First September Saturday



Nesting time.  Shorter Days.  Summer’s End.

Birds on the Wing.  Apple Cider.  Flannel Shirts.

Corn Stalks.  Cammoflage.  Planting Bulbs.

Flu Shots.  Candlesticks.  Morning Dew.

Football.  Red Crab apples.  Berries.

Rakes.  Book Bags & Homework.

Seeing trees twinge with color.

Caramel Apples.  Long Pants.  Goose Hunting.

Cool Nights.  Orange Pumpkins.  Full Moon.

Starting to think about holidays ahead.

Smoke Detector Batteries.  Cinnamon Sticks.  Flannel Sheets.

Boots.  Hot Chocolate. Baking. Mums. School Buses.

The Circle of Life.


Mmmm…Bacon Taters



1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

2 medium onions, diced

2 lbs. yukon gold baby taters, halved or quartered

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

add butter, salt, and pepper and sliced green onions



Put a liner in a crockpot or spray sides with Pam for easy clean up

Layer the ingredients and dot with butter

Cook on low for 6-8 hours


Recipe can be doubled for company

I would precook bacon a little bit in the microwave, on some paper towels, just to get some of the fat off

May substitute pepperjack or any other cheeses or toppings you might like


Mini Magic Apple Pie


Once every ten years a recipe that is creative and deliciously disturbing comes my way.  I can’t stop thinking about all the folks I could wow with it.  This decade’s gem comes from my good friend, Stacey Stewart.   Today had been an ordinary Saturday; I had just finished my afternoon nap and flipped the television on to catch up on my Judge Judy reruns.  The bell rang and I stepped on a Lego on my way to answer the door.  No pain, no gain.

There stood Stacey with a piping hot plate of mini magic apple pies

and a side scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Was I dreaming?

Mini Magic Apple Pies   -   Preheat oven to 400 degrees

To a mixing bowl add and stir:

Peel and dice eight cups of apples into 1/2″ cubes

12 tablespoons flour

1-1/2 cups of sugar

4 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon

optional:  1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 You will also need:

4 tablespoons of chilled butter cut into 24 equal pieces

2 boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts (chilled not frozen)


Unroll chilled, NOT FROZEN, pie crust, and cut out 24 circles using a wide mouth mason jar (or large biscuit cutter or a large drinking glass)   Line each cup of your muffin tin with a mini pie crust.  Gently fill the crusts with the apple mixture until slightly mounded.  Top with a dab of butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.





Mint Pudding Cups

Mint Pudding Cups

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 3

Easy mint pudding cups are the perfect treat for St. Patrick’s Day.
6 Mint Oreo cookies
1 tbsp butter
Instant vanilla pudding (small package)
2 cups milk
¼ tsp mint extract
green food coloring
whipped cream
sugar sprinkles (optional)
Pulse cookies and butter in a food processor until finely ground.
Divide the cookie mixture between your serving bowls and press firmly.  Make pudding according to the package directions, adding ¼ tsp of mint extract and 2-3 drops of green food coloring. Pour the pudding into your serving bowls leaving about ¼ inch for the whipped cream.  Let the pudding set up and then add whipped cream & sprinkles.

Fine Wine

 Breaking News for wine lovers across the U.S.A.   

Uncle Sam –as in Sam Wal-Mart– is teaming up in 2013 with Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery of California to produce full bodied wines at a $2-$5 price point.   Wine connoisseurs may not be inclined to put a bottle of the Wal-Mart brand reds or whites into their shopping carts but, “There is a market for inexpensive wine,” said Kathy Micken, professor of Marketing at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.  Branding will be very important so Walmart asked its customers to go online and vote for the most attractive name.

The top picks in order of popularity were:

10.  Chateau Traileur Parc

9.   White Trashfindel

8.   Big Red Gulp

7.   World Championship Riesling

6.   NASCARbernet

5.   Chef Boyardeaux

4.   Peanut Noir

3.   I Can’t Believe it’s not Vinegar

2.   Grape Expectations

1.   Nasti Spumante

The beauty of Wal-Mart wine is that it can be served with either white meat (opossum) or red meat (squirrel).

Time Travel


My brother, Woody, me, and my cousin, Sandy 1965

Time travel can be a state of mind.  Memories are alive, vivid, and fluid in our brains.    To travel back in time, we only need a trigger.   A flash of lightning, the wail of a siren, the soft mewing of a kitten,  or even a simple aroma can transport us and transcend us into the living world of memory.

Crack open the lid on a Play-Doh can, close your eyes, inhale, and you’re four years old again.  It works just like Dorothy’s ruby slippers minus the flying monkeys and the scrappy yapper dog.  Sorry, Toto.  Your mind’s eye starts watching you roll snakes and flatten pancakes.  You smile, flooded with recollection.

I spy the school supply shelves in a five and dime, look both ways, and sneak open a box of crayons.  Just because I’m tricky I can.  One whiff and magically I’m in Mrs. Greade’s  first grade class, adding the big box of 64 Crayola crayons to my Christmas wish list, careful to list the crayons under the first thing on my list, a  two wheeler.

I need the 64 count box because it has the sharpener in the back.  In the new year I’ll spend snowbound winter afternoons working with the prism blues, reds, and yellow discards–the captured, scrolled crayon shavings.   Molten artwork   masterpieces cover Mommy’s Frigidaire, created by melting and pressing these squirrley-curly scraps between two sheets of waxed paper with a warm iron and some elbow grease.  In my tween years I’ll advance to melting whole, peeled crayons, the junky ones, under a candle flame and dropping the heavy colored drops into peace-love-and-rock-and-roll designs whose sole purpose is my self expression and self pleasure.

Forget Calgon Bath Beads, lilacs take me away every time.  A mild  breeze, the buzz of a bouncing bumble, lifting my face up to absorb the first hot sun rays, all lead up to a trigger:  blooming purple lilacs.  One rush of their French perfume and I’m back in my grandma’s backyard, horsing around with my cousins and waiting for Grandpa to finish churning the crank on his bucket of vanilla bean ice cream.  My grandma is cleaning up from frying chicken legs in an electric skillet and serving up some potato salad.

Who needs a DeLorean  when there is line-dried laundry?  My mind’s eye can see strings of sun kissed bed sheets that snap, crackle and pop in the wind  stretched out beside pinned up bath towels so stiff you could sand the fur right off a dog, and blue jeans standing on their own volition.  I’m so small I can run under the sheets and smack them with arms splayed out overhead.  I hear the ch-ch-ch-ch of a rotary sprinkler head in the neighbor’s yard and then I see an enormous white belly fill the sky (and my eyes)  so close you could touch it, as an airplane zooms just above our rooftops, reaching and climbing into the clouds while window panes rattle for blocks all around and I cover my ears until it vanishes.  Midway Airport, Chicago, 63rd & Cicero, White Castles on the corner…I’m there!

Time travel is as easy when you put your mind to it…a bucket of fresh popped popcorn or being overwhelmed by the strength of a peeled orange and off I go… off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.

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