just a wee bit ‘o snow . . .

Usually I mention when we get a snow storm here in Michigan but THIS time it looks like most of the country got blasted with cold/snow/sleet/rain, etc. All day Saturday I kept hoping that our snow plow guy would come clear our driveway (we got about 4 inches) only to get a phone call from my neighbor informing his plow is in the shop FOR A WEEK! Great! This is the NEW (this season) guy who was so great for the last snow fall . . . Our middle son works nights sometimes and, wouldn’t you know it, he worked last night! He has a small Honda car (very light weight) so I was worried he might not be able to GET OUT of our driveway (let alone, get UP it when he got home the next day – today). He had to do a bit of ‘back & forth’ but he made it. Husband was also worried we wouldn’t be able to do that very same thing for church this morning – we made it just fine. In a few hours I will get my ‘turn’ at battling the drivway, as I have choir practice at 4:45 – I’m pretty good with my minivan & snow, so we’ll see. We were also supposed to get freezing rain on top of all the snow – if we got any it was very little – very thin crust of ‘crunch’ on top of the snow today. I spent almost all of Saturday finishing reading a book: “Dragon Bones” by Lisa See – interesting murder/mystery and knitting – it was a VERY long day.


Amish Peanut Butter Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked/cooled

Peanut Butter Crumbles:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Filling:
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 C. whipped cream (or 1 C. Cool Whip,

Whipped Topping on top of pie:
2 C. whipped cream (or one 8 oz. tub
Cool Whip, defrosted)
NOTE: If making whipped cream, using
elec. mixer, whip together on medium-
high speed 1 C. whipping cream & 3 T.
powdered sugar. To get whipped cream
texture – 1 C. whipping cream makes 2 C.
when whipped
Peanut Butter Crumbles:
Using elec. mixer, in medium bowl add
powdered sugar & peanut butter – mix on
medium speed until small peanut  butter
crumbles start to come together. (If
mixture is too powdery – add a few drops
water & larger nuggets will form.) Add half
the peanut butter nuggets to bottom of
baked pie shell.

Using elec. mixer in large bowl mix dry
vanilla pudding mix, milk & peanut butter
for 2 minutes. Add in whipped cream – mix
in lightly & pour into pie crust on top of
crumbles – smooth top.

Top pie with whipped cream (or Cool Whip).
Add half remaining peanut butter crumbles
(as many as you want) to top of pie. Place pie
in fridge at least 1-2 minutes to set up before

NOTE: You can make the pie more peanut
buttery by adding a few T. peanut butter or
make it more creamy by adding 1/2 C. more
whipped cream to peanut butter filling.

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)

Crockpot Steak Soup

2 1/2 lb. beef sirloin tip roast, cut
into cubes
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. canola oil
1 oz. pkg. dry onion soup mix
4 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 C. uncooked wide egg noodles
In a large ziplock bag mix flour,
salt/pepper – add beef cubes. Seal
bag & toss to coat meat with flour
until well coated. In large, deep skillet
heat oil over medium-high heat – add
coated cubes. Saute until brown (about
6 minutes – turning cubes to brown on
all sides – place in crockpot. Sprinkle
dry soup mix evenly over meat. In a
bowl whisk broth, tomato paste &
Wors. sauce – pour over beef. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours until beef is
Add noodles – cover & cook for 30
minutes longer, until noodles are tender.
Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Blue Cheese Crescent Spirals


1/4 C. toasted pecans
8 oz. cream cheese
4 T. blue cheese
1 T. milk (as needed)
1 (8 oz) pkg. crescent rolls
20 pecan halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a food processor add pecans &
process until finely chopped. Add
cheeses & process until very smooth –
add milk, if necessary to blend smoothly.
At this point you can prepare ahead of
time & place in a covered dish -refrigerate
until ready to proceed.
Unroll dough into 4 long rectangles; firmly
press perforations to seal. Spread cheese
mixture on each rectangle. Starting at short
side, roll up & press to seal. Cut each of the
4 rolls into 5 slices, making 20 slices total.
Place each slice, cut sides down, onto an
ungreased cookie sheet. Press 1 pecan half
on each slice & bake 15-20 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet
& serve. Makes 20 spirals

(recipe: food.com)

Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

4 1/2 C. cooked penne pasta (about
2 1/2 C./8 oz. dry)
1 (14.5 oz) jar Prego Alfredo sauce
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1/4 C. ranch salad dressing
1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl stir cooked pasta, sauce,
bacon, dressing & half of cheese. Spoon
mixture into a 8 X 8″ baking dish &
sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Bake 30 minutes until pasta is hot &
bubbling. Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)

Chicken Fried Rice

2 T. olive oil
3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
kosher salt/ground black pepper
2 T. sesame oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled/diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh minced ginger
4 C. cooked white rice
3/4 C. frozen peas
3 large eggs, beaten
3 T. soy sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In medium skillet over medium heat
heat oil. Season chicken with salt/pepper
on both sides. Add to skillet & cook until
golden & no longer pink – about 8 minutes
per side. Remove from skillet & let rest
5 minutes; cut into bite-sized pieces. To
same skillet heat 1 T. sesame oil & cook
onion & carrots 5 minutes until soft. Add
garlic & ginger – cook until fragrant- 1
minute. Stir in rice & peas; cook until
warmed, 2 minutes. Push rice to one side
of skillet & add remaining 1 T. sesame oil
on other side of skillet. Add egg & stir until
almost fully cooked, then fold eggs into rice.
Add chicken back to skillet with soy sauce &
green onions – stir to combine. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)

Winter Cherry Bars

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. flour
2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling*

1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 to 3 T. whole milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
large bowl using an electric
mixer, cream butter, sugar &
salt until light & fluffy. Add eggs,
one at a time, beating well after
each addition. Beat in extracts &
gradually add in flour. Spread 3 C.
dough into bottom of prepared
pan – spread out evenly & top
with pie filling. Drop remaining
dough by teaspoonfuls over filling.
Bake 35-40 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack.

In a small bowl mix powdered sugar,
extracts & enough milk to reach
desired consistency – drizzle over
top of cooled bars.

*You can use any pie filling you like.
For a Black Forest variation, add a
handful of mini chocolate chips.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

This coming week looks to be pretty busy – something
going on every day – we’ll see how it ‘shakes down’!

Have a GREAT day!



Hope you’re safe & warm!

Our weather has been unseasonably WARM lately – with some rain. We’ve been ‘enjoying’ 40’s (today it’s 30’s) but it’s raining with a chance of a WHOLE LOT of nasty coming. Ice Storm Warning/Flood Warning, rain/freezing rain; high today of 35 degrees F. but tomorrow it will be 26 degrees F. with a possible chance of snow – Yep, it’s MICHIGAN! (we might not be going to church tomorrow – we’ll just have to wait & see).

I’m done babysitting after 2 days of it; ‘almost’ 3 yr old grandson totally amazes me – it’s like a toddler with a 40+ yr old mind. I was sewing up a baby bootie while he played with his trucks. He said: “Grandma, Look!” I raised my head & said: “OK!” He instantly replied with: “NO, PUT YOUR GLASSES ON & LOOK!” (How does an almost 3 yr old kid know that I can’t see squat without my glasses!???) Yesterday he asked me what my favorite number and food was – I replied: “Three and pizza”. “GREAT IDEA! he said – DAD, that was a GREAT IDEA!” (who knows what he’s thinking!???)


Easy Banana Cake
(for all those leftover bananas!)

3 bananas
8 T. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, room temp.
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. chopped walnuts, (optional)

Maple Butter Frosting

8 T. butter
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp. maple extract
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray (or)
line with parchment paper. In large
bowl beat bananas & butter until
thoroughly combined. Add sugars &
mix with butter/banana mixture. Mix
in vanilla & eggs, one-at-a-time,  mixing
until completely combined. In a small
bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking
powder & salt – gradually add to wet
mixture, stirring just until combined.
(fold in chopped nuts, if using). Pour
batter into prepared pan & bake 23-27
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
cake comes out clean. Allow cake to
cool completely.

Brown Butter Maple Frosting

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium
heat, stirring occasionally. (butter will start
to foam & then start browning – you should
be able to smell a nutty aroma when it’s
ready). Remove from heat & allow to cool
at least 30 minutes. Beat cooled/browned
butter & cream cheese together until
completely blended, light & fluffy. Beat in
maple extract & powdered sugar – a half
cup at-a-time. Spread frosting onto cooled
cake & sprinkle top with chopped nuts if

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Dump & Go Beef Noodle Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 C. frozen mixed vegetables (OR)
1 (15 oz) can mixed vegetables
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/ C. uncooked medium egg noodles

In a Dutch oven cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Add tomatoes, broth, veggies &
seasonings – bring to a boil. Add noodles;
reduce heat to Medium-Low. Cover & cook
10-15 minutes until noodles are tender.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes, scrubbed/dried
2 T. olive oil
1 T. kosher or sea salt
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream
5-6 green onions, sliced
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Rub potatoes with olive oil & salt –
place on a baking sheet. Bake
45-60 minutes until tender when
pierced with a fork, flipping potatoes
halfway through baking time.
Let cool 15 minutes.

REDUCE oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ (or 9 X 13″) baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces &
place in a bowl. (pieces might fall
apart – that’s OK). Stir in may & sour

Set aside 1/3 C. cheese, 3 T.
bacon, 2 T. sliced green onions for
topping the casserole

Stir in remaining ingredients & spoon
into prepared dish. Top with reserved
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes,
removing foil last 10 minutes.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Crockpot Pork Chops w/ Caramelized Apples & Onions

4 pork chops
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
cut into pieces
2 yellow onions, sliced into rounds
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & layer onions
then apples on bottom. Sprinkle brown
sugar over top. Season chops with salt/
pepper generously on both sides & place
on top of apples. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/2 C. milk
2 T. chopped pimiento (optional)
1 C. frozen green peas
2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water, drained
4 oz. (about 2 C.) medium egg noodles,
2 T. plain dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Stir soup, milk, pimientos (if using), peas,
tuna & noodles into a 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. Stir bread crumbs & butter into a
small dish. Bake casserole 20 minutes until
hot & bubbling. Stir tuna mixture & sprinkle
top with bread crumb mixture. Bake 5 more
minutes until top is golden brown.
Serves 4

*a reader of the site recommended using
Campbell’s Garlic Mushroom soup for
added flavor

(recipe: campbells.com)

Crockpot Cheesy Bean Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
Tortilla chips, for dipping
In large bowl blend all ingredients
except shredded cheese. Spoon half
of mixture into crockpot & layer with
half the shredded cheese. Add remaining
cream cheese mixture & top with remaining
cheese. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours –
serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Chocolate Brownie Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box fudge brownie mix
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. water
1 C. oil

Ganache: (chocolate glaze)

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (12 oz) bag semi sweet chocolate
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray a
Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray
or use the butter/flour method. Combine
first 5 ingredients in large bowl & whisk
2 minutes until most lumps are gone.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake
50-55 minutes. Remove cake from oven
& allow to cool in pan up to 5 minutes.
Carefully turn cake out onto a cooling
rack & cool 30 minutes.


Place heavy whipping cream in a large
microwavesafe bowl. Heat about 2
minutes – you want the cream to be
just boiling. Carefully pour choc. morsels
into cream (it may rise up & bubble –
that’s OK). Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk
chocolate & cream until shiny & smooth,
about 1 minute then pour over cooled
cake & serve.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)


Depending on the weather, I might be home
doing more knitting. Still working on the Zig Zag
mint green afghan – I like the looks of it but it’s
‘fussy’ – that means I can usually only knit about
8 rows before I’m more than DONE wanting to
knit on it again for awhile. The other Two-Color
Star Stitch afghan is about 3/4ths done – I keep
plugging away on both of them as well as try to
add to the knit baby booties; think I have something
like 15 prs. now. It takes me about an hour to knit
a pair of premie booties & about a 1 1/2 hrs. to
knit a larger set.

Hope you are all in good health & adjusting to
our New Year. Last week was a rather rough
week – just goofy things happening, almost
every day. Finally, by Thursday evening, after
babysitting, I decided I needed something –
so I ordered Jet’s PIZZA! YAY! We really like
their deep dish Veggie pizza with garlic/
Parmesan crust – that just hit the spot!



And we begin a NEW year & era!

Hoping that all of your NEW year is turning out just the way you would like. It’s been quiet here, lots of knitting, some cooking. We celebrated our middle son’s 31st birthday Saturday:

He was just on his way out to work (he works all nights sometimes) so it was a very quick photo – his favorite is really gooey brownies, so that’s what he’s holding.

This week is the ‘back to our regular schedule’ stuff – throw in a few extras like picking up/driving youngest son, taking both of our vehicles in for routine maintenance (tomorrow) then the regulars: both knit groups, my special needs group & 2 days of babysitting. Let’s just say this week is certainly NOT boring!

Lots more recipes to share – some are ‘holiday/appetizers’ things but thought you might like them.


Crescent Cherry Cheesecake Cobbler

1 (8 oz) tube crescent rolls
12 oz. ( 1 1/2 blocks) cream cheese,
3/4 C. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/4 C. unsalted butter (1/2 stick),

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll
crescent rolls – line 4 rolls in bottom
of dish – spread out & cover the
bottom of the dish – seal seams as
best you can. In a bowl using elec.
mixer, beat cream cheese & 1/2 C.
sugar until smooth – add vanilla &
mix again. Spread mixture over rolls
in dish. Pour pie filling on top & spread
evenly. Top with remaining crescent
roll dough doing your best to stretch
dough & seal seams. Pour melted butter
on top then sprinkle 1/4 C. sugar evenly
over top. Bake 35-45 minutes. Top crust
should look crusty & golden brown. Slice
& serve. Serves 9

NOTE: This must be kept refrigerated if not
eaten the same day it’s made.

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

Easy Crab Melts

8 ox. sourdough bread
2 T. olive oil
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced chives
2 tsp. minced fresh dill
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 T. fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
16 oz. crab meat (lump or other
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded

Extra dill & chives for garnish,
if desired
Slice bread into thirds or halves. (you
want it big enough to pick up but not
so big you need a fork to eat it)
Brush tops of bread slices with olive
oil on both sides & broil 1-2 minutes,
flipping half-way through until very
lightly browned.
In medium bowl combine mayo, Old Bay,
green onions, chives, dill, Worc. sauce,
orange juice, orange & lemon zests –
gently fold in crab. Remove toast from oven
& top with a heaping tablespoon of crab
mixture. Place a tomato slice on top & sprinkle
with about a tablespoon of Gruyere. Place
under broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is
melted & bubbly. Garnish with dill & chives,
if desired. Serves 24

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
Roasted Red Pepper/Shrimp
Scampi Dip

1/2 C. roasted red bell pepper,
diced/drained & patted dry
8 oz. light cream cheese, softened
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 C. shredded cheese (your choice-
poster used Mexican blend), divided
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 T. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen SeaPak Shrimp
Suggested Dippers:
baguette slices
bagel chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Combine
all ingredients (except shrimp
scampi and half cup shredded cheese)
in a bowl – mix until well combined.
(can also use an elec. mixer).
Stir in frozen shrimp scampi.
Bake 20 minutes – stir to distribute
seasonings onto shrimp. Sprinkle on
remaining 1/2 C. shredded cheese &
return to oven 10 minutes until cheese
is melted & bubbly and shrimp is
cooked through. Serve hot with
dippers. Serves 10

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Crockpot Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage, browned/cooled
1/2 onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled/diced
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
5 C. chicken broth
1 (16 oz) pkg. cheese tortellini
6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
2 C. heavy cream

To crockpot add everything but
tortellini, spinach & heavy cream.
Cover & cook on Low 3-5 hours. Stir
in tortellini, spinach & heavy cream about
15 minutes before ready to serve. Stir &
serve. Serves 6

NOTE: great with grated Parmesan cheese
on top when serving

(recipe: eatingonadime.com)

Baked Ranch Parmesan Chicken
(marinated 4 hrs or overnight)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 C. prepared Ranch salad dressing
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large ziplock bag or plastic
container combine chicken with ranch
dressing. Make sure chicken is fully
coated with dressing. Marinate 4 hours
or overnight.
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
In a shallow dish or pan (like a pie plate)
combine breadcrumbs, Parm. cheese, black
pepper, Ital. seasoning & salt – mix well.
Remove chicken from marinade, leaving
dressing clinging to chicken. Roll chicken in
breadcrumb mixture to coat on all sides.
Place in a single layer in a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake an additional 30  minutes until chicken
is cooked through. Serves 6

(recipe: cdkitchen.com)

Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes & Smoked

10 – 12 potatoes, peeled/sliced
1 onion, diced
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cubed
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. milk

Fill large pot with water – bring to
boil. Add bouillon cubes, potatoes &
onion – boil about 10 minutes until
potatoes are fork-tender; drain. (do
not over cook – you want potatoes to stay
in nice big slices). Pour potato/onion
mixture into 6 qt. crockpot. Top with
cubed Velveeta & sliced sausage –
salt/pepper to taste. Pour milk over
everything & gently stir. Cover & cook
on Low 2 hours (or High 1 hour). Stir
gently before serving. Serves 10

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding
w/Vanilla Sauce

4 C. (8 slices) cubed white bread
1/2 C. raisins
2 C. milk
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg


1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine bread &
raisins. In a 1-quart saucepan combine
milk & 1/4 C. butter – cook over medium
heat until butter melts (4-7 minutes).
Pour mixture over bread; let stand 10
minutes. Stir in rest of pudding ingredients.
Pour into prepared casserole dish & bake
40-50 minutes until set in center.

Using a 1 quart saucepan, combine all
sauce ingredients except vanilla. Cook over
medium heat, stirring occasionally, until
mixture thickens & comes to a full boil,
5-8 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in
vanilla. Makes 1 1/2 C. sauce
To serve:
Spoon warm pudding into individual dishes
& serve with sauce poured over top.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8

(recipe: memorieswithdishes.com)


Our weather has been cooperating (at least, for me!) –
we’ve had some cold days in the 30’s but VERY LITTLE
snow (there’s a light dusting on the ground). Wednesday
is supposed to get really cold: High 25 degrees F, Low 18
degrees F. So far the week’s weather looks cold but no
big snow – some rain. I do see some snow predicted but
no mentions of any ACCUMULATION, which is what I
am concerned about.

I finally got over the nasty cold I’ve had for over 2 weeks;
luckily no one else in the family caught it.

Hope you’re having a GREAT start to your week;



Very quiet around here –

I don’t know about YOUR weather, but here in (what’s supposed to be COLD) Michigan, we’re ENJOYING (at least my family is) a balmy 50’s bit! Today it’s kind of overcast & gloomy, but who can complain when there’s NO SNOW OR ICE! Last night I went out to pick up our paper (forgot to get it earlier) – it’s usually tossed on our driveway –  around 7:30 p.m. there was ‘dew-like’ moisture on the paper an all over cars, ground, etc. Normally that would have frozen into a film of ice but NO – it’s just plain old WATER! YAY!

Today is babysitting from 3 p.m. – ? so I’m taking my knitting (of course). Finally finished the variegated pinks baby afghan and am determined to get the black scarf for middle son DONE before it goes back to really cold weather (am about 3/4th’s done now).

For Christmas my oldest son got me a beautiful set of wooden circular needles from KnitPicks – very fancy! (I finished the pink blanket on them). Awhile ago he was looking at that same blanket (on my plastic circular needles) when one end of the needle attachment came apart leaving several stitches flying until I could get them back on the needle/cable. That got him to thinking that there must be a better way to attach them so he went on line. (the new ones screw in and have a ‘locking’ key to secure the attachment area: needle/cable). I’ve decided that I’m not going to take up any NEW patterns for blankets until I finish my youngest son’s scarf – that way I’m forcing myself not to procrastinate! (good luck with that . . . I tend to get bored just knitting one thing). We’ll see how that goes.

How was your Christmas & dinner(s)? Ours was lovely at oldest son’s house. He cooked an enormous ham & sent some home with us. My guys here LOVE ham hot or cold so the ‘sent home’ ham quickly vanished. I just put a ham in the oven – it should be cooked by the time I have to leave to babysit (that way I get some to take with me!).

Of course I have MORE recipes to share with you – enjoy!


Chocochip Gooey Treats

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 T.)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 T.)
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center position.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Pour
cake mix in large bowl, add egg &
melted butter – mix until combined
(using elec. mixer works best). Batter
will be consistency of loose Play-doh)
Scrape batter into prepared dish &
use spatula to get bowl & beaters as
clean as possible. (Place beaters & bowl
aside for later use for filling).
Using clean hands, press dough evenly into
bottom of pan. In (used) mixing bowl, beat
cream cheese until fluffy. Add 2 eggs & 1 tsp.
vanilla – beat until very well combined. With
mixer at Low to Medium-Low speed, very
gradually add powdered sugar until thoroughly
combined. Gradually add melted butter &
mix well. Pour filling mixture over crust batter
& spread evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes – it will
still be jiggly. Remove from oven & allow to
cool at least 2 hours before cutting.

(recipe: 77tasty.com)

Jalapeno Popper Dip

10-12 slices bacon
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

tortilla chips or
slices of baguette

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes – drain
& chop. In large bowl mix cream cheese, mayo,
sour cream, garlic powder, most of bacon (reserve
some for topping), most of jalapenos (reserve
some for topping) & 1 C. each Cheddar & Mont.
Jack cheeses – season with salt/pepper. Transfer
mixture to a small oven-safe skillet or baking
dish & sprinkle with remaining bacon, jalapeno,
& both cheeses. Bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly &
golden brown. (If desired, broil 3 minutes to turn
cheese golden brown). Serve with tortilla chips
or baguette slices. Serves 4-6

(recipe: delish.com)

Crockpot Frito Pie Chili

1 lb. gr. beef or turkey
1 T. taco seasoning
1/2 C. diced onion
1 C. water
1/2 C. long-grain white rice (or jasmine
1 (10 oz) can mild enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can chili beans (pinto beans
in tomatoes & seasonings also called
ranch-style beans)
1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 1/4 C. Frito corn chips
5 T. diced green onions
5 T. sour cream
5 T. diced tomatoes

Heat a pan over medium-high heat;
cook gr. beef & break it up. Add onions &
taco seasoning – brown about 5 minutes;
drain, & add meat, etc. to crockpot. Add
water, rice, enchilada sauce & beans to
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours
until rice is tender. Remove lid. Stir in
cheese & ladle into 5 bowls – top each
bowl with 1/4 C. Fritos, 1 T. green onions,
1 T. sour cream & 1 T. diced tomatoes.
Serves 5

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)

Easy Glazed Honey-Balsamic Chicken

1/3 C. honey
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dried thyme
salt/pepper to taste
3 lb. chicken, (thighs & drumsticks

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with
foil or parchment paper. Place chicken
pieces on sheet & season with salt/pepper.
Rub well to work seasonings into chicken.
In small bowl or measuring cup whisk
honey, bals. vinegar & thyme – drizzle a
small amount onto each piece of chicken,
using a brush to coat the chicken. Roast
20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked
through, brushing glaze on 2 more times
during cooking time. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: amomontimeout.com)

Rice Pilaf

1/2 C. uncooked orzo pasta
1 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
1 C. chopped onions
1 C. uncooked long grain white rice
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 1/2 C. chicken stock

(optional: chopped fresh parsley – garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In Dutch oven over medium heat, toast raw
orzo DRY, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon until it turns a light walnut color
(3-4 minutes) – remove to a bowl.
Add olive oil & butter to pan – once butter is
melted, add onions & rice; saute 5 minutes
stirring occasionally until onions are
translucent. If rice starts to get brown, remove
from heat before you proceed to next step.

Add garlic & stir 1 minute; add bay leaves, thyme,
pepper & browned orzo. Add & stir chicken stock.
Be careful – when stock hits the hot pan, it will
bubble up. Stir once, cover & place in oven for
30 minutes untouched. Remove from oven &
discard bay leaves. Fluff rice with a fork & taste –
add salt to taste, if needed. Garnish with chopped
parsley, if using. Makes 5 Cups.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 T. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 C. finely chopped fresh broccoli
3 C. chicken broth
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

additional shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese for topping
In small skillet over medium-high heat,
heat butter. Add onion & cook 3-4 minutes,
stirring until tender. Transfer to crockpot;
add broccoli, broth, milk & pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 3-4 hours until broccoli is
tender. Stir in Velveeta until melted. Add
shredded cheeses & stir until melted.
Just  before serving stir soup to combine.
Top servings with additional Cheddar cheese.
Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pecan Pie Bars

3 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. butter

4 eggs
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. light brown sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 10 X 15″ jelly roll pan
with nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl whisk flour, sugar & salt – cut in
butter until mixture resembles coarse
crumbs – sprinkle mixture evenly over
prepared pan & press in firmly. Bake
20 minutes.

(While crust is baking):
In large bowl mix eggs, corn syrup, gran.
sugar, brown sugar, butter & vanilla until
smooth. Stir in chopped nuts & spread
filling over crust as soon as it comes out
of the oven.
Bake 25 minutes until set.
Allow to cool completely on wire rack
before slicing into bars.

NOTE: make sure bars are completely
cooled before cutting

If you’re feeling really adventurous, sprinkle
a few chocolate chips on the filling before

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)


Hope you are able to enjoy good health
(I’m doing MUCH better – finally!) and
staying warm (if your area is cold!).




and here are MORE recipes!

Easy Carmelitas Cookies

1 (30 oz) tube refrigerated chocolate
chip cookie dough
1 (11 oz) bag caramels (Kraft)
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9″ square baking pan with
parchment paper. Slice a little more
than half the dough into 1/4″ rounds
& place in single layer on pan. Use
your fingers to press the dough into a single,
solid, even layer. Bake 20-25 minutes until
just golden. Remove from oven & let cool
slightly. In a microwave-safe container
combine unwrapped caramels & evap.
milk – microwave on High 1 minute. Stir &
heat in 30-second intervals until caramels
are completely melted. Sprinkle choc. chips
over slightly cooled cookie crust & drizzle
caramel on top of chips. Crumble remaining
cookie dough (should be less than half
tube remaining) over top of caramel (does
not have to be perfect or even). Return to
oven & bake 12-15 minutes until just beginning
to turn golden brown. Let cool to room temp.
then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Let stand at
room temperature before cutting. Serves 16

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
4-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

1 C. butter ( 2 sticks)
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces
& place on a plate. Butter should be
cool (not cold) but not soft or melted.
Place oven racks at upper third & lower
third of oven.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment

In food processor, add flour, sugar & salt –
pulse a few times. Add half the butter
pieces & pulse a few times. Add remaining
butter & run processor in five-second bursts
until dough comes together, less than
1 minute – scrape sides if needed.
Pour mixture onto counter top. Using a small
scoop*, scoop out 24 portions onto counter.
Roll each piece with your hands and place
12 balls on each sheet, spaced evenly – press
down to about 1/4″ thick. Use a fork to press into
each cookie then turn fork & do again, making
a cross-hatch pattern. Bake 15 minutes – rotate
pans & racks & bake another 10-15 minutes until
tops start to turn golden & bottoms are lightly
browned (total 25-30 minutes). Remove with
a spatula to cooling racks & eat warm or cooled.
Store in air tight containers. Makes 24 cookies

*Poster used a #40 scoop – each cookie ball
weighed a little over a half ounce.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
Crispy Baked Wontons

1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. extra-lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts
1/3 C. soy sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (can also use 3/4 tsp.
fresh grated ginger)
1 (12 oz) pkg. wonton wrappers*

Sweet & sour sauce, optional**
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large skillet cook pork, turkey & onion
over medium heat until meat is no longer
pink; drain & transfer to a large bowl. Stir
in water chestnuts, soy sauce, egg & ginger.
Place 1 wonton wrapper on the counter
with one point facing towards you. (Keep
remaining wrappers moist, covered with a
damp paper towel until ready to use). Place
2 heaping teaspoons of filling in center of
wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling;
fold sides towards center over filling. Roll
towards the remaining point. Moisten the top
corner with a little water & press to seal –
place on prepared baking sheet & repeat with
remaining wrappers & filling.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown, turning
once. Serve warm, with sweet & sour sauce,
if desired. Makes about 4 dozen.

NOTE: Freezer option:
Freeze cooled baked wontons in a freezer
container, separating layers with waxed paper.
To use, reheat on a baking sheet in preheated
400 degrees F. oven until crisp & heated through.

*Wonton wrappers can usually be found in the
chilled part of the fruit/veggie aisle

**Sweet & sour sauce can usually be found in
the “International” aisle of most grocery stores

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

1 T. canola oil
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 C. uncooked long grain rice
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
3 T. flour
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 C. cubed, cooked chicken breast

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-
high heat; saute carrot, celery & onion until
tender. Add garlic; cook & stir 1 minute. Stir
in rice, seasonings & broth – bring to boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rice is
tender, about 15 minutes. Mix flour & milk
in a small bowl until smooth & stir into soup.
Bring to boil; cook & stir until thickened, about
2 minutes. Stir in chicken; heat through.
Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Garlic Parmesan Cheese Ball

11 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1/2 to 1 tsp.
minced garlic)
3/4 C. chopped walnuts, optional

Assorted fresh cut vegetables and/or
In large bowl combine first 5 ingredients &
shape into a ball. Roll in walnuts if desired.
Wrap ball tightly with plastic wrap & chill
2 hours. Serve with vegetables and/or
crackers. Makes about 2 Cups

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

2 lb. Russet potatoes, thinly sliced
3 C. whipping cream
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer potatoes
in bottom. In a bowl mix all (except
Parmesan cheese) ingredients & pour
over potatoes. Cover & cook on Low
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours (or High 2 1/2 to
3 1/2 hours) It is done when potatoes
are tender. Sprinkle Parm. cheese on top;
Cover & cook an additional 30 minutes.
Serves 8

NOTE: Poster said you can either stir in
the Parm. cheese or leave on top – your

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 lb),
cut up
1 (14 oz) can whole-berry cranberry
1 C. BBQ sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Hot cooked rice to serve 6
Place chicken in crockpot. In small bowl
combine cranberry sauce, BBQ sauce,
onion, salt/pepper – pour over chicken.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours until
chicken is tender. Serve with rice

Freezer option:
After cooking, cool chicken – cover &
freeze with sauce in freezer containers.
To use: partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Reheat in a foil-lined 9 X 13″ baking pan
in preheated 325 degrees F. oven until
heated through, covering if necessary
to prevent excess browning.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. bacon, diced (can also use
ham, sausage, veggies, etc.)
1 onion, diced
8 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
4 C. frozen hash browns, thawed
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz. Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 (16 oz) tub small curd cottage cheese
(optional topping: fresh snipped chives)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet
add bacon & cook over medium heat until
crisp; add onions & cook until translucent.
Remove from heat & drain on paper towel.
In large bowl whisk eggs, salt/pepper & hot
sauce. Add hash browns, shredded cheeses,
cottage cheese, bacon & onions – mix to
combine. Scoop mixture into prepared dish
& bake 35-45 minutes until center is set. Let
casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
Top with fresh snipped chives, if desired.
Serves 12

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
3 T. butter, softened
1 lb. white candy coating, coarsely
chopped peanuts, optional

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
In a bowl combine sugar, peanut
butter & butter – chill in freezer 30
minutes unitl easy to handle. Shape into
1 inch balls & place on prepared sheet.
Freeze 30 minutes until firm.
Meanwhile –
Melt candy coating in a microwave-safe
bowl. Dip balls in coating & place on waxed paper
to harden. If desired, sprinkle with chopped
peanuts. Makes 2 1/2 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar (loosely packed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. butter
1 C. water
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanlla
2 C. chopped apples

1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. caramel sauce
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a large cookie sheet (poster
used a 11 X 17″ rimmed cookie sheet)
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, add flour,
baking soda, salt, sugar, br. sugar & cinnamon-
mix to combine.
In a medium saucepan add butter & water –
bring to boil over medium-high heat. Pour
into dry ingredients & mix on Low speed
2 minutes. Add buttermilk, eggs & vanilla –
mix to combine. Fold in apples.
Pour batter into prepared pan & spread
evenly – make sure apple pieces are
evenly distributed. Bake 17-20 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean.

In large glass measuring cup add butter &
milk. Heat in microwave until melted. Add
rest of glaze ingredients & whisk to combine.
Pour glaze over cake while cake is still warm.
Serve immediately or cool & serve at room
temp. Serves 16-20

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)


Hope you are all in good health and beginning to
enjoy the Christmastime. I managed to get all of
the Christmas decorations up yesterday (except
for the major tree which I’ll attempt to get up in
the next few days). So far, ‘things to do’ are
proceeding ‘on schedule’ so I’m happy.
Babysat for 4 hours today and he slept for
almost all of that so I managed to get almost
2 pairs of baby booties knit; I sort of put that
project on hold about a month ago and decided
it was time to start knitting them again.

Stay healthy & warm!



Slowly getting it done!

Almost every year I find myself more and more NOT in the Christmas spirit; don’t really have a good reason why, I just feel like I really don’t want to do decorations, baking, shopping, etc. (Blame it on old age, I guess . . . I’m 71 1/2). Today I had a chat with another friend who’s older than me by ‘some’ years and she, too, feels that way but . . . after our chat I found myself saying: “Do I REALLY want to have THAT attitude?” That got me up & off my comfy chair and climbing the stairs in search of all the decorations. After some work I’m happy to say the house looks much more Christmasy! I’m debating putting up the tree on top of the baby grand piano (lots of work) but we’ll still have the other fiber-optic tree in the dining room if I ‘opt-out’. After my hips decided I’d had more than enough climbing stairs I finally quit for the time being – there’s always another day and I made it BEFORE Christmas! (one year I got to almost 3 days from Christmas – that was really pushing it).’


White Chocolate/Caramel Fudge

3 C. white chocolate chips (can also
use semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. caramel sauce – room temp.

Line a baking tray with parchment
In a medium glass bowl combine choc.
chips, milk & butter. Microwave 90 seconds.
Stir & heat another 15 seconds. Stir & heat
an additional 15 seconds (only if needed).
There will still be a few pieces of unmelted
chocolate). Add vanilla & nuts – stir to combine.
Scoop onto prepared tray & spread with a
spatula to approximately 1 inch thickness.
Drizzle top with caramel sauce & lightly
swirl caramel into fudge using a knife or the
end of the spatula. Chill until ready to serve.
Slice into 1-inch squares & store in an air-
tight container, refrigerated, for up to a week.

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)

Chicken Balsamico

1 T. olive oil
1 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken
breast halves
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. water
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
1 C. diced plum tomatoes (OR)
1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dired tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced, pitted kalamata olives
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
4 C. hot, cooked orzo pasta

In large skillet heat oil over medium-
high heat. Season chicken as desired &
cook in skillet 10 minutes until well
browned on both sides – remove from
pan. Stir garlic, vinegar & water into
skillet – cook & stir 1 minute. Stir in
undiluted soup, tomatoes, olives (if using)
& oregano – heat to a boil. Return chicken
to skillet – reduce heat to Low & cook 5
minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Season to taste & sprinkle with cheese.
Serve chicken & sauce with cooked orzo.
Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)

Lasagna Dip

6 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
oil for deep-fat frying

1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 C. whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 C. spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook lasagna noodles accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Cut cooked noodles
into 2 inch pieces & prick each piece
several times with a fork. In a small
bowl mix Parm. cheese, Italian seasoning
& garlic powder. Place several paper
towels on a plate or wire rack.Heat oil
to 375 degrees F. using an elec. skillet or
deep fryer. Fry noodles in batches 1-2
minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on paper towels & immediately
sprinkle with cheese mixture.
In large skillet cook sausage over medium
heat 4-6 minutes until no longer pink,
breaking into fine crumbles; drain. Stir in
ricotta, spaghetti sauce, garlic & seasonings;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
5 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring
occasionally. Transfer to a 1-qt. microwave-
safe dish. Sprinkle top with Italian cheese &
microwave, covered, on High 45-60 seconds
until cheese is melted. Serve with lasagna
chips. Makes 3 cups & 36 ‘chips’

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Family-style Meatballs
(using no bread or fillers)

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T. Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped (or)
1 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 egg
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper
2 T. oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (20 oz) can tomato puree
1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)
2-3 T. fresh basil, chopped
10 oz. water
salt/pepper, to taste
Cooked pasta to serve 6
For Meatballs:
In large bowl mix all ingredients
except oil – shape into 24  even-
sized balls & chill at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in large heavy skillet & add
meatballs. Brown over medium-high
heat on all sides (you might have to
do this in batches – don’t crowd the pan).
Remove browned meatballs & keep warm.

For Sauce:
In same skillet add onion & garlic; cook
over medium heat until they begin to get
tender. Lower heat & cover pan, allowing
onions to cook completely. Stir in tomato
puree, hot sauce & salt/pepper. Gently
boil over medium-low heat about 10
minutes so sauce reduces about 25%.
Add meatballs to skillet & half the fresh
basil – cover & simmer 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add remaining
basil to garnish.

Serve over cooked pasta of your choice
Serves 6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
Spanish-style Creamy Garlic Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 (6 oz) pkg. Oscar Mayer Smoked ham,
coarsely chopped
12 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth

In large saucepan heat oil on medium-high
heat. Add ham & garlic, cook 1-2 minutes
until garlic is golden brown, stirring constantly.
Add paprika & cumin; cook & stir 1 minute or
just until seasonings are toasted. Stir in cream
cheese; cook & stir 1-2 minutes until cream
cheese is melted & mixture is well blended.
Add broth; stir – bring to boil; simmer on
medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring
frequently. Serves 8

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Crockpot Amazing Mac & Cheese

1 (18 oz) box elbow macaroni (uncooked)
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
9 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 1/2 C. milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
salt/pepper, to taste

Pour all ingredients in crockpot; stir.
Cover & cook on Low 2 1/2 hours (stir
after 2 hours – if it’s too thick, add a little
milk, stir & continue cooking 30 minutes.

(recipe: simplemost.com)

Sausage Cheese Squares

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
1 (8 oz) pkg. frozen fully cooked
breakfast sausage links, thawed/cut
into 1/2″ slices
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 large eggs
3/4 C. milk
2 T. chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Unroll crescent dough & place in an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish – press
onto bottom & 1/2 inch up sides to form
a crust. Top with sausage slices & cheese.
Beat eggs in a bowl; add remaining
ingredients – mix & carefully pour over
cheese/sausages in pan. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cut into 12 squares.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Super Easy Lemon Butter Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 T. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
10 drops yellow food coloring
3/4 C. powdered sugar

In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In large bowl using an
elec. mixer, beat butter & cream cheese
with sugar until light & fluffy (about 2
minutes). Beat in eggs, lemon zest &
juice, vanilla & food coloring. Beat in
dry ingredients until just combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate
until firm, at least 2 hours & up to over-
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Place some powdered sugar
in a shallow plate or pie tin.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls then roll
in powdered sugar. Let stand 2 minutes
until sugar is absorbed then re-roll in
powdered sugar (do not shake off excess).
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on
prepared sheet & bake 18-20 minutes
until cookies crackle on top & are set but
still slightly soft in center. Transfer to a
coolin rack & cool completely.
Makes 24 cookies

(recipe: delish.com)


Going through the recipes that come into my emails
there are a LOT of cookie and appetizer recipes – am
thinking of doing a blog for each one, just so I can
share them all with you!
Every once in awhile I need to state that the recipes
I feature on my blog are NOT my own – at the bottom
of each recipe is the site where I found it.

Our weather has been very cold but still CLEAR –
just a dusting of snow on the ground – YAY! Schedule-
wise, my days are pretty booked up for the next 2
weeks – sometimes that can make me feel a ‘tad’
anxious, but I’m doing well – my de-stresser is
knitting & crochet (of course – you knew that!).

It also seems to be a season of prayer for friends;
one of our church members just died Saturday –
he was 54 and five months ago got leukemia.
Another friend is awaiting test results for possible
cancer while yet another is having her thyroid
removed next week because of cancer. This is a
time, for those of us who put our trust and faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ, to draw nearer to the Lord,
pray more for others and let them know how much
they mean to you. Life is short and death is final – please
remember to let those you love and care for know
how much they mean to you.

Love and hugs;


It’s been a quiet week . . .

Our weather has been GREAT (for me, at least) – it’s been in the 40’s, clear (a little rain) and NO SNOW! YAY! Managed to get a tiny bit of Christmas shopping done yesterday – like years past, I’m just ‘not feelin’ it. The older I get the more I would be content with just one small tree & no extra decorations (guess that’s because I’m the one doing all the dragging down, setting up, etc. of all the ‘stuff’). Anyway, am TRYING to ‘get in the mood’. I had originally planned on knitting some cotton spa cloths for several people but that kind of went by the wayside. Working on the 2 baby blankets & started another crocheted granny square one.

Like many people in our ‘older’ years, we once again needed to go over our Medicaid details with our provider. I’m sure you’ve all heard the commercials about making sure you sign up BEFORE Dec. 7th! (trying to make this a short story). We got our call Weds. evening – both my husband & I wanted to adjust our plans a bit. We got a very helpful, nice young lady; both of us were on house phones so she could speak to us. Almost done with husband’s plan and her computer screen froze. She promised to call us back quickly. No call – that evening, entire next day – finally we get a call at about 11:15 pm – yes, it was her. It seems that not only HER screen but the entire program locked up! To sum it up, we spent the next 45 minutes frantically rushing through all of both plans – my husband & I both on a house phone and on our own computers – CRAZY! She was very patient and kept asking if the final details reached our computers – NO. At the last minutes she had to do a phone/verbal confirmation for my plan but we got it done – YAY! Today I just now turned on my computer (about 6:30 p.m.) and 12 confirmation emails arrived! TOO funny! Well, at least NOW both my husband & I are covered with plans that work better for us AND save us a little $$$.


Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

1 box vanilla or white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake (eggs, oil, water)

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. melted, salted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. cinnamon

4 oz. cream cheese, softened/room temp.
1/3 C. butter, softened/room temp
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. heavy cream or milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions &
pour into prepared dish. Bake accordg.
to directions. After baking, allow to cool.
Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke
holes (in about 1-inch intervals) into top
of cooled cake.

In small bowl whisk sweetnd cond. milk,
melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon.
Pour filling into holes in cake & spread it
out using a butter knife or back of a spoon.

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese & butter
using an elec. mixer. Slowly mix in powdered
sugar, vanilla & milk (or heavy cream); mix
until smooth – spread onto cake. Sprinkle some
cinnamon sugar on top of frosting then
refrigerate cake 1 hour to allow cakes filling
to set. Serves 9

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

Warm, Layered Black Bean Dip

2 (15 oz., ea.) cans black beans, drained/
1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder (or just regular
chili powder)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3 poblano peppers roasted – (see note below)
1/3 C. cilantro leaves, packed
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. corn, drained
1/3 C. diced tomato
4 oz. queso cheese, shredded/divided
Suggested dippers:
Corn chips, bruschetta, tortillas
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat
beans. Add chili powder, cumin, salt/pepper –
combine well. When beans have warmed, mash
them. Add 1/4 C. (or more) of the shredded
cheese – mix well. If needed, add some of the
bean juice for a smooth consistency. Using a
food processor, place cilantro, peppers & 1 T.
olive oil – process until smooth; spread
mixture in bottom of an oven-safe dish.
Spread cilantro/pepper mixture over bean
mixture. Add tomato & corn then remaining
cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese
melts & begins to brown. Serve with dippers.
Serves 4

NOTE:  peppers – if not roasting peppers, make
sure you seed them before using – unless you
want it spicy.

(recipe: yummly.com)

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled,
reserve 2-3 T. bacon grease
3 Russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2 – 3/4″ pieces – about
6 C. worth)
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place reserved bacon grease on a sheet
pan. Place potatoes on pan & toss with
tongs to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with
salt/pepper & spread potatoes out in
single layer. Bake 20  minutes; stir well &
bake an additional 20 minutes. Stir again,
making sure none of potatoes are sticking
to the tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir again & sprinkle generously
with shredded cheese & crumbled bacon.
Return tray to oven & bake 2-3 minutes until
cheese has melted. Top with sliced green
onions just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 C. onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, oregano, garlic
2 C. green peppers (and/or red peppers)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 C. cooked rice*

Brown beef & onions in skillet over
medium heat; drain & place in crockpot.
Add tomatoes (& juice) and rest of
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8

*poster adds the rice before cooking;
some people like to add it at the end of

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) pkg. no-cook lasagna noodles
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. 4% cottage cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato
paste, salt & oregano. Spread 1/4th
of this mixture into ungreased crockpot.
Arrange 1/3 of noodles over sauce, breaking
to fit if necessary. Combine cheeses; spoon
1/3 of mixture over noodles – repeat layers
twice & top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until noodles
are tender. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Chili Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
1 C. tomato juice
1/2 C. water
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 C. canned or frozen corn
1/2 C sliced ripe olives
1 C. shredded Cheddar or Monterey
Jack cheese
thinly sliced green onions (optional)

In large skillet over medium heat cook
beef, onion, pepper & garlic until meat
is no longer pink; drain. Add next 7
ingredients; simmer, covered, until
rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in corn & olives; cover & cook 5
minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook,
covered, until cheese is melted, about
5 minutes. If desired, top with green
onions. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated crescent
roll dough, divided
2 lemons, zested/juiced/divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter, melted
3 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil*
& spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press
1 tube dough into bottom of prepared
pan, stretching to the edges. In a bowl mix
the zest of 1 1/2 lemons & juice from 2 lemons.
Using an elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
1/2 C. sugar into lemon zest mixture until
smooth & creamy – spread over crescent
roll dough layer. Unroll 2nd can of dough &
layer over cream cheese mixture, gently
stretching dough to edges. Brush melted
butter over dough layer. In a bowl mix
remaining lemon zest & 3 T. sugar – sprinkle
over butter. Bake about 30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Allow to cool about
20 minutes. Lift dessert from baking dish
using foil & transfer to a cutting board.
Cut into squares, leaving on foil. Return
dessert to baking dish & refrigerate until
chilled, at least 1 hour. Makes 24

*Allow foil to drap over edges of pan,
making foil ‘handles’

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
dash salt
1 to 1 1/2 C. shelled raw peanuts
(can use regular or pecans)
1 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a baking sheet generously
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
3-qt. microwaveable bowl combine
sugar, corn syrup & salt; stir in nuts.
Microwave on High 9-10 minutes
until light brown (be sure to watch-
microwaves vary).
Stir twice while cooking (very hot –
be very careful not to get burned)
Stir in remaining ingredients – mixture
should be light & foamy. Quickly spread
as thin as possible onto prepared baking
sheet. Let cool & break into pieces.
Makes about 1 lb. brittle

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)


Our ‘midwest’ weather is about to change &
get MUCH colder by Weds it’s supposed to be
a HIGH of 22! (good thing is – we might get a
little rain but it says 30% chance of snow
Weds – here in Michigan, that’s nothing!).

Hope you are all staying healthy & warm;

Enjoy your day!


and just a few more leftover recipes . . .

There are SO MANY great recipes coming in for leftovers, I thought I’d share a few more . . .


Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

1/2 C. dried cranberries (craisins)
3/4 C. sugar, divided
2 1/2 C. flour (spooned & leveled, not
1 C. butter, cold/cubed
1 tsp. almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1-2 T. fresh orange juice (optional)

additional sugar to coat cookies before
baking, if desired
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine cranberries &
1/4 C. sugar – process just until cranberries
are broken down into smaller pieces. In a
large bowl combine flour & remaining sugar;
use a pastry cutter (or 2 knives) to cut in butter –
you want very fine crumbs. Stir in extract, cranberries/
sugar mixture, orange zest & orange juice (if using).
Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes
together & forms a ball – work dough until it comes
together. Shape dough into a log about 2 inches
in diameter & wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for
2 hours (or up to 72 hours).
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut dough into slices about 1/4 inch thick. In a shallow
pan (like a pie tin) place about 1/2 C. sugar. Coat cookie
slices in sugar then place on baking sheet. Bake 12-15
minutes just until cookies are set. DO NOT over bake.
(poster did hers at 12 minutes). Let cookies cool
several minutes on sheet before removing to a cooling
rack – allow to cool completely. Store in airtight
container for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 3 months)
Makes 30 cookies

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Leftover Turkey & Stuffing Quiche

one 9″ frozen pie shell

1 C. crumbled leftover stuffing
1 C. chopped leftover turkey
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. parsley leaves, roughly chopped
kosher salt
black pepper

1 1/4 C. Half & Half
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt
black pepper

Par bake crust accordg. to pkg. directions.
Let cool slightly before adding filling.

Sprinkle stuffing & turkey in shell; top
with cheese & parsley; season with a
little salt/pepper.

In medium bowl whisk Half & Half,
eggs, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp.
pepper. Pour custard over filling.

Adjust oven temp. to 350 degrees F.
Bake quiche 35-45 minutes until set.
Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving
warm or at room temp.
Serves 6

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
(leftovers) Fried Mashed Potato Balls

3 C. leftover mashed potatoes
3 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
2/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. thinly sliced chives
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 C. panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil – for frying

In large bowl combine potatoes with
cooked bacon, cheese, chives & garlic
powder – season with salt/pepper. Stir
until all ingredients are incorporated.
Place eggs & panko in separate shallow
bowls (or pie plates). Use a small cooki
scoop to scoop 1 – 2 inch balls of potato
mixture. Roll in a ball in your hands then
dip first in egg, then in panko – repeat
until all potatoes are used.

Place 1-2 paper towels on a plate.
Heat 3 inches of oil in a large cast iron
skillet until a candy thermometer reads
375 degrees F. Fry potato balls in batches
until golden on all sides, 2-3 minutes; drain
& place on paper towel-lined plate. Season
immediately with more salt. Serves 5

(recipe: delish.com)
Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

6 egg roll wrappers*
1 C. leftover turkey, shredded
1 C. leftover mashed potatoes
1 C. leftover cranberries
1 C. leftover stuffing
vegetable oil
1/3 C. leftover gravy – for dipping

Place 1-2 paper towels on a plate.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper on a clean
surface in a diamond shape – spread a
thin layer of cranberries. Add a few T.
mashed potatoes, then stuffing, then
turkey. Fold up bottom half & tightly
fold in sides. Gently roll, then seal
fold with a few drops of water – repeat
with remaining leftovers.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil (should reach 1 inch up sides of pan).
until it starts to bubble. Add egg rolls
& fry until golden, 1 minute per side.
Drain & transfer to paper towel-lined
plate to cool slightly. Serve with heated
gravy. Makes 6

*You can usually find egg roll wrappers
in the chilled vegetable section of grocery

(recipe: delish.com)

Turkey Pot Pie Skillet

2 T. butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 C. sliced carrots
1 C. sliced celery
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C. flour
1 T. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. milk
1 C. frozen peas
2-3 C. cooked, shredded turkey or chicken

Quick Biscuits:

1 C. self-rising flour (SEE BELOW)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a 10″ oven-safe skillet melt butter
over medium heat. Add onions, carrots,
celery -cook about 5 minutes until tender.
Add garlic & cook until fragrant. Whisk in
flour, thyme, salt & pepper – cook 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in broth & milk until mixture
is thickened, smooth & bubbly. Add frozen
peas & turkey; cook until heated through.
Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine self-rising flour, garlic
powder, sugar, salt, milk & butter  – stir to
combine. Fold in shredded cheese. Drop by
tablespoonful over filling in skillet, leaving
about an inch between biscuits. Bake 20
minutes until biscuits are lightly golden on
top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

To make self-rising flour:
1 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Sift ingredients together & use in recipe

NOTE: Filling can be made up to 24 hours
in advance. Top with biscuits before baking

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
Crockpot Cranberry/Orange Pork Roast

2 T. oil
1 flat, boneless pork loin roast (4 lb)
1 (14 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 C. Catalina salad dressing
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp zest & 1/4 C. juice from 1 orange

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Add meat; cook 4-5 minutes on each side until
evenly browned on both sides. Transfer to
In a bowl mix cranberry sauce, salad dressing &
soy sauce until blended; pour over meat.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours. Remove meat
from crockpot, reserving liquid. Cover meat to
keep warm. In small bowl whisk remaining
ingredients until blended; stir into crockpot
liquids. Cover & cook on High 10 minutes until
thickened. Slice meat; place on a platter. Drizzle
lightly with sauce. Serve with remaining sauce
on the side. Serves 16

NOTE: for best results, do not cook the meat on
the High heat setting.

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Crockpot Turkey Bean Soup

1 lb. ground turkey (or gr. beef), browned/
1 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 (16 oz) can Navy beans, drained/rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, (undrained)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. dried basil
4 C. water
salt/pepper, to taste

small pasta shells, cooked
fresh grated Parmesan cheese, garnish
In large skillet over medium heat melt butter;
add onion, garlic & green pepper – saute until
tender & place in crockpot with rest of ingredients
(except pasta & Parm. cheese) – mix well. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours. Stir in cooked pasta about
15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with fresh
grated Parm. cheese when serving, if desired.
Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Frosted Cranberry Drop Cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. whole milk
1 large egg
2 T. orange juice
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 C. fresh or frozen
cranberries, chopped
1 C. chopped walnuts

1/3 C. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-4 T. hot water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease baking sheets.
In a bowl cream butter & sugars;
add milk, egg & orange juice – mix
well. In another bowl combine
flour, baking powder, salt & baking
soda – mix well & add to creamed
mixture – mix. Stir in cranberries &
nuts. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches
apart onto greased sheets. Bake 12-15
minutes until golden brown. Cool on
wire racks.
In a saucepan over low heat melt
butter until golden brown, about 5
minutes. Cool 2 minutes then transfer
to a small bowl. Add sugar & vanilla.
Beat in water, 1 T. at a time, until frosting
reaches desired consistency. Frost cookies.
Makes about 5 dozen

NOTE: for more flavor, toast nuts before
adding to dough

If you prefer a bolder flavor, choose dark
brown sugar instead of light or golden brown.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Have a great day!



a little late but I’m still around!

Thanksgiving went well – husband just informed me we are now down to “just turkey” – his ‘afternoon snack’ just wiped out the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and wild rice stuffing! Looks like there will be turkey pot pie in the very near future at our house!

Hope you all had a great holiday; I’m still not quite into the ‘holiday’ spirit – I’m not a big fan of decorating so have to kind of push myself into the ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme. I’ve managed to order 2 Christmas presents – pretty pathetic, eh? I also ordered (through Groupon) a 4-person pass for my oldest son & his family to visit one of our local ‘treasures’: the Christmas Walk at Meadowbrook Hall/Estate in Rochester, Michigan. This is a gorgeous estate which originally belonged to the Dodge (as in motor car) family and the local florists decorate most of the house and estate with beautiful scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. When my sons were younger we did the tour of the estate and it is well worth it. (also found a DVD of some Gilbert & Sullivan operas my husband loves and doesn’t have) – that’s it . . . I’m just not overflowing with gift ideas this year! How about you?


Cranberry Apple Crisp

3 C. chopped, peeled tart apples
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour

1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine apples,
cranberries, sugar & flour & pour
into prepared dish. In another bowl
mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle over top of apple mixture. Bake
50-55 minutes until fruit is tender.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a sided baking
pan. (recipe did not give size but
photos look like a loaf pan or a
8 X 8″)
In a saucepan bring sugar & milk to
a boil stirring constantly (do not turn
heat on High) Once it comes to a
full rolling boil, boil 2 1/2 minutes then remove
from heat. Stir in peanut butter & vanilla
& pour into prepared pan. Let chill.

(recipe: facebook)

Crockpot English Pub Split
Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone
1 1/3 C. dried green split peas,
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 C. water
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 T. prepared English mustard
1/2 C. 2% milk
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place ham bone in 4 qt. crockpot. Add
peas, celery, carrot & onion. Combine
water, beer & mustard; pour over veggies.
Cover & cook on High 5-6 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove ham bone from
soup. Cool soup slightly, trim any fat &
remove meat from bone (discard fat & bone).
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces & return to
crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If
desired, top with minced parsley.
Serves 8 (makes 2 qts)

NOTE: For a less chunky soup, puree in batches
in a blender or food processor.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 (3 lb) sugar pumpkin, halved/seeded &
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 T. butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 C. vegetable or chicken broth,
plus more, if needed
1 T. fresh grated ginger
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, plus more
for garnish
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt

chopped chives
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Place pumpkin
& thyme on sheet & drizzle with olive
oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper-
gently toss to combine & arrange in a
single layer. Roast 60-65 minutes, stirring
halfway through until pumpkin is fork-
tender. Cool then remove peel. In a large
stockpot or Dutch oven heat butter over
medium heat. Add shallots & cook, stirring
occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, broth & sage. Season with 3/4 tsp.
salt & black pepper to taste. Bring to boil
then remove from heat. Puree using an
immersion blender (or regular blender,
in batches being very careful) until
smooth. Add yogurt & blend again.
Pour into 4 bowls & serve immediately
with chives plus more yogurt, pepitas,
chives & ground nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soup can be frozen: Omit yogurt &
garnishes until ready to serve. Portion
cooled soup into ziplock freezer bags &
lay bags flat in single layer in freezer. Transfer
soup bags to refrigerator the night before
reheating then reheat over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Add yogurt & garnishes & serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Sky-high Brunch Bake
(note: using 9-inch springform
pan & substitute)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry (2 sheets) thawed
6 eggs, beaten/divided (note:
reserve 1 T. eggs for later)
1 C. ricotta cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen,
chopped spinach, thawed/
well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped red bell peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray springform pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheets &
roll out 1 sheet to an 11 inch square.
Roll out remaining sheet to a 12 inch
square & use to line the bottom & sides
of pan. In large bowl mix all eggs (minus
reserved 1 T. egg) with ricotta, hot sauce
& spinach. Layer half each: bacon, Cheddar,
ricotta mixture & peppers in crust – repeat
layers. Cover with remaining pastry sheet;
fold under edges then tuck inside pan. Brush
pastry with reserved egg & cut steam hole
slits in top crust. Bake 45-55 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen crust
before removing rim. Serves 12

NOTE: can be baked ahead & refrigerated for
several hours or overnight. When ready to serve,
bake, uncovered in 350 degrees F. oven 30-40
minutes until heated through.

If you don’t have a springform pan:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Can be baked in a greased 9 X 13″ pan
instead. Roll out bottom & top pastry
sheets to fit dish. Line dish with foil withthen
ends of foil extending over sides of dish.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let
stand 10 minutes then use foil ‘handles’
to life from dish before cutting to serve

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Sausage Dip

1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 1/2 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded/chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. sour cream

Tortilla chips, for dipping
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add
next 8 ingredients & cook until veggies
are tender. Reduce heat to Low; add
cream cheese & sour cream – cook &
stir until cheese is melted & well
blended (do not boil). Serve warm with
tortilla chips. Makes 48 servings (6 C.)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Twice-baked Potato Casserole

6 medium russet potatoes
4 T. butter, softened (more for pan)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 slices cooked/crumbled bacon
5 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes then place directly on oven
rack – bake until soft & easily pierced,
1 hour to 1 hr, 15 minutes depending on size.
Remove from oven & let cool slightly. Slice
warm potatoes in half & remove flesh using
a spoon – place flesh in large bowl (discard
skin). Mash flesh & butter, cream cheese, sour
cream & milk – stir to combine until butter &
cream cheese is melted. Fold in 2 C. Cheddar,
3/4 ths of bacon, 3/4ths of green onion &
garlic powder – season with salt/pepper. Brush
a medium baking dish with butter & scoop
potato mixture into dish. Smooth top & sprinkle
remaining 3/4 C. Cheddar on top. Bake about
20 minutes until cheese is melty. Turn oven to
BROIL. Broil about 2 minutes until golden.
Let cool 10 minutes then top with remaining
bacon & green onions. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)

(You could probably substitute turkey!)

Orange Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 large carrots, cut up small
1 onion, chopped small
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
6 stalks celery, cut up small
salt/pepper, to taste

3/4 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 T. corn starch
1 C. chicken broth

Suggested serving:
Cooked rice to serve 6
Heat a large skillet & add 1 T. oil.
In small bowl combine flour & 1/4
tsp. salt – dredge chicken pieces in
mixture until well covered. When oil
is hot, gently place chicken pieces in
skillet & cook until golden all over (about
10 minutes). Remove from pan & place
on a plate. Add 1 more T. oil to hot skillet
& cook veggies over medium-high heat
until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan add all sauce
ingredients – whisk until well combined &
bring to boil-it should thicken up. When
veggies are cooked add thickened sauce &
chicken to pan – stir well & serve.
Serve over cooked rice – serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture:
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
dash salt

Frosting Glaze:
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners
(recipe makes 15 muffins) & spray
liners with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix (from muffin batter):
flour, baking powder, salt & sugar – stir
with a fork. In large glass measuring cup
melt 3 T. butter; add 1 C. milk & stir to
combine. Add 1 egg & whisk into mixture-
pour into dry ingredients & stir but not
completely. Do not over mix.

Cinnamon mixture:
Melt butter in small bowl; add brown
sugar, cinnamon & dash salt – stir to combine.
Fold half of cinn. mixture into batter & stir
just until no streaks of flour. Fill muffin
cups a little more than half full. Sprinkle
remaining cinnamon mixture over top of
each muffin. Bake 12-15 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Allow muffins to rest
in tin 5 minutes then transfer to a wire
rack to cool. (glaze will go on warm muffins)

In small bowl combine melted butter,
maple syrup, vanilla, milk, powdered
sugar & salt – whisk until smooth & glossy.
Drizzle over warm muffins.
Makes 15 muffins

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)


About 2 weeks ago I was getting a bit bored with
just working on the two baby blankets and came
up with the idea of crocheting some of my various
baby yarns into a granny-square baby afghan. I
found a crochet pattern which made a slightly
different granny square than I was used to, so I
went with that. It went very quickly so that I’m
considering making another one! It was fun
and the supplies didn’t take up a lot of room in
my knit bag. Here’s the blanket:

We’ve been lucky recently with our weather – after our 8 1/2 inches of snow about 2 weeks ago, it’s all melted and now it’s just cold and wet (raining – but it’s not turning into the white stuff – YAY!) Our forecast calls for highs in the 30’s all week and some rain so I really don’t mind that at all. You can walk & drive in rain!

Hope you are all in good health;



More recipes!

Today is one of “THOSE” days – where it seems KEYS and I are not on speaking terms. Getting ready to go babysit – get out to the car with my purse, keys and knit bag. I have a remote-start car so I’d started the car a little earlier. Put everything where it needed to be and go to put the key in the slot – no car key! Believe me, I dug through everything at least twice. Finally, out of desperation I look at my knit bag again and there, sitting right on top, was the car key – UGH! I stopped at our mailbox on the way (we have a community/pedestal type mailbox) and got our mail. Went on my merry way, babysat, drove home and went to put my car key on my big key ring & get the house key ready – NO house key! OH NO! Again, tore through the car, my purse, my knit bag – no key. Drive to the mailbox IN THE DARK (and raining) to see if maybe it fell on the ground around the box. Just as I step out of the car I hear “Chink!” – it’s my keys – they were on my lap the whole time! UGH! Apparently they decided to come off the big ring all on their own. SOoooooo glad I’m home safe now! Crazy day!


Mini Gingerbread Loaves

18 graham crackers, finely crushed
(about 2 1/4 C.)
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 egg, beaten
2 T. honey
2-3 tsp. water, divided
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour FIVE 5 1/2 X 3 1/4
X 2 inch disposable mini loaf pans.
In medium bowl combine first 7
ingredients. Add milk, sour cream,
egg & honey – stir just until blended.
Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake
30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into centers comes out clean. Cool
In small bowl add 2 tsp. water to 1/2 C.
powdered sugar – stir until blended. Add
remaining water, if necessary, until desired
drizzling consistency is achieved. Drizzle glaze
over loaves & let stand until glaze is firm.
Serves 12

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)

Pumpkin Pie Dip

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
3/4 C. brown sugar, not packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or more,
to taste)
1 (6 oz) cup plain Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Dippers: cut up apples, pears,
graham crackers or gingersnaps
In large bowl mix pumpkin with
brown sugar, vanilla & spices –
blend well. Mix in yogurt. Fold in
Cool Whip & refrigerate until
ready to serve.
Makes 12 servings

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
Crockpot Harvest Pecan Sweet Potatoes

2 (29 oz, ea) cans sweet potatoes, drained
1/3 C. plus 2 tsp. butter, melted/divided
2 T. sugar
1/3 C. plus 2 T. brown sugar, packed/divided
1 T. orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. milk

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. In a large bowl mash
sweet potatoes. Mix in 1/3 C. melted butter,
sugar & 2 T. brown sugar. Add juice, eggs &
milk – beat well & place mixture in crockpot.
In separate bowl mix pecans, flour, rest of
brown sugar & butter – spread over potatoe
mixture. Cover & cookn High 3-4 hours.
Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

Stuffing-stuffed Mushrooms

16 baby Portobello mushrooms
4 C. soft breadcrumbs
1/2 C. finely diced onion
finely chopped mushroom stems
2 T. chopped parsley
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled milk pork
sausage (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Separate stems from mushrooms & finely
chop stems – place them in a kitchen towel
& wring out excess moisture. In large, heavy-
oven-proof skillet melt 6 T. butter over medium
heat. Add onion & diced stems – cook until onion
is tender but not browned; remove from heat &
slightly cool. In a large bowl place breadcrumbs &
add parsley, poultry seasoning, salt/pepper &
sausage (if using). Add skillet veggies & any butter
in skillet into bowl – stir so all breadcrumbs are
coated. Divide mixture evenly between mushroom
caps & place them in the skillet you cooked onions/
stems in. Melt remaining 2 T. butter & drizzle over tops.
Bake 20-30 minutes until mushrooms begin to brown &
are crisp on top. Serves 8

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Cranberry Butter

1/2 C. cranberries, finely chopped
(fresh or frozen)
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 orange – zested, minced

In a bowl combine all ingredients,
pressing together & mixing until
well blended. Place on a large piece
of plastic wrap & roll to form a log.
Squeeze out (or blot with a paper towel)
any excess liquid then refrigerate until
Cut into rounds & serve with small bread
slices or crackers
Serves 15

(recipe: food.com)

Butternut-Pineapple Crumble

1 medium butternut squash (4 lb,
1 (8 oz) can unsweetened crushed
pineapple, drained
1 (8 oz) carton spreadable honey nut
cream cheese
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
12 tsp. ground nutmeg

10 shortbread cookies, crushed
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 T. sugar
3/4 C. honey-roasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8″ square baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Place squash in large saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Cook, covered, until tender, 15-20
minutes; drain. Cool slightly. Process
in a food processor until slightly chunky.
Add pineapple, cream cheese, butter,
cinnamon & nutmeg – process until
smooth. Transfer to prepared dish.

Combine crushed cookies, butter &
sugar; sprinkle over squash mixture &
top with almonds. Bake, uncovered,
35-40 minutes, until edges are lightly
Serves 6

* You can substitute sweet potatoes
for the squash, if desired

NOTE: This dish is silky & smooth – if you
want a different texture you can skip
pureeing the pineapple.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Garlic & Herb Spaghetti Squash

1 large spaghetti squash, (or 2 medium0
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Using a sharp knife, pierce squash
in several random spots. Place it in
microwave for 3 minutes (makes
the skin much easier to cut). Carefully
remove from microwave; using a sharp
knife, cut both ends of squash off. Slice
squash in 2 long halves (cut horizontally)
& using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment
paper & place squash halves, cut sides
down, onto sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes
until squash is soft when pierced with a
fork. Carefully remove pan from oven &
turn each half over (peel sides down). Bake
an additional 15 minutes until insides are
soft & easily shreddable with a fork.
Remove pan from oven – using a fork, fluff
insides of squash. Add a little butter to both
squash halves & sprinkle remaining seasonings
over top; toss to combine. Serves 2

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Wild Rice Soup

1/3 C. uncooked wild rice
1 T. canola oil
1 quart water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
3 C. chicken broth
2 C. Half & Half cream
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp. salt

In medium saucepan combine rice,
oil & water – bring to boil. Reduce
heat, cover & simmer 30 minutes.
In Dutch oven, cook onion, celery &
carrot in butter until almost tender.
Stir in flour until well blended; cook
& stir 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth &
undrained rice- bring to boil. Cook &
stir until slightly thickened (2 minutes).
Reduce heat; stir in cream, rosemary &
salt – simmer, uncovered, until rice is
tender, about 20  minutes.
Makes about 2 qts – 8 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Cranberry Crisp Cake

1 box white cake mix, divided
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. water
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. red raspberry preserves
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 C. 2% milk
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

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

In a bowl combine 3/4 C. cake mix (dry),
butter & water – stir in pecans.

In another bowl combine cranberries, sugar,
preserves & 2 T. cake mix

In a third bowl combine cream cheese, eggs,
milk, pie spice & remaining cake mix. Using
elec. mixer, beat on Low speed 30 seconds.
Beat on Medium 2 minutes then pour
batter into prepared pan & smooth top.
Spoon cranberry filling on top to within
1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle with topping to
edges of pan. Bake 55-60 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Serves 15

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


That’s it for now – time to go relax a bit.
Dinner tonight is super easy: cheese-stuffed
brats on buns! I’ve learned – on nights when
I’m out late (special needs group, babysitting,
choir practice & evening church) dinner HAS
to be super easy.

Hope you had a great day!

Stay healthy & warm;