Totally Amazing!

Above is the total of knit/crochet/sewn/quilted items donated to Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Baby Shower: 316 items! I was in awe of all the beautifully crafted items from blankets, hats, booties, headbands, mittens, outfits, etc.: the ladies truly outdid our past donations. All of these items came from my knit group as well as our local library knit/crochet group and even some from ladies who knit in another knit group PLUS a donation of 7 quilts from one of our ladie’s churches! I would post all the photos but they are too numerous to do so (23!). It was a boisterous, loud, fun-filled evening. We were even able to donate another 51 pairs of baby booties to the other charity that create burial outfits for babies. I am so proud of my friends!


Peanut Butter Lunch Lady Cookie Bars

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C.  milk + 2 T., divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
4 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a large cookie sheet with
nonstick cooking spray (or line with
parchment paper.) In large bowl mix
all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking
soda, salt). In another bowl whisk 1/2 C.
milk, vanilla, eggs. In a saucepan melt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter & 1 C. peanut butter &
bring to boil. Remove from heat & slowly
add dry ingredients followed by milk/egg
mixture – mix until well combined. Pour onto
cookie sheet, spread evenly to edges. Bake
20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool completely
before frosting.
1 stick butter
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. milk
4 C. powdered sugar

In a saucepan bring butter & peanut butter
to a boil. Add milk & slowly mix in powdered
sugar until well combined. Pour frosting over
cake, spreading evenly to edges. Allow to cool
& set before serving.


Zucchini Quiche w/Bacon &
Hash Brown Crust

3 C. refrigerated or frozen hash
browns, thawed/patted dry
2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Quiche Filling:

1/2 C. bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 shallot, diced
1 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 eggs, room temp.
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. shredded cheese (Sharp Cheddar,
Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Dubliner,
Pepper Jack – or a combination of 2
or more)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. Grate zucchini onto a
clean kitchen towel & squeeze dry,
removing as much excess liquid as possible.

In medium bowl combine hash browns,
olive oil, butter, salt/pepper – toss to
combine. Press mixture firmly into bottom & up
sides of prepared pie plate, forming a crust.
(Make sure it goes all the way up the sides
b/c it will shrink some while baking)
Bake 20-25 minutes until edges are golden
REDUCE oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large saute pan over medium-
high heat until crispy, 6-8 minutes on each
side. Remove from skillet & crumble. Remove
all but 1 T. of bacon grease from skillet. Add
diced shallots & saute over medium heat 3-4
minutes until translucent & soft. Add shredded
zucchini – turn heat to High. Season with salt/
pepper & cook 3-5 more minutes, stirring
occasionally. Combine flour, baking powder &
salt in small bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs
until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Whisk in Greek
yogurt until combined & smooth. Add in
grated cheese, flour mixture, bacon &
zucchini mixture – stir until combined. Pour
filling into hash brown crust & bake 35-40
minutes until center is set, top is puffed &
golden brown and a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let stand several
minutes before removing from pan & serving.
Can also be eaten at room temperature or
chilled. Serves 8


Zucchini Pancakes

2 medium zucchini, about 3/4 lb.
2 T. grated red onion
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
6-8 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
unsalted butter
vegetable oil

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Grate zucchini into a bowl using
large grating side of a box grater.
Immediately stir in onion & eggs.
Stir in 6 T. flour, baking powder,
salt & pepper. (if batter gets too
thin from zucchini liquid, add remaining
2 T. flour). Heat a large (10-12 inch)
sauce pan over medium heat &
melt 1/2 T. butter & 1/2 T. veg. oil
in pan. When butter is hot but not
smoking, lower heat to medium-low
& drop heaping soup spoons of
batter into pan. Cook pancakes
about 2 minutes on each side until
browned. Place cooked pancakes
on a sheet pan & keep warm in oven.
Wipe out pan with a dry paper towel;
add more butter & oil to pan &
continue to fry pancakes until all
batter is used. Pancakes can stay
warm in oven up to 30 minutes.
Serve hot. Makes 10 (3 inch) pancakes


Crockpot Crustless Pizza
NOTE: poster used a 5-6 qt.

2 lb. ground beef
garlic salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
dried minced onion, to taste
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
2 C. shredded pizza-blend cheese
your favorite pizza toppings

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Brown beef & season in a skillet
over medium-high heat; drain. Place
beef & cheese in a bowl & mix to
combine. Evenly spread beef mixture
in crockpot & pour pizza sauce on top –
spread out evenly. Top with pizza cheese &
toppings. Cover & cook on Low around
4 hours. Serves 8-10


Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

3 acorn squash
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled/left whole
3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar

Optional garnishes:
shredded Parmesan cheese
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Slice each squash length-
wise end-to-end; scrape seeds out-
discard seeds. Drizzle 1 T. oil over sqaush &
season to taste with salt/pepper. Place each
half cut-side down on sheet. Wrap garlic in
foil & place on sheet. Roast 1 hour until
softened & beginning to collapse. Remove &
set aside to cool.
When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh
from rinds & add flesh to large bowl along
with garlic cloves. Place a Dutch oven or soup
pot over medium-high heat – add diced bacon &
saute until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove
bacon from pan & place on paper towel to drain.
Remove bacon fat from pan, leaving about 1 T.
in pot – return to heat. Add onion & cook 3 minutes
until translucent. Add broth, a little at a time,
scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pot. Add
squash, garlic, ginger, sage, cayenne & allspice –
bring to boil; simmer 5 minutes. Puree soup in a
blender in small batches (or use immersion blender).
NOTE: If using blender, do not fill blender more than
half full – hot soup can blow the lid off if you put
too much in. Return soup to pot; stir in cream,
Worsch. sauce & vinegar – bring to a simmer. Add
salt/pepper & taste. Serve with your choice of
garnishes. Serves 12


Quick Mushroom Chicken Bake

1 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 T. vegetable oil
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2/3 C. milk
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 C. hot, cooked white rice/pasta or
mashed potatoes
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with lemon pepper.
Heat oil in 10-inch skillet & add chicken.
Cook 10 minutes until well browned on
both sides. Place chicken in a 2-quart
baking dish. Stir soup, mushrooms, milk,
cheese & garlic in a small bowl. Season
with black pepper & pour mixture over
chicken. Bake 30 minutes until chicken
is cooked through. Serve chicken & sauce
with rice. Serves 4


Cookie Dough Dip

1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. milk or cream
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. mini chocolate chips
plus more for garnish

vanilla wafers
graham crackers
shortbread cookies
pretzel sticks

In a mixing bowl using elec.
beaters, place butter & cream
cheese – beat until smooth & creamy.
Add milk & beat until smooth. Add
brown sugar, powdered sugar &
vanilla – beat until smooth. Using
a spatula, fold in choc. chips &
spoon into a serving bowl. Top
with additionaly choc. chips &
serve. Serves 12


This is the middle of a VERY busy week; I’m tired/exhausted
but also extremely happy/honored at all that came about
with my knit groups.

Our weather is staying ‘Summer-like’ with temps in the
high 70’s, which is VERY nice.

Hope you have a GREAT ‘rest of the week’!




It’s Monday – again

Last week was busy and this week will be even busier BUT there’s always time to take a few minutes to JUST BE HAPPY! Our weather, currently, is mostly cloudy with light rain, temps in the 70’s & some low 80’s towards Friday (that’s nice!). Today, looking at my week, is about the ONLY day I don’t have something scheduled so I thought I’d write you first. Today seems to be a day of unplanned things; example – I went to water my 4 indoor plants and the little ‘water catcher plate’ under one of my plants overflowed all over the table. Got to cleaning it up and thought: “You know, I’ve had you for over a year – you look like you could use a little new soil” so that started the (1) go down the basement & locate the potting soil (2) give said plant some new soil and then proceed to decide the other’s needed soil & a good ‘weeding out dead leaves, etc.’ – so that was the beginning of my day. Tried out 2 new knitting patterns – one was OK, the other was a lot of work (8 rows) for not much to show (threw that one away). Currently I’m working on a shades of blue/white/green baby blanket. I like having at least two projects going so started another men’s ‘Needy/homeless’ scarf with donated dark gray and a thin black yarn. (I don’t remember if I mentioned in the previous posts, but the Crisis Pregnancy Mobile Unit I used to donate baby blankets to is pretty far away from my home. The lady who used to meet me ‘half-way’ between her house & mine is selling her house & moving out of state which now cancels that charity donation.) I started praying, yesterday, for a new ‘baby blanket’ charity in my area. Yes, I knit for Detroit Vet’s Baby Shower but that’s only once a year (in Sept.) so I’d like another charity that I can donate to year-round. We’ll see how that goes; am still knitting baby booties for the charity which creates burial outfits for babies.


Butter Pecan Peach Cake

1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches (undrained)
1 (18 1/4 oz) box Butter Pecan or
Yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. chopped pecans
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour peaches into bottom of ungreased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Cover peaches with
dry cake mix sprinkled on. Drizzle melted
butter over all. Sprinkle top with pecans &
coconut. Bake, uncovered, 30-35  minutes.
Serves 18-24


Crockpot Apple Pie for Breakfast

3 medium apples, diced
3 C. water
1 C. apple juice
1 C. steel-cut oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. honey (or more, if you want it sweeter)
pinch ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in 4-6 qt crockpot;
stir. Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours (or 2-3
hours on High), stirring every hour or so.
After cooking, taste & add additional honey
(or sweetener) to your taste preference.
Serves 4

NOTE: If you don’t want to stir the oatmeal
during cooking you can add 1 additional
Cup of water (total: 4 C. water). The oatmeal
will be a little bit mushy but will still taste

Baked Garlic Potato Slices

2-4 whole potatoes
olive oil
finely chopped garlic
herbs & spices ( your choice)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice potatoes into desired thickness (thinner
is crispier) Rinse potatoes with water to
remove starch & dry with paper towels. In
a large bowl mix olive oil, salt, chopped
garlic & your choice of herbs – add potatoes
& mix until each slice is evenly coated. Place
slices in a baking pan. Bake, turning potatoes
every 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot.


Quick Bacon/Jalapeno Cheese Ball
(makes a ball about 3 1/2 Cups)

1 T. sour cream
1 oz. dry ranch salad dressing mix (1 packet)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 C. cooked bacon/crumbled
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded/chopped
1/4 C. finely chopped pecans

Butter crackers, for dipping

In large bowl mix sour cream & dry
ranch dressing mix until combined.
Add cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, 1/2
C. bacon & 2 jalapenos – mix until
thoroughly combined. Chill 5 minutes
then shape into a ball. Place pecans,
1/4 C. bacon & 1 chopped jalapeno into
a shallow bowl (or pie tin) – roll the chilled
cheese ball in mixture until fully coated;
place ball on a plate & serve immediately
with butter crackers. Serves 12

Cheezy Zucchini Quiche

pastry for single-crust quiche
(9 inches) SEE BELOW
3 T. butter
4 C. thinly sliced zucchini (about
3 medium)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. prepared mustard

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange oven rack to lower part
of oven.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough
to 1/8th inch thick circle; transfer to
a 9″ pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch
beyond rim of plate & flute edge.
Refrigerate while preparing filling.

In large skillet heat butter over medium
heat. Add zucchini & onion; cook & stir
until tender – drain & cool slightly.
In large bowl whisk eggs & seasonings
until blended; stir in cheese & zucchini
mixture. Spread mustard over bottom
of pastry shell & pour in filling – spread
to make even. Bake 35-40  minutes until
center comes out clean when a toothpick
is inserted in middle & crust is golden
brown. If needed, cover edges of crust
loosely with foil during last 15 minutes
of baking time to prevent over browning.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 8

one person who commented said
they make this using a tube of crescent
rolls for the crust & don’t pre-bake it.

Recipe can be prepared without using a crust
spread mustard on bottom of pie plate &
proceed as written.


BLT Macaroni Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 T. chili sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
3 C. elbow macaroni, cooked
1/2 C. tomato, seeded & chopped
2 T. green onions, chopped
3 C. lettuce, shredded
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In a large bowl, combine the first four
ingredients; mix well. Add macaroni,
tomato and onions; toss to coat.Cover
and refrigerate. Just before serving,
add lettuce and bacon; toss to coat

(recipe: Facebook)

Stuffed Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops (approx.
1 1/4 lb)
1/2 C. oil-packed sun dried tomato
halves, drained
1/2 C. fresh spinach
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 T. parsley, chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice a deep pocket in each pork chop
but do not cut all the way through. Divide
tomatoes evenly between pockets then
layer a handful of spinach & 2 T. cheese
into each. Using toothpicks to seal each
chop shut so the filling will not spill out
during cooking. Sprinkle Ital. season, salt/
pepper over both sides of each chop.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat
oil. Cook chops 3-4 minutes on each side
until golden brown. Insert a meat thermometer
into thickest part of chop & place pan in
oven. Bake 8-10 minutes until thermometer
registers 145 degrees F. Remove pan from
oven & let stand 3 minutes. Sprinkle with
parsley (if desired) then serve. Serves 4


Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

3/4 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. butter, melted
2 T. brown sugar

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Apple Layer:
1 Granny Smith apple,
peeled/cored & diced small
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Streusel Topping:
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. oats
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter, melted

Caramel Drizzle:
12 individually wrapped caramels,
1 T. heavy cream (OR)
salted caramel sundae topping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In small bowl combine
all crust ingredients & mix well with a
fork – press crust mixture into prepared
dish, pressing down gently with your

Using an elec. mixer, in a bowl beat
cream cheese until smooth, about
2 minutes. Add sugar, egg & vanilla –
beat until smooth the thoroughly
combined – pour mixture into crust,
spreading evenly.

In medium bowl combine Apple Layer
ingredients, mix well. Spread mixture
evenly over cheesecake layer in dish.

In another medium bowl combine Streusel
topping – mix well until a coarse meal is
formed – sprinkle evenly over apple layer.
Bake 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden.
Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool to room
temperature then refrigerate 1 hour or
more to set.

Caramel Drizzle:
In a microwaveable bowl melt caramels in
increments of 30-seconds until smooth,
stirring in between. Allow to cool slightly
& stir in heavy cream. Drizzle mixture on
top of cheesecake before serving.



Hoping your week goes VERY well!



The Ups and Downs in a Day

Today is another ‘wrapping things up’ day – I knit for Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit and had 6 blankets ready for pick-up/delivery – the lovely lady who meets me to pick them up has been under a lot of pressure/stress lately with selling their house, moving and, recently, the death of her mother. I have been blessed by her, many times – this time she agreed to allow me to donate ‘their’ blankets to the Detroit Vet’s Baby shower coming up next Tuesday. I knew she was really stressed and didn’t want to add to it – this way the blankets go to a good cause.

Along with that I’ve started knitting for homeless or needy people – mostly scarves. I have 4 done, 1 man’s ‘loomed’ hat and another one almost done. Working on these, I tend to forget that it’s not one of my favorite ‘knits’ – I’ve decided that, sometimes, you just have to go with what’s comfortable for YOU! I will finish these and donate them – maybe, later on in the Fall/Winter I’ll take it up again – maybe . . .

Two of the scarves for donation

The completed baby blankets for Detroit Vets

Getting things together for next week’s Vet’s baby shower – trying to remember all the ‘little things’ like extra ink pens, extra small crochet hooks (to help place the name tags on the items), enough name tags for all the donated items, etc.

Another ‘fun thing’ – this Wednesday morning our Library Knit Group will be having a pot luck! One of our ladies suggested it to the head librarian and she set it up! This is a ‘first’ for us; I’m bringing BBQ’d pork & buns for sandwiches. I know we will be eating well because of all the items listed on the sign up sheet. (In case you wondered, I ‘cheated’ & went to Gordon Food Services for their frozen pulled pork – I’ll cook it before time, mix with Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Vidalia onion BBQ sauce & place it in my crockpot to keep warm – that should work!)


Peanut Butter Chocolate Eclair Cake

1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 (3 1/4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. white corn syrup
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk
(optional garnish:
mini peanut butter cups)

Spray bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Place one
layer of graham crackers on bottom,
breaking to completely cover bottom.
In a medium bowl mix pudding mix,
peanut butter & milk using an elec.
mixer – mix 2 minutes then fold in
Cool Whip. Spread half mixture on
top of first layer of crackers. Place a
second layer of crackers on top &
spoon remaining pudding mix on top.
Finish with third layer of crackers.

Prepare frosting ingredients & spread
on top of last layer of crackers, spreading
all the way to the edges. Refrigerate
overnight (so crackers become soft &
Optional garnish: mini peanut butter cups
Slice & serve

Zucchini Corn Risotto

4 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini, sliced into quarter-inch
slices (cut large slices in half)
3 ears fresh corn, (2-3 C) removed
from cobs
1 C. diced sweet onion (like Vidalia)
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 C. arborio rice
1/3 C. white wine (poster used Chardonnay)
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 C. chicken stock, hot
1/2 C. heavy cream (heated past room temp.
but not scorching hot)
3/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (if needed)

In 4-5 qt. heavy-bottomed pan, over medium
to medium-high heat, melt 1 T. butter in 1 T.
olive oil. Once hot, add half the zucchini & cook
without touching – for 2 minutes. Flip pieces over
& cook 2 more minutes then remove to a bowl.
Add another T. each of butter & oil – once hot,
cook second half of zucchini & remove to bowl.
Add another T. butter; once melted, add corn &
saute 2 minutes – place in bowl. Add remaining
butter & oil (once butter melts), add onions &
cook 2 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 more minute.
Add rice & cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine;
once evaporated, add 1 C. stock & half the cream.
Stir constantly; once the liquid has been absorbed,
ad 1/2 C. stock & remaining cream – stir until that
liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 C. stock
& stir/cook until absorbed. Add another 1/2 C.
stock; once that has been evaporated, remove from
heat & test the rice. If it is cooked – do not add final
quarter C. stock – IF if still has some ‘chew’, stir in
last of the stock.Cover & leave off heat 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir in Parm. cheese, basil & pepper.
Taste & decide if salt is needed. Stir in zucchini &
corn – serve. Serves 8


Cherry Tomato Salad

4 C. cherry or grape tomatoes,
2 C. fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 C. red onion, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh herbs, such as:
parsley, basil, chives, green onions,
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste

Place tomatoes, mozz. balls, red onion
& herbs in a large bowl. In small bowl
whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar,
oregano, garlic powder & salt/pepper.
Pour dressing over tomato mixture &
gently toss to coat evenly. Serves 6

Creamy Zucchini/Spinach Pasta Bake

3 C. cavatappi pasta, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half,
then sliced crosswise
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (24 oz) jar (Classico) Marinara with
plum tomatoes & olive oil pasta sauce
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook pasta as directed on pkg,
omitting salt. In large skillet cook
& stir onions over medium heat
3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add
zucchini & mushrooms, cook 3-4
minutes until zucchini is crisp-
tender, stirring frequently. Add
half the spinach; cook 2-3 minutes
until just wilted – repeat with
remaining spinach; remove from
Drain pasta; add to veg. mixture in
skillet along with pasta sauce, ricotta,
Ital. seasoning & 1 C. mozzarella – mix
lightly. Spoon mixture into prepared
pan & top with remaining mozzarella.
Bake 20-25 minutes until casserole is
heated through & mozzarella is melted.
Serves 12


Southern Bacon-fried Cabbage

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cabbage, cored/chopped
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon in large skillet over meidum-
high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to
paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 T.
bacon grease & discard rest. In same skillet
with reserved 2 T. grease, cook onion until
soft (about 4 minutes) on medium-high heat.
Add garlic & cook 1 more minute. Stir in
cabbage & continue to cook & stir 4-5 minutes.
Add salt/pepper, onion & garlic powders –
mix well. Reduce heat to Low, cover & allow
to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30
minutes. Just before serving mix bacon into
cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.
Serves 6


Crockpot Meatball Parmesan (low carb)
(makes 24 meatballs)

2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. marinara sauce
2 T. dried minced onion (or freeze-
dried shallots)
2 tsp. minced garlic (or freeze dried)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

Additional marinara & shredded
mozzarella, to taste
Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. In large bowl mix marinara sauce
with meat, onion, garlic, Parm. cheese,
eggs & seasonings. Form mixture into
24 meatballs & place in crockpot, stacking
lightly, if necessary. Cover & cook on High
2-3 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
Remove meatballs from crockpot & set
aside any you would like to freeze.

To serve:
Toss meatballs in additional marinara &
place over your favorite cooked pasta –
top with cheese.

To freeze:
Place meatballs in a single layer on a
cookie sheet & freeze a few hours then
transfer to a freezer bag.

Lazy Day Lasagna

1 lb. dry lasagna noodles
1 lb. lean ground beef (or half
beef/half pork), browned/drained
1 (24 oz) jar marinara OR pasta
2/3 C. water
1 (15 oz.) tub ricotta or cottage
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray
Spread 2/3 rds of sauce on
bottom of pan; top with dry
lasagna noodles (you can break
some to fit). Pour remaining sauce
into pan with browned meat (add
water to jar, cover with lid, shake
& pour into skillet) – stir in. Simmer
5 minutes. Scatter about 1/3 of
ricotta cheese on top of noodles in
pan; sprinkle about 3 oz. shredded
mozz. cheese on top & top with
about 1/3rd of meat sauce. Add
another layer noodles & press down
slightly. Repeat with ricotta/mozz.
cheese & meat sauce  – TWO more
times. Top with remaining mozz.
cheese & sprinkle top with Italian
seasoning. Cover tightly with foil &
bake 45 minutes until noodles are
fork-tender. (The additional water &
steam created by covering with foil
will cook the noodles). Remove foil
& bake another 7-8 minutes until
cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven
& let rest at least 15 minute before
serving. Serves 8


NO-Bake Cherry Cookies

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, cubed
6 T. 2% milk
3 T. baking cocoa
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. quick-cooking oats
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,
well drained/finely chopped
Spread several sheets of waxed
paper on the counter (for later).
In large saucepan combine sugar, butter,
milk & cocoa – bring to boil, stirring
constantly – cook & stir 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in peanut
butter & extracts until blended. Stir
in oats & cherries. Drop by Tablespoonfuls
onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.
Makes about 5 1/2 dozen.
Store in air-tight containers.



Our weather has been kind of hard to predict
lately – today it’s really chilly (to me, anyway) –
right now it’s 68 degrees F., cloudy and gray. The
strange thing is: this WEDS. it’s supposed to get
up to 84 degrees F! (then showers likely) – sigh.
Looks like Weds. night-Friday is showers &
thunderstorms – oh, great . . . sigh.

Hope you are having a GREAT start to your



It’s Friday again!

Today is Day#2 of babysitting – yesterday was 2 p.m.- a little after 7 p.m.; today it’s 3 p.m. – ? (probably about the same end time). At least I got a lot of knitting done yesterday – finished a (homeless) scarf for a little girl, started (and am half done) with a scarf for a man. After going through the tons of donated yarn (again – for probably the third time, at least) I found more scarf ‘possibilities’ – lots of tans, browns, gold. I don’t have trouble knitting them – I have trouble coming up with simple patterns I can knit (almost in my sleep).

Our weather is beginning to show signs of Fall so that means it’s time for me to ‘kick in to high gear’ and hit the fruit/veggie stall more. Last night we had BLT’s (with enough for leftovers today). Also got more sweet corn – this particular location has EXCELLENT sweet corn! Next on my cooking agenda is Pork Stir Fry – there were several packages of chopped pork meat in the Kroger meat ‘mark-down’ section (love perusing that section – sometimes you hit pay dirt, other times not). Bought some frozen stir fry veggie packages, a garlic marinade, and will be making rice to go with  – should be a good, warming dinner.


Zucchini Tart

1 round store-bought refrigerated
pie dough
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
into rounds
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt/ground black pepper
olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place a baking sheet in oven. Lay
pie dough on a piece of parchment
paper. Slightly raise the edges &
crimp. In small bowl stir mayo &
mustard – spread over crust. Place
zucchini & thyme in a medium bowl;
sprinkle with salt & pepper/drizzle
with olive oil & toss gently to combine.
Arrange slices over mayo mixture.
Carefully remove hot pan from oven &
slide parchment paper onto pan. Bake
until crust is golden & zucchini is tender,
20-30 minutes. Serves 4


Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken
(1 pan)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
8 slices bacon
1 lb. small new potatoes, halved (can
also use regular size – cut into 1″ pieces)
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
& cut into 1/2″ pieces
toothpicks for sealing packets
(optional garnish: chopped parsley)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil & spray
with nonstick cooking spray. Using a small
sharp knife, cut a slit lengthwise partway
across each chicken breast to create a
deep pocket. In small bowl mix cream
cheese, Cheddar, mozz, parsley & garlic
powder – season with salt/pepper to taste.
Spoon cheese mixture evenly into pockets
of chicken (You can also place filling in a
ziplock bag & snip the tip of bag – using to
pipe filling into chicken. Use toothpicks
to seal pockets shut. Season top  of each
packet with salt/pepper then wrap 2 slices
bacon around each & place on prepared
pan. Scatter potatoes around chicken –
spray potatoes with nonstick cooking spray &
season with salt/pepper. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven & add zucchini – season
zucchini with salt/pepper, to taste. Return
to oven & bake an additional 20 minutes.
Broil pan for an additional 3-5 minutes until
bacon is browned & crispy. Serve immediately
with chopped parsley, if desired, for garnish.
Serves 4


Crockpot Cheeseburger Salad

2 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot – chopped (or onion, if desired)
1 tsp. onion powder
salt/pepper, to taste
12 slices deluxe Deli American cheese –
1 bag salad mix (poster used Butter Lettuce

Garnish: chopped pickles, ketchup, mustard,
mayonnaise, chopped tomatoes, chopped
onion, shredded cheese, etc.
In a skillet brown meat with garlic & shallots
(or onion); drain & place in crockpot. Stir
in cheese. Cover & cook on Low 2-4 hours,
stirring occasionally. Cool meat.Place salad mix in
large bowl – mix in cooked meat & top with any
garnishes you desire. Serves 8


Pizza Pasta

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. mild Italian sausage,
casings removed
1/2 C. finely diced onion
3/4 C. mini pepperoni, divided
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
2 1/2 C. water
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (12 oz) box pasta (such as
rotini or penne)
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 T. chopped parsley

In large, deep pan over medium heat
heat oil. Add sausage & cook 4-5 minutes,
breaking up into small pieces, until browned.
Add onion & cook 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Add 1/2 C. pepperoni & garlic, cook 1 minute.
Add sauce, water, salt/pepper, & pasta – bring
to a simmer. Cover pot & cook over Low heat
12-14 minutes until pasta is tender.

While pasta is simmering,
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
After pasta is finished cooking, sprinkle cheese
on top & arrange remaining 1/4 C. pepperoni
on cheese. Bake 4-5 minutes until cheese melts.
Sprinkle top with parsley & serve.
Serves 6


Tomato-Vegetable Casserole

1 medium potato, peeled/cut
into 1/2″ pieces
1 medium yam, peeled/cut into
1/2″ pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded/cut into
1/2″ pieces
2 carrots, peeled/cut into 1/2″
5 T. olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 small (or 1 large) zucchini cut
cross-wise into 1/4″ thick pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut cross-
wise into 1/4″ thick slices
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried Italian-style bread crumbs
fresh basil sprigs – optional garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish toss potato,
yam, bell pepper, carrots & 2 T. olive
oil – to coat. Sprinkle with salt/pepper &
toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly
over bottom of pan. Arrange onion slices
evenly over veggies; arrange zucchini over
onion. Drizzle top with 2 T. olive oil; sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Arrange tomato slices over
zucchini. In small bowl blend Parm. & bread
crumbs & sprinkle over top of dish. Drizzle
top with 1 T. olive oil. Bake, uncovered, until
vegetables are tender & topping is golden
brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish top with
basil sprigs, if desired. Serves 6


Raspberry/Lemonade “Cream Puffs”

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff pastry (2 sheets),
1/4 C. boiling water
zest from 1 lemon
1 (3 oz) pkg. lemon-flavored Jell-O
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. raspberries
2 oz. cream cheese, softened*
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cold water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Unfold 1 pastry sheet onto lightly
floured surface – cut crosswise into
thirds, following fold lines in pastry.
Cut each piece crosswise into 6 rectangles.
Place each 2 inches apart on baking sheet,
repeat with remaining pastry sheet.
Bake 10 minutes then remove to wire
racks to cool completely.

In medium bowl add boiling water, lemon
zest & Jell-O – stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Stir in milk. Refrigerate 15 minutes
until thickened but not set.
Beat Jell-O mixture using an elec. mixer for
2 minutes until about doubled in volume.
Gently stir in Cool Whip & refrigerate 20
Stir raspberries into Jell-O mixture.
Split pastries & fill each with Jell-O mixture.
In a bowl mix cream cheese, powdered sugar
& cold water until blended; spoon into a
ziplock bag. Seal bag & cut a small corner off
of bag – use to drizzle cream cheese mixture
over pastries. Makes 36 pastries

*1/4 of a 8 oz. pkg cream cheese



Hope your week has gone well so far;
remember to take a little time for yourself!




Boy, you can SURE tell Summer is going away – it was 58 degrees F. when we left for church today at 8:40 a.m.! BRrrrrrrrr! Kind of an over-cast day, no sun – just CHILLY! Glad I don’t have anywhere to go later, plan on curling up in my recliner with a nice, warm throw over my legs while I either knit or read a book.


Zucchini Spice Cake

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
2/3 C. applesauce
1/4 C. milk (posted used Almond milk)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. grated zucchini
1 C. shredded sweet coconut (optional)
3/4 C. toasted walnuts, divided

Cream Cheese Icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
2-3 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk (almond milk)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 inch square baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray & line with
parchment paper. In medium bowl whisk
flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon,
nutmeg & cloves.
In large bowl whisk sugars, eggs, applesauce,
milk & vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until
combined. Stir in zucchini, coconut & walnuts
& pour into prepared dish. Bake 25-28 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool completely before icing.

Beat cream cheese & butter until light & fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar one cup at-a-time. Beat
in milk one tablespoon at-a-time until desired
consistency. Drizzle icing on top of cooled cake
& top with remaining toasted nuts.


Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 (8 oz) pkg. lasagna noodles
olive oil, for drizzling
4 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 T. flour
3 C. whole milk
3/4 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
large pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper
2 (10 oz, ea) bags frozen spinach, thawed/
squeezed dry
1 small butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled/
seeded, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente; drain & drizzle with a bit
of olive oil to prevent noodles from
sticking together. In medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, melt butter.
Add garlic & cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
Add flour & cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly
add milk, whisking constantly – bring to boil.
Add thyme & nutmeg; reduce heat to medium.
Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens,
about 6-8 minutes. Whisk in Parm. cheese;
season with salt/black pepper & remove from
In a 8 X 8″ baking dish, spread a thin layer (about
1/2 C.) sauce. Add a single layer of noodles then
a layer of squash; season with salt/pepper & top
with half the spinach, 1/3 of mozzarella, & about
3/4 C. sauce – repeat layers one more time. Top
with remaining noodles & spread remaining sauce
& cheese over top. Cover with foil & bake 30
minutes then increase temperature to 400 degrees F.
Bake, uncovered, until squash is tender & lasagna
is golden on top, about 25 minutes. Garnish with
parsley before serving. Serves 8


Beer Can Chicken w/Cola & BBQ Sauce

1 (12 oz) can beer
1 (3 1/2 – 4 lb) whole chicken
2 T. BBQ RUB – see below
2 C. cola/BBQ sauce – see below
1/4 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C. sweet paprika
3 T. ground black pepper
3 T. kosher or sea salt
1 T. hickory salt (???)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all rub ingredients in
a bowl & stir to blend. Store rub
in an airtight jar away from heat or
light – will keep at least 6 months.
1 C. cola
1 C. ketchup
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
3 T. steak sauce (poster used A-1)
1 tsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. garlic flakes
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a heavy
non-reactive saucepan & gradually bring
to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat
slightly to a gentle simmer – simmer sauce
until reduced, about 6-8 minutes. Use
immediately or transfer to a large jar &
cool to room temp. Cover & refrigerate.
Sauce will keep for several months refrigerated.

NOTE: Poster used 4-6 C. hickory
or apple wood chips, soaked 1 hour
in water (to cover), drained
Open beer & pour half into container
with wood chips. Make a few more
holes in top of beer can (using a
‘church-key’ style opener.

Set up grill for indirect grilling &
preheat to medium.

If using a charcoal grill: place a large
drip pan in center.

If using a gas grill: place all wood chips
in smoker box or a smoker pouch &
preheat grill to High until you see smoke,
then reduce heat to medium.
Remove packet of giblets from body of
chicken (set aside for another use). Remove
& discard any fat just inside body cavity.
Rinse chicken, inside & out, under cold
running water. Drain & blot dry inside &
out using paper towels. Sprinkle 2 tsp. rub
inside the body & neck cavities of bird. Rub
the bird all over on outside with 2 tsp. rub.
If you have the patience, you can put some
of the rub under the skin being careful not
to tear it.
Spoon remaining 2 tsp. rub through the holds
in the beer can (it might foam up). Insert beer
can into chicken body cavity & spread out legs
to form a sort of tripod. Tuck win tips behind the
chicken’s back.
When ready to cook:

If using a charcoal grill:
Toss all wood chips onto coals. Stand chicken
up in center of hot grate, over the drip pan &
away from hat. Cover grill & cook chicken until
skin is a dark golden brown & very crisp; meat
is cooked to an internal temp. of 180 degrees F.
(about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours). NOTE: you will need
to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.
Using tongs, carefully transfer chicken in it’s
upright position on can to a platter. Allow to
rest 5 minutes then carefully remove chicken
from can. (be careful not to spill hot beer)
Quarter or carve chicken & serve with Cola
BBQ sauce. Serves 2-4

Creamy Grape Salad

4 C. each: seedless green & red grapes,
2 C. fresh pineapple chunks
1/2 C. slivered almonds, toasted
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed

Combine fruit & nuts in a large bowl.
In a microwaveable bowl, microwave
cream cheese on High 20-30 seconds
until softened – whisk until creamy.
Add sour cream & sugar -mix well.
Add cream cheese mixture to fruit
mixture & mix lightly. Serves 20


Fresh Tomato Pie

1 deep dish pie shell
3 C. tomatoes, chopped or
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt/black pepper
2-3 T. mayonnaise
5 slices bacon, cooked crisp/
shredded cheese (about 1 1/2 C.
of your choice) Poster used
Parmesan, Swiss & Mexican-
1/2 C. of each)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prick pie shell using a fork, making
holes in bottom of crust.
Bake empty pie shell about 10
minutes; remove from oven.
Adjust oven temp. to 350 degrees F.
Add a layer of cheese, onion &
tomatoes to baked shell. Sprinkle
with salt/pepper, oregano & basil –
continue layering until ingredients
are all used (except for 1/2 C. cheese).
In a small bowl mix bacon, mayo
& cheese – spread on top of pie.
Sprinkle top with extra cheese
if you want. Bake 35-40 minutes.
Let stand at least 15 minutes
before cutting. Makes 1 pie


Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken

2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs
cut into 1 1/2 ” pieces
1 (18 oz) bottle sweet & sour sauce
1/3 C. chicken broth
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli & carrots –
thawed & drained
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Cooked rice, mashed potatoes or
polenta to feed 6
Mix chicken pieces with sweet & sour
sauce in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours until chicken is tender & no
longer pink (& cooked to 165 degrees F.
on a meat thermometer).

20 minutes before serving, stir in veggies,
thyme & pepper. Cover & increase heat to
High – cook 20-30 minutes until vegetables
are crisp-tender. Serve over cooked rice,
mashed potatoes or polenta.
Serves 6


Cuban Sliders

2 (12 oz, ea) pkgs. Hawaiian sweet
1 1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
9 slices Swiss cheese (about 6 oz)
24 dill pickle slices


1/2 C. butter, cubed
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Without separating rolls, horizontally;
arrange bottom halves of rolls in pan.
Layer with ham, cheese & pickles;
top with roll tops. In a microwaveable
bowl or measuring cup melt butter.
Stir in onion & mustard – drizzle over
tops of rolls. Bake, covered, 10 minutes.
Uncover & bake until golden brown &
heated through, 5-10 minutes. Makes
24 sliders


Donut Muffins

3/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter, melted

1/4 C. sugar
few shakes cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a muffin tin with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl beat sugar & egg until
light in color. In small bowl
whisk flour, baking powder,
salt & nutmeg; pour into
egg mixture & stir to combine.
Add vegetable oil, milk &
vanilla – mix & divide batter
evenly into 10 muffin cups,
filling each about 3/4ths full.
Bake 15-18 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center
of a muffin comes out clean.

While muffins are baking, melt
butter & pour topping sugar &
cinnamon into a pie plate. When
muffins are done, lightly brush
tops with melted butter & dip
tops into sugar/cinnamon. Cool
on wire rack. Makes 10 muffins.

NOTE: Original poster suggested
using apple sauce instead of
vegetable oil.



Hope you have a nice day!



and sometimes I’m just plain wrong . . .

Today, while driving home from picking up my car at the dealership, I encountered a horse-drawn ‘old tyme’ wooden hearse going in the opposite direction. This is a 5 lane road – I operated under (what I thought was Michigan Law) pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. (I was under the assumption that Michigan, like Canada, had the same rules when it comes to funeral processions – I was wrong.) After a good 35+ cars in the procession passed, a very irate driver somewhere behind me gunned their engine & sped by me, followed by others. My husband was about 4 cars behind me and didn’t know it was ME that stopped. After the speeders passed, I started up slowly & continued driving. When I got home I asked my husband if I was right – and, NO, he told me in Michigan you just drive slowly by but don’t stop. The last funeral I attended in Canada was for my Aunt. While the procession was on the roads going to the cemetery other cars pulled off the road – in some cases, men got out of their cars (took off their hats if they had them on) and put their hands over their hearts until the procession passed – now THAT’S RESPECT! Oh well – you live & learn, right?


More summer recipes for your holiday weekend:

Fluffy Strawberry Pie w/Pretzel Crust

1 1/4 C. crushed pretzels
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter (or marg), melted

3/4 C. boiling water
1 (4 serving size) Strawberry Jell-O mix
1 tsp. grated lime peel
1/4 C. lime juice
1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
3/4 C. powdered sugar
2 C. strawberries, slightly crushed

chocolate-covered strawberries,
if desired, for garnish
In medium bowl, mix all crust
ingredients; press onto bottom &
up sides of a 9″ pie plate

In large bowl pour boiling water on
dry Jell-O; stir until gelatin has dissolved.
Stir in lime peel & juice. Refrigerate about
1 hour until very thick but not set
Chill a large bowl in fridge.
Beat Jell-O mixture using elec. mixer on
high speed about 4 minutes until thick &
fluffy. In chilled bowl beat whipping cream &
powdered sugar on High speed until stiff
peaks form. Fold whipped cream & crushed
strawberries into Jell-O mixture & pour into
crust. Refrigerate about 8 hours until set.
Garnish with chocolate-covered strawberries,
if desired. Store, covered, in fridge.

Corn Salsa

1 (15 oz) can yellow corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can white corn, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles,
1 (2.5 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded/chopped
3 T. white vinegar
1/3 C. olive oil
kosher salt
1 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro

In large bowl mix all ingredients
except cilantro. Chill at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, add cilantro.
Makes about 5 cups

Spicy Asian Lemon Shrimp Skewers

6 lemons
kosher salt
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
3 T. olive oil
3 T. Sriracha (Asian chile sauce)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fish sauce
2 tsp. light brown sugar, packed
30 extra-large shrimp, unpeeled

vegetable oil for the grill
2 T. chopped fresh mint

Finely grate zest from 4 lemons, then
pulse in a food processor with 3 T. salt.
Squeeze juice from 2 of zested lemons,
into a large bowl. Add lemongrass, olive
oil, Sriracha, garlic, fish sauce, brown
sugar & 1 tsp. lemon salt (made above).
Thinly slice the 2 remaining lemons &
add to bowl. Using kitchen shears, cut
through shrimp shells along outer curve,
leaving shells on. Remove veins & rinse
shrimp – add to bowl with lemongrass
marinade & toss. Cover & refrigerate
1 hour. Soak 12-15 wooden skewers in
Heat grill to medium high. Thread shrimp
onto skewers. Brush grill with vegetable
oil then add lemon slices & grill until they
begin to char, turning once (about 2 minutes),
transfer to a platter. Stir mint into remaining
marinade. Add skewers to grill & cook, brushing
with marinade/mint mixture until shells begin
to char, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter
& sprinkle with lemon salt, to taste.
Serves 6


Cheesy Pepper Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta cheese, cut
into 1/4″ cubes
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded/chopped fine
12 butter crackers (Ritz), crushed
1 T. butter, melted
1 green onion, sliced

Crackers, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. In small bowl mix
crushed crackers & melted butter.
In medium bowl beat cream cheese &
mayo until blended. Stir in Velveeta
& peppers & spread on bottom of
prepared pie dish. Top with butter/
cracker mixture & bake 20 minutes
until heated through. Top with
chopped onions. Makes approx.
18 servings.

Suggestion: substitute cream cheese
with (Kraft) Bacon Cream cheese

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
5 slices bacon, sliced/cooked
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 C. BBQ sauce (poster uses Sweet
Baby Rays)
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained very well

Suggested ways to serve:
Over cooked white or brown rice
(to serve 6) or on hamburger buns
Add chicken & remaining
ingredients to crockpot – stir to
combine. Cover & cook on Low
6 hours without opening lid
during cooking time. If desired,
shred chicken. Serve over about
suggested items. Serves 6


Butterfinger Poke Cake

1 box fudge marble cake mix plus
ingredients needed to make cake (eggs/
oil/water) (can also use Devil’s Food
cake mix)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 large Butterfinger candy bar, crushed
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
(optional) chocolate syrup to drizzle on top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Prepare cake as directed on
box & bake accordg. to cooking times on box.
Cool cake just a few minutes. In medium bowl
combine sweetn’d con’d milk with caramel
topping. Poke holes all over top of cake using
a fork – lots of holes. Drizzle caramel mixture
over cake. Refrigerate cake to finish cooling.
Once cooled, spread Cool Whip over entire
cake & sprinkle with crushed Butterfinger
candy bar. (drizzle chocolate syrup over
cake before serving, if desired)  Serves 12

NOTE: Keep cake refrigerated until ready to



No particular plans for the holiday –

Hope you enjoy this day!



More Summertime Recipes!

Strawberry Banana Poke Cake

1 (13.25 oz) box strawberry cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 C. whole milk
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant banana pudding
4 C. cold whole milk

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
4 bananas, thinly sliced
1 pint strawberries, cleaned/thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl beat cake
mix, eggs, melted butter & 1 C. milk,
stirring until mixture is smooth. Pour
batter into prepared dish & bake accordg.
to cake pkg. directions. While cake bakes:
Whisk pudding mix & 4 C. cold milk. Remove
cake from oven & using the handle of a
wooden spoon, poke holes all over top of
cake 2 inches apart. Pour pudding over top
of cake & smooth to fill holes. Refrigerate
cake to set pudding.
Once pudding is set, top with a thick layer
of Cool Whip. Top with sliced strawberries &
bananas. Slice & serve.


Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb, total)
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
(3/4 oz)
1/4 C. plain dry breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Slice
zucchini into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
In medium bow, toss zucchini with
oil. In small bowl combine Parm.,
bread crumbs, salt & a few turns of
pepper. Dip each round into Parm.
mixture, coating evenly on both
sides & pressing coating on to
stick. Place in a single layer on
prepared sheet. Bake 25-30
minutes until browned & crisp.
Remove with a spatula & serve
Makes 4 servings (1/2 C. each)

Black Bean & Corn Salad

1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained/
2 C. frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, (half a palm
2 tsp. hot sauce (recommended Tabasco)
1 lime, juiced
2 T. vegetable or olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let
stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully
defrost & flavors to combine, then toss
& serve. Serves 4

NOTE: using frozen corn – the corn will
add a quick-chill to this salad as it
defrosts – no need to refrigerate


30-Minute Grilled Chicken Thighs
(& Watermelon/Feta Salad

5 large cloves garlic, 4 grated/
1 whole
1/2 C. plus 2 T. olive oil (plus more
for oiling grill grates)
zest & juice of 2 lemons
1 T. dried oregano
4 large bone-in, skin on chicken
thighs (about 2 lb)
1/2 of medium watermelon, about
3 lb.
1 garden cucumber, peeled (8 oz)
1 (4 oz) block feta cheese
1/2 C. pitted Kalamata olives
kosher salt/gr. black pepper
1/2 baguette, halved length-wise
1/2 C. fresh mint leaves, torn into
large pieces

Prepare grill for medium heat.
Place grated garlic in large ziplock
bag; add 1/4 C. oil, lemon zest &
juice, oregano & chicken. Seal bag
tightly & (using your hands) vigorously
massage marinade into chicken, making
sure chicken is evenly coated. Marinate
at least 10 minutes at room temp.

Remove rind from watermelon, cut fruit
into 1 inch cubes & place in large mixing
bowl. (should be about 6 C.) Quarter the
cucumber lengthwise & cut into 1-inch
pieces-place on top of watermelon in bowl.
Cut feta cheese into 1/2-inch cubes & place
on top of cucumber. Top with Kalamata
olives. (DO not mix yet).

Remove chicken from marinade & place on
a platter. Lightly oil grill grates & sprinkle
chicken liberally with salt/pepper – arrange
pieces skin-sides down on grill, leaving some
space between pieces. Cook until skin is lightly
charred & releases itself from grill, about 2
minutes. Rotate chicken about 90 degrees so
skin won’t burn – cook 2 more minutes. Flip &
cook an additional 5 minutes. Cover grill & cook
until an instant-read thermometer inserted into
deepest part of chicken reads 165 degrees F.,
about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a platter &
let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
While chicken is resting, brush the cut sides
of the baguette halves with 2 T. oil & sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Arrange bread, cut-sides down,
on grill & cook until lightly charred & warmed
through, about 2 minutes. Halve remaining
garlic clove & lightly rub cut sides of garlic on
hot bread. Halve each piece of baguette.

Scatter most of shredded mint over watermelon
mixture; add remaining 1/4 C. olive oil & a large
pinch of salt/pepper -stir gently to combine.

Divide watermelon salad among 4 dinner plates
with 1 piece chicken & some bread. Garnish with
remaining mint & serve immediately.
Serves 4

NOTE: If using a charcoal grill, be sure to allow a
little extra time to let coals reach the proper
temperature before cooking.

Mediterranean Cucumber & Tomato Salad

1 cucumber, skin-on, seeded/chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes (25-30) halved or
3 radishes, chopped (or can substitute
a few T. chopped red onion)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded/chopped
handful fresh parsley
1 T. olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl &
toss well. Serve at room temp. or refrigerate.
Serves 4


Creamy Crockpot Corn

1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen corn
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. butter, cubed
2 T. sugar
salt/pepper – to taste

Place frozen corn in crockpot; add
butter & cream cheese. Add sugar,
salt/pepper – stir to combine.
Cover & cook on High 2 hours
(or Low 4 hours). Halfway through
cooking time stir again, cover &
continue to cook.


Crockpot Hot Fudge Brownies

1 (20 oz) box brownie mix – prepared
with ingredients on box (but not baked)
1 C. chocolate syrup
1 C. hot water

Optional toppings:
vanilla ice cream, Cool Whip (thawed),
maraschino cherries, sprinkles, chopped nuts
Spray crockpot insides with nonstick cooking
spray. Pour brownie batter into crockpot &
spread evenly. In a bowl combine choc.
syrup & water – pour over batter. Cover &
cook on High 2 1/2 – 3 hours until edges
are just set. Remove lid & let stand 30
minutes so middle can set up. Serve with
your favorite toppings. Serves 8


Enjoy this great SUMMER weather while it lasts!



It’s Tuesday

We took my minivan into the dealership yesterday – air conditioning only works on drivers side, big roofing nail in front tire, slow leak in back tire AND a rattling noise by the tailpipe – just a ‘few’ things, right? They called today – they can fix the air (under warrantee – YAY!), fix the tires BUT the rattle is the heat shield (the bolts rusted off) so we have to take it to their body shop to have THEM fix it – oh, joy – next week another trip to the dealership. Life goes on, right?

The weather is beginning to look a little “Fall-like” – not sure if it’s just because of the heat but leaves are falling off the trees. Temps are still in the 70’s with rain showers in the evenings.

Lots of summer recipes still to share:


Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Blueberry/
Ginger Vinaigrette

6 C. greens
6 wedges cantaloupe (grilled & cut into
1/2″ chunks) SEE BELOW
1/2 C. blueberries
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/4 C. crumbled goat cheese


1 C. fresh blueberries
1/4 C. fresh ginger, peeled, add
more, if desired
1 lemon
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. honey
How to Grill Cantaloupe:
Make sure grill grates are clean; preheat
to medium-high heat (about 450-500 degrees F.)
Spray grill with a grill-specific cooking spray or brush
grates with either vegetable or canola oil. Lay cant.
slices on hot grill – cook 3 minutes; flip & cook another
3-4 minutes until cantaloupe is softened with grill
marks. Remove from grill & cool enough to touch.
Lay greens on a serving platter – arrange grilled
cantaloupe & blueberries on top. Sprinkle
pecans & goat cheese on top.

Place all viniagrette ingredients in a blender or
food processor – blend until smooth (there will
be small pieces of blueberry skin). Pour dressing
over salad or serve on the side. Store extra
dressing in fridge up to 3 days – shake well
before serving. Serves 6-8


Crustless Tomato Pie

4 tomatoes, sliced
1 T. salt
1 T. butter
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. fresh oregano, chopped
6-7 leaves basil, chopped
2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
plus extra for sprinkling on top
2 eggs, beaten

Spray a pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. Sliced tomatoes & lay
out on plates – sprinkle lightly with
salt & let stand 20 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small skillet over medium-high
heat melt butter. Add onion &
garlic, saute about 8 minutes
until onions are soft – transfer
to a medium bowl. Add cheese,
eggs, herbs & pepper to bowl – stir
to combine. Drain water off tomatoes.
Using a paper towel, gently blot tomatoes
to soak up excess moisture & arrange
in single layer in prepared pie plate. Top
with about 1/4 C. of cheese mixture &
repeat until all ingredients have been
used, finishing with a layer of tomatoes.
Top with a sprinkle of mozz. cheese.
Bake 30-40 minutes until edges are
lightly browned. Serves 8

Zucchini/Cheese Casserole

4 T. butter, divided
6 small zucchini, chopped (about
7 C.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. crushed Rice Chex cereal
1 C. shredded Colby/Mozzarella
Jack cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet heat 2 T. butter over
medium-high heat. Add zucchini &
onion – cook & stir 10-12 minutes until
crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl & cool
slightly. In a microwave-save bowl, melt
remaining butter – drizzle over cereal
& toss to coat. Stir cheese, eggs, salt/pepper
into zucchini mixture. Transfer to prepared
dish & sprinkle top with cereal mixture.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until heated
through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6


Crockpot Mississippi Whole Chicken

1 (5-6 lb) whole chicken
1 envelope dry Ranch Salad Dressing mix
1 envelope Au Just Gravy Mix (or Brown
Gravy mix)
1/2 stick (1/4 C.) butter, sliced
6 pepperoncinis (come in a jar in the
pickle aisle of grocery stores)
Rinse chicken (remove any organs/neck,
etc. from cavity) – pat chicken dry &
place in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle the
two envelopes on top of chicken & place
butter slices on top. Add pepperoncinis
on top. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours.
Scrape excess seasonings off top of
chicken into the cooking liquid. Place
whole chicken in a serving or baking dish.
Mix seasonings into cooking liquid & pour
over chicken. Arrange pepperoncinis around
chicken. Serves 4-6

NOTE: the pepperoncinis add great flavor
but, if you’re not a fan of heat, you don’t
HAVE to eat them!


3-Bean Macaroni Salad

1 C. elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed/
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 (15.5 oz) can great Northern beans,
1 green pepper, seeded/chopped
3/4 C. chopped red onion
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing
2 T. chopped fresh dill

Cook macaroni in large saucepan
accordg. to pkg. directions (omitting
salt) – add green beans to boiling
water for last 2 minutes. Drain, rinse
with cold water & drain again. Place
macaroni mixture in large bowl; add
remaining beans, peppers & onions –
mix lightly. Mix remaining ingredients
until blended & add to salad – toss to
coat. Serves 16 (1/2 C. each)


Lemonade Frosting

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
6 C. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon zest
3 T. fresh lemon juice

Beat cream cheese & butter at
medium speed with elec. mixer
until creamy. Gradually add in
powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time,
beating at Low speed until
blended after each addition. Beat
in lemon zest & juice just until
blended. Increase speed to High
& beat until light & fluffy.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Fiesta Corn/Squash Casserole

5 C. chopped squash (yellow or
zucchini or a combination of both)
water, to cover squash
1 1/2 C. fresh or frozen corn (no need
to thaw)
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. evaporated or regular milk
2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin (optional)
1/2 C. finely shredded Fiesta-blend
1 egg


1 C. plain Panko bread crumbs (you
could also use crushed Ritz crackers)
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. finely shredded Fiesta-blend
cheese (combination of shredded
Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla
& Asadero cheeses)

Combine bread crumbs & butter
& sprinkle over casserole – sprinkle
on 1/2 C. cheese.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place squash in a pot on stove & cover
with water; bring to boil & cook about
10 minutes until squash gets soft when
poked with a fork. Add corn & onion –
cook 5 minutes more. Remove from stove
& drain water. Add milk, butter, pepper/
salt, garlic powder, cumin (if using), cheese
& egg – stir to combine. Pour mixture into
a casserole dish & sprinkle on topping.
Bake casserole 20 minutes until brown on
top. Serves about 6

Cider-glazed Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 tart apples, cored/sliced
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil, divided
6 chicken thighs, trimmed
2/3 C. apple cider
2 T. honey
1 T. grainy mustard
1 T. butter
3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In large bowl combine potatoes,
apples & chopped rosemary; season
with salt/pepper. Drizzle with 1 T. oil;
toss to coat. Heat remaining oil in
large cast-iron skillet over medium-
high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down;
cook 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove
chicken to a plate. Stir cider, honey &
mustard into drippings in skillet – bring
to almost-boil; cook until mixture has
cooked down slightly. Whisk in butter &
return chicken to skillet, skin-side up.
Spoon potato mixture around chicken;
add rosemary sprigs to skillet & place
skillet in oven. Bake, uncovered, 20
minutes, until chicken is cooked through &
potatoes are tender. If potatoes need to
cook longer, transfer chicken to a platter &
let stand. Return skillet to oven until
potatoes are tender. Serve chicken &
potato mixture topped with sauce from
skillet. Serves 6


Spiced Zucchini Sheet Cake

1 large zucchini, cut in half, peeled/
(seeds removed) chopped into large
1/2 C. melted butter
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. sour cream
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large edged sheet pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place zucchini chunks in a blender &
blend until smooth (you will need
1 1/2 C. puree). Add melted butter,
sugar & milk to blender – mix until
combined. Add eggs, vanilla & mix
until combined.
In medium bowl toss flour, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.
Add dry ingredients to wet & mix
just until combined. Pour batter into
prepared sheet & smooth evenly.
Bake 12-15 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Remove from oven & allow to cool
completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl combine powdered
sugar, softened butter, vanilla, sour
cream & dash salt – mix & add a bit of
milk if icing is too thick. When cake is
cooled, spread icing on top & spread
evenly. Refrigerate 1 hour to allow
icing to set. Slice into bars & serve



Hope you have a GREAT week!



Another Busy Week – sigh . . .

At the beginning of this week I was thinking/hoping I’d only have 1 day of babysitting – boy, was I wrong! So far it’s been 2 (and one was almost 9 hours long) – just got the request for tomorrow (Saturday – I’m usually free from sitting on the weekends) and it’s 3 p.m. – 8/9 p.m. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little 2 1/2 yr old grandson but BOY IS HE FULL OF ENERGY! I was with him yesterday from 10:45 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. and finally I just couldn’t stand to hear any more KIDDIE TV so I shut it off (he wasn’t happy, but OH WELL . . . ). He did well playing by himself while I knit (as usual). My brain can only hold so much squeeky little voices with ridiculous program premises! I DID get to finish one baby blanket and knit 2 3/4ths pairs of baby booties (finished the other one today) so all was not wasted time. The shades of brown/black men’s scarf I started knitting I decided I’d hold off on until Fall/Winter – it’s a real strain on my fingers and it’s not really ‘needed’ until then, so I feel good about that decision. Haven’t taken up another blanket pattern just yet – I’ll know when I’m feeling ‘inspired’ . . . hehehe.


Peach Bread

4 T. softened butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk (whole)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 C. peaches, peeled/chopped
1/2 C. chopped pecans

1 single ripe peach peeled/pit removed
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. melted butter
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour a standard loaf pan.
In large bowl (or using stand mixer
w/paddle attachment) beat butter
until smooth, then add both sugars
& beat to combine. Add 1 egg at a time
& beat; then add milk & extract – beat
again. In separate medium bowl whisk
flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
& allspice. Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Fold in peaches & nuts – scrape into
prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean & top bounces back
when touched. (If you take it out too
early the center will sink as it cools).

While bread is baking, puree 1 peach using
an immersion blender (or put in a blender
& puree) – puree just until peach is in small
pieces, about rice sized. In a medium bowl
mix powdered sugar with melted butter &
extract then add in pureed peach. If mixture
is too runny, add more powdered sugar-it
should pour out of bowl when tipped but
not be watery.
Cool bread on a wire rack until room temp
then cover with half the glaze. Dust top
with powdered sugar.

To serve:
Slice loaf into 8, 10 or 12 slices then top
each piece with remaining glaze as you
serve. Makes 1 loaf


Roasted Zucchini in Oven

1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into
chunks (poster doesn’t peel hers)
2 large carrots, scraped & cut into
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
1 onion, quartered (optional)
3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter, melted (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cover a large baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large microwave bowl place
potatoes & carrots – microwave on
HIgh 5 minutes. In another large
bowl whisk together olive oil, melted
butter, garlic powder, basil, bl. pepper &
salt. Add microwaved potatoes & carrots,
zucchini, onion & sausage to olive oil
mixture & toss to coat. Spread all veggies
on baking sheet & bake 25-30 minutes.
Serves 6-8.


Dill Pickle, Bacon, Ranch Pasta Salad

12 oz. pasta, cooked al dente, drained/
1 lb. thick-cut hickory smoked bacon,
cooked crisp & cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. diced red onion
1 (16 oz) jar dill pickles, diced – reserve
2 T. pickle juice
1 (7 oz) bag (1 1/2 C.) Italian mix large-
shred cheese (poster used Sargento
4-cheese Italian)
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
2 T. pickle juice (that you reserved)

In large bowl combine cooked/cooled pasta,
bacon, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, diced/
drained pickles, Italian cheese blend & Parmesan
cheese – toss well.
In a 2-Cup measuring cup measure out 1 1/2 C.
Ranch dressing & stir in the 2 T. pickle juice –
stir well then pour over past mixture – toss
to combine. Cover, chill then serve.
Serves 10-12


Tomato/Zucchini/Mozzarella Bake

2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
1 large tomato, cut into 1″ cubes
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh parsley
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Bread crumb topping:
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/4 C. Panko (Japanese-style) bread
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a casserole dish (11″ X 8″)
or similar size with nonstick
cooking spray & layer zucchini slices,
tomato chunks, parsley, salt/pepper.
Add shredded mozz. cheese.
Prepare topping:

In a bowl add all topping ingredients
& stir until well combined. Sprinkle
topping over casserole. Cover with foil
& bake 30 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10 minutes so topping
can brown. Serves 4


Baked Lemon Pepper Garlic Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C. butter (1 stick), melted
2 heaping T. minced garlic
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. fresh ground Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. thyme (important)
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 13″ baking dish
& place in oven to melt butter. Add garlic,
thyme & lemon juice – mix well. In
a large ziplock bag mix bread
crumbs & Parmesan – place chicken
in bag & shake to coat (save extra
crumbs). Add garlic, thyme & lemon
juice to melted butter & mix well.
Lay each chicken breast in prepared
baking dish with melted butter. Turn
chicken over to coat both sides with
melted butter then place in bag to
bread again. Place chicken in baking
dish & sprinkle tops with any leftover
breading. Sprinkle some lemon pepper
on top. Bake 40 minutes. Spoon some
of liquid from pan over top of cooked
chicken. Serves 4


Sheet Pan Taco Nachos

Taco Meat:
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. taco seasoning (dry)
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican-stewed
tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 tsp. sugar

1 (11 oz) bag tortilla chips
3-4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pint grape (or cherry) tomatoes,
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro

Creamy Drizzle:
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. taco seasoning
1 T. lime juice (bottled is fine)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat – add gr. beef, onions, garlic,
salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Cook until
meat is browned & onions are translucent.
(Drain) Add stewed tomatoes & sugar; stir &
reduce heat to simmer – cook 5-10 minutes.
Line 2 sheet pans with foil & spray each with
nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of tortilla
chips into each pan & divide meat & cheese
equally into pans, sprinkling over chips. Bake
3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
While cheese is melting, combine all Drizzle
ingredients & mix until smooth.
When pans are cooked, sprinkle tops with
sliced tomatoes, gr. onions & cilantro. Drizzle
creamy sauce over top & serve immediately.
Serves 6-8


Fresh Blueberry Pie

3 C. blueberries
1 T. butter
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 C. water
1 C. sugar
1 dash salt
1 (9 inch) pie crust

Sweetened whipped cream –
optional garnish

In a saucepan bring 1 C. blueberries
& water to a boil – boil gently 4 minutes.
Add butter & stir in sugar, cornstarch &
salt. Cook slowly, stirring, until thick &
clear. Remove from heat & add lemon
juice. Pour mixture over remaining 2
C. blueberries in medium bowl, stir
gently to combine – pour mixture into
pie crust. Serve chilled or at room
temperature with a dollop of sweetened
whipped cream. Makes 1 pie



Our weather has been nice for August: in the 70-80’s
with some rain, but usually at night. Today I went out
shopping and it was (only) 70 but sunny – made me
think of the fact that pretty soon we will be getting
out our sweaters and light jackets – Fall is on the way
(sigh). I can also tell that by looking at my calendar:
the days are rapidly being filled in with events; fun
events in most cases, but more ‘things to do’.

Hope you are enjoying these last fleeting days of
warm weather. Remember to get a little rest or
do something nice for yourself (like a cup of coffee
you usually wouldn’t get, or a muffin, or buy that
book you’ve been looking at – you get my drift).
(I stopped by Tim Horton’s yesterday before the
marathon sitting job & got myself a “Triple Berry
Explosion” muffin which had been recommended
to me by one of their ladies the last time I was
there ordering (my favorite) blueberry muffin –
she said: “You really should try this one – it’s
FULL of different berry flavors!” – so I did. It was
moist & tasty but I still like blueberry best!

Enjoy your day;



PS: Our gas prices (for regular) have been hovering at
$2.69/$2.79 for weeks. Fortunately I had KROGER GAS
POINTS, so got 30 cents off per gallon today (from $2.79/9
down to $2.49.9 -YAY!)



Happy Sunday!

On & off rain here lately – fortunately, it’s mostly been at night! We had a pretty windy/heavy storm last night and are supposed to be getting more today. The ‘good’ thing about that? I don’t have to remember to water my outdoor hanging flower baskets!

Not much new around here, almost done with the pink baby blanket, 3/4ths done with the chevron blanket and – (getting bored) – started a man’s winter scarf the other day with very heavy (donated) yarn. I don’t usually use thick yarn OR big knitting needles, so this is an ‘experience’ for me. The needles I’m using are size 15 (I usually use a 6 or 8) – the yarn colors remind me of a German Shepherd dog – black/various browns & a medium grey mixture – it will make a nice, heavy scarf (if I don’t go crazy knitting it!)


For all of you who just want a ‘little’ dessert:

Choc. Chip Cookie-in-a-Mug
Makes 1

1 T. real butter, salted or unsalted
small pinch salt
1 T. granulated sugar
1 T. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
3 T. flour
2 T. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place butter in microwave-safe mug
& melt – (about 20 seconds) Stir in salt,
white & brown sugars & vanilla. Add egg
yolk; stir well then add flour. Stir again &
add choc. chips. Stir & microwave approx.
40 seconds

NOTE: cookie will continue to cook when
you take it out – let it cool slightly then eat.
You can also add a little ice cream on top.
-No baking soda or baking powder needed
-there is enough butter to keep it from sticking
to sides of mug.
-Can also be made in a small microwave-safe bowl
or ramekin.


Crockpot Squash Au Gratin
(low carb)

1/4 C. melted butter
1 T. minced garlic
1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
1 medium yellow squash, sliced thin
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. pork rinds, crushed finely
Pour butter in bottom of crockpot;
sprinkle garlic evenly over butter.
In large bowl mix mayo, sour cream, 1/2
C. cheese, pork rinds, squash &
zucchini – pour mixture into crockpot
& spread out evenly. Top with
remaining cheese. Cover & cook on
High 3-4 hours until squash is tender
& edges are golden brown.
Serves 6-8


Easy BLT Pasta Salad

12 oz. elbow (or other short) pasta
9 strips bacon, cooked crisp/rough chopped
1 C. Ranch salad dressing
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded/diced
2 C. romaine lettuce, cut into
bite-sized pieces
2 T. chives, chopped

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente; drain & rinse under cold
water until cooled. In large bowl mix
cooled pasta & ranch dressing, stir to
coat. Add most of tomatoes, lettuce
& most of bacon – gently stir to combine
& coat all ingredients. Garnish top of dish
with reserved tomatoes, bacon & chives.
Serve immediately. Serves 6

Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken

4 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 strips thick-cut bacon cut into
bite-sized pieces
3/4 C. prepared Ranch salad dressing
Preheat grill to Medium-high heat (about
375 degrees F.)
Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets
parchment paper & use a heavy rolling
pin or pan to pound chicken to an even
thickness. Drizzle chicken with oil & season
with salt/pepper & garlic powder on both
sides. Grill chicken about 5-7 minutes per
side until internal temperature reaches 160
degrees F.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-
high heat until crisp; drain all but 1 T. grease.
Return bacon & grease to stove top. Turn
heat to Low & add ranch dressing, stirring
to form a sauce. Add grilled chicken to pan
& coat with sauce, letting simmer 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serves 4


Grilled Campfire Potatoes
(can also be made in oven)

1 lb. sweet onions (like Vidalia), peeled/
cut into 1/4″ slices
2 T. fresh garlic, chopped
2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled/sliced into
1/4″ slices
2 T. olive oil
4 T. melted butter
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. fresh thyme, chopped
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. paprika

Heat grill to maintain a closed cover
temp. of 350 degrees F. (OR) heat
oven to same temp.
Lay out two 30″ long sheets foil on top
of each other, shiny sides up*
Place 2 pieces of parchment paper next
to each other over the foil. Sprinkle onions &
garlic over parchment.
In large bowl place sliced potatoes, oil, butter,
salt/pepper, thyme, rosemary & paprika – toss.
Lay in single layer over onions & garlic. Fold up
sides of foil/parchment & crimp together in
center then fold up & crimp ends. Make several
slits in top for steam. Place packet on grill with
cover closed (OR) in oven. Cook 30 minutes.
Remove & serve. Serves 6

*Interesting fact: Shiny side of foil reflects heat
& dull side absorbs heat. (information from the
manufacturing of tin foil.

Zucchini Quiche

Hash Brown Crust:
3 C. refrigerated or frozen hash
browns, thawed/patted dry
2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Quiche Filling:
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled
(reserve 1 T. bacon grease in pan)
1 shallot, diced (or onion)
1 medium zucchini, grated (squeezed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 eggs, room temp.
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. shredded cheese (sharp Cheddar,
Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack
or a combination of 2 or more)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Spray a 9″ pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. In medium bowl combine
hash browns, olive oil, butter, salt/pepper –
toss to combine. Bake 20-25 minutes until
edges are golden brown.
Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees F.
In skillet used for bacon add diced shallots &
saute over medium heat 3-4 minutes until
translucent & soft. Add shredded zucchini;
turn heat to High. Season with salt/pepper &
cook 3-5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
In small bowl combine flour, baking powder &
salt. In a separate bowl beat eggs until fluffy,
2-3 minutes. Whisk in Greek yogurt until smooth.
Add grated cheese, flour mixture, bacon &
zucchini mixture – stir until combined. Pour
filling into crust & bake 35-40 minutes until
center is set, the top is puffed & golden brown
AND a toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Remove from oven & allow to cool
several minutes before removing from pan &
Can be eaten at room temp. or chilled.
Serves 8

*Shredded Zucchini:
Grate zucchini onto a clean kitchen
towel & squeeze dry, removing as
much excess liquid as possible.


Blueberry Kuchen

1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. whole milk
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries

3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
bowl combine first 6 ingredients. Add
milk, butter, egg & vanilla – beat 2
minutes until well blended. Pour into
prepared dish & sprinkle top with
blueberries. In a bowl combine sugar &
flour. Add butter & toss with a fork until
crumbly – sprinkle over top of blueberries.
Bake 40 minutes until lightly browned.
Serves 12


Samoa Sheet Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 C. water
4 T. cocoa
1/2 C. butter-flavored shortening
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. butter
6 T. milk
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 C. caramel sauce (ice cream topping)
dash salt

2 1/2 C. sweetened coconut
8 oz. wrapped caramels (unwrapped)
2 T. milk
3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. shortening
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On large cookie sheet pour 2 1/2 C.
coconut – spread out evenly.  Bake
5-6 minutes – stir a few times while
toasting & watch closely so it doesn’t
burn – remove from oven & cool.

Turn oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
In large bowl add flour & sugar – toss to
combine. In medium saucepan add butter, water,
cocoa & shortening – bring to a boil over medium-
high heat, stirring continually – pour into flour/
sugar mixture & mix 30 seconds (using elec. mixer).
Add buttermilk & mix into batter. Add baking soda,
salt, eggs & vanilla – mix 1 minute, making sure to
scrape bottom of bowl using rubber spatula so all
dry ingredients are incorporated. Spray large rimmed
cookie sheet (poster’s is 17 1/2 X 12 1/2″) with nonstick
cooking spray & pour batter onto sheet. Bake 20
minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean.  While cake bakes, prepare frosting:
In a large microwave-safe bowl place butter & milk – heat
to boiling. Add caramel sauce, powdered sugar, vanilla &
dash salt – whisk using a fork until smooth (it will be thin).
When cake is still warm from oven poke holes all over cake
with a fork – pour prepared frosting over top of cake & smooth
out. Immediately sprinkle toasted coconut on top of frosting.
Place unwrapped in microwave bowl. Add 2 T. milk (or evap.
milk) to caramels & microwave 30 seconds. Stir & heat again
in 30-second intervals until caramel has melted & is smooth.
Drizzle over top of coconut.
Place milk choc. chips in a glass measuring cup & microwave
in 30-second increments, stirring after each. Add 1/2 tsp.
shortening & stir to combine. When melted, drizzle over
top of caramel on cake. NOTE: you can serve cake at this
point but if you like a cake that slices well –
refrigerate cake at least 1 hour before slicing & serving.
Serves 16-20



Hope you have a great day!