A Retired Professor

Super Bowl Sausage Dip

Super bowl Sunday 2018 is here!  Time for lots of food that’s so bad for you, entertaining commercials on TV, and oh, yes…football!  I’m cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles for two reasons.  One, they’re from PA like me; and two, New England has won too many times!  I’m going to my eldest son’s home for the big game and taking the best and easiest dip in the world.

My friend, Charleen, is the originator of this recipe.  We have made it every year now for at least ten years at her Florida lake house when she invites five lucky friends each October for a girls’ weekend.  We are fondly known as “The Ladies of the Lake” and Charleen makes a double recipe of this dip Friday evening when we arrive.  No diets for the weekend so we totally indulge in this creamy goodness.  After we stuff ourselves we refrigerate the leftovers and reheat them on Saturday evening after a day of shopping.  It still tastes good.

Whip up this delicacy this afternoon.  Don’t think about the calories or your clogged arteries. You and your besties will love it.

Sausage Dip

Simple Ingredients

1# sausage such as Jimmy Dean regular

1 can Ro-Tel original diced tomatoes & green chilies

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese (Philadelphia brand, in honor of the Eagles)

In a skillet over medium high heat, brown and crumble the sausage.  Lower the heat to medium, stir in the Ro-Tel, juice and all.  Stir in cream cheese.  Heat until cream cheese has melted.  Pour into a small crockpot to keep warm.  Serve with Scoops.

The Finished Dip…bring on the Scoops!

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Southern Living Magazine scored another comfort food recipe in the January 2018 issue.  Yesterday I made OLD-FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS (click on the words for the recipe) and it was very good on a chilly evening.  I served it with fried okra, mixed greens salad and a glass of Chardonnay.  I added half an onion, coarsely chopped, to the carrots and celery.  I would probably add a bit of poultry seasoning next time for a little more spice.

Beef Stew, Winter Coats and Southern Living

Yes, my friends, this is what I wore to go to a meeting yesterday morning and I live in SW Florida!  I felt like I was back in PA.  When it gets cold in FL it feels much colder than it does in the north.  I heard a story on the TV news about cold weather myths in the south.  No, our blood does not thin but we may lose a layer of fat that keeps us warm.  That I find hard to believe because I think I have kept my layer and maybe added to it!  The story also stated that our capillaries help to register how cold we are and that changes the longer we live in the south.  Now that’s more believable!  In addition, we do not lose more body heat through our head but I don’t believe that either since a hat always kept me warmer.  I guess when faced with medical facts I still tend to hold onto my beliefs and that phenomena is researched in learning theory. Here’s the link to the video for you to make your own decision:  Cold Weather Myths

I digress since this post is really about making beef stew!

Since it was so cold yesterday and I had just read a recipe in the January 2018 issue of Southern Living for beef stew, I decided to make it.  It was wonderful!  It simmered all afternoon and I do believe that buying the chuck roast and cutting it up was far better than purchasing stew meat.  Click on Southern Living Beef Stew here to get the recipe.  I’ve included a few pictures below to entice you to try it. Heck, most of the country is frigid right now so it will warm you up with nice comfort food if you can get to the grocery store for the ingredients.

All the best, dear friends and I hope we all warm up soon!


Here’s the roast cut up, dregged in the flour mixture and browned.  I really think using the roast was a super idea!






The recipe called for 12 ounces of beer but there was only 11.2 ounces in one bottle.  Rather than skimp on the liquid, I opened a second bottle and felt compelled to drink the beer not used in the recipe.  Heck, it was afternoon so why not!  It seemed a shame to waste it.



The finished product!  I served it with warm biscuits and green salad.  Yum!



Brie in Bread: Pure Heaven

Happy New Year 2017!  Wishing you a year of health and happiness but first a little brie and French bread!  My friend, Carol, shared this recipe with me and Carol and I made it last night.  She told me folks inhale this gooey, cheesy appetizer the minute it comes out of the oven and we sure did!  What can be better than Brie, bread, butter, sugar and nuts!  I was in heaven and the diet starts tomorrow because there’s a little bit left to eat today!

Here’s the recipe with pictures to guide you.  Heck, make this today while watching football!

1 round of Brie (Costco size, don’t skimp on this)

1 Pillsbury French loaf (found in dairy case near crescent rolls)

1 stick of butter, melted (use the real kind, I used salted)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 handful of nuts (I used walnuts but pecans would be yummy too)

Surround the brie with the bread in a Pyrex pie plate.  Pinch ends of bread together.  No need to take the rind off the brie.  Combine the sugar and melted butter and pour over the brie.  Sprinkle nuts on top.  The picture above is ready to bake.

Place pie plate on a cookie sheet in case the goodness oozes over while baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The picture above is the masterpiece out of the oven.


Ready for the first bite!  Yum!!!!

Cinnamon Rolls Deluxe

Baking is a skill that if you don’t use it, you lose it!  My Mom and Grandmother were excellent bakers and I could hold my own when I was younger and baking for my family.  Lately, not so much!  Yeast breads and I have never had a happy relationship and there have been many failures over the years.  But today I found success.  I saw a recipe for cinnamon rolls posted by The Pioneer Woman with many pictures to go with the process.  They turned out wonderful!  I cut the recipe in half and made the dough yesterday and put it in the refrigerator over night, like Ree recommended.  Give them a try but be forewarned, they are oozing with butter and I’m sure that’s the secret ingredient that makes them yummy.  There’s still time to make them for Christmas morning, so get started!


             Ready for the oven!                                     Baked, iced and ready to eat!

Here’s the link to the recipe.  Just click:  The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Enjoy and don’t think about all of the calories!  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Appetizer: Sausage Crescent Nuggets

This is my favorite holiday appetizer.  Granted, it would be delicious any time of year but given the calorie content, I don’t make them that often.  They travel well to a party and are usually gobbled up quickly.

Sausage Crescent Nuggets

1 lb.  Jimmy Dean highly seasoned sausage

1 (8oz.) package of cream cheese (Low fat version is just fine)

2 packages of Pillsbury crescent rolls (Original works best.  Reduced fat ones seem to be harder to handle)

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 egg white slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium size skillet, cook sausage until light brown.  Drain.  Wipe out pan with a paper towel and return drained sausage to it.  Turn stove to low. While sausage is still hot, add cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixture is creamy.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

Separate crescent rolls into 2 rectangles.  Form a log of the sausage mixture lengthwise down the center of each rectangle.  Fold lover the long sides of the pastry to cover sausage log.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, seam side down.  Brush with egg white.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

           Ready for the oven!   Love my silicone mats.  Set of 3 at Costco.

Bake 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden.  Slice into 1-1 ½ inch slices.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Ready for the party!

Ranch Parmesan Chicken

This is spring break week at the university so I have been working through a long list of spring cleaning chores at home!  Windows washed, carpets cleaned, organizing, cleaning outdoor furniture and on and on!  It’s exhausting and now I’m behind in my posts.  However, dear readers, this one may be worth the wait.

Yesterday evening I was with my grandson while his Dad attended the Elton John concert.  My grandson loves chicken, especially fried so I thought I would try a new recipe that looked liked fried chicken but was actually baked.  I found it on Pinterest and it did not disappoint.  I’m pretty sure the butter made it seem like fried chicken!

Here are the ingredients ready to go.  I altered the original recipe a bit since I didn’t have any seasoned salt and I only had light dressing.  Still turned out delicious.


I was very generous with the ranch dressing and used panko.

oven ready2Drizzling the butter was the crowning glory!


After baking for 35 minutes on non-stick foil, the chicken really does look like fried chicken.  As promised, it was very tender and juicy with just a hint of the ranch dressing in the background.


Two pieces later, this is my grandson’s reaction!  Thumbs up!

thumbs up2

My Version of Ranch-Parmesan Chicken


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon steak and chop seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups light prepared ranch salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (no substitutes)


  1. Set oven to 400° degrees (set oven rack to lowest position).
  2. In a shallow bowl mix together the panko breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese, salt, steak & chop seasoning, black pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Dip the chicken into the ranch dressing to coat both sides.
  4. Coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil.
  6. Lightly drizzle the melted butter.
  7. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes.

Here’s the link to the original recipe: Easy & Delicious Ranch Parmesan Chicken

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