Memorial Day

The Day we remember those who died in service to our country


It’s a beautiful day out there – sunny, slight breeze and supposed to get up to around 76 degrees – perfect for those who are planning outdoor activities. With that said, here’s more picnic/family gathering type recipes!


No-Bake Crispy Peanut Butter Squares

1 C. smooth peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 C. corn flakes cereal
1 C. crispy rice cereal
8″ square baking pan, lightly greased

In saucepan over Low heat, stir peanut
butter, butter, brown sugar & corn
syrup until blended & smooth – remove
from heat & stir in vanilla & salt. In
large bowl mix cereals; add peanut
butter mixture & mix well. Press evenly
into prepared pan. Chill 6 hours until
firm; cut into squares. Makes 16 squares


Spicy Grilled Peel & Eat Shrimp


1 T. lemon juice
zest from half lemon
4 T. softened butter
3 T. crushed hot peppers
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
2 lb. 16-20 shell-on raw shrimp
(look for deveined) *
2 T. minced fresh parsley,
(optional garnish)

In food processor or blender, place
lemon juice, zest, butter, hot
peppers, paprika, cumin, black
pepper & garlic – puree to a smooth
consistency. Using a small spoon,
scrape some of mixture along outside
edge of shrimp (where vein would be)
UNDER shell. Rub remaining mixture
over all shrimp so mixture is all over
each piece & in center cut. Refrigerate
shrimp at least 1/2 hour – preheat
grill to High heat.

Place shrimp on grill & grill a few
minutes on each side until cooked (no
need to oil grill grates). Do no overcook.
Makes 36 shrimp

*If shrimp are not deveiend, run a
sharp knife around outside curve of
each shrimp but leave the shell
on & remove the vein.

Simple Cucumber Salad

1 large English cucumber,
sliced thin
2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh dill fronds, finely

Place sliced cucumber in medium
bowl. In small bowl whisk both
vinegars, salt/pepper, mustard &
sugar – while whisking, slowly
drizzle oil to form the vinaigrette.
Taste & adjust salt to your liking.
Add dressing to cucumbers along
with fresh dill & gently toss to
combine. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

Spring Vegetable/Egg Casserole

2 T. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 large carrot (or 1 C. baby carrots)
1 lb. asparagus, cut on diagonal into
bite-sized pieces
4 oz. sugar peas, halved
4 C. broccoli florets, chopped (about
1 medium head broccoli)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
12 large eggs, whisked
1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Heat 1 T. oil in
large saute pan over medium-
high heat; add onion & saute
4-5 minutes until soft & trans-
lucent. Add remaining 1 T. oil,
carrot, asparagus, snap peas,
broccoli & garlic – stir to combine.
Continue cooking 8-10 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until veggies
have softened & cooked through.
Add mushrooms & cherry tomatoes –
stir 3-4 minutes. Transfer half of
mixture to prepared dish & spread
in even layer. Sprinkle top evenly
with half of feta; repeat with rest
of veggies followed by rest of feta.
In separate bowl whisk eggs & milk
plus a generous pinch of salt/pepper
until combined – pour evenly over
veggies in dish. Bake 30-40 minutes
until a toothpick inserted in middle
of casserole comes out clean. Serve
immediately. Serves 12

NOTE: If you would like to prepared
this in advance: prepare casserole,
cover & refrigerate up to 1 day before
baking. At time of baking, remove cover,
let casserole rest at room temperature
while oven heats, then bake as directed.


Summer Strawberry Crepes

8 slices white bread, crusts cut off
1 quart strawberries, washed/hulled &
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Greek yogurt, any flavor
2 T. sugar
3 eggs
2 T. Half & Half

Using a rolling pin, roll bread completely
flat & thin. Mix cream cheese, yogurt &
sugar in a bowl, whisking lightly. Spread
flattened bread with cheese mixture –
sprinkle a bit of the berries in a thin line
near edge of each bread slice & roll bread
over berries & continue to roll up – continue
with rest of bread/berries. Whisk eggs &
Half & Half. Heat a saute pan over medium
heat & spray lightly with nonstick spray. Roll
bread rolls in egg mixture & place in pan, edge
sides down. Saute on all sides until brown. Remove
to a plate, spoon some of the cheese mixture over
centers of each & sprinkle tops with more
strawberries. Serve warm. Serves 8


7-Layer Salad

1/2 head iceburg lettuce
2 C. baby spinach and/or
baby kale
1 C. diced tomatoes
6 hard boiled eggs, diced
or sliced
6 sliced green onions (save
1 T. for garnish)
8 sliced bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. frozen peas
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T. fresh dill, chopped

Combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise,
sugar, salt/pepper/dill – whisk to
In bottom of large bowl arrange
lettuce, then a layer of spinach &
kale. Arrange tomatoes on top of
spinach/kale. Layer boiled eggs on
top of tomatoes followed by a
layer of bacon then add frozen
peas on top of bacon. Spread
dressing evenly over top & sprinkle
top with dill garnish & green onions.

NOTE: Additional toppings, if desired:
shredded Cheddar cheese, frozen
corn kernels, sliced/chopped cucumber,
chopped red onion


Tuscan Tortellini Salad

1 lb. cheese tortellini (fresh)
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
4 slices prosciutto, chopped
1/2 C. baby spinach
1/2 C. sun-dried tomato, chopped
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded

In large pot boiling salted water
cook tortellini accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & transfer to large
Whisk olive oil, bals. vinegar, salt &
pepper. Add prosciutto, spinach,
sun-dried tomato & dressing to
bowl with tortellini & toss until
well combined. Garnish with
Parmesan cheese. Serves 8


Garlic Cheddar Quick Bread

3 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. canola oil
1 egg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
baking powder, sugar, garlic
powder & Ital. seasonings. In
another bowl mix milk, egg &
oil until well combined; fold in
cheese. Pour mixture into
prepared pan (if desired
sprinkle a little additional
Italian seasoning on top)
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Let bread cool approximately
15 minutes before cutting.
Makes 1 loaf


Easy Taco Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2/3 C. water
(Fritos) Chili cheese corn chips
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 C. milk
8-12 oz. shredded mozzarella
cheese – topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In skillet brown ground beef then
add taco seasoning & water (as
per seasoning packet – cook per
directions on packet). Cover the
bottom of a 9 X 9″ baking pan
with Fritos & top with taco meat.
In saucepan, heat soup & milk
until smooth then pour over taco
meat. Spread cheese on top of pan
& bake 10-15 minutes.


Crockpot Corn/Bacon/Jalapeno
Popper Dip
  (uses 3 qt. crockpot)

16 oz. cream cheese, softened/
1 C. mayonnaise
4 oz. canned green chilies,
4 oz. canned jalapeno chilies,
1/2 c. Mexican cheese blend,
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 C. panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

In small (3 qt) crockpot mix
first 6 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low 1 hour, stirring
occasionally. In small bowl mix
bread crumbs & Parm. cheese;
sprinkle over top of cooked
dip. Serves 10


The Perfect Lemon Dessert

1 C. butter, softened (but not
room temp)
2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. pecans, chopped small

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
1 C. powdered sugar

Pudding Layer:
2 small boxes lemon pudding mix
3 1/2 C. cold milk
1 (16 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed

fresh lemon zest – garnish (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir crust ingredients together using
a fork; press into bottom of 9 X 13″
baking dish & bake 15-20 minutes
until light golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool completely.

Beat cream cheese & sugar until creamy
& smooth; spread over cooled crust. Whisk
together pudding mixes & milk then allow
to sit 5 minutes to thicken – spread on top
of cream cheese layer. Cover & refrigerate
1 hour.
Spread Cool Whip on top & cut into 18-24
pieces – garnish with fresh lemon zest, if



Hope you have a safe & fun holiday –
relax & enjoy the day!




Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This was not a planned post, it just happened to fall on Mexico’s Fifth of May celebrations; “the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s  victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.” (during the Franco-Mexican War; quote from Google) Since most of us like (or love) SOME form of Mexican cuisine, I thought I’d post some tasty Mexican recipes for you today. (Mind you, these are NOT authentic – just simple & tasty)


Easy Speedy Taco Bake

2 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 C. diced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
2/3 C. water
4 T. taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans, drained/
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 C. shredded cheese, divided
(poster used Mexican blend)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix

For Serving:
sour cream,  shredded lettuce,
chopped tomatoes, sliced black
olives, shredded cheese, salsa

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet
brown meat over medium heat
until no longer pink; drain. Add
chopped onion, garlic, water &
taco seasoning; bring to boil &
reduce heat. Simmer until onions
have softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in beans & green chilies.
Transfer meat to prepared dish &
sprinkle with 1 C. cheese. In large
bowl, combine Bisquick, eggs &
milk until moistened; pour
mixture over meat mixture evenly.
Bake 20-25 minutes until top is
lightly browned & a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Top with sour cream, cheese, lettuce,
tomatoes, olives, salsa,

Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
4 oz. cream cheese
16 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 c. taco sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
3 green onions, chopped
1 (or more) C. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ (or larger) baking
dish with nonstick spray (pan
needs to be large enough to hold
16 stuffed JUMBO shells)
Brown beef in skillet & season
with taco seasoning mix (accordg.
to pkg. directions). Mix in cream
cheese; simmer, covered, until
cream cheese melts – stir & let cool.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour salsa into bottom
of prepared dish & spread around.
Stuff shells with beef mixture &
arrange in baking dish over salsa.
Pour taco sauce over shells &
cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, top with shredded
cheeses & bake 10-15 minutes longer,
uncovered. Top with green onions &
sour cream & serve.


Taco Cornbread Casserole

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. cornbread/
muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 C. milk
3 C. hamburger

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
(water for mix – accordg. to
pkg. directions)

1 can black beans, drained/
1 (8 oz) C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Colby Jack,
Cheddar or Mexican cheese/
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 C. shredded lettuce
1 can sliced ripe olives (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix cornbread mix,
egg & milk until well blended. Spray
8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
Spread cornbread mixture into pan,
spread evenly & bake 15 minutes.
Taco meat: Cook hamburger in skillet;
drain & add taco seasoning mix & water
(as per pkg. directions).
Mix cooked taco meat & black beans;
layer over cornbread. In a bowl mix
sour cream, 3/4 C. cheese & onion-
spread over meat mixture. Bake
20-25 minutes. Remove from oven,
top with tomatoes, lettuce &
1/4 C. cheese – serve.


Foil-Pack Chicken Fajita Dinner

1 1/2 C. instant white rice,
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 T. taco seasoning mix
4 small boneless skinless
chicken breasts (1 lb)
1 green bell pepper cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 C. chunky salsa
1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded
taco cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Tear off 4 large sheets heavy-duty
foil – then fold up all sides to form
a 1 inch rim – spray with nonstick
spray. Combine rice, water & taco
seasoning; spoon onto foil & top
with remaining ingredients. Bring
up sides of foil & fold to make 4
packets. Place packets in a 15 X
10 X 1 inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes
until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Cool 5 minutes then cut slits in
foil to release steam before
opening. Serves 4

Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
6 large flour tortillas
1 can refried beans (regular size)
2-3 C. shredded taco or Cheddar
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. sour cream (8 T.)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown beef & onion in skillet; drain
fat. Add taco seasoning; stir in refried
beans. Mix soup & sour cream in a
separate bowl & spread half of mixture
in bottom of a casserole dish. Tear up
3 tortillas & spread over mixture in
dish. Place half of meat/onion mixture
on top, add a layer of cheese & repeat
layers. Sprinkle cheese on top & bake,
uncovered, 20-30 minutes

(recipe: Mary Free-“Marys Recipe

Homemade Dulce De Leche

(Mexican Caramel sauce)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
(NOT evaporated milk)


Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour contents of can into a oven-
proof dish; sprinkle top with some
kosher salt & tightly cover with foil.
Place covered dish in a larger roasting
or casserole pan – fill pan with water
until it reaches three-quarters up sides
of covered dish to create a water bath.
Place in oven 60-90 minutes, checking
every 30 minutes on water level & adding
more if needed. Dulche de Leche is ready
when it takes on a brown, caramel-like
appearance. Remove from oven & whisk to
smoothness. Let cool before using.


Jalapeno Spinach Dip

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed/
squeezed dry
2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Half & Half cream
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped/seeded
jalapeno peppers*
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill weed

tortilla chips, for dipping

In 1 1/2 qt. crockpot combine
first 10 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low 2-3 hours or until
heated through. Serve with
chips. Makes 16 (1/4 C. each)

*Wear disposable or rubber
kitchen gloves when cutting
hot peppers; the oils can
burn the skin. Avoid touching
your face.

Taco Lasagna

12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 3/4 C. ricotta cheese
4 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C. chunky salsa
2 T. taco seasoning (dry)

1 T. green onions, chopped
sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Brown
ground beef in large skillet,
drain & stir in taco seasoning.
In medium bowl mix egg with
ricotta cheese until well combined.
Place 4 lasagna noodles in bottom
of prepared pan; spread 1/3 of
ricotta mixture over noodles,
evenly spoon 1/3 of ground beef
then evenly spread 1/3 of salsa.
Top with 1/3 of Cheddar cheese-
repeat steps, finishing with Cheddar
cheese. Cover with foil & bake
30-40 minutes until heated through.
Turn on broiler, remove foil &
broil top until cheese is lightly
browned. Let cool 5-10 minutes
before cutting. Serves 6-8

Chicken Quesadilla Pie

1 large flour tortilla
1 rotisserie chicken, skin
removed, meat shredded
(or 2 chicken breasts, cooked/
shredded & boned)
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
2 C. Mexican-blend cheese,
1 C. whole milk
1 C. flour
1/3 C. fresh cilantro, finely
chopped (plus extra for garnish)
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt/black pepper, to taste

fresh, chopped cilantro
sour cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9-inch pie plate.
Place tortilla in bottom of plate.
In large bowl combine shredded
chicken, 1 C. cheese, cilantro,
green chilies, chili powder, salt/
pepper – stir until combined then
transfer to tortilla, smoothing into
even layer. In separate bowl whisk
milk, flour & eggs; stir in baking
powder & season with salt. Once
smooth, carefully pour mixture over
chicken filling. Top evenly with
remaining cheese. Bake 20-25
minutes until surface is golden
brown & center is just set. Remove
from oven & let cool 5 minutes
before serving. Slice into wedges
& serve hot, garnished with more
cilantro or sour cream, if desired.


Mexican Dorito Casserole

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
1 C. shredded cheese (more if you
like more)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (canned
tomatoes with jalapenos-mild)
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
(or more, if desired)
1 bag regular Nacho Cheese Doritos

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all ingredients
except Doritos. Spray 2 qt. baking
dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer
of lightly crushed Doritos (about 2 C.)
in bottom of pan, then a layer of
chicken mixture; repeat once, ending
with chicken mixture. Top with more
shredded cheese. Cover & bake 30-35
minutes until bubbling hot.



Polvorones de Canele
(Cinnamon Cookies)

1 C. butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour

1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar & butter
until smooth; stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, salt & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon; stir into creamed
mixture to form a stiff dough.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
Mix 1 C. powdered sugar & 1 tsp.
cinnamon in a pie plate (or
shallow dish); roll balls in
mixture & place on prepared
cookie sheets. Bake 15-20
minutes until browned. Cool
on wire racks. Makes about 20

(note: one of people rating these
cookies stated that they taste
MUCH better after cooling – don’t
eat them warm)


It’s been a busy week so far – baby
sat grandson yesterday and will again
(for 2-3 hours) today. He’s really getting
much more social – loves to ‘talk’ to
his mobile or people. Yesterday was
also my very favorite rummage sale at
a very close local church (they used to
hold their sales twice a year but were
having trouble getting enough volunteers
so now they only do ONE a year – I’ve
been patiently waiting for this.) When
I got the request to babysit from 10:30-
5 yesterday I was (to say the least) not
very pleased and went about the house
grumbling to myself. Husband heard me
and volunteered: “What if I watched him
for about an hour while you went to the
sale?” That took some thinking but then
I agreed (after checking with the baby’s
parents). When 1:30 p.m. came I rushed
through the sale (having been there for
so many years I knew exactly where each
department was). Since our middle son
moved out, I perused (very quickly) the
furniture department and found a Papasan
chair covered in navy blue cloth – it even
folds up – for $5.00; grabbed that. Also
found a sweater & blouse for me – total
of my purchases $13.00. (Now I can also
say that, in previous years with MUCH
more time on my hands to look, I’ve
been known to come home with a
big BOX ‘o stuff – books, kitchen items,
clothes, etc. but being pressed for
time, I only hit those areas I knew
I could get through quickly.) I
managed to get back to my son’s
house in a total of 50 minutes!
When I left husband & grandson,
the baby was sleeping – when I came
in the house he was STILL sleeping!
YAY! Thank You, Lord! (I prayed on it,
that the baby would be easy on my
husband). Saturday there are TWO
Mom2Mom sales in our area, both
going at the same time. A “Mom2Mom”
sale is where a bunch of Moms/
Grandmas, etc. get together (usually
in a church or gym) to sell all things
pertaining to babies: clothes, toys,
furniture, etc. I am still looking for
a fold up highchair and relatively
simple baby walker. (Yes, I could
easily buy them new, but since
I won’t be using them constantly,
it makes more sense to my little
“Scottish heart” to buy them at
a reduced price! Nothing like a
jam-packed week to keep me going!
(In fact, earlier I asked my husband:
It IS Friday, isn’t it? It’s been such a
busy/crazy week I forgot what day
it was!).

Hope your week is shaping up
nicely – enjoy your day!



Easter’s coming – SOON!

I looked out today and saw our daffodils are blooming – YAY! Also, all around the area, lots of forsythia are blooming brightly – I love seeing the bright yellow – so cheery!

This has been a rather busy/hectic week (and it’s only Wednesday!) Yesterday (Tuesday) found me babysitting my 6 week old grandson for the day. He’s just coming into something I had not heard of before: The SIX WEEK Growth spurt! (read that – wants to drink CONSTANTLY!) Let’s just say he really kept this grandma hopping – for the first 1 1/2 hours I did nothing but heat up bottles, feed him/change diaper & repeat. Kept thinking: Come on, kid – take a NAP! Finally, after much trying, he did and I got about a 2 hour break (finished reading my book). He’s becoming more aware of things around him so I put him under his crib mobile for awhile and he was fascinated watching it go around while hearing various tunes from it’s music box. (He actually seemed to fancy certain songs over others – kicking his feet and cooing at the mobile during those songs). His Momma went back to work last Friday and will soon have a set schedule – then I’ll be better able to adjust my schedule accordingly.

(that dark spot on his shirt isn’t wet – it’s just a reflection)

6 weeks old, 12 lbs (he’s gotten so long that 3 month pants are too short on him – his Mom & Dad are both tall, so he’s taking after them!)

After babysitting it was time for Knit/Crochet Night (let’s just say I was less energetic than usual) – we had 16 ladies and a new person who used to be one of my bosses when I worked at the Telephone Company over 34 years ago! Good evening!

Along with everything else comes Easter dinner preparations; THIS year we have a new ‘fluke’ – middle son’s new girlfriend is a Vegan – that means NO meats, no animal anything (not even eggs), and no dairy . . . that makes for some difficult menu planning, to say the least. In my little neighborhood we just got a small new Middle Eastern restaurant. I went over their menu selections & even called to ask questions (No, they won’t be open Easter BUT they’re open Saturday). I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to BUY 2 vegetarian dishes for her: Vegetarian Mujaddara (rice & lentils pilaf with caramelized onions) and a Falafel Plate (a deep-fried ball/doughnut or pattie made from ground chick peas, fava beans or both). My oldest son (the chef) is making ham & some other kind of meat and said he would prepare his version of a quinoa salad (very good). My thoughts are: she will have fresh veggies & the 2 veggie dishes – hopefully that will be enough.  I’m also bringing garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, some kind of sweet potatoes and some dessert(s) – the other grandma is doing all the appetizers (and, believe me, she does TONS!). I love all her choices (EXCEPT they are all containing cheeses or milk products, etc.). For a minute I really thought I had a great idea: make deviled eggs! Then it hit me: NO EGGS! UGH! I don’t know yet whether she’s vegan because of a medical condition OR just by choice – guess it really doesn’t matter except it makes a family dinner that much more difficult. (sorry – I’ll get off my soap box now . . .)


No-Bake Crispy Peanut Butter Squares

1 C. smooth peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 C. corn flakes cereal
1 C. crispy rice cereal
8″ square baking pan, lightly greased

In saucepan over Low heat, stir peanut
butter, butter, brown sugar & corn
syrup until blended & smooth – remove
from heat & stir in vanilla & salt. In
large bowl mix cereals; add peanut
butter mixture & mix well. Press evenly
into prepared pan. Chill 6 hours until
firm; cut into squares. Makes 16 squares


Baked Ham in Cheese Crust

1 (5 lb) fully cooked ham
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. plain bread crumbs
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter, melted
2 T. dry mustard

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a roasting pan with nonstick
spray & place ham in pan. In large
bowl combine remaining ingredients;
mix well. Using your hands, form a
crust by patting pineapple mixture
over ham, completely covering top
& sides (except for cut side).
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours until ham is
heated through & crust is golden.
Slice & serve. Serves 10

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes &

3 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced, cooked ham
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup (undiluted)
3/4 C. water
1 T. chopped fresh chives

Layer half of potato slices, onion,
ham & cheese. Sprinkle with salt
& pepper. Repeat layers with
remaining potatoes, onion, ham
& cheese. In small bowl stir soup
& water – spoon over potato
mixture. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours. Sprinkle with chives
before serving (if desired)
Serves 6


Creamy Tortellini Skillet

2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. Half & Half
2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. minced onion
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen tortellini

In large skillet (which has a lid),
add garlic & cook for less than a
minute. Pour spaghetti sauce, Half
& Half & chicken broth in skillet &
stir to combine well. Add frozen
tortellini & mix well with sauce.
Increase heat to boil then reduce
to Low. Cover & cook 12-15 minutes.
Serves 6


Parmesan-crusted Cauliflower

1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 eggs
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into
bite-sized florets
1 C. vegetable oil

In medium bowl combine bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese, garlic powder,
salt & cayenne pepper – mix well.
In another medium bowl lightly beat
eggs. Dip cauliflower florets in egg,
then roll in bread crumbs until evenly
coated on all sides, pressing gently,
if needed. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, heat oil until hot. Fry cauliflower
1-2 minutes until golden brown, then turn
& fry 1-2 more minutes. Remove with
slotted spoon to paper towel-lined
plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Serve immediately. Serves 6


Honey-Garlic Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix flour & paprika;
coat each chicken thigh in mixture &
place in greased or foil-lined dish.
Sprinkle each thigh with salt/pepper.
In separate bowl mix honey, soy sauce &
garlic; pour evenly over chicken – flip each
over to coat on both sides. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover &
continue baking 15 minutes. Serves 6


Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
4 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chopped carrot
1/2 c. green bell pepper, seeds
1/4 C. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

cooked/crumbled bacon

Place cooked ground beef, tomatoes,
potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion,
celery & garlic in crockpot; pour
chicken stock over top. Season with
chili powder, salt/pepper & stir to
combine. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours until vegetables are
softened. In small bowl stir flour
into heavy cream until no chunks
remain then pour into crockpot.
Add Cheddar cheese & stir to
combine then cover & cook
another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Serves 8


Easy Pineapple Casserole

2 (20 oz, ea) cans pineapple
chunks, drained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. flour
2 C. coarsely crushed butter-
flavored (like Ritz) crackers
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl combine pineapple, cheese,
sugar & flour; toss until evenly
coated & place in prepared pan.
In small bowl combine crushed
crackers & butter; mix well then
sprinkle on top of casserole.
Bake 30-35 minutes until heated
through & topping is golden.
Serves 8


Easy No-Bake Caramel Pie

1 (6 oz) bag Milky Way Bites (candy)
1 (16 oz) AND 1 (8 oz) tubs Cool Whip,
1 (14 oz) can Dulce de Leche (if you
can’t find this – you can make your own,
using one 14 oz. can sweetened
condensed milk -recipe follows
1 store-bought chocolate cookie
pie shell

Chop Milky Way Bites into small pieces;
reserve 1/4 C. Place 16 oz. Cool Whip
in a large bowl; fold in Dulce de Leche.
Fold in chopped Bites & pour into
pie shell. Top with 8 oz. Cool Whip &
sprinkle reserved chopped Bites on
top. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Weather-wise it’s been clear & nice, today
it’s in the 50’s with a slight breeze. (chance
of rain Easter Sunday).

Today was my “reward” for babysitting
yesterday – I took a friend out for her
birthday to Ruby Tuesday’s – I had a
nice chicken salad (enough to bring half
home for later!). Afterwards I wandered
over to the Salvation Army store and
bought a really nice/fancy/dress top:
black, short sleeves with silver sparkles
all over it. No, it’s not something I
would normally purchase but after
looking at it for awhile, decided it
would be the perfect thing to wear
with my long black skirt for a wedding
or other formal affair – price? $6.99!
SCORE! AND – to add to that, today
was their Seniors Day so I got an
extra 25% off my purchase! After
that I went to our local Kroger
Gas Station because I had 50 cents
off per gallon on their gas (due to
my shopping Kroger lately) – that
was another SCORE! Gas here is down
just a little to $2.43/9 a gallon so getting
50 cents off that per gallon was REALLY

I still have some grocery shopping to do,
hopefully Friday (I know – LOTS of people
will be in the stores then) but want to
avoid the REALLY BIG rush on Saturday.

Hope your Easter plans are coming
together nicely!



Easter is coming – soon!

Looking at the calendar – Easter will be here very soon! For some of you it means new Easter outfits or Easter baskets – for me it means church, singing Easter songs and dinner with the family. Our oldest (the chef) was over last night and we were discussing IF we were doing a family dinner at his house this year. He said this will be the very FIRST time he’s ever had Easter off – every other restaurant/place he’s worked they’ve done an Easter brunch – at his hotel they are not doing that so he’s OFF! Not sure yet on time of dinner/who’s bringing what but now I need to hone my Easter ‘sides’ recipes. I’ve been gleaning some for you and I’m sure there will be more to come.


Lemon Meringue Pie Bites

1 (16 oz) pkg. refrigerated sugar
2 egg whites, room temp.
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T. sugar
1 C. lemon curd, room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 24-count mini muffin
pan with nonstick spray. Break
apart cookie dough & place one
in each muffin cup. Bake 10-12
minutes until lightly brown. Remove
from oven & let cool 5 minutes.
Gently make a small indentation on
top of each cookie (you can use end
of a wooden spoon or your index
finger). Let cool while you beat egg
whites. In mixing bowl beat whites &
cream of tartar until foamy. Add in
sugar & continue beating on High
until soft peaks form & whites are
shiny white. Scoop about 1 T. of
lemon curd into cookie cups & top
each with beaten egg whites. Return
to oven & bake an additional 10
minutes until meringues are lightly
browned. Keep leftovers in
fridge. Makes 24


Roasted Spring Vegetables

1 lb. thin carrots, peeled
8 oz. shallots, peeled/quartered
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. honey
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Halve, lengthwise, any carrots
1″ thick or thicker. Place carrots
& shallots in single layer in 15 X
10″ baking pan with sides – drizzle
1 T. of oil on them. Roast 10
minutes, shaking pan & turning
once. Add asparagus, drizzle with
remaining oil & roast 10 minutes
longer. Meanwhile, in small sauce-
pan, combine syrup, honey, vinegar,
butter & salt. Cook over medium
heat until it boils. Boil 2 minutes
then pour over roasted vegetables.
Sprinkle top with thyme.
Serves 8
Refrigerate any leftovers


Holiday Brunch Casserole
(overnight recipe)

4 C. frozen shredded hash
brown potatoes, thawed
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked/
1/2 lb. bacon strips, cooked/
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
4 large eggs
3 C. milk
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine first
5 ingredients; stir in 1 C. cheese.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & place mixed
ingredients in pan. In another
bowl whisk eggs, milk, baking mix
& salt until blended; pour over
top. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese. Cover & refrigerate

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove casserole from fridge
while oven heats. Bake, uncovered,
30-35 minutes until a knife inserted
near center comes out clean. Let
stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 12


Maple-Peach Glazed Ham

1 fully-cooked bone-in ham
(7-9 lb)
2 C. peach preserves or orange
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/3 C. orange juice
2 T. ground ancho chili
pepper, (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place ham on a rack in a
shallow roasting pan. Cover
& bake 1 3/4 – 2 1/4 hours until
a thermometer reads 130 degrees
F. In small saucepan mix preserves,
syrup, orange juice & chili pepper
(if using) until blended. Remove
3/4 C. mixture for glaze.
Remove ham from oven; brush
with some of glaze. Bake, uncovered,
15-20 minutes longer until a
thermometer reads 140 degrees F.,
brushing occasionally with remaining
glaze. Bring preserves mixture to a
boil over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. Cook & stir 1-2 minutes
until slightly thickened. Serves as
a sauce with ham. Makes 16 servings,
about 2 C. sauce)


Spinach/Raspberry Salad

1/3 C. slivered blanched almonds
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/3 C. vegetable oil
6 oz. ready-to-use baby
spinach leaves
2 green onions, sliced
5 T. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds
6 oz. fresh raspberries

In small nonstick skillet combine
almonds & 2 T. sugar – cook over
medium heat 3 minutes until
sugar melts & coats the almonds
and they are golden brown, stirring
frequently. Spread on waxed paper
to cool. In small bowl beat vinegar,
remaining 3 T. sugar, salt & mustard
using wire whisk until blended. Whisk
in oil until thick & well blended then
stir in poppy seeds. In large shallow
bowl toss spinach with dressing; top
with raspberries, green onions &
almonds. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6


Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

1 1/2 C. flour
3 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plus 1 T. milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced plus
extra for serving
maple syrup, for topping

Sift together flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. In separate bowl
whisk sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla
& lemon zest. Add wet ingredients
to dry, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 T. butter in large skillet over
medium-low heat until it bubbles.
Ladle pancake batter into pan to make
3-4 pancakes – distribute a rounded
T. bananas on each pancake. Cook
2-3 minutes until bubbles appear on
top & underside is nicely browned.
Flip pancakes & cook 1 more minute
until browned. Place cooked pancakes
on a plate, cover to keep warm. Wipe
out pan using a paper towel, add more
butter & continue cooking pancakes
until all batter is used up. Serve with
sliced bananas & maple syrup on top.
Makes 12 pancakes

(recipe: Ina Garten –

Creamy Bacon/Pea Salad

1 lb. frozen peas
5 slices bacon, cooked/diced
1/4 red onion, diced
3 oz. Cheddar cheese, diced
1/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 T. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Place frozen peas in a colander &
place colander in a bowl. Run hot
water over them to thaw; drain
well. In a bowl mix sour cream,
onion, mayo, ranch dressing, lemon
juice, salt/pepper – mix well. Place
peas in a bowl & mix dressing into
peas. Fold half of bacon & all of
cheese into salad. Garnish top
with remaining bacon. Cover &
refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

(recipe: family

Crockpot Ravioli Casserole

1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen cheese ravioli,
uncooked (do not need to thaw)
1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey/
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (6 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
(optional: chopped fresh basil – garnish)

In large skillet saute beef, onion, pepper &
garlic over medium-high heat until meat is
no longer pink. Season with salt/pepper &
drain any fat from skillet. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray & spread
1 C. marinara sauce in bottom. Top with half
of ravioli, half cooked meat & half mozzarella.
Add another layer remaining sauce, rest of
ravioli & rest of meat/mozzarella. Cover &
cook on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-5 hours.
Sprinkle with Parmesan & garnish with basil
before serving. Serves 8


English Muffin Bread

2 T. cornmeal
2 C. milk
1 C. hot water
6 C. flour, divided
2 T. yeast (active/dry)
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Coat bottom & sides of two
(8 X 4″) loaf pans with butter.
Sprinkle 1 T. cornmeal in each
pan & shake pan to coat sides
& bottom with cornmeal. Pour
1 C. hot water & 2 C. milk into a
glass measuring cup – microwave
2 minutes on High. In large mixing
bowl add 3 C. flour, 2 T. yeast, 1 T.
sugar, 2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. soda –
stir together using a fork. Pour
warm milk liquid into dry
ingredients. Using electric mixer
on Low 1 minute, then medium
1 more minute. Add additional
3 C. flour, one cup at a time, while
mixer is running on Low. Mix until
well combined, just 1-2 minutes.
Dough will be stiff, kind of like
thick cookie dough. Scoop dough
into prepared pans & press down
using your fingers. Place dough in
oven & allow dough to rise until it
has almost reached the tops of the
pans (should take about 10 minutes).
Turn oven heat to 400 degrees F.
Allow bread to bake for about
20 minutes until tops are golden
brown & bread sounds hollow when
top is tapped. (NOTE: the 20 minutes
cooking time includes the rising time)
Remove from oven & allow to cool
in pans 5 minutes then remove from
pans. Makes 2 loaves


Caramelized Brown Butter Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
room temp.
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In heavy skillet on Low heat, melt
butter until it begins to foam; stir
about 5 minutes until it turns golden
brown & smells nutty. Transfer to a
large heatproof bowl; allow to cool
in fridge until solid, about 30 minutes.
Once solid, remove from fridge & set
aside to bring back to room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack on lower middle section
of oven. Butter a nonstick 9 X 5″ loaf pan
& dust with powdered sugar. Beat browned
butter until it becomes creamy, then add
sugar & vanilla; continue beating 3-5 minutes
until well combined & creamed. Beat in
eggs, one at a time, making sure each is
thoroughly combine before adding the
next. In a separate bowl, combine flour,
salt & baking powder; slowly beat flour
mixture into creamed butter mixture until
well combined. Transfer batter to prepared
pan, smooth out top evenly & bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven, loosely cover
with foil then bake 20-25 minutes more.
Allow cake to cool in pan 10-15 minutes
then transfer, upside down, to a serving
platter. Serves 8-10



This week is Spring Break for our schools
which means my 10 yr. old grandson is
off, also. He spent the day here yesterday
and will be back Friday. We spent the day
watching ‘goofy’ kid shows, visiting our
local library and reading – he’s into Percy
Jackson books now and I’m really glad
he’s become a ‘reader’. My husband &
I both love to read and I’m SO glad my
grandson does, too-such a great way to
expand your vocabulary!

Along with reading I’ve been working
on getting more baby blankets done.
Finished the Diagonal Box Stitch

I’m almost half done with another knit
multi-colored blanket; this one is more
of a ‘girl’s’ colors one. I just love the
challenge of figuring out a new pattern
and then executing it.

Gas prices: they seem to be holding
(for now) at $2.39/9 – wonder if
they’ll go up before the holiday?

Newest grandson & his Momma are
currently sick with a virus – I stopped
by their house yesterday to pick up
oldest grandson and they both were
being ‘cared for’ by her Mom. Baby is
a bit cranky due to being sick; Momma
is trying her hardest to get better as
she goes back to work Friday. This will
be a new job at a new restaurant/bar.
Their friend & former neighbor is
revamping a local place and attempting
to upscale it to a more family-friendly
place. She will be the head bartender
& in charge of wait staff so you can
see why she needs to be feeling much
better by then! With her Mother &
myself we can pretty much hold up
the baby/grandson watching job so
we’ll see how this all goes.

Hope things are going well for
you at the moment –



The Day After!


Ah, the “DAY AFTER” Christmas! A time to RELAX and recall the happenings of yesterday. Hopefully yours were GREAT! My dear friend Mary (Momma) wrote that she hoped my dinner preparations came out well due to her picking up on my rather worried posting – she wasn’t far from wrong. I managed to put the green bean casserole in the oven after dusting the top with extra French Onions – just to broil a bit…you guessed it: burned the top! Managed to scrape them off and save the casserole – Whew! Saturday I was making the cake early – got it baked and went into my cupboard, pulled down the tub of frosting only to discover CREAM CHEESE (white) frosting, not the chocolate fudge I’d hoped for – what to do? Well, I remembered reading somewhere that you can make frosting using chocolate chips so printed out a recipe, worked on it – recipe says stir until cool – yeah, right! IF you have a few DAYS to do that! I stirred for almost a half hour before decided this was NOT a good idea! Remembered another trick I’d read somewhere so filled a bowl with ice cubes & immersed the hot pan in it, continued stirring which finally cooled down the frosting. In the meantime, I did a ‘brilliant’ move: decided to test the temperature of frosting (on a spoon) using my tongue – you guessed it, half my tongue got a major burn, can’t taste or feel tastebuds on that side!. Finally got frosting cooled, spread on cake (a not-desired consistency, hard to spread – kept almost melting off cake). Well – it tasted OK – a bit grainy – never had frosting grainy before . . . they ate it and said it was OK…Oh well, I tried! Made the glazed carrots – they, too, were OK…nothing special to write home about, for sure – not a ‘repeat next year’. Let’s just say we had TONS of food – everyone ate and were filled (mistakes included).

We had ‘almost’ our entire family there – youngest son said he might be a bit late, then texted he couldn’t come, something came up. Turns out the mother of a close friend of his died a few days earlier and friend had NO family here (Dad died several years ago, siblings are in other states) so my youngest decided to spend the evening with his friend – they went to eat at a Chinese restaurant! No photos were taken (missed taking  them at Thanksgiving, too)  – we had a good evening, lots of food & fun; what more can you ask for? We were blessed.


Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry Jello
1 (15 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. water
(Strawberry Cream Cheese
Frosting – recipe below)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly greased 2 (9 inch)
round cake pans.
In large bowl combine cake mix
& jello; add pureed strawberries,
eggs, oil & water – beat at
medium speed using elec. mixer
until smooth. Pour into prepared
pans & bake 20 minutes or until
a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pans 10 minutes
then remove to wire racks to
cool completely.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
1/2 tsp. strawberry extract
7 C. powdered sugar
freshly sliced strawberries – garnish,

In large bowl beat butter & cream
cheese on medium speed using elec.
mixer, until creamy. Beat in 1/4 C.
strawberry puree & extract (rest of
puree is leftover but can be used in
smoothies or on ice cream). Gradually
add powdered sugar, beating until
smooth. Spread frosting between
layers of cake & on top & sides.
Garnish each slice with sliced fresh
strawberries, if desired.

(recipe: Paula Dean –

Crockpot Parmesan/Ranch Party Mix

1 C. butter, sliced
2-3 (1 oz, ea) pkgs. Ranch dressing
mix – 2 pkgs. if you want less Ranch
flavor, 3 if you want more)
4 C. Rice Chex cereal
4 C. Wheat Chex cereal
1 C. cashews
1 C. peanuts
4 C. pretzels
1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan; add ranch
dressing mixes – stir until well combined
(there will be some thicker mixture in
bottom). Place cereals, nuts & pretzels
in crockpot – mix until mixed up well.
Pour half of butter mixture & half of
freshly grated Parm. evenly across top
of cereal mixture – stir gently until
well distributed. Pour remaining butter
mixture & cheese evenly over cereal;
gently stir again until all pieces are well
coated. Cook, UNCOVERED, 2-3 hours
on High, stirring occasionally. Once
mixture is glazed, lay out on parch-
ment paper lined sheet to cool. When
cooled completely, store in air-tight
container until ready to serve.
Makes approx. 14 cups


Honey-glazed Pork Meatballs

1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. milk
2 lb. lean ground pork
1 egg
1/4 C. diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. fresh chopped herbs:
(poster used sage, parsley,
rosemary & thyme)

1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch whisked with
1 T. water until smooth
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Line large cookie sheet with foil.
Stir breadcrumbs with milk & let
set 5 minutes; add to ground pork
in bowl along with rest of meatball
ingredients – use hands to mix until
combined well (do not overwork).
Using hands, form into 12 evenly
sized meatballs (poster used an
ice cream scoop). Place balls on
foil-lined sheet & place under
broiler in oven 5-8 minutes,
watching closely until lightly
browned – transfer to crockpot.
Whisk together sauce ingredients;
pour over meatballs. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-6 until
meatballs are fully cooked.

NOTE: For saucier meatballs,
double sauce ingredients.

If sauce is too thin after cooking,
it can be transferred to a saucepan
& brought to a boil 3-5 minutes
while whisking in additional
cornstarch & water (cornstarch &
water in equal amounts) until
desired thickness is reached.


Buttery Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into thirds
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 stick butter (1/4 C)
1 gallon-sized ziplock bag

Place chicken pieces in a bowl of
buttermilk; cover & let soak 20-30
minutes in fridge.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, salt, seasoned salt,
pepper & paprika in zip lock bag or
bowl – mix well. Cut butter into a
few pieces & place in 9 X 13″ baking
dish – melt butter in oven. Spread
melted butter around bottom of pan;
lightly spray pan with nonstick spray to
make sure there are no dry spots. Shake
excess buttermilk off chicken & completely
coat each piece in flour  mixture. Either
shake in bag until coated or dip each
piece in bowl until coated. Place each
piece in preheated pan. Bake 20 minutes.
Turn chicken over & continue baking
20 minutes more until cooked through.


Garlic Ranch Crockpot Potatoes

3 lb. red potatoes, washed/quartered
2 T. salted butter
2 T. olive oil
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 T. chopped chives
1 T. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides with nonstick spray & place
all ingredients in crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 3-4 hours until potatoes are fork-
tender* Serve hot. Serves 6-8

*Check after 1 hour & stir to make sure
all potatoes are fully coated. Check again
after 2 1/2 hours to make sure they are done.
Depending on the size of the potatoes, they
could cook a bit quicker.


Turkey, Red Pepper & Goat
Cheese Frittata

6 large eggs
1 tsp. plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 1/2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat broiler. In bowl whisk
eggs, 1 tsp. olive oil & salt/pepper,
to taste. In an oven-proof skillet
(a cast iron skillet or heavy
enameled saute pan works well)
heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper & cook until tender,
5-8 minutes. Add turkey, season with
salt/pepper. Turn heat to medium-low,
add egg mixture & cook until eggs are
set on bottom, about 5 minutes. Use
a heatproof spatula to lift cooked eggs
so that some of the liquid egg flows to
the bottom of pan. Cover & cook until
frittata is not quite set, about 5
minutes. Uncover skillet, sprinkle top
with goat cheese & transfer to oven-
broil until frittata is golden brown &
puffed on top, 3-5 minutes.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4

(recipe: Kroger)

Bacon-Ranch Casserole

1 (12 oz) pkg. penne pasta
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 C. heavy cream or Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 pkg. dry RANCH salad dressing mix
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cooked, boneless/skinless chicken
breasts, shredded
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large saucepan
over Low heat melt butter. Add
garlic, crushed red pepper, flour &
stir into butter. Add heavy cream,
broth & continue stirring until
thickened. Stir in half of dry ranch
salad dressing mix – remove from
heat & stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour pasta into prepared dish &
top with chicken, bacon & peas .
Pour sauce over top & sprinkle
with mozzarella cheese evenly.
Bake 30 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted.


Crockpot Sausage Stew

6 T. (or 1/2 C.) zesty Italian salad
2 T. Dijon mustard
6 small, unpeeled red potatoes, cut
into 1 inch slices
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (or 1/2 bag
mini carrots)
2 C. green cabbage, chopped (or
2 C. pre-shredded coleslaw mix)
1 ring fully cooked smoked sausage or
kielbasa, cut into 1-inch slices
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green peppers, celery & onions,

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix salad dressing &
mustard. Layer potatoes, onions, carrots
& cabbage in crockpot; pour mustard
mixture over vegetables & arrange
sausage slices on top. Cover with can
of tomatoes. Cover & cook on Low 7-8
hours. Serve with extra Dijon mustard,
if desired.


Crockpot Broccoli/Cheddar Soup

4 T. butter
5 T. flour
3 c. milk
3 C. chicken broth (or veg. broth)
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 C. chopped broccoli florets
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 oz. cream cheese
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 tsp. salt
1-4 tsp. black pepper, to taste
(optional: extra grated cheese,
for topping)

In large saucepan melt butter over
medium heat; stir in flour until
mixture clumps up. Very gradually
whisk in milk until all milk has been
added & a thick white sauce forms.
Add chopped onions, broccoli, garlic,
Ital. seasoning & cream cheese to
crockpot. Add sauce from pan &
chicken broth; stir to combine.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
or Low 4-6 hours. Uncover, add
sharp Cheddar cheese, salt/pepper
& stir until cheese melts. Adjust
salt/pepper, if needed. Serve warm
topped with extra cheese, if desired.
Serves 4-6


Spicy Tomato Pork Chops

1 T. olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops (5 oz, ea)
1 large onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Brown chops on both sides, remove
& keep warm. In same skillet, cook & stir
onion until tender then stir in remaining
ingredients. Return chops to skillet &
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered,
15-20 minutes until tender. Let stand
5 minutes before serving; serve with sauce.
Serves 4


Cinnamon Bun Casserole
(overnight recipe)

1 (1 lb) loaf sliced cinnamon-
raisin bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs
2 1/2 C. milk, divided
2 T. powdered sugar
2 T. chopped pecans

Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray.
Cut each bread slice
diagonally in half twice to
make 4 small triangles. Stand,
with points up, in 4 lenghwise
rows, in pan. Mix 6 oz. cream
cheese & brown sugar in large
bowl until blended; stir in
cinnamon & vanilla. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing well after
each addition. Reserve 1 T.
milk. Gradually whisk remaining
milk into cream cheese mixture &
pour over bread. Cover with
foil & refrigerate 8 hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered,
40-50 minutes until knife inserted
into center comes out clean & top
is golden brown.
Mix remaining cream cheese,
powdered sugar & reserved milk
until blended – drizzle over casserole,
sprinkle top with nuts & serve.
Serves 12



Woke up to 46 degrees F. weather
and very dense FOG! WOW! Who
would have thought that here in
Michigan it would get this WARM
at this time of year!? They were
originally calling for snow soon,
but now looking at the forecast,
it’s mostly cloudy with some small
spots of rain – GREAT!

Gas prices are still staying at
$2.39/9  guess that’s OK, I still
like it a bit lower, but that’s just me.

Not much else new – no particular
plans for the day, or actually –
for the week! My knit group is off
this week as well as my special
needs group: that makes me a
Lady of Leisure! Was chatting with
oldest son’s girlfriend & her Mom –
they’re planning on hitting the stores
today for 70 % sales…NOT ME! I
remember one year when we were
first married my Mother in Law
bought my brother in law (who
lived in Florida) several pairs of
jeans for Christmas – they didn’t
fit and GUESS WHO had to take
them back to the store AFTER
Christmas! UGH! I promised
myself then that NEVER AGAIN
would I go to stores after the
holidays (grocery, drug, hardware,
stores Yes, but no clothing or
big ticket stores like Kohl’s,
JC Penney’s, Bed/Bath & Beyond,
etc. – just TOO CRAZY for me!
I told my family  AMAZON PRIME
has become my best friend this

Middle son opened his presents
and there was a new tie for him –
he said: “Mom! ANOTHER tie?
Thanks, but this can be my last
tie for awhile” I told him: “Just
wait – your birthday is in a week!”
(hehe, he’s getting TWO more ties
then!). Hey, they all coordinate
with his work uniform (Hilton
Hotel front desk clerk: Navy
blue blazer, light blue shirt,
(tie), tan slacks. (Honestly,
don’t know who came up with
that color combination for
a ‘uniform’ but – it’s a job.
Doesn’t look BAD, just could
be a little more color coordinated,
in my humble opinion.

Well, friends, time for me to get
my rather tired buttocks off this
chair and go DO something! Have
about 8 rows left on black/gray &
white scarf then that’s done. Want
to start a new pattern for another
donated baby blanket – just haven’t
quite found a pattern that ‘speaks
to me’ – if you know what I mean.

Have a great (and hopefully relaxing)



Anybody got yarn? (and other happenings)


Yesterday at church a friend gave me 3 boxes and 3 big bags full of yarn – she was helping her friend get rid of her mom’s stuff. Not a great photo (I accidentally deleted the good one) but you get the idea. There is one huge bag full of SETS of yarn – like 9-12 big skeins of BRIGHT ORANGE (have no idea what you’d make with that) – I took enough to make 2-3 baby blankets and some scarves; the rest will go to the Knit group January 17th for our Yarn Swap. In amidst the yarns I found a kind of neat scarf – it wasn’t finished (not exactly sure what the creator’s “method” was for doing it – TONS of ends sticking out and LOOPS! Crazy! Took me awhile to get it together & finish it (had a good photo of ‘before’ too, but deleted it…ooops). Here’s the finished product – it will make a nice man’s scarf for the homeless: (it’s folded up in photo)


Sunday was our choir’s Christmas program and I was very happy to be able to participate – you see, Saturday night after practice (around 8:30 p.m.) I walked out of church, being VERY careful of where/how I was walking when my feet went totally out from under me and I fell flat on my back. Never before have I experienced having the wind knocked out of me – that’s scary! I couldn’t breathe! My friend saw the whole thing and was yelling across the parking lot: “Pam! ARE YOU OK?”  I couldn’t speak OR breathe – my brain kept saying: “Roll OVER, you IDIOT! Suck in some air!” so I did – took a few minutes but was able to sit up. Two guys from choir came over to help me stand, one walked me to the car. My first thought was: “OH NO! My scoliosis! WHAT did just do to my back!?” but it was OK – two days later I’m still a little stiff & sore; apparently I also hit my elbow as it’s a little sore BUT NOTHING’S BROKEN! PRAISE THE LORD! It was one of those freak things: I had boots on, I was VERY careful how I was walking – I remember thinking: “OK – TINY, BABY…steps – OOOOOOOooooo, falling – this is gonna hurt when I hit!” My friend was freaking out – she thought I had a concussion – I hit my head, but not hard at all. AH, the FUN of getting older, eh? Another friend in my Sunday School class (same age as me) fell last week & broke her leg; she thought it was her knee, but her husband said: “No, you broke your tibia!” (bone that runs from kneecap to foot, in front). Been taking it easy since after church yesterday – nothing on my agenda, per se, until tomorrow night’s Knit/Crochet night. The second tree is still not up, nor the lights but if that’s all we have – it’s STILL OK!


Peppermint Delight

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies,
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 gallon Peppermint ice cream,
slightly softened
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
1 (11 3/4 oz) jar hot fudge ice
cream topping, warmed
crushed peppermint candies

In large bowl combine cookie
crumbs & butter; press into an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Spread softened ice cream
over crust; top with Cool
Whip. Cover & freeze until
solid. (May be frozen up to
2 months).
Just before serving, drizzle top
with hot fudge topping &
sprinkle with crushed candies.
Serves 12-15

Chocolate-Peppermint Striped

45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed
(about 1 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3 C. plus 2 T. cold milk, divided
1/4 C. finely crushed candy canes
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate
instant pudding mix
1/4 C. coarsely crushed candy

Combine wafer crumbs, butter &
2 T. sugar; press onto bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish; refrigerate
until ready to use.
Beat cream cheese, remaining
sugar and 2 T. milk in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in
finely crushed candy canes. Add
1 1/4 C. Cool Whip; mix well then
spread over crust. Beat pudding
mixes & remaining milk with
whisk 2 minutes; pour over
cream cheese layer. Let stand
5 minutes until thickened. Cover
with remaining Cool Whip.
Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with
coarsely crushed candy canes
just before serving.
Serves 24


Prosciutto Pizza Rolls


1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. ready-to-bake
pizza dough
3 oz. prosciutto
1 C. shredded mozzarella
1 C. chopped, fresh basil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix tomato
sauce, paste, vinegar, basil, garlic,
pepper, 1 tsp. oregano & 2 tsp.
olive oil to make pizza sauce.
Roll out pizza dough to 14″ X 8 1/2″
inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 C. of
sauce evenly over dough, reserving
remaining sauce for dipping. Lay out
prosciutto on top & sprinkle evenly
with cheese & basil. Using a pizza
cutter, cut dough in half down
length. Next, cut each half into
8 even strips. Roll each strip
carefully & place on baking sheet
seam-sides down. Brush tops
with remaining olive oil & sprinkle
tops with remaining oregano.
Bake 12 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 12

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

1 lb. mild country sausage
2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar
1 1/2 C. Bisquick mix

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine sausage & cheese in large
bowl; blend in Bisquick with hands
until well mixed. Roll mixture into
1 inch balls & place on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm
or at room temperature. Serves 20


Crockpot Cube Steak & Gravy

1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6-8 pieces cube steak
2 T. oil
2 C. beef broth

Mix flour, dry mustard, salt/
pepper & garlic powder in ziplock
bag. Add cube steak, zip bag &
toss bag to coat all meat. (Reserve
excess flour mixture for later step)
Heat oil in a skillet (or browning
crockpot). Brown cube steak on all
sides but do not cook through. Mix
any excess flour with broth & pour
into crockpot. Add steak & cook on
High 90 minutes – 2 1/2 hours until
steaks are fork-tender & sauce has
thickened. Serves 4-6


Baked Orange Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. canola oil

2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
3 T. white vinegar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

Cooked rice for 4-6

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces &
season with salt/pepper. In separate
bowls, place cornstarch & slightly
beaten eggs. Dip chicken in cornstarch
then into egg mixture. Heat oil in large
skillet over medium-high heat & cook
chicken until lightly browned. Spray a
9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick spray
& place chicken in dish. In medium bowl
whisk brown sugar, orange juice, srirach,
apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy
sauce, garlic salt & cornstarch – pour
over chicken. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4-6

(Note: serve over rice, if desired)


Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
chopped into 1″ pieces
2 large onions, chopped
6 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream

Place 2 T. butter & chopped onions
in large skillet over medium-low heat;
cook slowly, stirring occasionally until
golden in color & fragrant. Add quartered
potatoes to large pot of boiling salted
water; cover & turn heat to Low. Cook
about 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain
& add to large bowl with sour cream, onions
& rest of butter. Mash using potato masher
or elec. mixer until desired consistency.


Cream of Turkey soup

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 C. diced onions
1 C. diced leeks (white part only)
1 C. diced celery
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. new red potatoes, peeled/diced
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dry thyme
1/4 C. dry white wine or water
5 C. turkey stock
4 C. cooked, diced turkey meat
1/4 C. Half & Half or light cream

In large pot melt butter & add onions,
leeks, celery, carrots & potatoes. Saute
over medium high heat 5-10 minutes
until almost tender. Reduce to medium &
add flour, salt/pepper, sage & thyme – cook
5 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon &
being careful the mixture does not stick.
Add wine (or water) & scrape up any
browned bits from bottom of pan. Add
stock, bring to boil & reduce to simmer.
Cook 10-15 minutes until vegetables are
tender & soft. Remove several batches
of soup to a blender & puree – add back
to pot. Add turkey & heat to hot; add
cream & serve. Serves 6-8


White Chocolate Fudge

3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white chocolate,
broken into pieces
3/4 C. canned sweetened condensed
1 C. almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 T. orange zest

Line 8 X 8″ baking pan with foil,
extending ends over sides. Microwave
chocolate & milk in microwaveable
bowl on High 2-3 minutes until
chocolate is almost melted; stir until
chocolate is completely melted &
mixture is well blended. Add
remaining ingredients; mix well.
Spread mixture on bottom of
prepared pan & refrigerate 2
hours until firm. Using foil handles,
remove fudge from pan & cut into
squares. Makes 24 servings


1 1/2 pkgs (4 oz, ea) semi-sweet
chocolate, broken into small
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Melt chocolate
as directed on pkg. Place
marshmallows in large bowl &
pour melted chocolate over; toss
until evenly coated. Drop rounded
tablespoons of mixture into 24
mounds on prepared sheet.
Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.


I’m still trying to figure out the
foods for Christmas dinner –
so far not so much luck. (I do better
if I don’t think someone is double-
guessing my choices . . . sigh). I know
it will all be great and there will be
more than enough to feed all nine
of us so I shouldn’t worry…just me,
I guess.

Our weather has been getting
much colder BUT no snow (so far); it’s
a ‘balmy’ 15 with a wind chill that
makes it feel like 3 degrees F above
zero – fun! The sun is out, the roads
are clear so for those who want to
go out, it’s great driving weather!
I’m going to wait another day or so
before venturing far – still a little
achy and don’t want to ‘push it’.

Hope you all stay SAFE and WARM;



PS: Noticed gas prices went up a tiny bit,
from $2.19/9 to $2.21/9 – not too
bad considering we’re into the last
week of HOLIDAY shopping, etc.

Slowly getting it all done!


Well, they weren’t wrong in predicting more snow for my area – another 2+ (was supposed to be 5, so I’m not too upset). Ended up calling our plow guy to ask him to do our drive, even though it’s not much snow – since we live ON a major highway the bottom of our drive is piled up with frozen ice/snow to where (if you have a small car) you might not make it UP the drive (just enough of a slope to where you need a ‘running start’ to get up it, with snow/ice involved.  It’s about 25 degrees F out now with later predictions of freezing drizzle & light snow during the night – GREAT! I have choir practice from 6-8 p.m. tonight (NO chance of missing this one – tomorrow morning is the program!).

FINALLY finished the blue/green baby blanket – yes, people like it but the yarn makes the knitter a bit ‘blind’ if worked on too long – it’s a bit BRIGHT!


Brought out some more donated yarn (white & a federal slate blue) and started another (homeless) scarf – worked about 6 inches & decided it was too wide to be able to make a decent length before running out of yarn so started it again, narrower. Still wasn’t happy with the yarn – too scratchy so decided to dump that project and wait until tomorrow when I’m supposed to get 2 boxes & several BAGS of yarn (& some crochet things) from a lady at church. Sometimes just seeing new yarn gives me inspiration – we’ll see. (Next project will be another scarf – think I mentioned that last post).


Eggnog Bread

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. eggnog
1/2 C. vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum extract

Eggnog glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. eggnog
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
sugar, salt, baking powder,
cinnamon & nutmeg. In another
medium bowl combine eggnog, oil,
eggs, vanilla & rum extract. Slowly
add wet ingredients to dry – stir
until combined. Pour batter into
prepared pan then tap pan on
counter so the cake is evenly set
in pan. Bake 65-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Place on cooling
rack & cool 15 minutes. Loosen
sides of bread with a knife &
carefully remove from pan. Let
cake cool completely on wire
While bread is cooling, prepare
In small bowl whisk powdered
sugar, eggnog, vanilla, rum extract
& nutmeg – drizzle glaze over
cooled loaf.

NOTE: If cake isn’t done & top is
browning too fast, drape a piece
of foil over top & finish baking
until a toothpick comes out clean.

(recipe: twopeasandtheir

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

2 lb. apples, peeled/cored/sliced,
about 6 C. (poster used Granny Smith)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 C. orange juice

(add at end, to taste)
1/2 C. brown sugar

Add apples, cranberries, clove, cinnamon
sticks & orange juice to crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 5 hours or Low 8, without
opening lid during cooking time. When
time is done, remove cinnamon sticks &
discard. Ladle everything into a blender
working in batches – add sugar. (poster
used 1/2 C. – you can always add more)
Blend until smooth. Makes 20 servings

Comments from poster:
I think it tastes better after being
refrigerated overnight. Good on
biscuits or croissants.


Four-Cheese Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 T. unsalted butter
1 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 C. grated Fontina cheese
1 C. grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Pecorino Romano cheese,
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped parsley

Bring 8 qt. stock pot of salted
water to boil – cook pasta to
al dente, reserve 1 C. pasta
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, melt butter & combine with
Half & Half. Bring to low simmer;
add all of cheese & 1/2 tsp. black
pepper. Reduce heat to Low &
mix until well incorporated. Drain
pasta & gently fold in half of pasta
using tongs to coat all strands.
Add parsley & rest of pasta. If sauce
is too thick, add a spoonful of
pasta water at a time until you
reach desired consistency. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

Country-style Pork Roast

1 (2-3 lb. ) pork roast
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 lb. baby carrots (or sliced
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Dump carrots in bottom of
crockpot. Cut roast in half; place
flour, salt, onion & garlic powders,
ground mustard & oregano in a
gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add one
half roast to bag, seal & shake until
roast is entirely coated – repeat with
other half of roast. Heat a large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
oil & brown roast on all sides (about
2-3 minutes per side) – place both
halves in crockpot. Pour chicken broth
on top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours
until pork is tender. Remove roast from
crockpot; using a slotted spoon, remove
carrots. Measure out 3 C. liquid from
crockpot & pour into medium saucepan.
Bring to boil. In small bowl, mix cornstarch
& water & pour into saucepan. Bring to
boil & cook 2-3 minutes until gravy
thickens. Serves 8


Dump & Go Cracker Barrel Casserole

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken or
mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic or onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
diced ham or bacon (cooked/chopped)

Optional topping:
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix hash browns, onion,
soup, sour cream, cheese, seasoning &
optional pepper/bacon or ham. Spread
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread mixture into dish. Mix
topping ingredients & spread over
potato mixture. Bake 45 minutes to
1 hour, until golden brown. Serves 12

NOTE: Poster said that sometimes she
omits the optional topping & bakes it
30 minutes, removes from oven & stirs
it up ‘to get everything nice & crispy’,
then returns to oven to complete cooking


Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 can cream of mushroom
1 can beef broth
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 T. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In crockpot mix undiluted soup with
beef broth, onion soup mix & steak
sauce – stir well. Add frozen meatballs;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. When done, stir in sour cream.
Prepare egg noodles accordg. to pkg
directions; drain well & stir into crockpot
or serve on top of meatballs. Serves 6

NOTE: Poster said: If preparing for a crowd,
double recipe – keep crockpot on ‘warm’ or
‘buffet’ setting.


Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

1 can whole-berry or jellied
cranberry sauce
3/4 C. chili sauce
1/4 C. water
2 bags frozen fully-cooked meatballs

Place cranberry sauce, chili sauce &
water in crockpot; stir to combine. Add
meatballs & stir to coat. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours until bubbly &
meatballs are heated through. Stir &
serve warm. Serves 8


Cheesy Stuffing Casserole

1 (6 oz) box chicken or turkey
stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli
1 (10 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
salt/pepper, to taste
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
(OR) 1 C. fresh grated Cheddar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour frozen broccoli &
frozen corn into prepared dish.
Pour soup over vegetables & stir
to combine; season with salt/
pepper. Dot top of vegetables
with cubed/grated cheese. Cover
with stuffing evenly over top.
Cover tightly with foil & bake
35-40 minutes. Remove from
oven & carefully remove hot foil.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8 as a side


Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

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

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

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

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



On the ‘getting it done’ front, finally have
one small fiber-optic up & lit, brought
down the rest of the Christmas ‘stuff’ –
good thing I went back up – forgot to
bring down the TOP of the tree! (it’s in
sections). Maybe between tomorrow &
Monday I’ll get the rest up (bigger tree
& lights on fireplace & secretary). We’ll
see …       Paperwork-wise, I’m good – got
the new calendar finished & printed for
the knit group (Tues), remembered to
call Panera Monday to order 3 dozen
of their mini-chocolate chip cookies
(every year I get those along with some
small candy bars & put them on trays
for the knit group (my Christmas present
to them), got thank you cards done for
those in the special needs group who
gave me presents (they always want me
to open them BEFORE Christmas!) – it’s
coming together.  Had an epiphany while
knitting: Mother of baby-to-be and her
Mom will be experimenting with baking
cookies & candy Monday (baby Mama
doesn’t cook) so I was thinking about
that; found a really nice wooden recipe
box with dividers & recipe cards on
Amazon – it’s ‘on it’s way before
Christmas’. I was texting with the other
grandma and we were mentioning
favorite cookie recipes – apparently
I have some she’s never heard of SOoooo
I thought: I’ll write some of them out
on some of the recipe cards & add
them to the recipe box! SCORE! I
love when a present idea hits –
especially when it’s an easy-to-
achieve one!

Not much else going on, trying to
conserve energies for later when
‘battling’ the snow & roads going
to & from church tonight. Sure hope
tomorrow mornings roads are clear!

Stay warm, drink a little something
you like (cocoa/tea/smoothie?) and
take a little time for yourself. It’s a
crazy time of year and we tend to
OVER-DO to the point where we’re
too exhausted to have any fun,
ourselves. (I know I’m guilty of that-
big time!).



Sorry – been away a few days…


It’s a bit chilly & wet today – 38 degrees, gray & rainy (30 % chance of snow on Thursday . . . yuck). After church Sunday night I was in the foyer getting my coat on when one of our gentlemen said: “Look at the snow!” I said: “Yeah, right . . .” (sarcastically) UNTIL I TURNED AROUND! It was coming down fast & furious AND STICKING! Had to drive home with it blowing straight at the windshield (an ‘interesting’ feat if you’ve never driven like that)…got home fine. Next day it warmed up and all the snow was gone – YAY!

Been working on getting a few scarves knit for the homeless – the church that my special needs group meets at has a big box and every year our group sponsors a collection of hats, scarves, mittens, gloves & socks for the needy in the area. This year they decided to change it up a bit and leave the box up AFTER the holidays. There is a house on the property that the church uses for giving out food for those in need so they will be using the donations during the winter, also. That gives me more time to be able to knit more things to give away – YAY! Here are two of the scarves I just finished (am working on a Teal knit one now)




Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices,
reserve juice
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix
3 eggs
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. milk plus more, as needed,
see note below

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bundt pan with nonstick
spray. Evenly pour melted butter
in bottom of bundt pan & top with
brown sugar. Cut pineapple rings
in half; alternating with cherries, place
in butter/brown sugar mixture in
bottom of pan (standing pineapple
so they look like smiles in dents in
pan). In large bowl combine cake &
pudding mixes together. Add reserved
pineapple juice & milk.(see note
Add eggs & oil; mix until fully blended.
Pour batter evenly over pineapple &
cherries, smoothing out the top
to make even. Bake 30 minutes
following cake mix instructions
for using a bundt pan until a
toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool cake 10
minutes in pan before running
a knife around edges & inner
ring of pan – invert cake onto
a serving plate & slice between
pineapple rings to serve.

NOTE: When you add reserved
pineapple juice & milk they should
equal 1 Cup of liquid. If you want
you can first pour the juice into
a measuring cup & add enough
milk to make 1 C. liquid. Add
liquid to combined cake & pudding
mixes & continue with recipe.


Turkey Divan

1/2 lb. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 lb. leftover turkey meat, cubed
2 C. leftover turkey gravy
1/4 C. Half & Half or heavy cream
1 T. sherry
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. mayonnaise
few grinds fresh nutmeg
2 T. butter
1 C. panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Gruyere or Swiss

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place medium saucepan of water
to boil & plunge broccoli in; cook
2 minutes then remove to paper
towels to drain & cool. (once cool)
place in small casserole dish. Top with
cut up turkey. In medium saucepan
heat gravy & whisk in cream, sherry,
mustard, mayonnaise & nutmeg.
Heat just to hot & pour over turkey.
In medium saute pan melt butter
over medium heat & add bread
crumbs; cook until browned,about
5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle
almonds, Parm & Swiss cheese over
gravy then top with toasted bread
crumbs. Bake 30 minutes uncovered
until hot, bubbly & browned. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

Bacon/Cheddar & Swiss Cheeseball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
1 C. cooked, crumbled bacon (about
12 strips), divided
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted/
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos, drained
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1 T. poppy seeds

assorted crackers, for dipping

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
sour cream until smooth. Stir in
shredded cheeses, 1/2 C. bacon,
1/4 C. nuts, onion, pimientos,
pickle relish, salt/pepper.
Refrigerate, covered, at least
1 hour.
In small bowl mix parsley, poppy
seeds & remaining bacon & nuts.
Spread half of mixture on a large
piece of plastic wrap. Shape half
of cheese mixture into a ball;
roll in parsley mixture to coat
evenly – wrap in plastic. Repeat
with rest of mixture & same
directions. Refrigerate balls
at least 1 hour. Serve with
crackers. Makes 4 cups.

NOTE: To toast nuts:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a shallow sheet pan with
sides, place nuts & bake
5-10 minutes (OR) cook in
a skillet over low heat until
lightly browned, stirring


Sausage, Garlic, Quinoa-Stuffed

about 25 large whole button
mushrooms (24 oz)*
1/2 C. dry quinoa, rinsed**
3/4 C. broth or water
3 hot Italian chicken sausage links
(the large sized ones)
1/2 C. minced onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
5 button mushrooms, diced
2 T. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Clean mushrooms, remove stems &
arrange on an oiled baking sheet. Bring
small pot with broth or water to boil.
Add quinoa & cook, partially covered,
12-13 minutes until fluffy. While quinoa
cooks, bring skillet to medium-high heat.
Remove casings from sausage & add to
skillet. Cook, stirring often to make small
crumbles until no longer pink; remove to
a plate. Using same skillet, add onion &
a little bit of water or broth to deglaze
pan & saute onions. When onions start
to soften add garlic & chopped
mushroom; reduce heat to medium.
Stir occasionally, cook until onions are
tender & translucent. Add quinoa to
sausage mixture & mix thoroughly. Season
with sea salt, garlic powder & paprika &
remove from heat – allow to cool a little
before handling. Spoon mixture into
mushroom caps & arrange on oiled
pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until
mushrooms are tender & steamy after
giving up a bit of their liquid. Serve hot.
Makes 25 stuffed caps.

*You can use regular mushrooms or
baby bella portobellos.

** You can substitute Italian style
or Panko bread crumbs


Crockpot Turkey/Rice Soup

8 C. water
8 C. turkey/chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 C. cooked turkey, shredded
1 C. grated carrots
2 T. minced dried onions
2 C. cooked white rice
salt/pepper, to taste
1 T. minced garlic
3/4 of a 12 oz. bag egg noodles

Combine turkey, broth, water,
bouillon cubes, carrots, salt/
pepper, garlic & onions in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours,
stirring occasionally. After 4 hours
add egg noodles, cover &
continue to cook. Add cooked rice
to crockpot, stir & serve. Serves 10


French Onion Pork Chop Skillet

6 boneless pork chops, 1/2″ thick
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook chops & onions in large skillet
on medium-high heat 8 minutes,
turning chops & stirring onions after
4 minutes (chops will not be done)
remove chops from skillet. Cook onions
5 minutes more until golden brown,
stirring frequently. Stir in Worc. sauce;
return chops to skillet & spoon onion
mixture over chops. Combine stuffing
mix & water; spoon around edge of
skillet. Top chops & stuffing with
cheese. Cover & cook 5 minutes until
cheese melts & chops are done. Remove
from heat & let stand 3 minutes before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts

2 (8 oz, ea) cans water chestnuts,
1 lb. lean bacon, cut in half
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. ketchup
1/4 C. soy sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Soak water chestnuts in soy sauce
15 minutes, stirring a few times
to make sure they are fully coated;
remove from soy sauce (reserve
soy sauce). Wrap 1/2 strip bacon
around each, secure with toothpicks.
Place (toothpick sides up) in a 7″ X
11″ glass baking dish. Bake 25-35
minutes until desired crispness.
Remove from dish & drain grease.
Place chestnuts back in dish. Add
ketchup & brown sugar to reserved
soy sauce; stir to combine then
pour evenly over chestnuts to coat.
Bake 20-30 minutes.


Cheesy/Garlic Monkey Bread

1 (12 oz.) can refrigerated biscuits
2 T. margarine, melted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. KRAFT shredded Italian
5 cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
1/2 C. tomato – basil pasta sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Separate biscuits; cut into quarters.
Mix margarine, Parm. cheese &
seasonings in medium bowl until
blended. Add dough pieces; toss to
evenly coat each piece. Spray a
9″ round pan with nonstick spray &
place coated biscuit pieces in pan.
Top with shredded cheese. Bake
20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes in pan; remove to
wire rack to cool slightly. Heat pasta
sauce & serve with bread, on the side.
Makes 10 servings

(recipe: Kraftrecipes)

Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. brown sugar, light or dark
1 egg, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. molasses

1/2 C. granulated sugar

Combine flour, baking soda, corn
starch, salt & spices in large bowl;
whisk together. In separate bowl
cream butter & sugars. Beat in egg
until thoroughly combined; mix in
vanilla & molasses. Gradually add
flour mixture to butter mixture,
stirring just until combined. Place
in fridge at least 2 hours (poster
leaves hers 24 hours)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop
dough to form a ball & roll ball
in gran. sugar; place on cookie sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes being careful to
not overbake. Let cool several minutes
on sheet before moving to wire rack.
Store in airtight container up to a
week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 2 dozen


Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile,
it seems lately almost every day/
evening are filled with places to
go & things to get done. Last
night was our church Ladies
Christmas banquet, tonight is
Knit/Crochet night & Wednesday
is my special needs group (am
looking forward to Thursday &
hopefully a break/rest!).

Chatted with oldest son on plans
for Christmas/dinner and they have
invited us to their house, again, for
Christmas dinner. The other grand-
parents agreed, so we’ll sort of be
doing a copy of Thanksgiving, with
oldest son preparing the meat(s)
and the ‘grands’ taking over with
the appetizers, sides & desserts.
He said he’s thinking either a
prime rib or pork roast or loin –
you can bet I’ll be looking up good
‘sides’ to go with either of those!

Have a great day/evening!



PS: Forgot to add a photo taken Saturday at

my close friend Mary’s (Mama) daughter-in-
law’s memorial service/luncheon.
Husband & I (after 40 years marriage!)





and – once again – there’s TURKEY!


Had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at oldest son’s house with lots of food, 2 turkeys (one roasted/one smoked) – we brought home our leftovers but NO TURKEY! All of us here were saying: “Gee, wish we had some leftover turkey to make a sandwich!” That got me to thinking: “Wait! I have that FREE 10/12 lb. turkey I got last week!” It just came out of the oven and the house smells great! We still have leftover green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls – all I need to do is whip up some gravy & stuffing and we’re good for another few meals PLUS leftovers! Bought 2 packages of the ‘ready-made, comes in a roll’ pie crusts for making turkey pot pie next week – yum! Funny thing: at dinner on Thanksgiving our 10 yr old grandson piped up and said that his teacher had them write about something that brings memories of Thanksgiving – he wrote about Grandma’s (that’s ME!) homemade green bean casserole! Too funny! (Now his Dad hates the stuff, so for his son to hold it in such high regard I take as a HUGE compliment!)

Earlier I made a quick trip to the grocery store for a few things (like bread & milk); while in line to check out I got into a conversation with the check out lady – we were chatting about the great holiday food. She said something about having a lot of food at her house; the lady behind me said the same thing: “We had turkey AND ham, tons of sides, so much food!” and THEN she says: “I’m tired of it so I gave the leftovers to the GARBAGE DISPOSAL!” Wow – talk about really making me cringe! She could have called someone, maybe a homeless shelter, and donated whatever she had leftover! WHAT A WASTE! Even if she didn’t know anyone personally, I’m sure if she called a church or shelter they could direct her to SOMEONE who would LOVE to have what she was ‘sick of eating’ – sigh. (I’ll get off my soapbox now . . .)


Apple Fritter Cinnamon Roll

2 medium apples, peeled/
cored & diced small (about
1 1/2 C. apples)
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. water
1 can Pillsbury Grands! cinnamon
rolls (5 rolls in pkg)
5 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 T. heavy whipping cream or
milk, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ pie plate with nonstick
spray. Place diced apples, brown
sugar, gr. cinnamon & 1 T. water
in small bowl; stir. Cover loosely
with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 2-3 minutes until apples
are just slightly translucent; drain
well. Cut each cinnamon roll into
6 pieces (they will fall apart a little,
it’s OK). Sprinkle pieces evenly in
prepared pan. When apples are
done, drain well & sprinkle over
cinnamon roll pieces. Stir melted
butter & brown sugar together; pour
over top of apples/cinn. roll pieces.
Bake 28-33 minutes until cooked
through in center.
Just before serving, place icing
that came with rolls in a small bowl.
Heat about 10 seconds in Microwave
so that it’s pourable. Stir in heavy
whipping cream (or milk) to make
it more of a glaze, then pour over
top of dish. Serve warm or at
room temp. Makes 8-10 servings


Turkey Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1/4 C. chopped water
1 green onion, chopped
2 (one 8 oz/one 4 oz) tubes
refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl beat first 5
ingredients until smooth; stir
in turkey, water chestnuts &
green onion. Unroll both tubes
of dough & separate into 6
rectangles. Press perforations to
seal & place 1/3 C. turkey mixture
in center of each rectangle. Bring
4 corners of dough together above
filling; twist & pinch seams to seal.
Place on ungreased baking sheets
& brush tops with melted butter.
Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs
& bake 15-20 minutes until golden
brown. Makes 6

Turkey Stuffed Shells
(great use of leftovers)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1 C. cooked stuffing
4 green onions, chopped
1 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp. chili powder,(optional)
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. turkey gravy, warmed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg.
directions for al dente.
In large bowl mix mozz. cheese,
turkey, stuffing & green onions.
In small bowl stir sweet potatoes
& (if using) chili powder. Drain
shells; fill each with 2 T. stuffing
mixture & 2 tsp. sweet potato
mixture. Arrange in greased
11 X 7″ baking dish; sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese. Bake,
covered, 15-20 minutes until
heated through. Serve with
heated gravy. Makes 8 servings


Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
(about 12 oz)
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers,

assorted fresh vegetables, cut up,
for dippers

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat 6-8 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking into crumbles.
Using slotted spoon transfer sausage
to 3 qt crockpot. Stir in cream cheese,
Parmesan cheese, sour cream, chilies
& peppers. Cook, covered, on Low
3 to 3 1/2 hours until heated through.
Stir before serving & serve with cut
fresh veggies for dipping.
Makes 24 (1/4 C. each) servings


Curried Turkey Rice Soup

1 lb. fresh butternut squash*
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. small diced carrots
1 C. small diced onion
1/2 C. small diced celery
1 C. uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp. dry sage
1 tsp. dry curry powder
8 C. turkey stock/broth, divided
1 lb. cooked turkey meat,
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C. Half & Half
salt/pepper, to taste

You can also use 2 C. leftover
cooked squash –  (if using
leftover, omit first 4 ingredients
in recipe)

*If using uncooked squash, preheat
oven 450 degrees F.
Peel & seed squash, cut in half
top to bottom, brush insides with
oil, salt/pepper & roast on a foil
lined pan until soft, 45 minutes to
1 hour. Once squash is soft, place
insides in food processor with
1-2 C. turkey stock; puree until

In 5 qt soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add carrots,
onion & celery – saute 4 minutes.
Add rice; saute 2 minutes. Add
sage & curry – stir. Add remaining
turkey stock, bring to boil. Lower
to a low simmer & cook until rice
is tender, 12-15 minutes. Add
cooked turkey & peas; heat just
to hot. Remove from heat & add
Half & Half – taste for seasoning,
adjust as needed. Serves 6-8


Crockpot Cheesy Corn & Peppers

2 lb. frozen corn kernels
2 T. butter, cubed
1 large green bell pepper, finely
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Add all ingredients
except cream cheese & Cheddar
cheese to crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 2 hours. Add cheeses, stir
to blend. Cover & cook 15 minutes
longer until cheeses melt. Serves 8


Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 C. butter, melted (plus
more to grease the pan)
1 1/2 C.  leftover sweet potato
1 3/4 C. flour
2 T. light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. pecans
maple syrup, for serving

IN large bowl beat eggs with
butter & milk. Stir in sweet
potato casserole. In separate
bowl mix flour, brown sugar,
baking powder, cinnamon & salt.
Add dry to wet ingredients &
stir just to combine.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
(to keep pancakes warm while
you cook the entire batch)

Heat 1 or 2 griddle pans to medium-
low heat & grease each with butter.
Make sure pan is completely up to
temperature before adding butter.
Using a quarter cup measuring cup
& scoop batter onto pans, about
4 per pan. Cook until edges start
to dry & bottom is browned, then
flip, about 2-3 minutes. Cook on
other side until brown & place on
a cookie sheet & heat in oven.
While pancakes are cooking, heat
a small saute pan over medium &
add pecans. Dry toast about 5
minutes until browned, tossing
often. Cool then coarsely chop or
leave whole.
To serve: drizzle tops with maple
syrup & top with toasted pecans.
Makes 20 pancakes

*It’s OK is a little topping gets mixed


Pumpkin Pancakes with
Maple Pumpkin Butter

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter,
2 T. pumpkin puree
1 T. maple syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes:
1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T. canola oil
1 to 1 1/4 C. milk
1 C. pumpkin puree

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
In bowl of stand mixer beat
butter, pumpkin puree & syrup;
mix until thoroughly combined.

In large bowl combine flour, brown
sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & baking
powder; stir with a whisk until well
mixed. Make a well in center of bowl
with dry ingredients. Add beaten egg
& oil. Add 1 C. milk & start whisking
wet ingredients together. Slowly
incorporate dry ingredients from sides
of bowl until fully combined. Add
pumpkin puree & mix well, adding
more milk if necessary to get a thick
but pourable butter. Heat a flat griddle
over medium-low heat & grease well.
Griddle is hot enough when a drop of
batter immediately sizzles on it. Using
a 1/4 C. measure, ladle batter onto hot
griddle (these should make about a 4
inch pancake). Cook 2-3 minutes until
edges are set then flip & cook 2-3
minutes more – repeat with rest of batter.
Serve immeditely with a spoonful of
Maple Pumpkin Butter on top.
Serves 10-12 pancakes


(not sure if I posted these or not –
I made them for Thanksgiving – they’re
good but very sweet; next time I would
omit sprinkling the tops with powdered
sugar – they’re just fine without it)

Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, melted butter &
1 egg until it forms into a dough.
Press dough into 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cream cheese & 1 egg to
bowl of electric mixer & mix until
smooth. In batches, slowly, mix in
3/4 ths of box of powdered sugar.
Pour cream cheese mixture over
cake dough evenly until completely
covered. Sprinkle pecans & powdered
sugar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into bars.



In the realm of knitting, here’s the two
pairs of boot toppers I knit for my oldest
son’s girlfriend:


In case you might be wondering just WHAT you would do with these, here’s a photo (the person I knit mine for really LOVES wearing boots)



Our weather has changed a bit from the
forecasts of a few days ago; they were
predicting rain changing to snow and cold
(30’s) temperatures. I’m SUPER glad that
didn’t happen (at least, not yet); right
now it’s 40 degrees F. & cloudy – the
forecast for up to Tuesday is 40’s,
Tuesday High 54 with 30% chance of
rain – Hey, I can handle THAT!

Hope you are having a great weekend –
for those of you who went ‘Out Shopping’,
can’t say as I ‘feel for you’ – that’s one of
those “I WOULD NEVER!” things (I hate
crowds so NO amount of great price
deals would lure me in).

Hope you all had a great holiday, found
items you wanted (if you shopped) and
are able to relax a little and count your



Enjoy our country’s Fourth of July!


Our country is now 240 years old!

Today is a very nice, sunny July day – temp. 75, High today 81 – great for a holiday! Do you have any special plans for the day? Here we’re just ‘hangin’ out & chillin’ – the boys are on the video games, husband is happily playing his 1940’s battleship game on his computer and I’m here writing to you. Am now working on the last plain white square for the pink & white baby blanket; if I feel like it today I’ll begin sewing them altogether then all that’s left is crocheting a border and that one is done. I’m thinking of taking a wee break from baby blankets and knitting some baby headbands (for the Detroit Vets baby shower) – they’re well received and quick to make.

Food-wise, we’ve still got enough leftovers for tonight’s dinner: country BBQ ribs, baked beans, red potato salad & coleslaw (MORE than enough of everything but the ribs – but these ribs are HUGE, so one is more than enough per person – even husband asked me where I got the dinosaur ribs!)


Summer Berry Icebox Cake

19 oz. graham crackers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
2 1/2 C. cold milk
1 (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries
2 oz. white chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese & dry pudding
mixes in large bowl using elec. mixer
until blended; gradually blend in
milk. Gently stir in Cool Whip,
reserving 1/2 C. Spread a thin layer
of Cool Whip in a 9 X 13″ pan just to
coat the bottom. Layer 5 graham
crackers across center of pan, then 2
more, breaking as needed to fit around
top & bottom edges. Spread a layer of
pudding mixture over crackers & top with
a layer of blueberries & sliced straw-
berries. Place graham crackers on top
of berries then pudding mixture, then
layer of berries again. Repeat graham/
pudding/berries 1 more time (3 times
total). Refrigerate at least 4 hours or
overnight until gram crackers have
softened completely. When ready to
serve, melt white chocolate chips in
a bowl as directed on pkg. & drizzle
over top of dessert. (You can use a
spoon to drizzle over tops of berries
or put in small zip-lock bag & snip
bottom corner of bag to use as a
easy piping bag. Serves 12-16


Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Grill & oven methods

2 C. cooked spiral pasta, drained/rinsed
1 medium zucchini sliced about 1/4″ thick
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4″
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 baby eggplant sliced into 1/4″ slices
2-3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
(Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing – below)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. (if using oven
350 degrees F.)

In large bowl toss vegetables with olive oil.

Oven roasting: line a large baking sheet with
parchment paper. Spread veggies in single
layer on pan; roast 30 minutes until veggies
begin to brown. Toss roasted veggies with
pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to

Grill:Place veggies in single layer on grill &
cook about 10 minutes, turning veggies half
way through cook time. Toss roasted veggies
& pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to
Serve either room temp. or chill 1 hour to
serve cold. Store leftovers in fridge.
Serves 4-6
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 C. frozen lemonade concentrate,
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 C. vegetable oil (do not use
extra virgin)
1 T. poppy seeds

Place lemonade concentrate & mustard
in blender; pulse to combine. Add oil
in a slow, steady stream & blend at highest
speed-takes about 60 seconds for mixture
to emulsify – pulse in poppy seeds.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 C.


Grilled BBQ Bacon-Chicken Skewers

15 bamboo skewers – 6 inches each
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 lb)
4 large green onions
1 (2.1 oz) pkg. refrigerated fully cooked
(15 pieces)
1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Soak skewers in water at least 30 minutes
to prevent burning. Cut each chicken
breast in half lengthwise, then cut
crosswise to make 10 (about 1″) pieces.
Cut onions in 2″ pieces (30 pieces total)
Cut bacon slices in half crosswise. Heat gas
or charcoal grill.
Push 1 skewer through end of 1 bacon
piece, then through middle of 1 chicken
piece & back through other end of bacon
piece. Add 2 onions pieces, then repeat
with another bacon & chicken piece. Place
on large tray or plate; repeat with remaining
ingredients. Place skewers on grill over medium
heat. Cover grill; cook 5 minutes. Turn skewers;
brush with half BBQ sauce. Cover, cook 5
minutes; turn – brush with remaining sauce.
Cover & cook 1 minute longer until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve with additional
BBQ sauce for dipping, if desired. Makes 15

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Watermelon/Cucumber/Feta Salad

6 C. seedless 1-inch watermelon cubes
1 C. sliced, quartered cucumber
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced &
1 C. crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)

2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves

In small bowl using wire whisk, mix
vinegar, oil, salt/pepper – stir in mint.
In large bowl combine watermelon,
cucumber, onion & 3/4 C. feta – Pour
dressing over mixture; toss gently to
combine. Sprinkle salad with remaining
feta. Garnish servings with additional
mint, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Smoky Baked Beans

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork & beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (16 oz) can butter beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (15.5 oz) can navy beans,
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
w/ green chilies, drained
1/2 C. hickory-smoke flavored
BBQ sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)

In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink; drain. Combine beans,
tomatoes & sausage mixture in crockpot.
In small bowl combine bbq sauce, ketchup,
brown sugar, mustard, steak seasoning &
liquid smoke (if using) – stir into bean
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours or
until heated through. Serves 16


Louisiana Shrimp Bake

1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled/
1/3 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. dry red wine
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place shrimp in single layer in
9 X 13″ baking dish coated with
nonstick spray. In small bowl
combine remaining ingredients;
mix well & pour over shrimp.
Bake, uncovered, 7-8 minutes
until shrimp turn pink. Serves 4

NOTE: Serve these with plenty of
crusty bread to sop up the rich,
buttery sauce


Layered Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 C. Ranch sour cream mayonnaise,
divided (recipe below)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1/2 can sweet corn, drained very well
1/2 C. chopped purple or green onion
plus more for garnish
8 oz. salsa
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3.8 0z) can sliced black olives, drained
very well
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, chopped
ripe avocado chunks (optional)
tortilla chips, for topping

Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef, canned chiles &
taco seasoning mix in skillet until beef is
brown & liquid from chilies has evaporated.
Refrigerate mixture until completely cold.
Place an even layer of mixture on bottom
of prepared pan. Top with double layer of
iceberg lettuce leaves (half of head), 1/2 C.
Ranch /sour cream mixture (smoothed into
an even layer) beans, corn, onion, another
double layer of lettuce (press down gently
after placing lettuece), other /12 C. Ranch/
mayo mixture, salsa, cheese, olives, bacon,
jalapenos, tomato and a little more onion.
Cover & refrigerate 12-24 hours before
slicing into pieces. Before serving, crush
tortilla chips over top & top with avocado
chunks, extra tomato chunks & your
favorite hot sauce. Serves 8-12

Ranch/Sour Cream/Mayonnaise

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
3-6 T. dry buttermilk ranch salad
dressing mix

Mix well & chill until ready to use.


Lemonade Squares

2 1/4 C. graham cracker crumbs*
1/2 C. melted unsalted butter
1/3 C. sugar

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant lemon
pudding mix
3/4 c. thawed/undiluted lemonade
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all crust ingredients in small
bowl & press into 9 X 9″ baking dish.
Bake 10-15 minutes until crust begins
to brown; remove from oven & cool
completely. In small bowl whisk
pudding mix & evap. milk 2 minutes;
let stand 2 minutes. Beat cream cheese
until light & fluffy. Gradually beat in
lemonade concentrate; stir in lemon
zest. Gradually beat in pudding
mixture, beating well then pour into
pan with cooled crust. Cover & chill
at least 4 hours – overnight is best.
Serves 9

*You may substitute a store- bought
graham cracker crust



With this being the holiday weekend I’ve been using
my time to get some things done that I’ve kind of
let go ‘by the wayside’ – like folding 3 baskets of
laundry, getting all the emergency papers together for my special needs group/
filing alphabetically & putting into a new notebook
(the old one was was bursting at the seams!) – still
have to go through each sheet & note who, in the
group, I STILL don’t have an emergency contact sheet
on (I do this every year – never seems to amaze me
that on some people we STILL don’t have a sheet!). I have a bowl with some really BLACK bananas that need making into banana bread some time today.
Tomorrow is Knit Night – I’m not anticipating many
attending since it’s been the holiday – we’ll see.

Hope you have a great holiday – enjoy the
fireworks if you get to see any (around here last
night it was like we were living IN the 1812 battle-
people were STILL lighting them off around 11:30/
midnight! (and I’m not talking the tiny ones – these
sounded like MORTARS!) Glad I don’t have any pets
that would be freaking at the sounds.