and a little snow on the side…

I can remember last Wednesday it was so nice & Spring-like that I took off my light jacket while grocery shopping! Today there’s a good 6 inches of VERY heavy snow on the ground (the roads are clear, though) sunny and 31 degrees F. out. Looking at the updated forecast, I guess we’ve got all the snow (for now) -none predicted until Wednesday night – temps. close to 40 so I really hope it MELTS this stuff!


Chocolate/Marble Gooey Butter Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
1 egg

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl mix dry cake mix, egg &
melted butter – beat until well combined
(batter will be thick); spread evenly on
bottom of prepared dish.

Beat cream cheese, eggs, melted butter
& vanilla until smooth. Gradually add
powdered sugar & beat until fully
combined. Remove 1 C. cream cheese
mixture & set aside. Spread remaining
cream cheese mixture over base. In a
saucepan (or microwave) melt chocolate
chips until smooth. Mix melted chips
with reserved 1 C. cream cheese mixture
until fully combined.
Spoon dollops of mixture on top of plain
cream cheese batter – swirl carefully with
a butter knife, creating a marble effect.
Bake 45 minutes. (Do not bake too long-
it should be soft.) Let cool completely
before cutting.


Crockpot Greek Chicken

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken

6 whole grain pita breads

Place onions & cinnamon stick in
crockpot. In small bowl mix oil,
garlic, lemon zest, oregano, salt/
pepper. Rub chicken with oil
mixture & place in crockpot.
Squeeze lemon juice over chicken,
cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours
until chicken reaches internal
temperature of 165 degrees F.
and is no longer pink. Slice
chicken & serve with pita bread.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6


Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet

1/4 C. plus 2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced/divided
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
1 C. bread crumbs
1 large egg
3 T. fresh chopped parsley (more
for garnish, if desired)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In large pot over Low heat, heat
1/4 C. oil. Add half the garlic & all
rosemary – stir (making sure it doesn’t
burn) 1 minute. Add tomatoes & season
with salt/pepper. Let simmer while you
make the meatballs.

In large bowl combine turkey, bread
crumbs, egg, remaining garlic & parsley-
season with salt/pepper. Roll mixture into

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat
remaining 2 T. oil. Place meatballs in skillet
& brown, moving occasionally to ensure
they don’t stick, about 5 minutes. Ladle
sauce into skillet & over meatballs. Top
with cheese & bake until meatballs are
cooked through – 10 minutes more.
Garnish with parsley & serve. Serves 4

*You can used jarred spaghetti sauce if
you are in a hurry


Confetti Corn & Rice Salad

4 ears corn, husked
1 1/2 C. rice, cooked
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, halved/thinly
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
thinly sliced

Simple Dressing:
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Boil or grill corn until tender – let cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut kernels from cob
in ‘planks’ (strips). Place rice, red onion,
green pepper. tomatoes & (if using-
jalapeno pepper) in large bowl. Mix in
corn strips – reserving some for garnish
on top.


Whisk all dressing ingredients together &
drizzle on top of salad. Serve at room
temp. or refrigerate overnight before
serving. Add additional corn ‘strips’ to
top before serving. Serves 8


Bacon/Jalapeno Popper Bites

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 jalapenos, seeded/diced
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
8 oz. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
48 Tostitos “Scoops” tortilla chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. In medium bowl mix cream
cheese, green onions, jalapenos,
bacon, & cheeses. Spoon filling into
“Scoops” (about 1 tsp. each) &
place on baking sheet. Top each
with additional bacon & Cheddar
cheese, if desired. Bake 8-10 minutes
until filling is bubbly & cheese is
melted. Serves 4 dozen


Crockpot Sweet & Sour Country Ribs

1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1 T. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lb. country-style pork ribs
(bone in or boneless)
russet potatoes (optional)
cornstarch & water

In small bowl whisk together ketchup,
brown sugar, vinegar, mustard powder,
cayenne, salt/pepper & pour into
crockpot. Nestle ribs in sauce. (IF
you want baked potatoes, wrap scrubbed
russet potatoes in foil & place on top of
ribs). Cover & cook on Low 6-10 hours.
Uncover & remove potatoes. Place ribs
on a platter. Turn crockpot to High heat.
Mix 2 T. cornstarch with 3 T. water in
small bowl – stir mixture into sauce in
crockpot – sauce will thicken in about
10 minutes. Spoon sauce over meat &
serve. Serves 6


Cannoli Poke Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box white cake mix,
plus ingredients to prepare
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk, divided
1 (8 oz) tub mascarpone cheese
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to required time
for cake  mix
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake according to box directions &
bake. Remove from oven & allow
to cool. When cake is cool:
poke holes all over top of baked
cake with the end of a wooden
spoon – holes about 1 inch apart.
Reserve 2 T. sweetened cond.
milk & pour remainder over top
of cake & into holes. In large
bowl using elec. mixer beat
mascarpone & ricotta cheeses &
vanilla until creamy. Beat in
powdered sugar & reserved
sweetened cond. milk until
smooth. Spread mixture evenly
over top of cake & sprinkle top
with mini chocolate chips.
Refrigerate cake 2 hours until
ready to serve. Serves 15



Not much ‘new’ around here, still plodding
away at the cream baby blanket (I made a
mistake on one of the 8 rows last Weds.
and it took me awhile to get it back to
normal – sigh…me and my grand ideas of
making very detailed lace patterns…

Wednesday at the Library knit group one of
the ladies asked if anyone would want her
7 knit squares; she had been experimenting
with various knit patterns and these were
what are called ‘swatches’. They’re peach/
apricot colored and (you know me) I decided
I’d make a baby blanket out of them. Yesterday
I sat down to draw up the pattern; it will be
peach/white/and two half-strips of lemon
yellow; should be pretty when I get it done.
The ‘fun’ part is I had to figure out just how
many stitches she used for each square, then
see if I could duplicate what she’d done (for the
white squares). I’ve done this sort of thing before,
it just takes time working it out. Three of her
squares are just straight ‘knit’, the other four
are various knit patterns – I decided the white
ones should just be knit (and the two yellow
strips, also); that should augment the fancy
patterns and sort of ‘show them off’…I hope.
The good thing is: since they are just straight
knit, I can take them to both knit groups and
work on them WHILE carrying on a conversation
without having mistakes (I hope!). I’ve learned:
if I take fancy patterns AND try to talk/knit…
I make mistakes.

Hope you are all having a great day – hope
it’s sunny where you are so the sunshine
can lift your spirits and maybe make you smile!




Happy Saturday!

I spent yesterday happily snuggled in my warm little house while watching at least 6 inches of the white, fluffy stuff accumulate on my driveway. Finally, around 4 p.m. our plow guy came and cleared it so that any family members who might want to traverse our drive could do so without sliding back out onto our MAJOR HIGHWAY/speed 45 MPH! When I awoke today I found IT’S SNOWING – AGAIN! Reading the NOAA weather report (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-basically our national weather service) it says we’re due for another inch today, temp 20 degrees F. with wind chill of 11 degrees F. . . . oh, joy.  At 10:45a.m. we will be attending oldest grandson’s flag football game – this time we’re taking my husband’s Jeep (just in case there’s any road problems). Ah, the fun of winter, eh?


Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Spoon
pie filling into baking dish –
smooth out. In medium bowl
combine cake mix, cinnamon
chips, walnuts & cinnamon –
sprinkle evenly over pie filling
then drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden
brown & bubbly. Serve warm
or cold. Serves 12


Southwest Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread layer:
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
Meat Mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
3 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes, not
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. salsa
2 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese
(optional: chopped cilantro)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl
beat 1/2 C. melted butter & 1/2 C. sugar;
beat in 2 eggs to combine. (*buttermilk:
Into measuring cup containing buttermilk
add 1/2 tsp. baking soda – stir to combine.
Add this to butter/sugar mixture & stir to
combine. In separate bowl toss 1 C. flour,
1 C. cornmeal & 1/2 tsp. salt – fold into wet
ingredients (do not over mix).
Spread batter into prepared pan & spread
out evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes until top is
set & slightly firm. (It should be almost
baked completely).

While cornbread is baking: place a large,
deep skillet over medium-high heat & add
gr. beef, garlic, onion & bell peppers. Sprinkle
with salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Stir &
cook until beef is cooked through & no longer
pink. Add enchil. sauce to gr. beef mixture &
diced tomatoes, black beans & salsa – stir &
simmer on Low 5 minutes. Carefully pour
meat mixture on top of corn bread. Sprinkle
top with Mexican cheese blend & bake
5-8 minutes longer until cheese melts.
(sprinkle top with cilantro, if using).
Serves 7-8

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Using a 2-Cup measuring cup add
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to cup –
fill cup to 1 C. line with milk – stir
& let stand 5 minutes then use.


Crockpot Sweet & Sour Beef

2 lb. cut up beef stir fry meat
10-12 oz. bottled sweet & sour sauce*
1 C. shredded carrots
2 T. shredded onions (squeezed in a
paper towel after shredding)

4 C. cooked rice
16 oz. pkg. frozen stir fry vegetables

Place beef, shredded carrots & onions
in crockpot – add sweet/sour sauce & mix
in. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
About half hour before cooking time is
done, cook your rice & stir fry veggies.
(cook veggies either in the microwave or
on stovetop). Serve beef mixture over
cooked rice. Serves 6


Chicken Roll Ups

2 (8 oz, ea) boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 slices pepperoni
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. pizza sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut
each chicken breast in half
horizontally & lightly pound
to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle
chicken evenly with Parm. cheese &
oregano. Top chicken evenly with
pepperoni & half of Mozz. cheese;
roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place
bread crumbs in a shallow dish &
coat chicken evenly on all sides –
place, seam-sides down, on baking
sheet. Lightly spray roll ups with
cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & top evenly
with pizza sauce & remaining
mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-8
more minutes until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve
immediately. Serves 4


Cabbage Roll Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 1/2 C. water
2/3 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

In nonstick Dutch oven, cook ground
beef & garlic over medium heat until
meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in
cabbage, water, rice, Worc. sauce,
onion powder, basil, cayenne & pepper –
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 25-30 minutes until rice is
tender. Stir in tomatoes & salt; heat
through. Sprinkle top with cheese if
desired, when serving. Serves 4


Easy Weekend Pasta Bake

1 lb. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
2 T. chopped fresh basil, divided
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Brown meat in large
skillet; drain. Drain pasta; spoon into
3 qt casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Add meat, pasta sauce, tomatoes,
1 1/2 C. mozzarella & 1 T. basil; mix well.
Top with remaining cheeses. Bake 20
minutes until heated through. Sprinkle
top with remaining basil. Serves 8 (2 C. ea)


Cherry Fudge Cake

1 (16.5 oz) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
with pudding
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. milk
1 C. (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine cake mix,
pie filling, eggs & extract; mix until
well blended & pour into prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean; cool in pan
on wire rack. In small saucepan combine
sugar, butter & milk; bring to boil,stirring
constantly. Reduce heat to low & simmer
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from
heat; stir in choc. chips until blended &
pour over cooled cake. Let stand until set.
Serves 12



We’re all in good health; spent yesterday getting
a few things done like laundry, dishwasher, sending
out Thank You’s to my special needs group people
who gave me Christmas gifts Weds. I’m still working
on the two baby blankets (one teal & white, one
cream) and more baby hats. Kind of looking
forward to this Tuesday Knit group because we’re
having another YARN swap! (No, of course I don’t
NEED more yarn, it’s just fun to see all the varieties
and maybe find a few little balls I can use for baby

Hope you are all staying warm AND HEALTHY
in this Winter ‘Wonderland’ –



Craft Update

Since I keep referring to my various knit projects, thought I’d share a few photos (so you kind of know what I’m talking about):

The Mint Green baby blanket (might give it to our Pastor’s wife, who’s due in mid-May) (almost done)

Salmon pink & white ‘needy’ scarf (done)

Gray men’s/boys ‘needy’ scarf (almost done)

Most recently started Teal & White baby blanket


Strawberry Cream Cheese
Icebox Cake

2 lb. strawberries, washed/hulled/
sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 sleeves graham crackers
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant cheesecake
flavored pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Spray bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray & line
bottom with graham crackers. In a
bowl combine cream cheese & sweetened
condensed milk – beat using elec. mixer
until smooth & creamy. Add pudding mixes
and milk – mix on Low 4-5 minutes until
mixture starts to thicken. Fold in 2 C.
Cool Whip until smooth. Pour half of
cream cheese mixture over graham
crackers & smooth evenly. Arrange a
single layer of sliced strawberries over
cream cheese mixture. Top strawberries
with another layer of graham crackers/
cover with remaining cream cheese
mixture. Top with another layer of
strawberries. Cover & refrigerate
6-8 hours. When serving, top with
remaining Cool Whip. Crush remaining
graham crackers & sprinkle crumbs over
the top.


Tomato Balsamic Chicken

2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 C. thinly sliced shallots
2 lb. bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 T. flour
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Hot cooked orzo (rice) or your
choice of cooked rices to serve 6
Place carrots & shallots in crockpot
& top with chicken. In a bowl whisk
flour & broth until smooth. Stir in
tomatoes, vinegar, oil, garlic &
seasonings – pour over chicken. Cover
& cook on Low until chicken & carrots
are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove chicken
from bones, shred slightly using 2 forks;
return to crockpot & heat through.
Serve with your choice of cooked rices.

Freezer Option:
Freeze cooked chicken mixture in
freezer containers. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Heat through
in saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cooked rice.


Crispy Fried Parmesan Turkey

1 1/2 lb. turkey cutlets (4)
2/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
1 T. water
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large plate (or pie plate) mix
flour, salt, poultry seasoning &
pepper. In another plate beat egg
& water. In third large plate mix
Panko & Parmesan cheese.
Bread turkey in this order:
Dip in egg, then flour, again egg,
then Panko. Press flour & bread
crumbs on really well & set aside
while heating skillet. In large cast
iron or heavy skillet heat butter &
oil over medium heat until butter
is totally melted & bubbling. Add
breaded cutlet (2 at a time) to
skillet & cook 3-4 minutes per
side until golden. Transfer to a
cookie sheet & cook rest. When
they are all browned, transfer to
oven 10 minutes to finish cooking.
If your cutlets are very thin (less
than 1/2 inch) you may be able to
cook them through in the skillet
without need for the oven.
(Internal temp. of meat should
read 160 degrees F. when done).
Makes 4 – serve warm.


Hot & Sour Soup

2 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. chili sauce or sriracha
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
(about 2 tsp)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. firm tofu, pressed until
drained & chopped into strips
1 C. shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C. cooked chicken, shredded
1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained/
finely chopped
6 C. chicken broth or stock (or veg. broth)
2 T. cornstarch
4 T. cold water
2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
black or white pepper, to taste
4 green onions, finely chopped

In large pot heat chicken broth over
medium-high heat & add cooked
chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots,
tofu, garlic, ginger, vinegars, chili sauce,
soy sauce & sugar – bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer 5 minutes. In small bowl
whisk cornstarch & 4 T. cold water until
smooth – gradually stir into soup. Cook
4-7 minutes until soup thickens. Slowly
pour beaten eggs in a thin stream while
stirring soup – cook 25 seconds.
Garnish: In small bowl mix oil, pepper &
onions. Ladle soup into bowls & garnish
with sesame mix. Serve hot. Serves 4
(2 C. servings)


Winter Black Bean Salsa

1 (16 oz) can black beans,
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen whole
kernel corn, thawed
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/4 C. fresh lime juice
1 envelope (Good Seasons)
Garlic & Herb salad dressing mix
2 T. chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. minced fresh jalapeno
pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Tortilla chips – for dipping

Mix all ingredients in large bowl
until well blended; cover &
refrigerate at least 15 minutes
before serving. Store leftover
salsa in airtight container in
fridge. Makes 32 (2 T. each)


Grandma’s Deviled Eggs

18 eggs
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place eggs in a soup pot & add
just enough water to cover eggs;
heat to boiling. When water is
boiling, remove pan from heat.
Cover & let stand 20 minutes.
Drain water & run cold water over
eggs. Add some ice cubes to water &
let cool 5-10 minutes. Peel eggs, slice
in half length-wise. Remove yolks to
a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise,
mustard, celery salt, salt & pepper;
mix well. Fill each egg half with
yolk mixture. Serve immediately or
cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Makes 36


Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars

6 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
1/3 C. butter
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. chopped pecans
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butterscotch chips & butter
in a saucepan over medium-low
heat; stir in cracker crumbs &
nuts. Press half of mixture onto
bottom of an ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. In another bowl
beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Stir in condensed milk; mix in
vanilla & egg – pour over
crumb mixture. Top with remaining
crumb mixture. Bake 25-30
minutes. Chill until firm then cut
into bars. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen



Have a great day!



and now for a quick WARMING trend!

Even if it’s only a ‘brief’ warm up, I’ll take it! We ended up canceling my special needs group last night because it was getting slippery driving and VERY foggy! This morning it’s lovely: bright sun shine and 54 degrees F. So strange – we went from almost zero temps last week to this! (Hey, I’m not complaining!). Today I’m taking as my ‘catch up’ day- organized my knitting bags/projects and did a little more ‘work/knitting’ on each one. Currently I have 4 projects going: the ‘forever- it seems’ mint green baby blanket (about 3/4 ths done – will probably be the baby blanket for our pastor’s wife who’s due in mid May); a gray simple knit scarf for the needy, more baby hats and a new baby blanket: teal blue & white. Each pattern is pretty simple, but it’s just getting the ‘desire’ (so to speak) to finish the mint green one (been working on it for months!). Yesterday’s Library knit group sort of jump-started me: several ladies were interested in my knit baby hat pattern (turns out one of the librarians volunteers at the same hospital I knit the hats for & she said she would deliver any hats for us – saves me a trip!). The librarian who sort of ‘assisted’ our group mentioned various charity knit projects, which I thought was interesting; we’ll see where that goes.


Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. chopped strawberries
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray (or use paper liners).
In bowl cream butter & sugar; add
egg – mix well. Sift flour, baking
powder & salt in small bowl. Add
flour mixture & milk, alternately,
to butter mixture. Add vanilla &
gently stir in strawberries – spoon
into prepared muffin tin. In a small
bowl combine sugar & cinnamon –
sprinkle on top of muffins.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12

(recipe: Facebook -Mike Suddaby)

Chicken Zucchini Stir Fry

3 chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
4 T. olive oil
2 small zucchini cut into 1/4″
2 small yellow (Crookneck) summer
squash cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium onion sliced into
1/4″ rings

3/4 C. sweet chili sauce*
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. honey
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cold water

Cooked white or brown
rice to serve 6
Heat large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat; add chicken
& sprinkle with salt/pepper. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until outsides
are golden brown. Remove chicken
to a plate; cover. Add 2 T. more oil
to chicken pan; heat & add veggies.
Cook over medium-high heat until
crisp-tender. In small saucepan add
sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, rice wine
vinegar, honey, cornstarch & water-
whisk to combine. Heat until thick
& bubbly. When veggies are done,
add chicken back into pan & pour
sauce over top – stir to combine.
Serve immediately over rice.
Serves 6

*You can find this in the grocery
store Asian aisle.


Crockpot Polish Sausage/Sauerkraut &

1 1/2 lb. new red potatoes (about 18),
halved, if large
2 C. sauerkraut – RINSED & drained
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. dry white wine (or water)
1 tsp. caraway seeds
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb. Polish sausage, cut into
2 inch pieces

Place potatoes, sausage, onion, broth,
wine, caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 4-5
hours until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: tasty recipes – Facebook)

Oven-baked Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. cooked rice
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. milk


1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/2 C. water
2 T. cornstarch mixed with
1/4 C. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In large pot salted/boiling water
drop cabbage leaves. Cover &
cook 3 minutes. Remove &
drain well. Combine ground
beef, rice, onion, egg, salt/pepper
& milk – mix well & divided into
12 portions. Place one portion
into center of each cooked cabbage
leaf. Roll leaf around filling & fasten
with a toothpick. Place rolls in
prepared dish.


Combine tomato sauce, tomatoes,
sugar, vinegar & 1/2 C. water – pour
over rolls in dish. Bake 40-45
minutes. Remove rolls from pan &
discard toothpicks. Place pan
over medium heat & stir cornstarch/
water mixture into juices in pan.
Bring to a boil & cook/whisking
until sauce thickens. Place rolls back
in pan & spoon sauce over rolls (OR
serve sauce on the side).

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Sour Cream Pork Chops

6 pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1/2 C. flour
1 large onion, sliced 1/4″
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 C. boiling water
2 T. flour
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

Season chops with salt/pepper
& garlic powder; dredge in flour.
In a skillet over medium heat, lightly
brown chops in small amount of oil.
Place chops in crockpot & top with
onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes
in boiling water & pour over chops.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
After chops have cooked, transfer
chops to oven to keep warm. Be
careful, chops are very tender –
they will fall apart. In small bowl
blend 2 T. flour with sour cream;
mix into meat juices  in crockpot.
Turn crockpot to High 15-30
minutes until sauce is slightly
thickened. Serve sauce over chops

Greek Mashed Potatoes

6 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach
1/4 C. milk
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Place potatoes in large saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & cook 15-20
minutes until tender. In another large
saucepan, bring 1/2 inch of water to a
boil. Add spinach; cover & boil 3-5
minutes until wilted. Drain & coarsely
chop (keep warm). Drain potatoes &
return to saucepan. Add milk, butter,
salt/pepper & mash until smooth.
Fold in cheese & spinach. Serves 6


Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

1 pre-baked pie shell
1/2 C. cocoa
1/4 C. cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan heat milk on
medium-high heat.
In large bowl mix cocoa, cornstarch,
beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt &
vanilla. Gradually add to heated
milk, stirring. Cook until thick,
beating until smooth. Pour into
pre-baked pie shell & refrigerate
to chill.



Hope you’re having a GREAT Day!




Time to add an addendum to this post:
thanks to my good friend Mary/Momma’s
post, I looked at our weather forecast for the
rest of the week – OH, NO! is how I would
title it: Tonight RAIN mixed with snow &
FREEZING rain, Friday: (have an eye Dr.
appmt at 9:30) Snow, freezing rain & SLEET,
becoming ALL SNOW after 9 a.m., temps
falling to 19 degrees by 5 p.m. New snow
accumulation of 2 inches. Friday evening:
wind chill -4, wind guests 23 MPH! OH,
GOODY…what an enlightening forecast –

Savings and Searchings

Yesterday I ventured out to KMart and our local drug store (CVS); needed to go both places (and because they also had some great sales!). Found men’s gloves on sale (for youngest 2 sons), snow scrapers with brushes (also for 2 sons), husband needed new pillows (on sale) and it just kept going. Got to the register and the cashier asked if I had any bonus points (not that I knew of) so he checked – turns out I had $15.00 in bonus points! Kept going with the sale; by the time he was done I not only saved $$$ but also got a coupon for another $10.00 off (good the next week) – can ya say “SCORE!”? Went to CVS and it was another repeat; I used a $5.00 ‘CVS Extra Bucks” at the register and the cashier & manager were both saying: “We’ve never seen THIS before!” Turns out I got back another 2 coupons: one for $2.00 off and another for $8.00 off! YES! Shopping coupons and sales is a GREAT thing! Yes, I was HAPPY I went shopping!

Sometimes, when knitting, I kind of get bored with the patterns I’ve used a lot so I go looking for new ones. I have a large (probably 2 foot tall) pile of knitting books, booklets, etc. so I started going through those. That brought me to a pattern I had a photo of, but no pattern – that, in turn, started a search. (yes, you guessed it – THAT started ANOTHER search!). I ran across a pattern I’d done a good 5 years ago for a baby afghan. To shorten this story, that pattern was pretty complicated (got it from a lady at church who said: “Oh, it’s EASY!” – yeah, right…). Her comment challenged me to figure it out (which took a few hours) – finally boiled it down to something I COULD do and I made that blanket. Seeing a photo of the COMPLETE pattern spurred me on to “WHERE is that little booklet I originally had in which I’d broken down that pattern into something I could knit?” Much searching, (also finding about 8-10 other patterns I want to experiment with) finally found it! (I had been thinking the booklet cover was PINK – turns out the color of the blanket is PINK, not the booklet, but now I found it!) After looking it over, NO – I don’t think I want to tackle that one any time soon… As you can guess, I’ll be trying out those ‘found’ patterns a little later today. (Grin)

Since we’re getting close to New Year’s Eve (and probably parties) – here’s more PARTY recipes for ya:


Pineapple Lush Dessert Dip

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in juice, undrained
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Suggested dippers:
vanilla wafers

In medium bowl add dry pudding
mix to pineapple – whisk 2 minutes.
Stir in Cool Whip. Makes 26 (2 T.each)

Chicken Parmesan Snackers

2 oz (one fourth of an 8 oz pkg)
mozzarella cheese
1 cooked, small boneless/skinless
chicken breast half, cut into 16
thin slices
1/4 C. pasta sauce
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 cracked pepper & olive oil
wheat crackers (or just wheat

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut cheese into 8 slices, then
cut each slice in half. Place
chicken in small bowl & toss
with pasta sauce. Place crackers
in single layer on a baking sheet;
top with chicken mixture, cheese
& oregano. Bake 5-6 minutes
until cheese melts.
Makes 8 servings (2 crackers each)

Hawaiian Pineapple Spread

2 (5 oz, ea) jars Kraft Pineapple
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 slices cooked ham, finely chopped
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 green onions, sliced

Assorted crackers and/or
fresh cut up veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients until blended;
spread on bottom of a 9-inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes
until heated through.
Makes 28 (2 T. each) servings.

Lasagna Bites

6 lasagna noodles
kosher salt
2 C. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 T. chopped parsley,
plus more for garnish
ground black pepper
1 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
pot boiling, salted water, cook
noodles to al dente. Drain &
lie flat on baking sheet. In
medium bowl combine ricotta
cheese, egg & 1 T. parsley; mix
until well combined then season
with salt/pepper. Cut lasagna
noodles in half crosswise. Spread
a thin layer of ricotta onto each
noodle then roll up; cut rolled
noodle in half, crosswise. Place
‘bites’ on same greased baking
sheet & spoon marinara onto each
bite then sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese
has melted & bites are warmed
through. Garnish with more parsley
& serve warm. Serves 8

Crispy Dry Rub Chicken Wings

12 chicken wings/drums
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. garlic salt

(dipping sauce recipe to follow)

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
In a bowl combine wings, baking
powder & garlic salt – toss to coat.
Lay wings in a single layer on a rack
over foil-lined sheet pan. Bake 30
minutes; turn heat up to 450 degrees F
& bake an additional 35-45 minutes
until golden brown & crispy. Serves 6
Honey Dipping Sauce:

1 C. honey
2 T. water
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

In small saucepan, combine
ingredients & simmer 2-3
minutes, being careful not
to let it boil over. Remove
from heat & let stand 30
minutes. Pour into bowl
& serve with wings.


2-ingredient Lemon Bars

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (15.75 oz) can Lemon Pie filling

(optional toppings:)
powdered sugar
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix cake mix & pie filling
until moist & well blended –
do not over stir. Pour batter into
pan & bake 20-23 minutes until
golden brown on top. Sprinkle top
with powdered sugar (optional)
and/or whipped cream.


Bacon-Pierogi Bites

14 slices bacon, cut in half
1 (12 oz) pkg. mini potato &
Cheddar pierogies*, thawed
1/4 C. light brown sugar

sour cream – for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
Wrap bacon around center of
each pierogi & place on prepared
sheet; sprinkle tops evenly with
brown sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes
until bacon is crisp. Serve with
sour cream, for dipping.
Serves 4

*sold in frozen foods – usually
by frozen potatoes/hashbrowns

Cheesy Crab Poppers

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C. milk
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (10 oz) container lump crab
meat, drained well
2 C. vegetable oil

In large bowl combine corn
muffin mix, bread crumbs,
Cheddar cheese, cream cheese,
butter, egg, milk, scallions, salt
& cayenne pepper – mix well.
Gently stir in crab meat until
combined; form mixture into
1 1/2 inch balls.
In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat
vegetable oil over medium-high
heat until hot. Place several crab
balls in oil, making sure not to
overcrowd. Cook 4-5 minutes until
golden brown, stirring occasionally-
remove to paper towel-lined plate
to drain. Repeat with remaining
balls. Serve warm. Makes 30

Bread Bowl Fondue

1 ( 1 to 1 1/2 lb) loaf plain
rye bread, unsliced
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. sliced scallions (7-8)
3 oz. bacon bits
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut top off bread loaf, about
1/3 of the way down (set top
aside). Hollow out inside of bread,
leaving about 1 inch bread around
edges (like a wall). Cut bread that
was removed from insides into
1-inch cubes; spread cubes on a
baking sheet. In large bowl, mix
remaining ingredients until well
blended. Spoon mixture into
hollowed-out bread loaf & replace
top on bread. Wrap bread bowl
in double layer of foil. Bake
60-70 minutes. Place bread cubes
in oven during last 15 minutes of
baking, until crisp. Carefully remove
foil from bread bowl & place on
a serving plate. Serve with toasted
cubes, for dipping. Makes 5 1/2 C.



I still have more appetizer recipes
so I’ll probably post them (you could
always tuck them away for later!).

Our weather is cold but not unbearable-
snowed a tiny bit last night (maybe an
inch?). Living in Michigan all my life, I’ve
gotten used to our winters (except when
we get dumped with tons of snow OR
have a ‘Deep Freeze’ with temps at or
below zero – then I complain!

Stay warm, take a little time for yourself
to relax, re-coup, and get on with your day.



Happy Saturday!

It’s a typical Michigan Winter day – temps around 29 degrees F., no ‘extra’ snow (yet) – it did give us about 1 1/2 inches more yesterday which made driving home a bit touchy. Yesterday! I babysat from 10 a.m. – 3:30! YAY! All went very well, had a great time wrestling with (as my husband calls him) “Da Baby” – he’s a little over 9 months old now, 5 teeth (with another one coming soon); he can walk pretty well now – loves making ovals & circles – he can even walk backwards – surprising!


This is the photo I had to work from – the request was to “TRY” to (somehow) copy it, if I could. My dear, sweet special needs guy, Kevin, has slept with this since he was a baby (and still does) – he’s almost ‘loved it to death’. His Mom asked if I could see what I could do. Originally it was Mint green & white (now it’s sage & cream). With some struggles finding that funny sort of ‘hole/stitch’ at the right top of the photo, I plowed on. Since I really had no idea just ‘where’ the hole pattern went in the entire blanket, I just sort of ‘winged it’ – his Mom said: “Do what you can”. Remembering that I’m a KNITTER who’s a beginner Crocheter, here is the finished crocheted blanket/lovey:

It’s 28 inches wide by 40 inches long (if you flip the photo, the bottom is a reverse of what you’re seeing in the photo). There are mistakes and it’s not perfect, but I think, for what it’s going to be used for, it should work. (He wads up his old blanket & tucks it under his head/face when he sleeps.)


 Crockpot Turtles Candy

4 C. pecans, chopped
2 lb. almond bark
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. chocolate baking bar
2 (12 oz, ea). pkgs. Rolo candies,
candy sprinkles – optional

Place pecans, almond bark. choc.
chips & choc. baking bar in crockpot
set on Low. Cover & heat 1 1/2 – 2 hours
until melted. Uncover & stir until evenly
combined. Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper (or silicone mats). Lay
Rolos candies on paper, 2 inches apart.
Using a small cookie scoop**, scoop choc.
mixture, a little at a time, on each Rolo –
repeat until all Rolos are covered. Top
each candy with sprinkles, if desired.
Allow candy to cool until hardened.
Makes about 96

*If you want more caramel in each
bite, you can substitute caramels
in place of Rolos.

**If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you
can use a heaping Tablespoon/measuring


Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well-drained
1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
1 egg, separated
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F>
Mix first 4 ingredients & egg yolk
in large bowl until blended. Open
rolls & separate into 8 triangles.
Cut each triangle diagonally in
half. Spoon 1 T. spinach mixture
in center of each triangle. Bring
corners of dough to center over
filling, overlapping ends. Pinch
ends together to seal & place on
baking sheets. Beat egg white
lightly & brush on tops of bundles.
Bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 8


Broccoli Casserole Dip

4 slices bacon
1 head broccoli cut into
small florets (about 3 C.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. crumbled Ritz crackers
1/4 C. butter, melted

crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet cook
bacon over medium heat until
crisp – remove bacon from
skillet & transfer to paper towel-
lined plate. Reserve 2 T. bacon
fat in skillet. Add broccoli florets
& cook until crisp-tender, about
4 minutes. Chop bacon &
broccoli into very small pieces. In
large bowl combine cream cheese,
mayonnaise, sour cream & garlic
powder – mix until smooth. Fold
in cheese, cooked broccoli & bacon.
Season with salt/pepper & transfer
to small baking dish. In small bowl
combine crumbled crackers with
melted butter – toss until combined.
Scatter mixture on top of dip in dish.
Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted
& cracker topping is golden & crispy.
Serve warm with crackers for dipping.
Serves 6


Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

2 cloves garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas,** drained/rinsed
SEE next ingredient
**1/2 C. liquid from chickpea can (at
4 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. tahini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, roasted
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (if
you don’t like spicy, cut amount
to 1/2 tsp.)

Add garlic to food processor & process
until chopped. Add chickpeas, lemon
juice, tahini, salt, olive, roasted sweet
potato & spices – process 1-2 minutes
(mixture will be pretty thick & not
completely smooth). Slowly add in
reserved liquid & process until hummus
reaches your desired consistency.
(Poster noted she used 1/2 C.)


Bacon-Cheddar Cornbread Loaf

1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon, chopped in small
1 C. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed
2 T. fresh rosemary, sage or chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Fry bacon until crisp;
transfer to paper towels. Whisk
melted butter, sugar, milk & eggs in
a bowl. In another bowl whisk flour,
cornmeal, baking powder & salt.
Gently stir dry flour mixture into wet
ingredients until combined & moistened,
but not over mixed. Fold in cheese, bacon
crumbles, herbs & corn using a spatula,
until incorporated. Pour into prepared
loaf pan & bake 30 minutes, topping
with extra cheese after 20 minutes of
baking time. Bread is cooked when middle
is set & edges are golden brown.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12

Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak

2 lb. chip steak (or) 2 lb. cube steaksk
cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 to 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 lb. pepperoni, thinly sliced
8 oz. Provolone cheese, thinly

In medium skillet saute mushrooms
in oil until softened & light brown,
about 5 minutes – add to crockpot
along with rest of ingredients EXCEPT
Provolone. Cover & cook on Low
6 hours. Stir well & divide among
6 bowls. Cover each bowl with
Provolone & add some cooking juices
to each bowl to melt the cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Ranch Potatoes

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup,
1 1/4 C. milk
1 envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place potato cubes in saucepan, cover
with water & bring to boil – cook about
10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost
tender; drain then place in prepared pan.
In a bowl mix soup, milk, dry dressing mix,
1 C. cheese, salt/pepper to taste & pour
over potatoes. Sprinkle crumbled bacon &
remaining cheese on top. Bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
Pecan Chicken Salad

4 C. cooked/chopped chicken
breast (OR) two 15 oz. cans
1 1/2 C. sliced seedless grapes
(red or white)
1/2 C. chopped celery

1 T. sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1 C. mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together;
place in a serving bowl.


Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (about 2 lb)
1/4 C. butter
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Cooked egg noodles for 4

In large skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Add chicken &
cook until very lightly browned
on both sides but not cooked
through. Add broth & reduce
heat to Low about 10 minutes
until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken & place on a
plate. Add sour cream, garlic
powder, salt/pepper to skillet;
continue cooking on Low while
stirring until sour cream is
melted & fully incorporated.
Remove about 1/2 C. of liquid
from skillet & stir flour into
liquid until smooth then pour
back into skillet. Using a wire
whisk, whisk until gravy is
thickened & smooth again. Add
chicken back to skillet & turn to coat.
Serve chicken & sauce immediately
over cooked egg noodles.
Serves 4


Oreo Cookie Balls-3 Ingredients!

1 (14 to 19 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. white almond bark (OR) 24 oz.
white chocolate chips*

*Almond bark contains no nuts – it is
a candy coating that may be found
near the chocolate chips in stores.

Crush Oreos very fine-either by using a
food processor or placing in a ziplock
bag & crushing them with a mallet or
rolling pin.
In a large bowl, using elec. mixer mix
cream cheese & crushed cookies – mix
until well blended. Scoop out & form
into 1-inch balls – place on waxed paper
until ready to dip.

Melt almond bark (or white choc. chips):
1 of 2 methods: Place in microwave-safe
bowl & microwave in 30 second intervals,
stirring after each, until melted & smooth
(OR) Melt in a saucepan until fully melted
& smooth.
Dip each cookie ball in melted mixture then
place on waxed paper to cool completely.
Store in airtight container in fridge.
Makes 60-70 balls.



I’m slowly but surely feeling better – still
stuffed up but functioning OK. Tonight (6 p.m.)
is our final choir rehearsal for tomorrow’s
Christmas program – I’m going to TRY to
sing tonight – we’ll see what happens!

It’s now NINE days until Christmas; oldest
son let me know last night that we’re doing
Christmas dinner at 2 p.m. (at his house). I
have no idea what meat he’s doing but I’m
doing the ‘same old’ sides: garlic mashed
potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole,
(black olives – oldest’s favorite), probably a
repeat of the wild rice casserole (middle son’s
girlfriend – and now middle son are VEGAN –
they both said they loved the casserole so
here goes one more time!) and 2 desserts.
It’s a tradition in my family to bake a “Happy
Birthday, Jesus” chocolate cake so perhaps
that might be one of the 2 desserts – we’ll
see. Here’s a photo of one from a few years

Hope you are all able to remain in good
health while finishing up these days before
the holiday. While choosing the recipes to
post today I noticed I still have a LOT of
appetizer & cookie/candy recipes to post
so those will be coming in the next few

Stay warm & take a few minutes to rest/
relax while going through your very busy



and so it begins – the winter sniffles…

Woke up yesterday with my head all stuffed up, now I sound like a man with a very deep voice – sigh. I don’t really ‘feel’ sick, just head’s all stuffed up (that will really go great this Sunday for choir, eh?). Oh well, it could be worse (AND I AM going to see the doctor Monday about the vein thing, so it’s all good).

Weather is getting more ‘wintery’ – woke up to 22 ‘balmy’ degrees, a light dusting of snow on the ground & sunny. It’s supposed to warm up a bit (am planning on going shopping a little later when it’s a bit warmer – I hope). According to our local weather report we’re due for 1-3 inches of snow in the next 2 days so I want to get most of my shopping done before then. Low temperatures for the next week or so, in the 20’s with highs of 30’s (oh, joy) – time to get out my HEAVY winter coat!

Lots of recipes, all sorts – some for holidays/parties, some just everyday – here ya go:


Peppermint Bark Fudge

Chocolate Layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

White layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

15 mini peppermint candy canes,

Line a 11″ X 7″ glass baking dish
with parchment paper. In heavy-
bottomed saucepan pour 1 can
sweetn’d/cond. milk, choc. chips &
1 tsp. peppermint extract – heat over
Low heat. Stir often – when choc. is
fully melted & well incorporated *(about
5-8 minutes),remove from heat & pour
into prepared dish. Clean the saucepan:
prepare White Layer the same as first.
When chocolate is fully melted, pour
over first layer in dish. Sprinkle crushed
candy canes over top, evenly. Allow to
set up at least 1 hour (you can refrigerate
to speed up the process). Slice into squares.
Serves 24

*If you notice chocolate is heating too
much & getting thick & crumbly, turn
heat down.

Cheesy Mac & Cheese

1 1/2 C. elbow macaroni, cooked/drained
accordg. to pkg. directions
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. sour cream
4 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. Velveeta cheese (OR) 8 oz, cut
into pieces – if you don’t like Velveeta,
just add 3 C. Cheddar instead of 2)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
To cooked/drained macaroni add butter
& cheese – mix well. Beat egg, milk, sour
cream, pepper/salt together with a wire
whisk & add to mac & cheese. Spray a
casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray
& pour mixture into dish. Cover dish with
foil & bake 50-60  minutes. Serves 6


Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. salsa (your choice)

8 oz. corn tortilla chips
1/2 C. cheese, shredded
(your choice)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan;
add garlic & onion – cook until
onion is translucent. Stir in
remaining ingredients (except
chips & cheese). Simmer 20
minutes. Pour into bowls &
top with chips & cheese.
Serves 4


Crockpot Ham

7-9 1/2 lb. ham
juice from a 20 oz. can of
pinapple rings
1 C. brown sugar

Place ham in crockpot; pour
juice over ham & pack brown
sugar over ham. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes
butter – to taste
brown sugar – to taste
cinnamon – to taste

Pierce each potato with a fork
several times & place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours.
Split potatoes & mash insides with
a fork. Top with butter, brown sugar
& cinnamon, to taste. Serves 6


Beer Cheese Dip
(overnight recipe)

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4  of a red onion, finely diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 C. beer (any beer works)
1/2 C. chopped bacon, cooked
hot sauce, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Suggested dippers: pretzels

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl; refrigerate over night for best


Baked Mozzarella/Marinara Dip

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (32 oz) bottle marinara sauce
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh basil, chopped very fine
pinch red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper

1 crusty baguette, sliced/toasted
for dipping

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Heat oil in medium oven-proof
skillet over medium heat. Add
garlic & saute until golden, 3-5
minutes. Add marinara sauce; stir
in basil, red pepper flakes, salt/
pepper – bring to simmer then
remove from heat. Add mozzarella
to center of dish & transfer to oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is
melty. Sprinkle pepper over cheese
& garnish skillet with more chopped
basil. Serve warm with toasted
baguette pieces. Serves 12

Butterscotch Almond Toffee

2 C. (1 lb) butter
2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. slivered almonds
3/4 C. butterscotch chips
3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. shortening, divided

Line a 15 X 10″ (jelly roll size)baking pan
with foil & lightly spray with nonstick cooking
spray. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine
butter, sugar & salt – melt over medium-high
heat, stirring until sugar is completely
dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to side
of pan & continue cooking/stirring until it
reaches 290 degrees F. Stir in vanilla & slivered
almonds; pour into prepared pan. Tap the pan
to spread toffee evenly. Place pan on a rack to
cool. In small bowl combine butterscotch chips
& half of shortening. Combine choc. chips &
remaining shortening in separate microwave-safe
bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring
in between, until chips are fully melted & smooth.
Using a spatula, spread butterscotch & choc. on
top of cooled toffee. Refrigerate at least 30
minutes to set the chocolate. Break into pieces &
serve. Serves 24


After going on several crochet sites I was
able to locate the one ‘fancy/hole’ stitch
and master it. Worked on my ‘lovey’ blanket
for my special needs friend last night and am
about half-way done! Took awhile to get my
bearings on just exactly how I wanted to
design this (his Mom said do whatever I want,
she’s just happy I’m giving it a try!). Since I’m
not a crocheter per se (more a knitter who
knows basic crochet stitches) it’s a good effort;
perhaps in the hands of a real crocheter it would
look more professional, but for what it’s intended,
it will work.

Hope you’re having a good day!




I’m Happy- getting things done!

Thought this was a clever idea-made with candy canes!

Well, I’m ‘back to normal’ (that means no more sitting around in my jammies doing nothing!). First thing this morning found me attempting to locate an order on Amazon (oldest grandson’s main gift) – yes, they shipped it – NO (even thought they say yes) it’s NOT here! Received the other item that was in the order but not the one I really wanted. Took me a good 5 minutes of rooting around their site to find out just WHERE to look to get some action on locating said item! Ended up on Amazon Chat with a nice gentleman named Orlando who researched it then offered to send me a replacement  (YAY!) AND it will be here TOMORROW! I was concerned because it’s a toy that’s just new this year; very interesting technology: it’s called a 3Doodler Start 3D writing pen (& accessories). Basically it’s kind of like a fat pen that has thin plastic ‘cartridges’ by which you can draw anything in 3D – like drawing an UPRIGHT house! I thought he would find it interesting (he’s 11 1/2). Think of it almost like a glue gun (except it doesn’t get hot) – it extrudes liquid plastic in a thin line which you can use to draw UPRIGHT with! (Hope he likes it).

Was going out today & noticed our gas prices have jumped from $2.39/9 (last night) to $2.79/9 today – WOW! Good thing I was able to redeem my Kroger Fuel Points – got my gas for $2.15/9! Score!


Crockpot Gingerbread
Pudding Cake

1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. molasses
1 C. water
1 1/4 C. (whole wheat) or
all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

6 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. hot water
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray insides of 3-4 qt. crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, using elec. mixer, beat
butter & sugar until combined. Add
egg & beat until combined. Add
vanilla, molasses & water – Start
at LOW speed & beat until combined.
(there might be a few flecks of butter
in batter, but that’s OK).
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon,
ginger, salt & nutmeg – beat until
combined – pour into crockpot.
Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
Combine hot water & melted
butter – pour over brown sugar –
DO NOT STIR. Cover & cook on
High 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Serve warm
with ice cream or whipped cream.
Serves 6


Cranberry/Almond Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. sharp white Cheddar cheese,
2/3 C. dried cranberries
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (6 oz) pkg. whole almonds (poster
uses Blue Diamond Smokehouse flavor)

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium
bowl, stirring until well combined. Spoon
contents onto a plate & use plastic wrap
to form into a ball; refrigerate at least 1
hour. Cover entire ball with whole almonds
(you may have some leftover). Refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serve with assorted
breads, pretzels or crackers for dippers.
Makes 8 servings

Pepperoni Pizza Twists

1 lb. pkg. refrigerated pizza
dough, room temp.
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese
(or more, if you like)
3 T. olive oil
4 oz. sliced pepperoni*
4 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Roll dough out into a rectangle on
lightly floured surface. Combine
garlic powder, parsley, Parm. cheese,
red pepper flakes in small bowl –
sprinkle about half onto dough.
Sprinkle Mozz. cheese on one half
of dough & top with *pepperoni (if
you are using mini pepperoni, you can
leave it whole – if using full-sized, cut
them in quarters). Fold the side of dough
without pepperoni over to other side,
covering filling. Use a sharp knife or pizza
cutter to cut dough into thin strips (You
will get about 12 strips out of 1 lb. dough).
You will be placing the strips on  parchment-
lined baking sheets.
Twist strips a few times & press down
on ends to keep them closed. Brush tops
of twists with olive oil & sprinkle with
seasoning blend – place on sheet,
seasoned sides down. Brush other side
of twists with oil & sprinkle with seasoning
blend, again. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden
brown. Serve with marinara sauce (or Ranch
dressing). Serves 12


Potato/Bacon Bake

3 lb. potatoes, peeled/halved
(the short way)
1 lb. bacon, diced
2 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper (or more,
to taste)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Parboil potatoes (boil about 10
minutes); drain & let cool. While
potatoes are boiling, saute diced
bacon, onion & garlic until bacon
is browned & onions soft. Remove
from pan but reserve grease in pan.
After potatoes have cooled, carefully
slice them into discs. In same pan
with bacon grease, melt butter. Mix
in flour & salt, stirring constantly to
avoid burning flour. As soon as flour
is mixed in, begin pouring in  milk,
still stirring. Continue to cook until
slightly thick, then add 2 C. cheese &
black pepper, stirring until melted –
remove from heat. Spoon & spread
some sauce into bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish. Make a single layer of
sliced potatoes. Sprinkle half of bacon/
onion  mixture over then pour half of
sauce on top. Make a second layer of
potato slices followed by remaining
bacon & onion mixture – add rest of
sauce & spread out evenly. Sprinkle
remaining 1/2 C. shredded cheese on
top. Bake 45 minutes until top is
bubbling & golden. Let cool 15 minutes
before serving. Top with chopped
green onion. Serves 4-6


Beef Lombardi Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 bay leaf
1 pkg. egg noodles, cooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
6 green onions, chopped
1 C. sour cream
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Brown
beef over medium heat in skillet;
drain. Add garlic – cook until soft.
Add tomatoes, honey, salt/pepper,
bay leaf & Tabasco; lower heat to
simmer – cook 30 minutes. Combine
cooked noodles, cream cheese, green
onions & sour cream – mix well.
Alternately layer: noodle mixture,
tomato mixture & grated cheese,
ending with cheese on top. Cover
with foil & bake 30 minutes until
heated through & bubbly.

NOTE: can be frozen after being
prepared before or after baking


Sweet Potato Hash

2 T. olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat. Add oil & allow to heat
through. Add sweet potatoes & cook
2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
2 T. hot water to pan (this will create
steam); cover & continue to cook
3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients & stir to
combine. Cook until sweet potatoes are
soft on inside & peppers/onions are crisp-
tender (about 10 minutes). Taste &
adjust seasoning to your liking.
Serves 6


Restaurant-style French Onion Soup

1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 C. sweet yellow onions, diced
1 tsp. dried Basil (optional)
1 (1 oz) pkg. Au Jus Gravy Mix
3 C. water

Optional Toppings;
4 slices baguette bread, toasted
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

In medium sauce pot melt butter over
medium-high heat. Add onions & cook,
stirring often, until caramelized & lightly
browned (about 20 minutes). If you like:
stir in basil & cook 1-2 minutes more. In
a 2-Cup measuring cup, add 1 C. cold
water & packet of Au Jus gravy mix. Stir
vigorously with a fork until well combined
& smooth – pour into pot with remaining
2 C. water. Bring to boil while stirring
often. Once boiling, reduce heat & simmer
about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Optional Restaurant-style soup:
Divide cooked soup among four oven-safe
bowls. Top each with 1 slice of toasted
baguette & a good sprinkling of mozzarella
cheese. Place bowls on a baking sheet &
place under Broiler until lightly browned
on top (about 3-4 minutes). Serve immediately.


Fudge-filled Peanut Butter Bars

Crust & Topping:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
2 eggs, beaten

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
3 T. butter
1 C. sweetened flake coconut
3/4 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl combine cake mix (dry), peanut
butter, butter & eggs until dough
starts to hold together (mixture will
be very thick). Press 2/3 rds of dough
into bottom of prepared pan forming
In medium saucepan combine chocolate
chips, milk & butter; melt over low heat
until smooth. Stir in coconut, brown sugar,
flour & chopped pecans – mix until combined
well. Remove from heat; spread filling over
dough in pan. Crumble rest of dough evenly
over filling & bake 20-25 minutes. Allow
to cool before cutting into bars.



Knitting-wise I’ve been OK – still working on
the mint green baby blanket. Along with that
have knit 3-4 scarves for the needy. I have a
upcoming ‘new’ project – this is another of
those “Gifts of Love” . . . what do I mean by
that? If you’ve been reading my blog for a
few years you might remember the “Afghan
from Hell” – a very nice older lady approached
me at Panera (during my Knit Night group) and
asked if anyone could repair an afghan? Long
story short: a very dear friend (very old lady)
had begun to crochet/knit an afghan for this
person but was put in hospital. While in there
the family dog chewed up a good portion AND
a well-meaning family member decided to try
to CUT OUT the chew spots – it was a HUGE MESS!
I knew that none of my ladies would even consider
that so I took it home. End result: I managed to
make her a almost new blanket – she was thrilled.
She & her husband cried when I showed it to them.
Well – advance a few years and now the new
project: in my special needs group is an absolutely
DELIGHTFUL man. His mother recently asked me
if I knew anyone who would attempt to knit/crochet
a copy of a VERY loved blanket he’s had since he
was a baby? I said I’m not great at crochet, but if
she would text me a photo, I’d see what I can do.
Well, friends – it’s another “blanket from hell” –
it used to be lime green & white, now it’s a
basketball-sized WAD of crocheted MESS! (it’s
kind of dark green & cream – you can tell it’s
REALLY been loved!)

Photo from my cell phone

She said he won’t sleep
without it so I asked her if he would even
consider a replacement – she said it will take
awhile – we’ll see. She wants more of a
‘lovey’ than an afghan (meaning smaller).
I have lime green & white yarn so I began
about 4 inches, attempting to copy the photo.
There’s a spot (in the ‘wad’) that looks more
like created crocheted ‘holes’ – I’m not real
familiar with those so I’m hoping she might
either take another photo close up OR
bring it tonight to my special needs group.
We’ll see where this goes – it’s not like it’s
my first (blanket from hell) rodeo! Call me
crazy but I DO love a challenge!

Hope you are doing well this day –



Happy Monday!

Photo from last year’s special needs group Harvest Party

Well, friends – I survived the Harvest Party/Dance! This past Friday found me helping out from 4:30 – somewhere after 9 p.m. (when I got just too tired to keep on keeping on, so I went home! – party ended at 8:30). We had a lot more people come than we thought would BUT we were prepared! Our leader bought 270 hot dogs! (We cooked 150 and there were leftovers . . . but I was just too tired to even care about bringing some home…sigh). The kids had a great time chatting/eating/dancing so it was all worth it. I’d say we had about 45 kids? attend and about 10 teens from the church volunteered to help out, also.

I have been getting in SO MANY yummy sounding recipes I just couldn’t resist sharing some:


 Holy Cow Cake

1 (18 oz) box devils food cake mix
1 1/3 C. water
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 C. Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In bowl
mix dry cake mix, oil & eggs using an
elec. mixer – blend on Low speed
1 minute; scrape sides of bowl & mix
on medium speed 2 more minutes.
(batterh will be thick) Pour batter into
prepared pan, smoothing top evenly.
Bake 35-38 minutes until cake springs
back when lightly pressed with your
finger & just starts pulling away from
pan sides. Remove from oven & poke
holes in top of cake using a drinking
straw or chopstick. Cool on wire rack.

Place caramel topping & sweetn’d
cond. milk in small bowl & stir to
combine. Spoon mixture over warm
cake so it can seep down into holes.
Measure out half of crushed candy
bars & sprinkle pieces over cake.
In large bowl mix Cool Whip & cream
cheese – blend using elec. mixer on
Low speed until smooth & combined.
Spread mixture over candy-covered
cake. Sprinkle remaining crushed
candy on top & refrigerate 20
minutes before cutting into squares &
Store cake, covered in waxed paper,
in fridge up to 1 week.


Roasted Autumn Veggie Soup

2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 lb. carrots (about 8 large)
1 1/2 lb. parsnips (about 6 medium)
2 large onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C. canola oil
3 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth
1 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
minced fresh parsley & sage,
optional garnishes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Peel & cut sweet potatoes, carrots &
parsnips into 1 1/2″ pieces; place in
large bowl. Add onions & garlic; drizzle
with oil & toss to coat. Spray two
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pans with
nonstick cooking spray & divide
veggies between pans. Roast 40-50
minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
Transfer veggies to Dutch oven. Add broth,
milk, salt & pepper & bring to boil. Simmer,
uncovered, 10-15 minutes.Cool soup
slightly & puree in blender in batches.
Return to pan & heat through. Serve
with optional garnishes. Serves 12 (4 quarts)


Southern Smothered Pork Chops

4 center-cut pork chops
1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chicken or beef broth
1 medium onion, chopped

Suggested ‘sides’:
cooked mashed potatoes (for 4)
cooked rice or noodles (for 4)

Pour flour, poultry seasoning &
salt in zip-lock bag – shake to mix.
Add chops & shake until lightly
coated. Heat heavy skillet large
enough to hold all chops over
medium-high heat. Add oil &
heat until it shimmers. Place
chops in pan & saute 2-3 minutes
per side until golden brown. Remove
chops from pan & add 2 T. flour
mixture from bag to skillet; stir a
few seconds to cook flour. Add
about 1 C. broth & cook, stirring,
to lift any browned bits from pan.
Add remaining broth & turn off
heat. (Reserve remaining flour
mixture for later).
Place onion in bottom of crockpot &
lay chops on top. Pour liquids from
pan over chops. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Remove about 1 C.
of liquids from crockpot into a
small bowl; stir in remaining flour
mixture from bag & mix until
completely smooth. Return this
mixture to crockpot, stirring to mix.
Cover & cook 30-45 minutes more.
Serves 4

(suggested sides: mashed potatoes or
cooked noodles or rice)


Roasted Corn Chopped Salad
with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 can whole kernel corn
2 Romaine hearts, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 C. slivered basil leaves
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C. lemon juice (fresh from 1
large lemon)
2 T. prepared Dijon-style or
stone ground mustard
2 T. honey
3 T. olive oil

Drain & pat corn dry. Add 1 T. oil to a
skillet & heat to searing hot. Add corn
carefully & let roast 6-8 minutes,
stirring only occasionally, until it
develops a nice brown caramelization;
remove from heat & let cool.
Add chopped romaine & shallots to a
large bowl; crumble feta into bowl &
add cooled corn. In small bowl whisk
together lemon juice, mustard, honey &
remaining 2 T. olive oil to make dressing.
Drizzle dressing over salad & toss. Serve
immediately Serves 4

Crockpot Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on
Low 2-4 hours. Serves 6

7-Layer Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 T. butter or margarine
1 box Hamburger Helper “Cheesy
Enchilada” flavor
1 3/4 C. water
1 C. milk
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
2 C. chopped deli cooked rotisserie
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
(OR) 1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 C. chopped pickled jalapeno chilies
1 tomato, diced

tortilla chips

In 10-inch skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Stir in uncooked rice
(from Hamb. Helper box); continue
cooking 2-3 minutes until rice starts
to brown. Stir in water, milk, seasoning
packet (from Hamb. Helper) & black
beans – heat to boiling. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 20 minutes, stirring
frequently. Stir in chicken; cover &
remove from heat – let rest 5 minutes.

Spread refried beans on 14-inch serving
platter. In small bowl,  mix sour cream &
topping (from Hamb. Helper box) – spread
over beans. Top with hamburger mixture,
cheese, jalapeno chilies & tomato. Serve
with tortilla chips for dipping.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-FB, from Old El

Cheesy Bundt Bread

3 C. flour, sifted
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix flour, baking
soda, baking powder, salt, garlic
& onion powders in large bowl
until combined. Whisk eggs, sour
cream & yogurt together & pour
into dry mixture. Add melted
butter & stir to combine. Mix
cheeses into mixture & pour into
prepared Bundt pan, spreading
evenly to edges. Bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
close to center comes out clean.
Remove from oven & cool 10
minutes before slicing. Serves 8


Our weather is now typical Fall in Michigan –
temperatures in the 50’s & 60’s (although
it’s supposed to get up into the 70’s later
in the week – YAY!).

Knit project wise: still working on ONE baby
blanket in my old Plume pattern (lime green) –
have about 1/4th done. Finally made an
executive decision last night & ripped out
another baby blanket I’d been working on;
not really fond of pattern and kept making
big mistakes 10-12 rows BELOW where I’d
been working – time for that one TO GO!
I know I’ve got tons of patterns so it won’t
be difficult to start another one (this one
was a baby teal yarn). Working on one scarf
for homeless – really pretty yarn I obtained
from a yarn swap (variegated colors of tans,
greys & white).

Went to the library today to pick up some
books I had on hold and saw a new flyer:
they will be starting a KNIT GROUP at my
local library Weds. 10-12p.m. starting in
January. (I nicely asked if they would mind
my putting my business card by their
display and they said NO – kinda expected
that. My group meets in the evening, theirs
during the day – oh well….) I ‘did’ think of
attending their group just to see what it’s
like – we’ll see. Their flyer said bring your
own supplies, so it sort of sounds like my
group except they don’t offer any help –
will consider…later.

Hope you are enjoying your day – it’s
really sunny & breezy out today – in
low 60’s (had to get gas & go to library
so I got to enjoy it a little).



Halfway through the week already!


So glad for days like today when I can de-stress a little & relax. Yesterday was a ‘treadmill’ day – constantly running! Started out the day at 10 a.m. babysitting my now VERY MOBILE 7 month old grandson – did that until around 5:30 p.m.(yep – 7 1/2 hours – ugh!). Left their house to rush to Panera for my Knit/Crochet group meeting. Got to Panera and realized I was not only tired but super hungry so ordered a bowl of their Broccoli-Cheddar soup & plain iced tea – that did the trick to revive me for the rest of the evening. It was a super happy night, 20 ladies & 2 young girls joined me – let’s just say, at times, the noise levels were REALLY LOUD with chatting & laughter but we all had a great time so it was worth it.

Baby grandson is now VERY mobile, crawling & pulling himself up on everything. I was reading a book while watching him play and all of a sudden I hear this loud breathing – he had pulled himself up beside my knees and was grinning from ear to ear, super excited at his achievement! Yep – it was like that ALL DAY – pull up (me worrying he’ll fall straight backwards & crack his head on the floor), me gently lowering him back down to a sitting position…2 minutes later, right back up breathing heavily & grinning  – what a baby! I was kind of wondering why I don’t exactly remember being quite so overwhelmed with my three boys when they were that age and then it dawned on me-I used a PLAY PEN to corral them. Yes, they got to crawl & explore but NOT ALL THE TIME! Whew – he’s certainly giving this grandma a run for her money!

Almost forgot to post: here are the latest baby blankets finally finished -both are probably going to Crisis Pregnancy Center



No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter (1 stick/8 T.)
1/2 C. evaporated milk (can
also use whole milk)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. 100% pure pumpkin puree
2 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*

Cover a sheet pan or cookie sheet
with waxed paper.
Combine sugar, butter & milk in a
saucepan on stove. Bring to hard,
rolling boil & boil 1 minute, stirring
to make sure ingredients do not
stick. Remove from heat; stir in
vanilla, pumpkin pie spice & pumpkin
until mixture is melted & smooth.
Fold in oats & drop by spoonfuls onto
waxed paper. Let cool in refrigerator
several hours. Makes about 24 cookies.
Store in air-tight container in fridge.

*Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 T. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Mix ingredients together in small


Summer Tomato Gratin

3 large ripe tomatoes, cored/
sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 T. olive oil
salt/black pepper
1/4 C. roughly chopped basil
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 C. coarse, fresh sourdough bread crumbs
1/3 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 500 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center position.
Brush a large, shallow gratin dish
or earthenware casserole with a
little olive oil.

Place sliced tomatoes between 2
paper towels & let stand 45 minutes
to 1 hour.

Arrange tomato slices slightly overlapping
in prepared dish. Season lightly with
salt/pepper & scatter half of basil on top.
In small skillet, heat garlic in olive oil
about 45 seconds until aroma is released.
Remove from heat; stir in bread crumbs &
add a touch more salt/pepper. Scatter
mixture on top of tomatoes & top with
Parmesan cheese. Bake 15 minutes until
crumbs are golden brown. If desired, let
stand up to 1 hour. Reheat in low oven
5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 5-6


Bacon Cheddar Chicken & Potatoes

1/4 C. ranch salad dressing
6 large bone-in chicken thighs,
skin & visible fat removed
4 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb. Red potatoes (about 5),
cut into 1 inch chunks
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple-Cheddar
cheese (with a touch of Philadelphia)
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

In shallow pan pour dressing over
chicken & refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook bacon in large skillet on
medium heat until crisp; remove
bacon from skillet, reserving 1 T.
drippings in skillet – drain bacon
on paper towels. Add potatoes &
onions to skillet – cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally then remove
from heat. Crumble bacon & add
to skillet, mix lightly then spoon
into prepared dish. Remove
chicken from marinade; discard
marinade. Place chicken in pan
over potato mixture. Bake
55 minutes to 1 hour until
potatoes are tender & chicken
is done (165 degrees F.) Top
with cheese & parsley.
Serves 6


White Bean & Tomato Salad

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained &
1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) diced tomatoes
with basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 C. sliced celery
1/4 C. loosely packed chopped fresh
Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Stir together all ingredients in medium
bowl. Serves 4 (about 3/4 C. each)

(recipe: readyseteat)

Cabbage-Apple Slaw

1/2 large head cabbage (or 1 1/2 bags
coleslaw mix)
2 large carrots, grated (omit if using bag mix)
1-2 apples, washed/cored/cut into chunks
1/3 C. golden raisins
1/4 C. craisins (optional)
3/4 C. mayonnaise (not light)
1/4 C. cider vinegar
2-3 T. sugar
3 tsp. celery seed

Wash & chop cabbage (if not using bag mix);
place in large bowl. Add carrots, apples,
raisins, craisins. In separate bowl, mix mayo,
vinegar & sugar until sugar dissolves.*
When dressing is mixed well, add celery seed.
Pour dressing over cabbage mixture & toss to
combine. Chill at least 1 hour.

*If you like the dressing more tart, add vinegar,
one tablespoon at a time; if you like it sweet, add
more sugar.


Parmesan-crusted Squash

1 Delicata (or Acorn) squash, about
14 oz, washed/dried
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan
2 T. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with
parchment then lightly spray
with nonstick cooking spray.
Slice squash in half length-wise
& scoop out seeds using a spoon.
Slice squash halves into 1/4 inch
thick slices (half circles) & place
in a large bowl. In small bowl
combine Parmesan, parsley,
thyme & lemon zest. Drizzle
olive oil, garlic, salt/pepper over
squash slices & toss well to coat.
Lay coated slices flat on prepared
baking sheets & pour Parm. mixture
over slices. Bake until soft & golden
brown on edges, about 25 minutes.
Serves 2


Southwest Black Bean Salad

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
1 (9 oz) can corn (or frozen &
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/3 C. red onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
juice of 1 1/2 – 2 limes
1 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh minced cilantro (or
more, to taste)
1 medium avocado, diced
1 diced jalapeno pepper (seeded),

In large bowl combine beans, corn,
tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro,
salt/pepper. Squeeze lime juice
to taste & stir in olive oil. Mix well &
marinate in fridge 30 minutes. Add
avocado just before serving.
Makes about 6 1/2 C.
(serves 13)


Crockpot Pizza Casserole

2 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 T. dried onion (or 1/4 C. fresh
1 (20 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
6-8 slices pepperoni

Prepare egg noodles accordg. to
pkg. directions; drain. Brown
ground meet in large, deep skillet-
cook until no longer pink (drain).
Add spaghetti sauce, garlic &
oregano – mix well. Spray insides
of crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. Spoon about 2 C. meat
mixture on bottom; spoon about
1 C. noodles on top of meat. Add
a layer of mozzarella & Cheddar
cheeses & repeat layers. Top
with pepperoni slices*. Cover &
cook on High 1 to 1 1/2 hours
until cheese melts. Serves 6-8

*You can also layer the pepperoni
between other ingredients (OR)
just omit if you don’t like it.


Spiced Zucchini Bars

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 C. raisins
2 C. grated zucchini
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) tub cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 15 X 10″ jelly
roll pan. In large bowl combine
flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon.
In separate bowl whisk together
eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla & lemon
juice. Gradually add flour mixture
to egg mixture. Fold in remaining
ingredients (except frosting) &
pour into prepared pan. Bake 25-35
minutes until lightly golden. Cool
completely & spread with frosting.
Cut into bars. Makes 3 dozen.



Our weather has finally cooled down a bit,
rained a tiny bit this morning but it’s sunny
& 75 right now. Supposed to be in the 60’s
for the rest of the week.

I was shocked last night when driving home
from Knit Night – earlier in the day gas prices
were $2.26/9 – by 9 p.m. they were up to
$2.59/9! Not sure exactly why, just glad I
still have a half tank before I need to worry
about it.

Enjoy your day!