More Easter Preparations

On the Easter dinner scene: after running my (I thought) ‘great’ idea of purchasing 2 VEGAN dinner options at a local restaurant this coming Saturday by son with vegan girlfriend, his reaction was: “But Mom – it won’t be FRESH!” UGH! He ended up Googling Falafel – turns out there’s a local grocery really close to here that sells it; his suggestion: buy it, warm it up and VOILA! We’ve got something she can eat! (Ah, the lengths we go to to please – but we DO want her to feel welcome!). I still need to figure out dessert(s) – haven’t got that far yet.

Yesterday was ‘take your Senior Friend out to lunch’ day – we went to Ruby Tuesday’s. Afterwards I stopped by the local Salvation Army store and found a really pretty, very fancy black top with silver sparkles that will be just fine for wearing with a straight, long black skirt should we get invited to a wedding! Total cost: $3.99! Also found a really pretty knit baby blanket which I purchased for 2 reasons: (1) to give to Detroit Veteran’s for their baby shower (it was brand new) and (2) to see if I could find/figure out the knit pattern. Last night I was on the ‘net’ for a good 1 1/2 hours trying to find that stitch – finally found it. It’s called Lucina Shell by Barbara G. Walker (Barbara is deceased but was known to be the premiere knitting ‘goddess’ and STILL is!). She creates gorgeous patterns – we’ll see if I can conquer this one!


No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. unsalted butter
3 C. regular or frosted cornflakes

Place choc. chips, peanut butter, honey
& butter in large glass bowl – microwave
2 minutes Full power. Remove & stir
until chocolate has completely melted
& all is well combined. Stir in cornflakes
& mix well. Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
parchment paper; spread choc. mixture
evenly in pan. Chill until firm, at least
2-4 hours. Slice with sharp knife & store
chilled bars in fridge up to 2 weeks.
Makes 48 bars


Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

4 plum tomatoes, seeded/
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan
1/4 C. minced fresh basil
3 T. olive oil
2 T. minced fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 French bread baguette
(10.5 oz) cut into 1/2″ slices
1/4 C. butter, softened
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
cheese, sliced

In small bowl combine the first
10 ingredients. Spread baguette
slices with butter; top each with
a cheese slice. Place on ungreased
baking sheets & broil 3-4 inches
from heat 3-5 minutes until cheese
is melted. Using a slotted spoon,
top each slice with about 1 T.
tomato mixture. Makes 3 dozen


Brie-Cherry Pastry Cups

1 sheet frozen puff pastry,
1/2 C. cherry preserves
4 oz. Brie cheese, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
2 T. minced chives

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unfold puff pastry & cut into
36 squares. Spray 36 mini
muffin cups with nonstick
spray. Press squares into
cups & bake 10 minutes. Using
the end of a wooden spoon
handle, make a 1/2 inch deep
indentation in center of each
cup. Bake 6-8 minutes longer
until golden brown. Using
spoon handle, press squares
down again. Spoon a rounded
1/2 tsp. of preserves in each
cup & top with cheese. Sprinkle
tops with nuts & chives. Bake
3-5 minutes until cheese is
melted. Makes 3 dozen


Sassy Chicken Salad

1 (10 oz) can (Red Gold)
Tex-Mex Petite diced
tomatoes & green chilies*
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. honey
2 C. chopped, cooked chicken
1 C. thinly sliced celery
1 c. grapes, halved
1/2 C. chopped toasted

In medium bowl combine
tomatoes, mayonnaise &
honey. Stir in chicken, celery,
grapes & pecans. Cover &
chill. May be served in hollowed
out melons, avocados or
papayas. Makes a great
sandwich when served on a
croissant. Serves 6

PAM NOTE: I would guess
you could also use Ro*Tel
tomatoes as a substitute
(the ones with green chiles)


Sunshine Chicken Salad

1 oz. pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. plain/pineapple or pina colada-
flavored if desired yogurt
1/4 C. honey
2 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 1/2 C. seedless red grapes
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts,
drained (optional)
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. slivered almonds, toasted

Combine dressing mix, mayonnaise,
yogurt & honey in small bowl – chill
at least 30 minutes. Place chicken,
pineapple & grapes in a bowl; add
celery & water chestnuts (if using) &
toss with chilled dressing. Sprinkle
top with almonds before serving.
Serves 4


Pioneer Woman’s Best
Breakfast Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes, roughly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded/
roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded/
roughly chopped
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large bowl toss potatoes,
garlic, onion, green & red bell
peppers, olive oil, butter, seasoned
salt, cayenne, salt/pepper. Bake
20-25 minutes, shaking pan twice.
Raise oven temperature to 500
degrees F. & bake until crisp &
brown, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle
a little more salt & pepper on them
before serving. Serves 6-9


Carrot Fries with Lemon Dip
(need deep fry thermometer)

1 C. sour cream
1/3 C. chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

5 C. vegetable oil
6 large egg whites, beaten
3 C. panko breadcrumbs
(Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 large carrots, peeled/cut
into 3 inch long sticks, each
about 1/2 inch thick
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

In medium bowl mix sour cream,
mint, lemon juice, sugar, salt/pepper
until blended. Cover & chill at least
30 minutes and up to 1 day

In large heavy-bottomed saucepan,
heat oil over medium heat until a
deep-frying thermometer inserted
into oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you
DON’T have a thermometer, a cube
of bread will brown in about 3

Place egg whites in medium bowl; place
bread crumbs in another medium bowl.
Working in batches, drop carrot sticks
into egg whites & turn to coat. Remove,
allowing any excess egg white to drip
back into bowl. Drop sticks into panko
& toss gently to coat.

Working in batches, fry sticks until
deep brown 3-4 minutes, turning &
separating with a wooden spoon &
adjusting temperature to maintain
350 degrees F. Drain on paper towels.

Place a bowl of dip in center of a
platter; sprinkle fries with salt &
pepper & arrange around dip on
platter. Serves 4-6


Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad

1 lb. elbow macaroni
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 C. chopped celery
3/4 C. sweet pickle relish,
drained well
2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
paprika, for sprinkling top

In large pot of boiling water, cook
macaroni 7-9 minutes just until
tender. Drain, rinse & let cool. In
large bowl combine cooked
macaroni with remaining ingredients
except paprika – mix well. Sprinkle
top with paprika & cover. Refrigerate
1 hour until ready to serve. Serves 10


Lemon Cream Fruit Tart
(overnight recipe)

1 3/4 C. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. granulated sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) melted butter
1 (.25 oz) envelope unflavored
1/4 C. water
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. lemon Greek yogurt
3/4 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

assorted fruit for garnish, like
cut up strawberries, blueberries,
raspberries, peaches, blackberries,

1/2 powdered sugar
1 T. your favorite coffee
creamer (or milk)
Whisk together & drizzle over
top of tart just before serving

In medium bowl combine graham
cracker crumbs, gran. sugar & butter;
mix well. Press mixture into bottom
of a 9-inch springform or tart pan.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
In small microwave-save bowl, sprinkle
gelatin over water; let stand 5 minutes
then heat in microwave on High 20
seconds. Stir thoroughly until gelatin
is completely dissolved. In large bowl
beat cream cheese & yogurt until
creamy. Add heavy cream & powdered
sugar – beat 2-3 minutes until thickened
& fluffy. Beat in lemon juice, lemon zest
& gelatin mixture until smooth. Pour
lemon mixture into crust. Cover &
refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Garnish
with assorted fruits. Mix together drizzle
ingredients & drizzle over top of tart
just before serving.  Serves 8

Our weather has turned colder & rainy/gloomy –
looking at the rest of this week’s forecast, it doesn’t
look promising: partly sunny w/50% chance of rain,
cloudy with showers, temps in 60’s – oh well, it’s
good for the flowers, right?

Hope you’re having a good day and getting on
with your Easter preparations!



Freebies by the side of the road!

Yesterday while driving home from evening church I spotted something along side the road at the end of someone’s driveway. Took me a bit of turning around before I was able to get to the driveway; as I got out of my car a gentleman who lived there asked if he could help me. I pointed to a rather nice baby changing table and he piped up and said: “It’s Free! You can have it!” I was thrilled! (mind you, here I am still dressed in my church clothes – fancy blouse & skirt, heels, etc.) He immediately says: “I can help you load it – here, let me give you a hand!” What a nice man! I told him that very soon we would be babysitting our grandson and that was the one thing I still needed. He said he thought that they might have picked up this very changing table, themselves, on the side of the road – how advantageous, right? I will need to find a pad for it and clean it up a bit (there was a bit of mud on the legs, since that driveway was a bit muddy – but mud never hurt anyone and I’ve got lots of cleaning supplies). YAY! I’m really thrilled! There are still only two items I’d like to purchase in the near future (for the baby): a walker and a high chair, neither of which I will be needing immediately. This week begins our baby’s Mom going back to work; I texted her a bit earlier asking if she has a schedule yet and she texted she will find out today. As she put it: “Our little guy is ready for  some ‘Grandma Pam’ time” Awwwwww – I’m ready! Her mother & I will be the babysitters while both parents are working which means I will be a bit more busy than my usual, but that’s OK.

Have you started planning your Easter meal yet? I haven’t heard from my oldest son as to what time OR what sides, so I’m still just waiting. Not sure, either, whether middle son & his new girlfriend will be joining us – she’s a Vegan (whole new learning experience for our family). I’m very happy for middle son – she’s very sweet and seems to really like our son. He’s a great guy but (as people would say) he’s a bit of a NERD – loves video games, Japanese Anime (cartoons) – he says he’s a lot like me (more emotional, caring, etc. than most guys are). We’ll see where all this goes.


No-Bake Banana Split Dessert

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Fruit & Toppings:
3-4 bananas, sliced
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained well
16 oz. strawberries, hulled/sliced
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
chocolate syrup
maraschino cherries

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
mix graham cracker crumbs &
melted butter with a fork, stirring
until all of crumbs are evenly moistened.
Dump crumbs into prepared pan &
press into an even layer. Refrigerate
while preparing next layer.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese &
sugar using elec. mixer on medium
speed until light & fluffy, about 3
minutes. Using a rubber spatula,
fold in Cool Whip until thoroughly
combined. Spread mixture on top
of graham crust. Arrange banana
slices in single layer on top of cream
cheese filling, top with an even layer
of crushed pineapple, then an even
layer of sliced strawberries. Cover with
Cool Whip, smoothing the top. Sprinkle
top with chopped nuts then drizzle
with chocolate syrup & top with
maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for
at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serves 12-16 (depending on how large
the servings are)

Leftovers can be stored, covered,
in fridge for up to 4 days.

NOTE: You can substitute whipped
cream for the Cool Whip; if using
this – leftovers should only be kept
for up to 2 days, refrigerated as
fresh whipped cream will become
watery as it sits in fridge.


Fiesta Pinwheels

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. picante salsa
2 T. taco seasoning mix
dash of garlic powder
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped black
olives, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green
1 C. (4 oz) finely shredded
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. thinly sliced green onions
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
salsa, for dipping

In small bowl beat cream cheese,
sour cream, picante sauce, taco
seasoning & garlic powder until
smooth. Stir in olives, chilies,
cheese & onions – spread about
1/2 C. on each tortilla. Roll up,
jelly-roll style. Wrap in plastic
wrap & refrigerate 2 hours or
overnight. Slice into 1 inch pieces;
place on a platter & serve with
salsa. Makes about 5 dozen.

Warm Bacon Cheese Spread

1 round (1 lb) loaf sourdough
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 1/2 C. (12 oz) sour cream
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/
1/2 C. chopped green onions

assorted crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut top fourth off top of bread
loaf; carefully hollow out the
bottom, leaving a 1 inch shell.
Cut the removed bread into
cubes & place in a ziplock bag
(to keep them from drying out).
In large bowl beat cream cheese
until fluffy. Add sour cream,
Cheddar cheese & Worc. sauce
until blended – stir in bacon &
onions then spoon into bread
shell. Wrap in heavy-duty foil
(about 24″ X 17″ ) & bake 1 hour
until heated through. Serve with
crackers & reserved bread crumbs.
Makes 4 Cups dip.

*You can make this a Seafood
Dip by changing out the bacon
for equal amounts lump crab,
cooked shrimp or a combination
of the two.


Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
1 (10.5 oz) can cheese soup
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes or
diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts,
cut into 1 inch cubes
1 C. diced green pepper
1 C. diced onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (16 oz) bag Mexican-blend shredded
cheese, divided
10 corn tortillas, cut or torn into
3 C. crushed corn chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine soups & canned
tomatoes; mix well. In another
bowl combine chicken, garlic,
pepper, onion & spices – mix
well until all is evenly coated.
Place a layer of chicken mixture
in bottom of prepared pan
followed by a layer of soup
mixture. Add a layer of corn
tortillas followed by a layer
of shredded cheese – continue
until you run out of ingredients.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove from
oven & spread a layer of crushed
corn chips on top followed by a
layer of shredded cheese. Bake
10 more minutes. Allow to cool
slightly & serve.


Crockpot Ham Steaks & Pineapple

2 1/2 lb. ham, sliced into 1/2″ slices
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices –
reserve juice for sauce
1 (6 oz) can maraschino cherries,
3 T. brown sugar (packed)
1 T. mustard
1 T. apple cider vinegar

Place ham slices, pineapple slices &
cherries in crockpot. In medium
bowl mix pineapple juice, brown
sugar, mustard & apple cider
vinegar – whisk until smooth &
pour over ham. Cover & cook on
Low 5 hours WITHOUT opening
lid during cooking time. Drizzle
sauce over each serving. Serves 8


Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained (liquid reserved)
1 1/4 C. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 T. cider vinegar
3 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into
2 T. vegetable oil
4-6 pork loin chops, 1 inch thick

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large saucepan combine reserved
pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar
& vinegar; cook 5 minutes until hot.
Add pineapple chunks, carrots &
green pepper; remove from heat. In
large skillet heat oil & add chops –
brown on both sides. In shallow
baking dish arrange chops. Spread
pineapple/vegetable mixture over
top. Cover with foil & bake 25-35
minutes until chops are done &
vegetables are crisp-tender. Serves 4


Best Sweet Coleslaw

1 (16 oz.) bag coleslaw mix
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seeds

In medium bowl stir mayonnaise,
sugar, vinegar, salt & celery seeds
until well mixed. Mix in coleslaw
blend & stir until well coated.
Cover & refrigerate 1-2 hours
before serving.


Sweet Potato Casserole
w/ Brown Sugar topping

2 (29 oz, ea) cans cut sweet
potatoes, mashed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/3 C. evaporated milk
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. butter
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
mix mashed sweet potatoes,
1/2 C. butter, evap. milk, sugar,
vanilla & eggs. Spread mixture
evenly into prepared pan. In
small bowl combine brown
sugar & flour – cut in 1/3 C.
butter until mixture is crumbly,
then stir in pecans. Sprinkle
mixture evenly over top of
sweet potato mixture. Bake
25 minutes until golden brown.


Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake

2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. shredded carrots *
(about 5-6 carrots)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 C. chopped pecans, divided

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
whisk flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves &
nutmeg. In another bowl whisk oil,
brown sugar, gran. sugar, eggs &
vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into
dry & stir until combined. Fold in
grated carrots, crushed pineapple
& 1/2 C. pecans. Spread batter into
prepared pan & bake 40-50 minutes.
Cake is done when a wooden tooth-
pick inserted into center comes out
clean. (NOTE: if cake is browning too
quickly, loosely lay a piece of foil over
top to prevent from browning too
much). Remove cake from oven &
place on wire rack – cool completely.
(If you need to speed up the cooling
process, refrigerate cake after it has
cooled on cooling rack 45 minutes.)
In a bowl beat together butter & cream
cheese until creamy & combined. Add
powdered sugar, heavy cream & vanilla;
beat until combined & fluffy, about
1-2 minutes. Spread over cooled cake
& sprinkle remaining nuts on top.

Cake can be made ahead of time. Bake
the cake, cool on cooling rack 45
minutes; cover & leave in fridge up to
2 days before needed. Remove from
fridge, prepare frosting, frost cake &

*You can shred your own carrots
using a cheese grater – much cheaper
than buying shredded



Gas prices have dropped a teeny bit
from $2.59/9 to $2.53/9 . . . guess
that’s better than going up, right?

Our weather is now more ‘almost
Summer-like’, yesterday it got up
to 74 degrees & sunny – YAY! Today
is supposed to be high of 76 &
cloudy with 70% chance of rain
tonight. Rest of week is in the 50’s
but that’s better than the 30’s!

Hope you’re enjoying this Spring
weather in your area. Try to stay



Happy Sunday!

It’s a rather gloomy, wet day out there (temp is 47 degrees F.) but it’s better than snow! (guess you could say it’s ‘liquid snow’, right?). I’m slowly feeling better – was able to go to church and sing in the choir (YAY!). Came home later & had a surprise visit from oldest son & his little family; they stopped by to drop off husband’s air pump. It was nice to see ALL of them – newest grandson is now officially 4 weeks/or 1 month old. I get the fun of babysitting him tomorrow evening while his parents go to a concert/date – am guessing about 4-5 hours, total – we’ll see. I also get the ‘fun’ of learning all the in’s & outs of new-fangled baby paraphernalia like the Dr. Brown baby bottles and heating pumped mommy milk on the stove after it’s been frozen! (In my day I used the microwave and, being our boys were adopted, didn’t have to figure out how to defrost that kind of milk). I’ve decided, since it’s supposed to continue raining/storming, I’m taking some matches with me – just in case the power goes out. I KNOW they have lots of candles. Should be a fun/interesting/unique experience, for sure!


 Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Pudding

8 C. day-old, unfrosted cinnamon
rolls, cubed*
4 large eggs
2 C. milk
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. raisins

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place roll cubes in bottom.
In small bowl whisk eggs, milk, sugar, butter,
vanilla & nutmeg – stir in raisins & pour over
cinnamon rolls. Stir gently. Cover & cook on
Low 3 hours until a knife inserted near
center comes out clean. Serves 6

*8 slices cinnamon or white bread, cut
into 1 inch cubes may be substituted
for the cinnamon rolls


Liver & Onions with Bacon!

1 lb. beef liver
1/4 – 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
2 medium onions
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 T. butter
2 T. water

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Brown bacon in pan & reserve
grease. Wash the liver & slice
into thin (1/4 – 1/2″) slices;
rinse well & pat dry using paper
towels. Mix flour, garlic powder,
salt/pepper in small bowl. Grease
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish using
the bacon grease. Dip liver slices into
flour mixture & place in prepared dish.
Thinly slice onions into rings & layer
on top of liver. Cut butter into small
pats & place over sliced onions. Add
water to pan to keep all moisture from
cooking off. Bake 30-40 minutes until
well cooked & onions are soft. It may
take up to an hour, depending on
thickness of liver slices. When done
cooking, sprinkle top with bacon
crumbles. Serves 4-6


Cowboy Cornbread Meatloaf

1 1/2 – 2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 box cornbread stuffing mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/3 to 1/2 C. sliced canned mushrooms
1/2 C. diced onions
1/2 C. honey BBQ sauce (or your

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare stuffing according to box
directions. Combine stuffing,
ground beef, egg, garlic powder,
seasoning, mushrooms & onions-
mix well. Spray a loaf pan with
nonstick spray & press meatloaf
into pan evenly. Brush top of
meatloaf with a light coating of
BBQ sauce. Bake 1 hour; remove
& brush again with a thick layer
of BBQ sauce; place back in oven
another 5  minutes. Serves 6

BBQ Chili Cheese Biscuit Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled/shredded
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 stalks kale, chopped (or few
handfuls spinach, chopped)
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 (19 oz) can black or kidney beans,
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. BBQ sauce

2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. cold butter cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/2 to 3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.

In large oven-safe skillet cook
ground beef & onion over medium-
high heat until browned. Add carrot,
pepper, kale (spinach) & chili powder;
cook 2-3 minutes until veggies are
softened. Add beans, tomatoes, ketchup
& BBQ sauce. Cover & simmer over
medium heat 10 minutes. (while cooking,
prepare the biscuits)


In medium bowl mix flour, baking
powder, salt & garlic powder. Add
butter cubes to mixture & cut in until
crumbly. Stir in milk gradually, stirring
just enough so dough comes together.
Roll out on floured surface & cut into
biscuit rounds (or you can leave as
one piece). Place biscuits on top of
chili mixture. Lay a piece of foil over top
(do not tighten around skillet – this is
only to prevent spatters in oven). Bake
10 minutes until light golden brown.
Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese &
bake 1-2 minutes more until cheese
melts. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead:
Cook chili 10 minutes & prepared
biscuit dough. Wrap dough in plastic
wrap & refrigerate. Cool chili to
room temp & refrigerate. When ready
to bake, bake chili, covered at 450
degrees F. 10-15 minutes before adding
biscuits on top & baking additional 10

To Freeze: Assemble completely, minus
the cheese & freeze. To bake, thaw in
fridge overnight or on counter 2-3 hours.
(Might require additional baking time
if still partially frozen when you bake.
Sprinkle on cheese during last 10 minutes.


Crockpot Vegetarian Minestrone

1 C. dried navy beans, rinsed
4 carrots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 qt. (5 C.) vegetable broth
3/4 C. ditalini pasta, uncooked
3/4 C. “Classico Traditional Basil
Pesto pasta sauce & spread”
1 (5 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray & place beans, carrots & garlic in
bottom. Add broth & stir. Cover & cook
on Low 7-8 hours (or High 3 1/2 – 4 hours).
Stir in pasta & pesto sauce; cover & cook
on Low 30 minutes (or High 15 minutes).
Add spinach & lemon juice; stir & serve
topped with cheese. Serves 8 (1 C. each)

Sheet Pan Home Fries

20 oz. baby red potatoes, cut
into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
fresh black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil or
spray with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients in
large bowl & toss to coat
then transfer to sheet pan &
spread in single layer. Roast
on bottom rack of oven 15
minutes. Turn mixture using
a spatula & roast an additional
25-30 minutes until golden
brown & cooked through.
Serves 4


Crockpot Red Velvet Spoon

3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
3/4 C. butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1 1/2 C. flour
3 oz. red food coloring
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
pecan pieces (optional)

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
Place choc. chips & 3/4 C. butter
in microwave safe bowl – melt
at 30 second intervals, stirring
in between.* Whisk in eggs & egg
whites, one at a time. Mix in flour,
food coloring, vanilla, baking cocoa,
salt & baking powder. Spoon
batter into crockpot & spread out
evenly. Place a few paper towels
across opening of crockpot to catch
any moisture that may drip on
batter & cover with lid. Cook on
Low 2 1/2-3 hours. If done, when
you insert a toothpick into center,
a few crumbs will stick to it when
it comes out.Remove lid & let cool
while preparing icing.**

Beat cream cheese & butter until
mostly smooth; stir in powdered
sugar & salt, then mix in vanilla

To serve:
Place a dollop of brownie on a plate
with a dollop of icing on top & a
sprinkle of pecans, if using.

*If your microwave safe bowl isn’t
large enough, pour mixture into
a large bowl & stir in sugar.

**When you remove the lid it will
look great until it starts to cool – then
it will fall – it is perfect for spooning
out to serve.


Veggie-Lovers Cream Cheese Spread

8 oz. softened cream cheese*
1 T. finely diced jalapeno pepper
3 T. finely diced green bell pepper
3 T. finely diced red bell pepper
1 green onion, chopped finely
3 T. finely diced carrot
3 T. finely diced broccoli (stem &
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch sugar
pinch ground white pepper

Mix all ingredients together well;
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 1 cup approximately

*Microwave cream cheese on
microwaveable plate 30 seconds
on High



Marshmallow ‘Peeps’ Cookie Bars

1/2 C. butter
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees F
Spray 9 X 13″ cake pan with nonstick spray.
Whip butter until fluffy, add egg & yolk
in large bowl; combine dry cake mix
along with some sprinkles. Press
dough into prepared pan & bake
18-20 minutes. Allow cake to cool
Melt white chocolate  chips in a pan
on stove (or microwave)
then combine with sweetened
condensed milk & vanilla to make
fudge layer – pour mixture evenly
over cooked ‘cake’ & smooth top.
While ‘fudge’ layer is still warm, line Peeps
side-by-side (varying colors, if desired)
on top & add some sprinkles to top.
Place pan in fridge to set. Once set,
cut into
bars (following Peeps bodies) &


This coming week looks like it will be
pretty busy with babysitting, knit group,
special needs group, visiting our Tax Man,
special needs Gym Night – SO GLAD my
back is finally feeling better!

Still working on knitting baby hats for
the Detroit Vet’s baby shower in Sept.,
1 pink variegated yarn baby blanket &
the mint green Diagonal Squares crocheted
baby blanket – keeps me out of trouble!
Need to visit the library again soon, ran out
of books to read. I ended up ‘raiding’ my
upstairs paperbacks (we’re talking 1980’s+)
and found “The Fourth Estate” by Jeffrey
Archer (one of my favorite authors) – I thought
I’d read all his books but this one was new
to me (that could either mean I haven’t
read it ORRrrrrrrrrr I’m getting too old and
I DID read it, just forgot! … Oh well . . .

Hope you’re having a great Sunday!



a day early but it’s OK!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day but I still have more recipes to share with you – so I made my post a day early! Today’s weather is a little warmer – sunny & 34 degrees F. (high supposed to get to 37!). I’m good with cold as long as there’s sun & it’s clear out! (Fussy – right?) I’m also in a good mood because I’m going to visit my oldest son & his little family later on this evening – get to see my oldest grandson (10) and his baby brother (almost 3 weeks this Saturday). This will be the first time I, as Grandma, will be around both boys – will have to remember to be extra-attentive to oldest so as not to incite any feelings of jealosy, since oldest was here first.


Warm Triple Chocolate Pudding Cake

1 (2 layer) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. Chocolate instant
pudding mix
1/3 C. sugar
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
3 C. miniature marshmallows
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix as directed on pkg;
spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & pour batter into pan. Beat
dry pudding mixes, sugar, milk & water
using whisk 2 minutes; pour over cake
batter. Place baking dish on a rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour
until a wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.

Heat oven broiler
Top cake with marshmallows & broil,
6 inches from heat, 30 seconds to
1 minutes until marshmallows are
golden brown. Melt chocolate as
directed on pkg; drizzle over top of
marshmallows. Cool 15 minutes.
Serves 16


Hot Chili Cheese Dip

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 can Hormel Chili without beans
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread cream cheese in bottom of
9-inch pie plate. Top with chopped
green onion & spread chili on top.
Top with shredded cheese & bake
10 minutes until heated through &
cheese is melted. Serves 10


Irish Tavern Steak & Ale Soup

1 lb. chuck or round steak, cut
into 1-inch cubes
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp.
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 (12 oz) can beer or ale
1/2 C. cream or evaporated milk
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 T. olive oil

Seasoned flour:
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch black pepper

Heat 1 T. oil in heavy skillet over
medium heat. Mix seasoned flour
ingredients & place in a plastic bag.
Place cubed meat in bag & shake
until meat is coated. Place meat in
hot skillet, shaking off any excess
flour. Brown meat on all sides &
place in crockpot. Return skillet
to heat & add remaining 1 T. oil.
Saute onions, mushrooms, garlic &
celery until almost tender. Place
mixture in crockpot. Add potato
chunks to crockpot & pour beer
over top. Add bouillon cube &
thyme. Cover & cook on High
5-6 hours or Low 8-10 hours*
Turn off crockpot & add cream-
stir well. Add cheese & stir again.
Replace lid & let stand 10
minutes – stir again & serve.
Makes 4 servings.

*Poster recommends cooking
it on High so meat doesn’t break


Spicy Red Cabbage

4 oz. raisins
3 T. dark brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
salt/black pepper
1 (2 lb) red cabbage, cored/
1 lb. tart apples, peeled/
2 red onions, sliced
5 oz. apple cider
2 T. white wine vinegar or
cider vinegar
1 bay leaf

Combine raisins, sugar, garlic,
cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves,
salt/pepper, to taste. Layer
cabbage, apples & onion in
a Dutch oven, sprinkling
sugar mixture in between
layers as you go. Pour cider &
vinegar over top & drop in
bay leaf.
This dish may be cooked either
in the oven or stovetop.

If using oven, Preheat 350 degrees F.
Cover with tight-fitting lid & cook
slowly, stirring occasionally.
You can leave lid off for last 30 minutes
to reduce fluid & concentrate the flavor –
remove bay leaf & discard.

If doing stovetop, cover with tight-
fitting lid & cook slowly 2-3 hours,
stirring occasionally.

Dish can also be prepared ahead &
frozen. Serves 8


Crockpot Beer Chicken

2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken
breasts (poster used 8 breasts,
4 oz. each)
1 bottle or can beer
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Place all ingredients in crockpot;
cook on High 4-5 hours or Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8


Crockpot Beef/Beer & Onion Ribs

oil for cooking
3-5 lb. beef back ribs
1 (1.0 oz) pkg. onion soup mix (dry)
1 large onion, sliced thick
1 (12 oz) can beer

Place a large pan over medium-high
heat; coat bottom of pan with cooking
oil & brown ribs then place in 6 qt.
crockpot. Add soup mix, onions &
pour beer over top. Cover & cook
on Low 7-8 hours without opening
lid during cooking time. Serves 4


Mint Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. mint extract
green gel food coloring
2 c. mini chocolate chips, divided

animal crackers, graham crackers,
chocolate or vanilla wafers, for

Cream cream cheese & butter together.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar, then
extract & green gel coloring until desired
color is reached. Stir in 1 C. choc. chips &
transfer mixture to a bowl; refrigerate
at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle 1/2 C. choc. chips on top of a
piece of plastic wrap. Scoop out cream
cheese mixture & place on top of chips.
Sprinkle top of cream cheese with more
choc. chips. Wrap cheese mixture into a
ball & place in a clean bowl. Press into
bowl to form ball. Remove wrap &
invert onto a serving board or cake stand.
Sprinkle with more choc. chips, if needed.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until
ready to serve.


Neighborhood Coffee Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling

1/4 C. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl cream
1 C. butter & 1 1/2 C. sugar; add
eggs, one at a time,. Add 3 C. flour,
baking powder & vanilla; mix well.
Spread half of batter into prepared
pan. Using a wet knife, spread pie
filling evenly over batter & cover
evenly with remaining batter.

In small bowl mix 1/4 C. flour, 1/4
C. sugar, 2 tsp. butter & cinnamon
using a fork, until crumbly. Sprinkle
over batter & bake 55-60 minutes until
a wooden toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire
rack. Cut & serve. Serves 15



Hope you’re having a great day –



Yep, it’s Michigan!


Yesterday evening, while driving to my special needs group, it was windy with a light rain. During the evening that changed – I drove home with 40 MPH. winds and SNOW! Getting up this morning, the ground is lightly covered in the white stuff and the temps. dropped from 50’s (early yesterday) to 25 degrees (with wind chill – feels like 15 degrees F). – typical MICHIGAN in the Spring! Ugh! Going over the weather report, it seems we’re also supposed to get 3 inches of the white stuff around 3 p.m. today – oh, joy – looks like that quick run to the store & drug store will have to take place NOW!

Gas prices have also jacked up – from $2.29/9 to $2.49/9 – that’s quite a jump!


Tornado Cake

1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) can fruit cocktail with syrup
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. brown sugar

1 stick butter
1 C. shredded coconut
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk or Half & Half

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
spray & dust inside surfaces with flour
Mix sugar, eggs, fruit cocktail, baking
soda & flour; pour into prepared pan.
Combine brown sugar & nuts; sprinkle
over top. Bake 40 minutes.
Mix ingredients for icing & spread onto
cake while still hot.


Double Meltaway Steak

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter,
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 strip steaks
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In medium bowl combine
butter, garlic, onion powder &
parsley; mix well. On a 12-inch
square of waxed paper, pour
butter mixture down center
of sheet & roll into a 1 inch
thick log. Wrap tightly &
refrigerate about 1 hour,
until firm.
Sprinkle each side of steaks
evenly with salt/pepper. Spray
a grill pan or heavy skillet with
nonstick spray & heat over
medium-high heat. Cook
steaks 6-8 minutes per side for
medium doneness or to desired
doneness. Remove butter ‘log’
from fridge; slice off a slice &
place on steaks – serve immediately.
Serves 2

The idea is: the butter seasons the
steaks & the tender meat melts in
your mouth –


Chicken Parmesan Bites

2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten with 1 T. water
2 C. flour
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
kosher salt/black pepper
oil – for frying
1 C. marinara sauce
1/4 lb. mozarella cheese cut into
1/2″ cubes
2 T. fresh chopped basil (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using 3 large bowls:
Bowl 1: whisk breadcrumbs, garlic
powder, paprika & Parm
Bowl 2: egg & water
Bowl 3: flour
Season chicken pieces with salt/
pepper – coat each piece of chicken
in flour (shake off excess) dip in
egg & coat in breadcrumb mixture;
set aside on a plate. In deep cast-
iron or heavy skillet warm 1″ oil
over medium-high heat. Add coated
chicken & cook until golden, 5-7
minutes, turning, drain on a paper
towel-lined plate. Arrange cooked
pieces in a baking dish in a single
layer. Add a small spoonful of
marinara over chicken & top with
a cube of mozzarella. Bake 3-5 minutes
until chicken is warmed through &
cheese is melty. Garnish with basil
& serve immediately. Serves 6

Spicy Enchilada-Stuffed Shells

24 jumbo pasta shells, uncooked
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. Mexican chorizo sausage
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 C. thick salsa
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed/
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded jalapeno
cheese, divided (Kraft)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta shells accordg. to pkg.
directions, omitting salt. Cook
ground beef & chorizo in large
skillet on medium heat until
done, stirring frequently; drain.
Mix enchilada sauce & salsa until
blended & spread 1/2 C. mixture
on bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Add
1 C. remaining enchilada sauce
mixture to meat mixture in skillet;
stir in beans & 1 C. cheese. Drain
pasta shells & fill with meat mixture.
Place, filled sides up, in dish,
sprinkling top with remaining
cheese & drizzle remaining
enchilada sauce on top. Cover
with foil & bake 30 minutes until
heated through. Serves 8


Crockpot Garlic Parmesan Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
12 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
(optional: 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon
juice/pinch salt)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in crockpot & cook
on High 3 hours or Low 6 hours, covered.
After 3 hours (on High or 6 on Low)
drain juices. In small bowl combine butter,
mayo, Parm cheese, garlic, oregano, basil
& salt – stir well & pour over chicken. Cover
& cook 30 minutes more or until done.
Serves 4


Mashed Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 lb),
1 C. evaporated milk
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1/2 C. sour cream
4-6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
(or 1/2 C. bacon bits)
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 or 9″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Boil
potatoes in large pot until
tender, about 20-30 minutes;
drain well. Return potatoes
to pot & add milk, sour cream,
salt/pepper & garlic powder –
beat/mash until smooth &
creamy. Fold in 1 C. Cheddar
cheese. Spread mixture evenly
in bottom of prepared dish &
bake 20 minutes. Remove from
oven & top with bacon & remaining
1 C. Cheddar cheese. Return to
oven & bake until cheese is
melted. Serves 6


Italian Sausage Kale Soup

1 (19 1/2 oz) pkg. Italian turkey
sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
8 C. chopped fresh kale
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
flakes, (optional)
1/2 C. white wine or chicken stock
3 1/4 C. (26 oz) chicken stock
1 (15 oz) can white kidney or
cannellini beans, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can no salt added
diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes (NOT
packed in oil), chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper

In 6 qt. stockpot, cook sausage &
onion over medium heat 6-8 minutes
until no longer pink, breaking meat
into crumbles. Remove to a bowl or
plate with slotted spoon. Add kale to
pot, cook & stir 2 minutes. Add garlic
(and, if desired – pepper flakes), cook
1 minute. Add wine, cook 2 minutes
longer. Stir in sausage mixture &
remaining ingredients. Bring to boil;
reduce heat to simmer. Cover &
cook 15-20 minutes until kale is tender.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)


7 Minutes in Heaven Cake

1 box angel food cake mix
2 boxes instant chocolate
pudding mix (& ingredients
to make them)
4 C. heavy cream
1/4 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate shavings

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepared cake mix accordg. to
directions. Pour about two-
thirds of batter into UNgreased
9 X 13″ baking dish; bake until
slightly golden, about 25-30
minutes. Let cool.
When cake is cooled: poke big
holes in cake across entire surface
of cake using rounded end of a
wooden spoon. Combine pudding
mixes & milk* in medium bowl; whisk
until mixture just begins to thicken-
pour over surface of cane & spread
with a spatula making sure pudding
gets into all holes. Cover & refrigerate
2 hours.
Prepare whipped cream:
In large bowl combine heavy cream with
sugar & vanilla – beat until stiff peaks
form. Spread over top of cake & garnish
with chocolate shavings. Serves 10-12

*amount of milk required to prepare
the 2 boxes of pudding mix



Lately this week I’ve been slightly amazed at
people – for example: Knit/Crochet night we
usually average around 15-19 people…this
week we had 7, including me! No particular
reason why for the absences (President’s
speech? It was lightly raining?). Last night,
for my special needs group – the weather was
really crappy – we fully expected a very small
crowd – we had 25 PLUS caregivers! Strange!
Guess ya just never know, right?

Not much else going on around here – I still
need to finish getting the upstairs ready for
#2 son to move up there; still have to finish
shredding old bills – don’t really feel the
‘urge’ to do either! Oh well – ‘eventually’,

Hope you have a great day!



A little at a time


Each day, lately, I’ve attempted to make a ‘dent’ in the ‘world of the upstairs JUNK’! Today was another ‘go at it’ – we’re talking YEARS of accumulations. Today I actually ‘found’ more little kids reading books, about 6 BOXES of VCR movie tapes (oh, joy), MORE of my old High School Homeschool books (a friend from church wants them – we’re talking Geometry, Biology, Economics, etc.) and that was just today’s discoveries. By the time I’m done I’m hoping to make more room upstairs for when middle son moves up there. It will be a LOT neater/cleaner and a little more roomy – makes my little heart glad.

Along with the cleaning ‘fun’ I ran into more bags of old house bills/receipts, etc. which need to be shredded. I don’t know about you, but shredding is NOT one of my favorite pastimes – boring! I have 2008 & 2009 to do in the next few days. My basic complaint (besides it being boring) is that those little ‘shreds’ seem to jump out of the garbage bag and end up being trecked all over the house! UGH! Oh well – one more job tackled – hopefully.


Crockpot Lemon Spoon Cake
(about 4 lemons total for recipe)

1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. lemon juice (plus 2 T. for glaze)
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. melted butter
3 eggs
1 T. lemon zest (packed)

2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 C. powdered sugar

vanilla ice cream, if desired, for serving
cake with

In large bowl add cake mix, lemon juice,
water, melted butter, eggs & lemon zest;
mix with a spoon until combined. (Do not
over mix, some lumps are fine)
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.
Pour batter into crockpot & smooth out evenly.
Cover & cook on High 1 1/2/ – 2 hours. Check
after 1 1/2 hours by pressing center of cake with
your fingers – it should be firm). If you are not
ready to serve when cooking time is up, turn
crockpot to warm setting.

Mix glaze ingredients in small bowl with a spoon.
Scoop cake into bowls & drizzle some glaze over
each serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if
desired. Serves 8 or more


Easy Shrimp Scampi

2 T. olive oil
5 T. butter
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 lb. shrimp, (uncooked), peeled/
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. chopped parsley, divided
juice of 1 lemon

cooked rice or pasta for 4

Heat skillet over medium heat; add
oil & butter – heat until bubbly.
Add ground red pepper; stir constantly
30 seconds. Add shrimp, garlic, salt/
half of parsley; continue to stir 2
minutes. Add lemon juice & cook
1 more minute. Remove from heat &
garnish with remaining parsley. Serve
warm over cooked rice or pasta
Serves 4


Sriracha Chicken & Brown Sugar
Bacon Bites

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Sriracha sauce
2 T. orange juice
6-8 slices bacon
6 T. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. black pepper

Cut chicken into 16-18 cubes &
place in large ziplock bag. Add
oil, Sriracha sauce & orange
juice. Zip up bag & turn to fully
coat chicken with marinade.
Refrigerate 1 hour, turning bag
every 20-30 minutes. (For spicier
bites, leave bag in fridge longer).
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut each slice of bacon into 3
pieces; remove chicken from
marinade & wrap a piece of bacon
around each chicken cube. Roll
cube in brown sugar & secure with
wooden toothpicks. Cover a baking
sheet with foil & spray foil with
nonstick spray – place cubes on sheet.
Sprinkle cubes with black pepper &
bake 30 minutes until bacon is crisp.
Turn pieces halfway through cooking
time. Serve warm. Serves 4


Baked Rice with Sausage/Peppers

& Corn

1 lb. spicy or sweet Italian sausage (or
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. Arborio rice
3 C. chicken broth
2 ears fresh corn, shucked/kernels cut off
(or) about 2 C. frozen corn, thawed)
1 tsp. Old Bay cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Pierce sausages all
over on all sides using the tip of a
knife (to prevent splitting/bursting).
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat; add sausages & cook,
turning often, until browned, about
5-6 minutes. Allow sausages to rest
a few minutes then cut into halves
or thirds – transfer to prepared
baking dish. Add to skillet onion,
garlic & red pepper – cook, stirring
frequently, until onion is softened,
about 2-3 minutes. Add rice; stir &
cook 1 minute, making sure all grains
get coated with oil from pan. Add
chicken broth, corn, Old Bay, salt/
pepper & bring to boil. Carefully
pour hot mixture over sausages in
baking dish. Cover tightly with foil
& bake until rice is tender & has
absorbed chicken broth, about
30-35 minutes. After baking, remove
from oven & let stand 5 minutes
before serving. Sprinkle top with
chopped cilantro.


Crockpot Honey Pork Roast

3-4 lb. pork loin roast
2 T. dried oregano
2 T. dried basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T. garlic, minced
1/2 C. honey
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2/3 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray & place roast in
pot. In medium bowl combine
oregano,basil, pepper/salt/,
garlic, honey, soy sauce & Parm.
cheese – mix well & pour over
roast. Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours. Remove cooked roast
from crockpot, reserving liquid.
Shred meat. Add reserved cooking
liquid to a saucepan & bring to
a boil. Reduce heat & simmer until
reduced & thickened. Pour reduced
thickened sauce over meat & serve.
Serves 6-8


Crockpot Cream Cheese Taco Dip

16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened/
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 oz. pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 lb. ground beef, browned/drained

corn or tortilla chips for dipping

Place all DIP ingredients in crockpot
(2-3 qt if you have one). Cover &
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours,
stirring frequently. Serve with dippers
Serves 10


Crockpot Zuppa Toscana
(Italian Potato/Sausage Soup)

6 slices bacon, cut, cooked &
1 lb. mild sausage, browned/
4 C. diced russet potatoes
1 C. diced white onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth

1 1/2 C. heavy cream
4 C. chopped kale

Add all ingredients to crockpot
except cream & kale. Cover &
cook on Low 7 hours. When done,
add heavy cream & kale; push
kale down into soup. Cover &
cook an additional 20 minutes.
Serves 8


Banana Sundae Dessert
(overnight recipe)

1 (12 oz) pkg. vanilla wafers, crushed
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
6 C. chocolate chip ice cream,
4 large, firm bananas, sliced
2 (11 3/4 oz, ea) jars hot fudge ice
cream topping, divided
6 C. strawberry or cherry ice cream,

Optional toppings:
whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
maraschino cherries
chopped walnuts
banana slices
colored sprinkles

In a bowl combine crushed wafers,
melted butter & sugar; press onto
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Freeze 15 minutes.
Spread choc. chip ice cream over
crust & layer with sliced bananas &
1 1/2 jars fudge topping (about 1 1/2
C.) Freeze, covered, at least 30 minutes.
Spread strawberry or cherry ice cream
over top & freeze, covered, 6 hours
or overnight.
Remove from freezer 10 minutes before
cutting. Warm remaining fudge topping &
drizzle over top. Serve with toppings.
Serves 16



Yesterday we had a VERY pleasant surprise –
middle son & I ‘adventured’ to the Wonderful
World of calling MEDICAID! Son doesn’t make
a lot of $$$ and is too old to be on our
medical insurance. He managed to lose his
Medicaid/Michigan insurance card and since
he hasn’t seen the doctor in awhile, thought
his coverage had expired. After a 20 minute
(listen to the canned music) wait we got an
actual PERSON – lady was very nice and checked
his account. Turns out his file is STILL active &
she’s sending him a new card! YAY! This is the
son that has very bad scoliosis (severe curvature
of the spine) and lately it’s been really painful
for him. He wants to be able to see a specialist
to get x-rays or an MRI to see just what can be
done. Many years ago while he was in his teens
we went through that – the specialist said that
unless it got more severe, there was nothing he
could do – just live with it. If it got worse he could
have surgery to have rods put in his back (VERY
painful). It’s many years later and he’s really needing
some sort of treatment (he’s already been to several
chiropractors – a little relief, for a little while – expensive
as they are not covered on insurance). We’ll see where
this goes – hopefully to get him some relief!

Our weather is, once again, gorgeous! It’s in the high
50’s today – forecast is rain/thunderstorms Thurs-Sun,
so ‘oh, goody’ but I’ll take the sunshine TODAY! It
always makes me extra happy feeling when the sun
is shining!

Gas prices are still at $2.19/9 a gallon – I know I need
to stop & fill up within the next few days, as well as
make a stop at the library & grocery store but just
haven’t felt the URGE to do so. That will change soon
because I have my special needs group tonight & it’s a
25 minute drive, one-way, so that will burn up some
gas & perhaps inspire me to get off my gluteus maximus
(polite way to say rear end/derriere, etc.) and go do
those things!

Hope your day is filled with some SUNSHINE and
a rest or two – just for the heck of it!



Not much going on –

In Mi will it rain or will it snow

Had a light dusting of the white stuff overnight – nothing to worry about, maybe 1/2 inch total?

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and even though it was Valentine’s Day, 15 ladies came out to enjoy crafting together. Fun, quiet evening, worked a little on new mint green baby blanket and a little on another baby hat – nothin’ special.


Crockpot Nutella Brownie Pudding

3 eggs
1 C. + 3 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C. Nutella

vanilla ice cream

Find an oven-safe casserole dish that
fits inside your crockpot – spray the
insides with nonstick spray. Fill bottom
of crockpot with about 2 inches of water.
In bowl beat eggs & sugar on medium
speed 5-7 minutes until very thick &
light yellow in color. Make sure to mix
for full 5 minutes (it’s essential for
texture of this dessert). Add vanilla,
cocoa, flour & salt – mix on Low speed
just until combined. With mixer on Low
speed, carefully add melted butter &
Nutella – mix just until combined, using
a spatula to scrape sides of bowl – pour
batter into prepared dish & place dish
in bottom of crockpot. (the water
should go about halfway up the sides
of the dish). Place 2 layers of thick
paper towels over the top of the
crockpot & secure them by placing
crockpot like on top. Cook on High
2-3 hours (at 2 hours it will be more
melty; at 3 hours it will still be moist
but totally cooked through – you
choose which you prefer). Unplug
crockpot & let stand 10 minutes.
Scoop mixture into serving bowls &
top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Makes 6 servings


Philly Cheesesteak Soup

2 T. canola oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. flour
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
3 green bell peppers, seeded/
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt/ground black pepper
8 oz. sliced Provolone cheese,
chopped, plus more for baguette

baguette, for serving

In large pot over medium heat, heat
1 T. oil. Add half the onion & cook
6 minutes; add garlic & cook 1 minute.
Add flour & whisk until golden, 2-3
minutes. Add broth & let simmer
15 minutes. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, heat remaining oil. Add steak,
onions & green peppers – cook, stirring
occasionally, until steak is cooked
through, 10-12 minutes. Stir in Worc.
sauce & season with salt/pepper. Add
cheese to soup & stir until melted. Add
steak mixture to soup & heat through,
3 minutes.
Heat broiler
Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls & top
with baguette slice each. Sprinkle
additional Provolone cheese on top
of slices & broil until cheese melts,
2-3 minutes. Serves 4

20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
1 C. frozen corn
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
1 T. lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1 T. fresh chopped cilantro

Garnish suggestions:
sliced avocado
tortilla strips
chopped cilantro

Add oil to large saucepan-heat oil
& add onion – saute 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, cook 1 minute; pour in
chicken broth, enchilada sauce,
crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn,
cumin, paprika & pepper – bring to
simmer & cook 10  minutes. Stir in
cooked chicken & warm through.
Remove from heat, ad lime juice
& cilantro – serve immediately with
garnishes, if desired. Serves 4


Ranch/Mushroom Chicken Thighs

8 chicken thighs
1 1/2 T. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
2 T. olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing (wet)
2 T. chopped parsley

Season chicken evenly with dry
Ranch dressing mix. In large,
heavy-bottomed skillet heat oil
over high heat. Add chicken, skin
sides down, & cook until browned,
undisturbed, about 5 minutes. Flip
over & cook 3-4 minutes; remove
from pan. Turn heat to medium;
add mushrooms – saute until
slightly softened, 3-4 minutes.
If bottom of pan looks like it might
start to burn, stir in 1-2 T. water.
Add chicken back to pan & add
broth. Bring to boil, cover, turn
heat to Low & simmer 30 minutes.
Remove cover, stir in wet Ranch
dressing & simmer 5 minutes more
until chicken is fully cooked & liquid
has slightly reduced. Garnish with
parsley & serve. Serves 4-6


Skillet Pork Casserole

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. boneless pork chops*, cut
into bite-sized pieces
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. uncooked white rice
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat. Saute pork with garlic & onions
until pork is browned & onions are
tender, 5-7 minutes. Add rice, Ital.
seasoning, frozen peas/carrots & broth.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer &
cover. Cook 18 minutes until rice is
tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour
cream & 1/2 of cheese until combined.
Top with remaining cheese; cover 2-3
minutes until cheese melts.
Option: place skillet under broiler 2
minutes to melt cheese. Serves 4-6

*you can substitute cut up chicken
for pork


Snickerdoodle Bars

1 stick butter (1/2 C.)
3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 inch square baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large microwave-
safe bowl melt butter 45-60 seconds; add
1/2 C. gran. sugar, brown sugar, egg &
vanilla, whisk until smooth. Stir in flour,
cream of tartar & salt – mix until
thoroughly combined – spoon batter
into baking dish. In small bowl mix
cinnamon & remaining 1/4 C. sugar –
sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake
20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Cool then
slice into bars. Makes 15


Crockpot Mexican Party Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. Mexican-style shredded Four
cheese (Kraft), divided
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream & 3/4
C. shredded cheese until blended;
spread onto bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans & salsa.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Top with onions, cilantro & remaining
Serves: 40 servings, 2 T. each

(recipe: kraftrecipes)

Deconstructed Egg Rolls

1 bag coleslaw mix
1 lb. sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. onion, diced

In large skillet brown sausage; drain
then mix in rest of ingredients. Cook,
covered, on medium heat 5 minutes.
Stir; adjust seasoning (salt/pepper)
& serve.

(recipe: 77

Apple/Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Cake Batter:
1 C. finely chopped pecans
3 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 C. canola oil
3/4 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. peeled/finely chopped apples,
about 1 1/2 lb.)

Caramel Pecan Frosting:

1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. butter
3 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. pecan halves (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 3 ingredients on medium
speed using elec. mixer until blended &
smooth. Add egg, flour & vanilla; beat
just until blended.

Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10
minutes until toasted & fragrant,
stirring halfway through. Stir 3 C. flour
& next 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir
in eggs & next 3 ingredients, stirring
just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in apples & pecans. Grease & flour
a 14-Cup Bundt pan then spoon 2/3 rds
of apple mixture into pan. Spoon cream
cheese filling over apple mixture, leaving
a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl
filling through apple mixture using a knife.
Spoon remaining apple mixture over filling.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until a
long wooden pick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack
15 minutes; remove from pan to rack &
cool completely (about 2 hours).

Bring 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/4 C. butter &
3 T. milk to boil in 2-qt. saucepan over
medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil
1 minute whisking constantly. Remove from
heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in
powdered sugar until smooth. Stir gently
3-5 minutes until mixture begins to cool &
thickens slightly. Pour immediately over
cooled cake & garnish top with pecans (while
frosting is still hot).



Gas prices dropped a little – from $2.29/9
to $2.19/9 – that’s good.

Looking at the calendar I suddenly realized
that the end of the month is quickly creeping
up – that means I really need to hurry up and
get the next 2-month issue of my special needs
group newsletter composed! Sometimes it goes
together very smoothly – sometimes not …
this time I was in luck and it’s almost ready
to print! Now that we have totally changed
the old ‘system’ – the church we meet at has
graciously offered to print them for us (at a
savings of a good $70 or so), that means I
have to get them composed and ready to
print, then email via PDF file. They print &
staple them together for us (YAY!) which
just leaves me to fold them, address/stamp/
return address label – them then stuff the
envelopes & take them to the Post Office.
My ‘kids/students’ are not very understanding
when it comes to newsletter deliveries – they
expect they will ALWAYS be there when needed.
That means I’d BETTER get them done so they
get them in their mails by the first of March.
Too funny – I don’t mind; they are all so very
exacting in their thinking.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog,
not much going on right away. Youngest
announced yesterday that he’ll be able to
move out on Friday instead of the following
Tuesday – that’s fine. The only thing I need
to do is collapse the seats in my van so he
can put his single-bed mattress in & we can
transport to his new ‘room/place/digs’ (which
are about a block away on a very close side-
street). That will leave us with just ONE son
living with us – different!

Hope you have a great day!



Football Food!


Not much new, just more recipes!


Ugly Cake

1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling
1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 10 inch Bundt pan with
nonstick spray. In a blender,
puree pie filling until smooth.
In large bowl combine pie
filling, cake mix, eggs, oil &
vanilla – beat using elec.
mixer about 2 minutes on
medium speed. Stir in walnuts
& pour into pan. Bake 50-55
minutes until a wooden
toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool slightly
then remove from pan onto
a wire rack. Before serving
dollop with Cool Whip.
Serves 10


Bacon/Beer/Cheese Bread Bowl

1 large Italian loaf
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. (8 oz) lager or beer of choice
plus 1 T., divided
1 T. whole grain mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. cornstarch
8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
10 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped mixed herbs (chives,
parsley, dill)
3 T. olive oil

chopped chives – garnish

Dippers: extra slices of bread,
chopped broccoli or other
fresh veggies, pretzels

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice top off bread – hollow out
the insides to create a bowl; save
top for later. In large bowl whisk
cream cheese & 1 C. beer until
well combined. Combine 1 T. beer
with 1 T. cornstarch; add cornstarch
mixture, mustard & Wors. sauce to
cream cheese mixture & whisk to
combine. Fold in shredded cheeses,
then fold in bacon. Fill bread bowl
with mixture & transfer bowl to a
rimmed baking sheet. Slice the
loaf ‘top’ into thin pieces & place
them on the baking sheet, crust-
side up. In small bowl mix garlic,
herbs & olive oil & spoon or brush
onto tops of bread slices. Bake
bread 5 minutes just until cheese
is melted. Continue to bake until
cheese begins to brown on top,
about 30 minutes. If you notice
that the bread slices begin to
brown too soon, cover with foil &
continue to bake. Top with chopped
chives & serve warm with extra
bread slices, chopped broccoli or
other fresh veggies and/or pretzels.
Serves 8


Peppery Ranch Cheese Ball
(overnight recipe)

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
1 (1 oz) pkt. ranch salad dressing
mix (dry)
seasoning pepper

cut fresh veggies, crackers,
pita chips

In medium bowl combine cream
cheese & ranch dressing mix well;
roll mixture into a ball. (NOTE:
you might find it easier to refrigerate
mixture a few hours before rolling).
Sprinkle a generous amount of pepper
on a sheet of waxed paper & gently
roll ball in it to coat it well, adding
more pepper if necessary. Refrigerate
overnight to allow flavors to develop.
Serve with cut fresh veggies, crackers
or pita chips

Warm Pizza Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. pizza sauce
2-3 T. green bell pepper, diced
6-8 slices pepperoni
2-3 T. sliced black olives

slices of warm baguette
tortilla chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine cream cheese,
garlic powder, oregano & basil; spread
evenly on bottom of 9 inch deep pie plate.
Top with 1/2 C. of each cheese & spread
pizza sauce over top. Sprinkle remaining
cheese over sauce & top with bell pepper,
pepperoni & olives. Bake 15-20 minutes
(IF using a microwavable plate, cover &
microwave 5 minutes)
Serve warm. Serve with dippers

Reuben Dip

3 (2 oz, ea) pkgs. Buddig corned beef
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 or 10 oz. shredded sauerkraut, drained &
rinsed in cold water/drain again
1 (4.25 oz) can chopped black olives
1 C. mayonnaise

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Chop corned beef into small 1/2 inch
pieces. Mix all ingredients together well &
spread into 9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake
15-20 minutes until bubbly. Serve with
chips or crackers


Spicy Black-eyed Pea Soup (crockpot)
(overnight or quick recipe)

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried black-eyed peas
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped carrots (or 1 C.
chopped bell pepper – can mix)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 lb. smoked sausage OR 1 lb.
andouille sausage OR 1 lb.
kielbasa, cut into chunks
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. cajun spices
1 (49 oz) large can chicken broth
cayenne pepper sauce or Tabasco,
to taste

Sort dried peas & soak in plenty of
water overnight. *See below for quick

Before cooking, drain water & rinse
peas. Place all ingredients in crockpot
& cook on Low 8-10 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove bay leaves
before serving. Serve with additional
tabasco sauce, if desired. Serves 8-12

*Quick method:
Place peas in a soup pot, cover with
water & boil for 3 minutes. Remove
from heat & proceed with making


Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

2 T. olive oil
4-5 boneless skinless chicken
1 C. chunky blue cheese Ranch
salad dressing
1/4 C. Franks Redhot Buffalo Wing
2 C. hot water
1 (17.6 oz) pkg. **large shell pasta or

Using 6-7 qt. crockpot, grease insides
with olive oil. Add chicken, dressing &
buffalo sauce. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours (do 4 hours if using frozen
chicken) OR Low 6-7 hours. When cooked,
remove chicken & cut into chunks –
return to crockpot & add hot water &
pasta – stir well. Cover & stir every
15-20 minutes for 1 hour (pasta
should be properly cooked & ready
to serve.) Serves 6-12 adults

*Add less or more, depending on your
liking of hot levels

If it’s too runny, leave lid off for awhile &
stir every few minutes – this will evaporate
any extra liquid.

If pasta isn’t cooked to your liking, you may
need to add more water, stir, cover & check
again in 15 minutes.

**NOTE: Poster strongly advises NOT to use
wheat pasta in this recipe


3-Ingredient Sausage Biscuit Bites

1 lb. hot sausage (pork or turkey)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 tubes refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
dash salt/pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In saute pan brown sausage; drain.
Add salt/pepper; blend in cream
cheese until melted. Unroll one
pkg. rolls & place on a baking
sheet; using your fingers press
seams together to seal. Spread
sausage mixture evenly over
roll dough, leaving about 1/2 inch
border around edges – repeat
with rest of sausage mixture &
roll dough. Bake 20 minutes
until golden brown. Cut into
small squares & serve (pizza
cutter works well to cut them)


Rocky Road Bundt Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate
cake mix mixed according
to pkg. directions (not baked)*
1/2 C. plus 2 T. mini semisweet
chocolate chips, divided
1/2 C. plus 2 T. chopped walnuts,
1/2 C. marshmallow creme

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 10 inch Bundt pan with
nonstick spray & lightly dust with
flour. Place batter* in large bowl &
stir in 1/2 C. chocolate chips &
1/2 C. walnuts – pour into prepared
pan. Bake 40-50 minutes until a
wooden toothpick inserted near
center comes out clean. Remove
from oven & cool 20 minutes.
Invert cake onto a wire rack; let cool
completely then invert onto a
serving plate. In small saucepan
melt marshmallow creme over
Low heat, stirring constantly –
pour over cake & top with
remaining 2 T. each chocolate
chips & nuts. Serves 10


White Chocolate Confetti Cookies

2 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 sticks (1 C.) unsalted butter,
room temp.
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
2 T. plus 1 tsp. Half & Half
1/2 C. red & green sprinkles
1 2/3 C. white chocolate chips

Position oven racks in top &
bottom thirds of oven.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parch-
ment paper. Whisk flour, baking
soda, salt & baking powder in
medium bowl. Using stand mixer
or large bowl, cream butter 1
minute. Add sugar & cream an
additional 3 minutes. Beat in
vanilla & egg. Gradually beat in
dry ingredients until combined
then add enough Half & Half
(about 2 T.) to moisten dough &
make it soft, but not wet. Fold in
sprinkles & 2/3 C. white chocolate
chips. Roll rounded teaspoons of
dough into 24 balls & put on sheets.
Chill remaining dough in fridge. Dip
your fingertips in remaining Half &
Half & use to slightly flatten top of
each cookie. Bake until cookies are
set on top & light golden around
edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer
to a wire rack to cool completely.
Allow baking sheets to cool then
line with new parchment & repeat
with remaining dough.
Once cookies are all baked & cooled,
place remaining 1 C. white chocolate
chips in small heatsafe bowl &
microwave on High about 1 minute,
stirring halfway through until just
melted. Use a spoon to drizzle
chocolate over cookies. Allow to
set before serving, about 30 minutes.
Store in air tight container up to
1 week. Makes 5 dozen cookies


Weather-wise temps in the 30’s, no snow,
slightly overcast.

Gas prices down again to $2.19/9 (Yay)

Husband still sick with bronchitis; doctor
appointment Tuesday (I pray every night
that he will be able to breathe through
the night – he’s sleeping sitting up on the
couch . . . sigh – yes, he’s stubborn).





More Game Day Recipes/Appetizers/Soups


SUPER cold outside today (18 on thermometer, but with wind chill – feels like 2 degrees F. – BRrrrrrrr!) Had to go get gas & milk today so made it a super-quick trip. Trying out my new crockpot today with a big pork roast, carrots & potatoes; sprinkled a dry envelope of onion soup mix over the top & let ‘er cook – yum!

LOTS of recipes (as you see in the title) so I’ll just get down to sharing!


5-Ingredient Nutella Banana Bread

2 1/2 C. Nutella, divided
2 large eggs
3 large over-ripe bananas
1/2 C. heavy cream, divided
pinch salt
1 1/2 C. self rising flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl beat 2 C.
Nutella & eggs until well combined.
Peel/mash bananas & add to
nutella mixture along with half
of the heavy cream – mix until
smooth. Add salt & fold in flour,
half cup at a time – stir until no
white clumps remain. Pour mixture
into prepared pan & bake 65 minutes;
when a wooden toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean, it’s baked. Let
cool in pan 30 minutes; remove from
pan & cool completely on wire rack.

In medium bowl whisk remaining nutella
& heavy cream. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze
over bread – allow drizzle to set a few minutes
before slicing. Makes 1 loaf


Jalapeno Popper “Pigs in a

18 jalapeno peppers
36 ‘Lil Smokies” or cocktail
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
6 oz. Extra sharp Cheddar cheese,
flour (for dusting)
3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg
kosher salt, for sprinkling (optional)
marinara sauce heated, for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper. Cut tops off
jalapeno peppers then slice each
in half lengthwise- use a spoon
to remove seeds & membranes
(discard them). Place 1 wiener on
each scooped out half & cut
each pepper to length of sausage.
In medium bowl mix cream cheese
& Cheddar cheese until well
combined. One at a time, remove
sausages from peppers & fill each
pepper segment with cheese mixture;
replace sausage on pepper. In small
bowl whisk egg. On a lightly floured
surface unroll 1 puff pastry sheet.
Cut it into 6 equal strips then cut
each strip in half, cross-ways, to
create 12 equal-sized pieces. Roll
each stuffed pepper in 1 strip then
seal with beaten egg. Place wrapped
pieces on baking sheets – repeat with
all sausages/peppers/puff pastry
sheets. Brush tops of pieces with
remaining egg & sprinkle tops lightly
with salt. Bake 25-30 minutes until
lightly browned. (NOTE: Some of
cheese filling will spill out-it’s ok)
Allow the ‘poppers’ to cool slightly
on sheets then use a knife to gently
scrape away cheese that’s oozed out.
Serve warm with marinara sauce for
dipping. Makes 36


Chicken Fajita Nachos

2 green peppers, seeded/sliced
into thin strips
2 red peppers, seeded/sliced
into thin strips
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
2 C. rotisserie chicken
1 (1.25 oz) pkg. fajita seasoning mix
1-2 T. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. water
juice of half lime

tortilla chips
2 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat; add oil & allow to heat.
Add veggies & cook until crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally (NOTE: If they
get dark on the outsides & not cooking
on insides, add a bit of water to create
some steam). Add shredded chicken to
pan. In glass measuring cup mix pkg.
fajita seasoning, 1 T. taco seasoning &
1/4 C. water – add to skillet & stir to
combine. Add juice of half lime to pan;
stir & taste; add more taco seasoning
if you think it needs more flavor. Allow
pan to simmer 2-3 minutes; remove
from heat.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil & spray
with nonstick spray. Spread tortilla chips
in pan evenly, overlapping some. Carefully
spoon fajita  mixture over chips & sprinkle
with cheese. Bake until cheese melts,
2-3 minutes.
Serves 5-6

Creamy Roasted Tomato/Bacon Dip

1 lb. bacon
1 C. diced onion
2 T. garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans (Hunts) Fire-
roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) tub softened whipped
cream cheese
1 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Romano cheese, grated
1 French bread baguette
2 T. olive oil

Cook bacon crisp in large oven-
proof saute pan – reserve 2 T. bacon
fat (discard remaining or save for
another recipe). Crumble bacon into
small pieces.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Reheat the 2 T. bacon fat over medium
high heat; add onions & cook 3 minutes;
add garlic & cook 1 more minute. Add
2 cans tomatoes with juice & salt/pepper/
thyme & oregano. Stir then place pan in
oven & roast 30 minutes, stirring halfway
through cooking time. Remove from oven &
lower oven heat to 375 degrees F. Mix
cream cheese, Colby-Jack & Romano
cheeses in medium bowl. Mix in all but
1/4 C. crumbled bacon. Spray a 5 C.
(volume) casserole dish with nonstick spray.
Pour tomato mixture into dish then spread
cheese/bacon mixture on top – does not
need to be spread to the edges. Bake
45 minutes uncovered.
While mixture is baking, slice baguette on
bias into half-inch slices; brush both sides
of each slice with oil & grill on ribbed
grill pan a few minutes on each side.
Remove dip from oven; sprinkle top
with reserved crumbled bacon & serve
with toasted baguette slices.
Serves 8-10


Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

1 T. canola oil
1 1/2 lb. ground chicken
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (12 oz) bottle Buffalo wing sauce
1/2 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
9 lasagna noodles
1 (15 oz) carton ricotta cheese
1 3/4 C. (7 oz) crumbled blue
cheese, divided
1/2 C. minced parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 C. (12 oz) shredded mozzarella
2 C. (8 oz) shredded white Cheddar

In Dutch oven heat oil over medium
heat. Add chicken, onion, celery & carrot;
cook & stir until meat is no longer pink
& veggies are tender. Add garlic, cook
2 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes, wing
sauce, water, Ital. seasoning, salt/pepper –
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer
1 hour.
Cook noodles accordg to pkg. directions;
drain. In small bowl mix ricotta cheese,
3/4 C. blue cheese, parsley & egg.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 1/2 C. sauce in greased 9 X 13
baking dish – layer with 3 noodles,
1 1/2 C. sauce, 2/3 C. ricotta mixture,
1 C. mozz., 2/3 C. Cheddar & 1/3 C. blue
cheese – repeat layers twice.
Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover,
bake another 20-25 minutes until bubbly
& cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 12


Easy Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 T. chopped garlic
1 (15 oz) can chili beans in
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans,
2 C. frozen corn OR 1 (15 oz)
can corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
in juice
1 quart beef broth
1 C. tomato juice
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1/3 C. taco seasoning
3 (3.5 oz, ea) pkgs. finely shredded
Cheddar Cheese
2 T. sour cream
handful tortilla chips, crushed

Brown beef, onions & garlic in a
soup pot until onions soften; drain.
Stir in chili beans with sauce, pinto
beans, corn, diced tomatoes & liquid,
beef broth, tomato juice, green chilies &
taco seasoning – bring to boil then reduce
heat to Low. Cover & simmer 30 minutes.
Remove from heat; whisk in sour cream
& cheese until cheese melts & is all
mixed in. DO not let sour cream or cheese
boil. Serve hot with a few crushed tortilla
chips on top (for garnish, if desired)
Serves 10-12


Spinach Dip Crescent Roll Appetizers

2 T. butter
1 C. chopped green onion
(about 1 bunch – white & green parts)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. chopped red bell pepper (1 large)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/well drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. chopped water chestnuts
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in saute pan over medium
heat; add gr. onion, bell pepper & garlic.
Saute until limp, 3-4 minutes. Add
spinach & cream cheese – stir mixture
& blend in cr. cheese until cr. cheese is
melted. Stir in seasonings, mayonnaise,
lemon juice, water chestnuts & Parmesan –
remove from heat. Unroll one pkg. crescent
rolls & place on a baking sheet. Using your
fingers, gently press seams together to seal.
Spread spinach mixture evenly over dough,
leaving about 1/2 inch border around edges.
Unroll remaining dough & place on top of
spinach mixture – press edges together to
seal then gently press seams together.
Bake 20-25 minutes until dough is golden
brown. Cut into small squares & serve.

NOTE: Using a pizza cutter makes cutting
quick & easy


Beer Cheese Soup

4 T. butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 bottle of beer
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. milk (don’t use skim)
6 oz. sharp white Cheddar
cheese, grated
6 oz. yellow Cheddar cheese,
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. cooked, diced ham (warmed)

cooked/chopped bacon
chopped green onions
shredded cheese

Heat large stock pot over medium
heat & add butter – melt. Add onion
& garlic, saute 5 minutes until softened
& slightly golden. Whisk in flour, salt/
pepper & dry mustard – cook 3-4 minutes
until flour is golden. Add beer & stirring
constantly, cook until mixture thickens
somewhat, about 2 minutes. Add
chicken stock & milk; stir to combine.
Bring to boil, reduce heat immediately
to a simmer & cook 5-10 minutes until
soup thickens. Remove from heat &
stir in shredded cheeses & Wors. sauce.
Pour into bowls, garnish with ham, bacon,
green onions or additional cheese &
serve immediately. Serves 6

Ham & Cheese Sliders
(party food)

24 King’s Hawaiian rolls
24 slices smoked or baked deli
6 slices (Sargento) Havarti
sliced cheese, quartered

Poppy Seed Sauce:

1 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 T. yellow mustard
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 T. minced shallot or onion
1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut each roll in half & spread
mayo on each side of roll. Fold
a slice of ham in half, then in
half again – place on roll. Top
with small slice Havarti & place
roll top back on to form sandwich-
repeat with all rolls. Place rolls
close together in 9 X 13″ baking
pan until completely full. (more
than one batch may be needed to
make all 24 – poster was able to
fit 15 in pan). Whisk all sauce
ingredients together & brush on
rolls generously – let rolls stand
until butter has set up a bit.

Bake 12-15 minutes (see below)
For toasted bun: bake uncovered
For softer rolls: cover pan with foil

Rolls can be made a day ahead &
stored in fridge until ready to bake


Apple Pie Dump Cake

1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1 (16.5 oz) box white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
place pie filling; break up into
pieces using a spoon. Add cake
mix, eggs & oil – beat 1-2 minutes
using elec. mixer until well blended;
spread batter into prepared pan.
In small bowl combine nuts, sugar &
cinnamon – sprinkle mixture evenly
over batter. Bake 40-45 minutes
until golden brown on top. Cool in
pan at least 15 minutes before
serving. Serves 16



Will try to post more game day recipes
tomorrow; stay warm/safe & happy –



Another chilly day…Brrrrrrr!


Had to make a few trips out today – got in my car & the car thermometer said 23 degrees F. – after a few minutes it changed to what it ‘felt’ like: 18 degrees F. It’s a beautiful Winter day – sunny, a little breezy, roads are clear so it’s a good day to get out (if you have to). Got all my running done (and a few extra) and am back home nice & warm. Our old crockpot finally died so I got a terrific deal on a new one through KMart/Sears. If you shop their stores and are a member you get ‘points’ which equal money – using said points and finding a nice (1 quart bigger than my old one) shiny red crockpot with removable crock, I was able to purchase said item for $19.00 (it was $59.00 normally) – SCORE! It arrived yesterday and I was intent on trying it out…before I went shopping. After I got home I decided I’m going to do that – tomorrow; tonight we’re having maple sausages, eggs & toast – easy peasy! Tomorrow will be a big beef roast, potatoes & carrots in the crockpot. This one is a 7 Quart so there should be no problem fitting in more carrots (old one was 6 qt. and kind of restricted how much you could cram into it; this one is also oval – we’ll see how she works tomorrow!).

Also discovered that gas prices dropped again, to $2.16/9 . . . now did I remember to bring my 20 cents off per gallon coupon from Speedway when I went out? No – of course not! And I’m at a little under a quarter tank – looks like I’m going out again tomorrow for just that purpose. In Michigan with the cold weather you really need to keep your car gas tank above 1 quarter full – don’t need frozen gas lines.


Overnight Caramel Pecan Rolls

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant butterscotch
pudding mix
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. chilled butter
36 frozen dinner rolls,
divided. Combine dry pudding mixes,
brown sugar & pecans in a bowl. Cut
in butter. Arrange half of frozen rolls
in lightly greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle
half of pudding mixture over top;
repeat layering with remaining rolls
& pudding mixture. Cover loosely;
refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake rolls 1 hour then invert onto a
serving plate. Serves 10-12


Autumn Soup

1 lb. ground beef
2 small potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 small onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 T. chopped basil
4 C. water
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Brown meat in large skillet until
cooked; drain. Add 2 C. water, 1
bouillon cube, celery, onion &
potato – simmer 15 minutes
(water should be about evaporated).
Add 1 bouillon cube & 2 C. water-
add tomato & basil; simmer 10-15
minutes longer. Sprinkle tops of
bowls with Parmesan cheese when


Spicy Cheese Bacon Muffins

2 C. flour
5 oz. extra sharp Cheddar Cheese,
2 T. ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1/3 C. milk
5-6 slices bacon, fried crisp/crumbled
2-4 T. hot sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper
liners (OR) spray with nonstick spray.
Separate out small handfuls of cheese
& bacon for topping muffins.
In large bowl mix flour, rest of cheese,
ranch seasoning, baking power & soda,
salt – make sure cheese is well coated
in flour & not sticking together in clumps.
In small bowl whisk eggs, sour cream,
milk & hot sauce. Pour wet ingredients
into dry & stir until just mixed – fold in
larger pile of bacon pieces & divide
batter into muffin cups. Top each
muffin with a little grated cheese &
bacon. Bake 20-25 minutes until
golden & a toothpick inserted into
centers comes out clean. Cool in pan
a few minutes then remove to wire
rack to cool completely. Makes 12

3-Ingredient Dip

16 oz. pork hot sausage (in roll,
like Jimmy Dean brand)
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes (original),

Brown sausage in nonstick skillet,
breaking up into crumbles until
no longer pink; drain. In medium
saucepan heat tomatoes & cream
cheese over medium heat, stirring
occasionally – heat until cream
cheese is completely melted. Add
browned sausage to cream cheese
mixture & stir to combine. (if you
would like a slightly looser dip  add
a splash or 2 of milk & stir).

Bacon Parmesan Twists

1 (14 oz) puff pastry sheet
flour, for dusting
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. grated Parmesan
8-9 slices bacon (not thick cut)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Line a baking tray with parchment
paper. Lay 1 slice bacon along side
the sheet of puff pastry & roll pastry
out on lightly floured surface so that
it is as wide as the bacon slice is long.
Turn pastry so that longest side is facing
you – spread on mustard then sprinkle
with cheese. LIne pieces of bacon on
pastry, leaving a small gap between
slices. Using a sharp knife, cut pastry
between each slice of bacon. Carefully
start at one end & twist each piece
of pastry 4-5 times; lay them on
prepared baking sheet, leaving at
least 2-3 inches between twists to
allow space for pastry to expand. You
might have to bake them in 2 batches,
depending on size of your pan. Chill
sheet in fridge 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove sheet from fridge & brush
twists with beaten egg. Bake 20-25
minutes until pastry is well risen &
golden brown & bacon is crispy.
Remove from oven & cool a little.
Serve warm or at room temp.

NOTE: You can cut twists into smaller
pieces once baked. Twists can be frozen
once baked & rewarmed in oven when
ready to serve.


 Wonton Taco Cups

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
1 C. water
1 can pinto, kidney or black
beans, drained/rinsed
24 wonton wrappers*
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Your choice of toppings:
shredded lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, sour cream, additional
cheese, sliced avocados, sliced
black olives, salsa, chopped
cilantro, chopped green pepper,
chopped onion

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray regular muffin tins
with nonstick spray. Place 2
wonton wrappers in each cup,
criss-crossing them. Bake 5-7
minutes until lightly golden –
watch carefully so they don’t
get too brown. Remove from
oven. In large skillet over
medium heat cook meat until
browned; drain. Add taco
seasoning mix, water & drained
beans; bring to boil & simmer
5 minutes until heated through.
Spoon 2 Tablespoons of mixture
into each wonton cup & top
with shredded cheese. Return
to oven & bake 5-7 minutes
until cheese melts. Carefully
remove cups from oven &
garnish with your favorite
toppings. Makes 12-16 cups.

*You can usually find wonton
wrappers in the fresh vegetables


Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas
for a Crowd

12 skinless chicken breast halves (or)
2 whole cooked rotisserie chickens
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. chopped spinach,
cooked/drained, reserving broth
1 T. butter, melted
1 C. diced onion
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. milk
3 (8 oz, ea) tubs sour cream
3 (4 oz, ea) cans diced green chilies,
3 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese,
16 flour tortillas (you might need more
than 16)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 9 X 13″ baking dishes with
nonstick spray.

Place raw chicken in large pot; add water
to cover & 1 tsp. salt – bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer until chicken is cooked
through & tender; about 30 minutes. Cool
slightly, remove meat from bones & dice.
Cook spinach accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain, reserving 1 C. spinach ‘broth’. Saute
onion in butter until tender; stir in diced
chicken & spinach. In separate bowl, combine
soup, reserved spinach broth, milk, green
chilies, sour cream, 1 tsp. salt & 1 1/2 C.
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese – mix well.
Stir half of this mixture into chicken mixture.
Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center
of each tortilla; roll up & place seam-sides-
down into prepared pans. Spoon remaining
soup mixture over tortillas. Bake, uncovered,
25 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese & bake 5-10
minutes longer.

NOTE: these may be frozen before baking. When
ready to use, thaw in fridge & bake as directed


Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

1 1/2 c. butter, room temp
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 – 4 C. flour
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. French vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper. Combine butter, gran. sugar &
brown sugar in bowl of mixer using
paddle attachment; beat mixture until
light & fluffy; gradually add in eggs &
vanilla. In separate bowl combine flour,
pudding mix, salt & baking soda; whisk
to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients
to contents of other bowl until fully
combined (dough should be pretty stiff)
Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir in
chocolate chips. Form dough into 2 T.
size balls & place on baking sheet. Bake
10-11 minutes – do not overbake. Let
cool at least 5 minutes before transferring
to cooling rack. Bottoms of cookies should
be golden brown & tops will NOT be golden
brown at all.

(recipe: I wash-you

Among my many trips today was one to
our local library; I love reading and was
totally out of anything new to read.
Brought home 5 novels (all murder/
mystery) so I should be content for a
little while.

Enjoy your day!