Thursday, March 30, 2023

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 We had something new this week, a recipe I got from my friend Deb, of Days of my Life. I must confess to having this recipe for some time.  I am bad at saving recipes to use, and then forgetting them.  Last week I was looking at some and I thought it was far past time to try it.
As Deb promised, it was good!  Deb posted the original recipe with a few things she did differently.  I used a little bit from both recipes. Bob and I both enjoyed it and I will be making it again.

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese
2 envelopes Italian Dressing Seasoning Envelopes
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 can corn, drained
4 chicken breasts
Cooked rice

Melt butter and cream cheese together.  Stir in Italian Dressing Seasoning, then stir in cream of chicken soup.
Place in chicken in crock pot and pour sauce over top.
Cook on low for about 7 hours, then shred chicken and stir in corn.
Cook for another hour on low.
Serve over hot cooked rice.

*Deb added sliced potatoes to hers, and used 1 can cream of chicken and 1 can cream of mushroom soup. She also added 1/2 cup milk.  I think this recipe is quite flexible and you can switch it up a lot and it still works.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Price is Right!

 Most of you have probably seen the show The Price is Right.  Our ladies group from church decided to plan a fun night with that theme. It was supposed to happen a few weeks ago, but we had one of those crazy winter storms we've been having and it had to be postponed.  Last Friday it finally happened.  

The night started with a testimony from a lady who titled her talk "Jesus paid the Price, so the Price is Right!" She was destined to be incarcerated for crimes she committed, was a fugitive living under another name for 12 years. However, after marrying and having kids, she became a Christian and knew she couldn't live with this secret.  She turned herself in and ended up being exonerated. 

After her talk, the game started.  Two guys from our church who are hilarious and great actors, played Bob Barker, and Johnny Olsen, who was the announcer.

Here's Bob Barker and Johnny Olsen.  Matt, who was playing Bob Barker had put on some self tanning lotion as Bob always had a deep tan. It got darker than he anticipated, so he was joking that he had been vacationing in Florida.  He was also wearing a classy white wig.

They started the game, and to my surprise, the first name called to play was mine.
There were 2 sets of 3 games.  They did the first set of 3, and then on the second set I won the initial game.  That prize was a table top humidifier.  Then I played another game where you had to guess the price of things and win tokens to play Tic Tac Toe and won a Cuisinart waffle maker.

Here's a few of the other games they did.

The alpine climbing game

The famous Plinko Board.

Then it was time to spin the wheel for the play offs.  I got 90, so I ended up with one other person doing the final game.  
Believe it or not, I won the final game as well
The prize was a bunch of Vera Bradley camp chairs, backpacks, a blanket and a weekend stay at a home on a lake.

Here's all the winnings.  What a fun night, with unexpected prizes to go home with!
In the end though, the testimony we heard really was the most important part of the night.  We are so thankful that Jesus paid the price for us and eternal life is what we are given.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 The recipe I'm sharing is an old one.  It's something my mom used to make when I was young.  I'm still making it now, so that tells you it's stood the test of time!
These bars are so good!  I made them for a birthday celebration at work and some of the girls were watching the clock, telling me they were eating a small bar every time another hour passed.
These are also the bars Alaina made last weekend - they are really easy!  So try them, you'll like them!

Chocolate Scotcheroos

1 cup white sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Grease a 9x13 pan.
Stir together sugar and corn syrup in sauce pan.  Heat, stirring occasionally until mixture just comes to a boil.  (Do not overcook)
Stir in peanut butter, then stir in Rice Krispies.
Spread into greased pan.
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together.  Spread over Rice Krispy mix.
Place in refrigerator until chocolate topping sets, then cut into small squares and store at room temperature. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Monday, March 20, 2023

Oreo Bunnies

 When Alaina and Ruby were here, we made cute bunny treats using oreos, marshmallows, white chocolate and sprinkles.  They were really pretty easy to make, but they got easier after we did a few and learned some tricks.

First we carefully opened the oreos, dipped a sucker stick in melted white chocolate, put it in the frosting and put them back together.  While the white chocolate cooled, we worked on bunny ears.

To make the ears, we cut large marshmallows in half diagonally, then pressed them into pink sprinkles. The sprinkles stick to the cut part and they look like bunny ears!

Then we drizzled melted white chocolate over the oreo's and spread it onto front and back.  We pressed the bottom of the ears into the oreos and set them to dry on parchment paper.  Once they dried, I did add a little more white chocolate to the back to make sure the ears stayed on.

We put candy eyes on, a little pink candy for a nose and a sprinkle for the mouth.

Then they went into bags and were tied with a pink ribbon.  We brought one to both Dad and Ann, saved one for Cassie, saved one for Bob, dropped some off at the girls friends house and sent some home with them.

They were pretty happy with their creations!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Little moments, fun memories

Here's a few fun moments from my last week.

I had Tuesday off and Heather asked if I would go with her to run a few errands. She watches a 7 month old baby, so getting out with the baby and Cassie can be an ordeal.  We ran the errands in good time, then picked up some Chik-fil-A for lunch and took it to her house to eat.

Here's Cassie, enjoying her lunch.

And here she is showing me a chick cookie I had picked up for her at Target.

On Friday night, Alaina and Ruby spent the night.  We had supper at Red Robin.  The girls were showing the green they wore for St Patrick's Day.

When we got home, Alaina helped me make a treat.  She did a great job.  I'll share the recipe for this later this week.

While Alaina was working in the kitchen, Ruby was making a fort out of the couch cushions.

On Saturday, we stopped at my Dad and Ann's on the way home to drop off some fun things the girls made.  They are always happy to see Alaina and Ruby,  and the girls love to see Great Grandpa and Great Grandma too.

Also on Saturday was this. Yet another snowstorm on the weekend.  On Friday the temp was 31 when we went to bed, 18 degrees with lots of wind and more snow. I heard on the news, that this snowstorm put us at the 3rd highest snowfall on record for the season.  

This week we are supposed to have temps in the 50's so we are all hoping that this is the last snow for the season.  I don't need to break any more records!  :)

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 I tried something new the other day!  I don't often make yeast breads as they intimidate me.  I have a few recipes I make but they are often time consuming.  When I saw this recipe, it seemed too quick and easy to believe, but I tried it.  And guess what?  It really was quick and easy - and good!
I split my dough in half and made one small French loaf for supper and one small loaf of cinnamon bread.  We enjoyed them both!

French Bread

1 package quick rising yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 1/2 cups bread flour
Stir yeast and sugar into the warm water. Stir in salt, butter and flour. Knead for 2 minutes, then place ball of dough in greased bowl.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Take out of bowl and place on floured surface.  Stretch and fold dough in on itself.  Split in half and form into 2 long, thin loaves.
Slit dough down the middle and spread a little softened butter in the slit.
Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023

Snow, and more snow

 I've told you about the crazy winter we are having and this weekend, it hit again.  One of our local weather forecasters said "Here in West Michigan we are having a weekly fish fry with a snow storm for Lent".  That feels about right, it seems we have a big snowstorm every Friday.

Last week we had a big snowstorm that came during the night Thursday night.  When we went to bed Thursday there was barely a dusting of snow.  When we woke up, this is what we found:

Our back yard

More in the back yard.

One of the things I so appreciate about my job is that when the roads are bad, they often have us work from home.  However, this was the last day for one of our scheduling people and they had planned a farewell luncheon.  So we slid into work!  The good thing was that every school in the area was closed, so traffic was much lighter than usual.
I took pictures along the way so you could come with me.  :)

This is my road, I had just pulled out from our house.

Most of the roads had this wet snow on them and were pretty slippery.  I saw one accident and one car that had gone off into a field.  I also had a truck lose control behind me and I thought I was going to get hit, but he ended up next to me.  I'm thankful for protection on the drive!

Everything was covered in snow and it was so pretty!

I go through this little town that isn't much more than one corner with a library, school, a few churches, and lots of farm land.  This is an old church building there that has been bought by a funeral home and is being renovated. They plan to keep the exterior like it is with those pretty stained glass windows.

Farms along the way.

More snowy roads...

And here I am at work.  Look at how much snow is on our picnic table!

The sun came out and it got a little warmer during the day, so my drive home was so much better!
I was really hoping this was the last big storm of the year, but guess what?  Sunday night we had another storm and it was a repeat of this one.  Later this week, temps are supposed to be in the 40's so this should all melt.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Happy Birthday Dad!

 Many of you know my Dad has been in Hospice care since last June.  When he signed on he was really not doing well, but then he improved and had done quite well for several months.  Recently he's been much weaker and we can see him failing, so we were thrilled to be able to celebrate his birthday on Saturday.
He turned 92 and all of us kids took him out for supper to a place he chose.  He wanted to go there, because they give you a percentage off your meal on your birthday, and the percentage matches your age.  So he got 92% off his meal!  We were paying for his meal, so really it didn't make a difference to him, but it's the idea, right?

One of the things this restaurant is known for is the money tacked up on the walls.  You see lots of $1 and $5, a few $10's too.  They collect it and donate it to local charities.

Here's our group.  I'm afraid I cut a few people out of the picture, but it was my Dad and Ann, Bob and I, my brother Duane, my sister Terri and her husband Dave and my sister Cheri and her husband Mark.

My Dad and I

When you get 92% off your meal, you get a good one!  He had prime rib, lobsters and shrimp and enjoyed every bit!

Dad has macular degeneration and is now legally blind, so Terri was reading his cards to him.

Dad and Ann.

I have been blessed with the best Dad.  He was a hard worker and lived out his faith.  He always did and still does show us how much he loves his family.  He has such a great sense of humor and even now, when I take him to appointments or when he sees his doctor, people always tell me how much they love him.  His hospice nurse is always messaging me to tell me how cute he is.  I agree, he is the best!  We are enjoying the time we have with him and it was so good to celebrate him this weekend!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 We tried a new soup recipe last week.  When I saw this recipe with chicken, black beans, Rotel, corn and cream cheese, I knew it would be good!  You can do it on the stove top or in the crock pot, it's quick to put together and it is so good!

Chicken Taco Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
2 cans Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, with juice (use the mild version if you don't like too much spice)
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips

Add oil and onion to soup pot and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients to pot except cream cheese, heavy cream and chicken.
Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil.  Turn down heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add cream cheese, cut into pieces to soup and let it melt, stir to mix.
Add heavy cream and chicken.
Cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve with toppings as desired.

To make in crock pot, saute onion, then place all ingredients except cream cheese and heavy cream in crockpot.  Cook on low for 3 hours, then stir in cream cheese and heavy cream.  Cook on high for one more hour and stir to mix.

* You can make this regular taco soup by substituting browned ground beef for the chicken.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

 (My nephews new puppy!  Isn't he the cutest?)

Monday, March 6, 2023

Girly Fun

 We had Alaina and Ruby overnight last weekend and I have a few pictures to share of our fun.

The last time they were over, they were telling me about a treat they like that's a little twist on chips and cheese.  I didn't have any salsa in the house then, so Alaina wrote a note and put it on the fridge saying "get salsa"

They were very happy to find that I had gotten salsa and were excited to make their snack on Friday night.

Here's Alaina with her snack.  You spread a little cream cheese on a paper plate, put salsa over it and then sprinkle cheese on top.  Melt it in the microwave and eat with tortilla chips.

And here is Ruby getting hers ready.

We had a fun evening.  The next day Bob had to work, which always makes them sad.  However, they are very good at entertaining themselves while I get a few things done around the house.

Both girls love Legos and Alaina is showing me the beginning of a house she was building.  Ruby played with the Legos too, but she was getting ready when Alaina did this.

After I got my laundry going and started something in the crock pot, we did our craft for the day.
We made tiny little snowmen from little clay pots and wooden balls.
The pots and balls were painted white, then the ball was hot glued onto the bottom of the pot.  You turn it over and use a pipe cleaner for twig arms.  Then the girls had fun painting on a face, buttons and a scarf.  Two tiny pom poms and a wire made into earmuffs finished them off.

Here they are with their little snowmen.  Hopefully they are the last snowmen for the year!

And here's a closeup of their work.  I thought they did a great job picking colors and painting them!

After this we packed up to go home.  We picked up lunch and stopped by my Dad to eat it.  He and Ann are always happy to see the girls and the girls always share their fries with them.  It's so sweet!