March 17th

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s a lovely, sunny & cold (21 degrees F) day – just got home from the last Flag football game for older grandson – now it’s on to baseball very soon (oh joy…). It’s nice to be able to attend the games and also get to see the other half of the family (grandson’s Mom’s family) – I’m not really ‘into’ football, but I do enjoy saying HI to everyone. Yes, it’s the GREEN holiday – No, I’m not one for getting into it in any way but thought the above clipart was cute.


Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup

2 T. vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 C. leftover corned beef (cooked)
3 C. green cabbage, chopped
1 lb. potatoes, peeled (if desired),
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. caraway seeds
salt/pepper, to taste
2 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth

sour cream, optional garnish
fresh chopped dill, optional garnish

In a soup pot heat oil over medium heat.
Add carrots & onion, cook, stirring
occasionally, 8-10 minutes until veggies
are softened. Add corned beef, cabbage,
potatoes, caraway seeds, salt/pepper &
chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat
to Low; simmer about 30 minutes until
veggies are tender.
To serve: Pour soup into individual bowls
& garnish with sour cream/chopped dill.
Serves 8


Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Muffins

1 C. white whole wheat flour
1 C. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. chilled butter
1 C. 1% buttermilk
3 T. honey
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C. raisins

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with baking spray.
In large bowl combine all dry
ingredients (flour, baking powder,
baking soda & salt). Using a pastry
cutter or 2 knives – cut in butter until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In small bowl stir buttermilk, honey &
egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture
to dry ingredients – stir to combine; stir
in raisins. Spoon batter into prepared tins.
Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. Remove & cool on wire rack 5
minutes before removing muffins from tin;
finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool
completely. Store muffins in an airtight
container or zip lock bag at room temp.
Makes 12 muffins

Quick Asparagus & Lemon Pasta

salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fettuccine pasta
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed/
cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
zest from 1 lemon

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in medium skillet & saute
onion in skillet until soft; add garlic & saute
1 more minute. Remove from heat.
Add pasta to boiling water & cook accordg.
to pkg. directions. During final 2 minutes
cooking time, reserve 1 C. pasta water then
add asparagus to boiling water. Drain cooked
pasta & asparagus – return to pot. & add
1 T. olive oil, onion/garlic mixture, Parm.
lemon zest & 1/2 C. reserved pasta water.
Season with salt/pepper; add additional
pasta water as needed. Serves 4-6
Refrigerate any leftovers.

Crockpot Pot Roast & Veggies

1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/2 C. cold water
1 (.9 oz) pkt. onion-mushroom soup
1 (2 1/2 lb) boneless beef chuck
1 lb. red new potatoes
1 (16 oz) pkg. baby carrots
1 onion, thinly sliced

Mix first 3 ingredients until blended.
Place meat in crockpot; top with
vegetables & sauce. Cover & cook
on Low 8-9 hours (or High 6-7)
Serves 8


Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can petite tomatoes,
diced, with juice
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. long grain rice, uncooked
1 head savoy cabbage, chopped
into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat;
add ground beef & cook until well
browned; drain grease. Add chopped
onion & garlic to skillet & cook 5
minutes. Add paprika, salt/pepper –
cook 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes &
juice, tomato sauce, chicken broth &
uncooked rice – bring to boil then
reduce heat to medium-low. Cover &
cook 15 minutes. While mixture is
cooking remove outer leaves from
cabbage; cut head in half, remove core
& chop cabbage into 1/2″ pieces. Once
meat mixture has finished simmering,
transfer to a bowl & return skillet to heat.
Add cabbage, water & kosher salt; cover
& cook over medium-high heat until
cabbage is wilted slightly. Uncover &
cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Place cabbage in a
clean kitchen towel & wring excess water

To assemble casserole:

Layer bottom of baking dish with
half meat mixture; half cabbage &
repeat with rest of both, ending
with cabbage. Cover tightly with
foil & bake 45 minutes. Remove
foil & serve while hot.
Serves 8-9

NOTE: If you prefer crispier cabbage, remove
skillet from heat before stirring in cabbage so
it doesn’t fully cook


NOTE: I just tried this yesterday – I
substituted a jar of spaghetti sauce for
the tomatoes – husband LOVED IT! Guess
I’ll be making this one again!

Orange Juice Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (4 serving size) pkg. orange Jell-O
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. orange juice
4 eggs

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 10 inch Bundt pan with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl using elec. mixer on medium
speed, beat all ingredients 2 minutes
until well mixed – pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes
until a wooden toothpick inserted
near center of cake comes out clean.
Let cool slightly in pan then invert
onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 12

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. orange juice
zest of 1 orange (if you have it)

Mix glaze ingredients & pour over


Hope you have a GREAT DAY!




and a Happy Wet Monday to you, too!

It’s about 31 degrees out and lightly SNOWING! It’s melting on the ground but not much fun to walk in (had to go grocery shopping, so I know).


Frozen Bread Dough Cinnamon Rolls

1 (1 lb) loaf frozen bread dough (completely
thawed & risen – 2-3 hours)
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. butter, melted

4 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar
3-4 T. milk

Once dough is completely thawed, roll out
dough to approx. 12″ X 12″ square. Spread
melted butter on top then sprinkle top
with brown sugar. Roll dough carefully into
a log shape – pinch the ends to seal then
cut into 12 equal slices. Grease a 9 X 13″
baking dish & place dough slices in pan.
Cover & let rolls rise in a warm place until
they double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
After rolls have risen, bake, uncovered
20-25 minutes.

Whisk icing ingredients together until smooth &
spread on warm rolls. Makes 12 rolls


Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 medium yellow onion, cut into
large wedges
3 large carrots, cut into thirds
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1/2 lb. baby potatoes, halved
1 (2-3 lb) corned beef brisket
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 packet pickling spice (usually
comes with the brisket)
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 green cabbage, cut into
large wedges

Add onion, carrots, celery & potatoes
to crockpot – place brisket on top &
season generously with salt/pepper &
pickling spices. Scatter thyme & bay
leaves over meat. Fill bowl of crockpot
with water until almost completely
covering the meat. Cover & cook on
High 4 to 4 1/2 hours until meat is
tender. Add cabbage & cook on High
45 minutes to 1 hour more until
cabbage is tender & cooked through.
Remove meat & veggies; slice & serve.
Serves 6


Cheesy Chicken/Broccoli/Rice

2 C. diced, cooked chicken (rotisserie
works well)
2 C. broccoli florets, cut into bite-
sized pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 C. cooked rice
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
1/2 C. mayonnaise
12/ to 3/4 C. crushed corn flakes
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine all recipe
ingredients (except corn flakes &
butter) in large bowl & pour
into prepared dish-spread evenly.
Sprinkle crushed corn flakes on
top & drizzle melted butter over
top. Bake 30-35 minutes until
casserole is heated through.
Serves 6-8


Hamburger/Potato Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes,
1 medium yellow onion,
2 medium cloves garlic,
2 medium carrots, peeled/
8 oz frozen peas
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided (1/2 C.
for potatoes, 1 C. for top)
1/2 C. beef broth
1/2 C. milk
4 T. butter, divided (2 T.
for beef, 2 T. for potatoes)
2 T. flour
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt, divided (1/2 tsp
for potatoes, 1/2 tsp. for beef)
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large pot boil potatoes in water
until fork-tender; drain. Add milk,
2 T. butter & 1/2 tsp. salt – mash
until smooth. Add cheese & stir
to combine. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place half of potatoes in bottom
of pan. Saute ground beef seasoned
with salt/pepper until cooked;
drain & transfer to paper towel-
lined plate. In same skillet saute
carrots & onions over medium
heat until softened. Add ground
beef & stir to combine. Add butter,
peas, garlic, Ital. seasoning, pepper
& 1/2 tsp. salt – cook until garlic
is light brown, about 3 minutes.
Dust with flour & stir to incorporate;
pour in beef broth & stir until
thickened. Spoon beef mixture on top
of potatoes & cover with rest of
potatoes. Top with rest of cheese &
bake until bubbling & browned,
about 30 minutes. Serves 6-8


Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus
with Parmesan

1 1/2 lb. baby red skin potatoes,
halved or quartered
1 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed & cut
into 2″ segments
1/2 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes on large rimmed
baking sheet – drizzle with olive oil &
season with salt/pepper – toss to
combine. Roast 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, add asparagus to
potatoes; toss to combine & season
gently with salt/pepper. Return to oven;
roast until asparagus is tender & potatoes
are lightly browned 10 minutes longer.

When ready to serve: Heat on baking
sheet at 350 degrees F. until hot, about
20 minutes. Toss with Parmesan cheese
just before serving. Refrigerate any
leftovers. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made up to 2 days ahead:
do not toss with Parmesan- see “When
ready to serve” directions


Crockpot Polish Sausage & Cabbage

2 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
4 C. cabbage shredded fine
1 carrot, shredded fine
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
1 1/4 lb. Polish sausage, cooked,
halved lengthwise & cut into
1/2″ slices
4 C. chicken broth (or water)
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low 10-12 hours
or High 5-6 hours.


Blueberry & Cream Crumble Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 C. butter, room temp.
2 eggs, divided
3 C. fresh blueberries
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

(Optional: 1 1/12 T. lemon juice)

Preheat heat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray or line with foil. In large
bowl combine butter, 1 egg & cake mix.
Mixture will be very stiff – it’s easier
to mix with your hands at this point.
Reserve 1 C. mixture for topping.
Press remaining mixture into bottom of
pan & bake 10 minutes.
While crust is baking, in another bowl
using elec. mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar,
vanilla, (lemon juice) & remaining egg
until smooth. Spread cream cheese
mixture on top of partially baked crust.
Evenly arrange blueberries over cream
cheese mixture & sprinkle top with
reserved crumbs. Bake 25-30 minutes
until center is set & crumbles are golden
brown. Cool completely on wire rack then
chill 30 minutes before cutting & serving.
Serves 24



Kind of a quiet day, finished the grocery shopping
and am perusing a few more recipes. Plan on
spending a little time knitting on the various
projects as I’ve kind of ‘ignored’ them for a
few days.

Stay warm, enjoy your day!



When in doubt – go to breakfast!

Today started out a bit strange – grandson’s flag football game was scheduled for 11:30 – it is played at a place called Oakland Yard, which is a multi-domed facility. They have space in each dome for 3 football games to play at one time hence LOTS of cars in the parking lot. Today we got there around the usual time only to find that there was NO PARKING to be had! They have multi-layered parking lots BUT the one ramp that leads to the back parking was blocked by a little blue car. My husband was SO frustrated he parked behind several cars for a few minutes to go inside and ask the people running the place to have that car towed. Turns out the people running the place DELIBERATELY blocked the back lot because it gets too mushy when wet. GREAT! I’d say there were a good 15 cars coming IN when we were driving out – can’t imagine how outraged everyone was – we ended up going out to breakfast – sigh. I texted my son & grandson, letting them know why we wouldn’t be there. NOT COOL! There’s only one more game next Saturday and this one begins at 8:45, so hopefully we won’t have that same problem! TOO CRAZY!


Grasshopper Pie

18 Oreo cookies
2 T. butter, melted
1 (7 oz) tub marshmallow creme
1 tsp. peppermint extract
7 drops green liquid food coloring
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar

Spray 9″ pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. Place cookies in
food processor (or blender) & mix
until fine, reserving 1 T. crumbs
for garnish. Add butter to crumbs
in processor & pulse to combine.
Pat crumb mixture along bottom &
sides of pie plate – refrigerate.

In medium saucepan cook marshmallow
creme over medium-low heat, stirring
constantly, until melted. Remove from
heat; scrape into a large bowl & stir
in coloring & extract. Cool slightly.

In another large bowl whip cream &
powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
Using rubber spatula, fold in marsh-
mallow mixture until smooth. Scrape
into crust & smooth top. Sprinkle top
with reserved cookie crumbs &
refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.
Serve immediately, refrigerating any
leftovers. Serves 10


Sun-dried Tomato Tortellini Soup

1/2 C. chopped sun-dried tomatoes,
(jar) packed in oil
1 T. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 (32 oz) can chicken stock (or vegetable)
1 C. crushed tomatoes
kosher salt/ground black pepper
8 oz. cheese tortellini
2 T. cold unsalted butter
1/2 C. heavy cream
5 oz. baby spinach
-fresh ground Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped parsley – garnish

In large pot over medium heat add
sun-dried tomatoes & oil, tomato
paste, garlic, onion & carrot – saute
until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar,
stock & tomatoes – season with salt/pepper.
Bring to boil – simmer 15 minutes. Puree
soup in blender (carefully) in batches. In
large pot cook tortellini accordg. to pkg.
directions until al dente. Add butter &
stir until creamy; add heavy cream, tortellini
& spinach – mix until spinach is wilted &
tortellini is warmed through. Garnish
with Parm. cheese & parsley – serve
immediately. Serves 4


Creamy Crockpot Chicken &
Sweet Potatoes

6 whole boneless skinless chicken
1/4 C. maple syrup, divided
4-5  medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 T.  cream cheese with chives & onions
1/4 tsp. paprika, divided
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary, divided
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place chicken in bottom
of crockpot – season with half of salt/pepper,
paprika, rosemary – drizzle half maple syrup
over chicken & cover with all of chopped onions.
Add cubed sweet potatoes on top of chicken –
season with remaining salt/pepper, paprika,
rosemary & maple syrup. Divide cream cheese
into 4-5 pats – distribute evenly over top of
sweet potatoes. Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours
or until sweet potatoes are tender & internal
temp. of chicken is 165 degrees F. on an instant
read meat thermometer. Carefully stir melted
cream cheese into dish. Garnish with additional
ground paprika & dried rosemary (if desired)
before serving. Serves 6


Spicy Bacon-smothered Cabbage

1 head cabbage, shredded
1 pkg. bacon, sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1/2 T. black pepper
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

In large skillet cook bacon until
just beginning to get crispy. Add
bell pepper, onion & spices & mix
well. Cook 5 minutes until veggies
are tender. Add cabbage & broth;
cook 20 minutes – cabbage will
wilt & become translucent. Add
apple cider vinegar & cook 5
minutes more.


Pork & Apple Meatballs

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 1/4 C. pork-flavored stuffing mix
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. Honeycrisp apple, peeled/cored
& diced (or any crisp/sweet apple)
1/2 C. onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Optional: barbecue sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all ingredients
except BBQ sauce. Form mixture into
meatballs by tablespoonfuls. Lightly
spray 15 X 10″ jelly roll pan with nonstick
cooking spray & place meatballs on pan.
Bake 18-20 minutes until meatballs are
no longer pink in middle. Brush tops with
BBQ sauce, if desired & serve. Serves 8-10


German Cinnamon Apple Cake

2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

Apple Topping:

2 large apples (Granny Smith and/or
another apple of choice)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In small
bowl, whisk flour, baking powder,
salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Using
an elec. mixer on Medium speed,
cream softened butter, brown sugar &
gran. sugar until combined. Add eggs,
one at a time, & vanilla – mix until
combined. Slowly add flour mixture
& stir until just combined – pour batter
into prepared pan. In small bowl whisk
sugar & cinnamon. Toss sliced apples
in mixture until coated – arrange apple
slices on top of batter in desired
configuration. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan
10 minutes. Serve warm or room temp.
Garnish with powdered sugar or whipped
cream, if desired.  Serves 12



Our weather is cloudy but ‘decent’ –
31 degrees F. – no sign of snow until
Tues/Weds and that’s 50% so maybe
we’ll be lucky and it will not come!?
(Wishful thinking on my part!)

Last night was my special needs group’s
Gym Night and they (and I) had a good time
playing several different games. The one I
particularly like best is (not sure the name)
“Balloon Batmitton” (my name for it). The
kids sit in 2 rows facing each other with
about 4 feet in between. A blown-up
balloon is gently hit from side to side until
one team misses and the balloon hits the
floor. My job is standing behind one of the
row of chairs to get any ‘wild’ shots that
go over their heads, helping bring the
balloon back into ‘play’. Another game they
really enjoyed was carrying a golf ball on/in
a soup ladle while walking zig-zag around
cones on the floor to a bucket at the other
end – dump the golf ball and return zig-zag
fashion. The team that gets all the balls in
the bucket first wins. Lots of laughing – lots
of fun! The great thing about these games is:
they can be played even if you’re in a wheelchair!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!



Thursday ALREADY???

Have you ever had weeks where the days just FLY by? It’s been like that for me for a good 2-3 weeks now. The good thing about Thursdays is: it’s usually my “NOTHING to do” day! Doesn’t mean I don’t DO things, it’s just that it’s not usually a PLANNED things day. (got the floors cleaned/vacuumed, dusting done and am now baking a loaf of Banana Bread).

Our weather is continuing to be WEIRD – the temps are in the low – mid 20’s (which is COLD!) and we keep having intermitant snow, but it melts – YAY! Last night coming home from my special needs group the roads were slippery – we had light snow & a misty rain – just grateful I got home safe!


Andes Mint Chocolate Cake

1 box devil’s food cake mix &
ingredients to prepare cake

Peppermint Buttercream

1 C. unsalted butter, softened
4-5 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract
4-6 drops green gel food coloring,

Chocolate Ganache

1 pint heavy cream
24 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. Andes mints (unwrapped)
plus more for garnish

Prepare & bake cake accordg. to
pkg. directions in two 9″ cake
pans – let cool completely.

In large heavy saucepan pour
heavy cream & heat on medium
heat. Bring to a simmer (once you
see tiny bubbles form around edges,
remove from heat). Add chocolate
chips, whisking until combined. Let
mixture chill until it reaches a
spreadable consistency, at least
30 minutes before frosting cake.

Cream together all Buttercream
ingredients in large bowl until light
& fluffy, adding more powdered
sugar if frosting is too loose. Add
food drops & stir until evenly combined.
Add more until you reach your desired

Top one round cake with Buttercream
then place second layer on top of it.
Frost top & sides with Ganache. Garnish
bottom of cake with Andes mints &
top with chopped mints. Serves 12


Crockpot Citrus & Herb Turkey Breast

1 (6-7 lb) bone-in turkey breast, skin
2 oranges, quartered
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 T. olive oil
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. chicken broth or stock

Rinse turkey breast & pat dry. Place
orange quarters & sprigs of thyme &
rosemary in bottom of crockpot. Drizzle
olive oil over turkey & sprinkle with
chopped thyme/rosemary, salt/pepper,
to taste – rub into skin. Place turkey
breast in crockpot & pour chicken broth
around turkey. Cover & cook on Low
5-7 hours or until turkey reaches 165
degrees F. on a meat thermometer.
Remove turkey from crockpot & tent
with foil 20 minutes.
To Brown Skin:
place turkey under broiler 3-5 minutes
or until golden brown, then tent with
Slice & serve – serves 4


Baked Tomato Mozzarella Casserole

2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans whole peeled
tomatoes, drained/sliced
4 C. soft bread cubes
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Place a
single layer of tomatoes in bottom.
In large bowl combine bread cubes,
2 C. cheese, bacon, butter, celery,
onion, eggs, garlic salt, oregano &
basil – mix well & spoon over tomatoes.
Top with remaining tomatoes; sprinkle
top with remaining cheese & bake
30 minutes until heated through.
Serves 8


Skillet Mac & Cheese

4 C. water
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. elbow or shell macaroni
1 tsp. cornstarch
4 oz. fontina cheese, grated
4 oz. asiago cheese, grated
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

fresh parsley (optional)

In large (12 inch) skillet, combine
water, 1 1/4 C. evap. milk & salt –
bring to boil over medium-high
heat. Add macaroni & cook until
al dente, stirring frequently,
8-10 minutes. In small bowl whisk
remaining 1/4 C. evap. milk with
cornstarch – stir into pasta & simmer
1-2 minutes to thicken. Remove skillet
from heat & stir in cheeses in small
batches. If needed, add hot water, a
little bit at a time, to reach desired
consistency. Garnish with chopped
parsley, if desired. Serves 6


Crockpot Chicken & Barley Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1 C. celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 C. pearl barley (not quick-cooking
1 1/2 lb. chicken breast or thighs
3 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
3/4 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. black pepper

shredded Parmesan cheese-garnish

In microwave-safe bowl combine onion,
garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, basil,
celery & carrots – microwave about 4-5
minutes, stirring every minute – transfer
to crockpot. Add barley, chicken, chic. broth,
tomatoes, salt, bay leaf & pepper to crockpot –
stir. Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours, until
barley is cooked through. Remove chicken &
shred or cut into bite-sized pieces – add back
to pot & stir. Serve topped with shredded
Parmesan cheese. Serves 6


Peach Pretzel Jell-O Salad

2 C. pretzels, crushed
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted
butter, melted
2 T. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 cans peaches, drained/
peaches patted dry
2 C. boiling water
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
1 (6 oz) pkg. peach Jell-O
1/2 C. sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In medium bowl combine
pretzels, sugar, cinnamon &
nutmeg; stir in melted butter &
mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to
prepared dish & gently press in an
even layer. Bake 8-10 minutes then
cool. In large bowl cream together
cream cheese & sugar; gently fold
in Cool Whip. Spread mixture over
cooled crust then refrigerate 1 hour
until set.
In a large bowl combine dry Jell-O
with boiling water & stir until
completely dissolved. Let cool to
room temperature. Top cream
cheese layer of cake with peach
slices then gently pour cooled Jell-O
over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate
until set, 2-3 hours. Serve chilled.
Serves 8-10


Dutch Apple Bread

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. diced, peeled green apple
1/2 C. chopped nuts

5 T. cold butter
1/3 C. flour
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Vanilla Glaze:
1 T. melted butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

(whisk all glaze ingredients
together until smooth – set aside)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a loaf pan* with parchment
paper or spray with nonstick
spray. Cream butter & sugar in
a bowl; add eggs, milk & vanilla –
stir to incorporate. Mix in flour,
salt & baking powder; fold in nuts
& apples. Transfer mixture to
prepared pan.

Combine all ingredients & mix
with a fork or pastry blender until
crumbly; sprinkle over batter in pan.

Bake 55-60 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of bread comes out
clean. Let cool; remove from pan &
drizzle top with vanilla glaze. Slice &

*You can use a 8″ or 10″ pan



Hoping you are having a GREAT day –
remember to take a little time out to
do something nice for yourself (OR






Happy Tuesday!

Once again in good old Michigan we have our “Michigan Weather” – what does that mean, you ask? Why, it means that one day we have bright sunshine and warm temperatures and the very next day it’s 30 degrees F. and snowing! (which is just what’s happening right now!). I love (not really) looking at our forecasts for the week: one day it says we’re getting a light dusting of snow (less than an inch) and read that very same forecast the next day and it’s SNOWmageddon! So, it’s lightly snowing right now with ‘about an inch’ expected and on into tomorrow – about 3 inches – oh, great…sigh. At least the roads are clear (for now!). In a very short while I’ll be doing my weekly babysitting of the 1 yr. old grandson; his 1 year baby check up shows he’s in the 98% range in height/weight/development, etc. – this baby has never been small/average, etc. – he’s CHARGING into life! (Hope the family is ready for this one!)


Chocolate Mint Poke Cake

chocolate cake mix (with ingredients
to prepare – 9 X 13″ pan)
2/3 C. butter, softened
1 2/3 C. sugar
3 large eggs, room temp.
2 C. flour
2/3 C. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 C. milk

Mint Filling:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 C. Andes Creme De Menthe baking

Mint Whipped Cream topping:
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. mint extract
green food gel or coloring
mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking dish
In bowl, using elec. mixer, cream butter
& sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a
time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking
soda & salt – add to creamed mixture
alternately with milk, beating until
smooth after each addition – pour
batter into prepared pan. Bake
35-40 minutes until cake tests done.
Poke cake with holes all over top using
the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill
holes with Filling while cake is still hot.

Place Creme de Menthe bits & sweetened
cond. milk in microwaveable bowl. Micro-
wave on High in 30 second intervals until
chocolate is melted, smooth & pourable.
Pour filling over holes in cake.

Mint Whipped Cream Topping:
Using elec. mixer, place heavy cream
in large bowl & mix several minutes
until stiff peaks form. Whip in
powdered sugar, mint extract & food
coloring – spread on top of cake. Sprinkle
mini chocolate chips on top of cake &
refrigerate up to 4 hours or overnight.
Serves 12


Spinach & White Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
kosher salt/black pepper
1 C. dry white wine
1 (32 oz) can vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 C. sliced zucchini, cut into
half moons
2 C. peas
3 C. baby spinach, washed/dried
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In large pot over medium heat, heat
oil. Cook garlic & onion, stirring with
a wooden spoon, 2 minutes. Add
carrots & season with salt/pepper –
cook 2 minutes more. Add white wine
& stock – bring to boil. Simmer 5
minutes. Mix in cannellini beans &
zucchini – simmer until veggies are
tender, 5 minutes. Just before serving
add peas, spinach & Parmesan – stir
until warmed through & spinach is
wilted. Serves 4


Crockpot Pork Steak & Gravy

1 onion, sliced
2-3 lb. pork steaks
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 oz. pkg. Pork Gravy mix
1 C. water
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom

Place onion slices in bottom of crockpot
& top with pork steaks. Evenly sprinkle
garlic, seasoned salt, red pepper & black
pepper on top. In small bowl mix together
gravy mix, water & soup (undiluted) –
pour over ingredients in crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 2-3 hours until a meat
thermometer shows the steaks have
reached safe cooking temperature (165
degrees F.) Serves 6-8


Sauteed Chicken & Veggies

2-3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. chicken broth
8 oz. spaghetti, broken into
small pieces (1 1/2 – 2″)
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese,
grated & additional for garnish
2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. squash (zucchini, yellow, etc.),

Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium heat; add chicken, onion,
carrots & garlic – season with salt/
pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add broth & pasta –
stir to combine & submerge noodles
in broth. Cover with tight-fitting lid;
reduce heat to Low & simmer 5  minutes.
Uncover skillet; stir in Parm. & add
broccoli & squash (if liquid has been
absorbed, add small amount water
or broth). Cover & simmer an additional
5 minutes until veggies have reached
desired tenderness. Uncover skillet,
sprinkle with additional Parm. cheese &
serve immediately. Serves 6-8


7 Layer Salad
(overnight recipe)

1 small head lettuce, chopped into
bite-sized pieces
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped green onions (put
together to make 1 layer)
2 C. frozen green peas (do not cook)
6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled/diced
1 lb. bacon – fried/crumbled
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese

2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt (poster uses

Mix dressing by combining ingredients.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish layer salad as

celery/green onions
frozen peas
hard boiled eggs
bacon dressing

Make sure dressing is spread over
salad so that it completely covers
& seals edges. Sprinkle top with
grated cheese & cover tightly with
plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Serves 12

(recipe: sugar – n –

French Onion Chicken/Rice

2 C. uncooked long grain
white rice
2 C. milk
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of
chicken soup
1 pkt. dry onion soup mix
1 lb. chicken tenderloins
1/2 C. grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp. parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ dish with nonstick
spray. Add rice, milk, soup &
soup mix to a bowl & mix well.
Pour mixture into prepared pan &
place tenderloins on top. Cover
tightly with foil & bake 60 minutes,
stirring once, halfway through
cooking time. Remove foil & top
with grated cheese; cover & return
to oven 15 minutes until rice is
tender. Sprinkle top with parsley
just before serving. Serves 4-6


Crockpot Sweet Peachy Dessert

2 (1 lb, ea) pkgs. frozen, sliced
peaches (or about 6 C.)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 C. quick-cooking or rolled oats
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 T. butter (or 1/4 C.)

Generously spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add frozen
peaches to crockpot (do not thaw). Sprinkle
vanilla over peaches. In a bowl combine
brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon & nutmeg –
mix well. Cut butter into small pieces & mix
in with flour mixture – sprinkle over peaches.
Cover & cook on Low 3 1/2 hours. Stir after
3 hours & cook another half hour. Turn off
crockpot – remove lid & let stand 15 minutes.
NOTE: When you go to stir peaches if they
seem too dry add a little water (OR) if using
canned peaches, add a little peach juice).
Serves 6-8

Good with ice cream or whipped cream
OPTION: You can also add nuts or raisins to



Hope you are all in good health and looking
forward to SPRING! I’m hearing Cardinals &
Robins singing – I LOVE hearing the birds in
Spring! I’m waiting for the Red-winged Black
Birds – love their trills.

Enjoy your day!



Pet Peeve

As you know I like to feature recipes in my blog – I obtain these from various sources/sites after reading through LOTS of recipes, I choose those I think sound tasty and (semi) easy to prepare. What I don’t usually mention is HOW some of these recipes are written – enter: MY PET (recipe writing) PEEVE! Example: today I found a tasty-sounding Turkey/Stuffed Shells recipe and began typing it out. I DO NOT understand how, when someone is writing up a recipe, they can totally MISS important steps in preparing a recipe! Steps like HOW BIG a meatball is supposed to be if it’s in the recipe title that it’s supposed to be a MINI meatball? OR, for that matter, going from mixing meatball ingredients in a bowl to putting said meatballs in a pan WITHOUT listing HOW to make the meatball or WHAT SIZE the pan is supposed to be? Crazy! I try to never assume the reader knows these things – this could be the very first time they’ve ever tried making this type of recipe! I made the (dumb) mistake yesterday of commenting on Facebook about a recipe – exactly the same issue: no details about how big/how much/what size dish, etc. Got a rather snarky reply back from FACEBOOK saying I’m supposed to take up that issue with the original writer of the recipe. MY THOUGHT: don’t post it if you’re not ready to receive comments on said recipe! That’s what the COMMENT section is all about! (and I wasn’t the only person making that type comments on that recipe!). I’m NOT a beginner cook but I AM concerned about those who might be reading my recipes on my blog, therefore I try my best to make sure the recipe is clear about how something is prepared, what size pan, how long to cook, etc. That said, the stuffed shell turkey meatball recipe is ME, winging it on the size of the pan to put the meatballs in to bake AND the size of the MINI meatballs! Oh well…I’ll step off of my soapbox now….


Spinach-stuffed Shells with Mini
Turkey Meatballs

15 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. baby spinach, chopped
1/2 C. marinara sauce, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large pot of salted boiling
water, cook pasta shells to al dente.
Drain then return to pot & let


In large bowl combine ground turkey,
bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley &
red pepper flakes – season with salt/pepper.
Form mixture into small 1″ balls &
place in 9 X 13″ baking dish &
bake until cooked through, 10-12 minutes.
In large bowl stir ricotta, mozzarella &
spinach – season with salt/pepper. Pour
1/4 C. marinara sauce in bottom of oven-
proof skillet or baking dish. Stuff shells
with ricotta mixture & meatballs –
arrange in dish & spoon remaining
marinara sauce over top. Bake 18-20
minutes until hot & bubbly. Serves 4


Cinnamon Bun Pie

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 (16.3 oz) tube refrigerated
biscuits (about 8)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in medium bowl in
microwave – spoon about 2 T.
into deep-dish ceramic pie plate
or 9″ round pan – tip plate to coat
bottom & sides. In another small
bowl stir pecans, cranberries, sugar
& cinnamon – spoon about 1 C. into
bottom of baking dish. Remove
biscuits from tube & divide each one
into 3 layers. Dip each biscuit layer
into butter & arrange 6 of them on
bottom of baking dish to cover nut
mixture. Spoon another layer of nuts,
etc. on top of the biscuits & dip
remaining 2 biscuits in melted butter &
place on top. Pour remaining nut mixture
on top layer & pour rest of melted butter
over top. Bake 25 minutes until biscuits
are completely cooked. Cool in pan on a
cooling rack 5 minutes then turn out onto
a serving plate. Scrape any nuts/sugar
remaining in bottom of pan onto rolls.


Crockpot Italian Pork Chops

6 bone-in pork chops
2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 (16 oz) bottle Italian salad dressing
3 whole yellow onions, peeled/sliced
into rings

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray & place 1 layer of onions
in bottom. Place 2 C. bread crumbs in
shallow bowl (big enough to fit 1 pork
chop). Pour about half of Ital. dressing
into crumbs & mix until moistened –
wait 5 minutes for bread crumbs to
absorb moisture. Pour an additional
half of what’s left of dressing into
bowl & mix again. Pat each chop into
mixture, smearing on both sides of
chop & place a layer in crockpot.
Add another layer onions & another
layer breaded chops. Add another layer
of onions – if you have more chops, keep
making layers & end with onions.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 6


Loaded Bacon/Split Pea Soup

1 lb. bacon
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt/ground black pepper
4 C. chicken broth
1 (12 oz) pkg. dried split peas,

fresh chopped parsley, chopped –

In large stockpot over medium heat
cook bacon until crispy, about 8
minutes; transfer to paper towel-
lined plate & let cool, then crumble.
Add onion, carrot & garlic to pot –
cook until tender, 6-8 minutes.
Season generously with salt/pepper.
Add broth & peas – let simmer,
covered, until peas are tender,
35-40 minutes. Serve garnished
with parsley & bacon. Serves 4


Feta Shrimp Skillet

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. white wine (optional)
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
2 T. minced fresh parsley
3/4 C. feta cheese, crumbled

In large nonstick skillet heat oil
over medium-high heat. Add onion;
cook/stir 4-6 minutes until tender.
Add garlic & seasonings – cook 1
minute longer. Stir in tomatoes &
wine, if desired. Bring to boil; reduce
heat & simmer, uncovered, 5-7 minutes
until sauce is slightly thickened. Add
shrimp & parsley – cook 5-6 minutes
until shrimp turns pink, stirring
ocassionally. Remove from heat;
sprinkle top with cheese & let stand,
covered, until cheese is softened.
Serves 4

NOTE: if desired, you can add 1/4 C.
chopped kalamata olives with the
tomatoes. Dish is great served over
rice or pasta, zucchini noodles or
spaghetti squash.


Easy Cabbage Casserole

4 C. shredded cabbage
1 C. grated carrot
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 egg
1 C. milk
6 T. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. minced fresh parsley
2 T. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. (or 9 X 13″) baking
dish with nonstick spray. In
large skillet sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray, saute cabbage,
carrot & onions until crisp-tender.
Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
In a bowl combine egg, milk, Swiss
cheese & salt – pour over vegetables.
Sprinkle top with parsley & Parm.
cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30-35
minutes until a knife inserted near
center comes out clean.

(recipe: facebook)

Crockpot Ham/Tomato/Egg


2 T. butter, melted
10 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 C. heavy cream
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 oz. deli ham, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Melt butter in 6  qt. crockpot. In a bowl
combine beaten eggs with heavy cream &
season with salt/pepper – pour into crockpot
& evenly add ham, tomatoes & cream cheese.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours
until eggs are set. Serves 8

NOTE: If you do not like cream cheese you can
either omit it or substitute a shredded cheese
for it (like mozzarella).


Creamy Lemon Squares

4 T. unsalted butter, melted/cooled,
plus more for greasing pan
1 1/2 C. C. (about 24 squares) crushed
graham crackers
1/4 C. sugar

2 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brush an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
melted butter. Line bottom with parchment
paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two
sides. Using a food processor, finely grind
graham crackers. Add in sugar & butter;
blend to mix. Press mixture into bottom of
pan & 1 inch up the sides. Bake 8-12
minutes until lightly browned. Cool crust
30 minuets

In large bowl whisk egg yolks & condensed
milk. Add lemon juice & whisk until smooth-
pour into cooled crust & carefully spread to
edges of pan. Bake about 15 minutes until
set. Cool in pan on rack then chill at least
1 hour before serving. Using the parchment
paper overhang, lift out of pan & transfer to
a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut
into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp
kitchen towel between each cut. Makes 16



Well, it’s March First – it’s 34 degrees F &
gloomy/rainy outside (AND we’re supposed
to get rainthat later turns into 1-4 inches of
SNOW!) UGH! Looking at the Natioal Weather
site we will have a Winter Storm Warning
late tonight until 4 a.m. tomorrow. “Total
daytime accumulation of snow around 4 inches”
then TONIGHT: “new snow accumulation of
around 3 inches” . . . oh, goody! 7 inches???
Friday-Sunday temps around 35-40 degrees;
that’s not really enough to melt all that snow!
(I guess if there’s an UP side to all of this, almost
ALL of the old snow is totally gone-roads, sidewalks,
ground all snow free).  I’m grateful that I don’t
really have any pressing engagements to go to;
grocery shopping all done/errands run earlier
in the week. I’m looking forward to just reading
the 3 books I checked out in the library, knitting
on several projects and making homemade pizza
for dinner tonight. Ah, the life of luxury, right?

Oh – I should add that sometimes I make mistakes
in typing up the featured recipes. I remember
several years ago a friend of  mine was following
my blog & she emailed me with a ‘slight’ error.
Apparently my big fat fingers hit the “0” instead
of the “-” (as in 3540 minutes) instead of 340
minutes! Oh well – at least you know I’m HUMAN!!!

Hope you have a GREAT day and are able to do
something relaxing at some point in your day!
Spring is coming! We’re hearing BIRDS singing!
YAY! My FAVORITE season is quickly coming!



A day of MUCH NEEDED rest!

Yesterday was a MARATHON day – from leaving for church at 8:40 a.m. to finally arriving home again at 8 p.m. I was running. Church, Grandson’s First Birthday party, back to church at 4:30 for choir practice/evening church/congregational meeting – UGH! Had a nice time at the birthday party – this grandson doesn’t like getting his hands dirty so when his parents stripped him down to a diaper to ‘smash’ his cake, he really didn’t get into it. Lots of help by parents & other grandparents until he finally ate a bit of frosting off his fingers, but smash? NO WAY!

They had a nice lunch of ‘make your own’ sandwiches, potato salad, tossed salad & all the fixin’s, dill pickles and cake. (Not exactly sure what I ate that didn’t agree with my stomach but I had stomach cramps ALL DAY/NIGHT – not good. Might have been the pickles – I love dills but something really didn’t agree with my stomach.) I’m better today but will be really careful about what goes in my mouth for the next few days – stomach feels like someone punched it!


Pecan Pie Bars with Shortbread

Shortbread crust:

1 stick (1/2 C.) salted butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour


1 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 eggs
1/2 C. (packed) brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. flour

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Line bottom of 8 X 8″ baking pan
with parchment paper. In small bowl
mix butter, sugar, vanilla & flour until
it makes a sticky dough. Press dough
into bottom of prepared pan in single
thin layer. Bake 10-15 minutes. In
large bowl mix eggs, brown sugar, corn
syrup & flour until combined – fold in
chopped pecans. When crust is done,
remove from oven & pour nut mixture
over crust. Raise oven temperature to
350 degrees F. & bake 25-30 minutes
until top is golden & crispy.


Maple Ham & Egg Cups

1 T. butter, melted
6 slices deli ham
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. butter, cut into 6 pieces
6 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

English muffins, toast or biscuits to
serve 6

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brush insides of 6 muffin cups with
melted butter & line each cup with
1 slice ham. Pour 1/2 tsp. maple
syrup over each ham slice & top with
1 pat butter. Crack one egg into each
cup & season with salt/pepper. Bake
20 minutes until eggs are set. Remove
from oven; use a spoon or gently twist
each serving to loosen. Serve on English
muffins, toast or split biscuits. Serves 6


Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded/
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon (about
3 small cubes)
7 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes, petite,
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3-4 corn tortillas, torn into 1″

Optional Garnishes:
tortilla chips or strips
grated cheese (your choice)
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onion
In 4-6 qt. soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add onion, garlic, Anaheim & jalapeno
chilies & bouillon – cook until veggies
are softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in
all chicken broth & diced tomatoes (with
juices). Rinse chicken breasts under cool
water & add to pot. Bring to boil &
immediately reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer until chicken is cooked through,
15-20 minutes. Remove chicken & cool
slightly. Add all remaining ingredients
(including tortilla pieces) to broth &
either puree using immersion blender
or, in batches, in a blender. Do not fill
blender more than 1/3rds full – hot
liquids expand when pureed & may
explode out of top of blender, causing
possible burns. Transfer pureed soup
to pot & return to Low heat. Shred or
cube chicken (when cool enough to
handle) – add back to soup & stir to
combine. Simmer soup 30  minutes.
Test soup – add salt/pepper, if needed.
Serve with options. Serves 6


Crockpot Pesto Chicken

1 (21.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
(two 10.5 oz)
1/2 C. pesto (your choice/favorite)
1/2 C. sour cream
2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts
or tenderloin, cut into strips

Cooked noodles, rice or pasta to
feed 8
Spray 5-6 qt. crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place chicken strips
in bottom. In a bowl mix together soup,
pesto & sour cream – spread evenly over
chicken strips. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until chicken is cooked through
& tender. Serve chicken over cooked
noodles, rice or pasta. Serves 8


Twice-baked Potato Casserole

1 lb. thin bacon
16 russet potatoes
6 T. canola oil
4 sticks (1 lb.) salted butter,
plus more for buttering dish
2 C. sour cream
2 C. grated Cheddar or Jack
(or mix of both) cheese, plus
more for topping
2 C. whole milk
4 tsp. seasoned salt
6 green onions, sliced
kosher salt/black pepper,
to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in saute pan until
crispy; cool then crumble. Scrub
potatoes & place on baking sheets.
Rub potatoes with canola oil & bake
until tender, 45 min – 1 hour. Remove
from oven, lower oven temp. to 350
degrees F. Slice butter into pats &
transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add
bacon & sour cream. Using a sharp
knife, cut each potatoes in half
lengthwise & scrape out insides into
bowl. Tear up 3 of the skins & throw
them in bowl. Smash potatoes using
a potato masher. Add cheese, milk,
seasoned salt, green onions & some
salt/pepper – mix together well. Butter
a baking dish & spoon mixture into dish.
Top with more grated cheese & bake
25-30 minutes until warmed through.
Serves 16

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Foodnetwork)

No-Bake Preacher Cookies

3 C. quick cooking oats, uncooked
2 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 stick + 1 T. unsalted butter,
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Pour oats in large bowl. Line a
baking sheet with parchment
paper (can use a flat surface
instead of sheet). In saucepan
melt 1 stick butter over medium-
high heat, stirring frequently.
Bring to boil 1 minute then remove
from heat. Add peanut butter &
vanilla – stir to combine. Pour
mixture over reserved oats in bowl;
add milk & sugar – stir until fully
incorporated. Scoop 1 T. batter
onto baking sheet, press down
to flatten. Melt chocolate chips
with 1 T. unsalted butter in a
microwave-safe dish at 20 second
intervals on medium heat until melted,
stirring after each interval until
chocolate is completely melted.
Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over
tops of cookies. Cookies are ready
to eat when chocolate has cooled &
set. (OR) Chill in fridge 1 hour.
Makes 30-40 cookies



I fully plan on taking it EASY today – nothing
special planned so that should work (leftover
homemade lasagna in fridge, so no cooking!).

Our weather is typical Spring in Michigan: in
the 50’s, sunny and sometimes VERY windy!
Looks like we’re going to get rain on Thursday
but that’s OK (at least it’s not snow!).

Hope you are in good spirits, feeling well
and enjoying the day!



Rain, Rain, rain . . .

What do you call liquid snow? Well, rain, of course! Our temperatures are very much desired – in the 50’s! What comes with those lovely warm temps is RAIN! It’s been warm, rainy and GLOOMY! Good thing I have lots of things to occupy my mind or I’d be tempted to go right back to bed! Yesterday was my now ‘regular’ Tuesday babysitting and Little Mr. Squinky was good (except he really fought taking a nap!). He’s almost one now and, as I put it yesterday, ‘full of spit and vinegar’! He’s a very happy/funny/crazy baby and it’s a joy to spend time with him. This Sunday is his One Year birthday party and his parents are having it at ‘the hotel’ (his Dad is Executive Chef there and his Uncle, our middle son is the Front Desk Clerk/Night Auditor). They said it just made sense to have it there since they won’t have to cook OR clean up afterwards! (They’re renting the conference room for the afternoon). Ought to be fun – they’ve requested NO TOYS! (His ‘other grandma’ has already bought him WAAAAY too many and he still hasn’t played with all the ones she got him for Christmas!) I bought him one toy – one of those things you usually see in a Pediatrician’s office: it’s a bunch of bendy wires with beads on them, kind of like this:

I plan on shopping for some size 3T baby pants/jeans and more socks (she’s asked for just clothes for the party). I already told them I’ll wait until AFTER the party to see what else they need (clothes-wise).


Pecan Pie Muffins

1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter or margarine,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray (or use paper liners).
Combine first 3 ingredients in large
bowl; stir to combine. Beat eggs
until foamy in another bowl; stir
in butter. Stir in dry ingredients,
stirring until just moistened. Pour
batter into cups, filling 2/3 rds
full. Bake 20-25 minutes until done.
Remove from pans immediately.
Makes 9 muffins


Garlic/Brown Sugar Chicken

2 T. butter
4 T. minced garlic
1 lb. boneless chicken tenders
6 T. brown sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

In a skillet melt butter; add garlic &
cook about 2 minutes (just to brown).
Season chicken with salt/pepper &
place in pan. Cook approx. 3 minutes
per side until it is no longer pink in
middle. Sprinkle brown sugar on top
of chicken & heat until melted
completely. Serves 4


Crockpot Pizza

1 lb. fresh pizza dough (or frozen/thawed)
1 T. flour
1/2 lb. Italian pork sausage, cooked/drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. marinara sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded Italian-blend cheese
8-12 slices pepperoni

Parmesan cheese & chopped parsley,

On large piece of parchment paper scatter
flour, making sure to get a little on each
side of dough. Roll dough on paper into an
oval shape – be sure to roll & stretch dough
2 inches longer & 2 inches wider than the
crockpot bottom. Using the edges of the
paper to lower dough into crockpot. Cook
pork sausage in skillet over medium-high
heat, breaking into small pieces with a
wooden spoon. Add minced garlic last
few minutes of cooking. Spread sauce over
pizza crust then cover with cheese. LIft &
stretch sides of dough so it extends past the
cheese. Sprinkle crumbled sausage over
cheese then top with pepperoni. LIft &
stretch sides of dough again so it is above
the edge of the toppings. To catch excess
moisture, cover top of crockpot with a long
piece of paper towel – place lid over towel &
pull tight. Cook 2-3 hours on High (or 4-5
on Low) When ready to serve. lift pizza
out of crockpot by edges of parchment
paper & sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese &
parsley (if using). Cut into 8 slices.


Crockpot Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. wild rice, uncooked
1 C. each: chopped celery & onions
1 C. shredded carrots
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. whipping cream
2 T. soy sauce
1 C. sliced almonds, toasted
4 oz. (half of 8 oz pkg) cream
cheese, softened

Place chicken in crockpot; top with
rice & vegetables. Add broth; cover
& cook on Low 6-7 hours (or High
3-4 hours). Whisk flour, cream &
soy sauce in medium bowl until
blended. Ladle 1 C. liquid from
crockpot into flour mixture & mix
well. Return to crockpot & mix
again. Stir in nuts. Cover & cook on
High 20 minutes. Add cream cheese &
stir. Cover & cook an additional 10
minutes; stir before serving.
Serves 9 (1 Cup each)

NOTE: comment from someone
who made the above recipe twice:
She made it on the stove top &
used shredded rotisserie chicken.
Put flour over sauteed vegetables &
finished the recipe that way.


Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad

1 (16 oz) box linguine
2-3 C. rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 C. frozen peas, thawed
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 C. carrots, grated
4 green onions, chopped on a
4 T. toasted sesame seeds

1/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
1/4 C. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sriracha

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Place all salad ingredients in large bowl.
Place all dressing ingredients in large
glass measuring cup & stir to combine.
Pour dressing over salad & toss to
combine. Cover & refrigerate 2-3 hours
before serving. When ready to serve,
taste & adjust salt/pepper. Serves 12


Creamy Fettuccini Alfredo

1 (16 oz) pkg. fettuccini pasta, uncooked
1 tsp. salt
2/3 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. Half & Half, room temp/divided
1 1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

optional garnish: additional shredded
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
adding salt to cooking water. Remove
pan from heat; drain pasta & return to
pan. Add butter to warm pasta & mix well.
Add 3/4 C. Half & Half to pasta-mix well.
In small bowl mix cheese & garlic salt –
add half to cheese mixture. Add remaining
Half & Half & remaining cheese mixture
to pasta mixture, stirring well after each
addition. Garnish with additional cheese
& serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: Gooseberry Patch)

Crockpot Sausage & Rice Stuffed

5 bell peppers, any color

Cut tops off peppers; dice tops &
set aside.
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (use less if you
don’t like spicy)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Place sauce ingredients in medium bowl
& stir. Remove 1 Cup sauce & place in
bottom of crockpot.
Other stuffing ingredients:

2 1/2 C. cooked/cooled rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. diced white onion
1 (14 oz) pkg. kielbasa sausage, diced

For serving:
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Using same bowl with rest of tomato
mixture, add rice, garlic, onion, diced
bell pepper & diced kielbasa – stir. Stuff
peppers & place in crockpot on top of
tomato mixture. Cover & cook on High
3 1/2 hours. Top with cheese – replace
lid for 5 minutes & serve. Serves 5


Apple Dumplings

1/2 C. water
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter, softened/divided
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 rolled/refrigerated pie crust
(from 15 oz. pkg.)
4 small (or 2 medium) Granny
Smith apples, peeled/cored*

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small saucepan combine water,
gran sugar, vanilla, 1 T. butter &
nutmeg over High heat. Bring to
boil 1 minute; set aside. In small
bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon
& remaining 1 T. butter – mix well.
Unroll pastry & cut into quarters.
Stuff each apple cavity with an equal
amount of brown sugar mixture &
place on dough quarter. Fold up
around apples & pinch ends together
to completely enclose apples. Place,
seam sides down, in 8″ square baking
dish; pour sugar sauce over top.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden. Serve
warm, drizzled with sugar glaze from
bottom of baking dish. Serves 4

*Small apples work great for this recipe
but if you don’t have them, use regular-
sized apples cut in half.


Gas prices are REALLY low lately, from
$2.49/9 to $2.36/9! YAY!

I’m off in a few minutes to go to the Library
Knit Group – this one is a ‘non-structured’
group where we all just get together, knit/chat
and enjoy the Library’s free coffee/tea/water &
donuts! After that it’s a quick grocery shopping
at Krogers, rest a bit then this evening is my
special needs group.

Hope you have a GREAT day!



Nice Quiet Day – so far…

Our weather has been ‘holding off’ – almost all of the snow & ice have melted – YAY! Checking the weather forecast for the coming week there is a 50% chance of snow around 1 a.m. tonight, but for the most part, it looks in the 30’s & clear – hope so!

Nothing much going on today – even my grandson’s flag football team has the day off; tomorrow night’s choir practice is canceled so I have MORE than my normal share of OFF TIME – YAY! Spent part of the morning just knitting on both of the baby blankets; they are both a little ‘fussy’ so I tend to avoid working on them (me & my big ideas about “I just LOVE knitting LACE patterns – the more complicated, the better!” Yeah…right….sigh).  Dinner tonight is Beef Stew – I’ve been sort of craving a nice, homey meal that will last for more than one serving and stews/soups fit that bill.


Banana Pudding Cake

1 box vanilla cake mix PLUS
ingredients to make cake (as on box)

1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

2 bananas, sliced

Buttercream Frosting:
1 1/2 C. butter, softened
5 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. plus 2 T. heavy cream
1 C. crushed Nilla wafer cookies
whole Nilla wafers – garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIne two 9″ cake pans with parchment
paper & spray with nonstick cooking
spray. Prepared cake accordg. to pkg.
directions – divide batter between
cake pans & bake 25-30  minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center of
cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool
10 minutes in pans then invert onto
wire racks to cool completely.


In large bowl combine milk &
pudding mix – stir until thickened,
about 5 minutes – fold in Cool Whip.


In large bowl using elec. mixer, combine
butter, 3 C. powdered sugar & vanilla.
Beat until light & fluffy – add remaining
sugar & heavy cream – beat until smooth.

Assembling Cake:

Using a serrated knife, cut off the rounded
top of each cake to make cake level. Top
one cake with a thick layer of pudding then
top with most of the banana slices (reserve
some to garnish top). Place second layer on
top & frost entire cake with buttercream,
reserving about 1 C. to pipe on top. Press
crushed Nilla wafers around sides of cake.
Transfer remaining buttercream to a piping
bag* fitted with a large star tip – pipe large
swirls around top of cake. Decorate top
with Nilla wafers & more banana slices.
Serves 8-10

*If you don’t have a piping bag – you can
use a large zip-lock bag. Spoon frosting
into bag, zip up then snip a bottom corner
off of bag & use that to pipe frosting onto


Chicken Parmesan stuffed Shells

1 lb. box jumbo pasta shells
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese,
plus more for serving
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 C. marinara sauce, divided
1 T. fresh chopped basil (plus more
for garnish)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt – to taste
ground black pepper – to taste
12 oz fresh or frozen breaded
chicken, cooked accordg. to pkg.
directions & diced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pot of salted boiling water
cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente – drain. In large bowl
combine 2 C. mozz. cheese, garlic,
2 C. marinara, basil & red pepper flakes;
season with salt/pepper. Stir until
combined then gently fold in cooked/
diced chicken. In bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish spread remaining marinara
sauce to a thin layer. Stuff chicken
mixture into cooked shells & arrange
on top of sauce side-by-side. Sprinkle
tops of shells with remaining mozz
& bake 30 minutes until cheese melts
& tops are turning slightly golden brown.
Cool slightly, garnish with Parm cheese &
basil & serve. Serves 6-8


Hamburger Soup

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
6 C. beef broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen peas &
3 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In large soup pot over medium-
high heat, cook ground beef &
onion 6-8 minutes until browned;
drain. Add remaining ingredients;
bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-
low & cook 20 minutes until vegetables
are tender. Makes 12 Cups.

NOTE: When serving, top with shredded
Cheddar cheese to make it a Cheeseburger

Spinach & Cheese Manicotti

8 oz. uncooked manicotti shells
1 (32 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach;
thawed/squeezed dry
1 (16 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain/rinse then drain again. Spray pasta
lightly with nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 C.
Parm. cheese, egg, salt & pepper mix well
then add spinach & mix again. Fill each
shell with about 1/3 C. mixture & place in
prepared dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over
filled shells & sprinkle top with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese. Bake 35-40 minutes
until hot & bubbling. Serves 4

NOTE: For an easy way to fill shells:
Place cheese mixture in a resealable plastic
storage bag. Snip off a corner of bag &
squeeze cheese mixture into shells.

Fall-Off-The-Bone Spareribs

2 C. water
2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T. prepared yellow mustard
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

5 1/2 lb. pork spareribs

In large saucepan combine all
ingredients except ribs; bring to
boil over High heat, stirring
frequently. Reduce heat to medium-
low & cook, stirring frequently,
35-40 minutes until sauce is thick
& glossy. Place ribs in large pot &
add just enough water to cover ribs.
Boil ribs over medium-high heat
about 30 minutes until fork-tender.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Drain ribs & place in large roasting
pan – baste heavily with sauce. Bake
30 minutes, basting ribs occasionally &
turning once after 15 minutes. Remove
ribs from pan & cut apart every 2-3 ribs
for easier eating. Serve with remaining
sauce. Serves 4

Crockpot Scrambled Eggs

1-2 T. butter, melted
10 large eggs, beaten
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/4 C. heavy cream
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Coat 6-7 qt. crockpot well with
melted butter. Mix eggs & cream well &
stir in cheese – pour into crockpot. Cover
& cook on High 1-2 hours until eggs are
set. Gently fold in sides of set eggs to
chop up eggs into scrambled egg
consistency. DO NOT over stir.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Make SURE you coat your crockpot
insides WELL with butter so eggs will lift
away from sides when it’s time to ‘scramble’

POSTER NOTES: she tried using Cheddar instead
of mozzarella & she said: “The Cheddar was too
oily & the flavor was not as good. Mozzarella
seems like an odd choice, but works well.”

Apple/Spice Pullapart Bread

1 round loaf hearty white or
sourdough bread, unsliced
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C.) melted butter
1/2 C. dry spice cake mix
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 apple, peeled,/cored, finely diced

1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Using
a serrated knife, make a criss-
cross pattern in the bread, slicing
1 inch apart, cutting almost all
the way to bottom of bread but
being careful not to cut through
completely. (you will be stuffing
the cuts). Place bread on baking
sheet & evenly pour melted
butter between each bread
section. In medium bowl combine
dry cake mix & brown sugar; mix
well. Add apples & toss to evenly
coat. Evenly sprinkle apple mixture
between each of the cut bread
sections, being careful not to break
the bread apart. Sprinkle any
remaining mixture over the bread.
Bake 25-30 minutes until bread
is crispy on top & bottom.

In a small bowl whisk powdered
sugar & milk until smooth -drizzle
over top of warm bread. Serve
immediately. Serves 8



Hope your Saturday is moving along
nicely and you’re able to take a little
time out for yourself: rest/relax, maybe
drink something warm & soothing? (I
personally love Chai Latte tea).





It’s Thursday . . .

I’m VERY grateful that our weather has ‘taken a break’ – we had temps. in the 40’s yesterday and now all the extra snow/ice is melting! YAY! Our driveway is clear – we went to pick up my new glasses today and I didn’t have to do the ‘usual’ bundle-up with heavy scarf, heavy gloves, etc – felt nice to just go out hatless/scarf-less/glove-less!

The Yarn Swap went over well Tuesday night – I was happy to ONLY bring home about 10 very small skeins of yarn (mostly baby weight, so they were small); still had a LOT of yarn so I took the rest to the Wednesday Library knit group and STILL had a good amount, so the remainder went to Children’s Village where they teach teens to knit/crochet for charities.

I’m finally in the ‘nothing special’ mode of life (for awhile, hopefully) – that means I don’t have anything BIG/PRESSING to have to do. Got my special needs group newsletter together, just have to fold, stamp & deliver to post office and that will be done. We took delivery of our new washing machine yesterday – that was an ‘adventure’… The delivery guys called us at 6:45 a.m. to let us know they’d be here in around 15 minutes! YIKES! Jump up, change into clothes & quickly proceed to move everything that might impede delivery (that’s stuff sitting on downstairs steps/coats hanging on wall hooks/boxes-stuff around old washer, etc.). Crazy! While they were installing the washer I had to leave for knit group. Husband texted me that they got the old washer OUT but new washer needed new hoses and they couldn’t get the OLD hoses off of the water connections! Ended up having to call a local plumber to come and CUT them off! (Ah, yes – save $$$ on great deal on washer only to then SPEND part of the deal back to plumbers!) Such is life, right? Well, now we have a working washer. This new one is very different: it’s a agitator-less one – it only has a big, huge empty steel drum for the clothes, nothing in the middle that goes up & down! Apparently they made the drum with bumps and that’s what moves the clothes around. Oh – and if you’re waiting for the water to fill you’ll wait a LONG time! You put the clothes in the tub, dump in the soap and close the lid. The washer SENSES how much water you need & then fills it accordingly! WEIRD! (there IS a ‘pause’ button, should you need it) It has all kinds of settings for water temp, times, etc. – gonna take me awhile to get used to this one, for sure!


Peanut Butter Fluff

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (3.9 oz) vanilla or chocolate
instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
25 Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
3/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Suggested dippers:
slices of apple, graham crackers,
chocolate graham crackers,
peanut butter cookies

In large bowl mix cream cheese &
dry pudding mix together until smooth
(will take a few minutes). Slowly add
milk  – 1/4 C. at a time, making sure it
is completely incorporated before adding
more. Add peanut butter – mix until
combined. Fold in Cool Whip until
mixture is smooth & creamy & fluffy.
Fold in Reese’s candies & chocolate
chips. Cover & chill at least 2 hours.
Serves 20

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Pot Pie

5 chicken thighs
2 Russett potatoes, peeled/diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled/diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 C. frozen corn
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. chicken stock (or water)
1/4 C. flour
4 T. butter
1/2 C. heavy cream
1 C. frozen peas

chopped parsley (garnish)
cooked biscuits (or) cooked
puff pastry
In a skillet brown chicken on both
sides 3-5 minutes on high. Place
potatoes, onion, carrot, celery &
corn to crockpot – season with salt/
pepper. Place chicken stock on top of
veggies; add chicken thighs. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours (or High 4 hours).

About 15 minutes before cooking time
is done, remove chicken & make a
paste of the flour & butter, using a
fork to mash it together. Add butter
mixture, heavy cream & peas to
vegetable mixture & stir. If your
chicken isn’t crispy enough (out of
crockpot) you can brown it in the
oven on broil a few minutes.
Serve topped with cooked biscuits
or cooked puff pastry. Serves 5


Good Luck Pork & Cabbage

4 C. shredded cabbage
2 apples, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. apple juice
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 (3 lb) boneless pork butt
bottom roast
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. vegetable oil

Combine cabbage, apples, onion,
brown sugar, apple cider vinegar,
apple juice & 1/2 tsp. salt in crockpot;
mix well. Evenly sprinkle roast with
remaining salt & pepper. In large
skillet over high heat, heat oil &
brown roast on all sides – place
roast in crockpot over cabbage
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 5-6
hours until pork reaches 160
degrees F. on meat thermometer
& is fork-tender. Serves 6


Ham a la King

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry shells
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 C. hot water
1 1/2 C. milk
3 slices processed American
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 C. cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed (optional)
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced black olives,
2 T. diced pimientos
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Bake pastry shells according to
pkg. directions. In large saucepan
melt butter; stir in flour until
smooth. Dissolve bouillon in
water. Gradually add milk &
bouillon to saucepan & bring to
a boil. Cook & stir 2 minutes until
thickened. Reduce heat; add
cheese, Worc. sauce & mustard –
stir until cheese is melted. Add
ham, peas (if using) olives,
pimientos & parsley – heat
through. Serve spooned into
baked pastry shells. Serves 6


Italian Potato Cakes
(uses leftover mashed potatoes)

2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
2 T. diced onion
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/3 C. flour
vegetable oil, for frying

In bowl combine potatoes,
onion, cheese & seasonings.
Stir in egg & combine well.
Stir in 1/4 C. flour (add a little
more, if needed, to tighten
up the potatoes – not overly
stiff though). Heat 1/4″ oil
in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Drop potato mixture by
big spoonfuls in oil & gently
flatten out just a little. Fry
2-3 minutes per side until
golden brown. Remove to
a paper towel-lined plate.


Brown Sugar Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops
2 tsp. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1 T. chopped parsley

lemon wedges & parsley sprigs;
optional garnishes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. In large
pan over medium-high heat heat
oil. Season chops on both sides
with salt/pepper. Place chops in pan
in single layer & cook 5-6 minutes
per side or until browned. Remove
chops from pan & place on a plate –
cover with foil to keep warm. Add
butter to pan & melt; add garlic,
brown sugar & Ital. seasoning-
cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Place chops back in pan & spoon
sauce over top. Place pan in oven &
bake 10-15 minutes until chops are
cooked to desired level of done-ness.
Spoon sauce from bottom of pan over
chops & sprinkle with parsley (if using).
Serve, garnished with lemon wedges.
Serves 4

*If you don’t have Italian Seasoning,
you can substitute with equal parts
dried oregano, dried basil & dried


Crockpot Hearty Italian Beef Soup

2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
cooking oil
1/2 C. white onion, diced
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. diced celery
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian seasoned
diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz, ea) great Northern beans,
2 (15 oz, ea) beef broth
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

For serving:
sliced French bread
Parmesan cheese (garnish)

In large skillet over medium-high
heat add enough oil to coat bottom
of pan. Brown stew meat on all sides
& place in crockpot. Add carrots,
onion, celery, diced tomatoes, beans,
beef broth, tomato paste, salt/pepper,
onion powder & oregano & stir. Cover
& cook on Low 9 hours without opening
lid during cooking time.
Serve topped with Parmesan cheese &
French bread for dipping.
Serves 10


Chunky Monkey Brownies

2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 C.) unsalted butter,
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. mashed banana, (about
1 medium-large banana)
1 (10 oz) pkg. semi-sweet baking
(Hershey) OR 12 oz. semi-
sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. chocolate chips for top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Using
elec. mixer in large bowl, mix
butter, eggs, sugars, salt & vanilla
until well mixed. Add flour, mashed
banana & baking melts (or chips);
stir using a wooden spoon to
combine – spread mixture into
prepared pan & smooth top.
Sprinkle 1/4 C. choc. chips on
top & bake 30-40 minutes until
lightly golden brown & a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool completely before
cutting into bars.



Hope you are in good health and that
YOUR weather is cooperating, also. It’s
SO nice not to have to worry about what
snow storm is on the horizon for the day –
you can actually make plans to go
shopping without fear of getting your car
stuck or slipping on the roads/parking lots!

Stay healthy!