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

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

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.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

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.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)

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

(recipe: allfreecopycatrecipes.com)

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

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)


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!

(recipe: happyhooligans.ca)

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

(recipe: normalcooking.com)

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.

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)

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

(recipe: food.com)

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)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Southwest Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread layer:
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt

Meat mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
3 T. taco seasoning
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!

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

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.

(recipe: happyhooligans.ca)

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

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

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

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

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.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

(recipe: sewlicioushomedecor.com)

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

(recipe: yummyhealthyeasy.com)

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

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

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

(recipe: delish.com)

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

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

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

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)


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:   http://www.PsPrint.com

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

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

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.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

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

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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.

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

‘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

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

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)

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)


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

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

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

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

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.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

(recipe: thecreativebite.com)

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

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

“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

(recipe: jamhands.net)

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

(recipe: delish.com)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


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!





Today is my husband’s 65th birthday – he is not one to want any big deal made of it; cake & a present are fine for him. (don’t even wrap the present, no card – all on the ‘down low’). I gave him 2 new long-sleeved ‘church’ shirts and just finished popping his favorite cake (Banana w/Cream Cheese frosting) in the oven. I’d forgotten just how time-consuming/multi bowls/steps making a cake from scratch can be! I’m Bushed! (and the frosting is still yet to be made!). Earlier I went to Meijer to grab some garlic parmesan Alfredo sauce to go with the stuffed chicken breasts for dinner. His favorite dinner is Meat & Potato Pie (a huge meatloaf frosted with mashed potatoes & topped with melted sharp Cheddar Cheese) – we just had meatloaf a few nights ago so I decided to switch it up a bit (he likes this dinner, also).

Our weather is really goofy – it’s been that way now for almost this entire month. It was ‘supposed’ to be in the high 40’s today; when I went to Meijer at around 12:30 p.m. it was 39 degrees F., windy and raining – REALLY chilly! Oh well . . . better than snow I guess, right?


For those of you who MIGHT ENJOY making a cake from scratch, here’s my recipe:

Banana Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/8 C. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*


1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 275 degrees F. **
Grease & flour either: (a) one 9 X 13″
baking dish OR (b) two 9″ round baking
Mix mashed banana with lemon juice in
small bowl. In medium bowl mix flour,
baking soda & salt. In large bowl cream
butter & granulated sugar. Beat in eggs
one-at-a-time then stir in vanilla. Beat
in flour mixture gradually with buttermilk.
Stir in banana mixture & pour into pan(s).
Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted
into center of cake comes out clean.
(this will make the cake very moist)

In large bowl cream butter & cream
cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla &
add powdered sugar gradually. Beat at
LOW speed until fully combined then on
High until smooth. Frost cake.

(recipe: allrecipes.com/recipe/8333/banana-cake-vi/

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Using a 2-cup measuring cup add 1 T. lemon
juice or vinegar. Pour milk into cup to reach
1 1/2 cup mark. Stir with fork & let stand
5 minutes – now you have buttermilk!

**I baked  mine in two 9″ round pans &
at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes.

NOTE: This makes a VERY dense cake

Brocccoli, Sausage, Pasta Simmer

3 C. uncooked spiral pasta
2 lb. smoked kielbasa or Polish
sausage, cut into 1/4″ pieces
2 medium bunches broccoli, cut
into florets
1 C. sliced red onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes,
2 T. minced fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried
2 T. minced fresh parsley or 2 tsp.
2 tsp. sugar

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In Dutch oven saute sausage, broccoli
& onion 5-6 minutes until broccoli is
crisp-tender. Add tomatoes, basil,
parsley & sugar. Cover & simmer 10
minutes. Drain pasta & stir into
sausage mixture. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Bart’s Black Bean Soup

1 (15 oz) can black beans,
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. chunky salsa
1/2 C. (canned) whole kernel
corn, drained
dash hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. lime juice
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar
2 T. chopped green onions

In microwave-safe bowl combine
first 5 ingredients. Cover & micro-
wave on High 2 minutes until
heated through. Pour into 4
serving bowl & drizzle each with
lime juice. Sprinkle with cheese &
green onions. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Easy Sticky Chicken

3-5 lb. bone-in chicken,
skin on (legs & thighs)
1 C. ketchup
1 C. honey
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In sauce pot combine ketchup,
honey, brown sugar, soy sauce &
garlic powder over medium heat;
bring to boil while stirring – remove
from heat. Arrange chicken pieces
in 9 X 13″ baking dish. Pour entire
sauce over chicken, turning pieces
with tongs to fully coat. Bake 45
minutes (uncovered); turn pieces
& continue baking 30 minutes longer.
Fifteen  minutes before serving, turn
pieces one more time & baste with

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)

Crockpot Beef Stew

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
1 inch cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 1/2 C. beef broth
3 potatoes, peeled/diced
4 carrots, peeled/ sliced

Using gallon-sized ziplock bag,
mix flour, salt/pepper. Pour
meat into bag & shake until
well coated then place meat in
crockpot (discard bag). Stir garlic,
paprika, Worc. sauce, onion, broth,
potatoes & carrots into crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on
Low 8-10 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: juleseatsandtreats.com)

Egg Rolls in a Bowl!

1 T. sesame oil
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 T. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 C. shredded cabbage (about
1 small head)
2 large carrots, shredded (2 C.)
4 oz. rice noodles
3 green onions, thinly sliced

additional soy sauce, if desired

In large skillet heat oil over
medium-high heat; cook & crumble
pork until browned, 4-6 minutes.
Stir in soy sauce, garlic & seasonings.
Add cabbage & carrots; cook 4-6
minutes until vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Cook rice noodles
accordg. to pkg. directions; drain &
immediately add to pork mixture,
tossing to combine. Sprinkle with
green onions. (serve with additional
soy sauce, if desired. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

3-ingredient Chili Cheese Dip

1 (15 oz.) can Hormel Turkey
chili (with or without beans)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cut
into cubes
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

tortilla chips – for dipping

Combine all ingredients in micro-
wave safe bowl. Microwave on
High 2-3 minutes; stir & continue
to microwave in 30-second
intervals until all cheese is melted
& chili is heated through. Serve
warm with tortilla chips.

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

Meatball-stuffed Biscuits

1 (12 oz) tube Pillsbury Grands
Jr golden layers refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
10 frozen fully-cooked Italian-style
meatballs, thawed, cut in half
4 sticks string cheese (mozzarella)
about 3 oz, cut each into 5 pieces
1 T. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. marinara sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate biscuits, cut each in half
(you should have 20 pieces). Gently
roll biscuit piece into a ball & flatten
in palm of your hand. Place 1 piece
string cheese (you may need to
flatten) & one meatball half in
biscuit – wrap remaining dough
around & seal edges. Place, seam-
sides down, in 9 inch round cake
pan – repeat for remaining meatballs.
Lightly spray tops with nonstick
cooking spray or lightly brush with
oil or melted butter. Sprinkle tops
with Parm. cheese, garlic powder &
Italian seasoning. Bake 18-23 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm
with marinara sauce.

(recipe: amadascookin.com)

Twisted Strawberry Shortcake
(like a trifle)

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
1 qt (4 C.) cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 oz) prepared angel food
cake, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. orange juice
3 C. sliced fresh strawberries
5 oz. white chocolate, grated/

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large
bowl using a whisk for 2 minutes;
gently stir in Cool Whip. Place cake
cubes in large bowl & drizzle orange
juice over cake & toss to coat. Place
half of cake cubes in deep glass
serving bowl; cover with layers of
half each: pudding mixture, straw-
berries & chocolate. Top with layer
of remaining cake cubes, pudding
mixture, strawberries & chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before
serving. Store leftovers in fridge.
Makes 20 (1/2 C. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

I noticed that gas prices have dropped a little,
again; now we’re down to $2.19/9 for regular
(that’s from $2.39/9 a week ago!) YAY!

Not much else pressing for the moment;
our ‘soon-to-be’ grandson’s baby shower
is this coming Saturday. (I still have to
remember to get a big ‘baby shower’ bag
to put the ‘stuff’ in). It’s hard for me to
grasp that very soon we will have a newborn
in the family – it’s been 10 years since my
first grandson (and the baby’s older brother!).
Not worried about my ‘baby care-giving’ skills;
it might have been 10 years but I think I’ve
got this one covered (that’s 3 adopted sons,
14 foster children, running my own baby/infant
day care for 3 years plus working in the church
baby nursery for years . . . yep, think I got this one)

Hope your day is going well – remember to take
a little break JUST FOR YOU! (Believe me, after
reading through the cake recipe, ‘thinking I had
it OK’ only to discover I didn’t really READ the
bowl sizes – ended up having to transfer the
dry ingredients to another bowl so I would
have enough room to mix ALL the ingredients
together at the end . . . sigh – I TOOK A BREAK!
In fact, am STILL taking a break while the cake



and it’s Friday – again


It’s a gray & gloomy/wet day. Yesterday I went to our local KMart which they are closing in 3 months; got some really good deals. Total spent: $97.00 – total saved $60.00! It was a very ‘random’ shop; I stopped at each department and tried to do a thorough look around – the items in my cart were varied: bedroom slippers, winter scarf & gloves, a bath mat & shower curtain liner, etc. but all-in-all I was happy with my purchases. The other good things? I got a $2.00 off per gallon coupon for our local Speedway gas station AND more bonus points which can be used at other KMart or Sears (on line). Husband is stopping by there today to get a watch and, with his purchase, more bonus points. Am thinking of getting a new crockpot (which is ALSO on sale on their KMart site – BONUS!).


Sugar-Dusted Apple Bundt Cake

2 C. sugar plus 2 T. divided
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1 (21 oz) can apple fruit pie
filling & topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 10-inch Bundt pan.
In small bowl mix 2 T. sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle bottom &
sides of Bundt pan with mixture.
In large bowl combine flour, salt,
baking powder & remaining
sugar. Stir in oil, eggs, orange juice
& vanilla; mix well. Add fruit
filling & stir. Pour batter evenly
into prepared pan.
Bake, uncovered, 1 hour; let
cool 15 minutes. Invert cake
onto serving plate & cool.
Drizzle top with Citrus Glaze
(recipe below) Serves 12

Citrus Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice (extra
orange juice, if needed)

In medium bowl beat all
glaze ingredients until smooth.
Add extra orange juice, if
needed – by the teaspoon-
until desired consistency.

(recipe: The Oakland Press
“Family Features”, Dec., 4, 2016)

Loaded Nachos

1 ‘party sized’ bag tortilla chips
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning
1/3 – 1/2 C. water
1 C. refried beans
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
2 C. shredded cheese: mixture of
Cheddar & Monterey Jack
2 (2.25 oz, ea) cans sliced black
olives, drained
1 C. whole kernel corn – frozen &
thawed or fresh

3 green onions, chopped
jalapeno peppers/ seeded & chopped
mixed yellow/orange/red mini peppers,
sliced into rounds
2 C. chunky salsa or pico de gallo,
drained of excess liquid
1 avocado, cut into chunks

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground beef; drain. Add
taco seasoning & water; bring to
boil & cook 2 minutes. Line a
large baking sheet with parchment
paper. Place a layer of chips on sheet;
layer taco meat, refried beans, black
beans, cheese, olives & corn – repeat
layer & top with chopped green onions,
jalapenos & mixed pepper slices. Bake
10 minutes until cheese melts. Top
with any other suggested garnishes &
serve warm. Serves 6-8

(recipe: amandascookin.com)
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

3/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C. milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
(about 1 C.)
4 oz. sliced pepperoni and/or
sausage, cut into small pieces
(about 1 C.)
1/2 C. pizza sauce, warmed (for

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan
with nonstick spray. In large bowl
whisk flour & baking powder.
Whisk in milk & egg; stir in
cheese & pepperoni/sausage.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Stir batter & pour into prepared
pans. Bake 20-25 minutes until
puffed & golden brown. Serve
with pizza sauce, for dipping.

(recipe: amandascookin.com)
Crispy Fried Jalapeno Slices

4 C. vegetable shortening or
vegetable oil (for frying)
1 1/2 C. flour, divided
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 eggs
1 C. beer
1 (16 oz) jar sliced jalapeno
peppers, drained (about 2 C.)

your favorite dipping sauce,
for serving

In deep fryer or cast iron Dutch
oven, heat shortening to 365
degrees F. In medium bowl combine
1 C. flour, salt/pepper, chili powder,
garlic powder, eggs & beer – mix
until combined. Place remaining
1/2 C. flour in a ziplock gallon bag.
Dry drained jalapenos on paper
towels & add to bag – seal bag &
shake to coat jalapenos. Place floured
jalapenos in batter in bowl & stir
gently to coat. Discard any remaining
flour at bottom of bag. Lift battered
jalapenos using a fork & gently drop
(being careful of back splash of hot
oil) into preheated oil. Cook until
golden brown & crispy, about 2-4
minutes. Remove to paper towel
lined plate. Serve with your favorite
dipping sauces. Serves 3-4

(recipe: amandascookin.com)

Corn & Chicken Bake

6 boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves (about 1 1/2 lb. total)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (6 oz) pkg. cornbread stuffing mix
1 (8 3/4 oz) can whole kernel corn,
1 C. boiling water
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery
1/3 C. milk
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place chicken
breast halves in single layer
in dish; season with garlic powder,
salt/pepper. In large bowl combine
stuffing mix, corn, water & melted
butter – mix well & spoon over
chicken. In same bowl combine soup,
milk & parsley; mix well. Pour over
stuffing then cover with foil. Bake
35 minutes; uncover & bake 8-10
minutes longer until no pink remains
in chicken & stuffing is golden.
Serves 6

*You can substitute cream of mushroom

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Easy Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms,
2 T. olive oil
2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs. long grain & wild
rice mix (Like Rice a Roni or Uncle Bens)
1 (32 oz) carton beef broth
2 C. heavy whipping cream

In Dutch oven saute mushrooms in
oil until tender. Add rice, contents
of seasoning  packets, broth &
water – bring to boil. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 25 minutes. Add
cream & heat through. Serves 8
(2 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
3 large green peppers, seeded/
1 large onion, chopped
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 (10 3/4 oz ea) cans tomato
soup, undiluted
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes,
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 1/2 C. cooked rice

In Dutch oven or large saucepan
cook beef, green peppers & onion
over medium heat until meat is
no longer pink; drain. Stir in broth,
soup, tomatoes & mushrooms –
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover
& simmer at least 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add rice &
heat through. Makes 10 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

4 eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 C. milk, lukewarm
1 T. powdered sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven 320 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & line with parchment paper.
Separate egg yolks & whites; beat
whites in a bowl until stiff. Whisk
egg yolks, vanilla & sugar until creamy.
Add melted butter & mix half a minute.
Add flour & unsweetened cocoa; mix
using a spatula until well incorporated.
Pour in milk gradually & continue beating.
Add egg whites, one third at a time &
gently stir with a spatula. Do not over mix
just stir a few times. Pour this liquidy batter
into pan & bake 60 minutes. Let cool & when
it comes to room temperature, refrigerate
1 hour. Slice into pieces & dust with powdered
sugar just before serving. Keep leftovers
refrigerated. Serves 6

(recipe: giverecipe.com)


Today is also Inauguration Day – a day where many
people who SHOULD be joined together in unity
this year – are not. It’s sad when politics can totally
separate friends & family. I’m hoping that this total
day’s events go smoothly with no trouble. Every time
we get a new president SOME are happy, SOME are
not – but in spite of the differences, we all need to
support those who are in office over us. I try my
best NOT to get into politics and religion here on
my blog and in my personal life – everyone is
entitled to their opinion. May this day and the
next four years go smoothly with both sides/
parties working together to unite our country.



Good old Michigan weather – sigh


Yesterday it was in the low 30’s with a slight film of ice on the ground – enter today: FREEZING RAIN all night, everything is covered with ice: roads, ground, walkways, etc. SO glad I decided to venture out yesterday to get a few groceries! The strange part is: it’s supposed to get up to the mid-40’s today! Sure hope so – then the ice will melt. I can hear the traffic and it seems to be moving OK; middle son had to work all-night and got home around 7 a.m. He said the roads were a little slippery but the driveway and sidewalk at home were really bad. (Husband put salt out so that should help.) Living here in Michigan you really don’t know, day to day, what’s coming. AT LEAST IT’S NOT SNOW!!!


Perfectly Peanut Butter Pie

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust

Optional: additional Cool Whip,
chopped peanuts for topping

Combine sugar, peanut butter & cream
cheese in large bowl; stir until well
blended. Fold in Cool Whip & spoon
into pie crust. Cover & chill at least
2 hours before serving. Top with
additional Cool Whip and/or chopped
peanuts. Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

Lemon Chicken Soup & Pasta

6 C. chicken broth
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
1 dried bay leaf
1 (2 inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 medium peeled/sliced carrots
1 C. spaghetti noodles broken into
2″ pieces
2 C. diced, cooked chicken (can be
1 C. grated Romano cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
kosher salt

In large stockpot bring chicken broth,
lemon juice, bay leaf & Parmesan rind
to boil over medium-high heat. Add
carrots & simmer 5-8 minutes. Mix in
broken spaghetti & cook 4-5 minutes
while stirring. Once pasta is cooked, add
chicken & continue cooking 2-3 minutes
to heat chicken. Remove bay leaf &
Parmesan rind: discard both. Add half
of cheese & parsley – season with salt.
To serve:
Ladle soup into bowls & top with
remaining cheese.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)

Ham & Cheese Hashbrown Casserole

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes
1 lb. cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans cream of potato soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix hash
browns, ham, soup, sour cream &cheese;
spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle top
with Parm. cheese & bake 1 hour until
bubbly & lightly brown. Serves 10

(recipe: plainchicken.com)

Crockpot PIZZA!

refrigerated pizza dough
pizza sauce
shredded cheese, your choice
sliced pepperoni
(any extra toppings you want)

Line bottom of crockpot with
parchment paper, making a cross –
be sure paper is long enough so it
will make lifting the pizza out later
easier. Sprinkle flour on bottom
(on paper) then spray with nonstick
spray. Press dough on bottom,
smoothing it out; spread pizza
sauce over top. Add cheese & your
choice of toppings. Cover & cook
on High 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Condensation
will begin to form on inside of lid-
you will want to wipe inside of lid
dry to make sure pizza isn’t too soft.
When done it should look golden
brown. Lift out pizza using parchment
paper; place on cutting board & slice.

(recipe: slowcooker.cooktopcove.com)

Crockpot Sausage & Potato Soup

1 lb. mild ground sausage, browned/
6 potatoes, peeled/cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced (or 6 baby)
1 stalk celery, sliced
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 T. dried parsley
5 C. water
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. salt
6 T. butter, melted
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

Optional topping: shredded
Cheddar cheese

Place all ingredients (except
milk & cheese) in crockpot;
gently stir. Cover & cook on Low
10-12 hours (or High 3-4 hours).
ONE hour before final cooking
time: stir in milk. Serve soup
topped with shredded cheese.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crunchy Honey-garlic Pork Chops

6-9 pork chops (can use boneless
pork loin OR chicken)
2 eggs
4 T. water
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
canola or vegetable oil, for frying

1 1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
dash cayenne pepper (to your taste)
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 T. chopped garlic
2 T. butter

In large fry pan pour 1/2 inch cooking oil,
heated. Be sure oil is hot but not too hot.
Whisk eggs & 4 T. water in shallow dish.
Mix flour, salt, pepper & garlic powder
in another shallow dish. Dip chops in
flour, then into egg, then back into flour
mixture. NOTE: Be sure to get plenty
of flour on last coating then shake a little
& place in pan with oil. Cook 6 minutes
on each side. Try not to turn  more than
twice or breading will come off. Remove
from pan to a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Saute garlic in a little butter; add honey, soy
sauce, brown sugar, cayenne & ginger
to pan & bring to boil; reduce heat to
Low & simmer 5 minutes. (watch carefully
because it will foam & might boil over).
Place half of glaze over chops & turn them
over. Pour rest of glaze over top. Bake,
uncovered, 20-25 minutes. (this sets the
glaze & makes sure chops are fully cooked).

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)

Easy Buttermilk Cornbread

1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. cornmeal
1 C. buttermilk*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Whisk sugar,
oil & eggs just until combined.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking
soda & cornmeal together. Add
about 1/3 C. dry ingredients &
about 1/3 of buttermilk to sugar/
oil/eggs mixture – stir – continue
until all ingredients are blended
together. Pour into prepared pan
& bake 25-30 minutes until top
is lightly browned.
Makes 9 large servings or more
if cut smaller

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 2-Cup measuring cup. Pour
regular milk up to the 1 C. mark.
Stir then let stand 5 minutes –
now you have 1 C. buttermilk!

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)

Apple Nachos

4 Granny Smith apples, cored/
thinly sliced
1 C. white chocolate chips, melted
3/4 C. caramel, warmed in microwave
1 C. chopped pretzels
2 Heath candy bars, broken into pieces

On large plate arrange apple slices
on top of one another. Drizzle half
melted chocolate & caramel over
top. Top with pretzels & Heath bar
pieces then drizzle with remaining
melted chocolate & caramel. Serve
immediately. Serves 4-6

(recipe: delish.com)


Tonight is my knit/crochet group’s Yarn Swap –
I’m looking forward to seeing the various items
brought in AND to get rid of some of the last
big batch of yarn I was ‘gifted’. Have been just
slowly working on both the pink/white/light tan
baby blanket & the teal scarf. The ‘fun’ of the
yarn swap is the anticipation of perhaps finding
something you haven’t seen before and/or
being inspired by a yarn – plus IT’S ALL FREE!
Really hoping the weather doesn’t keep the
ladies away.

I noticed lately that our gas prices have dropped
10 cents a gallon from $2.49/9 to $2. 39/9 – YAY!

While digging in my upstairs freezer I found two
large packages of ground pork – I only buy it to
add to ground beef for meatloaf, so guess what’s
for dinner tonight!? Meatloaf is my husband’s
favorite dinner, so I’m glad for the 2+ day meal;
hopefully it will feed us for that long (I have
Knit night tonight & special needs group
tomorrow, so really won’t be cooking-I’ll make
the meatloaf & mashed potatoes early then
the guys can eat when they want.)

Hope you are staying warm, dry and managing
to take a little time out in each day to relax &
rest – we all need that.




here we go … again…


Now that we’re finally able to navigate the ice & snow, here comes MORE! Latest weather report: 5 inches between 5/6 p.m. tonight and noon tomorrow – great…sigh. I spent the morning getting paperwork together for knit  & special needs groups then decided to check in with a friend. She said: “Well, are you ready for more snow?” I hadn’t been keeping up with the weather, so NO, I’m not ready. That lit a fire under my (you fill in the blank) – got my various lists together & went to post office, drug store, mail box & grocery store – think we’re good for now. Living in Michigan all my life, you’d think I would be used to this but Noooooooooo, every new snowfall produces more ANGST! I also failed to mention we’re in a sort of deep freeze: Highs are around 14 degrees F.  I’m grateful we have a nice, warm house, food/clothing to bless us (and a heater, if needed) – only thing left is what? MORE KNITTING, of course! I’m down to a good hour or so of finishing the blue & green baby blanket then I’m totally out of projects (except baby hats – but then I ALWAYS have baby hats!). Torn between starting another baby blanket or doing another scarf for the homeless. Baby blankets are ‘all the time’ projects, but the scarves are seasonal – guess I just talked myself into my next project, eh?


Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

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

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

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

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

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
Candy Cane Trail Mix

5 C. rice cereal (like Rice Chex)
1 C. mini pretzels
2 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. crushed candy canes
1 C. powdered sugar
2 C. popped popcorn
1/2 C. dark chocolate chips
1/2 C. mini marshmallows
1/3 C. shelled pistachios

Pour cereal & mini pretzels in large
bowl. Melt white choc. chips in
microwave in 30-second intervals,
stirring occasionally, until all morsels
are melted – pour over cereal in bowl,
stirring & folding until lightly coated.
Fold in crushed candy canes. Pour
powdered sugar into a large zip-lock
bag. Pour cereal/pretzel mixture in
bag, seal & shake until mixture is
covered with sugar. Refrigerate bag,
allowing chocolate to harden. Place
mixture in a large serving bowl &
stir in rest of ingredients. Store
leftovers in airtight container at
room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kroger.com)

Batter-dipped Fried Bacon
with Queso Dip

1 lb. bacon (don’t use thick cut)
oil for frying

2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. baking soda
4 T. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
1 1/2 C. water


fried bacon, tortilla chips, corn chips,

Heat 1-2 inches oil in a deep pot,
Dutch oven or electric deep fryer
to 375 degrees F. (If using elec.
deep fryer, follow ALL manufacturers
instructions). In medium bowl mix
flour, salt, pepper & baking soda. Add
only enough water to make a very
thick batter (poster only used 1 1/2 C.)
Add Tabasco & stir until well combined.
Cut each slice of bacon in half; dip bacon
pieces in batter, letting excess batter
drip back into bowl. Fry bacon in small
batches so bacon has plenty of room
to move around. Fry about 4-6 pieces
at a time for a total of 10 minutes,
turning each slice halfway into cooking
time. Drain onto a paper towel-lined
plate (bacon may be kept warm in
200 degrees F. oven while finishing
rest of batch. Makes about 30

Queso Dip

1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 (16 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 C. shredded cooked chicken
2-3 T. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
1/2 C sliced black olives (optional)

In large microwaveable bowl place cheeses
& diced tomatoes (don’t drain). Microwave
on High 1 minute; stir. Continue to micro-
wave in 30-second intervals,stirring after
each, until cheeses melt & mixture is
smooth. Add Tabasco & shredded chicken;
stir – stir in olives (if using).
Serve with suggested dippers

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
Sugar Maple Bacon Smokies

1/2 lb. bacon
1 pkg. cocktail franks
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 – 1/2 C. maple syrup
small wooden skewers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil;
drizzle with maple syrup &
sprinkle with brown sugar.
Cut bacon into thirds; wrap each
piece around a cocktail frank &
secure with skewer – place on
prepared sheet. Repeat until
all bacon is used. Bake 20-30
minutes until sugar is melted &
bacon is browned & crisp.
Makes approx. 24-36.

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Cheesy Baked Penne w/Roasted


1 red bell pepper, cored/
cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered
lengthwise, cut into 1″ cubes
1 medium (8 oz) fennel bulb,
ends removed, cut into 1″
1 C. asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into
1″ pieces
6 cloves garlic, peeled/slightly smashed
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil

12 oz. penne pasta
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 C. grated Pecorino Romano
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (25.25 oz) jar marinara sauce

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with non-
stick spray; toss peppers, zucchini,
fennel, asparagus, red onion & garlic
with balsamic, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt,
black pepper & dried herbs – spread
out on prepared sheet. Bake/roast
until tender on lower rack of oven,
about 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway,
until slightly browned & tender. Bring
large pot of salted water to boil &
cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente (undercooking by 4 minutes).
In medium bowl combine ricotta, parsley,
6 T. Pecorino Romano & half of mozzarella
cheese. Spray a deep 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick spray. Place half of roasted
veggies into pan, top with half of cooked
pasta, top with 1 C. sauce. Spoon ricotta
mixture on top of sauce in even layer.
Cover with remaining pasta, veggies then
sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella
& 2 T. Pecorino Romano cheese. Cover
with foil & bake 25 minutes until cheese
is melted. Serves 8

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

 Chicken Gnocci Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled/grated
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled/chopped
2-3 T. olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken plus 1 C.
reserved broth from bottom of
7 C. water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16 oz) pkg. Potato Gnocchi,
usually found in refrigerated/
freezer section
4 C. Half & Half
1 1/2 C. spinach, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 T. cornstarch
2 T. butter

Heat large pot over medium-high
heat; add 2-3 T. olive oil. When oil
is hot, add chopped veggies & cook
over medium-high heat 5-8 minutes
until onions are translucent. Remove
chicken from pkg.; pour broth in bottom
of pkg. into a large measuring cup
(should be about 1 C.) Remove skin
from chicken & remove meat from
bones; chop meat into medium sized
pieces. When veggies are done; pour
cooking broth from chicken & 7 C.
hot water into pot; add chicken &
chicken bouillon cubes & stir well.
bring to boil. Add Gnocchi to pot &
let soup come to a boil again. Cook
3-4 minutes – Gnocchi will be cooked
through when they float to the top
of broth. Add Half & Half, seasonings,
sugar & butter to pot – stir gently &
let come to a boil.
In small bowl combine 1/4 C. cold
water & 5 T. cornstarch – mix well &
pour into boiling soup. Stir well –
soup should thicken as it reaches a
boil. Taste & adjust seasonings with
salt/pepper. Serves 12

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

 Broccoli/Cheddar Noodle Pie

1 (8 oz) pkg. egg noodles
3 T. butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. flour
3/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 large head broccoli, florets
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
3 large eggs, beaten (or
6 egg whites)
1/4 C. panko breadcrumbs
1 tbl. olive oil

Cook noodles accordg to pkg
directions; drain.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter a pie pan. In large skillet
over medium heat melt butter.
Cook onions until soft, 5 minutes.
Add garlic; cook 30 seconds more,
season with salt/pepper. Sprinkle
flour over mixture, 1 T. at a time,
stir constantly until flour is cooked
through & golden, 2 minutes. Whisk
in chicken broth & heavy cream; bring
to simmer. Add broccoli florets & let
simmer until bright green, 2 minutes.
Add cooked noodles & season with
salt/pepper. Add cheese, stir to
combine then transfer to prepared
pie dish – pour over beaten eggs &
gently toss. In small bowl mix panko
& olive oil; season with salt & sprinkle
over top. Bake 40-45 minutes until
golden & bubbly. Let cool 15 minutes
then slice & serve.

(recipe: delish.com)

Crockpot Bacon Jam

1 1/2 lb. sliced bacon
2 medium yellow onions
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 C. cider vinegar
1/2 C. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. maple syrup
3/4 C. brewed coffee

In large skillet cook bacon over
medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally until bacon is
lightly browned, about 20
minutes – transfer to paper
towels. Pour off all but 1 T.
fat from skillet; add onions &
garlic, cook about 6 minutes.
Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple
syrup & coffee – bring to boil,
stirring & scraping up browned
bits from bottom of skillet, about
2 minutes. Add bacon & stir.
Transfer to crockpot. Cook on
High, uncovered, until liquid is
syrupy – about 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
Transfer mixture to food
processor; pulse until coarsely
chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate
in airtight containers, up to 4
weeks. Makes 3 cups

(recipe: delish.com)

Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

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

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

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

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

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)


Hope you are all warm/dry and comfy –
I’m sitting here sipping cocoa; just had
a ‘taste’ for it!