chick flick like we hoped! About half way through one of the ladies blurted out: “OK WHO brought this DEPRESSING MOVIE?” It was well done & acted, just not a easy-to-watch one, for sure.

At the movie night one of the ladies brought “Pineapple Fluff” – THIS is a dessert recipe you need to keep on hand! Don’t think there was ANY left later, we all glommed on it!

Pineapple Fluff Dessert

2 (3 1/2 oz, ea) pkgs. Instant pistachio
pudding mix
2 (12 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple

Mix pudding with pineapple & juices;
let set a few minutes then fold in
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Serves 10-12

NOTE: Can also add
2 C. chopped walnuts
1/2 C. maraschino cherries, chopped
1 (1 lb) bag miniature marshmallows
(If adding marshmallows, refrigerate
at least 24 hours to let marshmallows



Hawaiian Pasta Salad

8 oz bow tie pasta
1/2 C. pineapple, cut into small cubes
(fresh or canned- drain if using canned,
but do not throw the juice – use for the
1/4 C. roasted red pepper, diced
2 C. diced ham
1 green onion, thinly sliced

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. honey barbecue sauce
1/2 C. pineapple juice

Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions;
drain & cool under cold water (Pasta
must be cold). Mix all dressing
ingredients together. Combine all
ingredients in large bowl; gently
toss with dressing. Refrigerate
at least 1 hour before serving.


Chicken Taco Pie

1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can refried beans
2 C. salsa
3 C. chicken breast, cooked/chopped
1/2 C. sour cream
5 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3 1/2 C. Mexican-blend cheese (up to
4 C., shredded)
1 C. whole kernel corn

sour cream
shredded lettuce – garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix together chicken, chili powder,
garlic, salt & sour cream in bowl. Using
a 10″ springform (or cake pan) layer 2
tortillas. Spread 1/2 the can of beans
on top & sprinkle evenly with 1/4 C.
cheese. Layer another tortilla, top
with 3/4 C. salsa, 1/2 C. corn & 1 1/2
C. chicken. Repeat layers one more
time. Top with a tortilla, 1/3 C. salsa &
1 to 1 1/2 C. cheese. Cover with foil &
bake 20 minutes. Remove foil & bake
5 minutes more until all cheese has
melted. Top with shredded cheese &
sour cream. Cut into wedges to serve.
Serves 6


Creamy Carrots

1 1l2 lb. carrots, peeled, cut
diagonally into thin slices
1/2 C. vegetable broth
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 T. chopped fresh chives (or
chopped green onions)

In large skillet bring carrots & broth
to boil under medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer
8-10 minutes, covered, until carrots
are crisp-tender. Uncover & simmer,
8-10 minutes until most of broth is cooked
off & carrots are tender. Remove from heat
& add cream cheese; stir until melted then
sprinkle with chives. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes)

No-Bake Banana Split Pie

1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
1 (4 oz) carton Yoplait Pina Colada
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 ripe bananas

Topping suggestions:
hot fudge
maraschino cherries
your favorite ice cream toppings

Whip together yogurt, sugar & cream
cheese until fluffy. Fold Cool Whip into
cream cheese mixture & spoon into pie
crust. Mound sliced bananas on top then
top with your choice of toppings.

Captain’s Quick Cole Slaw

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) pkg. cabbage coleslaw

In large bowl whisk together all
ingredients except coleslaw mix;
mix until smooth & creamy. Add
coleslaw mix & toss until well-
coated. Cover & chill at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4


The Best Crockpot Pork Chops

4-6 pork chops without bone
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can mushrooms, drained/
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 potatoes, unpeeled/cut into cubes
1 onion, chopped

Combine soup, mushrooms, mustard,
water, salt, basil, salt/pepper. Add
potatoes & onion, stirring to coat. Place
pork chops on top of potato mixture.
Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours or High
4-5 hours.
To serve you can place potatoes on top of
pork chops or just top with gravy.


Summer Salad

2 C. finely chopped seeded/peeled cucumber
1/2 C. finely chopped/seeded tomato
1/4 C. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/chopped
4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl combine first 7 ingredients.
In another bowl combine sour cream,
lemon/lime juices, cumin & seasoned
salt; pour over cucumber mixture & toss
gently to coat. Serve immediately.

(recipe: Dana Smith-Facebook)

Shrimp Orzo with Feta

1 1/4 C. uncooked whole wheat
orzo pasta
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/4 lb. uncooked shrimp
(26-30 per lb), peeled/deveined
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo accordg to pkg. directions.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Add garlic; cook & stir 1 minute. Add
tomatoes & lemon juice; bring to boil.
Stir in shrimp – reduce heat, simmer,
uncovered, 4-5 minutes until shrimp
turn pink. Drain orzo & add to shrimp
mixture with cilantro & pepper – heat
through. Sprinkle with feta cheese when
serving. Serves 4.


Easy Fudge

1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Optional mix-ins:
chopped nuts
cranberries or currents
rice krispies
chili powder (if you like things a little spicy)

Line a 9″ square baking dish with aluminum
foil. In medium saucepan combine choc. chips &
cond. milk over Low heat; stir until chocolate
is melted & smooth. Once smooth, remove from
heat & stir in vanilla & salt. Pour into prepared
dish & refrigerate at least 2 hours. Using foil,
remove from pan & cut into pieces.



That’s the news from the home front today –
have no idea what’s for dinner tonight; I still
have about 12 hot dogs left over from the
Movie Night – who knew ladies don’t eat
2 hot dogs EACH? I didn’t! (But then there
were a lot of other really tasty things to
try: REALLY good potato salad, taco salad,
KFC coleslaw (the friend who brought this
said: “Why should I MAKE coleslaw when
Kentucky Fried Chicken makes such good
stuff?” Point taken!) and one of the ladies
only eats organic (I didn’t know this): she
brought organic Sweet Potatoes chips,
guacamole and some KILLER Mango
salsa! (she gets it at Sam’s club) – I was
totally STUFFED by the end of the night,
just sampling all the foods (AND I skipped
the chocolate brownies & a triple chocolate
Bundt cake!). Yes, we eat really well on
Movie Night!

Have a great day – try to enjoy yourself,
even a little!!!



Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 11:44 am  Comments (1)  

Being dragged kicking & screaming into the ‘new age’ – ugh

confused lady

I’ve never been one to WANT to learn new technical things – guess I’m just getting too old and set in my ways. Husband and I kept getting these confusing messages on our cell phones in two different languages; finally after receiving another one today husband called our cell provider (Metro PCS) and asked them just what’s going on? Turns out our cell phones are 3G and the entire system is going to 4G – if we don’t CHANGE to newer phones, ours will DIE very soon! UGH! We both traipsed over to cell phone and I got a new phone – oh, joy . . .(said with a very sarcastic voice). What kind do you want? What color? I DON’T KNOW – I DON’T CARE! UGH! Got a white 4G LG phone with a black case, just for protection. This thing does all sorts of stuff – (I WANT MY OLD FLIP PHONE BACK!) I ‘could’ have got a flip phone, but thought ‘Just give it up’ – you have to change – you HAVE to learn how to use these things!’ UGH! I can text, but only by doing the Click the 3 three times to get the letter you want, then go to number 5 (or whatever) and click it 2 times to get the next letter you want – VERY SLOW, but at least I was able to DO that! This thing, so far – the only thing I CAN do is turn it on! Tried changing a phone # of a friend and ended up CALLING him 3 times! (He just changed his cell #, so I wanted to update it – the cell phone store moved all my contact numbers FOR ME). Crazy stuff. I wanted my old cell phone ring tone (I originally paid $1.00 for the Handel’s Messiah “Hallelujah Chorus” as my ring tone). I was told at the phone store I wouldn’t have to PAY for a ring tone anymore – there’s 1,000’s of them out there for free! Good LUCK! Went on line, found a good 7 sites that offer it for free – one wanted to know what country I lived in (and they didn’t even HAVE the USA/America on their list of countries! Don’t chose THAT one!) Still don’t know what I’m doing – managed to download (for free) the ring tone TO MY COMPUTER – from there I have NO idea what to do to get it to my phone! DOUBLE UGH! Talk about feeling really dumb! I know our sons use their phones for all sorts of things: computer/GPS/listen to music/take & receive photos, etc. I only want mine to be able to text & send/get phone calls. I told the guys at the phone store: “I’m one of those people/ladies who have ONE purse, a few pairs of shoes – I don’t CARE about fashion! Not ‘into’ shoes/purses/phones, etc.” They just smiled and gently chuckled to themselves. Yep, I’m a dinosaur . . . technology is passing me by and I’M LETTING IT! My old flip phone is a good 6-7 years old and I was happy with it! Oh well . . . no going back now.

Today was also voting day for my area – on only one proposal – do we or don’t we let them pass a proposal that would put more monies into our road repairs; problem with that is: there are so many other ‘items’ tacked onto this that very little money would actually GO to the roads – and let me tell you: OUR ROADS ARE HORRIBLE! Oh, and this new proposal, when it all shakes out would actually cost voters about $400 a month in their taxes! WHO WANTS THAT? I was voter #136 – sure hope more people get out to vote today! Yes, we need road repairs, but not THAT way! IF they would make a proposal that ONLY dealth with “Fix the roads: YES OR NO” I’m pretty sure they’d get 100% FOR IT – don’t couch it with other issues or hid other issues in the wording!

Only GOOD THING today: Husband & I ‘fed’ our frustrations by stopping at Subway and getting foot long subs for dinner – YAY! Nothing like a roasted chicken sub with lots of veggies piled on to soothe your frustrations, right?

Anyway, that’s my ‘tale of woe’ for the day – eventually I’m sure I’ll learn how to use this new cell phone – just not today!

Hope you’re having a good day!



Published in: on May 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm  Comments (3)  

Quick one – running, running . . .


Easter’s coming and that means lots of preparations; picked up my car from the dealership today (good news – just needed new seals/we’re good!). Stopped at the dollar store for some Easter candy (as if we need more!); bought Mountain Dew there at $1.45 a 2 liter (that’s the only thing husband drinks). Stopped at the drug store (more candy) then off to the local grocery store only to find that they had a SALE on Mt. Dew 5/$5.00 – so guess we’re good on pop for quite awhile! I don’t know about you, but I have a habit of picking up nice older people (not as in ‘bring them home’) but I seem to strike up conversations with random people. I met a really nice older lady in the frozen foods when I spotted something that looked like frozen turkey legs (but they looked too small) – turns out it was frozen RABBIT! Who would guess? Right next to them were boxes of frozen QUAIL! (who knew my little local grocery store would carry such ‘high end’ items!?) Now, mind you, it is also situated in a multi-ethnic area – along with those ‘fancy’ items we also have such things as chicken FEET (saw those today – fresh, if you need some), tripe and other (odd to me) meat items – nothing wrong with that, just pointing out we certainly have DIVERSITY in my little Township!

Working (like crazy) on the knit scarf for my nephew – have the box all ready to take to the Post Office just as soon as I get it done – hoping for today, mail tomorrow, but we’ll see. Had a great time chatting/knitting/meeting new people last night at my Knit group – it’s always nice to meet really friendly new people; a lady was just traveling through our area of Panera to throw away her garbage when I caught her eye – she was really ‘eyeing’ us so I asked the standard question: “Do you knit or crochet?” YES! she said rather enthusiastically so I gave her the information to sign up on line – hopefully we’ll see her in two weeks! Our group is growing, but it’s nice that we seem to average about 16-19 people per meeting – just enough to fill our little corner of the restaurant. The manager is a real sweetie – she really likes having us there (we’ve become good friends over the years); it’s always nice to know that the management is happy you’re taking up space (and, of course, buying their wares). I will definitely vouch for Panera being a very ‘group-friendly’ place.


Crockpot Honey-glazed Carrots

1 lb. carrots, cleaned/cut into 1″
2 T. butter
2 T. honey
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of 2 or 3 qt. crockpot
with nonstick spray. Place carrots
in crockpot along with butter. Drizzle
honey over top & season with salt/
pepper. Cover & cook on High 3
hours. Serves 5-6

Honey-Mustard Baked Ham

8-9 lb. precooked spiral cut ham,
1 C. honey
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic salt

Combine honey, Dijon mustard,
Worc. sauce, minced garlic in a blender;
pulse until smooth. Reserve 1/2 C. of
sauce to pour on top at end.
Place ham, face down, in crockpot &
pour glaze on top. Cover & cook on
Low 3-4 hours or until heated through.
Pour reserved glaze on top just before


Make-ahead Ambrosia

1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in heavy
syrup, drained
1 (11 oz) can  mandarin oranges, drained
1 C. shredded coconut
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
6 maraschino cherries, cut in half
crushed nuts for garnish (optional)

In large bowl combine all ingredients &
toss gently. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or
overnight. Sprinkle nuts on top before
serving. Serves 8


Fruit Salad Cheesecake
(overnight recipe AND
for individual desserts)

1 1/2 C. vanilla wafer crumbs
2 T. butter, melted

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. cold water
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 C. halved seedless grapes
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained/cut in half
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries;
drained/roughly chopped
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

In small bowl combine van. wafer
crumbs & melted butter; press into
bottom of 9″ springform pan sprayed
with nonstick spray; set aside.

In small saucepan cook crushed
pineapple & sugar over medium heat
5 minutes until heated through. Place
cold water in small bowl & sprinkle with
gelatin; let stand 1 minute. Stir mixture
into warm pineapple mixture. Reduce
heat to Low & add cubed cream cheese;
cook & stir until cream cheese is melted
& mixture is well blended. Remove from
heat & cool completely.
Stir in grapes, mandarin oranges, cherries
& pecans into cooled cream cheese mixxture.
Fold in Cool Whip & pour into prepared
pan. Cover & refrigerate overnight.

To Make Mini’s:
Instead of making vanilla wafer crumbs &
butter mixture, place one vanilla wafer cookie
into bottom of muffin tin cups that have been
very lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Fill
tin cups full of fruit salad mixture; cover &
refrigerate overnight.

(recipe: Courtney Luper/Facebook)

Pea Salad

1/3 C. sour cream
1 T. mayonnaise
1 T. white vinegar
4 C. frozen green peas, almost
totally thawed
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp/
1/2 whole small red onion,
halved sliced very thin
6 oz. Cheddar or American cheese,
cut into small cubes
3 T. minced fresh parsley

Mix sour cream, mayo, salt/pepper &
vinegar to make dressing. Stir 2/3 of
dressing into peas until peas are coated.
Gently stir in bacon, onion, cheese &
parsley until combined (taste & adjust
seasonings to your liking). Cover with
plastic wrap & refrigerate 2-4 hours
before serving (also refrigerate extra
Remove from fridge; stir in rest of
dressing & sprinkle on a little more
parsley before serving. Serves 12

Chive & Honey Biscuits

2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. honey, warmed 20 seconds
in microwave

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Mix together flour, baking powder,
salt & chives. In another bowl mix
together milk, mayonnaise & warm
honey. Mix wet with dry ingredients
until just coming together. Roll out
onto floured surface to 3/4 inch
thick. Cut into rounds using biscuit
cutter; place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 12 biscuits.


Grandma’s Heirloom Country Chicken

2.5 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
(do not peel) boiled & mashed
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (2.8 oz) can French fried onions
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper

Combine above ingredients & spread into
bottom of baking dish.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
poached & shredded (can also use
rotisserie chicken)
1 (26 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables,
1 C. sour cream
2 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine Chicken to Cheddar cheese
ingredients; spread over potato mixture
in pan. Sprinkle top with additional cup
shredded Cheese. Bake 45 minutes until
cheese is melted & bubbly. Serves 10-12


Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

3 T. melted butter
1 C. long-cooking oats
1 C. Cream of Wheat – uncooked
1 C. flour
1 C. brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 C. milk
1/4 C. oil
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. blueberries
1/4 C. chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients except blueberries &
nuts; fold in blueberries & nuts. Pour into
crockpot; cover & cook on Low 3 hours or
High 1 1/2 – 2 hours until casserole sets up.
Serve warm. Serves 10


Well, that’s all for now – today it’s another
gorgeous Spring day out: 53 degrees F.,
sunny with crocus & hyacinth popping
up – pretty soon it will be tulips and
daffodils – YAY! I LOVE SPRING! Everything
looks so NEW!

Enjoy your day;



Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm  Comments (1)  

It’s Saturday!


Christmas, 2014

Eric (20), Ben (25) Kris 31 & his son, our grandson (8)

We were very blessed to have Ben home and out of the hospital; we picked him up Tuesday and he’s doing VERY well – he lost 20 lbs. during his 2 1/2 week stay, but he’s doing his best to catch up on the lost eating!  (Eric – our ‘rebel’, is wearing some of his Christmas ‘attire’ – he loves the band Avenge Seven Fold so his t-shirt & hoodie are both ‘band attire’). It was a quiet Christmas; we all slept in until around 10:45 a.m. We each spent most of the day just relaxing, watching TV, reading, etc. until dinner time & Kris & his son arrived. He brought a cheese, summer sausage, cheeses & fruit tray. Dinner was glazed ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn casserole, cranberry stuffing, gravy, veggie tray & rolls. We were all too stuffed to even begin to think about the “Happy Birthday, Jesus’ chocolate cake or pumpkin pie! (and lots of cookies). This year I received a 1-cup Keurig coffee maker – oldest son said he’s tired of me drinking ‘instant’ coffee – he’s searching for the Tim Horton’s K-cups, since husband & I love Tim’s coffee. Great gift (except I don’t have any counter space to put it!) – will have to do some MAJOR cupboards arranging to fit it! Not much going on lately; I still have to write out Thank You cards for my gifts from some of my special needs group students. I thought the ham I bought for Christmas (9.66 lb) was a nice, big one but after one big meal, sending some home with oldest son, I was shocked to find it was mostly a HUGE bone! There was enough left over for 2 omelets and now maybe enough for Navy Bean soup, if I’m so inclined. The guys raved over it so I’m thinking of getting another ham soon; they did that, also, with the turkey! Right now Ben’s ready to eat ANYTHING I’ll prepare for him! I, of course, am lovin’ it – I love to cook for someone who loves to eat! Tonight dinner will be homemade turkey pot pie (using up the last of the extra turkey I cooked last week) – it’s another of Ben’s favorites.

I have lots of recipes to pour through for the New Year’s appetizers, but just haven’t done so yet. Today it’s mostly ‘regular’ recipes but I’ll make a good attempt at getting out those others soon. I just realized that I still have to do the special needs group’s newsletter soon – we go back Jan 7th so I do have a ‘little’ time, but if I stall any I’m sure to get a few harried phone calls: “Pam! Did you send the newsletter yet???” They DO count on getting them, even though the calendar is pretty much the same thing every month.


Crockpot Creamy Chicken
Noodle Soup

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
5 medium carrots, peeled/choppced
(1 3/4 C.)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
(1 1/2 C.)
4 stalks celery, chopped (1 1/4 C.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
6 C. chicken broth (3  15 oz ea cans)
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. celery seed, finely crushed*
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
2 C. uncooked wide egg noodles
3 1/2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. fresh lemon juice

saltine crackers or Parmesan cheese,
for serving (optional)

Add uncut chicken, diced carrots, onion,
celery & garlic to crockpot. Drizzle oil
over top then add chicken broth, water,
thyme, rosemary, celery seed, bay leaves &
salt/pepper to taste. Cover & cook on Low
6-7 hours.
Remove cooked chicken & allow to rest 10
minutes, then dice into bite-sized pieces.
Add egg noodles & parsley to crockpot.
Turn up temp. to High; cover & cook
10 minutes longer (or until noodles are
tender). Stir in lemon juice; toss in cooked
chicken. Serve warm with saltines and/or
top with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-5

*poster noted she crushed the rosemary
in the palm of her hand. Celery seed she
placed in a ziplock bag & crushed with the
side of a meat mallet.


White Bean & Ham Soup

2 T. margarine
1 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. diced celery
1 C. chopped fully cooked ham
2 (15 oz, ea) cans Great Northern
beans, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
with basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/2 C. water

Melt margarine in large saucepan or
Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add
carrots & celery; cook 8 minutes or until
vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients & heat to
boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low,
simmer 5 minutes. Serves 6 (1 1/4 C. ea)


Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake

30 Oreos
1/3 C. melted butter

4 (8 oz, ea) pkg. cream cheese,
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream
4 eggs

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. whipping cream
dash salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz) bag Heath Toffee pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Place Oreos in small food processor
& grind; place crumbs in small bowl.
Pour melted butter over crumbs & mix
to combine well. Using a 10″ springform
pan, press crumbs on bottom and up
1″ of sides of pan. (Note; it works well
to use the bottom of a small measuring
cup to press crust into pan).
Beat cream cheese in stand mixer 2
minutes, until smooth. Add sugar &
vanilla; mix until well combined. Add
eggs, one-at-a-time, mixing well between
each egg. Stir sour cream into mixture,
just until incorporated. Place a 9 X 13
pan of water on lower rack of oven. Pour
cheesecake filling over chocolate crumb
crust. Bake cheesecake 60-70 minutes.
Remove from oven when a toothpick
inserted into middle comes out clean.
Cool completely on wire rack then
refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Place all topping ingredients (except
toffee chips) in microwavesafe bowl.
Heat 30 seconds, then stir. Keep
heating in 30 second increments until
chocolate melts & can easily be
incorporated into cream. Whisk
together well. Set chocolate topping
on counter & let it set up 15 minutes
until it begins to thicken.
NOTE: If you pour it over the cheesecake
when it’s too thin, it will be a mess. It
needs to be thick enough so that once
you pour it over the cheesecake you can
gently PUSH it over the side of the cake
and it will set nicely. The longer you
let it set, the thicker it will become.

When topping is right consistency, pour
it on top of cheesecake. Gently push
it over sides in several areas with a
spoon, so that it runs down sides of
cake just a little. Cover top with toffee
chips & refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 12


Chicken-Chile Stew with Beans
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. dry navy beans
6 chicken thighs (2 1/4 lb)
2 thick slices salt pork (about 4 oz)
8 C. chicken stock or water
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 large Anaheim or poblano peppers,
seeded/ribs removed/cut into 1/3″ dice
1 small serrano or jalapeno peppers,
seeded/minced (optional)
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. honey
2 C. peeled/cubed pumpkin or winter
squash (1 inch cube)

Hot, cooked rice

chopped cilantro, slivered red onion,
thin slices jalapeno or serrano peppers,
sour cream

Rinse beans & remove any stones or
damaged beans; place in 6 qt. Dutch
oven. Add 8 C. water; cover & soak
8-24 hours.
Drain & rinse beans; return to pan & set
In large, nonstick skillet slowly
cook salt pork until lightly browned; add
to beans along with 8 C. stock/water. Add
a big pinch salt; bring to a simmer. Skim
‘scum’ as needed. Simmer, partially covered,
1 1/2 hours.
In skillet used to cook salt pork, slowly cook
chicken, skin side down first, until very well
browned, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken
from skillet; set aside. Pour off all but 2 T.
fat from pan. Add onions & a dash kosher
salt; stir well, scraping up any browned bits
from bottom of pan. Add peppers & garlic;
stir well. Cook, slowly 5-10 minutes, stirring
often. Sprinkle with paprika, chili powder &
cocoa; stir well. Stir in tomato paste & honey;
cook another 3-5 minutes. If liquid level is
below the beans, add more stock or water.
Ladle a cup of bean liquid into the onion/
pepper mixture; bring to a simmer, carefully
transfer to Dutch oven with beans. Taste for
seasonings & adjust as needed. Add chicken
thighs & cook, partially covered, on a low
simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add pumpkin &
cook until chicken is tender & pumpkin is cooked
through but not collapsing, about 15 minutes.
Remove & discard salt pork. Serve over rice,
with toppings. Serves 6


Lemon Refrigerator Bites

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

garnish suggestions: lemon zest,
fresh blueberries or fresh fruit

Spray an 8 X 8 baking dish with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl, combine graham
cracker crumbs, sugar & butter; mix well.
Press mixture firmly into prepared pan;
refrigerate until ready to fill.
In large bowl beat cream cheese &
condensed milk until smooth. Beat in
lemon juice & zest; stir in Cool Whip just
until mixed; pour into graham crust.
Refrigerate 6 hours or until filling is firm.
Garnish with your choice of suggested items.
Slice into 2 inch squares & serve.
Makes 20 squares.

Egg Drop Soup

3 1/4 C. chicken broth plus 3/4 C.,
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 T. chives, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
4 eggs
1 egg yolk

Pour 3 1/4 C. chicken broth into a
large saucepan. Stir in salt, ginger &
chives; bring to a boil. In a cup or
small bowl stir together remaining
broth & cornstarch until smooth;
set aside. In small bowl whisk eggs &
egg yolk together using a fork. Drizzle
egg, a little at a time, from fork into
boiling broth mixture; egg should
cook immediately. Once eggs have
been dropped, stir in cornstarch
mixture gradually until soup is the
desired consistency. Serves 4


Pizza Casserole

1 box bow tie pasta
1 lb. sausage, mild
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, chopped
2 (26 oz,ea) jars spaghetti
1/2 C. cubed cooked ham
1/2 to 1 lb. sliced pepperoni
3 (8 oz, ea) bags shredded
mozzarella cheese
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente in
boiling water. Cook sausage,
garlic powder & oregano with
onions until juices run clear.
(Drain grease).
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9 X 13 pan; pour
a small amount of spaghetti
sauce in bottom to lightly coat.
Layer ingredients in this order:

1st Layer:
1/3 of pasta
1/3 remaining sauce
1 bag mozzarella cheese
2 T. Parmesan cheese
Sausage & onions

2nd Layer:
1/2 of remaining pasta
1/2 remaining sauce
1 bag mozzarella cheese
2 T. Parmesan cheese

3rd layer:
all remaining pasta
all remaining sauce
1 bag mozzarella cheese
2 T. Parm. cheese
all pepperoni, completely
covering entire top of dish

Bake 40 minutes. Let set
5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8-10

Cheeseburger Dip

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 (6 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. ketchup
1/2 C. cooked/chopped bacon
1 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 tsp. salt
sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook onion & ground beef in medium
skillet until beef is cooked completely;
drain & set aside. In medium bowl
combine cream cheese, mayonnaise,
ketchup, bacon, Cheese & salt; stir
until well combined – stir in ground
beef mixturue. Pour into a 8″ X 8″
pan, smooth out. Bake 20-25 minutes
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before
serving (gives a cheeseburger ‘bun’

Upside-Down Lemon

Meringue Dessert

1/4 C. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 1/2 C. water
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. lemon Jell-0
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream
1 T. graham cracker crumbs

Mix sugar & cornstarch in medium saucepan.
Gradually stir in water until blended. Bring to
boil on medium heat; cook 8 minutes, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat & add dry
Jell-0 mixes & zest; stir 2 minutes until Jello
is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour or
until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
Microwave marshmallows & milk in medium
microwaveable bowl on High 1 minute or until
marshmallows are puffed. Stir until marshmallows
are completely melted & mixture is well blended.
Stir in vanilla; cool 5 minutes. Blend in sour cream.
Pour into 9 inch square pan* sprayed with non-stick
spray. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Spoon Jello mixture gently over marshmallow layer
in pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Sprinkle with
graham cracker crumbs. Unmold dessert onto serving
plate just before serving. Serves 12

*Can use 8″ square pan or 8-9″ round pan sprayed
with nonstick spray

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Our weather is still holding – right now it’s 42
degrees F and cloudy. Looking at the next few
days we’re having steadily dropping temps,
but no snow in the forecast (at least through
Weds!) That’s GREAT!

Hope you’re enjoying your ‘days after Christmas’;
remember to take some time for yourself – maybe
a quick nap or put your feet up/ have something
tasty to drink (hot chocolate/tea/coffee/or a
pop?), remember to eat every once in awhile
(that’s something I tend to forget). It’s the
holidays – indulge a little (not a lot, but Hey!
like I’ve said before: “life’s short – eat dessert



Published in: on December 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm  Comments (1)