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Welcome Friends! Please be patient while I add more info. I have SO much to share with you. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 20, 2022

White Chicken Chili with Salsa Verde and Beans


White Chicken Chili with Green
Salsa and Beans

I've made White Chicken Chill before but couldn't find the recipe I liked on Pinterest. So I decided to just make my own and now it's my favorite! Everyone was raving about it, saying "You've got to make this again!" I didn't want to forget what I used so decided to put it here on my blog while it's still fresh in my mind.  I hope you like it! Sorry i didn't write down the amounts of each thing.

White Chicken Chili

Onions, garlic (saute with olive oil)

Add: chicken broth, 1 jar green chili salsa, cream of chicken soup, corn, beans (white or black), sour cream, cream cheese, Rotel (optional) cheddar cheese. You could add cumin and chili powder like I've done before, but this time I didn't do that).

Then add: cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken), lime juice to taste.

Serve with (on top): diced avocado, tortilla chips, more cheese and cilantro if desired.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Newsboy Cap in Positively Crochet

Newsboy Cap in
Positively Crochet!

The picture of this hat in the book, Positively Crochet! shows the model wearing a belt to match. The publisher did not have room to put that pattern in the book so they asked me to put the pattern here on my blog. The pattern for the belt is here.

I used Lion Brand Bouclé Solids yarn on this project. It is a super bulky yarn which causes the pattern to go much faster, but at the same time, it's more difficult to see the stitches and you kind of have to go by "feel". This is not as hard as it sounds and doesn't take long to get the hang of it. One reason this hat is much easier that anything  else that's round or in a circle, is because there are "sets" of stitches that you work, then there's a ridge, then you do the exact same set of sts over and over all around, so you're not having to count a lot of sts around the whole circle, which is so easy to lose count somertimes, as I'm sure you know. See more info below. 

Newsboy Cap

August 2007
Lion Brand Boucle Solid
Super Bulky (5-6 wpi) ?
Flag of EnglishEnglish 

Even though boucle yarn makes it difficult to see the stitches, this hat is worked in such as way that makes it very easy to follow.
I found an error on round 1, so please see the corrections on my blog HERE before making this hat. A section in parentheses was left off.

You may be like me and do not like working with boucle yarn. It seems like it would be difficult to work especially in the round with this hat. But it’s not as difficult as you may think. You do have to kind of feel the stitches, but it’s not hard to keep up with the number of stitches, because there is a space between each set of stitches that make up a pie shape. Just as the puff stitches do that with the purple newsboy cap (making it easy to count) that’s what the spaces do on the pink hat. You can’t see the spaces right now because when I was finished making it, I took yarn and wove it through the spaces, making a ridge as I was covering up the holes.

Many have asked about the belt shown. The instructions for the belt are not in the book, but they are listed on my blog HERE.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Baked Feta Pasta - One Dish

 I make this gluten free and its just as good as the original if you use the right GF pasta. See below.

Baked Feta Pasta with
Sun Dried Tomatoes

Block Feta Cheese
I cut my tomatoes in
half but
you don't have to.

Feta Crumbles - Be sure to add Cream Cheese
 and Olive Oil
if using the crumbles

Baked Feta Pasta

I'm sure you've seen this recipe on TikTok or Instagram. The recipe originated from a lady in Norway about 2 years ago and it quickly went viral. I was curious about it and decided to make it myself, but to my surprise, not even one grocery store in the whole Dayton area had any of the block feta. I was disappointed but a lady at the grocery store told me I could use the feta crumbles, as long as I added cream cheese to the dish toward the end. Since then, I have made it 3 other times, but with the block feta.  I found it at Trader Joe's. Really, I can't tell a big difference in using the crumbles with cream cheese verses the block feta, but the block is creamer. 

The first 3 times I made this, I cooked the pasta separately, but this time I decided to try cooking the dry pasta in the pan with the feta and tomatoes and I'm so glad I did! It turned out great & the pasta got done in the oven with the added water to the pan. That's one less pot to wash!

I have a little bit of a different take on this recipe. Sometimes supposedly "sweet" cherry (or grape) tomatoes are not sweet at all, so my secret ingredient is sun dried tomatoes.  Since they're sweet, it really adds to the dish. I've been buying the dried version but for what I'm fixing today (Dec 30, 2021)  I bought the soft sun dried tomatoes in a jar with oil. I crave this dish!

Heat oven to 400º


8 oz block Feta cheese (the block is creamer than the feta crumbles, but if you can't find the block feta, you can use the feta crumbles. If you use the crumbles though, you'll need to add some cream cheese & maybe milk or Half and Half to it toward the end of it being done. It's just as good. I've had to make this with the crumbles twice before and it turned out great each time.

1 pint cherry or grape  tomatoes

4 large cloves garlic, chopped (I let this cook in the dish with everything but you may want to add a little more chopped fresh garlic after everything is done, if you like a lot of garlic)

¾ cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (dry or in the jar)

Fresh Mozzarella cheese or regular mozzarella (grated)

12 oz dry pasta (3 cups dry - see note below)

½ cup olive oil

3½ - 4 cups water (or enough to cover the pasta) 

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil, chopped

Red pepper flakes, optional

Note: any kind of pasta - spiral, penne, spaghetti, linguine, macaroni, etc, but I use gluten free pasta. See pictures below of my favorite brands.

My 2 Favorite
Gluten Free Pastas


Place the cherry tomatoes in a 13"x 9" dish. (Sometimes I cut them in half if they're big but I haven't seen anyone else do this. Add the chopped garlic, olive oil, pasta, salt and pepper, sun dried tomatoes, basil and water. Mix that all together. You can add some mozzarella if you want and red pepper flakes if you like a little heat like I do. After everything is stirred together, place the feta cheese in the center making sure it touches the bottom of the dish. Pour a little olive oil on top. 

Cover with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes so there'll be enough moisture to soften the pasta.

Bake at 400º for 45-50 minutes total or til the tomatoes have popped and the feta cheese is brown.

You can either add the fresh chopped basil to the other ingredients or put it on the dish after everything is done. I've seen it done both ways. 

Make sure the pasta is covered with water or it might turn out too dry. This happened the first time I cooked the dry pasta with the dish.

After it's done, add more mozzarella and stir. You can even add a little milk or cream if you want. After it's stirred, it's time to eat! I really, really love this dish! Let me know what you think of the added ingredients and if yours turned out ok cooking the dry pasta with the other ingredients.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

My Tuna Salad

 I don't have a picture to post right now but will try to remember next time I make this.

My friends and family love my Tuna Salad and I have to say, it's my favorite to as well. One reason I've been putting recipes on my crochet blog is because I won't be around forever and I want my family to have my recipes when I'm gone. This might be similar to what other people make, but he's my favorite way to make it.

Mary Jane's Tuna Salad 

     Makes 5-6 Sandwiches

1 lg can and 1 small can albacore tuna, drained. You might want to buy an extra smaller can in case you taste it and decide you want more tuna in it.

4 hardboiled eggs

¾ - 1 cup Vidalia sweet onion, chopped

¾ cup celery, chopped

¾ cup sweet pickles, chopped

¾ cup whole dill pickles, chopped 

1- 1½ cups mayonnaise (Hellmans or Duke's GF)

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. 

Note: I always grate the eggs with a grater because I do not like big chunks of egg white

You may want to add more pickles, onions or celery if you think it needs more. Use your judgement too on the amount of mayonnaise. Sometimes I put too much in, so be careful.

A lot of people like to toast their bread first. I use either gluten free bread or eat it with gluten free crackers. My favorite ones are the gluten free sesame crackers from Trader Joe's.

I hope you enjoy this! If you have any questions just let me know.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Mary Jane's Chili with Beans

Mary Jane's Chili with Beans

This chili recipe is one I came up with over the last 50 years. I say  "over", because "over" the last 50 years I have experimented so many times and added "this n that", "less of this and more of that". You get the picture. About 20 yrs ago is when I decided I had my final recipe and quit experimenting. 

But people tell me it's the best and I get requests to make it a lot. I did not like Chili when I was younger up, but have grown to like this, especially when I started putting grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top. 

Other recipes I've seen have spices like oregano, but doesn't that belong in Italian food? I always thought Chili was originally a Mexican dish. I'm not crazy about chili powder, so I never put as much of that as most people do.

 I also used to drain the beans before pouring them in the pot, but after hearing 2 Iron Chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli  and Geoffrey Zakarian , say they never drain their beans, is when I stopped draining mine. If you watch that channel, especially The Kitchen, you will recognize their names. Alex and Geoffrey, who happen to both be Italian, are also occasionally judges on  shows like Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay. 

Back to the chili, I also used to wait till the last 30 mins to add the beans, but just add them with everything else at the beginning now.

Mary Janes Chili with Beans

1 lb ground beef (or more)

1- 14oz can diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes if you don't like chunks of tomato in it)

1 - 8oz can tomato sauce plus 1 can water stirring sauce from sides, then pour that into the pot.

¾ - 1cup diced onion

½ - 1 cup diced green pepper (more or less to your taste)

3 cans beans (UNdrained). I usually use 1 can each  black beans, pinto beans & light red kidney beans)

1 can beef broth (or Better than Bullion - 2 tsps + 2 cups water). If you think your chili needs mote liquid as its cooking,  just add more of this.

2 - 3 tsps chili powder (you didn't misread that - yes teaspoons, not tablespoons, but you can add more if you like. Most recipes call for 2-4 Tablespoons chili powder!

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp dry mustard

1- 2 tsps brown sugar

½ tsp Accent - unless you need to eat gluten free

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vinegar

½ tsp dry cocoa powder

2 - 2½ tsps gluten free Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper (or less if you have kids who don't like it too hot). You can always add Tabasco to your bowl later if you like it hot.

½ tsp Garlic powder or to taste

Hot sauce - ONLY add this of you like hot foods. Sometimes I add a little Tabasco sauce.

Sour cream and graated cheddar cheese as garnish for the top.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Avocado Chicken Salad


This is a chicken salad I came up with because I love avocados with anything! But also I fell in love with the stuffed avocado chicken salad I ate in Lima, Peru. I visited there 2 summers when my parents lived there years ago. The Peruvian version was absolutely delicious and I have not been able to find a good recipe for it. So I've made my own version. 

Avocado Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken, chopped 

(I like to use rotisserie chicken to make it more convenient, plus it's delicious!)

Avocado cut in small squares


Green onions


Toasted slivered almonds

Dried cranberries

Salt to taste

Mix everything together and serve either inside a halved avocado, with crackers or on bread. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Swiss Steak Like My Mama's


Old Fashioned Swiss Steak served with Mashed and 
Sauteed Green Beans

This is a classic recipe my mama, Margie Mae Horn Perry, fixed for our family when I was growing up. It's a basic recipe, but I noticed most recipes on Pinterest add all kinds of ingredients, which I think would change the taste. The way my mama fixed it and the way I fix it have very few ingredients (steak, onions, flour, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper), but other recipes add carrots, celery, garlic and all kinds of spices like paprika, oregano, Worcestershire, etc. I'm sure it would taste good, but to me that really would change the taste of the Swiss Steak and if i want a beef stew with vegetables, then I'm good with adding other vegetables. Sometimes I do add green pepper with the onions, and I love it that way too. We serve this over mashed potatoes or rice & it's good either way. Then I usually fix green beans to go with this. If I were having company I would add a green salad, rolls and a dessert. Oh, and of course sweet iced tea! This is definitely one of my favorite meals.

Swiss Steak

· 1 large round steak or swiss steak (chuck roast would work too if you slice into pieces). If you can't find a large round steak, buy  2  to make it the size of a big one.

· ½ medium onion, sliced       (about 1 cup)

· 1 cup sliced green pepper    (optional)

· 1 - 14 oz can diced       tomatoes

· 1 can beef broth or beef consommé, optional (if you do not have this you can just use water (and flour) to make the gravy because that's what I have used 99% of the time I've made this and it's delicious because you can still taste the beef flavor. 

· 2-3 tablespoons oil

· 1½ cups flour (I used Bob's Mills All Purpose Gluten Free flour since I'm wheat intolerant)

· Salt and pepper to taste


Set the oven to preheat on 325º.

When I buy the large round or Swiss Steak, I do not cut it into pieces, because this streak turns out really tender, cooking it slow, and the steak falls apart when done because it's so tender.

Pound the steak on both sides with a meat tenderizer. (Hammer-like thing). While the oil is heating on med hi, salt and pepper the steak, then dredge it in flour on both sides. Cook the steak (medium high heat), on both sides to get it brown and crusty.  You don't need to cook it all the way. When its crusty on both sides, place it into a casserole dish that has a lid. I have a medium size blue oval spatterware roaster that I use to cook casseroles in. 

Now slice the onions (and green pepper, if using) and saute them til soft. (A few minutes). With a slotted spoon, place the onions on top of the steak in the baking pan. Save the oil because we're using that to make the gravy. If you don't have at least 3 tbs of oil in the pan, add more. As that's heating, add about 3 tbs of the flour, using a whisk to mix it in the oil smoothing it out. (making a roux like regular gravy). After that's cooked, while stirring, about a minute or 2, slowly add the tomatoes and broth, stirring, with the wisk, so there won't be lumps.

Cook and stir the gravy on medium heat till it thickens a little. You do not want the gravy to be as thick as a finished gravy, but you want it to be a lot less thick, because, believe me, it's going to get much thicker when its cooking in the oven for 2½ hours. So please have the gravy thin, but definitely not as liquid as water. If it seems too thick (since its going to thicken a lot more in the oven), just add water to get the consistency it needs to be. I don't always get it right the first time and have to adjust it. If you like a lot of gravy and it doesn't look like it'll be enough to go over the potatoes or rice, double the gravy part, starting with the amount of oil is in the pan after taking the steak out. I like at least 3 cups of gravy with this (or even more). You do not need to add more tomatoes, just more oil, flour and water or broth. Be sure to salt and pepper the gravy, as you go. Pour the gravy all over the steak and onions.

Bake the steak (covered) at 325º for 1½ hours, check it and then bake it for 1½ - 2 more hours on 200º. (total time about 3 hours).  Cooking it long and at a low temperature is what makes the steak tender.

This would be easier to describe if I could show you in a video of exactly how thick/thin the gravy should be when pouring it over the steak and onions.

I hope you enjoy this. Please let me know if anyone has questions.