Saturday, November 28, 2015

A treat for all seasons....

Yes, Santa has made his appearance here.  Looks like he has brought along some tasty goodies!

I clipped this recipe from the local newspaper several years ago.  As you read it closely, you will be able to see that it appeared in the fall, rather near Halloween!  It can easily be adapted for other seasons.  In the spring, Annie's Bunnies would be good to add, and pastel-colored M & Ms would work nicely.  I leave out the chocolate Teddy Grahams at that time, as I do at Christmas.  I have also found that it works best to omit the raisins and miniature marshmallows.  

After our guests left, Santa's goody jar was once again empty.:-(  Probably for the best.:-)

Slightly fewer than four more weeks!  That is, if you're counting!:-)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Clear skies....

For once, we finally had clear skies here for the Frost Moon!

This is as the moon began to rise behind the trees in the back of our property.

Then, there it was - beautiful and full!

Were you able to see this moon where you are?

Still baking....

....and using one of the season's favorite ingredients here!

Into the oven....

....and out!  Just like that!  In the freezer, and ready for gift-giving!

It is easy to see that I have three loaves.:-)  I used smaller loaf pans for baking, and it turned out very well.

I am not sure about the source of this recipe, or I would happily give credit!  The bread is delicious!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015....

For the bread basket....

Continuing on with the many ways cranberries can be featured is this muffin recipe.

I am not sure about the source for this one, but it is a winner in my book!

Ready for the oven!

Here they are, ready to serve!  They are a great addition to that Thanksgiving bread basket.

Incidentally, tonight is the night for the Frost Moon!  Several nights ago, I was able to take this picture.

The sky was remarkably clear, and there were many twinkling stars around!  I'm hoping for clear skies tonight!

Another version....

From the first Thanksgiving dinner I prepared in 1963 in my first apartment, cranberries have had a place on the table.  This version is one that has been prepared many times through the years.  It comes from a Betty Crocker cookbook from 1969.


For my latest effort, I only had the small size raspberry gelatin, so I added a small size strawberry gelatin to the mix.  Also, jellied cranberry sauce was all that was in the pantry.  I also chose to use a regular serving bowl rather than a mold.  

It will be pretty on the table regardless!

Monday, November 23, 2015


....with the cranberry theme, I want to share with you Susan Branch's method for making homemade cranberry sauce!  She has another version in her cookbook, though this one was on her calendar for November 2014.

3 cups raw cranberries
1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine cranberries and sugar. 
- Place in casserole dish (ungreased!)
- Bake for 35 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

Ready for the oven.

All finished baking!

Transferred to serving dish to cover and refrigerate until the Big Day!

The serving dish is handed down from my maternal grandmother, who was born in 1888.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Time for cranberries....

Yay!  It's time to move on to cranberries!  Here is one of the favorite ways we enjoy them.

Ready for that top crust!

Oops!  This time, it chose not to bubble up through the slits provided.  Thankfully, no major spill dropped into the oven!:-)

Double-crust pastry
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tablestpoons cornstarch
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling (I was thrilled to find my store brand without high fructose corn syrup!)
- Prepare pastry; divide in half and roll out.  Place one into pie dish.
- Combine cranberries, sugar, and cornstarch; mix well.  Stir in cherry pie filling; mix lightly.  Spoon into pastry lined dish.  Top with second crust, cutting slits in top.  Trim and flute edges.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-45 mintues, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
- Makes 8 generous servings!

Pie plate - Longaberger 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Before the turkey....

What?!?  No pumpkin-themed recipes today?!?  No, not today, though I do have several other recipes that have been tried here.

Instead, this one for Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole is just the thing to serve in the weeks before "Turkey Day" comes along.

This recipe is from the site, submitted by Shirley Fan.  

Ready for the oven....

Ready to serve....

....and well-received here!

5 ounces (about 4 cups) dry egg noodles
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, chpped
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped plain rotisserie chicken meat, skin and bones discarded
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (whole-wheat or plain)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 1 1/2- or 2-quart casserole pan.
- Cook the egg noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the milk and bring to a simmer.  When the mixture begins to thicken, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.  Mix until the cheese is melted.
-Add the chicken, peas, and cooked noodles.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.  Bake in the oven until golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.  Serve hot.  6 servings.

You will notice that this recipe uses no cream of anything soup!  Yay!  It is also one that can be adapted to be lower in calories by using low-fat or fat-free cheese and skim milk.  Also, I used canned chicken rather than having to pick up one of those rotisserie chickens at the super market.  Olive oil could also be substituted for the butter.  Oh! By the way!  Did you happen to think that leftover turkey could also be substituted for the chicken?  We always like having leftover turkey for sandwiches - never tire of those - but this is the first post-Thanksgiving idea coming from me!:-)

The countdown is on!  Are you making advance preparations for Thanksgiving, only a week away?

Baking dish - Longaberger

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Finishing up....

....with pumpkin.  Well, maybe.:-)

You know me - always forgetting to take pictures of the process.

Here it is, out of the oven, with that slit where I stuck the knife to test for doneness very visible.:-)

As you are able to tell, it has been "taste-tested.":-)  It was a good choice to share with the Country Couple when they made a recent visit.

This recipe combines another flavor with pumpkin - apple butter - and it comes from one that appeared via about three years ago.

- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1/3 cup sugar (taste the sweetness of your apple butter; may need less sugar here)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- One 5-ounce can evaporated milk (2/3 cup) 
- 1/2 cup milk
- Pastry for single crust pie, prepared as you wish, edges crimped

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, apple butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Add eggs; beat lightly with a rotary beater or wire whisk till combined.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.

- Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry shell.  Bake for 50 minutes or till a knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 1 hour.

- Chill 3-6 hours before serving.  Store in the refrigerator.  If desired, serve with whipped cream.  The Husband topped his with plain Greek yogurt!  I would definitely prefer whipped cream!:-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Into the oven....

.....and out to cool....

....before cutting to serve.

Hmm....came home to find this!  The Husband declared them "Good!":-)

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 11 by 7 inch baking pan with parchment paper or generously spray with cooking spray. 
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth.  Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and brown sugar.
- Add the pumpkin puree mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.

This recipe, which I printed from the Internet, comes from Baker Street.  Check out that site!

Monday, November 16, 2015


Pumpkin continues to be the focus around here.  It has been a lot of fun discovering all the ways pumpkin can be used besides in pie.

I have mentioned Skinnytaste previously.  This is one of my favorite recipe sources.  Gina does a marvelous job creating recipes that are tasty and healthy.  I recommend that you go to her website to see for yourself what is offered there.

This recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Sage Soup appeared a few weeks ago.  I fudged a bit and used canned pumpkin as I didn't have any fresh pumpkin ready to roast.

Pumpkin Sage Soup
5 cups pumpkin
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted for vegetarians)
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, plus more for garnish
salt and fresh pepper to taste
reduced fat sour cream for garnish, optional

- Saute shallots in oil on medium heat about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add pumpkin and broth to the pot, along with sage, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Simmer, covered for about 15 minutes.

In the pot, ready to cook.

A very tasty way to begin a meal!

China - Strawberry and Vine, Wedgewood
Flatware - Chateau, Oneida

Friday, November 13, 2015

Breaking for books....

I'm taking a break away from pumpkin creations to spend some time with books.  

Almost finished with The Well Women, and I need to complete the other two before December!  Yikes! That will be some fast reading!  All these books are from the United Methodist Women Reading list for 2015.  

What are you reading?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

How many ways....

....can I find to use pumpkin?  Well, here is another very tasty way!  Pumpkin Granola! is a wonderful site, and I have subscribed to receive updates via email.  It is always a pleasure to see what deliciousness is coming through.

On the baking pan....

Completed and placed in a serving bowl....

The perfect topping for that breakfast "banana split!"

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and pat dry with paper towel
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup pepitas (or other seed) I used sunflower seeds.
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. oil (coconut or canola)
1 tsp. pumpkin spice (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch kosher salt (I used Himalayan pink salt).
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
-Spread oats and quinoa out on a parchment lined baking pan.  Toast in the oven 10 minutes, stirring once.
-Remove the oats from the oven, pour the toasted oats into a medium bowl, and add the ground flaxseeds, pepitas, pecans, and dried fruit.
-Reduce oven to 300 degrees F.
-In a second medium bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin puree, oil, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.  Pour over oats and stir together with a spatula.  Spread back onto a baking sheet and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden.
Makes 3 2/3 cups.

This has been such a hit here that we have it all during the year!:-)

Incidentally, Skinnytaste has a recipe today for a vegan Pumpkin Chili!  I can hardly wait to try it!

Serving bowl - Pink Dogwood depression glass, part of a "berry set" from my childhood.  The "banana split" is in the smaller matching bowl.  It is one of my favorites!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Would you think....

....about making chili with pumpkin as one of the ingredients?  Try this one!  It has become a favorite here!

It can be made ahead of time - even frozen - and reheated in the crockpot!  A perfect choice for serving on a busy week-end!

I hope you are able to "interpret" my scribbles.  If not, just ask your question in the comments.

A perfect choice for the season!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just imagine....

Often, when I begin cooking something, I become so engrossed in the process that I never think to take a picture!  That was the case with this one -

This is the final product!  Pumpkin Bread!

While I omitted the raisins from the muffins posted earlier, everything is included in this bread!  I love that the recipe makes three loaves as that gives enough to enjoy one, give one away, and store one in the freezer for later!

Monday, November 9, 2015

"We interrupt the regularly scheduled program...."

That would have been the continuation of the "pumpkin fest" we seem to be having here, as it is time for all things pumpkin.  Instead, I am posting the following series of pictures....

Oops! Sorry for the blur!  Here, the first two layers of Munchkin the Elder's birthday cake are in place.

Layer three has been added.

Oreo cookie crumbs adorn the cake, frosted with whipped cream!  My contribution was finely chopping the chocolate that was added to the frosting!:-)

This comes from one of Joy Baker's books, and was Munchkin the Elder's requested cake!

The birthday party was this past Saturday.  Attendees even included the American Girl Doll of the Year!

Have a happy Monday!  Pumpkin fest continues tomorrow!

Friday, November 6, 2015

On the right note....

That is always a good place to be when singing!:-)

We have been rehearsing these selections in the women's chorus in which I sing.  

This is the front of the program.  

Notice there are no Christmas-related selections.  That is because the director has decided not to fill the coming weeks with performances!  We will be performing twelve times in January, February, and March of 2016, however!

Sending wishes for a good week-end!