Hello! The weather here in Michigan continues to baffle us – yesterday it was foggy, dreary, rainy which melted any snow on the ground. Last night we had high winds – today it’s lightly snowing, temp 17 degrees F. with a wind chill of -1 degree F.   go figure! I spent yesterday babysitting my grandson – turned out to be a good day (meaning he didn’t ‘challenge’ me – smart child!). Got 2 pairs of baby booties knit and some work done on the current baby blanket (nothing special, variegated yarn – another blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Center’s Mobile unit.)


(the site is still doing the teeny/tiny print so I’m typing each recipe which makes for double spaced lines – sorry)

Grandma’s Honey Muffins

2 C. flour

1/2  C. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg, room temp

1 C. 2% milk

1/4 C. butter, melted

1/4 C. honey

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Line 12 muffin cup tins with paper

liners or spray with nonstick cooking

spray. In large bowl combine flour,

sugar, baking powder & salt. In another

small bowl combine egg, milk, butter &

honey-stir into dry ingredients just until

moistened. Fill muffin cups 3/4ths full.

Bake 15-18 minutes until a toothpick

inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes before removing

from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Makes 12


Freezer Option:

Freeze cooled muffins in freezer

containers. To use: thaw to room

temp or, if desired, microwave each

muffin on High until heated through,

20-30 seconds.



(YAY – site is working again!)

Crockpot Lemonade Chicken

6 whole boneless skinless
chicken breasts
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate,
1 T. apple cider vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
Cooked rice or noodles to
serve 6-8
Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.
In medium bowl combine remaining
ingredients & pour over chicken.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours (or
High 3-4 hours) until chicken is
cooked through. Serve over cooked
rice or noodles.
Serves 6-8

Easy Sausage Quiche

1 (16 oz) pkg. pork sausage
4 green onions, sliced
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
2 C. Half & Half (or milk)
1 C. Bisquick baking mix

Suggested toppings:
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place sausage in a lightly greased
2 qt. round casserole dish*; top
with onions & cheese. In a bowl
beat eggs, Half & Half & Bisquick
using a wire whisk until well blended –
pour over cheese. Bake 45-50
minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes; cut into wedges.
Add toppings & serve. serves 4-6

NOTE: *you can substitute a 9 X 13″
baking dish for the 2 qt. round dish.
Bake 20-25 minutes.


Ground Beef Stuffed Pepper Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. diced green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced red bell pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
3/4 C. uncooked long grain white
2 C. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Colby-Jack
1 T. fresh parsley – garnish

In large skillet over medium heat
brown ground beef, onion & garlic
until meat is fully cooked, crumbled
& no longer pink. Drain. Place skillet
back on heat & add bell peppers, diced
tomatoes, rice, beef broth, tomato
paste, Ital. seasoning, salt/pepper –
stir to combine & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to simmer – cover &
cook 18 minutes until rice is cooked
through. Fluff rice with a fork & top
with shredded cheese. Cover, &
let cheese melt over Low heat.
Garnish with parsley. Serves 4-6


Farmhouse Pork Chop & Stuffing
(read ingredients first)

2-3 lb. 3/4″ pork chops
1 loaf bread, cubed/dried 12-24 hours
1 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 (soup can worth) milk
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Place a single layer of
2-3 lb. pork chops to dish. In large
skillet cook celery, onions & parsley
in butter; add bouillon cubes. Stir in
bread cubes. Add egg & 1/4 C. milk;
mix & spread over pork chops in dish.
In separate bowl mix both cans soup &
soup-can milk – pour evenly over top
of mixture. Bake 1 hour.
Pork chops should be a minimum of
145 degrees F.
in center using a meat
thermometer when done cooking.
The soup & stuffing mixture should be
set when casserole is done cooking.


Spicy Potato Soup

1 lb. ground beef
4 C. cubed/peeled potatoes
(1/2 inch cube)
1 small onion, chopped
3 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
4 C. water
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

In Dutch oven brown ground beef
over medium heat until no longer
pink; drain. Add potatoes, onion &
tomato sauce – stir in water, salt/
pepper & hot pepper sauce & bring
to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer 1 hour
until potatoes are tender & soup has
thickened. Serves 8 (2 qts)


 Crockpot Mexican Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 C. uncooked quinoa
2 (10 oz, ea) cans red enchilada sauce
(mild or medium)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 C. corn kernels, frozen or canned
1 red bell pepper, cored/seeded/diced
1 green bell pepper, cored/seeded/diced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. Cheddar-Jack cheese, shredded

Optional Toppings:
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onions
chopped black olives
chopped avocado

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat;
add ground beef, onion & garlic. Season
generously with salt/pepper & taco
seasoning -cook until beef is browned &
no longer pink & onions are translucent.
Spray a 3-4 qt. crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray; add skillet contents to
crockpot & all other ingredients except
cheese & toppings. Stir well. Cover &
cook on Low 5-6 hours (or High 3-4 hours).
When quinoa is soft & liquid has been
absorbed, stir well & top with cheese.
Cover & cook an additional 10-15 minutes
until cheese melts. Top with optional
toppings, if desired. Serves 8 generously


Easy Stuffed Mushrooms for 2

20 oz. white whole mushrooms
1/3 C. whipped cream cheese
1 T. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. (frozen, chopped/thawed/pressed
dry) spinach
1 T. panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
Remove mushroom stems (reserve for
another use). Brush off any dirt from caps
using a damp paper towel. In a small bowl
mix cream cheese, Parm. cheese, salt &
spinach. Fill openings of mushroom caps
with mixture. Lightly sprinkle Panko bread-
crumbs on top & place caps on sheet. Bake
15 minutes (juices will begin to pool at bottom
of mushrooms & top will begin to lightly brown.)
Remove from oven & serve hot.
Serves 2  (serving size will vary based on size
of mushrooms – you can double or triple the
quanities for more servings.) Cream cheese
mixture can be made ahead.


Cranberry/Pecan/Oatmeal Cookies

1 C. butter (2 sticks) softened

1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 C. uncooked oats

1 C. fresh cranberries, chopped

into small pieces

1 C. pecans, chopped

1 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl beat butter & sugars

until creamy. Mix in egg & vanilla –

beat until well combined. In another

bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon

& salt – add flour mixture to large bowl

& mix well. Stir in oatmeal then gently

stir in cranberries, pecans & choc. chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto

ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12

minutes until cookies start to brown

around edges. Remove to wire rack

to cool Makes 4 dozen.



Hope you are having a good day; not much
planned for the day – sometimes it’s nice to
just have a relaxing/casual day where you
can just do what you want without obligations.
I’m thinking dinner will be Pierogies & Sausage –
easy, quick & a family favorite.

Lately I’ve been reading ‘out of my norm’ –
checked out 2 books that are both fact –
one is a kind of history of the Smithsonian
“Dinosaurs in the Attic” : an excursion into
The American Museum of Natural History
and the other is
The Lost City of the Monkey God”
a book about a trek to Honduras in search
of a much talked about site: the
Lost City of the Monkey God.

Both books are written by one of my
favorite (fiction) writers: Douglas J. Preston
I kind of have to admit that both books are
rather ‘dry’, hence I find myself reading them
both – a little from one, then switch to the
other for awhile. I like reading factual books
as well as good fiction so we’ll see where
these go (and will I actually FINISH either
of them!???)

Stay warm (if you’re in a cold climate);




It’s Thursday . . .

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

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

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


Peanut Butter Fluff

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

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

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

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Pot Pie

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

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

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


Good Luck Pork & Cabbage

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

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


Ham a la King

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

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


Italian Potato Cakes
(uses leftover mashed potatoes)

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

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


Brown Sugar Pork Chops

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

lemon wedges & parsley sprigs;
optional garnishes

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

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


Crockpot Hearty Italian Beef Soup

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

For serving:
sliced French bread
Parmesan cheese (garnish)

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


Chunky Monkey Brownies

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

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



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

Stay healthy!



The beginning of another week . . .

After reading our weather report for the coming week I’m not too excited about Weds – Sunday; temps HIGH 31 with possible snow – ugh. Glad I finished my Christmas shopping (on Black Friday/on line) – there’s a few small things to still pick up but nothing big.


Orange Jell-O Pretzel Dessert

3/4 C. butter, melted
1 T. plus 3/4 C. sugar (divided)
2 C. finely crushed pretzels
2 C. boiling water
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. orange Jell-o
2 (8 oz, ea) cans crushed pineapple,
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Additional Cool Whip &
mandarin oranges – garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix melted butter & 1 T. sugar in a
bowl; stir in pretzels. Press mixture
into bottom of ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake 10 minutes – cool
completely on wire rack.
Pour dry Jell-o into large bowl; add
boiling water & stir 2 minutes to
completely dissolve. Stir in fruit &
refrigerate until partially set, about
30 minutes.
In a bowl beat cream cheese &
remaining sugar until smooth; fold
in 2 C. Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. Gently spoon Jell-o
mixture over top & refrigerate,
covered, until firm, 2-4 hours.
To serve:
Cut into squares, top with Cool
Whip & mandarin oranges.
Serves 12


Crockpot Sausage Breakfast

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen shredded
has brown potatoes
1 pkg. JIMMY DEAN hearty
original sausage crumbles
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Parmesan
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes packed
in oil; drained/sliced thin*
6 green onions, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Spray 6 qt (or larger) crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
half of potatoes on bottom. Top
with half sausage, both cheeses,
tomatoes & green onions – repeat
layer. Beat eggs, milk, salt/pepper in
large bowl using wire whisk, until
well blended – pour evenly over
mixture in pot. Cover & cook on
Low 8 hours or High 4 hours until
eggs are set.

*can substitute 1 C. chopped
fresh tomatoes for sun-dried.


Crab & Cream Cheese Dip

2 green onions, sliced thin/divided
1/2 C. finely chopped red bell
1 (8 oz) tub soft cream cheese
1 (6 oz) can lump crab meat,
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
1 T. Dijon mustard

crackers, for dipping

Set aside 2 T. sliced green onions.
Mix remaining onions with all
remaining ingredients (not crackers).
Refrigerate mixture at least 1 hour;
sprinkle top with reserved sliced
onions & serve with crackers.
Serves 18 (2 T. spread/5 crackers
per serving)

Cornbread Chicken Casserole

1 (8.5 oz) box cornbread mix (Jiffy)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (14 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 (4 oz) can green chilies, drained/
2 C. cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 C. salsa (your choice)
1 1/2 C. Mexican Four cheese blend,
1/3 C. milk
1 egg
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl stir milk, egg, butter & cornbread
mix until well incorporated. Pour into
prepared dish & bake 15-20 minutes until
just set. Combine enchil. sauce, salsa, green
chilies, corn, cumin & red pepper flakes in
a bowl. Remove cornbread from oven; poke
top of cornbread all over with a fork & pour
enchiliada sauce mixture over top. Spread
shredded chicken on top & sprinkle with
cheese. Bake another 15-20 minutes until
cornbread is cooked through & cheese is
melted. Remove & let cool 5-10 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro, if using & serve hot.
serves 6

Bacon “crack” Bites

1 pkg. bacon, strips cut in
half horizontally
32 Club (rectangular) crackers
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan
ground black pepper

Ranch salad dressing, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with
parchment paper & arrange
crackers on sheet. Sprinkle tops
with Parmesan. Tightly wrap each
cracker with bacon & place seam-
sides down, on sheet – top with
more cheese. Bake 48-50 minutes
until bacon is cooked through &
bites are crisp. Season with pepper
& serve with Ranch dressing for
dipping. Serves 6


Cheesy Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. dry minced onion
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes,
drained & pureed to desired
texture (using your blender)
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 C. dry lasagna noodles,
broken into pieces
salt/pepper, to taste

shredded mozzarella cheese –

In large pot brown ground
meat with garlic & onion; cook
until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth,
brown sugar, Ital. seasoning & salt/
pepper -stir to combine. Bring  mixture
to a boil; reduce heat to Medium &
simmer 15 minutes. Add lasagna
noodle pieces; cook until tender,
approx. 10-15 minutes more. Stir
in Parmesan cheese. Top with
mozzarella cheese when serving.
Serves 6-8


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
Optional toppings:
Ice cream
Whipped cream

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



Hope you are all well and beginning to
enjoy the Christmas Spirit! Remember –
don’t over-do it (ie: stop & get some rest
if you need it, drink water, etc.). This is
‘supposed’ to be a FUN thing, right?



LOTS of Crockpot Recipes!

Going over my recipes, I find I have an over-abundance of crockpot recipes. In order to ‘thin them down’ a bit, this post is ALL CROCPOT RECIPES!  Enjoy!


Crockpot White Bean Chicken Chili

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 1/4″ pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini
beans (white beans) drained/
rinsed – divided
2 1/2 C. chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:
sliced avocado
quartered cherry tomatoes
chopped cilantro

In large skillet heat 1 T. oil over
medium-high heat. Sprinkle
chicken with salt/pepper & saute
until browned – place in crockpot.
In same skillet heat remaining oil
& saute onion until tender. Add
jalapeno, garlic, oregano & cumin-
cook & stir 2 minutes & add to
crockpot. In a bowl mash 1 C. of
beans & stir in 1/2 C. broth; add
mashed bean mixture & rest of
beans to crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low until chicken is tender,
3 to 3 1/2 hours. Stir before
serving. Serve as is or with
desired toppings. Serves 6

NOTE: This chili can also be
frozen. Cool chili first & place
in freezer containers. To use:
partially thaw in refrigerator
overnight. Heat through in a
saucepan, stirring occasionally
& adding a little broth or water
if necessary.

Crockpot Ham & Potato Soup

8 C. russet potatoes, cubed (6-7
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cubed ham
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 1/2 C. heavy cream or Half & Half
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. flour
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes, ham, celery, carrots &
onion in crockpot – season generously
with salt/pepper then pour in chicken
broth. Cover & cook on High 4-5 hours
until potatoes are cooked through &
fork-tender. Lightly mash potatoes
(they don’t need to be smooth). In
small bowl whisk heavy cream & flour
until completely dissolved, then stir
into soup along with sour cream.
Cover & cook on High 15-20 minutes
until soup is hot & creamy. Ladle into
serving bowls & serve hot. Serves 6

Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

3 chicken breasts (can use frozen)
1/2 onion, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. water
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (4.3 oz, ea) boxes Rice-a-Roni Long
Grain & Wild Rice
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. New Orleans Cajun seasoning
2 C. Half & Half

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place chicken & onion
in crockpot  – sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Mix water, broth & soups together &
pour over chicken. Cover & cook on
Low 6 hours (or High 4 hours). Using
2 forks, shred chicken & stir back into
crockpot. Prepare boxes of Rice-a-
Roni accordg. to box directions; stir
into crockpot along with cheese, thyme,
Cajun seasoning and Half & Half – stir.
Cover & cook on High 20 minutes until
cheese has melted and Half & Half
is heated through. Stir & serve.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Once refrigerated, soup will
thicken up a lot – to serve, add a bit
of milk before reheating.

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

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

2 spaghetti squash – washed
1 C. chicken broth
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. heavy cream

Pour broth in crockpot. Cut squash
in halves; scoop out seeds with a
spoon (discard seeds); pierce halves
with a knife 5-6 times. Salt & pepper
insides & place, cut sides down, in
broth. Cook on High 4 hours. Carefully
remove halves & cool a few minutes.
Holding halves with a thick kitchen
towel, scoop out squash. (throw away
outer skin) Return scooped out portion
to crockpot. Add cheeses & stir well.
Cover & cook on High 5-10 minutes until
cheese melts. Stir in heavy cream & taste/
adjust seasonings, if needed. Serves 12

NOTE: this is a very cheesy dish – if you
don’t want it as cheesy, you may want to
reduce the amount at the end.

Crockpot Apple Dump Cake

1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1 (15.2 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. sugar
1 C. butter, melted

Optional toppers:
Serve with vanilla ice cream
or whipped cream (or plain)

Pour pie filling into crockpot, spread
evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over
pie filling; sprinkle dry cake mix on top.
Pour melted butter evenly over top.
Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 hours. (Middle
of cake will be moist & sticky but not
totally liquid). Serve hot or cold.
Serves 12

Crockpot Pecan Pie Cake

1 C. chopped pecans
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. flour
2 eggs
1/2 C. butter, melted
(optional: powdered sugar)

Mix pecans, brown sugar & flour
in a bowl. In another large bowl
beat eggs until they start to foam
a bit. Mix in butter then pecan
mixture, stirring until all is just
moistened. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray & spoon
batter into crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Cut & sprinkle
with powdered sugar (if using) before
serving. Serves 6

Crockpot Potato/Broccoli/Cheddar

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled/cut up
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 tsp)
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 stick of butter
1 (16 oz) block Velveeta cheese, cut into
1 tsp. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Place ALL ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on High 4-5 hours until
potatoes & broccoli are done. Stir &

(recipe: crockpot moms – facebook)

Crockpot Creamy Ranch Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 medium Russet potatoes, cut into
2 inch pieces
2 C. baby carrots
1 (23 oz) large can cream of chicken soup
1 (1 oz) pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. milk
fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Spray insides of large crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cut potatoes &
baby carrots in bottom. Lay chicken
breasts on top. In medium bowl whisk
soup, dry dressing mix & milk together;
pour evenly over chicken. Cover & cook
on High 5-6 hours or Low 8-9 hours.
When serving, top each portion with
chopped parsley, if desired. Serves 4

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (about 4), cut into smaller
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. canola oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 C. unsalted cashews

fresh veggies of your choice:
chopped bell pepper, broccoli,
snap peas, peas, carrots, water
chestnuts, etc.

your choice of cooked rice

Combine flour & pepper in ziplock
bag; add chicken & shake to coat.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high
heat; brown chicken about 2 minutes
on each side then place in crockpot.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup,
sugar, garlic, ginger & pepper flakes
in small bowl – pour over chicken.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours. Before
serving, steam your choice of veggies &
mix into crockpot. Add cashews & stir.
Serve with your choice of cooked rice.





Welcome, Monday!

It’s been a quiet weekend, not much going on (which is a GOOD thing!). Waiting for youngest son to come over and FINALLY enjoy his Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Cup ice cream cake! He’s busy and it’s been in our freezer since his birthday beginning of AUGUST!!! (fear not – it’s not freezer burned).


Caramel Apple Dip

1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. sugar
1 (16 oz) container caramel dip or
thick caramel sauce
1/2 C. toffee bits

Sliced apples, for dipping

Place cream cheese in medium bowl &
beat with elec. mixer until smooth &
creamy. Add sugar & beat until thoroughly
combined. Spread mixture in an even layer
in a 3-cup serving dish. Pour caramel dip/
sauce over cream cheese mixture – spread
in even layer. Top with toffee bits & serve
with sliced apples. Serves 8


Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
4 T. flour
4 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth
12-24 oz. pkg. tortellini

Place tomatoes in a blender;
add flour, butter, salt & a dash
or two pepper – blend until
very smooth. Pour mixture into
a large soup pot & bring to
boil over medium-high heat
while stirring. Reduce heat &
cook 2-3 minutes. Bring large
pot of water to a boil; add a
little salt & cook tortellini
so that tortellini are easy to
bite through, 2-3 minutes. Drain
pasta in colander & rinse under
cold water. Add Half & Half and
baking soda to pot with soup; stir
to combine. (it will froth up a bit)
Allow soup to cook & thicken,
stirring occasionally, about 8-10
minutes. Warm 1 cup chicken
broth in microwave & add to soup,
stirring to combine. Add tortellini
just before serving.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: If soup gets too thick add a
little more chicken broth.


Cider-glazed Chicken

3 T. unsalted butter, divided
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3/4 C. apple cider & 1 T. , divided
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
3 apples, cored/thinly sliced
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large OVEN-SAFE skillet melt 1 1/2
T. butterover medium heat; season
chicken generously with salt/pepper.
Cook,skin-side down, until golden, about
8 minutes. Turn chicken, add cider &
place pan in oven – roast 20 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate. Whisk mustard
& sage into cider drippings in pan – season
to taste with salt/pepper; pour sauce over

While chicken is cooking:
In another skillet, cook apples in remaining
butter over medium-high heat 5 minutes.
Add remaining tablespoon apple cider, turn
heat to High & cook 1-2 minutes more. Season
with salt & serve alongside the chicken.
Serves 4


Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

3 T. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Place all ingredients in small jar &
shake to combine. Use as you
would for store-bought pumpkin
pie spice. Store with tight lid, in
cool, dark pantry for up to 6 months.


Cracker Barrel Mashed Potatoes

6 large potatoes, peeled/cubed/boiled
1 (8 oz) can evaporated milk
1 stick margarine
salt/pepper, to taste

After potatoes are boiled & drained,
add margarine – a slice or two at a
time, to pot until all is melted – mix
well. Using an elec. mixer, whip
potatoes while adding a little
evap. milk at a time until creamy.
Season with salt/pepper. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

1 small onion, chopped
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans,
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn kernels
2 (10 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
with chilies
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chili
peppers, chopped
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers,
corn, tomato sauce, diced tomato,
cumin, chili powder & taco seasoning
in crockpot – mix well. Nestle chicken
into mixture in crockpot to completely
cover. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4-6 hours.
One half hour before serving:
remove chicken & shred – return to
crockpot & stir in. Top with fresh
cilantro. Serves 10


Cheese & Pumpkin-filled

1 (8 oz) pkg. manicotti shells
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1 C. canned pumpkin
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (24 oz) jar garlic spaghetti sauce,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook manicotti shells accordg.
to pkg. directions for al dente;
drain. In large bowl mix ricotta
cheese, 1 C. mozzarella cheese,
pumpkin, Parm. cheese, egg
yolks & nutmeg; spoon into
manicotti. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray
& spread 1 C. spaghetti sauce
into bottom of pan-spread out.
Top sauce with stuffed manicotti.
Pour remaining spaghetti sauce
over top & sprinkle with remaining
cheese. Bake, covered, 25-30
minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 7


Fruit & Yogurt Muffins

2 1/4 C. flour
2/3 C. brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
1/4 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. vanilla yogurt (or
your favorite flavor)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. dried fruit, your choice

1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 T. butter, softened

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 12-count muffin tin with
nonstick cooking spray OR line
with cupcake papers. In bowl
whisk flour, baking powder &
salt. In another bowl beat sugar &
eggs. Add in melted butter, vanilla,
yogurt & milk – beat until just
combined – do not over mix.
Fold in dried fruit & spoon batter
into prepared cups.

Combine all topping ingredients &
sprinkle on top of muffins. Press
lightly into dough. Bake 15-18
minutes until lightly brown.
Makes 12 muffins



Our weather is still holding out nicely: still
in the 70’s during the day (occasional rain)
but still really Fall-like. Lots of colorful leaves
on the trees and ground – makes you want to
go for the cider, doughnuts, caramel apples,
all things pumpkin, etc.

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!



Blessings – always welcome

Cold, rainy & gloomy today – High 40 degrees F. Well, it’s now Spring so guess we’ll just have to adjust – right?

On that note husband & I had to make a trip to the drug store to pick up some prescriptions. One of his prescriptions (a week ago) was deliberately left there. Why, you ask? Because when they told me it would cost $500.00 I chose to wait. After husband spoke to pharmacist about his particular drug insurance, today when we went back to pick his 2 and my 3 prescriptions the total for his was $00.00 and total of all costs for purchases (including a large bag of chips & two 2-liter bottles of pop) came to $21.00! THANK YOU, LORD! I will definitely take that blessing! I was really dreading us having that high of a bill every three months (Yes, I know that some of you might have that high a cost). So very grateful we didn’t. WHEW!


Luscious Layered Lemon Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. very finely chopped pecans
1/4 C. butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 small pkgs instant lemon pudding
1 T. lemon juice (optional)
3 C. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. finely chopped pecans (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine crust ingredients until
well blended & crumbly; press into
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish & bake
15 minutes. Cool completely.
Using elec. mixer, mix cream cheese &
powdered sugar until smooth & creamy.
Fold in 1 C. Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. NOTE: If your crust pulls
apart – it might be because your pecans
are a little coarse. Just work slowly; you
may have to use your fingertips to spread
cream cheese layer as best you can. Whisk
together pudding mixes & milk; add lemon
juice & stir until thick – spread over cream
cheese layer. Spoon remaining Cool Whip
over pudding & sprinkle top with a dusting
of chopped pecans. Refrigerate 4 hours
before serving.

NOTE: Poster says this recipe is even better
the next day – she often prepares 2 just for
this reason!


Melt-in-your-mouth Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. (plain) Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine Parmesan,
yogurt, garlic powder, salt/pepper
& spread over chicken. Bake 35
minutes until chicken is done.
Serves 4


Beef & Spinach Baked Rotini

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (1 lb, 8 oz) jar Ragu Chunky
Tomato/Garlic/Onion sauce
1 (6 oz) bag fresh spinach
2 C. water
1 C. ricotta cheese (about 8 oz)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) pkg. rotini pasta, uncooked
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese (about 3 oz)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground beef in large skillet
over medium-high heat; drain. Place
spinach in a skillet with 2 T. water &
cook (wilt) until soft. Combine sauce
& water in a large bowl; stir in cooked
beef, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan &
uncooked rotini. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray & pour mixture
into dish – spread evenly. Cover tightly
with foil & bake 55 minutes. Remove
foil & sprinkle top with mozzarella
cheese. Bake, uncovered, an additional
5 minutes until cheese melts. Let stand
5 minutes before serving.


8-Can Taco Soup

1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans,
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (15 1/4 oz) can sweet corn,
drained (whole kernel)
1 (12.5 oz) can chicken breasts,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
chicken soup
1 (10 oz. can green enchilada sauce
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 (1 1/4 oz) packet taco seasoning

corn chips
grated Cheddar cheese

Place all ingredients in large pot;
heat until warm, stirring occasionally.
Serve with tortilla chips & grated
cheese on top of each bowl, if desired.
Serves 7


Chive & Onion Hash Brown Potatoes

1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 (8 oz) tub spreadable
chive & onion cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated
shredded hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In Dutch oven combine first 5
ingredients; cook & stir over
medium heat until blended; stir
in potatoes. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
layer 1/3 of mixture & 2/3 C.
Swiss cheese in pan. Sprinkle
with 1 T. chives & repeat layers.
Top with remaining hash brown
mixture & cheese; dot with butter.
Cover with foil & bake 35 minutes.
Remove foil & bake 10-20 minutes
longer until edges begin to brown &
potatoes are heated through. Let
stand 10 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle top with remaining chives &
serve. Serves 12 (3/4 C. each)


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
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 C. salsa
2 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese
chopped cilantro – optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven
In medium bowl beat 1/2 C. melted
butter & 1/2 C. sugar; blend in 2
eggs & beat to combine. Pour 1
C. buttermilk into a 2 Cup glass
measuring cup. Add 1/2 tsp. baking
soda & stir to combine – add this to
butter/sugar mixture & stir to combine.
In separate bowl mix 1 C. flour, 1 C.
cornmeal & 1/2 tsp. salt – fold into
wet ingredients (do not over mix)
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread cornbread batter evenly
in pan. Bake 12-15 minutes until top
is set & slightly firm. (it should almost
be baked completely – make sure it’s
just about done before moving to next
step).  While cornbread is baking, heat
a large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat. Add ground beef, minced garlic,
onion & chopped bell peppers – sprinkle
with salt/pepper & 3 T. taco seasoning
mix – stir & cook until beef is cooked
through & no longer pink. Add enchilada
sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans &salsa
to skillet & stir to blend. Allow to simmer
& cook on Low heat 5 minutes. Carefully
pour mixture on top of corn bread. Sprinkle
top with shredded cheese & bake 5-8
minutes until cheese melts. Sprinkle top
with chopped cilantro, if using.
Serves 7-8

*If you don’t have buttermilk –
place 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
in a 2 Cup measuring cup & fill up
rest of cup with milk (to reach
1 cup). Stir & let stand 5 minutes-
now you have buttermilk!


Lofthouse Soft Frosted Cookies

3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. sour cream
1 egg

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. milk

In bowl whisk flour, baking soda &
baking powder. In another bowl beat
butter & sugar until fluffy; add egg,
vanilla & sour cream – mix until
combined. Gradually add in flour
mixture & beat until just combined.
(dough will be soft & sticky). Wrap
dough in plastic wrap & refrigerate
1-2 hours until firm.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment
paper or mats. Scoop dough by
tablespoons (approx. 2 T. per cookie)
& roll into a ball – place on sheet.
Lightly press down on each ball to
flatten just a bit – repeat with remaining
dough. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Let cookies rest on sheets a few minutes
before removing to wire rack to completely
cool before frosting.
Beat frosting ingredients until fully
combined & fluffy; frost cooled cookies
Makes approx. 18 cookies


Not much going on around here, tonight
is my special needs group’s Gym Night –
we have an activity-filled 1 1/2 hours
along with a special snack. The group
loves it as it gives them a chance to
mingle/interact without just the usual
sit-down Bible study (both are good,
this is just a little more loosely
structured – Fun Night).

Hope you’re having a good week;



Wet, gloomy day –

but finished another project! I had knit the teal scarf for the needy and had a little yarn left over so I knit a hat to go with it:


The burgundy yarn came in for the church Bible bookmark – I’m about one-third done with that (can’t remember whether the total length of the page was 13 or 16 inches! Ugh!)


Layered Lemon Delight

1 C. flour
1/2 C. ground or finely
chopped pecans
1/4 C. butter, melted

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 small boxes instant lemon
pudding mix
1 T. lemon juice
3 C. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. finely chopped pecans (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, pecans & butter in
bowl until well blended & crumbly;
press mixture into bottom of a
9 X 13″ baking dish – bake 15
minutes & cool completely

In medium bowl using elec. mixer
beat cream cheese & powdered
sugar until smooth & creamy. Fold
in 1 C. Cool Whip & spread over
crust. NOTE: work slowly – you
might have to use your fingers to
spread as best you can). Whisk
puddings & milk; add lemon juice
& stir until thick – spread over
cream cheese layer & spoon
remaining Cool Whip over pudding.
Sprinkle top with chopped nuts &
refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

NOTE from poster: she feels this
recipe is better the next day so
she makes it a day or two ahead
of serving.


1-Pan Taco Skillet

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or beef
2 bell peppers, seeded/diced
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. salsa
1 C. canned black beans,
drained/rinsed (poster used
about 1/2 can)
1 C. water
1 C. beef stock
1 C. long grain rice (not instant)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 C. grated/shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:
sour cream, guacamole, salsa,
crushed corn chips

Brown meat in skillet; add onion &
diced peppers – cook until meat is
completely browned. On medium
heat, stir in water, beef stock, salsa,
rice & beans. Stir in spices; cover &
simmer 15 minutes until rice is
completely cooked & liquid is absorbed.
Stir in cheese & top with your favorite
taco toppings. Serves 6


Crockpot Smoked Sausage/Cabbage &

1 1/2 lb. baby red potatoes
2 pkgs. smoked sausage, sliced
1 small head cabbage, chopped (6 C.)
4 C. chicken broth
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in 6 qt. crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 4-6


Country Farm Chicken Casserole

2 large chicken breasts
1 medium sweet onion, diced
5 slices bacon
2 large potatoes
1/2 C. canned mushrooms (or 1
C. fresh, sliced)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. melted butter
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook bacon, crumbled (reserve
grease). Peel/cube potatoes & fry
in bacon grease; add onions, mush-
rooms, salt/pepper/garlic powder & fry.
Coat chicken breasts with melted butter;
season with salt/pepper & cook. When
cooked, cut into cubes. Mix soup with broth
& season with salt/pepper to make a sauce.
Place chicken mixture in a 8 X 8″ baking dish;
top with sauce & stir so all is coated with
sauce. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil, top with crumbled bacon &
bake an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
Serves 4

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Crockpot Stuffed Sweet Peppers

3 medium sweet red peppers
2 medium sweet yellow peppers
1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce, divided
3/4 lb. Italian turkey sausage links,
casings removed
3/4 C. uncooked instant rice
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped tomato
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
2 T. sliced ripe olives
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Cut tops off peppers; chop tops/discard
stems & seeds. Set aside 3/4 C. spaghetti
sauce – pour remaining sauce in crockpot.
In large bowl combine sausage, rice, cheese,
onion, tomato, parsley, olives, garlic powder,
salt, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes & reserved
chopped pepper tops & spaghetti sauce – spoon
mixture into peppers then transfer peppers to
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours or
until sausage is no longer pink & peppers are
tender. Serves 5


Garlic Cheddar Quick Bread

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

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


Spicy Sausage Soup with Tortellini

2 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth
1 lb. bulk hot or mild Italian sausage
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted or
Italian diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 C. fresh spinach, thinly sliced

In 6 qt. stock pot bring broth to boil.
Carefully drop sausage by heaping
teaspoonfuls into boiling broth. Add
tortellini, tomatoes & Ital. seasoning,
return to boil. Reduce heat, simmer,
uncovered, 8-10 minutes until sausage
is cooked through & pasta is tender. Stir
in spinach until wilted. Serves 8 (3 qts)

NOTE: Freezer option:
Freeze cooked, cooled soup in freezer
containers. To use, partially thaw in
fridge overnight. Heat through in a
saucepan, stirring occasionally & adding
a little broth, if necessary.


Large Batch Brownies

2 C. butter, melted
4 C. sugar
1 C. cocoa powder
4 tsp. vanilla
8 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips (milk or

1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. cocoa powder
6 C. powdered sugar
10 T. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using stand mixer, place melted
butter, sugar, cocoa & vanilla in
bowl; beat on Low speed until
combined & smooth (about
1 minute). Add eggs, one-at-a-
time, mixing well between each
one. In separate bowl combine
flour & salt; add to batter & mix
on medium speed until smooth
(about 2 minutes); add chocolate
chips & stir until combined. Spray
a large cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. Scoop 3/4 C. of batter out of
bowl (into another bowl) & spread
rest of batter onto sheet – spread
evenly with a knife. (The remaining
batter can be baked in a loaf pan if
you wish). Do not add all batter to
cookie sheet – it will overflow)
Bake 25-30  minutes (be sure to
not over bake). Brownies are done
when a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
Place melted butter & cocoa in
large bowl; beat on medium speed
using elec. mixer until well combined.
Add powdered sugar in batches,
milk, vanilla & salt – mix until smooth
& glossy. Spread evenly over brownies,
slice & serve.


Our weather warmed up some today to
almost 50 degrees F – that’s HUGE in
Michigan at this time of year…however,
along with the warm came breezes & rain
which made you feel chilled. Husband &
I had doctors appointments today and
I was really glad to finally get home, get
a warm sweatshirt, slippers & blanket
around me so that I could snuggle in
my recliner & read a book – it was THAT
chilly! (Of course, that was after I’d
already had a nice warm cup of Chai
Latte tea!). I’m fine, health-wise (knew
I was but because I’m diabetic my doctor
insists on seeing me every 3 months (could
be something to do with my insurance,
also). Husband finally got meds to help
him recover from the bronchitis – YAY!
Being sick with that for a week would
make anyone cranky! Dinner is chili; I
made a big batch yesterday and there
should be enough for at least 3 more
days (I make BIG batches!).

I also made the Banana Chocolate Chip
cake I’d posted a few posts ago – it was,
in my opinion, OK.

Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake
with Chocolate Glaze

It required you cover
the baked bundt cake with a chocolate
drizzle – let’s just say drizzle & I were
NOT friends – I had it ALL OVER – on
my hands, the counter, the cake,
my apron – UGH! After tasting the cake
I see no reason for it to need drizzle!
Husband liked it, so that’s good… will
I make that recipe again? Probably not.

Hope you are all comfy, warm & enjoying
your day;





Gettin’ colder…Brrrrrrr!


Over the weekend our temperatures dropped – woke up to 20 degrees F. and about 1 inch of snow; the roads are clear, so that’s good. Supposed to go to the drug store today but I’ll make up my mind later (when it, hopefully, warms up a bit). (amendment: it’s now 17 degrees F. with wind chill – making it feel like 9 degrees F. BRRRRrrrr!

Saturday was the new grandson-to-be-born’s baby shower – they got lots of nice gifts. Here’s a photo of the soon-to-be new parents:


She’s due in 5 weeks or less (she said that the baby ‘dropped’ the night before the shower, so it could be less!) They are both thrilled and it shows.


Reese’s PBJ Cupcakes

1 1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. finely crushed graham crackers
1 T. baking powder
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1/3 C. shortening
1 1/3 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. milk
24 bite-sized chocolate covered
peanut butter cups, unwrapped
raspberry or strawberry jam

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 24 muffin cups with paper
liners. In medium bowl mix flour,
crushed graham crackers & baking
powder. In large bowl beat peanut
butter & shortening using elec.
mixer on Medium speed – mix well.
Add sugar until well mixed then add
eggs & vanilla. Alternate flour mixture
& milk, beating on Low speed after
each addition. Spoon 1 rounded
tablespoon of batter into bottom of
each muffin cup liner. Add 1 whole
peanut butter cup to each liner. Spoon
remaining batter into cups. Bake about
18 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into centers comes out clean (cupcakes
may have a slight indentation).
Cool on cooling rack & top with jam.
Makes 24


Easy Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1/2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, diced
1 (32 oz) can vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt

grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
sliced green onions, garnish

In heavy pot or Dutch oven heat
oil over medium heat; add onion &
garlic, cook until softened, 5 minutes.
Add cut up cauliflower & broth; bring
to boil & cover. Simmer 15-20 minutes
until cauliflower is softened. Carefully
pour contents into blender; add salt &
blend until smooth. Serve in bowls with
Parmesan cheese & sliced green onions
on top. Serves about 8


Crockpot Creamy Italian
Pork Chops

6 pork chops
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 dashes paprika

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place pork chops
in bottom & cover with onions, In
small bowl mix Italian salad dressing
mix & soup together & pour over
chops & onions. Sprinkle with a
couple pinches of paprika. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours. Serves 6


Cheesy Broccoli Rice with Ham

1 T. olive oil
1 C. long-grain white rice
2 1/4 C. chicken broth
2 small heads broccoli,
chopped into small pieces
2 T. butter
3 C. cooked, diced ham, hot
(warm in microwave a few minutes)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
splash of milk, as needed

Heat oil in medium saucepan over
medium heat. Add rice; stir to coat.
Toast the rice, stirring often, just until
it starts to turn golden. Pour in broth,
bring to boil; turn heat to Low & cover.
Cook, covered, 10 minutes. After 10
minutes add broccoli to rice & continue
cooking 5-10 minutes until most of liquid
has been absorbed.(Broccoli will cook
5-10 minutes & steam for 5). If you like
it more tender, add to pot of cooking
rice sooner. Remove from heat; add
butter, ham, cheese & garlic powder.
Stir until well incorporated. Cover &
let stand 5 minutes. Stir again & adjust
seasoning, if needed. Add a splash of
milk if you would like to thin out
texture a little bit. Serves 4


French Onion Chicken Noodle

4 C. cooked chicken, diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 (16 oz) jar French Onion dip
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes
& chilies, drained (Optional)
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles
1 1/2 C. French Fried onions,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Cook egg noodles
accordg. to pkg. directions; drain.
In large bowl combine chicken,
soup, dip, Ro*Tel & cheese. Gently
fold in cooked egg noodles & pour
into prepared pan. Top with crushed
French fried onions & bake 25-30
minutes until heated through.
Serves 8


Crockpot Pot Roast & Veggies

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

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


Seven Layers of Heaven Dessert

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 C. sweetened flaked coconut
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. peanut butter chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk (not evap. milk)
1 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour melted butter evenly over
bottom of 8″ square baking dish.
Spread graham crumbs evenly
over butter. Layer with coconut, then
choc. chips, peanut butt. chips. Drizzle
sweeten’d cond. milk over top &
sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 30-40
minutes until lightly browned. Cool
then cut into bars. Serves 16



So far, this week is looking OK – nothing
‘special’ (yet) – Knit Night Tues., Spec’l
needs group Weds – that’s it! (Of course,
we know that could change . . . )

Enjoy your day – stay warm (if you need
to) and take a little time to relax!



PS: Gas prices are down to $2.16/9 – WOW!

Up & At Em EARLY today!


Today found me rising at 6:30 a.m. – middle son needed me to give him a ride home after dropping off his car for some routine maintenance (not used to rising that early, but with a cup of coffee I was ‘good to go’). Managed to get the greeting cards & envelopes ORDERED! YAY! I ended up calling the company and spoke to a VERY nice young man who gave me the information I needed; my special needs ‘kids’ really struggled with that last greeting card because it had a glossy finish on the inside of the card – I wanted to MAKE SURE these cards didn’t have that (wasn’t sure looking at their site). He assured me that the insides are matte finish and, after telling him what we specifically wanted the front black & white for (so the recipient could color their own card) he suggested we make the front matte finish, also – SO GLAD I called them! Order is placed and I’m super happy.

PS: Just in case you might find yourself needed a good printing company, I would highly recommend:

Tomorrow is my yet-to-be-born grandson’s Baby Shower and I’m freaking out about finding the place – read that: I HATE EXPRESSWAYS! Husband gave me directions (not on expressway) on how to find it but I find myself still worrying that I might get lost. I don’t know about you, but I’ve NEVER been comfortable driving to new places – especially if they involve either expressways OR roundabouts! Went to the dollar store today to get a big paper gift bag for the rest of the baby gifts – again, don’t know about you, but I really don’t enjoy baby showers . . . too much AHhhhhhhh, Ooooooooo, look at all the CUTE things! Guess I’m just a ‘standard issue’ grandma: just give me the baby & I’ll watch it. I’d much rather just give the gifts to the parents and avoid a shower but no-can-do this time so it’s “BUCKLE UP, BUTTERCUP – here comes the shower!” Sigh …


Cherry Pie Sheet Cake

1 3/4 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
4 eggs
3 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling
2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. milk
1 tsp. almond extract
dash salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cream together sugar & softened
butter until light & fluffy – about
2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
making sure to scrape bottom of
bowl so all ingredients are well
combined. In separate bowl combine
flour, salt & baking powder – add to
creamed mixture & mix 1-2 minutes
until smooth & glossy. Spray a large
cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
Spread 2/3 of batter into pan & smooth
out evenly. Carefully spoon both cans
of pie filling on top of batter & smooth
out evenly. Drop remaining cake
batter by spoonfuls onto pie filling &
spread out with a knife. Bake 35-40
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean & top is golden
brown. Allow cake to cool completely.
In medium bowl combine powdered
sugar, milk, almond extract & salt – whisk
with a fork until smooth then drizzle
over top of cooled cake.
Makes 24 servings


Citrus Chicken & Rice Soup

1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. celery, diced
1/2 C. onion, diced
1/4 C. scallion bottoms (save
1 C. carrots, diced
1/2 C. uncooked white rice
zest from 1 naval orange
6 C. chicken stock, divided
2 eggs
1/4 C. orange juice
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. lime juice
dash hot sauce (optional)
2 C. cooked chicken, broken into
bite-sized pieces
1 C. frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
sliced scallions (tops/green parts)
for garnish

in 5  qt Dutch oven heat oil over
medium-high heat; add celery,
onion, scallion bottoms & carrots –
saute 3 minutes. Add rice & orange
zest; cook 1 minute. Reserve 1 C.
stock & pour rest into pot; bring to
boil. Lower heat to Low, cover & cook
10 minutes. While rice is cooking, whip
the eggs until frothy; add to 1 C. reserved
stock. Add juice from orange/lemon/lime
& stir. After 10 minutes remove lid & add
cooked chicken, green peas & cilantro –
heat to hot, almost boiling. Remove from
heat & ladle out a few cups of hot broth
into egg & juice mixture then slowly add
back into hot soup, stirring while adding.
Heat soup to serving temperature & remove
from heat. Add optional hot sauce & serve
with chopped cilantro & scallion tops.
Serves 6-8


Cheesy Cabbage Casserole Skillet

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small head cabbage, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 2/3 C. water
salt/pepper, to taste

Brown ground beef & onion in large
skillet over medium-high heat until
beef is no longer pink & onions are
tender. Drain; season with salt/pepper.
Stir in cabbage, diced tomatoes &
tomato sauce; cook over medium heat
until cabbage is just tender. Add rice &
water, increase heat & bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover with
tight-fitting lid – simmer 25 minutes
without removing lid, until rice is
tender & most liquid has been
absorbed. Remove skillet from heat;
sprinkle top with cheese. Replace lid,
allow cheese to melt completely.


Crockpot Homestyle Pork Chops

1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6-8 boneless pork chops
2 T. oil
1 (10.5 oz) can chicken broth

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Mix flour, mustard,
salt & garlic powder in flat pan (like
a pie pan). Lightly coat chops in flour
mixture (reserve remaining flour
mixture). In large skillet add oil
& brown chops over medium-high
heat. Mix broth with remaining flour
mixture & pour into crockpot. Place
browned chops in crockpot, cover &
cook on High 2 1/2 hours.
Serves 6


Quick Peach Cobbler

1/2 C. butter, melted
1 (15 1/4 oz) can sliced peaches,
drained (reserve 1/4 C. juice)
1 1/4 C. sugar, divided
1 C. flour
1 C. milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour butter into a shallow
2 qt. baking dish. In saucepan,
bring peaches & juice just to a
boil. In bowl, combine 1 C. sugar,
flour, milk, baking powder & salt-
mix well then pour over butter
in dish. Spoon hot peaches over
batter & sprinkle top with
remaining sugar. Bake 25 minutes
until cake tests done. Serve warm
Serves 6-8


Pizza Sandwich Casserole
(party recipe-serves 12)

1/4 C. butter
1 pkg. dinner rolls
2 C. shredded or sliced
mozzarella cheese
small pkg. sliced pepperoni
1/4 C. tomato sauce
2 tsp. ground oregano

Place butter in saucepan
on medium heat; remove from
heat once melted (to prevent
scorching). Slice buns across the
middle (horizontally) – set tops
to the side. Spread tomato sauce
on bottom sections & place in
9 X 13″ baking dish. Spread 1 C.
mozz. cheese on top of sauce;
layer pepperoni to make one full
layer on top of cheese; sprinkle
with remaining 1 C. mozz. cheese.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Place tops back on & drizzle with
melted butter. Sprinkle on oregano
& cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes
until cheese is melted & butter has
been fully absorbed, making golden
tops. Cut into portions & serve.
Serves 12

NOTE: These can be made ahead of
time & refrigerated. After preparing
& covering with foil; refrigerate until
ready to cook.


‘Rotisserie Chicken’ Nachos

1 (4 lb) rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 bag restaurant-style tortilla chips
1 (15 oz) can refried beans
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)
2 T. diced red onion (garnish)

2 T. olive oil
1 C. diced onion
1 large fresh jalapeno, stemmed/
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can diced tomato with juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Optional toppings:
sour cream

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Fill large oven-proof skillet with
tortilla chips. Prepare salsa by
sauteing Jalapeno & diced onion
in olive oil several minutes until
tender. Add garlic & saute 1-2
minutes. Add remaining salsa
ingredients & bring to boil. Simmer
over Low heat, uncovered, 5-10
minutes. Heat refried beans in a
microwave-safe bowl. Warm
shredded chicken in microwave. Drop
dollops of refried beans over top
of tortilla chips in pan. Layer warm
salsa over beans & layer chicken
over salsa. Layer both cheeses over
chicken & bake 5-7 minutes until
cheese is melted. Remove from oven
& sprinkle with cilantro & red onion.
Serve immediately. Serves 6-8


Easy Mini Apple Strudels

6 medium Granny Smith apples,
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. raisins
1/4 C. sliced almonds
10 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 (16 oz) pkg. phyllo dough
extra sugar for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with
parchment. Place apples in large
bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice &
toss to coat. Add raisins, almonds,
cinnamon, flour & sugar – toss to
combine well. Melt butter.
For Each Strudel:
4 sheets phyllo, layered.
Brush first sheet with butter, lay
another sheet on top & brush with
butter – repeat until there are 4 sheets
layered. Place about 1/3 C. filling in
top third of layered sheets – fold on
long sides of sheets towards the center,
then roll from short side & place in pan,
seam-side down – repeat until all filling
is used up. Brush each strudel with
remaining butter & sprinkle tops with
sugar. Bake 30 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 8

(Poster noted she got 8 strudel with some
leftover phyllo – you probably won’t use
the entire box)



Today we have 31 degrees F., cold &
breezy with tiny granules of snow –
yes, it’s sticking to the ground but for
now it’s not accumulating, so that’s OK.

Hope you have a GREAT day;



New Projects! (and you know how much I LOVE them!)


Last night was my special needs group; one of our young men who is in a wheelchair & disabled had some recent medical procedures done so we wanted to send him a get well card. I went into my card ‘stash’ and got a generic get well card & brought it for the entire group to sign – not paying attention to the fact that this particular card was shiny INSIDE, making it extremely difficult to use an ink pen on! I had kids coming to me constantly: “This pen doesn’t work, have you got another one?” (it wasn’t the pen – it was the goofy card!). At the end of the evening one of our leaders threw out the idea that perhaps we should attempt to design our OWN get well card! If you know me, you know I LOVE a challenge so last night & today saw me searching various sites for a FREE design your own greeting card. It was suggested that we use a black & white front design that the kids might color (good idea) – I found this one which is also our group Bible verse:


The inside reads:

Hope you feel better soon;
we’re all praying for you.

Love and prayers from
all your friends in the
“Friends Group”

This has been an ‘interesting’ adventure – found a great site but I couldn’t reduce the size of the front picture to fit THEIR format (sigh), several more that were very confusing. So far, the site I chose seems reasonable: $42.30 for 50 cards (the cost needs approval by the other board members) – found a site that has the right sized envelopes (press & seal) $14.95 for 50 so now it’s wait & see what the board thinks.

Yesterday was a day that felt like I needed to make some changes – ever have one of those? It started when I realized I needed to get all the various baby gifts in ONE place to wrap for Saturday’s baby shower (they were in closets, drawers, etc.) Upon doing that I decided to get the house bills done & in order – finished that. Sitting down to do a light bit of knitting got me started thinking of another ‘project’ I came up with: knitting a bookmark for the big Bible at the front of our church; it rests on a oak ‘altar’ (for want of a better name-a big flat table) and is placed on an oak book holder – all rather ‘blah’ – no color. The sanctuary of our church was entirely remodeled last year and now is in various shades of browns & creams – not much ‘pop of color’ so to speak. That got me to thinking: What color would go with the browns & creams and yet not distract from the message? I just placed an order for some burgundy sport-weight yarn – am going to knit a bookmark with that. One of my friends asked: “Did you ask permission for doing that?” NOPE – am going to attempt it – if I think it looks good I’m just going to put it on the Bible and see what happens (aren’t I a rebel?!) I’m guessing, if they don’t like it, it will just vanish – I don’t care…we’ll just ‘wait & see’!


Kathy’s Chocolate Chip Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) box instant chocolate
pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 C. water
3/4 C. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chocolate chips

Ganache (chocolate frosting)

1 C. Half & Half or heavy cream
2 C. chocolate chips
1 T. melted butter
1 T. dark rum

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all cake
ingredients except choc. chips.
Spray & flour a 10″ Bundt cake
with nonstick spray & flour
(tap out any loose flour);
pour batter into pan, spreading
evenly. Bake 45-50 minutes in
center of oven until a wooden
toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool 10
minutes then invert onto wire
rack & cool to room. temp.
Transfer cake to a serving plate.
Heat cream to hot & remove from
heat just as it begins to start to
boil; do not let it boil.
Add chocolate & let stand 5 minutes
then stir using a whisk to melt all
chocolate. Add butter & rum, whisk.
Cool slightly (5-10 minutes) then
drizzle over cake top covering as
much of surface as possible, letting
it drip down sides of cake.
Serves 12


Crockpot Broccoli Beef

2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced &
cut into 2″ strips
5 C. fresh broccoli cut into florets
1 1/2 C. beef broth
2/3 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. peanut oil
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes,
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper,
to taste

(I would recommend serving this
over cooked rice)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Add steak strips, beef broth, soy
sauce, brown sugar, garlic, peanut oil &
red pepper flakes (if using). Cover & cook
on High 2 hours until steak is cooked
through but still tender (or Low 4-5 hours).
After 2 hours cooking, whisk cornstarch &
water in small bowl then stir into beef
mixture. Stir in broccoli & cover. Continue
cooking 20-25 minutes until broccoli is
fork-tender. Spoon beef & broccoli into
bowls – serve hot. Serves 6


Cheesy Zucchini Quiche

Pastry for single-crust (9 inch)
3 T. butter
4 C. thinly sliced zucchini (about
3 medium)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
2 tsp. prepared mustard

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Roll dough on lightly floured
surface to 1/8 inch thick circle;
transfer to 9 inch pie plate. Trim
pastry to 1/2 inch beyond rim
of pan & flute edges. Refrigerate
dough while preparing filling.
In large skillet heat butter over
medium heat; add zucchini & onion-
cook & stir until tender; drain &
cool slightly. In large bowl whisk
eggs & seasonings until blended;
stir in cheese & zucchini misture.
Spread mustard over pastry shell &
add filling – spread out evenly.
Bake on lower oven rack until a
knife inserted into center comes
out clean & crust is golden brown,
35-40 minutes. If needed, cover edges
loosely with foil during last 15 minutes
of baking to prevent overbrowning.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 8

Pastry Crust for Single 9″ pie crust

1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter
3-5 T. ice water

Combine flour & salt; cut in cold
butter until crumbly. Gradually add
ice water, tossing with a fork until
dough holds together when pressed.
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate
1 hour before using.


Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

2 C. diced/peeled butternut squash
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. vegetable broth, divided
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. minced fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
sauce, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
2 C. fresh baby spinach
fresh sage – optional

In large saucepan saute squash,
carrot, onion & cumin in oil 10
minutes. Add garlic; cook 1
minute longer. Add 1 1/2 C.
broth & bring to boil. Reduce
heat; cover & simmer 10-12 minutes
until vegetables are tender; cool
slightly. Transfer mixture to blender;
add tomatoes, cream cheese, basil,
chipotle pepper & remaining broth.
Cover & process 1-2 minutes until
smooth. Return mixture to saucepan;
stir in beans, corn & spinach. Cook & stir
until spinach is wilted & soup is
heated through. If desired, sprinkle
with fresh sage. Serves 5


Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

12 lasagna noodles
3 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. mozzarella cheese

2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 egg
1 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice
5 C. finely chopped spinach

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil lasagna noodles accordg.
to pkg. directions to al dente (do
not cook all the way through). Place
them in a strainer & run cold water
over them. Mix all filling ingredients
in large bowl – make sure to combine
fully. Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Pour about 1 C. spaghetti sauce
in pan & spread around to cover bottom.
Lay one lasagna noodle on a plate; using
a spoon, spread filling over top of noodle
& roll up. Place rolled up noodle, seam-
side down, in pan & repeat. Pour remaining
spaghetti sauce over top of rolls &
sprinkle with 1 C. mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil & bake 45 minutes until
cooked through. (you might want to remove
foil & place under broiler to brown tops –
make sure you watch it so they don’t burn)
Makes 12 rolls


Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

1 C. oatmeal
1/3 C. almonds, chopped
1/3 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1 T. ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 C. nut butter (peanut or almond)
1/4 C. honey
1 T. chia seeds
1/3 C. dried cranberries, roughly

Bake oatmeal, almonds & coconut
8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. ,
stirring after 5 minutes. Allow mixture
to cool. In medium bowl microwave
the nut butter 20-30 seconds until
runny. Add baked mix along with
flax seed, honey, chia seeds & cranberries
to bowl. Mix & form into 1 1/2 inch
balls. Place on a cookie sheet &
refrigerate. Store in airtight container,
refrigerated, up to one week or freezer
for 3 months. Makes 16


Crockpot Easy Shredded Pork

5 lb. pork shoulder (can use
pork loin but you may need
to reduce cooking time)
steak seasoning – to taste

serve on buns with your
favorite BBQ sauce

Sprinkle steak seasoning liberally
over shoulder – rub into meat then
place in crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 8-10 hours until it is ‘fork-
tender’. Shred meat using 2 forks.
Serves 10


“I Could Eat the Whole Pan” Casserole

1 (fully cooked) roaster chicken/chicken
pieces removed & bones discarded
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
Ritz crackers (about 1 sleeve), crushed
poppy seeds
1/2 stick butter, melted
salt/fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & place chicken pieces on bottom.
In small bowl mix sour cream & soups –
spread mixture over chicken & season
with salt/pepper. Top with crushed
crackers & sprinkle poppy seeds over top.
Pour melted butter over top & bake
20-30 minutes until it starts bubbling.
Serves 4


Cannoli Dip

2 C. heavy cream
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. whole ricotta cheese
1 C. mini chocolate chips
2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

10 broken cannoli shells (or
you could use sugar ice cream

Beat cream cheese & sugar together;
fold in other ingredients. Serve with
cannoli shells (or cones) Serves 8


Double Butterscotch Cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. shortening
4 C. packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 T. vanilla
6 C. flour
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. English toffee bits (10 oz)
OR almond brickle chips (7.5 oz)
1 C. finely chopped pecans

In large bowl beat butter, shortening
& brown sugar 2 minutes until mixture
resembles wet sand. Add eggs, one at
a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking
soda, cream of tartar & salt; gradually
add to brown sugar mixture & mix well.
Stir in toffee bits & pecans. Shape into
three 1/4 inch rolls (mixture will be slightly
crumbly). Wrap each roll in plastic wrap &
refrigerate 4 hours until firm.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unwrap rolls & cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray &
place slices 2 inches apart on sheets. Bake
9-11 minutes until lightly browned. Cool
1-2 minute before removing from pans to
wire racks to cool. Makes about 7 dozen



Our weather is still goofy – it’s been rather
gray & blah with temperatures in the 40’s
(but really feels like it’s about 32 degrees F.)
It’s currently 36 degrees F. but with the wind
chill it feels like 26 degrees – BRRrrrrrrrr!
We’re supposed to get drizzle & some snow,
but reading through the reports, it doesn’t
sound like it’s really going to amount to
anything (YAY!) with reports of: “Chance
of precipitation 30%” Wind gusts as high
as 24 mph – oh, fun… Was ‘going’ to go
out shopping but think I’m going to just
stay inside until tomorrow – I’m warm &
happy right now – don’t want to rock the

Hope things are going well for you; hope
you are in good health, warm & happy.
(See? You didn’t know that I just became
your Mother or Grandmother! or at
least I ‘sound’ like one, right? Remember
to wear your warm scarf & bundle up
tight!”) Hehehe – gotta ‘play the part’
since my name IS Grammypammie!