Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I normally do not post too much about food or recipes here but I figured with the holidays upon us I would share a few of my favorites...you know, because food plays such a huge part in all of our holiday celebrations.

The other day I shared my secret ingredients in two of my most requested holiday side dishes, which you can check out HERE...in case you missed it... and today, I want to share two of my favorite holiday party appetizers or as some call them, hors d'oeuvres.

Around the holidays it seems there is no shortage of get togethers, parties or pot lucks that we need to take a dish to.  If you are like me you oftentimes get into the rut of taking the same ol' thing to all of them and that's usually because they are easy or inexpensive and because they are also comfort food type dishes that everyone loves.  Sometimes though I like a little bit of a change

While there's nothing wrong with taking the usual crockpot of BBQ meatballs because they are truly delicious, I was getting a little bored with them.  Has that ever happened to you?  By the time you get to about the fifth holiday party or so and have eaten about 50 of those little BBQ meatballs they just kind aren't that exciting anymore. It's like YAWN!!, right?...and that's why I reinvented the standard meatball appetizer.

They have gone from sweet and BBQie to savory and sophisticated.  The best part is they can be used as an appetizer or served over rice or noodles for more of a pot luck dish and, they aren't any harder or more expensive to make than the BBQ ones.  Here's the recipe if you would like to take something different to your next holiday party...


2 16 oz. packages frozen meatballs (the low fat turkey meatballs are equally delicious in case you are counting calories!)
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 c. cold water
1/2 c. milk

Directions:  Pour frozen meatballs into crockpot and set the temperature to low.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the contents of the brown gravy packet and water until there are no lumps.  Slowly whisk in the cream of mushroom soup and milk until smooth.  Pour mixture over meatballs and cook in crockpot on low, stirring occasionally until hot. Serve and enjoy. 

I hope you will try these.  They are REALLY delicious and I think you will enjoy the change.

My other favorite holiday appetizer is something I never tire of.  It's a true holiday tradition for my family.  If we didn't have it, it would surely be missed. It takes less than five minutes to prepare and there is no cooking involved.  Now that's what I call easy.  It's a big ol' loaf of rye bread and creamy dill dip.

Lots of times I buy dill dip right from the grocery store but there have been occasions when there isn't any left to be had.  When that happens I make my own and it's really easy...you just whisk together a few ingredients and it's done.


1 c. Hellmann's mayonnaise

1 c. sour cream
2-3 tsp. dried dill weed
1 tbsp. minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. seasoning salt

Directions:  In a mixing bowl whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Serve.

It doesn't get any easier than that and it's delicious to boot.

So, if you want to take something a little different to your holiday get togethers this year, be sure to try my savory, creamy meatballs.  They are sure to please, I promise!! And, if you have never tried dipping rye bread in creamy dill dip your taste buds are truly missing out. Try it, I know you will LOVE it.

Anyway, those are just two of my favorite holiday appetizers.  I hope you will try them and enjoy.

Happy hors d'oeuvre days from my home to yours.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Did you realize that Thanksgiving is ONLY a week away?  How did that happen?  It's truly hard to believe that the holidays are upon us ALREADY!!

Anyway, I received a call from my sweet SIL yesterday to go over our plans for Thanksgiving Dinner this year.  She said that it's my turn to bring Mashed Potatoes...ummmm, because mine are the best.  Yep, that's what she said.  So that got me to thinking about why everyone LOVES my mashed potatoes so much...ummm, and my green bean casserole too.

It's because of my secret ingredients!!!

You see most people simply use a splash of milk, some butter and a little salt and pepper when they make their mashed potatoes but not me, NOPE, I use evaporated milk in mine...

and that makes them heavier and creamier and tastier than your average mashed potatoes.  They truly are the BEST mashed potatoes....EVER!!!

Here's my recipe if you would like to try it...


5 lbs. russet potatoes peeled, diced and boiled until fork tender
1 stick margarine or butter (or more depending on taste)
1/2 - 1 can evaporated milk
salt & pepper to taste

TIP:  I add my butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes prior to smashing.  I then smash everything together with a hand masher first. Once everything is nice and combined I add in the evaporated milk and beat with my electric mixer for 3-4 minutes to make sure everything is nice and smooth. NO LUMPS!!

My green bean casserole is also a favorite and it's a dish that I take to almost EVERY holiday dinner.

 Everyone LOVES it and again I think it's because of my SECRET ingredient...an ingredient that won't be so secret after today...hahaha...but here it is...

Cheddar cheese soup!  Yep, along with the usual cream of mushroom soup, I add in a little cheddar cheese soup.  It gives the dish such a nice rich flavor that no one can resist.

Here's my recipe if you're interested in trying it out at your holiday gathering next week...


4 16 oz. cans green beans drained and rinsed
1 sweet yellow onion chopped
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2-1 10 oz. can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 large can french fried onions (topping)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:  Drain and rinse green beans well.  In large mixing bowl combine the soups, milk and spices until well blended.  Add in the green beans and yellow onion and stir until combined.  Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish and top with french fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees until brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.  

So there you have it...my secret ingredients for my two most requested holiday dishes.  Do you have any "secret ingredients" you would like to share?

Monday, November 16, 2015


Hi guys.  Just a short post to issue a warning to all of you decor loving, pretty landscape loving bloggers out there.  As you know, I have adorned the sidewalk in front of my home with pathway lights....LOTS of pathway lights.

I love how they look and how much light they give off when I come home after dark but...WARNING... we decor loving bloggers aren't the only ones who love these little lights...apparently Meth cookers do too!!

I came home from work a few weeks ago to discover that all my pathway lights were missing.  At first I thought nothing of it because the hubs had been working in the yard and I figured that he must have moved them and forgot to put them back....BUT...he assured me that he hadn't touched them!!!  So, we were scratching our heads wondering what in the world happened to our lights.  We found the answer on the play back of our video camera security system...

Now isn't that something....This happened on October 23 at around 3 a.m.  Did you notice that our thief was wearing a Scream movie mask?  Pause the video when he looks up to see it better. It's really easy to see on our 16 inch monitor but this is a cellphone video of the original video so it's kind of hard to make out. Sorry for the quality this was the only way I could get it to post.

Anyway, I am VERY freaked out at the very thought of some stranger in a scary, creepy mask being in my yard in the wee hours of the morning while my family was in bed sleeping to take what did't belong to him.

Truthfully I was somewhat befuddled as to why he would take something like cheap solar lights.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he would want those. Then one of my friends from another law firm told me that meth addicts use the lithium strips from the rechargeable batteries in solar lights to make meth.  Who knew?  So, this post is my little PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT to you all warning you to keep an eye on your solar lights. Get a good quality camera system installed or just get rid of your pretty lights if you don't want a crazy drug induced, drug motivated wacko stealing them right out from under your noses.

It's so sad to me that decent, law abiding citizens can't enjoy the smallest of pleasures nowadays because of the drug situation in this country.  It's a real shame that stores have to keep lithium batteries and cold medicine under lock and key and I guess now they are going to have to keep solar lights under lock and key too....and...what are the people who buy them supposed to do?...Chain them to the ground? Glue the batteries in?...What is this world coming too? One just does not understand this madness!

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