Friday, December 31, 2010

Irish Blessing for a New Year

Today I'm sending you good wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year. May your blessings be great and your troubles be few in 2011!

Irish Blessing

May you neighbors respect you,
Misfortune neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

Enjoy a wonderful New Year's Eve. ~Marcia

I'll be at these swaps:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms seem to be one of those delicious little bites that people look forward to at parties where appetizers are served. I thought that with New Year's Eve on the way, I'd share my favorite recipe for them. The important step to note is that I only use Jimmy Dean Low Fat Sausage (every store doesn't carry it, but it's worth the search. When I find it, I buy several rolls and freeze them).

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 C bulk sausage, fried (Jimmy Dean's is the best!)
1/2 C chopped onion
2 slices bread, crumbled
2 TBSP parsley, chopped

Saute onion in sausage drippings until transparent. Dice the mushroom stems and add to the onion, cooking another 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs, sausage and parsley. Mix well and stuff mushrooms; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: Several years ago my dad told us how good Jimmy Dean sausage was, and once we tried it we never bought another kind. It's delicious and doesn't leave a skillet full of grease!

I will be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Won Tons

One of my friends from University Church of Christ in Oklahoma gave me this recipe. Carol used to bring these to Family Game Night and they were gobbled up in a hurry! You had to be sure to get one of Carol's won tons on your first trip through the line, or you just wouldn't get one. I was told, by others at church, that Carol's mother, Umeko Wellspring, was also a great cook and used to bring them to church fellowships. Carol was very nice to share her recipe with me. I have to say that while her won tons were always shaped beautifully-mine are not! There's a talent involved with wrapping won tons (if you're not familiar with the method, you can just fold them in half and pinch the edges with a fork like a pot sticker.) I miss seeing Carol, Joe and their daughter, Amy; what a nice family.

Umeko Wellspring's Won Tons

1 pkg. won ton skins (I found these in the produce section at Country Mart)
small pkg. ground chuck
chopped scallions
1 can (14 oz,) chop suey vegetables (drained and chopped)
1 TBSP (or more) fresh ginger, grated
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP cooking sherry
salt and pepper

Brown ground chuck in skillet; drain off grease and add the rest of ingredients except won ton skins. Place a spoonful of mix in the middle of each won ton skin and fold, Fry in deep skillet or deep fryer until light brown. Drain on paper towels. (Good with plum sauce or hot chili sauce!)

I will be at these swaps today:
-Seaside Simplicity

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fresh Spinach and Mozzarella Salad

We've been eating a lot of heavy, rich meals during the holidays and I assume that several of you have, too. So, I thought today would be ideal for a sharing a salad recipe. Enjoy!

Fresh Spinach and Mozzarella Salad
(Bon Appetit magazine Dec. '94)

1 C of your favorite Italian dressing
1 TBSP chopped fresh garlic
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and sliced
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly-sliced
1/2 10 oz. bag ready-to-use spinach leaves
(and I think leftover cubed ham could make this a main course!)

Whisk salad dressing, chopped garlic, balsamic vinegar and dried oregano to blend in large bowl. Mix in tomatoes, cheese and onion. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temp., tossing occasionally.) Add spinach to salad and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

I will be at these swaps today:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Out with the Old/In with the New Menu

This week we will be ending the old year and beginning a bright new year full of promise and hope. My wish for each of you is a year full of God's blessings. If you've never kept a "gratitude journal" you might want to consider it; it is very humbling to write down at least one thing that you're thankful for every day. I've done it before and was amazed at how many little (very important oxygen!) I took for granted everyday. I still need loads of work in this area. I plan to keep such a journal again this year. Gratefulness (and not complaining) is a work in progress for me-like my "healthy eating plan"!
For me, this week of the year is always one of accessing, evaluating and transferring (bits of information about appointments and such from my old calender to the new one). I still need to choose a new calender with large spaces; always look forward to picking out a fresh, new one full of clean, blank squares of unused space.
I love the beginnings of a new year. It's that time when I plan and organize...and for us "list-makers" resetting to a new year is a joy! I know that God is in I like to give the Creator of the Universe something to laugh little list of plans:0)

Here is one of those lists; my menu for the week:

Monday, Dec. 27

B: Irish Oatmeal in Crock Pot

D: Homemade pizzas
Veg. plate-dip

Tuesday, Dec. 28

B: Fried Ham (leftover) and eggs

D: Grilled Chicken
Glazed Carrots

Wednesday, Dec. 29

B: Fruit Salad
Blueberry Muffins

D: Ham and Beans
Hamburgers with onions

Thursday, Dec. 30

B: Cocoa Wheats and Toast

D: Fish
Oven-fried Potatoes
Green Beans
Candied Sweet Potatoes

Friday, Dec. 31

B: Scrambled eggs w/bacon
Fruit plate

D: Aunt Sis' Pulled Pork BBQ
Party foods

Saturday, January 1!

B: Pancakes

D: Pork BBQs
Chips and dip

Sunday, Jan. 2

B: Cold Cereal

D: Chicken Casserole in Crock Pot
Green beans

I will be joining Orgjunkie today for MPM.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Snow Candy Recipe from 1800's

This recipe comes from Pickerton's Wisdom published in East Hampton, Massachusetts in 1893. Every time I have an old cookbook from the New England area, I think of my sweet friend, Lisa. Her grandmother lived in a Victorian house there and Lisa remembers enjoying teatime at her Grammy's house as a child. She also enjoyed a famous last name-Converse; that's right, their family started the shoe company. Merry Christmas to all of my friends (and blog buddies!) far and wide!

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Snow Candy-1893

1 pan of newly-fallen snow
2 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
4 TBSP molasses
2 TBSP water
2 TBSP vinegar

Boil sugar, butter, molasses, water and vinegar in a large pot until the candy reaches the Hard Crack stage on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove the candy from the heat. Pour thin ribbons of candy over the pan of snow. The candy will harden and melt the snow. Crack the ribbons of candy into pieces and give to the children.

In early days there was a rumor spread by some clever mothers that Santa wouldn't come if the house wasn't clean :0) (I like this-you get your house cleaned the week before Christmas...with plenty of eager helpers!)

I will be at these swaps today:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old Snowball Cookie Recipe

Marcia's Holiday Scrapbook:

Old Snowball Cookie Recipe

1 lb. Butter or oleo
1 Cup powdered sugar
4 C Swans Down Cake flour
1 Tsp salt
1 1/2 C of nuts (chopped - but not too, too fine)
2 Tsp vanilla

Mix together like pastry - in mixer - shape into balls (after dough has stood overnight, preferably) make the balls about the size of a small walnut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet - Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Sift a 2 lb. box of confectionary sugar and roll cookies in sugar while warm - then once again after cooled. Will make approximately 12 dozen.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for a special Christmas eve post (with a recipe for Snow Candy).

As Christmas is quickly approaching, I'd like to take this time to thank all of you for the fun experience that your readership in 2010 has provided me. Here's to a safe and happy holiday, and a fantastic new year!

What I'm Reading: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

I will be joining Life as Mom, Prairie Story, and Coupon Cookin' for their swaps today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O' Henry Bars

Marcia's Holiday Scrapbook:

O' Henry Bars

1 C light corn syrup
1 C gran. sugar
1 1/4 C smooth peanut butter
6 C crushed rice cereal
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips

Bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Blend in peanut butter and cereal. In a separate sauce pan, melt chocolate chips, Press cereal mixture into a 13x9" cake pan. Frost with the melted chocolate chips.

Join me at :

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cream Cheese Chipotle Appetizer Is Fast!

My sons are all home for the holidays, so I'm thinking of ways to use my time wisely. Here's my favorite, fastest appetizer.

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Marcia's Cheese Spread

1 block of cream cheese
1/2 bottle Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Favorite crackers (I like Toasteds)

Pull your most Christmasy serving plate out of the cupboard. Place cream cheese in the center and pour sauce over it. You can put fresh parsley around the sides for greenery if you're "feelin' uptown". Add the crackers, sit down with your Diet Coke with Lime and let the party begin! :0)

I'll be at these swaps today:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creamy Nog Punch

I think that at Christmas and New Years, a beautiful punch bowl full of a delicious mixture really makes the get-together or party. One of our family traditions is to ride around on Christmas eve to look at the lights and sing carols. When we come home we have punch and cookies. I love that. I look forward to it every year; if there are snow flurries during the drive-I'm in Heaven! I hope that all of you have a blessed holiday enjoying your own traditions. If you're looking for a different punch recipe, I'm happy to share one.

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Creamy Nog Punch
(makes 1 1/2 gallons)

1 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon egg nog
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (16oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Scoop ice cream into a punch bowl. Pour eggnog over ice cream and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in whipped topping. Serve immediately. Stir as needed. Prep time: 10 min.

I will be at these swaps today:
-Designs by Gollum
-Ann Kroeker

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Smoothie" Candy Bar-Very Quick!

These taste like the old Smoothie candy bars that I used to love as a kid. They had little cards in the bottom that you saved up to redeem for free candy. Do you remember them?

My Holiday Scrapbook:


1 lb. white chocolate
1 lb. butterscotch chips
1 C peanut butter

Pour melted candy into small foil cups on cookie sheet (or use a mini muffin pan!) Cool on counter for 2 hours.

I will be at these swaps today:
-Prairie Story

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Italian Bow Knot Cookies

The cookie recipe that I'm sharing today is a soft, buttery cookie; very delicate, so handle them carefully and you'll need wire racks or waxed paper under them for the glaze. Happy Wednesday to everyone!

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Italian Bow Knot Cookies
Mrs. Dan Crisis, Fennville, Michigan

Makes 6 dozen medium cookies

4 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
6 eggs, beaten
1 C sugar
1/2 C oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Blend beaten eggs into dry ingredients, following with all other ingredients. Knead until smooth. Roll into pencil lengths and tie into bow knots. Bake on greased cookie sheets in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Glaze when cooled.

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 C butter
1` lb. confectioners sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Cream butter, add remaining ingredients. Stir until well-blended. If too thin, add more sugar-too thick, add more lemon juice. (I've also made these using vanilla instead of lemon.)

I'll be at these swaps today:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oyster Cracker/Peanut Brittle

I think salty, crunchy and sweet are an unbeatable taste combination. This Christmas brittle recipe has all three, and because you use oyster crackers, it tames the sweetness and the fat calories. This surprisingly-good treat has held a place in my Holiday Scrapbook since 1993; it was clipped from the pages of a Woman's Day magazine. I hope you like it and add it to your list of nice (not naughty) recipes!

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Oyster Cracker/Peanut Brittle

2 C granulated sugar
1 C light corn syrup
1 TBSP butter or margarine
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C salted cocktail peanuts
1 1/2 C oyster crackers

1. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and a metal spatula. Have ready a candy thermometer or glass of ice water.
2. Mix sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until candy thermometer registers 300-310 degrees (hard crack stage), or when a small amount dropped into ice water separates into hard brittle threads.
3. Remove from heat. Add butter and soda. Stir rapidly until butter melts and soda dissolves (mixture will foam). Add peanuts and crackers and mix well. Immediately pour onto prepared cookie sheet and press with prepared spatula to 1/4" thickness.
4. Let stand until cool and hard. Break into bite-size pieces. Store airtight w/ waxed paper between layers.

I will be at these swaps today; check them out for more great recipes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Menu for Week of Dec. 13

Mon. Dec. 13

Baked Herb Chicken
Fresh Green Beans
Onion Rings

Tues. Dec. 14

Homemade Potato Soup
Lamb Chops

Wed. Dec. 15

2 Christmas Events

Thurs. Dec. 16

Chicken Salad
Hot rolls

Fri. Dec. 17


Sat. Dec. 18

Pork Roast
Mashed Potatoes

Sun. Dec. 19

Tonight-Christmas Event (Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip)

***I will be at Orgjunkie today for MPM.***

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scented Cinnamon Ornaments

If you're looking for a fun craft that you can use as a gift or just decorate your tree with, these little ornaments are ideal. I think the smaller ornaments are cute as package decorations, too. These are easy and inexpensive to make and the scent is wonderful in your house!

My Holiday Scrapbook:

Scented Cinnamon Ornaments

1 C cinnamon
3/4 C applesauce
2 TBSP white school glue
1 TBSP cloves
1 TBSP nutmeg

Combine spices, add applesauce and glue. Stir to combine. Work mixture w/ hands 2-3 min. or until dough is smooth. Divide into 4 parts. Roll out each dough portion to 1/4". Cut into desired shapes. Make a small hole in the top of each ornament w/ a straw(for the ribbon). Allow to dry at room temperature for 3-4 days. Turn ornaments once a day for uniform drying. Thread ribbon through hole in the ornament.

Have a great Friday, everyone!

I'll be at these swaps today; give them a look for lots of great recipes and ideas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aunt Sis' Salted Peanut Chews

My Holiday Scrapbook:

One Christmas when I was little, My Aunt Sis brought these salty, chewy delights to our house when she and Uncle Dave came for one of their annual holiday visits. I'm sure she brought the candy bar-type cookies with my dad in mind; her only sibling loves peanut candy. Every time I eat these cookies they remind me of childhood holidays. Greg, Becky and I would anxiously wait while Aunt Sis and Uncle Dave would unload their Ford (their vehicle was always a Ford!...he was an accountant for the company). Aunt Sis, a high school teacher, loved to bake and try new recipes that she got from her typing students or church friends, and would always bring in goodies. As an adult, I now realize that all of the excitement surrounding their trips in for Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving was certainly not about the treats, but all about them! They were one of our holiday treats! They didn't have children of their own, so we were the glad recipients of their love and attention...what a blessing. My parents enjoyed their company, too. I vividly remember lying in bed as a child of 10 or 11 and hearing the four of them downstairs on Christmas eve giving my "Ants in the Pants" game and my brother's "Don't Spill the Beans" game a trial run before Santa wrapped them. I will always treasure those "moments of Christmas Past" when "joy" meant that Aunt Sis and Uncle Dave had just pulled into our driveway.

Aunt Sis' Salted Peanut Chews

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 C margarine
1 egg
3 C mini marshmallows


2/3 C corn syrup
1/2 C margarine
2 tsp vanilla
2 C peanut butter chips
2 C Rice Krispies
2 C salted peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all base ingredients except marshmallows. Press into a 13x9" pan. Bake 12-18 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows and return to oven for 2 minutes. Heat topping ingredients until chips are melted. Add rice cereal and peanuts. Spoon over marshmallows and chill. Remove from fridge 2 hrs. before serving.

I will be at these swaps today:


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Julie-Ruth's Creamy Dill Dip

My Holiday Scrapbook:

If you like a creamy dip in the middle of your crackers or veggie tray, I've got one for you! My college roommate and present-day buddy, Julie, gave me this recipe when we were in school at WVU. I've found that it is also a great topping for baked potatoes.

Julie-Ruth's Creamy Dill Dip

1 C dairy sour cream
1 C mayo
1 TBSP minced dried onion
1 TBSP dried dill weed
1/2 tsp seasoned salt or garlic salt

Thoroughly combine all ingredients and chill well to blend flavors. Serve with crackers or raw vegetables.


I will be at these swaps today:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Praline Thumbprint Cookies

My Christmas baking has begun! I have already made my marshmallow fudge that Dana looks forward to every year, but hadn't baked any cookies, yet. Yesterday was the day! I made Peppermint Crunch, Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies (Tues., Dec. 8, 'o9 post) and some sugar cookies. These will go in hostess gifts and to the youth minister and his family. I have to do my baking and candy-making in spurts so that it is fresh for gifts. I usually make our cookies and fudge the week of Christmas. In the spirit of cookie-baking, here is another long-time recipe from my Holiday Scrapbook.

I brought this recipe home from one of the many cookie swaps that I've attended over the years. I remember that these cookies are rich. You might want to have them with coffee or a glass of milk!

Praline Thumbprint Cookies

1 C margarine
1 C powdered sugar
2 C flour
1 C finely-chopped pecans
1 TBSP vanilla

Cream margarine, gradually adding powdered sugar, beating well. Add flour. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Shape dough into 1" balls; place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press your thumb in center to make indentation. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes; Do Not Brown! Cool on racks. Spoon about 1/2 tsp praline filling into each cookie.

1/2 C margarine
1 C firmly-packed brown sugar
dash of salt
1/2 C evap. milk
2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt margarine in saucepan; add brown sugar and salt; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in milk. Bring mixture to a boil. Let boil 2 minutes or until it reaches 232 degrees (candy thermometer). Remove to cool; when lukewarm, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat w/ wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. Fill centers of cookies.

I will be at these swaps today:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Menu

Lots of running to do this morning so I'm posting late. Here's our plan for the week. Join me the rest of the week as I share recipes from my holiday scrapbook!

Mon. Dec. 6

Chili dogs w/ cole slaw
Macaroni and Cheese
Fruit plate

Tues. Dec. 7

Baked Spaghetti
Garlic Stix

Wed. Dec. 8

Eat out-Christmas Event

Thurs. Dec. 9

Baked Potato
Cole slaw (leftover)

Fri. Dec. 10

Eat out-Christmas Event

Sat. Dec. 11

Eggs and bacon on Wheat Thin Buns

Roasted Pork Loin
Wild Rice

Sun. Dec. 12

Leftover Pork w/ BBQ sauce
Onion Rings

Christmas Event-Eat out

Everyone have a happy Monday!
I'll be at Orgjunkie today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Holiday Scrapbook: Pistachio/Cherry Fudge

Here's a beautiful Christmas-colored fudge to share with friends and neighbors!

Pistachio/Cherry Fudge

4 C sugar
2 C milk
1/2 C butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C finely chopped candied cherries
1/4 C blanched pistachio nuts

Put sugar, milk, butter and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to soft ball stage (use a candy thermometer if this is tricky for you). Cool fudge til it's lukewarm. Add vanilla and beat until thick and creamy. Fold in cherries and nuts quickly. Pour into a buttered 8" square pan and stand at room temperature until firm. Cut into squares. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

I'll be at these swaps today:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Holiday Scrapbook: Christmas-1st Corinthians 13 Style

Here's a favorite clipping from the pages of my trusty holiday scrapbook; great to remember at the beginning of December!

1st Corinthians 13 Style
Author unknown

If I decorate my house perfectly
with plaid bows
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging a
beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and
give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
It profits me nothing.

If I trim the tree with shimmering angels and
sparkling snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing carols galore,
but do not remember Christ,
I've missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though hurried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's
home that has
coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn't give only to
those who are able to
give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will be beaten,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the
gift of love
will endure.

I didn't write this, but I wish that I had. What a wonderful reminder of getting our priorities straight as we begin the month of December!

I will be joining Life as Mom and The Thrifty Home for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: Giant by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Holiday Scrapbook: Lemon Cut-Out Cookies

Although sugar cookies reign supreme as Christmas cookie cut-out favorites, my hubby likes my version which is lemon-flavored. I top them with a vanilla/confection glaze (with various colors and sprinkles, of course!)

Marcia's Lemon Cut-Out Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C fresh lemon juice (or a little less)
Colored sugars or icing

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar; beat in egg. Stir together dry ingredients; add alternately with lemon juice to creamed mixture. Mix well (dough will be soft). Chill overnight (or several hours). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On well-floured surface, roll out 1/3 of dough into 1/8" thickness (chill remaining dough while you roll out this piece). Cut out shapes with floured cutters. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired (I like to ice them when they're cooled). Place 1" apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly-browned. Cool, ice and decorate.

I will be joining We are That Family, Krazy Kitchen, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Dining with Debbie, King's Court IV, and Turning Back the Clock for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: Giant by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Holiday Scrapbook: Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Every year when it's time to get ready for a holiday, I pull out a gigantic photo album with a quilted Christmas cover that is one of my prized possessions. My friend, Marge McCutcheon had this made for me when Dana and I were first married. My family can tell you that if "Marcia's Holiday Scrapbook" is out of the cabinet and lying on my desk, it's time to cook for a holiday! Over the years, through Easters, Thanksgivings and all other holidays, I've added recipes with notes attached. There are paper ornaments with the boys' pictures glued-on that were made in elementary school; notes written next to recipes, to remind me of the significance of the recipe and the occasion when I first made it, and if it is some one's favorite, that is also noted. In the margins between the "sacred" recipes are photos, handmade cards from the boys at different ages (some when their writing was barely legible!) and favorite comic strips (when something about a holiday struck me as very funny!). Like me, this treasure is showing its age a little, but it is the accumulation of years and the mementos from each holiday that make it special. I will be sharing recipes and memories from my own Holiday Scrapbook every weekday through the "holiday craziness". So grab a cup of tea and take a look at one of my "special recipes" with me as we enjoy a quiet moment in the midst of the Christmas whirlwind of activity.

If you have leftover pumpkin, here's a different variety of fudge for your Christmas cookie trays. I first had pumpkin fudge at the Milton Pumpkin Festival in WV. My friend, Christy and I pushed our child-filled stroller (Ben was a toddler) to a booth that boasted "Pumpkin Fudge". It was the middle of the day and we figured the sugar would give us an energy boost to keep strolling and shopping (craft stands...lots of craft stands!) It was so good that we bought some to take home. Try this fudge out and let me know how you like it in my comments.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge
2 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C evaporated milk
3/4 C cooked pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
1 jar (7.5 oz.) marshmallow creme
2 TBSP butter
1 C white chocolate baking chips
1 tsp vanilla

Prepare pan by lining a 9" square baking pan with foil. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, mix together the milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Mix in pumpkin and spice. When it returns to a boil, stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally for 18 minutes; then remove from heat. Stir in white chocolate and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into foil-lined pan. Cool to room temperature and firm. Invert pan onto cutting board; remove the foil. Cut into small squares and store in airtight container in cool, dry place.

I will be joining Blessed with Grace, Gypsy's Corner, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and All the Small Stuff for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: Giant by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here's the Plan!

Welcome back to another Monday! I enjoyed a great, relaxing holiday with my family; all of our boys were home. It was fun to "cook big" again. Now, I'm back to cooking for three...until Christmas!
I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. Here's my plan for the menu this week here at the Davis house.

Mon. Nov. 29

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken
Carrots, Broccoli & Cauliflower in Basil Sauce
Skillet Potatoes

Tues. Nov. 30

Amish Pork Chops

Wed. Dec. 1

Waffle Fries
Veg. plate

Thurs. Dec. 2

Crescent Dogs
Black Bean Fiesta

Fri. Dec. 3

Butterfly Shrimp
Fettuccine w/ Broccoli

Sat. Dec. 4

Homemade Pizza

Sun. Dec. 5

Fried Apples

I will be joining Organizing Junkie today for Menu Planning Monday.

(Book I'm reading now: Giant by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Sides from 1970 Cookbook

The Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers Cookbook-1970

Page 162 Artichoke Hearts in Lemon Butter
Florence B. Fisackerly, Inverness H.S., Inverness, Mississippi

1/2 C minced onion
1/2 clove of garlic, crushed (I like Elephant Garlic-it's milder!)
2 TBSP butter
3/4 C chicken broth
2 (15 oz.) cans artichoke hearts
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind

Saute onion and garlic in butter until transparent; add broth and artichoke hearts. Add lemon juice, salt, oregano and lemon rind; simmer for 10 minutes or until artichoke hearts are heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I will be at these swaps today:

Thanksgiving Week Menu

Mon. Nov. 22

Chicken Salad
Wheat crackers
Iced Tea

Tues. Nov. 23


Wed. Nov. 24

Pork Roast in Crock Pot
Ramen Noodles
Roasted vegetables

Thurs. Nov . 25

Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Praline Topping
Green Bean Casserole
Sister Schubert Rolls
Cranberry sauce
Olive Garden Lemon Cake
Pumpkin Pie/Cool Whip

Fri. Nov. 26

Shrimp Prima Vera

Sat. Nov. 27

Leftover Buffet!

Sun. Nov. 28

Leftover Buffet!

***I will be at Orgjunkie today***

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers Cookbook

***In memory of my high school home ec teacher-Mrs. Thelma Sine, Paden City High School, Paden City, WV***

Although I own a large collection of cookbooks (anyone who knows me can back me up on this!) I love to get someones favorite recipe that they've passed directly to me; the cookbook we're reviewing today is a combination of individual cooks' favorites in cookbook form. I have a few books from this collection by Favorite Recipes Press in Alabama. This particular goody was published in 1970 and its Library of Congress Catalog number is 78-142015. "The Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers" is just what the title says. The publisher sent out a request to America's high school H.E. teachers for their favorite recipes. The result of this "cooking survey" is a very useful and trustworthy source of wonderful recipes.
In a familiar format that is like Southern Living cookbooks, each recipe in this book provides the name of its contributor, the high school where she taught, and her location. I really enjoy knowing which area of the country the cook is from, and even the names of the various high schools were interesting to me. Other than these additional bits of information, the book is all recipes; no chat. I think you'll be fine with that when you see the recipes! This book is so full of recipes that sound absolutely delicious that I recommend looking for it right away. It would be a good one to have on hand for the holidays. I will be sampling recipes from it for the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Have a great weekend!

Page 164 Asparagus Amandine
Katherine W. Rebbe, Wakefield Comm. Sch.
Wakefield, Nebraska

1/4 C slivered blanched almonds
1/4 C butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
2 C cooked asparagus, drained

Saute almonds in butter until golden, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Add salt and lemon juice; pour over hot asparagus. Let stand for several minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

I will be at these swaps today:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Sides-Broccoli Mushroom Supreme

I chatted with Mom and Dad last night and it was fun to talk about their plans for Thanksgiving. They are having the event at their house this year (wish that I could be there). Mom and I really like to talk about cooking and our stash of recipes for dishes that we plan to try; we wear out the battery on my cell phone every time! Dad just bought a new Hoover vacuum that he spotted while they were out shopping. Thanksgiving Day he is the "event coordinator"; handling last minute touch-ups (thus, the new sweeper!), moving chairs, alternately soothing Mom's nerves and coaching those in the kitchen (who don't necessarily want to be coached or reminded of the time). They are a great team! Ahh....just their voices can take me back home, again!

Here's another great idea from the cookbook put together by home economics teachers (same book as yesterday's post).

Broccoli Mushroom Supreme
Mrs. Leo W. Thames, Robert E. Lee H.S., Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1/2 C chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 stick butter
2 pkg. frozen chopped broccoli
1 C cream of mushroom soup
1 roll garlic cheese
1 C bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Saute' onion and celery in butter; add broccoli. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add soup, mushrooms, cheese and !/2 C crumbs; season. Pour into greased casserole; sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Yield: 8-10 servings.

I will be at these swaps today:

***Book I'm reading: Cooking for Madame; Recipes and Reminiscences from the Home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis***

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Sides-Golden Crumb Carrots

The Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers Cookbook-1960

Golden Crumb Carrots
Eunice Zachary, McCall Donelly
McCall, Idaho

2 C cooked carrots
3 TBSP butter or margarine
1 C fine bread crumbs (I think Panko would be good!)
3/4 C grated American Cheese

Place half the carrots in casserole; dot with butter. Add half the bread crumbs; add half the cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Ingredients may be combined in saucepan and heated until cheese melts, if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I will be at these swaps today:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

JFK's Pecan Bars

I love anything with pecans in it, and the holidays are a time when pecan desserts seem to abound! Here's a twist on the usual pecan bar recipe-President Kennedy's Pecan Bars from an old community cookbook from the early 60's. What makes it special is that Hinton, WV (the cook's hometown) is one of the many small towns in the state where JFK, Jackie and his brothers campaigned in the 50's-60's. The Kennedy's loved shaking hands in WV; highly pro-union and overflowing with Democrat voters (plus all-around-good-people all over the state!). The time and place of this little recipe gives it an aura of historical significance for me. Don't know if Cynthia got this recipe from Jackie, or it's a cookie that she made for the President while he was visiting. At any rate, it's a good recipe for pecan bars!

President Kennedy's Pecan Bars
Cynthia Fredeking, Hinton, WV

1/2 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1 C flour
2 TBSP milk
1 TBSP vanilla
2 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 (4 oz.) shredded coconut
1 C chopped pecans

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter, 1/2 C brown sugar and salt. Beat until fluffy. Blend in 1 C flour and milk; pat in bottom of greased 9x9x2" pan. Bake 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Beat eggs well Add 1 C brown sugar and vanilla. Blend in 2 TBSP flour. Fold in coconut and pecans. Pour over baked layer. Bake 35 minutes; cool slightly and cut into bars.
Note: I usually double this recipe. Makes 1 jelly roll pan. I also mix my topping while the bottom is baking. Recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but I prefer light.

I will be at these swaps today:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu for the Week of November 15-19

This is a great week for grocery specials and I've organized my lists and coupons so I can dart from store to store to stock up on all of the goodies! I was at Tom Thumb, Albertson's and Walmart this morning and I am not done, yet. I keep my large Thermos cooler in my car loaded with ice packs so groceries stay cold as I run from store-to-store; I save a lot of money by using this method. TIP: In past years, I've seen the prices on fresh items (such as salad and vegetable tray must-haves go up in price the week of the holiday, so I don't wait; most fresh items will still be OK the next week. Also, check the day after Thanksgiving for the price on these holiday items such as yams, celery and cranberries to go way down; I've seen that happen, too. Here's how I'm cleaning out the fridge and feeding my family (anything but turkey!) this week before Thanksgiving.

Mon. Nov. 15

Ham, Mozzarella and Red Onion Toasted Hoagie
Onion Rings and Waffle Fries (oven)
Red Grapes, chilled

Tues. Nov. 16

Stuffed Pasta
7 Layer Salad

Wed. Nov. 17

Blueberry Pancakes

Thurs. Nov. 18

Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon Bits
Fried Potatoes and Onions
Wheat Toast

Fri. Nov. 19

Homemade Pizza
Vegetable Plate

Sat. Nov. 20

Holiday Event to attend

***I will be at Orgjunkie today for MPM***

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rival Crock Pot Pamphlet

I know, I know, this is not technically a cookbook! I also realize that I've already been gushing about this little pamphlet this week. But, it is rare that a leaflet that came with an appliance is so useful. It doesn't have a date, so I'm guessing it's from the 60's or early 70's because the Crock Pots on the front are in avocado green and burnt orange (we used to have large kitchen appliances in avocado (the color went great with the shag carpeting of the 70's!)

Seriously, like one of the popular children's books of that era, it's, " The Little Cook Booklet that Could"! It is small in size but mighty in information and recipes. If you look back at some of my posts this week, you'll see what I mean. Lots of unique ways to use your Crock Pot that I hadn't thought of before, for instance, using it to roast corn-on-the-cob. There aren't any pictures in it, just great recipes and tips.

For the cook who's coming home after a long day, there are plenty of one-dish meals, soups, stews and Crock Pot casseroles-throw the ingredients together the night before or in the morning and you're welcomed home to the aroma of a delicious meal at 5:30 or 6:00! If you are making a large meal (such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner) and want to save precious oven space, there are also suggestions for using your slow cooker to make dressing, chicken and noodles, potatoes and other vegetables.

I hope you can find a copy of this pamphlet if you are a Crock Pot fan like me. The one bit of information in the front is the Rival Offices' address: Rival Manufacturing Co., General Offices: Kansas, Mo. 64129. (Or search out yard sales or auctions of folks who might have had shag carpeting and avocado appliances at one time!-That's how I found mine.)

Want to make some homemade candy? Let it cook in the Crock Pot while you sleep at night! (I love this book!) Here's our sample recipe from page 57;

Caramel Candies

1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1 C light brown sugar
1 C white corn syrup
11/2 C half & half (or evaporated milk)
1/2 C butter, melted
1/4 C flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped pecans

Mix sugar and 1/4 C flour thoroughly in Crock Pot. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 C milk.Stir. Cover and cook on High for 2 to 3 hours. Make a smooth paste of butter and 1/4 C flour, gradually adding remaining 1/2 C milk. Stir well into Crock Pot mixture. Turn to Low and cook overnight (8-10 hours). If necessary, to thicken, turn to High and cook until mixture coats a spoon. Add vanilla and chopped pecans. Pour on buttered cookie sheet (about 1/2 " deep). Cool until completely cold. Cut with kitchen shears in size desired and wrap each piece with food wrap.

I'll be joining Life as Mom, Designs by Gollum, Grocery Cart Challenge, Mom Trends, Ann Kroeker, and Amy's Finer Things for their swaps today.

Thanksgiving the Easy Way!

Don't you just love the feeling of getting more than one-thing-at-a-time done in the kitchen?! I know that using your Crock Pot to cover one or two items from your meal takes some forethought, but it's sooo worth it! I mentioned a little pamphlet (I think it's from the 60's or 70's) that was included with the purchase of the Original Rival Stoneware Cooker-Crock Pot (I got mine passed down from my Mom-it's burnt orange and now resides in my son's apartment-Thanks, Nana!). This little book is full of good make-ahead recipes and clever tips on ways to use your Crock Pot. Here are a few ideas that might come in handy as you prepare for the Thanksgiving Cooking Marathon. Happy Thursday!

Page 43

* Fresh or Frozen Vegetables

Use two 10 ounce packages of frozen vegetables, or cleaned, ready-to-cook fresh vegetables. Cover and cook on High for 45 minutes, then on Low 2-4 hours.Stir occasionally. Vegetables may be wrapped in foil to eliminate stirring. Suggested vegetables: Potatoes, broccoli spears, asparagus, cauliflower, artichokes. Note: Add 1/2 C water, except for artichokes (2 C).

*Fresh Corn on the Cob

Remove silks but leave green outer husks on the ears and cut off ends so corn will fit in Crock Pot in standing position. Wash thoroughly. Six to eight ears fit best. Cover and cook on High 45 minutes, then turn to Low for 11/2 to 2 hours. Remove husks and serve.

*Baked Sweet Potatoes

Place washed, unpeeled sweet potatoes in Crock Pot. Add about 1/4 C water. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour, then turn to Low for 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.

*Fresh Green Beans

2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed and cut-up
3-4 C water
1 tsp salt
1/4 lb. ham or bacon pieces
Put all ingredients in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on Low for 10-24 hours. (High 6-10 hours). Stir occasionally.

I will be joining Life as Mom and Joy of Desserts for their swaps today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Bread in a Coffee Can!

When I was a kid there was a popular recipe for quick bread that was baked in a coffee can. I remember having a slice of the carrot, banana or zucchini bread because of its round, ridged shape. It was always moist and delicious. As I was flipping through an old pamphlet that came with the Rival Original Stoneware Crock Pot, I was reminded of this bread that I had years ago. Good luck finding that 3 lb. coffee can-when you do, hold onto it! Here's the recipe:

Page 58 Pumpkin Tea Bread

1 C oil
1 C granulated sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin
3 C sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg or 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
2 tsp soda
2/3 C chopped walnuts
2/3 C cut-up dates

Blend oil and two sugars. Stir in beaten eggs, pumpkin. Sift dry ingredients together. Add. Stir in nuts and dates. Pour batter into greased and floured 3 lb. coffee can (that has been washed and dried). Place can in Crock Pot. Cover top of can with 4-6 paper towels. Place Crock Pot lid on top. Bake on high for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. No fair peeking until last hour!

Have a great Wednesday! Let me know in my comments if you would like more recipes posted from this Crock Pot pamphlet.

(My favorite read this Fall: The Help by Kathryn Stockett) 

I will be joining We are that Family, Krazy Kitchen, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Dining with Debbie, The Thrifty Home, King's Court IV, and Turning Back the Clock for their swaps today.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Texas Hash in Your Crock Pot

Some Friends from church brought our family a crock pot full of this delicious concoction years ago when our second son, Blake, was born. It's such a Southwestern comfort food and you can make it spicier by adding some jalapeno slices at the end of cooking, or cool it down with a dollop of sour cream. I think it would be the perfect food to have for dinner the night before know, when you're up to your elbows in pie crusts and stuffing!

2 lbs. ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 (1 lb.) cans tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 C raw rice (long-grain)

Brown beef in skillet and drain off fat. Put all ingredients in Crock Pot. Stir thoroughly Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. (High for 4 hours)

(My favorite read this Fall: The Help by Kathryn Stockett)

I will be joining Mom's Crazy Cooking, Blessed with Grace, Gypsy's Corner, Beauty and Bedlam, and All the Small Stuff for their swaps today.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan for a Short Cooking Week

Mon. Nov. 8

French Pizza Bread
Tossed Salad
Apple Slices

Tues. Nov. 9

Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans/Corn
Crescent Rolls

Wed. Nov. 10

Grilled Cheese on Wheat
Steamed Vegetables

Thurs. Nov. 11

Manicotti (never got to it last week!)
Garlic Buns

I will joining Organizing Junkie for her swap today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Home Cooking in America-Heirloom Recipes

I recently dusted off this cookbook and gave it a second look. I don't remember where I found this one, but after I brought it home it went into my cabinet over my planning desk in the kitchen and I forgot about it. Sometimes when I find an old cookbook and life is busy, this happens. Fortunately, since I've been reviewing cookbooks from my collection every Friday here on the blog, it forces me to take notice of the books individually and decide which ones are "keepers" for me.

Because I make my decision to keep or sell based on how many recipes look like items that I would actually fix (and our family would eat), I may sell this book. I enjoy the bits of history and background stories on how the heirloom recipes traveled from the Old World to the New World, but once I've read a cookbook, whether it stays is all down to the recipes! We aren't adventurous enough to eat most of the Polish and German foods in the book, and we don't test our taste boundaries with recipes such as, "English Suet Puddings". So you see, this book should not be ruled out by cooks who enjoy traditional recipes that originated in other countries and were brought to America. The historical information, alone, makes it a good read!

Great Home Cooking in America by the Editors of Farm Journal was published by Doubleday in 1976. The contents are divided up into the following sections: Part 1-Ch.1 American Food Originals; Part 1-Ch.2 Southwestern Specialties. Part 2: Ch. 1-The Heritage of English Cooking; Ch. 2-The Heritage of German Cooking; Ch. 3-The Heritage of Dutch Cooking; Ch. 4-The Heritage of Scandinavian Cooking; Ch. 5-The Heritage of Eastern European Cooking and Ch. 6-The Heritage of Italian and Other Mediterranean Favorites.

On page 40 of the book it speaks of the early colonists and their dependence on pumpkins for sustenance. In fact, here is a ditty written in New England in 1638:

We had pumpkins in the morning
And Pumpkins at noon
If it were not for pumpkins
We'd be undone soon

I thought we would use the recipe from the same page of the cook book as our sample recipe for today.

Page 40-41 Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

1 (3-4 lb.) sugar pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 medium onion-chopped
1 lb. ground beef
3 eggs, slightly-beaten
1 C cooked regular rice
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 C water

Cut lid out of pumpkin; remove seeds. Prick inside cavity with fork. Rub inside with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp mustard.
Cook onion and ground beef in skillet until lightly-browned. Remove from heat. Add eggs, rice, pepper, 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Stuff pumpkin with meat mixture (size of cavity will vary with pumpkins-you may need more filling if pumpkin meat is very thick). Replace pumpkin lid.
Place stuffed pumpkin in shallow pan with 1/2 C water. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Add more water if necessary. Makes 6 servings.

I will be joining Designs by Gollum, Life as Mom, Grocery Cart Challenge, Mom Trends, Ann Kroeker, and Amy's Finer Things for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Southern Rights Cake-1863

This recipe comes from a unique cookbook called Sweetly Southern, which is a compilation of old southern dessert recipes that have been handed down through families. I enjoyed it because each family wrote down the history of their prized recipe, along with old family photos. Check out the measurements for this cake-wonder what size that "wineglass full" is?!

Southern Rights Cake
Mrs. A.P. Hill (1863)

1 TBSP sifted ginger
1 TBSP allspice
1 TBSP cinnamon
4 teacups full of sifted flour
2 teacups full of butter
2 teacups full of granulated sugar
5 eggs, whites reserved
1 wineglass full of brandy
1 tsp baking soda
1 teacup (not quite full) of molasses

Combine dry ingredients (except flour, sugar and baking soda) together in a small bowl and set aside. Cream flour and butter together in a separate bowl. In another bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks, then add to creamed flour and butter mixture. Dissolve the baking soda in the molasses and add to cake batter. Stir in the "set aside" ingredients. Finally, whip the egg whites to a froth and add last. Best baked in a moderate oven in small pans until the tops spring back to the touch. (Submitted by Don L. Dukes, Hot Springs, Arkansas.)

I will be joining Life as Mom and Joy of Desserts for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Louisiana Tabasco Jelly -December 1969

If you're like my son, Ben, almost any food item is made better by the addition of hot sauce. His "heat of choice" is Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce. Since we've been in Texas, we've also discovered Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
With the usefulness of hot sauce in mind, I was thinking of the holidays that are heading our way, and the turkey sandwiches that tend to be a little bland. This recipe for a hot jelly that would make beautiful hostess gifts (bright red jelly in fancy little jars) caught my eye as I looked at a vintage recipe booklet called, The Epicurean. This cooking pamphlet was given out by the Texas Power and Light Company in December 1969. Hope you enjoy this one!

Louisiana Tabasco Jelly

1 C water
2 tsp Tabasco (more if a very hot jelly is desired)
1/3 C lemon juice
3 C sugar
1/2 bottle fruit pectin
Red food coloring

In a large sauce pan mix water,Tabasco, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil on high setting, stirring constantly. Add fruit pectin and a small amount of red food coloring, stirring well, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1/2 minute. Remove from heat; skim. Pour into 4 hot, sterilized 5-ounce jelly glasses and cover with melted paraffin.

I will be joining We are That Family, Krazy Kitchen, Dining with Debbie, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, King's Court IV, and The Thrifty Home for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Thank you for going out and voting yesterday-people in other countries have died for that privilege!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick Peanut Butter Pie

I love peanut butter, therefore, Halloween and Easter are often road bumps in my attempts to eat healthy. The culprit? Reese's Cups, Reese's Eggs and Halloween-Shaped Reese's candies. When it comes to chocolate-covered peanut butter, I don't care how it's molded-"It's All Good!" I guess that's why this recipe for Peanut Butter Pie (that I especially like in an Oreo crumb crust) from my friend, Marge, is a winner. The recipe doesn't call for it to be frozen-but trust me on's a good idea!

Marge's Peanut Butter Pie

1 C (12 oz. jar) crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1 can (14-15 oz.) Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (12 oz.) carton Cool Whip, thawed
2 (6 oz.) graham cracker crusts (or 1 full-sized Oreo crust)
Toppings: chopped nuts; shaved chocolate, or shredded coconut

Combine peanut butter with sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Add Cool Whip and mix until smooth. Spread in 2 smaller crusts or 1 larger one. Sprinkle with your favorite topping. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. (Freeze your slice 10 min. before eating for the ultimate dessert experience! Believe me.... I would be thin if I didn't know such bits of information.)

I will be joining Blessed with Grace, Gypsy's Corner, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and All the Small Stuff for their swaps today.

(Book I'm reading now: The Crucible by Arthur Miller)

Please vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My First Week of November Menu

I'm just thankful that November is here; October was rough for our family. We traveled back to WV for my DMIL's funeral. It was a long, hard trip and she will be greatly missed. We did enjoy seeing friends and relatives that we hadn't seen for a long time. The other positive part of the trip was the opportunity to be with all three of our sons for the 17 hours there, and 17 hours back in the van. My parents and sister's family were able to travel down (my brother had to work), so it was a pleasure to spend some unexpected, yet brief, time with them. If you were reading my blog the week before last and said a prayer on our behalf, I want to thank you; I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. Sometimes, God does not give us the answer that we want, but he always knows best.

Here is my menu plan for this week:

Mon. Nov. 1

Cheese Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Tues. Nov. 2

Manicotti w/ Italian Sausage
Garlic Buns

Wed. Nov.3

Chicken Sandwich
Oven Fries
Apple Slices w/ Caramel

Thurs. Nov. 4

Eggs w/ Bacon
Biscuit or Wheat Bagel
Fruit Cup

Fri. Nov. 5

Baked Mac and Cheese
Baby Carrots

Sat. Nov. 6

Pork Roast

Sun. Nov. 7

Pork BBQ
Onion Rings
Veg. Plate w/ Ranch Dip

Sunday Night Leftover Buffet

***Special thanks to Ben for putting my posts up last week when I didn't have access to the laptop***

I will be at Orgjunkie today for MPM.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick Marshmallow Cake - 1948

Quick Marshmallow Cake
2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
melted butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. flour (pastry)
2 tsp. baking powder

In a large cup, the egg whites (or whole egg), fill to half with melted butter, and fill with milk. In a mixing bowl, the sugar, sifted flour, and baking powder. Combine all and beat five minutes. Add vanilla, bake in square pan in moderate oven and frost with marshmallow frosting (see below).

Marshmallow Frosting
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg white
2 tbsp. water
6 marshmallows

Boil sugar and water until spins a thread, pour over beaten egg white. Beat until stiff; add cut marshmallows and trim with marshmallows cut in points.

I will be joining Designs by Gollum, Life as Mom, Grocery Cart Challenge, Mom Trends, Ann Kroeker, and Amy's Finer Things for their swaps today. We'll be back to business as usual next week starting with Menu-Planning Monday. Thanks again for joining me for a week of old recipes! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pioneer Soup - 1948 Cookbook

Pioneer Soup - 1948 Cookbook
1 1/2 lb spare ribs
6 medium-sized potatoes (diced)
1/2 c. diced tomatoes
3 onions (sliced thin)
salt, pepper

Put spare ribs on in cold water, and when coming to a boil, skim. After 1/2 hour of boiling, add onions and tomatoes. Then 1/2 hour later, add salt and pepper to taste and the potatoes. Simmer until ribbles (see below) are added, then boil.

1 egg
2 c. flour
1 tbsp. salt

Beat egg until light, sift flour into beaten egg until fine ribbles are obtained by working between your fingers. Ten minutes before serving the soup, remove the meat. Add as many ribbles as will thicken soup nicely. If there are any left, they will keep in a covered jar. Boil ten minutes.

I will be joining Life as Mom and Joy of Desserts for their swaps today. Remember to join me tomorrow for the final installation in our series of old recipes from 1948! Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Candy Recipe - 1948

Famous Pulled Cream Candy
2 lb. granulated sugar
small 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar
2/3 C. water

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, and water. Boil without stirring until forms a ball in cold water. Pour into buttered pan to cool. Turn into center once or twice while cooling. When comfortable to handle, pull flavor and cut with scissors.

I will be joining King's Court IV, Turning the Clock Back, and We are that Family for their swaps today. Be sure to come back tomorrow for more old recipes!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Old Recipes All Week Long

Kraut Salad
(Family Size)

1 qt. kraut (washed and drained)
1 green pepper
1 onion, cut fine
1 C diced celery
1/4 C salad oil
1/4 C vinegar
1 C sugar

Mix sugar with vinegar and oil and toss over other ingredients. Pimento can be added for color.

I will be at Orgjunkie for MPM today. Join me all week for old recipes!

Friday, October 22, 2010

1948 Cookbook from Nebraska Farmer

I found the old cookbook that I'm reviewing today at a flea market in Canton, Texas. A Modern Kitchen Guide is a 1948 book of, "up-to-date recipes" and household hints". It is a Bunting Publication (North Chicago, Illinois), but of course there's no ISBN. The cover looks more like it would be a mechanic's manual; it's a faded red paperback with sturdy binding, and appears to have been a give-away from Nebraska Farmer (maybe an insurance company?) In fact, if anyone out there has anymore info on Nebraska Farmer, I would love to have it-leave it in my comments, please.

The claim inside the yellowed pages is that: "Beginners will value it for its simplicity; experienced cooks will use it to refresh their memories of forgotten dishes." And I have to say, it lives up to its claim! This little book from the 40's would be useful to "newbies" and folks who "know their way around the kitchen".

There is a wide array of recipes in this "handy little helper" of a book. To be honest, there were some old recipes that I hadn't heard mentioned in quite a while (some, "old dishes" I'd forgotten). Along with the nice section on soups, there are several main dishes, and a wonderful dessert and candy chapter! Thanksgiving is drawing near and luckily this book has lots of old pie recipes. If you like to can, there are a bunch of recipes for conserves, preserves and pickles; you don't always find that in modern cookbooks! In fact there's a delicious-sounding recipe for Pear Conserve; it will be our sample recipe for today. (P.S.-I actually enjoyed this old book so much that it will be our theme next week- look for one recipe each day; you gotta have Pioneer Soup!)

Page 197 Pear Conserve

7 lb. chopped pears, peeled and cut fine
5 lb. sugar
3 oranges, rind and juice
3 lemons, juice
1 lb. raisins
Let stand over night, then add 1/2 lb. freshly shelled walnuts. Add cut rind of oranges and juice of both lemons and oranges and raisins. Cook slowly about 1 1/2 hours. Just before taking from fire add broken walnuts. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

I will be joining these swaps today:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Carmel Corn

Here's a very-yellowed and crumpled recipe that I found stuck in the Nebraska Farmer Cookbook from 1946 (which I plan to review tomorrow). With the cool Fall weather and football games on TV, I thought a popcorn snack might be a good choice for today. Enjoy!

Caramel Corn

2 C brown sugar
2 sticks margarine
1/2 C white syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 C popped corn (I'd throw in some peanuts, too!)

Place popped corn in a shallow pan. Mix all ingredients in heavy sauce pan except flavoring. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Stir through and pour over popcorn. Bake 1 hour in 250 degree oven stirring every 10 or 15 minutes to coat corn.

I will be at these recipe swaps today:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Free Halloween Game Apps

I found this list of free game apps for your smartphone (or iPod Touch) in the weekend magazine that comes in our Sunday paper. I thought it would be a fun list to share with you. You or your kids might enjoy these holiday-themed games. Have a good Wednesday!

- Dragon and Dracula 3-D (GetJar)
- GhostHunters-Casual (Apple)
- Halloween Candy (GetJar)
- IQ Halloween (GetJar)

***Book I'm reading: The Help (I highly reccomend it!)***

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Mother-in-Law's Spaghetti Sauce

My dear mother-in-law, Louise, Has been on my mind constantly this week. She has some serious health concerns and is in the hospital. She is a wonderful mother-in-law and I would ask that you all put her on your prayer lists.
Through the years, Louise Davis has cooked-for and cared-for more people than I can name. She is a very kind person with a giving heart... and she's a great cook. You just can't beat that combination! Love you, Louise. We're all praying for your return to good health. Here's Louise's recipe for her delicious spaghetti sauce. She gave it to me as we were sitting at her kitchen table chatting one day.

Louise Davis' Spaghetti Sauce

Brown a pound of ground beef and a chopped onion. Add 1 medium-sized can tomato paste and 1 jar of spaghetti sauce. Add 1/2 tsp each:
-garlic powder

Simmer all day. One half hour before serving, add a handful of pepperoni (take pepperoni out before serving). Mushrooms or Italian sausage may be added.

I will be at these blogs today for their recipe swaps:

Monday, October 18, 2010

October Menu for Week of 18th-23rd

I realized as I did the Monday fridge/freezer assessment this morning that I need to clean out and use up what I have. When we got back in town last night, I bought a gallon of milk, so along with what I have, I'm set for the week. That's a good feeling!

Monday, Oct. 18

Chili (shredded cheese)
Crescent Dogs
green beans
Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Tuesday, Oct. 19

Blueberry Pancakes
Ham slices

Wednesday, Oct. 20

Tuna Broccoli Casserole
winter squash

Thursday, Oct.21

Pasta Bake
Garlic Bread
Brussels Sprouts


I will be at Orgjunkie for MPM today!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pillsbury Bake-Off Book from 1968

If you get in a rut of "what do we have for dinner?" our cookbook choice today would be helpful. It does not include desserts, appetizers, or punch recipes; no, this book is all about entrees! Pillsbury's Bake-Off Main Dish Cookbook from 1968 has page after page of ideas for casseroles and main coarse items; some have meat and some do not. There are several recipes that actually mention the fact that you could leave out the meat and have a great side dish.

Like most of Pillsbury's Bake-Off Books, this one has several full-color photos of the wonderful recipes. I also appreciate the section in the front of the book on selecting the right casserole dish or container, along with a page of helpful tips and a list of definitions for the cooking terms that are used. If you are a beginning cook, these additions to a cookbook set you up for success, if you are a Domestic Diva, you can skip on ahead...but leave the rest of us alone to read, " why deep casserole dishes are better for do-ahead recipes." Don't you just love it when you're cooking (especially trying a new recipe!) and you don't have someone "helping you". As a new cook, I certainly scorched my share of pans, and had gravy and fudge that wasn't the right consistency. One Christmas, I ended up making my fudge that didn't set into "Peanut Balls"! Hey, I had too much money in the fudge to toss it...and the nut-covered candy was delicious.

Enough about my past kitchen woes. I predict that you won't have dinner time woes if you can hunt down this great old cookbook. Mine was snapped up from someone's yard sale this summer. ISBN given. The front cover is a red background with a Pepper Steak and Biscuit dish featured. Happy hunting!

Page 37 Creamy Onion Delish

2 (10 oz. packages) frozen onions in cream sauce (note: I think fresh onions in homemade sauce would be better)
3 oz. package cream cheese, cut in cubes
2 C cubed ham
4 oz. can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 tsp paprika
2 TBSP butter
1/2 C dry bread crumbs
Oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare onions as directed on package. Place in 1 1/2 qt. casserole.(I would always spray the casserole with cooking spray, first-easier clean-up) Add cream cheese and stir until blended. Stir in ham, mushrooms and paprika. Melt butter, blend in bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Tip: Prepare ahead, cover and refrigerate. Bake at 375 degrees. For a vegetable side dish, omit ham; serve with ham, roast beef, turkey or chicken.

***CONGRATS to Blake, son #2, who finished his "midterm mania" today!!***

I will be joining these blogs today for their recipe swaps:


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicken-Green Noodle Casserole Freezes Well

I love spinach noodles. In fact, when I pick up the tri-colored rotini that I use for my pasta salad at the store, I try to get the box with the most green pasta! So, imagine my excitement when I found this old clipping from a Southern Living Casserole book (1987). How great it is to find a chicken casserole made with spinach noodles! They're trendsetters there at Southern Living!

Chicken-Green Noodle Casserole

One 3 1/2 lb. chicken
1 C chopped green pepper
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1/2 lb. American Cheese, cut into cubes
1 (6 oz. can) sliced mushrooms
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 C cheese crackers, (like Cheez Nips) crushed

Cook chicken; reserve stock. Remove cooled chicken from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Saute green pepper, celery and onion in butter until tender. Add cheese and stir gently until melted. Add mushrooms and chicken, blending well. Stir in soup and mix well.
Boil spinach noodles in chicken stock. Drain and combine with chicken mixture. Place in a greased 2- qt. casserole dish, and top with crushed cheese crackers. Cool; seal and freeze. To serve, thaw and heat. Yield: 8 servings.

I'll be joining LifeasMom and Aroundmyfamilytable today for their recipe and tip swaps!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baked Bean Sandwiches from 1946

When we were little, My brother, Greg, and I would eat some weird sandwich combinations. During those summer days of  the 1960's we enjoyed carefree play outside with portable lunches. I remember loving ketchup or Kraft Sandwich Spread (it had pickle relish in it). My younger brother's tastes leaned toward mustard or mayonnaise. He went through a phase, once he figured out that I had a weak stomach and could be really "grossed-out," where he made "sardine sandwiches". My stomach would absolutely churn as he would eat a "culinary mess" between two slices of bread-sardines, peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, mayonnaise, cheese, mustard...uuggghhh! Little brothers! He usually performed this stunt when we were staying overnight at Mammam and Pap's (our paternal grandparents') house. Even though he was a pest, he was my partner in crime and best buddy. Between grabbing snacks, we would play out in the sun, imitate "Batman and Robin" (our favorite TV show) in two of Mammam's bath towels and twirl on the spinning part of the swing set while singing the Batman theme song. That's right...we were those tough, living-on the-edge kids from the 60's: playing outside all day; eating ketchup sandwiches, riding with the car windows down and scooping bugs out of Mammam's rain barrel.

When I spotted this recipe for Baked Bean Sandwiches in a cookbook from 1946, it reminded me of my childhood when simple ingredients constituted a sandwich filling. These would be a good source of protein and fiber, and sound yummy to me.

Baked Bean Sandwiches

1 lb. can baked beans
3 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
2 TBSP tomato catsup
3 TBSP pickle relish
16 slices whole wheat bread

Mash baked beans until smooth. Blend in catsup and relish. Spread 3 TBSP filing on each of 8 slices of bread. Scatter crumbled bacon over each.; top with the other slices of bread.

I will be at these blogs today for their recipe swaps:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Treasured Recipes from P.C. H.S. Concession Stand

In the small town where I grew up there were around 3500 people, and if it was a "home game" on any Friday night in Fall many of the townsfolk were at the football field to cheer for the Wildcat football team and championship marching band (can you tell that I was a "band baby"?) It was a great chance to support the local kids, see your neighbors and friends, and buy amazing concession stand hotdogs!

I guess all the wonderful food offered at the Texas State Fair yesterday has me in a concession-stand-food kinda mood! So, today I'm going to share two of the very special recipes that I've had for years. The first is chili that the P.T.A. served on hotdogs (for school fundraisers) and the second is the Paden City Band Patrons' Football Concession Stand Hotdog Sauce (my favorite because it is meatless). Go Wildcats!

P.T.A. Hotdog Chili (fills 250 hotdogs)

4 lbs. ground beef
1/2 C minced onion
3/8 C sugar
1 pkg. dry chili mix
2 qt. tomato sauce
1 qt. tomato juice
2 qt. pizza sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 green pepper (cut in thin strips)

Brown meat; drain fat off. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Freezes well!

Paden City Band Patrons' Hot Dog Sauce
(Mary Jo Price)

1 gal. ketchup
3 large cans tomato juice
3 large cans tomato paste
10 lb. onions, chopped fine
2 lb. brown sugar (or to taste)
a few drops of Tabasco Sauce
3 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP dry mustard

Put tomato juice and onions on stove and cook down for 1 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients. Divide recipe by 1/3 for home use. (This recipe was popular, and sold on hotdogs to raise money for the Paden City Band Patrons back in the 60's and 70's.)

**Book I'm reading now: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (great recommendation by my sister, Becky!)**

I will be at these great recipe swaps today:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Menu for the Week of Oct. 11

Happy Columbus Day! I only have to plan food for a partial week because of some travel this weekend. We plan a visit to the Texas State Fair this week, as well, so I'll be chatting about that in the next few days. I'm very excited to go and look around. We plan to take a train ride into the fair to avoid traffic and parking hassles, so that will be fun, too!

Monday, Oct. 11

Cold cereal

Tuesday, Oct. 12

Pork Loin Roast w/ carrots
Baked Potatoes
Broccoli Salad

Wednesday, Oct. 13

Garlic Buns
7 Layer Salad

Thursday, Oct. 14

Pork BBQ
Onion Rings

Friday, Oct. 15

On the road

Saturday, Oct. 16


Au Gratin Potatoes
Green Beans

Sunday, Oct. 17

Toasted Turkey Subs
Apple slices

I will be at Orgjunkie today for MPM!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ideals Country Kitchen Cookbook

I picked up my wonderful paperback cookbook that we're reviewing today from a Goodwill Superstore in Texas. I didn't realize, before my happening-by there, that superstores existed where thrift stores were concerned...but I was thankful and did a "happy dance" in the parking lot (just kidding, but I was excited!) They even had a Goodwill Cafe. So whether you bought cookbooks or coffee or any of the other items, your money went to a great cause.

The previous owner of my Ideals Country Cookbook must have appreciated it, because she had it laminated. That's right, a magazine-sized paperback cookbook with plastic coating so it would last and not get the cover splattered in the kitchen. Now that is love! What a smart home cook to think of such a thing. I wish that she had put her name in the front.

The front cover of the cookbook has a picture of blue enamel pans with golden loaves of homemade bread and a copper tea kettle. It was published by Ideal Publishing, but I'm not sure of the year and there's no ISBN. I can give you the address of the publisher: 11315 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226. Mine is a third printing and Ideal was a very popular publication, so you should be able to find one. And believe me, you want to search for this one if you are a fan of country cooking!

This cookbook entertains with blocks of food history intermingled with the wonderful, classic recipes. For instance, did you know that doughnuts were originally called, "olykoeks" or oily cakes and brought by the Dutch to the New World? But one clever Yankee home cook's idea caused the doughnuts' fame to spread worldwide. Her son was setting off to sea and she wanted to send a type of pastry with him that had lemon in it and would prevent scurvy and colds. She inserted a hazelnut in the center of each to insure that the centers cooked all the way through! Her son's ship left with 1500 doughnuts and by the time he got back, doughnuts were popular at every port of call and its popularity spread across America.

This book has a wide array of practical, common ingredient recipes. These are the types of dishes that have made country cooking popular over the years. I love the abundance of yeast bread recipes, both wheat and corn-based, along with pancakes, fritters and doughnuts. For the chilly weather that's coming up there's: Ham and Pea Soup with Dumplings; Chicken Booyah ; Oxtail Soup and Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup. If you want to know how to make "Dutch Pocketbooks" or Cornish Pasties this is your book! There are so many old-fashioned down-to-earth goodies in here that I can't name them all, but I will share one from page 35.

Lima Bake

1 1/2 C dried Lima beans
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped green pepper
2 C stewed tomatoes
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 slices bacon

Soak beans in cold water or overnight.Drain well. Place limas in large kettle, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add onion and salt. Lower heat and let simmer slowly until beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain beans well, reserving 1/4 C liquid. Combine limas, celery, green pepper, tomatoes, hot pepper sauce and reserved lima liquid in 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, fry bacon to desired doneness. Arrange bacon as desired on top of casserole before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Have a great Friday!

Join me at these recipe swaps at the following blogs:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Texas Potato Beef Stir-up

On Thursdays I like to dip into my clippings drawer; my Mom has a big tin box that she keeps her clippings in. Yes, everyone who loves to cook usually has a stash of recipes that they have clipped or thrown into a box to "try later". If you've been guilty of this, make sure that "later" is now! Try at least one new recipe a week, and if there are other people or pets in your household, take a thumbs-up/thumbs-down vote after everyone has tried the new item (if you are a single-person household-you rule supreme!). If the new dish turns out great, copy it to a card for your file, if not, toss it in the "plastic Hefty white kitchen file" under the sink! At our house Hubby has veto power, and if the Lab turned up her nose, you might reconsider that food item (Labs will eat rocks!). Here's the recipe from my clippings drawer that I want to share with you today. Let me know if you like it in my comments box. I love to hear from other cooks!!

Texas Potato Beef Stir-up

1/2 pound ground beef (or sausage)
1 small onion, chopped
3 C O'Brien style frozen potatoes, thawed
1 C salsa

Brown your ground beef and onions in a large skillet (I like cast iron!). Pour off all drippings and stir in the potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa and continue to cook 10 minutes longer. 6 servings.

Join me at Life as Mom and Around My Family Table for their recipe swap today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Juicing Plums in Your Crock Pot

Not too long ago I received a call from my friend, Earlene. The plum tree in their yard was overflowing and she offered me some of the overflow. What a wonderful offer! Not only did she pick the plums and bag them for me, (her husband, Kenneth probably was a big help) but she and Kenneth (the "Green Tomato Salsa Master") delivered them to my door! I am always appreciative of fresh produce...unless it's okra (we've established this fact in a previous post). My dilemma on this particular day was that I had an annual chamber banquet to attend that evening and was leaving the next morning for a trip, but I never turn down beautiful fresh fruit!

I came up with a solution. I rinsed the plums and picked off stems and leaves. Using a sharp paring knife, I got rid of the few bad places in the fruit. I placed the fruit and just enough water to barely cover the plums in my large crock pot, set it on low and went about my busy day and evening. That night when I returned from the dinner, I changed out of my good clothes and got to work. It was simple; using a strainer, I mashed the plums and poured all the strained juice into a pan. Because the juice was already hot, I was ready to add the sugar and Sure-Jell and make jelly (I had my containers ready to go).

Another time that I was blessed with a gift of fresh fruit and didn't have time to make the jelly that day, I followed the same steps with the crock pot and sealed the strained juice in a plastic container with a tight lid for the freezer. Now, whenever I want to make some more jelly, I have juice to thaw and put on the stove!
If you want to know how jelly done this way turned out, it was a hit. I shared some and got compliments on it. To be fair, the real reason that jelly was sooo good was the wonderful flavor of Earlene and Kenneth's plums. It's nice to have friends who come bearing matter what day it is!

I will be at these great blogs today; please give them a look!
-We Are That Family
-Dining with Debbie
-The King's Court IV

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Version of Cranberry (Apple) Cobbler

As I mentioned in my first blog post back (Friday) after my summer break, our family had some exciting changes this summer. My husband accepted a great opportunity to work with a Chamber in Texas; Son #1 moved into his own place and continues his work at the University ; Son #2 began work as a grad assistant as he pursues his Masters Degree in Tulsa; Son #3 got his learner's permit and entered a new high school (more on that later; high school ain't what it used to be! Amazing, just amazing!); and in the midst of all this-we traveled back to West Virginia to see family for 2 weeks (yes, we are crazy). Now that you've heard how I spent my break, it is easy to see why it was a challenge to fit in my cookbook quest to auctions and yard sales; thrift stores and used- book stores are easier and more accessible when you are limited on time.
So get ready, this fall and winter you will be subjected to hearing about my adventures in the great state of Texas! (Hey, did you see that Texas/OU game last Saturday?!....still an OU fan :-) I plan to cheer for Texas when they play other teams.

Enough about my busy summer. Here's a wonderful Fall recipe for cobbler. The original was just for a cranberry cobbler, but after I had it on one of my husband's business trips to The Greenbrier (in've got to go eat there before you die!) I realized that apples make it better, and if you want to really break your diet in style, add a simple vanilla glaze to the top. Serve it warm!

Happy Tuesday to all!

Cranberry (Apple) Cobbler

1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 C sugar, divided
3/4 C walnuts, chopped (if you're lucky enough to be in WV-use Black Walnuts)
2 eggs
1 C self-rising flour
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1 can apple pie filling

Rinse berries and place in rectangular baking pan, uncooked. Sprinkle with 1/2 c sugar and nuts.Dump can of apple pie filling on top and spread evenly. Mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour evenly over all. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about an hour. When it is just warm (not hot) out of the oven, drizzle glaze over the top.

Glaze :

1/2 stick butter
confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
a little warm water
Beat to glaze consistency.

I will be at these joining these great blogs today; join us to find some great recipes!

-Blessed with Grace
-Gypsy's Corner
-Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
-All The Small Stuff

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Weekend was a "Weiner"!

What a wonderful weekend we had for Southlake's Oktoberfest! The weather couldn't have been any better. OK, now I will try to mention the Wiener Dog Races, without rambling-on. It was my absolute favorite part of the three-day festival!! Thanks to my son, Justin we have pictures (I was helping with the registration). The costume parade was a "hoot"! There were little dogs dressed as butterflies, hotdogs with condiments, pirates, a princess coach and a fly-fisherman (first prize!) That's just a brief description; over 200 dogs were entered in the races, and a large part of that number came decked-out in costumes. It was a dog-lovers paradise.
The races are exciting and just plain fun! The only event that I can compare it to is a little kids' T-ball game. You have these proud dog owners, each hoping his dog will perform as it is released on the count of three, and just like children, dogs are very unpredictable. "Max" might go full-steam ahead down the lane, or he might decide to lay down! It was very funny to see what items were used at the end of the coarse to entice the dogs. You see, just like at T-ball games where you have a Dad who usually gives the child bits of advice from the sideline, and a Mom who cheers from the stands, it's a team effort at weiner races, as well. In addition to the petlover who releases the dog, there is a petlover at the end of the lane, who's equally excited and can urge the racer on with his favorite treat or snuggle object. Usually the snuggly is a toy or stuffed animal, in one case it was the dog's best pal, a Tea-Cup Chihuahua. That little dog was shivering with excitement... or terror, it was hard to tell (he did remind me a little of the old movies where someone's being held over a pit for sacrifice). In the end, a a fast , intense little dog named "Rocky" won and I was thrilled because his handlers were two little boys. The picture of them with trophy and their prize-winning dog is precious!
We kept very busy this weekend along with several wonderful volunteers who gave up time on a glorious Autumn weekend to help out. Three of our volunteers were our sons who were a big help; thanks guys!
If you ever have a chance to come watch or participate in the Southlake, Texas Oktoberfest, don't miss it!

Here's my menu:

Monday, Oct. 4


Tuesday, Oct. 5

Baked Fish
Au Gratin Potatoes

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Chicken Bacon Pizza

Thursday, Oct. 7

Beef Stroganoff
green beans

Friday, Oct. 8

Travel throughout the weekend

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall is Here and I'm Ready to Blog!

I'm so glad to be back jotting down my thoughts, plans and recipes...along with reviews of my collection of old cookbooks. It was a great summer, full of excitement and changes in our family. I can't wait to fill you in! I spent some precious days of my writing break at estate auctions, thrift stores and yard sales hunting for some of the oldest, most-beloved, raggedy-edged, splattered, recipes and cookbooks (if they are pristine, and have someone from the Food Network on the cover they're OK, but they don't make my heart skip a beat!) I plan to share with you some of my favorite haunts for cookbook hunting, so please join me, starting Monday, when we chat about my menu plan for the week and the Wiener Dog Races (this weekend!) that I will be enjoying at the Oktoberfest in Southlake , Texas (I can't wait!.....there will be a Wiener Dog Costume Parade, as well! I will try to take pictures!)

Please give these other great blogs a look! I will be linking to them today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Time for a Summer Break!

I'm officially on Summer Break. It's time to work in the yard, make sun tea, count lightening bugs,and search for old cookbooks at yard sales; enjoy! See you back here in the fall when baking season starts! Have a wonderful, fun-filled summer! Blessings to you and yours.

P.S. My favorite new drink concoction for summer is called an, "Arnold Palmer". I mix 1/2 glass Crystal Light Lemonade to 1/2 glass brewed iced tea over crushed ice. Oh Yeahhhh....summer is here!