Nice, QUIET Day!


It’s a SUNNY DAY! (I LOVE Susan Boynton’s illustrations!)

Yesterday found me picking wild blackberries with our grandson – it’s become a ‘tradition’ here, his Dad & Uncles all did it when they were young and now he’s carrying on the fun. We both got a few ‘pokes’ from the pickers but he was able to eat a large bowl of them with Cool Whip AND take home almost a quart, for later. There’s lots more berries out there and I’m sure we’ll be back picking when he comes on Monday. I had totally forgotten what a young boy going through a ‘Growth Spurt’ was like – MAN, that kid can EAT! He started out with a slice of bread/peanut butter & jelly – few minutes later asked for 2 slices of bread/butter/cinnamon & sugar. About half hour later a hot dog followed by some grapes – then 2 more slices bread/cinnamon & sugar. I kept asking him if he wanted more substantial food but he seemed happy with just bread/cinnamon! I know there was more food during the day, plus blackberries. His Dad said he’s totally outgrown all his long pants by a good 2-4 inches; I’m guessing he’s going to be pretty tall when fully grown, his dad is 6 ft something and his mom is around 5′ 7/8″.



Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Pretzel Crust:
2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. sugar

Cheesecake Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Strawberry Topping:
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
1 T. corn starch
1 1/2 T. strawberry flavored Jell-O
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled &

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir crushed pretzels,
butter & sugar until combined. Spray
a 10 inch tart pan with nonstick spray
and press pretzel crust firmly into pan
using the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake 10 minutes & let cool completely.

Cheesecake Layer:
Beat cream cheese until smooth; add
sugar & vanilla – beat until combined
then add Cool Whip & beat until medium
peaks form – spread into cooled crust.

Strawberry Topping:
In small saucepan combine sugar, water &
corn starch – bring to boil. Boil 2 minutes,
whisking constantly (mixture will thicken),
remove from heat. Add Jell-O & whisk
until combined. Arrange strawberries in
single layer all over cream cheese layer
then pour Jell-O mixture over, covering
each berry. Refrigerate until Jell-o is firm,
2 hours. Serves 8


Spicy BBQ Onions (Grill/Oven)

1 (18 oz) bottle BBQ sauce*
2 large yellow onions

Preheat grill to medium heat or
preheat oven 350 degrees F. Thinly
slice onions & place slices in large
bowl. Pour 1/2 bottle of bbq sauce
on onions & mix well. Place each onion
on a separate square of foil; wrap tightly
with foil. Place on grill or in oven for
20-30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Serves 4

*Poster used Kraft Thick ‘n Spicy


Skillet Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes (medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. coconut oil

Peel & cube potatoes; heat a skillet on
medium heat-add oil & potatoes. Cook &
stir frequently about 15 minutes until
tender – do not burn. Add garlic, salt,
cinnamon & parsley – stir repeatedly &
cook another 4 minutes. Stir often & try
not to burn the garlic.
These can also be OVEN ROASTED:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add all ingredients to a roasting pan;
bake 25-35 minutes (time varies according
to how big you cut the potatoes)
Serves 4


BBQ Bacon Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 1/2 – 2 pkgs. thick cut bacon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 T. onion powder (or 1/4 C.
finely chopped onion)
1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line large sheet pan with foil.
Place ground beef, pork sausage, eggs,
bread crumbs, garlic & onion powder
in a bowl – mix thoroughly & roll into
approx. 28 golf ball-sized balls. Make a
hole in center of ball & insert a pinch of
cheese; pinch ball shut & shape back into
a ball. Cut bacon strips in half & wrap a
half around each meatball; place balls on
prepared sheet, bacon seam side down.
Bake 20 minutes on center oven rack.*
At 20 minutes take pan out & drain fat;
brush on BBQ sauce & place back in oven
10 minutes – brush on more sauce. Drain
pan again, if needed. Brush on more sauce &
place back in oven 5 minutes. (If you’re not a
big fan of BBQ sauce, you can skip the third
brushing & just serve sauce on the side.)
Drain any remaining fat & serve.

*You can place meatballs on a wire rack in
the pan – this will keep the meatballs out of
the bacon grease.


Buffalo Chicken Pasta (crockpot)

1 lb. chicken breast, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. hot sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Ranch salad dressing (or blue cheese)
1 1/2 C. sour cream
3 C. penne pasta

Season chicken with salt/pepper &
place in crockpot. Stir soup, dressing,
hot sauce & pour into crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 4-6 hours (or High
2-3 hours). Stir in cheese & sour
cream. Boil pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & add to crockpot.
Stir well & serve


Chicken Breasts with Garlic &

3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cubed
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. oil
1 T. minced garlic
3 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 T. butter

Pat chicken dry with paper towels &
toss with flour, salt & pepper. Heat oil
in large skillet over high heat. Cook
chicken 3 1/2 minutes, turning
occasionally. Add garlic, parsley &
butter; saute 1 minutes & stir to
coat chicken with pan sauce. Serves 4


Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. long grain white rice
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 T. chopped cilantro

Combine rice, chicken broth, salt
& ground cumin in large saucepan
or skillet. Bring to boil over medium-
high heat. Cover & reduce heat to
medium-low; let simmer 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, keeping lid on.
Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
Remove lid & add lime juice, zest &
chopped cilantro. Fluff with a fork
& serve warm. Serves 6


Summer Watermelon/Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. olive oil
3 T. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seeds

1 (5 oz) pkg. baby arugula
1 (2 lb) watermelon, or
roughly 6 C., cubed
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 (6 oz) pkg. feta cheese,
16 basil leaves

Place olive oil, balsamic vinegar,
mustard & honey in bowl of small
food processor; pulse a few times to
emulsify dressing. Add salt & poppy
seeds; stir with spoon & set aside.
Place arugula on a platter, cover with
cucumbers & watermelon; sprinkle
with feta. Slice basil leaves into ribbons &

toss evenly over salad. Drizzle with
dressing & serve. Serves 8



Still working on the knit scarves for military people;
I made two in black (in my opinion – very boring;
I tried using very plain stitches – their suggestion and
I’m not too thrilled with the outcome. I might make
one more before sending them – then I’ll be done with
this ‘extra’ charity project/idea. Found a really simple
knit baby blanket pattern on Facebook – am wanting to
give that a try soon. The ‘pick up’ date for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby shower is August 30th so I still have
time; have 3 of the baby headbands done and one
almost done (I’m thinking a total of 10 on this project).

Tomorrow is our first of two Sunday School picnics –
I finally decided what to make: baked chicken legs &
thighs. I know that might sound strange but last year
at the same picnic we had tons of salads & desserts
and one person brought grilled sausages – that was the
only meat (and they went super fast!). I got up early
today and did my usual ‘multi-stores’ shopping: to the
bank, drugstore, Gordon Foods (large bulk food type
place) then to a small grocery store near me. The
manager at the drugstore was very happy I saved a
total of $33.27 in coupons and store sales (me, too!).
They had 2-liter Mountain Dew for 99 cents! Tide was
on sale for $5.97 (liquid – usually it’s around $8-9 per
bottle) AND I had a Buy 2/1 free coupon, so that
helped. The small store near me had a lot of sales-
chicken legs & thighs 79 cents a lb. so I bought three
packages (not really sure if I can have the time to
COOK all that, but we’ll see – am planning on baking
them coated in Italian bread crumbs/garlic powder/
pepper 350 degrees F. 1 hour) – – – there’s a LOT of
chicken – we’ll see! Anyway – super happy to get a
lot of good bargains. Sunday is my turn to bring
Sunday School treats, so good old Gordon Foods
came to my rescue! They sell frozen, already-baked
mini muffins (5 different kinds in 1 pkg – I bought
2 of those), mini cinnamon buns – frozen (1 pkg)
and a pkg. of mini brownies – that should fill them
up! Our class is the 50’s & 60’s and there are, on
an average Sunday, about 45-55 people and they
all love treats with their coffee. I’m not worried –
any leftovers will quickly be consumed by my

Dinner tonight will be leftover enchiladas – I made
12 big ones yesterday; still 9 for dinner tonight. I
like making them because they’re quick, easy and
fill up the guys. (I’m guessing that right about now
one of you is going to comment: “What’s the recipe
for those?”)

Pam’s Enchiladas

1 1/2 – 2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. Fajita seasoning pkt. (like
Taco seasoning – comes in a little
envelope, dry)
about 1 C. chopped onion
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 (16 oz, ea) cans refried beans
garlic powder
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded extra sharp
Cheddar cheese

sour cream/hot sauce for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a large baking pan with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef in small skillet;
drain. Add dry Fajita seasoning packet &
water required on pkg. – cook & stir until a
thicker sauce has formed – take off heat.
Place 1 tortilla on a plate, spread about
1 1/2 – 2 T. refried beans down middle,
sprinkle some chopped onion on top,
a dash of garlic powder and about
2 T. seasoned meat. Roll up tortilla &
place seam-side down in pan – repeat
until you have used up all ingredients.
Pour enchilada sauce over top (I use
a small ladle, making sure sauce is on
all – even to the ends). Cover with foil
& bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven,
take off foil & sprinkle cheese on top.
Place pan under broiler until cheese
melts nicely. Serve with sour cream &
hot sauce on the side. Makes 12
You can make more or less of these; my
guys really like them so I make a big
batch. You can vary the size of the
tortillas as well. For my guys, 2 enchiladas
make up a serving (for me, 1).

Our gas prices are staying at $2.39/9 and
I’m happy. The weather has cooled down
a tiny bit – we were supposed to have a HUGE
thunderstorm last night but it was pretty mild
with a little thunder/lightening and some rain
(my petunias were all droopy from the rain –
they even looked like the rain washed all
their color off!).

Hope your day is going well;




and so it begins – GARAGE/ESTATE Sales season!


Yesterday I noticed a post on Facebook for an estate sale REALLY close to my house so today, after doing some errands, I went. WOW! The lady who lived in that house was a hoarder (they even put that in the ad!) – she LOVED dishes! and silver plate – there had to be at least 8 silverplate butter dishes with lids (really nice, but I already have one); at least 14+ sets of dishes (probably much more); one entire room was filled with nothing but silver plated serving items for LARGE parties: platters, big tureens, silverware – I’m kind of at a loss for words when attempting to describe all in that one room, alone! The garage was so packed I hardly could get around in it – some really old steamer trunks (someone would get a huge bargain if they bought those), old really unique chandeliers – so much ‘stuff’! What did I buy, you ask? One hunk of cranberry-colored material for $2.00 – going to use it at Log Cabin Days for a picnic table cover/cloth. There was another estate sale in the area, also so I checked that one out – NO WHERE NEAR the amount of ‘stuff’ – rooms were mostly empty. I paid $1.00 for a large new white plastic ring binder notebook (a little larger than the one I use for my knit group) good bargain; new they run about $8.00. That’s the total sum of my adventures: $3.00. (good thing, ’cause I started out with $4.00 – with a little extra tucked away just in case I spotted something I really wanted/needed).


Sort of ended up on a Mexican-themed recipe list today!

Ice Cream Tacos

2 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. sugar
2 C. chocolate chips
2 T. butter
3 small flour tortillas
1/4 C. rainbow sprinkles
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream sauce

Cinnamon sugar:
On small plate combine sugar &
cinnamon – mix well.
Melt chocolate chips over double
boiler until smooth. In small
skillet over medium heat melt
butter. Add tortillas & saute, one
at a time, until golden & crisp, 2
minutes per side. Dredge both
sides of tortilla in cinnamon
Shaping Tortillas:
Fold tortillas in half & dip outer
edges in melted chocolate, then
dip in sprinkles. Turn a
tin unside down & stand tortillas
upright in between muffin ‘bumps’.
Let stand until chocolate is hardened,
about 10 minutes. Fill each taco with
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream & top
with caramel sauce. Freeze until
hardened, at least 30 minutes
Makes 3


Crockpot Taco Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 (10.5 oz) can tomatoes with green
chiles (like Ro*Tel)
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese cut into cubes

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans, salsa, canned
tomatoes & taco seasoning – stir to combine
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
During last 30 minutes of cooking time, add
cream cheese cubes & cover/cook until
cream cheese melts. Serves 4


Mexican Fried Rice

3 C. cooked white rice
4 T. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 green onions, sliced (save a few
pieces for garnish)

Add 2 T. oil to large skillet over medium-
high heat & add onion-saute 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, corn & chiles, cook 2-3
minutes until liquid has cooked out. Add
seasonings & garlic; cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic begins to brown. Turn down
heat to medium; add remaining oil &
cooked rice-cook4-5 minutes, stirring
frequently to blend. Stir in green onions &
remove from heat. Top with remaining
green onions & serve. Serves 6


Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Bruschetta

2 heads fresh garlic
1 large red bell pepper
1 baguette, sliced
3-4 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
(see note below on how to
roast garlic)

Cut pepper in half lengthwise/remove
stem & seeds. Prep garlic & roast with
cut pepper on same sheet. Remove
from oven & adjust oven temp. to
400 degrees F.
Place sliced baguette on a baking
sheet & lightly drizzle with oil. Bake
until just brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove garlic meat from bulbs & slice
pepper. Remove toasted baguette slices
from oven & spread with roasted garlic
& pepper. Serve warm. Serves 6-8
How to Roast Garlic:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using sharp knife, trip tops of each buls
so that all cloves are showing; trim
bottoms just enough so they sit flat.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 2 T.
olive oil; place bulbs on sheet & drizzle
with more oil. Sprinkle tops with salt/pepper.
Cover with foil & bake 40-45 minutes – allow
to cool enough to handle. Remove all cloves
& discard empty bulb.


Mexican Beef & Rice Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded
four cheese (Kraft)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Taco seasoning mix
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots/
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 C. chunky salsa
1 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Brown beef in nonstick skillet; drain.
Reserve 1 C. cheese but add remaining
cheese & all remaining ingredients
to skillet – mix well. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish. Bake 40-50
minutes until rice is tender. Top with
reserved cheese & bake, uncovered,
5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Country Farm Chicken Casserole
(partial Grill usage)

2 large chicken breasts
1 medium vidalia onion, diced
5 slices bacon, chopped/cooked/
2 large potatoes, peeled/cubed
1/2 C. canned mushrooms (or
1 C. fresh)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. melted butter
garlic powder

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Reserve bacon grease in skillet.
Peel/cube potatoes & fry in
bacon grease. Season with salt/
pepper, garlic powder – add onion
& mushrooms; fry in bacon grease.
Coat chicken breasts with melted
butter & season with salt/pepper.
Grill chicken (poster used George
Foreman grill). After chicken is cooked/
cooled – cut into cubes. Mix soup &
3/4 C. broth; season with pepper to
make a sauce. In 8 X 8″ glass baking
dish combine chicken, mushrooms,
onions & potatoes. Top with sauce
& mix well so that everything is
well coated in sauce. Bake 30
minutes covered with foil. Remove
foil, top with crumbled bacon &
bake 10 minutes more, uncovered.
Serves 4

(recipe: Mike Suddaby – Facebook)

Crockpot Queso Dip with Chorizo

12 oz uncooked chorizo (or 8 oz, cooked)
16 oz. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
1/2 C. salsa
1/2 C. chopped cilantro

Toasted bread or chips, for dipping

In medium skillet cook chorizo over medium-
high heat, crumble as you cook; drain. Combine
cheese, chorizo, salsa & cilantro in crockpot.
Cook on High 1-2 hours (or Low 3-4 hours),
stirring every 30 minutes. (If desired, pour
into oven safe bowl & broil 4-5 minutes before
serving to melt top layer  of cheese). Serves 8


Raspberry Custard Pie

2 eggs, beaten
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 1/2 – 2 C. fresh raspberries
1 C. sugar
1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Whisk eggs & sour cream together
in large bowl. In separate bowl
combine raspberries, sugar, flour
& salt; toss lightly. Add berry
mixture to sour cream mixture.
Place pie crust in a pie plate.
Pour berry mixture into pie
crust. Bake 45 minutes, until
firm & golden. Cool completely.
Serves 6-8


While out & about today I noticed that
the gas prices have jumped – again. Today
regular is up to: $2.39/9. (once again I
should have got gas when it was $2.29/9) –
oh well . . .

Our weather is really nice – perfect for
garage sales; today when I got in the car
it was 60 degrees F.; when I got home
about 2 hours later it’s almost up to 70!

Finally got the thinner white yarn I needed
to knit the baby blanket I started yesterday;
good thing was – it was on sale for $5.99
per skein (big skeins) so I bought three,
knowing they will be used, either for the
blanket or for baby hats.

Hope you have a really good day today!



It’s HUMP Day! (or just plain Wednesday, take your pick!)

old lady at desk

Just got home from my weekly shopping trips – Walgreens, CVS, Dollar Store & grocery store – all had great grocery items on sale. I know I’ve told you before, but here’s a quick reminder: check out your drug store & dollar store fliers for sales on things you use every day. There was a $2.00 off coupon for TIDE – the size I use normally (if I went to KMart or Krogers) runs around $8.00 – on sale/with coupon I paid $3.50! THAT’S what I’m talking about! I can get really BIG boxes of Kleenex for MUCH cheaper at the dollar store – I’m talking BRAND NAME KLEENEX $2.00 for 195 count! The regular sized boxes hold 160 and cost $2.50+ (check out the deals!).

I’m kind of in a ‘cooking slump’ these days – looked at all the meats on sale (and there was a GREAT sale on pork chops) but I’m in a “No, I don’t want any more PORK/CHICKEN, etc.” – do you ever get like that? I baked a whole chicken in the crockpot yesterday – filling the cavity with about 12 whole garlic cloves & sprinkling the top with garlic powder; served it with fingerling potatoes & salad – it was good. Day before I made the Turkey Stroganoff with egg noodles – there’s still one serving of that and about 1 serving of the chicken left. Tonight is my special needs group so I usually don’t cook dinner on Weds, since I have to leave the house around 6 p.m. (we eat dinner around 6:30 -7 p.m.). Next on my cooking agenda is homemade pizza and that will be good for about 2-3 days worth of dinner (I make 3 pizzas at a time). Found LOTS of great crockpot recipes today, so am including some of those below:


Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese

2 (7 oz, ea) boxes apple cinnamon
muffin mix – prepared
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2-4 T. powdered sugar

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Mix up muffin mix batter & pour
into crockpot. Cut cream cheese into
12 cubes & place evenly in batter.
Place 6-8 paper towels under lid of
crockpot; cover & cook on High 2-4
hours. Remove towels/lid – sprinkle
top with powdered sugar & cut into
12 squares – serve warm.


Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

1 pkg. pasta (bowtie, rotini, your choice)
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked/
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
1 pkg. frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded, chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped

1 bag Frito corn chips

Cook pasta, drain & cool. In large bowl
combine all other ingredients. Mix up
2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. buttermilk
1 pkg. (Hidden Valley) Fiesta dip mix-
(poster said she finds this at WalMart)

Mix all dressing ingredients together &
add to salad – toss to coat & keep
refrigerated until ready to serve. Just
before serving gently toss in Frito
corn chips.

(recipe: Pinterest)

Ranch Chicken Cheese Dip

2 (8 oz, each) blocks cream cheese,
room temp.
1 can chicken breast meat (about the
size of a large can of tuna)
1 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix

Crackers, for dipping

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Frito Pie

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1 can crescent roll dough
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 C. crushed corn chips
1/4 C. salsa
1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add taco seasoning & water to pan
with cooked ground beef; stir &
simmer until water boiled off, about
5 minutes. Separate crescent dough
into triangles. Spray a 9″ pie dish with
nonstick spray & press triangles into
pie plate with narrow points facing
the center of the plate; press seams
together to seal. Sprinkle 1 1/2 C. corn
chips on crust; spoon ground beef over
top, spreading evenly. Mix sour cream &
salsa; spread over beef. Cover top with
shredded cheese & top with remaining
crushed corn chips – drizzle melted
butter over chips & bake 20 minutes
until crust is golden brown.


German Chocolate Brownies

1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate,
2 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 T. brewed coffee
1 tsp. instant espresso granules (optional)
3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/2 C. (4 oz) evaporated milk
1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened/
2 large egg yolks
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIne a 8 X 8″ square baking pan with
foil leaving an overhang on all sides;
spray with nonstick spray (or grease
& flour pan). In large microwave-
safe bowl place butter, chocolate &
heat on High about 2 minutes to melt.
Check & stir after 1 minute (heat in
15-second intervals until chocolate
has melted & mixture can be stirred
smooth.) Allow to cool before adding
eggs so they don’t scramble. Add eggs,
sugar, vanilla, coffee & espresso – whisk
vigorously to combine. Add flour, salt
& stir until smooth & combined
without overmixing. Pour batter into
prepared pan, smoothing top lightly
with spatula. Bake 20-22 minutes until
center has just set & is no longer glossy.
A toothpick inserted into center that
comes out with a few moist crumbs
but not batter is a sign they are cooked.
Allow to cool in pan on wire rack while
preparing topping.

In medium saucepan add evap. milk,
butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt &
heat over medium-low heat 7-10
minutes until mixture has thickened.
Whisk constantly (if you don’t you’ll
end up with scrambled eggs!). Mixture
should be gently boiling while whisking.
Remove pan from heat, add vanilla &
whisk gently to combine. Add coconut,
pecans & stir to combine. Allow
topping to cool in pan about 5 minutes
then pour topping over brownies using
a spatula to spread as necessary. Allow
brownies to cool, uncovered, at least
1 hour before slicing. (Poster covers
brownies with foil & refrigerates them
a few hours or overnight, making them
much easier to slice. Makes 9-12 squares


Bacon & Feta Cheese Peas

2/3 C. water
2 C. frozen peas (or half 16 oz. bag)
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. feta cheese, crumbled
salt/pepper, to taste

Bring 2/3 C. water to boil in medium
saucepan. Add peas, cook 5-7 minutes
until tender; drain & keep about 3 T.
water in pan. Add butter & stir until
melted. Add garlic powder, bacon,
feta, salt/pepper & stir to combine.
Serve immediately. Serves 3-4


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 C. chicken broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans mild diced tomatoes
with green chilies (do not drain)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
1 T. fresh lime juice
3 T. chopped, fresh cilantro
2 medium chicken breasts

Suggested toppings:
shredded cheese
diced avocado
tortilla strips

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Add
chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans,
corn, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika,
salt/pepper, lime juice & cilantro – stir.
Add in chicken breasts. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours (or High 3-4). About 20
minutes before serving, remove chicken
& shred using 2 forks; add meat back
into crockpot & stir. Serve immediately
with suggested toppings. Serves 6


Strawberries & Cream Poke Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box white cake mix, prepared
as per box directions in 9 X 13″ cake pan

3/4 C. boiling water
1 (3 oz) box strawberry Jell-o
1/2 C. cold water

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) tub ready-made white frosting
1 tsp. almond extract

1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries,

Let baked cake cool 20 minutes then
poke top of cake all over using the
handle of a wooden spoon (or a straw),
holes about 1/2″ apart, covering entire
surface. In a small bowl stir boiling water
& Jell-O together until completely dissolved.
Pour in cold water & stir then pour over
top of cake. Cover cake with plastic wrap
& refrigerate about 3 hours.

Combine Cool Whip & frosting, stirring gently
then stir in almond extract; spread on top
of cake. Arrange sliced strawberries on top
of cake & serve. Refrigerate leftovers.



Not much going on around here
lately; we ended up watching our
grandson yesterday - he played
baseball with his dad the night
before and managed to hyper-extend
his knee. He spent the day on the
couch being 'nursed' by me & watching
tv & playing video games. Let's just
say I got a lot of knitting done!

Our weather is still Spring-like; it’s
in the 50’s & sunny with a slight breeze
not bad. I, of course, am awaiting the
low 70’s, but that’s got awhile to come.

I’m still fighting with my computer to
find a suitable font size without it
suddenly changing what I ‘copy & paste’
(read that: recipes) into super tiny or
gigantic letters! AND, it’s also decided
to not let me single-space my paragraphs,
either (I figured out this, even though
I’m not fond of this font, at least it’s
not making my writings BILLBOARD sized
with all the double spaced lines!)

Hope you’re having a good day – I love
looking outside and seeing all the new
blooming trees/bushes/flowers and all
the robins, cardinals and red-winged
blackbirds (Love to hear all their songs!).





While reading our local paper yesterday I saw an ad for a new store in our area: Foreman Mills – they mostly sell clothing. At the bottom of their ad was a 50% off one item, one day only coupon – SCORE! I’ve never been there before (it’s really close) – I was pleasantly surprised. They carry LARGE sized clothing for both men & women! I went, looking for a few more pairs capri pants – found two. The really nice thing was: One pair was $4.99 and the other $12.00 – using the coupon I came out paying very little! As I mentioned before, they carry large sizes – while I was in the Plus Size Women’s section I noticed shorts at 5X – never seen those before! In the Large Men’s section there were 8 & 9X items! Again- never seen that in a regular store before! (I must say – most of their clothing was geared for the ‘younger set’ – lots of sequins/glitter/slits, etc. – you just have to wade through all that to find what you’re looking for.

Have you seen the gas prices lately? I was really needing gas; had gone shopping at KMart the other day and got a 30 cents off per gallon coupon (YAY!) so using the coupon it took $4.50 off my total bill. Gas prices that day were $2.49/9 – great!

Husband & I decided to check out a little restaurant pretty close to our area: The Royal Diner; it was recommended by a friend.  The Royal Diner, 6540 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, MI. It’s got all you would want in a diner: booths, counter seating, the ‘diner atmosphere’ – HUGE menu! Husband got a Patty Melt & I got a Philly Cheese Steak – let’s just say we REALLY got our monies worth! I managed to eat half my sandwich – it was chock-ful of HUGE fresh mushrooms, big slices of green peppers and lots of meat & cheese – YUM! The prices were really good, also – told husband I would like to go there again – he was pleased. (I also noticed a lot of ‘seniors’ there so you pretty well know their prices are good for the quality/quantity of meals!).


Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Cake

2 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. cocoa (Dutch process)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 C. coconut oil, melted & cooled
to room temp.
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. shredded zucchini
1/2 C. sweetened flake coconut
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Coconut Frosting:
1 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. toasted coconut (for garnish)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour, cocoa,
baking soda, baking powder & salt.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter,
coconut oil & sugar until smooth,
about 2 minutes. Add eggs & vanilla,
beat until smooth. Add yogurt & mix
until combined. Slowly mix in dry
ingredients; mix until just combined.
Fold in zucchini, coconut & choc. chips.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake
40-45 minutes until top springs back
lightly when touched & a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven & cool completely
on wire rack

In bowl of stand mixer beat butter until
smooth. Gradually add sugar & mix until
creamy & smooth, about 3 minutes. Add
coconut & vanilla, beat until smooth.
Frost cooled cake with frosting, sprinkle
toasted coconut on top.


Crockpot Lasagna

1 1/2 lb. hamburger, cooked/drained
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 box lasagna noodles
3 C. cottage cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Stir spaghetti sauce into cooked meat;
add diced tomatoes with juice. Add
seasonings; stir & remove from heat.
In bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs &
Parmesan cheese. Spread 1 C. meat sauce
on bottom of crockpot; top with noodles
broken to fit. Layer remaining ingredients:
Cottage cheese mixture
mozzarella cheese
meat sauce
broken noodles
repeat – making last layer meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours until
noodles are tender. Sprinkle top with
remaining 1 C. mozzarella; cover & let
stand 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Cut into pieces & serve.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Crockpot Lasagna

1 1/2 lb. hamburger, cooked/drained
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 box lasagna noodles
3 C. cottage cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Stir spaghetti sauce into cooked meat;
add diced tomatoes with juice. Add
seasonings; stir & remove from heat.
In bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs &
Parmesan cheese. Spread 1 C. meat sauce
on bottom of crockpot; top with noodles
broken to fit. Layer remaining ingredients:
Cottage cheese mixture
mozzarella cheese
meat sauce
broken noodles
repeat – making last layer meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours until
noodles are tender. Sprinkle top with
remaining 1 C. mozzarella; cover & let
stand 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Cut into pieces & serve.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Chickpea, Pesto, Tomato Mozzarella

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained/rinsed
1/4 C. pesto
1 C. chopped grape tomatoes
1/4 C. chopped fresh mozzarella
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. chopped fresh basil

In medium bowl combine chickpeas,
pesto, tomatoes & mozz. cheese; gently
stir & season with salt/pepper, to taste.
Garnish with fresh basil. Serves 4


Santa Fe Chicken Foil Dinner

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes w/green chilies,
2 C. corn, frozen
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
4 squares foil: 18″ X 12″
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Mix beans, tomatoes, frozen corn,
cumin, onion salt, chili powder,
paprika & salt in a bowl. Spray each
foil square with nonstick spray on one
side. Pound each chicken breast using
a meat tenderizer then cube & place
one each, in center of foil square. Spoon
1/4th bean mixture on top of chicken
bring short sides of foil together & fold
at the top. Bring long sides together &
fold again. Make sure you leave a little
room inside the packet for steam
expansion. Place packets on a baking
sheet & cook 17-20 minutes. Carefully
open packets so you don’t get steam
burn. Place about 1/8th C. shredded
cheese in each packet, reseal to melt
cheese. Serves 4


Zucchini-Parmesan (side dish)

4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4″
1 T. olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14 1/2 oz) can Italian diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet saute zucchini in oil
until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook
1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes,
salt/pepper. Simmer, uncovered,
9-10 minutes until liquid is evaporated.
Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
Serve using slotted spoon. Makes 6


Fresh Raspberry Pie

2 C. flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 T. cold water
1 T. white vinegar

1 1/3 C. sugar
2 T. quick-cooking tapioca
2 T. cornstarch
5 C. fresh or frozen raspberries,
unsweetened (thawed)
1 T. butter

1 T. milk
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar &
salt; cut in shortening until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Combine
egg, water & vinegar; stir into flour
mixture just until moistened. Divide
dough in half so that one ball is slightly
larger than the other. Wrap each in
plastic wrap & refrigerate 30 minutes
until easy to handle.
In large bowl combine sugar, tapioca,
cornstarch & raspberries; let stand
15 minutes.
On lightly floured surface, roll out larger
ball of dough to fit a 9″ pie plate. Transfer
dough to pie plate; trim & even edge. Add
raspberry filling & dot top with butter. Roll
out remaining dough ball to fit top of pie;
place over filling. Trim, seal & flute edges.
Cut slits in top, brush with milk & sprinkle
top with sugar. Bake 50-55 minutes until
crust is golden brown & filling is bubbly.
Cool on wire rack. Makes 6-8 servings.


The weather has been pretty steady this
past week – hot! In the mid to high 80’s,
sunny & clear. I shouldn’t complain, cold
weather is coming pretty soon (hate to
think of that just yet!).

It’s been a pretty calm week – middle son
gave us a bit of a ‘reprieve’ – he said he’ll
move back sometime in the next 2 weeks.
Said his older brother is not pleased with
the move but middle son doesn’t make
enough money to cover all his bills, so
this is the best solution for now. (He just
popped by to watch his favorite TV shows-
oldest son doesn’t have cable).

Nothing else going on at the moment –
still working on the gray scarf, about 3/4ths
done with the last of the trilogy by Ken
Follett – I really like his writing. Didn’t
know I’d enjoy history that much but
right now it’s up to the Nixon impeach-
ment – I lived that era so it’s more
relevant to me.

Hope you’re enjoying this day –
take a quick break: grab a quick
nap/snack/something cool to drink.
ENJOY YOUR LIFE – it’s the only one
you get!



PS: Almost forgot to mention:
  Husband was
eager to get this installed on
both our computers – it became
available Weds. so he installed
it on HIS computer. Took forever
to install – got to the regular
screen (the one you have before
you click on what you want to
go to) – the picture background
was there but NONE OF HIS
FOLDERS! THEN the entire screen
began to flash. I should insert here:
husband knows quite a bit about
computers – he did everything he
could THINK OF to get it to stop –
nothing worked. We ended up
taking it to Best Buy – their
“Geek Squad” – the guy there did
everything HE could think of –
same results. They ended up
keeping it – (still there today);
got a call yesterday saying they
think it’s cleared, something
about a Trojan Horse (not sure
if it was on OUR computer OR
the program from Windows 10).
They are going to attempt to
re-install Windows 10 – if they
can’t, we’ll go with them re-installing
Windows 7 (think that’s the right
SOoooooo glad he didn’t do it
to my computer, too! (Husband
said he knew that all my business
accounts were on my computer
and he didn’t want to mess with
those until we were completely
sure it works without glitches!

Anyway – just saying BE CAREFUL
if you decide to install Windows 10.

and THAT’S why I love coupons!


Today was a quick trip to my local drug store: CVS. They have a ‘special’ going on this week where you use your CVS card, grab a tote bag – put whatever items you want in the bag and get 30% off whatever’s in the bag – and the bag is free! I only needed a few things but already had their ‘Extra Bucks’ coupons totalling $8.00, so that’s another $8.00 off my purchases; I also needed to pick up a prescription. Got to the counter and put said items down (total without prescription: $18.41). As she’s scanning said items she says there’s a problem as I already have a $10.00 credit in their program and when all is done, I would need another $2.00 in purchase in order to get the entire thing FREE! I quickly march over & grab a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew (my husband’s favorite – I refuse to pay $2.08 NORMALLY for this but . . . ) – she gets all done and all I had to pay was $5.00 for my prescription – SCORE! Mind you, that doesn’t happen often, but when it does it sure is nice! Let’s just say I had a spring in my step upon leaving. OH! Forgot the ‘other’ thing: when the receipt printed out there was ANOTHER $5.00 Extra Bucks for me for my next purchase! YES!


Banana Split Fluff Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box banana instant
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
(do not drain)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. finely chopped nuts (+
2 T. for topping/garnish)
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,

Stir pudding mix & pineapple until
dissolved & thickened; fold in Cool
Whip. Gently stir in marshmallows,
nuts; choc. chips, bananas & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes
about 8 cups.


Spinach & Cheese Stuffed
Chicken Breast

2 boneless skinless chicken
1/4 of an 8 oz. cream cheese
block (2 oz)
few small slices Pepper Jack cheese
small handfull of fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese
pepper & garlic salt, to taste
olive oil
tomato slices

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place both cream cheese, Parm.
cheese & Pepper Jack in bowl &
microwave 30-40 seconds. Add
spinach, a little garlic salt & pepper.
Stir into softened cheese mixture.
Cut a slit/pocket in one side
(longways) of each breast; stuff
spinach/cheese mixture into each
pocket. Lightly spray a baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle
chicken with Parmesan, garlic salt/
pepper & place in prepared sheet.
Drizzle tops with olive oil. Bake
30 minutes; remove from oven &
place some tomato slices on top &
bake about 10 minutes more.

(recipe:Courtney Luper -Facebook)

Chili-Cheese Taco Dip

1 lb ground beef, cooked
1 can chili – no beans
1 lb. mild Mexican Velveeta
cheese, cubed or shredded

chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes,
chopped green pepper, chopped onion

Place all dip ingredients in crockpot;
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours until
cheese is melted; stir ingredients
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

California Pasta Salad
Large recipe

1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into
1 inch pieces
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) sliced ripe
olives, drained

1 (16 oz) bottle Italian salad
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. sesame seeds
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain & rinse in cold water – transfer
to large bowl. Add vegetables & olives.
In large bowl whisk dressing ingredients;
drizzle over spaghetti mixture; toss to
coat. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Serve with slotted spoon. Serves


Greek Spinach w/ White Beans & Feta

1/4 C. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced vertically
into thick slices, about 2 C.
1 T. fresh garlic, chopped
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms, about
2 C.
1 (15 oz) can white cannellini beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. dry red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. fresh baby spinach
juice from half lemon
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese, divided

Remove tomatoes from can, roughly
chop & place back in juice in can.
In large skillet over medium-high heat
add oil & (once hot) add onions, garlic &
mushrooms – saute until vegetables are
almost tender but still have a little crunch.
Add beans, tomatoes & juice, pepper flakes,
oregano, salt/pepper; cook 5 minutes to
combine flavors & reduce liquid. Add
spinach & cook just to wilt, then add
lemon juice & half the feta. Cook just to
heat mixture & remove to a serving bowl.
Top with remaining feta & serve.
Serves 6-8


Corn Chip Chicken Casserole

2 C. diced, cooked chicken
1 C. cooked white rice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. frozen corn
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies,
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 C. corn chips, coarsely broken

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine all
ingredients except corn chips &
1/2 C. cheese; mix well. Spoon into
prepared dish & sprinkle corn chips
over top. Bake 30-35 minutes; sprinkle
top with remaining cheese & bake
5 additional minutes until bubbly &
cheese is melted. Serves 4

Italian Layer Bake

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated
crescent rolls
8 slices deli turkey (about 1/2 lb)
8 slices deli ham (about 1/2 lb)
12 slices deli hard salami (about
1/2 lb.)
8 slices Swiss cheese, (about 1/2 lb)
1 (12 oz) jar roasted peppers,
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll crescent roll dough without
separating triangles. Separate
dough into 2 squares along center
cut line. Place 1 square dough into
a 8 inch square baking pan, using
your fingertips to press dough to
fit bottom of dish. Layer bottom
with half turkey/ham/salami/Swiss
cheese & roasted peppers. Pour half
of beaten eggs over top & repeat
layers. Place remaining square of
dough over peppers & pour remaining
eggs over dough; cover lightly with
foil. Bake 20 minutes, remove foil
& bake an additional 20-22 minutes
until golden brown & heated
through. Let cool 15-20 minutes
then cut & serve. Serves 6


Berry Ugly Pie

3 C. blueberries, divided
1/2 C. Bisquick mix
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Cool Whip – for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Spray a 9″ deep dish pie plate
with nonstick spray. In blender
puree 1 C. blueberries until
smooth. Add Bisquick, sugar,
butter, eggs, evaporated milk
& vanilla; blend until smooth.
Pour into a large bowl, stir
remaining 2 C. blueberries into
mixture; pour into pie plate.
Bake 60-65 minutes until a
knife inserted into center comes
out clean. Allow to cool then slice
& serve. Top slices with Cool Whip,
if desired. Cover & refrigerate any
leftovers. Serves 8


It’s another beautiful sunny day – 

81 degrees F.

I spent a good bit of time last night
‘attempting’ to put the correct cassette
tapes in the correct boxes for the young
family at church; we have about
25 boxed sets of ‘Adventures in Odysea”
programs. I didn’t know there were THAT
many – and I quickly remembered that
my boys were not as ‘exacting’ when
putting back tapes in the correct box –
drove me nuts! I finally, out of utter
desperation, did the best I could and
for the remaining 6 tapes, just shoved
them into empty spots – oh well. Also
with that ‘find’ I discovered another ‘old
friend’ – when my oldest son was very
young he used to love to listen to little
kid songs/stories on cassette – I found his
old cassette case with about 30 various
cassettes – a lot of Christian kids stories,
songs, some story cassettes – a virtual
treasure trove for the right person! Hard
to give them up but I don’t foresee us
getting any more grand kids in the future
(I could be wrong), so it’s time to let them
go, hoping this family will really appreciate

Hoping your day is filled with sunshine
(and not too hot!).



Learning more every day!


Here they are – my “Coffee Cup Wrap” Christmas presents! I asked each friend what their favorite color was, then knit accordingly. My husband laughed hysterically when he first saw them: “SWEATERS for coffee cups? What’s next – little pants & booties?” (He can be a pain at times).  I got the mugs at our dollar store, used scrap yarns – very inexpensive gift! I plan on purchasing Hershey’s kisses to fill the mugs with, then including a box of assorted teas for 3 of them, and a box of cocoa for the fourth. I might buy some ‘fancy’ little cookie boxes to go with them – we’ll see as it gets closer to the holidays. I’m happy with the way they came out – they were a fast/fun knit (and it gave me a chance to practice the ‘cable’ stitch).

Made a relatively inexpensive dinner last night: it’s a variation on Beef Stroganoff but made with turkey. Got a good deal on four turkey thighs, so I put them in the crockpot to cook all day, then removed & shredded them. Added the meat, fresh mushrooms, chopped onions, 2 cans turkey gravy, some Worcestershire sauce/pepper & garlic powder to a skillet & heated it up. I then added some sour cream and cream cheese, and a bit of horseradish (for zip). I would normally serve this over cooked egg noodles, but my husband asked for rice, so that’s what we had. It made enough for 6 (but for us, it will be 2-3 dinners).

I’m also learning my ‘limits’ in the computer/blog world. Our special needs group board voted to have a blog for the group and I was selected to create one, since I already have three. I went to my trusty – and there I was surprised/flabbergasted/and saddened as well. It appears that since I first created this blog and the others (some 7-8 years ago) they’ve changed their FREE blogs greatly. What I can do on this blog (change font sizes, use ‘bold’ and underline, cut & paste, etc. is NOT offered on their FREE blogs now. I was faced with a blank page (or I could create extra ‘pages’) – if I typed on it, the lines were double spaced (not like this page) and I couldn’t change it. I tried (in vane) to cut & paste various items to said page – no luck. After attempting this for two days, on & off, I handed the project off to another board member who said they might know someone who could not only create a blog for us, but also get us hooked up on Facebook and Twitter. (I could do Facebook – but one less responsibility is OK with me!) I must say – this experience sure made me feel like I need another course in how to write a blog! Goofy! It also made me appreciate THIS (and my other 2) blogs greatly – at least HERE I can CREATE!!! (I’m sure you could probably do all of the above IF you went with their various-rates blogs but I didn’t want to spend the group’s money.)


 Earthquake Cake

1 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped pecans
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 C. butter (or margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease bottom & sides of
9 X 13 pan. Layer coconut & pecans
on bottom. Prepare cake mix accordg.
to box directions & pour over nuts
& coconut. Combine cream cheese, butter,
vanilla & confectioners sugar; beat until
smooth then pour over cake mix.
Bake 40 minutes (or more) check to make
sure bottom is cooked using a toothpick;
it’s cooked if toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Sprinkle a handful of
chocolate chips on top of hot cake after
removing from oven.

(recipe: Facebook)

Monterey Chicken Pasta Bake

3 C. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1/4 C. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 C. flour
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
3 C. cooked chicken, chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Melt butter in large nonstick
skillet on medium heat. Add onions, cook &
stir 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Blend in
flour; cook & stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in
broth; cook 5 minutes or until thickened,
stirring constantly. Add 1 C. shredded cheese;
cook & stir 1 minute or until melted. Drain
pasta; add to ingredients in skillet along with
chicken & bacon; mix well. Transfer to a greased
9 X 13 baking dish; top with remaining shredded
cheese. Cover & bake 40 minutes. Last 10 minutes,
uncover & top with Parmesan. When done cooking,
top with tomatoes & cilantro. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Hash Browns

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash browns, thawed
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 C. chopped onion
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. shredded Colby cheese
5 1/3 tsp. butter, melted
salt & ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. crushed corn flakes (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix hash brown potatoes, sour cream,
onion, soup, cheese & melted butter in a
bowl; season with salt & pepper. Transfer
mixture to greased 9 X 13 baking dish; sprinkle
top with crushed corn flakes. Bake 1 hour, until

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys

Recipe Exchange)

Caramelized Onion & Apple
Cream Cheese Spread

3 T. butter or margarine, divided
2 C. chopped sweet onions (about
2 medium)
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 medium cooking apples, cored/
peeled & finely chopped (about 2 C)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz) tub whipped cream cheese


In large nonstick skillet melt 2 T. butter;
add onions. Cook, covered, over medium-
low heat 13-15  minutes or until onions
are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover;
cook & stir 3-5 minutes more until onions
turn light brown. Stir in brown sugar &
vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, 1-3 minutes
more until liquid evaporates. Remove from
skillet & set aside. Wipe out skillet with
paper towels. In same skillet melt remaining
1 T. butter; stir in apples & cinnamon. Cook,
stir over medium-low heat 5 minutes until
slightly softened. Remove from heat; cool
at least 30 minutes. In medium bowl stir
apple mixture & cream cheese. Stir in
onion mixture & spread on
crackers. Makes 22 servings

(recipe: Kellogg)


3 lb. chicken breasts (cooked & cut
into bite size pieces)
6 Italian sausage links
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 pound pasta: penne, macaroni, shells
1 large package pizza cheese
1 onion
2 large bell peppers – red & green, cut
into chunks

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut up chicken, onion, peppers and sausage.
Boil pasta and drain (don’t over cook) Mix pasta,
sausage, onion, peppers, chicken and sauce.
Put in a large deep dish. If it won’t all fit, make a
little side dish to freeze for lunch later. Top heavily
with cheese. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden
and bubbly

(recipe: Facebook)

Santa Fe Chicken Fajita Soup

1 (1.4 oz) pkg. Fajita seasoning mix
1/3 C. water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into thin strips
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 large red onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
8 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth

Combine seasoning mix & water in
medium bowl. Add chicken; toss to evenly
coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cook garlic
& cilantro in large nonstick saucepan on
medium-high heat 1 minute. Stir in chicken
mixture, onions & peppers; cook 10 minutes or
until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Add
cream cheese, Velveeta & broth; mix well.
Cook on medium heat until cream cheese &
Velveeta are completely melted & soup is
heated through, stirring occasionally.
Makes 8 (1 C.) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apples Confit (dessert)

3 lb. firm cooking/baking apples:
Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Rome or
Golden Delicious
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Peel apples & slice 1/4 inch thick (you
should get about 9 Cups). Place apples
in crockpot; add sugar & cinnamon to
taste; toss to coat well. Cover & cook
until apples are very tender & almost
translucent, but not pureed, 2 to 2 1/2
hours on High, or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on
Low. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl &
let cool slightly. Cover & refrigerate until
chilled. Makes 8 (1/2 C.) servings


Baked Cabbage Wedges w/Bacon

1 head green cabbage
2 T. olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 (8-12 oz) pkg. bacon, uncooked, cut
into bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Remove outer (dirty) leaves of cabbage;
cut head into wedges (about 1″ thick).
Using a pastry brush or spray, coat cabbage
with olive oil over both sides of cabbage.
Sprinkle each side with sea salt & black pepper.
Roast on middle rack of oven 40 minutes. Remove
from oven, top cabbage with bacon pieces &
return to oven an additional 20 minutes until
bacon is cooked to your liking & edges of
cabbage are brown & crispy. Serve hot.

Puffed Up Pizza Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 C. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. flour
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef in large skillet over
medium heat; drain. Stir in tomato
sauce, onion, green pepper & water.
Add cornstarch, oregano, basil, sugar,
salt, garlic powder & celery salt; stir
to combine. Cover pan,reduce hat
to low & simmer 10 minutes.
In medium bowl combine milk, butter,
oil & eggs; beat on medium speed with
elec. mixer 1 minute. Add flour & beat
2 more minutes (batter will be thin)
Pour meat mixture into 9 X 13 baking
dish. Pour liquid batter over top; sprinkle
with mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses.
Bake about 30 minutes until puffed &
golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 6-8

(recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Foods Digest)

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

2 1/2 C. bread flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1/2 C. sour cream
1 1/4 C. milk
1 stick butter
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar,
cream of tartar, salt, cayenne pepper &
garlic powder in large bowl, stir until
combined. Add softened butter & cut
into flour with pastry blender, two forks
or your hands (leave some lumps)
Add sour cream, Cheddar cheese, & milk;
stir until dry ingredients are moistened;
do not overmix.
Melt 1 stick butter & add 1 tsp. garlic powder
& salt. Place spoonfuls of dough mixture onto
a baking sheet with sides. Spoon 1/2 of melted
butter mixture over biscuits. Bake 18-20 minutes.
Remove when biscuits are golden brown. Spoon
rest of butter mixture over baked biscuits.
Makes 20-25 biscuits


Went to a church rummage sale yesterday;
it’s just down the street from us and they
have one twice a year – I’ve been going
almost since we moved here 35 years
ago! Ended up getting three nice (looked
new) tops for next summer, a set of clothes
for my grandson (just to have around ‘in
case’ – jeans, shirt, underwear & socks),
one small skein of green yarn (for one
of the mugs 25 cents!) and a cute angel
pin for a friend who loves angels – am
going to stick it in her coffee mug!
Oh, and 6 white pillow cases – you can
never have enough white pillow cases!
(these were 2/$1.00 – can’t beat that!)
I remember years ago (when the boys
were younger) coming home with two
BOXES full of ‘stuff’ – lots of t-shirts,
some sweatshirts, books, toys, etc.
Times change, kids grow up.

How are your gas prices lately? Ours
are really good – $3.26/9 (and lower
in some places) – it’s good to see them
getting lower instead of higher!

Our weather has been just gorgeous
lately – perfect Fall temperatures (in
the 60’s), beautiful blue skies, white
fluffy clouds – (even thought this is
not my favorite time of year, it’s really
pretty to see ESPECIALLY since I live
in Michigan where we are blessed with
seeing all FOUR seasons!). Yesterday I
drove to pick up my grandson and went
around several lakes; nice, calm waters
and some swans just enjoying themselves,
lots of trees changing colors, bright green
(verdant) grass – I kept thanking the Lord
for creating such beauty for us to see.

Enjoy your day – maybe take a walk &
look for the changing of the season:
trees/bushes/leaves changing, look UP
and see the colors in the sky! I find if
I just spend a few minutes enjoying
the weather/day, it keeps me in a good
and THANKFUL mood!



Weekend Recipes!


And so it begins – the LAST Summer holiday (coming Monday) – have you made any plans for the weekend, or the day? Around here we’re not much into holiday get togethers, so it will be ‘life as usual’ for us BUT I’ve got LOTS of great holiday/Summer recipes still left to share with you!


Tomato/Onion/Cucumber Salad

5 medium plum tomatoes, halved
lengthwise, seeded/thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, peeled, halved
lengthwise & thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise
& thinly sliced
generous drizzle olive oil, about 2 T.
2 splashes red wine vinegar
coarse salt & black pepper

Place sliced veggies in large bowl.
Mix together olive oil, vinegar,
salt & pepper; drizzle over veggies
in bowl. Let stand about 20 minutes;
re-toss & serve. Serves 4


Watermelon Gazpacho
(cold soup)

1 large tomato, pureed
1/2 serrano chile
2 C. cubed fresh watermelon
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded/minced
2 T. minced fresh dill (more for
kosher salt & ground black pepper
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

In blender, puree tomatoes, chile
& 1/2 of watermelon. Pour in
vinegar & olive oil; pulse. Add
onion, cucumber & dill, season
with salt & pepper; Puree until
smooth. Pour into chilled bowls
& sprinkle tops with dill, feta &
remaining watermelon. Serves 4

Crunchy Avocado Salad

2 ripe avocados, peeled/pitted
& diced
2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes,
1/2 C. pitted black olives,
roughly chopped
1 C. canned chickpeas,
drained, rinsed & drained again
2 T. roughly torn flat-leaf parsley
1/4 C. champagne vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. blue corn tortilla chips

Gently toss avocados, tomatoes,
olives, chickpeas, parsley, vinegar,
olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt &
pepper in large bowl. Crumble
chips over top & serve. Serves 4


Blueberry Crumb Cake

2 large eggs
3/4 C. sunflower oil
1 C. plain or Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 C. fresh or frozen (unthawed)

1/2 c. ground almonds (or
rolled oats)
1/3 C. PLUS 1 T. brown sugar,
firmly packed
1/3 C. flour
3 1/2 T. cold butter, roughly chopped

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease a 10 inch round cake pan;
line with baking paper. In large
bowl, mix eggs, oil, yogurt, salt,
lemon juice,lemon zest & sugar.
Add flour & whisk until all is
incorporated. Fold in blueberries &
mix gently with a spoon. Pour into
prepared pan.
Combine almonds, brown sugar, flour
& butter (can do by hand or use a food
processor) & sprinkle evenly over top
of cake batter. * Bake 1 hour 20 minutes
or about 1 hour if using thawed
blueberries. Cake is done when a wooden
toothpick inserted into center comes out

*To get larger crumbs, squeeze topping
with your fingers & sprinkle evenly
over cake batter.


Crockpot Crab Rangoon Dip

2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese
2 (8 oz) pkgs. imitation crab
(or 6 oz cans) crabmeat, drained
1 can cream of shrimp soup
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
(optional: 2 T. sugar)

Combine all ingredients in 3-4 qt.
crockpot. Cook on Low 2-3 hours.
Serve with crackers.


Easy Chicken Fried Rice

1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 T. olive oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 T. sesame oil, divided
3 (8.8 oz,ea) pkgs. ready-to-serve
garden vegetable rice
1 lb. skinless chicken breasts, cooked &
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare frozen vegetables accordg. to
pkg. directions. In a large skillet heat
1 T. olive oil over medium heat & pour
in eggs. Cook eggs, stirring frequently,
until eggs are scrambled & cooked
through. Remove from pan & place in
bowl. Heat 2 T. sesame oil in skillet &
remaining olive oil, over medium heat.
Add rice to skillet; cook 10-12 minutes
or until rice is just beginning to brown.
Stir in chicken, salt & pepper to rice.
Add eggs & vegetables; heat mixture
through. Serves 6


Chicken “Club” Salad

4 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
2 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 oz. cooked/roughly chopped skinless
chicken breast
1/2 C. halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 C. diced cucumber
2 T. diced red onion
dash black pepper, to taste

In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise &
mustard; stir well. Add all other ingredients;
mix well. Makes 2 servings.

(recipe: Richard-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Macaroni Salad
(no mayonnaise, so it can be
served room temperature!)

1 lb. small elbow macaroni, cooked
1/4 lb. genoa salami
1/4 lb. boiled ham
1/2 can black olives
3 stalks celery
1 large cucumber
3 medium tomatoes
1 medium purple onion
2 pkgs. Good Seasons Italian
salad dressing mix, made according
to pkg directions

Rinse cooked macaroni in cold water.
Dice all ingredients into very small pieces;
add prepared dressing, mix well & refrigerate.
NOTE: Recipe is best if made the day or night
before and served room temperature. Poster
says she doubles or triples the recipe then
puts all ingredients in a large white kitchen
trash bag & tosses. As she says: “Makes for
easy tossing & storing in refrigerator.”



Raspberry Vanilla Pudding Cake

2 C. white or brown sugar
2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
4 T. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 (6 oz, ea) containers fresh raspberries
1 T. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 3/4 C. boiling water

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

In a bowl, hand mix sugar, flour, baking
powder, salt, milk, butter & vanilla.
When well mixed, fold in raspberries
very carefully. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Gently scrape batter
evenly into bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle
instant pudding mix on top of batter; do
not stir in. Carefully pour boiling water over
top of batter & pudding mix. Cover with lid
& cook on High 2 hours. (Cake should be
cooked & have risen to the top. Pudding will
be on the bottom of the cake.) Scoop down
deep to get a layer of cake and some pudding.
Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Top with additional raspberries, if desired.
Serves 8-10


Seafood Gazpacho

2 small cans chopped clams, drained
2 small cans baby shrimp, drained
2 small cans crab meat, shredded
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 cucumber, peeled/seeded & chopped
2 quart jars clamato juice (or regular
tomato juice or V8 or spicy V8)
juice of 2 limes

Add all ingredients & mix well;
serve chilled.

note: Poster said she sometimes
uses Bloody Mary mix for juice

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Recipe Exchange)

Zucchini/Potato Bake

2 medium zucchini, quartered, cut into
large pieces
4 medium potatoes, peeled/cut into
large chunks
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 C. dry bread crumbs
1/4 C. olive oil
paprika, to taste
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium baking pan toss zucchini,
potatoes, bell pepper, garlic, bread
crumbs & olive oil. Season with paprika,
salt & pepper. Bake 1 hour, stirring
occasionally, until potatoes are tender
& lightly browned.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Breakfast Casserole w/Tomatoes &

1/2 C. quinoa, rinsed well & uncooked
1 1/2 C. milk
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. frozen cut leaf spinach (or a
handful of fresh)
3/4 C. grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. shredded cheese (colby, Monteray
Jack, Cheddar, etc., your choice)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

In large bowl whisk eggs until beaten; add
quinoa, milk, salt & pepper – whisk until
combined. Gently mix in spinach, tomatoes
& 1/2 C. shredded cheese. Spray crockpot
well with nonstick spray. Add egg & quinoa
mixture to crockpot; top with Parmesan
cheese. Cover & cook on High 2-4 hours until
eggs are set & edges are lightly browned.


Creamy Chicken

6 thin sliced chicken breasts
1 container of green onion cream
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Large package of sliced mushrooms
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
Sprinkle of Weber Herb and Garlic Seasoning
Sprinkle of pepper
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a 9×13 pan lay out chicken in single layer; top with
spinach and mushrooms, then sprinkle seasonings
over the top. Whisk olive oil and chicken broth into
softened cream cheese in a bowl; pour over chicken
mixture. Lay piece of foil over the top but do not seal.
Bake 20 minutes, remove foil and bake,
uncovered,another 20-25 minutes, then sprinkle
mozzarella cheese on top . Bake uncovered for another
10 minutes or until starting to brown.
Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

 I still have more summer recipes for
you – will just have to keep posting
them until I run out (or the weather
gets much colder!)  Today it’s overcast
and 83 degrees which makes all the
right ingredients for a very muggy day.
Just ran the special needs group
newsletters to the post office; that’s
one job done! Stopped at Sears to
pick up another pair of bedroom
slippers (I do this every 6 months –
they’re really the only close store
around that carries Isotoners, they
have just the right amount of
cushioning under my feet). While
there a little girl in front of me in
line was going through a bin of
discount jewelry and she asked her
grandmother if she could have this
rather delicate pair of pierced
earrings (black jet dangles) – Grandma
said “I don’t think your parents will
let you wear dangly earrings” so she
put them back. Of course, I picked
them up (after they were at the
counter going through their order)
and discovered they used to be $8.00
but were marked down to $4, so I took
them up to the counter. Turns out they
were further marked down to $2.49;
the sales lady asked if I’d like to check
my Sears rewards points so I said “Yes”.
(little drum roll here) Turns out I had
just enough to get the earrings FREE
AND  $1.00 off the slippers, too! YAY!
Sometimes being frugal works! (Sure
didn’t plan on getting earrings when
I went into the store.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend –
I might post more Summer recipes
in the next few days.



Got my Runnin’ shoes on!


It’s Monday and it’s also ‘lots of places to go’ day! Just got home from 7 various jaunts: Bank, Walgreen’s, Library, Fruit/Veg. stand, Gordon Foods, CVS and Huron Foods. I’m SO glad my dear husband has me call ahead – he lugs the groceries, etc. from the car to the house for me. Sometimes I think just doing that after all the running around is pretty exhausting (let alone putting away all the stuff, too!). I’m sitting here nice & comfy sipping a big, tall glass of ice water and feeling the antioxidants just coursing through my body. At Gordon Foods they had a really big box of fresh blueberries for $1.69 – been eating handfuls of them. Today was a sort of ‘wake up’ call: remember you need to eat HEALTHY! Got fresh strawberries, a cantauloupe, corn on the cob, some gorgeous tomatoes for BLT’s, some zucchini for Zucchini Casserole, the fixin’s for coleslaw (for some reason, this summer I’m craving coleslaw!). Got a nice big fryer chicken for the crockpot for around $6.00 – happy with all my ‘deals’ – coupons & all. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating: did you know that you can get some really great buys at DRUG STORES? I’m talking groceries! Got 2 jars of Jif creamy peanut butter for $4, a nice sized jar of honey-roasted peanuts for $1.99 – at WALGREEN’S! I’m a BIG fan of checking all the ‘in the mail’ fliers from CVS, Walgreens, KMart – they all have some pretty good GROCERY deals, if you just look! Walgreen’s is pretty good about selling canned salmon for a really great price – with coupon; I like it for making salmon patties.

My cousin wrote from Iowa yesterday that they were going through some really muggy days; I wrote him back that we were in the mid-70’s and breezy – no muggy . . . I spoke too soon. Today it’s 80, very sunny and VERY muggy (thank heavens for Air conditioning!).

Gas prices have stayed relatively good: yesterday my favorite place (Clark – little station – nothing fancy) had el cheapo (lowest grade) gas for $3.49/9 – today it’s down to $3.43/9 – that’s great!

They are still, periodically, working on our road but it’s not as bad (the only BAD thing is figuring out just WHEN they WILL be working on it). Saturday was a nightmare of constant clogged traffic in front of our house- they had narrowed down the usual 5-lanes to 2, right next to each other – no turn lane – lovely . . .When it’s like that it’s easier to go all the way around the block just to get in my driveway without  a big mess. This, too, shall pass . . .


Chocolate Eclair Cake


2 pkgs (1 oz, ea) Jello Cheesecake
pudding mix (sugar free)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
2 1/2 C. milk
12 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1 box graham crackers (14.4 oz)

1 tub sugar free chocolate frosting

Mix pudding mix with milk, using a whisk.
Beat about 2 minutes by hand. Fold in
crushed pineapple & Cool Whip, set
aside. Layer a 9 X 13 baking pan with
one layer of graham crackers. Top with
half pudding mix. Repeat layers with
grahams, remaining pudding & top
with one more layer grahams. Take
lid off frosting, remove metal cover &
place in microwave. Microwave about
45 seconds, until frosting is liquid and
pour over grahams – spread out evenly.
Cover &refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

NOTE: This recipe can be made using
sliced strawberries, or raspberries,
or blueberries. Use 1 pint hulled & sliced
strawberries. Place berries on after 1st
layer grahams & pudding mix & repeat
in that order for next layer.


Old Fashioned Potato Loaf

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 C. Half & Half
salt & pepper, to taste
5 medium cooked potatoes,
cooled & chopped
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
chopped green onion, to taste
1/2 C. (or more) shredded Cheddar

Melt butter in saucepan, gradually
stir in flour. Slowly add Half & Half,
stirring constantly simmering until
thickened; season with salt & pepper.
Gently add potatoes, parsley &
green onion to sauce; simmer 2
minutes longer. Pour mixture into
a well-oiled 9 X 13 pan; press down
firmly. Chill several hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
One half hour before serving time,
place loaf in oven-proof pan. Sprinkle
with cheese & bake 20-30 minutes
or until golden brown. Serves 6


Crockpot Asian-style Beef

4 green onions
2 T. oil
1 boneless beef chuck or blade
roast (2 1/2 lb), trimmed & cut
into 2″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. teriyaki sauce
2 red bell peppers, coarsley
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. (Kraft) Asian Toasted
Sesame salad dressing
2 C. snow peas, cut diagonally
in half
1/2 C. cashews, chopped

cooked rice

Slice onions, keeping sliced
white bottoms & green tops
separate. Heat oil in large
skillet on medium-high heat.
Add meat; cook 5 minutes or
until evenly browned, stirring
occasionally & adding garlic for
last minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce,
bell peppers, crushed pepper &
white onion slices; pour into
crockpot, cover with lid. Cook
on Low 5-6 hours or High 3-4
hours. Mix cornstarch & dressing
until blended; pour into crockpot
along with snow peas & nuts;
stir to combine. Cook, uncovered,
10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Top with green onions slices when
serving. Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Homemade Peach Cobbler

2 1/2 lb. ripe, juicy peaches (about
4 C., sliced)
3/4 C. sugar
4 drops almond extract
pinch cinnamon
2 T. butter
biscuit topping, recipe below

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Peel peaches by dipping into boiling
water about 1 minute, then slip off
skins. Slice into wedges, discarding
pits. Place in shallow 6 C. baking
dish or casserole; sprinkle tops with
sugar & almond then dot with butter.
Cover with biscuit dough for top.

Biscuit Top:
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. butter or shortening
1/2 C. milk MINUS 1 T.

Whisk flour, salt & baking powder;
cut in shortening using a pastry
blender or two knives or your
fingertips. Stir in milk, all at once,
stirring with a fork until dough clings
together. Pat or roll out dough to
1/4″ thickness & place over peaches.
Trim edges, crimp or flute to seal.
Cut a hole in top center for steam.
Bake 425 degrees F. 15 minutes then
reduce to 325. Bake an additional
10-15 minutes or until peaches are
cooked & top is golden. Serve warm
with vanilla ice cream or whipped

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Crockpot Parmesan Ranch

2 (8 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 oz. Ranch dressing mix
2 T. Parmesan cheese
(or more, if desired)

Place mushrooms in crockpot;
melt butter in a bowl & add
salad dressing mix. Mix well &
pour over mushrooms. Sprinkle
with about 2 tsp. Parmesan
cheese (or more). Cook on Low
4 hours.  Serves 4


Sausage & Cheese Crescent Squares
2 tubes refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls
1 lb. pork sausage (hot or mild)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degres F.
Unroll one tube of rolls into 2
long rectangles; place in ungreased
9 X 13 baking dish. Press rolls
over bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to
form crust. Cook sausage over
medium heat in skillet, stirring
frequently until no longer pink.
Remove from skillet, discard grease.
Add to skillet cream cheese & cook
over Low heat until melted. Add
cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon
mixture evenly over crust in dish;
sprinkle top with cheese. Unroll
second tube of rolls onto a work
surface. Press rolls to form a 9 X 13
rectangle for top crust. Firmly press
perforations to seal then carefully
place over mixture in dish. Bake
21-26 minutes or until golden
brown. Let cool 15 minutes then
cut into small squares.


Chicken & Dumplings Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked/shredded
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
2 C. Bisquick
2 C. whole milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 tsp. chicken granules
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to  taste)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer #1:
In a 9 X 13 pan, melt butter. Spread
shredded chicken over butter; sprinkle
with pepper & sage; do not stir.
Layer #2:
In small bowl, mix milk & Bisquick;
slowly pour over chicken; do not stir.
Layer #3:
In medium bowl, whisk chicken broth,
chicken granules & soup; once
blended, slowly pour over Bisquick
layer; do not stir.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until top is
golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Southern Ambrosia

1 C. sweetened coconut
1 C. pecan pieces
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. Heavy cream
1 T. sugar
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained well
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained well
1/2 C. maraschino cherries,
drained well – stems removed

Place coconut in shallow pan with
pecan pieces & butter; toast until
coconut is light brown; cool
completely. Whip heavy cream &
sugar until it forms stiff peaks; fold
in yogurt, being careful to not break
down the cream too much. Gently
fold in marshmallows, oranges,
pineapple chunks & cherries.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours (overnight
is better) to let flavors mix.
Serve with more fresh whipped cream
& top with a cherry.

Grilled Corn Salad

3/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing,
1/4 C. yellow mustard*
4 ears corn on cob, husks &
silks removed
1/2 lb. fresh green beans,
trimmed/quartered & cooked
1 jicama, peeled, cut into 1/2′
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil

Heat grill to Low heat.
Mix 1/4 c. salad dressing &
mustard in shallow dish until
blended. Add corn; turn to
evenly coat. Transfer corn to
grill, reserving dressing mixture
in dish. Grill corn 15-20 minutes
or until tender, turning &
occasionally brushing with
reserved dressing mixture; remove
corn from grill; cool. Cut corn from
cobs; place in large bowl. Add beans,
jicama, tomatoes, basil & remaining
dressing; mix lightly.
Makes 16 servings (1/2 C. each)
* For a flavor boost, substitute
Dijon mustard for yellow

(recipe: Kraft foods)
Cucumber Dill Greek Salad

2 large cucumbers
1 T. Greek (plain) yogurt
1 T. sour cream
1 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
salt & ground black pepper,
to taste

Peel & finely slice cucumbers.
In salad bowl, mix yogurt with
sour cream, lemon juice, garlic &
dill; season with salt & pepper. Add
cucumber & toss until well
combined. Refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 4

Quick Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/4 C. water
10 C. loosely packed torn romaine
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing

Brown meat with onions in large
nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; drain. Add seasoning mix &
water; mix well & bring to boil.
Simmer on medium-low heat 3
minutes. Divide lettuce among
4 plates; top evenly with meat
mixture, tomatoes, cheese &
crushed chips; drizzle with
dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

1/2 C. Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 C. lemon juice
2 T. cooking oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 4=1 lb.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray shallow baking dish with nonstick
spray. Combine bread crumbs, garlic salt &
lemon pepper in ziplock plastic bag. Combine
lemon juice & oil in another ziplock bag. Add
chicken to lemon juice bag; toss to coat. Place
each breast in bag with crumb mixture, toss
to coat. Place coated chicken in single layer in
prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs
over chicken, if desired. Spray tops of chicken
with nonstick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or
until chicken is no longer pink in center
(165 degrees F.) Serves 4


 Haven’t quite decided what to make for

dinner tonight; there’s either bratwurst

(cheese-stuffed for me & beer marinated

for husband), or Potatoes O’Brian

(hash brown potatoes with onions,

green & red peppers, sliced mushrooms,

ground beef & topped with shredded

extra sharp Cheddar cheese -sort of like a

casserole – YUMMY!) – those, so far, are my

2 choices. This week, fortunately, is not

(so far, anyway) AS busy as the past

2-3 have been. No knit group tomorrow,

just grandson all day. Wednes-day is

special needs group (that’s all – I hope),

Thurs. is grandson, again but not as

long, Friday is free – I HOPE )forgot

Radiologist appointment first thing).

Amidst all that ‘fun’ is getting together

the next issue of the special needs group

newsletter; if I’m not mistaken this will

be issue #76. That means I’ve been

doing this now since Sept., 2001 – as my

husband would say: “It keeps her on

her toes”!

That’s about ‘it’ on this weeks ‘hit parade’; finished
another chemo cap (that makes 3 this time) for
delivery this Friday. I try to take in a few each time I
have to go there for a check up. The GOOD THING,
this time, is the Radiologist said that if my latest
mammogram is clear (and it was), I start only
coming in once A YEAR! YAY! (There’s still the
Oncologist  – main cancer doctor, and I’m pretty
sure he won’t let me get off that easy (right now
it’s every 3 months, just like my main family
doctor – saw him last Friday – all’s good there!).
Ah, the ‘fun’ life of a cancer survivor – but the way
I look at it: IT COULD BE MUCH WORSE! Just going
in to hear ‘all’s well’ is no big deal!

I hope you have a GREAT day – filled with just
enough events to keep you busy, but not too busy,
and relaxing enough to keep you stress-free.

Big Hugs;



PS: Sorry about all the various font sizes – still don’t

know WHY my browser does that!

I May Be Crazy BUT . . .



In my last post (today) I mentioned a particular yarn I really like using for baby hats: Bernat Baby Jacquards – after writing my post I thought: “Perhaps I should order some more” – that lead me on a 45 minute search through tons of sites until I wrote the Bernat Company and discovered THEY ARE NOT MAKING THAT YARN ANY MORE AND ARE NOT GOING TO IN THE FUTURE, EITHER! Oh NO! (If you know me, I tend to be a ‘bit’ tenacious/undaunted/fearless/headstrong, etc. when told the word NO (only at times, mind you) – Out of a good 20+ sites that ‘said’ they carried this particular color, NONE of them had it! That sent me to my other two trusty sites: Amazon & EBay. Amazon had a few skeins, but not that color. Ebay – THANK YOU, EBAY! First listing I saw was for EXACTLY what I wanted (see above) – mind you, it was not cheap – but I WON THE BID!!!  Ended up paying about what it used to cost per skein if I bought it at JoAnn’s or Michael’s WITHOUT a 40% off coupon – about $6.00 a skein – above is equal to 4 skeins. Each skein makes about 2 1/2 baby hats, so I’m good for a while – until it runs out. To my knowledge there are no other companies making any yarns that do the ‘self patterning’ like the one above. I’ve seen a sock yarn that makes really neat black & white squares, but that wouldn’t work well for baby hats (in my opinion).

See? Tenacity pays off! I’m super happy – there were a few sites that had a few skeins of their lavender colored jacquard yarn – not sure if I’m going for that or not, at this time.



Easy-goin’ Saturday

12339809858uiR0bWell – it’s ‘officially’ Spring – even if it doesn’t FEEL like it!

Happy Saturday! This week has been a bit ‘busy’ and I didn’t even REALIZE it was already Saturday! (THAT’S how scrambled it’s been!) Last night was my special needs Gym Night – it went over well, although we only had about 15 students; my theory is: because of the goofy weather and all the cancellations we’ve had to make, they’re almost ‘gun-shy’ when it comes to coming back to the group! Wednesday we had 17 kids – that’s really LOW! Sure hope it picks up some soon, now that (hopefully) our weather will be better. HOWEVER-living in Michigan is much like the cartoon below:


Right now it’s a VERY NICE 36 degrees F.! Yesterday I was being ‘optimistic’ and wore my Fall/Spring light jacket – then went to pump gas and wished I still had the heavy winter jacket – it was very breezy and CHILLY! (gas was $3.56/9 . . . sigh). It rained overnight but NO SNOW – YAY!

Went to my first (of the season) Rummage Sale yesterday at a church. I’ve attended (and worked at) MANY rummage/garage sales in my day – this was the most dis-organized I’ve ever seen! After walking around a bit, I finally asked one of the people just WHY they had all these little areas of clothes, then dishes, toys, then more clothes, some books, more clothes, etc. instead of an area of all clothes, all books, all kitchen/dishes items, etc. She said they were trying to raise monies for their church repairs and each attending/participating family had their own ‘bucket’ in which to put their funds. Essentially: all the strange ‘groupings’ were each family’s items! I wondered why there were people (almost ‘stationed’) about every 7 feet along the tables – waaay too many people – made the buyers feel like we were under some extreme surveillance! STRANGE! As I was walking in I heard a couple going out talking about the HIGH prices there. I even attempted to suggest to one of the selling people that they just pool all their donated items, (since all the proceeds were going to the church), arrange them by category, then all monies go to the church – she kept going back to the ‘Oh, NO! EACH family has their OWN bucket!” What a weird concept! She also said this was their first rummage sale – sure hope they learn something from it! I saw very few buyers but (as said before) WAAAY TOO MANY people selling! (They were also clustered in groups – not paying any attention to their items, just chatting – not a good business procedure, I would think. Sure didn’t make me WANT to buy anything!) I ended up buying a 6 qt. crockpot (circa, I’m guessing, 1990’s) for $5.00 – had a sticker: “It WORKS!” Brought it home, all happy – went to wash it, turned it over and there appeared to be a small crack in the plastic base. Husband looked it over, sort of took it apart – lots of old grease around inside rim. I cleaned that all off – guess what! The grease is what held the base to the main part! Now that it’s clean, the base keeps falling off the main part! Oh well – it is the same size as my old crockpot AND is also one of those that the ceramic insert is removable, so I’m going to keep the ceramic insert & lid – my old crockpot is also circa 1980/1990’s – I think mine’s a bit older – it belonged to husband’s Mom. Ya win some – ya lose some, right? (Here I was, all happy that now I have TWO crockpots! sigh . . . )

Just spent a bit of time searching out clipart ‘ideas’ for middle son’s NEXT art project. Yep, it’s another DOOZIE! This one requires using ‘reverse imaging’ – sort of like an old black & white photo negative – the main image has to be REVERSED, and we can only use TWO colors for the entire work – ALSO they have to be CUT OUT OF CONSTRUCTION PAPER!  (plus she said she wants DETAILED work – ugh!). They were given 8 ideas/themes and we are to chose 5 (or you can come up with 2 of your own out of the 5). Son & I haven’t had time to actually collaborate yet, so I went ‘brain-storming’ – my choice of the 5 (these are fake book titles you need to design the covers for):

“Sunset Yoga”

“Riding the Wave”

“Identify Jungle Vegetation”

“Greek Architecture”

“Light Houses of North Carolina”

Sounds like fun, right? I found some really amazing clipart at a site I’ve never seen before; gave me some really GREAT ideas to work on! (YAY!) I think the hardest will be the Greek Architecture, simply because it needs to be (in my opinion) simple/stark yet effective. Also the jungle vegetation one will require LOTS of cutting – thank heavens for my embroidery scissors with tiny tips/very sharp edges! Yes, folks, I can see us immersed in this one for hours & hours. There is still ONE MORE project after this one – it better be an easier one (although I’m guessing, it won’t be).


Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. sliced onions
2 red cooking apples, sliced
1/2 C. maple-flavored pancake syrup*
1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken in large ovenproof skillet
sprayed with nonstick spray, on medium-
high heat 3 minutes on each side, or until
evenly browned; remove from heat. Top
chicken with onions; surround with apples.
Mix syrup & dressing; pour over chicken.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Drizzle with syrup mixture
from bottom of skillet. Serves 4

*can substitute honey for syrup

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet,
cover handle of your regular skillet with several
layers of foil before using in oven.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Crockpot Chicken & Gravy

2 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope chicken gravy mix
hot, steamed rice

Combine all ingredients (except rice) in
crockpot & cook, on Low 4-6 hours. Before
serving, break chicken breasts into bite-sized
pieces and serve over hot steamed rice.


Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 lb, total),
peeled, cut into 1″ chunks
1 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. (8 oz pkg) shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled/divided
sliced green onions (garnish-optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with
water, bring to boil. Cook over medium-high
heat 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.
Add evap. milk, sour cream, salt & pepper to
potatoes in saucepan; beat with elec. mixer
until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 C. cheese & half
of the bacon; mix. Spoon mixture into a
greased casserole dish. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until heated through. Top with remaining
1/2 C. cheese, remaining bacon & green
onions, if using. Bake an additional 3 minutes
or until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Sunday newspaper flier)

Easy Homemade Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped apple

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking
powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and
egg until just combined. Fold in apple.
Pour oil into skillet so that it is
approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil on
high. Oil is ready when a little dough thrown
in floats to top. Carefully add dough to
oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown,
about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another
1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned.
Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb
excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack.
Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered
sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over
apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes
for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and
drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served

(recipe: Facebook)

Devil’s Food Cake & Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. milk
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cocoa
1 C. boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together shortening & sugar;
add egg & milk alternately with flour,
baking soda, salt & cocoa. Add water &
vanilla; mix well. Grease & flour 2 9″ cake
pans; pour in batter & bake 30 minutes; test
if toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. *

1/2 C. milk
2 T. flour
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar

Add milk & flour to saucepan;
cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Let mixture cool, then whip together
butter, & sugar in a bowl; add to milk/
flour mixture & whip together.

*You can also make this in:
Loaf pan: bake 40 minutes
layer pans: 2 round pans 30 minutes
cupcakes: 17 minutes

NOTE: If you make a layer cake, double
frosting recipe.

Quick & Easy Breadsticks

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 – 4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter (not margarine)melted
garlic seasoning

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Mix water, sugar & yeast together in glass
measuring cup; let set 5 minutes. Add salt &
flour, one cup at a time, until well incorporated.
Mix on High 5 minutes; let dough rest 5 minutes.
Pour half of melted butter into a jelly roll pan
(large cookie sheet). Place dough in center of
sheet; let set 2-3 minutes. (letting the dough rest
makes it much easier to shape.) Spread dough
out flat onto pan until it reaches all of the edges.
Pour rest of melted butter onto dough; spread it
around with your hands. Sprinkle top with garlic
seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Using a pizza
cutter, cut the dough into three rows lengthwise
and about 12 rows wide.
Place pan in oven 7-10 minutes; breadsticks
should rise about 1 inch.
Turn up oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake breadsticks about 12 minutes or until
golden brown. When finished baking, remove
from oven and let rest about 5 minutes, then
recut lines using the pizza cutter. (poster uses
kitchen shears to cut edges where pizza cutter
can’t reach, against pan rim).

Makes approximately 36 small breadsticks


Apple Praline Bread

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples,
peeled & finely chopped
1 cup nuts (walnut or pecan or a combo),

For the Praline sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar and1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the sour
cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for
a couple of minutes until well blended. Stop mixer
and then add in the flour, leavening agents and salt.
Continue to beat on low until well combined.
Fold in apples and half of nuts into batter.
Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan*.
Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top and then
press them lightly into the batter. Bake for about
60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the
center comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pan for
about 20-30 minutes and then transfer to a wire
rack to cool completely.

*So it doesn’t get too dark, I suggest using a light
colored loaf pan.

For the praline sauce:

In a small sauce pan, place the butter and brown
sugar. Using medium heat, bring to a boil. Lower
heat and simmer lightly for about one minute,
stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove
from heat and drizzle over bread. Cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)

Light & Delicious Spaghetti Squash

2 T. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato
4 C. fresh baby spinach
2 C. spaghetti squash (see below)
2 dashes salt & pepper

To cook spaghetti squash: make several holes
in squash using a fork then place in microwave
10-12 minutes (about 4-5 minutes per lb). Allow
to cool several minutes. Remove from microwave
cut open lengthwise. Using a fork, scrape out
contents (it will be stringy) into a bowl; set aside.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add
garlic & cook until just turning brown. Add tomato,
sprinkle with a little salt. Top with spinach leaves &
cover; cook 2 minutes. Spinach will cook & reduce
down. Uncover; break up spinach with a wooden
spoon; it will start to clump together once cooked.
Add spaghetti squash a little at a time & stir in. Sprinkle
with salt & pepper. Serves 1-2


Chunky Potato-Swiss Chowder

2 C. thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 C. cubed/peeled Yukon gold potatoes
(about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 C. cubed carrot (about 1/2 lb)
1 C. cubed yellow squash
2 (15.75 oz, ea) ans chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 C. hot, cooked white rice
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Heat large Dutch oven coated with non-
stick cooking spray over medium-high
heat. Add leek & garlic; saute 3 minutes or
until tender. Stir in potato & next 4
ingredients (potato – bay leaves); bring to
a boil. Cover, reduce heat & simmer 20
minutes or until tender. Discard bay
leaves. Place half of potato mixture in a
blender & process until smooth. Return
pureed potato mixture to pan; stir in rice
& remaining ingredients except parsley.
Cook over medium heat until cheese melts.
Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serves 5

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Pickle Slice Appetizers
(several day recipe)

7 (3 ” ) Kosher dill pickles
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 pkgs. sliced ham, beef, pepperoni or
turkey (very thin slices)

Drain pickles several hours, up to 12;
wipe dry. Whip cream cheese. Thrust
pickle onto a fork tine. Coat pickle with
cream cheese then wrap with 3 slices
of meat. Wrap pickle in plastic wrap &
refrigerate several days. When ready to
serve, use a sharp knife & slice into
pieces 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.


NOTE: You can also add a few shakes of
Tabasco sauce to cream cheese when
whipping, for flavor


(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Princess Pie (Coconut Cream)

1 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix & pat into 8 X 8 pan. Bake 15-20
minutes, until just beginning to turn
golden; do not over bake.

Layer #2:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Beat together sugar & cream cheese; fold
in Cool Whip. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer #3:
1 small pkg. coconut cream instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk

Mix together pudding & milk until thickened.
Spread over cream cheese mixture.

Top with remaining tub of Cool Whip.
Toast 1 C. coconut, sprinkle evenly on top
of dessert & refrigerate.

(recipe: Facebook)


Hope you’re having a great SPRING day! Hope the sun is shining where you are and it’s lifting your spirits greatly!