Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raspberry Treat

 Three of us gals used to run around all the time together.  When I lived at home and was retired half days, we charged around the countryside, taking in the gift shops and the movies, and the restaurants...  the little out of the way places, the road trips...  and oh, the laughs.  We called these excursions "Thelma and Louise" days...  minus the cliff at the end, of course! 
 Today we had a Christmas party here.  Mom and I just planned it yesterday, and it turned out perfect!  We served Quiche, Italian Spring Salad, Southern biscuits, Homemade Vegetable Garden Dip, chicken salad, and a delicious new frozen confection....
 My dear friend was here on Monday, and I didn't get to see her, but she brought wonderful treasures and left Mom with her Frozen Raspberry Bar Recipe  (along with a Frangelica Cake that is amazing!!!)
 Easy Peasy recipe that is really delicious!~   I'm adding it at the end of this post if you need a quick conclusion to your Christmas meal.

We tossed on a really sweet vintage tablecloth and used my new snowflake dishes..  So pretty!  These little cardinal cups and the Philosophy baubles were their favors...

Raspberry Treat

1 quart Raspberry Sherbet
1 medium carton Cool-Whip or 2 cups whipped cream, whipped
1 pkg. Oreos.  I used red icing Oreos...  So pretty!

Thaw sherbet slightly and press in a 9 x 13 pan or casserole.  Crush 2/3 of the Oreos and blend with the whipped cream or Cool Whip...  Spread over sherbet and freeze at least three hours.  Slice into squares and top with a dollop of whipped cream and an Oreo...  So pretty!!!  Refreshing!!!  Yum-o!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The last part of the party...

Today for lunch we had the family for the final part of the birthday party...  This little guy is a big John Deere fan (My dad was IH fan, but oh, well...)  So I tried to have all his favorites and I borrowed the new tractor Mom gave him for the birthday party yesterday as a centerpiece....  Methinks he and his little cousin had both had entirely too much fun already because they were sooooo tired..  not to mention my son!  He was REALLY nodding that head by the end of the day....  But we had 8 for dinner, and it was fun...  My cake decorating skills didn't really come into play...  The cars were simply bogged down in a pit of homemade chocolate mud....  This is my absolute favorite chocolate icing...  Mom usually makes it, but today I was able to master it all by myself (with good advice, of course!)

Fudge Icing
In a large saucepan mix the following:

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. milk
5 T. butter

Cook, stirring often until this comes to a full boil.  Stir constantly on the heat for 60 seconds.  Remove from heat and stir in quickly until just melted....

1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

Pour IMMEDIATELY over cake and hurry up..  It sets up in about 2 minutes or less....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Goodies! Scotcheroos

Just in case you have forgotten your recipe.....

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
6 cups toasted rice cereal
1 2/3 cups NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels
1 cup NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  1. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine peanut butter, sugar and corn syrup in large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal; stir until thoroughly coated. Press onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
  3. Microwave butterscotch morsels and semi-sweet chocolate morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Spread over cereal mixture.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is firm. Cut into bars.
Makes 30 bars.
 Halloween makes me think of these easy but oooooh so wonderful cookie bars.  My room mate in college made these every weekend, and we were always sooo happy to have cookies in our bottom dresser drawer.  My grandma always sent her Delicious Cookies, and I have temporarily lost that recipe.  (It doesn't matter because it never tastes as good as hers anyway...)
With my cat aglow, and the room filled with candles, my "lair" is becoming quite a witching paradise...  I will try tomorrow night to capture some of the glow but alas! my camera batteries were haunted tonight...  I'm lucky to get this picture.

Enjoy the season...  The moon glows through my west window in the wee hours of the morning when I sneak off for a few winks before school time arrives. My College Prep class finished reading The Crucible today...  such psychologically and spiritually powerful dialog...  I love it.  We're watching the movie tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Easiest Cake Ever

I'm with Paula Deen... Nothing beats cooking when it's rainy or snowy... Today, I'll take the rain. This shot is from an earlier spring meal in the slow cooker, but it bears a mighty resemblance to our recent feast...
I love coffee.... today's flavor is raspberry/chocolate. Mmmmm..
Mom's oatmeal-raisin cookies are seriously NOT on my diet, but they are kinda special. Also not on my diet is the new cake of choice to bake. It has three ingredients: cake mix, pie filling, and two eggs. That's it. I love chocolate, cherry pie filling cake... It's a black forest without any of the trouble. I made a summery orange, peach pie filling cake that was fresh and wonderful. I have two more to try in upcoming weeks: carrot, raisin or apple pie filling---- and lemon, blueberry pie filling... The cakes need no icing, but you can if you choose. I just dust a pretty sprinkle of powdered sugar over top and serve with whipped cream... it has a moist, almost quick bread consistency. I think baking it in loaf pans would work... It's a very thick batter with no moisture but it isn't dry at all...

Have a fun week. Stay dry and cool (or warm).... and enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas


I am participating in Kelly Minter's Living Room Series Bible Study on Ruth. We do the workbook as "siestas" (sisters) on the Living Proof Live Blog, and then every two weeks we check in and "discuss" in our comments. This is a really great study about one of my favorite women in the Bible. And Kelly always adds stories about her childhood and recipes in case we are taking it as small groups and want to fix lunch! I'm going solo on the study, but I decided to make her Week One Enchiladas. I did a few changes, as I always do, for convenience and to modify for a bigger group (our Sunday family dinner)... This recipe is a keeper with rave reviews from everyone ranging from age 7 to age 86. Her recipe is in the book, and this is the one I changed to fit our family of seven-eight. We had leftovers, but we like that! I called myself Lucia as I worked because I love that name, and I set the table with bright yellows. I'll post my tablescape tomorrow!
Chicken Enchiladas
preheat oven to 350 degrees

Chicken breasts (I used about 7 very large ones, frozen in sack)
4-6 cups chicken broth (I used the water after I boiled the chicken, but you can use other broth or canned)
10-12 burrito size flour tortillas
jar mild picante sauce (hot if you're daring!)
1 pkg. McCormick's chicken taco seasoning mix (Kelly uses cilantro and cumin)
3 heaping T. flour
1 stick butter
1-2 c. sour cream
optional can of black beans (I served on the side because we have black bean dislikers in our family)
a few handfuls of grated Monterrey Jack/Cheddar cheese from those pre-shredded pkgs. (or can use your own grated favorite)
Boil chicken in 6-8 c. water (salt if desired. I did). Cut up chicken into bite size shreds and reserve broth. Add more from can or water and/or bouillon to make enough broth.

With wire whisk, whisk flour into butter over low heat and simmer until thick. Add broth to make a "gravy." Cook until slightly thickened. Add and whisk the sour cream but do not boil after this step. I used 16 oz. tub of sour cream, but I think Kelly uses less.

Roll up enchiladas. Place a nice amount of chicken, a few T. cheese, and a couple T. picante sauce on each tortilla and roll. Put seam side down in sprayed 9 x 13 casserole. Squeeze in as many as you can. I got in 8 and made two in a separate bread pan. Pour gravy over it as much as you can get in. Cover completely and let set for 15-20 minutes. Cover with a few handfuls of grated cheese and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until bubbly and brown. Yum!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blackberry Winter?

I decided to try a new recipe I found on for Blackberry Bread. I left out the nutmeg and allspice, and it's perfect! I love the dense, moistness, and those huge bites of blackberry are almost like built in jam! I had purchased these berries on a Saturday jaunt from a local restaurant owner. He said they're tame berries, but they were acting a little wild to me! haha.. Hugs and Happy July....

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. fresh or frozen blackberries, drained
1 c. black walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil, blackberries and nuts. Stir just until mixed. Bake in 2 well greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans at 350 degrees for 60- 70 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

13 Days til Fairy Day. . . Fairy Cakes by Nigella

So, in 13 days the fairies will entertain our gardens with their little flitty ways, their happy spirits, and their graceful flowing wands of stardust. I had to google what to feed a fairy, and the first dish I encountered was called "Fairy Cakes." It is an English term for a cupcake, and I assume the smaller ones are the more "fairy-like," much preferred by our guests that night. I found these delicious recipes, sites, and photos of cupcakes, but I know that many of the blogland's best have excellent cupcakes. I always love to see what has been baked, decorated, and shared. Check out Tracey's on her post today! HERE. = artist and photo credit = photo credit
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I checked out this blog and found the top recipe books on cupcakes, aka Fairy Cakes. They look amazing. I think I'll check out Food Networks Cupcake Wars, too.

And since Fairy Cakes are English, who else should provide the ultimate recipe? However, if you google it, you will find numerous delicious ones.
This recipe is from a delicious blog called "Once Upon a Cake." I didn't ask permission to copy it because I copied only Nigella's recipe, which is also on her website. But the blog above is definitely worth a visit. So yummy!

Nigella Lawson's Fairy Cakes

Recipe yields 12 regular size cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 Tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour *
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(May use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract instead of the suggested 1 tsp.vanilla extract.)
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Directions :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (I bake them at 375* F)

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.

Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency. (I use the full 3 Tablespoons)

It doesn't seem like enough batter, but it will all work out, scrape every bit from the bowl and try to fill each cup equally.

Bake for 15-20 or until they are golden on top. (These are perfectly baked in 14 to 15 minutes @ 375* in my oven) It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, but remove from the tin as soon as possible.

Before you decorate, if desired, slice off any mounded tops so you have a flat surface to decorate. Some don't cut the mounds off, but with Fairy Cakes, I always do... and the trimmings become cook's treat!

For the Icing ~

Note: Some don't like this icing because it hardens in less than a day. I don't mind because the cakes usually don't last an entire day around my house. They are delicious with a soft buttercream, chocolate ganache, or simply softly whipped cream, too.

Enough for 12 fairy cakes

1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
3-4 drops lemon juice
food coloring, if desired

Mix the sugar, egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, it should have the consistency of heavy cream. Nigella suggest dividing the batch of icing into smaller portions so you can add different colors to each, if you like.

In the cookbook the "Fairy Cakes" are topped with rosebuds and little sugared daisies and fresh berries, so cute! But allow your imagination to take over, these are so much fun to decorate in a number of ways.

So, if you are planning a Fairy reception, you'd better dust off those cupcake pans and liners and find your recipes. Don't disappoint our wee friends!!!!!! They will be waiting at midnight in your gardens!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Friend. . .

What would we do without our good friends? Today we celebrated a little belated birthday of one of my dear friends... Angel food cake...
sweet, red strawberries...

a little mocha latte....
And the sun was shining... what a pretty day! Happy weekend!

Luscious Lemon Angel Food Cake with a Citrus Glaze

Paula Deen's

The perfect spring cake - light and beautiful!

Serves: 10
Cook Time: 85 Minutes
Smithfield Product: None


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of juice from a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A few drops of yellow food coloring


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup sugar and the flour. Set aside. In another bowl, use an an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on low until light and foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and the salt. Increasing the speed to high, continue to beat adding the remaining 1 cup sugar a little at a time until the egg whites form shiny soft peaks. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice until just mixed in. Fold in the flour and sugar mixture a half cup at a time. Pour the batter into an un-greased tube pan. Drop the pan lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles and smooth the top. Place the cake on a lower rack in the oven, and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed with a finger on top.
In a medium bowl combine the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. Add drops of yellow food coloring until desired color is achieved. Remove from oven and invert over the neck of a bottle. Let the cake cool completely before trying to remove from pan. When cooled, run a knife along the edges of the tube pan to release the cake. Put the cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand and drizzle the lemon glaze over the top.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish with your favorite fresh flowers.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mom's wonderful oatmeal cookie recipe

I love these cookies. They are a tiny bit chewy, crisp a bit on the outsude, and soft inside... My favorite recipe that doesn't include chocolate!
2 sticks butter

1 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 c. white sugar

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Cream together the above.

Mix the following in separate bowl and then add to first batter

1 1/2 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. salt

Mix with low speed thoroughlly. Add

3 c. quick oatmeal

1 1/2 c. raisins

1 1/2 c. toasted pecans, chopped

Stir together. Drop by teaspoon on silpat or lightly greased tin. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from tin and cool.... Hide the batch between binges!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Potato Soup and Bean Cakes

My mom dared me to post these. Tonight my son had to work late, so we didn't get to have our usual Thursday Night Spinner party, and it was the two of us again. Our neighbor/renter/snow removal hero also decided to turn cook, and he brought us an ice cream carton full of Navy beans. Mom had made potato soup

Potato Soup Recipe

4 medium potatoes
water to cover
salt to taste
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped

Rivels (or may use store-bought flat noodles
1 egg, beaten with fork
1 c. flour
pinch salt
work in together until combined and the size of peas

Final ingredients
1 1/2 c. milk
1 stick butter
1/4 c. Velveeta

Cube potatoes and mix all vegetables. Fill soup kettle 3/4 full water or less and cook until just tender. To boiling soup mixture (do not drain) use fingers and mince rivels into boiling water and stir often. Cook about 8-10 minutes util rivels are cooked through and do not taste of flour. Add 1 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 pound Velveeta, cubed, and stick of butter. Heat but never boil again.

I decided to use the beans in a different way. They were very thick, little water, and kind of mushy. Nice seasoning and delicious. I made bean cakes.

Bean Cake recipe
1 1/2 c. thick beans, mashed and drained
1/2 c. flour
1 T Harry and David red pepper and onion relish ( could use pimientos and dash of cayenne))
1/2 c. shredded mozarella cheese (reserve some to garnish tops)
1 rib minced celery
1 t. chicken bouillon

2 T. cooking oil


Heat oil in skillet
Mix all ingredients and form into flat patties. Cook over slow heat until crispy on both sides. Sprinkle tops with a little more cheese if desired.

Not our usual Thursday fare but rather rustic and delicious. I liked the bean cakes in the soup.... Mom thought we were hillbillies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cheeseburger Soup

Honeysuckle Hill's Cheeseburger Soup
2 lb hamburger
1 C chopped onion
1 C shredded carrots
1 C diced celery
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 T butter
3 C chicken broth
4 C diced peeled potatoes
¼ C all-purpose flour
8 oz processed American cheese (Cubed)
1 ½ C milk
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ C sour cream
In a 3 quart saucepan, brown beef; drain and set asided. In the same saucepan, sauté onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until potaqtoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour, cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper, cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8-10 servings.
This is delicious! I added a bit more chicken broth, a little Velveeta, and a bit more milk to make it "soupier"! We loved it. I also just had the sour cream on the side for some who aren't too fond of it.(like Mom)...