just a wee bit ‘o snow . . .

Usually I mention when we get a snow storm here in Michigan but THIS time it looks like most of the country got blasted with cold/snow/sleet/rain, etc. All day Saturday I kept hoping that our snow plow guy would come clear our driveway (we got about 4 inches) only to get a phone call from my neighbor informing his plow is in the shop FOR A WEEK! Great! This is the NEW (this season) guy who was so great for the last snow fall . . . Our middle son works nights sometimes and, wouldn’t you know it, he worked last night! He has a small Honda car (very light weight) so I was worried he might not be able to GET OUT of our driveway (let alone, get UP it when he got home the next day – today). He had to do a bit of ‘back & forth’ but he made it. Husband was also worried we wouldn’t be able to do that very same thing for church this morning – we made it just fine. In a few hours I will get my ‘turn’ at battling the drivway, as I have choir practice at 4:45 – I’m pretty good with my minivan & snow, so we’ll see. We were also supposed to get freezing rain on top of all the snow – if we got any it was very little – very thin crust of ‘crunch’ on top of the snow today. I spent almost all of Saturday finishing reading a book: “Dragon Bones” by Lisa See – interesting murder/mystery and knitting – it was a VERY long day.


Amish Peanut Butter Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked/cooled

Peanut Butter Crumbles:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Filling:
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 C. whipped cream (or 1 C. Cool Whip,

Whipped Topping on top of pie:
2 C. whipped cream (or one 8 oz. tub
Cool Whip, defrosted)
NOTE: If making whipped cream, using
elec. mixer, whip together on medium-
high speed 1 C. whipping cream & 3 T.
powdered sugar. To get whipped cream
texture – 1 C. whipping cream makes 2 C.
when whipped
Peanut Butter Crumbles:
Using elec. mixer, in medium bowl add
powdered sugar & peanut butter – mix on
medium speed until small peanut  butter
crumbles start to come together. (If
mixture is too powdery – add a few drops
water & larger nuggets will form.) Add half
the peanut butter nuggets to bottom of
baked pie shell.

Using elec. mixer in large bowl mix dry
vanilla pudding mix, milk & peanut butter
for 2 minutes. Add in whipped cream – mix
in lightly & pour into pie crust on top of
crumbles – smooth top.

Top pie with whipped cream (or Cool Whip).
Add half remaining peanut butter crumbles
(as many as you want) to top of pie. Place pie
in fridge at least 1-2 minutes to set up before

NOTE: You can make the pie more peanut
buttery by adding a few T. peanut butter or
make it more creamy by adding 1/2 C. more
whipped cream to peanut butter filling.

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)

Crockpot Steak Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef sirloin tip roast, cut
into cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. canola oil
1 oz. pkg. dry onion soup mix
4 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 C. uncooked wide egg noodles
In a large ziplock bag mix flour,
salt/pepper – add beef cubes. Seal
bag & toss to coat meat with flour
until well coated. In large, deep skillet
heat oil over medium-high heat – add
coated cubes. Saute until brown (about
6 minutes – turning cubes to brown on
all sides – place in crockpot. Sprinkle
dry soup mix evenly over meat. In a
bowl whisk broth, tomato paste &
Wors. sauce – pour over beef. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours until beef is
Add noodles – cover & cook for 30
minutes longer, until noodles are tender.
Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Blue Cheese Crescent Spirals


1/4 C. toasted pecans
8 oz. cream cheese
4 T. blue cheese
1 T. milk (as needed)
1 (8 oz) pkg. crescent rolls
20 pecan halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a food processor add pecans &
process until finely chopped. Add
cheeses & process until very smooth –
add milk, if necessary to blend smoothly.
At this point you can prepare ahead of
time & place in a covered dish -refrigerate
until ready to proceed.
Unroll dough into 4 long rectangles; firmly
press perforations to seal. Spread cheese
mixture on each rectangle. Starting at short
side, roll up & press to seal. Cut each of the
4 rolls into 5 slices, making 20 slices total.
Place each slice, cut sides down, onto an
ungreased cookie sheet. Press 1 pecan half
on each slice & bake 15-20 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet
& serve. Makes 20 spirals

(recipe: food.com)

Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

4 1/2 C. cooked penne pasta (about
2 1/2 C./8 oz. dry)
1 (14.5 oz) jar Prego Alfredo sauce
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. ranch salad dressing
1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir cooked pasta, sauce,
bacon, dressing & half of cheese. Spoon
mixture into a 8 X 8″ baking dish &
sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Bake 30 minutes until pasta is hot &
bubbling. Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)

Chicken Fried Rice

2 T. olive oil
3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
kosher salt/ground black pepper
2 T. sesame oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled/diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh minced ginger
4 C. cooked white rice
3/4 C. frozen peas
3 large eggs, beaten
3 T. soy sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In medium skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Season chicken with salt/pepper
on both sides. Add to skillet & cook until
golden & no longer pink – about 8 minutes
per side. Remove from skillet & let rest
5 minutes; cut into bite-sized pieces. To
same skillet heat 1 T. sesame oil & cook
onion & carrots 5 minutes until soft. Add
garlic & ginger – cook until fragrant- 1
minute. Stir in rice & peas; cook until
warmed, 2 minutes. Push rice to one side
of skillet & add remaining 1 T. sesame oil
on other side of skillet. Add egg & stir until
almost fully cooked, then fold eggs into rice.
Add chicken back to skillet with soy sauce &
green onions – stir to combine. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)

Winter Cherry Bars

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. flour
2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling*

1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 to 3 T. whole milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
large bowl using an electric
mixer, cream butter, sugar &
salt until light & fluffy. Add eggs,
one at a time, beating well after
each addition. Beat in extracts &
gradually add in flour. Spread 3 C.
dough into bottom of prepared
pan – spread out evenly & top
with pie filling. Drop remaining
dough by teaspoonfuls over filling.
Bake 35-40 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack.

In a small bowl mix powdered sugar,
extracts & enough milk to reach
desired consistency – drizzle over
top of cooled bars.

*You can use any pie filling you like.
For a Black Forest variation, add a
handful of mini chocolate chips.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

This coming week looks to be pretty busy – something
going on every day – we’ll see how it ‘shakes down’!

Have a GREAT day!




Since it’s winter (and I’m getting LOTS of crockpot recipes) I thought it might be different to feature crockpot recipes in one blog post. It’s amazing the things you can cook in one; I have a large (think it’s 9 qt) one and make good use of it.


Crockpot Cheesecake

1 1/2 C. flour
4 T. butter, melted/hot
1 large egg, beaten
3 T. peanut butter
3 T. sugar
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. heavy cream
1 T. vanilla
1 T. lemon juice
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 C. preserves, (your choice of flavor) melted

Spray insides of crockpot (6 qt) with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl mix flour, melted butter, 1 egg-
beaten, peanut butter & 3 T. sugar – mix
well & press into bottom of crockpot into
a crust – prick with a fork.
Place ricotta cheese in a food processor –
blend until smooth. Using an elec. mixer,
in a bowl cream cream cheese, smoothed
ricotta, & remaining sugar on medium speed
until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
In another bowl mix heavy cream, remaining
eggs & holks, vanilla & lemon juice until well
blended. Add egg mixture to cream cheese
mixture & mix in slowly, turning up speed
on mixer to medium once the liquid has
started to mix in (& won’t splash out). MIx
on medium until just blended. Pour mixture
over crust. Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours
until center is almost set. (carefully rotate
crock – if you have a removable liner, to
reduce uneven cooking).
Once cooking is done, carefully remove lid
(do not let any liquid drip onto cheesecake).
Place a clean cooking towel over top of
crockpot (be careful not to let the towel
touch the top of the cake). Cool completely
before slicing into 12 pieces.
Melt preserves in a microwaveable dish/
bowl & top slices with melted preserves.
Serves 12
Store any leftovers in fridge or freezer.


Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

2 lb. cooked ham steak, cut into
serving-sized pieces
8 potatoes, peeled/sliced
1 onion, sliced
10 slices American cheese
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup

Lightly spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer half ham
in bottom; top with half potato slices &
onion. Place half of cheese slices on top
(tear pieces to fit on one layer) – repeat
layering. Spread soup over top. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours (or High 3 hours)
the potatoes should be tender & cheese
bubbly. Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Chicken Florentine Soup

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cubed
2 T. butter, sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) bag baby spinach
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme

fresh grated Parmesan cheese – garnish
Place all ingredients except baby spinach &
Parm. cheese in crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 3-4 hours (or High 1 1/2 – 2 hours),
stirring occasionally.
With about 15-20 minutes left on cooking
time, stir in baby spinach. Cover – it is done
when spinach is wilted & chicken is cooked
through (no pink). Top with grated Parm &
serve. Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. wild rice, uncooked
1 C. each: chopped celery
chopped onion
1 C. shredded carrots
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. whipping cream
2 T. soy sauce
1 C. sliced almonds, toasted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Place chicken in crockpot; top with
rice & vegetables. Add broth, cover &
cook on Low 6-7 hours (or High 3-4 hours).
Whisk flour, cream & soy sauce in medium
bowl until blended. Ladle 1 C. liquid from
crockpot into flour mixture – mix well &
return to crockpot – mix well. Stir in nuts.
Cover & cook on High 20 minutes. Add
cream cheese – stir. Cover & cook 10 minutes
longer. Stir before serving.
Serves 9

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Crockpot Kielbasa & BBQ Beans

2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
2 (15.8 oz, ea) cans Great Northern
beans, drained/rinsed
1 onion, diced
1/2 C. BBQ sauce
3/4 C. ketchup
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. molasses
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked & cut into
bite-sized pieces
2 lb. Kielbasa, cut into bite-sized

In large crockpot add all ingredients
except Kielbasa – stir gently to combine.
Place kielbasa on top & cover. Cook on
Low 6-8 hours (or High 4-5 hours). Stir
in kielbasa before serving. Serves 16

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Crockpot Doritos Taco Casserole
(for crockpot with removable

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 oz. dry pkt. taco seasoning ix
1/2 C. water
1 (13.5 oz.) can Cheddar cheese
soup *
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (15.25 oz) can black beans drained/
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bag Doritos, crumbled

Lightly spray inside of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix water & taco
seasoning mix; mix in cooked ground
beef. In separate large bowl mix soup,
refried beans & black beans. Add ground
beef mixture to bean mixture & stir until
well combined – spread out in crockpot &
sprinkle cheese on top evenly. Cover &
cook on Low 4 hours or High 2 hours.
Remove crockpot insert from heating
unit & let rest 30 minutes. Sprinkle
crumbled Doritos on top right before
serving. Serves 6-8

*If you can only find a 13.5 oz can of
Cheddar cheese soup that will work

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Lasagna

1-2 pkgs. frozen ravioli (depends on size of
raviolis) whatever flavor you like
1 (16 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
2-3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Spoon a little sauce on
bottom (enough to cover bottom lightly.)
Add layers of ravioli, sauce & cheese – repeat
layers until crockpot is about 3/4ths full.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Serves 4

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

Crockpot Shrimp Chowder

1/2 C. chopped onion
2 tsp. butter
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of
potato soup, undiluted
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of
chicken soup, undiluted
1 (7 oz) can white or shoepeg corn,
1 tsp. Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 lb. peeled/deveiend cooked small
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed

In small skillet saute onion in butter
until tender. In 5 qt crockpot combine
onion, milk, soups, corn, Creole
seasoning & garlic powder. Cover &
cook on Low 3 hours. Stir in shrimp &
cream cheese. Cover & cook 30 minutes
until shrimp are heated through &
cheese is melted. Stir to blend before
serving. Serves 12 (makes 3 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Triple Chocolate Cake

1 (18.5 oz) box chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. oil
1 C. water

Optional garnish: vanilla ice cream
Place all ingredients (except ice cream)
in crockpot – mix well. Cover & cook on
High 3-4 hours. Serve warm, garnished
with scoops of ice cream. Serves 8-10

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Crockpot Peanut Butter Bread

3/4 C. hot water
3/4 C. peanut butter smooth or chunky
2 c. flour
3/4 C. milk
1/3 C. sugar
1 large egg
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Optional additions:
1 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. chocolate chips
Butter or spray (using nonstick cooking
spray) a loaf pan.
In large bowl add hot water & peanut
butter – stir to combine to allow peanut
butter to melt. Add remaining ingredients
& mix well until there are no lumps in batter.
Pour batter into loaf pan. Place a metal rack
or trivet in bottom of a 6 qt or larger crockpot;
place loaf pan on rack. Place a clean kitchen
towel or a layer of paper towels between the
lid & crockpot & cover. Cook on High until a
toothpick inserted in middle of bread comes
out clean. Carefully remove pan from crockpot
& allow bread to cool before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)


I have a lot more crockpot recipes but
thought I’d do something a little different
& just feature them for a post. They ALL
sound yummy to me (although I’ll have
to admit – I haven’t tried them . . . )

Our weather continues to be unusual for
January in Michigan but I’m not complaining:
it’s been between 30 – 40’s & clear (sometimes
sunny, right now it’s overcast). I am hearing that
we’re supposed to be in for some snow & freezing
rain Friday/Saturday/Sunday – oh joy. Friday
night is my special needs group’s Gym Night
so I’m really hoping it holds off until we all get
home (up to 3 inches snow expected).

It’s been a rather quiet week – I kept waiting for
the text asking for me to babysit but finally today
I heard that my son has his entire kitchen/dining
room/living room floor torn up (I remember he
mentioned he wanted to put down new flooring –
guess he’s making good on that!). Next baby date
is next Friday!

Hope you are all well & warm – enjoy your day!



Published in: on January 16, 2020 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Hope you’re safe & warm!

Our weather has been unseasonably WARM lately – with some rain. We’ve been ‘enjoying’ 40’s (today it’s 30’s) but it’s raining with a chance of a WHOLE LOT of nasty coming. Ice Storm Warning/Flood Warning, rain/freezing rain; high today of 35 degrees F. but tomorrow it will be 26 degrees F. with a possible chance of snow – Yep, it’s MICHIGAN! (we might not be going to church tomorrow – we’ll just have to wait & see).

I’m done babysitting after 2 days of it; ‘almost’ 3 yr old grandson totally amazes me – it’s like a toddler with a 40+ yr old mind. I was sewing up a baby bootie while he played with his trucks. He said: “Grandma, Look!” I raised my head & said: “OK!” He instantly replied with: “NO, PUT YOUR GLASSES ON & LOOK!” (How does an almost 3 yr old kid know that I can’t see squat without my glasses!???) Yesterday he asked me what my favorite number and food was – I replied: “Three and pizza”. “GREAT IDEA! he said – DAD, that was a GREAT IDEA!” (who knows what he’s thinking!???)


Easy Banana Cake
(for all those leftover bananas!)

3 bananas
8 T. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, room temp.
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. chopped walnuts, (optional)

Maple Butter Frosting

8 T. butter
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp. maple extract
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray (or)
line with parchment paper. In large
bowl beat bananas & butter until
thoroughly combined. Add sugars &
mix with butter/banana mixture. Mix
in vanilla & eggs, one-at-a-time,  mixing
until completely combined. In a small
bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking
powder & salt – gradually add to wet
mixture, stirring just until combined.
(fold in chopped nuts, if using). Pour
batter into prepared pan & bake 23-27
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
cake comes out clean. Allow cake to
cool completely.

Brown Butter Maple Frosting

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium
heat, stirring occasionally. (butter will start
to foam & then start browning – you should
be able to smell a nutty aroma when it’s
ready). Remove from heat & allow to cool
at least 30 minutes. Beat cooled/browned
butter & cream cheese together until
completely blended, light & fluffy. Beat in
maple extract & powdered sugar – a half
cup at-a-time. Spread frosting onto cooled
cake & sprinkle top with chopped nuts if

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Dump & Go Beef Noodle Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 C. frozen mixed vegetables (OR)
1 (15 oz) can mixed vegetables
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/ C. uncooked medium egg noodles

In a Dutch oven cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Add tomatoes, broth, veggies &
seasonings – bring to a boil. Add noodles;
reduce heat to Medium-Low. Cover & cook
10-15 minutes until noodles are tender.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes, scrubbed/dried
2 T. olive oil
1 T. kosher or sea salt
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream
5-6 green onions, sliced
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Rub potatoes with olive oil & salt –
place on a baking sheet. Bake
45-60 minutes until tender when
pierced with a fork, flipping potatoes
halfway through baking time.
Let cool 15 minutes.

REDUCE oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ (or 9 X 13″) baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces &
place in a bowl. (pieces might fall
apart – that’s OK). Stir in may & sour

Set aside 1/3 C. cheese, 3 T.
bacon, 2 T. sliced green onions for
topping the casserole

Stir in remaining ingredients & spoon
into prepared dish. Top with reserved
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes,
removing foil last 10 minutes.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Crockpot Pork Chops w/ Caramelized Apples & Onions

4 pork chops
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
cut into pieces
2 yellow onions, sliced into rounds
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & layer onions
then apples on bottom. Sprinkle brown
sugar over top. Season chops with salt/
pepper generously on both sides & place
on top of apples. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/2 C. milk
2 T. chopped pimiento (optional)
1 C. frozen green peas
2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water, drained
4 oz. (about 2 C.) medium egg noodles,
2 T. plain dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Stir soup, milk, pimientos (if using), peas,
tuna & noodles into a 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. Stir bread crumbs & butter into a
small dish. Bake casserole 20 minutes until
hot & bubbling. Stir tuna mixture & sprinkle
top with bread crumb mixture. Bake 5 more
minutes until top is golden brown.
Serves 4

*a reader of the site recommended using
Campbell’s Garlic Mushroom soup for
added flavor

(recipe: campbells.com)

Crockpot Cheesy Bean Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
Tortilla chips, for dipping
In large bowl blend all ingredients
except shredded cheese. Spoon half
of mixture into crockpot & layer with
half the shredded cheese. Add remaining
cream cheese mixture & top with remaining
cheese. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours –
serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Chocolate Brownie Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box fudge brownie mix
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. water
1 C. oil

Ganache: (chocolate glaze)

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (12 oz) bag semi sweet chocolate
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray a
Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray
or use the butter/flour method. Combine
first 5 ingredients in large bowl & whisk
2 minutes until most lumps are gone.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake
50-55 minutes. Remove cake from oven
& allow to cool in pan up to 5 minutes.
Carefully turn cake out onto a cooling
rack & cool 30 minutes.


Place heavy whipping cream in a large
microwavesafe bowl. Heat about 2
minutes – you want the cream to be
just boiling. Carefully pour choc. morsels
into cream (it may rise up & bubble –
that’s OK). Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk
chocolate & cream until shiny & smooth,
about 1 minute then pour over cooled
cake & serve.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)


Depending on the weather, I might be home
doing more knitting. Still working on the Zig Zag
mint green afghan – I like the looks of it but it’s
‘fussy’ – that means I can usually only knit about
8 rows before I’m more than DONE wanting to
knit on it again for awhile. The other Two-Color
Star Stitch afghan is about 3/4ths done – I keep
plugging away on both of them as well as try to
add to the knit baby booties; think I have something
like 15 prs. now. It takes me about an hour to knit
a pair of premie booties & about a 1 1/2 hrs. to
knit a larger set.

Hope you are all in good health & adjusting to
our New Year. Last week was a rather rough
week – just goofy things happening, almost
every day. Finally, by Thursday evening, after
babysitting, I decided I needed something –
so I ordered Jet’s PIZZA! YAY! We really like
their deep dish Veggie pizza with garlic/
Parmesan crust – that just hit the spot!



Closing in on the last few days of this year!

Our weather here in Michigan is really being goofy lately (I’m not complaining, though) it’s been in the 40’s, no snow & today it’s gloomy & raining. Weather report is predicting up to 2 inches of the white stuff somewhere around Tuesday – oh, goody BUT it doesn’t look like any more is coming for the rest of the week – HOPEFULLY!

Lots of recipes coming in and I thought you might like some for the upcoming New Year’s Eve festivities you might be attending or hosting.


Glazed Ham & Cheese Rolls

1 stick salted butter
1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 T. mustard ( yellow or Dijon)
1 (12 oz) pkg. King’s Hawaiian Sweet
Rolls (pkg. of 12)
12 slices black forest ham (1/2 lb)
12 slices Monterey Jack Cheese (or
8 oz shredded)

For Dipping:
Raspberry preserves
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small pot melt butter with
Worc. sauce, brown sugar & mustard
until thoroughly melted & combined.
Remove rolls from pkg. & slice through
all rolls (while still attached), cutting
them in half horizontally ( like hamburger
buns). Brush glaze mixture onto both
cut sides of rolls, being generous with
glaze, covering well. On one side of rolls
add sliced ham then top with cheese.
Place tops on rolls & brush tops with
leftover glaze mixture. Place rolls in a
baking dish. Cover tightly with foil &
bake 25 minutes.
Serve rolls with warmed raspberry
preserves for dipping.
Makes 12

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)
Cranberry Habanero Cheese Puffs

1 pkg. frozen puff pastry (one
half of 17.3 oz pkg), thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Hot Habanero
Cheese, cut into 16 cubes
3 T. orange marmalade
3/4 C. fresh cranberries*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet in parchment
Unfold pastry onto a cutting board;
cut into 16 squares Place in a single
layer on prepared sheet. Bake 15-20
minutes until pastry is puffed & golden
brown. Remove from oven.
Top each ‘puff’ with a cheese cube; press
into pastry with the rounded handle of
a wooden spoon to make level with top
of pastry. Top with a little marmalade &
cranberries – bake 7-10 minutes until
cheese is softened. Let stand on sheet
5 minutes until cheese is melted then
transfer to a serving plate.
Makes 16

*You can prepare using thawed frozen
unsweetened cranberries, also

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Bacon-wrapped Scallops

2 lb. large sea scallops, patted dry
1 lb. bacon slices, cut in half
1/4 C. maple syrup
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. chopped parsley

Preheat broiler.
Spray a sheet pan with nonstick
cooking spray.
Wrap a slice of bacon around each
scallop & secure with a toothpick;
arrange in single layer on sheet pan.
In small bowl mix maple syrup, soy
sauce, garlic powder, salt/pepper –
brush half mixture over top of each
scallop. Broil 10-15 minutes until
bacon is crisp & scallops are cooked
through. Brush remaining sauce over
scallops halfway through cooking
time. Sprinkle with parsley & serve.
Serves 6

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

Crockpot Mac & Cheese

2 C. dry elbow macaroni noodles,
large or small
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 C. shredded sharp white Cheddar
2 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Cook pasta on stove accordg. to pkg.
directions (not any longer). Get
other ingredients ready while pasta cooks.
Drain pasta immediately after done cooking
& add to crockpot with remaining ingredients
& stir. Cover & cook on High 2 hours. Stir
pasta twice during cooking time – once at the
hour mark & once at the 1 1/2 hr. mark – be
gentle when stirring.
When cooking time is up, add more cheese to
top; cover & cook 5-10 minutes to melt cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)

Crockpot Sausage Dip

4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
2 (16 oz, ea) pkgs (Jimmy Dean)
original breakfast sausage
1 (10 oz) can RoTel tomatoes &
1 (10 oz) can hot Rotel tomatoes &
tortilla chips, for dipping
In a skillet over medium heat brown
both pkgs. sausauge – drain & break
into crumbles. Place cubed cream
cheese into crockpot. Add sausage &
both cans RoTel (with juice). Cover &
heat on High 1 hour, stirring occasionally,
until dip is well mixed & heated through.
Reduce heat to warm/low & serve with
tortilla chips.
Makes 10 cups

(recipe: food.com)

Baked Bacon Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. hot sauce
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
12 oz. bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

1 round sourdough bread (about 16 oz)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut top off bread & scoop out insides,
leaving 1-inch layer of bread in bowl.
Brush insides with olive oil & place on
a baking sheet – bake 10 minutes.
In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, mayo, hot sauce – mix until combined.
Stir in Cheddar cheese, Mozz, Pepper Jack,
green onions & bacon. Carefully spoon filling
into bread bowl & top with Parmesan cheese.
Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
Bake bread 45 minutes-1 hour until dip is
heated through & cheese has melted completely.
Serve immediately.
Makes 24 servings

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
Bacon/Ranch/Beer Cheeseball

8 oz. cream cheese (2 pkgs)
2 C. finely shredded Cheddar (or
Mexican cheese blend) cheese
1 oz. pkt. Ranch dip mix
1/3 C. beer (poster used Negra Modelo)
5 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 T. pimento peppers, drained
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 C. pretzel crumbs
Pretzels, for dipping
In large bowl beat cream cheese until
light & fluffy. Beat in shredded cheese &
dip mix until thoroughly combined. Slowly
pour in beer & continue mixing until fully
incorporated. Stir in bacon, peppers &
green onions. Line a small bowl with plastic
wrap. Spoon cheese mixture into bowl so
that it takes on the shape of the bowl. Use
ends of plastic wrap to wrap up the cheeseball
firmly. Place bowl in fridge & let set up for
24 hours.
Remove cheeseball from fridge &
remove plastic wrap.  Press pretzel
crumbs into sides of cheeseball. Serve with
additional pretzels for dipping.
Makes 12 servings

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
Bacon Cream Cheese Deviled Eggs

10 hard boiled eggs
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (or plain yellow)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (or white
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 T. chopped chives

Cut boiled eggs in half length-wise &
remove yolks. In a bowl beat cream
cheese with mayo until fluffy – add in
egg yolks, mustard, salt/pepper & beat
until smooth (test for seasoning & adjust
salt/pepper, if needed). Stir in bacon &
chives – reserving some for garnish.
Spoon or pipe filling back into egg white
halves & sprinkle tops with bacon &
chives (if desired). Keep refrigerated until
ready to serve. Serves 20

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
Bacon-wrapped Chicken
Teriyaki Bites

1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken
1 lb. bacon, slices cut into thirds
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in
100% pineapple juice
3/4 C. low-sodium teriyaki sauce
3/4 C. brown sugar

wooden toothpicks soaked in water
for at least an hour

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Drain juice from pineapple (save juice).
Cover & refrigerate chunks until needed.
Combine juice & teriyaki sauce in large
ziplock bag or bowl – add chicken pieces.
Seal & refrigerate 1 hour, turning bag
once – or stirring if  in a bowl.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place brown sugar in a shallow dish or bowl.
Line a broiler pan with foil & spray with
nonstick cooking spray. Working in batches,
wrap each piece of chicken with a strip of
bacon & roll in brown sugar. Push a toothpick
through a pineapple chunk  then through the
bacon-wrapped chicken – place on prepared
broiler pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked
through, turning pieces once.
Turn on broiler & broil 2-3 minutes per side
until bacon is crispy. (keep an eye on them
as the toothpicks can burn).
Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Brownie Cheesecake Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened*
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. coarsely crumbled bite-sized
brownies, divided**
1/4 C. finely chopped pecans,

Suggested Dippers:
vanilla wafers
shortbread cookies
pretzel sticks
Unwrap cream cheese & place in a
microwaveable bowl. Microwave on
High 10 seconds just until softened.

**NOTE: you will need to crumble
about 16 (1 1/2 inch) brownies to
get the 2-C. measure needed
In large bowl using elec.  mixer beat
cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla &
1 1/2 C. crumbled brownies until blended.
Refrigerate 45 minutes until firm.
Combine nuts & remaining crumbled
brownies in a shallow dish or pie plate.
Shape cream cheese mixture into a ball;
roll in nut mixture until evenly coated.
Refrigerate 2 hours. Serves 16

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)


This coming week will seem a bit strange for me
as there are NO scheduled activities on the calendar!
No Tues. Knit Group, Wed. Library Knit Group,
Weds. special needs group – just babysitting (hoping
I only get 1-2 days of that). Love my grandson but
also love being home, too.

Finished youngest son’s black scarf with red fringe &
he said he likes it. Decided to start another NEW pattern
baby blanket – this one is using mint green yarn and a
Zig Zag pattern – 8 rows, kind of like knitting lace, have
to concentrate on every row but it keeps my mind busy.
(using my new wooden needles – they have fine tips &
I LOVE them!)


Hope you have a GREAT week!



Very quiet around here –

I don’t know about YOUR weather, but here in (what’s supposed to be COLD) Michigan, we’re ENJOYING (at least my family is) a balmy 50’s bit! Today it’s kind of overcast & gloomy, but who can complain when there’s NO SNOW OR ICE! Last night I went out to pick up our paper (forgot to get it earlier) – it’s usually tossed on our driveway –  around 7:30 p.m. there was ‘dew-like’ moisture on the paper an all over cars, ground, etc. Normally that would have frozen into a film of ice but NO – it’s just plain old WATER! YAY!

Today is babysitting from 3 p.m. – ? so I’m taking my knitting (of course). Finally finished the variegated pinks baby afghan and am determined to get the black scarf for middle son DONE before it goes back to really cold weather (am about 3/4th’s done now).

For Christmas my oldest son got me a beautiful set of wooden circular needles from KnitPicks – very fancy! (I finished the pink blanket on them). Awhile ago he was looking at that same blanket (on my plastic circular needles) when one end of the needle attachment came apart leaving several stitches flying until I could get them back on the needle/cable. That got him to thinking that there must be a better way to attach them so he went on line. (the new ones screw in and have a ‘locking’ key to secure the attachment area: needle/cable). I’ve decided that I’m not going to take up any NEW patterns for blankets until I finish my youngest son’s scarf – that way I’m forcing myself not to procrastinate! (good luck with that . . . I tend to get bored just knitting one thing). We’ll see how that goes.

How was your Christmas & dinner(s)? Ours was lovely at oldest son’s house. He cooked an enormous ham & sent some home with us. My guys here LOVE ham hot or cold so the ‘sent home’ ham quickly vanished. I just put a ham in the oven – it should be cooked by the time I have to leave to babysit (that way I get some to take with me!).

Of course I have MORE recipes to share with you – enjoy!


Chocochip Gooey Treats

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 T.)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 T.)
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center position.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Pour
cake mix in large bowl, add egg &
melted butter – mix until combined
(using elec. mixer works best). Batter
will be consistency of loose Play-doh)
Scrape batter into prepared dish &
use spatula to get bowl & beaters as
clean as possible. (Place beaters & bowl
aside for later use for filling).
Using clean hands, press dough evenly into
bottom of pan. In (used) mixing bowl, beat
cream cheese until fluffy. Add 2 eggs & 1 tsp.
vanilla – beat until very well combined. With
mixer at Low to Medium-Low speed, very
gradually add powdered sugar until thoroughly
combined. Gradually add melted butter &
mix well. Pour filling mixture over crust batter
& spread evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes – it will
still be jiggly. Remove from oven & allow to
cool at least 2 hours before cutting.

(recipe: 77tasty.com)

Jalapeno Popper Dip

10-12 slices bacon
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

tortilla chips or
slices of baguette

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes – drain
& chop. In large bowl mix cream cheese, mayo,
sour cream, garlic powder, most of bacon (reserve
some for topping), most of jalapenos (reserve
some for topping) & 1 C. each Cheddar & Mont.
Jack cheeses – season with salt/pepper. Transfer
mixture to a small oven-safe skillet or baking
dish & sprinkle with remaining bacon, jalapeno,
& both cheeses. Bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly &
golden brown. (If desired, broil 3 minutes to turn
cheese golden brown). Serve with tortilla chips
or baguette slices. Serves 4-6

(recipe: delish.com)

Crockpot Frito Pie Chili

1 lb. gr. beef or turkey
1 T. taco seasoning
1/2 C. diced onion
1 C. water
1/2 C. long-grain white rice (or jasmine
1 (10 oz) can mild enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can chili beans (pinto beans
in tomatoes & seasonings also called
ranch-style beans)
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 1/4 C. Frito corn chips
5 T. diced green onions
5 T. sour cream
5 T. diced tomatoes

Heat a pan over medium-high heat;
cook gr. beef & break it up. Add onions &
taco seasoning – brown about 5 minutes;
drain, & add meat, etc. to crockpot. Add
water, rice, enchilada sauce & beans to
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours
until rice is tender. Remove lid. Stir in
cheese & ladle into 5 bowls – top each
bowl with 1/4 C. Fritos, 1 T. green onions,
1 T. sour cream & 1 T. diced tomatoes.
Serves 5

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Easy Glazed Honey-Balsamic Chicken

1/3 C. honey
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dried thyme
salt/pepper to taste
3 lb. chicken, (thighs & drumsticks

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with
foil or parchment paper. Place chicken
pieces on sheet & season with salt/pepper.
Rub well to work seasonings into chicken.
In small bowl or measuring cup whisk
honey, bals. vinegar & thyme – drizzle a
small amount onto each piece of chicken,
using a brush to coat the chicken. Roast
20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked
through, brushing glaze on 2 more times
during cooking time. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: amomontimeout.com)

Rice Pilaf

1/2 C. uncooked orzo pasta
1 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
1 C. chopped onions
1 C. uncooked long grain white rice
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 1/2 C. chicken stock

(optional: chopped fresh parsley – garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In Dutch oven over medium heat, toast raw
orzo DRY, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon until it turns a light walnut color
(3-4 minutes) – remove to a bowl.
Add olive oil & butter to pan – once butter is
melted, add onions & rice; saute 5 minutes
stirring occasionally until onions are
translucent. If rice starts to get brown, remove
from heat before you proceed to next step.

Add garlic & stir 1 minute; add bay leaves, thyme,
pepper & browned orzo. Add & stir chicken stock.
Be careful – when stock hits the hot pan, it will
bubble up. Stir once, cover & place in oven for
30 minutes untouched. Remove from oven &
discard bay leaves. Fluff rice with a fork & taste –
add salt to taste, if needed. Garnish with chopped
parsley, if using. Makes 5 Cups.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 T. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 C. finely chopped fresh broccoli
3 C. chicken broth
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

additional shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese for topping
In small skillet over medium-high heat,
heat butter. Add onion & cook 3-4 minutes,
stirring until tender. Transfer to crockpot;
add broccoli, broth, milk & pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 3-4 hours until broccoli is
tender. Stir in Velveeta until melted. Add
shredded cheeses & stir until melted.
Just  before serving stir soup to combine.
Top servings with additional Cheddar cheese.
Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pecan Pie Bars

3 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. butter

4 eggs
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. light brown sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 10 X 15″ jelly roll pan
with nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl whisk flour, sugar & salt – cut in
butter until mixture resembles coarse
crumbs – sprinkle mixture evenly over
prepared pan & press in firmly. Bake
20 minutes.

(While crust is baking):
In large bowl mix eggs, corn syrup, gran.
sugar, brown sugar, butter & vanilla until
smooth. Stir in chopped nuts & spread
filling over crust as soon as it comes out
of the oven.
Bake 25 minutes until set.
Allow to cool completely on wire rack
before slicing into bars.

NOTE: make sure bars are completely
cooled before cutting

If you’re feeling really adventurous, sprinkle
a few chocolate chips on the filling before

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)


Hope you are able to enjoy good health
(I’m doing MUCH better – finally!) and
staying warm (if your area is cold!).




Just a few more days . . .

Ok – here goes; these are recipes in no particular order; they really sounded good – Enjoy!


Reese’s 2-ingredient/15
minute Peanut Butter/Choc.
Chip Cookie Bites!

12 refrigerated chocolate chip
cookie dough balls (about 1-2 T. dough)
12 bite-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

(OVEN TEMP- accordg. to cookie dough
pkg. directions)
Spray a mini muffin cup tin with
nonstick cooking spray
Place 1 dough ball in muffin pan &
bake 10-12 minutes (follow directions
on pkg. )
As soon as you pull them out of the oven:
place 1 peanut butter cup in center of
each cookie. Allow to cool a few minutes
Makes 12

(recipe: princesspinkygirl.com)

The Ultimate Almond Joy Magic Bars

1 1/2 sticks (or 12 T.) unsalted
butter, room temp.
1/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour

1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped almonds
1 1/2 C. shredded coconut
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 9″ baking pan with
parchment paper, allowing it to hang
over on all sides.
In large bowl using elec. mixer on
medium speed, beat butter & brown
sugar until light & fluffy – a few minutes.
Add vanilla & mix to combine. Add flour
& mix on Low speed until crumbly –
place mixture in prepared pan & press
into an even layer. Bake about 15
minutes until edges are light brown.
Remove from oven – sprinkle chopped
nuts over crust & top with coconut.
Pour sweetn’d con’d milk evenly over
top then sprinkle both choc. chips on
top. Return to oven 20-25 minutes until
edges are light brown. Transfer pan to
a baking rack & cool completely.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before
cutting into squares.

NOTE: bars can be kept at room temp. in
an air-tight container up to 5 days.

They can also be frozen – thaw cookies for
a few hours in fridge before serving.

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)

Spinach Artichoke Crab Dip

1 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (6.5 oz) tub spreadable spinach
artichoke cheese
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (8 oz) container pasteurized jumbo
refrigerated lump crabmeat
1 (10.25 oz) pkg. Pepperidge Farm
Harvest Wheat Distinctive crackers
for dipping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 1-quart casserole
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a 2-qt. saucepan over medium
heat, melt butter. Stir in flour & garlic;
gradually stir in milk. Cook & stir 5 minutes
until mixture boils & thickens. Stir in cheese,
nutmeg & black pepper. Cook & stir until
cheese is melted. Gently stir in crabmeat –
spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Bake 20 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Serve with crackers for dipping. Serves 20

(recipe: campbells.com)

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled (reserve
2-3 T. bacon grease)
3 russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2-3/4″ pieces) about
6 C.
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bacon grease on sheet tray &
move it around a bit (to coat). Place
cut potatoes on pan & toss with tongs to
thoroughly coat them in grease; sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Spread potatoes in a
single layer & bake 20  minutes, stir well
& bake 20 minutes longer. Stir again, making
sure that none of potatoes are sticking to the
tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove from
oven, stir & sprinkle generously with shredded
cheese & chopped bacon. Return tray to oven &
bake 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted. Top
with sliced green onions just before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)

Crockpot Brown Sugar Ham

6-7 lb. picnic pork shoulder ham/
spiral or black forest ham
1/8 C. yellow/dijon or stone ground mustard
1/2 C. light or dark brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can pineapple – tidbits, crushed or
rings – DO NOT DRAIN

Place ham in crockpot – place mustard on ham,
pat with brown sugar then pour over pineapple.
Cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours. DO NOT OPEN
LID while it cooks, so heat doesn’t escape.
Slice & serve with pineapple & juices.
Serves 15

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
Crockpot Crustless Brown Sugar/
Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz0 can pumpkin puree
(not can that already has seasonings in it)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt

Optional side:
ice cream
Line insides of crockpot with foil.*
Mix all ingredients together in medium
bowl using a whisk until smooth. Spray
foil with nonstick cooking spray & pour
pumpkin mixture in crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 2 1/2 hours until filling is
set, keeping lid on the entire time.
When cooking time is done, remove lid.
Take the ceramic insert out of crockpot base
& place insert on a cooling rack for about
30 minutes. Serves 8

*Poster uses 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil &
makes a bowl in bottom of crockpot, layering
each piece on top of the other.

NOTE: it is easier to get foil with pie in it
out when pie has chilled completely

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
Crockpot Green Bean Casserole for
a Large Crowd

(6 qt or larger crockpot)

32 1/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
(three 10 3/4 oz. cans)
1/2 C. milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
145 oz. green beans (Ten 14.5 oz cans,
12 oz. French’s French Fried onions
(two  6 oz, ea. canisters)
In very large bowl whisk soup, milk,
black pepper & onion powder until
smooth. Stir in drained green beans.
Gently fold in 1 canister Fr. Fried onions
using a rubber spatula, taking care not
to break up the green beans.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray & pour bean mixture in.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 hours.

NOTE: if your crockpot is oven safe, sprinkle
remaining canister Fr. Fried onions on top of
casserole. Remove crockpot insert from heating
element & place in the oven WITHOUT the lid.
Cook 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. until onions
are browned.

(OR) Place onions in a small dish in oven 10
minutes until browned then sprinkle over
casserole. SEE NOTE BELOW

Set insert back in crockpot heating element,
cover with lid & set on WARM until ready to
serve. Serves 20

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven to brown onions:
place onions in a dry skillet on stove over medium-
high heat. Use a spoon & stir about 3 minutes until
browned; sprinkle over casserole.

Can I use fresh or frozen green beans?
Use 8 C. fresh (trimmed/cut) or frozen green beans
instead of canned. Cook 3 1/2 to 4 hours until beans
are tender.

How long can I keep this on Warm setting after
Up to 3 hours – keep an eye on it & make sure
edges aren’t scorching – stir or turn off if edges get
too hot.

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
Crockpot Bacon/Green Bean Casserole

4 C. cut fresh green beans, uncooked
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of bacon soup
can use mushroom – do not add water
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
6 oz. container French’s Fried onions, divided
12 oz. bacon, cooked & sliced/divided

In large bowl combine beans, soup, milk,
Worc. sauce, half the bacon & half the
onions – stir until combined. Add mixture
to crockpot. Cover & cook on High 3 1/2 hours
without opening lie during cooking time.
When cooking time is done, add remaining
onions to a hot skillet on stove top & toast
them until brown – sprinkle over casserole
along with remaining cooked bacon.
Serves 10

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
Crockpot Classic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. russet potatoes – peeled/cut into
1-inch chunks
1 C. (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into cubes
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened/
cut into cubes
1/4 C. milk (or more, to taste)
salt/pepper, to taste

Place cut potatoes in bottom of 6 qt.
crockpot. Dot potatoes with 1 stick
cubed butter – pour chicken broth on
top. Cover & cook on High 4-5 hours –
potatoes are ready when fork tender.
Carefully drain excess broth from cooked
potatoes. Add remaining stick cubed
butter, cream cheese, milk & salt/pepper
to taste. Mash potatoes with a potato
masher until smooth (or leave a little
lumpy if you like). Add more milk, if
needed, to reach consistency you prefer.
Cover & keep potatoes on Warm setting
until ready to serve. Serves 10

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)

No Fuss Pie Crust

2 C. flour
1/2 C. oil
3 T. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with
nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl
whisk flour, salt & baking powder. Add
oil & water & mix until combined – form
into a ball. Press ball of dough into bottom
of prepared pie dish, spreading it out towards
the sides. Using your knuckles (or the bottom
of a glass), push it evenly across bottom & up
sides of dish. Crimp top edges or flatten using
fork tines. Fill with favorite filling & bake
according to pie instructions. Makes 1 crust.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
No-Bake Pineapple Cream Cheese

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (14-16 oz) can crushed pineapple,
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. pineapple chunks
1/2 C. shredded coconut (topping)

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
In large bowl mix graham cracker crumbs
& sugar; add melted butter – stir to combine
well. Press into a 8 X 8″ (or 9 X 9″) baking pan.

In large bowl beat softened cream cheese &
powdered sugar until very smooth. Beat in
thawed Cool Whip – fold in drained pineapple.
Spread filling on top of crust. Top with pineapple
chunks & sprinkle with coconut.
Chill very well – at least 4 hours,
preferably overnight.

(recipe: 77tasty.com)
Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

1 (12 oz) box N’illa wafers
2 1/2 C. sugar
6 C. whole milk
6 sliced bananas
1 C. self-rising flour
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crumble enough wafers to cover the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish –
set aside remaining wafers to use for
decoration at end.

Combine all ingredients in large pot
(except 1/2 C. sugar).
In a large bowl combine all wet
ingredients – including 6 egg yolks

NOTE: set aside egg whites for meringue

Slowly add wet into dry mixture-stir until
completely dissolved. Cook over low heat
until thickened to pudding consistency.*

Once ready, remove from heat & cool
to room temperature.

Place sliced bananas over wafer crumbs &
pour mixture over them. In separate bowl
beat the 6 egg whites & slowly add in
remaining 1/2 C. sugar until a stiff meringue
forms – pour over pudding. Bake 8-10
minutes until meringue is golden brown on

*The trick is to stir continuously & not get
too hot – so you don’t burn the pudding.

(recipe: 77tasty.com)

Just got home from finishing up the grocery
shopping – at Kroger’s – MAN, they were
crowded! I saw a friend of mine riding on
one of those electric carts – she had nothing
in her cart; she said she didn’t have to shop
today, she just wanted to see all the ‘last
minute shoppers’ going crazy! WOW – that’s

Woke up today thinking I’ve GOT to be over
this cold thing – nope, still feeling really
exhausted but had to ‘push ahead’ to get
the food stuffs for Weds. dinner. SUPER GLAD
I’m home now – dinner is hamburgers, something
EASY! As far as I know, all the presents/food/
stocking stuffers are bought – if there’s anything
I forgot . . . OH WELL!

Hope you’re making a big dent in all your holiday

Stay healthy & warm (today it’s 54 degrees F. here
in Michigan – with NO SNOW in the forecast for the
rest of the week! YAY!



Getting down to the wire!

Apologies for not posting more recipes sooner – am battling a cold (I kind of ‘over’ sang last Sunday for the Christmas contata & ended up with a sore throat come Monday). Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas program/party/dinner – I’m amazed, today, that I’m not sicker but am very glad of that. Got this weeks grocery shopping done today and feel like I accomplished something – nothing like shopping & pumping gas when you don’t feel well!


Crockpot Sweet/Spicy Nuts

2 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 C. nuts, your favorites

Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper.
Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg
whites to crockpot & whisk until foamy.
Add sugar, butter & spices – stir until a
thick syrup forms. Add nuts & stir to
coat. Cover crockpot with a clean dish
cloth or 2 layers paper towels. Place lid
on top & cook on Low 3 to 3 1/2 hours (or
High 1 1/2 to 2 hours) stirring every 20
minutes & every few minutes at the end
until nuts are fragrant, lightly browned &
coating appears dull – not shiny.
Remove nuts from crockpot – there will be
excess sugar coating left behind. Spread
nuts in even layer on prepared sheets,
spreading them out & separating as much
as possible. Cool completely, stirring once
or twice so nuts won’t stick. Once cool,
break apart any nuts that have stuck together.
Transfer to a serving dish, jar or airtight
container for storage. Nuts will store in an
airtight container at room temp. for several
weeks. Makes 6 1/2 C.

NOTE: If nuts soften with storage, crisp them up
by placing in a 400 degrees F. oven 10-15
minutes, stirring often.

(recipe: yummly.com)
Crockpot Ham

1 (10 oz) bone-in spiral sliced ham
1/2 C. chicken stock
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. maple syrup
3/4 C. brown sugar

In a 6-7 qt (or larger) crockpot place
ham, flat side down, & pour chicken
stock over. In a bowl whisk mustard &
maple syrup – pour over top of ham
making sure to get all sides – sprinkle
brown sugar all over ham. Cover tightly
(If your lid won’t fit tight, wrap tightly
with foil). Cook on Low 4-5 hours, basting
once or twice during last hour of cooking.
Remove ham from crockpot & let rest 20
minutes before serving. Reserve juices to
make gravy or use as an au jus. Serves 4

(recipe: bobbiskozykitchen.com)

3-ingredient No Bake Oreo Balls

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (14 oz) pkg. chocolate dipping chips

Optional: candy sprinkles for decorating
Line a cutting board or baking sheet with
parchment paper. Using food processor,
finely crush Oreos. Combine cream cheese &
crushed cookies  until well blended. Form
mixture into 1 inch balls & place on prepared
sheet. Freeze 30 minutes.Microwave chocolate
for 1 minute, stirring & repeating until melted.
Using a fork, dip each ball into chocolate to
completely coat – shake off excess & return
to tray – decorate with optional sprinkles,
if desired. Makes 48

(recipe: eatingonadime.com)

Easy Jalapeno Popper Bites

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Optional: ranch salad dressing for dipping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Separate rolls into triangles.
On each triangle place a dollop of cream
cheese (1/2 T. or so); add a piece of jalapeno
& some cooked bacon. Roll up into bundles,
making sure the cream cheese doesn’t run
out while baking – place on prepared baking
sheet, seam sides down. Bake 12-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

Green Beans Almondine

3 T. butter, divided
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/3 C. shallots, minced
1 lb. green beans (use smaller
French beans if you can find them),
salt/pepper, to taste
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley

In a large skillet over medium heat melt
1 T. butter. Add almonds & cook 3-4 minutes
until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove nuts from pan; wipe pan clean
with a paper towel. Melt remaining 2 T.
butter in pan; add shallots & cook 3-4
minutes until tender. Add green beans &
1 T. water. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until gr. beans are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice & salt/pepper. Sprinkle
reserved almonds over green beans along
with parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

Make-ahead Biscuits & Gravy
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles.
Remove sausage using slotted soon,
discard grease but reserve 1/4 C. in
skillet. Stir in flour until blended &
cook, stirring, until golden brown,
1-2 minutes – do not burn. Gradually
whisk in milk & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Cook & stir until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage, pepper,
paprika & chili powder – pour into
prepared dish & cool completely.
In large bowl mix Bisquick, sour cream
& melted butter until moistened. Turn
onto a lightly floured surface & knead
gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough into
a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut using a floured
2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter & place biscuits
over gravy. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove dish from fridge while oven heats.
Bake, uncovered, until gravy is heated
through & biscuits are golden: 22 -25
minutes. Serves 10

Freezer Option:
After biscuits/gravy are read to place
in fridge, cover & freeze. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30
minutes before baking & bake as directed
above, increasing time as needed until
gravy is heated through & biscuits are
golden brown.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Green Chile Spinach Dip

1 1/2 C. canned chopped/roasted
green chiles
1/2 C. thawed/drained frozen spinach
1 C. shredded Monterey Jack Pepper cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. cream cheese, softened
2/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Tortilla chips, for dipping
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter a shallow 1-qt. baking dish.
In medium bowl toss chiles, spinach,
both cheeses. In another bowl stir
remaining ingredients – fold into chile/
cheese mixture until well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared dish & bake
20-30 minutes until bubbling & starting
to brown. (If dip is bubbling & not browning,
place under broiler for a few minutes)
Makes 4 Cups

(recipe: food.com)
Amazing Puffballs

1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni chopped
into tiny pieces
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 (10 1/8 oz, ea) pkgs. Pillsbury
refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Open rolls & separate into individual
triangles. Flatten each & slice so that
it becomes 3 small triangles. In a bowl
mix diced pepperoni with cream cheese,
stirring very well so that all pepperoni
pieces are mixed into cream cheese.
Place a small spoonful of cream cheese/
pepperoni mixture in middle of each
roll triangle – pinch up all sides around
filling then place on a cookie sheet.
Bake about 11 minutes. Allow to cool
before serving. Serves 48

(recipe: food.com)
Sausage Pinwheels

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 can crescent roll dough

Remove dough in a whole sheet
Press perforated edges together to
form one sheet of dough. Spread
sausage evenly over dough. Starting
with a long edge, roll dough into a
log. Refrigerate log overnight (or until

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice 1/2 inch pieces from log & place
on a baking sheet. Bake 12-18 minutes.
Makes 24

(recipe: food.com)

Forgotten Cookies
(like bitig into a cup of hot
chocolate topped with whipped cream!)

It’s recommended you make these
the night before you need them as they
need to be ‘forgotten’ in the oven until

4 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 to 1 C. sugar (according to preference)
3/4 to 1 C. mini chocolate chips (accordg.
to your preference)


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Using elec. mixer, place vanilla & egg whites
in a bowl & beat until just foamy. Add cream
of tartar – beat until soft peaks form. Slowly
add in sugar white continuing to beat until
all sugar is added and until tall/stiff peaks have
formed. Gently fold in choc. chips. Spoon
out portions of mixture onto prepared sheet
(they don’t need to be spaced out much).
Place all cookies on sheet in oven at once
& immediately shut oven off. Serve the
next day. Makes 30-50 cookies

Store cookies in an air tight container at room
temperature. They will be good for 1-2 weeks.

(recipe: themombob.wordpress.com)

No Bake Pecan/Coconut Praline Cookies

2 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 1/2 C. grated coconut
Lay out a large strip of waxed paper
on the counter.
In a large saucepan mix sugar, evap. milk,
corn syrup & butter – bring to rolling boil –
boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat & add
pecans, coconut & vanilla. Stir about 4
minutes. Take a spoonful of batter &
pour onto waxed paper – continue with
rest of batter. Let stand until batter has
hardened. Remove from paper & enjoy.

(recipe: pepper romo – Facebook)

I’m doing great on the gift shopping – all
except oldest son & his girlfriend; they both
like to golf & last year I got them a golf
package for 2 through Groupon – only
problem: we live in a VERY COLD/SNOWY
state and the offers are only good for 3 months –
that would put them at March – still lots of snow
& rain here. My solution is: tell them I’ll get them
a golf package but it won’t be until WARM weather
so they can enjoy it!

The house is now all decorated, trees up, etc.
Today I delivered the last of the ‘neighbor
Christmas breads’, mail lady got cookies &
candy so all that’s left to do now is bake my
friend a loaf of banana bread (her favorite)
before this coming Sunday – that should be
easy enough. Still need to wrap gifts and maybe
purchase a few more ‘stocking stuffer’ things
like small bags of chips or ‘Combos’, some
sausage sticks (the guys love the extra spicy
ones) – that leaves baking the “Happy Birthday,
Jesus” chocolate cake – that I can do next week.
Still not sure who in our family will have to work
on Christmas (OR) when we’re doing dinner –
but that’s OK.

Hope you are all managing to stay safe and
HEALTHY! (I’m so grateful I’m not sicker!).



PS: I should add our weather has been really nice:
it’s been in the 20’s (yes, that’s cold BUT) – no SNOW
or rain/ice! We actually have a high of 43 degrees F.
coming on Sunday!

Slowly getting it done!

Almost every year I find myself more and more NOT in the Christmas spirit; don’t really have a good reason why, I just feel like I really don’t want to do decorations, baking, shopping, etc. (Blame it on old age, I guess . . . I’m 71 1/2). Today I had a chat with another friend who’s older than me by ‘some’ years and she, too, feels that way but . . . after our chat I found myself saying: “Do I REALLY want to have THAT attitude?” That got me up & off my comfy chair and climbing the stairs in search of all the decorations. After some work I’m happy to say the house looks much more Christmasy! I’m debating putting up the tree on top of the baby grand piano (lots of work) but we’ll still have the other fiber-optic tree in the dining room if I ‘opt-out’. After my hips decided I’d had more than enough climbing stairs I finally quit for the time being – there’s always another day and I made it BEFORE Christmas! (one year I got to almost 3 days from Christmas – that was really pushing it).’


White Chocolate/Caramel Fudge

3 C. white chocolate chips (can also
use semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. caramel sauce – room temp.

Line a baking tray with parchment
In a medium glass bowl combine choc.
chips, milk & butter. Microwave 90 seconds.
Stir & heat another 15 seconds. Stir & heat
an additional 15 seconds (only if needed).
There will still be a few pieces of unmelted
chocolate). Add vanilla & nuts – stir to combine.
Scoop onto prepared tray & spread with a
spatula to approximately 1 inch thickness.
Drizzle top with caramel sauce & lightly
swirl caramel into fudge using a knife or the
end of the spatula. Chill until ready to serve.
Slice into 1-inch squares & store in an air-
tight container, refrigerated, for up to a week.

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)

Chicken Balsamico

1 T. olive oil
1 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken
breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. water
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. diced plum tomatoes (OR)
1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dired tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced, pitted kalamata olives
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
4 C. hot, cooked orzo pasta

In large skillet heat oil over medium-
high heat. Season chicken as desired &
cook in skillet 10 minutes until well
browned on both sides – remove from
pan. Stir garlic, vinegar & water into
skillet – cook & stir 1 minute. Stir in
undiluted soup, tomatoes, olives (if using)
& oregano – heat to a boil. Return chicken
to skillet – reduce heat to Low & cook 5
minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Season to taste & sprinkle with cheese.
Serve chicken & sauce with cooked orzo.
Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)

Lasagna Dip

6 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
oil for deep-fat frying

1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 C. whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 C. spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook lasagna noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Cut cooked noodles
into 2 inch pieces & prick each piece
several times with a fork. In a small
bowl mix Parm. cheese, Italian seasoning
& garlic powder. Place several paper
towels on a plate or wire rack.Heat oil
to 375 degrees F. using an elec. skillet or
deep fryer. Fry noodles in batches 1-2
minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on paper towels & immediately
sprinkle with cheese mixture.
In large skillet cook sausage over medium
heat 4-6 minutes until no longer pink,
breaking into fine crumbles; drain. Stir in
ricotta, spaghetti sauce, garlic & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
5 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring
occasionally. Transfer to a 1-qt. microwave-
safe dish. Sprinkle top with Italian cheese &
microwave, covered, on High 45-60 seconds
until cheese is melted. Serve with lasagna
chips. Makes 3 cups & 36 ‘chips’

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Family-style Meatballs
(using no bread or fillers)

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T. Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped (or)
1 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 egg
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper
2 T. oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (20 oz) can tomato puree
1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)
2-3 T. fresh basil, chopped
10 oz. water
salt/pepper, to taste
Cooked pasta to serve 6
For Meatballs:
In large bowl mix all ingredients
except oil – shape into 24  even-
sized balls & chill at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in large heavy skillet & add
meatballs. Brown over medium-high
heat on all sides (you might have to
do this in batches – don’t crowd the pan).
Remove browned meatballs & keep warm.

For Sauce:
In same skillet add onion & garlic; cook
over medium heat until they begin to get
tender. Lower heat & cover pan, allowing
onions to cook completely. Stir in tomato
puree, hot sauce & salt/pepper. Gently
boil over medium-low heat about 10
minutes so sauce reduces about 25%.
Add meatballs to skillet & half the fresh
basil – cover & simmer 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add remaining
basil to garnish.

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice
Serves 6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
Spanish-style Creamy Garlic Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 (6 oz) pkg. Oscar Mayer Smoked ham,
coarsely chopped
12 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth

In large saucepan heat oil on medium-high
heat. Add ham & garlic, cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic is golden brown, stirring constantly.
Add paprika & cumin; cook & stir 1 minute or
just until seasonings are toasted. Stir in cream
cheese; cook & stir 1-2 minutes until cream
cheese is melted & mixture is well blended.
Add broth; stir – bring to boil; simmer on
medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring
frequently. Serves 8

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Crockpot Amazing Mac & Cheese

1 (18 oz) box elbow macaroni (uncooked)
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
9 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 1/2 C. milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
salt/pepper, to taste

Pour all ingredients in crockpot; stir.
Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 hours (stir
after 2 hours – if it’s too thick, add a little
milk, stir & continue cooking 30 minutes.

(recipe: simplemost.com)

Sausage Cheese Squares

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
1 (8 oz) pkg. frozen fully cooked
breakfast sausage links, thawed/cut
into 1/2″ slices
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 large eggs
3/4 C. milk
2 T. chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Unroll crescent dough & place in an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish – press
onto bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to form
a crust. Top with sausage slices & cheese.
Beat eggs in a bowl; add remaining
ingredients – mix & carefully pour over
cheese/sausages in pan. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cut into 12 squares.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Super Easy Lemon Butter Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 T. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
10 drops yellow food coloring
3/4 C. powdered sugar

In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In large bowl using an
elec. mixer, beat butter & cream cheese
with sugar until light & fluffy (about 2
minutes). Beat in eggs, lemon zest &
juice, vanilla & food coloring. Beat in
dry ingredients until just combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate
until firm, at least 2 hours & up to over-
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Place some powdered sugar
in a shallow plate or pie tin.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls then roll
in powdered sugar. Let stand 2 minutes
until sugar is absorbed then re-roll in
powdered sugar (do not shake off excess).
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on
prepared sheet & bake 18-20 minutes
until cookies crackle on top & are set but
still slightly soft in center. Transfer to a
coolin rack & cool completely.
Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: delish.com)


Going through the recipes that come into my emails
there are a LOT of cookie and appetizer recipes – am
thinking of doing a blog for each one, just so I can
share them all with you!
Every once in awhile I need to state that the recipes
I feature on my blog are NOT my own – at the bottom
of each recipe is the site where I found it.

Our weather has been very cold but still CLEAR –
just a dusting of snow on the ground – YAY! Schedule-
wise, my days are pretty booked up for the next 2
weeks – sometimes that can make me feel a ‘tad’
anxious, but I’m doing well – my de-stresser is
knitting & crochet (of course – you knew that!).

It also seems to be a season of prayer for friends;
one of our church members just died Saturday –
he was 54 and five months ago got leukemia.
Another friend is awaiting test results for possible
cancer while yet another is having her thyroid
removed next week because of cancer. This is a
time, for those of us who put our trust and faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ, to draw nearer to the Lord,
pray more for others and let them know how much
they mean to you. Life is short and death is final – please
remember to let those you love and care for know
how much they mean to you.

Love and hugs;


It’s been a quiet week . . .

Our weather has been GREAT (for me, at least) – it’s been in the 40’s, clear (a little rain) and NO SNOW! YAY! Managed to get a tiny bit of Christmas shopping done yesterday – like years past, I’m just ‘not feelin’ it. The older I get the more I would be content with just one small tree & no extra decorations (guess that’s because I’m the one doing all the dragging down, setting up, etc. of all the ‘stuff’). Anyway, am TRYING to ‘get in the mood’. I had originally planned on knitting some cotton spa cloths for several people but that kind of went by the wayside. Working on the 2 baby blankets & started another crocheted granny square one.

Like many people in our ‘older’ years, we once again needed to go over our Medicaid details with our provider. I’m sure you’ve all heard the commercials about making sure you sign up BEFORE Dec. 7th! (trying to make this a short story). We got our call Weds. evening – both my husband & I wanted to adjust our plans a bit. We got a very helpful, nice young lady; both of us were on house phones so she could speak to us. Almost done with husband’s plan and her computer screen froze. She promised to call us back quickly. No call – that evening, entire next day – finally we get a call at about 11:15 pm – yes, it was her. It seems that not only HER screen but the entire program locked up! To sum it up, we spent the next 45 minutes frantically rushing through all of both plans – my husband & I both on a house phone and on our own computers – CRAZY! She was very patient and kept asking if the final details reached our computers – NO. At the last minutes she had to do a phone/verbal confirmation for my plan but we got it done – YAY! Today I just now turned on my computer (about 6:30 p.m.) and 12 confirmation emails arrived! TOO funny! Well, at least NOW both my husband & I are covered with plans that work better for us AND save us a little $$$.


Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

1 box vanilla or white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake (eggs, oil, water)

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. melted, salted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. cinnamon

4 oz. cream cheese, softened/room temp.
1/3 C. butter, softened/room temp
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. heavy cream or milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions &
pour into prepared dish. Bake accordg.
to directions. After baking, allow to cool.
Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke
holes (in about 1-inch intervals) into top
of cooled cake.

In small bowl whisk sweetnd cond. milk,
melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon.
Pour filling into holes in cake & spread it
out using a butter knife or back of a spoon.

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese & butter
using an elec. mixer. Slowly mix in powdered
sugar, vanilla & milk (or heavy cream); mix
until smooth – spread onto cake. Sprinkle some
cinnamon sugar on top of frosting then
refrigerate cake 1 hour to allow cakes filling
to set. Serves 9

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

Warm, Layered Black Bean Dip

2 (15 oz., ea.) cans black beans, drained/
1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder (or just regular
chili powder)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3 poblano peppers roasted – (see note below)
1/3 C. cilantro leaves, packed
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. corn, drained
1/3 C. diced tomato
4 oz. queso cheese, shredded/divided
Suggested dippers:
Corn chips, bruschetta, tortillas
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat
beans. Add chili powder, cumin, salt/pepper –
combine well. When beans have warmed, mash
them. Add 1/4 C. (or more) of the shredded
cheese – mix well. If needed, add some of the
bean juice for a smooth consistency. Using a
food processor, place cilantro, peppers & 1 T.
olive oil – process until smooth; spread
mixture in bottom of an oven-safe dish.
Spread cilantro/pepper mixture over bean
mixture. Add tomato & corn then remaining
cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese
melts & begins to brown. Serve with dippers.
Serves 4

NOTE:  peppers – if not roasting peppers, make
sure you seed them before using – unless you
want it spicy.

(recipe: yummly.com)

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled,
reserve 2-3 T. bacon grease
3 Russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2 – 3/4″ pieces – about
6 C. worth)
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place reserved bacon grease on a sheet
pan. Place potatoes on pan & toss with
tongs to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with
salt/pepper & spread potatoes out in
single layer. Bake 20  minutes; stir well &
bake an additional 20 minutes. Stir again,
making sure none of potatoes are sticking
to the tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir again & sprinkle generously
with shredded cheese & crumbled bacon.
Return tray to oven & bake 2-3 minutes until
cheese has melted. Top with sliced green
onions just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 C. onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, oregano, garlic
2 C. green peppers (and/or red peppers)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 C. cooked rice*

Brown beef & onions in skillet over
medium heat; drain & place in crockpot.
Add tomatoes (& juice) and rest of
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8

*poster adds the rice before cooking;
some people like to add it at the end of

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) pkg. no-cook lasagna noodles
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. 4% cottage cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato
paste, salt & oregano. Spread 1/4th
of this mixture into ungreased crockpot.
Arrange 1/3 of noodles over sauce, breaking
to fit if necessary. Combine cheeses; spoon
1/3 of mixture over noodles – repeat layers
twice & top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until noodles
are tender. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chili Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 C. tomato juice
1/2 C. water
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 C. canned or frozen corn
1/2 C sliced ripe olives
1 C. shredded Cheddar or Monterey
Jack cheese
thinly sliced green onions (optional)

In large skillet over medium heat cook
beef, onion, pepper & garlic until meat
is no longer pink; drain. Add next 7
ingredients; simmer, covered, until
rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in corn & olives; cover & cook 5
minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook,
covered, until cheese is melted, about
5 minutes. If desired, top with green
onions. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated crescent
roll dough, divided
2 lemons, zested/juiced/divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter, melted
3 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil*
& spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press
1 tube dough into bottom of prepared
pan, stretching to the edges. In a bowl mix
the zest of 1 1/2 lemons & juice from 2 lemons.
Using an elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
1/2 C. sugar into lemon zest mixture until
smooth & creamy – spread over crescent
roll dough layer. Unroll 2nd can of dough &
layer over cream cheese mixture, gently
stretching dough to edges. Brush melted
butter over dough layer. In a bowl mix
remaining lemon zest & 3 T. sugar – sprinkle
over butter. Bake about 30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Allow to cool about
20 minutes. Lift dessert from baking dish
using foil & transfer to a cutting board.
Cut into squares, leaving on foil. Return
dessert to baking dish & refrigerate until
chilled, at least 1 hour. Makes 24

*Allow foil to drap over edges of pan,
making foil ‘handles’

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
dash salt
1 to 1 1/2 C. shelled raw peanuts
(can use regular or pecans)
1 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a baking sheet generously
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
3-qt. microwaveable bowl combine
sugar, corn syrup & salt; stir in nuts.
Microwave on High 9-10 minutes
until light brown (be sure to watch-
microwaves vary).
Stir twice while cooking (very hot –
be very careful not to get burned)
Stir in remaining ingredients – mixture
should be light & foamy. Quickly spread
as thin as possible onto prepared baking
sheet. Let cool & break into pieces.
Makes about 1 lb. brittle

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)


Our ‘midwest’ weather is about to change &
get MUCH colder by Weds it’s supposed to be
a HIGH of 22! (good thing is – we might get a
little rain but it says 30% chance of snow
Weds – here in Michigan, that’s nothing!).

Hope you are all staying healthy & warm;

Enjoy your day!


a little late but I’m still around!

Thanksgiving went well – husband just informed me we are now down to “just turkey” – his ‘afternoon snack’ just wiped out the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and wild rice stuffing! Looks like there will be turkey pot pie in the very near future at our house!

Hope you all had a great holiday; I’m still not quite into the ‘holiday’ spirit – I’m not a big fan of decorating so have to kind of push myself into the ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme. I’ve managed to order 2 Christmas presents – pretty pathetic, eh? I also ordered (through Groupon) a 4-person pass for my oldest son & his family to visit one of our local ‘treasures’: the Christmas Walk at Meadowbrook Hall/Estate in Rochester, Michigan. This is a gorgeous estate which originally belonged to the Dodge (as in motor car) family and the local florists decorate most of the house and estate with beautiful scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. When my sons were younger we did the tour of the estate and it is well worth it. (also found a DVD of some Gilbert & Sullivan operas my husband loves and doesn’t have) – that’s it . . . I’m just not overflowing with gift ideas this year! How about you?


Cranberry Apple Crisp

3 C. chopped, peeled tart apples
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour

1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine apples,
cranberries, sugar & flour & pour
into prepared dish. In another bowl
mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle over top of apple mixture. Bake
50-55 minutes until fruit is tender.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a sided baking
pan. (recipe did not give size but
photos look like a loaf pan or a
8 X 8″)
In a saucepan bring sugar & milk to
a boil stirring constantly (do not turn
heat on High) Once it comes to a
full rolling boil, boil 2 1/2 minutes then remove
from heat. Stir in peanut butter & vanilla
& pour into prepared pan. Let chill.

(recipe: facebook)

Crockpot English Pub Split
Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone
1 1/3 C. dried green split peas,
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 C. water
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 T. prepared English mustard
1/2 C. 2% milk
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place ham bone in 4 qt. crockpot. Add
peas, celery, carrot & onion. Combine
water, beer & mustard; pour over veggies.
Cover & cook on High 5-6 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove ham bone from
soup. Cool soup slightly, trim any fat &
remove meat from bone (discard fat & bone).
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces & return to
crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If
desired, top with minced parsley.
Serves 8 (makes 2 qts)

NOTE: For a less chunky soup, puree in batches
in a blender or food processor.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 (3 lb) sugar pumpkin, halved/seeded &
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 T. butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 C. vegetable or chicken broth,
plus more, if needed
1 T. fresh grated ginger
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, plus more
for garnish
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt

chopped chives
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Place pumpkin
& thyme on sheet & drizzle with olive
oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper-
gently toss to combine & arrange in a
single layer. Roast 60-65 minutes, stirring
halfway through until pumpkin is fork-
tender. Cool then remove peel. In a large
stockpot or Dutch oven heat butter over
medium heat. Add shallots & cook, stirring
occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, broth & sage. Season with 3/4 tsp.
salt & black pepper to taste. Bring to boil
then remove from heat. Puree using an
immersion blender (or regular blender,
in batches being very careful) until
smooth. Add yogurt & blend again.
Pour into 4 bowls & serve immediately
with chives plus more yogurt, pepitas,
chives & ground nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soup can be frozen: Omit yogurt &
garnishes until ready to serve. Portion
cooled soup into ziplock freezer bags &
lay bags flat in single layer in freezer. Transfer
soup bags to refrigerator the night before
reheating then reheat over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Add yogurt & garnishes & serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Sky-high Brunch Bake
(note: using 9-inch springform
pan & substitute)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry (2 sheets) thawed
6 eggs, beaten/divided (note:
reserve 1 T. eggs for later)
1 C. ricotta cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen,
chopped spinach, thawed/
well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped red bell peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray springform pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheets &
roll out 1 sheet to an 11 inch square.
Roll out remaining sheet to a 12 inch
square & use to line the bottom & sides
of pan. In large bowl mix all eggs (minus
reserved 1 T. egg) with ricotta, hot sauce
& spinach. Layer half each: bacon, Cheddar,
ricotta mixture & peppers in crust – repeat
layers. Cover with remaining pastry sheet;
fold under edges then tuck inside pan. Brush
pastry with reserved egg & cut steam hole
slits in top crust. Bake 45-55 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen crust
before removing rim. Serves 12

NOTE: can be baked ahead & refrigerated for
several hours or overnight. When ready to serve,
bake, uncovered in 350 degrees F. oven 30-40
minutes until heated through.

If you don’t have a springform pan:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Can be baked in a greased 9 X 13″ pan
instead. Roll out bottom & top pastry
sheets to fit dish. Line dish with foil withthen
ends of foil extending over sides of dish.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let
stand 10 minutes then use foil ‘handles’
to life from dish before cutting to serve

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Sausage Dip

1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 1/2 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded/chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. sour cream

Tortilla chips, for dipping
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add
next 8 ingredients & cook until veggies
are tender. Reduce heat to Low; add
cream cheese & sour cream – cook &
stir until cheese is melted & well
blended (do not boil). Serve warm with
tortilla chips. Makes 48 servings (6 C.)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Twice-baked Potato Casserole

6 medium russet potatoes
4 T. butter, softened (more for pan)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 slices cooked/crumbled bacon
5 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes then place directly on oven
rack – bake until soft & easily pierced,
1 hour to 1 hr, 15 minutes depending on size.
Remove from oven & let cool slightly. Slice
warm potatoes in half & remove flesh using
a spoon – place flesh in large bowl (discard
skin). Mash flesh & butter, cream cheese, sour
cream & milk – stir to combine until butter &
cream cheese is melted. Fold in 2 C. Cheddar,
3/4 ths of bacon, 3/4ths of green onion &
garlic powder – season with salt/pepper. Brush
a medium baking dish with butter & scoop
potato mixture into dish. Smooth top & sprinkle
remaining 3/4 C. Cheddar on top. Bake about
20 minutes until cheese is melty. Turn oven to
BROIL. Broil about 2 minutes until golden.
Let cool 10 minutes then top with remaining
bacon & green onions. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)

(You could probably substitute turkey!)

Orange Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 large carrots, cut up small
1 onion, chopped small
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
6 stalks celery, cut up small
salt/pepper, to taste

3/4 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 T. corn starch
1 C. chicken broth

Suggested serving:
Cooked rice to serve 6
Heat a large skillet & add 1 T. oil.
In small bowl combine flour & 1/4
tsp. salt – dredge chicken pieces in
mixture until well covered. When oil
is hot, gently place chicken pieces in
skillet & cook until golden all over (about
10 minutes). Remove from pan & place
on a plate. Add 1 more T. oil to hot skillet
& cook veggies over medium-high heat
until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan add all sauce
ingredients – whisk until well combined &
bring to boil-it should thicken up. When
veggies are cooked add thickened sauce &
chicken to pan – stir well & serve.
Serve over cooked rice – serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture:
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
dash salt

Frosting Glaze:
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners
(recipe makes 15 muffins) & spray
liners with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix (from muffin batter):
flour, baking powder, salt & sugar – stir
with a fork. In large glass measuring cup
melt 3 T. butter; add 1 C. milk & stir to
combine. Add 1 egg & whisk into mixture-
pour into dry ingredients & stir but not
completely. Do not over mix.

Cinnamon mixture:
Melt butter in small bowl; add brown
sugar, cinnamon & dash salt – stir to combine.
Fold half of cinn. mixture into batter & stir
just until no streaks of flour. Fill muffin
cups a little more than half full. Sprinkle
remaining cinnamon mixture over top of
each muffin. Bake 12-15 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Allow muffins to rest
in tin 5 minutes then transfer to a wire
rack to cool. (glaze will go on warm muffins)

In small bowl combine melted butter,
maple syrup, vanilla, milk, powdered
sugar & salt – whisk until smooth & glossy.
Drizzle over warm muffins.
Makes 15 muffins

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)


About 2 weeks ago I was getting a bit bored with
just working on the two baby blankets and came
up with the idea of crocheting some of my various
baby yarns into a granny-square baby afghan. I
found a crochet pattern which made a slightly
different granny square than I was used to, so I
went with that. It went very quickly so that I’m
considering making another one! It was fun
and the supplies didn’t take up a lot of room in
my knit bag. Here’s the blanket:

We’ve been lucky recently with our weather – after our 8 1/2 inches of snow about 2 weeks ago, it’s all melted and now it’s just cold and wet (raining – but it’s not turning into the white stuff – YAY!) Our forecast calls for highs in the 30’s all week and some rain so I really don’t mind that at all. You can walk & drive in rain!

Hope you are all in good health;