Almost there!

Slowly but surely we’re getting the decorating done – ONE tree up/ONE left to do (the tiny one on top of the baby grand piano). Got ALL the house decorations up – YAY! Last night while I was watching the cooking channel my husband comes in and says: “Let’s go – we’re going to try ONE MORE TIME to find your ceramic snowmen.” (Let’s just say I wasn’t really in the mood, but I went, anyway.) He poked & prodded spots I’d already checked multiple times but then . . . he says: “What’s in THIS box?” I said; “I don’t know – it’s not with the Christmas stuff, I didn’t check that.” He says: “Well, isn’t’ that a snowman sticking out?” YEP!!! YAY!!! I was thrilled, been bugged about not finding them for days now (prayed on it, too). While I’m putting them in their respective places he says “Let me see one of those” – he looks on the bottom & goes on line (I’d done this a few years ago but didn’t get anywhere) – turns out he found the company that makes them AND some that were for sale on EBay & Amazon! I checked – he said: “If you really like them – GET THEM!” So . . . long story short – I have three coming in the mail! SUPER! (I leave them up after Christmas because they just cheer up the house a bit).

This is one of them – I just love the details in them – each one looks like it’s knitted, etc. SO CUTE!


Pumpkin Cookies w/Brown Butter

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. clove
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugars.
Add pumpkin, egg & vanilla -beat
until well-blended. In another large
bowl combine remaining ingredients
(all dry ingredients). Add dry to pumpkin
mixture & beat until just combined.
Drop on cookie sheets by Tablespoonfuls
& flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes until
edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies
to a wire rack & cool completely.

In medium bowl place powdered sugar. Melt
butter in a small saucepan over medium heat,
stirring frequently until golden brown. It will
develop brown flecks & a nutty fragrance –
about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool 2-3
minutes & pour over powdered sugar. Add milk
& vanilla – vigorously whisk mixture until smooth.
Icing should be thin enough to spread, but not
runny or drippy. Add additional milk or powdered
sugar as needed, to achieve desired consistency.
Spread approximately 1 T. icing on each cookie.
Allow to set before serving. Makes 36 cookies


Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
4 T. flour
4 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth, warmed
1 (12-24 oz.) pkg. tortellini
(poster used fresh)

Place tomatoes in blender; add flour,
melted butter, salt & a dash or 2 of
pepper – blend until smooth (should
take a few minutes). Pour mixture
into a large soup pot & bring to boil
over medium-high heat, while
stirring. Reduce heat & cook 2-3
In a large pot add water & salt –
bring to a boil & add tortellini. Cook
just enough so they are easy to bite
through – a few minutes. Drain & pour
cold water over cooked tortellini. Add
Half & Half & baking soda to tomato
pot -stir to combine. (it will froth up
a bit). Cook & stir occasionally,
until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Add
warmed chicken broth-stir to combine.
Add cooked tortellini just before serving.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: If soup gets too thick, add a bit
more chicken broth


Crockpot Salty/Sweet/Crunchy
Goodness (snack bark)

1/2 C. butter, sliced
1 (11.5 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 C. corn chips, coarsely crushed
2 C. mini pretzel twists, coarsely crushed

Place all ingredients (except corn chips &
pretzels) in crockpot & stir. Cover & cook
on High 30-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once chocolate is completely melted, add
corn chips & pretzels – gently stir until
everything is well coated. Line a cookie sheet
with parchment paper & spread mixture
evenly with a wooden spoon onto sheet.
Place sheet in fridge about 1 hour until
mixture sets up. Break into pieces &
serve. Serves 10-12


Shrimp in Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 lb. small shrimp, peeled/uncooked
3 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 (10.25 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
2 large buttom mushrooms, chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 C. heavy cream
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese (OR) Roman

Cooked basmati rice to serve 4

Melt 2 T. butter in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add shrimp & cook until pink &
opaque on both sides; remove from pan.
Add remaining 1 T. butter to pan – turn heat
to High. Add chopped mushrooms & garlic,
cooking until mushrooms begin to sear. Mix
soup & cream in small bowl & pour into pan.
Add cheese & heat until soup mixture just
begins to boil. Place shrimp back into skillet &
heat through. Garnish with chopped fresh
parsley if desired.Serve immediately over
cooked basmati rice. Serves 4


Christmas Morning Punch

2 C. orange juice
2 C. cranberry juice
1 C. pineapple juice
1 C. ginger ale

Combine all ingredients in a
pitcher – serve cold.

(recipe: facebook)

Cheesy Turkey/Bacon Sliders

15 slider buns
1 lb. shredded turkey
1 lb. bacon, cooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced Provolone cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
3 T. honey mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice slider buns horizontally & arrange
bun bottoms in a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Layer turkey, bacon & cheese on top of
rolls & place tops on buns. Cut in between
the slider buns to separate. In a small
bowl mix butter, honey-mustard & poppy
seeds – brush mixture on bun tops to cover
the buns & drip between them.
Bake 20 minutes. Makes 15 sliders


Marshmallow Squares

1/2 C. peanut butter
1 (12 oz) pkg. butterscotch chips
1/2 C. butter
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
In small pot melt butter, chips &
peanut butter over Low heat. Cool,
add marshmallows & pour into
prepared pan. Allow to cool &
cut into squares.



Our weather is still holding out – (no snow) YAY!
I need to run to the drug store after I finish here –
so nice to not have to fight with scraping snow off
car windows, slipping & sliding on roads; I know it’s
coming but SUPER GLAD it’s not here . . . yet!

Hope your holiday plans are coming together – all
my presents (that I know of) are purchased, just
have to be wrapped (I’m notorious for waiting ’til
the last minute for that).

Stay healthy, warm & in a GREAT HOLIDAY spirit!




How are YOU doing today?

It’s been a gloomy, gray day here with intermittent snow/freezing snow. Took me awhile (and the encouragement of a friend) to finally get me ‘up and out’ – I knew I needed to go to KMart for a few last Christmas gifts, just couldn’t seem to get motivated. When I texted her the weather report she responded that she was OUT the door (she had to go to the drug store) so I thought: “Guess I’d better get with it, too!” With our Michigan weather, you never know whether it’s going to be good, clear driving weather, or totally miserable. (It was a bit slippery, but I’m home safe). The good thing is: today is the ONLY day showing any snow activity so maybe we’re good!

Actually hit St. Vincent de Paul Thrift store, KMart & the grocery store so I’m happy those things got done. Now have the fixin’s for Chicken Parmesan & Cheesy Garlic noodles, Chili, Homemade Pizza, & Pork steak so that’s out of the way. My sweet (PUDGY) grandson (who’s almost 2) is now wearing size 4 clothes – he’s almost outgrown all his pants. Good thing St. Vincent’s had some size 4 stretch pants on sale! SCORE! (His Mom said that some of his jeans won’t get past his chubby little thighs!). Other than a few tiny ‘stocking stuffers’, I’m DONE with shopping! YAY! (am still a bit perplexed about a pair of thermal bottoms I ordered from Sears/KMart – their site said they were delivered – going to have to search the closet again – maybe I hid them TOO good!)


Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 T. red food coloring
3 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
(approx. 1 C. coarse sugar, for rolling)

In large bowl whisk flour, cocoa, salt &
baking soda. In another bowl beat butter
& sugars until fluffy – add in eggs, vanilla,
milk & food coloring – beat until combined.
Gradually add in flour mixture & beat
until combined. Cover dough & refrigerate
at least 1 hour before baking.*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add approx. 1 C. granulated sugar into a
small bowl. Roll dough into 1″ balls then
coat with sugar from bowl & place on
sheet approx. 1 to 1/12 inches apart.
Bake 9-10  minutes until edges are
lightly browned. Let cookies stand
5 minutes before removing from sheet
to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes approx. 36 cookies

*Dough can be refrigerated overnight,
if needed


Pimiento/Cheese/Sausage Dip

1 (11 oz) container pimiento cheese spread*
1 lb ground sausage (your choice of heat),
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 C. salsa

After sausage has been cooked/etc. keep
in pan & add cream cheese & salsa. Stir
in pimiento cheese spread – cover & allow
cheeses to melt slowly over Low-medium
heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow
mixture to come to a simmer – you want it
to all melt together slowly. Once mixture
is combined & melty, serve immediately.
Serves 8

*Poster used Prices Southern Style pimiento
cheese spread
NOTE: you can keep this mixture in a small
crockpot on the “keep warm” setting while

Best Easy Broccoli/Beef Stir Fry

3 T. cornstarch, divided
1/2 C. water, plus
2 T. water, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. boneless round steak (or) 1 lb
charcoal chuck steak, cut into thin
3-inch strips
2 T. vegetable oil, divided
4 C. broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/3 C. soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger

Hot, cooked rice to serve 4

In a bowl combine 2 T. cornstarch,
2 T. water & garlic powder until
smooth. Add beef & toss to coat.
In large skillet or wok over medium-
high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 T. oil until
beef reaches desired doneness –
remove & keep warm. Stir-fry
broccoli & onion in remaining oil
4-5 minutes; return beef to pan.
Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger
& remaining cornstarch & water until
smooth – add to pan. Cook & stir
2 minutes. Serve over rice


Crockpot Pizza Bake

1 (16 oz) tub (8 biscuit) biscuits, cut
into sixths
1 lb. ground sausage; browned/drained/
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz) jar pizza sauce
1/2 C. bell pepper, chopped
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

4 oz. can sliced mushrooms,
1 (4 oz) can sliced olives, drained
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place biscuit pieces in bottom of
crockpot. Sprinkle with 1/2 C.
cooked/drained sausage & 1/4 C.
Parmesan cheese; spread sauce
on top. Top with remaining
sausage. Layer peppers &
optional mushrooms/olives.
Top with cheese. Cover & cook
on Low 3 hours until center is
done & edges are golden.
Cool 10-15 minutes before
slicing & serving. Serves 6-8


Crockpot Turkey Chili

1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 (13 3/8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (19 oz) can red kidney beans,
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 T. garlic powder
3 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. paprika
1/2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 lb. extra lean ground turkey

Place all ingredients (except ground
turkey) to crockpot – stir well. Add
turkey & stir again so all is coated.

NOTE: wait until it’s cooked before
adding salt because chili powder
contains salt – you don’t want to
over salt it.

Cover & cook 8 hours on Low.
Serves 6

Serving suggestions:
Can be served over cooked rice,
cooked pasta and/or topped with
sliced avocado, plain Greek yogurt
or sour cream, chopped cilantro,
shredded Cheddar cheese, tortilla
chips or sliced jalapeno peppers.
RECIPE ALSO freezes well.

NOTE: This recipe also has a good amount
of liquid – if you want less liquid, cook it
with lid off for last hour or 2 (you might
want to increase heat to High at that
point) or transfer to a pan & cook off
some of the liquid. It also gets dried each
time you re-heat it.


Sugar Cookie Truffles

15 baked sugar cookies
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened to room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch kosher salt
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 1/4 C. white chocolate chips
(Sprinkles – for garnish)

Line a small baking sheet with
parchment paper. In large food
processor, process cookies until
sandy.* In large bowl stir cream
cheese, crushed cookies, vanilla &
salt. Using a small cookie scoop,
form mixture into small balls &
place on prepared sheet – repeat
until all mixture used. Place sheet
in freezer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile – in a microwave-safe
bowl mix coconut oil & white choc.
chips – microwave on Low in 30-
second intervals, stirring in between,
until completely melted. When balls
are chilled, dip them in the chocolate
& place back on sheet. Sprinkle
immediately with sprinkles. When all
are dipped & decorated, place sheet
back in freezer for 10 more minutes
to set. Makes 15

*alternate method: place cookies in
a zip-lock back & crush into crumbs


4-Ingredient Pecan Balls

1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick),
2 T. granulated sugar
1 C. flour
1 heaping C. chopped pecans
1/4 tsp. salt

(optional: 1/2 C.  semi-sweet
chocolate chips

Preheat oven 275 degrees F.
In large bowl using elec. mixer,
cream butter, sugar & flour. Fold
in pecans & salt – stir until combined.
(Mixture will be crumbly but will stick
to itself.) Roll dough into small balls
(about 1/2 “) & place on an ungreased
cookie sheet. (NOTE: You can wet your
hands to keep dough from sticking
to you).  Bake 45 minutes.
Let cool completely on sheet before
transferring to an airtight container.
They will keep for up to a week on the
counter or in the pantry. Makes 22

Optional Chocolate Drizzle:
Place chocolate chips in a microwave-
safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute; stir
& microwave in 30-second intervals
until chocolate is melted & can be
stirred together. Drizzle over cooled
pecan balls or dunk balls into sauce.



Hope you are all warm & enjoying the
Holidays as they come.



and here comes the S-N-O-W!

The good thing is: we’re only supposed to get THREE inches – (hopefully)! It’s coming down in tiny flakes but it’s also pretty windy. I decided that, rather than wait until tomorrow (and then regret my decision) I’d go grocery shopping today (wasn’t even aware it’s CYBER MONDAY until I got to the store, but it was OK – not crowded at all (YAY!). Treated myself to 3 Christmas presents: 2 nice cardigan (kinda long) sweaters: one is a rust color and only $15 and the other is a medium gray with 30% off, so I was happy. They will go nicely with a black skirt & a turtle neck for church. Also ‘caved’ & bought a little Christmas Cactus. I bought one two years ago & it hasn’t bloomed since. This one was $4.00 and had a few buds so we’ll see. (I AM known as the Plant Killer)…sadly.

Gas prices are down to $2.29/9 now – WOW!


Looks like the blog site is STILL shrinking my recipes – here goes hand-typing them – sorry for the double spacing; that’s part of it, also…sigh

Cranberry Walnut Tart


1 C. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

6 T. ice-cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

1 T. granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

2-4 T. ice water


3 large eggs

1 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

4 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 T. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 C. walnuts, toasted in dry pan & coarsely chopped

3 C. fresh cranberries (if using frozen, thaw/drain/

pat dry any excess moisture


Place flour, salt, cold butter, sugar & egg yolk

in food processor – pulse 10 times. Add up to

4 T. ice water & pulse as you add.  Mixture

will be a bit crumbly but should come together

if you pinch a little in your hand. Place a

piece of plastic wrap on your counter &

pour out crust mixture onto wrap. Using

sides of plastic, pull plastic together to

form a ball of dough. Wrap & press into

a disc shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour

(this can be done a day ahead).

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Lightly dust counter with flour & remove

dough from fridge. Roll out dough 2 inches

larger than a 10″ tart pan (with removable

bottom). Gently lift dough into tart pan

& press into sides & up rim making sure

the dough is even all around. Don’t be afraid

to make the sides thicker than the bottom

by pressing excess dough back down into

tart pan, inside ridges. Line bottom of crust

with parchment paper & fill with pie weights,

dry beans or rice.

NOTE: you can prepare filling while crust bakes.

Bake crust 10 minutes; remove from oven &

remove weights/beans/rice. Let cool 10 minutes

(crust is pre-baked at this time).


Lower oven temp. to 350 degrees F.

In medium bowl beat eggs. Add brown sugar,

corn syrup, vanilla & melted butter – beat in

flour & salt. Stir in chopped nuts & gently fold

in cranberries. Pour batter into now cooled crust.

Place in center of oven & bake 45-55  minutes until

browned. Cool to room temp. then refrigerate to

set. Tart is best served cold. Remove sides of tart

pan by placing on a high round surface (such as

a can) & gently drop the outer ring onto the table.

Place tart on a serving platter & cut into slices

to serve. Makes 8-10 slices.


Light Stovetop Turkey Tetrazinni

1 T. vegetable oil

1/2 C. chopped onion (optional)

10 oz. pkg. button mushrooms, sliced

2 C. chicken broth

2 1/2 C. milk

1 (12 oz) pkg. whole wheat spaghetti (or regular),


2 C. cooked, shredded turkey (or rotisserie chicken)

1/2 C. sour cream

1 T. butter

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

Italian parsley, chopped (optional)

Heat oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add

onion (if using) & mushrooms – cook until starting

to soften, 2-3 minutes. Pour chicken stock & milk

into pot; cover & bring to a boil over High heat. Add

spaghetti to pot & cook until almost al dente, about

10 minutes. Stir in cooked turkey & finish cooking until

pasta is done. Remove pot from heat, stir in sour cream,

butter & cheese. Serve immediately, garnishing with

chopped parsley, if using. Serves 4


Leftover Turkey Salad

4 C. chopped, cooked turkey

1/2 C. mayonnaise

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 T. lemon juice

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 C. finely diced celery

1/4 C. sliced scallions

2 tsp. chopped fresh dill

In large bowl combine turkey, mayo,

mustard, lemon juice, sugar, celery, scallions &

dill, stirring until well combined. Taste &

season with salt/pepper. Serve immediately

or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings.


Leftover Turkey & Rice Soup

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled/chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

kosher salt/ground black pepper

1/2 C. dry white wine (or water)

4 C. chicken broth

1 C. jasmine rice

2 C. leftover cooked/shredded turkey

1/4 C. fresh chopped parsley

In large pot over medium heat, cook bacon

until crispy, 8  minutes then transfer to a

paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 1 T.

bacon fat. Add onion, carrots, bell pepper &

garlic to pot – season with salt/pepper &

cook 5-7 minutes until veggies are soft.

Add wine, broth & rice – bring to a boil.

Simmer until rice is tender, 20 minutes.

Stir in turkey & parsley until warmed

through. Serve immediately with crispy

bacon. Serves 4


Crockpot Spiced Apple Dump Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box spice cake mix

2 (29 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling

3/4 C. butter, melted

1 C. quick-cooking oats

1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)

Optional toppings:

Ice cream and/or whipped cream


In a bowl combine dry cake mix, oats &

melted butter – mix to combine. Add pie

filling to bottom of a 5-6 qt. crockpot.

Pour cake mixture over pie filling &

sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if using.

Cover & cook on High 2 hours. Serve

warm or cold – with ice cream or

whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 10

(recipe: crockpot

Well, that’s all for now – hope our snow stays true to the report &

we only get up to 3 inches. I’m planning on staying home & knitting

today & tomorrow, so I’m good (for now!). We’re still enjoying our

leftover turkey & fixin’s – nothing like leftovers! (Oh, by the way – I’ve

lost 11 lb.s now – YAY!


Stay warm & safe!



A Day of REST!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we (my whole family) had a GREAT time together! Youngest son came (a rarity), middle son AND his new girlfriend came – we ate, laughed, chatted, etc. and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Husband & I commented that this is the first time he & I have been able to actually get all the sides cooked & ready BEFORE the dinner – with a little time to spare! YAY! (I did good – only ate the things I could/should & my blood numbers were good this morning – YAY!) A little later on today I’ll roast our turkey which will go with the leftover sides from yesterday – lots of good eatin’ to come!

From the left: Middle son (29), my husband, me, youngest son (24), #1 Grandson (12), his Dad/our oldest (35), oldest son’s girlfriend & mother of the baby (25) and baby grandson (1 1/2).

Today I was able to finally finish the knit boot toppers for middle son’s girlfriend’s Christmas present (photo didn’t really show the cables well – they are a kind of zig-zag pattern)

Lots more recipes for you – really hoping this site will cooperate and I’ll be able to actually cut & paste the recipes (without them shrinking to minuscule size!)


Pumpkin Delight

1 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. pecans, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed/divided
2 1/2 C. milk
3 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. white chocolate
(or vanilla) instant pudding mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Layer 1:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ or 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl mix flour, butter & pecans
& press into prepared dish. Bake
15 minutes – remove from oven &
let cool.

NOTE: if you are using a
9 X 13″ pan or would like a thicker
crust, add an additional 1/2 C. flour,
1/4 C. butter & 1/4 C. chopped

Layer 2:

Blend cream cheese & powdered sugar,
1 C. Cool Whip then spread over cooled

Layer 3:

In large bowl mix milk, pudding mixes,
canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice &
1 C. Cool Whip – mix until smooth &
spread over top of Layer 2

Layer 4:

Spread remaining 1 C. Cool Whip on
top of dessert then sprinkle top with
pecans. Refrigerate 3 hours (or until
set) Serve chilled.


Day-After-Thanksgiving Soup

1 T. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled/chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
8 C. turkey or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C. roast turkey, diced
1 C. frozen peas
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
4-6 C. leftover dressing, warmed

Heat oil in large stockpot over medium
heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, salt/
pepper – saute until vegetables are
crisp-tender. Add broth & bay leaf; bring
to a boil. Stir in turkey; reduce heat &
simmer 10 minutes until vegetables
are tender. Stir in peas & parsley; warm
through. Discard bay leaf.

To Serve:

Place a scoop of dressing into individual
deep soup bowls; ladle soup over dressing.
Serves 4-6

Mashed Potato Biscuits

2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. shortening
1 C. mashed potatoes (not instant)
1 egg
1 T. honey
3/4 – 1 C. buttermilk

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking
soda & salt in large bowl. Cut in
shortening until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add mashed potatoes,
egg & honey, mixing with a spoon. Add
milk until mixture makes a dough. Turn
out onto a floured surface & roll (or pat)
out – cut with a biscuit cutter (or greased
drinking glass)* & place on prepared
sheet. Bake 15-20  minutes until brown
on top.

*Poster gets about 20 biscuits from this


Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
5 T. flour, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 C. bread crumbs
olive oil

Place several layers of paper
towels on a plate.
Place mashed potatoes in a large
bowl; add cheese, 3 T. flour, beaten
eggs & parsley – mix well & taste.
(you might want to add some salt/
pepper). In a pie plate place 1 C.
bread crumbs & 2 T. flour – combine.
Scoop out a large spoonful of potatoes
& place in breadcrumbs – use a fork to
flatten them out & sprinkle some of the
breadcrumbs on top of pancakes. Heat
a large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat. Add enough oil to coat bottom of pan.
Using a spatula, gently place pancakes in
hot oil – allow them to get brown on bottom
(2-3 minutes) then flip them over & let them
get golden on other side. Place cooked
pancakes on paper towel-lined plate &
sprinkle with salt. Repeat using rest of
potato mixture. Serve immediately.
Makes about 12 pancakes.


30-Minute Turkey Cordon Bleu Pasta

1 (12 oz) box bowtie pasta
2 T. butter
1 C. chicken broth
2 C. Half & Half
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. honey-mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
salt/black pepper
3 T. sour cream
2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
2 C. deli ham, (or leftover) chopped
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 1/4 C. Italian panko bread crumbs
(or regular bread crumbs)

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large, deep OVENPROOF skillet heat to
medium-high heat. Add butter & melt. Add
chicken broth,Half & Half & both cans soup –
whisk to combine. Add honey mustard, onion
powder & a little salt/pepper – stir & bring to
a simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer 4-5
minutes until slightly thickened. Add turkey,
ham, sour cream & drained/cooked pasta-
mix to combine (taste & adjust salt/pepper).
Lay Swiss cheese over top & sprinkle with
bread crumbs. Turn oven to BROIL & allow
cheese to melt & bread crumbs to brown.
(BE careful – it only takes a few minutes)
Remove skillet to counter for a few minutes
to rest then serve. Serves 6-8


Cheesy Turkey-Rice Casserole

2 (4.3 oz, ea) pkgs. Rice a Roni Long
     Grain & Wild Rice
2 T. butter
3 1/3 C. water
2 (10  oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup,
1 1/2 C. milk
2 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
1 1/2 C. cooked/chopped ham
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large, deep skillet pour rice &
seasoning packets from box. Add
butter & water – stir & bring to a
boil over medium-high heat. Cover &
reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15-20
minutes until rice is tender. Remove
pan from heat & fluff up rice with a
fork. Spray a 3 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray; spread rice
mixture over bottom of dish. In small
bowl add soups, milk, cheese & pepper –
mix well. Spread chopped turkey &
ham over rice then pour creamy
mixture over top – stir so that all
ingredients are well incorporated.
Sprinkle Parm. cheese on top &
bake 30-40 minutes until top is
crispy & golden. Remove from oven
& allow to stand about 10 minutes
(it will continue to thicken up a bit
as it sits). Serves 6


Turkey, Cranberry & Blue Cheese Pizza

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry,
1 C. diced, cooked turkey
1/4 C. cranberry sauce
1 T. garlic olive oil
blue cheese crumbles
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded),
finely minced
parsley, roughly chopped

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Roll out thawed puff pastry & press
seams together while rolling out
slightly. Drizzle lightly with oil & bake
9 minutes. Remove pastry from oven &
gently smear on a layer of cranberry
sauce (keep it very thin or pastry will
get soggy). Top with chunks of turkey,
slices red onion, jalapeno & blue cheese
crumbles. Bake 3 minutes to heat
ingredients then switch to broiler for
last 2 minutes to melt cheese. Carefully
remove from oven & sprinkle with
chopped fresh parsley.


Sweet Potato/Turkey Hash & Eggs

2 leftover cooked sweet potatoes,
2 C. cooked turkey, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded),
finely minced
4 fried eggs (1 per person)
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
Optional: avocado & bacon

In large pan over medium-high heat
heat 1 T. oil. Add cubed sweet potatoes;
cook 1-2 minutes without turning so outside
edges crisp up. Stir & repeat until potatoes
are crisp on all sides – remove from pan. Add
1 T. oil to pan & add pepper, onion, & jalapeno,
cooking until translucent (3-4 minutes) then add
garlic.. Cook 1 minute & push onion/peppers
aside & add turkey – heat 1-2 minutes then add
sage & thyme. Spray a small pan with nonstick
cooking spray & heat over medium heat 1 minute
before gently cracking eggs over pan – cook gently
2 minutes then flip to cook on other side 1 minute,
if desired. Serves 4


(a couple pumpkin-related recipes that snuck by me):

Pumpkin Pudding/Crustless Pumpkin

3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. cold butter

In small bowl mix flour, baking powder &
salt. Cut in cold butter with a pastry
blender or fork; mix until butter is in
tiny pieces. In another bowl mix sugar,
cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg,
eggs, vanilla & pumpkin – mix until well
combined. Add in flour mixture, beat slowly
as you pour in evaporated milk. Mix well
until all combined. (Mixture will appear
lumpy – that’s OK – it’s the butter floating
in the pudding. After pudding is baked
the butter will have melted into the
pudding.) Pour pudding into individual
baking dishes (poster used 6 oz dishes).
Place dishes in crockpot & pour water
about 1 inch up sides of dishes (this
helps steam bath the pudding as it
bakes & helps it not to crack). Cook on
Low about 3 hours, depending on size
of dishes. You will be able to tell when
it’s done – it bakes up just like pumpkin
pie does – filling will be set when it’s
done baking.  Poster also suggested
placing a layer of plastic wrap over
individual dishes to keep them from
drying out – she refrigerated them,
lightly covered, & tops of pudding pulled
away from sides of dishes a bit. If you
garnish them with a bit of whipped
cream, it doesn’t show. With her size
dishes, it made 8.
NOTE: Poster double-layered her dishes
by placing 4 dishes in bottom of crockpot
then placing a disposable tin pan (that fits
inside crockpot) over top of dishes &
layering rest of dishes on top.


Pumpkin-Pecan Slab Pie

1 box (14.1 oz) (Pillsbury) refrigerated
pie crust, softened as per box

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (not pie mix)
1 1/4 C. Half & Half
2 eggs
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

Pecan Pie Filling:

2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
3 eggs
2 C. chopped pecans

Optional topping:
Whipped Cream or Cool Whip
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove pie crusts from pouches. On
lightly floured surface, unroll & stack
crusts one on top of the other – roll
out to 17 X 12″ rectangle. Place crust
in an ungreased 15 X 10 X 1 pan,
pressing crusts into corners. Fold extra
crust even with edges of pan (crust
should come to top edge of pan, seal
any tears in crust & flute edges if desired.
In large bowl whisk Pumpkin pie filling
ingredients until well blended – pour
filling over crust & spread evenly.
Bake 25-28 minutes until filling is set.
In medium bowl whisk all Pecan Pie
Filling ingredients (except pecans) until
well blended – stir in pecans & carefully
spoon over pumpkin pie filling, spreading
evenly. Bake 23-28 minutes until deep
golden brown & set in center. Cool
completely in pan on cooling rack,
about 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate 1 hour
before cutting into 4 rows by 4 rows. Top
with whipped cream, if desired.
Serves 16



That’s all for now – hope you had a GREAT holiday!




Our weather is quickly moving to WINTER: days are in the high 30’s, dreary and sometimes wet. I finally switched from my light Spring/early Fall jacket to a warmer one (with gloves in the pockets – steering wheels get really cold!) so I’m slowly moving towards that next season (the dreaded Winter/Snow…sigh).


Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Cake
(w/cream cheese frosting)

1 box spice cake mix
1 C. pumpkin puree
1/2 C. water
1/3 C. canola oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice


4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar
chopped walnuts (optional topping)
caramel ice cream sauce for serving

Line crockpot with parchment paper
(or crockpot liners). In large bowl beat
cake mix & remaining cake ingredients
until fully combined – spread into
crockpot. Cover & cook on High 1 3/4 to
2 hours until a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out clean. Remove
pot from crock & let cake cool 10-15
minutes then remove cake from insert
& cool completely before frosting.
Serves 12-14


Beat frosting ingredients until fully
combined & fluffy – frost cooled cake.
If desired, top cake with chopped nuts &
serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce.


One-Dish Smothered Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken
breasts (about 2 lb.)
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. Italian-style breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place chicken in
dish; season lightly with salt/
pepper. In small bowl combine
Parm. cheese, yogurt, garlic powder,
seasoned salt & pepper. Spread
cheese mixture evenly over
chicken; lightly sprinkle bread-
crumbs over chicken (about 1/2 tsp.
per chicken breast). Bake, uncovered,
45 minutes. Serves 4-6


Sausage/Minestrone Soup

1 (16 oz) pkg. smoked sausage,
cut into rounds
1/4 C. butter (4 T.)
1/2 C. seeded/chopped green bell pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped carrots
1 (15.25 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed (can also use kidney beans/chili
beans or almost any kind of beans)
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 C. rotini pasta, uncooked (can
also use macaroni or shells)

In a large skillet brown sausage, green
pepper, onion & celery with butter; add
to soup pot along with carrots, beans,
chicken broth, tomatoes, salt/pepper &
Worc. sauce. Bring to boil; cover & turn
down heat to simmer about 30 minutes
until carrots are cooked. Add pasta &
cook another 10-12 minutes until pasta
is tender. Makes about 10-12 servings.

NOTE: Soup keeps well in fridge for
several days & is good reheated

Cheddar Muffins

2 C. self-rising flour
2 C. buttermilk (can use regular milk)
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk together flour,
cheese & garlic powder. Stir in milk.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with
nonstick cooking spray & fill each
cup. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins


Creamy Roasted Garlic/Spinach Orzo

1 whole bulb garlic
1 tsp. plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
1 3/4 C. uncooked whole wheat
orzo pasta
2 1/2 C. chicken stock
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (9 oz) pkg. fresh spinach, trimmed/
1/4 C. shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. (salt-free) garlic pepper
seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove papery outer skin from
garlic bulb but do not peel or
separate the cloves. Cut off top of
garlic bulb, exposing individual
cloves. Drizzle cut cloves top with
1 tsp. olive oil & wrap in foil. Bake
30-35 minutes until cloves are soft.
Unwrap – when cool enough to
handle, squeeze garlic from skins.
In a Dutch oven, heat remaining oil
over medium-high heat. Add pasta &
cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes until lightly
browned. Add stock; bring to boil.
Reduce heat & simmer, covered,
10-12 minutes until pasta is tender
& liquid is absorbed. Stir in cream
cheese until melted; add spinach,
Asiago cheese, milk, seasoning blend,
salt & roasted garlic. Cook & stir until
spinach is wilted then sprinkle with
chopped parsley. Serves 6


Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

3 lb. medium Brussels Sprouts
2 T. vegetable oil
8 thick slices bacon (about 8 oz),
cut crosswise into 1/2″ strips
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or more,
as needed)
fresh ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil &
salt water generously. Trim bottom end
of Brussels sprouts, leaving the core
intact – pull off dark outer leaves. Halve
through the core. Add sprouts to water
& cook, uncovered, until tender, about
6 minutes. Drain & rinse under cold
water (you can do this a day ahead).
In very large skillet or stew pot place
oil & bacon. Cook over medium heat,
stirring occasionally, until bacon is
crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted
spoon. Increase heat to medium-high
& add Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until brown & edges get
crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar,
salt/pepper & bacon. Serve warm.
Serves 8


Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Chicken
(one pan meal)

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 use regular sized – cut into 1″
2 medium zucchini, quartered length-
wise & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
(Optional garnish: chopped parsley)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with foil & spray with
nonstick cooking spray. Using a small
knife, cut a slit lengthwise partway
across each chicken breast to create a
deep pocket. In small bowl mix cream
cheese, Cheddar & Mozz. cheeses,
parsley & garlic powder – season with
salt/pepper, to taste. Spoon cheese
mixture evenly into pockets in chicken.*
Use toothpicks to seal pockets shut.
Season top of each breast with salt/pepper
then wrap 2 slices bacon around each one;
place on sheet pan. Scatter the potatoes
around chicken – spray potatoes with nonstick
cooking spray & season with salt/pepper.
Bake 20 minutes; remove pan from oven &
add zucchini – season zucchini with salt/pepper
to taste & return pan to oven. Bake an additional
20 minutes. Broil for an additional 3-5 minutes
or until bacon is browned & crispy. Serve
immediately (with garnish, if desired(
Serves 4

*You can place the filling in a plastic bag &
snip the corner to create a makeshift
pastry bag – then squeeze the filling
into the chicken breasts.


Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin
(overnight recipe)

1/4 C. butter, cubed
1 C. chopped pecans
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. honey

1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water (110 – 115 degrees F.)
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C. cold butter, cubed
1/2 C. solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9 inch square baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In small saucepan, melt butter over
medium heat; add pecans & cook,
stirring, 2-3 minutes until pecans
are fragrant. Stir in brown sugar, cream
& honey; cook & stir until sugar is
dissolved & mixture begins to darken.
Pour into prepared pan. In small bowl
dissolve dry yeast in warm water. In
large bowl whisk 2 1/2 C. flour, sugar,
pie spice, salt, baking soda & baking
powder, & cinnamon. Cut in butter
until crumbly. Add pumpkin, buttermilk,
vanilla & yeast mixture – mix well.
Turn dough onto a floured surface;
knead gently 8-10 times, adding
additional flour if needed. Roll dough
into a 9 inch square & cut into 16
squares. Arrange squares over pecan
mixture; cover with plastic wrap &
refrigerate overnight.

Remove pan from fridge 30 minutes
before baking.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Uncover pan; bake 24-28 minutes
until golden brown. Carefully invert
onto a serving platter & serve warm.
Makes 16



It’s hard to believe it’s already Thursday
in my “no babysitting” week; it’s been a
good one so far: Knit/Crochet group had
2 new ladies (total: 24 in attendance!).
Wednesday Library knit group had a good
number of ladies as well as my special needs
group – the weather is getting colder, my
guess is: people are looking for things to do
rather than stay cooped up at home. (Just a
guess – I could be wrong).

Tonight’s dinner will be spaghetti squash served
with tomato sauce with cooked hamburger in it
as well as fresh sauteed mushrooms & Parmesan
cheese – healthy AND tasty! (actually – I saw the
squash at Kroger & thought it would be a nice

I’m still on my ‘restricted’ diet (to reduce my
diabetic A1C numbers; husband & I went out
to lunch today & I had a Greek salad with grilled
chicken on top – YUM! It’s not that I don’t know
how to eat – it’s just that I get lazy (and sometimes
desire the ‘not so good for you’ foods like potato
chips, ice cream, etc.) You get the idea. Weight-
wise I haven’t seen much of a change but I still
have until the second week in December to see
this through, hoping the weight (as well as the
diabetic #) will drop – we’ll see!

Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing (WARM)



It’s Monday!

Here it is, Monday, again – the beginning of my NO babysitting week – YAY! It’s typical Nov. weather – 50 degrees F. & gloomy (at least it’s not raining – yet…). I’ve heard people lately mentioning that there might be that dreaded “S” word coming towards the weekend (snow) but I’m trying my best to IGNORE that thought, for now.

Lots of nice Fall/Thanksgiving recipes comin’ in so I’ll start sharing them with you:


Cinnamon Roll Apple Crisp

1 (12.4 oz) tube refrigerated cinnamon
roll dough with icing (posters had 8 rolls)
4 medium apples, peeled/cored/sliced thin
(she used 2 Gala & 2 Granny Smith)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
(icing from cinnamon roll pkg)

Crumble Topping:
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 C. old fashioned whole rolled oats
(not quick cook or instant)
1/2 C. flour
1 T. cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt ( or to taste)
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil & spray foil with nonstick
cooking spray. Add the 8 rolls
to the pan, evenly distributed.
(poster put 2 rolls in each of 4 rows)
Flatten each of the rolls with your hand.
(they will not completely cover the pan
but will expand when they bake). Evenly
scatter the apples over entire surface of
pan, slightly layering as needed (as if you
were making a pie). Evenly sprinkle with
granulated sugar, cinnamon.

Crumble Topping:
In large bowl add all topping ingredients &
cut using 2 forks to combine into pea-sized
clumps. Evenly sprinkle topping over apples
& bake 40 minutes until top is lightly brown
& set. Evenly drizzle the icing packet &
serve immediately.

Option: Serve with whipped topping or
ice cream. Crumble is best warm & fresh but
will keep, airtight, at room temp. up to 4 days.

Potato Leek Soup

4 medium leeks (dark green
stems removed)*
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
cut into cubes
1 T. flour
1 T. butter
4 C. chicken stock (or vegetable)
1/2 C. 2% milk
salt/black pepper

*Wash leeks very carefully to remove
all grit. Poster cuts them horizontally
& separates into rings to make sure no
dirt remains; coarsely chop when washed.

In medium soup pot over low heat melt
butter then add flour. Using a wooden
spoon, mix well. Add chicken stock, leeks,
onion, potatoes – bring to boil. Cover &
simmer on Low 20-25 minutes until
potatoes are soft. Blend soup, in small
batches, in blender until smooth – adding
milk & adjusting salt/pepper, to taste.
Serve immediately. Serves 6


Cornbread Casserole

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained/
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 boxes JIFFY corn muffin mix
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. sour cream
4 T. butter, melted
2 large eggs

sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced green onions

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
Add onion & cook 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in garlic & cook 1 minute then add
tomato paste, stirring to combine. Add
ground beef & cook until no longer pink-
drain fat. Return mixture to skillet &
add chili powder, cumin & oregano – season
with salt/pepper. Add kidney beans &
crushed tomatoes – bring to boil, then
reduce heat & simmer 20 minutes.

Prepare Cornbread:
In medium bowl stir corn muffin mix,
corn, sour cream, melted butter & eggs
until combined.

Pour chili in to a 9 X 13″ baking dish –
spread evenly & top with cornbread batter;
spread to an even layer. Bake 20-25 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center of
cornbread comes out clean.
Serve topped with sour cream, Cheddar
cheese & green onions.
Serves 8


Sunday Chicken

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup,
1/3 C. butter, melted/divided
1 1/4 C. quick-cooking rice
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 lb), cut up
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine soups, 1/4 C.
butter & rice; pour into prepared
dish & top with chicken pieces.
Drizzle chicken with remaining butter
& sprinkle with salt/pepper & paprika.
Bake, uncovered, 2 hours until chicken
juices run clear & rice is tender.
Serves 4-6


Crockpot Tuscany Pot Roast & Veggies

1 (3.5 – 5 lb) beef chuck roast
5-6 carrots, cut into chunks
5-6 medium russet potatoes,
1 (12 oz) jar beef gravy
1/2 C. white vinegar
1 packet dry Italian salad dressing

Place roast in crockpot, add carrots
& potatoes. In medium bowl mix
beef gravy, white vinegar & dry
Ital. salad dressing mix – pour over
roast. Cover & cook 8 hours on Low.
Remove roast & veggies to platter
& serve. Serves 4-6


Ground Beef Stuffed Pepper Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. diced green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced red pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
3/4 C. uncooked long-grain white
2 C. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 T. fresh parsley – garnish

Brown meat with onion & garlic
in a skillet over medium heat until
beef is fully cooked, crumbled & no
longer pink; drain. Add peppers,
diced tomatoes, rice, beef broth,
tomato paste, Ital. seasoning, salt/
pepper – stir & bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to simmer; cover & cook 18
minutes until rice is cooked through.
Fluff the rice with a fork & top with
shredded cheese. Cover & let cheese
melt over low heat. Garnish with
parsley, if desired. Serves 4-6


Walnut-crust Pumpkin Pie

1 can pumpkin puree
3/4 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. whole milk
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground dry ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 eggs, separated

1/3 C. walnuts
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C. cold vegetable shortening
2-3 T. cold water

heavy cream, whipped, for topping

In medium saucepan mix pumpkin,
cream, milk, sugar, ginger, cinnamon,
salt & orange zest – scald by heating
just until it starts to boil – remove from
heat before it boils. In large bowl beat
egg yolks & very slowly, drizzle hot
pumpkin liquid into eggs until all of
liquid has been whisked in. (If you
add it too quickly, the eggs will scramble).
Place this mixture in fridge for 1 hour
to cool (save egg whites for later).

While mixture is cooling, make crust:
Place walnuts in a food processor & pulse
until they around ground but not so
much they start to puree or get gummy.
Add flour & salt – pulse a few times. Add
shortening & pulse a few times to mix.
Add a little water at-a-time & pulse after
each addition just until dough comes
together & is pliable. Scrape dough into
a 9″ pie plate & press in bottom & up
sides, making a decorative edge when
done. (Try not to roll dough, pressing it
in pie plate is easiest). Refrigerate crust
until filling has cooled.

After pumpkin mixture is cool:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In bowl whip egg whites to stiff peaks &
fold into cooled pumpkin mixture then
pour filling into prepared pie crust. Bake
10 minutes then reduce oven heat to 350
degrees & bake 25-35* minutes more until
center is firm & a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Whip heavy cream
for topping, if using & serve with pie.

*Poster noted: Their pie baked a total of
38 minutes (& original recipe stated 45
minutes baking time).

(recipe: a family


This week I’ve decided to focus on feeling
better (getting there), knitting on my
projects, reading a little (2 new-to-me
Sidney Sheldon books from the library)
and relaxing – how about you?


Enjoy your day – Hugs;


Been super busy – again . . .

As much as I’d like to be able to post more frequently, lately that seems to be a ‘lost’ hope. Today is Thursday and my first REAL day ‘off’ of any responsibilities – YAY! To give you an idea of just how  much I needed the break, I slept for 10 hours – just woke up about a half hour ago! Even though it was ‘supposed’ to be the other Grandma taking up the babysitting responsibilities, somehow it seems I got the job – again. I love my baby grandson and have fun with his goofy ways, but it gets to be a drag day-after-day. Yes, I ‘could’ say NO, but they don’t have another option! (the good thing is – they will be going on  vacation sometime soon, so I get a rest).

Am working on the next newsletter for my special needs group – that will have to go out before the end of the month. Last night, after our group meeting, Lois (head of our group) and I had a long discussion with the rest of the group leaders concerning how the ‘administration’ of the group will shake down after Lois (& I, eventually) leave. Her house & property have been purchased by a large conglomerate that will be building a hotel and other commercial buildings in their neighborhood. She, at that time, will be making plans to move farther away, thus the end of her leadership with our group (we’re talking about 1 1/2 years from now – hopefully). My husband has voiced his concern for me driving back & forth in the dark/snow, etc. (it’s about a 25 minute drive to the church) and said that maybe I should also retire at that time. I have decided that I will stay on for awhile (I’m thinking 4-6 months) after Lois leaves, just to help guide/direct those who will be in charge after us – hence the meeting last night. It was mentioned that we (Lois & I) write down all of the necessary things pertaining to how things are done/when certain events are done & how, who to contact, etc.  Leaving will NOT be a simple/easy thing but I’m pretty sure when it comes down to it, Lois & I ,both, will be ready. She has been with our group since it’s inception in 1990 and I joined the group Oct., 1993.


Crockpot Cookies ‘n Cream Brownies

1/2 C. baking cocoa
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
3/4 C. sugar, divided
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
15 whole chocolate sandwich
cookies, crushed/divided*See NOTE
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, divided

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix cocoa, butter,
brown sugar & 1/2 C. sugar – mix well.
Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time. In
another bowl, mix flour & baking
powder – stir flour mixture into
cocoa mixture. *NOTE: Crush 12
cookies in a plastic bag. Stir 1 tsp.
vanilla & 12 crushed cookies. Spread
brownie batter in bottom of crockpot.
In a bowl beat together cream cheese**,
1/4 C. sugar, egg & vanilla until smooth-
pour over batter & spread out evenly;
crumble remaining cookies on top.
Place a few paper towels over top
of crockpot & cover with lid. Cook
on High 3-5 hours. Let cool & cut into
bars. Serves 12

NOTE: You can use a 6 qt. or casserole
crockpot BUT if you use a casserole
crockpot you run the risk of your paper
towel touching the top of your brownies.
You might want to remove any condensation
from lid periodically with a paper towel.

**You will want to make sure the cream
cheese mixture is smooth & fully mixed


Doritos Nacho Cheese Taco Bake

1 (9.75 oz) bag Nacho Cheese-flavored Doritos,
coarsely crushed (about 4 C., crushed)
1 lb. ground beef
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
2/3 C. water
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 1/2 C. salsa or taco sauce
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
2 C. shredded Mexican-blend or
Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet cook beef over medium-high
heat until no longer pink, about
5-7 minutes – drain. Stir in taco
seasoning mix, water & bell pepper –
sinner 3-4 minutes until thickened,
stirring frequently. Stir in salsa & corn.
Place half of crushed Doritos in bottom
of prepared pan – top with half of cheese;
spread beef mixture on top. Bake,
uncovered, 25-30 minutes until hot &
bubbly. Sprinkle top of casserole with
remaining crushed Doritos & remaining
shredded cheese. Place back in oven about
5 minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 8

NOTE: This recipe can be made smaller:
Cut ingredients in half & bake in 8 X 8″
baking dish.


Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted/cooled


2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Old Bay seasoning, to taste
1 tsp. parsley, minced

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Line a half-sheet pan with parchment
paper. In large bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic
powder, cayenne & Old bay – stir in
cheese. In small bowl combine buttermilk
& melted butter. (Butter will harden as
it cools from being combined with butter-
milk.) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients,
gently folding the two together using a rubber
spatula – mix until just combined. Scoop out
dough into 1/4 C portions, adding each biscuit
to the parchment-lined half-sheet pan – leave
1 inch between each biscuit; bake about
12 minutes, until golden brown.

While biscuits are baking:
Whisk remaining melted butter, garlic powder,
Old bay & parsley. Brush tops of baked biscuits
with mixture & serve warm. Makes 16 biscuits.

Spinach Artichoke Dip (with
Roasted Garlic)

16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed/
drained/excess liquid squeezed out
1 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano
1 (21 oz.) jar marinated quartered artichoke
hearts, drained/coarsely chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 heads garlic, roasted*

Dippers: chips, toasted baguette
slices, celery sticks

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 3 qt. baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl combine
cream cheese & mayonnaise; mix until
well combined. Add spinach, cheese,
artichoke hearts, lemon juice, pepper &
roasted garlic – stir until combined; spoon
into prepared dish. Bake 20-25 minutes
until golden brown & bubbling.
Serve with chips, toasted baguette slices
or celery sticks. Makes 16 servings.

*How to roast garlic:
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut top third of garlic (bunch) you want
to make sure the tops of all cloves are
exposed. Drizzle a small amount of olive
oil in a small cast iron skillet or baking
dish (can even use a small loaf pan). Place
garlic heads in dish (do not separate) &
drizzle a little more oil on top; sprinkle
with salt & pepper (optional). Cover
dish or skillet with foil & bake 40-50
minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by
piercing a clove with a fork – it should
be soft & slightly caramelized. Remove
from oven & squeeze out cloves by pressing
upwards from the root – squeezing the
individual cloves out of the head – they
will be soft & mushy & read to use

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
6 pork rib or loin chops (3/4″ thick)
2 T. canola oil
salt/pepper – additional/optional
6 C. thinly sliced, peeled potatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
paprika & minced fresh parsley,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small sauce pan melt butter; stir
in flour, salt/pepper until smooth.
Add broth; bring to boil – cook &
stir 1 minute until thickened; remove
from heat. In large skillet brown chops
on both sides in oil; sprinkle with salt/
pepper, if desired. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
potatoes & onions in prepared pan; pour
broth mixture over layers & place chops
on top. Cover with foil & bake 1 hour.
Uncover & bake 30 minutes longer until
meat & potatoes are tender. (If desire,
sprinkle with paprika & parsley.
Serves 6


Coffee Butter Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Butter cake mix
1/2 C. salted butter, melted
1/2 C. prepared coffee
1/2 C. liquid coffee creamer, Half &
Half or heavy cream
4 eggs
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 heaping T. cocoa powder

Coffee Butter Sauce:
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. salted butter
1/4 C. prepared coffee
1-2 T. vanilla

Optional toppings:
Whipped cream
chocolate shavings
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Liberally spray insides of Bundt pan
with nonstick cooking spray. Place
all cake ingredients in large bowl;
beat, using elec. mixer, until fully
incorporated & no lumps remain,
scraping down sides if needed, about
2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared
pan & spread evenly. Bake 40-45
minutes until a toothpick inserted
near center comes out clean. Remove
from oven & cool in pan 10 minutes.

Place all sauce ingredients in a medium
bowl or sauce pot. If using bowl, microwave
at 30 second intervals, stirring after each,
until butter is melted & sugar is completely
dissolved. If using sauce pot: cook over
medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until
butter is melted & sugar is completely
dissolved. Use a wooden skewer or fork to
poke holes all over top of cake while still
in Bundt pan. Pour hot sauce all over cake
& allow to cool completely before turning
cake out onto a serving plate. Garnish each
slice with whipped cream or a sprinkling of
cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.



Our weather is still very “Fall-like” – most of
the leaves have turned colors & fallen off of
the trees; it’s in the 40’s & 50’s most days.
Today we’re lucky to have a SUNNY day (always
cheers me up!) and 45 degrees F.  Looking at the
coming rest of the week, looks like we’ll be
getting showers Friday – Sunday; that’s OK,
it IS Fall!

Hope you are all in good health. Sometime
today I hope to go through all my Summer
clothes & put them away, dragging out the
Winter sweaters/sweatshirts, etc. for the
next season of wearing. (I tend to put this
job off, as it just tends to remind me of how
close WINTER is!). Have a GREAT day!



Getting some MUCH NEEDED rest!

Last night’s special needs group Harvest Party (Western theme)

There was also a ‘leaders’ photo taken but it hasn’t been posted yet, so this is (that I know of) the only other photo with me in it. The big gentleman in the back is “Pastor Dave”, he’s one of our leaders and the lady next to him is one of our moms (she brought some awesome cider & bakery donuts for the event). We had a good turn-out (about 45 kids + parents/helpers/caregivers). LOTS of hot dogs (we cooked 160, I think – my job, at that time, was plopping hot dogs on buns & slathering them (if they wanted) with chili. I managed to eat one hot dog & chili and snag a SUPER great chocolate sour cream donut – sure wished I had a cup of coffee to go with that donut – YUM! I was totally exhausted when I finally came home around 10:15 p.m. – it had been a crazy/busy day: grocery shopping really early (around 9:15 a.m.), then babysitting 1-4:30p.m., rush home & change clothes – drive to the church by 5:30 (got stuck in traffic, didn’t get there until around 5:50) then standing for 4 1/2 hours – lets just say I slept for ELEVEN hours straight! My body is not made for that kind of torture. I asked, yesterday, what was going on with the ‘other grandmother’s house – (hinting at “I’ve babysat 3 days this past week – what the heck?!”) I guess she will be pitching in again this coming week – sure hope so! Husband & I are supposed to go to a fund raiser dinner tonight (5 p.m.) but he gave me the ‘out’ “If you really don’t feel like going we could just mail them a check” – YES!!! So I’m taking that offer & staying home – SOoooooooo tired of running all week (and then there’s church twice tomorrow!). Decided dinner tonight will be Nachos – we love them and they’re not too hard to make (plus they feed us for several meals!) – BONUS!


Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Dough
1/3 C. 100% pure pumpkin
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unroll crescent dough onto waxed
paper. Spread pumpkin over dough;
top with brown sugar, nutmeg &
cinnamon. (NOTE: Roll into a large roll
from smaller end for bigger rolls)
Roll up & slice into 1″ pieces & place
on a cookie sheet*. Bake 21-23 minutes
until golden brown. Top with cream
cheese frosting.

*You can bake these in a casserole dish
or on a cookie sheet lined with waxed
paper – OR you can spray dish/sheet
with nonstick cooking spray for no

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 C. butter or margarine (or 8 T./
1 stick) softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar (about
3 1/2 C.)

In large bowl beat butter & cream
cheese using an elec. mixer. Add vanilla
& powdered sugar – continue mixing
until frosting is smooth & of spreading

NOTE: This recipe will frost a 9 X 13″
cake,(or) a round 2-layer cake (OR)
a dozen to 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks)

Squash Gratin

3 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 small butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small kabocha squash*, peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground mace
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 C. chicken or vetetable broth
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 C. grated Gruyere cheese,
about 2 oz.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Melt 2 T. butter in large ovenproof
skillet over medium-high heat. Add
onion & thyme; cook, stirring, about
5 minutes until onions soften. Combine
butternut & kabocha squash in large
microwave-safe bowl with 1 C. water.
Cover with plastic wrap & microwave
until squash is just tender, about 5
minutes. Drain & add squash to skillet
along with garlic, mace, 1 tsp. salt &
few grinds black pepper. Cook, stirring,
about 3 minutes. Add broth & cook
until mostly absorbed, about 5 more
minutes. Stir in heavy cream & cook
until slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Melt
remaining 1 T. butter in microwave & toss
with breadcrumbs, Parm. cheese & parsley;
season with salt & pepper – sprinkle over
squash then top with Gruyere. Transfer
skillet to oven & bake about 30 minutes
until golden. Let stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8

*Kabocha squash: is a winter squash,
also known as Japanese pumpkin. It has
dark green stripes on the outside.

How to break down butternut squash:
Cut about 1 inch off bottom end using
a chef’s knife – scoop out seeds. Hold
squash against your body & remove
skin using a vegetable peeler; chop.

How to break down kabocha squash:
Quarter the squash using a chef’s knife;
scoop out seeds. Put each quarter flat-
side down & cut off skin using a paring
knife; chop the squash.

Farmer’s Breakfast

6 large eggs
1/3 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz. bulk pork sausage
1 T. butter
1 1/2 C. frozen, cubed hash brown
potatoes, thawed
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a bowl whisk eggs, milk, parsley &
salt. In 9″ cast-iron skillet (or other
oven-proof skillet) cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink;
remove & drain fat. In same skillet,
heat butter over medium heat; add
potatoes & onion – cook & stir 5-7
minutes until tender; return sausage
to pan. Add egg mixture; cook & stir
until almost set – sprinkle top with
cheese. Cover & cook 1-2 more minutes
until cheese melts. Serves 4

NOTE: If you don’t have frozen hash
brown potatoes, use par-cooked cubed


Crockpot Pepper Jack Chicken

3-4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs*
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cumin
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen whole
green beans
1 bell pepper -seeded/sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. butter
10 slices Pepper Jack cheese

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
Season with garlic powder, onion
powder, cumin & salt/pepper. Layer
frozen green beans, mushrooms &
peppers. Season again with salt/pepper.
Top with butter; cover & cook on Low
4-6 hours until chicken is shreddable
when stirred. Stir chicken until shredded
then top with cheese. Cook on High
until cheese melts.

*You can use chicken breasts instead
of thighs but cooking time will likely
be less than with thighs. Watch closely
so you don’t dry out the chicken breasts.


Grandma’s Sausage Skillet Lasagna

2 lb. fresh hot Italian sausage*, casings
2 C. diced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) pkg. lasagna noodles.
breaking each noodle into 3 pieces
1 (64 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 c. ricotta cheese
6 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

In an oven-safe 12 inch nonstick skillet
brown sausage over medium-high heat,
breaking up sausage into small pieces.
Once sausage is mostly cooked, add onion
& garlic – cook 2 minutes more; drain grease.
Add lasagna noodles & carefully pour sauce
all over top. Using a spatula or wooden spoon,
move the noodles so the sauce can get to the
bottom & in between the noodles. Return to
heat & bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook until noodles have softened, about 15
minutes. Stir & toss noodles occasionally so
heat is evenly distributed throughout to cook
the noodles.
In a small bowl stir ricotta & Parm. cheeses.
Preheat oven to BROIL
In large dollops, place ricotta cheese mixture all
over lasagna mixture in skillet & place under
broiler until cheese has melted & is bubbly.
Carefully remove from oven & let sit 10
minutes before serving. Serves 6

*You don’t have to use hot Italian sausage,
you can use your favorite type of sausage.


Chunky Apple Cake

1/2 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 C. chopped, peeled tart apples

Butterscotch Sauce:
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl cream butter, sugar & vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each addition. Combine
flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt &
baking soda in another bowl –
gradually add to creamed mixture &
mix well (batter will be stiff). Stir in
apples until well combined. Spread
into prepared dish & bake 40-45
minutes until top is lightly browned &
springs back when lightly touched.
Cool 30 minutes before serving.

In small saucepan combine brown sugar
& butter. Cook over medium heat until
butter is melted. Gradually add cream &
bring to slow boil over medium heat,
stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Serve with cake.

Serves 12-14



Weather-wise, it’s chilly (40’s & 50’s) with
light rain & overcast. Just looked at the
local weather forecase & nearly dropped
my coffee cup:  From NOW until 10 p.m.
Sunday night: Rain, possibly mixed with
snow showers, breezy, high near 54 degrees F,
little or no snow accumulation expected.
YUCK!!! NOOoooooo! Not what I was
expecting to read – for sure! Rest of the
week is temps around 45-50 (with no snow
mentioned). Oh well – time to get ready –
winter is coming! (I still have to go through
my Summer/Winter clothes & switch them
out – that’s a task for this coming week, NOT
today, for sure!).

Hope you are gradually adjusting to the changes
in the weather. Stay warm & healthy if you can –
maybe enjoy a nice hot cup of something & relax
a little with a book or a NAP!



Yep, it’s Fall!

It’s a typical Michigan RAINY fall day – temps about 52 degrees; it’s dark & gloomy out and almost 10 a.m.! When I woke up, I thought it was still night – that’s how dark/gloomy it is! Oh well – not a big deterrant to the day – I can still knit/read, etc. Not a lot planned for today – I was going to go to Kohl’s to see what I could find there – was given a $25 gift card on my birthday (June) and still haven’t managed to get over there (I don’t shop there – nice store, just not my ‘style’, so to speak). Since it’s gloomy & raining, I’ll probably move that trip to another day; it’s kinda hard planning out my week when I don’t know the babysitting ‘schedule’ – oh well, I’m flexible, for the most part.

Still have some good Summer/Grill recipes but will probably put them away until NEXT year – lots of yummy FALL RECIPES coming in now.


No-Bake Strawberry Cream Cake

2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. strawberries, hulled/sliced
1 1/2 packs graham crackers

Using elec. mixer beat cream,
powdered sugar & vanilla until
stiff peaks form. In the bottom
of a square pan place a very thin
layer of cream. Add a single layer
of graham crackers & top with
1/3 of whipped cream – smooth
using a spatula. Add 1/3 of the
strawberries in even layer – repeat
layering 2 more times, ending with
strawberries. Arrange berries on
top in a pattern, if desired. Cover
with plastic wrap & refrigerate at
least 4 hours or overnight before


Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

8 oz. uncooked spiral-shaped
pasta (about 3 C.)
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings
4 C. spaghetti sauce
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & return pasta to pot. In a saute
pan over medium heat, cook sausage –
drain. Add sausage, spaghetti sauce &
mushrooms to pasta & stir to combine.
Stir in Parm. cheese & half of pepperoni
slices. Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Spread
pasta mixture into pan & spread evenly.
Top with mozz. cheese & arrange remaining
half of pepperoni slices on top. Bake 20
minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Serves 6-8


7-Layer Fiesta Dip

2 (16 oz, ea) cans refried beans
1/2 C. salsa
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
16 oz. sour cream
3-4 C. guacamole
1 1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Monterey Jack
cheese (or Pepper Jack)
2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 (4 oz, ea) cans chopped black
1/2 C. chopped green pepper

(Optional: small can chopped
mild green chiles mixed into
refried beans)
Dippers: restaurant-style tortilla
In a bowl mix refried beans, half
the pkg. of taco seasoning, salsa
& 3 T. sour cream. (You can also
add cayenne and/or ancho chili
powder, if desired, to taste).
Spread mixture in large rectangular
glass lasagna dish.*
In separate bowl mix rest of sour
cream with remaining taco seasoning
mix. Spread sour cream mixture on
top of refried beans. Carefully spread
guacamole on top of sour cream mixture
(take care not to mix the 2 together).
In a ziplock bag or bowl, toss the 2
cheeses together & spread on top of
guacamole. Sprinkle top with tomatoes,
olives & green onions, Chill at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 10-12

*If you use both cans refried beans & not
all of dip fits in dish, spread remaining on
a dinner plate & you can make your own dip
to keep at home while taking the rest to a

NOTE: This can be made a day ahead &
refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room
temperature before serving.

Mixture can also be used to fill flour
tortillas & fried up as burritos.

This dish can also be baked: Place completed
dip in oven 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.


Crispy Oven-baked Pork Chops

6 pork chops (1/2 inch thick)
1 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar
3 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
In bowl combine all ingredients
(except pork chops) – transfer
mixture to a large ziplock bag.
Place one chop at a time in bag
& shake to coat chop with breading;
repeat with rest of chops. Place chops
on prepared sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
Turn chops to other side & bake
another 15 minutes.


Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

4 small green peppers
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen peas
3/4 C. water, divided
1/2 C. BBQ sauce, divided
1 pkg. Velveeta Mini blocks
(4 oz) cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut peppers lengthwise in half;
remove & discard membranes
& seeds. In large bowl mix meat,
rice, peas, & 1/4 C. each water &
BBQ sauce until just blended –
spoon into peppers. Combine
remaining water & BBQ sauce in
crockpot; add peppers, filled
sides up & top with Velveeta
cubes. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours or High 2 1/2 -3 1/2
hours. Serve peppers topped
with sauce from crockpot.
Serves 4

Easy Pumpkin Soup

1/2 T. olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 head cauliflower, florets diced
(about 5 C. florets, total)
4 C. vegetable or chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin
puree (about 1.75 C. total)
1 T. maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 C. full-fat canned coconut milk*
(or substitute whipping cream)

Optional garnish: sliced green onions,
chives and/or sour cream

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat;
add onion & saute until soft, about 5-10
minutes. Add garlic & ginger, cook 1 more
minute, stirring. Add cauliflower, broth &
pumpkin; turn heat to High & bring to
boil, covered. Reduce heat to Low &
simmer (covered) 20-30 minutes until
cauliflower is tender. Stir in maple syrup,
salt & coconut milk. Remove from heat &
puree soup until smooth (using blender
or food processor, done in batches).
Makes 8 Cups soup

*You can find coconut milk in grocery stores
in the aisle that has alcoholic drink mixes.


Crockpot Baked Apples

5 Gala apples (medium sized)
5 granola bars (poster used
“Bare Naked Original Cinnamon”)
crushed up
2 T. melted butter
5 tsp. maple syrup

Ice cream or whipped cream, for
Cut a layer off top of apples using
a knife. Using a melon baller or
a measuring teaspoon, remove core
& seeds from each apple. Pack 1/4 C.
crushed granola into each apple ‘hole’
& place in crockpot. Drizzle apples
evenly with melted butter & add
1 tsp. maple syrup to each apple.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 – 3 hours
until tender but not falling apart.
Serve as is, or with ice cream or
whipped cream. Makes 5 stuffed apples



Hope you’re enjoying this day –
rainy or not, it’s another day to enjoy



and now it’s Thursday!

Our weather has definitely cooled down – had to turn the house heat on when I woke up, it was 68 degrees F. and chilly (even WITH a sweater & slippers!). Time to get the old body adjusted to cooler temperatures, right?

More Summer recipes to share – just in case you might have warmer temps. where YOU are!


No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 C. sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (21 oz) can raspberry pie filling

In bowl mix graham crumbs, sugar &
melted butter – mix until fully combined.
Press mixture evenly on bottom of a baking
dish (recipe does not give size of dish-
*I’m guessing 8 X 8, 9 X 9″ or even 9 X 13″-
but due to size of rasp. filling, I would say
9 X 9″ pan . . .
Place dish in freezer 30 minutes to set.

In bowl using elec. mixer beat softened
cream cheese, powdered sugar & vanilla
until combined. Add Cool Whip & beat
until combined & fluffy – spread on top
of graham cracker crust. Spread pie
filling evenly on top & refrigerate at
least 2 hours before serving.
Makes 12-15 bars.


Creamy Coleslaw

1 (14 oz) pkg. coleslaw mix
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream*
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. celery salt

Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
In small bowl combine remaining
ingredients; stir until blended &
pour over coleslaw mixture – toss
to coat. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 6

*you can substitute plain Greek
yogurt instead of sour cream for
less fat & more protein

Note: You can also make this using
Broccolislaw mix

Spinach Salad

1 1/2 lb. fresh baby spinach leaves
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 T. rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Place washed/dried spinach in a
large bowl. Combine vegetable oil,
sesame oil, garlic, sugar, vinegar,
soy sauce, mustard & sesame seeds –
mix well & pour over spinach – toss
to coat. Let stand 5 minutes & toss
again. Serves 4-6


Mozzarella/Tomato/Basil Salad

4 large tomatoes
2 C. mozzarella cheese (not
shredded – in whole state-like a
8-10 leaves fresh basil
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Slice tomatoes & mozzarella to
same thickness. Arrange tomatoes,
mozzarella & basil in a circle on a
plate, alternating tomato/cheese/
basil. Drizzle with olive oil (& balsamic
vinegar, if using). Serve with salt/pepper
to taste. Serves 4


Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

2 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 tsp. dried sage
2 T. flour
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. Half & Half (also known
as Half Cream)
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chicken – cooked/shredded
2 1/2 C. spaghetti squash, cooked
salt/pepper/chopped parsley – to taste

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic & sage – cook 1 minute. Stir in
flour – cook about 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Whisk in chicken broth then
Half & Half. Stir in cream cheese & Parm.
cheese until smooth. Add cooked spaghetti
squash & chicken – cook until heated
through. Taste then season with salt/pepper
& parsley. Serves 4

Meatball Zucchini Boats

3-4 medium zucchini, cut in
half length-wise
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. freshly chopped parsley
(plus more for garnish)
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 T. vegetable oil
2 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Scoop out insides of each zucchini
half into a bowl (make sure you don’t
harm the outsides). Place into a
shallow oven-ready baking dish &
drizzle with olive oil/season with
Ital. seasoning, garlic powder, salt/
pepper. Bake 12-15 minutes until
mostly tender. Remove from oven &
turn broiler to High.

Make meatballs:
In large bowl mix beef, parsley, egg,
garlic, salt/red pepper flakes – form
into 24 meatballs. In large skillet over
medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil.
Add meatballs in a single layer & sear
on all sides until a nice, crispy crust
develops, about 2 minutes per side.
Pour marinara sauce around meatballs &
stir until all meatballs are fully coated in
sauce. Simmer 10 minutes longer then
remove from heat. Fill zucchini boats with
meatballs & top with Mozzarella. Broil
until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese & parsley,
serve hot. Serves 6


Crockpot Apple Spice Dump Cake

2 (20 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 (15.25 oz) box spice cake mix
3/4 C. pecan pieces
1 stick butter, sliced into pats

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Pour pie filling into crockpot
& spread evenly. Sprinkle top with brown
sugar (evenly). Sprinkle dry cake mix on
top (evenly) & place pecan pieces on top
(evenly). Place butter pats all over top.
Take 6-8 paper towels & place on top of
crockpot – under the lid (they will absorb
any moisture). Cover & cook on High 1 1/2 –
2 hours.



Hope your week is going well –