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.


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


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


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


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


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


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



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!




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.


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.


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.


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)


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)


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


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



Have a great day!



Happy Saturday!

It’s a typical Michigan Winter day – temps around 29 degrees F., no ‘extra’ snow (yet) – it did give us about 1 1/2 inches more yesterday which made driving home a bit touchy. Yesterday! I babysat from 10 a.m. – 3:30! YAY! All went very well, had a great time wrestling with (as my husband calls him) “Da Baby” – he’s a little over 9 months old now, 5 teeth (with another one coming soon); he can walk pretty well now – loves making ovals & circles – he can even walk backwards – surprising!


This is the photo I had to work from – the request was to “TRY” to (somehow) copy it, if I could. My dear, sweet special needs guy, Kevin, has slept with this since he was a baby (and still does) – he’s almost ‘loved it to death’. His Mom asked if I could see what I could do. Originally it was Mint green & white (now it’s sage & cream). With some struggles finding that funny sort of ‘hole/stitch’ at the right top of the photo, I plowed on. Since I really had no idea just ‘where’ the hole pattern went in the entire blanket, I just sort of ‘winged it’ – his Mom said: “Do what you can”. Remembering that I’m a KNITTER who’s a beginner Crocheter, here is the finished crocheted blanket/lovey:

It’s 28 inches wide by 40 inches long (if you flip the photo, the bottom is a reverse of what you’re seeing in the photo). There are mistakes and it’s not perfect, but I think, for what it’s going to be used for, it should work. (He wads up his old blanket & tucks it under his head/face when he sleeps.)


 Crockpot Turtles Candy

4 C. pecans, chopped
2 lb. almond bark
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. chocolate baking bar
2 (12 oz, ea). pkgs. Rolo candies,
candy sprinkles – optional

Place pecans, almond bark. choc.
chips & choc. baking bar in crockpot
set on Low. Cover & heat 1 1/2 – 2 hours
until melted. Uncover & stir until evenly
combined. Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper (or silicone mats). Lay
Rolos candies on paper, 2 inches apart.
Using a small cookie scoop**, scoop choc.
mixture, a little at a time, on each Rolo –
repeat until all Rolos are covered. Top
each candy with sprinkles, if desired.
Allow candy to cool until hardened.
Makes about 96

*If you want more caramel in each
bite, you can substitute caramels
in place of Rolos.

**If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you
can use a heaping Tablespoon/measuring


Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
spinach, thawed, well-drained
1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia Chive &
Onion cream cheese spread
1 egg, separated
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F>
Mix first 4 ingredients & egg yolk
in large bowl until blended. Open
rolls & separate into 8 triangles.
Cut each triangle diagonally in
half. Spoon 1 T. spinach mixture
in center of each triangle. Bring
corners of dough to center over
filling, overlapping ends. Pinch
ends together to seal & place on
baking sheets. Beat egg white
lightly & brush on tops of bundles.
Bake 12-15 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 8


Broccoli Casserole Dip

4 slices bacon
1 head broccoli cut into
small florets (about 3 C.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. crumbled Ritz crackers
1/4 C. butter, melted

crackers, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet cook
bacon over medium heat until
crisp – remove bacon from
skillet & transfer to paper towel-
lined plate. Reserve 2 T. bacon
fat in skillet. Add broccoli florets
& cook until crisp-tender, about
4 minutes. Chop bacon &
broccoli into very small pieces. In
large bowl combine cream cheese,
mayonnaise, sour cream & garlic
powder – mix until smooth. Fold
in cheese, cooked broccoli & bacon.
Season with salt/pepper & transfer
to small baking dish. In small bowl
combine crumbled crackers with
melted butter – toss until combined.
Scatter mixture on top of dip in dish.
Bake 15 minutes until cheese is melted
& cracker topping is golden & crispy.
Serve warm with crackers for dipping.
Serves 6


Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

2 cloves garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas,** drained/rinsed
SEE next ingredient
**1/2 C. liquid from chickpea can (at
4 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. tahini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, roasted
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (if
you don’t like spicy, cut amount
to 1/2 tsp.)

Add garlic to food processor & process
until chopped. Add chickpeas, lemon
juice, tahini, salt, olive, roasted sweet
potato & spices – process 1-2 minutes
(mixture will be pretty thick & not
completely smooth). Slowly add in
reserved liquid & process until hummus
reaches your desired consistency.
(Poster noted she used 1/2 C.)


Bacon-Cheddar Cornbread Loaf

1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon, chopped in small
1 C. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed
2 T. fresh rosemary, sage or chives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Fry bacon until crisp;
transfer to paper towels. Whisk
melted butter, sugar, milk & eggs in
a bowl. In another bowl whisk flour,
cornmeal, baking powder & salt.
Gently stir dry flour mixture into wet
ingredients until combined & moistened,
but not over mixed. Fold in cheese, bacon
crumbles, herbs & corn using a spatula,
until incorporated. Pour into prepared
loaf pan & bake 30 minutes, topping
with extra cheese after 20 minutes of
baking time. Bread is cooked when middle
is set & edges are golden brown.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12

Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak

2 lb. chip steak (or) 2 lb. cube steaksk
cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 to 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 lb. pepperoni, thinly sliced
8 oz. Provolone cheese, thinly

In medium skillet saute mushrooms
in oil until softened & light brown,
about 5 minutes – add to crockpot
along with rest of ingredients EXCEPT
Provolone. Cover & cook on Low
6 hours. Stir well & divide among
6 bowls. Cover each bowl with
Provolone & add some cooking juices
to each bowl to melt the cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)

Ranch Potatoes

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup,
1 1/4 C. milk
1 envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place potato cubes in saucepan, cover
with water & bring to boil – cook about
10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost
tender; drain then place in prepared pan.
In a bowl mix soup, milk, dry dressing mix,
1 C. cheese, salt/pepper to taste & pour
over potatoes. Sprinkle crumbled bacon &
remaining cheese on top. Bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
Pecan Chicken Salad

4 C. cooked/chopped chicken
breast (OR) two 15 oz. cans
1 1/2 C. sliced seedless grapes
(red or white)
1/2 C. chopped celery

1 T. sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1 C. mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together;
place in a serving bowl.


Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (about 2 lb)
1/4 C. butter
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Cooked egg noodles for 4

In large skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Add chicken &
cook until very lightly browned
on both sides but not cooked
through. Add broth & reduce
heat to Low about 10 minutes
until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken & place on a
plate. Add sour cream, garlic
powder, salt/pepper to skillet;
continue cooking on Low while
stirring until sour cream is
melted & fully incorporated.
Remove about 1/2 C. of liquid
from skillet & stir flour into
liquid until smooth then pour
back into skillet. Using a wire
whisk, whisk until gravy is
thickened & smooth again. Add
chicken back to skillet & turn to coat.
Serve chicken & sauce immediately
over cooked egg noodles.
Serves 4


Oreo Cookie Balls-3 Ingredients!

1 (14 to 19 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. white almond bark (OR) 24 oz.
white chocolate chips*

*Almond bark contains no nuts – it is
a candy coating that may be found
near the chocolate chips in stores.

Crush Oreos very fine-either by using a
food processor or placing in a ziplock
bag & crushing them with a mallet or
rolling pin.
In a large bowl, using elec. mixer mix
cream cheese & crushed cookies – mix
until well blended. Scoop out & form
into 1-inch balls – place on waxed paper
until ready to dip.

Melt almond bark (or white choc. chips):
1 of 2 methods: Place in microwave-safe
bowl & microwave in 30 second intervals,
stirring after each, until melted & smooth
(OR) Melt in a saucepan until fully melted
& smooth.
Dip each cookie ball in melted mixture then
place on waxed paper to cool completely.
Store in airtight container in fridge.
Makes 60-70 balls.



I’m slowly but surely feeling better – still
stuffed up but functioning OK. Tonight (6 p.m.)
is our final choir rehearsal for tomorrow’s
Christmas program – I’m going to TRY to
sing tonight – we’ll see what happens!

It’s now NINE days until Christmas; oldest
son let me know last night that we’re doing
Christmas dinner at 2 p.m. (at his house). I
have no idea what meat he’s doing but I’m
doing the ‘same old’ sides: garlic mashed
potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole,
(black olives – oldest’s favorite), probably a
repeat of the wild rice casserole (middle son’s
girlfriend – and now middle son are VEGAN –
they both said they loved the casserole so
here goes one more time!) and 2 desserts.
It’s a tradition in my family to bake a “Happy
Birthday, Jesus” chocolate cake so perhaps
that might be one of the 2 desserts – we’ll
see. Here’s a photo of one from a few years

Hope you are all able to remain in good
health while finishing up these days before
the holiday. While choosing the recipes to
post today I noticed I still have a LOT of
appetizer & cookie/candy recipes to post
so those will be coming in the next few

Stay warm & take a few minutes to rest/
relax while going through your very busy



and so it begins – the winter sniffles…

Woke up yesterday with my head all stuffed up, now I sound like a man with a very deep voice – sigh. I don’t really ‘feel’ sick, just head’s all stuffed up (that will really go great this Sunday for choir, eh?). Oh well, it could be worse (AND I AM going to see the doctor Monday about the vein thing, so it’s all good).

Weather is getting more ‘wintery’ – woke up to 22 ‘balmy’ degrees, a light dusting of snow on the ground & sunny. It’s supposed to warm up a bit (am planning on going shopping a little later when it’s a bit warmer – I hope). According to our local weather report we’re due for 1-3 inches of snow in the next 2 days so I want to get most of my shopping done before then. Low temperatures for the next week or so, in the 20’s with highs of 30’s (oh, joy) – time to get out my HEAVY winter coat!

Lots of recipes, all sorts – some for holidays/parties, some just everyday – here ya go:


Peppermint Bark Fudge

Chocolate Layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

White layer:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

15 mini peppermint candy canes,

Line a 11″ X 7″ glass baking dish
with parchment paper. In heavy-
bottomed saucepan pour 1 can
sweetn’d/cond. milk, choc. chips &
1 tsp. peppermint extract – heat over
Low heat. Stir often – when choc. is
fully melted & well incorporated *(about
5-8 minutes),remove from heat & pour
into prepared dish. Clean the saucepan:
prepare White Layer the same as first.
When chocolate is fully melted, pour
over first layer in dish. Sprinkle crushed
candy canes over top, evenly. Allow to
set up at least 1 hour (you can refrigerate
to speed up the process). Slice into squares.
Serves 24

*If you notice chocolate is heating too
much & getting thick & crumbly, turn
heat down.

Cheesy Mac & Cheese

1 1/2 C. elbow macaroni, cooked/drained
accordg. to pkg. directions
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. sour cream
4 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. Velveeta cheese (OR) 8 oz, cut
into pieces – if you don’t like Velveeta,
just add 3 C. Cheddar instead of 2)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
To cooked/drained macaroni add butter
& cheese – mix well. Beat egg, milk, sour
cream, pepper/salt together with a wire
whisk & add to mac & cheese. Spray a
casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray
& pour mixture into dish. Cover dish with
foil & bake 50-60  minutes. Serves 6


Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb. chicken, cooked/shredded
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. salsa (your choice)

8 oz. corn tortilla chips
1/2 C. cheese, shredded
(your choice)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan;
add garlic & onion – cook until
onion is translucent. Stir in
remaining ingredients (except
chips & cheese). Simmer 20
minutes. Pour into bowls &
top with chips & cheese.
Serves 4


Crockpot Ham

7-9 1/2 lb. ham
juice from a 20 oz. can of
pinapple rings
1 C. brown sugar

Place ham in crockpot; pour
juice over ham & pack brown
sugar over ham. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes
butter – to taste
brown sugar – to taste
cinnamon – to taste

Pierce each potato with a fork
several times & place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours.
Split potatoes & mash insides with
a fork. Top with butter, brown sugar
& cinnamon, to taste. Serves 6


Beer Cheese Dip
(overnight recipe)

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4  of a red onion, finely diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 C. beer (any beer works)
1/2 C. chopped bacon, cooked
hot sauce, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Suggested dippers: pretzels

Mix all ingredients together in large
bowl; refrigerate over night for best


Baked Mozzarella/Marinara Dip

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (32 oz) bottle marinara sauce
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh basil, chopped very fine
pinch red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper

1 crusty baguette, sliced/toasted
for dipping

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Heat oil in medium oven-proof
skillet over medium heat. Add
garlic & saute until golden, 3-5
minutes. Add marinara sauce; stir
in basil, red pepper flakes, salt/
pepper – bring to simmer then
remove from heat. Add mozzarella
to center of dish & transfer to oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is
melty. Sprinkle pepper over cheese
& garnish skillet with more chopped
basil. Serve warm with toasted
baguette pieces. Serves 12

Butterscotch Almond Toffee

2 C. (1 lb) butter
2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. slivered almonds
3/4 C. butterscotch chips
3/4 C. milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. shortening, divided

Line a 15 X 10″ (jelly roll size)baking pan
with foil & lightly spray with nonstick cooking
spray. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine
butter, sugar & salt – melt over medium-high
heat, stirring until sugar is completely
dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to side
of pan & continue cooking/stirring until it
reaches 290 degrees F. Stir in vanilla & slivered
almonds; pour into prepared pan. Tap the pan
to spread toffee evenly. Place pan on a rack to
cool. In small bowl combine butterscotch chips
& half of shortening. Combine choc. chips &
remaining shortening in separate microwave-safe
bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring
in between, until chips are fully melted & smooth.
Using a spatula, spread butterscotch & choc. on
top of cooled toffee. Refrigerate at least 30
minutes to set the chocolate. Break into pieces &
serve. Serves 24


After going on several crochet sites I was
able to locate the one ‘fancy/hole’ stitch
and master it. Worked on my ‘lovey’ blanket
for my special needs friend last night and am
about half-way done! Took awhile to get my
bearings on just exactly how I wanted to
design this (his Mom said do whatever I want,
she’s just happy I’m giving it a try!). Since I’m
not a crocheter per se (more a knitter who
knows basic crochet stitches) it’s a good effort;
perhaps in the hands of a real crocheter it would
look more professional, but for what it’s intended,
it will work.

Hope you’re having a good day!




I’m Happy- getting things done!

Thought this was a clever idea-made with candy canes!

Well, I’m ‘back to normal’ (that means no more sitting around in my jammies doing nothing!). First thing this morning found me attempting to locate an order on Amazon (oldest grandson’s main gift) – yes, they shipped it – NO (even thought they say yes) it’s NOT here! Received the other item that was in the order but not the one I really wanted. Took me a good 5 minutes of rooting around their site to find out just WHERE to look to get some action on locating said item! Ended up on Amazon Chat with a nice gentleman named Orlando who researched it then offered to send me a replacement  (YAY!) AND it will be here TOMORROW! I was concerned because it’s a toy that’s just new this year; very interesting technology: it’s called a 3Doodler Start 3D writing pen (& accessories). Basically it’s kind of like a fat pen that has thin plastic ‘cartridges’ by which you can draw anything in 3D – like drawing an UPRIGHT house! I thought he would find it interesting (he’s 11 1/2). Think of it almost like a glue gun (except it doesn’t get hot) – it extrudes liquid plastic in a thin line which you can use to draw UPRIGHT with! (Hope he likes it).

Was going out today & noticed our gas prices have jumped from $2.39/9 (last night) to $2.79/9 today – WOW! Good thing I was able to redeem my Kroger Fuel Points – got my gas for $2.15/9! Score!


Crockpot Gingerbread
Pudding Cake

1/4 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. molasses
1 C. water
1 1/4 C. (whole wheat) or
all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

6 T. brown sugar
3/4 C. hot water
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray insides of 3-4 qt. crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, using elec. mixer, beat
butter & sugar until combined. Add
egg & beat until combined. Add
vanilla, molasses & water – Start
at LOW speed & beat until combined.
(there might be a few flecks of butter
in batter, but that’s OK).
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon,
ginger, salt & nutmeg – beat until
combined – pour into crockpot.
Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
Combine hot water & melted
butter – pour over brown sugar –
DO NOT STIR. Cover & cook on
High 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Serve warm
with ice cream or whipped cream.
Serves 6


Cranberry/Almond Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. sharp white Cheddar cheese,
2/3 C. dried cranberries
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (6 oz) pkg. whole almonds (poster
uses Blue Diamond Smokehouse flavor)

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium
bowl, stirring until well combined. Spoon
contents onto a plate & use plastic wrap
to form into a ball; refrigerate at least 1
hour. Cover entire ball with whole almonds
(you may have some leftover). Refrigerate
until ready to serve. Serve with assorted
breads, pretzels or crackers for dippers.
Makes 8 servings

Pepperoni Pizza Twists

1 lb. pkg. refrigerated pizza
dough, room temp.
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese
(or more, if you like)
3 T. olive oil
4 oz. sliced pepperoni*
4 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Roll dough out into a rectangle on
lightly floured surface. Combine
garlic powder, parsley, Parm. cheese,
red pepper flakes in small bowl –
sprinkle about half onto dough.
Sprinkle Mozz. cheese on one half
of dough & top with *pepperoni (if
you are using mini pepperoni, you can
leave it whole – if using full-sized, cut
them in quarters). Fold the side of dough
without pepperoni over to other side,
covering filling. Use a sharp knife or pizza
cutter to cut dough into thin strips (You
will get about 12 strips out of 1 lb. dough).
You will be placing the strips on  parchment-
lined baking sheets.
Twist strips a few times & press down
on ends to keep them closed. Brush tops
of twists with olive oil & sprinkle with
seasoning blend – place on sheet,
seasoned sides down. Brush other side
of twists with oil & sprinkle with seasoning
blend, again. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden
brown. Serve with marinara sauce (or Ranch
dressing). Serves 12


Potato/Bacon Bake

3 lb. potatoes, peeled/halved
(the short way)
1 lb. bacon, diced
2 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper (or more,
to taste)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Parboil potatoes (boil about 10
minutes); drain & let cool. While
potatoes are boiling, saute diced
bacon, onion & garlic until bacon
is browned & onions soft. Remove
from pan but reserve grease in pan.
After potatoes have cooled, carefully
slice them into discs. In same pan
with bacon grease, melt butter. Mix
in flour & salt, stirring constantly to
avoid burning flour. As soon as flour
is mixed in, begin pouring in  milk,
still stirring. Continue to cook until
slightly thick, then add 2 C. cheese &
black pepper, stirring until melted –
remove from heat. Spoon & spread
some sauce into bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish. Make a single layer of
sliced potatoes. Sprinkle half of bacon/
onion  mixture over then pour half of
sauce on top. Make a second layer of
potato slices followed by remaining
bacon & onion mixture – add rest of
sauce & spread out evenly. Sprinkle
remaining 1/2 C. shredded cheese on
top. Bake 45 minutes until top is
bubbling & golden. Let cool 15 minutes
before serving. Top with chopped
green onion. Serves 4-6


Beef Lombardi Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 bay leaf
1 pkg. egg noodles, cooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
6 green onions, chopped
1 C. sour cream
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Brown
beef over medium heat in skillet;
drain. Add garlic – cook until soft.
Add tomatoes, honey, salt/pepper,
bay leaf & Tabasco; lower heat to
simmer – cook 30 minutes. Combine
cooked noodles, cream cheese, green
onions & sour cream – mix well.
Alternately layer: noodle mixture,
tomato mixture & grated cheese,
ending with cheese on top. Cover
with foil & bake 30 minutes until
heated through & bubbly.

NOTE: can be frozen after being
prepared before or after baking


Sweet Potato Hash

2 T. olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
salt/pepper, to taste

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat. Add oil & allow to heat
through. Add sweet potatoes & cook
2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
2 T. hot water to pan (this will create
steam); cover & continue to cook
3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients & stir to
combine. Cook until sweet potatoes are
soft on inside & peppers/onions are crisp-
tender (about 10 minutes). Taste &
adjust seasoning to your liking.
Serves 6


Restaurant-style French Onion Soup

1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 C. sweet yellow onions, diced
1 tsp. dried Basil (optional)
1 (1 oz) pkg. Au Jus Gravy Mix
3 C. water

Optional Toppings;
4 slices baguette bread, toasted
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

In medium sauce pot melt butter over
medium-high heat. Add onions & cook,
stirring often, until caramelized & lightly
browned (about 20 minutes). If you like:
stir in basil & cook 1-2 minutes more. In
a 2-Cup measuring cup, add 1 C. cold
water & packet of Au Jus gravy mix. Stir
vigorously with a fork until well combined
& smooth – pour into pot with remaining
2 C. water. Bring to boil while stirring
often. Once boiling, reduce heat & simmer
about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Optional Restaurant-style soup:
Divide cooked soup among four oven-safe
bowls. Top each with 1 slice of toasted
baguette & a good sprinkling of mozzarella
cheese. Place bowls on a baking sheet &
place under Broiler until lightly browned
on top (about 3-4 minutes). Serve immediately.


Fudge-filled Peanut Butter Bars

Crust & Topping:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
2 eggs, beaten

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
3 T. butter
1 C. sweetened flake coconut
3/4 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl combine cake mix (dry), peanut
butter, butter & eggs until dough
starts to hold together (mixture will
be very thick). Press 2/3 rds of dough
into bottom of prepared pan forming
In medium saucepan combine chocolate
chips, milk & butter; melt over low heat
until smooth. Stir in coconut, brown sugar,
flour & chopped pecans – mix until combined
well. Remove from heat; spread filling over
dough in pan. Crumble rest of dough evenly
over filling & bake 20-25 minutes. Allow
to cool before cutting into bars.



Knitting-wise I’ve been OK – still working on
the mint green baby blanket. Along with that
have knit 3-4 scarves for the needy. I have a
upcoming ‘new’ project – this is another of
those “Gifts of Love” . . . what do I mean by
that? If you’ve been reading my blog for a
few years you might remember the “Afghan
from Hell” – a very nice older lady approached
me at Panera (during my Knit Night group) and
asked if anyone could repair an afghan? Long
story short: a very dear friend (very old lady)
had begun to crochet/knit an afghan for this
person but was put in hospital. While in there
the family dog chewed up a good portion AND
a well-meaning family member decided to try
to CUT OUT the chew spots – it was a HUGE MESS!
I knew that none of my ladies would even consider
that so I took it home. End result: I managed to
make her a almost new blanket – she was thrilled.
She & her husband cried when I showed it to them.
Well – advance a few years and now the new
project: in my special needs group is an absolutely
DELIGHTFUL man. His mother recently asked me
if I knew anyone who would attempt to knit/crochet
a copy of a VERY loved blanket he’s had since he
was a baby? I said I’m not great at crochet, but if
she would text me a photo, I’d see what I can do.
Well, friends – it’s another “blanket from hell” –
it used to be lime green & white, now it’s a
basketball-sized WAD of crocheted MESS! (it’s
kind of dark green & cream – you can tell it’s
REALLY been loved!)

Photo from my cell phone

She said he won’t sleep
without it so I asked her if he would even
consider a replacement – she said it will take
awhile – we’ll see. She wants more of a
‘lovey’ than an afghan (meaning smaller).
I have lime green & white yarn so I began
about 4 inches, attempting to copy the photo.
There’s a spot (in the ‘wad’) that looks more
like created crocheted ‘holes’ – I’m not real
familiar with those so I’m hoping she might
either take another photo close up OR
bring it tonight to my special needs group.
We’ll see where this goes – it’s not like it’s
my first (blanket from hell) rodeo! Call me
crazy but I DO love a challenge!

Hope you are doing well this day –



Happy Monday!

Photo from last year’s special needs group Harvest Party

Well, friends – I survived the Harvest Party/Dance! This past Friday found me helping out from 4:30 – somewhere after 9 p.m. (when I got just too tired to keep on keeping on, so I went home! – party ended at 8:30). We had a lot more people come than we thought would BUT we were prepared! Our leader bought 270 hot dogs! (We cooked 150 and there were leftovers . . . but I was just too tired to even care about bringing some home…sigh). The kids had a great time chatting/eating/dancing so it was all worth it. I’d say we had about 45 kids? attend and about 10 teens from the church volunteered to help out, also.

I have been getting in SO MANY yummy sounding recipes I just couldn’t resist sharing some:


 Holy Cow Cake

1 (18 oz) box devils food cake mix
1 1/3 C. water
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1 C. Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In bowl
mix dry cake mix, oil & eggs using an
elec. mixer – blend on Low speed
1 minute; scrape sides of bowl & mix
on medium speed 2 more minutes.
(batterh will be thick) Pour batter into
prepared pan, smoothing top evenly.
Bake 35-38 minutes until cake springs
back when lightly pressed with your
finger & just starts pulling away from
pan sides. Remove from oven & poke
holes in top of cake using a drinking
straw or chopstick. Cool on wire rack.

Place caramel topping & sweetn’d
cond. milk in small bowl & stir to
combine. Spoon mixture over warm
cake so it can seep down into holes.
Measure out half of crushed candy
bars & sprinkle pieces over cake.
In large bowl mix Cool Whip & cream
cheese – blend using elec. mixer on
Low speed until smooth & combined.
Spread mixture over candy-covered
cake. Sprinkle remaining crushed
candy on top & refrigerate 20
minutes before cutting into squares &
Store cake, covered in waxed paper,
in fridge up to 1 week.


Roasted Autumn Veggie Soup

2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 lb. carrots (about 8 large)
1 1/2 lb. parsnips (about 6 medium)
2 large onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C. canola oil
3 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth
1 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
minced fresh parsley & sage,
optional garnishes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Peel & cut sweet potatoes, carrots &
parsnips into 1 1/2″ pieces; place in
large bowl. Add onions & garlic; drizzle
with oil & toss to coat. Spray two
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pans with
nonstick cooking spray & divide
veggies between pans. Roast 40-50
minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
Transfer veggies to Dutch oven. Add broth,
milk, salt & pepper & bring to boil. Simmer,
uncovered, 10-15 minutes.Cool soup
slightly & puree in blender in batches.
Return to pan & heat through. Serve
with optional garnishes. Serves 12 (4 quarts)


Southern Smothered Pork Chops

4 center-cut pork chops
1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chicken or beef broth
1 medium onion, chopped

Suggested ‘sides’:
cooked mashed potatoes (for 4)
cooked rice or noodles (for 4)

Pour flour, poultry seasoning &
salt in zip-lock bag – shake to mix.
Add chops & shake until lightly
coated. Heat heavy skillet large
enough to hold all chops over
medium-high heat. Add oil &
heat until it shimmers. Place
chops in pan & saute 2-3 minutes
per side until golden brown. Remove
chops from pan & add 2 T. flour
mixture from bag to skillet; stir a
few seconds to cook flour. Add
about 1 C. broth & cook, stirring,
to lift any browned bits from pan.
Add remaining broth & turn off
heat. (Reserve remaining flour
mixture for later).
Place onion in bottom of crockpot &
lay chops on top. Pour liquids from
pan over chops. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Remove about 1 C.
of liquids from crockpot into a
small bowl; stir in remaining flour
mixture from bag & mix until
completely smooth. Return this
mixture to crockpot, stirring to mix.
Cover & cook 30-45 minutes more.
Serves 4

(suggested sides: mashed potatoes or
cooked noodles or rice)


Roasted Corn Chopped Salad
with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 can whole kernel corn
2 Romaine hearts, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 C. slivered basil leaves
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C. lemon juice (fresh from 1
large lemon)
2 T. prepared Dijon-style or
stone ground mustard
2 T. honey
3 T. olive oil

Drain & pat corn dry. Add 1 T. oil to a
skillet & heat to searing hot. Add corn
carefully & let roast 6-8 minutes,
stirring only occasionally, until it
develops a nice brown caramelization;
remove from heat & let cool.
Add chopped romaine & shallots to a
large bowl; crumble feta into bowl &
add cooled corn. In small bowl whisk
together lemon juice, mustard, honey &
remaining 2 T. olive oil to make dressing.
Drizzle dressing over salad & toss. Serve
immediately Serves 4

Crockpot Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on
Low 2-4 hours. Serves 6

7-Layer Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 T. butter or margarine
1 box Hamburger Helper “Cheesy
Enchilada” flavor
1 3/4 C. water
1 C. milk
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
2 C. chopped deli cooked rotisserie
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
(OR) 1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 C. chopped pickled jalapeno chilies
1 tomato, diced

tortilla chips

In 10-inch skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Stir in uncooked rice
(from Hamb. Helper box); continue
cooking 2-3 minutes until rice starts
to brown. Stir in water, milk, seasoning
packet (from Hamb. Helper) & black
beans – heat to boiling. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 20 minutes, stirring
frequently. Stir in chicken; cover &
remove from heat – let rest 5 minutes.

Spread refried beans on 14-inch serving
platter. In small bowl,  mix sour cream &
topping (from Hamb. Helper box) – spread
over beans. Top with hamburger mixture,
cheese, jalapeno chilies & tomato. Serve
with tortilla chips for dipping.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-FB, from Old El

Cheesy Bundt Bread

3 C. flour, sifted
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix flour, baking
soda, baking powder, salt, garlic
& onion powders in large bowl
until combined. Whisk eggs, sour
cream & yogurt together & pour
into dry mixture. Add melted
butter & stir to combine. Mix
cheeses into mixture & pour into
prepared Bundt pan, spreading
evenly to edges. Bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
close to center comes out clean.
Remove from oven & cool 10
minutes before slicing. Serves 8


Our weather is now typical Fall in Michigan –
temperatures in the 50’s & 60’s (although
it’s supposed to get up into the 70’s later
in the week – YAY!).

Knit project wise: still working on ONE baby
blanket in my old Plume pattern (lime green) –
have about 1/4th done. Finally made an
executive decision last night & ripped out
another baby blanket I’d been working on;
not really fond of pattern and kept making
big mistakes 10-12 rows BELOW where I’d
been working – time for that one TO GO!
I know I’ve got tons of patterns so it won’t
be difficult to start another one (this one
was a baby teal yarn). Working on one scarf
for homeless – really pretty yarn I obtained
from a yarn swap (variegated colors of tans,
greys & white).

Went to the library today to pick up some
books I had on hold and saw a new flyer:
they will be starting a KNIT GROUP at my
local library Weds. 10-12p.m. starting in
January. (I nicely asked if they would mind
my putting my business card by their
display and they said NO – kinda expected
that. My group meets in the evening, theirs
during the day – oh well….) I ‘did’ think of
attending their group just to see what it’s
like – we’ll see. Their flyer said bring your
own supplies, so it sort of sounds like my
group except they don’t offer any help –
will consider…later.

Hope you are enjoying your day – it’s
really sunny & breezy out today – in
low 60’s (had to get gas & go to library
so I got to enjoy it a little).




It’s looking like another beautiful day here – in the mid 70’s & sunny! So far this week my babysitting has been rather easy (I say that quietly – I’m happy with seeing the little guy but rather enjoy a LITTLE sitting rather than 8+ hour days, back to back). The other grandfather is currently in the hospital as of Saturday – they think he had another stroke but can find no signs of it so they’re running tests. I feel really bad for the grandmother & daughter (my oldest son’s girlfriend & Mom to the baby) – they have enough stress in their lives so this just added more. Grandfather has had a history of strokes and has been losing weight (15 lb. in a little over a month) so they think he also has a slow bleed somewhere, hence why they’re keeping him at the hospital for testing. I only babysat Tuesday 2:30 – 5, so that was easy and the baby was in a great mood. Tuesday was Knit/Crochet Night, last night was special needs group. THIS SATURDAY the knit group talked me into arranging something new for us; this Saturday is NATIONAL KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY! We’re going to meet on Panera Bread’s patio at 10 a.m. and just do what we all love – KNIT (and I included our crocheters, too). Not sure just how many we’ll have (I’m guessing maybe 3?) and I’m not planning on staying long (maybe an hour?) but it’s all open-ended, so we’ll see. Currently still plodding ahead with the blue ‘Tassel stitch’ baby blanket and started another multi-color blue/white/lime green blanket in the stitch I did last (It’s from the Linus Project – another charity that collects blankets and, NO-I only borrowed their pattern, not joining another charity project group – that would be a little too much for me). I’m ‘trying’ to get my knit items delivered – need to take 40 baby hats to local hospital and about 5-6 blankets to Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit (they are a little hard to coordinate delivery times for – they are a mobile unit that travels all over; we’re looking at next week some time).


Hawaiian Cheesecake Salad

8 oz. cream cheese
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant cheesecake
pudding mix (unprepared)
1 C. International Delight French
Vanilla (coffee) Creamer
1 lb. strawberries, hulled/sliced
4 mandarin oranges, peeled/
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits,
3 kiwi, peeled/cut into half moons
2 mangoes, cut into bite-sized
1 banana, cut into circles
juice of 1/2 lemon

In medium (tall) bowl-poster
uses 8 C measuring cup) using
elec. mixer, whip cream cheese
until smooth. Add dry pudding
mix – beat until well combined.
With mixer on Low, slowly add
creamer to cream cheese mix –
about a tablespoon at a time –
mix until it becomes smooth &
all of creamer has been combined
into cream cheese – repeat until
all creamer has been used – whip
until smooth. In large bowl,
combine strawberries, oranges, pine-
apple, kiwi & mango. Add cheese-
cake mixture to fruit & gently
fold together. In small bowl combine
banana & lemon juice – toss until
well coated, draining any excell
lemon juice. Gently fold banana
into cheesecake salad. Chill until
ready to serve or serve immediately.
Serves 16

NOTE: Do not pour all of creamer into
cream cheese mixture at once – it will
get clumpy & no matter how long you
beat it, it will stay that way.

Recipe can be made ahead: Prepare
cheesecake mixture & refrigerate in
bowl. Mix all of fruit in large bowl &
refrigerate. Before serving, drain any
excess liquid from fruit then fold into
cheesecake mixture.


Asiago Chicken Pasta w/Sun-dried
Tomatoes & Spinach

1/3 C. sun-dried tomatoes (with oil)
2 T.) (comes in a jar)
1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced in half &
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. Half & Half
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. asiago cheese, grated
8 oz. box penne pasta
2 C. fresh spinach leaves

If sun-dried tomatoes are too big,
chop into smaller bites. Heat 2 T.
olive oil with tomatoes & garlic in
skillet over medium heat. Add
chopped chicken – generously
season chicken in skillet with salt &
paprika – cook until chicken is cooked
through completely. To skillet add 1 C.
Half & Half & 1/4 tsp. salt – bring to boil.
Add grated Asiago cheese & stir about
30 seconds to melt cheese. Reduce heat
to simmer & continue stirring to make
sure all cheese melts. If sauce is too thick,
add another 1/3 C. Half & Half & stir.
Taste sauce – add more salt, if needed. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions – drain/
rinse. Add past to sauce. Add spinach & mix
well. On Low simmer, cover with lid & let
pasta sit to allow spinach to wilt. After
spinach has wilted, stir everything together
to combine – taste & adjust seasonings if
needed. Serves 4


Taco-stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 medium zucchini, cut in half
1/2 C. mild salsa
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
1 (4 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. Mexican-blend shredded
1/4 C. chopped scallions or cilantro,
for topping

Bring large pot of salted water to
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place 1/4 C. salsa in bottom of
large baking dish. Using a small
spoon or melon baller, hollow out
centers of zucchini halves, leaving
1/4 inch thick shell on each. Chop
scooped out flesh into small pieces
& set aside 3/4 C.  to add to taco
filling (squeeze excess water out
using a paper towel) – discard
rest of flesh or using in another
recipe. Drop zuccini halves in
boiling water & cook 1 minute –
remove from water. Brown turkey
in large skillet, breaking up pieces
while cooking; when meat is no
longer pink, add spices & stir well.
Add onion, bell pepper, reserved
zucchini flesh, tomato sauce & water-
stir then cover & simmer on Low
20  minutes. Using a spoon, fill
hollowed zucchini ‘boats’, dividing
filling equally, about 1/3 C. per
half, pressing mixture into boats
firmly. Top each with 1 T. shredded
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 35
minutes until cheese melts &
zucchinis are cooked through. Top
with scallions & serve with salsa
on the side. Serves 4

Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake

10 oz. penne pasta
3 T. butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. medium or large shrimp,
3 T. chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 T. flour
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. chicken broth
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. plus 2 T. freshly grated
Parmesan cheese, divided
fresh ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped (about 1 C.)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large pot salted water cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions for al dente;
drain & return to pot. In large oven-
proof skillet over medium heat, melt
1 T. butter; add garlic, shrimp & 2 T.
parsley – season with salt. Cook until
shrimp is pink & no longer opaque,
2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp
to a plate (keep juices in skillet)
Add remaining 2 T. butter to skillet
& let melt; add flour & whisk until
golden, 1-2 minutes. Add milk &
chicken broth – bring to simmer.
Stir in 3/4 C. mozzarella & 1/4 C.
Parmesan cheese until creamy –
season with salt/pepper. Return
shrimp to skillet; add tomatoes &
cooked pasta – toss until combined.
(add more milk if mixture is too
thick). Sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. mozzarella & 2 T. Parmesan
& bake until melty, 5-7 minutes.
Place under broiler 2-3 minutes
until top is golden (watch carefully
so it doesn’t burn). Garnish with
remaining T. parsley & serve.
Serves 4


Farmers Market Summer Crockpot Stew

1 (2 lb.) beef chuck roast, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. flour
3 T. olive oil
2 C. sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, diced
3 C. russet potatoes, diced into 1/2
inch pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 C. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 T. minced fresh parsley
salt/pepper, to taste

In large bowl combine beef cubes & flour,
mixing well to coat. In medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, saute beef in oil,
stirring occasionally until beef is slightly
browned, 5-10 minutes (beef will not be
entirely cooked). Place beef in crockpot;
add carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic,
tomatoes, water, vinegar & seasonings –
stir to combine. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours. Season with salt/pepper before
serving. Serves 8-10

NOTE: Stew will keep, refrigerated, up
to 4 days


Loaded Macaroni Salad

8 oz. shell macaroni
4 eggs, hard-boiled/chopped
4 sweet pickles, chopped
2 oz. pimento, diced
6 oz. black olives, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & rinse under
cold water. Place cooked macaroni
in large bowl with eggs, pickles,
olives, pimentos & onion. In small
bowl mix vinegar, mayonnaise, salt/
pepper, paprika & mustard – pour
over macaroni mixture & mix
thoroughly. Chill at least 1 hour
before serving.


Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups

9 lasagna noodles
1 (14.5 oz) jar Garlic Alfredo
1 lb. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Pour 1/2 C. Alfredo
sauce on bottom of pan & spread
out. Cook lasagna noodles until
al dente (do not over cook them
as they will be baked, also). Drain
& rinse noodles with cold water.
While they are cooking mix 1 C.
Alfredo sauce, 1 C. Mozz. cheese,
chicken, garlic salt & oregano in
a bowl. Lay out cooked noodles &
blot water off with paper towel.
Spread 1/9 of chicken mixture on
a noodle – roll up  & place, seam
sides down in pan – repeat with
remaining noodles & sauce. Pour
rest of Alfredo sauce on top &
top with remaining cheese. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 4-5


Mini Muffin Tin Lasagnas

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (15 oz) carton ricotta cheese
2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend,
1 T. olive oil
24 wonton wrappers*
1 (24 oz) jar garden-style pasta
minced fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl mix egg, ricotta cheese &
1 1/4 C. Italian cheese blend.
Generously grease 12 muffin cups
with oil; line each with a wonton
wrapper. Fill each with 1 T. ricotta
mixture & 1 1/2 T. pasta sauce. Top
each with a second wrapper, rotating
corners & pressing down centers.
Repeat ricotta & sauce layers. Sprinkle
tops with remaining cheese blend. Bake
20-25 minutes until cheese has melted.
If desired, sprinkle tops with parsley.
Makes 6 servings.

*You can find wonton wrappers in most
grocery stores in the refrigerated section
of the vegetable/fruit aisle


Pineapple Sunshine Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 C. oil (poster used vegetable)

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine cake mix, eggs, oil &
crushed pineapple with juice;
mix well & pour into prepared
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out clean. Allow
to cool completely on wire rack.
In medium bowl fold Cool Whip,
pudding mix & crushed pineapple;
spread over top of cooled cake.

NOTE: Poster reserves a small
amount of pineapple to sprinkle
on top of frosting at the end



Not much else new around here, gas
prices are staying the same ($2.49/9).

Hope you are enjoying a lovely day –



Feeling MUCH Better, Thank You!

After living with my back being ‘less than great’ since Friday, I can now say that using the Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS therapy machine really worked to relax the muscles in my lower back. It took using it 5-6 times a day (half hour each session) but I finally don’t feel that pain and can stand up straight again! Thank You, Lord! I even cooked dinner last night (Potatoes O’Brian) – first time ‘testing’ how long I might be able to stand without pain or needing to sit down. Tonight is my special needs group – Music/Birthday Night – I’m going to attend but not stand up (much) if I can avoid it. For most of the evening I will be sitting at the piano, so that’s not a problem.

The evening before I felt the back injury I visited my oldest son’s family – while there I did a little ‘gentle’ wrestling with my older (10 1/2) grandson – there, I believe, was my mistake. Usually when he’s at our house we sit in my recliner & ‘wrestle’ – that’s fine. This time, it was sort of impromptu where I was standing up & he sort of ‘bent me over’, grabbing my neck which put my lower back into stress mode – didn’t hurt at the time but the next morning I couldn’t stand up straight without a lot of pain. This was my first visit with BOTH grandsons and it worked out great; I made sure I spent a good amount of time with older grandson FIRST before spending some time holding the baby.

As you can see, he loves his little brother!

He’s now a little over 3 weeks old


Pecan Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter,
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 2/3 C. corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil or parchment paper. In food
processor or large bowl, mix
together flour, sugar & salt until
combined. Slowly add in cold
butter & mix until mixture is
coarse & crumbly. Pour mixture
into prepared dish & press evenly
onto bottom & around edges to
form crust. Bake 20 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from oven.

In large bowl whisk eggs, corn syrup,
sugar, honey, butter & vanilla. Fold
in pecans & mix until thoroughly
coated – pour over hot crust. Return
to oven & bake 25-30 minutes until
filling has set. Remove & let cool
completely before removing using
foil, from baking dish. Cut into
bars. Makes 4 dozen


Crockpot Spicy Turkey Chili

1 lb. ground turkey
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
(unless you want more heat – leave
seeds in)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. fresh sweet corn kernels
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted
diced tomatoes
2 C. chicken broth

Suggested ‘toppers’:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat skillet over medium high heat.
Add gr. turkey & brown, breaking
apart with spatula; add diced
jalapenos to skillet & all dried spices.
Stir & cook until turkey is browned &
jalapenos begin to soften. Add mixture
to crockpot along with corn, tomatoes
& broth. Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours
or Low 4-6 (can cook on Low for up to
8 hours). Serve with shredded cheese &
sour cream, if desired. Serves 6


Cheesy Corn-stuffed Chicken

4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 ‘pouch’ Libby’s (frozen) Sweet Corn,
seasoning for chicken (salt/pepper or
taco seasoning)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make a horizontal sliced in side of
each chicken breast (making a pocket).
Mix cream cheese, corn & Pepper Jack
cheese & stuff breasts with mixture.
Place breasts on rimmed cookie sheet
& bake 20-25 minutes until chicken
is done & juices run clear. Serves 4


Open-faced BBQ Chicken Sandwich

1 loaf French bread
2 T. butter, softened
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
3/4 C. BBQ sauce
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
3 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice bread in half lengthwise.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil;
spray with nonstick spray. Place
bread on foil & spread 1 T. softened
butter on each half; place in oven to
toast slightly (4-5 minutes). Place
shredded chicken in a bowl & mix
with BBQ sauce. Place bowl in
microwave & heat 4 minutes. Stir
chicken mixture & place on toasted
bread. Sprinkle bread halves with
mozzarella cheese & place in oven
to melt – about 5 minutes. Spread
green onions & cilantro over both
halves & cut into serving sized
pieces. Serves 5-6


Simple Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange asparagus on rimmed
baking sheet. In small bowl combine
oil, sugar, salt/pepper – drizzle over
asparagus & toss gently until evenly
coated. Bake 15-20 minutes until
lightly browned & tender. Serve
immediately. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Dump &

Go Enchilada  Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
about 1 lb.
2 C. chicken stock
1 1/4 C. red enchilada sauce (one 10 oz
2 (14 oz, ea) cans black beans, drained/
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Optional garnishes:

chopped fresh cilantro
diced avocado
diced red onion
shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla strips/chips

Add all ingredients to crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High, or 6-8 hours
on Low until chicken is cooked
through & shreds easily. Use 2
forks to shred chicken. Serve
warm with optional garnishes.
Serves 4-6

This can be refrigerated in a sealed
container up to 5 days or frozen
for up to 3 months


Crockpot Elvis Pudding Cake

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant banana cream
pudding mix
3 C. cold milk
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (regular size)
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. peanut butter chips
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Optional toppings:
Whipped cream (or Cool Whip),
sliced fresh bananas

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl whish pudding mix
& milk 2 minutes – let stand another
2 minutes until soft-set – pour into crockpot.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions,
add in 1/2 C. peanut butter; pour cake
batter over pudding. Cover & cook on Low
3-3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle peanut butter chips &
chocolate chips on top. Cover crockpot but
turn it off
. Let stand 15 minutes to partially
melt the chips. Serve warm with optional
toppings. Serves 12



Craft-wise, since I’ve been ‘sitting’ a lot
more than I would normally, I’ve finished
up the 40 baby hats for our local hospital
and started knitting more for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby Shower coming in September.
Along with that project I made the ‘executive’
decision to rip out the green baby blanket
I’d been working on – the yarn is rather
heavy & bulky (and I don’t like knitting with
it!) so I came up with the idea to use it to
crochet a baby blanket instead. (Thank
you, Mary/Mama for the Diagonal Box
Stitch afghan pattern
!) That pattern will
work out MUCH better using this yarn
(in fact, I already started it today). Still
working on the other (thinner yarn) baby
blanket – not sure just yet where it will
be donated.

Weather-wise it’s been a very SPRING
weather – starts out a little chilly (in
the low 30’s) but then climbs to the
upper 40’s & sometimes 50’s! Sunny,
clear, light breeze (of course I’ve only
been able to observe this through the
windows – anxious to just GET OUT
for a change – been inside now for
5 days – ugh! Cabin Fever!)

Hope you are enjoying this lovely
SPRING! Soon we will be seeing
trees, bushes & flowers bursting
forth – can’t wait! We already are
hearing some of the birds singing –
love hearing them, too! Can’t wait
to spot my first Robin – in Michigan
that’s usually our first bird to return
from down South (kind of a Michigan
thing to see who spots one first!)



What a Change!


Yesterday I was dancing because the weather was SO nice! It got up to 54 degrees & sunny! Today I woke up (before putting on my glasses) and was happy to see the sunshine coming through the window. Walked into the kitchen and saw some snow on the garage roof: “What the heck?” Looked at the thermometer and it said 30 degrees F! NOooooo, say it isn’t so! Reading our forecast for the rest of the week, this looks like it’s as good as it gets, not much higher temps than mid 30’s – sigh. I ‘was’ going to go grocery shopping but decided to just stay inside & home – maybe I’ll feel more ‘inspired’ tomorrow.

Went looking for more Super Bowl appetizers for you – wasn’t as many as I’d hoped (most you’ve seen before).


Mini Burrito Cups

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
3 T. taco seasoning mix, dry/
1/2 lb. hamburger
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel mild diced
tomatoes & green chilies, drained
6 T. water
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 C. shredded lettuce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12 medium muffin cups
with nonstick spray. Combine
refried beans & 1 T. seasoning
mix in small bowl. Cook beef in
large skillet over medium-high
heat 3-5 minutes until no longer
pink; drain. Add remaining 2
T. seasoning mix, drained tomatoes
& water; mix & simmer 2-3 minutes.
Cut each tortilla into 3 rounds using
a 4 1/2 inch cookie cutter; cover
rounds with damp paper towel &
microwave 30 seconds until warm &
pliable. Carefully place rounds in
muffin cups; spoon refried bean
mixture evenly into each cup; top
with meat mixture. Bake 10-15
minutes until tortillas are crisp; sprinkle
with cheese & serve with lettuce.
Serves 6

BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed
Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes (about
2 1/2 lb.)
1 (16 oz) pkg pulled pork in
BBQ sauce
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes
& green chilies, drained
3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C. sour cream
2 T. thinly sliced green onions

Place potatoes in large microwave-
safe bowl; cover & microwave on
High 6 minutes; turn over & micro-
wave 5 minutes more until potatoes
are tender. Combine pulled pork &
drained tomatoes in medium bowl;
cover & microwave on High 2-3 minutes
until mixture is hot, stirring at end.
Carefully cut each potato in half
lengthwise & fluff with a fork. Top
each potato half evenly with margarine
& sprinkle with salt. Place about 1/3 C.
pork mixture on top of each potato
half & top evenly with sour cream &
green onions. Serves 6


Pineapple Pudding Pie

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
1 C. sour cream
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 graham cracker pie crust
Cool Whip, thawed

Place pineapple & juice in large
bowl; add sour cream & pudding
mix; blend well & pour into
pie crust. Refrigerate 2 hours
& serve with Cool Whip on top.

(recipe: naughykitchenblog)

Pizza ‘Calzone’ Bake

12 oz. Italian pork sausage, remove
casings, if present
1 C. frozen chopped onion
1 C. frozen chopped green pepper
1 (13.8 oz) pkg. refrigerated pizza
crust dough
1 1/2 C. pizza sauce, divided
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook sausage, onions & peppers in
large skillet over medium-high heat
6-8 minutes until sausage is fully
cooked; drain. Spray a 15 X 10″
baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Unroll pizza dough onto sheet &
press into a 14 X 10″ rectanble.
Spread 1/2 C. pizza sauce length-
wise down center of dough to
within 1/2 inch of each short end.
Spoon meat mixture evenly on top
of sauce & sprinkle cheese evenly
over meat mixture. Pull up each
long edge over filling & pinch edges
together to seal. Pinch short ends
together to seal. Bake 15-18 minutes
until deep golden brown. Heat
remaining 1 C. sauce in covered
container in microwave on High
1 1/2 minutes until hot. Cut ‘calzone’
into 8 slices & serve with sauce
poured over slices. Serves 8

Easy Baked Honey BBQ Wings

4 lb. chicken wings, trimmed &
tips removed
2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/4 C. BBQ sauce
1/2 C. honey
1 T. cayenne pepper sauce

sliced green onions, garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet
with foil & place an oven-safe
wire rack on sheet; lightly spray
rack with nonstick spray. Place
wings in large bowl; toss with
vegetable oil; season with
salt/pepper & place on sprayed
rack in even layer. Bake 40-50
minutes, turning halfway through
baking time. Combine BBQ sauce,
honey & cayenne sauce in small
pot over medium heat. Stir &
simmer sauce until thickened,
about 10-15 minutes. Set 1/2 C.
sauce aside. Place cooked wings in
large bowl & pour remaining sauce
over; tossing to coat. Place wings
back on rack & broil (about 4 inches
from heating element) about 2
minutes. Remove from oven, turn
over & brush with remaining sauce.
Broil an additional 1-2 minutes until
sauce caramelizes. Garnish with
green onions, if desired & serve
with ranch dressing. Serves 8

7 Layer Dip

1 (30 oz) can refried beans
1 T. water
3 avocados
1 T. lime juice
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. sour cream (not fat free)
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese*
4 green onions, chopped
1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives,

Mix beans & water together &
spread in a 8 X 8″ clear/round
dish or pan. Mash avocados with
lime juice, garlic powder & salt;
spread over beans. Mix sour cream,
mayo & taco seasoning mix & spread
over avocado layer. Spread cheese,
green onions, tomatoes & olives
on top. Cover & chill until ready to

*Poster used Pepper Jack &
Cheddar cheeses, shredded


Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, divided
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
4 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 tsp. apple pie spice, divided
2 apples, peeled/thinly sliced (like
Gala or Jonagold)
1 (2-layer) box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

whipped cream, for
topping, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 stick butter & brown sugar in
small saucepan; cook on medium heat
2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Stir
in 2 tsp. vanilla & 1 tsp. apple pie spice.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
spray & pour mixture into pan. Place
apple slices in an even layer on bottom
of pan. Beat cake mix, eggs, sour cream,
remaining 1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, 2 tsp.
vanilla & 2 tsp. apple pie spice in large
bowl using elec. mixer on Low speed
30 seconds or until just moistened.
Beat on medium speed 2 minutes &
pour batter over apples. Bake 25-28
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool in pan
on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert
onto a serving platter & spoon any
remaining sauce over apples. Serve
with whipped cream, if desired.

(recipe: Rhonda-Marys Recipe

Tex-Mex Wontons

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 of a (15 oz) can refried beans
1/2 pkt. taco seasoning mix
4 dozen wonton skins *

oil for frying

Suggested Toppings:
sour cream
In large skillet cook ground beef &
onion until meat is brown; drain. Stir
in taco seasoning & beans; mix well.
Place one wonton skin on work surface
with one point towards you (like a kite).
Spoon 1 tsp. meat mixture into center.
Fold bottom point over filling & tuck
point under filling. Fold corners over,
forming an envelope shape. Roll up
toward remaining corner. Moisten
point with a little water so it sticks &
press to seal. Repeat with rest of
wontons & filling. Heat oil in large,
deep skillet until hot; fry a few
wontons at a time, about 1 minute
per side. Drain on paper towels &
serve with sour cream, salsa or
guacamole. Makes 48

*you can find wonton wrappers in
the fresh vegetable section at
grocery stores – usually refrigerated)


Pull-Apart Strawberry Monkey Bread

2 (16.3 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
homestyle biscuits
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. sliced fresh strawberries PLUS
5 whole, cut in half (for garnish)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
spray. Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces &
place in large bowl. In small bowl combine
sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over biscuits &
toss gently until evenly coated. Add sliced
strawberries & vanilla to biscuits & toss
gently. Evenly place biscuit mixture into
prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes until
golden brown & dough is cooked in center.
Cool 10-15 minutes in pan then invert
onto serving platter. Cool completely.
When ready to serve, place a dollop of
Cool Whip on top & garnish with
strawberry halves. Serves 10



I was happy today to be able to locate the
person in charge of the miscarriage blankets;
took a few switches (via phone) to locate
the ONE nurse who handles it. She was
very nice and will be calling me back a
little later with three different sizes for
the blankets. I started one last night, it’s
a soft yellow, about 12 inches wide – will
knit it until it’s about 16″ long, then crochet
a white border around it. Still working on
the baby hats (I try for 25 each, newborn &
premies) before delivering them; so far I
have 10 premie & 9 newborn, so gotta get
crackin’ (so to speak)! My good friend (the
leader of my special needs group) did NOT
bring the yarn last night for the 2 hats for
her granddaughters, so I’ve got another
‘free’ week to knit whatever I want! Started
the dark brown crocheted border on the
Federal Blue baby blanket for my friend
who’s due in April – that’s got a bit more
work before it’s done.

Hope you’re having a great day!