Last night was the Pick Up date for all of the lovely knitted & crocheted baby items for the upcoming Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Annual Baby Shower. The lady who is the Women’s Coordinator for the event told us there will be 17 Moms attending the shower. This year our group donated 87 knit & crocheted items! 24 blankets, 42 hats, 11 sets of booties, 2 snuggle sacks and 8 baby headbands – I’d say we MORE THAN covered the moms this time! (I was going to post all of the photos, but there are 17 photos, so I decided not to). The ladies in my group continue to amaze me with their generosity – so happy they participated in showing love to these Vets Moms!


Caramel Apple Slab Pie

2 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. butter-flavored shortening
8 T. cold water
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples,
peeled/cored & cut into 1/4″
thick slices (10 cups)

Crumb Topping:
1 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter

Homemade Caramel:
1 C. brown sugar
4 T. butter
1/2 C. Half & Half
1 T. vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 15 X 10 X 1″ rimmed
sheet pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl combine flour &
salt; using pastry blender or
2 forks, cut in shortening until it
resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle
1 T. cold water over mixture & toss
with a fork. Repeat, using 1 T. water
at a time until it is  moistened, then
knead dough into a ball. On lightly
floured surface, roll dough into a
19X13″ rectangle. Wrap dough around
rolling pin & unroll dough into prepared
pan. Ease dough into pan & up sides,
being careful not to stretch it. Trim
dough to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan.
Fold dough edge over & flute as desired.

In extra large bowl combine sugar,
1/3 C. flour, cinnamon & apples – toss
to coat. Spoon mixture onto dough &
spread evenly.

Crumb Topping:
In large stir oats, brown sugar & flour.
Using a pastry blender, cut in butter
until topping resembles coarse crumbs –
sprinkle on top of apples in pan. Bake
40-45 minutes until apples are tender. If
it is starting to brown too fast, cover top
with foil the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
Cool slightly.

Homemade caramel:
Place all ingredients in medium saucepan
over medium-low  to medium heat. Cook,
while whisking gently, 5-7 minutes until
thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or
refrigerate until cold. Drizzle caramel on
top of apple slab pie then serve.
Serves 25



Cheesy Baked Zucchini

4 C. shredded zucchini
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. chopped scallion
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine all ingredients &
mix well – pour into prepared
dish. Bake 25 minutes until
golden brown. Cut into squares
& serve. Serves 15


1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet bring 1/2 inch
of water to a boil. Add asparagus &
garlic; cook, covered, until asparagus
is crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes; drain.
Toss asparagus with butter & cheese.
Serves 4


Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

12 oz. elbow macaroni
1/2 C. grated carrot
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 C. mayonnaise
3 T. pineapple juice
2 T. apple cider vinegar
salt/pepper, as desired

Cook macaroni per pkg.
directions; drain/cool.
Add grated carrot & celery &
mix. Whisk mayo, pineapple
juice & vinegar then pour over
noodles – toss to combine. Add
salt/pepper, to taste. Chill until
ready to serve. Serves 6


 Crockpot Pepper Steak

2 lb. beef sirloin cut into
2″ strips
garlic powder
3 T. vegetable oil
1 beef bouillon cube
1/3 C. hot water
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 large roughly chopped green
bell peppers
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
with juice
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat; season beef strips with garlic
powder then brown in oil. Once
browned, place strips in crockpot.
In large bowl mix bouillon cube with
hot water – dissolve then add cornstarch
& stir to dissolve; pour mixture over meat
in crockpot. Add onion, green peppers,
stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar &
salt – stir to combine. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High or 6-8 on Low.

Homade Pimento Cheese Spread

2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
4 oz. diced pimentos, drained
1/2 tsp. dried mustard

Using elec. mixer, in bowl mix
cheese & cream cheese together –
mix 2-3 minutes. Add mayo &
mix again. Add in seasonings –
stir everything together then
mix in pimentos. Refrigerate
at least 10-15 minutes before


Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

8 oz. uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 T. olive oil
1 C. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach,
3 C. cooked/cubed chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) container (Philadelphia)
chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Spread oil on bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan & add onion in single layer.
Bake 15 minutes just until tender.
Transfer onion to large bowl. Drain
chopped spinach well, pressing between
layers of paper toweling. Stir in cooked
rigatoni, spinach, chicken & next 4
ingredients – into onion in bowl. Spoon
mixture into prepared dish & sprinkle
evenly with shredded cheese. Bake,
covered, 30 minutes. Uncover & bake 15
minutes more until bubbly.

(recipe: facebook)

Crockpot Blueberry/Lemon Cobbler


32 oz. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1 T. lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
1/4 C. flour


2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. butter (2 sticks, chilled/
cut into bits)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream,
for topping cobbler, if desired

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place blueberries in bottom of
crockpot; sprinkle lemon juice on top.
In medium bowl mix sugar & lemon
zest, working zest into sugar with your
fingers to release the lemon oils in the
zest. Add flour & stir with a fork to
evenly combine flour with sugar. Sprinkle
mixture evenly over berries & toss to


In medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, lemon
zest, baking powder, salt & nutmeg using
a fork until well combined. Using 2 butter
knives or a pastry cutter, cut in cold bits
of butter into flour mixture until it
resembles a coarse meal with small pea-
sized pieces of butter. In small bowl whisk
eggs & vanilla with a fork & gently toss
egg mixture into flour/butter mixture
until moistened & dough starts to hold
together & create clumps of dough.
Sprinkle cobbler topping evenly over
blueberries in crockpot. Cover opening
of crockpot with paper towels or a clean
kitchen towel; cover with lid. (toweling
will absorb any condensation that will
collect on lid while cooking, preventing
it from dripping onto cobbler.) Cook
on High 3-4 hours until you can see the
juices from the blueberries bubbling
around edges of crockpot. Check
cobbler at 3 hour mark & only cook
for additional time if needed. Turn
off crockpot & carefully remove lid
& toweling. Let cobbler cool slightly
before serving. Serve with vanilla
ice cream or whipped cream, if
desired. Serves 8



I know that this week has been very trying
for SO many people in our country – prayers
sent out for all those that battled the storms &
fires – I can’t even imagine.

I noticed in our local paper that they are saying
the gas prices will rise due to the recent weather
situations; yesterday I observed our local station’s
prices are up to $2.59/9 (from $2.39/9) – it’s
understandable. I would imagine produce will
greatly increase in price as well as other items
that would normally be shipped by land; we’ll

Our weather is in the low 70’s during the day,
sunny (supposed to rain tomorrow).

Hoping you are all in good healthy and safety;





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!



Feeling MUCH Better, Thank You!

After living with my back being ‘less than great’ since Friday, I can now say that using the Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS therapy machine really worked to relax the muscles in my lower back. It took using it 5-6 times a day (half hour each session) but I finally don’t feel that pain and can stand up straight again! Thank You, Lord! I even cooked dinner last night (Potatoes O’Brian) – first time ‘testing’ how long I might be able to stand without pain or needing to sit down. Tonight is my special needs group – Music/Birthday Night – I’m going to attend but not stand up (much) if I can avoid it. For most of the evening I will be sitting at the piano, so that’s not a problem.

The evening before I felt the back injury I visited my oldest son’s family – while there I did a little ‘gentle’ wrestling with my older (10 1/2) grandson – there, I believe, was my mistake. Usually when he’s at our house we sit in my recliner & ‘wrestle’ – that’s fine. This time, it was sort of impromptu where I was standing up & he sort of ‘bent me over’, grabbing my neck which put my lower back into stress mode – didn’t hurt at the time but the next morning I couldn’t stand up straight without a lot of pain. This was my first visit with BOTH grandsons and it worked out great; I made sure I spent a good amount of time with older grandson FIRST before spending some time holding the baby.

As you can see, he loves his little brother!

He’s now a little over 3 weeks old


Pecan Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter,
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 2/3 C. corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil or parchment paper. In food
processor or large bowl, mix
together flour, sugar & salt until
combined. Slowly add in cold
butter & mix until mixture is
coarse & crumbly. Pour mixture
into prepared dish & press evenly
onto bottom & around edges to
form crust. Bake 20 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from oven.

In large bowl whisk eggs, corn syrup,
sugar, honey, butter & vanilla. Fold
in pecans & mix until thoroughly
coated – pour over hot crust. Return
to oven & bake 25-30 minutes until
filling has set. Remove & let cool
completely before removing using
foil, from baking dish. Cut into
bars. Makes 4 dozen


Crockpot Spicy Turkey Chili

1 lb. ground turkey
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
(unless you want more heat – leave
seeds in)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. fresh sweet corn kernels
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted
diced tomatoes
2 C. chicken broth

Suggested ‘toppers’:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat skillet over medium high heat.
Add gr. turkey & brown, breaking
apart with spatula; add diced
jalapenos to skillet & all dried spices.
Stir & cook until turkey is browned &
jalapenos begin to soften. Add mixture
to crockpot along with corn, tomatoes
& broth. Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours
or Low 4-6 (can cook on Low for up to
8 hours). Serve with shredded cheese &
sour cream, if desired. Serves 6


Cheesy Corn-stuffed Chicken

4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 ‘pouch’ Libby’s (frozen) Sweet Corn,
seasoning for chicken (salt/pepper or
taco seasoning)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make a horizontal sliced in side of
each chicken breast (making a pocket).
Mix cream cheese, corn & Pepper Jack
cheese & stuff breasts with mixture.
Place breasts on rimmed cookie sheet
& bake 20-25 minutes until chicken
is done & juices run clear. Serves 4


Open-faced BBQ Chicken Sandwich

1 loaf French bread
2 T. butter, softened
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
3/4 C. BBQ sauce
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
3 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice bread in half lengthwise.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil;
spray with nonstick spray. Place
bread on foil & spread 1 T. softened
butter on each half; place in oven to
toast slightly (4-5 minutes). Place
shredded chicken in a bowl & mix
with BBQ sauce. Place bowl in
microwave & heat 4 minutes. Stir
chicken mixture & place on toasted
bread. Sprinkle bread halves with
mozzarella cheese & place in oven
to melt – about 5 minutes. Spread
green onions & cilantro over both
halves & cut into serving sized
pieces. Serves 5-6


Simple Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange asparagus on rimmed
baking sheet. In small bowl combine
oil, sugar, salt/pepper – drizzle over
asparagus & toss gently until evenly
coated. Bake 15-20 minutes until
lightly browned & tender. Serve
immediately. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Dump &

Go Enchilada  Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
about 1 lb.
2 C. chicken stock
1 1/4 C. red enchilada sauce (one 10 oz
2 (14 oz, ea) cans black beans, drained/
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Optional garnishes:

chopped fresh cilantro
diced avocado
diced red onion
shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla strips/chips

Add all ingredients to crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High, or 6-8 hours
on Low until chicken is cooked
through & shreds easily. Use 2
forks to shred chicken. Serve
warm with optional garnishes.
Serves 4-6

This can be refrigerated in a sealed
container up to 5 days or frozen
for up to 3 months


Crockpot Elvis Pudding Cake

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant banana cream
pudding mix
3 C. cold milk
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (regular size)
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. peanut butter chips
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Optional toppings:
Whipped cream (or Cool Whip),
sliced fresh bananas

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl whish pudding mix
& milk 2 minutes – let stand another
2 minutes until soft-set – pour into crockpot.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions,
add in 1/2 C. peanut butter; pour cake
batter over pudding. Cover & cook on Low
3-3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle peanut butter chips &
chocolate chips on top. Cover crockpot but
turn it off
. Let stand 15 minutes to partially
melt the chips. Serve warm with optional
toppings. Serves 12



Craft-wise, since I’ve been ‘sitting’ a lot
more than I would normally, I’ve finished
up the 40 baby hats for our local hospital
and started knitting more for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby Shower coming in September.
Along with that project I made the ‘executive’
decision to rip out the green baby blanket
I’d been working on – the yarn is rather
heavy & bulky (and I don’t like knitting with
it!) so I came up with the idea to use it to
crochet a baby blanket instead. (Thank
you, Mary/Mama for the Diagonal Box
Stitch afghan pattern
!) That pattern will
work out MUCH better using this yarn
(in fact, I already started it today). Still
working on the other (thinner yarn) baby
blanket – not sure just yet where it will
be donated.

Weather-wise it’s been a very SPRING
weather – starts out a little chilly (in
the low 30’s) but then climbs to the
upper 40’s & sometimes 50’s! Sunny,
clear, light breeze (of course I’ve only
been able to observe this through the
windows – anxious to just GET OUT
for a change – been inside now for
5 days – ugh! Cabin Fever!)

Hope you are enjoying this lovely
SPRING! Soon we will be seeing
trees, bushes & flowers bursting
forth – can’t wait! We already are
hearing some of the birds singing –
love hearing them, too! Can’t wait
to spot my first Robin – in Michigan
that’s usually our first bird to return
from down South (kind of a Michigan
thing to see who spots one first!)



It’s almost here!


Finally finished up decorating the main tree, the lights around the fireplace & secretary AND got the presents wrapped – YAY! Only things left to do are bake a few things tomorrow & throw together (my first, ever) 3-Bean Salad (it has to marinate at least 12 hours) – those things are for Saturday. Sunday is church at 10:30 (have to be there at 10 a.m. for choir practice) then dinner at son’s house (time has not yet been decided). It feels GOOD to finally be ahead of schedule. Ran out to the store today for a few essentials: bread & eggs; came home with bananas, 2 boxes of ginger cookies, a small box of glazed donuts (the guys go through them like water), 3 bars of bath soap, 2 containers of hand soap – just a ‘few’things – hehehe


Today’s post will be COOKIES & DESSERTS!

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

2 C. crushed Oreo cookies
3 T. butter, melted
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 1/2 C. vanilla ice cream
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
15 peppermint (round) candies
2 T. chocolate (ice cream) shell

Remove ice cream from freezer &
leave to soften about 15 minutes.
Spray 9″ pie pan with nonstick
spray. Stir cookie crumbs & melted
butter in medium bowl; spread
mixture into pie pan & press evenly
over bottom & up sides of pan.
Freeze 10 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip, peppermint extract &
10 peppermint candies to blender;
blend until smooth; pour into pie
crust & freeze at least 3 hours. Crush
remaining candies. Immediately
before serving, top pie with
chocolate topping, additional
Cool Whip & crushed candies.
Serves 8

Magic Turtle Bars

2 C. crushed vanilla cookies (wafers)
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 bags (Kraft) caramel bits
2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Combine crushed cookies & butter
until crumbs are moist & spread
evenly in bottom of pan, pressing
down to form a crust. Layer rest of
ingredients: 1 bag choc. chips, caramel
bits, pecans (save about 1/4 C. for
top), second bag of choc. chips,
remaining pecans. Drizzle sweetened
cond. milk over entire pan, making
sure to cover all nooks & crannies.
Bake 25-30 minutes just until milk
begins to turn golden. Let cool
completely before cutting. Store
in airtight container.

NOTE: if you choose to refrigerate
these bars, let them come back
to room temperature before

Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. soft butter
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 bag white chocolate chips

Combine powdered sugar, salt,
butter & peanut butter in large
bowl, stirring until completely
mixed & smooth. Place dough
in fridge 20-30 minutes to firm

Cover a baking sheet
with parchment paper.
Roll approx. 1 T. of dough
in your hands & place on
prepared sheet; roll rest
of dough & place sheet
in fridge 30 minutes.

In medium microwaveable
bowl melt white chocolate
chips in 30 second intervals,
stirring until completely
smooth. Dip balls in chocolate,
return to lined sheet &
refrigerate until ready to serve.


Coconut Snowball Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. cornstarch
2 C. flour
1 C. finely shredded coconut
2 C. powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Mix butter on Medium speed
using elec. mixer until creamy. Add
2/3 C. powdered sugar & salt; mix
well. Add vanilla, cornstarch &
coconut; continue mixing on Low
speed gradually adding flour & mix
until evenly combined. Scoop 1 T.
dough at a time & roll into a ball;
place balls on prepared sheet. Bake
16-18 minutes until bottoms get
lightly golden.
Place 2 C. powdered sugar in a
pie pan/plate (for rolling cookies)
Remove from oven & cool a few
minutes. While cookies are still
warm, roll them in powdered
sugar; place on wire rack to
cool then roll once more in
powdered sugar. Makes 25

(NOTE: I…Pam, don’t do the
second powdered sugar coating,
makes them too messy to eat,
in my opinion!)

Martha Washington Balls

3 C. pecans
2 C. coconut
4 C. powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 jar maraschino cherries,
drained/patted dry
2 C. chocolate candy melts

Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper.
Place pecans & coconut in food
processor; pulse until finely
chopped. Using elec. mixer,
cream sugar & butter together
until light. Add milk & chopped
nuts/coconut – stir until well
mixed. Using your hands, take
a small amount of dough &
form around a cherry; place
on prepared sheet. Chill in
fridge 1 hour.
Place chocolate melts in a glass
bowl & melt in microwave on
High 30 seconds; stir & repeat
until all chocolate is melted &
smooth. Dip each ball into
chocolate, allowing excess to
drip back into bowl. Place balls
on parchment-lined baking sheet
& allow to harden. Makes 36

Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

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

In a pan bring sugar & milk to a
boil; boil 2 1/2 minutes. Remove
from heat & stir in peanut butter
& vanilla.

(recipe: Facebook)
Crockpot Candy Cane Bark

24 oz. white chocolate chips
1 box peppermint candy canes,

Place one gallon-sized ziplock bag inside
another 1 gallon ziplock bag (so you have
a double bag). Place candy canes in bag(s);
zip up, removing most of air. Using a rubber
mallet, hammer or end of a rolling pin,
crush candy canes until you have a nice
mixture of small chunks & candy cane dust.
(Line crockpot with liner if you want to
use one)
Pour both bags of white chocolate chips
into crockpot (NOTE: DO NOT spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.)
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour until chips
are melted enough that when stirred
they turn smooth. Be careful not to
overcook, as white chocolate chips
will burn. Line a large rimmed cookie
sheet with waxed or parchment paper.
Pour half of crushed candy canes into
melted white chocolate & stir until
well mixed & candy canes are covered
with melted white chocolate. Pour
melted white chocolate & candy cane
mixture into center or prepared cookie
sheet. Working quickly, spread candy
cane mixture evenly on cookie sheet
using a spatula, making sure there is no
overly thick or thin areas. Sprinkle
remaining candy cane pieces evenly
over top. Let candy harden at room
temp. a few hours (you can speed it
up by placing sheet in fridge). Flip
candy bark out of cookie sheet & peel
off paper; break bark into pieces. Store
in air tight container or package for
gift giving. Serves 15

NOTE: You can also use a food processor
to crush candy canes, being careful to
not over process – otherwise you end up
with just candy cane dust – with very few
little chunks


Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.


Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 C. white chocolate chips

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 T. orange juice

2 T. dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C. white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using stand mixer or large mixing
bowl, place butter & brown sugar;
mix until well combined. Add eggs,
one at a time, ginger, vanilla, 1/2
tsp. salt. Mix until mixture is smooth.
In small bowl mix together 1 tsp.
baking powder & 1 1/2 C. flour. Add
dry mixture to butter mixture & mix
until well combined (should take
a few minutes). Mix in chopped
cranberries & white choc. chips.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with non-
stick spray – place dough inside &
spread evenly using a knife. Bake
25-30 minutes until golden brown;
cool completely.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese,
butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, orange
zest & orange juice until well combined,
smooth & glossy. Spread over cooled
cake & top with chopped dried
Pour white choc. chips in microwave-
safe bowl; heat in 30 second intervals,
stirring between each. You want to
make sure the chocolate doesn’t get
too hot – it will clump up if heated
too fast. Drizzle melted chocolate over
bars & chill in fridge until chocolate
has set up & frosting has firmed up
a bit. Makes 16 bars


Since you know I can’t just sit with nothing
to work on, have started (don’t remember
if I posted this one or not yet) a men’s
(homeless) scarf using some of the yarn
that was in that HUGE donation I posted
a few days ago. It’s about 3/4 ths done now;
it’s an easy stitch so it goes fast:


The scarf starts out with a kind of

shiny dark charcoal, then goes to
white & gray – will end with the
dark charcoal. It doesn’t photograph
well – looks better in person.

Looking at all that yarn got me ‘desiring’
to crochet something. I’m only a beginner
when it comes to crochet, but wanted to
start a baby blanket using some of the
donated yarns. There were about 5 skeins
of this teal blue, decided to combine it
with white – reminds me of the colors
that were featured in the movie “Frozen”
(I didn’t see the movie, but saw all the
promotions/items featuring those two
colors together). I looked up a really
simple pattern, did 3 rows (in teal) and
decided it was rather boring looking so
then looked up another pattern – ended
up combining the two. The original
pattern called for casting on 61 stitches
for a baby blanket – well, that wasn’t
a good idea (too small) – I had already
done a good 10 rows before deciding
I’m just going to finish it then make a
wide teal & white border around it
to make it bigger – that should work.
(this one will be for Crisis Pregnancy


The white stitches don’t show
up very well – they sort of look like

Our weather is still nice – the bottom of
our driveway is actually totally CLEAR –
certainly makes getting in our drive a LOT

Hope you are happy with all of your
holiday preparations – don’t let them
BOG YOU DOWN! Take things a little
at a time – EVEN if that means that
some things just won’t get/be done!
I made the executive decision years
ago to no longer send Christmas
cards – I used to stress over it TOO
MUCH! The same decision came this
year about baking tons of cookies –
too much stress/too many calories!
I’m much happier for both decisions –
less stress makes a happier Pammie!

Enjoy your day!



Busy Week!


Sometimes it’s good to say: “Ah, time to rest!” This past week has been a bit of a rush! Helping middle son with his new job (read that: doing a LOT of praying for him to ‘GET’ all the details of it); watching grandson; leading special needs group (our leader had to go out of town); plus the various ‘normal’ duties of my job as Mom/Wife, etc. Yesterday was my husband’s & my 40th wedding anniversary – he told me to choose where we were going for dinner. I knew he wouldn’t want a fancy/dress up place, so I chose Joe’s Crab Shack. We’ve been there before, like the food, etc. BUT . . . we’d never been there on a weekend before – BIG MISTAKE! Service was REALllllllllllly slow, food was overcooked, they turned the music up to deafeningly loud (I complained and they explained that they do that when the wait staff has to DANCE! DANCE? WHO CARES!? My EARS are killing me! (I was very polite as I explained that the volume they had it at would cause someone who was prone to seizures to GO INTO ONE! They turned it down (no dancing). They told me that there are people who specifically come to the restaurant JUST to see them dance …WHAT? The manager came over & apologized – she said even SHE noticed it was way too loud! She told us that, normally, they would first turn the music DOWN, make an announcement that the wait staff was about to dance, THEN turn the music up (she said she could hear how loud it was IN THE KITCHEN, that’s why she came out!) Anyway, we told her just before she came over we were so upset we were ready to ask for our check and leave. I noticed the music stayed off UNTIL…right AFTER we went out the door, then it was back to screamingly loud – crazy! We both agreed (1) never to go there on a week end, again and (2) look for a better seafood restaurant – it was just not worth it.

Today found us going to church, coming home, changing clothes and going to watch grandson in his first-of-the-season football game (and his Dad, who is one of 6 coaches). The weather was good for it – clear and not too hot (mid 70’s). The other team out manned them by a good 3 to 1; grandson’s team had 1 extra player (not sure what they call them – the guys who fill in while other players are resting?) so grandson’s team ended up playing the entire game! They were exhausted . . . and it showed; the final score was something like 59 to ZERO! UGH! About half-way through the game it started raining – not heavy, but enough to get wet (wouldn’t you know it – I left our unbrellas in the car!). Oh well – such is life, eh?


Fresh Peach Ice Box Dessert

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
4 C. fresh ripe peaches, peeled/

In small bowl mix graham crumbs with
sugar. Place some of crumb mixture in
bottom of serving dish (save some crumbs
for garnish/topping).
Using elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
condensed milk until creamy, no lumps.
Stir in Cool Whip & mix until completely
blended. Fold in fresh peaches, reserving
some for topping. Scoop mixture into
serving dish & garnish with cracker crumbs
& fruit. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving;
best served cold. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Crockpot Enchiladas

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 C. finely chopped green bell
1 C. chopped onion
1 T. granulated chicken bouillon
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green chiles
1/3 C. water
5 (9 inch) flour tortillas, cut to fit
crockpot, if necessary
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Mexican 4-
cheese blend

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place oil, beef, bell pepper, onion &
bouillon in large skillet; cook over medium-
high heat, stirring frequently, 8-10 minutes
until beef is no longer pink & vegetables are
tender. Add beans, diced tomatoes & water –
mix well. Spread 1 1/2 C. mixture on bottom
of crockpot, top with 1 tortilla & 2/3 C. cheese –
repeat layers 4 times, ending with remaining
1/3 C. cheese. Cover & cook on Low 5 hours.
Serves 8

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie

4 T. butter
half of yellow onion, diced
2 ears sweet corn
2 large zucchini, sliced very thin,
(4 C.)
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. shredded cheese (poster
used Mozzarella & Swiss)
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Heat butter in large, deep skillet
over medium-high heat. Add onions,
zucchini & mushrooms. Cut corn kernels
off cob & add to pan. Continue to saute
until veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove
from heat. Once mixture cools, stir in herbs,
salt/pepper, cheese & beaten eggs. Line a
9 inch pie plate (or larger) with parchment
paper or spray with nonstick spray. Transfer
mixture to pie plate & arrange top so
zucchini slices lay flat & look nice. Top with
a little extra cheese, for looks. Cover with
foil you have sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake an
additional 5 minutes to brown top. Let
stand 10-15 minutes before cutting into
slices. Serves 6-8


Chicken & Fruit Salad

3 C. cooked chicken (white
meat), diced
1 C. chopped celery
1 Red Delicious apple, cored/
1 C. dried cranberries or cherries
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dill weed (chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
dash Tabasco sauce

(optional garnish: chopped dill)

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, Tabasco &
seasonings together until completely
blended. Place rest of ingredients in
large bowl & mix well. Blend wet
ingredients into chicken/apple, etc. &
mix well. Chill at least 2 hours before
serving. Garnish top with chopped dill,
if desired.


Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 C. sun dried tomatoes

Cooked pasta for 4-6

In large skillet add oil & cook
chicken on medium-high heat
3-5 minutes on each side until
brown on each side & no longer
pink in center. Remove from
skillet & place on a plate. Add
heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic
powder, Ital. seasoning & Parm.
cheese to skillet & whisk over
medium-high heat until it starts
to thicken. Add spinach & tomatoes;
let simmer until spinach starts to wilt.
Add chicken back to pan & serve over
cooked pasta, if desired. Serves 4-6


Hash Browns & Chicken
Brunch Casserole
(overnight recipe)

15 large eggs, beaten
1 (28 oz) pkg. frozen O’Brien
potatoes (with onions &
peppers in pkg)
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed,
1 1/2 C. milk
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese,
5 green onions, chopped
3 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In very large bowl combine eggs,
potatoes, chicken, milk, tomatoes,
1 C. cheese, green onions, cilantro,
seasonings – blend well & transfer
to a greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Cover & refrigerate several hours
or overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove from fridge & bake,
uncovered, 1 hr 15 minutes to
1 hour 30 minutes until golden
brown & a knife inserted in center
comes out clean. Let stand 5-10
minutes before serving. Serves 12


Un-stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. white buttom mushrooms
2 T. water
1/4 C. dried Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 T. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,
2 T. Italian parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. thyme (fresh or dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil (to drizzle)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice off bottom of stems; use a moist
paper towel to gently remove any
dirt from mushrooms. Quarter or halve
the mushrooms, depending on size.
Sprinkle water in bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan; place mushrooms in a
single layer on top of the water. In
small bowl combine next 6 ingredients
(breadcrumbs through salt/pepper).
Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of
mushrooms. Drizzle evenly with olive
oil then spray top with nonstick spray
& evenly coat. Bake, uncovered, until
mushrooms are golden, about 20
minutes. Serve hot or warm. Serves 4


Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

12 oz. fresh raspberries, washed/dried
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp.
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs (10-12
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl or mixer, mix cream cheese,
sugar & vanilla until smooth, then mix in
raspberries until broken down & incorporated,
yet still a little chunky. Fold in Cool Whip using
rubber spatula until just combined then freeze
1 1/2 – 2 hours until firm. Using small ice cream
scoop or tablespoon, scoop 1-2 inch balls of
mixture & roll in crushed graham crackers until
completely coated. Transfer to parchment paper-
lined baking sheet – continue with rest of mixture.
Place balls in freezer until ready to eat then let
sit at room temp. before serving. Serves 12



Another thing I’ve been busy doing is finishing (what I
‘thought’) was the first baby block. After sewing it all
up and stuffing it, it’s more like a baby BALL! It’s OK,
just much BIGGER than I originally planned. Not sure,
just yet, if I’ll pursue the blocks idea just yet – we’ll
see. Finished the blue/green baby afghan – that one is
going (along with 2 more) to Crisis Pregnancy Center.
The ladies in my knit group have been bringing in
some of their blankets & hats for the upcoming
pick-up (August 30th) for the Detroit Veteran’s
Hospital baby shower in September…so I’ve been
photographing them & putting them on our web
site so that the ladies who won’t be able to come
August 30th will still get to see ‘some’ of the
donations. Here’s the baby ‘block/BALL’ for my upcoming



Here’s the blue/green afghan for Crisis Pregnancy Center:


Lastly, here are 18 afghans, 14 hats & 10 baby headbands:







Not really sure just WHY my site won’t let me move the
photos together and add a ‘closing’ but I’m kind of ‘stuck’
right now so I’ll add the ending here instead – sigh.

Have a GREAT day!



Happy Wednesday!


It’s a gorgeous Summer day out today – 80 degrees F., sunny & clear skies. After the last 3-4 days of intermittent rain, it’s nice to see the sun again!

Been plugging away at the baby blocks and STRUGGLING with the intarsia. I decided I wanted a smiley face on one of the block sides; got it all drawn on the grid paper and knit maybe 1/3 of it – up to where you begin to knit in the mouth – disaster! I’m guessing I ripped it out a good 8 times, re-knit, rip, re-think/re-knit, etc. until I finally decided there was NO way I could KNIT the mouth & eyes without the mouth looking like some sort of scary Halloween pumpkin face! Ended up drawing on my old embroidery skills – cross stitch for the mouth & eyes, and Lazy Daisey for the outline of the face (took me awhile to remember the ‘trick’ to that last stitch – must have attempted it a good 8-10 times before finally it clicked). Here is what the baby block looks like on the BACK SIDE (before I sew it up & stuff it)


All the ‘mess’ of yarn ‘strings’ everywhere are called ‘floaters’ – you basically knit with one color (say white) for maybe 6 stitches, then drop that yarn, pick up the next color (say yellow) and knit 4 stitches, drop that/pick back up the white and keep going. All the yarn you are NOT using at the time just ‘floats’ at the back of the work until you need it. It’s a mess on the back but makes nice pictures on the front. Here’s that same block on the front side:


One block almost done, 2 more to go (or more, depending on my moods!) The multi-colored squares are the top/bottom of the block.


No-Bake Caramel Shortbread Pie

2 C. crushed shortbread cookies
(reserve 1 T. for topping)
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. sugar

Caramel Filling:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1/2 C. caramel dessert topping
1 T. vanilla
1/4 C. heavy cream
Cool Whip, thawed

Mix all ingredients in medium
bowl; press into bottom & barely
up sides of 8 inch pie plate.

Beat cream cheese, caramel topping
& vanilla in large bowl using elec.
mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Gradually beat in heavy cream just until
blended. Beat on medium-high speed
2 minutes until fluffy then spoon into
crust & smooth out.  Top with Cool
Whip & refrigerate 3 hours until set.
When ready to serve, drizzle top with
additional caramel topping & sprinkle
with reserved shortbread crumbs.
Store leftovers in refrigerator.


Spicy Zucchini Soup

4 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds/
stems/ribs removed (& discarded),
3 cloves garlic minced
2 lb. chopped zucchini (skin on),
about 5-6 C.
1 1/2 C. chopped day-old bread
3 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 C. water
1/2 C. fresh mint leaves (spearmint),
loosely packed/chopped
1/2 C. fresh cilantro, loosely packed,
chopped (optional)
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high
heat. Add onion & jalapeno, saute 4-5
minutes until onions are translucent but
not browned. Add garlic & zucchini;
saute 3-4 minutes longer, stirring often.
Sprinkle with salt. Add bread, broth &
water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat &
simmer gently 20 minutes. Remove from
heat; add mint & cilantro (if using). Puree
in a blender or food processor until
smooth, working in batches if necessary (or
use an immersion blender). Return soup
to pot, add lemon juice, salt/pepper, to
taste. Serve hot or chilled. Serves 4

NOTE: keeps a week, refrigerated


Crockpot Chicken in Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (or tenders)
3 T. butter, divided
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed
1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 large zucchini
fresh, chopped basil

Can be served by itself OR
with cooked pasta

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt 1 T. butter & 1 T. olive oil.
Season chicken with garlic powder,
salt/pepper & cook on each side
until lightly browned (about 3-4
minutes) then place in crockpot.
Add both cans tomatoes, tomato
sauce, Ital. seasoning & remaining
2 T. butter. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours until
chicken is cooked through*.
Taste sauce & add more seasonings,
if desired. Spiralize (or slice thin)
zucchini & add to crockpot. Cover &
cook in sauce until softened, 10-15
minutes longer. Garnish with fresh
chopped basil. Serves 4

*If using tenders: reduce time to
2-3 hours on High or 4-6 hours
on Low

NOTE: If sauce is too acidic for your taste,
you can stir in a few tablespoons of cream
or milk.


Cucumber Sandwich Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise (can add
more, if needed)
1 medium cucumber, peeled/
seeded & finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fresh dill or 1/4 tsp.
dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Place cucumber in a colander
& press to remove excess water.
Place cream cheese & may in a
blender or food processor &
pulse until smooth. Combine
cream cheese mixture, cucumber,
dill & garlic salt & place in a bowl.
Chill until ready to serve to allow
flavors to blend.
Makes 1 C.- total or 6-8 servings


Creamy Broccoli/Bacon Bake

6 C. broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 green onions, sliced
3/4 C. Kraft “shredded Triple
Cheddar Cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia” cheese
4 slices fully cooked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add broccoli & carrots to saucepan of
boiling water; cook 2-3 minutes until
crisp-tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 C.
cooking water. Mix next 3 ingredients
until blended. Return cooked veggies
to saucepan; add cream cheese mixture
& onions; stir until veggies are evenly
coated with sauce, adding reserved
cooking water, if necessary, for desired
consistency. Spoon mixture into 2 Qt.
casserole dish that has been sprayed
with nonstick spray. Top mixture with
shredded cheese & bacon, cover with
foil. Bake 25 minutes until heated
through, uncovering last 5 minutes
of baking time. Serves 8 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Tuna Patties

2 (5 oz, ea) cans chunk light tuna in
water, drained/flaked
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stuffing mix for chicken
1 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 C. mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients & refrigerate
10 minutes then stir. Heat large nonstick
skillet sprayed with cooking spray to
medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop,
make patties & place in skillet. Flatten
into patties with back of a spatula. Cook
6 minutes or until golden brown on both
sides, carefully turning after 3 minutes.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

California Club Pasta Salad

1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 C. rotini pasta, cooked/rinsed
under cold water
1 C. coarsely chopped romaine
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 C. chopped plum tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Mix ranch dressing with Miracle
Whip until blended. Combine all
remaining ingredients (except bacon)
in large bowl. Add dressing mixture &
mix lightly. Refrigerate 1 hour. Top
with bacon just before serving.
Serves 6, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Crockpot Sour Cream Chocolate
Zucchini Bread

1 egg
1/3 C. oil
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded zucchini
1/4 C. cocoa powder

Spray one 8 X 4″ loaf pan
with nonstick spray. In bowl
beat eggs, oil, vanilla & sugar until
light & fluffy. Add sour cream; mix
well. Add flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt & cocoa powder – mix well
then add zucchini – stir, by hand, until
just mixed – pour into prepared pan.
Place a small rack in bottom of crockpot*
Place loaf pan on top of rack. Place 2
paper towels on top of crockpot & secure
towels with lid. Cook on High 2-3 hours
depending on how hot crockpot cooks.
Test with a wooden toothpick. Cool in
pan on a baking rack before removing
from pan. Makes 1 loaf.

NOTE: *If you don’t have a rack, ball up
a few pieces of foil & place pan on top.

You can double this recipe & make muffins,
or half muffins/half 1 loaf bread.


Gas prices in the area have crept up a little
from $2.29/9 to $2.36/9 – as my husband
keeps reminding me: “At least they’re not
at $4.00 a gallon!”

Last night was my knit/crochet group and
we had 16 ladies all kind of crammed in;
some of them brought the baby items
they had knit/crocheted for the Detroit
Veterans Hospital’s Baby Shower – the
lady from the hospital is coming next
meeting (August 30th) to pick it all up.
Today found me sorting through the items
and writing out little tags for each that read:

“Made especially for you by: (first name, last
Waterford-Area Knitters & Crocheters”

Then I had to attach each tag to the item (the
hospital likes the ladies to know that there
was someone who personally made their gifts.
With just what I have here at the house now,
we have 18 afghans, 10 hats, 10 baby headbands.
I know that the next meeting will be pretty hectic,
with people coming in with bags. I feel bad that
on the collection day I’m not able to individually
photograph EACH item, but I am going to take
the ones that are here and photo them on my
picnic table some time soon so that the ladies
who can’t attend on ‘pick up’ day will at least
see ‘some’ of the donations. My ladies are
awesome when it comes to charity events.
One of my ladies crocheted 6 blankets and 8
hats! That’s a LOT (some ladies only do one hat
or one blanket – not that I’m complaining – I’ll
take whatever they want to make!)

A little later on I have a quick trip to the library
to pick up more books by my (now) favorite
author Lincoln Child, then a trip to the town-
ship offices to pay our Summer taxes (oh, joy).
Tonight’s special needs group is all set up: we’re
singing AND our one male helper/leader is going
to lead them in a new song he taught them a
few weeks ago, it’s called “the Fruits of the Spirit”
and I found a coloring page (free/on line) that
has that very thing on it! YAY! The night should
go pretty quickly and some of our kids are away
at camp, so it will be a smaller group – should be

Not much else new right now – lunch with my
friend yesterday was good – lots of chatting. The
food was ‘so-so’, I had a taco salad and I’ve never
before seen anyone put sliced radishes on one
(picked them off) – they put the chicken in big
chunks in the bottom of the tortilla ‘bowl’ then
shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, a little
shredded cheese & a huge dollop of sour cream;
kind of bland/blah – no beans, onion, etc. Will
not be going there again (only good thing? it
only cost $5.99).

Have a GREAT day!



Craft Stuff

Totally forgot to post the finished baby blankets! First up is the knit ‘dish cloth pattern’ blanket (center 2 squares are crocheted)


Next is another simple pattern (I’ve done it before using different colors for the accent ‘ruffles’


Two of the baby headbands – more to come (headbands are knit/flowers crocheted)




I’m nothing if not PERSISTENT!


For those of you who know me – one thing I am is: PERSISTENT! Definition here:”continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Today is another of those: JUST GOTTA days – meaning I saw a knit AND a crochet pattern and I JUST GOTTA conquer them! I’m not a ‘great’ crocheter’ but I usually can figure out beginner patterns. Facebook had a really pretty crocheted afghan square I would like to ‘attempt’ to crochet. It’s taken me almost 4 tries at just copying it! Turns out, after careful examination – this will be a (what do you call them?) Partial directions given over FOUR WEEKS! UGH! Think I got DAY 1 down – we’ll see how this goes. As to the other pattern, it’s a knit dishcloth pattern (somewhat similar to the crocheted one). I have done what’s called “Corner – to – Corner” squares before (it means you start with a very few stitches and keep knitting/adding stitches then decreasing – you are basically knitting a KITE! Guess I can’t copy/paste the photo from the site but when/IF I get one made I’ll photo it. I love a challenge and I AM obstinate when it comes to being able to conquer something that seems ‘do-able’ to me. We’ll see how this goes!


Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

2 boxes fresh strawberries, hulled
1 box white cake mix
3/4 C. Greek vanilla yogurt
2 egg whites
1 1/3 C. water
1 bag white chocolate chips

wooden skewers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl mix together cake mix,
yogurt, egg whites & water – mix until
smooth & pour into prepared pan. Bake
20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cut shortcake
into 2 inch cubes. Using skewers, place 3-4
cubes of cake & 3-4 strawberries, alternating,
on each stick. In a glass bowl melt chocolate
in microwave about 2 minutes, stirring every
30 seconds until melted. Once fully melted,
insert it into a large zip lock bag & cut off
the corner tip. Place a sheet of waxed paper
under a wire rack & place skewers on rack.
Drizzle melted chocolate onto skewers &
refrigerate to set. Makes 22-26 skewers


Over Night Layered Salad

1 medium head iceberg lettuce, torn
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced, separated
into rings
2 C. frozen peas (about 10 oz)
1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
12 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
3/4 C. dried cranberries

In 4 qt or 9 X 13″ glass dish layer
first 5 ingredients. In small bowl
mix mayo & sugar; spoon over salad,
spreading to cover. Sprinkle top with
cheese, bacon & cranberries. Refrigerate,
covered, overnight. Serves 16 (1 C. each)


Cattle Drive Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. diced onion
1 bell pepper, diced
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded/
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes
with green chiles
2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 1/4 C. water, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef in large skillet; drain
& add diced onion, bell pepper, taco
seasoning & 1/2 C. water – simmer 10
minutes until onion & pepper are
softened. In a bowl combine sour
cream, mayonnaise, 1/2 C. Cheddar
cheese & green chilies. Stir Bisquick
& 3/4 C. water together in a bowl to
make a soft dough (you may need a
bit more water). Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Press dough
into bottom of dish & bake 5 minutes.
Top cooked dough with ground beef
mixture, the Ro*tel (spread evenly),
sour cream mixture & sprinkle
remaining Cheddar cheese on top.
Bake 30 minutes. Serves 6


Chicken Tortilla Wraps

2 large frozen chicken breasts
1 can (Ro*tel) tomatoes with
green chiles, mild (or original)
1 (15.25 oz) can whole corn, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed/
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 pkt. Ranch dressing mix (dry)
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder

flour tortillas
shredded cheese
sour cream
chopped avocado

Place frozen chicken, Ro*tel, corn,
black beans, cream cheese, ranch
seasoning, cumin, onion powder &
chili powder in crockpot. Turn on Low,
cover & cook 6 hours until chicken is
done, stirring every hour or so. Remove
chicken & shred then return to pot;
stir. Serve immediately.
METHOD: Place some chicken mixture
on tortilla, add cheese, sour cream,
avocado or any other desired toppings.
Serves 6

NOTE: This meal works well for a freezer
meal. Place chicken, Ro*tel, corn, black
beans, cumin, onion powder, chili powder
in a gallon-size freezer bag. When ready
to eat, put frozen ingredients into crockpot
& set on Low. Add cream cheese & follow
cooking directions above.

Baked Pepperoni Pizza Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. whole mozzarella cheese, shredded-
plus more for topping
1 C. pepperoni, sliced to half moons
1/4 C. chopped basil
2 T. olive oil

tortilla chips
thick sliced bread

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl mix cream cheese, sour
cream, Mozza. cheese, pepperoni, basil
& olive oil. Spray a small casserole dish
with nonstick spray and pour mixture
in, spreading to even out top. Sprinkle
more Mozz. cheese on top; place
pepperoni halves on top & bake 25
minutes until mixture is bubbly & cheese
has melted. Serve hot with tortilla chips
or sliced bread.  Serves 6-8


Crockpot Italian Seasoned Potatoes

3 large yellow potatoes*
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Italian salad dressing**

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Scrub potatoes until clean; cut into
cubes & place in crockpot. Drizzle with
olive oil & sprinkle with salad dressing
mix. Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours or
Low 4-6 hours until potatoes are tender.
(*Yellow potatoes will cook a lot quicker than
russet so keep that in mind if you choose
a different potato) Stir potatoes gently &
serve. Serves 4

**Homemade Italian Dressing mix:

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. sugar
2 T. oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. ground basil
1 T. chopped parsley
2 T. salt

In airtight container  mix all ingredients &
store with lid on tightly.


Shredded Philly Cheese Steaks

3-4 lb. bottom beef round roast
salt/pepper/onion powder
cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1.1 oz) pkt. (Lipton) beefy onion
soup mix
1 bell pepper, seeded/sliced
1 white onion, sliced
1 C. water

For Serving:
sliced Swiss cheese
Hoagie rolls or sliced French bread

Place large skillet on stove on medium-
high – when pan is hot add oil. Place
roast in pan & brown on all sides then
place in crockpot. Add garlic, onion soup
mix, bell peppers & onions – pour water
over all. Cover & cook on Low 8 hours
WITHOUT opening lid during cooking time.
When meat is done, shred using 2 forks
right in the crockpot (discard any fatty
pieces). Let meat & juices settle a few
minutes to allow grease to rise to the
top. Use a paper towel to lay over meat
& remove towel immediately. Most of grease
will be on the paper towel – discard
paper towel. Serve on sliced rolls or
bread topped with Swiss cheese. Serves 6

NOTE: If you want the cheese melted, place
cheese topped sandwiches in oven under
the broiler until cheese melts.


 Boston Cream Poke Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (4 serving size) vanilla or French
vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1 C. water

2 boxes (4 serving size, ea) OR 1 box
(5.1 oz) “Family Size” instant vanilla
pudding mix
milk to prepared the boxes for PIE

1 C. heavy cream
8 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Place all cake ingredients in large
bowl; beat at medium speed using elec.
mixer 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan &
bake 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Remove from
oven & cool 5 minutes. Using handle of a
wooden spoon, poke holes all over top of
cake (every 2 inches) then cool cake
completely. When cake is cooled, prepare
pudding by placing milk & pudding mix in
large bowl & beating at Low speed 1 minute.
Pour over top of cake & spread evenly. Chill at
least 3 hours.
Heat cream almost to boiling; remove from
heat & add chocolate chips – let stand 5
minutes then whisk until smooth. Pour over
top of cake & chill 1 hour. Serves 12


Today has been a really quiet one (for a change); both
sons are off/out visiting friends. Husband & I are quietly enjoying the peace – YAY! Weather is around 80, some sun – nice enough for me. Not much planned – kind of mulling over what to make for dinner; earlier husband and one son BOTH decided to make themselves eggs (each at different times). MY plan was Steak & Eggs – but not sure if they will even be interested – considering . . . sigh.

Hope your day has been as lovely as you planned;



A nice, quiet day – so far!

dont let people discourage you

Saw this and thought it was cute!

It’s rather gray and gloomy out today – low 50’s and we’re supposed to get rain a little later (sure looks like it!). Finished both baby afghans yesterday and finally have photos for them (they are both going to the Detroit Veterans Baby Shower in September).


This is the Diagonal Box Stitch afghan (crocheted) – the yarn is white & blue twist which, when worked up, comes out looking like denim!


This one is the mint green knit “Plume Pattern” (same as the baby blanket

I posted the photo of yesterday for my friend’s baby – except I didn’t border this in another color)


Chocolate Revel Bars

1 1/2 C. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter/divided
1/2 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 8 X 8″ or 9 X 9″ baking pan
with parchment paper, then spray
with nonstick spray. Combine flour,
oats, baking soda & salt in small
bowl. In large bowl cream 6 T. butter
& sugar until lightened in color & fluffy.
Beat in egg & vanilla, then slowly beat
in dry ingredients. In a double boiler
(or microwave, in 30-second intervals)
melt condensed milk, choc. chips &
remaining butter – stir until completely
melted & smooth. Spread 2/3 of cookie
dough mixture & pack into prepared
baking dish. Top with melted chocolate
& gently tap dish against a hard
surface so that it spreads out & evenly
coats the dough. Spoon remaining
cookie dough mixture over top of
chocolate & bake 25-30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Remove from
oven & let cool completely before
cutting into 1″ X 2″ squares.


Chicken Bruschetta Bake

1/2 C. flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. dry Italian bread crumbs
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 C. diced tomatoes
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. olive oil
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
(or 1 tsp. dried)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Mix bread crumbs & 1/4 C. Parm.
cheese – place in a shallow pie plate.
Place flour in another pie plate & eggs
in a separate pie plate. Dip chicken into
flour, then eggs, then bread crumb/cheese;
place in prepared dish – repeat with rest
of chicken. Pour melted butter on top of
chicken. Bake 30 minutes until insides are
no longer pink.
While chicken bakes, mix tomatoes, garlic,
oil, cheese, basil, bals. vinegar & salt/pepper.
Let stand 15 minutes so flavors can meld.
When chicken is done, spoon some of
tomato mixture on each chicken breast &
serve.  Serves 5


Crockpot Tex-Mex Cheese Dip
(Queso Blanco)

1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can petite cut
diced tomatoes with jalapenos,
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green
chiles, undrained
1 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lb. white American cheese
(from the deli)

tortilla chips, for dipping

Place diced onion in medium sized
microwaveable bowl; cover loosely
with plastic wrap. Microwave on
High 2 minutes. Combine onion, garlic,
and next 5 ingredients in 4 qt. crockpot.
Tear cheese slices into large pieces & add
to crockpot, stirring until blended. Cover
& cook on Low 2 hours (do not overcook).
Stir dip before serving; keep warm.
Makes 6 cups


Crockpot Cube Steaks & Onion Gravy

4 beef cubed steaks
1/2 of large onion, diced
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 C. beef broth

Cooked mashed potatoes/rice/or
noodles for 4

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place steaks in crockpot & sprinkle
diced onion on top. Stir together soup,
dry soup mix & beef broth – pour over
top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.
Serve with cooked mashed potatoes,
rice or noodles. Serves 4


Easy Peasy Party Crackers

5 sleeves saltine crackers
1 1/4 C. canola oil
1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Place crackers on their sides (like they
were in the sleeve) in rows of a plastic
container with a tight fitting lid. (Don’t
worry if they don’t all fit, just place as
many as you can). Pour oil in a 1 pint
canning jar; add dressing mixes & Parm.
cheese – screw on lid & shake jar well.
Slowly pour all of mix over each row of
crackers. Place on lid & flip container
over. Let stand 5 minutes; flip container
back over & let stand 5 minutes. Repeat
every 5 minutes for 1 hour. Serve.
Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed
container up to 1 week.


Garlicky Shrimp Stir Fry

4 baby bok choy
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms
1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled/
1/2 C. chicken or veg. stock
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. mirin (or rice vinegar)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Cooked rice or noodles for 4

Cut bok choy crosswise into 1/2 inch
slices, keeping leaves & stalks separate.
Stem shiitakes & thinly slice caps. In
small bowl whisk stock, cornstarch &
mirin. In large nonstick pan heat sesame
oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add bok choy stalks & mushrooms spread
in a single layer. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt &
pepper – cook, without moving, until starting
to brown on bottom, 2-3 minutes. Stir & cook
until softening, 2-3 minutes. Add crushed red
pepper, garlic, ginger & bok choy leaves – stir
to combine. Cook about 1 minute. Season
shrimp on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper.
Add to vegs & cook just until pink, 1-2 minutes
per side. Push all ingredients to outer edges of
pan. Pour stock into center & simmer until
thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir everything
together to combine & coat, then remove pan
from heat. Taste & adjust salt/pepper, as
needed. Serve over rice or cooked noodles,
if desired. Serves 4


Calzone Pinwheels

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. diced pepperoni
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) pkg. refrigerated crescent
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl mix first 9 ingredients.
Unroll crescent dough & separate into
4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal.
Spread rectangles with cheese mixture
to within 1/4 inch of edges. Roll up,
jelly-roll style, starting with a short
side; pinch seams to seal. Using a
serrated knife, cut each roll into four
slices. Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick spray & place slices on sheet,
cut sides down. Bake 12-15 minutes until
golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.
Makes 16 appetizers


Death by Chocolate Banana Bread

1/2 C. butter, melted (plus more for
buttering pan)
1 c. flour (plus more for flouring pan)
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 super-ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour 9 X 5″ loaf pan. In
large bowl whisk flour, cocoa, baking
soda & salt. In another large bowl
combine sugar, butter, buttermilk,
vanilla, egg & egg yolk until smooth.
Pour wet ingredients over dry & stir
until combined. Fold in choc. chips
& mashed bananas. Pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake about 60
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let cool
at least 10 minutes in pan before
turning out onto a wire rack to finish


Not much happening around here today –
hope that YOU have a GREAT day filled
with some laughter, rest and peace.



Only in Michigan –


I know you’ve seen this one before, but –

Driving to church this morning in 42 degrees and light SNOW! Thank heavens it didn’t stick around – temps are “supposed” to go ‘up’ to 46 – still: BRrrrrrrrrr!

The baby that I knit the blanket, hat & booties for is coming home from the hospital today and his parents posted this photo on Facebook:


with the comment: “Going home warmed by knitted goodies from Pam L – he’s already spoiled!” (it’s nice to see my gifts are being used- in another photo of him he has on the VERY TINY booties I knit; I did 4 pairs, I think but those were the newborns and they fit!)

Today was a ‘learning/experimenting’ day for me. My hair doesn’t have much curl – when I was a child it was like a Brillo Pad (*see explanation below) – very frizzy, but now that I’m much older, it’s mostly straight. Lately I’ve been having trouble getting it to even hold a curl for 3 hours (church time/Sunday mornings). It ‘used’ to stay semi-curled for the entire day – no longer – it goes straight even before I leave the house! UGH! I saw a video on Facebook for using ‘rags’ to curl your hair; my Mom used to do that when I was really young so I decided to give it a try last night. My hair is almost to my waist and rather thick, so you can guess how that procedure went – took about 45 minutes to get it all up in rags. (mind you, with that length, I could only roll up about a foot of it but was really hoping for some sort of nice waves/curls). That hope was NOT TO BE: you guessed it – took out the rags, attempted to brush it…TOTAL FRIZZ! I showed my husband and his comment was: “Well, maybe if you brush it!”… I DID! Ended up wetting it all down (to straight) and resorting to my regular style these days: pulled back into a pony tail then twisted up in a tight ‘tail’ and held in place by a big hair clip. It looks good (I sort of look like a secretary with it that way) but guess my hopes of curls just went off into the sunset.

*For those of you who don’t know what a Brillo Pad is: it’s a steel wool scrubbie: like an SOS pad – steel wool all bunched up into lots of steel wool frizzies.


Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

4 eggs, room temp./separated into
whites & yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 C. milk, lukewarm
1 T. powdered sugar (for dusting top)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking pan with nonstick
spray & line with parchment paper. Beat
egg whites in a bowl until stiff. Whisk egg
yolks, vanilla & sugar until creamy. Add
melted butter; mix half minute. Add flour
& cocoa; mix using a spatula until well
incorporated. Pour milk gradually in &
continue beating. Add in egg whites,
one third at a time & gently stir using
spatula – do not overmix, just stir a few
times; pour mixture into prepared pan
& bake 60 minutes. Remove from oven
& let cool, 1 hour. Dust top with
powdered sugar & cut. Refrigerate


Italian Crescent Casserole

1 lb ground beef, cooked/drained
1 C. garlic/tomato spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In skillet mix cooked beef & spaghetti
sauce; heat over medium heat until
warm. Separate crescent dough into
8 triangles & place in ungreased 9″
glass pie plate in a wheel/spoke
pattern with narrow tips overlapping
rim of plate about 3 inches. Press
dough in sides & bottom of pan to
form crust & cover the pan. Sprinkle
about 1 C. cheese over dough. Spoon
meat mixture evenly over cheese. Bring
tips of dough over filling to meet in
center, do not overlap. Sprinkle top
with remaining cheese then sprinkle
with basil. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Serves 4


1-Skillet Mexican Beef & Rice

1/2 onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. taco seasoning (1 or 2 pkts)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C. fire-roasted corn kernels, drained
(or you can use regular corn kernels)
3/4 C. white long grain rice, uncooked
2 C. beef broth
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby-Jack cheese

Taco Topping:
sour cream
diced avocado
sliced black olives
chopped cilantro

Cook onion in large skillet over medium heat
1-2 minutes; add ground beef & cook until no
longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning, diced
tomatoes, corn, rice & beef broth – stir until
combined. Bring to small boil; reduce heat to
simmer & cover. Cook 20 minutes, stirring at
10 minutes. Stir & top with shredded cheese.
Cover & cook on Low 3 minutes until cheese
is melted. Top with Taco toppings of your choice.
Serves 4-6


Baked Reuben Sliders

1 pkg. Hawaiian Sweet rolls, sliced open
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
1/4 – 1/2 .b. corned beef, sliced thin
1 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed/drained
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish. Place
bottoms of rolls in dish. Spread 1/4 C.
Thous. Isl. dressing on roll bottoms. Lay
corned beef slices on roll bottoms, followed
by sauerkraut. Lay Swiss cheese slices on top.
Spread remaining Thous. Is. dressing over
inside of top halves of rolls & place on top
of the Swiss cheese. Using a pastry brush,
spread butter over tops of rolls. Bake 15-20
minutes until cheese is completely melted.
Remove from oven & cut each roll out;
place on a plate & serve. Serves 12


Amish Breakfast Potato & Sausage

1/2 lb. bacon
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 large baked potatoes, cooled/
shredded (about 4 C.) OR 4C. frozen
shredded hash browns – completely
1 small onion, finely diced
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded/
8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded/divided
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon & sausage in skillet; remove
to paper towel-lined plate. Saute onion
in skillet*. When bacon & sausage have
cooled, sliced into bite-sized pieces. In large
bowl combine shredded potatoes with salt/
pepper, garlic powder & hot sauce. Stir in
cottage cheese & all but 1/4-1/2 C. of each
cheese. Stir in bacon & sausage (reserve
1/4 C. of each for top.) Stir in sauteed vegs
& eggs. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & spread mixture into pan.
Top with reserved cheese, bacon & sausage.
Bake 35-40 minutes until all cheese has
melted/bubbling & casserole has set-up
in middle. You can remove from oven OR
place under broiler a few minutes to brown
the cheese. Allow casserole to cool a few
minutes then cut into servings.

*You can add chopped/sauteed red or green
bell peppers, sliced zucchini or sliced mushrooms
which have been sauteed.


Crockpot Pork Chop Delight

1/2 C. plus 2 T. flour, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
4 boneless pork chops
2 T. oil
1 onion, sliced
2 C. chicken broth
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

cooked rice or egg noodles for 4

Mix 1/2 C. flour, salt/pepper in shallow
bowl. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high
heat. Coat chops well with flour mixture
then brown in heated oil – place chops in
crockpot. Arrange onion slices on top &
pour broth over all. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours.

Mix sour cream & 2 T. flour until well
combined; add to juices in crockpot &
stir. Cover & cook on High an additional
15-30 minutes until gravy thickens. Serve
over cooked rice or noodles. Serves 4

Almond Coffee Cake

2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 C. plain Greek yogurt

Streusel Filling & Topping
1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick cold, unsalted butter
3/4 C. chopped almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl whisk
flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt
& cinnamon. Using elec. mixer, cream
butter & sugar until fluffy, about 3
minutes. Add eggs, one-at-a-time, &
beat until smooth. Beat in both
extracts & yogurt; mix until well
combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients;
mix until just combined.

To prepare topping:
In medium bowl add flour, brown sugar &
cinnamon – stir well with wooden spoon.
Work butter into mixture with your fingertips
until evenly distributed; stir in 1/2 C. chopped
nuts. Pour half coffee cake batter into prepared
pan (batter will be thick). Sprinkle half of
topping over batter; spoon remaining batter
on top, spreading gently. Sprinkle with
remaining topping & top with remaining
1/4 C. chopped nuts.
Bake 45 minutes until golden & a wooden
toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool to room temp & cut into squares.
Serves 9-12


I don’t know about your area, but here
gas prices have jumped again – regular is
now up to $2.24/9 a gallon.

I finished the blue/white diagonal box
crocheted baby blanket; will have to
post the photo in the next blog as right
now I’m unable to take a photo, but it
came out nicely (I think). Still have about
a foot of blanket to knit on the green
“Plume pattern” (same as the blue
blanket in the above baby photo) then
about 6 rows of border and that one will
be done. Looking at new patterns to start
another blanket this week (looking is the
FUN part!).

Hope you are in good health and enjoying
WHATEVER weather you have in your area
this mid-May day!