Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Exquisite Mint Sticks....

With the storms that have been passing through so many areas in the past 24 hours, I sincerely hope each of you have been in safe situations.  We have had no problems where we are, although there have been some rather strong storms in nearby areas.

Planning ahead is one thing that I try to do, particularly when schedules begin to be a little crazy.  That is  currently the case.:-)  Many things are happening in a very short period of time, so I was glad to have the time to work ahead on the lunch I prepare for the adult day care at our church for the first Tuesday of every month.  My two earlier posts this week were about Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread and Irish Soda Bread.  Tonight we get to the "fun stuff" - dessert!  And - it is even CHOCOLATE!:-)

You will need these....

....and these

to have something like this!

Drizzled with chocolate!  Yum!!

This is a recipe that I have had in my files for quite a number of years.  It was brought to a "Tasting Party" for the mothers of twins club that I was part of when our twins were younger.  I have probably not mentioned earlier that our youngest two daughters are twins.  They joined a sister who was 20 months old at the time!  We had some very busy years, but somehow we moms had time to plan some activities that were fun, like the tasting party!

Now, this recipe takes some time.  There are several steps, so you will need to be sure you begin your preparations in time to be finished when you want to serve them.


1/2 cup butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
dash salt
nuts, if desired

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt chocolate and butter together.  
- Beat eggs, gradually adding sugar and vanilla.  Mix into melted chocolate/butter mixture, stirring well.  Stir in flour, salt, and nuts, if using.
- Put into greased 8x8 pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Cool completely.


2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon cream
drop of oil of peppermint
food coloring, if desired

- Blend all together; spread over cooled brownie layer.  Refrigerate until set.


1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 Tablespoon butter

- Melt together; drizzle over Topping that has set.  Refrigerate until set.  
- Cut into inch-wide strips.  

Now, to the "mystery" surrounding March 17.  There is one more hint I will give in this post.  I think this one is going to give it away.  I do need to mention that we do have some Irish ancestry, and I enjoy honoring St. Patrick's Day.  However, that is not why we are counting the days - only 17, now.

O'Fortune and Erin are excited, too!

I am hoping I will have some followers who will be able to come up with the reason we are anticipating the arrival of March 17.

I have noticed new followers.  Welcome!  I hope you will check in often.  I appreciate those who are following, and I enjoy reading your comments.

Next post - Chicken

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Irish Soda Bread....

We have had a beautiful day here today.  The birds were chirping, and there was sunshine!  The Husband worked outside in our vegetable garden.  We hope it isn't going to be very long before we will be able to plant for this season.

I baked some more bread today to serve for the adult day care next Tuesday.  It is already stored in the freezer.:-)

This is what you will need.

The dough before it is kneaded.

Nice and smooth, waiting for the next step.

A cross has been cut in the top.  Excuse the glare!:-(

                                                                             Baked and cooling on the rack!


2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix dry ingredients; add buttermilk and stir to make a soft dough.  Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead for about one minute.
- Shape dough into a round loaf about eight inches in diameter.  Put in greased round pan or on a greased cookie sheet.  (Using a Silpat means I don't grease the pan).  With a floured sharp knife, cut a cross on the top.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until done.  Bread will sound hollow when tapped with the knuckles.  Cool on its side before cutting.

Well, I haven't had anyone mention the "clue" in the last picture in my post from yesterday.  Of course, family members who are following along know they are "exempt" from "spilling the beans" on why we are counting the days until March 17.  Did you know there are ONLY 18 days until then?!?  I'll give another day until I may post something that will definitely give it away.  If you need to, go back and review earlier posts.:-)

We are moving right along in preparations for next Tuesday's lunch.  The next post will be for Exquisite Mint Sticks!  Be sure to tune in for that - and that final clue, if needed!

Thank you for following along.  It's great to read your comments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do you know?

Well, that is an interesting way to begin a post for the blog.  Do you know?  That could bring about all kinds of possibilities.  I'm sure you know that this month is coming to a close - with an extra day this year!  That means the new month begins on Thursday, with the first Tuesday of the month coming a week from tomorrow.  Do you know what THAT means?  It is the day I prepare lunch for the Adult Day Care program at our church.  I know you have no idea about the menu I have selected, so I will share that with you in this post.  I will serve Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole, Golden Potato Casserole, both White and Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread, and Exquisite Mint Sticks.   Posts this week will include the preparations for this menu.  I have had to plan to do much of the preparation this week since the week-end will be taken by a UMW event, plus next Monday I will give the program for a Circle in my local church.
Today I baked the bread - the whole wheat variety only.

This is what you will need.

After mixing the buttermilk with the dry ingredients, ready to knead.

After kneading, on the pan to be baked.

After the dough has been flattened some, with a cross in the top.

Baked and out of the oven.


1 cup plain flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (I used low-fat).
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

- Grease small cookie sheet well.  (You can see by the pictures that I used a Silpat on my cookie sheet).  
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well with a fork.  Add buttermilk; mix just until ingredients are moistened.
- Turn out onto well-floured surface.  Knead gently until smooth, about one minute.  Shape dough into a ball; place on prepared cookie sheet; flatten into 7-inch circle.  Dough will be about 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Press large floured knife into center of loaf, almost through to bottom.  Repeat at right angles to divide loaf in quarters.
- Have oven preheated to 375 degrees F.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove to wire rack.  Brush top of loaf with butter.  Cool completely.

The bread is cooled, sliced, and in the freezer.  Next, I will bake the white variety, slice it, and place it in the freezer as well.  It is a good feeling to know that I have already begun to work on that volunteer project.:-)

Now, there is one final picture for today.  Perhaps you will find a hint in it about what March 17 signifies.  Perhaps most of you will be able to answer THAT part of "Do you know?"

Look closely, now.  Do you spy a hint?

Thank you so much for following along.  I really enjoy reading your comments.  Be sure to come back again tomorrow.  Perhaps I will find I need to give other clues.:-)

Coming up - White Irish Soda Bread 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I'm sending you good wishes on this Sunday evening.  Did you have a good week-end?  Are you ready for the week ahead?  It seems that the week-ends seem to pass more quickly as time goes by.  I hope yours gave you time to do some things that were meaningful to you.

I appreciate your responses to yesterday's blog.:-)  Yes.  It's true that March 17 is St. Patrick's Day.  That in itself is reason for a bit of celebrating in ANY year.  This year, however, there is ANOTHER reason for us to anticipate March 17.  It is only 19 days away come morning.  Now, why would we be counting the days?

I believe I will leave it there for a bit longer.:-)  I do want you to know that we are entering a very busy time here.  Some of what is happening will make the blog, just as the "surprise" picture from the last posting.

Although we had some cooking going on around here yesterday (company for lunch today), there are no pictures to show or recipes that I will post tonight.  I will get around to that other days this week, hopefully.

Already there are some Oscar winners that have reason to celebrate their wins.  I will not be able to watch this entire show before calling it a day myself.

There are fans of the Lady Vols who are celebrating the basketball win this afternoon, the last game of the regular season.  It has been an unusual season with the announcement by Pat Summitt, the much-beloved coach, that she had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's.  There is a bit of uncertainty about her ability to continue coaching another year.

This has been a beautiful day here with lots of sunshine.  This was a good reason for The Husband to celebrate as he is hopeful there will be some drying of the earth so it can be prepared for spring vegetable planting.

I celebrate that you are following along reading this blog!  I have "met" some wonderful "new" people! Thank you so much for reading, and I really appreciate your comments.

Next post - Do you know?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surprises....and more

Happy Saturday evening to you, wherever you are.  We have had a beautiful day here today, plenty of sunshine, although the wind has been a bit chilly.  The forecast calls for another nice day tomorrow.  I hope you have been able to safely enjoy the weather today.  Some of you may be experiencing snow.  I know that can cause some problems at times.

I am going to save the "surprise" part for the latter part of this post, so this is the "more" portion.:-)  A while ago I posted a recipe for Chicken With Apples.  This week, I decided to use pork chops to prepare the same kind of dish.

This is what you will need.

This is the finished product.


2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 boneless pork chops (I only used three, and they were not boneless).
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Braeburn).
1 medium onion sliced
1 cup apple juice

- Sprinkle pepper over pork.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet, add pork and saute until browned.
- Remove from skillet.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add apple slices and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the pieces constantly.
- Return pork chops to pan and add apple juice.
- Cover and simmer until pork chops are cooked; uncover and cook a few more minutes until liquid has reduced, about 5 minutes.  

This is a rather busy time around here for me.  The Conference United Methodist Women (UMW)
nominating committee has asked if I would accept the nomination to serve as Secretary of Program Resources with the election coming in September.  I was happy to accept the nomination.  However, the current office holder is having some health issues, and I will be assisting for some events that are held during the year.  The first one of these will be next week-end.   I am also serving as a District officer (the last year on the term), and have the responsibility of planning the first District event of the year.  That will happen the FOLLOWING week-end.  Hopefully plans are all in order for that one.  

                                                    Now, what is THIS all about?!?  Could this be the "surprise?"

Yes, this is the "surprise" part of this post.  What is inside these packages?  What kind of gifts are these?   I'll tell you this much.  The event is March 17!   Are you able to guess the "surprise?"

Thank you for reading.  I love your comments.

Coming up - Celebrating!

Friday, February 24, 2012

One more time....

Good Friday evening, everyone!  This is a turkey recipe - one more time.:-)  We do not reserve turkey for Thanksgiving around here.  In fact, I've been known to bring home a turkey breast to cook just so I will have turkey to make this particular dish.  One more time - there are no pictures.  Hopefully I will be able to incorporate some in my next post.  Many of you probably have a similar recipe.  I'm not even sure I remember the source.  It probably came from a magazine or newspaper. 

2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries may be substituted)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise (reduced fat mayo with olive oil is a good choice)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salad greens

- Stir all ingredients together.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve over salad greens.  Six servings.

Thank you for reading along.  I enjoy your comments.

Next post - Surprises....and more!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More turkey....

Seeing as how I'm sort of on a ground white meat turkey "roll,"  here's another of my favorite recipes.  I have no pictures of this one, either, so you will have to use your imagination, and simply enjoy the recipe.:)  It came from Gina's Skinny Recipes, and she gives credit to her friend, Debbie K., for giving it to her.  This makes a large quantity, so you may want to halve the recipe.  I've done that before.


Cooking spray
2 small onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chili power, to your taste
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 Tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
3 pounds ground white meat turkey breast
4 16-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fat free chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
-Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium flame.  When hot, spray oil.  Add onions and garlic; saute about 5 minutes.  Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.  Add salt, chili powder cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes.  Add beans and broth, and cook uncovered about 10 minutes.
-Lower heat and cover.  Simmer about 45 minutes, mixing occasionally.  Add sour cream and cook 5 more minutes.  Adjust seasoning.
-Top with chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, light sour cream, reduced fat cheddar, or jalapenos, if desired.  Servings - 14.  Serving size - 1 cup.

For those of you who are interested, has other recipes that are WW-friendly.

This February day was like spring.  Our high temperature reached 77 degrees F, and there are daffodils blooming in our yard!  I am always hopeful that the temperature will be cool enough for the blooms to still be around for St. Patrick's Day; however, there have been very few times that has been the case.

I notice new followers.  Thank you for coming along.  To all of you who are reading - thank you as well.  I enjoy reading your comments.

Next post - One more time....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More of the same....

Continuing on the ground turkey theme from the previous post, I will post a recipe today for Turkey Sausage.  Now, there are no pictures for this one.  I prepared this for Monday morning breakfast, and I wasn't quite alert enough to begin photographing that early.:-)  This is a recipe that came from the Weight Watchers Message Boards several years ago.


1 pound ground white meat turkey
1 teaspoon (or less) salt
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper (or less)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or less)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- Combine all together and blend well.
- Refrigerate overnight for meat to absorb flavor of spices.  Use as desired:  patties, crumbles, etc.

This will give you that taste of sausage without the extra fat.  I have even used this mixture in Jambalaya and other recipes that use other sausages.  As I have noted above, the amount of spiciness can be controlled, depending on your own personal taste.

Thank you for following along.  I especially enjoy your comments.

Next post - More turkey!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Enjoy turkey anytime....

Around here, turkey is not reserved for serving only at Thanksgiving, especially turkey breast.  My slow cooker has an oval shape, and I am able to set a turkey breast in it first thing in the morning for it to be ready by dinner time.  This post, however, isn't about THAT kind of turkey.  This is a recipe for using ground turkey breast.  I am fortunate in that I am able to buy this in whatever quantity I wish because it is not a pre-packaged product at my favorite market.:-)  This recipe came in my email from the Food Network collection for Ellie Krieger just last week, so this is the first time for me to make it.  It definitely won't be the last!


3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion (Slice 1/4 of it, chop the rest).
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worchester sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

- Soak oats in milk while combining the chopped onion, ground turkey, red bell pepper, 2 beaten eggs, the Worchester sauce, ketchup, salt, and pepper.  Then, add in the oat mixture.  Do not overmix, but be sure all ingredients are blended in well.
- Shape into a loaf in a rectangle-size pan.  Pour can of tomato sauce over the loaf, and scatter the sliced onions on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for about an hour.

You will need these ingredients.

Ready to bake.

Baked and ready to serve!

I hope you will give this a try.  It was VERY WELL received around here!  

Thank you for reading.  I truly enjoy your comments.

Next post - More of the same.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

By special request....

Earlier this week, at a gathering for bridge at the Senior Center, someone shared these no-bake cookies with us.   I mentioned having made a similar cookie many years ago, and a Circle friend requested that I make some to take along on a Circle Retreat this week-end.  So, on Friday morning, after finally getting around to making those Chocolate Griddle Cakes, I made No Bake Chocolate Cookies.  As promised earlier, here is a picture of those pancakes.

The recipe made a dozen.  The Husband is happy because he now has pancakes in the freezer.:-)

I mentioned a Circle Retreat earlier.  This is a once-a-year outing for any of those in Circle who are interested in attending.  We rent a cabin in a community toward the mountains from Friday until Sunday.  Sometimes there are a few who just come for the day on Saturday.  We have a great time just hanging out, playing games, hiking, talking, and eating.  This picture shows some of the scenery from the deck of the cabin on Saturday morning.

The blue sky was trimmed with wispy, white clouds.

Now, on to the recipe.  This has been in my files for many years, even before the MOTH was part of my life.  It comes from the parent of a child I taught in a summer Kindergarten program for incoming first graders before Kindergarten was a regular part of public school.  I hope the pictures will manage to post with no complication.:-)


1 stick butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup raisins, nuts, or peanut butter (I used 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup walnuts).
- Bring first four ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil three minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients promptly to chocolate mixture.  Drop immediately by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper.  Cool.  Makes three-four dozen.

So, the top picture shows ingredients needed.  I didn't get the milk from the refrigerator for the picture.  The cocoa I used is Equal Exchange Fair Trade Cocoa, a product sold at our church.  

On this Sunday, we have a rainy day, with the chance of a little snow in the forecast.  At this time, however, there has been no appearance of snow, so I would think the forecast will be moderated somewhat.  

City Girl has come to town, and we hope Muncho Mom will be able to be here tomorrow.  By the way, let me once again refer you to, a food blog.  I think you will be pleased by what you find there.  Be sure to leave a comment!:-)

Next post - Enjoy turkey anytime!

Thank you so much for reading, and I appreciate your comments.

Have a good week!

Friday, February 17, 2012

3 - 2 - 1.....

Does that sound like "blast-off" should be the next word?:-)  Actually, this is a very simple recipe that I have recently learned that is good for those of us who may be watching our weight.  I have no information about point value, in case you may wonder.  I read this recipe while at my church taking care of some UMW things, and I immediately thought that it should become part of my files.:-)

One box of angel food cake mix has been poured into a plastic bag.

The box of chocolate cake mix has been mixed with it.

Two tablespoons of water has been mixed into the three tablespoons of mix.

Here is the very simple recipe for this single-serving dessert.  

3 - 2 - 1 CAKE

1 box angel food cake mix
1 box any other flavor cake mix

Combine these two cake mixes until well blended.

Measure:  three tablespoons of the blended mix
                 two tablespoons of water
Mix them well in the ramekin.
Cook in the microwave for 1 minute at high power.
There you have it!  An individual dessert serving, just enough for one!
                          You might want to add a bit of whipped topping.:-)  I enjoyed it just the way it is!

Thank you so much for reading!  I enjoy your comments!

Next post - By special request....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A "great anytime" treat....

One thing which I really enjoy is homemade granola.  Many years ago I would make it more often,  using it to make homemade granola bars when the children were home.  When this recipe appeared in the most recent issue of Dash that is sometimes an insert with our daily paper, I thought that it was one to try.

This is some of what you will need. 
The dried fruits to add.

After baked and cooled, the dried fruit ready to be mixed in.

Out of proper sequence, I know.  This was to be the second step.

While this is good granola, I believe I actually prefer one I made at Christmas time which came from a Southern Living Cookbook from many years ago.  I will post that one at some point in the future.


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup quartered dried apricots (The ones I had were large, so I cut them to be about the same size as  
                                                     the cherries).
1/3 cup dried cherries

- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, wheat germ, and nuts.  Transfer to baking sheet.  Bake, stirring once, for about 20 minutes.
- Raise temp to 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl, stir juice, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Pour over oats and toss to coat.  Bake for another 20 minutes, stirring once.  Cool.  Toss oats with apricots and cherries.

We enjoy this with milk or yogurt, even over fresh fruit, or just as a spoonful for a snack.  It can be kept in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for as long as a month - if it happens to stay around that long!
For those who are interested in watching points as related to WW, I have no information for this one, except that I find it very dangerous to have around.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I enjoy your comments.

Next post - 3-2-1!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Ready for wet ingredients.

The finished product, fresh out of the oven.
I know I promised to show you the "finished product" from the Chocolate Griddle Cake recipe I posted a few days ago.  I mentioned that the MOTH would be surprised with them on Valentine's Day.  Well, that was not to be.  The MOTH was fighting a migraine at bedtime the night before for the second time in recent days.  On the chance that his enjoyment of chocolate might have been the trigger, we postponed the plans for that breakfast of those chocolate delicacies.  Instead, I made Scotch Scones with Dried Cranberries.  I know....that sounds like Christmas, but we enjoy dried cranberries all year, and they ARE red, which is the color for Valentine's Day, after all.

This recipe comes from "Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm" by Marge Clark, 1994.  I have used it many times and been pleased each time.  Notice there is no cutting in of butter, cutting short the mixing process.:-)


2 cups flour
1/2 cup raisins, currants, or dried cranberries (I think dried cherries would work, too).
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat-free).
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add remainder of ingredients and stir until dough holds together.  On a well-floured surface, roll the ball of dough until it is no longer sticky.  Knead dough 12 or 15 times.  Divide ball in half.  Pat each half into a 6" circle.  Brush surfaces with a little milk, then sprinkle a little sugar on each.  Cut each circle into 8 wedges.  Place 2" apart on a very lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Serve hot, if possible, with butter, a flavored butter, honey, or jam and of course, clotted cream.  Makes 16.

You can easily notice that I cut the scones into heart shapes rather than into wedges.  The MOTH puts the leftovers in the freezer to enjoy as he is ready for them.

I haven't experimented with adding other ingredients rather than the dried fruit.  I wonder how they would taste with mini-chocolate chips.  Hmm....

Next post - A "great anytime" treat....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Remember that cookie dough?

If you will recall, we had some week-end guests recently, giving me some help in the kitchen with Valentine sugar cookies (Little Munchkin).  Well, we actually only used half the dough the recipe made.  The other half has been patiently waiting on me.:-)  This is what I had in store for it.
Oops! No picture before baking again. I really must improve with that.

                          Looking good enough to eat!

I had it in mind that I would make Fruit Pizza with the other half of the dough, so I thought it would be fun to have a heart shape.  This is a recipe that has been around for awhile, so many of you may have it in  your files.  I will post the original recipe and indicate where I made changes.

FRUIT PIZZA (makes 2) - I only made 1.

2 refrigerated rolls of sugar cookie dough
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 reduced fat)
1 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1- 1# box confectioners sugar
Sliced fruit (strawberries, kiwi, bananas, etc.)
1/4 cup orange juice with small amount confectioners sugar (I skipped this).

- Spray bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.  Spread cookie dough about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake according to directions on roll until lightly brown.  Cool.
- Mix softened cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered sugar until smooth.  Spread over baked cookie.
- Arrange desired fruit on top.  Drizzle with glaze, if desired.
- Refrigerate.

It has been a busy day here, and I haven't had a chance to send along my Happy Valentine's Day wishes to all of you who are reading.  The MOTH and I enjoyed dinner out, along with everybody else in town, or so it seemed.:-)

I notice there are new followers, and I thank you for coming along, as well as for your comments!

Next post - Substitutions....

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Valentine treats....

I call this "Cherry-o Cream Cheese Dessert."  It isn't in a pie plate.:-)
The finished product.
This recipe has been around for years and years, and I really cannot remember making it before.  There is nothing difficult about it, and it doesn't require a long list of hard-to-find ingredients.  It actually takes very little effort.  It came to mind because this is the month of George Washington's birthday, and we all know the story of his experience with that cherry tree!  I believe Borden's can be given credit for seeing that this recipe has endured all these years.


1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat).
1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (I used fat-free).
1/2 cup lemon juice (No need for fresh here).
1 can cherry pie filling (Lucky Leaf has no high fructose corn syrup).
Graham cracker crust (I used only whole graham crackers to line the bottom of the dish).

- Beat cream cheese till fluffy.  Add Eagle Brand and blend.  Stir in lemon juice.  Pour into crust; refrigerate for about a half hour.  Spoon on cherry pie filling.  Keep refrigerated.

The Man of the House enjoyed this today.  I told him that it was a Valentine treat.:-)  The red fits right in with the season.

There are some birthdays in the family this week.  You know who you are!  Happy Birthday!  Perhaps you are reading along.

The Lady Vols are looking good tonight - unless, of course, you are a Kentucky fan.:-)

There is the prediction that winter may pay a brief overnight visit.  Crews have been out preparing the roads, just in case.  I'll let you know tomorrow what developed.  I have some "playing" to do, and I don't want anything to interfere.:-)

Next post - Remember that cookie dough?

Sunday, February 12, 2012


This is a "surprise" I found while organizing the pantry.  Are you able to see that it is heart-shaped pasta?

As a surprise, I added it to the chicken soup!

This was called Sweetheart Pasta, a Harry & David product.  It isn't easy to find the red-colored pasta in the soup once it has cooked.:-(

This wasn't any special soup recipe.  I just added some diced onion, sliced carrots and celery,  and some chopped parsley along with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.  The broth was from when I cooked chicken breasts with the plan to eventually have a pot of soup!

Do you try to think of surprises for Valentine's Day?  Here is one that I plan to use for breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Shh!  Don't say anything about it!  I want the Man of the House to be surprised!:-)  In case you are interested in something like this, I am including the recipe today.  I'll try to be able to take a picture of the finished product on Tuesday morning.

The recipe comes from the February 2011 issue of an insert in our newspaper - Dash.  Do any of you have that addition to your newspapers?  I find good ideas in most of them.


1/2 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 whole large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Unsalted butter

- Sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, then whisk in eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until combined well.
- Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over a moderately low heat and lightly coat with butter.
- Working in batches of 2 or 3, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until bubbles appear on surface, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip cakes with a large spatula, cook until tops spring back when pressed gently, about 1 minute more.
- Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.  Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to griddle between batches.  Servings:  4

I'm sure you will be able to determine other uses for these delicious griddle cakes besides with cut-up fruit for breakfast.  What about topped with ice cream?  Or with your favorite chocolate sauce?  Enjoy!

We have had a day with "abundant sunshine."  That's what the forecast said as it appeared on the TV screen this morning.  It was rather cold, though, with last night's low temperature registered at 16 degrees F!  It IS winter, after all; however, a warming trend begins tomorrow and will extend through the week.

I have noticed new followers, and I really do appreciate that!  I love reading your comments!

Next post - More Valentine treats.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Return to Red....

I have tried to show the detail on the cups, but probably needed a different camera setting.
In this post, I will share with you a picture of what I won in Nann's giveaway.  She even included a lovely handwritten note on one of the placecards she used for that luncheon last week-end. I encourage you to check out her blog - - especially today as she has taken us on a tour of the tables as she had them set up for the party.  It would have been really exciting to have been a guest!

I think you are able to see that the saucers are heart-shaped.  What doesn't show well, however, is the decoration around the rim of the cups.  Nann has a much better picture on her site.  Are you able to see my name on that lovely placecard?  She did such great work!  I am in awe!  Thank you so much, Nann!

Table set for February.

Watching from the mantle.

I am always happy when February arrives.  That means the red that was so cheerful at Christmas will come back out to cover the table.  The white china (Strawberry and Vine, Wedgewood) gives a good contrast, and I enjoy using the few serving accessories I have.  The plate and bowls were in the picture from last Saturday's "Super Bowl" party, and they add a festive touch.  

On the mantel are two of my "standbys," both literally and figuratively.:-)  They have seen duty for a number of February holidays, and they keep an eye on everything as well.:-)

I missed a "photo-op" earlier this morning.  We had a little dusting of snow.  It quickly disappeared once the wind became such an issue.  Although we have had flurries off and on all day, there isn't any on the ground because the wind has blown it away.  There is the forecast for about three more days of winter weather before we return to the fifties by Wednesday next week.  

I have noticed new followers!  Welcome to you, and thank you for coming along.  I appreciate your reading and love your comments.

Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Was there something else?

Cheese, pimento, and mayonnaise ready to whirl in the food processor.
I have devoted this week to the food we had for our "Super Bowl" party last Saturday while the Munchkins were visiting.  There was something else that hasn't been illustrated.  This is my recipe for Pimento Cheese Spread.  It isn't very original, as I have seen similar versions printed in the newspaper.  This is another popular choice for the Munchkins, and it was an option on the serving table last week-end.  This is the recipe I follow.


8-oz. cheddar cheese (I used Cabot's 75% reduced fat cheddar).
1 (2-oz.) jar of pimentos, undrained
Mayonnaise as needed, usually around 1/3 cup (I use reduced fat).

- Shred cheese; place in food processor; add other ingredients, and blend well.  If you wish other items may be added such as a little Dijon mustard or hot sauce.  I usually keep mine rather plain as it appeals to the little ones better this way.
- Use for sandwiches; even good grilled.:-)

I am excited this evening because there was a surprise on my porch this afternoon!  I won the giveaway from this week, and it arrived today!  That will be part of my next post, so be sure to read the next time for - The Return of Red!:-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Those cookies....

It was certainly a lot of fun last week-end to  have Little Munchkin (5) in the kitchen helping bake cookies.  Big Munchkin (8) was busy reading a Harry Potter book from our shelves.  We, of course,
permitted him to take the book home with him, and he finished it by Tuesday!  The leftover cookies (less four) also went home with the Munchkins.  I wonder if they finished THEM by Tuesday.:-)

Anyway, this recipe was given to Munchomom as part of a shower gift before she was married in 1997.  I am not sure about the original source, but the name may have something to do with that.


3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
- Sift these dry ingredients together, then add:
1/2 cup butter
- Cut butter into dry ingredients until pea-size
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup (may need to add more later) sour cream (I have used reduced fat, and even fat free here).
1 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
- Mix and add to first part.  You may need to use your hands here, or find that  you need to add more sour cream.
- Divide into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and chill for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roll to 1/2"; sprinkle with sugar, roll again and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on greased or sprayed cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 11 minutes.  Yield: depends on size of cutter, but usually around two to three dozen.  If you wish, add other sprinkles, etc. before baking.

A cup of hot chocolate is coming up!
Next post - Was there something else?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More for the vegetarian....

Pictured in the large blue dish in the foreground.

It is always good to have vegetarian recipes around here as we have a daughter who is a vegetarian.  It seems that chili is usually a popular offering for Super Bowl fare, so this was part of our "Super Bowl party" lunch last week-end.  I have no recollection of the source of the recipe.  I have carefully rewritten it on a recipe card in my file, so it may have come from the newspaper or a label on one of the products.  I will say that it is something that I will be making again!


2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomatoes, broken up
1 can (15 oz.) each of black beans, red kidney beans, and white northern or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, cumin, oregano and basil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
 - Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and green pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in blended spices and remaining ingredients.  Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Makes six cups.  I served it with sour cream, grated cheese, and chips available.  

Next post - Those cookies....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A popular choice....

The recipe I'm sharing with you tonight was a very popular choice with the Munchkins over the week-end.  They could eat bowls of these!  In fact, the Munchkins are not alone in that.  The rest of us
Gathering ingredients for those tasty snacks! 

Oil, dressing mix, and spices ready to pour over crackers.

Here they are, out of the oven, and ready to eat!
could make them disappear very quickly as well.  This is a recipe that has been around for awhile, I'm sure. There are probably other versions with other names out there.  This, however, is the only recipe I've used for this delicacy, and it comes from Just Family Favorites Cookbook, 2005 edition.


1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 (12 ounce) package oyster crackers

- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.  Thoroughly blend together first five ingredients with a whisk.  Pour mixture over oyster crackers and stir to coat.  Place crackers on a baking sheet and spread evenly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Cool completely before storing in airtight container.

Next posting - more for the vegetarian.

Thank you so much for reading.  I love reading your comments.