Sunday, November 21, 2010

Honey Fruit Salad

Is this not the prettiest bowl of fruit you've ever seen?  Absolutely appetizing!  The dressing is not overpowering but the subtle honey sauce makes it an especially sweet treat!  It only takes about 10 minutes to assemble, so if you have your fruits ready to go you can put it together in no time!

Honey Fruit Salad (Taste of Home, Simple &Delicious Cookbook)

2 medium bananas, chopped
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries  (I used blackberries)

2 cups sliced strawberries
5 Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the bananas and berries.  In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice and poppy seeds.  Pour over fruit and toss to coat.  Yield: 8 servings

Fruit options:  depending on the time of year you can change out the fruit - you could use mangoes, peaches or blackberries.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

I love pumpkin pie and I really love crustless pumpkin pie. It isn't about the crust for me. It is about the fabulous pumpkin filling. This recipe has great flavor and with a dollop of whipped topping on top, you won't even miss the crust.  Great for Thanksgiving or anytime!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie - Crustless

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (2 cups)

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

2 eggs

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. With wire whisk or mixer, beat all ingredients. Pour into a pie pan (that has been sprayed with a no stick spray). Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Continue baking 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Note: To cut more fat, I've made this with fat free sweetened condensed milk and with egg whites. (1/4 cup egg whites = 1 egg)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

We had our camping club potluck last weekend.  I had already committed to bringing a turkey and crock-pot dressing, but I decided that I needed to take a dessert.  A new dessert!  I had come across this recipe recently and it sounded really good.  One of my favorite cheesecake recipes calls for sweetened condensed milk and no sour cream.  This recipe incorporated the same ingredients.  The crust is primarily made up of a cake mix.  The original recipe called for a pound cake mix - but do you think we could find one at our local grocery?  No.  So I made it using a yellow cake mix and it turned out great.  These bars went over very well and real quite tasty.  I would recommend them as a great addition to any Thanksgiving dinner (or anytime)!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (from Taste of Home)

1 (16 oz) pkg pound cake mix (or use a yellow cake mix like I did)
3 large eggs, DIVIDED
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, DIVIDED
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake mix, 1 egg, butter and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press into bottom of 15 X 10-inch jellyroll pan.
2) Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy.  Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk; beat in remaining 2 eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and salt; mix well.  Pour over crust; sprinkle with nuts.
3) Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Chill.  Cut into bars.
Yield: the recipe said 48 bars, I cut mine into 24 bars

The crust is pressed into the bottom of the jellyroll pan.

Ready to go int the oven.

Just out of the oven.

Plated and ready to eat!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Chia-Seed Muffins

I read an article about Chia Seeds and decided to find a recipe that I could use them in.  Since muffins are one of my specialties and since pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients, this particular recipe caught my eye.  It is unbelievably moist and very tasty.  But before I share this recipe I want to share some information about Chia seeds.  ( )

7 Good Reasons To Start Eating Chia Seeds

1. Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.

2. Feel fuller faster: They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.

3. Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the "chia gel" can hydrate the body.

4. Reduce your blood pressure: There's evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.

5. Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!

6. Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.

7. They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don't need to be ground up.

Pumpkin Chia-Seed Muffins (from Hy-Vee Healthy Bites)

1 tbsp chia seeds, ground
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine ground chia seeds, flours, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, syrup and vanilla.  Stir pumpkin mixture into chia-seed mixture until combined; stir in nuts.

Spoon batter into paper-lined or greased muffin tins.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.  Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

Nutrition per serving:  200 calories, 32 g carbo., 5 g protein, 6 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 3 g fiber, 35 mg cholo., 330 mg sodium

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken Salad (with grapes and nuts)

My family loves chicken salad!  I oftentimes make it chunky (as in the following recipe) and sometimes I grind it up, depending on how I feel.  This chunky chicken salad has grapes and nuts in it.  I really like the various textures and flavors mixed together.  The original recipe called for walnuts but I like to use slivered almonds.  (Mostly because I always have plenty on hand.)  One shortcut that can be taken is to buy a rotisserie chicken.

Chicken Salad

4 cups of chicken, cut in bite-sized pieces (a pair of scissors works well), cooked and chilled
1/2 cup (or more) chopped onion or green onion
1/2 cup (or more) chopped celery
1/2 cup (or more) chopped walnuts (or pecans or slivered almonds)

1 cup (or more) seedless grapes, halved (scissors will do this quickly)
1 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon dillweed
Optional - 1/2 to 1 tsp curry powder (start with lesser amount and add to taste) - I've not tried this

In a mixing bowl stir together the chicken, onion, celery, nuts and grapes.

In a smaller bowl, blend together the mayonaise and seasonings. When you are happy with the combination of flavors, stir gently into the chicken mixture.

Yield: enough filling for about 8 sandwiches

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sloppy Joes

I've been making this particular recipe for sloppy joes for several years now.  After serving it the first time it was apparent that it was very well liked and thereby designated a "keeper" recipe.

Sloppy Joes
(Better Homes & Gardens, Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes)

2-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups catsup
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
16 to 20 hamburger buns, split and toasted

In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain off fat.

In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker combine catsup, sweet pepper, celery, water, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder.  Stir in meat mixture.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.  Spoon onto toasted buns.

Nutrition facts per serving: 298 calories,  12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 44 mg chol., 579 mg sodium, 31 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pineapple Strawberry Punch

This punch is absolutely delicious!  Every time I make it people rave!  It is easy to make with ingredients that are easy to get.

Pineapple Strawberry Punch

Ready in 15 minutes or less

2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed

1 can (46 oz) pineapple juice, chilled
4 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled

In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries.  Pour into a large punch bowl.  Stir in the pineapple juice and soda.  Serve immediately.  Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts)

Nutritional Analysis:  One 1-cup serving (prepared with sugar free soda) equals 99 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 9 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.  Diabetic Exchange:  1-1/2 fruit.

Make ahead trick - for each of the events that I made this punch for I had three batches ready to go.  That way once the party started it was very easy to make each additional batch.  The soda and pineapple juice were already in correct portions, so the sliced strawberries were the only thing I had to have ready.  I needed 30 oz of frozen sweetened sliced strawberries - thawed.  I put them in the blender and pureed them.  I divided the mixture between three containers.  Then as each batch was made I simply got one strawberry container, 1 pineapple juice and 1 lemon-lime pop out and mixed together!  So easy and so good!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do you sometimes need applesauce for your recipes?

We don't go through very much applesauce in our house.  Jim likes to eat it with his meals, but it isn't my preference.  So I learned quite awhile back to not buy the big containers as it ends up spoiling before we get to the bottom.  I buy the smaller containers for Jim and for my baking recipes I get the little 4 oz containers that are meant for individual servings.  They usually come in packs of 6 or 8 containers.  4 oz equals 1/2 cup so you have a perfect portioned size.  I usually get natural applesauce with no sugar added.  Many of the recipes that I'm making these days call for applesauce to replace the oil, so it is very handy to have on hand.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pistachio Nut Bread

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about pistachio bread!  This is one of our family all-time favorites!  It is super moist and delicious.  The pretty green color makes it especially popular at our annual St Patrick's Day festivities.  My mom made it many times over the years to the delight of her 7 children and many grandchildren. When I make it now I try to always make a loaf to send to my niece Angie that lives in Chicago.  I'll send it with her mom (my sister Patty) or try to put a loaf in Angie's hands when she visits.  It is just a nice reminder of "grandma".

Pistachio Nut Bread

Cake ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (4 oz) pkg pistachio pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil

Topping ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts, chopped fine

Mix dry cake mix and pudding mix together.  Add sour cream, almond extract, eggs and oil.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour half the batter into 2 lightly greased bread pans (4-1/2" X 6-1/2" X 2-1/2").

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle half of the topping onto the batter in the two pans.  Top with remaining batter.  Sprinkle with remaining topping mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until it tests done.

Ready to go in the oven!

Ready to eat!  Delicious!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Croissant Du Jour

 Croissant Du Jour, 3531 Mt Vernon Rd SE, Cedar Rapids

Last weekend my sisters Patty, Cathy and I got together for a little "sister" time.  Cathy had suggested that we meet for breakfast at Croissant Du Jour which is blocks from her home.  Walking in the door you felt like you were in a French cafe.  The music, the decor, everything contributed to a wonderful ambiance! The display case  was filled with wonderful, yummy looking pastries.  The lady who took our order had a wonderful French accent.  We each ordered something different along with lattes.  And WOW were they great!  Here is what they looked like:

Almond Croissant

  Chocolate Croissant

Fruit Tart

So which would I doubt in my mind - the fruit tart.  The price was $4.00 - very reasonable for what you get.  Very filling, very tasty, and isn't it lovely to look at?  I had ordered the almond croissant, Patty ordered the chocolate croissant and Cathy the fruit tart.  Cathy had offered tastes of her tart to both Patty and I and I was smitten!  I got a "to go" bag for my croissant and ordered a fruit tart - which was delicious.  I would highly recommend it. 

The hours for Croissant Du Jour are Monday to Friday 6:30 to 4:00, and Saturday from 7:00 to 4:00.  They also serve lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00.  Web address is:   Check them out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bruschetta with Tomato-Basil Topping

In July we went camping at George Wyth State Park.  It was our second time there and has become one of our favorite places.  It has a wonderful trail system with paved paths perfect for walking, running, biking, or whatever your favorite outside sport is.  Anyways, we were there with out camping club, the Rolling Rovers.  We had a wonderful time visiting with each other throughout the weekend.  On Saturday nights we have a potluck dinner together and this particular weekend we had an Italian theme.  I made Italian Potatoes and Bruschetta with Tomato-Basil topping.  True confession - I ate four of them before I plated them up for our dinner!  Soooo good.  Here is the recipe:


1 thick French baguette cut on the diagonal into 30 - 1/2 inch pieces
8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil

Preheat oven to broil.  Lay slices of bread on a baking sheet.  Watching carefully, broil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until crisp.  (Bread will toast very quickly.)  Remove from oven.  Rub with garlic; lightly brush with olive oil.  NOTE:  Toasts can be made a day ahead.

Tomato-Basil Topping

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup yellow pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp loosely packed basil, cut into thin strips

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Top toasts with a heaping tablespoon of mixture.  (Can be assembled 1 hour ahead of time.)

NOTE: Topping can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apple Bread (healthier version)

I was given a bunch of apples from my boss at work last week.  The apples were NOT pretty - big green spotty apples.  But the way they looked didn't matter.  I knew from past experience that these were great baking apples.  So my task at hand was to find a new apple bread recipe that wouldn't be so bad for us.  In my Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Annual Recipes 2010, I found just what I was looking for.  But of course, I had to tweek it a little bit!  The end result was delicious.  Not too sweet, but very tasty.

Apple Bread (healthier version)

2 cups all-purpose flour (original recipe called for 3 cups white - I substituted 1 of the cups for wheat)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar (original recipe called for 1-1/2 cups sugar - I substituted 1/2 cup for brown sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but walnuts would be good too)

Topping (the recipe called for this topping but I opted to NOT use it - instead I put the nuts in my bread)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/3 cup cold butter

In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in apples and nuts.  Transfer to two 8-in x 4-in loaf pans coated with cooking spray.

If using the topping, combine the flour, sugar and nuts; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

My Baking Screw-up

Have you ever wondered what sweet bread would be like without the "sweet"?  I can't say that I ever wondered, but I thought I'd share my goof-up.  I had made my first batch and it turned out beautifully.  The picture above was from that first batch.  I had more apples so I made a second batch.  Well, it did not do as well.  Before I ever put it in the oven, I knew it didn't look right but I put it in the oven anyways.  I took it out later and what a disappointment!  Here is the comparison:
In case you can't tell, the one on the right looked bad and because I felt compelled to find out if it could be salvaged - I tasted it.  YUCK!  I went over the recipe in my mind trying to figure out what I left out and suddenly I realized it was the sugar.  Well, those two loaves went into the trash.  What a waste!  But live and learn!

The moral to the story....don't forget the sugar!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update on Jim - 8/22/10

Great news!  Jim had his PET/CT scan this past Monday and blood work on Friday before he saw Dr. Nabi.  Everything came back all clear!!!  Dr. Nabi was very pleased. 

Jim had gotten to know so many people in the oncology office that he was greeted over and over again.  People commenting on his hair and how great he looked.  He is definitely stronger then he has ever been.  He and I get up before work each day and work out for 30-35 minutes.  Because of the exposure he got at the St. Luke's Wellness Center he does things he never did before - such as bands and free weights.  His energy appears limitless!  Thanks for your prayers!

Next visit is December 17th.  No scans, only blood work and a doctor visit.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Broccoli Brown Rice Pilaf

My sister-in-law Vicki gave me the following recipe in 2007.  I've made it many times since then.  I love cooked broccoli and the mixture with the rice makes this an acceptable vegetable dish in my book!  You can't go wrong with this recipe.

Broccoli Brown Rice Pilaf

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2-1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/8 tsp pepper

In large nonstick skilled coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute rice until lightly browned.  Add the broth, rosemary, and garlic; bring to boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until rice is almost tender.  Stir in the broccoli, almonds, sunflower kernels, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook 3-5 minutes longer or until rice is tender and broccoli is crisp-tender.  Fluff with fork.  YIELD:  6 servings

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sausage Egg Bake

I've been making egg casseroles for years.  I've tried more recipes then I can count.  But this recipe has brought my searching to the end - everyone loves it!  I really like the way everything is layered.  Hashbrowns are placed on the bottom.  Then half the cheese sprinkled over the potatoes.  The meats and veggies are then placed on top of the cheese.  Other veggies or even mushrooms could be added at this point also.  Eggs are poured over everything with another sprinkle of cheese on top.  Very easy and very tasty!

Sausage Egg Bake

1 lb pork sausage
1/2 lb bacon
3 cups frozen hashbrowns
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 eggs
2 cups milk

Cook and drain sausage and bacon.  Place hashbrowns on bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.  Sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Add sausage, crushed bacon, chopped green pepper, and onion.  Beat eggs and milk.  Pour over casserole.  Sprinkle remainder of cheese over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Hashbrowns are on the bottom with cheese, sausage, bacon, 
green peppers and onion sprinkled on top.

The egg and milk mixture is poured over the casserole.

The remainder of the cheese is sprinkled on top.  It is now ready to bake!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Update on Jim - 8/15/10

For those of you that are following my blog for purposes of keeping up with Jim's health status here is what is coming up:
Monday, 8/16/10 - Pet/CT Scan
Friday, 8/20/10 - 3 month follow-up appt with Dr Nabi (with results of Monday's scans)

I plan on posting the results as quickly as possible but because we are going to be pretty busy this weekend it may not be till next Sunday night.  Please pray for good results!!!

You would be interested in knowing that Jim is doing absolutely wonderful.  He exercises 4-5 times a week and is stronger then he has ever been before!  He feels great and we have every reason to believe that Dr Nabi is going to say he is in tip-top shape!

Zucchini Bread (healthier version)

One of the guys at work brought in a bunch of very large zucchinis to share with everyone.  Looking at it I knew that this would not make just one loaf - but many!  I did not peel the zucchini, I just cut it up into chunks, cut the seeds out and then put it through the food processor to shred it up.  I got 6 cups of shredded zucchini out of it. Since the recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded zucchini (to make 2 loaves) I ended up with 6 loaves of bread!!!

The recipe I used was from my newest Healthy Cooking magazine (Aug/Sep 2010) - it was called Makeover Zucchini Bread.  The recipe reduced the oil to only 1/3 cup and replaced it with applesauce.  I made a couple of my own substitutions - instead of 1-1/2 cups of sugar I changed it to 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  I also changed the 3 cups of white flour to 2 cups of white and 1 cup of whole wheat. The nutritional info is based on the original recipe.  I don't think my changes will make any significant difference to it.

Zucchini Bread (healthier version)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, beat the sugars, applesauce, eggs, oil and vanilla until well blended.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended.  Stir in zucchini and walnuts.

Transfer to two 8-in X 4-in loaf pans coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield:  2 loaves (12 slices each)

Nutritional info: 1 slice equals 168 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. 
Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch 1 fat

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mexican Beef Dip

This hot dip has been around my family as far back as I can remember.  My mother made it regularly and all the family just love it.  This is the third and final hot dip that I made on for our Fourth of July party.  Enjoy!

This is what it looks like when I mixed everything together in the crock-pot.  The cheeses had not yet melted.  But in a relatively short amount of time everything melts together and looks yummy!

Mexican Beef Dip

3# ground beef
1 chopped onion
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1# Velveeta cheese
1 pkg taco seasoning (or homemade – see below)
1 can picante sauce (or 2 cups salsa)
Garlic salt to taste

If making in oven:
Cook beef and onion until done.  Mix cooked beef with taco seasoning.  Combine all ingredients into a casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Serve with nacho chips.

If making in crock-pot.  Cook beef and onion until done.  Mix cooked beef with taco seasoning.  Combine all ingredients into crock-pot.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring once every hour or so.  Serve with nacho chips.

Homemade taco seasoning
2 TBSP chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder

Suggestion - save clean-up time and use the crock-pot liners!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hot Crab Dip

Here is the second of the three hot dip recipes that I made for our Fourth of July party:

Hot Crab Dip
(from Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, 2000 Annual)

½ cup milk
1/3 cup salsa
3 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, cubed
2 pkgs (8 oz each) imitation crab meat, flaked (I like a little more)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies

Combine milk and salsa.  Transfer to a slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Stir in cream cheese, crab, onions and chilies.  Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.  Serve with crackers.

Yield: about 5 cups.  

Nutritional Analysis: One ¼ cup serving (prepared with skim milk and light cream cheese, calculated without crackers) equals 80 calories, 385 mg sodium, 23 mg cholesterol, 5 gm carbohydrate, 7 gm protein, 3 gm fat.  
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 lean meat, 1 vegetable

Suggestion - Use a crock-pot liner - it makes clean-up a breeze!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meatballs in BBQ Sauce

Almost every Fourth of July we have a party in our yard.  Family and friends get together.  We eat, visit and then sit back and watch the fireworks display in downtown Cedar Rapids.  Because of the flood of 2008, the fireworks were moved out to Kirkwood Community College so we weren't able to have our annual party.  But, this year things returned to normal.  (I say that but there are many residents who are still not back to normal.  There are still many signs of the flood of '08 in many parts of the city.)  Anyways, the party was on.
Since we had not had our annual party since 2007 it seemed fitting that I should go back to some of the popular recipes that I had used throughout the years.  

The menu included three hot dips that were served in crock pots.  They were:  Hot Crab Dip, Meatballs in BBQ Sauce and Mexican Beef Dip.  They were served with a variety of chips and crackers.  Of course we had "sweets" too!  The Magic Cookies that I posted July 10th and the Salted Nut Squares that I will be posting in the next few weeks.  The Meatballs in BBQ Sauce was completely gone so I have determined it as the most popular item.  So, of the three hot dips, that is the one I'm posting first.  The fact that it is the easiest makes it even better.

Meatballs in BBQ Sauce

100-125 frozen Italian meatballs
2-3 bottles of Cookies BBQ sauce (26 oz each)

Put 2 bottles of the BBQ sauce in the crock-pot and set temp on low setting.  Bake meatballs according to package directions for 20 minutes.  (Just enough to start heating them up.  Do not bake the entire time directed on the package.)  Put the heated meatballs into the crock-pot with the BBQ sauce and mix well.  Add more sauce if needed.  Cook in crock-pot for 3-4 hours stirring every hour or so.  Serve with toothpicks.

Meatballs - I get these from Sam's Club.  The bags of Italian meatballs have around 150 meatballs in them which is too many for my crock-pot, so I save some back for future meals.
BBQ sauce - I switched to Cookies BBQ exclusively a few years back because there is no high fructose corn syrup in it.  I really try to watch for that on the food I buy and avoid it as much as I can.  Plus we really like it!!!

Suggestion - use a crock-pot liner to make clean-up a breeze!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Slow Cooker Liners by Reynolds

Where have these been hiding all these years?  I don't know when these came out but they are the greatest time-saving item for those of us who love to cook in our crock-pot!  They fit my tall and deep crock-pot just as well as my shorter oblong one.  If you haven't tried them, make sure you do.  I still forget periodically to use them and then I get mad at myself for causing extra clean-up.  Check them out!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Magic Cookies

You know those Magic Bars that appear every Christmas season?  Graham cracker base, sweetened condensed milk, with coconut, nuts and chocolate chips on top?  YUM!  What a wonderful treat!  Well, I have no idea where I got this recipe from, but I've been making them for several years now and they are always well received.  If you like Magic Bars, you'll love Magic Cookies....and the good news is...that these are a year-round treat!

Magic Cookies

1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup softened margarine or butter
1-1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.  In a large mixing bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and margarine until smooth.  Add graham crumb mixture; mix well.  Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 9 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Yield:  3 dozen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fifth Season 5K Race 2010

Yesterday, July 4th I ran my 4th race of the season.  But the significance of it is the fact that since I just started running a year ago, this was my first repeat race.  I didn't make any great improvement over last year, but I did do better.  My time was 31:27 (10:07 pace); I finished 8th in the W50-54 age group out of 40.

What made this years race a lot of fun was that I did it with three family members.  My daughter Rachelle..i.e., the triathlete of the family, a.k.a. the ironman of the family, and the one who got me started running...raced with myself, and my two sisters, Patty and Cathy.  Last year, Patty and I ran this race together and it was our very first race ever.  Since then we've ran quite a number of races both together and separately.  This year my sister Cathy has entered the running arena and this was her second race ever.  It is really exciting to be doing this TOGETHER!  What a great way for a family to spend time together.

Back to the race - the temperature was pretty good - 75 degrees but the humidity was present.  The fortunate thing was that the rain had held off.  (We had a potential for showers for the entire day.)  Patty, Cathy & I warmed up for about 10 minutes prior to the race, made multiple potty stops and were ready to go when the starting pistol went off.  This course is a very good one.  There is one hill that is very low grade right at the beginning.  I really liked having a downhill run going into the finish line as opposed to my completely opposite experience at the Madison 1/4 Marathon that I just did on Memorial Day!  (That hill about did me in.)  My pace was pretty steady throughout the course but when I was approaching the finish line, I heard my daughter Becca yell out, "Come on Terri!" and a shot of adrenaline poured through me and I kicked it into high gear and really sprinted the rest of the way in.  Mission accomplished.

Going forward I'm going to really work on improving my speed.  Short term goal is to do a 5K in under 30 minutes.  My next race is 8/14/10 - Hobo Days 5K in Britt Iowa.  I know I need to more running in the heat so that I'm more acclimated.  (The humidity really wipes me out.)  Once a week like I've been doing it isn't enough.  So I'm going to try to run one of my weekday runs in the evening when it is warm.  I'm also going to get a running watch that will provide me with pace, heart rate and distance.  Rachelle has recommended that I get the Garmin Forerunner 110.  I'm planning on ordering it this week and I'll post my opinion on it after I get it and have had a chance to use it.  Happy running...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Madison Quarter Marathon - 5/30/10

I'm a little tardy in getting this done but late is better then not at all, right?  Two weeks ago I ran in my very first quarter marathon in Madison WI.  I've been preparing for this race for quite some time.  And this was an instance in which I flew solo.  My sister Patty and daughter Becca were both running the half marathon so our start times and locations were different from each other.  Rachelle tells me that a race report is important if for no reason other then to document what worked and what didn't.  No reason to make the same mistake twice. 

First of all, was I ready?  Yes, definitely.  In the 4-6 weeks prior to the race I had ran distances of 6-7 miles on several occasions.  So knowing I could do it was not an issue.  I've continued to suffer with plantar fasciitis in my left heel over the last 6 months.  The more often I run the more it hurts, so I had cut back to twice a week.  That seemed to allow enough down time to recover between runs.  Why don't I see a doctor about it you may ask?  Because I don't want him to tell me to stop running.  It is something that I can deal with.  It doesn't get worse, it just continues to be a nagging problem.  I don't want to stop running.  So anyways, yes I had the distance training in although I may not have logged all the miles that I should have.  I was ready for the race.

We got up very early that morning, had our coffee and ate our small breakfast and off to the race site about an hour before it started (6:00).  We scoped out the starting lines and restrooms and made several pit stops.  The surprise was how warm and muggy it got before the race was over.  Patty and Becca's race started at 7:20 and mine didn't start till 7:40. 

The quarter marathon race was very scenic and nice for the majority of it.  I actually felt like I had a good pace.  (I was wearing Rachelle's Garmin watch so I was able to see my paces and my heart rate as I raced.)  The water points were well placed and there were plenty of volunteers.  So everything was good right?  It was....till I hit the sign that said 6 miles.  I had another .55 miles to go and a big hill to climb.  I resorted to walking up that hill.  I felt like I had nothing left!  I hated to do it.  I hadn't walked a race since my very first one but I knew that if I was going to finish the race running I had to get a quick recovery in.  So I walked up that hill, knowing that my time was going to suffer, but oh well!  At the top of the hill there was a right turn, another short block, another turn and then the finish line.  I started running and ran the rest of the way in.  I finished at 1:15 for the 6 miles and 1:33 for the quarter marathon. 

Would I do it again?  Not sure.  If I do, it won't be for quite awhile.  At this point in the game, I've determined that I don't like the longer distances.  I want to improve my speed on the 5K and start doing better there.  The last two weeks I've started running three times a week again and I'm incorporating some sprints into each one.  On the alternate days I'm doing strength/stretching exercises.  Time will tell....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pistachio Eclair Dessert

 Pistachio Eclair Dessert (photo by Taste of Home)

This is one of those desserts that goes together very quickly and tastes great!

Pistachio Eclair Dessert (Taste of Home - Simple & Delicious Cookbook)
prep: 20 minutes + chilling

3 cups cold milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant French vanillla pudding mix
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg (14.4 oz) graham crackers
1 can (16 oz) chocolate frosting

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. In a 13-in X 9-in X 2-in dish, layer a third of the graham crackers and half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining graham crackers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Spoon the frosting into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds or until softened, stirring once. Spread over graham crackers. Chill at least 20 minutes or until frosting is set. Yield: 15-20 servings

Here are some step by step pictures:

 This is a look at all of the ingredients to make this dessert.

  The first layer of graham crackers is down and half of the pudding mixture goes on top.

After another layer of crackers, the rest of the pudding the final layer of crackers goes on.

After warming the frosting it is spread on the top of the crackers and refrigerated.

Time to enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marion Arts Festival 5K - May 15, 2010

Patty, Cathy and myself just before the race
On May 15, 2010, I joined my sisters in the Marion Arts Festival 5K race. In actuality it was Cathy's race and Patty and I were along for support. Cathy had completed the Couch Potato to 5K training program and was now ready to put it into action. Since the race was at 8:00, I got up at 5:30 to eat breakfast. By 6:30 I was heading over to pick-up Patty and then off to get Cathy. We were at the race site by 7. Packet pick-up was being done prior to the race, so we got our packets and t-shirts and took them back to the car. Then we started our warm-up jog. The morning was sorta cool - temp in the the upper 40's so we needed to get our core warmed up. We jogged around for 10-15 minutes and then went back to the car and shed our jackets. Another stop at the porta-john and then we headed to the starting point for the race. Even in a sleeveless top I was warmed up and ready to go.

There were a couple of hills but nothing seriously challenging. The weather was perfect and the course was run very well by the volunteers. We were all happy with the results as this was not about "time". It was not a "race" for us. This was about Cathy finishing her first 5K without walking any of it. And....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Being together...sisters...doing something that was good for all of us was absolutely awesome. This was just the beginning!!! Congrats Cathy!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update on Jim - 5/3/10 - Cancer free!

This afternoon went very well. Jim had to be there at 3:30 for lab work. Around 4:00 he was taken back to the room where they do the procedure. Dr. Nabi came in and did her exam and gave Jim the results of his PET/CT Scan from last week. She said that everything looked great. There is "activity" that showed on the scan in the pelvic area but she is confident that the "activity" is in the form of healing that is taking place. She wants to see Jim again in 3-4 months and will have another PET/CT scan done before she sees him. The appointment has not yet been set, the nurse will call with it in the next day or so.

So, anyway Dr Nabi did the spinal infusion procedure and Jim said it was pretty much the same as each of the three times previously done. It was all over pretty quickly and we were on our way home by 5:00. Once home Jim had to once again lay down for 4 hours. At the time I am writing this he has less then 30 minutes left.....and then he is all done!

Now all that is left is for him to regain his leg strength and with the help of the trainer that he is working with that will soon be done. Over the last couple weeks we've been taking walks in the evening. A little bit further each week. If you ask him, Jim will tell you that he feels very good. Isn't that wonderful? Thanks for all your prayers. They have definitely been answered! God is very good!

Please drop him an email on his work account: .

If you have been reading my blog for purposes of following Jim's progress then you have reached the end of regular updates. I plan on posting info as Jim has his re-checks which will be every 3-4 months for awhile. So that you don't have to scroll through all my recipes and running info, you can go to the column on the right and find the label that says "Jim" and click on it. That will bring up everything that has been labeled with his name. You can easily find the latest info that has been posted. Thanks again for your continued interest and prayers!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oriental Salad

Can you remember where you got your favorite recipes? I can. Its funny how things work that way. But this is one that I fell in love with right away and I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I've made it. Becca was a cheerleader in high school and we had gone to one of those end of the season potlucks. This salad was on the table. After everything was over I went searching for the person who made it and found her! I told her I had to have this recipe, gave her my address and she mailed me a copy. (This was at least 10 years ago, so email wasn't an option.) That was the beginning of a long lasting relationship. Hardly an Easter or Thanksgiving goes by that I don't make it. I take it to many potlucks and I will oftentimes half the recipe and make it for us here at home throughout the year. I get asked for the recipe regularly and am always glad to share it!

Oriental Salad (source unknown)

2 pkgs broccoli slaw
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 pkgs Oriental-flavored Ramen (crushed) - seasoning packets are used in the dressing
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup peanut or canola oil
1/2 cup sugar (I sometimes use less - 1/4 or 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 seasoning packets from Ramen

Mix all salad ingredients togther in a large bowl. Mix together all dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Refrigerate.

Here are a couple of the step-by-step pictures:

I put the ramen in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush it.

Here is a picture of the ingredients and the mixed up dressing in the container on the left.

Here are the dry ingredients in the bowl before the dressing is added.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunshine Salad

How do you feel about jello salads? There are alot of them that I can pass on by without a second look. But for me, it depends on the ingredients. If there are strawberries or pineapple, in it - I'm on it! Jim on the other hand likes all things "jello"! I think his mother made lots of jello dishes for him and his brother growing up and as a result they are sort of a comfort food. This particular recipe was one that I had flagged in one of my cookbooks as one that I'd like to make. In the margin I wrote, "Jim". The ingredient that made me know that Jim would like it was the mandarin oranges. I don't think Jim ever met a "mandarin orange" he didn't like. And this jello salad was no exception. Jim probably ate half of the salad by himself (over a period of days). You know how many jello salads break down and get watery after several days pass? Not so, on this one. I made this salad last Sunday and Jim ate the last of it today. He said it was just as good today. So if you are looking for a salad to take to a family gathering or potluck, try this one out!

Sunshine Salad (from Taste of Home Annual Recipes - 1998)

1 pkg (3 oz) lemon gelatin

1 c boiling water

1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple

1/3 cup orange juice concentrate

1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained

In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside. Add enough water to the juice to equal 1 cup; stir into gelatin. Add orange juice concentrate. Chill until partially set. Fold in the pineapple and oranges. Pour into 4-cup mold or glass bowl. Chill until set. Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Update on Jim - 4/25/10

On Thursday (4/22) Jim met with the trainer at the St Lukes Cancer Wellness Center. The appointment went very well. The trainer - Matt, put Jim through various exercises to assess where he currently was at. He showed him some new exercises to do and told him that he should start riding the stationary bike. He is supposed to only make small increases in distances, whether it is the bike or walking outside. No more then a 10% increase from week to week. He doesn't want Jim to return till after his final treatment. His next appointment is 5/6 and then Matt will give him a more detailed exercise plan to start working on.

Jim is feeling very well and his activities are very near normal. On the physical side he has lost almost all of his eye lashes and eye brows. Obviously they are the slowest growing hair since they are the last to be lost. But on the other hand Jim's hair on his head seems to be starting grow back in. It is white and seems to be thick. Kind of like peach fuzz. We hear from other cancer survivors that the hair can oftentimes grow back a different color and oftentimes a different texture. Only time will tell!

Tomorrow (4/26), Jim has his PET/CT Scan. That will take around 3 hours. Then next Monday (5/3), Jim will see Dr. Nabi, get the scan results and have his final spinal infusion. It will be much different then his previous chemo days. Instead of being there all day and getting the chemo by IV, he will go at the end of the day and see the doctor. Then she will do the spinal infusion and home we'll go with Jim having to lay down for 4 hours. Our time in the doctors office will take two hours tops. But then it is all done!!! YEAH!

Please continue your prayers for Jim. Specifically that the scans will be clear and that the final infusion will go smoothly. Also, that he will have no side effects from that last treatment. (He has never had only the spinal infusion so we have no idea how that alone will affect him.) Thank you in advance for your continuing prayers. We continue to pray for all of you and your needs in return!

Running update

I've hit some major milestones with my running in the last few weeks that I want to share. Two weeks ago I went running with my sisters, Patty & Cathy. We went out to the Cedar Valley Trail. Patty and I ran 5 miles that day. Five miles! That was a first time for me. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be to that point I would have never believed you! So we ran 5 miles two weeks ago, then again last weekened, and then today WE RAN 6 MILES! Because of all the rain and the fact that we had to run early today (7:30 a.m.) we decided to go out to Aegon's fitness center (Patty & Cathy both work there) and run on the treadmills there. The 1/4 marathon that I'm planning on running over Memorial weekend in Madison WI, will be here very soon. But thanks to my training plan (compliments of Rachelle) I will be well prepared. Next week I run 6 miles again and after that it will be 7 miles.

Rachelle had been asking me for some time after running if I "had anything left?" And I was always able to say "yes". Well, I can't say that anymore. I really feel like I'm giving my running everything I have. And it feels good! I'm almost 53 years old and probably in the best shape I've ever been in. There are several races coming up during the next 6 months and I'm looking forward to setting new personal records for myself. It will be challenging and exciting! I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update on Jim - 4/15/10

Jim is doing very well - thanks for your continued prayers!!

Typically Jim starts feeling better about 10 days post chemo treatment, and this time was no different. Last night was a real good night's sleep. His appetite is doing very well. And there has been no major fatigue this time! Yeah!!!

Dr. Nabi had suggested that Jim go St. Luke's Cancer Wellness program to see if there is any help that they can offer. We met with the program coordinator yesterday and got the overview. Jim's interest lays in their exercise program. They have a trainer that works with the cancer patients and helps them regain their strength. Jim lost alot of his muscle tone in his legs during the months of hip pain that he experienced last year. And then going into chemo treatment he didn't have the energy (or the desire) to do anything that was very exerting. Jim will meet with the trainer for the first time next week and be assessed. Hopefully the trainer will set up a program that will start rebuilding his leg strength. Jim really wants to get back into walking and bicycling and is hoping that this program will get him back into it without hurting himself.

Keep on praying! We appreciate it more then you'll ever know!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Update on Jim - 4/10/10

Good news everyone! This has been the best "week after chemo" that Jim has had thus far! Can you believe it? Yes you can...cause God is good! He has heard your prayers and answered them! Jim is sleeping well. He is eating well and he is not fatigued. He didn't nap all week. His sense of taste is off just a bit, but that is it! Please keep praying that the side effects will not affect him. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Update on Jim - 4/7/10

Jim had his last full chemo day on Monday 4/5. It went very well! The nurses have a little "good-bye" they do in the chemo room. It includes a kazoo and a mini ukulele, plus bubbles and singing! They have a little good bye song that they sang and gave him a certificate of "completion". It was quite cute and made the last full day momentous!

So here is what the doctor told us at the appointment. Jim will have a Pet/CT scan scheduled for the last week of April. Then on May 3rd he sees the doctor again, gets the results of the scans and then has his final spinal infusion. So instead of an all-day appointment, it will take a whopping hour or so and that is it. Of course, he'll still have to follow the spinal infusion with 4 hours of laying prone, but that is okay!
I asked the doc if Jim would be seeing her for annual visits and she responded he would be coming in on a quarterly basis for quite awhile. She wants to monitor him closely for several years. That is okay with us - we don't want any repeat performances!
The day after chemo has usually been a good day and yesterday was no exception. Jim did have some interrupted sleep last night and his stomach is starting to feel a bit off, but other then that he is doing alright. There is no way to guess how he'll feel after chemo since each time is different. I mentioned to him this a.m. that he is going into this chemo week, the strongest he has ever been. He has a solid week of good sleep, good eating and generally feeling good prior to this chemo treatment. Hopefully it won't knock him down to bad this time.
Please continue to pray that the side effects will be minimal this go round. The next 4 or 5 days are usually when he has problems. We need him to have a good appetite and to get good sleep so he doesn't get worn down. Thank you in advance for your prayers! We continue to pray for all of you and your personal concerns.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Update on Jim - 4/1/10

Not much to report since this last weekend! This is a good thing! Jim is sleeping pretty well and has felt pretty good. Such a drastic difference from a week ago! We went for a short walk last night and he is planning on going to the various Holy Week services at church the next couple nights. Praise the Lord! Thank you for all your ongoing prayers!

Don't forget Jim has his next chemo next Monday 4/5. This will be the last full chemo (IV all day and then spinal infusion at the end of the day). Please pray once again that the side effects will be minimal!

Unless something changes I won't post again till after that chemo treatment. Have a happy and blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update on Jim- 3/28/10

This was a good weekend for Jim. After a week of being tired, taking naps each day after lunch, hanging out on the couch in the evening, Jim was like a new man when he woke up Saturday. He was able to take his mom out for her Saturday morning shopping and they even did some driving around, looking at the old house and the like. (She enjoys these drives around town now that she doesn't drive herself anymore.) We went out for lunch, went to church and watched a movie with my sister Cathy and her husband Darrell. (It was Blind Side - I highly recommend it!) And then today we went to Menards, for the first time in months. And tonight we went to the church potluck. So it was a busy weekend, but Jim did very well. Tonight his stomach is a little off, but it may be from something he ate at dinner.

We are hoping that this "good" weekend is an indication of what this coming week will be like! Please raise your prayers in that direction...I know we will be!

Chocolate Trifle

Our church was having a Palm Sunday potluck tonight and they were providing the meat, potatoes and drinks. Everyone attending was asked to bring a side dish or dessert. I was looking for something easy that I could put together with things I had on hand. I found this Chocolate Trifle dessert in one of my many church cookbooks, specifically Salem Methodist Church. Fortunately it makes two dishes of dessert, which was good news - one for home - one for the potluck! It didn't last anytime at all at church. Others at our table didn't even get to try it since it was gone so fast!

Chocolate Trifle

6 Heath bars (I didn't use these)
2 (8 oz) containers Cool Whip
1 chocolate cake mix
4 (3.5 oz) pkgs instant chocolate pudding
2 large bowls

Bake cake in a 9 X 13-inch pan according to the directions. Cool. Make 4 packages of pudding as directed on packages. Chill. Cut cake in 4 equal parts. Crumble 1 part in the bottom of one bowl. Spread 1/4 of the pudding over the cake. Spread 1/2 of one container of Cool Whip over pudding. Cut up 1-1/2 candy bars and sprinkle over Cool Whip. Repeat all 4 layers again with candy bar crumbled over the top. Repeat with second bowl.

My comments:
1) Instead of using a 9 X 13 pan, I used a 10 X 15 "bar" pan. After the cake cooled completely I used a knife a cut one inch squares.
2) I did not use the Heath bars and we didn't even miss them.
3) I wanted the pudding to be real thick so instead of the 2 cups of milk per box of pudding, I used 1-1/2" cups.