Thursday, December 15, 2011


So everyone loves brownies, or most everyone! I found a very simple recipe for brownies and an easy fudge frosting recipe that require no cooking! So, here goes!



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

You only need a half recipe for the is so easy!

No-cook fudge frosting


    1. In a bowl mix together the powdered sugar and cocoa.
    2. Add the butter, boiling water and vanilla.
    3. Beat with mixer at low speed until combined.
    4. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
    5. Cool for 20-30 minutes or until spreading consistency
Happy Baking!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Like Riley's cookies? There are similar!

So you like tea cookies from Riley's Bakery? Well, these are very similar! They are easy to make and taste very close! I had the recipe years ago and lost it, so here it is again! They are melt in your mouth good!

Confectioner's Sugar Cookies
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
1-1/3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. In large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of
bowl. Beat in vanilla. Add flour; beat until dough comes together. Wrap and chill
dough 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Take dough out and pinch off enough dough to make 1" balls, place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets, flatten center slightly with your thumb. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack; cool completely.

3. Make powdered sugar icing, and dollop a half-teaspoon to one teaspoon of icing onto each cookie

4. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days; freeze up to 3 months.

Powdered Sugar Icing: Mix together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 stick soft butter and 1 to 3 tablespoons milk one tablespoon at a time. Add food color of your choice to icing.

I hope you enjoy these cookies! They melt in your mouth! Yum!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Chip Muffins! Melt in your mouth!

Chocolate Chip Muffins
May stir in 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans if desired.
If you don't use self rising flour, use plain flower and add 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
*shouldn't substitute margarine for butter because of the water content. May cause muffins to be flat and dough-like.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease twelve muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour and sugars, (baking powder and salt if used).
  4. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
  5. Make a well in center of dry ingredients.
  6. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  9. Now bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
  10. Remove muffin tin to wire rack.
  11. Cool for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from tins to finish cooling.
Serve warm! Store leftovers in an airtight container. May warm slightly if desired before eating.

Gift idea! Bake up a batch in a decorative muffin tin, let cool, wrap in color plastic wrap and give with a copy of the recipe.
Gift idea! layer dry ingredients, one at a time ending with the chocolate chips. Copy recipe (change to say contents of jar, add eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla with the amounts of those items), with baking directions and attach to jar with pretty ribbon.

I hope you enjoy the muffins!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sourdough Coffee Cake

This is a picture of sourdough coffee cake, it is from the internet. After I make mine, I will edit this picture and change it to mine.

A friend posted on one of my blog posts about the sourdough that she had once had a recipe for sourdough coffee cake. I don't have a recipe for that and she had lost hers. If any of you have one, I invite you to inbox me with it! In the meantime, I researched it a bit and found one that looks quite interesting. I will be trying this this week. I will post pictures of the finished product.

In the meantime, here is one coffee cake recipe......Happy Baking!!!

Sourdough Coffee Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sourdough starter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chilled butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar into mixing bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat egg with fork. Add oil and blend. Add sourdough starter and stir to blend.

Pour sourdough mixture into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to blend. Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange apple slices over top of batter.

Mix topping by combining flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Cut butter into small chunks and add to ingredients in bowl. Use fingers to work butter into dry ingredients to create a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle all of the topping over sliced apples in cake pan.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into center of cake comes out completely clean. Allow cake to cool in pan on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread

So, the sourdough starter I posted last night is needed to make this bread. And this bread dough is needed to make the cinnamon rolls, follow the steps through to dividing in half. It takes a little time, but it is so worth it! Makes good sandwiches and makes good roll substitute for any meal! Happy Baking! These loaves can also be wrapped and given to friends as gifts this upcoming holiday season! :)

Sourdough Bread

  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (120 - 130 degrees)
  • 1 TBSP salt
-- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually stir in oil and remaining ingredients.

-- Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead lightly 4 - 5 times. Place in a well bowl, turn to grease top. Cover and let rise 2 hours or until doubled.

-- For bread, punch down, divide in half, shape each portion into a loaf, place in lightly greased loaf pans, brush tops with 2 tbsp melted butter, cover and let rise one hour or until doubled.

-- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

-- For rolls, punch down, divide into half, shape each half into 12 balls, place in a greased 8 inch round cake pan. Brush tops with butter. Cover. Let rise one hour or until doubled. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

From 1995 Southern Living Annual Recipes (I have made these many, many times, they are yummy!)

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
1 Recipe Sourdough bread dough
1/2 cup butter or margarine softened (I use butter)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 T. Cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (I omit these)
3 Cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 - 6 T. milk
  • Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12 x 10 rectangle. Spread each rectangle with 1/4 cup softened butter to within 1/2 inch of edge. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup raisins (if desired).
  • Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting with long side and press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Pinch seams to seal. Cut into 12 1" slices, place cut side down in 2 greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking pans.
  • Cover, let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled
  • Bake 350 degrees 20 minutes or until golden
  • Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Drizzle over rolls.
Yield 2 dozen rolls.
Enjoy warm!

Can refrigerate, just let rise before baking. Can place in aluminum baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and share as a gift or buy a nice baking dish, place rolls in dish with instructions on baking and give as gift for recipient to keep the dish!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough bread is a great thing! Last nights post about Amish bread got me to thinking more about how I used to start making sourdough bread this time of year every year, so I may do that again this year. I love to make homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls! They are awesome! Everywhere I have ever taken them people have loved them! So, here is the recipe for the starter. I am going to get it started tomorrow, and I will have a cup to give away in a few days. If you want it, just let me know. Over the next couple of days, I will post how to make the bread and the cinnamon rolls.......good luck!

Sourdough Starter
1 pkg dry yeast 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water 3 T. instant potato flakes

Mix dry yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water. Combine sugar, remaining 1 cup warm water, and potato flakes. Stir and add yeast mixture. Stir. Loosely cover with plastic wrap with two or three air holes punched in it. Let stand all day. Refrigerate. On day 3, take out and bring to room temperature. Feed with feeder below.

Sourdough Feeder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup sugar 3 T. instant potato flakes

Mix feeder ingredients. Add to starter. Allow to stand out of refrigerator all day. Should start to bubble. At the end of the day (or 12 hours) remove 1 cup starter to use in making bread. Return remainder to refrigerator. After 3-5 days feed again. Remove one cup starter to give away or make bread, return remainder to refrigerator and repeat cycle. Can be stored in a canning jar, glass bowl or plastic bowl!

I usually feed at night, then when the 12 hours are up, it is daytime hours and I make my bread. :)

I hope you enjoy! Coming up:
Sourdough bread
Sourdough Cinnamon rolls!

Note to self! The sourdough cinnamon rolls make great Christmas gifts!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread

So tonight I was reminded of something I used to make with friends at Baptist Hospital. It is called Amish Friendship Bread because you make it from a starter and share cups of the starter. Mind you, use no metal for the starter mixing or it will fail!

Starter can be stored is Ziploc bags

Amish Friendship Bread starter recipe
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups white sugar, divided
3 cups milk


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

Amish Bread
1 Cup starter and add:

1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 - (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Dressing ready to bake

Homemade cornbread dressing

In an iron skillet saute several ribs of celery coarsely chopped and one or two coarsely chopped onions in a couple tablespoons oil also chop and saute a few sage leaves if possible--saute until onion is translucent

1 skillet of cornbread, crumbled in a large mixing bowl and add:
1/2 pkg Peperidge Farm (or Kroger brand) Herbed Stuffing Mix or 1-2 cups cubed toasted bread slices
the onions and celery (with any remaining oil)
enough chicken stock (or broth) to completely moisten dressing
Rubbed sage, small dash garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste (you can taste it, it is already 'done')

Combine well and place dressing in your favorite baking dish and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned on top. Serve with pork, chicken or turkey.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another favorite summer meal......

I know today is more like a fall day, but I wanted to post this favorite of ours. And it will be warm again, we are not through with hot weather at all! The beef stew recipe is in the archives in April of 2011. :)

One of our favorite summer meals, especially after the strawberries are fresh, is chicken salad and fruit served together with a warm croissant! Instead of making my own chicken salad, I like to go to Sam's and buy a tub of it, they have very good chicken salad!

We like fresh watermelon, strawberries, kiwi, honeydew, and grapes all cut up together. You can buy the fruits already cut up at the grocery, we always cut our own. I don't care for cantaloupe, but you can add that too.

We love to serve it with a warm croissant fresh out of the oven. Peppridge Farm has them in the frozen food case, or you can buy them already cooked, just warm lightly in the oven. YUMMY!! And it doesn't heat your kitchen!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of our favorite summer meals

Thinking yesterday about when I first moved out on my own with Deborah and Carol, we used to have a favorite once a week meal, especially in the summer. That meal included hamburgers, baked beans and potato salad. You will find the potato salad recipe in an earlier post. Today, we will talk about the hamburgers and baked beans. The hamburgers were simple, a pound of ground chuck or ground round, 1/2 pkg Frenches onion soup mix, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup bread crumbs holds the burgers together. Mix and form burgers and grill. One pound makes four burgers.

I use 2 of this size can for the baked beans, more if I am taking them somewhere

Now for the baked beans! These are special baked beans with a secret ingredient that had not been shared until I was in charge of making the baked beans at the fire department for our annual dinner one year. You will see that the secret ingredient is a touch of prepared mustard.

Baked Beans
2 cans pork and beans, pork removed
1 onion chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (may use light brown)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard (1 tsp powdered mustard may be substituted, I use regular yellow mustard)
Stir together in baking dish and top with bacon slices.

Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, you want the "soupiness" gone. I don't time them when I cook them, I just take them out when they look like I want them to look.

The beans should look like this when they are done

Make the potato salad from the earlier post, and you have a great, easy, quick summer (or anytime) meal. Rick and I had this quite often in our early years together, and several times a year in our later years.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Back in 1978 after graduating from nursing school, I moved out of the only home I had ever known. My best friend's mother said "it will never last, she'll be back".......that bit of lack of confidence in my ability to make it on my own made me very determined to do just that. I have been back for a weekend (and a couple of weeks when we lived in MA) on occasion when we lived away from here, but I never moved back. That probably was not one of my wiser moves......hahaha. But then again, if I had been living at home, I most likely would never have met Rick and most likely I would not be posting a thanks Patsy for that comment!

The room-mate I had for 3 years and I used to make lots of different things, one of which was home-made spaghetti sauce, so I will post that recipe here:
Spaghetti Sauce
2 large cans crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 medium onion chopped finely
2 green bell peppers coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic (I buy it in the jar and keep it in the fridge)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp oregano leaves (if you use fresh, use the lesser amount)
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 pound sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 pound ground meat (chuck or round)
Parmesan cheese as desired

Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot and simmer 3-4 hours
Brown and drain one pound ground chuck or ground round; drain, and add to the sauce OR make the meatballs from an earlier post. Serve over cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

Today Valarie made old fashioned oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead of raisins. Boy they were good! I decided to share the recipe. It is from my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book page 188. (sometimes you can not eat what Valarie cooks!) I am not sure what year this book is published. I have had it since 1999 or 98.

Oatmeal Cookies
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional) [haha Allison!]
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats, not quick oats)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. in a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Beat until all combined and scrape sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs vanilla until all combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remainder of flour, then stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes or till edges are golden. C ool cookies on a wire rack. Yield 48.

Val did a great job on these, and she is very proud of herself!

See you next time!
Y'all have a great day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Memories from Lincoln Elementary School

Well, a couple days ago Valarie handed me a box of cocoa and a box of oats and said, "kitchen now!" Well, since the box of oats was the old fashioned kind I got out of it at that point. I told her she had the wrong kind of oats, which she did really, but you can use them if you have to.

When we were at Lincoln School every Friday we had no-bake cookies. Every Friday. Without fail, those cookies were there. It was the dessert of the day. And the left overs were for sale at a quarter a piece. Yum! I always had an extra quarter that day! They also made them for sale on days when we hosted baseball games!

So without further delay, here is the recipe!

No-bake Cookies

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (may use crunchy for additional flavor)
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.
I hope you enjoy these! Have a great day!

I love y'all!

To be continued.............

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Taco Soup

One day last winter I decided to make a pot of taco soup. It was so good, we ate on it all day! I thought I would share the recipe since I found a picture of it and thought how good it looked....

You can add cheese, hot peppers, sour cream or other garnish when you are finished with it, serve with corn chips or tortilla chips....

Taco Soup
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • Corn chips, for serving
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Grated cheese, for garnish
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish


Brown the meat and onions in a large skillet; then drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

This is so good, even I like it as picky as I am! And it will be fall before we know it and soup weather!

Y'all have a blessed day now! Hear?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hot Fudge Cake

A few years ago I found a recipe for a good looking hot fudge cake. It makes its own fudge sauce and is excellent with home made vanilla ice cream! Yum! It is one of those things you make right before you want to eat it, then it's gone. It doesn't keep very well overnight. Actually it does still taste good, it just doesn't keep the hot fudge part well. But, you make it in a 9 x 9 pan and so it is good for a family dessert.

1 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. melted shortening
1 c. chopped pecans (if desired, I leave these out)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. hot water

Heat oven to 350°. Measure flour, granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa into bowl. Blend in milk and shortening; stir in nuts. Pour into ungreased square 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Stir together brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Pour "hot" water over batter. Bake for 45 minutes.

While warm, spoon cake into dessert dishes and spoon sauce over each serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


Enjoy, and let me know how you like it!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

So today I was looking at recipes from Goosberry Patch (blog is linked here) and happened across this chocolate chip cookie pie recipe and it looked so good I had to try it today! It turned out great and the "no-roll" pie crust is so flaky! It is very easy to make and the hardest part is waiting for it to cool! Try it! YUM!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked pie shell (*see no-roll pie crust below)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
small pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels (plus additional chips for drizzle)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Beat the eggs, on high, until foamy. Beat in the flour and then both sugars. Beat in the butter. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon into the pie crust and bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For the topping:
Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon oil. Stir and pour into a zipper bag. Cut of a tiny corner and drizzle over the pie.

No Roll Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cold milk.

Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Measure the oil, add the milk and whisk. Pour the oil/milk mixture over the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until it is completely mixed together and the flour is damp. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan, then up the sides and a little bit up the rim.

Now for this recipe you want to use it as an unbaked crust. Pour your batter right into this crust.

If you need this crust for a different recipe that calls for a baked crust, simply prick the crust several times with a fork and bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool and fill as desired.

To use this for a savory dish, just eliminate the sugar.

Thanks to
A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll for the recipes!!!! Yummy!!!! That no roll crust is great!!! It will be the only crust I use from now on!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pasta Salad

One of our favorite summer meals was pasta salad. Rick could eat a whole bowl at one time! It is simple and very, very good - especially this time of year with all the fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers! I was at Wal Mart today and saw the pasta we always used, so I bought some and made a bowl of pasta salad. It was very, very good, even with store bought tomatoes! Here it is, enjoy!

Our favorite pasta.....use your favorite!

Pasta Salad

Boil and drain one box your favorite pasta in salted water, cool. While pasta is cooking and cooling, chop 2 vadilia onions, 2 to 3 large tomatoes, one green bell pepper and one red bell pepper. I like to chop them into the large bowl I am going to mix the salad in so the vegetable flavors can meld while the pasta is cooling.

After the pasta has cooled, pour it into the chopped vegetables and mix well. Stir in several tablespoons Miracle Whip salad dressing or mayonnaise (your preference) and chill.

We made this our supper many, many days in the summer and sometimes there would be enough left for lunch the next day. It is also very tasty served slightly warm after first making. It was one of Rick's favorites!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Potato Soup

In December 1985 things were rough. I was pregnant with Valarie, money was very tight to non-existant. It was still another week until I got paid. I was hungry. I searched around the kitchen to find something to cook. Finally I found 2 or 3 potatoes and an onion. I decided to make potato soup. I had some chicken broth cubes so I added them to some water and heated it, diced the onion and added it, salt and pepper and peeled and diced the potatoes and added them. It was done. Rick, bless his heart, decided it needed more pepper. I had already added plenty. He added more and more until we couldn't eat it! We found some change and bought some gas and went to mom's until I got paid the next Friday. Rick would frequently tell that story and add: "and she won't let me live it down" haha. He loved potato soup! He had it often. I like to cook with Campbells potato soup. I add it to my chicken pot pie. That recipe is somewhere in this blog.....

Potato Soup
1 onion (sweet) sauteed in 1 tbsp oil or bacon drippings
1 or 2 ribs celery sauteed with the onion
2 cans chicken broth
1 to 2 cans water
1 bag steam and mash potatoes uncooked
or peel, wash and cube 7 to 9 potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and simmer over low heat until potatoes are tender. I saute the onion and celery in the pan I am cooking the soup in.

You can add shredded cheese to your taste, bacon bits, sour cream as desired. Some folks like to add a small block of cream cheese to the soup to add richness.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crock Pot Meatballs!

Make meatballs from previous post and bake as directed. Remove from pan, and add to crock pot. Next take 1 1/2 cups grape jelly, heat in sauce pan until smooth. Add 2 bottles Heinz Chili Sauce. Next, stir in 1/3 cup light brown sugar. Pour over meatballs, warm in crock pot until hot. Serve. **don't over cook!

These make good appetizers at dinners or shower snacks. You can also use the sauce with the little smokies or buy frozen meat balls, just cook them before adding to sauce.

After you are finished cooking, get a little sugar from sweet babies.....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Janice's Meat Balls

So today I was on break in the back room having lunch, looking at facebook on my iPhone. I came across my sister-in-law Janice's recipe for home made meat balls so I thought I would post it. It looks so good.....Make small ones for spaghetti and try making larger ones and serve with spaghetti sauce heated on sandwich buns as meatball sandwiches....forget subway. And these don't look like they are very difficult to make and would taste so much better than store bought. I can't wait to try them! For you cheese lovers make a sandwich of them and add freshly grated Parmesan!

1 1/4 pounds ground chuck or ground round
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese ( I would leave this out lol )
2 cloves garlic chopped
salt and pepper

  1. Combine beef, garlic, egg, cheese, salt and pepper.
  2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs. Shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
  4. OR Janice bakes hers for 10 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Broccoli Casserole

One of Rick's favorite things to eat this time of year was broccoli. He liked to grow it. It was really good when it was fresh out of the garden early in the season. The cooler the weather, the sweeter the broccoli. This recipe is from Paula Deen. Enjoy!


  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Will add more later.....have a great week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie has been a favorite dish around here for many, many years. I started making it back about 15 years ago. We had it once a week for many years. Everyone loved it and there was never any left over. It was one of Rick's favorites. I have tried variations but always came back to this recipe. If you don't care for the thick crust, then find the pie crust recipe and make it and top it with that or use crescent rolls for the crust or buy the filo dough and use it. We always preferred the Bisquick crust. Enjoy! The baking dish I use 99% of the time for this looks like the one below, it is made by Anchor Hocking or Fire King. I got mine at the Dollar General Store years ago. If your dish is much over half full, consider placing it on a cookie sheet to capture boil-overs.

Chicken Pot Pie
In a deep dish 4 quart casserole (sprayed with Pam) combine:
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water
1 can peas (drained)
1 can carrots (drained)
2 cans 12.5 oz Chicken ( I like Tyson best then Sam's Club then Sweet Sue then Kroger Brand)
dash thyme
dash oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir all together

2 cups Bisquick mix
1 egg
Enough milk to make a batter with the texture of cake batter (few lumps ok)
Stir together and pour over above mixture

Bake 400* preheated oven until biscuit mix is completely done, and gravy is bubbly (approximately one hour)

We ate this alone for the complete meal, but you could add a tossed salad.

Adjust baking times to your oven, the thicker the crust on top, the longer it takes to bake.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I know, I know it's spring! But with this cool day, I decided to post my recipe for chili. Wish I had a bowl of homemade chili right now. I had to settle for canned. When I got home from Church tonight I decided I needed something to hold me over until morning. (See the other blog for info if you want to.) Some day I might make a big pot of chili and see how well it freezes. Would have been good today as cool as it was!

Brown one pound ground chuck and drain
chop one sweet onion (more or less to your preference, but you have to use at least 1/2 an onion unless you're allergic)
three cans chili beans in mild chili sauce (smaller size cans)
one package McCormick Chili Seasoning (mild or hot to your taste)
2 large cans diced tomatoes (use with green chilies if you like hot hot hot chili)
1 cup water
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom stock pot/dutch oven. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until onion is tender (approximately one hour) stirring often. If you like spaghetti or macaroni in your chili, add it the last quarter hour and cook until noodles are tender. Don't overcook the noodles.

Serve with your favorite sandwich or toppers and crackers. It is also really good to place Frito's in a bowl and top them with the chili......just sayin!


Enamel over cast iron dutch oven--great for soups and chili!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sloppy Joes (From cooking school) YUM!

Yesterday at 10am I joined Libby and Suzan at the extension office along with Terri from Community Action and about 10 others for the cooking class. It was extremely informative and a good refresher on nutrition and safe food handling. Then we cooked sloppy joes from scratch. And they tasted much better than Manwich sloppy joes!

Game Day Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground chuck
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp quick oats
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
Dash hot sauce
12 hamburger buns
In a 10 inch skillet cook ground chuck, onion and celery until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain excess fat.
Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 30 minutes stirring often.
Makes 12 1/3 cup servings.

Disposable single use and flexible multiple use cutting boards are available and are an inexpensive way to safely chop vegetables and meats without using the same board for both.

It is a very good class and the sloppy joes are excellent.
Recipe from UK Cooperative Extension Service.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Pies

I think of all the cream pies or custard pies that I make, lemon meringue is my favorite. I will share my recipe for lemon meringue pie and how to make a great high meringue. Rick's favorite was coconut cream pie. It was also a big hit at family and church dinners, but so is the lemon. I could never stand the texture of coconut.

A hint with the lemon meringue pie, when making the meringue, I use lemon juice instead of vanilla. I don't add the sugar until the meringue is already in soft peaks.

Lemon Meringue Pie
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
4 egg yolks (save whites, separate carefully)
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter
pre-baked 9" pie crust

Combine the sugar, salt and cornstarch in a heavy kettle with a whisk and set aside. Lightly whip the egg yolks in a bowl with a whisk, then stir in the water and lemon juice. Next, gently stir liquid into the sugar mixture and place on burner over low-medium heat. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly and comes to gentle boil. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, stir in butter. Spoon into pastry shell. Top with meringue and place in 325 degree oven approximately 25 minutes until lightly browned.


4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or vanilla)

Place egg whites in mixing bowl (a stand mixer, any brand with a whisk attachment makes lovely meringue) and beat on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. While the mixer is running, add sugar 1 to 2 tbsp at a time until all sugar is incorporated into meringue. After stiff peaks form, I add the lemon juice or vanilla. Top hot filling with fresh meringue. Brown as above.

Chocolate Cream Pie
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt
Combine dry ingredients in heavy kettle

in mixing bowl, combine:
4 egg yolks lightly whipped
2 cups milk

stir milk mixture into sugar mixture, place on burner and cook over low-medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil until thick stir often to prevent scorching. When mixture is thick, remove from heat and add 1/2 stick butter (real) and 1 tsp vanilla. After butter is melted, stir into pie filling. Spoon into baked 9" pie crust, top with meringue and brown as in lemon meringue recipe.

For coconut cream pie, leave out the cocoa and add one small bag minus 1/4 cup (don't toast the 1/4 cup coconut, it is for the meringue) coconut lightly toasted to filling at the same time as the vanilla. Top with meringue and sprinkle on the untoasted coconut, place in oven and brown as above.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Pie Crust

Do you love pie? Do you make your own flaky crust? Well you should. It is so easy to do! I will help you. There is nothing like a good home made pie crust and lemon or chocolate (or whatever is your favorite) filling. Yum. Rick really liked coconut cream pie, and I can make a mean one!

Pie Crust
3 cups plain flour (again I like White Lily plain)
1 cup Crisco (I use butter flavor sticks)
Pinch of salt

Cut Crisco into flour and salt with your pastry blender until it is coarse and all the Crisco is cut in.

Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time and toss with a fork until it is moist and can form a ball. For best results, divide the dough in half, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

When chilled, roll dough on a lightly floured surface (I spread out a couple of long pieces of wax paper lightly floured, then fold up and throw the mess away) until it is about 1/8 inch thick (see photo above). Carefully place in pie plate, if filling a fruit pie, then crimp edges and fill and bake per recipe directions. If it is for a cream pie, fill the pie plate, be careful not to stretch the dough because this is what causes shrinkage, crimp the edges and prick with a fork, and bake at 375 degrees in a preheated oven until lightly browned. Fill and enjoy.

Let me know how it turns out! Practice makes perfect! Love y'all! Lemon or chocolate pie next time.......