Sunday, December 30, 2012

Recycle Your Christmas Cards

When you are ready to take down your Christmas cards from display consider a couple "green" ideas for reusing and recycling:

1. Pray through your Christmas cards over the next few weeks and months. At dinner each night pick one Christmas card and pray for that person/family.

2. After you have prayed through all your Christmas cards send them to St. Jude's who will created new holiday and greeting cards!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Slush Punch


  • 2-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 (46 ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 2-liter bottles 7-up

  1. Bring the sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for 3 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. 
  3. Divide mixture into 2 separate containers and freeze.
  4. Combine the contents of 1 container with 1 bottle of the lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage in a punch bowl; stir until slushy. Repeat with remaining portions as needed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cabbage with Caraway

My sister brought this cabbage dish to our family Christmas party. It was SO yummy. Perfect with beef.  I'm sure it would be really good with corned beef too.

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 head green cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  1. Heat the oil in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. 
  2. Season with the caraway seed, salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes, turning the cabbage occasionally, until very tender. 
  3. Sprinkle with sugar and turn to combine.
Recipe from the kitchen of Rachel Ray.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

These yummy treats are only 4 points on the Weight Watchers program. They are delicious and easy to make. Good with turkey burgers or Boca burgers and great for a summer barbecue. Enjoy!


  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon course salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub sweet potatoes under cold water; pat dry. Halve lengthwise. Quarter each half lengthwise.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with cumin, salt,  pepper, and olive oil until coated. Arrange cut sides down in a single layer. 
  3. Roast, turning potatoes halfway through, until tender and browned about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spinach Salad


  • Spinach leaves
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • Chopped walnuts
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced


  1. Toss all ingredients together. 
  2. Serve with poppy seed dressing.

Recipe from the kitchen of Charmaine Kyle.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Salmon Patties

My Grandpa loved these salmon patties. I remember my Grandma making them for him at lunch when I would visit.


  • 1 can (6-1/2 ounces) Salmon
  • 4 saltines, cumbled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Pick bones and skin from one can of red salmon, add raw egg, chopped onion and lemon juice. 
  2. Mix with cracker crumbs and shape into patties. 
  3. Fry in butter. 

Recipe from the kitchen of Ruth Chamberlin.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Malabrigo Rasta Slippers

I made these beautiful slippers in about 5 hours. Very fun. Large chunky yarn and large needles. Let me know if you want me to make a pair for you!

1 Skein Malabrigo Rasta
Size 13 needles

K2Tog - Knit two together
S1 - Slip one purl wise with yarn in front
M1 - Make one
P - Purl
K - Knit

Cast on 19 sts
Row 1: S1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K6
Row 2: S1, K7, M1, K1, M1, K2, M1, K8
Row 3: S1, K5, P1, K8, P1, K6
Row 4: S1, knit across

Repeat last 2 rows until piece measures 7-1/2 inches.
Repeat row 3 once more.
S1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, (K2tog) 4 times, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1
S1, K3, P1, K4, P1, K4
S1, (K2tog) 6 times, K1
K2tog across
Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Pull yarn through remaining sts.

Turn slipper inside out and seam up the slipped sts until there are 4 inches remaining to heel. Leave the remining 4 inches unworked (foot hole).
Seam the heel.
Repeat for second slipper.

(K1, BO5) repeat across.
Sew flower in place on the slipper.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lanaloft Bulky Scarf

This was my absolute favorite knitting project to date. Fast, bold pattern, beautiful end product.

1 skein Lanaloft Bulky (Brown Sheep) and size 13 needles.
Gauge: 4 st=2", 10 rows=3".

Cast on 18 sts. Knit for 8 rows (garter st).
Row 9: K18.
Row 10: K4, P10, K4.
Row 11-24: Repeat rows 9 & 10.

Repeat rows 1-24 util desired length.
End with 8 rows of garter.

Finished size: 7"x58"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Going Green

Here's a few easy steps to turning over a new "green" leaf in 2013:

1. Stop unwanted junk mail from coming to your home.
2. Stop phone books from arriving at your house and find what you need online.
3. Cancel your newspaper or magazine subscriptions. Read them online, share with a friend, or get them from the library!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cole Slaw

  • 1 bag shredded cabbage and carrot cole slaw mix
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda
  • 2-3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  1. Mix mayonnaise, salt, sugar and vinegar together to make the dressing. 
  2. Mix dressing with shredded cabbage mix.  
  3. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Recipe from the kitchen of Charmaine Kyle.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jell-O Grapes

This was one of my favorite snacks as a young child.  Yes, I've always had a sweet tooth!


  • 48 grapes
  • 1/2 cup Jell-O, any flavor


  1. Rinse grapes with cool water. 
  2. Roll grapes in uncooked Jell-O. 
  3. Eat!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bacon & Waterchestnuts


  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, whole
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup mayonniase
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar


  1. Slice bacon strips into thirds. 
  2. Wrap uncooked bacon around water chestnuts. Hold with a toothpick. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  3. Mix ketchup, mayonnaise, brown sugar. Boil ketchup mixture. 
  4. Pour over water chestnuts. Bake for 20 minutes.

Recipe from the kitchen of Penny Mauger.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The PRE-Christmas Party OR Tomato Soup & Dumplings

My parents and I have settled in to a wonderful Christmas tradition for the day BEFORE the big family party. My parents get to town just before dinner time. After they get settled in we have a light supper. This is my favorite part of the night because my Dad does the cooking! He makes his cooking staple, tomato soup and dumplings. After dinner we do some last minute shopping for any groceries or supplies we might need for the party the next day. It's quite a treat to go shopping "in the big city" for my Mom! Once we're done shopping we slowly drive back home with lots of little detours as we take in all the wonderful holiday lights. If it's not too late, we watch a Christmas movie to cap off the evening. An excellent evening of conversation, entertainment, and companionship. Love it!

Tomato Soup & Dumplings
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  1. Combine soup and 1 cup milk and simmer on stove.
  2. Put eggs, milk, baking powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Whip them together until creamy and baking powder is dissolved. Slowly add enough flour for a thick consistency like cookie dough.
  3. Bring soup to a boil. Dip wooden spoon in soup so it is hot. This will help the dumpling mix easily slide off the spoon. 
  4. Drop 1/2 teaspoon dumpling mix into soup. Continue adding dumplings until the mix is gone.
  5. Cook at least 3-4 minutes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Donna's Hamburgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 10 saltines
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Mash crackers into crumbs (should be about 3/4 cup). 
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Let sit 1/2 hour. 
  3. Shape into patties and brown.
Recipe from the kitchen of Donna Mey.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Easily Clean Mini Blinds

Clean your mini blinds by wearing pair of white cotton gloves.  Dip gloved fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, and run your fingers across both sides of each blind.

If you have wood mini blinds try this: Mix a solution of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, and 2 cups warm water.

Friday, December 14, 2012

White Sauce - a Cooking Staple

This recipe was a cooking staple in my family growing up. I think we put EVERYTHING into a white sauce. Not very creative. But, hey, it worked!


  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Cup Milk


  1. Put butter in sauce pan and gradually add in flour. 
  2. Then slowly add the milk and stir steadily over a moderate heat until the sauce boils. Add the salt and pepper. 
  3. If a thicker sauce is desired, use 2 tablespoons flour and butter.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Karen Betz' Chicken Tenders


  • 6 Tablespoons Margarine
  • 3 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1/4 Package of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 12-16 Chicken Tenders


  1. Marinate chicken slices in melted margarine. 
  2. Add vinegar. 
  3. Place in baking dish. 
  4. Top with ranch dressing mix (dry). Sprinkle with bread crumbs. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Recipe from the kitchen of Karen Betz Griewahn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Uncle Del's Chicken


  • 8 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 cup Wine Sherry
  • 8 Slices Swiss Cheese
  • 1 Box Cheese and Garlic Croutons
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter


  1. Place chicken breasts in baking dish, cover with cheese slices. 
  2. Combine soup and wine. Pour over to cover chicken. 
  3. Spread crushed croutons over to cover. 
  4. Melt butter and drizzle over casserole. 
  5. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  6. Serve with rice, green salad and french bread.

Recipe from the kitchen of Delbert Mey.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cleaning Your Microwave

Here's a cool trick I'm definitely going to try. Not that I have any baked-on food in MY microwave!

Mix 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fiesta Dip


  • 1 can refried beans (15 ounces)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 quart sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 10 large black olives, pitted
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 medium red pepper
  • 1/4 medium green pepper


  1. Spread 1 can refried beans on plate. 
  2. Mix taco seasoning with sour cream. Spread sour cream over beans. 
  3. Top with decorative fixings such as olives, green onions, shredded cheese, lettuce, and green and red peppers.

Recipe from the kitchen of Charmaine Kyle.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I never realized how easy it is to make your own guacamole. And now that I have tasted the real thing, I can't imagine buying the packaged kind any more. This recipe is simple, no-frills, and just plain amazing. Enjoy!

  • 2 ripe avocados*, cut up
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  1. Beat avocados, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper until creamy. 
  2. Stir in tomato. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. 
  4. Serve with Stacy's Pita Chips - they're amazing!
*The secret to the best guacamole is very ripe avocados, enjoy.

Recipe from the kitchen of Betty Crocker!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lisa's Stuffed Bread


  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 large loaf frozen bread dough
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt


  1. Brown sausage; drain and rinse with water to remove excess fat. 
  2. On a floured surface, roll out bread dough to a 8x15 inch rectangle. 
  3. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, leaving 1-inch around the edges. Top with cooked sausage and spinach. Roll up jelly-roll fashion, length wise, then put seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. 
  4. Brush top with beaten egg white and sprinkle with garlic salt. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
May substitute ham, broccoli and cheddar cheese for variation.

Recipe from the kitchen of Lisa Sikkema.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chocolate Snackin' Cake

When we were growing up it was always my brother and sister's job to do the dishes after dinner. I think that's why my sister loved this recipe so much. If you want, you can mix the entire cake in the pan you bake it in. NO DISHES to wash up! I love this recipe because it's super easy and yummy!


  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Mix dry ingredients together with a fork in 8" square cake pan. 
  2. Combine wet ingredients in small bowl; add to dry mixture in cake pan and mix well with fork. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.
  4. Once the cake has cooled you can sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Use ice to cleanse the blades in your garbage disposal and break up the grease that collects on the rotors. Every few weeks, toss in a handful of cubes, turn on the disposal, and run cold water. Add some orange, lemon or lime peels to ward off odors.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No Bake Chocolate Drop Cookies


  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups dry quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Combine peanut butter, oats, and vanilla; blend to form a crumb mixture. Set aside. 
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan; bring to a full boil for 1 minute. Stir into oatmeal mixture. 
  3. Drop quickly by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Made this recipe for my wonderful crafty girlfriends. Had a great time this weekend. Thanks all for joining me!


  • 1 envelope Taco Seasoning
  • 6 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 16-ounce jar Salsa
  1. Dump everything into a crock pot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa. You do not need to add any water to the taco seasoning. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork.
  2. Serve the chicken with soft flour tortillas, guacamole, lettuce, shredded cheese and/or sour cream. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Have you discovered Quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is considered a whole grain but it is really a seed. Quinoa is high in protein and dietary fiber. It contains more high-quality protein than any other grain. Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. It does not contain any gluten. Quinoa can be served hot or cold. It can be served as a side dish, in soups, as a pilaf or as a breakfast cereal. One cup of cooked Quinoa has 222 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of dietary fiber. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, iron, selenium, calcium, folate and vitamin E. Quinoa can be used in place of rice or couscous. It takes between 10 and 15 minutes to cook. Cook a batch and store in the refrigerator for use in soups and as a base for stir fry vegetables. It can be stored for as many as four days. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Knox Blox


  • 4 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 3 packages Jell-O (3 ounces each)
  • 4 cups water


  1. In a large bowl combine all gelatin. 
  2. Boil water. Add to gelatin and stir until dissolved. 
  3. Pour into a large shallow baking pan (9x13) and chill until firm. 
  4. Cut into squares.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beef with Mushrooms

Here's another recipe that was a favorite in our house when I was growing up. My parents learned this when we lived in Ann Arbor and they took a Chinese cooking class.

  • 1 pound lean flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 green onion
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery

  1. Mix beef with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, pepper, sherry, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon corn starch.
  2. Heat oil in pan; saute shredded onion. Add beef. Cook until color turns (about 2 minutes). Remove.
  3. Put mushrooms, celery, 3/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in pan; bring to a boil.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 1/8 cup water and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add cooked beef; mix well. Serve hot.
From the kitchen of Larry Mey.