What I’m Making This Weekend: Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This recipe, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, is a favorite. We Baptists have a wonderful heritage of sharing bread together at potluck dinners and I certainly have eaten my share of fabulous food. This recipe is an oldie but a goodie, one picked up from a church dinner many years ago.

It’s one of those comforting dishes you can make and take when someone’s had surgery or there’s been a death in the family. That said, I must admit I DON’T make it for my own family very often. It wouldn’t do for any leftovers to linger in my refrigerator, I can tell you. It’s that good!


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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Serving Size: 12 servings


  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.
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“Battle of the Blues” Crock-Pot Ribs

Duke versus Carolina. Is there another as-intense rivalry college-basketball rivalry anywhere?  This recipe comes from Prevention magazine’s “Slow Cooker Recipes” and is perfect for those game days when you’re ready for a hot meal but short on time.

These ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender . . .  serve with a side of slaw, and you’re set to enjoy some hoops. Enjoy!

Crock-Pot Ribs

*8 servings * Per serving: 313 cal./33 gm protein/16 gm carb/0 gm fiber/12 gm fat/3.5 gm sat fat/622 mg sodium


2 cloves garlic

1 cup ketsup

1/3 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

4 lb. country-style pork ribs ( I used pork loin ribs)

  1. Pulse garlic in food processor until chopped. Add ketsup, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, marmalade, oil, brown sugar, chipotle powder, and cumin. Process until smooth for sauce.
  2. Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom of a lightly-oiled 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cut meat into serving portions of 3 to 4 ribs. Stack in cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs.
  3. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours, or until meat is tender and starts to separate from bone. Serve with additional sauce, if desired.

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Crockpot Chili

These cold, wet days have put me in the mood for chili, and I’ve been on the look-out for a new recipe. One that is simple, crockpot ready, and not fiery-hot with spices.

I think I found it in the latest edition of Prevention Guide’s Slow Cooker Recipes. It got a two-thumbs-up last night at the dinner table. Enjoy!


2 tsp olive oil

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14-19 oz) no-salt-added red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp salt

¼ cup low-fat sour cream

Few Tbsp shredded Mexican cheese

Cornbread (optional)

Chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up lumps, until no longer pink about 4 minutes. Cook until beef if browned, about 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Transfer to a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, beans, tomatoes, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cover and cook on high 3 to 3 ½ hours or on low 6 to 7 hours. Top with cheese, sour cream, and serve with cornbread, if desired.

 (4 servings/310 cal/31 gm protein/28 gm carb/8 gm fiber/8 gm fat/2.5 gm sat fat/602 mg sodium)

P.S. You’ll notice the picture above shows a whole bell pepper inside the crock—that’s because I don’t chop bell peppers into anything I cook or dear husband won’t eat it. I cook the whole pepper, let its juices eek out into the dish, then discard the pulp after the cooking time. Easy-peasy.

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