I KNOW Spring’s coming . . . but-

Looking at our local weather site, it looks like we’re going to have clear, sunny weather up to TUESDAY! NO SNOW (that we know of) – it’s been jumping from the low 20’s in the morning up to the 40’s by 4 p.m. – goofy, but typical MICHIGAN – sigh. (I remember when I was a young girl we got a huge dump of snow on Easter!).


Nut & Cinnamon Danish
(last minute quick recipe)

1/4 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. buttermilk
biscuits – 8 to pkg)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 16 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray. In small bowl
combine walnuts, brown sugar &
cinnamon – mix well. Separate each
biscuit in half by gently pulling apart.
Place each biscuit half in a muffin cup
& press against bottom & sides to form
a crust. In medium bowl beat cream
cheese, egg & gran. sugar until smooth.
Evenly spoon mixture into cups &
sprinkle evenly with nut mixture.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are
golden. Allow to cool slightly then
serve warm. Makes 16

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Creamy Carrot Soup w/Ranch
Whipped Cream

2 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
kosher salt/black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb. carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 C. water/vegetable broth/or
chicken broth
1 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 T. (Hidden Valley Original
Ranch) salad dressing & seasoning mix

Melt butter in large pot over medium-
high heat. Add onion & cook, stirring
often, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt/
pepper. Add garlic & cook 2 minutes. Add
carrots & bay leaf – season with salt/pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin
to soften, about 5 minutes. Add water or
broth – bring to a simmer. Cook, partially
covered, until carrots are easily mashed
against side of pot – 15-20 minutes. Let
cool slightly. Working in 2 batches, transfer
soup to a blender  & puree until very smooth.

In large bowl combine heavy cream & Ranch
dressing mix – beat until soft peaks form. Serve
soup topped with ranch mixture & ground black
pepper. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)

Crockpot Brown Sugar/Pineapple

1 pre-cooked/spiral-cut/bone-in
(or boneless) ham
3 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. honey
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits or
chunks, do not drain

In large crockpot (6 qt or larger) cover
bottom with 2 C. brown sugar. Place
ham on top; open the slices of ham
slightly using your fingers. Pour honey
evenly over ham. Add pineapple around
sides (along with juice) & put some on top.
Top with remaining 1 1/2 C. brown sugar,
making sure it is evenly distributed over
entire top of ham. Cover & cook on Low
3 1/2 – 4 hours.

(recipe: myincrediblerecipes.com)

Lemon Butter Scallops

1 lb. scallops
salt/pepper, for seasoning
1 T. canola oil
2 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. freshly squeezed lemon
2 T. minced parsley

Pat scallops dry using paper towels;
season with salt/pepper.  Add canola
oil to large skillet over medium-high
heat – warm oil until almost smoking.
Place scallops in skillet & cook until
browned on first side: 2-4 minutes.
Flip & cook until second side is brown &
center is barely cooked through –
transfer to a serving dish. Melt butter
in skillet; add garlic & cook about 30
seconds. Whisk in lemon juice & parsley.
Pour sauce over scallops & serve
immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kroger.com)

Chicken/Wild Rice/Broccoli

1 C. long grain & wild rice, cooked
1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into
1″ pieces
2 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 C. milk
1 large head broccoli, broken
into florets with stems – chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
3 oz. can French fried onions – garnish

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat – place
in oil & heat until oil shimmers. Add
chicken & cook, stirring occasionally,
until chicken is no longer pink. Remove
chicken to a plate. Add butter to skillet
& cook onion about 3 minutes until
translucent. Scatter flour over butter in
pan & cook 1 minute. Pour milk into
skillet & bring to a simmer – cook sauce
3 minutes. Leave chicken diced (or shred
into bite-sized pieces) – place chicken
back in pan; add broccoli & cooked rice-
stir in salt/pepper, to taste. Stir mixture
& place into prepared dish. Top with
Fr. onions & bake 20-25 minutes until
hot & bubbly. Serves 8-10

(recipe: cerydaydishes.com)

Crockpot Brussels Sprouts

1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
3 T. butter
1 T. Dijon mustard
salt/pepper, to taste
(optional: sprinkle shaved
or shredded Parmesan cheese
on top just before serving)

Wash & trim ends of sprouts;
place in 4 quart or larger crockpot.
Add mustard, salt/pepper & toss
to coat sprouts. Add 3 T. butter on
top. Cover & cook on High 2 hours.
Serves 6


Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. (6 oz) semi-sweet
chocolate chips
1/2 C. vanilla or white chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl cream butter & sugars;
beat in egg, sour cream & vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients & gradually
add to creamed mixture – stir in chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches
apart onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake 12-15 minutes until set. Cool
2 minutes before removing to wire racks
to cool completely. Makes about
3 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


This has been another of those ‘roller coaster’ weeks –
when almost every day has at least ONE thing or place
to go & do…makes me really yearn for a day with
NOTHING planned – like today! It’s a lovely (but chilly)
clear/sunny day.

I started out by making a trip to JoAnn’s to buy another
skein of a particular yellow yarn (found it – and I didn’t
have a ball band-that piece of paper which tells you
which company/brand/type/weight, etc. yarn you have).
I also spotted another skein of baby yarn
(white/pink/yellow/blue) so I decided
to pick that up, too (had a 40% off coupon). Earlier this
day I discovered a JoAnn’s gift card from last JUNE – my
friend had purchased it for my birthday and I totally
forgot about it. When I approached the cashier & gave
her my 40% off coupon she said that everything I bought
(a few other things besides yarn) were ALL on sale (hence,
you can’t use their coupons on sale items). I showed her
my gift card & said I wasn’t really sure how much was on
it so we scanned it. My total bill was $20.10 … the card
had $20.00 – YAY! I happily handed her the dime and almost
skipped out of the store! Proceeded to the Kroger Gas
Station and was able to get gas with my .20 cents off per
gallon. Our local Clark station (my usual place) had gas
at $2.49/9 which is ‘usually’ a good price. Filled up my
tank at Kroger for $2.27/9  – another savings – double
YAY! Just in case you’re not familiar – Kroger offers 

lower gas prices according to how much
you spend on groceries. If I’m correct, you
get 10 cents off per gallon for every $100.00
you spend and it accumulates/rolls over (not
exactly sure the cut off on them but I think
it’s something like 2 months). It’s another
nice little ‘bonus’.

Lastly I happily came home and began knitting on
the ‘donated squares’ project using the new yellow
yarn. I had put a book on Hold at the library-when I
went to pick it up Wednesday I was kind of confused –
it was a DVD packet – book on DISC! I have never done
that before but found it was FUN listening to the book
while knitting (mind you, this is STRAIGHT KNITTING,
no fancy patterns). Ended up hearing the ENTIRE
book today – it’s by two of my favorite authors:
Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston (GREAT mystery
writers). I still must say: I appreciate reading/holding
a real book but this was an interesting adventure.

Hope you have a GREAT rest of the day –



PS: To prove I was having WAY too much fun
with the audio book while knitting – I was
supposed to knit 12 rows/155 stitches per
row. I now have to unravel 2 rows – I just
kept knitting & listening, knitting & listening!

Oh well – live & learn, right?


and a little snow on the side…

I can remember last Wednesday it was so nice & Spring-like that I took off my light jacket while grocery shopping! Today there’s a good 6 inches of VERY heavy snow on the ground (the roads are clear, though) sunny and 31 degrees F. out. Looking at the updated forecast, I guess we’ve got all the snow (for now) -none predicted until Wednesday night – temps. close to 40 so I really hope it MELTS this stuff!


Chocolate/Marble Gooey Butter Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
1 egg

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl mix dry cake mix, egg &
melted butter – beat until well combined
(batter will be thick); spread evenly on
bottom of prepared dish.

Beat cream cheese, eggs, melted butter
& vanilla until smooth. Gradually add
powdered sugar & beat until fully
combined. Remove 1 C. cream cheese
mixture & set aside. Spread remaining
cream cheese mixture over base. In a
saucepan (or microwave) melt chocolate
chips until smooth. Mix melted chips
with reserved 1 C. cream cheese mixture
until fully combined.
Spoon dollops of mixture on top of plain
cream cheese batter – swirl carefully with
a butter knife, creating a marble effect.
Bake 45 minutes. (Do not bake too long-
it should be soft.) Let cool completely
before cutting.

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

Crockpot Greek Chicken

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken

6 whole grain pita breads

Place onions & cinnamon stick in
crockpot. In small bowl mix oil,
garlic, lemon zest, oregano, salt/
pepper. Rub chicken with oil
mixture & place in crockpot.
Squeeze lemon juice over chicken,
cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours
until chicken reaches internal
temperature of 165 degrees F.
and is no longer pink. Slice
chicken & serve with pita bread.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6

(recipe: kroger.com)

Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet

1/4 C. plus 2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced/divided
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey
1 C. bread crumbs
1 large egg
3 T. fresh chopped parsley (more
for garnish, if desired)
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

In large pot over Low heat, heat
1/4 C. oil. Add half the garlic & all
rosemary – stir (making sure it doesn’t
burn) 1 minute. Add tomatoes & season
with salt/pepper. Let simmer while you
make the meatballs.

In large bowl combine turkey, bread
crumbs, egg, remaining garlic & parsley-
season with salt/pepper. Roll mixture into

In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat
remaining 2 T. oil. Place meatballs in skillet
& brown, moving occasionally to ensure
they don’t stick, about 5 minutes. Ladle
sauce into skillet & over meatballs. Top
with cheese & bake until meatballs are
cooked through – 10 minutes more.
Garnish with parsley & serve. Serves 4

*You can used jarred spaghetti sauce if
you are in a hurry

(recipe: delish.com)

Confetti Corn & Rice Salad

4 ears corn, husked
1 1/2 C. rice, cooked
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, halved/thinly
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
thinly sliced

Simple Dressing:
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Boil or grill corn until tender – let cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut kernels from cob
in ‘planks’ (strips). Place rice, red onion,
green pepper. tomatoes & (if using-
jalapeno pepper) in large bowl. Mix in
corn strips – reserving some for garnish
on top.


Whisk all dressing ingredients together &
drizzle on top of salad. Serve at room
temp. or refrigerate overnight before
serving. Add additional corn ‘strips’ to
top before serving. Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Bacon/Jalapeno Popper Bites

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 jalapenos, seeded/diced
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
8 oz. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
48 Tostitos “Scoops” tortilla chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. In medium bowl mix cream
cheese, green onions, jalapenos,
bacon, & cheeses. Spoon filling into
“Scoops” (about 1 tsp. each) &
place on baking sheet. Top each
with additional bacon & Cheddar
cheese, if desired. Bake 8-10 minutes
until filling is bubbly & cheese is
melted. Serves 4 dozen

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Country Ribs

1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1 T. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lb. country-style pork ribs
(bone in or boneless)
russet potatoes (optional)
cornstarch & water

In small bowl whisk together ketchup,
brown sugar, vinegar, mustard powder,
cayenne, salt/pepper & pour into
crockpot. Nestle ribs in sauce. (IF
you want baked potatoes, wrap scrubbed
russet potatoes in foil & place on top of
ribs). Cover & cook on Low 6-10 hours.
Uncover & remove potatoes. Place ribs
on a platter. Turn crockpot to High heat.
Mix 2 T. cornstarch with 3 T. water in
small bowl – stir mixture into sauce in
crockpot – sauce will thicken in about
10 minutes. Spoon sauce over meat &
serve. Serves 6

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Cannoli Poke Cake

1 (16.5 oz) box white cake mix,
plus ingredients to prepare
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk, divided
1 (8 oz) tub mascarpone cheese
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to required time
for cake  mix
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake according to box directions &
bake. Remove from oven & allow
to cool. When cake is cool:
poke holes all over top of baked
cake with the end of a wooden
spoon – holes about 1 inch apart.
Reserve 2 T. sweetened cond.
milk & pour remainder over top
of cake & into holes. In large
bowl using elec. mixer beat
mascarpone & ricotta cheeses &
vanilla until creamy. Beat in
powdered sugar & reserved
sweetened cond. milk until
smooth. Spread mixture evenly
over top of cake & sprinkle top
with mini chocolate chips.
Refrigerate cake 2 hours until
ready to serve. Serves 15

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Not much ‘new’ around here, still plodding
away at the cream baby blanket (I made a
mistake on one of the 8 rows last Weds.
and it took me awhile to get it back to
normal – sigh…me and my grand ideas of
making very detailed lace patterns…

Wednesday at the Library knit group one of
the ladies asked if anyone would want her
7 knit squares; she had been experimenting
with various knit patterns and these were
what are called ‘swatches’. They’re peach/
apricot colored and (you know me) I decided
I’d make a baby blanket out of them. Yesterday
I sat down to draw up the pattern; it will be
peach/white/and two half-strips of lemon
yellow; should be pretty when I get it done.
The ‘fun’ part is I had to figure out just how
many stitches she used for each square, then
see if I could duplicate what she’d done (for the
white squares). I’ve done this sort of thing before,
it just takes time working it out. Three of her
squares are just straight ‘knit’, the other four
are various knit patterns – I decided the white
ones should just be knit (and the two yellow
strips, also); that should augment the fancy
patterns and sort of ‘show them off’…I hope.
The good thing is: since they are just straight
knit, I can take them to both knit groups and
work on them WHILE carrying on a conversation
without having mistakes (I hope!). I’ve learned:
if I take fancy patterns AND try to talk/knit…
I make mistakes.

Hope you are all having a great day – hope
it’s sunny where you are so the sunshine
can lift your spirits and maybe make you smile!



Nice Quiet Day – so far…

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

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


Banana Pudding Cake

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

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

2 bananas, sliced

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

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


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


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

Assembling Cake:

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

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

(recipe: delish.com)

Chicken Parmesan stuffed Shells

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

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

(recipe: delish.com)

Hamburger Soup

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

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Spinach & Cheese Manicotti

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

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Fall-Off-The-Bone Spareribs

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

5 1/2 lb. pork spareribs

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Crockpot Scrambled Eggs

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

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

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

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

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
Apple/Spice Pullapart Bread

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

1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)


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





Happy Saturday!

I spent yesterday happily snuggled in my warm little house while watching at least 6 inches of the white, fluffy stuff accumulate on my driveway. Finally, around 4 p.m. our plow guy came and cleared it so that any family members who might want to traverse our drive could do so without sliding back out onto our MAJOR HIGHWAY/speed 45 MPH! When I awoke today I found IT’S SNOWING – AGAIN! Reading the NOAA weather report (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-basically our national weather service) it says we’re due for another inch today, temp 20 degrees F. with wind chill of 11 degrees F. . . . oh, joy.  At 10:45a.m. we will be attending oldest grandson’s flag football game – this time we’re taking my husband’s Jeep (just in case there’s any road problems). Ah, the fun of winter, eh?


Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Spoon
pie filling into baking dish –
smooth out. In medium bowl
combine cake mix, cinnamon
chips, walnuts & cinnamon –
sprinkle evenly over pie filling
then drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden
brown & bubbly. Serve warm
or cold. Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Southwest Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread layer:
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
Meat Mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
3 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes, not
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. salsa
2 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese
(optional: chopped cilantro)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl
beat 1/2 C. melted butter & 1/2 C. sugar;
beat in 2 eggs to combine. (*buttermilk:
Into measuring cup containing buttermilk
add 1/2 tsp. baking soda – stir to combine.
Add this to butter/sugar mixture & stir to
combine. In separate bowl toss 1 C. flour,
1 C. cornmeal & 1/2 tsp. salt – fold into wet
ingredients (do not over mix).
Spread batter into prepared pan & spread
out evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes until top is
set & slightly firm. (It should be almost
baked completely).

While cornbread is baking: place a large,
deep skillet over medium-high heat & add
gr. beef, garlic, onion & bell peppers. Sprinkle
with salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Stir &
cook until beef is cooked through & no longer
pink. Add enchil. sauce to gr. beef mixture &
diced tomatoes, black beans & salsa – stir &
simmer on Low 5 minutes. Carefully pour
meat mixture on top of corn bread. Sprinkle
top with Mexican cheese blend & bake
5-8 minutes longer until cheese melts.
(sprinkle top with cilantro, if using).
Serves 7-8

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Using a 2-Cup measuring cup add
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to cup –
fill cup to 1 C. line with milk – stir
& let stand 5 minutes then use.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Beef

2 lb. cut up beef stir fry meat
10-12 oz. bottled sweet & sour sauce*
1 C. shredded carrots
2 T. shredded onions (squeezed in a
paper towel after shredding)

4 C. cooked rice
16 oz. pkg. frozen stir fry vegetables

Place beef, shredded carrots & onions
in crockpot – add sweet/sour sauce & mix
in. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
About half hour before cooking time is
done, cook your rice & stir fry veggies.
(cook veggies either in the microwave or
on stovetop). Serve beef mixture over
cooked rice. Serves 6

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

Chicken Roll Ups

2 (8 oz, ea) boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 slices pepperoni
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. pizza sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut
each chicken breast in half
horizontally & lightly pound
to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle
chicken evenly with Parm. cheese &
oregano. Top chicken evenly with
pepperoni & half of Mozz. cheese;
roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place
bread crumbs in a shallow dish &
coat chicken evenly on all sides –
place, seam-sides down, on baking
sheet. Lightly spray roll ups with
cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & top evenly
with pizza sauce & remaining
mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-8
more minutes until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Cabbage Roll Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 1/2 C. water
2/3 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

In nonstick Dutch oven, cook ground
beef & garlic over medium heat until
meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in
cabbage, water, rice, Worc. sauce,
onion powder, basil, cayenne & pepper –
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 25-30 minutes until rice is
tender. Stir in tomatoes & salt; heat
through. Sprinkle top with cheese if
desired, when serving. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Easy Weekend Pasta Bake

1 lb. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
2 T. chopped fresh basil, divided
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Brown meat in large
skillet; drain. Drain pasta; spoon into
3 qt casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Add meat, pasta sauce, tomatoes,
1 1/2 C. mozzarella & 1 T. basil; mix well.
Top with remaining cheeses. Bake 20
minutes until heated through. Sprinkle
top with remaining basil. Serves 8 (2 C. ea)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

Cherry Fudge Cake

1 (16.5 oz) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
with pudding
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. milk
1 C. (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine cake mix,
pie filling, eggs & extract; mix until
well blended & pour into prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean; cool in pan
on wire rack. In small saucepan combine
sugar, butter & milk; bring to boil,stirring
constantly. Reduce heat to low & simmer
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from
heat; stir in choc. chips until blended &
pour over cooled cake. Let stand until set.
Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)


We’re all in good health; spent yesterday getting
a few things done like laundry, dishwasher, sending
out Thank You’s to my special needs group people
who gave me Christmas gifts Weds. I’m still working
on the two baby blankets (one teal & white, one
cream) and more baby hats. Kind of looking
forward to this Tuesday Knit group because we’re
having another YARN swap! (No, of course I don’t
NEED more yarn, it’s just fun to see all the varieties
and maybe find a few little balls I can use for baby

Hope you are all staying warm AND HEALTHY
in this Winter ‘Wonderland’ –




Hello! It’s a bright, clear sunny day outside (20 degrees F.) and we just got home from a morning ‘adventure’: had to take my van in to the dealership – the front window washer hoses broke (from the cold) and IF you hit spray, it sprayed only on the passenger side and even then off the side of the car, no where near the window! (Silly me – I thought we’d be there, maybe, a half hour…) went in at 9 a.m. and finally was done somewhere around 11. Husband & I went to brunch at Village Place and saw a couple we know from church; upon leaving I saw another lady that’s in my knit group (haven’t seen her in months – she doesn’t drive in the dark), so it was a very nice trip! My tummy is full of veggie omelet & some hash browns/coffee AND I finished the mint green baby blanket – YAY! (was a little ‘bummed’ because I only took that project so when the wait became longer than I anticipated, I had nothing to do!). Also found out Wednesday that the ‘Needy’ collection for hats/scarves/mittens/gloves/socks is getting really full so they don’t need any more scarves – have the thin gray one to finish up then that project is over…back to baby hats & blankets.


Cran-Apple Muffins

1/2 C. whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 C. shredded, peeled tart apple
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick
cooking spray (OR) use muffin papers.
In small bowl combine cran. sauce &
orange peel. In large bowl combine
flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda,
baking powder & salt. Beat egg, milk &
oil in small bowl; stir into dry ingredients
just until moistened. Fold in apple & fill
muffin cups half full. Make a ‘well’ in
center of each muffin; fill with about
2 tsp. cran. mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
of muffin comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes before removing from pan
to wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar & orange
juice; drizzle over cooled muffins.
Makes about 12 muffins

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Chicken ‘n Stuffing

1 lb. boneless chicken breast (can
also substitute boneless turkey)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix (chicken or
turkey flavor)
1/2 C. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray & place chicken in crockpot.
Pour dry stuffing mix over chicken. In a
bowl mix soup with sour cream & pour
over stuffing. Cover & cook on Low 4

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

2 C. green bell peppers, cut into 1/2
inch dice
2 T. unsalted butter
5 C. cubed sweet bread (such as
King’s Hawaiian, or challah) cut into
1/2 inch dice
3 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. cooked ham, cut 1/2 inch dice
10 eggs, beaten
4 C. whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet saute bell pepper in 2 T.
butter over medium-high heat
5 minutes. Place cubed bread in
prepared dish. Toss cooked peppers,
cheese & ham in large bowl then
spread evenly over bread cubes.
In large bowl whisk eggs. In small
bowl place salt, mustard, nutmeg &
pepper – mix a few tablespoons of
whisked egg into spices & mix with
a fork until dissolved & not lumpy.
Add mixture back into eggs & whip
to combine. Pour mixture over
bread in dish & press down slightly
so bread absorbs liquid. Bake,
uncovered, 1 hour. Increase heat
to 350 degrees F. & bake another
15 minutes until browned on top
and a knife inserted into center of
pan comes out clean. Remove from
oven & allow to rest 10 minutes
before cutting. Cut into squares &
serve. Serves 8-10

(recipe: fromthepod.com)

Beef Minestrone Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
small cubes
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled/
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 (16 oz) can white beans
(cannellini or Great Northern)
1 (15 oz.) can cut green beans,
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes,
4 C. beef stock

In large pot or Dutch oven place
2 T. olive oil; brown meat – remove
meat & drippings (keep drippings).
Saute onion, carrots, & celery in
the olive oil & butter; add potatoes &
zucchini, one at a time, cooking each
2-3 minutes before adding next veg.
Salt/pepper between each addition,
to taste. Add beans, beef stock &
tomatoes; cover & cook on Low heat
at least 3 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)

Crockpot Cola Ham

7 lb. semi-boneless fully cooked ham
1 (12 oz) can cola
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices

In saucepan over medium-high, heat
cola & brown sugar, stirring continuously,
until mostly combined. Place ham in
crockpot & pour cola mixture over ham.
Use toothpicks to secure pineapple slices
on ham. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.
Remove toothpicks & pineapple slices.
Slice ham & serve with pineapple slices.
Serves 10-12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Better-than-takeout Fried Rice

4 C. cooked brown rice (or white)
1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast,
cooked/cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 C. soy sauce

In large skillet heat sesame oil
on medium heat; add onion,
garlic, peas & carrots – stir fry
until tender. Add eggs & scramble
to mix with veggies then add in
rice, chicken & soy sauce. Mix all
together & remove from heat.

You can substitute cooked shrimp
for the chicken, if desired

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)

Apple-Filled Pound Cake

4 C. finely chopped, unpeeled
cooking apples
1/2 C. orange juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 2/3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray.
In medium bowl combine apples,
1/4 C. orange juice & cinnamon-
mix well. In large bowl using elec.
mixer on Medium speed, combine
gran. sugar & applesauce for 1-2
minutes until smooth. Add whole
egg & egg whites – beat well. Slowly
add half of flour, baking powder, salt,
milk & remaining 1/4 C. orange juice.
Beat in remaining flour until batter
is well mixed; add vanilla & mix well.
Pour half of batter into prepared
Bundt pan; top with half of apple
mixture, then cover with remaining
batter. Cover batter with remaining
apple mixture & sprinkle top with
brown sugar. Bake 60-70 minutes
until a toothpick inserted near
center of pan comes out clean.
Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire
rack then invert cake onto a serving
plate. Serves 14

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Looking at our weather forecasts for up to next
Tuesday, it looks pretty good (then they have
SNOW predictions…sigh). Oh well, it’s ‘that’
time of year to say: “Buckle up, Buttercup –
it’s Michigan – deal with it!”

Enjoy your day!


Craft Update

Since I keep referring to my various knit projects, thought I’d share a few photos (so you kind of know what I’m talking about):

The Mint Green baby blanket (might give it to our Pastor’s wife, who’s due in mid-May) (almost done)

Salmon pink & white ‘needy’ scarf (done)

Gray men’s/boys ‘needy’ scarf (almost done)

Most recently started Teal & White baby blanket


Strawberry Cream Cheese
Icebox Cake

2 lb. strawberries, washed/hulled/
sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 sleeves graham crackers
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant cheesecake
flavored pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Spray bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray & line
bottom with graham crackers. In a
bowl combine cream cheese & sweetened
condensed milk – beat using elec. mixer
until smooth & creamy. Add pudding mixes
and milk – mix on Low 4-5 minutes until
mixture starts to thicken. Fold in 2 C.
Cool Whip until smooth. Pour half of
cream cheese mixture over graham
crackers & smooth evenly. Arrange a
single layer of sliced strawberries over
cream cheese mixture. Top strawberries
with another layer of graham crackers/
cover with remaining cream cheese
mixture. Top with another layer of
strawberries. Cover & refrigerate
6-8 hours. When serving, top with
remaining Cool Whip. Crush remaining
graham crackers & sprinkle crumbs over
the top.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

Tomato Balsamic Chicken

2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 C. thinly sliced shallots
2 lb. bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 T. flour
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Hot cooked orzo (rice) or your
choice of cooked rices to serve 6
Place carrots & shallots in crockpot
& top with chicken. In a bowl whisk
flour & broth until smooth. Stir in
tomatoes, vinegar, oil, garlic &
seasonings – pour over chicken. Cover
& cook on Low until chicken & carrots
are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove chicken
from bones, shred slightly using 2 forks;
return to crockpot & heat through.
Serve with your choice of cooked rices.

Freezer Option:
Freeze cooked chicken mixture in
freezer containers. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Heat through
in saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cooked rice.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crispy Fried Parmesan Turkey

1 1/2 lb. turkey cutlets (4)
2/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
1 T. water
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
2/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large plate (or pie plate) mix
flour, salt, poultry seasoning &
pepper. In another plate beat egg
& water. In third large plate mix
Panko & Parmesan cheese.
Bread turkey in this order:
Dip in egg, then flour, again egg,
then Panko. Press flour & bread
crumbs on really well & set aside
while heating skillet. In large cast
iron or heavy skillet heat butter &
oil over medium heat until butter
is totally melted & bubbling. Add
breaded cutlet (2 at a time) to
skillet & cook 3-4 minutes per
side until golden. Transfer to a
cookie sheet & cook rest. When
they are all browned, transfer to
oven 10 minutes to finish cooking.
If your cutlets are very thin (less
than 1/2 inch) you may be able to
cook them through in the skillet
without need for the oven.
(Internal temp. of meat should
read 160 degrees F. when done).
Makes 4 – serve warm.

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)

Hot & Sour Soup

2 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. chili sauce or sriracha
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
(about 2 tsp)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. firm tofu, pressed until
drained & chopped into strips
1 C. shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C. cooked chicken, shredded
1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained/
finely chopped
6 C. chicken broth or stock (or veg. broth)
2 T. cornstarch
4 T. cold water
2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
black or white pepper, to taste
4 green onions, finely chopped

In large pot heat chicken broth over
medium-high heat & add cooked
chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots,
tofu, garlic, ginger, vinegars, chili sauce,
soy sauce & sugar – bring to boil. Reduce
heat & simmer 5 minutes. In small bowl
whisk cornstarch & 4 T. cold water until
smooth – gradually stir into soup. Cook
4-7 minutes until soup thickens. Slowly
pour beaten eggs in a thin stream while
stirring soup – cook 25 seconds.
Garnish: In small bowl mix oil, pepper &
onions. Ladle soup into bowls & garnish
with sesame mix. Serve hot. Serves 4
(2 C. servings)

(recipe: allfood.recipes.com)

Winter Black Bean Salsa

1 (16 oz) can black beans,
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen whole
kernel corn, thawed
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/4 C. fresh lime juice
1 envelope (Good Seasons)
Garlic & Herb salad dressing mix
2 T. chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. minced fresh jalapeno
pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Tortilla chips – for dipping

Mix all ingredients in large bowl
until well blended; cover &
refrigerate at least 15 minutes
before serving. Store leftover
salsa in airtight container in
fridge. Makes 32 (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com

Grandma’s Deviled Eggs

18 eggs
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place eggs in a soup pot & add
just enough water to cover eggs;
heat to boiling. When water is
boiling, remove pan from heat.
Cover & let stand 20 minutes.
Drain water & run cold water over
eggs. Add some ice cubes to water &
let cool 5-10 minutes. Peel eggs, slice
in half length-wise. Remove yolks to
a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise,
mustard, celery salt, salt & pepper;
mix well. Fill each egg half with
yolk mixture. Serve immediately or
cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Makes 36

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars

6 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
1/3 C. butter
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. chopped pecans
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butterscotch chips & butter
in a saucepan over medium-low
heat; stir in cracker crumbs &
nuts. Press half of mixture onto
bottom of an ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. In another bowl
beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Stir in condensed milk; mix in
vanilla & egg – pour over
crumb mixture. Top with remaining
crumb mixture. Bake 25-30
minutes. Chill until firm then cut
into bars. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)


Have a great day!



and now for a quick WARMING trend!

Even if it’s only a ‘brief’ warm up, I’ll take it! We ended up canceling my special needs group last night because it was getting slippery driving and VERY foggy! This morning it’s lovely: bright sun shine and 54 degrees F. So strange – we went from almost zero temps last week to this! (Hey, I’m not complaining!). Today I’m taking as my ‘catch up’ day- organized my knitting bags/projects and did a little more ‘work/knitting’ on each one. Currently I have 4 projects going: the ‘forever- it seems’ mint green baby blanket (about 3/4 ths done – will probably be the baby blanket for our pastor’s wife who’s due in mid May); a gray simple knit scarf for the needy, more baby hats and a new baby blanket: teal blue & white. Each pattern is pretty simple, but it’s just getting the ‘desire’ (so to speak) to finish the mint green one (been working on it for months!). Yesterday’s Library knit group sort of jump-started me: several ladies were interested in my knit baby hat pattern (turns out one of the librarians volunteers at the same hospital I knit the hats for & she said she would deliver any hats for us – saves me a trip!). The librarian who sort of ‘assisted’ our group mentioned various charity knit projects, which I thought was interesting; we’ll see where that goes.


Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. chopped strawberries
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray (or use paper liners).
In bowl cream butter & sugar; add
egg – mix well. Sift flour, baking
powder & salt in small bowl. Add
flour mixture & milk, alternately,
to butter mixture. Add vanilla &
gently stir in strawberries – spoon
into prepared muffin tin. In a small
bowl combine sugar & cinnamon –
sprinkle on top of muffins.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12

(recipe: Facebook -Mike Suddaby)

Chicken Zucchini Stir Fry

3 chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
4 T. olive oil
2 small zucchini cut into 1/4″
2 small yellow (Crookneck) summer
squash cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium onion sliced into
1/4″ rings

3/4 C. sweet chili sauce*
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. honey
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cold water

Cooked white or brown
rice to serve 6
Heat large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat; add chicken
& sprinkle with salt/pepper. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until outsides
are golden brown. Remove chicken
to a plate; cover. Add 2 T. more oil
to chicken pan; heat & add veggies.
Cook over medium-high heat until
crisp-tender. In small saucepan add
sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, rice wine
vinegar, honey, cornstarch & water-
whisk to combine. Heat until thick
& bubbly. When veggies are done,
add chicken back into pan & pour
sauce over top – stir to combine.
Serve immediately over rice.
Serves 6

*You can find this in the grocery
store Asian aisle.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Crockpot Polish Sausage/Sauerkraut &

1 1/2 lb. new red potatoes (about 18),
halved, if large
2 C. sauerkraut – RINSED & drained
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. dry white wine (or water)
1 tsp. caraway seeds
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb. Polish sausage, cut into
2 inch pieces

Place potatoes, sausage, onion, broth,
wine, caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 4-5
hours until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: tasty recipes – Facebook)

Oven-baked Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. cooked rice
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. milk


1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/2 C. water
2 T. cornstarch mixed with
1/4 C. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In large pot salted/boiling water
drop cabbage leaves. Cover &
cook 3 minutes. Remove &
drain well. Combine ground
beef, rice, onion, egg, salt/pepper
& milk – mix well & divided into
12 portions. Place one portion
into center of each cooked cabbage
leaf. Roll leaf around filling & fasten
with a toothpick. Place rolls in
prepared dish.


Combine tomato sauce, tomatoes,
sugar, vinegar & 1/2 C. water – pour
over rolls in dish. Bake 40-45
minutes. Remove rolls from pan &
discard toothpicks. Place pan
over medium heat & stir cornstarch/
water mixture into juices in pan.
Bring to a boil & cook/whisking
until sauce thickens. Place rolls back
in pan & spoon sauce over rolls (OR
serve sauce on the side).

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Sour Cream Pork Chops

6 pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1/2 C. flour
1 large onion, sliced 1/4″
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 C. boiling water
2 T. flour
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

Season chops with salt/pepper
& garlic powder; dredge in flour.
In a skillet over medium heat, lightly
brown chops in small amount of oil.
Place chops in crockpot & top with
onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes
in boiling water & pour over chops.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
After chops have cooked, transfer
chops to oven to keep warm. Be
careful, chops are very tender –
they will fall apart. In small bowl
blend 2 T. flour with sour cream;
mix into meat juices  in crockpot.
Turn crockpot to High 15-30
minutes until sauce is slightly
thickened. Serve sauce over chops

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
Greek Mashed Potatoes

6 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach
1/4 C. milk
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Place potatoes in large saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & cook 15-20
minutes until tender. In another large
saucepan, bring 1/2 inch of water to a
boil. Add spinach; cover & boil 3-5
minutes until wilted. Drain & coarsely
chop (keep warm). Drain potatoes &
return to saucepan. Add milk, butter,
salt/pepper & mash until smooth.
Fold in cheese & spinach. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

1 pre-baked pie shell
1/2 C. cocoa
1/4 C. cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan heat milk on
medium-high heat.
In large bowl mix cocoa, cornstarch,
beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt &
vanilla. Gradually add to heated
milk, stirring. Cook until thick,
beating until smooth. Pour into
pre-baked pie shell & refrigerate
to chill.

(recipe: cookandbliss.com)


Hope you’re having a GREAT Day!




Time to add an addendum to this post:
thanks to my good friend Mary/Momma’s
post, I looked at our weather forecast for the
rest of the week – OH, NO! is how I would
title it: Tonight RAIN mixed with snow &
FREEZING rain, Friday: (have an eye Dr.
appmt at 9:30) Snow, freezing rain & SLEET,
becoming ALL SNOW after 9 a.m., temps
falling to 19 degrees by 5 p.m. New snow
accumulation of 2 inches. Friday evening:
wind chill -4, wind guests 23 MPH! OH,
GOODY…what an enlightening forecast –

Interesting/Jumbled up Day!

Today started out with me going to the FIRST Knit Group in our local library (10 a.m. -12 p.m.); very interesting – 9 ladies came and we chatted up a storm! Turns out two of the ladies live on the street behind my house (talk about small world), one of them used to foster children through the agency I used to foster for; one of them used to belong to my knit group (for a very brief time a good 6 years+ ago (I didn’t recognize her because her hair used to be black).  We’re all excited because this group meets EVERY week (as opposed to my group which meets bi-weekly). I’d say about 5 of the ladies are planning on coming to my group on Tuesday. One of the Librarians asked for information on my group because they sometimes get people asking if they know of any EVENING knitting/crochet groups – SCORE!!! I ended up handing out all the business cards I had on me (didn’t think of that before I went) – this looks to be a FUN experience!

After that meeting I went to Kroger – first thing: I almost got hit in my front quarter panel by a Senior Citizen who was backing out of a Handicap parking spot – I hit my horn and they just kept coming! Pretty scary stuff (I couldn’t back up because there was someone directly behind me!) – end result, I’d guess there was (MAYBE) 4 inches between their rear bumper and my car when they finally stopped! WHEW! Got through that and the person parked right next to them tried to do the SAME thing! PEOPLE – LOOK IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR BEFORE BACKING UP!!!  I almost reconsidered just going home, but didn’t. Upon checking out, the cashier seemed a bit flustered – I looked on the screen – for some reason the scanner wasn’t reading my hot dogs correctly and the cashier was beside herself. The screen read $49.50 for one package of Koegel’s Vienna franks! WOW! The more she worked at it, the worse it got – soon we had TWO billed at $49.50 each! She called the store manager who did her ‘thing’ – she ended up totally frustrated when the machine scanned ONE package at $490.50  . . . man, those must be SOME good hot dogs, right? They ended up canceling out the entire order and then had to un-bag the groceries & re-ring them; I wasn’t upset but I felt bad for them AND the bagger who had to do it all over again! CRAZY, eh?  I’m home now enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee and writing to you . . . (sigh of comfort!).


Ultimate Chocolate Pudding
Dump Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small box chocolate instant
1 3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl mix pudding mix with
milk; stir in chocolate cake mix
(dry). Batter will be very thick.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray & spread
batter into dish. Scatter chocolate
chips on top. Bake 25 minutes or
until edges start pulling away from
sides of pan.

*Poster used semi-sweet chips
NOTE: You can also change by
using different flavors of cake mix &
pudding and different chips.

(recipe: makinitmobetta.com)

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled/halved/sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1/3 C. flour
4 C. chicken broth
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 C. cooked wild rice
3/4 C. heavy cream
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Heat large pot over medium-high heat;
add bacon & cook 4-5 minutes, stirring
occasionally until crisp & browned. Remove
from pot to paper towels. Add onion,
carrots & celery to bacon fat in pot &
cook 5-6 minutes until just tender; season
with salt/pepper. Add flour, stirring to coat
veggies evenly – cook 1 minute. Slowly add
chicken broth, whisking until smooth –
bring to a simmer. Add chicken & rice, simmer
4-5 minutes. Taste & adjust seasonings; stir
in parsley. Serve immediately, topped with bacon.
Serves 4

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

Ham, Cheese & Tomato Quiche

1 (9 inch) pie crust, uncooked*
2 T. flour
1 C. evaporated milk
3 eggs
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 C. cooked ham, chopped
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Pierce unbaked pie shell several
times with a fork. Add ham,
tomato, cheese & onion to shell
Whisk flour, eggs, milk, salt/pepper
& spices in a bowl until smooth as
you can get it – pour over ingredients
in pie shell. Bake 50-55 minutes.
Serves 6-8

*poster used a Pillsbury frozen crust)

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)

Tomato Balsamic Chicken

2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 C. thinly sliced shallots
2 lb. bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 T. flour
1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Hot cooked orzo (rice) or your
choice of cooked rices to serve 6
Place carrots & shallots in crockpot
& top with chicken. In a bowl whisk
flour & broth until smooth. Stir in
tomatoes, vinegar, oil, garlic &
seasonings – pour over chicken. Cover
& cook on Low until chicken & carrots
are tender, 6-8 hours. Remove chicken
from bones, shred slightly using 2 forks;
return to crockpot & heat through.
Serve with your choice of cooked rices.

Freezer Option:
Freeze cooked chicken mixture in
freezer containers. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Heat through
in saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cooked rice.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Bacon-wrapped Brussels Sprouts
with Maple-Dijon Glaze

10 slices maple/brown sugar extra
thick-cut bacon
30 Brussels Sprouts, cleaned/stems
trimmed (cut large ones in half)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. maple syrup
2 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil
then place a metal cooking
rack on top of foil. Cut bacon
into thirds (to roll around sprouts)
Wrap each B. sprout with bacon,
placing the seam sides down on pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes depending on how
crispy you want your bacon. (if desired,
turn pieces the last 10 minutes of cooking).
In small saucepan over medium heat
combine brown sugar, syrup & mustard;
whisk just until it begins to boil & is well
combined, 2-3 minutes. Insert toothpicks
into each ‘sprout bundle’ and brush with
glaze. Serve immediately. Makes about
30 sprout bundles.

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)

Chicken Tortilla Bake

3 C. shredded, cooked chicken
2 (4 oz. ea) cans chopped green
1 C. chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
chicken soup, undiluted
1 small onion, finely chopped
12 corn tortillas, warmed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine chicken,
chilies, broth, soups & onion.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer
half of tortillas in dish, cutting
to fit pan if desired. Top with
half of chicken mixture & half
of cheese; repeat layers. Bake,
uncovered, 30 minutes until
heated through. Serves 6-8

Freezer option:
Prepare casserole, cover & freeze.
To use:
Partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes
before baking. Preheat oven 350
degrees F. Bake casserole as directed
above, increasing time as necessary
to heat through & for a thermometer
inserted in center to read 165 degrees F.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Coconut Rice Pudding

1 C. uncooked long grain rice
5 C. coconut milk, divided
2 T. coconut oil
1 C. sugar
1 C. dried cranberries
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt

toasted sweetened shredded
coconut/additional coconut milk,

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Place
rice in 3-4 qt. crockpot & pour
in 4 C. coconut milk. Add coconut
oil & distribute evenly over top.
Add next 5 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low 4-5 hours, adding
enough remaining coconut milk
to reach desired consistency. Let
stand, uncovered, 10  minutes.
Serve warm, with toasted coconut
& additional coconut milk, if desired.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
garlic powder
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped dill pickle
3 eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. Half & Half
8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 bag frozen french fries,
any style

Optional toppings:
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
Thousand Island salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 or 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In
skillet brown ground beef with onion,
garlic, salt/pepper – drain grease. Add
chopped pickles into mixture & spoon
into prepared dish. In small bowl whisk
eggs, mayonnaise and Half & Half – pour
mixture over ground beef in pan. Sprinkle
1 C. shredded cheese on top & season
again with salt/pepper. Top with frozen
french fries – season fries with salt/pepper
& a sprinkling of garlic powder (if desired).
Bake 35 minutes until fries are cooked &
crispy. Place dish under broiler for a few
minutes if you want your fries a bit more
crispy. Top with remaining cup of shredded
cheese – return to oven until cheese melts.
Slice & serve with your choice of toppings.

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

Sour Cream Chip Muffins

1 1/2 C. flour
2/3 C. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
5 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. mint or semi-sweet
chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray – or use paper liners.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar,
baking powder, baking soda & salt.
Combine egg, sour cream, butter &
vanilla – stir into dry ingredients just
until moistened. Fold in choc. chips.
Fill muffin cups 3/4ths full of batter.
Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes
out clean. Cool 5 minutes before
removing from pan to wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


I’ve been a little busy lately with babysitting
my 10 mo. old grandson – he’s at a fun stage.
Our weather has been all over the place with
the ‘deep freeze’ last week, then some snow
(about 2 inches) and now it’s almost 40 degrees F.
and lightly misting/raining – go figure! It’s a bit
foggy out, also, so I’m concerned about the
driving conditions later when I have to go to
my special needs group. That, in itself, is going
to be a bit ‘crazy’ – due to all the weather
changes, our group hasn’t met since the first
week in DECEMBER! I still have all the Christmas
presents to drag with me tonight plus a bunch
more things (I can envision a good 2-3 trips
from car to church). It’s also Music/Birthday
night so the kids will be a bit hyped up due to
that (it’s their favorite night – we sing lots of
simple Christian songs). We’re STILL awaiting
an actual DATE to re-schedule the Christmas
Party for the group (I know – crazy, eh?) I’m
SO over even thinking about doing that, let
alone practicing/playing “O, Holy Night’ one
more time…oh well, it’s my ‘job’, right? I do
get to deliver tonight “THE lovey/blanket” to the
young man who’s mom asked me to re-create
his old one so I’ll let ya know his reaction.

Stay healthy (& warm!);



and here comes the C-O-L-D!

Here in Michigan it’s hit the REALLY cold temperatures (getting close to or under ZERO) with wind chills of -11 degrees F. ; we’ve canceled my special needs group for the night because of it (we have students in wheelchairs and using walkers and with it that cold, it’s really miserable just getting from the parking lot to the building). Spent the greater part of the day babysitting my (now) 10 month old grandson – we had fun (he’s working on growling at the moment, so we did a LOT of that). We had a small amount of snowfall in the past few days making the side roads a bit slippery – SO glad I’m staying IN tonight! Last night was my Knit group and I got to Panera Bread at around 6 p.m. only to see a notice on the door: “This evening we will be closing at 7 p.m. for an employee food tasting of our new menu items.” Great . . . being it’s really cold, I didn’t expect many ladies (there were around 8 who came in & out); I stayed, chatting, until 7:05 (there were still LOTS of people in the place – not my job to worry about how they were going to gently get them all to leave!).

Now that we’re past the holidays (AND the holiday foods) I thought I’d start posting some winter foods – enjoy!


2-ingredient Chocolate Coke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (12 oz) can Coca-Cola

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cake mix
& Coke using elec. mixer until
smooth. LIne a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with parchment paper &
pour batter into pan. Bake 35
minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool
before cutting – use a sharp knife
to cut.

(recipe: kirbiecravings.com)

Mexican Chicken & Corn Chowder

3 T. butter or olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless
chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 lb. potatoes, cut into bite-sized
1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies
1 (12 oz) bag frozen corn
hot sauce, to taste (optional)
1 (32 oz or 4 C.) chicken broth
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)

In Dutch oven or soup pot melt butter over
medium-high heat. Add hcicken, onion,
carrots & garlic – cook, stirring occasionally,
until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in chili
powder, cumin, salt, paprika, potatoes,
cream-style corn, tomatoes, frozen corn,
hot sauce (if using), & chicken broth – bring
to boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover & cook 10 minutes. Stir in cream &
cook over Low heat 7-10 minutes until
chowder is slightly thickened & potatoes
are fork-tender. Stir in cheese, stirring
frequently, until cheese melts. Serve,
garnished with cilantro, if desired.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)
Crockpot Beefy Nacho Soup

1 lb. ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
2 1/2 C. milk
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(or mild), plus more for topping

crushed tortilla chips (garnish)

Brown ground beef in skillet over
medium-high heat; drain. Add taco
seasoning, tomatoes, cheese & milk.
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours or Low
4-6 hours. Remove lid & stir well until
cheese is melted & combined. Top with
additional cheese & crushed chips, if
desired, when serving. Serves 6

(recipe: slowcookergourmet.net)

Stuffed Chicken with Gravy

1 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 (6 oz) box chicken stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) jar chicken gravy, heated
salt/pepper/garlic powder – to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare stuffing
mix accordg. to pkg. directions; cover &
set aside. Season chicken with salt/pepper
& garlic powder. Place about 1/4 C. stuffing
on each piece of chicken & wrap sides around
to create a little bundle – place in prepared dish.
Spoon remaining stuffing around chicken
bundles. Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove foil & continue
cooking, uncovered, 15-20 minutes longer
until chicken is fully cooked. Pour gravy
over chicken & stuffing when ready to serve.

*can substitute chicken breast cutlets for thighs

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

Creamy Veggie Gnocchi

1 bunch asparagus, ends
trimmed & chopped into 1″
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1 (16 oz) pkg. gnocchi
1 T. olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 C. Half & Half
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt/pepper, to taste
(optional) red pepper flakes,

Bring large pot of water to boil; add
gnocchi & cook accordg. to pkg.
directions. Drain. In a skillet on
medium-high, heat olive oil & onion.
Season with salt/pepper & saute
until translucent. Add garlic, stirring
until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add
chopped asparagus & saute 5-7
minutes until tender. Add peas &
gnocchi – cook 2 minutes. Pour
Half & Half and Parmesan cheese into
skillet & stir carefully to coat with
cream sauce. Sauce is done when
cheese has melted & cream sauce
has thickened. Add lemon juice &
toss before serving.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: 12 tomatoes.com)

Cheesy Salsa Mini Meatloaves

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg
12 saltine crackers, finely
crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style (Kraft)
finely shredded Four Cheese,
1 C. thick salsa, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In bowl mix first 4 ingredients
with 1 C. cheese & 1/2 C. salsa.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray & press mixture
into cups – use the back of a spoon
to make an indentation in center
of each. Cover a baking sheet
with foil & place muffin tin on sheet.
Bake 20-25 minutes until meatloaves
are done (160 degrees F.) Top with
remaining salsa & cheese – bake
3  minutes more until cheese is
Makes 12

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

1 (6 oz) mini loaf French bread,
6 large eggs
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened
Condensed milk
3/4 C. dark corn syrup
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecans,

vanilla ice cream
maple syrup
caramel ice cream topping

Spread bread cubes in a single
layer in 15 X 10″ baking pan.
Bake, stirring occasionally, 10
minutes until cubes are toasted.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Beat eggs
in large bowl using elec. mixer on
medium speed until fluffy. Blend
in Eagle Brand milk, dark corn
syrup, brown sugar, butter & vanilla.
Stir in toasted bread cubes & 1 C. pecans
until evenly moistened – pour into
prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining
pecans & allow to stand 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 40-45 minutes until golden
brown around edges. Cool 5
minutes. Serve warm or cooled
with any options listed above,
as desired. Serves 9

(recipe: allrecipes.com)


Since I now have a ‘free week’ until next
special needs group (next Weds.) I started
another ‘needy’ men’s scarf (had more
various gray yarn, so thought it seemed
like a good idea.) I was all happy I didn’t
have to go out until Sunday then
remembered I have a (church) baby
shower Saturday (yes, I knit a baby
blanket, hat & booties for it plus a few
more items to add to the bag). Oh well,
maybe by then it will be warmer & clear
on Saturday…(naw, who am I kidding!?)

Stay healthy (if you can), stay warm &
try to find something to amuse yourself
during the beginning of this New Year!



Savings and Searchings

Yesterday I ventured out to KMart and our local drug store (CVS); needed to go both places (and because they also had some great sales!). Found men’s gloves on sale (for youngest 2 sons), snow scrapers with brushes (also for 2 sons), husband needed new pillows (on sale) and it just kept going. Got to the register and the cashier asked if I had any bonus points (not that I knew of) so he checked – turns out I had $15.00 in bonus points! Kept going with the sale; by the time he was done I not only saved $$$ but also got a coupon for another $10.00 off (good the next week) – can ya say “SCORE!”? Went to CVS and it was another repeat; I used a $5.00 ‘CVS Extra Bucks” at the register and the cashier & manager were both saying: “We’ve never seen THIS before!” Turns out I got back another 2 coupons: one for $2.00 off and another for $8.00 off! YES! Shopping coupons and sales is a GREAT thing! Yes, I was HAPPY I went shopping!

Sometimes, when knitting, I kind of get bored with the patterns I’ve used a lot so I go looking for new ones. I have a large (probably 2 foot tall) pile of knitting books, booklets, etc. so I started going through those. That brought me to a pattern I had a photo of, but no pattern – that, in turn, started a search. (yes, you guessed it – THAT started ANOTHER search!). I ran across a pattern I’d done a good 5 years ago for a baby afghan. To shorten this story, that pattern was pretty complicated (got it from a lady at church who said: “Oh, it’s EASY!” – yeah, right…). Her comment challenged me to figure it out (which took a few hours) – finally boiled it down to something I COULD do and I made that blanket. Seeing a photo of the COMPLETE pattern spurred me on to “WHERE is that little booklet I originally had in which I’d broken down that pattern into something I could knit?” Much searching, (also finding about 8-10 other patterns I want to experiment with) finally found it! (I had been thinking the booklet cover was PINK – turns out the color of the blanket is PINK, not the booklet, but now I found it!) After looking it over, NO – I don’t think I want to tackle that one any time soon… As you can guess, I’ll be trying out those ‘found’ patterns a little later today. (Grin)

Since we’re getting close to New Year’s Eve (and probably parties) – here’s more PARTY recipes for ya:


Pineapple Lush Dessert Dip

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
in juice, undrained
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Suggested dippers:
vanilla wafers

In medium bowl add dry pudding
mix to pineapple – whisk 2 minutes.
Stir in Cool Whip. Makes 26 (2 T.each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
Chicken Parmesan Snackers

2 oz (one fourth of an 8 oz pkg)
mozzarella cheese
1 cooked, small boneless/skinless
chicken breast half, cut into 16
thin slices
1/4 C. pasta sauce
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 cracked pepper & olive oil
wheat crackers (or just wheat

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut cheese into 8 slices, then
cut each slice in half. Place
chicken in small bowl & toss
with pasta sauce. Place crackers
in single layer on a baking sheet;
top with chicken mixture, cheese
& oregano. Bake 5-6 minutes
until cheese melts.
Makes 8 servings (2 crackers each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
Hawaiian Pineapple Spread

2 (5 oz, ea) jars Kraft Pineapple
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 slices cooked ham, finely chopped
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 green onions, sliced

Assorted crackers and/or
fresh cut up veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients until blended;
spread on bottom of a 9-inch
pie plate sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes
until heated through.
Makes 28 (2 T. each) servings.

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
Lasagna Bites

6 lasagna noodles
kosher salt
2 C. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 T. chopped parsley,
plus more for garnish
ground black pepper
1 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
pot boiling, salted water, cook
noodles to al dente. Drain &
lie flat on baking sheet. In
medium bowl combine ricotta
cheese, egg & 1 T. parsley; mix
until well combined then season
with salt/pepper. Cut lasagna
noodles in half crosswise. Spread
a thin layer of ricotta onto each
noodle then roll up; cut rolled
noodle in half, crosswise. Place
‘bites’ on same greased baking
sheet & spoon marinara onto each
bite then sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese
has melted & bites are warmed
through. Garnish with more parsley
& serve warm. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
Crispy Dry Rub Chicken Wings

12 chicken wings/drums
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. garlic salt

(dipping sauce recipe to follow)

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
In a bowl combine wings, baking
powder & garlic salt – toss to coat.
Lay wings in a single layer on a rack
over foil-lined sheet pan. Bake 30
minutes; turn heat up to 450 degrees F
& bake an additional 35-45 minutes
until golden brown & crispy. Serves 6
Honey Dipping Sauce:

1 C. honey
2 T. water
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

In small saucepan, combine
ingredients & simmer 2-3
minutes, being careful not
to let it boil over. Remove
from heat & let stand 30
minutes. Pour into bowl
& serve with wings.

(recipe: perdue.com)

2-ingredient Lemon Bars

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (15.75 oz) can Lemon Pie filling

(optional toppings:)
powdered sugar
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix cake mix & pie filling
until moist & well blended –
do not over stir. Pour batter into
pan & bake 20-23 minutes until
golden brown on top. Sprinkle top
with powdered sugar (optional)
and/or whipped cream.

(recipe: thesisterscafe.com)

Bacon-Pierogi Bites

14 slices bacon, cut in half
1 (12 oz) pkg. mini potato &
Cheddar pierogies*, thawed
1/4 C. light brown sugar

sour cream – for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
Wrap bacon around center of
each pierogi & place on prepared
sheet; sprinkle tops evenly with
brown sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes
until bacon is crisp. Serve with
sour cream, for dipping.
Serves 4

*sold in frozen foods – usually
by frozen potatoes/hashbrowns

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Cheesy Crab Poppers

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C. milk
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (10 oz) container lump crab
meat, drained well
2 C. vegetable oil

In large bowl combine corn
muffin mix, bread crumbs,
Cheddar cheese, cream cheese,
butter, egg, milk, scallions, salt
& cayenne pepper – mix well.
Gently stir in crab meat until
combined; form mixture into
1 1/2 inch balls.
In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat
vegetable oil over medium-high
heat until hot. Place several crab
balls in oil, making sure not to
overcrowd. Cook 4-5 minutes until
golden brown, stirring occasionally-
remove to paper towel-lined plate
to drain. Repeat with remaining
balls. Serve warm. Makes 30

(recipe: mrfood.com)
Bread Bowl Fondue

1 ( 1 to 1 1/2 lb) loaf plain
rye bread, unsliced
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. sliced scallions (7-8)
3 oz. bacon bits
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut top off bread loaf, about
1/3 of the way down (set top
aside). Hollow out inside of bread,
leaving about 1 inch bread around
edges (like a wall). Cut bread that
was removed from insides into
1-inch cubes; spread cubes on a
baking sheet. In large bowl, mix
remaining ingredients until well
blended. Spoon mixture into
hollowed-out bread loaf & replace
top on bread. Wrap bread bowl
in double layer of foil. Bake
60-70 minutes. Place bread cubes
in oven during last 15 minutes of
baking, until crisp. Carefully remove
foil from bread bowl & place on
a serving plate. Serve with toasted
cubes, for dipping. Makes 5 1/2 C.

(recipe: mrfood.com)


I still have more appetizer recipes
so I’ll probably post them (you could
always tuck them away for later!).

Our weather is cold but not unbearable-
snowed a tiny bit last night (maybe an
inch?). Living in Michigan all my life, I’ve
gotten used to our winters (except when
we get dumped with tons of snow OR
have a ‘Deep Freeze’ with temps at or
below zero – then I complain!

Stay warm, take a little time for yourself
to relax, re-coup, and get on with your day.